A Vacuum For Good Vibes

25 Sep

I had an interesting day yesterday. Deadlines at work were chaotic, the materials I needed were missing, and shortlists for two award shows were released. My entries didn’t make it. Bam. Sledgehammer to my chest.

For the first time, in a really long time, I felt frustrated. Unlucky. Mad at myself. But mostly, frustrated.

I needed to clear my mind. I needed to step out of the office. I was asking the universe if I was really, truly, madly, deeply going anywhere. But the universe would never answer. I will be left to fend for myself, to lick my wounds, as usual.

I was wrong.

When the elevator door opened, there it was, the answer I needed: a Nilfisk Alto Vacuum Cleaner. Enlightenment from a vacuum, what the hell right? But before you take me for a complete retard, let me explain myself.


Image courtesy of the Google Gods. May not be the exact model in our office building but you get the picture.

Image courtesy of the Google Gods. May not be the exact model in our office building but you get the picture.

When I was an intern in a web-outsourcing firm, years ago, I was assigned to the Nilfisk Alto account.

We were revamping their website and I was tasked to change the logo on each of their product shots. They updated their logo and I guess it was cheaper to ‘shop their new logo onto the photos versus having to reshoot all of it. Plus I was an intern, so labor was free. 

I had to edit thousands of photos with different layouts and perspectives. From their vacuum cleaners, to their pressure washers, to their floor sweepers, I edited them all. There was a man cleaning a warehouse, a woman cleaning a mall, a floor sweeper in front of a scenic mountain background — a Nilfisk machine for all occasions.

I could code. I could design. I could make websites. I could make games. But no, I was digitally sticking logos on vacuum cleaners. It felt horrible. It felt like I was never going anywhere.


Push lang.

Don’t stop.

The frustration I had yesterday tasted familiar but was altogether different. Like a two-week old pizza you left to ferment in the fridge. When I saw that vacuum cleaner however, the frustration was sucked out of me. It took away the fear. It was a gentle reminder that no matter how frustrated I am, I am no longer editing vacuum cleaner photos.

Goodbye bad juju.

I am in a better place today than I was then. I am going somewhere. I’ve just got to suck it up and keep pushing harder.

I am no longer a drone. I create. I ideate.

I may not be in this year’s shortlist, but at least I’ve come up with work that was good enough to become an entry. Work that stood a chance. I didn’t get in this year but I will, someday. I may even win it.

So thank you, Nilfisk. Thank you, universe. Thank you Lord. I am once again humbled. And I truly am a fan of your wicked sense of humor.


Love, Poppet.

13 Aug

Growing up with a strict specification for family was tough. There was always the dad, the mom, the grandparents, and the kids. My family didn’t follow the natural order and it felt like I got the short end of the stick. I was too young and too smart for my own good. I grew detached, disconnected.

Soon, I became the outsider looking in. Family dinners and reunions were a blur. And no amount of toys or chocolates could satiate my hunger for escape. There were so many ‘whys’ in my head, too many ‘whys’ for a child.

I was 4; four and desperate for a rainbow; four and searching for pixie dust. I calculated the number of milk cans I needed to bring if I took my infant brother with me. And every night, I would hope and pray for Rainbow Brite or Peter Pan.

They never came.

I figured that both Rainbow Land and Neverland didn’t exist, and it was time for Plan B.

The easiest solution: grow up.

I grew up fast. I grew up angry. And I was dying to turn 7.

Seven, based on my research – before Google was available – was the age when you could pick where you would stay. My mind was set on my grandfather. I would request to be under his custody and I would take my little brother with me. I was formulating the arguments I would make, wondering if they would let a 7-year old make an appeal in court. Whatever it took, I was going to break free of the Frankenstein family tree I was in.

Before I could put my plans into action, I met this old, Scottish lady with sparkling blue eyes. She loved to dance with her vacuum and on occasion, would fish dentures out of her champagne. She too, had a family that was almost as absurd as mine – zoo animals and all.

With tatas on fire, she showed me that I didn’t get the short end of the stick, that I wasn’t alone. She explained that there were all sorts of different families; no one size fits all.

My seven-year old mind was blown. Run over. Flattened by a truck like a latex mask on cold concrete.

I was balling like a child with the emotional baggage of a thrice-divorced, 60-year old. It was like someone threw an orange at me, tree included. My mind was as messy as her apartment and yet, with her magic, my Plan B became mere scribbles on a chalkboard. My anger melted like a snow cone in Phoenix. With puffy eyes, for the first time, in a long time, I felt like a child; that I had every right to feel the way that I did. And that it wasn’t my fault.

Thank you, Mrs. Doubtfire. Thank you for showing me that as long as there’s love – and restaurants with delivery service – I will always have a family.

And yes, I did turn out all right.


#RIPRobinWilliams. You are awesome.

Funny Mrs Doubtfire memes on Buzzfeed.

Recycling: Old Bottles and Room Perfumes

29 Jun

Wow. I haven’t updated in forever. Hopefully, this is the start of me updating regularly (fingers crossed).


I’m such hoarder. I hate throwing things away cause I know I can recycle them. But if you’re a busy busy bee like me, recycling projects don’t always happen on schedule.

And soon, I realized that I was starting to ‘collect’ a bunch of pretty perfume bottles (Eclat bottles to be precise, I can’t seem to part with this scent). Image

It’s such a pretty bottle, so there’s got to be something I could do with it, right?

I also noticed that I’ve got a few room perfumes lying around. Christmas gifts that I never opened cause I don’t want to use them yet. They come in these large bottles and I don’t want to open them. I think it’s my Filipino ‘tingi’ mentality wherein I just want to use a bit of it but not the whole lot. 


So I figured, I’d recycle my old perfume bottles and turn them into containers for my room perfumes. Should be easy enough… right?🙂

First thing I did was soak the perfume bottles in a tub of hot water for 20mins. It helps soften whatever glue it is that keeps the spritzer in place. Next, I grabbed a few tools from my craft kit for prying the spritzer off. I used pliers and a cutter but pliers and a sharp pair of scissors should do the trick too. 


After the soak, I started prying the spritzer off. The top spray nozzle comes off pretty fast, no pliers needed. 


I then started yanking the plastic cap that covered the neck of the bottle with my flat head pliers. It took a few twists, so don’t give up.🙂


It should look like this:


Next, with my cutters, I started nipping away the soft metal case around the bottle’s neck. This part basically holds the entire spritzer in place. It’s most challenging part.


But it does come off. Yay!



When you’re doing this, don’t forget to have a piece of paper or newspaper around to catch all the metal bits to make cleaning up easier. 


After you’ve pried the spritzer off, wash your perfume bottles (to remove any of the old perfume) and leave them out to dry. 


Once the bottles are dry, you can add a bit of twine and beads to the neck of the bottles to make them pretty. I just wanted an excuse to be artsy-fartsy.


When you’re happy with the way they look, you can add the room perfume and scent sticks.🙂



See, recycling can be fun. It’s makes for a pretty little project and it makes the house smell great! 

Plus, I didn’t have to use all of my room perfume stash.


Got an artsy recycling project you want to share with me? Leave a comment.

Happy weekend everyone!


RECIPE: Cream Dory (with oats) and Lemon Butter Sauce

25 Aug

I’ve never done this (post my recipes) before so please bear with me :) This was an experimental recipe that turned out pretty good!

I’m not a big fan of just rolling meat/fish/chicken in ‘normal’ bread crumbs cause it feels too fast food for me, so I added oats. Plus, I like recipes that don’t require me to go out and buy more stuff, I like cooking with whatever’s in the kitchen.


– 1 pack of Skyflakes, crushed (yup, just the individual pack that has 3 biscuits)

– 4 tablespoons of white flour

– 4 tablespoons of rolled oats

– 2 tablespoons of semolina flour (or you can just add two more tbsps of white flour if you don’t have this. i add this for more texture XD)

– salt

– black pepper

– cayenne pepper (optional)

– 2 medium sized eggs

– 2 cream dory fillets (cut to 6 serving pieces)

– 1 cup of vegetable oil.

Crush the Skyflakes.

Mix the Skyflakes, flour  and oats in a bowl or plate. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.

Cut the dory fillets into 6 pieces (or whatever size makes you happy). Sprinkle a pinch of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper (optional) on your fish. Just do this for one side, or you’ll end up with really salty fish.

Beat the two eggs in a separate bowl.

Dip the fish into the egg wash, then into your breading. Let it rest for about one minute so that the breading settles nicely on the fish, and it doesn’t fall apart.

Fry for about 2minutes on each side or until golden brown.


– 1 lemon

– 1/4 cup of fresh milk or evaporated milk

–  4 tablespoons of heavy cream ( usually other people like using mayonnaise but I’m not a big fan of mayo)

– 6 tablespoons of melted butter

– pinch of salt (if you used unsalted butter)

Whisk all the ingredients in a saucepan (no heat). After mixing, simmer the mixture for 3-4minutes on low heat.

Pour over fish.

Serve with fries or rice.

Sorry, I was too busy cooking I forgot to take pictures of the steps.😦


26 Jul

As I’ve said in an earlier post, the very first red lipstick I wore in public (of my own accord) belonged to my mom. I can’t remember what shade that was or what brand but no matter how embarrassing it first started out, that little tube of rouge sparked a love affair that will last a lifetime.

Since then, I’ve been hunting for the perfect shade. The “red” that I can call mine. It was a bit of a pain cause the mall clerks used to be so rude, maybe cause I’m morena, and they thought only certain colors suited me. They would shove a certain shade at me even if I wanted to try something else. I kept searching and never gave up. Finally, just a few years ago, I found the perfect “red” for me.

It’s from MAC Cosmetics and it’s their Russian Red (Matte) shade. I love it to bits. The color lasts about six hours if I don’t eat or drink, but since I drink and yap a lot, it lasts about three to four hours. I put it on in the morning and retouch a bit after lunch. It’s definitely striking but not Looney Tunes red, and has a matte finish, which makes it wearable during the day.

It’s a bright bluish red which I adore cause it makes my teeth stand out. And I love my teeth, but I’ll talk about that in a different post. My teeth look toothpaste commercial worthy whenever I put it on.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The coverage is great and with the minimal swipes needed (if I wear it every single day), the whole tube should last me around five months. For about P1,000/tube, that’s not bad at all.

Every woman should discover her favorite lipstick shade. It’s just one of those things that makes you feel prettier, like a good pair of heels. Go on, go lipstick hunting, you won’t regret it.🙂 Happy hunting!


I purchase my MAC Cosmetics at the Mac Cosmetics store in Rustan’s Makati.
They also have stores in Rustan’s Power Plant Mall and Rustan’s Edsa. 

Growing up brown

19 Jul

I’m reviving this blog because I’m fed up.

I live in a country where white skin is beautiful and brown is ugly. Where flawless white starlets reign the boob tube, the catwalk and the billboards, while their morena counterparts are left with tidbit exposure. Where only a handful of beautiful olive-skinned ladies get the attention, while the darker skinned beauties barely see the spotlight. Where little girls, tweens, with beautiful chocolate skin are hoping to become vanilla. It saddens me that no matter how often some people try to reverse this foul tasting concept, white is king in our country.

So, I’ve decided to add my voice.

I’m morena and damn proud of it. But I still have friends who, at our age, aren’t proud of their morena complexion. They always try different whitening products, from lotions to pills to skin treatments, and I always find myself asking them to stop. I wasn’t always like this. Growing up, I too, fell victim to the taunts of society and the dictates of the media. I was just lucky enough to have a mom who, no matter how freakishly white she was, adored brown. There are three things she told me about beauty, three lessons that I would forever carry in my heart. Hopefully they’ll tug a heartstring or two.

1. Don’t believe people when they say colors don’t suit you. You have the skin color of earth, of soil. Maybe if they come up with a color that didn’t originally exist on Earth, then maybe that’s when we’ll find a color that doesn’t suit you.

She told me this after I came running to her, crying, when I was seven years old. I had playmates who were mean and told me that I look stupid in yellow. They said I was maitim (dark) so I didn’t have the right to wear such colors.

2. Beauty is not about the color of your skin. You just have to be comfortable with yourself, every feature, every flaw. Try imagining yourself whiter, do you still look pretty? Yes? See. How about darker? Yes? See. Embrace your natural complexion. Don’t you dare turn Michael Jackson on me.

She told me this when I was 8 and we were in the grocery. I was begging, pleading, got down on my knees crying, asking her to buy me a bottle of whitening lotion. Yes, I was throwing a tantrum in the grocery. Only because I found out my crush liked the fair skinned girl in our class.

3. To hell with what the world thinks. If you want to wear red lipstick, wear red lipstick. Be proud of your decisions.

I think the lesson there was ‘to hell with what the world thinks’ or ‘be proud of your decisions’. But what stuck first was ‘if you want to wear red lipstick, wear red lipstick.’ I was 14 years old, and I only ever used lip balm and lip gloss. Colorless ones at that. I borrowed her red lipstick and wore it when we went to church (to church of all places) but when we got to the parking lot, I found myself chickening out and pleading if I could just stay in the car. She hauled me into church and decided to sit in the front row.

Fast forward to a few years, and I’ve become a proud morena who is just so damn tired of the onslaught of ‘white is beautiful’. I don’t want to see my unborn children thinking like the rest of the rotten lot. I want my daughter(s) to feel beautiful inside and out, no matter what shade their skin might be. I want them to know that beauty is not dictated by your color or the colors you’re wearing, its about being comfortable in your own skin and wearing your decisions proud. I want them to be strong enough to throw a middle finger at the world when it tells them to use a whitening product.

I want to be like my mom.

Brown is gorgeous. And someone’s got to help morenas feel pretty too. If I could make even just one person feel beautiful and for a second forget the dictates of society via this blog, I’d be happy.

I know I’m beautiful. I feel beautiful.
You should too.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,786 other followers