Happiness is one of those intangible assets that is much sought-after and increases in value the longer you keep it.
Monte Cristo Sandwich Recipe
Makes one sandwich
2 slices of bread
1 piece ham
cooking oil (any kind)
- Crack the egg on a shallow plate or bowl then beat just until the yolk and whites are combined.
- Assemble the sandwich by putting the cheese and ham in between the slices of bread.
- Optional: I like to press the sandwich flat with my palm because it makes it easier to cook. You can also cut off the crusts if you prefer it that way.
- Dip the entire sandwich in the egg mixture. Flip it so both sides are coated.
- On low heat, add some butter then cooking oil to a non-stick pan. Fry the sandwich.
I like my Monte Cristo sandwich savory so I don’t put any toppings on it but you can add powdered sugar or drizzle maple syrup or honey on top.
My version is the simple type you can make at home with whatever you have in your larder but it can be made a lot fancier. For example, check out this image below of a Monte Cristo Sandwich from Cafe Orleans. It’s made of sliced turkey, ham and Swiss cheese that is coated in a light batter then fried. It’s served with berry puree and dusted with powdered sugar.
Maybelline Baby Lips Colors is a colored lip balm with SPF. I specifically bought this because of the SPF since I wanted to protect my lips from the sun while I’m frolicking at the beach. It has 20 SPF which is pretty good for a lip balm.
The product packaging claims that it gives 12 hours of moisture but since I wanted it for the sun protection, I would reapply every few hours just to be safe.
I got the Berry Crush color. When I opened the lipstick, it’s a bright firetruck red color which I really liked.
Here is a swatch on my wrist. This picture was taken under natural lighting (outside, in the sunlight). As you can see, it’s pretty sheer, as expected for a lip balm. It looks great on my lips. Of course, it’s shiny, not matte. My lips do feel moisturized when I use this lip balm.
At the beach, I put on my usual lip liner then this lip balm which worked great. You can also do the opposite, lip balm then lip liner/lipstick which also works great. When I was feeling lazy I put just this lip balm on. It went on nicely and felt okay but, unfortunately, it had a somewhat unpleasant taste! I guess it’s because of the SPF ingredients? It tasted like sunscreen. That was not a good surprise, sadly. I put up with it since I wanted the sun protection but this is something to keep in mind if you buy the product.
Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm Colors Review: Conclusion
Nevertheless, I’m still pretty satisfied with this product in terms of price, SPF, color, shine, moisture, and lip feel. I still use it when I’ll be in the sun for a long time but I don’t use it for regular daily activities because of the weird sunscreen taste.
I tried a cheap facial mask from Watsons because I saw it on the internet and wanted to see if it was as good as they say. Specifically, I tried out the Watson’s Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Facial Mask.
This is what it looks like.
Cute design. It’s foil packet and the directions and information are at the back.
Based on what the Watson’s website says, it’s supposed to use Austrian TENCEL fiber (the mask is some sort of cloth/paper material) and has “marine Chitosan” as well as “8 special ingredients which ferment to produce a skin friendly moisturizing agent ‘Natural Mutli-Pol’ to soothe and thoroughly replenish skins moisture level.”
In short, this is just a moisturizing mask. It doesn’t make any claims to make your skin clearer or anything, it just soothes and moisturizes.
Here’s my before and after pics:
I cleansed my face first with my regular facial cleanser then put on the mask. I had a headband on to keep my hair away from my face. As you can see from the “before” image of my forehead, my skin was clean but a little dry and I had a pimple, redness, and some dark spots on my skin.
After putting the mask on, I kept it on my face for 20 minutes. It was very relaxing. The mask felt watery and cold. The smell was nice but a bit too strong since I generally prefer to use unscented products.
When I took the mask off, my face was super wet. A few minutes later, my skin dried but the mask left a tacky, sticky residue. You can see from the “after” picture above that my skin was very shiny…
My skin did feel much more moisturized than before but it felt really weird! It’s like I put some sort of watery glue on my face. Wow.
The last step was to put on my regular moisturizer.
Yes, you still have to use a moisturizer after using a facial mask. From what I can tell, the mask is supposed to supplement your regular skincare routine. It’s not meant to replace your moisturizer.
Watson’s Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Facial Mask Review
I don’t think I’ll buy this again. The mask was cheap but I didn’t like the sticky feeling it gave my skin. Plus, this one doesn’t seem to have any special benefits so I could just use my regular moisturizer. The act of putting on a cold facial mask is quite relaxing but I think I’ll pass on this particular facial mask.
Knowing a good cafe near your house is a must, IMO. It’s great to have a place where you can meet friends that’s not too far away and, hopefully, isn’t as expensive as the cafes in malls or commercial areas.
Bag and Brew Cafe is a nice little place to have coffee and a light meal. It’s inside a residential area so the prices are very reasonable.
It’s on the second floor of Ricson Place at North Fairview Subdivision, Quezon City. As you can see from the image above, they are right above Alfamart.
They serve coffee (hot and cold), milkshakes, soft drinks, and etc. I was surprised to see that they even serve alcoholic drinks. Perhaps one day I’ll try their various cocktails.
I had their Hazelnut Frappe.
I forgot the price but I had the beef tapsilog and the total for both was 170 PHP which isn’t the cheapest but not too expensive either.
Sadly, I forgot that I should have said: “easy on the sugar.” Next time, I’ll ask them to make it less sweet or I’ll order the brewed coffee instead.
The interior of the small cafe is cozy and unpretentious.
They also seem to sell the pre-loved bags that are on display. However, one has to make an appointment for a bag-viewing. I saw some Louis Vuitton bags and a Prada but I didn’t look too closely since I’m not in the market for another bag, having recently bought a small pink Dooney & Bourke handbag.
Bag and Brew Cafe
Address: 2F Ricson Place North Fairview Subdivision
Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone number: (02) 819 9498
rich, fruity, fragrant
crumbly shell soft filling
sweet with a slight acidity
surprising and faint taste and texture of coconut
Stardew Valley is the best thing to happen to life and farming simulation games since Natsume’s Harvest Moon game series and Maxis’ The Sims. The best thing about it is that unlike those two games that I mentioned, Stardew Valley is an indie game developed by Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone. In other words, it’s one guy’s passion project that has become a big hit, not a big budget release by a large game company.
I bought my copy of the game from Gog.com which I prefer over Steam.
Here’s a screenshot of my farm which can also be seen at https://upload.farm/1GjCAs.
Stardew Valley Farming and Life Simulation Game Review
It’s a great game! The player starts off with a dead-end job at some big corporation but then leaves the city life behind when she (or she) inherits a farm.
At first, the farm is small, basic, and overgrown with weeds, deadfalls, trees, etc. that all have to be cleared before the farmer can plow the land and plant crops.
Stardew Valley: Farming and Foraging
Of course, the game is mostly built around farming. The farmer has to clear the land, plow the soil, buy seeds from the general shop, plant the seeds, water the plants, and, after the crops are ready, harvest them!
The game runs on an internal clock where there are days and seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter). Crops can only be grown during their proper season/s.
In addition, as the farmer explores the map, there are some items that can be foraged like flowers, berries, wild vegetables, truffles, and various stuff at the beach like corals, shells, and clams.
Stardew Valley: Fishing
Unfortunately, I absolutely hate the fishing part of Stardew Valley! It’s just too much clicking! Thank goodness there is a mod that lets me fish without the massive clickfest. 😉
I do love the way that the farmer gets different fish depending on where he fishes and the different hours of the day and seasons.
Stardew Valley: Mining and Combat
Mining is super awesome! Mining is done two underground cave systems that are full of mining areas (rocks) and monsters. It’s exciting and somewhat dangerous if your farmer is still low level.
Combat is pretty straightforward: the farmer is equipped with the best weapons and items that money can buy (or that dropped) and one click is one weapon attack. There are also bombs that can be used. Recovery items are plentiful so that’s not really a problem.
Stardew Valley: Crafting and Cooking
It wouldn’t even be a proper farming or life simulation game is there was no way to craft or cook! There are tons of items that can be crafted and lots of recipes that can be unlocked. I think it’s pretty cool though I personally did not spend a lot of time crafting. However, it’s a good way to earn money in the game.
Stardew Valley: Friendship and Romance
*laughs* Yes, I greatly enjoyed the romance and friendship aspects of the game. People in town are generally either enthusiastic (the old folks), polite (people your age), neutral (the young kids), or standoffish (a few hostile characters).
As a newcomer to the country life, the farmer has to talk to the townspeople to get to know them better and give them thoughtful gifts. Each character has specific likes and dislikes, so giving the proper gift requires a bit of memorization. That, or just googling it.
Apart from the regular townspeople, there are some “targets” that the farmer can choose to woo and eventually marry and even have children with.
I always pick Elliot, the writer character. 😀
Stardew Valley: Events and Seasons
Another nice thing about the game are the seasonal events that are quite fun. Some, like the Flower Dance in spring, are there just for color and to add background details to the country life. I like those.
Other events or festivals, have a competitive element to them, like Stardew Valley Fair where the farmer creates a display or her (or his) best products and can win a prize.
Stardew Valley Review: Conclusion
I greatly enjoy playing the game. In fact, I love it a lot. If you like life or farming simulation games, in my opinion, this is a must-buy. The farming and other skills are great and if there is an aspect that you don’t like, there’s probably a mod for that.
Note: I have not played the multiplayer since I prefer to play it solo. This review is my own and I was not paid for it nor did I receive any free stuff or perks for it.
Quite recently I played Stardew Valley so much that I actually overworked my clicking finger. I love Stardew Valley! The result: an aching right hand and the inability to play most games. I say “most” because, in fact, there is one type of game you can play even when your hand hurts: incremental games. In this case, I played the incremental/idle RPG game CLICKPOCALYPSE II.
Note that, for some reason, the game is ALL CAPS. That’s not me screaming at you. 🙂
This type of idle game is truly idle in that you can actually just watch the action happen and the game runs even when it’s offline. Here’s a screenshot of what I see after I get back to playing the game after hours of being offline:
So yes, this is absolutely at the top of my list of games to play when I want to relax and not bother with anything hardcore. Or when my hand hurts from playing other games. *cough*
The game is quite interesting and I do enjoy watching the little avatars running around killing mobs and grabbing loot.
The player starts off by choosing a bunch of heroes to do their dirty work for them. In this game, I picked the Fighter (Melee, Crowd Control), Rogue (Loot Gathering), and two Chicken Kings (Summoner). There are other character types like Barbarian (AoE Melee), Priest (Healer, Buffs), Ranger (Archer), etc.
Then once the party has been created, they immediately start exploring dungeons on their own.
The player does need to put in a little bit of work:
- equipping weapons and armor
- drinking potions that give various effects like “monsters die easily”
- buying upgrades like “monsters drop 5% more gold coins”
- activating character skills
- manually scheduling a castle attack
- unlocking achievement bonuses
The goal of the game is to clear all the dungeons and then conquer all of the castles. There are a lot of dungeons and once they have been cleared, they become a source of kill points, which are needed to get upgrades.
CLICKPOCALYPSE II Review: Conclusion
TL;DR – the game is fun and I enjoy it. I think the little avatars are adorable and the game is a good mixture of idling (just watching/not doing anything actively) and clicking (activating skills and upgrades). I’ve played it for hundreds of hours (including offline hours) and I’m still not bored with it.
SM Fairview recently expanded so there are a lot of new shops. I personally enjoy baked goods a lot and the new Honey Bear Bakery looked interesting so I checked it out.
There’s a big white bear at the entrance which is how I noticed that there was a new shop there. The place is small but there are two small tables with chairs where you can drink some tea and eat their baked good.
The display counter only has a few items but they are the type that I like. I bought a few things.
I ate the chocolate covered croissant (nice), sausage pastry (quite filling and savory, as well as the Japanese cheesecake (yummy).
There was also this super cute mini bear cake. I gave it away to someone since it was too cute, it looked perfect to gift to other people.
I particularly enjoyed their small Japanese cheesecake. The portion size is just right: enough for a few satisfying bites but not big enough to make me worry about the calories. It’s light, airy, and cheesy. In case you’re wondering why I said “Japanese cheesecake,” that’s because this is a Japanese-style cheesecake, not the type that’s made with Graham crackers and Philadelphia cream cheese. This is more like a chiffon cake flavored with cheese.
All in all, Honey Bear Bakery has some really great-looking items and the taste is good. I forgot to list down the prices but I recall that they were the same as other bakeries. It’s not expensive to buy from them.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HoneyBearBakeryPH/
This is not a sponsored post and I am not affiliated with Honey Bear Bakery. I paid for all the items with my own money.
The Chocolate Kiss Cafe opened its doors when I was an undergraduate student. At that time, all of the restaurants inside the UP Diliman campus in Quezon City were all lower-priced, just right for a student’s daily allowance.
That’s why, when it opened, many of us felt a little surprised. I mean, we wondered who would pay those prices for food when there’s cheaper food at Rodics, for example? But it turned out that we were wrong. The cafe was always full at mealtimes!
Obviously, many people had enough money to pay more for food. Since then a lot more restaurants have opened and The Chocolate Kiss Cafe has become one of the best-known places to eat in Diliman. They also have two places inside the campus now at the first and second floors of the Ang Bahay ng Alumni.
Here’s one of their most popular offerings: Devil’s Food cake.
It’s actually just a basic chocolate cake with some sort of white icing that tastes like marshmallows on it. I found it a bit dry but still good.
They now sell mini cakes, which is good since they are cute and the size is just right. I forgot to take a pic of a slice so here’s a pic from their official Instagram.
By the way, although their cakes are good, what I like to eat there is their Beef Salpicao.
Official website – http://www.thechocolatekiss.com/
UP Diliman Campus
2nd Floor, Ang Bahay ng Alumni
R. Magsaysay Street
+632 433.1140, 434.3577
Pickle Food Co. is a healthy diet delivery service that offers calorie-controlled meals along with all-natural cold-pressed juice.
I ordered their 1200-Calorie Low Carb High Protein plan and here’s my review.
Note: I am not in any way affiliated with Pickle Food Co. I paid for this diet delivery. They didn’t ask me to review.
Ordering from Pickle
To order you can go to their website or Facebook page to view the details.
They actually have different packages that you can chose from. I picked the 1200-calorie (per day) Low Carb High Protein package which cost P2,500 for five days.
They will deliver food everyday from Monday to Friday and each day’s food consists of three meals and two snacks.
The order form is on their website. I filled out the order form on their website and they emailed me to confirm. You have to order the week before you want the food delivered. I ordered on Thursday and they emailed the confirmation on Friday.
One week’s food
Before ordering, you can check out the week’s menu beforehand.
Pickle Food Co. Diet Delivery Review
Actual Food – One Day’s Diet Food
So what does the food look like? Here are my pics of what I got.
This is the food I will eat for one day. As you can see, there are three big microwaveable containers for the three meals and two smaller ones for the snack.
Now, when you got to their website they show the food nicely arranged and everything. This photo shows what you actually get, with no fancy plating. 🙂 This was my breakfast: Greek Beef with Garlic Yogurt and Chickpea Mash. I liked the egg and chickpea mash. I poured the yogurt over the ground beef. It was okay but not something I would have ordered myself if I had a choice.
One of the problems with the diet delivery services of this sort is that you don’t get to pick what to eat. There’s a set menu for the entire week and if there’s a dish you don’t like, tough!!!
Lunch was Spicy Thai Basil Chicken. It was flavorful but a bit too salty for me. Eating it like this without rice (to lose weight) isn’t really my preferred way but it wasn’t too bad. I felt full after I drank a cup of coffee and a glass of water.
A little tip for you: Drink plenty of water! Don’t be in too much of a rush when you eat. Eating too fast means you aren’t giving yourself time to feel that your hunger is satiated.
According to the menu that was posted, dinner was supposed to be Chicken with Roasted Garlic, Tomato and Spinach. However, as you can see, I seem to have gotten something different. Where’s the spinach? It did taste good, though.
Pickle Food Co. Diet Delivery Review: Conclusion
The price is a bit expensive at P500 per day for very little food. This does seem to be standard as I checked the other diet delivery services in Metro Manila and they all had the same pricing.
Overall, I thought the food all tasted good. There was too little of it to keep me really satisfied but I guess that is to be expected when it’s only 1200 calories per day. It’s okay if you can afford it.
Pickle Food Co. Diet Delivery website: http://www.pickle.ph/