Beauty lovers, I introduce you to Ipsy!

I am a make-up lover who adores lipsticks, eyeliners, eyeshadows, blushes and everything that makes a girl pretty! However, sometimes those little things, like lipsticks, can add up in your monthly budget (consider: Mac’s lipsticks $15.00 a piece). Also, if you’re one of those girls who loves to try different make-up brands or you’d like to try something new, without actually buying a product and end up wasting your money because you didn’t like it, then you should consider something cheaper~

And so, without further-ado, let me introduce you to Ipsy.
If you are a beauty- lover and you are in a budget (like me), you should try subscribing to Ipsy, a monthly beauty subscription. You only get to pay $10.00 (free shipping for US residents) every month! And for every Ipsy bag, there are random make-up products thrown in there. You could get a lipstick, an eyeliner, etc from well-known brands like NYX, Urban Decay and so much more!

So here’s my (very short) review and my personal experience with Ipsy:
I have been a member since December 2012 and I have been hooked!
In the mail, you’ll get this bright pink package. Every month,
I always make that excited jump because of the products inside!
In the mail, you’ll get an Ipsy bag (make-up bag) and it’s decorated
based on the monthly themes.
The June’s Ipsy bag has these items inside! The theme for this
month’s bag is “On the Wild Side”
A pair of fake eyelashes like these would normally cost you $5.00. It’s awesome
that they included this in the bag. I’m not really a fan of fake lashes
but this would be something I’d save for halloween ! 😀
I was so excited to get this bronze-blush in my bag! It’s perfect for
summer! However, I didn’t like that the packaging isn’t sturdy.
As you can see, the top cover wouldn’t stay put. I definitely won’t
recommend anyone using this in their travels as it is prone
to cracking! You wouldn’t want all that brown powder
spilled in your bag, would you?!
As for the shimmery cream palette, it’s very pigmented, but I wouldn’t wear
it in the summer heat. It would be too bright and too much! I’d save this
for New Year’s!
Lastly, with every Ipsy bag, you’ll get a discount in all the products shown above!
In order to get the discounts, you’ll have to create your own Ipsy profile in the website.
Once you have one, you can access all the coupons in your glam room. Also,
if you’ve made a profile or you’re already a member, don’t forget to like my Ipsy
profile for making this review 😀
When I first subscribed to Ipsy, I didn’t want to share it with anyone I personally know because it’s such a great steal! But then, I realized… these bags are so awesome that it needs to be shared! 
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to subscribe, so you can save your money in trying different products! 
**Ipsy did not pay me to advertise their product.**

Very thankful

[Image taken]
Three years ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Three years later, I decided to advance my studies in nursing and got accepted into two nursing schools. Although I took the longer way to finish nursing school, I appreciated every effort I made to pass every nursing exam. I used to party (really) hard and I did not care about my future. Now, here I am: grabbing every opportunity I can get to succeed in life. Indeed, I have come a LONG way and I am very proud of myself! I thank GOD for answering every prayers I made- even though there were times when I thought that he had failed me. And finally, I thank my family for being very patient with me in my younger ‘rebellious’ years. Everything did fall into place. 


DIY: Bow tie

Recently, I have been obsessing with bow ties. I was inspired to do a couple ones based on DIYs that I have found online. I like that they are very easy to make. I followed “A Beautiful Mess'” bow tie tutorial and I successfully made four.

I made mine using my sewing machine- which I have recently revived from hibernating. If you happen to not know how to sew or if you do not have a sewing machine, you can always use a glue gun, but I recommend that you use a super glue or a fabric glue.

I challenge all of you to make your own bow ties because it’s so easy to make! It’s like you’re eating a piece of cake… it’s that easy! 😀

So if you were able to make your own, it should look something like this:

Monday dose of inspiration

Happy Monday!
Another week has started and I’m hoping to be more productive than last week!

Anyway, here’s a list of seven things you can accomplish for the next seven days-hoping that you’ll get through this week excited and motivated.

1. Sexy pout
Wear a light foundation and a bold lipstick:
Definitely a vavoom-statement!

2. A challenge

Bored? Need some challenge?
Make your own Kimono Maxi!
3. Satisfy your cravings

Ditch the alcohol and indulge with this instead!
4. Reach for it!
5. Laugh it off
I fell for that! hahahaha

6. Oh la la !

Stunning: the limbs of a goddess.
7. Dine in royalty. 
Break out the fine china and enjoy a spontaneous fancy dinner
at home

DIY: Pearl Waist Wrap

Last weekend, my boyfriend, Ricky, invited me for a romantic dinner at G-town. I was inspired to be his “princess” for the night. I wanted to wear a tiara, but it had too much bling (really, I wanted to!). Instead of being a diva, I decided to play around with pearls since they seem more elegant and I knew it would look good with my flowy peach rose dress. 
I noticed that I had a few looks from everyone I passed by. 
I don’t know if they approve, but who cares? 
Ricky thought I was beautiful 🙂
 So here’s the materials as shown above:
– Glue gun (you can use a super glue too since they stick better! Careful though!)
– Ribbon 
– Pearls
– Measuring tape
– Scissors
– Needle
– Thread
***If you aren’t in a hurry, it’s better that you sew the pearls into the ribbon so it won’t fall off. But if you don’t know how to sew, it’s better you use a very strong glue.***
Step 1
Measure your waist. 
Once you measured your waist, add 6 more inches to your ribbon or
depending on how long you want your ribbon to hang
after you wrap it around your waist.
Also, determine the center part of your ribbon where you’ll 
mostly put your pearls.
Step 2:
Take the measurement of your waist and use it to measure 
your ribbon. 
Step 3:
Snip off the ends diagonally using your scissors. 
Then keep the ends from fraying by glueing the ends.
Step 4:

Glue your pearl.
Step 5:

Place your pearl on your ribbon.
Step 6:
Glue another pearl. 
You can design your ribbon however you like.
It doesn’t have to be exactly like what I did, what matters is,
You know it’ll look good because you will be wearing it! 😀
I’m hoping that you enjoyed following my instructions or if not- and you have any questions, leave a comment below! I love reading people’s reactions 🙂
**I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my boyfriend for being patient with me in taking pictures of my out-of- that- day we had our date ! I love you babes! You are theee best! <3″ 

A blog is born!

Hello ! 
You are probably saying it out-loud or inside your mind: oh… this is another beauty blog. How boring.
As wonderful as that sounds, unfortunately, that is half-right. This blog is about beauty and all that is beautiful about dressing up and so forth, but it is not limited to that. I’d like to call it as a ‘girly’ blog because I’m definitely going to post pictures of my outfits, some makeup tutorials (or not), and my favorite: being crafty! 
So being said that this is in fact another girly blog, this is different! (I believe it is!) I am strictly in a budget. You wouldn’t expect me to wear any high-end designer brands unless it was given to me (oh how I wish!). Also, I am not a fashion expert but I am a fashion lover! I don’t stick to trendy outfits because I find that it’s expensive to be a fashion mogul. 
As you read my posts along the way, I hope that I could inspire people and spread beauty – the fun way with a glue gun and lipstick, one step at a time. 

Note #1: Waiting for pho.

Old town Alexandria

It felt like walking in London or Paris.

Yesterday, the weather in Northern Virginia (NOVA) was as usual, unperceived with highs and lows of sunshine and cold temperatures. It was the perfect day to go to Old Town Alexandria where historic establishments paved way for great dining, window shopping and for those who were brave enough to enjoy a cup of gelato on a 50 (which felt like 40) degree- Fahrenheit weather.

It would be nice to have this as my future home, big enough for 20 kids running around.

It would be nice to have this house as my future home, big enough for 20 kids running around. Okay, not really. It’s pretty though!

I, for one, loves Old Town Alexandria especially in the cold seasons because there are no tourists, plaguing the town with traffic, and because of its charm, boasting through lamp-lit street lights and its dainty historic buildings, that makes it ideal for romantic walks and midnight kisses. As a NOVA local, I’ve walked the brick-stoned sidewalks of King St., the main boulevard per se of Old Town Alexandria, countlessly over the past oh-so-years. I grew accustomed of walking at the same boulevard to the point of actually getting sick of the place. The city lost its charm as I grew more familiar of King St. and Duke St. since most business establishments were found there.

In hopes of invigorating my love for Old Town, I researched unfamiliar shops and restaurants unknown and tucked away to the typical touristy-eye. I searched for shops that were locally owned and that were also friendly to my wallet’s stinginess.

Here are the two restaurants that my boyfriend and I visited yesterday:

Extra Perks Coffee Shop and Cafe

I have oddly picked Extra Perks Coffee Shop and Cafe as our first destination. I decided that it seems fitting to sit down on a nice cup of hot tea and share a small snack as soon as we arrived to Old Town. I’ve never been to the shop and I was excited to explore it since it has good reviews for having delectable breakfast menus at a reasonable price. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I figured it’s alright to sit there, even if we’re not having their best breakfast entrees. The journey from King St. to North Fairfax St. by foot, was almost 15- 20 minutes since I had to find it with my GPS. I saw huge, neatly decorated, fancy and cozy townhouses turn into rough, unfitting, and a disarray of closely-packed townhouses that bore fences,which separated each house and uneven paved sidewalks. Clearly, I could see an imaginary boundary line between the affluent homes and the less auspicious neighborhood.  It was almost like traveling to Manhattan then to a roughly-patched neighborhood that no longer shows the glitzy and dreamy side of the city. I honestly was nervous and kept looking behind us hoping that we’ll be safe.

Strange deco

Strange deco.

Despite my mild paranoia, we arrived in the restaurant- safe. It was a cloudy afternoon and the shop’s atmosphere was dark, quiet and was almost close to empty. It was small, quaint and quirky at the same time. There were different tables covered with random images of newspaper clippings, UK flags, and different colorful tables of blues and yellows. The place had peculiar decorations with irrelevant picture frames that didn’t unify into a single theme. I didn’t know if I walked into a coffee shop or a foreign country. Nevertheless, there were a few customers that enjoyed the black leather couches located next to an electric fireplace and that pretty much turned the little, odd shop into a cozy destination.

Ordinary cup that perfectly goes with the quirkiness of the cafe.

Ordinary cup that perfectly goes with the quirkiness of the cafe.

The service was fast and we didn’t have to wait for a long time for our food (because it wasn’t busy). The prices are inexpensive and the restaurant’s menu had different types of breakfast entrees which are good for a wondering drunkard who’s craving for some drunken-munchies. The staff (cashier rather) was alright, but he could be more friendlier. Overall, I’d give it a 6/10, 10 being the highest favorable score. Maybe I’ll change my rating if I come back for breakfast.

It was an 'okay' sandwich for a snack.

It was an ‘okay’ sandwich for a snack.

Since the 40 or 50 degree weather deemed appropriate for a warm bowl of soup, I picked a Vietnamese ‘pho’ restaurant for our dinner. I was hungry and cared less if it was the same bowl of soup I ate two days ago. Heck, pho is unbeatably the best solution to a cold shivering body in a chilly November weather!

Caphe Banh Mi

Oh, no! But I NEED PHO!

CLOSE: Oh, no! But I NEED PHO!

If you, by any chance, crave for a bowl of warm pho on a chilly weather and you are in Old Town Alexandria, you’d think you won’t find such a thing around King St., then you’ll have to venture out into the cold and walk a block to Cameron Street and find a hidden gem hiding behind these red doors. Also, if you do decide to go there, make sure you know when they open and close since they honor siesta time. Unfortunately, I was so hungry that I didn’t visit their site and found myself reading in fine print, outside their closed red door: CLOSE from 2:30- 5pm on Monday to Friday.

Check their store hours BEFORE heading there!

Check their store hours BEFORE heading out there!

I have been in different Vietnamese restaurants around NOVA and Caphe Banh Mi stood out from the rest. It was different because it was smaller and yet it lived up to Old Town Alexandria’s charming treasures. It was warm, inviting, cozy and a romantic place to dine in. My boyfriend and I arrived there around 5 or 6 pm and it wasn’t heavily packed.

Behind the red door is a dainty, romantic spot.

Behind the red door is a dainty, romantic spot.

I personally admired the restaurant’s wooden chairs as opposed to the customary metallic and often times, plastic chairs found in most Viet restaurants. I guess a Viet native would say the restaurant doesn’t conform to tradition or that it’s too Americanized, but in my opinion, because of its unique and atypical Western- Viet-style, it really stands out.

I love the spotlights that emphasize the shop's own Viet heritage.

I love the spotlights that emphasize the shop’s own Viet heritage.

Also, the staff were very welcoming and they were helpful. Unlike the other Viet restaurants where I have been dining before, I didn’t feel rushed or that I’m another one of their customers that keeps adding up. It was really a nice, sweet and lightly-paced dining with no staff circling around your table if you’re done. But hey, maybe because we arrived around 5 which was early for dinner that it wasn’t busy. Either way, I’d come back here for another treat when I’m craving for pho in Old Town.

Caphe 5

I would say that the bowl of pho that I ordered falls in the mid-range spectrum as it didn’t give me that ‘oomph’ feeling. The meat was cooked medium rare and the taste seemed different from the typical pho I’ve eaten before. The bowls were bigger than the other pho places I’ve been to. Also, it seems that they had more variety in meat choices and you could also customize your own pho. Their menu had more choices and it’s English-friendly. I don’t know if it’s more authentic (considering how I’m not Viet to judge) or that it’s Westernized. No matter, it was the perfect choice in a rather dreary and chilly evening.

The littlest things make the most statements.

The littlest things make the most statements.

The wooden chopsticks, which were color -coordinated with the wooden table and the red themed layout of the restaurant, makes the dining experience authentic, bold and demure. Overall, the presentation of the restaurant and its staff has finesse and it wasn’t too overwhelming, but it makes such a bold statement.

That's what I call Oriental style deco with class.

That’s what I call oriental- style deco with class.

It’s funny that my boyfriend and I concluded that the oriental style- sink (found in the bathroom) is the final icing on top of all the restaurant’s demure and elegant appeal. I love that it didn’t fall into my typical expectations of dining at a Vietnamese restaurant. Instead, it impressed me and made it as the highlight of our evening. I’d give this an 8/10. 

Reasonable dinner price at a well-decorated restaurant.

Reasonable dinner price at a well-decorated restaurant.

A break down of our expenses in Old Town Alexandria, VA:

Parking for 2 hours: $ 3.50

Extra Perks Coffee and Cafe Shop: $13.33

Caphe Banh Mi bill + tips: $21.26 + 4= $25.26

Total: $42.09

For one person: $ 21.04 (NOT BAD!)