Friday, October 31, 2014

My First Bioessence Experience

Bioessence has been around for years, and I honestly don't know why I've never set foot in any of their branches. Okay, I take that back. I used to be afraid of derma clinics because of the horror stories I've heard about people getting bad breakouts after a facial. So even with my oily acne-prone skin, I avoided dermatologists as much as I could. Right now I'm thinking that wasn't a very wise move on my part.

So anyway, I got a privilege pass from the Bioessence booth at the recent Blogapalooza event and I would've completely forgotten about it (hello, hectic schedule!) if someone from Bioessence hadn't sent me a reminder. Thank you, thank you for the reminder!

The privilege pass entitled the holder to either a facial or a back massage, and whichever one you chose was absolutely free. I'm forever stressed, so I scheduled myself for a back massage last Tuesday at their Sta. Lucia East branch.

I thought I'd hit two birds with one stone and consult with one of their dermatologists regarding my horrendous breakout as well. The dermatologist took one look at my face and knew that my skin was sensitive. They suggested an oxygen facial and I went with it.

I was led to a small room where I was to have my back massage and my facial. The back massage was dry, and the blouse I was wearing was wrinkle proof, so I didn't have to strip down.

I'll cut to the chase and say that my back massage was marvelous! The masseuse's pressure was just right and each stroke took my stress level a notch lower. I'm the ticklish sort, and not once did I feel like struggling away from the masseuse's hands. Haha! I actually wished that the massage went on forever. However, good things must come to an end.

After my massage, they gave me a few minutes of quiet time (zzzz...) before I was prepped for my facial.

My facial took approximately 2 hours. Haha! There were so much gunk and oil deposits to remove from my face. I was in pain, but I also felt bad for the girl who did my facial because I'm sure my face gave her quite a challenge.


Sorry for the grainy photo. I only had my cellphone with me and the room was pretty dark when the attendant left me for a few minutes to allow the mask to settle on my face. Hehe!

After my long and excruciating facial, one of the dermatologists, Dr. Veron, was waiting for me. She talked to me about how I should properly care for my skin. I'm to avoid seafood, chicken, and eggs for the mean time. She told me to avoid stress as well and to get enough sleep (sleep's tough 'coz of my insomnia).

Dr. Veron also suggested I get an Acne Control Kit, so I did. I'm easy like that. Haha!


Overall, I'd say I'm very happy with the way I was treated at Bioessence in Sta. Lucia. Their staff was attentive and their dermatologists were competent. They also appeared to genuinely care for my skin's condition. Dra. Veron swore that my skin would visibly improve in a week if I stuck to the regimen that she suggested.

I'm going back for a follow-up check-up next week, and I'm hoping that my skin would've already shown some improvement by then. Actually, I'm already starting to see some improvement, but I'll save that for a different post. *wink*

Here's Bioessence's website, in case you'd like to know more about them: http://bioessence.ph/. Their website's very helpful because it has information on the services they provide. You can also find a list of all their branches there.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Work-At-Home Weekend Expo 2014

Last Saturday, October 25, I braved the heavy morning traffic from Rizal to Makati and arrived 30 minutes after the start of the first talk that I wanted to attended. I still went in anyway and I'm glad I did, because I still learned several important things during the last fifteen minutes of 'Business Ideation: Profitable Business Ideas' by Jeff Cua.

Before I go on and on about my experience at this year's WAH Weekend Expo, let me just give you an overview:


You can visit this link for a list of all the topics that were discussed by the many inspiring speakers that day.

As for me, here are the talks that I decided to attend that day, as well as some of my key takeaways:

Business Ideation: Profitable Business Ideas by Jeff Cua

In the 15 short minutes that I was there, I learned that it is important to observe. One must raise his or her antenna in order to learn about awesome business opportunities. I also found out that the business page on local newspapers is a great place to look. (Note to self: Start regularly buying newspapers) Mr. Cua also presented a list of the most profitable business these days. Obviously, food and retail were included in the list.

How to Get (And Keep!) Your Freelance Writing Jobs by Tina Rodriguez 

I personally prefer editing and proofreading over writing, but Ms. Rodriguez's talk inspired me to get back to writing. I love how she emphasized the importance of just going for it whenever you think you're qualified for a writing job. Being brave is key in getting the much-needed opportunities in writing. Without courage, you won't go places.

***I actually took photos of Ms. Rodriguez while she was presenting, but I can't get a copy because it's in my Canon D10 and it's acting up right now. I can't retrieve the photos. Such a shame, because Ms. Rodriguez was very lively, entertaining, and inspiring. I like to think that some of the photos I took were able to capture that.

Money Smarts: Beginner Level Investing and Personal Finance by Fitz Villafuerte

This was one of the talks that I loved to bits. I never would've thought that a talk on investments and money could be so entertaining and so easy to understand. Mr. Villafuerte shared a lot of his experiences and true to life examples and it helped pave the way for a clearer understanding of what to do to gain financial freedom. I loved his talk so much, that I went and bought his book afterwards. Haha! I wish I  had free time right now so that I can finally finish reading it, because some of my friends are already lining up to borrow it. Haha!


My copy has a dedication. Cool, eh? If you want to get your own copy, you can visit http://fitzvillafuerte.com/.

Retailing Business: Branding and Word of Mouth from C2C by Bam Besa

This talk was pretty helpful, because I have a small online shop on Facebook. One of the few things that I learned from Ms. Besa was the importance of keeping your returning customers happy and always saying 'thank you'.



Be a Photo Editor: Basic Photo Editing and Photography Jobs by Kimberley Timbol-Reyes

I've been an amateur photographer for the longest time, and I love taking photos so I thought I'd attend this talk. Some of the editing tips and tricks that they taught us were great, but I wish they had more time to show us the ropes properly. But then again, the time slot given to Ms. Timbol-Reyes was only 45 minutes, and well, photography (especially editing) needs more than 45 minutes. Hehe! In the short time that they were there though, I did learn quite a lot.


Aside from all the enriching topics that were available for the attendees, there was also a bazaar that featured home-based businesses. There were a lot of booths for mommies and babies, crafting, and there were also booths where work from home gals could look for jobs. Of course, there was a lot of food.

Here are some pictures from the booths that caught my eye:

1. Artist Madhouse

I tried my hand at some art by drawing 10-year old me on a finger puppet. I'm not sure I succeeded, but it was fun. Haha!

They have an upcoming workshop on Expressive Art Meditation on Nov. 8. It's going to be held in Antipolo which is so close to where I live. I badly want to attend, but I just found out that I have something scheduled on that day.

If you're interested, you can check out their website: http://artistmadhouse.com/. They have other upcoming workshops too, so don't forget to check out the schedules.


2. Bebeng's Kitchen


What initially attracted me to this booth was the pretty set-up. It doesn't have to be pink. As long as it's pretty, you've got  me. Haha! I got a bottle of their Chili Garlic Sauce for The Memet and, well, we both loved it! And I'm a sucker for glass jars/bottles, so it was like hitting two birds with one stone for me. Haha!

You should definitely check out their products. Here's their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BebengsKitchen.

3. Paper & Bows


This here was was another pretty booth. The 3D letters were what drew me in first, but then they also had all these cute paper products. Do check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paperandbows.

4. Photomark


Of course, what event doesn't have a photo booth these days? I had a lot of fun at Photomark's photo booth. The photographer was friendly (Hi sis!) and she was able to convince mo to pose for photos. The guy who did the editing (Hi kuya!) was friendly too, so I ended up getting 4 prints. Hahaha!

You can check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PhotoMarkPhilippines. They already uploaded the pictures from the weekend expo. :)

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Before I end this post, I'd like to thank the Manila Workshops team and the WAHMderful Life Community for coming up with such a great event. I feel so much more inspired to continue working from home and I have a feeling that I'll have a solid support group when The Memet and I finally get our little bundle of joy.

Thank you, and I'm looking forward to attending more of your events! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beat Stress Naturally with Feel Good Lactium

I haven't gotten much rest and have been lacking sleep for a couple of days now and it's starting to take its toll on me. I woke up with a horrible headache this morning and I'm now nursing a bad cold. To sum it up, I'm stressed and this is my body's way of telling me that I need to reduce my stress level.

While a healthy dose of rest will definitely do wonders in my case, let's just face the facts here. Not everyone can afford to just check-out and chill when it's needed. I'm lucky I only had one appointment today and I was able to easily reschedule it to tomorrow. But I can't discount the fact that I still have chores and online duties to fulfill (the life of a freelancer).

We must remember though (Yes, this is a note to self too...) that too much stress isn't good for anyone. There is a long list of all the negative things that it can do to your health. Check out this link for more information on stress' warning signs and symptoms.

So, what are things that we can do to reduce our stress?

1. Live a healthy lifestyle. Let's face it. Stress is a part of everyone's lives. One way to keep it at a manageable level is by living a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy and exercise regularly.

2. Think happy thoughts. When you start to feel overwhelmed by everything that's going on around you, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Think happy, positive thoughts. My personal happy thought and happy place is the beach. There's nothing like the sound of the gentle lap of the waves to help quiet down my mind. The smell of the ocean relaxes me too!

3. Take breaks! Okay. This is probably something that I forgot the last couple of days. I'm kicking myself right now. Haha! Breaks are important, because when you've been working on something for too long, your brain just doesn't function as effectively anymore. Have you ever noticed how ideas seem to come quickly after you step away from your desk for a while? That works for me, especially when I'm writing or editing. So believe me, two (or three!) fifteen minute breaks will help you a lot.

4. Don't bite off more than you can chew. This is a personal reminder for me too. Keep a calendar or a planner and avoid scheduling too many things too closely together. Remember to pencil in some breathing time too!

5. Get ample sleep. This is one of my problems right now. I have insomnia so even though I'm in bed early, I just can't sleep. It sure didn't help me with my current workload, and instead of just enjoying my social activities, I ended up becoming tired too easily. If you don't have insomnia, good for you! Make sure you get enough sleep to better manage your stress level.

Aside from the five tips I mentioned above, there's something else you can do to help manage your stress: take an anti-stress supplement. Yes, there's one out in the market now and it's called Feel Good Lactium. I found out about it through the recent Blogapalooza.

Photo Courtesy of Feel Good Lactium's Facebook Page

Feel Good Lactium is a natural food supplement made of milk protein hydrolysate that reduces stress. It's 100% safe and has zero side effects. It's also safe for lactose intolerant folks! (Yey!)

You're supposed to take the capsule 30 minutes to an hour before any stressful event, but if you don't know when that's going to happen, just take a capsule before bedtime every day.

You can watch this video if you'd like to find out more about this stress-beater:




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thoroughly Spoiled by Discovery Shores Boracay

Our wedding anniversary celebration was a bit late this year. Wait, okay. It wasn't just a bit late. It was really late. Haha! To make up for it, The Memet and I decided to do our annual trip in style. We looked around at deals all over the internet, and my eyes fell on Discovery Shores' LOVESTRUCK Package.

The package included:

- One 60-minute Terra's Touch massage for two at Terra Wellness Spa
- One candle-lit set dinner for two with a bottle of wine at Indigo Restaurant
- Honeymoon set-up with a basket of fruits
- Honeymoon souvenir on departure

- Daily buffet breakfast
- Complimentary en-suite foot was upon arrival
- Complimentary refreshments and welcome snack tray in the room upon arrival
- Welcome amenities, including bag and slippers, in the room
- Daily complimentary two bottles of water
- Special turn down amenities
- Complimentary wireless internet access
- Satellite cable TV, in-room safe, iPod dock, coffee/tea-making facility, and mini-bar (mini-bar consumption is on personal account)
- Complimentary use of luxurious pool, state of the art gym, and entertainment room
- Complimentary snack station at the poolside (10am-4pm)
- Complimentary daily kids activities at Kids Room every 4pm
- Complimentary use of kayaks (subject to availability)
- Complimentary shuttle service from the resort to any destination between Station 1 and Station 3 (subject to availability)
- Butler service at the beach front
- Round trip land and boat transfers from Caticlan Airport during check in and check out dates

The list above was what was sent to me via e-mail when I confirmed that I wanted to reserve a 3-night stay with them. As you can see, there were a lot of perks, so I was sold. Haha!

I made the payment, booked our flights, and before I knew it, we were on our way to Boracay. Woot!

Everything about this trip was perfect. The taxi that we rode to the airport was great, our Cebu Pacific flight to Caticlan was on time, everything!

We took our sweet time getting off the plane when we got to Caticlan. See? We were the last passengers off the plane. Haha!


We were used to the hotel's representative waiting outside the airport. Sometimes, they even made us wait. Little did we know that the Discovery Shores rep was already waiting for us near the luggage carousel. We felt like we were whisked away to our shuttle. Haha!

Once in the shuttle, the driver introduced himself to us and then we were offered candies. We had the shuttle to ourselves. After a few minutes, we were being ushered into the boat that would bring us to Boracay island. Again, we had the boat to ourselves. How awesome is that!


After alighting from the boat, we were once again ushered into a shuttle. This time, we were driven to the hotel. As early as the airport transfers, we were already more than impressed.

At the hotel, we were greeted by courteous hotel staff and given something to drink. We got there really early. Like 8am early. Standard check-in time was 2pm, and prior to the trip, I asked if we could leave the luggage with the hotel's front desk while we just whiled our time away at the beach front. The hotel agreed, so I was expecting just that. But after checking in, we were told that our room was ready, so we were taken to our room right away. Yey!

Our room was a Junior Suite and it was marvelous. It didn't fail to impress.









We got a free tube of VMV sunblock (perfect for my sensitive skin)! And the jars of cookies and dried mangoes were refilled daily! I think it's safe to say that even without leaving our room, we didn't go hungry.

Look at how spacious that room is!

Sorry for the messy bed in the photo. I tell you, that has got to be the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in.

Anyway, back to our arrival. After we were nicely settled in, somebody rang our bell and came in for our complimentary foot wash.


I was expecting just that - a foot wash. But well, we actually got a foot scrub and a very nice massage. Hihi!

We were too tired to go out and do anything, so we slept the morning away and just ordered through room service when we woke up again at 2pm. This was what we got:


Okay. I'm getting hungry again just looking at that spread. Haha!

Perfect for Chilling Out

When the sun wasn't shining too bright anymore, we went out to explore a little. To be honest, we didn't really do much of anything on our 4-day stay in Boracay. We just ate... walked around on the beach, hung out by the pool, and mastered the art of doing nothing.

The butlers at the beach front were wonderful. They made sure to organize the things that we left behind on the beach chairs whenever we went to take a dip, they brought towels to us, opened the beach umbrellas for us, and brought us cold glasses of water when we looked like we needed it.

My skin reacted not so nicely to the salt water (my allergies were raging when we were in Boracay), and imagine my relief when a butler brought over a cold glass of water to me. I didn't even ask for one. I gladly rubbed the cold glass of water to my burning skin.

The pool staff were just as attentive. Actually, everyone was very attentive.



Buffet Breakfast



There were always a lot of food options at the daily buffet breakfast. They served breakfast until 10am, which was great. The Memet and I made a habit of coming out of the room at around 9:30am, so that we'd be having brunch instead (Thrift mode: ON). Haha!

Bed-Time Surprise

On our first night there, we had dinner at one of the beach-side grills in Station 2. We had a pleasant walk back, and we had an even more pleasant surprise when we entered our room.


The first night was the grandest surprise with the rose petals and everything. But every night before bed time, we got a special turn-down treat and a card with a cute quote. How sweet!

Free Massage at Terra Wellness Spa

I wasn't able to get any photos at the spa, but let me just say that the experience was heavenly. Their services weren't exactly budget friendly, but thanks to the package that I got, the Memet and I were able to get a free one hour massage!

Their spa was wickedly relaxing and their masseuse were extremely professional. They weren't the kind to smirk at clients who got free massages and they had magic hands. Haha! We felt completely at ease with them and left the spa feeling wonderfully light and relaxed.

Free Candle-Lit Dinner at Indigo Restaurant

Another freebie was the candle-lit dinner at Discovery Shores' Indigo Restaurant. Prior to our dinner, I checked out the menu and gawked at the prices. They were expensive. Well, duh. Haha! But when we got there after our massage, we were blown away by how friendly everyone was.











We were served a five-course meal, and by the time dessert was brought over, we barely had room in our tummies! All the dishes were superb! We actually felt guilty that we couldn't finish all our food. We were that full.

Before we called it a night, we were approached by our waitress and given this little token:



It was a box of chocolates! We were too full already, so I put it in the fridge back in our room. I ate it the next day. Haha! And may I just say that they, too, were heavenly?

Seriously though, Discovery Shores Boracay gave us the pampering that we weren't expecting at all. Sure, we paid quite a hefty amount (our wallets were crying), but the expense was more than worth it. After our house is built and we have saved up enough for another grand vacation, we're definitely going to visit the Discovery Leisure Company's other hotels. Club Paradise, perhaps?

If you're going on your honeymoon or maybe looking to celebrate a milestone in your marriage, Discovery Hotels will make it worth your while.

Monday, October 20, 2014

DPOP's 1st Professional Blogging Summit

It looks like my activities as a full-fledged blogger all kicked off in the last quarter of this year, all thanks to my good friend Donna of Honey's Haven. She was the one who all but dragged me to start attending these events. Haha! And I'm glad that she did, because I'm starting to learn a lot of helpful things.



DPOP or Digital Pop had its first ever Professional Blogging Summit last Saturday, October 18, at A.Venue Mall in Makati. I feel blessed to have been part of it. DPOP is the brain-child of Janette Toral and Jeoff Solas, two of the most influential people in the world of bloggers.

The venue was perfect. It lent a casual air to the event, so it helped make it easier to be casual with the other participants. :)





The guest speakers that day were Azrael Coladilla, Ross del Rosario, JayL Aquino, Seph Cham, Jeoff Solas, and Sai Montes.







I wasn't able to take a whole lot of photos of the speakers, because my seat didn't have the best view in the house (i.e. small me, big guy in front of me). Hehe! Next time, I'm definitely sitting up front.

So. Let me share with you some of the key "take-aways" that I learned from the speakers that day:

1. Collaborate with Other Bloggers. I don't know why I never thought of this. Well, maybe one of the biggest reasons is that I'm a very shy person. Haha! But yes, it makes sense. Not only does it make projects a whole lot more fun. It also makes it easier to get invites. Time to come out of my shell! Who wants to collab with me? XD

2. Be Visible. Again, it makes sense. (That's why the speakers were invited. Because they're the SMEs. Hehe!) It's easier to blog about the latest happenings, the latest trends, the latest food joints, if you're out there. I must make a mental note to always attend bazaars and such. I'm not gonna get anywhere if I'm always holed up at home. Haha!

3. Take Good Quality Photos. Lots of people are very visual. I actually know a couple of people who only look at the pictures in books and magazines. I'm serious. you probably know a couple too! So anyway, yes, it's important to take good quality photos. I'm definitely going to attend basic photography workshops now!

4. Do Your Homework. There is nothing worse than showing up for events without knowing at least a little of your host's background. It's essential to find out what they're about, because getting invited to events is like getting invited to their home. Knowledge is power.

5. Get to Know the PR People Who Send You Invites. This here is very important. It's one of the keys to getting repeat invites. Again, makes sense. Right?

Those were just five of the many helpful tips that the speakers shared with us during the summit. I can't wait to practice everything that I learned.

Thank you so much to DPOP for coming up with the Professional Blogging Summit. Because of you and the speakers, I'm now an even more inspired blogger. And thank you too, because I met new blogger friends at your event. :)


Also, thanks to Liberating Jepoy, A. Venue Mall, Island Rose, ProFriends, and Salad Box for making the event possible.

Well, what are you waiting for? Let's get blogging!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sample Room + Burt's Bees = ♥

It seems I still have a hangover from my Blogapalooza 2014 experience. Haha!

I always love it when I receive packages - especially those that I didn't have to pay for. LOL! So, thank you so much, Sample Room for sending me a parcel of goodies from Burt's Bees. Truth be told, I didn't really expect to win anything when I posted my photos from your booth at the Blogapalooza event last weekend. But, boy, was I thrilled when I saw you post this on Instagram:

Image Courtesy of Sample Room's IG Account: @SampleRoomPH

In my excitement, I quickly whipped out my camera and took photos of the items I found inside the parcel. I haven't tried the products yet (I just got them an hour ago. LOL), so the only thing I can say about them right now is that I love the packaging!

Here are some of the photos that I took. My turtle photobombed some of them. Haha!



The tote bag is totally adorable!

Thanks, Sample Room Team! You're the sweetest!

My skin type is combination / sensitive / acne prone. Yeah, my life's complicated. LOL. Since the weather's starting to cool down some, I'm expecting my skin to be drier than usual (while of course managing to still be oily), so Burt's Bees' Intense Hydration products couldn't have come at a better time. I'll do a patch test soon (wish me luck!) and will give you ladies an update in another blog post.

In the mean time, many thanks again, Sample Room and Burt's Bees! You really made my day. ♥


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