Unexpected love story

The more obvious change is how you’ve turned our living space to your living space. The living room has a pram across each end, the coffee table has a rocker for centerpiece, there’s a big box of an unopened high chair in the kitchen, and colorful clutter — rattles, blankies, milk bottles, small clothes — everywhere. All these at 3 months!

The not so obvious changes are the ones others can only sense and only I can feel.

You’ve changed the meaning of every love song for me.  I hear Betty Who on the radio and ‘I love you always forever’ suddenly isn’t about a boy and a girl but our love story. I am breaking my promise to your dad to only be in love with him because I am hopelessly in love with you (it’s the same for him so it’s ok).

I wake up every morning earlier than I want to cause every extra waking hour is time with you. I don’t bother with my phone as soon as I wake up like I used to. My first thought now is how well you’ve slept and if you feel great today (and then I think of your dad).

Priorities have taken a backseat to you. Work-life balance jumped on top of the list cause I need to be involved in everything you. Yes, we’ll probably be obsessive parents (we’ll try hard not to be) and you’ll complain a lot but you will never be wanting.

I sleep less but sleep much better when you sleep soundly between mum & dad. I’ve memorized your little snores, your dreamin’ smiles, and every grunt.

Your smiles make a big difference between a bad and a great day. I rarely have bad days cause you make everything better. I forget all the trivial problems when I’m reminded of how great God’s love is by looking at you.

Family meant so much more when you arrived… and I can only see my future when it’s connected with your dad and you.


I have great friends!

Someone made me realize that the I have great circles of friends — circles because I have more than one.

  1. They’re not afraid to tell the truth or to break bad news. Of course, this can be very uncomfortable at times but it keeps all of us grounded.
  2. They don’t take sides! Another great realization which had me admiring each of them so much more. They might have their opinions on who is right or wrong but they don’t actively take factions, they just keep on going back to 1.
  3. They tell me and they tell on me. People call it backbiting, I think it’s keeping peace. The intention was, is, and will always be to resolve issues. Again, we go back to 1 & 2.
  4. Not out of sight, out of mind. There’s no real drama about feeling or being left out. We’re also understand that there might be more social circles in our lives so join or not, we’re friends the next day (this does not apply to set in stone dates though unless the reason trumps the event).
  5. They all understand 1, 2, 3 & 4 — well, most of them anyway. I guess that’s enough.

Fixing Fried Hair

I’ve had my hair straightened thrice, relaxed once, and rebonded about 6 times. Rebonding has always been great until the last one and I ended up with really brittle hair with most strands breaking at the point where it was last flat-ironed. I’ve been trying to revive it with BenchFix’s Kerastase treatments but it could take months and probably would require chopping all the damage off, which might leave me with about ear-length hair. Cry!

After trolling a ton of health & beauty websites and several weeks of contemplating, I finally decided to try out Permanent Blowdry (also recommended by Marjh). Since we were somewhere in Quezon City, I chose to checkout Great Cuts Salon in Timog. The receptionist was nice enough to inform me that they actually have an ongoing promo with CashCashPinoy  and even offered to use their PC so I can buy it online. Unfortunately, vouchers can only be redeemed starting 5th of November. Given the crazy schedule at work, I knew if I didn’t do it that day, it probably won’t happen for months so I opted to pay the full price.

Though I asked for the permanent blowdry, the salon staff were all recommending the Brazilian Blowout instead. I was very hesitant as there’s a great deal on the net about the “aldehyde” concerns with this treatment. I voiced out my concern but was assured that their products/supplies were tested and all have BFAD approval. Convinced, I decided to have the Brazilian Blowout, some hair coloring, and a trim.

Like what I would normally do in a salon, I left my extremely fried hair to the expertise of the Sr. Stylist and my only condition was it needs to look good. First thing that they did was wash my hair with clarifying shampoo. This was to remove all dirt and products from the hair so treatment will be more effective. Hair color needed to be done first and the plan was to lighten my hair and put a color that will blend well with current hair color. He ended up choosing a Tobacco Beige mixed with Very Light Blonde.

While we were waiting for the color to soak, I asked on what maintenance should I have after the treatment. Using a sulfate-free shampoo is a definite must, which would preserve as well as delay the stripping of keratin in the hair, but what they absolutely recommend is to use a sulfate-free shampoo with keratin. My questions opened the opportunity to upsell their Keralove maintenance kit (shampoo, conditioner, and leave-on). The set seemed promising but I never heard of the brand so I decided to google Keralove before deciding to buy it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any useful review so I decided to pass until I get to compare it with Keratin Complex.

The next few steps were pretty standard: another shampoo, applied keratin treatment, another wash. As they were finishing the nth wash, the stylist then informs me that we will be going up to the Blowout lab. I imagined the lab they were talking about and asked why there was a special lab. Apparently the next part of the treatment can get very smoky. They joked that the next step was like being in the clouds thus, the lab was placed on the second floor and was equipped with exhaust fans.

The lab was not much different from the ground floor salon except that we would need to wear hospital masks and optional goggles. I sighed because I knew that this definitely not the formaldehyde-free process they had earlier assured. They applied treatment, explained that flat-ironing will seal the keratin into the hair but a by-product evaporates causing all the smoke. This was the most uncomfortable phase of the whole process. Though I didn’t smell the fumes like what most people wrote in their blogs, whatever chemical was being used stung my eyes like hell. I had goggles on but still had to keep my eyes closed throughout most of the flat-ironing process.

Alas, we finished that step! We went down to rinse and apply the Brazilian Blowout masque. They kept the mask twice longer than usual because of the damage that my hair has. The last step for the day was a haircut and the stylist was hesitant as he kept saying that the treatment had already fixed most of my hair issues but I insisted since I read somewhere that getting healthy hair involved chopping off as much of the damaged length as possible.

Like every other person who had Brazilian Blowout, I cannot deny that the results are just simply amazing! I have never been happier with my hair. I would have been completely satisfied if the treatment didn’t sting my eyes so bad and if I could only get rid of the worrisome potential side effects of formaldehyde exposure.

Most of you are probably curious how it was after the first wash, below are a pictures taken  7-days after the treatment. I am simply loving it.

And just to compare, here’s my hair before the treatment:

Friends kept on asking me what I did to my hair and I was more than happy to tell them about Brazilian Blowout however, I can’t help but tell them about the flat-ironing process and all that’s being said on the blogs. I personally feel that each person who decides to get the treatment should know all the risks they’re taking for that shiny, straight hair. Personally, I don’t think I will go for a second Brazilian Blowout — unless they actually invent a credible formaldehyde-free version. I think having it done once would not cause health issues but multiple exposure can definitely be harmful.

But I am positively-head-over-heels-in-love with the my hair so I am already in search of similar but safer alternatives. So far, I am considering Great Cuts’ Permanent Blowdry or Piandre’s Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy. In the meantime, since I had already endured formaldehyde evaporation, I intend to try and keep my fabulous hair as long as possible. Thus, the search for keratin maintenance begins…

Salon: Great Cuts Salon
Services Tried: Brazilian Blowout, Hair Colour, Haircut
Stylist: Jun Almencion
Cost: P6500 – Brazilian Blowout & Haircut; P1500 – Hair Colour
How long will it last: about 4 months
Total Pampering Time: 3 hours

3-0 Date Night

Only seeing each other on weekends, Nice and I decided not to share my birthday with anyone else but us. And of course, because our upstairs bathroom decided to ensure we couldn’t do anything else the whole day (to be written in a short while… or maybe not).

Nice made reservations at Cafe Ysabel, a quaint restaurant inside San Juan. He said that he had always wanted to try this place but has never had the chance to. When asked how he found out about the place, he explains that it was near where he worked for his first job. I then teased him if I was the girl he had first wanted to bring here.

As soon as Nice told me where we were going, I immediately googled the place. I was both impressed and happily surprised that 1) it’s the restaurant for Center of Asian Culinary Studies, 2) it was visited by No Reservations’ Anthony Bourdain, and 3) it’s housed in a 1927 ancestral home.  Definitely everything interesting!

The house was definitely beautiful. The outside of the house had a park feel to it — I especially loved the porch, the stairs and the Koi Pond. The interior was intricately designed with a lot of period pieces and murals lined all the walls and ceilings. The dim lighting helped create a very romantic ambiance inside the restaurant (which kinda made me sleepy).

They served complimentary focaccia bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Since I’m more of a bread than a rice person, this was an extremely welcomed treat. There were 2 pieces of bread, supposedly 1 for Nice and 1 for me — but I consumed mine and half of Nice’s portion.

Nice and I were trying to pretend to be healthy so we ordered Asparagus and Tagaytay Green Salad to start. We didn’t care too much for the salad as we found the asparagus a bit to heavy for salads and after the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, another oil based course was a bit too much.

For mains, we ordered the Norwegian Salmon Steak and the Paella Sulipeña to share. My love of Paella has rubbed off to him (like most of everything I like!). The mains were both absolutely amazing! Perfectly cooked salmon and extremely tasty paella. Unfortunately, Nice and I ruined our appetites by eating nachos and burrito from a Greenhills stall. We ended up taking home 3/4 of the Paella (which didn’t go to waste, we had a lovely breakfast the next day!).

All my friends know that I’m a big desert fan. Now, I’m not sure if I just was too full from eating fast food mexican but I didn’t find any dessert that appetizing. But on a different day, I would have probably gorged on their Peter Pan Pie — chocolate ice cream, butterscotch and Belgian chocolate in a cookie crust.

Cafe Ysabel is no doubt one of Manila’s best restaurants and definitely fit for a date night. For some reason it didn’t fit my mood that night, the dim light ambiance made me a bit sleepy and the ancestral feel to the house made me feel stiff like I was transported to strict grandmom’s house where you were told not to be playful lest you break anything. LOL.

That wouldn’t stop me from going back though and next time, I wouldn’t eat cheap fast food before going.

Restaurant: Cafe Ysabel
Where: 455 P. Guevarra Street, San Juan Metro Manil
Food Tried: Asparagus and Tagaytay Green Salad, Norwegian Salmon Steak, Paella Sulipeña
Cost: About P1400
Recommended: Definitely!

New Soul by Yael Naim

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take.
But since I came here,
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake


I’m a young soul
In this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout what is true and fake
But why all this hate?
Try to communicate
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make


This is a happy end
‘Cause you don’t understand
Everything you have done
Why’s everything so wrong?
This is a happy end
Come and give me your hand
I’ll take you far away

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take.
But since I came here,
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

I’m a new soul… (la, la, la, la,…)
In this very strange world…
Every possible mistake
Possible mistake
Every possible mistake
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes…
Take take take take take… take a mistake
Take, take a mistake
Take, take a mistake
(oh oh oh oh…)