Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Favorite Things

Like Oprah. I have many favorite things. Unlike Oprah, I don't have the capacity to give them away.

First in my list are blings and accessories. I love looking at, more than wearing them- neckpieces, bracelets, rings and earrings. I love shoes with blings- faux diamonds, ribbons, anything that glitters. This has its roots in my days as a young girl. We had a neighbor- a laundrywoman who had so many things in her baul. I distinctly remember that tiara-like headband made of

non-precious metal with rhinestones that really look like diamonds. When we go to her house, she would fit the headband in our heads and my playmates and I giggle when we look at ourselves in the mirror. She had no daughter to wear it and she did not wear it at all but she kept it as if it were a royal jewelry. Since then, I developed the habit of keeping anything like that in a box and looking at it whenever I feel the urge to hold and tinker with it. Today, I have several of those boxes where I keep such blings which I would like to hand over to my future granddaughters.

I also am very fond of sequined pieces of clothing, although like the blings, I seldom use them. The ukay-ukay phenomenon in the Philippines provided me with chances to find clothing with embelishment. Once, while walking inside a large ukay store somewhere with my BFF, I found a spaghetti-strapped top with sequins. It fitted me so well and what was so cool about it is that it cost me only fifty pesos. It goes very well with a pair of blue jeans and a jacket. However, I doubt if I can pull it off. I can't just go out and ask everyone I meet, "how do i look?".

When I received my retirement pay from St. Mary's in '99, the first thing I bought is a set of pearl earrings and ring. I just felt there's got to be something that should remind me of my most productive years- 1987 to 1999. I did not know it was to be the start of my love affair with pearls. Tim and I usually go to our 'suki' right in the heart of Manila where freshwater pearls are sold. I've bought many, many strands already. I thought of just keeping them but it felt so good giving them as gifts to very special people. In fact in our Christmas exchange gift with Batch 66 in 2008, I made two rosaries made of freshwater pearls and gave them out as gifts. The sight of pearl strands in the stores where we go to excites me. I've bought different types of pearl- rice, oval, baroque, small round, medium round, big round, peachy/orangy ones, pure white and lately, Tim bought a pair of gray ones which are too expensive it's difficult to wear for fear of losing them. Tim also found a twin pearl which we plan to turn into a pendant. I hope to have the real thing pretty soon- a pair of mikimoto pearls earring set in white gold with a matching bracelet. It's free to dream, anyway.

I also love make-up. I am amazed at the sight of a beautifully made-up lady. My 'kikay kit' can very well be owned by a performer. TJ gave me a big, big kit he got in one of his travels as a seaman. When I have some amount to spend, I buy some additional items. I found the Revlon mineral foundation very useful in hiding the imperfections in my face. I used to collect lipstick but they have expiration dates so I just stick to one shade that I like best. The YSL foundation and the Guerlain Rouge lipstick I won ( together with a Diesel fragrance) from Yes! magazine just this month are a welcome addition to my make-up collection. The Guerlain lipstick is awesome. I love, love it. ( Didn't know lipsticks can taste soooooooooo good, depending on the price).

I super love flowers. However, for practical reasons, I buy fresh ones for the home only when something special's going on. I like flower-designed tops, dresses and shirts. I found a ceramic sunflower wall decor just when our house was being built. I bought it and waited till I can display it. Today, it is the first thing everyone notice as they enter the house. I also like framed photos of flowers so I had some scattered around. Once, I found a picture of an Amorsolo painting of a lady surrounded by flowers. It was a full page picture in LifestyleAsia magazine. I carefully took it out and framed it. It now hangs by the main door of our house. I have this illusion that I am the lady in that painting.

I also like flower-designed curtains and beddings.
I have this fascination with beddings and although there are so many beautiful designs out there, I prefer them with flowers. I used to buy beddings regularly but realizing that I only need and have one bed to sleep in, I stopped doing it. A section of my closet is now full of beddings. The thing is, I just don't collect them. I use them. I don't wanna leave them inside their labeled packaging. Other wives reserve their best linen for house guests. I don't. I want to enjoy them while I can. I just have a couple of nice ones reserved for visitors. When I go to the mall, I always visit the linen section in Home World 'cause it is my playground, so to speak.

Fragrances are also one of my all-time favorites. I don't like leaving the house without spritzing a cologne or perfume. It's a good thing Poy buys me several bottles of perfume when he comes home. Sometimes, I feel guilty opening up a new bottle when there are a couple of bottles still half full. But I can't resist the urge. I love the trio of Florentyna by Marks & Spencer- lotion, eau de parfum and powder. Very me and they come in very pretty bottles.

Burberry London is also very friendly to my body chemistry. I smell so fresh when I put it on. I emptied a whole bottle in just a few months since I want to sleep wearing it always. Poy bought me Celine by Celine Dion and it is just as heavenly.

Past favorites are Intuition by Estee lauder, Allure by Chanel, YSL Baby Doll, After Five by Elizabeth Arden and Gucci Envy. I asked TJ to look for Malachite by Banana Republic but he didn't find one. My next target is the latest version of Beautiful, again by Estee Lauder.

Books and magazines also make my day. Among local titles, I love LifestyleAsia and Yes! For international editions, I go for Oprah and Instyle Magazine. If money were no object, I would have built a library for myself, but as things were, I buy books only when I have something to spend for them, Right now, I am juggling between Living History by Hillary Clinton and My Life by her husband, Bill. I love biographies and autobiographies. I started out with one on Princess Grace and it felt like I am an insider. So I crave for more of this kind. I love inside stories.

I am also into inspirational books. Tim gifted me with A Woman and Her God last Christmas and I found it more to my liking than the half-read The Purpose-Driven Life in my book shelf. A dear friend gave me a hard-bound copy of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, but truth to tell, I haven't gone past the first page at this writing. I sure will read it, only the past months have been very, very busy ones.

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