Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunnies Haul for a Sunshine Day

Aloha! 

It's about time I bought some new sunnies! I broke two of my favorites and just couldn't find anything half as amazing to replace them. Read about their tragic deaths here.

Last Friday, I went to a Marshalls two blocks from work and came across these two sunnies. They are similar to one of my favorite sunnies that broke. The new ones aren't as dark as I prefer, but I do really like the fit.


This pair is by Betsy Johnson. It was only $9.99. It has gun metal colored pyramid studs on each  temple. It has one little pink heart on the very tip.

I love the bug-eye look as you can see. I do wish it was tinted darker. Although it looks like you can't see my eyes, in face-to-face, you can. I prefer when you can't see my eyes. #mysterious or #hiding


This brand is called Marilyn Monroe. I'm not sure why but I am positive she didn't have a sunglasses line. This pair was also $9.99. The frame is a dark brown tortoise shell. It has a brassy colored metallic detailing with a blend of raised dots and subtle gold crystals. 
That little squiggle by the hinge is a replica of her autograph.


This is a behind-the-scenes shot of a selfie. I took this picture with my computer, not my phone. I title this photo  "My poor imitation of the Marilyn Monroe pout." 
I love how poor lighting makes me look tanned. YESSSSS


I snapped this shot and played around with the summer filter on one of my iPhone apps. I really like how it turned out.
The summery-ness of this photo made me happy and the first song that came to mind was "Sunshine Day."  Enjoy <3



<3<3<3

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Birthday Nails and Birthday SWEETS

Aloha! I mentioned in my previous post that there was a good chance I was going to change my nails. And I did! I kept my left hand the same and changed my right hand. I turned my nails into a festive birthday extravaganza!! 


(Confetti, balloons, cupcake, candles, and a green bow tie for my emerald birthstone)

The madness - I mixed colors and cleaned tools along the way 

I used my nail kit that I bought online on Amazon. It cost me only $1.57 and it came with free shipping! The only caveat was that shipping time would take 17 - 28 days as it was shipping from Hong Kong. To my delight, it came way sooner than expected. 

To continue with the birthday theme, it was a festive day at work! In our weekly Thursday meeting, we celebrated my birthday! My closest coworkers pitched in to buy me cronuts! Awww. I also received flowers and a cream puff....it was a sugar fest! I've been drinking water all day to dilute all that sugar running through my bloodstream. Haha :)

Hands down, the BEST cream puff I have ever had. There was caramel or butterscotch inside with the custard. mmHmm. And it wasn't too sweet so that was a major plus!

Excuse my partially eaten cronut. I ate it during the meeting, but didn't finish it because I wanted to save my appetite for our monthly staff luncheon.
Top left is coconut. Top right is blueberry and blackberry. The one I munched on was maple bacon. And that little triangle is a lemon poppy seed scone. They spoil me at work!

Tomorrow is my actual birthday. A few of my coworkers are taking me out to eat at Lemonade in Larchmont Village. Good company and good food are all I could ever ask for :) and rumor has it, they're making me wear a tiara ;)

Looks like 28 is going to be a sweet year for me ;)


<3<3<3


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nails of the Week: Birthday Exploration

It's my birthday week! :D Here are the nails I'm rocking this week...but stay tuned! I might change it up before the week ends (I'm thinking cupcakes?). Stay tuned!

Top: Left hand. The "cracked" look came about after seeing an Instavid on it. 
Here are the steps: 
1) Put on your base color (I used blue)
2) In a cup of water, add a few drops of a different color polish (I used pink)
3) Add a few spritz of hair spray
4) Submerge your nail
5) With a toothpick, gather all the excess polish
6) Lift your finger

Bottom: Right hand. I bought a nail tool kit on Amazon for $1.57 with free shipping. The caveat is that it took 17 - 28 days to arrive from Hong Kong. Very worth the wait! My design is flowers...pretty messy but this was my first time using a detailed brush. I definitely need to practice!




<3<3<3

Review: Lorac Island TANtalizer

(Photo credit: hsn.com)

I'm of Filipino decent which typically means natural tanning comes easy for me. By natural tanning, I mean just doing my daily activities: walking outside, driving, errands. I do have a small percentage of Irish/German blood which runs so strong in my mom's side of the family. Because of this, my siblings' (along with my mother, of course) natural base skin is pretty pale and pasty (it's in my blood and I'm proud of it!).

Ever since I was diagnosed with Lupus nearly 4 years ago, I have been avoiding the sun when possible. In a nutshell, Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which my body cannot distinguish between good cells and bad cells so it destroys both. When you kill the good cells of the body, it's only natural for the person to get all kinds of sick. Lupus patients are sensitive to the sun's rays so we must wear sunblock and stay out of the sun if possible. Some are more sensitive than others. I try not to test my limits...anyways, I went on an educational tangent there, but hey! Awareness is important. Read my Lupus story here.

Ever since 2010, I've been pretty fair especially in winter. Loved ones and friends would tease me and call me "Casper the Ghost." All loving tease of course, but still... My legs are quite blinding!

Over the past few years, I've been self-tanning for summer just so I don't look so ghostly amidst my fellow bronzed Angelenos. In the last year, I stopped caring about being fair and haven't tanned in 1.5 years.

Not too recently, I came across the LORAC Island TANtalizer Creamy Body Oil - Bronze Glow. This is NOT a self tanner. It's is a temporary (one time only) body bronzing makeup. I went to a makeup party (a friend of a friend had a woman who sold makeup come by) and found this LORAC product. It retails for about $30. It was on sale for $12 so I thought, why not? 

Mind you, I'm not new to tanning products so I know how to apply them. This LORAC product was awful!!

CONS: Very very very streaky! It was so orange and way shimmery!! I know it's more of a body makeup than a tanner, but still....I don't think anyone who wants a nice bronze color wants to walk around like a disco ball. 

PROS: Not your typical tanner smell. The scent was similar to cocoa butter which I'm not a fan of, but I could tolerate it.

I actually wish I bought this from Ulta or something so that I could actually return it and get a full refund. Awful awful awful.

Was it just me? I'm not sure.

Have any of you tried this product? What are your thoughts?

<3<3<3

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hustle Oh Hustle

(credit: somewhere online?)

This has been my work mantra/ethic lately. And it's part of the reason why I've disappeared for a little bit.

Work has been crazy busy this month! 

I, along with another coworker, was asked to spearhead a pilot program at a major Los Angeles hospital for the month of May. This program carried additional duties that needed to be fulfilled on top of my original duties. As you can imagine, it has been a stressful, exhausting, but so-worth-it month!

There are several factors that motivate me to work hard: 1) to be a better me both professionally and personally, 2) to make my team, my bosses, and my employer proud, 3) I love the work that I do and take utmost pride in it, and 4) I want to be known as someone who has made a positive impact in the community

So I hustle and hustle. Dreams don't come true just waiting by the phone. You have to get out there and work for it.

May has been and will continue to be a challenging month, physically and mentally, but it's all worth the chaos, exhaustion, and stress.

The benefits of this program will reach and impact many lives for the better. And that is what keeps me on the hustle.

<3<3<3

OOTD: Birthday Week!

It's official! My birthday week is here :) I will be 28 on May 23 :) Time flies. Sometimes it feels like I just turned 21. Wow, can we rewind time, please? Life is passing by way too fast!

May is filled with a long list of birthdays. Ben's birthday is on the 22nd. My mom's, my good friend, and my best friend's brother's birthday is on the 24th. My best friend's birthday is the 31st. My sorority little sister's is on the 30th.  It's non-stop celebration in May :)

Last night, I took Ben out for his birthday dinner to Malbec Argentinian Cuisine in Pasadena, CA. It's a very nice and elegant place where you would need a reservation on a Saturday night. I don't go to places like this often, but for special occasions, we all deserve a treat ;)

Here's what I wore:

I wore this maxi dress that I bought on CLEARANCE (yay!) at JC Penny two years ago. It is by Ruby Rox. 
Pink blazer is from Marshalls. I bought it for $4.99. What a steal!
I had my H&M green sunglasses. I know they don't really match, but I broke 2 of my black sunnies a while ago and I haven't found any that I've liked. The deaths of those sunnies were traumatic!! One was slammed in my car door and the other got caught onto something and I yanked it way too hard...and that is why I don't buy expensive sunnies.
My purse is the Merona Ostrich Flap Crossbody from Target. I love it! It was also used in the Nickelodeon TV show Instant Mom. My purse hit the small screen! HEHE :)

(Left: Instant Mom. Right: Me)

  
My earrings are from Forever 21. Black center stone with gold all around with crystals within in the gold. 
Necklace is also from Forever 21.
My Style & Co watch is gold from Macy's. 
My bracelet is a brown shiny jade from Chinatown.

My flip flops are from Mossimo from Target. They were $12.99. Nine West sells this exact style for $40. Who got the better bargain? I DID. These flip flops are black and gold and they match my earrings!
My nails as you can see are confused. The colors and designs are different on each hand and on each foot. I recently purchased this nail tool set so I was playing around with it.


Our food!
I ordered the rib eye. I'm not a heavy meat eater so when I eat something like this, I have to prepare myself. Vegetarian pre- and post-heavy meat meal. It was really good though :)

Ben ordered the skirt steak. He loved it as well :)

Funny Story:
During my meal, I was getting so hot. I did not understand why. I look around and noticed the restaurant started to become full so I figured it was just body heat. I ended up taking off my pink blazer and putting it on the back of my chair. I  was seated by a marble counter with a glass window. At the end of my meal, I realized that behind that glass window was the bread toaster! HAHA. Explains my heat flashes throughout my meal.

But that's not all! Before we left, I went to the ladies room to wash my hands. I came back, grabbed my blazer and left. When we arrived to the dessert shop, I got out of the car and saw a brown cloth on my chair. I was so confused.

I had accidentally stolen the napkin from the snazzy restaurant. I must have grabbed it along with my blazer. OOPS. Sorry, Malbec!!



Well, I guess I shall consider it a birthday present from the restaurant? -__- 


<3<3<3


Monday, May 12, 2014

16 Questions About Makeup TAG

Aloha everyone!

I stumbled upon this tag in the comments section of  +Anna Saccone 's blog post "My Week In Pictures."

It was created by fellow blogger Anita of Mais Feminices. Go check out her blog! You will not regret it! Her pictures are amazing, her writing is witty, and she has a lot of jaw-dropping products to share and review. Need I say more?? ;)

Let's get started!

01. You have two minutes to leave your house, and you're not wearing makeup, which is the only product that you choose?
How about a paperbag with eye cutouts to go over my head?? Just kidding!! :) Mascara it is!

02. Do you really know what is your skin type?

Not really. Whomp whomp. My guess is normal most of the year and oily in summer.

03. Do you ever go to the dermatologist? Do you do facial cleaning treatments?

I've never gone to the dermatologist. I don't do any special facial cleaning treatments. I stick to the regular face wash and toner. To be honest, I'm really scared of trying face products in fear of allergic reactions or breakouts. #chicken

04. Which is your favorite moisturizer? Why?

My all-time favorite that I've used for many years (but don't use now because it gets pricey) is Estee Lauder's Day Wear Moisturizer. It really sinks into my skin, making me feel moisturized and not sticky.

05. Have you suffered or still suffer from acne?
In my teen years, I had the occasional breakouts on my forehead. It was never too bad. Nowadays, I have mini breakouts here and there, but it's usually just one ginormous pimple in the middle of my forehead or right in between my eyebrows so that all the world can see I have a pimple. #AttentionSeekingZit

06. Any makeup product that has given you acne or allergies?

Thankfully, no. However, do Lip Smackers count?? It made my lips swell when I was a child and I haven't used them since.

07. Foundation or Concealer?

Concealer on the daily to cover my sad lack-of-sleep eyes and to also act as a "natural" highlight

08. Blush or Bronzer?

I am not ashamed to say BOTH! It's a party on my cheeks ;) If I had to choose, blush.

09. Which is your favorite lipstick brand? Why?

L'Oreal. I love their Infallible line because the lasting power is great and pigmentation is amazing. A tube will last you an eternity. 

10. Elongated or Voluminous lashes ?

That's a hard one!! But I'll go with voluminous. I do love fullness over length.

11. Name two favourite brands for hair products and makeup.

Hair: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and It's A 10 Leave-in Spray with Keratin. I have dry, frizzy lioness hair so these products make my hair manageable and as decent looking as it can get ;)
Makeup: Currently Stila and Maybelline.

12. Do you prefer to buy makeup online or in physical stores?

Physical stores! I love swatching makeup. I love trying it on. I love the bright lights, the colors, the endless options! I just love being in the presence of makeup. 

13. Do you use homemade recipes for skin or hair?

No. I do want to try a homemade lip scrub. I spent $16 on Mally Beauty's Lip Scrub. I love it, but I feel like I could have made something that gets the same job done at a fraction of the price.

14. Do you ever sleep with makeup on?

On my laziest of nights when I come home really late, but that is rare because I'm like an old lady and typically sleep early. 

15. What advise do you give to a person that wants to start wearing makeup?
1) Less is more, 2) blend, blend, blend 3) begin with drugstore products, and 4) be patient with yourself in learning :)

16. Which product you want to buy but you don't do it because it is very expensive?

Urban Decay Naked 3. Why don't they ever go on sale?? :(

I would love to see +thriveonnovelty , +Maj Valencia , and +Carah Amelie (and anyone really!!) complete this tag. It was a lot of fun :) 

<3<3<3

Sunday, May 11, 2014

DIY: Removing Gel Nails At Home

Two weeks ago, I treated myself to my third manicure ever! After two weeks of having my spring coral gel manicure, it was time to get them off! I was 1) sick/bored of the color and 2) missing doing my own nails. Also, it was just time. A few nails were starting to chip. A nails enthusiast like me cannot stand chipping! For me, a slight chip demands a retouch or a do-over. 

The first time I got a gel manicure, my friend encouraged me to just eventually peel the gel off and so I did. After doing so, I saw the damage it had done! The polish had taken the first layer (nail skin?) off my nail. Not good!

This time around, I decided to YouTube some DIY tricks to remove gel at home. I found +NewBeauty Magazine's video and followed the directions given what I have. 

Step by step, I'll walk you though the process:

SUPPLIES:
What you'll need:
- Nail polish remover
- Cotton balls
- Nail filer
- Foil
- Tweezers (not pictured)
The video called for a cuticle pusher. I didn't have one so I made due with dull tweezers

FOIL:
Cut the foil into 10 squares. As you can see, mine are not evenly cut.

THE NAILS:
So I know this picture looks awful. I had already started the process of removing the gel nails when I realized I should document this for a blog post. Here, my nails are buffed out with my nail filer. That's why my fingers look quite dry and why the gel shine is gone.

Before I started this DIY test, my initial plan was to peel the gel as you'll see from my right hand. After I saw the beating my nail took from that peel, I decided to find a better way to do it.

By the way, the silver and the gold polish are regular polish. When my gel nails started to grow out, I hated that gap so I filled it in with nail polish to create a reverse French tip.

FOILING:
As recommended by the woman in the video, I pulled apart my cotton ball in half as half is sufficient. I soaked the cotton ball in nail polish remover. I laid the cotton ball on my nail. With the square foil, I wrapped my nails then squeezedthe foil to tighten and secure the foil around my finger. Doing this all made a mess of polish remover dripping down my arms...egh. I definitely over soaked the cotton.

I do wish I had bigger squares of foil. A few fell off my finger because there was not enough foil to tightly secure the cotton ball.

Recommended time is 10 - 15 minutes. 

REMOVE FOIL
Nearly 20 minutes later, this is how my nails looked like. Gorgeous, right? haha. So gross.

You can see that the edges were loosened and had lifted up. I thought it was going to be an easy peel. But this is what the cuticle pusher is for. The gel is softened so that you can lightly scrape the gel off. I used dull tweezers in lieu of a cuticle pusher.

FINAL PRODUCT
Ta da! These are my nails buffed, washed and lotioned (soaking in polish remover made my fingers dry and pruney).

I didn't get every last tidbit of gel off, but I got the majority of it off. I am pleased with the results.

As much as I love gel nails, it is definitely work and a process to take off. Though it's not too too bad, it definitely makes me love and appreciate doing my own nails with regular polish at home :)

Here's the easy to follow video that I used for reference:




Have you ever tried removing gel nails at home?

<3<3<3

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

I love Anna Saccone's weekly "What I Ate Wednesday" posts and have been inspired to do them as well, but I always forget! I end up gobbling up my meals and by afternoon, I think "Shoot! I forgot to take pictures!" 

Today was my first success in remembering to take photos, HOWEVER, today was not an ordinary today. It was a crazy crazy day at work so I was unable to eat how I normally would. 

Oh well, it is what it is..just keeping it real ;)


BREAKFAST
Non-existent. I know. Not very good for you. I had a 9:30am appointment with my patient and pretty much just dashed out the door. My patient ended up flaking on me so I went to the hospital, which was nearby, and bought one of my fave $1 gourmet coffees. Today, I got a medium hazelnut latte.


I bought this coffee around 10am and because I am one of the world's slowest drinkers, I finished this bad boy at around 6pm. Embarrassing. It was delicious though! I just drink ridiculously slow and can make any drink last all day.

LUNCH
I had a late lunch today, but this is somewhat normal for me. My job entails me working in the field so lunch really depends on when I do not have appointments with my patients. Today, I had lunch around 2pm. 


One of my best friend's mom had taught how to make this. It's really easy. There's not much to learn. For me, it was just finding out that it existed! I would have never thought to put these foods together. 

It's 3/4 of those ready-to-go salad bags. I used an organic spring mix. I added tomatoes, onions, a green chili pepper, and pepper jack cheese. For extra flavor and kick, I added a few dashes of garlic salt and a whole bunch of cayenne pepper. I LOVE spicy! To hold it together, I put in two eggs. I put it in a frying pan, NO oil, and just poured the mixture in. It's basically a quiche I suppose. 

When my mom's friend made this for me, she used a whole bag of spinach, 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. I just used what I had. It's healthy, it's delicious, and it's a new twist on salad.

Because I didn't have a proper breakfast, I was starving while this was cooking. I had a Filipino polvoron that I got in the Philippines. Polvoron is a Filipino delicacy made of powdered milk, toasted flour, sugar, and butter. They can be plain or have nuts, little rice crispies and more.


AFTERNOON SNACK
For my afternoon snack, I was craving something sweet. I grabbed a small packet of fruit snacks. I only ate about half. It was way too hard. It was getting stuck in my teeth. It was awful.


DINNER
I had a big piece of leftover BBQ chicken and some veggies. The picture doesn't do justice to this chicken. Don't you worry, I was satisfied. Also, I'm the type of person that likes to eat small meals throughout the day. I am a snacker. At work, I'm notoriously known for "always eating." I love food, what can I say? ;)


Along with my dinner, I had my first glass of water. I know this is awful. It's horrible. I'm just not a thirsty person. That's no excuse to not drinking, but I just forget about drinking. When it's really hot, I drink a lot of ice cold water. When it's really cold, I drink a lot tea. When the weather is anything in between, I forget. I know that's bad. I know, I know. I'm working on it...

EVENING SNACK
I had a slice of peanut butter and jelly on a slice of lightly toasted wheat bread, light on the jelly please.


EVENING SNACK #2
My favorite fruits come out in the summer. I'm enjoying a bowl of cherries and blueberries as I catch up on blogs and YouTube. Mmmm. I had planned to drink my second glass of water, but at this point (10:11pm), I'm not even done with my first. I fail. 


I hope you enjoyed my very first What I Ate Wednesday. I think it's a pretty cool to concept as I can learn the foods of different cultures. Overtime I also get to go back and see what I ate. I'm a lover of food so I love food in all forms, even pictures!

What was on your menu for Wednesday?

<3<3<3



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mini Philippines Haul

Aloha!

I am saddened that I walked (or flew?) away from the Philippines with very few items. I guess you know when you're getting older when the pasalubong you bring back home is mostly food and items for others. Pasalubong is somewhat like souvenirs? In Filipino culture, it is custom/tradition to bring back gifts to family and friends back home.

Here are the few items I bought for myself:




In America, shoe sizes mean "size 7" or "6 1/2" or whatever number. That's how we refer to shoe sizes. In the Philippines (and I'm sure other countries do this too), sizes are 26, 27, and so forth. I have no idea what size I am in that measurement so it was difficult for me to guess. I just had to pick a random number and go from there!

They are both size 38 (according to family, I have giant feet). Weird thing is that the silvery purple is longer than the nude shoes, but it's tighter. Maybe I haven't broken into them yet.

The silvery purple shoes are from the department store Landmark in TriNoma Mall, Quezon City, Manila. The nude shoes are my favorite because I love neutral colors and I love gold accents. It's a double win. I bought those in Lee Super Plaza in Downtown Dumaguete.




I know I'm getting older when these ballet flat socks are some of my favorite purchases. HAHA. They come 3 in a pack. One pack was 200 PHP (Philippine peso). That's about $4.54 US. That's so cheap! In the U.S., a good pack of 2 is $8...You see why I'm so excited about this? I've already tried them and I love them. I also love that they are low cut. Amazing.

So my next purchases are kind of embarrassing, but I have no shame!

In the Philippines, they played three commercials ALL the time. One was the summer music video which I did a post about. The other two were different (but very similar versions) of the Palmolive shampoo. 

In the U.S., Palmolive is a brand for dish soap so I was definitely intrigued.


This commercial was played over and over...and over and over again! It made me want to be a Palmolive girl! HAHA



This commercial was played over and over as well. This is a shorter version that showcases 10 Palmolive girls. I believe there was a contest and these are the winners.

If you got a chance to view the videos, you'd see that it's so cute and so catchy!

So look what I did...


I bought three different kinds! In my defense, the two bottles are travel size. They are about the size of my hand. 

Purple is for Frizzy/wavy hair
Pink is for Dry/coarse hair.
Red is for Color-treated hair. Sadly, there were not any travel size ones. They only had the red in large bottles and these small packets.

As you can probably guess, my hair is dry and frizzy. I'm using the pink one right now. I do like it! It smells good - fruity. What's weird is that it also smells like cherry cough syrup. If I smell it too long, it reminds of cough medicine and makes me cringe. Thankfully, that cough syrup smell does not stay on your hair. The fruity smell does linger! You're probably thinking "she does not make any sense." HAHA SORRY!

And that's it...see, it was mini. It makes me sad, but I have made a mental note to pick up some makeup when  I go next time. For fun, I swatched lipsticks on my hand from the brand Careline. It stained my hand! I definitely need to check that out next time.

That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed!


<3<3<3


Monday, May 5, 2014

Song of The Moment: PINASmile



This song has captivated my heart. This song was played over and over and over during my stay in the Philippines.

It is the ABS-CBN Summer Station ID 2014 music video "PINASmile." ABS-CBN is a TV station in the Philippines. Pinas is a nickname for the Philippines. According to my cousin, the TV station makes a summer and Christmas music video each year.

How cute is that?!

The video highlights the beautiful smiles of the Filipino people. And now that summer is here, people are happy and smiling, rejoicing together in the beauty and love that is the Philippines and Filipino people. 

The main "cast" are celebrities in the Philippines, but it also showcases every day Filipinos in the Philippines. It makes my heart happy. 

It's a beautiful song and it makes me oh so proud to be Filipino. And of course, it makes me miss the Philippines a bajillion times more!!

<3<3<3

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lupus Awareness Month

Happy Lupus Awareness ACTION Month!


(credit: www.mdjunction.com)

Once again, May has been designated Lupus Awareness ACTION Month - a time to bring awareness to this horrible autoimmune disease that affects the lives of millions. Even with the growing Hollywood spotlight on Lupus (thanks to Snoop Dogg as his precious little girl has lupus), there are still millions of people out there who have never heard of lupus. And this is NOT okay.

Hopefully, this  month can produce the awareness and education, which produces support and donations, which funds research to find more effective medication at maintaining lupus, or even better, CURING lupus.

Sounds simple right? Kinda...Awareness only works if we actually start that discussion about lupus. 

How can we start that discussion? you might ask.

Simple! 

May 16 is "Put On Purple Day." I'll be wearing purple and so will my friends, my family, and my coworker who knows. They will tell their friends, their family, and their coworkers to wear purple on May 16. Their family, their friends, and their coworkers will ask "Why? What does purple mean?" And TA-DA! Discussion started.

Awareness doesn't mean expertise. I'm not asking a lot from you who may be reading this.
I just want you to know that lupus exists and oftentimes it hurts. Lupus is not typically something you can "see" in a lupus patient. Lupus patients are often told "you don't look sick" by those that don't understand. We need to stop this ignorance.

If this post is all you read then I'm okay with it. At least you know it exists. If you got this far into this blog post, thank you.

And if you want to be an even greater super star, check out the links below to learn more.

Lupus Awareness ACTION Month
What is lupus?
Frequently Asked Questions About Lupus


Lastly, please don't forget to PUT ON PURPLE on May 16. If that's all you can do, that'll make my heart happy.

<3<3<3

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm Back From the Philippines!



Over 24 hours of travel time, over 5 hours of layover time, nearly 10 hours of waiting for boarding; after 5 trips to the airport, 6 boarding passes, 4 baggage claims, my vacation has come to an end.

Last week, I came back from vacationing in the Philippines! I had the bestest time and I really wish I was still on vacation, but back to reality I must go! Boo :(

I was there for nearly two weeks. I spent most of time in Dumaguete City which is in Negros Oriental, or the the Visayas. I spent about 3-4 days in Manila. As mentioned, there was a lot of travel time and airport time involved, but it was all so very worth it. And I would it again in a heartbeat.

In Dumaguete City is where my grandma (or Lola, which means grandma in Tagalog), my aunt and my cousin live. They are more homebody than me so we didn't go on extravagant adventures. It was also Holy Week when I was here. The majority of the Philippines are Catholic. It was crazy because the majority of shops closed on Thursday and Friday of Holy Week. It was so quiet!

W went to the mall, which is what many many people do in the Philippines to avail of the AC because of the hot hot heat and humidity. March is when summer begins. I was lucky because it was supposed to be dreadfully hot, but thankfully, summer started late this year! My first day in Dumaguete was pretty hot, but after the first day, it rained at night (and sometimes during the day) for 3 days straight. Rain brings cooler weather. It was pretty funny because the weather was in the 70s and my family were cold! It's usually in the 80s and 90s in the Philippines. Add on humidity and you have recipe for sweat central.  Funny thing is that when I left the Philippines, summer started full-fledged! Thank you mother nature for sparing me hot misery!

In Dumaguete, we also went to the Boulevard, my cousin's university, and downtown. I bought some shoes at Robinsons mall. I'll show my very few goodies that I bought (I totally wish I bought more) in an upcoming post. I really didn't do much in Dumaguete, but spending time with my family meant more to me than anything.

FAVORITE DUMAGUETE MOMENT: Sitting with my Lola on a bench at the ball. She was telling me about her life when she was younger. I just have to share that she uses the word "preggy" for pregnant. It is adorable. I love her!

After Dumaguete, I went back to Manila where I stayed with my aunt and two cousins in Cubao, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines. Yes, that was a long description. The Philippines have a long description of a location incorporating neighborhood, district and city! My aunt took me to the mall which I enjoy doing. We took many pictures. I saw my cousins. I met my nephew and niece for the firs time. It was adorable! The little girl is 5 years old. She loves the camera and knows how to work the camera. 

FAVORITE MOMENTS IN MANILA: 1) Easter lunch/despedida (going away party) with my family, 2) holding hands with my niece when we walked throughout the mall, and 3) when it was time for her to go home, she didn't want to go and said she wanted to stay with me. 

Here are some photos from my journey:

Manny Pacquiao was boxing this day! Filipinos at the mall had to stop and watch it!
I claim being Pacqiao's good luck charm because he won. The last time I was in the Philippines, he fought and won too. You'e welcome, Pacman! LOL
Dumaguete City


Beautiful view from a patio at Robinsons mall
Dumaguete City

Silliman University
Dumaguete City



Watermelon crush and brazo cupcake. AMAZING. I need to find this in Los Angeles!
Dumaguete City



The Boulevard. This sign is new and gorgeously lights up at night
Dumaguete City


I love going to and from Dumaguete. You board the plane this way. Makes me feel like a celebrity. 
Dumaguete City


Makati
Makita, Manila


 Some of the Easter decor at Sky Garden, a part of the mall (P.S. Filipino malls in Manila are every girl's dream! There's usually 2-3 HUGE malls that connect by a bridge. My poor wallet!!)
Quezon City, Manila


LOVE. She didn't want to let go


Mister Donut, my favorite donut spot. Mine was mango custard filled!
Quezon City, Manila

Random crosswalk


A super cute donut I purchased at Dunkin Donuts Incheon Airport in South Korea. I am obsessed with teddies so I couldn't resist. Too bad it wasn't good :(

That's it for now. Thank you for joining in on my journey. I hope it wasn't too boring :)
I will be posting a mini (literally mini since I bought more food than clothing items) haul soon. I'm still getting back into the swing of things. And my job just recently asked me to be part of a pilot program at the hospitals so I've been busy and exhausted!

Talk to you soon!

<3<3<3