11:11

Just a few more minutes before 2011.. I'd like to say thank you for such a wonderful year! There has been some rough and tumble, but I'm grateful for everything that has gone my way! 

Last time was Milo, now it's Coco the black 'n tan minpin's turn to say Happy Paw Year!
 HAPPY NEW YEAR, Everyman and Everydog!
Cheers, to a paw-some 2011!

HK Food Post: Whole Roasted Suckling Pig

During my Hong Kong-Macau-Hong Kong trip, I was able to sample high-class Cantonese and Macanese lauriat spreads. (By Philippine standards at least; over there it was considered poh tong or "regular" set menu.) At two dinners, one in each Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, the appetizers featured was Whole Roasted Suckling Pig. 



This was the first "Pig" we had in Macau. These lovely things are probably first cousins of the lechon we have here in the Philippines. But they aren't served in the same manner; not those chopped, yummy blocks of juicy meat, (icky fat) and crispy skin. This Chinese-style roasted pigs are presented in such a cute way; cherries for eyes with slices of mouth-watering, crunchy, flavorful skin, accompanied by little flour tortillas and hoisin sauce for more flavor. Instead of wrapping it up like peking duck, you get a tortilla, slather on some hoisin, and top it off with the crispy skin like a bite-sized Chinese pizza you eat with your chopsticks.


This is the poor fellow we had in Hong Kong. We were all too hungry to wait for a piggy photo-op before digging in. This little piggy was much more interesting simply because it had light bulbs that were actually lit up with batteries when it was served. If my memory serves me right, I believe the Macanese pig was more delicious that this one. The Cantonese pig had a thicker layer of fat, which I promptly removed before chowing down. On another note, our server in Macau was better trained and more courteous. She was able to slice the noodles with quick flicks of her wrist, using only her chopsticks! The lady in HK was a bit more, unrefined, if I may say. 

This has got to be my favorite dish in the entire lauriat spread. If you have the chance to try this anywhere, please do! Since you'll be able to eat only two to three pieces if you're in a table of twelve, forget you diet for a bit and indulge in the porky goodness :)

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays everyone! I bet all you have been busy wrapping presents, preparing food and hosting parties. It's Christmas today, so kick off your shoes, sit back and enjoy the festive season with a relaxing mood! And so I leave you with Milo the red Min Pin trying to look "fas-yown" with his striped blue and white scarf. (Don't tell him he looks dorky though, he might get mad!) He barks, "Paw-tacular Paw-lidays, everydog!"

Chopper!

Can I just say that I've wanted this for a while, but never had the guts to actually pull out a wad of cash for the plush figure plus crazy amount for shipping.

Tony Tony Chopper!

He's just the most adorable thing ever. Doesn't help that he's soft, huggable, posable, and his backpack and jacket are usable and wearable! *fangirl* What busts the bank is the 6300 yen price tag and of course, shipping. Gasp.

Sundance Post-Op

We discovered that Sundance has a hematoma in his right ear early last week. I quickly called the vet and scheduled his minor surgery. Since it wasn't an emergency, he gave us an appointment for Monday, to attend to more serious cases first. He was picked up by our good vet, sliced open(yikes!), sewn up and brought home the next day. 

Post-op day 2. 
Sundance took the whole thing in stride. No trauma, no nothing. He wasn't even fussy at all. It was us who were traumatized by the look of his shaven, stitched up, swollen and kinda bloody ear. Hopefully his meds will make the puffiness go away. A closer look, not for the squeamish.

Looks puffy, like a balloon! See the stitches?

Most of the blood that wasn't on the wound itself we already wiped off when we cleaned his handsome mug. Now, we're in search of a nice E-collar to put on him, as per the vet's advice. Not that Sundance has been a bad boy scratching his ear or what, but to protect his ear from any unnecessary trauma. 
 'mbn (Sundae's contribution to this post!)

Sundance chillin' in his pen at lunchtime. 
He gets free(dom) time to run and roam the back part of the compound in the morning and in the afternoon, when there is no danger of outside trucks running over him. He's such a sweet thing, the only gripe we have about him is that he's too hyper sometimes. And he drools alot! We still love him though. 

In other news, Coco's is overweight! She weighed 3.5 kl yesterday, 0.5  kl more than she usually weighs. Her body looks like a barrel too!

HK Food Post: Hui Lau Shan

I'll be posting food tidbits of my Hong Kong trip in random along with the usual beauty posts. Here is the first installment of the Food Series, my Hui Lau Shan experience.

Hui Lau Shan is a popular dessert chain in Hong Kong, specializing in mango desserts. Based on the crates of mango that I saw and word from my cousin who lives there, Hui Lau Shan imports their mangoes from the Philippines. The preferred cultivar is the Carabao mango. As a testament to the deliciousness of the Philippine Carabao mango, almost every dish served there is made from the sweet and juicy fruit. 

My favorite, Mango Pudding! Served with fresh fruits and mango sherbet

I ordered my favorite mango pudding. Since my mother was full and felt like she could not finish her own order of whatever, we selected Mango Pudding with Fresh Fruits at HKD 35. Served in a pretty heart-shaped dish, yummy mango pudding came with a scoop of mango sherbet and slices and scoops of fruit: kiwi, strawberry, melon, watermelon, melon dew and a cheek of mango, topped with some mango sauce.

The pudding took a while, since everything else had to be scooped and sliced as the order came, and since there were sooo many people eating at this shop. The texture of the sherbet was wonderful, and the fruits were indeed fresh. The star of the dish is still the pudding. It was the perfect blend of jiggly, creamy and bite. I can't describe in words how wonderful this pudding is. (Yes, pudding makes me very happy!) I was tempted to purchase the bigger one pound tub to take home, but we were already overweight. And I wasn't sure how it would fare being lugged from one country to another. 

It reminds me, I attempted to make my own mango pudding before. It passed as edible. But it does not compare to Hui Lau Shan's. So yummy! Hui Lau Shan can be found all over HK. It's the HK equivalent of Jamba Juice in the US and the froyo shops here in PI. Yummy!

I was Gone...

And now I'm back! I've been gone for a few days, and I'd like to say that my experience has been both extra hectic and super exciting at the same time. Highlights include:

  1. New (and old) beauty stuff!
  2. Was bitched at by my aunt and getting major major pissed off (resulting to my Twitter status: Bitch, stop chewing me out and mind your own fucking business. Clean up your own shit and fuck off.)
  3. A few clothes
  4. Getting hustled from one restaurant to another, getting my face stuffed with so much food from morning 'til midnight (Yummy!!)
  5. Seeing so many drunk Cantonese and Macanese, and getting suffocated by cigarette smoke
  6. EDIT: No online access for those days nearly killed me. I had like, 2 hours of internet use. The whole time I was there.
  7. A new baby!
I will be making more posts about these soon. I'll try not to rant about my aunt anymore, seeing that one day, I hopefully will not have to deal with her anymore. Negativity out, good and beautiful things in!


Sale Alert! Cherry Culture at 20% off!

It's Cyber Monday and Cherry Culture's taking 20% off everything they have! Yes, even the items that are already marked down and on sale. Plus, if you're a member, you get double points too. How sweet is that? So if you've had your eye on some candy for a while now, now's the time to get it!

Woohoo! Time to get a-busy!
Do note that it may take up to 14 days for them to process your order. Don't forget to use the code to enjoy the discount!

Another Contest!

Her Royal Bleakness is holding a contest, and she's giving away a P2000 Derma gift certificate!

Tada! Photo from: 
So if you want to score this GC for a derma treatment or two, head on over to her contest post and join!

Sunday Loot

After chowing down at Seoul Garden, The Annex, SM North EDSA, we walked on over to SM "Classic" (the older, original mall) to get to the department store. We headed to the beauty section, and I grabbed some stuff, courtesy of the parentals :)

Lip Ice Sheer Color and Color Lipbalm, Sunsilk Damage Repair Mask and 4U2 Blush in 01
The first thing I grabbed was the 4U2 blush. It was the brightest color there. I liked this strawberry pink shade the most. Considering it costs only P154, I was okay with it. Dunno how long it'll last though, kinda disappeared on the hand I tested it on already. 

The hair mask shocked me alot. I was used to buying L'oreal's drugstore hair masks, that I consider cheap already. When Elseve was first introduced, it was sold at P375. Then they brought it down to P250 for a 200ml tub. Total Repair 5 is sold at the same price. Then I saw Sunsilk's huge 400ml tub at P195. I checked the 200ml tub, P99. Woah! So cheap! It blew me away; I was sold. I grabbed a 400ml tub of Damage Repair, since I still have my (unused) sample of the shampoo and conditioner from months back. I'll try to use them together after my huge Head and Shoulders and Garnier Color Conditioner run out. (What is it with me and the big US sizes? I buy imported if they're a deal, and I end up using them like, forever. Go figure.) 

Phoebe's Lip Ice post got me hooked. I started to look for Lip Ice like crazy! Luckily, I spotted them on a little stand right before we were gonna pay. Weird how SM North EDSA put the lip and facial section away from the rest of the beauty products, after the fragrances and right beside the entrance. I grabbed the uber cool Sheer Color and the Color Lipbalm for the SPF 15.

Beyonce Heat Eau de Parfum 100ml
I first heard about HEAT's Philippine release on Nikki's blog post here. My mom was the first one who got side tracked; we were supposed to go cehck out the lip and facial section. She was like, "Ooh, it's pretty nice, do you want it?" So I answered, "Yeah I do, but you're the one paying. So if YOU want it, buy it. If not, don't!" Obviously, she liked it and we went home with a bottle of HEAT. This is a very long wearing fragrance! It has floral, fruity and woody tones. The woody tones really come out after you've had it on for a while. 

HEAT (100ml) is available at SM for P3950 (Nikki's post says P3650, but the HEAT promo guy changed the price tag and everything and we ended up paying P3950) with 150 bonus point for SM Advantage members and a Gift with Purchase. Am calling up SM North EDSA right now to confirm this, will update later.

EDIT: Talked to the guy in charge, the P300 price discrepancy is the bundled EDT for men. They included a 50ml bottle of Banana Republic's Slate for "only" P300. Apparently, it was a special discount, as the original price for the men's Slate was P2000 something. The GWP was a big black Paris Hilton GWP bag for her fragrances. Looks like they had a lot of these bags left over, so they're offering it as a GWP for heat instead.

Ew-Stick and Pot of Gold

Ever since I was a little kid, I used to love putting on Chapstick. Since I was blessed by genetics to have okay but rather dry lips, I had to rely on products to keep my puckers from peeling or cracking. And no, spit does nothing to moisturize, rather, it only makes lips even worse.

But since puberty kicked in, and I have now since stopped growing (except perhaps my waistline, butt and thighs), I have matured somewhat and my tastes have changed. I started to get this weird, icky feeling when I slather on Chapstick, or any similar drugstore lip balm. It's like, putting on floor wax or something, and not the nice kind either. It just forms a yucky, waxy barrier on my lips that remains intact forever. When I go to bed and there's nothing nearby for me to put on, I have no choice but to reach for my last Chapstick. I'd gently dab a bit on my lower lip, and just smash purse my lips together to smear the product on my upper lip. When I wake up in the morning, oh horror, it's still there. Sure, it does keep my lips from drying up faster than an oasis in a desert, but the feeling is just so weird. I'd get up quickly and wash it off before you can even say "Chapstick".

Chapstick Flava-Craze Blue Crazeberry
The last Chapstick I own is the Flava-Craze Blue Crazeberry stick. All the other abominable things I've chucked long ago. This one I keep because that Blue Crazeberry scent drives me nuts. It has me hooked, for some weird reason. This little doodad here stays right beside my bed, in case of emergency. All the other lip balms and such that I like, I drop into my make-up sac or tote du jour. Sometimes, I forget to unload and return. So unfortunately for me, I have to use Blue Crazeberry in those occasions.

Ilog Maria Propolis and Beeswax Lip Balm
The kind of lip balms I do like are the ones that slide on easily, melt into my puckers and moisturize well without leaving waxy residues. My current favorite is a well-used pot of Ilog Maria Propolis and Beeswax Lip Balm. I love that it's all natural, fits my good-lip balm description, and is Filipino-made. It also has this slight tingly, minty feel that I have a thing for. I simply delight in using it, and I swear by it. Also, this pot of gold lasts forever!

Ilog Maria products including my favorite Propolis and Beeswax Lip Balm are available from their farm in Cavite and their website, http://ilogmaria.com

Photo of the Ilog Maria balm taken from the Ilog Maria website

Love at First Touch

It was actually love at first sight. When I first saw the new releases of Charm make-up brushes, I drooled. I told myself, I will save up for them (because purchases at X amount and above needed due consideration and saving up first before an actual purchase, go me and my budgeting rules). People started getting them, and raving about them, and loving them. So yeah, I was jealous. I wanted them. I'm like, the last person on the planet to get them. 

Fast forward to November. Sophie posted this and then this! I was like, "Wow, this is my chance!" so I grabbed it. BF Mics wanted a change of scenery, since we were always and forever at Eastwood and Trinoma. I suggested, "Let's go to Rockwell! We haven't been there in a while. And I have this bazaar I wanna go to." He agrees. So we braved the awful, perpetual traffic disaster that was EDSA, and the terrible heat that was the weather yesterday, and went to Rockwell. 

First stop, Moonlit Bazaar! After getting in, we kinda walked around a little bit. Right there in the middle was Beauty & Minerals. Oh, gasp! I was kinda shy to talk to Sophie at first. But I sucked it up and introduced myself. Woohoo! Sophie is like the super nicest lady ever. Very pretty and down to earth too! 

I already knew what I wanted from the stalking looking at the B&M website. Sophie was also really kind to explain a bit more about her new brushes. They're now (all?) synthetic, meaning a little bit easier to maintain. Wash synthetic with something less moisturizing than for animal hair. Another big plus for me, since synthetic means no animal cruelty! Aside from that, Sophie also gave me a shade recommendation for eyeshadow.

So without further ado, here are my brand, spankin' new babies!!

Charm Holiday Brush Set

Charm Luxe Retractable Kabuki

B&M Silver Rose eyeshadow
Freebies from Sophie:
Cure sample, B&M blush sample in Flush, Charm Concealer brush

I'm glad I started saving a while ago, and of course, thankful for B&M's anniversary promos. Thank goodness I was able to time everything right! Not only did I get to buy my must-haves, but I was able to meet Sophie in person! I was sooooo excited about it. I'm glad I remembered to ask for a photo! Too bad it was only with my bleh camphone, with bleh picture quality.

Sophie and me!

So yeah, call me a fangirl. Love my older version Charm Flat Top and Kabuki brushes I got from her, incidentally, almost exactly (wah? haha) a year ago. It was also November, and B&M's anniversary sale too! I also got my bottle of Cure from her. And, I regularly read her blog, Beautynomics. I'm sooooo happy I was able to meet her. I was like, "I'm a fan of yours!" I do love B&M and Beautynomics. Even if I don't buy anything, I look at her pretty stuff on B&M. I don't comment regularly, but I read all her entries. I'm still so giddy! She's the nicest person, ever! I mean, I texted her and stuff, and she replied!

So about my new babies. I. Am. In. Love. They're absolutely wonderful! The Holiday Brush Set has all the essentials, it's the perfect size for taking out with you wherever you might have to go, are made from the softest synthetic bristles, and all the cute little handles are in pink! The Luxe Retractable Kabuki, on the other hand, is a marvel. I have the older version Charm Kabuki, and the difference is spectacular. I loved the old, hot pink-bristled Kabuki, but the Luxe Retractable stole my heart away. It more than lives up to it's Luxe name. It's oh-so-soft and silky bristles are absolutely luxurious. It's simply to die for! I spent a good few minutes just running it all over my hands and fingers. I couldn't resist, so I ran it over my neck and a bit of my chin too, even before washing it. It's just soooo good to feel! It's also the perfect size to take around with you everywhere. Since it's retractable, you won't have to worry about messing up or ruining your bristles in transit either. I could go on forever praising these godsends, but you get the point! They're awesome, fantastic, wonderful, beautiful, and all the other nice adjectives you can think of!

If you are looking for a place to go to tonight, I suggest you head on over to Rockwell's Moonlit Bazaar. They'll be there until 12 MN. All of B&M's eyeshadows are on sale at only 100 each! There are also other items that are on sale. And as for the new brushes, you have to see for yourself. They look so lovely and soft and wonderful on the internet, but wait 'til you touch them. It's a whole new experience. They're so soft, the photos don't do them justice, so go and touch them. And meet Sophie!

Charm bushes available at Beauty & Minerals: http://beautyandminerals.com
Sophie is the owner of B&M and Beautynomics, her blog: http://beautynomics.com/blog

0100 hours

Hi everyone! So it's 1 AM, and I'm still awake. I've promised myself to start sleeping early, for health and vanity reasons (better skin, to banish blemishes and lessen eyebags, among others) but I'm up until now, so why??

For one, I'm going through The Purse Forum. Everything from reveals to closets to the scammer's drama intrigues me. So I read, and read, and read. Very addicting! I've been awake until 3 AM one "night" this week for this.

Another thing that's keeping me up is manga. When I was younger, I was into anime. But now, I follow the manga religiously. I've started to read Yakitate! Japan (Who knew eating bread could make you go back in time and change history??) but I'm really up to date on One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. The three aforementioned titles are in order of preference. I'll go read more like, after this post :P

There are a lot of other things that keep me awake at times, including my spoiled pooch Coco. Right now though, I'm really really excited. I'm still giddy from today! Not only did I spend a rather weird but fun day with the BF, Mics, but I bought some brushes today! They're so lovely, I could go on and on about them. They're so great, that I'll do a very special post on them tomorrow! So stay tuned!

PS, don't forget to join Phoebe's Hello, Sweet November! contest! It's really sweet!

It's November!

What a great way to start the month! I checked out my favorite blogs and I chanced upon Phoebe's giveaway. She giving away ten goodie bags worth over 20,000 bucks!

I love reading Phoebe's blog. She really tells it how it is, and I love the way she writes her posts; you really feel her personality and spunk! Her make-up and beauty posts are what got me hooked in the first place, but her foodie and everyday blogging is really great as well.

Check out one of the amazing prizes, The Body Shop Naturalift line


Sweet huh? Head on over to http://www.phoebeann.me/hello-sweet-november/ now!

What I wore for Halloween


Here's the face I wore on Halloween. My face was probably the worst canvass ever, but Ate Lara of NARS at Rustan's Shangri-La painted it up and made some nice free hand art. Products used were all NARS except Stila eye liners for the design and Pur 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Make Up. Loved Stila's smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in silverdollar. Really nice in person!

Too bad I forgot to take a photo right after it was done, and in better light. My lips looked amazing, with a silvery metallic lip liner all over and a sheer pink lipgloss. My eyelids hosted some neutral shades and as usual, cult-fave Orgasm was dusted on my cheeks.

I'll be making another post on my unplanned hiatus the last two weeks or so. I'll be back to regular programming, hopefully.

Angel Time

The last time I really enjoyed a novel was a few months ago, when I journeyed through Sevenwaters with Sorcha and her brothers in Daughter of the Forest. If you're familiar with The Six Swans, then you have the gist of DotF. My favorite character in the book is Cormack, third brother of Sorcha. I was a little sad that he wasn't fleshed out more, and the fact that (SPOILER!) he dies in the rest of the series dissuaded me from buying and reading the following books. So, onto another book!

Image from annerice.com
Blurb from randomhouse.com

Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”

Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.


I'm really excited to read the first installment of Songs of the Seraphim. I already started, but I haven't devoted enough reading time to actually delve into the world of Lucky the Fox. Anne Rice is one of my favorite-est authors along with Eoin Colfer. Can't wait for the next Artemis book either!

What about you? What are you reading now? :)

EDIT: Apparently, Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex was released a few months ago. Slipped past my radar again. Hun please get me this! :D

Sundae's Sunday Out

Sundae's Bonfire photo :)

Last Sunday was a fun and tiring date for Sundae. We attended Eastwood's Pet Blessing at around 5pm. Upon registration, we were handed a sample pack of Pet One dog food. While I don't particularly like Pet One because the ingredients list makes me cringe, I like how the company is making an effort to let pet owners have a trial to see if their babies would like it. The sample pack contained two 125g bags of the adult formula and a 75g bag of the puppy formula. Since my babies are thriving on Canidae, the Pet One will be given as occasional treats instead. Kibble is the perfect size for those in between meal nibbles.

Sundae made so many friends! At Eastwood, she charmed a number of humans and canines. She was taken aback though, when one feisty terrier barked sharply at her. Other than that, we all had a grand time as Sundae was a very well behaved puppy at the event. 

After having dinner at Fazoli's (yummy baked ziti!), we headed to Ateneo. We chanced upon a nice parking spot, so we parked quickly and headed to the Grade School Grounds where the Bonfire was being held. Sundae was really sleepy as she had just woken up from napping in the car. Upon getting to the ASSOC tent, she was nearly smothered by all the cuddles she was getting! Sundae was gracious and accepted all the attention as if she was born for it. Treats for such a well behaved pup! Even though she was tired and sleepy, she wasn't grouchy at all. We had her running (we were walking, she had to run to keep up with us!) to the car so that she would be encouraged to pee before we left. Movement creates movement! She went in the grass and we were proud. :) She went home dreaming all about friends and cuddles.

Finally! ♥

Unicorns Dream's First (Mini) Giveaway Winner


Congratulations torque15! Please wait for my email, I'll get your shipping details.

It took so long for me to post this because I've been taking care of my dog Gunner who's old and very, very sick. Taking care of him, and his condition itself, is putting so much emotional stress and pain on me. More on my dear Gunner soon.

Happy September!

I'm excited about September! Aren't you? There's just so much to be delighted about this month. September marks the beginning of the Christmas countdown. It's also almost time for NCIS Season 8! It's also time to announce the giveaway winner!!

Stay tuned, I'll raffle it off soon! Thanks to the three lovelies who joined :) I hid the comments so that your email addresses and info won't be so out in the open anymore :)

A Pair of Eyeliner Swatches...

For my dear friend Zanti of http://zantiwanti.tumblr.com/ :D

Maybelline Impact Express Smooth Felt Liner in Black
Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Deepest Black


Close up without flash
L- Maybelline Impact Express Smooth Felt Liner
R - (unsharpened!) Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner


Not close up with flash :D
L- Maybelline Impact Express Smooth Felt Liner
R - (unsharpened!) Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner


Now that I look at the swatches beside each other, Prestige looks more matte while Maybelline gives off a subtle shine. Maybe because Prestige is such a creamy pencil liner while Maybelline's Impact Express is a liquid liner. (Doh. haha) Good good color payoff for both liners! And as long as you let them set properly, they are practically budge-proof! Very long wearing especially if your have non-oily lids. They're both easy to use to make them peepers pop, I love them both!

Zanti, pick your poison! (Or first poison, haha) Just my two cents worth of blabbering, hahaha.

Maybelline Impact Express Smooth Felt Liner was around PHP 400 me thinks...
Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner was PHP 325 last January

Unicorns Dream's First (Mini) Giveaway!

Stress has always been something no one wants to deal with. With word out that a vaccine against stress has been released, we can be sure that there will be a number of people, from executives to students, who will sign themselves up for it. But the shot in question raises many more questions. It is said to alter brain chemicals to induce a stress-free existence. Scary, no? But there are many other ways to avoid and reduce stress. Aromatherapy being one of them.

Lavender has been an aromatherapy favorite when it comes to calming down and reducing stress. The essential oil can be absorbed into the skin or its vapors inhaled.  Another way to enjoy this wonderful scent is to bathe with it.  A warm shower with a nice lavender soap does wonders. It's very soothing, and it's my secret to melt away stress. 

By Nature Handmade Soaps - Gentle Lavender



Take another step further by using By Nature's Gentle Lavender bar. It's a wonderful handmade soap that's natural and organic. True to Love Naturals' promise, it's eco-friendly too. Aside from the relaxing Lavender scent, Gentle Lavender also contains oatmeal, another great ingredient that heals and soothes as well as exfoliates.

Now, Unicorns Dream brings you a Mini Giveaway! Up for grabs is a full bar of Gentle Lavender and a pink Winnie the Pooh mechanical pencil :) This will be shipped to you, free of charge, if you are the lucky winner! As long as you have a Philippine postal address, you are eligible to join. For a chance to win, scroll down for what you need to do.

The prize! A full bar of Gentle Lavender and a pink Winnie the Pooh mechanical pencil




This little giveaway is open to anyone with a Philippine shipping address :) Simply follow all the steps below to join. The winner will be drawn through random.org.

  1. Become a follower of Unicorns Dream
  2. Add Love Naturals on Multiply HERE
  3. Like the Love Naturals Facebook page HERE
  4. Complete the following sentence: "I need to de stress with a bar of Gentle Lavender because _______."
  5. Place your answer with your name, email address, Multiply ID and Facebook name (if different from your real name :D) in the comments section below.
That's it! All of those steps are free and easy to do. Best of luck! Deadline for entries is on August 31, 2010. Stay tuned for more ways to earn entries!



My Dad's Birthday Cake

My Dad celebrated his birthday more than a week ago on August 1st. That day, I was at my Dad's workplace for a part time job. Mum was at home with the two furballs. She phoned me and asked what size Mango Torte we should buy, since Dad requested Dulcelin's frozen delight the night before. I eagerly replied, "The larger one!" So she got the larger one. I got another phone call half an hour later. It was Mum again, and she was fussing about how the huge torte would not fit any of our freezers. "Not even the Fisher & Paykel one?" "Nope!" So we decided that Mum should butcher the poor, lovely thing so that it would not melt into an unrecognizable glob by the time we got home.

After dinner, I prepped the birthday cake. Since it was all cut up, how were we supposed to present it to Dad? I randomly got one of the nicer slices and put it on a plate. And since the tiny, frozen peaks of whipped cream could not support a candle, I got a tea light and lit that up instead. Voila! It was pretty funny, kinda like how some restaurants serve the birthday celebrant a sliver of cake. I'm glad Dad was somewhat amused! So we sang happy birthday, and I was the one who got to eat the Mango Torte. Milo and Coco had a little taste too.
Before Mum chopped it up



The blown birthday tea light and the still frozen slice of heaven/Mango Torte

Buy One Take One on Yoshinoya's Katsudon Bowls!


Yoshinoya does it again! Here's another buy one take one deal, this time on their Katsudon! Just print the coupon below and you're all set :)



Mechanics:
  1. Present coupon upon ordering
  2. Valid for dine in and take out only
  3. One coupon per transaction only
  4. Not valid with any other promo
  5. Promo period: August 1, 2010 - September 30, 2010
  6. Valid on all branches
Credit http://boy-kuripot.blogspot.com

Dear Dad,

Happy birthday! I love you so much :)

Free Shipping at Love Naturals

Love Naturals is offering FREE SHIPPING for orders of 5 bars or more! If you live outside Metro Manila, you'll get 50 off shipping. Only until 31 August! Visit Love Naturals now!

Take the 14-day Challenge

While reading manga an hour earlier, a commercial on TV caught my attention. I only managed to see the last few seconds, which told viewers to go to a website. Well, I checked it out, you should too!

You'll be asked to choose what country you're from on your first visit. Register, so that you can request a sample and refer friends to try the Mystery Shampoo out too. 

The site also talks about Tough Hair Problems. The three they chose are split ends, hair fall and rough and tangled hair. Each hair problems is explained, with the signs and causes listed for users to identify. And the solution they provide is, of course, to try out their Mystery Shampoo!

Click here to go to the Mystery Shampoo website! Request a sample to try it out, and you stand a chance to win some great prizes such as a brand spankin' new Blackberry!

Unlucky Night!!

I, for no reason at all, decided to shuffle around and look at what little make-up I had. Fate had planned that I open my MAC Blot Powder tonight, and this was what greeted me.

The unfortunate victim


My Hello Kitty camphone was used to document the crime scene


My baby was brand new...

My suspects are my dad and my brother. Either of them could have flung my little make-up box around. Now, there will be so much product wastage with my shattered blot powder. Hitting pan has never been this painful....

And thus, I grieve....

The Importance of Water

As a child, I was not big on water. I only used to drink water whenever I was thirsty. Now that I think about it, I don't think I drank the recommended eight glasses of water everyday. Maybe once a week. Now that i'm older, I realize all of the bad stuff that might have happened. 






Water is the basically what helps the body function properly. According to the Mayo Clinic, "water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues." When our bodies do not have enough water, our energy is drained and we feel tired. Not only that, but our body shows this lack of water through the largest organ of our bodies, the skin.


When we don't drink enough water, the body tries to distribute the water to the organ systems that need water the most. The skin doesn't go that high up that list, thus, our skin dries up a bit in response to mild dehydration. 


For me, one of the things I notice when I don't drink enough water is my lips. They chap and dry up like crazy, no matter how much lip balm I apply. My lips, fortunately or not, are the first to go. It looks absolutely hideous when I try to put on lip color. So I take it all off, exfoliate, and put on more color. IN a few hours, my lips are monstrous creatures once again. I learned my lesson, I always drink a lot of water now. 


No matter how much lotions, moisturizers, balms and oils we slather on, our skin will never look as hydrated unless we drink enough water. The key is to find the right balance. The Mayo Clinic recommends about three liters of water for men and about two liters of water for women each day. Drink enough water, and use products to compliment that. Your skin, and your whole body, will thank you for it.

Buy One Take One on Yoshinoya's Beef Misono Bowls!

Here's another food post! Hungry people unite! :D This one has been under my radar a bit,  sorry for the late post.


You need to present coupons for this. They were given out weeks ago, but you can print the image above and that would suffice. 

Mechanics:
  1. Present coupon upon ordering
  2. Valid for dine in and take out only
  3. One coupon per transaction only
  4. Not valid with any other promo
  5. Promo period: June 7, 2010 - July 31, 2010
  6. Valid on all branches

A Trip to the Doctor is Overdue...

I had my annual physical last March, before leaving for Hong Kong. There was blood work done, x-rays, a load of other tests, the works. My scoliosis did not show any signs of further development. My lungs were not any weaker. There was nothing alarming, so I was given a clean bill of health. I have not seen the doctor since.

My dad, on the other hand, has a myriad of other health conditions. He's diabetic, has hypertension and fatty liver, had kidney stones blasted and an enlarged heart. He visits a number of specialists for each of these problems. One doctor he failed to visit for about a year, though, is his endocrinologist. So my dad decided to go see a new endocrinologist, of whom he heard so much nice things about.

Hearing the doctor tell us about genetics, current weight and how being born a heavy baby increases the risk of becoming diabetic scared me so much. She then emphasized the importance of a healthy diet and proper exercise. Fruits which are a no-no for my dad are chico, melon, lychees, starapple and longgan.

I did pick up some diet restrictions and instructions that I feel we would all benefit from, diabetes or no.

  • Lessen the intake of fried and oily food
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Consume less refined sugars
  • Have more good carbs
  • Engage in proper exercise appropriate for your age, weight and condition/s
  • Be as happy and stress-free as possible

Lastly, always consult your doctore before any changes in your diet or activity. Visit him (or her!) on a regular basis to monitor your health.


T.G.I. Friday's Chicken Fingers for only P99!

Another "sale alert" for the foodies!


Only one order per person
Not valid for take out
No need for coupons

Part-time Blues

Due to my current status as an unemployed individual, I've been doing my best to find sources of income, whether permanent or not. This week, I was given an opportunity to exchange my hours for some cash. It was going rather well until a rather unfortunate incident occurred, of which I was the hapless object.

Another issue that I found quite appalling was that I was not suited for work. Although I make appear tough and spirited, I do tend to break easily. Not only that, my physical capacities are not entirely tuned to labor. For one thing, my face, which had cleared up rather nicely thanks to my Clinique 3-Step regimen, broke out into unsightly blemishes once more. Now that really upset me.

Chicken All-You-Can at Max's

This is the glutton's version of a sale alert! 


Terms and Conditions:

  • Chicken will be served in quarter pieces
  • Chicken parts will be served based on availability
  • Add P39 to avail of bottomless Pepsi softdrinks
  • Promo is from June 17 to July 17, 2010 & from 6PM to 10PM only
  • Promo valid for dine-in only. Not valid for take-out, delivery, bulk orders and functions
  • Cannot be combined with other promos and discounts
  • No sharing, no left-overs
  • Chicken will be served after each piece has been consumed

Drink that Aloe Plant!

A few of us might have this unobtrusive pot somewhere in our homes. It may be on a windowsill, outside our doors, or perhaps inside the living room. That green housemate might be an aloe vera plant. Aloe vera are very easy to take care of. A little water every once in a while and a nice sunny spot are essentially all it needs to thrive in your home. In my own experience, aloe vera are even easier to grow than cacti. Aside from being an undemanding houseplant, aloe vera has many other uses.

Aloe vera plant. Mine isn't as pretty though :(

Because of its cooling and soothing features, many of us who have experienced the painful effects of being under the sun too long have treated sunburned skin with aloe gel. Another form of aloe available on the market is aloe vera juice. It's made with the gel found inside the aloe leaves. The aloe's leaves are harvested, split open, and the gel is scooped out. The rind is discarded. Aloe vera juice has many benefits, and contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin C.

I personally have aloe juice as a nice, cool summer drink. When chilled, it is very refreshing. The little aloe gel bits are yummy and fun to bite into. They are juicy, and explode when bitten, to my delight. Aside from quenching my thirst, drinking aloe juice helps soothe my digestive system.

Aloe vera helps control and balance stomach acids. It aids in the stabilization of the digestive processes and keeps the stomach cool. It helps flush out toxins and other harmful substances that we may ingest. Aloe encourages tissue regeneration in the stomach and in the rest of the body. Some also say that aloe vera is known to protect and fight against cancer.

Alo is the brand of juice I currently drink. The flavors I like are the original and Allure, which has mangosteen and mango juices blended in. Yummy!

Note that aloe is considered an herbal remedy, and not medicine. Always use caution when trying out new things, and that includes drinking aloe vera juice. I personally drink aloe, and have had no bad experienced with it. For me, it is a yummy drink and the health benefits are an added bonus. If you do decide to try it out, I hope it will work for you too!

Spa from your Kitchen: Tea (Part 2)

If you live in a hot, hot place like in Manila, you'd know how it feels to want to wash your face every hour or so. But it would strip your face of all the moisture and good stuff, leaving you with a dry parched mask, so it's definitely a no-no. Thus, companies such as Evian have given us products that will help ease the hardship.


But this facial spray, at about $10 a bottle, is too expensive for water. For me at least. An alternative I came up with is green tea.


Simply brew some green tea, let it cool, and pour it into a spray bottle. Store it in the refrigerator when not in use, to provide a cooler mist.

Bath Inventory

These are the current stuff I have in my bathroom now:

five shampoos
two conditioners
three soaps
three facial soaps
three facial scrubs
three hair masks
two body scrubs
three shower gels/creams

Not to mention the tons of other stuff I have in storage

Fruity Goodness: Watson's GrapeBella

The other day, I got a text message from my mother saying that she was in Watson's. What surprised me was that she was asking if I needed anything. I said that I would like to have the GrapeBella lipbalm. She responded and shocked me even more when she asked, "Anything else?" Wow, generous mother! She never really offers to buy me things, so I guess although I was rather stressed and tired that day, thank you Mum and God for the blessings!

GrapeBella lip balm, body lotion and body polish


Damage:
Lip Treatment Lip Balm 9g : P89.00
Softening Body Lotion 200ml : P119.00
Exfoliating Body Polish 200 ml : P169.00

There is an ongoing promotion for SM Advantage and BDO Rewards card holders. GrapeBella products are 20% off, although I don't know until when. You may have to ask for this though, because apparently, not all of the staff are knowledgeable about this. We didn't get Watson's GrapeBella Privileges card either, so that just proves that they didn't brief their staff well enough on this.

I already opened the lip balm, so I might do a review on that soon. The lotion and the scrub will sit around for a while longer, since I already have alot of opened products :)

Spa from your Kitchen: Tea


What exactly do you do with the teabags after you let them steep? Throw them away? Well, don't! You can use them as tiny, aromatic compresses for some minor aches and pains. Just zap them in the microwave for a few seconds, and voila! Just make sure that you don't make them too hot; always check them first before you slap them on any part of your body. And squeeze out the excess moisture before you microwave them too, so you don't end up with hot, runny teabags on your body.


I used Lipton Green Tea, which I made into an unsweetened iced tea. I nuked the tea bag and pressed it onto a bump I had. 


If you have two teabags, you can leave them in the refrigerator for about an hour, or in the freezer for about 5 minutes or less. Then, put them on your eyes for a relaxing cool compress that depuffs  overworked peepers. Relaxing teas such as chamomile may work better then others at making you forget your problems, even for just a few minutes. Again, don't forget to squeeze out the excess moisture.

So there you go, two at-home spa uses for your teabags! Of course, you can use fresh, new ones, but do try to reuse old teabags. And throw them into your compost pits after you use them!

Sale Alert!

To all Moms out there...

Happy Mother's Day!

I forgot!

Belated Cinco de Mayo!!

I miss my uncle's barbecue and salsa, and my aunt's seven layer dip. I want to go back to LA! Renew my visa and give me some dollars, please.

Spa from your Kitchen: Scrub for your hands, feet and body - Environment Friendly too!

This one is a personal favorite. It practically comes free, especially if you regularly brew and drink coffee.




Instead of throwing away your coffee grounds every morning, save a batch. I suggest doing this on a weekend, to de-stress. Use it in the shower, after soaping up. Scrub the grounds on your hands and feet, concentrating on the heels and other rough spots. If your coffee is finely ground, feel free to use it on your body. After gently rubbing it all over your skin, you can leave it on a few minutes and inhale the aroma of your favorite blend. Rinse off the grounds when done. Don't soap off anymore afterwards. The natural oil in the coffee will moisturize your skin. If like me, you get some random brown spots or streaks on your skin, simply rub it off with your fingers under running water. After drying off, your skin will feel softer and more supple.

Another take on plain coffee would be to use slightly drier grounds and mixing in some brown sugar or honey. Honey is especially good because it has natural anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Smells great too :)



Spas here are now starting to offer coffee scrubs. By using your own, you save a ton of money and reuse the grounds, helping save the environment. Go a step further, and don't throw the grounds on the other days either. Dump them in your compost pit. Use it as fertilizer, and sprinkle it over your grass or plants.

Rediscovering manga (:

Kaworu ♥ 

Drought

I don't know what's worse, having rotational brownouts or severe water interruptions. For the lucky, your area might not be experiencing any of the two inconveniences. Others might only have to worry about one of them. Our family, on the the other hand, has to struggle with both. The power outages don't come so often, and it's only about an hour or so per day. We had one today, right before we went out for breakfast. When we got back, all was fine. The brownout before that was last week.

The bigger problem we're facing right now is the water interruptions we're experiencing now. It's been a month since it started, and it's so frustrating. We lose water as early as 8:00 am and get it back really late. Tonight sets a new record; water started flowing at 12:00 midnight. I feel kinda bad for my mother since she's the one who washes dishes and collects water. I try to help, since the water pressure's so low, only one faucet can be turned on at one time. SIGH. It's such a big hassle.

With the temperatures constantly rising, it's so hard to cope with everything now. The heat makes your head even hotter. I can deal with an hour or so of no electricity everyday. When I get too hot, I would just wash my face and splash my arms a bit with some water to cool off. Now, I can't do that.

I commend Maynilad for trying to save water now that it's El Nino season. But I hope they can think of a better way to do so, instead of giving their consumers more headaches with water interruptions and high prices.

Insomniac

It's already 3:30 am and I still can't sleep. :( My eyes are already puffy, red and teary. I already spent more than an hour with everything off, trying to doze off. But no, I have to toss and turn and not sleep. I love my sleep, I really do, but my body isn't cooperating now. Jeez, this lack of sleep is making me even more incoherent. My sleep cycles are all messed up now. :(

Also, I have a canker sore at the back of my throat that is causing me mild discomfort. Talking, swallowing, even breathing sometimes bother me now. Eating is now a chore, as the food being shovelled down my throat pushes and scratches on the sore.

Two things I really love to do, sleeping and eating, I can't even enjoy right now :(

On a roll today!

Here's another post! I went to Megamall again today, with Mics. Where else would I go, but to Etude House? I went in with only a pump bottle on my mental shopping list, but I was drawn away for a moment! I got distracted by the O2 White line display. Is it just me, or is it a new? I asked the saleslady how much the O2 White sheet mask was, and she nicely beeped it on her register. After mentioning the price, which is P128, she then proceeded to give me a sales talk :P She told me that it was a new and improved version, with the addition of Vitamin C for better whitening. It also has anti-oxidant properties too, doesn't it? Well, I bought a pack to try out. Blame the gullible and  part of me, I'm keeping it in our fridge in case of a tanned beach face. Also grabbed a pump bottle, which was the original reason for my trip.


Sorry for the dark BG and my hands. I used Photo Booth here, and those little red dots on my fingernails are supposed to be tiny nail art hearts. I practice, yeah!
Vitamin C O2 White sheet mask, P128 and pump bottle, P178
total damage: P306

The pump bottle doesn't have Etude House stamped on it, so I'm not entirely sure if it's an exclusive product. Actually, there were two "designs" there. One kind has a flatter top, while I got the other one, with a rounder top. Makes sense? No? Sorry, haha.  Another thing, it was the first time for me to get a plastic bag! Paper bag? :( 

Mics got a pair of board shorts. It was a pretty nice pair, something I picked out and he chose. Teamwork, yei! Also checked out Bioresearch. I'm not exactly a fan of petshops, because I believe that they provide care inferior to that of an expert breeder or even an avid enthusiast. This trip gave me more reason to believe that.

We looked at some of the fish, they were pretty much okay. We didn't look at all of them though, and knowing how fish are treated, there were probably a few dead ones floating somewhere. Checked out the tiny, dirty, overcrowded lobster tank. At least 10% of the crustaceans were floating on their sides with no movement. Right above that tank, a few dead turtles were floating in their aquarium. A few of the more livelier ones were on forming a turtle tower on each of the two small rocks inside. 

I wanted another hamster, and Mics knew that so he was half-joking when he told me that he'd buy me a dead hamster. True enough, there was a rather mangled-looking one lying under the exercise wheel in the male teddy bear tank. It was kind of horrifying, with it's mouth looking like it was torn open.

I was really saddened by that. Based on experience, I didn't bother to tell the staff that they had a number of dead animals on display. They would just shrug me off or worse, make a scene and yell at me. I was in no mood for more negative energy earlier. I really don't understand how they can do their jobs everyday, and not notice anything wrong. The lobsters are severely cramped in that small tank, with dirty, murky water and other dead animals. Turtles suffer the same fate too, plus the lack of a suitable dry landing. Although water turtles live in mostly, well, water, they do need a dry place, like a rock or a platform to bask and dry their shells out a bit, or they may become soft and infected. The dead hamster on the other hand, is just being stepped over by the other furballs.  :(


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