Monday, November 29, 2010

FINALLY someone wins the lotto jackpot

After all the talk and the fuss about the 6/55 lotto ... someone and I mean SOMEONE finally won the P740M plus jackpot! Only one person got all of the numbers correctly. Boy, I can't imagine winning all that money in a flash, and by sheer luck. More like divine providence to me. As of this writing, there's no news on whether the winner has been contacted and informed. I hope he doesn't have a heart condition. How do you deal with news as big as this?

Allow me to dream a bit. Yes, I did jump on the bandwagon and asked our driver to fall in line to place our bets. The jackpot was just too big to pass up. In fact, it's never been this big. How can anyone resist the urge to take a chance?

Just for fun, I tried to imagine being the winner and I came up with an impromptu list of things I would do with the money (in no particular order) :
  • Give to the church
  • Put up trust funds for my kids
  • Pay off our insurance and car loan
  • Choose a public hospital and pay for the bills of those who owe the doctors there
  • Build our dream house
  • Buy my parents and brother a property each
  • Invest in a business that will allow me to never consider going back to corporate life
  • Share some to my kids' Yaya who's been with us for 14 years
  • Share some to my family's (retired) "mayordoma" who faithfully served us for over 3 decades (yes, THREE decades --- she deserves a treat, don't you think?)
  • Invest in properties : a beachfront house, a condo in HK, an apartment in NY?
  • Go on a no holds barred shopping trip then SAVE THE REST
Wow. That was good while it lasted. Meantime, there's a person out there from Luzon who's going to be celebrating a very Merry Christmas this year. Please don't be a gambler or drug addict.

Christmas in the City

We deviated from our usual Sunday night routine and trooped to Makati to witness the much talked about Symphony of Lights display at the Ayala Triangle. I should've expected a thick crowd. Sunday evening plus a non-working/no-school holiday the next day? I definitely underestimated it. But the show was worth seeing. Even Sabine who fell asleep in the car on the way there and remained asleep even as we walked to get to the venue, woke up to appreciate all the flickering lights and the background music they "danced" to.

The show comes on every half hour but what time it starts, I'm really not sure. I would recommend going there on a weeknight though. A friend who works in the area tells me a lot of people still go during the weekday but I would assume that weekends are the busiest time.

We wanted to eat in Wee Nam Kee after the show but when we saw how jampacked it was...

We ditched our plans and crossed over to The Peninsula's Escolta to eat dinner quietly there.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Surprise from my Teenager

Now and then, I'd surmise about how my 14 year old has slowly weaned herself from my "clutches". She has discovered a world all her own, which includes her Pep Squad friends, her iPod and cellphone, her laptop and YouTube. Family has become a side priority, more like an obligation. Nothing personal, I know. She's just being a typical teenager and I remind myself of that from time to time.

Just like any typical teenage girl, she dislikes public display of affection, especially if it comes from me or any other elder in the family. The only person she hugs and kisses in public is her 4 year old sister. Other than her, everyone else is off limits. She still depends on me a lot, but more for things like money or shopping, sleepover approvals and the like. There's none of the stuff I've been missing so much...i.e., hugs, kisses, cuddling in bed, etc. I get that a lot from the toddler now (thank God).

Very recently though before she went to sleep one night, I mentioned to her that I would have to stay up to do some work which I had reserved for the very late hours so that I could spend some time with them first before they called it a day. We said our usual good nights and then I was off to deal with my paperwork, with a heavy and very tired heart.

The next morning, I overslept and woke up to find that she had already left for school, but not without leaving this on my nightstand. Despite knowing that I would be facing so many challenges at work, my day was made.

Thank you, big girl for this wonderful reminder --- that no matter how distant you may seem to be, busy discovering yourself and enjoying teenage life --- you still have time to think of me and appreciate the little things.

All White Friday Night

A very hectic (actually lousy) work day almost prevented me from making it to this very special gathering of friends. It was a double celebration : Imo's bridal shower and a bienvenida for LA girls, Deeds and May. Theme was all white. What a simple idea but it call came together wonderfully.

It's a good thing the driver didn't have any evening plans with his wifey (he's not a stay-in), so I used him to get to Paula's house in Valle Verde from the Makati CBD where I was holed up the whole day. Took us 1 hr 45 minutes in Friday EDSA traffic. I was so glad I made it because look at all this food!!!

We had balikbayans so the food was all Filipino. No shot of Hazel's MIL's famous Kare Kare and the Gerry's Grill Sisig (walang kamatayan) which Anna brought. There was Calamansi Juice too, to complete the line-up. For dessert, we had Pichi Pichi. The one thing I kept going back to was the Siomai with quail eggs. Paula ordered it from a place called Tita Len's somewhere in Kapitolyo, Pasig. So good!

Here's the siomai, up close and personal
Photo taken with my BB 9700

Our official group photo for the night in Paula's beautifully-decorated living room
Too bad we're missing one friend ... Cookie who gave birth to baby Martina just days ago

But more than the good food (of which we have a lot of everytime), the one thing I look forward to when seeing this group of friends is the non-stop chatter and laughter. From the shallow to the deep, you name it, we talk about just about anything.

I've been absent in some of the get togethers recently but I'm really happy I made it to this one, despite feeling wasted even before I took that shot of Patron hee hee!

CHEERS to wonderful, genuine, lasting friendships!!!

Looking forward to seeing them all again, this time for our pre-Christmas dinner.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Visit to the ER

Sabine has been to the emergency room more often than Anissa has. The other night, her cough came back. At first, we all thought it was just her allergic rhinitis acting up again. But it got worse last night, even her voice changed. Plus she had developed a temperature of around 37.8. I wanted her and the rest of us to sleep well so at around midnight, I woke Neal up and announced that I wanted to have her checked. We're lucky that Cardinal Santos is a mere 10-minute drive from the house.

When we arrived, there were two other kids slightly younger than Sabine who were being given sponge baths due to fever. Immediately, a doctor came to look at Sabine and told us her lungs were clear after listening to her breathe. But the nose and throat examinations confirmed that she has both rhinitis and a viral infection of some sort. When a nurse took her temperature, I was surprised that it had gone up to 39. I get panicky when this happens because about 2 years ago, she had a febrile seizure at the very same hospital due to UTI. Which means that until she outgrows it (they say between the ages of 7-12 years), she will always have that tendency to convulse whenever her temperature shoots up.

Except for the teary eyes, you can hardly tell she's sick in this photo

Parents know that they can measure a child's overall well-being using their appetite and behavior. Sabine was still her usual talkative self and wanted to move around, not lie down on the ER bed. So to me, this was a very good sign. While the two other babies in the room were the exact opposite of her. The nurse gave her a sponge bath and a dose of Paracetamol to help lessen the fever. Note : I only give my kids Paracetamol when their temp hits 38 deg.

As soon as her temperature went down to below 38, the doctor gave us clearance to go home and a prescription for anti-histamine and a nasal spray. Sabine was restless by this time and kept asking, "Mommy, why so tagal?". She knew there was a McDonald's somewhere in the area and naturally, we all couldn't resist the urge to give in to her request.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shoe Therapy is LOVE

Yesterday's reward after a hectic and extremely frustrating work day
I had previously gone back to the store around three times just to try this on
Finally, I decided to snag it. I left the store feeling (slightly) bad that they didn't have my size in the black patent, because I would have so much use for that, too.

I took these babies on a road test today.

Review : Lip Ice Sheer Color

I've been using this every other day since I got it last Sunday
My observations :

It applies easily. You don't need too much.
It can stand alone. It's got just enough gloss to be used by itself.
(You can choose to wear a light/natural shade of gloss on top of it if you're using it at night)
It has a nice, fruity smell. Not overpowering at all.

The final verdict?
SO WORTH it!!!

(Refer to my previous blog post about prices and other Lip Ice products I bought)

Friday, November 19, 2010

42 and PROUD

I am all of 42 years this year. The past 12 months have been both challenging (to say the least) and awesome. Challenging because I didn't imagine going through something so unexpected and difficult to comprehend. Awesome because windows were opened after a huge door closed. Does that sound proverbial? It's meant to be.

The eve of my birthday was celebrated with my in-laws at my SIL's home. It was a simple family gathering, just the way I like it.

Bought a Mango Torte from Dulcelin
It was so good, no leftover! We got the 9" cake for P600
There's also a 12" version, P900

Here's the whole caboodle before we attacked the cake

On the night of my birthday, after a SUPER TOXIC day at work, my family treated me to dinner at The Stock Market in Bonifacio High Street. It was our first time here and we weren't disappointed. I took photos of all our orders, as usual. But this was mine and I enjoyed it!

Blackened Fish with Creole Rice
Sorry, I forgot how much this dish cost but definitely more than P500

After dinner, I was too tired to go around. Not even the "smell" of shoe stores nearby made me get up from my chair. I just wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet, especially since I knew I still had work to do on my laptop when I got home.

Despite being so tired, I truly enjoyed the quiet time with my loved ones on my birthday.

Thank you, DEAR LORD, for the past year and for the gift of turning another year older
I owe it all to YOU.

(And now I'm craving for Dulcelin's Mango Torte again)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lippie Love

I read Phoebe's blog entry and ran to the nearest store the first chance I got
I went to two Watson's branches before I finally found what I'd been looking for!

I resisted the urge to get all of them but decided to first try the ones that immediately caught my fancy, then just go back for the rest at another time.

First off ... the Color Lipbalm

I chose Candy Apple and Sweet Rose
The third shade, Candy Pink, was out of stock.
These won't hurt your wallet at just P125 each. They glide on smoothly and are quite pigmented, you really don't need to apply too much for the color to show.

Here's what these two shades look like when swatched
Sweet Rose on the left and Candy Apple on the right

Both are good to use in the daytime but Sweet Rose is a tad darker,
so it won't look bad on a night out either.

I did a double-take on the Color Gloss before finally deciding to snag them. I went for two of the three shades: Candy Apple and Summer Pink. The other shade, Pearl Pink, looked too light. I was afraid it wouldn't show any color at all. These also cost P125 each.

They're just stickier than the usual lipgloss but not sticky enough to make you feel uncomfortable. Love the glimmer!

Oh and here's what the applicator looks like

Last but not the least, Lip Ice Sheer Color
How does this work?

If you've tried Smashbox's O-Gloss intuitive lipgloss, Lip Ice's Sheer Color works exactly the same way for a lot less. The balm itself is clear but as soon as you apply it, the color comes out, and the shade depends on how your lips react to the balm. Mine turned out to be a really nice shade that's pinkish-red. Smashbox's high end version costs around P1300 in Beauty Bar while this one costs a mere P145. Such a HUGE saving!

I promise to try all of these one day at a time, starting with the Sheer Color which is my favorite of the lot. Watch out for photos soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The New Hawaii Five-O

Sorry to those who don't belong to my generation. This was a TV show back in the 70's and even as a child I remember looking forward to watching each episode weekly. It actually ran from 1968 to 1980. That's how popular it was. I'm so glad someone thought of reviving it.

Alex O'Loughlin (who starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in The Back Up Plan, which I also watched) is this show's Steve McGarrett. But in the show he plays the son of the original Steve McGarrett played by Jack Lord. His partner, Danny or Danno is now played by Scott Caan. I just love their onscreen chemistry!

I think Alex O'Loughlin is cute. No, cut that. I think he's GORGEOUS.

Even when his face is all messed up

Actor Daniel Day Kim is Chin Ho Kelly. But here's the weird part. In the pilot episode, I was eager to find out who would play the role of Kono Kalakua.

We always used to joke my Dad that he looked like the actor, Zulu who played Kono. I was surprised (more like weirded out) when I discovered that today, THIS is Kono...


This show is now officially in my Top 5 list. I just saw episode 7 of season 1 tonight and it was another well-written one. I'm crossing my fingers that the network gives this one a good run.

Looking forward to next week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Wish List

People have been doing theirs so here's mine

#1 : The new 11" Macbook Air
I've decided to ditch my iPad for this. I've tried doing work on the iPad and it's just not working. I need a real notebook.

#2 : Shanghai shoes from Anthology
Not sure though which color I want/need. They come in black, gold, silver. Hmmm...

#3 : A bottle of cologne from L'Occitane
Green Tea or Bergamot Tea

#4 : A YSL Easy Tote
Quite far-fetched but I want it anyway.

#5 : A Zara shopping spree worth
P10,000. Is that even enough? LOL.

#6 : New straps for my Technomarine and Philip Stein watches

#7 : A new Hermes H belt in Etoupe

The list can go on and on and on but I want to be realistic.
I haven't even bought anything for anyone yet.
Panic time!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Duty Free Shopping in Subic

Our family has been going to Subic for as long as I can remember. At first, there were only Royal Subic Duty Free and Freeport Exchange, along with a handful of other smaller shopping outlets. But if you go to Subic as often as we do, you soon get tired of going to the same old places everytime.Last year, Puregold opened in SBMA and it's been our favorite stop for groceries eversince. It belongs to the S&R group, so if you frequent S&R in Manila, you should expect to find the same merchandise in Puregold Subic. Funny because I'm an S&R member but I don't go as often as I should. In fact, I visit Puregold more.This past (long) weekend, we again went to Puregold as a family. Aside from Halloween treats to give out to the kids in the West Kalayaan neighborhood, we did our usual round and looked for things we could take home.

Here are the highlights of this shopping trip:

Angus Cheeseburgers
8 sandwiches (yes, the buns are included) cost P1,199
They're ready to eat, just pop 'em in the microwave

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches
6 for P790
(in my opinion though, you need to add just a bit more cheese)

Still a highlight even if I resisted!

And lastly

It didn't take much to convince me to get this
One look and I knew
About P500 (sorry I forgot the exact price) for 30 whipped cream filled mini-cream puffs
LITERALLY heaven on earth!!!

Now for this I would definitely start going to S&R here in Manila again!