"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."
-Unknown
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Monday, 1 January 2018

Review: Granite Gear Echo Backpack in Verb Petal

The Granite Gear Echo in Verb Petal featuring Barrier Repealaweave Technology

It’s been to places I’ve visited in the last quarter of the year, from Manila, Baguio, Benguet and also Pagadian and back to Zamboanga. I also use it as my school bag. It’s durable, water proof and I love the color. Basically, wherever I go, it’s there with me.

It was a surprise from C, who also got a matching bag in blue. I adore this color combination, and it’s even made its way to a hiking trip to the third tallest peak in the country last October. If there was one bag that could be suitable for both travel and school, the Granite Gear in Echo will have to be it.

What’s To Love?


It’s designed to be a campus backpack. It’s weather-resistant thanks to the repealaweave fabic made of durable Taurpalite bottom. The laptop sleeve protects up to 15.5 inch laptops (I’ve been lugging around my 14 inch Acer laptop) featuring the padded gear tech. Its profile is tall and slim, not short and stout and keeps the weight closer to the back for better center of gravity. 

So how about for travel blogging? Bring it on. For travel, it’s a smarter move to switch to a lighter and more compact laptop like my Acer Aspire ES 11.

A laptop sleeve is part of the design that can transport even a 15 inch laptop

The second compartment features a full organizer for pens, small extras even power banks. Even with my heavy load, the back panel is comfortable. I've also made my windbreaker a constant attachment in there. It's foldable into a square buttoned cushion pack and it's very handy when the weather's threatening. 

My foldable windbreaker is a constant companion in the second compartment organizer

Barrier Repealaweave


I can’t express how grateful I am that this all-around backpack features barrier repealaweave especially for the front pocket where I store my USB, headphones and keys. I probably can’t live with myself if any of these got wet.

Full back panel for comfortable transportation of books and even traveling light


School and Travel


The Granite Gear Echo bag couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s with me in campus, and doesn’t show signs of wear and tear even if I stuffed it with my 14 inch laptop, extension wire, charger, mouse, wallet, notebooks, pencil case, grooming pouch, reference notes and even law books that come in hardbound (and can get really heavy) and a water bottle at the side with still enough room for a folding umbrella.

500 ml Echo Bottle for water in campus and even outdoors

But oh boy, it’s never showed any signs of giving up despite roughing it. It’s also fabulous outdoors, from Pulag in Benguet to La Paz in Zamboanga.

No matter what its contents are, whether it’s books and a laptop for school or clothes and outerwear for hiking outdoors, the performance and durability is still the same.

The obligatory hiker's quarter turn in Pulag National Park, my Granite Gear Echo in Verb Petal challenging the weekend hike

 The Granite Gear in Echo has been discontinued, but there are other campus backpacks that also fit the bill and are newer in terms of design but still can offer the same durability whether it’s for school or travel. I got mine on sale in KCC Department Store for Php 1,220. 





Monday, 6 November 2017

A New Coffee Haus Is in Town (And It’s Right Behind Where I’m Studying LOL)



It’s funny how best friends get to observe things that otherwise we may overlook, such as a new coffee house conveniently on its soft opening at the back of the university where I’m studying. You know how coffee is an essential part of my being. This gal runs on coffee….


So while my regular lunch date C was out of town, M and I caught up over coffee in Barako Haus.  Now what makes Barako Haus interesting is that it’s the only cafĂ© that serves Civet Coffee at Php 365 per mug. Civet Coffee is one of the most expensive types of coffee in the world, and the most flavorful. Kopi luwak or civet coffee, is coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). Yep, Barako Haus serves that for Zamboanguenos to try.


But I didn’t go there for the Civet. I needed my good old barako in my system, and I did get. I ordered the longganisa and pan de sal with scrambled eggs for my lunch. Crazy I know. Although there were pasta dishes, the mood hit for longganisa at that moment. I also had iced barako to go with it. M ordered the tuna pasta for a healthier option.


Well, the longganisa served with my pan de sal was the sweet variety, and I have to admit I’m not used to sweet longganisa, as I always have my longganisa quite savory. I enjoyed my iced barako and I’m quite satisfied to have had it with muscovado sugar to lessen my refined sugar intake. This was before my travel to take on Benguet so I was still a bit conscious with my sugar intake.



As for the price range of their food selection, I find it reasonably priced, and that dishes are mid range.There are also other desserts on display, such as yema cake, choco yema cake, ube yema cake, moist choco cake, muffins and cupcakes to satisfy those with sweet tooths.


I like that the interiors make use of elevated platforms covered in banig, or the traditional woven mats made out of dried palm leaves. It makes me feel like I’m having coffee in someone’s veranda with such comfortable materials, because banig to me always means cozy.


In totality, I’m satisfied with my barako experience in Barako Haus. The staff were friendly, coffee selection is good, place is clean and comfortable. I’ll just have to practice my indian seat the next time I go back in one of those nooks. Thankfully, it’s very accessible for quick pick-me-up between classes.

Barako Haus is in Nunez Street right behind ADZU back gate. You may visit their Facebook page here.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Shop Feature: D Deco Art Ph- Haul and Shop Review



Anyone with an obsession for creative journaling can stumble upon shops on Instagram, (I'm no exception) because the Discover option serves more than its purpose admittedly. 

Then there's D Deco Art Ph which had a clever marketing strategy on Independence Day week to hook those stalkers by offering freebie stickers which was a hit. There were also other attractive goodies, (and at such an affordable price too) that those who had no urge to resist ended up with no urge to resist. 

One thing led to another, and with not much personal restraint, the following is a confession I made:

The Story Behind The Haul


I'm in it for the stickers!

Okay, there I said it.

I mean, who wouldn't want a piece of the action? The Independence Day stickers were a freebie but I'd go after them if I were you... They're cutesy-sized, the sheets are 2.5 inches each and contain Filipino icons such as slippers, jeepney, palm tree, church ( a testament to Pinoy devotion and faith), sun, Philippine map, and of course the Philippine flag. My other favorites are the sentiments: Mabuhay! Pinoy Ako and #SarapMagingPilipino. 

This sticker set is so timely for the month. I recommend that this set should be patented if it's even possible! 


On to the rest of the haul, I was looking for vintage washi designs to go with my Starbucks siren planner because its pages are full of coffee-stained artwork so I'd like to keep with the brown-vintagey theme in the absence of coffee washi and stickers. I was kind of late to the party so some beauties kind of escaped me, and I was told that the next restock will be happening in the last quarter of the year (so I have my alerts turned on already mind you). 

Also, I love how these stamps are able to give crisp images on my planner. Travel-crazed layout on my planner achieved! And you won't believe how crazily affordable they are at only Php 100 per set of 6 stamps. Steal! 


The Shop 

D Deco Art Ph is on Instagram and offers washi, sketchbooks, stamps. planners, post-it notes, brush pens, ballpens and anything else that can gain your attention. There's a lot of interesting stuff I swear. My transaction was fast and easy, courier of choice also was fast (I was surprised too that it came early). If you're interested in something, send them a DM in Insta. 



For my part, I'm going to be busy writing (another long weekend) and because it's my art therapy of sorts. Also, I'm keeping an eye out for new uploads but I'm also serious as hell on saving money, but goodies being offered in Deco Art are affordable that it's almost a crime (trust me I've compared prices in other shops). 

I'll give you updates soon but right now, enjoy your long weekend!

P.S. Follow @raisiespeaks on Insta because I'm doing messy art there LOL


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Book Review: ABCs of Journaling by Abbey Sy


Letterer, instructor, entrepreneur and all-around talented gal Abbey Sy is back with her second boo and she’s sharing tips on journaling creatively. The book wasn’t available yet in Zamboanga and being the crazy person I was, I asked my friend to buy it from me from a National Bookstore Makati branch which was just within walking distance from where he was staying. I received it the next weekend. 



Abbey Sy

I’m a fan of Abbey Sy and one of the people excited to get a copy for myself when it was announced on Instagram. I also have her first book and knowing Abbey Sy, she’s really put her heart into the completion of her published works. 



Highlights
Abbey introduced the definition of terms to those who are new at journaling. It’s a good guide for newbies. I also like the tips all over the book and the author distinctly promotes sketching and drawing in transit. It’s a great way to preserve modern-day adventures. Also, here are helpful tips on how to pack up materials like washi and watercolor while on travel.

There’s also a section featuring local artists who have done journaling in different styles. I’m thinking of applying some tips in my upcoming travel where I will be doing some interesting activities up north.

The sticker sheet is a bonus with the travel-inspired stickers. My only suggestion is that it should have a couple of sheets for international and domestic travel.

I’ve been documenting and journaling on my own for a while now, but some tips are also relevant here from her book. Abbey Sy is a letterer and her works really shine in each of her travel pages. She draws scenes from food, to buildings and she has the patience (and the time) to complete each one of them.



On the other hand, I don’t have that much time when I travel especially when I’m with people who want to hop from one place to another, and my sketching skills are not as advanced. This is where smartphone photos come in, and for days when my mirrorless camera is kind of too heavy. But I can manage especially when I sit down and start jotting down notes and experiences of the day.

For my personal travel journal, I can’t wait for an upcoming adventure and for me to gain new experiences and to cross off a few items on my bucket list. 



Saturday, 10 May 2014

Book Review: The Most Important Meal of Their Lives by Send a Cow UK #BestStart



Photo from Dietician Without Borders



We hear it over and over again, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When we are concerned about our figure, our weight, we tend to skip breakfast and get on with our day. But for children who need the fuel to get through school and are stricken by poverty, skipping breakfast may not be such a wise choice. In fact, many children in Africa face overwhelming poverty, putting their ambitions on a very elusive pedestal. 
 
Send A Cow UK’s project is to introduce this book and highlighting breakfast choices of historical and iconic figures such as Florence Nightingale, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein.

We know a lot of these leaders in terms of their accomplishments in leadership, industries, humanitarian causes and science. The Most Important Meals Of Their Lives gives an idea of what these greats had for their breakfasts. 

The book also features recipes and other interesting facts like how astronauts followed strict lightweight diets in portions like bacon squares and cookie sugar cubes.

Alber Einstein: Fried eggs and honey, crisp rolls and decaffeinated coffee
What would have happened if Albert Einstein did not have breakfast when he first formulated the Theory Of Relativity? Did you know that he stuck to a vegetarian diet? The Great Eats also reveals that he had a personal invention that was positioned on his table to decaffeinate his coffee.

Christopher Columbus: Hardtack and legumes stew
Christopher Columbus relied on what stock he had on board as he circumnavigated the world.He may have also discovered all manner of culinary peculiarities and other exotic flavours during his journeys and explorations of the New World.

Jane Austen: pound cake, tea, cocoa and toast
 As an English novelist, Jane Austen has secured her place in literary history. She has introduced women with wit and social insights in her works. But not many readers know that "breakfast in the Austen household was traditionally served at 9am each morning, in the dining or drawing room..., it was Jane Austen’s job to prepare a feast of this kind."

Thomas Edison: Apple dumplings
Where would we be if Thomas Edison, an industrial leader and icon, have not had breakfast on the day he had that Eureka moment when he figured out his first light bulb invention? He was a conscious foodie but he was particularly fond of apple dumplings.

Winston Churchill: poached egg, cold meat, toast and grapefruit
British politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again in 1951 to 1955,  Sir Winston Churchill is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century. His preferred breakfast was documented on the back of a menu while on his last flight to the USA as Prime Minister in 1954.

What I Learned From the Book

I particularly like pancakes. They are my personal comfort food and I like them lathered with butter, so that means the more butter, the better, and I top it off my maple syrup. It turns out, "Honest Abe" Abraham Lincoln could gobble up Kentucky corn cakes faster than anyone can make them, and the brave Rosa Parks also adored featherlite pancakes. My guess is that she could have had it on the day she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus.

Other notable figures in the book are Florence Nightingale, William Shakespeare, Mother Teresa, First Men on the Moon, Barack Obama, Cleopatra, Charles Darwin, Amelia Earhart, Sigmund Freud, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela.

Who Would Enjoy This Book

This is a great library addition for foodies, historians, chefs in the making, bookworms, those looking for new breakfast recipes to try or anyone who is a fan of these historical icons. As for me, I consider myself lucky to have an e-book copy of this book and have had a glimpse of the breakfasts of these great leaders.

About Send A Cow UK 

Send A Cow UK follows research highlighting undernourished children in Rwanda and Uganda. These youngsters struggle with school because of poverty. Send A Cow's Break...Fast campaign aims to raise £500,000 to give to children in Africa for the #BestStart and every £1 donated will be doubled by the UK government.

The Most Important Meals Of Their Lives eBook is available to download from www.sendacow.org.uk/mostimportantmeal
For more information on the Break… Fast Appeal please visit www.sendacow.org.uk or tweet@SendaCow with the hashtag #BestStart.

*Thank you to Jocelyn from The Great Eats for providing me with the beautiful photos. Copy of the e-book was graciously provided by Send A Cow UK for this review.