Pretty nails? Posh Nails!

30 April 2011

The last week of April has been super busy! Nope, I did not get invited to the Royal Wedding haha; I was tied with other responsibilities and new discoveries, more of which I will write about next time ♥

Times like this, I'm thankful for the chance to kick off my shoes and relax. Plus points when they're done surrounded by pretty pink pillows and my dear girl friends!

Last Tuesday, Posh Nails treated me and my pretty blogger friends to a fabulous pampering session wherein we were given themed manicures and pedicures. With all the fluffy pillows, accommodating and efficient nail technicians and cozy ambience, my friends and I felt like princesses enjoying a fun slumber party! Let me show you pictures as proof:

Comfy couches and fluffy pillows
Chandeliers make me happy.
Reg and Aisa
Aie and Melai
Photo from Aisa
Aisa chose the Strawberry-themed package for me. It was perfect, I would've chosen the same for myself!
Here are my non-alcoholic "Strawberry Martini", and the strawberry-scented scrub and lotion used on me :)
Foot spa | Scrub | Massage
Left my feet feeling super smooth!
My hands were also scrubbed and massaged ♥
Look at that expansive variety of colors!
Posh Nails carries a lot of brands, including the more expensive ones like OPI and China Glaze.
It was so hard to choose!
In the end, I chose Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry collection for OPI for my toenails and Step 2 the beat of my ♥ from the Justin Bieber collection by Nicole for OPI for my fingernails.
Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry collection for OPI
So sparkly!
Step 2 the beat of my ♥ from the Justin Bieber collection by Nicole for OPI
Please don't laugh at me. I am not a Belieber but I couldn't resist the hearts and glitters on his nail polish! :D
I love glitters and hearts (my dress even had heart-prints all over the sheer lace top). HELP!!! I am a 12 year old girl trapped in a 25 year old woman's body!
Dress - Candie's | Hot pink purse - gift from my friend Ed | Apple green peep-toe wedges - SoFab!
Aisa's sweet melon nails | Aie's turquoise and yellow surprise | Melai's bumble bees | Lloyda's mattified sweet pink nails |  My heart-filled Justin Bieber nails
Showing off our nails!
Aisa, Melai, Lloyda, me, Aie
Now showing off our outfits :D
Now with Ava who was still being attended to :)
Thank you Posh Nails for a very relaxing pampering session and for prettifying my nails! The nail tech who attended to me, Marijo, was very friendly. The strawberry-scented scrub and lotion smelled so good, it felt really tempting to sneak a taste! I don't have massages done because I'm very ticklish but Marijo was super efficient and did a great job! I totally loved it! The Top40 hits being played provided nice background songs while my girl  friends and I gabbed, and you must admit the girly interior is very pretty. I actually want to take home one of the big fluffy ottomans haha! Aside from being a fun bonding opportunity for us, my blogger friends and I were also able to discuss our next project: Bloggers United! Watch out for more about that in my coming posts :)

I admit I wasn't really a big fan of having mani-pedi treatments at salons because I find them an expense I can live without, but after this experience I was definitely hooked!

Other services and prices
Photo from Aisa
I love that their Tomas Morato branch is just a few minutes away from the office; I'm sure it will be a regular luxury treat for myself from now on ♥ I can't wait to try the Piña Colada and Green Tea-themed services next!

Posh Nails even gave each one of us gifts. I got a Mango-Peach whipped body butter ♥
Thank you Miss Cat Ilacad and Aisa for the invite! Thank you Posh Nails, we shall meet again!

Visit Posh Nails' official website here and their Facebook page here.

Last few hours before A Krissyfied Giveaway ends! Entering closes at 12AM GMT of 30 April 2011. It'll be a busy day for me tomorrow so I'll post the winners on Tuesday, May 3! Click here to join now

"Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again."

24 April 2011

Happy Easter Sunday, everyone! How did you celebrate yours? :)

Ever since I was a child, it has been an annual tradition for my family to watch the Salubong in Malabon. For my non-Filipino friends and readers, Salubong is a Filipino Catholic tradition done in a churchyard either in the very early morning of Easter Sunday or in the anticipated Mass on midnight. It reenacts the first meeting again of Virgin Mary and the Risen Christ on the day of His Resurrection. It was my first time to go again after three years of not being able to do so (since my previous rest days from work were Tuesdays and Wednesdays) so I was pretty excited about it.

We woke up at 3AM and went to hear the 5AM Mass in Malabon. The Salubong happens after the Mass. Mama Mary and Jesus Christ come from two separate directions; they meet under an archway while a choir sings. Here are some pictures:

Mama Mary's face is covered with a veil to signify her grief at losing her Son.
They "meet". From the archway, a dove tied to a bunch of balloons is lowered down to remove Mama Mary's veil, symbolizing the end of her suffering.
Mother and Son are reunited. More balloons are released.
It was a clear, cloudless-morning. Only the moon was visible in the sky. But not for long...
In a few moments, the sky was filled with balloons!
Click to enlarge the photo, it looks beautiful :)
Aside from the bunch of balloons carrying the dove and Mama Mary's veil, there were two more big bunches. One carried a crucifix, the other carried a big rosary.
It was a glorious and wonderful sight. :)

After the Prayer, we headed to my father's childhood home where his other siblings still live. His sister, my Aunt Mary, has a half Pomeranian-half Shih Tzu dog named Chio who recently gave birth to two puppies. It was so cute how she was super protective of them, even when we didn't have any intentions of taking them ;D

Meet Chio :)
Meet Bimby and Bamba. Awwwww :)
Incidentally, my eldest cousin's ten-month old baby also spent the weekend there.

Meet Baby Zephyr. He's so cute and adorable, I wanna bite his cheeks off! >_____<
My family plus Zephyr :)
Aaaand I just wanted to share this because I look so happy here :D
I'm not sure what Baby Zephyr was tying to do, but I guess he was either trying to kiss me or sniff my cheeks :D
I hope you've all had a lovely Easter Sunday! April is ending soon, make sure you've joined my giveaway here

PS: Ooooh, Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding is in a few days! I'm so excited to see what the Royal Wedding will be like ♥

Four years.

23 April 2011

Has it really been that long?


Apparently.

Days go by so fast, I can't believe it has already been a year since I wrote a blog-post about how my friends at the office and I celebrated our third year with HSBC. o_0

I've already told how I ended up working for HSBC countless times, but for the sake of my new readers (thank you!) let me tell you again ♥ After I graduated from college with a Bachelor in Mass Communications degree from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila) in 2007, I decided to rest for a while. I managed an online shop but I got bored after a couple of weeks. With a friend, I went to a job fair at St. Francis Square where we lined up for three(!!!) hours (such a sad depiction of the level of unemployment in my country) on April 19. We scored an interview for the next day, went to HSBC's office in Discovery Suites and went home with a job offer on April 20. I had my pre-employment medical exam at Healthway Medical Clinic in SM North EDSA - The Block on April 21, then came fully-prepared for my first day on the job on April 23. Everything just fell into place  ^^,

After a lot of umm, whining on my part before due to the fact that I don't really get to exercise what I have toiled for in college in this job, a number of changes in my work schedule (I experienced everything: 11PM-7AM, 9PM - 6AM, 8PM-5AM, 5PM-2AM, 3PM-12AM, 4PM-1AM, even eleven-hour shifts!), meeting a lot of interesting individuals, several out-of-town trips and pulling all-nighters with my teammates, lots of calories and having one drink too many during countless team-buildings, mini fights and big fights within the team, four annual parties, having our office's location moved from Ortigas, Pasig to Commonwealth, Quezon City, moving to four different apartments, changing housemates and then ending up leaving alone, transferring teams thrice, and experiencing being handled by four different team leaders, I am still here, and I couldn't be happier.

This is my first paycheck.
Receiving it was a very proud moment for me :) 
This was 21 years young, fresh out of college, and zit-free me four years ago :)
More than thousands of photos and 365 days multiplied by four's worth of memories (but only two absences *ehem*) later...

My HSBC VISA debit card linked to our payroll account, which gets credited at 9PM one banking day before the 15th and 30th of every month.
This is 25 years young, eyebag-infested but still zit-free me now :)
Special mention to my tranchemates who are still with the company, the people who have been with me ever since we started working for HSBC: Michelle, Frank, Henry, Ali, Watcher, Niño, Mommy Terry, Jam, Dane, Asther, and Ruther. Happy 4th Anniversary of meeting you guys! Thank you for listening to my stories. ♥ Also to the four people whose management I have been under: TL (or should I say MO? Congratulations on your promotion!) Arjay, TL Julius, TL Jimmy, and TL Carlo, thank you for your guidance, encouragement, and sound advice every time I need one. I was able to rely on you even when my concerns were already beyond the scope of your "professional" duties. ♥ And of course, to the different people I met in the office (including our former tranchemates who've already gone and carved different paths away from HSBC) who have touched my life in different ways, thank you. I am glad to have met you. ♥

It's funny how my feelings for my job did a complete turnaround in a matter of months. It really pays to be surrounded by awesome people who make my days in the office super fun, even when even a single call can meet one's stress quota for the week ;D

I really don't know whether I will still be able to write a blog-post for my 5th year with the company (as I don't know if I will still be with HSBC then), but for now I am with the Best Place to Bank and the Best Place to Work, and that is what matters.

A Krissyfied Giveaway is ending in seven days! Click here to join if you haven't joined yet

I joined a contest sponsored by Freestyle Necklaces. I would really appreciate it if you can support me by 'liking' their page here, then 'liking' my entry here. Thank you! ♥

Conclusion to a vacation

21 April 2011

I returned back to work today after a two-week vacation. For someone who should be experiencing "post-vacation withdrawal syndrome", I actually showed up perky and pepped up for my 5AM - 2PM shift, even after getting only four hours of sleep.

This should have been posted on this blog last night but wasn't because of my unreliable Internet connection (I am looking at you, SmartBRO prepaid stick) so I wrote on my new journal instead.

I should be sad because I would really like for my vacation to be extended. I should be annoyed because I wasn't able to go to my apartment today to clean it as planned. I should be worried because I still haven't finished the article I should have already submitted by now. 

But as it is, I just feel very glad and grateful. 

My two week-vacation has been filled with so many new memories with my friends and family, and right now, listening to my media player with The Script playlist on loop, I feel unbelievably happy. I just want to remember this moment forever. ♥

And you know what, my worries about my apartment has been solved, thanks to my Mom. And the article I was worrying about since last week? Finished, submitted and approved.

God has bestowed so many blessings on me this month, and I want to share my joys with you. Aside from having awesome friends here and from all over the world who made me really special on my birthday, a super fun beach weekend, attending posh events, accidental (this, I haven't blogged about yet) and planned get-togethers with friends, and seeing Bruno Mars and The Script in concert, more wonderful things have happened. For one, I have gotten a pay raise (yay!) and will be receiving quite a hefty bonus at the end of April, thanks to my performance for the month of March (which also makes me a very strong contender for being my department's Employee of the Month yay!).My tranchemates and I will also celebrate our 4th year with the company on Saturday (April 23) so we will have a little Pizza Party on Monday. More than the "financial perks" though, as I said before, I am thankful that my job allows me to pursue my passion in writing. The happiest piece of news I have is that, my writing style has been noticed by a Singaporean online magazine who has invited me to be a contributor. You may think I'm over-reacting but I was so happy I cried when I first read the email. Some of the press releases I have written with my classmates in college before have been published when we did our OJT for a PR firm, but those didn't have by-lines. But now, to have my very own by-line on another website aside from my blog? That's just WOW!

I'm sorry if this is a very wordy post, I just feel so thankful ♥ To share some blessings and happiness, I am sponsoring A Krissyfied Giveaway. Click here to join now if you haven't already.

And if it's not too much to ask, it would make me even happier if you show some support to me in this contest I have joined. To vote, just please "Like" the page of Freestyle Necklaces here, then "Like" my entry here. I will appreciate it very much. Thank you! ♥

I hope you all have a meaningful and blessed Holy Week.

One summer day with a fellow April girl

19 April 2011

After months of planning a second meet-up, I finally saw my blog-turned-to-real life friend Mimai again! Since both of us celebrate our birthdays this month (mine was on the 6th, hers is on the 24th), we figured a birthdate is in order! The Manila heat and humidity cannot stop us! ;)

Meet Mimai!
I find it really nice that yesterday was only the second time we saw each other in person (the first time being back in August last year where she brought me to Cubao X and taught me how to thrift-shop) yet it felt like we've been friends forever! Before we met in person we've actually been blogfriends for only a couple of weeks prior; she left a message in my cbox, I visited her site, then BAM! we're friends! :)

Because she has a knack for bringing me to places I've never been to before, she brought me to a quaint little place in Vito Cruz called Noriter Cafe. I fell in love with the place straight-away!

Adorable counter! The menu is written on blackboard with colored chalk :)
It's the little touches that add to the over-all charm of this cafe ♥
Walking into this cafe feels like being transported to the set of a Korean TV series!
They even have two walls dedicated to paper cups the customers  have doodled on!
Mimai showed me a paper cup she has doodled on herself :)
Here are what we ate:

Seriously the biggest serving of halo halo I've eaten!
Aside from the usual Pinoy dessert we're used to though, Noriter Cafe's halo halo is filled with fruits.
Aside from milk and crushed ice, ingredients include bananas, watermelons, kiwi, pineapples, peaches, cherries, nata de coco, grapes, mangoes, red beans, and corn flakes topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup :)
Mai also ordered Honey Bread.
It's home-baked bread topped with whipped cream, drizzled  with caramel syrup, and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Yummmm. Tastes as good as it smells!
Loooove this place! If only it's not too far from the office, I would love to bring my friends/ officemates here! ♥
After getting lost in quaint Korea (LOL that's my secret nickname for Noriter Cafe), Mimai brought me to The Collective in Malugay Street, Makati City. Too bad most of the shops were closed, but we still had a ball checking out the shops that were open. It was amazing how the shops look like the shops in Cubao X! They were all unique, eclectic, and not at all like the shops we are accustomed to seeing in malls.

Just like this shop, Yadu. It is very cozy and homey inside.
They sell bags and purses made of quilted fabrics. Very unique!
I also love that they are environment friendly; they do not use plastic bags for purchases.
Their shop looks like an art studio. Fellow April celebrator Meream and her boyfriend Uzi will love it here :)
Mimai and I parted ways at around 4:30PM. Too bad, we still have lots of stories to tell each other! But then again, that's another reason to set another date again, yes? Hopefully next time I'll be the one to introduce you to a place you've never been to! :)

My loot for the day:

From National Bookstore at Vito Cruz while waiting for Mimai.
Sex and the City (The Movie) book and hot pink/ black animal print notebook.
I just realized the colors matched, I swear it was completely unintentional!
You won't believe this, but the full color, hardbound Sex and the City book with glossy pages was being sold for only P235! Being very interested in books AND movies, I love books that tell how a movie was made. I have several books like this already (Batman Begins, The Da Vinci Code, Dracula, etc.) so this is a wonderful addition to my collection. And get this, because of the on-going sale in all branches of National Bookstore, I got this for only P188! I read it last night, relived the movie, and fell in love with Carrie and the girls all over again ♥

My Yadu wallet
I love the unique design and the pretty fabrics used ♥
Lookie, Mimai gave me a card and a pair of pretty cherry earrings she got from Bangkok ♥
Thank you so much Mimai! I'm so excited for our next afternoon out! Gosh, you make me realize that I've lived in Metro Manila for 25 years already, yet there are still A LOT of nooks and crannies waiting to be explored! 'Til next time! And Meream, it would be all kinds of amazing if you can come with us! Please wait for Mr. Postman to come knocking at your door one of these days ♥

This is what I wore ^^,
Top - Penshoppe | Shorts - 168 | Bag - e.g.g. | Ballerina flats - Ylla
Tomorrow is the last day of my two weeks vacation from work! I'll be spending the day cleaning my apartment as I haven't been there since the first week of April. Time to step back to yuppie-reality; an independent girl's gotta do what an independent girl's gotta do -___-

PS: Read Mimai's post about our birthdate here. She takes really beautiful photos!

PPS: A few more days before A Krissyfied Giveaway ends! Click here to join now!