Theme Fragrance Review – Best Indie Fragrances Part II

Department store fragrances are all well and good. I love them since I love all types of good perfumes. But, honestly, I feel that indie fragrances are much more special because they make me feel like I don’t smell exactly the same as thousands, or possibly even *millions* of people.

So here is my second review of indie perfumes.

Theme Fragrance Review

I bought this from their old Etsy store but they now have a new website of their own at https://themefragrance.com/.

This review is not sponsored. I have not been paid to review. I have also not received any free or discounted items from Theme Fragrance in return for a review. 😀

theme perfume

I’ve had both hits and misses before from indie perfumes so this time I decided to stick with something very easy to like – a sweet vanilla macaron perfume. It’s named Amuse.

The scent is sweet but not overpowering. It’s light and sweet. It’s great for hot, sweaty summers when I need something to that smells cool and sweet.

Link to product – https://themefragrance.com/products/amuse-perfume-spray-vanilla-macaron

Not much more to say here, I mean the scent isn’t too complicated. It’s just a sweet, gourmand fragrance that is nice to wear.

It seems that all Theme Fragrance items are shipped with a free item. I didn’t even know that was included. Anyway, since I already said I didn’t receive free items for this review, I will not be reviewing that free item (Go Go Soiree perfume roll-on). Also, I can’t review it because when I took it out of the box, a family member saw it and swiped it with my permission.

By the way, from being a small Etsy seller to having their own website, and being featured in various magazines, Theme Fragrance is becoming more and more successful. They are also selling on Amazon now. Here’s the link to Amuse Perfume Oil on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G7UMI6G/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_Zrx2ybGE5CJRB (this is not an affiliate or referral link).

This post is the second of a series. The first one is Alkemia Perfumes Review – Best Indie Fragrances Part I

Elixir of the Rapid Mind

Elixir of the Rapid Mind is an item used in World of Warcraft. The effect is that it increases experience gain.

If it was available in real life, it would be an item that helps a person learn things faster. It would be great for school, learning a second language, or any other learning. If I had one, I would use it to learn Spanish.

coffee elixir

Coffee is like a real life Elixir of the Rapid Mind. Caffeine is one of the oldest brain enhancers around.

Did you know that there are real life substances that allegedly work like an Elixir of the Rapid Mind? Just recently I came across the concept of Nootropics, “substances that improve cognitive function.” Wow, sounds good, right? Well, a lot of Nootropics are just regular foods like coffee (yeah, it really does help me concentrate!), green tea (I haven’t noticed any effect), pure dark chocolate (it’s super expensive to use the really high quality stuff), etc. There are also food supplements but I haven’t tried those. I prefer to stick with just food/drinks that improve brain function.

Beyution BT513 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review

Expensive headphones or cheap ones? How about a mid-range headphone instead?

I would like to buy the really expensive headphones that cost like hundreds of dollars but I’m on a budget here and can’t afford to splurge. On the other hand, I don’t really want to buy the cheap ones that are $5 on Amazon.

After a long search for a reasonably priced headphone I chose the Beyution BT513 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Built in Mic.

Beyution BT513 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review

beyution bt513 headphones review

I got it from Amazon. The box is fine, it’s just a box but here’s a pic so that you can see how big it is. Please ignore the other stuff in the background, I just forgot to remove the TV remote when I took the picture.

If you look at the picture below, it’s a picture of the headphones. It comes with a nice little drawstring bag for storage.

beyution bluetooth headphones

The headphones are enormous! I got black and I feel it was a good choice since it goes with everything. I won’t have to suffer from wearing a green outfit while wearing pink headphones. Having said that, the headphones are so large that they are rather heavy and look “chunky” (for lack of a better word) on my head. I’m fine with it.

The weight took some getting used to since I normally wear earphones that are super light. At first it was annoying but I got used to it and, after a while, I no longer notice it.

The sound is much better than cheap headphones but not as good as what I have heard from the really expensive ones. This is pretty much what I expected. The best thing is that the ear part is large enough that outside sound is muted. It’s a noise-canceling factor that I do enjoy a lot. For the price, the sound is perfect. Good at the top pitches, same with bass, and the sound can be really loud if you turn the volume up.

Conclusion

5 out 5 stars! I am very satisfied and it’s worth what I paid for it. A solid product that I can use everyday for the price of $21 is great.

~ This is an independent review. I was not paid for it nor did I receive any product for free to review this. In short, I paid for this product and have no relationship with the manufacturer/seller.

Bartons Peppermint Bark Review

Bartons Peppermint Bark, also called Bartons Gold Old Fashioned Peppermint Bark Dark Chocolate if you try to look for it online, is a Christmas treat that is made of crushed peppermint candy pieces embedded in white chocolate with a layer of dark chocolate at the bottom.

Bartons Peppermint Bark

Bartons Peppermint Bark

There are many brands that make Peppermint back but, IMO, Bartons is the best. The large chunks (most brands use tiny pieces) of candy cane are crunchy but not hard on the teeth and the chocolate is thick so that the peppermint to chocolate ratio is great.

You might notice that on the box picture, the peppermint candy pieces are enormous and seem to fill the bark from edge to edge. I almost didn’t buy because of that since the candy bits looked like they were overpowering the chocolate. The reality is the image below.

Peppermint bark

As you can see, the proportions are much more equal and there is a good amount of peppermint candy but there’s also a lot of chocolate to balance it out. 10/10 would eat again!

The packaging isn’t pretty. The outer packaging is just a cardboard box and inside are these large sized bars of bark. However, what really matters is that the inside is absolutely scrumptious. Anyway, it’s also available in a tin but I believe it costs a bit more.

Links:

http://bartonscandy.com/ – the official website but it is currently under construction

Bartons Facebook Page – it hasn’t been updated since 2015

The Settlers 2: 10th Anniversary Review

Out of all the games I have installed on my PC, the one I play the most is undoubtedly The Settlers 2. I have the 10th Anniversary edition which has improved graphics.

Here is a video about the gameplay.

I love when the little men (I think it’s always men, they don’t seem to have any females but I could be wrong) are all over the place doing all the tasks that I have given them.

The game starts off with just one village and the goal is to build your empire from there. Obviously, what the player builds is limited by the resources available to him/her which means that the first order of business is to gather raw materials. Once those are available, then the raw materials can be refined into tools and such.

While you are doing this, the AI player is also building an empire and as you start expanding your territory, clashes between your settlers and theirs are inevitable. If the AI wins a territory fight then they take over your buildings and your people are conquered, therefore they all begin working for the enemy. Noooooo!

The trick is to win all of the fights and eventually take over the entire map. I enjoy doing that because it gives me a great feeling of satisfaction when I have control off the entire land.

Choya Sarari Sparkling (Plum Wine Cooler) Review

Today I bought this “mystery item.” It’s a mystery item for me since I cannot read the Japanese text on the can. Of course, when I got home I was able to google more info about this prodcust.

This is what it looks like:

choya sparkling

The only thing I could make out from the can were the words “Choya” and “sparkling.”

Since I was not sure what it was when I saw it, I only bought one.

A quick Google search yielded the information that this mystery product is something called Sarari Sparkling by Choya. “Sarari” means silky smooth in Japanese. According to the Choya website, the ingredients are ume, sugar, cane spirit, and brandy.

I have no idea what ume is but apparently it is a sort of fruit that is commonly called the Chinese plum. Hmmm. In this case, the can contains brandy in which ume fruits have been steeped to give it a nice ume flavor. In short, this can is a can of Umeshi soda.

The taste is great and I loved the bubbles. It’s basically a bubbly, fruity, alcoholic drink. Good stuff, I recommend it.

Trivia: Eating the pickled ume fruit for breakfast can supposedly stave off misfortune (source). Does this also apply to drinking the umeshi?

Zin Gourmet Finishing Salt – Triple Pepper Blend Review

In the past I used salt and salty condiments (soy sauce, Knorr seasoning, ect.) freely but these days I am trying to eat more fresh and healthy food. No more potato chips dripping with grease and salty goodness! Instead of using a lot of salt, it’s better to use spices. One of the things I have been using lately is pepper. Lots and lots of pepper!

Pepper is good for cardiovascular health because 1 teaspoon of it contains only 1 milligram of sodium which is less than 1% of the recommended daily allowance for sodium. (source) Using pepper in place of salt helps keep my daily sodium intake low.

Zin Triple pepper blend

Zin triple pepper blend

Just freshly cracked black pepper is quite awesome but I also use a nice blend of three types of pepper – green, black, and pink.

I have been trying to buy this at the nearest SM grocery store but alas, I was able to buy it only once. Subsequent visits yielded only the regular black pepper mills. Due to the lack of triple peppers in the local stores I have been buying this brand “Zin Gourmet Finishing Salt – Triple Pepper Blend” online. The pepper is easy to grind and the container has enough to last quite a while.

Zin also sells a bunch of other stuff such as pepper with pink Himalayan salt but I have not tried anything else yet.

I buy mine from Marketa.ph but Zin also sells it directly from their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/zinmanila/.

I have not been paid to blog about this nor did I receive any free samples/items.

Cookie Bar – Cookie Cups Review

This weekend, since some younger people were going to visit me, I ordered some cookies from Cookie Bar (http://cookiebarmanila.com/). Kids love cookies, right?

cookie bar review

Cookie Bar box

I got it from Marketa.ph. The box was pretty nice but what matters is what’s inside, right? What I ordered was a box of “cookie cups” which is a little bit different from the regular cookies that I normally like. Cookie cups are chocolate chip cookies with candy toppings like Milky Way, Snickers, Reese’s, Ferrero Rocher, Maltesers and Twix.

cookie cup review

A cookie cup

I actually only ate one because the cookies were for the kids. The one I got was really sweet, probably because of the candy topping (pictured above). The cookie part was soft and somewhat moist but nothing super spectacular. It tasted nice, exactly like a cookie with a candy bar on top of it. I would not recommend this for adults as it is too rich and sweet, unless you really have a craving for sweet stuff. However, the kids loved it and since it was for them, then it’s perfect, right?

The cookie cups are really something new to me. As a concept, it’s pretty cool. The other adults I showed it to thought it looked strange but they wanted to try it out so that’s good.

The box cost PHP 270 and had twelve mini cookie cups inside it. Since the box is nice and the price is not too expensive, it would make a nice gift. Cookie Bar also has a lot of other interesting things like fudge in a jar, giant cookies, cookie cakes, cookie shot glasses (for milk), red velvet cookies, and so forth. I might try out the dark chocolate cookies next time.

Pokka Sapporo Royal Milk Tea Review

Pokka Sapporo Royal Milk Tea (also called Pokka Sapporo Café de Crié Royal Milk Tea)

pokka sapporo royal milk tea

Pokka Sapporo Café de Crié Royal Milk Tea

Pokka Sapporo Café de Crié Royal Milk Tea Review

I normally prefer to make my own tea, either from tea bags or from loose tea leaves. I even own a Teavana Perfectea Maker that I almost never use. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought that. These days I just use a mug.

Anyway, I almost never buy ready-to-drink tea but when I do, I like to buy Japanese milk tea. This time I had some Pokka Sapporo Café de Crié Royal Milk Tea which was absolutely perfect. Nice and cold, it was the right size and had that sweet milk taste alongside the goodness of tea. This particular brand is very milky. I like it.

I forgot to take a picture of the tea inside (sorry) but don’t worry it just looks like tea with lots of milk in it.

It’s convenient to have something that I don’t have to steep. Like, when I wake up and I feel too lazy to make my own tea, it’s great to be able to just grab a can from the fridge. Also, I tend to not have fresh milk. At home 3 out of 4 of us are lactose intolerant so when I buy fresh milk it goes bad before I can finish it since I don’t actually drink a lot of milk and no one else will touch it. Therefore, milk tea for me is a special treat.

Having said that, I still want to make my own hot mugs of tea.

GOG.com review

I play quite a lot of PC games and my vendor of choice is not Steam but rather Gog.com. “Gog” is short for “good old games” and the website has tons of older games. The reason why I prefer Gog over the other sellers is that their games are all DRM-free.

The games I have on Gog are:

The Settlers II: Tenth Anniversary Edition (with improved graphics)
Celtic Kings: Rage of War
Torchlight
Fallout Classic, Fallout 2 Classic, Fallout Tactics Classic
Don’t Starve
Divine Divinity
Book of Unwritten Tales
Recettear

Of those games, I play The Settlers II the most.

Gog is pretty easy to navigate and the website is uncluttered. Users can also create and share lists of the games they like. I often like to browse the user lists to find out what other people are playing.

Gog is my favorite because:

  • older games are cheaper than new ones, sometimes very cheap like below $10 cheap or even *gasp* less than $5
  • no DRM is a win for me, I hate when I buy a game and I can’t run it because the DRM makes my PC black screen all the time. I am looking at you, The Sims 3

https://www.gog.com/