Just Julia

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.


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My Earl Grey Tea Milkshake | Cool Your Jets the Creamy Way

Hello, still know me?  I apologize, last week’s schedule was off the charts, been very busy with social events for another upcoming cousin’s wedding, a shoot for an upcoming Resurrection Sunday special, and working during tapings for a new ABS-CBN show, Your Face Sounds Familiar.  Kind of lost my momentum back there ‘coz I’d come home just wanting my makeup to remove itself, sleep and wake up just wanting to sleep in (like today because have another taping tomorrow).  In between though I did shoot some stuff I wanted to share which I’d been meaning to put up a few days back, like one of the frequent blender sessions I’ve been having.

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INGREDIENTS (serves 2):

1/2 cup Fresh whole milk (you can use cold carabao’s milk if you want a Pinoy twist, if you want your milkshake like roadside heavy go full cream milk)

2 or 3 full packed scoops  of Merry Moo Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream (depends on how thick you want your shake, for thicker add more ice cream.  Pint size available at SM Aura Cinema Food Court, Echostore in Market Market, weekend Sunday Legaspi Market in Makati, Glorietta food court and other places, check Merry Moo’s Facebook page.)  This is my ultimate favorite ice cream.

8-10 oz. of ice cubes (a cup or more than a cup, more ice cubes means more water, which makes it easier to sip, less ice cubes makes it richer and thicker).

1/2 cup steeped Earl Grey tea (I use 1 Twinings tea bag to brew a full cup and just drink the excess, haha) 

1 tbsp. of sugar (optional, I don’t put sugar because the ice cream is sweet enough for me and I try to keep excess sugar out of what I eat.)

 

EQUIPMENT: Kitchen blender that can blend solid ice, measuring cups, ice cream scoop, milkshake glasses or mason jar mugs, straws optional (paper straws won’t work well with milkshakes, spoon for tasting (no double dipping!)

I’m so hooked on blended dairy drinks.  Fruit and veggie smoothies to follow.  We didn’t have a decent industrial strength blender before and I’ve been cooling the jets by making frappes and shakes.  Just wanted to share with you how I made my Earl Grey tea milkshake.  I’d been meaning to just do this and try it and after ages and ages finally got around to it.  Click through to see the full process and method of making this yummy drink.… 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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Movie Minute | Still Alice trailer stokes gratitude…

I’ve been sleeping a lot, recuperating a lot since Christmas passed.  I haven’t allowed my consciousness to slip away like this in years come to think of it.  I’ve never been fond of naps.  I always thought naps were a waste of time and daylight, that is ’til I realized naps provide a comforting albeit temporary escape from a constantly haphazard world.  So slowly I am picking up the pieces before 2015 rolls in and have been screening film trailers online for the sake of it, something I used to do a lot but put away for awhile.  This isn’t a movie review because I haven’t seen this movie yet.  According to a very particular writer friend Still Alice is excellent and for being in a drama genre he claims it’s done tastefully and that acting isn’t overtly melodramatic (he mentioned “no slapping….”).  It is based on the book by NY Times bestselling author Lisa Genova.  The trailer moved me so much I just had to say something about it before we try to watch later on.  It made me realize there is just so much to be thankful for.  After getting that preview I went down to hug my mother.

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“I’m not suffering, I’m struggling…”

 

Another good friend said the book was great, too.  The film’s lead cast includes the incomparable Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth all given roles that seem to fit like gloves.  At least that’s what I can pick up from the trailer alone.  Very simply put it’s a movie about an intelligent woman with the onset symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the feared degenerative illness where you slowly and literally lose your mind.  It supposedly isn’t a light movie, but I don’t mind heavy screen plots as long as what is meaningful is placed at the heart of the story.  I guess I was also looking to be stoked for gratefulness, something that’s really important to me towards the end of the year.  Looking forward to watching this one, it comes highly recommended so I’m told, here’s the trailer.

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Christmas Cheer | Upcycling the News

While I wouldn’t go with just any old newspaper for giftwrapping the Financial Times makes the cut because it’s cheerfully peach tinted.  Plus the paper and print quality makes for a presentable parcel.  These pretty papers have been just stacked around here after Mom reads them (she buys her FT issues from Fully Booked).  I decided I could dress them up by making folded bows and origami accents, I’m not wrapping as many gifts this year.  However it’s much harder to do origami with newspaper, it’s not as stiff in weight so it doesn’t hold creases as well, it still works with effort put in.

Processed with VSCOcam with k2 presetPardon the lack of festivity in this post, we are not as prepared as last year, but we do plan to have a happy Christmas.  I pray yours is every bit as meaningful…parties or not, gifts or not, feasts or not because the reason for Christmas is infinitely more important than what the season brings into our lives.  I hope we all remember that for whatever we receive or don’t receive we still ought to pursue giving.  Jesus loves you and knowing that is all you need to be able to touch someone else He loves.  Maligayang Pasko :)To full post & COMMENTS...

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