Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Because I am a book lover, the arrival of Big Bad Wolf Books in town was definitely exciting news! Two million books available at 60-80 percent off at a book sale event that's open 24 hours a day for 10 days from February 16 to 25 - what's not to love about that?

I wasn't about to miss what's dubbed to be the biggest book sale event in the Philippines. I've been there twice already and I will tell you this much - it's heaven for book lovers! So many books from different categories can be found inside from non-fiction like cooking, beauty and fashion, photography and architecture to fiction like young adult and children, graphic novels, romance and crime, mystery and thrillers.  

Check out my book haul which I got for just P2k! 

One of my favorite finds at Big Bad Wolf Books is Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey. It's such a steal for only P190 and already hardbound cover! I've had my eyes on this book for months now at the bookstore! 

I also decided to buy the LA Candy series of Lauren Conrad and Fame Game also of the same author because I remember reading LA Candy a few years back and liked it but never got around to finishing it since I only read it at Powerbooks. Now I have my own copy! 

I bought a Judy Blume book because her stories are timeless! I'll never forget reading Summer Sisters back in College. I also bought books from Jane Green whose novels I've never read before so I'm going to see if I'll like it and Lauren Weisberger whose only novel I ever read was Everyone Worth Knowing which was way back in 2010!

I honestly want to go back because there are still so many more books I want to buy! I saw some shoppers who posted their book haul online who got to buy a box set of Paulo Coelho books and Archie graphic novels. I didn't see those when I went and so I'm itching to go back for part 3. I don't know if I will because I'm trying not to go broke! Ha! Ha! If I could just ask Mom to lend me her card again, you bet your boots I'd be shopping for more! I'd probably end up with a box full of books! 

With my fellow bookworm, Nicole

I hate crowds and long lines but I make exemptions for book sales like this! Actually, the great thing about Big Bad Wolf Books is that despite the long lines at the cashiers, you won't be spending hours in line for payment because there's about 42 cashiers there to accommodate all the shoppers and they accept credit card, debit card or cash payment. Also it's very organized. You'll be spending more time scouring the shelves for books! 

Part of the proceeds of the sale will go to Gawad Kalinga which will fund projects like housing in Marawi and Bicol. The Big Bad Wolf Book sale originated in Malaysia and it's been a regular event in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka already. It was founded by Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng in 2009 and most of the books come from their BookXcess, a bookstore specializing in excess stocks from international distributors. 

Anyway I'm happy with the books I got. Let's see if there's gonna be a part 3 for me! Meantime, I'm gonna have to really find time to sit down and read all that I bought in a goal of meeting my 2018 GoodReads Challenge as well! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Perfect Lippie for #MOMOL

Okay... I don't actually know that! Click bait lang guys!

I can't really test out Maybelline's 16 Hr SupeStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in that scenario 'cos wala e. Single ako! Ha! Ha! Ha! 

But here's what I can tell you:

When it comes to make up, lipstick's gotta be the only thing I almost always never miss putting on (save for brow make up of course!). 

I actually love make up! I love that putting it on lets allows me to hide my skin imperfections while also making me feel so pretty! But I'm so lazy when it comes to applying everything from foundation to blush on to mascara etc. most of the time that I just really swipe on lipstick for a pop of color on my face. Nakaka-happy to put on lipstick!  

Unfortunately, most lipsticks have a weak staying power. After drinking or eating, it has already faded. Constantly retouching can be a chore! But that dilemma of mine has now come to an end thanks to this new lipstick line of Maybelline! 

What is it? 

It's a liquid lipstick that will give a matte finish.

What makes it different from other liquid lipsticks? 

If you love make up, then you know that Maybelline is quite late in the game of launching a liquid lipstick. But what makes this liquid lipstick so worth the wait? Well it'll last longer than your average liquid lipstick! Up to 16 hrs in fact!  

Plus it has a unique arrow applicator for precise application.

Ever since I found out about this lipstick, I knew I had to get my hands on them! Check out the five different shades I got. 

Maybelline Superstay Pioneer

Maybelline Superstay Escapist 

Maybelline Superstay Romantic

Maybelline Superstay Lover 

Maybelline Superstay Heroine

I love the staying power of this lipstick! It can last really long - even after drinking lots of liquid or eating. I use it at work and it'll last even through a sweat session at the gym! Sometimes it's so long lasting that when I put it late in the afternoon, it'll stay on through dinner and even after washing my face and brushing my teeth and even until the morning when I wake up! 

I'm super in love with this lipstick that I've even raved about it to my friends and had them try it on for themselves! Fate and Maila both said they loved it! The latter even bought one for herself as well! 

Maybelline's SuperStay Matte Ink liquid lipstick comes in 10 various shades. Planning to buy a couple more shades - Voyager, Creator and Believer. Anyhow, if you'd like to buy one for yourself, this is available in the department stores and online via Lazada for Php299 only! Such a steal right? If you buy through the latter, make sure to use Shopback app so you can even get a cashback from your shopping! 

Monday, February 5, 2018

I keep snap, snap, snapping away

I found another way to earn cashback! It's through an app called Snapcart. I stumbled upon it last December on Google Play while looking for an expense and savings tracker app.

How does Snapcart work? In a gist, you're asked to snap (take a photo) receipts from stores and you'll get a rebate.

The higher your level on Snapcart, the bigger your cashback will be multiplied. I've been regularly snapping receipts so now I'm already on a Silver level and I've only been doing this for two months. I guess that just goes to show you that I'm always spending on something. Well... in my case this is my usual post workout drink, Vitamilk or my in between workout snack, Banana.

What kind of receipts does Snapcart accept? At the moment, the only valid receipts are from supermarkets/grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores. You can also snap receipts of your department store purchases but only if you bought make up! That's the only item that counts.

I was naturally hesitant that this would work at first. But I did some research about the app's legitimacy and found a few articles about it from online news publications. The app allows you to cash out once you reach the minimum of Php220. I cashed out once I got to Php225. 

You'll receive this notification from the app once you've successfully done your cash out. You can choose to receive your money via Paypal or via bank transfer and the processing can take 5-7 working days. I opted for bank transfer and yes, after the given time frame, I got my money!

My best friend, Ryan, teases me about what has become my receipt snapping habit. But I keep snapping anyway because I'm getting cash from doing this. Actually, while on the process of doing this, I realized a lot of convenience store cashiers don't give the customer their receipt. Most of them automatically tear out the receipt from the cash register, crumple it and throw it out. I guess that's become a norm since most customers also no longer bother to get their receipt after paying for their purchased goods.

So what does Snapcart get out of it the receipts? Well, the very idea of Snapcart is data collection. They collect massive amounts of purchase data and they analyze that and they offer to brands on a real time basis with shopper rich information. You can learn more about Snapcart here.

Anyway, so this app is awesome! Php200 is already a good amount for a meal, added shopping money or  Since I've also been in the habit of collecting my receipts just so I can track my expenses, now with Snapcart, that behavior is paying off literally! In fact, I have some friends who've started getting in the habit of snapping receipts as well for Snapcart.

If you want to earn cash backs too from your receipts, try out Snapcart. It's available on both Google Play Store and the App Store.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

It Ends With Us

Did I already say I'm a fan of Colleen Hoover? Her stories are both heart warming and heart wrenching at the same time. When I read her novels, I find myself truly engrossed in the story. So hard to let go of the book until I've read the last chapter that I end up finishing the novel in just one sitting. 

I so love this author that I even joined CoHorts, a Facebook group consisting of Colleen Hoover fans from all over the world and I DO NOT like joining Facebook groups (saved from blogger groups since I want an avenue for promoting my blog posts and connecting with other bloggers). I became a CoHort after reading my very first romance novel from her, Ugly Love. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do! 

Anyway, so I wanna tell you about It Ends With Us - my 5th Colleen Hoover novel!

The Plot

Lily hasn't always had t easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He's also a sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. 

What I thought of the book

I so loved this book! This is now my second favorite Colleen Hoover novel next to Maybe Someday.
There were kilig moments and whoa! hot love scene moments, absolute heart wrenching moments and moments that just made me heave a sigh from feeling happy for the characters of the book.

Right from the opening chapters of this book, I was already hooked. I loved Ryle for Lily. I did. I mean at the start I did. What was not to love really? He was a handsome hunk who's also successful in his career and he exuded confidence. I felt their sizzling chemistry. Their little flirting with hints of seduction - I highly enjoyed reading those moments! I guess I have a thing for guys who are good looking flirts, huh? Ha! Ha! Okay, other than those, I loved that he wanted to be with her so much, he was willing to change for her - "What commitment issues?"

I liked their naked truth conversations which is like a confession they do with each other.

Lily: You want to hear a naked truth? I've wanted to go back to your roof on more than one occasion since that night. But I was too scared you'd be there. you make me kind of nervous."

If only we could have naked truth conversations when it comes to relationships. There'd be no guessing game. There'd be no wondering. You'd know what your next step would be. Oh well.

So yeah, I was on Team Ryle at the start. I had no issue with her only knowing him for a few months but already diving into the deep end of the pool into a relationship with him. She liked him. He liked her. Why wait? That's how I am kasi in real life - or how I was... Ha! Ha! Been trying a new approach to love and relationships now since the old, fast-paced way only ever ended with me on the losing end aka heartbreak. It's like the Atlas approach. Slow and easy.

When I first read the title, I thought It Ends With Us simply meant Lily was just going to choose between Ryle or Atlas.

Sometimes the one who loves you is the one who hurts you the most

It hit me what this line really meant with regards to the story as I got deeper into the pages of the book. Without spoiling this book so much for anyone, I just have to say it was heart wrenching. Maybe Someday and Ugly Love also had their share of heart wrenching moments but It Ends With Us for me has to be the most heart wrenching of the three!

Women who are or were in an abusive relationship -  I've heard of stories like that happening in real life and for outsiders, it's easy to judge the women who stay in the relationship or say things like, "Kung ako yan, iniwan ko na yan, matagal na!" or "Naku. Sakin, hindi pwede yung ganun!" 

But if we were ever in their shoes, would we really be able to do it? Make that decision to leave the first sign of abuse?

Lily was one of those women who told herself she was never going to let any guy walk all over her. She was never going to let any guy abuse her... until she found herself in the situation with Ryle. She's gotta be my favorite Colleen Hoover heroine now for being able to have the courage to actually say "Enough" and walk away from her relationship. I mean, I was merely a reader but did I feel every bit of her suffering and struggle. In fact, while I was reading the book, part of me wished she and Ryle would be able to overcome it together since he was very apologetic for ever hurting her. Though that's the naive part of me talking. I know that the stories of women who are victims of domestic violence also told of their respective partners being remorseful after hurting them and so they would be forgiven and given another chance so the cycle repeats itself.

This is such a powerful novel! Colleen has amazed me even more after reading this book.

Photo by: Ryan (@ryaughn)