Goodbye, 2011!

31 December 2011

JANUARY Pink lipsBlack Swan • HSBC's Holiday Party FEBRUARY Love and Other Drugs • Tagaytay • Valentine's Day • Bloggers' Closet MARCH Summer • Senior Year • New fringe APRIL My 25th birthday • My super surprise birthday party! • Bruno Mars • Puerto Galera • The ScriptApril girlsFour years with HSBC • Samsung Galaxy Ace MAY Posing for pictures for Tracey HeppnerMuggedPahiyasBloggers United JUNE Lucban hatsFashion CompassRihanna-hairEnchanted Kingdom • David ChuaKym!!! JULY Kym and Winmark's post-wedding receptionHTC ChaChaHarry Potter Film WizardryHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 • HoneyAwesome 3someNew, bigger apartment AUGUST Philippine Fashion BallKariton KlasrumFAB SalonEarth Run SEPTEMBER LagunaOne DayZombadingsPottermoreSMART NetphoneRed and blonde highlights OCTOBER KTVMoonleaf Tea Shop • Disney Live!Habitat for HumanitySeventeen Sigaw • Real Steel • FlippedJason Mraz NOVEMBER Mario MaurerIn Time • SMART X HTC BeatsLighting of the giant Coca-Cola Christmas TreeGaining weightReunion with awesomest friends from high school DECEMBER Surprise birthday party for Eddii • Bloggers United Part 2Neil and Van's weddingGhost Protocol • Contact lens • IndestructibleMorning shift's Christmas partySendong Relief DriveHSBC Direct's Christmas party

Looking through my posts this year brought back a flood of memories; some are bad or sad but the good definitely outweigh them. Indeed, there's no better reminder of how blessed I am than by back-reading this blog. I am thankful to God for giving me a wonderful and supportive family, real friends who keep me sane in this world riddled with phoney "friends" and disposable relationships, and a stable job with awesome officemates. My pink, glittering heart is grateful and I can go on and on and exhaust my vocabulary but words still will never be enough, so...

"In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices."
- Elizabeth Gilbert

Thank YOU for spending your 2011 with me!
Now let's go rock 2012!

Party like it's the end of the world

28 December 2011

Our department had our Christmas party at Dolce Super Club last night and there couldn't be another word to describe how it was but LEGENDARY! I don't think I've ever danced as much as I did last night! It was just great music after great music after great music that it would've been a shame to sit one song out. Besides, the energy in the club was at an all-time high that your body will definitely be swayed to the beat - involuntarily or not! ;)

I actually haven't had any sleep yet as I went straight to the mall yesterday after work to have a haircut (I originally wanted to go to FAB Salon in Resorts World but it's too far, so I went to Bench Fix in TriNoma instead. However they are fully-booked so I almost had a meltdown on Twitter LOL had to look for another salon. Thank you, David's Salon, for coming to my rescue!), then head home for a quick shower and do my makeup, and then finally go to the party! I didn't have any rest after though as I needed to go to work at 6AM today. So yeah, I'm trying to get by on less than two hours' worth of power naps.

But that's okay because it was worth it!

The theme of the party was Gossip Girl. I figured a lot of girls would go in Blair- or Serena-inspired outfits, so I thought I would deviate from my usual girly-girl style and don a Jenny-inspired rockstar look instead.

I did my own makeup :)
Body-con dress | Earrings, clutch, black pantyhose - SM Accessories | Necklace, bangles - Oxygen
Biker jacket - Candies | Mesh booties - PILL
There was a short program and I even got to participate in a mini fashion show LOL. Here are some photos from last night's epicness:

Our VP, Boss Rocky, working it on the DJ's booth...
... and us working it on the dance floor!

With Anne
Mich and me with our boss, TL Carlo
With my former boss, TL Julius

And because a party's not complete without photobooths...

With Boss Gonzo, the boss of my boss ;D

What an insanely fun night! I love HSBC and I love HSBC Direct! And no, this is not the wooziness-due-to-lack-of-sleep talking ;) Even though I didn't know more than half the people there because of our differing schedules, I still had a LOT of fun dancing with people I do know.

We'll have another party on January 7, and this time it'll be for all employees of HSBC-HDPP. My ultimate favorite local band Parokya ni Edgar will perform and I honestly can't wait! The theme will be Las Vegas and my outfit is already prepared LOL, so excited!

2011 is ending in a couple of days and I have yet to do a year-ender post, but last night's party certainly earned a place on the list of my favorite memories from this year ♥

*Thank you Geoffrey Dayrit for images 4, 6, 7, and 8!

Back to Basics.

26 December 2011

Quality family time continues today as we spent the day at SM Megamall :) We were supposed to watch a movie after a very hearty late lunch at Yabu but the loooooong lines put us off.

While my siblings and cousins went to Toy Kingdom, I decided to do a little window-shopping myself and use my gift cards. I liked a sheer top in Oxygen but since I don't have any special event to wear it to anytime soon I chose to just let it go and instead be more "practical". I ended up at Penshoppe and got these:

3/4-sleeved polo and belt
For some reason I've always felt collared shirts don't really suit me so I refrain from buying them as much as possible. But, when I saw this particular top, I knew I just HAD to try it on! I loved it, perfect for the office :) As for the belt, someone borrowed my similarly-colored one and never returned it so I just got a new one :D

Before going home, my sister and I made a quick detour to my Papa's childhood house in Malabon (where we had the reunion yesterday) to check out the Grendha slippers my cousin's wife is selling. Here's what I got:

Beige - pink sandals. So pretty and so comfy.
It's originally sold in malls for P1,595 but I got it for only P1,200. It's authentic; it's just cheaper because it originally came from Brazil where Ella's mom is based. There were more designs to choose from but my wallet could only accommodate one pair!

I realized while putting them out of the bags that they were all in neutral hues ♥ Basic pieces perfect for the coming year. So excited for 2012! (",)

Peace, love and lipgloss! ♥

Christmas 2011

Heyyy everyone! How was your Christmas? I woke up with body aches all over and I don't know why. Must be the food coma from yesterday's feasts :D

I am so stoked because after four years, this was the first time my rest day coincided with Christmas! I had to go to work during the past years, and even though my work finishes at 3PM I still missed out on a lot. Thank God this time I was able to attend the Christmas Mass with my family yesterday morning :)

With my Mama and Papa, brother Ken, sister Kyla and cousin Jerico whose parents are both working abroad
My uncle Karl with his wife Tita Wheng and their sons Loui and Migui. Plus my cousin Jerico :D
After Mass we headed to my father's side of the family's house in Malabon for our annual family reunion. He has ten siblings so you could just imagine how big a reunion it was!

I didn't get much Christmas money anymore because my aunts and uncles said I'm already earning my own money hehe, but here are some of the gifts I got:

Harry Potter: Page to Screen
My Christmas gift to myself LOL. This is the most expensive book I ever bought.
Review to follow soon! :)
From my aunts and uncles
The still gift-wrapped present contains a tumbler. It's sooo pretty I don't want to unwrap it yet :D
My Moonleaf planner from my friend Michelle!
Can't wait to jazz it up with the Faber Castell color pencils I got from my Secret Santa! :)
Luxurious Villa del Conte chocolates from SM Accessories
My family loved this! Thank you so much, SM Accessories!
Bath, body, and beauty products from Penshoppe, Oxygen, ForMe, Memo, and Regatta
I feel so spoiled. Thank you so much, Golden ABC!
Add to that the slew of greetings via SMS, Twitter, Facebook, and emails. I am blessed and my heart is grateful. Big thanks to my family and friends who remembered me this Christmas. Thank you, Heavenly Father ♥

Oooh look! A new addition to my plushie family!
Those are Kriket the starfish, Archuleta the octopus, Thomas the alien from Pizza Planet, and Merly the merlion :D
My family and I will go to SM Megamall now to eat out and maybe watch a movie :) I just feel so happy, guys, and I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season too!

Peace, love and lipgloss! ♥

25 December 2011

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Peace, love, and lipgloss goodwill to all!

Let's all be a glimmer of hope for those who need us most.

22 December 2011

I am inviting everyone to please visit Moonleaf Tea Branch in Maginhawa St., UP Village tomorrow to visit the pop-up bazaar organized in partnership with Bloggers United for the benefit of Sendong Relief Drive.

I know what it's like to lose all your possessions. It happened to my family when we lost our house and all our belongings to a big fire that razed through our neighborhood ten years ago. The only consolation I had is that all my family members were safe and no one got hurt. I still consider myself lucky and blessed, especially after receiving help and support from my friends and other members of our community. That is the toughest period in my life and I cannot tell you how thankful I am for everyone who helped me get through it. Until now I can still remember that hollow feeling I felt when I learned what happened, and I still get cold and clammy when I hear sirens of firetrucks and ambulances.

That hollow feeling I felt can never be compared to what the people in CDO must be going through right now. Words are not enough to express how shocked and sad I felt after watching news reports and reading the casualties. All those lives lost... All those families affected... It is considerably easy to rebuild a house, but to rebuild it without your family members? I can only imagine how painful it would be. The fact that it happened a few days before Christmas makes that feeling of despair and hopelessness reverberate even more.

I salute the people behind this project for coming up with this. I hope we can all get together and help, even in our own little way. Shop from your favorite bloggers' closets and contribute to the cause. Bringing donations are also greatly encouraged. Every little helps, and will definitely go a long way. I'll go there with my officemates once I get off work at 3PM, and I really hope to see you there. Let's all be a glimmer of hope for our countrymen who need us most. Merry Christmas and God bless you ♥

I'm a morning person.

21 December 2011

I have been working for HSBC for almost five years now, four years of which have been spent in the morning shift (5AM - 2PM or 6AM to 3PM). I have experienced what it's like to work on a graveyard shift and I don't have any plans of going back. Because of my schedule [and supportive bosses and officemates] I have been able to manage my time efficiently, allowing me to still be able to do a lot of things after work and even attend bloggers' events.

One of the drawbacks to working in the morning shift is feeling a little isolated. You see, there are just two teams of 7-8 people in our schedule and we don't get to meet the other people within our department because they go to work when  we have left already.

But I guess that's a small price to pay, especially when the morning shifters are a lot of fun to be around!

Yesterday we celebrated our Christmas party in My Getaway Place in Don Antonio Drive, Quezon City, and it was so much fun! We rented a Japanese-themed VIP room where we sang and ate to our hearts' content. BIG thanks to Frank for the photos :)

Team Carlo + Team Julius

Stephen, Garri, Frank
Mich, me, Jam
My boss TL Carlo is a cutie, yes? (^^,)
Jam is my Secret Santa!
She customized the wrapping paper with decals AND DIY'd the box! What a labor of love :)
These guys make work a helluva lot easier for me. I love them :)
After the party some of us went to Borge's house for the "after-party" LOL. I got home at around 10:30PM.

Me with Boss Carlo's dog plushie named Max.
He told me he'd also get me one as a gift weeeeh ;D
This is what I wished for and this is what I got: a set of Faber Castell 36 Color Pencils ♥
Perfect for my 2012 planner!
How are your Christmas parties coming along? December is whizzing by so fast, I haven't even had the time to finish wrapping my Christmas presents for everyone!

Speaking of Christmas presents, I guess we are all aware now of what happened to our countrymen in Mindanao who were affected by Typhoon Sendong. It's so devastating to witness the tragedy and loss that befell them. On Friday, Bloggers United will set up a pop-up shop in Moonleaf Tea Shop in Maginhawa, UP Village and all proceeds will go to CDO. You may also drop off donations there. I will be there after I get off work at 3PM and I will bring my officemates with me. Every little helps, so I hope we can all do our share. God bless us all!

The girl with the white coat

20 December 2011

Yesterday I visited Petit Monde's branch in SM North EDSA for Fashion Compass (read about my feature here!) and got this:

It is from the Holiday 2011 collection, and I just love the Audrey Hepburn/ Blair Waldorf vibe it gives. It's not really a "coat" coat [it's more like a double-breasted dress made of thicker wool-like material] but it can pass for a "winter-on-a-tropical-country" coat, yes? It would look so perfect with my Lulu Guinness pink/ white polka dots shades. Thank you, Petit Monde!

Oh pretty clothes, how I love you so ♥

And since it's a time for giving, why not make Christmas more memorable by extending assistance to those in need? Our countrymen in Mindanao who were affected by Typhoon Sendong are appealing for help, please check out #Sendong to find out how. There are so many ways to do so! Helping out is just a click away so I really hope you can do the right thing and help spread the word as well, and you can be assured somewhere out there Baby Jesus is smiling at you :)


19 December 2011

Hello everyone, it's Christmas week! Are you all done with your Christmas shopping? I'm not, and as with all Christmases past I still have to accomplish a few trips to the mall to get gifts for my family and friends. I always write my list early but never get around to finishing it until the last minute. Tsk, I never learn. I'm not stressed out by the Holidaze though; I always find Christmas shopping fun and therapeutic. I will pop by SM San Lazaro with my sister later to run some errands and buy a gift for our Secret Santa at the office and I'm pretty excited about it :)

Anyway, I just wanted to share this song with you guys. I heard it yesterday and dismissed it as a so-so song, but after it stopped I found myself clicking on play again. And again. And again! I seriously couldn't stop listening to it! I just kept playing it on loop during the brief moments I wasn't watching my favorite TV shows online yesterday and the whole morning today. I'm hopelessly addicted :D

I don't know, maybe it's because I could relate to the song so much. The original video's too "explicit" for my blog, so sharing with you the one with lyrics instead so you can sing along LOL.

Here is the acoustic, more mellow version:

Oh yes, you know I will ♥

Online shopping made easy with Multiply Marketplace

You already know I LOVE shopping, but one thing you might not know about me is that I used to be a HUGE online shopper. You see, I worked graveyard shifts before and would go home at 2AM. Having nowhere else to go to and no one else to speak with as everyone else was already sleeping, I turned to online shopping. I was completely addicted! I even had a Multiply photo album dedicated to all my online purchases ;D Since I didn't have much time to go to malls before, I loved how easy and convenient the Internet made it for me. Besides, the world wide web is a treasure trove of unique stuff rarely found in shops. I also experienced being scammed by a fake seller, yes, but it didn't put me off this "hobby". If anything, it just made me more wary and discerning of the shops I send my money to. Receiving and opening packages gave me a different kind of buzz, and it wasn't unusual to have delivery guys knock on the door at least thrice a week. It even came to the point when my father threatened to "boil my shoes" if I receive yet another package heehee. But I was clever; I had them delivered to my officemate instead ;)

Moving to the morning shift gave me more time in my hands so my online shopping escapades lessened. It didn't stop me from visiting my favorite online shops though, and would still occasionally make a purchase, especially when it's difficult to find what I like at the malls.

During the recently concluded Bloggers United Bazaar part 2, Multiply was there to lend some support as a partner. What's even cooler was that they let us try out the new and improved Marketplace! They set up a booth there with laptops so we could experience what it's like to shop on the new interface, and we were even given vouchers to use. I was quite busy with my booth but I made sure to drop by their station ♥

Photo taken during the BU bazaar part 2
It took me a while to decide what I really want to get, but I finally chose to get some NYX products I've heard lots of raves about! I chose what I wanted, put in my order with the help of the lady on my right in the photo, got confirmation that the order went through, and then eagerly waited for my parcel to arrive!

It arrived last Tuesday, and I felt again that different kind of buzz only online shopping and opening packages can give me.

Carefully bubble-wrapped by Stephen of The Rainbow Project
TA-DA!! NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Tokyo and NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
Now here are my thoughts about Multiply's new Marketplace:
  • I liked that the migration to the new process has helped avoid scammers and fake sellers through the Multiply Trusted badge. Do you know that all your purchases from sellers with the Trusted badge are covered by Buyer Protection? :) Sellers are not required to get the Trusted badge but it is highly encouraged for them to get it so their sites can be promoted as well. Cool, huh?
  • It has definitely made shopping much easier as all you'll have to do is: create an account, pick out the items you like, add them to your virtual cart, review your virtual cart and add or chuck stuff as you go along, then finally Check Out your purchases. As compared to visiting stores one by one before, this one-stop purchasing process is less complicated.
  • Payment is made easier as well as you only have to make one payment even if you buy from several different sellers.
  • My only gripe is that I didn't get what I originally ordered. I actually wanted the Addis Ababa shade of the Soft Matte Lip Cream, but Stephen contacted me about a week after the bazaar that he got my order and payment confirmation just then so he couldn't give me Addis Ababa anymore as stocks have run out already so he made me choose a different shade instead. I picked Tokyo, which I don't regret because it is GORGEOUS, but I just wish processing would be faster next time.
Did I convince you to try out the new Marketplace yet? Are you still looking for last minute Christmas gifts? Load up your Gcash and Smart Money wallets then, as I'm sure you will find something you like when you visit it. When shopping online on the new Multiply Marketplace, I guess all you have to remember is: Go crazy with the different items on sale, Purchase, Pay, and Wait, anddd Go crazy with your new purchases LOL.

Mission accomplished!

15 December 2011

There'll always be a time when you would NEED to watch an action movie.

When things are getting just a little bit too quiet and I feel a wee bit bored, I've found that the adrenalin-rush from watching action-adventure movies always helps in letting me shake things off a little. I experienced just that [and more] when I watched a special screening of Mission: Impossible 4 with my friends.

Held at Glorietta Cinema 6, the special screening was sponsored by Coke Zero. Big thanks to Ed for the tickets! I was able to bring my friends/ officemates Mich and Frank, and my blog-friends Angel and Cisco, France, and Vern and Dondi :)

I won't be posting the synopsis here, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed it! I loved all the stunts, and the sequence when Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt scaled the Burj Al-Arab with just a special type of gloves was mind-blowing!

If you're looking for philosophical and thought-provoking movies, it would be better to look elsewhere. Ghost Protocol does not aim to exhaust your brains too much, but it does live to its goal: to entertain. As Brit movie reviewer Chris Tookey said, "No one's going to pretend this movie is deep or meaningful, but, at its best, it really is pretty awesome." Mission accomplished!

What made the movie even more fun is watching it with friends. During a scene that involves a car chase and a sandstorm, Ed and I kept whispering alternate scenes like showing the four Sex and the City girls, Aladdin, and Anne Hathaway as Emma Morley on her bike in that tragic scene from One Day. I want to laugh out loud just remembering those other scenes we imagined haha, but I guess it's one of those you-have-to-be-there-for-it-to-be-funny things :D That, plus the three cupcakes I ate, Tom Cruise's smile, and the Coke Zero I guzzled throughout the movie gave me an adrenalin rush all right - I was wide awake until 2:30AM! I wouldn't even have slept by that time had my Netphone connection continued working. (System updates. Meh.) To think I had work at 6AM :D

A testosterone-filled movie needs something to offset the 'boyish' tone of the night. Here's what I wore:

I LOVE my gray Hello Kitty top! I bought it from the Night Market in the office for - wait for it - P150! I saw it as I was going inside, and even though I didn't mean to buy anything I felt it calling me... So I returned and checked the price. I almost squealed when I saw the tag! I mean, it would be a shame to leave it there, unwanted and oh-so-cute! Right? So long story short I got it and it looks great on me and I love it to bits! Even when I don't particularly like Hello Kitty heehee.

I hope you're all having a great week so far! I certainly am (^^,) If you're feeling stressed, go and see M:I 4 and feel that stress dissipate! 

Whiten Up with Gluta-C!

13 December 2011

I was invited to a pampering session sponsored by Gluta-C at the beginning of this month but I wasn't able to go because I already said yes to another event. Too bad I missed it, reading my blog friends' accounts of what happened made me jealous LOL. It turns out I didn't need to feel bad though, because the people behind the event were kind enough to send me Gluta-C products I can try! Thanks, Gluta-C! ♥

Early Christmas gift :)
To be honest, I don't really aim to have whiter skin because I love my skin color as it is. Buuut given the chance, who would say no to fairer and healthier skin? Certainly not me! I was able to read up on the benefits of using Gluta-C and it made me pretty excited to use these instead of my usual beauty regimen. Gluta-C (combined "power" of Glutathione and Vitamin C) says, "intense whitening with multiple anti-aging benefits bring your skin to its maximum whitening potential!" Let's take a closer look at the products and what Gluta-C has to say about them:

CLEANSE Start off with a clean face and body by bathing with Gluta-C Face & Body Soap to extract dirt, oil, and other skin impurities without stripping off skin's natural moisture. It's best to use lukewarm water since both hot and cold water can cause damage to your skin.
TONE Use Gluta-C Toner Spritz to remove all remaining traces of oil, make up, and dirt left behind after cleansing. This will also help minimize pores and oil production. Essential to keeping skin clean, gentle toners with plant-based ingredients can combat skin concerns such as blemishes, fine lines and redness. Toners with anti-oxidants like Vitamin C can also help protect skin from wrinkle-causing free radicals.

MOISTURIZE and PROTECT While skin is still damp, apply Gluta-C Facial Day Cream on your face and Gluta-C Body Moisturizer generously on the whole body. Both the Gluta-C Facial Day Cream and Body Moisturizer provide SPF25 sunscreen protection so they not only whiten the skin but also protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun. And because the skin is always exposed to damaging factors caused by our lifestyle, food consumption and the environment, re-hydrating is very important to keep it healthy. Before bedtime, smooth on Gluta-C Night Facial Serum on face and neck to repair and revitalize skin while you sleep. This water-based formula reduces fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and scars. Topical collagen and seaweed extract moisturize and regain the skin's elasticity and suppleness, guaranteeing lighter and firmer appearance.
I really, really, really hope these products can do something about the nasty scars on my left leg. I will be using these starting tonight so that I can post a more in-depth review here. Watch out for that ;)