Health and mySlim, A Heady Combination

For the past two weeks, I've been trying to live healthier and control my food cravings. My stomach has already gotten used to "lunch-less" noons (and a snack of siomai or a sandwich for meryenda to curb my hunger until dinner time). Sometimes, I have a salad for lunch, and that usually gets me going until the next meal. 

The setback here is during dinner time. Though I exert as much control as possible, my mom or cousin's home-cooked meals are just the BEST ever, and sometimes, I have the control of a chocolate addict sitting in front of a pile of choco bars - none. Thankfully, there's a product I've been hearing about that is said to promote weight loss safely, with no sudden effects that usually result to regaining all the pounds quicker than before. 



mySlim with Yerba Mate

I'm sure you've heard of this brand before, and just like you, I got curious. Of course I want to lose weight and get into shape. I know they say health is not always directly proportional to size, but hey, there's nothing wrong with choosing how you want to look and act on it. 

So what is mySlim? mySlim is the first slimming and detox drink that is clinically proven to promote safe weight loss due to its Yerba Mate formulation. This was discovered in Brazil and then used for tea. Over the years since its discovery, research and clinical studies have been able to prove that it is indeed an effective weight loss component.

You may be thinking: aren't there enough pills that promise the same things on the market? There are also drinks that promote a fast, hassle-free way of shedding pounds. What makes mySlim any different?



Quick facts

  • Aside from Yerba Mate, mySlim is packed with Palatinose, which promotes sustained energy for longer periods of time;
  • Yerba Mate reduces fat without shedding lean muscle mass. It only burns unnecessary fat, making you fit and healthy;
  • It also contains Carnipure which reduces the sensation of hunger and helps you reduce food intake in the process;
  • mySlim was developed by Vida Nutriscience Incorporated, which is one of the leading health & wellness products provider in the market and the country’s go-to for safe, novel and ethical health and wellness products. 
I
I'm a firm believer of living a healthy life and not purely relying on just weight loss products to get the figure I want (exactly what mySlim also stands for - balance between the two), but as I already have the lifestyle kind of planted on the ground, I feel like the next step is a push further. I'm quite certain that as long as I commit to something hassle-free like mySlim, it'll work out pretty well. I bet incorporating it into my everyday routine won't be too hard either, as the intake schedule seems pretty simple.

The mySlim Slimming Capsules go for P 540.00 (30 capsules), the mySlim Yerba Mate drink for P 89.00, and the mySlim Sachet for P 69.00. You won't need to spend so much to start living healthier, so why not try it? I'm sure I will, soon. 


To know more about mySlim, visit www.vidanutriscience.com, or like and follow their social media pages at /myslimPH on Facebook, and @myslimdetox on Twitter, and @myslimdetox on Instagram.

My Illustration Process 2: Working with Chibis

I've always found chibis so adorable, and yesterday, I finally had enough determination to draw one seriously. I used to doodle chibis on my notebook, but to work from start to finish digitally? Never. 

In case some of you aren't aware, the word "chibi" (ちび) is slang for "short person" or "small child" in Japanese. It's being widely used in the world of manga and anime, and I'm not complaining. Chibis are incredibly "kawaii" (カワイイ) or cute.


My Process

As usual, I start with a rough line sketch of what I want to draw. Sometimes, if I'm feeling up to it, I'll stop there and just clean up some lines, add shadows, and then highlights.


I turn down that layer's opacity and start doing some lineart. I never use black for some reason, as I think it decreases the softness of the overall picture. Used dark brown for this one.


After that comes one of my favorite parts - laying down the base colors, adding shadows, highlights, and other elements to make my amateur art look legit. Haha.



I tend to do the eyes early on, mostly because once I love how the eyes looks, it'll motivate me to finish the rest. Haha. Was planning to go for a soft purple, but pink got in the way.


From there, it's just filling in the rest of her clothing, adding shadows and highlights, getting dizzy with what patterns would go together, fixing the saturation and hue of some colors, and adding a background.


My favorite area for this drawing was the hair. From sketching to filling them in, they're my most awaited part of the whole drawing - until it came to adding depth to them. I SUCK at doing hair, but the way hers turned out made my cry a little bit inside. Who knew I could do something like that with hair?

It took me a little less than 2.5 hours to finish everything, and by the end, I felt so accomplished. I felt proud to have created something really cute for my first ever Chibi drawing, and I am now incredibly excited to draw more! The best part about this was that I used a different coloring technique. It went on for a bit longer than I'm used to, but if my art always turns out like this - light, cute, airy - then I'm perfectly fine with that.

Below is a GIF of the whole process.



Although I'm not what you can call an "expert" in this field *yet*, I'd love to share what I love doing. Any suggestions? What If I created a Skillshare account and started an online class that way? Would anyone subscribe? Haha.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by!

Hulu vs Netflix: Which Should You Subscribe To?

This is it, the post I've been putting off for months just because I couldn't choose (and I honestly still can't). The question is this: between Netflix and Hulu, which service gives you your money's worth and access to the shows you love?

Image Source

Just to give you a little background, I started my Netflix subscription last November 2015, a few days before I subscribed to Hulu. Back then, you couldn't stream either one here in the Philippines - still can't, really - except for Netflix (though the titles available are still quite lacking). I had to use a proxy on all my devices just so I could get the full experience.


The Cost

Netflix costs $7.99 for Basic, $9.99 for Standard, and $11.99 for Premium. Hulu offers two viewing options, $7.99 for streaming with limited commercials, and $11.99 for commercial-free viewing. I, for one, hate commercials, so it made sense to subscribe to Premium on Netflix and Commercial-free on Hulu. Converted to Peso, it costs around Php 381.00 (Netflix Basic) to Php 572.00 (Premium & Commercial-Free) each, monthly - not a bad price to pay to stream all your favorite shows.


The Collections

Since I subbed to both services at the same time, I got to see their strengths and weaknesses in terms of available shows for streaming.

Here's what I discovered: Netflix turned out to be my go-to service if I wanted to watch incredible documentaries and have a large list of movies for a binge-watching session (especially now that multiple sites have listed URLs which can widen your Netflix options). Hulu, on the other hand, turned out to be my choice for watching American TV shows, animé, and kid shows (yes, kid shows - no, don't look at me like that).

Now, here's what I like about Netflix - Netflix enables you to setup multiple users using one account. I had my main channel set up, then I set up another one for kid titles. I made my mom her own channel as well. This just basically enables you to switch users depending on what mood you're in at the moment (or at least, that's what I used it for).

In terms of available movie titles, Netflix has a lot of horror, thrillers, and crime genres. I fell in love with the collection and had a bunch of movies queued up for the long holidays. Hulu also has its own movie collection, but I feel like it's quite smaller than the other.

Hulu, on the other hand, has a collection called "Criterion", and I BECAME OBSESSED with it. There was a time during the Christmas season that I had trouble leaving films on queue because I want to watch them right away. (If you have Hulu, head over to the Criterion collection and search for Pierre Étaix. You won't be disappointed.)

Another thing (that kind of gives Hulu the advantage) is the amount of Animé titles it has. God. I actually spent the whole night watching (and finishing) series and movies because I couldn't get enough of anything. I watched Non-Non Biyori (look this up, it's a really light, relaxing animé), Himouto! Umaru-Chan (watch this if you want to be entertained and have fun), rewatched Sailor Moon, Totally Spies, Adventure Time, and a whole lot of other shows. I'm telling you - once you go down this road, there's no going back.


The Buffer Time

The Philippines has such crappy internet, you'd think the satellites were buried underground. It was a fear of mine that if I subscribed to HD and SuperHD streaming, I wouldn't get what I paid for because of the internet speed. Well, in this case, Netflix takes the money. Hulu takes quite longer to load (I have a 5Mbps plan, by the way), but when it does, it's a steady pace. Netflix, even though it loads faster, can sometimes stop in the middle of a video and reload from there. I'm not sure if this counts as a criteria, but the numbers have been consistent with me, so I'm guessing it's not only my internet that causes it.


The Decision

I still can't make up my mind about which one I should let go, and after the past three months, I've held on to both. I've been using Hulu more lately, though, so that might be something worth looking into.


I hope this gives you some sort of idea about which service would better suit your needs. For my fellow indecisive folks, you won't lose anything by subscribing to both, hehe.

Anything else you'd like to know about my experience with Hulu and/or Netflix? Leave a comment and I'll answer you back the best I can.



A Planner Addiction

Around the last week of January, I found a group on Facebook called PlannerAddicts Philippines Buy&Sell ;) PAPH (click here to visit their page) during one of my page-hopping sessions on the site.

As some of you know, I am a huge, HUGE fan of anything adorable, so finding this group and seeing their posts about craft items was heaven-sent. This came at a great time, because weeks prior, I had been looking through planner stores online and was crunching numbers in my head if I could afford them plus their expensive shipping rates.

Finally, after around a month (I think), I have four planners which I use everyday, for different purposes.


From left to right:


Medium Cute Time Planner from kikki.K (used for my personal plans), Starbucks 2016 Planner which I painted and customized (used for, well, everything else + art), A Year of Positivity Planner by June Digann (used for art planning and as a mini diary), and finally my generic, undated planner from SM Department Store (used for work schedules and notes).

I love all four of them as they serve their purpose very well, but my current favorite (mostly because I've wanted this since last year pa) is my Kikki.

Now, back to PlannerAddicts.

Since being a member, I've seen sooo many pretty things I'd love to have in my collection, and within a week, I had given in to my addiction to cute things. They sell items at incredibly low prices and I'm super thankful that the members are patient enough with me and my questions (with my busy schedule and all at work).

Within this month alone, I've amassed SO MANY CUTE THINGS I am soo going over my head with this planning thing. Here's a peak at an eighth of my current stash:

  
 Some of them I got from PlannerAddicts and some I got from my own trip to stores in Central Naga. Yes, I fool you not - this is an eighth of my collection. When you see the stash of the other members of the group, you will realize that my 1/8th is merely a fraction of theirs. I KID YOU NOT. I'm waiting for one more package to arrive, and I have two more packages from the same group reserved. My mom could only shake her head ad laugh at my resurfaced addiction.

*Sigh.

Also, I tried to give weekly spread decorating a try today, and here's something simple that I came up with, given my limited resources (and pretty straight-forward schedule):
 

You may notice I *still* suck at following schedules, even ones I do myself. Hahaha. By the way, that dreamcatcher was a surprise, impromptu purchase. I already was at the counter when something pink caught my eye nearby. I looked closer and saw what it was. My blog just went full circle. (If you didn't know, my blog was once called "Dreamcatcher".)

So, what's up with planners? Why are there so many people who invest on pretty things to organize their life? Why is there a group dedicated to it?

Personally, I just think I deserve to get my life together and enjoy looking at it from time to time through planners. I want my life to look pretty on paper (literally), haha. I don't know about the others, but the items you get to splurge on is worth the addiction.

Have you ever tried creative planning? How did it go? Do you still do it now?

Review: Meiji Candy

Post-Valentine's is always a time for candy-obsessed people to go shopping since the prices are slashed off. I am not one of those people, and I buy my candy before Valentine's, haha.

When me and my brother went to the mall on the 13th, I saw this weird-looking Japanese candy named Meiji, and in spite of my oath to stop making unnecessary purchases (which I have still yet to master - spent too much that day, ugh), I picked it up.

Meiji minis (ooh, sounds like a girl band or something, haha)

The experience was... bland, so to say. I knew they were going to be sweet, but I wasn't sure by how much and if I was going to get poisoned (kidding). Here's what I think.


Candy 1: Marble

I could not read anything on the box aside from "Meiji" and "Marble", so let's call it the latter instead.  They look like M&M's but more pastel in color and more slippery to grasp.


A breakdown of how each color tastes:

Blue - Tastes like normal chocolate-filled candy, but with a slight sour after-taste
Red - Ugh. NO.
Green - Too sour for my taste. I could barely make out the chocolate.
Yellow - Less sour than the green one. More of a citrus flavor, too.
Pink - The pink was generally okay, and I couldn't distinguish the difference between this and the blue one.

Overall taste: It's like a block of Cadbury mixed with a whole lot of Nerds (I like them separate, thank you). 


Candy 2: Coffee Beat

I love having coffee every now and then, so this was a treat. It smelled like coffee, and it tasted like one too (thank GOD).


If you've ever tasted (and loved) Starbucks' CoffeeJelly Frappe, you're sure to like these pops as well. It first fills your mouth with that strong coffee taste (bitter but bearable), but after a while, it starts to get that familiar coffee jelly sourness.

Overall taste: Though I'd suck on these once in a while, it's not something I'd go crazy about. At least it's better than Marble.


Candy 3: Choco Baby

Less than bite-sized, these babies (pun intended, haha) don't pack enough flavor. Sure, you get a few seconds of 5% sweetness and then poof, it's all back to nothing.


I had to take at least 5 pieces to get more flavor out of this. It just tasted like dark chocolate but less bitter and more like, "What am I actually eating?".

Overall taste: None. Except for when you fill your mouth with them. Leaves you bitter, more in the heart than the mouth.


Candy 4: Apollo

Apollo would be disappointed to be linked to this, to put it bluntly.


Look, I like strawberry in certain forms, but this tasted like a cheaper version of Cadbury's Fruit & Nut chocolate. It took me a while to come to terms with that one, and this one might take even longer. The strawberry flavor was there, but the mix wasn't right.

Overall taste: Sorry, Apollo.


So there you go, a review of some Meiji candy. While I love Japanese candy in general (and a select choice of Japanese items), most of these don't make the cut. Still, I'm willing to pick up the next weird-looking candy when I go to the mall and do another review. Any suggestions?

The Playlist: Valentine's 2016

As an old romantic, nothing sets the mood for Valentine's like a good song, champagne (or wine, whatever the man prefers), and some genuine Australian Angus, well-done to medium-rare (with a side of chicken-mango or caesar salad). However, what really gives me the feels is the music - so here's a round-up of my Valentine's Day playlist for 2016.

KingKing Candle bought at SM Department Store


For those of you with a special someone and are at a point in your relationship where you're both comfortable and satisfied with how things are going, this playlist is for you (take note, most of the tracks here are ones I personally listen to even if it's not Valentine's Day, haha).




Have song recommendations? Leave a comment! I love discovering new and not-so-new songs. :) (I'd create a playlist for bitter/brokenhearted peeps, but it's all about staying positive in love, guys, hehe.)


38/366: My New kikki.K Planner!

Okay. OKAY. Okay. Okay? Okay.

I am fan-girling over the cutest planner ever (well, ones that I've owned so far), and I am itching to start planning on this baby.

Image © kikki-k.com

So for those of you who don't know what I'm blabbing on about, kikki.K was founded by Kristina Karlsson, a fellow stationery lover who realized that cute, functional planners weren't available in Sweden (where the brand and founder originate from). Needing to fill that gap, she set on (thank God) a quest to create planners that inspire, motivate, and give happiness to people who wanted to take control of their life and bring their dreams to reality. Thus, kikki.K was born.

Now, I've already got three planners to begin with - one for drawing on (sorry, Starbucks), one for random work notes (undated, bought at the mall), and one for work/art-related events and to-dos (June Digan's A Year of Positivity). Admittedly, I had second thoughts about this planner, since not only did I already own three, but it is also quite costly. Every planner addict knows that once you get started getting into creative organizing, it's hard to stop, from purchasing accessories, to stickers, to stamps, and everything else you can get to make your planner you.

My planner arrived on Saturday morning (yesterday!) and I am in-love with it!

I debated over settling for something cheaper, but my heart just couldn't handle not getting a Kikki. I joined a Facebook group for Planner and Stationery addicts (haha) and there I found Ma'am Aya from Aya Stationery Exchange (she also has an IG here). I saw her post about the medium-sized Time Planner: Cute Collection and chatted her about possibly getting one (she's currently residing in Sydney, by the way, so that's a plus).

Even with my delayed payment (got extremely busy as you may have noticed due to lack of posts, haha), I got the planner in a timely fashion, and I am super thankful to Ma'am Aya for putting up with me and all. It was definitely love at first sight with this planner. I can't stop touching it and looking through the inserts (My mom saw it last night and was like, "This is so cute I wouldn't have the guts to write anything on it." Mom being adorable is adorable.).

Oh, yes indeed!

During the first of January, I blogged about how this year was going to be all about self-improvement and working on my career, and this little tab I saw upon opening the planner was a bold reminder of what I want to achieve for 2016. Is it also a coincidence that this year is also the Year of the Monkey? Seems like everything is falling into place.

Cute, clean inserts! Can't wait to start making my own!

Saying that I handle my Kikki with care doesn't even cut it. I know the material and the way it was made is sturdy, but isn't this how normal people react to something precious to them? I feel like I know what I'm doing with my life whenever I hold this.

I still haven't started personalizing her (yes, I'm giving my planner a gender and naming her Kay), but boy, do I have grand plans for how I want her to look like. I'll be needing a week to make Kay officially mine. *Insert heart emoji here.*

I also kind of went grocery/department store shopping yesterday afternoon and couldn't help but buy this cutesy mug set to complement Kay. Watermelon and cats are an okay combo, right?

Although cute, I dislike the quote on this box. Dammit, China, get your ish together.

I am truly satisfied with how my new planner looks and feels. My only worry is that I place it on a surface that I think is clean and realize after Kay's already dirty that it's not. I have read reviews where it's easy to clean stains with a warm cloth and some mild soap, but I have yet to try this out (hopefully not in a million years).

Any fellow planner addicts out here? What planner did you get for 2016? I'd love to hear your planner stories!