Friday, December 31, 2010

Felíz Año Nuevo

This year has been a significant year for me. I moved halfway around the world, got married and joined the blogging community.

I'm grateful for all the rekindled friendships, sustained relationships with good friends back home and new friends I've acquired since I arrived in the States.

Being that I've never had any New Year's resolutions, I figured to start one for next year. This is an appropriate time for me to reform my habits.

1. I think girls will agree with me on this one. I will adhere to my diet.  You see, I'm trying so hard not to laugh right now since I'm thinking... 

...but I will stay true to my word this time around. If I want to have any babies in the future, I need a bangin' body sometime soon. Not for anyone else but myself. Slowly but surely.

2. I should strictly follow my list during trips to the grocery store. It may seem trivial but all these things add up in the end. I'm worse during trips to the mall so my husband has developed telepathy in the span of time we've been married.

Toni: Papi... Can we? *Jordan interrupts*
Jordan: I don't like the mall. We don't need anything right now.
Toni: But there's a huge sale. We'll save upto 80% off on... *Jordan interrupts*
Jordan: 20% out of my wallet, right?
Toni: You know what, I didn't feel like it anyway. :s

3. Put some money aside for a rainy day and a dream vacation to New York! My husband and I want to go cross country before we have children but our hopes for next year is a three day vacation to either New York or Catalina Island.

Despite the trials and tribulations, I have my alma gemela by my side who's my rock. Te amo, mi vida! All I want is a happy marriage and a stable life. Bless my family back home. I wish I could celebrate it with you. Distance isn't a detriment in relationships for genuine love can surpass that. I love you, mom! 

A massive thank you to my blogger friends!

Dhila, Mimi, Rinz, Vintage and Cake, Caro, Evey, Christina, MINAKICHU, jamie-lee, Lalaine, Ares, Laura, Curves Ahead Makeup, Sanny, The Girl with Pearl Earrings and to the new fabulous ladies such as La Cabrona, Leslie, Becky, Jocee and Fifi.

If I'm missing any names, it's because I'm writing this at 2:00am.

Enjoy the remainder of 2010 and have a prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NEW! Stila for E! Live from the Red Carpet

Allow me to introduce the newest palette brought to you by Stila and created by celebrity makeup artist, Sarah Lucero.

Stila for E! Live from the Red Carpet

The limited edition collection is comprised of three travel palettes with eye shadows, convertible colors and a shimmery powder. Depending on your choice of palette, it will come with either a mascara, lip glaze or eye liner. Each palette includes a step by step tutorial to guide you in achieving the look.

What will it be?
A stunning starlet, glamour goddess or a breathtaking beauty?
Take your pick!

Click images to enlarge them

Sarah at Yigal Azrouel using Stila Smudge Pot in Black and Stila eyeshadow in Oasis and Makalu

Sarah Lucero for Stila at a Betsey Johnson fashion show

 I'm not even done collecting their other palettes! I need to get a move on. Would you purchase these?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Astringent vs Toner

Lets address the elephant in the room. What is the difference between an astringent and a toner?

similarities: They're both designed for regular skin care which share a similar purpose. What are they?
-Cleanse the skin of makeup residue
- Destroy bacteria that causes acne
-Adjust pH level in the skin
-Gives you a temporary feeling of "taut" skin

Who uses which?

Oily Skin - Use an astringent! This is a strong toner used to control excessively oily skin. This has an anti-bacterial quality that reduces oil, blackheads and cares for acne prone skin types. 

Can I use an astringent if I have dry skin? I wouldn't suggest that you do since alcohol based astringents will only make your skin even drier. 

Dry Skin - If you fall under this skin type, use a toner. They're mild on the skin and it's meant for those who produce less oil on their faces. This product is also perfect for aging skin. Toners aid in hydrating dry skin. These are designed to help clear clogged pores and cleansing.

How to use them:

For both toners and astringents, use a cotton ball to apply the product on your face.
Be sure to apply the product after cleaning and before moisturizing.
Use this on a daily basis as part of your beauty regimen.

These products are necessary to keep your skin conditioned. I saw a difference when I started using a toner. I use Clean and Clear's Fairness Toner with Vit. C and it leaves my skin feeling taut and healthy. Not using toners/astringent increases the risk of losing natural oils in your skin and thus, increasing the accumulation of dirt. That's a NO-NO

How do you benefit from using them?

It closes open pores and retains the moisture in your skin. Also, skin toners cleanses your skin of makeup residue and microorganisms responsible for acne and blackhead build up. Upon regular use, it will leave your skin feeling supple, fresh and improve  your skin's texture and complexion. For aging women, it will lessen the appearance of lines and maintains the natural pH level of your skin. 

Nightly moisturizing tip for girls with dry skin like me:

After you clean and tone your skin, splash some water or use water mist like Evian Facial Water Spray to your face then pat it nearly dry with a towel.
Then, apply your night cream/moisturizer on your face and neck and leave it on for five minutes. If you want to hasten the process, cover your face with a warm towelette then pat your skin dry of excess moisture.

Drink more water and avoid diuretics like caffeine and alcohol. Eat orange and yellow fruits that are rich in beta-carotines, an antioxidant. Though your breath may repel people, eat garlic. It helps. Avoid sweets, darlings. Minimize the chocolate intake.

Recommended moisturizing products for oily skin
-Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
-Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream
-Lancome Aqua Fusion
-Olay Night Cream with Aloe for Sensitive Skin

*Avoid those with cocoa butter. Choose non-comedogenic moisturizers with SPF in it. Clay masks can help reduce excess oil and dead skins cells but only do this once a week or else it will increase oil production.

Recommended moisturizing products for dry skin:
-Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
-Clarins Extra Forming Night Cream for Dry Skin
-Garnier Regenerist Night Cream (also good for normal/combination skin)
-Clinique Comfort on Call Allergy Tested Relief Cream

*When looking for a night cream/moisturizer, be sure to read the ingredients. Check if there's CynergyTK(TM)  in the list. If so, purchase the product because natural substances such as this promotes elasticity in your skin by further producing collagen. Other ingredients to look for: shea butter, avocado oil and active manuka honey.

Toners: (dry skin)
-Kiels's Rosewater #1
-Clean&Clear Fairness Toner
-Murad Hydrating Toner
-Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion

Look for these ingredients in toners:
-Cucumber, Rose Oil, Chamomile and Witch Hazel Extract (They contain hydrating properties intended for dry skin.)

Astringents: (oily skin)
-See Breeze Fresh-Clean Astringent for Sensitive Skin
-Clean&Clear Deep Cleaning Oil Fighting Astringent

Beauty Process:
cleansing - toning - moisturizing

My products:
St. Ives Apricot Scrub - Clean&Clear Fairness Toner - Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasons Greetings

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Overindulge and unbutton those jeans.
Lets worry about the excess calories in January!

I'll be watching my family on Skype tonight as they celebrate Noche Buena in the Philippines.
I'm hoping that everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas.
It's not all about the presents.

Esta noche es Noche-Buena, Y no es noche de dormir

A nippy Christmas in California from me to you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

First Giveaway: Shoe Clips

As I've been blogging for approximately five months up to date, I wanted to do something special for my readers. As a gift of thanks, I'm giving away a $25 gift card sponsored by which will run from today (December 19) up until January 2nd. This is an international giveaway.

What are shoe clips anyway? I received a sample (black and white chiffon polka dots) in the mail on Friday and I was smitten by how innovative and versatile the product is. I prefer to use them with my black pumps to add detail when I want it. A day at the beach with flip flops and shoe clips adds instant style in an economical way. Clip it on any pair of shoes in your closet and achieve a unique look from casual to couture trends. Add detachable embellishments made of gems, ribbons, feathers, mink and even rabbit fur to your shoes. 

Prices range from $10-$70 per pair depending on the style and material of the shoe clips. The vast selection of styles are available on the website brought to you by the joint creativity of Karen and Lynn. With their flair for fashion, they created an unforeseen inspiration to a bona fide flourishing business.

Beautify your shoes in minimal time, at a fraction of the cost, whenever you want!
Be a classic lady one day and a flamboyant diva the next!

But wait! Just because they're shoe clips doesn't mean that you can't place them anywhere else!
I adore how this has flexible uses. How else?

*Adorn your plain jewelry with it by fastening the clips on them
*Fasten it on a ponytail or a plain headband
*Clip it on your hair like a regular hair clip
*Use it as a brooch by affixing the piece in a vest pocket
*Attach it on slender belts
*Clip it onto a beret

back of clip and packaging

ponytail, hair clip or on a beret

wear it in front, upper side, back and lower side

conceal the buckle or clip in front

attach to a necklace or vest pocket

There is an assortment of ways to use shoe clips so leave it to your imagination. The prongs on the clips secure it to the material of your choice. The first thing I did was walk around in my shoes with the clips attached to test the coziness of the product and to my surprise, I felt no discomfort at all. The back is curved flawlessly to prevent soreness around the toes. 

I vouch for this product and I can't wait to purchase one of my own. There is currently a sale on their site so take a gander at  and enter code welcome to receive a 10% discount upon checkout! 


-You must be a public follower via Google Friend Connect (blogger)
-Include your email address for every entry

Extra Points:

-Post my giveaway in your sidebar 
-Blog about the giveaway mentioning linking back to my giveaway

The winner will be chosen via to be announced on January 2, 2011. Each blogger is entitled to a maximum of three (3) options to increase your chances of winning. Please be sure to observe one (1) comment per entry.

I'm following you via GFC   - - - 1 comment

Your giveaway is on my sidebar   - - - 1 comment

I blogged about your giveaway   - - - 1 comment

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vegas, Baby!

I'm going on a weekend hiatus as I'll be en route to Vegas. I'll be back with a giveaway! Please do visit as I have a new product in the market that I'm so proud to introduce to my readers.

Vegas will be fun but the giveaway is going to be even better. It's not makeup but a multi-use accessory. I'll keep you guessing until Monday!

What is it?

Come back on Monday and join this one of a kind giveaway!

I was tagged by GorgeousMommyK in a post that I'm eager to comply with. Please do the same if you wish.
In this tag, you name 3 of your imperfections & 3 of your perfections (about yourself).
I'd rather begin with my imperfections and finish this on a positive note as I'm beautifully flawed.

Uno I'm not completely comfortable with my weight. Looking at myself in the mirror is a chore. I've never been satisfied with how I look yet I live behind a facade of contentment.

Dos My feet are so gross that I grimace whenever they are in sight. I keep them moisturized and clean my nails regularly yet the width and size of bother me. (US sizes 8-9 depending on the shoes)  I feel like I have man feet attached to my body.

Tres Being in California, everyone loves having a tan. I don't. If I had the power to choose, I would love to have less pigment in my skin. I envy ladies with a wan complexion and jet black hair.

Uno I don't recall the last time I brushed my hair. I need to befriend the brush yet I'm doing fine for now. L-O-L! My natural hair is straight and flat yet I absolutely enjoy curling it every now and then. I must say, I like the length and texture of my hair.

Dos I realize that I'm going to sound like I have an eating disorder when I say that I like how my shoulder blades protrude but believe me, I eat like there's no tomorrow. Some people may think it's gross but I have a big frame so even if I seem bony, I'm a curvy woman.

Tres I have doe eyes which are engaging. At least I think they are. I'm a product of multi-racial parents so I like that I have big and chinky headlights. 

What flaws do you wish you didn't possess? What features about yourself do you love?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sour Cream Pasta

Jordan and I used to eat out everyday until we realized how much money we've been squandering. For the past few days, I've been busy in the kitchen with my concoctions and made most of basic kitchen ingredients. You don't need to be a chef to make tasty food. Use your imagination and test recipes. That's what I did! As I rummaged through the fridge and pantry, I made the most of leftovers.

I'm tired of plain old hotdogs so I figured to add a little pizzazz to it. This is a different approach to a creamy pasta fix for a fraction of the cost.

1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup of milk
1 mashed burger patty 
2 chicken hotdogs
1 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs melted butter
1/2 pound fettuccine 
salt and pepper to taste (you can also add oregano if you wish)


Mash the burger patty with your hands. If you don't have this, substitute it with ground beef. (half a tray of ground beef will do) 


saute onions in a pan with the butter until it's translucent then add the mashed burger patty. Once the patty is halfway cooked, add the chicken slices. The hotdogs do not need to be browned since they're already precooked. Once ready, pour in the milk and sour cream then add in the cornstarch to thicken the mixture. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding milk and cornstarch. Once the consistency is thick enough, season with salt and pepper. (You may add oregano for taste.) 

Use any pasta of your liking. I personally prefer fettuccine with this recipe. 

*TIP: Once you've drained your pasta, drizzle some EVOO on it so that the noodles won't stick to each other.

My husband and I enjoy cooking together. We made a great chocolate lava cake last night that I'll share with you next time.

 Good eats!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Get 50-70% Markdowns at HauteLook

I was browsing and browsing and browsing relentlessly until I came across a site called HauteLook. It's a member's only shopping site that's celebrating their third birthday. As a gift to the members, they're hosting a 50-70% off sale on all items for a limited time basis. The sale ends on 12/9 at 8:00 am Pacific time so grab your Christmas goodies!

Stila palettes and the new Make-Up Player that's valued at $50 is currently $20 on their site! The portable vanity kit has a sound system for your enjoyment. Apply your makeup as you listen to music of your choice.

It gets even better! Refer a friend to the site and receive a $10.00 credit at their first purchase!

Make Up Player $25, Starlet Palette $24, Malibu Set, $24

The Stila Make-Up player is available at the Stila website with five options to choose from. For the Create Your Own set, you can pick from a wide range of products that total upto $70.00!

Dorm Room set - $50.00
Create Your Own -$70.00
The Classic - $69.90
Bronze Goddess -$49.95
Travel Must Have - $42.00

I'm still keen on purchasing the rest of the travel palettes! If you intend on doing the same, majority of them are out of stock at the Stila website so proceed to the Sephora website or visit the stores to check their availability. I'm a Stila baby. The first makeup item I got was an eye shadow from Stila then came Urban Decay, MAC and the rest as they say is history.

Click here to visit the Sephora landing page.

Happy cyber shopping!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Top 10 Christmas Wishes

I'm not a materialistic girl. However, on rare occasions, I just have to get what I fancy. While I was at Super Cuts waiting on my husband, I thought the gifts I want for Christmas. 

1. Chanel Inimitable Mascara - I've read such great reviews about this product and it's only available at Nordstrom or the Chanel website. I'm all about the eyes and I was smitten when I saw that it adds volume, length and curl to the lashes so I can't wait to get this.

price: $30.00

2. Pillow Pets - This is where the child in me kicks in. I'm not an animal person but I do like collecting the most random things. When I was little, I had a collection of McDonalds Happy Meals and Disney Princess Castles. I want the lady bug, unicorn, hippo, cow and pig. 

price: $19.95 each but if you order more than one on the site, the succeeding Pet Pillows are marked down at $15.95 each.

3. Kindle - I've seen comparisons of the top ereaders in the market and the Kindle appeals to me the most. It has the longest battery life which can stretch onto three weeks without charging. I like that it doesn't have an LCD screen since that causes it to glare. The one I want has both wi-fi and 3G built into the ereader so there's no need for me to search for signal in order to download new books.

price: $189.00

Kindle vs Nook : The monochromatic look of the Kindle appeals to me more than the Nook. The latter may be colored but if that's such an issue then wait until the release of the new colored Kindle in 2011. 

I personally read mostly fiction so colored pages are futile since there are close to no pictures on the pages. The Kindle has more of a paper-like screen. If you lean towards art, magazines and children's books then I suggest for you to get the Nook. Being that the Nook has an LCD screen, it's harder to read in direct sunlight because of the glare. However, they are much easier to read at night without an external light source.The Kindle is the only e-reader that allows for usage in over 100 countries compared to the Nook that's limited to the US.

What I definitely sold me was the wireless connectivity. There's no need to set up a network since it's built in. Amazon pays for the connectivity so there are no monthly bills. You're ready to shop and read as soon as you remove your Kindle from the box.

For a more book like experience and touch navigation, get the nook. If you choose to have something simplistic in appearance with push buttons, purchase the Kindle. 

4. tokidoki coaster set - I'm a tokidoki fan and the coasters are a must have for me since I want to start a vast coaster collection. Maybe I'm silly for not wanting to use them but who wants to damage such adorable coasters?

price: $13.00

5. Tarte Jewelry Box - It's a limited edition release that's fully equipped with over thirty eye shadows, five eyeliners, lip gloss and the works. Even better, it comes with a stylish necklace!

price: $52.00

6. Stila Travel Palettes (Fabulous in Fiji and Pretty in Paris) I recently purchased Trendsetting in Tokyo and I love how pigmented and buttery the shadows are. Unfortunately, it's not a permanent item in the Stila collection so I'm hoping to collect my picks before supplies are scarce. It has four eye shadows and one convertible cheek and lip color.

price: $10.00

I don't know... I can't even finish my list. LOL! I do want a Fendi satchel, Coach winter boots and Gucci shades but we live in hard times and I can do without them for now. There's one thing I've always wanted to try though - knitting! 

Other make up essentials I would want are the NARS Midsummer Dream set and Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb blush. I'm going make up crazy over here!

I've gotten used to receiving money for Christmas so that way, I can purchase things of my liking. You know how you receive gifts you're not quite happy about yet smile anyway because it's polite? Well, that's where the money option comes in. I'd rather avoid that and buy something myself.

What's on your Christmas list?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dry Skin and Wind Burns

Since it's chilly and windy in California, you can't avoid wind burns and dry skin every now and then. Take care of yourself during the nippy fall season.


Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry, Sensitive Skin 16oz.

I use Cetaphil moisturizing cream for my face and extremities. Cetaphil locks in the moisture in my skin and being fragrance free and noncomedogenic, it won't clog your pores and reduces breakouts. My skin has become far more supple and smooth that my husband noticed it. I use it twice a day; once in the morning and again before bed time. The cream keeps your skin well hydrated throughout the day as it’s proven to bind water to your skin to prevent moisture loss. Unlike other brands, Cetaphil isn’t greasy after the application. I like that the formula has a thick consistency as compared to the watery ones. You'll notice the difference after a week.

This also worked well in healing the burn on my arm. I apply the cream on my feet at night and seal in the moisture by wearing socks afterwards.


Chapstick Medicated Lipbalm

The same goes for the medicated Chapstick. My lips felt cool because of the menthol in the lip balm and eventually healed. It helps soothes the pain and locks moisture in your lips. Since it’s a medicated lip balm, you shouldn’t use it more than twice a day. If you feel the need to moisturize your lips even further during the day, use regular lip balm or petroleum jelly.

What causes dry lips anyway? There are numerous causes but the most common is the lack of humidity. This causes the lips to dry up. When this happens, do not lick your lips because the air will dry your saliva and cause crusting which can eventually lead to cracking. If you don’t have lip balm or petroleum jelly, drink more liquids. At the end of the day, clean your lips with warm soapy water or apply hydrogen peroxide if there is bleeding.

So Long, November Shopping!

Time is so fleeting that I didn't even get to savor November. I enjoyed the autumn weather even if the temperature has dropped considerably in California. Oh how I love seeing my breath at dusk! There's more reason for me to shop. *sinister smile*

My first stop was Sephora! I'm not the one for hustle and bustle so I decided to shop online. With the discounts codes I had, I was able to get loads of freebies. I purchased two palettes on sale from Stila and Smashbox. My sister-in-law purchased a few pieces of makeup as well so the total amounted to $60 or so. Ergo, we had free shipping.

Stila Trendsetting In Tokyo Travel Palette $10.00

Smashbox Eye Shadow Palette in Classifeyed $15.00

How was Black Friday and Cyber Monday for everyone? Mine was utterly eventful both online and in stores. After stuffing myself with turkey, I took a nap and grabbed the hubby's credit card before the break of dawn. I bought a fair amount of clothing for myself and Jordan plus some home supplies.

Even better, I won a $55 CSN giveaway at Mimi's page. I entered the contest not expecting to win but surprisingly, I won! It was timely since my husband's birthday was on the 23rd. He has been wanting a coffee maker for himself and that's precisely what I got him. Being that the Cuisinart coffee maker was originally $74.95but I got it  for a reduced price of $59.95. I only had to add $4.95 to the total amount. Compared to the $30 generic one, I chose a trusted brand.

The message that made my day:

hi toni! just wanted to let you know that you won my giveaway! i also sent you an email with the details. congratulations! :D <3, mimi

Cuisinart 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
Delivery was delayed. Original delivery date: 11/29/10 
Expected on 12/02/10

For Black Friday, my first stop was Target. To my surprise, there wasn't a crowd. No hustle and bustle whatsoever. I spent approximately $70 at my trip to the store.

Things I got:
- 2 fleece pillows for $7.00
- 1 zebra printed plush blanket for $19.99
- cotton head wrap
- 2 Mossimo women's v-neck tops 
- 1 white women's turtleneck
- 1 men's thermal sweater for $5.00
- 2 sets of gloves

The plush blanket is amazing! I say that it's mine but Jordan never fails to correct me by saying, "OURS". He loves that blanket more than I do. The pillows are a great bargain! I should have gotten another one. They're so comfortable that I fell asleep soon after resting my head on the pillow.

fleece throw pillows and plush blanket

Our trip to Costco was a quick one. We were one of the first ones there so my sister-in-law and I got free cookbooks. I have yet to try the recipes. I'll be sure to share them with you!

I also went to Tilly's along Ventura. There weren't so much people in the store but the sale was amazing. I didn't want to overspend so I only got two things which cost me approximately  $8.00 for both hair pieces.

For Cyber Monday, the hubby and I were looking for rice cookers and we found one on sale for $14.00. It's a definite steal so we most definitely added it to our cart.

Aroma rice cooker and steamer

That concludes our November shopping spree. I can't wait for Christmas sales! For right now, we have to be frugal for a couple of weeks. I hope everyone had a sweet November! 

Before I forget! November was a birthday month for my hubby. We prepared a surprise dinner for him at Magnolia in Pasadena. It was such an intimate night for family.