The Bag Blog

The BFF and I decided to have at least 1 blog of the same topic each month and this is the kick off – a girl’s other bestfriend, Le Bag Essentials!

As exciting at it sounds, I honestly did not know how I’d do it at first. Do I open my bag and take a snap shot of it? Do I scatter everything then take a picture? Or do I make a vlog (well this would have been really interesting but I electronically sound weird)? Then I thought of how you will see it as you read though. Warning: Thou shall not  be deceived of the “neatness” of the presentation; it is the courtesy of oh-faithful PhotoGrid. In real life, my bag life is a wreck!

Here goes!

Flats
Flats

At my younger age, I was used to wearing heels all the time – I go to school in them, dance, run, jump, etc. However, it is no longer the same story now. Put me in heels and in just a couple of hours of doing nothing, I’ll complain about them!  So flats indeed! Turns out that I’m a glitter fan hence, the design. I got this pair for jut AED 15 at a local shoe shop called “Home of Shoes”. Cool place with cool choices and prices. The best part, it’s just below the flat of where I live.

Keys
Keys

Keys to the house, the rooms, my locker. The little silver thing is a whistle “arbored”  from big bro when we handled the family resort. It has a different tune than the rest of the staff so they can identify who’s calling.

The pink thing is a pocket Swiss knife which I bought for AED 75-ish forever ago at Hamdan Center. I had another one prior to this but I forgot how I lost it and this is a replacement. Really very handy.

Work ID
Work ID

My work does not require a Labor Card and I cannot bring my passport everywhere, so I bring this instead to have proof that I am in fact legally employed and working.

Wallet
Wallet

I got this a Christmas present to myself last December from Accessorize. I forgot the price but it was on 25% off. Ended up buying it as presents for the rest of the ladies in my family and a pricy receipt! Lol! I fell in love the inside pattern – looks for lady-ish.

Bus Card
Bus Card

The intercity buses cost AED 2 per ride and AED 4 for the provincial buses. But for AED 80 per card, the bearer can ride all intercity buses unlimited for a whole month! Awesome huh? My work is miiiilesss away from my house and this really helps me a lot saving up, unless I get lazy and ride a cab for AED 35 – 40 for just one way (ouch!). But I have been seeing a scanner-looking device lately in buses, similar to the scanner I saw in Singapore and Dubai. So I’m abusing this card now until they start charging per ride and distance. Hehe.

Cologne
Cologne

05bI regularly use a perfumed called “Hippy Fizz” by Moschino (similar scent to CK and Pleasure but cheaper! It has the scent of something similar to dead jasmine flowers or liquor. Haha. But it gets better I promise). I’m not officially including it as a hand bag must-have for me since I’m not fond of carrying its large bottle around, but I attached a picture for reference.

The cologne in the picture is called Fantasy by Lewis & Pearl – now THIS I carry everywhere. Very girly scented. I just inserted the note about the perfume because I use it before leaving the house but the rest of the day, I use this. Instant fresh feeling! I get this for about AED 10 at most stores which sell Philippine made products. There are smaller versions of its original container which can be bought ONLY in the Philippines. The regular container is a bit too bulky so I transfer them to one of the small containers I usually get from Daiso or Divisoria (budget conscious heaven!!), whenever I go home.

Wet Wipes
Wet Wipes

Ah! An essential. I love this particular brand. It smells so good for just a cheap price of AED 4.65 from any of the big supermarkets. Very, very useful throughout my daily activities especially for someone like me who can rarely be seen more than 5 minutes at home.

Tissue
Tissue

Where there is wet wipes, there has to be tissue! I usually use the little pocket tissues, neatly sold in little plastic packaging but now I’m using this coreless tissue roll. You never know just how much tissue you might need – or simply because I’m having spring colds now and scared to run out of tissue! This is how I carry it, safely tucked in the middle of my other pouches.

Contact Lens Solution
Contact Lens Solution

This little suckers costs AED 35! More expensive than the AED 20-25 of the big solution but the good part with this little one is it’s refillable. I don’t always wear my contact lenses but I still carry this around. I have lost a few of these before that’s why I’m keeping it just in my bag so I know where to find it next time I need it. Plus when the days I do decide to wear my contact lenses, it sucks to figure out that I lost my solution at home.

Pens
Pens

Oh yes, pens. Pens are a must. You’ll never know when you’ll need to jot down something. And yes, it should be in different colors! This is from the BFF. All the way from Singapore and it’s scented too! Arte lang! Pens are more important to carry around than paper. There’s always something to write on – a table napkin, used paper, gum wrappers….

Hair Accessories
Hair Accessories

Yep, pens and sticks! I have a bad habit of forgetting I have actual hair to fix! Lol. Other than writing with pens, they double too as sticks to keep the hair tidy.

Make-up Kit
Make-up Kit

Eto na! You can see that all my make up are gathered in one place.  Read till the end and you’ll know why only some items are numbered in this part. By the way, yes, you DO NOT see a brush or a comb! As soon as I head out the door, my hair is something  I always  forget I have! Haha.

1. Eyeshadow Palette – this is what I like to call a “cheat palette”. The original name is “Chill” from Marks & Spencer. It has the shades, lip gloss, and on the left is a guide to teach how to put on natural lid colors using brown shades. Also available in black called “Smokey” (I think). It costs AED 95-ish (I think again) but this was given by my mom hoping I could learn how to use it. Between you and me, I tried it and I looked like crap! I’m not a make up person. I just use the dark brown shade for my eyebrows! Hehe.

2. Eyeliner liquid – from Daiso only at AED 7! Daiso has wonders of girly stuff and only girls would appreciate. I don’t regularly use this. It’s just in my kit in case I feel like the occasion calls for it.

3. Pocket Mirror

4. Pressed powder – I have these two mirrors because one comes with the press powder by Clear & Clear (forgot the price) and the other, well, I don’t want to have to keep my pressed powder if I’m not going to use it. Jahe kaya!

Lipsticks
Lipsticks

Aha! Do not be amazed. I don’t know anything about these either. I struggle to find a good shade and when I do, I stick with it.

1. Lip Balm – Pomegranate lip balm by Labello, costs less that AED 10. I use this on a regular basis to keep my lips moist and also as a base before I put any lipstick on. I’m not sure if it’s legal to use lip balm before lipstick but I feel like it’s protecting my lips from getting dry and from getting dark from the tint of the lipstick. Labello lip balms come in different scents and shades. I like the pomegranate cause it gives a little natural not so red tint to my lips when I decide to use only this.

2. Raisin Wine – by Avon (#030212), AED 25 when bought here in UAE. I use this for everyday work or casual lipstick. Really looks great on almost all skin tones. Looks sweet, natural, warm, and alive. I discovered this is about 2007/8ish and have been using it since. I recently found out that this line, though popular, has been discontinued by Avon and I have been in a desperate quest to find a shade similar to it since. I believe the closest I found to its shade is from Maybelline called Ginger Spice (#445). I haven’t bought it. I’ll update this blog when I do for, as you can see, dear ol’ Raisin Wine is about to finish :,(

3. Coral Fire – by Maybelline (#440), AED 50. Another discontinued product!! I think for some reason, the universe is conniving on me by discontinuing products I love…maybe to push me into finding other alternatives?? I discovered this color last year, my aunt gave it to me. It’s pretty. Something to make you look fun and fresh. Great with a casual or office outfit without saying too much. (Notice the color of my wallet, they’re the same) I still need to look for the alternative of this.

4. Scarlet Siren – by Avon (#290313), AED 35. Now THAT’s a statement maker!  It’s red, a little darker, almost like blood red. I used to use a REALLY red shade but since my skin got a little darker, I adjusted the lipstick shade as well (may alam daw ako sa shades and skin tones???!! Haha). The use of this color is either you dab it on your lips or you be generous about it! I suggest using a lip liner of the same shade first because red has a tendency to “bleed” out of the lips. I mostly use this when I don’t feel like putting anything else on my face, then this will do the trick. Sometimes in the office too. It’s a real bring-me-back-to-life statement. So far I have no news yet if Avon will discontinued this line (omg!). This darker shade usually has a strong impression – that you mean business and do not take crap from anyone.

Blush On
Blush On

Cute diba? Most people mistaken it for nail polish and make weird faces when I started putting it on my face! Bentang reaction lagi for me. Lol! It’s a liquid form of blush on called “prettywhenpinched lip and cheek tint” by Her Bench. I get it for AED 35 here in UAE, and I believe it’s only PhP 180 – 200 when bought in Philippines. I first saw a similar product but in cream-ish form which comes in a tube. Since I never really cared about face products, I ignored it. Then I remember seeing the product being used on Gwyneth Paltrow and liked it. From the tube, I tried the liquid form and stuck with this. It’s easier for me to put and handle without looking like someone slapped me. Astig to kasi it gives a natural red tint on the cheeks and it stays on like forever!! Well, rubbing it with dry hands, water and sweat doesn’t easily make it come off, stronger solution does though like facial wash, make up remover and tears… (Hhhmmmm??) hehe. People most of the time compliment me for my “natural” rosy cheeks – now you know my secret! ; )

Creams
Creams

I heard from TV before that the skin you have in your 20’s is the skin you will have for the rest of your life. Therefore, invest in moisturizes. I’m not a vain person (as I believe) but I don’t want to look losyang way too early or never at all if that’s possible.

1. Hand Cream – of the many hand moisturizers I’ve tried, this is the best! I’ve been using it for about 3 years now – the only brand I use. Hand & Cuticle Cream by Jergens for about AED 12. For people like me who is born with natural dry hands, I highly recommend this. They have foot cream too, but we’re talking about stuff I carry on a daily basis. I would never put cream on my feet in public! Though this cream may be used the same way as lotion (for the whole body or arms at least).

2. Face Moisturizer – Olay Natural White Fairness Cream for Combo / Oily Skin by Olay for AED 16. Some of the things I bring, I sometimes forget or loose, or forget to buy a new one but these creams are some things which I really cannot go about the day without especially at the office. As haggard and toxic the day goes, I still need to look my best or whatever near it I can be, sometimes even if I’m just at home. Without my facial cream, I feel like my skin is dehydrated, wrinkly, and dull. I saw in a How To YouTube once that it’s important to include the décolletage (a woman’s neck and top of her chest – thanks, Google!) while putting on moisturizer because it’s where aging starts to be seen. To my paranoia, I include this area while putting on face moisturizer, then include it again when putting my body lotion. Winter is a time to double up on the moisturizers because the cold dries up the skin twice as fast than summer time, where it does dehydrate your skin but somehow still make it produce its natural oil. There was once a cream I loved for my combo / oily facial skin, a Nivea line called Aqua Sensation. The cream was made partly by water, therefore does not leave a grease aftermath on the skin which was so great for me and used it FOREVER but again – you guessed it – they discontinued the line! This is by far the best alternative for me.

3. Sun block – another must-have-at-all-times especially here in the UAE where the weather is always sunny. We get strong sun even in the 14awinter but not as scorching as it is during the peak of summer. My sunblock is from Rejuvi. I believe it’s a line only sold professionally (at salons). As I recall, retail purchase is AED 60 but I get it for free (wink!) – ermmm… my mother pays for it (wink again!). I hated sun blocks because of the sticky and greasy effect, but this I love because it keeps the skin in matte condition and it’s tinted too – skin color tinted – which is great because it conceals and make the whole face seem like it has a balanced complexion.

Intimate Hygiene
Intimate Hygiene

Well no need to go into TOO much information as to what brand I use during the “red days”. I’m including this anyway because I always carry them and because I love the pouches.

1. Pouch 1 – is where I put my pads. It has 3 zippers and fits just about enough stuff that I’m going to need for the whole day. I found it unused in my mom’s possession so I took it. Hehe. When folded, the design looks like a wallet so it’s very discreet about giving people a clue with what’s inside it. Unlike the need to bring my whole bag to the washroom or a little paper bag.

2. Pouch 2 – I got this a freebie from the brand PH (intimate feminine wash). I was in the Philippines and it was their anniversary, a pouch came along when you purchase the biggest container. Ain’t it cute?

Electronic Gadgets
Electronic Gadgets

1. Cellphone – a white Samsung Note 3 from Etisalat, AED 88 for 2 years. Hehe.  I got it for my dad but he wanted one with dual sim feature. So my mom got him that phone, I got this, and my old Samsung Galaxy II went to my little bro. Since my dad didn’t like this, it was supposed to go to my little brother but he has a terrible habit of losing phones. I told him NO WAY am I going to give this to him and I find out he lost it after a couple of days! Told him if that ever happens, I’ll fly to Philippines and punch him myself! Haha. The picture you see is a picture I got from the internet and I copy-pasted my home page. Hehe.

2. Earphones – couple parts of my daily routine is riding a bus for 1.5hrs each way from home to work and back. This is my source of entertainment during that time and times when I’m bored at the office. That black thing wrapped around it is the plastic core you get from a roll of cashier’s receipt. Smart, huh?

3. Charger Cable – a must! The smart phones now may be entertaining and all that – but it does drain the battery pretty fast, sometimes even without doing anything with it.

4. Ear piece – it can connect to my cellphone via Bluetooth and let me listen to stuff and talk on the phone hands free. I use this more than earphones because I don’t get too hassled with the wiring. When it’s charging, then I use the earphones. It was gift by my big bro and wife on my 27th birthday. As I am informed, Plantronics is one of the best brands and this little piece is about PhP 3,000 (I think). I am so fond of this that it’s almost an accessory to me. I even sometimes forget it’s on my ear.

5. Power bank – a useful piece of technology that I am really fond of. Saw a similar one for the first time from a friend and found it awesome. This is my other Christmas present to myself for AED 99. My charger cable is just as good as I have access to a power supply. Beyond that, is this thing’s job. It’s good for about one full battery charge.

Ze Bag!
Ze Bag!

Ze Bag where all these items are stuffed in on a daily basis. Sometimes there’s a scarf, an umbrella, a horse, a bed, a toilet and other stuff which I find will be useful for me for the rest of the day. This picture was taken in a bus by the way. When I got in, there were only 3 of us – me and two other women seated in the front with their backs turned. The driver was still waiting outside for more passengers, so I took the opportunity! Paraparaan lang…

Too much you say?! A girl’s got to take care of herself out there in the wild! This is the reason why small bags never worked for me. I feel embarrassed to have to ask other people any of their personal belongings. Truth be told, I’m more a wake up, wash up, get dressed, and leave person but it won’t hurt to prettify thyself. Hehe.

There you have it!

This was fun to do. 🙂

***

Updated 18 Feb 2014

The BFF’s entry may be found here. 🙂

* And I’ve changed my work ID pic to a picture not exposing my face.

“Bismillah”

written in Arabic calligraphy
written in Arabic calligraphy

In my 25-ish years here in UAE, it was only around late last year when this word was introduced to me. It’s a text from the Islamic religion. I mean, I hear this word all the time but it was the first time someone taught me how to use it.

I was new at my new job, still a little confused. I recall a draft email that I have been staring at since morning because it was Cc’d to my boss. Cc-ing a boss is always a nerve-wrecking experience for me because of the fear that I might screw something up – maybe the email is too boring to have to Cc, maybe wrong grammar, wrong information…anything.

Then a Muslim colleague came up and he started to ask me some trivial stuff about work. I happily engaged in the conversation to take my mind off my worry from the email. Our conversation became casual towards the end. I guess to get rid of my anxiety, I suddenly blurted out “oh, this email!” I am not sure if my colleague noticed the nervousness that came along with that phrase, but then he suddenly said, “say ‘Bismillah'”.

Me: ……..?

Officemate: “It’s what we say in everything we do – like asking that everything goes well after it.”

Then he left.

And again, there I was. Staring at the email again. I was staring while trying to absorb the word my colleague mentioned. Like I said, I’ve already heard the phrase many times in my lifetime here in UAE but never used it because (1) I have NOOO idea what it meant exactly, (2) I did not want to offend anyone especially knowing that it’s a religious script, and (3) I did not want to disrespect the religion itself due to my ignorance of its beliefs.

Fine print: I am not a devotee of any religion but I do believe that all types of religion should be respected. Therefore I never argue about it.

However, due to my desperation to get rid of the email which needs to be sent and cc’d to my boss and since I’ve got the blessing from a believer of Islam, I whispered “Bismillah”, then clicked Send!

The email kept rolling with my boss cc’d and no reaction from her till the end! Meaning she’s letting me do my thing  and everything was ok!!

Since then, with utmost respect to Islam, I whisper “Bismillah” before making any move here in the office.

Just sharing…

For better (but not official) explanation of the word, I turned to bestfriend Wiki just to be safe :)
For better (but not official) explanation of the word, I turned to bestfriend Wiki just to be safe 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basmala