I’m forever intrigued by things that humanize celebrities and influencers. Lists like the famed Proust Questionnaire (via Vanity Fair) and The Strategist’s What I Can’t Live Without are two of my favourite sources to find out more about these people. I’ve compiled my own ‘What I Can’t Live Without’ list specific to the summer season.

Sunnies Studios Kinga in Gold Full Brown

The one store I didn’t get to go to while I was in Manila was Sunnies Studios so I was delighted when Nicole brought me a couple of pairs over when she came to visit back in June. I got the Kinga and the Winona in Gold Dark Green and I haven’t even gotten a chance to wear the Winona because I haven’t worn anything else but the Kinga in over two months! I really love the shape and colour. This is the first time I’ve bought a pair of shades without trying them on and thankfully it worked out well.

Nestle Nesfruta Melon Powdered Drink Mix

The first time I tried this, it brought me back to my grade school days when our school cafeteria would sell melon juice with grated strings of melon in it for Php15. This tastes exactly like that sans the strings. I bought maybe 20 sachets to bring back to Toronto and have been bringing a sachet of this with a bottle of gin to every party I’ve been to this summer. I also made it a point to buy other flavours. I have buko, mangosteen, sweet ponkan, guyabano, dalandan, calamansi, and every imaginable flavour you can think of.

David’s Tea Iced Tea Press

My love affair with David’s Tea knows no bounds. A couple of summers ago I bought a tumbler that allowed me to drink their iced tea of the day for a dollar. This summer, my client told me about their new single serving iced tea press. It has truly revolutionized my iced tea drinking. Less clean up, more drinking. It went on sale for $9 when it was originally 30 so I was more than happy to swipe one up. It’s amazing.

Bud Light Radler

My friend Nadine and I attended a brunch festival sponsored by Bud Light Radler and that’s where I got to try it for the first time. Needless to say, I’ve been drinking it all summer. I bring it to barbeques, to my friend’s cottage, and even at festivals. I find this far more superior than the Stiegl Grapefruit Radler (cheaper too).

Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Wisp

The search for the best travel friendly highlighter is over and it is no other than Wisp. It is the most versatile highlighter I’ve ever used. I can use it with or without a base, use it with my fingers or a brush, and during my most fair to my most tan phases. And it’s eight dollars. Get on the Colourpop train if you haven’t yet.

Salt Water Sandal “The Original” in Navy

I bought this pair three years ago when on a trip back home my luggage got lost in Chicago and took a few days to get to me. I’d been wanting to grab a pair since I saw them on Love Taza ( she and all her children wear them, it’s adorable) so what better time to get it while shoe-less and in Manila? I’ve worn this pair to the beach, a desert, up a mountain, gone swimming with it, gone to festivals with it, walked around the city, and basically every activity under the sun (and even in the rain). The great thing about these sandals is that the leather gets softer whenever it gets wet; it’s like it molds to your feet even more. I ended up getting another pair off Amazon because I loved it so much. I haven’t bought another summer sandal over the couple of years since I discovered this.

Johnson’s Baby Cooling Powder

This is not a sponsored post, even though I joked about it on my Instagram. Yes, my cousin works for J&J, but my love for this product goes way before her employment. However I was reminded of this powder when I went home at the tail end of Manila summer and she provided me with an array of cooling products in my bathroom, including this and the line’s cooling gel lotion and cooling bath. I apply this everywhere. In your bra and specifically under your boobs, in your pits, on the back of your neck, in between your legs (especially if you’re wearing skirts). I basically douse myself in this before I leave the house. I love it so much I brought back five 200g bottles of it for my cousins who are just as sweaty as me.

Vaseline Healthy White SPF 30 PA++ Serum

Let me start by saying I’m not here for the whitening purposes of this product (you know me, I believe I’m a better person when I’m tan). I’m here for the fact that this takes out a second step when it comes to my body care regime. It’s sticky enough in the summer, I don’t want to put lotion and then SPF. This isn’t greasy at all which is excellent especially when it’s humid out.

That’s my summer in a nutshell. Do you have any can’t live without products/ services/ etc for the summer? Share them with me.





I’ve all but stopped posting photos on Instagram and Facebook (fret not, I shall never cease posting funny animal and baby videos there) so I’m gonna try and post more words in the meantime.

Here’s my recap of the first month of the year and the last month of my 20’s. Some of these things aren’t actually current, it just means I discovered or enjoyed it last month.


Vocabulary word – Profligate

I can’t remember now which movie or TV show I heard this in but I remember hearing it and thinking I should’ve paid more attention to my SAT vocabulary review words 12 years ago.

TV shows

1. The Night Of 

I finished it in the span of a weekend. Was anyone else as amazed as I was with Riz Ahmed’s transformation? I found it so intense I needed to take a break before the last episode by watching the Golden Globes. It makes me sad to think that some people really do fall victim to circumstance the way Naz did.

2. Joe Rogan: Triggered 

I am not the biggest fan of stand up comedy so I’m thankful I know of Joe from previous endeavours (Fear Factor LOL) otherwise I probably wouldn’t have given this show the light of day. One of my clients also made a pretty funny reference to this specific show so I decided to give it a shot. He is so hilarious that even my mom (!) couldn’t stop laughing at his lines. We went on a Joe Rogan binge that night and checked out his other features on Netflix and even old Fear Factor episodes.

Movies (on Netflix)

1. The Innocents

I find it so fascinating when I watch/ read movies about how WWII played out in different countries. This is not as historical as it is dramatic, but it’s incredible nonetheless. It takes some effort for me to commit to a foreign film and I did not peel my eyes away from the TV for a single second during this movie. The fact that this movie has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes should be reason enough for you to watch it.

2. Zootopia 

I’m not even embarrassed that this is the only Oscar nominated movie I’ve seen because it was so good. The fact that I saw it during a pretty tumultuous time in America made it that much more important. I seriously believe every person needs to watch this movie to deal with living in a world where Donald Trump is the president of the free world. Lots of life lessons here, you guys.

Person Of Interest – Chris Hadfield

If you open my YouTube account you’ll see that in addition to beauty and skincare vlogs, my next most searched topic is Chris Hadfield. I have listened to so many interviews and podcasts with him over the past month and have even gone as far as reading an op-ed his son wrote about him. Linking some of my faves for your perusal.

Chris Hadfield on the Joe Rogan Experience

Chris Hadfield’s TED talk

Chris Hadfield interviewed by George Strombolopolous

Evan Hadfield’s (Chris’s son) article for the Globe and Mail


  1. Pie Face Showdown

After debating whether to get this or the original pie game, I decided on this because I know my friends will enjoy getting competitive with each other.

2. Elf Blending Eye Brush

This is the best $1.97 I spent all month. This has quickly become one of my favourite makeup brushes. Every time I use it I’m amazed at how soft it is since I’ve definitely spent more on scratchier brushes than this.


  1. Alba Botanica Kukui Nut Body Oil

This is more of a rediscovered product since I bought this years ago but forgot about it since we packed it in the move. I was looking for some soap and found a tub of skincare products in my mom’s room and this was inside of it. This might be one of the best smelling body oils I’ve ever come across.

2. Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray

I wanted to see if all the hype about this brand was worth it and since I had just learned how to style my hair using a texture spray, I thought this was the perfect entry product into Ouai. To be 100% honest, I kind of regret buying the Davines texturizer because this smells so much better. Less sweet, more fresh, just as flexible and soft. Seriously considering buying the travel size bottle of this spray.

Experience – Snowboarding in Bromont

This was the perfect mountain for the first ride of the season. The runs were wide enough for you to practice on, it wasn’t too crowded or expensive, and just an hour outside of Montreal. I still fell a lot but I think this is the best I’ve boarded in my life.


1. Migos- Bad and Boujee

In my group of friends, you either hate this song (Marko) or you love it (Mike). There is just no in between. Personally, I have no idea what they’re saying; but remembering how much this song annoys Marko makes this song unforgettable.

2. Big Sean – Bounce Back

Another song that reminds me of my friends; specifically Dani. She would not let the night end before we heard this song and she fought tooth and nail to get her hands on the PS3 controller to let us hear it. I love the colour scheme of this entire video.

Artist – The Internet

I’m a little embarrassed to say I just learned about this band especially when they sing one of my favourite songs on this SoSuperSam mix (1:36). So chill.

Felt – organic bamboo cotton sheets

I just repurchased these sheets to fit my new bed and I swear I will never sleep on anything else. Unless they’re these Matteo vintage linen ones.

Received – LED Makeup Mirror

A birthday gift from my mom. The lighting in my room is pretty bad at night so this was perfect for doing my makeup and my nails.

That’s it for now!



I’ve been staring at the empty white wall behind our sofa for the past six months. The former tenant left a couple of holes in the wall from something she had previously hung. Instead of being annoyed about her not spackling the walls, I’m more pressured to fill the wall with something..or many somethings.

So I’ve been looking at a lot of art lately and here’s a run down of the artists whose pieces I want for my future gallery wall. Especially since my Dirty 30 / Champagne Birthday is coming up, you never know if some generous benefactor will step in and be like “here you go, one of everything!”


Mikko Sison


Nepotism aside, Mikko is a brilliant artist who just so happens to be my cousin-in-law and my gracious Manila host. In addition to being with family, I love staying at his house because of all the art. It’s literally like living in a museum.

Check out his house (which he designed himself as well).

I once tried to count all the artwork in his house. I stopped at 34 because I got distracted by the food (he’s also a great cook).

Here are some of my favourite portraits of his (mostly featuring my cousin and nephews).


This photo was taken a few weeks after Maro was born; you can tell it was early on because Rojo was still in that phase where he wasn’t sure what to do or how to feel about having a baby brother. To get him to participate in this photo, Star Wars masks were used. He and Denise are big fans.

Mikko then turned that photo into these two portraits. I love them so much! They currently hang in the corner in his house just outside the master bedroom beside his toy case.


Other portraits of Mikko’s that I love are these from a show earlier this year entitled villainTH. Rojo likes to play with Lego minifigures and he creates new characters with them and for some reason turns them into villains, or villainTH (he has a lisp).


Here are some pieces from that show.

Coco Davez

I first came across Coco Davez via her feature in Apartment Therapy. Among all her prints, my favourites include Jacques Cousteau, Steve Zissou, and Pablo Picasso (from the faceless series) and the eye series (any colour).

Harry McNally

I saw these a couple of years ago and totally forgot about it until someone I follow on Instagram posted that she got a print from Harry Mcnally for her anniversary. My favourites include Afterhours and Mean Girls. I’m pretty sure that’s Enrique’s neighbourhood in the Mean Girls photo, by the way.

Ben Frost

I’ll admit they’re controversial, but what good art isn’t? An Instagram discovery, Ben Frost unfortunately doesn’t have any prints for sale at the moment. I don’t know if he reprints any of his stuff but here are a few of my faves.

Alex Gross

There is something so sad about the paintings of Alex Gross. Culturally appropriate, well timed, and realistic. It’s like he’s mocking us for the things we like and prioritize while being visually appetizing. I can’t stop staring at his paintings. I particularly like the Asian inspired ones. Clockwise from top left, Slurpee (Best Friends), The Mandolin, and The Last Judgment. (Doesn’t that man in the last painting remind you of Morgan Freeman or Samuel L Jackson’s character in Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? )

Travis Louie


I really like animal heads on people’s bodies; a combination that I didn’t know until recently terrified Cara. I almost love it even more now knowing that. I especially love how he does it in an old school portrait kinda way. This one is entitled Young Miss Bunny. Here’s a funny story about Travis Louie. A few years ago, I was in New York and bought a book of his entitled Curiosities. I enjoyed it so much that I made it a point to try and see a gallery show he had in New York the next time I was going to be in town. My friend and I spent a few good hours trying to find the gallery based on an event posting I saw online only to find out when we got there that the event happened two years ago. Grrreat.

Sarah Bahbah


I can’t remember the first time I came across Sarah’s work, but it was definitely through Instagram. After more stalking, I actually found out that she shot one of the Sunnies Studios campaigns (side note: does anyone know where I can find Georgina’s Marlboro t-shirt?) Her Sex And Takeout series is my favourite out of all her work.


Baron Von Fancy



Four years ago I went to American Two Shot for the first time and the first thing that caught my eye were these provocative stickers that spelled out BARON VON FANCY.  I wouldn’t say I was scandalized, but I was definitely intrigued. I asked the girl behind the counter how much the stickers were. Then this guy seated beside her told me to just take them. “Baron is a very generous man”, he added. A quick Google search later told me that it was Baron Von Fancy himself.

The infamous sticker.


This was on the back of that sticker.

I stuck that on my laptop until my case cracked three years later.


During my SoHo Beauty Day with Justine this year, I asked to pass by ATS once more. I wanted more BvF merch and since Pintrill was closed the day I was in Brooklyn, this was my last opportunity to get something. Thankfully, they had a bunch of stickers for sale ($1 each). I also picked up a Fat Jew x Baron Von Fancy lighter, which is weird because I don’t smoke. I also saw his artwork around the city which made me really giddy.



Despite owning a few odds and ends, I would love to still own an original print by him. My favourite sayings include FUCK IT BEFORE IT FUCKS YOU and NOTHING IS WRONG IF IT FEELS GOOD. From what I’ve Googled, only the Nothing one is currently in print or being sold.

So there ya go. Putting it out into the world for me to remember but also because..well you never know!







So it’s Friday the 13th.

My unlucky streak already happened yesterday (I may have either a herniated disc or a bulging one, either way – it’s not good), so I felt pretty confident about being accident free today. Today was still pretty odd though. I was on the receiving end of waterworks not once, not twice, but three times. I’d like to think people think they can confide in me and that I have a very comforting presence. Well, it’s either that or I make people cry. I’d like to think it’s the former.

But let’s talk about the funny stuff that happened today.

From top to bottom

1. Making extensive birthday plans that include lots of physical activities and this girl bails on everything but this. I actually laughed out loud when I read this email.

2. Our friends have established a .gif ban during the day  (when we are at work and don’t have Wi-Fi access) in our group chat to save on data so we resort to creative ways to express ourselves.

3. When I was packing my house up I found about 100 pens lying around. I brought it all to work because for the number 1 club in the country, we are always out of pens. I threw in a case of face paint crayons by accident and assumed that someone just tossed it out. Imagine my amusement when I found out when a) we had run out of pens, again and b) in the face of desperation, someone used for a signature. I don’t know if that’s legal, but at least he used the black one I guess?


One of the few material things I set my sights out on purchasing last year was a leather jacket. My client Liz (who also wants one) perfectly put into words the sentiments I shared regarding a leather jacket “I don’t think I’m cool enough for it.”

There’s a certain cool girl vibe I’ve seen on those who wear it. That is; on those who pull them off nicely. Case in point? These two ladies: Kylie Jenner and Hannah Bronfman



Band shirt and white jeans. YES


My ideal travel porma: Rimowa, grey linen scarf, and a hoodie around my waist.

I had tried a couple of leather jackets before, mostly those owned by friends and for some reason they didn’t look as cool on me as they did on them. So for the longest time, I just kind of dismissed the idea of ever owning one. Maybe it was one of those things that only other girls could wear.



I first saw this Stella Nova jacket while browsing the Winners near my work during a break I had in between clients. At first I didn’t know how I felt about the subtle butterfly sleeves. Was it too Imeldific? Did it make my former swimmer shoulders look more broad than they already were?

I immediately sent this photo to my closest friends and family secretly hoping they would discourage me from buying it. At the time, I had just booked a trip to Bali so I really wasn’t in the financial position to be buying jackets I’d only be able to wear for like a week (it was already the end of November).

Then one friend said the magic words that gets me every single time when it comes to any Winners purchase.

“How much was it originally?

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 9.36.05 PM

405 euros versus the 250 dollar price tag at Winners?  I was sold. Besides, I could always buy it and return it if I realized I didn’t like it…right?

I’m sure you can guess that the jacket never made it back on the rack. It took me a long time to finally get to wear it since winter came not too long after I bought it. But on one balmy day in February (of all the days), I finally got to break this baby out.

imageMaybe it was coincidence that the day I wore this was the same day we bought our first condo, but I can’t deny that all throughout the day I felt pretty confident and slightly like a badass. I may not be Jessica Jones and my jacket might not be Acne, but I sure as hell felt pretty close to her level of coolness (sans superpowers, but still).

I know true confidence doesn’t come from lambskin leather and some metal hardware but I’m all for whatever helps make you feel better.

Do you have anything that makes you feel cool and ups your confidence?

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January was not the month I expected it to be. I think spending the first few days of the month jetlagged really threw me off course; but I’m definitely not going to blame my lack of productivity in January on that. It may have been a rocky start but that doesn’t mean nothing good happened either.

I spent the first few hours of the new year at a very odd New Year’s Party at a furniture warehouse. In fact we spent the first few minutes of 2016 hunting for our friends because we all got separated at some point. The ‘Hooters Crew’ (the four of us who met for the first time outside Hooters 7 years ago) left ahead of everyone else and chilled and truthfully that may have been the best part of the New Year. In all the years we’ve been here, this was the first New Year’s we’d spent together. In fact, of the 11 years Cara and I have known each other, this is the first time we hung out over this holiday.

After a few stressful first days at work, I decided to mosey on over to Holt Renfrew and spend some quality time with someone I’d been meaning to get to know for a while; Charlotte Tilbury. Okay, so maybe I’m talking about her products more than I am of the actual makeup artist. I had heard nothing but great things about her makeup line and decided to check it out. I’ve always been a believer of great customer service and believe that it can make or break any and everything. The lady who showed me the line of products was amazing, helpful, and so honest that I truly felt like I was bonding with a friend. It also helped that she was Filipina so our skin shade was similar plus we knew common people from back home! What are the odds? I left with the Filmstar Bronze & Glow and the Light Wonder Foundation; both of which I’ve been using daily ever since.

A little later than the rest of my friends, but I was finally able to make it out to the slopes of Blue Mountain. If you’ve been reading for a while, the last time I was up there I got injured and was worried I would never make it on a ski lift again. Not for lack of recovery but more because I was scared shitless. I’m a scaredy cat you guys, haven’t you figured that out yet? Thankfully, aside from a few bruises (as expected) I had no further injuries. And although it may be a little premature to say, I am no longer afraid of ski lifts. Plus I got to witness fireworks from the top of the mountain! How awesome is that?

Later that night, all my friends and I headed to this tiny bar to watch Marcus Marr (of The Trouble With Us fame). It was fun because it was the first time all of us had gotten together since Halloween and I was also able to stick to my $20 budget ( which is coat check and two drinks on Dundas West) for the night.

The next week we drove up to Montreal to celebrate Lana’s birthday and attend Igloofest; a music festival we’d been eyeing for years. In spite of all the hiccups we encountered on Saturday, the dinner we prepared was amazing and Igloofest was incredible. Maceo Plex killed (as always) and although I passed on going to Stereo (Lee Burridge couldn’t make it out of New York because of the storm), I kid you not our apartment was so nice I didn’t mind hanging out there for the rest of the night. I had conveniently forgotten how cold Montreal gets in the winter, so that’s another reason why I didn’t mind being home at all.

The following weekend we drove back up to Quebec, this time to go to Mont Tremblant to celebrate my birthday (29!) and go snowboarding. The weather was much milder compared to last year and I was grateful for that. Although I’m not nearly as good as my friends yet, I definitely felt an improvement compared to the last time I was at Tremblant. I realized I don’t have that need for speed when it comes to snowboarding. I’m happy just being able to do my S turns and getting to the bottom of the mountain with fewer falls and stops than I’m used to.

The best part of the weekend was also the scariest part. The last ski lift ride ends at 3:45pm because the mountain isn’t equipped with lights for night riding; yes Mont Tremblant is that huge. When Daina and I had realized we ended up at the bottom of the north side of the mountain at 4pm instead of the south side where the village and our friends were, she haggled our way up the ski lift one last time. You see, the walk from the north to the south side would easily take half an hour.. plus you’ll be doing it in the dark (again, no lights around the mountain). So we get to the top and get to sneak down one last run. It was the best run of my life because we had the entire mountain to ourselves (save for the medics on patrol who kept urging us to “go faster, but safely. Darkness is coming”). Nothing forces you to get better faster than the idea of impending darkness. It was the fastest run of my life, but also the most magical. Many times when I stopped to catch my breath, I kept thinking “should I be taking more pictures?” Eventually I came to the conclusion that I’d rather Daina and I share that moment. I mean, I took about two photos, but that’s it. The rest of that day will remain in my memory as one of the best nature highs of my life.

So yeah, I guess you could say January ended on a high note; 2,871 feet high to be exact.


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That screen cap is from this article from the series ’15 Best of 2015′ series on The Coveteur. I have no issue regarding closet and beauty voyeurism, in fact I have a blog dedicated entirely to that, nor is this a personal attack on Sofia Richie (to prove that, I dig her style and have even linked her article up there). What I do have an issue with, and have had one for a looong time, is people who use mental illness as an adjective.

Maybe we can chalk it up to youth. Maybe this upsets me because if I learned anything from Ateneo, it is that these diseases people throw around when they are describing things is more debilitating than they will ever know. More than this being a rant, I want this to be informative and an eye opener. Someone who likes things neat does not automatically mean they have OCD. Other terms exist people, open up your vocabulary. For example, anal-retentive isn’t quite as quick to say but trust me it’s more impressive and less offensive.

Educate yourselves people, ignorance is so last year.

Read up!

1. Pssst, OCD is NOT an adjective

2. Let’s Stop Using Mental Illnesses as Figures of Speech

3. 10 Very Real Mental Illnesses You Need To Stop Using As Adjectives