Friday, November 28, 2014

The Lucky One

There is a song that goes, "You hold me like I'm the one who's precious. I hate to break it to you, but it's just the other way around. You can thank the stars all you want, but I'll always be the lucky one."

It isn't one of "our songs", but it's my husband Julz who I think of when I listen to it. People who know me but don't know my husband are quick to say that he is lucky to have a wife who's independent, self-assured, and successful in her own career. I guess they assume that I got here all by myself.

Well, nothing is farther from the truth.

It is because of my husband that I am where I am. I will never tire of saying that Julz has given me a life beyond what I had planned for myself 10 years ago. It is a life that allowed me to decide and eventually do what I really, truly loved doing. He put me in a place where I can take control of my professional path and thrive in my chosen career. And because he granted me the freedom to be my own boss, so to speak, Julz (perhaps unwittingly) gave me the luxury of being able to be a hands-on mom and see our kids grow every single day.

That is to say, Julz gave me the life that I didn't even know I want.

More than that, my husband has never wavered in his faith in me. Sometimes, I myself wonder if I can really do what he thinks I can do, or if I am all that he says I am. But even then--even when I doubt myself--the validation I get from Julz assures me that whatever I choose to do, I will have one man in the crowd who will stand up and root for me.

It is our 5th wedding anniversary today, and there is nothing else I want other than to let him know how sincerely grateful I am that on November 28, 2009, I married my bestfriend, the love of my life, and now, the main channel of God's blessing of prosperity, love, and faithfulness.

You really are my answered prayer, Aims. I love you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting Vanilla Bean-ified with Keratin Complex

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for me that I could only schedule non-work stuff during my lunch breaks. But when Piandre and Nuffnang invited me to the salon's KeraGirl Media Party, I could not resist! I need this break!

As they say, if there's a will, there's a way! I managed to squeeze this little but super fun event last Monday, and I am soooo glad I did!

It was my first time in Piandre's BGC branch. Since I usually drive for myself, parking space is always a big deal for me... so I absolutely loved that Piandre BGC was right beside a parking lot! (Babaw moment, hehe!)

Of course, the perfect location is just icing on the cake. The salon itself gets a two-thumbs up from me! Piandre BGC is tastefully appointed--not a lot of frills, just class. Exactly the way a salon should be!
The interiors of Piandre BGC. Clean, spacious, classy! Image from
As soon as I plopped in one of those surprisingly comfy chairs, I decided to put all thoughts about my pending cases on hold (hehehe) and psych myself up for my treatment: the Keratin Complex Vanilla Bean Infusion Therapy (aka the Vanilla Bean treatment). I chose this because I felt my hair needed a "tune-up" since getting my Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy two months ago :)

Yes, I am and have been a loyal "KeraGirl" since the treatment and products were introduced to me sometime in 2011. This loyalty is spawned by necessity (I have thick, wavy, frizzy hair! LOL) and a whole lot of satisfaction with the Keratin Complex brand. 
Ok, that's NOT me. Hehe. She's one of the hair models that day who had half of her hair treated with Keratin Complex Smoothing treatment, and left the other half untreated. Can you see the effect? Amazing! 
This is the first time, though, that I am trying the Vanilla Bean therapy. It is a deep conditioning treatment designed to help infuse keratin to the hair to nourish it making it smoother and shinier. My favorite part about it is that, true to its name, it has "aromatherapy packed spheres of vanilla beans" which helped make the whole treatment relaxing and enjoyable.
The treatment came with a head-and-shoulder massage... just what I needed after an entire morning slumped in front of the computer! 
The Vanilla Bean therapy complements the Smoothing Therapy I had and should prolong its effects. Crossing my fingers on that because I really love what Keratin Complex did to my hair! My formerly unmanageable hair is now soft, smooth, and easy to wear. I haven't had to stress about it anymore! 

This could be your lunchtime treatment! Quick and easy. Your stylist will apply the Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioner on your hair, give you a massage, then blow-dry for optimum results!
My AFTER shot. I think it's safe to say that I went to my afternoon meeting oozing with confidence! Hehe.
They say that the hair is one's crowning glory, and to some extent, I think that's true. How we fix our hair is a big factor in how we present and package ourselves, which in turn make a huge impact on our self-confidence as well as other's perception of us. I always tell my staff in the office that although image is not everything, it is a big thing especially when you're out to market yourself as a competent and able professional. Agree? :)

Anyway, here's even more great news: the Keratin Complex Smoothing Treatment that I so love actually got better! The new and improved treatment now has glycolic acid which helps make the hair smoother and healthier! The coolest part? No more downtime! You can wash your hair the same day you got it treated! Hurray! So give yourself a gift this Christmas and get a Keratin Complex treatment at Piandre :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bag Crush

As a young girl, I used to wonder why my mother carries only "mommy bags"-- those huge totes that can probably hold all our furniture. Haha #exagg

Now a mom myself, I totally get her. I love big bags!

But look, there's a teeny tiny bag that I have been swooning over for a couple of months:

Bottega Veneta The Knot

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Swarovski x Rustan's

A couple of Saturdays ago, I got invited to the glitzy launch of Swarovski's Fall/Winter Collection. If you know me, you'd know I love bling-blings and accessories and all those sparkly eye candies on our ears, necks, wrists, and fingers... you get my point! ;) So of course, I did not pass up the chance to be one of the first few witnesses to the new Swarovski pieces!

Professional images by Alex Van Hagen
Other snapshots taken from various iPhones. Hehehe.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm Free in My Skin!

I am no celebrity, but I do try to take care of myself properly especially since I became a mom and more so when I turned 30. By then, I realized I am accountable to my family now and that I need, first of all, an able body and a happy, confident disposition to serve my husband and kids.

While at it, I’d like to feel empowered by being proactive about how I look...starting with my face! After all, it’s what my kids touch and feel when they squeeze my face in their cute, tiny (often messy) hands!

I always say I never had flawless skin growing up, and it’s true til now. However, thanks to great, accessible products and a truly trusted dermatologist, I am grateful that I am not doomed to suffer skin problems my whole life! 

Here’s a photo of the products I regularly use. They look a lot, but I promise, it takes under 10 minutes to put everything on.

I start cleaning my face by taking off makeup with my favourite Happy Skin Make A Clean Sweep makeup remover. I then follow this with Physiogel Cleanser. I like these two cleansing products because both are effective in taking off even long-lasting concealers and all-day dirt on my face--without drying my sensitive skin

Step three is toning. I didn't bother with this before because all the toners I've tried just dried up my skin. Not good! Now, I use SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. It's not strictly a toner, but who cares? It works perfectly to gently balance my skin... so I guess it does the job for me!

After this, I spread a drop or two of Shiseido Ultimune, the magic potion I got from Patty and Alessa's Japanese Crafternoon session a few months ago. I love this product! I honestly think it has made my skin healthier! 

Then, I lock in the moisture with Physiogel Cream. I can skip toning on some nights, but moisturizing is something I cannot miss...what, with skin aging (wrinkles!!) around the corner (I am 31!). I use Physiogel these days because it's gentle and it's non-comedogenic too, so it doesn't clog pores and cause acne. 

So that's my "beauty regimen" at night. In the morning, I further cut it to 3 steps: cleanse + moisturize +  sunblock. On hot, humid days, I skip the moisturiser and apply a light hydrator instead. I am loyal to the DCL brand for this.

Perfect skin is still a dream for me. But at least, I'm no longer a prisoner of skin issues and insecurity. I like how Physiogel puts it--free in my skin. Yes, I'm that mommy! :)

A few of my favorite mommy moments: (1) Jaden with his hands on my face. (2) Our family in Chicago (3) Practicing Sophia's walking skills! Little-to-no makeup in all three... yet I still felt happy, pretty, and free!

I got a little surprise this morning! Before I could even publish this post, my bff Patty wrote about her Mom-spirations... and it made my day to see my name in it! Ang sweet! Read her post here! :) Thank you, Patty!

Okay. Now, I would like to pay it forward, too! I am tagging these three confident and empowered women--my sisters! Kai who is spearheading an organization for the empowerment and development of public school teachers in the Philippines, Laura who has literally sailed through the seven seas and is bold enough to set her sights on the world stage, and Angel who is currently in med school, incredibly driven to achieve her goal of being a doctor. You don't have to do anything--this isn't a chain letter! Hehe! I just wanted you to know that I think you three are smart, strong, and sensitive girls! I'm a proud ate!
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