Saturday, February 27, 2016

I Found It On Galleon.PH

My birthday is coming up in a few days (March 3) and if you know me, my birthday is quite big deal to me. I get excited for it months before and it's all I can think of weeks before my birthday. Well for this year, I already have my birthday trip planned (you'll find out where soon!) and although I'm not much of a material girl (spoil me not with gifts but with experiences!), I find myself putting together a birthday wishlist from browsing through the selection at this new online shopping site, www.galleon.ph:

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have so much products on their catalog. Practically all that you can think of, it's there! The usual clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, perfumes, etc. but they also have grocery items, home decor, automotive parts (what?), garden tools, sports equipment, and practically anything you can think of. What's interesting about it is that they are all imported products. It's like an online imported products store. What an interesting business concept!

Apart from that, Galleon.ph promises the following:
  • Prices are all-inclusive and they take care of shipping, customs and taxes.
  • Ships nationwide and delivers via air (6-12 business days) and sea (35-40 business days).
  • Has efficient customer care. With that, buying and shipping of items not on their website can be requested.
  • Has multiple payment modes.
  • Has a “ship my item” feature where in Galleon.ph act as a PO box service but you don’t get charged shipping fee by the box but on the item itself. www.galleon.ph/shipmyitem
Here are the items I found at the site that I'm putting on my birthday wishlist:

1. Naturalizer Mary Jane Pumps
No price yet because the site is still new, but you can request for the price and they'll send you an email.
It was watching all those episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries that got me ogling over Mary Janes again. Before last year, I would only get my work shoes from Naturalizer and would only get mary jane styles. But last year, I found myself collecting pointed heels from Aldo (which isn't a bad thing), but now I kinda miss my old style. My old naturalizer is my go-to shoes and it is starting to show signs of wear and tear. The Naturalizer styles we have here aren't as extensive as the ones abroad so it's nice to see that Galleon.ph carries the brand :)

2. Diptyque Candles
I am a big scented candles kind of girl and my favorite are Diptyque candles (smells soooo good!). Diptyque just recently opened branches in the country but they are all too far from me. I still get my candles from people who go to Paris or Hong Kong for my fix. It's so nice to see these online, and in so many scents!

3. MIZON Snail Cream + Canmake products

I've been obsessing lately over face creams. I saw the difference it made on my skin and I enjoyed their effects so much. I've heard about the reviews on snail creams from Korea and I was curious. I asked my colleague who went to Korea to get me these but she didn't have time to look for it so she didn't get to buy me one :( So I'm really glad I saw that galleon.ph carries these! And not only the snail creams, they also carry one of my newly discovered make up brands from Japan, Canmake!

I am obsessing over Canmake products cause they are so nice and cheap! Galleon.ph doesn't have the prices yet cause it's still in its soft opening but soon enough, the prices will be up for all the products. If the prices are as good as they are in Japan, then I'm definitely hoarding Canmake make up!

4. Line Character Toys


I can't tell you enough how excited I got when I saw the Line Character toys on Galleon.ph! It's so hard finding them here in the Philippines and me and EJ like them that we even visited the Line store when we went to Tokyo in November.

5. The Little Prince products

I'm a big The Little Prince fan. I was sad that we couldn't squeeze in a visit to the Little Prince museum when we went to Hakone, but it was probably a good thing cause I'd probably end up hoarding products from their store. But guess what? Galleon.ph carries them too! *shock*




I could spend the entire day doing a post about them because there are just so many items on the site! But because I'd want you to see it for yourself, I'll end it here and let you explore the site yourself. Happy shopping!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Galleon.ph

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/galleonph/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/galleonph

Friday, February 26, 2016

Foodie Friday: Japanese Temple Food

Ninin and I quickly realized one thing in Japan, if something is important, it's on a hilltop. Castles, shrines and monuments, all on top of a hill. Unlike the castles, which were built for security and to isolate and protect royalty, the temples were always surrounded by markets that date back as far as the temple and developed with it. These markets are full of small stores and stalls that sell everything from kimonos, to hand crafted ceramics to food. I would call the food stands and stalls in the temple markets the Japanese version of street food. It is food that is relatively cheap, portable, easy to eat while standing and last but not least, very tasty.

Ninin and I had our fair share of Temple food at a couple of the larger shrines in Kyoto, at Fushimi Inari and Kiyomizu-dera temple. We arrived at Fushimi Inari hungry with full intentions of eating our way up the slope.  Our plans changed with how busy it was and the changing weather (incoming rain), so we changed the plan a bit and rushed up to the top to get the best pictures we could before the weather changed then ate our way down the slope as we headed back to the station.

The first stop on the way down the slope as the rain began was grilled mochi.  They have the mochis prepared on a stick and you have the choice between the normal and green tea one which they then proceed to grill in front of you before they slather it in sauce and hand it to you for your enjoyment. You can see it at the beginning of the video below put together by Ninin.

 
NinJay eats from Ninin Sampiano on Vimeo.

Next was the karaage (Japanese boneless fried chicken) for me, the carnivore. It was cooked fresh right in front of me and handed over in a paper container with a large toothpick for enjoyment. The chicken was so juicy and I could definitely eat that as an entree and not just as street food. Ninin and I decided to get something sweet next and kamaboko hit the spot. It's a fish shaped cake that can have different fillings, with the 2 most popular being cream and red bean. The stall we visited was making them fresh with the cook taking up customers as he made them. They seemed really popular as we had to wait a while because the previous batch was reserved by customer who paid then walked away. Our last stop for the day was the giant imitation grilled crab leg which you could top with a variety of shake on toppings like sea weed or a spicy pepper topping.

But during our first day of temple food-ing, our main goal eluded us, sake ice cream. We had to wait a day but Ninin and I managed to get some at Kiyomizu-dera temple. The ice cream comes out of a put that they put into an ice cream machine and press down and the ice cream of your desired flavor comes out (imagine a coffee pod machine, except much bigger and it makes ice cream). I got the sake and Ninin got the matcha (green tea) ice cream. The sake flavor was very gentle and it was mixed with vanilla which almost overpowered it. The matcha ice cream was also rather gentle (but still strong for me because I'm not the biggest fan of green tea ice cream) but it had the distinct matcha taste. Ninin and I were so determined to get our ice cream that the gloomy and cold conditions didn't stop us from enjoying! (see pictures below...haha)



Japanese temple food is definitely an experience that should be included in every trip to Japan. It enhances the temple visits and lets you immerse yourself in the culture and food of the temple and Japan itself. If you don't know what it is, ask, the Japanese are so polite and caring that they will try to help you as much as they can even with the language barrier. Even if you're iffy, try it anyways (barring food allergies and dietary restrictions). The worst case is that you don't like it and come away with an interesting story and some funny pictures (hopefully) and if you do like it, you discovered something new! Until next time, good eating fellow foodies!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Soft Matte Lips

On Christmas, I received a set of Nyx soft matte lip creams from my godfather. I'm usually scared of trying new lipstick cause I usually get allergies from them (except when it's from Mac). But because a matte lip gloss sounds interesting, I went ahead and tried it.

Like I said, I don't use any other lipstick brand than Mac because I'm allergic to most lipstick brands (I get chapped lips after even just one application which is a sign of an allergy). But because I use a Nyx cheek blush, I figured I might not be as allergic to it.

I tried first the lightest shade of them, Monte Carlo, which is this beautiful bright red shade:

It's not as bright as I expected, which is nice and disappointing at the same time. It's a totally wearable everyday lipstick.

Next is the second darkest shade, Copenhagen:


This shade reminds me of one of my favorites from Mac, D for Danger. It is a nice deep red which looks perfect for when you wanna look a bit serious.
I love its deep red shade cause it makes me look more serious. It's actually a good shade for work, without looking too much.

The last is the cult favorite, transylvania:



It took me a while before trying on this shade because it looks close to black and I was scared I'd look like a witch. But when I finally applied it, it doesn't look so bad:

It's definitely not an everyday lipstick shade as it is too dark, but it isn't a bad color as well. It would look great with a little black dress on special occasions.

Here's a summary of the things I liked and disliked about the Nyx soft matte creams:

Good points:
- glides on easily and doesn't dry too fast which means you can still wipe it off in case you make a mistake
- smells fantastic! It smells like chocolate :)
- nice selection of colors
- stays true to promise and does dry to a matte finish

There is only on main downside to the lipstick--  its staying power.  It doesn't stay as long as I want to, especially in the middle of my lips. You know how it is when your lipstick comes off from drinking and you're left with the outline but no color in the middle? Ugh!

Otherwise, it is a very good option especially if you're looking for a matte lip gloss for an affordable price. Good job, Nyx!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Calligraph-ternoon

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Well, it was yesterday afternoon for me when I decided to sign up for a calligraphy workshop organized by La Bella Scrittura.


The workshop was a 3-hour activity and was held at The Black Apartment, a burger place in Imus, Cavite.

The workshop was designed for beginners, as in those who have zero experience in calligraphy. It was exactly what I needed because even if people usually see me posting handwritten quotes on my Instagram, they were not calligraphy. It was just in my usual cursive hand writing. 

I've always wanted to learn it because it's such an interesting art form and honestly, my goal is to be good at it, I'd make my own wedding invitations (what wishful thinking!).

The class itself was very small, there were only 9 of us in the group. It was a good size because it allowed our instructor to monitor our progress.
That's me at the rightmost back, near the wall | photocredit: labellascrittura IG account
Calligraphy itself is very tricky. If you've ever tried using a fountain pen before, you'd understand how hard it is. The angle of the pen and paper has to be right. The pressure you put in the paper has to be correct as well. 


We started doing drills with pencil just to get the hang of it then moved on to using the nib itself. We spent a lot of time just learning the letters and getting used to the hand motions. I was surprised at how challenging it was and how stubborn my hand was! I write heavily so my strokes were all heavy and it was challenging for me to do the thin upstrokes. Apart from that, I was also very bad at writing in a straight line!
Why can't I write straight? :(
My classmates and I's output for the day
During the drills, we were also served food from the Black Apartment. My classmates and instructor swear by how good the burgers are in that place but because I'm vegetarian we just have to take their word for it.
Their burgers are huge and are grilled which they say makes it tasty. I can only attest to the taste of the mango lychee shake which was just amazing!
I had so much fun during the class! I have so much more practice to do because it really isn't something you learn in just one go. You have to develop muscle memory, which our instructor says requires that we practice everyday for 2 hours. Hopefully I get time to practice and really get to create beautiful written art :)

Again, thank you to our wonderful instructor, Berna for the wonderful time! Thank you for correcting my hand angles too (haha!) I'll practice and make you proud!
I look forward to more calligraphy workshops. I'm thinking of trying brush calligraphy next time. Art during the weekends are just lalalalove!

The Cavite class! Photo grabbed from La Bella Scrittura's instagram page
For more information on La Bella Scrittura calligraphy workshops, click here: https://labellascrittura.checkout.ph/

Friday, February 19, 2016

Foodie Friday: Kitkat from the Middle East



One thing I like about my line of work is that it allows me to see the peculiarities of different cultures and countries around the world. The most common display of this are the pasalubong that we get when our colleagues attend meetings abroad. We get to taste different types of instant coffee, tea, delicacies and most of all, chocolate.

My latest discovery are these Kitkat varieties from Saudi Arabia:


A couple of the flavors are new to me. More so because they came from Saudi Arabia and I didn't know that Saudi carries unique KitKat flavors too.



What I like about them the most is that the flavors are just inside the chocolate. So at first look, it's like any other regular kitkat but when you bite into it, you'd see that it has a unique filling.



The only downside to them for me is that the flavor doesn't really come off strong because it's just inside. It still tastes like a regular kitkat cause the milk chocolate covering overpowers the taste of the filling. Nevertheless, it is still a very interesting product.

To me, Japan is still the country with the most interesting Kitkat flavors, but seeing that other countries have unique ones too make me excited to see what other flavors are out there :)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Foodie Friday: Nininja Cup Noodles

During our trip to Japan, we stopped by the Momofuku Instant ramen Museum which featured a "Noodle Factory" which is basically a facility that allows you to create your own noodles. You can read more about our experience here.

Well a few weeks back, I finally decided to taste my creation! Presenting, the Nininja Instant Noodle Cup! My cup noodles had curry broth, with cheese, corn, garlic and leeks. I know, it sounds peculiar but believe me when I tell you, it tastes amazing!


I am particularly surprised at how good the noodles are. It was firm and chewy and tasted like it was freshly made. The curry broth wasn't as overpowering as I thought it would be too. It was a bit spicy and the cheese bits gave it a creamy and salty taste. It was super good!

I'm so glad we dropped by the Noodle Factory. I had so much fun making my own noodles and decorating my cup, more so eating it! So good!

If you're ever in Japan, do drop by the Momofuku Instant Ramen Museum, it's definitely an experience you'd want to have!

Related Posts:

Foodie Friday: Okonomiyaki
NinJay in Japan: NinJay in Japan
Osaka - Best of Osaka
Nara: Nara in a Day
Kyoto: Left my heart in Kyoto
Nagoya: Twinkling Lights in Nagoya
Hakone: Art and Nature in Hakone
Tokyo: Tokyo Highlights
Beauty: Japanese Beauty Haul

Monday, February 1, 2016

Handmade Love

Happy February, everyone! The love month is finally upon us and what better way to welcome it than by giving you a bit of gift inspiration for valentine's :)

All the cards I've ever given EJ are handmade. I tried to look for nice cards but none of them ever passed my really high standards (hehe), so I was left with no choice but make my own cards for EJ. Below are some of them:

1. Pop up Love Ninja Card

Surprise! I was very proud of this card because it was the first time I tried doing a pop up card and it was a success! I love how simple it was and yet looked so cute. I used a silver metallic pen to write my message and it looked absolutely perfect :)

2. Felt ninja hearts
I didn't get to take a photo of the just the card itself before giving it to EJ and he got this when he went back to Canada in December. This was another easy card to make and which turned out better than I expected.

3. Felt coffee card

This is the card I sent EJ for Christmas. I've always wanted to make him a coffee card so I did. Honestly though, I didn't know what I wanted this card to look like, I just knew I wanted a coffee card. I think it's a good start, though I think there'll be more coffee cards in the future just because I'm not yet completely happy with this one.

So there goes some of my handmade cards. I hope they gave you a bit of inspiration for Valentine's :) May we all have a great February!
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