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011. Painting the town red.

Well, almost! An office event re-awakened my quest for the perfect red lipstick–we have to wear black dresses with red accessories–yes, down to lipstick and nail polish! So, I went to the mall and got myself this.

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I’m not normally a fan of lip and cheek stains. For one, I do think that cream blushes do an equally good job, and I want a lip tint that lasts more than two hours. Still, I gave The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Stain in Geisha Doll (if you’re getting it via the new packaging), also known as Shade 03, as pictured above.

I have no problems about the packaging, it is convenient to take along everywhere, although I am hoping (or rather, wishing) that The Body Shop would consider changing the  sponge applicator into a brush one. Personally, I do think it’s messier on the lips upon application–I had to use a lip brush to properly apply it on my lips. Below is a swatch of the stain.

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And it did last more than two hours–it lasted for four, which is fair enough. Not all lippies are made perfect, but I am perfectly satisfied. I’m only sorry I didn’t take a picture of myself during the office event, but here’s another picture of yours truly trying out the lip stain.

This "selfie" has been made for product testing purposes. Hahaha.

This “selfie” has been made for product testing purposes. Hahaha.

Pardon the lighting, which made the lip colour and the blush look more pink/rose than red. But I have to say, IT LOOKS NATURAL. It really does. So, I’ll give this stain four out of five stars–worth trying!

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010. Lunch date

Everyday at work, I eat lunch with a wonderful group of people and it’s always a joy being with them. There’s always something to talk about whether it’s the latest political scandal (not new), or the delivery of new equipment. We never run out of topics. One of them would be food. And speaking of food, a friend asked me for the recipe of the fish and the potatoes. The recipe is pretty simple.

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I cannot, however, lay entire claim to the recipe, since I learned this from my older sister, with a few tweaks. You can also use pork with this too. But since my body can’t take much more of that meat for the meanwhile, I decided on fish–salmon in particular. Here it is! :)

What you’ll need:

Half a kilo of salmon belly

1 lemon

Salt (1/2 teaspoon–but still depending on your taste)

Chilli flakes

Dried rosemary

Oil (cooking oil is fine, but I used olive oil here–it’s still your call! ;) ) Continue reading

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009. Learning curves.

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You learn something everyday, and there will always be an opportunity for a learning experience. Hope that made sense! But whether it does or not, it doesn’t make it any less real.

Lately, I’ve been trying to find recipes for healthy food to bring to work–meaning, home-made meals. And it feels good knowing that the food you eat is safe, healthy, and well um, measured. That way, I wouldn’t worry if I ate too much or too little, although I’ve read somewhere that less could be more. A few days ago, I’ve met my success story, which sadly, I’ve failed to document, haha. Lunch menu for Wednesday: three strips of salmon belly (which is actually more than enough), five wedges of rosemary potatoes, a Granny Smith apple sliced into quarters (my container lid was a bit loose, so it was a bit brown–signs of oxidation!), and a bottle of juice (do try Welch’s Cranberry Juice cocktail–mind, this is not an advertisement!).

The next day, I have been tasked to think of a quick meal for dinner. Thankfully, the night before, I prepared drumsticks meant to be oven-fried but still ended up being pan-fried, alas. This is what happens when one gets overconfident, hahaha. Despite its slightly singed appearance, it still tasted good, yay! :)  I’ve still to perfect the recipe, ergo, I can’t share it here yet. But I promise to share the recipe for the salmon belly one of these days.

Presenting the oven/pan fried chicken!

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Continue reading

008. One month old.

pregnant-cartoonIt’s been ages since anyone said this to me.

Miss, buntis ka ba?” (Miss, are you pregnant?)

Before, I would smile and shake my head–they’re on good days, though. My reactions on a bad day were another story. I would growl ferociously and tell that stranger to leave, just leave. Complete with hysteria, cue in cat fight.

Just kidding.

The worst a random stranger would get from me would a simple, offended, “No, I’m not.” Things, however, are different now. Since I’ve gained some sense of acceptance about the extra flesh surrounding my body, I’ve learned to play along with answers to the world’s most awkward question. And yeah, I’m a pro at this, I kid you not. Today was one of the days that I answered with complete and utter poise, “Ah, oo. One month na.” (Ah, yes. One month already) Cap that with a saccharine smile! The embarrassed person who inquired about the state of my (imagined) pregnancy shifted awkwardly, and offered me a seat in the bus. I could hear a few disapproving whispers from middle-aged mammas, which I can translate roughly to, Who is this young girl, who’s proud of being pregnant and unmarried. She’s probably a querida.

And of course, they’re wrong. I’m not young–well, if you call thirty-one young; I’m not pregnant, just fat. I’m not anybody’s mistress. I don’t even have a boyfriend. It’s weird that I don’t feel even mortally offended, just wryly amused. For one thing, I can’t get a baby, so what is it going to be, Immaculate Conception? It just goes to show that people can be so quick to judge, quick to fabricate stories about people they don’t know at all. And during that time, I was trying to keep a straight face.

And there were two lessons I learned that day:

1. Don’t wear an empire-line blouse if you’re PMS-ing.
2. I really have to do my exercises more.

Image credits here.

006. Dance to the beat of your dreams.

I’ve used a planner for the past few years, and I think I’m happy with the outcome. For this year, I conducted an experiment of sorts. What if I didn’t use a planner? (the one that I’ve used has a money tracker sheet) Suffice to say, it didn’t turn out pretty. It was a costly experiment. I got by in my work by scribbling them on my notepad, but as it turned out, it wasn’t enough. So for 2015, I’ll be going back to a life of order, and got myself a planner, the one I’ve buying for three straight years (2009 and 2010 were DIY planners).

The Belle de Jour Power Planner was introduced to me by a friend from church. She was a busy girl, and the BDJ planner helped her keep track of her tasks. Since it was a bit too late for me to buy one, I made do with the student edition (at that time, I was a full-time student), but I made up my mind to get the (grown up) Belle de Jour Power Planner the following year. I’ve bought one since–except for this year.

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At that time, the Campus BDJ was sold for one semester, and another one was being sold for the following one. I decided to buy one for the second semester, but still bought the grown up version for 2011. Continue reading

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005. Simply irresistible.

Do you have that feeling whenever you read a book–that you feel like you’ve travelled to another place, another time and met new friends?

Am no exception, because I feel that way too! And get this, no passport needed. My sorority sister, another bookworm herself, shared a link in Facebook which, when clicked, contains a list of websites who have free e-books, for everybody’s enjoyment. So, who am I to deprive you to the right of a good read? Nobody, of course.

This list contains over one hundred links to click on, peruse and discover. Best of all, it’s legal! 

Enjoy reading!

004. Literary wish list

At the risk of this sounding like a sponsored post (believe me, it isn’t), I do have a few items in my wish list that are very much connected to my (second to the most) previous post.

Apart from Rilla of Ingleside, my high school teacher gave assigned readings whose authors included Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, and Rupert Brooke, among others–literature that got me hooked on the history and literature of that time. I tried looking for these books when I was doing my undergraduate studies; sadly, I wasn’t able to find or procure any. It isn’t really easy to get one’s hands on books about the First World War, or the Great War, as it was known then. Most of the books I saw were about the Second World War.

When I went to law school, the university I studied in boasted a library that had plenty of books covering any subject, any time period. The only thing I lacked then was time. Nevertheless, I found a book about the poets–Wilfrid Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, and Rupert Brooke (there were many others, but their work stood out–at least for me). Sadly, I had to transfer to another school, and my plans of a Great War literary hunt were shelved.

I have to admit–I have not researched enough, I have not tried hard enough to locate every single book related to that time period. But I am going to try–not because it is the centennial of World War I, but because I want to start digging for more. And there are so many books, poems, authors and poets that I have missed! So many that I do not know where to start. Luckily for me, there’s Tumblr! One Tumblr blog called One Great War was a good resource–there’s so much I still need to know, and I can’t wait to start! One of the books recommended in that blog was Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. The book was a memoir of a young woman who worked as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse). Her brother and fiance went to fight in 1914. By the time the war ended, Brittain’s brother, and fiance were killed.

Works by modern authors like Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong) and Pat Mills (Charley’s War) were also recommended.

At the risk of this entry becoming a full fledged babble, I shall list the books/poetry that I would like to read in random order. Since it’s still my birth month, I’m still accepting gifts. Hahahaha just kidding. Don’t worry, it’s not a long list.

1. The Testament of Youth- Vera Brittain

2. A Farewell To Arms- Ernest Hemingway

3. Birdsong-Sebastian Faulks

4. The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Revised edition, 1997)

5. The Regeneration Trilogy-Pat Barker

6. Charley’s War-Pat Mills (I have learned later on that this work is actually a graphic novel, but I’d still like to have it, nevertheless!)

 

That’s all I have for now, but hopefully, over time, the list will expand!

Till then!

003. Drink it in, drink it up.

In an effort (haha) to liven things up, here’s one sort-of tradition (as far as my previous blogs are concerned) that will be resurrected.

For the past three to four years, I’ve always made a post about the contents of my bag–my make-up bag, in particular. However, that’s just one of the many things. I’ve put a stop to it for the meanwhile for security purposes–becoming a target for a potential mugging isn’t ideal, so we can’t have that. So I’m reviving that sort-of tradition, but for security reasons, haha, the focus will be just on the make up bag.

And here’s the contents of the bag, as pictured below. :)

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1. I’m really happy with Maybelline’s Baby Skin Pore Eraser. It’s true to its word! My friends tell me that I have good skin (awww, shucks), but little do they know, my pores show up too–and not in a nice way, may I add! So, I decided to give this perfection in a tube a try, and it did work wonders. Especially after applying my foundation (see 2). Because of them, I am able to say, “Pores? What pores?”

2. Avon’s Ideal Luminous foundation is another winner. Admittedly, I did get Downton Abbey skin envy. How did Mary get that glow? After extensive (haha) research (thank you, Vogue), I found out their secret: illuminating foundation. Since the producers and the crew made sure that everything was true to the time period.  So, women during the early twentieth century didn’t get to wear much make-up–not even eye liner. So they have to do something to make their faces have a certain radiance. And it’s not just for the evening, it works well too, even in the day!

3. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Usually, I’m terrified of using eye-liner, due to the fear that I might not make it straight and I’ll look like  a mauled panda. On some occasions, however, I venture, and with a few cheats, I was able to manage! Collection 2000’s Extreme 24 Hour Felt Liner contributed to its success. I really should practice on making it better.

4. Lip brush application may be a bit fussy compared to the straight on slicking of the lipstick, but it’s perfectly worth it, especially if a more natural look is desired. I may not be an expert, but I found that it works for me. This handy little tool is never absent from my make-up bag.

5. Four Bourjois Cream Blush in Little Round Pots came my way early this year via my older sister, and I love them! They are velvety smooth and the shades come in naturally. The downside is, it’s not brush friendly, but who needs brushes when you have your fingers, right? I use Sweet Cherry, Healthy Glow and Rose Tender in great frequency–their Nude Velvet not as much, as it tends to look invisible when applied to my cheeks. (NB: Sweet Cherry and Nude Velvet are not pictured above  to avoid product overkill)

6. Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra in Nude Beige was probably my worst purchase–never test a product in poor lighting! It was one shade lighter than my skin. But I can’t afford to waste this power, so I’ve remedied it by using only a very thin layer, and in applying powder on my cheeks, I’ve used my fingers.

7. I usually find it hard to procure the right moisturiser for my skin type (I am combination, by the way). This locally made Facial Moisturizer by Celeteque is a godsend–it’s not too heavy, not too greasy. Plus it absorbs easily.

My Lip Stuff (nos. 8, 9, 10 and 12)- Before I apply lipstick, I put on lip balm–it’s easier to apply lipstick afterwards. For that purpose, I use Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm in Smoothing Cherry. After that, I just choose one of three shades: Avon’s Vitaluscious in Reviving Red (no.12);  Max Factor Max Effect Gloss Cube in No. 10 (no. 8); and Wet n’Wild’s Megaslicks Balm Stain in Mauve. I usually use one shade after the balm, but if I have plenty of time, I usually play with shades–my base is always the Balm Stain, combined with either the Avon or the Wet n’ Wild lippie.

This blog update will not end without giving the lashes some love! Soap and Glory’s Thick&Fast (no.11) gives my lashes that much-needed volume! My lashes are so thin, and looks rather bereft on an awful day.

So ends the comeback post! Please feel free to share what’s inside your make-up bag! :)