Haru no Sakura Cake Tarts

Haru no Sakura – The tart which symbolizes the coming of spring

Incredible! I managed to snag these Sakura tarts from Candysan before they went out of stock. These “Haru no Sakura” tarts seem to be a seasonal snack because they don’t seem to be available anymore. I’ll definitely order them again if I see them in the Candysan store again because they are the bomb!

It’s pretty much impossible to buy Sakura-flavored anything unless you’re in Japan, sadly. I’m a fan of the fragrant, flowery taste of cherry blossoms.

Anyway, about the tarts!

Haru no Sakura

haru no sakura tarts

The Haru no Sakura tarts come in a very nice pink box with a cherry blossom design.

The box is super nice. I think it’s like a gift box rather than just the usual grocery box. I like the little curved asymmetrical bit on the left side.

Each tart is individually packaged.

To be honest, it’s a bit shocking how many small things are individually packaged in Japan. I think it’s because boxes like these are meant to be passed around. There are five tarts which I guess means I ought to find some other people to share it with but… *cough* I ate it all myself.

sakura cake tarts

Each tart comes in its own gold-edged sakura blossom designed plastic package.

Here’s a nice close-up photo of the tart package. It’s cute.

seasonal sakura tart

This is what it looks like out of the package.

Once I tore off the plastic, I was a bit surprised since it did not look like a tart. It’s soft and cakey! The “tart” is a cake or muffin that was formed in the shape of a tart.

sakura cake

The inside is pink! Although it’s called a tart, it’s actually more like a soft, spongey cake.

I am obsessed with the pink cake interior when I bite into it. It tastes like cherry blossoms (sakura) with a hint of sweetness. It’s not dry but neither is it super moist.

Is it really like “the coming of spring”?

Yes, it really is! The fresh, clean, flowery taste of sakura isn’t overpowering but it’s there and it’s amazing.

Be warned though: if you’re thinking of giving this as a gift, think twice since not everyone likes this type of flowery taste in their cake. I did try to share this but there were no takers. I urged someone to take a small bite but she hated it. I suggest that you buy it for yourself if you like sakura.

One final thought: I’d like to make it clear that this post isn’tĀ sponsored by Candysan. I bought the tarts with my own money.

Having said that, I feel like I want to explain what Candysan is. It seems to be an online shop run by someone French. At least, I think it’s run by some French person since the website is available in both English and French. They ship directly from Japan. Despite the name, they don’t seel just candy. They have all sorts of stuff like noodles, snacks, drinks, gashapon, Japanese honey, etc.

I kinda tend to spend a lot there. šŸ™‚ If you are ever in Japan then buying this type of stuff should be easy enough but for those of us who aren’t there, Candysan is a good way to buy unusual or unique Japanese treats.

Cafe Tribu Fairview (Regalado Branch)

Note: This was before the Coronavirus quarantine went into effect.

I was at the QUAD Study and Coworking Space Regalado branch when I felt peckish. Right beside Quad on the 2nd floor of the Cristina Building is Cafe Tribu. I had some iced coffee and a plate of their carbonara.

Cafe Tribu Regalado Branch
2/F Cristina Building, Regalado Avenue corner Coronet St., Fairview Park
Quezon City, Philippines
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cafetribu.fairview/

cafe tribu iced coffee

Ice coffee topped with whipped cream

Spaghetti carbonara with bacon and two slices of garlic bread

Cafe Tribu Fairview Food Menu

The coffee and the food were okay. The cafe is pretty small but I like the simple and soothing ambiance. They have wifi, of course, so it’s a good place to hang out that isn’t too expensive. I’ve been there about three times now andĀ I plan to try out their Japanese food next time.

I didn’t realize until I did a Google search that Cafe Tribu was a franchise. It looked like a small neighborhood coffeehouse but it turns out that they have a lot of branches. Some are cafes like the one in Fairview but they do also have coffee stalls.

This area of Fairview, Quezon City is full of students so most of the restaurants and cafes have student-friendly pricing. That’s great for me since I don’t like to pay a lot for a midday snack.

Have you been to Cafe Tribu?

This post is not sponsored. I have no relationship with Cafe Tribu. I paid for my food and drink.

The Body Shop Color Crush Lipstick (Blushing Pink)

I’ve recently switched to using long-lasting liquid lipsticks most of the time because the matte look is in vogue right now but those liquid formulas tend to dry my lips.

My current cream lipstick favorite (used when my lips are too dry for liquid lipstick) is my old The Body Shop Color Crush Lipstick #225. The internet says that this color is “Blushing Pink” but all it says on the lipstick itself is #225.

the body shop color crush lipstick

The Body Shop Color Crush lipstick

The lipstick comes in a silver base with a pink cap that says “The Body Shop” on it. I like that pink shade!

I thought that the pictures on this blog need a little love so I put some effort into staging the pic with a glittery silver-blue scarf, (real) pearl necklace, and some French macarons to give it that extra-fancy look.

These photos are mine! I didn’t get them from The Body Shop, I took them myself.

As I hope you can see from the picture, the lipstick is a medium pink. I’ve already used around half of it. I’m dreading finishing the whole thing since this particular color is discontinued.

I included a tissue with a lipstick mark to show the color better.

The lipstick is soft and glides on smoothly. It has a very luxurious, creamy feel and it’s very pigmented. It’s glossy. not matte like a lot of lipsticks these days.

Sadly, it has no staying power since it rubs off on anything that touches my lips but, on the other hand, it’s comfortable and moisturizing, unlike long-lasting liquid lipsticks. I wear this when retouching my lipstick isn’t a problem or when my lips are dry. I don’t even need lip balm if I use this since it soothes my dry lips. The Body Shop website says it’s made with beeswax which is probably the ingredient that makes my lips feel good.

The taste of this lipstick is light and neutral since I don’t even notice the taste whenever I eat something. Don’t you just hate it when your lipstick gives your food a weird taste?

Would I buy it again? Yes.

 

Hearthstone Battlegrounds (Beta)

I’m addicted to Hearthstone’s new Battlegrounds mode. It’s still in beta right now but I think it’s a genius idea. In this new play mode, eight players compete with each other.

Sadly, I’m a weak player which means I often get pwned a lot by the other seven players.

The first and quite crucial task is to pick from two heroes that are randomly assigned. Some heroes suck! It’s really sad when I’m given a choice of two heroes who are both no good.

I get super envious when I see the other players have some really great heroes to play with but, oh well, them’s the breaks of Hearthstone Battlegrounds! At least I don’t often end up as dead last.

I really like the Nightmare Amalgam card, especially if I get it early since I can buff it until it becomes awesome.

Players have to pick cards that are available from Bo’s Tavern then when the fight starts the minions automatically attack each other. It’s a bit nervewracking when your minions keep on attacking the wrong enemies. Minions do attack from the left to right of your own board which gives a player a little bit of control. I also like taunt minions since they protect the other minions.

At the end of a round, the player who has at least one minion left is the winner (only of that round) and the enemy hero takes some damage.

Getting first place is sooooooo satisfying when you have to beat seven other players! I love it!

Japanese Kit Kat – Beni Imo (Sweet Purple Potato)

KitKat Japan is pretty well-known for its seasonal and limited edition flavors. I was at a 7-11 when I saw this purple mini KitKat.

Here are my photos:

purple kitkat

This is a mini Kikat

purple sweet potato kitkat

KitKat flavor: Beni Imo (Sweet Purple Potato)

As you can see, the coating on the KitKat must have melted then reformed in storage or something like that since the surface looks slightly wrinkled. It didn’t affect the taste though.

The Beni Imo (Sweet Purple Potato) flavor wasn’t very strong but it was there. The primary taste is of white chocolate and sweetness. It was pretty great.

The crunch factor was there, as usual, and it was very satisfying. Great mouthfeel!

If you were to ask me if I prefer this over the regular chocolate then my answer would be NO. I liked this as a change of pace. The Sweet Purple Potato KitKat is worth buying to check it but I think I’ll stick to the regular chocolate version.

This would make a good small gift. I bought two to share with someone. She also who liked it but both of us prefer the regular KitKat. You just can’t beat classic chocolate KitKat.

Monte Cristo Sandwich (Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwich) Recipe

monte cristo sandwich

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sandwich Recipe

Makes one sandwich

1 egg
2 slices of bread
1 piece ham
cheese
butter
cooking oil (any kind)

  1. Crack the egg on a shallow plate or bowl then beat just until the yolk and whites are combined.
  2. Assemble the sandwich by putting the cheese and ham in between the slices of bread.
  3. 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.
  4. Dip the entire sandwich in the egg mixture. Flip it so both sides are coated.
  5. On low heat, add some butter then cooking oil to a non-stick pan. Fry the sandwich.

Optional toppings:

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.

fancy monte cristo sandwich
HarshLight from San Jose, CA, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm Colors Review

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.

maybelline baby lips

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.

lip balm with spf

I got the Berry Crush color. When I opened the lipstick, it’s a bright firetruck red color which I really liked.

lip balm swatch

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.

Watson’s Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Facial Mask

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.

 

Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Facial Mask

Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Facial Mask

 

Cute design. It’s foil packet and the directions and information are at the back.

Watsons facial mask

Watsons facial mask

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:

Before mask

Before

After mask

After

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.

 

 

Bag and Brew Cafe at Fairview, Quezon City

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.

Bag and Brew at Fairview, Quezon City

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.

Hazelnut Frappe, Bag and Brew Cafe

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 smallĀ pink Dooney & Bourke handbag.

Info:

Bag and Brew Cafe

Address: 2F Ricson Place North Fairview Subdivision
Quezon City, Philippines

Telephone number: (02) 819 9498

Facebook:Ā https://www.facebook.com/bagandbrewcafe/

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

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#mangocaramel #chillin

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