Miracle Forever

Here’s another reason why I like StealThatLook.com. Lancome Philippines is giving away free fragrance samples of MIRACLE FOREVER – a delicious night blossom fragrance with an almond-scented heart to all StealThatLook.com members and visitors! Simply visit this link, print the flier, and present it at the Lancome counter in Rustans Makati, Rustans Shangrila-la, Rustans Alabang, Rustans Gateway Mall, and Marionnaud at the Mall of Asia from Feb. 5-18, 2007, to avail of your free sample.

I love freebies!

MoneySense: Makes Sense!

There are so many magazines out there which help you spend your money: from lifestyle magazines to shopping magazines. There are also those which foster the entrepreneurial spirit. However, there are very few publications which write about personal finance addressed to ordinary human beings like you and me who are struggling to pay the bills and do not have the funds to manage a business or extensive stock portfolio.

Personal finance is not rocketscience but many people treat it like they would their dentist: with reluctant trepidation. A new magazine was launched this month called Money Sense which will hopefully allay their fears. Its tagline: Save, spend, and invest wisely.

The articles are well-written (read: easy to comprehend) and downright sensible, filled with a lot of practical tips and expert advise. I hope that it maintains its objective tone in succeeding issues. We need an objective financial advisor to steer us through the quagmire that is the financial condition of most Filipinos.

Issues are available at National Bookstore. Cover price is P120. For subscription inquiries, you may call 339-3361 or email info@moneysense.com.ph.

Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

A little less than one month to go before Valentine’s Day and the advertising frenzy is starting to ramp up. I’m all for the celebration of love but also advocate the use of reason, particularly when it comes to marriage. Marriage is not built on surprises. There was a great article written last month in the New York Times which listed a series of questions all couple should ask themselves before marrying:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse….

… according to a New York Times analysis of census results. Several factor were seen driving the statistical shift. “At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom.”

What I found particularly interesting was that according to the Census report, only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women.What does that say about Asian women?

Are we nearing the tipping point?

Secret to Happiness

“Well, the secret of happiness is that it’s an inside job. I differentiate between pleasure and happiness. The baby boomers, the must-have generation, thought that if they had all these things, they’d be happy, and they’ve discovered that they’re not happy”

~Stephen Pollan (Author- His 1997 best-selling manifesto, “Die Broke,” and its companion piece, “Live Rich,” knocked traditional financial planning on its collective ear with its radical four-part approach to making and enjoying money “quit today, pay cash, don’t retire and die broke“)

Create a Healthy Lifestyle for YOU!

On the day that we returned from Tacloban, I broke out in hives and my nose turned into a tap. Definitely not a pretty sight. This was my sign, my lightbulb moment, if you will.

My life is intolerably full of toxins, where it comes from the polluted air to the polluted politics. I can’t do much about the poisons outside, aside from stocking up on air purifiers but I can do something about the poisons within. Mariel Hemingway has recently released a book which is a god-send: Healthy Living from the Inside Out.

It is a book which is easily read and internalized: the sections are divided into manageable bites. I particularly like the section about silence. Silence is an important part of personal healing and yet it is something most people find difficult to achieve. Sitting quietly is not a waste of time — it’s a healing time, even it nothing fantastic happens.

So excuse me for a bit while I got off, dust off a couple of candles and look for a sacred space.

Close-up: LOVAPALOOZA by the bay

Attn all photo enthusiasts! Close-up has recently launched its LOVAPALOOZA photo contest which is open to all professional and amateur photographers and photo enthusiasts.

Photo entries must capture fresh breath shots of people showing their love and affection by the bay. (love to your partner, friend, pets, etc.)


    Entries should indicate the following information at the back of the photo:
    Title of photo with short description
    Photographer Contact information (mobile number, home address, e-mail address)
    Participants may use either digital or analog format cameras.
    Only minimal enhancements are allowed (color and brightness adjustments only).
    Submitted photos must be original work and must not have been previously published or used in other contests.


    There will be one winner for this contest. Winner will be awarded P15,000 cash and 1-year supply of Unilever products.
    Winner will be notified via mobile, e-mail or registered mail.
    Winning entries may be published in top broadsheets.
    Close-Up reserves the right to publish or display any entry for promotional purposes, with due acknowledgement to the photographer.

There is no limit to the number of entries a participant can send.
All entries should be 5R (5×7 in) in size, accompanied by a cd copy in jpeg format.

Entries should be sent to:
GeiserMaclang at unit 7c, 114 Tuscan Building, V.A. Rufino Ave.,
Legazpi Village, Makati City

Submission of entries is from January 2-19, 2007 only


“Hi… My name is Joelle Horca and I’m a workaholic.”

Recovering workaholic anyway, although I have my relapses. In this age of Blackberries, laptops, cellphones and increasing competition, distinguishing between workaholics and people just doing what’s expected of them can be difficult. Do you think you or someone you know may be a workaholic? Bryan Robinson has listed five common traits which workaholics exhibit. How many do you have? Remember, even if you have just a few but to a great degree, then you’re still in the woods.

1. Preoccupation with work. When you are away from work, does it still preoccupy your thoughts? Are you psychologically absent? Do you find work dominating your conversations in social settings?

2. Discomfort in delegating. Do you feel that only you can handle task which you should be delegating? Does the idea of delegating threaten your sense of control?

3. Neglect other aspects of life. Do you subconsciously put work before families and your personal life? Do you find yourself going back to the office after important social events?

4. Merge other parts of their lives into work. Is you set a clear line between leisure and work? Do you find yourself inevitably turning your personal relationships into business endeavors?

5. “Sneaking”work. Do you try to hide the fact that your working when you’re supposed to be relaxing?

Dr. Robinson’s book presents steps towards managing that this disease which should be treated for society’s own good. There is no easy fix, since we all have to work in order to survive. Keep this book by your side. It could change not just your life but also the lives of those around you!

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Life Makeover

Thought for Today
“I believe the only reason we’re here is to find out what we love…and get about the business of living it!”


It’s always good to start the New Year with a do-over. Love her or hate her, you have to give credit to Oprah for discovering people who empower others, whether it be a a great fitness trainer, yummy interior decorator or introspective life coach. There was an Oprah show recently which talked about the Lifestyle Makeover: How to Find Your Passion. The catchphrase was “Uncover your true passion — and find real happiness. Here are some steps provided by Cheryl Robertson:1. Get Quiet. This means slowing down, spending time with yourself, taking good care of your body and mind, nurturing your spirit, and engaging in activities that will move you out of your head and into your body.

2. Become sensitive to your environment. Spend one week paying close attention to what excites you, touches you, inspires you to think in a whole new way, or even frustrates you. Watch for clues. Stories in newspapers, programs on television or conversations with friends may give you an indication of those things that will lead you to your passions. Write about your discoveries.

3. Ask yourself:
– What interest, passion or desire are you most afraid of admitting to yourself and others?
– What do you love about yourself?
– Who do you know that’s doing something you’d like to do? Describe yourself doing it.
– How could you make the world a better place for yourself and others?
– What’s stopping you from moving forward with exploring your passion?

4. Take a risk. Stop thinking about your passions and start doing something. Take a risk, and step out to try something new. By challenging your fear with action, you’ll not only raise your self-esteem, you’ll expand your comfort zone.

Philipines, the World’s Best Sandbox

Hankering for the beach? Come to the Philippines! Our country is the world’s best sandbox!Butch Jimenez is a man of many missions, one of which is to show others how beautiful the Philippines is. For a few years now, he has been producing a desktop calendar featuring pictures he has taken of beaches in Palawan, Davao, Southern Luzon, the Visayas and Ilocos regions. The calendar has been widely requested by Filipinos and foreigners worldwide.

Please visit his blog to view images of the 2007 calendar. To get your free copy, please email Butch at butchgjimenez@yahoo.com.

(pic of Palawan taken from butchgjimenez.blogspot.com/)

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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