Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Red Cups Are Coming!

After picking up some stuff from the grocery yesterday
I had to pass by my favorite place to grab my usual fix
A tall Java Chip Frappuccino from the Starbucks branch in Power Plant
Admittedly, I spend a lot more on Starbucks from November to January
Not just because I've been collecting stickers and getting their planner for the past 3 yrs
But also because of their red cups
Sucker? Maybe...
As a sales/marketing person, I should know better
But hey...I'm a consumer first and foremost
And if I want to get sucked in by a marketing strategy such as this
Then so be it hahaha!

The countdown begins!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Friend Asked Me...

What is it that I'm still holding on to that God doesn't approve of? Why hasn't HE answered my prayers? I've prayed for the same thing for years now and I know I shouldn't question...but I'm only human and maybe I'm entitled to feel impatient every now and then.

The question stumped me.

In the first place, I've always believed that God doesn't make a list of all the good and bad things I've done and use that as a gauge to determine what I do and don't deserve. If HE gives me something, I always know it's out of the kindness of His heart, His generosity and not as a reward for something I did that made Him happy. Just the same, he doesn't take things or hold them back simply because we did something to displease Him.

My take on my friend's dilemma is this...if there's something God hasn't given her, that only means it's not time to give it yet. Do you agree? Or maybe my friend's right to a certain extent. But I don't see it exactly the way she does. Maybe this is God's way of telling her something. Maybe it's His way of waking her up to a reality that she hasn't been able to accept. Maybe it's His way of making her realize that there are things she should not be holding on to because these same things will prevent her from fully enjoying the benefits of her answered prayers.

I'm not sure she understood me though.

What do you guys think?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thank God It's Friday!!!

I've never been more thankful for the weekend. This week was totally hectic from start to finish. I didn't see the office, not even once. I was on the road from Monday to today...meetings, presentations, working lunches, conference calls --- name it! If I wasn't on the road, I was sitting down somewhere with a cup of coffee, sending out and replying to emails, working on contracts and what not (thank God for free wi-fi!).

Honestly, I forgot how it feels to be this busy. I'm still not working full-time like I did for 15 straight years before giving birth to Sabine. And even more honestly? The stressful moments I had to go through this past week were peanuts compared to some of the really bad ones I've had to swim my way through in my previous jobs.

The best part of this week though is ending it and knowing that every little bit of hard work paid off each time. In last Sunday's mass, I prayed hard for the succeeding days to be productive. I prayed for all the deals I was planning on closing (or rather...that I was EXPECTED to close). I can't have asked for a more fitting, fullfilling end to this work week and I'm looking forward to just being a lazy bum in the next couple of days --- I think I deserve it!

Beautiful In My Eyes

Last night, Anissa told me a story that tore my heart apart. I instantly remembered the song Beautiful in My Eyes by Joshua Kaddison, which is really my song for her...because no matter how other people see her, to me she'll always be my beautiful Anissa --- inside and out.

"Mom, I wanna tell you something. My friends kicked me out of our group."

"Kicked you out??? Why?"

"They said it's 'cause I'm "epal" and masyadong feeling."
(Seriously I hate this term EPAL and I didn't even know what it means until recently)

I was speechless for a few minutes. Not because I didn't know how to comfort her, but because I was trying hard to conceal my anger. I'm your typical stage mother. I have a tendency to smother my children and practically anyone I care about. But this time I was careful. The stage mom would have reacted exactly the way Anissa didn't want me to. If I wasn't thinking, I would've told her to introduce me to those girls so I could give them a good sermon. Anissa was never the type to start a fight with anyone. In fact, I sometimes feel she's too much of a pushover, a clear reminder of what I was like when I was her age (believe it or not). I asked her what she did when she was told and true to form, she said she didn't do or say anything to them. She even told me that these same girls each apologized to her afterwards, as if to reassure me that they weren't so bad. She's like that. Even in the worst of situations, she manages to see the good in other people, regardless of the harm they've caused.

I asked her how she felt and what she wanted to do about the problem and she said, "Mom, it's okay I told my classmate what happened and she welcomed me into her group so now I have a new group of friends and they're a lot nicer than the previous one." I couldn't help but feel proud of the way she handled it. She was teary-eyed while we were talking and a few times I had to swallow hard to stop my own shallow tears from falling. I didn't want her to see how badly I felt for her because that was the last thing she needed. I'm quite sure though that you can all imagine what was going through my head. I was angry and hurt for my child, who was clearly in pain but didn't want to show it too much.

In the end, I told her she had done the right thing. You don't force yourself on people who don't want you around. It's not the end of the world and she's so young, there will be many other people who will come and go. Eventually, she'll find her real friends. She asked me how I got to know the barkada I've had for the past 20 something years and I told her I had to go through the same thing. There were many disappointments along the way but those instances strengthened me and gave me the gift of discernment --- to know when to let go and when to hold on.

Don't we all wish we could fight our children's battles for them? God knows how much I want to! But no matter how hurt I am to see Anissa struggle, I have to let go and let her do things her own way. I won't be around forever and by stepping aside, I know I'm teaching her a more valuable lesson than by being the one to step forward for her.

But I have to be true to myself to a certain extent ... those bullies will one day pay for the way they treat other people. I'm sure Anissa's not the only one they've hurt.

Ang hirap maging nanay

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Guess Who Chose Her Own Clothes?

She needs to work on her color coordination. But you have to admit...this 2 1/2 yr old did a rather good job considering her age. Except for the Halloween-themed headband from my DM. Everything else she has on in these pics, she hand-picked herself.

Graphic top by Kids of Bayo
Skinny Jeans by Zara Kids
Wellingtons by Plueys

Hmmm...should Mommy be proud or scared?

Tired But Not Too Tired For Food

My 3rd and last meeting ended at 530pm today. 2 hours of brainstorming, I felt so drained by the time it ended. I had to drive to Boni High Street after that to pick up DH because he had a meeting there (we only have one car on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) so by the time we got home, I was exhausted. DM was waiting for us and announced that she wanted to take the kids out to dinner. Oh boy...I honestly wasn't in the mood and was simply looking forward to taking a shower, finalizing my slides for tomorrow's presentations (I have two scheduled, one after another) and watching the latest episode of Gossip Girl season 2.

But when she mentioned that she didn't want to go far, just to Som's which is a hop, skip and jump from where we live, I agreed to go right away. Nothing like authentic Thai food to liven my spirit and cap this busy but super productive day.

We ordered a feast! Tom Yum Soup, Spring Rolls, Shrimp Fried Rice, Mixed Noodle Soup, Pad Thai and Green Beef Curry. Everything was so good and we managed to take some leftovers home! Guess how much our total bill was? An unbelievable P1,200 hehehe!

Tomorrow will be another extremely busy day...and the same goes for Friday. The weekend seems so far away. Can't wait!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Best Part of Lipstick Jungle

I just finished watching episode 3 of season 2 and I have to say...
he really is the best part of this series

Robert Buckley as Kirby Atwood

He makes me dream of being in Nico Reilly's shoes sometimes hahaha!!!
I'm really hoping Kirby and Nico hook up with each other for real

Oh and I just love this dress she wore in episode 2 by
Roksanda Illincic!

Kirby and Nico forever!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Binondo Food Trip

On our way to the opening of the PISCUAA (Phil. Inter School Colleges and Universities Athletics Association) Volleyball League in Manila where Anissa will be competing for the next 5 weekends, a brilliant idea came to me. I've been missing honest-to-goodness Chinatown food for so long now. Especially my favorite, Sincerity Fried Chicken and the dimsum from Wai Ying on Benavidez Street.

I'm glad DH agreed that it was time to go, nevermind if we were both so sleepy from having stayed up late the night before and waking up at 6am today. We braved the Saturday traffic after the league's opening and got to Ongpin at shortly past 9am.


Sincerity Restaurant along Nueva Street
where the famous Fried Chicken is sold, of course! A box of this super delish chicken costs P300 and when I got mine, it was still piping hot!

I kept peeking inside the box to see and smell!


Wai Ying on Benavidez Street

It took us a lot longer than usual to get here from Sincerity with all the one-way streets and the usual Saturday traffic but it was definitely worth the trouble

At 10am, this hole in the wall was already busy!

The intention was to buy dimsum to take home with us for lunch
But guess what...we got hungry looking at what the other customers were eating

I think these aluminum bowls are really weird in a funny sort of way. It's so Ongpin!

This is always DH's default order when we go for Chinese toppings
Spareribs and Chicken Feet

Ready to attack his order but I warned him about keeping those utensils in the boiling water for a little while longer. He has a really weak stomach, that's why.


Beef Wanton Noodle Soup --- piping hot and super yummy!

I don't like fat noodles so these were perfect!!!

Even the soup is so tasty. Not the "dishwater" type.
I finished the entire bowl hehehe.

What a perfect, perfect Saturday!
Thanks for the impromptu date, Hon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Food Review : KFC Shrimp Surfers how should I say this. It didn't taste BAD. But I was slightly disappointed by how oily it was. I got two orders of the 5-piece meal so that the kids won't fight over the shrimp (we're all shrimp heads, if I haven't mentioned that yet).

I think the kids will definitely ask for this again but as for me? Maybe I'll have it when I'm in a mad rush and don't have any other choice.

I love the tv commercial though. That one's a winner!

Meet The Newest Member of Our Household

CUISINART Grind 'n Brew 10 Cup Coffeemaker
I swear I've been wanting this for the longest time! And I can't believe it's finally here, sitting quietly on my kitchen counter I haven't touched it yet. I'm going to spend the morning tomorrow going through the manual to make sure I understand (I'm really an idiot when it comes to these things and my fingers are quite destructive) how it works. I had a crazy thought earlier and I was actually considering putting it in the bedroom hahaha! The smell of coffee while I sleep! Sarap!!! Thank you, C & B ... I super duper love this!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A No Holds Barred Conversation

Anissa really is my worst critic.

This morning on the drive to her school, we were listening to Good Times with Mo as always on 89.9. The topic was parents who don't dress/act their age. They talked about "Embassy Moms" --- those who are in their 40's or 50's but still go clubbing in Embassy. Mojo said these Moms even wear revealing clothes and party like they were still in their 20's or 30's. I felt a slight shiver run up and down my spine. I can't see myself in the clubbing scene at this age. I got tired of it earlier on by going to clubs every single weekend with my friends when we were in college and before we all got married. Today, I can't even imagine being inside a club anymore unless someone pays me a million bucks to do it.

Then Mo Twister made a comment. He said he has never seen a hot-looking 40 yr old. In other words, he was trying to imply that the club is no place for someone in her 40's and up. I then jokingly said, "Hey you haven't met me yet!" As soon as I said that, Anissa looked at me and was stifling a laugh.

ME : Why??? Do you think I look like I'm turning 40 next month?
ANISSA : Hmmmmm....
ME : What?? Do I?
ANISSA : Uhhhh...yes, kinda.
ME : I don't believe you! You're just saying that cuz I'm your Mom.
ANISSA : Nope, you really do.
ME : But why? You know when people meet me for the first time and they find out how old I am, they always tell me I don't look my age. They even say I don't look like I have 2 kids. Why do you think I look my age?
ANISSA : I don't know, I just do. (At this point I think she realized she might get into more trouble so she decided to brush it off and give a vague answer)
ME : Awwww that's sad if you think I look like an old hag, Anissa.
ANISSA : Hehehehe I didn't say that, Mom. I just replied to your question honestly.

LESSON OF THE DAY : You want the absolute truth? Get it from your kids. You want an answer with a little sugar on top? Get it from your husband instead. He'll be too afraid to give you an honest answer

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is It Back?

The last time I got myself a pair was during the Make Your Own Havaianas Event in Rockwell this year. That was months ago. A few years ago, I was buying these babies at the rate of once a week or once every two weeks. The addiction kinda waned a bit but this pair is in YELLOW so I couldn't resist! Is the addiction back in full force?

I guess the real question is...
did it ever go away?

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Apart from an extremely toxic day at work?

Here are some noteworthy happenings today...

I can't believe I'm still at it. Growing my hair out, I mean.
I paid THE master Louis Kee a visit @ Cielo Salon today and had my hair colored because my greys were starting to show (thanks to the premature grey hair syndrome which runs on both sides of my family) and I wanted to get this done by an expert, for a change. Louis Kee was no doubt the person I wanted go to because of all the good things said about him. He really is so good at what he does. I can't wait for his very own salon to open at The Fort by the end of the month. He says that by Christmas he can give me a volume rebond.
Do I smell freedom???

These are what I had for dinner tonight at OODY'S in Greenbelt 3
Thai Rice Noodles with Fishballs and Sticky Rice with Mango for dessert
(I forgot...I ordered a Tofu Appetizer but no pic)
Had dinner here with some good friends but talked too much so no people pics hehe

despite the enormous feelings of frustration I carried around today (I'm not in the mood to elaborate here why), my day managed to redeem itself. Sabine woke up with a cold and mild cough this morning, which turned worse in the course of the day. I was pleasantly surprised to see her still awake when I got home just before 10pm. I happily snuggled up to her in bed and we watched Alvin and The Chipmunks together while she drank her last bottle of milk for the night in between coughs and sneezes. Poor baby. =(

Now that both girls are fast asleep I can finally kick back...relax and enjoy my Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds latest episodes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Moving Forward

The passing of my grandmother last August 27 and then of my cousin last September 25, barely a month apart, have taken quite a toll on my family. It was a lot easier for us to let go of Mama Gran. She lived a full life and went home peacefully to the Creator. On the contrary, we are bogged down by so many questions about cousin, Gabby's passing. We each recalled his 9th day last Friday, Oct 3. I had prayers held at my house Friday afternoon and while I was doing that, my Mom and Tito Bem (Gabby's Dad) were at the US Embassy fixing his papers. He's a US citizen but has been here for a while trying to rebuild his life but was hoping he could leave right away to catch Gabby's vigil and funeral. Soon after praying for Gabby, I got a call from DH who told me that my Tito's papers were okayed and he was booked on the first Northwest flight out of Manila on Saturday. PRAYER ANSWERED! We were all resigned to the fact that he wouldn't be able to make it in time. But despite all the heartache about Gabby's unexpected passing, God was truly on top of things as HE saw to it that my Tito would be able to give his firstborn and only son a proper goodbye.

I just got a text from another cousin who drove all the way to SF from LA with other family members to attend the services for Gabby. They're all there to give Tito Bem the love and support he needs at this extremely difficult time. It was sad saying goodbye to him very early Saturday morning when my DF picked him up from my house to take him to the airport. But very comforting to know that he's not alone as he faces probably the most trying time of his life as he buries his child tomorrow, 1am Manila time. But that is where he wants to be right now and we can only be happy that he was given the opportunity to go.

Hard to do anything from thousands of miles away but I console myself with the fact that our family members in the States will do whatever it takes to try and make things a bit easier for him. I can only pray for strength and acceptance, not just for him but for the rest of us who are pained by the unexpected loss of a very young family member.

Thanks to everyone who offered messages of condolence and comforted us in our time of grief.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Remembering Gabby

It's been a week since we were told of the terrible news that my cousin, Gabby figured in a freak accident in San Diego and died of severe brain damage the same day. Gabby was in the Marines and was enjoying a very promising career.

We've been trying very hard to understand the recent deaths in the family, especially this one and I'm really sorry that I can't fly to the States to see Gabby one last time. I'm a lot older than him as he belongs to a much younger batch of first-degree cousins on my mother's side but family is family regardless of age or distance.

John Gabriel P. Buencamino

Gabby the Buddha Baby

My fondest memory of Gabby happened when he was on vacation here. At the time, he was only around 3-4 yrs old. I was entertaining him and keeping him busy when he got bored, sat down and asked me from out of nowhere : Ati? Are you really happy with your life? And I remember laughing so hard, floored and stumped.
I really didn't know what to say to a toddler with such a serious question.

You were a source of pride and joy, Gab. Moreso in your Papa's eyes. We are all deeply saddened by your sudden and still unexplained passing but we will try our best to remember the many good things about you.

Be safe in the care of Lolo and Lola and the angels who await you

Prayers will be held for you tonight at my house


I am loving these right now! I read about them online and saw many raves from those who use them. I was in Makati yesterday on an errand and made sure to pass by Glorietta to see them for myself. I spent a good 20 mins at the stall trying to figure out which scents I wanted. It was tough!

Anyway, I ended up with 3 scents : White Tea and Ginger, Vanilla Sugar and Banana Bread Nut. The first 2 are their best-sellers so I also got their Room Spray in the same scents. I settled for their Lemongrass scent for the Liquid Soap. I hoarded hahaha!

I opened one of the boxes in the car and now my car smells like Vanilla. It's true what people have been saying. Everything smells yummy and the scents are really long lasting. They're highly-comparable to Diptyque Candles, which are a ton more expensive. The packaging is simple but so attractive. I am definitely giving these away this Christmas!

Check out their website at

Branches are in Glorietta (beside Regatta) and the Podium Mall

SOLE SHOES Panama Strappy Sandals

I first saw these gladiators in their website so when I took a quick trip to Power Plant recently, I made sure to pass by Graxie on the 2nd level to check if they were nice in person =)

I love the color (I originally wanted the gold one but my size was gone) and I'm glad I decided to get this because I wore it last Sunday and walked around the mall but my feet didn't complain a bit. Need I say more? =)

Visit their multiply site at

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bahay Kubo American Version

I almost died laughing when my first cousin, Ria showed me this video of her son, Nikko singing BAHAY KUBO with an American accent! Nikko who is slightly older than my Sabine, was born in California and has never been to the Philippines. Wish you were here so I can make you lamutak, little boy!

Sabine in Zara Kids from Brusselsprouts

This post is for Tita Charmaine and Tita Rica of well-loved Brusselsprouts on Multiply

CHARMAINE, I wanted you to see what I meant when I texted you about Sabine being so tiny talaga because the tee had an almost off-shoulder effect bwahahaha! And I had to crop these photos because she insisted on posing in the area in the garage where all the basura is. Hahahahahahahahahaha!