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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Serenitea

Serenitea is one of the more established milk tea shops out there. At P95 for a medium, cold classic milk tea including one sinker (this is a pudding) it's neither one of the cheaper nor more expensive places out there. 

This is one of their bestsellers, Nagoya, I  think.

Serenitea: M Nagoya Milk Tea



I included the chair because I loved the design. I found it very cute :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

Have you tried Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner? I had several sachets of these I'd been using for a while.


Shampoo Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Ammonium Chloride, Dimethiconol, Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Carbomer, Ppg-9, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Amodethicone, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Poloxamer 217, Glyceryl Oleate, Tea-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Tetrasodium Edta, Dmdm Hydantoin, C11-15 Pareth-7, Laureth-9, Peg-180M, Trideceth-12, Lysine Hcl, Silk Amino Acids [ Alanine, Glycine, Serine, Arginine, Isoleucine, Cystine, Histidine, Glutamic Acid], Borago Officinalis Seed Oil [Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Eicosenoic Acid], Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Ext. Violet 2 (Ci 60730).


Conditioner Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteryl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Quaternium-18, Fragrance (Parfum), C11-12 Isoparaffin, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Poloxamer 217, Disodium Edta, Meroxapol 311, Quatenmium-18, Amodimethicone, Tea-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Dmdm Hydantoin, C12-14 Sec-Pareth-5, C12-14 Sec-Pareth-7, Lysine Hci, Citric Acid, Silk Amino Acids [Alanine, Glycine, Serine, Arginine, Isoleucine, Cystine, Histidine, Glutamic Acid], Borago Officinalis Seed Oil [Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Eicosenoic Acid], Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone


Ingredients list taken from Amazon.com


The conditioner helped tame my hair and kept it soft and shiny without the weight. It did not, however, prevent split ends. On the other hand, the shampoo was a big no-no for me as it aggravated my dandruff. I did not try the two separately.


Yays
  • Keeps hair soft and shiny
  • Affordable, though not cheap, this is not an expensive life
Nays
  • Did not prevent split ends (despite product claims)
  • Made my dandruff worse
Okays
  • Those who don't have dandruff may have better results



Buy Again?
The shampoo is a definite no. The conditioner is a maybe. I'd rather try other lines for now.

Friday, June 22, 2012

So long Slippers!

My favorite pair of slippers are these green slippers with gold accents from iPANEMA. Bought at a sale for around P400 ($10), these have been with me for around 2.5 years. I've used then 3-5 times a week for some heavy duty walking. They were with me in the USA and in Japan. Though these slippers are not the best for your feet, these were one of the best slippers I've ever had for comfort and fashion.


 Unfortunately, my slippers now have to be retired due to the cracks that I've noticed on both sides of my slippers.  They're both pretty big and I don't want to risk getting de-slippered at a bad time.


Goodbye slippers! I think it's time for me to find a new pair and concentrate on closed-toe shoes for now!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sun Broadband Sim Experience


Sun wireless broadband prepaid sim experience
Price paid: P50
Frustration level: high
Objects used: sun cellphone, sun wireless broadband stick, laptop
Satisfaction: 5/10

Since I no longer had access to a PLDT modem + router during the weekdays, I decided to use my dad’s old Sun Wireless Broadband USB stick. I bought a prepaid sim for P50 which came with 5 hours free internet, consumable in 5 days. I plugged it, installed the software and pressed connect and got the ERROR 619 message. Repeatedly. I also got a text in my dashboard saying that my sim wasn’t activated and to activate it by calling 220. I tried it, also repeatedly. Didn’t work.

So I called up the hotline at 333. I was unable to talk to anyone for 1 hour: I only got female voice recordings and bad music. Thank god for loudspeaker!

Finally, I got connected to a tech support guy. For this final call, there was a waiting time of 5 mins and a talking time of 15 mins. While I must complain about how long it took me to get through to someone, I must recommend this person for being patient and professional.

What I learned from the call:

  • To activate sim, text BALANCE to 2225. This was not in my prepaid booklet: it stated that the balance inquiry is for balance inquiry, not for activation. It may have been in the USB booklet, if ever, but I didn’t have it. Why in the world would I get that stupid text then?
  • Blue is best. Check the color of the connected stick. This is the faster of the two. Try getting the blue by using the WCDMA only settings and manually searching for 3G. If not, you’re stuck with 2G, which is pretty much crap on laptops.

So I guess, for my area, I wouldn’t choose sun broadband since I can’t connect to their 3G network. It’s prepaid so it’s okay with me, and it’s a bit expected. If only the hotline didn’t take so long, I’d give this experience a 7.

Does anyone know if I can use a Globe/Smart sim with the sun stick?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers's Day!

I am so tired right now because of all the changes going on in my life. I definitely know that my blogging will be affected by it. This is just a quick post to make sure that I keep posting (at least once a week, I hope).


Thank you fathers of the world! Thank you specially, papa, even if you will never read this :P


On another note:


Uniqlo is open and will be on sale for some items until the 21st. Jeans are on sale until July 5.


Do not use the turmeric mask unless you are 100% awake. I tried it when I was super tired yesterday and ended up making a big, permanent mess. *sigh* It looks like I'm back to other, less messy, masks now.


SM has this butterfly app that allows you to get discounts in SM, as long as you have a smartphone. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I've not had internet this past week, so I'm even more sympathetic to those who do not have smartphones and internet access.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Computer Maintainance Tips

I am a student with a 4-year old laptop that was bought during a time when the unit was low to mid-range (definitely state of the art). For four years, this laptop (that has no name), has been my loyal companion through a billion hours of coursework. Unfortunately, maybe due to age, misuse or generally bad technology (as compared to now), I've had several problems with this laptop, including but not limited to:

  • low battery life
  • overheating
  • slowness


Since I cannot afford other gadgets such as tablets, much less a new laptop, I've had to figure out ways to care for my laptop. Hopefully, it'll last another 4 years. Some tips I've found that help preserve my laptop:

  • Do not overcharge your battery. As with all gadgets, once it reaches high 90s, unplug it. You should also allow your battery to drain, so don't start charging until the battery is low.
  • Use a cooling fan. Additionally, make sure that air can circulate underneath the laptop. Unfortunately, my cooling fan is not enough: I have to use a real electric fan and make it face my laptop to keep the temperature down.
  • Make sure your laptop is well-wrapped during transport. You never know when an accident could happen.
  • As much as possible, let your laptop rest. If you're not using it, shut it down or at least put it on standby. Make sure that when you let your laptop idle, it automatically engages a low-powered screen-saver or goes to sleep on its own.
  • Clean your laptop regularly. You can use special wipes to wipe down laptop screens and keyboards. Make sure that your computer is turned off while cleaning.
  • Protect everything. Always have anti-virus software and scan everything that enters your PC. Don't click anything without scanning.
  • Keep your e-space neat by deleting unnecessary files and defragmenting regularly. Don't allow your computer to enter low memory territory as it makes them run slower.


Are there any other things that should be done? Hmmm....I can't think of anymore right now, but I can stress that it's important to be prepared for the worst. Thus:

  • Back-up! Use an external drive of some sort to back-up your files. If possible, have at least 2 just in case one of the hard drives fail.

There are enough horror stories as it is about unsaved files, natural disasters (such as drink spills) and even theft! Keep your back-up(s) and laptop in different places if possible.

Let's hope my laptop and yours lasts a long time.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review: Matsuri at Tomas Morato

Matsuri is an order-all-you can restaurant that charges P495 for lunch Mondays to Fridays and P595 for dinner Mondays to Sundays and weekend lunches. It's located at Tomas Morato, Quezon City.


It's an order-all-you can restaurant, which is good because:


  1. You don't have to leave  the table
  2. Food is served freshly made


Matsuri serves generally good food. There also weren't a lot of people when I last went, so I didn't have to wait long for my orders. My water glass wasn't empty for very long, and the plates were cleared very quickly. It was very clean and well lit, though I wondered why they still seemed to have Christmas decorations.


I forgot to take pictures, as usual.




Must Try:
  • Gyoza
  • Ushi Ebi Tempura
  • Matsuri Salad
  • Creamy Chicken Mushroom Ragout


The biggest surprise for me was actually their salad. I'm not a big fan of greens, but I ended up demolishing this salad. Maybe because it had a lot of fruit? Anyway, I didn't find their sashimi or miso spectacular, but was decent. 

Since there's a leftover charge of P250, it's best if you avoid the horrible things in their menu too.



Must Not:
  • Chawan Mushi
  • Creme Brulee


I've been to Matsuri a year ago, and I am disappointed at my latest experience with their chawan mushi. It was definitely not the same one I tried a year ago. This version of the dish was the  most horrible one I've ever tasted. It was way too dry! After one bite, I had it sent back. When I complained, I was told that "ganyan talaga siya." As someone who loves, chawan mushi, I'd have object! Although it is type of egg custard, chawan mushi should not taste and feel like badly cooked scrambled eggs.

I was hesitant about trying their creme brulee because of this, but I ended up ordering it nonetheless. It was also on the drier end of the creme brulee scale. You're much better off with the leche flan which was not amazing, but much better in comparison.


I did not try any of their tofu dishes, nor their skewers (which I wanted to as I remembered they were quite good a year ago, but was too full to try).


I like this restaurant, but it's a bit out of my way. And while they're food was good, I'm not over the way they murdered one of my favorite dishes. I'll probably go back in another year if they're still there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

News: Uniqlo is Coming to the Philippines and Review: Uniqlo Lightweight Pocketable Parka

Uniqlo, which is like the Japanese version of GAP, is coming to the Philippines this June 15 at SM Mall of Asia. I'm excited about it, especially with their Vote and Win application on facebook which gives voters the chance to win free shirts and a trip to Japan(ends on June 10, so vote now!).


While I am excited, I am not as excited as I want to be: I'm expecting a drastic mark-up in price compared to that of Japan like what happened to Muji (Mujirushi). Something to look forward to: they will be having a promo on their Barbie UT shirts for women at P590; shirts like that cost 1500 Yen (P833) normally.


On the other hand, maybe it will be much cheaper: they will be having a Jean sale (P590 instead of P990) as soon as it opens. However, UJ's in the Japanese website cost around 2,990 - 3,990 Yen, making it much cheaper!


What I did end up buying while I was in Japan was their Light Pocketable Parka ($50 dollars in the US catalog or around P2200) I bought for around 3,000 Yen (P1700). I bought this jacket because 1) it was unexpectedly colder and rainier in Japan than I expected and 2) I could still use it in the Philippines (especially underneath my white uniform). I bought the M size with pockets on both sides of the jacket and on the inside two plus the pouch pocket. It's very light and surprisingly strong.


Lightweight Pocketable Parka by Uniqlo in White
Lightweight Pocketable Parka by Uniqlo (White)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tutorial: Turmeric Mask

Turmeric isn't just for curry and other foods, it's for your face and body too. I use it to help prevent acne while preserving the contents of my poor wallet. 


Ingredients:

Powdered turmeric
Calamansi juice (or lemon juice)
Honey


Powdered turmeric can be bought in a supermarket very easily and cheaply with the spice selection (at least in the Philippines, you may have to go to an asian food store). For the tutorial, I used half a singles sachet or 1.5 grams of ground turmeric by McCormick. The 36g - 12 sachet pack itself costs around P40 (around $1 dollar). While there are cheaper versions available, the packet is less messy and allows me to better control the amount of product i put in.

Calamansi, being native to the Philippines, is easier to find and far less expensive than lemon. I used only 10 drops of freshly squeezed calamansi juice on this mask. I've forgotten how much the honey costs but you'll need 1-2 tablespoons. I started with 1 tablespoon's worth then added as I went.

Here's one way to use turmeric as a mask:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Surfing the Rustan's the Beauty Source

I was looking at Rustan's the Beauty Source a while ago -for those who do not live in the Philippines, Rustan's is a high-end department store in the country- and I saw this upon clicking Skincare >> Price (Low-High) on the first page.






It's a good thing it was stated that prices could change and that the site was not an online store!


However, given that the store is owned by such a large company, I feel that there should be more care taken when displaying prices. Additionally, I do not understand why a product whose price is upon request is considered  on the low end of the spectrum: To me, it's a better sign that something is expensive!


I didn't really find this site very informative as it is as it only gives the name of the product, brand, price and category of each product: it seems more like an online inventory than anything else. They do have a specials section for events and features section  for product promotion, but they were all very short. I don't know what the goal of the website is; hopefully, it will grow more in the future such that people can gain a further understanding of what the product is and maybe even start a Beauty Box of some sort of it's own (One can dream!).


I'll leave this site alone now. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised in the future.



Monday, June 4, 2012

News: Kanebo Dew Superior Brush Cleanse Pen

Have you heard of it? The Kanebo Dew Superior Brush Cleanse Pen is supposed to be a new (at least to me!) way of spot cleansing so you get rid of all the nasty stuff in your pores. This product debuted quite recently, and I saw it on TV in Japan this late May. However, at 3,000 Yen (3,150 Yen including tax or around 40 USD) for a brush with 6ml of product, I was not very keen buying it.


According to this news release, this pen is meant to be used twice a week after oil cleansing and before normal cleansing (Japanese women seem to wash their face twice: once with both an oil-based cleanser and another with a non-oil based cleanser).


Because the bristles -from 0.7 mm at the root and 0.07 at the tip- are about 1/10 the size of a pore, it seems that it is possible for the brush to be used as a mechanical scrub in order to remove build up on top of pores. Among other things, the liquid in the pen contains Niacinamide and somehow involve collagen and sodium hyaluronate (my japanese isn't that good so feel free to translate the text yourselves :) ).


I think that if someone were to buy this pen, he or she could substitute his or own formula after the original 6 ml has run out (even as an external solution). However, I'm not ready to shell out this much money on something this tiny!


Has anyone tried this? 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lazy Sunday Morning at CBTLs

No, the title wasn't a spelling mistake. I've been a bad girl and went to 2 different outlets and ended up trying all 3 drinks.... I think you're supposed to get a maximum of two only (one hot and one cold)...

Anyway, CBTL's (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) Open House opened at 10 am and offered 3 new drinks, Caramel Cream Tea Latte, Caramel Ice Blended Drink and Caramel Macchiato. I was there at X branch  by around 10:20. Going to this branch was a BIG mistake for me since there were a lot of people who knew about the event. I felt bad for the baristas, who were very nice, since they were stressed by people who ordered (one customer ordered 17 drinks!- most of the customers came from an event occuring nearby). I also felt apprehensive because this turnout might lead to this branch being one of the exempted branches from participating in the next Open  Houses (which would be very disappointing since it is one of my favorite CBTL branches to date).



Caramel Cream Tea Latte 


I ended up reading a meg magazine while waiting for this drink (it took a while since there were so many people). I didn't like all the noise going on (everyone kept talking) and went out as soon as I finished my drink. Anyway, the Caramel Cream Tea Latte wasn't very caramel-y to me, which I did like (It wasn't too sweet). This was my favorite of the trio; I imagine this easily pairing with their cakes (I love CBTL cakes!). I don't know if it's just me though, but this drink seems best drunk during a rainy day (instead of the sunny one today).



Coffee Bean Open House

Today on June 3, 2012 at 10 to 11:30 am, Coffee Bean (Philippines) will be having an Open House for their Caramel treats!

There will be some exceptions, but what a great way to start the morning :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Stupid Mistake

It has only recently come to my attention that I have been very stupid making such a big oversight!


I don't wear make-up often and often wash my face just once with a facial wash/soap. However, I try to use sunscreen everyday (when I go out, at least). Someone recently pointed out to me that I'd need extra help washing it off. Thus, oil cleansing has become a nightly ritual before using cleanser.


I would suggest using a commercial oil cleanser since they would already have emulsifiers in them instead of pure oils. I've only recently finished up my DHC Cleansing Oil.




How To:


1. Wash your hands thoroughly and dry them thoroughly with a clean towel. It does no good use dirty hands to clean one's face.


2. Pump enough oil to cover both palms and gently massage onto face with light strokes. You can warm the oil slightly by rubbing your oiled hands gently together. Take this time to relax.


3. Wet hands slightly and pat face until the oil turns milky. Do this at least twice until most of the oil seems to have emulsified, allowing it to be rinsed off easily.


4. Splash face at least 15 times with warm to tepid water. I'd suggest getting a shallow basin and filling it once or twice if you're averse to using running water.


5. Follow up with your normal cleansing. The previous step may not have removed all the oil and other gunk.






I'd suggest using a make-up remover prior to this when using make-up.


On another note, I am very lucky that I have been using VMV Armada as my sunblock and have not broken out because of it (also recently finished).