Fashion Friday: Chunky Necklaces

Wow, I haven't had a decent FASHION FRIDAY post in ages!!! So let's get back on track with a Friday giveaway. As you have probably noticed, I'm a big accessories fan. I've mentioned this already before but I'll say it again, it's the most inexpensive way to make you look like a million bucks.When I'm too lazy to dress up, I always just add a big chunky necklace to a very plain outfit--and kablam! I'm all set! Here are some simple tips for dressing up with statement neckpieces:

1. YOUR FACE
Study the shape of your face, is it square shaped, oblong or round? Do you have a more defined jaw line? More prominent forehead? All of these things will dictate what type of neckpiece you should go for. Not all neckpieces complement my face shape--I have unique features and it's important for me to wear accessories that accentuate them and not overpower them. For some odd reason, my face doesn't work well with chokers---it just looks like I'm choking and not in a cool punk fashion kind of way but in a "Help, I swallowed a whole oyster! Administer the heimlich maneuver please!".

2. NECKLACE vs EARRINGS
I already discussed this before but I feel it must be stressed again! This is what always, always, always stresses me out. Lots of girls like to wear chunky necklaces with chunky earrings!!!! Please ladies, pick one and stick to one. If you're digging this fancy neckpiece, then make it the star. Choose a pair of small studded earrings to accompany it. If you want to wear these vavavoom chandelier earrings, then ditch your chunky metal choker!

3. KEEP YOUR HAIR SIMPLE
If you are opting for a very LOUD piece of jewelry, maybe it would be wise to tone down your hairstyle. Opt for a loose ponytail, a clean bun, or a sleek blowout. Don't let your hair compete with your bonggacious accessories.

So there, hopefully those basic tips will help you :) I actually just received a package from SWAN LAKE and I thought it would be nice to share the goodies with you girls too! Scroll down for more details :)

I'm giving away SwanLake GIFT PACKS!!!
(Each winner will receive not just 1 but 3 pieces of stylish accessories!Woohooo!)
1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Visit the SwanLake Facebook page and click LIKE.
3. Email your name, home address, and phone number to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com.
Contest ends on February 5, 2013. 


Random Disney Happiness


Thank you Mr.Filart for my most unflattering swimsuit photo to date. The whole point was for me to look sexy! Wattaface!!! It's like I drank a whole bottle of Datu Puti! Muhkasim! ANG LAMIG NAMAN KASI NG TUBIG!!!! hahaha #crimsonmactan 

Blessed by the Blind


While waiting for our Tagbilaran-Cebu ferry last Monday, Patrick and I were treated to free entertainment from 3 blind musicians. It's a very common thing to see in most airports, ferries, and other tourist destinations in the Philippines so I didn't really make a big fuss over it. I dropped my donation  and returned to my seat just like any local tourist. Then a familiar song came bursting out of their speaker box. The chords reminded me of my grade school days when we sang this church song so mechanically---memorizing each word and singing it like zombies. I even mouthed it along with them and sang it with feelings to Patrick who just laughed at me because as kids we used to sing this ALL THE TIME in school :)

After a few stanzas, I wasn't laughing anymore and I found myself half-tearing. The words came alive and somehow pulled all my emotional strings. Bakit ako naiiyak!?!?! What is happening here?!?! I tried recording the song with my phone but their music was drowned out by all the noise of passengers coming in and out of the boarding area. Amidst all that chaos, I felt God was sending me a very personal message through those 3 blind men and I was just stunned at how God works even in the most awkward situations---sa gitna pa ng pier sa Tagbilaran! Even the Korean couple with matching clothes in the row before us couldn't distract me--and I always get distracted by funny fashion! HAHAHA!

So here's the song that spoke to me :) Napaka-simple lang ng lyrics pero tagos sa puso, hindi ba? 

GOD WILL MAKE A WAY, WHEN THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY.
HE WORKS IN WAYS WE CANNOT SEE,
HE WILL MAKE A WAY FOR ME.

HE WILL BE MY GUIDE,
HOLD ME CLOSELY TO HIS SIDE.
WITH LOVE AND STRENGTH
FOR EACH NEW DAY, HE WILL MAKE A WAY.

Patrick and I have been faced with a true test of our faith these past few weeks and that's why this Bohol-Cebu honeymoon extension was really a welcome vacation just so we could rest our weary bodies and minds---a time to disconnect ourselves even just for a few days. God truly is the KING of Good Timing!!! 

I've been diagnosed with a special condition which will require some extra TLC from our doctors. I don't want to alarm you, I am FINE and I will be FINE!:) Please do not set up a charity fund on my behalf and do not make an AVP about your favorite "Patty memories" with "Gone Too Soon" or "One Sweet Day" blasting in the background. WAAAAGGGGG naman please!!!! I assure you, it's not as bad as you think. Although I understand that it is a bit serious, it's something that I trust is manageable and that the doctors are fully capable of addressing. At this point things are still unclear so I'm trying my best to manage my expectations and making an extra effort to continue living a normal and happy life :) :) Life goes on!

In time I will muster the strength to write about it---as I know God is using this moment in our lives (no matter how crappy it seems! crap and a half talaga!!!) to show His infinite wisdom and power :) We've been married for ONLY two months and we're already facing a "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" situation. I've been feeling Patrick's unwavering love for me even more so now---I feel like our marriage will be strengthened even further because of this situation. I don't know what will happen in a few days, weeks, or months---but one thing is for sure--I know that it's all part of God's plan for me and Patrick :)  Before I could even think of complaining, I am reminded of how faithful God has been to us and I'm claiming his continued faithfulness to us--and like my friend Lea told me "Chicken lang yan kay God" at tama siya! Life is beautiful and so am I! nyekkkk!:) Pagbigyan niyo na ako!!!:) 

Candy by Paolo Nutini


Juice Up

I've been seriously RETHINKING my personal health conditions lately. One of the things I've neglected would be my vitamin intake..it's something SO SIMPLE and SO ELEMENTARY but we all tend to take this for granted. I have a whole list of vitamins & minerals I should be stocking up on but for now let's talk about the basics--VITAMIN C!!!! Parang bata lang noh!? 

According to WEBMD, vitamin C may offer health benefits in these areas:
1. Stress. "A recent meta-analysis showed vitamin C was beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress -- a condition which is very common in our society," says Moyad.  And, he adds, "because vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, and [is] the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, and obese individuals, it makes it an ideal marker for overall health." 
2. Colds. When it comes to the common cold, vitamin C may not be a cure. But some studies show that it may help prevent more serious complications. "There is good evidence taking vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections," says Moyad. 
3. Stroke. Although research has been conflicting, one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations.  The reasons for this are not completely clear. But what is clear is that people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C."People who consume more fruit and vegetables will not only have higher [blood] levels of vitamin C, but higher intake of other nutrients potentially beneficial to health, such as fiber and other vitamins and minerals," study researcher Phyo K. Myint said in an email interview. 
4. Skin Aging. Vitamin C affects cells on the inside and outside of the body.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women aged 40-74. It found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance. 

Tamang-tama because over the holidays, I got a box of SMART C juices from the Oishi Family. They asked me to try it and to blog about my experience. I've grown to love these refreshing energy boosters, I even serve them for our kiddie guests at home. They're ALL NATURAL--no added preservatives, no artifical colors, and no artificial sweeteners too kaya safe for kids. I usually have a bottle or two during the day, especially when I'm feeling a bit under the weather. Each 500ml bottle contains the Vitamin C equivalent of 11 lemons, 8 oranges, or 4 grapefruits. If you're the type who hates drinking Vitamin C in capsule/tablet form--maybe this could be a good alternative for you.
This is a sponsored post by Smart C.




Early Bird Breakfast Club

I love breakfast!!! I think I've expressed my love for the first meal of the day at least 30 times in this blog alone. I love breakfast so much, I hosted a morning show called BREAKFAST for 4 years! It was supposed to be a night show called DINNER but sabi ko HINDI PWEDE!!! So they changed it! O diba, DIVA!?? Just kidding! Hahaha!:) So when I got an invitation from Ellen of the Early Bird BREAKFAST Club, I was typing like a tornado just to say YES YES YES!:) I browsed their FB page to see their menu and interiors and I was sold--pictures palang yun!!! AND it came at the most perfect time because I was racking my brains thinking of a new restaurant where we could celebrate Sheila's 13th birthday! (If I told you she was 31 you wouldn't believe it anyway) So we set the date and met up in the Fort Strip for a girly brunch date.
This has got to be one of the most photogenic restos in Manila. I couldn't help myself, I was snapping pics like a fool as soon as I stepped in. And boy do I love those enormous windows bringing in God's natural lighting right into the resto. Thank you Lord for your SWEET SUNSHINE! They have this huge blue mural on one wall which I can imagine will soon be everyone's "FB profile pic background". I dare you to enter this resto without taking a photo of that wall---double dare!!!! Hahaha :) Here's our token BFF photo by the wall. From grade 3 and now zooming into our 30s!!! Here's to looking forever young, hehe. I love you Sheila!!:)
Now onto the FOOD!!! The food tastes as good as the restaurant looks. I'm a bit of a food bully when I try new restos with my friends. I'm that friend who wants to eat everything in the menu so I sort of manipulate my friends to order it for me. "Uyyyy, parang masarap tong French Toast fondue...bagay sya sa yo! I have a feeling you'll really like it" with my sweet "You know I know you" face and BOOM! Just like that, they fall for my trap! So I get to order things I like and get to steal from their meals too! Hahaha! If you find that annoying, then I'm sorry! Buti nalang di tayo friends! CHE!!! I'm sorry---I take that back--please be my friend! Here's  a friendship bracelet! Hehehe! 
The pancakes were divine (fluffy like a fluff-a-luffagus), the adobo flakes reminded me of my grandma's cooking (comfort food), their french toast fondue was perfect for "papak-ing" while waiting for your main dish (oops..that sounded better in my head!), even their drinks were so delicious!!! I love that the menu provides down-to-earth choices and none of the pretentious "what is this?!" gibberish that can sometimes intimidate you when eating out. They promise comfort food and comfort food is what you'll get. 
For a newly opened resto, I was surprised to see that they already had a lot of fans. The place was packed to the brim when we visited and it was a weekday! The chefs and owners even made the effort to say hello to us while we were eating. That personal touch definitely made me and my friends feel right at home.
On a side note, I get invited to try out different restaurants, resorts, stores, etc. but I've always made sure that I only post entries about the ones I ACTUALLY LIKED on this blog. Not that I'm a snob with high expectations (ako pa?!?!), I guess at the end of the day it's important to be honest with my readers about my experiences (especially since most of my blog readers are close friends and family members! Yari ako sa kanila if I give them bad recommendations! hehe!). It could be the swankiest place or a hole in the wall--as long as it has character, good taste, and quality products, that to me would be worth sharing. And this restaurant fits the profile of "worth sharing with your friends". My girls and I loved this place so much, we were already planning our next visit. 
To my girlfriends Lea, Marge, Sheila and Stef thanks for always being game to go foodie-ing with me!  Speaking of friends, guess what!!!! The sweet owners, Ellen and Kendrick, just gave me gift certificates to share with my blog readers! Yeheyyy!!! 

I'm giving away gift certificates for a 
Party of FIVE!

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Click LIKE on the Early Bird Breakfast Club Facebook Page. 
3. Send me your PARTY OF FIVE photo, so that's you and your 4 friends (officemates, classmates or family members). Email it along with your names and one home address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com.

Contest ends on Feb 3!:)

Sweet Surprise from Amorita

Hello friends! I'm blogging from Bohol this time. Patrick and I are having our extended honeymoon--in the beautiful Visayas region. It's only been our first day in Amorita and it has already been so memorable for us. After a romantic candle lit dinner by the beach, we headed back to our villa and surprise surprise!!! Our villa was decked out with lots of personalized honeymoon decors and gifts from the Amorita staff-----and two massage beds for our special "lovers' treatment". Don't worry friends, I'll be blogging more about our Amorita trip soon! Gotta get back to my husband!:) Thank you so much to the Amorita staff for going the extra mile for us!

Too Hilarious Not To Share

Give those brain cells a break! Watch this!:)

Fashion Friday:Benetton Shopping Spree

Last night I had to force command twist his arm  lovingly ask Patrick to take a break from his editing project so he could bring me to High Street. And since he was in full work mode, I knew I had to bring out the big guns to convince him----my puppy dog eyes always do the trick. I tried dancing sexily while brushing my teeth, somehow that just made him look the other way. But why?!?!?! Anyway, the reason why I desperately wanted to make it to High Street on time was because I was excited to shop with Knox Balbastro, the winner of the Benetton Shopping Spree contest!!!! Woohooo!!! It makes my heart jump for joy when I'm able to collaborate with brands to give freebies to my readers..it's one of my favorite things about being a blogger!
Knox is a natural fashionista!  I didn't even have to assist her at all, she practically zoomed right through the racks and picked up the clothes without any hesitation. Her choices were spot on---colorful, fun, but still very polished. Of all the goodies she got, I especially loved that bright lemon sweater---cuddle worthy but still very sexy. Perfect for the cold weather we've been enjoying these past few weeks.  :)
Thanks to Benetton, she was able to take home 10,000 pesos worth of clothes!!! WOOOOW! Ang swerte niya diba?!?! By the way, this cute floral dress I'm wearing is from Benetton too! I wore it on our honeymoon to Bali and absolutely loved it. It's pretty versatile too, I can wear it as a top or as a dress, two pieces in one!
My biggest thanks to Benetton High Street for allowing me to shop with blog reader, Knox!  

Organika by Healthy Options

As most of you know, I've been a big fan of Healthy Options for years now. I'm not exactly the healthiest girl in town---BUT everytime I drop by H.O. in Greenbelt I always get motivated to eat well because of their wide range of healthy, natural and wholesome food products. They invited me to join the launch of their ORGANIKA line so I dragged my girlfriends and made it a Healthy Girls Night Out!:) The event was hosted by the lovely Amanda Griffin. She's my idol when it comes to healthy living! She just have birth to her second baby and still looks mighty fine! 

In a nutshell, going organic is going back to the basics---to keep things pure, simple, and just the way God intended it to be. I'll admit it's hard to go full on organic given the limited choices in the market, but I'm glad Healthy Options is taking the lead towards this direction. Congratulations Healthy Options!!! 
‘Good food grown the good way’ hits Healthy Options stores this 2013, as the leading natural products brand will now offer organic vegetables, herbs, pork, chicken, and eggs sourced from local farmers.

“By launching these products from our very own farm, we renew our commitment to giving our customers better choices for a better life. It is also a show of support to small organic farmers, and to healthy, humane, and sustainable farming.” says Healthy Options managing director Romy Sia.

Nestled at the foot of the scenic Mt. Banahaw and near the two-storey high Majayjay Falls, the five-hectare organic farmis a promising local source of nutritious, flavorful, and top-quality products the store has been known for.

“Our shelves will carry organic vegetables and herbs that are planted and harvested by hand. Nurtured only by sunlight, pure spring water, and organic compost, these fresh, tasty produce contain optimum nutrients,” he adds.

Healthy Options also showcases livestock-raising in an environment that cultivates their natural behavior and provides a better quality of life.As Mr. Sia proudly claims, “Our animals live in five-star conditions!” Their free range chickens can run around and forage for food, and are fed with wholesome grains, organic vegetable trimmings, and wild bugs and insects. Meanwhile, the pigs eat an all-natural diet of rice bran, duck weed, copra meal, fruits, and vegetables, and are raised in odor-free pens, with soft beddings made of soil, sawdust and carbonized rice hull. The stress-free environment allows natural instincts like foraging and scratching.

These practices greatly differ from those of industrial farms, which commonly use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on crops, and steroids, growth hormones, sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics, and synthetic trace supplements on animals.

Aside from offering superior meat and vegetable produce, Healthy Options is also proud to advocate farming that does not produce excessive waste or pollution, and results in a healthier ecosystem. 
PR Text and Images provided by Healthy Options.

Pamper Day for 2 Pretty Brides

A few posts back, you recall I was raving about Pink Me Up Nail and Dry Bar in Shaw. Well, I loved this place so much I decided to go back but this time with just 3 girlfriends of mine. Stef of Pink Me Up was kind enough to help me prepare a spread of pretty (and yummy) treats especially for the two brides-to-be! Sam is marrying her long time love (and rockstar) Paolo Valenciano in a few days while Krissy will be marrying Pat, one of the nicest guys I know who also happens to be my former gradeschool seat mate! In a world filled with sad love stories and broken hearts, it's nice to see real and genuine HAPPILY EVER AFTERS.   
Patrick and I are truly happy for these couples---we love them so much!!!
Pink Me Up is perfect for small bridal/baby showers, birthday parties, high school reunions, or just for some casual catching up with friends. For special occasions, you can actually collaborate with them to create a theme for your party. It would be best however to call them weeks ahead to reserve the space for your private function. Aside from pedicures, manicures, foot spas, and paraffin treatments, they also provide blow outs and hair treatments! For a list of their affordable prices and services, simply visit their Facebook Page.  Pink Me Up is located in Shaw Blvd, more details on the location is available in their FB page.
I'm giving away 3 gift certificates to one barkada.
Be pampered silly at PINK ME UP 
with your 2 BFFs.
1. Click LIKE on the PINK ME UP Facebook Page.
2. Post a photo of you and your 2 girlfriends on the PINK ME UP Facebook Wall and let us know why you deserve a PAMPER DAY with your girls. Add the hashtag #pattylaurelblog to qualify as an entry.

The winner will be announced on the Pink Me Up FB Page by February 5 so keep those entries coming!




New Blog Favorite

Yahooooo!!!!! It's finally UP!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Dogs and Cats and all the butikis in your house----PRESENTING: My sister-in-law Cecil Filart's MOMMY BLOG!!!! Before you brand me as a stage mom wannabe (or feeling Manay Lolit Solis!), I really just want to share why this blog is very important to Cecil (and to me!). 

Although Cecil and I always spend time together, we still write each other love letters via email. Ok, I know it sounds very sixth grade "Best Friends Forever Club"  but these email exchanges have kept us both sane through life's many ups, downs, and turn arounds. 

If I recall correctly, it was Cecil who first wrote me a letter---it was during my solo trip to Europe about two years ago. It was actually a time of awakening for me. I was in my late twenties, old enough to know what I didn't want in life but still too young to have it all figured out.  I fell under the stereotypical single twenty something year old traveling solo to find meaning, discovering the world on her own---I just described a character in a chick flick! Ugggh. Typical. Hahaha! 

I've always loved TRAVEL. And although I was having so much fun getting lost in wanderlust and making my own adventures, there was something that was calling me back home. Something new, something different, something even more fun than all the adventures that traveling around the world can offer---a budding romance with a fella named Patrick. I was terrified about how SURE I was about Patrick, especially since we were only dating for just a few months back then. It was Cecil who became my sounding board and her words put me at ease. She shared her own personal experiences as a young independent woman (she was a sought after architect, commercial model, and also an avid traveler) and how transitioning into a wife and eventually a mother did not rob her of a life of fun and adventure. In fact, she challenged me to see how growing up and growing old can actually be the best adventure you'll ever have. I found myself emailing her while waiting in train stations and airports and eagerly anticipating her replies! Her unpretentious and very generous way of writing made it very easy for me to digest her advice and I really appreciated the fact that she took the time to counsel me .Needless to say, I came home feeling refreshed from the time alone--but also excited to start a brand new life with Patrick (who proposed to me a few months after!). Ever since then it's become a habit for us to exchange emails and share little life stories to encourage and pray for one another. 

I've been prodding Cecil to start a blog for months now especially since I'm a big fan of her writing (having been personally touched by her late night emails!). But understandably with two babies in tow and design projects left and right---it was nearly impossible for Cecil to actually make time to blog. So seeing her blog actually come to life is a BIG milestone worth celebrating!!! For all the young moms, soon to be moms, girls who want to be moms, and everyone in between---I hope you will find a new home in Cecil's blog :) If you like a post, feel free to comment on it so you can encourage Cecil further! Happy reading!!!




ThirtySix-O

Shameless plugging time, folks. As you all know, my husband owns THIRTYSIX-O, a specialized media production company that produces/edits/shoots videos for big and small companies, corporate and personal events, even prenups and weddings. They've covered a whole range of projects--travel, fashion, sports, concerts, ad campaigns, etc. I've been a witness to the hard work that Pat and his team pours into each project and I can honestly say that they're the best at what they do :) So watch the video below and click share!:)

Watch their video below to catch their highlights for 2012.
ThirtySix-O Reel 2012 from Thirtysixomedia on Vimeo.

A Change in Perspective

Yesterday, I woke up to the  heartbreaking news of a friend's dad passing. He was a kind hearted man who lived a very dignified life. I started to think about my own life and what legacy I would be leaving when my time to pass were to come. I was disappointed in myself for a moment, there I was plopped in my bed with my laptop opened----Wow, I just wasted 15 minutes browsing through Facebook and eating chips! Ang babaw ng buhay ko! Ok, I'll admit I was a bit hard on myself--HELLO!!! EPIPHANY ito, kailangan seryoso!!! hahaha!

Coincidentally I came across this article by The Atlantic so putting these "signs" together caused me to have a bit of a wake up call. It's a lengthy (but meaty) read but if you have the time and you're looking for an AHA moment to start your year--I urge you to go ahead and read it. 


In a nutshell (in the way I understood it), the title says it all: THERE'S MORE TO LIFE THAN BEING HAPPY. At the end of the day, it's about living a life of MEANING and PURPOSE instead of just "being happy". I took the liberty of breaking down the highlights and copy-pasting the key points for you :)

1. TAKER vs GIVER
Leading a happy life, the psychologists found, is associated with being a "taker" while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a "giver." 
"Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided," the authors write. 
How do the happy life and the meaningful life differ? Happiness, they found, is about feeling good. Specifically, the researchers found that people who are happy tend to think that life is easy, they are in good physical health, and they are able to buy the things that they need and want. While not having enough money decreases how happy and meaningful you consider your life to be, it has a much greater impact on happiness. The happy life is also defined by a lack of stress or worry.
"Happy people get a lot of joy from receiving benefits from others while people leading meaningful lives get a lot of joy from giving to others," explained Kathleen Vohs. In other words, meaning transcends the self while happiness is all about giving the self what it wants. People who have high meaning in their lives are more likely to help others in need. 

2. HAPPINESS fades away, MEANING is enduring.
Meaning is not only about transcending the self, but also about transcending the present moment -- which is perhaps the most important finding of the study, according to the researchers. While happiness is an emotion felt in the here and now, it ultimately fades away, just as all emotions do; positive affect and feelings of pleasure are fleeting. The amount of time people report feeling good or bad correlates with happiness but not at all with meaning. 
Meaning, on the other hand, is enduring. It connects the past to the present to the future. "Thinking beyond the present moment, into the past or future, was a sign of the relatively meaningful but unhappy life," the researchers write. "Happiness is not generally found in contemplating the past or future." That is, people who thought more about the present were happier, but people who spent more time thinking about the future or about past struggles and sufferings felt more meaning in their lives, though they were less happy. 
Having negative events happen to you, the study found, decreases your happiness but increases the amount of meaning you have in life. Another study from 2011 confirmed this, finding that people who have meaning in their lives, in the form of a clearly defined purpose, rate their satisfaction with life higher even when they were feeling bad than those who did not have a clearly defined purpose. "If there is meaning in life at all," Frankl wrote, "then there must be meaning in suffering." 
3. Being HUMAN according to Frankl
"Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself -- be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself -- by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love -- the more human he is."

I wanted to dissect this article further but I also didn't want to ruin it for you, so please read it when you have the chance. I'm not saying it's BAD to be happy---we all want to be happy! I'm LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and a big advocate for positivity. This whole blog is about spreading HAPPINESS!!!:) But I love what FRANKL wrote: "it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to 'be happy.' But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy.'" TAMA siya, there has to be a REASON to be happy. 

The article closes with this and it really makes so much sense!---> By putting aside our selfish interests to serve someone or something larger than ourselves -- by devoting our lives to "giving" rather than "taking" -- we are not only expressing our fundamental humanity, but are also acknowledging that that there is more to the good life than the pursuit of simple happiness. Sa totoo lang nung nabasa ko 'to, parang nahiya ako sa sarili ko. I haven't been living the way God destined for me to live. But I guess I can always start now, I can always make changes today.


Fancy Iphone Cases

Ever since I got my IPHONE 5 from Smart (which I'm loving by the way) I've been on the lookout for a nice case to sort of dress it up a bit. At this point my phone has a simple tiangge bought case because I'm low on funds, hehe :) But if I had the extra moolahloo, I would totally consider these super sleek high end cases!

THE SOPHISTICATED TEXTER
THE FUN AND FEARLESS iMESSAGE-R

THE EXOTIC CALLER
Phone cases by Diane Von Fursteburg, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Jagger Edge, and Dannijo. All available for sale at www.shopbop.com.

House Guests

When this condo unit was turned over to us last year, one of the things we prayed for was that this would be a happy place not only for us as a couple--but for our loved ones as well. We wanted to open our home to others, for the Lord to use this place to gather people together. And thankfully, God has answered our prayers! We've been married for barely  2months but we've had guests almost every other day--averaging at 3x a week! And mind you, we don't even a helper--Patrick and I have created our own "cleaning system" that surprisingly works. I absolutely LOVE to clean---and although I'm sure Pat is not exactly thrilled to clean, he never ever complains about the chores he has to do and always takes out the trash, rearranges the furniture, helps me with the dishes enthusiastically. Hopefully this attitude of his doesn't wear off anytime soon!

We've been praying for God to bless us with the provisions to be able to entertain more house guests--to make our little home a place where our friends can just chill and relax after a long and stressful work week. We've been lucky though that our guests have been so considerate of our tight newlywed budget--they always bring SOOOO much food! Umaapaw ang ref namin sa left overs--we get to eat the party left overs for lunch/dinner the following day! Laking tipid para sa amin!

What I love about our loft is that it's so perfectly sized for us--small enough to maintain and clean everyday but spacious enough for entertaining guests.  Even our living room has the exact dimensions perfect for Dance Central and Fruit Ninja on kinect. We can only have a few guests at a time given our limited space (and chairs!) so we've been inviting people in "batches". So to our other friends, we will be calling your "batch" soon. Parang Star Circle lang! Hehehe :) 

It's always such a joy to be with our friends---as much as Patrick and I enjoy our alone time as a couple, we really look forward to our nights-in (as opposed to nights-out) with our close friends. Simpleng gimik lang: potluck, kinect, joke time at chismisan---that's how we roll!:) Here are some random BLURRY photos from my phone!





Banksy

So I've been a fan of Banksy for years now. Some are quick to judge and call him an "Art Terrorist" but I like him a LOT! I'll admit some of his graffiti works are shocking even for me..but you have to admit, the guy's a genius! Here are some of my favorites :) (notice that Pat's wearing a Banksy shirt in the post below---I got it in London a few years back)




Cool and Functional NYC Space

My little breakfast project: Heart Shaped Eggs ♥ ♥ ♥ 
We're newlyweds so we're ALLOWED to be disgustingly cheesy!!! Hahahaha :) :)

Editorial for Bride and Breakfast

Remember that bridal editorial shoot I did a few months ago? The one with the drop-dead-gorgeous and humongous floral wreath by Vatel Manila??  I wasn't wearing the wreath----the wreath was wearing me!:) Well, it's finally out!!! Thank you so much Janna Simpao of Bride and Breakfast for choosing me out of all the beautiful brides you've encountered! This truly is a BIG honor for little old me!! Please visit the B&B site to see more awesome photos by Cherryblocks :) 
And again, prepare to be completely WOW-ed by this magnificent video by Mayad Studios!!!! I wish I could take full credit for this but I'm sorry---it was all Mayad's doing!!!I was DIYOSAfied and MOTHER EARTHed to the tenth level for this shoot! Thanks so much Aira, Fritz, Mayonne, Chuck, Mayad, Janna and to the rest of the amazing team behind this fun Bride and Breakfast editorial :) :)

Bridal Elegance: Patty Laurel for Bride and Breakfast from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

About Your Travel Related Emails

Weeee!!! Thanks to YouTube I was able to watch the little feature I did for Unang Hirit! Yeheyyy!:) 

In a week I get a hundred emails from readers from all over---all of which I try my best to read during my downtime (or in between waiting for the rice to get cooked). Although I admit I have failed to reply to all of these emails (so disappointing, I know, huhuhuhu) I do hope you know that I really value and appreciate each and every one. 
About 50% of these emails are travel-related and although I'm not a licensed travel agent, heck, I'm not even a professional travel writer, it means so much to me to know that you guys trust me enough to ask for travel advice. A lot of you have asked me for itinerary templates, hotel recommendations, travel websites, etc and as much as I would love to accommodate each and every one of your requests--sadly, it's close to impossible for me to do so. If I didn't have to work and if I had all the spare time in the world, boy, I would take all your requests and make custom itineraries for each one! hehehe! 

What a lot of people don't realize is this--planning a trip requires a LOT of time, energy, resources, and RESEARCH. It's not as easy as sending someone your itinerary or telling a friend about a hotel you stayed in---there are a ton of factors to consider for a trip.   Just ask my husband, he knows that I stay up for an extra hour each night just researching for hotels. It sounds over the top and a bit obsessive (and to a certain degree, it is) but I'm very particular about my trips which is why I just can't take someone else's itinerary and simply copy it. I know what type of traveler I am and now that I'm married, the research has to be much more refined as I also have his needs/preferences to consider now. As a budget traveler who likes clean toilets and enjoys eating a lot---this can prove quite difficult. 

Each person is unique. You have your preferences, I have mine. You like dark meat, I like white meat. You like Destiny's Child, I like ALL children. HAHAHA. Ok, ako lang natawa dun. But what I'm trying to say is that each person has a unique "travel personality". Take for example, my sister and ME. We grew up in the same home, same schools, same parents---yet we're worlds apart! When it comes to traveling, my sister loves to SHOP for designer clothes, bags, etc. She's the type of person who researches where the Prada, LV, or Gucci store in a certain city is located. I, on the other hand, am a passionate foodie. I always research for the top restaurants in the area--food is my luho. So you can imagine the clash of our day-to-day itineraries when we travel.  So when she asks for recommendations about a particular city, I don't just hand her my itinerary. I have to research based on her personality, kung ano yung sa tingin ko "type" niya. 

I'm blessed to have readers who share a similar taste level, who like the things I like (or so I think!).  It's great to find a common ground when it comes to preferences with you guys. And that's why even if it can be quite tedious, I always make the extra effort to post nice pictures, indulge in my captions and descriptions,and  add helpful links when it comes to my travel posts. Somehow I feel I am sharing as much as I possibly can---that although I cannot physically make customized itineraries and plan trips for each and every one of you, I feel happy knowing that I put the info out there. I just want to make all the tips available for you. Now it's up to you of course whether you use it or you reject it, kayo na bahala dun :) BUT DON'T REJECT MY JOKES----USE THEMMMMM!!!!! TOP QUALITY JOKES 'TO! Hehehe! I am simply offering you travel options--what you do with these options will dictate how your trip will turn out. Make it your own adventure, write your own travel story! Hayyy, I'm so excited for you guys!

So to my dear readers (especially to those who have sent me trave related emails), I write these travel entries FOR YOU. Well, I write for ME too!!! This is my blog after all, that's sort of kinda the point of this whole thing! But I really hope you get inspired to travel, to explore, to discover through this blog :) :) :) So keep those emails coming and I will try my best to answer each one..or if I don't get to answer all of them, at least I will have a better idea of what type of travel related questions I should address in the blog :)

The Pats in Lego Form

Pat the Video Dude/Groom and Patty the Princess Bride

Thank you Deck and Jill for these adorable legos :) What a thoughtful gift!

Cool&Creative Airline Videos

Too adorable for words! Just click the play button!

For the LOTR/Hobbit fans, you'll love this one.

I watched this trailer probably 8 times already. ASTIG.

What I'm Loving Now: Beansprout

Check out these eco-friendly organizers by BEANSPROUT! They have a ton of other products from laundry bags, shoe bags, to grocery bags, etc :)  They sent me a whole pack of goodies over the holidays and I've been using them ever since. And best of all, they're all proudly Pinoy products!


10 Things Before 10AM

Patrick and I are both freelancers so it's sort of a struggle to keep a routine given our line of work. We have work days that start in the afternoon and stretch all the way til the wee hours of the following morning, there are some days wherein we have NOTHING booked for the day and it drives me nuts, then there are days when we have gig after gig--like they all just decided to hold events all on the same day!Patrick runs a business so he has office hours as well on top of his freelance work, so it's really more complex for him than me. I just enjoy having unpredictable weeks! Hehe! But I do realize that it's important to create a routine in the morning---even if we can't follow it to the tee, we try to at least get a LOT of things done in the morning before we face the world. Some days it's 10 Things Before 9AM, 7AM, etc but the idea is just to be as productive as possible even before the actual productivity at work starts!


1. MORNING DATE WITH THE BIG GUY
We received a lot of cool and creative gifts from friends when we got married, but this is definitely one of my favorites.  Pat's tita gave us a very straight forward book called "Praying for Your Marriage", each chapter has two pages. TWO LITTLE PAGES (at malaki pa yung font!). If you have time to brush your teeth, update your FB status, or tie your shoelaces, I'm pretty sure you have time to read two pages. Hehehe :) We really don't have a very "holy" way of praying--we just read the 2 pages, discuss a bit, then we pray together about our marriage, the day we will both be facing, finances, my pimple, my chocolate addiction, etc. 

2. DANCERSIZE
So one of the things I promised Patrick for 2013 was that I would be more committed to my health this year. We went to the gym last Monday--and I failed miserably. Maybe I'll LEARN TO LOVE it someday--but that doesn't seem to be the case for me now. So I bargained with Patrick and now I exercise via Dance Central. It's actually a fun way to work out a sweat---plus it's FREE!!! 

3. RAID THE PANTRY 
Every morning I have a stare off with my pantry, thinking of what to prepare for breakfast. I was never the domesticated kind of girl--I'm far from the stepford wife peg that most girls already are when they enter marriage. I'm a guerilla cook and I've been learning things on the fly. So far hindi pa naman nagkakaroon ng food poisoining yung asawa ko, so that's a good sign!! Hahahaha
4. FIX BREKKY FOR MY MAN
I love preparing breakfast for Pat--it's probably the most important meal of his day because it will dictate his mood for the rest of the 24 hours.

My father-in-law prepared a Dummy Proof Pancake Mix just for me!!! Isn't he the sweetest? He even wrote down the instructions for me. It's oh so simple, I just add water! Haha :) I love having pancakes with lots and lots and lots of crispy honey cured BACOOOOONNNN!!! Kick out PNOY, Bacon for President!!!!
 5. PRAY THAT THE DISHES WOULD WASH THEMSELVES
Uggh, I hate doing the dishes. Just seeing the pile of pots and pans already gives me a headache. But once I start washing, it actually magically turns into therapy! It makes me happy to be a part of the transformation---making dirty things clean again, taking away all the grease and grime, and putting things back in order..ayyy, OCness! 


6. STAY CURRENT
I love watching CNN, Al Jazeera, and BBC. I'm especially a fan of their talk shows and documentaries. Even if Piers Morgan annoys me to a certain degree (he always interrupts his guests!!! Ibalik si Larry King!!!), I still enjoy watching his show and other shows on these international news channels. It feels great to be informed, to know what's happening out there, and to  be aware of soci0-political and environmental events.    Watching the news is actually a good way to exercise your brain :) You need to be mentally fit too you know!
7. INVEST IN YOUR SKIN
I'll be turning 30 next year and yet I always get mistaken as a 23 year old :) :) :) :) Yes, ang yabang koooo! Kailangan ko talaga ito ipagyabang!!! Ang saya kaya to look younger than your age!!! Sinisita pa ako ng guard sa Ateneo because he thought I was a student..I wanted to hug that manong guard! I wanted to ask him to reenact the whole thing so I could capture it on video and show it to all of my friends "See guys, guys, mukha pa akong college!!!". Hahaha. And that's why I've been very diligent in cleansing and moisturizing--I hope I will be able to keep this youthful glow (naks, parang commercial line!) for a few more years! I don't have flawless skin guys (that's why I pray over my pimples)---no one does!!! The goal is not to be fairer or to erase your flaws, the goal is to have HEALTHY and CLEAN skin :)

8. LOOK FOR RANDOM INSPIRATION
Make the effort to look for something to inspire you--a friend's photo, a magazine clipping, a painting, your grandma's pancit malabon. There will always be something or someone within your 1 mile radius that you can draw inspiration from--you just have to open your eyes :) But kids, being inspired by someone doesn't mean being the exact replica! Use that inspiration to compel you to do something NEW, UNIQUE, with your NAME written all over it!

My inspiration for the week is my boy Pharell. He's the coolest. Who else can pull off orange, purple and pink?!?!! And he's a manly man!!! Pat was teasing me na crush ko daw si Snoop Dogg and Pharell so I had to correct him---hindi ko sila crush, gusto ko sila maging FRIENDS! I wanna be part of their barkada!! Big difference!!!
 9. SHARE SOMETHING POSITIVE
Whether it's coming up with a nice blog entry, OR sending a loved one a personal email to say hello and how ya doing, I always try to put this keyboard to good use by using it to spread happy vibes. BUT BUT BUT, this does not happen everyday! Kapag bad trip ako, naku, patay tong keyboard sa kin! I bang on these keys pretty hard when I'm pissed. Hey, Im human. 


 10. SEIZE THE DAY
I got this wooden block from Wooden Canvas last Christmas and it's a really nice reminder for me each day! Each day can be exciting, meaningful, purposeful---you just have to challenge yourself to really put yourself out there and SEIZE THE DAY!!! 
 

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