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I was lost, and still am

Hello! It has been a while and I'm sure some of you are wondering where I have been. A LOT of things had happened since I last wrote anything here. Some may be rearing to see a random review from me, but let me preempt you: I want to, but I cannot.

During the later half of 2014, I had a spike of demand for my work-at-home engineering gig. It was exhausting and fulfilling, but it was taking a lot of time. I am still engaged with this work, happily at that. And while it has stopped my blogging, it is expanding my knowledge of my craft and it is paying for the bills. Yay!

But while my career is gaining some good ground, my personal life, unfortunately, is not. I got pregnant last November but I miscarried a month ago. It was my first pregnancy too, after a year of trying. My husband and I were traumatized, to say the least. I am afraid of getting pregnant again, because the gory imagery that night of my baby's unfortunate demise is still with us. It would have been slightly easy to accept if we had a chromosomal problem during that pregnancy, but we lost the battle due to a ruptured placenta. The fact that such incidence is quite unusual does not help, too.

This is where I will take a leave from Pas Sosyal.

I will probably still update this blog from time to time to reply to comments and mail, but currently my work is owning my time right now. I've overloaded myself with projects so I won't even have time to cry too much, plus this working-horse-mode gives me some motivation to cope up with our loss.

In case you've seen all this blog has to offer, you can find a variety of good blogs being recommended within reddit. /r/AsianBeauty and /r/SkincareAddiction are two skincare related subreddits packed with tons of information - from linked blogs, to helpful FAQs, databases (check our /r/AsianBeauty's spreadsheet on cleanser pH!), progress pics and many more. The people there are quite giddy about it, too, so I highly recommend visiting those.

Anyway, thank you guys for the follow, link, reads, comments, and mail. Blogging about girly stuff was fun - but I think my experiences, both from highs and lows, shifted my priorities that I now want to just focus on my husband (but not kids - I'm not going to try to conceive ever), career, and my personal healing.

See you wherever, and don't forget your sunscreen!


Korean emulsions: My new moisturizer choice

Remember when I raved about my improved skin and attributed it to switching to a different moisturizer type? One of the new elements I've added to my regime was switching from a normal, heavy moisturizer to an emulsion for my morning skin care routine. So what is an emulsion, and how is it used?

Korea Budget Trip: Budget for everything else, but not for Myeongdong

Last week, we visited South Korea for four days and three nights. As we wanted it to be a budget-friendly travel, we used the extensive public transportation Seoul had to offer and stayed in a motel. Of course, I had a side budget for possible hauls - in case I saw products that would be very hard to ship to the Philippines. Thanks, ERAP. /s

Note: I am the type of traveller who does not take too much pictures. I don't know but I feel taking pictures spoil the "moment". All I have are potato quality ones, too.

Roof of a rather plain structure in Changdeokgung Palace's
Secret Garden (to the disappointment of my companion
is not the Korea-novela)

We got around the city using the subway and integrated bus systems. The whole let's-use-the-public-transport thing is COOL as I believe the city is best get to known this way. However, I had elderly with me (they knew stairs would be frequent), and so it was difficult for them, plus they had the attention span of a 5-year old so it was crazy to keep them from getting bored during commutes.

I belong: Countless times during that brief tour, I've been spoken to
in Korean, for obvious reasons as seen in this selka
(what they call selfies there)
We visited Changdeokgung Palace, sat around Yeouido Park eating the best friend chicken I've ever tasted (no exaggeration there), got into a Han River cruise, explored Nami Island, took photographs of giggling senior citizen at the Trick Eye Museum, had coffee in a cat cafe (someone please bring this concept here in the Philippines), visited a Korean family and had a grand lunch, and of course went shopping in Namdaemun Market (for the folks) and Myeongdong (for me, haha).

"Why can't we have this in the Philippines?", I asked myself
as I recalled the savory chicken we just ate.
The weather was very pleasant at 10-20 degrees Celcius for me and my husband, whereas my mom and mother in law were trying desperately to hide their shivering during the first night - they did not want to wear proper clothing because they did not want to carry heavy jackets. My skin though felt quite happy with the autumn season - emollient sunscreen not melting off the face, sweat and heat not aggravating my pores. Skin heaven!

"Why can't we have nice things in our country?", I asked
myself as I still thought about the chicken.
Apart from the nice weather, I noticed there was significantly less pollution in Seoul as compared to what we've been used to here in Metro Manila. There is also less private vehicles, but more taxis instead bring the traffic to be as long as the stop light says red. People just really use public transport. I even saw really glamorous ladies ride the subway. As an engineer, the city's transport system itself is a tourist's marvel for me. Plus, the underground stations had a Missha or Nature Republic in them somewhere, so yeah.

Yellow trees are marvelous too. And so are the
ahjummas with their good skin.
My wallet had been suffering due to a 30% sale I took advantage of in one of the underground Missha's (they're very cheap yo, like 300 pesos cheap), when on Day 3 we visited Myeongdong. OH MY GLOB. All of the Korean skincare I could ever want is in that locale, and it took a lot of willpower to not overspend on products I will probably use months from now (just kidding, I'll be back in April...prepared). Did I mention they had cat cafes and dog cafes? 

Yes, I'm jealous. The cat may sleep during its shift!
And they're not to be disturbed.
Finally, during our last day, we visited a Korean family who felt like our family's "Korean version" and had the grandest lunch ever. The tables were crowded with plates, and I enjoyed it so much! Later that day, we also had enough time to check the Duty Free Shop in Incheon International Airport. A secret from me to you: some brands like Shiseido / La Mer are miles cheaper compared to their prices here. For example a Shiseido eyelash curler is priced around 800 pesos in the airport's DFS, which when purchased here would cost one 500 pesos more.

"Did you make that mess? You human tourists!"

I really enjoyed the brief stay in Korea - totally worth the time (I missed my work, huhu) and money. Hopefully, my school schedule would make it possible for me to go back in April. I can't wait!

Review: Nature Republic California Aloe Sun Block SPF 50 PA+++

Back again from a very long slumber from blogging, and with me, I bring yet another sun screen review born from haphazard purchases and what-not. So while I have the time to write this, here's a quick review on Nature Republic's California Aloe Sun Block.

Not to be confused with the Sun Milk version. That one's
for next time, as soon as my sunscreen stock runs out.