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Currently reading: Grey


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Grey by E. L. James, page 529

“How could she trust me after that? It’s right that she’s gone.
Why the hell would she want to be with me, anyway?

I contemplate getting drunk. I have not been drunk since I was fifteen—well, once, when I was twenty-one. I loathe the loss of control: I know what alcohol can do to a man. I shudder and snap my mind shut to those memories, and decide to call it a night.

Lying in my bed, I pray for a dreamless sleep . . . but if I am to dream, I want to dream of her.





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July 2015: Monthly roundup


31 Look and feel ageless: Longevity secrets of Japanese women
31 Timeless beauty secrets of Japanese women, a bucket list before you have kids, an uncommon way to discover your life purpose, and more

30 On repeat: Love Story
30 Ingredients 101: Salicylic acid

29 The real Abura Soba 油そば
29 Kitteeehhs: Neko JaLaLa~

25 Japan beauty buys
25 Tea haul: Lebaran 2015 edition
24 How to be happy and healthy for life
21 34 things about marriage I learned from premarital guidance + counseling
11 Third visit at Mangotree Bistrobar
08 Currently revisiting: Japanese Fairy Tales
06 Differentiating introversion
05 37 totally legit reasons why you should take up tennis
03 You’ve managed to roll out of your bed yesterday. You can do it again.
01 What’s your type? I’m an INFJ: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)


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July 2015: Link love


Note: Every July feels like time just passes by, mainly because it’s Lebaran/Ramadhan season. What did you have your vacation during the holidays? Or, if you’re in a place where they’re not celebrating, what did you do during the summer’s peak? Many of you know I went to Japan, and it’s made me fallen in love with the land of the rising sun all over again~ Have hauled teas and some beauty products, but enough babbling from me now. Here are the reads that captured my attention over the month. Happy reading!


1. Iman on wellness, diversity, and turning 60. [The Cut]
Acupuncture, the unchanging beauty ideals, and self-esteem.

2. 9 beauty skin secrets of Japanese women (no matter her age). [KatJuju]
Oils, green tea, sashimi, wearing your hat, and “hidden” beauty.

3. The 15 best things I ate in Japan. [Serious Eats]
Ippudo the original is one major #foodporn.

4. 10 things every couple should do before they have kids. [Yahoo! Parenting]
Have sex on the kitchen floor, or just all over your home.

5. 7 strange questions that help you find your life purpose. [Mark Manson]
What makes you forget to eat and poop?



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via Orlando Style / さと on Pinterest / Serious Eats / Green Wedding Shoes / Mark Manson


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On repeat: Love Story


To share a little bit more about the things I love (and music’s always been a huge part of it), here I want to start a series much like the books I’m currently reading/obsessing/revisiting, a.k.a. more concise posts on the blog for your easy digestion. Just as much as I love stories in the written word, I love the emotions stories carry that are sonically expressed. As an escapist, I let my ears get lost into the melody a lot, and it’s just emotions, taking me over … Hope I can share the joy of doing so with this new series.

For starters, this is the song I can’t get out of my head right now – Love Story by none other than Japan’s Madonna, Namie Amuro 安室奈美惠. It’s a 2011 release from her 10th studio album, Uncontrolled, and also as the theme song from Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu 私が恋愛できない理由 (The Reason I Can’t Find Love)  – the drama I’ve binge-watched recently. Ehm, excuse my PMS. It’s a while since I last watched an Asian drama, and so I binged. If you have no idea why you’re still single, go watch the drama. Even if you’re not (like myself), you’ll see where you went wrong in the past when it comes to love, and then by the end of the show I guarantee, you’ll get Love Story stuck in your head for weeks.




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Ingredients 101: Salicylic acid



Natural or synthetic?

Both (natural: willow bark extract)

Best for?

Addressing skin blemishes, clearing up pimples, and preventing whiteheads/blackheads by working as a keratolytic (exfoliant) for the skin. Also applies as a medication for treating conditions that has to do with skin cell overgrowth and/or scaling, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, dandruff, corns, warts on hands and feet, and calluses.

The story

Salicylic acid comes in a wide variety of forms in anti-acne products, ranging from pads/wipes, liquids, lotions, gels, foams, soaps, and solutions in anywhere between 0.5% to 2% concentration. It’s the exfoliating beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) in cosmetics, an ally to the peeling effects alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. More on AHAs in future post.

The science

The only difference between the BHA and AHAs is that BHA is oil-soluble, whereas AHAs are water-soluble only. This makes salicylic acid more ideal for those with oily skin, as it’s able to penetrate deep into clogged pores, dissolve excess sebum, and extract impurities out. Because it can deeply-exfoliate as well as sloughing dead skin cells off the surface, skin texture will even out and improve with long-term use of salicylic acid. Moreover, this multitasker is often prescribed not only to treat blemishes for its anti-microbial properties, but also to calm irritated complexions and stubborn breakouts, as it’s an anti-inflammatory agent as well. It gets easier for boosting collagen production when the skin is always open for new cell turnover. This means improved thickness, firmness, and plumpness for your skin.


Just as you do with BPO, you may feel a stinging sensation at first. Wait 3 days. Discontinue use if it irritates your skin (itching, swelling, hives, redness, throat tightness, light-headed, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, fainting). Use with the dosage and as frequently as prescribed by your doctor, or as it says on the instructions label. When used excessively, the skin can become dryer over time, prompting it to produce even more oil and creating more acne. Worse, overdose permanently strips off the skin’s moisture barrier, causing thinning skin that highlights capillaries, fine lines, and premature wrinkles. For this reason, you may also need to apply sunscreen more religiously after introducing salicylic acid into your skincare regimen. As a rule of thumb, avoid high heat or open flame when using salicylic acid medications, especially those that come with higher concentrations (wart-removers generally come at anywhere between 6% to 10%). They’re flammable, so store it somewhere cool and dry.

Is it safe?

The FDA has listed salicylic acid as a Category C for pregnant women. There’s enough body of research showing that salicylic acid is tetratogenic (causing abnormal growth and development in embryo and fetus) in rats and monkeys. Whether it will pass into breast milk or harm an unborn baby is unknown, but talk to your doctor before exposing yourself to salicylic acid if you’re expecting.




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