Month: February 2015

To Better Days

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

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Whenever I’m feeling out of inspiration, I find myself looking through my childhood favorite things. I used to have this really big Minnie Mouse bow headband in different colors, which I would where to school everyday. I think I did that up until Grade 2. I was never really a Minnie girl, I was more of a Daisy, but my mom  and her friends just kept giving me those headbands to wear. Some of my friends actually still remember me as that girl with the Minnie headband. Looking at it, really cheers me up thinking about those days when all I cared about were the simpler things.

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Nostalgic right? I didn’t go out and play much as a child, I would prefer dolls, and cartoons like Tom & Jerry, Mickey Mouse and company, Looney Tunes, Power Rangers, and the ever popular anime, Sailor Moon. My sister would pout as I refused to go out and run and be sweaty with her, she had my brother for that instead. haha

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I was weak on street games, funny thing is, I only played Chinese garter when I was in college! All for an org activity. Also, to this day, I cannot hula hoop, and jump rope properly. Sad. I know. I’m trying though! I’m doing my best to improve jumping rope, especially since it’s always included in Crossfit WODs.

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Anyhoo, back to my outfit. It actually inspired by Minnie Mouse, the old school version. If you remember, she always had that cute orange hat, with a flower, and a cute dress, usually polka dotted. Mine is more grown up, but still cute version.

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I love how my dress is so simple, yet still has nice details, like the sheer lace at the back, and hidden pockets!

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The hat was actually an afterthought, I thought it added a nice contrast to my blue dress and blue bag.

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That’s me trying to be cute on my profile. haha

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I know I wear a loooooot of florals, please don’t get tired of it? I just can’t help it, I always find myself going to florals very often!

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A little floral on floral action from my watch!

What do you think about my look?

Dress: Forever 21
Hat: Peaches On Top (IG @peaches_ontop)
Floral Watch: Shopaholic & Hubby (IG @shopaholicandhubby)
Harry Potter Ring: Pretty Little Blings
Necklace: Charmed Life
Flats: Melissa
Tote Bag: Lacoste

Review: Jazzy France Dame de Coeur Lip and Cheek Tint

I’m always up for beauty products with multipurpose features, because these products save space in my already bulky bag. A popular product combo you can see in almost every brand is a lip and cheek product, be it a tint, balm, or matte formulation.

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My latest discovery is this cute lip and cheek tint from Jazzy France. Available in three colors, red, orange and peach, it comes in this ice cube shaped container that survives the jumble inside the bag.

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For this review, I also used the Jazzy France All-Day Lifting Foundation, which I’ll be reviewing in a separate post.

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Jazzy France Dame de Coeur Lip and Cheek Tint in Red (Php 299)

Features:

  • Balm formulation
  • each variant comes with three varying shades, in my case, the Red one had a dark red part, pink pearly part, and a clear shimmer part
  • easy to blend 
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Instructions for use:

  • Get a small amount on the tip of your ring finger
  • dab small amounts across the cheek (photo above)
  • blend well using fingers
  • for the lips, use the same technique
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Packaging:

  • tightly sealed ice cube looking crystal box
  • survives inside a full bag even when tumbled, still shut tight
  • durable
  • compact and easy to stash away
  • note also the new logo of Jazzy France from Jazzy collections!
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What I like about it:

  • having three different shades in one allows for blending to achieve different looks, you can go with the pure red for a more vampy look, while mixing with the other shades can turn it into a more natural or nude look.
  • the packaging is so adorable!
  • convenient to use
  • lasts long, about 6 hours when I tried it out
  • highly pigmented
  • blends into skin easily for a more natural flush
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Cons:

  • formulation is a little sticky
  • more expensive than locally manufactured alternatives
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Then tadaa! Here’s my look with my cheeks and lips tinted with Dame de Coeur. I’m loving the natural looking flush, don’t you? 

Overall, I’d definitely use this whenever I need a quick makeup fix. It’s very handy to keep in my purse, and lessens the hassle of having to bring a blush, a powder brush, and lip color. talk about getting more for one product!

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What do you guys think about my newest beauty discovery?

Jazzy France is available in all Watsons outlets and SM Department Stores. You can also find them on Facebook, and on Instagram, @jazzyfrance.

Sheer Secrets

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

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I’ve been looking for a long cardigan that suits our crazy weather, and I finally found it in this old rose piece. It’s light but does a good job of keeping me warm when there’s a cool breeze, while the sheer panel keeps me cool when it gets a little warm.

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It’s versatile pieces like this that I keep piling into my closet nowadays. I suggest you do the same. You’d want to invest in pieces you would wear more often, and be able to match with a lot of different things.

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Pieces you should look out for are those that are easy to layer. In this outfit, I layered the cardigan over a summery outfit. So the cardigan switches things up to a more spring/pre-fall feel.

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I like how the colors of this look are refreshing and yet subtle. Mint green and old rose can give that effect, as well as lilac, lavender, and pach pink hues.

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I added the hat for a more festival feel, and well, for more attitude as well. What do you think about it?

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I really love the sheer panel because it keeps my outfit modest, and yet chic.

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Hello from my candid face!

What did you think about my look?

Hat: SM Accessories
Cardigan: Iglesias (IG @iglesiasph)
Top: Abrille (IG @abrille_clothing)
Shorts: Lee Cooper 
Heels and Bag: Lazada

Review: Universe Gastrolounge

Whenever I look for places to dining out with friends, I have a criteria that should be fulfilled. There are only two points in that criteria: a cozy, intimate ambiance, and really good food. For a restaurant attached to a bar, I found Universe Gastrolounge to surprisingly fulfill that criteria.

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The interiors boast of dark wood furnishings all over the place, with a few light signages perfect for the young and hip. I love how the low lounge chairs and couches remind you of old school mob owned diners, in a classy and luxurious way. The low lighting also brings this hush hush environment to the place, creating a more intimate but fun and comfortable setting.

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For the food, I was pleasantly surprised to find spins on the usual bar grub, as well as fusion dishes celebrating popular Filipino, Japanese, and Italian cuisines. I love the spectrum of flavors and how you can get to try a different cuisines, all in one plate.

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Here’s a brief tour of the restaurant:

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They have a great selection of liquor, from the indulgently expensive, to the affordable but good.

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Aside from the neon signages, this wall menu written in chalk is also a favorite among the fixtures in the restaurant. It adds a touch of familiarity to the initially intimidating interiors from the outside.

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For starters, we had these small plates:

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Black Bikini (Php 295) – Jamon Serrano & Cheese Sandwich with black truffle jam

everyone at the table loved this because we weren’t expecting a lot of flavors from a little toasted sandwich. the black truffle wasn’t overpowering, and also brought out the jamon serrano’s flavors. It wasn’t salty as I was expecting with the smoked meat and the yummy cheese.
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Mixed Mushroom Dip (Php 220) – with garlic toast

this is my favorite out of everything I ate that night. I’m a really big mushroom fan, and the creamy cheese mix just made me really happy. It wasn’t salty, but packed the earthiness of the mushrooms. 
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Patatas Bravas (Php 190) – potato wedges with garlic aioli, spicy chipotle tomato sauce

potatoes, and sauces, nothing special really, but I liked the aioli, not too buttery, but good.
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Aside from cocktails, Universe also serves healthy drinks like what I had. Sort of like those detox juice blends you see everywhere on Instagram nowadays.

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Chicken Cobb Salad (Php 270) – bleu cheese, bacon, ranch dressing

the thing about bleu cheese is that it’s easy to identify in a dish, problem was, we could detect very little bleu cheese flavor from this salad. This one’s a good option for healthy eaters though.

Sandwiches:

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Patty Melt (Php 340) – grilled Angus beef patty, lots of caramelized onions, American cheese

I would have preferred a burger bun with this one, like a slider. I think the toast just doesn’t go with the juicy patty. 
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Monte Cristo Benedict (Php 320) – ham & cheese sandwich, poached egg, hollandaise sauce

I really like the poached egg here, perfectly runny, and goes well with the sauce.

Pizzettas:

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Bad Girl (Php 290) – anchovies, red pepper flakes, olives, garlic

I found this a little salty. Don’t get me wrong, I really love anchovies on pizza, but since they’re already salty on their own, the pizza could have used some acid from more tomatoes. the capers did little to add to the acidity.
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BBQ Chicken (Php 290) – pickled red onion, honey barbeque sauce

This is actually pretty good for a pizza. Definitely an option for those who like their savory with a little more sweetness.
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Italian sausage (Php 290) – grilled onions, roasted garlic

Despite its simplicity, it was actually tasty.

Sushi Rolls:

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Puto wacky (Php 360) – tamago, oboro, unagi, kampryo, crunchy tempura salad

This wasn’t actually as crispy as I thought, a little on the oily side, but good flavor wise.
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Crunchy Caterpillar (Php 350) – giant prawn furai, cream cheese, tobiko roe

The presentation on this one is just so pretty! Everyone on the table was hesitant to eat this because of the plating. Eventually, we had to taste it though, so there. I like the crunchy shrimp inside the sushi, but the tobiko roe wasn’t really noticed.
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Electric Eel (Php 390) – tempura shrimp, unagi, crab salad, tempura bits

This was my favorite out of all the rolls because this one had the most flavor and play on texture. the eel wasn’t fishy and was really good, being the star among the ingredients.

Hot Mains:

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Cafe Rep’s crispy bagnet pork belly (Php 295) – with kimchi fried rice, spicy lechon sauce

I know that looks like a lot of fat, so it’s best to share this one with friends! The bagnet goes well with the tangy spicy kimchi rice though, which is unexpected, but really good.
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Barbecued Angus boneless beef riblets (Php 440) – with coleslaw and potato salad

This was really tender, exactly what you find with baby back ribs, except this one is boneless, and really juicy.
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Meatloaf & gravy (Php 390) – with mashed potatoes and garlic buttered green beans

This is actually a surprise of the night, while it doesn’t look the most appetizing, it was really flavorful. The consistency is that of a good meatball, except with more spices, and juicier.

Pasta

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Linguine Vongole (Php 350) – clams, roast garlic, extra virgin olive oil

This one was a little bland for me, it could have used a little white wine in the mix.
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BLT (Php 380) – bacon, linguine and truffle cream sauce

Very indulgent, and sinful, you can really taste the truffle in every bite. 
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Sweet Stuff:

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Trailer Park Monte Cristo (Php 240) – deep fried PB & J

Sort of like wicked oreos, except it’s PB & J. Great to order with ice cream
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Bananas Foster Sundae (Php 230) – banana cupcake ala mode

Sweet and decadent but good. What else do you say about caramelized sugar, vanilla ice cream, and banana?

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After dinner, we got to see what the club area looks like without the action. It looks, quiet. HAHA

Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience. Price wise, it isn’t cheap, but the dishes are good for sharing and made with good ingredients. I’m definitely coming back for the mushroom dip and the meatloaf!

Special mention to Aldous of Aldous Ate the World for tagging me along for the food review!

Universe Gastrolounge is located at the 2nd Floor of Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, and is open from Monday – Saturday, 11 AM onwards. (Universe Nightclub is open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 10 PM onwards.) For table reservations, please contact 0917.550.8888. For event bookings, please contact 0917.550.9999. 

For more information and updates, visit Universe on Facebook (facebook.com/universeph); and Follow Universe on Twitter (twitter.com/universe_club) and on Instagram (@universe_club).

Bright Sunny Florals

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.” – Luther Burbank

Don’t you just love how this look just screams happiness, unicorns, lovely walks through a park, and singing Disney princesses? I know those things sound randomly put together in a sentence, but the thought will sink in after seeing this look and the other photos. 

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I like how it is a very casual day look and how it instantly brightens the mood. Put a happy color, flowers, and great sunny lighting in one photo, and it just gives a really positive lifting vibe.

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I would actually wear this to a picnic, or to the recently concluded hot air balloon festival. Sure, my hat would prolly be blown away by the wind at Clark, but the balloons are worth it. I’ve been to the festival years ago, and I really had fun, so I’m planning to go again next year.

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Anyway, this outfit would also be great for day outs with girlfriends, or even simple casual dates. A big simple tote would also work great if you don’t like the tiny bag I used here.

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The dress looks really simple, but I like that the drop waist pleated skirt adds more lightness to it. Also, for bright colors like pink, it’s best to tone down all the other accessories, so it doesn’t look gaudy.

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This Little Twin Star tin lunchbox / sling bag is actually from my childhood. I found it recently and couldn’t resist including it in this sweet outfit.

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What do you think about this sunny look?

Dress: Paradise Treats (IG paradisetreats)
Chunky White Heels: Lazada
Boater Hat: Peaches On Top (IG @peaches_ontop)
Yellow Floral Watch : Shopaholic & Hubby (IG @shopaholicandhubby)
Little Twin Stars Tin Bag: Sanrio (old)

How are you enjoying the holiday? Happy Chinese New Year!

Beauty Review: Nivea Cleansing Wipes

Back in college, I was one of those few people who wore makeup for special events like presentations, programs, performances, and whatnot. I was also one of the few who can put makeup on other people. That time, a lot of friends came up to me for makeup queries, but I never felt like I was good at it, so I never gave workshops. Out of all the questions though, one that kept coming up was, how does one properly remove makeup?

I tried a lot of different products, cold creams, cleansing oils, solutions, but there’s one product that stands out in terms of convenience, cleansing wipes. I like wipes because they’re easy to use, and handy to bring everywhere.

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Recently, I got to try two variants from Nivea’s cleansing wipes line: the Nivea Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes, and 3-in-1 Daily Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Wipes.

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On physical inspection, the difference between these two are the sheets. See the macro photos below. For the exfoliating wipes, it has two sides, a soft side and a rough side, as seen with the dots or grooves. For the gentle wipes, it’s just soft on both sides of the wipe.

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For this review, I actually used one wipe on my right (exfoliating) side of my face, then the other variant on my left (gentle).

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First up, the Nivea pure effect 3-IN-1 Daily Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Wipes:

Features:

  • for Oily / Impure skin
  • with magnolia extract to help prevent impurities -without irritating the skin
  • has a soft side that deeply cleanses and removes makeup
  • has a peeling side that exfoliates dead cells and refines the skin – without leaving residues

Claim: Results to beautiful skin which is visibly pure and refined.

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Instructions for Use:

  • For daily usage.
  • Gently cleanse face and neck with soft side of wipe
  • Turn wipe and use the peeling side on the whole face, taking particular care on the T-zone.
  • Avoid any contact with the eyes.
  • No rinse off needed.
  • Reseal the bag after use with the self adhesive label to prevent drying out.
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Packaging:

I love how the resealable pouch, and how it doesn’t leak even after many uses. The label is complete too, with full instructions on the back as well as the period after opening, and other reminders.

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What I like about it:

  • easy application
  • wipes are moist but not overly wet which is a good thing, so your face doesn’t have that sticky feeling after drying
  • doesn’t dry out easily
  • the exfoliating side feels good and sort of therapeutic
  • convenient size for travelling
  • effectively removes makeup – I can do the whole face with just one wipe
  • took off even my waterproof eyeliner!
  • affordable, just Php 140 for a pack of 20 wipes. 
  • easily accessible from all Watsons branches nationwide
  • doesn’t irritate the skin

Cons:

  • the exfoliating side might be harsh for sensitive skin
  • wipes are tricky to use on sensitive areas like lash lines
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I had on foundation, pressed powder, eyebrow mascara, waterproof eyeliner, and long lasting lip and cheek tint, and they easily came off with one swipe.

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The verdict?

I would definitely repurchase. It’s a cheaper alternative to the Skin Food Brown Rice Oil Deep Cleansing Tissue that I love, and has almost the same performance.

Next up, the Nivea Daily Essentials Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes:

Features:

  • For dry & sensitive skin
  • with natural almond oil & Hydra IQ for a mild and nourishing formula suitable for dry and sensitive skin
  • gently cleanses, removing make-up and waterproof mascara
  • leaves skin feeling hydrated and smooth

Claim: See and feel beautiful skin as the skin is gently cleansed, hydrated and soothed, looking healthy and beautiful.

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Instructions for Use:

  • Gently cleanse face, neck and eye area with soft wipe, keeping eyes closed
  • Carefully reseal the bag after use with the self adhesive label to prevent drying out
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What I like about it:

  • Unlike the other variant, this one is alcohol free
  • really a gentle cleanser, but does the job effectively
  • same performance as the exfoliating wipes
  • affordable, just Php 140 for a pack of 25 wipes. 
  • also easily accessible from all Watsons branches nationwide

Cons: none 🙂

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As you can see from the photos, the makeup was easily wiped off, you can now see the dark circles under the eyes due to my allergies (allergic shiners), a few blemishes, and my yellowish skin.

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The verdict:

Again, I would definitely repurchase. I prefer this one over the exfoliating one though, since this one has a gentler formula. It also performs well and suits my dry or combination skin.

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Here you can see both wipes:

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tada! My yellowish makeup free face! 

What do you think about my latest skin care discovery?

P.S. Happy Chinese New Year! I can’t wait for the festivities at home!

Gypsy in the City

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” – Robert Fulghum (True Love, 1997)

It’s my favorite month of the year again!! It’s February! It’s that time of the year when you see an abundance of red, pinks and hearts everywhere! Coincidentally, my birthday’s coming up as well, so watch out for upcoming giveaways!

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It’s been a while since I went around traipsing in an outfit like this. I really wanted to shoot this in a meadow, or a place with lots of greenery. I wanted to run across a grass field with the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin. Sadly, there is a scarcity of areas like that in the metro, so off to the roads we went.

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I had a lot of fun twirling my skirt around, it was made of light chiffon, so moving around wasn’t a bother. I think it would also look great on the beach, with a sea breeze blowing it away.

I attempted a lot of photos with movement here to show how flowy my skirt was. Haha.

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Since my skirt is a beautiful blue hue, I stuck to  white for my top to keep the attention on my skirt.

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To go all in with the gypsy vibe, I decided to wear this headband again, as well as other matchy matchy gold accessories.

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More moving around photos, spot my candid expressions. haha.

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As well as a few portaits. I love how the green trees are a great backdrop to my boho chic look. It almost feels like my original peg.

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What do you think about February? Is it #Febibig for you too?

White blouson top: Plains & Prints
Skirt: Cruella and Co. (IG cruellaandco)
Headband and Ring-Bracelet : Pretty Little Blings (IG @prettylittleblings)
Necklace: Charmed Life (IG @charmedlife2012)
White Cork Platforms: Lazada
photos by Ben Bigalbal