Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wink Ultimate Postpartum Ultra Bikini Review

I got this back in November 2014 when my baby was 2.5 months old. It's actually recommended to get a proper shapewear even before you give birth so that you can wear it immediately after delivery and get back into shape fast. But, I was too lazy for that and had too much on my mind with my first born baby that I didn't really think about myself at the time. 

Before my Wink Ultra Bikini, I was content with a Pigeon Binder that I borrowed from a friend. She said it was very useful for her C-section; it gave her the support she needed and helped with her stitches. I had a normal delivery so I wasn't required to have any binding right after. I tried it once or twice during the first month, but I could only wear it for an hour at a time and then I would feel too cramped or like my 3rd degree stitches would burst, so I couldn't wear it for long. 

I tried it again when my baby was around 6 weeks, and I was slowly easing in my normal routine. That's when I noticed that it somehow helped with putting my organs back in place. It served me well for starters, but that's as far as it could go. I was stuck at that point and it seemed like I will no longer get back to my normal size naturally. If I sucked my tummy in, the slimmest I can go was 31 inches. It was 28 inches before pregnancy (size 4-6 US), so 3 inches was quite a long way to go.

I've been seeing Wink in several expos before I even gave birth, so investing in a medical-grade shapewear was on my mind. The holidays were coming up and I needed something discreet that I could wear underneath my clothes. So I went for the splurge at P4,140 plus shipping. 

I got the Wink Ultimate Postpartum Ultra Bikini (half bathing suit type with hook and eye enclosures at the side and bottom) in nude medium. 

The medium size can fit up to a 32-inch waistline and you can keep wearing it even until you reach 26! There are 3 hook adjustments which you can use to tighten the shapewear until you reach your desired size.

Here's the description from the website

This compression garment is seamless under clothing, offering TWO LAYERS of silky medical compression material. The Ultimate Postpartum Ultra bikini provides compression and support during your first 8 weeks of postpartum recovery and post abdominal surgeries recovery. Besides postpartum recovery, this bikini can also be worn as a shapewear and is ideal for someone looking for a strong but yet soft compression garment to smooth out love handles and back fat rolls. This compression garment helps eliminates lax skin, baby pooch following a delivery and abdominal surgeries. 


- 3 layers of hook and eye closures at the side to adjust for different waistline

- 3 layers of eye and hook closures at crotch area to adjust for different torso height

- Thick band at the top prevents garment from rolling down the stomach when sitting

- Highly suitable for use after pregnancy, C section and other abdominal surgeries

- Bikini Length

- Compression level : High

If you will only get one shapewear, get this. It is better than the Belly & Hip shaper (corset type with enclosures at the side) because with the bikini, there is no other way for the fat/loose organs/skin to go but inwards. 

Joy, the owner of Urban Essentials, which is the exclusive distributor of Wink here in the Philippines, said that it wasn't too late to start wearing it at 7 weeks postpartum. I'm still wearing mine at 7.5 months postpartum, and it still makes a difference. In hindsight, I should've gotten it sooner, before I got pregnant. It's a no-brainer to invest in one of these.

I've tried many similar shapewear before. I've tried Spanx, Maidenform, Lulu something... They were able to make me slimmer somehow, but maybe not as much, and they never stay put! They always roll down and I have to keep adjusting and pulling them up. It's a pet peeve of mine and it's one thing that I appreciate the most about Wink shapewears. You can trust it to stay put whether you stand up, sit down, or lie down. No worries.

It's also easier to get into with the hook and eye enclosures. You don't have to jump and down and do all the stretching just to squeeze into the other shapewears.  Having the enclosures means that you can also slim it down 3 sizes, as if you bought 3 different shapewear sizes for the price of 1!!

And of course, it's medical-grade compression. How can you top that? Bottomline is, THIS WORKS!

Follow Urban Essentials in Instagram @urbanessentialsinc and get to know the latest deals and promos! If you're not convinced, read up on more customer feedback! It's also a Mommy Mundo Top Mom Pick!

Visit their website for more pictures and details! 

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

2 Years of ELIN PH

There is one brand that I always recommend to friends who are expecting--Elin.

Elin is an apparel brand with a collection of timeless and comfortable wardrobe essentials for women, including Maternity and Nursing wear. The brand is Manila-based and proudly Philippine-made.

My first Elin purchase was from Mother's Day of 2014. I was 5 months pregnant then and I was no longer feeling comfortable with my regular clothes. It was time to invest in maternity wear. Elin offered 20% off for purchases that week and I can still remember the promo code "LOVEMOM". I've been addicted ever since. Addicted to the point of checking the New Arrivals section almost every day, addicted to the point of going through every single blog entry, addicted to the point of stalking their Instagram account, addicted to the point of buying at least a piece of clothing every month since... In short, yes. I'm addicted to Elin.

When I find certain styles that fit me exceptionally well, I get it in multiple colors! For example, I have my favorite Ellie nursing tee in white, black, purple, gray, blue dots, and navy dots. I have another white as a backup, and I'm in the process of getting another one in peach. Hehe! I highly regret returning fuschia (the original one looked like a bright red coral--not pink), which is one of my favorite Elin colors. I don't know what I was thinking. I also got the Ellie dress version in maroon, which is nice for the holidays or Chinese special occasions. The Ellie tee is the perfect nursing top, whether for going out, sleeping in, or lounging around. You can easily dress it up or dress it down depending on what bottom you pair it with. It's such a versatile piece of clothing! Most importantly, it has excellent nursing access! Just set the collar aside and pull up the inner wear; and viola! You're out!

My baby doesn't drink from the bottle and only nurses from me directly. He is happy when I can feed him anytime, anywhere, with speed and agility! Haha!

Me and happy baby Kal-el

Then, I have the Cecilia nursing dress in navy, charcoal, red, and mulberry. I also have the Cecilia maxi dress version in midnight blue. 

Cecilia nursing dress in Charcoal (Medium)

I also have the Marlowe tee (which I recently use as a nusing cover) in blue stripes, white, and fushia; the Madeline tee in blue stripes, olive stripes, and black stripes; the Amanda dress in black, cobalt, and red violet; the Maggie dress in black, dark green, and rust... Oh my God! The list goes on and on. I'll stop here because I'm exposing my terrible spending habits. 

As I said, I buy those that fit me exceptionally well in multiple colors. The challenge is that I find many that fit well because the fabric and styles are very forgiving! 

For me, Elin is a worthwhile investment. I've worn my Elin clothing during pregnancy, after pregnancy, and during nursing. I hope to have a big family with 5 kids, maybe more, so I believe they're clothes that I'll be able to wear again and again and again. That's value for money.

To the team of Elin, thank you for designing your clothes and making them easily available to us. Thank you also for being so responsive and accommodating. I find it hard to buy clothes online because I'm quite picky with the sizing (I have weird proportions) and I almost always don't get it right the first time around. You help me find the perfect fit and always guarantee 100% customer satisfaction! I hope you continue to empower so many women through your clothes. Congratulations to your 2 wonderful years and may you have many more successful years to come!!

I'm still flattered that you considered inviting me to your party! The invite in itself was a lovely surprise!

Lovely blooms by The Floralist

#notd in OPI That's Berry Daring ;)

Thank you for having me and my friend, Jeelai! We had a good time meeting the faces behind the brand; and we sure appreciate the intimate brunch and the awesome goodies we got to take home with us!

Our creative and colorful backdrop. Love DIY!

Jeelai in her gray Marlowe dress and me in my favorite black Ellie nursing tee.

Elin's Kathleen King and my friend Jeelai, twinsies wearing the Marlowe dress in gray! Dressed up or dressed down, it's a blank canvas for you to express your personality!


Thanks again for the giveaways c/o Elin, Philosophy, Messy Bessy, The Bald Baker, One Life Studio, The Floralist, The Juice Barista, Lasting Impressions, and Postscript Designs. Photo credit to Jeelai Tecson. I got the Elin multiway circle scarf in mint green, but I was too excited to open all the stuff that I didn't get to take a picture of my crate! Hehe!

Thank you Martine, from Make It Blissful, for the Philosophy fan favorites! I'm also a follower of the brand and I'll be able to use these for travel! I don't know if you recall, but you gave me advice on Instagram as to which size to wear for the Agnes tee and the maxi skirt (i.e. medium)! And they fit me perfectly! Thanks!

Whether you are currently pregnant, nursing, or just looking for something comfortable to wear, head out to It will be worth your while! :-)

Enjoy shopping!!! And follow Elin in Instagram @elin_ph!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

TOMS Shoes Philippines

I joined a good cause today. 

For every person that posts a barefoot photo and tags #withoutshoes, @TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a person in need!

It felt good to post this:

TOMS is a brand that I support. With every purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One. Believing in their advocacy aside, I've had quite a few memorable moments with my TOMS.

This is me and my classmate since Kindergarten riding the Singapore MTR on our way to watching Wicked at the Marina Bay Sands. It was my first time in Singapore and my husband and I went there to celebrate the Valentines Day weekend on a double date with my friend and her fiance at the time. It was back in 2012, but joining the TOMS cause today reminded me of this photo. It never gets old. My kinderpwend and I wore our matching TOMS Ash Canvas Women's Classic. Hers and hers. :-) That was the day I saw her cry (to Wicked). And she never cries. :-) Bestfriends for life. #feelingsentimental

Fast forward to when I got pregnant and I needed some comfy shoes for our Hong Kong trip. I ended up buying 2 pairs: the Correa Burlap sandals and the Tie-dye Blue Canvas Women's Classic slip-ons.

I couldn't walk in plain flats. I needed some cushion and support to aid my aching back, pelvis, calves, feet, etc. My TOMS were there and helped me survive the long lines at Victoria Peak and Disneyland.

Now, that's a happy girl! ;-) 

Post-pregnancy, TOMS are still great "mommy shoes". Excellent for when you're on-the-go and looking for comfort.

Lately, I've been lemming over these!! 

TOMS is available at Nothing but H2O stores and online and TOMS branches nationwide. Follow them in Instagram @tomsphilippines.

What's your TOMS story?

AVENT Combined Steamer and Blender Review

I'm enjoying my AVENT baby food steamer and blender a lot! It's so convenient and easy to use! Just put some water into the chamber, put the ingredients into the jar, turn it upside down and set to steam, turn it right side up and blend, and you're done! 

I've already tried different recipes and have enjoyed making every one of them! Baby Kal may be picky at times, but I eat all his leftovers. Yum!!!

Here are some recipes that I've tried:
1. Steamed and pureed baby carrots
2. Steamed and pureed squash
3. Steamed and pureed marbled potatoes with breastmilk
4. Steamed and pureed sweet potatoes
5. Steamed and pureed sweet potatoes and baby carrots
6. Steamed and pureed marbled potatoes and baby carrots
7. Steamed and pureed marbled potatoes and spinach --my most adventurous concoction to date (I had to steam the potatoes and spinach separately, something I read with the spinach "juice" and nitrates?)

I highly recommend this product to moms who want to take charge of preparing their baby's solids, but don't have the time and can't make much effort to do so. I was never good at cooking (I think it requires too much preparation.) And I'm not the domesticated / home-maker type, but this tool makes me feel like one. It makes me feel proud every time I am able to make something that my baby likes. Heck, I feel proud every time I get to make something from it. Period.

Tonight, I'm making squash and carrot soup. I'll have baby Kal try some. But mostly, I wanted to make some for myself and try to lead a healthier lifestyle. Hehe! I like that I can also use it for me and the rest of my family, and maximize its usage!

Sharing some pictures of our puree buffet!!

Orange = squash, green = sweet potatoes, yellow = marbled potatoes.

Just look at that texture! Looks so fine and professionally-made!!!

One batch is good for 1-2 days. I store the leftovers in the AVENT storage cups and keep them refrigerated. On the next feeding, I scoop some mush and transfer it to Kal's bowl. And then, I let the bowl sit in hot water to warm the contents. 

You can also use it to just blend (and not steam) fruits. Here, I made some melon shake with my secret ingredient (breastmilk)! Hehe! It tasted soooo good. :-)

I'm excited to try green peas next! Any suggestions on what to cook for 8-12 months? 

I bought this from Baby Company at SM Megamall. Avail of the MOM Card and you can get this for 20% off!! This was actually at 30% off when AVENT had an anniversary sale back in February, but I wasn't interested in this then. (Regret.) Nevertheless, 20% off is still a good deal! The regular price is Php 10,999.75. Also available at Mothercare BGC.

** Update 5/28: We tried potatoes with green peas today and Kal enjoyed it!

Friday, July 5, 2013

piCture pOlish Sunset

Oh wow! This is exciting! It's the first time I got sent nail polish for review!! What a milestone for Karen Lives High!! Thank you Polish Please!!! Woohoo!! :D

I had the pleasure of picking this one out from the piCture pOlish shades available. I had a difficult time choosing mind you; I've never tried this brand before and I wanted to make sure I made the right choice. I really like my neons, so I decided to go with Sunset and it exceeded my expectations!

The color is a radiant, neon coral. It's a shocker! It reminded me of those beautiful late afternoons when the sun shines bright, ultra orange red as it sets and paints the rest of the sky in the same shade. :)

The formula is divine. The application was perfectly smooth and flawless! You can put on just 2 coats for full coverage. I like how you don't need a lot of coats to get the color that matches the bottle. There's also no need for a white base for the neon to pop out, unlike other neons that I've tried.

For the sake of comparison, the photo below shows the difference. For my index finger (left below), I put on 1 Dazzle Dry base coat, 2 coats of Dazzle Dry White Lightning, 2 coats of piCture pOlish Sunset, and 1 Dazzle Dry top coat. For my middle finger (right below), I skipped the white base. That is, I put on 1 Dazzle Dry base coat, 2 coats of piCture pOlish Sunset, and 1 Dazzle Dry top coat. And that is how I did the rest of my nails for the other pictures! Without the white base, it looks more jelly and squishy and it blends better to my complexion. With the white base, it really pops out and looks like a solid highlighter neon. The photo almost looks like it was photoshopped! :)

Sunset dries to a semi matte finish, as a true neon should. You can choose to leave it as is, or you can put a topcoat on for some shine. Either way, the color remains vibrant as ever! 

About the brush... can I just say, how I love the brush! In my opinion, it's the best brush I've tried so far. There's something special about it. Comparing to the OPI pro-wide brush, it is not as big and full. The handle is shorter so that it's closer to the nail and easier to maneuver. The grip is thinner and smaller, which rests in my small hands comfortably. All in all, it felt like it was made just for me! :D

I guess the only caveat of this polish is how "cute" it is. Haha! I expected the bottle to be much bigger just by looking at the pictures. Turns out, it's just 11ml which has the same volume as Butter London, but Butter London deceives us by making its bottle look bigger with the big black cap on top. I've never finished a bottle of polish aside from my topcoat, so this doesn't really bother me. I just didn't expect it, so heads up!!

As for the price range, it's not as affordable as the more popular polish brands out there (e.g. OPI, Orly, Essie, China Glaze). But I'd argue that if you find a color from this brand that you love, go for it! You pay for the quality of the polish, the application, and the uniqueness of the color. So in the end, you get what your money is worth! This retails for about P600 in the Philippines and you can get it online from our local distributor Polish Please! :D

piCture pOlish Sunset with Zara tribal print mini skirt
Sunset actually leans more orange than pink, but the camera picks up more pink under yellow lighting.

I think Sunset looks great with a black and white outfit, whether in stripes or tribal print. It's a glowing pop of color that instantly cheers you up and brightens your day! Personally, I've been needing some of that lately, so this is a very welcome treat!

Have you tried this polish brand before? Which colors are your favorites? I have updated my wishlist with a few--Honey Dew, Blogger (obligatory blogger polish haha), and Majesty! Hehe :)

piCture pOlish is an Australian brand which produces high quality, 3 Free nail polish in unique shades. You can find piCture pOlish on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@piCturepOlish), and Pinterest.

‘Til next time!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

NYX Matte Nail Polish in Sky Blue

Earlier this week, my husband and I went to the doctor to have our cough (and his asthma) checked. In the hospital, I noticed a girl sporting cute pastel blue polish on her fingers and toes. I envy people who can keep their fingernails and toenails painted with the same colors. Haha! I change my manicure too often that my pedicure couldn't keep up. :)

Anywho, she made me want to wear a pastel blue myself. And I knew just the polish to try on! This is NYX Matte nail polish in Sky Blue which came with my polish swap from Jeiflyn.

This was done in 3 thin coats. I really like the satin matte finish. It was just right, not too matte that it looked flat or dry. I was thinking to myself that I feel like I have Barbie's nails for some reason... I don't know why exactly. :) For me, it looks very clean and neat. I could almost call this mannequin nails, but then they're in baby blue and not nude or skin tone. Hehe!

It's very pretty and I think it's just perfect for the weather! We're starting to get more of those scorching hot summer days, like searing heat the moment you step out of the house. I bet we'll see more of these pastels as spring and Easter approaches. This looks like a great backdrop for an Easter egg nail art. Don't you think so? It has a similar smooth eggshell finish. I like!

The only thing you have to be careful with is making sure that they dry completely. Otherwise, you could get small creases, and these are quite delicate when still wet. It's formulated to be matte. So there's really no protection for the polish. But it's the 4th day that I'm wearing this and I'm still loving it! I'd dare say that the wear on this is pretty good!

Not sure if my nails worked with this outfit, but here's what I wore to my lunch date with Jor-el. I was craving for some Eggs Benedict and we ended up at Bizu! Yum! :)

Jellybean cape button down shirt, Zara floral print shorts, Tonic Bags and Shoes Lillian gold spiked sandals, Jellybean tribal necklace.

Eggs Benedict at Bizu, The Fort (Yumm!!)

What colors would you like to see for spring (or summer here in Manila)? :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Face Shop Face It Nails in BR802

Last weekend, I met up with friends for dinner at Greeka Kouzina. Afterwards, some of us went to Craft Coffee Workshop to hangout. I was a very good day with friends. It's been a while since we hanged out like that. And Craft was a good venue for talking and catching up.

My childhood friend, Jane, was there with us and she was wearing this pretty gold polish. It looked like gold foil and it just shined every time she moved her fingers and made some hand gestures. Haha! Oh my! Do I sound like a stalker?! :-p She told me that she feels happy just by looking at them and I knew I had to get myself a bottle!

And so, what do you expect? I got myself a bottle last Monday. Hehe! What do you think?

This is The Face Shop Face It Nails in BR802. Unfortunately, Korean brands don't come up with cute names for their polish. Just a bunch of codes, like BR, meaning brown, BL for blue, PK for pink, and so on. As a corollary, gold is like some shade of brown; hence, the BR802 name. :)

It's a beautiful gold foil! I did this in 3 coats, although I really could've stopped at 2. It's very pretty, how it reflects a lot of light. Even if it's metallic, I think it works great for summer because of the warm undertones of gold. The application was very smooth and I had no problems whatsoever in that department.

In the shade

Part of me feels though, like it made my hands look old? Or maybe it just didn't stand out against my skin tone? Or my hands just look too dry and wrinkly? :-O (God forbid.) It looked waaay more beautiful on Jane! If only I had a picture to show you. Shucks!

Here's a close up of the bottle.

I have them on my toes too and I think I like them more there than on my fingers. In the picture below, I'm wearing my favorite (and my only) spiked sandals, Lillian from Tonic Bags and Shoes, to showcase this polish for you.

Lillian from Tonic Bags and Shoes

How do you like it? Or them? The polish and/or shoes? Haha! :) Would you get these for yourself too? :)

I leave you with some pictures I took recently from Greeka and Craft! If you're from the Manila, I really suggest you try these places out! You won't regret it!

Greeka Kouzina is located at 285 P. Guevarra St. San Juan, Metro Manila.
Craft Coffee Workshop is located at 66 Broadway Ave., New Manila, Quezon City.

Thanks for reading!