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5.23.2017

Seoul Searching | Seoullo 7017.

My childhood friend Melissa came to Korea for a quick vacation. We hardly saw each other back home in the Philippines, so we made arrangements for us to meet while both of us are here in Seoul.

We met-up last Friday, a few hours after her arrival, to enjoy the sights and sounds at the Seoul Rose Festival in Jungnang District (will blog about this later); then we met-up again yesterday, the day before she flew back to the Philippines. We went on a gastronomic adventure at Gwangjang Market, something I've always wanted to do but could not because Yue isn't too fond of local Korean delicacies. Afterwards, in true ahjumma fashion, we hung-out at nearby Cheonggyecheon Stream, sipping on fruit smoothies while catching up on each others' lives. Finally, we decided on a whim to feed our curiosities and visit Seoullo 7017.
Hello, Seoullo!
This structure was once known as the Seoul Station overpass, where cars once sped along. The overpass was built in 1970 as a response to the growing traffic congestion in Seoul, and for years, it connected the eastern and western halves of the city. However, in 2006, the structure failed the annual safety inspection and was later on closed to traffic due to safety issues.

While other aged overpasses in Seoul have been demolished or have been considered for demolition. the Seoul Station overpass underwent major transformation and was then reborn as 'Seoullo 7017'.
Locals and foreigners walking along 'Seoul Street'.
The view from above. Hello, Seoul Station!
More of Seoullo 7017 after the jump!

5.18.2017

FamilyTime | Comprehensive App for Monitoring your Child's Digital Citizenship.

Considering the fact that our lives have become completely influenced by technology, digital media, and smart devices, we need to upgrade our tech knowledge to provide a positive digital citizenship to our kids. As a parent, I was awed the first time I heard of the word “smart parenting". A digital app assisting me in monitoring what my child does online and reducing half of my parenting concerns seemed like a far-fledged idea until I got my hands on the FamilyTime app and used it myself. Yes! Keeping track of what your child does on the web, what apps he has installed on his phone and even where he goes with his friends is now possible; thanks to the FamilyTime app.

Here is my brief FamilyTime review. I hope it gives you an idea about the effectiveness of smart parenting.
A familiar sight, Moms and Dads?
What is FamilyTime App?
FamilyTime is a parental control app which provides the smart solution to parents in this digital realm. It enables parents to stay updated about their child’s activities but with their consent. You don’t have to spy on your kids or feel guilty while accessing their info. Sit down with your child on a coffee table and discuss the importance of parental apps with them.

How do You Get Started?
No need to go through any complex process to track your child’s digital conduct. Simply, install, register and activate your free FamilyTime parental account. After that, download the app on your kid’s device, be it an Android device or an iOS, FamilyTime is compatible with both. Once you get started, you can customize children’s profile, view reports and can even lock their device anytime you want. You can manage your children’s profile separately using FamilyTime dashboard which means you only need one account to monitor multiple devices.

FamilyTime provides separate dashboards for parents and children. Your child gets the easier version of the app and can effortlessly send you the Pick-me-up or SOS alerts whenever they need you. Want to give it a try for free? You can get the app now from the app store on your phone.
FamilyTime!

FamilyTime Features to Help Parents
Here, I have highlighted all the features I love using, as an aunt with teenage nieces.

Location Tracking: Know about your child’s whereabouts with the help of location history. Monitor their current location. Geofence specific locations and stay informed every time your child enters or leaves that place. Receive panic alerts from your child, in the case of any emergency.

Web Monitoring: View their browsing history. See bookmarks and favorites on kid’s mobile phone. Check how frequently they have visited a particular site.

Phone Monitoring: Check contact book View call logs and track SMS. View installed apps and block inappropriate ones. Limit screen time.

There is a lot more that parents can do with this app. To know exactly what you can do, give FamilyTime app a free try.

5.17.2017

Seoul Searching | Teseum Teddy Bear Theme Park.

One of my favorite Korean dramas of all time is Princess Hours, which first aired in 2006 and starred my favorite Korean actress, Yoon Eun Hye. I loved the drama so much that I've even dreamed of flying to Jeju Island so that I can visit the teddy bear museum which was featured in the drama. However, a trip to the island is not possible at this time - budget-wise and schedule-wise.

But as luck would have it, I need not fly all the way to Jeju just to see the teddy bears. Apparently, there's a teddy bear museum here in Seoul, and it's just a few subway stations away from where we live! I was over the moon, all the more after receiving an invitation from the museum to come and visit!
Sleuth = group of bears.
And so yesterday, Yue and I went to nearby Jongno to visit the Teseum Teddy Bear Theme Park. Located near Exit 6 of Dongmyo Station, this sleuth (aka group of bears) is the first thing you'll see when you emerge from the subway station.
Off to the bear cave!
This cave-like structure is the entrance to the museum, and as you descend the stairs you'll be greeted by rows upon rows of cute and colorful bear statues.

To the bear cave, we go!
More of Teseum after the jump!

5.12.2017

Femilift | A Rediscovery of Feminine Power.

Mother's Day is this Sunday (May 14), and I do hope most of you have already made 'celebration plans' with your moms and/or wives. For those who still have nothing up on their sleeves for the occasion, how about a weekend getaway at the nearest beach resort? Or Sunday brunch with the family with your mom/wife not doing any kitchen work? Better yet, why not let your mom or your wife take the day off altogether and let her enjoy some much needed pampering at SvelT'i?

You may not know it because she refuses to talk about it, but the beacon of your household might actually be needing treatments that go beyond facials and are more intimate than liposuctions.
Photo credit: SvelT'i.
And by that I'm talking about stress urinary incontinence. It is a medical condition that mothers may experience but choose not to discuss or even consult with a doctor, for fear of embarrassment or shame. It consists of a series of temporary, fast, but very palpable urinary leaks that are triggered by ordinary things like laughter, sneezing or coughing. The lady may be in the middle of a conversation with friends or having a laughing interaction with teachers at a PTA meeting, then suddenly, she gets an involuntary spasm in their muscle down under, followed by a familiar wetness that comes with a pee. It is a very awkward and uncomfortable moment.

Stress urinary incontinence happens when the vaginal muscle becomes lax and is unable to prevent those sporadic involuntary leaks. Several factors that cause this laxity in mothers could be natural ageing, childbirth, or a very active sexual life. One or all of these factors can strain the orifice’s tightness and loosen it up.

Femilift is the cutting-edge treatment that can heal mothers of this medical condition, and restore their confidence as an attractive woman of poise and power. Dr. Lalaine Salazar, Medical Director of the SvelT’i Health and Beauty Centre, explains: “Femilift applies concentrated thermal healing and micro-abalation to the vagina’s inner layers. . A laser probe is used and releases a laser beam deep enough into the vagina’s submucosa level where new collagen is formed. This stimulates the regeneration of collagen which tightens the tissue. At the same time, it contracts the vagina’s elastin fibers.”

Results and contra-indicators
Dr. Salazar continues, “The restored female genital tissue strengthens the vaginal wall and reduces or eliminates stress urinary incontinence. It also restores vaginal laxity and enhances lubrication and the sensitivity of vaginal tissue.”

The SvelT’i Health and Beauty Centre also conducts medical screening for each patient before administering or approving the treatment. Procedure cannot continue if any of the contra-indications are found like active bacterial infection, immune system deficiency diseases, pregnancy, malignancy, vaginal bleeding, photosensitivity to laser, pelvic organ prolapse, pacemakers in the body, uncontrolled diabetes, and menstruation.

Moms can experience the renewed sensitivity and tightness of their vaginal muscle after three short sessions. The treatment takes place in a quick 30 minutes and requires no downtime; the patient can go back to work immediately. It is non-invasive, and very safe, using separate individual probes for each patient.

The one post-treatment requirement would be no sexual activity for three days after undergoing the Femilift procedure. It’s a little sacrifice considering the benefits the patient will gain. Stress urinary incontinence can diminish if not disappear after a session,” says Dr. Salazar.

She pauses then adds with a smile, “The removal of the vaginal laxity could also rekindle the exciting sexual intimacy with their partner so the results are more than worth the wait.” That rekindling of passion in the bedroom, along with the elimination of the urinary stress incontinence, may be the best Mother’s Day’s present yet!

To know more about SvelT’i’s treatments, please inquire at (02)332-7546 / 09188-SVELTI (783584) or visit the clinic at 5F South Insula Condominium #61 Timog Avenue, Quezon City from Mondays to Fridays from 9am-6pm and Saturdays from 8am-1pm.

You may also visit SvelT’I FB page at www.facebook.com/sveltiph and IG account @SVELTI_PH.


5.11.2017

Sneak Peek | The Face Shop x The Simpsons Collection.

Spring may be far from over, but The Face Shop has already launched their summer collection for 2017. And surprise, surprise! It's another collaboration collection, this time with America's most famous family (not The Kardashians, lol), The Simpsons!
The Face Shop x The Simpsons Collection.
Like most of the 80's babies (I believe we are called Generation Y), I grew up watching The Simpsons together with my siblings. I was so into this animated series, so much that I even begged my parents for a skateboard because I wanted to be as cool as Bart. Haha!

¡Ay, caramba!
View the complete collection after the jump!

5.09.2017

Seoul Searching | Unhyeongung Palace + Goblin's House!

When we arrived in Korea last week, the first thing we did (after catching up on much-needed sleep) was go to Unhyeongung Palace. If you're a Kdrama fan, then you'll probably understand why this place is at the top of my spring itinerary.

The palace, located within the vicinity of Insadong, was a filming location for the hit drama Goblin, which starred Gong Yoo. We did not have the chance to visit this place last winter, during the height of Goblin's popularity, so I made it a point to stop by the next time we come to Korea. And we did, last Tuesday. Unhyeongung Palace was actually our first stop, then Insadong, and afterwards Jogyesa Temple.
The entrance to Unhyeongung Palace.
To Goblin's House we go!
More of our adventures after the jump!

5.08.2017

Spotlight | Innisfree Cushion Primer.

I sure am lucky when it comes to sale events here in Korea. I almost always chance upon good deals whenever I'm here, and last winter was no exception.

When we visited Insadong last December, the Innisfree store in that area had a huge sale - with some of the items being sold at half the price! I went on a shopping spree, of course, and one of the items that I bought was the Innisfree Cushion Primer. This product normally retails for 10000 won (around Php 440 or $9), but I was able to buy this for only 5000 won.
Innisfree Cushion Primer.
From the name itself, this product is to be used as a primer for your cushion to increase its adherence to your skin, thus making your makeup last longer.
Product description at the back of the box.
This hydrating primer also makes the skin texture smooth and flawless as it covers pores and fine lines.
Contains mineral powder and Jeju green tea.
Similarly, it allows for easy application of your cushion/foundation, as if it 'glides' on to your flawless canvas of a skin.
Benefits of the Innisfree Cushion Primer.
It contains mineral powder and Jeju green tea to control excessive sebum, while moisturizing the skin at the same time.
Squeeze tube.
Dispenser tip.
Much like the Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer, the Innisfree Cushion Primer comes in a slim and handy 25 mL squeeze tube. The plastic tube is easy to squeeze, and the tip allows you to dispense just the right amount of product.
How the primer looks like.
This colorless primer has a soft and silky texture. It does not feel greasy or sticky, and is easily absorbed by the skin. When applied, it gives the skin some sort of cooling effect, which I find quite refreshing. It also has a light, floral scent which isn't exactly subtle; you might want to take this into consideration if you're olfactory nerves are quite sensitive.
Left, without primer. Right, with primer.
I love this primer's lightweight formula, the silky texture, and how it preps my skin nicely for cushion application. In terms of concealing pores and fine lines, this primer does a fair job of keeping these skin issues at bay. And although the Innisfree Cushion Primer does not have a mattefying effect, it helps control the oil on your face and keeps makeup intact for hours.
Covered the back of my hand with cushion.
Left, without primer. Right, with primer.
Will I repurchase? Yes! Hopefully I chance upon another crazy markdown sale while I'm here this spring! :)
Products used:
FACE: Innisfree Cushion Primer,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium,
Laneige Milkyway Fantasy BB Cushion Whitening.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
Clio Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner,
Clio Salon de Cara Backcomb Cara.
CHEEKS: NYC Cheek Glow Powder in West Side Wine.
LIPS: Kiko Milano Luminous Chrome Lipstick in 707 Peony Red.

5.06.2017

Reasons (Other Than Looks) to Get a Nose Job.

Rhinoplasty is often the butt of jokes on sitcoms and gossip TV. However, this procedure isn’t just about appealing to celebrities’ vanity. It can be a practical solution for anyone who isn’t happy with the appearance of his or her nose. Furthermore, it has uses that extend beyond improving a person’s looks.

Trouble Breathing or Chronic Sinus Problems
The most common medical reason to get rhinoplasty may be trouble breathing or chronic sinus problems. If you experience severe allergies or sinus congestion, your problem might be related to anatomical defects within your nose, such as a deviated nasal septum. The nasal septum is the dividing wall that separates the two sides of your nose. When it's crooked or oddly shaped, it can cause breathing problems and related issues.

The rhinoplasty that fixes this problem is called functional rhinoplasty. Your nose may not look any different after the procedure, but you’ll almost certainly notice improvement in your breathing.
Image via Flickr by Joe Dielis.
A Broken Nose
Whether you play sports and had a bad collision or you were in another type of accident, broken noses happen. The damage can affect the way your nose looks and functions. After you break your nose, it’s wise to consult a plastic surgeon as soon as possible; if you have rhinoplasty within two weeks of the accident, the results are likely to be excellent. The surgery can be performed later, though. You might even like your new nose better than your old one.

Many high-quality surgeons may be able to help you get your nose back after an accident. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you should schedule an appointment at Dr. Honrado’s office; he has extensive experience in performing rhinoplasty.

Cleft Lip or Palate
When someone has a cleft lip or palate, that can affect the appearance of the nose. One nostril may be significantly larger than the other, resulting in noticeable asymmetry. Rhinoplasty to repair this deformity might be performed when a child is younger or older, depending on the view of the child’s doctor. Some doctors believe the deformity should be repaired as soon as possible, even before the nose is finished developing. Other surgeons argue that the procedure ought to wait until the child is older.

Other Medical Reasons for Rhinoplasty
A broken nose isn’t the only facial damage that may lead to rhinoplasty. When someone suffers from severe facial burns or broken bones around the eye sockets, these can affect the form and function of the nose. Even a brain tumor, if it's located at the base of the skull, can necessitate rhinoplasty; this is an endoscopic procedure to remove the tumor and can be used whether the tumor is cancerous or benign.

Too many people dismiss rhinoplasty as a procedure that's all about improving appearance. It certainly has the power to boost a person’s self-esteem, but it is often a medically necessary and practical surgery. If you have breathing problems or have suffered damage to your nose or face, you should pay a visit to a local cosmetic surgeon; you’ll be glad you did.


5.04.2017

Seoul Searching | 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards + COEX C-Festival!

A few days before we flew back to Korea, Ms. Ana Park of Buhay Korea informed me that the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards will be held on May 3 at the COEX Mall. Most Kdrama and Kpop fans know how important this event is - it's the most prestigious arts awards in South Korea, given to the cast and production staff of TV programs and movies broadcast or shown during the previous year.

I was floored - not only because I will already be in Korea by then, but also because the venue is just a few subway stops away from where we live. I know the route like the palm of my hand!
The nominees of the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards.
The 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards experience after the jump!
And yes, it was surreal! :)

5.03.2017

Seoul Searching | Jogyesa Temple.

Buddha's birthday is one of the most important holidays in South Korea and is celebrated according to the lunar calendar. It usually falls on the eight day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, and this year, Buddha's birthday is today, May 3rd.

Last year, Yue and I had the chance to experience the festivities of this important Korean holiday during our first visit to Bongeunsa Temple. This year, we chose to visit another Buddhist temple in Seoul - the Jogyesa Temple, located just a few meters away from Insadong.
Iljumun - the one pillar gate of the Jogyesa Temple.
Temple run!
More of Jogyesa Temple after the jump!

5.01.2017

Pucker Up! | Kiko Milano Luminous Chrome Lipstick.

Hello from Seoul!
We're back in South Korea, and here I am, blogging in the comforts of our living room while sipping a warm cup of yujacha (honey citron tea). I've been sneezing like crazy since we arrived yesterday. Spring sniffles, I reckon, so I opted to stay home - and get some writing done - for the time being.

And so today, I'll be featuring one of the few makeup items that I brought along. It's the Kiko Milano Luminous Chrome Lipstick, which Mum gave to me a few months back.
Kiko Milano Luminous Chrome Lipstick.
Kiko Milano lipsticks often come in quirky yet classy packaging, and the Luminous Chrome Lipstick is no exception. It comes in a black cardboard box, with the shade number indicated on the top flap.
Ingredients and product details on the side panel.
Shade number 707.
The lipstick itself is housed in an iridescent chrome tube with a metallic pearly pink base. The shade number is indicated on the bottom of the tube.
Shade number.
To open, push the barrel down to release the pink base. Then you pull the barrel to reveal the lipstick. 
Quirky packaging.
There are over 20 shades to choose from in the Luminous Chrome Lipstick line, and this one is shade number 707, otherwise known as Peony Red. It's a brightened berry red shade with a lovely, frosted finish.
#707 Peony Red.
I like its soft and creamy texture, which allows for easy application, and its lightweight, non-drying formula, which makes it very comfortable to wear. It's nicely pigmented, and you get a gorgeous pop of color with just one or two swipes.
Indoor lighting. Swatched once on the left, twice on the right.
Natural light. Swatched once on the left, twice on the right.
Staying power is quite impressive, too. It stays put for about 4 to 5 hours after which the color starts to fade from the center of the lips. For a lipstick that's worth £6.90 (around Php 450 or $8), I'd say this is a good buy - especially for those who are fond of frosted, shimmery lip products.
707 Peony Red when worn.
At present, Kiko Milano is available in 44 countries, including the US and the UK. In Southeast Asia, however, it is only available in Hong Kong. Still hoping that this brand will be available in the Philippines in the near future!
Products Used:
FACE: Beyond Alice in Blooming Skin Tone Sun Base,
Ever Bilena Liquid Concealer in Light,
Laneige Milkyway Fantasy BB Cushion Whitening.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
Clio Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner,
Clio Salon de Cara Backcomb Cara.
CHEEKS: NYC Cheek Glow Powder Blush in West Side Wine.
LIPS: Kiko Milano Luminous Chrome Lipstick in 707 Peony Red.