Au revoir, August

31 August 2012

I almost didn't want to believe it, but yes, today is the last day of August. Where did the rest of the year go?

August 2012 is a month of goodbyes. It brought so many different things to me, but I guess for me it will forever be remembered as the time I got the courage to finally rock the boat, hoping it will lead me to better shores.

This month, I:

let go of my headset. I'm thankful I still got to go to HSBC's 5-year Service Recognition Program, though. On the same day, I surrendered my headset and padlock, although I haven't completed my clearance yet because I still need to surrender my ID which is hidden somewhere in my apartment.

got pleasant surprises in the mail, like Penshoppe's Personal Care Collection that contains a make-up brush set, three Aqualiner Pencils, and three Rouge Lip Shades. It also includes His and Hers perfume sprays.

Speaking of this local (but world-class) clothing brand, here is a side-view photo of me wearing my paperboy cap from Penshoppe circa 2001. Remember when Brad Turvey and Mandy Moore were the endorsers of the brand? Yep, that's how old this cap is so I love that it's still in tip-top shape. I remember being bought this cap by my aunt after we lost our house (with all our belongings) in a big fire that razed through the neighborhood. Since we didn't have any other clothes left aside from the ones we had on, my generous aunt took me and my brother shopping and let us get whatever we wanted. This was part of that loot, so it holds a special meaning for me. I am forever thankful and indebted to the waitress in Stella who ran after me after I left it at the said restaurant.

experienced two long weekends where I spent a day from each bonding with good friends over good food. I didn't get to enjoy any long weekends at HSBC because I was from a department that needs to operate 24/7. Working in a ~regular~ office, means byebye to double pays and hello to Philippine legal and special non-working holidays! I love it. I fully embrace it. 

Puttanesca, Quattro Formaggi, and an ice-cold Mojito at Aria Cucina
Cookie dough a la mode at Stella
One of those days I described above, I spent with my friend Ana. We talked about lots of stuff --- mostly about our long-term goals and lost loves. It's nice to have friends from the blogosphere I can enjoy hanging out with even when there are no events to go to.

Humongous bowl of Chicken Karaage at Ramen X
Large cups of frozen yogurt from Red Mango
That being said, it's also nice to have good friends you can count on despite the distance and circumstances. I met up with my good friend Mich last Saturday to catch up: she with her stories about being in a new department in HSBC and me with my stories about my new job. She and her family have been such good neighbors to me and I'm going to miss them when I leave my apartment this weekend.

got a new tube of my favorite lipstick, MAC Girl About Town. I'm posting the photo here again just because.

bought myself a little luxury. The most I've ever paid for lipstick is P1,000, but yesterday I got myself a tube of Estee Lauder Pure Color in Poppy Love using some of my gift cards. I didn't think I would ever use my own money to buy lipstick this expensive, but after putting this color on I think I just might. The color is just so rich and gorgeous! It feels expensive; it feels like it's worth its price.

enjoyed National Boosktore's month-long sale. A lot. I bought a bunch of Summit books on sale, plus new copies of books I have either lost, or got borrowed and never returned.

got myself sheets of stickers just for kicks. These two here feature emoticons. So cute! And they glow in the dark!!

decided I have to take charge of my finances. To show how serious I am about this, look, I bought a coin-bank. Because nothing says serious and finance-savvy than a pink plastic bottle coin-bank that says "What I want is juice" and has a cute pig on the bottle-cap. 

I copied Helga's idea and decided to put in every P50 bill I come across. That way I can save money faster, yay! I started just last Monday and now it contains P350 whut up.

started packing the stuff I have accumulated in the three years I have been independent. Clothes, books, bags, shoes. E-ve-ry-where. It looks like such an impossible task but I will not give up. Because I don't have a choice LOL.

This month I also got to model for an ice cream brandlearned how lipsticks and lotions are made, and had my heart broken when I realized how lost I felt when he left the country to work abroad.

Before I end this post I'd like to share a quick story (as if I haven't shared enough). Did you know that even before I made friends in the local blogging community, I first made friends with other twenty-something bloggers all over the world? They've been with me since my emo-charged posts and they will always have a special spot in my heart. One of them, Nikolett, is hosting a Postcard Project, so if you love sending AND receiving postcards from anywhere in the world you should definitely join! This is an excellent way to meet friends. Plus, who knows, at least you'll already know someone in case you visit their country, like when I met up with Nashe when I went to Singapore on 2010. Interested? Click on the button below to know more!

Postcard Project

When you visit, please wish her a Happy Birthday! She is an incredible lady and I am thankful she's my friend *cue cheesy music*.

So yeah. Au revoir, August. Sail on, September.

Something for little munchkins

28 August 2012

I will be leaving my apartment in Quezon City this weekend to live with my aunt and cousins in Valenzuela. This means it will take me at least five hours to commute to and from work everyday but that's okay because I will get to save money be less lonely. Besides, no matter how stressful my day gets, I get a million reasons to be happy when I get home and see my loved ones.

I mean, just look at these faces.

My aunt Jean with my cousins Jeco and Gab
Jerico is five, while Gab will be five months-old tomorrow. So cute! It's always a joy playing with them and it always makes me happy whenever I bring home something nice for them :)

This makes me more excited for the SM KIDS' Warehouse Sale!

SM is giving parents and kids something to look forward to with its bi-annual Kids’ Warehouse Sale, beginning on August 30 to September 2, 2012. With 38 participating brands including Elle, Moose Gear, and Garfield, families can enjoy up to 70% off on selected items as well as a 0% interest on all major credit cards for a minimum purchase of PHP3,000. 
“We aim to provide trendy yet affordable clothes. The warehouse sale is a great opportunity to shop for stylish pieces at even more affordable prices,” shares Jo Dy Juanco, Vice President of SM Kids. “These days, children are more fashion-conscious and selective about what they wear. Letting kids build their own wardrobe allows them to develop their own sense of style.” 
SM Kids caters to boys and girls, from infants to 14 years of age. Be it preppy or rugged, casual or quirky, SM Kids has something for every style imaginable. Girls can mix and match their outfits from a variety of clothing lines, such as Barbie, Gingersnaps, and Moose Girl. Young boys, on the other hand, can choose from favorite brands like Mossimo Kids, Colours, and Jag. 
Mommies also get the chance to dress up their little ones in fun, colorful apparel. Sanrio Babies, Winnie the Pooh, and OshKosh B’gosh are just some of the brands that offer garments for smaller kids ranging from newborns to toddlers. 
The SM Kids’ Warehouse Sale will be held at SM Mega Trade Hall 2, at the 5th Level of SM Megamall B.
Will you be going? I will definitely go so I can score great finds for these little munchkins! ^_^

I'm a Catcher!

27 August 2012

What's the perfect way to cap off this long weekend? With ice cream, of course! How do you enjoy your ice cream?

When it comes to Nestle Crunch Ice Cream, there are lots of several ways --- you can be a Bite-Meister or a Lip Smacker, Click-then-Crunch or Pious Monk --- the possibilities are endless!

As for me, I'm a CATCHER.

Enjoying ice cream is now made more FUNTACULAR!

Introducing NESTLÉ CRUNCH Ice Cream, a genius innovation from NESTLÉ ICE CREAM. It has TRIPLE CHOCOLATE GOODNESS: crispy CRUNCH outer shell, creamy chocolate ice cream, and a surprise choco fudge filling. Now, a simple ice cream break time can surely become one FUNTACULAR moment.

I wrote about taking part in a photoshoot before and how I couldn't wait to see the final output. Here it is now, and I'm sorry but I just got so kilig when I saw the photo! The shoot was done in The Lighthouse Studio by well-known (locally and abroad) photographer Niccolo Cosme and I'm so honored I was chosen by Nuffnang and Nestle Philippines to take part.

Here are some other photos from the shoot:

We were asked to wear something blue.
I wore this polka-dot sweetheart tube dress from Black Sheep.
Does it remind you of the navy blue sweetheart tube dress I wore for my Parisian shoot?
With Alyssa. She did our make-up!
Isn't she great?
Alyssa working her magic on Kira
Team Outsmark represent! ^_^
Kira is a Crunch Connoisseur!
With Thei and Trixie of Nuffnang, Nikki and Kira
Photo from Nikki
The photos were officially unveiled last Saturday at a special event held in Cravings in Shangri-la. But because Philippine traffic sucks (road repairs in both C3 and Caloocan City - there is no other way for me to leave Navotas except through those two roads), I was too late for the program. It was the first time I missed an event so I felt really stressed, to think that I was one of the 22 bloggers chosen to take part.

Here are the rest of the photos:

These will be used for an online campaign so keep your eyes peeled for them.
I spot Earth, Sarah, Tin, Martha and Kisty!
I was able to have my picture taken with some bloggers during the launch, yay!

With Rowena, Kira, Rovie and Helga
With Nikki, Helga and Tipsy
Denim dress - Tinsley | Mustard bag - Parisian | Flats - MANELS
Biases aside, I've always loved Crunch chocolate bars so it's a no brainer that I LOVE Nestle Crunch Ice Cream as well. I especially liked the hot fudge filling! I mean, sweet and indulgent chocolate treat but in ice cream form? What could be better than that?

Have you tried a Nestle Crunch Ice Cream yet? How do YOU enjoy this funtacular treat?

Thoughtful Thoughts Sunday

26 August 2012

I know I can be superficial at times. Shoes, clothes, bags and accessories can easily make me happy, and there have been times when a spontaneous shopping trip has cheered me up a great deal. But even I know and acknowledge that there are so many things more precious than even the most expensive pair of shoes in the world. These are things that cannot be bought --- things like [true] friendship, or love, or loyalty. I don't choose friends based on their outfits and I don't choose to be a loyal friend to someone on account of what I can get from being his or her 'friend'.

Perks and gifts are great, but if I [as a blogger] will be stripped of them, it wouldn't make me feel so bad. I started blogging not because of any of these but because I wanted to find a venue where I could express myself, especially since my previous job was so removed from my creative side. Now that I have a job where I can express this creative side more freely, I will still maintain this blog because I do not treat writing here as a chore. It's not easy to be honest about one's weaknesses, but yes, I admit there have been instances when I got too hard on myself, and yes there have been times when so-called 'fame' got to my head, but now when I feel the signs creeping again I make it a point to immediately snap myself back to the fact that I am merely a speck in this wonderful web of woven digital records of every blog-keeping person's lives.

At the end of the day, I am just a simple girl who likes oversharing pretty little things, but I want to live for so much more than stifling trivialities.

Have you ever looked at your lipstick and wondered how it's made?

24 August 2012

I have.

I've always been inquisitive. Ever since I was a young kid, I've always been curious about the different things around me and have always wondered how they work. I especially love reading about inventions and discoveries - serendipitous or not - and how people came up with them.

Today, Avon fed my inquisitive nature by showing me (and other invited bloggers) the manufacturing process involved in making the make-up, lotion, and other beauty and personal care products they carry. We visited their plant in Laguna for a tour and I swear this tour is one of the best bloggers' events I've attended yet! It brought me back to my Kindergarten days when we visited a popular softdrink's plant for our field trip!

Avon's manufacturing plant in Laguna sits in 7 hectares of land.
This is where they manufacture almost everything (except for the jewelry) you see on the bi-monthly brochures.
Do you know that this plant can manufacture 43 million bottles of lotion (among others) within 250 days?
Before the tour started we were shown a video about Avon's history and growth through the years (do you know that Avon Philippines even exports to neighboring countries, with some products even reaching as far as Canada?), their waste-segregation techniques, and green projects. I'm going to share some photos with you guys, although we weren't allowed to take photos in some areas (like the production area and QA center) for confidentiality and security purposes.

What a sweet welcome!
Me, Shen and Kira in our lab gowns, hair nets, and face masks.
This is to ensure sanitation is well-maintained even when there are visitors.
Sir John Adriatico was our tour guide.
He was very patient with us even though we had lots of questions heehee.
The raw products of your Avon lotions are mixed here.
We witnessed how lipsticks are placed in tubes, but this area is the Lipstick Flaming Line area.
Here, they run the tubes over a blue flame to give them sheen.
Compare the lipsticks on the case and the one the lady is holding. Cool, huh?
Cologne Processing area
It is such a concentrated and controlled atmosphere that we were told that the tiniest whiff of alcohol here is enough
to make one feel drunk. Cooool.
Here is how they make and bottle the lotions.
1). The guy arranges the empty bottles on the conveyor. 2). A machine puts lotion inside the bottles. 3). They put the bottle-caps on but don't seal it yet, because... 4). A machine does it. 5). The bottles are put in boxes... 6). which are then sealed and put in the warehouse to prepare for delivery.
HUGE warehouse with thousands of boxes of Avon products
There were also designated areas for Avon employees' well-being, recreation, and engagement. Gotta love a company that looks after its employees well! Aside from that, I can attest how stringent Avon is when it comes to hygiene, sanitation, and quality control in manufacturing their products. It doesn't matter that they can manufacture thousands of batches of their products --- each unit is given utmost TLC during the 3.2 hours of production.

I felt like I was a little girl caught playing pretend doctor in my 'grown-up' garb!
Additional trivia: Do you know that Avon associates greet others with Good morning! regardless of the time? It's because they regard mornings as the time when we are most energetic and perky so in doing so, they hope it can translate to better 'vibes' all throughout the day.

With Mr. Colin Whittington, General Manager of Avon Products Manufacturing Inc.
Part of the fun is meeting with my old friends in the blogging community like Argie, Shen, Kira and Hazel, while it was my first time to meet Bambi, Jessa and Shiela. Also in the photo with me and Kira is Lhen of Ogilvy PR.
After the tour, we had a mini open forum where new products under the Skin So Soft line were introduced to us. I will blog about them in a separate post (because skin care is srs bznz, y'all) but let me show you the gift bag given to us because it's so pretteh!

Polka dots! Pink and brown color combo! And it perfectly matches the bag I used today! Exclamation points!!!
The complete Skin So Soft line
Off the bat I can tell you they all smell GREAT.
My mom actually loves these and orders them from our neighborhood Avon lady all the time!
Lookie, the bag also has dividers and a detachable mini zippered purse!
Plus points for companies that give press kits on reusable bags because it shows concern for the environment.
I really love that I can use the bag even on regular days :)
Big thanks to Avon and Ogilvy for inviting me to go to this tour. I really enjoyed it because I learned a lot! I actually learned to appreciate my make-up and personal care products more after seeing how much thought and effort goes into them. I will never look at a tube of lipstick or a bottle of lotion the same way again.

PS: Special thanks also to my boss, Jenny, for letting me go on leave from work today! ♥

Pretty Pinks

22 August 2012

Today I bid my (first ever) long weekend goodbye and said hello to another work-week, but it's okay. I spent half the day researching about Italian cuisine and different types of coffee and dessert, so no, I didn't mind going back to work, I didn't mind it at all.

Besides, today was a pink and productive day for me. Some snaps from my Instagram:

Lavender unicorn
Pink jacket - NEXT Jeans | Lavender tank top with sequins - gift from my aunt
Jeans - Penshoppe | Flats - MANELS
I've had this jacket since I was in college and it's one of my favorite items in my closet. Also, I'm not sure if you can see it but my tank top has a unicorn print on it. LOVE.

Pen from Universal Studios Singapore, gift from Kira (thanks, Kirs!)
If I were a witch or a fairy, my wand will totally look like this.
Kira said I am the Silly Witch of the South LOL
If I will be asked what my favorite makeup item is,
I will answer MAC Girl About Town in a heartbeat!
I had my first tube of this lippie as a present from my aunt last year and LOVED it instantly. Unfortunately, it was stolen with all my stuff when I was mugged. I tried to buy from local MAC counters but apparently this shade is not available here. I finally had the courage to buy myself another tube so last Friday I looked online for any local shops that may carry it, saw that Carefree Shopper has stocks, paid for it, and (because of the long weekend) received it today! Fast and efficient service, much recommended!

So creamy, so vibrant, and so pretty!
I love MAC lipsticks because of their staying and moisturizing power. Girl About Town never disappoints because with it, I feel like it's okay for me to go bare-faced --- one or two swipes of this lipstick is all I need to brighten up my face and feel pretty and dressed-up. I don't know if it's just me, but this shade makes me feel more girly, yet fearless at the same time... like I can do anything! I know that saying a makeup item can change one person's outlook may sound over-dramatic, but this color has proven to me it's true in my case heehee.

Battle of the pinks
Girl About Town vs Pink Nouveau
I bought Pink Nouveau last year to try to replace Girl About Town in my heart. It's a pretty shade that got me a lot of compliments, yes, but it was a little too bubblegum-pink for me. I'm just glad that both tubes are now sitting prettily on my vanity table.

Another busy day again tomorrow. I wonder what I'll wear ;)

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie-burner.
I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.
I believe in going strong when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
- Audrey Hepburn