Saturday, November 24, 2012

What I Learned Today #5

I'm not very proud to say this, but I don't think I'm the nicest person you'll meet. In my family runs some crazy genes that flares my temper quickly and prevents me from tolerating offenses or mediocrity. Let's just say I stand my ground all the time. You'll have a good time listening to my amazona stories. I've had war episodes with taxi drivers, guards, parking attendants, telecom CSRs, store managers. One time, I fought with a whole waray clan in a beach in Batangas. Again, please know that I'm not very proud, and I try my best to be diplomatic as much as I can. I believe in making a point without use of profanity.

Yesterday, I had a meeting with a beloved blogger and friend (hello, Shen!) in Bonifacio Global City. Maybe its because of the season, or the wonderful Christmas lights in Ayala/BGC, or maybe it's the bonus (yay!) but I'm in extra giddy mood yesterday. Therefore, I was also extra nice and kind and friendly. I was smiling all the time! Then I noticed that the people I met were also extra nice and polite. The cab driver from Makati to Fort was a gentle, soft spoken old man, the Starbucks attendant was genuinely interested in getting my name correctly, the cab driver from Fort to Makati was a young car freak who told me proud stories about his fuel-efficient Hyundai Accent. The driver of the shuttle going home made extra effort to avoid the traffic, my usually snob neighbor greeted me by name! My gosh, what's happening to the world? 

Then I realized, it's not them. It's me. I was extra kind, and extra friendly (than usual) and I was probably smiling 90% of the time, and therefore, it created an inevitable chain reaction of kindness and positivity. Sometimes, we're too occupied thinking of what's wrong with other people, but what we don't realize is that humans are interactive beings, we're connected in many ways, and therefore, your actions will somehow determine and affect other people's reaction. 

So, what did I learn today? It doesn't hurt to be extra patient and extra nice to everyone, because more likely, they will return the favor and treat you nicely as well. Or at the very least politely. I mean how many percent of the population are evil enough to repay kindness with animosity? I'm sure there will be some, but they are insignificant. So treat everyone (drivers, service crew, bathroom attendants, CSRs, I mean EVERYONE) with respect, kindness and patience, and they will be good to you, too. And if not, then it's no longer your problem; it's their character being tested, not yours. 

From the Nook,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DIY Facial: Another Reason to Love Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils have been a cult favorite, and every beauty blogger I know and follow at one time or another (or all the time!) sang praises for this product. I'm currently using the Shu Uemura White Recovery EX+ and I'm really really happy and amazed on how thorough it can remove makeup and grime from my face. But I recently discovered there's really more to love about this wonder product. I use this oil before bedtime and whenever I use heavy makeup. It works like magic, especially for waterproof eyeliners and mascara, no tugging whatsoever. I used to be skeptical on applying oil on my already oily face, but true to its promise, Shu Uemura cleansing oils don't feel greasy or sticky after rinsing. What's left is super smooth, supple skin that doesn't feel tight or squeaky. No breakouts, too, which is top priority.

But, there's more beyond its amazing cleansing/makeup removing properties. I read this Kikay Exchange post where the author (Hello, Mommy Jill!!!) described how she saw gritty bits getting dislodged from her pores. I also notice this but never had the time to really observe closer. So yesterday, while printing documents for a potential business (shh! =P), I tried using Shu Uemura White Recovery EX+ and see how it fares on my skin, which at this time, is in dire need of (overdue) facial. 

Here's my simple step-by-step DIY facial.
  • I washed my face with luke warm water using Acne-aid bar soap. I'm a loyalist of Acne-aid because it works with no fuss. It gets the grease out without interfering with any medication/products I use. 
  • I pat (don't rub!) my skin with a soft towel and waited for few more minutes to air dry 
  • I applied about 5ml of Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex+ on my face, rubbing generously especially on the sides of nose which is btw the favorite hangout place of white/black heads and hardened sebum. I always know when it's time to get my facial again when the sides of my nose become stiff and rough. Nasty.
  • I let the oil stay for a few minutes, then rubbed it again with a bit more pressure. Gritty bits started to dislodge from my pores without pain or much effort. Gross but amazing!
  • I rinsed my face with warm water, and was supposed to use a face scrub, but I felt my skin was already super smooth, and decided to skip this step. 
  • I dabbed some anti-bacterial gel on some blemishes/pimples that popped and left exposed, and then finished with a very thin layer of moisturizer (I used Myra-E)

My skin felt super soft and clean, as if I just stepped out of a facial clinic. Of course it's not an excuse not to go to my dermatologist or professional facial salon anymore, but it's really helpful to have a facial alternative in times when I can't squeeze it in my already crazy schedule anymore. Or maybe I'll stick to this in between facial sessions. :) 

Hope you find this useful, and if you'll ever try this method, I'll be happy to know how it goes for you.

Happy, blessed Sunday! 

From the Nook,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'll Take Love Letters Over Flowers Any Day

I mean it. Some might raise an eyebrow to hear that I'm not really the flower type of girl. A suitor back in high school gave me a dozen and a half Holland roses when I got confined for Dengue fever. First thing that popped into my mind:"how the heck did you afford 18 Holland roses? I hope you didn't ask your mom for project money" I thought it was impractical. Second thing I thought of? A handwritten letter would have been so much better. Unfortunately, the card sent with the flowers was, well,  typewritten. 

Receiving flowers is of course, still a nice experience for all girls. I'm not to say that I don't get kilig when my boyfriend sends me one. But if it will be a choice between flowers and a handwritten love letter,  I'll take the latter any day. Or, flowers with handwritten notes is sure to floor me! :) [Yes, Sweetie, I hope you're reading this. Haha.]

I like writing letters, and I like it even better when I receive one. I have a very good friend in the province who used to send me letters via postal mail every summer. He writes funny, struggles with his Tagalog (he's Kapampangan) and uses the most fragrant stationery. He now lives in Paris, but our communication now comes in digital form: Email, Facebook, E-cards.

While I can't deny how digital age has propelled us to greater heights and bridged us with our loved ones overseas, there's still a part of me that feels warm and fuzzy over handwritten letters. It makes me really happy when my loved ones take their time to personally choose the paper to use; to see their penmanship. I might have been a hopeless romantic after all! :p

It's no surprise then why I'm stoked to receive this very elaborate invite from Papillo Fine Stationers

Papillo Fine Stationers aims to bring back the seemingly forgotten charm of letter writing by providing its clients fresh and exciting ways to put their sentiments on paper. Bursting with an array of bold colors, whimsical artwork, and a fashion-forward sense of style, Papillo products lend a sophisticated flair to whatever a client wants written down.

I didn't get to attend the bloggers event because I have to be in a meeting, but fortunately, Papillo offers us to view their entire collection by appointment. Simply call 0929365 2328 or 0918 9369854 and look for Emmylou or Theresa or visit the website for more information.

I'm yet to visit their showroom but I've seen some really interesting stuff from other blogs (Hi, Jheng!). If we happen to go at the same time, please say hi! :)

It's Sunday, have a great time writing love letters.

From the Nook,



Friday, November 9, 2012

Dress Up as Ursula: Check!

I like dressing up; I mean dressing as someone else up. I'm not sure about you, but wearing costumes and being someone else for a day sounds like so much fun to me. It's liberating, and I get the chance to personify characters I adore or can relate with and it provides me an avenue to be extra creative. Though Cosplay is probably beyond me, dressing up for an occasion or event is something I really enjoy doing. 

Fortunately, I work for a creative agency that has a knack on luring its employees to make extra effort during company parties. In my previous company, you can offer the world and no one will dress up other than the expats. What a shame! :( Now is a different story. It takes a lot more effort when you happen to have a million things on your plate, have to run between meetings, but amazingly, my colleagues (and I!) still have the juice to prepare costumes and props. You don't even have to bribe us with anything. Haha. Well, probably free booze will be good. :)

Here's a few times I allowed myself to look stupid and dress the part. Heck, it's fun! :)

First time to try doing artistic makeup
Hosting the Cirque Du Soleil party, Christmas 2011. My peg is...tiketera sa perya!:D
Anniversary Treat: Phantom of the Opera Night. I'm Raoul complete with a cravat! :)
Halloween 2012: Our team decided to be cartoon characters! Pia as Kung Fu Panda is super winner!
Can I just say this is a dream come true? I fancied dressing up as Ursula since third grade! :D

Do you like wearing costumes? What/who did you portray last Halloween? Share!

From the Nook,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gratitude List: A Second Lease in Life


"God is so good. HE points us to the right direction, gives us the right people, blesses us with courage unimaginable and the capacity to love like you've never imagined." 

I restrained myself from posting about what happened to my father until today. My father had a job-related accident in KSA, and stayed in the ICU unconscious for probably the three longest weeks of my life. I got the call from my brother in Dubai while attending the Belle De Jour Fair (how ironic!) I rushed home to break the sad news to my mom.

"He is in the ICU"

Head concussion. Chest trauma. Multiple tubes. Blood. Drain. Unconscious. ICU.

Everything went blurry. We have no one to call and didn't hear any news about his condition for more than 24 hours. I was a mess with swollen eyes and hoarse voice from hours and hours of stress, crying and guilt. Aside from the fact that my father could have been gone, what hurt me the most is the fact that he could have gone without forgiving me at all. How could I not talk to my dad for almost two years? We've had our differences of course, but two years? I am the worst child. 

Mustering my strength and faith, I turned to God and dared to ask for one more lease in life for my father. I can give up anything at that point. My career, my health, my one hell of a pride, my life. But God is truly a merciful One. Despite my shortcomings, He listened.

He surrounded us with good people; people I know, people I rarely know and some I've never known until now. Each one offering prayers for my dad, OFWs looking after him in the hospital and tirelessly updating us through calls and Facebook. Former neighbors who now reside in KSA trying to get to his location for us. Each one served as our anchors of hope, pockets of light during the darkest days in my family. He listened, and He responded.

My father is finally out of the ICU, he is still in the hospital and has to undergo therapy sessions but I know he can make it. He's a fighter. And boy I know now where I got my kind of spirit! 

I was able to speak to him again last night after two long years! His voice sounded like heaven. My dad will come home 100%. Little by little. Day by day. I'm claiming it from the Lord. 

To my family, friends and even those stranger to us, thank you for all your prayers. You did not only help us beg for father's second life, but you also gave me a second chance to be a better child.