Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Best Self in 2012: The Good, the Bad and the Weirdies

So I haven't fully recuperated from the awesome beach getaway at Potipot island in Zambales, and yet I have to be here, and work on an ambitious plan for a sharp client, otherwise known as the dragon lady. I'm looking through my 17-inch screen for 30 minutes, and not an ounce of creative juice has oozed out. I finally gave up and went out of my cube to think over second hand smoke and cheap latte from the vendo machine. 

Majestic sunset in Potipot island

Then I remembered something. In the island, it dawned on me. It's crystal clear that I work best when I stop pretending to be normal. How did I miss resist that all these years?

Three days with a bunch of success-driven, winning-hungry women made me realize two things. First, the ocean can drown my stress, and second, we are as weird as each one in the group.

ME: I noticed that all of us have quirks, like we're all weird in our own ways. That I'm weird, and you're weird, and J is weird, and N is weird, and weird people work brilliant together. Now I know why I belong here and not there (pertaining to my previous job)

BOSS: You only realized that NOW? 

ME: Yeah, isn't that weird? 

And though it's a bit too late to start a 2012 resolution, and my yearly goals of being punctual and giving up Coke has been a grand slam fail, hours of lying on the sands and looking through the skies in that pretty little island gave me one big push in achieving the best of what and who I can be in 2012. It's as simple as knowing that my quirky ways, insane ideas and stubborn beliefs are but part of my blueprint, exactly how my Creator designed me. So I may be a little weird, different and stubborn, but with self-understanding, right attitude and good set of friends and mentors (which I luckily have!), I found my spot and earned the right to say that I'm where I'm meant to be, at least at this very moment.

Right here and in all of 2012, I can be my best weird self. No holds barred. With that, eating this ugly frog and will come up with a winning plan before the day ends.

I hope you had a good long weekend, too, my dear readers. :)

From the Nook, 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

POWERDRESSING: You Want the Part? Then Dress the Part!

Are you like me who works best when dressed best? Do you also feel mighty and undefiable when you put on your power dress or perfect pumps? Do you feel naked not wearing your classic pearl earrings? Then we have a lot to talk about!

I work in a very relaxed environment, where my attire will only depend on my schedule. I can wear trendy clothes on normal days, LBDs during night events and suit pants during client meetings. This works perfectly for me since I can be in my sexy denim jeans and Chucks one day, and in my pencil cut suit skirt the next. Couldn't be happier!

Anyways, I'll stop getting excited and on to our discussion. :)
Power dressing refers to the style of clothing, accessories, hair and even makeup, that is intended to make the wearer look competent and more authoritative. Power dressing exudes confidence and assertiveness, particularly in the workplace. Power dressing came into play in the 80’s where it generally meant use of expensive clothes with sharp, hard lines, and unlike other fashion trends, this concept did not change much. Instead, the usual black, gray and pearls are now accompanied by new options like colorful leather blazers, classy bags and and gorgeous scarves. Although there are numerous options nowadays, we still need to be careful not to confuse corporate attires and business casuals with our usual rotation of party clothes. Here are some accepted guides in power dressing at work:

Mrs. Beckham sure knows a thing obout power dressing!

1. ALL ABOUT SUITS: Suits play an important part in every corporate setting. This is what the bosses wear when there are major pitches, presentations, executive meetings or every time money and business is on the line. Suits display the charisma, the class, the power needed to make a maximum impact on every person in the room. Slimmer cuts, straighter lines, lighter fabrics are in these days. Solid dark colors like black, grey and navy blue or pinstriped suits are still best. Needless to say,  you have to invest in some good pairs. In my opinion, a suit skirt brings the lioness in every girl!

2. SHOES: Shoes with 1- to 3-inch heels are appropriate, should be polished and in good condition. Steer away from sandals, and invest more on closed toe and heel pumps. 

3. HAIR: Hair should be neat and natural looking. Dyed hair are fine (I always have red/copper/brown hair!). Unnatural looking hair are not, and I'm talking about pink, peach, yellow, you get the drift. 

4. NAILS: Well-groomed, short or mid-length, and single-color painted nails as well as french manicures are acceptable.

5. ACCESSORIES: Trendy or classy jewelries are good, as long as kept at minimum. Pearls still dominate the corporate world. And sorry, but nose, tongue and eyebrow piercing will never make the cut. 

6. MAKE-UP: Office makeup should never be wild or too bold. Earth colors are preferred, and natural look is favored. Be careful with shimmers, too. Of course we want to look beautiful, but too much make-up in the workplace may send wrong signals to your boss or workmates.

These are just basic things to remember, and generally applies to very conservative office settings. (Trust me, I've been there). It's important to observe your own work environment and make a good judgment on what's appropriate and acceptable. The Company Movers (bosses) can be a good template. Too bad for me because my own template has a truly rich taste, that I can only hope to afford her shoe brands! LOL. One day! 

Every office can be different, and we also don't like the rules to keep us from expressing our individuality right? So it's up to us to find the perfect balance.

As the old saying goes, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”

Happy power dressing! :)

From the Nook, 


Monday, January 16, 2012

The Ones Who Change the World

My goal of blogging thrice a week still seems like a stretch. I'm lost for words after a long haul meeting, countless emails and building an unbelievably tricky Comms Plan. It's the start of the week, and I'm already pumping adrenaline since this morning with a diet consisting of iced white mocha, california maki and Coke. 

But the Big Man had other plans of ending this day. 

By mid-afternoon, I got a glimpse of what's in store for me in the coming months, and probably the rest of the year - career wise at least. I have some pretty bad-ass mountains to cover, and new territories to win. I feel like a denim fabric that's about to be washed, stretched and abused, only to come out in a perfect pair of jeans with a lot of character. Scared? I'd like to say overwhelmed, but downright excited. 

I wasn't given big guns to win small fights. So 2012, I'm so ready for the battle. 

As my boss put it on the last day of 2011, "Dang, you have bigger fishes to fry!"

In other news, before drowning in the maelstrom of events, I'm off this weekend to this petite beauty in Zambales  called Potipot Island. 

Just looking at these photos makes me kilig! :)

Have you set your career goals for the year? Let's dream big and crazy. It's the crack ones who usually change the world! :)

From the Nook, 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Signs of Aging: On Choosing the Right Shoes

You know the things that you used to endure during your younger days? Like all night long gimmicks, pitchers of cheap cocktails, dancing 'til the sun is up or simply surviving everyday without the convenience of vans, taxis or car? 

In the office, we fondly call it "lakas ng kabataan" (strength of youth). Those golden days when you feel like your body is a pumped up machine that can take on anything; and no stress, lack of sleep or fatigue can stop you. I'll be 27 in a few months, and for an age considerably young, I can already feel juvenile signs of wear and tear. My metabolism had slowed down (my weight used to swing up and down in a snap of a finger), long hours standing or walking in the mall leaves me with sore ankles and my caffeine and alcohol tolerance has decreased a bit. Very little changes, nothing really dramatic, but still noticeable. 

Among these changes, the one that sucks that most is the fact that I can no longer walk in high heels for a long time. It saddens me to realize this. Shoes is one thing I really adore, possibly more than makeup. I used to attend the university in 3 or 4 inch pumps, commuting from Las PiƱas to Manila and I walk the streets in a breeze. I tried doing it again these days and I ended up buying a pair of cheap slippers.

High heels give me tremendous feeling of power and confidence, and it often translates to successful presentations, accounts being won and momentous events.  But age, weight and muscle fatigue are now part of the calculation, and I now have to take precautionary measures so I won't end up in a cast. 

1.  Bring extra flats or slippers in your purse, ALL THE TIME. This will come handy for unexpected long walks.

2. Go to the office wearing flats, and change into heels before entering the building. New Yorkers do it. I said flats, not rubber tsinelas.

3. Wear flats or flip-flops especially on weekends. There are a lot of gorgeous flats in the market nowadays, so you don't have to give-up your style. Alternate flats, low heels and high heels so your feet can get a break.

4. Get a foot and leg massage once in while, (do I hear weekly, ladies?), it will relax your muscles and pamper you at the same time.

5. Put your legs up against the wall before you sleep. Do this for 10 minutes to avoid varicose veins due to poor blood circulation.

6. Soak your tired feet in warm water. Add oil essences or salts for a more relaxing experience. I do this while sipping my night coffee, you should try it.


     Images VIA

     - Go for lower height (2.5 to 3 inches isn't so bad!)  

- Go for thicker heels because it provides more support and sturdy balance 

     - Shoes with platforms provide more comfort and are easier to walk

     - Get your shoes from trusted brands, not necessarily expensive, but don't be overly stingy. There are valid reasons behind the price: materials used, quality, design, craftsmanship. 

NOTE: Visit Ferretti Shoes Online for quality shoes that are stylish yet reasonably priced. It's proudly Filipino, too!

See, we can be stylish and comfortable at the same time. Your feet and legs will thank you for choosing wisely. As for me, I learned to enjoy various kinds of footwear, from slippers to pointed flats, to kitten heels and sky-high f*ck me shoes. I don't discriminate! I'm in the office working on my computer all day today, and so I'm wearing a comfortable, mid-heel black leather pumps, about 2.5 inches. My taller babies can wait for out of office events in the coming weeks. It's exciting!!! :)

Tiffany shoes from CLN


From the Nook,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lucky They're In Love With Their Bestfriend!

I'm not a natural romantic. A late bloomer if you may, I can account all my crushes in this lifetime on one hand. I also find it very hard to show affection especially when I was younger. I get goosebumps when schoolboys send me gifts and flowers, and I roll my eyes with cheesy lines from songs or movies.

If not for my Sweetie, who's been very patient in showering me with affection for the last 7 years, I might still be the same old distant person. How can you not love a guy who notices a new haircut, who's always a willing chauffeur for me and my girlfriends and calls in the middle of the day to remind you how beautiful you are.

But this post is not about my story. But I'm kilig all the same, I just have to share it!

 It's nothing less magical than a Nicholas Sparks inspired movie. 

My cousin Marie recently married her high school bestfriend, Jeff. Nope, they are not highschool buddies-turned-sweethearts who stormed through college and got married. In fact, Jeff used to date Marie's best friend. They haven't seen each other for almost a decade, have spoken sporadically through college and lost touch when they started working. They both had strings of unsuccessful relationships, and Marie had her share of assholes. She then worked in United Arab Emirates, while Jeff traveled in different countries as an Engineer. 

Last October 2010, Marie got an unexpected call from Jeff who was then assigned in Dubai. They saw each other again after so many years, and the attraction was undeniable. They dated for exactly one week. ONE WEEK! On Jeff's last day of assignment in Dubai, he brought Marie to the mountain park of Jebel Hafeet, and stunned her when he suddenly wrapped a diamond ring around her finger. I can almost see Marie's blushing face when she told me about it! I even teased her of the local OPM, Isang Linggong Pag-ibig (a week of Love).

Jeff left for a few more weeks, went back to UAE for Marie, and never left her side since then. They got married in the Philippines, a year after being reunited, last December 2011. Their wedding was so fun, so light and just plain beautiful! The couple is so cool; the entourage was dressed in different bright colors while everything was adorned with their black and white motif. They also exchanged I DOs wearing white Lacoste sneakers. Darn cute!

Their pre-nup pictorial was done in an instant, and there was technical glitch during the video presentation, but nothing can ruin their big day! They are the true testament that the celebration of love and marriage matters the most. Everything else, the gorgeous gown, the expensive gifts nor the very generous servings of Sashimi are just but bonuses.  Marie, ever so beautiful in her vintage lace gown (reception), just laughed and said "Okay lang yan, ang haba naman ng AVP eh, para inuman na agad!"

Hay. Fairy tales still do come true! And every girl can have their very own love story. We just have to believe. :)

The proposal

"Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused." - The Zahir by Paulo Coehlo

Let LOVE be LOVE. Simple, untamed, free flowing.  Happy kilig Sunday! =)

From the Nook, 

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year, New Look

For my blog that is. Finally. 

After two years of loving my old template, being too-busy-to-figure-this-out, or just plain tamad, I finally had some sense in me to change it. What better time to do it than the start of the year when we all ought to feel brand new! Thank God for the super friendly blogger interface. I'm no techy girl after all. 

So cheers to a colorful, crisp and clean template with wider body and fewer clutter on the side. I hope it's this easy to fix real life's mess, but who knows, this can be a good way to practice. Keep your deeds clean, add more color to your life, manage your time and space, and discard things that can weigh you down. Makes perfect sense. :) 


Cheers to 2012!

To add to this "feeling new" syndrome, I finally gave in to pressure and plea from my boss and is now officially on BBM. When Phoebe tweeted "welcome to the dark side", I knew instantly that this is going to be fun! Talking to my relatives and friends, especially abroad, has never been this convenient. I guess my laptop and broadband can take a rest for a while.

Via WeHeartIt

Don't forget to like Blackberry Pilipinas Facebook Page, so you won't be left out with all the hip things and events from Research in Motion and BB.

BBM takes PINoys by storm!

From the Nook, 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

FOTD: Holiday Look 2011

Christmas is the most colorful season in the Philippines, and probably the world. With parties, reunions and get together left and right, it can be troublesome to think about what clothes and makeup to wear. I seldom wear full makeup during family affairs, we're so closely knit that I feel most comfortable with them, so showing up au naturelle is never a problem. In fact, weekends and holidays are when I let me skin breathe and produce as much oil as it wants. But last Christmas, while waiting for my chronically late relatives, I decided to play with my  makeup and come up with a simple, easy to follow Holiday look. I got a handful of compliments for it and so I hope you'll find it helpful and like it as well.

I came up with Teal and Gunmetal eyes, Coral cheeks and Nude lips.

Step 1: Prepare the face (Wash, Tone, Moisturize, Protect)
          : Products used are Celeteque Brightening Facial Foam, Human Nature Tomato Toner, BSKIN BB Cream, Obagi-C Sunguard

Step 2: Cover flaws and even out skin tone to create the perfect canvass
          : Products used are Covergirl concealer for the undereye, Maybelline ClearSmooth Minerals Healthy Powder Foundation,

Step 3: Define your eyebrows. This is a key step each time you apply makeup. Properly defined brows will frame the face nicely and put more emphasis on the elements of your face
          : Products used are Ever Bilena brow pencil in brown and Charm Travel Pro V3 brow brush

Step 4: Create dramatic teal and gunmetal eyes perfect for Christmas dinners
          : Products used are Dollface ES palette (Teal & Dark Green for the crease, Gunmetal for outer V, Silver for inner V), Everyday Minerals ES (Highlighter under the brows), Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara

Step 5: Be ready to blush and pout, and by that I mean swipe some coral blush and sport nude, juicy lips!
          : Products used are Nichido Gentle Peach lipstick topped with Avon shiny gloss in coral. A good trick for nude lips is to apply some liquid foundation on your lips and dab some powder before applying your lipstick. This will cover the real color of your lips, especially for girls who have pigmented puckers. For my cheeks, I used Maybelline Expert Wear LE Pinch of Coral. 

You may opt to dust some mineral veil to seal your makeup. I used Physician's Formula Mineral Veil, but on some occasions, I just use mineral powders and it works fine, too. 

Here's the final look. The whole routine took me about 30 minutes.

EOTD with flash

Last and most important step is to relax, smile, and just enjoy every minute of Christmas with the people you love. Celebrating the Savior's birth with people who loves you with or without makeup, is the best gift ever!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too. It's now 2012, and I can't help but be restless and excited for the good things and new experiences to come. I want to learn a new language and actually started self-studying Spanish. I'm slowly filling up my Belle de Jour Planner, and it's hinting that this girl will have a lot in her plate this year!

I wish you nothing but the best, sweeties, and thank you for sticking with me through this blog! All my love!

From the Nook,