Intangible Happiness

Happiness is one of those intangible assets that is much sought-after and increases in value the longer you keep it.

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.

Cafe Tribu Fairview

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 and 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.

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 small 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: https://www.facebook.com/bagandbrewcafe/

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

View this post on Instagram

#mangocaramel #chillin

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Stardew Valley Farming and Life Simulation Game Review

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

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.

Wheee!

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.

Rating: 5/5

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.

CLICKPOCALYPSE II Review

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:

clickapocalypse 2 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.

clickapocalypse 2 review

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
character skills

This is the character skill screen. One skill can be activated every time the character levels up.

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.

dungeons

The dungeons give kill points

castles

The player can see a list of castles that have been conquered or can be attacked.

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.