From the Bucket List: Rock Climbing

I almost forgot how to use this thing, like how to upload image and stuff, hahaha i’m such a noob now. It’ll take time but I’ll eventually get the hang of it.

Just to start things off- a few things I’ve been doing recently now that I’ve been in NYC for some time now-

I went Rock Climbing for the first time!

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetI’m such a noob obviously – who wears yoga clothes to rock climbing?!?!??!?! lol

i honestly thought that’s what everyone wears, okay? Like, how do you wear shorts and not expect your butt to be displayed all over the place. A girl needs proper climbing attire. Those shoes were gross though. they were such sweaty smelly mess. If given a choice, I would’ve easily gone barefoot.

Location: Manhattan Plaza Health Club

Verdict: I liked that there was an instructor although she was only like 60% helpful. She was not the most friendly person and being the chicken that I am, (I legit am afraid of heights) I expected more help than to just have her tell me to put that rope thing on and start climbing. I thought I was in military. I was praying that I wouldn’t slip and fall cause man, that would’ve been embarrassing especially when it was so obvious that I was only there for pictures. I look like I’m smiling in the pic but really, I’m crying. But yeah, definitely worth a try if it’s on your bucket list like it was on mine. Got mine on none other than Groupon. By the way, I like how my butt looks so round here. Been working hard on it.

Hi there


Found this really old pic of me while organizing my files… I like that it’s actually blurry… maybe it’s that I need to be constantly reminded to forget the past and move on. hmm.

I know I had said that I’d try to be more consistent with my blog in the last post, and honestly, it’s been on my mind.. but now that I work more, I realized it really is hard to balance things and actually make time for blogging.. but then I remember how I used to hustle back in the days when this blog was a born, when I had a full time corporate job, a part time modeling job, taking social media classes at night at UCI, then blogging and Youtubing.. woah, I had a lot on my plate now that I think about it. but I remember really enjoying every part of my life then despite being so busy. Oh yeah, I was a younger too. haha.

So.. now that I don’t have a full time photographer.. I’ve been wondering which direction this blog should take. Then I thought about the very beginning of it all, before the Mark II and III came along, before all the fashion shows and writing job, how this blog was born out of genuine curiosity, pure interest and passion for fashion and beauty. Now that I’ve been working in fashion for some time, I know I’ve definitely developed an eye and taste for it, so I may just start posting random fashion and beauty related things, just things that capture my attention at the moment, whatever is intriguing, interesting, whatnot. Again, I’m not here to impress anyone or look cool or whatever so I’ll do what makes me happy. Hope you don’t mind. hehe


A New Beginning


This post is for those who never gave up on me and this blog despite the long hiatus. While I’d rather not get into details of my life and the reason behind the gap, I wanted to mention that I really do appreciate your sticking around. Things have changed a lot for me the past few years and it’s taken a while for me to get back on my feet. There was a time when I wanted to never log into this blog ever again, but I realized the reason why this blog was ever even born was because of my love and passion for blogging (and this was when I didn’t even know what a fashion blog was). Now that I’ve finally got my equipment ready, let’s hope that I’ll get to share my new and exciting life in New York with you more often. I cannot promise anything as I’m still learning how to shoot and the equipment I’m working with is nowhere near the quality I used to work with but I’m going to never forget that this blog exists for my enjoyment and love for sharing information with the world, not for anything that I do not enjoy. It never existed so that I could become famous or make money off of it. While it’s unexpectedly given me a lot of exciting opportunities, I appreciate the people I’ve met through it and all the fun things that came along more so than anything else. The focus should always be that it’s fun and informative in some way. I don’t want to call it a hobby because it really isn’t anymore, but it’s fun for me and I hope you get something out of being here while at it. This blog will be taking a different direction; just the way it was meant to be from the beginning: providing helpful information while sharing a part of my life. I hope you enjoy your stay here, and thank you for reading!

IMG_1458Photography by @_dallim

Beauty doesn’t have to be pain

I’ve always been into fashion, and beauty is something that just kind of came with it, especially with all the free samples I came across at fashion shows and events. While hair and skincare have been a top priority for me, teeth whitening has only caught my attention the past few years ever since I started drinking coffee on a daily basis. I must admit, it honestly wasn’t even part of my beauty routine until I got braces again later in life. And as I go through my older pictures of me smiling (which are rare), I’m realizing that my teeth were never really that yellow to begin with which is probably why it never bothered me.. BUT as I started zooming in and really looking at my teeth on a micro level, I realized I did have stains here and there though subtle, especially in between teeth. So when I was approached by Smile Brilliant, I was immediately intrigued. And something I learned AFTER I had tried their whitening line is that my teeth had potential- like, it had a future, a future to be whiter than they had ever been!


The friendliest, the most patient person on earth could be found sitting in the offices of Smile Brilliant Headquarters. Seriously guys, I’ve learned a thing or two about patience from Erin, who has been my main contact at Smile Brilliant. She’s the most wonderful person I’ve come across! Despite the shipping mishap, my moving, and my extra, extra sensitive teeth and our zillion email exchanges that go back to some time in February, she’s been amazingly patient with me and still so friendly with every single word we’ve exchanged. And as you can see, they surely know how much packaging matters to consumers these days- I mean, just look how instal-worthy they are! Not only do they look good, they are super easy to use. You just have to be diligent and patient with results because it does take more than a few sessions to see results. Once you get the hang of the process however, it just becomes a part of the daily routine- and the best thing is that you can multitask while you whiten, during which I’ve done everything from cleaning the apartment to yoga to laundry.


Before you start whitening your teeth, you will first have to get your custom trays made. Smile Brilliant will send you a kit complete with three sets of impression material consisting of catalyst paste and base paste. The process is similar to the first visit to the orthodontist’s office when they mix these clay-like material to be put in a tray to make an impression of your top and bottom teeth, except that it’s actually fun because you get to do it yourself this time. You know, there’s just something cathartic about playing with slime.. Anyhow, so when you are done making the impressions (just follow the instructions in the booklet included- it’s extremely descriptive and easy-to-follow), you just ship the dried impressions to the lab in the envelope provided with the trays stuck to the impressions. I just simply dropped off mine in a mailbox nearby- Oh yeah, I made a mistake with my first set and had to have a second set shipped to me which came lightening fast thanks to Erin!

So once you get your custom trays which look shockingly similar to the Invisalign retainers, you can start whitening. There’s an instruction guide for both whitening gel and desensitizing gel- now, I must mention how important it is to use the desensitizing gel properly because I’m sure some of you have sensitive teeth like mine. It’s not as bad now that I’m more mindful with the temperature of food and drinks I consume, along with the toothpaste that I’ve been using per dentist’s recommendation which has literally been a lifesaver (Sensodyne Repair and Protect forever!!), but there were a few instances throughout the whitening process when I did feel the sensitivity and it scared the heck out of me. It only lasted a second and went away- and if that ever happens to you, as recommended by Smile Brilliant, adjust the length of time spent on whitening (if you normally go for 2 hours, make it shorter, I’d say an hour or 45 min), and don’t forget to use the desensitizing gel as soon as you are done brushing your teeth post whitening session. Also, leave the gel on for a few hours preferably which means no eating and drinking so that it has enough time to settle on the teeth and gum.


This is me doing some stretching while whitening- thanks to the clear trays, you can’t even tell! In addition to stretching and doing some yoga poses, I’ve spent the time cleaning the apartment, chatting with friends, showering, blogging (which is what I’m doing at the moment while I whiten), watching Youtube, organizing pictures on my phone to make room for new ones, and when I feel adventurous, doing laundry even. A couple hours may seem long but not when you are able to spend it productively. And if you can get professional results at home, it’s totally worth it.

Speaking of results, here are some before and after images I’d like to share:


Above was before I began using Smile Brilliant. No flash, no editing. I’ve always flossed daily and as mentioned, used whitening products occasionally but never had my teeth whitened professionally. The major difference I see is that the teeth just look a lot whiter and “cleaner” overall.


Above is after I began using Smile Brilliant. The difference is actually more obvious in person. I’d call them “pearly white” if I had to describe the color of my teeth these days.


This is me today after a whitening session. I’ve put on the desensitizing gel now and I’m going to let it settle for a while.

Results are pretty immediate especially once you’ve finished using about two sets of syringes. You just have to be diligent with whitening and really include it in your daily routine to keep the teeth as white as you’d like. Your lifestyle matters as well obviously, so if you regularly drink coffee and/or tea, try to use a straw every time so that there’s less direct contact between the liquid and your teeth. And when you consume anything that stains teeth such as curry, I’d recommend using the kit as soon as you get home to lessen the staining.

Overall, this was an interesting experiment for me who is still a newbie when it comes to teeth whitening. I had used Crest strips occasionally before along with a whitening toothpaste which I used to mix with my Sensodyne every other day which I think brought some results but what I’ve seen with Smile Brilliant was definitely dramatic, and I love that you get to have your own trays along with syringes which are so easy and fun to use.

For my readers only, Smile Brilliant and I have partnered for a special offer so you can get your teeth whitened professionally at home like I did for an awesome price! Just enter coupon code: tomimito10 at check-out for 10% off the total amount. I also want to offer an opportunity for you to win the entire whitening system! Follow this link to enter.

* This post was created in collaboration with Smile Brilliant. Thank you, Smile Brilliant and Erin for the opportunity!

How Much Is Teeth Whitening

Staycation: Luxury Edition

exhale21Winter time in New York calls for something nice and warm besides a gingerbread latte, and nothing beats a full body massage and a luxurious facial for a complete relaxation and quick get away from the busy city life.

exhale20On what happened to be the coldest morning to date here in NYC, I ended up on the south end of Central Park near Fifth avenue.

exhale18Thanks to the train that decided to take an extended break, I had to run in my heaviest coat which caused my calves to become really tense. So basically, my body was calling for help especially since I began working out six times a week a bit while ago. Between running, kickboxing, weight lifting and all that extra walking I’ve been doing in NYC, my body needed professional help to recover and heal from the stress I’ve been putting it under.

And with Christmas and my birthday around the corner, I couldn’t have asked for something more awesome than a spa package to the midtown location of the amazing Exhale Spa courtesy of Cloud 9 Living. Called Revive and Restore Spa Package, it’s a perfect holiday or birthday gift for anyone who needs a few hours of “me time”- whether stressed or not (I personally don’t know anyone who isn’t, do you?), because who doesn’t need a little pampering from time to time?

img_6661 After I was finished registering on the site, selecting the date and time range for my appointment, it didn’t take long to receive a confirmation email from the friendly staff over at Cloud 9 Living. Then all I had to do was to show up at the specified location- they had my appointment under Cloud 9 Living, and upon arrival and confirmation of the appointment, you just fill out a consent form and head over to the locker room and the spa with the help of the staff who shows you around the facility.

img_6669As you walk in, there’s a shop.. and yes, I didn’t expect to see this either, but it turns out, Exhale is also famous for their group exercise classes, which I’d love to explore.

exhale9exhale4So once you get changed into a complementary robe and slippers in the locker room, you walk over to the lounge.
exhale5 exhale6Normally, Zen Lounge is where you meet the spa staff whether it’s a facial or massage appointment which is like a waiting room but with a variety of tea, warm neck pillows complete with ambient lighting to help you relax prior to your spa appointment. I was running late so the masseuse ended up greeting me at the door which was equally nice.
exhale7Their aromatic neck pillow is one of the best things I discovered this year along with their eye pillow… so soothing and relaxing. exhale8 exhale14 exhale16 exhale3You will never be dehydrated here; plus the tea and hot water are heaven sent in this freezing weather.

exhale1exhale11 exhale10 exhale2Voted one of the best in the city; after a full hour of Swedish massage and another full hour of facial, I can confidently agree. Sorry, I couldn’t get pictures of the sessions because obviously, I was kind of busy getting pampered but they were just what I needed, and after getting all the knots and what felt like “toxins” (I honestly don’t believe that our bodies produce such but it truly felt that way) removed from my body and face, I felt physically lighter, relaxed, and of course, mentally better as well. I have been having trouble getting a good sleep for a while now and last night was among the best sleep I’ve gotten lately, thanks to Cloud 9 Living.

img_6673To end the experience on a high note, the package also came with a spa manicure and pedicure. It was pleasantly surprising to find the room separate from everything else, which gave it a very exclusive, private feel to what can be a normal pampering session for many women.
img_6672I only personally get my nails done professionally for special occasions only for a few reasons including the price and the questions regarding sanitariness, but Exhale may have changed my attitude after all.img_6682 Tada! My Christmas nails! I was so impressed with the Sparitual products they used throughout- this red color is the best in the hue I’ve seen- it’s got numerous glitter that’s so sparkly and shiny I just can’t stop staring at them. I was initially gonna go for the pink glitter all over but thought I’d mix it up a bit since I’ve slowly been getting into the holiday spirit. What do you think? img_6686I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and really glad to have discovered Exhale through this experience, hence a very special shout out to the team at Cloud 9 Living. Give a gift of experience this holiday season, and you’ll be loved!


When the time is right

jord_2 Can you believe that it’s already December? I can’t believe how quickly time passes. Perhaps it’s the age, but it’s definitely a time when all kinds of emotions collide, some of which are positive, and some not; however it’s important to focus on the fact that there’s always something to be learned even from experiences that may seem not so pleasant on the surface. On that note, I’m excited to be approaching the end of the year and welcoming the new year. And you know what that means! It’s the holiday season and I know many of you struggle trying to find that perfect gift for loved ones. I was introduced to these unique watches a few weeks ago and I just can’t get enough of my new watch. I mean, it couldn’t come at a better time because my 10+ years old Baume et Mercier has been giving me issues yet again. jord3 Made with real wood in St. Louise, the watch is light, smells and feels natural, and most importantly does the job perfectly while adding a fun stylish element to any outfit. My pick is the Fieldcrest in Zebrawood & Maple, and I just love the combination of the tan and light brown stripes that give it this unique appearance without being overpowering. I think they’d make a perfect holiday gift for both women and men, and to make holiday shopping easier for you, I’ve teamed up with JORD Wood Watches to offer you a giveaway via this link: Every person who enters the giveaway will be instantly emailed a $25 e-gift code to use on the site, so hurry over to the site to get yours! The giveaway closes 12/25/16 at 11:59pm, but the e-gift code won’t expire until 2/28/17. Merry early Christmas, guys, and best wishes!

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches

Unique Watch