Recommended Pre-Winter Reading List

Sweater weather is just around the corner here in the desert and I'm really excited for everything to finally cool down. Hopefully by next week we'll be saying hello to more walking around outdoors and regular jogging in the park again!

If you're following me on Instagram, for sure you might have noticed that a huge chunk of my posts are regularly dedicated to my reading list. Books I've read, currently reading, recently purchased, favorites  and all those bibliophile jazz. Like it's not obvious enough, yes, I joined the #bookstagram community, and the nerd in me has been having a ball. There's just so many creative readers all over the world who not only give out amazing book recommendations, but are sort of inspiring me to just keep on reading. 

The past three months have been a crazily busy period for me, but amidst the chaos, I'm glad I still managed to allot some time for reading. For the busy bookworms like me, here are five books (technically six since I count Jenny Han's books as one) that I've recently finished reading and enjoying, as we start welcoming the cooler season around these parts. Don't expect a bunch of literary masterpieces though. These are mostly light reads and some I even managed to devour just in one sitting. Enjoy!

Sometimes it really bugs me that Dubai is always one of the late places to snag copies of my favorite authors' latest works. Same was the case for Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey. I was almost thisclose to ordering a copy online, but good thing I waited. Just a bit bummed that the one I got wasn't a paperback though. I realized just how much I've missed reading Sophie Kinsella after reading this book. Weird characters coupled with her charming humor and incredibly heartwarming plot, I gotta say this is one of the better Kinsella books there is.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell did not disappoint and I seriously couldn't put it down once I started reading. I'm fangirling so hard because of this book! I was giggling like a teenager with a crush and squealing like a piglet all throughout. I swear I can read this book over and over again. My heart is screaming loudly for a sequel! Everything about this book is cute and adorable. Nothing new about the story's characters and plot, but there's something about Rowell's style that just nails it every single time. I enjoyed it so much and I bet you would too.

Oh Mindy, what did you do to me? To be quite honest, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling is all over the place, but it's hysterical enough to make it to this list. She's an awesome combo of smart and funny. Definitely the kind of friend you would love to hang out with. Not sure if this book would pass as an autobiography (they say it is), but the humor and wit of her life's observations, opinions, and anecdotes are just spot on. Absolutely adore her now. 

Sophia Amoruso's #Girlboss book is so in your face, I love it. Her writing style might seem a bit intimidating and Johnny Bravoish to others, but I really enjoyed her honest voice. How she's overcome challenges and her impressive success in business (being the founder of Nasty Gal) is something to be really admired. The book is inspiring, funny at times, and gives quite a handful of tips and tricks to unleash someone's potential in the world of business or just life in general. Pictured on top are two bookmarks I received as Egypt souvenirs from the living #girlboss I know, Ann.

I picked up Jenny Han's P.S. I Still Love You because I couldn't get over its pretty cover. It's already way too late when I realized that it's a sequel, so I ended up reading the e-book of To All The Boys I've Loved Before sent to me by my friend Marbz. But of course I just had to get the paperback version last week when I saw it in Borders because its cover looks pretty too (I know, I have a problem). To be honest, there were so many points in the books that I wanted to strangle the main character's neck because of her stupidity, but I got to admit that I still enjoyed Han's two novels a lot. A whole lot. It's light, sweet, somewhat relatable, and will make you remember how nice it is to be young again.

It's a Saturday night and I can't believe the weekend is almost over.  I was out with the husband last night watching the band Blue perform here in Dubai and spent the entire day today arranging furniture, setting up the Christmas tree, and cooking. How did you spend yours?

Shopping in Mongkok Hong Kong

They say a trip to the "fragrant harbour" wouldn't be complete without shopping. From high-end brands to bargain stuff, you can buy just about everything in beautiful Hong Kong. My meagre allowance seriously went a long way because everything was just affordable and super inexpensive (atleast in Mongkok).

It actually took me some time to book a hotel for our four-day stay in Hong Kong. My main concern was location, cleanliness, and of course, free breakfast and wifi connection. Good thing I decided to choose Holiday Inn Express Mongkok, which is just a barely five-minute walk to the nearest metro station, Yau Ma Tei. Aside from the fact that it's a new hotel, it's also strategically located. I love that Holiday Inn is situated on the quiet and more laid-back side of Dundas Street, yet it's just across where all the shopping action is happening, with lots of dining options as neighbors too.

Our first night in Hong Kong was spent roaming the brightly lit and lively streets of Mongkok. I got lost inside a Sasa branch along Nelson Road, where I got so many beauty items. It's every kikay girl's makeup haven! I purchased so many products that are either not available or super expensive here in Dubai. I think I hoarded too much facial masks for my own good. Just couldn't help it.
Just two blocks from the MTR station was Ladies Market filled with all items imaginable: from clothes, bags, shoes, and souvenirs. There were also streets dedicated to selling different categories: electronics, shoes, home accessories, and jewellery.

I was actually planning to purchase a new Neo Blythe doll but C.C. Toys, which I've been researching since forever, was closed when we went to CTMA. There's another store that sells Blythe, but their selection was very limited and no dolls caught my fancy, so I was a bit heartbroken.
Although disappointed, I still ended up exploring the other stores inside CTMA. There were just so many shops selling toys and other collectibles, including specialty stores selling Korean and Japanese fashion, Mori girl inspired clothing and accessories. One tip: Go there between 3PM to 9PM to make sure that most shops are still open. We went there around 10PM after resting a little bit thinking that it would be open until midnight.

The entire stretch of Sai Yeung Choi is also brimming with so many Korean beauty brands stand alone stores such as Etude House, Innisfree, Laneige, Nature Republic and Tony Moly. The KPOP phenomenon is also apparently alive and well in Hong Kong. Even the coffee and milk tea shops were playing Big Bang and 2ne1 songs. It almost felt like I was in Seoul, not Mongkok.
After our day trip to Macau, we spent a good few hours along Tsim Sha Tsui. If Mongkok's the center of bargains and night markets, Tsim Sha Tsui was less congested with plenty of high-end brands stores and air-conditioned malls.

Another tip: Try to learn a bit of Chinese, Cantonese in particular. It would come in really handy when shopping in Hong Kong especially in street markets. Although a lot of them speak good English, conversing in their own language would make haggling a bit easier for you. Also, don't forget to be nice and smile sincerely. Some friends who've been to Hong Kong before told us that Chinese people are a bit aloof and intimidating, so I was really surprised that all of the ones (except that one taxi driver) we've encountered during our trip were pretty warm, friendly, and helpful too.

It was definitely a nice long Eid weekend and I felt so recharged. I'll be dedicating separate posts for some of the highlights of our Hong Kong and Macau trip in the coming days once my schedule permits. 

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends all over the world! 

Where did you spend your Eid break?

My Morning Makeup Essentials

In all honesty I'm like the laziest person in the morning ever. It would take me hours to get out of bed and would be scramming to get ready on a regular basis. So I usually do away with only a slather of BB Cream, some blush, and lip balm.  But on those very rare days I manage to get up extra early, I do have a morning makeup routine and I take my sweet time of course.

Here are some of my trusted go-to essentials:
For skin prep up: Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Nivea Mattifying Toner, Lucas Papaw Ointment, Etude House Wonder Pore Corrector, and The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX BB Cream with SPF 20
For everyday makeup: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder, YSL Heart of Light Powder Blush, Maybelline Colossal Kajal Eyeliner, Essence Plump No Clump Mascara, and Inglot Matte Lipstick in 425 shade

Really fortunate that a lot of my cosmetics were gifts from my previous work and of course generous friends. A lot of my skin prep up products are mostly available from our neighborhood pharmacy (except the Lucas Papaw and Etude House tubes though).

I'm currently on the lookout for a new BB cream since The Face Shop has just discontinued the one I'm using above. Boohoo! It feels almost like a deja vu or something. Like Missha's Watery BB cream all over again. I've been using Watery since 2008 until Missha decided to discontinue that too. Now The Face Shop just did the same thing to my Lovely ME:EX. It's the only BB Cream that didn't break out my skin and the new one that they released to replace it doesn't match my skin tone at all. I've tried other brands and non-Korean brands, but they are either too cakey, not matching my skin tone, or only made my skin break out like crazy. I guess I'll have to go back to moisturizers then while I figure this thing out.

Do you also use a BB cream? What's your daily morning makeup routine and your go-to brands?

P.S. No, I didn't forget. The past month was just crazily busy. But thanks to everyone who has joined my August Summer Giveaway. I still need to draw a lucky winner though. Stay tuned for the announcement soon! :)

Giveaway: ModCloth Gift Certificate {August Surprise}

Hello lovelies! How's this week treating you so far? I know that the week just started, but I can't wait for the weekend already. The heat is just super insane these days here in Dubai! I feel like it gets worse everyday. We could seriously use a little rain around these parts.

Anyway, the past month has been pretty amazing here in Icing & Write, so as a sweet treat in this crazy desert weather, we are running a giveaway the whole month of August. One lucky reader will win a $50.00 ModCloth gift certificate. They ship internationally too, so pretty much everyone's welcome to join!

To enter, simply let me know what do you love most about summer and then do atleast one of the following:
1. Follow Icing and Write through GFC. (1 point)
2. Follow me through Bloglovin. (1 point)
3. Follow me on Twitter. (1 point)
4. Tweet about this giveaway. Don't forget to mention @aizzing and keep your account public, so I can track of course. (2 points)
Just entered Icing&Write's exciting $50.00 ModCloth gift certificate August giveaway! @aizzing
5. Share and link this giveaway on your blog. (2 points)
Please leave a separate comment for each of your entry so they would count of course. :)

This giveaway is open worldwide (or wherever ModCloth can ship). Please do not forget to also leave your email address or Twitter username so I can contact you in case you win. Submission of entries is until August 31st (Monday) and a winner will be selected and announced here right after using

Spread the love and good luck! :)

Our Legoland Malaysia adventure

We decided to squeeze in a sidetrip to Malaysia during our three-day layover in Singapore to experience Legoland Resort, a theme park just across the causeway from Singapore located in Johor Bahru. It rained so hard, but we still had such an amazing day with my husband's high school friends Tim, Alfred and Ivy. There's just so much to see and do inside. It turned out to be a super wet and wild, fun-filled day. Definitely one for the books! :)

We rode a shuttle bus from Singapore Flyer to get to Legoland. The theme park is actually just a quick journey (maybe an hour?) from Singapore, and passing through Immigration is a breeze if you have the required visa of course.

In Miniland, they have built miniature versions of famous landmarks and tourist spots of different Asian countries out of lego bricks. My favorite would have to be the Taj Mahal in India and of course my country, Philippines.
They're so intricately done that it almost looked like the real thing. Creative guys, I know. They even did a lego version of the Singapore Flyer. Awesome!
We tried some of their roller coasters and just acted all out silly the entire day. We couldn't help it. :)

This theme park is not just for kids, any one of all ages will really enjoy. One can literally pick up the pieces and build a Legoland a la Ed Sheeran, watch Lego movies, scream your heart out riding the roller coasters, learn how to drive, create a Lego robot, and simply just go and have an adventure. There's something to do both indoor and outdoor, no matter the weather.

One of the attractions that stood out to me would have to be the Lego Star Wars. Not really a diehard Star Wars fan, but I'm telling you, those lego creations inside were just dope. They're incredible!
This is seriously one of the best quick road trips we've done in a long time. I highly recommend this place to families and friends. Lego and non-Lego fans will surely have a blast. You can read more about Legoland Malaysia Resort and what they have to offer from their website.

My feet are itching again to go and have another adventure. I can't wait to explore more. I would have wanted to explore the rest of Malaysia if only we had the time. Been wanting to go to Kuala Lumpur. Someday soon for sure! :)