An inspired June

June was my month of inspiration.

I don’t know if that statement is a cop-out because it was totally unplanned. But I guess that’s the thing with inspiration, hey?

So last month, a couple of things happened:

I met an astronaut

Well, I didn’t really meet him — rather, I attended his talk. Does it count that I was in the first row? Hehe. Greg Chamitoff spoke at an educational technology conference I attended. And while he spoke about things like space camps and how they’re getting kids to become more involved in space… he also spoke about inspiration, the essence of it. Having a dream, and chasing after it, persevering, believing.

It reminded me that while I’m technically already an adult, it’s never too late to go after the things I want. To go beyond the mundanities of life and seek the things that excite me.

I watched a film about mountains

My friend got free tickets to the movie, accompanied by a live orchestra. I honestly thought that it would last, like, 15 minutes. How many mountain shots can you possibly get? Seventy minutes, apparently — and I loved every minute of it.

Not only was I exposed to the awesomeness of mountain athletes (especially the insane but talented Alex Honnold) it reminded me that the world is vast. And beautiful.

I was supposed to go away for Easter but plans fell through… I was disappointed, and just cocooned myself in Sydney. With this film, I was reminded — there are so many beautiful things to see. There are so many different ways to enjoy the world.

I went to museums

Took advantage of the Free Museum Weekend and went to the Powerhouse Museum and Australian Museum. The entire weekend was spent geeking out!

While both museums were targeted towards kids, I can’t deny it was tons of fun. There’s something about learning random bits of information (Did you know wombats have a solid butt-bone and poop cubes?) or finding out how life was decades and centuries ago. The experiences reminded me there was so much to be curious about around me.

I think… with the way that everything has happened the last few months, I’d just been going through the motions. I settled comfortably in my routine of work, exercise, and my usual social activities. I guess I really needed that wake-up call that there is so much more to life than routine. There is so many passions I could pursue, places I could see, things I could be curious about.

Just in time for the second half of the year!

Looks like I’ve been ignoring this

Didn’t post at all in June and now it’s the second week of July, oops! Life felt a bit all over the place the past few weeks – hence the lack of posts – but here’s me trying to get back into it, as well as getting the rest of my life back on track.

Please pardon this really clunky welcome back post — my blogging skillz are rusty.

My May thing, part two

I wrote in my last post that May was my skincare month. It was also, to a lesser degree, my makeup month.

I’ve never been into makeup. I remember the first time my friend showed me how to put on eyeshadow. It was after college. Fortunately, one of my friends here is a makeup artist and nicely held a few “classes” to teach us, her makeup-challenged friends, some tips.

So, in May, I finally decided I wanted to get into makeup a little bit more (over a decade after the rest of my peers have started experimenting with it!) I ended up throwing out a large chunk of makeup I had. I hadn’t used a lot of it in years, and realised it had probably gone bad — so now I’m learning to start afresh, makeup-wise.

I still don’t wear it everyday, though. I usually go out with my CC cream and some kind of lip colour, and reserve a full face of makeup for when I go out. (Ultimately, I’m still trying to get to the level where my skin is awesome enough and I look polished enough to not require a full face every day, so my focus has been on improving my skin over using makeup.)

I can’t do the entire makeup transformation thing, however. I still look like me. I have to admit, I can’t help but be amazed at how different some people look with makeup.

But it’s not always a good thing, I suppose. I’m reminded of an acquaintance’s ex-girlfriend, a popular social media influencer. She’s supposedly cute enough in real life, but thanks to a ton of makeup, angles, and lighting, she looks totally amazing in her social media account… but not so much in other places, and she’s been getting a lot of flak for it! I guess transformation faces are good enough occasionally, but I couldn’t imagine looking totally different everyday and disappointing people when I go au naturale!

When I cared about my skin

May is my skin-and-face month.

So this is the month I actually started giving a sh*t about my skincare. To be honest, I’ve been pretty lax these past few years. I’d wanted to simplify and natural-ise, so I stripped down my routine. I just washed my face + argan oil + eye cream (night) + moisturiser (night)/CC cream (day). My face was okay. It was passable. I didn’t get pimples, but it wasn’t particularly awesome. My skin was dry but oily. There was this redness that didn’t seem to go away, but I attributed it to my skin just being the way it was. (I guess this is one of those things where “minimalism” doesn’t really work, haha!)

Anyway, I decided this month I was finally going to really care about my skin. It started when I heard about Deciem, specifically, their The Ordinary line. I was intrigued by their concept of separating out formulations so people could tailor it to what their skin needed. I realised that I didn’t have to settle with my skin’s imperfections and yes, I could do something about them.

I already had some items I’d bought sporadically to fix my skin, so I started incorporating them into my routine more regularly:

  • Hyaluronic acid + B5. I’m currently using Skinceuticals. I bought a bottle when I was in Europe and my skin went crazy. But stopped using it when I went back to Sydney, so I dug it out of my cupboard and started using it again. When I run out, I’m planning to switch to The Ordinary‘s version as it’s 1/10th of the price!
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm. I read someone describing this before as “lip balm for your entire face” and I’d have to say I agree. This was another thing I bought in Europe, but now I’ve started using it every night. It makes my skin super soft when I wake up!
  • Face mask. I bought a large tub of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and use it once a week now.
  • Body scrub. I never used to do this, but I bought a coffee scrub from Toby and Rosie and it made my skin really soft (so I’ve been told 😉 ) I’ve since run out… I’m going to use another brand that someone has gifted me with for now. I really liked the coffee scrub, it was just a bit messy washing it all out in the shower!

I started using body lotion and foot cream regularly. I never got used to body lotion growing up. The Philippines is so hot and humid, putting on lotion just felt icky. I have to remind myself, though, that places with seasons are different. My feet, in particular, got super dry and gross one winter — the heels had started cracking and it hurt. I have to remind myself to frequently moisturise them. I’ve started doing that more often, so they look decent now, at least.

There’s been a definite improvement since fixing my skincare routine. My face is a lot less dry and the redness has lessened too — other people have noticed! And the moisturising everywhere else has helped as well. Some parts of my body are still a bit dry, but at least it’s no longer as rough and flaky as it used to be.

I’ve ordered a few more products from The Ordinary. I can’t wait for them to arrive so I can try them out!

Me and my sewing machine

My new thing for March was sewing!

I hadn’t intended to do it so early in the year — it seemed like such a big thing to get into without mentally preparing myself first.* But there was a sale on machines, so I bought one, booked an intensive beginner workshop, and off I went!

The first thing I realised was that there were so many other things that I needed to consider. For example, for the workshop I had to bring in some “medium weight cotton.” I had no idea what medium weight cotton looked or felt like… fortunately, the lady at the fabric store helped pick it out for me.

I ended up making a little girl’s blouse and a tote bag that weekend, and I was so proud of myself! It made me want to make a gazillion other things, but it also made me realise that I had so much to learn. We sewed with cotton — but I wanted to make things out of knit and stretch fabrics. I’d bought the wrong kind of thread — I didn’t know that could be a thing! Cutting out patterns and putting the pieces back together was fun, and it gave me a greater appreciation for understanding how clothes are structured. I look at clothes differently now — I like looking at how things are made, and I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made piece of clothing.

I haven’t taken any other classes yet, because I want to practice more before moving on to something more advanced. So far I’ve been making pajamas — haha! They’re useful, and if I mess up I don’t really care. Hopefully I’ll move on to more public facing clothes soon. 😛

* I seem to always overestimate the amount of mental preparation that things take. One thing I’m learning is to jump in and do things!