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10.31.2016

Seoul Searching | Konkuk University + Seoul Children's Grand Park.

In the days subsequent to our visit to Seoul Forest, Yue kept on asking when will he get to see 'the animals' again. It seemed that his first close encounter with deer, ducks, and birds had been quite memorable for the little man, who has an innate fondness for animals.

I finally gave in to his request on a sunny, relatively warm spring day, but instead of going back to Seoul Forest, I opted for a visit to Children's Grand Park, another popular and family-friendly recreational space in Seoul.
Pride Konkuk pennants displayed all over the campus.
Commuting to the park by subway entails a transfer at Konkuk University station. Instead of heading directly to the park from Ttukseom Station, we decided to explore Kondae first and grab some lunch while we're at it.
Konkuk University!
Konkuk U and Children's Park adventure after the jump! Picture-heavy post! :)

10.26.2016

Pucker Up! | Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick in Vogue Diva, Posh Plum, and Sexy Nude.

Hooray, we're currently on semestral break!
And with that, I now have the luxury of waking up late, staying at home the entire day (unless I feel the urge to go outside and hunt for Pokemons), catching up on my Korean dramas, and finishing all (or at least most) of my blog backlog.

Would you believe that I'm still not done with my Seoul Searching posts? And to think it's almost winter in South Korea! I also have a bagful of makeup and cosmetics from last spring's travel, still waiting to be swatched and tested. But first, let me share with you the latest from our favorite local makeup brand, Ever Bilena.

A few weeks back, they added three new shades to their Matte Lipstick Collection and as always, our friends from Ever Bilena never fail to keep us in the loop.
New lippies from Ever Bilena!
I guess if you're a true blue Ever Bilena fan, you're already familiar with these new shades. I mean, they're all over their Facebook page so it would be impossible not to notice!
From L-R: Vogue Diva, Posh Plum, Sexy Nude.
The shades are indicated on the box flap,
... and can be seen on the lipstick cap as well.
Anyway, the three new shades are Vogue Diva, Posh, Plum, and Sexy Nude
Swatches - Vogue Diva, Posh Plum, and Sexy Nude.
Vogue Diva, a dusky wine shade with red undertones, is the perfect fall (otherwise known as autumn) lipstick. Bold but not overly intimidating, this color is extremely wearable and will suit a variety of skin tones.
Vogue Diva.
Vogue Diva when worn.
Posh Plum, on the other hand, is a brightened pinkish plum shade with subtle, cool undertones. It's perfect for everyday wear, and has now been added to my list of  'go-to/any-occasion' lipstick. Comparing it against MAC's range of plum/purple lipsticks, I'd say this shade is a toss-up between Plumful and Rebel (which I have yet to write about, haha!)
Posh Plum.
Posh Plum.
Finally, there's Sexy Nude. As the name suggests, it's a nude, peachy tan shade that can look quite flattering on fair and medium skin tones. There was a time last year when I went gaga over nudes and corals, and how I wish this shade had been available back then.
Sexy Nude.
Sexy Nude on my lips.
One thing I noticed about these lipsticks is their improved texture and formulation. They now have the same soft, buttery feel as Maybelline's Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, which is actually a good thing. They're now easier to apply, and they hardly tug on the lips.
Product description on the box.
Vogue Diva does have a tendency to accentuate the lines on my lips after a few hours of wear, but for the most part, these lipsticks are pretty comfortable to wear and do not feel dry on the lips. The subtle vanilla scent is also a plus for me, and so is the affordable price - just Php 165 a pop!
Products used:
FACE: Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer,
Ever Bilena Liquid Concealer in Light,
Ever Bilena Two Way Cake in Fair Oriental.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
The Face Shop Ink Graffi Brush Liner in Black.
CHEEKS: Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Raisin.
LIPS: Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick in Posh Plum.
Ever Bilena products are sold in department stores, drug stores, and supermarkets nationwide.

10.18.2016

Spotlight | oNecklace Pink Ribbon Collection.

One of the bigger, better, or should I say - nobler perks of blogging (aside from augmenting the household income) is being able to write for and about your advocacy, encourage others to take action, and get to know individuals/brands who support the same cause. As some of you may know, Breast Cancer Awareness is an advocacy that I openly support. It's a cause that I have been championing ever since I received my very first pink ribbon pin from my Mum, who is an advocate herself.

This October, as we commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I have teamed up with international jewelry manufacturer oNecklace, a brand that also works with and is duly-recognized by BreastCancer.org
oNecklace Pink Ribbon Collection.
Having worked with oNecklace in the past (you can view my customized Three Ring Engraved Mother Necklace here), I was beyond thrilled to learn that they are just as passionate as I am in increasing attention and support for Breast Cancer Awareness. This month, they launched the Pink Ribbon Collection, an exclusive collection that aims to raise funds for research into the cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure for breast cancer.

Some of the pieces included in the collection.
The collection consists of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that have been crafted into or with the pink ribbon, the global symbol for breast cancer awareness. The necklaces and bracelets can be customized with a name or message of your choice.
I am proud owner of the (Survivor) Breast Cancer Heart necklace.
Had my name engraved on it, instead of the word 'Survivor'.
A piece from this collection would make a truly meaningful gift for someone who has survived the fight of cancer, lost a loved one, or as a way to truly show your support for breast cancer awareness and encourage others to do the same.
Each piece comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
All of the products are available in 14k gold24k gold-plated, and sterling silver.
Jewelry for a cause.
For every purchase made from this collection, oNecklace will donate 15% to Breastcancer.org. The proceeds, as I have mentioned earlier, will be used for breast cancer research.
Championing the cause with oNecklace.
In support of this campaign, I wear my Breast Cancer Heart Necklace with much pride and fervent hope that my friends and readers will join me in my cause.
Rock the Ribbon!

You can view and purchase the complete Pink Ribbon collection here. In addition, you can get to know more about BreastCancer.org, their campaigns, events, and fundraising projects by visiting their website.


10.16.2016

Seoul Searching | DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition at the Seoul Museum of Art.

I'm a self-confessed museum geek. I love visiting museums and going to exhibitions; most of all, I love how intellectually stimulating and emotionally enriching a trip to the museum can be. That being said, South Korea has a proliferation of museums, which is actually one of the many reasons why I love this country. In the capital alone, there are about a hundred or so museums - in compliance to the Seoul city government's policy to have museums all over the city.

I make it a point to drop by a museum or two whenever I travel abroad (not that I go abroad very often), and last spring I had the chance to visit another well-known museum in South Korea - the Seoul Museum of Art.
Seoul Museum of Art.
Situated in the heart of South Korea's capital, the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) first opened in 1988 and has since become one of Korea's leading art venues. With its classic Renaissance-style facade combined with modern architecture, SeMA is also hailed as one of the most beautiful museum architectures in the country.
Seoul Museum of Art.
A popular attraction among locals and tourists alike, the Seoul Museum of Art has ultra-modern, well-lit galleries that showcase the works of Korea's seasoned and budding artists. Aside from being an avenue for emerging local artists, SeMA also brings the global art scene within reach of the Korean audience by hosting internationally renowned exhibitions twice a year.
Promotional poster, Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition.
Just recently, SeMA hosted DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, the world's largest animation exhibition to date. The exhibition ran from April 30 until August 15, and Yue and I were lucky to be in Seoul during that time. It's not everyday that we get to see an exhibition as huge as this, and we definitely did not let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass us by. 

Scenes from Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition after the jump!

10.10.2016

Spotlight | Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip and Eye Remover.

While walking along the streets of Hongdae last spring, the little man and I chanced upon a group of seemingly overzealous tourists flocking towards the Innisfree store. Curious as to what the hoopla was about, we followed suit. Imagine my surprise when I saw '50% off' pennants displayed all over the store.

Apparently, there was a sale event happening that weekend - 50% off on all items if you purchase with a credit card. I'd be crazy if I didn't grab this opportunity to shop at a huge discount, so I joined the crowd of crazy shoppers - one hand armed with a shopping basket, the other hand clutching Yue's hand tight.

After about thirty minutes of swatching, sniffing, and testing products, and another thirty minutes of falling in line at the checkout counter, we emerged from the store with a bagful of cosmetics and just a tiny dent on my credit card. And by tiny I mean 19150 won, or a little over Php 800. Not bad, right?

Among my purchases is the Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip and Eye Remover, a hypoallergenic makeup remover enriched with apple extracts. Originally priced at 8000 won, this product was marked down to just 4000 won (around Php 180) during the sale event.
Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover.
It comes in a 100mL plastic bottle, with product description, usage directions, and list of ingredients written in both English and Hangul.
Comes in one size only - 100 mL.
Here's a more detailed product description from the Innisfree website:
"Soothing and refreshing lip and eye makeup remover easily removes all types of point makeup without subjecting skin to unnecessary stress that may only lead to lines and wrinkles. Extra gentle formula contains botanical extracts and nutrients that nourish and condition skin while dissolving even long wearing mascara to leave it perfectly clean."
English and Hangul text at the back of the bottle.
For those who are wondering, point makeup refers to eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lip color.
Directions for use + list of ingredients.
Like most of the makeup removers that I have used in the past, the Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip and Eye Remover also has a dual-phase formula. As such, you have to shake it well before pouring an adequate amount on a cotton pad. Just four or five drops of this product usually works for me.
Comes with an easy-twist cap.
Now what I love about this makeup remover is its ability to remove waterproof makeup without the vigorous and continuous rubbing. Waterproof eyeliner and mascara can be a pain to remove at times, but with this product, I just leave the doused cotton pad on my eyelids and let it absorb all the gunk on it. I reckon it's the Kaolin powder working its magic; apparently, this ingredient is excellent at sebum absorption.
Just a few drops will do. The liquid is actually colorless.
I also love its gentle formula - it does not sting the eyes, and does not irritate the skin. Also, I find its consistency less oily than the makeup removers from Etude House and The Face Shop.
Goodbye, makeup.
However, I am slightly disappointed that this product does not reek of apples. I was actually looking forward to the fruity, zesty scent upon opening the bottle, but alas, there was none. My initial thought was perhaps I got an expired product amidst the shopping chaos, but the date on the bottom of the bottle says otherwise. Oh well, not my first time to buy a fragrance-free makeup remover, when one of the reasons why I bought it was for its scent. Lol.
Expiration date.
Nonetheless, I'd still recommend this makeup remover especially for those who are fond of using waterproof makeup. I'll definitely be buying another bottle (or two) when I return to Seoul. Hopefully, I can chance upon another sale event by then. :)


10.05.2016

4 Tips to Keep Your Baby Happy While He is Growing.

Did you know that the happiness of your child doesn't rely on the things you give to him, rather it’s something you teach him? That said, it’s vital that you develop inner tools that your baby can rely on throughout his life. It may sound complicated, but the good news is that you don’t need to be a child psychologist to impart inner happiness and strength. Any parent can lay the groundwork so his child can have a lifetime of happiness.

In this post, you’ll find four tips to keep your baby while he’s growing up. They can help you raise a well-adjusted kid and make sure he’ll turn out okay.
My little man at 2 years old. :)
Make him feel connected.
One of the ways to keep your child happy while he’s growing up is to make him feel that he’s connected to you and the other family members. Having a connected childhood is vital to your child’s happiness. He’ll feel connected when he’s being loved, acknowledged, understood and wanted. These feelings will protect him against emotional distress and risky behaviors.

With a secure bond, your baby will trust you, communicate his feelings to you and trust others, eventually. You can foster connection by holding your child as much as you can. Respond to his cries but do it with empathy. Read him a book. Eat or laugh together. It’s also important that your child forms connections with others. The more connection he makes, the happier he can be.

Be positive.
Parents who always express negative emotions to their babies are likely to have kids with aggressive behavior. If your child developed behavioral aggression when he’s young, he’d carry it later in life. It would even affect his future romantic partners.

To avoid it, try to improve your mother-child bond. Hold your baby frequently to increase oxytocin, which is a hormone related to familial bonding. Scientists found that mothers with increased levels of this hormone during pregnancy tend to bond better with their infants.

When he does negative things, never isolate him for poor behavior. Instead, guide him toward positive solutions. You also need to be present all the time while he’s growing up to support your positive relationship with your kid. That’s because your child wants to be with you.
Yue (with my sister's Persian cat) at 3 years old.
Give him real responsibilities.
Sometimes, happiness relies on the feeling that the things we do matter and value by others. When we lose that sense, we feel excluded from the group. What human beings fear most is exclusion. As a person, your child has an innate want or need to be needed. That said, the more you tell your child that he’s making a contribution to his family at an early age, the greater he’ll appreciate his self-worth and ultimate happiness.

You can have meaningful family roles at home. One of them is to ask him to refill that cat’s dry food bowl. Or he can set out napkins at dinnertime. Give him a role that’ll improve his strengths. If he likes organizing things, give him a job of sorting spoons and forks. While you acknowledge his contribution to the family, it’ll heighten his sense of confidence and connection, which are vital for lasting happiness.

Pick up your baby when he cries.
Babies are designed to cry when they need us. So, the faster you pick up your child, the more independent he becomes. He’ll cry less. If you pick him up fast, he’ll grow up to be independent and curious. He’ll also know how to get others to fulfill their needs, making him a competent baby who knows how to explore the world.

Sometimes, your child cries because he’s in pain. Pick him up and try to console him. If he doesn't stop crying, look at his gums. He might be in great pain because of his teething. Teething is a common problem amongst babies. Your child refuses to sleep or won’t allow you to put him down. This issue can’t be remedied using infant medications. There are several ways to comfort him when he’s teething and stop him from crying. One of them is the use of amber necklace for babies.

Some mothers are skeptical about allowing their children to wear it. However, when you consult other parents, the majority of moms would swear by them. This necklace works because of the succinct acid in it that acts as a natural pain-relief agent. Once your baby wears it, he’ll be as happy and calm as you want him to be, despite the pain he’s feeling as a result of teething.

Parenting isn't a one-size-fits-all. The key to keeping your baby happy while he’s growing up is to step in when he needs support based on the clues he’s giving you. As he grows old, he’ll have successful relationships when he becomes an adult.


10.03.2016

Sneak Peek | Tony Moly ❤ Pokemon Collection Season 2!

Last month, Tony Moly unveiled their latest collaboration collection featuring the adorable pocket monsters more popularly known as Pokemon. The collection consists mostly of skincare products, such as hand creams, moisture creams, and foam cleansers. You can view the entire product line in this post, along with my promise of giving you a sneak peek once the second edition is out.

Well the long wait is over, as season two of the Tony Moly x Pokemon collection has been revealed!
Pokemon ❤ Tony Moly, again!
Let's go Pokemon hunting! Details after the jump! :)

10.02.2016

How to Help Your Kids Enjoy Science.

One of the most important things any parent can do is help their child learn to love the world around them. Many parents are unsure how they can encourage their kids to become curious thinkers and willing to explore. Fortunately, even if you aren't very good at science yourself, it's possible to help your child learn more about planets, dirt, atoms, chemistry and even fossils. Here's how.
At the Fantasy Forest in Lotte World, Seoul.
Get them the right gear.
Did you know you can buy kids lab coats? Consider investing in a lab coat and some great science gear for your kids. While you can do plenty of science experiments with things you have around the house, you'll be able to study even more with your child if you have a telescope and microscope. At the very least, consider getting items your child can use to collect and examine insects, leaves and flowers in your area.

Read with them.
There are plenty of books available that focus on science. Kids don't have to be bored in order to learn. Head to your local library or bookstore and pick out some fun books about different scientific topics. For example, you could read a book about kids discovering fossils to learn about dinosaurs or a book about a child who gets sick to learn about viruses and illnesses. Make sure you choose several different books to give your kids a well-rounded understanding of different ideas.

Get online.
Did you know there are online classes you can try with your kids? Even if you don't have a science museum nearby, you can take online science courses to learn more about nature, dinosaurs and biology. Consider enrolling in an online course with your kids to learn more. If classes aren't your thing, play some online discovery games together to learn more about specific scientific topics.

Remember that you don't have to know everything about science in order to enjoy learning with your kids. Even scientists don't know everything there is to know about science! The world outside is constantly changing and growing, so the important thing is that you have fun exploring with your kids and learning as a family.