What I Need: Hair Heroes

>> Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Most days, my battle includes something within me. A part of me. My hair.

Every now and then, I'd have to have my hair trimmed because I have it permed, it gets frizzy all the time and a curly blogger friend {hello, Kira!} can attest to how crazy I can become discussing the details of having to tame hair. While I have a stash of curl-friendly products, my dry, brittle and often buhaghag hair {if I don't put anything to it} depresses me sometimes.

Now, the thing with following beauty blogger friends on Twitter is that you're privy to their conversations wherein they enable each other {not you directly but you get drawn in!}. As you might have guessed, I am a collateral non-damage in the tweet conversation of the Beautynomist and Brigitte.

And so here I am, after Snoe Beauty's tweet about online shopping, which I saw while having breakfast, and on my iPad, I ran to my laptop and happily purchased this little miracle to resurrect a rather frizzy crown of non-glory.

Moroccan Liquid Gold. Interesting. For Php 499, it sure does work for everyone on my Twitter feed.
Let's see. My order should be with me in the next few days. 

Your hair is your crowning glory.

Lavish your hair with Snoe’s Revolutionary 5-in-one Intense Argan Oil Moroccan Liquid Gold. This cleansing conditioner replaces shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, de-tangler, leave-on conditioner, and even shaving cream. For all hair types, 5-in-one is formulated to add moisture without weighing hair down. It effectively cleanses & hydrates hair without stripping or robbing it of its natural nutrients and oils. It has astonishing healing, conditioning, and anti-aging properties to keep your hair nourished and revitalized, to keep you looking beautiful.

I'll be updating you the soonest!


Image from the Snoe Beauty website.


Career Woman Diaries: The Red Door

>> Monday, January 30, 2012

What's your message?

In the highly-recommended book I raved about, called Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire, I distinctly remember my favorite author, Mireille Guiliano, discuss how one's choice of scent affects how people perceive one in the workplace. 

In business, the scent of a strong perfume can mean disaster at a job interview or a dinner party with fine wine and food. All you really need is a light fresh scent for the warm months and a spicy or musky one for the cold months. My mother's perfume is my perfume, Chanel No. 5, the celebrated jasmine and rose infused fragrance chosen by Coco Chanel in 1921.
 "Two drops of Chanel No. 5 is what I wear to sleep," says the sexiest kitten of all time, Marilyn Monroe.
That of course, is another kind of message a scent conveys.

Most days, I convey to the world that I am a free-spirited girl. On casual days, my scent of choice is The Body Shop's White Musk, a casual, just-stepped-out-of-the-shower scent that I like, and alternately, Versace's Bright Crystal. On days that I need a citrusy, youthful vibe to communicate a rather young endeavor, I wear my signature scent, Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC. A rather more youthful scent I like using, especially when I'm wearing summer colors, is Acqua Colonia in Royal Riesling.

For a day where I would have to swallow my pride, face people of higher positions, people of executive wisdom and days I would not like to be seen juvenile, I choose Elizabeth Arden's Red Door.

Here's the thing: There was that day that I have completely forgotten to spritz on perfume. On my way out of the car, I checked the backseats and found the box of Elizabeth Arden's Red Door lying.  I spritzed it on, threw it in my bag and just within the first hour of walking around the office for inter-department functions, a female senior colleague stopped to sniff {yes, she really stood close and smelled me} and asked what it was that I was wearing. I answered Red Door and more women came to smell me and we further launched into a full-on discussion about life, hankering for alone time {as for me, I have enough, thankyouverymuch}, and decision-making. While I've loved that I was always been everyone's daughter/little sister, I want to be seen as an equal when it comes to the workplace.

What better scent of course, than a scent that is used by women who mean business, women who are seduced by their passions of creating, of communicating to the world, of driving sales and numbers up, or at least of the same composition. Red Door is pretty much in a nutshell, your musky and woody scent, with the following for its composition:

Top notes – Lily of the Valley, Freesia, Wild Violets

Mid notes – Red Rose, Moroccan Orange Flower, Jasmine, Ylang

Base notes – Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Honey

The women I look up to in business have always had that signature scent. I cannot always identify which perfume they are wearing but it always smelled as if everything they say are no nonsense, wise, strong, ambitious, steering, driven, calculated and brilliant. Most of all, brilliant.

Admittedly, the Red Door smells far from a woman who's in her twenties --- but in the workplace, in the boardroom, or in business, there would certainly be days when a woman who smells like baby cologne is that last thing you want to be. Have I mentioned that the dry down is just divine?

Your perfume is your message.

After all, one has to exit spectacular.
*Red Door is available at Rustan's.

What's your business-y perfume?


Things I Love Sundays: Laughter-Filled Weeks

>> Sunday, January 29, 2012

Don't you just love friends and colleagues who make you laugh always?

I'm lucky to be surrounded by the funniest people. For this week's Things I Love Sundays post, I wasn't sure to put --- I mean, my life is basically work whizzing me by through the days. I thought to myself, "I'm just going to say how busy I am la di dad and what is new with that?" Most days, I'm careening through a long list and ever since January kicked in, I've been diligently been sleeping three hours earlier than I used to, which means I wake up really early, sometimes as early as 4 AM.

I'm officially turned into a lola.

But a yogini lola nonetheless :P

But one fact was reverberating throughout the week: I was laughing a lot. As if I wasn't already a big belly laugh-er {people tell me I have a signature loud laugh}, my week has been bursting with guffaws that make your jaw hurt and words that get lost in between.

Gotta love this life.

Speaking of yoga, I love it that I was able to practice this week. And eat like a kargador after.
This probably the most accurate reading / prediction about who I am --- EVER.

Charismatic and intuitive, you are a friendly Scorpio with a winning smile and powerful emotions. Although usually a forceful character with a dynamic personality, you are kind and generous and at times, surprisingly modest. You need to overcome a tendency to be fixed and learn to let go of your controlled emotions. Ambitious and dramatic, with sensitivity and quick responses, you have the potential for outstanding creative achievement. Sociable and an expert at personal contact, your charm and your shrewd judgment of character can help you in all situations.

With the combination of your leadership abilities and emotional sensitivity, you will naturally rise to positions of power. Possessing charm and advanced social skills, you are likely to succeed in people-related activity. Your communication skills may draw you toward occupations such as teacher, lecturer, writer or salesperson. Your ability to make useful contacts can help you in business, especially combined with your ability to commercialize your talents. Alternatively, your natural dramatic sense can help you succeed in politics, the entertainment world, or the arts. 

The best thing about it? I have no idea where it came from. It was just a photocopied paper on my desk, from my boss' friend's book.

Goofing around in the office, lots of major LOL moments :D

My current seatmate at work.

Receiving an award from the country's premiere advertising award-giving body, PANA.

At the Dusit Thani Hotel last Friday night.

Oprah's February issue. Each issue is pure magic and awesomeness.
Some items that caught my rather short attention span:

This Spiegel blazer above would definitely cheer up dreary grays and blacks!

And this dress from Anthropologie would work with maybe an orange blazer.

According to my fortune cookie. I'm not too sure about that.

How adorable are these Sephora brushes?

Of course why this is funny is for obviously inside joke reason. Thanks, T, for the picture!

 One of my most favorite actresses ever, Drew Barrymore is February's My Best Life. I've always loved her and I've always loved the fact that all of her romantic movies use Spandau Ballet's True. If you notice the yellow skirt in the pictures in the beginning of this post, it's all because I had been reading this page from O Magazine and was inspired.

The upcoming Cranberries Concert on April 10. 90s kids, raise your hands in the air!

Hanging out with friends and knowing you're not just drinking buddies {because you don't drink so much now!}.  Sartorial inspirations, brekkies, writing on tablets, a multitude of handwritten fonts, getting better at Photoshop. Playing with babies, this article on Shelly Lazarus, not giving in to Temple Run, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Jaw that hurts from too much laughing.

What are you loving today?


Nanny Rose Sticks and Pulls Queen Bee

>> Thursday, January 26, 2012

Leave it to me to buy a product based entirely on packaging.

The thing with being a typophile {person inclined towards font types}, is that I tend to get swayed with my judgment based solely on how a package is presented. Blame it on the marketer in me, or the girl with sometimes-low EQ, especially on pampering things, my mind kind of shuts down on all things pretty.

The recycled box, the twine, the font. This thing looks like it's being sold on Etsy.

It was a typical BGC afternoon --- that means an afternoon where the rest of the world, the rest of the Manila workforce are in full swing and it's kind of dead quiet where we are. Lovely as it is, the quiet can come discomforting sometimes and I am always drawn to walk outside and explore, hence chancing upon the newly-opened Watson's on Forbestown.

As a celebration for being reunited with the retail-driven world, I ended up shopping for toiletry necessities and carting this DIY wax from Nanny Rose as well. Truth be told, I didn't need a DIY waxing kit because I've found my solution with Veet waxing strips and most of the time, I go to Strip, Ministry of Waxing anyway.

But like I said, I was a slave of adorable packaging and if I ever meet the designer of the box, I'd like to know what font it was that was used for the word 'Queen Bee.' And thankfully for me, the product wasn't a complete waste of money --- in fact, I loved how it works for me!

What I Loved About It:

  • Economical at I think Php 100 - ish. See, I don't even remember. The box includes a pot of wax, two wooden spatulas and three katsa-ish cloth strips.
  • Needs only about 10 seconds to heat. Unlike an old product I've been using, Nanny Rose's wax was easier to scoop out and spread onto the legs. A little word of caution though, the first time I used this, I mistakenly took longer than 10 seconds and burned my skin. :s
  • I think this can be used cold as well but I am clueless at how one does that plus I've always liked hot wax better.
  • This is the first honey wax I've ever tried -- the one I've been using some decades ago from Sally Hansen is white and much, much stickier. I think I like honey better.
  • I don't know if it's the honey that makes it less painful but for some reason, when I pulled the cloth that came with it, it didn't seem so harsh, as opposed to when I wax my legs using Veet Strips
  • Given that the roots are pulled off when waxing, hair takes longer to grow!

What I Don't Like:

  • Actually, I like the idea of DIY and on weekends when I pay so much attention to everything I can do to pamper myself, I like having to heat wax. Though on days that I have no time and is in a rush, it's not really advisable because like me, you might burn yourself.
  • Cloth strip does not remove all the hair in one pull though I don't think there's a product that does that.
  • If you're not a fan of DIY, this ain't for you. It takes effort and practice to perform a waxing job perfectly. 
Directions for Use:

  1. Heat the wax about 10-15 seconds depending on your microwave setting. Make sure it's the lowest.
  2. Prep your skin with baby powder to make applying wax easier.
  3. Spread wax towards the direction of the growth and even out. Flatten the cloth strip onto the skin.
  4. Close your eyes and pull.
  5. You may have to repeat the steps above to obtain best results. It really {also} depends on how hairy you are :D In my case, I'm only mildly hairy in the legs.

Would I recommend this? Only if you're the DIY-kind, if you like hot wax and wouldn't splurge on waxing jobs. Like I said, practice makes perfect. Goodluck!

Have you tried Nanny Rose?

*Nanny Rose, I believe, is exclusively distributed by Watson's.


Get White Results

>> Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, and despite being considered light-skinned, some parts of your body are just really --- well, darker than the others.

In my case, I am conscious and insecure with my knees and elbows.

I don't know about normal girls but I have to work very hard to keep my elbows and knees not looking like I've scraped them from playing in the streets. I guess being clumsy has always made me bump my knees on all sorts of edges, that I always have bruises and scratches on my legs. While I diligently scrub them and moisturize every chance I get, they still sometimes come out dark when a camera's settings are too low-lighted or when it's dark.

It must not be so.

The launch of White Result by Tupperware Brands gave us the experience of exfoliating instantly, right before our eyes. I was seated beside Liz while we lunched the deliciously fabulous salads and entrees provided by the wonderful people of Cav at Bonifacio High Street. She explained and demonstrated how easily White Result Exfoliating Gel removes dead skin {because I was late}.

We were treated shortly to a facial at The Spa where we made chika on the latest showbiz happenings. Yes, story of our lives :D

The White Result Line

While I did not experience any redness nor irritation, I didn't use it as much on my face. I've had the exfoliating gel and astringent for more than a month now and I've been using them on my knees. Yes, my knees! And they're incredible!

It was one day that I was sent a picture and I saw that my knees in that photo looked slightly darker than my legs. I panicked and grabbed the first bottle I could reach for and it happened to be White Result. For some odd reason, the astringent worked well with my knees {can't believe I'm saying this} and like we've been saying during the launch, we didn't know our skin could be so dirty. Even when we rubbed the gel onto the backs of our hands, dirt would come off and we would react sadly at how dirty our skin were, despite not appearing so. Ah, indeed the importance of exfoliation. Lesson learned. After this exercise, I have learned to exfoliate everything else, not just my face.

To date, I'm still using the White Result gel and astringent on my knees and elbows and I plan to buy a lot so I can exfoliate my entire body {is that safe? I think so!}. If I remember right, the White Result gel is about Php 425. Fairly reasonable to me! :)

Included in my daily routine are the White Result Exfoliating Gel and White Result Astringent.

Do you exfoliate non-facial parts, too?

Tupperware Brands is the authorized distributor of White Result. For your questions and inquiries on how to purchase or be a dealer, call the hotline number (632) 867-2222.


The List: Redux

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Maybe a little more than a year isn't enough.

It's funny how this list I made back in 2010 still has effects in my life now. Months after I hit 26, I had been meaning to make an entry summing up the goals I've accomplished and the ones I haven't --- should I want to pursue them still, should I make an entirely new list or forget about it all PLUS the lessons I learned through it all. People still come up to me and ask me about it, some are inspired, some gloat that I never finished it. Oh well.

Then I realized that spontaneous as we are, a well-lived life is like a business case, too. At the end of the day, one needs to achieve the desired result {shoutout to my friend J, who gives his tailor a slide with the title Desired Result}. As I am on a new year kick and that I can't believe that I'm getting all fuzzy and hopeful and getting that clean-slate vibe, I am revamping the list into a five year plan.

 2012, and the years to follow will keep getting better.

The Desired Result: Getting the Life I Have Always Wanted, aka My Best Life

What gives, you ask? While I'd been tweeting and blogging about new hopes, and being refreshed, the truth is, I'd been missing my go-get-'em self. I no longer wake up thinking I would want to go to Europe for a holiday and jolting from the bed to dance or feeling that urge to wrap my legs around a pole {while I have done this already, last month I had so wanted to complete an entire routine}. Temperance, while good, can diminish an entire box of passions, kind of like surgery --- where other nerves get hit and become useless {Yes, I watch too much Grey's Anatomy.} Most days, while I am completely functional and responsible and straightlaced, probably the most straightlaced I have ever been in my entire life, I've lost the drive to act upon my instinct, my gut feel because they always get me into trouble. My solar plexus has taken a back seat and I am not sure if it's capable of wanting anything else in the future. Yes, one can count my high emotional quotient, too.

So maybe, there was a reason why I wasn't able to finish that list --- so I can have more years of following a well-crafted plan. I can have a few more years to live the life I've envisioned I will live as a kid before I enter a possibly, slightly-different phase of my life, maybe {referring to my thirties}. Surely, the temperance will remain, for the benefits of going through it is unabashedly worth it. I just need to remind myself to live.

 Image by: Garance Dore

And live, I shall.

So the list comes back again, presenting the things I haven't done yet, and then some.These things I'll have to be done by the day I turn 30. You can view the original link to see which ones I've crossed already :)

1. Go to New York City, and see a broadway show, amongst many, many things. STATUS: I am doing the first step to doing this dream in a few short days and my toes are all curling in excitement and I need all the well-wishes I need for this. TIA! When I tried my luck the last time, I can distinctly remember not having this utmost, almost feverish passion as I have now. And being a believer of the universe and its powers, I know that one will get something, anything, if one wants it that bad. And I want it, THIS bad.

4. Cook a five-course meal and eat with someone I love. I have never produced a five-course meal for anyone in my entire life and it would be a great honor to be able to do this for my parents, before I turn 26. First step to undertake: Read recipes, go to the market, PRACTICE.
STATUS: I still have not cooked anything. Still have not set foot in the market and still yet to touch our stove.

STATUS 2: All I did was clean the stove and not use it for cooking, dammit.

8. Learn Spanish. I have two reasons for having this on the list. a) Spanish, IMO, will always be the hottest, sexiest language in my own little world, caliente. And b) My native language, Filipino, is a distant cousin of this so it should be hella easier than say, French.

9. Learn how to swim properly. Over the weekend, after a hazy Saturday night of partying in Manila's newest happening club, I suddenly, extremely spontaneously, found myself in the deepest nooks of Coron, Palawan, staring at the clear waters and wishing I could swim well without my life vest. It was such a numbing, sinking, animal of a feeling I wish I never feel again.

STATUS: Can swim but can't properly tread.

10. Live in a foreign city. I really wonder why this comes in #11 for this is all I've been dreaming of since, well, since the beginning of the year. And life, like you wouldn't expect it, has been throwing me all the opportunities I can get. It's just the chicken in me who wouldn't budge. Yet. Take a leap of faith, and breathe. And rely on faith, and faith alone. You ever read about how people dropped everything for a new life, a new man, a new job etc. without so much as a plan or right amount of money to get by? I want to be just like them.

17. Party hard in Ibiza, Spain. Lie topless in Rio de Janeiro or go walking and weeding in the streets of Amsterdam. Euro-trashing, anyone? Most people want to visit Europe {okay, Brazil ain't Europe} because of the lovely architectural sights and that includes me! But when I visit Europe or Brazil, which should be in the next 1 1/2 years, I want to do something definitive of their crazy lifestyle.

STATUS: So I sort of told my cousin I'm coming to her wedding in Amsterdam this year with no concept of how I'll be able to afford that and the many vacations I will take. Like I always say, the Universe will provide <3

18. Commit

21. Take photographs of my travels with a real Polaroid camera and pin them on a wall or give them to someone. The thrill of not knowing how your photo will turn out {much like how it is with vintage SLRs, I had one and sold it dirt cheap, stupid move it was} is an insane high for me. Now, the problem is finding a nice Polaroid camera to do this. For the moment, I am getting my pola-fix with my Poladroid program and Hipstamatic on Apple iPhone.

I want my life to be a big celebration.

22. Go Skydiving. There are places that exist all around us, so easy to be in but so hard to get the courage to try. When I went scuba diving, I realized that while it was all so easy {discipline, not skill is key}, I had this little bit of experimental I-wanna-try everything spirit awakened in me. And so what is the most logical step after scuba? Skydive, what else? Oh and bungee jump, too.

 Free Fallin'.

24. Do the tango, preferably with someone as dashing as Col. Slade of Scent of a Woman. When I first watched this movie, back in the 90s on a VHS player, I was taken aback by the arresting charm and dancing prowess {more like grace} of my still-crush Al Pacino. When I get married, my first couple's dance will be to the tune of the song Por Una Cabeza, all because of this. But I want my first tango to be with a stranger :)

If there was a scene I have imagined myself so many times to be in, this is it.
Scent of a Woman, 1992

25. Learn how to play a musical instrument. There is only a handful of instruments I would have the patience to learn {I gotta be realistic for this project, it ain't a wishlist}and they are incredibly expensivo. But it just pains me to be not able to join jamming sessions as they happen. The last time it happened, I couldn't even play the kahon decently. So before I turn 26, I want to be able to learn to play at least one instrument, choose from the drums or the violin, and be able to join impromptu jamming sessions as they happen.

 28. Go skinny dipping. And yes, I am totally aware that Mother, you are reading this. Have always been insecure with my body though it's not like I would be parading in the sun buck naked. My idea of skinny dipping is of course jumping into the seashore, running, dipping and going back to my clothes. In the night. No daytime skinny dipping for me lest my mother kill me for going naked in public. If I do, I will never tell. xoxo

29. My bachelorette house and a new car. It's about time. Just because I don't need it doesn't mean I shouldn't.

30. Pursue Yoga. Not to sound rather preachy nor ambitious but I do have been thinking a LOT about engaging regularly in yoga. I have heard multitudes of benefits from this practice and from the looks of these benefits {zen and fitness, among many others}, I think I am going to be a huge fan. Susan Jeffers said, "Feel the fear but do it anyway." I am scared of committing to something {in fact I don't commit to a lot *cry} but if I don't do this now, there might never be a better time. On the other hand, maybe this goal should be rephrased to keeping fitness as a lifestyle and not just when I need to fit into my size 0 dresses. There.

STATUS: While I've been active in pursuing all sorts of yoga, I don't want to cross this off yet because I want to continue doing it and I want this list to be a reminder of My Before Yoga days. What a long way my practice have come!

Wow, that's still a LOT! Looking at the things I've yet to accomplish are scaring me so much now I am thisclose to ducking inside the comfort of my comforter and stay there all day. But one time, I have read somewhere that your dreams should scare you because if they don't, they aren't big enough.  I have about four years to work my butt off and earn money so I can achieve some of the expensive things I have to achieve. On the other hand, some of the things are just a matter of instilling discipline into my life, learning something new, and becoming the person I've always wanted to be. I can do this.


Most Days, Healthy Skin in 5 minutes

>> Monday, January 23, 2012

Most days, all I'm really aiming for are none of the contoured cheekbones {as I have a siopao-ish face}, a well winged eye or smoothly blended eyeshadows --- just healthy skin. With the barrage of projects I've knowingly dived in, my make up life have taken a back seat, however still allowing a little window to look effortlessly minimalistic {I hope!}.

Most days, this is my look. I always want to look healthy even on days when I know I'd be stuck behind my laptop typing away stories, dealing with rows upon rows in Excel, doing Algebra, editing sound and video bytes or developing strategy upon strategy and maybe saving the world. After all, no one should look dowdy or sullen even at the office. Do I hear an amen?

Benefit Porefessional PRO Balm
Maybelling Angelfit Concealer
Avon Healthy BB Cream in Light {I love this!}
shu uemura translucent powder

MAC Brow Set in Girl Boy
Physician's Formula Classic Eyelight 
Maybelling Liquid Eyeliner
Maybelline Cat Eyes Mascara
Benefit Blush in Bella Bamba

L'oreal Moisture Lipstick in Nude Pink

You think my skin is healthy enough? :)
I'd been getting compliments on how my skin is behaving lately so I guess my slightly minimalistic skin care regimen deserves a post soon. 

Oh and here's a close up of the products I used:

Benefit Porefessional PRO Balm {does wonders in making pores appear smaller}, my HG BB cream at the moment, Avon Healthy BB Cream and the 3D blush, Benefit's Bella Bamba.

 Benefit's Bella Bamba has super tiny shimmers that make it 3D but not sparkly in a tacky way. Love <3

Physician's Formula in Classic Eyelight. This is an eye-saver --- useful for when I want to put something on my lids but too lazy to do the blending and all. These are available on Tamera Online.

What's your healthy look?
Also, Kung Hei Fat Choi! 


Pin+Spire = Win an iTouch!

>> Sunday, January 22, 2012

There's something about visual boards that makes one gravitate towards realization of these images. I remember re-blogging mostly travel photos for my Tumblr account and they have come into fruition. Sometimes, the board serves as my digital scrapbook where images, quotes, lines, videos and songs that inspire me {or make my blood boil or something} go.

Enter Pinspire, from the words Pin+Inspire. The thought of pinning things on a virtual corkboard makes my toes tingle in excitement!

And so, in celebration with this new visual cork board designed to inspire the artist and the dreamer in all of us, Pinspire.com is giving away 1 iTouch for the most popular board and iPod Shuffles to succeeding popular boards!

The better thing about Pinspire is that there is a category for your pins so it'll be easier for you to sort through your visuals when the time comes that you need to go back and be inspired! You can group your pins in categories such as:

  • Fashion
  • Technology
  • Art and Design
How to win:

  1. Sign up through this link. You can use your Facebook or Twitter account.
  2. Pin at least one original image and the rest can be just re-pins.
  3. Leave the link to your board via the Comments section.

    Example: http://www.pinspire.com/board/show/221920
  4. Deadline of entries are on February 25!
  5. Winners will be chosen from all the entries collected from all participating blogs through popularity and creativity, judged by number of pins, board followers, and likes.
What I normally do is have my boards on standby --- so I can pin images, links, or anything at all that catches my fancy! If you're like me who posts things on a daily hourly basis, you just might walk away with a brand new iTouch or iPod Shuffle!

So go, start pinning, inspiring and post your board's link here. I'll be waiting!



Things I Love Sundays: The Little Things

You have a brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

- Dr. Seuss

It's been three weeks into the new year and if there's one thing I have learned so far is that you can pick yourself up from wherever it is that's driving you to misery, you can feel fine, and you'd feel your worst --- but you always have a choice.


Anyway, can I just say how much I've missed writing TILS posts? I HAVE MISSED IT SO! I have taken it to writing down on my planner all the things I've been thankful for, as I thank God for them and it's overwhelming how they've taken over the pages of the week. Like that cliche, if we count our blessings, we'll never feel poor. If we take note of the things that we are blessed with rather than the things that aren't in our life, it feels infinitely happier. I promise :)

Milk Tea in the afternoons -- they go so well with chitchats with girlfriends over really funny things {like true things}. C & T. Coming to work and having breakfast. Vanilla-flavored brewed coffee. Chef Tony's mocha popcorn {thank you, Achie W}. Girly iMessaging with my girls and squealing inside. Cheese rolls with Shen and talking about crushes like we were in high school. 

I've only been reading the free back issues of Oprah Magazine and already, I feel like a better person after. It is with this Miranda July article that I finally gave in to the $20 investment for one year :D If you have an iPad, the O Magazine has free back issues, and I swear that their mission in life is to inspire through every page.

Tara vs. Excel and Tara Wins! Pink Nouveau. Excitement over Chinese New Year events. Gossip Girl's End of the Affair episode. Carpools. Pink-themed parties. If Meredith Grey's therapy is looking at newborns, mine is looking at wedding blogs:


And the hair. I want that hair.

Photos from Grey Likes Weddings.

Handwritten cards. Always.

Thank you for the nice card, Jewelmer, and for the fantastic gift {not in photo}! It's always a pleasure working with you :)

Elizabeth Arden's Prevage and Red Door and a stack of books adopted from my friend, T {thank youuuuu}
plus my Steve Jobs' bio from Chai <3

De-cluttering for the new year <3 Someone asked me to post a photo of the books I'm reading currently, plus what my bedside table looks like. I figured I'd hit two birds in one stone with this picture:

 {Click to embiggen}

Long weekends to lounge, recharge, retreat, refresh and restart.

Happy Chinese new year, new week and new and best life ever!


The Year of the Water Dragon

>> Thursday, January 19, 2012

While I thoroughly enjoyed 2011, the year of the Rabbit {here's a bit of recap}, I seriously cannot wait for The Year of the Dragon. I have only heard from Chinese friends that it's going to be really lucky for us born in the year of Ox but searching for my own horoscope, as a Scorpio this time, and they seem so much better than last year's, which was mostly lukewarm predictions. I loved 2011 but I am so ready to move on {in fact, I just might have!}. I really, really think The Year of the Dragon and I are going to be working out well!

Scorpios are born from October 24th to November 21st. This year, spectacular changes would come in Scorpion’s way. You will be with great energy and with a positive mindset. To live up an enjoyable year, you will need to depend on your unbounded energy to fully taste the pleasures of life. You are a highly persuasive person who can easily captivate other people with your words and actions. You are also a very passionate individual leading you to attain success in everything you do and plan. In fact, you are in possession of a strength that could overcome any challenges that are seen as insufferable by people around you. So, make sure your admirable qualities will guide you in facing this horoscope 2012 New Year. Expect changes to happen during the first two months of the Scorpio horoscope 2012 New Year on the work front. Your career will be in an upward direction. This will be one of the numerous good news that you will be experiencing in this New Year. Your hard work will offer you gains in the long term. This situation will also make you feel relieved and comfortable. Get ready to welcome a promotion that you have been waiting for quite some time. This is the promotion you have worked for so diligently. Also, you can expect a pay increase during this time. In the middle part of the year, you will still be experiencing good benefits from work although a little bit subdued. But do not worry because this will just be a time for you to get ready for better and more worthy things that will come in your career. Remember to take some time to acquire new skills and knowledge that will help you broaden your career path.

- Source

And true enough, the career part is working well for me *insert big grin here.* Down to every letter.

Speaking of career, the Chinese New Year has always been a milestone for me. 2008's CNY was my first event four years ago, in the company that I work for currently. I remember having had to cover the event the company hosted in the middle of the plaza in Binondo, I remember being completely overwhelmed but thankful. I can't believe I was once a clueless 22 year old girl! :D

In 2009, I wasn't so much of a reporter --- but I did wear one of those gold cheongsams and rode the company float. With the then-president, too!

That's my messy table, right there.

I can't recognize myself, actually :D LOL, the things I did for work.

One of my favorite activities during the 2010 Chinese New Year would have to be the balloon-flying thing, though. We were to write our financial resolutions and I thank the heavens for making me better where I am now than I've ever been <3

And this year, well, I don't know what my part will be --- but I've never felt so happy and excited and feeling like it's going to be my best year so far. Can't wait for you, Year of the Dragon!

The town will be yellow once again <3 Can't wait.



The First Weekend of 2012: Moalboal, Cebu

>> Monday, January 16, 2012

And just like that, the first two weeks of January are over. 

I haven't been blogging much and while normally, I'd feel some sort of warning that I haven't sat to type away thoughts, this time, reader {hello, Senya! Thank you!} had to point it out to me. I still feel like a different person: have been bland-er than ever, but still as busy and maybe even more and temperance {a goal I have wished to attain in the beginning of the year} doesn't feel like temperance now. It feels normal. This is of course, another story.

A Moment of Silence and Goal-setting

Sometime ago, somewhere, I read that Bill Gates sets off somewhere far, alone, to figure out what he needs and wants to do for the year. I had the same thing in mind with the trip, with the difference that I wasn't alone.

Before 2011 ended, I had randomly booked a trip to Cebu {also because one of my bestest and oldest friends, Chai, is in town and we needed to get away}. It was scheduled for the first weekend of the year. I had no plans in mind, no itinerary and no goals for the end of the trip. When I booked the trip, I wanted to get a fresh rush of blood to the veins, a new perspective, to let the waves of the shore wash away the past and return a brand new person.

The Trip in Pictures

The flight to Cebu via PAL, which was great, except for the high air traffic. :s

 I used to be not so much into boat rides until it changed my life.

I felt like I've been cooped up and sedentary, so the first thing I did {under the sun, too} was launch into the bow pose.

Bikini and surf shorts: Roxy

I never get tired of snorkeling, too.

My favorite sundress, from my mom <3

Club Serena's Pool

First order of the day: Brunch at Club Serena

Bikini: Soak Swimwear
Coverup: Details {also seen here}
Flip flops: Roxy
Beach bag: Roxy
Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

Tara's Beach Essentials: Sunnies, a good book {was reading Samantha Sotto's Before Ever After the entire trip and it was an amazing read, I sobbed my eyes out on the plane ride back}, a camera, an iPod and a beach buddy.

Barefoot White Beach Resort's Honeymoon Suite, is where we stayed.
{Thanks for the recommendation, Mac!}

I woke up to this and I felt things were just right where they are. It's perfect.

 Low tide!

Our ride for the trip coming from the city, rough road lang :D. Thank you, Ate Hani!

It ain't a trip to Cebu without feasting on Casa Verde's steaks, tenderloin tips and ribs <3

 One week to go before Sinulog, at least when we were at the city. Viva Pit Senyor!

And of course, a trip to Cebu means seeing Cebu-based friends.

Here in this photo with Kaith.

The calmness of waters, waking up to the sound of waves, a lot of introspection, in the comfort and company of people who love you, eating amazing food, no signal and lots of goal-setting, a plane ride --- I must say I have kicked off the year right.

Thank You for making this happen.

How was your first 2012 weekends?

*Photos by me and Chai



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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