Thank you Meg for this feature!



Please pick up a copy of the April issue with the lovely
Toni Gonzaga on the cover!:) 

Fashion Friday: My Dream Travel Wardrobe

Since I can't afford to buy any of these high end designer pieces, I'll have to get extra crafty and figure out how to work these looks with more affordable counterparts. :) It's time for another garage sale so I'll have moolah for my next summer shopping spree.. I'm so inspired to revamp my boring wardrobe with exotic and ultra feminine frocks. Even if I'm not headed to anywhere exotic in the near future, I'm determined to work these looks in the supermarket! Those canned good aisles shall be my runway..or pwede rin, dun ako sa "Imported Chocolates" section para naman medyo sosyal yung catwalk ko!:) I love how these travel inspired Resort Wear collections are so timeless and comfortable (or at least they look comfy to me).



Daydream: Pretty Seaside Retreats

It's free to daydream and because in my dreams I'm Bill Gates with a whole wad of cash, I've decided to buy myself an imaginary beach house. I can already hear the waves crashing. Ooohlalala. 


Au Naturale

A few weeks ago, My Glamomama buddy Amanda Griffin-Jacob shared some amazing health and beauty tips and ever since then I've been motivated to jumpstart a more natural beauty regimen too. I wanted to be as fresh and flawless as Amanda so I trekked to the nearest Healthy Options store and raided their beauty aisles. Of all the beauty treats I tried, these are my top 5 tried and tested beauty products! They're very reasonably priced and perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin (like mine!).


ANDALOU NATURALS CLEANSING CREAM
"Advanced Fruit Stem Cells and creamy emollients, rich in enzymes and potent antioxidants, gently diffuse, creating a velvety lather to lift away impurities, as rejuvenating Meyer lemon stimulates circulation for improved tone and texture."
This cleanser is very gentle and light. It's perfect as a morning cleanser! The burst of lemon immediately gives you that summery glow!

DERMA E HYALURONIC LIP REPAIR CRÈME
"Key ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid. Products containing this “moisture magnet” are perfect for rehydrating dry skin. Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water and has the amazing ability to bind moisture to tissue to soften, smooth, tone and rehydrate your skin."
My lips tend to chap under harsh weather conditions so I've been hunting for the perfect lip treatment. This glides smoothly on your lips without that greasy feel. Patrick loves it because it makes my lips extra kissable..naks!! Ok, too much information! Hahahaha :)

EARTH SCIENCE GENTLE SKIN PEEL
"A completely non-chemical herbal peel scientifically formulated with natural ingredients to eliminate impurities. Skin will feel softer and smoother after this incredible seven-minute beauty treatment mask. Papaya enzymes safely remove dead skin cells on the skin surface to leave your complexion fresh and glowing. Alpha hydroxy acids help soften the appearance of small lines and wrinkles. Chemical-free and safe for regular use, this formula contains herbal skin soothers to prevent irritation."
I tried a chemical peel at a top clinic a few months ago and it was so expensive and caused even more problems for my sensitive skin. It's always good to use natural products on your face!

NATURE’S GATE ACNE SPOT CORRECTOR
"Acne will finally be a thing of the past thanks to this gentle, effective spot treatment lotion. Formulated with the revolutionary Oligopeptide-10 and an intensified level of salicylic acid, this proven and convenient acne treatment starts working on contact to help create healthy-looking skin and a clear complexion."
This spot corrector delivers great results. A little dot goes a long way! It doesn't burn the acne, it's extremely gentle and doesn't leave any dark marks.

NATURE’S GATE LOTION COLLOIDAL OATML
"Nature's Gate Colloidal Oatmeal Lotion is rich with natural, skin-calming ingredients that gently moisturize and help nourish dry, itchy skin. Colloidal Oatmeal, known for its soothing properties, is blended with moisturizing Canola Gel, botanical extracts and vitamins to help keep skin soft and supple."
If you're getting ready for the beach, it's important to moisturize all over! Your skin will be your best and sexiest asset. This lotion is perfect for those with itchy, dry and sensitive skin.


I'm giving away gift certificates from

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Send your name and address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com.
Contest ends on March 31. 
*Only those who followed all the instructions will be considered for this contest :) Thanks! Good luck!

The Art of Kindness

     Just a few days ago, I had a little chat with a good friend over merienda. We started talking about how people have a tendency to blurt out things, both unconsciously and consciously, without much editing. I'm  perplexed by this common habit of just saying things just for the sake of saying things. I'm sure you've encountered these types of people as well, the type of person who feels he has the right to comment on anything and everything, the person who says things without a purpose or reason in mind. I taught preschool for many years and although a lot of people say that kids say the darnest things, I can happily report that although kids are brutally honest.. they are definitely more sensitive and considerate of others than adults. Children say things because they want to get a message across, if they have feelings of hurt and anxiety towards others, they say it because they need to find a way to fix a sticky situation. Name-calling and verbal bullying develops when they're older and these are things they actually pick up from the adults around them.

     I remember attending a wedding years ago and being seated next to this middle aged man who kept  whining about every little detail of the wedding. Buong gabi nanlalait lang siya: "Ang panget naman ng suit niya, that's an odd shade of gray" and "The ceremony was so long and boring!" and "Why would they serve this as an appetizer? It's more like a dessert!". To him, the wedding was a flop..yet to me, all I could see was love, love, and more love. As he nit-picked about every little detail, I saw the loving gazes of the groom to his bride, the teary eyed father giving a heartwarming speech, the adorable flower girls with cupcake icing all over their dresses. I made a conscious effort to drown out his voice with my happy thoughts. It's possible for two people to experience the exact same event, at the exact same time, yet have two very opposing opinions about it. It's a matter of developing an eye for positivity and making an effort to see the beauty in the little things.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a happiness freak. I'm not going to throw a party inside a burning building and say "Wow, I love how it's so warm and toasty in here!".  That would be stupid. You also have to deal with your demons and face them head on. But what I'm saying here is: you can't please everyone, you can't choose the people you encounter, you can't edit the words that people choose to blurt out..but what you have control of is how to deal with negative people and situations. 

  People think I'm this happy go lucky girl, a little eng-eng of glee. And to some extent, I really am an eng-eng. (That's our family term for egghead!) Mababaw ang kaligayahan ko: I get teary eyed when I see old people kiss and I laugh at "use-in-a sentence" jokes. But because of my many life experiences, I've also become one tough cookie. And not just any cookie, but a TOUGH peanut butter and jelly cookie! Boo-yeah! So I've learned how to deal with all sorts of people through the years. 

   Just today, after reading so many heartwarming emails from readers..out of the blue, like a ninja in the bushes, out came this angry reader who blurted out so many harsh judgments about me. Then immediately after, she sent another comment to take back all her hurtful words and even had the audacity to put a "God bless" after! O diba, pagkatapos kang lait-laitin may "God bless" pa.I can almost imagine her thinking: "Naku po, ang sama ko pala..eto lalagyan ko ng "God bless" para makabawi". But it doesn't work that way, you can probably fool people but you can't fool God. He sees each of our intentions and deals with each of us accordingly.
    
     This is exactly what I am working on personally and how I would want to live my life each day, with a sense of accountability for your actions..you're not only accountable to yourself, to society, at the end of the day..you are accountable to God. As you grow older (naks, Manang words of wisdom na naman ako dito), you slowly understand how important it is to be accountable for your actions and decisions. Words are no longer JUST words, words are said more cautiously and comments are expressed more purposefully. (Except jokes, walang katuturan ang mga jokes ko!) I've made so many mistakes in my past, too many to enumerate--- think a whole yellow pad of sins and wrong-doings, that I wish I could take all back. But I can't. I have no control over what I've done in the past, but I'm blessed to have the NOW and the FUTURE in my hands. So you hit the reset button and start over. 

   Conan O'Brien puts it so well when he said this: "'If you work really, really hard, and you're kind... Amazing things will happen to you.' Kindness is an underrated trait nowadays. When you think kindness you think care bears, fuzzy baby seals and cute toddlers. In this competitive world, we celebrate CONFIDENCE, PRIDE, and SELF EXPRESSION more than we celebrate Kindness. Kindness is perceived as a trait of the weak, the sissies and the pansies. It seems so 1995 to be kind, so out of fashion. But when you stop to think about how hard it actually is to be KIND,you'll see that KINDNESS is a true reflection of strength. It takes a strong and secure person to be kind to others, especially when others aren't too kind to them. I once read that there is a big difference between being NICE and KIND. Nice is based on someone else's perception, you are NICE to please that person or to put another person at ease. But if you are KIND, you do it because it's the RIGHT thing to do and you do it because you know you have to regardless of the other person's reaction to your deeds. You are kind to someone not necessarily because the person deserves it, but because it's what God expects from you. Hayyyy, ang hirap talaga!!! It's easy to be nice but it takes character to be KIND. When you breathe KINDNESS, and sincerely and genuninely practice it each day..with no expectations of recognition and/or merit, you will find that life becomes simpler and more meaningful. Kindness won't make you rich, successful or famous..but it will make you content.

   I know I gush about my fiance all the time, but for me Patrick is really the best example of kindness. When I'm PMSing like a mad woman and become impossibly impossible with insane chocolate tantrums and a dysfunctional way of thinking, he always makes it an opportunity to show kindness to me. When I deal with difficult people, I always ask him for advice and he always seems to say the right things..even if I don't ALWAYS follow his tips because I'm too stubborn, the path towards kindness always seems like the more challenging yet fulfilling way to do things. So folks, let's kill everyone with our kindness! Every day is an opportunity to practice KINDNESS: to your family, to your boyfriends, to officemates, to household helpers, and most especially to strangers. 

How to maximize your small space


Travel Tuesday: Alternative Accomodations

The three major things you have to consider when planning for a trip are: 1)Airfare 2)Pocket Money 3)Accommodations. If you budget wisely for these three, then you're all set to travel! Although numbers 1&2 are very important, decent digs is what I value the most.I've been getting lots of queries from my darling readers, asking for tips on accommodations. So I've decided to narrow it down into these basic pointers which hopefully you'll find helpful. These are the general things you must consider when planning a trip.

1. LOCATION

Is it centrally located? Are there bus/train stations located near the area? Is it a safe neighborhood? Are you looking for peace and quiet in a residential neighborhood? Or do you crave the noise and the chaos of a busy nightlife street? Is there a mini mart close to your property?

These are questions you need to ask when hunting for accommodations. It could be as simple as doing a google map search to see where this hotel is located. Investigate the landmarks nearby and you will have an idea of what kind of area you will be staying in. If the hotel is surrounded by banks and offices, then this shows you that it is more of a business hotel. If it's surrounded by night clubs and pubs, then you should be ready for sleepless nights with pumping music. Be sure to check if your property provides easy access to bus stops and train stations, by commuting via public transportation this immediately cuts your costs in half. But if you prefer a more idyllic and secluded place, then be sure to research for car rental services nearby.

2. CLEANLINESS/COMFORT

 I don't need a gold-plated toilet bowl (although my pompous tush would appreciate that!) and swarovski chandeliers in my room, comfort and cleanliness are always the winners for me. Most people take this for granted but trust me, a toilet that doesn't flush or a bed filled with dust mites will cause you unnecessary stress while on vacation..so make sure you do a full inspection online and read up on the reviews of each hotel. 

3. VALUE FOR MONEY

When you have the winning combo of Location, Cleanliness and Comfort..all you have to consider next is the PRICE. If the price is commensurate to the quality of the hotel, then it becomes a no brainer! To make it a true bargain, it's best to consider the secret add ons as well like internet access, complimentary breakfast, airport shuttle services, etc. As you all know I'm a savvy budget traveler but a very discriminating one at that, I work hard to save up for my travels so it's important for me to get my money's worth! When it comes to accommodations, I always recommend short term vacation rentals. I still stay in hotels from time to time but apartment rentals are quickly becoming much more competitive in the market, offering charming and comfortable alternatives. Since most hotels are overly priced and extremely cramped, it's much more comfortable to stay in an apartment. Most vacation rentals come with kitchenettes, washing machines, ironing boards, internet access, dining areas which could make you feel much more at home even if you're far away from home. You can even cook your own meals which will will save you loads of moolah! Plus apartments make you feel more like a local which adds to the appeal of travel.
Here are some sinppets of my favorite short-term rental experiences:

Right at home in our Malta apartment
Living ala-Mama Mia in Santorini
Feeling Zen in a local Ryokan in Kyoto
Bunking in Copenhagen with my sister
For years, we've been kicking it old school and researching for hours for decent apartment/studio rentals. It's quite tedious to look for properties online especially since most hosts don't bother to advertise on the internet. Years ago we had to literally fax them an inquiry or make a long distance call just to book a room! But I discovered a new site that makes it much easier and much more secure to book with vacation rental hosts. It's called ROOMORAMA. It's an international booking service that allows you to book for short term rentals. They have properties all over the world, so all you have to do is key in your destination of choice and your preferred dates and a whole list of properties will appear. They offer different types of rentals, from studio apartments in the city to full beach houses, each catering to different tastes and budgets. On the right side of the screen, you'll see the Roomorama booking widget on my sidebar..give it a go and start daydreaming about your next vacay! 

Patrick and I have been dreaming about our honeymoon already! Although it's several months away, we've been saving up for it this early on. Instead of staying in a regular hotel, we're choosing a ROOMORAMA apartment instead. We want to have a memorable travel experience so picking a charming flat with lots of character would definitely add to the romance of our honeymoon! Yihee!!! We haven't figured out which destination to visit yet (there are sooooo many beautiful places to choose from!!!) so in the meantime, I'll share some of our favorite ROOMORAMA picks with you every month..that way, we can all fantasize about travel together! :) Sounds like a plan???! 


I'm giving away a 
gift certificate from Roomorama 
which can be used for your next vacation!

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Click LIKE on the Roomorama Facebook Page.
3. Answer this simple question:
"Which Roomorama destination would you like to visit and WHY?"
Post your answer on MY Facebook Wall and add the hashtag #roomorama. Contest ends on April 3, 2012.

Example:
"Hi Patty! I want to visit Hong Kong. It's definitely my dream honeymoon destination. Pls help me get a gc from #roomorama"

More Cheese Please

Here are more (unedited yet still awesome) photos by Mango Red.





Summer is definitely HERE!!!

We decided to have a little BBQ/Pool Party over the weekend to celebrate the start of SUMMER. Although the rain literally rained on our summer parade (yep, I'm redundant and cool like that), it was still a lot of fun with all the junk food we could possibly eat!:) Next time, we're doing a BURGER PATTY parteyyy!:) 

Join us for Walkway 2012


Behind the Scenes: One Ethan Allen Challenge

       Friends, The One Ethan Allen Challenge contest ends on March 30. Aside from your votes, each entry will be judged by a panel of design experts (which I'm extremely nervous about) so would you please join us in praying. Hopefully, Woodinella will be ours to take home! I had a dream about our empty loft last night. Yes, even in sleep mode I'm a pseudo interior designer. I'm one to dream big, so in my dream we had the wooden chest in the middle of our living room already and I was massaging Woodinella's legs while watching American Idol! I woke up with a big smile on my face, then I suddenly panicked and shouted "erase!erase!" worried that I would somehow jinx my chances of winning. :) Hahaha! Feeling ko naman ang lakas ng "dreaming powers" ko! 
        I'm up against Jinno, Jane, Frances, and Lia. I'm friends with all four and I love their entries too, each room had a distinct personality :) But there can only be one winner and in a few days, we shall find out. How exciting!!! I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere thanks to each and every one of you who voted for THE PATS! Maraming salamat to those who left comments and posted the link on their walls to show your support. I read all your comments and I was so touched by your efforts. All week I received so many emails and twitter/FB tags of support from family, friends, and random kind strangers! Thank youuuuu!:)

Sending my love to my gorgeous Ethan Allen Coaches, Ana Vitangcol and Paula Monzon. 
Here's a little behind the scenes video by Patrick :)

Please click on MY ENTRY and LIKE it!!!
   
The Ethan Allen Showroom is located in Pioneer, Pasig. 
You can also visit their store in Residences, Greenbelt.


UPDATE: Sadly, we did NOT win this contest. 
But thank you for taking the time to vote for us!
Congratulations to Frances for winning!:)

Team Coco All the Way!!!


Real Genius Comedy. 

Playing Dress Up


We decided to play dress up for the launch of J Co Donuts in Manila, check out our uber-cool costumes!:)
Photos c/o Kelly Misa and Sandro Paredes

Time's Up, Tobacco!

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? 
The Time's Up, Tobacco Team explains:      
It is neither secret nor myth that SMOKING KILLS. While the legitimacy of the cigarette business is recognized, the fact remains that 6 million people die yearly due to tobacco-related causes, a whopping 87,600 belonging to the Philippines.
Time's Up, Tobacco! is a campaign that rejects the long-running tobacco industry practice of getting in the way of public health policies just to make sure the business rakes in more money, free from the chains of regulation.
The thing is – laws are in place to keep us all safe from the dangers of tobacco. Sadly, the tobacco companies are becoming more scheming than ever in finding ways to make sure that they get their way.
It's really quite simple. Good business for tobacco = death and disease for Filipinos. Some would be quick to argue that a great deal of money comes from the industry. However, the revenue pales in comparison to the damages caused by the cigarette business.

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AND SUPPORT THE CAUSE!

365 days

I love you, Mr. Filart.
via roses in the sun.

 

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