Jan.’s the Time to Plan | Little Prince Moleskine & “Pag-Ibig Lang Yan…” 2014 Planners

It’s only the 3rd day of January, if you didn’t get a 2014 planner last year then for the whole of January it isn’t too late to hunt for a decent planner (that I should actually stick to writing in even after 6 months LOL, you get what I mean).

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Little Prince White & Navy Moleskin 2014 12M Pocket Planner Php 800/900 (National Bookstore and The “Relaks Pag-Ibig Lang Yan Parang Kagat lang ng Langgam” Planner (Php 490.00 available at Bratpack and online via QuirksPH.com )2014 by Witty Will Save the World, Co. (@titawitty on Instagram and Twitter)

Here are the ones I found that appealed to me instantly and they’re both “hand-size” and hardbound.  One is  a limited edition Moleskin and the other is Witty Will Save the World’s most recent Pinoy humorous offering, in the past I blogged about their Tanso Edition Slumbook and someone pretty “sikat” wrote in it.  Click “more” to get a closer look at these planners and jump to the full post.… To full post & COMMENTS...

2013 Was Ever so Reluctantly Cloud’s Year | Thanks to Fancy Feast & Royal Canin!

Most of you know about my darling cat, Cloud since I randomly post pictures of her, but what you may not know is that last year she got a chunk of brand recognition as well from the country’s top feline food brands.  While she may not seem at all camera or people-shy when I’m shooting lovely  photos of her at home the case is quite the opposite when she’s out in public.  When it comes to the limelight away from home…she’d much rather kiss a dog.


Undoubtedly an introvert at the Fancy Feast Catcrafternoon event last November.

There’s one thing I’m sure of about Cloud no matter where though, she’s a picky eater and she has tender constitution (a sensitive digestive system).  The first year we had her we fed her the usual cheaper dry kibble (won’t mention the brand) that we feed our fat tabby cats.  Our other cats didn’t have problems with this brand of food.  Cloud, a Himalayan-Persian, after several months ended up with either kidney or liver infections and she puked way too often indicating that the food made her acidic and that it was too high in sodium.  So for awhile I shifted her to soft food, and I fed her Fancy Feast (even before we were recognized by them, which is why I know God cares) in conjunction with other soft food for about 6 months so that her system could recover.  As soon as Cloud sees me holding a Fancy Feast can  she follows me intently, a testament to how much the flavor excites her.  She recovered from an enlarged kidney after eating Fancy Feast for over a month.  Here she’s enjoying her take home gift from the brand after her appearance at their Catcrafternoon event.

cloudfancy_02Fancy Feast is wonderful but once Cloud was well, dry kibble still had to be her staple for easier feeding.  I didn’t want to shift her back to the regular brand of kibble we gave her which was what made her sick.  So without delay I started feeding her Royal Canin Persian30 dry food while still feeding Fancy Feast once in awhile.  Royal Canin Persian30 dry food made her hair grow surprisingly thick and beautiful within a few months, got rid of some balding areas she had on her back and increased her overall health and happiness.  By the way, can you tell?  She loves the taste, too.  She left a heart in her bowl once.


However, I worried that feeding her Royal Canin for a long time might strain the family budget a little because it’s one of the best pet foods in the country and while it totally improved her it’s pretty pricy.  I asked God for a way so that we could keep feeding her Royal Canin for longer.  Then out of the blue a Royal Canin representative emailed me saying he represented the brand and would like to invite Cloud to their Day of the Cat event at Resorts World.  He had heard about Cloud from his wife who follows me via Instagram or the blog.  He also had no idea if we fed Cloud Royal Canin and was delighted when I said it was one of the food brands that made her well and improved her overall heath.  He said that if we made an appearance with Cloud we’d be going home with 10kg bags of Royal Canin kibble of our choice.  Due to a sudden work commitment on my part for the day my Dad had to bring reluctant Cloud to the Royal Canin event (where she also didn’t want to show her face), he presented her on stage, socialized with other cats (or tried to) and they came home with not one, not two, but…


…three!  Three free 10kg bags of Royal Canin, each bag about half as tall as me!  Due to tight planning for the event we were given the variant Fit32, we didn’t get Persian30 but we were told we could consume one bag of Fit32 for now, and they’d replace the other two later on with Royal Canin Persian30, her favorite.  Just so you know, this was taken in our living room and I didn’t set it up at all.  This was the next morning, the day after the event.  I found her like this in front of all three bags and I just decided to run and grab my camera to take a shot of an obviously very proud kitty.  Thanks to both Fancy Feast and Royal Canin for showering Cloud with much needed love.  Her tummy thanks you.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Gab V’s Family Holiday Edition Super Selfie Video | Featuring Us, The Pangilinans

I’m convinced that the best Christmas gift any of us Pangilinans ever got last year was having this boy/man/broccoli head home for Christmas.  Gabriel Valenciano, what would we do without you?  Like…NOT dance HAHAHA!  Unknown to many I lived with the “Vees” (Valencianos) during my years in college.  He loved the terror/playmate Ate for who I was and I loved his excitable sweet antics, we loved the PC game Rollercoaster Tycoon and I would fix his theme park landscaping for him.


Now he’s grown into his own, making waves in Full Sail University, Florida as a music production student…also recently winning top place for Full Sail’s Got Talent competition.  In case you didn’t know, he’s also become a bit (understating) of a YouTube sensation online with his famous super selfie videos being featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and Goodmorning America even in the selfie with his dad, Gary Valenciano.  This Christmas he came home to be with us and also to do one (or maybe two) more.



Gab posts 15 second videos on his Instagram account @gabvalenciano and the full length longer ones on his YouTube channel. Now he’s done one major, a Christmas Super Selfie edition video with his mom’s side of the family, us, the Pangilinans :) Watch our family Christmas selfie video directed by Gab Valenciano embedded below or at this link here.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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My Best of 2013 Beauty Picks

Hold on a moment, I need to heave a sigh, my facial cleanser got left on the bed and didn’t make it into the group shot…sigh* will do an insert.  The best facial moisturizer also didn’t make it into the group shot because Mom used all of it up already so that will be an insert, too.  So, ANYWAY, on with it.  I basically realized I needed to do this minutes after a chopping frenzy in the kitchen for New Year’s Eve dinner, and on top of all that, the sun was beginning to set.  Talk about well-planned (not).  Some of these I’ve mentioned and reviewed (the individual review links are in pink) and some I haven’t just yet, so consider so consider those that I haven’t mentioned as quick teasers for upcoming reviews!


Well VSCO helped me along and a photo with flash didn’t seem too bad of an idea, ITG and NYLON make it work anyway.  I didn’t do “high-end/low-end” equivalents for everything but it’s a smashing good mix I think.  I did not trim it down to a significant number like 10 or 20 (happy cackle), I have about 30+ products in here, and they all function differently.  Note, one or two items are not available locally.  Read more (click “more”) to get to the complete list of my best picks for 2013.  Happy New Year!… To full post & COMMENTS...

New Year’s Eve Dinner Prep | Mom’s Braised Lamb Shanks

We’ve got to an early start today, but truth is you don’t need half a day to do this, we just finished the first half of the process which is roasting the shanks before braising them later tonight, between now and tonight these shanks are resting.  If you’d like to do this for regular dinner time you can start at 3 or 4pm.  If it’s for a New Year’s eve late dinner you can begin at sundown.  I’ve got my hands all over these pieces of meat.  Mom is the captain and I’m first mate (aka sous chef) aboard our kitchen ship, and we’re preparing lamb shanks for braising tonight!  First though we have to roast a little over 2 kilos of lamb shanks (4.5 lbs exactly) for about an hour.  Total preparation plus cooking time takes about 2 and a half hours.  There’s lots of love in slow cooking.


We begin by preheating the oven to 230° C and while that’s preheating we prepare the spice rub for the shanks. The combined spice rub you see above is made of the following ingredients.


We purposely made more of the spice rub than we needed (double the actual recipe), we only used a total of 4 teaspoons of the resulting powder once this is all mixed together, the extra  we will store for future dishes or if additional seasoning is needed.

  • 2 teaspoons ground all-spice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Grind all of that together finely (you can use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder) then you massage 4 teaspoons of the spice rub all over the lamb shanks and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Finish by cutting deep slits in each shank to create pockets for the herbed butter.



HERBED BUTTER (mix all together with a spatula into a cold paste, then insert into slit pockets in shanks):

  • 100 grams of cold butter
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary, tear off the leaves and discard the stems
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • a pinch of dried ground sage (optional)

Once you’ve got the herbed butter done, insert into the shank pocket slits you cut into the lamb, insert and spread to be exact.  It’s like a little yummy secret inside the shanks.  Once each of the shanks are covered with the spice rub and filled with their share of herbed butter, pop them into the oven at 230°C and roast for 1 hour. When the roasting is done use the port wine from the next step to deglaze the pan and use for braising.

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Now these roasted shanks are ready to be braised for later tonight.

BRAISING LIQUID (Once you’ve used the port wine to deglaze the roasting tray with the drippings combine that with the chicken stock then put in the shanks. Braise for 1.5 hours in the oven at 175° C  in this liquid):

  • 1 & 1/4 cup of port wine
  • A quart and 1/2 cup of chicken stock

After 1.5 hours of braising, remove from the oven, rest the meat for 10 minutes, and turn the remaining braising liquid in the tray into gravy.

Sorry, there’s no photo of the actual braised finished product, it’s because that magic is still about to happen tonight!  Hope you find this recipe interesting, I understand if it was posted too late for any of you to try it, but if not for New Year’s Eve why not make it your first New Year Dinner for Jan 1!  Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

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FACE SHOP Yogurt Polish “Vanilla” | Happy Tips Ready to Light Up

When I saw this polish by Face Shop my brother and I were leaving Shangrila Mall after barkada reunions.  It made me think of Babes in Toyland (1986, Drew Barrymore, Keanu Reeves), candy speckled eggs, or rainbow cereal in milk.  All the above are happy kid memories and a nail polish like this just has to be worn to welcome the new year.

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FACE SHOP’s Yoghurt Polish in Vanilla (Php150.00) contains small and large hexagonal glitter partying in a creamy, milk white base.  I like that it screams “party” without having to be metallic.  The look is completely opaque on 3 coats (as seen above, no top coat) and a little more tender to look at with 2 coats.  Wearing this just gets me all excited for New Year.  Are you rocking any party polishes this season? Since we’re spending New Year at home with family and friends I think I’d rather rock glitzy nails than a full on makeup look, but we’ll see what I feel like tomorrow :).… To full post & COMMENTS...

The Heart Swatch | A Handful of Meaningful Thoughts

There are some who freely spill their personal lives onto an online page, and everyone can with the freedom to do so but not everyone should at just any time.  I do, too, once in awhile…spill a couple of words every now and then.  I’m not made of stone.  DISCLAIMER: This is not a “kodigo (codex)” on how to figure me out, there are no tips and tricks, nor will you find “tsismis (gossip)” here…and please this is not an “I’m-single” plug.  I just want to encourage women to be more prudent, picky, and fabulous.  There have been times in the past where it’s been tempting to slap on all the feelings on relationships “Pollock” style into one post, whipping and splatting every ounce of emotion, frustration, or hope into WordPress for all the world to see.  However, unknown to many is the fact that I have loved ones who keep me in check, they’re heart watchdogs if you will (mothers and aunts who read my blog).  While they do not at all dictate what I choose to do I still look to them with the deepest respect because of the inspiring lives and perfect-imperfect marriages my parents, aunts, uncles have.  I’ve seen many of them at their best and worst but what’s amazing is as a whole, majority being more of the time, they all look like they don’t want to be with anyone else…victories, hangups, and all.  That’s why I don’t talk about what’s in my heart a lot online, because it’s a precious ounce of me and because it’s not always Spiritually prudent to do so.  Today I am led deeply to talk about this.  Once in awhile, I do go on a personal tangent like this just to let you guys know I do have a beating heart that is my own and to see if I can encourage or touch any of you with something other than a photo of lipstick or nail polish.  That was a long intro, but the rest of this should be relatively quick-er…lies.

emma gwyneth paltrow_02

In case you were wondering…the Jane Austen heroine (women who find true love are heroines) I pretty much feel I can relate to or feel similar to is EMMA.  First, I look like Gwyneth Paltrow and I’m married to Chris Martin, I’ve been spoiled (in the best sense) but I am not a brat, I’m as stubborn as an ox, I’m snarky, thoughtful but not sweet (don’t let my smiley face deceive you), once in awhile because I’m so opinionated (oracle tendency) I let words fly and get into trouble unintentionally then I have to dig myself out but won’t ever hesitate to apologize.  I’m prayerful especially at the end of my rope (so is she).  Plus, ugh confession, I like playing cupid and try to match friends without them knowing and I take a step back to watch my handiwork potentially unfold (haha, are you a victim? You will never know…)

We begin with a name, Jane Austen.  As women today, we revere the brilliant author for her ability to fulfill every woman’s romantic desire and staggering hope within a few hundred pages, but we have also been forewarned to not base or align our real life hopes in the manner that Jane’s women have in the stories.  So shouts the world: “for crying out loud, Ladies, Jane ended up dying alone…don’t believe her…” that isn’t fair.  Gone are the ‘olden’ days, people say now, today is a new age…don’t set your expectations too high or you’ll end up alone.  Alone in a Queen size bed…alone, possibly, yes, but in the long-run HELLO at least not besieged by the wrong person who might also be besieged by me!  My prized morning breath is on reserve (he’s so blessed, lol).  Yea, I’m picky but I’m way too much of a cheesy romantic to don the “down-with-love” feminist cap, okay.  I’m not like that at all. People have been asking why I’m 30 already and still single… typical ask-a-roo at this point but I really don’t blame them,  it’s a fair question.  Truth is I don’t really know *shoulder shrug* and don’t really have a straight-up answer that I’m not required to give, it is what it is…my personal knight just hasn’t been discovered.  I’m not on a MAN BAN ayt?! LOL!  My last relationship (which was my 2nd) ended a while back and I just found myself about to turn 30.  I’ve known for awhile that I’m an old soul and late bloomer (still working on the independence tab), a true slow boiler, I’ve felt it ever since I was in grade school…I’ve always been slower than most people at almost everything (except studies, writing, and drawing, I’d just turned 16 when I entered U.P.).  Point that eases any tension: I am loved in more ways than one, and I know it to my bones…so I can’t keep from smiling on the outside.  Which is why I don’t cry myself to sleep at night while eating ice cream (puh-leez w/ a head shimmy) begging to be hitched or anything like that.  I just watched Sense & Sensibility with my folks and Dad cried (he’s an action guy who plays Call of Duty Ghosts and he finished S&S crying).  If you haven’t watched any Jane Austen film yet, try Emma, it’s a good JA starter that won’t make your nose bleed as much.    I told myself once that the bottled romance in my heart had a soundtrack…for a long time I kept hearing a tune played in my head, for years I couldn’t remember what movie it was.  When I replayed the movie Emma last year after many years I froze…it was the music…the music I’d been looking for, you can listen to the Emma track here, don’t worry it’s an instrumental, no spoilers :).  My Pangilinan grandfather (father of 9) was recently confined in the ICU, thankfully he’s out already, but while he was there he had a moment of present-mindedness …he recognized me near his bedside.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Stylash Mink Lash Extensions 50% Off ‘Til Jan.15 | AND their SM BF Branch Opens Today

I looked outside and told myself today “I’m staying in…” then I saw an IG photo of my blogger friend,  “Reluctant Stylista”, Alex V. Lapa (who professionally styles my cousin KC Concepcion), in her newly done Stylash mink lash extensions and told myself “I’m going out, I’m going out!” LOL.  Seriously, I’m heading out later to get these “lashlettes” done before the 2014 countdown, especially since Stylash  got a 50% markdown offer on lash services until January 15 (that’s Php800 from Php1600).


I’ve chatted with and interviewed Alex aka Reluctant Stylista online and she said what she had done is the Natural C-shape and the service took 1.5 hours to get done BUT these mink lashes, if you’re extra careful around the eye area for the period of having them, can last for up to a whole month and about two to three weeks for girls who accidentally rub their eyes or aren’t as careful.


“It should’ve stung nga daw a bit pero for some reason that didn’t happen to me (during application)… when I went to bed that night, I was tearing up. Usually that happens when I sleep with something like mascara on.” – ALEX LAPA

What’s awesome about these is you don’t even need eyeliner to conceal them.  The only cosmetic reaction Alex got the day she had them applied was later on in the evening she told me she was tearing up just for awhile.  So I’m not sure I can recommend this for girls with sensitive eyes, especially for those of you who don’t like mascara or even pencil eyeliner that makes you tear up this service may not be for you.  Girls who love having false lashes applied though  or have tried a lash extensions service like for example “i-lash” without any problems should give these a go even just for the New Year!  If you have it done now you can reapply before the promo finishes!  Stylash offer different shapes and I certainly want to go for the “FIERCE” flared shape to lift my droopy eyes.  The GLAM shape looks like a great showstopping celebrity style.


I will have a follow up review of my own as soon as I have them done and then a conclusive interview after about 2-3 weeks.  Just decided to let you guys know about the promo now since it’s on until January 15, 2014!  Lots of celebrities abroad have been into mink lashes for awhile.  They’re the softest, most wispy, natural looking lashes in the market that are a “level up” from human lashes and the many ways they source them are cruelty-free, minks have a period of natural shedding and they can also be brushed (will double-double check of course in Stylash’s case, I will get to the bottom of that).  The only mink lashes I’ve ever mentioned here on the site in the past are those lovely certified cruely-free Velour rtw lash sets you just can’t get readily available here (without losing an arm or a leg).  Stylash’s new southern SM BF outlet is OPENING TODAY and Stylash also has an outlet counter at Landmark, Makati, and a Quezon City branch.  For inquiries their mobile contact numbers are 0917.6685042 / 0918.5918694 and they’re on Instagram @stylashmanila and on Facebook.com/stylashmanila.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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