Tuesday, December 21, 2010

30 Things for 30 Wonderful Years

2010 has been a challenging, back-breaking, hormone raising, insane, awwwwesomeness year for me. I started an offline business, discovered a love for running, blogged more, made unlikely friends, changed boss, traveled to Asia thrice, got left by a plane it between, and celebrated life and love altogether. Me and my girls always say "2010" is our year, and we claimed it fully!

My gratitude is overflowing, and as the year draws to an end, it's high time to make a blueprint of what my next year/years would be. Inspired by Celine, the author of 30 by 30 Project, and with the encouragement of my BFF, I present to you my 30 Things for 30 Wonderful Years!

While I'm still 4 years shy from my 30th year on earth, I decided to run this course for a little bit longer because I really wanted to take my time, and savor each and every experience, realizations and learnings everytime I cross a thing from my list. Of course, the logistics and financial aspects were also considered, but I kept my list as simple as possible, because believe me, I still dream of outrageous things I'm not too proud to share. Haha. 

To Celine and Tara, thanks for the inspiration! Cheers to empowered women!

1. Travel Alone on a backpack tripThough I’ve traveled alone a few times for work (Mindoro, Palawan & Malaysia), I’ve always wondered how it is to go on a backpack trip ALONE. It would be great to chat with strangers in common kitchens, do my laundry on coin fed machines and just walk the city with no actual plans. I can imagine it to be a liberating experience.
2. Treat my mom to an international trip – DONE!Brought my mom to HK for her 51st birthday, and made her scream like a child riding the Space Mountain in Disneyland! Who else deserves a treat than the number woman in my life?

3. Learn proper painting (and see my works on the wall, or give it as a gift)I’ve been drawing/painting as a child up to my teenage years, but life and a lot of work happened, and I’m left with almost zero time to pursue my art. I always buy new canvass, and sketchpads, hoping to find the mojo to draw and paint again, but to no avail. This time, I AM GETTING IT DONE.

4. Buy something really valuable with my own moneySay a car, or a starter home. It’s great that mom bought me an old, decent car 3 years ago, but it would be really awesome to drive something I bought from my paycheck. A starter home would be equally nice, but maybe I can spare that goal to my future partner.

5. Put up a business – IN PROCESSLike what I’ve said to my best friend, putting up a business is one huge leap, but sustaining it is another thing. 5 months ago, I, along with two trusted men in my life opened our first bar and resto called ZYNC Kebab & Grill. It gobbled my savings, left me sleepless for so many months (until now!), made me work my ass triple time and forced me to do dreaded Math. I can’t say it’s done, because there’s obviously a lot more things to do, but I’m in the process and getting the hang of it, so please wish me success. =)

6. Send my half sister to school – IN PROCESSYes, she’s just my half sister, but no, it didn’t make any difference, I still want to send her to school. I’m not yet fully capable of sending her to the best school on my own, but I committed to help in every way I can. She’s a bright kid, my dad said she’s just like me when I was her age, and I’m not letting her get any less than what she deserves.

7. Run– DONE!And an all women run at that! I run 5KM during the Pinay in Action Marathon for Cervical Cancer Awareness, and I’m looking forward to finishing 10 next time.

8. Learn to sing properlyBlame it to Glee, but I’m taking our usual Friday night videoke sessions more seriously. And by the time I’m 27, I want to be able to sing in public, with pride and confidence. I’m checking out voice lessons for 2011.

9. Do freelance writingI’ve had several freelance writing opportunities, that I sadly have to let go. With the demands of my day job, and my newly opened business, I don’t think I have any more time or juice to beat writing deadlines. But who knows, I still have a few years!

10. Lose 30 lbs.You can say this is the most ambitious, but I use to weigh 30 lbs. lesser 2 years ago, and I’m getting that back. (I’m saying it with finality! =P)

11.Get an insurance/s - DONE!I’ve been a good girl to diligently pay my insurance since last year, but as one of my managers told me, “there’s never too much insurance.” I intend to get a different policy for every major event in my life (moving in with my man, having a child? etc.) That way, my policies will mature just in time for my future’s need. (honeymoon, kids’ education, retirement etc.)

12. DiveThis is one of my earliest and most constant childhood dream. I wanted it so bad I even wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I was supposed to go on a diving course inclusive of an open water diving last March, I was very excited until Mikai, my balikbayan friend, told me they have to reschedule it on a weekday. I would have filed for vacation leave, but it’s quarter ending, with a hundred and one deadlines on my plate. =[ I snorkel in every beach & chance I get just to sneak peek, I have a diving site bookmarked on my PC, and a photo on my cabinet to inspire me, I’m not letting go of this dream! Don’t let me! =]

13. Nude photographyShhh. This is a shameless entry. I’ve always fancied nude photography (don’t ask me why), but never had the confidence (and a trusted person) to do it. Now that I’m of the right age and mindset, and have the perfect person to take my photos, I’m scheduling it , but that means I have to shed off a few pounds first, and cross out two of my entries. =) 

14.Volunteer - DONE!I’m a volunteer for Project Better World initiatives like Brigada Eskwela (school rehabilitation program), Coral Watch (a global initiative to monitor health of corals around the world), and some random feeding, outreach programs. I swear to continue supporting initiatives I believe in, and hopefully, reach bigger scales.

15. Try Surfing & White Water RaftingI’m not very good with balance, but with my love for the sea, beaches, and anything water and extreme, this will be the perfect challenge to conquer.

16. Swim with whales/dolphins in DonsolDuring my Bohol trip last year, we endured almost 2 hours of rough boat ride to watch dolphins, and I was very much ready to jump and swim with them with or without vest. Unfortunately, we woke up too late (7am at that!) and hired the wrong boat “YOK-YOK”, that’ s just too old and too slow to catch up with these athletic creatures. Next time maybe, but I’ll probably try my luck with the “butandings” in Donsol first.

17. Learn to auto mechanicI can certainly name the parts of the car, its engine and its functions, and I know some troubleshooting . I wash and wax my car, check its oil, water, brake and steering fluid. I can change blades of my wiper, and if the nuts aren’t too tight, I can probably change my tires, too. And yes, I learned how to jumpstart, series my car battery and how and when to use engine brakes. But I’m not stopping here, I want a one on one tutorial because there’s just too many things to learn from this complex invention. Lucky me, for I need not hire a professional mechanic, the BF is a hobbyist and a willing teacher. =)

18. Learn Martial ArtsMy mom had this vision of her only daughter growing up to be fine, prim and proper. She prohibits me to play outside, and never gave me roller blades, skateboards and bicycles no matter how hard I cried. Instead, I get giant stuffed toys and petite Barbie dolls. I’m into swimming but she never enrolled me to a summer class telling me I’ll be ugly when I’m dark. And there’s no way she’ll allow me to enroll in a martial arts class. Thanks mom, I know you just wanted to protect me. But you see, I’m a big girl now, and I will endure the pain and bruises of a Muay Thai class. Don’t you worry!

19. Go on a spiritual road trip, and the only place I can think of now is Sagada.

20. Adopt a homeless dog. I’m an animal lover, don’t need to say much. =)

21. Adopt a homeless kidIf God allows it, He will make a way. If I can’t physically adopt a kid (it’s a fairly complicated thing), then sending one to school will be a good start.

22. Design bags and hopefully, produce themI’m a bag maniac, I can go out in plain shorts and T, as long as I have a nice bag to go with it. 2 years ago, I went to KL Mega Carnival Sale. I have more than 5 pairs of shoes in my sack, but can’t seem to find a perfect bag. My BF, aware of my picky taste, told me casually, “you know, you should design your own.” He’s the sweetest. I doodled some designs in the following weeks, but I didn’t get far on producing them, in fact, the sketches I made were part of the “Ondoy” damage last year. =( Time to pick up the pieces and start again.

FOTD and EOTD: Party Starts In Five Minutes!

If there's one slightly sad part in being a member of a party committee, aside from the fact that you're disqualified to win the early bird raffle (hey, the prizes are nice!), is that you don't have much time to prepare and dress up. While my colleagues had the chance to go home, have a luxurious bath and take their sweet time in doing their hair and makeup, here we are, the committee, making do with whatever time is left to freshen up at the country club's shower rooms, and do a quick 5-minute makeup wonders to each other. And because I'm one of those girls who willingly brings big-ass makeup sets, my customers lined up! =)

I'm not complaining here, this is one of the most fun part, where my girl friends and I doll up, and our guy friends moan in disbelief on how we amass massive amounts of girly power tools in all shapes and sizes. ROFL. I'm sorry boys, we don't have much time to explain. The programme starts in 5 minutes! =)

Fanny Serrano EB Liner
Dollface ES/BLUSH Palette
Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner
Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara

I really intended to look sweet and dainty that night, so I played with greens and pinks.
Maybelline Aqua Smooth Liquid Foundation
Physician's Formula Mineral Veil
Dollface ES/BLUSH Palette
Maybelline Colorsensational in Angel Rose

I'm fairly happy with my Dollface Palette, such a good investment for starters. I didn't use any ES primer, and it held up nicely (albeit not perfectly) until after midnight! I also love that it's not too sparkly, since I'm not a fan of glitter makeup which makes my eyes smaller and my lids very oily.
So there, I think I'm getting used to doing my own makeup, so I decided to save a few thousands and walk the aisle, as a bridesmaid, in my own makeup come January and February. Any tips for me? Wish me luck! =)
The Neurochiq,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today, I'm Thankful...

for this time of the year and everything with it.

From where I'm from, Christmas starts as soon as the calendar flips to "ber" months. My Malaysian friend, C, was so surprised when I told her we put up our tree by November. Little did she know that some, if not most of Filipinos already start decorating, and celebrating as early as September. And when I further told her how we hold reunions, concerts, bazaars and parties left and right, I already convinced her that she must experience a Pinoy Christmas once in her life.

While I have so much to be thankful about this year, especially this season, I decided to document how I ended my month long bout with deadlines, reports and everything workaholic: PARTYING.

For my company who holds this very wonderful Kid's Party every year, which not only makes me feel young at heart again, but is also the avenue for me to be with my little sister, at least once a year. If you want to know the story behind, see THIS.

For good food and grown up things. We held our inter-company Legal's party at Resorts World, with sushi, casino and some really good things in between. =)

For a chance to belt out, with some help from my dear Baileys.

For festivities and candy clouds. I was part of the organizing committee for the company's MADHATTER'S PARTY. The coolest, best one so far!

For some cultural enrichment, courtesy of the only person I know who can play the piano, the violin, and now, listen to this, HARP! Bravo, Ms. K.! Not to mention that she's also my inspiration towards going organic. A very classy lady.

For a newfound friend, who is super kikay in every sense that she notices my lipstick shade, hence we clicked at once. She's a frustrated singer too, how similar can we be???

Haciendera & Sexy Santa

For old, great friends who brightens my worklife even more.

The New Yorker, The Jester and The Haciendera

For the crazy crew who made this year's party a truly memorable one, I'm still high from it!

And for the venue to dress up (which I LOVE doing). I planned to come as a black bride, but doing so is nothing so new for me. I always do away with "pacute" things, because I seriously feel that I'm too tough and mean looking to be one. But what the heck, I threw that thought out of the window and put on my cutest, preppiest, very not me look. I think I did okay. What you think?

Top: People are People
Puff Skirt: H&M
Velvet Boots: Celine
Buri Hat: Swiss Miss

I have a few more parties to attend, and as I said in my FB, I wish I can split myself into gazillions so I can attend all the get togethers and see the most wonderful people in my life! It's not really the party or the alcohol, but the people we spend it with, agree?
A few more days before Christmas, how are you holding up? =)
The NeuroChiq,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of Bestfrienemies and Christmas Blues

Okay, I don't want to sound too negative, I have other avenues for that. But a quick glance at my office calendar right now spells big mess in my December life. Believe me, I've always been the most diligent ninang ever (godmother), my gifts are prepared and all wrapped and sitting under my tree by November. If not because of the cutest things I find in bazaars during the "ber" months, I would have shopped for Christmas presents in May, or July, or whenever my heart desires. I even wrap my gifts personally, with handmade ribbons and cards.

But this year, due to the baby status of my business, and for so many things I have to consider, I think I can be a bad ninang for once. I can be just like my own ninangs who give me "ampaos" with couple of Roxas or Ninoys (aka bills). Not that I'm not grateful, it's just that, IMO, nothing compares to the excitement of kids whilst tearing the wrappers of their gifts. So for XX years now, it's been my rule to always buy something my inaanaks will love, and use, rather than store in the bank of their parents (sorry, my compadres!). Or if I'm feeling a bit more generous, and if my bonus allows, I give both, something wrapped and something, well, paper. Until this year.

And yes, it's giving me Christmas blues. I'm drowning with work, and business errands, and if you'll see my calendar (I like keeping a real one), you'll have to look for the dates under scribbles of reminders, highlights, notes and dates to remember. So the last thing on my mind now really, is to shop. Maybe I can get away with it, just this one time. But I have to get that necklace for mom. We may fight like bestfrienemies, but I still love her to bits. She's my number one inaanak.

How do you keep sane during these times?


Friday, December 10, 2010

NeuroEVENT: Bumper to Bumper VI Car Show in The Fort Taguig

Had the BF told me where we we're going, I shouldn't have worn my pambahay dress! While I thought it will be just a normal, laid back Sunday, he suddenly begged me to go to Bumper to Bumper's last car show for the year. It was held in The Fort, Taguig last December 5-6.

I never really cared for cars; for me, it's a necessity than luxury. That's also the reason why I haven't considered selling my old car and get a new one. As long as it's working fine and reliable, then I'm not one to lose sleep over the 2011 models.

But being with a car geeko for more than half a decade influenced my opinion somehow. While I'm still firm with the decision that a car loan is a no no, despite how light the company terms are, I at least understand now why he's so into the car stuffs to the point of obsession. After all, automobiles are one of the greatest, most complex inventions diba?! And because I have my personal mechanic, driving instructor and troubleshooter in one, I am proud to say that I'm a girl who at least understands what fanbelts are, which goes to what and doesn't panic with first signs of car trouble.

Here are a few, favorite snaps to feast on.

I wonder how this can even steer??? Sayad kung sayad. =)

This should be banned for destroying so many ear drums. Haha.

Shiny like water.

Mr. Number 2.

He's like our broom broom. All original JDM. Galing!

I should have this when Ondoy striked!

Mr. No. 1!
My top choice among everything. I promised myself to buy myself a classic restored car when I get rich. I want this or an Impala! Just like what Dean Winchester drives! Sexy!

I'm 5'4". You get the drift.

I wish I wore tattered pants, tank top and boots instead. Boo!
Happy Friday, loves! =)
Not just a girly chicq,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

UPDATE: Product Review and LOTD: Brightening a Sickie Face

**An updated photo that shows the lip color in natural lighting.
Isn't Angel Rose pure LOVE? **

My migraine attacks in the most unholy times. This morning, I woke up to blinding lights and stabbing pain on the left side of my head. And although I have more than a dozen VLs left, and the year is almost over, I can't afford not to get up and report to work. I have loads of papers waiting on my desk, reports and emails. It has to be mind over migraine matter.

I felt sorry seeing my pale, sick self in the mirror, and so come lunch time, I dropped by the nearby mall to get a sweet fix, which ended to be a grande. Passing by PCX, I saw the I HEART MYBLN signs which says 30% off. I haven't used anything on my lips lately, other than Nivea Soft Rose (which is doing a good job on my cracked lippie), and so I tried a few pinks and picked my latest "bloomer". Maybelline Colorsensational in Angel Rose.

Normally costs Php 299.00, thanks to 30% off on all Maybelline products, I got it for only Php 209.00!

See how soft the pink is?

Swiped without flash

Swiped with flash

The light conditions made it appear less rosy on picture, but it actually made my sick, pale face come alive again. Two of my officemates bursted at the same time:

"Something's new with you! In love ka?" LOL! =P

Covergirl Radiance Concealer
Maybelline ClearSmooth Powder
Physician's Formula Mineral Veil
ELF Studio Line Blush in Tickle
Nivea Soft Rose
Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick in Angel Rose
Fanny Serrano Eyebrow Liner
Maybelline Hypercurl Mascara
No E/S =(

Cheeky me.


- Affordable
- Glides Smoothly
- 4 hours have passed since my first swipe, and it's still intact!
- With SPF
- Moisturizes lips for up to 8 hrs.

- None, I'm actually coming back to get the Bonbon Pink and the Peachy Pink. =)
The 30% off on all Maybelline products are on until December 15, so hurry! This is not a paid advertisement, I'm just one happy customer. =)

What's making you bloom lately?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Classica Overload

The city is currently bustling with lights, carols and thousands of shoppers marching like hoarding ants in rainy days. But no matter how long the lines are, or how hard it is to find a parking space, CHRISTMAS IS STILL THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR EVER.

So I put on my canvass flats, tank top, comfy shorts and sling bag and I brave the jungles of Christmassy marketplaces - bazaars! After all, it's only this time of the year when I get to feast my eyes with unique nice, sulit buys and knick knacks while we go on food trips and people watch.

For this episode, I lusted for classic black buys, and I gave in.

Classic Sabrina Top

Classic Knitted Cardigan

Audrey Hepburn Oversized Shirt

Snow Leopard Blazer with Puff Sleeves

Knick-Knacks. Wallet, Card Case, Cutesy Hat, Bangles and a Ring.

My most "kilig" purchase 'til late, which came straight from Barcelona, Spain.
Ferrari Sport Bag in Black

I've been to several bazaars already, but most of my loots are Christmas presents and are not posted, I have to keep my mouth shut now, they might be reading! Anything that you purchased recently? Care to share? =)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

La Union, Let's GO!

Just when I thought I'm ending the year with no breaks, my boss had this brilliant idea of holding our planning session far away than usual. And when I said far, I meant 8 hours of butt-numb-a-thon!

We headed to
Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point La Union, famed for its mediterranean feel and exclusivity. I felt like singing Mamma Mia ala ABBA as soon as we entered the property. It's hard to resist their blue and white painted surroundings that is clean, crisp and refreshing; exactly what a city girl in vacay needs.

Photo from Thunderbird Resort website

Room with mini kitchen, LCD TV, Jacuzzi, Wifi, suuuuppppeer comfy bed, and a cute dumbo!

Have I told you I'm a bathroom person? I can live with the simplest bed and 14 inch CRTV, but I NEED a nice, clean bathroom!

After 8 hours of traveling, where else should you go? =P

The view from the lobby

The resort has running paths, basketball, volleyball & tennis courts, 9 holes golf course and hectares of greeneries!

My favorite shot of all.
Although I still needed to work, that didn't stop me from enjoying and squeezing some "me" time. Here are the things that kept me disconnected for 3 short, privileged days.
INFINITY POOL. I'm Taurus born, so I can't explain why I feel so natural in water that I can almost feel some gills. Had my mom allowed me to join swimming courses, I think I could have made it to Olympics! LOL. =)

BAR & CASINO. My room mate sleeps at 10pm, and that for me is a mortal sin. So while she's dreaming, I'm sipping cocktails and pushing my luck! =P

FOOD. When in vacation, I allow myself to gain a few pounds without guilt. Food to me is part of the whole experience. I can just jog when I get back naman. =)

Lunch at Olives Resto, Dinner at Vegas Cafe (beside Casino), Filipino buffet at Sea Park Beach Resort and a Chinese buffet at Rose Bowl, Pangasinan.

BEACH. White sand and strong waves, a signature of the surf capital of La Union. Thunderbird's beach is exclusive to its guests so I roamed freely without any interruption from pearl sellers, massage service etc. =/ That for me, is a big big plus!

A beach wedding setup, how romantic is that??

I'm missing you now.

There's one thing I felt sorry about though, I didn't try surfing! I don't have the time, the rash guard and honestly, the energy. The last thing I wanted was to get up from the beach bench where I parked myself, sipping cocktails next to some topless women from the other side of the world. It's too painful to even lift a finger when you're engaged in deep pit of thoughtlessness with nature and the mighty sun. Sometimes, the best activity, is actually not doing anything at all. How often can you do that in Manila, right?

Because I'm sariling sikap with taking photos, I only have one decent picture of myself! =)
That was a long one. I'm currently trying my best to keep my sanity during this very stressful part of the year, and blogging is one of the many wonderful outlets, aside from dragging the BF to bazaars almost every weekend and wrapping gifts for my long list of family, friends and inaanaks. I hope you're enjoying the holidays as much as I do! The traffic is bad, the malls are packed and the prices are spiking high. But the Lord will be born, and I have a handful of wonderful people around me, so who am I to frown? To be sad is an insult to all the many blessings we have. Happy Holidays, my loves! =)