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1.29.2016

Big Necklaces Can Make a Statement.

Among the biggest trends in fashion today is the "statement" necklace. These necklaces are given that name because they tend to be large, eye-catching, and make a true statement about the wearer's fashion choices and personality.

There are several different varieties of statement necklaces that are available for purchase in most stores and boutiques today. One of the more expensive options may be a necklace that includes actual gemstones. With these necklaces, a single, large gem hanging as a pendant can make a bold statement alone. Other options in this style can include necklaces made up of a great many smaller stones. These necklaces may feature stones arranged in an elaborate pattern.
Photo credit: Glamour.
A second bold option comes in the form of large, elaborate necklaces that feature natural-looking items. Some popular statement necklaces are made with glass, plastic, or other materials that are formed into the shape of flowers, butterflies, or other types of plants or animals. These necklaces are geared toward being worn with both formal and informal clothing, and tend to be a little less expensive than gemstone necklaces.

Tribal necklaces can also make a huge statement for the wearer, and are available for both women and men. These necklaces range in style vastly, depending on where you buy them and what type of necklace you may be looking for. Some feature long, oval-shaped stones surrounded by beading. Others mimic the style of regular statement necklaces, with large and small stones scattered throughout in a big pattern. While other statement necklaces are elaborate, they are not generally as brightly colored as those patterned after the jewelry worn by members of native tribes.

Finally, statement necklaces can come in the form of plentiful beads. These necklaces are available in a wide range of colors, and they consist of many different strands of beads fused together to form one large necklace. This style is popular in many different parts of the country among women from all walks of life due to its modern, yet classic look.

Making a statement is not hard, especially if you find the right type of jewelry. The catch with statement necklaces is to choose pieces individually. Don't overwhelm your body with too many large jewelry pieces, or with clothing featuring too many patterns. Keep it simple and let your chosen jewelry truly shine.


1.28.2016

Top Accessories for Improving Your Home’s Décor.

The way your home looks is probably pretty important to you. It’s not just about what guests think when they enter your home either. You don’t want to live in a place that’s not as nice as it could be with some minor upgrades, do you?

While most homeowners want a nice place to live, most simply don’t know how to achieve the look that they’re going for. Believe it or not, picking appropriate and exciting accessories is one of the biggest problems many people face.

Use this guide to help you spruce up your home without spending tons of money on new furniture, replacing draperies or painting the walls. You might be surprised at how great your space looks with just a few new additions.
What a difference a fish tank makes.
Improve Your Lighting
Your lighting makes a huge difference in a space, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is one of the first things we would tell you to improve. Without proper lighting you won’t even be able to see the pieces of furniture and art that you’re using in your home.

To improve your overall lighting, consider things like backlighting plants and even your walls. Small touches like this can really help. Bigger fixtures that sit on the floor can also give your home more visual appeal.

Make sure you update the lighting around your home designed for tasks as well. Task lighting, like lamps, will play a major role in how functional your home is.

Add a Fish Tank
You’ve probably heard that watching fish can be incredibly relaxing, but you may not have thought about fish as home décor before. While you’ll have to feed them and clean the tanks once in a while, Biorb fish tanks can look really great in almost any space.

Try adding a fish tank to your bedroom, living room, den or your office. You just might find yourself more relaxed and comfortable in your own home too.

Buy Some Art 
Whether you’re going to splurge on art from a world-renowned gallery or you’re going to buy prints online, art can make a dramatic difference in how your home looks and feels. From adding color to simply giving the eye something to focus on, a home without art really isn’t a finished home.

Buy art that you love and work around that. That’s the best method for most people.


1.25.2016

Pucker Up! | Tony Moly Kiss Lover Lip Lux Glow Gloss.

I usually have a hard time choosing which makeup to bring whenever I go on a trip, but for last year's Seoul Searching trip, I made it a point to pack just a few makeup items. And it's not because I was trying to maximize luggage space. I just wanted needed a reason for me to buy new makeup whilst I was there. Haha!

Well, I did bring along these lip glosses from Tony Moly because I wanted my husband to see how much I appreciate his gifts. Yes, he bought these for me a few months back, and I've been using them from time to time - I just never had the chance to blog about it.
Tony Moly Kiss Lover Lip Lux Glow Gloss.
The Tony Moly Kiss Lover Lip Lux Glow Gloss line was launched towards the end of 2014, with eight different shades in the collection. The ones that I have are #3 Dolly Pink and #5 May Pink.
Directions for use written in English.
Shade number indicated at the bottom.
I love this product's packaging - simple yet very classy. The bottle is actually see-through, so it's easy to tell if you're running on empty and need to buy a new one.
Simple and classy.
Unlike the usual doe-foot applicator, the Lip Lux Glow Gloss has a rounded sponge tip that kinda looks like a cotton bud. My son tells me it looks like a platypus tail. (Where's Perry?!)

The lip gloss itself is very easy to apply and glides on your lips like a dream. It has a lightweight formula that doesn't feel sticky and doesn't leave your lips with an icky feel. It moisturizes the lips quite well, which is why I wore these almost on a daily basis while I was in Korea. Having experienced below freezing temperature first-hand made me realize why most Korean girls wear lip glosses or lip tints and not matte lipsticks especially during winter.

Now here's how the glosses look like up close. #3 Dolly Pink, which looks very pigmented, is actually a sheer shade of pink.
#3 Dolly Pink.
#5 May Pink is a warmer shade of fuchsia pink. 
#5 May Pink.
Here's how they look like when swatched.
#3 Dolly Pink on the left, #5 May Pink on the right.
And when worn.
#3 Dolly Pink.
Dolly Pink on my lips.
I love the glassy finish of these glosses, and how both shades make my lips look healthy and glowing.
#4 May Pink.
May Pink on my lips.
It was a good decision on my part to toss the matte lippies aside and bring the Lip Lux Glow Gloss to Korea instead. These babies really saved my lips from drying and chapping!

What I love:
- Classy packaging.
- Easy to apply.
- Non-sticky.
- Does not feel heavy on the lips.
- The mild, fruity scent.
- Decent staying power.
- The color and the glassy finish.
- Moisturizes the lips.

What you might not like:
- If you're planning to use Dolly Pink on its own, you might find the pigmentation a bit sheer. But if you're aiming for the natural, no-makeup look, this shade will work just fine. :)

The Tony Moly Kiss Lover Lip Lux Glow Gloss sells for 9800 won a pop. In the Philippines, they're priced at Php 598 each.


1.23.2016

Spotlight | Human Heart Nature Berry Bliss Natural Body Butter.

As I was browsing through my blog posts from the previous year, I realized how bad my blogger burnout had been. It was so bad that the last time I did a product review was around this time in September. Maaan, that's like - four months ago! I hope I don't suffer from burnout once again. Otherwise, it might take me a year or so to recover. Just kidding. :)

Anyway, last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend Human Heart Nature's Magalogue Turnover (their first for the year) and witness the unveiling of their new skincare products. I also had the privilege to get first dibs on two of the products that were launched that day, thanks to my good friend Elaine, Branch Operator of the Laguna Concept Store.
Still feels like Christmas. :)
I'll tell you about my experience with the Strawberry Exfoliating Bar in a different post so for now, let me just focus on the Berry Bliss Natural Body Butter.
Berry Bliss Natural Body Butter.
I am beyond thrilled to have received - and used - this product because for one, it smells amazing. It's no secret that I have a thing for strawberry-scented products, and this one tickles my olfactory nerves spot on. It reeks of strawberry - though not cloyingly sweet - with a scent that lingers on the skin for hours.
Product details at the back of the tube.
It also has the right consistency - neither too thick nor too runny, which makes it a breeze to apply and allows for easier skin absorption. It does not feel sticky or greasy, and doesn't leave the skin with a heavy feel.
Swatching the Berry Bliss Body Butter...
Plus, it's made with all-natural ingredients just the way Human Heart Nature products should be. This Natural Body Butter is enriched with cocoa butter and aloe vera to intensively moisturize and soften the skin. It also contains sunflower oil, avocado oil, and soybean oil to make the skin glowing, and it's also packed with antioxidants to keep the skin looking naturally healthy.
Applying it liberally on my skin! 
Had this product been launched earlier (say, last December), I would have brought it all the way to Seoul. South Korea's winter weather was so cold and harsh, which made my skin dry and flaky. I had to apply lotion several times a day just to keep my skin moisturized. Next time I spend the holidays in Korea, I will make sure to bring a tube or two of this Natural Body Butter along. Heck, I'll bring this even if it's spring or autumn! :)

What I love:
- The scent!
- Consistency is just right.
- Keeps the skin soft, smooth, and healthy-looking.
- Made with natural ingredients.
- Contains no harmful chemicals.
- Cruelty-free.
- Proudly Philippine-made.

What you might not like:
- Be wary if you're allergic to soy as this product contains soybean oil.

The Berry Bliss Natural Body Butter comes in one size only (200 grams) and sells for Php 299.75. This product is available at the Human Heart Nature website, and at Human Heart Nature branches nationwide.

1.17.2016

Seoul Searching | Mad about Myeongdong.

Ahhh, Myeongdong - Seoul's shopping haven, the mecca of makeup lovers, and now one of my favorite places in the world. I went to Myeongdong twice during my two-week stay in South Korea, unaccompanied on both instances.
Walking along the streets of Myeongdong - my favorite exercise. Lol!
On my first shopping trip, I came home with seven (or was that eight?) shopping bags, much to the horror of my husband. On my second shopping trip, my husband was practically begging our son to accompany me because 'delikado iwanan si Mommy sa Myeongdong, ang daming binibili pag nag-iisa,' he said. (It's big trouble if Mommy goes to Myeongdong alone because she spends a lot!) But Yue just wouldn't budge. The odds were in my favor. Haha!

Anyway, allow me to walk you through the streets of Myeongdong and let me show you what to see, buy, and eat while you're there. :)
Let the shopping begin!
Myeongdong, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

1.15.2016

Seoul Searching | Nami Island.

After visiting Petite France, we boarded the 3:50 pm ride of the Gapyeong Tour Bus using the same tour ticket that we purchased earlier. About thirty minutes later, the bus took a stop at the Nami Ferry Terminal for those who will visit Nami Island, and to pick up passengers for its next destination, the Garden of the Morning Calm.
Nami Immigration (aka Ferry Terminal).
Tickets to Nami Island are purchased at the ferry terminal, otherwise known as the 'Nami Immigration'. Regular rate is 10000 Korean won, but foreigners can avail of the discounted rate at 8000 Korean won. Kids between 3-13 years old have a special rate of 4000 Korean won. Rates include taxes and the round-trip ferry fare.
The ferry.
From the immigration area, we took a short walk to the Gapyeong Wharf and waited for the ferry to arrive. If you're a bit more adventurous, there is another way to get to Nami Island - via Zip Line. We didn't consider this option, though. Haha!
Yue's first ferry ride! :)
After a brief ride on the ferry, here we are, basking in the beauty of Nami Island. :)
Nami, finally!
Lots and lots of pictures after the jump! :)

1.14.2016

Seoul Searching | Petite France.

Contrary to what we had planned, we weren't able to set out early for our trip to Petite France. We woke up pretty late - around 10 am, I reckon - and it sort of took me forever to get dressed and put my makeup on. I was feeling pretty sluggish when I woke up on our first morning in Seoul; I guess my body was still feeling the effects of the very turbulent plane ride from the previous day. Thankfully, my husband took over the chore of getting Yue dressed while I did my makeup.

By 11:30 am, all three of us were good to go. But first, breakfast at the nearest E-mart. Well, brunch, actually.
You can never go wrong with McDonald's. 
Yue opted for good ol' Chicken Nuggets and french fries at McDonald's, while my husband and I each had a serving of tonkatsu and omurice. This meal costs 8000 Korean won, fairly-priced if I may say, since the servings are huge and the food tasted great. I wasn't able to finish my meal though, because my stomach was still feeling a bit queasy.
Tonkatsu and omurice.
To relieve my nausea, I took a bottle of Bengdelong solution which I bought from the E-mart pharmacy (think Watson's or Boots or CVS). I asked the pharmacist if they have something for 'meolmi' (motion sickness) and she gave me this 30 mL bottle with 'Bengdelong solution' written on it in English. Each bottle costs 500 won. This stuff is wickedly effective, I tell you. I was feeling good after thirty minutes of taking it. :)
Pan Cold on the left (for colds and cough) and Bengdelong Solution on the right (for motion sickness).
After our tummy-fill, we made our way to Gapyeong Terminal to catch the 1:30 pm ride of the Gapyeong Tour Bus.
The Gapyeong Tour Bus.
The tour course of this shuttle bus covers thirteen areas, including Petite France, Nami Island, and the Garden of the Morning Calm. Passengers can get on and off the circulating course with just one ticket. Each ticket costs 6000 Korean won for adults and 4000 Korean won for kids and teenagers. It took us about an hour to get to Petite France, and when we got there...
Petite France!
Pictures galore!

1.13.2016

Seoul Searching | Hello, Land of the Morning Calm!

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm ba-aaaaack!
And by that I mean I'm back to blogging, and I'm back in the Philippines with a renewed energy, lots of happy memories, and so many stories to tell.  Let me begin the series - my #SeoulSearching, as I would hashtag it on my Instagram and Facebook page - from the day we left the Philippines.

On the afternoon of December 19, 2015, despite the delay in boarding, the crazy runway traffic, and amidst the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Nona, our flight pushed through. Our airlines of choice was of course, the flag carrier - Philippine Airlines.
Fly PAL. :)
That flight, however, was the most turbulent I have ever experienced in my entire life. And I hold the bad weather entirely liable for that. I felt sick just moments after the plane took off, and the 4-hour flight to the Land of the Morning Calm felt like an eternity. If anything, I'm just glad that I was the one feeling unwell and not my son. (Yue has a bad case of motion sickness, which surprisingly disappears whenever we go abroad. Haha!)
Preparing for take-off. :)
We arrived at the Incheon International Airport around 7:40 PM KST, and took a shuttle train to get to the Immigration area. The airport was buzzing with tourists when we arrived at the Immigration, and we stood in line for about ten minutes or so for the mandatory biometric screening. After having my fingerprints scanned and my photograph taken, we headed straight to the Baggage Claim area. Then off to the Arrival Hall we go, where my cousin-in-law and his Korean wife were waiting for us - with our winter coats!
Arrived!
We then took the Limousine Bus to Jayangdong, about an hour away from the airport. Nothing much to tell from this point on, because I slept during the entire bus ride. Haha! But as soon as we alighted from the bus, Yue spotted this Smartpush Machine and insisted on playing it. It's like a claw machine with toys and stuff, and luckily, Yue got a Minion figurine after three attempts. 
Look who's having fun. :)
After that brief encounter with the prize machine, we took a cab and headed straight for my husband's place. I was still feeling unwell at this point, but as soon as I saw my husband, all that nausea just sort of washed away. Excuse the cheesiness, haha! :)

After dropping our luggage at home, we headed to the nearby restaurant for dinner - very delicious and very authentic samgyeopsal with banchan (side dishes) and all.
Side dishes...
This kind of dinner is usually best downed with soju, but we settled for cola since the husband still has to get back to work, and I was just too damn tired from the flight. 
Pork belly...
Beef, with egg on the side.
Also, we were scheduled to go to Petite France the next day, and we need to be up early to catch the first ride on the Gapyeong Tour Bus

Well, that pretty much sums up our first night in South Korea. Allow me to end this post with our family picture with all three of us in one frame. No more Skype screenshots, haha! :)
Finally, a family picture! :)
Up next - Petite France and Nami Island!