I just came from my third trip to Tokyo a couple of weeks ago, but I'm already planning another one in the fall! I love the place, plus I believe it's important to have something truly exciting to look forward to. That's one of the beauties of traveling - the anticipation of it.
If you've caught the Tokyo bug as I have, allow me to be helpful by listing down the five most important things you need to have you when you travel there. Of course, a passport, visa (if applicable), and cash are required, but these five things should make your trip a lot more enjoyable and fun.
#1 Tokyo Essential: Comfortable shoes. Socks too, if you can. A trip in to Tokyo involves A LOT of walking, unless you're extremely loaded and don't mind springing for crazy expensive cab rides (one of the priciest in the world). Even places of interest near train stations require a quite a bit of serious leg work. Walking is also a great way to explore the city and you really don't want your feet to expire too soon!
The Smart iPhone 5 I got last 2013 was one of the best things that happened to me. It allowed me to work on the go and to stay in touch with my clients who prefer to talk on Viber and Facebook. It takes amazing pictures, only a small amount of precious space in my bag, and looks super stylish too! It's everything I want and need in a phone.
Thanks to Smart though, I was able to upgrade to the an iPhone 5s. I know this is a beauty blog, but bear with me as I talk about why this gadget is one of the best things I've gotten my hands on this year (so far)!
It's gold and gorgeous. It took a while but I'm so happy that Smart found me the color I originally wanted! If you know me then you know I always wear something gold. It's a color that looks good with my skintone since I'm very warm-toned. I also love seeing gold in cosmetics packaging as it whispers luxe whenever I see it.
Physical prettiness aside though, gold also reminds me to excel in everything I do. Yes, cheesy, but it's true!
It takes awesome pictures and videos. The iPhone 5 takes great images already but the 5s is just on a whole different level! I'm not a techie but I can really see the difference. The 5s has an 8 MP camera, can shoot in burst mode (or x number of pictures just by holding the button), and can take videos in slow motion.
If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed how the pictures are looking even better. lately. This wallpaper? I just took a pic of it with my phone! The iPhone 5s makes it easier for me to take FOTDs, OOTDs, and swatches too.
Here's some news for all you fab and busy moms out there: Smart recently introduced their Family Ties Plans, which helps you stay constantly connected with members of the family while ensuring a safe and protected environment for children when they use their mobile devices.
With this plan, you no longer have to think twice about making that quick call to your son to check up on him at school or sending some sweet-nothings to your husband while at work because of the unlimited calling and texting features that come with the plan.
At the launch: Mompreneur and blogger Janice Villanueva and PR practitioner Ana Ongpin talk about how they juggle their family along with their hectic work schedules. Both love the new plan as it keeps them in touch with their kids and staff!
Here's the new TVC (which will air starting today):
Details of the Smart Family Ties Plans
Families have two choices for their postpaid lines: Family Ties Plan 900 includes unlimited calling within the family circle, unlimited SMS to Smart subscribers and 200 all-network texts, as well as 100MB of free data for each line every month.
Getting an iPhone last year changed my life. I've been an Applephile ever since I can afford one, but I was just really hesitant to cough up the cash for one of the smartest phones around. What was I thinking! Because of the iPhone (on a Smart unlimited data plan), I am able to be on track with all my clients even if I'm out running errands or attending meetings and events. I can shoot product photos and swatches on the fly, and use apps to manage my finances and increase productivity. I'm never really bored. It's pretty awesome!
I'm sure everyone will tell you the same thing: it's not worth getting an iPhone unless you have unlimited data in some form. Smart is my network of choice, not just because they work with me, but because the connection is reliable. Well there are rough patches but 95% of the time I am able to connect to LTE and have a clear phone call. That's much better than my last network.
Anyway, I'm happy to announce that you can now get the iPhone 5c and 5s from Smart today. The packages are pretty attractive, so if you're looking to upgrade to a new phone and perhaps a network, too, then check out the plan matrix after the cut. :) I think the best deal is paying the cashout fee of P6,000 for an iPhone 5c 16 gig with an P1,800 postpaid plan. Not bad!
Last Thursday, our friends from Smart gave me the best Christmas present EVER. I'm still so giddy because I thought they were kidding up to the minute that they handed it to me! A few months ago they asked, "Liz do you want an iPhone 5?" And I was like, "Seriously? Er okay sure."
All along I thought that they would send over a loaner or something haha. They were exceedingly kind to give me nothing less but the best phone out there - the iPhone 5! Yes it's finally here, and at crazy affordable prices with Smart. More on that later.
I was at the grand launch in Republiq last Thursday night to join the countdown for the iPhone 5. I finally got to really hang out with Lia, who I always chat with over on Twitter, and her husband Artie. Sisters Vern and Verniece were also there to join the fun.
Are you feeling Christmas in the air? I sure am! It's not just the cool air in the evening - mornings are misty, more gentle. And the smell! The holiday season has a scent to it. I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy but if you agree please assure me I'm not. :P
Anyway! I just thought to share Smart's Christmas promos. With the “All I Want for Christmas is Bro” holiday promo you get a FREE eco bag with every holiday purchase of a Bro product. The bag is entirely environmentally friendly and a good place to stash away all your new holiday beauty products, shopping or wardrobe for travel!
Smart is also holding a massive contest where 50 winners shall receive a much-coveted gadget. If you want to join the fun, do check out the contest mechanics. (You can view bigger images by opening them in a new tab)
Have you guys heard of BYS Cosmetics? It's the latest brand to hit the Philippines, all the way from Australia. I hear that they're very affordable - think NYX with lots of colors and sub-lines. I can't wait to check them out in SM Department Stores and Watsons.
If you want to try BYS for free, just purchase Smart Call and Text Card P500 from any retail point inside theparticipating SM Malls, namely: Fairview, Mall of Asia, Makati, Manila. Megamall, North Edsa, Pampanga and Southmall. Then you get a coupon that you can redeem from the BYS inside those department stores.
Here are the freebies that you can get! Oh and more details about the promo.
Sharing (and knowing) things as they happen is probably one of the coolest things in the 21st century. It's mindblowing that you can snap a photo and have it up within a minute for all your friends to see, and vice versa! I usually use my cellphone to share photos but sometimes, if I just happen to be in front of my Macbook Air, I take pics with Photobooth instead.
I've already mentioned our Huawei MiFi device before. It's a handy portable router that you can use ANYWHERE - at least, in all the places I've been to! We use a SMART sim with it and are patrons of the Smart Bro UnliSURF 50 (unlimited browsing for 24 hours). It's hella reliable.
Let me tell you a story. Last year we were in Bellarocca, Marinduque, when the devastating earthquake hit Japan. Bellarocca's internet wasn't working at that time, so we had to resort to using our MiFi to get information. We wanted to know if we would be hit by a tsunami! Lol.
The cool thing about my job is that I can work anywhere most of the time. It means that I can multi-task and shoot down errands whenever I need to! I just have to be connected to my email accounts (five of them) at all times, which my Blackberry takes care of. For heavier work like Facebooking, blogging, editing photos, or anything involving documents, I turn to my ever reliable Macbook Air.
A few weeks back, we had our condo fumigated, so I had to bring Snaps to the day care for a few hours. Try Pup Culture btw, if you're looking for a great day care center for your dog. Anyhoo! That day I decided to kill three birds with one stone: take my dog to Pup Culture, do my bank errands, and work. For the latter I decided to park myself at Bubble Tea. I love their tea and the Japanese food!
It's in the tiny bubbles!
I am not a techie, not in the sense that I keep up with the latest gadgets or know the difference between a Froyo and a Gingerbread. I only buy tech stuff when I need them and then forget about them as I use them. There are only two things I look out for: the functionality and look, all the other specs aside. And of course the price has to be reasonable.
The new SMART Netphone, I believe, fits the bill! As a thoroughly kikay person with moderate tech kung fu, I think the Netphone is something that can complement whatever I wear while still keeping me connected to my social networks and email for only P20 a day.
The SMART Netphone is a solid Android phone that's fully integrated with Smart's services. The thing that sets it apart from other Android phones though is the Blackberry Messenger-like network called Smartnet that SMART built around it. It allows you to look for people using their Global Directory (given that who you're looking for is on the Netphone) and then add them with their permission.
And now, for the unboxing!
Opus was "THE" place to be that night Smart officially launched its partnership with mobile phone giant HTC. The popular club was full of celebrities, media personalities, and bloggers who wanted to find out what Smart x HTC has up their sleeves. I normally don't go to tech events, but I just wanted to say hi to the other beauty/fashion bloggers and of course, Jayvee, who I've worked a lot with in the past.
The willowy Sarah Meier-Albano hosted the event
Now, aside from the brand partnership, Smart and HTC also launched the "Facebook phone" - the HTC ChaCha. The main feature of the phone is the Facebook button that, once pressed, immediately updates your Wall according to the context of your activities. For example, if you take a photo and press the FB button, the photo is automatically uploaded to your Facebook wall. It can also post the music you're listening to, your location, and even updates your contacts' profiles on your phone to match the contacts' FB updates.
Photo grabbed from abuggedlife.com
Here are photos of the event!
I started this day by watching Hello, Dolly! with Barbara Streisand in the lead role. It's lovely! The elaborate gowns, hats, and of course the catchy songs made me fall in love with the film. I often wish I lived in an earlier era, where romance was less calculating and more passionate. As it is I can only settle for old films like this.
Anyway, I just wanted to share what I wore yesterday. I went to two events: Shu Uemura in the afternoon and Smart x HTC in the evening. I was ready to just plop in bed by the time I got home! It was fun though, I got to see some people I haven't seen in ages.
Topshop blouse/ Tiangge skirt/ Charles & Keith oxford heels/ Parfois necklace and ring/ Avon bracelet
I know I said I shouldn't wear loose tops, but I can't help it. They're not flattering in photos but they're practical in the real world. Time for the makeup!
Face: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, MAC Studio Finish concealer, Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer (for those really pesky blemishes), Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit (for