Category Archives: stuffs

What every solo traveler should have: The Selfie Stick with built-in Tripod

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Yep, you read that right. A selfie stick with a built-in tripod. This is heaven sent for solo travelers, especially if, like me, you hate looking for someone to kindly ask to take a photo of you. Then most of the time, the stranger doesn’t know how to take a decent photo or doesn’t snap your best angle so you’re left with an ugly souvenir photo you can’t even publish. Haha! With this, no need for humans anymore!
 


Found this online and IT IS GENIUS! It’s exactly like the regular selfie sticks that is out in the market today, with a Bluetooth remote, except at the bottom, the ‘handle’ can be unfolded to become a tripod. Bought this online (P150) because believe it or not, a week before my Malapascua trip where I used this for my photos, I visited the gadget tiangge at St. Francis Square and they didn’t have this yet! Can you believe that? Late na sila!

 

At first, I couldn’t figure out how to use the tripod. I knew it should work based on the photos but I couldn’t get it right. So I asked the other buyers of this stick and found out that you have to turn the little knob at the bottom of the handle (number 1) – about 2-3 turns – until it loosens. Then you turn the big ring at the bottom (number 2) so that the tripod legs can be pulled way down (by this time, it will look like a tripod). Once the tripod is down, turn the big ring (number 2) to secure the tripod legs then turn the little knob (number 1) again to tighten. I’m sure this sounds confusing but first just try to turn the small knob (number 1) at the bottom then I’m sure you can figure it out then. This is super easy to use, convenient, light weight, handy and best of all, it works! Definitely one of my best finds ever!

Halo-halong Discoveries Part III

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Matte Nail Polish
I’m probably late on this trend but only recently did I try matte nail polish, only because I combined it with my online shopping shipment. This is not an original from the brand, which is why the consistency is different and doesn’t become smooth on my nails. But I absolutely love it! My manicurist told me that Orly carries this kind of polish too and even recommended that I just buy the matte top coat polish, which would make any polish matte. Coolio!

 

2-in-1 Travel Pillow

 I normally do not bring travel pillows when I travel simply because I can sleep without one. And also I find them bulky and a tad bit heavy (heavy pa yun sa lagay na yun. Haha!). But as I was passing time in Robinson’s Department Store, I discovered this awesome invention – 2-in-1 travel pillows! It can be a neck pillow and a square, oblong or rectangle pillow, all with just opening the zipper. And it’s super duper light since the inside is filled with tint Styrofoam-like balls. At first I saw the pastel ones with fruit design and was willing to pay the P360 price. But as I walked around, I found more designs.

 

I instantly fell in love with the floral watercolor one (P299), which only had two pieces. As I always do, I didn’t buy it immediately. I believe that if something is for me even after a few days, it really is for me. Days passed and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and went back and only one piece was left! I asked and there was no more stock. This is such a cool pillow and I think every traveler should have one. Only thing lacking with this is a clasp so that it can easily be secured on your bag (the pastel ones have this).

 

25-30 Calorie Milk

I tried almond milk when I stayed in the US and my bro-in-law would use it for coffee. I actually didn’t like it with coffee and only when I went back to Manila and started my ‘overnight oats’ diet did I truly appreciate unsweetened almond milk – because hel-lo, it’s only 30 calories per 250 ml! That means, 1 liter is only 120 calories, same number of calories for a 250ml low fat milk! How awesomely crazy is that? I ain’t going back to regular milk after this. Even though it’s more expensive – ranging from P120-150 per liter depending on brand – I still think this is the best option for those who are health-conscious (or trying to be, like me). The one I bought, Natura has 30 calories per serving but there’s another brand – Blue Diamond that only has 25 calories – the lowest I have seen so far! Natura is available in S&R while SM groceries carry Blue Diamond.

 

I won’t be continuing my overnight oats diet though, since I have uric acid and apparently oats is a no-no. Too bad. I really enjoyed that diet pa naman.

Reusing Old Bottles

Finished up three bottles of Clean N Clear facial washes and the bottles were so nice, decided to take out the sticker, refill them with shampoo, shower gel and new facial wash, plaster new labels via DYMO and voila – super cute dispensers. Based on experience, best to use pump bottles for shampoo and shower gels instead of just the squirt bottle because you can control the amount of product you dispense, so less wastage.

Halo-halong Discoveries Part III

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I love stumbling upon sale items (in moderation), because I don’t want to pay full price as much as possible. My finds include Uniqlo’s discounted flare jeans (P390– whut?!), another bra (hehe) and inner heat tech thermal wear for P390 (I think). So glad I got them in my size! 


Another sale I stumbled on was in Cotton On, a store I seldom buy from. Honestly, I only wanted to buy a shirt so I could get the cat and egg reusable bag for P200 (with any purchase), instead of the original price of P399. Haha! Cat lady strikes again! But I do adore the 3/4 sleeved shirt I picked. Sulit na for P200 as the cotton is sooo soft. Not many people know but I like weird designs like skulls, though I won’t wear this when my mom is around as she dislikes skulls. Lelz. Update: went to Cotton On Megamall branch the day after and found out the reusable bags were on sale at P120. I was cheated! Haha. Oh why did I have to go and check? Pangpalubag loob ko na lang that there was no cat design in Megamall branch. 


I saw this Gardenia Pocket Sandwich (P15) and was curious, because it was the same type of sandwich I found in Japan. Though Japan had more flavors including the weird noodles-in-the-sandwich, Gardenia only had peanut butter and chocolate. As you can see in the photo, you get what you pay for. Didn’t taste really good. 


If there’s one thing I like to do & consciously try to do is buy from our local sellers for local products. When I saw the poster for the DTI Sikat Pinoy Piling-piling Pagkain Food Fair at Megamall’s Megatrade Hall, I marked it on my mental calendar and made my way there during the first day. 


I bought my lunch there – bicol express with rice (P80) & an order of laing (P50) which were so good I forgot to take a photo. Then I boughtthe best  brownies I have ever tasted! Please buy Brownie Bites (P180 for a pack of 20) if you see them. I also bought RiMo chips (P10) and wooden saucers (P120 for 3) as a gift. Saw the same Acacia wooden saucers in SM department store for P299, more than twice the cost! Don’t but from SM, buy from the local seller instead. Other stuffs are bottled products like tuna, fresh smoked tinapa, organic veggies and meats, chips and pastries and dessert, turmeric powder and so much more. Please visit the trade fair until this sunday, 19 March. Tangkilikin natin ang sariling atin. 

Update: I went back and bought these Cassava Onion and Vinegar Crackers that was so good, it could pass as chicharon (P50) and my favorite mushroom sisig (P130), which really tastes like sisig. It’s also available in Robinson’s Supermarket. 


Lastly, guess the movie in this Royal soda barcode design? 😛

Halo-halong Discoveries Part II

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Papemelroti’s Super Adorable Postcards and Book Mark
 

Back when I was in college (or was it high school?), I remember going crazy with Papamelroti’s products. I’d buy their planner and note pads and give them away every Christmas. Then for some reason, I stopped going to their stores. Perhaps I compartmentalized them as a ‘wasteland’ where you buy products you don’t exactly need but are too cute to pass up. That is, until recently when I visited them and was reminded again of how awesome that place is. Aside from having really nice and cute products, they are also environmentally friendly with their recycling process. My recent discovery are these uber adorable (and huge – pen as scale) cat postcards (P15 each), teapot postcard (P10) and ‘Are you kitten me meow?’ book mark (P14). P54 well spent. Haha! I mean, who wouldn’t smile once seeing those cat postcards in their mailbox? I actually went back and bought another one – a black cat – for my friend. I cannot wait for my siblings, mom and friend to receive them!

 

Bazaars’ Cat Mat

It’s becoming obvious that I’m a certified cat lady huh? Haha! Bought this in World Trade Center’s Christmas Bazaar last year, I think for P100 or so. I didn’t need another mat but I bought it because it made me smile. And if something can make you smile, why not buy it?

 

Secure In Style: RFID Blocking Sleeve

RFID credit cards and passports are all the rage now in the Philippines, more so in other countries. It’s convenient to use since all you have to do is tap your card on the machine and your payment will be processed. However, with electronic developments come high-tech thieves as well. Google ‘RFID stealing’ and there’ll be a number of articles explaining it. So what’s a regular Joe like you and me supposed to do to protect ourselves from identity and credit card detail thieves? Aside from being vigilant, it won’t hurt to have a pack of RFID Blocking Sleeves on hand. Mine is from Secure In Style which my sister bought in the US for about $10, I think. As the word implies, the designs are so cute. You get 10 credit card sleeves and 2 passport sleeves. Can’t say if they are effective (since I haven’t activated my RFID credit card and have no plans of doing so just yet), but better safe than sorry, eh?

Halo-halong Discoveries Part I

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Sanicare’s Disposable Toilet Seat Cover

In the US, toilet seat covers are normal and can usually be found in their public comfort rooms, because hygiene. Haha. But here in the Philippines, people are like, what hygiene? Generally, public comfort rooms are so dirty but since you got to pee real bad, you just go ahead and do your business. I’m happy to have found this little gem because it gives you the peace of mind that your bum is touching ‘clean ground.’ Plus points that it’s biodegradable, flushable of course and has a cute design, though I would suggest they ditch the design so they could lower the price even further. It’s P32 for 5 covers. I tried it out and sure, it’s nice and my bum thanked me for it but word of caution though, with the crappy plumbing in Manila, this might not be properly flushed down the toilet so if you feel it would just clog the toilet, opt to throw it out manually (which kinda sucks because the whole point of this is convenient flushing). I’d probably just buy these when I travel to Asian countries, where toilets are not always the cleanest.

 

Reusable Feminine Pads

From disposable to reusable – and men please stop reading now – I’ve been seeing these disposable feminine pads and being a curious cat (and environmentally-friendly at that), I decided to get myself a set consisting of regular flow pads and panty liners. In the long run, not only are you saving the world, you are also saving your pocket. Got mine from the instagram account of MumNBubsFashionPh, who I highly recommend because the owner is really easy to talk to, allowed me to choose my designs, answered all my questions and even gave me a discount. I actually inquired from Chill’s Cloth Pad too but their customer service is worse. MumNBubsFashionPh also carry reusable diapers and other baby products. I really wanted these to work for me because I absolutely want to stop using commercial pads. Worst case scenario, I’d only use them in the comforts of my home. I mean if our parents could do it, then why can’t we, right? Never have I been more excited to be visited by Aunt Flow than today. Hahaha!

Initial reactions:

1. Super soft and cottony – no irritations!

2. Manageable and easy to clean

3. Does the job pretty well

4. The pantyliners can even serve as pads for light days while the regular pads can serve as overnight ones! 

In conclusion, was delightfully surprised how awesome it worked for me! So highly recommended! 

DIY Reusable Ice Cubes vs. Store Bought Reusable Ice Cubes

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I’ve been searching for reusable ice cubes for weeks now. The first time I saw one was years ago in Gourdo’s but at the time, I thought I’ll just buy it later until later came and they no longer had it. So now I am searching for other available reusable ice cubes (because I hate watered down drinks and it’s great for the environment). Saw cute yellow submarine ones from Quirks but it was too expensive at P250. Saw two online sellers that had their own versions but they didn’t reply to my messages, which is a huge turnoff for me. Saw some in amazon.com but I wanted the ice cubes now. Haha.
 

Walking in Japan Home, I found a pack of these cute fish designed sauce containers and a light bulb suddenly appeared. Why not make my own? I mean, theoretically, reusable ice cubes are just small plastic containers you can freeze. With this thought taking over my mind, I bought the fish designed containers for only P44 (technically P88 but it was 2 for P88 so I also got to buy a pack of cookies, which I gave away). I could’ve used the small bottle type – also available in Japan Home – but I’m maarte and I wanted some fancy-looking ice cubes. Haha.

If you’re thinking whether it’s safe to use them as ice cubes as most ‘official’ reusable ice cubes are BPA free and what not, well my logic is (i) they are made from Japan and I trust their products completely; and (ii) it is originally a sauce container, so it was really made to hold something for consumption. Besides, I doubt I would die because of these. I’ve eaten and used utensils far more unsafe than this. Haha.

Anyway, being the maarte self that I am, I wanted the fishes to have different colors so with the help of food coloring and a small device to transfer the water, I started filling up my fish in blue, green, yellow and yellow green colors. Froze them overnight and first thing in the morning, tried it in a bottle of room temperature water. As you can see, the bottle had some condensation, meaning the ice was making the water cooler. Unfortunately, it was short lived as it didn’t cool the water completely – only slight – and in the end, the water in the fish itself already melted in just a few minutes.

 

So for this DIY project: It’s a fail. Still thinking though if I should not give up and try the bigger sauce containers as a DIY ice cube. Honestly though, our regular Pinoy ice candy plastic bags would also do the trick =) 

However, I could not resist and went ahead and bought some “official” reusable ice cubes in the shape of stars (approx $7) via amazon. Hehehe.


 

And it was a success! Even with a handful of stars, my drink easily gets cold. Best part is I just rinse these stars after using them and pop them back in our freezer. No need to always refill our ice cube tray (I hate doing that, so tiresome. Haha). Looks cute too :p So yey for these and highly recommended!