Sensitive Skin Issues

People have been asking about my skin care regimen. I don’t know why when I suffer from stress-induced acne (I have a giant pimple at the side of my nose now. It’s healing but driving me crazy) once in a while and break out in allergies. I also scar really bad. Meaning, I do not have perfect skin at all. Good skin takes a lot of discipline, determination and hard work, people!

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Let your face rest from make-up…wear glasses. Haha

It took me awhile to realize that I had extremely sensitive skin. It took A LOT of visits to the dermatologist too. I break out from stress and most of the ingredients in beauty products especially scented ones. I can’t hoard the way I used to. Now, I Google for reviews or ask for samples if they have any and try it out to see if it suits me. Samples are fun and I wish more companies gave away more samples here in the Philippines. It saves me a lot of money because
a.) I end up not buying it anyway because I have alleviated the purchase itch.
b.) I don’t have to have emergency derma visits if I break out in hives from hell – see this post: Allergy Attack From Hades

I don’t know why someone who can be so insensitive have such sensitive skin. Ugh.

I didn’t include a picture on that post because I was too embarrassed but here it is. I can laugh at it now because that’s all gone. I did freak out when it happened. I had perfectly good skin and this happened within an hour. I literally felt it grow on my face. Rashes with pus in it. This picture was when it subsided a bit..3 days after. It was so much worse on the day it happened, I wanted to knock on the dermatologist’s door.  :

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Disaster!

It’s not easy for me nor is it easy for dermatologists. I have met some who get scared to touch your face or body (another story altogether) because they might do something to mess you up some more. I felt like a leper. Oh well.

I dropped (and threw out) most of the products I have bought and stuck to the following that I swear by now:

Morning: facial wash, a drop of Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil for face and Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50

 

HNSunflower
This absorbs really fast, affordable and available at grocery stores. Visit humanheartnature.com for more details
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Love this! Absorbs fast, doesn’t clog the skin and no sticky! Available at Watson’s

 

Night:

  • Biore Make Up Remover Oil

    biore
    Available at Watson’s
  • Clarisonic Sonic Facial and Skin Cleansing System
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Got mine at Sephora

 

  • Etude House Baking Powder Pore and BB Deep Cleansing Foam
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Makes my skin squeaky clean

 

  • Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner
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You can get this at Rustan’s Essenses

 

  • 1 drop of Organic Alley Argan Oil
  • 1 drop of Organic Alley Rosehip Oil
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I swear by this. Check out organicalley.me or Sesou outlets

Marinate overnight.

Once a week I use a mask – gold, charcoal or clay mask

Repeat and be consistent. That’s it.

Please do share if you have good skin care tips and products that people with sensitive skin can use!

ZEE

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Picture Or It Never Happened

I saw this picture today and it made me tear up.

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That could have been me flying in a perfect swan dive in the air. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to show for my spectacular dive and I still blame Mark to this day.

A couple of years ago, we went to Boracay and wanted to try leaping of this cliff called Ariel’s Point. The pictures showed a group tour with food and lots of laughing, drinking and jumping off. I don’t know what happened but the boat we rode towards this place was empty..apart from us. It was just me and Mark. Where was the group tour, the laughing and singing? Anyway, it seemed we had a miscommunication with the boatman and when we said “cliff diving” he brought us to Mr.Lee’s Island (not real name of place because we seriously do not know). They could have mugged us and thrown us off the boat and no one would ever find us.

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Mr.Lee’s island had a cliff diving area as well. Thus, the miscommunication. We were the only people on Mr.Lee’s Island except for the boatmen and that was a bit strange. They brought us up and there was a seafood lunch served. *crick* *crick* It was seriously just me and Mark which made us quite uneasy until we met Mr.Lee, the Korean owner. They opened the week before and we were one of the first guest.

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Walk to the ramp and up the diving board.

They showed us the diving board towards the sea which was around 25 feet high. After lunch, we wanted to try out the diving board. Correction: I wanted to try the board. Up I went and unto the ramp up high. Mark and the boatmen were excited. Camera was ready.

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My last photo. Boo!

 I asked the fisherman on a boat at the bottom. He was there to assist divers “Gaano ka lalim ang tubig sa baba?” (How deep is the water?)

“Mga 12 feet po.” (12 feet)

“Okay!” So I looked at Mark and said “Ready?” He nods.

And I gave the best swan dive I could muster. My swim coaches would have been proud. My arms stretched out and I soared, back arched, feet together, toes pointed, head proudly up. I struggled to move my arms forward for the entry because of the wind velocity but did it. I landed perfectly on the water and heard a snap upon impact.

My bikini top broke. Of all the dumb luck..but I was too excited about my dive.

I held my top up before emerging from the water and gave a big smile and waved. I thought they would be cheering and happy. All I saw were faces in shock. Mark was in shock, the boatman was in shock, Mr.Lee was in shock and the man on the boat dove in to check on me. They just stared. Then I wondered if I flashed my boobies to all the fishermen before landing in the water but no, because then, I would have changed his name to Lucky Mr.Lee.

They thought I was going to do a countdown or not push through with the dive so they were all caught unaware. Mark had this “You’re crazy.” look on his face. He said he was in shock and had no picture of my epic dive. No picture means it did not happen. I only have memories of my epic dive. I was so sad. Mark, now my husband still owes me big time. I want to do it again but we don’t know how to get back to Mr.Lee’s Island or know the name of the place. So, this is basically like some unreal dream sequence I’m talking about because again, there was no picture! Grrrrrr!!!

Then our boat got stranded on our way home but that’s another long story but it did happen because I have a video to prove it! : 

Zee

The Mystery Of The Exploding Pyrex

Blue_pyrexI was happily cooking carbonara sauce for dinner in a blue Pyrex glassware on the stovetop while my little girl was hunched on the floor drawing for her homework. Everything seemed normal and the scent of the cream sauce filled our little home. The pasta was all ready and was cooling on the kitchen counter and we were really looking forward to dinner. My daughter and husband love pasta.

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Not my picture. Too busy cleaning and making sure we were okay to take one. It looked like this only a gooeyer, messier mess of cream sauce all over the kitchen.

As soon as the carbonara sauce was done, I grabbed the pot holders and placed it on the kitchen counter beside the pasta. I turned my back on our precious dinner to get placemats for the dinner table and heard a loud crack and something hit my leg. I turned around to check on my Bea on the floor and saw the big mess. Shards of glass and carbonara sauce was splattered all over the floor. The Pyrex I used had apparently exploded into smithereens. Cream sauce was all over the floor and I had to check if my daughter was okay since broken glass reached all the way to the livingroom. I grabbed our perky puppy who thought carbonara sauce all over the floor was a gift from heaven. Glass was on the kitchen counter, sink, floor, all over the pasta beside it, and the living room floor.

“How could that happen? It’s Pyrex.” I thought. I’ve been cooking on Pyrex as long as I can remember. My mom did the same thing. My grandmother too.

Of course,I had to double check if it did explode or if I made a mistake and placed the Pyrex on a precarious position and it fell. Nope,the bottom of the glassware was still on the countertop, broken into pieces. It did explode and I lost dinner.

I’m a huge Nancy Drew fan. This needed investigating. I reviewed everything I did: Cook on stove –pot holder- on the counter – boom! I analyzed it for a few minutes then decided to make my life easier and Googled. There are countless of exploding Pyrex stories and I’m glad no one got hurt at my home. Some people were not as lucky.

One article states that the changes in material composition of Pyrex (from soda lime silicate glass instead of the original Pyrex borosilicate glass composition) has something to do with this. See : http://www.techfragments.com/1608/exploding-pyrex-cookware/ 

This explains why our grandmothers and mothers never had this explosive problem. Others say it’s the sudden change of temperature and that we should follow the glassware/ cookware instructions that Pyrex now has. They must be fully aware that their product isn’t what it used to be. Sorry, grandma..you can’t cook in Pyrex anymore.

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Instructions..read them. Forget what grandma and mom said.

Keep the following in mind too when using Pyrex:

  • Keep away from granite kitchen tops and wet/damp surfaces after baking or placing hot items on it.
  • Use a welder’s mask.
  • Make sure your food is cold when you serve it.
  • Have an extra meal ready.

Zee

Brave Naked Runs, A Fact Of Life

Last month, we were discussing if we should get a CCTV camera for our new place. We have been a bit paranoid ever since someone broke into our unit last year. The burglar climbed into the balcony like Spiderman, forced the window open and stole valuables. He was playing ninja in the middle of the afternoon, way up a building. Anyway, we felt we should get a CCTV camera and maybe one of these days  send footage of Ninja Spiderman to the police if God forbid he follows us when we move.

My little girl said no and gave her reason:

“No, that would mean we can’t do brave naked runs anymore!”

The Brave Naked Run

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Born Free and Butt Naked

What is it?

* When you don’t have a towel in the bathroom and you have to make that sprint to where towels are kept with a wet trail behind you.

* When you think you’re totally alone and run to answer a phone that has been ringing non-stop.

* When you change in your room only to realize you left the stove on.

* When someone suddenly opens the door to your room and there you are pretending to be Eve…or Adam.

* The bravest of all is when you run from the shower to answer the doorbell and run back just when you open the knob. Zip and go!

I think we’ve all done our share of brave naked runs. It’s exhilarating. The adrenaline rush, the heart palpitating, the sound of your rushing footsteps. The thrill of not being caught naked. Hey, some people just run around bravely naked at home. Which gives them very lucky neighbors…or not.

P.S. Try not to Google the word “naked”. I made the mistake of doing that for this post and it was pretty traumatizing. I also bet my inbox will be filled with unsavory spam email tomorrow.

Zee

Travel Disaster Of The Century!

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Universal Studios Singapore: It seemed like a normal trip at first.

What happens in Singapore stays in Singapore. Until now.

Only a handful know about this story because:
a.) It’s so unbelievably stupid.
b.) It’s unbelievably embarrassing.
c.) It should not be attempted by anyone else.

I present the “Travel Disaster Of The Century!”:

The week before school started last June 2013, Bea and I decided to have a “Mom & Bea Adventure!” in Singapore. I love traveling with Bea. She packs her own travel bag and brings it around on her own, reads the map. We’re like a well-oiled mom and daughter machine. She brought along a backpack for water, iPad, face towel, extra shirt, etc. I brought my trusty old Y-3 messenger bag that I use often for travel because it’s huge and has lots of pockets. That bag was around 8 years old and has been repaired professionally and by my own hands so many times. The lining was torn at the seams but I kept using it.

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Jurong Bird Park: Birds! Birds! Everywhere!

Our last day was a trip to Jurong Bird Park. Before leaving the hotel, I had problems with my bag’s zipper. “It’s okay, I’ll just make sure it’s in front of me. We’re heading home anyway” I said. So off to Jurong Bird Park we went! I had my travel bag in front and backpack with both our clothes on my back. Mom and Bea having an adventure with our backpacks like Dora and Boots!  We loved the fluffy and colorful birds but of course we had to buy water as we walked around and that’s when the trouble started.

The strap of my bag snapped and broke. It had no zipper and no strap. So I had to lug it around with both arms. David HASSLEhoff.

I didn’t want to be a drag and kill Bea’s mood (she was starting to worry about our things and my backpack was starting to feel like it had rocks in it) so I said, “We’re going to ION Orchard after this to go to Sephora. I’ll just get a bag at H&M to replace it and I want you to try Popeye’s! It has chicken like Jollibee!”

So off to ION Orchard we went with our backpacks on our backs. I had on shin-length oxblood patent leather Doc Marten’s, jeans, and MAC Russian Red lipstick.

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The scene of the crime. Popeye’s.

Sephora… Check! Buy a bag at H&M… Check! Popeye’s for a snack, rest a bit and change bags…

So we ate chicken and said hi to some Filipinos who seem to like it there. I moved all the things from my Y-3 bag into the H&M bag, double checked, folded the Y-3 bag and placed it inside the H&M plastic bag and searched for a trash bin.

“Are you throwing that out?” I asked the Chinese bus boy with the full trash bin who seemed to know a little English. “Ah, yes!” he said. So I placed the H&M plastic bag on top of the garbage bag. He tied it up and carted it off.

We quickly left since the H&M and Popeye’s pit stop was not in the schedule and asked this nice Filipina at the concierge where the taxi stand was. Off to the airport we went!

Halfway through the ride, I decided to prepare our tickets and travel documents to save time. The next words I uttered were, “OH MY GOD!” It was so loud that the cabbie asked what happened. “Uncle, we need to go back to ION Orchard!” was all I could say and I just calmly told Bea Baby, I forgot something at the mall and we really have to get it.”

All this while I sent a message to my Mark saying “Babe, I left our passports in the bag I threw away. Don’t worry. I’ll try to get it back. I’ll just update you if we can make it to our flight.” I don’t think that reassured him.

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One thing you should not lose when traveling.*face palm*

My head was whirring. I knew time was of the essence since I knew the garbage bag was off to God knows where.

The taxi driver brought us back to ION Orchard. I dragged Bea to the Concierge and spoke to the Filipina girl “Hi, we left our passports at Popeye’s and I really need to get it. Can I leave my daughter and luggage with you?”

“OUR PASSPORTS?!” Bea said.

“I need you to listen to me carefully. I’ll leave you here with the woman, she’s Filipino and I’ll just quickly run and get our passport from Popeye’s okay? I will leave the Samsung tablet with you and you can text and call me anytime. Trust mommy,” I answered in the calmest mommy voice I could muster.

“Okay, Mom.” was all my poor daughter could say. Her anxiety-driven head must have been stressing.

I ran fast, 3 stories below, past shops and corners, and got to Popeye’s. I went to the same Chinese busboy and asked him where the garbage bag was and he just stared at me. He didn’t understand what I said and I had to revert to sign language. He called his manager who spoke English and they talked to discuss the situation. “Aahh… it’s with the uncle. Old man uncle who gets the garbage,” the manager said.

“Where is he? Can you call him? Where do they bring all the garbage?” I asked.

“We don’t really know but uncle comes by several times a day. Maybe you can wait for him,” she said.

“I CAN’T WAIT! I HAVE A FLIGHT TO CATCH AND A DAUGHTER ALL ALONE AT THE CONCIERGE WITH A STRANGER!” I screamed in my head. “Okay. I’ll try to wait,” I said.

3, 4, 5 minutes passed… I call Bea and to check on her while praying for a miracle. Then I see an old man walking. He could have been a mall customer but I just felt he was the “old man uncle who picks up the garbage.” I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. I pull the Chinese boy from the counter and asked “Is that uncle?”

“Yes, uncle!” he said. I ran towards the man and explained. I repeated my story to the man who knew less English than the busboy.

So I challenged my sign language skills. Garbage – documents – where put garbage?

He looked hesitant and signaled back : Me-no look garbage. *swimming motion and shaking his head*

Me *I point to myself* look in garbage… and his eyes light up and he points to a door marked “Authorized Personnel Only.” I ran while dragging him with me and we went 3 floors down a flight of stairs and into the basement.

THE BASEMENT

compactor
Left: How it looked like. Right: How dirty and gross it was

The basement was more like a docking area. It was where deliveries were done for the stores and restaurants. It also had rows of garbage compactors. Huge garbage compactors where you just throw in the bags 10 feet up the air and they land inside waiting to be compacted and ready for garbage truck pick-up. Uncle brought me in front of this kind of compactor:

“Inside,” he said. Well, more like me flailing my arms asking if it were inside and him saying yes. So I went to the Indian operator and told him what happened. He looked at me crazy and said no. I said “YES! I can’t leave with my daughter if I don’t get it!” and proceeded to just unplug the compactor (big-ass plug) looked at him and said “For safety,” then climbed up the slippery, slimy, garbage-ridden compactor in my jeans, red lipstick, shin-length red patent Doc Marten’s and thanked years of National climbing competitions for training me for this day. He had no choice but to watch or I think he was in shock.

I plopped into a sea of garbage bags and garbage. Hundreds of them.

It smelled like hell. Seriously. I didn’t know where to start so I started from the very back end left then dug into every single garbage bag. In my head, I knew I was looking for a Popeye’s garbage bag then it would be a fastfood bag with red-orange paper containers and plastic cups and chicken remnants. I tore open part of the bag, peered in or pulled out the contents, checked and moved on to the next bag on the right. Food remnants, kitchen garbage, bathroom filth with toilet paper, innards, paper, and every single disgusting thing you can think of. I wasn’t thinking at that point. I was just zeroing in and doing what I needed to do until I reached the last row of bags. By this time, I wanted to give up and just cry. Nobody offered help, they just watched from outside and kept shaking their heads as if I were crazy (which was actually true at that point).

By then there was already a crowd of maintenance people watching and I was already crafting plan B, which was to go find a hotel and contact the embassy the next day. I was already there so I kept on. Half of the last row of bags was already eaten up by the compactor and lodged on its teeth. I moved to the left side and started there and moved to the right. As I opened each bag and saw nothing but filth, my heart sank. Then I tore into the last bag on the right but it was already lodged tight into the compactor but I just had to try because there were red orange containers in it!

I tore and pulled and tugged and threw out chicken remnants and half chewed food and rice and finally a cream colored H&M plastic bag emerged! But I couldn’t pull it out because it was already half compacted and there’s no way to reverse the compactor. So, I just opened it and saw my old, trusty Y-3 bag and kept tugging and opened the pockets trying to feel for our passports. Then, I decided to check the torn seam and yes, they were there. The passports went through the torn seam (no wonder I didn’t see them) from the pocket and I easily pulled them out and raised them up. “I found them!” and this time I screamed aloud. It felt like winning the Olympics, I tell you!

Up the slimy, stinky, slippery compactor I went and jumped on the pavement of the basement in the middle of a crowd of maintenance people. I was covered with garbage. There was disgusting, dirty rice all over my shoes, my jeans were all covered with garbage slime, there was lettuce all over my hair. And everyone clapped! What. The. Heck. I’m glad I seemed entertaining.

 “Uncle, I found them!” I told “old-man-uncle-who-picks-up-the-garbage” with a big smile on my face. He just looked at me crazy. “I have to go to my daughter!” I said. I got $100 from my pocket and gave it to him, said thank you for the help and ran. I paused for a moment because I wanted to take a picture for Instagram but changed my mind because my hands were covered with the puke of hell. Though in hindsight, I wish I had.

I went up the stairs, passed by a toilet, and quickly washed my arms. The stink was bad and I really wanted to throw up but I had to rush. I ran back to the concierge and just in time because Bea had this “I’m about to cry look” on her face.

“Hey, babe! I found them. I told you, I’ll get them,” I said calmly. I wanted to hug her to feel better and cry after the ordeal but I was filthy.

“You were gone for 45 minutes, Mom. You scared me!” she said and gave me a smile. Wow… 45 minutes. It felt like hours.

We rode another cab for the airport and I told her everything that happened. We laughed about it and she said “Mom, you’re crazy but this has been the best adventure ever!”

MOMandBEA
Singapore Art Museum: Mom & Bea Adventure
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At the airport after: Sweaty, filthy, stinky, tired but on our way back home.

Moral of the story:

  1. Do not use broken bags when traveling.
  2. Do not leave your children with strangers.
  3. Do not climb inside a garbage compactor but if you do, unplug them.
  4. Do not bully people especially if you’re not in your own country,
  5. If you lose your passport, call the Philippine Embassy.

I had to share to everyone and when I have grandkids, I’ll just print this out because this is one long epic story about grandma’s travel disaster of the century.

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Until now, I fear of a CCTV video popping up on YouTube of a loony woman searching garbage bags at ION Orchard, and I still can’t stand the stench of garbage.

Zee