I would like to dedicate this blog post in loving memory of my brother-in-law,
Jayson Juan Ramos (03.12.1982 - 08.02.2017)

"Well done,
Good and faithful servant."
- Matthew 25:21

There is no easy way of saying goodbye, specially to our loved ones. But sudden deaths are harder to grasp mentally and emotionally. My brother-in-law's death took us all by surprise when he suffered from heart failure. In matter of minutes, we lost him.

A month passed since our loss but the scenario is still fresh in my mind. I heard an FB Messenger call from my sister-in-law while I was in a meeting with my boss, and since I knew that the call won't go through because it is not allowed here in UAE, I cancelled the call and replied to her saying that 'I am in a meeting, try to call Owel.'  My meeting finished just few minutes after I sent my message, and when I checked my Messenger again I read her message saying that my brother-in-law is dead. I was totally shocked, frozen and completely blanked. I was shaking while trying to call my husband. Couple of failed calls because his line was busy. After minutes of waiting I received a call from him. He was loudly crying and with a broken voice he conveyed to me the news.

I was trying so hard not to be drowned with my emotions that very moment. I said to myself that I have to be strong for my husband. With a calm voice, I instructed him to arrange his flight immediately back to Philippines even without me. I couldn't go with him due to work and financial related reasons. I was trying so hard to calm him over the phone for I know that he needs to drive back in the city for an hour and he should be focus on his safety. I know that it will be very difficult that I couldn't be there for my husband to comfort him but I told him that we have to be stronger while we are apart. He have to be stronger emotionally and spiritually for out family back in the Philippines.

Blessed enough that he was able to get a flight ticket that same night. Couple of hours before we send him off to his flight, his tears were pouring on my shoulders. I was not able to ask the details of what happened, I just let him release some of the overflowing emotions he had that moment.

My brother-in-law, Jayson, is the youngest from my husband's siblings. Jayson is a public servant in our barangay as a councilor and a friend to many. He left a wife and an 11 year old son who had just been cleared from cancer couple of months back.

Looking back, our family realized that every moment counts. We can never tell how many days we will be enjoying our lives here on earth, or how much time we still have to be with our loved ones. There were many "if only" scenarios that our family, his family, regretted.  Thus, in this life that everything is uncertain, we learned to remember one thing - - - never failed to show how much you love your family, friends or anyone who means to you. A constant communication of "Hi, hello, how are you doing, i love you, etc." could mean a world to our loved ones. Even at times that we have a misunderstanding, make it a point that at the end of the day, love will still prevails. Show your love, your care and make time.


"'Tol, I know how much you miss your wife, son and whole family. It is the same for us here, we miss you too. We know that you are in a better place now. You don't have to worry anymore, specially to Josh. We will make sure that everything will be ok for him. Thank you for being a part of my life for even a short amount of time that you were here with us on earth...... You definitely did a good job! Till we see you again."

My husband recently had to go home in the Philippines due to an emergency. It was such a distressful two weeks stay for him back home. I was surprised that he was able to take time and buy me some books and kikay pasalubong when he arrived back here in Abu Dhabi.

He gave me a pair of Lip & Cheek Gel Tint, a product by Seoul Skin. I am a huge fan of lip and cheek tint and although I am not so familiar with the brand, I was super excited to try it out.

I did try to search online about Seoul Skin brand and I would say that I was quite impressed with the reviews. 

The packaging is simple yet pretty girly. The ingredients were well stated in the box and emphasized that it is paraben free, with aloe vera and moisturizing. The gel tint transparent tube is very basic with a doe foot applicator.

The gel color is in dark red but when applied on skin or lips, it shows a red-pink tone. The gel consistency is very light which makes it easy to blend. It has a sweet berry scent which is very appealing to me. One swipe sure makes a perfect blush on my cheeks and natural shade on my lips. It sure is smudge proof on my lips and also has a lasting effect specially on my cheeks. 

Below are some photos of my first try on my hand.    

1 swipe is all it takes.

After 30 seconds

After 2 minutes

It only takes one light swipe on each cheek and softly blend it using your fingers to achieve a very natural blush. Same goes with the lips. One swipe on each lip and blend it by dabbing with your finger and that's it! Well, plus a natural looking define brows, makes a perfect natural, no-makeup, effortlessly fresh everyday look.

I recently tried doing a routine of no-makeup, just fresh glowing-look and using this lip and cheek tint makes it easy for me. Yes, I'm being lazy most of the time specially while being in the office. I just though that I really don't need much makeup unless I have something important to attend. Better reserve the glam look on occasions. πŸ˜‰

Overall, I am totally in love with this new found product. It is perfect for everyday use and has a long lasting effect. The scent is very nice and the texture is great. After several use, I am happy that I didn't get any skin irritation. I am just a little disappointed with the amount of the product content that seems just a little more than half of the tube. Since the dark color spread-out plus the applicator inside the tube, it sure does look full, but upon thorough checking it isn't. Anyhow, the product quality is great and I would definitely buy some more stocks when I'm back in the Philippines. πŸ˜‰

It's like a Christmas whenever I received a package of products for review from Palmer's. This month I received two bottles of full size shampoo and conditioner.

I package was in a cute brown pouch with Palmer's logo on it. As usual, it still include the lovely orange envelop with the product details on it.

The bottle for the shampoo and conditioner seems very similar. Unless you will read it specifically and notice the font color, you won't really differentiate the shampoo from the conditioner. It is in a basic shape bottle in dark brown color. 

You will notice in both bottle's label that it emphasized - - - "no sulfates, no parabens, no phthalates, no mineral oil, no gluten and no dyes". Whereas these ingredients can be commonly found in regular shampoos and conditioners in the market. So, this catch made me really excited to try these babies.

I have been using Palmer's Shea Formula Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner for few days now since I received them. First, I've tried the shampoo without conditioner for couple of days, just to see it's effect on my hair and scalp. The scent is very nice and calming.

After I thoroughly wet my hair and put a generous small amount of shampoo, I gently massage it on my scalp and hair. I noticed that it didn't foam up like a regular shampoo, but I didn't add more. After few minutes, I rinsed my hair thoroughly.

I combed it gently and waited for it to dry. Although the shampoo didn’t lather up as much as I’m used to with a regular shampoo, I would say that it is it was still sufficient enough to clean my hair. I usually get an oily hair if it wasn't properly cleaned. It leaves a fresh scent on my hair. It was not oily or too dry. It tamed my dry hair and gives a natural shine just on my first use.

After couple of days of just plainly using shampoo, I then use its conditioner after cleansing my hair with Palmer's Shea Formula Moisture Repair Shampoo. The effect give a softer wave on my hair. The natural shine was enhance and replenish moisture. The shea butter scent intensified with the shampoo and conditioner duo, which I personally love.

Overall, these two lovely products will definitely be in my future to-buy-list. It sure did great on my hair!  

One of the perks of being a blogger is receiving new products to try from existing or new brands. I was contacted by Allure Cosmetics through Instagram and informed me that they will be sending full size samples of their lipstick products for me to review. And whenever I got such message, the feeling is just like the first time I received my first ever sample product to review. Yes, this is the Nth time I got samples to review but the excitement is just the same.

Allure Cosmetics is a Singapore based company which started just this year (2017) whose aim is to meet the needs of all women with different skin type with glamour and sophistication, yet with high quality at affordable prices.

I received the parcel they sent me last week. It was few days delayed than expected delivery since we had long EID holidays here in UAE. It was perfectly wrapped in a protective cover and sealed in a plastic pouch. I gently unwrapped it and happy to see that the lipstick boxes did not have dent at all. I received one liquid matte lipstick and one satin lipstick. So here's my brief review of the lipsticks I received.

It was a long weekend EID holidays here in UAE, when my husband and I, together with some good friends decided to book for last minute hotel stay deals. We agreed to consider a budget friendly hotel with very good facilities just within here in Abu Dhabi.

Although it was peak season, we were lucky enough to still got a very good deal for a 4 Star Hotel 😊

We were booked in Le Meridien Hotel Abu Dhabi, which is conveniently located in the Tourist Club Area in Abu Dhabi, within a few minutes walk from the city's business district and shopping malls. 

The staff were accommodating though a little strict that time. It also took us a little longer time to wait during the check-in process. Since it was a busy season, we highly understand the situation.

The hotel's lobby has sure made us feel comfortable. The hotel interior is decorated in warm tone colors, fine details and furnishings that reflect Arabian's vibrant culture.

I am one of the privileged bloggers to be chosen as Brand Ambassador of Palmer's here in UAE. This month is my first product review of their goodies. Well, I'm really excited when I received this lovely box! Such an elegant packaging, indeed! A personalized, handwritten note and my name on a cute orange thick paper. 

3 hours drive from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah was a little tiring (even if I'm just a passenger) and quite a struggle for us during our trip then. When we were almost in the boundaries of Ras Al Khaimah, a strong wind, heavy rain and howling thunders welcomed us. We left Abu Dhabi around 4 in the morning, so the road was not so crowded. When we reached Ras Al Khaimah, although the weather was not on our side, we were thankful that we didn't encounter any accidents.  

We were scheduled to be there for a convention. We booked our hotel a week before and noted in my online booking for an early check-in.

I called the hotel 3 hours before we traveled and ask if it is possible to check-in early (around 7am) because we have to attend to a conference nearby. The person I spoke with, Mr. Ritesh, told me that it could be arrange once we arrive there. When we arrived there, Mr. Kareem, told me that it is not possible to check-in early. I was a little disappointed because I should have not go there directly if Mr. Ritesh, their staff, whom I spoke with over the phone had informed me earlier. Mr. Kareem insisted that they don't have ready rooms because the housekeeping will only be working at 10am, even if there were available rooms already. Finally, after 3 hours of waiting in the lobby, I spoke with Mr. Selim from the front desk and requested if they could already arrange a room for me. He said yes but I have to wait another 30 minutes. I waited for another 30 minutes then I approached Ms. Sara to assist me with my booking. And finally I got a room!

Facilities are OK. Only that the rooms are not sound proof and our corridor smells cigarette smoke.

When we had our breakfast the next day, the food were OK, nothing special. We were almost finished but my friend was still having coffee and fruits for dessert when Mr. Sunil approached us and asked if we are finish because he needs a table for other guests. Where it was obvious that we are not yet done and there were other vacant tables. I think it is not a very good and professional gesture.

Anyhow, over-all it is a good hotel except they have to train their staff to be more professional and accommodating.

Below are some photos with friends during our convention lunch break.

Been busy, physically worn out and emotionally down these past few months. I was not able to keep up on my blogging. Although I was active in my social medias, I was not very much in the mood to sit and focus on my blogging activities.

During the first few months of my health struggle, aside from the physical pain that I was enduring, I felt so depressed and irritated most of the time. It started around late November last year. I noticed strange changes in my body. Brittle and chirped nails, very dry skin and lips, weak hair strands and dark under eyes and neck. I thought it was just because of the weather, but using lotion, moisturizers and taking vitamins, I had a feeling that it was really strange.

My gallstone pain attack became so often that I was a little traumatized to eat and drink anything. I even stopped drinking fresh juices and just having oatmeal since January. The sad thing is that even if I eat healthy, without any grease, I still experienced pain attack. I was in and out of the ER for almost everyday for two weeks. I was so weak and high with so many medications and pain relievers.

I had endoscopy and ultrasound. It was indeed the gallstones that was attacking me almost everyday. My gall bladder had an infection too and the frequent pain made the doctors decide to do an emergency surgery. I underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a procedure of gall bladder removal. The doctors said that it is better to remove my gall bladder rather than to sacrifice my other more important organs that might also be affected.

The preparation was about 4 hours and the operation was about 2 hours. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days which was supposed to be just an overnight stay. Maybe because my recovery is a little slow. I am allergy to most kinds of antibiotic but luckily, the one intended for me to use didn't give me an allergic reaction after doing a skin test.

So how did I got these gallstone pain attack? Well, because I didn't have a very healthy eating and physical lifestyle. Although I've been trying to cut-off greasy food and soft drinks, and doing gallstones flush detox for few months before I had the operation, the stones formed in my gall bladder was there few years back and became bigger as the days passed, especially with my unhealthy lifestyle.

Here are some photos of my ordeal. 😩

This was the stone taken inside my gall bladder. It is around 3.5 cm x 2 cm. πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Pretty flowers from friends :)


My view for 3 days

I was in a soft-diet 2 weeks after my surgery. I also did a 1-week detox to flush all the meds I had for my pain attacks. It's been 2 months now from my surgery and I still don't drink soft drinks, trying so hard to avoid red meat and eating more vegies, fruit and high-fiber stuff for my digestion. I am still lazy to do some exercise but I'm getting there soon.

I hope to be back on my regular blogging. I became very busy after my surgery to compensate the days I was not in the office. Plus I launched my new online shop which was very time consuming too. Anyhow, I'm back and try to be more healthy! Please pray for my journey πŸ™