Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a pet peeve of mine...

Based on this photo, can you figure out the pet peeve I'm talking about?

I really wish it didn't bother me. But it does. In some Japanese stationery. In work emails from some peers from non-English-speaking countries. In a Pasig road sign I pass on my way home that reads "RIGHT LANE MUST STRAIGHT AHEAD".

Even something as minor as incorrectly cutting words that go beyond a line (supposedly with a hyphen) bothers me. 

I don't feel anger or hatred for the people that commit them. Nothing like that. But I just can't help notice the mistakes committed. They just seem to jump out and scream at me with blinking lights. :(

Photos from lushlee.

Friday, August 19, 2011

do you remember?

Do you remember when we used to fill out autograph books in gradeschool? Do you remember how we scribbled TMTM as our answer to "Favorite Songs"? Do you remember a dedication in your own autograph book signed off with JAPAN (Just Always Pray At Night), or ITALY (I Trust And Love You), or with the more common TCCIC (Take Care Coz I Care)? Turns out, we started the OMG and LOL textspeak of today!

Do you remember the questions... Who is your crush? What is your motto? What is your most embarassing moment? And... What is love? 

"Define love." I don't quite remember what I wrote down then. But I do remember a great big love at that time... 

Do you remember the wedding of Kermit the Frog and Ms. Piggy in the movie Muppets Take Manhattan? My brother and I even had an LP record of the soundtrack! So I remember this song that leads up to the wedding so clearly...

Sadly, I could not find a clip of the actual wedding ceremony... But I do remember the funny sing-song pronouncement so fondly...

"Because you share a love so biiiiiggg...
I now pronounce you Frog and Piiiiiggggg!"

Do you remember?

Photos from designeditor and muppet.wikia.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

dear blank

I can't think of an entry for my Dear Series today. So am sharing someone else's instead...

Dear Fork is my absolute favorite! Hilarious!

Photos from designeditor.

Click here for previous posts from the Dear Series.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

my name is NOT Regina Phalange.

I was wearing this Regina Phalange shirt of mine today at Starbucks and after taking my order, the girl at the cash register looked at my "nametag" and decided against asking for my name.

That incredibly confused me because Regina Phalange was Phoebe Buffay's pseudonym. Just as Ken Adams was Joey Tribbiani's alternate name. And because I had an alternate Starbucks name of my own. They never could get my name right. I would repeat it three to four times and they would still get it wrong on the cup.

Barista: "Your name, ma'am?"
Me: "Epi."
Barista: "Emmy?" 
Me: "No, Epi."
Barista: "Ellie, ma'am?"
Me: "No, Epi."
Barista: "Eddie?"
Me: [sigh] I give in, "Yes, Eddie."

Scrawled on my cup: "Teddy" [mild expletive under my breath]

So one day, when the Starbucks barista asked for my name, I uttered, "Vivian". And they got it in one shot! The spelling on the cup was right too! From then on, my Starbucks name became "Vivian".

So imagine my confusion when the Starbucks barista did not only NOT call me by my real name "Epi", but also did NOT call me by my pseudonym "Vivian". Instead, she called me by a new name: "One Coffee Jelly Frap for Ms. Regina".

1. Yes, I am a Friends fanatic. See related post here and here.
2. Epi is not my real, real name. Neither is Vivian. Nor Regina.
3. I didn't use my old nick (during my IRC/mIRC/ICQ days of yore) because that would have been a similarly long and confusing dialogue. 

 Photo from here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

you don't need to be a florist

Have you tried arranging flowers for your home? So far, my attempts have not been pretty. I used to think it was easy or that I had florist-magic deep inside of me just waiting to be uncovered (see related post here). But I don't. Pretty long-stemmed flowers don't look pretty when they're all the same height in a vase. Or when they're spread out too loosely that you could fit a tree at the center of your "arrangement".

That's why I am loving these flower-arrangement-free vases...

A tiny hole for a single flower! Elegant, right?

Mind you, the tops are closed! There is no hole on top, just on the side. So you can't even make any floral arranging mistakes! Of course, the vase arrangement is all up to you though.

Another option is to use vintage spools.

And in case you are ready to go beyond a minimalist arrangement, here is an easy trick from Carlee of deliciouslyorganized.

See? With the right vases or the right tricks, you don't need to be a florist to have fresh floral arrangements in your home!

Photos from lushlee, deliciouslyorganized, happythingsforkids and here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today, I am un-loving...

Yes, this is a trivet. But the small one is a coaster!

Today, I am un-loving... the multitude of absolutely beautiful coasters out there that do not serve a coaster's purpose. I guess these lovely coasters are meant for colder climates. With the heat here in Manila, our glasses of cold water perspire and true, the pretty coasters prevent the formation of a ring on my table. But the little beads of condensation slowly build up on the surface of the coaster... then they form a pool that spills from the edge of the useless coaster... and instead of a ring, a translucent albeit white puddle stains the surface of my precious wooden table.

So these are just as useless as the ones with holes.

Only the glass ones like these - that catch the liquid - do the job. Sadly, these might be the best looking I've seen of this type of coaster.

They're also not so kid-friendly, being made of glass. Thick ones made of cloth or even the common crocheted ones work better for everyday use around kids.

Though not the prettiest, the native crocheted sleeve-type ones (which I fondly call "glass panties") work best in my experience. And luckily, using an apple green or ivory set of "glass panties" on my blue tinted glasses look quite nice. :)

But boy, do I wish the gorgeous coasters available out there worked just as well as my "glass panties" in keeping my wooden tables pristine. Today, I am un-loving... those beautiful yet useless coasters.

Photos from lushlee, here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I Am Un-Loving series.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a wedding at twilight

Bella and Edward are getting married right this minute! Of course, this is the official wedding date even though (1) Twihards (I can't help chuckle at this term! So witty!) calculated the actual wedding (according to the book) to be in 2006, and (2) the wedding scene for the movie has already been shot.

It's cool how they've generated buzz around a movie prop even before the movie actually comes out! 

I haven't been able to read Breaking Dawn because my 13-year-old daughter keeps hogging it. But I've swung from Team Edward while I was reading Midnight Sun (Yes, I have no E.Q. Read it right after Twilight and swooned like a teenage girl!) to Team Jacob in New Moon and Eclipse. So let me veer away from the whole Edward-Bella-Jacob topic and stick to this invite.

With the official Cullen crest emblazoned on the wax seal on the envelope.

I love how Catherine of Design Editor puts it here, "Design meets Twilight. Be still my heart! I dunno though. Edward and Bella are a little edgier than this." So true. There is nothing dark about this wedding invitation. It looks so normal (albeit quite elegant) when Bella and Edward are the furthest you can get from normalcy.

In any case, this post is dedicated to all the Twihards [chuckle] out there who anticipated twilight of August the 13th since June and even google-mapped to check if the location really does exist (It doesn't.). And to my Isabella, who right this minute, as Bella and Edward are supposedly waking down the aisle, finally lets me borrow her beat-up, dog-eared copy of Breaking Dawn.

And so I begin reading...

Childhood is not from brith to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Photos from here.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I can't get enough of Ali Edward's handwriting - her easy-going, relaxed scrawl. I just love her confident big loops! Everytime I see her handwriting, I can't help feel envious, wishing my script looked as good. As you can probably tell, I am handwriting-conscious.

You see, I want everything around me to be beautiful and my handwriting just does not measure up.

Until I read Ali Edwards' post here about writing something by hand. She asks, "Do you wish you had a piece of paper with your grandmother's or grandfather's handwriting scrawled across... [even if] it's totally possible they weren't fans of their own handwriting either?" She talks about how "a piece of paper with messy penmanship can be a powerful connection to the past".

And indeed, when we're old and gone, I'm sure our kids would love to have a memento of anything we wrote by hand. Instead of a soft file of something we typed up, a handwritten note would be incredibly meaningful, especially if they recognize our writing very well.

So I'm doing it today. I will start with writing my home-organization labels by hand.

Then I will write my kids a card or even a letter on their birthday.

Maybe even actually mail it because it's much more exciting to get a letter delivered by the mailman with a ring of your doorbell rather than the beep your email makes when new mail comes in.

For those of you (unlike me here) who can cook, you can also opt to write down the recipe of your kids' favorite dish. They will not only learn how to recreate your specialty, but will also treasure the personal connection via your handwriting.

Finally, I will write down a favorite quote and paste it on a scrapbook layout or a bulletin board prominently displayed here at home or tuck it away in the box where I keep special keepsakes.

From now on, I will embrace my penmanship as a special part of me and I will consciously share my handwriting with the people I love most in the world.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

when my pants are a tad too long...

I'm 5'1". So I always have to have my brand new pants cut at my trusty alterations shop. Problem is the span of time between my shopping spree and the day I finally visit Sewing Room is pretty much dictated by how busy my schedule is or how lazy I am and therefore kinda stretches for months. 

So I end up using my new pants even if they are a tad too long. I either roll it up inside in Ze-French-Cuff-style as Garance Dore calls it here or roll it up on the outside as Gemma did here

Boy, am I thankful rolled-up cuffs are somewhat acceptable these days! Am not so sure about Ze hem-less French Cuff, but I'll pretend it's a French thing... At least until I get to Sewing Room.

Sewing Room and Alterations Specialist has branches in Scout Borromeo in the QC area (632-3746989), Corinthian Hills (632-6373540) and Paseo Center in Makati (632-5600039).

Photos from Garance Dore.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

every 7 years

When Haley was born 14 years ago
She wasn't the sweetheart she is today
She woke up bawling every hour on the hour
Just when I had just nodded off to sweet slumber.

In my zombie, sleep-deprived state all that month,
I vowed never again will I be withchild.

Then 7 years later
The memory of hourly feedings became a blur
Even my recollection of labor pain
Surprisingly did not remain.

So out came Riley
And there I was again
Doing hourly feedings
Through the pain of my C-section.

Yet again that whole month,
I vowed never to be withchild again.

Then 7 years later
I felt it was time
For the kids to own a puppy
and learn some responsibility.

And so I found myself that night
Waking up to the howling
Of our poor little puppy,
Her mommy's cuddle she was craving

Yet again I lose sleep and wonder
What the heck is it with 7 years that my life lessons are torn asunder?!

Inspired by Sonya Sones' amusing free verse in The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus. For my previous attempts at free verse, click here and here.

Photos from blondiensc and here. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

dear kid kicking my seat at the moviehouse

I wish you would go to ballet class.

I can imagine it already -- you with grace and light-footedness.

I can hardly wait for you to turn into Little Twinkle Toes. Sigh... If only you would turn graceful and light on your feet before this movie ends...

Photos from chewingthecud and sparklesandpretending.

Click here for previous posts on the Dear series.


Monday, August 8, 2011

poor kitty, kitty

If you are a cat-person, I strongly suggest to skip this post as it is written by a pretty biased dog-person.

I am a dog-person. I have never liked cats. I find the thought that cats don't take a bath and lick their bodies to clean themselves quite disgusting. Blech! So everytime I see a cat -- any cat, even the non-stray-looking, furry, fluffy cats my daughter loves to show me (yes, she is a cat person!) -- I think "Ewww!" 

Except for this one. This one I took pity on. Okay, I admit, it made me smile at first. But come on! It's hanging like a towel on the pipe! But after that short-lived amusement, I felt bad for the poor cat. I do hope the photographer saved this cat immediately after he shot the photo.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

talking to little girls

I came across the article How To Talk To Little Girls by Lisa Bloom via A Cup of Jo. The article encourages adults to ask little girls about ideas and books, instead of complimenting their looks. It says that the when their appearance is the first thing you notice, it teaches them that looks are more important than anything. It starts ingraining society's imperative for girls to look good - leading to gradeschool girls dieting, highschoolers wanting boob jobs and girls in their 20's getting Botox. As opposed to a life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for a woman's thoughts and accomplishments.  

At first I thought it might be extreme to think that our culture's standard conversation-starters with 5-year-old girls are to blame for the emotional problems of women today that are borne out of physical expectations of society. But when I thought about it, I realized my own first impulse - when I meet a little girl - is to compliment her on how pretty she looks or how pretty her dress or bow or shoes are. Neither have I had a meaningful conversation with these little girls. Even the follow-up questions have been, admittedly, pretty superficial.

What about you? If you met this little girl, would you be able to resist talking about her pretty princess skirt or her adorable striped socks?

Or this girl's stylish fashionista outfit? And that she need not be shy because she's looking awfully chic?

Or this girl's chic hat & boots and adorably cute curly hair & red lips?

Or this girl's doe-like dark eyes and her super cute rosy cheeks?

I'd have to bite my tongue to keep from talking about these superficial (albeit honest) topics. So next time I meet a little girl, I resolve to have a real, meaningful conversation with her. Here are some intelligent conversation-starters, according to Lisa Bloom and Joanna Goddard (of A Cup of Jo):
  • Do you like to read? What's your favorite book? (And the idea here is for the grown-up to also talk about a book she's read recently. To contribute to this real conversation.)
  • Did you go swimming this summer? What did you do last weekend?
  • Do you like animals? What's your favorite animal?
  • Do you know any jokes?
Lisa Bloom ends her article with "Here's to changing the world, one little girl at a time." The cynic in me is apprehensive... I doubt this is the sole solution. But I am certainly NOT going to continue contributing to the problem with my old superficial compliments. I will definitely start talking to girls about their thoughts and ideas. And maybe, I can change a girl's life, one conversation at a time.

Photos from heritage, i'mjustsayinglushlee and a cup of jo.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

pretty little secret

I don't know why. But I can't stop myself from watching Pretty Little Liars when it's on on ETC.

After every episode's cliffhanger, I wind up asking myself "Why???" Why does a 36-year-old woman watch this juvenile (hey, it came from a young adult book series!) show? Why do I even ask "Who is A???" when I know very well that the series will end if that is revealed! Why do I get irritated that these kids don't just tell the cops (and not Officer Garrett Reynolds!) that A is blackmailing them? And yet, when the next episode comes on, I am watching every gripping (albeit juvenile) blackmailing moment as a piece of the mystery unravels little by little!

It did help to know that Chuvaness is hooked on it too (here). :) 

And I think part of the reason I am so enthralled is that they're just so pretty! They're styled so beautifully, that I keep thinking, "Who does their hair and makeup?" Especially the blonde girl's (who, after Googling, I finally remember is named Hanna in the show. For some strange reason, I easily recall the names of Aria, Emily and Spencer. Hanna, I tend to forget and I think it is because I am so mesmerized by her perfect hair and makeup to even listen to her name). I am particularly drawn to this photo where the girls are in spring colors, quite far from the dark colors they're usually in in the show.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) is uber cute! :)

Yes, I have a weakness for Pretty Little Liars. Now will you keep my pretty little secret?

Swear, you'll never tell?

Photos from here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today, I am un-loving...

Actually, not just today, but ever since. I've never liked seeing bare feet hanging out the window of a truck. Or even the feet of a sleeping man at the back of a truck, peeking through the slightly open doors. I don't really know why. But I just find the sight of bare feet - worse, if dirty, but even so when clean - just unsightly. I don't mind them on the beach. But somehow, on the road, I just find them incredibly unpleasant. Paa (feet). [Shudder].

If only manong (mister) would wear socks over his bare feet...

Today Everyday, I am un-loving... bare feet hanging out a truck window.

Photo from lushlee. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

undomestic goddess

My Lola (grandmother)  was the goddess of our kitchen. She did all the cooking when I was growing up and when we tried to whip something up ourselves, she would scold us for not doing it right (read: her way). You see, my Lola was quite the control-freak (read more about her O.C. ways here and here). So I never learned how to cook. Seriously. I had no idea how to cook rice (yes. seriously. rice.) or fry an egg or even a hotdog. :(

But with all the Food Network shows I had watched, I seriously believed I was a natural chef - deep inside. With kitchen magic waiting to be unleashed if only I would be allowed to do the cooking. But when I had my own kitchen, my busy working-mom schedule (read: laziness) kept me from unleashing the magic. It was only when I was sent by my office to Singapore for 6 months that I finally got compelled to actually cook my first dish lest I have takeout Yoshinoya beef bowl yet again.

I was actually excited. I decided to start with something I thought was easy since there wasn't a restaurant in Manila that didn't serve fried chicken. I bought my drumsticks and McCormick coating mix from Marketplace in Paragon. I even saved the McCormick wrapper because I thought I would put it in a scrapbook as the dish that unleashed my kitchen magic.

I unleashed something alright. More horror than magic. I didn't know at first. My chicken was the perfect golden brown on the outside. And when I speared it with my fork and cut off my supposed first bite, it unleashed the bloodiest insides I have ever seen! So I put it and the rest of the drumsticks back in the pan and fried it some more. Fry, cut, fry, cut, I went. And in the end, my chicken was burnt black on the outside and still bloody red on the inside. Sigh.

Turns out there isn't a masterchef deep inside of me. I did survive the 6 months though. I had my canned hot & spicy tuna from the very Pinoy Lucky Plaza stalls which I ate with the rice or penne pasta I eventually learned to cook. I mastered heating various bottled pasta sauces for my penne and learned to cook my weekend breakfasts: bacon and daing na bisugo (dried salted fish to get back at my Indian neighbor whose nightly curry's smell would travel through the hallway and into my apartment!). I did accomplish cooking adobo but ended up eating it for over a week so that was the end of following a recipe (which was always way too much for just one person). My adobo was pure pork since I steered away from chicken after that first cooking disaster. It's been a couple of years since, but fried chicken remains to be my Everest. I wonder when I will have the courage to try frying a chicken again? 

Photo from