Are you a Wolf or Fox?

I know what you're all thinking, "Patty's so cool!" yes, yes, yes, I AM. It's so undeniable at times. There's just so much cool juice running through my veins that it's hard to contain my natural swag. Even when I cry, my tears drop down my cheeks with rhythm boom-boom-pow-boom. Okay, I kid. I am a dork and a half and I am so out of the loop when it comes to the "cool joints" in the metro. I'm so glad I managed to fit in with the cool kids at Wolf And Fox. The place was packed at dinner time and rightfully so, with it's dark and masculine interiors, winning cocktails and a creative menu, it came as no surprise really. It's located at Two Parkade of Bonifacio High Street. I suggest you make reservations in advance though as it can get quite full starting at happy hour all the way to dinner time (and after). It's not exactly a resto you'd want to bring your baby too (well at least at night), this is more of a hangout spot for barkadas. 
"Wolves like all things sophisticated and chic, opting for urban, modern flavors. Meanwhile, the fox is all about organic, fresh, artisan food that warms the heart. Whichever of these two types of people you are, Wolf and Fox Gastropub promises great bites and good company. 

Established in May 2014 by the creators of Sumo Sam, John and Yoko, Dekada, and Akira restaurants, Wolf and Fox offers a perfect place to hang out and relax with its creative, contemporary menu, a wide array of liquors and cocktails, and stylish interiors. The menu is also ingeniously divided into two sections: a “Wolf” menu and a “Fox” menu."
We got a mix of the Wolf and Fox menus. Their servings are quite generous and great for sharing with friends. We are alcohol lightweights so we just really focused more on the food! Hehehe! But I hear that this place is well known for their cocktails and spirits, so if you want to dine and drink this is the place for you. Both menus offer starters, mains, signature cocktails and even desserts. My favorites were the 1)Fish and Chips 2)Bangers and Mashed Potato (looked a bit funny but really yummy!!! so tasty! we all loved this best) and the Nachos too are great for pica-pica. 
Food shots provided by Wolf&Fox 
Thanks again Wolf&Fox :) :)

Our Time, Precious Time

If there's one thing that my grandfather, my father, my father in law and my husband have in common next to their love for God, it would be their respect for TIME. I remember my Lolo Gali waking us up at 6am for a 2pm flight when we were kids, he hated being late and would always make an "allowance" even if medyo exagggg siya minsan. Hahaha! My dad and father in law are the same way, always very mindful of their watches. They always show up to their meetings on time and even when it comes to family get togethers, they're always there on the dot---which really makes us feel special :) 

I'm glad Patrick is like that too. Even when we were just dating, he would never show up late, in fact he would always be too early---I guess excited kasi siya makita ako! Aba syempre!!! Being on time is a trait of a true gentleman, if you ask me. If a guy ALWAYS picks you up late and always has a new excuse, please consider this. Whether he is traveling via car, bus, jeep, tricycle, if he cares about you he will be wise with his time and make the extra effort to get to you when you expect him to be there. 

Patrick and I always try our very best to be on time, maybe not precisely on the dot but to be there when it really matters and when it's expected--whether it's to a meeting, a family gathering, or even just a casual hang out with friends. We even poke fun at ourselves because we are always the first ones at any party. We actually don't mind being earlybirds, in fact, it's an opportunity for us to just talk to each other and enjoy some QT in a new setting. Hahahaha! We may not be "cool" but that's just how we are wired. 

A person's relationship with time is very telling. Punctuality does not make you a stickler, it makes you considerate of others. Of course, the same consideration allows you to be flexible and allow for a bit of a grace period in between the minutes. You'll forgive a 9:07am arrival for a casual 9:00am meeting but if it's a visa application, job interview, or a client presentation 9:00am roughly translates to 8:30am if you really want to make a good impression. 

I don't have a perfect record, of course I've been late a couple of times, especially when I find myself sandwiched in between meetings. Like most of you, I'm a victim of the domino effect. Even if I am present at the arranged time, if the people I'm meeting with come late, then that meeting naturally ends beyond the expected hour and everything else on my day's calendar is pushed back to my disappointment. Because I'm a freelancer, I've had to master the art of "tancha" giving proper allowances in between for a bit of wiggle room. But there are days that are just packed and you really are at the mercy of other people. 

Whenever I am late, I always, always feel embarrassed about it and profusely apologize for it. To me being late means you didn't plan ahead, you didn't anticipate the traffic, you didn't consider those who would be waiting for you. And even if you say sorry, the fact remains that you have inconvenienced someone else because of your tardiness. Being tardy also makes you miss out on good conversations and moments that you won't be able to reclaim. Talagang "If only I could turn back time" and slogan ng mga dakilang LATE. Hahaha!

It's not cute or cool or funny to be late, if you think about it---it actually is quite rude. In other countries, being on time is the only way to go. I can imagine being late in Japan, Germany or Singapore is like having LBM---it's something that could happen to anyone but it's something you would try your very best to avoid, something you'd be embarrassed about and something that could ruin your entire day and your dealings with others. Unless you have a valid reason like an emergency or a health related issue, then being late shouldn't become an option. 

The Manila reality is we have traffic, horrible traffic, at any given hour at any given street---so we just have to deal with it. We are all slaves to traffic jams. The roads do not miraculously clear up when my car passes ala-Truman Show. I have to move at a glacial pace along with the rest of the commuting population. Save for the surprise flash floods, road construction detours, accidents and other things we can't anticipate---traffic is traffic and that's part of the "beauty" (grrr) of Manila life. So instead of sulking away and letting it affect the quality of your life, we could face it proactively. We can make a bit of effort by leaving earlier, planning our travel route properly, calculating the time allotted for pit-stops on the way, etc. I know it's easier said than done, and I screw up a lot with this at times, but it CAN be done. 

Imagine if everyone committed to be on time. Imagine all the extra hours we'd have at our disposal! The 30 minutes saved here, the 20 minutes saved there---all this could add up and would mean more time to do other things that really matter. We'd have more time to cuddle with our sweethearts, have a proper nap, we could squeeze in a DVD marathon, or have some free time to blog! Yey! Not only that, we'd become more productive at work, we'll earn more brownie points from our bosses/clients, and we'll just be in a happier/better mood too! I don't think I can vow to be strictly on time for all my future engagements, but I will promise to value my TIME and the TIME of others better. I'm sure it will also change when I have kids of my own which will cause me to divide and compartmentalize my TIME even more thoroughly, but I've seen my supermom friends manage and still make being ON TIME a priority---so hopefully, I will be able to follow in their footsteps too when that day comes. :) :) 

Muji To GO

If you scroll down to May of this year, you'll find a blog entry I wrote entitled "Packing Like A Pro"  . I figured it was high time to make a second installment and address your concerns regarding TRAVEL again. Today, I'll answer a few questions I've received from my awesome readers via email.

Note: I've purchased most of my travel essentials both here and abroad, but for the sake of convenience, I'm listing down the items that are readily available in the Philippines just so you'll be able to purchase them easily. The products on this list are from the MUJI to GO line, which you can buy in a MUJI store near you :) I just love MUJI! It's Japanese heaven for me! My in laws and I visited the High Street store last Sunday and we hung out for almost an hour! Hehehe! They have a promo until August 31, get 10% OFF on all Muji luggage and 15% OFF when you buy 1 luggage and 2 or more selected travel items. Check them out on Facebook or Twitter for more details. 

Question: "There are so many passport holders in the market, which one would you recommend?"

Side story time! So one of our best friends, BJ Albert, got us a fire proof safe as a wedding gift. It was one of the most practical gifts we've ever received and we were thrilled when it was delivered to our condo. The only problem---we didn't (and still don't) have anything valuable to put inside the safe! Hahahaha!! Kakahiya diba! I'm not saying we're dirt poor, my husband has made it so that we live quite comfortably---BUT we really don't have any prized possessions to "keep safe". Our money is tucked in safely in Sun Life and the bank (all 20 pesos of it, hahahaha, I kid!), we don't own any jewelry (except for our wedding rings), we don't have any gold bars or numerous property titles. The only valuables we could find were 1)our birth certificates 2)OUR PASSPORTS! That's it! Indeed, our passports are the most important material possessions we have at home and I would be heartbroken if I lost them. Sure, technically they're replaceable---but how do you replace all the stamps from all the countries we've visited in the past 2 years?!?! And that's why I always encourage people to invest in a good passport holder. Now, I have nothing against the borloloy types of passport holders. If you love Hello Kitty, then by all means, bring Hello Kitty along with you! But personally, I would lean towards the simpler designs for Passport holders. It's best to invest in a case that will be durable enough to keep your passport from tearing, folding or worse---getting wet! Eeep! :) Also, opting for a cleaner and simpler design also doesn't cause unnecessary attention especially since you'll be going through immigrations with it. You don't want to give the immigrations officer a headache with your rhinestone filled passport holder. I'm not saying it'll be reason enough for him to deny you entry, but you never know! If some people judge a book by it's cover, some might judge your passport by it's cover too! Hehehe!
Question: "I'm planning to do a bit of shopping but I'm not quite sure how much I'll be able to purchase. Should I just bring a big maleta just to be sure?"

Of course having a big suitcase is always a sure win for shoppingeras. But I would suggest just packing proportionally, by this I mean you have to pack smart (not under-packing or over-packing). You can opt to just bring a foldable bag with you instead. You can get a bag that folds into a small pouch (a little bigger than a CD case) that won't take too much space in your maleta. Then when you have made your purchases already, you can open it up and voila! An extra bag to keep all your purchases in order. No need to lug around several paper bags to the airport.

Question: "Packing is a nightmare for me. How can I create a system for it?"
I am a big advocate of packing cubes and keeping things in compartments. 1)It keeps things neat and organized. Having your things in order just puts you in a better mood! I'm not saying you have to go full on OC, but when things are easy on the eyes it just makes things lighter! 2)Having similar things together in little cubes makes it easier for you to keep tabs on your travel inventory. If you know you packed 5 pairs of socks, if one pair goes missing it'll be easier to check when they're all lumped together. 3) You'll be able to PACK MORE items when things are positioned properly. If things are folded/rolled well then you'll be able to budget your space more efficiently as opposed to just dumping it all in one go. Aside from packing cubes and space savers, I suggest getting a suitcase that has built in compartments already.

Question: "My husband keeps teasing me because whenever we travel I always bring my whole banyo with me. How can I pack my toiletries properly?"

I can totally relate. I've had my share of packing dilemmas with toiletries also. I have very sensitive skin and so I always deal with bouts of eczema and other skin ailments whenever I'm exposed to abrupt changes in weather. I always, always make the mistake of underpacking my skin care essentials just because I always convince myself that "Oh, I'm sure my skin won't react so negatively"---but of course, surprise surprise!!! I find myself in the middle of Europe with red patches on my skin, rushing to the nearest pharmacy trying to find a cure for my skin problems. So there, I end up spending 15 euros for a tube---15 euros that I could have added to my lunch budget! Hayyy. So I know better now, I always make sure I have all my battle gear ready and place them in small travel safe containers. Since you have the opposite dilemma (overpacking), I would still suggest investing in high quality travel containers so you wouldn't have to bring the family sized shampoo and conditioner you have at home. Sachets are also an economical way to go about it but if you're going for the more eco-friendly route, I suggest going for reusable travel bottles for your toiletries instead. I would also recommend a plastic kikay kit, this allows you to just wash off any spillage that may occur in transit. Sure, your leather cases might look much more sophisticated but imagine the nightmare of trying to scrub off your toothpaste from a leather pouch. Yikes! 

So there, I hope I was able to help you guys with my simple travel accessories tips. If you have more travel related concerns, just shoot me an email at pattylaurelfilart@gmail.com and I'll try to compile another Q&A batch :) Wishing you all happy adventures!

A Crafty Wednesday Afternoon

I'm very lucky to have Alessa as one of my dearest friends, she's a born creative and her life is fueled by her passion to create beautiful things from scratch. I, on the other hand, am more of an ideas person but unlike others who are able to breathe life into concepts all on their own, I feel I thrive best when I'm collaborating with others. I love bouncing off other people's energies and drawing inspiration from the team. It's fun to learn from the people around me.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again, Alessa and I love doing little happy projects together. For no particular reason or occasion, just for the sake of learning something new together and sharing the good mojo with like minded people. Both of us love JAPAN, and by LOVE I mean DIE HARD LOVE, so we decided to come up with a small Japanese inspired Crafternoon for our friends. Of course, Alessa took full control of the crafts (because wala naman among alam!) and I played second fiddle :) She taught all of us how to do FUROSHIKI ART and the girls were happily stamping away throughout the afternoon.
Our friends from CRAFT CARROT (headed by our college buddy, Ding Arancon) also joined us for the afternoon. They provided the stamps for our craft activity and also set up a little booth on the side. It came as no surprise that the girls all swarmed over the Craft Carrot booth---like bees to a tub of honey! If you love colored pens, markers, stamp pads, paint, brushes, and all things crafty you will certainly go bonkers when you visit www.craftcarrot.com :) They are a specialty Arts&Crafts retailer that sources only high quality products from all over the region. If you'd like to take your craftiness to a whole new level of cool, they can hook you up with the right materials! They ship all over the Philippines which makes it very hassle free!

To keep with the theme of our Japanese inspired afternoon, Jen Jimenez of Shiseido surprised all my friends with the highly buzzed about SHISEIDO ULTIMUNE!!!! Yes, my friends all got first dibs of this wonder product! As of writing, it still hasn't officially launched in the Philippines yet (it will be coming out in stores SOON! Stay tuned for updates). Like I mentioned before, I'll be dedicating another post just to share the wonderful effects this product has had on my skin. Thank you again Team Shiseido for the goodies :)

And of course, how could we NOT talk about the food c/o my favorite Vegetarian restaurant: PIPINO!!!! We had Kale Chips, Quinoa Sushi Rolls, Cold Soba Buckwheat Noodles with Tofu and Veggie Tempura, Eggplant and Tofu Miso and my favorite Oatmeal Cookies with Vegan Ice Cream!!!!! YUM YUM YUM!!! Healthy and satisfying food even for non-vegetarians like me :)
Congratulations to all our FUROSHIKI ART graduates!!!! Hope on over to www.lifeafterbreakfast.ph for more details---Alessa will be blogging about the actual craft soon! Thank you Craft Carrot and Shiseido Philippines for your support! And BIG Thanks to all our girlfriends for joining us last Wednesday, 'til our next happy hangout!:)  

Lily Aldridge

Lily is my favorite Victoria Secret angel and this "Sexy Short" makes her even more adorable. :)

My Common Thread Top 10

I dropped by Common Thread in Greenbelt a few days ago and took home a lot of happy items to brighten up my gloomy (and rainy) days this August. Here are my TOP 10 picks for the month!
1. Piesa Neon Fabric Necklaces 
I can pile all three necklaces together or wear each one separately. These bold pieces are perfect to pair with plain Thread 365 tank tops and denim cut off shorts.
2. LUXE Travel Guidebook
I love these LUXE guides, they come in pocket friendly sizes which is perfect for discerning travelers.
3. HOOLA Sunnies
HOOLA has the cutest sunnies! And most of the styles are unisex friendly too---so this pair will be shared by me and Pat. Hehehe.
4. Thread 365 Pink Pocket Tee for MEN (But I got the XS size for me! Hehehe!)
When I'm feeling a bit bloated, I put on my husband's tees for extra breathing room. These pocket tees are for men but are really cute on us girls too!
5. Renegade Folk Sandals
I instantly fell in love with these sandals with elastic straps! They come in different color combos too.
6. Luna by Havaianas
I live in Havaianas! These ones are slightly "dressier" than the standard flip flops so you can wear this with a nice, flawy dress or a cute pair of dress shorts.
7. CT Essentials Orange Canvas Sling Bag
This sling bag works for travel because it's just the right size that can fit your essentials like a camera, wallet and cellphone. 
8. Piesa Scribble Bangle
This bangle is lightweight and intricately formed. You can wear it with a cocktail dress or even with a more dressed down outfit or your favorite pair of jeans.
9. My DIY Bensimons (I stamped the stars all by myself!!!)
This is the pair I "made" for myself at last week's DIY event!
10. Totes Colorful Camo Umbrella
Battle the rainy day blues with this bright scene-stealing umbrella.

Aloha from Teddy's Bigger Burgers

Hawaii's FAVORITE Burger Joint is now in MANILA!!! Teddy's Bigger Burgers will be opening to the public on Saturday but my friends and I were able to get first dibs last night! Woohooo! (I love my job!) Thanks of course to the super restaurant trifecta of Marvin Agustin, Raymund Magdaluyo and Ricky Laudico for bringing Hawaii's best to the Philippine shores. 
I'm all for gourmet burgers with foie gras and truffle and all those fancy schmancy things. It's nice to dress your burgers up from time to time. But there are days when I just want a "hit-the-spot" kind of burger. A burger that's relatively simple but satisfying. A burger that you won't have to overthink. And I think that's what Teddy's Bigger Burgers can promise. It gives you the freedom to "build" your own burger with their selection of toppings (no tomatoes for me! Hahaha!) but if you want to go for something tried and tested already, they have their specialty burgers that are sure wins. Their Kailua burger came highly recommended by the staff---but get this, they mentioned that adding a hint of peanut butter would make a world of difference. We were all looking at each other like "Peanut Butter on my Burger?!? Wuuuuhtt??!". Surprisingly, it actually turned out pretty good! It's peculiar (and possible an acquired taste) but it does work in some odd but yummy way. 

I got a Teddy's Original Burger with Swiss Cheese and Mushroom and it did not disappoint. The meat was grilled to perfection at medium well so the patty was not dry or crumbly (which I hate with other burger joints). But what we all noticed was how compact the burger was. I have yet to figure out the secret behind this but it was not at all a mess to devour. The potato bun, toppings and patty held on to each other properly in every bite. 
So what makes Teddy's extra special? Teddy’s Bigger Burgers began in the backyard cookouts of Hawaii-based founders Ted Tsakiris and Rich Stula, both burger lovers. “They couldn’t understand why there were no burger restaurants that offered the same quality burger they cooked in their backyards, so they decided to open a burger restaurant to share it with other burger lover,” narratesTeddy’s Bigger Burgers Philippines Executive Chef Kirsten Habawel, who headed the Teddy’s PH team sent to train in Hawaii. “They decided to ‘reinvent the burger joint’ with a menu that focuses on high quality burgers, where every single patty is treated like the very first patty they’ve ever cooked.”

   “Our patty is made from 100% corn-fed U.S. Black Angus ground chuck, shipped regularly from the US from the same supplier of Teddy’s Hawaii, with no binders or fillers,” reveals Habawel. “All patties are hand-pattied daily, with the special seasoning of Ted and Rich, and always charbroiled to order.” Ground chuck is taken from the shoulder and neck portion of the cow, with prevalent meaty flavour and enough fat to ensure the beef does not dry out even when cooked on high temperature. “We use a formula of 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This is ideal for burgers because it does not need extenders but retains its shape. Most of all, it makes for a juicy patty,” adds Habawel. The patties have zero preservatives and are not injected with flavors. And because the patty is charbroiled, extra fat drips down instead of the patty swimming in grease.  Their burgers are BIG so make sure gutom na gutom na gutom ka when you get there.“Our burgers are bigger than the average burger. We start at 5 oz (Big) – that’s already a 1/3 pounder – and go on to 7 oz (Bigger) and 9 oz (Biggest) for our Original single patties, and our Monster Doubles (double patty sandwiches) go up to 10 oz, 14 oz, and 18 oz.”  Aside from their burgers, they also serve fries, tater tots, onion rings, chicken wings, and MILKSHAKES! Yum! 
Teddy's Bigger Burgers will open its doors on AUGUST 23 in Greenbelt 3 (It's located just across Yakimix and Nanbantei) and they have a very special promo for all the burger lovers!!! The first 100 in line during the opening will get FREE burgers. BUT GET THIS: The first 5 in the line will get ONE YEAR SUPPLY OF BURGERS while the 6th-10th in line will get HALF A YEAR SUPPLY OF BURGERS! That's insane!!!!! The line opens at 7AM so if you're ready for a chow down challenge, you better line up first thing in the morning. Bring your whole barkada so you could all win the freebies together. Hehehe :) You can visit www.facebook.com/teddysburgersPH for more details. 

Vogue Original Shorts

I love these Vogue Original Shorts--they're quick and funny 
and enough to brighten up your day :) Happy Friday, y'all!!!

Click here to watch Emma doing her "tricks" :)
Click here to watch Mindy in the Vogue closet.
Click here to watch Anna Wintour and Riri texting.
Click here to watch Kate Upton dancing. 

Compare Less, Contemplate More

"Compare Less, Contemplate More." This was the take home statement of Phil Dooley when he preached in the Hillsong Sydney service we attended several Sundays ago. I was so moved by his sermon and figured it would be nice to "contemplate" on it further here on my blog. 

I remember taking a similar approach to heart at a very young age. When I was 7 years old, my mom overheard me talking to a classmate on the phone. (Uso pa ang telebabad nun!) 

Classmate: "We have 3 aircons in our house! How many aircons do you have?" 
Me: "Oh wait..." *covering the mouthpiece* "MOM! How many aircons do we have?"
Mom: "Hmm...let me see..I guess we have 6, anak. Why?"
Me: "Oh nothing.." *uncovers mouthpiece of the phone* "We have SIX aircons!!!!!" 
Classmate: "WOOOOOW! You have SIX??!!"

Naturally, this classmate of mine thought we lived in a mansion and that we were filthy rich. The reality of course was that our house was actually a preschool and we had six aircons---one for each classroom! Our entire family of 4 was actually just cooped up in just one room because all the other bedrooms were converted into classrooms. Hehehe :)

I remember my mom sitting me down after that phone call, obviously disappointed with the whole "yabangan" scenario that my classmate and I were cluelessly engaged in over the phone. She lovingly explained to me some very valuable life lessons that day. I learned to 1) never weigh a person's worth based on their wealth/material possessions 2) to never ever, ever compare myself with others. My parents practiced these two things all throughout their lives and it is because I've seen them breathe life into these principles day in and day out---it was more than just "words of wisdom" for me. Their practical application made it concrete for me. Seeing them live a life free of comparisons and material expectations made me understand how liberating it can be. 

My sister and I had our stubborn and annoying teenage phases with the standard "My friends all have cellphones! Why can't I get my own cellphone?!". And it would always end with a quick "Well..anak. That's them, that's not us." And just like that the discussion was over and we would just have to deal with it. But what I love about my mom and dad's philosophy is that it did not just end at the "Don't Compare" mantra---they took a few steps further than this. They taught us to also be happy for others.  If a classmate of mine would get a new pair of GUESS Jeans, I would marvel at how nice the fit was on her and give her a compliment "It fits you so well! Ganda!". Of course, I would have my SM Tweenets jeans on and totally rock it too. I loved how they looked on me and how they flattered my figure too. She had her stuff, I had my stuff. And that was that. There was no need to compare and no need to sulk over things I would never own. And in the same fashion of not comparing upwards, I also never felt the urge to compare downwards---to brag about the things I had that others lacked.

Of course, it's all but natural to make comparisons. It's human nature. It happens. But there's always a threshold, I guess. It's also healthy to compare yourself to others---but only, if you have a teachable and well-meaning heart. By pitting yourself against someone else who may be "doing better" than you in a certain aspect-- you might be able to pick up some new tactics on how to do things more efficiently, adapt a better attitude, or gain inspiration. BUT if by comparing your lot with others you end up feeling discouraged, hopeless, resentful or envious---then maybe you'll need to check your motives first.

At the end of Phil Dooley's sermon he asked everyone in the congregation to participate in a little exercise. The instructions were simple, if he mentioned something and you fell under that category then you would have to stand and the rest of the congregation would have to "celebrate" you by clapping. So he began with "Which of you here have just gotten married? Or engaged in the past year?" So about 3 or 4 couples stood and the rest of us clapped for them. "Who just bought a new car?" About 5 people stood up, and we clapped for them too. "Who just got a promotion?" "Who just gave birth to a new baby?" "Stand up if you just moved into a new apartment!". It was a series of claps and shrieks for a good ten minutes. The church was filled with such a warm, celebratory energy. It felt good to feel good for the good things happening to other people. We didn't know these people but we felt incredibly happy for them. Imagine being happy for people we actually know?? People in our circles, people in our office, people in our barkadas! Just think of what kind of happiness you'll fill your life with if you had the capacity to celebrate God's goodness in the lives of others. As they say, it's easy to be happy for yourself (when good things happen to you) but to be happy for others (especially when things aren't going your way in your own life)---that's when you know you have a HEALTHY heart. 

I am incredibly blessed to have friends with HEALTHY hearts. Walang yabangan, walang parinigan, walang inggitan. I feel safe around them and I don't feel like I have to keep up with anyone's expectations. They love me and Patrick for who we are and understand that the Lord has a unique life path for us---that this life path has it's own color, shape and form and doesn't have to look exactly like anyone else's. And that's how we see them too :) Some friends are meant to be Ateneans, others Lasallians. There are those who are built to be freelancers, others are excellent at their 9-to-5 routines. Some are meant to be doctors, others lawyers, others are meant to be in the North, some are meant to reside in the South. Some have extra money, others have extra talents. Some get hitched at 20, others find the love of their lives at 45. Different stories, different blessings, different challenges---but LOVED by the Lord, all the same. The Lord manifests his LOVE in unique ways at a specified time for each of us. So don't be confined to the "Buti pa siya..eh bakit ako, wala pa rin" mentality that blinds us from seeing the goodness of God in our own lives. When you're too busy looking at the lives of others, you miss out on the good stuff happening in your own little bubble! Sayang naman diba :) If you must look at the lives of others, use it to inspire you! Like I mentioned a few posts back, it's better to remind yourself that "If God can do this for them, he can do GREAT things for me!". 

So the next time you see a friend get engaged (and you've been No-Boyfriend-Since-Birth), congratulate them. If an officemate gets the promotion (the one you've been eyeing), give them a pat on the back for a job well done. If a friend of yours was able to lose 15 pounds (and you're still struggling with your no-rice diet), offer a genuine compliment! Instead of drowning in a puddle of envy and resentment, choose to celebrate others. So when your time comes to receive God's favor, others will be happy to celebrate with you too!!! :) :) 

The Tokyo Ultimune Tour

Last July, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Tokyo for the unveiling of Shiseido's latest skin care innovation, ULTIMUNE. Each bottle contains 20 years of careful scientific research so you can imagine all the buzz surrounding this superstar product. I've been using this product for over a month now and the results have been astounding. I will post more about it in my next blog entry, just so I can share my personal take on it :) But for now, I just wanted to post some photos from our 2 day Shiseido experience. 

Thanks to Jen Jimenez-Yalung of Shiseido Philippines for being such a gracious host. She lives and breathes Shiseido. On a more personal note, I was actually really impressed by her skin texture---especially since she's a busy working mom, she always manages to look so fresh and young. I asked her about her skin care regimen and she swears that the condition of skin improved dramatically since she began using Shiseido's products. That was enough to convince me to try the products on myself too. Hehehe :) I also had the pleasure of spending time with Pauline Suaco-Juan of PREVIEW (If you ask me, she's a legend in the industry!) and Ning Hilario of MEG Magazine (who I really enjoyed chatting with throughout the trip! I was surprised to discover that we had so much in common.). Although we were there on an official media trip, the itinerary was very relaxed and engaging. I was able to learn a lot about Shiseido's ULTIMUNE product, the science behind it and how it can benefit a regular Filipina like me. 

We were billeted at the newly opened HOTEL ANDAZ. After getting settled in our hotel rooms, we hopped on a cab and visited the iconic SHISEIDO Flagship Store in Ginza. This is the TOYS 'R US for beauty junkies!!! You can spend an entire afternoon just browsing through all the skin care and makeup products in this building. If you are traveling to Tokyo soon, be sure to include this in your itinerary (and set aside a bit of shopping money too!). 

Turning Japanese.
The Shiseido Flagship Store is home to hundreds of beauty products!
 I was so fascinated by this! You can try makeup virtually without having to slather it on your face. You can test different eye shadows, lipsticks, eyeliners all within seconds!:)
I got a personal one-on-one skin care consultation. This service is complimentary, by the way, so I really took advantage of it. After my consultation, the beauty technician showed me the products that I could use to address my skin problems. 
We had dinner at The Shiseido Parlour which was just 
across the street from the Shiseido Flagship store. 
I was obsessed with these Lemon Cheesecake squares!
Striking a pose at the hotel hallway. Thanks Ning for taking this photo! Hihihi!
Vest is by Marks and Spencer. Tank Top by Thread 365. Pants and Shoes by Suiteblanco. 
Bag by Liujo. Necklace by SM Accessories.

Enjoying some ME time at the Bath Tub! This was my first time to try the Shiseido Hair Care line and WOOOOW---my hair felt so silky after just one use!
The beautiful view just outside my hotel room.
Top by Stradivarius. Jeans by 7 For All Mankind. Necklace by Suiteblanco.

On the second day, we were all invited to the intimate Media/Press lunch hosted by Shiseido. Here we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the ULTIMUNE product. The presentation was in Japanese but thankfully we were given an earpiece with a translator and our own iPads to go through the program in English. 
Immunity Red Juices

My Dress and Shoes by Liujo. Blazer by Mango. 

Getting our skin tested by the Shiseido experts. I had to hold my breath for a few seconds before releasing a sigh of relief upon receiving my results. My skin passed with flying colors! Yehey!!! But of course, there's still room for improvement---and that's why the ULTIMUNE was such a timely product for my 31 year old skin. 
An immunity boosting lunch prepared by the chefs of Andaz hotel. 
The chocolate and raspberry dessert was absolutely divine!!! 
Bloggers, Magazine Editors, and Beauty Writers from all over Asia were going gaga 
over the new Ultimune! 
After the luncheon, we were given a rare opportunity to interview Junichi Hosoi, Ph.D. and his team. He was kind enough to answer all our questions about the product. I'll share all this in my next post :) 
Later in the evening, we changed into something a bit more fancy. It was raining cats and dogs but the party was still on fire for Shiseido's ULTIMUNE Party. It was red all over---RED to celebrate the power of immunity that can be found in each ULTIMUNE bottle. We were treated to an evening of free flowing wine, canap├ęs, and desserts! And it was nice to ogle at all the Japanese celebrities too! They all looked spectacular---and they all had flawless skin. I'll always be a fan of Asian beauty!
I wore a custom made lace midriff top by talented, young designer Rosenthal Tee and paired it with a plain black skirt to keep it simple.  I got a lot of compliments that evening :) :) Hihihihi!
The Philippine team looking stunning at the ULTIMUNE Party. 
Thank you again to SHISEIDO for inviting me to this 2-day Beauty Rendezvous.
 Stay tuned for my next post, it's all about my new love affair with the Shiseido ULTIMUNE!


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