Monday, October 16, 2017

Why I Put Myself in a No-Buy Makeup Challenge (and tips that can get you started too)

There comes a time when I asked myself if I really need that much makeup. Lately, I've been evaluating my rituals and observed that my routine has been simplified singificantly. I'm practically makeup-less most of the time since I spend most of my days teaching or practicing, and I really tend to sweat a lot. I used to surprise people when I appear without makeup. Now, people actually get surprised whenever I wear even just red lipstick.

Back then,  I kept justifying my makeup shopping as being a makeup artist, I need a whole lot because I work on different people with different looks and I need a separate stash for myself, one for clients, and one for practice sessions. Looking now at how my makeup collection has blown up to gigantic proportions that definitely needs intervention, I need to put myself in a makeup shopping ban, which I started at the beginning of the month. It's been a few weeks into this month and it has been quite liberating. Besides, even the busiest pro artists are also trimming down their kits.

Yes, there is such a thing as too much makeup
(Photo by Alfred Mendoza)
This No-Makeup Buying or Makeup Shopping Ban or No-Buy Ban has been going around for quite some time. Some girls I know are on that challenge (like for a year even) and there are some girls who even blogged about their own challenges to motivate them. There are those who even upped the challenge by including a Project Pan challenge, where they not only not buy new makeup but they have to empty out palettes or hit pan before buying anything new. The description of this ban is exactly what the name means: that I do not buy any makeup for a certain period of time (I'm doing a few months. I will see how my life fares after the first month. So far, I'm not foaming at the mouth yet). This, however does not include the makeup I buy for gifts to friends and loved ones or if I need to really replenish something (like I ran out of toner, sunblock, mascara, etc). This also does not include makeup that I receive as presents, presskits, or gifts (but before I get started, I will not ask for makeup as Christmas gift to go around this loophole).

I admit the first few days was hard especially when there are new collections coming out left and right just in time for the holidays. I actually thought that by the first week I might go into like a shocking withdrawal phase especially when I see all the reviews coming up. However, after getting over the first few days of withdrawal phase, I can now walk at the beauty section of the department store with a straight face and not even care or leave with a bag of purchases. I think back to what a blogger said after her challenge - that she ended up saving a lot of money. And more money in your bank account is a good thing, right?

So I thought as well, that while I'm in this no-buy challenge, I also learn to maximize what's in my current collection. I throw in a bit of a modified Project Pan challenge. This encourages me to appreciate what I have and challenges me to be more creative with my stuff - learn how to mix, be more resourceful and creative. Oooh now my mind can do somersaults - just like what I do in real life.

Now how did I survive the first month without foaming at the mouth or breaking into a hysteria everytime I'm in the beauty section of a deparment store? Here are tips that can work:

Empty out what you don't need

You might have had a clumpy mascara there in your kit, or lipsticks that have turned rancid. Throw out expired items and give away items that are still good but something you don't really need or like or probably just bought out of a whim.

Have a buddy

My friend Azaza is on a Project Pan challenge. She has a palette of the month where she uses to play around looks. Having a friend who's into this challenge or something similar gets you motivated. Instead of seeing this as a punishment, I'm seeing this as an opportunity to also get creative, exploring colors I don't usually use and looks to do because let's admit, we all have a go-to look.

Look for Dupes in Your Kit

Sometimes, when a collection comes up, they're actually just recycling old shades and repackaging them in new limited edition packaging. That super duper limited edition lipstick which costs like a week's worth of coffee may have a very similar shade that exists in your kit. Hey, when the color is on your lips, no one would know the brand.

Stop, Breathe, and Think


Sometimes when we buy, it's usually on an impulse. Think if you really need it or if you're just after the hype. Read reviews or watch vlogs first before buying, even super limited editions. If the product suddenly becomes out of stock because you didn't buy in a heartbeat, it's okay. You will survive without it. At least you are a few hundred (or thousand) bucks richer.

Have an encouraging goal

Think that for the money you save, you have money to for a trip or for a class you would want to take. I'm telling myself that the money I get to save can be used for future masterclasses, workshops, and teacher training programs. Education is an investment with no expiration date. Remember, you are not doing this to punish yourself.

Document your progress

It's like pole dancing where you take photos of your progress. If it helps to blog about it, then go. You can even blog together with your co-shopping ban buddy so you can monitor each other's progress. Post photos of the palettes you used that hit pan or the creative looks you come up with from the palettes. Sometimes when a goal is out there, people are more encouraged to stick to their goals because other people are watching.

Two weeks into this ban and so far I'm doing great. I'll let you know my progress. If you are in this no-shopping ban too, let me know your tips on how to get going on this challenge.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Boracay After 12 (Years)

I don't really get to travel much but when the opportunity beckoned once again, I was like omigod, can we go to Boracay again? The last time I was there was 2005 and I fell in love with it. Much has changed after twelve years from all the photos I see online and I wanted to go back once again.

When I said I shall be going back, I got asked a lot why I chose Boracay instead of Palawan, Siargao, etc. since Boracay has been so commercialized. I said why not? It has been so long and the last two times I was there (my first was in 2004) I had wonderful memories of the place. It was September anyway, so less of the LABORacay crowd or summer crowd that would cause the extreme introvert that I am to cower in fear. If it was really horrible as it is described now, then at least I can say for myself. If it gets rained on, at least it's still a beach trip, golden tan or no golden tan.

Back then, PAL would only fly from Manila to Kalibo so from the airport, we would board a van for a 2-hour road trip to Caticlan. PAL now flies straight to Caticlan so that shaves off  2 hours of travel. The Caticlan airport has really improved in their facilities with better lavatories, facilities, air conditioning, and stricter security. They also don't take you directly to the beach front anymore unlike before.  First, from the plane, you take a shuttle bus going to the old airport where you claim your baggage.  Then, depending on how much you want to spend and how adventurous you are, you can do like a worry-free transpo package to your hotel or take one trike that will take you a 10-minute ride to the Caticlan Jetty Port, take a ferry (or a pump boat) going to Boracay Island then another trike ride going to your hotel.  I prefer the ferry especially since I get super seasick and it's more roomy. Now depending where your hotel is, the trike ride from port to hotel varies. If your hotel is in station 3, then it takes a short while. But if your hotel is in station 1, maybe 30 minutes or so, depending on the traffic. The hotel was in station 1. The locals though were very nice and friendly and assured me that despite the slopes, our luggage at the back of the trike was still very much stable.

A view that's totally #nofilter and with lighting that's the best IG filter, ever.
A Boracay September low-peak season is pretty much perfect for the introverted person who wants quiet beaches. If you can spare a few VLs, best go there on weekdays as Stations 2 and 3 can get pretty much crowded on weekends. With regards to rains, it usually rains on early morning but the sun would be so generous enough and shine after. The waters aren't that icy cold. There seemed to be like built-in heaters in the ocean, even on 6 am. Contrary to popular belief, there are no green stuff on the ocean at this time. It's clear and gorgeous. Weeks before, we already checked weather forecasts and thankfully, there were no thunderstorms the time we were there. Thankfully, there are now movements and projects to clean up the beach so it still stays pristine white and the ocean water super clear.

"See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me."

The beauty of the place is that it has the perfect natural lighting with no need for Instagram filters. Most of my photos have no filter or photo editing done. The sand is powdery white and doesn't feel like granite when you walk barefoot but soft and pillowy. During low tide, the shore would be super wide (I would say, wider than EDSA) you can run from your beach bed to the water and you're done for the day's cardio. Whereas some people are annoyed at the existence of commercial areas and buildings, I welcome this commercialization as the perfect mix of urban city life and salty sea air for your dose of #vitaminSEA (think Hawaii or L.A. where a beach is just a tambling away and live your Sweet Valley High dreams of going to the beach every weekend or after school). For people who are more at home with cities and concrete, this is the perfect compromise. The best part I like at how urban this place is is the convenience at the event of an emergency.  If ever an accident would happen like allergy attack, asthma attack, or broken bone that may happen, or natural calamity, there is ample cellphone signal and a hospital to rush to. I swear if I were to be an island girl for the rest of my life and choose one island to live, this would be it.

The restaurants we love are still there. Manana is still there to serve yummy Mexican food and margarita in their gigantic glasses.

Mango Margarita virginized

Super yummy enchiladas
Jonah's Milkshakes is very near the hotel and still served their yummy milkshakes. This time, they have their own to-go paper cups for those sipping their drinks to-go instead of mineral water bottles (yay for less plastic). Tip too, if you have reusable stainless steel straws, please bring them with you in your checked-in luggage. Let's keep our oceans clean and be kind to the turtles by eliminating the use of plastic straws.

Jonah's Watermelon milkshake. Just watermelon and water.
No Sugar or milk. Super refreshing!
Straw from GozeroPH
Ti Braz Creperie and French Bistro has you covered with both sweet and savory crepes. On Tuesdays, their crepes are 50% off. So yummy! You can also order smoothie bowls by Fuel Bowls for your dose of raw fruit and superfood yumminess.


Did you know that I only got to see Real Coffee and Tea Cafe's Calamansi Muffins now? They are so good and are one of the most perfect breakfasts ever. So good with coffee. Real Coffee and Tea also does not use straws, helping eliminate more plastic waste. They also sell their muffins for Php350 a box of six pieces. Perfect for pasalubong.


The place has a breezy beach hut vibe where you can people watch while sipping your shake or coffee and eat some muffins.

Speaking of breakfast, I would have to say that the best place ever to have breakfast there (or any meal) is The Sunny Side Cafe located at Station 3 in Sands hotel. When you get there, the place is like morning every day with its sunny yellow and gray interiors I feel like singing Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. So pretty!

You know how much I love real food made from scratch? This restaurant follows that principle. Everything is in-house: bread, ice cream, chorizo burger, bacon, patties, and pancakes, omigod their pancakes!


These are their ube and cereal milk pancakes. These are just so good and are a mixture of a lot of awesome sweet flavors in your mouth it will bring you happy tears. The Sunny Side also has airconditioning when you want to take a break from the heat and WiFi to Instagram all these food that's gorgeous as it is good enough to eat. I can probably eat all my meals there and then just run around the beach to burn all the calories off.

Familiar food joints like McDonald's, Starbucks, Shakey's and Jollibee were also seen in the island. I was also able to spot a few MiniStop branches and a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf by the main road. There was even a JT Manukan over there! I'm looking at the existence of these familiar food places as a plus for those travelling on a budget or with kids or yayas not really adventurous to try out food places or eat food very familiar with them. I know I remember when I was a kid I would crave for McDonald's everywhere we went.

Of course Boracay is more than just a strip of sea and sand. There are also activities to try like paddleboard and parasailing. I'm not much on the water sports since I really want the body and the brain to really chill during these four days and take a short break from training and working out and let some refined carbs in my system.  so pretty much I sunned out, happy swam, ate food (all the happy carbs!), and my workout was morning light yoga by the shore and walking along the beach.

I will be back, love. That's for sure

When the 2005 vacation ended, it was a bittersweet one. This one had me the same feeling that I didn't want to leave yet and four days felt really bitin. I know that I will be back once again. I actually liked and welcomed it being commercialized. I appreciate too also the fact that there are now efforts in maintaining the clean shores and water like clean-up runs and prohibiting of bringing back sand and corals back home. I really believe that this will be that perfect balance of island life and city life like I see in these shows like Sweet Valley High or 90210 where they take walks by the shores after a long day. If I get to go there even for work and some time on the sun, I will be happy. Maybe during low-peak season with not much people, yes?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Flights of Fancy: Ballet Manila's 22nd Season Lineup

Once upon my childhood dreams, I wanted to be a ballerina. Fast forward now, I live that dream through occasional ballet classes, somewhat ballet moves in pole dancing, practicing my point and splits, and watching a ballet show. Last year, I had the privilege to watch several ballet shows in Ballet Manila's 21st season, Revenge of the Classics, which takes a ballet company's growth up a notch by showcasing an entire season full of classics. This time, Ballet Manila's 22nd performance season, which they named Flights of Fantasy takes you up in the air with popular tales, a timeless classic, and ending the season with love songs that transcends time.

Ballet Manila brings the gift of dance to everyone, and not just the elite artsy crowd or the dance world. They curate shows that everyone sure would enjoy whether you're a ballet geek (I'm looking at one of my friends right now so to speak), a person who once had or maybe still has #dancerdreams, or the one the two previous drags along to watch a show. When I looked at the lineup of this season, I pretty much blocked like four Saturday nights of my life from this month to February.

The 22nd season opens with a story reminiscent of a classic Filipino folk tale. We all had to read it at one point in our class and there have been probably several movie and stage adaptations. I'm talking about Ibong Adarna.


For those who don't know the story, it is a tale of three princes in search of a magical bird whose song can cure their father. The two older brothers, who had some sort of attitude problems fail, but the youngest brother, who has a good heart, succeeds in capturing the very hard-to-get bird with a few tricks learned from a wise old man that he helped. Depending on the adaptation, the story ends with the father being well and the bird becoming an enchanted princess and marrying the youngest or the story continues with a love story somehow intertwined with that.

From a dance point of view, I'm pretty much excited with the choreography since this involves leaps and jumps and power moves which probably made every rehearsal day for the dancers a major leg day. I'm also wanting to know how this version of our high school Filipino literature assignment would unfold. Also featured in the production is Gia Macuja Atchinson as the singing voice of Ibong Adarna.



Swan Lake is the classic for this season, and also the first time for me to see it as a full-length ballet production. Swan Lake is familiar to most of us, even if we haven't watched it as a ballet. As kids, we probably watched animated versions of it, dialed down for younger audience, such as Swan Princess or Barbie Swan Lake. As adults, we have probably seen Black Swan with Natalie Portman and probably had a Halloween or Christmas Party photo wearing the Black Swan costume. There's also a Jim Carrey SNL spoof of that as well. The story features the original Lev Ivanov choreography with new costumes created by fashion designer Michael Miguel and live accompaniment from the ABS-CBN Philharmonic orchestra.



Last year during Christmas season, I enjoyed a fairy tale come to life in Cinderella featuring familiar songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein version as well as the Disney version. A classic Disney princess comes to life in Snow White. This is the second full-length choreography of Lisa Macuja Elizalde and this is pretty much the show to bring every member of the family to. It's fun, heartwarming, and definitely one we need in life right now. Just like Cinderella, this story is very relateable and brings concepts from Disney and the classic fairy tale read to us from children's books.

The world needs love and so love and dance come together with the season ender Ballet &  Ballads, with classic and popular love songs interpreted through ballet. This would be happening in February 2018, just in time for Valentine's day. Date night for the ballet nerd and the signficant other perhaps?

I would be watching Ibong Adarna this weekend and pretty much I'm excited with the choreography, costumes, makeup, and how this story would be unfolding to us and which version the story would take. I'm looking forward to leaps and jumps and #splitgoals in life to work on my hanuman more.

Excited for this season, yet? Come watch a show and bring friends. All shows would be shown at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City. You can call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph for tickets.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Superfood Grocer Haul

Since I make my own food most of the time, I try to get the most out of what I eat. I let food be my medicine by eating good-quality food. I'm on the lookout for weekend markets that sell local produce at a fraction of the cost, bonus too for organic finds (I'm not super strict on the organic food, but I know and recognize that there are food that as much as possible we get organic such as greens, eggs, etc.). It makes meal prepping so much more fun because I'm working with a rainbow of high-quality ingredients.

I've been adding superfood to what I make.  Superfoods are food that will not turn me to a superhero but it is a fun (marketing) term used to describe food with health benefits that our body needs. I would like to think of it as getting nutrients from other food sources or to up the nutritional value of my food by sneaking in some other food sources. Popular superfood include chia seeds, quinoa, flax, etc. Since most superfoods are plant-based, it makes those with a plant-based diet or those with seafood allergy to still get nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids other than fish or seafood.

I already have food like chia seeds, flax, and quinoa in my stock so I thought I'd add more to my stash. Doing more research led me to the Superfood Grocer website, and I purchased a few products from their list which I would like to show you.

Superfood staples (L-R): Spirulina, Maca Power, Raw Cacao Nibs, and Chia Seeds

I purchased these items in separate days, since I purchased them through their dealer stores such as Rustan's Supermarket and The Green Company. For this time, I decided to go to the physical stores since I like seeing what I buy. Also, it's like making a little trip and discovering new places too where I can source out materials.

Chia Seeds, Php350 (1/2 lb)  and  Php625 (1 lb)
 I really use chia seeds  and they are practically in almost all of  my breakfasts. Chia contains fiber, protein, and omega-3. They are fun to work with. When you soak them, they form a jelly-like coating that thickens up smoothies.


Use chia seeds to make coconut-chia pudding. Just add some mangoes and you have a dessert that reminds you of a popular Thai dessert. Added to overnight oats, it gives you that thick, creamy consistency.  One bag of chia seeds last really long for me (unless you make chia pudding everytime), since a tablespoon is more than enough for topping for my granola or oatmeal already.



You can take a cue from my friend Jinky, where she placed chia seeds on her Bayani Brew drink. It adds an interesting texture and keeps you fuller so you don't go mindlessly snacking throughout the day.

Raw Cacao Nibs, Php 225 (1/2 lb) and Php 395 (1 lb)

Cacao nibs are quite interesting because they look and taste like dark chocolate. These bits that look (and taste) like chocolate-covered raisins contain magnesium and manganese as well as iron. They also contain antioxidants that the body needs to fight free radicals.


Mix these in oatmeal or your granola and yogurt or have a few when you're craving for chocolate. I purchased a small packet of cacao nibs from a different brand a while back, but they were a bit too nutty and bitter for me. This one, since they are coated with raw sugar are a bit yummier and sweeter. You can actually include them in homemade trail mixes you can take when you want a snack wherever.


Maca Power, Php 850 (1/2 lb), and Php 1,600 (1 lb)
I'm actually curious about Maca Power because it practically contains everything I needed in my life right now plus there were so much good reviews about it. Sleep is important. It's the body's natural way of repairing itself.  I've actually planned my day and my life that I should get proper amount of sleep every single day. Since working out is practically my job and my life right now, I need faster recovery so I don't run on empty batteries and an injured body. All you need is 1/2 teaspoon blended into your smoothies, juices, oatmeal, etc. It also doesn't interfere with the taste of my smoothies. Actually, with life so busy and running on instant and fast paced and all these Facebook statuses that I read of people running on coffee, 2 hours of sleep and ready to beast mode at work, we should have this all the time. It's been a week of taking my Maca Powder (I add it to my smoothies and oatmeal). I haven't had coffee the entire week and I have this steady energy like I supercharged my fire meridians. I don't have broken sleep (like being interrupted midway). My sleep is steady and I constantly wake up at 5:00 a.m. every single day. It's like being a car getting VIP tune-up service every single time.

Spirulina, Php 400 (1/4 lb), Php 700 (1/2 lb), and Php 1,300
What actually got me wanting to purchase a packet of spirulina was because it gives a pretty blue color for my smoothies and colored pasta. This spirulina however, is more a deep blue-green color rather than navy blue. However, even though it didn't color my pasta or smoothie to a blue color, it's still worth it to have some spirulina present. Spirulina in the highest known natural protein source.  It has the highest concentration of protein per gram compared to any food on the planet. Any food, yes, that includes protein from animal sources and the yucky monggo. It contains powerful antioxidants, aids in quick recovery and for breastfeeding mommies who are getting umay with eating 25,745 malunggay (moringa) leaves in all forms (including in yucky monggo soup). I have this in smoothies and smoothie bowls. I even made fresh pasta with spirulina.

I do have to warn you though, that spirulina, since it comes from algae, may have an initial fishy smell. However, those who tasted it says it tastes like seaweed or nori. I'm thinking of adding this to my vegan puttanesca sauce next time as an alternative for anchovies.

The Superfood Grocer website has the most complete listing of food we could include to stock up our pantries. I'm eyeing on the camu camu berry on my smoothie next time as well as chlorella. They also have starter packs for those who want to get started on including superfood in their system. The website has all their products but if you are like me and like looking at the actual product before buying, they also have partner stores listed in their site. The groceries though like Landmark, Rustan's, and Robinsons contain just the quinoa, chia seeds, flax, coconut sugar, and cacao nibs. For the maca power and spirulina, you may have to go to organic food stores. Next time, I shall try ordering online. If you're at a loss on how to incorporate them in food, the website also has (plant-based) recipes for you to try.

I've got so much ideas now on my smoothie bowls and juices and I always look forward to making breakfast and meals supercharged with superfood. If you have an idea, let me know how to use them.


Store Directory

The Superfood Grocer
www.thesuperfoodgrocer.com; facebook.com/TheSuperfoodGrocer; instagram.com/thesuperfoodgrocer

The Green Company
San Juan: 17-D DPL Bldg, M. Paterno St., San Juan. (02) 5315201;
QC: 920 Banawe St. Brgy Manresa, QC (02) 3512982
Pasig: Ground Floor, Ace Plaza Hotel and Suites, United St. cor. Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig (02) 9416165
facebook.com/thegreencompanyorganic; instagram.com/thegreencompany

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gelish Dip: No-chip, High shine safe and fast nail color made affordable

We all love our gel manicure. For most of us, it stays put like an annoying suitor that will not let go even if nail regrowth is pretty obvious. I like the fact that as soon as the procedure is over, I'm super good to go, no need for "flyaway" nails like Edward Scissorhands in fear of smudging your freshly-painted nails. Gel polish is perfect for weddings when you are super busy the day before your wedding you need to do your nails like 2 days before and still have shiny, gorgeous nails on the big day. It's perfect when you travel so you have nice, Instagrammable-worthy nails perfect for your food photos and flatlays. No need to worry about chips at times like these.

I was invited to try Gelish's newest nail system - The Gelish Dip, a revolutionary acrylic powder nail system that allows you to get gel-like perfect nails without the need of a UV or LED lamp.



This service is faster and simpler than our usual gel polish - it takes just 20-30 minutes for both hands. That's half a lunchbreak so you have more time to eat or coffee or whatever.  Also, for those who do not prefer gel polish because of the cost, Gelish Dip is super affordable as it costs only half of what we would usually pay for a gel polish service - Php 450.00. This service also is gentle on the nails and does not strip the nail of its protective barrier - perfect for girls like me with thin nails.

The service is available at all Beauty and Butter shops (we currently have three here in Manila - SM Jazz, SM MOA, and SM Megamall).

Dip Powder in Scandalous

The difference from a traditional gel manicure and the Gelish Dip is that instead of bottles containing the nail polish in liquid form, the color actually comes in a jar in powder form, similar to caviar nails or glitter nails. There's so much colors and finishes to choose from (around 120!) so they've got you covered with all the colors of the rainbow and more.

Instead of a UV lamp, they have an activator, which cures the color.


The product is also safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mommies so no need to worry about getting your mani-pedi fix. If anyone is scared of cross-contamination from the dip powder, you would be glad to know that technicians really clean the nails of each individual client very well with properly sanitized materials (Beauty and Butter has their equipment in sealed packages before the nail technician uses them on the client, which the client has to sign first) before dipping your nail in the acrylic powder.

Choosing colors is hard!
Since it was my birthday when I had this service done, I chose something glittery gold, because what is life without glitter?



The glitter polish took two coats and I left with super sparkly nails level 100 which got me singing Beyonce's "One Night Only" in my mind. Glittery polishes look gorgeous in whatever angle and the colors come to life with the sparkle, even for me who wears short nails a lot. I just have to remind you that the glitter dip powders can get quite messy (just like working with glitter for any purpose) so have a scarf or towel ready to cover your dress or bag should you be going somewhere and not have glitters all over you. Check out how the nail tech magically transformed my glitter dip powder to a liquidy, glittery gold nail color.



Depending on your activities, the Gelish Dip promises up to 14 days of no-chip gorgeousness. If you're a bride, it's perfect for the wedding day and honeymoon travel photos. I'm thinking of gettting a holographic-looking one in the perfect occasion, say an event or if i'm travelling. Whaddya think?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

#Bambikitty2017: The Gift of Giving Back

Before, I used to make wishlists for my birthday and Christmas. These wishlists are  like gift registry for people to refer to in case they want to give me something, hoping I get those. Usually, my list has something super wishful (like a designer bag or something) to something simple like a prepaid reload card. One time, as I was cleaning out my stuff, I thought, do I really need any more new things on my birthday? I have all the makeup I need in the world and my closet clearly is doing some de-stashing.

Last year, I spent my birthday in silence, having greetings only to those who really knew the dates. I liked the silence. This year, it was semi-silence. Obviously, everyone in the studio knew what day it was. What I did though, was instead of asking for gifts, I gave. For those who wanted to give me gifts, I asked them to give to animals in need - either feed a stray dog or cat, adopt from an animal shelter, or donate to animal welfare groups.

The eve of my birthday fell on a Wednesday and I had a class that day. I had a simple celebration after my class with the YogaHive staff and some of my students. I taught a relaxing yin class, since I told my students I'll be nice, particularly working on the digestive system since we would be eating that day (What is a Bambikitty birthday without awesome food, right?)



In place of cake, I ordered kitty-themed leopard print cupcakes from Shake and Bake, who did my lemon birthday cupcakes a few years back. The cupcakes were white vanilla cakes with rich dark chocolate filling. The leopard-print fondant design had a mild melon flavor, which complemented everything well. 

I didn't plan on cooking though since I thought I'd be busy. However, I awoke that Wednesday early so I made my favorite go-to truffle mushroom pasta and became generous with the truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I also ordered pizza.



It's my birthday so all diets are thrown away and I served my favorite chips - Doritos Taco and Cheetos Jalapeno (whoever heard of a birthday with boiled chicken breast and sweet potato? Ew). 



The cat food is a gift for me from my regular students, Princes and Gerwin for my kitties. We did not serve cat food that day. They did bring vegan salad though for everyone to share. 


There were also Wildflour assorted pastries from my student, Tita Bebette. We all had these to share and they were all so good! 

Also, I haven't realized that it's been already 6 months that I'm officially teaching yoga in a yoga studio, with my name in class schedules. I must say time does fly fast when you're doing something you love. It's so inspiring to see my students get stronger and better with their practice no matter what age or body type they have. Whenever they tell me how much they love my classes or how torturous but awesomely good the stretch feels, I still get that kilig feels. It also inspires me to grow even more, to be more dedicated to my practice and to become a better teacher, that's why I'm saving up for more workshops and immersions (yes, my dear students, more and more stretchies for you. Like a  TV shopping ad, "Oh but wait, there's more!")

I chose to give in my birthday this year - teaching class, feeding people, sharing food, and feeding stray animals. I gave my cats yummy food from Bow and Wow. This year, my wishlist was empty. No fancy branded makeup I would want to have. No designer sneakers. No big gift to self (my pasta maker was a 2016 birthday and 2016 Christmas gift to self) . I also chose to let go. Not just by doing detox diets (which I don't) but by emotionally detoxifying myself of what does not serve me and whatever holds me back, which has been themes of my classes. In fact I've noticed, I've bailed through countless pole and hoop moves solely because of fear. It's like pole drops - you just gotta do it. Despite an empty birthday wishlist, my heart stays full. As I learn to detach (starting from my hair) and let go, a chance for growth paves its way. 

The month has been good to me. Let's make the rest better. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

How I Take Care of My (New) Hair

Hello, I'm here.

Has it been a month since I went on a break? I'm currently back and omigod, so much things have been happening! I've been teaching a lot of classes and been busy with a lot of stuff. It is a lot, and even if I come home just looking forward to go to sleep, I go home super happy because I'm doing things that I love doing. So much things has happened and I try to tell friends that, "Yes, I'm alive, please see my Facebook and Instagram for updates."

Anyway, after years of sporting mermaid-length hair, I've decided to take a summery cut and get a haircut a month ago. It's been really hot and humid and sticky hair that takes forever to dry is totally not something I want.

Left: Mermaid hair. Right: New hair
I told my friend Kit that it's a process of detachment. I've forever been attached to long locks since it's low maintenance and I can always tie it in case of a bad hair day. The heat though is telling me otherwise.I thought about it for a week, but decided to just go for it one Friday night after yoga class. I went to the mall, showed the peg, closed my eyes, and stared at the girl in the mirror sporting a lob (long bob).
20 minutes into my new hair
It's still long enough for me to tie it, but it's much lighter on my neck. I still can style this and unlike the pixie cut I did years ago, this one is more low-maintenance and I can wait a few more months before I have to cut it again. It now just takes minutes to style my hair now, which is a good thing. I can just scrunch some salt spray on my hair and run a blow-dryer while twirling my hair until it's 80 percent dry letting my natural texture do its course.

If I do have a bit more time, however, I can curl my hair with a large barrel curling iron for loose waves.
Curls while hugging a kitty 

I like too that it doesn't sit on my face when I arm balance or do forward folds or make me look like I'm from a Japanese horror flick after I do a hairflip.

Even though my hair is much shorter, I should take good care of my hair, Since I also subject my hair to the heat of a blowdryer, it needs the protection and care it needs. My hairstylist friends keep heat-protecting spray or serum in their bags and I apply this to my hair before styling. This creates a barrier so my hair doesn't get fried.

It's important to rest my hair as well from products and heat styling. When I do, I use hair products and hair care that cleans and nourish my hair.



Tresemme Keratin Smooth cleans and cares for my hair. It smells really good too. This one is currently in my gym bag. If the bottles are too big, you can transfer the contents to a smaller container to fit your gym kikay kit. This leaves my hair looking decent even if I don't use my styling tools.

Inasmuch as I love my ponytails, I also give my hair a breather when sleeping and try not to tie my hair super tight that it hurts. Once a week, I apply a deep conditioning treatment to my hair just to replenish and repair it too.

My hair grows fast, so my mermaid hair will be back before you know it. It does feel good once in a while to detach myself from my comfort zone. I may keep this length for a few months and maybe color it lighter for a nice, summery feel even though it's quite rainy.

Do I miss the long hair? No, not really. I do welcome it when it comes back in a few months but as of the moment, I'm enjoying this hair now.