Thursday, October 02, 2014

Eastbound Auto Show

After attending Human Nature Cainta's MTO last Saturday (September 27), my dad drove us over to the Cainta Municipal Hall to check out the cars on display at the Eastbound Auto Show.

Okay. Truth is, our sole purpose for going there was to check out how our car turned out. And... Here it is!


We took one look at it and we were floored. Excellent job, Sir Arvee of DWork! The paint job was awesome and the engine bay was absolutely neat-o! Everything looked so CLEAN. And you know me, I love clean. Haha!

I may not look it, but I love cars. I still don't know a lot about them, but I know enough. I think I got it from my dad. He likes buying second hand cars and fixing them up. I don't even know how many cars we've already had.


Our Accord's engine was taken from a Honda Prelude, and of course, with the Prelude being a sports coupe, you can just imagine how fast our Accord can go. The Memet and I have driven it a couple of times before it went in to be repainted and I can tell you that this baby can move. You can floor it and it'll still be asking for more. When running at 100kph, you just need to slightly step on the accelerator and you'd feel the engine respond eagerly. Whew.

I'm glad I now know how to drive and that I have my license. I can't wait to drive this car where there's no speed limit! Haha!



It just occurred to me that I was not able to take a shot of the entire car. I was so excited with how great it turned out that I didn't think about it anymore. Some other time. *grin*

Oh, by the way, I'd like to thank Pink Turbo for featuring our Accord in her blog. Thank you, sis!

There were two other cars in the show that I loved. One of them was the Honda S2000. Who doesn't love a red sports car? Just look at that sweet ride...


The other one was the blue Toyota SR5. As far as I know, there are less than 10 of these in the Philippines. I happen to sort of own one of them. *grin* The Memet got it for me in late 2012. We were fixing it up, but well, the Auto Shop that we entrusted it to just couldn't get anything right. He had the car for almost a year and well, now that we have it, it's still not good to drive. It won't even run. He ended up botching the entire thing (paint, engine, everything) and now, we just want to sell it. Too many bad memories.


I couldn't help but stare at the blue SR5 and wonder why the darned Auto Shop that had our SR5 couldn't make it look as good as this one. *sigh*

Anyway. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

We now have two fast cars in the family. Our red 2008 Toyota Vios (it's fast, I tell you), and our black Honda Accord (1994, I think?), which is sort of mine now because we'll be selling the SR5. Haha!



I wore my favorite weekend get-up to the car show: t-shirt, denim shorts, and a pair of fun flats. My bag's a roomy wonder that can fit just about anything. Haha!

(Black Pinay & Proud T-Shirt from Human Nature; Black Bag from The Memet Shop; Shorts & Flats from a Tiangge)

Segue: My Pinay & Proud shirt was made by Trese (Bagong Payatas Community Ventures Inc.) for Human Nature. Trese is located in Gawad Kalinga Blue Eagle Village, Quezon City. Whenever you buy a shirt made by Trese, you're helping provide sustainable jobs for their community.

That's one of the many things I love about Human Nature. They're truly Pro-Philippines. :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Human Nature MTO

I have been a Human Nature dealer / user since it first started in 2009. But believe it or not, it was my first time attending an MTO (Magalogue Turn Over) event last weekend.

During the MTO, one of the branch owners (Ms. Lindsey) introduced the new products for the October - November Magalogue. Each time she presented a new product, a sample went around the room so that the dealers could touch it, smell it, and just basically get up close and personal with it.


As you can see in the photo above, nobody wanted to sit up front. Haha! Well, there were only a handful of us who attended the last session for the day and I imagine most of them were also shy like me.

Anyway, out of the new products that were discussed, two caught my attention. The first one was the 100% Natural Detoxifying Mask + Scrub. You can use it like a regular scrub, or when you have enough time on your hands (3 to 5 minutes, to be precise), you can use it as a mask.

Image Courtesy of Human Nature

What differentiates it from the other regular scrubs in the market is that it does not contain plastic microbeads. Instead, Human Nature used strawberry seeds and bamboo granules. All natural! If you don't already know, microbeads are extremely dangerous to our environment. You can read more about that environmental issue here.

The other product that caught my attention was the new Acne Defense Solution Gel. As you already know, I'm currently battling acne again and I thought it was rather timely that Human Nature came out with something like this right now.

Just because I have acne problems, doesn't mean I'll resort to piling on chemical laden products on my skin. I'm actually glad that my dermatologist has prohibited me from using Benzoyl Peroxide now (it's drying on my skin and will aggravate my allergies). Sure, it was my HG anti-acne maintenance gel, but it wasn't natural. I was always worrying about what I'd use if or when I get pregnant, and I'm glad that Human Nature came out with a safer alternative.

Image Courtesy of Human Nature

Image Courtesy of Human Nature

Human Nature's Acne Defense Solution Gel primarily contains tea tree oil. The consumer reviews and the clinical test results that were presented (see photos above) seemed promising, so I immediately purchased a bottle after the MTO along with a tube of the 100% Natural Detoxifying Mask + Scrub. I haven't road tested them both yet, because I'd like to give Calmoseptine about 2-3 weeks first, before I move on to other products. You can read about my previous post on Calmoseptine here.

Ever since my skin became extremely sensitive, I've limited myself to scrubbing only once a week. I'll give the mask / scrub a whirl on Friday, which is my scrub day. Haha! I'll let you ladies know how that goes.

If you're also interested in trying out Human Nature products (hey, they're safe for you and the environment!), you can visit their website and order online. Or if you live within Cainta or its vicinity, you can visit my online store on Facebook and leave me a personal message. I ship nationwide too. Haha! *Wink-Wink*

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My First Ever Event Invite!

After blogging for sooo many years, this is the first time that I've ever been invited to an event for bloggers. I would like to thank my good friend Donna of Honey's Haven again for making this possible. Haha!


Blogapalooza 2014 was originally supposed to happen last weekend, but then Typhoon Mario (I like to call it Super Mario) wreaked its havoc in the Philippines. I hope y'all were safe, by the way. So, the event got moved to October 11 (Saturday). It's set to take place in SM Aura in Taguig, from 10am to 9pm.

If you're interested in joining Blogapalooza 2014, head on over to http://blogapalooza.wheninmanila.com/ to register. Businesses and bloggers are welcome to join.

See y'all there!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waging a New Battle Against Pimples

If you've read the post that I made about my Battle Against Acne roughly two years ago, you'd know that I won that battle slowly and surely with the use of Benzac and my other HG (Holy Grail) face products. I was pretty much pimple free since then, with only the occasional pimples during that time of the month. My dark pimple marks also went away and my skin was pretty much as clear as it's ever been. Well, the oiliness was still there (still is), but it's nothing that an oil control film couldn't deal with.

Here's a picture of me taken on my birthday earlier this year, before all hell broke loose on my face.


For some reason, a myriad of allergies came out after I hit 30 (I'll be totally honest and brave and say that I'm already 32 years old). The first time, it manifested on my legs. And for a while, it was all just on my legs, on my arms, or pretty much anywhere on my body. I started using Aveeno bath products this year and it's been pretty much manageable since then. I hardly ever get the itchies anymore.

But just as I got my skin under control, my face decided to act up in late May of this year. I got a horrible allergic reaction that was primarily caused by my sweat (remember the sweltering heat this last summer?). I consulted with a dermatologist and I was given medications and such. My allergy cleared up, but to keep it that way, I had to give up my HG face products. I was also told not to wear any makeup (including lipstick) for about two months. Without the acne maintenance products, my pimples came back with a vengeance. And they sure as heck were visible without the aid of makeup to at least hide them when I step out of the house.

I tried One Earth's Heavy Duty Organic Zit Buster, but it didn't really agree with me. Sure, it dried up my pimples pretty fast, but I was left with peeling skin and dark pimple marks. It also did not help prevent new pimples from popping up. It was as if as soon as one pimple healed, 2 new ones came in its place. You can just imagine the plummet that my self confidence took. Actually, it's still pretty much at an all time low right now.

A friend of mine who's a nurse recommended I try Calmoseptine. She has sensitive skin like me, and she said that she swears by Calmoseptine whenever she gets pimples. According to her, it's effective against acne and it doesn't leave any dark marks.

Yesterday, I was at Watsons and I got myself three sachets of Calmoseptine. Here's the information you'll find on the front and back of the sachet.



I applied some on my face before bed last night. I actually spread a thin layer over my entire face, because aside from the big cystic acne, I also have tiny little ones that look like rashes or allergies of some sort. I applied an extra layer over the big pimples.

When I woke up this morning, well, nothing much had changed. Same face, same number of pimples. So I washed my face and applied the ointment on my entire face again. Here's what I look like right now (Yep, right now):




That's bare-faced me.

You won't really notice the pimples until you look at the sides of my face. The small white mustache on top of my upper lip? I usually get pimples there. Actually, a lot of my pimples come out in the perioral region (around the mouth) of my face. A lot of my pimples are on the jaw line right now, so that's where all the extra layers of Calmoseptine are. Haha! If you wash away the Calmoseptine, you'll see that I have a lot of dark pimple marks. My face is also pretty red because of the clusters of pimples.

So anyway, I've only applied Calmoseptine on my face twice so far, so I can't really tell you if it's working or not. It seems to lessen the redness though, but that's probably because my face turns white with the product. Haha! I'll keep you updated on the progress. Heck, I'll let you know even if there's no progress at all.

Calmoseptine is available in all major drugstores nationwide (Infomercial? LOL!). One 3.5g sachet costs a little over P30 (less than $1), and the ointment is really thick so a little will go a long way. Oh, it doesn't smell very pleasant, but the scent goes away after a minute or two.

I'll be back with an update in about a week... Or two. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Splat!

I want to blog. I really, really do. But mannnnn. I am just overwhelmingly tired.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Just one more day till the weekend.

Monday, September 01, 2014

What to Do When Life Overwhelms You

It's the first day of September and it's also the first time ever that the song title 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' actually applies to my life. I don't know if it's just because I got up on the wrong side of the bed or if everything just built up inside me and now I want to just blow up all of a sudden.

Image courtesy of Google Images

I was sulking just a bit earlier, almost on my way to a solo pity party but then I thought, what's that going to accomplish? You're right. Nada.

So I thought up a list of things to do when everything gets overwhelming and you just want to quit. Here are some of the things that I came up with:

1. Read a Book. I'm a bookworm and I have a ton of books that I have yet to read, so I might as well put a dent on my to-read list. Reading's great (For bookworms, anyway) because it transports you to a different dimension and temporarily takes your mind off your own problems. It's not expensive either. I get my books from Books for Less or I buy e-books from Ebay or Instagram.

2. Watch a Movie. But for the love of God, do not pick a tear-jerker. That's just going to pull you down further into depression. Action movies, romance-comedies, and hilarious movies are great. Personally, I'm very choosy when it comes to comedies. If it's not witty enough (Read: slapstick humour), I just end up getting pissed.

3. Go Shopping. If you've got the dough and bills aren't what's causing your problems (Bills! I hate you!), then by all means, go shop. They don't call it "retail therapy" for nothing. But to make your shopping spree more meaningful, why not buy your loved ones thoughtful gifts too? You'll end up cheering them up as well.

4. Eat. But please, don't gorge on junk food. True, they'll probably make you happy, but then they won't do anything good for your health either. Go for healthy chow that your body will benefit from. Healthy doesn't have to be bland and yucky, you know.

5. Talk. If you've got a family member or a friend that you can turn to, talk about your troubles with them. Sure, they might not be able to help you with your troubles (Eherm, especially financial woes), but unloading by talking will help you feel lighter. Now, if only talking could also help people lose weight...

6. Pray. This is probably one of my tried and tested solutions. There is no one better to turn to than God. He's there when you're lost in bliss and He's there when you're feeling down in the dumps. Trusting Him to help you get through the worst of your troubles will do you good. But don't forget to thank Him in the end. It kinda sucks how some people forget all about Him when everything gets better...

7. Sit Down & Create a To-Do List. Sure, praying's one thing. But how do you expect God to help you if you won't help yourself? Once you've done anything from numbers 1-6, it helps to hunker down and work on your action plan. And when your plan's ready, make it happen.

It might be hard to make anything happen at first, especially if you're caught in the webs of self pity, but if can you get your mind to urge your body to go along, then you're on your way to feeling marginally better.

I was feeling seriously down when I started this post. But now, I don't feel so bad anymore. I feel somewhat lighter (Weighing scale, where are you?). My first action plan was to write, and that's what I did. Now, I gotta get started on the other things I listed here and maybe my mood will have done a 180 before the day's over.

What about you? What are your tried and tested tricks when life gives you more than you can handle?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Overnight Stay at Elegant Star Apartelle

It was early evening on the night before my birthday when The Memet came home from work and told me to pack a bag - we were going to Tagaytay. Because of his busy schedule at work, we usually find out at the very last minute if we'd be able to take an out of town trip. I've gotten used to this routine, so I quickly whipped out our overnight bag and started packing.

We didn't have any specific destinations in mind. On the way to SLEX, we actually contemplated on going to the airport and hopping on a plane to Caticlan. But it was already late and we weren't sure how to get to Boracay from Caticlan at night. Haha!

So we drove to Tagaytay instead. We had dinner on the way up and because we didn't have any hotel reservations, we drove around looking for a place where we could spend the night. We didn't want an expensive hotel or bed and breakfast since it was already around 11pm when we got there. We just really needed a place to crash.

After driving around for a few minutes, we settled on Elegant Star Apartelle. It's a small place, and the regular rate for their standard room was P2,500, no breakfast. Not bad, but The Memet was able to get us a neat-o discount since we weren't going to stay until noon the next day anyway.

Their standard room was small, but it allowed for plenty of room to move around in. It had a queen sized bed, a TV, a small dining table with two chairs, a closet, and a bathroom.



Their bed was comfortable enough, but the blanket was pretty thin. They didn't have a comforter, so we had to adjust the a/c so that we wouldn't freeze. The towels that were on the bed weren't so bad either. They were clean, but just like the blanket, they weren't thick either.

The blue logo on the pillow cases were kinda tacky. It sort of reminded me of hospitals. Haha!


Their TV was the old flat-screen type, but it wasn't a big deal. It had the channel that The Memet wanted, and once we were settled in, we watched some basketball.


The bathroom was small and they didn't have any of the standard toiletries, but then again, it's an apartelle, not a hotel. The rug on the floor outside the shower was a bit dirty though, and the trash can looked too big for the size of the bathroom.

I managed well enough. I just wore my flip flops in the shower. Haha! Oh yeah, the bathroom window sort of still brought in the cold wind from the outside even though it was shut. I think they should consider insulating the bathroom so that their guests don't freeze to death while taking a shower. Or maybe it's a tactic so that their guests wouldn't use up too much water. LOL!

Anyway, our stay at Elegant Star Apartelle was pleasant enough, especially for the price. We might consider staying here again in the future in case we need a place to crash in.


Elegant Star Apartelle
Maharlika East Highway
4120 Tagaytay City, Philippines
0932.860.1243 | 0917.623.9485 | (046) 483.0491
http://www.elegantstarapartelle.com/

Friday, August 29, 2014

JMM Grand Suites = Boat Load of Headache

This blog post is long overdue, but I'm still posting it anyway because I want to share our experience.

February 14, 2014. We were going to participate in the Iglesia Ni Cristo's World Wide Walk for Typhoon Haiyan's victims. The World Wide Walk was to take place on February 15, but we wanted to be "early", so we booked two rooms in JMM Grand Suites on February 14.

I remember we called ahead to let the people over at JMM Grand Suites know that we'll be checking in crazy late. True enough, we arrived close to midnight, because traffic was horrible (Hello, Valentine's Day). But guess what? Nothing was ready for us. Absolutely nothing.

Here's what happened.

We were instructed to look for JMM Grand Birch Tower which was unbelievably difficult to find considering the fact that it was in the vicinity of Robinsons Place Ermita. It wasn't familiar to the people in the area. After going around in circles, we found it and surprise, surprise. They had no parking area / multilevel parking. Their post in Agoda says that they have a car park, but nope, we had to park on the street.

Grand Birch Tower is a building. Not a hotel. So if you want to look for JMM Grand Suites' front desk, you'd have to ask the guards.

The front desk folks weren't very accommodating. Wait, JMM Grand Suites doesn't have a front desk. They have a small room inside one of the floors in Grand Birch Tower. Anyway, it took forever for them to find rooms for us. After a hundred years, we were escorted to our rooms which weren't located inside Grand Birch Tower. We had to carry our luggage across the street to One Adriatico Place and we were taken to two different towers. Yep, our rooms were located in two different towers. And nope, One Adriatico Place isn't a hotel. It's a "condo-tel".

I had booked two rooms for us. One studio room for The Memet and I, and a family room for my in laws. Upon arriving in our tower, it took approximately 30 more minutes before The Memet and I were finally settled in our room.

My in-laws weren't as lucky. The family room that they were supposed to get apparently wasn't available anymore. So after a looooooong while, they were brought back to Grand Birch Tower across the street and were given a small room with one bed. Get this. By in-laws, I mean The Memet's parents, The Memet's sister, and 2 kids. I paid for a family room, but they were given a small room with 1 bed and a tiny bathroom. They didn't get settled in until after 1am.

Had we known that they were going to be given that tiny room, we would've switched rooms. The studio room that we got was big and would've accommodated them better. I don't know why JMM Grand Suites didn't think of that. Anyway, we didn't get to switch rooms anymore because everyone was dead tired and we didn't want to lug our things across the street again.

Here are some of the photos that I was able to take of our studio room:



Sorry about the mess on the bed. The Memet immediately left his mark in the room before I was able to take pictures. I wasn't quick enough. Haha!

The a/c inside the room was wonky. It was ridiculously noisy when set on QUIET COOL (ironic), and since we couldn't sleep with all the racket, we switched it to fan instead. We just left the bedroom door open and cranked up the a/c in the living area so that the cold air would seep into the bedroom. But then, the a/c kept on dying after a few minutes of being on "fan mode".

It was a good thing we found a portable a/c in one of the closets. We used that instead.




The living room and dining / kitchen were okay. 

As you can see, the overall space was rather huge since it was just The Memet and I. My in laws would've slept more comfortably in here. There was even a pull-out cot underneath the bed.



The bathroom was okay, but I wouldn't dream of going in there barefoot. The grouts looked dingy and the shower curtain looked like it had molds on it. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the shower curtain.

Despite all the bad things I wrote here, JMM Grand Suites did have some redeeming factors:

- The WIFI connection in our room was pretty fast
- It's right beside Robinsons Ermita
- It was near the World Wide Walk's finish line

Oh. By the way, check-out took forever.

So, would I stay in JMM Grand Suites again? Hmmm. No way, Jose. In case you're interested though, you can book a room with them through Agoda.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Villa Ibarra in December

Because The Memet and I do not have children yet, we've made it a tradition to stay in a hotel on December 24th of every year. Last year, we went to Villa Ibarra in Tagaytay, because I wanted him to experience the place. My cousin's family and I stayed in Villa Ibarra back in 2012 when she came to visit the Philippines. I blogged about that experience and you can read about it here.

My first experience in Villa Ibarra was awesome, because we had the place practically all to ourselves. My stay there with The Memet would've been just as great had it not been for the noisy family that occupied the room directly above ours. The 2nd floor was made of wooden planks, and the people checked in upstairs didn't seem to do anything else but walk / run around. Their footsteps were so loud and heavy, and they also had screaming children that ran around the entire place almost all afternoon on the day that we arrived. Some of the kids even went as far as to bang on the piano in the reception area. I shudder just remembering that afternoon.

We were glad that the whole shenanigan died down when evening settled. That was when we started to enjoy our stay. Hehe!

We booked the Divine Room for our stay on December 24th of 2013. It was lovely, spacious, and had an awesome view of Taal from it's huge window.



The highlight of our stay was the bathroom. It was big. It had the usual bathroom amenities like a shower, a toilet, bidet, fluffy towels and robes, as well as a jacuzzi. There was also a TV on the wall right in front of the jacuzzi. 

I think we spent a good chunk of the evening just soaking in the jacuzzi until we were all prune-y. Hahaha!



Breakfast fare at Villa Ibarra was still the same experience. It was no breakfast buffet, but the food was okay.



Overall, I still love Villa Ibarra. But I would seriously advice against going there on holidays if you're after some quiet and relaxation. Or maybe you could call ahead and check if there are families with kids checked in on the second floor. OR you can just book one of the rooms on the second floor. Haha!


Villa Ibarra Tagaytay
130 Gen. E. Aguinaldo Highway
Brgy. Maharlika East, Tagaytay City
(63) 915-960-7481 / (63) 929-205-6511
reservations@villaibarra.com


Friday, August 01, 2014

My Travel Bucket Wish List

Hello! *Stretches & wiggles fingers*

This isn't exactly a bucket list, because I'm not sure at all if we can afford to travel to all these places. Ergo, bucket "wish" list. Haha! However, The Memet and I are only in our 30's so I hope that sometime in our lifetime, we'll be able to visit all 10 cities/countries that are on my bucket wish list below.

The Memet and I both love to travel and we've sort of made it a tradition to travel every year on our wedding anniversary. So far, we've only been traveling locally because, gosh, there are so many wonderful places to visit in the Philippines alone! But once we've exhausted almost all the beautiful natural scenery in our country, we'll start spreading our wings for international travel. (I said "almost all" because, really, the Philippines is full of natural wonders.)

So, without further ado (Before you bid me adieu. LOL!), here are the Top 10 countries on my Travel Bucket Wish List, in no particular order:

1. France



2. United Kingdon



3. Italy



4. Ireland



5. Greece



6. Spain



7. Egypt



8. Korea



9. Japan



10. Singapore


***All photos above are not mine. Credit goes to rightful owner. (Image Source: Google Images)

My list actually doesn't stop at 10. I just didn't want this post to go too long. Haha!

If you noticed, majority of the countries on my list are in Europe. I'm thinking that maybe the Memet and I should just save up for a one-time big-time Euro-Trip to save on airfare. Hmmm. Something to think about, really, because I checked out www.airbnb.com and there are A LOT of affordable accommodations in all of the countries on my wishlist. When it gets right down to it, the only "major" thing we'd need to save up for would be our airfare. Nice.

I'm actually quite surprised that I never really browsed through Airbnb before, since I've known about it for quite some time. "Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 192 countries".

I watched this video earlier and I thought I'd share it here because it pretty much sums up what Airbnb is all about.



If you love traveling, are thinking about traveling, or maybe wanting to create your own Travel Bucket Wish List, I would encourage you to sign up with Airbnb. They have listings of accommodations for every budget, which will make planning your next trip less daunting, even for a travel newbie. :)

Click here to sign up for your free account with Airbnb: www.airbnb.com/c/dpaulinogutierrez

Happy traveling! ^_^

#MyAirbnbBucketList

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