Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our House

Before I promote my magazine, allow me to promote my former magazine.

Real Living is celebrating its ninth anniversary this July, and it's full of RL-inspired spaces...including our house! Grab a copy to see where I live. Haha. There aren't a lot of detail shots, and my dresser could have been less messy (sigh). But it was finally presentable enough to be photographed!

I would have wanted my heirloom mirror to be photographed, and the bed in the guest room, and the baskets where I keep all our toiletries (and all the free beauty products I get), and my shoes, and our bookshelf, and a detail of the junk on my dresser (including a vase of ostrich and peacock feathers that I plucked out of my bridal bouquet, and a tiara that's been passed around my barkada--the bride-to-be wears it during bridal showers), but I had to remember that I was the interview subject this time around, and not a member of the crew. Har. Maybe all these details can be shot next time, after I've completely redone the house!

P.S. I also wrote one of the features in this issue.:)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Books Books Books

So I've been meaning to post about the books I read after February, but, er, real life kept getting in the way. Allow me to take the tamad's way out and just list the books I've read since my last post:

Sabriel by Garth Nix
I was just browsing through my sister-in-law's bookshelves, and she highly recommended this (and the following books in the series). It's YA fantasy.

 From here

One Crazy Summer by Ines Bautista Yao
We featured Ines in our May issue, as one of the moms who pursued their passion after having children.

From here

Lirael by Garth Nix
The second book in the series.

From here

Abhorsen by Garth Nix
OK the series was pretty good but I didn't fall in love with it the way I did with A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings. But I really wanted to know how it ended.

From here

Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink edited by David Remnick
I didn't finish this hefty book--had to return it to the library (the P200 fine I got for a late return one time really taught me a lesson!). It's a compilation of pieces published in the New Yorker over the years. I especially liked the ones written decades ago, and felt sad thinking that the Parisian restaurants mentioned probably aren't around anymore.
From here

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
I used to think Henry VIII was just a womanizer, but I learned that it was pretty much driven by his need to have a male heir. And P.S. The Tudors version of Henry VIII is quite inaccurate--he got morbidly obese at some point.

 From here

Trash by Andy Mulligan
The author doesn't say it, but this YA novel is actually set in Smokey Mountain. You can tell it's set in the Philippines because one of the characters is named Gardo.

From here

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
I try to read this every year just to remind me of the power of positive thinking.

From here

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Yup, I do love YA books. This one has really creepy photos. In fact, my husband asked me to leave it face-down, because the cover freaks him out.

From here

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Supposedly the book that the Hunger Games ripped off, but eh. Easy to read, although I felt like some things were lost in translation.

From here

And now I'm reading...

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (again)
Jane Austen: the only chick lit I read. I'm reading the Kindle version this time!

From here

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A YA novel (surprise, surprise) that has gotten really good reviews, and has won a number of awards.

From here

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
I'm just about to start this one, but I'm hoping I'll be done by the end of the month.

 From here

Plus...a secret book that I'll blog about next time.:)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our Wedding Album, Finally!

As I've mentioned before, my husband and I weren't a typical bride and groom. We didn't have pre-nup photos taken because 1) it would have just felt like work to me since I'm at shoots all the time, and 2) we couldn't imagine getting all emote-y in front of the camera. We had photos like this at our wedding, for crying out loud.

We didn't book a videographer who would've asked for our firstborn in payment, and instead decided to go for a friend's start-up company. And we didn't book any of the big-name wedding photographers, and instead asked photographer-friends whom I've worked with for years. Some people choose to spend big money on all these, and that's all good. We just chose to spend our money in other ways (good food, because I'm very particular about that, and an open bar). Then again, I am fortunate to have generous, talented friends!

Our photog-friends gave us CDs of photos, and I fully intended to have a wedding album made soon after.

What's that quote about good intentions?

It took me two-and-a-half years to finally get it done. I got a Groupon deal for a Photobook worth P6,000 for just P1,200, and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. I finally got our Photobook today!

 I apologize for the quality of the photos I took of the book--I usually take photos with natural light, but was just so excited that I couldn't wait til morning!

I highly recommend Photobook. The whole process of sorting through hundreds and hundreds of photos, and working on the layout took me about 10 hours in all, but that might be because I'm a bit OC (I work in the magazine industry, so layout is kind of a big deal). I just had to download the Photobook program, upload my photos, and get to work. They actually have a template already--all your photos will be laid out for you. But I wasn't happy with the page formats used, so I manually redid every page (all 100+ of them!).

It didn't come out perfect--I completely forgot to put our names anywhere on the book (haha), and some photos are the wrong size (blame it on my glasses-less existence--I couldn't see the grids properly sometimes)--but I am very pleased with the outcome. Some pages:

The first page: Our rings on our invitation

 My mom played a scene from Mamma Mia! ("Slipping Through My Fingers") during her speech. I cried, as in an ugly cry.

Frame by frame: first kiss as husband and wife

 Scenes from the reception. The only photo of the outdoor cocktail area was taken by Hamil's cousin, cosplay queen Alodia.

 One of my favorite spreads: at left, Hamil being carried by the girls; at right, me being carried by my teammates

The next time Groupon has a Photobook deal, I might just purchase it again. I'm thinking of giving Photobooks as Christmas or birthday gifts--although I'll probably make do with the templates, if I can help it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fifty Shades of Gray

I am so, so tempted to redo our house, or at least, our second floor. I'm getting tired of our mocha walls. I want something serene, and a tad more grown up. The color I'm loving now...

Photos from here, here, and here

I haven't quite decided on the exact shade I want. But then repainting also means changing our curtains, buying new sheets, and reupholstering our khaki lounger (or changing it completely). I also want a headboard to replace our painted one. Maybe I can make one.

Hmm must look for a way to fund this unforeseen and completely unnecessary expense.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sporty Sunday

This day is an absolute dream for sports lovers: Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, Pacquiao vs. Bradley, and Rafa vs. Nole at the French Open finals. Unfortunately, it turned into a bit of a nightmare after that, er, questionable split decision after the fight. Some reactions from my Twitter feed:

Pacquiao was gracious in defeat, Bradley was gracious in his (unexpected) win. The crowd (and the Twitterverse), not so much! My own reactions swung from complete and utter disbelief to psychosomatic symptoms from the stress. Yes, I can get that emotionally invested in sports. I think it's hereditary. Years ago, my boxing-loving grandfather had to be confined after he got over-excited while watching a fight. I think he would have loved Pacquiao, but I'm kind of glad he wasn't around to see what happened today. It would have required a trip to the hospital, for sure!

I guess there's nothing left to say today except one big ¡VAMOS RAFA!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dream Dress

Caught a season one episode of Downton Abbey on TV this morning, and I just salivated over Mary Crawley's clothes all over again. This dress in particular is something I'm totally lusting over.

I would love to have it made for one of the weddings I have to attend this year (there are quite a few, although nothing close to the dozen I had to go to a couple of years ago). But my BFF, who's made most of my formal wear, is pregnant (woohoo!) so I need to find a skilled yet reasonably priced substitute dressmaker. Any leads?

Monday, June 4, 2012


Haven't posted in agesss, I know. Been preoccupied lately, got so much on my mind. (Will most likely blog next week about a little project we're working on.) And it's playoff season! So my mornings are pretty much spent watching  games. Was heartbroken when my boy DRose was out of the running early on due to an injury. While I've been rooting for  my other boy, KD since then, I can live with the Spurs winning it all. Yeah, I never thought I'd see the day. But the older I get, the more I can appreciate the Spurs. Haha. And I have such ill feelings for both teams playing in the East that San Antonio is the lesser evil. (My respect for Rondo has grown though.)

So anyway, one of the highlights during my blogging hiatus was the first National Championships. That was one of the most incredible finals I've ever seen (comparable to Spirits 2008, when Team Pilipinas won). It was a layout fiesta! You can watch the exciting game in its entirety here (video by Ian Villar). It's between Manila team Sunken Pleasure (our captain, Felix, played for them) and Dumaguete Extreme. For now, take a look at this sick, sick block by my friend Dada. Watch til the end!

Video by Ian Villar