Sunday, February 27, 2011

Learn how to take better photos

I am a  proud owner of an old Lumix camera.

It's the only camera I've used on my trips abroad (sans the parents), the only camera I bring to my beach trips, and the camera I've been solely using for the past 3 years. This camera has been dropped several times from varying heights, bumped into walls and other hard objects out of sheer carelessness, and has had numerous brushes with saltwater. If you look up close, you can see that the saltwater has corroded some of the silver finish already.

Yes, it's old, outdated and in haphazard shape --- but I love it! I am tempted (in more ways than one) to get my hands on one of the newer Canon cameras, but I have always been a Lumix user since forever.

If you're like me and you have a dinky point and shoot camera and you don't want to let go of it yet, or don't have the means --- or the heart --- to upgrade to a DSLR, then the only smart thing to do is to actually learn to maximize its features.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why choose Modern Academy?

A few weeks ago, I gave you a virtual tour of the new school to hit Bonifacio Global City, Modern Academy of Image, Culture and the Arts (MAICA for short). Now before you dismiss Modern Academy as “just another finishing school” that teaches us to act, speak and  dress a certain way, let me tell you off the bat that Modern Academy is different. 

While discussing the school with its PR Director, Celine Gabriel-Lim, I realized that the mission and objective the school is based upon was closer to home than I initially expected. Let me explain by sharing snippets of my life so you may understand better.

When I was hired to be part of the Recruitment Department for a BPO/contact center, I was fresh out of operations. I had no formal training in Human Resource functions, but I had the passion and I knew it’s where I wanted to be. Being the only employee with no Psychology degree, I eagerly took in whatever work they threw at me for posterity --- phone scheduling, job fairs, interviews, sourcing, inventory, etc. 

It was hard work, no doubt. 

We all know that experience in the best teacher, but wouldn’t it be nice as well to have someone who could teach us the ropes? There is, after all, a difference between working smart and working hard. Looking back, I feel very fortunate to have had a very good mentor (hi Reg!) who patiently helped me along the way, without so much as smothering or coddling me.

In essence, that’s what Modern Academy aims to be. Modern Academy understands that everyone has the potential to succeed, and what they need is just a little bit of a nudge in the right direction to get things going.

Paradise of Stars

We took Mark's little niece, Hannah, to this relatively unknown park beside her school in Cubao, Quezon City. It's called "Paradise of Stars" and it features life-size photos (some more life-size that others, haha) of our classic and current movers and shakers in the entertainment industry.

classic stars: Susan Roces, Goria Romero, FPJ
this huge pool would've been great during its heyday
Of course he had to have his photo taken with Marian Rivera
Eggshell blue dress worn as a top: online purchase
Wrap-around skirt: MNG
Flat sandals: Shoebox & Me
Fringe bag: Zara

My top/dress is another classic example of some online shops trying to label a top as a dress -- it was too freakin' short for me! Don't you just hate it when that happens? But anyhoo, I turned it into a top and it looks so much better.

I know, I know, my hair is uber long! But I am having it styled/trimmed at Azta Urban Salon next month. I'm thinking of having it curled but I need to redirect my funds towards a new, spunky camera :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Strands Out: The LayBare Fashion Show

This is going to be a quick post about the mini fashion show I attended last Wednesday. I am such a huge fan of waxing and Lay Bare in particular, and I was excited when I received the invite.

Their 5th year anniversary was celebrated at the Hard Rock Cafe and is dubbed "the smoothest fashion show to walk the runway." With LayBare doing the waxing, I'm pretty sure the models will all be in their hairless, naked glory.

Ornussa Cadness and Isabel Roces
The models' smooth bodies were used to showcase various Japanese and African artworks, as well as Marie Antionette-inspired looks (check out Ornussa Cadness above as "Marie Antoinette"), and ethnic artworks such as Pintados. The show was hosted by the pretty Isabel Roces, and there's also a special appearance by Aljur Abrenica. The girls were just screaming the moment he graced the catwalk. His eyes are sooo dreamy.

Yes we love you too, Aljur :)
LayBare owners Monique & Fiona Hilario
The theme was to wear a "skin-baring outfit" and it was a good opportunity to wear my skintone lace mini dress. I wore a jacket over it because the boyfriend might throw a fit --- the backside is just pure lace with no lining. It was absolutely great to bump into Char of Skin Hour, you know I've been gushing about her skin care products since last year.

I am such a teeny tiny person in real life :P
With Char :)
Char, Angelle, Lynda and Me
The show lasted only a mere hour and a half (sad), so Char and I decided to hang out at TGIF while I had my long overdue dinner.

What about you guys, do you like to wax? :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Tinkerbell Wonderland

Mark and I were invited to Dahpne's 1st birthday last weekend at The Oasis. If you must know, birthdays are huge deals for us. Even if we don't want to have a grand celebration, everyone's 1st, 7th and 18th have to be celebrated one way or another. With Daphne's dad as an event organizer (owner of by choice and profession, I believe William had his work cut out for him, haha.

The theme for the big day was Tinkerbell. Who doesn't remember this whimsical little creature who had the hots for Peter Pan? I remember being a kid and seriously wishing I could be Tink and fly...not to mention wanting to be like Ariel, too, so I could forever become a waterbaby. Oh, to be young once again.

Anyway,  I believe William did a spectacular job planning and organizing the event. We all had high expectations, obviously.

The Tinkerbell theme was literally everywhere and was quite overwhelming. I've never seen so many fairies in my entire life! Haha.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Venus & Mars Wonder Creme with SPF 50

I've gotten so many inquiries via email about V&M's new product, so finally here's my short review. Remember, I got mine at their WTC bazaar last December and our bottle is now half-empty.

Ingredients: Emu Oil, SPF 50, Papaya and Glutathione Extracts, Aloe Vera, Collagen, Glycerin

Price: Php 335/20ml pump bottle

Why I like it:

  • high sun protection, offers SPF 50
  • contains collagen and emu oil which are anti-aging ingredients
  • non-reflective, non-greasy and non-sticky
  • applies smoothly (no drag here)
  • not as creamy as the Keep Safe Tinted Sunblock, therefore is more suitable for oilier complexions
  • the orangey tinge/shade will blend well with most skin tones
  • good as a mineral makeup base
  • no white cast
  • dries matte
  • hygienic pump packaging (but plastic cap will break when dropped)

Why I don't like it:

  • turns dark on us when we get oily, may not be suitable for acidic complexions. This is solely based on our experience though, so it may work differently for you.
  • zero to very, very sheer coverage (my Nu Skin TM gives more coverage than this)
  • oil control is so-so
  • Php 335 price is quite expensive for a small 20ml bottle
  • strong jasmine scent that lingers (I am not a fan of strong scents)
My verdict? It's great to use as a moisturizer-slash-sunblock but it may not be suitable for you if you are looking for a product that offers a great deal of coverage.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My go-to soap: Bare Naturals No Breakout to Makeup

I received a small sample bar of this supposedly famous soap last December, at Bare Naturals' WTC bazaar. Ms. Lami said it was one their bestsellers, I was quite skeptical at first because I wasn't really in need of any soaps at that time. I thoughtfully set this soap aside when I got home and got carried away with the busy holiday season.

Last month, I encountered this sample bar again while cleaning out my closet. It smelled good and so I decided to finally use it.

Anti-pimple, Acne mark remover, Emu Oil Skin Perfecting Soap, recommended for Oily Skin

An anti- skin break-out soap, it has tea tree oil and real tea tree leaves with anti-bacterial action; best for pimples and other skin diseases. Fortified with the finest grade of emu oil to nourish and make the skin glow with health! With omega 3, 6, 8 and anti-bacteria properties. Mildly infused with calamansi and papain for gentle skin lightening, With sweet envigorating scent of pink grapefruit.

It is a glycerine-based soap which explains its clear nature. BN soaps feature huge nodes for extra massaging action should you decide to use it for the body.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Where you headed this weekend?

There are absolutely 2 things you must do this weekend:

1. Drop by the Bloggers' Closet event and score some really awesome clothes

2. Get a headstart on your travel plans and visit the 2011 Travel and Tour Expo

Gasp, so excited! There is nothing like a well-dressed traveler, if I may say so myself ;D

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Book Depository

I just discovered The Book Depository (via Mara) which is the UK's largest dedicated online bookseller. They offer the largest range of titles in the world and are available for shipout within 48 hours. Since Mara said she purchased several books from them, I got curious one night and went window shopping.

And then it hit me, why don't I buy some hermit crab books? It was a no-brainer and I could easily refer to them if I'm lazy to go online and do research. And I also wanted to look at pretty crab photos. There's nothing like actually holding some real reading material while curled up in bed. I'm sure for most people, hermit crabs isn't their topic of choice when deciding what to read while in bed. But I'm not most people. Plus, I like reading about my pets, so there --- and oh, in case you've been living under a rock, I currently have 11 hermies. You can read all about them at

So on January 21, I ordered a few books online and then I anxiously counted the days, even though I knew beforehand that it would take a several weeks to arrive. Fast forward to 3 weeks later, the books finally did -- hooray! But you could imagine how excited we were by the second week, eagerly waiting every afternoon for the books to make their appearance. I tell you, the waiting is the hardest part.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine in Papaya

I got my second Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine a few weeks back when I had my makeover at Makati. The first one I got was "Pink Glisten" which was a very pretty pink shade. I've always wanted to get my hands on its coral-pink sister, "Papaya", but the shade wasn't available for purchase last year.

So hooray that finally it has arrived to the Philippines. I like it because it instantly brightens up the face with its vibrant color. I can be as pale as can be, so this really helps especially since I rarely wear full-on makeup. Unlike "Pink Glisten", "Papaya" packs more color and offers a creamy satin finish sans the shimmer.

Each Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine is Php 1,100 each but it's so worth it because it is highly moisturizing and has SPF 15. Hands-down this is my favorite lippie to date :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My first Speed Dating event

A few days before Valentine's Day, Cheq and I decided to join this speed dating event. I asked my boyfriend to drop us off at Focaccia along The Fort Strip -- yes, I got permission from the boyfriend to join, or at least cover the event for my blog, heh. I bet he knew that I was just in it for ze food :p


Supposedly dinner was from 8:00 - 8:30 PM but seeing as a lot of people were late (or just chicken scared), the dinner lasted til 9:00 PM. Cheq and I didn't mind because we were happily munching on some appetizers and trying to spot some interesting people.

There were four platters in front of us, and I think we ate about 80% of them. We had the table all to ourselves, basically. I am quite surprised that some girls still keep to themselves and have no intention of mingling with other girls. Abbie (who was in our table) was so quiet during dinner and only spoke when we asked her questions. Why oh why, are people still shy? Or maybe people hated us cos we finished all the food? No matter.

Happy Hearts Day!

The boyfriend and I decided to just take it easy today. Because our job technically allows us to work whenever and wherever we want, we took another well-meaning break today and just relaxed and enjoyed good food. I like eating out and although I originally planned to have fish over at Fish & Co., the boyfriend and his parents had other ideas. Still, I'd say this day was a blast and very romantic.

The finale of the day was oil-dripping and fat-laden Peking duck. OMG, my diet just went out ze window. And oh, I had a cocktail today. Happy! How was your Valentine's Day? :)