Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cheap Find : Sugar Kids Shoes

It was my Mom who first bought a pair from Sugar Kids for Sabine a few months ago. I was so amused because the style was so cute and I was even more amused when I saw the price tag. It didn't cost more than P300. My Mom has gotten a couple more pairs for Sabine since then. But because I don't really go to SM unless I absolutely need to, I was only able to see their styles for myself yesterday. I had to go there to grab a pair of violet knee high socks for a costume that Sabine had to wear to a school program today. After trying out several styles, she zeroed in on this one. Yup, I can't decide on shoes or clothes for her anymore, especially when she's shopping with me. She likes choosing her own stuff now. Sigh.

The shoe's upper is made of canvas, the piping and bow accents in faux leather. This pair cost me a little less than P500 and they look so good on her. I have to admit, most of her choices render me speechless. She really knows what she wants! I would've gotten a couple more pairs for her but they didn't come in their size anymore, plus we were rushing. 

I know this pair might not last very long, not as long as her Crocs, because of the very friendly price. But if she gets to wear them 6 times or more, I'll be happy. The price points on this brand are perfect for growing feet like hers. Will definitely grab more next time I'm in an SM Dept. Store.

Mommy Challenge : Raising a Teen

I don't recall everything about my teenage years. All I know is that it was (obviously) so different back then. Things like reasoning out to your parents was totally unacceptable, even if you use the calmest and most respectful tone and approach. Children were simply not to be heard from. It was our duty to obey, without questioning. Back then, when you ask your Dad or Mom why you're not allowed to go to a party, they simply replied, "Because I said so!" and that was it, end of discussion. These days, telling that to your teenager is like asking for it. It's tantamount to opening Pandora's Box. You can expect that a never-ending discussion will follow. 

I have a 16-year old daughter. She turns 17 in a couple of months. She is at the peak of her teenage life. Although somewhat of a late bloomer in other aspects (I thank God for this), she is every inch your typical teenager. When at home, she is locked up in her room wearing her headphones and listening to music, practicing a dance routine for a performance or competition, chatting online with her friends, on the phone or asleep. She reappears only when it's time to eat. As soon as she's done, she excuses herself and retreats into her "cave" again, until it's time for the next meal. Is this scenario familiar to other parents of teens? I'm sure it is. My own Mom says I had the habit of keeping to myself in my room too, at this age. The only difference is I didn't have too many options as far as what to do was concerned. The internet didn't exist, no cellphones either. There were only 6-8 channels on TV. I think most of my time was spent on the phone, that is, until someone else had to use it. 

Other than these frequent "disappearing acts", there's the attitude issue. TEEN ANGST. 

Urban Dictionary defines Teen Angst as : 

When teenagers, for any number of reasons combined with their hormones and stress from school, get depressed. Contrary to popular belief, some teenagers actually do have it rough and have to deal with sh*t most adults don't have to. Other teens don't and just like to pretend they do.

Hahaha! I have a strong feeling this was written by someone who's going through it, or has just gotten out of this stage. Here's another one that's obviously by someone much older, maybe a parent like myself? 

A very serious non-existent mental condition that medical doctors tend to confuse for bi-polar disorder. Solely giving teens a reason to b*tch and moan about nothing important.

Anyway, why am I writing about this today? Ahhhh because you see, I'm realizing that this is my biggest challenge as a parent right now. It's really no joke having to deal with this on a daily basis. It sometimes tends to take the wind out of your sails and can leave you speechless and staring into empty space for long periods. Most of the time, you question your own parenting skills. I do this quite often, especially when I'm alone, right after a "discussion" with my teenager. I've been accused of saying hurtful words out of frustration. This, no matter how cautious I am about my approach. I'm really honest and not fond of the sugar coating technique. But with my teenager, I come across as intentionally hurtful (see Teen Angst definition please). And it goes on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny, without direction. Oh ... there IS direction, forgive me. It goes around and around and around until one of us gets tired and throws in the towel. Most of the time, it's me. (I'm sure if she sees this, she'll go ballistic and say it's she who always has to give up)

So the next question would probably be ... what does a parent do? 

My biggest parenting motto has always been : Hate me now, thank me later. 

While it hurts me to the core to see my kids get hurt --- regardless of who causes it --- I'm also a firm believer in building a solid foundation for them. What's most important to me is when they're old enough to be let go of, they'll have a chestful of values and lessons to take with them. When my time is up and I have to permanently leave this earthly world, will I be able to rest well, knowing that I've done my part to fully-equip my children for the many years they will have to live without me or their Dads? Even if I don't know when this is all going to happen, I'm already so obsessed about it. 

I'd rather hold the Bad Cop title than regret anything when my children are a lot older. They can hate me all they want while they're growing up, because they don't agree with my parenting style. But I know in my heart that one day, they'll thank me for everything I've taught them, regardless of all the tears they cried out of frustration for having a Mom who constantly nagged them about always doing the right things. 

How I sometimes wish I could fast forward to that day. Then again, that would mean I would have grandchildren haha! It's so true, though. I believe I only began to truly value my own mother when I gave birth to Anissa. Mom waited so long for us to be friends but I'm sure time flew by so quickly for her. One day, I know Anissa and I will be the same. My Mom and I are the best of friends today. I can hardly wait.

Hopefully, when my second round starts (I still have a 6-year old, remember?), I'll be such an expert I'll be doing this with my eyes closed. Fingers crossed!

Do I see other Mommies nodding their heads and raising their hands? Speak up if you're one of them!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Price Tag on This

Last weekend was busy. We had an (garments) Export Overruns Sale at home which was our first venture. Then on Sunday, we had to be in school to support the girls. Thanksgiving mass at 730am (yes, you read that right!) then Sabine's Talent Fest. In the afternoon, Anissa's dance crew (Terpsichore) guest performed in one of the programs. The school fair was also ongoing and as expected, I had the task of going on the rides with the 6-year old. N is my exact opposite when it comes to these things. Whenever we find ourselves at a theme/amusement park, you can be sure I'm on all the scary rides with either my children or our nieces and nephews, but never ever with him! Anyhoo...

Since it was too hot to be outdoors, I told Sabine we would go on 2 rides : the one that looked like Anchors Aweigh and the (ever present since my time) Caterpillar, no more than that. She had been wanting to go on the Octopus but HELLO. The thing looked like the same one I used to ride in High School. No improvement at all. So that was a huge NO. Then she said she wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel. Sorry, baby, Mommy likes scary rides but only likes the FAST ones. Slow rides make me really dizzy and can trigger a Vertigo attack. I'm being honest here, unlike N who keeps saying his back is painful every time I mention the words roller coaster. Yeah, right. Blah blah blah.

It was scorching hot because we got out of the complex after the Talent Fest at almost noon. But looking at these photos reminds me of how worthwhile it all was. I can still hear Sabine screaming every time the Caterpillar dipped. This girl is quite the daredevil, raising her arms on the Anchors Aweigh ride when it was our turn to go up. 

They say it's the really cheap kind of thrills or the super shallow moments that touch and warm your heart as a mother/parent, and I would have to agree. Especially if these moments always end with a, "Mommy, that was so much fun! I wanna do that with YOU all the time! I love you, Mommy ko!". Which is what Sabine told me as we left the fair, hand in hand. 


Monday, January 28, 2013

What happened, AI?

When did I stop watching American Idol? As soon as it ceased to be a talent contest, I guess. 

Let me backtrack ... 

Kelly Clarkson
Reuben Studdard
Fantasia Barino
Carrie Underwood
Taylor Hicks
Jordin Sparks
David Cook
Kris Allen
Lee DeWyze
Scotty McCreery (eeew eeew eeew)
Philip Phillips

From Kelly Clarkson to Jordin Sparks. Those are the seasons I watched every week, from start to finish. Those were the seasons my work colleagues and I would talk about non-stop even in the office, short of placing bets on who would be sent home on a particular week. After Jordin Sparks won, my interest in the show went downhill. 

After that year, my excitement seemed to dwindle, and it did a little bit more with each succeeding season. This year, I haven't seen a single episode. I'd rather start watching a week or two before that final night at the Kodak Theater. 

Who are the judges this year? I keep seeing Mariah Carey's name in tweets but I'm not sure. That's how updated I am haha! I noticed, too, that ever since Simon Cowell left the show, a lot of my one AI-addict friends have said, it's just not the same anymore. I would have to agree! 

I like Jennifer Lopez. I admit, she was the main reason I watched some of last season's shows. I always wanted to see what she was wearing or how her hair was done.

Photo credit :

Photo credit : Google images

I'm not exactly a fan of Paula Abdul but I really miss this bunch, don't you? 

Anyway, the new season just started. I'll catch up when it's down to the Final 3.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meet The New Make-Up Kit

What a relief to finally find something that suits me! I've looked online and in the malls and always ended up either disappointed or in doubt. I've never bought anything from RenegadeFolk before. They have so much in their website but this was love at first sight.

2 roomy zipped compartments for everything I need and a little bit more. I didn't take a photo of the 2nd compartment but it's where I put my brushes so they don't all have to be in one place, elbow to elbow.

I chose the one with the leopard print just because :) 

There are, I think, 4 other accent colors to choose from : gold, gray, teal and orange.

P499 for something that's so functional. I'm glad I waited to find the right one. 

If you're a small purse person, then this might not be the kit for you. I've always been partial to big bags, big enough for a weekend getaway. Perfect!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Just Looking

It's been 2 1/2 years since I left the corporate world as full time slave. I've never totally regretted my decision not to go back, but sometimes, I can't help but miss those pay checks and 13th (sometimes 14th) month plus performance bonuses. I still remember how it felt to see those numbers in my bank account, never mind if most of the time (or maybe ALL the time?) the Witholding Tax part really turned me off. 

I did continue to work on a consulting basis after I left my last full time job. But the last project I handled was worse than toxic because the people I worked for - and with - were, unfortunately, dis-organized and difficult. N told me he had never seen me so stressed out, not even when I was an Asst. Vice President handling more than 50 people and travelling out of the country once a quarter.

People, especially former work colleagues would sometimes ask me if I ever think of going back to work. Sure I do! Even if nothing beats staying at home and always being available for your kids, there's always that small part of me that misses being a working Mom. At times, my brain feels so fried because I've been away from work too long. 

That's why I thought of going into business and putting up Yellowbird Shoes. Then again, breast cancer decided to derail my plans. The business is in the back burner until my treatments are over. Lately though, I've been updating my LinkedIn profile and checking on the activities of my contacts there, just to see what's up. I usually look at who views my profile and check on my notifications. Then recently, I discovered I could look for jobs, too. DUH. Sorry, I was never into LinkedIn before. 

I see a lot of interesting entries under Jobs. Hmmm. *Me going into thinking mode* I specifically looked into jobs in the hotel industry, because this is one place I want to go back to, given the chance. I spent 5 years as a hotel employee in the early to mid 90's and they were some of my best work years. A lot of the things I know now and have applied to my other jobs, I learned while working in a 5-star luxury hotel chain. 

My girls feel differently about Mommy going back to work, and you can already guess who's saying what. Anissa thinks it's okay, Sabine the still clingy 6-year old doesn't see the point. N, will support whatever I decide. He always does. And my Mom? She's fine with whatever I choose to do, so long as the kids aren't short-changed. Daddy would feel the same if he were still around. We'll see where this mood takes me later on. I really can't do anything until my life returns to almost normal after chemo. For now, I'm really just looking.

I'm soooo excited about something though. It's a thing I can't say much about right now because I don't want to jinx anything. Hihihi. I'll share it when the time is right!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spotted Online : Treats from Paper Treats

Adding this to my growing list of suppliers for (personalized) paper-based products!

PAPER TREATS is what I'm talking about.

I ordered note cards from Trisha and they arrived the other day 

It took me more than an hour to decide on the design I want. She has so many pretty ones to choose from! I went with these for my initial order ... 

I know I'll keep going back. I like the quality of the paper and the printing. 
These are flat note cards that come with white envelopes, 4.5 x 3.5 inches. To me, the size of the card is quite ideal because it's big enough to write a personal message. That's really my main point for always wanting to have these in stock. I like writing stuff and when I give someone a gift, a really personal note is a must! 

A set of 15 flat cards will cost you P220.00 and you can pay via bank deposit then Trisha will ship your orders off to you. Easy peasy! 

PAPER TREATS also has really cool stuff like these (photos taken from their FB page)

Printable Name Posters with your child's birthdate

Alphabet posters, so cute and useful

Your favorite quotes

Yup, this is my Sabine's :) 

She can print these on canvas so you can hang them in your child's bedroom

Visit PAPER TREATS on Facebook to see more!

Thank you again, Trisha. 'Til next time! 

Inspiration : All Things Calm

I'm trying my best to psyche myself up for next week. Next week, chemo cycle 5 will take place. What happened to the time? I know. It was eaten up by the side effects and that nasty virus that hit me. I'm 90% recovered from the virus today and when I looked at my calendar, I was shocked to see that I only have a few days left to do my "stuff" before I go into my 5th and more importantly, SECOND TO THE LAST treatment. I can't cry over spilled milk. That's just going to stress me out unnecessarily. Instead of whining at how little time I have left this round, I'm making a conscious effort to prepare for the next date with the Frienemy.

Starting today, I'll focus on being CALM. That's a really tall order, if you know me well. I'm hardly calm, mostly panicky. But I need to do this in order to make sure that my next cycle won't be as bad as the 4th. Like I always say, it's all in the mind. My mind won the last time. I'm hell bent on not allowing that to happen again. 

I don't know exactly how I'm going to do it but I'm starting out with this

Photos of things that relax me ... a day on the beach with the family, watching the sunset (yes, this never fails), a Swedish massage (preferably 2 hours of it), scented candles all around, a cup of tea by myself or with friends and outdoor lunches with friends or loved ones.  Just thinking about them is making me feel a sense of calmness. How I wish I could run off to the beach right now, but that will have to wait 'til the summer. Will this work? It has to! One week to go!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spotted Online : Oscar Mejia Artisan Fragrances

I take my hat off to everyone I know who started out by visualizing a dream and then making sure it comes to life. It takes someone with drive and dedication to do this. I have so much respect for backyard entrepreneurs, which is why I am really into locally-made stuff nowadays. I myself have a dream but due to my health issues which I have to prioritize, it had to take a backseat for a while. I can't wait to finally give it that one huge push into the spotlight.

Anyway, my friend Koi and I have been talking about our respective plans since last year, while working together for The Francis Magalona Foundation. I am so happy because his dream has finally taken off! 

His baby was officially born last year. How soshal is the logo?? I'm proud to say I'm one of those he consulted before finalizing this hee hee. Just had to brag a bit.

The Scents

Currently, Koi is preparing for his Summer collection and I had to suggest citrus-sy scents which I really, really love! (You see, I foresee my summer to be really festive this year because I'll be done with my chemo treatments by March!)

He will also custom make a scent for you if you wish! How's that for a nice Valentine idea? 
*insert lightbulb moment here*

From the menu of scents, guess which one I chose? If you know me well, you can guess the answer.

Tadaaaaa! I got it in the 30ml bottle because I was so sure I would love the smell. 

Congratulations, Koi! You deserve a million pats on the back! 

On Facebook, go to Oscar Mejia Artisan Fragrances to order.  

Sick Weekend

I wish I could take this entry's title literally. But no, it wasn't the weekend that was sick, it was I. I really don't know what happened. The bug that hit me came from nowhere. I was fine last Friday and then I woke up Saturday morning and it was an entirely different story. 

I didn't have a fever, but my cold was bad and my throat even worse. My voice sounded like I live in a cave, and it hurt everytime I coughed. I was invited to a really good friend's birthday SPArty that day, but of course I had to miss it. My body was begging for rest and it didn't want to go anywhere except to the bathroom for pee breaks. That was it. The rest of the time, it was best friends with my king-sized bed. 

I guess it's this unpredictably cold weather that did me in, plus of course needless to say, the really crappy immune system from the last chemo cycle. Too bad, my side effects began to wear off on Friday, only to be replaced by the stupid bug. 

Today is Monday, I am feeling so much better. I'm still sniffling, still coughing but I don't feel too lethargic anymore. In fact, I need to go to The Medical City to get my 2nd booster shot, which you can read about here.

The biggest frustration I've had about this particular chemo cycle is how it's rendered me helpless for the most part. I'm not used to being forced to go on house/bed arrest and it really is the most annoying thing for me to be stuck at home and knowing that I can't go anywhere. 

Moreso, my chemo treatments happen 21 days apart. This time, since my downtime is longer, I won't really have much time to enjoy my "good" days before the next cycle happens at the end of the month. Normally, I'd have 2 weeks of really good days and I'm able to do what I want and go wherever during this time. This is usually my make-up time which is allotted to N and the kids. 

I'm glad that awful weekend is over and I'm feeling so much better. I hope to be able to do my evening walk tonight. As far as this cold weather is concerned, I really can't say I'm loving it too much. 

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Exercise? What's that?

I've been taking my Oncologist seriously. Everything she says is gospel truth to me. The only thing among her orders I haven't followed is to exercise regularly. Yeah right. Me. Exercise. I don't remember ever doing so in my entire 44 years. The one time I joined a "walk for a cause" event was over a year ago for work and it was, ironically, to raise awareness on breast cancer. I suffered silently in that walk with a huge bottle of water in hand. It was a loooooooong walk. I had never walked that much before, but it was for a good cause. It hasn't been duplicated.

The other day, N was texting with my Onco when she checked if I had been exercising. Hee hee. We all know his answer to that. She again reiterated that I can start by walking twice a day, once in the morning and then after dinner. I started doing it after dinner last night. It was cool, literally. The weather has been really nippy and good for walking or jogging. Can't jog though. Still not feeling 100% normal after chemo cycle 4 last January 10th. Anyway ... 

I did it again this morning YAY! I'm rejoicing because I didn't give in to being lazy like I always have these past years. Oh by the way, I live in a guarded compound, a small community or a village if you can call it that. I really have had no reason whatsoever not to do brisk walking since it's absolutely safe. 

I even got a treat because I ran into a neighbor whom I haven't spoken to in a while (and whose daughter is the same age as my Anissa). She had heard about my breast cancer and we chatted about it while walking. And did I mention that I developed a cold and sore throat? The walking should do my immune system some good, Onco says. 

Update : she ordered a CBC yesterday to check on my WBC level and as expected it is waaaaaayyyy below the acceptable level. I need to get that booster shot today AND another one on Monday. This nippy January weather (23 deg celsius or 73 deg farenheit, as I type) and my low immune system don't go together. Bad bad bad combination! I've been munching on orange slices these past few days and drinking more water than usual - a challenge for Patty, the water hater! 

Hope you're all in for a great weekend! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Goals Goals Goals

I know this is rather late. I should've done this as my first entry for 2013, right? But it's still the month of January so I have an excuse. I've been thinking about my goals for this new year, but there are changes that have to be made to my previous ones -- the ones I wrote down or mentally noted before I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August last year.

My initial list looked like this :

7th Birthday Party for Sabine
17th Birthday Celebration for Anissa
Expand Yellow Bird Shoes (my pending shoe business)
Look into a clothing business (kids clothes)
Travel with family 

And so on, and so forth ... 

Of course, those will still have to be on the list somehow. After all, life goes back to normal for me when my chemo treatments are over sometime in February. But being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness really changes you in a way that's hard to explain. It's like being brought to another realm where everything is so much more hyped. Even the little things matter so much to me now. Nothing is taken for granted. My mind and my heart are as open as can be. It's just so ... DIFFERENT.

I have a deeper appreciation for everyone and everything. Suddenly, life is 100 times more precious!

The past year was truly challenging. I'm so glad it's all over. Even before it ended, I was already looking forward to the new year, because in my heart of hearts I knew it was going to be a better one for me and my family.

But you know what they say, it's not all up to God. We must do our share. So here's mine. I'm making a plan ... goals that are Spiritual in nature, to help me achieve the kind of year I want for myself and for all of my loved ones, including the many others I care about. 

Let me start off by answering this question:

What are you going to do this new year to draw you closer to Him?

I will start each day with a heartfelt prayer, after reading a bible verse. (I've already started doing this and so far, I'm able to keep it up daily. Once it becomes a habit, that's it!)

It really helps to start your day right. Whatever thoughts you have when you wake up usually dictate the tone for the rest of the day. I'm still not perfect. There are days when I just don't feel right and it takes more than the usual effort to be cheerful (especially when the kids don't cooperate). But I know that if I keep trying, I'll get there and it'll be as easy as 1-2-3.

It'll spill over from here. When your day is right, your week becomes right. The months follow and before you know it,  your entire year is good! 

Raise your hand if you agree!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Aquasana Finally!

This has been on my "to buy" list for sometime now. I vowed to look into it right after my chemo treatments are over, as part of the whole lifestyle change series yeah. But I guess when things are meant to happen your way because you deserve it, they really do happen.

One day on Twitter, I chanced upon an announcement. Crashtestmommies was running a contest and one of the prizes was an Aquasana Shower Filter. I knew I had to join! Those who joined actually had to choose which prize they wanted from the list. It was a no-brainer for me. I didn't even think of trying to get any of the other stuff they were giving away. 

The giveaway ran for a few weeks and just when we were all welcoming 2013, guess what happened? 

Click on this link to see proof hahaha!

(Sidenote on : this is a really genius website put together by 3 Mommy bloggers, namely : OcMomInManila, ManilaMommy and ThePaintersWife. The goal is to write reviews on products to help other Moms (and whoever else really) decide. Buy or no buy? Deal or no deal? What a great idea, diba?)

Sorry I had to say that I WON part repeatedly. I had to literally pinch myself when I was told. It's cause (and I've said it before) I was never lucky when it came to raffles and contests. Never ever ever. This is why I never bothered to join these things until last year. But hey, when I started joining, I also started winning. So I guess it was my mindset that was shot from the start (boo to the old me!). 'Cause look at what happened again. Thank you, Universe! 

As if that wasn't enough, I later on received a message from Mommy Blogger Kris, also known as OCMominManila, who happens to be Aquasana's local distributor (I hope I got the title right). Knowing about my breast cancer diagnosis last year, she very generously informed me that she was giving me an upgrade on the filter system I was getting. Wow! What did I do to deserve that?! 

I'll blog about how it all went later on ... the coordination, the installation and finally usage maybe after a week or two? So excited to use it for the first time today. In fact, now na! 

See y'all later! 

If this entry has gotten you interested in getting a shower filter for your home, head on over to 
the Aquasana Store to check your options. I'm almost sure you'll find the one that's right for you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekday Wedding

My niece-in-law (N's niece by his 2nd cousin) got married on a Tuesday morning with Sabine as one of two flower girls. We had no choice to but to ask that Sabine be excused from classes that day. It's a good thing she had just gone back to school, no major lessons or tests missed. 

Leejay and Arman's church ceremony was to begin at 10am, at the San Antonio de Padua Church in Marikina. I had never been to this place before but I was pleasantly surprised. The church was quite simple but I enjoyed the fact that although there was no airconditioning, it was located high up on the lot it stood on, so it was airy and fresco

My flower girl waiting for instructions from the wedding coordinators on where to position herself for the march. Don't you think her dress is so cute? It's not your usual flower girl dress. In the car on the way home from the reception, she told me that she really liked it because it didn't feel itchy. So cute and honest and I agree. She can use this dress again and again. I also love that they provided the wrist corsage with a tulle flower on it as accent. It was a bracelet, also meant to be reused. Props to whoever came up with this practical idea.

Some of the members of the bride's immediate family. From left to right : her sister, Qai who was Maid of Honor, FOB Kuya Ricky (cool blue pants!), MOB Ate Mayette (I loved her gown, watch out for the next pics) and the bride's niece - and my grand niece horrors! - Dana who was a Junior Bridesmaid. 
I really should be more conscious about the way I stand in photos. I look so awkward here!

The MOB's gown --- so very Hollywood-y! 

Here comes the bride! I can't believe it's my and N's nieces who've been tying the knot lately. 
Gaaaaaahhhh we're old! But it's always so nice to witness these milestones from our point of view. 
Sigh. Young love, sweet love.

More photos ... this time from the reception

The set-up ... simple but consistent. I've seen the photo set-up in a few other weddings before. The couple sits on the couch and there's no table hopping for them. The guests go to them on the stage and have the group photos taken there. Why didn't anyone think of doing this a long time ago? I remember having to take my shoes off at some point during the reception because my feet were killing me from going around the ballroom having my picture taken.

The Cake - which I unfortunately didn't get to try. Again, simple yet elegant.

More details I took note of ... 

Crystals dangling from the topiary, pompoms hanging from the ceiling, personalized napkin holders

The group shot before we decided to make our exit. I was rushing off to another appointment and so was my SIL (beside me in blue). 

Last but not the least ... 

That requisite shot before actually leaving the venue haha!

My jersey magenta dress is from Cole Vintage, the studded black leather and gold clutch is from Tonic (technically belongs to Anissa, but Mommy borrowed). I would really rather have that Prada Saffiano my SIL is carrying hee hee!

Anyone else getting married soon?

Parenthood on Breast Cancer

I've been hooked on this show for quite sometime now, since a fellow TV series addict told me to watch it. Recently, in the 4th season, one of its main characters, Kristina Braverman (played by Monica Potter) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a wife and mother to 2 children in this series. 

The episodes following that revelation have reduced me to tears each time, thinking of my own journey and how it's affecting all of my loved ones. But there's a huge difference between Kristina and myself, as far as this life-threatening illness is concerned. She didn't take the diagnosis so well. She was angry and in denial for a while. Plus, she suffered terribly from the side effects of chemotherapy. In one episode, her husband even allowed her to smoke pot to provide some comfort from the nausea and all the crappiness that chemotherapy can make a cancer patient go through. 

I can't help but feel so blessed, because after 3 cycles, I can happily say I've never been a total wreck like she has. I had my 4th cycle today and people say the side effects will be a bit more difficult to deal with this time. I'm nervous but I'd like to think that I'm prepared. 

In this latest episode, Kristina finally shows up minus hair. I can totally relate! 

Breast cancer is so real. It's there and it's affecting more and more women as the years progress. 

In fact, my Mom texted me tonight, saying that someone from her church group informed them she had just been diagnosed with cancerous growths in one breast. There are apparently more than one but she's only had a mammo and a breast sono so far. The next step would be to do a biopsy. It's an all too familiar feeling for me. The news immediately brought me back to that fateful day in August 2012 when I was told I have breast cancer. I can only pray that things will turn out for her the way they did for me --- one miracle after another since diagnosis. I now have one more name to add to my prayer list. 

I have a new friend who also had her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery yesterday. She's slightly younger than me and has 3 kids. I'm sure the number will keep growing. If only I could convince every woman in my circle to be more vigilant about it.  

I kinda had to stop watching this episode earlier, because I was afraid of ruining my outlook just before my chemo at 1pm. Time to finish what I started.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Round 2 at Eat Fresh HK

It was the perfect time to go back. My Mom wanted to treat our super close family friends who are here on holiday from Singapore to either lunch or dinner. Since they were only available on a week night and Eat Fresh is closed on Sundays, I immediately suggested the place to them. Besides, I wanted to try their short orders this time.

And boy, did we try them!
For starters, we had these...

Street Food on sticks : Crab Fingers and Fish Tofu. They were out of  Lobster Balls, Squid Balls and Fish Balls.

Assorted Balls Soup
Mock Sharksfin Soup (replaced Sharksfin with Vermicelli aka Sotanghon). Yummy!

Ready to see what we had for the main event?
Eggplant with Minced Pork
Salt and Pepper Spareribs - as good as it looks! 
3 Kinds Mushrooms with Vegetables
Seafood Hot Pot
There were 8 of us so we ordered 2 of each dish but we ended up with a few doggie bags. Turned out we weren't that matakaw after all? Mom was so happy when the bill arrived. After her Senior Citizen discount was applied, we only had to pay P2,300 for everything! I didn't take photos but we also had Salted Fish Fried Rice (3 orders) and the super refreshing White Almond Gulaman. 

Win? Win!!! 

See my previous entry for other details.

This place is really worth going to. Just be prepared to spend a bit of time looking for a parking slot and maybe waiting for a table, if you go during peak hours. But I promise you, it will be worth it!