Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gratitude List: The Birthday Girl Edition

Thank you for another awesome year!

My 25th year on earth wasn't exactly rainbows and candies. It was full of new, exciting, sometimes scary things - like a business that didn't quite work the way I wanted. But it's still awesome just the same. I learned a gamut of things about running a business (and the kitchen, and Mathematics, and the Philippine government) and I enjoyed making money as an entrepreneur and not an employee. And at the end of the day, no matter how tough it was, I had the time of my life not many people my age get to experience, and that makes it all worth it. I've made a lot of new friends and business associates and cemented partnership with my all-in-one BF.

Last day as a 25-year old happy girl at CliffHouse, Tagaytay City

So now that I'm one step towards my late 20s era, not that the word late really matters, I'm taking things to new heights. I'm in a position of liberty to do the things I want, and be responsible for it. I can get drunk sometimes, dance when I'm happy, shout loud in the office, earn money, save or spend it, earn again, give it away, buy stupid things, do more stupid things, show some cleavage, get bald, dye my hair blue, swim naked etcetera, etcetera. Whether I do the things I mentioned is now irrelevant, just the thought that I'm able to and I hold responsible for myself is more than enough (more of my to do things in my 30 for 30 list)  and that boils down to something that sounds like FREEDOM. Ah, the F should be my middle name.

So to honor the day sunshine touched my skin, I came up not with a wishlist but a gratitude list in no particluar order.

1. I'm grateful to have a personal kind of faith
2. I'm grateful to have a tightly knit, super cool family
3. I'm grateful to have real friends, I'll never go homeless
4. I'm grateful for my new, funky, fulfilling job!
5. I'm grateful to have a man who loved me & my non-conventional ideas unconditionally, and never nagged me to move in nor get married. Cheers to 7 years and counting!  
6. I'm grateful to have means to travel and just get lost on foreign land for the past 3 years
7. I'm grateful that I can say I love you to my dad
8. I'm grateful that I'm able to forgive with ease
9. I'm grateful to go home to two lovable dogs
10. I'm grateful that my lola is still strong at 80
11. I'm grateful to have the most awesome cousins - my sibs from different parents
12. I'm grateful to have insurance
13. I'm grateful to be healthy
14. I'm grateful to read and write, and blog
15. I'm grateful to have my mom, my only brother, and my new half sister
16. I'm grateful for my natural gift of acceptance and moving on
17. I'm grateful to be a Filipina
18. I'm grateful to be free to speak my mind
19. I'm grateful to I'm able to love
20. I'm grateful for my eye for beauty & art 
21. I'm grateful I can wear heels
22. I'm grateful to be a woman
23. I'm grateful to know I'm a source of strength and joy
24. I'm grateful I'm almost always brave
25. I'm grateful I have a soul
26. I'm grateful someone discovered coffee and chocolates

And if it's not too much, I'd like to add a 27th. I'm stoked to have a new rockin' shoes, and the best giver BF that's ribboned with it. I'm so in love with the chains!

So what did I do yesterday? Well, I worked hard in the office, attended numerous meetings, made client presentations, and went home late with boxes of pizza and a loving family (plus hundreds of greetings online!) waiting for me. God is good!

From the Nook,

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 for 30 Update: #2 Treat My Mom International

Late last year, albeit still being 4 years away from 30, I posted my 30 Things for 30 Wonderful Years. I'm working full time, and completing some of the items can cost an arm and a leg, and so I'm taking it slowly and just savor every step. Which reminds me, a number of entries should be checked out already, but each one is special to me, so saying it in passing won't do any justice. So I'm documenting everything per post.

Since my mom's birthday is in two weeks, it reminded me of the wonderful present I (with the help of my brother) gave her two years ago. An all expense paid trip to HongKong.

Sadly, we had a big misunderstanding on my birthday  last year, and it went all the way to her birthday since they're just 5 days apart. I almost moved out of the house and live solo, hence, no celebration. But I'm promising myself to be a good girl this year and not throw a tantrum whatsoever, even when provoked. *wink*

I'm thinking of a celebration for her this year, not as expensive as HK trip though. Any suggestions pretty please? =)

From the Nook,

Friday, April 15, 2011

NeuroEvents: Pond's Unbeaten Party

I was running in heels, towing my bigger than the usual big bag I carry and endured almost an hour of traffic before finally reaching Fiamma. It was where the Pond's Unbeaten Party was held last Tuesday, so no traffic can stop me! It was the culminating event of a month-long challenge that they posted to 9 bloggers and their friends. All the "friends" will have to use the entire line of the Pond's Flawless White while the bloggers document the developments.

First thing I noticed was the excitement that filled the air as the bloggers and guests anticipate the winner of the challenge. No wonder my blogger friends were at the gate when I arrived, chatting to probably calm their nerves and keep cool. My BFF and I were there as part of the campaign but no longer as participants, so we were only nervous for our friends Shen, Jheng, Nikki and Sophie, and not really for ourselves. But still sweating nonetheless! Whew.

The guests were wonderful to watch, as they smile, grace around and chat with familiar faces in the beauty scene. A lot of girls were wearing glam dresses and flirty skirts and sky high shoes! It was a feast of beauty personified.  

There was a backroom for the hosts, models, blogger participants and VIPs, where they served dinner. But most of the participants took this chance to meet and greet, and share stories on their  journey throughout the month-long challenge.

The Beauty Junkee, Martha. Glowing and golden as ever!

Michelle, Earth, Cath and Lace

Cath, Reena and Ginger

Our signature BFF pose. Tara and I conquered another battle together!

The pairs were presented to the guests and judges through a mini fashion show, flaunting adorable dresses from Plains and Prints in hues of red, gray, cream and white. Since I'm a pseudo participant, I have no photos of the actual walk, nor the awarding but here are the list of winners:

TOP 3 
Nikki and Sophie
Jheng and Shen
Ginger and Reena

Ginger and Reena

Nikki and Sophie

Ginger and Reena

The whole gang. Thank you to Az for the photo!

Me, Nikki and Sophie.
Congrats girls for landing on the top 3 and bagging editors' choice!

Pond's muse Rissa Mananquil, beautiful and class as always!

OOTN courtesy of Plains and Prints

Dress: P&P
Shoes: Parisian
Accesories: House of Charms

Sweet endings at Whistlestop. Best Banoffee ever!

Congratulations to all the winners and participants of the challenge. Ginger and Reena will be featured in the top 3 magazines by June, so watch out for these lovely duo!

Kudos to Pond's Philippines for their commitment to beautify Filipinas and proving that more expensive doesn't always mean better. I can vouch that my skin has improved and my dark acne marks noticeably faded, as you can see in my prior post here.

And thanks and congratulations to Ogilvy (hello, Maan!) for another succesful event.

Have you tried the Pond's Flawless White line? I hope you're "hiyang" as I am. =)

From the Nook,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Product Review: Watson's FOOT EASE Gel Cushion

If given much of a choice, I will be sporting sky high heels 24/7. Why not? High heeled shoes are sophisticated, sexy and can create an illusion of longer legs. Men wouldn't probably understand, but a girl's confidence levels up the moment she steps in her stilettos. Do I hear a loud yes? YES! In my case, I feel more empowered, confident and so ready to take the world by storm. So yes, in my dreams I will be wearing heels even in my sleep. But reality does bite, and it comes in painful blisters, corns and leg cramps. As my dear blogger girlfriends say, "tiis ganda" (if you want to look good, then deal with the pain)

But since comfort should still be the priority, I decided to try the gel cushions that I'm seeing in stores for a while now. I've been meaning to buy the latex ones being sold in Alabang Town Center but it's Php 900 each pair, and if I am to buy for each pair of heels I own, I'll surely go broke. So when I saw Watsons' Foot Ease Gel Cushion sell for Php 99.00 each, I just have to try my luck and see if it works. In case it doesn't, then at least I didn't spend as much.

Getting a preview of the actual product is a must

Transparent Gel Cushions with adhesives

And here are photos of the cushions placed in a pair of 4 inch high heels.

Here's my personal take on the product.

  • Affordable at Php 99.00 per pair
  • Stays put with its strong self adhesive (no sliding, yehey!)
  • Practically invisible
  • Adds comfort to the balls of your feet, especially when standing in heels or walking for long hours
  • Made of plastic so it can be easily cleaned with cloth and alcohol

  • A little too thin and therefore, limited comfort

Overall: For its price, Watsons' version of foot gel cushion is fairly good. But for bigger girls like me, who needs sturdier resistance to match our weight, getting a thicker latex version is more recommended. It's for comfort and overall wellness, so it's okay to spend a little more for it, right?

Do you like high heels, too? How do you balance comfort and vanity? =)

From the Nook,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

OOTD: A Little Girl's Dream Ensemble

Flight stewardess uniform is one of my favorites. Like most girls I know, I dreamed of becoming one when I was younger - and that's primarily because I want what they are wearing, not the profession, just the uniform. Same applies why I also wanted to be a sales lady, an equestrian, a cheer leader, a lifeguard, a chef and a bank manager. But if I were to chose one, this look will top my list.

 They just look so regal in those perfect cut skirts and suits, scarves and fashionable hats. And since there's no way I'll ever get to wear that as my uniform, I told myself, why not start with the scarf?

I feel like an FA (feelingera, sorry naman), except that I don't have their perfect pearlies, nor their 24 and below inch waistlines! =)

Silk White Top: Meg
Scarf: Gift
Slacks: Maldita
Pointed Slingback Shoes (not shown): Charles & Keith

Every girl should own a scarf. It's fashionable and can serve lots of purpose (i.e. accessory, defense from cold, cover ups) - it can save your day!  I have several, but this animal print is my favorite. I use it to liven up a rather plain bag, as a belt, a bandana, what have you. And it looks amazing on plain tops, too! It takes so little to amplify a boring outfit, don't you think? The perks of being a girl! 

Just for Laughs!

Any dream uniform you like? I want to know! Surprise me! =)

From the Nook,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From an MNC to Falling In Love

So more or less, I can now go to work wearing this.

I've been meaning to share this huge adult thing I had to deal with the past months but don't really know how much is shareable, I don't really want you vomiting on your keyboard . I couldn't agree more with Frances when she stated in one of her posts that readers have so much sh*t in their own lives, they don't really want to know more of others'. Or something along that line. And my blog deserves to be a happy place!

It's not that bad folks. The thing is, I've been working in a damn good, giant company for almost 5 years, with a job that I know so well, I can do it with my eyes closed, and a generous really generous compensation and lots of work life balance to boot. The people are wonderful, too. I can stay there, be gloriously uderemployed (I studied Comms but worked in Legal, err?) and be comfortable my whole life. The problem is, I don't equate comfort with happiness, and money with success. So after passing on almost half a dozen good opportunities in the past, a series of talks with my confidantes, figuring out my career ladder, doing the Math and convincing myself that I can go back to getting much much less and let go of walang habas shopping, I decided to break free from this golden cuffs and jump out of my safe cube. I have to do what I LOVE to do now, lest I want to look back years from now thinking how my pretty tough ass chickened out and let go of my dreams.

So I'm back to where I belong - stress for breakfast PR. I'm getting paid okay, spending far longer hours in the office, and commuting to work now. But on my first week, I've gone to several brainstormings for numerous no-nonsense clients, helped complete a presentation for a potential one, and prepared for a big pitch on Thursday, all in one week. And guess what, I get to wear all the boots and animal prints in my closet, if that's any indication how happy I am! I'm finally free and in love. And right now, that's what really matters the most. More money will come soon after.

Do you love what you do for a living? I hope we all do. That will make this planet a lot more fun! =)

BTW, the gorgeous photo is from HERE.

From the Nook,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Attending iBlog7 with a Chocolate Kiss

It's my first time to attend a blogging summit, well 1/4 of it. With a new, happy job in a Public Relations Firm, I have to manage my time more wisely because since 5:01 pm of last Friday, I'm no longer a spoiled MultiNational Company employee. I now commute to work, log in at 9am and to go home at 5pm is already a wild dream. First week and I've gone to 3 major internal meetings, is now preparing for a major pitch and has met big names in the Comms and PR industry - my choice of heaven.  I have to press my chest to prevent my heart from ripping its way out because it is jumping nonstop. I am that excited.

So this morning, I listened to 5 resource speakers talk about certain topics (as per area of expertise). Jayson Biadog on Organizing Online Contests, Ruben Licera Jr. on Effective Social Media Management, Earth Rullan on Blogging with Integrity, Regnard Raquedan on Being the Social Media Champion in your Company and the last and best of the morning session, Carlo Ople (TV 5 Multimedia Head) on his 10 Powerblogging Tips.

Among the speakers, Carlo Ople obviously stood out so I'm dedicating this post to his session. While the other speakers gave valid points on their own topics, some appeared to be a bit nervous, or simply in need of more preparation. Mr. Ople immediately charmed the crowd, and imparted fuss free powerblogging tips, which is note taking worthy. For the complete list, you may visit the iBlog site. But here's a gist for you.

1. Maximize your best blog entries. This can be displayed below your banner, and can be utilized to link to your other posts to maximize the visit.

2. Social Media is more than SHARE button. Sharing via Social Media Tools like FB and Twitter is a start, but the most important thing is CONTENT. Come up with quality, shareable posts and build relationships with your readers by replying to their comments and posts.

3. Be Relevant. Relevant to time, current situations and issues.

4. Don't Think Small. If you think from the start that this is JUST a blog, a hobby, then it will never grow into something financially productive.

5. Learn PowerPoint. PPT is the basic presentation tools you can use to market yourself to potential advertisers. so learn it.

6. Build Content Partnerships. It's expensive to pay for your own meals or gadgets to review. You should build partnerships as long as you have an agreement with your advertisers that you will only post honest opinions about their products. As per Mr. Ople, most companies agree.

7. Go for Direct Advertisers. Using agencies will automatically cut your earnings dramatically.

8. Don't Rely on Advertisements Alone. Banner ads pays very minimal.

9. Become Better Writers. Again, good writing and good content will attract readers and advertisers. Read more and learn to write better.

10. Care. Care for your readers, for your audience, for your advertisers.

Clean right? And he delivered it and answered questions like a breeze, you will actually feel you're in CBTL and just having coffee. Kudos, Carlo!

Though my team needs to go back to office and kick some *ss, we refused to leave without dining here.

I tell you, this made me double sad I didn't study in UP Diliman. But it's never too late, yeah? =)

Did you attendthe iBlog Summit too? What do you think?

From the Nook,