Design Friday: Soft for Lofts

Many of you may not know this but I'm a frustrated interior designer. I'm a frustrated many things..or maybe I'm just frustrated in general, Hahaha. Let's discuss that next time. But I love visiting home and appliance stores, sifting through interior design magazines and coffee table books, watching decorating shows on television. I love putting pretty things together, working with themes and color schemes, and transforming an empty space into a home filled with warmth. When I was in high school, when all my friends would go shopping..I'd secretly breakaway from the group to visit the HOME section of the department store. I'd check out different sofas, kitchenware, coffee makers, and linens. Yes, I was a 45 year old high school senior. If you gave me a Louis Vuitton bag, I'd be SOOOO happy..but!!!! if you gave me a gray sectional sofa, I'd hug you, your yaya, and even your dog! Hahahaha!:)

Being a house-dweller all my life, I've been longing to live in a LOFT for years. There's just something about lofts that draws me: the high ceilings, the multi-level dimensions, the many lighting possibilities, its functionality and compactness. When Patrick and I started dating, just after a few dates and still in the getting to know you phase, we discovered that we both had a "Secret Loft Dream". We had just met but we were already plotting out the floor plans and interior design elements of our "dream loft" together as if we were married. Crazy, huh?:) Hehehehe! We're not the love letter kind of couple, our form of "lambing" to each other is sending links via email. Nothing mushy and cheesy just "Check out the white brick walls. Click here." OR "Ganda ng wallpaper!" We enjoy sending each other pictures of interesting homes and apartments. It's our lunch break destress-ant to just go "Loft Hunting" online. Although it's a LONG shot that we'll ever have the moolah to actually build something awesome someday, it's still a happy dream we like to share. Libre naman mangarap diba. To be honest, you can put me anywhere and I'd still be grateful. Just to have a roof over my head is a blessing from God already. But I believe He also grants the desires of our hearts and knows us so well, so I'm confident that we'll get our dream loft someday, somehow. It doesn't have to be fabulous, as long as it's small, cozy and charming! Panalangin at Kayod Kabayo lang yan!!!:) Here are a few of my favorite LOFT images from The Fancy.







 

Birthday Time, Zexy Style.


My BFF Alessa celebrated her 29th birthday by preparing a 5 course vegan dinner for 29 of her closest girlfriends..including ME of course! I looked forward to this party all week long!!! Even when we were younger, Alessa would always be known as our group's best "party-thrower" (if that's even a term) but I could tell that this affair was going to be more intimate and special. I picked up my fellow southerners Nicole and Kathleen and we braved the traffic to get to PIPINO in Teacher's Village, QC. Alessa has always been known for her impeccable taste and it showed in even the most minute details. We absolutely loved ALL the dishes she prepared for us. The plating was so creative and the flavors were oh-so-delish! Snap-snap, sister! Hahaha!:) Well done, Zexy! You can read more about her party preps here




If there's one person who's been a constant in my life for many years, other than my family of course, it would be Alessa Libongco-Lanot. (Actually magka-level sila halos ni Kuya Reynante, our faithful family driver!) We have a twin connection like no other, she's always thinking what I'm thinking and vice versa. Just recently, she started a new blog entitled LIFE AFTER BREAKFAST. I'm not saying this with any buddy bias, but it's helluva awesome!!! Oh no, I promised myself I'd refrain from using "Awesome" and "Epic"--the two most overused words of the year..but I couldn't help it, Awesome is what it is. If you're looking for your daily fix of creativity and positivity, this should be on your bookmark page. She was hesitant at first to start it, but as her stage blog mom..I practically FORCED her to blog! Hahaha! As you know, Alessa designed this blog (and also my previous blog) and I've been getting so many raves about the pretty watercolor art on my banner (Yep, she hand painted all those pretty details!)..you'll see more of her artworks and design projects on her site. So excited for you to finally get to know my bestest buddy in the whole wide universe..she's my Life Mojo Booster Extraordinaire! Wooohoooo!!!




Travel Tuesday: PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

I'm currently working on a travel itinerary for an upcoming trip. And since my friends and I are determined to keep this within a tight budget, it seems like commuting via public transpo is our ONLY choice. A choice I'm more than happy to take! I love taking public transpo every time I'm abroad..maybe because ours is el crappo, therefore, I have very low standards. Hahahaha. :) But compared to the far flung cities and middle of nowhere towns I've been to..you'll be surprised to discover that we AINT so bad after all. I mean, just don't compare us to Japan of course! Them Japs are of another era! In my many years of traveling cheap, here are some of my top tips when it comes to commuting abroad...

1. Get ready to get LOST.

    You are in an unfamiliar territory, grounds you have never trekked. So prepare to get lost. Getting lost is all part of the fun. But if you don't prepare yourself, getting lost can cause panic and stress as well. And getting lost can start a blame game with family members. "Sabi ko sa 'yo dapat dun tayo bumaba! Ang tigas kasi ng ulo mo!" Ay, PATAY. My dad LOVES to walk and well, I don't love it AS much. If it's strolling leisurely in a park then that's fine with me. But if we're trying to get to a specific place at a specific time..I try to cut down the walking by plotting out transportation alternatives. So you can imagine the many petty arguments I've had with my dad while on vacay. Hehehe! Equip yourself with all the tools you'll need to get you back on track (bring a guide book, a map, a translator, a GPS device, a bar of chocolate to bribe some stranger into driving you there, anything that might be helpful in figuring out directions)

2. Bring loose change.

    If you don't plan to get mugged, please do not wave your 100 dollar bills in public. Break your big bills into coins and study their currency before stepping out of the hotel. Familiarize yourself with the different denominations. Research on how much you're supposed to pay for each ride and set it aside. If you're traveling with a group, distribute the exact amount to each person and ask them to pay individually. The last thing you wanna be is this group of annoying tourists crowding the bus driver and causing a stall on the line. You'll piss off a lot of regular commuters who are rushing to work. If you need to ask directions, then let the locals in first then wait for a proper "opening" to pester the driver.


3. Sit close to the windows and the doors.

   If you have the luxury to choose a spot, try sitting close to the doors or windows. Often times when I'm traveling alone (lugging around my big suitcase all by myself) I sit right next to the door because you only have a few seconds to get off a train/bus, so you cut down that additional 3-5 seconds of moving hurriedly from a far seat to the aisle to the exit. Also when you sit close to the windows, you'll be able to see street signs or even the actual monument /building you're looking for.

4. Know how to pronounce your destination of choice properly.

    I spent nearly 30 minutes circling the same block figuring out the location of the Van Gogh museum simply because I didn't pronouce it properly. I kept saying "Van Go" and the locals kept shrugging me off..finally one local corrected me and told me "Oh you mean Van Gohhhhkkk? Just take a right at the corner". Question: Kaano-ano ni Van Gogh si Vandolph? So ask your hotel concierge, research on google, or ask a local on how to spell and pronounce certain words and places. Also, try to figure out what the place is called for locals. Like Prague is Praha or Praga. It also helps to see alternate spellings for each destination.

5. Keep your belongings close to you.

    Whether you're commuting here or abroad, practice common sense. I'm not saying you should be praning, but be aware and alert at all times. Keep your gadgets stowed inside your bag when entering crowded trains and buses, only whip them out when you feel secure.

6. Don't be a victim.

    While we were in a crowded metro in Rome, my mom saw a female with a cute baby wrapped around her in a carrier. Since my mom loves babies, she started making faces to make the baby laugh. Next thing she knew, she felt a hand entering her pockets...they were the hands of the female carrying the baby! Apparently, pickpockets use babies to keep their victims distracted. Talagang the "Cute Baby Ninja Attack"! Ok, I'm not telling you to spit on every cute baby you see..but just practice discernment when in public. Wag maging eng-eng, mga kapatid. Kung hindi mo alam kung ano yung eng-eng...ayun, eng-eng ka nga!

7. Never ever stare at anyone. Mind your own business.

   Filipinos like to stare. It's the oddest thing. I'd be in a mall fitting a pair of shoes and the woman next to me would literally stare at me..not at my shoes, but at my actual face. At hindi pa discreet, talagang stare down of death! "Look at me as I look at you, ooohhhhhhhh" stare! Minsan gusto kong sagutin "Maam, umm..hindi po ako yung kagalit niyo sa opisina.. kamukha ko lang po siguro. Peace po, peace be with you." Hahahaha!!! But then I realized that it's just something Filipinos do unconsciously without meaning any harm. We're just natural starers. It's an idiosyncrasy we all do, like pointing with our nguso or talking while waving our utensils. But please, please do not stare when you're abroad. For some cultures and societies, this could be considered very disrespectful. Don't ever stare at someone at a New York subway, if you do...call your mom and tell her you love her, because trust me it will be your last day on earth! Just fix your gaze on something, the door, the map, your hand..anything, wag lang random stranger! Kahit manok pa yung katabi mo...do not STARE! Chickens are very private. Joke time c/o my friend Jay: in English: "Wow, Animal in Arrive" in Tagalog: "Naks, Hayop sa Dating!" Wenk,wenk,wenk.

8. Don't be afraid to ask. And ask again. And again.

    Men are always afraid to ask for directions. But it is crucial to ASK especially when you're in public. Sadly, the only way to ask is by stereotyping. I'm not one to judge a person by his appearance...he could be heavily tattooed with green hair and be the smartest person in the entire block. But with only a few seconds to spare, you have to think quick and ask people who look like they know their shizz. But if the hot shot lawyer looking guy carrying a briefcase gave you a stupid answer, ask again, and again..until you find their answers slowly merging into one cohesive answer. If you are in a country where English is not widely spoken, whip out your map or a blank piece of paper and ask the person to draw it for you.

    My friend of mine was in Thailand looking for Spicy Thai Tamarind. She asked some locals to lead her to a store but they barely spoke English and had no idea what the word "Tamarind" meant. So she took out her notepad and drew a sampaloc. Then they smiled at her and nodded "Yes!Yes!" and drew a map for her. She said thank you to the kind strangers and followed the map. She ended up in the Public Restroom. Looks like they thought she drew POO and not Sampaloc. Tama nga naman. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

9. Pay attention to your route while on the way to your destination so you will be more familiar with the direction you'll be heading towards on the way back.

    When you travel, it's nice to just zone out and NOT think. But if you're commuting, you have to use your mental faculties to get from point A to point B. Kung tamad ka mag-isip, bring a travel buddy to do the thinking for you! Hahaha! But seriously, it's good to be aware of your surroundings and environment and to plot out the new destination in your mind. Even if you are only staying in a particular place for just a weekend, know your area.

10. Enjoy the ride.

    I love exploring new places and the different ways of getting there. I marvel at the little things, like how efficient a metro system works in this country or how bizarre a bus ride can be in another. I love looking a tickets, passes, and stubs. Have fun with the whole experience of figuring out the public transportation system in a specific country and try ALL modes of transport! Get on a camel, get on a tuktuk, ride a stinky bus filled with a million strangers. Be adventurous people!!!

1. Local Bus in Nepal 2. Sleeper Train from Cairo to Aswan 3. Vintage Bus in Malta
1. London Underground 2. Bus Stop in Madrid 3. Old Tram in Prague
1. On the Train to Switzerland 2. Spanish Metro 3. JR Train Station Kyoto 4. Taxi Frenzy in NYC

Let's talk about it.



I've never been bullied growing up. Or perhaps I was bullied but I was too naive to ever feel that I was actually being bullied. Hahaha. That's more likely! I grew up happy in my dorkiness and owned my awkwardness. And I never ever felt the urge to bully someone else, to make another human being's life miserable, to deliberately put someone down, or to just intentionally inflict pain on someone. I'm no saint, I don't have a spotless record, I have wronged many people in the past..but I just never understood the point of being purposefully mean. A few friends and I were discussing the power of social networking sites and how people have become more cocky in the past few years simply because they can hide behind their keyboards and remain anonymous. Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and Online Forums are great venues to promote social awareness, reconnect with people, and send positive messages..but some people also choose to use these social networking sites to fuel negativity, camouflage personal insecurities by attacking others, and basically bully the people they can never bully in real life. It's an artificial power that makes you feel good for 5 minutes then it's back to feeling rotten all over again. Being mean is only fun for a while but after it just brings even more hurt and emptiness deep down inside. Even something as simple as commenting on someone's appearance, calling someone "fat" "panget" "jologs", or judging someone's personal life decisions..all these are forms of online bullying. We are all guilty of this.

You don't have to be rich and famous, or a celebrity, or a political figure to be a victim of cyber bullying. It happens everyday and it happens to everyone. I'm nowhere close to famous, I'm virtually unknown, only a handful of people know my name..yet I have been a victim of people's attacks online as well. A long time ago, I was bullied like never before by complete strangers. Sadly, unlike most celebrities who actually crave attention and believe that negative publicity is still good publicity..I was a very fragile, normal, law-abiding citizen..a weakazoid who wasn't emotionally prepared for the unnecessary attacks from random folks. Buti sana kung astig ako, if I were thick-skinned and ready for anything..but nooooo, I was a wuss who felt sad that people made up lies about me :( It hurt a lot. Aguyyy.

Many of you know I had a long relationship in the past with a good, decent man. He was a public figure, so indirectly I was also forced into the spotlight because of this. It was a nice and comfortable union but we had different core beliefs which made our life plans oppose each other. I believed in marriage, family and God. He DIDN'T quite get it the same way I did. He was good to me in the many years we were together, but he chose to do something that hurt me deeply which made staying together no longer an option. (This is something I have chosen to forgive a long time ago). We both decided to part ways amicably and we remained friends. I dealt with the heartbreak in silence for months. I struggled to keep a semblance of normalcy in my life, I kept myself busy, I channeled all my energy into my work, I tried to focus on the positive rather than sulking on the negative. I prayed, prayed, and prayed desperately for healing. It was hard enough to wake up every morning to drive to work but to make matters worse, news finally broke and people started commenting and sharing their personal takes on MY relationship. A relationship they were never a part of, a relationship of two people they never even met.

Ang lakas ng loob ng mga tao humirit at gumawa ng mga kwento, para bang kilalang-kilala nila ako.. Talo pa nila yung nanay at tatay ko! Parang close kami! Ang nakakatawa, hindi naman ako sikat..kaya hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako na pinag-uusapan ako o mapipikon na nakikialam sila sa buhay ko..Dapat ba magpasalamat ako? Thanks guys for wasting your net cafe credits on me! So touched guys!! Anobayantsong! Hahaha! Once I saw a series of tweets by random girls who were exchanging disrespectful messages about my personal life. Normally I would let these things slide, I figured it wasn't worth my time and stress..but at the same time, I felt compelled to defend myself. So I did. But to find the words to answer back gracefully pagkatapos kang bastusin..hayyyy, talagang ipinagdasal ko talaga yung sarili ko. Napakahirap magpakumbaba sa mga sitwasyon na ganito kung saan lubos kang sinasaktan at inaapi ng mga taong di mo ka-ano ano at di mo naman kilala.

WHY did I choose to speak about this after a year of staying mum? Because a lot of people out there are victims of bullying too and it's time to put an end to it. Here's my movie line moment...."If I could convince just one bully to change his ways through this post...or just one victim to have a voice and speak up..then I would consider this endeavor a success!!!" *SLOW CLAP* But seriously, that's the goal of this very personal post. If it means I have to be vulnerable and open up to all of you, then so be it!

I was not as confident before. I chose to brush it off because I thought that it would just die down like any little chismis. Besides, I was just so happy and giddy with a totally unexpected,new found love..that I forgot all about the negativity online. Sometimes God just takes you to a place of true joy and happiness, a place that shines so bright that it just makes all your past pains feel like a blur! Ok, sounds silly..kulang nalang rainbows and unicorns, but it's true!!!! :) :) Ano ba yan, I got side tracked by kilig..back to the moral of this post!

Today, I felt encouraged to finally address it in detail. I have been blessed by all my readers who visit this blog day in and day out, I owe it to all of you to make this a platform for positivity. Minsan puro jokes at kalokohan nalang sinusulat ko dito..siguro kailangan ko din magpaka-seryoso. So allow me to share some Manang tidbits of wisdom. Being MEAN is NOT cool, kids. It wasn't cool then and it will never be cool in the future. Whoever said "Nice guys finish last" was MEAN. Nice guys don't get the same things the MEAN dudes get, not because they were inferior but simply because nice people value different things, things that last a lifetime and provide true fulfillment while mean and shallow people focus their energy on futile and temporary joys. I may regret posting this someday..and some might just make fun of me for being overly-emotional and preachy. But I guess I just have to go with my gut feel and trust that my readers are sensible people with big hearts. Let's challenge each other to practice more sensitivity and kindness, whether online or in our daily transactions at work, home, or school. As someone close to me once said "Imagine if we all practiced humility and that each person's goal was to out-love the other..imagine what a wonderful world we would be living in."Hey even Jesus, the main man, said it himself "Love one another." It's hard, but hey, it's the only commandment that matters. So let's make NICE, IN again!!! Ipapauso ko na! "Nice guys FINISH ice cream!" Hahahahaha, labo!!!:)

Happy, Healthy Foodie Project Week 3

YAHOO!!! I survived my third week!:) Nicole and I have one week left to go on our NUIU program and so at this point we're trying to "train" ourselves to eat properly on our own. This article was sent to me by the NUIU nutritionists and proved to be very helpful for me. And because I understand that a lot of you are going through the same struggles, I thought it best to share this information with all of you too. As I've explained before, I was once a bonafide junkie (Ok, I still am!!!). This road towards health and wellness is a LOOOOOONG journey for me but I'm happy to report that my junk food eating has been toned down a bit and I've been feeling much better! I still love to snack on the bad stuff (especially on weekends!) but I've become more conscientious about the food I put inside my body nowadays. :) Anyway, here's the article..it's a very easy and practical read so I hope it helps put some perspective.

Continue reading HERE.


Fashion Friday: Small but Dressing Tall

"Hi Patty! I've been reading your blog religiously and I have to say I really love your style. I'm also petite, even smaller than you (I'm only 4'9"). I'm writing because I'd like to ask for fashion advice. I'm usually just in jeans or shorts and t-shirt. How can I look great without appearing that I'm trying too hard?" 
-Kat Lopez
                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Hi Kat! Thanks for the compliment!!!! Kinilig naman ako!:) Dressing up for our height can be tricky as there are many things to mull over. But dressing up can be a fun experience if you allow yourself to make a few mistakes here and there. Don't take fashion too seriously, my dear. At the end of the day, clothes are just clothes, and as long as they provide the comfort and coverage you need to get through the day..then fashion has served its ultimate purpose.The goal for any girl should be: SYMMETRY. Before stepping out of your room, take a glance at the mirror and see if you have a symmetric and well proportioned look. If you feel like there's a necklace that seems a tad off, or a cardigan that looks too heavy, take it out. Pag "nangangati" ka sa itsura mo, then there must be something wrong. Pile on, pile off until you achieve that sense of balance and feel confident with your overall look.  But since you want to talk about specifics, here are some practical (and very simple) tips for you to consider when putting together your wardrobe.

1. Know your body type.

    Personally, I'm slightly heavy on the top..thanks to my Lola who proudly carries her double Ds with ease, I got those genes but unfortunately I wasn't blessed with the height to match it. My bust is not proportionate to my 5'3 body frame and height. For years, this was something I was very self-conscious about. I would dread going to the beach afraid to reveal my chest and would always try to cover up as much as possible. Back in college, everyone wore tight fit tees and I would just shy away from them because the attention made me feel very uncomfortable.

   But as I grew older, I realized that I just had to accept my body type and learn how to work with it. So, I got creative. I found "strategies" to downplay my chest area and to draw more attention towards my other features. I went through different necklines (years of trial and error) to find which ones work best for me. I also discovered the wonders of a minimizer bra. This gave me the freedom to wear clothes more freely without feeling awkward. People don't even notice that I'm top heavy anymore because I'm such a ninja dresser! Hahaha! But I am also proud of my curves and there are times when I am able to summon the strength of ten thousand tigers to work a sexy dress in public, but I still try to keep it subtle and sexy. C-L-A-S-S-Y is always better than T-R-A-S-H-Y.

  I think you should understand the way your body is built first before exploring your fashion options. Do not ever compare your body to your friends' bodies or worse, look at the magazines and compare yourself to some celebrity. It's natural for us girls to feel insecure but it's also not healthy to keep sulking and whining about the things you wish you had instead of thanking God for the qualities you actually have and should enjoy! If you feel like your body is not where it's supposed to be or you know that physically you can do better, then do something about it and work towards realistic goals. But know your limitations and build sound expectations also. I know I'll never be a 6 footer kahit ikiskis ko pa yung Cherifer sa buong katawan ko gabi gabi..so be happy with your body and always work on improving thy self!

2. Create an illusion of a longer and leaner torso. 

      Choose shirts that fall just right at your hips or even just above your pelvic bone. If you wear tops that fall right on your navel, tendency is for people to see your torso cut shorter. Go for bottoms and jeans that fit well on the hips and butt regions and make sure you have the hem tailored nicely. Please don't fold and staple your pants! That's so grade school! Hahaha! I bring my new pair of jeans to our local palengke to have them altered. I usually give them my "favorite" pair for them to use as a template. For less than 50 pesos you get perfect jeans in an instant! :)
  

     
2. Wear shoes that elongate your legs.

    This rule has to be tested as it can work differently for each person. But in my experience, thinner straps which wrap around the ankle and lower calf area make my legs look much shorter. This should also be a rule for those who have big legs, please stay away from wrap around sandals. This will give you a longanisa effect all over your legs! I suggest you get nude colored pumps which make your legs instantly look longer because the nude color blends better with your skin tone and makes your legs flow nicely and "endlessly" with no straps to cut their length. If you must wear something strappy or more formal, make sure that they are slightly thicker that wrap around your toes instead of your ankles.



3. Don't be a walking print disaster. 
I love prints and I love bright colors. It's always nice to play with different prints and patterns..but don't go overboard! Choose smaller prints with more delicate details and pair them with solids.  If you wish to play with color, I suggest color blocking. This is always good for petites because it keeps things fun but still very polished. Since we have such a small frame, it's nice to be purposeful about our fashion pieces and establish clean lines in your overall look.

4. Don't overwhelm yourself with accessories.
Do you want to wear chandelier earrings? Or do you want to wear an exotic necklace? Don't go for both. If you're Giselle Bundchen, go ahead and pile on the accessories..you can always compensate with your long leggggggs. But if you have a very small canvas to work with, keep the accessories to a minimum. Opt for statement pieces instead and work them with solid colored clothes. I love wearing scarves because they cover up my chest area and draw more attention towards my face, this could also work even for petite girls who are thinner as this adds that balanced "bulk" into your body without making you feel too heavy. 

5. Work your hair into the look.
If you are wearing a very revealing top, having your hair down might tone it down a bit. If you have an elaborate collar, a nice pair of earrings to show off, or an embellished top, then a clean ponytail might work best for you. But don't be limited to just "up" and "down" when it comes to hairstyles. For petite girls, it's nice to play with different looks! Add a little more volume or a "poof" just on top for an illusion of height. These hairstyles are sure to make you look taller than you really are!



6. Upsize or downsize.
It's not your height that's a problem. God blessed you with that unique body frame and you are DESTINED to be beautiful with that specific figure. Sometimes, it's just your wrong choice in clothing size that could be a problem. I've met girls who wore two sizes too big for them, they looked sloppy and disheveled most of the time because their clothes didn't fall on their bodies gracefully. On the other hand, there are also other girls who wear two sizes smaller than the size meant for them, making them bust out of the seams, exposing their back fat and love handles. We all have flaws to hide (I have a long list of things I'm not exactly proud of) but we are also endowed with lots of beautiful physical traits too! So it's all about working with what you've got and finding the right size each and every time. And remember just because you're a "small" in one store doesn't automatically mean you'll be a "small" in another. Even clothes within the same store don't always fall the same way. I always make adjustments based on the fabric. If the fabric clings tightly, I always opt for 1 size bigger to avoid looking too skimpy. If the fabric is thick and the style of the dress is more tailored, I always go for a dress that fits snug. It's always important to fit before you purchase!

7. Beware of cheating mirrors!
I've been a victim of cheating mirrors many times! I won't name any stores but some shops have mirrors that make you leaner and taller than you actually are. Pag sukat ko sa store, WOW ang sexy ng itsura ko, pero pagkauwi ko ang panget pala ng bagsak. If you find yourself unhappy with your purchase, don't be afraid to return it to the store. Keep your receipts and tags and make sure you replace it with something you feel is defintely worth the purchase! Sayang din yung pera mo! It's always good to have a shopping companion with you who will give you an honest opinion. I've learned to not shop with Patrick because he's always biased, even if I have 3 pimples on my face and a big bloated belly..he still says I'm sexy! Kung bola yun, only Jesus knows! Hahahaha!:) Bring someone who will tell you the TRUTH..no matter how painful!

8. Wear light weight materials that won't add bulk and overwhelm your small frame. 
Please stay away from velvet and ill fitting knitted tops. You will look like a walking marshmallow. Opt for cotton, jersey, and silk instead. These fabrics cling closer to your body and will allow you to show off those curves better.

9. To mini skirt or not to mini skirt. That is the question.
If it's not for a shoot or a fashion event, I normally would shy away from mini skirts. For me it sounds and looks redundant when you have a mini person wearing a mini skirt, there's a fine line that separates you from looking chic and looking cheap. If you must wear a mini skirt, wear it with a loose top that's much more covered, pair your minis with masculine accessories to downplay the "skimpy" vibe, and refrain from using glass stilettos. Please, ladies...bimbo glass stilettos are a big NO-NO for any height.

10. Embrace the MINI ME. 
I love being tiny, I love being cute and delicate, I love being petite! And these big stars love their small frames too! So celebrate the mini you!:)
For more fashion concerns, feel free to email me at pattylaurelblog@gmail.com. I'm not a professional stylist but I'd love to share some personal and practical tips with you!:)

Love Letter to Japan

I woke up this morning, missing Tokyo all of a sudden. I remembered this song by one of my favorite bands and decided to share it with all of you. Although this wasn't shot in Japan..it seems fitting for my mood today. I think I should actually pen a love letter to Japan one of these days! Oh Tokyo, I miss you soooooo!!!:) :)

Image from The Ticket Kitchen

HANGKYOTMONAMAN

I want BOO for Christmas.

Travel Tuesday: La-La-Laiya!


Photos by Lemarc Limosnero
Last weekend, I trooped to Laiya Beach in Batangas with some of my friends from CS. This getaway was sort of a mandatory chill trip. We were literally forced to RELAX. Or as the kids say nowadays: "CHILLAX". Nyek. Ang panget. I think I'm sticking to real words today, the ones that are actually listed in the dictionary. Hahaha. Most of us in the group are urban warriors who get quite a beating on a daily basis. With work demands, personal obligations and responsibilities, and of course each of us dealing with our own demons..it was nice to just cut loose from all that stress. It was a good breather, a time to just rest our weary bodies and minds. We ate, slept, sunbathed, swam, ate, slept, sunbathed, swam, and ate all weekend long. Night time came and we transformed the resort into CLUB CRANIUM. We caused quite a ruckus with all the shouting, screaming, and heckling. Dito lumabas yung mga pikon at competitive sa barkada..at nabuking yung mga mahina sa spelling! I won't name names, you know who you are. Hahaha! 
Photos by Samantha Godinez

Photos by Samantha Godinez

Photos by Samantha Godinez

Photos by Samantha Godinez

Sometimes you don't need to actually get on a plane to go on a vacation. Sometimes, you don't even have to get on a car. A self-imposed vacation could easily be at the comfort of your own room. Pwede rin sa comfort room..pero ibang self-imposed vacation na tawag dun. Har har har. You just have to give yourself a break..whether it's to just enjoy a big chunk of chocolate cake, read a book, or to just unthink your thoughts and use the time to just have a one-on-one with God. I used to be a workaholic..I would juggle different jobs in a day and I felt I was doing the right thing by multi-tasking. I always pressured myself into believing that I had to prove something, to be self sufficient and to earn as much as I possibly can. But I was constantly sick, I felt drained, I barely had time for my friends and family and ultimately I was unhappy. I was working just to work and not working because I believed in the work that I did. It was only this year that I finally decided to take it easy on myself..after almost a decade of overworking. It was quite an adjustment at first especially since I always get stressed about having no stress..and my natural instinct is to work,work,work as this is the model my parents have instilled in me. But I find that now that I've allowed myself to enjoy more things in life by letting go of certain obligations..I'm more focused and purposeful with my work, I've developed a more defined sense of self, I've strengthened my friendships and relationships, and best of all, I have more time with the Lord. There are instances when I still accept work on weekends, especially when they seem like good opportunities..but I always make it a point that I make up for it and keep a balanced life.

This weekend reminded me of that life change I decided to take early this year. Bebo, our CS team leader, asked each of us to answer a question as we were all bonding after breakfast, "If God gave you a blank check or a way to wipe your slate clean, what would you do?". Each one had a different way of answering the question, a reflection of each person's unique life journey. I'm normally shy when it comes to opening up to big groups of people, I only open up to my parents and my closest friends..but I felt like God was really working in my heart and I found myself sharing something very personal. It's funny, I host events for a living..but my voice was literally cracking up while I shared my story! Sobrang kabado! Hahaha! But in a nutshell, I shared to them my personal struggle with my faith and how I'm working on rebuilding my relationship with God. I was always a "good"person and on paper I would pass with flying colors..but my heart yearned for something more each day and I knew the void could only be filled by the BIG GUY up there. Im FARRRR from where I want to be..so farrrrr! But God meets us where we are in our lives..be it in the lowest of lows or the highest of highs. :)

So friends, take that break to assess yourselves and think of where you are right now and ask God to meet you there. It doesn't have to be something so grand and groundbreaking. Make it simple, make it real. And surround yourself with friends who will help you on that life journey. It's HARD to go through life alone so choose wisely and pick people who will inspire you each day :)




Please grab a copy of this month's Metro Society!:)

Thanks so much to the wonderful team of Metro Society for this feature!! Look Ma, I'm a mowwwdel!!!
Click image to enlarge.
Both dresses are by my favorite designer and friend, Mich Araullo 09178959175.




Why you should be THANKFUL, all day everyday.

The Happy Healthy Foodie Project WEEK 2

After two weeks of happy, healthy eating (and some little excusable cheats in between), I hit the beach last Saturday with my friends and fell off the wagon.I ate chips, chocolates, candies, and local delicacies (I love Pinoy sweet treats) throughout our overnight stay in Laiya. It felt so gooooood at the start..as soon as the saltiness of the chips touched my tongue, I felt a frenzy! Nagwala talaga ako, munching on all the junk food I could find! Para akong si Derek Ramsey falling for Anne Curtis in No Other Woman..I couldn't resist! The temptation was too strong..ang sexy ng Soft Batch Cookies! But just as anything bad feels good only at the start (again an ode to No Other Woman hahaha)...I started to crash after my last Yan-Yan and my stomach just felt really rotten by Sunday. My body felt awful after the binge and oddly enough I was starting to crave for my healthy snacks! I was dying for food that would make me feel stronger and nourished again. I woke up extra early this morning, excited to go back on track and I welcomed my spinach egg omelette, whole wheat bread, and apple slices with open arms. I never ever thought that I would actually become this type of person, I was always a proud junkie..and I think I will still allow myself to enjoy it once in a while..but after feeling so much "cleaner" for the past 2 weeks, I guess I find myself liking the good stuff almost as much as I used to love the bad stuff. I knew that this Happy, Healthy Foodie Project wouldn't be a walk in the park and I wasn't expecting swift results. I didn't do this to lose lots of weight or develop six packs overnight..I needed this for me to change my perception towards food and to eliminate bad habits. I'd like to believe that even if I have failed miserably this weekend, the fact that I'm willing to get back up and start walking towards that healthy direction again is worthy of a slow clap! *clap, clap,clap* 

The thing about healthy eating is that you have to always listen to your stomach and cater to its needs. I like to call my tummy, Bundee, short for BUNDAT. Bundee likes to eat ALL the time. Kung hindi mo siya papakainin, nagwewelga talaga siya..and trust me you don't want to see the WRATH of BUNDEE!!! Den-den-den!!! Patrick even messaged me this morning "I have to work hard.. I need to earn enough money for all the food you consume!" Ay, kaluoy. Hindi ako maluho sa gamit, magastos ako sa pagkain. Hahaha :)

What I learned through the NUIU program is that you should always be munching to keep the metabolism machinery constantly churning. Don't ever skip a meal.. don't ever starve yourself. Now I eat breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and maybe a light snack again and yakult (yum!!!) before I sleep. Because I'm always eating every 2-3 hours, my body feels satisfied and happy all day. And because I'm also trying to monitor my blood sugar, eating constantly is good for diabetics who need to control their blood sugar. A simpler way of explaining it to you is to take you back to grade school. We were ALWAYS eating as kids, right? Hindi pa uso yung diet nung bata tayo, we were constantly fed good, home-cooked and healthy food. Breakfast, Recess, Lunch, Merienda, Dinner. Because we all had fixed daily routines, it was easy to set eating schedules as well. But as you grow older, with erratic work demands, it's harder to find time to actually sit down and eat..and what happens is, meals are skipped and binge eating occurs after a long day at the office when you're too tired to think and you just want to satisfy your hunger pangs. We have to eat like "growing boys and girls" again, to have small nutrient-packed meals spread out throughout the day. 

Except for the last 2 days, I was a diligent healthy eater with Nicole and was very pleased with the results! Here's our foodie journal from Week 2 of the NUIU Program. :)


I loved the Walnut Orange Prawn Salad with Honey Orange Dressing, Stir Fried Pork with Beans and Peppercorn, Asian Beef Omelette, Almond Lychee, and Enchiladas Rojas. While Nicole enjoyed the Spicy Beef Salad, Poached Egg Hash Breakfast, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Dorre en Papillote.

If you'd like to avail of their special packages, simply text +63.917.528.3283 so the nutritionists of NUIU can prepare a program similar to our Happy, Healthy Foodie Project as seen on this blog! :)
Image from the Web

Off to the beach with my friends!!!! Excited to zone out, hide my laptop and cellphone, and enjoy the crazy stories of my dear buddies. I'll be posting about NUIU on Sunday night as soon as I get back to the metro. Praying for clear skies!:) Have a wonderful weekend, guys! 

Fashion Friday: Hip Hop, Fashion, and Beer Pong

Last Saturday, I was invited by the cool guys at Urban Athletics to celebrate PULSE SATURDAYS. When I heard that they'd be setting up BEER PONG stations inside the actual Urban Athletics store..I told them to sign me up for it ASAP!! I'm not much of a beer drinker, but I do like playing beer pong (and asking the others to drink my beer for me instead. I'm a wuss.) Maybe I could do iced tea -pong instead at my house?? WORD. Hahahaha!


Tagged as “Pulse Saturdays”, the event brought together music and urban fashion with some of the best local talents known for their flair and street funk. The Urban Athletics store in Greenbelt 3 transformed into Party Central with DJ Skratchmark and MC DASH who also launched their limited edition mixtape entitled: Kings on Deck Vol 1 – The Genesis. 

Although I don't usually dress the part, I do love Hip Hop music :) I spent my teen years in Alabang and all South peeps know that hip hop was all the rage in the 90s! I actually was a music schizo, shuffling from alternative, folk, jazz to hiphop. What I love about the hiphop scene is how they've managed to maintain that street cred when it comes to urban fashion. You have to hand it to them, they live and breathe hiphop! The guys always look so fly and the girls always look so street-chic!

Urban Athletics is home to many cool street culture/sports brands that aren't only limited to the Hip-Hop crowd. Patrick and I represent the normal dorks of the world, sadly not as hippin' and hoppin' as we would like to be..but we still loved our  UA shopping experience! They house a lot of my fave brands like Roxy, Oakley, Converse, Jansport, Gola, Adidas, etc. Patrick got some new kicks from Nike and Radii and an awesome backpack for his lappy from Dakine. I got some headphones from Marshall and a cool sling bag from Manhattan Portage for travel. I'm so happy that the cult New Yorker brand is finally here!!!:) 
This is a sponsored post.
Ready for a shopping spree??? 
I'm giving away Urban Athletics gift certificates plus an uber-cool Manhattan Portage bag!
1. Click LIKE on the Facebook button below this post and 
click LIKE on the Urban Athletics Facebook Page too.
2. Follow @urbanathletics on twitter. 
3. Send your name, your twitter handle, and address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com before October 18, 2011. 

Another worthy read

Continue reading this article by BJ Albert here

FLOW



The 6th Flow:SurfYogaSamba Weekend Retreat
The Flow:SurfYogaSamba weekend retreat is a boutique three-day experience that will spark your spirit and leave your body and mind relaxed and revitalized! Learn Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga with Monica Manzano, surf the waves with Luke Landrigan, dance to the samba beats of Escola de Samba de Manila, nourish your body with delicious gourmet meals and raw food snacks and witness the spectacle of thai lantern lighting.

Package rate is PHP 8,750 which includes 1 Vinyasa Yoga lesson, 1 Yin Yoga lesson, 2 Surfing lessons, 2 Brazilian batuccada samba drumming lessons, roundtrip private transfers from Manila-La Union-Manila, 3D/2N aircon accomodation at San Juan Surf Resort, healthy gourmet meals and snacks, Flow shirt and a tote bag with freebies.

Early bird rate: P7,750, extended til October 17. Simply inform them that you saw this special rate on my blog!

Energize your mind, body and soul! Be part of an experience of a lifetime.

To register, visit www.flowsurfyogasamba.multiply.com.
To receive more updates and details on the retreat visit www.facebook.com/flowsurfyogasamba and follow us onwww.twitter.com/surfyogasamba. Contact us at flowsurfyogasamba@gmail.com

Get a chance to win an awesome tote bag 
filled with goodies
plus a FLOW Rash Guard!


1. Click LIKE on the Facebook button below and click LIKE on the FLOW Facebook page.
2. Send your name and address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com before Oct 17, 2011. 



More F1 Action from Shell+Ferrari

Here's a short video of my first ever Formula One experience. Don't forget to count the number of times I say the word "KILIG"in this video..obviously, I was giddy like a Kindergartener the whole time! Excuse all the useless rambling and shouting. I was a complete scatterbrain as I couldn't contain my excitement! Hahaha :) After the video, you'll find official photos from the night race. "SPEED" is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at these images.






Did you know that SHELL is the only Formula One fuel and lubricant supplier to have a dedicated trackside laboratory to analyze its products at every Grand Prix?! As the nerve center of the Shell technical team, the Shell Track Lab is a state-of-the-art, mobile fuel testing laboratory. Inside, scientific appartus, testing equipment and computer monitoring hardware are manned by Shell's team of experts. The Shell trackside team analyze over 30 samples of Shell V Power from the Ferrari 150 Italia to ensure that it remains legal and in prime condition for the race weekend. Good news for us regular folk, the Shell V Power used for these races are almost identical to the ones you can gas up with at your local Shell stations! Before the night race, I dropped by the actual Shell Track Lab. It was such an exhilarating experience to actually meet the engineers behind this amazing fuel technology. They even allowed us to use their sophisticated instruments and gadgets to help test the fuels. We had a little chemistry test as well, which I totally aced! All those hours of memorizing the elements in the periodic table finally paid off! Hahaha!:)


I'm giving away several sets of these 
Limited Edition
Die-Cast Scuderia Ferrari Models 
to some Lucky Blog Readers!
Each winner gets all 7 cars! How cool is that?! Collector's items, indeed!
Thank you to Shell V Power for these awesome prizes!!! 

1.) Click LIKE on the Facebook button below.
2.) In only 3 sentences, tell me why you are SHELL+FERRARI's 
biggest fan. 
3.) Send your name, short answer and address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com on or before October 16, 2011.


Girlfriends, sisters, daughters, and wives out there..if you would like to make that MAIN MAN in your life happy with these cars..share your story and I might just pick you!:) Better send your entries soon or else my dad will snatch them up. He's been eyeing them all morning! Hahaha :) Winners will be notified via email. Good luck!



 

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