Happy (Paranoia) Wednesday

I made brownies last weekend. Cream cheese brownies. Apart from the undissolved sugar crystals and uneven cream cheese distribution it was pretty damn good for a first-time baker, if I may say so myself. So good I forgot how cheese gives me terrible, terrible headaches.

On the third day of light-sensitivity and wanting to rip my eyeballs off their sockets - that would be yesterday - I decided to take a day off work and go visit the doctor. After a short lecture ("if it gives you migraines, stay away from dairy!") and a prescription for some pretty good painkillers, he tells me my blood pressure is "borderline". As in 140 over 90.


My normal blood pressure, as far as I know, is between 110 to 120 over 90. It even got as low as 90 over 60, but at that time I was skinny as a toothpick and I get fainting spells just by being on my feet for an hour. But 140? That is just waaaaaay too high. And with a family history of hypertension and diabetes (all four grandparents, thank you very much) it's very bad news.

The doctor did say it might just be because of the pain. Operative word: might. And me being me, I started to obsess with every little symptom that might be hypertension-related. I'm feeling dizzy - maybe it's hypertension. Is that heartburn? What if it's actually a heart attack? Why is it so hard to breathe? OMG am I dying?

So today I decided to get some peace of mind.

Chasing Trains Day 3: Buongiorno, from Rome

Nothing ruins a vacation more than great expectations. That's what happened to me with Rome. I guess with all the history, I expected a very "ancient" feel. Instead I was welcomed with a very busy, crowded, stuffy train station. But in hindsight, what the hell was I expecting? Centurions marching down the streets?

The Coliseum on a winter morning

Shopping the Sales: Lovisa

I try to avoid Lovisa, I really do. Whenever I get suckered in I end up spending more time inside the store than I would like, and consequently spending more money than my wallet would like.

Chasing Trains Day 2 (Part 2): Plan B

(Click here for Part 1 of this crazy crazy day)

So where were we? Right. Chur. 

When I arrived in Chur I was in a post-Glacier Express daze, with crazy eyes and an ear-to-ear grin. I had some time to spare before the succession of train transfers that would take me to good old Italy, so I wandered about the station and chanced upon some free internet terminals where I can check the train schedules and such.

As it turns out, one of the trains I was about to take requires a reservation, of which I have none. I was shocked and just a wee bit annoyed at myself for the oversight. And I thought I had planned this whole thing out so well. Tsk.

So, panic attack. I rushed to the information desk, and asked the very nice kuya if I could please please please get a reservation on the train. To speed things up, I showed him the itinerary I have created (in MS Excel!) to prevent any confusion over train numbers and destinations and things.

Obsessive-compulsive travel planning

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Twistbands

You know how sometimes, while examining your shopping loot, you come across something you bought and think, "why in the world did I purchase this?"

Chasing Trains Day 2: The Glacier Express

It was the 16th of December, but to me it was Christmas morning.

Quite apt, because the last time I willingly woke up this early was when I was a kid eager to find out what Santa has left under the tree. But instead of a gift-wrapped box and a card with my mom's very distinct handwriting, I had tickets to the Glacier Express.

Friday Favorites: Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Mist

So I ran out of my Kerastase Ciment Thermique, and it seems like it has disappeared from store shelves everywhere. My hunt for alternatives led me to Sephora, where I found this:

I don't know about you, but when I see "Kendi" I think Kendimint - that chocolate-filled mint kendi candy of my youth

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Because what is life but a neverending series of wants?
First on my list, an Hermes Lindy.

Credits: Bagsnob

The first time I saw one I was in Marina Bay, and I've just moved in to Singapore, and there was this lady carrying a gorgeous chartreuse bag. It was love at first sight. If only I knew where she got it, I thought, then I am most definitely going to buy myself one.

Imagine my excitement when I saw it on a window display. I found it! The ecstacy quickly gave way to disappointment and horror when I looked up to see what store it was. Son of a b*tch it's Hermes. Why? Why does it have to be Hermes? Why can't it be Charles & Keith? Or any other brand I can afford without selling my spleen? But I've seen it, loved it, and dreamt of it. It is done.

The lemming list is being regularly updated, and can be viewed here. My birthday's on October, if you're wondering *wink*.

The Roll-up Bag

I was in the market for a mid-sized bag so when I saw this in Zara I could not resist.

Obsession du Jour: Nip+Fab Body Butter in Pistachio Sundae

I've only had this for less than a week, but I am obsessed. Obsessed, I tell you.

They had me at Pistachio Sundae

Chasing Trains Day 1: Zermatt

No matter how carefully I plan them, my trips inevitably begin with something stressful. In the case of my Great European Misadventure, it was (surprise, surprise) AirPhil express-induced. In the end I decided to just let it go; I was simply not going to let them ruin my holiday. And then, as I was packing for my trip with my TV tuned in to CNN (primarily because it was the only English channel), I happened to witness the live feed of the Newton shooting incident. So there I was, anxious and excited and nervous for my first solo vacation, stunned speechless and unable to comprehend how evil things can happen to little children. So much for a good start, huh?

Intermission: If you're wondering how I manage to remember all this almost half a year later, I have pretty good memory. Nah, who am I kidding. I have a travel diary app :D

Anyway, the next morning I was off to my first destination: Switzerland! I managed to hitch a ride with the hotel shuttle to Frankfurt, because some guests were going to the airport. The shuttle driver was a very nice Serbian guy who was quick to demonstrate just how so very wonderful the autobahn was when the speed limits are turned off. We actually hit a bird, or at least he says it was a bird. I was too sleepy to process things.

From the airport there is a direct train to Switzerland. Since I was using my Eurail pass I got to sit at the first-class compartment. I must say, of all the trains I've boarded I love Germany's ICE the most.

Drugstore Finds: Maybelline Color Sensational Lippies

There's been a lot of buzz about Maybelline lipsticks lately so when I saw this display at Watson's I just had to try them out.

Elsewhere they have Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids, but on this side of the globe we have Bold Mattes and Neo Nudes. Not sure if they're the same thing (probably not), but we'll take what we can get.

Hongkong Loot

I didn't know how much shopping I was in for until I posted the luggage I brought with me on Instagram, and received horrified comments from a couple of friends.

Apparently you're supposed to bring an empty luggage to Hongkong. Oops. But it's not like that stopped me.

I have been hearing good things about MAC Mehr, but it is not available in Singapore and it drove me nuts. So, being the crazy brat that I am, I had the boyfriend get it for me in Manila (with plenty of instructions, of course). It was a bit darker than I expected, but it's a very pretty pink.

I also had him get me a Beabi jewelry organizer so I have somewhere to put my baubles in when I travel. It's a nifty little thing with lots of fluffy pouches so your stuff don't scratch each other.

Anyway, onto the actual stuff I got in HK.

Hongkong Highlights

But first an airline mishap.

Nothing too major this time. Just nearly missed my flight because apparently it was rescheduled to almost one hour earlier. But I did make it to the check-in counter right before they closed. Yay.

To call the weather uncooperative would be an understatement. And then there is the threat of H7N9. And a really bad case of PMS. Thank goodness I had excellent company.

Has it really been two years already?