Sunshine Award + Facts About Me

>> Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My perfect selfie friend Nicole of Beauty & Sparkle nominated me for a fun award called Sunshine Award. Unlike her, I have posted several personal stuff on this blog and since most of you guys like it when I do that, here are some more :)

  1. Post a picture of the Sunshine Blogger Award (done!)
  2. Post 11 random facts about yourself
  3. Answer 11 questions from the nominating blogger
  4. Link back to the blogger who nominated you (done!)
  5. Nominate 11 wonderful bloggers, that you feel bring sunshine to the blogging world.
  6. Write 11 questions for your nominated bloggers
Random Fact #1: I don't own a TV. Haven't had one in so long that I don't know the TV series in local channels anymore and I don't get it when people reference TV commercials. I've stopped paying for cable because I don't like the timing of the series I watch on TV so I just get those online and watch when I have time. I am interested in Anthony Bourdain at the moment and I watch Breaking Bad when I can stomach it.

Random Fact #2: Despite already doing the fairy tale route in Germany, I still don't know who followed the crumbs and who was eaten by the wolf.

Random Fact #3: I absolutely adore the smell of peaches and pink grapefruits.

Random Fact #4: If a movie about my life is to be made, I'd like Kristen Bell to portray me. Or Blake Lively.

Random Fact #5: I adore typography. Show me a font and I bet you I can identify it =P

Random Fact #6: I've come to that age where I don't like wearing heels anymore until I absolutely need to. I can't believe it either.

Random Fact #7: I'm perpetually in sunnies except in evenings for two reasons: I don't like it when the sun gets into my eyes and I like being able to stare at people without looking like I am. =P

Random Fact #8: I am uninterested in unflavored coffee mate. Either real cream or flavored Coffee Mate please.

Random Fact #9: The only jeans/pants I like wearing a lot are yoga pants and jeggings. I dislike wearing jeans unless they're stretchy.

Random Fact #10: I still dream of becoming an engineer/urban planner. I don't know when and how I can do that but I still hope.

Random Fact #11: I am fascinated by cultures {a special place is in my heart for France} and all the differences in each country.

Whew, that was long :) As for the rest of the post, it will be all about answering the questions written by Nic on her blog:

Name something you can’t resist. A good conversation.
What’s the one book you can read over and over again? Right now, it's Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard.
Which celebrity would you trade lives with? Blake Lively.
What quote inspires you? How you do anything is how you do everything. No shabby work ever.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve received? Take good care of your teeth.
Your favorite midnight snack? Jellyace :)
Where did you go on your first airplane ride? General Santos City
What’s the best part of this day so far? Traveling to Amsterdam
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? Berlin. Or Amsterdam :)
If you had a time machine, when would you go? 2002.
And of course, what’s the latest beauty product you’ve fallen in love with? Happy Skin's Shut Up and Kiss Me in Just Say Yes.

I nominate the following:
Here are my eleven questions:
  1. What keeps you blogging everyday or whenever you blog?
  2. What's your favorite song right now?
  3. If you had a hand, who would you choose for Chris Martin? Gwyneth or J.Law?
  4. What's in your life bucket list?
  5. What's a place in your travel list?
  6. Favorite rom com of all time?
  7. Favorite chick flick of all time?
  8. Mr. Big or Aidan?
  9. Any signature cocktails?
  10. What's your signature scent?
  11. Name one thing you have to do this lifetime.
That's all. Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!


One of These Things First

>> Monday, September 1, 2014

Hi dear readers! I'm still knee deep in work right now, and really not thinking a lot about beauty stuff. But I wish you a lovely week. Here's a short poem for your Monday inspiration, too!

{PS: Sharing it because something made me jump out of bed today xx}

Nothing is more practical than
falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

- Pedro Arrupe


#TravelThursday Inspiration: No Reservations

>> Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm back home for a few days now and despite the comfort of upcoming trips, I am still feeling hungover from my trip. The travel director from my trip says that the best way to cure a travel hangover is to plan the next one. So here I am, at 2:05 AM, eyes wide open for where to go again.

As a background, my favorite travel TV show is playing on the background, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Doesn't he have the best job ever? Paid to travel to eat, explore, get drunk even, party? Amazeballs.

This episode is one of my favorites, Colombia. Why, you ask? Because Colombia is one of those intriguing countries you just wanna go to!

This one is of Paris :D

And this one is of Rio. You can tell how in love with the place Bourdain is :D

Ah, to travel! It truly is the best way to educate oneself!
Happy Thursday!



>> Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lately, I've taken a break from Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Peter Drucker, HBR and other marketing and management books. It's what I'd like to call my 'light, frothy, non fiction' phase.

Not sure when it quite started, but I guess that this book I just finished reading, Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bèbè, has a lot to do with it. Friends have initially raised eyebrows as to why I've been reading a French psychology {in disguise} book on parenting. "Are you about to make an announcement?" one curious Jill asks.

I bought it on the basis that it was French, is all, I thumbed back.

A few chapters into the book, Pamela Druckerman had me in stitches and I was very well led into the wonderful world of French èducation {upbringing}. Whereas Americans {and pseudo Americans such as Filipinos}, are accustomed to showering babies with attention enough to throw them into has been phases as soon as they get old enough. In the Philippines alone, kids are known to run around, screaming frantically wherever they go. They do not eat everything that's served in front of them and they are known to throw tantrums every now and then.

As I had found out in Druckerman's book, the French start their babies early -- and subject them babies to a few minutes of waiting, after crying, so they would learn to manage themselves. They teach the kids to eat an array of nutritional food, to be sagè, that is to be quietly sufficient for oneself. Wouldn't you know it, there's a lot to be learned from a French parenting book?

So I'd guess this is where I owe most of my wisdom these days -- teaching myself to be sagè -- calming my heart and finding joy everywhere, too. Thank you, Pamela Druckerman.



Inspiring You to Travel: An AirBNB Review

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'm incredibly lucky to have been able to come to some of the items in my list this year. Every morning during my trip, I would always wake up to the thought of "Where am I?" in the dark. After several seconds, I'd get my bearing and realize I'm in Europe with my family.

I'm a lucky girl.

When our plans for Germany was all solid three months ago, I realized that my return to the Philippines coincided with not one but two holidays. I had a wild thought: Amsterdam. I was taking a KLM flight so naturally, I was passing through. What perfect time but to stop over to what most adults call "The Disneyland of Adults."

After I was done with my flight arrangements, I went on to research about where I was going to stay. At this point in time, I was on an adventure high and I was giving myself the opportunity to try out real traveler experiences such as staying at hostels {I am scared still, to this day, and yet to try}. Every single hostel I checked out was at €60 {PHP 3,483} per night, which I deemed too much for a hostel. And then I had a brilliant idea: airBNB. 

Surely, it was a fairly new concept: A local rents out his/her house/room and you get to stay for a much cheaper price. The catch is that it doesn't operate like a hotel so most likely no elevators, cleaning entails more fees and breakfast is optional.

The photo above is the actual room I stayed in. Prior to arriving to Amsterdam, I had asked several people who have done airbnb {thank you Patty and Angela!} and both have given satisfactory feedback. If not, I could always charge it up to experience.

AirBNB: Airbnb has got one of the best user interfaces I've ever tried in my life. The typeface choices, motions, photo selections is just perfect. I'd think my credit card information is safe and my payment is fairly quick to go through. I love that one can hide personal information until both host and guests agree about the booking. Each host and each guest gets a review so your host can also choose whether or not to accept you.

As for my airbnb host, Sophie's BNB, her listing had very accurate directions so I reached the place without hassles. To arrive to a conclusion though, I enlisted the help of my cousin who lived in Amsterdam to know whether this was central enough to Amsterdam. As it turns out, it was the perfect residential neighborhood where kids biked and all that.

As a bed and breakfast, these are my comments:

  1. Sophie was very responsive to all my questions. When booking a bnb, it helps to have a responsive host because a hotel would be just like that. Thanks to Whatsapp, Sophie answered all my questions.
  2. The price is fair enough at PHP 2,250/night. I added breakfast so that was an additional €7 per morning and no regrets. I loved Sophie's breakfast of fruits, yogurt, fresh orange juice, eggs, bread. YUM!
  3. As a local, Sophie was very helpful in recommending where to go and how. The bnb comes with a bike for free since Amsterdam is a city that has more bikes than people. 
  4. The bed was soft and firm, the towels smell fresh and clean, the linens are washed well. 
  5. The bathroom is spacious, had shampoo, conditioner and body wash as well as a blowdryer. 
  6. There's wifi, which is a necessity when you're traveling, especially if you're traveling alone and need to update several people like your family.
  7. The only thing to expect would be the steep stairs, which is normal in Europe :)
Overall: I am definitely doing airBNB again, in fact I'm all set to do this in both London and Paris in a few weeks. Of course, getting involved in an unregulated business is always something needing of constant caution {ie. sleep with your passport if you need to}, conduct your research, ask around and pray. I asked around before booking my first airBNB but now I am more comfortable with it. Always check it out on Google Maps and search outside airBNB, which I did for Sophie's BNB. As for the prices and safety, it will always be a different case for each and everyone and I recommend to always err on the side of caution whenever booking, whether it's a hotel, a hostel or an airbnb :)

Am I coming back? You bet I will :)



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here.
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