Happiness in a Satchel

It can be normal to be self-absorbed if it is your birthday. After all, it isn't everyday that you get stumped by tons of heartfelt greetings. Ms. Kira, the inspiring woman behind Elegantly Wasted, opted for the other way around. Instead of merely celebrating the day just for her self-satisfaction, she went out of her way to prepare a generous giveaway for her readers.

Apart from the fabulous stash that’s at stake, what enticed me to join her giveaway was the question the participants needed to answer. The question made me ponder over the things that I was able to cross out in my bucket list. I am indeed lucky because the giveaway had thousands of entries! Perhaps Saturday is her rest day yet Ms. Kira personally handed me the goodie-filled satchel at The Appraisery:

My Strip Gingerbread Cookie Wax Experience

Waxing might seem a daunting experience but what if you hear the words "gingerbread cookie," "chocolate", and "vanilla cheesecake"? Will you still feel hesitant?

Strip Manila offers waxing sessions that have been inspired by the delectable treats that we all love. A few weeks ago, I was invited to try Strip Manila's holiday-themed offering - the Warm English Gingerbread Cookie Wax.  It's commendable how cozy and inviting Strip's atmosphere is. You will definitely come out feeling refreshed and relaxed. 

Pink Birthday Giveaway (Open Internationally)

This is nothing but a little giveaway to show my appreciation for everyone who reckons my posts worthy of their time. With my birthday coming up in a few weeks' time, I have no plans for myself except the Bears Ending Tears project. 

This giveaway will end on December 5. For the simple mechanics, kindly wait for the Rafflecopter widget to load. I'm likewise looking forward to read how you usually celebrate your birthday! 

Seaside Daydreamin'

For those who are swamped with work and cannot be away for a long time *guilty!*,  there are myriad wonders in the country that are just waiting to be relished. Take for instance Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas. It's a residential resort that's open for memberships although they accept reservations from visiting guests.

While my family has been visiting different Batangas beaches since the 90s, Canyon Cove is perhaps the best one irrespective of the steeper reservation costs.

Birthday Wishlist

It feels heartwarming to watch kids as they blab about their wishes. I believe that regardless of our age, we must never lose that penchant to have faith that our wishes will come true in their own perfect time. 

While I have this list of things which I want to purchase, drafting my birthday wishlist seems more special. This is purely out of fun but with my birthday coming up in three weeks, it does not hurt to light candles in advance, right? 

What's in My Belle de Jour October Box

Following the continuous success of its planner, the Belle de Jour team decided to release another product for Bellas - the BDJ box. 

A Call for Aspiring Hope Givers

A child growing up loved, cared, and nurtured is a wonderful idea. However, not everyone gets the chance to have the components that will make their childhood as remarkable as it should be. Last year, I got the chance to be with kids of farmers in Tagaytay. The lifestyles of these kids are devoid of luxury yet they are happy because they have their families with them. How about those who do not have such kind of fortress?

There are kids who have been abused and abandoned due to the destitute circumstances of their parents. On the other hand, there are some whose future remains unknown due to the looming threats of their illnesses.

Nonetheless, the situations of these kids do not make them less deserving of things that other kids their age enjoy. They might be underprivileged but that doesn't mean that they are not entitled to be cherished. 

Ditching Heels for Vans

It is definitely possible for one to wear heels 24/7. However, doing so might leave your feet bruised, blistered, and tired. Only mannequins have the ability to stand in heels perpetually.  Regardless of my love for heels, there are times wherein I simply want to ditch them and opt for something that's more relaxed.

I've been eyeing Vans for the longest time but I was fraught with doubt. I wondered if there was a way to wear them without appearing too mannish. The trademark rubber soles of the shoes are tempting so before this year ends, I'm making a vow to get a pair for myself. Here are three of my Vans picks and how I'm planning to fancy up using the pairs:

What's in My October SaladBox

SaladBox is the country's first beauty and lifestyle box subscription service. Remember those times wherein you bought a full-sized product only to be disappointed by it? SaladBox recognizes that disheartening feeling, that's why the company gives its subscribers a chance to touch, try, and feel various products through sample sizes. SaladBox is definitely an economical way to experience beauty goodies.  

The box bears a likeness with the elegance of Tiffany boxes.

Belle de Jour 2012 Limitless Fair - Deux

Apart from the unveiling of the planner, what made this event exciting was the lineup of guest speakers. You can really see the effort of the whole team to invite speakers who will surely inspire Bellas. For the 2012 fair, I was able to hear four out of six talks.

Style Me Over by Jasmine Mendiola

 Her talk involved tips on how you could reinvent your style regardless of the presented situations. She talked about the importance of timelessness in dressing up.

Belle de Jour 2012 Limitless Fair - Un

A planner is not just a mere compilation of paper sheets, it's a lifestyle. When you're a BDJ girl, it's as if you are a part of something inexplicable. No, it's not a cult-like thing but BDJ has this way of empowering its Bellas. Whether you're a true-blue planner user or simply a curious gal, the yearly BDJ fair is something which you shouldn't miss.

Are You a Brayola Babe?

Five years ago, I remember watching "The Secret History of Bra" on the National Geographic channel. The transition from corsets to quirky brassieres was so interesting. Who would have thought that brassieres could own such a highly-engaging story?

Can you still breathe, girls?
Like shoes, a woman can never have too many brassieres and at times, this is where the problem comes in. How do you know your exact cup size? Which bra is appropriate for certain occasions? What is the specialty of each brassiere brand?

I have my own shares of terrible undergarment stories – bras that look horrible under fitted shirts as well as bras that caused me backaches. This is why I’m happy to find out about Brayola – the first and only bra network wherein women all over the world can share insights about their loved brassieres. This is how Brayola works:

Brayola carries extensive brassiere brands like Agent Provocateur, Wacoal, Marks & Spencer, Maidenform, Chantelle Paris, Le Mystère, and Victoria’s Secret. After setting up your profile, you will have your own virtual bra closet that’s filled with recommendations appropriate for your size and needs.

Each time you add a new bra to your closet, you get to earn 2 points. Actual purchase gives you 7 points and if you invite your friends to join Brayola, you will be awarded 3 points. If your points reach 100, Brayola will send you your favorite bra for free!

Another thing I admire about Brayola is its ceaseless support for breast cancer awareness missions. Purchase of participating brassieres will increase the donations to breast cancer researches. With Brayola, you will discover your next favorite bra without spending hours inside the fitting room!

To get your FREE Victorian-inspired bra closet, you may visit Brayola for the creation of your exclusive profile. The company likewise has a blog which is filled with appealing brassiere news from Cosmopolitan’s controversial breast cancer campaign to bra tricks.

What’s your go-to brassiere brand?

Scent Review: Katy Perry's Purr EDP

Katy Perry's Purr is something that definitely reminds me of Daisy Dukes and bikinis. The scent's flirty which can be worn day and night. As a fan of sweet and dreamy scents particularly vanilla, Purr did not really appeal to me at first. Anything that smells fruity-floral somehow makes me cringe. I thought Purr was another scent that would remind me of those migraine-triggering car fresheners. Thankfully, the scent was not noisome at all.

Au Revoir, Multiply

A few months ago, Multiply's CEO Stefan blazoned out that Multiply will be closing its blogging services and instead focus on the site's strength as an e-commerce portal. This news somehow pained me because Multiply served as my first "relief valve"It was the first one which understood my musings as a fifteen-year-old college freshman who used to be nine hours away from home. I understand that there's no point in sniveling because that's the way how things are - you just have to relish them while they're existent. 

Stylish September Accessories Giveaway (Open Internationally)

Hi dolls! If you're like me who has a penchant for accessories with vintage appeal, then you might want to join this giveaway. Up for grabs are six pieces of accessories apt for your stylish September! Consider this giveaway as an outlet of my excitement knowing that Christmas is in a few months' time. For you to join this giveaway, kindly refer to the Rafflecopter widget below. One winner will be picked on October 19. Thanks and good luck! 

Clever Finds: Barbie Trinket Holder Turned Make-up Case

In my line of work wherein you'll never know which event will come up, it truly pays to be equipped with the basics. This is why I love my ever-reliable LV Speedy to bits. It doesn't look elephantine but it can hold my essentials - from my laptop down to my rollable flats. As one of my schoolmates quipped before, "Your bag's a monster!". When it comes to make-up cases, my standard is pretty much the same: choose something that's roomy but not bulky. 

Disney Stars Remarkably Rockin' Manila

If there’s something that I cannot forget about Disney, it is its unexplainable effect to people of all ages. Whether you’re four or forty, the happiness of Disney’s whole gang is so contagious! Yesterday’s Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin' Road Show was so delightful that even the soft-spoken girl in me couldn’t help but holler out. Ready for some Disney star-sighting?

Beauty Review: Oryspa Champorado Scrub

One of my guy friends once grumbled, "Can you enlighten me why women have a lot of anik-anik when they're taking a bath? It's just cleaning yourself!" The anik-anik pertains to the paraphernalia women make use of when they're bathing. I remember stifling a laugh and disagreeing that bath time wasn't just a cleaning routine. For me, it's a time to think. You go into the washroom drearily and step out feeling like a recharged Super Girl. 

What Your Purse Says about You

Bags will always be great obsessions of a woman. She treats them as precious possessions that call for their own pamper-me times (oh hello, leather cleaning!). While bags can be reckoned as mere indulgences, do you know that they can likewise reveal something about you? 

I came across How to Tell a Woman by Her Handbag penned by Kathryn Eisman. Her witty book aims to uncover what bags tell about their carriers - from the satchel-clutching corporate women to the Hermes-carrying heiress. In Eisman’s view,  these bags say something about their owners:

Slouchy, oversized bags

Laters, Baby: Four Guys I Envision Saying This

What if you find yourself entranced by someone who's just too different from you?

This is the conflict in E.L. James's "50 Shades of Grey" which  in a matter of three months has emerged to be one of literary world's "controversial" books.  Some people think that the book is merely a Twilight ripoff only with different characters in a normal vampire-free world.  Others think that the trilogy is titillating but still lacks depth. There are those who see the books as nothing but over-hyped and adjective-repeating novels. I have so-so feelings for the trilogy (although I loved the last book, Freed) but for it to generate these buzz-kills, it means that it is interesting in its own way.

I think one of the factors that makes the book so gripping is Christian Grey himself. He's this man whose tortured past fuels him to be a controlling person in so many ways particularly behind closed doors.

The author herself confirmed that there's an upcoming movie adaptation. Even if there's no word yet about the characters, the cast will definitely make or break the movie. Speculations about the actor who's gonna play Mr. Grey are rife.  I'm not in any way a casting director but surely it's fun to take a guess. 

Ryan Gosling aka The Man with the "Photoshopped" Abs in Crazy Stupid Love
Doesn't he look dapper in a suit? Every inch of him radiates the appeal of a 
business magnate.

Marry Me at Marriott?

Hi lovelies! Who disagrees that weddings are not magical affairs? Regardless of a wedding's simplicity, the thought and effort put into it are amazing. I had the chance to attend a wedding fair at Marriott Manila last August 25. It was a two-day event exhibiting the country's classiest wedding merchants. From wedding bands to layered cakes, everything that will make a to-wed couple's heart giddy was there. 

Pseudo Zookeepers for a Day

My dad has this belief that failing to love animals means that one part of you remains unfulfilled. As much as we want to have 10 dogs in our house, my mom does not really find the idea fascinating. For her, having two spoiled dogs is already a handful. 

Seeing animals is something that my dad, brother, and I are fond of doing but going to zoos? Not so much. Imagine caged animals with their helpless eyes expressing sadness. Not an attractive picture, isn't it? However, Residence Inn in Tagaytay is quite different (although cages are still present).
Like a boss, baby Neyo?

BTS for AVA's Shoot + Pieces That Make AVA a Mesmerizing Marketplace

Here's a quick peek of what took place last Saturday at Bulb Studios for AVA's InstaGlam shoot. I'm thankful beyond words to meet the wonderful and talented team behind AVA. Not only it is the home of beautiful things but of nice people as well! Despite my jittery demeanor (coffee+sleepless night+two-hour drive = not a healthy combination at all), I never felt any pressure from the whole team. 

Glamorous Veronica & Girl-Next-Door Betty for MAC Cosmetics

When I was nine, there was a box underneath my reading couch containing different comics about Archie and his gang. Two characters that I'm truly fond of are Betty and Veronica.  These two girls care for each other so much yet for some reason, they also live up to the endless blonde-versus-brunette rivalry.  Maybe it's just me but Betty and Veronica's friendship reminds me of Serena and Blair! 

Ian Somerhalder for Penshoppe: The Man behind the Dreamy Gaze

To say that Penshoppe is surpassing its limits when it comes to endorsers is an understatement. In less than a year, Penshoppe was able to snatch some of Tinseltown’s hottest stars to represent the brand. Just when I thought Penshoppe’s done with its mission, news circulated that another male-slash-hot commodity would be in town.

Lo and behold, it’s Ian Somerhalder! Even if my heart longs for the ever-compassionate Stefan, this older Salvatore never fails to intrigue me. Tell me, who can resist that gaze?


Shop Spotlight: H.E.A.R.T. by Artistic Dreams

It isn’t everyday that you encounter a one-of-its kind range of products that will make you want for more. In the midst of monogrammed bags and satchels, the hand-painted totes of H.E.A.R.T. effortlessly stand out. Each collection never fails to capture the fancy of people who want to arm themselves with distinct yet dainty pieces.


Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin Contest Winner

Hi THG devotees! I’m pretty sure each one of you appreciated the film. Like the usual, some scenes deviated from the book’s story (e.g the pin’s origin) but THG’s still one of the few films which never lost its essence despite the remake.

I’m so sorry for the one-week delay of the winner announcement. It was definitely a tough task for my brother to read all 30 meaningful entries. As he puts it, “Pang beauty pageant Q&A portion lahat ng answers.”  After much deliberating, he chose this answer:

“If I could save one dead Tribute from the Hunger Games, that would probably be Thresh. Thresh for me is a character that stood up in the near last pages of the book; no one knows how he died, but it must have been a death more like of Rue: a heartbreaking one. Thresh for me is a character who has a brotherly-like characteristic, because when he learned that Rue had died in the hands of a career upon hearing Katniss' and Clove's conversation during the feast, he was so aggravated about Rue's death that resulted a fatal blow for Clove; a sign that he must have cared a lot for little Rue. Deep inside of him, Thresh is someone who has a big heart, sensitive and cares for the welfare of other people despite his facade of a person with a strong demeanor. If he lived throughout the series, he will be such an outstanding comrade, a loyal companion, a dear friend and even a protective brotherly figure for Katniss Everdeen.”

Congratulations Rosemoon Abadilla!


Wardrobe Makeovers of Your Well-loved Disney Characters

Gone are the days wherein characters from Disney are only clad in frocks. Disneybound gives a new meaning to “castle couture” by creating fashion boards inspired by storybook characters. Hundreds of styles are posted on the website but here are the ones that caught my fancy:

Dream-sprinkled Cupcakes

What’s more heartwarming than spending a Saturday with your face smeared with flour and your hands spattered with icing while kids excitedly recount their dreams? 


As the Balloons Stand Still

I can vividly remember that night before the 17th Hot Air Balloon Festival. With my excitement meter crazily swaying, I made sure that my bag’s fully-equipped. Camera, check. Wayfarers, check. Binoculars, check. I even felt a tinge of regret for not buying the zebra-printed kite from Toy Kingdom. But then, there’s no way I would spend a thousand bucks for a throwaway embellished kite.

Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin Giveaway

Disclaimer: Enter only when you’re a true-blue THG lover.

Ten days from now, The Hunger Games will finally unleash its brilliance onscreen. Millions of fans worldwide will have a mind-blowing treat because the film’s running time is 142 minutes! I’m thrilled to watch how the creators will give life to the happenings in the arena. Katniss and Peeta’s love story’s unfolding in the midst of the fierce battle likewise excites me. The only thing that breaks my heart is that Finnick’s not yet in the first film. We still have to wait until November 2013 (Catching Fire’s slated release) to have a glimpse of him. Since the Mockingjay symbol plays a pivotal role in the trilogy, Laces and Tiaras will be giving away something reminiscent of it- a pin! The prize will be purchased from Junkyard.


A Glimpse of the Super Sale Bazaar 2012

Clothes, cosmetics, bags, shoes, and keepsakes at discounted prices. These are the reasons why the Super Sale Bazaar continues to be a smashing success each year. With over a hundred stalls that retail stylish and quirky finds, a shopper can easily be overwhelmed (and have an abused wallet ;p). This year’s bazaar happened last weekend at World Trade Center.