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

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. 

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.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review: Garnier Lightening Peel Off Mask (Light)

I've been ultra busy these days, please forgive me...

My plate is full of writing, formatting, proofreading, editing-but that's for my regular job. My blogging activities do mirror my duties at work-but a gal has to prioritize. My past post here was all about thoughts, you can see the way I write and voice out my rants and raves- so unlike blogging... But....

I have decided to try my hand (or head) at another review.  The Garnier Lightening Peel Off Mask was innocently just sitting in a layer of my drawer organizer, and I decided to give it a spin. This is one of the surprise goodies the sweet Jannie shared with me. You see, I ran out of facial scrubs and badly needed to exfoliate, my skin was showing the signs of dreary, hyperpigmentation again, and so- I decided that Garnier and I should have a pretty good time. Initially, my brother announced interest on it but I said, what the heck, there's enough for the both of us.


Squeeze a little of the yellow and lemon-scented susbtance on the clean face and let it dry for a few minutes until it feels stiff. You can see that my forehead is flooded with the signs of stress, and it is shiny with a thin layer of the mask.

After a few minutes of waiting, the mask can already be peeled off, just like a second skin to reveal.... 

There are two ways to go about it, either you trust your fingers so much to do the peeling, or you enlist the help of a cleansing or cleaning facial sponge and do it slowly with lukewarm water to peel it all off. I just enjoyed ridiculing myself in front of the mirror with my own hands. Besides, it smelled fun! (Alright, that was weird of me to say.)

Is this face selfie-worthy already? You should know by now that I am not used to the term selfie, nor am I really a fan of taking selfies. But to each his own!


  • Fresh, citrusy scent 
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Quick drying
  • Easy to peel
  • Deep cleansing and exfoliating 
  • Good for two uses
  • Reduces oil and sebum
  • Non-irritating


  • No immediate lightening effects observed 
  • Needs at least two uses to achieve intended brightening effect 

 Do you enjoy authentic Japanese beauty products? There's only a few days left to join my Wawaza Giveaway! 

Do stay tuned because I have prepared a huge October giveaway for you guys! Mwah! Clues: Did you know that apart from Cancer Awareness Month, October is the month of Fiesta Pilar Celebrations among Zamboanguenos? That's just something for you to look forward to here at Raisie Speaks...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Product Spotlight: San San Nail Polish in Perfectly Pink

Even before the urban warfare started here, I got the chance to pick up new nail polishes from HBC in the city thanks to my ever constant shopping companion who understands my need to be girly girly. Apart from the Rosy Blush that I picked up earlier, I also got these two shades of additional nail polishes in Perfectly Pink and Seal Brown.

One thing that I really like about the San San nail polishes from HBC is that they are long-lasting and don't chip that easily. Let me elaborate later on. But why Perfectly Pink and Seal Brown? For one, I wanted to see how subtle of a pink the shade will look on my nails, and for the latter, I am a huge sucker for anything dark brown. Really, let me show you a collection of all my browns later, ok?
I find that you can get really good value for these 12ml bottles, because at Php 37 each they sure can last long with a decent amount of topcoat for protection.

Perfectly Pink is too frosty for me, but I think this will do for the outdoors or during travels and trips to the beach. It is super feminine, but I find it too attractive to be worn to the office. But I am keeping this shade with me just in case, especially for weekend trips with friends and loved ones.

Don't forget to join my Wawaza Authentic Japanese Products giveaway, this is your chance to do so, it is extra special, don't let it slip you by!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: HBC's San San Rosy Blush Cheek Blusher

Some time ago, I chucked out my old Human Nature blush because I already used it up and abused it in good measure back when I was still a practicing journalist for print and television. Now that I have another desk job as a technical writer, I have time to get ready in the morning and motivate myself at the vanity before I head on out the door.

A few weeks ago, I picked up the San San Rosy Blush at the HBC branch in town and got if for a really affordable price of only Php 102 or $2.55. Such a steal, I know, I know. Does blush have its benefits? Why do women treat this as a beauty essential? Let's face it, blushers offer that healthy, rosy glow, it's just a matter of choosing which blush type and color that goes with your skin tone. In order to avoid looking too pale, blushers make you look like you have been sun kissed, and alive, not to mention it also contours your face and cheeks.

I've been using it to work lately (please just allow a girl to play with a hint of color) and here are my two cents on it.

  • I was quite hesitant about the gold specks on it, but I don't see any speckles on my cheeks after application. 
  • Simple, blue case packaging
  • Easy swipes
  •  Subtle, rosy, healthy blush 
  • Absolutely affordable!
  • Stays on for long hours, from morning, lunch until coffee break 
  • No mirror in the packaging
  • Applicator brush is too small

Overall, I think it gives just the right subtle blush and it is really appropriate for work, not to mention, it is affordable, even students can readily reach for it. Also, just in case I run out, I can just head on to the nearest HBC branch and get another one. 

I have another HBC San San product I want to review before I head on to the skin care series posts. Hmm, maybe I can do that next. Have a good weekend everybody! Join my Wawaza giveaway if you are feeling lucky!  

Monday, 16 September 2013

Wawaza Authentic Japanese Beauty Products Review + Giveaway

I don't even know where to start. For the past eight days, life here in mi ciudad has been on a standstill. I am lucky though that I live far from all the action and the happenings, but there is still the fear and concern since my family is in the pueblo. So much has happened already, and to add to the hurt, some people do not really understand what is going on and keep making negative comments about our city and people as if we have control and make it seem as if it is our fault that this has happened to us. I just wish some people were more sensitive to our situation.

Thus, the silence here.  But, in times of challenges and trials, there will be people who will stand up. And there will be people full of hope.

To distract myself, I am going to introduce to you a luxurious shop that specializes in authentic Japanese beauty products which have been used by geishas and even celebrities have been patronizing them. Enter, Wawaza Authentic Japanese products. I have been lucky to be chosen by Ms Hanako Mori for being able to review their products. When I say luxurious, I daresay even the Hollywood A-listers like Victoria and David Beckham have been using them.

You can head on to Wawaza to check their site and see if there is something that you might like. 

Cool, you are back? Now, let's talk about the products that I have received.

This is the skin secret of celebrities. I have tried it once and have been using it regularly ever since. (Gotta love Wawaza for this!) This is Uguisu No Fun or Nightingale Droppings Powder. Don't be quick to dismiss this product because this has been the beauty secret of many geishas for hundreds of years!

Uguisu No Fun is rich in natural guanine that contains high amounts of pearl essence for that porcelain-like Japanese clear skin. It also helps to prevent aging. 

  • Restores damaged skin due to sun exposure and premature aging
  •  Whitens skin
  • Deeply cleans pores
  •  I like that it leaves the skin instantly soft and smooth. It is a good and gentle scrub that also evens out the skin tone.
  • You can tell that it contains pure guanine, no artificial fillers whatsoever 
  • Fully organic and hygienic 
  • Very versatile, you can use it as facial wash or mask
  • Some people might not get used to the aroma of guanine

Now you can tell how meticulous the Japanese are when it comes to their skin. You see, Wawaza also sent me the Lady Butterfly Blotting Paper to try out. I am no stranger to blotting paper, but this is one of the more traditional formulations. It is made of first grade Abaca hemp paper with traditional techniques in Kanazawa, Japan.

  • Compact, you can carry it anywhere
  • For all skin types
  • It is transparent and with a single texture so you can see how much of the paper you have already "blotched"
  • Does not remove foundation powder or bases
  • Fully organic
  •  Needs careful handling or else it might rip before you use it up


Now time for the giveaway. I am also including 2 bottles each of the other products that was sent over by Wawaza to you my readers. You can also get to try out the  Bijn Japanese Rice Bran Facial and Body Oil and Aya Japanese Camellia Hair and Body Oil thanks to the additional samples sent over by the shop.


This is the loot that is up for grabs, thanks to Wawaza, you can experience luxurious pampering for your skin right at your own home just the way geishas and Japanese actors did years ago.

The giveaway ends on October 5, anybody in the Philippines with a serviceable shipping address can join. Be sure to enter the correct details, alright? Good luck!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Review: Pevonia Enzymo Spherides Peeling Cream


The new way to exfoliating!

Alright I will cut out the tv commercial voice.

It's the weekend so I am feeling carefree, but also I am giving in to one comment by a certain France who asked for a review on the Pevonia Enzymo-Spherides Peeling Cream which I got from Sample Room.

Before you go on, please (you have been warned) remember that it is not my intention to scare you, I hate to give you nightmares before Halloween, and I hate to lose readers because my scary face.... (Oh please I am humiliated as well) but here goes...

The sample size is only 6 ml, and it is worth 80 points in Sample Room. For me, it is only good for a single use. 

"Experience the cutting-edge technology of this cream’s unique enzymes entrapment. Enzymo-Sphérides® Peeling Cream offers encapsulated enzymes in micro-sphérides for maximum activity upon contact with your skin. Pineapple and Papaya enzymes eliminate impurities, blackheads, dead cells, sebum, and toxins as you work this cream into your skin and gain a bright, smooth complexion."
  • Easy and immediate deep surface cleansing
  • Removes dead cells, impurities, and clogging
  • Brightens the complexion
  • Increases absorption & results from home care products
  • Leaves the skin refreshed, soft, and glowing
Key Ingredients
  • Pineapple Enzymes (Sphérides)
  • Papaya Enzymes (Sphérides)
  • Gingko
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile

It took two applications of the cream, so that's two layers you see there on my face, I think I didn't put enough or 6ml of the product is just not enough for my round face hehe.  I already used up the entire sample in one use and didn't even get the nice layering mask effect that I wanted! I think it is also because of my blending technique which I automatically did as if it were moisturizer.

Up close you can see how gritty it becomes and it becomes stiff and flaky. Again, not enough of the product to have even layering. I used up the whole sample already, but I could feel the tightening and firming effects on the pores already. It has to stay on for two minutes.

I used a gentle sponge cloth to clean it up and washed off with lukewarm water just to be sure that no more cream was left on my face.


 Immediate effects:

  • I felt my skin become soft and smooth even when the mask was on
  • Pores tightened a little
  • I looked like a pale zombie for a couple of minutes
But now I am reborn! Yeah!

So what skin care ritual did you do this weekend? Are you ready to face the week ahead?

I might do another mask ritual next weekend and you can watch out for my post about it only here at Raisie Speaks, a lot of masks are coming my way because I ran out of facial scrubs hihihi.

I have collaborated with other ZC bloggers to give you another giveaway and you can join here.

To know more, you can visit the direct link to Pevonia Enzymo-Spherides Peeling Cream or also find out more products from Pevonia Organic Skincare Philippines.