posted by on Personal

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Shopping and having hair treatments are 2 of my favorite things to do, especially when I’m feeling a little down. However, you have to agree that these two hobbies can put a huge dent in my wallet if I’m not careful.

Luckily, I passed by HBC’s stall in Robinson’s Galleria. I ended up buying their waterproof mascara, 2 Hortaleza hair spa treatment, 2 Hortaleza hair coloring cream in light havana, and 2 Hortaleza 12% oxiding lotion. I paid less than PhP 1,000 considering I bought 7 items from the HBC stall. I would have paid at least PhP 2,000 for hair color alone if I decided to have hair treatments done by a professional.

HBC-oxidizing-cream-spa-treatment-coloring-cream

By the way, the ladies tending the store were really nice. They helped me decide which shade to buy in order to achieve the hair color I wanted. So yep, I’m pretty happy with my HBC haul.

It was not until a week after that I had time to color my hair using the Hortaleza products I bought. The hair coloring cream and oxidizing lotion are easy to use. You just need to follow the instruction printed inside the box and you’re good to go. However, here are the instructions in case you accidentally destroy the box before you get a chance to read them yourself.

Skin Sensitivity Test
It’s important NOT to skip this test. The first thing you need to do is to mix equal amounts of the hair coloring cream and the oxidizing lotion in a non-metallic bowl. Next, you need to clean a small patch of skin on your elbow or behind the ear and then dab a small amount of the mixture to the area using a cotton swab. Leave the mixture on the area for 24 to 48 hours. However, wash the area immediately if skin irritation, swelling and redness occurs. Also, do not use the hair color mixture if irritation occurs.

Hair Color Preparation
Once you’re sure you can continue with the hair color application, you can continue mixing an equal amount of the color cream and oxidizing lotion. By the way, you need to buy a certain oxidizing lotion depending on the hair color you have.

6% oxidizing lotion can be used if you will use basic colors or if you will cover grey hair.
9% oxidizing lotion is to be used if you wish to change the color of the hair of if you will use fashion colors.
12% oxiding lotion is suggested if you bought a coloring cream in blonde colors. This way, the blonde hue will be achieved more properly.

Now that you have the prepared the proper mixture, you can start coloring your hair section by section starting at your nape. Also, remember to place the hair color 1/2 inch away from the roots if the hair color mixture is lighter than your natural hair color. However, put the hair color from roots to tips if the mixture is darker than your natural hair color. Leave the mixture on the hair for at least 15 minutes and then wet the hair near the roots to let the color emulsify. Leave it for another 30 minutes.

I think I left the mixture on my hair for another 45 minutes, hoping for the color to properly coat each hair strand.

I then took a shower using just a hair conditioner. I didn’t use shampoo for at least 2 or 3 days so that it won’t strip the color off my hair. Not only that, it helped retain moisture and softness for my locks.

I don’t have a photo of my hair before I colored it, but it was a dark brown or mahogany color. If anyone’s interested, here’s the result of the Hortaleza 8.5 Light Havana on my hair.

HBC-Light-Havana-hair-coloring-cream

It looks even lighter under the sun, but I still haven’t taken a photo of myself out doors. I’ll try to update this blog once I have said photo.

How about you? Have you tried any of the HBC hair coloring creams? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments below!

posted by on Gadgets

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Reading has always been a favorite hobby since childhood. I guess my aunt, who happens to be a teacher, has a big part in my love for books. She used to spend time with me and my siblings; teaching us how to write and read. I particularly remember her asking me to read my Children’s Book of Bible Stories out loud. She would then help me pronouncing big words. She also quizzed me about the Bibilical characters I have read about.

Years have passed and my love affair with book have continued to grow. Actually, I would say that it has evolved since I got myself a Kindle Paperwhite. With the Paperwhite, I’m able to read more often. Not only that, I can easily bring the gadget with me wherever I go; thanks to its slim built. Moreover, I take more than one book with me on a trip; try doing that with a physical book and you’ll run out of space fast.

However, I may be able to bring the Kindle Paperwhite with me to a trip on the beach, but I still worry about bringing the gadget near the water. I do not want to risk getting it wet.

Luckily, I heard about the Incipio Atlas waterproof case for the Paperwhite. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to surf the net to find more out more about this prouct.

Incipio website says that the Atlas Paperwhite case is designed to protect your Amazon reading device inside and out. Not only is it a waterproof case that comes with silicon plugs around the perimeter, it also features a sturdy hard-shell frame that protects the Paperwhite from scratches and accidental falls. It even has a soft shell interior that absorbs shock should your device be dropped.

I’m liking the protection feature so far, but wouldn’t this case interfere with my reading experience? After all, the Paperwhite has antiglare and touchscreen features. It would definitely suck if a case compromises my gadget’s features.

Fortunately, the Incipio Atlas has everything covered. It also has antiglare and won’t mess with my Paperwhite’s touchscreen function. Whoopie!

So yep, methinks I’m getting my hands on this waterproof case one of these days. For now, I’ll be content with a photo of the violet Incipio case

incipio atlas case


incipio atlas waterproof caseviolet incipio atlas waterproof case

Photo credits: Incipio website

posted by on Pets

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Thinking of getting a Pomeranian

As you may know from my previous post, my dog Jacob Christopher is now in doggy heaven. :(

I still get teary when I think about him and Knuckles, our Siberian Husky who we had to euthanize due to liver problems almost 2 years ago–I’ll have to write about that sometime. Now, I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a new puppy. I’m torn between a Pom or a Yorkie, but I’m leaning towards the former. The problem is that we’ve already got 7 dogs at home.

Yeah, seven dogs and I still want another one! Why? Because I’ve been thinking a new pup will help me cope with Jacob’s demise. After all, Jacob helped me when we lost Knuckles. So yep, that’s why I want a new pup.

Why do I like a Pom? Because it’s a mini version of a Chow Chow, my ultimate favorite dog! Why not get a Chow instead? Well, because it’s an insanely huge dog and I heard it can be a high maintenance dog. So, I’m cool with settling with a smaller version.

Qualities of a Pomeranian

Aside from looking like a mini Chow Chow, I’d like to get a Pom for its characteristics. According to websites I’ve been reading online, a Pomeranian has the qualities I am looking for in a dog.

For those considering the same breed as I am, here are some characteristics that describe Pomeranians.

Temperament

Poms are little dogs with big hearts! They’re very loyal and are not afraid to show affection. They won’t mind sitting on your lap most of the time if you’re feeling like a couch potato. However, like most dogs, Poms also need to exercise. Be sure to take them out for short walks as much as possible.

Alertness

This may be a toy dog, but a Pom won’t shy away from strange sounds or smells. They will bark at anything or anyone that catches their attention. Despite its small size, you’ll be sure to have a great watchdog if you get a Pomeranian.

Intelligence
These are very smart dogs. Be prepared to train them early. Teach them when to bark or to keep their mouths shut. Do potty trainings early, too. Whatever you decide to teach these small dog breed, let them know who’s the Alpha—you! Otherwise, you just might see your poms use their intelligence in you. You might end up doing what they want you to do, instead of the other way around.

Like other breeds, Pomeranians may have some bad characteristics, too.

Small dog syndrome
As mentioned earlier, you need to let your Pom know who’s boss. If not, your furry baby may develop Small Dog Syndrome. Usually, dogs who have this condition are clingy, demanding, and nervous. They may even approach bigger dogs without hesitation; thinking that they can take anyone! Obviously, this can pose serious threats to your Pomeranian’s safety. So be sure to treat them with a gentle and yet firm hand.

Exercise
Daily walks are needed to help release this small breed’s energy. Think twice about getting a Pom if you can’t walk him regularly. Otherwise, it’s possible for your Pom (or any other dog) to release their unused energy on shoes, chairs, cushions, etc.

Grooming
Pomeranian dogs’ hair can get really fluffy. This is one of the best things I love about a Pom. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to regularly brush his hair to keep them from shedding and matting.

 

pomeranian
Photo credits: GirlyBubble.com

Do you already have a Pomeranian in your life? Do let us know and add to the list of pros and cons to getting a Pom by commenting below.

posted by on Personal

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Today, I lost another dog. His name is Jacob Christopher. He’s a purebred mahogany shih tzu.

True to his breed, Jacob’s super affectionate, trusting, and outgoing. He’ll give you tons of kisses, making sure you end your day with lots of (puppy) love.

Unfortunately, he got sick. He had colds. He started losing appetite. He had high fever. We thought it was just a phase. We changed his dog food.
; We fed him by hand; Took him to the vet.

The vet gave him antibiotics and told us to make sure he ate and drank water. A few days after, we brought him to the vet again for another checkup. We wanted to have him confined just to make sure. However, the vet just gave him another set of antibiotics and told us that we’ll have Jacob confined if he gets high fever again. He also said we’ll have the blood test after 3-4 days.

Today was the 3rd day after his previous checkup; a week after his first visit to the vet this month. He was brought to the clinic in the morning. At that time, everything went downhill. :(

My poor Jacob’s eyes, ears, skin, and gums suddenly turned yellow. Definitely not a good sign. My pretty husky, Knuckles, had to be euthanized last 25 July 2012 due to complications to her liver. It was a gradual deterioration for Nookie. It was so different with Jacob’s case.

In a matter of days, Jacob turned from a cheerful shih tzu to a dog who didn’t even have the energy to stand up. He still managed to kiss us, but you can see it was an effort to do so.

As we were in the clinic, Jacob had to have some dextrose and oxygen pumped into his body. I tried so hard to remain calm and strong. I didn’t want him to see me hurting.

I talked to him; urged him to feel better already; promised to take him to places as soon as he got stable. You could see he wanted to please us. He wagged his tail every time we told him he was a good strong boy.

Unfortunately, he sort of had a cardiac arrest. He also convulsed. The doctor and his helpers were able to revive him.
I, honestly, thought he was going to be ok. Thing is… vet said he still wasn’t stable. I think, at that point, I started convincing myself to let Jacob go. After all, I knew this scenario all too well. I knew, first-hand, that damaged livers were irreversible for dogs.

We called another clinic. These doctors were Knuckles’ vets. They confirmed what my brothers and I already knew. They even said we’d be lucky to have Jacob live through the night.

I knew Jacob’s case was serious, but hearing that said out loud was still like a blow. I started tearing up, but I always put on a brave face when talking to Jacob.

At some point, my brother pulled me into a corner. He asked me to decide if we were going to have Jacob euthanized. I lost my cool.

I cried. I didn’t want to lose another dog. I couldn’t believe we had to have another dog euthanized again. So I waited. I talked to Jacob.

I told him I loved him. I thanked him for being with us even for the short time of his life. I asked him if he could still hold on. As if to answer me, he tried to get up. I told him to be a good boy and to not move so that his oxygen and dextrose won’t get tangled. Being the great obedient baby he is, Jacob lay still and used my hand as his pillow.

I smiled at that, but I felt time was running out. I asked him again if he could still wait, but this time he just lay still breathing.

I prayed then. With tears streaming down my cheeks again, I thanked the Lord for giving us Jacob. I asked Him to please guide Knuckles and Jacob when our shih tzu has finally joined them.

After some time, the vet stood beside me. He felt Jacob’s pulse and quietly said, “Wala na po.” It was 3:30 PM.

Unfortunately, Jacob’s clinic didn’t have a memorial service. We still had to bring Jacob to Vets in Practice in Mandaluyong so that he can be properly laid to rest. We filled up forms; made the payment; learned that Jacob will have his resting place in Cavite. It’s very far from San Juan City, but we figured it was best to have a special place for Jacob. Being the crybaby that I am, I cried again while filling up the form and talking to the attendant. When everything was set, it was time to go the long way back home.

I took a bath when I got home. It was then I cried the hardest. I kept seeing Jacob’s smiling face every time I closed my eyes. I sobbed, I cried, I prayed. I tried to be quiet, but I, apparently, failed at that. My sister knocked on the bathroom door and asked if I was ok; if I needed water. I tried to make a joke, saying, “Maraming tubig sa gripo. (There’s a lot of water in the faucet.” Before she left the door, I told her I was going to be ok and thanked her for checking on me.

It’s now 11:06 PM as I’m writing this post. It has been hours since I heard those dreadful words. I still can’t stop the tears. My eyes are painfully swollen, but tears are still flowing.

I guess I have to try get some sleep. I’ll see about writing a post on signs your dog is poisoned, but for now I’ll end this with…

image

And this…

image

We’ll miss you, Jacob Christopher. ‘Til next time, sweetie. I love you <3<3<3

posted by on Skin Care

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If there’s one thing I miss about High School, it must be having really smooth skin. Back then, I used to be able to have enough sleep. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing now. This brings us to why I miss having smooth skin.

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t have acne all over my face, but it would be great if I had skin as smooth as before. Hence, I’ve decided to take better care of my skin in the hopes that it’s not too late for me.

Having said that, here’s some stuff we need to do to have perfectly smooth skin.

Get enough sleep
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. Sleeping, in fact, does wonders for our skin. It’s that time of the day when our skin rejuvenates and takes time to heal itself. So, let’s try to get enough sleep; preferably, about seven to eight hours every day.

Drink lots of water
Water does not only keep us hydrated. It also flushes out toxins out of the body, keeping us healthier. Not only that, it also reduces skin blemishes and imperfections. It keeps the skin’s elasticity,too. Better drink up, ladies!

Regularly wash your face
Make sure you wash your face morning and night. Use a gentle facial wash and follow instructions properly. If the label says let it stay on your face for a certain number of minutes, do as the label says. Otherwise, you won’t achieve good results offered by the facial product. I use Dermcare’s Transparent Whitening Soap. It’s super effective!

Exfoliate
Some of you may use facial scrubs to exfoliate your face. Personally, I try to avoid the stuff because it gives me pimples. However, what doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, too. Depending on your skin type, you may use commercial facial scrubs or you can also use a paste made of baking soda and some distilled water for a cheaper alternative.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
I can’t stress this enough. It’s important that you keep your skin moisturized. Drinking lots of water will help, but it will be so much better if you use moisturizing creams, too.

Watch what you eat
This is a toughie, especially for me. My siblings and I love to eat; hence, controlling my food intake’s going to be quite a problem. Ideally though, we should eat lots of greens and fruits to achieve glowing skin.

That’s it! Now if only I could discipline myself and follow the necesary steps to achieving a healthier, smoother, and more glowing skin.

How about you? How do you keep your skin looking fresh?

posted by on Featured Products, Reviews

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What’s so special about the Belle de Jour Planner? You know those days when you feel you have too much on your plate? Meetings here, errand there; bills to pay; special events to remember; and the list goes on. Most of the time, you want to hear your hair off and just ignore all the things you need to take care of. If only it was that easy… This is where the Belle de Jour Planner comes in. Belle-de-Jour Isn’t it pretty? It’s just as gorgeous inside! Have a look. Belle-de-Jour-Feb.jpg Belle-de-Jour-Oct.jpg One of the things I love most about the Belle de Jour Power Planner 2014 is that it’s super girly. I feel like it’s inspired by my Jordi Labanda notebooks. Also, you will notice from the photos above that this planner gives its users some tips from being fashionable to traveling green. Therefore, I must say it’s a perfect must have for me since it caters to my blog’s tag of “lifestyle and advocacy”. Aside from the amazing graphics, layout, and tips, my other favorite sections of the Belle de Jour Power Planner is the events tracker. It’s a spread dedicated to important occasions you need to remember. Of course, you have to write in those dates as soon as you get your hands on this planner to maximize the purpose of this section. Belle-de-Jour-EventTracker

The planner also has a 2014 checklist. Basically, it’s a spread with 101 things to ideally accomplish for the year. It’s also great that there are 17 blank lines for the 101 goals. This means you have space to jot down your personal agenda for this year! Makes sense since we all have different goals in life, right? ;) Belle-de-Jour-2014BdjChecklist

BDJ has another section which makes it a perfect organizer for Femmenagerie; It is the page for “Advocacy Challenges”. As the name suggests, it’s a list of advocacy-related to-do’s. Hopefully, I can meet all the advocacy challenges mentioned in this section. I urge you, dear readers, to join in these challenges, too! This will be fun and highly beneficial to the planet. :) Belle-de-Jour-AdvocacyChallenges Helping build a more sustainable planet may be fun, but what’s not fun is when you realize you’ve spent much more than you should. Hence, 2 of my favorite sections from BDJ: Bill Tracker and Cash Flow Tracker. Belle-de-Jour-BillsTracker Belle-de-Jour-CashFlowTracker

I admit… I do tend to spend a lot, especially on food. Unfortunately, it take a huge toll on my budget. With the budget tracker sections of BDJ, I’m hoping I can return to the thrifty old me… I’m keeping my fingers crossed and will be┬ámore conscious of my spending habits. I hope you do the same thing, too. Now, Belle de Jour and its very generous sponsors have tied up to help us save and still be able to satisfy our shopping needs. Fortunately for BDJ Bellas, we can avail of a number of discounts when we use the coupons found in our BDJ planners.

Here’s a list of Belle de Jour’s lifestyle brand partners:

Ace Hotel & Suites

Ace Water Spa

All Flip-flops

Bauhaus

Browhaus

Bulgogi Brothers

Canmake

Cupcakes by Sonja

Dermclinic

Celeteque

Cofee Bean & Tea Leaf

DC

Free Fish

Flipsters

Girls Teens’ Wear

Goody

Healthway Medical Clinics

Hatch22

J.Co

Krazy Garlic

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls (Lucky Chinatown, Venice Piazza, Eastwood Mall)

Mister Donut

Parisian

Pet Express

Print Social

RedBox

Revlon

Roxy

Rustan’s

Saforelle

Seafood Island

Serenitea

Skinfood

SM Ladies Fashion

Strip It

Subic Grand Seas

TGIFridays

TeamManila

Terranova

The Red Crab

The Ramp

The Spa

Tokyo Posh

Tonkatsu

Trilogy

Yamamay

Wacoal

Yves Rocher

Zen Zest

Yep, all these brands are BDJ’s lifestyle brand partners.

So you ask what makes BDJ so special? I’ve just enumerated the various reasons this planner is the best there is!

What are you waiting for? Grab your very own Belle de Jour Power Planner to start your year right!

posted by on Books, Reviews

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As mentioned in my City of Bones book review, I started reading City of Ashes as soon as I finished the first book. Fortunately, I decided to get a Kindle Paperwhite; grabbing new titles is now a no-brainer. There’s no need to get out of the house to buy books from the bookshop. You can now get new books wirelessly. How lazy cool is that?

Going back to our City of Ashes book review… Please note that this may contain possible spoilers for both City of Bones and City of Ashes. If you haven’t read either of these books, you may want to think twice about reading this review. Now, I must say the Mortal Instruments series is headed for greater heights based on how the second installation went. Looks like Cassandra Clare has improved her characterization skills. You’ll feel more emphatic with her characters. You’ll either like them more or feel much hatred for a new character. Bottomline is you’ll know much more about a character here in City of Ashes compared to City of Bones.

For the plot, City of Ashes starts with a man commanding a young warlock to summon a demon. What happens after is purely catastrophic. Not only is the Shadowhunter world in peril, mankind is also in danger of being enslaved by the demon and its Master.

Another issue discussed in this YA literature is the incestual feelings between 2 of the main characters. I understand that it’s quite difficult to control one’s feelings. However, I am not sure I enjoyed reading scenes where the characters were pining for each other, despite knowing they were brother and sister. I know incest happens in real life and this book may just be a reflection of what’s happening in the world, but I’d think twice about letting younger people read this; I don’t have children of my own, but I shall definitely ask permission from my cousin if I can give this book to her child as a present. It’s not only the incest part I’m “worried” about, but I think there are sexual innuendos in some parts of the book, too. So parents, please be reminded about these before getting this series for your youngsters.

The book also takes on issues about homosexuality. This part I have no problems with. Also, the love between the 2 homosexual characters showed they respected each other and were having troubles keeping the relationship a secret. Maybe, the whole secrecy is what made me feel there was no chemistry between the two characters. That or the author intentionally did not let these two characters’ relationship shine in the story. I feel like they’re a great team and would love to see more of them together in City of Glass.

I have a gripe about the book covers for both the City of Bones and City of Ashes though. I, honestly, would not have given this book a chance if I saw this in the stores. Great thing my equally great friend, Aubrey, recommended the Mortal Instruments series. I loved the books so much I even got the Infernal Devices series after having just finished the second book. So, Aubs, if you get to read this: Thank you for introducing Cassandra Clare’s works to me. Aaand I miss you!

Overall, I loved this book way more than the first installment. I’m expecting the third title to be just as, if not more, exciting than its predecessors. For now, I’ll end this review by urging you to grab a copy. Unless, you’re a parent who still needs to censor your child’s books a bit.

City of Ashes Book Cover

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posted by on Books, Reviews

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City of Bones is the first book in Cassandra Clare‘s Mortal Instruments series.

This young adult fiction starts with Clary Fray standing in line with her best friend, Simon Lewis, at the Pandemonium Club. She notices an attractive blue-haired boy trying to get in the club. The same guy then follows a tall, pretty, raven-haired girl in a dark storage room. Clary, it seems, feels a brief bout of insecurity; She thinks she is no match for Isabelle Lightwood’s femininity and obvious beauty.

As Clary’s gaze continues to follow the blue-haired boy, she then notices 2 other figures stealthily hot on the tracks of the guy she is slightly attracted to. Clary, now oblivious to Simon’s blabbering, decides to leave her best friend and nose around the storage area. In the dark room, Clary sees something she’s not supposed to see.

Little does Clary know that her life will forever be changed by what she has witnessed. The unexpected turn of events leads Clary and Simon to get acquainted with Isabelle & Alec Lightwood and Jace Wayland.

As the story progresses, the readers will find themselves caught up in the world of Shadowhunters battling demons. Cassandra Clare weaves a story so interesting, it’s so hard to put the book down (or in my case, the Kindle Paperwhite). At the same time, the main characters Clary, Isabelle, Alec, Jace, and Simon learn more about themselves and about each other as they fight Underworlders to survive.

I loved everything about this book. The twists were unexpected; Some parts were even heartbreaking, especially the scenes between Clary and Jace (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read that part). I also got “stressed” when Clary had a fight with her mom. Being a reader, you’ll understand from the start that Clary’s mom, Jocelyn Fray, only wanted to keep Clarissa safe. However, to find out something big after all those years, you’d feel just as devastated as Clary if you were in her shoes. No wonder Clary acted the way she did in the middle and latter parts of the story. I can’t really blame her for those actions. After all, she’s in that phase where she’s not quite an adult, but feels the need to prove that she is one. You know the feeling. We’ve all been through this stage at some point in our lives.

Unfortunately for Clary, some of her impulsive decisions cause her and those around her to get hurt. Luckily, they have earned the trust of a mighty warlock, who aids them the best way he can.

I guess you can say that this story revolves on the battle between good and evil. It also touches on the human emotions: respect, love, friendship, responsibility, madness, etc. as mentioned earlier, I love every moment in this book. I started reading City of Ashes as soon as I was done with City of Bones. I recommend this piece of literature if you’re into YA. Actually, I also recommend this to other readers who would like to try reading young adult lit for a change. Yes, that’s how much this story got me hooked. I’m hoping you’ll love this series as much as I do.

City of Bones Book Cover

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