Interesting Yumminesses

“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.

Sample of Dad's Plateful
Sample of Dad’s Plateful

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.

~ Egg and Potato Hearts ~

Eggs and Potato snacks
The heart-shaped egg rolls have finely chopped carrots and potatoes

~ Egg in a crater grilled cheese ~

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~ Rice Ball Surprise ~

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…and lastly, this is how I carry my lunch.

~ Tumbler Lunch ~

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I found this online and really found it interesting.
I thought it was a cool way to carry lunch because it’s not so bulky.
This is the YouTube link I adapted this from.

Hope you had fun reading through this. 🙂

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The DIY Christmas Series : Decor

From September to December, Kaye and I have decided to dedicate our BFF Series to the festive spirit of Christmas.

In our home country, the Philippines, Christmas is a 4- to 5-month long celebration which starts in September and being it my favorite season, I am an advocate to keep the spirit alive all year long – except for special days when tantrums and whatnots come along 😉

I love watching DIYs and love to claim that I have so many ideas in my mind. However, I must admit that DIYs are Kaye’s forte – her entry for this post and the whole of her blog site is proof enough 😉 I guess I can copy or follow if there are instructions provided but making things from scratch will take a lot of work for me. I always end up in a mess and come out with a really simple one or some times nothing! Hehe. Hey, at least I try. 🙂 I think I’m much better at organizing things and food.

Since I am aware that I’m crappy at DIYs, instead of venturing into creating something from scratch, I have decided to recycle some unused things around the house.

First off, I collected materials that I knew would come handy.

Loads of glitters! You can never have enough for such a jolly season. This picture has scissors, glue, acrylic paint, loose glitters and glitter pens.
Loads of glitters! You can never have enough for such a jolly season. This picture has scissors, glue, acrylic paint, loose glitters and glitter pens.
1 & 2 - Paint brushes and my choice of glitters (gold & silver); 3 - My choices of acrylic paint (blue, white, red)
1 & 2 – Paint brushes and my choice of glitters (gold & silver); 3 – My choices of acrylic paint (blue, white, red)

I prepared my desk by placing some water and old newspaper. Glitter and paint are never the neatest combination! 02 - prep

I wanted something which I can hang on the main door to replace that wicked chime (I dislike chimes – irritating little buggers). It took me forever to think how am I going to do such a thing. I swear I had lots of drawings in my head but landed up with this idea because I didn’t know how I would do the more difficult ones I thought of. Lol.

1. I made and printed some square patterns to create some hanging ornaments and stuck them on blue art paper; 2 - 4. I cut and folded alternatively to show both sides of white and blue; 5 - 6. Finished product, front and side view
1. I made and printed some square patterns to create some hanging ornaments and stuck them on blue art paper; 2 – 4. I cut and folded alternatively to show both sides of white and blue; 5 – 6. Finished product, front and side view
This where I will be hanging the paper ornaments. It's regular wooden frame from Ikea and I removed the pieces in the center.
This where I will be hanging the paper ornaments. It’s regular wooden frame from Ikea and I removed the pieces in the center.
Tada! I hung the ornaments with dark brown thread to make it blend with our door, decorated the sides of the frame with glitters and added a couple more ornaments made of magazine pages.
Tada! I hung the ornaments with dark brown thread to make it blend with our door, decorated the sides of the frame with glitters and added a couple more ornaments made of magazine pages.
The wicked chime! Wahaha!
The wicked chime! Wahaha!

Second and last piece.

I’m a sucker of light emitting objects especially lanterns.

We have couple of these which were bought from Ikea 3 houses ago. It was too heavy to hang so it was kept in storage since. I decided to take them out and finally make us of them :)
We have couple of these which were bought from Ikea 3 houses ago. It was too heavy to hang so it was kept in storage since. I decided to take them out, dust them off and finally make us of them 🙂

Process…

1. I realized I had to coat it in white first because when I tried directly applying the blue paint, the color was not at visible; 2. Blue as the second coat; 3. Glitters! :)
1. I realized I had to coat it in white first because when I tried directly applying the blue paint, the color was not at visible; 2. Blue as the second coat; 3. Glitters! 🙂
I did the same procedure for the other lantern, coating it red this time and adding more glitters to the lock and hinges
I did the same procedure for the other lantern, coating it red this time and adding more glitters to the lock and hinges
Final Product! Tadaaaa!!!
Final Product!
Tadaaaa!!!

14d I added more details by using glitter pens and since the glass was a little dull, I happen to have some glass paint in my possession and starting dabbing it away on each glass surface.

This is how it looks like when lit in the dark. The camera gets a blur shot but it looks wonderful.
This is how it looks like when lit in the dark. The camera gets a blur shot but it looks wonderful.

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A little behind the scene sneak peek…

I had to snack in between since I was absolutely clueless as to what I wanted to do ;p
I had to snack in between since I was absolutely clueless as to what I wanted to do ;p
It is out of habit to post a picture of a face in my blog but I just have to share her reaction. This is my niece and she loves the color blue and glitters and lights. ♥ I think she likes the outcome of my project :)
It is out of habit to post a picture of a face in my blog but I just have to share her reaction.
This is my niece and she loves the color blue and glitters and lights. ♥ I think she likes the outcome of my project 🙂

Technician No. 2

Al Khayef official poster signed by the cast. This will one day be of great value ;)
Al Khayef official poster signed by the cast.
This will one day be of great value 😉

The German stage play “Woyzeck” by George Buchner was adapted by Director Robert Liddington to fit the lifestyle in the Gulf and named it “Al Khayef.” Khayef is the name and description of the lead character which, in Arabic, roughly means “afraid.”

Al Khayef is a story about a man who was not the brightest person around, worked as a low ranking laborer, lived in poverty, worked very hard to earn a living, often being bullied by those who rank above him and his wife, Mariam, was an unfaithful woman. Mix all that and it could end up in a mess – and it did. I know because… I was there.

My costume
My costume

In my school years, I was a very active member of several school clubs and one of them was the music and performances club better known then as KANYAW (Kanta at Sayaw*). I was a performer or a crew member – sometimes both. All I know is that I have always been around the stage. There was a time when I thought I had given it up due to responsibilities brought upon adulthood. However, one day, I realized how much I missed it. It was just soon after that when I accidentally came across an organization called Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit at Mananyaw sa Abu Dhabi (OPMMAD**). Then I was back. I thought I knew how to sing, then I heard how they sang and by golly…they’re good! I have performed with the team a couple of times, I’m just not as confident like everyone else but I still settled in as an active administrative officer and I love it still.

Eventually, one of the persons we collaborated with in an international charity called Small World said that she is part of a non-profit theater organization called Resuscitation Theatre and they were holding casting workshop auditions for 2 plays. I thought I’d give it a try. I landed a support role called “Technician No.2.” It’s obviously not the lead but I felt like something inside me was revived. I enjoyed every rehearsal and as our Director Robert kept reminding us, “support roles and small scenes are just as important as the lead because they piece the stories together.” I had the time of my life.

I love knowing how bloody rehearsals get and how other backstage stuff happen to make the actual production seem like magic. I also love the hype and effort everyone puts into a show to make it work. And the best part, I get to be on stage too – showing what I really do! 🙂

I have collected as much photos as I could throughout the entire process from the audition to the after show party. Below are just a few I’ve decided to post. 🙂

 

I do not aim to be famous but I do aim to be creative. And the roles I commit to for as long as I am around a stage, is a form of expression — passion even.

 

*KANYAW , translated meaning “Sing and Dance”
**OPMMAD, translated meaning “Organization of Filipino Singers and Dancers in Abu Dhabi”

Desktop Necessities

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…

Desktops Views (top) home (bottom) office
Desktops Views (top) home (bottom) office

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…

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Pens! Loads of them!

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.

Doodle pads
Doodle pads

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.

Stationery organizer
Stationery organizer

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.

08 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.

Cork Board
Cork Board

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.

Book corner
Book corner

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.

Lamp
Lamp

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).

"Drawer"
“Drawer”

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?

Yes, they're VHS tapes!! The most valuable ones!
Yes, they’re VHS tapes!! The most valuable ones!

We’re now down to my last 2 favorites.

Note weights
Note weights

“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.

Tisyu-to-Go
Tisyu-to-Go

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. 🙂

Audiobooking

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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.

For now, hush! I’m “reading”!

AudiobookBannerGreen

Officially Online

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We reached yet another milestone!

The BFF and I have been running our individual blogs for quite some years now. I’m residing in UAE with my family and she’s all the way in Singapore with her husband. It helps us catch up with each others’ life and keep in tune with what emotions the other feels on a certain something or just keep in touch in general. And lately, we have been having a great time creating the BFF Blog Series. It’s like we’re seated at a café with a cup or two and chatting the time away.

We’ve had our blogs just to ourselves until a few months ago, she was thinking of putting her blog out in public and about a week ago, she got me to join her with the idea. Why not right? It is quite exciting to know that there may be other people who can relate to the things we do.

So today, 01 June 2014 marks the launch of our blogs (12:00nn in UAE and 4:00pm in Singapore). We’ve registered them online in a couple of Pinoy blogs sites to start off then we’ll see how it will go from there.

We can now claim that after all the years of blogging, we are now Officially Online! : )

You can find the BFF’s interesting entries here.

Mostly Cheap and Affordable

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.

She is also one, as her husband puts it, is "like moth to a flame" when it comes to handicraft stores, sale signs, and thrift shops.
She is also one, as her husband puts it, is “like moth to a flame” when it comes to handicraft stores, sale signs, and thrift shops.

 

 

 

Let’s start where I purchase the goods. 02

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.

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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.

 

Clothes
Clothes

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.

 

Souvenirs from home
Souvenirs from home

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.

 

Kids
Kids

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! 🙂

 

Night out
Night out

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?!

 Behold!!

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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.

 

Movies
Movies

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

 

Hobbies
Hobbies

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!

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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.

 

My recent spoils
My recent spoils

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.

 

Borgsjö Desk
Borgsjö Desk : Don’t ask me about how the word reads. I don’t know. Lol.

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.

Songs in My Phone

It is said that music always tells someone's story. I find it true. In more than one occasion, I was able to either relate my own experiences and emotions to a song. And in a lot of times, I use songs to express feelings which I cannot.
It is said that music always tells someone’s story. I find it true. In more than one occasion, I was able to either relate my own experiences and emotions to a song. And in a lot of times, I use songs to express feelings which I cannot.

 

I thought it was going to be quite easy. Pfft! Just a bunch of songs… I love songs… This is a piece of cake! But I honestly find it quite challenging now. Haha! Music was meant to be listened to whether it is being reviewed or blogged or what not. With the restriction of time and space, I will do my best to not make this entry not look too messy. I am wishing right now that WordPress has an “Insert Table” feature.

I have a total of about 60+ songs downloaded in my phone at the moment and I have caterogized them into 8 to make it easier to explain. I believe the mechanics were to choose 10 favorites songs, pick out a favorite line, and explain. Demanding lang?!! While writing this, the list have already been prepared below so as I go through them, I will try to put my comments along the way.

Let’s start this off…

 

Feel-good Playlist
(These are the types of songs that although they may have good lyrics, I listen to them more because of the melody.)

Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
Islands in the Stream (Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers)
Happy (Pharell)

Someday We’ll Know (Mandy Moore)
♫ So many questions, I need an answer…Two years later you’re still on my mind…Is true love just once in a lifetime? I’m speeding my the place that I met you for the 107th time tonight…Someday we’ll know if love can move a mountain…someday we’ll know why I wasn’t meant for you. ♪

Seasons of Love (Rent)
This makes me smile. A couple of years ago, the BFF and I said this was our birthday song for ourselves 🙂

Akala Mo (Aiza Seguerra)
 ♫ Akala mo hindi ko nakita na maligaya ka pag ako ay masaya… Akala mo hindi ko naisip na kasama ako sa inyong panaginip…Bawat sabihin ko alam ko nakinig ka…Akala mo siguro hindi ko nakita…Akala mo hindi ko pansin, akala mo hindi ko alam…Mahal mo nga ako kahit hindi mo man sabihin, akala mo hindi ko napsin…Akala mo ganon lang yon, alam ko yon kahit noon…Akala mo hindi ko napansin… ♪
Potassium mode this song! Promise! This is a recent additional to my playlist. And very significant too! Having a somewhat long-time “love interest but it just never got there until eventually it just can’t happen anymore” then you later on find out from him with his own mouth that it was should have-could have moment for him too about you – but no! Haaayyy…. this is my song for it… haaaayyy ulit.

Crazy Love (Mindy Gledhill)
I love this because at one point the BFF told me I was this. Simply because of the lyrics “Nobody knows I am a secret spy.” Lol! It puts emphasis and compliment to my “skill” of stalking people! Looool!

Dati (Sam Conception)
♫ Ikaw ang kasama buhat noon, ikaw ang pangarap hanggang ngayon…Di ba’t ikaw nga yung reyna at ako ang yong hari…Ako yong princesa sagip mo palagi…Ngunit ngayon’y marami nang nabago’t nangyari…Hindi ang pag tingin, na gaya parin ng dati.♪
I first heard this song while driving and I found it really cute and endearing. There’s just nothing like the first love – all innocent and so many funny memories and inside jokes to share.

Nothing’s Gomna Stop Us Now (Starship)
♫ Let them say we’re crazy I don’t care about that. Put your hand in my hand, baby, don’t ever look back. Let the world around us just fall apart, baby, we can make it if we’re heart to heart. And we can build this dream together, standing strong forever, nothing’s gonna stop us now. And if this world runs out of lovers, we’ll still have each other, nothings gonna stop us now. I’m so glad I found you, I’m not gonna loose you, whatever it takes I will stay here with you. Take you to the good times, see you to the bad times. Whatever it takes is what I’m gonna do. Let them say we’re crazy, what do they know? Put your arms around me, baby, don’t ever let go! ♪
I believe that love is supposed to be like this. Fun and worth going against the world for.

 

Strong-Strongan Playlist
(As the category suggest, for me, I interpret these songs as songs of survival especially that of an unfortunate heartache. Then after all that hell, you just sit back and watch those people screw up on their own. hehe.)

You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me (Cher)
Set Fire to the Rain (Adele)

Best Thing I Never Had (Beyonce)
♫ What goes around comes back around…There was a time I thought that you did everything right. No lies, no wrongs, I must have been out of my mind. So when I think of the times that I almost loved you, you showed your a$$ and I saw the real you. Thank God you blew it, thank God I dodged the bullet. I’m so over you so baby good lookin’ out. I wanted you back, I’m so through with that. Honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had… So sad you’re hurt, boohoo, did you expect me to care? You don’t deserve my tears. I guess that’s why they ain’t there…. I bet it sucks to be you right now! I know you want me back, it’s time to face the fact that I’m one that’s got away. Lord knows that it will take another place, another time, another world, another life, thank God I found the good in goodbye ♪

Irreplaceable (Beyonce)
Keep talking that mess that’s fine. But could you walk and talk at the same time… You must not know about me.. I can have another you in a minute, matter of fact he’ll be here in a minute. Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable ♪

Black Heart (Stooshe)
Daddy, I’ve fallen for a monster…he’s got a black heart! ♪

Curse Me Good (The Heavy)
If you’re looking for a fight, well I’m a war machine… And if you wanna lie about something, then make it something worth lying for. And if you need to curse my name, curse me good! Don’t you smile at my face, and spit on my back. Do you kiss your mother with mouth like that? ♪
I love this song most. So much attitude in it. Haha. I can imagine it being a girl’s song, and my gawd! He better hide somewhere he can never be found! Lol!

Skyscraper (Demi Lovato)
You can take everything I have, you can break everything I am, like I’m made of glass, like I’m made of paper, go on and try to tear me down, I will be rising from the ground, like a skyscraper… All my windows still are broken but I’m standing on my feet.. Go run, run, run, I’m gonna stay right here, watch you disappear… It’s a long wat down, but I am closer to the clouds up here ♪

Karma (Alicia Keys)
Weren’t you the one who said that you don’t want me anymore. And how you need your space and give the keys back to your door. And how I cried and tried and tried to make you stay with me. And still you said your love was gone and that I had to leave… And when you came home you’d always have some sorry excuse. Half explaining to me like I’m just some kind of a fool… What goes around comes around, what goes up must come down. Now who’s cryin’, desirin’ to come back to me.. It’s called Karma baby ♪

Over You (Daughtry)
Now that it’s all said and done, I can’t believe you were the one, to build me up and tear me down like an old abandoned house. What you said when you left, just left me cold and out of breath, I felt if I was in way too deep, guess I let you get the best of me. Well, I never saw it coming, I should’ve started running a long, long time ago… You took a hammer to these walls, dragged the memories down the hall. Packed your bags and walked away, there was nothing I could say. And when you slammed the front door shut, a lot of others opened up. So did my eyes so I could see that you never were the best for me…And I never thought I’d doubt you, I’m better off without you more than you, more than you know. I’m slowly getting closure, I guess it’s really over, I’m finally getting better. And now I’m picking up the pieces, spending all of these years putting my heart back together. ‘Cause the day I thought I’d never get through, I got over you. ♪

 

Moving On Playlist

Today My Life Begins (Bruno Mars)
I’ve been working hard so long… My fragile heart’s been done so wrong. I wondered if I’d ever heal again… I’m learning now to leave it in the past and try to forget… Yesterday has come and go and I’ve learned how to leave it where it is… I will break these chains that bind me, happiness will find me, leave the past behind me. Today my life begins… A whole new world is waiting it’s mine for the taking, I know I can make it… ♪

Stitches and Burns (Fra Lippo Lippi)
People say that I’m a fool well I don’t know. At least I found out what it takes to be strong… Now I don’t want to see you anymore. Don’t want to be the one to play your game. Not even if you smile, your sweetest smile. Not even if you beg me, Darling, please… Seems like everything must come to an end… Time after time, nothing that I can do. Day after day, leaving the past behind. Coming to terms with stitches and burns and learning to fly again ♪

Don’t Look Back (She & Him)
Don’t look back all you’ll ever get is the dust from the steps before… ♪

Everybody Plays the Fool (The Main Ingredient)
Before you do anything rash, dig this… Everybody plays the fool sometime. There’s no exception to the rule .Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel. I ain’t lyin’, everybody plays the fool? Falling in love is such an easy thing to do and there’s no guarantee that the one you love is gonna love you… Lovin’ eyes they cannot see a certain person could never be. Love runs deeper than any ocean. You can cloud your mind with emotion. How can you help it when the music starts to play and your ability to reason is swept away. Heaven on earth is all you see. You’re out of touch with reality and now you cry but when you do, next time around someone cries for you… ♪
I love this one because, as I was advised once, “the first step to moving on is acknowledging your own mistakes too and accepting the fact that you let yourself be played as the fool.

 

Ampalaya Playlist
(Kainlangan pa bang i-memorize to?)

Why (Avril Lavinge)
It’s not supposed to hurt this way… ♪

Jar of Hearts (Christina Perri)
No I can’t take one more step towards you coz all that’s waiting is regret… You’ve lost the love I loved the most… I hear you’re asking all around if I am anywhere to be found… I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed but you broke all your promises. And now you’re back you don’t get to get me back… ♪

Insensitive (Jann Arden)
How do you block the sound of a voice you’d know anywhere?… I really should have known by the time you drove me home, by the vagueness in your eyes, your casual goodbyes, by the chill in your embrace, the expression on your face… How do you teach your heart from trying to fall in love again? I’m one of the closen few who went ahead and fell for you… Maybe you might have some advisee to give on how to be Insensitive. ♪

Too Late (Carole King)
One of us is changing or maybe we just stopped trying… It used to be so easy living here with you. You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do. Now you look so unhappy and I feel like a fool… But it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late. You know we really did try to make it. Something inside has died and I can’t hide it, no, I just can’t fake it… ♪

Just a Dream (Cover by Sam Tsui & Christina Grimmie)
It was only just a dream… ♪

Just Like a Pill (Pink)
You’re just like a pill. Instead of making me better, you’re making me ill… ♪

Breakeven (Maddi Jane)
What am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you? What am I supposed to say when I’m all choked up and you’re ok? I’m falling to pieces…. When a heart breaks no it don’t break even… ♪

Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)
Picture perfect memory scattered all around the floor… And I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all… And I wonder if I ever cross your mind, for me it happens all time…. ♪

 

Danceable Playtist

You Make Me Wanna (Unknown)
U Got It Bad (Usher)
Too Close (Next)
Rap Das Armas (Cidinho & Doca)
Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)
Love Sex and Magic (Justin Timberlake & Ciara)

Danza Kuduro (Don Omar)
Hmmmm….. I don’t know squat what this song is saying pero may killing factor this song. Never in my lifetime did I ever think that I’d be associating such a song to a “heart feeling.” Long story short, I remember someone with this song.

 

Rocker Chick
 (I have always been one. The rocker inside me got revived when I got addicted to a TV series called “Supernatural”. A tale of two brothers hunting down unworldly creatures. Definitely rock-soundtrack material.)

Carry On My Wayward Song (Kansas)
Halik (Kamikazee)
Heat of the Moment (Asia)
Highway to Hell (AC/DC)

 

Not that I’m hoping for anything, trip lang mag-emote

I’m Never Gonna Give You Up (Frank Stallone & Cynthia Rhodes)
I’m Going Home (Chris Daughtry)
Ordinary People (John Legend)

After All (Peter Cetera)
After all the stops and starts, we keep coming back to these two hearts… And this is meant to be, forever you and me… After all. ♪

When I Was Your Man (Bruno Mars)
When I Was Your Man (Cover by Madilyn Bailey)
When my friends talk about you all it does is just tear me down. Cause my heart breaks a little when I hear your name… ♪
There are a couple of songs in my playlist with few variations. It’s sometimes because the song is originally sang by a guy and maybe at someone I might have related to it, so I look for female versions.

Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart (Alicia Keys)
Have you ever tried sleeping with a broken heart? Then you can try sleeping in my bed.. ♪
Sometimes we do not understand how hard some situations are unless we experience them ourselves. I thought this song was one of those emote songs telling you how much a heartbreak feels, but to my understanding, it’s daring the listener, not to get their heart broken, but “let’s see if you can make it? Cause you’ve got no idea how much I’m dealing with right now.”

The Famous Final Scene (Bob Seger)
And how you tried to make it work, did you really think it could?  How you tried to make it last, did you really think it would? Like a guest who stayed too long, now it’s finally time to leave… Take it calmly and serene, it’s the famous final scene. It’s been coming on so long, you were just the last to know. It’s been a long time since you’ve smiled…  Now the stage has all been set and the nights are growing cold. Soon the winter will be here and there’s no one warm to hold. Now the lines have all been read and you knew them all by heart. Now you move toward the door, here it comes the hardest part. Try the handle of the road, feeling different feeling strange. This can never be arranged as the light fades from the screen. From the famous final scene. ♪
Like I said, Supernatural is an awesome TV series incorporated with rock soundtracks because of the “manly” nature of it’s concept. But what if there came a time when the main action hero went through one of the worst things like loosing someone dear? Girl mode would immediately think Celine Dion, Beyoncé. But this, nooooo. Even the “emote” track needed to be rock ballad! hehe. Loved the touch of the song during that scene.
Other than that, since I have a fascination for stage performances, how they related a sad experience to a stage setting made me even more crazy for the song! : )


Somebody That I Used to Know (Gotye)
Somebody That I Used to Know (Cover by Madilyn Bailey & Jake Coco)
Somebody That I Used to Know (Cover by Ingrid Michaelson)
Now and then I think of when we were together, like when you said you felt so happy you could die. Told myself that you were right for me but felt so lonely in your company. But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember… Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over but had me believing it was always something that I’d done. But I don’t wanna live that way, reading into every word you say, you said that you could let it go and I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know ♪

Piano in the Dark (Nina)
Just as I walk through the door, I can feel your emotion. It’s pullin’ me back to love you… I know I’m caught up in the middle, I cry just a little when I think of letting go. I’m not caught up in the middle I cry just a little when I think of letting go ♪
Oh THAT feeling that you think you’re okey. Then all of a sudden, you remember something and you’re caught by surprise. Then it’s in that moment that you feel that little pinch somewhere inside that makes you just want to forget everything and run back but you know it’s not right but you feel like you want to, then you call for help but you think you’ll follow your own heart anyway. Then it’s you try to distract yourself but that next thing you’re doing reminds you again, you argue with yourself and you know you just have to stop it. But then again, you “cry just a little when you think of letting go”, then you’re back to square one. It’s vicious cycle! Whew! Sakit sa bangs!

You Were Meant for Me (Jewel)
Dreams last so long even after you’re gone… ♪
Ahhh… this one. When at one point you’ve planned so far ahead and can’t wait for your forever to start, then everything just stops. As Toni Gonzaga says, “How do I unlove you?”

Dreaming with a Broken Heart (John Mayer)
When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part. ♪

Better in Time (Leona Lewis)
It’s gonna hurt when it heals too… It will get better in time… No matter how hard it is, I’ll be fine without you! ♪

Love Takes Time (Mariah Carey)
Love takes time to heal when you’re hurting so much ♪

Just Give Me a Reason (Pink ft. Nate)
Just a second we’re not broken, just bent… And we can learn to love again… ♪

 

Others

You and I (Lady Gaga)
Almost There (Princess and the Frog – Disney)
Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (Frozen – Disney)
For the First Time in Forever (Frozen – Disney)
For the First Time in Forever (Reprise) (Frozen – Disney)
Let it Go (Frozen – Disney)
Love is an Open Door (Frozen – Disney)

 

There are may songs which I listen to simply because I like a certain part of it’s tune, it’s lyrics, then I hit the “Next” button on my playlist.

Well, there it goes. As much songs that I know, these are so far the only ones I have in my phone (thank God!). I know it the lyrics is saying a lot. But for now, it’s what’s keeping my sane in my long bus rides to and from work. Kaya wag nang umapila!! ^__^

 Of the many songs I relate to, this is for now one that sings my current stage. I really saved it for last. Enjoy.

*****

 

I mentioned in my previous blog that nothing can make us remember so much like scent does because scents, we may come across it briefly, but it, and all the emotions that comes along with it, gets encoded right into the core of our memories, locked away and silent until it gets unleashed again. And Music, I believe is next other channel that do the same amount of damage (in a good or bad way).
I mentioned in my previous blog that nothing can make us remember so much like scent does because scents, we may come across it briefly, but it, and all the emotions that comes along with it, gets encoded right into the core of our memories, locked away and silent until it gets unleashed again. And Music, I believe is next other channel that do the same amount of damage (in a good or bad way).

 

The BFF’s entry is here.

It’s Fun to be a Girl

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 ~

Facial Washes
Facial Washes

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.

Toners
Toners

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.

Face Moisturizer
Face Moisturizer

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.

Lotion
Lotion

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.

 a05

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.

Sunblock
Sunblock
a07
Make-Up Remover

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:

Quote:

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

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Facial Scrub

Good for exfoliation to make way for new skin to surface

Neutrogena Wave
Neutrogena Wave

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.

Face Masks
Face Masks (Occasional)

20140307_0002511. 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.

Normalizing Cream
Normalizing Cream

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)

Skin Conditioner
Skin Conditioner

 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)

Ingrown Hair Solution
Ingrown Hair Solution

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.

Deodorant
Deodorant

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.

Funny-looking Thingamajig
Funny-looking Thingamajig

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) ~

Hair Dye
Hair Dye

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.

Joico Reconstruction
Joico Reconstruction

An awesome hair reconstruction treatment made especially for hair like mine which got damaged from hair coloring and perming. More on http://www.beautybay.com/haircare/joico/kpak4stepsystem/

Eyebrow Threading
Eyebrow Threading

Because cavewomen fashion have faded out eons ago!

 

Eyebrow Tinting & Bleaching
Eyebrow Tinting & Bleaching

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.

Upper lip bleaching
Upper lip bleaching

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.

Manicure & Pedicure
Manicure & Pedicure

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 Series can be found here.

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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 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. 🙂

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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.