Student mode

So as usual if I'm too busy dealing with life, I tend to neglect this blog. But that's not an excuse right? 

I just ended my first quarter in college and thankfully my grade is looking good (now I just have to be consistent!). So, this quarter break will be a time for me to catch up on my side projects including figuring out the direction for this blog. I am planning to buy a domain name and even change the name of this blog or website because there's so much I want to do. It is still in the planning stage so I'm really not putting that on my priority list, as of now. But we'll see.


Lower body workout with kettlebell

I believe the secret to a healthy body, mind and soul is through exercising. Exercising has loads of benefits. It's a stress reliever, mood booster, it creates positive energy and makes you feel stronger.

Personally for me, getting into an exercising habit is hard but if there's motivation and a little push, it becomes easier. One important thing is to be consistent. Consistency helps you get used to the workouts and you'll progress faster. 

I don't have a gym membership so I do my workouts at home with my husband. We bought a few kettlebells a few months ago so we can get more out of our exercises. Kettlebell helps you build your body strength and it's just a great tool for overall body workout. 

I've seen some improvements since I first got my hands on my 8 kg kettle bell. I started with kettlebell swings early this year and it killed me. Now I'm able to do workout routines with the kettlebell for different parts of my body. And since I've gotten used to it,  maybe soon I will start practicing with the 12 kg.

In this post, I'm sharing my go to lower body workouts. I keep changing the routines from time to time but so far this one works for me. 

1. Goblet squat or sumo squat (20 secs)
2. Lateral lunges (20 secs)
3. Fire hydrants and/or donkey kicks (20 secs)
4. Kettlebell swings (20 secs)
5. Weighted lunges (20 secs)
6. Jumping jacks  (20 secs)

Repeat this 5 times. This routine is very flexible so you can just skip the kettlebell if you don't have one. This takes less than half an hour of your time. Do this consistently and you will see results in no time. Happy trying! 


Review: Maybelline Fit Me!® Matte + Poreless foundation

Summer is here and I finally got my hands on the Maybelline Fit Me!® Matte + Poreless foundation. A lot of people are raving about this foundation and how it's better than the previous one so I decided to give it a try. I bought mine in shade 125 Nude Beige. The color seems right for me except that this one has a pink undertone. I would purchase a different shade next time. I have worn this foundation 3 - 4 times and I have had it on my face the whole day so I guess I can now talk about this product.

note: Every skin reacts differently to different products. Just because I don't like how it looks on me, that does not mean that it won't look good on others - and vice versa. 

Ok, now let's move on to the review.

What the product claims: 
1. Matte finish
2. Erases pores
3. Matches natural tone
Formula and application: 
Like most drugstore foundations, this one does not come with a pump. It doesn't really bother me but of course I prefer a foundation that comes with a pump. It makes everyone's life easier, right? I applied two coats on my face but I didn't use a lot because I want to review this product as if I'm wearing it as an everyday foundation.

I like the formula because it's not that runny nor thick. It like how it blends so smoothly on the skin and I don't really feel like there's foundation on my face. The coverage of this foundation is between light to medium. So if you want a full coverage you may want to apply primer, concealer and apply another coat. This foundation is buildable. So even if you apply another two or three coats, you'll get a nice coverage but still feel like you don't have too much on your face. I still have visible pimple scars on my cheeks so without concealer you can still see the scars but trust me, in person the foundation looks beautiful after it starts to set. Take your time to apply your makeup because it takes a while for this foundation to set.
Overall, I would give this foundation 7/10. Does it do what it claims? yes and no. I feel like it does make my pores look almost invisible. It's not completely matte but it does have a nice glowy finish. It doesn't make my skin look shiny but after a few hours I do feel the need to blot my face (Even though my face doesn't look oily when I look at myself in the mirror. I guess it's just a feeling!). The foundation does match my skin tone when I apply it but after a while, the shade became a bit pinkish. So make sure you get the right shade for your face! It does a good job in balancing my skin tone and cover whatever that needs to be covered. It's not a long wearing foundation so you might want to skip this if you're gonna be out the whole day without needing to re-apply your makeup. But anyway, the product doesn't claim to be long lasting so it's not a big issue for me.

So, here's a picture of me with minimal makeup. Maybelline Fit Me!® Matte + Poreless foundation, eye makeup, lipstick, under eye concealer, no setting powder, no blush, no contour but flat hair.


Date weekend: Oregon coast

Oregon, USA
The weekend trip to Oregon was a much needed break for both husband and I since we haven't been on a holiday together for  a while. Our journey started quite late on Friday but early enough to avoid the office traffic. We drove down south and reached Lincoln City at night to spend the night there (I love our hotel btw!). The next day, we explored Oregon coast and drove up north towards Portland. It was sweet although there's not much to say about Oregon during the trip. We missed a lot of tourist spots because it was such a short visit but we hope next time we get to explore other parts of the state. Oregon, we'll definitely meet again! 

The highlights of our visit: 
1. We went to Tillamook Cheese Factory and had their yummy fresh ice-cream.
2. I had the best Indian food in Portland. The restaurant is called Siri India
3. We had the famous school bus grilled cheese.
4. We drove around some neighborhoods in Portland. I like the buildings. Their designs have character but man, they're almost as expensive as Seattle!


Tried and tested: Coconut oil

Recently, I've been using coconut oil in my beauty regimen after discovering its benefits. Coconut oil is like an all-rounder in skincare and health because it is good for almost everything you can think of. It is safe to say that I've been using coconut oil on and off for about two months now. I can tell that my skin is a lot softer compared to when I was first introduced to this super oil. I'm only going to talk about the beauty benefits of coconut oil because as far as health is concern, I can't say that every claim is proven to be correct. So I'd rather not write about it because I don't want to give false information.

1. It's an amazing moisturizer 
This has been a staple for my beauty routine. I scooped a small amount with my hand and slather it all over my body. I like to top it with my own body lotion because I like my body to have a sweet scent. I do this in the morning after shower and before bedtime. I like how smooth my skin feels when I wake up in the morning. I have tried using it for my face because coconut oil is also known for its ability to fight wrinkles. But after a few days my face started breaking out. I didn't know why so I did some reasearch and it turns out that coconut oil tends to clog pores. So I won't recommend using it as a moisturizer on the face, especially if you have a sensitive skin.

2. It's good for hair and scalp
Coconut oil is rich in nutrients such as Vitamin E and Vitamin K which are good for strengthening, shine and growth of hair. On top of that, it's antifungal and antibacterial properties help in eliminating dandruff and lice. That said, it can help with your baby's cradle cap too! I like to use coconut oil as a hair mask once a week. I scooped out a small amount on my palm and run it through my hair with my fingers, making sure I massage it all over my scalp for a few minutes. Usually I put my hair in a bun and sleep with the mask on.

3. It provides dental hygiene
One thing coconut oil is famous for nowadays is 'oil pulling'. It is an Ayurvedic medicinal ancient practice used for dental hygiene. It involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 10 - 20 minutes before spitting it out (source). Oil pulling has a lot of benefits such as boosting immunities, increase overall oral hygiene, whitens teeth, reduces bad breath, balances hormones, clear sinuses, helps with jaw problems and a lot of other benefits. I have not tried this yet but I'm willing to give it a go because of the benefits it has to offer. Here is the right method for oil pulling that I found online:

4. It's a substitute for your makeup remover
Coconut oil may work better than any of your makeup remover. Sure it's oily but it's not hard to remove and wash off. Using cotton pad or your own finger, massage the oil on your dry face making sure you lightly rub in around your eyes especially your lashes. And then take a hot damp cloth and wipe the residue until there's no trace of makeup left on your face. Then was your face with your favorite cleanser. Your face will feel soft and hydrated at the same time.

5. Fights cellulite and stretch marks
Cellulite is one of the beautiful flaws that women have as they age. It's that one flaw that we have to accept naturally. It's the same as wrinkles. It will happen. There are so many laser treatments and commercial products that aim to fight cellulites. But there's also natural ways of fighting it. Coconut oil is known for its benefit to reduce the appearance of cellulite. In case you didn't know, coffee is also known for the same benefit, plus it is a natural exfoliator. You can easily make your own coffee + coconut oil scrub for your body. For pregnant women especially, you can rub the coconut oil all over your belly on a daily basis to prevent stretch marks. I heard that it works!

6. It's a natural healing remedy
Coconut oil contains antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Hence it is a good healing agent. It has proven to heal scars and burns. I'm prone to accidents when it comes to frying food. I've had a few experience when I have oil splattered on my hands while cooking. I immediately applied coconut oil on the affected area. The next morning, I see no trace of burns or redness on my skin at all. Other than that, it's really good for diaper rash, rashes in general and itchyness. I like to use it on the driest part of my body (my legs) because I tend to scratch them in the middle of the night. I notice that I don't have red bumps on my legs anymore. It's like a miracle worker!