2016: The Year of Growing Up

31 December 2016

It's weird how this year feels like it passed so quickly yet I couldn't wait for it to end, and skimming through my social media feeds tells me I share this sentiment with a lot of people. I think I'm ready to welcome the new year, but before that, here's a year-ender post to recap my 2016.

My 2016's most liked photos on Instagram shows that people cared a lot when I posted about Sandara Park, Sadness, art, and makeup
Listing down this year's highlights here. I: had a wish come true when I got to watch Nate Ruess perform live; thought I was having a heart attack; visited the Planetarium again after sooo many years; helped launch Lucky Blue Smith as Penshoppe's newest endorsergot to work with Korean superstar Sandara Park thanks to Penshoppe; turned 30; went on an out-of-town trip with my boyfriend for the first time; went to Dia del Libro; built a lamp for the people of the Dumagat tribe; helped launch Gigi Hadid as Penshoppe's newest endorser; celebrated our first anniversary as a couple; got a raise; helped assist Penshoppe's series of events when Lucky Blue Smith came here; experimented with resin jewelry-making; had a ballet class under Prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde herself; met Atom Araullo; got new glasses; had another dream come true when I worked on a project between my idol Manix Abrera and our client Beyond the Box; got my own Tamiya and raced; rushed myself to the Emergency Room because I thought I was having a heart attack; said goodbye to my friend Ed who is now working abroad; got introduced to Hamilton thanks to Chelsea; got a Fitbit Charge HR; got my braces removed; and surprised my boyfriend for his 30th birthday.

This is also the year I bought the most number of books I've ever bought, but read the least number of books I've ever read in a year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But then I love how most of my favorite memories I listed down here involve my favorite person, Miah. ♥

The Little Prince: A Visual Dictionary

28 December 2016

I first read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince when I was in high school. We were at my uncle's house then, and being the anti-social kid I was I chose to go to their mini library and browse the books. I figured it would be a short read since it's a thin volume, with illustrations to boot. I finished it in no time and I was completely taken in. I asked to borrow it and my uncle's wife happily obliged, saying that she wishes their kids have the same penchant for reading as I did.

Well, it's been years and I still have the book with me.

Since I lost all my childhood books in a fire that razed through our neighborhood back in 2001, this book can be considered as the oldest one I have, and it's not even technically mine. Hee. I have the deluxe pop-up edition book and it's one of my favorite things I own, but this thin volume holds a special place in my heart. Trivia: did you know that it's second only to the Bible as the world's best-selling book in history?

For Christmas, my boyfriend gave me this gift and oh my goodness, I bawled so much:

The Little Prince: A Visual Dictionary by Christophe Quillien
The first complete visual history of a classic masterpiece
Everything that you need to know about The Little Prince, from the first draft of the Saint-Exupéry novel to the recent animation movie by Mark Osborne.
Who hasn't heard of The Little Prince? First published in the United States in 1943, this classic by Saint-Exupéry is the world s best-selling book, after the Bible.
For the very first time, discover the official and definitive encyclopedia to this planetary myth: the genesis of the masterpiece, the origins of the Little Prince, all of the drawings, Saint-Exupéry's life, and more.

I consider myself to be nimble when it comes to news about books, movies, and other pop culture phenomena when they concern my favorites, but I was completely thrown off guard and blown away by this gift. It was completely unexpected because I didn't even know such a thing exists! Thank you so much, bb! 

Let me give you a quick virtual tour through this book. 

A merry Althea Korea Christmas

21 December 2016

Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet? Four more sleeps before Christmas and I am going crazy with holiday preparations! Thanks to online shopping, I'm done with more than half of my list without the need for long queues and squeezing in with the holidaze crowd all eager to cram!

One website I bought gifts from is Althea Korea. I've shopped from this website several times before already and I can vouch for their reliability. What do you know, they scored even more major brownie points from me because their app is now available at the Play Store and App Store, making sure I can accomplish some shopping even while on-the-go! Case in point: I checked my Althea Christmas haul out while on my two-hour commute going home from work.

My Christmas haul arrived in six days (that's even faster than the promised 10-15 working days!), and it came in a special holiday-themed box! How adorable!

Ladies and gents, here are what I got on my most recent Althea Korea shopping "trip":

Some of them will be given away as gifts, okay? (^~^;)ゞ

Miah's 30th

19 December 2016

So many instances this could have failed, but didn't. I didn't realize planning surprises are so much fun. We should do this more often. ;)

Happy 30th birthday. I love you. ♥

Strip Manila's limited edition Mulled Wine Wax

16 December 2016

It's easy to get lost in the holidaze and forget one's self, but thankfully Strip's pioneer branch is just a block away from my office. One visit during lunchtime yesterday and I ticked personal grooming off my December to do list. (-‿◦)

What I love about Strip is that they continuously think of new fun wax variants to offer to customers. Aside from the usual Strawberry, Chocolate, and Lemon waxes available all year round, they have come up with variants like the New York Cheesecake, Shanghai Summer Orange, and Gingerbread, among others. This holiday's limited edition wax? It's the Mulled Wine Wax.

Strip says that the limited edition Mulled Wine Wax is perfect for those who are thinking of getting Brazilian or Boyzilian for the first time. It’s infused with the warm and festive scent of red wine, orange, cloves, and cinnamon, which is sure to get you into a holiday mood.

The Project Vanity 'Naughty and Nice Kit'

12 December 2016

I think beauty boxes are great since they give us a chance to try new beauty products that have just been introduced to the market, or get a bunch of tried and tested products at a discounted price. Sometimes if you're lucky you can even score beauty boxes that contain your old favorites as well as new ones that are potential faves. 

Subscription boxes are nice to get because it's like receiving a surprise gift each time, but personally before I spend money on something I'd rather know its contents first. So far not a lot of beauty boxes have jumped out at me enough for me to buy it, until Project Vanity released its Naughty and Nice Kit. I believe I'm one of the first ones to snap it up because I was worried it would get sold out quickly!

My kit was delivered a day after I paid for it, and OMG. I already knew it was a great kit hence my purchase, but holding it in my hands gave me such a thrill because OMG, what a great kit! For only P1,450, you get all these products worth more than P6,000, and unlike other beauty boxes that have filler samples [that may add to the box's value but not really because you don't get to use them anyway], the products included here are all winners! I mean, it blows my mind that you get more than what you pay for with just the Strip gift certificate alone!

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the contents of the Project Vanity Naughty and Nice Kit and my quick thoughts on each one.

Metalmouth no more

08 December 2016

Praise be to God and all His angels and saints, for I am finally free from the bondage that shackles me!

Me and my love for hyperbole. But seriously, if, like me, you've been wearing braces for more than a quarter of your life, then you'll find a lot of reasons to rejoice when they're finally removed.

Buh-bye, braces!

I first wore braces when I was in first year high school, which I wore all my high school life until my fourth year in college. Unfortunately, even that long span of time wasn't enough as I had to have new ones fitted again. I had it done two years ago, and today my orthodontist removed it! For good, I hope.

Bloggers United Strikes 12!

07 December 2016

It's almost the end of the year (whew, about time!), but before we bid 2016 goodbye, let the #BU12xWorldBazaarFestival Holiday Bazaar sate your appetite for all things pretty this holidaze shopping season!

The #BU12xWorldBazaarFestival will be held at the World Trade Center-Tent on December 10 from 10 in the morning to 12 midnight. Expect loads of activities, exciting contests, and of course, great deals and shopping finds from your favorite bloggers!

My [supposed] Christmas 2016 Wish List

01 December 2016

A blink and what feels like one too many sighs, and it's December. 

I know I say this a lot, but seriously, WHERE DID THE MONTHS GO? Did we enter a portal days are less than 24 hours long? Did we somehow unlock the mysteries of time and make it go faster? I don't really know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Since 2011, it has been a tradition for me to post my Christmas wish list on the first day of December in case Santa's feeling generous, but today I didn't even realize it was time to make this year's list if not for Timehop reminding me so. And so I spent the idle hours of this day thinking to myself what I want to receive this Christmas so I can start doing one of my snazzy collages again...

... and I came up with nothing.

I mean, sure, I've wanted a typewriter for so long and a white Kindle Paperwhite would be very, very, very nice to have, but, I don't know, in the grand scheme of things, with the amount of distress and political upheavals we've been having lately, I just feel like no one really cares if I get a paperweight or a new ebook reader or the Hamiltome for Christmas.

A visual representation of my brain cells having a bear-y important meeting
Now I don't know if this means I've matured (which is all well and good) or if I just became jaded (which I don't really want to be).

Am I too old for Santa's list?

Review: Happy Skin x Disney Frozen Moisturizing Matte Lippie Set

15 November 2016

Third post on the third consecutive day? Wow, I'm on a roll. Yay, me!

Hello, everyone! Today I'm sharing my review and swatches of the Happy Skin x Disney Frozen Moisturizing Matte Lippie Set that my boyfriend got for me. Yep, he went to a Happy Skin store alone and surprised me with lipsticks for our 17th monthsary. I'm so proud and kilig! (´∀`)♡

I was actually counting on getting a Jasmine lipstick but sadly she wasn't part of the lineup for this collaboration. Oh well. From the swatches alone, I was already leaning on getting this set but couldn't get a valid enough reason to buy it seeing as how I just bought a new work bag. Thank you for getting this for me, bb.

This set puts sisters Elsa and Anna in the spotlight. I am one of the many people who enjoyed the movie Frozen along with its characters, songs, and story-line so even if we disregard the swatches, I'm still chuffed to get this set.

Make Me Smile Mondays // 111416

14 November 2016

One thing I love about my job is that I can actually work anywhere so long as there's a working Internet connection. I still need to go to the office 40 hours a week though, but we are not required to go on overtime and I am almost always out of the door before 5:15 PM. That's especially helpful for me because I live far from my workplace and commuting to and from work easily eats up almost four hours of my day, every weekday. 

As for my weekends, they're sacred and are spent with my boyfriend and family (and every four weeks, my orthodontist). Last Saturday, I was with Miah as usual but it was more special because it was our 17th monthsary.

He's not smile-y in photos but trust me, he's happy. Heh.
The hoodies are my monthsary gift to him. Anyway, we were wearing our hoodies because it was cold inside New Life in Market! Market!, okay?
17 months. Whoah. Where did all those months go?

We celebrated the occasion by attending a design workshop by industrial engineer/ inventor John Tan featuring the Vaquform he designed and getting our body weight, height, and blood pressure measured at a machine inside Mercury Drug. How romantic, right? But I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm so in love with this nerd. ♥

Challenge accepted: Human Nature's Sweep Challenge

13 November 2016

I've come to the point where I'm more mindful of the products I use and put on my face, especially those that might be absorbed by my body. With all the chemicals floating around in our food, in the air, and in the products we use, we can never be too careful. Environmental concerns is also an important factor; I don't purchase products in sachets anymore and instead buy products in bottles or packaging that can be upcycled. I love Human Nature because their products tick all the boxes for me: natural ingredients, innovative products, environment-friendly packaging, and affordable prices.

Long-time friends of mine and readers of this blog may remember how much I love Human Nature and patronize their products. I even had a brief stint as a reseller when I was living and working in Quezon City! I enjoyed that sideline because not only did I learn about the importance of taking care of one's self using natural ingredients, I was also able to dish helpful advice to my friends and buyers!

And so it wasn't that difficult of a decision for me to say YES when I received an email challenging me to participate in Human Nature's Sweep Challenge. This entails "sweeping" my current personal care products and using Human Nature products for seven days instead.

First I answered a questionnaire, and then they sent me a care package filled with Human Nature products I was supposed to use for seven days, handpicked according to my needs and preferences!

My Human Nature care package contained a 200ml bottle of Natural Feminine Wash in Powder Cool, a 200ml bottle of Balancing Facial Wash, a 200ml bottle of Balancing Face Toner, a 200ml bottle of Moisturizing Natural Shampoo in Mandarin Fresh, a 200ml tube of Moisturizing Natural Conditioner in Mandarin Fresh, a 200ml bottle of Natural Body Wash in Gentle Berry, a 200ml bottle of Healthy Lotion in Powder Love, and a 120g tube of Natural Toothpaste.

The iPhone 7 Midnight Launch at Beyond the Box

10 November 2016

My current phone contract is due to expire early next year but I'm low key hoping it happens very soon because gosh darn have you seen sample photos online using the iPhone 7? It's like a photo shoot each time!

For you folks who have extra money to burn and a hankering to get a new gadget, Apple premium reseller Beyond the Box has made it easier for you to get your hands on this swanky new device!

At the stroke of midnight tonight, the iPhone 7 will finally be ready for purchase at Beyond the Box. This special Midnight Launch event will mark the official commercial release of the iPhone 7 in the country. Attendees can expect to get a full rundown of iPhone 7’s impressive new features during the event, but more importantly, be the first ones to own Apple’s latest flagship device.

If you wish to get first access, all you need to do is line up at Beyond the Box in Resorts World Manila starting 11PM tonight. The first 100 customers who will purchase an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus at the event will take home premium accessories from Beyond the Box in partnership with Bodyguardz.

For more information, including pricing, please visit Beyond the Box's website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram! Are you coming tonight? Tweet me as you are as I'll be there! It's a bit problematic for me because I still can't drink coffee but, yeah, see you later!

Another sunset

09 November 2016

One day, you said to me, "I saw the sunset forty-four times!"

And a little later you added: "You know-- one loves the sunset, when one is so sad..."

"Were you so sad, then?" I asked, "on the day of the forty-four sunsets?"

But the little prince made no reply.

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

My friend Ed

06 November 2016

I met Ed the summer of 2004; a few weeks shy of our sophomore year in college. I was part of the Student Council as the College Representative, tasked to guide new students as they were interviewed by the College of Mass Communication; he shifted courses, transferring from the College of Engineering. Both young, bright-eyed, and full of dreams, back then I already had an inkling we would be friends. 

We weren't really able to hang out that much then, though. Being a shifter, he was an irregular student who had to take units I've already taken. We also belonged to different cliques and didn't have a chance to bond more than the usual pleasantries and quick hellos.

Thanks to Multiply, we became much closer than we anticipated. I found his entries to his Multiply Journals witty and sincere, and we spent many back and forths commenting on each other's posts. I had a falling out with my old group, and my friendship with Ed was further cemented when he had my back as I let go of friendships that were no longer fruitful. When I had my heart broken and it took me much longer to get over it, Ed was there supporting me all the way, never judging and always ready to lend a sympathetic ear. He was never an enabler, though; he speaks what I need to hear but is always kind and gracious about it. And he was right, I found love again and it's much better than I imagined. ♥

Countless beach trips, dinners, concerts, Pahiyas, random sleepovers, Jason Mraz songs, movie recommendations, and more than a thousand text messages and emails exchanged (he was the one who forced me to watch How I Met Your Mother and I am so glad I listened!), Ed has become a solid constant in my life and I am truly blessed he is my friend. 

Yesterday, he left the Philippines to work in Singapore. It's a country I considered trying my luck in late last year when a circumstance forced me to reevaluate my life and rethink my choices. I even have somewhere to stay in already. But decisions remain ideas unless you push through with them, and I didn't. As for Ed, he made the decision and trudged on, and now he's there and starting his first day on his new job tomorrow. Everything came easy for him because it was meant to happen. We're now separated by a thousand miles and a huge body of water but thanks to technology, there's no distance too far.

A year or so ago, I made a promise to him that I will never not reply. I haven't turned my back on that promise so far, and I never intend to. Whether it be little triumphs or huge victories, a tear or two or full-on ugly crying over a movie or a song or a love too great to comprehend, I know he knows that I'm ALWAYS just a message or a phone call away.

Dear Eddiibear, you'll always be my sunshine and serenade-in-a-box, and I'll be sweet pea. I know you'll do great there! Cheers to more adventures and stories, cheers to love and light and music and doughnuts! The world is waiting.

Hey, remember that time I rushed myself to the ER?

03 November 2016

Yesterday I rushed myself to the Emergency Room of St. Luke's Medical Center in BGC. I only meant to go home earlier than my official time-out from work but my boyfriend said to go to the hospital and so that's what I did. It was my first time to go to the Emergency Room of any hospital ever so you could just imagine how terrified I was. 

Early this year, my heart started beating irregularly in that sometimes it would skip one or two beats and then go really fast that I am left out of breath. I had it checked and had ECG and Thyroid Function test done but the doctor didn't find anything unusual. She chalked it up to stress — which made sense as I was dealing with a major change then — and ordered me to stop drinking coffee and tea for a while. I did, and the palpitations stopped. It would return every now and then but not that frequently so I just ignored it.

Until it returned about two weeks ago, and it got to the point that it was too difficult to ignore. Yesterday was that point.

It started with a simple chest pain, and then as 4:00 rolled around I was full on having difficulty breathing; I was literally gasping for air. I was a total mess, panicking and tearing up and messaging my boyfriend while fixing my stuff preparing to go home and rest it off, and that was when he told me to go straight to the hospital and that he'd meet me there. Amidst helpful advice from my officemates on what I should do when I get to the hospital I booked an Uber and next scene, I was in the Emergency Room talking to the nurse while she was getting my details and checking my vital signs.

First day back at work after the extra long weekend and now this
Apparently it was not a life-threatening situation as I waited for about 15 to 20 minutes more before another nurse attended to me for an ECG. I got scared again when the nurse couldn't get a proper reading even after two attempts. Was my heart condition that bad that it couldn't be read? This is modern facility with modern equipment, why wouldn't the machine work? Am I dying? We had to transfer to another room and use another machine, and finally it worked this time.

The results of the ECG were passed to the doctor and she told me neither the electrocardiogram nor the stethoscope didn't detect anything wrong with my heart.

I felt like panicking again because what could be wrong with me?

The fantastical Dr. Strange

25 October 2016

The latest in a list of films with a time-bending protagonist and Rachel McAdams as the love interest (viz. The Time Traveler's Wife, Midnight in Paris, and About Time) is Dr. Strange, a Marvel Studios film about arrogant surgeon Stephen Strange - played convincingly well by Benedict Cumberbatch - who learns mystic arts from the Ancient One after seeking help to heal his hands (rendered unusable for his profession after a car accident) so he could resume his career.

I got invited to the advance screening held at the SM Mall of Asia IMAX Theater last night and oh boy, what an amazing ride it was.

Let it be known that I have zero knowledge about the character prior to seeing the film aside from what is shown by the trailers, but that wasn't a problem because the story was easy to digest and process.

Documenting my days

23 October 2016

There are days that pass uneventfully, with nary anything that stands out enough for it to warrant being remembered years later.

And then there are days that fill you with happiness and magic and joy and sparkles that memories of conversations exchanged or a song heard or even a specific scent sniffed bring back those same feelings you felt, multiplied even more by nostalgia. These are the days worth documenting.

One perfect example was last weekend, and those days are what I chose to highlight at today's Fujifilm Instax & Crafts workshop in SM Megamall spearheaded by my friend Ana

Review: L'Oreal Makeup Designer/Paris' Color Riche Matte Browns and Creamy Browns

12 October 2016

The brown lipstick trend continues and doesn't show signs of stopping anytime soon, and I'm not complaining. Fall is my favorite season, after all. ♥ Today, we're putting the spotlight on the L'Oreal Makeup Designer/Paris' Color Riche Matte Browns and Creamy Browns.

L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Browns
L'Oreal Color Riche Creamy Browns
I know sometimes it's daunting to see A LOT of shades at the makeup counters when you only need a lipstick or two, but I think it's great that brands give us a wide variety of shades and formulations to choose from. 

A magical show with The Swan, The Fairy and The Princess

11 October 2016

There are some performances you watch, and there are some performances that stay with you for a long time. Seeing Ballet Manila's Rebel: EDSA 30 a couple of months ago is definitely one of the highlights of my year because even though I don't dance, ballet holds a special place in my four year old-self's heart. The costumes and set design were simple yet tastefully done, the performances were outstanding, the dances perfectly executed, and the overall production was A+! I was moved to tears several times because it was just too beautiful for words.

And so now I am looking forward to the second act of Ballet Manila's 21st season. If you are still pondering on possible plans for this coming weekend, I suggest you go get a ticket to The Swan, The Fairy and The Princess at the Aliw Theater.

It promises to bring together some of today’s most esteemed names in the international and local art scene for an unforgettable showcase of talent and mastery of their respective crafts, and I am excited to lap it all up.

Make Me Smile Mondays // 101016

10 October 2016


Hey, guys. I'm alive.

I'm so happy I finally got the time and energy to sit down in front of my computer for leisure. I don't even remember the last time I got to do this as it feels like I only ever use my laptop for work now and then my phone for social media. I missed blogging so much!

Here are the highlights of my past week. ♥

I got to try BLK 513 for the first time when I met up with the Japan in Manila girls last month. Last week, Seph invited me to the launch of their S' Maison store and I figured out my favorite combination: Dark Skim Cup with ube syrup and Fool's Gold! It's SO GOOD that I had to have it again last weekend! Ube anything is the best. ♥
BLK 513 and ramen with dear friends at our favorite nondescript Korean restaurant somewhere in Macapagal Avenue? Even better. ♥

Remembering How I Met Your Mother

20 September 2016

My boyfriend playfully (and I use the term loosely) scolds me whenever I look back at grievances other people have done to me, saying I should stop living in the past and memories shouldn't hurt me anymore. But I can't help it if certain things affected me so much that I can still remember - vividly - the feelings I felt when I first felt them, months (and years, even) after. They're not all bad memories, anyway. There are a lot of good memories too, but I guess pain leaves deeper marks than happiness.

Whew, what an emo introduction. Whatever. I'm getting cheese fries. 

I don't know, but I guess now is a good time as any to remember my favorite TV show in the world.

Happy 11th Anniversary, you guys. ♥
I'll make this short and sweet since I've written about How I Met Your Mother a LOT of times already (I even have watercolor paintings inspired by the show, of which this one is my favorite), but I just wanted to highlight here my favorites.

My Manila International Book Fair 2016 Haul

18 September 2016

This week left me feeling drained and exhausted, and I seriously couldn't wait for the weekend. Not to rest, though, but to be in the company of books. ♥

The 37th Manila International Book Fair started last Thursday but because of work my boyfriend Miah and I only got to go yesterday.

Joker and The Flash went to MIBF2016 to hoard books
Thank you for my new shoes, bb ♥
As expected, SMX Convention Center was PACKED! I didn't even get to take photos because I was too preoccupied balancing my stack of books and making sure I don't bump into anyone. It was a total workout!

Making a wish on a sticky note

14 September 2016

Remember when I wrote two short stories last year that were published as part of two separate ebook anthologies? Remember when I said I would expound on them and write the continuation to turn them into novellas? And as for the case of A Sky of Wishes, write more stories in the same universe? Remember when I even showed you the cover of the print edition of Once Upon a Sticky Note? I had such high ambitions, envisioning pages with illustrations and hand-written notes.

Such wishful thinking. Such lofty dreams.

The Manila International Book Fair 2016 officially started today and it's taking all of me to not up and leave everything so I could go to SMX Convention Center and hoard books that I don't really need right now because I'm basically drowning in a to-read pile that's taller than me.

I'm actually feeling a bit downtrodden today because I could have had the chance to sell my books at the Indie Publishers booth together with my #romanceclass and #StrangeLit classmates, but I wasn't able to grab it due to the fact I still haven't been able to finish polishing and creating the artworks I wanted to create for them.

Look at these beauties
Photo by Chi Yu Rodriguez who wrote The Bye-Bye Bouquet which you should read
I am so jealous of them right now. They're all busy women with careers and/ or families to take care of and have so much going on with their lives yet they were able to do it, and I didn't. What's my excuse?

I put it off in my quest for perfection that I ended up with nothing. 

That's not to say I'm not happy for my peers' successes, of course. I am so glad and grateful that local authors are being given this opportunity thanks to Mina Esguerra who paved the way for romance writers and readers to find one another and introduced us to the world of indie publishing. I love being part of this community!


12 September 2016

Today, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 15th month as a couple. ♥

Coincidentally, today was declared a regular non-working holiday in observance of Eid'l Adha so we were able to go out. Because we were starting to get sick of our usual date haunts and were craving for something new, we went all the way to Banawe in Quezon City for Chef Robert.

And we were rewarded.

We have been planning to go for a while now but it was only that we got the chance. I hope you're not hungry when you read this post because I'll surely whet your appetite, heh.

Review: Maybelline ColorSensational Creamy Matte Browns

11 September 2016

Whew. All those car talk on this blog, my Facebook, and my Instagram made me want to reach in to my drafts and finish a lipstick review, hence this post.

The '90s have made a comeback, as trends are wont to do. Makeup brands left and right have released numerous shades of brown and of course Maybelline has its own interpretation. Following the success of the first batch of Maybelline Creamy Mattes (I have Touch of Spice, Vibrant Violet, and Ravishing Rose in my stash), Maybelline brought their Creamy Matte Browns to the Philippine shores, and I was waiting on the wings ready to lap them all up.

Here are my swatches of and clear notes on the four most popular shades in this collection: Burgundy Blush, Clay Crush, Nude Nuance, and Touch of Spice

Out of all Maybelline products I have tried (and I have tried a lot!), the Creamy Matte lipsticks are my favorite because they're extremely pigmented even with just one swipe, they stay on for hours, and they don't leave my lips feeling dry. I love them! A word of caution, though: they have the US formula so they melt easily. Best to leave them in a cool place or "depot" and put them in a lipstick palette instead.

Racing cars

10 September 2016

Wouldn't it be nice to go back to simpler times? Back when the only thing we had to worry about were escaping nap-times and which notebooks to pair with which subjects. Ah grade school days, I miss you and your carefree sensibilities.

One thing that was very popular when I was in grade school-turning-high school was racing Tamiya mini 4wd models. I remember my Dad even made a huge race track for my brother. I personally never got into it, though. I was a girly girl and I still am now and my interests then up to now lie primarily on books, clothes, dolls, and stationery, not cars. Definitely never cars.

But what do you know, my boyfriend who used to race decided to take on the hobby again, and he wanted to reel me in as well. He even got me my own car!

Can you guess which one is mine? (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) I have the Aero Avante Clear Pink Special and it is beautiful. ♥ Note that aside from helping me put double-sided tape, I was the one who assembled it!

And because I'm me, I prettified it further with washi tape.

We've been going to Waltermart Makati to watch other racers and tonight, he entered me in the competition. Eep!

Make Me Smile Mondays // 090516

05 September 2016

So I'm slowly easing into things and hopefully I'll regain the hang of blogging again soon. ♥

Work and the commute going to and from the office still take up a huge chunk of my weekdays, but with the convenience offered by UberPool I am able to minimize travel time and have more energy and time for the things that matter.

When I started this blog I was still working in a BPO where I didn't have Saturdays and Sundays off, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays were my "weekends". I didn't mind that much because I didn't have a bustling social life anyway and I just spent my rest days reading or cooped up in the house in front of my computer. I started a blog series called Make Me Smile Mondays where I listed down the things that make me, yes, smile. Kinda like a Things I Love Lately, if you will.

Since I'm trying to make blogging a habit again, why not jump-start that attempt with this series? So, yeah, I'm listing down here the things that made me smile this week. 

♥ Visit to Kawaii PH HQ

My friends Ana, Ava, Sarah, and Ashley started a crafting club and I am SO HAPPY to be its newest member! My Saturdays are usually reserved for my boyfriend, but we made an exception last weekend so my girls and I could go have a field trip to Kawaii PH HQ in Quezon City. It was so nice to see my old home (context: I worked and lived in QC for about four years before) again, 

And OMG everything was floor to ceiling kawaii! I loved the handmade stickers most of all but I also couldn't resist getting something that I wouldn't mind wearing for Halloween, hee hee. 

Check the rest of the photos here.

♥ Crafting Club + journalling

You know how long I've been including Moleskines on my yearly Christmas wish lists? Well, I had a Le Petit Prince Pocket Diary Moleskine before but I don't really count it because I didn't buy it with my own money. Well, this time I splurged and got myself a Le Petit Prince Weekly Diary/ Planner Moleskine and it's one of the prettiest things I own. 

It's for July 2016 to December 2017. I know there are a lot of extra pages since it's September already but that's okay because extra pages mean more space for my thoughts and washi tapes and stickers and what-have-yous.

Of tokens and prizes

02 September 2016

You know those UFO Catchers in arcades? One of my ultimate dreams in life is to be able to snag a prize from one of those machines, and if that fails to at least have someone win something for me. Isn't it frustrating when you think you already got it, and then it turns out you didn't? Argh!!!

Like adulting. You think you already got it all figured out, and then it turns out you really haven't got a clue. Next thing you know you've already wasted far too many tokens with zero returns.

Anyway. Funny story. Today I wanted to withdraw from my payroll account but I entered the incorrect PIN. The reason why? The PIN I use is still the original PIN that came with my card when I got it so it doesn't hold a specific significance to me — in my defense I never got the chance to change it because I only use my payroll ATM during paydays and Maybank ATMs are quite rare.

I almost panicked but I reminded myself to stay calm and think rationally. There's a Maybank right next door so I went there immediately to ask for advice, and was told I would have to surrender my ATM card so they can replace it with a new one and a new PIN. I didn't want to because my card has my name embossed on it and if I have it replaced with something I could use straightaway I would be issued a generic [ugly] card with no embossing. I joked, wouldn't it be funny if I remember my PIN in the middle of this process?

True enough the correct PIN came to me after they have blocked my card.

What a scatterbrain. It would be hilarious if it just weren't so downright annoying.

And that was just one of a few booboos from today.

One thing I think I did right though was facilitating our weekly meeting at work. Every week we all meet and everyone answers a set question so we can all learn a little bit more about the people we work with. Our boss was out for meetings so she made me think of this week's question.

I asked, now that the Ber months are here, what are your goals that you want to accomplish before 2016 ends?

Review: Maybelline Super BB Cushion

29 August 2016

Do you love BB Creams but find blending it with your fingertips too tedious and/ or messy?

I'm the same!

When I read about BB Cushions from Korean beauty brands, I instantly wanted to try but found the price off-putting. Seeing Maybelline Super BB Cushion - their BB Cushion version of their instant cult favorite (also one of my favorites) Super BB Cream - made me so excited to get my paws on it stat!

The new Maybelline Super BB Cushion promises radiance from morning to night in just a tap tap.

Books and toys and pop culture

28 August 2016

The weather has been extra gloomy these past few days and it was tempting to just stay home and eat champorado yesterday, but it's not every day that The Philippine Readers & Writers Festival and the AsiaPOP Comicon happen on the same weekend so despite the lure of my bed I got up and left the house.

First stop: Raffles Makati for The Philippine Readers & Writers Festival.

With Arnel Patawaran, and my signed copies of his books Write Here Write Now and Hai[na]ku
With Eliza Victoria and my signed copies of her books Wounded Little Gods and Project 17
I have more books of hers but they were borrowed by a friend and I never got them back. :(
Her book A Bottle of Storm Clouds inspired one of my watercolor paintings.

Never mind the crappy handwriting. I got my books signed by Arnel Patawaran and Eliza Victoria! Authors are my rock stars so I'm a happy fan girl. ♥


26 August 2016

Because I already ran out of comic books for Manix to sign
It's not a secret that I'm a HUGE fan of Manix Abrera. Exhibit A: I lined up for six hours to get his autograph. Exhibit B: My boyfriend and I went to Baguio to attend his talk. To work on a project with him? That's the dream.

Well, as Paulo Coelho said in my favorite book The Alchemist, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

I work in PR and Beyond the Box is one of our clients. To celebrate the amazing talent and creativity found in Filipino comic book artistry through the use of technology, the Apple Premium Reseller brought together some of the country’s most respected and known comic artists to create a one-of-a-kind comic book compilation made solely using the iPad Pro — the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Harvey Tolibao, Manix Abrera, and Mervin Malonzo have been challenged to write and illustrate under the theme “beyond” as an ode to Beyond the Box as a brand that encourages pushing limits and exploring possibilities.

Harvey Tolibao is a Filipino comic book artist who has gained recognition by pencilling and inking for Dark Horse, Marvel and DC Comics. He is currently a cover artist at Zenescope Entertainment, a comic book artist at IDW Publishing, an artist at Nautilus Comics, and a cover artist for DC Comics.

Manuel “Manix” Abrera is a Filipino comic artist best known for his daily comic strip Kikomachine for The Philippine Daily Inquirer and his webcomic News Hardcore! on GMA News Online. 
Mervin Malonzo is a Filipino freelance designer, artist, animator, illustrator and cartoonist for web, video animation, print, and comics. He is known for writing and drawing the National Book Award-winning comic Tabi Po and his work with writer Adam David for Ang Subersibo, a comic adaptation of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
We launched Beyond at Hole in The Wall in Century City Mall last Tuesday (that's a couple of days before I had my hair cut, heh) and oh my, if only I could absorb even half of the creativity and awesomeness in the room!

Hi, Sab!

Hello, new glasses!

25 August 2016

I used to lug heavy shoulder bags to work and that put a lot of strain on my shoulders, made worse by the fact that I am compelled to bring everything anywhere I go. Lately though, I started using a backpack and that made it a LOT easier for me. However, the backpack I have makes me look like I'm still in college. Flattering, yes, but doesn't leave a good impression especially when I'm on client meetings and events.

The solution: Get a "mature" backpack.

My friend/ officemate Alexandra went with me to SM Aura to look for one.

The problem: I didn't find any I liked enough.

We went around some more but we still weren't successful. On our way out of The SM Store, I spotted this:

Long story short, I have a new pair of eyeglasses.

I had an eye checkup and got the lens fitted the same day. I've had my current pair for two years now and I've been meaning to have it replaced so I couldn't have chanced upon these "granny glasses" at a better time. I got my glasses with the correct grade earlier today; it took longer because of my astigmatism.

I'm also in love with Maybelline Creamy Matte in Burgundy Blush. Review coming soon. ♥

Robinsons Beauty Fair August 2016: Winning Beauty

14 August 2016

Hold your horses — and your wallets! It's Beauty Fair season again in Robinsons Department Store! Hoard and stock up on your favorite beauty products and personal care essentials and enjoy great discounts and freebies on brands like Unilever, L’Oreal, Maybelline New York, Celeteque, Colgate, Garnier, Procter & Gamble, Myra, Revlon and many more!

Doesn't it feel like Christmas in August?
Here are just some of the amazing deals you can score until the end of the month! Hurry!

I met Atom Araullo today

06 August 2016

And here's the proof:

For context: #romanceclass started as a community of local authors and aspiring authors of romance books. This group was started by Mina V. Esguerra as an extension of the romance classes she offered but has since grown to include readers. It's a supportive and uplifting community and I am happy to be part of it. ♥

Just recently, Mina started organizing #romanceclass lectures where they invite personalities from certain fields to give us a clearer understanding of their professions and the dynamics of people in the workplace to either serve as inspiration for possible book characters, or to assist authors in the middle of writing about characters who happen to be in these fields.

Today we had Pia Arcangel and Atom Araullo representing journalists. 

My ballet class with Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde of Ballet Manila

05 August 2016

If my career in PR doesn't pan out, I think I'll pursue my original dream and become a ballerina instead.

... is what I was thinking of on our way to The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila's new branch in Fisher Mall.

Such wishful thinking. Such lofty dreams.

Yes! As part of its continuing effort to bring ballet closer to the people and the people closer to ballet, Ballet Manila opens a new branch in Quezon City to bring the signature discipline and technique that it has come to be known for closer to aspiring ballerinas and danseurs residing north of Metro Manila.

See? I can even look the part!

Scents, sensibilities, and favorite feelings

04 August 2016

I like scents and I cannot lie. After the long and extremely busy week we had last week (I mean, yeah, all weeks are long and busy when you work in PR, but last week was extraordinary because we had the huge Penshoppe x Lucky Blue Smith series of events), it's nice to sit back and enjoy a little aromatherapy.

What perfect time to open my package from FAVORI than last weekend, then. Really, my new Leaf Aerator is heaven-sent. ♥

Even a total noob can set this up. All you need to remember is to put enough water in the container while it is unplugged, add a few drops of your water-soluble oil of choice, and voila! You now have a fancy addition to your room that removes dust and smoke and reduces indoor pollution as it deodorizes and refreshens.

The color-changing display and LED illumination are nice touches, too. I was mesmerized!