Thursday, February 28, 2013

Books from Blink.Com.Ph!

I had no right to buy stuff I didn't budget/allot for. But online cashless shopping makes it easy to waive that right. I went ahead and splurged.

I bought four books from all for PHP1,000 (free shipping). I've been using their online book shopping portal quite a bit now, even just for browsing at least once a week. If you ask me, I personally think that Blink is a treasure trove for hard-to-find books that come really cheap (which is important for me!). I mean, you can always find "elusive" books--file a request from a local book chain or order from international shops--but goodluck with coughing up the $$$$ for it!

I received my orders without a hitch and they were packaged quite nicely, each book wrapped individually in recycled brown paper.

This is my second order from them and it is especially amazing that I almost always manage to find Japanese authors that I have always had a yearning to read. If you remember, I got my first Junichiro Tanizaki novel  from Blink as well. Now, I have both Yusuke Kishi and Osamu Dazai, too!

This was such an unexpected find. I had to make sure that there wasn't any "SOLD OUT" or "NOT AVAILABLE" label anywhere on the page. It's almost impossible to find a cheap Yusuke Kishi today, especially almost-new ones. Kishi has such a huge cult following that it's almost impossible to ignore him, and that's how I've come across his novels. Very highly-raved book. (CURRENT READ)

My first introduction to Osamu Dazai was the novel "schoolgirl", one of the books that One Peace publishing sent me. But this book promises to be so much darker than the former. Coincidentally, I have been actually watching Aoi Bungaku (青い文学シリーズ, "Blue Literature Series"), a 12-episode anime adaptation of six of the most popular and most read novels and short stories in Japanese literature. Aoi Bungaku features No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai in its first episode:

I've just about finished the series, and I get so creeped out at No Longer Human. I'm sure it'll even be eerier when reading the novel.

Some few books that I chucked in:

I bought this parenting book for my sister for her birthday on March 12. This is actually one of my favorite books I often read for fun back when I was employed in Bantay Bata 163. They had a lot of related books but this book has a lot of heart and wisdom in it. Since undergoing training and child-friendly sensitivity seminars, plus reading this book during downtime, it helped me let go of my preconceived notions about children's bad behavior and the difference between discipline and punishment.

Para Kay B is one of those books I promised to finish but never really gotten around to. This book was bought by my friend, Shane. (FINISHED READING)

I had a great experience overall with Blink! I love that they also gave me a freebie bookmark:

That's really nice of them, don't you think? I love little touches like that, as a consumer/buyer. Thanks for the nice service!

Thank you for reading! Don't forget to subscribe for more reviews and random posts!

NOTE:  This post is NOT sponsored. I just like to commend and promote the website in whatever way I can because I was happy with the service and simply because I felt like writing about it today! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ryuma Coffee Shop: Davao's Premiere Spot for Gilded Chairs & General Royal Awesomeness


Relax, it's just Ryuma Coffee Shop.

These gilded chairs seem like those furniture from The Grand Kremlin Palace at Moscow! Really! Take it from  me, I have never been there. And while my companion was choosing our orders at the counter, I sat there peacefully like a Tsarina.

There's nothing like elegance, sparkly things, and good food to make you think that, yeah, maybe this is what I deserve in life. That maybe, just maybe, this the place where I really belong. Not the plebian, working ant conditions I was accustomed to! This is my place! This is my throne! This is--

"Aich? Tara na. Let's go up." 

So, there were a lot more of these gilded thrones chairs where they come from. There's also a second floor at the end of a flight of stairs with a red carpet that made me go "I want to come in here and go up the stairs with a ball gown on...

AND MAYBE A TIARA!" Gosh, luxury slides all over my head so easily like melted gold. I haven't even crossed half the stairs when I knew that Ryuma meant business. I mean, can another coffee shop in this city boast of a humongous sparkling crystal chandelier? o_O

If that is not EXTREMELY luxurious for a place that sells me a cup of coffee, I don't know what is. And if that isn't enough, there's also this parlor piano encased in a pristine cherry-varnish case.

One of the wonders that you can find in Ryuma coffee ship is this steampunk-looking drip coffee. It's one of the most complicated looking coffee machines I have ever had the chance to observe. And just through observation you can see how this complex machine is only good for one thing: mix water into coffee.

(debunking the mystery of how this thing works!)

1. First off, there's this crystal ball. Has water in it. Sometimes produces bubbles but that's just water going down the golden tubes.

That is definitely not cold water. That much I can tell you.

2. The water ever sooooooooo slooooooooowly drips down from the crystal ball. The droplets go down one by one. And into the tall wide cylinder filled with grinded coffee bits. It smelled like something wonderful!

3. Finally, somehow, the little droplets of water find its way all the way down from its travels through a field of grinded coffee beans, and it exits all coffee-colored. And also coffee-tasting! (maybe!)

And it finally makes its way to my Cafe Au Lait ! 

And my coffee is on this little dainty cup MADE OF GOLD. This costs about P80.00 by the way, and the coffee is amazing if you're a coffee junkie who likes to be kicked on the butt by caffeine. It would've been too strong on its own, but because there's creamer/skimmed milk on it, I got the milky version of the coffee~

It was very delicious!

Ryuma's sugar for their coffee comes in huge granules. It's not the usual brown table sugar. I submerged a couple of teaspoons of this on my cup to adjust to my sweet tooth. In the end when I finished my cup I munched on sugar one by one like candy.

My dashing companion ordered Ryuma's Mango Ice Cream Shake. It is reminiscent of all the good things life has to offer. It was pretty awesome for ice cream shake. It is milky and very mangoey. This costs about P120, and it comes in a tall stem wide wine glass with a very out of place straw. I wish they provided us a golden straw. Meh.

Random pictures of golden lounge chairs. To reiterate the luxuriousness of the place.

Ryuma is a Japanese-owned coffee shop, so don't be disappointed if you only see books in Japanese there. I can't read Kanji worth a damn, but it was nice to practice reading my Hiragana and Katakana.

If you ask me, this is a really good place to stay. The price is also not too bad! Their coffee is not the cheap kind or the watered-down kind you often get at other coffee shops. There's this coffee in Ryuma called Blue Mountain, and --consider yourself warned-- it is one of the strongest coffee I've ever tasted in my life. I haven't tried their sandwiches because I only really go there for the coffee, but they have regulars there that often eat sandwiches and pudding. Maybe next time I'll try some cakes.

Because I'm a regular Marie Antoinette during the days when the sun hides behind the clouds, of course I approve of this place. It is a quiet and magnificent respite from busy places and my princess heart revels in these levels of opulence.

Ryuma Coffee Shop
K7 Strip Building
J.P. Laurel Avenue, Lanang
Tel. nos.: (082) 234-0775

Thank you for reading!
I hope you visit the place and we see each other there!~

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Product: Avalon Organics Essential Lift Contouring Eye Creme

Hi Everyone!

I have bought something actually for the eyes. FINALLY! This is what I really need right now. I've been eyeing (ok, fine, enough puns! XD) this Avalon Organics Essential Lift Contouring Eye Creme since last year because...

Look at those Puffy Eye Puffs of Forever:

And for a more drastic zoom, please welcome the tired-eyes-of-the-decade:

My sleeping habits have been shot. Again.

I've been looking for the best eye cream that does not sting, does not cause irritation, does not contain too much harmful chemicals and finally I settled that going organic was best! The last eye cream I tried was the Quick FX Eyelift Eye Cream (ugh yuck!!!) and the Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Serum (no-follow through) and they all did nothing for me in the end.

It is a great privilege for me to buy this thing because it is pretty darn expensive for just a small bottle, costing PHP845.00 canyoubelieveit! The gift of beauty comes with a price, indeed! But I saved up for this splurge, so I hope it does its job of helping my tired eyes. I've always loved my double eyelid, but recently I wished I was a monolid!

I'll be monitoring the results of the Avalon organics eye cream so stay tuned for that post! And I will also be getting a lot of sleep.

Take it from me, you need your beauty sleep.
Thanks so much for reading!~~

Neither Above; Neither Below. You're Neverwhere.

Hello everyone! I think I am beginning to think that February is a wonderful time of the year, one that's full of surprises! In fact, just the other week I managed to finish a book that's on my list of books under my Ad Perficiendum file (which, in Latin, means To Complete. I needed that in Latin to scare me. I need to get serious in reading more books this year.)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is a strong contender in the category of utterly engrossing fantasy; and is one of the few books that I got so lost and absorbed in that finishing several chapter feels like I've scoured a few miles of a dark, dank tunnel. It's urban fantasy at its height of warped cleverness.

The Story: 

Neverwhere is a story of the Worlds of 'London Above' and 'London Below', of normal people living regular lives paralleled by a story of people who have 'fallen through the cracks'. It is a story of the adventure of a certain Richard Mayhew, a regular non-descript working man in London with a lovely fiancee that he could not always please, but is beautiful nonetheless; his unimaginative ways in trying to fit in the flow of life as as averagely as one can. But his world is turned upside down when he met a peculiar-eyed girl with iridescent hair, bloodied on the street.

And so, with that chance meeting, he unwittingly left London Above. Richard Mayhew's life slipped through the cracks, pummeled into the unseen, to the rat-speakers, to an angel, to monsters and Beasts, to the sewer people, to the All The Good and Bad inhabitants that scurries about in the world of London Below.

My Impressions:

I've always, always been a fan of Neil Gaiman. And this one is at par with one of my favorite novels, American Gods. What makes Neverwhere amazing for me is that twinge of possibility that a London Below could exist.

What I know of London is that it is a brilliant place filled with historical places and wonderful, progressive people, but with this book there is such a thrill in being let in on a secret that there is also an underground world made up of fantastic royal families whose abilities can open even the most ancients of doors and locks, obsidian gems that can lead you through a maze, assassins that are so gruesome in their expertise of torture and death, plagued fields of marshes, being beaten bloody, and all the characters that I met and places I've been through the journey, each one more peculiar than the last.

If you want a slice of adventure in your life, this is a book you should be reading. The writing style is very Gaiman, with dashes of the driest humor in the dialogue, which I have always loved. There is very little lul period, where it gets boring or what. There is also a tinge of hopelessness, homesickness and that vile taste of being betrayed that will keep you wishing that at the end where you can see that opening hole in a wall, that one last turn takes you home to the place where you finally belong.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Products: The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Shower Gel, eye creams!)


February is here!

Why so fast! Though it's only the first few weeks of the year, I am getting more and more stuff, which is great but surprising. I have several skin care items that were given to me as a trade-off with a friend that I bonded over skin care items. I received The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Shower Gel and the Vanilla Bliss Hand Lotion from her; she got this over the holidays  but turned them over to me because she learned that I loved Cranberry and have always wanted to try that scent.

I traded these for my bottle of Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask because she said she has always been itching to purchase it but never got the time to. Although I have to buy another mint julep, I think it's still worth giving up because my friend threw in a vanilla lotion for me-- because she didn't like the vanilla scent as well!

Crazy girl, eh? But all the better for me!

I have just very recently tried the TBS Cranberry Joy Shower Gel. I love, love, love the scent that's straight from the bottle. It is an amazing cranberry smell that is more fruity than sweet. It's not overwhelming and it is a welcome burst of scent! I bought a fluffy loofah for this so I can scrub the shower gel all over my body and found that when you use the gel, the scent goes from fruity cranberry to a solid, barky cranberry that is so awesome because it doesn't smell so cloying. 

This is pretty popular in our household because the person who showers after me always exclaims that the bathroom smells so wonderful! Right now, my niece also uses this because she loves the scent and it moisturizes well enough without having that slippery feel.

Another thing I got is the TBS Vanilla Bliss Hand Lotion. I usually use this at night after taking a bath. AI actually mistook this for a body lotion so at the first try I spread it all over my my hand and body and wondered why it was so creamy? I finally realized it was a hand lotion but whatever! I love it so so so much! The scent is a vanilla au lait kind of thing.  I still use it on my arms and shoulders because I just HAVE to smell the vanilla scent before I go to sleep; it's like aromatherapy for me now! I don't think I can have a well-rested sleep without smelling it on me hahaha!

What I'm worried about is running out of this lotion. Both the Cranberry Joy and Vanilla Bliss are Christmas exclusives / holiday specials :( If I run out of this lotion before this year's Christmas my sleep is doomed! XD With this lotion, I sleep better at night and I wake up with soft skin!

Thanks so much for reading!~~