Monday, November 17, 2014

Product Review: Olay Moisturizer and Beauty Bar

Disclaimer: I got the product for free but we were not required to write a review. I am just happy that I found a product that actually works!

I'm not usually a fan of beauty products. Growing up, I didn't pay too much attention on my skin. I just started wearing moisturizer and using facial cleansers after I graduated from College and was able to buy my own. Prior to that, it was just soap and water for me. 

I remember starting off with the usual supermarket variety--Eskinol and Nivea were my staples then. I didn't wear make-up so I felt that there was no need for a facial wash. As I grew older and moved companies, I met colleagues who were more skin conscious and who gave me useful pointers on how to put on make-up. I also studied informally but I feel like I need to learn more.

Since I now wear all these gunk on my face, it was imperative that I find the right product to wash my face with and of course, moisturize. I'm not actually sure what my skin type is but I noticed my face gets dry a lot, especially after taking a bath. When I was also a child, I remember the skin on palms peeling off during cold season as my skin lacks moisture. Make-up base powder also changes color after being applied on my face. So, I must have dry skin and acidic to boot.

It took time until I found the product that is suitable for my skin. My mom sends us products from the US and after trial and error, I found out that my skin was  compatible with Neutrogena or Cetaphil because of its hypoallergenic properties. I also stocked up on Ivory soap as it's gentle enough for my skin, as well as my husband's.

For more than 7 years, I have always used Neutrogena as my day and night moisturizer. I loved it enough that I also used their facial wash and scrub, as well as toner (although, I still have to figure out when to use it). My skin was just ok. Nothing spectacular. I figured since these are mild products, I shouldn't expect much.

A few months ago, I got a text from Citibank saying that I was qualified to be given a gift pack from Olay. Since I've always been curious about Olay, I called the given number and they said they'll deliver my samples in a few days. True enough, I received a couple of products in the mail: Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Moisturizer with spf 15 and Olay Total Effects Moisturizing Bar.

I was rather hesitant in trying them out. In fact, it was days before I actually opened the pack. The only thing I knew about Olay was I have associated it with my grandmother as she's a regular user of their moisturizer when she was still alive. 

Anyway, I first tried out the facial moisturizer. Since I was not sure how it will turn out, I just used it during the evening. After a few days, I noticed that my skin felt smoother and the lines actually disappeared! Moreover, my face does feel oily in the afternoon. Encouraged by the results, I also started using it as my moisturizer in the morning prior to putting on make-up. After almost a month of using it, I could gladly say that I am a very pleased convert and will definitely buy another bottle when this one runs out.
Just recently, I remembered the beauty bar that they also sent. I didn't want to use it as my experience with moisturizing bars were not that good. Dove, which they say is 1/4 moisturizing cream makes my face and skin dry up. I've never attempted to use any other moisturizing soap ever since. So I was not really sure if their beauty soap will also be a dunce. But my curiosity won the battle so I unpacked it and used it last weekend. 
Lo and behold, their soap also works! My skin felt smooth and silky after use and my face did not feel tight afterwards. In my excitement, I immediately bought 6 bars afterwards and told my husband to just use the Ivory soap while I use this. I also use it alternately with my Neutrogena facial wash and scrub.

Other than the 2 other products, I also use Olay Eye Cream which also works wonders!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Yaya Problems

Yaya Problems: The perennial problem of a working mom.

There is no such thing as a perfect yaya. I take it as a blessing that my son gets along with his current yaya because she plays with him and treats him with care and love. Unfortunately, she does not back down whenever she feels threatened and is known to get into physical fights with other househelps and yayas. Since it does not always happen, we just cautioned her about it. But the incident last Friday was the last straw.

I was in a staff meeting last Friday when I got a text from my staff that my son's school called regarding my son. I panicked and called the given number immediately, which happens to be the number of the vice principal. All the while, I thought there was a problem with my son but apparently, it was with my son's yaya. She got into a physical fight with one of the other yayas inside the campus. I immediately called my husband who was thankfully at home, and he went to the school to talk to the school authorities. By all accounts, it seems my yaya would not calm down and even fought with the other party after talking with the vice-principal.

Since I did not see her the whole weekend, I only got the chance to talk to her this evening. For the first time, I invoked the "Fear of Sunshine" which I only use to discipline my son (it's a certain tone of voice that would call my son's attention and according to my siblings, would make your spine straighten) against her. I first let her explain what happened and based on her explanation, she was at fault and she admitted it. Long story short, I told her that there's a right place for everything. We don't care if she gets into fights as long as it is not in our house, not in our son's school and most especially, not in front of our son. I made her understand that her actions reflect badly on us and our child. Children might not play with our son anymore because they might think that he would fight with them as his yaya is a fighter.

We gave her warning that if she repeats it again, we will look for a new yaya for Basti. I really hope she behaves this time around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NCIS: Goodbye, TIVA

A few posts ago, I noted how much I've grown to love NCIS, which was the most watched program in the US since season 7 and reaching number one in season 10--which was the best season, in my opinion. It was the year of the TiVa (a play on Tony and Ziva's names--two of the characters in the show who are romantically linked--sort of) and sadly, the last season of Ziva David.

In today's episode (S12 E6), they finally discussed Ziva ever since she left last year. Yes, only a couple of dozen of episodes later that they said her name once again. I really feel so sad for Tony and it pains me to see how much he's still pining and missing her.

I can't believe I'm this much invested in these fictional personalities. Maybe that's why I love the show so much. Its characters are so interesting and they don't just let the story be all about the cases. Not like what's happening in the recent season of CSI where it's all cases-cases-cases. So sad that it had to happen 15 years into the series.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels that Tony and Ziva should end up together. There are several fan videos uploaded in youtube that pays tribute to their characters. The one below is nice--just ignore the grammatical and spelling errors. The person who made the video really captured all the special moments (oh, and the editing needs work too).

Now, I wonder if Tony will be able to move on with another love and if that person will be someone that will be accepted by the TiVa fans.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

All By Myself

Getting sick is not my cup of tea. Heck, it's not anyone's cup of tea. Last week was the first time that I got seriously sick since 2007 when I got an appendectomy.

Funny thing was, I was not down with something extreme like dengue or ebola. When I started feeling funny last Sunday, 3 days after my son was discharged from the hospital, I knew I got the bug that infected my son. When my temperature rose to what could be defined as high-grade fever, my in-laws kindly brought me to the hospital so I can be checked.

I was prescribed the same type of antibiotic that was given to my son by the hospital doctors after they ruled that I have upper respiratory tract infection. They sent me home with prescription medicines that would do a drug dealer proud. Unfortunately, it's either the dosage was too low or the virus or bacteria was not responding to the drug. By Wednesday, the fever would still not abate.

I returned to the hospital and went to see a specialist -- a pulmonologist. According to her, my URTI is actually acute exudative tonsillopharyngitis. Meaning, there's pus growing on my tonsils. She prescribed another set of antibiotics for the bug and more medicines to control my asthma as usually cough triggers the wheezing. My temperature went down the next day and 24 hours after, I was officially on the mend.

One thing I realized is that it's so difficult to get sick if you're by yourself. My husband was not around as he's out of town on a business trip. I needed a lot of sponge baths to control the fever so I had to do it by myself. I had to limit my contact with my son as I did not want him to have a relapse.

It's also important to keep yourself entertained. If I had it my way, I would've wrapped gifts or made headway on my complicated cross-stitch piece. But I could barely keep myself seated so I spent most of the time on bed. So it was either read or watch TV.

I whiled away the time by rewatching the Twilight series (which, for the life of me, I could not bear to watch any other day) and catch up on the shows on my favorite channels. I was so bored and also sore that due to my illness, I missed the festivities at work.

Upside of the whole thing was that I lost at least 5 lbs. Hopefully, I won't gain it right back. I've also (hopefully), lost my taste for sweet stuff (except for Mogu Mogu which was my only source of sugar) and just the other day, just had salad for lunch and deemed myself full.

I'm scheduled for an APE later next month. Hopefully, I'll get to know the real state of my health so I can make changes--hopefully, I'll have the strength to make them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

P is for Pneumonia

My son has been struggling with his cough since early this week. His cough was so bad that his school sent him home Tuesday morning and he was made to rest for another day.

He returned to school on Thursday and come Friday evening, he was complaining that he was not feeling well. I woke up around midnight with Basti burning with a 39.1C fever. I panicked as it was the first time ever that he sported such high temperatures. We gave him Paracetamol which he fortunately was able to take and we went back to sleep.

The next day, I had to go to school to give my final exam and I immediately went home afterwards. When I saw that Basti's temperature was not improving, we brought him to the ER at Asian Hospital.

I was initially hesitant to do so as my recent experience with them was not pleasant at all (e.g. we were here last month when Basti was complaining of an ear ache and the ER doctors had no beside manners and the ER nurse gave my son Ibuprofen without asking whether he ate something. It was not surprise that he started throwing up afterwards). But since I was anxious already, we hurriedly brought Basti to Asian.

A few minutes after we were ushered into a cubicle in the ER, a Dr. Carlos Vicente Gabriel checked Basti and I was very happy with the way he did the examination. He certainly knows how to handle children and he was definitely a big improvement compared to the previous pedia resident that looked at Basti before. After a couple of tests, it was found that Basti has pneumonia and since it was at the early stage, we were sent home with an assortment of medicines that will do a drug dealer proud.

However, Basti could not tolerate the oral medication and would throw up everything that was given to him. I called the ER spoke with Dr. Gabriel. I mentioned that we will be returning and would request for confinement. He readily agreed and waited for us to arrive to process our admission.

The admission process was also hassle-free. I was very pleased with the nurse when he was able to administer the heplock with no fuss at all and with no need of a repeat. I was also amazed with Basti as he insisted on observing when we told him to look away. He did not scream although he did voice out his pain. He also stared with wonder when they extracted blood from his arm. He barely flinched when he saw the needle enter his skin.

Unfortunately, his pedia, Dr. Clemente, no longer has a clinic at Asian so we went by his referral, Dr. Morada, the same pedia that admitted him a couple of years ago also due to pneumonia. He was able to see Basti earlier today and prescribed more medicines which would hopefully kill the bacteria, thereby bringing down his temp and ultimately, letting us go home in the fastest period of time.

I decided to stay in the hospital every night with no assistance from the yaya to take care of my son. It's our bonding moment and something that I hope he would remember when he would start questioning my love for him when I practice my usual tough love stance.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Lea Salonga's Awesomeness

I am such a fan of Lea Salonga--ever since her Miss Saigon days. The 25th Anniversary of the musical that made her famous worldwide made my admiration for her reach new heights.

She returned to West End in London for the gala and she has not lost her touch. I cried when she appeared and saw how much the crowd still loved her. I wish the show was longer and the same tribute was given like was given to Les Miserables. But then, the latter is more famous than the former so it was more deserving of its O2 Arena venue.

While surfing for more singing videos of her, I came across this clip of her singing in Cory Aquino's funeral more than 5 years ago. I recall crying so much during the funeral and those tears flowed freely again when I watched the clip below:

Earlier in my class, my students and I were discussing taxes and I expressed my frustration with my government. I expressed my dismay in not getting anything from the taxes that I paid. I'm still paying for the use of the roads, for water, for health, for education. Basically, I am not benefiting from my taxes other than giving our politicians more money to line their pockets. And then I wondered why I'm still here in this country when there is always the opportunity for me to leave and settle elsewhere. But after watching the video above, I suddenly remembered why I'm still here. Regardless of all the news that are surfacing about incompetent politicians and government officials, I still have faith and I still love my country. And I still have hope that one day, I will see it free from the shackles of corruption.

Ibon mang may layang lumipad
Kulungin mo at umiiyak
Bayan pa kayang sakdal-dilag
Ang 'di magnasang makaalpas.

Pilipinas kong minumutya
Pugad ng luha at dalita
Aking adhika
Makita kang sadkal laya

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Album Review: David Cook

Ok, so this album review is SO delayed considering it was released on November 2008. But listening to it again almost 6 years after it's release made me realize how much I love this album.

According to his discography in Wikipedia, there are 15 tracks but the CD that I bought only has 12. It doesn't have "Time of my Life" (which was his winner's song in Idol but I bought that separately), "My Last Request" (which was an ITunes pre-order song) and "Breathe Tonight" (which was only released in Japan). I won't go through all the songs but I'll just focus on the ones that I like.

In my opinion, the best song in the album is "Lie"(you can watch his live performance in the youtube video below). I can't understand why they made "Light On" as the carrier single when this song is emo to the max. People with relationship problems (especially those on the verge of ending one) can so relate to this song.

So lie to me and tell me that it's gonna be alright
So lie to me and tell me that we'll make it through the night
I don't mind if you wait before you tear me apart
Look me in the eye
Lie, lie, lie
So lie to me and tell me that we're gonna be ok
So lie to me and tell me that we'll make it through the day
I don't mind if you wait before you tear me apart
Look me in the eye
Lie, lie, lie

David Cook really rocks his lyrics. "Mr. Sensitive" and "Life on the Moon" is also catchy.  His gravelly voice makes me want to just listen to him all day long. I'm still sore that he was dropped by his label after only 2 albums.

Just a disclaimer, wala akong pinagdadaanan. :) I could just feel his frustration and heartbreak when I listened to the song.

I realized that I wrote a blog about his second album which can be found here.

I hope he'll release more songs in Itunes. I miss his voice the clips being posted in youtube of his live performances can only tide me over so much.

By the way, when I was pregnant with my son, I would listen to David Cook a lot. No wonder my son is so musically inclined. And handsome too. :)