Monthly Archives: June 2011

Eyebrow Threading…

This is how my eyebrows used to look like, last year, when I maintained them myself…


Then I was told to grow them out for my wedding, and I crossed the finish line of my first marathon sporting these caterpillars:


So the week I left to Rio to get married, I went over to Pentagon City Mall, and for ten bucks, I had my eyebrows threaded for the first time in my life, and only second time in my life having them professionally done, a good 10 years after the first time when they were waxed. 

It hurt like a bitch, but I came out with these babies… (Ignore the asymmetrical eyes, these were at my makeup trial, so the different eye make up was on purpose.  In case you’re wondering, I chose the left one.)


Since then, I can’t go back to the old ways.  Sure, I still groom them in between appointments just to make sure I don’t get those wild eyebrows. 

Last week, on my super indulgent day, I headed over to Browhaus, an upscale (and not very cheap) brow threading place in Greenbelt.  I even signed up for a package, so for the next year or so I won’t have to open my wallet there again (and I get to save almost $5 with each visit).

And if you’ve read about my weekend post, you noticed that my eyebrows now look much nicer than the first picture taken, a year ago.

So if you haven’t tried threading, I TOTALLY recommend it!  Sure, even with threading, my eyebrows don’t always look perfect – the sun seems to lighten them really quickly, so sometimes despite my best efforts I sport this…


(Yes, I know, close up of a burned freckled face is not doing me any favors.)

But a half groomed eyebrow is still better than a half-caterpillar, no?

Have YOU tried threading?


Filed under Pictures, Random, Reviews

Sunset & Dinner at MOA

These pictures are totally overdue…  Our last weekend in the temp housing, we went out for dinner with Caroline (my favorite Scot!) at one of the many restaurants lining up the seaside at the Mall of Asia.

And we took some gorgeous pictures…



Karl with Caroline, his A-100 classmate who is one of our favorite people in Manila!


Of course, I had to take a picture with her too!


After checking out the other restaurants, we decided to have dinner at Vikings, an upscale all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant (I just found out that they serve breakfast on weekends, so maybe we need to go back?).

The food was good, but not spectacular, specially considering the steep price of P888 per person.  But, the atmosphere was great, and the price included drinks like soda and juices and even beer (so Karl was happy), as well as dessert.

The only bad thing?  We were sitting right by the window, but because of the glare of the lights inside of the restaurant, we didn’t have a view of the outside.  They really should take more advantage of their prime location and let others appreciate the sunset as well!


Caroline was tired!


The other thing I did on my last weekend in temp housing?  I went to People’s Palace in Makati to meet a few Brazilians for lunch.  Out of the group below, 3 have already moved out the country.  The only person I’ve seen again so far is Irida, who was the only non-Brazilian at the table – she’s from Albania, and her husband works at the Italian Embassy.  She lives right across the street from my new place and has taken me around shopping before her 2.5 month long trip back to Italy and Albania.  I’m looking forward to seeing her again in August!

Ah and funny tidbit.  The woman sitting right next to me on the bottom left of the picture is a Brazilian, married to a FSO, and get this:  his name is also Karl.  Freakish much?


It’s amazing how when you put a bunch of Brazilian women together (and one Albanian), even if they don’t all know each other, they still manage to talk their ass off for hours!

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Filed under Foreign Service, Manila

Adventures on the treadmill…

Ok, so even TRYING to give this post a nice title, a post about the treadmill is STILL boring…  (So I’ll post pictures to get you to keep reading…)

But nonetheless, I’ve been slacking on my attempt to get faster using the Couch to 5K program.  Since moving I have only gone to the gym twice (TWICE!) in 2.5 weeks.

The gym here is not too exciting.  Sure you get a nice pool view, but that’s about it.


There are two treadmills, a recumbent bike, an elliptical, some hand weights and a multi-purpose weight station that I’ve been using.


(Don’t be fooled by the mirrored wall behind the weight station…)


But, boring or not, it’s always empty so I had to get back into the swing of things.  I got dressed, got my water, and hopped on the treadmill and then to my dismay I saw it:


(Yes, I should have seen that one coming.)

Probably not a big deal if I was running one consistent pace:  there would be a bit of finagling, but after a few tries I’d get to the groove of things.

But how does one do intervals when they have been training in miles since the first day they started running?

So, yep, I winged it.  I quickly figured out that setting the machine for 6 km/hour (or was it 6.5?) was a good walking pace.  Then I started with the first sprint at 10 km/hr.  At each of the next interval, I would increase it by 0.5.

I thought I was kicking some ass, since it wasn’t that hard, until I looked down, mid-sprint, when I was supposed to be pulling a 14 km/hr speed and the machine was instead showing 11.5.  Then these words started scrolling through it “CANNOT ACHIEVE TARGET PACE.”

Oh, COME ON!  Even when I sprint, I’m not that fast, so WTF?

That day I got home, bitched about the kilometers on Facebook, got this little chart sent to me, but was still not convinced that it solved my problem…  Because 11.5 seems to be the equivalent of a 8:20 pace (in miles).  Way faster than I can run continuously?  Heck yeah!  But still not that fast to make the treadmill conk out (don’t you wish I actually had that problem?).

And it seems to be so inadequate that it makes me wonder if it’s even calibrated, and maybe, the paces it’s telling me are not even the correct ones.  For all I know I’m busting my ass thinking I’m running an 8:20 min/mile when I’m actually struggling through a 10 min/mile pace.

I finished my work out (a bit peeved, of course), and then on my next attempt on the treadmill, a whole week and a half later (I was still pissed, I had my pride to consider!), I did what anyone else would do:  I used the other treadmill.

Sadly, it had the exact same issue.

Have I mentioned that we bought one to bring to Manila?  But that we never tested it out as the company delivered it 3 weeks late (!!!) and it almost missed our move, so who knows if it’s working?

Yeah.  Fingers crossed that goes smoothly.  I’m looking forward to running in miles again, even if deep down I know that I probably push myself harder in kilometers (when I have no clue how fast I’m really running), then miles.  Since, you know, I was attempting to do 15 km/hr sprints (that I later found out to be equivalent to a 6:25 pace in miles…  As if!).


Filed under Treadmill Run

"I read your blog!"

Friday we were out at an event at the Embassy, and one of Karl’s bosses (or more like his boss’ boss — or however you write that), turns to me and says “I’m just going to get this out there:  I read your blog!”

That was a first!  I have never had anyone recognize me because of the blog, and though I have met people through it, like TracyKim, and Meg, it was a mutual arrangement like “You’re running running the Chicago marathon?  Me too!  Let’s meet up!”  This was the first time where someone looked at me and told me they read my blog!

And it made me feel kinda special!  And my first thought was “oh god, I hope I didn’t bitch too much about our temporary housing on the blog!”  (Maybe I did?  I’m afraid to look!)

This weekend was a busy one!  On Saturday after shopping at the outdoor market across the street and loading up on jack fruit again (yum!), Michelle tagged along with us (she has gotten official status of the 3rd wheel, and we joke back that we’re the tricycle, we need the 3rd wheel to function), and we all headed out to cheap (and delicious) sushi, at Seryna, near Makati Cinema Squares (yep, where they sell the super cheap and – illegal — DVD’s).

The lunch special (it’s open on weekends too!) is a great deal, for 350 pesos (about 8 bucks) you get this: 


It’s a lot of food!


Michelle and I had the sushi bento box…


And Karl had the Chirashizushi one.


At night, we hung out with a couple of the interns, plus Michelle and Mimi (yes, we were the creepy old people at the table).  First dinner at People’s Palace, my favorite restaurant so far (the Pomelo Salad and the White Cloud drink are DIVINE).  Then off to Bowler for drinks.  The best part was a guy sitting on a chair karaokeing to us.  He was damn good, which seems to be the rule around here:  Filipinos definitely have a great voice!



See how Karl is still looking good late in the night?  The following day he woke up not feeling too great, but we had a brunch to go to.  There, I met not one but TWO other spouses with no work who are not only willing to run with me, but also to hang out and explore during the day (SCORE!).  One is living near our old temp housing, the other will be moving to our building.  Exciting!



When we got back home on Sunday from the brunch, after hours of socializing, in between bathroom trips he finally let me check his temperature: 103.6!!!  He socialized with a high temperature and stomach issues!

Today, it was off to the health unit to get tested, and he has amoeba (either from the sushi or from the Thai food?  Who knows?  I ate the same thing and I’m fine).  And then he went back to work.  UGH.  Even with a high fever and a stomach infection he is stubborn and refuses to rest.  Men!

While Karl was braving the visa line, Hiva, one of the wives I met came over to Makati for lunch and chitchat – probably the best weekday I’ve had so far since moving to Manila!  Yay for finally making new friends that want to hang out!


Filed under Manila, Philippines, Pictures