Taking notes in the Project Vanity x Estee Lauder makeup workshop

A week ago I attended the Project Vanity x Estee Lauder makeup workshop hosted by Liz at her place. The makeup workshop was quite comprehensive, including both a guide to everyday skincare and a hands-on lesson on event-appropriate makeup. The model is the lovely Krissy of Krissyfied.


There were a lot of great tips that Liz shared in the workshop, and I wanted to make sure I remember them. As I have my planner-wallet with me at all times, I grabbed it and took notes in the planner half! My TN in this case is my Macata TN in passport size. I’d like to show you the notes I took.


The passport size is indeed a small size, but I find that it is enough space to take notes. The fact that it’s very portable and it is always with me ensures that I always have something to take notes in. I used my trusty Coleto to write with.


I don’t really mind that it may not be as neat as notes taken in a bigger notebook, as long as my notes are clear and understandable. A new thing I’ve tried recently is putting rough sketches in my notes, and I think it looks understandable given how quickly I sketched them out.

Check out the gallery below to see more photos of the workshop.

I hope you enjoyed looking at my notes, and big big thanks to Liz and Estee Lauder!

August 2015 Writing Challenges

Two of the things I enjoyed the most during the month of August were the two writing challenges that I took up. Both of these were incorporated in my journal insert. The first challenge is the famous #listersgottalist by Cori TheResetGirl.

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Image credits: listersgottalist.com and Cori TheResetGirl

The idea is that everyday for the month you will be given a prompt and you will list down your answers. A lot of people are enjoying decorating their lists, and have used things like washi tape, Project Life cards, stickers, markers, and other stationery and creative materials. This is actually maybe my third month doing #listersgotta list, but this is the month that I was able to actually complete all of the prompts. Here is a sampling of my answers to the prompts.


This is a pretty simple list, but this is my go-to decoration if I’m feeling lazy. It’s a great way to practice some brush calligraphy at the same time!


Sometimes I do themes, like a shockingly pink one here.


At other lazier times I just print out what I need, such as my Amazon wishlist. Yeah, that’s not my entire list; I just printed out like the first page or something.


One of the things I really like about #listersgottalist is the constant end-of-month prompt of what you accomplish for the month. It’s a great way to look back at things and feel good about what might be a meh month.

The second writing challenge I took up was by Jessica of Pretty Prints and Paper called #PlanWithMeAugust.

Image credits: prettyprintsandpaper.com
Image credits: prettyprintsandpaper.com

There are a lot of ways to do this (just check out the hashtag in Instagram) but I chose to take this as a writing challenge. Basically, I take each prompt and answer it essay form. I was planning to do one a day, and for a while I was able to meet it.


As time went by I got way behind in the prompts, and it piled up. I didn’t really make a big deal out of it since I knew I can just sit down and do a lot of the prompts at once when I do get the time. It ended up happening a lot!


Both prompts were invigorating, and I enjoyed writing down the answers. I loved getting some writing practice, and it even allowed me to be creative at times!

For the month of September I will continue doing prompts. Unfortunately #listersgottalist won’t be one of them, as I feel like I’ve done enough listing for a while. Instead, I hope to finish an extension of Jessica’s prompts now named #PlanWithMeChallenge which of course I will continue to answer essay style, but I’m thinking of adding lists as well. Another challenge I’m taking on is a doodle challenge! It’s by @aina.kristina on Instagram, and the idea is to doodle the responses to the prompts without using other craft tools beyond the pen. Are you tackling any writing challenges for September? Tell me about it!

Review: Pet Warehouse

I’ve mentioned my pets before, but basically I have two dogs, four cats, and a newly-rescued kitten as of present writing (as if I’m expecting more, haha!). You can imagine the sort of supplies I need on a regular basis to keep all of them warm, fed, and healthy. My go-to pet supply store had been Pet Express, that is, until Pet Warehouse.

The idea of Pet Warehouse is amazingly simple and brilliant: it is basically an online pet supply store. That delivers! A delivery service for pet supplies! I no longer need to make special trips to the mall just to get my week’s supply of dog and cat food and cat litter. The convenience of this cannot be understated.


I have made three orders from Pet Warehouse, all of them made through their website which is very convenient and helpful. They also accept Paypal! I have heard that most of their customers order through their Facebook page, and I am actually one of the outliers. One of their biggest strengths is their wonderful customer service. I have been kept updated constantly about the status of my orders, and there is a lovely personal touch to their communications.

Pet Warehouse is gaining popularity. While my most recent order took a day more, it is not something to be taken against them. They are a very young company and are still growing their staff, so the processing time for orders is now at 2-3 days, which is quite acceptable.


Do you have pets? I urge you to check them out! Their inventory and list of partner brands are growing, and there’s a pretty good chance that they are or will be carrying the brand or item you are looking for.

Pet Warehouse Website Facebook

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way nor asked by Pet Warehouse to write this post. I am just a very happy customer that wants to see their business succeed.

February Journaling Challenge Week 1

I’ve upped my paper game this year, and part of it is to write a journal entry every day. So far I am able to do so with fair regularity. I wanted to lean towards something more creative though, so I joined the February Journaling Challenge (by @my_planner) in instagram. This is basically just a set of journaling prompts for each day of February, and I just need to take a photo of each day’s journal entry and upload it to instagram with the hashtag #febjournalingchallengelove.


Here are my entries for the first week.

Day 1. This Month’s Wish


Day 2. I Can’t Live Without


Day 3. Happiness Is..

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Day 3: Happiness is… #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 4. Pretty Colors

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Day 4: Pretty colors #febjournalingchallengelove

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on


Day 5. On My To Read List


Day 6. Movies I Love

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Day 6: Movies I love #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 7. Pink

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Day 7: Pink #febjournalingchallengelove

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I’m loving this challenge so far! My journal has become much more colorful, which was my original intention. These entries are written (or drawn) in my current journal, a black lined Moleskine, using Pilot Frixion Point pens.

Watercolor Workshop by Liz



One of my highlights for last week was finally attending the Watercolor Workshop by Liz of Project Vanity. I missed the first session and I was so happy that she offered a second session that I signed up as soon as I could! The workshop was held last October 18 at the Commune (a cafe along Dela Costa St, Makati City). My daughter is into art so I thought I’d surprise her with her own slot in the workshop. When we arrived the workshop venue was pretty packed! Liz has lots of watercolor fans!


We were provided with all the materials we needed for the workshop: watercolor paper, a set of beginner’s watercolors, brushes, a mixing palette. After a short lecture on the basics of watercolor, we got our hands dirty and did the drills. In this worksheet we tried different washes (flat wash, graduated, variegated, glazing, dry brush) and textures (stippling, stamping, salting).


Clearly my daughter knew what she was doing. Her worksheet looks so much better. She let drop that she may have done this in her art subject in school already. (??!!)


The participants were really enjoying the drills. That is, until Liz unveiled the application of all those different washes and textures. We were instructed to paint a tree, a garlic bulb, and a landscape, which looked pretty daunting looking at the final products! Liz broke it down into steps (which were all really made up of a combination of the above mentioned washes and textures) which made it all seem easy. This is what I came up with.


Not bad I suppose, although Liz did say that my tree needed more water (the mantra of the workshop!). I really liked doing the landscape!


At some point my daughter decided to paint more trees and a sunset/sunrise, and even had a little cartoon drawing on the bottom right. Grabe, I felt so… behind, at that point.


The experience was really great! I learned a lot of stuff and I went out of there inspired to continue to paint. I definitely have a long way to go, but the workshop taught me that I can learn it even at this stage in my life. Thanks Liz for holding this #watercolorworkshopbyliz!

Review: Stoneriver Crystal Jewelry

One of my guilty pleasures are crystal accessories, and one of my recent discoveries is a site selling one of the most beautiful crystal jewelry I’ve seen. Stoneriver sells a wide variety of handmade crystal jewelry that are quite affordable. What amazes me is that everything is designed and created by a single (super) lady: Kim Sabala.

Here are some recent collections that she released.

Photo credit: Stoneriver
Photo credit: Stoneriver

I fully admit that I have a pretty long wishlist for Stoneriver pieces, but I am quite happy with my first purchases. Unfortunately both of them are currently sold out! Let me show you them!

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Charmed Moonstone Crystal Point

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I really like the color and heft of the moonstone, and that pretty little moon charm adds dimension to the whole look. I upgraded to the stainless silver chain (add Php100 to price) because my skin is sensitive to metals. This necklace costs Php495. Here I am wearing it.


Caged Smokey Quartz

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I wanted one of the “caged” crystals and the smokey quartz appealed to me the most. Unfortunately it kinda looks like a plain rock from afar, but I don’t regret getting this at all. This necklace costs Php325, but I added some extra length to the chain to make it dangle more down my chest. I’m not sure if there’s an option to upgrade the chain to a stainless version. Here I am wearing it.


Future pieces

Kim continuously comes up with new designs, and her pieces sell out fast! I’m eyeing a lot of her old designs, hopefully it gets stocked again sometime. Particularly, I would like to get something aventurine, tiger eye, and a colored quartz.

You can order Stoneriver pieces from a lot of avenues at this point. Kim of course has her own store, but you can also find her pieces at Zalora Marketplace c/o WastelandMNL. She also has some pieces on sale in physical stores such as Greenlane Shop and Fudgerock. I myself have ordered through her own store, got an SMS instruction for depositing through Metrobank, and received the package at my shipping address.

As this is a review, here are my final thoughts on Stoneriver:

Pros: beautiful and unique crystal jewelry designs; quality materials used; smooth transaction and delivery

Cons: pieces get sold out fast

Disclaimer: I bought both of these with my own money. I am pleased with both the products and the way the transaction went, which is why I wrote this post.

New Daiso Japan at Glorietta 3

My favorite “dollar” store is now in Makati! Daiso Japan (formerly Saizen) has opened a branch at Glorietta 3, and it may possibly be the biggest one yet! It’s a toss up between this and the Robinsons Galleria branch, but both stores are pretty big. The moment I heard that they’re open for business, I took the time to visit and see what they have to offer. Let me show you some things I was interested in. Please remember that almost everything in this store costs Php88 each.

This post is image heavy!


First let’s start with things related to food. Did I mention I am also a food blogger/bento enthusiast? I no longer update that blog as frequently but I am still quite interested in cooking and baking. Check out my food-related finds. First up: coffee-filters! I am a huge coffee addict and this shelf sent me in an excited little dance. I’ve finally found the perfect sized filter for my one-person coffeemaker! I don’t know the difference between the white and the brown filters (bleached vs unbleached) but I’ve always used white filters so that’s what I got.


Here is a series of shelves that carry kitchen utensils and tools. I’ve bought some of these before and they work quite well.


Cookie cutters! This branch seems to have a huge variety of cutters that can also be used for things beyond cookies. I’ve used some of these metal ones in my bentos before (to cut veggies and cheese), and of course for the purpose of actually cutting cookie shapes.


Daiso also has all your food storage needs! Shown here are various plastic and metal containers that are food safe. They have a separate shelf for non-food storage options.


I found myself in need of new ice trays so I snagged a couple of these. They also have other ice-related accessories like an ice scoop and popsicle molds.


Bento boxes are also plentiful! Check out all of these, in various sizes too. Most of these bento boxes will indicate in milliliters how much food they can contain.


Random other stuff

Pardon me but I put the “other” stuff in the middle of the food-related ones and the beauty ones. Here are the things I found interesting. First one is this shelf of floor mop wipes. I have a Swiffer (see photo for reference), but sometimes it’s difficult to find refills of the wet and dry wipes. I’m quite ecstatic to find that Daiso carries their own version of both wet and dry wipes! The pink one (with 45 sheets) is the dry and the blue one on the lower right (with 30 sheets) is the wet. The other ones in the photo are generic kitchen cleaners. [PS It’s really helpful to know how to read kana so you know which one to buy.]


Feeling hot this summer? These stylish and cute fans will definitely come in handy. The ones captured in this photo are the usual folding fans (portable!) but they also have the abaniko-style fans at the bottom.


This is but a small glimpse at the extensive craft selections at Daiso! Here we have various notebooks, a wide selection of washi tapes, origami paper, scrapbook materials, and printed cardboard containers. I forgot to take a photo but they also have a shelf just for writing materials! I’m definitely going back for a craft haul.



I’ve saved the best for last! Daiso’s beauty section did not disappoint, although they did have a slightly different selection compared to the Robinsons and Trinoma branches. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but there are absolutely zero testers so you will be buying blind. Check out the internet for swatches. Anyway! First up we have the shelf containing powder foundations and blushes. They have various options and shades for the foundations, as well as several options for blushes.


Close up of two shade options for the Ellefar Princess Duo Color Cheek: Orange and Strawberry. I bought one of these, which I will show you along with the swatches in a separate post.


Close up of another couple of blushers called Special! Mix Cheek Powder, in Magic color and Cute color. These are pretty cool as they have four shades in a single pan, and you can mix and match! I also bought one of these.


Here is the shelf containing falsies and lip products. There seem to be a wide selection of falsies available, as well as eyelash glue. For lip products there are several balms, lip glosses, and a couple of brands of lipstick (Ellefar and Winmax).


But the Winmax lipsticks come in five shades! The shades they have available are Cherry Pink, Deep Rose, Coral Orange, Beige Pink, and Peach. To be honest I am quite wary of Daiso lipsticks based on my prior not-so-happy experience, but I couldn’t really resist. I got two of these. :sheepish grin:


One of my favorite Daiso spots is this shelf, filled with eyeshadow palettes of course! My much-loved Ellefar Princess quads are here, as well as some new palettes I haven’t tried. There are also some glitter eyeshadow sticks on the left side. It was really hard to resist getting some of these!


Check out this Special! Colorful Eye Shadow quads! These two palettes are the ones I was interested in the most, the Golden and the Brown. I was able to resist buying any palettes that day, so no upcoming swatches of these. Yet. (um)


Finally we have the shelf containing the other eye products. There’s some mascara and mascara bases, some liquid eyeliners, and a lot (as in a lot!) of eyebrow products! As I have already purchased one of those dual-ended eyebrow pens and a pot of liquid eyeliner, I was able to resist getting anything from this shelf. Still terribly tempting though!


There you have it! Daiso is such a huge wasteland and money/time sink for me, but it makes me super happy. I’m looking forward to my next visit!

Daiso Japan Website (international) and Twitter

Brainfit Studio – The Workout for Your Kid’s Mind

While makeup may be a big deal for me at the moment (hence my beauty blogging!), parenting matters (blogs, articles, methods, opinions) is something that will always be relevant to me as I have an eight-year-old daughter. One of the most important things that I’m concerned about is the development of her mind.


BrainFit Studio is a learning center that focuses on developing the five brain pillars that comprise key cognitive abilities that form the foundations for all learning. These are

  • Attention & Memory
  • Sensory Motor Coordination
  • Auditory & Language Processing
  • Visual & Spatial Processing
  • Social-Emotional Self-regulation

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What does this mean exactly? Each child is given a custom-designed program for addressing his/her specific target areas, based on an assessment based on the above pillars. Through constant and focused practice, the child is able to develop herself in the way that suits her. Children of any age can benefit from the programs.


There are now three branches here in the Philippines: Greenhills, Binondo, and the recently-opened branch in Makati. They offer a free trial so you can explore the options before you sign up. I am hoping that they open a branch in the north of the metro soon!


Review: Brownbag Coffee #2

One of my favorite booths at Blogapalooza 2013 was Brownbag Coffee Solutions. I am a coffee enthusiast (nay, addict?) and I love to try out new brands and blends. I have already heard of Brownbag Coffee last year from When In Manila. I was intrigued by the packaging back then but unfortunately I wasn’t able to try it out. Fortunately they were at Blogapalooza and I was able to try them out directly.


The booth was set up with those large coffee machines/espresso machines that you see in coffee shops or hotels. I made a beeline to the booth and signed up immediately. I was handed a small paper cup of their #2 coffee (Arabica+Robusta blend). While waiting for the coffee to cool, I was able to chat with Enrico Curioso, the Chief Caffeine Junkie of Brownbag Coffee Solutions. I learned from him that they service high end hotels and restaurants. They also have a website to learn more about their products, and they even have some gift suggestions just in time for christmas!


Enrico gave me a bag of the #2 to take home and try for myself. Awesome! I immediately went and depotted it into a glass container, and I cut out the label to remind me which coffee I put in it. It may seem like not a lot of coffee in there – it’s because I’ve consumed some already, and I am also giving half the bag for my dad to try. He is also an aficionado and he is the one that started me on coffee in the first place!


Check it out! A cup of the delicious #2 in my trusty KeepCup. Great to take to the office in the mornings, and it doesn’t take long to brew a single cup in my trusty small coffee maker (a gift from my dad, incidentally). The taste is just perfect, not too strong and not too mild either. I like putting in a bit of sugar and some fresh milk.


This is definitely a hit for me! I can’t wait to try out the #1 (Pure Arabica) and #3 (Pure Robusta), which I plan to get for myself soon! Thanks for letting me try out your coffee, Brownbag!