4 Years Ago..

I stepped out of La Guardia Airport with a huge bag in tow. I went in line for a taxi, snubbed a would be “black car” driver, and sweat my ass off because it was humid af. This was my “Welcome to New York” greeting.

 

Couple of weeks ago, I came across the first street I ever lived in. It was so far from the subway line, but convenient enough since it’s close to markets, coffee shops & restaurants. It was an AirBnB rental that I had for 2 weeks.

Those 2 weeks were the busiest I’ve ever been. Looking for an apartment or a room was not an easy fit especially if you’re new to the city. To top it off, I also started my internship (a requirement I had to fulfill in order to get my MBA diploma). Craiglist became my best friend/enemy, but it somehow came through for me. I found an apartment 2 days before my AirBnB rental was up and found myself trekking to Sunnyside.

Since then, I called Sunnyside my home. Can’t imagine moving away from here though I have a slight inkling that it may happen next year given how rent increases have been.

People asked me, why New York? Well, I came here to jumpstart my career in fashion (circa 2012). I wanted to be in product development in fashion, but because I didn’t have the “experience”, I had to look elsewhere. Now, 3 years later, I work in the beauty industry alongside product developers. I’m not a product developer myself, but I get so much exposure on the processes.

New York has taught me a lot about life. It taught me that it’s OK to see poop and huge rats in the subway because that’s the norm. I learned that smells are a part of everyday city living and I shouldn’t complain about it. Also, the NYC subway system is like Hunger Games, especially during rush hour, people can be brutal and snappy especially when trains don’t run smoothly.

Would I stay for another four years in this city? Why yes. Would I feel different in a year or so? Possibly. But you know, New York gives off that vibe. You know that vibe that tells you to not give up on her and to keep on trekking. That’s what New York does.

 

Pun Full of Mush

I have a Head Full of Dreams. No.. more like A Head Full of Mush. Just a little pun from my recent Coldplay obsession.

Lately, I’ve been feeling stale. Must be one of the effects of not exercising according to this. I’ve been obsessed with Coldplay lately, so maybe listening to their songs would help remove the mush.

Learned quite a few times that in order to move forward from a project’s problem, one must always think about the original goal of the project. Maybe this will work with me. This year is project CREATE. So what does that look like for me year to date? I did a professional midyear review last week, so I need to do a personal one.

Anyway, I leave you all with a video of Coldplay’s recent tour:

Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist

160409_Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist

I am pretty loyal to the products I currently have in my routine, but once in a while I like to try new products, especially the ones that rarely go on sale.

  1. Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. My coworker had me try a sample of this product at work and it smelled delicious! I am currently experiencing very dry skin (maybe because of this schizo weather…) and I think this product’s moisturizing ingredients, coconut oil & cupuaçu butter, will be the answer to my issue.
  2. Sunday Riley Power Couple. I heard great reviews about Good Genes (brightening, helps rid of dark spots), but plunking down >$100 on a skincare product sort of breaks my heart (this is what happens when you work in the industry). This kit is a good compromise without breaking the bank.
  3. Beauty Blender Kit. Cult product, enough said.
  4. Chloe Fragrance. Always love a floral fragrance.
  5. Glam Glow Clearing Treatment. Amazing for blemish-prone skin.
  6. Kevin Aucoin Eyelash Curler. My Tarte curler is almost at the end of its shelf life and I heard this one is pretty comparable to Shu Uemura.

Plan With Me Challenge

I’m playing catch up with the planner challenge. This week had its highs and lows, so I’m glad it’s the weekend. Today is the NYC Paws Parade, so if you’re a dog lover like I am and you live in NYC, then this event is for you.

Day 9: Simplify

I admire those people who plan and write lists using different colors. I tried utilizing this system once, but it ended up being too time consuming and confusing for me. So, I simplified by using only 1-2 color pens maximum.

Day 8: Personal style

I don’t doodle or draw on my planner, so my personal style is simple: assigned bullets for events, tasks, notes, and errands, a la Bullet Journal style.

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Day 7: Favorite Supplies

Post Its, 0.5mm pens (any kind), G2 pens, & Staple’s yellow legal pads are my go-to supplies. If I feel adventurous, then I use my metallic Sharpie pens.

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Day 6: Functional

I use the lined and grid pages of the Passion Planner to jot down notes, ideas, goals, and books I read.

Day 5: Big Projects

For Personal: I just started using my big planner’s grid pages to track passion projects and goals.

For Work: I have a digital master tracker spreadsheet that I created with my manager to keep track of the big projects I am currently working on.

 

4 Reasons to Visit Bologna, Italy

Bologna is Italy’s best kept secret and a great off-the-beaten-path destination. I had the amazing opportunity to live in this city where I experienced its rich history, diverse culture, and amazing cuisine. It is a relatively small city best explored by foot since you’ll discover more than what you came for. In the span of 9 months living here, I’ve acquired an arsenal of must-see sites, experiences, and trattorias around the city, but here are my top 4 favorites:

Explore Piazza Maggiore

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photo by Gene Espinueva

​Piazza Maggiore is the main square located in Bologna’s bustling historic center. Around here you’ll find a copious amount of historic places to visit, restaurants to gorge tagliatelle al ragù in, and shopping streets where you can find local Italian products like mortadella and black classic Italian leather flats. During my stay, I spent majority of my time in this area exploring every nook and cranny. I highly recommend visiting the Teatro Anatomico in Palazzo d’Archiginassio, a historic anatomical theatre, where students once learned and observed dissections of cadavers during their Anatomy classes. If you are an avid shopper, stroll towards the west side of the square and you’ll find 4 parallel streets filled with shops. I personally love Antica Profumeria del Sacro Cuore, a stylish fragrance emporium dedicated to only selling fragrance and skincare from less mainstream brands.

Shop around Quadrilatero

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photo by Liane Pamuspusan

Walk towards east of Piazza Maggiore and you will stumble upon an area of cobblestone streets filled with food stalls, cafes, and stomach churning delicatessen shops. Named as the Quadrilatero, this area that dates back to Medieval times used to be a place of trade and commerce. Nowadays, it is a place where foodies go to taste and purchase Bologna’s local cuisine. Stop by Tamburini to ogle, shop, and eat a selection of Bologna’s specialties, like the tortellini and mortadella.  If you are like me, and you like to browse and take pictures, walk down Via Pescherie Vecchie and you’ll meet colorful stalls of fruits and vegetables.

Enjoy the local Bolognese cuisine

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photo by Liane Pamuspusan

It is an imperative task that one must go to Bologna and enjoy the local cuisine it offers. I enjoyed one too many trattorias during my stay here, but one of my favorites is Trattoria del RossoHere you can order typical Bolognese cuisine such as tagliatelle al ragù, and crescentine with cold cuts, including mortadella, and soft cheeses like stracchino and squaquerone. If you would like to enjoy a good old cup of gelato, head over to La Sorbetteria di Castiglione or Cremeria Funivia where you’ll find a variety of gelato flavors that will suit your taste buds. 

Hike up to San Luca

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photo by Liane Pamuspusan

Have an hour or two to spare and want to burn off all the food you ate? Walk or run through the 666 “portico” (arcades) to the top of San Luca. You will get an up close view of the Sanctuary of Madonna of San Luca church and also get a breathtaking view of the city below.

1st Quarter of 2016

1st Quarter Reflections

The first 3 months of the year went by quickly. There were a ton of events that happened worth noting:

  1. Worked as a photographer for my coworker’s daughter’s birthday party.
  2. Turned 30!
  3. Tried new restaurants (Basta Pasta, Butcher Bar, Seva)
  4. Visited the Van Dyck exhibit at the Frick.
  5. Created opportunities for myself, work wise. (Slowly checking off that list from my last post)

Not a bad first quarter if I say so myself.

This next quarter will be mostly focused on exploration and passion projects. I clearly stopped posting on the blog for 2 months, so I would like to focus on that in the next quarter or so. To help me with this, I decided to take on creative challenges such as the #planwithmechallenge. This is a challenge I discovered while scouring the web for how people use their notebooks to plan their days. The focus of the challenge is to share and gain new ideas on how one can improve their planning system. It will answer the HOW and WHY of my daily planning routine. I currently face challenges in keeping up with my planning and to do list system that I think this may help me face and eliminate those issues.

April #PlanWithMeChallenge

My planners and why

I currently use 2 planners: big and small Passion Planner. The Passion Planner has a weekly & monthly setup with a few pages at the end of the planner to use for note-taking and brainstorming. I try to keep all work related (whether passion project or my daily 9-5 grind) items in the big one, while the small one is my free form planner where I get to choose what to write each week.

Do I feel like this current system is working for me? Quite honestly, I haven’t figured that out yet. I find myself not referring to them during the work week because I rely mostly on my yellow pad paper for my work to do lists and my digital calendar for personal appointments. I am hoping that this challenge will help me find a way to merge all these resources together.

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CREATE

2015 is now a seemingly distant past. I started the year off with celebrating the New Year with my family and witnessing my best friends’ special occasion in the Philippines. Then, I saw and listened to a talk given by a French model. Traveled down south to New Orleans. Accepted a second professional speaking engagement.  Visited 3 New England states. Learned a lot from personal and professional mistakes made throughout the year.

In 2015, I made 3 goals for myself and my overall rating on what I accomplished for each one:

  1. Simplify = 70%
  2. Career Development = 80%
  3. Fitness = 5%

In this post, I never really explained what action plans I needed to do for each goal. It was never laid out anywhere. All I knew was that I needed to simplify, further develop my career, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I knew what the goals were, but my action plans were, to put it simply, all over the place.  I suffered a lot of analysis paralysis throughout the year and I read more inspirational articles, but never quite put anything into concrete actions.

This year, I hope to change this. This year, I’m simplifying by focusing on one word. The inspiration came from an article I read on Levo League and I thought this was as simple as a goal should get.

2016 is a big milestone year for me because I turn 30 this year. So for such a big milestone, I choose to focus on the word CREATE.

  1. CREATE more opportunities for myself.
  2. Try out new recipes at home.
  3. Go back into photography.
  4. Build my own website from scratch.
  5. Continue to build a personal brand.
  6. Write on the blog.
  7. Contribute articles to blogs I follow, like The Everygirl.
  8. Make the time to do yoga or kickboxing.

I could probably go on until I reach 30.. but I think you get my drift.

Happy New Year everyone and may this year bring you more blessings than any of the previous years before it.

source: unknown

3 Reasons Why I want to go to South Korea

Last time I was in South Korea was for an 8 hour layover I had en route to Seattle. I was given a choice of either to chill at a hotel or tour the city and silly me, I chose the former. Fast forward to today, South Korea is now in my Places I want to visit bucket list. Here’s why:

Food, but not the moving kind. 

I love barbeque and Korean barbeque is no exception. The amalgation of flavors that they marinate the beef with is superb. Couple it with their traditional numerous appetizers and I am a happy camper. In addition, this being an Asian country, street food is prevalent. Finally, while I know this is traditional, I don’t think I’ll be eating live octopus.

Myeongdong Street = Skincare Heaven

Myeongdong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I never paid attention to Korean skincare until early this year, thanks to my short vacation in the Philippines. I went inside a Face Shop location in one of the malls and for curiosity sake, I bought their masks. Needless to say, I’ve been hooked ever since. I hear that Myeongdong Street is the mecca of skincare shops, however similar to Times Square, it’s a VERY busy street.

The Border 

North Korea:S. Korea Border

While there are other places in South Korea that I would like to visit for architecture and cultural sake, the Demilitarized Zone is the one place I would like to visit.