I’ve Gone Seeking

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Damn Instagram !

I have found something new again…

I need this in my life. Makes everything easier…and i always feel like i’m in heaven. You get high, yes?

I have gone seeking… And i welcome this online shop in my life with arms wide open and with a happy, very happy, heart.

It’s Seek the Uniq.

It’s home to everything beautiful and unique finds. From fashion and beauty to things for your home. For adults and kids alike.

Let me tell you . You’ ve got to be fast ! A lot of their stuff sell within minutes of them posting it. There was a time when i had my phone and tablet with me all the time just to watch out for their new releases, their site on refresh on my gadget ! It’s like a game, really. Whew !

Hey, i was just there awhile ago, those neckpieces weren’t there…and now look ! See what i mean?

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( Photo courtesy of Seek the Uniq )

Those “seekers” are on it… Quite fast !

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Such pretty packaging. I didn’t have the heart to throw away the stickers and tags.

These soaps promise an invigorating sensation…

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Babbles by Piesa by Phoebe

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Now this neckpiece is definitely a treasure !!!

1969 by Joyce Makitalo

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Lovely, aren’t they? The purveyors of the unique are doing a good job hypnotizing me with these stuff . Truly handpicked with so much attention and love.

I know, i know. It’s true what they say…

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Bookworm ( Series 3 : Rated ? Not ! )

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…so i have to venture into the world of adulthood, finally.

There they were, my sisters…spending long hours finishing those novels. Until early hours of the morning.

Am i really over Sweet Dreams? So i tried… and never really liked the first ones. Pardon, but i never finished a Harlequin nor a Mills and Boons novel. I don’t know why. Next, i tried the historical romances they’ve been raving about. And i got hooked !

The authors i like, or rather, love most are Jude Devereaux, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught. No competition. I hate to compare them. The novels are funny, kaka-kilig, kaka-in love, and can always drive me to tears. One of my favorites is Judith McNaught’s Paradise . For months, i daydreamed about Meredith Bancroft and Matt Farrell. I must confess, until now, one of my favorite names are Matt and Meredith.

Then i got intrigued by the likes of Sydney Sheldon and John Grisham. Adult novels are sometimes full of intrigues, if you know what i mean. I read Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks, the hilarious Sophie Kinsella, Mitch Albom, Og Mandino, Philippine Literature, the list goes on.

I thought i’d stick forever to adult novels… but J.K. Rowling came along and introduced the series that i believe brought reading back into the lives of humanity. For a while, the world seems to revolve around technology, computer games and the likes. But Harry Potter came and change the world in just one flip of a page. It brought back people’s love on reading and bring more people to start reading. It is indeed, phenomenal.

My love for historical and adult romances never did go away. But after Harry Potter, my choices became varied. I started reading children’s books and novels for young adults. Even going as young as those of Geronimo Stilton (because my nephew has them ) whenever i ran out of something to read. I have the complete series of The Mysterious Benedict Society, Twilight series, Hunger Games ,etc, etc. I have beauty and fashion books and those on Oprah’s Book Club. From Roal Dahl to Amy Tan to Nina Garcia… The list goes on.

When i was young ,i thought that once i get older i’ll stick to adult books. But now i look at all what i’ve read and those that are waiting on my shelf to be read and it spells “whatever”. From children’s novels to adult ones. I love to read and that’s that.

The bookstore is my go-to whenever i need some cheering up, whenever i wanted to be alone….whenever i feel like it. I go whenever i can…at least once a week. It cheers me and it calms me. I go in there and browse from shelf to shelf, from chidren’s to young adults to adult to lifestyle section. Those times are surreal even if i walked out empty-handed, which is almost impossible. The real treat, of course are those i got on sale!

Whenever i travel , i always make visiting book shops as one of my top priorities. If i can’t find any, i look for one at the airport. To me, travelling is not complete without seeing one.

Imagine my glee when i discovered, well actually my sister’s family brought me to different community libraries in Sydney, when i was there. But that’t another story that i would like to write about.

I realized it’s not about age. If someone loves to read, she/he goes through different phases ( trends, peer or, in my case, sibling pressure…) and then suddenly interests vary, mood changes until you just want to read and read….anything.

Good Taste Has Arrived

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Online shopping is quite a breeze. The downside is…it’s addicting, really. One must develop self-control if you’ re at it.

I have discovered several online shopping sites, but there are only a few that i really trust. This one , in particular, because i have heard it through Tin Dychiao of Manila Fashion Observer.

Taste Central is Heaven-sent ! I am so happy that they brought Australian and organic brand Aesop in our shores. And because the weather has been gloomy lately ( what with the typhoon and monsoon rains crossing our land ), i decided to give in and tried cheering myself up with some clicking and shopping.

This morning, with the weather improving, my parcel arrived.

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What’s inside?

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And because it’s somewhat addicting, i have to go back again…

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They just got to be yours…

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Who can blame me if your items will come fast enough and wrapped in such pretty and clean packaging?

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GOOD TASTE HAS REALLY ARRIVED !

And I am one happy shopper !

Share a seat

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After work, i decided to drop by one of my favorite McCafe for a dose of caffeine and read for a while. The place is packed, as always at this time of the day. Yes, i waited for my favorite couch to be vacated and rushed to it, spilling my coffee in the process, as i overtook a young couple who spotted it at the same time. Hahaha! Bad!

Okay, 5 minutes to enjoying my coffee and warming up on my reading, a woman approached my table and asked me if it’s okay for me to share the table with them. I smiled and said okay. Her hubby, i think, came over with their food and they ate murmuring at each other. I sipped my coffee and read thinking that glancing at them would be unethical , so i paid them no mind. When they left without so much a a thank you for sharing , my eyes started to wander over their leftover food and voila !

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Ugh! It’s so “makalat” !!!

I remember when i was visiting my sister in Sydney, people are used to clearing their own table before they leave any fast food chain. I’m trying to do the same here as often as i can. Here, people can just leave when they’re done leaving it to the staff to clear the table. Some say it’s their job but i think, we can put a smile to someone’s heart by helping even in small things like that. We have no idea how little these people’s income is… I’m just saying…

Saving Skin

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I grew up watching my mother slathering facial cream and body lotion. And i’m very thankful to her for that. Now, although illness took its toll on her body, one can never guess that she’s in her 70’s. I can’t help comparing her to other women who are younger but look older than her.

And if there’s one thing i would really invest in, call it vanity i don’t care, it’s taking care of my skin.

I am practicing a new skin care routine for 2 days now. I read all about it from the blog Manila Fashion Observer It’s the ” No Water ” Skin Care routine. She read all about it from a french blogger Garance Dore whose dermato advised her not to use tap water for cleansing the face. ” No water” means not using “tap” water for washing the face. I was skeptical at first. My skin can be a bit oily and it made me cringed just thinking about not rinsing it thoroughly . But seeing MFO’s glowing skin made me think twice and convinced me to give it a try.

So, 2 days ago i went in search for the products i’ll be needing for my new routine, haha! I rummaged through my stuff for the cleanser ( my on and off liquid soap ) and went to buy the Evian facial spray. And yesterday, since my Kiehl’s Midnight Concentrate is about to be consumed, i bought Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control ( another product that MFO recommends .Read all about her review on it at www.manilafashionobserver.com. Simply amazing and very inspiring.)

I was nervous when i first tried the routine. I was afraid of waking up the next day with a zit !!! But after cleansing my face and putting on the serum , my face felt light… I mean fresh without the heavy feeling . Am i only imagining it because i was excited? I guess not. Still, i went to bed afraid for the dreaded zit.

How i did it? I followed the simple steps as Christine D. of MFO does.
1. I massaged my face with Cetaphil gentle cleanser and wiped it off with a sponge. ( Facial tissue is also a good option ).
2. I sprayed my face with Evian facial spray, left it on for a moment then dabbed the excess.
3. Applied toner ( just in case a bit of make-up was left )
4. Put on serum.

(I opted not to use a night cream these days and decided to put on anti-aging serum every night. I use moisturizer/ sunscreen and now will add my new Clarins serum at daytime. )

I woke up …with no new pimple! Woohooo!

I haven’t noticed any change yet, except for the light feeling after cleaning my face. But i’m sure i’ll be hooked on this. Keeping my skin healthy…saving it from unwanted substances … is one of my priorities,anyway.

P.S. Thanks MFO for that blog post!

P.P.S. Here’s a pic of Clarins Double Serum that i got. And it came with a gift pack. I told myself, for a price like that… I deserve a freebie !!! Available in Rustan’s.

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A Candle in the Dark

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Tomorrow is…or would’ve been the 91st birthday of Candida D. Alcantara aka Lola Canding to those of us who love her very much. My family is like most Filipino families. I lived and grew up with my grandparents. And to me, nothing can beat that.

My Lola is the simplest woman i know. Hindi ko yata namana yun. She lived simply, yes, never complaining through hard times… Always ready with a smile. She welcomed everybody into our home…even strangers ( which caused fear in our part, haha). But yes, she welcomed everyone and offered them food and money ( whatever was left in her hanky-turned-wallet).

I wish i could find the right words to describe how kind-hearted she was. I know it’s in times such as these that i get teary-eyed thinking how i should’ve told her how special she is to me…to us. But i know she would never let us live a life full of regrets… Only lessons learned and happy memories.

I miss my Lola…sooo much !

I like to call her my “Candle in the Dark” . Whenever i’m sad and in times when i have to remind myself to live simply, her memories light up my way.

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Hooray for Today

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I woke up to a beautiful morning today and decided to spend some “me” time before doing some serious work. It’s gonna be a beautiful day !

Armed with my planner and a novel ( The Perks of Being a Wallflower ) , i headed to McDonald’s . I love McDonald’s in the mornings, it’s more peaceful and not too crowded than any other time of the day.

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I saw this on their paper mat and thought… How appropriate … And encouraging. How positive!

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What i did at this wonderful start of a new day? Thank God, of course, checked my planner, read a little, had my coffee and filling breakfast, people-watched a little ( i saw this old man reading a novel by John Grisham… How cool is that? )… I checked my watch and found out that i’ll be late , hahaha, so much for enjoying oneself and time to work on my papers… Yes i decided to work from home. Seriously and honest-to-goodness work from home to get some reports done.

And so, i bid everybody, like McDonald’s, HOORAY FOR TODAY !

A Sunday Affair

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What better way to spend Sunday aside from thanking God for you life and His blessings? Going to a book fair, of course.
The 33rd Manila International Book Fair is still ongoing in SMX Convention Center while i type this. It’s been going on since Friday. Being it far from where i live , i thought i won’t be able to go. But miracles do happen, haha! I told “B” how i wish i could go to the fair. He granted it by letting me borrow Blue with his driver. Woot! Woot!
It’s a bad- weather day but it didn’t dampen my spirits as i jumped to Blue and headed through the “taxi-infested” road to SMX. (Uh-huh, Kuya Pete, my driver for the day , pointed out to me how he noticed that the number of taxi in the streets today beats private vehicles by 5:1. )
The area around the venue is traffic, what with the SALE also ongoing in Mall of Asia just next door. Oh well, off to book shopping and maybe, just maybe, i’ll take a peek at the shops later?
There’s a long line to the book fair. I don’t mind, actually. I don’t really mind not being the only one who loves to read. I love it and it makes me happy whenever i see people reading books.

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Along the line, i saw people in anime costumes. As it happens, there’s another event on Cosplay happening on the 3rd Floor. But most are headed to the book fair.

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Admission fee is Php20.00 for adults and Php15.00 for children. As soon as i entered, i am overwhelmed by a sense of excitement as i saw these people browsing from stall after stall of books. Forget about computers and the cyberspace for a while and enter the world of prints.

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National Bookstore never fails.

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LUCY of Fully-booked, of course.

I saw Goodwill Bookstore and Rex Bookstore… And my reaction was “They’re alive!!!”.

I also saw St. Paul’s and some other religious publishing house. Schools like University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Thomas and Ateneo de Manila University each has their booth. And a lot more!

I came to this area where children are up on a stage and trying their hand on story-telling.

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I had fun , despite the crowd, and spent one and a half hours browsing . I was hoping to find old or second-hand books but walked out with just a couple of novels. I am already tired , dizzy, and ,with so many people, i honestly can’t concentrate on choosing what to buy. While browsing through pages, due to limited space, people keeps bumping into you. And so after a while, i exited, happy with my purchase.

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I went next door to Mall of Asia to take a peek and have my afternoon dose of caffeine and doughnuts. It’s jam-packed !!! I only went to 2 shops. Uniqlo and Muji and had my fill of Japanese retail therapy.

While waiting for my ride, i can’t help feeling glad and thankful that, with the new technology trying to hold even little kids captive, we can always come back to what we have once been.

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Count Your Blessings…

…is my sort of  “mantra” everytime i feel down, sick or angry at some things. I repeat it over and over in my head several times, with lots of inhaling and exhaling.

There are  times in my life when i’m sure i woke up in the wrong side of the bed. When at the start of the day, it seems that everything i do is jinxed. Like not being able to get your hair and make-up done properly, heading out to work and meeting gloomy people along the way, etc,etc.

Today is no different.

I decided to stay home because i’m not feeling well , tried to work on my reports and do some light reading at the same time . The “B” called and asked me to call Pioneer Insurance to follow up his application for the renewal of his car. And because it wouldn’t make me any sicker, i did as i was told. A week prior, “B” told me that the insurance company promised to deliver the policy statement and pick up the payment . I don’t know, “B” is getting impatient because he wanted it to get settled, called many times already and got empty promises.

So i called and was transferred 4x to the “so-called” appropriate department. The woman who answered me doesn’t sound friendly from the start. Very sarcastic, in fact. I am not one to pick up fights so i answered her questions and gave my own questions and concerns in return. Few times, during our short conversation, i was tempted to say ” Miss, bakit ganyan ka sumagot? Napaka-sarcastic mo naman yata?” Haha. But i didn’t. i kept my politeness and composure. Kahit na talagang nag-iinit na ang ulo ko sa kasupladahan nya.

Me: Ma’am, i was just concerned kasi last week pa po ito. At may nakausap na po sya.

The woman : Kaya nga! Kaya nga para maiayos ito ibigay mo sa akin ang number mo…( and she drolled on hinting that the process will start from zero again !)

I gave her my name and number.

The woman: Saan ba pipick-up-in?

Me: Sa bahay po.

The woman: Manila nga?

Me: Yes. Opo.

The woman: Number mo ito?

Me: Yes

Now there is some kind of a trick i know when you want to scare somebody a bit. Getting her/his name. Sometimes, in situations like this one, people get scared because they think that they will be reported to their boss for lack of good conduct.

Me: And who is this, please?

A few seconds of hesitation… hahaha…Gotcha!

The woman: Edna

Me: Edna what po?

Edna : Sanchez

Me: Okay. Is this BPO?

Edna: Hindi ito BDO ( Banco De Oro,the bank ) , wala kami account sa

I cut her off… Now ‘nabibingi na sya’

Me: No, i mean… BPO… you know call centers?

Edna: Ah hindi.

Me: Okay. Thank you!

And banged the receiver.

To some people, it was no big deal. But for someone who is always trying to be polite when dealing with people, i felt mad that i tried to blink off the tears. Yeah, i am iyakin. I called “B” and told him what happened and tried to pacify me.

I wanted to call back and call the HR Department to complain about her and to  teach their employees good conduct . But i restrained myself, telling myself what good will it do.

Then whispered to myself to count my blessings and think happy thoughts.

( I have a confession to make…i googled her name and typed the insurance company where she’s working and found her on facebook. I hope it was hers. I just looked at her, honestly, i didn’t do anything bad. I just looked at her and keep saying count your blessings. Then, i said ” Oh kaya naman pala… ang… (censored)!”  Closed it and thank God for my blessings once more.)

Now i am finally calm. i’m not mad anymore and told myself that with her attitude, let God be the judge.

No matter how long this takes, it never fails. Counting your blessing and thinking happy thoughts will always save the day and one’s sanity.

Peace on earth ! Have a good day and God Bless Us all !

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Reasons to be happy and grateful

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There are hundreds, even millions , of reasons to be grateful. And thank God for all His blessings. I can’t even begin to elaborate… Nor do i know how. I wake up today and was enlightened, once again, for what God has given me and my loved ones. Everyday, He expresses, and reveals, why I am one of His greatest miracles. Through happiness and trials, the Almighty is with me.
I admit, nowadays, amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday … From and to bed, i forgot to thank Him… Or maybe i just don’t bother. The realizations will set in and always, i’ll come back to Him.
I pray hard for many things and understand that if things are meant to be, God will provide. Through success and happiness in everything, i thank Him. Through fear, hardships and pain, i ask His guidance for courage and strength. Through all the times i forget, i ask His forgiveness.
I have all these things, some in excess, i understand, not because of sheer luck but just because when He gives, one has to realize that a lesson is underneath. Material things are not the source of true happiness…

It is always to God that I always come back to, again and again, after all, in my search for peace and true happiness.

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