Get Whipped! 

No, this is not a kinky post, far from it, in fact. This is about a new place I discovered and a new hair removal alternative for all the ladies out there.

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Teasers from Our Prenup Shoot with Ian Santillan 

I’m feeling really excited about the photos from our prenup shoot with Ian Santillan. We shot in the ballet studio I spent most of my weeknights in, Ecole de Ballet Manille, and in PNR (Philippine National Railways). We haven’t seen the rest of the pictures and we won’t see them until our wedding day but here’s a compilation of the teasers Ian has released over the past few weeks.

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Pilates 101

My first encounter with Pilates was when I was about 15. I was undergoing a summer intensive program with my then ballet school, Ecole de Ballet, Manille. I recall it to be one of my best summers ever. We had class everyday from nine o’clock in the morning to twelve noon or even one o’clock in the afternoon. Each day of the week we trained with a different mentor aimed at helping us hone different skills and techniques for dance.

One of the mentors we worked with was Victor Ursabia. At the end of our first class, he taught us some core exercises that were very strange and new to us. The exercises were very different from the usual crunches and leg races we were accustomed to but they surely hit the sweet spot – the stomach muscles. He explained that these were Pilates exercises that he adapted for dancers.

After that, I had no encounter or exposure to Pilates. Though I would hear about it from a friend or two, and it was something I did want to try sometime, I never came to a firm decision to actually take a class.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I found myself myself in a nearby Pilates studio called Pilates Manila. My parents decided to enroll because they were told Pilates could help solve or alleviate some aches and pains they had been complaining about. As to how exactly this is possible, I have yet to find out. I eagerly joined them to get to know more about the exercises and how these could further enhance my body strength and range of movement.

After completing just my third class this week, I came out of it challenged and more engrossed in this new form of exercise. Based on the first set of movements I learned, I would describe Pilates as a set of strengthening and stretching exercises that focus on awareness and dynamics of the mind and body. What makes Pilates interesting to me is the needed  consciousness of mind to be able to deliberately activate the right muscles to perform a certain set of movements. The most crucial set of muscles in all the movements is none other than the core. I discovered that if I didn’t deliberately activate the right muscles, most especially my core, I could not perform the movement well and had much difficulty OR I’d end up straining myself. It’s as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

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Must-Have: One-Step Shampoo and Conditioner (All-natural too!) 

I live a busy life with each day filled up to the brim. There are so many things I want to do but there’s never enough time! I do my best to make time for things at the top of my list and squeeze in whatever else I can manage. Yet, even with my best time management skills at work, some activities are well,… compromised.

Truth be told, my hair is usually the victim of my lack of time. I don’t put a lot of effort into my daily hair regimen. I’m a wash-and-wear kind of girl and my hair makes it through the day in a ponytail if it’s really not at its best. There are times when I skip conditioner (yes, I know this is a beauty sin!) to lessen my total prep time by about 5 minutes. If my hair said it hates me, I would completely understand.

Luckily,  I found a solution to this unfair treatment towards my reddish brown locks. My sister-in-law let me try Epoch’s Ava Puhi Moni  Shampoo and Light Conditioner and to this day,  it’s been,  by far,  the best thing for me and my hair!

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Pasta Firsts

My fiancé likes to cook and well, I don’t have any sort of relationship with the kitchen. I knew I had to learn or figure out basic meals soon because our future and survival would depend on it (haha!). So, to expedite my learning process, he took the opportunity to teach me some pasta dishes these past two weekends.

I must admit I was reluctant to cook but when we started, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. My fiancé’s siblings joined us making it a team effort and turning it into a fun activity. We put on some 90’s music and cooked away!

I think my trauma for cooking stemmed from two events when I was in grade school. There was a time  I cut myself while chopping followed by a really unforgettable encounter with raw, uncleaned fish. I only got over these two memorable instances because the last two family cooking weekends have masked the past. I think I’m more open to learning more recipes now and I can start building a new relationship with the kitchen and cooking.

For those wondering what we cooked, or what I learned to cook, we did two kinds of pasta dishes: truffle cream mushroom pasta and pesto shrimp pasta. Let me share with you my fiancé’s invented dishes. I say ‘invented’ because he cooks without exact measurements and just adjusts ingredients based on his judgment of taste.

Here’s a picture of our first dish, the truffle cream mushroom pasta. It’s basically aldente pasta mixed  into rich, creamy sauce with truffle oil, two kinds of mushroom, and a few cubes of mozzarella to give the sauce some stretch.

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Coffee Conversations

My love for coffee began in college. It kept me sane and alert especially on days wherein I hardly slept the night before. I’d look forward to that jolt after my morning’s first sip. It makes facing the daily grind a little more tolerable and it turns the dazed beginning of a new day into a pleasant unraveling of possibilities.

My fiancé introduced me to coffee alongside dessert. Instead of being a daily catalyst, this experience transformed coffee into a concluding rite to every meal. I learned to love the battling duet of sweet indulgence and bitter satisfaction.

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