Monday, October 31, 2011

Them Who Gained Financial Freedom: Sun Life's "It's Time" Awards

Since I started earning, I made it a goal to set aside savings for the rainy days. While I think I'm considerably successful in building a savings  fund, I know that keeping a portion of my income in the bank is just the first step in attaining financial freedom.

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the first ever It's Time Awards by Sun Life of Canada Philippines, one of the largest and most trusted insurers in the country. Learning about managing my finances and investing wisely is one thing, but meeting people who have successfully attained financial freedom is far more inspiring!

After over two months in search for model Filipinos who have encouragingly espoused the value of financial preparedness and successfully attained financial freedom, Sun Life Philippines has finally chosen and honored the winners of the very first “It’s Time” awards in a ceremony held recently at the Traders Hotel, Manila. The ‘It’s Time’ awards is a project of the Sun Life Foundation meant to continue its noble mission of empowering every Filipino to take action in their journey towards financial freedom.

The winners, selected from a roster of deserving nominees from across sectors of society, have proven their ability to beat the odds and succeed in providing a secure and stable future for their loved ones.

Sun Life endorsers Piolo Pascual, Del Rosario brothers of Team Azkals and Pia Magalona

LEFT: Copping the Family Icon award is Ms. Esparanza Yu, an OFW and single mom turned successful entrepreneur who was able to hurdle the responsibility of raising two daughters singlehandedly and later on becoming an established independent business woman who secured a brighter future for her children.

RIGHT: Receiving the Investment Savvy Star plum is Mr. Edmund Lao, a sales engineer by profession and a financial literacy advocate at heart. He educated himself with the different financial vehicles and applied what he has learned to make his money grow.

The Retirement Champion award was given to Mr. Romy Francisco who has remained disciplined in his approach to saving up for the future.

Winner of the Wealth Wonder award and who was unanimously voted as the Grand Prize winner is Mr. Juan Dayang, Jr. (represented by his parents)

But more than meeting his own personal goals, he was able to share his knowledge and personal experiences with OFWs in South Korea where he was assigned.
Recognizing exemplary people like the first set of It's Time awardees is part of Sun Life's mission to provide financial security to every Filipino family.
To know more about Sun Life's products and services, and start your own journey towards financial freedom, click HERE.

Many thanks to Ms. Tara Cabullo of Sun Life Digital Marketing for inviting us to witness this noble event. :)


Top: Men's Undershirt
Pants: Forever 21
Shoes: Shubizz
Scarf: Terranova

After three chaotic weeks at work, I'm finally on my feet and back to blogging. So much good stories to tell you about! Thank you for reading! Happy Halloween, loves! :)

From the Nook,

Monday, October 10, 2011

30 for 30 List: No Red Meat for 30 Days

So many things happened the last few months of my life, with my career switch and lifestyle changes that go with it that I barely have time to check my 30 for 30 list. Good thing I decided to take it slow, so I still have three years and six months to complete it. And while my 30 for 30 list can afford to have it's sweet time, my life and career on the other hand is having a fast, crazy twist. It deserves a totally separate post.

It's a beautiful Monday when I complained about feeling extraordinarily dull and lacking energy. I'm usually hyperactive, lives with five hours of sleep and works ten hours a day. I rarely stay home idle on weekends because I abide by the "life is too short" mantra. But the answer to my strange dullness struck me like a lighting in an open field. Pinned on my office corkboard are piles upon piles of fastfood delivery receipts. Garbage in, garbage out, it's crystal clear. I'm eating too much processed food, meat and sugar. Which reminded me that it's time for the 30th item on my 30 for 30 list.

from Google images

30. Don’t touch red meat for 30 days. Please, spare me the vegetarian vow. (Hello, Dea!) I’m not as tough as Dea, she’s one amazing girl! And so I’ll be honest and realistic, I’ll ditch red, but occasionally eat fish and chicken. I just can’t survive on leaves and fruits, not with my schedule, I will definitely faint on the 3rd day.

Red meat is hard to digest, and stays in your system for five days! It's gross if you think of it. So it's high time to revamp my diet. Refusing to let anothey day pass, I banned red meat that very same day. It was a struggle for the first few days, trying very hard to replace my usual chunks of red meat with greens and meat substitutes like tofu. The toughest day was when I had to turn down a fat, juicy cheese hungarian sausage in onions and chillies. I wanted to die that moment. I was so tempted that I refrained from looking at the dish at all, just like a kid who is sure to fail a marshmallow test. 

My mom on the other hand, was very happy about it and started stocking fish, prawns and squid for me. Towards the end of my 30 days, I felt lighter and my restroom visits were a breeze. I lost four pounds, that can be due to waterloss or such, but losing weight is not my motivator to avoid red meat in the first place, so it's really just a plus point. Incidentally, I was also introduced to Bodivance at this time, which doubled the pace of my shift to a healthier lifestyle. Another friend, C, was doing his no pork diet during that time, too. The universe made it all happen! 

After completing the challenge, I happily munched on some giant hotdogs, self reward of some sort, but knew that I didn't miss it as much as I thought. I occasionally eat red meat now, and go for seafood and chicken more often. And I started enjoying greens beyond the usual appretizer salad.

What's most important is not the weightloss, nor the bragging rights of completing a challenge, but the realization that I'm in control and that I can chose to live heathy. To quote my former boss:

 "It's not always about the number of years, but the quality of life you lived."

With that, I can move on to conquer the next thing on my list. :)

From the Nook,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Product Review: Obagi-C SunGuard SPF30

For health and beauty advocates, it’s a mortal sin not to use sun protection. Why not, it’s a medical fact that sun exposure is the main culprit for premature skin aging. And when I said use, I mean religiously applying sun block everyday, be it sunny or rainy. Unfortunately, UV rays can still affect our skin even on a cloudy day. What’s more alarming is the notion that we only need sun protection when we go to the beach or join outdoor activities, and thus, many people resort to applying ultra high SPFs on the beach while using none during their usual days at work or school. It’s like suddenly arming someone with high caliber firearms one day and leaving him helpless the rest of the year. Yes, I treat my skin as another human being, and so I’m continuously in search for anything that can heal, maintain and PROTECT it.

Last August, I got the chance to attend the Obagi 360 event, where they presented their total skin care program. Obagi has long established its name in the skin care industry, with their innovative products and services that has helped thousands of people around the world. We got the chance to check out their wide range of products for different skin problems like acne and damaged skin. While I’m still saving up for their much talked about Blue Peel, I’m already quite impressed with the Obagi products I’ve tried so far which is the Obagi Condition and Enhance line of gentle cleanser, toner and smoothing lotion. And for the last two months, I am once again pleased with their Obagi-C RX System C-Sunguard, which I’ll be talking about in details.

“C-SunGuard SPF 30 is formulated with ultra-sheer Z-Cote, an effective barrier that provides a superior measure of sun protection from UVB damage and against long-UVA rays linked to premature skin aging. Regular application of C-SunGuard can help protect your skin from future sun damage.”

What I think about the Obagi C-SunGuard SPF 30:

• Creamy consistency that glides smoothly on my skin

• A bit sticky upon application but feels smooth and light after a few minutes of application – it’s a big improvement from the previous Obagi Condition and Enhance Healthy Skin Protection that I’ve used before which is a lot oilier

• Has SPF 30 that is at par with the recommended protection needed everyday

• Smell is a little “medicine-y” but not overpowering

• Protects me from both UVA/UVB which translates to protection from both darkening and aging

• A little goes a long way. I’ve used it for two months but my 90ml bottle is still about 60% full

• Best of all, no rash or breakouts on my ultra sensitive skin!

Admittedly, it’s a bit pricey than other sun protection products in the market. It’s a relief to know that it can last for a few months so if you divide its price by the number of days that you’re happily protected, then you’ll realize your money’s worth. If you have the money to spend, then Obagi C-SunGuard SPF 30 is worth trying. After all, you are buying not only satisfaction but skin protection that you’ll never regret 10 or 20 years from now.

Please don’t limit sun protection to your face. Always apply sun block on your neck and chest area. Remember, a smooth face resting on a wrinkled neck is twice as bad, so don’t scrimp on sun protection! Same is true with your arms and legs, you don’t only protect yourself from skin aging but skin cancer as well.

Lastly, there are many sun protection products in the market, you don’t have to get the most expensive one, but rather find the one that works best for you and your budget.

Happy rainy Sunday, beauties!

From the Nook,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Version Of Pink is as Hot & Rockin'

It's a fact that most girls like love pink. I like to blame the parents who automatically buy everything pink right after the ultrasound result shows a pipi. Normal baby girls are clad in pink, with pink pillows, blankets and mittens. It's a personal theory that this stereotyping leads to majority of the female population liking this color to adulthood. My mom is as guilty but not quite successful in making me sweet and ladylike. (Hello, mama!)

There are always a few exceptions on this pink rule, and I'm one of them. I'm not trying to be unique, and my blog will probably tell you that I like hot pink, because it's the only one I can tolerate. Baby pink, bubble gum pink, old rose, and everything else pink just look blah on me. As early as first grade, I rejected anything pink on my wardrobe. I was very much in love with green in Elementary, the yellow green of Crayola to be exact. In early highschool, and probably because I dated a rockstar wannabe, I favored darker colors. My cabinet  contained piles and piles of blacks, midnight blues and gunmetals. I also tried finding black lipstick, but settled for plum. I think I made my parents worry a bit that I'm into witchcraft and pentagrams! I only started adding colors to my wardrobe in early college, pairing my usual blacks with whites and greens. I remember my college friend Y (she's 30+ during that time) told me that when I get older, pink will grow on me. I guess she's right, because I started wearing hot pink after college!

At present, I've learned to appreciate and mixmatch colors not only in my wardrobe but in almost anything. From furnitures, to gadgets, bedsheets, curtains, artwork, shoes, and of course, clothes. I don't think baby pink will ever grow on me though. I favor red instead. It's my favorite mood upper. It's classy just like black, looks great on my fair skin, and exudes an endeniable sexy appeal. And that explains why I have a red car, red digital camera, red blowdryer, red makeup brushes, four pairs of red shoes, several red bags and shoes. Even my nails are usually red, and just recently, I joined the red head club (after a dye hiatus for six months) once again.

Red is definitely my pink. And that makes me a pink girl, after all. :)

Back to red head

Caronia's Tea Rose + Face Shop's Top Coat

My red loot from my dear kuya - Thanks, Brando!
Red quilted bag from MNG
Twisted Peppermint & Japanese Cherry Blossom from Bath & Body Works
Wild Berry from Marks & Spencer.

Something to lessen my work stress.
Delivered on my office door. Thank you, Sweetie! :)

So tell me, what's your version of pink?

From the Nook,