Unboxing Christmas at Pottery Barn PH

There’s just something about I hadn’t planned a visit to Pottery Barn in Central Square, BGC. I just happened to be walking around and was suddenly and ever so positively quite taken by what I saw from the store entrance. A Pottery Barn sort of Christmas had just arrived along with the company’s VM.  I had arrived on the actual day Pottery Barn PH was unboxing Christmas!

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Mini Christmas houses sold for charity. If you place a flameless flickering light inside it comes alive with warmth through the windows.  Most if not all are over Php1000.00

 

I made two purchases, one is their Jingle decorative throw pillow with bells on it and “jingle” inscribed in red gothic lettering and when you shake it you really can imagine Santa Claus and his sleigh arriving, it isn’t super affordable at Php1900+ but it was just too unique for me to pass up on for the house.  This is the one Pottery Barn’s VM from the US, Dean told me was “really cute” while he was arranging pieces in different areas of their Central Square store in BGC.

Processed with VSCOcam with k1 preset I first set it on a wooden loveseat bench we have on the second floor and though the look was minimal the pillow made all the difference and brought a chic sort of festive vibe to the area.

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The minimal festive look outside our master’s bedroom

 

The other, the “All is Calm, All is Bright” Silent Night themed throw pillow (Php1600+)  is my utmost favorite and they sell the pillowcase separate from their Php595.00 pillows.  It just jumped out at me when I saw it in store (although, to be honest it is very easily DIY-able …with a canvas case and some acrylic paint perhaps) and I liked how it was so tastefully designed.

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So I got two “Silent Night” pillow cases for the house, one for our living room and one for my bedroom.  This is how the pillow looks in our living room at the moment.

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I transferred my warm white LED Fairy lights from my vanity dresser last year to my bedside, stringing it up across my clear beaded curtain and laying the excess along the sill of my main window which is alongside my bed.  So this is what my bedroom (or at least the side with the bed) looks like now.

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With my main ceiling light switched off the less tiresome but bright enough glow of the fairy lights is just enough for reading or great calmer ambience for when having a massage or watching movies on my laptop.  I get excited before each sunset now for the chance to switch on my lights.  I still want to be able to shoot a pre-evening sunset shot with the lights on…I think that might look particularly marvelous.  The staff told me that day when I was about to leave that what I saw wasn’t even half of the stuff they needed to unbox and more shipments were coming in.  I think now might be a good time to sneak a peep at Pottery Barn in Central Square BGC and see what new Christmas items have arrived!… To full post & COMMENTS...

NovExpert Paris Repulp Mask, 0% Preservatives | The Masque After the Mask

Indicative from the title this was supposed to be posted after Halloween.  Sigh, yet again life got in the way, I’ve had these photos since last week then my laptop was dying so it had to make a trip to the computer hospital.  Apparently after nearly 5 years my 17″ gi-normous baby needed a total internal detox and simultaneously I wasn’t feeling well.  After Halloween and all that makeup or facial exposure to masks lots of faces are probably in need of  soothing rejuvenation.  Facial masks are the way to go, but some people with sensitive skin are afraid certain masks are too intensive or they don’t get the ingredients in them.  This mask in particular by Flawless distributed French brand, Novexpert is pure power you needn’t fear.

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( PRICE: pHP2000.00 at select Flawless Clinics).  Repulp Mask instantly restores comfort giving baby soft skin in 10 minutes with S&D hyaluronic acid and collagen boosters.  Similar to the Repulp Cream it “re-plumps” and regenerates deep from within the skin targeting cells to act younger. The natural ingredients work wonders providing dramatic results without a single chemical ingredient. Main benefits of use are firmness, toning, nourishment.  It was created by Dr. Colletta, a serious wonder product that gives essential anti-ageing protection for stressed out skin subject to cold,sun, pollution or dryness.

Ultra-effective Seaweed combined with Commiphora stimulates collagen.

  • 0% Preservatives
  • 0% Paraben
  • 0% EDTA
  • 0% Phenoxyethanol
  • 0% Silicone
  • 0% PEG

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water),Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol,C10-18 Triglycerides, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, GarciniaIndica Seed Butter, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, GlycerylStearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Parfum(Fragrance), Arginine, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides,Trehalose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, MicrocrystallineCellulose, Glyceryl Caprylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol,Bisabolol, Galactaric Acid, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Ximenia AmericanaSeed Oil, Biosaccharide Gum-2, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cellulose Gum, SclerotiumGum, Xanthan Gum, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Carbonate, Commiphora MukulResin Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed Extract, BrassicaOleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, PunicaGranatum Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis(Rosemary) Leaf Extract.
The mask is more of like a dense moisturizer, it’s not one of those types that hardens on your face like plaster.  Some like that stiffening action, but some find that a bit too intense.  If you are one of those types who’s allergic to a lot of things, this might just be the mask for you.  It focuses more on soothing hydration.  It’s foolproof, you slather a generous amount on your face for 10 mins then rinse it off, if I’m not mistaken Origins have a quick mask like this one.  The texture is a little bit like classic Nivea cream but not as heavy and it rinses off easily.  Then pat your face dry.
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I used the Novexpert repulp mask again a few days ago after costume festivities, it wasn’t quite like an overnight turnaround like when I used the Bioderma Cicabio cream, but it did cleanse, hydrate, and calm my skin.  I noticed one thing the day after, no redness even without makeup which says quite a bit in terms of gentleness and anti-inflammatory ingredients.  The highly acclaimed Novexpert skincare range is available at select Flawless Clinics.  I’m keen on trying the repulp cream next which is the accompanying moisturizer to this lovely mask.  Find and contact your nearest Flawless clinic here.  Just in case you want to check if they stock Novexpert in the one nearest you :).… To full post & COMMENTS...

The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel Oil | A 98% Natural Option and a Bonus Fave

I have a new goodie from The Body Shop but before I get to that I need to backtrack a bit.  When I personally experienced the Emma Hardie cleansing balm nearly every UK skincare enthusiast was raving about last year my complaint was in our tropical weather the balm just wouldn’t hold its consistency. You had to keep it refrigerated and to be honest unless you had warm running tap water (which not everyone does here) it wouldn’t emulsify super well and just flanneling it off with a damp face towel without rinsing is a total turn-off for overt rinse maniacs like us Filipinas.  It made my skin feel great though and I agreed that natural cleansing oils or balms were the way forward in facial skincare especially for people like me who do have lazy nights where I just want to take my made-up face off  and cleanse with one product.  I still like my Andalou Apricot Pro Biotic Cream Cleanser but that doesn’t remove makeup.  I was hoping for a less expensive alternative that 1. Acted like a cleansing balm but didn’t come in a jar 2. Be mostly based on natural, fairly sourced ingredients without mineral oil, and 3. Retain its consistency locally.  I got my checklist ticked off when I found  Body Shop’s Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel Oil which contains fair trade Babassu oil extracted from the nuts of the wild babassu palm tree, found on the outskirts of the Amazon rainforest….and by the way,yes, it does emulsify with water, very well.

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Contains Fair Trade Babassu Oil, 99% of Total Ingredients are from natural origin, 45% of ingredients are from organic farming, natural and organic certified by ECOCERT, NO PARABENS and NO SILICONES

INGREDIENTS:

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil , Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Glycerin, Sucrose Laurate , Sucrose Palmitate, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Limonene, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citral, Linalool , Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil , Citronellol , Arginine, Buddleja Davidii Extract , Thymus Vulgaris Extract, Malva Sylvestris Flower Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare Oil, Citrus Nobilis Peel Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Thymus Vulgaris Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil.

Price: about Php795 for 100ml at Body Shop boutiques

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HOW TO USE:  Apply a pea sized amount to dry makeup-free skin, or a peso coin sized amount  if you have makeup on.  Yes, don’t wet your face first or else it will emulsify instantly, when that happens you miss out on the oil treatment which removes makeup while treating skin and provides the opportunity for a  good facial massage.

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When you’ve spread the product all over your face and have the oil consistency on, a circular facial massage is highly recommended before rinsing to remove makeup, dead skin and dirt.  Then apply water to the face to have it emusify, do circular motions again to properly cleanse and rinse.  Repeat if necessary.

What I like about this product is for a mid-ranged price you’re getting something that is well sourced, nearly 100% organic and on lazy nights it moves makeup when you massage it in and yes really does feel like an oil-based cleanser or balm that you can store well even in a tropical climate since it comes in a tube.  On the nights when I do have the energy to use makeup remover first and then finish with this I get an exceptionally thorough cleansing experience.  It’s just good to know something like this also has your back on lazy days if you want to skip makeup remover.  You can also try Lisa Eldridge’s facial massage routine before rinsing with water, you don’t have to do the whole 20mins, you can cut it down if you like.

I also have a bonus favorite for this post, the only drawback for me on it is it’s highly scented, it didn’t break me out but I would prefer it unscented.  From the Body Shop as well I also like this Vitamin Aqua Boost Sorbet cooling facial moisturizer with Vitamin E and Soybean Oil.

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24-Hour moisture quench, aqua light texture

The cooling effect isn’t weird, not like menthol at all,  it feels very fresh, sort of like the comfort that after sun products provide on the skin.  It hydrates the way Clinique’s Moisture Surge gel moisturizer seems to do and with a zero greasy feel and matte finish.  It does contain some silicone but that makes it a great thin moisturizer beneath makeup because it also acts as a primer.  Most likely great for girls with normal to oily skin…though I would recommend patch testing it on an area of the face for the day from the Body Shop boutique first before purchasing since it is scented, just to be sure you don’t react.  If you don’t it’s a good one to have if you’re not into greasy or cream moisturizers.  It comes in a frosted glass jar at 50ml.  Err, I’m forgetting the price at the moment but I think it was around Php1200 or a bit more.  Yes a bit pricy, I think the packaging has something to do with that.

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I’m glad The Body Shop has ventured out with their Nutriganics range for example to bring us fairly sourced more natural skincare options, and I also like that they’re developing new formulas and textures in skincare like with the Aqua Boost sorbet.  Stop by your nearest Body Shop boutique at anytime to spot the new items they have to offer, I didn’t think they’d stepped up in many ways and offered many new things beyond their usual until I dropped in for a proper visit.

 

 

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

Hello H&M! Now in Manila| Stuff I Got, Stuff I Wear

Globally acclaimed Swedish clothing line H&M has landed, Manila!  Their grand public opening at SM Megamall was today (did you seriously camp out to get in??).  I got a special opportunity to attend their advanced launch the other night and I availed of their 20% off everything discount for the evening.  Okay, nosebleed-while-posing aside I think this short style feature turned out quite alright.  I like clothes, I don’t buy clothes often, probably do about 3-4 small sprees a year shoes included because I am very particular.  Blogging about fashion while fun is out of my comfort zone, plan to practice more though.  A couple of friends and bloggers encouraged me to ‘coz some said they love the way I “throw it on” or “dress like that”.  No, I didn’t bother to put on makeup, but the bare minimum was I did have some mascara on, lol.  There won’t be lots of talk about the clothes, but a comment or two about why I got them and how much they were should be in order.

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H&M Athletic top RRP Php1,190.00, I like how this makes someone as petite as me look like I have wider shoulders.  It’s also got built in non-underwire support.

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Since I didn’t manage to get any NYC souvenir for myself while I was there (check this, the only NY-grammed stuff I got were my Dad & bro’s caps at the airport) better late than never!  Thanks to H&M I now at least have a faux NY souvenir, LOL and it’s a lovely laid back navy hue. By the way these boots…they don’t just look good, they’re super comfy.

H&M L.O.G.G. lined NY pullover RRP Php1,190.00, ankle boots Php1690.00

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I was checking the light in the LCD of my camera, was holding the remote and shot one lol!  Couldn’t resist this fuzzy plum pullover and I like that it has a wide neckline. Plum pullover RRP Php1190.00 (H&M earrings from SG)

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Brown lace-up boots Php1690.00

The pricing of H&M is extremely good for the value they put out, and the on-trend pieces and collections are constantly fashion forward.  I have a Tita who lived in Germany for 14 years and when she moved back her with her husband she hoped and hoped that H&M would come in because of the affordable yet awesome clothes they have to offer.  Well, they’re here now!  The biggest store has just opened today at SM Megamall and watch out for another huge H&M opening in SM Makati by November or early December.

By the way, @hm_asia is NOT the official H&M IG account (we were told by its marketing directo) so just tag the official @hm IG account and use the hashtag #hmphilippines for your posts.To full post & COMMENTS...

Beauty Between My Highlights | The Crux of Really Reading That Bible

“8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”  JOSHUA 1:8 (NLT)

I’m not surprised that for many of us the idea of  Bible-reading is automatically slapped with the hashtag #boring or brushed off with the neutral “Whatever, I’m livin. He’s with me'” shrug.  I named this post Between My Highlights, because He made those areas between my USUAL verses our special meeting place.  In a way in my life He’s met me most deeply in between my triumphs and victories, not just amidst celebration.  I wanted my experience to touch on a gaping hole in modern Christianity, which is we don’t actively pursue what’s for us in the Bible.  We want someone to tell us what’s in it, but we often don’t want to look ourselves.  We have one so we say we have one, or sometimes two even, or perhaps just the app for Sundays and connect group days.  The revelation for me was if you don’t read your Bible to know Him, or just reading through the verse then closing it without meditating, I don’t feel it can be quite called praying as a WHOLE, because prayer is supposed to be a conversation, not a one-way street with a shopping list in hand, and sometimes what He has to say won’t fall on your head from your ceiling or appear on a billboard or jeep, it may already be lying in wait within the pages of His Book in addition to that still, small voice.  We commune with Him in prayer and a massive part of communicating with Him is reading His Word, because unlike the still small voice that we sometimes “think” we hear you can return to the verses He reveals to you over and over.

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“Humor aside, I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put Him. We have kept Him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on Him in prayer, we wonder where He is. He is exactly where we left Him.” – RAVI ZACHARIAS

The truth, folks, is just before this year I was a serial non-Bible reader.  Yep, my YouVersion Bible app kept sending me that “would you like to take at least 5 minutes to read…” alert over and over for two years and I’d feel so nagged by it before.  I preferred my real Bible but I wouldn’t really meditate.  I used to pay attention to it just on Sundays but now…recently, I’ve been completing the app plans like wildfire.  I look forward to them. I don’t expect a badge or a trophy or a “good for you” slap on the back, there  just really happened to be a turning point sometime around Feb to March early this year, and I’m just thankful that God changed something in me, I pray for good.  In the past I agreed with that Joshua 1:8 verse above because I knew I ought to, hellooo, I’m a believer I should, but I didn’t do it, meaning it didn’t really reach me deep down.  I would peak in reading and dip quite quickly when life was going well.  I quipped certain verses to encourage friends and write in my journal (so easily because my parents were Navigator affiliated family evangelists from when I was 2).  We can sort of thank the media for all the pop-ups, IG accounts, Tweets, sites and feeds with inspirational quotes and Scripture which we don’t seek out but encounter ‘coz otherwise we starve unconsciously.  “Newsflash” as Judah Smith says, that’s not really knowing God.  You don’t really nurture a friendship with your best friend by hoping you see their status in your feed today.  We reason out “Oh, I saw two verses in my feed today, that’s already seed that’s going to grow in me…” true, yes I agree, but what delights the Lord is when we love Him with all our mind, heart, and soul…and love isn’t passive, love is active, a commitment to love is a priority.  Read more to get the full post and of course I’ll include an embedded video.… To full post & COMMENTS...

One Year of Happy Skin Makes Us Happy | Online Store Now Worldwide & New Stuff

Whoever thought a NEW Filipina cosmetic brand like Happy Skin could make the world-class waves that they have in just one year?  I never would have guessed that Happy Skin would be able to penetrate the market this relentlessly and in the most positive way.  A year has gone by and we celebrated at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery yesterday, we who have stood by them, offered support, and watched them grow are prouder than ever.  Congratulations, Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, we continue to stand by you!  Happy Skin’s online store at HappySkinCosmetics.com by the way is now officially operational WORLDWIDE.  Mabuhay ang mga Pinay!

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Here’s a sneak peek at some of their new stuff with full reviews to follow 😉

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Many I’m sure did not have the slightest suspicion early on that a Pinay beauty brand would ever so suddenly and FINALLY give Filipino women what they deserve, a range of better cosmetics manufactured with close supervision that give payoff and safer formulas.  I’m already making the positive comparison between them and Bourjois, the well-loved French drugstore brand, we’ve got our own brand that stands at par and it is Happy Skin!  Congratulations, girls.  Can’t wait to take pictures and show my readers your new items!!

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My Ellana Minerals Workshop, THE REPEAT! | For Oct.18, Saturday, Makati

So if you weren’t able to catch my last Ellana Minerals Makeup Workshop, HEADS UP!  We are officially having a REPEAT of the Poreless Perfection workshop that I will be teaching this Saturday, October 18th from 1-4PM at Ellana Minerals Headquarters, La Fuerza Compound (side entrance), Pasong Tamo, Makati.  Total workshop fee is Php2500.00 inclusive of reservation fee and Php2000 consumable on Ellana products after the workshop!  Register and reserve here at this link for your slot

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Ever wonder how to get a pore-minimized, flawless complexion that stays with you all day?  Want to know how to do the perfect look for the office and transform that into a smashin’ party evening look?

Let Singapore-trained makeup artist Julia Arenas show you how with Ellana Mineral makeup! This 3-hour workshop includes in-depth, hands-on demonstrations on techniques that you can apply to your everyday routine. The fee is only P2,500 (downpayment for reservation here at this link) and inclusive of reservation fee and a P2,000 gift certificate to Ellana Minerals and snacks during the  event.

To sign up, head on over to this Ellana link here to get your slot.

Hope to see you there, this Saturday!  Email me at probinsiyana@gmail.com if you have any questions.  There’ll be yummy food and drinks, too!  Reserve your workshop slot now at this link!  To full post & COMMENTS...

DKNY MYNY, The Scent About a City | My New York Eau de Parfum

Spiked by a slightly icy spring breeze when I walked those perfectly imperfect streets with cop car sirens blaring in the distance there was a sense of the Big Apple being mine for the moment for some reason (duh, Julia it was your birthday week lol) and I can’t quite put my finger on why but it’s an amazing gutsy feeling…it’s like something about New York hits you without warning just as soon as you get there.  So does this sweet, musky, and spicy scent inspired by the city that never sleeps. DKNY have since my return released a fragrance entitled My New York or MYNY.  I think any person who enjoys NY in general will agree that to name a perfume this way fits the experience for one in the city.  New York in itself is without a doubt tailor-fit and not to mention zoned for the inspired  individual, and it isn’t a city for the faint of heart.  The bottle is heart-shaped glass topped by a lid meant to resemble a cityscape.  By the way, shooting the perfume in the daytime didn’t seem to fit my memory of New York because truth be told I really hardly slept, haha.  MYNY by DKNY is a warm, sweet, faintly fruity and musky scent that isn’t subtle but I can already tell it’s the sort of intense scent that can certainly grow on you as it lingers softly towards the end of the day.  Expect to glow with a sensual sort of sweetness as time passes.

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“The new fragrance DKNY MY NY was developed by Trudi Loren in collaboration with IFF. Top notes of the composition provide a blend of raspberry, pink pepper and galbanum, followed by Egyptian jasmine, freesia and orris in the heart. The base encompasses patchouli Heart LMR, vanilla absolute, musk and ambergris.”

MAIN ACCORDS: sweet, patchouli, musky, fruity, soft spicy

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  • DKNY MYNY 50ml (P3,650)
  • DKNY MYNY 100ml (P4,650)

Available at Rustans Makati and Rustans Shangrila.

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It feels like I blinked and just like that half a year has passed since I landed in New York City for the first time last spring in April.  Eleven days there slipped like sand through a sieve  and then suddenly the credits rolled like the back end of an indie film.  That’s as close as I can get to describing my stay in NYC it was just too brief for words but every moment remains joyfully vivid.  My wonderful trip to NYC wasn’t without its share of unplanned stuff at the front when I arrived and a bit of misadventure (I didn’t get to mark off half of my sights-to-see checklist, boo) but God was faithful to round off the whole rollercoaster-ish trip with cherry blossoms and special bonding moments with my cousin and friends that I never would have had otherwise.  Suffice it to say He’s like totally mysterious like that in the way He allows things to come together.

 

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Every moment high or low colored the trip as a memorable adventure for me and I still want to go back primarily for work in the future.  I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t say that I now understand why people go on and on about New York even if they haven’t returned in years.  Just 3 days in when I arrived and though jet-lagged I was already smitten by my surroundings, Duane Reade (duh lol), and the thrill of possibility that hung at every street corner regardless of my sleeplessness.  After returning home I totally understood why seasoned British thespians like Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart keep on spouting about how they  “Simply love the place…”.  The city is unforgettable and makes you almost feel like you’ll never take in enough unless you stay for a couple of months…but then again after that you may want to stay for awhile longer.  That’s the truth about NYC, something about it gets to you.

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By the way DKNY have a special promo on so you can get a chance to win your very own MYNY scent, create your own holographic MYNY heart here at this link and get a chance to win a DKNY MYNY Fragrance Gift Bag.  Go to MYNY’s website at this link MYNY.DKNY.com to create and generate your holographic MYNY heart image using your photos, save that image and post it to Instagram and tag @SampleroomPH with the hashtags #sampleroomph #DKNY #MYNY.  To qualify for the prize, you must also be a fan of the DKNY Facebook page: facebook.com/DKNYFragrances.

 

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