Monday, April 29, 2013

Ten Books in One Month

MizB of "Should Be Reading" hosts three book-related memes, and because this isn't really a book blog, I decided to just compile all three memes in one post, including another meme - "It's Monday, What Are You Reading?" My Bookish Musings on Monday. If you wanna join in any of the link parties, just click on each of the meme icons.

Let's get the ball rolling....


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page * BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
W...W...W... is another weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB; to play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

>>> Last week, I finished reading "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer. At the moment, my main motivations to read books are to go for book series - making sure I finish one as fast as I can so I can start reading the next one, as well as to read books turned into movies, because I have this deep curiosity to compare the books from the movie adaptations. That being said, I decided to start reading "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. When the movie adaptation was shown, I wasn't able to accompany my brother to watch it (he had two tickets.. aww...), and now I think I am glad that I wasn't able to watch the movie because I read some comments on GetGlue that the movie didn't show some scenes from the book. My brother raved about the movie, but I still haven't had the chance to watch it, and when my friend DeeJay told me he's currently reading this book, it sparked a main interest for me to read the book, and now, I am reading it! :)

Currently, I am at Chapter 11, and it started with these sentences:
"Sixty seconds. That's how long we're required to stand on our metal circles before the sound of a gong releases us. Step off before the minute is up, and land mines blow your legs off."

This got me really excited about the next coming scenes, and my friend DeeJay assures me that I will love Katniss, though right now I can't tell for sure because in the first part I don't like her that much, although I do understand why she has to be like that - I mean, the Hunger Games is basically a death sentence, and I am sure everyone part of it have all sorts of emotions, negative emotions at that.

Obviously, I will be reading "Catching Fire" after this, although I would also start reading another book - "I, Alex Cross" by James Patterson.


Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

>>> I don't know how many times I've said this, but I will say it again. I am not a bookworm (yet). I always have the "I don't have the time" excuse, but I really wanted to develop the habit, and even included it on my Bucket List (to read at least one book per month, for one year). It didn't motivate me that much, even if I bought a few books for myself, but last October (2012), finishing "The Nature of Air and Water" by Regina McBride gave me hope. However, when I started reading "London Bridges" by James Patterson shortly after, I got stuck somewhere in the middle, and didn't touch any book until April this year.

Me losing my old phone turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I bought myself an Android phone and installed Aldiko eBook Reader. Since then, I started reading eBooks, starting with the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy, and this new-found love for reading allowed me to finish "London Bridges" and another James Patterson book, "Double Cross." It's now the 29th of April, and I am not sure if I can finish "The Hunger Games" by 11:59pm tomorrow, so for now, it is safe to say that I have read 10 books in one month. That's one awesome achievement from someone who is not a bookworm, to think that I only set myself to read at least one book in a month. Actually, I could've read more books than that, but because I got to read the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy twice, it sort of take away the time I could've spent reading other books. No regrets, though... as much as I disliked the way FSG trilogy was written, I am really in love with Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele (they are my current favorite love team), and I admit I still cry at some of the scenes.

Next month, I will try to read as much books, but main priority is to read the James Patterson books so I can finally return them to my Uncle in exchange of more books to borrow.

Now, I am left with a question... how does one qualify to be a bookworm?

{all book cover images were taken from GoodReads}

Rain by Colortrends Nail Polish | Nirvana

The nail polish I am about to share this Monday was part of the 3 bottles I bought at a marketplace back in November (2012). This brand - Rain by Colortrends - was a surprise to me, because it was the first time I learned such a brand, and when I saw that it was manufactured by Chic (the same company behind trusted brands like Chic and Bobbie), I decided to buy one, just to test it out. There were a few available shades, and I went to buy the purple one, called "Nirvana." At first I thought it was something about "being in the state of Nirvana," but I later found out this was part of the Metallic Band Collection. Some shades in the collection are called "Guns N Roses" and "Metallica."

When I got home, I sort of regretted choosing this dark purple shade because very recently I just bought a bottle of African Plum shade, and this one looks quite close to it.

Rain Nail Polish | Nirvana
the awful-looking first coat

The more I regretted buying it when I first swatched it and realized it was such a difficult nail polish to use! The formula was thick, and the brush drags the nail polish as I glide it across my nails! Worse, much of the lacquer clumps at the tip of my nails, and dragging it to cover the bald patches resulted in more bald patches! I tried different approaches, but neither very thin coats nor thick coats gave me the result I wanted.

Last February, I decided it was time to do a full mani/pedi using this nail polish (so I can finally throw it out), and the solution I came up with was to use the sponge to dab the nail polish on my nails. Since sponging normally produce uneven coverage, it turned out to be good... though there was something missing - the glittery effect. Last week, I gave it another shot, trying to work with a very difficult formula.

Rain Nail Polish | Nirvana
in the shade

First coat was truly horrendous, but I stayed with it. After letting the first coat dry, I went on to add a very thick coat, dabbing the brush on to the bald patches then very lightly glided the brush across to flatten the surface. It turned out to be good, but of course, very close inspection revealed some uneven coverage, but because it's not seen from afar, I thought it was okay.

Rain Nail Polish | Nirvana
under the sun

I used a second very thick coat, which meant drying time would be longer. Good thing about it was that it was glossy and had this jelly-like look, that I didn't feel the need to add a top coat.

Rain Nail Polish | Nirvana
taken with flash - was watching "new moon" when i took this pic, that's taylor lautner on the background

In the end, I'd say I have come to love it. I didn't toss away the bottle, I think I'd just add a few drops of nail polish thinner next time and see if it will help with the application.

This isn't my favorite shade of purple, but I loved that this looked purple compared to African Plum, which is already close to being black. The shimmer in it is also something I loved, but working with the formula made me second guess if I'd still go for this brand.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday | 042813

I meant to put this on my photo blog, Shutter Happy Moments, but I decided to post this here instead, as I am really thinking of closing the other blog. Anyway, here's my interpretation to this week's Scavenger Hunt's prompts:

Ped Xing

Us siblings arrived at Max's Restaurant quite early, so while there is still light, my sister and I went out to take some pictures. She wanted to include part of the road when she asked me to take a picture of her, and seeing the pedestrian line, I just asked her to cross the street then walk towards me.

Pancit Canton

Yummy to My Tummy.
I don't know why, but I really, really love Chic-Boy's version of the Pancit Canton. The noodles are cooked good, it wasn't dry (I love a good slurp), and it has a lot of toppings! A dollar worth of goodness, that's what this is!


Favorite Toy.
Well... it just has to be my phone. :) I can read books with it, I can take pictures with it, I can communicate with it, and I can even surf the net with it.

Rain Nail Polish | Nirvana Bobbie Nail Polish | Matte Top Coat

What I Did This Week.
Well, aside from the usual - work, exercise, cook, clean (includes tending the garden), read books, and blog... I also painted my nails! I am getting a little fond of my short nails, and I am thinking of maintaining this short set of nails, but I am not sure yet. I love it long, I love it short, too.

Pink-Purple Sky

Seeing the sky turn bright red-orange during sundown is a wow moment, but personally, I love it when the sky turn pink-purple, because pink and purple are just two of my favorite colors.


It's Monday again tomorrow... this weekend, it's been raining in the afternoon making the temperature a little cooler; something I appreciated. I just hope the temperature will be a little kinder the entire week, so I could exercise with ease.

Plans for the coming week? Eat more vegetables (definitely), and cut back on soda. I also plan to sleep early this week (maybe at midnight) so I can wake up earlier, giving me more time to exercise early in the morning before the temp goes up. It really is difficult to exercise during the afternoon, so I am thinking of doing most of the task in the morning and use my afternoon to read books, as I don't want to use my laptop in the afternoon because of the heat.

May we all have a great week ahead!

Ni Hao Yall Unknown Mami

Max's Crispy Pata Take-Out Treat

Here in the house, we consider Crispy Pata a "luxury." Not really because we couldn't really afford it, but mainly because cooking out is such a pain-staking task, and yes, we found it a little expensive as well (might as well buy other food). That being said, whenever one of us would ask what we want to eat, we usually reply with "Crispy Pata," because we all know that is close to impossible to be served at home.

The only times we could eat Crispy Pata is whenever we attend events with this on the table. However, we truly couldn't enjoy eating it because it is often considered as a "sin food" that just expressing a wide-eyed wonder over it would cause people around to go, "Cholesterol...." Hahaha.

Well now, we have all the reasons to devour on this sinfully delicious food, because Max's Restaurant is now offering Crispy Pata as a take-out treat for only 449 pesos, which is 119 pesos less than the a la carte price. It also comes with a free 1.5L of Pepsi, so this makes a great take-out treat for those busy moments when you can't cook something, and this also makes a great potluck treat for those small family gatherings and get-together with friends.

This treat is available until May 31, 2013 in all Max's Restaurant branches nationwide.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Happy Friday!

I was out all day yesterday, and got home pretty late... so I wasn't able to blog right away. Anyway, I had a very great Friday yesterday and here are the five reasons behind such happiness:

1. Books!
I finished reading "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer a little past 1am, and since I allowed myself to read books until 2am, I started reading "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins.

Rufo's Tapa Meal Blueberry Cheese Muffin

2. Spending time with a friend.
When I went to Makati last Tuesday (23 Apr), I wasn't able to message my friend SJ because I know he's only available during lunch break and when I told him about the footwear sale at Glorietta, he was a bit upset that I didn't tell him I was in the area. Since I had an event to attend to yesterday, I decided to tell him that I will be in Makati and because he has to go to the dentist in the morning, we agreed to meet for lunch.

Good thing I arrived in Makati early, because the dentist in the first clinic he went to wasn't available. When he went to the next clinic, he said he was given #16 card, so he went to meet with me first. We had a quick lunch at the food court of SM Makati, then he asked me to accompany him at the Medicard Lifestyle Center for his dentist appointment. Well, we stayed at the lobby for more than three hours, but it was a great thing that we could share jokes and that the building has a free WiFi connection. We also shared a piece of Blueberry Cheese Muffin while he made a little boy happy by giving him origami - a little box and a boat.

He still has to go back to work, so he suggested scenarios. Either we take the cab and ask the driver to drop us off Glorietta (where he could walk back to his office, and I walk to my sister's workplace) or we ask the cab driver to drop him off first before taking me to sister's workplace, but he later realized that even if he give me money to pay the fare, it would still feel awkward, so in the end he told the driver to take me to sister's workplace first before dropping him off at his office building.

Hanson App

3. Hanson app on my phone. 
It was difficult to grasp WiFi signals from our neighbor's house, so even if I wanted to install the Hanson app the time it became available, it was just now that I was able to. I know this app is something I can't use much because it requires Internet connection, but still... being a fan, it's great to have them at the tip of my fingers, so to speak.

Sis and IDinner at Max's Restaurant

4. Dinner at Max's Restaurant
Since last month, I rarely attend food events because I want to help myself lose weight and going to food tasting events here and there was a big "sacrifice" I had to do. However, I have been a part of Max's Restaurant family for two years, so when I received an invitation from them, I didn't turn them down. This event was the awarding night for a contest they had for the Max's Restaurant bloggers... siblings and I didn't join, but I did win a GC for 1 whole fried chicken when they did a small trivia game. Happy I was to be seeing blogger friends, and happy that I was with my siblings and cousins (Marge and husband Jonel were there, too).

Get Glue Sticker Sheet

5. Sticker Happy!
When I decided to do the "Movie a Day" 365 Challenge, my friend Jessica (she's a Hanson fan, too) suggested I join GetGlue because whenever I watch a TV Show or a movie, I can check-in and might be rewarded with stickers. Not all check-ins meant 1 sticker, but... should there are movies and TV Shows with corresponding stickers. It was last 16 Mar that I completed 20 stickers, which meant I could order real copies of the stickers. Waiting time would last up to 8 weeks, and Jessica and I had some concerns that maybe they won't really send the stickers because not only does GetGlue have a lot of members, we also live outside of USA. For us, the real stickers are just cherry on top of the cake; that checking in and unlocking stickers are enough to make the GetGlue experience fun, but a few days ago, she posted pictures of her stickers, which got me excited for my copy. I knew she ordered her stickers long before I did, so imagine my surprise when siblings and I got home last night and brother handed me the envelope! For sure I won't really use the stickers, I will keep it for sentimental reasons. Thank you, GetGlue!

Of course, it's not really just a fun, fun, time for me... I also had some low moments -
1. While I was waiting for sister to time out from work, I received a text message from my high school friend Liza saying she's in Mindanao going to Bukidnon to meet another one of our friends. I was happy that they goet to see again after more than a decade, but I also felt sad that I wasn't with them. :(

2. After the Max's Restaurant event, us siblings walked from Greenbelt crossing three malls - Landmark, Glorietta, and SM - and when we got to Glorietta, we caught a glimpse of the Brazilian Madness Sale and sister and I were a little upset that they further reduced the price of some of the footwear.

3. While traveling home, the bus stopped at the corner of EDSA and East Avenue, and even if there were a lot of people waiting for their rides, my eyes caught the eyes of Angelo, one of my high school classmates. There was the initial surprise look followed by a hand wave... but I felt bad that he didn't hop in the bus (it wasn't that full) so we could chat. Well, he isn't a stranger (I mean, we talk every now and then thanks to Facebook), it was just sad that we had a chance to catch up on life and it didn't happen.

4. I couldn't register for Kindle... so I might take the app off my phablet. Just fine, I guess... Aldiko's a very great eBook app, and because most of the books I have are epub, I think I will stick to Aldiko for now.

5. I was browsing on EBay UK and checking on the Fifty Shades Trilogy books for sale, I saw one being sold for about £5. That got me super excited because each of the Fifty Shades book cost about 450 pesos here in the Philippines - nearly the same amount of the set of books sold on EBay. Next, I checked out the Harry Potter books, and saw several "all 7 books collection" for sale for about £20 (or below). Between the two collections, I prefer to own the Harry Potter books more (as I only got to read one book from the collection - "The Prisoner of Azkaban"). I quickly told K about it, requesting for him to purchase either one of the two collections (I forwarded $20 to him a month ago, will just pay for the rest when he comes here). Well, as much as he wanted to buy it, the problem would be its weight. He is only allowed check-in a luggage within the allowed limit, and should his luggage go beyond that, he will be asked to pay $50 per kilo. He told me that the last time he came here, his luggage was super close to the limit, and since he will stay longer when he comes here later this year, he was afraid taking the books with him will definitely blow his luggage allowance, and paying $50 would mean us paying more for the books than what they appeared to be. I do understand his explanation, but of course, I can't help but feel down. Well, I will snap out of it in time... hopefully I can find the Harry Potter books here in the Philippines (even second hand books).

Happy weekends, everyone!

Friday Photo Journal