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Hola, TBJ Beshies! I'm currently brushing up on my digital marketing and social media knowledge this week that's posts haven't been on time as usual; will try to get back on track very soon! But of course, I can't leave you guys without any read at all so here's one from May:

Hi Ms. Martha,
First of all, I'd like to say that I'm a huge fan of your blog; I've been a reader since 2011 and have been reading since; I'm also happy to know that you're finally doing Youtube and Facebook videos now; so nice to finally hear your voice and see the woman behind one of the best blogs in PH in action!
I am also following your fitness journey; how I wish I can lift like you. This leads me now to my question: How do you respond to body shamers? I am not overweight, but I am big boned and have a bit of fat here and there; I work out three times a week either by running, boxing, and when my schedule permits, I join hiking trips with friends. I've been living an active lifestyle for quite some time now, but my body is naturally thick and on the heavy side (blame it on genetics as well).
Some of my friends and worse, family members would always make fun of my body and say "Nagwoworkout ka ba talaga?" or "Ang laki laki mo parin kahit nagwoworkout ka." or "Dapat siguro more workout and more diet ka." It's frustrating to hear it from people who are dear to you and maddening at the same time because you want their support and they also have no idea what I'm going through internally and physically when I work out for them to say that; there are a lot of times I want to give up, but I still persist.
You seem to be a very confident person that's why I look up to you. So I just want your advice on how to deal with body shamers. I can't get rid of them because unfortunately, they're family!
May

Hi May!

Thank you very much for being a fan! I'm so happy that you've been supporting me since 2011 and no kidding when I say I would definitely love to meet you soon; I hope to see you in my upcoming workshops and anniversary parties, alright?

Can I let you in on a secret? I'm not always as confident as I seem on social media.
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Photo: Slady Gaga on Facebook
Little Monsters, rejoice! Mother Monster is launching her own beauty line!

It has been confirmed that Lady Gaga will launch her own beauty line called HAUS BEAUTY.

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Brisbane may be the most affordable destination between Melbourne and Sydney, but Australia as a vacation destination, is relatively expensive.

I may have featured tons of tours and shopping trips on my social media and here on the blog about my Melbourne-Brisbane tour, but in between those days, I'm scrimping as well!

That said, here are some of the free things to do around Brisbane.

1. VISIT ROMA STREET PARKLANDS

- Roma Street is one of the known streets in the city because it is a pick- up location for most tour agencies and you will find here one of the major train station interchanges in the city.

You will also find here Roma Street Parklands, one of the breathing spaces in the city. This park has an average size compared to some parks I've been to in other countries (like Lumphini Park of Bangkok Thailand).

At Roma Street Parklands, you can hang out, have a cook out, read a book, take smashing photos, and just admire this small yet well- managed and beautifully- styled garden.
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Dior Addict Lip Glow Lip Balm in 007 Raspberry.

PRICE: Around 40AUD (Approximately P1,500+)
FROM: Sephora, Melbourne, Australia
OTHER LOCATIONS: Available in Dior counters in Rustans department stores

THE VERDICT:

When was the last time I purchased and reviewed a Dior product. IT'S BEEN YEARS! I've been seeing on social media that the brand has been constantly innovating to stay relevant and that's always a good thing especially for discerning buyers like me. 

Over the last few months and years, they released a couple of interesting and highly- raved products like the Diorshow Mascara, Airflash Foundation, and Lip Glow Lip Balm, which a lot of Filipinas have been raving about in social media as well. I picked up a tube while on vacation and holy moly, it's as good as everyone says; in fact, I wore it straight for a month because it's that good! Lip balm is just one of those 'okay' essentials for me, but I never thought that I'd rave about it one day; I've never loved a lip balm this much!
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For our third day in Brisbane, let's go further north of Queensland to the beach destination dubbed as the happy beach and to one of the only Everglades in the world. I'll show you today more reasons why Brisbane and Australia should be one of your must- visit places, especially if you're a nature lover!

SUNSHINE COAST

Sunshine Coast is a long system of beaches stretching from Brisbane all the way to Great Sandy National Park. Just 2 hours north of Brisbane, Sunshine Coast is a luxe beach destination that attracts families, couples, and tourists with a slightly higher budget due to its distance, exclusivity, and vibrant restaurant scene.
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Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder review.

PRICE: P1,950
FROM: Rustans, Alabang Town Center
OTHER LOCATIONS: Available in all Rustans department stores

THE VERDICT:

Laura Mercier's iconic translucent powder is having a resurgence lately; I've observed lately that a lot of people have been talking about the product and online sellers are riding the trend by reselling. Were there beauty influencers who hyped this product lately? I'm not aware, but what I do know is I loved Laura Mercier's Invisible Setting Powder before; will the translucent powder be just as good or superior than my favorite Laura Mercier setting powder; is it worth the hype? I bought a tub to find out because a lot have been requesting me to review it too!

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On our second day in Brisbane, I'll take you to the top beach destination and popular attractions of the city. We'll discover the world- class Gold Coast, a heritage- listed animal sanctuary, and a theme park inspired by D.C. Comics!

GOLD COAST

Just an hour away from the city is Gold Coast, one of the nearest beach and surfing locations outside Brisbane. Gold Coast is a long stretch of various, sandy beaches with a metropolis resting by the shoreline; it's the down under's version of Miami. There are inland waterways, canals, and rivers, strewn between the metropolis, making it a critical docking point for local and migratory birds as well; it's amazing how the government was able to build a city here without polluting the environment.

Surfer's Paradise is a section of the beach known for huge waves, thus it is called as such. There are a lot of interesting groups of visitors crowding each section of the beach; at Surfer's Paradise, you'll find yuppies and surfers walking from the mall down to the beach clad only in flip flops and board shorts with a surfboard in tow while down at the other parts like Mermaid Beach, you'll find other groups such as families and casual beach goers. 

You can definitely swim in Gold Coast because the waters are clean despite having a giant city beside it and there are changing rooms, bathrooms, and shower rooms by the shore that everyone can use for free!

IS IT SAFE TO SWIM IN GOLD COAST?
Australia is known for its abundant marine life and its unique location and geography makes it highly likely for humans and wildlife to interact whether intentionally or unintentionally. But this is no reason to be afraid; any beach is unsafe if you do not follow rules and practice self- caution. Swimming in Gold Coast is okay as long as you swim within the designated parts of the beach, follow beach rules, and educate yourself on what to do when you encounter wildlife or find yourself in the middle of a dangerous situation (e.g. rip tide currents). There are sharks around the Gold Coast area, but bear in mind that they are naturally recluse, live in deep parts of the sea, are night time dwellers, and they won't attack unless you do. To decrease the chance of running into a shark or worse, getting bitten, do not swim at night, dawn or dusk, do not swim after a rainfall when the water is murky, do not go to the deep parts of the sea without professional supervision, and don't go near schools of fish or swim near fishing boats where there is bait activity. Australia's coast guard is highly trained and reliable, and they patrol the shores of Gold Coast so no need to fret; there will always be help when you need it. Marine life encounter is always possible when you enter the beach because you are going into their natural habitat; this is the case for all beaches, not just Australia. Just follow the rules and your swimming trip will be hassle- free!
Remember, sharks kill about 6 to 7 people in a year while humans kill 700,000+ sharks in a year!

Gold Coast is also known as a shopping destination; over the years, tourists activity in the metropolis has been increasing and this paved the way for some of Brisbane's world- class, luxury malls and lifestyle establishments. Pacific Fair is one of the top malls in the area where you will find some of the world's top luxury brands.

For makeup junkies, Pacific Fair is where you will find Sephora in Brisbane!

Mecca Maxima is a local beauty retailer and one of the biggest in Australia as well; it has the same vibe as Sephora and features brands such as Urban Decay, Hourglass, Sunday Riley, MAC Cosmetics, and even their own exclusive, namesake makeup line.

There are a lot of places to visit in Gold Coast; we just didn't have enough time to visit all plus going around the city is much more efficient in a car or taxi. Our sister-in-law and her husband drove for us, but since we lived far away and they had work the next day, we only visited the popular spots in the area.

HOW TO GET TO GOLD COAST:
There is a train line that goes all the way to Gold Coast from the city. Click HERE to see the timetable, stops, and updates of the train line.
The best and cheapest way to go to trips outside the city is the shared transfer; it's basically a bus/shuttle shared by passengers that picks up and drops off passengers at designated stops. Two of the popular transfer companies in Brisbane are Con-X-Ion and Greyhound. You can pre- book our trips online, which is highly recommended because you might not be able to secure tickets easily on the day of your trip.

CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Just 24 minutes from Gold Coast is the town of Currumbin, home of Currumbin Wildlife Sacntuary. Built in 1927, it started as a Lorikeet Sanctuary where guests can feed Lorikeets as a solution for Alex to divert them from destroying his crops. The sanctuary eventually grew and is registered as one of Queensland's heritage sanctuaries.

Currumbin is a very interactive wildlife sanctuary; the sanctuary features themed locations that highlight various animals.

My husband with a Red Kangaroo; man, these guys are big and ripped! These are tame Kangaroos and they're used to humans petting them, but still, these are animals with instincts and must be given the space and respect they deserve.

Momma Kangaroos with joeys and pregnant ones. These ladies are pretty feisty because they have their young and we were advised to leave them alone and just admire them from a distance.

Emu Bird! This majestic, giant bird is one of the highlights in the sanctuary; there are a couple and they're just wandering around calmly and seem to be very acquainted with humans. But then again, people shouldn't harass and must treat them with respect because these birds will surely fight back if needed. 

One of the popular attractions in the sanctuary is the Crocodile show where you will see colossal crocs, one of the mightiest creatures that rule Australia. Luckily, it was feeding frenzy the time we visited and we saw in action how the resident crocs would feed and vie for a treat!

The sanctuary also houses threatened species such as the Echidna. We were lucky the time we visited because Echidnas don't go out and wander around when it's hot; it was winter when we visited and the Echidnas were luckily out and wandering!

Other animals to see in the sanctuary are Dingos (wild Aussie dogs; these dogs are huge!), Wallabies, pheasants, Tasmanian Devil, and of course, the Koala.

I highly encourage you to visit Currumbin Sanctuary because they also have conservation and fund- raising efforts, and provide rehabilitation for injured wild animals.

Other animal sanctuaries to visit in Brisbane are Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter's Australia Zoo.

MOVIE WORLD

When traveling, I always look forward to visiting theme parks. If Thailand has the newly- erected Marvel Theme Park, D.C. Comics lovers will delight in Movie World by Warner Brothers studios.

Movie World is a fairly- small park, but packed with very interesting rides featuring popular Warner Brothers movies from Dirty Harry, Batman, Wonder Woman, Scooby Doo, Green Lantern, Hulk, Superman, and Looney Tunes to name a few.

This is one of the super thrilling rides in the theme park: D.C. Rivals Hyper Coaster; it's one of the tallest roller coasters in Australia. No kidding, it felt as if my heart fell off my chest when I we finally did the drop!

Meanwhile, Superman Escape is one of the coolest roller coaster rides because it has a cool storyline; no one prepared me for the final leg of the story and start of the ride when we were ejected like hell from the tunnel! What a fun ride!

Here are the other attractions at the park:

Wild West Falls Adventure Ride is a thrilling canoe ride with a high fall; don't forget to bring extra clothes if you want to experience this!

Wild West also features a lot of instagrammable places so be sure to take a lot of pictures.

One of my favorite rides in the park is Scooby Doo's Spooky Coaster; it's roller coaster in the dark and it's got me laughing in fun and a bit of fear at the same time LOL!

Just like Disneyland, the restaurants are themed like Gotham City Hall eatery. The foods you will find here are classic Aussie treat such as pies, breads, hotdogs, fish and chips, cakes, and a variety of pastries.

The restaurants have a theme as well like Dirty Harry and their diner- inspired menu.

Every hour, the park performers hold mini shows at the Grand Archway like this Marilyn Monroe song number; occasionally, you will also see mascots such as Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Joker, Harlequin, and Wonder Woman to name a few roaming around; you can take pictures with them! Batman also has a cool show where he would beat up bad guys.

A lifesize Bat Mobile!

Before the park closes, a character parade takes place.

Other popular theme parks to visit in Gold Coast are: Aussie World, Dreamworld, Sea World, and Wet 'N Wild.

Movie World may be relatively small, but I like it a lot because I'm a fan of most of Warner Brother's movies and I love D.C. Comics too! The size and number of rides are just right for me because as much as I love theme parks and rides, I love resting in between rides too and I was able to get the best of both worlds because of the size of the park; it didn't feel like I was unproductive.

I hope you enjoyed our second day in Brisbane! Hopefully, you'll get to visit soon!

Tomorrow, let's go to the second popular beach destination in Australia and one of the two only Everglades in the world!

Check out my other Brisbane travel diaries:

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Pixi Eye Reflections Eyeshadow Palette review.

PRICE:P 1,348.00
FROM: Free
OTHER LOCATIONS: Available at Sephora.ph

THE VERDICT:

Pixi is one of the emerging beauty brands that I love; because their products are well thought out, sensible, and effective; their makeup products are made for everyday convenience and their skin care made for the everyday, modern woman with effective formulas that are meant to make skin glow. I'm a big fan of their skin care, rose line, face mists, eyeliner (they have the silkiest eyeliners evah!), and lately, their eyeshadow palettes. I have Pixi face and eye palettes in my dresser and I reach for them when I want to sport a classic neutral eye.

A new set of palettes have been added to my growing Pixi collection: Eye Reflections, one of the brand's new eyeshadow collection. If you want a fairly affordable, entry premium eyeshadow palettes that deliver, go for Pixi!
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Pat McGrath Lust Gloss review.

PRICE: P1,800
FROM: Free
OTHER LOCATIONS: Available in sephora.ph

THE VERDICT:

What do you get when you marry caring oils and lip balm? A unique gloss formula that's lust- worthy, even non- lipgloss wearers would want to wear it. Lip gloss tend to feel sticky, runny, and oftentimes, formula bleeds around the lips, but Mother Pat has fixed that with Lust: Gloss.

I discovered Pat McGrath's Lust: Gloss through samples sent to me; it was the product that I was least excited about due to my past experience with and notions on lip gloss, but after trying it on, I was impressed and I think I found the lip gloss that I don't mind wearing on a daily basis!

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Hola! Long overdue post, but since vacation season is coming, I thought of blogging about the second and final leg of the husband I's honeymoon last 2018: BRISBANE! I'll take you around the 'Sunshine State' and also known as the third largest city in Australia!
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