New ‘do

 
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9fhtdAt last … the all-new ‘do (well, it’s actually just a tiny trim), since I last chopped my head off into a bob in March 2011. That was the third and the last time ever I’m going to sport a bob. Ever.

Based on personal experience, hitting the salon when you’re out of your mind isn’t the best idea. Refrain yourself from getting a massive haircut when you’re going crazy with life, because you’re going to wait for a really, really long time to have your full crown (read: sanity) back on your head.

I made a promise to myself to never touch my hair with anything close to a pair of scissors until they grow as long as my chest, and I did wait that long (two and a half years) without having anything close to a snip, except for the bangs.

Why? Because after three bobs and three daunting experiences waiting for my long hair to come back, most hairdressers cut an average of about three inches off my scalp even when I stressed them not to make my tresses shorter. “I just want it tidied up,” I always say with a stern voice. “I’ve been growing them out for a long time since my bob.”

But I always end up with much shorter hair.

Every time that happens, it feels like you’ve just finished a full marathon in less than four hours (which is a great time for the average guy by the way), but for some reason the timer guy got your timing wrong. “Sorry buddy, we’ve experienced some technical problems,” he would say. And then he recorded you an hour late.

One full hour sweating is like three inches hair being cut off just like that. Yeap, that’s how emotional I can get with haircuts.

So I got my treat today – I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, and I’m just happy with the result.

Growing out my hair to be like the crown of actress Shin Min Ah

Growing out my hair to be like the crown of actress Shin Min Ah

My cluttered bunch is a super thick and dry one, as all the dressers I’ve ever been to have felt so. Considering I’ve grown it since my bob, the front sections on either sides were slightly longer than the rest. There were no shaggy layers, no angling waves, no nothing to tousle – just straight, blunt, and broom-like flatness with weighty split ends.

But now my tresses are neat as a pin. I’m no longer carrying around a broomstick on my head anymore.

Finally, I know where to make an appointment for a trim without having the hairdresser chopping three inches off my hair.

Perched in Pluit, RE:DO Korean Hair Boutique is a chic salon that truly prioritizes on service quality. I usually get frowns and what-do-you-want looks from old ladies in other salons within the neighborhood, but now I see why the hallyu effect is so pervasive throughout Indonesia. Staff are all friendly and approachable, and I learned that over the last five years it’s been established, most RE:DO frequenters have entrusted the pro colorists in the house to conceal their graying hairs with gusto, while the young repeaters keep coming back for the magic hair workers to make them look like Korean celebrities.

Like everyone else, I got to choose between local and South Korean hairstylists on my visit. The place is furnished with an impressive collection of imported Korean haircare products on its shelves, not that I needed any of those just for my little hair fix-up. But for those who aspire to copy hairdos of your favorite K-pop star, I have exciting news for you: RE:DO’s having a special month-long discount! For every haircare service done by the Korean stylists, you get 10% off the regular price. This includes cutting, coloring, and styling services – Korean style.

Though I’m not a nail art practitioner, I do enjoy pedicures now and then. Turns out that RE:DO is not just a nook for tending the hair. It also offers sleek mani-pedis that would be perfect to fill your daytime pampering session this month.

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You ready to get all styled up? :)

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 

A 6-week plan: It’s all a matter of hormones.

 

A Nest Egg

 

Last Thursday, I downed my first bottle of Gold Label Bak Foong Pill out of the six. I did my second bottle today.

I discussed a bit about the primary reason why I’m taking these pills. First and foremost it’s because my mother has always asked me to, due to my history of long bouts of absent periods and irregular ones, and also because I’m kind of worried if this goes on any longer I might not be able to, um, fertilize.

I went to two doctors from different continents and both said the same thing. One gave me a birth control pill while the other basically said I have to reduce stress, relax, and just enjoy life.

But I’m curious to know more about this disease.

Before we go on, let’s get my personal notes over with:

 

      1. Thursday, 13 June, 2013: Didn’t have enough sleep the other night probably because I ate too much sugared ginger and drank sugary instant drinks, namely hot chocolate and teh tarik, and a whole lot of chocolate bars and Medjooli dates. Even when I eat so much for the past few weeks, sleep less than I usually do, and workout so much less often than I used to, my weight is still declining at a rapid rate, of reasons I don’t know of. My head hurts like hell. I don’t feel productive.
      2. Thursday, 20 June, 2013: Didn’t get sufficient sleep the other night but have been feeling a little better than last Thursday. Weight is back to normal and head hurts much, much less. Feel a bit more productive. More temperate mood climate throughout the day, though still a lot of worrying, frowning, and unconsciously contracting my brows while scrutinizing facts.
      3. Thursday, 27 June, 2013: TBA
      4. Thursday, 4 July, 2013: TBA
      5. Thursday, 11 July, 2013: TBA
      6. Thursday, 18 July, 2013: TBA

 

After scrounging for an abundance of information on the subject, I learned that PCOS, an abbreviation for polycystic ovary syndrome, is the longword for a condition where your hormones are thrown out of whack. It can affect both women and men. For women in particular, symptoms may occur at any given reproductive age, from puberty to menopause.

PCOS Poster 6

The real cause of the syndrome is still a big, hairy mystery in the scientific literature, though some believe that it’s due to a large amount of weight gain. My mother never had PCOS, so it couldn’t be genetics.

Well, you can’t blame gaining 10kg when you relocate to the States, right? Every meal is a happy meal over there. At least now I’ve lost it all and turned back to the baseline weight I’ve always carried since I was in my teens.

Women diagnosed with PCOS are known to have grown cysts in their ovaries, the minute saclike structures that are not harmful per se, but are known to cause hormonal imbalances.

The growth of these fluid-filled sacs are just one of the many symptoms of PCOS. According to womenshealth.gov, these symptoms include:

 

    • Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
    • Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
    • Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes. Also called hirsutism
    • Cysts on the ovaries
    • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
    • Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
    • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
    • Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black
    • Skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
    • Pelvic pain
    • Anxiety or depression
    • Sleep apnea — when breathing stops for short periods of time while asleep

 

It really is a pain in the ass now that I’ll have to manage the symptoms all my life.

Just as the doctors have said, the only proven long-term treatment for PCOS is a lifestyle modification that suits me.

However it shall become, the potential for this syndrome to become worse is huge when its symptoms are not managed well. The medical community asserts that PCOS can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, heart diseases, and endometrial and uterine cancers. Ouch.

 

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Well, I guess I’ll see what happens with my overall mood (or should I say it by its scientific term, my ability for emotional self-regulation?) during the following week, as I learn a bit more about what the Bak Foong Pill has long been used for.

Perhaps, if I trust this pill enough, it’ll probably have a placebo effect on me anyway. Hmmm.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

- Image courtesy of Five Seasons HealingImplementing Designism / Methuen Public Schools

 

Dear future self, honestly …

 

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Dear 99-year-old-and-9-month self:

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- Image courtesy of Living by via Tumblr

Let me give you a bargain: I will reduce my original 100-year-old lifespan down by 3 months. In return, please, endow me with your utmost patience for today, for this moment, for being alive and not merely existing in the heyday of this lifetime.

I no longer care for the yesteryears, but I do care to progress. I am always aware that the internal clock keeps ticking, and life is not getting any easier. But I am also aware that every morning when I wake, a new hope is given freely to me. Thank God’s mercy. I’m sure you remember them – the rays of sunshine smiling at you and all, don’t you? Yea, if that’s not the case, you won’t look so youthful with the natural facelifts you’re known for giving yourself (and especially for others).

How the heck did you have such patience? Is it from marathoning?

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… or did you succumb yourself to being a lab rat for a lifetime?

I know for sure that both you and I have committed to the written word once in exchange for not committing suicide when we were 21 years old. For all I know that’s the only thing we have in common: Commitment.

But once again, please, bestow upon me just a dash of your measureless patience to not sweat the small stuff.

I was extremely pissed when I subconsciously reacted to my situation earlier. My gym had lousy electric service and, for some reason, they’ve been leaving this problem unfixed for quite some time. Many times throughout my 7-month membership at the club, without any sort of warning, the whole row of treadmill machines  (except for the last two at the far right corner) abruptly stops running as the powers completely went off. I usually give these glitches a go, because they usually do whatever technical work they needed to do and I have always been able to restart my runs without further problems.

Today, though, was a biggie. It went off 4 times in total … within just one night! Before I finish my 5-minute warmup, it stopped. Then in my head, I changed my 35-minute workout for the night and shortened it to a 33. The machine started again, and it stopped yet again for after about 3 minutes. The next one, I thought I’d change my perspective to look at it as a blessing. These things happen so that my heart rate increase slowly, gradually, and effortlessly. It’ll be a very steady warmup toward a longer run, where I will be saving the most amount of energy to give out my all at the 35-minute mark. Yet tonight, my longest-running record was only around a 30-minute continuous run with a distance of, as I recall, 3.30-something kilometers – yes, the machine stopped again. It’s frustrating that I can’t recall the exact data. I don’t blame my memory because in this case, it doesn’t mean I have a lousy memory. I also love running and spacing out so much that I don’t really lock my eyes constantly on the running time as I run.

So what happened?

During my drive home, I had an epiphany – what if I simply decide not to blame anyone? After all, I do have a choice to not blame anyone. I don’t have to blame myself or the gym, the workers at the club, the electric service, the lifeless treadmill machines, or anyone, anything else related to my mini disaster today.

It’s not even a disaster. By blaming others or myself, I will be the disaster.

My first reaction was, does this gym really hold the quality it promises on its advertisements? Will my readers believe that I actually made that 30-minute mark, even without me getting the chance to take a picture of it?

But hey, 99-year-old self, you know better than I do. You know that responding is 180-degree different from reacting to life’s beloved little problems.

Sorry for taking your time, but I promise to use my lifetime wisely … now that 3 months are gone from my centenarian life. For everything else other than patience, thank you for just the amount of care and attention you always take to look after me. It’s unbelievable that compared to me, your 23-year-old self, one can describe you holding the kind of perseverance an ultra-marathoner would need to wear, because these long-distancers abode to plod far and long through life’s vicissitudes – they are almost always ready to cross great lengths (and transform mere miles into feats) along their way.

Once again, 99-year-old self, thank you for your time. You are, by far, the best listener I’ve ever met.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yours faithfully,
& with much love,

STACIA PRISCILLA
25 March 2013

 

Who are you in the animal kingdom?

 

I’m always fascinated by personality tests, notably accurate ones.

A friend referred to me this website, Doubutsu Uranai (literally meaning “animal fortune-telling”), a very long time ago. I recently stumbled upon it again and recalled the self-reflection I went through the very first time I saw my results. I’ve got to say … 80% of it are true.

 

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  • You are Gold Lion, who is rather serious and polite type of person.
  • You value personal relationships.
  • You suppress yourself and act to be a sociable person.
  • But you are really a person who doesn’t like to lose to anyone.
  • You dislike emotional atmosphere and vague attitude. (huh?)
  • You want to make everything clear-cut.
  • You like to stay in your own little world.
  • If you get in a situation where there are lots of people you can not express yourself and act as a perfect person.
  • You are not very subjective sort of person, unlike ordinary women, but unfortunately you lack soft and gentle atmosphere.
  • You tend to be too bold.
  • You cannot help but stretch your hand to those who are in need.
  • You are very kind person who helps the weak.
  • You are also weak on compliments, and will work enthusiastically after someone has given a compliment.
  • You will go about your duty steadily and loyally, and not get in a rush to achieve the objective. (I do take my own sweet time …)
  • You have perseverance, and will work effortlessly until you reach your objective.
  • Something that you have worked steadily for a long, long time, will turn out to be an asset to the world. (let’s hope for that!)
  • You are careful and rational, and therefore place value to steady life.
  • After getting married, you will be a devoted mother and a wife, but you are really a very dependent person, and prefer to keep your own little world. (hmmm …)

 

Backed by social and behavioral psychology studies, the Doubutsu Uranai personality assessment only requires you to include your date of birth to accurately determine who you are among the 12 different kinds of animals your unique traits and characteristics most closely resemble.

 

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- Images courtesy of Doubutsu Uranai

 

Once you know which animal you resemble most, you are further classified into one of the colors on their file. If you are situation-oriented, or otherwise noted as belonging to the New Moon family or the Sun family, you are either a yellow, green, gold, or silver animal. If you’re a laser-sharp objective person, belonging to the Full Moon group or the Earth group, you’re either in red, blue, brown, orange, purple, or black. Stripped off the ‘gold’ label, of which the gold lion is described as “bold and sedate, but have inner sensitivity”, I zoomed out a bit and went back to what I basically resemble: The lion.

 

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1. Lions love special treatment and praise.

2. Lions say things like “Awesome!” and “Definitely!”

3. Lions don’t complain and are hard on others

4. Lions are perfectionists

5. Lions are not good with numbers

6. Lions’ mortal enemies are lack of sleep and an empty stomach

7. Lions own expensive things

8. Lions love silly puns

9. Lions are actually spoiled kids

10. Lions are outwardly impressive; but their rooms are a shambles

 

… aaand all 10 of the above statements are true, as my fellow Lion friend Alex agreed too. *facepalm*

 
 

What about you? Which of the 12 animals do you resemble, and what color is your animal? Tell me your results on the comments section below :)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Unleashing the inner kitten

 
 

It’s the last day of February and I made it (almost) everyday throughout NaBloPoMo February 2013! Now that I’ll be taking a momentary break from my marathon blog posting, are you guys prepared to accomplish something this March?

 
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Prompt of the day: When do you feel your sexiest?

Let’s get downright dirty today :) It’s the last day of February’s NaBloPoMo challenge after all, themed love & sex – might as well let down your hair like it’s already springtime.

Feeling sexy is relative. For me, sexiness is a manifestation of inner confidence, and there are plenty instances when I feel that way.

I can’t choose the sexiest out of the many, but here’s a list of moments, in no particular order, when I do feel sexy:

sexy-legs-21- Image courtesy of The Chive

 

♥ when I’m wearing a cute underwear

♥ whenever I dress cool and comfortable

♥ when I had an intense workout during the day

 

tumblr_mbk54tnEFi1qbiztqo1_1280- Image courtesy of ohmydalia via Tumblr

 

♥ when I’m doing the bridge pose

♥ just whenever I stretch

♥ when I actually make an effort to feel sexy, a.k.a. basic personal care, hygiene, and lots of shaving

 

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- Image courtesy of Hair Tutorials

 

♥ when I’m wearing my ponytail high

♥ … and pencil skirts

♥ when my clothes fit and I can breathe in it

♥ when I’m in my boyfriend’s shirt

♥ when I read Fifty Shades of Grey and picture the future sex life I’m going to have with my future husband

♥ when I get or give a full-body massage

♥ whenever my lips turn crimson after eating some spicy food (but not exactly when my nose sweats like a pig because of the spice)

♥ when I’m sleeping naked

 

cos-03-sexy-naked-woman-teddy-bear-mdn- Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan

 

♥ whenever I’ve accomplished something, (like making it through NaBloPoMo February 2013!), no matter how big or little the accomplishment is

 
 

Saturday, February 2, 2013
When was the last time you said “I love you”?
The last time I said “I love you” was…

Monday, February 4, 2013
Tell us about your first crush.
The first crush (or second) (maybe third)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
How old were you the first time you fell in love?
At 13, I fell in love for the first time

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Do you remain friends with ex-boyfriends after you break up?
How to remain positive after a bad breakup

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Describe your ideal date night.
Dirty sweaty date night idea

Friday, February 8, 2013
Name the most romantic movie of all time.
Keeping miracles in a notebook

Monday, February 11, 2013
What is your ideal Valentine’s Day celebration?
What spending Valentine’s Day is (ideally) all about

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy?
Of candies, colors, and balls

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
If you could send out Valentine this year as you did back in grade school,
what type of Valentine would you send out to your blogosphere class?
Here’s my Valentine for you :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?
All About You: How do you feel about love?

Friday, February 15, 2013
How did this Valentine’s Day compare with Valentine’s Days of years past?
My first ever Valentine’s

Monday, February 18, 2013
What is the most romantic book you’ve ever read?
Pain is part of real pleasure.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Martin Luther King Jr. unpacked love and hate when he said,
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Which is easier for you to feel: Love or hate?
Love is difficult only if you think it is.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Erich Fromm said, “Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’
Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you’.”
How do you define mature love?
All you ever need, you already have.

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Do you think people can live without love?
To die for love is to be alive.

Friday, February 22, 2013
Aristotle said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
Do you agree or disagree?
Soul mates are made, not born.

Monday, February 25, 2013
Do you think you would enjoy being a “sex symbol?”
Long legs and all

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Do you think sex education should come
from the parents, the school, or a mix of both?
Mae West described sex as “emotion in motion.” Unpack this idea in a post.
An educated woman in motion

Thursday, February 28, 2013
When do you feel your sexiest?
Unleashing the inner kitten

 
 
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- Image courtesy of Hair Tutorials

 

What about you, girl? When do you feel your sexiest? And how do you unleash your inner kitten?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

An educated woman in motion

 
 

Did you miss me like I missed you yesterday? Hope so … because this is the last week of NaBloPoMo February 2013!

 

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Prompt of the day: Mae West described sex as “emotion in motion.”
Unpack this idea in a post.

The beauty of emotions is that they exist in a spectrum. Without emotions there’ll only be vacuum in space, and there’d be no life.

Emotions are natural – all forms of it are healthy to have. Our lives, ideally, run the gamut from subtle to the strong. Sex, like other activities we do everyday, is best done with a full range of emotions, even when you feel old and that you just don’t feel like having sex. If you tend to eat even when you’re not hungry, there’s no reason why you cannot tend yourself to make love even when you don’t feel like it.

I’ve heard real stories from married couples who’s been under the weather with their sex lives. One couple made a prearranged sex schedule as a steamy solution to revive their passion for each other all over again – and it worked. Some days it felt like having sex was nothing but for the sake of sex – as something to check off from the daily to-do list. Other days, however, sex becomes a means to an end. In the heat of those clamorous arguments, when both were exhausted by work overload and started blaming each other for everything that went wrong, and when both couldn’t think of any more words to say to make things right, when both slapped one another in the face, shouted at the top of their lungs in anguish, pushed one another as far away as possible, but at the same time, both could no longer hold up with the stubbornness to say sorry, bear the arrogance to put down their pride, and finally surrender to their significant other in toto – that‘s when the emotion in motion occur.

Stars shoot everywhere. Both see reds of their rage and passion, the violets in the evening light, the blues of their past, greens of the future, yellows of their sweetest memories, and so on.

To say that sex is emotion in motion is true. But really, for me, the physical act of having sex, like eating and breathing and shopping, is just like exercise: Even when modern lives’ mundanity is implicitly killing your passions, when you turn motion into a routine, you and your emotions will be better off healthier and happier in life than the rest who don’t make a move at all.

You can only get so many successes until you reach your climax – so however much you “just don’t feel like it”, might as well do it, do it often, and feel your emotions with every color of your life. Make it a habit to believe that one day, while having sex, you’ll reach the blissful, mythical O.

 

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- Image courtesy of Christina G. Chen via Pinterest 

 
 

Prompt of yesterday: Do you think sex education should come
from the parents, the school, or a mix of both?

Sex education, especially for young women, is an often overlooked subject that any fine lady should learn in the classroom of life itself, which is not the same thing as sleeping around with guys until you find the illusive prince charming.

I know that people have different beliefs and everybody leads different lives, but I think sex, and its sacredness, is far too underappreciated.

Girls of today’s generation think that losing virginity is an honor, a sign that they’re all grown-up and womanly. It’s fair to say that the act of sex, the experience of having conquered the bed with a man, is a sign that you’ve matured, that you’ve blossomed into some kind of a butterfly.

There’s nothing wrong with that – only if the man who broke into your cocoon is your soul mate.

Then again, who am I to say these things when I haven’t blossomed into a butterfly?

For one thing, I’ve taken a step to welcome true love. I take in life’s open-box of chocolates, I understood its meaning to a certain degree, and I believe I’ve found my soul mate, Stanley. But I’m still under metamorphosis, and I don’t think I’m fully ready to fly yet.

Until I’m ready to get unstuck from chrysalis, my soul mate has to be willing to wait.

In love and sex, just as you do in any other committed relationships in your life, it doesn’t matter whether you’re physically ripe or not – what matters is your ethos as a whole, as the word “education” itself means you go through processes that develop and improve your unique powers, talents, and faculties of all kinds until they give you the crystallized ability to flourish in this grownup world.

There’s so much more to the mature concept of sex than mere penetration, and I believe with the woman in you unleashed, a character so strong that no matter how hard a man hits you, no matter how difficult your circumstances get in life, your seeds remain immovable, your gentle spirit unstoppable.

 

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- Image courtesy of LadyLimoges via Tumblr

 

Where do you think a woman can best educate herself on sex, gender roles, and true love?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.