Healthy Choices for the Week

I still love my sinful treats (I have a tube of Toblerone sitting right next to me) but I've been trying to indulge in more wholesome treats these days. So I'm setting myself up for a little challenge, to post 3 Healthy Choices for each week on the blog. You guys will be my support group as I move towards a healthier lifestyle :) I hope you guys will find these recommendations helpful too! And maybe you could email me more suggestions as well--team work!:) 

I recently discovered this in Healthy Options. I've been looking for more natural ways to deal with my "girl problems" so eventually I could be less dependent on medication. Here's what it says in the website, "Based on the traditional combination of raspberry and nettle, with other complementary herbs like angelica root, blessed thistle and cramp bark, this tea uses a tonic approach to women’s health. Herbal tonics gently support and nurture you, helping to promote balance and good health. A blend of pleasant herbal tastes, we love this tea’s ability to support women’s wellness and vitality."

This is the all natural HAPPY DRINK! It's perfect for combatting those "I don't feel too well" emotions. It fights depression by increasing trytophan levels in the brain and it's a good source of Vitamin B, copper and magnesium. It tastes delicious too, that's the bonus. You can make your own Nutmilk at home but if you're too busy (and don't have the kitchen tools to juice properly), you can simply order from :) You can order the mini bottles to compliment your meals. 
Now, here's the BIG switch for me and Patrick. I don't expect to be a strict organic convert, although it's ideal--I don't think it would be feasible given the limited options for organic produce in this country. PLUS we love eating out too much!!! So I guess we'll have to approach it in a flexible but proactive kind of way, to go organic when the option presents itself to us. The easiest step towards going organic would be purchasing organic eggs and chicken products. If you read this Livestrong article, you'll see the benefits of going organic with your eggs---1) 1/3 less cholestorol than commercially produced eggs 2)1/4 less saturated fat 3)Less pesticide residue 4)No added hormones/antibiotics 5)Tastes better too!!! I ordered my first tray of organic eggs this week from

Taste Central

Announcement!!! I have a new guilty online pleasure!!! I am officially hooked. I just signed up for an account a few days ago and I've been visiting the site almost everyday since. I know what you're thinking, "What's the big deal? They're a ton of online shopping sites in the web anyway!".  If you're a meticulous shopper like me, you'll understand why this site makes perfect sense. Not to sound redundant, but these fellas have TASTE. And GOOD TASTE is something that not a lot of people have. It's something developed over time, through experience and exposure.  

If you're looking for "STUFF", don't come to this site. This is not for those who like to collect clutter and knick knacks. You won't find neon colored penguin figurines or Angry Birds back scratchers here. 

The site is for the discerning shopper, the person who looks for quality over quantity. If you've set aside a bit of money from your paycheck and want a good and honest treat, then this is the site for you. It's the filet mignon of online shopping, reserved for those special days when you feel you need a little reward for a job well done. BUT before I turn you kuripot folks away, there's redemption for you too! They have frequent price cuts so if you're patient, you might be able to score that hard to find, limited edition piece at a fraction of it's original price!

Here are my favorites from their site. Although it might take a while before I get clearance from my thrifty husband to purchase these items, there's no harm in daydreaming right??? So here are my Taste Central crushes :) Key in to start the obsession!

Loveramics Trio. Fresh Fragrance. Bone China Creamer Set. Butterfly Soft Flat Sheet

Sophia Lounge Chair. Hip Bar Trolley. Hunter Stool.Vintage Armchairs.

Splenda Cookie Bundle. Truffle Salt. Flavoured Roasts. Gorgonzola Chips.

You have a chance to win an online shopping spree worth Php5,000 on 

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below this post.
2. Sign up for a Taste Central account here. You will need this account to claim your credits when you win!
3. Follow @TasteCentralPH on Twitter. Choose one Taste Central item you're crushing on and tweet it to @TasteCentralPHAdd the hashtag #pattylaurelblog to qualify as an entry. 

"Hi @TasteCentralPH, I'm crushing on these sexy Clementine Pumps! I love the color! #pattylaurelblog"

Contest ends on March 6. A max of 3 entries per person only, please. 

What is Love

My good friend Krissy sent this to me via FB today and I thought of sharing it with you guys too! This video is a real tearjerker and I wish this kind of love for all of my friends!♥

I've been married for barely 3 months and my husband has already breathed life into the words "in sickness and in health" by taking care of me these past 2 weeks. When I was recovering from surgery and unable to move, he brushed my hair, fed me, bathed me, washed my feet, and even put moisturizer on my face! hehehe! :) I love you so much FILART!

What Is Love? from cvcnow on Vimeo.

Best Day Ever

This is Natalie, my 5 month old niece. This baby is living THE LIFE. All she needs is a good night's sleep, a clean diaper, and a pair of socks. As far as she's concerned, life is GRAND! Her mom's breast milk is THE BOMB. Her crib totally rocks. Her stroller lets her cruise the streets in style. She doesn't have any teeth yet she has the most captivating smile. You can pack her whole life in just one diaper bag and she'd still be the happiest little person in the world.

Looking at this picture has made me reflect on my current life situation. It's amazing how one cute photo could bring remarkable clarity. I guess God knows I'm such a sucker for babies so he chose to speak to me through this picture. Some people are moved by literary masterpieces like a line from Hemingway or Faulkner, some people come to terms with their issues through a life changing incident, and then there are people like me who experience their epiphanies via CUTE BABY PICTURES! hehehe!

Today marks the 2nd week of my post-surgery recovery. And I feel GREAT. I'm not 100% yet but just looking at where my body is at today, I can honestly say that God answered every little prayer I had on my long list. I can touch my toes, I can lie on my side, I can bathe by myself--all of these things were close to impossible just a week ago. I won't lie, it hasn't been easy as Sunday morning traffic. On most days it feels like Monday rush hour traffic--in EDSA. But there's always something so delightful about waking up and welcoming a brand new day and also something very calming and fulfilling about seeing a full day come to a close. No matter what slump you find yourself in, the promise of the NEW day is more than enough to motivate you to get better. And when you graduate from a long day (be it happy or crappy), it's also worth giving yourself a pat on the back for getting through it with grace. 

Just like Natalie, I just want to be HAPPY just because. Her happiness radiates from within and is completely independent of other people's judgments, external factors, or societal influence. Babies only worry about poop and milk! They could care less about pimples, waistlines, career plans, failed relationships, finances and deadlines. She's just happy to be alive and happy to be here! Her happiness knows no boundaries and that's an attitude I would like to adapt for myself too. I've been so blessed beyond words, it's the only attitude that I'm allowed to have.

Let me leave you with this video that always makes me smile when I'm feeling down. Pat says it reminds him of me because I like doing chants and weird dance moves. Hehehe :) 

Natalie Portman for Miss Dior

I can't seem to stop myself from clicking replay, replay, replay!!! I love Natalie Portman, my forever peg, my girl crush! She's an inspiration for petite women like me...who needs the height when you've got THAT face! Ok, I'm gushing. Just watch this video please!!! :)

Blog Giveaway: S&H shoes

A few weeks before my operation, I received these adorable sandals from S&H. I can't wait to get back to normal so I could strut in these sexy heels again! In the meantime, I think it's time for another giveaway!!! I'm giving away a pair of sandals to one lucky blog reader! :)
1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Follow S&H on Twitter @SnH_fashion. Tweet us your dream S&H pair along with your shoe size.
Example: "Hi @pattylaurel @SnH_fashion. I love these nude flats. Please let me win! #size7"  
S&H will select the winner and notify them directly on Twitter. Contest ends on March 5.

Too Adorable

Rainy Friday Giveaway

Good morning folks! I woke up to a sea of emails, comments and personal messages. It instantly put me in a good mood!:) As a little thank you to all my sweet blog readers, I'm hosting a giveaway today with the help of Ecru&Lime! 

I'm giving away a pair of HIS&HERS
 Vintage Inspired Casio watches :)
1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. LIKE the Ecru&Lime FB Page here. Post a photo of you and your sweetheart on their FB page and tell us why you deserve to win these watches. Don't forget to add the hashtag #pattylaurelblog :)

Ecru&Lime will notify the winning couple directly via FB. Contest ends on March 5. 

Emo Post of The Week

Sexy Toes in Bed

Last night (like all the other nights before) I was in severe pain. I kept tossing and turning trying to find a position that would bring me relief but to no avail. The pain of my wound hits me worst at night (for some odd reason, I'm perfectly fine during the day) and aside from the physical discomfort--it really takes a toll on me emotionally. This is when Patrick usually comes to my bedside and strokes my hand, lulling me to sleep while praying for me on my behalf. Sometimes when you're just in so much pain, even praying is so hard to do, so it's good to have your husband to do the praying for you. Parang SUB lang :)

I kept chanting repeatedly in my head "Lord, just let me sleep so I can wake up happy tomorrow. Lord, just let me sleep so I can wake up happy tomorrow." And in the middle of my chants (and desperate pleas), I found myself thanking God through the pain. It just hit me that I was in this exact same bed, staring up the exact same ceiling, also with tearful eyes years ago after a very painful break up. I was in so much emotional pain then that my body was aching as well. And I was also chanting night after night "Lord, just let me sleep..because I don't want to wake up to face tomorrow". I'm just in awe of how my life is so different today, all by God's grace. Back then, I had no reason to get up in the morning..which is the COMPLETE opposite of where I am today. All I want to do is get better, all I want to do is get out of bed to hug my husband and to live the life God designed just for me. I can honestly say that sadness is worse than any body ailment. I would much rather sleep with a broken body than a broken spirit ANY DAY. Break my bones, tear off my muscles, just don't kill my SPIRIT. So that's what I am grateful for today, that although I'm physically damaged as of now---I have never felt more whole emotionally in my life. God has kept my spirit strong and intact and he continues to work in me everyday!

The doctor took out the bandage of my wound today. I have a scar, a long line which is a stern reminder of this whole incident. A lot of people say it's like a proud badge on my body to declare how strong I was. Sure, that sounds so ideal but in reality, it can be a cause for insecurity for most people---at kasama na ako dun. I stared at my body in the bathroom and started weeping. I felt UGLY. I've always had a very healthy body image and I've always loved the way I looked--but today, seeing my wound put me at an all time low. Patrick caught me crying and just hugged me tight. He called me BEAUTIFUL. And though it might take a while for me to believe it for myself, I know I will have to rely on his words for now. It sounds shallow but I've even added this to my prayer requests, for God to make me feel pretty all over again. :) Beauty really comes from within---and this certainly rings true for me now more than ever! I am determined to snap out of this little phase soon and work on being happy about my new "beauty mark"! Kaya 'to! :)

The doctor has put me on "house arrest" for another 3 weeks so it looks like we will be squatting at my parents' place a bit longer. She says it's best for me to just stay home and let my insides recover fully especially since I did have major surgery in the most delicate part of my body--and though half of me wants to rebel against her orders, I know she just wants what's best for me and so I will be a good and obedient patient. I'm walking faster these days (not anymore like a sloth--more like a penguin!) and I'm finding ways to be productive even in bed. 

I promise to bring you a lot of fun blog entries in the coming weeks and to make things as interactive as possible despite my condition. I hope you will stick with me and bear with me guys!:) 


My deepest thanks to sweet couple Arianna and Khalil for sending me these 
Kalookies baked with much love!!!:) NakaKALOOKIE talaga sa sarap!!
Visit Kalookies Facebook Page here to order!

Travel Tuesday: Crimson Mactan

Happy Travel Tuesday folks! Today I will be sharing our most recent trip to the Queen City of the South, one of my favorite local destinations: CEBU! But to be more specific, I'm taking you to one of the newer luxury resorts in the city: CRIMSON RESORT AND SPA MACTAN. Let me zip my mouth for now and let this video do the talking :) Again, this was shot& edited by my husband. Hehehe!
We experienced erratic weather throughout our 3 day stay in the resort yet surprisingly we still managed to take a lot of beautiful photos! Patrick and I found it stunning even with the dark and gray skies so you can imagine how it shines even brighter under sweet sunshine! 
The resort is a sprawling  6 hectare property with 40 private villas each with it's own plunge pool (like our villa!!!!) and a total of 250 guest rooms. It's majestic, massive and impressive! With golf carts taking you from your villa to the spa, this place will really make you feel like you're vacationing like a movie star. 

As soon as we checked in to our private villa we kept nudging each other, trying to control our shrieks of excitement---we couldn't believe our eyes!!! It was like having our own little beach house! The villa was spacious and well designed with high end amenities and decors. Although the resort has a whole list of activities to keep their guests entertained (kayaking, island hopping, jet ski, snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving, etc) we just kept ourselves cooped up in our villa! It was just so nice to spend time with Patrick and purposefully do nothing for a change :) We only stepped out of the resort to eat at Saffron and to enjoy the services at Aum Spa. The resort is perfect for those who like to pack in a lot of activities in a day---but it also caters to those who just want to zone out and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in their own villa.
Images above courtesy of Crimson Mactan

                                                                                                             Images above courtesy of Crimson Mactan

Aside from the good food, one of the highlights of our Crimson Mactan experience was our trips to AUM SPA. As their name suggests, CRIMSON RESORT and SPA---the SPA part is just as important as the resort part! Crimson has partnered with the prestigious and world renowned brand Pevonia Botanica for their spa services. As a big Pevonia fan, this made me even more excited to try out their services knowing that they would be using only the finest quality products on my skin. 
Here's a rundown of the treatments we were pampered to :)

The calming and repairing benefits of waterlily, green tea and proline work together to care for sensitized and dehydrated skin. Perfect after sun exposure, this exquisite and gentle treatment restores lost moisture and vanquishes free radicals that cause premature skin aging.

A skin nourishing face treatment balances while infusing beautiful plant essences to hydrate and renew. A full body massage follows to calm the mind and relieve stress. Combining the skin repairing benefits of micro-emulsified oil with Vitamin E and the rebalancing benefits of essential oils this facial is designed to rejuvenate the skin while recharging and rebalancing the body.

Delivers an aroma-sensory experience. Its fluffy lather removes impurities and toxins by gently polishing your skin. As the salt dissolves, negative ions and repairing tropical fruit extracts are quickly absorbed. The skin emerges smooth to the touch and visibly brightened.

Immediately relieve sensitive skin with this soothing wrap. Cooling and desensitizing Water Lily, Green Tea, and Chamomile, relieve the discomfort of over exposed or over stimulated skin. Alleviating your skin's burning and stinging sensation, this treatment heals, desensitizes, and decreases skin temperature.

Text above provided by AUM Spa

                            Images above courtesy of Crimson Mactan

To the staff and management of Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, I'd like to extend my deepest thanks for hosting us in Cebu! It was a welcome break from a very stressful month in the city. How I wish I could teleport back to Crimson this very minute! And to birthday girl Jenny Casitas of Pevonia, I'm sending you lots of love from the Pats!:) :)

Special thanks to Crimson Mactan 
and Pevonia Botanica Philippines :)

The Fighter

To speed up my recovery (even by a decimeter) I've been advised to walk a bit more. Sounds easy enough right? WRONG. My slo-mo walking has become incredibly frustrating and a true test of patience. If a turtle mated with a snail and their offspring got together with a sloth, then their baby would be ME!!!! I'm not even joking. This is my karma for being a ninja walker all my life. Hahaha :) I try to do several "walks" during the day--and by "walks" I mean walking around the dining table, walking from the sala to the kitchen, walking from the sofa to the banyo. Sometimes Patrick joins me and we hold hands and he says "Baby, let's take a romantic stroll around the park"---meaning 5 baby steps. Hehehe! To make my short (and super slow) walks more exciting, I asked Pat to play some songs to give me a little emotional boost. Here's today's anthem!!! Feel na feel ko ako si Manny Pacquiao when he played this, I was even shadow boxing at some parts. Pat just kept laughing because I was moving like a slug pero may pasuntok-suntok effect pa ako! I was having a little Rocky moment this morning and looked like a buffoon! "Give me SCARS, give me PAIN, then they'll say to me: THERE GOES THE FIGHTER!!!!!" 

Thank you TraveLife Magazine

We're in this month's Travelife Magazine!!! Wooohoooo!!!:) 
Photos by Bryan Arevalo. Clothes by Cotton On.

Staycation at Makati Med

Like I mentioned briefly in my past posts, I had to check in to Makati Med to have surgery done. Truth is, I got into a bloody gang war---and suffered from a gun shot wound. OK FINE, that obviously did not happen. I thought that would sound more thug-like which would land me an episode in the E True Hollywood Story: "Master P: The Untold Story of Patty Laurel: Best Friend of Tupac, Rapper, Blogger, Major Thugger". Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to downplay my condition, that was just my way of adding some humor into my not so funny situation. Sometimes having a good laugh about things is all the medicine I need :)
I checked in on Monday night right after dinner with my folks (to celebrate the old man's birthday) to prep for my early morning surgery the following day. The first thing I did was to make our room as homey as possible, I set up a little work station for Patrick, a foodie station for me (which failed miserably because I had to stay food free for more than 24 hours and was placed on a liquid diet shortly after!), I even lined all my toiletries neatly in the bathroom. Patrick made the bench beside my bed his sleeping area (I can imagine it was far from comfortable but he never complained about it--not even once!). It was fun for the first hour but then reality slowly made itself known and before sleeping I was bawling like a baby so we just prayed together as a couple and just let out all our worries, fears, doubts to God.

The morning before my surgery, I was wailing again--this time even worse, like a little chubby baboy dreadfully awaiting the katay session. I felt like I was lined up to be the next Lydia's lechon! Kulang nalang pakagatin ako ng mansanas. Thankfully before I could even plan my escape route (ala Wentworth Miller in Prison Break) Patrick whipped out his iPhone (equipped with a Bible app) and read Philippians 4:4-7 to me. We read it several times to really juice out the meaning of this passage in terms of our current situation.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When I checked my phone, I also received numerous texts from friends and family members who were all praying for my morning procedure, this one was my favorite from my lil bro Miguel. :) I can't even begin to express how WONDERFUL it feels to know that you have a whole army of prayer warriors lifting you up to the Lord. Sa mga emo diyan, those who think it's better to live alone and be completely detached from people---trust me, when you truly appreciate the value of friendships, you'll realize that it's important to be nourished by the community around you. 
I was knocked out and in zzzzzzz mode all throughout surgery--so I woke up dazed and confused in the recovery room with Patrick who was kissing me (or at least I think it was him---I really can't remember! HAHAHA!). He told me I was mumbling a lot of nonsense and asking him to scratch my neck, my nose, my cheeks, my forehead. Apparently a side effect of the anesthesia is itchiness in the face. Feeling ko may matabang higad na nag-ice skating sa mukha ko!!!! But other than the bearable itch, grogginess, and "What am I?Who am I?Where am i?" disconnect from the world--I was fine. They were able to take out what was needed to be taken out and they were able to save what needed to be saved. And yes, it was benign so I am cancer free! What an amazing and powerful God we have!!!! Just thinking about how I was just an inch away from having a completely different life experience, brings tears to my eyes every time. 

I looked like a blob for 48 hours, completely disheveled with all these contraptions plugged into me. A few nurses were so sweet and were asking me to take photos with them but I politely begged them not to because I looked like I just got hit by a big ass walrus on the face! Hahaha!

Here's the TMI part of this entry so feel free to skip it. :) The worst part was being banned from eating and drinking for more than 24 hours after surgery  until I was able to pass gas. It was almost like the doctor was keeping me hostage and saying "Sige ka, kung di ka umutot, di ka kakain!!!!" NOOOOOO!!!! I've never ever farted in front of Patrick EVER, I always tell him "Kaming mga Diyosa ay di umuutot...and when we do it always smells like vanilla and strawberries!". I remember guys would tease me in college for being forever mabango and called me the girl na never pinapawisan or umuutot!!! That was such a solid college rep, man! I was really proud of that! And so you can imagine how life changing it was for me to have a nurse come in to my room every hour to ask "Maam, nakautot na po kayo?". I went for a whole day of being fart-less, I was actually praying out loud "Lord, please just one little pururot so I can eat already... PLEASE!!!!" I was in so much pain and I was really crying out to God to just grant me a pass for gas! It finally came in the most delicate "Pfft" like it was a shy little boarding school girl saying hello in a British accent! hehehe :) So I finally got to have some soup---and though it was actually just water in a bowl, it was the best tasting soup I ever had in my entire life! Hahaha!

The following days were better, the tubes were finally taken out and the grogginess from anesthesia soon wore off. I was back to my talking self but still a bit woozy :) Though the pain of my wound was still there, I was able to walk from my bed to the toilet on my own (which is actually just 5 steps away) and type without going cross eyed.  I was also able to transition to regular food, I even got a cupcake from Makati Med on Vday! Yehey!:) And best of all, I was allowed to take regular showers--ALLELUIA! You know how much I love taking a bath, I'm obsessed with bathing! But wow, it was one of the most difficult things to do after surgery! Thankfully I had my mom and a nurse to help me..I felt like a little baby! hehe!:)
Though I must admit for someone who has had hospital phobia all her life, my stay here was actually quite comfortable and yes, dare I say it, enjoyable, thanks to the sweetest nurses who gave me lots of TLC 24-7! I have a lot of cousins and friends who are nurses and I've always thought of them as real life heroes---but after my personal experiences with them, WOW, wala na talaga akong masabi. Next to soldiers who are sent to war torn regions or missionaries who put their lives at risk to spread the good news, I think there is no other job within the confines of this city that could prove nobler than a hospital nurse. Their job requires a great amount of intelligence, skill, efficiency, dedication---and the heart to serve others. Pre-surgery I was a nervous wreck and it was only through their thorough explanation and careful attention that I was able to make it to the operating room in one piece.  Post-surgery I was completely helpless, unable to do even the slightest movement, yet the nurses cheered me on through each milestone which definitely helped me recover faster than I expected. Just standing on my own was harder than Calculus and Chemistry combined! So to the nursing staff of Makati Med, mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!:)
Friday was Day 5 of my Makati Med adventure, which I'm happy to declare was my last day in the hospital. The doctor gave me clearance to continue my post surgery recovery process at home. YEHEYYYY!!!!! Though it's good to finally head home with my family, there are a lot of challenges to face each day as I recover. There are times when I still break down and cry because of the pain (ok, a LOT of times)---there are still so many daily triumphs to praise God for. I see Him working in me every single day and I hope you will allow me to share these little milestones with you all in the coming days!

PS I would like to say thank you to my doctors Dr. Marinette Sto Domingo and Dr.Amelia Reyes for taking care of me! Ladies, if you're looking for an Ob Gyne, please drop by Dr. Marinette's clinic in Makati Med! She's the friendliest and most caring doctor you'll ever meet :)

My Big Dilemma

via damnlol

Hey folks! I've missed you all so much. I'm happy to report that the surgery was a success! Thanks so much for all your warm messages, tweets, emails, text messages, FB posts. Although I haven't had the time to reply to each one, please know that they held me up and gave me the strength I needed in the past few days. I've been groggy, woozy, and still in a bit of pain but I'm glad that the worst is over and I can now focus on getting better and going back to my normal silly self. God has been so kind to me, blessing me with good doctors, nurses, janitors, etc. I'm surrounded by everyday angels who have made my hospital stay much more pleasant than expected. Of course, I also want to thank my family and my husband, Patrick who have been such a great source of encouragement and strength. 

My biggest stress however is not being able to laugh!!!!! My friends who've had surgeries in the past warned me about this--and OH DEAR, they weren't kidding. Ang sakit tumawa! It's like doing a thousand crunches! It's sooooo painful to even do a little snicker. Pat and I like to exchange jokes several times a day--it's almost like breathing for us! So you can imagine how difficult it has been for me, to force myself not to laugh at his hirits and WORSE: to stop myself from thinking funny thoughts. It's sheer agony!!! Hayyy!!! The doctor says if I do well today, I'll be able to head home tomorrow. It'll take me about 6 weeks to recover fully so I'll be staying with the parentals for a while :) It'll be good to be babied by my folks again even just for a week or two :)

Again, thank you for being my prayer warriors! I love you all so much :) 


What do you guys think? Too cheesy? 

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today my father turns 58. And today I would like to honor him by sharing 5 Things About JJ!:)

Although it doesn't show because he drives an honest Innova most of the time, my dad is THE biggest car aficionado I know. He can spot a car from a distance and tell you the year, model, and even current selling price within seconds. 

Most men at his age (and his stature) choose to splurge on expensive cars but my dad has chosen to just splurge on US instead. It's always been a mystery to me why he would buy car magazines every week---checking out each car available in the market pero hanggang dun lang. Kinikilig na siya in knowing that a certain car out there exists and although it will never be his, just the idea makes him happy already.

I remember back in college, he bought a small entry level sedan and ordered it in hot, hot RED. When we asked him why he chose RED instead of the standard white, silver, or black---he goes "So it'll feel like I'm driving a Ferrari!" hahaha!:) Not that my dad could ever buy a 25 million peso Ferrari, but I'm sure he could've easily bought a top level car with all his hard earned money and it would've been justifiable. But he chose something simple and jazzed it up with his imagination instead. 

We finally convinced my dad to upgrade his car last year and I couldn't be happier. My dad is one of the most kuripot persons alive so it was good to see him get his "prize". 

Patrick always mocks me for talking and joking exactly like my dad..and I can't deny this. If my dad goes "I was waiting for 30 minutes" he would have his arms folded over his chest and his one foot tapping on the floor to show "waiting". Or when he says "Where do you wanna eat?" he'll motion with his hands with an imaginary spoon and fork digging through an imaginary meal.  Just like my dad, I like to be extra animated with my jokes and storytelling--it just makes the whole experience of delivery much more interactive and fun! If you're going to be corny, might as well go all OUT!


When Daniela and I were kids, my mom enrolled us in a violin class. As expected for beginners, our necks turned red and sore after the first day. We learned how to play "Mama wants a hotdog" with our fiddles and we actually liked it. But we kept complaining about the pain in our necks and because my dad couldn't bear seeing us hurt (even if it was completely bearable) he told us to quit. Of course my mom thought this was absurd at the time and looking back I'm sure my dad just laughs this one off as him being an overprotective and clueless father to two young girls. Sayang dapat Violin players na kami ng kapatid ko! Hahaha! But my dad has ALWAYS been like this, he would always go out of his way just to make things better for me and Daniela.

Before you get any ideas, let me correct you---we were never spoiled by our father. He was clear from the get go about hard work, the value of money, and living within (or sometimes even below) our means---he stripped that sense of entitlement from us even as young kids and explained how important it is to WORK to get what you need in life and not to expect things to be handed to us in a silver platter. 

My dad never treated us to a shopping spree, he never got us gadgets or flashy cars as teenagers---but at the same time we never ever felt we were lacking in anything. We always felt secure in his love and knew that NO MATTER what would happen we could come running to him for help and he would be more than happy to offer it to us, no questions asked, no judgments, no lectures---just 100% pure love because he was our father and God put him on this earth to care for us. 


A few years back just a few weeks before my mom's birthday, my dad and I were discussing what gift he should buy. Since my dad is not exactly the "fashionably sensible" type, I've always taken the gift buying responsibility on his behalf. But this time he wanted to GO BIG. He told me "Kawawa naman mommy mo, I only get her cheap things every year. I think she deserves something expensive this time." So I told him about the IPAD (which just debuted at that time) and suggested it to him. 

Patty: "Yehey! I know what you should get her! Get an IPAD!!!"
Dad: "A what? iPAD? Parang barok na iPod! Baka fake yan! Hahaha! What's that??"
Patty:" No Im serious! It's like a giant iPod, more like a tablet. She can read books, take notes, surf the internet, it's like a small computer!"
Dad: "Oh, that's perfect! She'll love that! Sige, SOLD! Buy it today then I'll pay you!"
Patty: "Wow dad! I'm so happy! Big time ka na!!!!"
Dad: "Yes, your mom deserves something expensive this year! Sige I will give you 5,000, that's my budget for the iPad"
Patty: "Dad, it's more than 20,000++!"
Dad: "ANOOOOOOOO?!?!!?!?!?! 20,000 WAG NAAAAA! sapatos nalang ulit!" 

But of course he still got it for her (even with a very heavy heart).

My dad is a one woman man because he is a one God man. He knows he's not perfect, he doesn't claim to know it all, he acknowledges his weaknesses----and that's why my dad depends solely on God. My dad doesn't believe in all this modern self help hulabaloo. He's old school. He doesn't subscribe to the ways of the world, the quick fixes, the easy remedies---he believes that it is only through God's grace that he's able to live his life to the fullest. And I'm just happy that my dad just gets it. 

I love you Dad, my confidante, my lunch date, my joking mentor, my best friend, my protector. :)

Monday Aint so Bad

My husband woke up before 6am to get me flowers and breakfast (which he claims he "cooked"---but those sausages and pancakes look and taste mighty familiar! hehehe. *cough* mcdo *cough*). Thanks for cheering me up love :) I'm checking in tonight! Tomorrow is THE day!!!

Chateau 1771 Valentine's Lunch Date

Love, Love, Love is in the AIIIIIRRRR!!!! We got an invitation from the Chateau group to sample their upcoming Valentines Day menu yesterday--and wow, we were truly impressed by their dishes. I've passed by this restaurant many times before but never really had the chance to try out their yesterday was my first encounter with Chateau 1771 in Greenbelt 5. I really enjoyed their "No Borders Cuisine". For Vday, they will be offering a special menu for all the lovebirds and good news, they're even celebrating it during lunch time! This is perfect for those who want to avoid all the crazy rush hour traffic. You can squeeze in that romantic date during your lunch break :) For more details, simply visit their website here
We saw this adorable old couple on a date!! I just had to take a photo of them :) 
Sana ganito din kami ni Pat pagtanda!
The naturally lit interiors of this restaurant is very inviting! 
It's actually a very charming restaurant that reminds me of Paris!
Their Valentines menu was specially made just for February 14! I LOVED everything but special mention goes to the Oven Dried Tomato Streudel,  Seared US Beef Tenderloin and those heavenly mashed potatoes, and the dessert was really interesting too! The "White Cloud on Melon Sabayon" is actually a poached meringue swimming in a melon frothy broth. It was refreshing and sweet, I've never tasted anything like it!
Thank you again so much to Vannah and the rest of the Chateau 1771 group for treating us to a Pre-Valentine date. We really appreciate this especially since we will be celebrating the actual Vday in the hospital, hehehe :) Thank you Lord for unexpected blessings like this! For those planning something special for your loved ones, book a table now by calling 729 9760 / 729 9761.

I'm treating ONE LUCKY COUPLE 
at Chateau 1771!
1. Follow @Chateau1771 on Twitter.
2. Tweet us @pattylaurel @Chateau1771 a photo of you and your Valentine and tell us why you deserve to win this contest! (It could be your mom, dad, bf, gf, spouse, or best friend!) 

Hurry!!! Contest ends on February 13 at 12noon. Winner will be notified directly by Chateau1771 management via Twitter DM. :) 

Sense and Style Magazine

Thank you so much Sense and Style Magazine for including us in your Valentine's issue!:)

Pao&Sam's Wedding

Mabuhay ang Bagong Kasal!!! It's official, Meet the new Mr. and Mrs. Valenciano :) :)
Here we are goofing around at the wedding :)

Prepping for Next Week

In a few days I will be wearing my hospital gown and desperately trying to make it as fashionable as possible---which of course I will discover after 3 attempts, there is only 1 way to wear a hospital gown and "fashionable", "stylish", or "chic" are not words you would use to describe it. They should just call it hospital cover-up or hospital apron, somehow GOWN is just too fabulous of a word to be sitting next to HOSPITAL. Like "Ball Gown" (ooohhh!) or "Evening Gown" (wooow) sabay---hospital gown (anyare sa yo?!). 
I'm checking in on Monday--notice that I used the term "checking in" instead of "being admitted" just so I can convince myself that I'm just going to a hotel! That's right, I'm checking into my suite with white walls, girls in white dresses and "room service" served in a gray tray with compartments.  And my surgery will be on Tuesday at 8AM.

Ok. I'm nervous. I've been nervous, scared, worried, anxious for weeks now ever since I got the doctor's diagnosis. I've never been hospitalized my entire life. NEVER. I was born in a hospital and that's about it, as far as I'm concerned. So this will be my first experience as an in-patient. I don't want to go into specifics but just to give you an idea, I'm having a very sensitive procedure done that involves my ovaries. I have an uninvited guest, an informal settler, someone who should not be there but somehow found his way in...and my bouncers (doctors) need to get this dude out of my club! Didn't you see the sign buddy, NO LOSERS ALLOWED! Alis!! hehehe!:)  

As a woman who loves kids and who would like to to have kids of her own someday, this is more than just a "procedure", this is really a crossroad in my life (and also the life of my husband). I'm ashamed to admit it but I've turned into one of those "pray harder when your life gets harder" kind of people. Brought about by my human frailty and my own weakness in understanding how God works, my prayers have gone from 1)DESPERATE PLEADING: "Please Loooooordddddd....don't do this to meeee...di ko kaya..." to 2)BARGAINING: "Lord, if you heal me I promise not to eat chocolates anymore----and I won't murder cockroaches in broad daylight anymore. I don't know why you created them, but sige na...di na ako papatay ng ipis!!!!" to 3)WHY ME LORDing: "Why me Lord?!?! WHY?!?!!? I'm such a nice person..well at least 35% of the time..BUT STILL?! Why me!?!?!?". I still catch myself praying like 1,2 and 3 especially when I'm feeling really down, but lately, thanks to the help of my prayer partner Patrick, I've been TRYING my best to PRAY with a listening heart. TRYING is the operative word, needs improvement pa ito. Sometimes we pray to ASK for something we feel is BEST for us and no matter how good/noble/righteous those intentions are, hindi natin masasabi talaga kung ano ang "BEST" ng Panginoon para sa atin. 

I always find myself going back to Thessalonians 5:18, which says "In Everyting, GIVE THANKS for this is God's will for you." Hayyy, this verse sometimes feels like an oxymoron when you're faced with something so REAL and DIFFICULT. But that's what it says, we need to thank GOD no matter what. I am reminded of that time Patrick and I ate in this crappy restaurant and he ordered Tuna Sisig. When the waitress served him, it looked like a pile of gunk---cat food would actually look much more appetizing. So Pat and I were laughing hysterically (but quietly so as not to offend the waitress) so pigil na pigil yung tawa namin tapos we bowed our heads and Pat goes "Lord...*controlled laughter*...THANK YOU????" hehehehe! So as difficult as this may be, I am choosing the more positive route! Here are 5 Things to Be Grateful for :)

Patrick gave me an allowance to go "nice pantulog" shopping. If you recall my pantulog descriptions in the past, let's just say they are...presko (sa dami ng butas???)..and not exactly for public viewing. So I was able to convince Pat to give me a bit of money so I can buy decent looking pajamas for me to wear during recovery! Sabi ko baka may biglang bumisita sa kin, kakahiya naman kung butas-butas na tshirt yung suot ko diba?!?! HAHAHA! I got home from SM and had a pantulog fashion show. Pat kept laughing at one particular nighty that had pink hearts all over it---mukha daw akong gradeschool! HELLO!! HEARTS!! VALENTINES!?!? Kailangan nasa theme ako noh?!!??!

I'd like to thank my circle of mommy friends headed by Cecil, Stella and Sheila for encouraging me to have myself checked by an OB GYNE. I hate having check ups, I'm lazy like that. I had no symptoms whatsoever prior to my check up, I just went to the doctor on a random weekday afternoon and wow, all our big plans for the year changed overnight after just one ultrasound! We went to 3 different doctors, all with the same findings.  It was sad ticking off a lot of things on our list and having to pull out our savings and allot it for the medical bills. BUT, I am grateful that we found out EARLY about this condition and that we were able to find a SOLUTION for it right away! My doc has been very reassuring and comforting, it seems to be something she's dealt with several times before so I feel confident that I'm in good hands. According to her I will be back to normal self in a few weeks if my body cooperates with me :) 

#3 PEOPLE GET TO FUSS OVER ME (and by people, I mean Patrick.)
Not that I like being sick, but I DO LOVE the undivided attention I've been getting from my husband lately. I like poking him in the middle of the night "Paaaaat....can you get me a bowl of ice cream downstairs please...." and when he hesitates I just pull out the "I'm going through a very rough time" card and even if he knows it's all drama, he just indulges me because it amuses him! Hehehe! I'm so grateful for my husband's heart to serve :)

I remember when I was in high school, I was a nerd (but not the losery nerd type ha!!! I was the nerd who thought she wasn't a losery nerd but a cool nerd...oh wait, did I just self contradict myself??! Yep.) and I would envy my jock classmates who would get injured because everyone would fuss over them. It was soooooo cool back then to have an arm cast and walking with crutches made you 10x hotter for some reason because it made you a LEGIT athlete because you had a sports injury to prove it! Gusto ko tuloy ma-injure din para lang sikat ako!!! Of course now I do realize that it was such a stupid juvenile fantasy of mine. Now that I am in this "not so ideal situation" I realize how important it is to STAY HEALTHY and do all you possibly can to be in tip top shape!!!

Woo. Pee. Doo. How. Exciting. Really. I am so happy. This is not a frown. It's a smile that just happens to be upside down. Tears? These are tears of joy. OKKKKAAAAYYYYY. I am totally and absolutely bummed about this!!!! I still need to figure this one out---but hey, it says we NEED TO GIVE THANKS IN EVERYTHING. EVERY. THING. So even if I don't understand why God would want me confined in a hospital on one of my favorite occasions ever----eating hospital jello instead of a fat juicy steak in a fine dining restaurant---I know there's a reason for all this and I just have to trust HIM :)

Just reading about the surgery and the things to expect has left me feeling weak in the knees, queasy and terrified of all the 10,000 what ifs. Pat always reminds me to stop worrying, but it's become a hobby for me!!! hehehe! It's like Facebooking, I can't STOP myself from reading those annoying FB statuses from those people I've been dying to delete from my friends list...and I can't NOT worry. 

But after talking to my friends who have gone through things that are 10X worse than what I'm about to go through, napapahiya ako! Here I am whining like a little kerokeropi about something that is completely manageable and under control. When I think about it, I should be thankful that ito lang ang problema ko---and that it could've been much worse but God was faithful in protecting me from greater harm. Here's a perfect opportunity for me to witness God's amazing power on my body first hand---I will be a living testament of it! So I gotta think positive, be proactive and challenge myself to overcome all my fears. Kaya ko 'to!!!!!

So there, I hope to add to this list in the coming days. I've received a lot of love letters from you guys, all filled with love and genuine concern. I do appreciate each and every one of those letters and I'm also so glad that you've been sensitive enough not to pry too much :) As much as I want to open up to you guys (in hopes of inspiring those who also may be going through a rough time now), I would like to keep some things private as it may take time for me and Patrick to process all of this :) But thank you for including us in your prayers :) 

Valentines Day Special at 2nd's

Gentlemen, let me do you a favor. No need to thank me for this thoughtful gesture, although I have a feeling you will. If your girlfriend/wife/"it's-complicated-I don't want to put any labels but we're together everyday" lady friend has been hinting endlessly about Valentines, then here's something that will shut her up (in a good way!hehehe!)---take her to 2nds! Here's why it's a win-win see-choo-way-syun for you my little padawan: it's sophisticated enough to impress her but at the same time the Gentleman's Club feel of this resto will still allow you to keep your cool and suave self intact. 
Our friends from 2nds invited us to sample their Valentine's Day Special last Saturday. Note to reader: I hope my limited culinary vocabulary will not discourage you from trying these special Vday dishes. I'm not a chef, food critic, or culinary expert----I'm a regular girl who likes good food. I'm writing from the stomach heart :) 

Erase all your preconceived notions about Tinapa. This starter is a far, far, far cry from your yaya's tinapa at home. This was definitely a good starter for all of us. It had just the right amount of crunch on the outside with a consistent chewy texture in the inside. Sarap!!!!:)

I'll be honest I was never really a Foie Gras fan. Although I eat certain types of pate, liver was never on my favorite things to eat list. I would hate getting foie gras bits stuck on the roof of my mouth. So I was a bit apprehensive about this dish. When it was served I ate the smoked chicken salad part first---which I LOVED!!! And my fork was tip-toeing around the foie gras for a good two minutes. But when I looked around me, everyone was devouring their foie and I didn't want to feel out of place so I took a deep breath and ate it. WOW. What a surprise!!!!! I actually, genuinely, whole-heartedly liked it :)  

Oohhh Chuck Bass. Ay mali. I mean, SEA BASS!!!! Of all my swanky fishy friends, this one is my favorite. If cooked properly, sea bass is a delight to eat. Chef Mikko kept the integrity of the sea bass by not drenching it with a whole fiesta of sauces and spices (which most chefs are always tempted to do!). And that sweet potato mash with truffle oil made my tummy so kilig!!! The super filling braised brisket also provided a good contrast to the light sea bass. 

This is a PMS-ing girl's dream come true!!!! It's the perfect mix of salty-sweet-spicy!!! I was going nuts with the fireworks of flavors in my mouth. They served it in a small shot glass, which to me was the appropriate way to present it, because this dessert will hit you strong like a shot of tequila! You have to try it :)

This wins in the comfort food department--which Chef Mikko has mastered. It's a sure bet for someone who just wants to end the evening on a sweet note. 

The tasting crew: Luigi, Angela, KC, Rhian, Nadine, Pat, Patty, Solenn, Armand and Georgia. 

Thanks Nadine for inviting us and for some of the photos :)
 2nd floor of Quadrant 3, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue Bonifacio Global City Taguig 
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