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FROM THESE ISLANDS I RISE- free book currently on Amazon

Filipinos, Asians, Fil-Ams, mixed peeps, Asian-American people, people married to Islanders or raised by them or with kids from ‘there’:

You need to read this- it is free on Kindle right now!

Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon wrote this and it is definitely a testimony to being Filipino and mixed in North America.

I loved this. As a fellow mixed race Filipino-American, I could identify with so much of Liwag Dixon’s writing and poetry. The emotions behind her writings ring true and clear. I am also a person who also has a foot in both worlds, to some extent, and I identified very strongly with her poetry.

She was my co-writer for the screenplay we just did- a brilliant pianist and musical talent, and a prolific novelist, poet, and journalist.

Feel free to read and leave a review.

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September 2015 Birchbox “You’re Beautiful” Review

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first glimpse of box

I have to admit, I wasn’t too jazzed about this month’s Birchbox. I’d been waiting with baited breath for the Anastasia Brow Pencil… but once I received it, was ‘meh’. My trusty Rimmel brow pencil is better than this one for me. They do about the same thing, except the Rimmel pencil seems to be less ‘smudgy’.

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Innards

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list of innards

The Tocca body scrub was nice… albeit smallish. The concealer crayon is ok for cleaning up brow meses, but not much else if you need a decent undereye concealer. The hair leave in stuff was ‘ok’. The perfume was DISGUSTING.

I am seriously considering canceling my subscription soon. So far, Ipsy is a far better deal.

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eBay Find: Oversized Cats Eye Sunglasses Review

#biglipsdontcare feeling kind of 1980s today

#biglipsdontcare feeling kind of 1980s today

Bought these cute cute oversized cats eye sunglasses on eBay and they’re AMAZING. Heavy as my expensive Gucci and other ‘real’ designer glasses- and are UNDER $10 BUCKS!

Perfectly cute chic specs that won’t break the bank and- this is important if you have a toddler- won’t be a heartbreak when your kid breaks them or you sit on them accidentally.

I loved them so much, I bought some for my mom and friends.

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Joovy Nook High Chair- SHA-winnnnggg! Gorgeous, compact, functional, and MOD- the SPORTS CAR of high chairs!

I am in love with this high chair

that’s one of my closet systems in a package next to keyboard- and a big ball of shedded Newf dog hair on the carpet- classy!

The package man dropped off a Joovy Nook high chair box today and I wasn’t disappointed!

I was actually HAPPIER with the real thing than I ever imagined I would be! This just solidifies my love and undying loyalty towards this company. My previous review about Joovy products is here.

Packages! Oh, how I love packages!

First of all, after Connor opened the box, I was SHOCKED to see how small it was folded up.

at first I was a bit worried, because I have BEACH CHAIRS that were bigger than this foldedIt is size of a regular folding lawn chair or smaller. SO compact. It will make storing this away so easy.

It is size of a regular folding lawn chair or smaller. SO compact. It will make storing this away so easy.

this thing folds up to an astonishingly small size!

Opened up, it was as tall as the old Fisher Price high chair (which was thrown into the dumpster immediately).

no worries re the height- this thing is great!

The tray is smaller, which seems much more practical to me- and the entire thing just a better size than our old one.

the smaller tray makes way more sense than the huge one on the fisher price high chair.

the smaller tray makes way more sense than the huge one on the fisher price high chair.


 The black ‘leatherette’ is very sleek and matte- it truly LOOKS like real leather.

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the pleather looks sleek and mod- and matches my mid-century modern dining chairsThe thing reminds me of sports car upholstery. It’s soft and comfy to the touch, unlike the scratchy plastic-feeling stuff on our old high chair.

The thing reminds me of sports car upholstery. It’s soft and comfy to the touch, unlike the scratchy plastic-feeling stuff on our old high chair.

Stuffed the kid in through the seat hole.

Stuffed the kid in through the seat hole.

There’s a button underneath the right side of the tray that allows the tray to open up like a gate. I only figured that out after R woke up and showed me. When I took the pictures I still had no clue, so I stuffed Maisie in through the hole instead.

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“hey, where’s my old high chair?”

It is perfectly sized for my taller-than-normal toddler. Her feet don’t QUITE reach the foot rest, but it didn’t in the old chair, either.

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checking out the chair

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the tray is the perfect size

I would recommend this chair to everyone, especially if you’re cramped for space and looking for a high chair that folds away and is very portable.

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We now own the Joovy umbrella stroller, the Joovy Groove walker, and now this. ALL of them are extremely well built and high quality.

UPDATE:
After trying this high chair out 3 times today, I am even more in love! It was SO simple to get her in/out of and clean up was MUCH easier than with the old chair. The tray is actually small enough that it fits nicely in the dishwasher- but it’s such a nice quality and just as easily cleaned up in the sink. I really am so happy that we made the decision to purchase this.

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Joovy Nook High Chair- I love JOOVY baby products!

I am a HUGE fan of Joovy products- we already have their walker and umbrella stroller. High quality, very functional. Love this company!

I am a HUGE fan of Joovy products- we already have their walker and umbrella stroller.
High quality, very functional. Love this company!

So excited! Ordering this for Maisie from Amazon in black leatherette today!

Her old high chair was given to me and is pretty difficult to clean and hard to store out of the way, which is a consideration now that we’re renovating the house.

We already own the Joovy Spoon Walker– BEST.THING.EVER. and the Joovy Groove umbrella stroller. The umbrella stroller is a PERFECT car stroller. It is VERY compact when stored in the trunk and easy to open/close, which is a huge issue for me. We also have a Maxi Cosi Foray, which is a SWEET, smooth ride- but VERY difficult to open and close while holding a baby. The Foray is also huge and took up way too much room in my trunk.

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Wet n’ Wild Ultimate Brow Kit Review: It’s Great ONLY If You Have NO Sweat Glands…

yeah, I didn't pluck my brows first... because I have a baby and my tweezers were all upstairs (and she screams when I leave the room)

yeah, I didn’t pluck my brows first… because I have a baby and my tweezers were all upstairs (and she screams when I leave the room)

…or if you don’t know that your brows are supposed to stay put, OR if you are stuck in air-conditioning all day and don’t plan on moving your facial muscles, MAYBE.

I will admit to having been VERY hesitant about spending even the paltry $3.99 it cost for this brow kit. I’ve read really good reviews about this product, so I figured what the hell… I am normally a bit snobby about this brand. I mean, it was ok 100 yrs ago when I was 17 and couldn’t afford makeup- but after 40, I couldn’t see myself doing this. After reading favorable reviews, I went ahead… I shouldn’t have even looked at this crap, seriously.

this wet n wild crap was very difficult to work with- didn't stay put AT ALL

this wet n wild crap was very difficult to work with- didn’t stay put AT ALL and smears at the drop of a hat

It’s 89 degrees with high humidity in Michigan today. That’s 31C for you Outlanders. Today was the ONLY day that I could justify slapping some makeup on for, because I had a birthday dinner to attend. I rarely wear makeup anymore, though I buy it with a sort of regularity that would kinda indicate I have a problem. I required an eyebrow that would look good AND not melt in this heat. This brow kit was NOT the right one to try out today.

it went on very unevenly. I looked like a failed drag queen.

it went on very unevenly. I looked like a failed drag queen.

Straight away the stuff did not look right. It didn’t apply nicely, didn’t stay put well. I am half-Asian, so I have naturally skimpy, weird eyebrows and NEED a little help in the brow/lash department. I use Latisse on both my brows and lashes (well, I started back on Latisse. I went off it when I was pregnant with Maisie). I am still in the early weeks of Latisse, so my brows and lashes are not yet at their optimal state.

I tried it, I didn't like it. Had to go over the entire thing with my trust Rimmel eyebrow pencil.

I tried it, I didn’t like it. Had to go over the entire thing with my trusty Rimmel eyebrow pencil before I left the house.

I don’t know about the reviewers that love this stuff. They must have luscious brows or lower expectations than I have.

Rating: 1/5

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eBay Beauty Haul Review: 32-Piece Kabuki Brush Set and Acrylic Lipstick Organizers

my actual haul: 32 piece kabuki makeup brush kit for $12 BUCKS and 2-24 compartment acrylic lipstick organizers for 3 bucks EACH!

my actual haul: 32 piece kabuki makeup brush kit for $12 BUCKS and 2-24 compartment acrylic lipstick organizers for 3 bucks EACH! Professionally displayed on my kid’s play mat… :/

As I mentioned in my previous post, I ordered these on July 18th and received all three by the 21st of July- not a bad turn around. They were from 2 separate vendors, too.

As I was going through the makeup stash I found in the upstairs bath, I realized that I need to replenish my makeup brush supply. Most of the ones I currently own are MAC or fine art brushes- and getting on in years.

While searching through eBay for lipstick organizers, I came across both ads. They were such good deals and I figured that if any of the items were awful, I could simply toss them.

the advertising photos actually truly represent what I received

the advertising photos actually truly represent what I received

I probably now own TOO MANY brushes

I probably now own TOO MANY brushes

the entire brush kit

the entire brush kit

The 32 piece kabuki brush kit was TWELVE DOLLARS ($12)!!! I figured it would probably be a waste, but bought it anyway and I am SO glad that I did!

I was SHOCKED at the quality of these brushes. I pulled each out and inspected the construction (solidly built- as well as any of my premium brushes) and NO shedding. They are made from real hair, to boot. I have no idea what sort, but it says ‘wool’. I doubt it. It’s some kind of Chinese animal, for sure. Some of the bigger brushes are less dense than my ‘good’ brushes, but they’re still quite useful. The eyeshadow and lip brushes were nearly identical to my MAC brushes… there’s only ONE drawback- the synthetic ‘pleather’ case smells like ASS. Well, not truly ‘ass’, but very yucky, like it’s fresh from the chemical factory. I washed all the brushes and they smell fine. I will attempt to wash that case when I have time and see if that remedies it.

my actual case, when I first opened it

my actual case, when I first opened it

fan brush is very soft and fluffy

fan brush is very soft and fluffy

a smaller powder/blush brush

a smaller powder/blush brush

one of the eye shadow brushes

one of the eye shadow brushes

All in all, great deal for 12 bucks. I can’t even buy ONE of the brushes I currently own for that price. This set would make a fantastic gift for a teen or young person who loves makeup…

these nifty lipstick organizers hold 24 tubes and are only 3 dollars each!

these nifty lipstick organizers hold 24 tubes and are only 3 dollars each!

Mine actually looked BETTER than these photos

Mine actually looked BETTER than these photos

I will probably buy another one or two of these later.

I will probably buy another one or two of these later.

The acrylic lipstick organizers cost $3.00 each and are MUCH nicer in person than their stock photos. I really love these things and have seen them for 3x this price at the stores. I am planning to buy a couple more when I finally figure out how many lipsticks I own. Again, this would make a great stocking stuffer. I could not find anything bad to say about these organizers.