My June Resolutions

I'm not good in resolutions-keeping. Just like 95% of you, I'm overly enthusiastic about starting new habits or making lifestyle changes for the first 30 minutes then it's downhill from there. But I hit 30 this year and after talking to my sister (who's expecting!) I realized I need to make little changes NOW before it's too late. So to make my resolutions more purposeful, I've chosen to share them with all of you---to make me more accountable! These may seem small and silly but they're big to me, so I hope you would pray for me as I try to make these big little changes in my life! 

1. Become a MOTHER PARKER.
Although I love it that Patrick "LIKES" (quotation marks are necessary) to drive for me (this has always been his act of service even when we were still dating) I do know how to drive. I can get from point A to point B. And on Sundays, when the radio is playing my 90s jam--I cruise the streets like I'm friggin' Vin Diesel (bobbing my head with wife beater sando and all). But my greatest weakness: PARKING. I need to learn how to PARK properly. I need to NOT be THAT annoying car in the parking lot, the one that's sort of straddling the lines, occupying a parking lot and a half--- don't hate the car, hate the parker. Hehehe!

2. Become a Happy but Healthy FOODIE.
I'm obviously a FOODIE. People use the term very loosely these days and to some it's often mistaken as simply being "matakaw". Being a FOODIE is not just about eating, it's really about having a well rounded experience when dining. It's actually a very hipster term when you think about it which would cause food critics and proper connoisseurs to roll their eyes in disgust---but hey, I'm a proud and happy foodie of this generation! As Wikipedia defines it, "A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet. Further, a foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out for convenience or hunger." 

They say you know you're a FOODIE when you plan a whole vacation based on the restaurants you want to visit and the street food you'd like to try---HELLO, that's ME!!!! I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've heard "Wow, your New York honeymoon looked like so much fun! Parang kumain at kumain lang kayo dun!". I personally think that HALF of my travel experiences are somehow food-related, it's impossible to fully experience a new culture without food! The flavors, the spices, the local ingredients---these things not only satisfy your palate but they also give you a better understanding of the place you're exploring. 

I want to live a happy life, a life with flavor! And this is WHY I've accepted that I will never be pin-thin, I won't be able to do deprivation. Food is just a BIG part of me and if I give up my passion for FOOD---I will lose my SOUL!!!!! Not to sound overly dramatic but that's honestly how I feel!!! So what I would like to do is to be more purposeful with my meals these days. Out with the cheap junk food! If I'm going to eat, I will EAT well and NOT LAZY. Nutritious, Wholesome, Honest to Goodness ingredients, Less Preservatives, and Full of Flavor! No more stuffing myself with food that has loads of calories but zero nutrition. If I'm going to eat sweets and guilty treats, it better be the best OMG WHERE DID YOU GET THAT kind of experience---and not just some lazy chichirya without any amore! The goal is to be SATISFIED and NOURISHED and to make eating a fun and fulfilling experience :)

3. Learn to COOK.
Which brings me to my THIRD resolution which I've been agonizing over for weeks . Hayyy. If I could share ONE MAJOR FRUSTRATION--it would be COOKING. Why is cooking such a CHORE and a BORE for me?!?!! Why can I not summon the inner Nigella Lawson?! Where is she?! She's always MIA! Oh cooking gods, hear my pleas! The pots and pans are NOT my friends. They always look at me with judging eyes--- "Do you even know what you're doing, Missy?!?! Hmmmm?". And those knives, they look shady to me. These measuring cups keep snickering back. Ugh. Right now, the KITCHEN is not my happy place. There, I admitted it. :(

For a 30 year old woman, and a newlywed at that, it is excruciatingly frustrating and if I could be even more transparent--it is one of my biggest insecurities. The perfect wife stereotype always has "excellent cook" on top of her list. It's almost like you're NOT a woman if you don't know how to cook. Huhuhuhu. Like I said before, I'm not a girl, not yet a woman!!! I'm still a Britney! I've heard a trillion cooking tips, read countless cookbooks/magazines, researched online, watched all these cooking shows, etc. I've been TRYING really hard. 

I thought I was going cray-cray with all these Kitchen Insecurities so I actually googled it out of curiosity. And whoa! Kitchen Phobia and Kitchen Stress does exist and the signs and symptoms are all too familiar! Hahaha! It made me feel good to know that there are a ton of women who have kitchen issues too, just like me! I remember trying a new recipe for cookies, I bought all the ingredients, even documented each step with my iPhone (yes ang yabang ko pa! feeling ko I can blog about it!), then after 1 hour of slaving away---man it tasted like dog poop! MWAHAHAHAHA! Palpak! I just cried while deleting the pics on my iPhone! Sayang ang pag-picture picture ko dun!

But NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE with God. So even if it sounds like something so simple (yet so complicated for me!)---I am lifting it up to the Lord in prayer. I want to see the Lord work in me! I will take it one step at a time, learn one new dish a week :) I am also praying for Patrick, that he will still love me despite my ugly egg omelettes and sunog na pancakes. Hehehe!

4. Move my BUM BUM. 
I'm actually very excited to start YOGA and actually develop a long term relationship with fitness! I had to wait a few months after my operation before I could work out--hehehe, not like I worked out before!!!---I'm not an exercise bunny but I am determined to start a more active lifestyle and stick to it. I don't want to get sick again, I don't want to be hospitalized again, so I have to do something about my health. This is also MY prayer request!!! I pray that the Lord will make it FUN for me :) :) I will have my very first yoga class tomorrow at Urban Ashram so I'm nervous and excited---it's like being in the first grade all over again! 

5. Carve out time for QUIET TIME.
This is something I have failed miserably in lately. I find that when I don't pray, read the Bible, listen to a nice song, or take time to pick up some inspiration..that's when my life gets overly complicated! I need to FORCE myself to stop and actually schedule my QUIET TIME everyday :) We all need just a few minutes a day, just a pocket of silence, just time to spend with God---just to chat, tell him about your day, lift up your current issues. It'll save you from going insane, especially when you have a ton of things to do. Think of it as your self-mandated vacation time in the middle of a chaotic work day! It's nice to just click the reset button and start with fresh eyes and a well rested heart! I feel bad for neglecting this because I've become so busy but it's never too late to start building that connection with God again :)

My Mini-Me

So here's my OOTD! And you know what that means, "Oo, Tweetie De Leon" ay wait, that should be #OOTDL :) Hahahaha! For some reason, the skies couldn't make up their mind today so I stepped out in my rainy-sunny outfit just to be safe. Today was also the debut of my new baby, the IPAD MINI from Smart!! I took it out to Serendra---lakwatsa si iPad Mini with my friends! Hahaha! Thanks again so much to my Smart Family for this special gift!!! :) :) 

Getting a Smart Bro LTE iPad gives you value for your money, fast Internet connection bundled with lots of freebies you will never get from anywhere else. For those who have wanted and waited for a good deal on the iPad Mini, Smart Bro’s Postpaid iPad Plans make it easier and lighter than ever to own a fully-connected iPad Mini wifi + cellular! You can also snag a great deal for an iPad4! Choose between 499 or  999 a month. Just click on this link for more details! 

Hey Kid, You are Loved.

My sister Daniela is preggers!!!! I'm going to be an AUNT soon!!!!!! I cannot wait :) :) 
Please pray for a happy, healthy and safe pregnancy (and delivery) for her and the baby! 

For all the Instagram Addicts

My Current Skin Care Regimen

I've been receiving a surprisingly laaaaarge number of emails asking for SKIN CARE tips. I've blogged about skin care numerous times already but just to give into your requests, I've decided to write about it again :) I do understand how stressful it must be to have problematic skin, it can cause so much discomfort, a lack of confidence and a host of insecurities! I feel you sistah!!! Guys think it's something so shallow to stress over---but it's something VERY serious and I'm glad you have reached out to me for help! So let me try my very best to help :) :) At the end of the day though, it all boils down to HYGIENE and HAPPINESS! Products are simply there to "aid" you, but it really is as simple as keeping things calm and clean--inside and out. ANG CHEESY!!!

Before you follow my skin care steps, you have to remember that WE ARE DIFFERENT---we have different genetic backgrounds, diets, sleep patterns, hygienic practices, etc. It's not as simple as going to the mall and purchasing these items and hoping that your skin will miraculously change too. 

What works for Catherine Zeta Jones might not work for me but it might work for you. I struggled for many years too and it took a lot of hits and misses. You have to do your own research, read the labels, and test the products. These things work for ME now (who knows it might change in a year or two) because of my current lifestyle, age and skin type. I just wanted to give you guys a heads up, it's important for me to be accountable to you guys as my friends and readers. Anyway here are some skin related things I wanted to be transparent about, if you fit the same profile, then you MIGHT have a better chance of making this skin care regimen of mine work. 

1. I am a happy loser. I don't do drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol. At most, I'll have a sip of wine for social events, but that's it. 

2. I have limited sun exposure. I'm hardly outdoors except when I'm traveling or shooting on location. 

3. I have sensitive skin---combination to dry. I've had a history of eczema and my skin reacts to harsh chemicals, abrupt change in weather/climate, and even some pollens/plants! My skin was IN PAIN when I was in NYC, it was so dry and uneasy! I'm made for the Philippines! Hehehe!

4. Though I appreciate all your comments about my skin I want you to know that I still break out--my skin is NOT perfect. I find that when I'm stressed, dehydrated, or about to get my period--that's when I get one nasty zit! Hehehe :) 

5. I rarely put THICK makeup. As much as I love the way I look with makeup, having a thick pile of makeup on every single day can cause premature aging and acne. So if I don't have to slather on products for work, I try to keep my face bare as much as I can. 

Also be very careful with makeup, there are a LOT of healthy makeup brands that are smarter alternatives for your skin. If you need to put makeup on everyday, make sure you use brands with less harmful chemicals and check that your brushes are clean before applying makeup as this can cause acne! If you're having your makeup done, request for the makeup artist to clean the brushes first before using it on you! It's possible for the germs & bacteria to transfer from one face to another through brushes and sponges! Eeeekkk.

5. I'm annoyingly and obsessively clean with my body. I always take multiple showers in a day. It's not very healthy (over showering can strip you off your body's natural oils) but it's an addiction that I'm dealing with.

For regular make up free days, I squeeze about a coin sized amount and massage all over my face. Then I take it off with a gentle facial tissue. Take note, I do not use water because this is a no-rinse formula. Avene is available in Mercury Drug. For days when I have a shoot/hosting gig and I have a ton of makeup on my face, I use Shu Uemera's cleansing oil first before this step.

STEP TWO:  I apply this toner on a clean cotton ball and spread it all over my face. I let it dry for two minutes. This is a very gentle toner, you don't even feel it sting! It just feels like water!

STEP THREE: I apply a drop of Argan Oil on my face and neck. One drop is more than enough! It's a bit pricey for a bottle but since you just need a drop or two a day, this bottle will be with you for months! This is available in Beauty Bar.

STEP FOUR: If my skin is feeling extra dry, I apply moisturizer throughout the day just to make sure it's getting nourished. For those with oily skin, I recommend trying the gel formula and only applying a little at a time.

STEP FIVE: This is something I just started a few days's something I should've done years ago. SUNSCREEN! I don't have wrinkles yet and I'm always indoors but just to be proactive, I've been applying sunscreen on my face every morning. To make it more effective, you should re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours. This Face Cover is available in VMV Hypoallergenics and is suitable for sensitive skin.

This is my regimen for both morning and evening (I skip the sunscreen at night!DUH!). Cleanse&Moisturize religiously and you'll be fine! I do hope these products help you as much as they have helped me! You also have to keep yourself hydrated, get a lot of sleep and eat healthy!!! HAYYYY, the eating healthy part is something I AM STRUGGLING with---but we will get there together! :) And remember, you are BEAUTIFUL regardless of your skin color, skin type, pimple or no pimple!!! Don't aspire to have perfect and flawless skin---aspire to be HEALTHY in general and let your skin be a reflection of your physical, emotional and spiritual well being. 

Sneaker Wedges

It seems that EVERYBODY who's a SOMEBODY has sneaker wedges on! Of course I wanted to be a SOMEBODY too so I got me a pair of sneaker wedges from ALDO just to be part of the cool kids! Hehehe! Not only does it add a bit of height (alleluia for petite girls), they are surprisingly comfortable plus they make you look so cool in an instant!!!! Reposting my NY pic :)
And here are my girlfriends Beyonce, Kate and Miranda
---bonafide addicts of sneaker wedges too!
via newyorkgirlstyle

Now, here are my top picks from ALDO! 
But HOW do you wear your ALDO Sneaker Wedges??? Let's take our cue from these celebrity style icons. First of all, it's all in the PANTS! Choose pants that hug you tight from your calves down to your ankles, this allows your sneaker wedges to sort of peekaboo properly. Number two tip--Don't limit yourself to "sporty" looks when it comes to dressing up with your sneaker wedges. You could wear something very chic and sophisticated ala Jessica Biel or cool&casual ala Jessica Alba. Work with contrasting styles but make sure you practice proper symmetry :) Third tip, HAVE FUN with them!!! It's a welcome break from your killer stilettos--they give you the height without the blisters!
Bonifacio High Street. Powerplant Mall. SM North Edsa. Trinoma. Shangrila Edsa. 
Greenbelt 5. Robinsons Galleria. SM City Cebu. Abreeza Davao. Alabang Town Center. 
Marquee Pampanga. Mall of Asia. Megamall.

The Eternal Honeymooners

The Parentals in El Nido.

Happy Birthday Anne!

Happy Birthday to one of my dearest girlfriends, Anne! Patrick and I love you so much :) :) May you continue to bless others with your kindness and thoughtfulness! 

Happy Half A Year

We've been married for half a year!!! HALF A YEAR!!! Palakpakan naman diyan!!:) Patrick had to leave for Coron this morning for a shoot so I'm sulking all by myself in bed---I guess we will have to celebrate when he gets back on Friday. In the meantime, I guess I will just whip out a box of Kleenex and watch our wedding video again---this one's a different version, lovingly edited and shot by our wonderful MAYAD family!:) :) 

Official Wedding Video of "The Pats" : God's Perfect Gift from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

Hey Jow

Thank you so much Joanna Ballesteros of HeyJow for sending these lovely charms and trinkets :) :) She even customized a travel inspired charm bracelet just for me!!! How sweet!!!
I'm giving away necklaces from HEY JOW!

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below this post.
2. Click LIKE on the HEY JOW Facebook Page
3. Tell us which necklace/bracelet/accessory you love the most. Post your answer on the HEY JOW Facebook Wall. Don't forget to add the hashtag #pattylaurelblog to qualify as an entry.

Example: "HeyJow, I'm obsessed with this charm bracelet! I hope it brings me lots of good luck in life and love! #pattylaurelblog"

A max of 3 entries per person only. Contest ends on May 31. HeyJow will notify the winners directly via Facebook on June 1. 

The Beautiful Life of Zach Sobiech

This is a long video but I do hope you will carve out time to watch it. It will change your life. :) Thank you Lord for allowing me to watch this---and thank you Lord for Zach and his family!

Up in the Air with Eva Air

As much as I LOVE to travel, the sitting on your bum for hours is not exactly my most favorite part. I dread long haul flights, it's just something I physically and mentally have to psych myself for. Thankfully, more and more top of the line airlines have included Manila on their flight map, giving us the luxury of choice. We can now choose an airline that flies to our preferred destination (with minimal layovers!), works with our budget, and offers comfort&good service too! 

When I was younger, I just booked cheap flights--because they were cheap. As simple as that. But after traveling for many years I learned that it doesn't end with the price---a good deal is only a good deal if you're getting GREAT service at a LOW price. If you're getting LOW service for the LOW price you paid then that doesn't seem to be worth the brag.    These days  COMFORT is a crucial criterion in choosing airlines ---so a perfect match for me would be a comfortable flight at an affordable price. BINGO! 

For our NY trip, I did a lot of research online and narrowed it down to a few options. Eva Air won this round because of their Evergreen Deluxe/Elite class. It's actually a class in between Business and Economy, giving you luxury that's more affordable for the budget-savvy but discerning traveler. It's obviously a bit more pricey than what you'd pay for coach, but for an 18 hour flight it's something worth considering especially if you want to be well rested during your trip.
According to their site, "This fourth class of service included the luxury seating, personal entertainment screens and individual controls usually associated with business class, but was available at a cost a little above that of economy class. High-quality passenger comfort and attentive in-flight service give you amenities typically found only in business class on other airlines. Our Evergreen Deluxe cabins meet domestic business-class standards, offer spacious seating with rows positioned 38 inches apart, and give you your own individual seat-back video system with a selection of movies for your in-flight entertainment. You can even adjust your screen to the optimum viewing angle and operate the system with digital controls built-in to the front of your armrest."

Chillin' with my EVA girlfriends! Hihihihi :)
To book your Evergreen Deluxe/Elite Class seats, simply log on to or contact your friendly travel agent to inquire about Eva Air's latest promotions. Their interactive site allows you to book and pay for your tickets at the comfort of your own home! With just a few clicks, you can select your preferred flight schedules, check in online to avoid the long lines in NAIA, and you can even  pre-order your meals (for Business Class). Plus you can also get free real time flight status updates via SMS! I was able to book our flights and pay for our taxes/service fees within minutes---no stress at all! I'd like to extend my  deepest thanks to the lovely ladies of EVA AIR: Nenita Chan, Nancie Ng, and Andrea Carlos for making this all possible! 
                     To hear more about our actual flight experience, just click on this video below.

EvaAir from Thirtysixomedia on Vimeo.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

I love everything about the SPRING 2013 collection of Marc by Marc Jacobs!!!! This line feels like a mix of different influences---Japanese POP star meets African Safari meets Organic Goddess chic! It feels modern but earthy at the same time, I can't seem to put my finger on it..but it works! The layering of different pieces, the mismatched yet still coordinated prints, the fun color palette, the turbans, and of course THE SCARVES!!!!!! I love how Marc Jacobs went scarf crazy for this collection. 

And of could we not talk about these bags?!?!? Aren't they insanely cute! This is how we should all approach fashion--with  a "I'm wearing something FUN today" attitude. 
via glamour

The reason why I'm blogging about the latest Spring collection is because------>>The Marc Jacobs fan girl in me just died!!! Yesterday an extra special package arrived, they sent me the ACTUAL runway clothes to simply play dress up with. THE. ACTUAL. RUNWAY. CLOTHES. EEEEEPPP!!! *insert shriek here* I cannot stress further how this is such a BIG DEAL. Just being able to wear them, even just for a day, gave me a happy tingling feeling all over.  So indulge me as I post some pics of my mini fashion show! I decided to work with the Marc by Marc Jacob pieces into my daily wardrobe---to make it still very stylish but a bit toned down for everyday use :)

PS: I'm sorry for not putting any make up on---but I did put some lipstick so that should count as makeup, right???:) I asked my husband to snap these pictures for me and I was just giggling the whole time, I guess I need a fashion blogging tutorial ASAP!Hahaha!:) 

This is such a sweet&dainty metallic polka dot skirt! It's perfect for corporate fashionistas! 
It cuts just above the knee which makes it conservative but still very flirty.

This scarf is to die for!!!! I went absolute bonkers when I saw it on the runway photos and couldn't wait to put it on! It's such a versatile scarf that can be worn in multiple ways. 
This dress is perfect for Manila weather, it's lightweight fabric makes it extra breathable! 
This is the perfect movie date sweater! Perfect for cuddling with your sweetie :) Oh and the sunnies are from Les Moda.
Loving these SPRING looks??? Rush to Marc by Marc Jacobs in Greenbelt 5 now!!:)

Crescent Lake and Hurricane Ridge

Photos by my mother-in-law :) Thanks Oma for these happy snow pics!

Seattle Filarts

We've been back for two days now but I'm still suffering from a bit of jet lag. I've been wide awake since 330AM! I have an early call time for work in a few hours, so I guess I should use this dead time to post more photos. From New York, we made a pit stop in Seattle to visit Patrick's brother Paul, his wife Michelle and their kids Paolo, Mateo and Bella. His mom was also visiting at the time so it was a very happy reunion for all of us. In just 4 days, we managed to squeeze in a lot of eating, sightseeing, and advenchooooor thanks to Mic's jampacked itinerary! Check out our pics below :)
Fish and Chips at Spud
Heavenly Salted Caramel Ice Cream at Molly Moon
Seafood Fiesta at Crab Pot
 Cheering for the Seattle Sounders..they won 4-0 by the way!!!
Church at Mars Hill

Happy Chaos at the Pike Place Market
Hurrican Ridge and Crescent Lake
Thanks again to the Seattle Filarts for making my first trip to Seattle very memorable!!
Love you guys!

Best Starts with Dad

When I was just starting to date Patrick, one of the first few things we talked about was his love for his nieces and nephews. He gushed about them non-stop and I was immediately convinced that this fella was really destined to be a good father. Although we don't have children of our own yet, we've been very blessed to have lots of kids to fuss over! The children of our siblings and best friends fill us with so much joy and it's nice to see Patrick making them lambing as "practice" for the future :) Duma-daddy moves!!!
Jorem and Sky Catilo
I've always admired my friends who are young dads taking on the unconventional role of being hands-on fathers. There's a new wave of fathers who have been debunking old stereotypes of fathers just being financial providers and not really physically and emotionally attaching themselves to their kids. Dads are now more involved in the rearing of their children, pitching in and working hand in hand with their wives to provide a loving and safe environment for their kids to grow up in. From teaching their kids to tie their shoelaces, finish a puzzle, or ride their bikes, Dads are now more focused on the little things that actually matter. Gone are the days of dads just leaving all the "home and family matters" to mothers, now it's really a team effort for both the dad and mom. It's a progressive way of thinking but something I definitely support!

Though my own dad is very old-school and generally a conservative kind of guy, I'd like to think he was way ahead of his daddy counterparts when it came to his parenting approach. During our formative years, both of my parents were working. My mom was running her own preschool and my dad was a lawyer. They both had thriving careers yet they managed to stay very hands on with the both of us, distributing the responsibilities of child rearing equally. So I'm banking on Patrick to be an active and ever present dad too just like my dad and his dad too!

Since young dads are more and more active participants in the lives of their offspring, this adds more pressure on their part as they try to manage their careers, marriage, and parenting all at once. It can really take a toll on them physically and emotionally and cause them to burn out too!                      

This is a sponsored post.

Speaking of empowering young dads, it's so refreshing to hear about Mead Johnson Nutrition's efforts to celebrate dads who have dedicated their lives to providing the best starts for their kids. Mead Johnson Nutrition, makers of Enfakid A+ and Lactum 3+6+, recognizes all fathers for wanting to give nothing but the best for their children as they launch the BEST STARTS WITH DAD Campaign on Facebook. This special online campaign can get you a chance to win a MacBook Air, iPhone 5, and Ipad Mini just by honoring the DADS in your families! All you have to do is share your father and child photo this May 14-June 11 at You can even get a FREE photo shoot for your kids with their dad (follow for details) and use it as an entry. Visit the Shangri-La Plaza Atrium on May 18-19 and get that Best Start father and child moment captured on camera! Check out this heartwarming video from Mead Johnson that features real dads (not actors) and their message of hopes and wishes to their children.

Blogger's note: This is sponsored post is to promote the Father's Day campaign only and is not an endorsement for infant formula milk. Breastmilk is still best for babies 2 years and under. :) | All Rights Reserved. 2011.