Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blogging Tips Weekly - Protect Yourself From Malware

Here's a scary fact: around 50,000 malware are created each day.

What is Malware?

Malware, or malicious software, is a program especially designed to disrupt a computer's operations and gather sensitive information. Malware includes spyware, trojans, adware, worms and viruses. Most of them are just annoying, but some can be extremely harmful and even contaminate hardware.

Short of not using a computer at all, you will encounter malware. In fact, you probably already have. And if you use Windows OS, which most malware are designed for, you become a primary target.

I Have Antivirus. I'm Not Worried.

You still should be.

Antivirus is a fantastic idea, but hackers are extremely talented these days. Some malware sneak behind your antivirus software, and make it appear as if your system passed a recent scan, even though it did not.

Antivirus is great, but it's not a guarantee.

Why are Bloggers Prone to Malware?

Because we use the internet, and visit other websites A LOT. We have to. That's how we blog, research for topics, and connect with other bloggers. However, with each http- protocol we make, we fall vulnerable to the target site's malware.

It's not that we aren't careful or aware, it's that malware is very tricky these days, and hide in the most undetectable places. Even reputable sites spread them.

My Recent Encounter with Malware

I receive emails from advertisers often. While most advertisers are legitimate, a few contain links that lead to websites with malware.

First of all, I ALWAYS mouse over links to check its validity, and NEVER click on links through email. However, typing links that seem legitimate into the browser opens myself to malware too -- and why shouldn't I check out advertisers' sites?

Last week, I received three advertising opportunities in a row, and one of them must have contained a link with malware. After I typed in the address -- again, NEVER click on links through emails -- my computer started goofing up.

I knew right-a-way that I have encountered a virus. System took over 10 minutes to boot, and applications took over half an hour to load. In the end, after two days of wrestling with it, I gave up all saved data and reformatted to factory condition :O(

Protect Yourself from Malware

Nothing guarantees total elimination from malware, but doing the following can help:

  • Use an OS other than Windows.
  • Install and update anti- spyware, adware and virus protection.
  • If you receive links through email, mouse over it to see if it goes to the correct address, and never click on it through email.
  • Never trust links from social networking sites, especially facebook.
  • Think twice before downloading anything from the internet.
  • Refrain from using IE, which a lot of malware target.
  • Back up your data.

Get an external drive. Back up your data.

Protect Your Financial Info

I use my laptop mainly for web surfing, creative writing and blogging. Whatever data was wiped through reformat wasn't important. However, I do worry about accessing websites with personal data on it, like banking sites.

After encountering the virus, I decided to invest $200 on a netbook. I use the netbook solely for using websites with financial and personal information, banking included. This means no emails, no browsing, no ecommerce, no reading the news, and not even word processing.

I know this sounds extreme, and may not completely protect from malware. However, exercising such exclusivity is the highest protection I can supply for the most sensitive information.

This machine is not powerful at all. But it's a beneficial investment if you only use it for certain websites.

Plus, it is portable and cute :O)


Unfortunately, you cannot stop bad people from doing evil things.


But you have the power to keep them as far as you can.


How do you protect yourself from malware?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Save on Makeup - 5 Ways to Buy Cosmetics for Less (Beauty Blog Post)

As a stay-at-home mom, I constantly create ways to live frugally. This includes searching for ideas to save on makeup and skincare. I have found five fantastic ways to buy cosmetics for less, and cannot wait to share.

 1. Hit the Clearance Isle

Every store has a clearance isle or bin. They are usually in the back of cosmetics isles. Sometimes, clearance offers makeup or skincare for less than a half off. Isn't that a super good deal?

If you know where the clearance products are, you can really save a lot of money.

2. Snag Samples

Although sample products are smaller in size, they still last a long time. Department stores often offer sample products for popular brands. Not only can you try various products for free, you might also find something you really like.

This small sample tube lasted over one month.

3. Buy Multipurpose Products

Some makeup offer more than just one purpose. Eye shadow palettes, for example, often provide primer and sponge, as well as an array of colors.

Highlighter, primer, and more. This eye palette has all kinds of goodies for one price.

4. Sign up for Giveaways

I know a few of you consider giveaways annoying, but most bloggers offer great giveaway products. 

I got the Hard Candy highlighter below from fellow blogger Funny Face Beauty, and have been loving it for the past two years.

Love this highlighter's shimmery effect, and love how it was free.

5. Shop the Web

The world wide web is a wonderful place to buy cosmetics at a discount. Internet stores are cheaper because they do not need to pay for physical space.

Hope you found this post useful.

Any other suggestions?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pregnancy Fashion - Asymmetrical Dress

Believe it or not, this is my first asymmetrical dress -- and it won't be my last. 

With one shoulder covered in simple ruffles, and the other baring it all with a spaghetti strap, this dress is both unique and fun. Plus, its vibrant colors really brightens the day.

With summer fading rapidly into fall, I better hurry up and wear this dress as much as I can. Not only is it great for warm weather, it suits a pregnant body too.

Pregnancy Fashion - Asymmetrical Dress
Always hard to find a dress that fits my belly. So glad this one did.

A straight shot to show this dress's simple yet becoming silhouette.

Busy chasing a toddler all day, I don't have time to even think about the baby on the way. Sweet moments like the picture below are hard to come by.

I was so glad my husband took this random shot of me embracing the belly. Thank you for capturing such a special occasion.

Embracing the little one inside.

I know asymmetrical dresses can be hit or miss. Glad I liked this one.

How do you like asymmetrical dresses?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pregnancy Fashion - Layer Yourself Slim

At the end of a pregnancy, your baby grows exponentially. During a play date today, a mama friend I haven't seen in mere two weeks was shocked that my belly had gone from just big to astonishingly astronomical.

Yikes! I still have a few weeks to go!

Looking like a fat whale isn't a settling thought :O( But hey, if I have to deal with it, why not deal with it fashionably?

Whenever I want to look slim, I always layer on a fitted jacket. Pregnancy is no different. After rummaging through non-maternity clothes, I found a casual jacket I bought at a garage sale.

Layer the jacket over a simple maternity top, and decorate it with a silk scarf, I am as good as slim -- (lol) or as slim as a pregnant woman can be.

Pregnancy Fashion 1
Layering always helps me look trim.

Pregnancy Fashion 2
A bumpy side shot again. The little one inside has been growing and kicking like crazy.

  This Union Bay jacket cost only $2 at a garage sale.

(LOL. Remember Union Bay from waaaaaaaaaay back in high school?)

I love a fitted jacket. I also like this one's cool and casual look.

 To add color to this outfit, I'd tote around this satchel:

It's a Melie Bianco Anny Boxy Top Handle Satchel Handbag in Turquoise, from the newest Melie Bianco Handbags collection.

I love how it is structured to fit, and has such a vibrant color.

(This handbag is sold on Modaqueen, a premiere discount online store that sells various designer accessories and clothing for as much as 80% discount.)

That's all the pregnancy fashion I can handle today.

What about you, girlie?

Do you layer up to slim down?

Monday, August 20, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now (Beauty Blog Post. Mostly.)

It feels good to find things you love, and even better when you are able to share.

Here are what this girlie is loving right now:

ELF Foundation Brush

Ergonomically designed and soft to touch, this foundation brush leaves your face in flawless condition.

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara

With the fattest brush, Maybelline Mega Plush gives lashes endless length and heavenly fullness.

Reviva Makeup Primer

Very blessed Reviva Labs sent me this primer for review. I use it everyday now. It makes my skin soft and smooth.

Rose Gold Eye Shadow and Cat Eye Liner

Last year's gold eye shadow got a little pinker and prettier. Paired with sexy cat eye, this is certainly a trend to follow.

Standing up for Yourself

There are times you let things go. Then there are times you stand up for yourself. Don't treat others badly, but also don't let others take advantage or walk all over you.

Seattle is known for its annoying habit of being passive aggressive. For the "smartest city," this is a stupid thing to do. Because if you don't tell people what's wrong, they will never know what to fix.

For two years, our neighbor across the street, a woman of menopausal age, has been glaring at us (you know, squinting her eyes and all) every time we walk by. Yesterday, I HAD IT. (Even if your aggression is passive, it's still an offensive attack -- and a cowardly one too.)

So, I asked her, "Why are you glaring at us?"

Turns out, it was because my toddler was being loud.

Okay. Sorry about that. There is not much we can do, but we will try to be quiet next time.

See? All she had to do was tell me what's wrong. She could have solved the problem TWO YEARS AGO :O)

You are strong. Don't be afraid to take a stand for yourself.

That's all girlies.

Hope you are enjoying what's left of the summer.

What are you loving right now?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Make Eyelashes Longer (Beauty Blog Post)

Want to make eyelashes longer? So does every other girlie. Longer, fuller eyelashes is everyone's beauty wish -- and it's easier to achieve than you think. Here are five ways you can make your eyelashes longer.

Wear False Eyelashes

False eyelashes can really make your eyes pop, at only a few dollars' cost. The only draw backs? They are often one-time use only, and don't feel too comfortable.

Get Eyelash Extensions

Like hair extensions, eyelashes can have extensions too. They are made with human or synthetic hair, and are attached to your existing lashes. Compared to false eyelashes, eyelash extensions look more natural and last much longer -- often up to a few months. However, they also cost a few hundred dollars and take two hours to complete a full set.

Take Supplements

Nothing helps hair grow more than a healthy diet. In addition to eating nutritious food, you can also add supplements. Multivitamins are excellent for beautiful skin, strong nails, and longer eyelashes.

Combine Eye Liner and Mascara

A little makeup always helps. Combine thick lash liner and mascara, and your eyelashes will instantly look fuller and longer.

Try Latisse

Latisse is one of the newest non-invasive cosmetic procedures. It's a prescription solution you apply to your lash line once a day, and helps lengthen and darken your eyelashes.

Latisse is offered at most plastic surgeon's offices, like Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Todd Hobgood. You can read more about it there, or go to


Longer, fuller and beautiful lashes are not that far away.

Do you have any suggestions on how to make eyelashes longer?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blogging Tips Weekly - 3 Books Every Blogger Should Read

"Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune." - Jim Rohn

Perhaps no beauty and fashion blogger has made a living blogging yet, let alone make a fortune. But who's stopping us from trying? 

Let's start educating ourselves -- and what better education than reading?

Here are three books I suggest to every girlie blogger -- and yes, I did read them all.

Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business 

by Barbara Corcoran

Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran

About Shark Tales

A true story about a young girl who, without any formal education in business at all, turned a $1,000 loan from a former boyfriend into one of Manhattan's biggest real estate companies.

Why Read Shark Tales?

Because it is inspiring. Not only do you learn from Barbara Corcoran's no-nonsense way of doing business, you also get the feeling that anything is possible. 

If a small town D-student can become a success, so can you!

Problogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

About Problogger

From choosing a platform to selling your blog or website for a profit, professional bloggers (probloggers) Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett show you in detail, while referring to their own exeprieces, on how to make money blogging.

Why Read Problogger?

Because (successful) blogging is much more than hitting a "publish" button on some free CMS. It's about picking the right tools, knowing your audience, being both business and technically savvy, and much more. 

For anyone considering taking their blog to the next level, they'll need help and guidance from the pros.

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

by Chris Guillebeau

100 dollar startup

About The $100 Startup

In this book, fellow Pacific Northwesterner Chris Guillebeau traveled around the world and interviewed small or micro business owners who quit a conventional way of making a living (a.k.a slaving for someone else), and went into successful ventures for themselves.

None of them made a fortune, but they are all making sufficient salaries that allow them to either sustain or even better their lives.

Why Read The $100 Startup?

Because of Chris's practical advice. In this book, you won't find sophisticated business plans or complex formulas -- just down-to-earth ways others turned their products or services into an income.

I'm sure there are many more books that'll help bloggers out.

Do you have any to suggest?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Misikko HanaAir Professional Hair Dryer Review (Beauty Blog Post)

First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH Misikko for an opportunity to review your wonderful product again. 

Last year, I was sent Misikko's flat iron, one of the market's bestselling flat irons, and absolutely adored it. Therefore, I was really excited to review Misikko HanaAir Professional Hair Dryer this time. After a few days of becoming acquainted with the HanaAir hair dryer, I came to love it too. Please read on for a detailed review.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer

About Misikko HanaAir Professional Hair Dryer


Adjustable Heat
  • 2 fan speeds
  • 3 heat settings
  • Plus cold shot
Ceramic Heater
  • Most advanced far infared ionic heat
Tourmaline, Titanium Oxide & Silver Infused
  • Pure tourmaline crystals add antibacterial ions and shine
  • Concentrator
  • Two years
Additional Facts
  • Beautiful, stylish Italian design
  • Operates at 2300 watts
  • Low EMF allows environmental safety
  • Long motor life
  • 12" extra long ACLI safety plugin

Retail Price

$334.99 at Misikko Hana Salon.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer

Misikko HANAAir Professional Hair Dryer Review

Quality and Performance

  • Misikko Hana Air is no ordinary dryer. I knew it the first time I held it. Sturdy, ergonomic, and easy to use, dryer dried my hair in fast and noninvasive manner.
  • Air was light and warm. Didn't burn my scalp like most dryers do.
  • Dryer worked fast and efficiently. I believe drying time was about 10 - 15 minutes, which is about 10 minutes faster than my ordinary hair dryer.
  • Dryer also volumnized my hair without leaving fly-a-ways. 
  • I didn't need to style during or afterward -- no joke. All I did, after blow drying, was brush hair down with a flat brush, and everything just fell in place.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Superior design. Excellent performance.
Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Three heat settings to allow adjustable use.
Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Fast drying and volumizing power.
Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Like a wet dog.
Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
No self styling needed.

Hair dried in minimum time.

Look and Feel

  • Misikko Hair Dryer has beautiful, luxurious design. 
  • However, it is heavier than most dryers I have used, and can be hard to manage if I need to style my hair (with a brush) while blow drying.
  • The cord is extra long, which can be hard for storage. However, because Misikko Hana Air is professional grade, its extra weight and extra long cord are good for salon use.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Beautiful packaging. Professional delivery.

Overall Likes

  • Gorgeous design.
  • Excellent performance and results.
  • Fast drying time.
  • Adjustable heat that never got too hot.

Overall Dislikes

  • Heaviness and long cord may be hard for home storage.

Overall Rating 




Good hair is important for women, and so is convenience, efficiency and having dependable products. Misikko Hana Air certainly delivered on all aspects. Great product!

Additional Thoughts. Please read.

It was a pleasure working with Misikko's marketing team. Though I am only a blogger, they treated me with the utmost respect. Product was delivered on time, communication was prompt, and package was professionally assembled, with extra bonuses.

If they treat bloggers this well, imagine how attentive they are to actual customers.


Here are the bonuses included in the package:

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Misikko Hana Air came in a gorgeously packaged box.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
A drying pad.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Two sets of hand sanitizers and nail files.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Paul Mitchell products.

A hair brush and its furry friend.

Misikko Hana Air Hair Dryer
Last but not least, an ELF lash curler.

 Thank you for reading.


I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing and using Misikko HanaAir Hair Dryer.


If you have also used this hair dryer, please share you experience.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Skin Care Blog Post - Reviva Makeup Primer Review


What does makeup primer do? 

It serves as a layer between your skin and foundation to enable smooth application. For people with bumpy acne scars and oily skin, makeup primer provides them with even coverage. You do not need makeup primer, but it certainly helps. 

Reviva Labs

Reviva Labs, founded by America's earliest aesthetician Stephen Strassler, has been making skin products since 1973. Though Reviva Labs kept its presence silent in the skin care industry, its products are distributed all over health and beauty stores.

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer Review

I was delighted to have been contacted by Reviva Labs to review their makeup primer.

I do not usually use makeup primer, but have been interested in trying it for a while. This particular makeup primer can be used over moisturizer or under makeup, and promises to fill in lines, conceal pores, and control oil. Sounds like a winner to me. Let's find out how it really worked in the review below.

Quality and Performance

  • Very smooth application. 
  • Formula squeezed out of the bottle in tight and controlled consistency, and massaged onto my skin evenly and effortlessly.
  • It created a polished veneer, and gave skin smooth and even appearance.
  • I can immediately distinguish a topical-only improvement in skin after use.
  • I then layered on foundation. Foundation also applied smoothly. It kind of just glided over the makeup primer.

Reviva Makeup Primer Review
Gel formula was nice and consistent. No runny mess at all.

Reviva Makeup Primer Review
Fantastic application. Felt really smooth on the skin.

Reviva Makeup Primer Review
It massaged onto skin evenly, and gave skin a smooth appearance.


  • Light -- almost feather-like -- feel. I barely noticed I had it on.

Reviva Makeup Primer Review
Foundation applied well over primer.

Reviva Makeup Primer Review
Foundation slid on and evened out easily.


  • Skin was not irritated after use. 


  • Personally, I like my makeup and skin care products a little glamorous. Reviva Makeup Primer's packaging appeared plain for my taste.
  • Also, I don't like pump bottles, as they are hard use when product comes to its last few drops.

Overall Likes

  • Great quality. No grease and no mess. Made skin appear silky and soft.
  • Worked extremely well under foundation.
  • Did not cause irritation to the skin.
  • No funny smell -- a huge plus.

Overall Dislikes

  • Plain looking bottle. (However, this may not be a big problem for most people.)
  • Price. 1 oz. bottle cost $19.50. I'm not sure if the general public would pay this much for a makeup primer.

Overall Rating



I would.

Although Reviva Labs Makeup Primer has a high price tag, it worked marvelously, and gave skin a smooth, soft appearance. In my 30's now, I certainly need youthful smoothness.

Also, I already pay $14.50 for pore fillers. If I get this makeup primer instead, for only $5 more, it makes a sensible trade.

Hope you enjoyed the review.


If you want to look for more quality skin care products from Reviva Labs, please visit there web site below:

Do you use makeup primer? If so, which brand?