Potential Treasures (October)

It’s been so long since the last time I posted something on my "potential treasures" category and I actually miss doing that. Not just posting about my new finds but the actual use of such products. Unfortunately, I decided to stop trying one beauty product from another every couple of weeks because my skin is not too happy about it for it caused more than the usual breakout - me no happy!

Apparently, the series of breakouts prompted me to try these products.
Sorry for the low-quality photo. Taken using my phone's camera.
  1. All Organics Lemongrass Facial Toner
    It claims to keep pimple causing bacteria at bay, improve appearance of pores and freshen the skin. I have been using this toner for less than a month but nothing significant happened so far. I will review this after using for a month.

  2. All Organics Charcoal Bath Soap
    I have tried using Pond’s Charcoal Facial wash but I didn’t see any improvement so I stopped spending for nothing. I decided to take another attempt at charcoal-made beauty products with this soap and I am seriously hoping that I’ll get desirable result else I will never again be swayed by this charcoal hype.

  3. All Organics Tea Tree Aloe Vera Bath Soap
    I have been reading good things about tea on skin and yes, at some point, I even consider making my own tea toner out of store-bought teas. But due to hygienic woes (and laziness), the plan didn’t materialize. I got this soap instead. I can’t wait to use this and share to my readers how this soap fares.

Crochet: Pouch with Flap and Strap

Finally! The first ever decent project I created since the first time I learned basic crochet. This is supposed to be a cellular phone case for my 10-year old niece but I underestimated the size thus resulted to this bigger pouch. :D

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to list down the pattern (as if I know how) and it is surely difficult for me to recall all those stitch count and such. I will try to do so next time to give justice to the empty notebook I bought intended for new and potential projects.

Review: Crocs Women’s Mccall Ballet Flat

I was looking for a comfortable travel shoes or slippers for our trip to Davao when I learned about the Crocs Supersale the Provincial Tour in Iloilo. So instead of buying that Ipanema slippers I have been eyeing to buy (but hesitant in doing so because “someone” is criticizing me for wanting to buy that slippers worth around Php 1000), I waited for the sale.

When I entered the venue during the inclusive days of sale, I was greeted by boxes and boxes of Crocs footwear in various models, colors and sizes. The cheapest ones, unfortunately, either have ran out or don’t have my size. Also, the mary jane types are really pretty and fit my feet snuggly but they only have small discount and goes beyond my budget so I chose a different design. I got this Mccall Ballet flats instead. Regular price of this one is Php 1550 but got this on sale for Php 750, 50% off the price.
I road-tested this in Davao, among slippery, grassy or muddy hiking trails, hotel floors, in the park and streets of Davao, along the seashore and of course in the carpeted airport lobby and naturally inside the airplane.

Product Description:
The Crocs Mccall shoes feature a man-made upper with a round toe. The man-made outsole lends lasting traction and wear.

Amazon Description:
Love your Crocs clogs for fun and comfort, but looking for something a bit more fashionable and feminine? Crafted from the same soft and lightweight foam rubber, this slim little ballet flat features an airy and foot-flattering low-cut vamp and bumpy footbed designed to cushion and massage your feet. Wear with jeans, capris, cropped pants, and casual skirts and dresses.

What I like about Mccall Ballet flat:
This one is very lightweight thus making me feel like I am walking in the air. I kid! :D But seriously, it is so light that you won’t feel like you are wearing a pair of shoes. It has two small holes on both side and two stylish ones in the toes area therefore allowing the feet to breathe. This may be flat but it doesn’t give you that really “flat” feeling must flat ballet shoes do probably because of the “bumpy footbed designed to cushion and massage your feet”. As what I’ve said, I wore this when we went hiking and the shoes never failed me even in slippery areas of the trail. The outsole hold on to the surface securely hence I was able to enjoy the sceneries and other activities rather than focus on my steps to keep me from falling or slipping.

I got the one in cranberry shade but it isn’t difficult to wear at all. I don’t only wear this together with a coordinated-colored dress or top or bag. I wear this with ANY color I feel like wearing. Thanks to today’s fashion! And as what Amazon said, “Wear with jeans, capris, cropped pants, and casual skirts and dresses.” True! I have worn these babies with jeans, capris, short shorts, casual skirts and dresses and even swimming attire. This is my go-to casual shoes right now (probably until the Crocs Sexi Strappy sandals arrive early November).

Another thing that makes this pair really special is I can wear it both during summer and rainy days. It’s really easy to clean too!

What I dislike about Mccall Ballet flat:
When worn without socks, my feet gets a bit sweaty but it’s not something I cannot tolerate. Haven’t used this while wearing foot socks though.

Prolong use made my feet a bit painful but I believe it is because I got a smaller size. I’m a size 8 but I got the size 7 so I have a feeling that the discomfort is caused by wrong size. When I bought it, size 7 seems snug enough that I didn’t bother to try the size 8. And besides, I cannot remember seeing size 8 during the sale.


using the camera's vivid setting

A Photo A Week: Rediscovering Crochet

I started learning how to crochet during my early grade school days, when my older cousins are struggling (with my mother’s help) to finish their projects in Home Economics. Back then, I created a couple of “an ok quality” projects without proper training. I didn’t know various types of crochet or whatsoever and I am only armed with chain stitch and yarn over skill.

As I get older, become busy with school and trends changing (we were taught cross stitch instead of crochet in school), this beautiful hobby has started to take a back seat. The crochet is often forgotten and if I remember to start a project, a rarely finish time due to lack of time, determination and formal knowledge on various stitches and how to understand patterns.

Fast forward to more than a decade, I am back to this hobby. I think this is what boredom does! I am on the same work routine for five years and the same tasks, schedule and work place has taken a toll on my sanity. I have been looking for something different, fun, and colorful yet something I can do without hurting my bank account. And this is what I came up with! This activity motivates my sleeping brain to come up with beautiful stitch and color combination. Like before, I still don’t know how to read patterns and I only create a project inspired by another project but I am working on that. I downloaded loads of eBooks, watched some videos and even asked my mother’s advice from time to time. I am also inspired to pursue the activity because I found so many bloggers who are also crochet enthusiasts and I drool seeing their works.
My first finished project as an adult is this ivory and moss green cell phone case. I am not too thrilled with the color combination but these are the only colors I have at home when the urge to crochet kicked in. I finished the project in one day (approximately less than five hours if I worked on it nonstop). I originally planned to add a flap but I was so excited to see the finished product hence ditched the plan. I know it isn’t spectacular but my mother said that it’s ok for a beginner. :D

The other day, I bought one spool of Canon’s mercerized cotton yarn in dark pink and started working on my niece’s cell phone case. I aim to finish the project before weekend so that I can give it to her when she comes over. While doing this project, my mind is continuously thinking of a hundred ideas for my next project so expect more crochet posts from now on.

Eden Nature Park: The Log Cabin

After scouring the crocodile farm, enjoyed the Zorb and filled our tummies with sumptuous dishes, we headed to Eden Nature Park, a mountain resort located in Mount Talomo, Toril Davao City. Eden Nature Park is not just an ordinary mountain resort wherein all amenities such as pool, rooms, restaurant and others are cramped in one area alone. Mountain resort here means huge mountain with amenities scattered in various parts of the mountain. The restaurant is located more than a hundred meters away from the main gate, the front desk is a few hundred meters away from the restaurant and the log cabin, in which we will be staying for the night, is located probably a kilometer farther thus we need a shuttle service when transporting from our cabin to the restaurant and other parts of the resort.
View from the road (photo credit: mawe)
Side portion of the cabin (photo credit: mawe)
It’s called log cabin because the outer wall is made of log cut into half. The inner wall is thick and smooth concrete-looking plywood. It has a living room with television and kitchen equipped with refrigerator, stove, rice cooker, oven and kitchen utensils. The cabin has four rooms with three beds. There are two toilet and baths, with each t & b adjoining the two rooms. Neither the room nor any of the four rooms is air conditioned, only electric fans. But then, who needs air condition or even electric fan when the room temperature is very cold. Thankfully, the shower has hot and cold adjustment else you will find yourself shivering due to cold weather and cold water.
Front portion of the cabin (photo credit: mawe)
Living room and kitchen (photo credit: mawe)
At first, I was kinda hesitant to stay in this cabin because there are no other accommodations or amenities around us. Although it is located along the road where the resort shuttle passes by, the cabin is surrounded with trees and the peaceful ambiance makes it all the creepier. But being the safety-freak that I am, I asked the shuttle driver if there is a house nearby. Good thing there is a guard house just a few meters away from our cabin. Additionally, there are also guards patrolling 24/7 thus making me feel at ease.
The fireplace (left side) and front door (right side) (photo credit: mawe)
Cellular phone signal is poor in this area therefore giving us time to relax, enjoy the beauty of nature and spend quality time together. The cabin is ideal for 12 persons but I think it can accommodate up to 15 persons. Charge is Php 7980/night with free use of all the appliances inside the cabin.

A Photo A Week: Crocodile Meat

It isn’t my first time to visit Davao nor my first time to explore Davao Crocodile Park. However, it’s my first time to eat crocodile meat. While anything made of crocodile skin - bags, belts and wallets are to die for, this one is not. I can spend the rest of my life without ever eating it again.
Yes, it doesn’t taste that bad nor has that foul odor or whatsoever but it does taste like burnt meat - a major turnoff for me. I’m not sure if it is due to the way it is cooked or what but I’m sure I won’t be craving for it. The creamy sauce tastes good though.

Davao Trip: The Zorb Experience

When I went to Davao for the first time last 2010, I knew back then that I will be coming back to this amazing city surrounded by mountains. Last week, I returned there along with my friends and boyfriend. We went to the same attractions I visited before but added a few new activities - one of the activities is the Zorb ride.

The ride is actually called zorv by the management but I prefer calling it Zorb because it sounds so right (and zorv seems so wrong). Zorb is located in Davao Crocodile Park Complex, a developed village that also houses the Tribu K’Mindanawan Cultural village, Butterfly Garden, the Crocodile Park itself, walk in the water (water ball) and other activities.
Getting ready... (photo credit: mark)
To enjoy the Zorb, two persons are strapped inside the inner wall of the giant plastic ball. They should be strapped in the opposing sides to balance the weight and make the ball roll easily. Once everything is strapped securely, the giant ball is pushed into the slope with railings. The railings serve to prevent the ball from rolling out of the track. Once the ball reaches the flat surface and slows down, that’s the time for riders to go out of the ball.
Keep rolling, rolling, rolling... (photo credit: mark)
I rode the giant ball with my boyfriend. Lucky for me because I was strapped with my back turned away from the slope, in other words, my feet goes up first each time the ball rolls. My bf on the other hand is facing the slope, thus he is doing a dive each time the ball rolls. That is kinda scary for me!

I know the track is short and only took less than a minute before it reaches the ground but when I was inside, I feel like it takes forever for the ball to stop rolling and moving. Also, the track is straight but I have the feeling that the ball is turning into a curve and fear that it went out of track and will end us up in the nearby road or in the area with tall grasses. LOL!
The Gang!
I wasn’t able to contain myself while inside the ball. I keep on shouting and shouting while silently praying that we will reach the end safely. When the ball stopped with the help of the man-in-charge, I can barely move because of mixed emotions - excitement, fear and what not, hence my boyfriend unstrapped and helped me get out of the ball. Funny because while getting out and even when I’m already out, I couldn’t stop shouting. The adrenaline rush is making me really crazy!

If you are claustrophobic or have weak heart, then this may not be for you. I think kids under 12 years old are prohibited from riding. Cellular phones, camera, jewelry and even shoes are not allowed inside too. Each ride costs Php 200 (plus free walk in the water admission).

Posts about my first time in Davao:

Davao Trip Day 1 - Davao Crocodile Park Complex
Davao Trip Day 1 - Davao People's Park 
Davao Trip Day 2 - Eden Nature Park
Davao Trip Day 3 - Farewell, Davao

Travel Essentials for Frugal Travelers

Traveling, for me, is one way of rewarding myself for every hard day at work. I am my happiest when I am in a new place. I do not only get to see new places and learn different culture or way of life but the experience I gained when traveling is always added into my memory vault.

While traveling is supposed to be fun and exciting, we cannot deny the fact that there are some issues that could pop up along the way. For us girls, one common issue on the list is the baggage. For girls like me who have been told many times that I carry my closet (sometimes my room) when traveling, this can be a real challenge. Oftentimes, I get so stressed a few days prior the trip because of thoughts on what to bring, what to left behind, how many pieces of this and that to bring and so on. Having a mom that is acting as a reminder of everything I might need on the trip isn’t helping with my baggage woes at all.

But traveling on a budget has gradually taught me how to pack light and bring only the things that I will surely need and use. To minimize baggage costs and avoid muscle pain caused by carrying heavy bags, here are some tips you may want to consider:
  • Bring toiletries (shampoo, lotion, etc) in small bottles
    Bringing shampoos and conditioners in sachet can indeed save luggage space but what are you going to do if you can’t use the entire content of one sachet? Throw or leave them behind? Not for the frugal one. Bringing the left over, on the other hand, can be messy. So instead of sachets, I recommend using small bottles. Most shampoos, conditioners and lotions are available in small bottles or containers. You do not need to buy such items each time you travel. Buy once and refill the bottles instead of throwing them away when the content ran out.

  • Consider the destination and activities when deciding what clothes and shoes to bring
    When your travel activities include zip line rides, diving, snorkeling, hiking and the likes, then sky-high stilettos and makeup train case are not really necessary. If you are to spend a week in an island, then load up on swimsuits, sun dresses and similar however if you intend to party at night or jog in the beach, then toss a few items for that activities in your luggage. Having a piece of clothing or accessory with multiple uses or can be easily paired with other items is a plus too.

  • Bring comfortable shoes
    Traveling usually calls for walking... walking and walking. Thus snugly-fit, comfortable and durable pair of shoes is really necessary.

  • Medicine, vitamins and other supplements
    Getting sick when you are away from home is worse and worst if you haven’t brought any medicine to make you feel better. Stomach upsets and dizziness are common health issues when traveling so better bring medicines to combat those. Anti-allergy medicines should not be taken for granted if you are prone to getting allergies. Understand that when you travel, each day is always loaded with activities and you might not be getting enough sleep and rest. Taking vitamins and other supplements in addition to eating right can give you more energy to do more.

While enjoying wherever part of the world you are, safety is of course, still the number one priority. Keep an eye on your valuables and also to those who are after your valuables. Make sure to lock the room or rented house before leaving. Also if you are the one driving, follow traffic rules and drive responsibly to avoid any untoward incidents.

Do you love traveling? Feel free to share your travel essentials and tips in the comment section below...