Author: Layla

Long overdue: The skincare update!

I’m a woman in my thirties, and if there’s anything I am investing in other than my education, life savings, stationery (more washi tape, more joy), and makeup (soz about that), it’s skincare. For many years, I’ve changed from one product to another, to address my needs. But through the years, I’ve had my favourites, my holy grails, and my ride-or-dies. But if there’s anything that I need to have in my skincare, it’s an anti-ageing product (more on that later). So, here are my mini-product reviews on the products I’ve used. Human Nature Bare Necessities Cleansing Balm smells amazing. And it’s very gentle on the skin. Since it’s in balm form, it’s not very greasy. This product is actually the first step in my cleansing routine. The second product in my skincare routine is Skinfood’s Strawberry Black Sugar Mask. It’s not harsh on the skin and makes my skin feel smooth and soft. And IT ALSO SMELLS AMAZING. This is the second time I’ve bought this scrub, and I’m still so in love with it. …

Quarantine Diaries 3: Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Hi, how are you? No, really. How are YOU? Hope you’re holding up well. I hope that your physical condition is fit as a fiddle. I hope that your mental health is just as good, you’re not climbing on the walls, that you’re not silently going mad. I wish each one of you the very best in this so-called new normal. Manila is currently on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. Next week, we’re transitioning into General Community Quarantine. And the thought of that…well, it can cause an anxiety attack for some. (I know it’s going to cause me an anxiety attack, for sure.) I think businesses, offices are open not because it’s safe now–it’s because something needs to be done to the economy before it collapses. We all need to do something about that. But what if we catch something? What if we come into contact with someone who is asymptomatic? What if… I have realised that we can’t borrow trouble. But yes, the need for caution is there and it will stay. WE ALL NEED …

A year on: Graduate school, impostor syndrome, and all that jazz.

This time last year, I was on the phone at work, asking for the entrance exam results for graduate school admissions. At first, I thought I heard it wrong, I had to ask the admissions staff to repeat the exam result to me, and I was told, “See you at the orientation.” That felt unreal. It still felt like it. Now, here I am, in my second semester of graduate school, trying to comply with requirements despite a pandemic, sitting in front of my desk bleary-eyed, trying to think of an objective for a certain topic for a research proposal. Time flies so fast, doesn’t it? But even so, I still couldn’t help feeling that I don’t deserve to be in graduate school. Yes, even after getting a pretty good grade during the first semester. I still couldn’t help but feel that everything I have achieved is a fluke, that I’m bound to flounder sooner rather than later. I don’t know if I am the only one who feels like that in academia–I sometimes feel like …

My Tuesday playtime: A trial and error account of prettifying myself for absolutely no reason at all

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you are well and safe wherever you are. A few days ago, I promised myself a treat after handing in the first part of my coursework. No, it has nothing to do with food, but a lot to do with making my soul happy by dressing up and putting on makeup. It’s been a long time since I put on work clothes and makeup on my face. It’s been two months already. I missed prettifying myself and getting dressed for work!  So, a little playtime was in order. I looked at my wardrobe a few days ago and checked if there’s anything in it that I haven’t worn. Or if there’s an outfit I haven’t tried doing. So here I am, wearing black, with a pop of nude and red here and there. My top was repurposed from an old dress that I rarely used. Rather than have it go to waste, I went to the nearest seamstress and made the dress into two separate clothes. You can find a similar …

Glenna Walters (right), as Tillie Boulter in Anne with an E.

Pushing the Envelope: #BigGirlsCanDoFashion

As a big girl, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to dress fashionably. All the nice clothes, it seemed to me, were made just for the slimmer girls. So where’s the justice in that? Pre-lockdown, I’ve always felt conscious that I look drab even in my favourite clothes. But recently, I came to the realisation that it doesn’t matter what one wears–it’s how one wears it. When I finally decided to change up my look to get ready for my post-lockdown life, I look back from long ago, and I remember asking Susan, a friend from law school who is also a very hefty girl herself. I remember her wearing basically whatever she wanted. And most importantly, Susan wears clothes that flatter her best features. She tells me, however, that that confidence didn’t happen overnight. But, she says, you’ve got only one body, so might as well rock it. I asked her, how does she do it? Her answer was simple but true. “Believe that you also have the right to wear that …

Quarantine Diaries 2: Attempting to live in the “new normal”.

In which I attempt to make cottage pie that isn’t even a real cottage pie, and an apple tart. Hola amigos and amigas! I’m back. Looks like our cherished dream of going back to normal isn’t going to happen anytime soon. We’re still cooped up inside our homes, trying not to get crazy, trying not to get sick. But hey! We all make our own good times. Yes, cooking now counts as a “good time”. Why not? Who doesn’t like to eat healthy, nutritious tasty food that’s not processed food? Yeah, that’s my family! For the past few weeks, we’ve been donning our imaginary chef’s toque, whipping up dishes we’ve never eaten in a long, long time, or yes, for the first time, even. But more on that, later. What else have I been up to apart from honing my culinary skills? Still doing coursework. While I am happy to comply with the requirements, it’s either that or to drop and re-enrol the course the next semester. Thanks, but no thanks. As much as I …

Why Anne with an E is good for your soul

Main cast: Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, RF Thompson, Lucas Jade Zumann, Dalmar Abuzeid, Dalila Bela, Joanna Douglas, Corinne Koslo Yes, I grew up reading the books, and I also watched the 1985 Kevin Sullivan production, and I loved it (well, only up to the sequel–sorry, not sorry). Every single bit of it. Anne Shirley stole my heart the moment she arrived in the Cuthbert home. A few years ago, when I read that there would be another reproduction of an Anne of Green Gables TV series, I WAS SO EXCITED, I could burst. Could they tell the story more accurately this time? Would we see Anne and Gilbert have a family, and see their children grow? Either way, I AM ALL FOR IT. Enter 2017, and I saw Anne with an E being fleshed out–initially, I found the beginning bleak as Anne’s future in Green Gables. A slightly grey landscape, a plainly furnished farmhouse made me wonder if my excitement was premature. But boy, I was wrong to be disappointed.

Looking for something? Researching for cases in the law library or online

Let me tell you a funny story. When I was a law freshman, I wasn’t so adept at looking for cases. I was lost, confused, and even more so if there’s only a date and those numbers after the date. Because the idea of hunting up for cases was so foreign to me back then. Thank heaven for kind upperclassmen! You might ask, don’t you have a subject called Legal Research? Well, yes we did, but it was all in theory. What did we know about shepardizing, and looking for the correct citation? Very little. How did we freshmen get around the library? Again, thank heaven for kind upperclassmen, and the harried librarians. These upperclassmen and librarians taught us lost freshers how to look for cases. And because I want to pay it forward, I want to share it with you guys, so you won’t be as lost as we were.

Quarantine Diaries 1: Of COVID-19, quarantine, and other disasters.

Hello! Yes, it’s been ages, and things have been so topsy turvy. The COVID-19 virus is now wreaking havoc, and when I say havoc, I would spell it in capitals. HAVOC. The greater Manila area, as well as the island of Luzon, is on lockdown. Classes (online and onsite) are suspended and save for a skeletal staff, work is also suspended.

All the important reading materials you’ll need in law school.

I promise, my desk isn’t as messy as the one pictured above. Hehe. We aren’t here to talk about desk aesthetics though, we’re here to talk about the reading materials you’ll need in your law school journey. This is going to be a long and bumpy ride but hang in there.So, first things first. Let’s start with books. See that little Bible-like book on top of the stack? That’s the codal, aka every law student’s Bible (sorry, Lord, didn’t mean any disrespect). A senior friend recommended that the codal should be read first before the annotated textbook, as it is important to get a grasp of the law.