22 December 2013

Venting

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I was blessed with one of those freakishly huge faces. I never looked thin enough at any point in time because although my weight changes, my face always stays irritatingly humongous. So, anyway, lately, I've lost quite a bit of weight and I know I'm not imagining it because I have now been able to fit in US size 2-4 jeans and XS-S tops.
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See? Not making it up. So, moving on. I currently weigh 118 lbs. I do know what I look like, thank you very much. For one, I've been a proud owner of a mirror for oh I don't know how long now. And also, I'm not blind. So no, I'm not saying I'm thin. I'm thinNER now than I was a few months ago. By the way, there really is no point in this post other than to self-indulge so I apologize for wasting anyone's time! You can leave if you like, I won't mind.
That's me below, taken about a week ago. Complete disaster! I have not been eating bird food for the last 3 months only to look bigger than I actually am in photos. The face, well, it is what it is, there's nothing I can do about that, but the dress, well apparently, the color red, an empire-style dress and I do not go well together.
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These were taken one week before that.
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And a few hours ago.
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Yes, I have a bit of a muffin-top and bat wings going on and by no stretch of the imagination do I see myself even close to being skinny. But I'm not fat. I know I'm being shallow and pathetic but I don't even care. It's just some people don't bother with courtesy anymore these days. Stop calling me fat, would ya?! Seriously, other than for being mean and rude, I really don't see any reason why you would tell someone they're fat. So there, I've said my piece. Everybody can express their opinion, duh! But just because you can doesn't mean you should.

16 December 2013

Resto love: DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store

On our 2011 trip to Hong Kong, the hubs and I subsisted solely on McDonald's, so during our recent trip, we at least did some research and tried to find good places to eat. At the top of our list, DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store. They had won TimeOut's best dim sum in Hong Kong award and also made it to Newsweek's 101 Best Places to Eat Around The World. If there's any doubt about that, it goes away the moment you step inside the restaurant as photos of Anthony Bourdain and other renowned chefs as well as mentions in various magazines were plastered all over the walls.
Food, Restaurant, DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store
I love their egg custard buns! I will go back to Hong Kong just for those yummy little piggies.
Food, Restaurant, DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store
Their steamed shrimp dumpling (Har Gow/Hakaw) is almost as good as Le Ching's, not their chili garlic sauce though, Le Ching's trumps any other chili garlic sauce, at least in my opinion.
Food, Restaurant, DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store
My dad for some reason thought he was ordering pancit. Go figure!
Food, Restaurant, DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store
The food for me was OK, not as good as Le Ching's but their piggy custard bun is really a must-try!
Food, Restaurant, DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store, Hong Kong

01 November 2013

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent #3)

From Goodreads: "One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love."

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, #3 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Post Apocalyptic
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
So that's it? That's how the series concludes? Well, that's disappointing. No, it didn't pull me in as much as the first two books did. In fact, I find a lot of what happens here boring and uninteresting. Sure, it answers questions and explains a lot but I just couldn't bring myself to care, let alone keep up with the plot. I never truly felt immersed in the story. I kept waiting for something, anything to happen, but nothing really pulled me out of my stupor. I was looking for explosions, I guess, but all I got was a pop. Well, I was probably hoping for something altogether different, so I will not be too harsh with my rating. I did love Divergent and Insurgent after all. It just bums me out that I never, at any point, felt as invested to the characters as I was in the previous books. I thought the plot line is weak, and the characters, no matter how major, flat. Even that thing in the end felt uneventful and routine to me. I never expected for it to end the way that it did though. Up to the last page, I was hoping that there's more to it than that but 1) unless this is a vampire novel, which obviously, it isn't, then yep, that is pretty much it and 2) silly me for wanting a happy ending.

29 October 2013

Swatches and Review: NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick

I've been hearing so much hype about the NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipsticks for a long time now so naturally, I just had to try it myself. Some shades I like more than others but for the price (Php350), I really can't complain. There are 144 shades and 3 different finishes. Some are super creamy, some have shimmers and some are very pigmented and opaque. My favorite is Peach, my least favorite is Circe.
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Hebe is a nice shimmery, frosty red.
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Snow White is an opaque blue-based red.
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Peach is a pretty plum shade with shimmers.
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Milan is dusty brown pink.
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Pumpkin Pie is a creamy, peachy neutral beige.
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Circe is a creamy nude beige.
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Some shades in this lipstick line are excellent dupes for popular high-end brands. So yeah, I will definitely buy more, I especially love the sparkly ones.

12 October 2013

Book Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

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From Goodreads: "Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will. 
Nobody fights the Epics. Nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. 
He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge."

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners, #1 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Superheroes, Post Apocalyptic
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I haven't read that many superhero novels but I must say, if Steelheart is the standard upon which every superhero novel is based, then I ought to read more. This book is amazing! It's a fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat, action-packed read and I truly enjoyed every moment of it. The plot starts off strong and closes out with a solid ending that wraps up book 1 nicely. It doesn't give much away, just a bit of a cliffhanger to keep readers both satisfied and eagerly anticipating the next installment. If they make this into a movie, I bet it will be EPIC! I have nothing but praise for Brandon Sanderson who I have never read before but now holds a permanent spot on my favorite books shelf. Looking forward to reading Firefight!

03 October 2013

Swatches and Review: MAC Cremesheen Lipstick

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Php1000 (about $23)
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No, I have not lifted my ban on MAC products. I've had this a long time, and this is my one and only MAC lipstick which incidentally, I bought the same time I did the foundation, so this doesn't count but since I'm going to have to review it at some point, might as well get it over with now.
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Creme d'Nude is a creamy, flesh-tone lipstick with a peachy pink undertone. It has a subtle vanilla scent to it which surprisingly, I like. It has decent staying power but as with most light colored lipsticks I own, this too tends to move around my mouth a lot. I don't wear this at all because it washes me out. So for the most part, I forget I even have it.
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It is a pretty color though so while it does make me look corpse pale (I wear NC25), it might look fab on others.
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20 September 2013

Book Review: Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma

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From Goodreads: "Why? is the burning question on everyone’s lips. Why would a guy like Mathéo Walsh want to die? At seventeen, he is Britain’s most promising diving champion. He is a heartthrob, a straight A student and lives in one of the wealthiest areas of London. He has great mates and is the envy of everyone around him. And most importantly of all, he is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Lola. He has always been a stable, well-adjusted guy.

Until one weekend. A weekend he cannot seem to remember. All he knows is that he has come back a changed person. One who no longer knows how to have fun, no longer wants to spend time with his friends, no longer enjoys diving. Something terrible happened that weekend – something violent and bloody and twisted. He no longer knows who he is. He no longer trusts himself around people: he only wants to hurt, wound and destroy. Slowly, he begins to piece back the buried, fragmented memories, and finds himself staring at the reflection of a monster.  

Tormented, Mathéo suddenly finds himself faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever."

Book Review: Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Tabitha Suzuma tends to gravitate toward taboo and sensitive subject matter. Often heart-breaking and hauntingly sad, her stories aren't always the easiest to take in. When I finished reading Forbidden, I remember crying myself to sleep and then feeling down and empty for the next several days. I felt that way with Hurt too, however I have to agree with the growing consensus that Forbidden is the better novel. That said, I think Hurt is beautifully written. Lots of pretty words it's like reading a painting. It's intense and poignant. It felt realistic - the characters, relatable and likable enough; the plot and setting, very detailed, so detailed in fact that I caught myself tuning out a few times. While I appreciate the imagery, it's too wordy for my liking. It's probably just me though, I get bored rather quickly. Thus the author holding back information up till the last possible second also drove me nuts. So when the truth finally came tumbling out, I was just mostly relieved and a bit annoyed that it took this long to confirm what we all probably have already guessed. It was unspeakable but it wasn't really Mattie's secret but rather what happened after the big reveal I found truly shocking and painful. Hurt, notwithstanding its over descriptiveness, I think is tragic, depressing and beautiful at the same time.

12 September 2013

Resto love (?): Kitchen Greenbelt 3

My mother-in-law just lurves the place. I however, can't say I feel the same. I honestly think their food is generally bland and tasteless but I don't have the heart to tell her so whenever Ron and I go to Greenbelt with her, we don't dare eat anywhere else. In light of my recent unfortunate diagnoses though, Kitchen's season-your-own-dish-according-to-your-taste style of cookery is sounding more and more right up my alley. So while you won't hear me gush over their food anytime soon, I at least have made my peace with it.
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Sword In, Php285
Pandan rice topped with pan-fried prawns and crab fat sauce
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Sirloin Swirloin, Php300
Grilled sirloin swirled with salty-sweet demi glaze
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Wild Child, Php255
Sauteed beef, wild mushroom and asparagus in garlic sauce served with pandan rice
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Sand Bar, Php225
Tuna salpicao served with pandan rice
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Cure All, Php260
Marinated Korean beef served with pandan rice and vegetables
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Caps and Rolls, Php130
Lettuce wraps with bits of pork mixed with vegetables and nuts