Book Review: Michelle Mone, My Fight to the Top

Last night before we went to sleep I suddenly remembered that it’s already April! I totally forgot that Michelle Mone, owner of Ultimo, released her book last March 15.

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If you’re totally lost and don’t know what’s the fuss about with Michelle Mone, I don’t blame you. She’s not sikat kasi here in the Philippines and I’ve just heard about her in the UK News.

So who is Michelle Mone?

She is the inventor-owner of Ultimo Lingerie based in the Scotland. I first heard about her at Daily Mail. There was news there that she just had a photo shoot modelling her own lingerie. She just lost weight and was feeling proud of herself so she decided who can better be the model of her own brand but herself?

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I thought to myself, “Wow, this woman has so much guts to do this. ” From then on I was hooked, I had to know more about her.

Here is the summary of Michelle Mone’s book:

  • She is the only child of working class parents from the lower income part of Scotland. She had loving parents but had a tough upbringing because they were always struggling with money. It didn’t help that his dad lost his ability to walk when she was a teen.
  • At 13, she got a newspaper route but she showed her business skills early on by hiring kids teens that were much older than her to deliver the papers. Soon she was managing the newspaper route in her East end area and giving salary to 17 year old kids. Some mean kids tried to scare her away but she stood her ground.
  • At 15, she signed up for Avon by forging her mother’s signature. She began selling avon products in her neighborhood and soon was the top seller in the area. Avon didn’t know that she was still underage that time.
  • She then worked for a beer company selling beers and immediately outsold her co-workers even though she was a female. She made a deal with the pub owners that if they ordered this much of beer she will give them a free fridge.
  • She married Michael Mone and they had their first daughter. She was made redundant because the beer company was acquired by a bigger company. She took severance pay and wondered what she would do with it. She knew she wanted to have a business but don’t know what.
  • Her lightbulb moment came one time when they were out for dinner. She was wearing a cleavage enhancing bra and the wire was so uncomfortable it stuck her skin. And just like that she knew what she was going to do with her redundancy money. She was going to design her own push up bra! She had no prior experience, no qualifications in designing anything. No wonder her husband and family thought she was nuts!
  • While vacationing in the US she came upon these wonderful silicon gels you can put in your bra and it would up your bra size. that. She wanted to know who the supplier so she can sell it in Europe. So what did she do? She called every store selling lingerie asking for the supplier. Of course nobody gave it to her. But she persisted, she must have called all the stores twice. It was months later after she came upon a store clerk who finally gave her the company in Miami manufacturing the silicon gels.
  • She flew to Miami to talk to the manufacturer. She tried to persuade him sell her the distributorship to the UK but she wanted him to give it to her for free. She had no money to buy the distributorship. Of course the guy said no. Finally before leaving she pleaded one last time saying he doesn’t have business in Europe anyway and if he gives it to her she will make sure he’ll earn lots of money. He finally said yes.
  • When her first order of gel pads arrived and pitched it  to high end lingerie stores. She wrote her own press release and distributed it to various newspapers. Soon she was selling enough and her earnings were even more than her previous paycheck when she was employed.
  • Still she wanted to do her original vision of designing a bra and not just sell silicon pads. She can’t use the current silicon pads because these are solid. She needed silicon liquid so she can stuff it inside the bra. She asked her manufacturer for the chemist who invented this and this time it was readily given to her. She flew to Germany to work with the chemist. It took a year to get the gel right and when she finally got it she tried cutting up her old bras and sewing it inside. It was no use, it wasn’t polished enough.
  • She needed to get to the inside of lingerie business to know more so what did she do? She applied and got a job at Elle Lingerie as a  distributor. Once employed she asked for access to their lingerie factory and got it. Turned out the lingerie was made in Portugal by various small lingerie factories and she flew over there to learn more.
  • She got friendly with one lingerie factory, gave them the silicon pads and finally she had in her hands her first invention – her very own lingerie – Ultimo.
  • She quit her job at Elle and focused on selling the bra. She went to Selfridges, a department store, and asked for the name of the buyer for lingerie. It was information not given to her at first, she was told she must have an appointment. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and pleaded and pleaded. She brought her baby with her so the receptionist took pity on her and called the buyer. The buyer told her the same thing she needed an appointment and the products have to be discussed by the committee. She convinced her to try the bra on and when the buyer finally did she felt in love with the bra.
  • Selfridges asked for 6 months worth of stock but she has no money to manufacture that many bras. She racked her brain on where to get money and remembered she read a businessman from her country, Scotland, who just sold his company for 300 million pounds. She didnt know him but tracked him down and convinced him to invest 200,000 pounds in her company. Yes she was that gutsy, and persistent! She just wouldnt take no for an answer.
  • When her lingerie was about to launch at Selfridge she was down to her last 500 pounds. She needed to market the bra but what could she do with 500? She tried to be creative and hired models posing as surgeons. She let them hold a sign saying they are going to be bankrupt because of the Ultimo bra. Women are not going to need their services anymore. It worked  and she got orders left and right.

I’m going to stop the bullets here because I realized it’s going to be long to summarize the whole book. So many things happened afterwards.  She had to endure so many problems but she kept fighting and fighting.  She had to overcome hurdle after hurdle. Her stamina is just amazing. Reading her book made me realized how much hard work it takes to achieve your dream. Nagdadalawang isip na tuloy ako if kaya ko ba ito? Haha

In the end, she gained a lot of things and she lost a lot of things but ultimately, she found herself. She sold her company and now speaks to motivate and help people achieve their dreams. Michelle Mone is a living testament that money doesn’t make you happy. Relationships and finding what  you want to do with your life that makes a difference to other people will.

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Palengke Day

Mommies, do you know what’s my absolutely guiltless shopping habit? Here the more I shop the less guilty I feel because I know I’m doing it for my family. It’s a win-win situation di ba? It satisfies my shopping bug and at the same time I get to shop fresh food for my family.

What else I’m talking about – it’s my Palengke shopping!

Recently, I discovered that I liked going to the wet market every Saturday to shop for food. I don’t know about you, maybe some of you do it daily or every other day or twice a week. But for me I can’t find the time to do it more than once a week. And I discovered the best time to do it is every Saturday after we arrive in our weekend house. It’s my stress reliever and I look forward to my Saturday shopping habit.

Today is an exception because it’s not a Saturday. But we’re back home because its Holy Thursday so that means I have my palengke day early. Yehey!

Since it’s holy week I only bought fish for our food the next few days. Half the market was closed  particularly the meat vendors. I’m not a veteran when it comes to palengke shopping – I know I’m too old to say this – so my technique is I find where the crowd is and shop there. Pag pinapalibutan ng mga tao ang market vendor isa lang ang ibig sabihin nito – fresh ang mga paninda niya.

Here’s my shopping loot. Naks!

I bought 3/4 kilo of bangus, had the bones removed and chopped. We marinated it back at home with vinegar, bawang, and pepper put in the freezer and ready to fry anytime.
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I know they said never to buy tilapia because the food they are eating in the fish pen is bad for our health. But I can’t resist this with pechay and coconut milk.
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My kids and my husband’s favorite fish is cream of dory. It was their lucky day I found this at the palengke today. Usually, we have to go to the supermarket just to buy this. It’s so easy to cook – just add breadcrumbs and fry.
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Who doesn’t like shrimp?
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Last but not the least – fruits! Muntik ko na hindi bilhin ito paano ba naman ang bigat ng fruits. Hirap na hirap ako magcommute pauwi.
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For lunch today I was supposed to cook the maya maya only but ang konti pala ng nabili ko. So I just divided the shrimp in half pandagdag sa sinigang.

Eto ngayon magluluto na dapat kami sa aming induction cooker when we realized we left our cooking pot in the apartment! If you have an induction cooker you know how maarte it is and it will only accept cookingwares especially made for it.

The solution – we cooked sinigang in our rice cooker!

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Patok na patok sa aking mag-ama ang ulam. Wala silang kamalay malay na muntik na hindi maluto ang ulam nila. At first they were eyeing it nervously, you know naman my cooking skills are questionable. But when they tasted the shrimp ang sarap daw. Fresh na fresh daw ang nabili ko. 🙂
See you next palengke day! Kayo mga mommies what did you buy at the palengke today? Share naman jan!



My Laser Hair Removal Experience Part 2

After finishing 8 sessions of diode laser hair removal I came back to Skinhouse Clinic in Mayon to pay for another batch of sessions. The hair growing is now noticeably thinner but it still won’t stop growing. Nevertheless, I was warned that it will take up to twelve sessions or even more so my mind was made up and I would continue no matter what.

But when I got there the staff surprised me with some news. They just acquired a new machine and it’s called Revlite. I asked them what’s the different between Diode and Revlite?

She said Revlite has stronger laser intensity daw than Diode – much stronger. Aside from hair removal it can whiten the underarm and remove chicken skin.

What about the pain level? This was the first thing on my mind since the diode treatment was getting painful for me. She said the pain was much more tolerable.

And the price?

She said P7k per treatment but if you get it in bulk you can get it for P3500 per session.

I almost fell down my seat. Ang mahal!

I didn’t have time to research and I had to decide fast. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to try Revlite but the price tag is too steep. Yet I’m already dreading my next diode session.

Finally, I made a decision to try Revlite for my underarm but still go with Laser Diode for my upper lip. I decided to get 5 sessions each.

9th Diode Session

For my ninth diode session for my upper lip I was very specific to my attendant, Yza, to put in more gel. She was nice and accommodating and took care to follow my request. I braced for the pain just like before for each click. She went over the area twice and in a 10 minutes I think we were done.

1st Revlite Session

It was time for my Revlite treatment. We went to a new room this time where the Revlite machine stationed. I asked why her why they only got the Revlite machine now and not a year ago when I started my sessions. She said the machine is really expensive that’s why they were only able to acquire it now.

She cleaned my underarms and shaved it, covered my eyes and positioned the laser. I braced for it and the session started.

So how was it?

Unlike in Diode where there is a single click per small area, in Revlite there is a constant buzzing sound as the laser is pointed in every area. It felt hot but much tolerable naman. Actually, it was more pleasant that I wanted to switch to Revlite na rin for my upper lip. I asked how much but then she said they don’t have Revlite for upper lip only but you have to do the whole face. I thought it was very effective so I switched to Revlite na rin for my face. I have blemishes all over my cheeks so I thought it was well worth it.

Also Revlite session is more matagal than diode. I’d like to think it’s more thorough kasi mas marami ang area covered ng laser unlike in diode one click here, one click there parang maraming area ang na-skip.

2nd Revlite Session

You know what, when they told me Revlite was more stronger than diode they were not kidding. Because as if by miracle after my first session for Revlite my underarm hair refused to grow.

I had my second session for Revlite last Friday and even before the second session I counted the hairs and it’s less than 5! I could have stopped going or have it rescheduled to a later date because there are no hair yet but I dutifully went to my next appointment. I wanted to experience the full benefit of Revlite so why stop now when I’m already seeing results.

If during my first session of Revlite they only panned the area once, this time Yza increased the settings and hovered the laser for the second time at specific areas that need lightening. I immediately felt the intensity and the heat. Whew! Note that you can smell your hair burning and it is normal so don’t panic. If your skin is really sensitive you can take a pain reliever just before going through with your session. After they put cold compress on my underarm which helped ease the sting.

Final thoughts on Hair Removal

It’s been a week since my 2nd Revlite session and I’m happy and satisfied because there’s still no hair growing. Should I have gone straight to using Revlite instead of Diode? I think no because they said at Skinhouse that Revlite is only effective one you have already thin hair. If your hair is coarse and thick Diode is still the way to go first.

I know it’s expensive guys but I think it’s really worth it. I don’t have to shave anymore and worry about hair growing. Just remember to not use the usual deodorant that we use. I now use Milcu which is a powder form of deodorant recommended by Skinhouse. It took a while for me to get used to it but now I use it regularly.

Second, always use sunscreen for the face and moisturiser. One effect of Revlite was my skin became tighter and drier. So I have to use moisturiser to prevent my face from drying it.

I still have a few sessions of Revlite so stay tuned for more updates. 🙂

For Part One of my Hair Removal Experience click here.




My Laser Hair Removal Experience

Mommies what do you do with your underarm hair?

When I was younger and have all the free time in the world I used to pluck my underarm hair. I have high tolerance to pain so even though it was painful carry lang. I would be hair free for a couple of weeks before the hair starts to grow again and I have to pluck the hair one by one all over again – ouch!

When I had kids I started shaving my hair na. Who has the time in the world to pluck their underarm hair nga naman when you have two screaming kids and a husband who needed all your attention? Shaving is fast, easy and painless but in a day my hair is growing again. Growing hair is coarse and thick and it gets itchy so I have to shave again. This happens every one or two days.

Last year, I decided to get rid of my underarm hair once and for all. I have heard about Laser Diode hair removal and how effective it is to get rid of underarm hair. I thought to myself this is now or never. The price tag is a bit high but I considered it an investment and not an expense.

I was first divided between SkinHouse and Shinagawa. Skinhouse use Diode Laser Hair Removal while Shinagawa uses – I can’t actually remember what machine they use. I went to their website but I think they have a new machine and the old one was not listed there anymore. What I remember in the reviews I read at femalenetwork was their machine was painful but very effective daw and you will only require a few sessions. I didn’t go with Shinagawa because I was afraid of the pain and because they’re all the way in Makati which is too far from where we live.

On the other hand, Skinhouse’s clinic is so near. I thought it was really meant to be that I have my diode. This was too good to be a coincidence lang. LOL!

That’s the reason why February of last year I asked my husband to drive me to Skinhouse. I was nervous but nothing can hold me back. hahaha!

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Skinhouse’s office is small. They don’t have a lot of staff but they all look friendly and professional. I felt at home right away. I consulted about my problem and they advised that laser diode was right for my situation. I asked them how many treatments I would need to be hair free. They were honest and said it depends on the hair. For a morena like me it would take 12 sessions daw or even a little bit more pa. Considering the price I just took a deep breathe and decided to go with it pa rin. As I told you I considered this a beauty investment. Haha!

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I decided to get underarm hair removal and upper lip hair removal at the same time. They have discounted rates but you have to get bulk sessions or a minimum of 8 sessions per area. So I did just that. Don’t worry they accept credit card payments and installments naman para hindi masyadong masakit sa bulsa. In my case, I just paid in installments (not credit card because they don’t accept my bank’s credit card).

1st to 5th Laser Diode Session

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They led me to a small room with a bed and a machine. I was asked to lie down. They shaved my hair gently and covered my eyes for protection. They covered the area generously with gel and started the session. The sessions were quick and painless. I would hear a click before they will put the laser in a different area. In 10-15 minutes I was done.

The staff warned me that after two days the hair will start to grow. But it would then fall off which is the work of the laser killing the hair roots. And that’s exactly what happened. The hair grew and fell away after.

But let me just tell you guys that this remedy is not for the impatient. Because after it falls away it will grow back again. The first three sessions I would notice improvements but ever so slightly. Some small areas there are no growth but the majority my underarm looked the same pa rin. Haist. Good thing I was patient and continued religiously with my sessions.

5th to 8th Diode Session

If the first few sessions were painless, as the intensity of the laser increases it got more and more painful. During the fifth to 8th sessions that’s what happened. Now I knew why they had to put gel generously in the treated area. The laser felt hot. Everytime they would point the laser in my skin I would brace myself for the click. I would hope that it would not be painful. To describe it much better it’s like someone is flicking rubber band at your skin. Most of the time naman it’s not painful but when it hurts you can actually feel the heat and the stinging sensation.

During the last sessions the truth was I was dreading to go back na. Now don’t let this discourage you. As I’ve told you, not all clicks are painful especially if the gel is applied generously. Sometimes there are areas when the gel is thin and you can feel the pain so just ask the staff to apply more gel. Tiis ganda na lang tayo di ba? No pain, no gain. Important talaga these “painful” sessions and you can see the effect is different. It’s the same pa rin, my hair would fall off after the diode session, it would grow back but then the hair that grew back was not thick and coarse but much thinner. 🙂

After I finished with my 8th laser diode treatment I didn’t come back for two months. I hoped the hair wouldn’t grow anymore but it still grew. It was thinner yes but it still grew. I was not happy because I was aiming for no hair growth and not thinner hair only.

After two months, February this year or 1 year after my first Diode treatment I went back to Skinhouse. I was prepared to extend my treatment in my quest for to be hair free, but when I went back they told me they have a new machine and it’s called Revlite. They still have the old machine but they recommend this daw because it’s stronger than diode.

Did I stay with Diode or go with Revlite? Find out in my next blog post!

to be continued…

For Part 2 click here.

On Fevers and Barrage of Calls

Homaygash! Time flies so fast talaga!

If hindi pa mag-Holy week I wouldn’t be able to update my blog again.

I didn’t go to work today because it’s Holy Wednesday already and I just want to unwind from the barrage of calls, emails, FB messages, viber messages and the likes. Sometimes gusto ko na talaga isumpa ang mga tawag but then I remember something I read from Donald Trump’s book. He said as a CEO his phone constantly rings and rings. But no matter how busy he is, he always makes time to take calls and return calls because he there was the time when his phone stopped ringing and that it was scarier when his phone didn’t ring.

So whenever I feel tired and cranky I always remember this and it instantly improves my mood. I try to imagine the phone not ringing and scary talaga. That’s why even when my phone’s message notification beeps at 10pm I still take time to answer. I draw a line from taking phone calls na at night because there’s only so much I can take but if it’s a message then what’s a few seconds to answer. 🙂

But today is different. I forgot to tell you that the real reason I stayed at home the whole day because my youngest is sick. He’s been having an off and on fever since yesterday. I think it’s not that serious but I still decided to stay at home.  Kids need their mothers when they’re sick. I’m lucky my husband works at home and I don’t need to leave my kids with our kasambahay but iba pa rin talaga ang bond ng kids and their mommies.

Like kanina, Zack was trying to sleep. I was not with him because his Daddy was with him naman. I was at the sala watching TV. An hour passed and he was not still sleeping. I checked on them and he looked tired and but his eyes were still open. So I just laid beside him and hugged him. His Kuya Z hummed a lullaby for him – let me just put on record that although Kuya loves his little brother so much he wanted him to sleep right away so he can make takas and go outside to play. Well, it worked like magic and Zack has been sleeping ever since. I’m beside him now watching over him and blogging. He opened his eyes a few minutes ago and I lulled him back to sleep. Ayan tulog na tulog pa rin. 🙂

Iba talaga ang presence ng mga nanay. My kids are both boys and sometimes I get envious at my husband because with the two boys may instant barkada na sya agad. But then he tells me even though he makes it fun for the two of them mas love na love daw nila ako and nakakainis daw. hahaha!

Here’s Zack photo before he went to sleep.
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Please send prayers for my little boy. We will be spending the Holy Week together and I promise to give him undivided attention. Crossing my fingers he gets well soon!

2015 Blog Revival

I can’t believe I almost didn’t renew this domain!

Let me go back a bit. I have neglected this blog for too long already. 2013 and 2014 went by without a single personal blog post. I thought I was done blogging. When it was time to renew I let it pass. I was a little sad but totally forgot about it. Don’t know how many days have passed or maybe a week or even two. I thought I was finally done with blogging when I one day mentioned to hubby that I failed to renew this domain. He advised me to still renew it – sayang naman daw. So out of obedience I did just that. That was mid-2014. Now 2015 came and I realized I’ve missed blogging!

So here I am writing my very first post this 2015. I’m wiping my slate clean and starting a topic that is like a new year’s resolution but much better. I am writing our family plan for 2015.

First a background. Why did I think of this? The past year has been crazy busy and I have neglected my kids a lot. I realized every year would be that way. If I don’t do anything to make my home-work balance better this year then it would be this way year after year after year.

Good thing I read about Ryan Smith. He’s the CEO of Qualtrics which is worth a billion dollars. He’s also a husband and a father of three kids. He has a life coach and together they’ve developed a way to create more balance in his life. The good news their strategy is working so well that when a company offered to buy Qualtrics from him he declined because he feels his work-life balance is already good so he can afford to manage his business and give quality time to his family all at the same time.

Here’s how he’s doing it. He listed down his different roles – husband, father, CEO.  Then he wrote down the things he needed to do this week for each role to make him feel successful. For example as a husband he would take out his wife on a date and buy her flowers and as a father he would teach his kids to bike for the week. He would also multitask like if he needed to visit his parents that week he would combine that with teaching his kids how to ride a bike. This way he can shoot two birds in one stone. He says it’s hard and he has less time to sleep at night but at least he feels like he is not neglecting other aspects of his life.

I’m really happy I was able to know about him. When I got involved in our small business I really had no idea what I was in for. I thought I’ll just work hard at first then after a few years my work will pay off and I would be able to relax. I’m in my third year of working here and it seems the hard work will never stop. As we grow so does my responsibilities. If I don’t control my life I feel like my work will overwhelm me and the real losers would be my kids.
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Best Site For Musical Instruments

Guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments anywhere which is applicable to any musical styles like rock music, country music, flamenco music, etc. Anyone loves to play it whether you’re a musician or you’re simply enjoyed listening to music that admired the guitar works. While browsing the net and i found from this site of all types of guitar, nothing to ask more, everything is under one roof. This is one of the best sites that I’ve visited and luckily where I purchased the gift for my hubby.

Christmas Ornaments

It’s so hard to believe that it’s a BER months once again. We could really feel that BER months are the months full of celebrations and happenings which brings us a nice and warm feelings. At this early, Christmas songs are already played on radio and some of us are thinking about Christmas decors in and out of the house. For me the number one in my checklist is to shop for christmas ornaments as yearly give away for my friends and relatives. Having these ornaments I totally feel the spirit of Christmas.

Motorcycle Shipping

Everywhere nowadays motorcycle is one of the most popular vehicles used to get around and nearby town, one means of transportation used by many people. If want to export it because of its high demand you can coordinate with the trusted service of international motorcycle shipping company, they are there for you to assist and give their very best to make your motorcycle be delivered in front of the doorstep safely.