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  • Good House Keeping
    Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo returns to our cover this September issue and gets candid about money, marriage, and motherhood.
    Good Housekeeping
  • Women's Health
    Drop two sizes fast—with simple exercises you can do at home! This month's ultimate weight-loss special shows you how. Plus, real women share how you, too, can shed and keep off excess weight for good.
    Women's Health
Girl Meets World by Marianne Salazar
I don't believe in my daily horoscope, mainly because all those "you will meet someone today" predictions never come true for me. However, I do believe that my zodiac sign describes me almost perfectly. I'm a Sagittarian, and if there's one trait we centaurs are known for, it's our love for travel and adventure. For me, an awesome trip doesn't necessarily mean going to an exotic locale or a famous destination. It's not about the location, but more of what I learned from the trip. I think that's one of the most beautiful things about traveling--you always learn something new, not just about the world, but also about yourself.

Now, I don't consider myself well-traveled, but I do think I'm lucky to have had opportunities to go on a handful of memorable adventures while growing up. When I was a student, I always looked forward to out-of-town excursions, and in college, I made it a point to enlist in at least one class with a field trip every semester. As a fresh graduate, it's definitely one of the things I sorely miss about being in school. Never mind the additional expenses--for me, field trips are great opportunities to explore places I probably wouldn't go to otherwise. Here are five of my most unforgettable class excursions and the lessons I learned from them:
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A Spoonful of Style by Patricia Dayacap

article_fn-beauty-quotes.jpgWhen it comes to reading articles about fashion, I'm usually very good at remembering certain facts and tidbits, no matter how seemingly unimportant or obscure they are. Hand me a fashion magazine, and I'll read every fashion-related story (credits included) in it. Leave me alone with my laptop, and I'll gladly exhaust the unread posts on my blog feed (which, as it happens, consists primarily of fashion blogs). To make a long story short, I will gobble up any written piece of work that's remotely related to fashion. You can quote me on that.

Beauty, on the other hand, is an entirely different thing. While I appreciate the wonders makeup can do to a person and while I'm all for following a rigorous skincare routine, I'm also a firm believer in sticking to the tried-and-tested methods and products. Articles that investigate modern beauty breakthroughs or track the creation of a certain makeup product just don't appeal to me the same way a news piece about John Galliano's replacement at Dior or H&M's new designer collaborator do. Not that I don't care about what's happening in the world of beauty—I just want the simple, abbreviated version of it (and not the lengthy explanation peppered with jargon I can't wrap my head around).

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Pop! by Belle Yambao

As TIME.com reporter Maia Szalavitz says, "Witnessing cuteness is basically instant Prozac." If I need to get happy and fast, I usually visit The Daily Puppy or scroll through FN's past Cutest Pet Contest entries for an instant mood boost. Cuteness in any form is definitely a happy pill, and when you're exposed to it for two hours (or more) in the form of an animated film, it's guaranteed to make the smile on your face last all day--or, at least, that's how it works for me!

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted opened earlier this month and instantly became a box-office hit. While it's already the third installment in the movie franchise, it's still as fun and colorful as its predecessors. But I think its appeal largely lies with Alex the Lion and the rest of the gang who pepper the movie with cute moments and funny lines.

Whether they're warm and furry or slippery and scaly, animated animals all have their appeal. I've watched my share of cartoons over the years--and will probably continue watching them even when I'm old and gray--so here's a list of animals I've found the cutest so far. From dogs and cats to hamsters and fish, this gallery has them all.

Who would have made it to your own list of cutest animals, FNites? Share your thoughts in a comment! Don't forget to drop by our "Which animated movie dog should you own?" quiz, and find out if your pet should be Scooby-Doo, Dug, Tramp, or Bolt..


(Photo courtesy of Dreamworks)

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No Blushing Bride by Myra Mortega
For us girls, a wedding announcement guarantees an emotional torrent. Saying “I’m getting married” merits at least several of these responses: shock, relief, jealousy, elation, and kilig interspersed with copious amounts of tears and shrieking in between and punctuated by the obligatory “OMG!” and “Congratulations!” in various tones.

I was able to experience that a couple of months back when I gave the press release to friends and family. My husband and I decided that the wedding was going to be a low-key affair--no long engagements, no proposals, and definitely no grand celebrations. And in keeping with the nature of our solemn ceremony, we didn’t spill the beans early on. In fact, only a handful of people knew about it.

When I finally broke the news, I was unprepared for the ensuing responses and barrage of questions that immediately followed, with the infamous ones being, “Bakit?” ("Why?") and “Buntis ka?” ("Are you pregnant?"). I think the considerable lack of exercise and my unhealthy eating habits became the basis for the latter. Continue Reading >>
Married without Kids by Liana Smith-Bautista
In exactly two weeks, I’ll be saying goodbye to Female Network, Summit Media, and the most satisfying job I’ve had since leaving college a little over six years ago. I don’t regret my reason to leave and help out with the family business in my hometown of Cebu, but I know this is a job I’ll reflect on fondly, and I hope that I will find equal satisfaction in the future.

One of the best things about working for Female Network is the fact that I learn something new every day, whether it’s a scientific study debunking a health myth I grew up with or some new ways to enjoy life better and heat things up with my hubby. I’ve had two years and seven months of writing, reading, editing, and learning, and it’s been great!

My two favorite Female Network channels are those that frequently discuss the issues I encounter in my own life: Sex & Relationships and Work & Money. Work-wise, things are still a bit up in the air for me as I’m not sure which of the things I learned I’ll be using in my new job, but when it comes to Sex & Relationships, there’s a wealth of lessons I’ve learned and will continue to apply and share in the future.

Keep reading to learn about just a few of them.
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