Tag Archives: Chanel


28 Aug


This has been one of the toughest weeks in the hospital with my son. As you know from my last blog, my 16 year old suffered a stroke on August 2nd. Since then he went from the ICU to a step down unit, to in patient rehab. He has made TONS of progress in terms of speech and his right side gaining movement, but all of this progress was leading up to 2 procedures to ‘fix’ the AVM in his brain; one to stop the blood flow in that area, followed by brain surgery to fix the actual malformation. What went from deepest sorrow, to joy from getting better, returned to grief and fear this past week for these next two steps. Everyday since last Friday, grief, fear, and joy lived simultaneously in his hospital room. During the day we would experience the joy of something gaining motion but at night, the fear of the upcoming procedures and what changes may happen would steal the joy. Then there were the questions amidst tears in the quiet before bed each night; Why did this happen to me? Why can’t I just be a normal teen? Why me? I didn’t know this momma’s heart could break even more, but watching your child in pain and struggling with these unanswerable questions broke the remainder of what I had left.

How do you answer these questions when you don’t have the answers? How do you remain courageous when you yourself have fear? All I could do was hug him, cry with him and tell him that it was ok to cry, be afraid, and ask questions but in the morning he needed to fight back and to push forward. I told him to ask God to strengthen and sustain him and to give him peace. For a kid (and even for an adult), that sounds so generic and blasé’, but it’s what I have to hang on to so I’m going to hang on to it. I also told him when he’s older, he can tell his kids and grandkids about the scar on his head and how he overcame the biggest challenge of his life when he was just a kid. Ann Voskamp speaks of grief and loss as a type of empty or negative space in our hearts which gives our lives definition; its constant presence in our thoughts and actions. She then says that God uses this space to give us permission to pause, help us reevaluate and draw our attention to what is positive-God Himself and the hope we have.

I am exhausted, mentally and physically. On top of this, we had 3 kids recently go off to college and another is starting her senior year of high school. Life moves forward. I thought that a Stage 4 diagnosis would do me in, but watching and caring for your child through such a major health crisis goes beyond human capability. I understand the being strong and fighting part when it comes to me and my fight, but for my child? It’s the next level. Children believe you when they see in your eyes that you believe, and it has taken every inch of my being, with HEAVY reliance on my faith to be strong and courageous for both of us. Love gives courage. We talk about life in seasons, ‘this is just a good or bad season,’ etc, but I heard Shauna Niequist on a podcast and she referred to life as more of a railroad track, the good and bad happen simultaneously side by side. I agree because I’ve seen it every day we’ve been here and even through my own cancer journey. In this hell, there has been light. On the worst of days, there have been glimmers of hope. There may have been tears but there has been laughter as well; always good and bad side by side.

The love we have experienced from friends, family, nurses, even strangers have meant so much and has lifted us up. I cannot thank you all enough for all the cards, texts, gifts, and prayers. As a Christian, I have always known the story of God and Jesus but now I understand even more the incredible sacrifice; a Father watching his son suffer real human suffering to give us all hope. That is love. Love gives courage.

Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you…I will uphold you.’~Isaiah 41:10



Happily Ever After

5 Oct

ut mts

Happily Ever After. That statement means alot of things to different people. Disney and Hollywood have made it a phrase to mean you’ve found your Prince Charming… the end. For some this may be true but I’m guessing for most it’s not. Maybe for some it means they’ve made it in their career, or maybe finally discovered what they’re meant to do or where they’re meant to be, and maybe for others it means getting the report that you’re cancer free. Like I said, could mean many different things, but the phrase itself puts a little pressure on people don’t you think? Is that what we’re all striving for? The happily ever after?

I’m not saying that it’s not good to have happiness as a goal, but life is constantly full of challenges and adversity. Most of the time I’m not whistling while I work and birds are not braiding my hair every morning (unfortunately); but here’s the great thing, there’s always an end. The challenges we face day to day, year to year always have an ending, not always the ending that you want but they do end at some point hopefully leaving us with nuggets of wisdom and a little stronger along the way. Our history and experiences shapes us into who we are, and what’s beautiful is that when there’s an end, there’s also a beginning. So maybe Disney got it all wrong. Happily Ever After shouldn’t be at the end, maybe it should be at the beginning because with each new day we get a fresh start or at least a fresh perspective based on where we’ve been and the decisions that we’ve made, good or bad.

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.~ Arnold Bennett

Today’s lipstick is Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy (which is a pale pink color) with MAC Lustreglass lipgloss in Love Nectar (which is a shimmery peachy-pink) on top. I chose the two together because they are similar shades, both easy to wear but the gloss adds a little bit of pop. The names also remind me of the fairytales of Disney…Boy(s) and Love. Cheers!

About A Boy

25 Aug

My son just turned 17 and is heading into his junior year of high school. We were talking the other day about what the year has in store for him: ACT/SAT testing, checking out colleges, sports, and of course more immediate on his mind, The Homecoming Dance. He was talking about what he’d like to wear and whose house he was taking the ‘bus’ from, and when I asked him about a date he said ‘what?’. Ah yes, one of those dreaded ‘date’ dances where girls wait patiently for boys to ask them. If you recall, I was not exactly the girl anyone would ask to dances when I was younger (a little geeky, alot shy); I always hoped and waited, but didn’t actually get asked until my senior year, oh well, I’m over it. It’s alot different these days and I think it’s better, less pressure. Now, a bunch of people get dressed up, meet at a house, take pictures, and get on a ‘bus’ and go together…boys, girls, mostly all friends with very few actual ‘couples.’ Anyhow, he ended up telling me that a girl (who has liked him a long time) asked to match him…what? He said this girl asked him what colors he was wearing because she wanted to match him and get pictures taken with him (like they’re a couple), then, he wouldn’t have to talk to her if he didn’t want to for the rest of the night. WHAT? First I thought she was pretty bold for asking, then I thought, why would she want to do that? Settle for the crumbs? Just want a pic then you don’t have to talk to me?2014-04-09 23.52.39-1

Dear daughter/sister/mom/girlfriend, you are special. Someone will love you exactly the way God made you. No need to beg, cry, change yourself, pretend to like things you don’t; no need to settle for the crumbs or less than the respect and love you deserve. As women, we serve naturally; we are nurturers, caregivers and sometimes we feel lost without someone taking care of us. We are strong. When what you love, what you do, and who you are, are not enough, then move on because truly… they are the ones not enough for you. Love yourself and rest in the knowledge that the One who created you loves you more then you can comprehend.You are beautiful.

Today I wear Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Boy which is one of their all time best selling colors. This is actually my favorite formula in the Chanel lipsticks because they are hydrating and have just enough color. This is a very easy color to wear everyday; a pale pinky-brown…very neutral but not too nude if you know what I mean. I chose it partly because I love it and partly because of the name Boy. Is it always about a boy? Cheers!


31 Jul

fall clouds

Boy, I’m really slacking on writing this blog, sorry. Tomorrow is August 1 and the summer is breezing by like a tornado. Since coming back from our long vacation, life has been a bit challenging, still healthy thank goodness, but lots going on. One of the current changes is, I once again have a new job! I know, it seems like my job turns over more times than Taylor Swift’s boyfriends, but my industry is shrinking and in constant flux so I am just hanging on until the end. My last company was starting to feel the pinch and since I’ve heard the down-size and lay off language before, I knew to start looking. Fortunately at the same time a manager from one of my previous companies contacted me with an opening and it was actually for a job back in the space I love. God’s timing is awesome. Anyhow, back in transition and testing and stress, but worth it.

Change can be scary but often times it is necessary. Next year for the first time, all my kids will be in different schools; one in high school, one in middle school, and one still in elementary…wow, that should be fun. As they get older all I can do is pray that they make good decisions, follow their dreams, and not lose their voice in the crowd. I look back and can honestly say, because I was kinda geeky and quiet, a total introvert and a people pleaser on top of that, sometimes I lost my voice (figuratively). I tried so hard to fit in that I agreed with things and did things hoping it would make me more liked or more popular. My opinion or feelings about something didn’t matter as long as others thought I was right there with them. It is so easy to lose your voice when you are counting on others to like you. Guess what? There will always be people that don’t like you, don’t agree with you, and don’t really care, however hard you try. This is a message I try to tell my kids during this great time of peer pressure. But it doesn’t stop after high school, or college does it? We do it as adults too eventually losing ourselves to try to please others. Cancer has taught me that life is short and losing my voice (literally) has made me want to step out of my shell and use it more! It’s easy to get caught up in getting validation from other people, but your voice is already beautiful. Don’t lose it along the way.

Today I wear Chanel Glossimer lipgloss in Giggle. These glosses are so easy to wear, and this one’s a pinky brown color; I own a few different ones. They all add just a hint of color.They are not thick and don’t feel sticky. I chose Giggle because I love to laugh, something that I need more of right now. It’ll come…Cheers!

Results Are In

26 Mar


Well, the results are in! Remember the three scenarios I mentioned in my last blog? It was none of the above. No, no, a definitive answer would be too easy considering my cancer path. My doctor called and the good news is that my neck looks good! Nothing showing up on the PET scan in terms of ‘leftover’ cancer or new and obvious growth, so the number on my blood work results must have been a fluke or a variable they didn’t know about from the new test. It was great news for me because the treatment for anything new in my neck would be extremely risky. Ahh, but the news doesn’t stop there…he continued to say that there was something else. He asked if I was recently in an accident, or if I cut myself shaving, or if I was sick recently…no, no, no,….why? ‘Well, there’s some inflammation of some lymph nodes under your arm.’ ‘So what?’ ‘ He says, well, that’s typical of breast cancer, I want you to get a mammogram.’ ‘I have thyroid cancer cells in my breast?’ ‘No, this would be totally unrelated.’ ‘Hmmm, ok.’

So a mammogram is next and my journey moves forward. How do I feel? Nuts. It’s almost laughable. I cried a little because I just want this over with, but hey, it’s life and I’m still living, making the most of every day now more than ever.

Today I wear Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Rebelle. These lipsticks are super moisturizing because they are like a lipstick/gloss hybrid. I chose Rebelle because it is the perfect pop of sheer red and ‘Rebel’ is in the name…I’m fighting back! Cheers!


1 Nov

Patriotism-Love of country.

In 1972, my parents moved to the United States from the Philippines. This was a HUGE decision for them considering they had only been married about 5 years, they had a three year old(me), and they were leaving all of their family and friends, not to mention most of their belongings.  Why the risk? For a better life for them and a better future for their kids.  With no jobs and a child, they moved into a small apartment in Detroit with the little money they had to start with. They tell me we only started with a mattress and some blankets. Both college educated, my dad found a job as an accountant with a hospital and my mom who had a degree in nutrition got a job as a social worker for the state. We were on our way. Fast forward 40 years to today.  Both of my parents are retired, I have graduated college and have a great family and career, and my brother is a professional actor in New York City. Was it a better life for my parents? I’m not sure, you’d have to ask them. Was it a great life for my brother and myself? Absolutely. We were given and still have all the opportunities in America to succeed and I am so thankful to be here.

One of the greatest traits of America is freedom. We are free to express our faith and our own opinions and I pray that never changes. Today I voted for our future president along with other political positions and different proposals that would change things in our community. I will be out of town next week so I was able to do an absentee ballot. As I made my selections I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed that my voice makes a difference, another freedom. I have been back to the Philippines twice, do I love it? Of course, it’s where I came from; but do I love America? Absolutely, land of the free, home of the brave. God Bless America.

Today I wear Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in Inimitable (which means unique). Chanel is famous for red lipsticks. If you can’t find a red for you at their counter, there may not be a red you’re satisfied with. The Rouge Allure formulation is a full color lipstick that I love and I chose this color because it’s a red that works for me. Today it’s red representing the RED, WHITE, and BLUE!!

Learning to Love My Lips

4 Apr

Photo Courtesy of PR Watch

When I was young, I was teased about my big lips (among other things). The last thing I ever wanted to do was to focus on them. I NEVER wore lipstick. In fact, I always had a funny smirk on my face thinking that ‘look’ made my lips thinner. So why did I write a book about lipstick and cancer only to draw more attention to my lips? As I grew older, a couple beautiful things happened.  First, my face finally grew into my lips (my lips are the same size now as they were when I was four), and second, Angelina Jolie became a megastar with her huge lips. All of a sudden, everyone wanted big lips and I finally wanted to show them off.

I have been searching for the perfect shade since college. I think I found mine, but I keep departing from it thinking there must be one better. When I was diagnosed with cancer, my purchases increased and my color choices went wild. I buy lipstick with every change of emotion or weather and with cancer I was an emotional hotbed!  Another hobby of mine is journaling. I have kept a journal since I was eight years old. Writing a book combining my two emotional outlets (lipstick and journaling) along with my faith was an incredible channel for me and I am hoping that it is encouragement for others.

I had a couple more job interviews this week which is, of course, an emotional rollercoaster (CoverGirl Natureluxe lipsticks in Hibiscus and Cabernet)—drugstore, since I’m jobless.  But the best news came with my recent ultrasound…I am CLEAN!  I have been officially cancer free for one year!  I splurged, the new spring colors are out so I purchased Chanel Rose Dentelle along with a gorgeous Chanel gloss called Insolence (a sheer hot pink). Those that have read the book now ask what color they should be wearing, I say whatever makes you feel good. Now, people are constantly looking at my lips to see what color I’m wearing. Believe it or not, I still get freaked out because I still think my lips enter a room before I do, but I know they’re beautiful, just like life is beautiful!

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