Summing up 2011, I’m more inclined to say that this was a good year, financially-speaking. I decided to reward myself more than a few times and started to purchase a few luxury items as reward for the multiple jobs I do. I discovered new places, food, drinks, products, and activities that made 2011 an awesome year. Here are my top 15 discoveries of the year.
1. Podcasts – I started listening to podcasts because of Becky Nights, a podcast for all the beckys and beckys-at-heart. I laugh my heart away each time I hear the voices of Buern Rodriguez, Matt Gozun, Jake Galvez, and Divine Lee. I’m not a huge fan of Jake Galvez and Divine Lee but I like Divine Lee’s outlook in life. What I said was true when I called during the season 2 opener of Becky Nights – “POSITIVITY” will really help you change your disposition. So that’s one thing I discovered when I started listening to Becky Nights.
Another podcast that made my year was Monster Radio RX 93.1‘s The Morning Rush. I’ve been a Rusher since college but I seldom listen to them live because I always wake up late. One morning when I pulled an all-nighter to finish some money-making tasks, I decided to stream TMR on my laptop. I only listen to two radio stations: RX 93.1 and Love Radio 90.7 (but only when Nicole Hyala/Chris Tsuper and Papa Jack were on). Now that I’m addicted to RX 93.1’s TMR podcasts, I felt so stupid listening to Tambalan for the past few months. HAHAHAHA. I can’t believe I patronized this radio station! I mean, they’re funny and all, but comparing them to TMR (which shouldn’t be since they target different segments of the market), hands down, my loyalty is with RX. Chico’s corny jokes, Ginoboi’s exasperation with Chico’s corny jokes, and Delamama’s reprimands on both Chichi and Gigi’s dirty jokes never fail to make my morning great.
2. Milk Tea – I’m a sucker for anything sweet which is why I like Milk Tea. This is Milk Tea’s year though they’ve been around for quite some time now (ever tasted Chowking’s Nai Cha?). Because of the establishments Moonleaf, Chatime, Serenitea, and Happy Lemon, Milk Tea has become really big nowadays, well at least for me. Here are my favorite milk teas from different shops. You may also want to try Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee’s milk tea for Php80. It’s best served hot though, unlike these two.
3. Speaking of Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee, I discovered this place only during the later this year. A few days before my birthday, I met my college friends at Little Asia to do some catching up since we had a friend who went home from New Zealand for a month. We decided to cross the street and head to Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee for some dessert. I heard it was good and the food isn’t as pricey as your regular cafes so imagine my excitement when I saw their fridge full of mouth-watering desserts at very affordable prices. Since then, I said nothing but “Let’s go to KoCCo!” until finally Love took me there and after a few tries, she appreciated the place as well. Of course, since she’s not a big cake fan, what she loves best about KoCCo are their yummy omellettes. It’s also a better alternative to Starbucks, CBTL, and all other expensive cafes not only because of their food selection but also because of the homey ambiance and cozy environment.
4. Maybelline [LIP] Smooth Color and Care – I’m not a smoker; in fact, I can’t remember the last time I puffed a cig. People have a different opinion though, because of my not-so-red lips which is why I always need either a lip balm or lipstick, which Love never understands. I have a penchant for lip products because of this. Honestly, it’s okay with me to have nothing on my face except for lipstick and mascara. With Maybelline’s [LIP] Smooth Color and Care, I found the perfect lip gloss that isn’t hard to apply and looks as natural as someone with pink or red lips. I love this product because I don’t need a mirror to apply it and it moisturizes my lips instantly. It brings a natural gloss.
Another Maybelline product that I discovered this year is the Clear Smooth All-in-One Shine-Free Powder Foundation. It feels natural in my face and it isn’t as sticky since it’s shine-free which is just right for my oily face. I was really never into pressed powders because I think it’s too hot for my face and I can’t just use any facial products because I get zits easily. Though this product did not give me pimples, it cracks so fast I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I found some reviews and they all said the same thing. It can easily mess up your purse or pouch. I even had to put mine into a ziplock or wrap it with a tissue just so the crumbs won’t scatter on my bag. I thought it was just me because I’m a careless owner but when I bought a refill and it happened again, I knew I’d never buy it again. It’s too bad because I rarely appreciate facial products and I really liked this one but I’m never gonna buy one ever again.
5. Revlon’s Powder Blush in Softspoken Pink is the perfect pink shade for me. It never gave me zits and it looks naturally pink, unless of course you put too much. It matches perfectly with the RevlonColorburst Lipstick in Carnation that I bought with it. I realized that red isn’t a good shade for my lips since they’re relatively thin so I settled on investing in pink and old rose type of shades instead. They are more natural-looking and I don’t look like someone who’s trying hard to look so made up.
6. I used Nivea’s Sparkling White cream for day and night just because I wanted to be a little more mature and arte-arte. I wanted to use night creams to have more glow and possibly lessen the oiliness of my skin. This is the same reason why I bought other Nivea products such as the Deep Pore Control Foam and Toner since I believe it’s best that you use the same line of products to achieve the best results. So far, it hasn’t disappointed me. I also didn’t have zits from using Nivea skin products which is one reason why this brand has my loyalty. Heck, I even bought the Nivea My Silhouette Cream even though I’m sure it won’t work for me. It doesn’t hurt to try right? The prices range frmo Php150-200 for each product so buying all these four normally costs around Php800.
7. Posh Nails – I’ve always been curious how these upsale nail salons differ from your local manicuristas and affordable salons. I figured that since I always have mani-ped sessions, I should not spend too much on them so I just go to Freshaire or Let’s Face It if I’m feeling a little sosyal for my bi-weekly treatments. I only visited Posh Nails because I was going to be my best friend’s Maid of Honor so I wanted to look really nice for her wedding. A good friend of ours also told me that the more upscale nail salons are very particular and detail-oriented when cleaning nails and applying nail polish. They also use expensive brands like OPI, Orly, Misa, and China Glaze which have so many shades of pink. Since my first Posh Nails treatment, I never went back to my usual salons. I also started investing in Sally Hansen nail products and I found out myself why these are great products. Once your polish chips, you can just re-apply on that specific area and it blends easily so you don’t have to redo the entire nail. Amazing, right?
If you’ll notice, I mostly invested in kikay products this year. I didn’t buy any gadgets, save for a new laptop because I wanted to play Sims 3 on a gaming notebook. Other than that, I think I spent most of my money on food, travel, and arte-arte stuff. Part two of my post will focus more on the intangible things.