Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beautiful Sunday # 62 - Another date from the Happy Gluttons

We made another family reunion last week. 


We celebrated the baptism of the newest kid on the block. Our family gained another happy and healthy baby boy. 


The family is beginning to love Estrel's caramel cake. If only ordering this cake wouldn't cause that much hassle, it wouldn't take another occasion for us to experience this cake. 

Here are other beautiful and memorable photos from the event. 


More than the food, everyone loved the balloon decorations.


and as always, here are the happy gluttons :)


Happy Sunday!


Surprise product discoveries

My frequent trips to Watsons have been giving me some surprise discoveries. My quest for cheap but effective beauty products led me to other products that shouldn't have been part of my monthly budget. As much as I want to deny it, I believe that my shopaholic hormones learned to appreciate beauty products to toiletries. But I guess, this is a better place to become shopaholic. Before acquiring an additional pair of flats, I should consider my beauty issues first. ;) I badly needed beauty products that can protect my always abused skin.

My recent product finds are not as expensive as my MAC Studio Fix Foundation. Thank God! What I have here are toiletries that caught my attention and ended up bringing home.

Dove for men
Seriously, Dove for men? This was my silent reaction when I saw this on the racks of Watson's new products.


It's for men but my curiosity prevailed. I want to find out its difference with the female line. And my verdict? It feels like a germicidal soap. Dove's trademark of that moisturizing effect was nowhere to be found in this variant.
Colgate Optic White
For the longest time, I never bought the idea that toothpaste can really whiten our teeth. My personal belief is that all toothpaste simply cleanses our teeth. The only brand I believed performed other function is Sensodyne. I use Sensodyne to prevent and treat my attacks of sensitive teeth. But why did I decide to purchase this relatively expensive toothpaste? For the longest time, I've been battling the discoloration of my teeth. I'm wearing braces for four years and cleaning my teeth with the metal wires is one of my truggles. It's hard to reach all the areas of my teeth with all those metal contraptions.

I finished my first tube of Colgate Optic White and my verdict? It works! It doesn't totally whiten the teeth though. What I noticed is the immediate lightening effect. If consistently used, I guess this can help in really whitening the teeth. As for the price, the small tube costs around Php 60-70 (around $ 1 to 2).

Lactacyd Whitening Feminine Wash
This one is the biggest revelation for me. Haha Do I have to explain?

I grew up using Lactacyd. When pH Care was introduced in the Philippine market, I shifted to the cheaper brand. I particularly love pH Care's Cool Wind. The cooling effect was the best. Haha Before taking home another bottle of pH care, I noticed Lactacyd's new packaging. I thought it was the same old pink Lactacyd. I examined the bottle and was surprised with the whitening effect ?!? This was a bit expensive than pH care. But since this was something new for me, I tried it. And for my verdict? I don't know. Hahahaha One thing I noticed about this new Lactacyd is the foamy and creamy concentration. Unlike the previous Lactacyd, this one is almost like shampoo.

Do you have any surprise product discoveries too? I would love to read and discover more.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Monogram addiction

Ever since I saw Katie Holmes wearing this cute monogram necklace,


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I secretly wanted mine too.

I was unlucky with shops in department stores. I found a local online seller that charges a little hefty price. In the end, I decided to explore my newest favorite place, Etsy! I did some window shopping and here are my favorites.

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If only shipping costs are not included and money isn't really a scarce resource :(

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But this one demands more than money ;)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Feeling like a grown up

Sunday morning surprised me with this


I woke up with a huge thick envelope with no return address. I wasn't expecting anything except for the bills to pay. This unexpectedly came so before heading for breakfast, I hurriedly opened the unlikely huge document.

And just like that, I'm feeling like a real grown up.

Last week, I finally decided to purchase the domain name for my blog. It took me some time to learn and adjust the CNAME and DNS settings. After several days of experimenting and learning things on my own, I finally made it.

Friends, I now have a domain name! ;)

You can reach me now at

www.dianewantstowrite.com

Happiness!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beautiful Sunday # 61 - All the small things

I'm on my second week of teaching and I'm still adjusting. The college kids are fine. It's actually the schedule that demands the adjustment. My classes extend until 8:30 pm. By the time I reach home, I'm all tired and still needs to review the lectures for the next day. Added to this my need to do more readings about Project Management. I've mentioned in my previous posts that I learned Project Management in the battlefield and not inside the classroom. Its much different when I have to synchronize my knowledge in practice and academe. But as always, I'm not complaining. It's always a challenge for me to make things happen.


Office work is also doing fine. I'm equally challenged and excited with my current assignment. It's estimated to last for the next two years. So much is expected and more than the pressure, it's the state of my career that is at stake here. Either, I make it or break it. Make things happen or not.  If this endeavor will become successful, I will gain that much needed self-worth and confidence. Hopefully, I can blog the details years from now.

Setting aside the serious side of my life, here are some little beautiful things that made my week. 
The everyday view from my workplace niche.

Weather in the Philippines is as weird as a moody female. Everyone wakes up like summer. Sun is up and commuting still becomes a burden with the flock of passengers and perspiring weather. During the afternoon, wind and rain will start to arrive. Temperature lowers and soon enough, travel hours are prolonged because of the heavy traffic.

If there is one thing I love about the cold afternoon rains, it's the fact that I can finally wear my jackets with my ugly and shapeless office uniform. Truth is, my ultimate wardrobe dream is to wear a khaki trench coat from Burberry or Zara paired with the classic knee high boots. Haha in my dreams!

Aside from getting more inspired to dress up, these are the best and worst treats for the cold and rainy afternoons.
Oreo Cake!
Picture does not bring justice. But this is one of the few best things that happen at the workplace ;)


Another reason to wake up and look forward to every workday. One of my favorites, Banoffee pie! Red Ribbon used to offer this years ago. The most accessible Banoffee pie for me are from Starbucks and Banapple which are a bit expensive. This piece from the workplace's cafe sells for Php 65. Cheap but it becomes pricey when consumed everyday ... which have become my personal battle ;)


Chef Tony's popcorn is a recent discovery. I've been seeing tubs of this popcorn everywhere. I'm not the greatest fan of popcorn since I wore my braces. Last Sunday, my mother wanted to try it. The ending? I was the one who consumed the entire bucket. :)

How can I resist the sweet and salty combination of Country Cheddar? 

In my previous post, I mentioned my friend's wedding that rattled my entire day. I was so occupied and worried with tons of concerns. In effect, I forgot to take photos of the ceremonies. My bridesmaid dress was nice but the fit was worst. I look so pregnant! The only thing I appreciated on my outfit was this


Forever flats! And if one day, someone will finally like me (hahahaha) I will surely wear another set of elegant silver flats.

And please pardon my humongous logs legs here,
I'm just loving my new pair of Anthology shoes and quilted bag from Benetton. Both items were purchased from a great SALE!

That's it for my 61st Beautiful Sunday.


Wishing everyday a great Sunday! I'm off to another family reunion. :)

P.S. I need your help friends! Anyone who bought their domain name from Go Daddy? I'm having difficulty in linking my blog account to my purchased domain name. I believe it has something to do with the CNAME settings. I already configured my domain name. But as of date, I still can't link my blogger account. Please help me. :( 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Reviewed! Train Man by Hitori Nakano

If you love hopeless romantic reads, then this book is for you.

But here’s a critical consideration.

If you are strict with the proper structuring of literary reads, you might end up disliking the book.
Train Man is one of those books that can tickle your romantic bone. That is, if you can appreciate superficial teenage reads. The book however doesn’t involve teenage kids as the characters. Two equally mature adults with their troop of virtual supporters were responsible in fueling the entire story.

The main character introduced himself as Train Man. He got this code name because of a train incident which led him to Lady Hermes. On the way home, Lady Hermes and the other female passengers were harassed by a drunken male passenger. As what we often see in movies and drama series, Train Man came to their rescue.  However, it wasn’t the perfect “you-are-my-hero” moment for Train Man. If such part will be translated to a movie, Train Man's attempt to protect the helpless females will surely end up as the silliest and hilarious scene.

After the incident, Lady Hermes sent a gratitude gift to Train Man. It was a luxurious set of Hermes tea cups, which earned Lady Hermes her code name. As expected, Train Man became attracted to Lady Hermes. Everything seems to be perfect except for one problem. Train Man is the ultimate torpe (shy guy). Being friendless doesn’t help Train Man at all. Train Man sought refuge through an online forum and soon enough, he has a troop of support system from the netizens.

You can sense that Train Man has a shallow story. The plot is really fitted to the younger members of the populace. Despite of this, I found myself enjoying the book. As much as I want to deny it, I developed that surprising attachment to the story. And I admit, I love the book.

Train Man’s story may not qualify for any literary award. But I guess to the hearts of all the hopeless romantics and kids at hearts, this will receive silent acclamations and praises. For some reason, the book awakened my long been buried teenage romantic hormones. I believe that this is a talent, which not all authors can achieve. Added to this is the overflowing humor from Train Man's support system. This made a perfect light and engaging read. 

Since Train Man has an unlikely literary structure, quotes and powerful words are nowhere to be found. In exchange for structure, I was able to discover some good values from the story. Nakano was able to prove that people have the innate tendency to help. Train Man's online support system was superb! Strangers taking time to help and cheer Train Man was priceless. The book was like a modern day Cinderella, where the netizens acted as the fairy godmother and Cinderella was morphed to Mr. Shy Guy. haha

If you are looking for a light, entertaining, and humorous read, I highly recommend Train Man. As for my rating, I'll give it 4 out of 5 stars. 

PS Linking this post to Ricki's Literary Friday

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pagoda!

And no, I'm not talking about this




Pagod-ah! In the Filipino "gay" lingo, Pagoda means dead tired. And yes, this perfectly exemplifies what I feel as I'm typing this post.

I woke up early to attend my friend's unlikely weekday and early morning wedding.
She chose me as one of her bridesmaids so I really need to prepare. Since the wedding was too early, it was impossible for me to drop by the beauty salon. In effect, I did everything my way. Truth is, I left everything to my expensive MAC Studio Fix. Haha If there's one thing I learned from my friend's wedding, it's the need for me to finally learn how to do real and formal make up.

Before heading to the church, I need to drop by the office to check some files and prepare documents for my evening classes. I finished everything and I was able to arrive at the church just in time for the wedding. I don't want my tardiness to ruin my friend's special day. Good thing, the heavens connived for me. I was able to get a smart taxi driver! :) He knew the shortcuts and secret escapes from the everyday traffic.

After the wedding, I rushed back to the office to beat a deadline for another department. I almost thought that the rest of the afternoon will run smoothly. I was called to join an afternoon meeting ... which meant I have to move away from my current task. In my mind, I wanted to shout, not this time please... Left with no choice, I attended the meeting while my mind is occupied with other tasks.

The meeting lasted for hours and little do I know, it's already time for my evening class. Since I was so tired and preoccupied, headache started to attack me. I checked my bag and there's someone who saved the day. I still have pieces of Advil and Dolfenal. Thank you pain relievers!

I was looking forward to end the day. I was excited to deliver my lecture and finish everything. A little suprise came in because the classes were suspended as a result of the heavy rains. Hooray! I rushed home as I was afraid of getting stranded with the flock of commuters.

I safely arrived home feeling very tired and sleepy. As much as I want to finally call it a day, I have to prolong my agony. I still need to prepare my lectures for tomorrow's class.

This may not be my best day. But something made me smile despite of everything.

While my patience is dwindling and my irritation level heightens, I found this package waiting for me.

St. Barts in Ecru - My 4th pair from Anthology


Happiness! Anthology flats are on sale here. I ordered this pair online and got in 2 days. A secret to confess, the shoes are on regular prices in their mall outlets. ;)  So if you have plans of acquiring a pair, better check out their online sale.

PS This should have been published last night. I think I forgot to hit the publish button before I logged out. Haha

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How beauty wrecked my wallet

I can splurge on shoes, clothes and bags. But when it comes to beauty products, I'm a cheapskate. I've never been to any expensive beauty shopping. The most that I spent is Php 1,000 ($ 25) for a complete set of powder foundation from Maybelline, eye shadow palette from IN2IT, powder blush from Etude House and eyebrow pencil from Tony Moly or The Face Shop. After spending for these items, I will go home feeling broke and pathetic. Haha My Nanay once told me that if I can splurge for an expensive bag, why can't I save and spend for something that will make me beautiful? I later learned the real meaning of my Nanay's litany. She wanted me to purchase a treadmill in time for the deprived jogging hours during the rainy season. Haha

My problem with beauty products is that I rarely experience a brand that survived the entire day or at the very least, gave me noticeable enhancements. Hence, I've become averse in spending for any expensive beauty product. Since they don't conform with my expectations, I'd rather devote my money and resources to other things that can make me happy. I'd rather go to Lacoste or Yosi Samra to purchase a new pair of flats I've been secretly coveting.

Last Friday, I decided to breakfree from my cheapskate attitude. My first attempt to purchase a really expensive piece finally happened. 

So what's the product that caused this blog post?


I've been hearing and reading a lot of positive reviews about MAC cosmetics. Beauty bloggers, my student M who owns a trunk of make up collections, and some sales ladies from the cosmetic section, whom I've eavesdropped, are mentioning praises and positive reviews about MAC. It appeared to me that MAC was like the Louis Vuitton and Hermes among beauty products.

After so much encounters, I decided to wreck part of my freelance earning to finally experience this elite product.




I planned to purchase a shade from MAC's Studio Fix Foundation. I was never good in choosing the right shade for my skin tone so I sought the assistance of the sales personnel / makeup artist. I told her that I wanted a darker shade since my skin is dark. She tried two shades and we finally landed on NC42.

The very evident trait of MAC's Studio Fix Foundation is the coverage it gave to my skin. The foundation didn't feel thick, heavy and chalky. It easily evened out my skin tone and the finish was different from my everyday Maybelline powder foundation. I also noticed that even though I overdo the application, the powder foundation worked like magic. It evenly settled to my skin.

While I love MAC's perfect coverage, one thing I failed to notice is the darker coverage it gave me. The powder tends to become a shade darker when applied to my skin. This becomes very evident when I'm applying the foundation during daytime. In effect, I looked like I didn't have any foundation at all. My skin appeared natural, which some would prefer. In my case, since I have darker skin I would have preferred a shade lighter than my skin tone.

In terms of longevity, I can say that MAC lives up to its claim. If my skin will not be too oily, the powder finish tends to last longer than my Maybelline powder foundation. The most that the product can serve is around 4 hours, within the office's airconditioned surroundings. I guess, not bad at all?

The only thing I dislike about the product is obviously, the hefty price! I purchased only the refill for Php 2,100!!! If I included the mirror compact, the entire piece will cost Php 2,750 (around $ 68). Whoa! It can almost wreck my half-month teaching salary.

Now, the final question is,

Will I repurchase the product?

Yes. If only I have spare money to accommodate such expensive purchase. I would love to consider MAC Studio Fix as my everyday powder foundation if not only because of its price tag. In addition to this, I would probably seek a lighter shade on my next purchase.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reviewed! Myra Vitawhite Whitening Face Lotion

Back in my early 20s, I was contented with my facial wash, face powder, eye shadow and a pat of pink blush-on. I was oriented that all females should undergo the ritual of cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Obviously, I only follow cleansing. Aside from the fact that compliance with these three steps meant additional expenditures, I was not the best person to carry out a routine.

Fast forward now, I'm beginning to notice how much I abused my skin. The sleepless nights when I was still finishing my masteral studies, late night movie and Korean drama series marathon, worries  from my office job and teaching, quarter life crisis and my everyday exposure from commuting in Manila, contributed to my skin's advanced aging.

When I crossed my mid 20s, my trips to Watsons became more frequent. I was always in search for beauty products that can delay skin ageing. This is when I started to comply with three key steps of skin care. Though admittedly, I have to say that I'm skipping toning. I can only go as much as cleansing and moisturizing.

I've been experimenting with different moisturizers lately. I used to be loyal with Celeteque's water based moisturizer, not until I discovered Human Nature's Moisturizing Night Cream. After my trip to Palawan, I was bothered with my worst sunburns and darkest skin. I searched for beauty creams that can lighten my skin. Good thing, Kaith blogged about her favorite moisturizers. I followed her recommendation. In effect, this post made it ;)



I've been using Myra Vitawhite Whitening Face Lotion for a month. Let me share my own review here.


Positive Points

1. It's cheap! You can purchase it for less than Php 100 (around $2).

2. The small tube goes a long way. I'm using the same tube for a month.

3. It can be used as a base for makeup. Surprisingly, I think the product prolongs the life of my foundation, blush and eye shadow.

4. It doesn't feel thick and heavy on the face.

5. It also doesn't make the face too white after application. It easily blends with any skin tone.

6. It dries fast as compared to other cream moisturizers.

7. It has sunscreen protection.

8. It really moisturizes the skin. After using my facial wash, I sometimes experience having dry and flaky skin. This usually happens when I lack sleep and after prolonged exposure with the office's AC. The instances when I have dry skin are being addressed by Myra Vitawhite.

Negative Points

1. It claims to whiten skin. It didn't really whiten my skin. It only helped in restoring my original skin tone.

2. It may not fit those with oily skin, which includes me. I have to ensure that my skin is completely dry and clean before I apply it. Otherwise, my oily skin would magnet all the dust and dirt around.

Overall, I would recommend Myra Vitawhite Whitening Face Lotion as your regular day cream. It's cheap but performs the real function of a moisturizer.

How about you? What cheap but effective brand of moisturizer do you use?

PS This is NOT a sponsored post. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Beautiful Sunday # 60 - Happy Father's Day


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ABC of me (The Alphabet Meme)

Tagged by Peachy of She is also an Architect

Attached or single?
Shy single, hahaha

Bestfriends
T from the workplace, Anne and Ana from my High School days



Cake or pie?
Screaming CAKE! I particularly love Banapple's Banoffee (Wait, is this a cake? Haha), Conti's Mango Bravo, Sans Rival from Cafe Lidia 
Recently, my addiction extends to Nutella Cupcakes from Sophie's Mom, Oreo Cupcake of  J's Cupcake and Milk Chocolate from Frostings  

Day of Choice
Friday and weekends
Friday because it signals the last working day and I can finally break free from my dull office uniform
Weekends because I can spend time with my family, mall dates with Anne and practice my favorite hobby zzzzzzz

Favorite Colors
Forever BLUE!
Half of the things I own are all in color blue, though my blog design doesn't reflect haha

Gummy Bears or Worms?
Gummy Bears!!!
I love bears and I used to dream of having an extensive bear collection


Hometown
Marikina but most of the time I stay in Manila because of work

Indulgencesss
Flat shoes, Clothes, Books and Food!!!
January or July?
January because it signals the start of another year. I'm refreshed from a long holiday break and looking forward to another year.

Kids?
none

Life isn't complete without
my family and friends

Marriage Date
Coming? Unknown!!! bwahahaha  

Number of brothers and sisters
1 special brother who never fails to inspire me

Orange or apple
Orange

Phobias
Snakes

Quote
To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did

Reasons to smile
work accomplished, Family, friends

Season of choice
Spring and I hope to experience it in another country. Hopefully in South Korea or Japan
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Tag 5 people


Unknown fact about me
It used to be that all of my clothes are in color blue. When I started working I gradually bought some pieces in beige, black, white, still neutral and safe colors

I'm trying to convince myself that I'm moving away from blue. In fact, my button down blouses can prove that I already gave up my love for blue haha 


Vegetable
String beans, lettuce, cabbage

Worst Habitsss
Stress shopping, stress eating, sleeping for more than 10 hours  

Xray or ultrasound
Xray? Haven't gone into ultrasound yet

Your favorite food?
A loooot! Usually, cakes, potato dishes, pasta, pizza

Zodiac Sign
Saggitarius

Thanks Peachy for tagging me!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reviewed! Every Day by David Levithan

This is my first read from David Levithan. I can't recall where and when I discovered David Levithan's works. Perhaps from my constant search in Goodreads, best sellers from Fully Booked or a friend's recommendation led me to David Levithan. All I could remember is that similar to John Green's The Fault in our Stars, my favorite bookstores always have limited stocks of this book.  This alone is a shouting evidence that Every Day is another great read. True enough, David Levithan did not disappoint me. He is now officially one of my favorite authors.

Every Day maybe another typical hopeless romantic read. However, Levithan crafted a unique character in "A" that gave the entire story a unique twist of fate. A perfect synopsis of the story was captured in these lines

Every day a different body
Every day a different life
Every day in love with the same girl

Every day I am someone else. I am myself -
I know that I am myself - but I am also someone else.
It has always been like this...

A wakes up different bodies and carries different lives everyday. A has the heart that feels, but never the body to associate with. A is alive and living, but never had the own life to live with. A has been getting used to the hidden existence, not until A's heart fiddled and was led to Rhiannon.

The entire novel became a narration of A's struggles of connecting with Rhiannon, while being morphed in different bodies everyday. At first, I thought that I will get bored with A's uncertain existence. I thought that everything will appear to me as a compilation of A's efforts to reach Rhiannon. Turns out, each chapter crafted a unique story accompanied by compelling words and heightening desire for that one great ending. 

Every Day may relate another struggling love story but what differentiates Levithan's craft is his ability to capture the sentiments and emotions of the readers. Levithan gave me the lethal combination of plot and emotional attachment. My heart suddenly found itself in the shoes of either A or Rhiannon. I guess this is a talent that not all authors can achieve. Each chapter provided sentiments that can captivate that hidden heartfelt emotions in us. My greatest realization in this novel is summarized in this

“If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.

Enough said, 5 out of 5 stars for David Levithan's Every Day. 

Beautiful Sunday # 59 - Last Batch of Summer Treats

In my country, summer is already over. The rainy season is beginning to be felt here. There's always the regular afternoon rains. The temperature lowers and as my friends would always say, this is the perfect bed weather. :) The best sleep happens when the cold temperature is beginning to settle in my always summer country.

Next week, I'm back to teaching again. Hooray! Thank God for the additional teaching assignment. I'm looking forward to another semester.

This will be last week when I'm free from teaching related tasks. Hence, let me recall a few of the beautiful things that made my final summer week.

One

It's a happy blue day! ;) I've forgotten about my classic Chuck Taylor for years. On the last week when we are allowed to wear our own clothes, I wore one of my most comfortable shoes. For some reason, I feel younger when I'm wearing my pair of Chuck's.  


Two

Addicted to this! I already blogged about this but since it has become a new favorite, this deserves a space in my Beautiful Sunday series. Cheap cream puffs by Monde at Php 10.95. Perfect for my hunger attacks at the workplace.

Three

A new sport to love! On my first attempt, look at my pathetic scoreboard haha



Four 
 The best thing that made my week!

I knew for a fact that I'm not the best teacher in the eyes of my students. Despite teaching for a number of years, I'm still struggling and finding ways to improve the way I deliver my lectures. At the end of the day, all I wanted is for my students to remember me as the teacher who did her job. Anything more than that, I will consider it as an overflowing blessing. 

I would like to believe that most of my students would remember me for being the serious and quiet teacher. I wasn't blessed with the sense of humor and the talent to motivate. So after a semester, I know that I'm just one of their past teachers. Despite my silent and private personality, I managed to become friends with some of my past students. We would regularly communicate through Facebook and Twitter. One of the few students whom I became friends with is M. Over the years, I discovered that M and I share the love for books. Most of the time, my reads are recommended by M. This week, I was surprised when someone dropped by the office and handed me a pile of books. The lady told me that the books came from M. I was surprised! It was the first time a past student gave me a book without any occasion. Thanks M! This means a lot to me.

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