Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NO H8 - Let's Make It Count

If you're in the Los Angeles area or if you're planning to drop by sometime next month, there will be an open photo shoot for the NO H8 campaign on January 21, 2011.

For those who can't make it, you can grab Twibbons for your profile here. I have done so with mine, as you can see.

For more details, please visit the website at http://www.noh8campaign.com/

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday Madness

I know I haven't blogged in months and being that numerous events have passed, I just had to make the time to write this entry. There's so much to tell!

I'm one of those Black Friday fiends who lines up for hours and hours just to get a deal. This was my schedule that night:

10:00 pm - Lined up at Walmart in Woodland Hills

I was in line for an hour and met a few people while I was at it. That night was so chilly that I could see my breath every time I spoke. By the time we got in, I honestly didn't know what to get since I don't shop at Walmart. It was my brother-in-law's suggestion. I got there and saw printers on palettes on sale for $19.99 each. I got two! One for myself and another for my mom.

As soon as I got the printers, I lined up and my trip only took 20 minutes. Despite that, the line wasn't moving so I wondered what the hold up was about. Guess what? Electronics are on sale at midnight! We had to wait until the clock hit 12:01 before we got to check out.

Next stop, Westfield Topanga Mall

12:30 am - We hit Macy's 

The store was jam packed! I barely had any wiggle room in there and a lot of the racks were practically empty. I took advantage of the 50% off outerwear sale. I would have gotten two but the black one I saw had such a tacky floral lining reminiscent of the 60's flower power era. Great steals, horrible shopping experience!

I lined up at the shoe section since I bought some bedroom slippers for myself. The ladies in front of me did the same. That one transaction alone took 30 minutes and I was already in line for an hour. My in-laws and I befriended the lady behind us and she along with everyone else was agitated.

Note to Macy's: I know that majority of the cashiers at the sale were seasonal employees. It was evident. The cashier at my line didn't know what she was doing. Poor girl was so apologetic and frenzied that she had to abandon her post and look for a senior employee. She was gone for a good ten minutes when a more experienced employee came to her rescue. I was relieved - boy, was I wrong! The cashier looks at me and goes, "I don't have the code for that. Shoes only. Line up somewhere else."

I was sooo mad that I just wanted to jet out of there so I just turned around and said, "SHOES ONLY!!!". I left her with an angry queue of turkey filled, sleep deprived sale hungry goers. I lined up at yet another section and waited for 45 minutes. This time, the service was better and the cashier was not curt like the previous one.

 I love my fluffies but these are extremely cumfy. 50% off the original price of $24.00!

 On sale for $9.99 from $28.99!
Bling bling on my shorts!
My first pair of denim jeans - I never wear them out.
Too shy. :)

 Trench coat was $89.00, on sale for $29.99
The dress was $32.50, on sale for $24.99

This bracelet was $10.00 off so I got it for $26.00

3:00 am - Target

We initially went to Target to line up at Starbucks but I wanted to pry and see if the jacket I wanted was on sale since I've been eyeing it for 2 weeks now. My in law's were in line for Starbucks and it was about 12 yards long, I kid you not. I was a tad antsy so I went upstairs to look for the jacket and I found it. 30% off! I went straight to the cashier with a big grin on my face - even better because there was no line at all. Original price: $44.00 so when she told me that my total was $48.00, I was in shock.

Me: Uhm... Are you sure that's the price? The reason I purchased this jacket is because it's 30% off.
Cashier: It says 30% off?
Me: Yes, I got it off the rack and it has a huge sign on the wall which said 30% off.
*cashier then enters 30% off on the computer and smiles at me.*
Cashier: That will be $33.00. Cash or card?

Lesson learned. Sometimes, you just have to be persistent. :)

This jacket may just be my new favorite! <3

The mall opens at 4:00 am and since it was minutes away, a throng of people were crowding inside Target. Some teenagers even sitting on the floor. There was an instance where this guy bypassed security and bolted in the mall. His run was short lived. He didn't get far. The security guard caught him in a jiffy. As soon as the mall opened, there was utter chaos. It was a stampede in the making. If I wasn't so alert, I would have mistaken that for an episode of  Nat Geo - In the Wild. 

Other stops in the mall: Steve Madden, Cathy Jean, PacSun, Hot Topic and... Love Story!

I've been shopping at Love Story for a couple of months now and I love how they have the three main things I consider when I shop:

- It matches my budget
- The clothes fit me in the right places
- Their line coincides with my taste

The only downside is that they only have one branch so far and it's all the way in Westfield Topanga. That's a bummer since I moved to Glendale. Other than that, this is my go-to store.
I bought a leather jacket, a little sweat shirt and a cute little dress.

There were so many other dresses I wanted to buy but I was on a tight budget this year. Besides, I plan on frequenting the store so that just gives me more to come back for. It's kind of like the chase that us girls look for.

This top was $14.99 and it's so cumfy. It goes with the shorts I got from Macy's. ----->

This year was a great shopping experience for me. Despite the throbbing feet I got from all the walking and perpetual migraine, I had a wonderful experience. All these great shopping finds only totaled to a wee bit over $300.00. I will definitely start saving early for next year's trip. I may never leave the mall. I'll walk in as if I'm on a mission and leave like the walking dead. ha-ha! How was everyone elses' Black Friday?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Popped My Disneyland Cherry!

It seems so surreal that in July of last year, I was in the other side of the world with my family. I'm now situated in Los Angeles with my husband. Since I got here in August of last year, I have been pondering over visiting Disneyland but since I found discounted tickets, I seized the opportunity to visit the happiest place on earth.

My husband and I left the house at 7:15 am and arrived in Anaheim at 8:00 so to avoid further expenses in the park, we went to iHop and had a quick breakfast. Boy, I didn't expect to pay $27.00 for breakfast! I think iHop is overpriced for what they serve.

Anyway, I purchased our parking ticket the day before so the entry to the parking lot was quick. There was quite a wait at the bus line and the driver was killing my excitement by going 5 miles an hour. Okay, I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean. *snickers*

Shades - Versace
Headbands - H&M
Top - H&M
Khaki bottoms: H&M

Here are some photos of my trip:

 Splash Mountain
We didn't want to purchase the photo so we grabbed our camera
and took a picture of the screen. lol!
 We didn't go on this but I thought it was worth a snapshot.
 Autopia reminds me why I don't have a license.
 This is across Autopia - video games and everything techie!
 This one was visually stimulating.
 I enjoyed the boat ride. The piranha part was a ball!
 $12.70 for the roast beef sandwich.
It's a tad steep but it was tasty. :)
 My husband was playing with the tiger on the Kinect.
 Happy!!! :)
 Cannonball! :O
 Space Mountain, I think?
 It's A Small World was rather fun. 
 The tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room!
 A huge iPad
 The Haunted Mansion
 The canoes were fun up until the kids in front of me
wet me so much that my underwear was drenched. :/
 Pirates of the Caribbean


My sequined Minnie ears were overpriced at $28.00.
This sucker bought them anyway. :)

Disneyland is a must! I went to every other town except for Toon Town which will be top priority for my next visit. Being with a group of people, you tend to stall by discussing which ride to go on until it's a unanimous decision. I'm glad that I went with my husband since he made sure the day was all about me which I found so sweet of him. I was skipping all over the place and dragging him from one ride to another with a big grin on my face. As much as I enjoyed myself at the park, Disneyland is a place I would visit once in a blue moon. Visiting my Disney friends once a year will overfeed my nostalgia. I'm going to give myself some time to miss the happiest place on earth.

Next on the agenda is Halloween so will it be Knott's Scary Farm or Universal?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Life: 360

Moving to a new country is initially thrilling. There's something about being exposed to a new milieu in general. The food, people, customs and way of life in foreign lands seem to have probed me at a young age. I can vividly recall my family's weekly drive to my grandmother's house in another city. The car ride took 30 minutes and extended to an hour or two with heavy traffic. We would recurrently pass by an international airport by the freeway where I would gaze out of the window and smile at the sight of airplanes. My mom told me that even before I could speak, she would point out airplanes to me during long drives and I would respond by being in awe each and every time.

"Wooow, Mommy! It's an AIRPLANE! 

A flurry of emotions came over me when I left the Philippines. I went on a shopping spree just like anyone would. I had my send off dinner and spent time with family. To say that it was difficult to walk away from my family at the airport is an understatement. I shed tears knowing that I was willingly giving up the life I had along with a family I have never been away from. No matter how lonely I may have been, I was also relieved that I was finally going to be with my then fiance again after several months of being apart.

Hair raising - I spotted differences between the Philippines and America as soon as I got here. At the airport, I was stepping off the pavement to cross when my husband yanked my shirt and I fell back at full force. The next thing I knew, "whooosh!" a bus grazed the tip of my hair.

Jordan: Nena, jay walking isn't observed over here. Look! Press the button.
Me: Was that a bus!? :O

Stand up and clean up - A few weeks later,  I went to Porto's to meet with a childhood friend of mine. I introduced her to Jordan as we noshed on succulent sandwiches. After our lunch, we all stood up and I began walking away as the ladies next to me began staring.

*I looked back at my husband and friend who seemed to be taking long.*
Me: What are you guys doing?
Friend: Here, let me get it.
Jordan: Nena, we clean up after ourselves over here.

Pack it up - If you thought that was embarrassing, that's not the last of it. I went to a restaurant with my husband and after eating, I had a substantial amount of leftovers left. The waitress asked me if I wanted to keep my leftovers so I nodded and thanked her. I lifted my plate and froze when she handed me a box. I gave her a look. My husband quickly took the box and thanked her while I still had a puzzled expression on my face.

Me: What was that about? Wasn't she supposed to take my plate?
Jordan: You have to pack the leftovers yourself, nena.

Lingo 101 - It doesn't end there. I not only surprise people in public but in the comfort of our home as well. Let's talk about vocabulary. One day, I was conversing with my sister-in-law when the menstrual cycle was brought up.

Me: I like those napkins by Whisper but I think they're called Always over here.
SIL: Napkins?
Me: Yeah, the ones you use when you're one the rag, silly...
SIL: Oh! You mean, PADS! 

Don't get me wrong. I was raised speaking using English as the main vernacular within our familial and social units. My parents elected a formal manner of speaking in order to gear us towards a fruitful future. It's always an advantage to be well versed in a language other than your own.

Hearty Party - One of the things I have recently been acclimated to is attending parties hosted by an indirect friend. A friend's friend who later on turns out to be a friend of yours after an amazing night of fun!

Introduction ->  One liners ->  Alcohol consumption ->  Inside jokes ->  Daylight ->  Facebook friend request

Well, it's somewhat in that order. I'm not the type who parties but when I do, I prefer lounges and house parties over clubs since I'm not comfortable with the latter. Call me crazy but I'm done with clubbing at the age of 24. Considering that I've been to a club twice, I feel that it's one too many times. Over here, it's far more frequent than what I was accustomed to. I was undeniably awkward at first but being married to someone sociable made me loosen up and insert myself in conversations.

Taboo or not taboo? Considering that I originated from a conservative and religious country, adjusting to the Land of the Free has been both bewildering and humbling for me. Sex talk isn't seen as offensive since it's more openly accepted. My husband's family like to tease me for being such a prude because of my childish giggles and tomato cheeks at the onset of sexual connotations.

I respect the culture that is embedded in every fiber of my being. The values that I have come to know have allowed me to embrace who I am as a person. Residing in Los Angeles has been a revelation in disguise. I've been here two months short of a year and I'm already in love with the city and the people. Contrary to what I
formerly believed, America is a suitable society to nurture a child. Sometimes, it's okay to expose them to the ugly truth. Repressing such realities only compels a person to feed their urges. Of course, with freedom comes boundaries wherein both nature and nurture come hand in hand. Crossing the pond answered lingering questions that grazed my mind for years. It's okay to be eccentric. Not being as skinny as most girls is fine too. Having pale white skin isn't always ideal. California girls love to tan after all. Judgement is your prerogative yet being here has helped me see past labels and stigmas. This move has benefited me more than I thought it would. I've blossomed in the past few months more than I have in my adolescent years. It may take me a while to fully acclimate myself to the L.A. lifestyle but I like where I'm at now.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yay or Nay?

I believe that this statement necklace speaks for itself.
Would you purchase this?


Not everything that looks expensive will hurt your budget.
Voice your reactions and I'll tell you why.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time Check: 8:01 pm

Yes, it's 8:01 pm at the dot and by the time I end this blog entry, it will commence the beginning of my usual routine. Get up and wash the dishes, pick up filthy clothes scattered on the floor, color code the garments and maybe befriend the brush for a change. This is a taste of the mundane events in my day to day life.

Getting married at 23 was not at all in my life plan. If anything, I wanted to be an Endocrinologist by day, bar singer at dusk and a struggling theater actress in the making. Well, all that did not pan out. I've spent majority of my existence laying out a list of things to accomplish and executing nothing. Why? It dawned on me that all the energy I concentrated on perfecting my life was a futile attempt to gratify my selfish need for attention. Securing the "I MADE MY MAMA PROUD TICKET"  was once flailing in the air for me to claim yet  slowly inched away in the sky as the words began to blur and my chest grew laden with disappointment...

The smile on a  face can denote happiness just like how clouds can denote rain. The latter doesn't always pull through, now does it? I may speak of rainbows and butterflies but nay, my spirit is as charred as ash. I was at a  stand still for a week, a month, a year and eye ducts incessantly brimming with tears. I have been at a place where I couldn't even hear my own thoughts, questioned my existence, relevance and what I aimed to be. 

Finding yourself seems so banal to express yet as hackneyed as it sounds, it was a valuable and humbling affair. Unraveling true friends, rekindling friendships and finding love compensates for the sleepless nights and wet pillows. Who knew that it would take a collaboration of being 7,000 miles away on a different continent in the other side of the world and a marriage to bring a family together? I have never felt so much closer to my family than I currently do. Establish a relationship with each of your precious loved ones like today is the last day on earth. It's ironic how I have gained the attention I've been seeking now that I'm oceans away. Sometimes, I close my eyes and I can hear them laughing. Mom's calling out my name. I grip my hands and wish that just this once, my family will be standing in front of me when I open my eyes. I smile and mull over cherished memories, both good and bad. I trust that every individual can surmount obstacles thrown at their direction. It is destiny's approach of saying, "Hey, I know you're just human. Take this and come back to me."

I come home to a quaint apartment, my  kind hearted husband and birds melodiously chirping. I've invested in a life that's worth waking up to. I've always had a reason for living but it took a year of sleep for me to see behind the onyx sheet of my own dejection. 

Dwell on the positive light as calling someone ugly won't make you any prettier and labeling someone a dunce won't earn you any brain cells. See the beauty in what you have. Allow yourself to sob over your issues 5 minutes a day for week, a month, a year if you must. Allot 5 minutes a day to feel sorry for yourself and detach from those ill feelings. Then, just then, observe how things will be alright after all. Look around you and see that you're not the only one.

Oh yeah, my mom loves me relentlessly and believes that I can. Let me tell you, I will make it.

Time check: 9:49 pm and living an indubiously happy life. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Do you live more in the past or the present?

There's no reason crying over spilled milk and I prefer spontaneity. As much as I love to plan ahead, I welcome the unexpected. It's a thrill. :)

Shoot me with some Qs!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review: Exuviance Rejuvenating Treatment Masque

I was given the opportunity to review this product months ago and decided to test it over time to ascertain whether or not the product works for me. Read below for my testimony.
Exuviance Rejuvenating Treatment Masque (ideal for normal/combination skin) claims to stimulate cell renewal through the deep cleansing power of AHA/PHA contents. This product is formulated to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and pore size while increasing clarity and firmness of the skin.

product packaging

thick gel consistency

Application - As directed, I used the product once a week (You can use it as often as needed.) by evenly applying the gel over my cleansed face and neck. I let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. I noticed how slimy the product is and that seems to be the only downside of the product. Being gel based, it wasn't a surprise to me though it was a tad uncomfortable. Once completely dried, I peeled the mask off and rinsed my face with warm water.

upon mask application:

Consistency - This is a viscous gel based formula so it tends to get gooey. I personally do not enjoy the beginning of the application due to how sticky it is. For the first minute or so of the drying process, it feels like an adhesive is lathered on the face. It will cease to feel sticky and in stead, effects will begin to set in.

 after 15 minutes of complete drying

Results - From sticky to a calming feeling and then the fun part, peeling. Upon doing so, you will instantly feel how supple and taut your skin is. I'm delighted by how I don't just see results, I feel it too. In addition to that, the masque leaves no residue on the face as it easily peels off. 

after applying the mask

The verdict - As for exfoliating and increasing firmness of the skin, I can vouch for this face masque. I can't speak for their claims of increasing clarity and reducing fine lines since I trust those are genetic but this may aid in both to a subtle degree. Being that I'm always on the go, this product is great for those who are constantly caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. There's absolutely no residue that at times, I go without rinsing though it's advised. I'm left with a refreshing feeling and youthful glow to my skin. 

PROS - leaves skin feeling supple
      - revives stressed skin
     - reveals smooth skin

CONS - sticky consistency

Yes, I recommend this product.
From one everyday girl to another.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Goodies from Walgreens

If you haven't heard, there is a sale at Walgreens that's ending today. Do not fret as they start one every Sunday. I dove in and took advantage of this specific one since I was in need of toiletries and I had coupons that I couldn't pass up.

Colgate Total
retail price: $2.99 (6 oz)
sale price: $2.50 ($5.00 for 2)
coupon: $0.75 off
purchased price: $3.50 ($1.75 each)

Gilette Custom Plus 3 Razor
retail price: $6.49
sale price: B1G1 50% off $6.49 + $3.25
coupon: $4.00 off 2 Gilette Razors
purchased price: $5.74 ($2.87 each)

Bic Soleil Triple Blade Razor (4 pack)
retail price: $6.74
sale price: $5.99
coupon: $3.00 off
purchased price: $2.99 ($0.74/pc)

Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner (12.6 oz)
retail price: $3.99
sale price: $3.50 (2 for $7.00)
coupon: $3.00 off
purchased price: $4.00 ($2.00 each)

Old Spice Body Wash (18 oz)
retail price: $4.99
sale price: B1G1 50% off $4.99 + $2.50
coupon: $1.00 off each
purchased price: $5.49 ($2.74 each)

I still have two O/S coupons which are B1G1 FREE and I intend on using that this weekend as soon as I get more coupons in the mail. Visit your local drugstores and pay attention to in store coupons as well as advertised sales. Refuse to pay for retail. There are so much things you can get for practically nothing in exchange for a portion of your time and coupons.

Of course, I had to dress up for my trip to the store.. hihi. It's not perfect but I'm working on it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Frugal Purchase of the Week

I know that I have been out of touch for a while now. Excuse my absence as I've been so lethargic lately. I have so much to share with you from make-up must haves to absolute steals from Apothica.

As I've been scouring the web and publications for unbeatable discounts, I came across two Target coupons that had me storm straight to the store. I had one coupon for either a 20 or 22 ct of Carefree acti-fresh feminine product and one for a full size Colgate toothpaste. A friend of mine gave me her coupon inserts from the LA Times since she knows I collect them. That's why I got to double my intended purchase.

This would normally cost $9.01 + CA tax

Carefree liners - $0.99
Colgate Pro Clinical White - $3.79
Colgate Advanced Whitening - $3.24

I had two coupons so I purchased two of each.

Carefree liners - coupon for $0.01 each
SAVINGS of $0.98 each
Colgate Pro Clinical White - $2.29
SAVINGS of $1.50 each
Colgate Advanced Whitening - $2.24
SAVINGS of $1.00 each

Total savings of: $4.46

I forgot to whip out my reusable strawberry bag. That would've gotten me an additional $0.05 discount!

There's a lot where that came from... Go and purchase your local Sunday paper not only to keep yourself aware of pertinent issues but great money saving coupons as well. Keep your eyes peeled for Red Plum inserts and visit couponmom.com for ongoing deals. 

Be sure to purchase a CVS card since they now have UP points. 
manufacturer's coupon + store coupon + CVS discount card = A great discount or better yet, free products!
UP points add up at every purchase and they are as good as cash for your next trip so don't discard those receipts! 

I must skidaddle now since it's a beautiful Sunday morning. It's my cue to get the LA Times, clip some coupons and head to the grocery store.

Until next time, savvy shoppers!