Inspiration

My New Flototto PRO Chair in Snow White | The Glass Desk Workspace Sequel

Back on the home front, I anticipated the arrival of a thing of beauty, that was actually already mine for months but was in storage.  So, sorry if this non-beauty post is slightly redundant, but it just had to be written.  Without a decent and equally classy desk before I just didn’t have the heart to pick up my beautiful chair from my aunt who along with her German husband are the local distributors for Flototto products through BOOGI, their premium modern furniture store at LRI Design Plaza in Makati.  I’ll put it plain, these aren’t cheap chairs, but they are ergonomic, flame-resistant, and thanks to German durability will last a lifetime or more.  A lot of love, thought, and care went into the design of the entire Flototto furniture range.

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Meet the enchanting Flototto PRO Wood Tetrapod Chair which I photographed today, and only now I discover that the shade name is Snow White, obviously destined to be paired with my glass table (her glass coffin remember? I’ve got my tales sorted).

 

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Its ergonomic design encourages good posture and comfort, even when carrying the chair to transfer it to another location you will sense that the design works with you, and not against you.  I experienced this ease of mobility while carrying the chair downstairs to take a photo of it.  I figured I’d do a workspace post sequel since many of you have not seen the very final outcome of my workspace overhaul now that it is complete with my Flototto chair.  By the way, I do not own a Macbook Pro, my current laptop is practically dying. This one is my mother’s…I borrowed it to edit another video that I have actually just uploaded today.  This is how my workspace finally looks.   Click through to see the full post and more photos.


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If the Glass Desk Fits | IKEA Glasholm Php3900

Workspace goals, check.  In all honesty, at first, a glass desk was not the one on the list.  I had cycled and recycled the thought of having a stereotypical beauty enthusiast workspace.  You know…like someone might have stuffed more and more white IKEA storage into my room.  Later, the cheerful concept of a museum for a room turned marmite on me.  It suddenly didn’t seem practical because I almost always have makeup on my hands when I’m testing makeup, or after having cleaned my brushes.  I had a daymare of an infestation of flesh fingerprints covering the ever popular IKEA Alex drawers or my imaginary IKEA Micke desk (there are several Micke desks, I first eyed the narrow white one with a single roll-out drawer, out of stock locally).  I began to think and internalize more whilst in the belly of an IKEA stockist’s showroom.  I’m not against any of you who just love how white brings in the added light while providing an instant surface for blogging or Insta-pushing everything pretty, I get you.  If, for example, you live in a polluted city in a cramped space more WHITE is definitely your answer to opening things up and giving the illusion of more breathable space.  I just wasn’t so sure I wanted that completely white feel personally for me.  I’m a lazy lout when it comes to making sure things are spotless white all the time.  I just want things to STAY WHITE without my maintenance  (brat LOL).  Did I love the concept of having everything white in my room or did I begin to hate it?  Would I decide to turn my room into a safe-to-say contrived blanc manifestation of tons of popularly curated, dreamy minimalist Instagram feeds?  Roomspiration is okay, I don’t mean to be a snob, just thinking for myself here.  In my mind, especially after seeing Essie Button rock that beautifully clean, white home office (which completely suits her fancy for curating artsy, colorful objects) , I remained tempted to do the same.  That is, of course, until I saw this IKEA Glasholm glass desk which felt like more of a step in the grown-up direction for me, and it was the exact same price as the other IKEA table I originally visited the store for.  I also didn’t mind that it didn’t have any drawers, I mainly want my desk to be something I do stuff on, not store stuff in.

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IKEA Glasholm Desk from @furnituresourcephils (IG) ,

Showroom:38 Granada St., Villa Ortigas II, Brgy. Valencia, QC., Daily 9am-8pm, Nationwide Delivery, Viber/Mobile: 09175383738

ONLINE CATALOG w/pricing and measurements by album: facebook.com/furnituresourcephils

As of today this was the last Glasholm desk unit.

 

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Along with getting a new desk I played a bit with an alternative way to use my LED fairylights in my room even when Christmas-time hasn’t reared its red and green head yet.

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Hiding the fairylights in this basket surrounding the bottoms of magazines gives your “magazinspo” spot a bit of a magical glow at night, great idea as well for children’s books for bedtime stories or their favorite soft toys.  It’s just something I suddenly thought of, no Pinterest or pegs involved.  This basket of magazines however in the last 4 days has since migrated to beneath the desk (but it obstructed my feet) and now is to the left of the desk by the window on top of a chest, still glowing by sunset.

 

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A couple of deciding factors on choosing the IKEA Glasholm desk had nothing to do with appearance.  Laguna has extremely high humidity.  I have an 8 year old IKEA cubby in white compressed wood which began peeling and warping at the corners around 2 years ago so this glass desk is a keeper.  I also wanted something that resisted getting smudged or visibly dirty and was super easy to clean so that I could eat meals on it if my family was not home, make an art mess on if I felt crafty, and spill makeup on if I was experimenting.  I also wanted something minimalist yet sturdy so the Glasholm desk was my answer.  It was a cinch to assemble, the glass underneath has 4 round, stainless metal wells and the legs come with screw-tops so you just twist them in.  The glass isn’t transparent but it beautifully reflects the sky and will probably give me a sangria surface during a beautiful sunset.  I also can’t wait to set a vase or mason jar of fresh flowers on top eventually or even write erasable reminders/doodles on the surface with colored glass pens.  For the good value price of Php3900 from an IKEA stockist I’m pretty stoked to have picked this up.  It got me blogging right away as you can see, and I finally have a place to plant myself for more productivity.

 

 

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Out of Hiding by Bethel Music | A Song of Redemption in Retrospect

I felt I just needed to take a moment to really blog in thankfulness, because for the past week I’ve just had to wrap my heart and mind around the fact that God has redeemed me and essentially remade me.  I had an awfully challenging time last year to say the least.  It felt for awhile with everything happening on the outside like the Lord had completely taken my life as a vehicle and overhauled it with me inside, doors locked, but He knew what He was doing completely.  I needed it all even if it felt like it was the last thing I needed.  It is true, I’m leaning in reference to something I read, “They buried us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”

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With the arrival of spring one year later I am grateful for it all, the layers of circumstances that was meant to mold me and other people.  I’m still thankful and now I can smile looking back because the Lord wanted me to just be even closer to Him really, in a way that I never was not even in my college years.  Even if I still have no idea what the future holds after all this, I trust Him more than ever now to weave the new threads in.  To be clear “They” in the quote doesn’t refer to anyone okay…just the heavy situations themselves, I never hint about grudges anywhere and if they existed the last place I’d take to venting about grudges is the internet. No grudges here now, only gratitude.

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So much stuff came my way last year, multiple things, that I cannot outline all of it in one night even if one friend were to say they’d like to listen to it from the beginning, one rounded off evening with single malt scotch wouldn’t cut it.  At one point I just wanted to disappear into some black hole (not die or anything like that okay, just hide from everything).  Some friends were even like “I can’t believe you were going through all this…and that you’re only telling me now, I didn’t know.”  A handful of my nearest and dearest endured my talking them blue in the face when I tried to make sense of things and they would firmly reassure me that the Lord worked all things for the good of those He loved and protected even if we don’t have all the answers.  Another friend from the West coast abroad emailed back “Natutusok yung puso ko sa mga pinagdadaanan mo, Juls.” Many of us have had years like this, years that contain moments you can’t even release onto paper because reading it out just makes one feel nearly nauseous and in the dark…but there is light, there always is.  The Lord supplied some of my much needed answers this year, but in hindsight I never needed them, I only needed Him.  Slowly into 2015 there was a song that drew even the most bruised portions of me out once again into the world.  I’m completely okay now and almost surprised to find myself here.  There were actually two songs, but this one was my new year song.  “Out of Hiding” a song by Bethel Music’s talented  Steffany Gretzinger and Amanda Cook could not have more astutely played out what I needed to hear for the new year.  I hope this song helps you, if any of you in the dark out there are still moving towards the light.  Because He says “Come out of hiding, You’re safe here with me…”.  Steffany and Amanda talk about the background of the song here at this BTS link in a special behind the scenes feature.  Here is the official lyric video of “Out of Hiding.”

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Gabriel Valenciano Weds Tricia Centenera | Another Cousin’s WeddingS and What I Wore

March whizzed by like a freight train, I had tapings, shoots and another cousin’s wedding for which I was invited as a family guest…so technically I could have relaxed more, and could have taken more photos (I planned to, I even brought my DSLR).  However it turned out to be one of those moments wherein when I got there I didn’t want to experience my cousin’s wedding through a lens the entire time and wanted to mingle more not fuss about what I could possibly feature.

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That shot is from the Boracay ceremony, but I’m including reposted photos from both.  I wanted to actually behold the moments happening right before me and just be happy for them.  I have a few shots though from when before we left to show you and will include a couple of (pun unintended) grabbed shots from Gab and Tricia Valenciano’s Instagram accounts because I wasn’t able to fly in for their second beach ceremony in Boracay.  First thing’s first, though, this shot of what I wore by Dad for the Tagaytay Ceremony.

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Paul Smith sapphire trench, Rajo Laurel gown, Nine West clutch, photo credit: Dad

We were warned by the groom’s father that the weather in Tagaytay might be nippy because Tricia’s Australian guests were feeling the chill the evening before the big day, so I brought my trench which was the envy of many who opted for shawls…I was also surprised by how cold it got that day just before sunset.  Click through to see the full post and what products I used for my makeup look, also just a few more photos from both their ceremonies.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Becoming a Grit and Grace Woman | Women on a Mission

It isn’t fresh news and all that big, but nearly two weeks ago on Instagram I was chosen to be a Grit and Grace woman to follow by GritAndGrace.co (@gritandgracewomen), an inspirational group based in San Francisco with the aim to connect, encourage, and promote women who share and live Spiritual lives to inspire others in their niche calling.  The feature itself is nothing huge in earthly terms really, just a Follow Friday blast if you think about it, but this meant a lot to me personally because I was inserted alongside all these amazing, beautiful women of varying ethnicity (but mostly American I think) who all love the Lord.

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FOLLOW US! @blessmybag, @jokotadeshow, @jessigreenny, @styleskinny, @thecreativeporcupine, @jilliandolberry

 

The G&G gals just went out, pulled my photo, and did it.  If you think about it, pretty daring, they just grabbed one of my photos from my blog and stuck it in there, lol, but I’m totally game like that and I’m glad it was one of the good ones.  The way I discovered this happened was a notification on Instagram popped up while I was backstage doing makeup work during The Ultimate Valentine Concert (Gary V, Regine, Lani , and Martin Nievera), and I was like on IG and saying “…wait a minute, that’s me…in a poster…with who?!  Who are these women, oh, oh my how cool is this?!!!” and I was like prancing here and there backstage being a shameless show-off to the road manager, my partner hairstylist, and everyone else who couldn’t care less in the middle of an ongoing pop concert really, LOL.  I was just sooo flattered and chuffed to the bones.  I followed them all and a few days later was totally inspired and moved by this post of Amanda @thecreativeporcupine.  I’ll be posting a post from each of their accounts here so you get a glimpse of their uniqueness.

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We’re not all beauty bloggers, some are crafty, some are fashionistas, some are homemakers, but Jessi and I are in the style and beauty department I believe and someone has designed a dayplanner with an inspirational format.  It’s inspiring how God has broken the mold of each one of us.  I noticed right away that the Grit & Grace team in graphics and layout really know what they’re doing (notice all our faces are practically the same size from different photos).  What was cool was I think I was already following @jessigreenny if I’m not mistaken or vice versa before we were both chosen to be part of the same Follow Friday set.  Feel free to correct me, Jessi, if you’re reading this but you were already a familiar face!  Follow all of us if you haven’t on Instagam and don’t be shy to comment or say hello!… To full post & COMMENTS...

The First Valentine was to a girl named Julia

I know it’s a day late, I had work for the past 2 days, but it’s still Valentine’s Day in other parts of the world and I’m still feeling the buzz simply because I didn’t have time to super enjoy the moments on the day itself.  An aunt of mine who loves me dearly and homeschools her kids shared a bit of St. Valentine history with me.  I’m sure a lot of people have looked into the legend of Valentine’s Day for the sake of it, but I’m not one of them so I was sweetly surprised by the story of a martyred Christian named Valentinus who truly lived (his remains are buried in a church) and a young , blind girl named Julia, the pretty young daughter of his jailer, Asterius.  There are subtle, downplayed hints of Valentinus falling for Julia in the end but these remain in question given how young she might have truly been, in other accounts he was an old man and she was a child, but in this image as you can see, it may not have been that way.  It was always stated in the different stories though regardless of how old she may have been that Julia was beautiful and bright (naks, lol).

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It’s a heartbreaking but touching story about a man who literally died to uphold love and the Christian faith.  In other specific accounts, he was tortured terribly.  I will quote the story here from a source and will not attempt to paraphrase.  The story is quite intact across several sites even official Catholic history ones.  Some aspects of the story vary with regard to her being healed of blindness either within the jail cell with Valentinus after they prayed or possibly after.  There is supposed little embellishment to the core story.  What is not mentioned here is the true historical reason behind his imprisonment, Valentinus would illegally marry young soldiers in secret.  It was not legal because young soldiers were expected to remain single and focus on being warriors.  However Valentinus officiated marriages for young couples in hiding. Too romantic for words. The phrase “Love is blind…” will never sound the same for me again  So goes the tale of the first Valentine:

“The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr.   The emperor was Claudius II.   The Christian was Valentinus.

Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods, and had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.   But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ; not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs.   He was arrested and imprisoned.

During the last weeks of Valentinus’s life a remarkable thing happened.   Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons.   She had been blind since birth.   Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind.   Valentinus read stories of Rome’s history to her.   He described the world of nature to her.   He taught her arithmetic and told her about God.  She saw the world through his eyes, trusted his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

“Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?” Julia asked one day.

“Yes, my child, He hears each one.”

“Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night?  I pray that I might see.   I want so much to see everything you’ve told me about!”

“God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him,” Valentinus said.

“Oh, Valentinus, I do believe! I do!”  She knelt and grasped his hand.

They sat quietly together, each praying.   Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell.   Radiant, Julia screamed, “Valentinus, I can see!  I can see!” (in other accounts she was healed weeks later after opening his letter to her which contained a yellow crocus flower that she could slowly begin to see)

“Praise be to God!”  Valentinus exclaimed, and he knelt in prayer.

On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God.   He signed it, “From your Valentine.” The next day Valentinus was killed.  His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.   He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.  

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It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.   Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.   On each February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.”

Sources:

http://www.olrl.org/lives/valentine.shtml

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchandMinistry/churchhistory/st_valentine_the_real_story.aspx

http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog/index.php/happy-valentines-day-the-legend-of-saint-valentineTo full post & COMMENTS...

The Imaginary Vday Wishlist | If Price or Place Were No Object

Where we are can kind of suck sometimes when it comes to stuff at the frontier of modern beauty.  While I’m glad more brands have joined the global ones already present in the market, the ranges are far from updated and nowhere near as complete, hello, Clarins doesn’t even have their makeup here, we only have the skincare.  Where is is this rambling headed?  Towards an imaginary Vday wishlist…life of course goes on without any of these things but I thought I’d put this selection out there for you to see as an imaginary edit…what I’d like if price or place where no object.

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Top to Bottom: Paloma Picasso for Tiffany’s Handwritten Love ring (Mom has her petite “X” earrings in yellow gold), Whistles Mini Verity backpack black leather, Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in “Amazing Grace”Clarins Instant ConcealerReturn to Tiffany Rubedo heart earrings, Clarins Instant Light Lip comfort oil (seen here in the Original and ever elusively sold out Raspberry formula)

I was also thinking about Tiffany & Co. the 5th Avenue jewelry hotspot I wasn’t able to hit while in NYC.  I don’t mean I wish there was one here, I wasn’t able to go in the US.  I didn’t have any plans to purchase anything from there, the visit was supposed to be like a tour in honor of a memory.  I wanted to have a peep inside and then have a foodtruck breakfast outside and take a selfie, there’s always a next time.  I know, it would have been such a touristy thing to do but here’s why.  It was the one place there which would supposedly remind me of my paternal grandmother the most.  She would tell me stories of how she loved the place while we watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s together.  Lola said when she was there it was not always to buy, but she loved the staff, the service, and appreciating the precious beautifully feminine pieces they had there.  She also sang Moon River along with me passionately, it was the only song I’d ever heard her sing like that…once in awhile she would also hum Claire de Lune or Nat King Cole songs.  Her eyes used to light up like gems before at the mention of Tiffany’s.  Also did you know, I heard from someone married to a Tiffany executive that Tiffany’s only offer a major half price discount once, on a person’s first engagement ring purchase, it’s a discount that will not be offered again in the same lifetime precisely because they like to honor that value. I’ll go through my other faves in quick random, no-order, this-is-my-blog style today, coz I’m just not in the mood to be like super structured right now, have work later and tomorrow and haven’t eaten breakfast.

For style I’m sure like half the female planet is already making the Whistles Mini Verity backpack that Zoella “showed and told” online a major sellout, who won’t like its simple, small but just rightly sized real leather design?  I believe there’s a silver version which might be an ASOS exclusive if I saw it right.  Regarding the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L camera lens it’s Canon’s priciest 50mm with their widest opening, meaning it’s awesome for close-up shots with beautifully boke’d backgrounds and great for low light…in other words a beauty blogger’s dream lens.  As you can see in this sample photo:

vdafave_canonBy the way, I like that Charlotte Tilbury lipstick not just because of the name, if you click on the CT link you will see the color “Amazing Grace” is just gorgeous, a more modern, more neutral coral with less of a yellow undertone.  Sunday Riley does modern skincare and they do the science battle with botanical weapons of mass reconstruction.  Juno is one of their more gentle facial oils which they say consists of extracts from Broccoli, Carrot, Chardonnay Grape, Black Cumin, Cranberry Seed and a berry seed blend of blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry.  Yea, I’ll take my face to-go please.  On the Clarins stuff, if you haven’t heard Guardian beauty guru Sali Hughes say “I can’t rave about this concealer enough” about Clarins’ Instant Concealer in that wonderful Brit accent of hers then you should on her SaliHughesBeauty channel,that was ’bout before Christmas last year.  Then Caroline Hirons, skincare madame, flashed that new Lip comfort oil  of theirs at her camera in her recent New Stuff video and the dim part of the world (like over here) without Clarins’ newest releases semi went gaga.

Do you have an imaginary Vday wishlist?  Or one probably that hangs around all year in the fluffy cloud above your head?  Mention one or two things you wish for in the comments whether it’s because you can’t get it here or can’t afford it at the moment.  I can’t make your wish come true but I do know that sharing wishes with other people is a happy sort of release.… To full post & COMMENTS...

5 Vday To-Dos That Aren’t About You

I decided to write this because to be honest there are a lot of compilations out there of stuff to do for single people or young couples but most are either about how to save on your own date, how to get noticed, tips on nabbing the one, and all that.  However, I believe much of the world is hungry for a different sort of love. While I won’t deny that there are some useful tips in there about presenting yourself, turning up the chemistry, and dining out I did pick up on the fact that many of the suggestions might not involve the sort of love that genuinely gives.  There are many ways to give to people around us on Valentine’s day, whether you are a single man or woman or a couple who together would like to do something for someone else for a change.

1. Offer to babysit the kids of a couple you love on Vday so they can date. (Taking them with you to the runway is optional… lol) P.S. It’s good practice for AFTER That Happily Ever After.

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Raising Helen 2004

2. Cook a meal together for other people (in case that couple you offered to babysit for would rather stay home.)

 

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Leap Year 2010

3. Offer to babysit someone’s pet…same idea, to provide freedom and SANITY while losing yours LOL.

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As Good as it Gets 1997

4. Do the groceries for a working parent, unnoticed.

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Mrs. Doubtfire 1993

 

5. Last but not the least, show up on a beloved’s doorstep uninvited, not because it’s their birthday or a relative passed away.  Do it just to see how they’re doing, because you never know, they might need you just as much as you need them.  You might just suddenly get this “arcane glimpse of the universe…”-TROY DYER

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Reality Bites 1994

Ja ja, I couldn’t help but release some butterflies in the post lol…and why not?  Valentine’s is just around the corner and remember…love is a much bigger thing than what we are to ourselves and we are invited into that much bigger space one step at a time or in some cases are thrust right into it.  Watch this video about unconditional love.

 

 

“And at once I knew I was not magnificent, high above the highway aisle…but I could see for miles, miles, miles…” -BON IVER, Holocene

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