Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Taste of Dolce Italia!

It's no secret how much I love frozen yogurt, moreso if it's from White Hat. It's been my addiction for the past 2 years. I believe many of you will agree, that White Hat is the only brand that offers authentic tangy yogurt. If you're a yogurt newbie, then I encourage you to try one today. I'm pretty sure White Hat will be your new best friend :)

Join the feast as White Hat celebrates the Italian Festival together with the Italian Embassy this October. 
Get a taste of The Italian Hat, the newest White Hat combo to whet your appetite. 

Luscious white yogurt topped with fresh kiwi, 
white chocolate chips, strawberries in syrup and Biscotti.

This divine dessert is priced at P125.00 for a Regular Cup and P155.00 for a Large Cup.
A limited offer this October in all The White Hat stores nationwide!

Weekend Sale

Whip out your credit cards, folks! It's gonna be a major shopping weekend! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do you double cleanse?

I had no idea, not until I read Sesame's blog, that I've been double cleansing all my life. I had an oh-that's-what-you-call-it moment when I read her entry. Double cleansing was one of the things my Dermatologist taught us saying that it was a more effective way of cleansing the face, regardless if we have makeup on.

What is double cleansing?

Double cleansing means using two separate formulas/products to cleanse the face. Or simply, washing your face twice. Like for example, at the end of the day I use Cetaphil applied to a cotton round and give my face a good swiping so as to remove all traces of makeup. After this I wash my face with water, then use my regular cleanser to remove leftover grime and whatnot. Then I proceed with my skin care routine which is to tone, treat and moisturize.

Sometimes you can call it even triple cleansing, because if I am wearing water-resistant mascara which can't be removed by good old Cetaphil, I have to use a specific eye makeup remover then proceed with Cetaphil, etc. It's not an arduous process, mind you, it's actually quite refreshing. It's nice to have a bare and clean face at the end of the day, and I delight in seeing lots of dirt on my cotton after swiping.

Cotton Rounds OR Cotton Squares?

Have you ever noticed that cotton products are not created equal? I was so into cotton squares, thinking that they were the greatest thing that ever happened to me. With cotton squares I didn't have to unfold and flatten my cotton balls, which is what I normally do all the time.

Until I discovered cotton rounds. One try and I was blown away. Let me show you what I mean:

Cotton squares from Saizen Php 85/130pcs VS Cuddles Cotton Rounds Php 49.75/80pcs


You know what? I sometimes get a little OC with my pets. I mean, dogs are a different thing. But hermit crabs? Oh man, I get so OC after I've cleaned and arranged the crabitat and they start messing everything up. I know, I know. Crabs are tank trashers and they do like to climb onto things and dig. But sometimes when the leveled sand is out of place, or they dig a lot and get sand in their food and water dishes, I kinda feel upset. And all I can do is let out an exasperated sigh and redo everything.

there's Max on the far left trying to dig another crater
Just look at these guys, trying to mess up the new sand with total disregard for their loving owner who just cleaned up their mess, took them out for a walk and decorated the terrarium (that's me, LOL).

Just to let you guys know, all the hermies are doing pretty well. That's Sparks with the Ninja Turtle shell complete with googly eyes. He hasn't molted yet though.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Have you been to Payless Shoesource?

Ish and I got stuck in the rain while we were on our way to Cubao-X so we decided to drop by Payless Shoesource in Ali Mall. Ish was looking for wearable fashion flats that she can alternate with the usual 4-inch heels she wears to class. While I, on the other hand, was content with taking pictures of the warehouse-type store. Later on the lady guard shooed me away. LOL, such is my life.

The footwear in Payless would average at around Php 700-995 which when when you convert into dollars seems like you actually pay less (sorry for the pun). The styles here are not exactly trendy or jaw-dropping, but for one thing, they are extremely wearable even for your everyday activities. The store also offers accessories and bags.

Shoe trivia: I discovered that I am a size 2 1/2 (children's size) here! Holy moley!!

all the shoes are arranged according to size
rows and rows of shoes

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hanging out with Catsudon

I have bazaar friends, craft friends, school friends and many other friends that can't be categorized into just one label. I tell ya, the greatest thing in the world is having great friends. And for that, I am truly thankful.

I went to Greenbelt today to meet with my fellow crafter and bazaar partner, Cat of Beadazzle (FYI: I fondly call her Catsudon). We've been bazaar buddies and TV buddies (we always get featured together) for over a year and it's been a fun ride so far. We decided to have lunch over at Fish & Co. as we discussed serious bazaar and store issues. It is the holiday season after all.

Philadelphia Fish & Chips...Mmmm...
Creme Brulee for dessert
sorry..bad lighting. haha
And oh, have you been to Landmark in Makati recently? It looks soo nice and organized!

I love Landmark because of so many cheap finds! I promise to come back soon when I have more time to spare. For now, I have to deal with rush hour over at the MRT. Ta-tah! :)

The best local drugstore makeup

It seems like everyone is stepping up their game. Not only are our local department stores finally offering trendier and more stylish clothes and shoes - our local makeup brands aren't trailing far behind as well. Brands that used to be ignored and considered as secondary to imported brands are steadily becoming staples in every newbie and professional makeup artists’ kits.

Whoever thought that cheap does not equal quality is in for a surprise. These makeup brands offer affordable products and yet perform as well as their imported and more expensive counterparts. Read on and discover our local makeup favorites!


Ever Bilena, established in 1983, primarily sold nail polishes and later on flourished into a full cosmetic line in 1985. Being a staple in major department stores, the brand has been known to carry affordable yet high-quality products made of high-grade and clinically-tested ingredients, creating makeup comparable to American brands. What sets it apart from the rest is that they have also diversified into fragrances and skin care products such as sunscreen lotions, moisturizers, lotions, sanitizers and deodorants. However one look at their packaging and one will realize that they are very similar, if not based on, the Victoria’s Secret, MAC and the Juicy Tubes line.

It has now grown full circle since its inception as Ever Bilena offers other local companies with cosmetic base
ingredients and they also sponsor beauty pageants nationwide.

Their bestsellers include the mousse eyeshadows P125.00, matte lipstick P125.00, cheek blush P 150.00, mousse concealer P175.00 and Pro-Flawless finish foundation P165.00.


Nichido is another brand worth taking a second look at. Popular among students and those on a budget, Nichido offers products with very affordable prices. Their pretty lipsticks are quite popular and are a steal at P88.00 and come in various pigmented colors and finishes. However please be warned that some of their lipsticks do darken lips in the long run, so make sure to apply a primer or lip balm before application. Also try their liquid eyeliner to dramatically define your eyes, Final Powder which is great for setting foundation, the all-in-one Multiple Stick (reminiscent of NARS The Multiple), Girls Night Out Eye Pencils which are very pigmented and come in an array of playful colors, and their Cheek Mousse blush.

Keep Reading...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hyperflawless skin: HD and airbrush makeup

When you hear the word ‘hi-definition’, one immediately thinks of TV sets which project larger images with 2-5 times the resolution of analog versions. In layman’s terms it simply means that the pictures transmitted are undeniably crystal clear – every pore, flaw, wrinkle will not only be visible but magnified. And no matter how we try to conceal them, thick and cakey makeup will also show through the HD camera lens.

To most this may seem like defeating the purpose of makeup. Isn’t the sole purpose of cosmetics supposed to make our skin look flawless?  Even though we are not celebrities and we need not worry about our so-called blemishes showing on the big screen, if we desire a softer and more polished look then the new HD and Airbrush makeup may be just right up our alley.

What is HD makeup?

HD makeup is different from traditional makeup because it contains light-diffusing or reflective properties that make the foundation flatter the skin. The light diffusers (usually mica, silicone, quartz or crystals) typically scatter light to create the illusion of an even finish so you can’t detect the flaws underneath.
Compared to the airbrushing technique, this employs a relatively easier application as you only need to buffer a small amount of mineral powder onto the skin to create a soft, matte appearance. For other brands, HD makeup come in convenient pump bottles and compacts.

With HD makeup, minor to moderate skin imperfections can be hidden without looking chalky. HD powders are also milled to a fine consistency to help avoid detection via cameras. They also contain mattifying agents to prevent oiliness and glare, as well as moisturizers to make wrinkles and fine lines less noticeable.

Airbrush and HD cosmetics are usually the makeup of choice of most bride-to-be’s because of its flawless finish, ability to conceal and camouflage imperfections while still blending seamlessly into the skin and looking natural.

What is airbrush makeup?

There are two formulations that celebrities and news anchors swear by: airbrush and mineral powders. Airbrush makeup is usually the product of choice of most professional TV makeup artists because it gives complete and flawless coverage. Applying airbrush makeup requires a compressor machine where tiny molecules of either water-based, alcohol, polymer or silicone-based foundation is sprayed through a fine nozzle onto the skin. These airbrush sets are quite pricey and it takes some time to get the hang of, so be sure to practice. Airbrush makeup in aerosols are also available in the market for those who would like to test drive this trend without spending too much.

Locally we have Glambox, Kryolan and Temptu that offer airbrush sets, accessories and hi-definition makeup. For a quick list of makeup brands you should check out, please click the link below:

Keep reading...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Keeping it simple

(part 2 of 2)

When asked what my "beauty secrets" were in response to Project Vanity's contest, I had to think long and hard about what would be nice to share to my dear readers.

Beauty secrets are relative, and some products I use may or may not work on other people. And with maintaining a somewhat beauty blog, it's sometimes hard to keep track of things I use or have tried. With a blog like this, it's sometimes even harder to be faithful to one product.

Personally, the only thing that I can share it the same thing my Communications trainer taught us: K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, sweetie

Everyday we get bombarded with tons of *new* anti-aging, whitening, skin-perfecting products. After trying out a whole lot (including switching to organic/natural alternatives), I still find myself going back to my normal, tried and tested routine of JUST KEEPING IT SIMPLE.

First of all, my skin care routine is as simple as it is necessary.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meet my evil twin

When I was a young I was just like any other kid -- I loved all things pink and girly. Especially Barbie. I had the little car and the suitcase so I can bring her around. And I had tons of Barbie shoes and outfits. I also liked Care Bears, She-ra, Rainbow Brite and Sprite, My Little Pony, Glow-Worms (especially the the baby glow-worms wearing onesies), Strawberry Shortcake and Popples! OMG do you remember Popples that transformed into a ball? I think I had 3 or 4 of those and I'd even sleep beside them.

But aside from all that sweetness and cuteness, I also collected Garbage Pail Kids cards. I'd buy packs every Sunday at the neighborhood novelty store, chewed tons of gum and excitedly marvel at the stickers. I have about 30 or 40 pcs of those cards, and I'd have to say that "Bloody Mary" is my favorite.

Until a few years ago, that is. Back when I was working over at MLNW, I had the privilege of meeting the very talented Ish Orendain of Morbie Dolls. After being amazed at her mopey-mute and weird dolls I decided that there should be an evil ballerina doll named Kira, complete with a pink tutu and ballerina lace-up shoes. Ish added the "longganisa" hair later on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Say hello to Sparks

Lately, I've been noticing that my hermit crabs have been staring out into space more often than usual, which led me to assume that they may need some mental stimulation to keep themselves going. Remember, crabs usually walk a mile per night, so being cooped up in a crabitat with just an hour of playtime (in the bath area) every day may not be sufficient.

Now since I have NO idea how to mentally stimulate a crab, I decided to take home some new crab "toys" (aka corals and shells) from Dakak that the crabs can explore and climb. Additionally, I decided to adopt a new crab which I got from Happy Hermits. My Dad wanted to bring home crabs from the beach (which was of course free) but I decided otherwise since I was against literally just taking them from their natural habitat. Plus I didn't want to get caught in the airport and be denied boarding -- which I really don't mind, being my crazy old self. But I wanted to spare my sister (a veteran PAL employee) the embarrassment.

So folks, say hello to Sparks! He's about the same size as Hercules but with a deep burgundy color. The moment he got home he's been moving around making friends, and he has not bullied anyone yet. He truly is a spark of energy in the crabitat. He is very outgoing like PP and readily comes out of his shell when handled. I believe he is one of my best purchases yet (after Max, of course). My Mom likes to call him "Turtle" for obvious reasons. I personally find the shell cute but I hope he outgrows it or decides to move out of it soon.

Speaking of Max, the little bugger molted thrice in the last 3 months! I am so proud that he is healthy and now growing at a constant rate. He is my favorite crab after all. In just a few months, Max and Hercules will be turning a year old with me, they are the sole survivors of the 11 crabs that I initially started with. Sadly, some died due to molting malfunctions, some were bullied and died of stress, some just didn't make it for one reason or another, and some were adopted by friends. The saddest part of all, Gigantor passed because his shell cracked from constant climbing (and falling), thus "overheating" him. I love all my little hermies and I have fond memories of them (you can check my old posts for more crab stories).

Rest in peace my little hermies *sob*

In case you're interested, I currently have 6 crabs -- PP, Max, Sparks, Hercules and 2 other little crabs donated by a friend who are all living harmoniously in the crabitat. Let's all give Sparks a warm welcome as he seems to be enjoying his new-found friends and the new assortment of crab food.

Hello Sparks! :D

I heart Xanadu!

Here's some trivia for ya:

My Dad had a major crush on Olivia Newton-John and he used to listen to her music and watch her tours on tape all the time. Not surprising that he named me "Kira", after Olivia's key role in Xanadu. Of course there are also other more symbolic meanings to my name but the one that stood out most growing up was this particular musical.

When I was a little bit older, I listened to her country music all the time. Her voice was just wonderful. And Olivia Newton-John was so pretty. I later on watched the movie "Xanadu" then moved on to "Grease" where she teamed with a then svelte John Travolta. 

When I received word that a parody of the musical "Xanadu" was going to be shown in Manila, it was only fitting that I actually clear up my sked and watch it. Of course, I had to share the experience with Ish, who is more of a "Footloose" gal than a "Grease" gal btw, but loves musicals just the same.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You are invited for a Jurlique anti-stress facial

 Bio-dynamic beauty courtesy of Jurlique

“It is impossible to manufacture pure skincare, that’s why we grow it instead.” 
– Jurlique Founder Ulrike Klein

Jurlique is a different science, with dynamic results that transform our skin. They grow their own plants and flowers on their self-sustaining, biodynamic farm in South Australia, then process and formulate pure, effective treatments – from farm to bottle, powerful formulas made possible only by Jurlique.

Introducing Jurlique’s Purely Age-Defying Range

Jurlique’s Purely Age-Defying Range includes a Serum, Eye Cream, Night Lotion and Refining Treatment. The facial skincare collection is clinically proven to deliver dynamically different results to help maintain and improve skin’s youthful properties and maintain hydrated, smooth, firm and radiant skin. Jurlique believes that skin can stay strong, radiant and youthful despite the passage of time.  

Visit Jurlique at Greenebelt 5 (Level 1)
Call 729-9854 to set an appointment today
Print out this voucher and get a free 45-minute anti-stress facial only at Jurlique. 
Offer runs until September 31 only.

Let me know  how your facial went! Did you enjoy it? Was it particularly refreshing?
Drop me a line when you get back ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Panna cotta love

It's that time of the month again, and as of writing my legs are extra sensitive and are dead tired from walking. I've been bingeing more than the usual and this time around, my resto of choice has been Cibo primarily because of their authentic and delicious Panna cotta.

Panna cotta
Panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. It is generally from the Northern Italian region of Piemonte, although it is eaten all over Italy, where it is served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit couli.

For years I've been enjoying this heavenly dessert in Trattoria Gourmet's (Shangri-la Mall) and only recently discovered that Cibo also offers this delectable dessert as well. It has been my secret indulgence. If I am in a bad mood only panna cotta can make me happy. And I don't mean just any panna cotta, I want it authentic and fresh.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top 10 reasons why I love Dakak

My sister and I initially booked this trip for ourselves sans parents because we wanted to chill by the beach and not have Mom & Dad hover over us. We also thought our parents were so picky and finicky that it would be such a pain to have to drag them along to the beach everyday. Our parents are not water babies like us after all.

But then by force (!) they decided to tag along. And I thought this was going to be just one of those usual family vacations. Turns out, we had more fun than we initially expected; and the parentals, jump shots and all, were more game than we ever imagined.

In the end, we were happy that Mom and Dad decided to come with us because it was actually quite fun to have them around. You know what they say, 4 crazy people are better than 2.

So let's say that this turned out to be one of those cherished family vacations, even trumping my dear old Singapore (I love SG so much for reasons I cannot explain). We vow to come back to Dakak every year in September when there are no tourists and we can have the beach to ourselves. Of course, the trip wouldn't be possible without PAL's Independence day promos (a jaw-dropping Php 612/pax!) and our yearly trip passes. Heh-heh.

I think that everyone should book a trip to Dakak even just once in your lifetime. It's definitely not as busy as Boracay but just as serene and scenic as Palawan. We love how we can just literally take a vacation and RELAX without bumping into so many "tourists" and so-called party people.

So for you guys, here's a short list of why we love this secluded place:

panoramic shot of the beach
1. You can walk to the beach--literally! Unlike other resorts, in Dakak it only takes 3 minutes max (even less if you book a beachfront cottage) to get from the cottage to the beach or the pool, and the walk itself with nature all around is nothing short of amazing.

2. There are 3 pools: a shallow kiddie pool, a deep saltwater pool and a regular-sized pool with fresh, flowing mountain water. All pools do not have chlorine which is great because too much of it can cause breakouts.

our room
3. The cottages are quaint and very native/ethnic-inspired.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I was a hula dancer for a day

...and boy, I will never look at hula dancing the same way again! Those gyrating hips! Oh my!
My Mom was game enough to dance with me! Sooo much fun! :D

Burn, baby, burn

You know you've been out in the sun too long when you've got burnt shoulders. Owie :'(

Yes, despite the numerous reapplications of sunblock, the treacherous sun still did some damage to my skin. But it's all in the name of fun anyway. Now off to look for my after sun cooling gel...

dress: Freeway
fringe bag: Zara
current state: sleepy

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sun Worshipping: Tools of the trade

Beaches are easily one of my favorite places in the whole wide world for the following reasons:

  • I can marvel at the beauty of nature
  • I am encouraged to do NOTHING and just chill (and not feel guilty about being "unproductive")
  • I can slap on sunblock and head on out the door
  • minimal clothing ('nuff said!)

My family used to come to Dakak all the time, as we like how quiet and secluded the resort is. We like places where we can just get away from the big bad city, preferably without the hustle and bustle of Boracay. Predictably, Palawan is another breathtaking place we frequent.

Inspired by Liz's travel must-haves (she is currently chilling in Baguio), I'd like to present my beauty loot. I initially had difficulty deciding which sunblocks I should take with me, as we have dozens lying around the house. Finally I decided on these hoping I can use them all up so I can buy some more:

Dermplus Waterproof Sunblock for Kids SPF 35 (smells like yummy watermelons!)
Banana Boat Baby Block SPF 50 (water resistant)
Beach Hut Spray-on Sunblock SPF 30 (water resistant)
All Organics Skinbrella SPF 30
Hamilton Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Milk SPF 80 (amazingly water resistant for 4 hours!) 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hello from Dakak!

 Pleated chambray dress: Dorothy Perkins
Handpainted Bangle: EarthlyDelights
Flip flops: Havaianas

flights and cheap ticket prices courtesy of Philippine Airlines :D

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chipmunk cheeks

Growing up we were taught early on not to fear Doctors. Having several professionals in our family (Dad and Grandpa included) and seeing them every so often just made trips to the Doctors seem like a natural occurrence.

With also a very neurotic and uber-concerned Mother (I am using the word "neurotic" in a good way), we also learned that early detection or early consultations can lead to better results in the future. I must also mention that the boyfriend's parents and older sister are Doctors as well, but I can't say the same for him --- he is terrified of having a simple blood exam done. Oh will wonders never cease. And for the record my sister and I have NEVER been confined in a hospital, so even though we come in skinny, teeny packages, at least we know we are as healthy as an elephant.

A few days ago, I posted on my Twitter that I had a Dentist appointment to have my impacted molar removed. Impacted molars are quite common on our side of the family, having small jaws and all. But what was quite uncommon was that the impacted molar came out in my late twenties, when generally they make their appearance during the ages of 16-25, hence the name "wisdom tooth".
Oh well. The tooth didn't really pose any immediate threat as it wasn't painful or anything. But what was the use of keeping a tooth that was practically useless anyway? So we decided to have it removed. I admit that I am a pretty strong woman and I have a high threshold for pain, but when I sat on that Dentist chair I could feel my hands and my legs shake. Maybe the air-conditioning was too cold, or maybe I really WAS scared. Surgeries are really not my thing. Nevertheless I decided to push through with it. I was determined to finish this once and for all.

Seeing as my sister had hers done 5 years ago and took all but 10 minutes, this should be a cinch. But no, God had other plans for me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mini haul: NYX lippies!

When I got home from the dentist (will blog about that in my next entry), half of my face was numb and swollen and I was really bummed I couldn't attend any events today. At the same time, I was so tired that the best thing to do was to go home, rest and sleep.

After checking all my pets, I made a beeline to my room and then I spotted my NYX shipment from Armie (Carefree Shopper) sitting on the table waiting for me to tear its packaging to pieces. LOL.

This would be our second shipment of orders, as we (my sister, Mom and myself included) loved all our initial orders that we decided to stock up on our favorite shades.

On fearing change: When it’s time to take a leap of faith

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown

There are two basic human emotions that are the driving force behind each thought, each daily inspiration and that rare but pivotal new-chapter, life-changing decision. The first is fear and the second, love.

The funny thing, however, is that they are intertwining forces. In order to feel passionately about something, fear and love must coexist.

One year ago I made what some people would consider an irrational decision. I had a great job, a flexible boss with rainbow colored work walls to boot. I had a circle of close-knit, happy-hour-loving girlfriends who brought overflowing amounts of joy and adventure to my life. Together we’d paint Los Angeles red, fly to Chicago on a “girls’ trip” whim, and celebrate each other’s birthdays in Las Vegas.

Within our friendly beachside neighborhood were my favorite Thai restaurant, faithful yoga studio and the best omelet breakfast spot within a 5 miles radius of each other. My adoring family was a short one-hour Southwest flight away, so I could always access TLC from Mom and Dad.

I was comfortable, I was happy, but most of all I was where everyone wants to be -- SAFE.