Thursday, June 28, 2012


It's been a whole year since my maiden post on this blog about how carousels transform a woman when she becomes a mother.

I've always been drawn to carousels.

I remember finding a quaint little shop in San Diego California that sold nothing but carousel music boxes. But they were extremely expensive so I didn't get one. Even though I've wanted one for a long time.

The weird thing is I only like the sight of carousels because I don't ever ride them. They make me dizzy since, as you know from here, I've got motion sickness.

I know it's not the fancy carvings that I like since my home design style is more minimalist than Victorian.

Even if it's got 'Louis Vuitton' carved on it.

It's really more the horse that I like. Because as you know from here and here, I looove horses.

So I've always liked the idea of having a carousel adornment in my home. Sadly, I haven't found the right one.

It's been a whole year since you started bearing with such sad musings or my unloving thoughts & letters and even my neurotic confessions. Thank you for listening to me whenever I was down in the dots (-er dumps) this past year!

Photos from polkadotshoppingbag and annnniegirl.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

why i can't buy these rainboots

Am obsessed with this pair of Hunter Wellies (possible reasons are in this post here). But I cannot rationalize buying yet another pair of rainboots.

You see, I have 3 pairs of Plueys already. This was the first one I bought.

Then a year later, I couldn't resist buying a new pair and even bought the kids their own. Here are pages from one of Isabella's scrapbooks on our Plueys purchases.

Yes, that's only 2 pairs of Plueys. Problem is, in 2009, Isabella and I had the same shoe size. But since then, her feet have grown bigger so I got her Catstooth hand-me-downs. And that makes 3. Eeep.

I have rationalized their existence by keeping one at home, one in my car and one in the office for unexpected rain. Sadly, I don't have any other locations to justify the matte green Hunters above.

Unless I can justify this foldable boot from Redfoot. They're lightweight and waterproof with a fleece lining that will come in handy when it gets cold.

I mean, my 3 pairs of rainboots are too big & bulky to pack when I travel to a cold, rainy place. So I need this foldable one, right?

Haha! Even I know that's a flimsy excuse.

Photos from acupofjoRedfoot and here. Most of the photos in the scrapbook pages are my own or from Plueys Manila. Since the scrapbook pages were never meant to be published, I'm not sure if there are other photo sources. So if you know where they came from, please email me so I can give due credit.

Click here for the of-dots-&-things version of this post.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

a mother's Toy Story

Noah had been pining for Toy Story toys for quite a while. "I want Boody (he meant Woody, but this was over 2 years ago, so he couldn't make the "W" sound yet), Buzz Lightyear, Green Dinosaur, Mr. Potato Head, the princess - the pink one." Toy Story 3 hadn't shown yet, so they weren't available in Manila toy stores yet. So on a US trip that year, I made it a point to buy him Woody and Buzz even if they were too big and bulky to bring home. But the sheer delight on Noah's face when he saw his pasalubong was well worth my close-to-filled luggage (and the unbought bags & shoes that could have taken Woody & Buzz' place in my trolley).

Then he wanted to bring them to bed that night. They were HUGE compared to the usual action figures or cars that ended up under my back in the middle of the night. But I couldn't say no to sleeping with both of them - because it was sooooo adorable how he couldn't pick one over the other. After all, he was so attached to them that he wrote his name on their feet like Andy did in Toy Story.

Then a few days later, he came to me with a ripped Woody. His shirt got torn and stuffing was spilling out. My heart sank - thinking of how many toy stores I went to to find them, of how many packing configurations I tried so they would occupy the least space in my luggage, of how short-lived the delight was from this toy he had been asking for for months. So I channeled the home ec A+ student in me and stitched Woody up. When I returned sewed-up-Woody to Noah, he squealed, "Thank you Mommy!" 

Yes, a mother endures quite a few things to give her child a toy: a toy-filled luggage, a bad back & sleepless nights, and dismay at broken toys. But all this doesn't matter... as long as the toy gives her child happiness and delightful childhood memories he will keep with him long after the toys are gone.

Photo of Noah is my own - a page from one of his 2009 scrapbooks.

Click here for the of-dots-&-things version of this post.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

some unloved polka dots

I'm not sure why. But these posts here and here about the Louis Vuitton-Yayoi Kusama collaboration almost turned me against polka dots. It could be because there was an overdose of spots in the styling. The wall, the floor, the dress, the bangles, the bag, the shoes. Way too much for my taste.

It might be the overdose because the same ensemble is not as bad here.

But even on its own, this almost killed me. I know Louis Vuitton loves to vandalize its bags. And I have been okay with it, until now. I feel like a Vernis Lockit was vandalized - and not in a good way.

And while this LV scarf looks more intentionally vandalized than the Lockit, I actually like it. Maybe it's the irregularity of the dots that I am drawn to?

Versus the uniformity of dots in this other scarf - which sadly, I find painful to look at. :(

I really don't know why. Maybe it's because I only like subtle accents of dots. After all, I've always been delighted by polka dot lining on bags, wallets and coats. Operative word: lining. Not as the central print. Maybe that's why even as early as this very first post of mine on polka dots here, I had not found a wearable dotted dress.

I have to say though that I love this thin polka-dotted bangle. And while I kept everything yellow so far - for an objective comparison (so we're not swayed by color), I do love it in black & white as well.

Like I said, it almost turned me against polka dots. Almost, but not quite. I am still a fan of polka dots. Just the subtle, less conspicuous kind.

Photos from LVoe.

Click here for previous posts from the Some Polka Dots I Spotted series. Click here for previous posts from the Today, I Am Unloving... series.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

dear home-service pedicurist

I had a jam-packed weekend recently and had no time to go to my usual nail salon at the mall. So I called a home-service nail salon I had tried twice before. I was pretty satisfied the first two times because they weren't obsessed with turning your feet pink. Their cuticle remover was a white liquid and not the common pink one at cheapo parlors (yes, I think "parlor" is more apt). They also didn't try to put merthiolate on my toenails or that thing they call "foot blush" in some parlors. I had watched the pedicurist like a hawk the first two times so I could immediately stop the use of pinkening products, if they tried. Since they didn't those two times, I thought I could relax on this latest appointment.

I was wrong. The pedicurist put merthiolate on my toenails when I wasn't looking! I was going to a wedding that evening so I was quite horrified! As you know from here, I am allergic to nail polish so I couldn't hide my merthiolated nails under polish. So the pedicurist spent more time trying to "erase" the pink from the merthiolate than the pedicure itself.

It's too bad because there's something relaxing about having your nails done at home. The nail salons I frequent get pretty full on weekends so I usually have to set an appointment way ahead (all the time at Nail Spa in Shangri-la Mall) or if I decide to do a walk-in (usually at Dashing Diva Power Plant Mall), I end up waiting a few hours until they have a free slot for me. Even during my long-awaited appointment, having so many other people around you, somehow takes away from the pampering (I did like the Nail Tropics hidden inside Rustan's Shangri-la Mall because they had only 2 chairs. But I haven't tried it on a weekend so not sure how hard it is to get a slot.). I imagine home nail service could keep me from having to deal with filled-up parking lots, or rushing to get to my appointment (because for some reason, I'm always late). I prefer to have my nails done when I want rather than when the salon can accommodate me. Plus, I imagine napping would be possible at home - without fear of my valuables getting stolen while I'm asleep.

So dear home-service pedicurist... please don't assume everyone wants pink feet. I really wish I didn't need to watch your every move, ready to stop you from putting pinkening products on my feet. I wish I could relax just as much as I do at my usual nail salons when you do my nails at home. After all, my room is intrinsically more suitable to relaxing than a mall, right? I sure wouldn't mind dreaming away while you scrub, cut, clean & massage my feet into a non-pink dreamy state.

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Dear... series. Click here for ocmominmanila's review of a particular nail salon. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a little something for our country

I won't pretend to be the most nationalistic Filipino. I'm not (though I did get teary-eyed during the National Anthem of one of Isabella's school programs after getting back from linving in Singapore for work). Like most of you, I recognize both the good and the bad about the Philippines.

But today, on the anniversary of Philippine independence, let's all do a little something for our country. Whether it be to go on a Philippine History Tour like Carlos Celdran's Intramuros one (which I found to be very enlightening as it was a very different point of view from what I learned in school. I also discovered from his tour that the ceiling details of the San Agustin Church is painted, not sculpted.)...

Or schedule a trip to local sights you haven't been to. It's sad that a whole year later, my Lakbayan score from here is still a C. I haven't added any new places to my online map that charts how much of the Philippines I've visited. To think, I got my HKIA Frequent Visitor card this year. Shameful!

Or add to the viral itsmorefuninthephilippine photos and hashtags to promote Philippine tourism. Did you know that BBDO, the brilliant advertising agency that developed the campaign only developed those three ads in their website here? The photos here, here and others you may have seen were all created and shared by regular Filipinos!

Or watch a Pinoy movie or TV show (I hear GMA News TV has brought a lot of substance to Philippine TV). Or listen to OPM music. Or buy from the many Pinoy entrepreneurs these days. Or read Before Ever After, Filipina Samantha Sotto's internationally-released novel or Pugad Baboy, which is now on its 23rd compilation. Or laugh out loud at Pinoy humor.

Or even just eat Pinoy streetfood like fishballs... the cleanest of which, I believe, are in UP because they go beyond a 'no double-dipping' rule with a tiny paper tray and squeeze-type-bottles as sauce-holders (so double-dipping is not even possible).

Or teach your child a new Filipino word. I think I'm going to teach Noah the word "kalayaan" today.

Let's all do a little something for our country today.

Photos from here, here and my facebook friend D's wall.

Monday, June 11, 2012

when life gives you lemons...

This is the original quote from Dale Carnegie. It's about making the most out of a bad situation.

It's funny though how many have made the most out of this quote.

Squeezing out a cute one like this...

Or a witty one like this...

Even a mean-spirited one like this...

And a practical one like this...

And finally, a hysterical one like this...

But really, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade or lemon bars or a lemony mixed drink. After all...

Happy Monday!

Photos from here, here, here, here, movihome, here and here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

shooting target

The thing I don't like about the BRs I said I liked here, is how you tend to be the shooting target during your BR presentation. You are the one that gets questioned and challenged by top management. It's a good thing I recently learned I might have an alternative career!

Yes, this is me at a firing range (thanks to my co-worker D who treated us to this unique exhilarating experience!).

At first, it was pretty unnerving... From the ear-piercing sound when a shot is fired by the other shooters, to the pressure of trying to follow the Armscor instructor's direction of a 30% grip with my right hand and a 70% grip with my left (how do you calculate grip strength in percentages??), to the gun recoiling after each shot - against my will (haha! control issues!). But by my 2nd round, I began to enjoy the thrill.

My very first time to fire a gun...

Not bad for my very first round, right? 

Now I wonder if there are any openings in The Avengers. I wouldn't mind rubbing elbows with the arrogantly witty Tony Stark and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans is just too cute to be hidden under Captain America's mask! Though I still like him better as the Fantastic Four's Torch.). Can my target-paper serve as my resume for Natasha Romanov's job? 

Photos are from here and my own, edited via pixlr.

Click here for the of-dots-&-things version of this post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Today, I am unloving...

Last Friday, I went shopping for Noah's big school bag since he starts Grade 1 tomorrow. So more accurately, last Friday, not today, I was unloving... the school bag options I had before me.

I came from the Grade 1 orientation that morning and they recommended the big, rectangular trolley bags versus the backpack-looking ones with a trolley. This was because it could both fit the 7 long plastic envelopes which held the materials (books, notebooks, etc.) for each subject, and pulling them out & packing them away would be easier for the kids with the rectangular bag (If you don't know which bag I mean, check out this post from mymomfriday here where she dissects the anatomy of a trolley schoolbag.).

First, I was unloving... that there were no non-cartoon-character designs like the prints above from Dwell Studio (incidentally, it's home/table end-of-season sale time at Rustan's from June 1 to July 31). I would have loved for Noah's bag to have cute elephants and giraffes (Maybe two of each animal for an apt Noah's Ark theme?). Or a print with generic (vs. branded like Disney Cars) cars, trucks, bikes and airplanes like the one above.

Then, I found out how much the trolley bags were and I, not only unloved it, but loathed it. Almost P4,000!!! Unbelievable! Just a little more and you'll be able to buy an old model of Samsonite luggage! It just seemed excessive for a school bag! 

Surprisingly, each character (Justice League vs. Disney Cars vs. Batman vs. Ben 10 for boys) was made by a different manufacturer. So there was an eager salesman ready with his salestalk with every character trolley I inspected. Since every one of them were priced anywhere from P3,000 to P4,000. I ended up listening to each salesman's spiel and decided what to buy based on who gave the best reasons to buy their trolley. Every salesman talked about:
  1. what could fit into the bag (legal size folders),
  2. what could be placed in each compartment (like extra clothes in this pocket or pencil case & crayons in that pocket),
  3. a raincoat for the bag,
  4. a free lunch box, and
  5. six spinner wheels (Yes, even more than my Samsonite! Seriously!).
But one salesman's spiel stood out - the Lightning McQueen one - because he talked about:
  1. the durable plastic material of the cover & the sturdy board material of the bag's sides - strong enough for the child to sit on the bag,
  2. the rivets that were lined with a waterproof material because, he said, kids spilling liquids on the bag was unavoidable,
  3. the rubber material of the straps' clasps which prevents them from breaking off or pinching a kid's fingers (he would bend the clasps to show it wouldn't break and gave me a tip that a peeking white line signaled plastic),
  4. rubber reinforcement on the back of the bag that is aligned with the trolley bars so banging of the bag's back on stair-steps will not lead to the trolley bars getting stuck or destroyed, and finally,
  5. the lining of the free lunchbox was thermal to keep food hot. 
So Noah will be going to school tomorrow with a Disney Cars 2 trolley bag. Based on the salestalk, it seemed like it was the best one at the store. But I would have loved better-looking non-character prints or a much lower price. So today, I am unloving... the school bag trolley options in SM last Friday.

Photo from the Facebook page here of Quirks Marketing, distributor of Dwell Studio in the Philippines.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I Am Unloving series. Click here for the non-schoolbag bag I also bought last Friday. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

oops, my neurosis is showing...

I've heard of a few people who don't start reading a book unless they know they will like the end of the novel. They peek at the last few pages to see how the story ends.

I am the exact opposite. I cannot know how a book ends and still keep on reading it. In fact, when I had just started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I saw a shirt that read "Dumbledore dies on page 596 (I just saved you 4 hours and $30)" and that spoiler ruined it for me. I stopped reading Book 6 and couldn't even bring myself to read Book 7.

Sigh. Is my neurosis showing again?

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Oops, My Neurosis Is Showing series.