NTC Tour Dubai 2015

Hey Blissful people! I know I have been MIA for a while, but sorting my schedule again to be back on posting regularly, as mentioned before I am still working my way in this blog. Meanwhile let me share with you an awesome experience 2 weekends ago. NTC Tour came to Dubai last Friday, 15 June 2015!!! 😍 Nike Training Club is a global fitness community of girls driven by self-expression in movement and training. It embodies Nike’s commitment to inspire and enable female athletes through its products, services and experiences. NTC or otherwise Nike Training Club organizes an annual tour around the world bringing together thousands of female athletes and fitness enthusiasts to ignite a year of fitness. NTC tour is a day of training challenges ranging from studio to high intensity. And this year, it is NTC’s very first time in Dubai. When I learned about it, me and my friend Eggie had to join right away. 😆 I signed up more than a month before the event and was so excited. So excited that I had to prepare for it even my workout routine is focused on lifting. Nike exceeded everyone’s expectations with how they organized the day. Nike really knows how to pamper us ladies, and with that let me share you photos, ‘coz what better way to tell than pictures right?

*** Warning: extremely photo-heavy.

This is a photo from an aerial view. *Courtesy of Nike Running Middle East (from their Facebook page)

This is breathtakingly captured. 😍

The group training warm-up, which we weren’t able to attend since we have queued at the braid bar for like 45 minutes already and behind us is an even longer queue. 😃 So yeah, braids it is, but we managed to get to the last 5 minutes of the warm-up.

The countdown.

Here we go! #ntctourdubai #betterforit

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This is the event schedule, the workout schedule is based on the color of your wrist band, we were given “yellow”. Event 11275931_10205455888309754_1628840857_n Yes, we were also given free Nike headbands. I really thought that we’d be getting just a T-shirt for the event considering that the registration is only for AED 100, but Nike went the extra mile to make sure we are well-taken care of. See below. 😍 NTC1 These are what’s inside the goodie bag. I love the statement. The bag’s also filled with vouchers from different health and wellness companies. This shirt was supposed to be printed with my name, but since it was already too late and the event was already over, I practically had to beg Nike staff to allow my shirt and Eggie’s to get printed even with just a ready-made fitspo quote. And yes he did! Thanks to you! Not bad eh? I think the quote gets me pumped up. 😆 DSC_0436 The towel made me feel relieved, since I got a little scolded by the Schatz just because I forgot to bring my own towel. Thanks Nike, you saved me from getting dripping-wet with sweat. Wait a minute, did I just create a short tongue twister? 😎 DSC_0435 In between our workout sesh we hit all the “experience stations” and yes, these stations and everything else I’m going to tell you about are for free! 😮 😍 How cool is that? The braid bar.

*Credits to Nike for the photo above. 11330465_10205455885909694_1630321746_n 11351358_10205455885949695_498388110_n The nail bar. I was the nail technician’s last customer. We hit most of these stations after the workouts, next year if there will be an NTC tour again, we know the drill- hit the event early to experience everything. 😋 11328838_10205456346561210_457856144_n 11358789_10205456326800716_685141503_n 11301343_10205455867869243_1825157039_n The recovery station with facials and massage, which unfortunately we did not have enough time to visit and yes, people were crazy and there were long queues. 11261472_10205456326920719_389424967_n The energy bar by KCal and Essentially, our goodie bag came with a food stub from Kcal. Eggie and I excitedly hoarded the healthy juice. 😆 11119930_10205456346601211_128330421_n 11120561_10205455882229602_300073771_n 11301377_10205455868509259_1782623279_n They had the T-shirt personalization bar I was talking about earlier. And the snapping spots for all the selfies that shouts, “beast-mode” and “fitspiration”. These inspiring messages were all over the event area.

*Credits to Nike for photo above. 11355418_10205455880229552_1221724128_n 11355376_10205455880749565_1701540114_n 11350240_10205455875589436_690075185_n 11272285_10205455867909244_443074457_n 11351488_10205455867749240_356975666_n 11292840_10205455867829242_1916720484_n*All sweaty. 11328854_10205455867669238_1883897195_n Sorry for the quality of the photos, we only had mobile phones with us, because who would bring an HQ DSLR camera to an event full of workouts??! 11287077_10205455867589236_1534039697_n And onto the workouts! We started with strength training where I found my “fitspo” and ultimate fitness girl crush!!! Aaaaah! I know, I sound super excited but her body is literally fitness goal! Follow Salma on Insta by the way and you guys will see why I sound like this.

About last night. #Focus #BetterForIt #NTCTOURDUBAI #NTCTOUR #NikeWomen #Salb

A post shared by Sal's Body Routine (@salbroutine) on

Then we did dance fusion.

We skipped HIT training for dinner, then we capped off the workouts with a yoga session.

And some more photos we snapped, told ya, this is photo-heavy: 11261099_10205455867069223_1956730354_n 11355359_10205455867149225_1181324125_n 11119679_10205455883949645_1955492018_n 11119171_10205455867469233_1748391464_n 11125226_10205455868589261_930556805_n 11124218_10205455868549260_607483929_n 11310958_10205455868149250_353126141_n Making silly faces. 😝 11297827_10205455867989246_1144130978_n Whoah! You go girl! 11262292_10205455868189251_1805574194_n It was indeed a day full of fun and fitness! Thanks to my girl, Eggie, really grateful that you did not hesitate to come with me the moment I asked you to. 😘 Nike did really well in encouraging and igniting fitness motivation that day, I was more inspired to push and work harder to reach my goals, so thanks Nike! I had a blast! Wherever you are in your fitness journey right now, don’t give up. Just do it! Don’t make excuses, soon you’ll see results, just keep pushing. Don’t be better for anyone else, be better for God and yourself. 😍 Remember, we honor God with our bodies. ‘Til next post blissful peeps! Here’s the official video from Nike:

“Feel a little confident the next time you work out by donning a braid.” 👌   Signature 2

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The Pinay Makeover Experience

Last weekend, I got to work with the lovely and talented Erl from Makeup by ERL and the whole team of Pinay Makeover for a makeover photo shoot of 3 lovely Filipinas that was featured on 7Days UAE (Dubai paper), read on the full article here. Erl invited me to do makeup for one of the models. This is really a fun learning experience for me since Erl has been in this industry for quite a long time now and she has already built a name for herself, how sweet of her to invite me right? 😊

Erl and her friend, Kristine formed Pinay Makeover with the help of their talented friends in the Filipino community. It is an online non-profit initiative to showcase the true beauty of the Filipina and promote Pinay empowerment by offering free makeovers to interested Filipinas who are willing to step up to the challenge by sharing their inspiring life story. -from their website

The movement is really inspiring and I believe it gives out a very powerful message to all Filipinas out there to strive and be the best version of themselves, that a Filipina is empowered to make a difference in this world because she has what it takes like any other woman, she is confident, beautiful inside and out, intelligent and worthy of respect. A Filipina is world-class.

To be honest, the stories in their blog have moved me to be more proud of being a Filipina, to fully believe in a Filipina’s abilities, to not compare myself with others or compete but encourage teamwork, to believe that I can achieve whatever I put my heart into. Their project is indeed living up to its aims and visions. Go Filipina!

If you are willing to step up to the challenge and share your Pinay story or if you know someone who is, please nominate or send Pinay Makeover a message here info@pinaymakeover.com or send them a message in their Facebook Page, if you’re in a different location, let them know as they can accommodate your request since Erl’s day job allows her to travel making overseas makeover requests a possibility, how cool can that be? 😍 They also have an Instagram page filled with inspiring stories and quotes about women empowerment, please hit follow ❤. I am sharing the full page 7Days feature photo from their Instagram below:

YES!!! I was invited once and my back and name also made it to 7Days, I was ecstatic when I found out really 😍, I mean it is my first time to read my name and see myself in a newspaper, so that explains my excitement 😆. I am really grateful to Erl, Kristine and to the whole team of talented and creative people behind Pinay Makeover. Kudos too, to the genius photographer, Sir Arian Marcos, check out his website here. More photos from their Instagram page below:

Rock chic makeover on-going. ☺️😍 #pinaymakeover #makeover #rockchic #makeup #gopinay #happyweekend #weekendprojects

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No matter what nationality you have women, let’s continue to promote women empowerment and let’s make a difference in this world.

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#YearofHappy February and March – My Personal Approach

I know it’s already too late for February #YearofHappy post and overdue for March. Here are what’s required for both months:

* February – Go to a thrift shop or dollar store and buy the weirdest, goofiest, strangest things you can find – anything that makes you happy! Then, make a haul post or (better yet) a video sharing what you bought. Don’t spend more than $10 and remember to have fun!

March – Create an inspiration board using your favorite colors, images, or sayings. Haul out those old issues of Glamour and go to town! Hang it somewhere you will see it every day so that you can feel happy and inspired whenever you look at it.

* From October June

February- First off, I didn’t really get to have the time to stop by a thrift store to purchase some strange things. ✌ But here’s the deal, I did spring cleaning, and had stuff that really needed to go out since I haven’t used them for ages. Letting go of things that we always cling to but never used anyway is actually exhilarating and liberating haha! And yes, I’m talking about things that are still usable, they say, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” I’ve really had to think so many times before giving away stuff, I’ve had those convos in my head like “maybe you can wear this somewhere”, “but this reminds you of something really meaningful”. Nevertheless, if you haven’t used them up for such a long time, it’s time to let go especially for clothes. You see, we have tons of things in our homes that are really just sitting for ages and we don’t wanna part with them ever. But as one saying goes, “how can we receive if our hands are full”, I know that’s too deep to incorporate about donating, but think about the people who are fighting for survival right now, maybe receiving that old sweater of yours that’s been sitting in your winter clothes box for years is the only thing that can make a girl happy and warm. We can be a blessing to someone right now by letting go of things we haven’t used for a while. So the things, I have gathered after cleaning went to a donation box nearby my place. * I am not saying this to brag or anything, I am writing about this to encourage people, so that together we can make a big change and help others who are in need right now. Dubai is a city which has immense efforts towards charity and we can make use of that. There are different donation boxes and charitable organizations spread throughout Dubai like those below, and that can be placed few blocks away or next to your building:

1613232307 b Dar_al_Ber_Collection_box download

You can also learn about different charitable organizations in Dubai in this link.

Aside from being able to help, I also freed up some space in my closet and drawers which is a good thing. 😍 After all, this movement is about being happy not only on our own, but also inspiring others to be happy and be a blessing to someone. Smile, happy people let’s radiate positivity. ☺

March- this is the month that I lost my best friend Heizel, read more about her inspiring story here. But our loss is Heaven’s gain indeed. My heart goes out to her family, though mourning we all strongly believe that she is happy now with the Lord, smiling and no more pain from brain cancer. March is a tough month for her family, my family and me, but no matter how tough this month or even life can be, one thing is for sure, God works out everything together for our good, and He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. I may not have an artsy, colorful and creative inspiration board for this month, but I have managed to create some typography-inspired doodles on my planner below. Simple but it means a lot to me.

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Now, these #YearofHappy prompts for the month of February and March may be different from what it’s supposed to be, but I think they have just been more personal and more inspiring, and I think you can tweak things a bit anyways. Let’s always remember blissful people, to give back and be a blessing to someone, to hold, cherish and make most out of every moment while there is still time. I wish everyone a HAPPY and BLISSFUL year, how time flies, it’s almost April. 😍 If you want to do the #YearofHappy project, please feel free to do so and read more about it here.

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*Donation boxes photos from (1, 2, 34)

Liebster Award

Last week I saw a comment from Beth, of The Honey Blonde Life, she’s such a sweet gal and you should check her blog and cute cat, Bentley. 😃😺 Turns out she has nominated me for the Liebster award, thanks Beth.

It is said that the Liebster award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere. So, I am nominating my fellow bloggers below.

The Rules:

  • Link back to the blogger that nominated you–(The Honey Blonde Life)
  • Answers the 11 new questions
  • Nominate other bloggers (however many or few as you’d like)
  • Create 11 (or however many you’d like) new questions
  • Notify the new nominees of their award.

liebsteraward

1. What is your favorite under-eye concealer for dark circles?

I have really been loving the Maybelline Fit Me concealer, it’s good for highlighting the under-eye area to give you that “I got that 8-hour beauty rest” look even though I spent the whole night last night watching Vampire Diaries. 😛 It’s very light in consistency which means no cakey appearance but coverage is really great.

2. Favorite tea (if you drink tea).

Undeniably green tea, I have been loving teas lately. I can’t wait to try other flavors too.

3. What do you like to eat for breakfast?

I like big and heavy breakfast, I get really hungry after sleeping. If I’d have more willpower to rise up early I love eggs, toast and fruit shakes. But these days, a bowl of oatmeal with banana is my go-to quick breakfast which is also filling by the way.

4. Favorite fashion accessory?

I love fancy jewelries, I think they spice up any plain outfit, ,make it unique and interesting. To be specific, I like necklaces.

5. Do you wear BB or CC Cream?  And if so, what is your favorite brand?

Nope, I don’t really wear any of the two. I have tried the Garnier before once.

6. Favorite health snack when you’re on the go?

Fruits and granola bars! 🙂

7. Who is your favorite style icon?

It’s funny that ever since I have been reading this question in magazines and online, I am always clueless about my style and icon. Maybe that’s because I haven’t really paid much attention, I love dressing up but does not want my style to be labelled. It’s also ridiculously embarrassing to say that lately (I mean “a week ago” type of lately) I have a fashion conversion and enlightenment. I suddenly want to completely re-think and re-invent my fashion sense, invest in quality basic pieces, start from there and incorporate “classy” and “sophisticated” but with a trendy touch to it. Therefore, now I can answer the question above, I’m excited to say that my style icon is Miranda Kerr (her style is exactly a mix of everything I love- the class, the sexiness but with the right touch of elegance), Ivanka Trump, Sarah Vickers (URGH! Her closet is to-die for), and our very own (Filipina actress) Heart Evangelista. Gosh! Can’t believe I just got this figured out at 26. 😬

8. Favorite TV show?

These days I haven’t really been watching TV. Do I sound boring? Well, if I do, I’d catch up on TVD.

9. Fun fact about yourself?

I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, in one of its strictest town. Growing up I had to wear an abaya and burqa (face cover with only eyes showing).

10. Would you rather live near the mountains or the ocean?

Ocean! I love water and the sun.

11. If you could bring three things with you to a deserted island… 😉 what would you bring?

I feel like this is the most difficult question. 😣Haha! If only humans are allowed, I’d bring my family, my Schatz and a boat to fit us all. But if this is stricly “things-only” question, I’d bring my Bible, a knife, and a lighter.

So, my questions are:

1. What is one holy-grail beauty product in your kit that you can’t live without?

2. Who gave you the best beauty tip you have ever received and what is it?

3. What’s your favorite store to shop clothes at and why?

4. What 5 things do you think that should always be in a woman’s wardrobe or closet?

5. Where do you want to travel in the next 3 years?

6. What are your healthy habits?

7. Fun fact about you that no one knows?

8. Describe your perfect weekend.

9. Who would play you in the movie about your life?

10. Why do you blog?

11. What is that one goal that you have not yet met, but are working to achieve?

I nominate:

Polished by Amy

Jaiful and Her Cheeks

Real.art.music.life

She is Joyful

Confetti and Curves

Dorkchops

Please feel free to copy the award icon and paste it to your blog’s sidebar. 🙂 Enjoy Liebster!

* Photo from here.

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She is Heizel

I tell her my secrets, I tell her my problems, I tell her my mistakes and she didn’t judge me, we made plans for the future, we talk about how successful we will be someday. At night we giggle and talk about even the most nonsense things and we’d laugh, and her laugh, it’s contagious. It echoes to this day, that laugh will I never forget. When things get rough, she’d tell me “it’s okay, everything will be fine, we can do this.” She puts passion at what she does, she excelled, she achieved, during the most difficult times of her life, she stayed strong, she’d go out of her way to help you. She’s a friend, she’s a sister, she’s my best friend, she is Heizel.

Over a year ago, she was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, prior to that she’s already had 2 operations to remove the brain tumor and later last year, she eventually lost her sight. It hurts me that I wasn’t there beside her during her most difficult times, I wasn’t there to listen so I am the first person she tells about the struggle like we always used to. This time, it’s not just about school stuff, boys, lip gloss and nail polish- this time it’s brain cancer. But you know what, I witnessed her strength though we were miles apart, she fought, she stood, she sacrificed, she cared for the people around her, her life is a blessing to many, she laughed and she smiled. But on March 09, 2015, she went to be with the Lord. I was reading her sister’s Facebook status about that and I can’t move, I feel like I was just dreaming, I can’t believe she’s gone too soon. Until now, I can’t believe she’s not here anymore. I can’t believe that when I visited her when I was on vacation in January, that’s the last time I will see her smile in person. It will never be the same without her and her laugh. I have a lot of “I wish” I had done this and done that, but it’s too late. Her life taught me many lessons the past week. Not only her life but her sisters’ lives, she has 2 younger sisters that grew up with us too, they’re like my real sisters. They are Michelle and Mirish, both of them together with their family demonstrated great strength, more than anyone Michelle and Mirish stood by Heizel’s side juggling work, studies and discipleship ministries altogether. Sleepless nights, tearful devotions and pleading time with the Lord to heal their sister, plus other extra responsibilities, I could not imagine myself going through all those situations with a smile on my face and great faith in my heart that believes God’s got everything under control like they do, it must have been so difficult. How could for the life of me complain about small, petty stuff in life and feeling sorry for where I am right now- how pathetic and stupid could I be where on the other side of this planet I have my best friend and sisters persevering, fighting hard and flaming the faith when in the eyes of the world they are passing through a difficult, draining and hopeless situation?!!! I know! We are oftentimes like that, we take our life for granted when in fact we are blessed in every ways, we feel offended by someone, we dilly dally in our faith just because we don’t get things to work our way, we feel that God is far away when we are the ones drifting apart, we feel disappointed over the littlest things in life.

She is Heizel, she will always be in my heart, her memories will stay with me forever, she is an inspiration. We are deeply saddened that she is gone, but we are all rejoicing that Heaven has gained her and is walking joyfully with God, with her eyesight back to see Paradise’s majesty and without any pain but only happiness, also with her earthly dad whom they lost 5 years ago to heart attack, I know these sisters have been through a lot. Despite everything that has happened in their lives, they acknowledge boldly and openly that truly God has proven Himself faithful, that He has never left their side and He has never abandoned them. Til their sister’s last breath, God has manifested His goodness to them, that even though it’s been very painful, God is the one who comforts them. Michelle said, “even though what we have been praying for has not come to pass, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t hear us or He doesn’t want us to be happy. All He wants is for us to surrender everything to Him because He has a better plan than what we would have wanted to happen. God’s thinking is far from our own, His ways are different. We may not understand it but if we trust Him wholly, forever we won’t be disappointed. Yes, it is difficult to move on, it’s difficult to lose someone but God’s grace is abundant. God’s love is unfailing. We will lose everything, house, business, job, money, friends and family but God’s love is always present. Whooo! Even though it’s difficult, painful, and crazy, just TRUST GOD! Whooo! I am now excited, excited for how we will start again, stand up and see God’s surprises along the way of moving on. Thank you to everyone that helped and supported. We will always be grateful.”

Gosh! What great faith is that?!!! She is only 20 years old and Mirish a year younger, but their faith and courage will serve as great examples to people around them like me. Let their story inspire us, to live and not just exist, to create value through our lives and to never take things and people for granted. Show the people around you that you care and you love them before it’s too late, we never know when they’ll be called to rest.

Heizel, I may not be there most of the time but always know that I love you, always. I am so proud of how strong you are and how brave you fought your battle, you will always be in my heart. Though it will never be the same without you, I will radiate your smile and positive energy, your memories will always be with me, my childhood is perfect because you’re in it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. You are now happy, well and smiling, no pain and pretty again. You will be missed. Thank you for everything. We will continue to fight brain cancer. To me, you will always be Heizel. 

And yes, I am posting our pictures and memories in here, for everyone to see, for everyone to be touched, encouraged and inspired.

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You will always be remembered Heizel. Nothing is impossible with God.

February Instagrams & Updates

Heya! How are you guys all doing? My February Instagrams are here, apologies for posting late. Let’s see what’s Bliss been up to last month.

Mykel and Rea, one tonight. 💑💕 #glorytoGod #fortheirlove #michaelandreatillforever

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

Michael’s and Rea’s wedding is the MOMENT of February, their intimate wedding has truly inspired me to live and love. Btw, the bride has started to blog, read more about their love story and faith here in this link.

The bride. #beforeandafter #stunning #michaelandreatillforever 02.07.15 👰💏💑❤️

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

I get ecstatic over this, thinking she’s my first bride in Dubai. To many more! #aspiring? Yes, and dreaming.

Our church talked about LOVE the whole month, and I let you into a snippet of my journal, where apparently God also tells me personally to love more. Yup, that says “No man/woman/date can ever make your Valentine special. Only God does.”

How sweet. Thanks roomies! #Godblessallofyou #happykiddo

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

You guys, I have got the sweetest roommates really. I received an arm candy and a Victoria’s Secret perfume for Valentines. 😍 Even if it’s not Valentines, they’re the most generous. I am inspired.

I'm grateful to You for today. Productive and happy day. Let's spread good vibes and love. Only love. #thankyouGod

A post shared by Joy Lorenzo (@joielorenzo) on

Shameless selfie it is! 😝 February has kept me inspired, productive and living. So many plans for the future, and it gives me joy knowing that I am not alone in my journey.

My January book which is overdue. And yes, poor thing I haven’t finished my February book yet, gotta be more organized with my time. I highly recommend this book by the way.

The boyfriend gave this to me to try out. He loves pampering as much as I do. Well, they’re still sitting on my spa kit, haven’t used them, March is the way to go! What are your spa-night essentials? Share with me down below.

 

I am still making my way around this blogging thing, not that I haven’t blogged before, I did have 2 blogs about a different subject and now I kind of what to change things a little bit. Change is good and it is challenging me. I hope to keep up with it, and inspire people. After all, this blog is my open jar, kind of like talking and sharing with you guys, well virtually. I have blog post ideas in mind, still finding inspiration for some, planning out my future blog posts and just enjoying the moment. If you have suggestions, constructive criticisms and questions shoot them down below. Will be happy to keep in touch with you guys.

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Fashion Inspiration: Spring 2015

Spring 2015 gives us fresh inspirations of pastels, tropical shades, plaids and stripes, sheers and light-washed denims. I have been seeing lots of pleasant colors and textures both in the runway and shops, if I were to take spring 2015 trends into my style, here’s how I’d incorporate it.

Spring 2015