Monday, December 31, 2012

Year End Report! Happy 2013!

Last year, I've written my Year End Report Welcoming 2012 (click post HERE), can you believe 365 days has passed?  We're done with another year and I'm sharing my highlights for the year 2012!  Why?  It makes me appreciate life even more and how happy I am to have experienced the whole year with people I love!

Makeup Gigs 2012
I have an "auditor" husband who notes down on all my makeup gigs and he reported to me that my makeup gigs multiplied twice this year!  I want to thank all my new and returning clients for getting my services as I enjoyed prettifying all of them!  The year 2012 has been a wonderful year for me doing the job I love most!  

**some of the Brides


Studio SnR's First Ever I Love Beauty Workshop
My love for teaching combined with my love for makeup puts me into various workshops with different companies and brands!  Early this year, my dear friend Sydney from Studio SnR have decided to create a workshop series called "I Love Beauty" with Garnier and Maybelline and I was the lucky girl who was picked to teach about skincare and help out with students on how to apply makeup that suits them! 


The event was covered by Manila Bulletin!

Japan Trip
Mr. AMW was kind enough to take me to South Korea (my dream place to visit) so I told him the year 2012 will be HIS year!  His dream destination is Japan so I have decided to go ahead with the booking and enjoy 5 days in Tokyo!  It was the best decision ever as we enjoyed Tokyo so much we would love to go back someday!  Probably...with Baby AMW! :D


Porefessionally Pretty with Benefit x AMW
Mid this year, I was invited to do a workshop at Benefit Boutique in Greenbelt 5 for ladies who wants to look Porefessionally Pretty!  It was 4 hours of basic makeup to professional makeup teaching and we ended up with party makeup!  I enjoyed the workshop so much I am looking forward for more of our partnership the coming year! 



Sophie Martin Paris Makeup Talk
The year 2012 must be the year for makeup x teaching!  I was surprised to get an invite from Sophie Martin Paris for a makeup talk with their members!  I didn't know what to expect that day but I dressed myself professionally as I shared the whole day event with 2 fellow bloggers Tin and Carissa (both bloggers talked about fashion).  The event was held at the Sophie Martin Paris, Philippines showroom and I have to admit, for someone who was used to teaching a huge crowd, it was a bit overwhelming to see such huge crowd of people who are very much interested learning about simple skincare and makeup tips!  Given the chance, I'll do this over and over again in a heartbeat!



AMW x CharChar as The Purple Groom's Brand Ambassadors
Who says women in their 30's can't be brand ambassadors?  *chuckles* Can I say you're wrong?  Anything can be possible if you own a super cute, fluffy pet friend like I do!  CharChar, my 6-year old Pomeranian dog, and I were invited to be The Purple Groom's Brand Ambassador! This shoot (Shot around end of August) was very special to me as I already knew I was pregnant !  I was actually heading to the doctor immediately after the shoot for Doctor's confirmation!  

(Inside my head: "Charchar, you are my baby for now but I will have a real baby soon!")


But don't worry Charchar, you'll always have a special place in my heart and I'm sure Baby AMW will love you as much as I do! :D

Nestle Crunch x AMW
Since we're on the topic of photoshoot, I was also invited to shoot for Nestle's Funtacular Ways of Eating Nestle Crunch Ice Cream!  It was a fun day as I get to work with Niccolo Cosme once again and I've always been a fan of his works!


AMW Featured on Maven Magazine
After my Vaseline magazine feature, I haven't really thought I'd see myself in a glossy once again!  This time, it was a feature for AskMeWhats as a blog and blogger!  A full page dedicated for my blog!  I am very happy with it and I want to thank Maven magazine for this awesome opportunity!!!



The Birth of AskMeMom
Last but not the least, the best gift that I won't forget is the birth of AskMeMom!  I am finally going to be a mommy!!!  Many people have prayed and hoped for a Baby AMW and I want to thank all my friends who prayed for me! I have gone through really tough times making sure my mom is alright and I'm glad my prayers has been answered and I cannot hope for anything more for the coming years but the safety of Baby AMW!  I hope you are as excited as we are to share my journey not only as a Blogger but as a Mom! :D


Thank you 2012, you've been very good to me!  I'm pretty excited and looking forward for 2013! :)  

What are you most thankful for the year 2012?
I'd love to hear from you!


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend Food Trip at: Holy Cow Steak Ranch & American Grill

4 years ago, Keith and I first tried Holy Cow Steak Ranch and American Grill at Robinson's Midtown branch and didn't get the chance to go back ever since!  It wasn't because we had a bad experience but we found the dishes we tried to be "just okay", nothing spectacular or worth going back for.  I can't blame the restaurant as we probably ordered a very simple dish those times.

Fast forward to a couple of years plus some added wrinkles or white hair, we've finally decided to go back and celebrate quiet dinner before Christmas day with my family!  I'm glad their menu changed and there are so much more dishes added that made us want to go back for more!



Cowboy Combo Platter
Php320.00 (approx $8.00)
A variety of fried chicken, onion rings, calamarings,
and BBQ flavored crispy fries served with ranch dressing.
Usually combo platters are a combination of hit and miss in one plate!  Not with the Cowboy Combo Platter!  Everything tastes wonderful!  The fried chicken is definitely worth trying and I love the crunchy large onion rings and crispy calamari that's super soft on the inside!  The simple fries turned into something I would crave for as they sprinkle it with a tiny amount of BBQ spice!  Everyone's happy with this and I will definitely order this again!


Pumpkin Soup
Php90.00 (approx $2.25)
Light, sweet and creamy soup with croutons 
and bacon bits comes with garlic French bread.
I'm in dire need for something warm and fuzzy!  Off I went to try Holy Cow's Pumpkin soup.  I find the soup to be too sweet and creamy for my taste, the bacon bits did help counteract the sweetness but overall, it is just an okay dish.


Holy Cow Quesadillas
Php240.00 (approx $6.00)
Toasted flour tortilla filled with ground beef and melted mozzarella cheese. 
Drizzled with garlic mayo and smoky barbecue sauce.
My sister was craving for something "Mexican" so she went for Quesadillas.  The beef and melted mozzarella cheese is a perfect combination but she finds the smokey BBQ sauce and garlic mayo to be too overwhelming for her simple taste buds.  We definitely recommend to order "sauce on the side" for future.

 

Superb Creamy Cheesy Carbonara
Php210.00 (approx $5.25)
Spaghetti noodles sauteed with smoked bacon 
and special carbonara sauce.  Topped with hot melted cheese.
 Who can go wrong with Carbonara?  The best Carbonara I've tried so far is from The Stock Market!  This one is just so-so.  Nothing spectacular!


Cowboy Ranch Style Burger Steak
Php175.00 (approx $4.38)
Juicy burger pattie drizzled with mushroom gravy sauce (on the side)
 We ordered gravy sauce on the side as my family really is a bit health conscious (unlike me) and wouldn't want to drown their dish with sauce!  So far, I was quite shocked by the way it look but I was told the taste was good!  No burnt taste and the burger was juicy on the inside.  


Ranch Style Grilled Chicken Fillet
Php190.00 (approx $4.75)
Grilled tender chicken fillet drizzled with trio mushroom gravy.
 My mom's order.  I find the chicken fillet to be a bit small.  My mom, who is a fan of chicken dishes got this order and requested for trio mushroom gravy on the side too!  When asked about her dish, she said "It was alright!".


Fillet Mignon Steak (5oz)
Php320.00 (approx $8.00)
Made from the most tender cut of beef.  
Rounded with bacon, flavored with scrumptious marinade and spices. 
 Served with garlic rice, crunchy buttered vegetables and choice of gravy.  
(Trio-mushroom or Spicy Peppercorn)
The Fillet Mignon Steak in 5oz. is a perfect size for someone that is not too hungry!  Mr. AMW was happy with his meal and I was able to give this dish a try too!  The fillet mignon was cooked medium well and the crunchy bacon wrapped around the steak gives a perfect taste of crunchy and juicy!


Line Rider's Beef Salpicao
Php250.00 (approx $6.25)
Diced beef tenderloin marinated in special seasoning,
 button mushroom, minced garlic and pepper sauteed in butter.
 Another good dish to try when you are looking for beef dish!  Flavorful cubes of beef that's juicy and tasty and cooked perfectly! 


Mashed Potatoes
Php55.00 (approx $1.38)
 My dad is a fan of mashed potatoes and he would choose it over rice any day!  (with beer of course!)  He was quite happy with the size of the mashed potatoes and loved the gravy that comes with the side dish.

Yummy Fish and Fries
Php270.00 (approx $6.75)
Loads of specially flavored fish fillet with black sesame seeds, 
perfect with BBQ flavored fries, 
and sweet tangy garlic mayo dip on the side.
 Another must-try if you're a fan of fish and chips!  A huge size of Dory Fish fried in perfection came out with a tiny slice of lemon and BBQ flavored fries!


Overall, the dishes came out really good, better than expected but I am not impressed with the waiter who served us that night as he was definitely not on a holiday mood!  I asked for some bestsellers and he told me all the dishes on the menu are delicious and worth trying!  When we asked for water, he gave me empty glasses and a full pitcher and asked me to "serve" everyone!  My sister laughed so hard and asked me to wear a "I am pregnant" sign!  

The restaurant accepts cash and credit card payments.  No service charge and all prices are VAT inclusive.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Salon Report: Revisiting Salon Beauvoir for a New Hair!

Happy Saturday!  Happy last weekend for the year 2012!  I am very excited for the coming year as both Mr. AMW and I will welcome Baby Boy AMW with open arms!

Today, is the day I will be sharing my newest hairdo!  The last salon I visited was 6 months ago and it was at Salon Beauvoir (read my experience HERE)!  After 6 long months, I have finally set a schedule with the same salon with the help of dear friend Char(Thanks Char!)

As soon as I got in the salon, I've noticed how well-kept the interiors are and the place still look as good as new!  Since it was the Christmas season, I love the added Christmas tree for that nice holiday touch! 


6 months without haircut + pregnancy hormones + lazy to use any at-home hair care treatment = Dry, unruly and damaged hair! 

Check out the excited girl while I was waiting for more quick consultation with one of my favorite hairstylist Sam!


Had a quick chat with Sam and I am so happy to see familiar faces!  John (the guy who washed my hair 6 months ago and gives one of the best head and back massage was still there and he still remembers me!)  

Various Kerastase products were there for the different hair needs!  I am happy to announce that they are updated with Kerastase's newest collection!  


After my hair was washed by Nalyn using Kerastase Chroma Riche Shampoo and Conditioner, I bravely told Sam I am opting for shorter 'do as I'm not even sure when my next haircut schedule will be!  *laughs*


Sam browsed through magazines and showed me sample photos of actresses with shoulder length hair and we both agreed on going for Jennifer Aniston's Long Bob Hairstyle!  Okay, I'm not as gorgeous as her (plus I need my bangs!) but I've always looked up to Jennifer Aniston for her unique cut!  (Who doesn't?)


Here goes nothing!  Bob cut is something I've never done in my entire life as the length will make me look like a round pastry!  As for my face shape, I agree that the Long Bob Cut is more appropriate for me!

To those who don't know, I have background in hair-cutting, I've finished a course years before I studied makeup!  The way Sam layered my hair and precisely cut is, well, I have never tried that before and I was impressed!


*Snips* *Snips* *Snips* 

The length was perfect for me, it wasn't too long or short and I can still curl my hair or tie it up in a high ponytail!  Sam explained to me how a "long bob" is slightly shorter in the back and tapers to the front!  This is a unique style I'm quite excited to sport!


After blow-drying my hair, he whipped out his shearing scissors to do some final touches!  I can definitely feel how light my hair is and damaged ends were all gone!


Sam and AMW
It was always a pleasure to have him cut my hair!  I'd love to see him again in the future!

Before and After
note: hair was blow-dried to be sleek straight.

The day after, I washed my hair and styled it on my own and have decided to create a bit of "body"!  So far, I am very happy with the result!

AMW wearing Fly shades

**Haircut costs Php1,000 (approx $25.00) for Senior Stylist.


Salon Beauvoir
Upper G/F, Somerset Olympia
7912 Makati Ave. corner Sto. Tomas St., Makati City. 
Open from Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
To book an appointment, call 904-5154, 478-7670 or 0916-681-3722.
Like them on Facebook to check out their other services.

Do you plan to change your 'do for the coming new year?
Which hairstyle would you like to sport for the year 2013?


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(Service received for PR purpose.  Opinions 100% mine.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Readers' Corner: My Pregnancy Skincare

Happy Friday my dear readers!  Today, I will be writing a special post on the most requested "Pregnancy Skincare Routine" that I've been doing since I got pregnant.  The readers who asked are either pregnant while some aren't, they just have strong sensitive to product scent or some have really sensitive skin!  

Please bear in mind that the products listed below are used based on my continuous product testing and I did ask my Doctor regarding some of the products used below!  If you are pregnant and has sensitivity to certain ingredients, it is very important to ask your doctor, they are way more professional than I am!  :)

It is funny how our body works, as soon as I got pregnant, no matter how much I would like to use my regular skincare regimen, my strong sensitivity to product scents puts me off and it was automatic for me to use the least products possible!  I call my Pregnancy Skincare Regimen the "Evolution of Man" stage!  I started from the super basic "water only" cleansing routine then slowly improving as my morning sickness subsides!  

First 2 Months ---
I cannot stay inside a washroom without the urge to throw up so I always try to be as quick as possible when I brush my teeth and wash my face.  My skin survived 2 full months of just plain water and scrubbing my face using my Konjac Sponge! (Please read past review HERE.)  It was a big surprise for me that I did not have breakout at all!  My skin looks okay, not at its best but I can face anyone with bare face at this stage!  


2nd to 4th Month Pregnancy ---
With all the throwing up and the "almost not eating and drinking anything stage", the stress around my skin is starting to show up and my skin is getting much drier than ever!  I was alarmed so I rummaged through my beauty stuff and went for Dove Beauty Moisture Facial Cleanser which I have used even before I got pregnant.  I went ahead and checked with my Doctor and I was told it was alright to use such product!  It doesn't hurt that the scent was very mild and it doesn't bother me at all!

For the next 2 months, I survived using only Dove Beauty Moisture Facial Cleanser without following up with Toner and Moisturizer (not my choice, my body can't take the added steps)!  My skin wasn't perfectly moisturized but at least, it wasn't as dry as it used to be! 



Same as the skin on my face, the rest of my body turned really dry, scaly and very itchy!  The itchiness was starting to bother me so I've decided to muster up the strength sniffed body products that wouldn't turn my stomach around!  The 2 winners?


Both products have done a great job in easing my skin's supreme dryness and thankfully, no allergic reaction was seen!


From 4th month onwards ---
Though my morning sickness officially left me the moment I hit 20th weeks (5th month pregnancy), I was starting to feel a bit better on my 4th month, lesser headaches, lesser nausea and throwing up.  I have decided to inject better skincare into my daily routine.

Daytime 
  • Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam
  • Shiseido The Skincare Day Moisture Protection - I don't use this on a daily basis, only when I plan to go out as it has SPF15.  I don't use sunblock as of the moment so I'm depending on this.
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion - I like using a good amount of this especially on the dry patches around my face before powder foundation application.  Without this, my skin looks dry and flaky!
  • Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer - this lip product has been a life saver for me, my sister-in-law gifted me this as I can't seem to use any flavored lip balm during my first trimester!  Though this is not the most moisturizing lip product I've used to date, it still helped me go through the day without having cracked and bleeding lips!

Nighttime
  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser - Since I'm done with my Dove Facial Cleanser, I have changed it to Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser for its basic benefits, facial cleansing + moisture!  So far, I do have random tiny breakouts but it doesn't stay longer than 2 days!
  • Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Skin Relief - since I wasn't able to repurchase this, I'm glad I have a sample size of this which lasted me months!  I use this heavily only at night time as a "face mask" and wake up with super relaxed and moisturized skin.
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream - I haven't been taking much care of my eye area since I got pregnant and my lack of sleep has been putting a toll on my under eye area!  My bags are dark and very obvious!  The insertion of Estee Lauder ANR Eye Cream would give me the aid I need under the eye area! 
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream - I had a hard time using this product on my lips as it has a tiny hint of scent that puts me off at my most sensitive stage, but the funny thing is, I can actually accept the scent during night time before I sleep so I took advantage of this to moisturize my lips as this is the best lip product for me (as of date).

And of course, the moment I hit my 2nd trimester, I've changed all my regular body products to Palmer's!  Thanks to friends who gifted me this and I also purchased a couple so it's going to be months until I will be able to finish all these!


And just to be sure, I keep a huge bottle of Apollo Pure Petroleum Jelly to remove lip products, eye makeup and moisturize my heels and elbows!  
 


To my mommy readers, do you have any specific products you swore by during pregnancy? 
I'd love to read your list!


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Thursday, December 27, 2012

AMW Reviews: Kiehl's Magic Elixir

I recently had my haircut over the weekend, prior to that, my last haircut was exactly 6 months ago!  6 months without a good haircut is normal for a busy girl like me but due to my pregnancy hormones, my hair was growing extra fast and I'm getting a bit irritated with the tangles and extreme dryness! 

While I was waiting for the perfect moment (real reason: enough TIME) to have my much-awaited haircut, I've decided to take care of what's on my head before I tear them apart with my own bare hands!

Last October, I visited Kiehl's Rockwell Powerplant opening and was able to gift myself with the Kiehl's Magic Elixir which the SA highly recommend for girls who suffer from extremely dry scalp!  It's definitely a Selfish-That's-For-Me-Myself-and-I-Moment and I'm glad I took it home as I've been using this for months and been loving the results!  

Read on for more detailed review.  Keep in mind that this product can be used on both scalp and hair, I've decided to use this only on my scalp area and use regular hair treatment cream for the rest of my hair as my hair is long! *meager mode*

Kiehl's says ---
Used regularly, this potent concentration of natural oils penetrates hair and scalp with therapeutic action to restructure hair to healthy.
  • Immediately restores moisture balance to scalp and  hair
  • Improves manageability of hair
  • Softens hair and boosts hair’s natural shine
Size: 4.2 fl. oz./ 125ml


AMW says ---
Pros
  • Smells wonderful and relaxing!
  • Scalp doesn't feel or look as dry even after FIRST usage.
  • Flakes on the scalp area has decreased after 3x usage.
  • Hair feels silky and shiny after a month's usage.
  • I had my hair re-bonded and there were around 2-3 inches of regrowth but that area remained frizz-free.
  • A little goes a long way.
  • The product doesn't leave a heavy, oily-feel after wash!
Cons
  • Price/Size of the bottle.  I wish it could go bigger!
Overall
Smells great, moisturizing and very effective even after first usage.  Lightweight and hair is more moisturized and tangle-free.

Tips
  • Apply a small amount on fingertips and massage formula throughout scalp using circular motion.
  • You can also choose to apply the product directly onto the scalp and massage gently.  I prefer the application using my fingertips as I can easily control the amount of product to be dispensed.
  • Use this at least 3-4 times a week for maximum results.  I started by using this 3x a week and decreased to once a week.
  • After application and massage, wait for 10 minutes before shampooing.
  • Continue with your regular shampoo + conditioner regimen.
  • If you tend to get bored with application, apply the Kiehl's Magic Elixir and continue with my regular tasks/chores (ex. Answering emails, watch my favorite TV shows, etc...)
  • If you want to save more of the product and prolong its usage, apply this product only on the scalp area and use regular hair treatment creams on the rest of your hair.
  • Concentrate application on the most dry area!  In my case, it is right above my forehead where flakes are visible.
Will I repurchase?
Yes!

To whom do I recommend this to?
Anyone who likes taking extra care of their hair!  This product works well for people who suffers from dry scalp and hair.

Where to purchase and how much?
At local Kiehl's Stores in Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center, and TriNoma for Php1,300 (approx $32.50)LIKE Kiehl's Manila Facebook page for more product updates and contests.

Photo
My long hair prior to haircut.  As seen on photo, the hair near the scalp remained straight and moisturized considering I already have almost 3 inches of hair regrowth (from rebond).


Do you suffer from dry scalp? 
Would you give Kiehl's Magic Elixir a try?
As for me, any brand of shampoo would give me the dry scalp so using this in addition to my regular hair care regimen is a big help! 

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Eureka Moment: My 2013 Planner

Each year, it is like my personal tradition to hunt for a good planner/organizer!  


As you can see, they all have a common factor --- Useful pages, enough space to write my daily schedule or makeup bookings, planner is not too big or small, easy to tote around no matter which bag I use, etc...

This year, due to my pregnancy, I seldom go out and spent most of my time staying at home instead!  And if I did manage to go out, I always pack my day so full I don't even have time to pee!  *just joking*  

I almost thought I'll end up with a boring "refillable" planner for next year (I have a backup by the way!).  Thanks to online shopping sites, I was able to score a Grassroots Patent Croc 2013 Planner at a discounted price!

What I love about this planner is the fact that I can pick my choice of color and you can also pick from Patent Croc, Metallic Reptile, Wavy Silken Abaca or Super Fine Pandan cover!  

I went for Patent Croc style in Red! 
Scroll further down and I'll tell you why I picked this cover style!


2013 and 2014 at-a-glance Calendar which I find to be super useful!

Daily, weekly and monthly agenda is available in this medium sized planner making it easy for me to keep track important schedules!  I also love the fact that I have enough space to write and even doodle!

I didn't take a photo of the "Monthly Agenda" as I've already written the names of my friends who are celebrating their birthday on those pages!


There are 2 full pages of Notes after each month!  I like writing random thoughts, ideas in this using my colored pens!  *winks*


Last but not the least, the final few pages is where I can keep important contact numbers and addresses.  I  know it is the digital age but I still enjoy writing down addresses as I still enjoy sending snail mails! 


The size of Grassroots Patent Croc 2013 Planner is not like a regular sized notebook that I expected.  It is a tad bit bigger than my 2012 Planner and small enough to fit all my bags!  I love how lightweight it is so I don't mind carrying this around EVERYWHERE I go! 



The planner comes in 6 shades --- Black, Dark Brown, Red, Apple Green, Turquoise and Purple priced at Php550.00 (approx $13.75) bought it at Deal Grocer for Php415.00 (approx $10.37).



Grassroots Greenbelt 5
Boutique Store
3/F Greenbelt 5
Ayala Center, Makati
tel. no.: (632) 501 3980



Okay, here's the reason why I'm so in love with my 2013 planner!  It matches my Fino Wallet! :D  I planned to pick the same shade but decided otherwise as I may have a hard time rummaging through my bag or I may mistakenly pick the planner when I'm looking for my wallet or vice versa!  Overall, I am very happy with my purchase!  Definitely a Eureka Moment!



What's your 2013 Planner?

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