Prompts: Continue, Critical, &Priceless

For those surviving aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and overseas hurricane, I wrote a little something after hearing Coldplay’s Houston #1 on the radio. I just finished it today. This is my third day back home. My area didn’t have any major damages or floods compared to others around here. I thank God for that and will continue to pray for those who have so much to do in order to move on from this.

In this Critcal moment, people have lost mant things. Precious Priceless things. It is also sad to know during this fearful moment, many had to worry about looters. My area, like many, is still under curfew.

As we Continue with the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, please take the time to read my poem. Coldplay wrote a song in Miami, Houston #1. The song inspired this poem. To listen to their song, search online search engines or Youtube.

I used to complain about the sun,

So hot, so blinding.

Rain was something that just happens.

The water so serene;

Plague of death and dismay.

Floods, food shortage, electricity outage,

Loss of homes, loss of lives

All in books, all on news.

Didn’t feel real til I was near.

Opened my eyes;

Opened my heart;

Brain’s on wire;

How can I help?

Treacherous, dangerous,

But never chainless.

As the sun rises,

The water dries,

The memories remain.

Harvey stole materials,

But never the hearts of Texas.

Enemies, friends,

Strangers, acquaintances,

Formed a bond, united as one

Helping those in need.

Damage is done.

But Harvey has not won.

Prompt: Cringe+Review: Tarte Pout Prep

Hi everyone. Happy Sunday!

My lips tend to dry out quickly. Not even exfoliators could help them. Few months ago, I noticed Fresh Tinted Lip Treatments helped moisturize my lips longer. But those around $24. And if their tinted, I want more shades. But I don’t want to spend that much on a lip balm.

Exfoliators are supposed to help with prepping your lips and I heard it also helps a little with the drying out. I’ve tried so many. From Dior’s expensive Lip Sugar to the cheapest I’ve heard so far E.L.F.’s in their lipstick package. I even tried making my own.

In between those two, I tried Fresh’s Lip Polish and its new wand type. I didn’t like the wand one as much for exfoliating, but it gave a nice glossy finish to my lips. As for the original Lip Polish, it was alright giving it a second try. Back in college I never liked it. Trying a sample again,  it’s ok. I think I’m not into brown sugar for exfoliating though. And I wanted more in an exfoliator.

GlamGlow’s lip scrub was nice and felt similar to Milani’s. However, I Cringe[d] with the taste in my mouth when little pieces found its way inside (YUCK!). I couldn’t tolerate it. Plus, there was something missing in it.

Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Lip Scrub in a pencil/marker packaging was cool to try. But it got really messy. And it didn’t seem to be working on my lips.

Bite Beauty’s both original lip scrub and Agave. Their whipped one was interesting to try. It applied on my lips without any sugar texture- just creamy. I didn’t think it did the job and don’t understand how it’s meant to exfoliate without the granules.

Agave was better than the original. But I couldn’t stand the smell. Is that just me??? Plus, I’m not into brown sugar scrubs (mainly for its smell).

Lush’s homemade lip scrubs that are delicious! They are popular, but I’m not into the dry texture. Plus, I wanted my lips to be conditioned. They just felt dried…. But it tasted so good (especially Popcorn)!

Milani Sweet Sugar Scrub was so sweet and was like putting a really nice desert on my lips. But let’s face it, it just wasn’t for my tastebuds.

E.L.F’s $3 lip scrub in a lipstick packaging is amazing. But breaks off when I use it. And it’s also missing something. But I’d use it if I didn’t keep breaking them.

Now, I’m sure I’m missing some others I have tried. But before this gets any longer, let me introduce to you the exfoliator I have tried and found I love more than all these.

Tarte has come out with another exfoliator called Pout Prep. I tried locating YouTube videos and haven’t found much on it. It retails for $16 and only has two reviews with ratings of 4-5 stars.


I ordered mine with a 15% off discount as a first time customer on their website. I am not new to their company. I’ve been buying their products from Sephora and Ulta.

Pout Prep is a “minty lip scrub and treatment Balm with moisturizing maracuja, shea butter, and exfoliating sugar to gently buff away flakes and treat thirsty lips.”

Both maracuja and shea butter sink deeply into lips to hydrate, firm, and protect from future drying, cracking, and/or chapping.

This product has vitamins C and E, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Carnauba Wax. If you’re not into wax in lip products, this may not be for you as it does contain wax.

When reading about this product, I thought of the $33 Dior Lip Sugar.


This product is designed with concentrated granita texture that gently transforms into a balm as it melts on lips. Both products consider themselves as a balm.

Are these similar? Perhaps in how their designed to be used. But the textures are completely different. You apply Dior’s like a lip balm and the sugar immediately melts onto your lips. Pout Prep’s sugar doesn’t immediately melt away. And you can remove by rinsing it.

I find when using Pout Prep first time, the sugar did melt onto my lips creating a balm like texture. But other times I’d have to rinse it off.

What is/are your favorite exfoliators?

Poetry: Bound

Baby given up with no name;

Until someone took her in- shelter from the storm;

Once nameless, now framed with a name;

Adopted by a family, last name changed;

Growing up, a feeling she never could ignore;

Secrets kept, she never once implore;

Memories lost she couldn’t restore;

Bound lost, lonely, abandoned, hopeless, dazed, and confused;

A house that felt like no home;

A family disconnected;

Betrayed of lies;

But one remained hidden deep inside;

Within her heart, a longing she couldn’t sway;

A face once without a name, named.

Had a home.

Had a family.

Had a life beyond some.

Yet, deep within,

A child once nameless,

Could never separate her from reality;

Deep within, her heart bound by

Lost, lonely, abandoned, hopeless, dazed, and confused.

One Year

Last year March 14, 2016 grandma was laid to rest with a funeral mass I couldn’t understand. Family and friends all gathered around with tears in their eyes. But many didn’t know what would come next.

Other than this, life was ordinary. Everyone went about their business after sharing a meal. My brotherhood an invite to a family’s house. He just came from out of town.

Rather than waiting for morning to visit, he went close to 9PM. Dad invited me saying he wanted to visit his brother. I knew very well the real reason. After all, if he wanted to visit his brother, he would have waited until morning. I refused to go telling him I wasn’t invited. I was there when brother told them of his invite earlier. I live here and never get invited. He comes to visit and they invite him, no one else. After couple more tries and still not giving in, I watched them all walk out the door and into the car- dad in passenger side with his portable oxygen machine, brother in back seat, mom in driver side. She drove the RAV4.

As they drove away, I closed the door to what would be the last moments shared with Dad at home. Earphones on, I spent my time at home alone listening to music, drowning out life.

Few minutes later I removed my earphone and heard our home phone. But when I picked it up, the call had ended. Then, my cousin called me on my cell phone telling me the news calmly. Their car didn’t even make it on the highway. Mom had made a wide turn and drove into a pole.

Mom got out of the hospital with a fractured elbow and brother got out with bruises and pain. Dad spent two weeks in the hospital before he passed away, Tuesday March 22, 2016 at 3:29AM. He had a neck fracture due to the accident. However, if the doctors hadn’t waited to give him a correct neck brace, he would have been in rehab. Rather, they made him wait one extra day.

His doctors he usually sees preferred him not to stay in a hospital for too long because he would catch pneumonia quickly. That one extra day of waiting came. The doctors changed his neck brace finally. He was ready to be moved.

So it seemed.

He started saying he wasn’t feeling good. The nurses held back on his transferring to a rehab due to that. That night he developed coughing. At one point he had fainted or something and one nurse panicked calling code red unable to get a pulse. I wasn’t there at the time.

They moved him to an ICU room where’d he’d spend his last week. He had chest pains. I don’t know how his heart managed. Only one side vessel was working for him. And he went through all this. Sometimes heart attacks that weren’t heart attacks occurred.

The last we talked was the Friday before they put him to sleep so a machine can breathe for him and he can relax. Saturday morning after that last talk, he had a heart attack. Mom, brother, and I were home when she got the call.

I watched him lay on the hospital bed breathing to a tube. Sunday they decided to do a cooling/warming process. Cooling went fine. But when the warming process began Monday morning, he slowly deteriorated away. His kidneys were failing. His heart was the last to give up. Tuesday, 3:29AM he took his last breath off the machine.

All I keep thinking, the only thing that gives comfort is that he is no longer suffering. I saw on his computer some videos. He learned how to use camera all by himself two years before he passed. He had some videos on there from two years and previous year and the month before he passed.

That last video sent chills down my body as I watched him sleep on his chair for ten minutes before he woke and turned the camera off.

His first video of him finding out about camera, he called mom over to see. They were amazed they could see themselves. He didn’t want to wake me for I was asleep in bed. He never told me and I wished he did. I don’t know.

I feel like ever since he has passed, him and his memories are fading. I don’t know how to keep his memories alive. I feel alone in this house because he is not here to talk to.

When I was sick, even though I was too old for story time, he’d still tell me a story, which would help me forget about my pain and drift off to sleep. The stories would be bible related. If not, then it would be about a rabbit and it’s tail.

Today marks his one year and looking back most of what happened feels so vague in my mind. I wrote this down maybe to have some sort of recollection.

Legion of Mary

Today I attended my first meeting of Legion of Mary (Legio Mariae) founded by Frank Duff in 1921. It is one to one-in-a-half hour long meetings held once a week. Each person is to do something during the week- “a job”. Some work with children, others distribute communion to sick, etc. There’s a list of acceptable jobs in a book I haven’t yet received. This week my only job is to talk about this group. See if anyone is inspired and wants to join or at least be an Auxiliary member.

At first, I thought that’s hard. But then the sister told me they don’t necessarily have to join. Just talk about the group to someone and if they are interested they can come to the next meeting for at least 30 minutes. That to me isn’t bad. I don’t know many where I live. I barely get out and talk. I stay in my bubble and drive around by myself or with my mom- that’s all. But I know one (besides mom) who I can ask that goes to the same church. This got me wishing I had a previous coworker number. She would probably join, at least at her church or be an Auxillary member.

Anyways, today’s meeting I enjoyed for the most part. There were some parts I drifted and felt anxious because of that. Those were mostly when they listed every individuals job done, some financial stuff, and previous weeks/upcoming events. Things I didn’t understand I drifted. But prayer time- rosary- I liked.

This group was very welcoming. They gave me tons of pamphlets to look over.

About Legion of Mary taken from Auxiliary Membership pamphlet:

The Legion of Mary is a Catholic lay association. It’s object is the glory of God. This is developed by prayer and active co-operation in Mary’s and the Church’s work of bringing everyone closer to God. Members participate in the life of the parish in many different ways and through collaboration in apostolic undertakings sponsored by the parish.

From what I understood, Auxiliary Members don’t participate in the group meetings, they stay at home and pray the prayers in the pamphlet each day. That, or 5 decades of the Rosary suffices.

As for the ones who join the weekly meetings, I am still learning. From what I got, they take attendance, then each member reports on their job each week. Like if you worked with EDGE, they asked how many kids were there. They also reported on how much budget was spent and what was left. There are some who visited the sick and gave communion to them.

During the meeting, they read from a book and whoever read or if someone else prefered, would discuss the reading. I didn’t have the book yet, so a lady next to me shared her’s.

The meeting I went to had 9 members, maybe 10 because one didn’t attend today’s. I’m a bit nervous, but excited to join this. I think it would be good and healthy for me. It’s keeping me busy. If it’s not this, I’d be out ruining my checking account on unnecessary spending or driving for no reason just to get out of the house. This is a way I can surround myself with people. Surround myself with positivity and forget all the negatives around me.

Reading Challenge

Hello everyone. I have challenged myself to read once a month for every new year since three to four years ago. Every year I failed. Last year I tried more than any other year, yet, still failed. I said the same thing again for this year and have failed to finish a book last month. January I finished one because it was a book already started around December or November last year. It was the Second book of A Wrinkle In Time series. I had three part trilogy book I split into three. When I finished one I considered it that book finished. If that makes sense.

I have so many books here I could read. I want to get back into the habit of reading- not just that, but finishing them. I start books after books and never see the last page. Few years later, I try again either from page one or where I left off (depending if I remember the story).

It took me three years to finish reading Jeremy Camp’s “I Still Believe” and that’s not a very long book.

I have started reading Oliver Twist, Jesus: A Pilgrimage, a book of America (don’t remember the title), Of Mice and Men (I read in high school for a class and reading again), and a long book called Watership Down.

I cannot seem to finish any book. Even if I tell myself I have 30 days to finish this one book. If I read this many pages, I should finish within 30 days. Nope, I still start another book!

All you book readers out there, how do you keep to one book until it’s finished. I know a lot of you might read two books at a time. How do you manage to finish them and not start another?

Have a good day!

Year

Happy New Year all! New year, new you. That’s always what I hear each year. Weight Watchers ads for losing weight is currently running in between shows. I received one in mail a few days before 2016 had ended. I used to join it (2-3 times). Then I realized I am always going to fail at it. Although, I did reach losing ten pounds the last time I joined. That was a major achievement for me!

Yesterday, the last day of 2016, I weighed myself. I don’t usually do that. Judging by the result, I probably shouldn’t have. In 2014, I kept my weight around 150’s. Based on my height to weight ratio that’s not good. At times my weight would spiral upwards and downwards, but I managed to keep it around 150’s; rather than constant gaining.

After two weeks of holiday eating, I weighed myself yesterday to find I gained. I am now 165 pounds. That hit me by surprise because I thought I would be in 150’s. Honestly, I don’t know why I thought that. If I’m 150 and keep eating junk, I should be gaining.

It’s not like I took care of myself. I ate sugary foods, drank coke, digested foods containing heavy nickel. I’m allergic to nickel (metal and food). I am on a low nickel diet as of December 2014. But I keep failing on it.

When I first was told about my nickel food allergy, there were barely any articles. Last year there were a ton more blogs about it. With my body worn out on how I treated it, I have decided I need to make a change this year. I need to stay on my low nickel diet. That’s what I need.

Every new year I write take care of my health or lose weight for my resolutions. This year, it’s not only going to be about losing weight, but really trying to eat a low nickel diet.

I can take Allegra or any other allergy pills when I eat something I’m allergic to. But last year I realized Allegra can only help me if I do my part. If I keep taking Allegra to fight off an allergy I keep putting in me, eventually, Allegra will wave its white flag forfeiting and my allergy symptoms will win the war. 

So this year I have decided to try my best to follow my low nickel diet. It will be a struggle, but knowing there’s more articles on it and others going through the same thing helps. It sheds a light on a better year in maintaining my nickel allergy.

Do you or anyone you know have nickel allergy? What’s yours or their experience? Maybe we can bounce ideas off one another, or help each other. What are some of your New Years resolutions or goals?

Happy new year!