“Food that is presented well is appetizing enough.”
One of the things I love to do is have fun with food when I’m in the mood to cook and prepare it.
Very recently, my dad was put on a special no salt and no fat diet. At first he thought it might be difficult for him to follow the diet because there is only so much one can do with “diet food.” So it was up to me to make each of his meal interesting.
I was his cook for about a month but it never occurred to me take pictures. I did remember to take a picture of the one below. It’s no-oil grilled skinless chicken (marinated in garlic, lemon, and natural herb mix – rosemary and oregano), grilled tomato and onion, steamed vegetables (potatoes, carrots and squash) and all plated on a bed of slightly chopped parsley.
It is always my pleasure to cook for my family. When I’m in the kitchen, I am known for not allowing anyone in and – confession – I am also known for getting short-tempered when someone touches the food that I’m preparing with “their own recipe version.” Who wouldn’t right?
One of the people I love cooking for are my niece and nephew. They are only 3 and 7 years old so food and snacks must look appealing to them.
The photos below were first shared with family and friends and I thought of putting them here.
I love desks. I love having a space where I can work and have all the things I need at arms length. I currently use 2 desks – at home and my cubicle at the office. And this is what the BFF and I are going to talk about this month. You can read hers here.
We’ll start off with a full view of the desks…
Yep, this is pretty much what both desktops look like (on a good day! lol).
Obviously, my desk at home has more items since it’s for personal use. So, let’s now start checking the must haves…
Not only do I have pens on my desks but, in the office, I have hidden away my “specials pens” from plain view. I don’t have to hide any pen at home because everyone in the household knows that my stuff are off limits. In the office though, my colleagues have the habit of grabbing whatever pens they will see on top of whose desk and I’ve learned to stop hoping that they get returned. I don’t mind anymore, I’m sure I’m like that too. There are, however, pens that I love using more as I feel that it makes my writing and pensmanship smoother.
These are the “special ones”. Lol. They’re Dong-A My Gel refillable fine-tipped pens which I can only get in Philippines. The pens on the right are provided by the office. What makes them special are their tips. The ones in this picture is are 0.7 tips which is finer and rarely ordered that the common 1.0 tips which has broader points – and I don’t like them. Arte ko lang?! There was once a .01 gel pen that I used in college and I am still in the quest to find it.
I can never have enough of doodle pads. I write on almost anything. I try to be environment friendly by tearing up unimportant and no longer used paper and use the blank side as scratch paper.
If you notice from my office desk, here are no staplers, punchers, and the likes. It’s because it’s also hidden – for the same reason. Lol. Don’t you just hate it when after a day’s work is done, you suddenly can’t find the very item to keep things organized? And you can see from this picture the stash of “special pens” under the scissors. (No, not the try-hard drawing of Angelina Jolie” – I tried!)
At home is a similar organizer, only 3 times smaller. Though I have the regular size of these items (somewhere in my mess which I purposely did not include in the pictures), I found this little organizer very cute. I included a regular sized pen marker for scale references.
Here’s the other organizer.
That about concludes the common desk must-haves between my office and home desk.
Now, for the things which can only be found in my house desk.
One needs a place to pin all those memos. I purposely bought a small cork board because if I buy anything bigger, I’ll keep pinning things until everything is overlapping and I will never be able to find what I needed and the purpose of pinning it there will make no sense.
A corner on the left side of my desk is where I keep the books and/or notebooks that I have plans to do something with. My other books are on a shelf next to my desk and the recent ones that I am reading are kept in my bag so I can read them whenever I have the time wherever I am.
Since I share a room with 4 other ladies and love working late, a lamp is a must. I got this from Ikea’s As Is section for only Dhs 33.00 (vice the original Dhs 70ish).
The design of my desk does not include drawers. It has shelves that seem like its for drawers but it’s really not. I plan to buy those collapsible drawers from Ikea have do not have the chance to yet. In the mean time, I placed the shoes boxes where I keep my other little trinkets.
See the things on the life side of the top shelf?
We’re now down to my last 2 favorites.
“Note weights” – I really have no idea what to call these. They’re tiny little silver apples, each weighing a tonne!!! No kidding! They may be pea-sized but you can seriously hurt someone if you accidentally drop one. The set was a gift from my mom which she bought from somewhere in Europe in one of her travels. She knows I love small things – and she’s right! This was bought years ago but I’ve never really used them in fear that they might get lost or someone takes an interest and ask for one of the apples. But I love keeping them where I can easily take a glimpse at them.
There’s something hanging on the top left side. It’s a portable coreless tissue roll container. I went to the Philippines for a couple of weeks, found this, bought it, and now I’m crazy about it! In my Bag Blog, I mentioned that I like removing the core of a tissue roll so I can carry it around without having to be so bulky but need to sandwich it in between some other things so it will not roll out or get squished. This little thing, however, solves the puzzle. The plastic is hard enough to keep the tissue in place and make it roll smoothly while pulling the tissue is just as smooth too. I don’t have to wrestle with the whole roll. Refills are bought separately.
Some of the other things I keep laying around the desk is my phone charger, a mirror, lotion, and other things which are by my side only when needed.
They say that, “A messy desk is a sign of genius” *wink wink!* – Naaahh!! My home desk was a mess! I made a frantic fixer upper for virtual purposes of this blog. And I always clean up my office desk at the end of the day before leaving. 🙂
Remember in the old days of computer naivety when there was a “Read Text” option and a robotic voice will read whatever you command it? I thought it was the same thing with audiobooks program.
I love learning and I love books. I love novels, too, especially of mystery, suspense and romance (put them together and I’m hooked like crazy!). Lately however, I am guilty of not finding time to sit down and read. Feeling busy ako eh! I have come across some books on pdf and I thought I’d try to “Read Text” it but knowing how comedic that would be, I never did so.
It was only a couple of weeks ago when I came across a “my favorite things” YouTube entry and one of the favorites was called “Audiobook” and a demo was played. To my surprise, the book was being read by an actual voice! Amused and not a second later, I found myself downloading an audiobook and the audiobook app which let me listen to the book, rewind or fast forward a few seconds or minutes. And there it was! Each text being narrated beautifully! It’s like downloading music lasting for hours and, oh, no music.
I am currently trying to finish “reading” the final part of a trilogy. Much like I am with a real book, I cannot put the story on hold. But instead of dropping everything I’m doing to sit down in solitude and get absorbed in my book, with the audiobook, I am able to listen to the story every available time I could like riding the bus, doing laundry, walking, cleaning, before bed, *whispers* even at the office when the work is just mainly copy-paste.
Somewhere in the middle of the first part of the trilogy, there was a private joke between the heroes with reference to one of their earlier encounters – and I did not understand it. What are they talking about? Did I miss something? Is there a hidden humor left by the author? I know I listened to every detail. It was like being inside a private joke which had another private joke, one which I am no longer aware of. I could press the skip back buttons but I had no idea how early it was in the story. It caused me to download the pdf and painfully savage through alien words which I do not recall reading – oh, yes! because I was listening! – I realize that I do not have a mental map of my “book” nor do I know which area I should click to in the program because I did not have to look at the play bar while listening.
As fun as the audiobook is, nothing beats actual reading. When reading, you cannot leap to page 50 without reading Prologue to 49 or else you’ll get lost so you are forced to read earlier pages first. Listening to an audiobook or traditionally reading a book both as it’s pros and cons. However, I hit a jackpot with my first audiobook choice so I don’t mind. I’ll tell you about it later.
Though I can say that I am pro-actual books, I don’t think this is my last audiobook either.
Father’s Day has just passed. I greeted my Dad who was in Philippines. He’s in San Miguel, Bulacan managing the family business there while lil bro is in another state, and the rest of the family is here in UAE. Since we’re all geographically separated at the moment, I felt bad that my Dad is by himself in Bulacan with just the rest of our staff. So I tried to find something to do and not just that “Hi, Dad. Happy Father’s Day. Bye” phone call.
Then I remembered that a long time ago I found a website that one company is willing to deliver food and non-food items they feature online, for a price of course. I fired up Google and looked for that and other options. One of the results was Jollibee delivery and exploring the site further, I was amused to find out that Jollibee accepts electronic deliveries from overseas! Who doesn’t love Jollibee???!! I believe when you ask an OFW what they miss most back home, I’m pretty sure Jollibee will be in the top 5 answers – if not 3. So Jollibee it is!
I immediately looked at the payment methods, which was doable. Looked at the menu and it’s great. Then looked at the prices which ranged only from PhP 1,000 to 1,500. This is cheap when you’re spending from a UAE-based paycheck (wink). Before I knew it, I had already clicked the “Confirm” button and got my order confirmation! Yes!
Ay, no pala! In my delight of finding Jollibee Padala(not to be confused with Jollibee Online Delivery), I just entered all required information not thinking if the site was legit?! Stoopid, right?!! Since I was at work whilst doing all these transactions, it took me several attempts to call the Philippine Jollibee hotline to confirm my order. When the work load lulled, I called them again. A friendly operator answered and I explained where I was calling from, told him my concern if they actually received the order or not, and gave him my order track number. He then put me on hold for a while and finally the hold tune was cut and another voice spoke. She said in a friendly voice, “Hi. Sorry to keep you waiting, Mam Hannah. We have already contacted your beneficiary and the package will be picked up at 7:00pm.” Holy cow it worked!!
I called my Dad to make sure he did get the call and he confirmed. Couple more hours later, I called again Dad again, and I could hear some faint voices talking excitedly behind his voice. Dad and our staff were already eating the delivery and got amazed on how I was able to do the transaction. I told my Dad of the process and we were both amazed.
A few minutes later, I hung up. I felt good. Couldn’t help but feel fulfilled that I made an effort to “be there” and celebrate Father’s Day with our Dad even when we’re miles apart. In a way I wish I thought of this before for previous celebrations I missed. But it’s ok. There are more events to look forward to.
Kudos to Jollibee for coming up with this. Thank you for considering us OFWs. You do not fail to please and give Pinoys joy even from afar.
For some reason most people perceive me as one who has a “more than an average” life. This is almost everyone’s first impression and I have no idea where they get it from. I keep thinking how I’ve first met these people which is through other friends. I love showing up in clothes I most comfortable in (that is literally jogging pants, shirt and slippers). I say hi, or sometimes nothing at all. I go about the usually chit chats, then go home after it all. So what on Earth is ever “sosyal” and “hard to reach there”??! Well it beats me. It’s really always been a puzzle where people “read” these perceptions.
I do know that I am utterly clueless when it comes to brands and find myself drawn into thrift shops than big brands with the word “Sale” on their windows. Alright, alright.. sale signs can be quite catchy. But place a thrift shop next to it, I dare not argue where to enter…first! hehe. In fact, I am more amazed to find a myself a pet ant with a ribbon rather than some of the pricey things. Same goes when it comes to my spending. Anything over 20Dhs make me think twice. Funny but true.
For this month’s BFF Series, we agreed on blogging about cheap stuff.
Let’s start where I purchase the goods.
1. Daiso – according to my research, Daiso is Japan’s no. 1 have-it-all, price-friendly spot. And according to me, it’s true!!! This shop first appeared in Abu Dhabi not so 5 to 7 years ago and I have been going to this place since. A girl can never have enough organizers, enough little “useful” things, and enough time to roam around in this place. When I go into Daiso, I can keep going round and round the store forever and even if I did not initially need anything in particular, I always end up buying something anyway. Their stuff usually sell AED 7.00 each but there are other items which are priced a little higher but still reasonable.
One of the main items I go to Daiso for is this little thing. I call them Finger Aids. I normally have dry hands and sorting through pages and pages of paper can be a very big task simply because I need find non-gross ways to keep my fingers moist.
2. Tchibo – my version of slightly higher priced Daiso. I think it originated from Germany which made its way here in UAE. For quality, I also think they’re better than Daiso.
3. Saizen – these stores are found in the Philippines. Mostly Japan-made too. I had to include it in the blog for reference because if I’m not in UAE, then I’m in Philippines (with the once-in-a-lifetime exemption that I found myself wildly free in the streets of Singapore with the BFF).
4. DIVISORIA!!! – oh yes! This place deserves capital letters and three exclamation points! It’s a district in central Manila where people like me and the BFF would go gaga for! From the smallest to the largest things, for things for one part of the house to the other, for school, for work, for business, textiles, containers, food… the list goes on forever! This is the place to be. Everything is already cheap, you get them cheaper if you buy them in bulk, and you can even haggle! Warning though, dress down, don’t wear jewelry, wear comfy clothes (especially footwear), bring a trolley or big bag to put in your loot, keep your belongings as close to your body as possible and, if you have a car, park it in a nearly by mall for (a) security and (b) to avoid vendors from selling their things to you for a higher price. Along with the topic of Divisoria are the “Tiangge” which you’ll find in every corner or any place in the Philippines.
1. Splash – here in UAE, Splash is the place to go if you’re looking for trendy clothes of good quality without hurting your budget. They have here all sorts of clothing from casual to semi-formal wear. 2. Surplus – these stores may be found at every SM Supermalls in the Philippines. I really have to include this because it’s a place where most Western quality-rejected brands go but can barely tell what’s wrong with it. Hehe.
Little tip only. Though there are lots of really cheap places to go to in when it comes to getting souvenirs from the Philippines, the Kultura shop in every SM Department Store is very convenient. They have a wide variety of Philippine-made products at friendly prices. It saves one from the hassle of having to so many crowded places to get souvenir items.
No, I’m not buying children! Lol. Being an Aunt to two adorable kids, I needed to find some way to let them have a good time without having to worry about my budget. Kids can be very demanding with everything they see especially if you bring them into arcades and toy stores.
Their parents already bring them into those places so I love exposing them to other activities and the recent cause of our busy schedule me bringing them to parks and they can’t get enough of it. They loooove playing with sand and I let them. It’s good for them – bacteria and all. Hehe.
I just have to pack their extra shirts, tissue, baby wipes, towel, food and water and we’re all set to go! 🙂
There was a time when my cousin and I were mainstays at bars. Then we gradually stopped when we realized that we were not getting anything out of it and we also eventually became budget-conscious people. However, once in a while, the feeling does get to us still when we feel like we need to unwind. Hence this picture. Now why on earth would I put expensing bar night pictures in a blog about cheap stuff?!
Haha! That evening we did have enough moolah to afford a night out but we were aware that we were going to put it into waste when we know that we just want to dance but, of course, we need to purchase drinks to not look like gate crashers. Then we figured to have a make-shift bar scene in our house kitchen house! Complete with propos – unopened beer cans. We cued a dance mix courtesy of YouTube, put our cellphone lights on and placed it in a plastic container with green cover, switched off the lights, locked the door, and then our problem was solved!
This was a one-time thing we did and I count is as one of the cheap and affordable ways to have fun.
If it is not produced by Marvel, Pixar, Disney, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings, then I’ll settle for a *cough*pirated*cough* version. I used to watch through Movie25 then my brother lovingly taught me how to go about Pirate Bay. Hehe
I think in hobbies, when you’re creative enough, you can use just about anything around you to create something. In my case, I’m in a baking phase.
This place called Lakeland is like the mother ship of all baking tools for those modern, fashionable, custom-made cakes that are now in the market. For someone who is just going to start, the prices of the accessories may come as a bit of a shock. A little 6-piece set of icing nozzles can costs a whopping 95 Dhs!
Then I found this place!
Emirates Discount Market is like a local version of Divisoria. Meaning lots of things can be found in them too and may be bought in bulk but you’ll be going through the goods in clean, air-conditioned space. Hehe. A section of this place is dedicated to baking materials. Not as complete as Lakeland, but the basic things a baker would need. I’ve been wanting to venture into baking but the prices of the materials keep holding me back. That’s why I’m so happy to have found this alternative.
1. Special clothes and lingerie nets – from Daiso for Dhs 7.00 each. 2. Plastic bag sealer – got this from Daiso for just Dhs 7.00 plus the cost of 2 AA batteries. I love buying little things when I come across them especially when I see that they may be useful sometime later. And this is one of them. Just a couple days old in my possession. 3. Table-mate II – I saw this product on TV few years ago and though that it would be convenient for someone who’s rarely away from their laptop. My aunt spotted this in Carrefour few weeks ago and told me about and I got for AED 39.00. I do believe it’s a good price. It’s a cool product plus purchasing it on TV would cost me a little more plus shipping. I have no idea what’s the deal with Table-mate I.
I have always wanted a study table (“desk” daw kasi adult na). Feeling busy kasi ako lagi. If I’m not typing, I’ll be writing, or trying to glue things together.
There is a part of Ikea stores called “As Is” which means then stuff you find in there are slightly damaged goods or because it was a display piece, something is slightly chipped, a set may be missing a piece, etc. and you buy then As Is (dents and all). In the case of this desk, it was slightly scratched in the corner. Remember when I mentioned that anything above 20 Dhs make me think twice? I learned from my aunt that if the prices are cut 50% and lower, then grab it!
I earlier saw a display piece in the desk section but it seemed more like a table for AED 110.00. When in Ikea, a 110-dirham table is a good price. But I just went around it and kept on walking thinking that looked expensive for a table. Then I found myself in the As Is section which is located just before the checkout counters. I was looking for a good desk lamp then I saw this! Now THAT’s a desk! I tried to stay with it a while, encouraging and discouraging myself why I should or should not purchase it. Checked the measurement which seemed like it would fit at the foot of my bed, a perfect for place it. The height was ok. The feel was ok. Then I looked at the price tag. It was originally sold at AED 197.50 and because of the barely seen scratch, they were selling it AED 97.50 only! O-M-G! With the wisdom of my budget system, my aunt, and my dream for a desk, I bought it. And now I’m happy. I set it up in my section of the room which I share with our staff and I was right. It fit perfectly. Later did I realize that it matched the wood color of my closet. Now I’m happier.
*Actual picture to follow because my room is still a total wreck!
So there you have it.
Cheap things does not mean you’re stingy but rather know the value of your hard-earned money. I guess once in a while, high-end brands are ok for as long as it’s within the budget limit. After all, we are working to have better and comfortable lives. In this day’s fast-paced lifestyle with everything from rent, to food, to gas rising except our salary (lol) it’s always better to be more practical.
For more even better tips, learn from the expert on thrift shops and money management 🙂 Click the BFF’s blog here.
This entry is also intended to be the second part the BFF Blog Series. After the first blog, she told me it was my turn to pick a topic and I chose this. Other than I know we both enjoy this and are curious exactly what the other does, I felt like this topic is necessary right after the Bag entry so we can finally get through beauty products and other skin and body stuff we both have so much of but have really no clue about all the details of it. Haha.
I have categorized this topic into 2 parts. One for the regimen I do at home, the other for the stuff I get done at a salon.
~ Things I get done at home ~
a. Cleansing Milk – leaves the skin soft, silky, and moisturized.
b. Facial Wash – unlike the cleansing milk, this is great for leaving the skin oil-free for quite some time. Recommended to be used in weekday mornings before work or any other day before heading outdoors.
I was once told that after anytime water touches your face especially after a good wash, applying toner is always necessary. It removes extra, deep dirt and keeps the skin tone even. In my personal experience, my Toner A is better in the mornings that Toner B because Toner A keeps my face oil-free a lot longer than the other. I keep Toner B in the evenings so it can do it’s job at whitening and can get really deep into my skin layers.
As featured in my previous blog, face moisturizer is a must. Though this is the type I only use in the mornings before I set off to conquer the rest of the day. I have a completely different regimen in the evenings.
I don’t have THAT much dry skin but I just feel that this lotion works best for me because here in Abu Dhabi, the weather is either too cold or too hot. Either way, you’re mostly at places with crazy air conditioning which dries up the skin pretty quickly.
My hair is currently curly. I had it treated a few months ago and it’s taking a while to grow back (no complaints though, except for times when it gets all tangled up and I just really hate it at that point hehe). I believe mousse is the one which enables me to style my hair in a milder way than gel and hairspray. This brand really works for me because it gives my hair its curls without looking like a badly tangled bunch of hard wires which hurt my face whenever it attacks! Love this because I can still easily flip my hair and make it look natural.
The day I bought this, I’m sure I read the description why it looks the way it does but I can’t remember them anymore, so I turned to bestfriend Google which says:
NIVEA Double Effect Eye make-up Remover enriched with Cornflower Extract:
– Effectively removes even extreme waterproof mascara and make-up without any rubbing needed
– Protects the sensitive eyelashes with its caring bi-phase formula
– Does not leave any unpleasant greasy residue
Good for exfoliation to make way for new skin to surface
When I first saw this in a TV commercial, it looked fun. First time I saw it in the market, it looked fun. Then I finally got the chance to purchase it. Honestly, it wasn’t that fun when I finally used it. It’s a little piece of gadget that vibrates, I got disappointed because the way I saw it used in the commercial, I thought it was rotating. Though I do understand the vibrating effect. For facial skin, it helps massage and relax the skin, causing the pores to open so the cleansing solution can reach in deeper and have the dirt come out easier. A pack of medicated cotton comes with the gadget. For further, clearer description, click here.
1. Charcoal Mask – from Daiso. I have been seeing in the Chinese / Japanese culture that masks with charcoal help skin to tighten. This however, suck out blackheads, tighten pores, and keep the grease-free.
2. Gel Mask – from local hypermarts. It helps the skin be grease-free and tighten the pores as well.
A hormone-balancing cream for acne-prone skin. Find your skin’s balance with Rejuvi Normalizing Cream, a hormone regulating cream that helps control breakouts. A unique combination of organic acids, zinc and vitamins effectively inhibit excessive hormone production, that can lead to clogged pores and excess sebum, causing blemishes. This multi-beneficial cream not only helps control oil, but also removes surface debris and purifies pores for refined, clear skin. (official description by Rejuvi & www.dermstore.com)
A unique formula to help regulate oily-prone skin and fight off blemishes. A lightweight formula for controlling oil. Designed to target and inhibit the androgen hormone, which causes over production of sebum, your complexion is brought to a more normalized state, which prevents clogged pores that lead to blemishes. (official description by Rejuvi & www.dermstore.com)
I had lots of ingrown hair on my arms. According to official Rejuvi description, it is an exofliating cream that eliminates ingrown hairs and soothes razor bumps. Papaya and pineapple enzymes along with salicylic acid and resorcinol exfoliate the skin, releasing trapped hairs and unclogging follicles. A blend of allantoin and licorice extract soothe and calm inflammation, promoting healing, while tea tree oil kills bacteria. Perfect for men or women who suffer from irritation post-shaving from ingrown hairs. (official description by Rejuvi & www.dermstore.com)
Note: I used to wax my arms.
By Hemano. Naturally made or something Filipinos simply call as “tawas”. It’s more skin friendly than other deodorants produced with all the scents and other harmful chemicals.
Now this gadget is a little pricy but worth it. I know the brand reads that it’s for the bikini area but I prefer to use it elsewhere – use your imagination – a lady does have a other areas with unwanted body hair. It’s an electric hair epilator which gets rid of unwanted hair a lot quicker than having to manually do the job one hurtful hair at a time!
Just for fun, I have included all the other gadgets that came along with. Note again: I have not used any of the others. So there’s the other detachable heads for required tasks of trimmings and whatnots. Then those little shapes, I did mention that the gadget is originally made for the bikini area right? The shapes are for, well, shaping. Then the little brush is self-explanatory.
I did not include (but I obviously use them!!) are my shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine wash, soap, and in-shower body lotion. Yep, I take a looooonng time to shower! These are things I often change because I feel that if I use one particular brand of these items too long, it looses its effect on me and I have to switch to something else.
So basically, this is my everyday regimen:
Mornings: All things necessary + facial wash, lotion, toner, moisturizer, sunblock, make-up, mousse.
Evenings before bed: All things necessary + cleansing milk, occasional mask, normalizing cream, skin conditioner, solution for ingrown hair.
If interested on the Rejuvi products, I suggest to search their official descriptions online. As mentioned in my earlier blog, the Rejuvi product is sold in professional salons and centers to to its more concentrated and (my gawd!) not friendly prices! Hehe. The line I have are for greasy skin because I am sooo blessed with this type of skin!
~ Things I get done at the salon (Occasional) ~
As of yesterday (March 15, 2014), I am a L’Oreal Inoa 5.5 – light mahogany brown. The Inoa line is an ammonia-free permanent hair dye which is said to be a better choice for hair care because it does not cause as much damage as the regular hair colors.
Because cavewomen fashion have faded out eons ago!
This gives the eyebrows more definition without having to put eyebrow pencil all the time. Bleaching is for the surrounding areas, left over hair from threading.
1. My natural eyebrows after threading and without application of eyebrow pencil|
2. Application of color on the brows. The color used for the eyebrows are the same are the one used for hair dye. There is also such thing called as “Eyelash Tinting”, the color used is that of a different brand because eyelash hair and area is more sensitive.
3. Application of breach in surrounding areas to give more definition to the darker color and make sure that the other surrounding little hairs won’t ruin the magic.
4. Viola! Le final product! Note: The color fades after a few days since we always wash our face. But the color absorbed by the hair itself remains.
To lighten up the “lady-stache”. I have been offered so many times to just get rid of it by threading or waxing but I refuse each time. Over my dead and rotting body! I’m afraid that I might get ingrown or the hair might thicken. Just basically scared of it.
I have a confession. Since 2007, I have never cut my own finger- and toenails. Hehe. They do it much better at salons with all the pampering, and nail filing, creams, massage – some stuff I can never achieve on my own.
Parts of the occasional stuff I get done in the “chopshop” are massages (for relaxing), waxing (for unwanted hair on my legs), hand and feet paraffin (for softer, more moisturized hands and feet. The put some special moisturizer on your hands and feet then dip them in warm wax so the moisture gets trapped and since the wax is warm, it gently keeps the pores of the skin open while the moisture work its way it.), feet callous treatment (to get rid of all the hard skin my feet get from wearing my office shoes – yes! I blame the office shoes), and Moroccan bath (body scrub, to exfoliate the rest of the body and get rid of stubborn dirt that you can’t easily get rid of from showering. So you think you’ve cleaned yourself well in the shower on your own? This little treatment will shock you!).
The BFF’s March entry for BFF Blog Seriescan be found here.
Update, 17 March 2014
The BFF are a day late posting this entry and in my side I am guilty of having to this in a hurry. Today I fixed some typos and grammar, added more description on the Eyebrow Tinting & Bleaching item and put in a link I forgot to put in the Neutrogena Wave.
Speaking of the Neutrogena Wave. I had to open the www.neutrogena.com site to link its description, and while on that task, look what I saw!! Wave Sonic Spinning Power-Cleanser! It’s the wave, but better! I was complaining that the one I bought was not spinning like I thought it would, then I saw this! It’s a newer version that was not introduced then. ^_^ I’ll be watching out for it in the market 🙂 Blessing!
So I read the BFF’s blog and saw that she had health tips – ouch! Well, I did promise myself I’ll get my arse back in the gym. I’ll blog about that issue later 🙂
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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!
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.
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! ; )
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 winter 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.
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?
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 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.