Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Book Review: The Last Lecture

Have you ever been attracted to books that inspire you? Has there ever been a book that changed the way you looked at life? To me, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch was a book that was like that for me.

It all started with a video I found on YouTube from Carnegie Mellon University back in 2007. I think what attracted me most about the video was the topic: “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” As someone who thinks that her current job is not her childhood dream, the lecture was something that I felt compelled to watch. 

The Last Lecture
The Last Lecture being streamed from my TV via YouTube. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

My Take on Crispy Cheese and Bacon Potatoes

One thing that you should know about me first before reading this post is that I am the type of cook that depends on a recipe book. If there is no cookbook or recipe to follow, I cannot do it. I don’t know if it’s because I tend to be obsessive-compulsive about following a set of directions or if it was because I was brought up taking cooking lessons that followed cookbooks, but I just cannot do these things on the fly. I need a set of directions to follow or I will surely fail.

I’ve always wanted to cook and the only time I’ve ever had the chance to was over the holidays. With the family together and willing to be my taste testers, I finally had the chance to try out some of the easy recipes that I’ve saved from Pinterest.

Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes - Clare Henney Version


Friday, December 18, 2020

Netflix Picks: The Originals

 Always and Forever.

Back in the day, I was a fan of the TV series The Originals, which is a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. The Mikaelson Family was introduced in the show as the first family of vampires, the original vampires from whom all vampires were sired. The actors who played the Mikaelsons were such a hit that they were given their own spin-off show, which lasted for five seasons.

While I did watch The Vampire Diaries from time to time, it was only when the originals were introduced that I became interested in the show, which was why I was excited when the spin-off was made. Sadly, while the show did last for five seasons, the show that was launched as a result of this one, Legacies, was not as good as I expected it to be.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My Piano-Playing Childhood

Do any one of you know how to play a musical instrument?

When I was younger, I remember that almost everyone in my class was taking music lessons on the side. At the time, I think that the best music lessons for kids involved either voice lessons or playing the piano because that’s what most of us did. Since my father usually took care of the voice part for the family, they sent me to piano lessons. Conveniently enough, the grade school I went to offered those lessons after regular school hours so the time between the end of class and the time before I had to go home was spent in a tiny room with a teacher and a piano, with each room adjacent to another one that had yet another student, a teacher and a piano in it. I don’t know how many we were who took lessons at the same time but suffice to say we were enough to come up with a full morning recital at the end of the year.

It’s been a while since I played the piano but when I was younger I used to be very interested in it. I’ve seen photos of myself playing (OK, maybe just banging) the piano when I was a toddler. I was that young when I first became interested in playing. My father was always a musical person who loved to sing and play the piano…maybe I got that interest from him.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Cancelled Too Soon

It is December and it has been more than 9 months since the pandemic started. One of the industries that have been affected by the pandemic has been the entertainment industry. Just this year alone so many TV shows have been canceled not just for rating reasons but also for the fact that many productions are struggling to keep shows on while following the safety guidelines/protocols that are needed to stay safe during the pandemic. TV shows cost a lot to produce, and spending more on safety precautions makes it more difficult for struggling shows to continue, which is too bad since some of the shows that have been canceled have been my favorites this year.

Two of the shows that were canceled this year only lasted one season. I think that if circumstances were different, these shows would have been given another chance but given how things are, they are now over. It is too bad since I was looking forward to seeing more of these shows but now, I will be left wondering what would have happened next.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Review: Folklore The Long Pond Studio Sessions

By this time, I think everyone has heard of or listened to Taylor Swift’s album Folklore, and everyone has started listening to its sister-album Evermore. I plan on writing a review of Evermore soon, but it’s too early to say which songs are my favorites and why so I think this is the best time for me to share what I thought of her Disney+ special called Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.

It was funny when I read that someone had said that the special was just “Taylor Swift singing in a barn.” Funny because it was true, but funny because if you dismiss it as being just that, you miss out on the bits and pieces that she shares about the creative process that she had undergone writing the album. As a fan and as someone who thoroughly enjoyed her album, it was interesting to know how each of the songs came about and how the writing and the music were developed. 


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Book Review: Timeless Christmas

After watching several movies with the holiday theme, I thought it was time to read a holiday-themed romance next. I found the book A Timeless Christmas by Alexis Stanton on Amazon and decided that this time-travel Christmas romance would be the best one to try.

The story is about inventor Charles, who buys a clock that somehow takes him to the future. He discovers that according to history, he suddenly disappeared from his home and that his property has since become a museum and tourist attraction. With the help of Megan and the rest of the people who work in the museum, Charles tries to navigate his way around his modern surroundings as he searches for a way to return to his own time.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Netflix Picks: Jingle Jangle

After enjoying Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, I decided to watch another movie musical that has the holiday theme. This time, I watched Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.

The movie is about the inventor Jeronicus Jangle, who is a famous inventor and toymaker who has come up with his latest invention which he believes will set him and his family up for life. Unfortunately, this invention was stolen by his apprentice Gustafson, who also takes with him Jangle’s book of ideas.  


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

My Attempt at a No-Bake Cheesecake

I tried my hand at cooking recently, with several recipes that I found online that would qualify as easy. However, it turns out that what I think is an easy no-bake recipe turns out to be more challenging than the video demo shows it will be. Their video made it look so simple and easy, I thought an inexperienced cook like me could do it!

I found the recipe on Yummy Magazine’s website. I was looking for easy no-bake recipes for desserts and found this. It said that their No Bake Oreo Cheesecake was “quick and easy” so I thought, why not give it a shot? It can’t be too hard! Or could it?

Monday, December 7, 2020

Netflix Picks: Christmas on the Square

As part of my commitment to see as many holiday-themed movies as possible, I decided to watch the movie musical from Netflix called Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square. Featuring (and produced by) Dolly Parton herself, this movie has the typical Christmas Scrooge-type character (played with class and perfection by Christine Baranski), one who gets divine intervention from her guardian angels leading to a happy ending for everyone in the movie. 


Saturday, December 5, 2020

Netflix Picks: Princess Switch - Switched Again

What’s better than two versions of Vanessa Hudgens in a Christmas movie? Apparently, if you ask Netflix, the answer would be to have three. Their latest movie, a sequel to Princess Switch, has Vanessa Hudgens playing triple duty as Princess Stacy, Lady Margaret, and Fiona in Princess Switch: Switched Again.

The movie starts where the last one left off: Stacy is now married to Edward and has become Princess of Belgravia. They are off to Montenaro to attend the coronation of Margaret as Queen. It turns out that the King had passed away and with the heir abdicating, she was next in line. This led her to break up with Kevin, who she invited to coronation anyway.

Stacy, who believes her best friend Kevin and Margaret were meant for each other, tries to convince them both to spend time together to be able to talk about their feelings before the coronation. She proposes that they switch again so that Stacy can take care of Margaret’s royal duties while Margaret has the time she needs with Kevin.

The only problem with this switch is that Fiona, Margaret’s cousin and another doppelganger, has other plans. With the intent of getting crowned as Queen so she can steal money from the kingdom and run away to a country without extradition, she executes a switch with Stacy, who was pretending to be Margaret at the time. By the time she realizes that something has gone wrong with her plan, it was too late so she instead tries to get crowned right away with the help of Margaret’s conniving Chief of Staff Antonio.

Being a Christmas movie I think we all know what to expect from this in the end. All the characters get their happily-ever-after, with a surprise cameo from King Richard and Queen Amber of the Christmas Prince movies at the end, confirming fan speculation that all the Netflix holiday movies are in one cinematic universe — that means there are not just three versions of Vanessa Hudgens in this universe, but four (she also played Brooke in The Knight Before Christmas). I guess Netflix loves Vanessa Hudgens a lot then!

The first movie was more about the romance between the two lead couples, this second film, while it did have the romantic element, was more about their misadventures after having another switch. I can’t imagine how difficult and confusing this must be to film (and edit) since there are three versions of Vanessa. The person in charge of continuity for this one needs a bonus for doing such a good job! Usually, when I watch films or shows with one actor playing multiple characters you find inconsistencies in their scenes together. I did not find one (none that was easily noticeable anyway) in this movie.

It must be exhausting for Vanessa Hudgens to play all three roles since they all have different personalities (and accents). I would be so confused about who I am playing if I were in her place, especially during scenes where she was pretending to be someone who was also pretending to be someone else!

I already thought in the first movie that her leading men were a bit boring, but at least with this movie not being that much about the romance element, it did not matter. Vanessa had better chemistry with her leading man in A Knight Before Christmas (Josh Whitehouse) but to his credit, I did like Edward better in this one, although I can’t really pinpoint why.

Recommending this might be a bit of a stretch. I'd say watch at your own risk since it can be a bit slow-paced and slightly boring (I wanted to speed it up at several points to pick up the pace). While this movie is not the best holiday movie out there, Princess Switch: Switched Again was still entertaining with its equal parts of feel-good, romantic, cheeky, and funny sides. But if you have something better to do, maybe go do that instead. 


Friday, December 4, 2020

Movie Throwback: Finding Forrester

2020 has been a dark year. The pandemic has meant the loss of the lives of so many, be it from the pandemic or other health causes. One death that saddened me this year is the recent passing of the original James Bond, Sean Connery. I have not seen a single Bond film that he starred in, but I was a fan of his other movies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and the film of his that I enjoyed the most, Finding Forrester.

In the movie, Connery plays writer William Forrester, who became a recluse after writing his first book, which won the Pulitzer Prize. He is befriended by a young man named Jamal (played by Rob Brown), who had been offered a scholarship to a private school for his high test scores and talent for basketball. What started as a dare between friends to check out the neighborhood recluse who never leaves his apartment becomes a friendship and a sort of mentorship between the two men.

Jamal, who learned that William was a renowned writer, promised to keep their friendship a secret in return for help with his writing, The friendship develops to the point that when Jamal invites William to a basketball game the latter ventures out of his apartment. It does not go well, and he ends up back to being a recluse in his apartment.

Later, Jamal’s professor accuses him of plagiarism. He could not believe that Jamal could write as well as he did and how his skills have improved in that time. When Jamal enters an essay competition at school using one of the writing exercises he did with William, his professor uses this to accuse him further because he used an article written by William as the basis. To make his essay valid, Jamal would have to prove that William permitted him to use the article. But, a promise is a promise and Jamal refuses to reveal his friendship with William. He also refuses to write the letter of apology that the school is demanding of him. He asks William for help but since he is still having anxiety from when they previously left the house together, he refused.

The school tries to blackmail Jamal by ensuring that he would not be charged with plagiarism if he makes sure that they win their basketball game, but Jamal decides to take a stand and throws the game. Moved by what he has done, William goes to Jamal’s school during their essay contest and asks to read an essay, to which of course the school authorities say yes. He gets praised for the piece that he read as he admits to being Jamal’s friend and allowing use of the article for his essay. Jamal’s professor says that would not make the case against him go away, but the school authorities overrule him after learning that the much-praised piece that William had read was written by Jamal himself.

What I loved about this movie was how moving the friendship was between William and Jamal. The mentorship was unusual at first given the circumstances but it was a good relationship that helped both characters improve. William eventually got over his anxiety of leaving the apartment and Jamal was able to believe in himself enough to make a better life for himself. Sean Connery was so good as the reclusive and anxiety-ridden William, I was so happy when I saw him on a bike outside at the end of the film because I felt so much for his character and the life he trapped himself in. It was heartbreaking when it was revealed that he passed away at the end of the movie, but moving that he left everything to Jamal when he did.

This movie will always be one of my favorites, something that I would love to watch again if given the opportunity. It would be nice if more people got to see it and appreciate how good it is.

Have any of you seen this movie? Leave a comment or tag me on social media about what you think of it!


Thursday, December 3, 2020

Netflix Picks: Dash & Lily

It was the trailer that got to me. I discovered Dash & Lily while scrolling social media and the premise of this show had me hooked! I went looking for it on Netflix on the date that they said it would be coming out and watched it on the same day!

As excited as I was about watching it, I was disappointed to discover that Dash & Lily was a series and not the movie that I had expected. Fortunately, the show was only made up of eight episodes of less than thirty minutes each, so I managed to finish the entire thing in one sitting. It was still a significant amount of binge-watching time, but the episodes were entertaining enough that I did not notice the time.

A Christmas rom-com, the series is based on Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. One of the executive producers of the show is Nick Jonas, who does a cameo with his brothers near the end of the series. The series starts with Dash discovering a red book that dares him to do something he never would have done otherwise. From there it becomes a sort of scavenger hunt of dares between Dash and Lily that push both beyond their comfort zones, learning about themselves and each other in the process.

There were so many things that I loved about this series. I loved that the female lead is Asian, something that I am glad to see is becoming a thing now, with Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I Loved Before having Asian female leads. I loved that the series featured new actors — not that they are newbies per se, but that they are not that established yet. That meant I would not be watching a celebrity play a role but I would see the character the actor is playing. The leads also have, oddly enough, good chemistry with each other even if they are hardly in any scenes together. The “kilig” is there even if they only end up face to face near the end of the series. I love how charming both the leads were, I'd love to see them in other movies in the future.

I enjoyed how this romance developed. Because the two characters did not know each other and had not seen each other before exchanging messages in the red book, they both let down their guard and said what was on their mind. I think the fact that they were unguarded and there were no pretenses was the reason why they had such witty banter in the book. It was this honesty between them that made them connect and I liked that. Now I know in this day and age of catfishing this is not exactly a safe way to meet someone, but I’d like to think that their story is the exception to the rule.

There were a lot of supporting characters from this series, but I think my favorite is Lily’s aunt, who she is named after. She seems to be living in a more glamorous home compared to the rest of the family and she seems to be estranged from everyone else for some reason but it was not explained fully in the show. I would be happy to see a show that was about her younger years and how she came to have the life that she was living at the time of the show. She just seems to be too interesting to be relegated to such a small role.

Even if the show was about a couple of high school kids finding love over the holidays, it was still a show that I enjoyed watching. It was a feel-good show that is perfect for the season. In this age where social media and self-image seems to be so important to today’s youth, watching two young people fall in love without the influence of that was refreshing to see. If you have the time, this is something worth watching.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Netflix Picks: Operation Christmas Drop

It’s December! Can you believe it? Time might feel like it is going too slow because of the pandemic but it has also breezed past us — 2020 will soon be over! With Christmas just weeks away, I have taken to watching movies and TV shows with the holiday theme. Books with the Christmas setting have been on my list as well. First, up for me was the Netflix movie Operation Christmas Drop.

The movie stars Vampire Diaries alum Kat Graham and Vikings star Alexander Ludwig and is inspired by the real-life humanitarian mission of the same name that the US Air Force has been operating since 1952. For the movie, Ludwig’s character Captain Andrew Jantz is the man who has made it his pet project, and Graham is the congressional aide named Erica who is sent to inspect the activity as part of a study which will select which air force bases would need to be shut down. All this is happening right before Christmas, just when preparations for the drop is in full swing.

The two lead characters clash at first, with Andrew trying to keep Erica away from the project because he is worried about how she may report negatively to her superior, Congresswoman Bradford (played by Virginia Madsen). Eventually, however, as he shows her around and she learns about the situation and the people that benefit from the project, Erica has a change of heart not only about the Christmas Drop but about Andrew as well.

I did not think that the pairing of Alexander Ludwig and Kat Graham would work — he seems like such a huge guy and she is this tiny woman, but they both managed to have this chemistry that worked. Ludwig comes off as this teddy bear of a guy, someone who is huge and tough but with an equally big heart. As small as she was compared to her partner, Graham projected a strong character — a go-getter who made things happen.

As expected, this movie had a happy-ever-after ending. Congresswoman Bradford, who initially decided to close down the base due to the “expenses” of the Christmas Drop, saw for herself how it was operated and had a change of heart. Erica and Andrew then got to spend Christmas together, the potential of their new romance shown with a kiss being the last scene in the movie.

This movie is not your typical Christmas romance film. For one thing, it had a location that did not have snow as it was in Guam. Most (if not all) of the holiday movies I’ve seen have been in snowy settings, so this was a refreshing one to see. I also loved learning about the Christmas Drop project. After learning that it was a real thing during the end credits, I looked it up and was amazed by how long it has been going on and what it contributes to the community. As in the film, it is classified as a training project to help the air force train for similar drops over areas such as Iraq or Afghanistan. The movie says that they work with other countries on this and I was surprised to discover when I searched for more information online that our very own Philippine Air Force participated in this in December 2017 ( which was not mentioned in the movie, by the way).

If you want to watch a feel-good Christmas movie, Operation Christmas Drop may be a good thing to see.  With this year when we have all gone through so much (with some going through much worse than others), the movie's drive to be charitable during the holidays may rub off on you when you see this!


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Plot Twins: The Plus One Pact and Holidate

The Plus One Pact by Portia Macintosh is one of the new books that I managed to finish recently. It is about Cara, who is having a hard time finding someone, not for lack of trying. With a list of events that would require a date, she agrees to an arrangement with her new friend Millsy to be each other’s date for their respective events. No commitment, just friendship, and a person to be with during the events they need to go to. Sounded simple enough until it was not.

Credit: Boldwood Books


Friday, November 27, 2020

Review: Deerma Handheld Wireless Vacuum Cleaner

This pandemic has made me obsessed with acquiring items for use around the house. I think that should not be a surprise considering that I have probably spent more time at home this year than I have ever done in my lifetime. After I purchased an air purifier and a dust mite vacuum, I decided to purchase the Deerma VC20 Handheld Wireless Vacuum Cleaner via Lazada.

I have seen several celebrities and some of my own friends showing off their purchase of a Dyson cordless vacuum. As interested as I was in purchasing it, the price of the product turned me off. I did not feel it was practical to buy something that expensive for what I needed it for. Besides, I believed I could find something that would do the same job without being that heavy on the pocket.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Song Club

A while back I got an email from someone from Republic Media thanking me for my review of Ronan Keating’s album 2020. In the email, several artists with new albums were shared that I might be interested in. I was curious about the album featuring various artists called Song Club (aka Chris Gilford’s Song Club), which is themed around the pandemic. Luckily, I was given a chance to listen to the album before it was released last October 23.

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay


Friday, November 20, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Lasco Smart Air Purifier

Early into this pandemic, I started having rashes on my skin. I attributed this to stress initially but then started to wonder if my childhood allergies were acting up again. I had been allergic to dust when I was younger and had similar rashes when a place was dirty/dusty. I would have asthma attacks from too much dust as well. I decided with the pandemic and the respiratory issues that it brings that I should take extra precautions. This was when I decided to buy an air purifier. After searching for and comparing many brands and their features, I decided to buy Lasco’s Smart Air Purifier.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Netflix Picks: Timeless

One of the things that I find comfort in these days is looking back on tried and tested favorites. I have been re-reading books I enjoyed in the past and I have been re-watching TV shows and movies that I had previously enjoyed. 

One of the shows that I found myself re-watching recently was the 2-season TV show called Timeless, which is currently on Netflix (Philippines).


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Book Review: Worth Waiting For

I have not read that many new books this year. Most of the books that I have been reading have been ones that I have read before -- which has more to do with me wanting to face something familiar under these stressful times. I have tried to read a lot of new books this year, but several of the books that I have started have unfortunately ended up on the do not finish pile. One of the few new ones that I’ve read this year (and finished) is a book called Worth Waiting For, which, if I am to guess correctly, is inspired by the story told by the song The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by The Script.

Credit: Bookotoure


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Movie Review: In My Dreams

A few years ago, while I was watching TV on a now-defunct cable channel, I remember seeing this Hallmark movie that I fell in love with instantly. It was a romantic movie starring Katharine McPhee and Mike Vogel called In My Dreams. I have been a fan of Katherine since her American Idol days, so it was an easy choice to want to watch this movie. I never heard of Mike Vogel before this one, but I was later a fan because of his work on the TV series The Brave (which I wish could have lasted longer than it did).


Monday, November 16, 2020

Book Review: American Royals Series

What if the United States did not have a President, but instead had a King? What if for the first time, the country was about to have a Queen? What kind of world would that be? The book series American Royals by Katharine McGee.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Cherry Home Dust Mite Vacuum

The pandemic has made me so paranoid about so many things. When I had rashes during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, I had investigated every reason I was having them. One of my main suspects was my childhood allergies for which I later bought an air purifier. Before that, however, I decided to buy a vacuum cleaner for my bed because I had also suspected dust mites.

I remember buying this vacuum cleaner after my search for one that I can use exclusively for mattresses and pillows, the living room couch, and related items.  The size of the vacuum was small enough that I could hold it with one hand as I went over everything. It was also at an affordable cost that I knew I could try it and not regret the purchase in case it did not work.

Photo Credit: Cherry Home


Friday, November 13, 2020

Netflix Review: The Babysitter Movies

Haven’t you ever had those moments where you were working, and you needed to have something -- anything -- playing in the background just to carry you along? That happened to me recently. Sometimes working from home can be good but there are times when things could be too quiet that you needed something other than white noise.  I decided to pick a couple of movies on Netflix: The Babysitter and The Babysitter: Killer Queen (warning: spoilers ahead).

If the titles were not a giveaway, the two movies are connected to each other. One was released in 2017 and the other in 2020. It is the story of a young boy who discovers that his cool babysitter made a pact with the devil and was going to make a ceremonial offering so that she and her friends could have their wishes come true.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Documentary Review: This is Paris

I always wondered if people on reality TV sometimes had some sort of public persona that they present of themselves, some sort of image they project because it sells. With her documentary, This is Paris, original influencer Paris Hilton reveals that what you see is not necessarily real, as she shares the reason for this image and the life she has behind the scenes.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Netflix Picks: Enola Holmes

Who has not heard of Sherlock Holmes, the famous fictional detective? I have never read any of the books, but I am familiar with him. One person that I was not familiar with was his sister, Enola. I did not realize that there were also books about this young woman who is depicted to be just as good a detective as her older brother. The film starring Millie Bobby Brown playing the titular character Enola Holmes was my first introduction to the rest of the Holmes family, and it was a very entertaining thing to watch!

From what I have read online this movie was supposed to be shown in the cinemas but switched to Netflix because of the COVID 19 pandemic. It was a smart move that resulted in it being one of the most successful films on Netflix to date. So much so that there have been rumors of Netflix looking into possibly more Enola Holmes movies and Sherlock Holmes films featuring Henry Cavill, who gave a memorable and different spin to the character.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Netflix Picks: She Was Pretty

My K-Drama binge-fest on Netflix during this pandemic was stalled a bit with a show that my cousin recommended, the romantic comedy titled She Was Pretty. Starring Park Seo Joon and Hwang Jung Eum, the story revolves around Kim Hye Jin, who was supposed to meet up with a childhood friend after many years of not seeing each other. When he did not recognize her when they ran into each other, she assumed it was because she was not as beautiful as she was when she was younger. As a result, she made her pretty best friend meet him in her place.  



Monday, November 9, 2020

Series Review: Upload

If you had the chance to extend your life by being uploaded into virtual reality would you do it? What would your afterlife be like in it? What kind of complications would that kind of existence bring? That is what is being tackled in the Amazon show called Upload.


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Book Review: Shine

With the popularity of K Pop groups these days, have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of these groups and how they were formed? By now K Pop fans are familiar with the fact that South Korea’s musical groups are strictly trained before they are formed and launched. The book Shine, by Jessica Jung of the girl group Girls Generation, is about a Korean-American girl who is training to be a part of one of these K Pop groups, sharing the story of her training up to her launch in a girl group.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Movie Review: Project Power

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? If you could be given the chance to have a power of your own, would you take it? The movie Project Power shares a world where people can have their own superpowers via a pill that releases your unique powers for a limited period of time -- five minutes, to be exact.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Movie Review: Over the Moon in Love

Watching feel-good, wholesome movies has always been a guilty pleasure. There is something about watching people have their happily ever after without any violence or heavy drama that will always appeal to me. During this pandemic, movies like this have been a source of comfort for me. Stressful times call for non-stressful entertainment, especially feel-good romantic ones. When I found what seemed like a Hallmark movie called Over the Moon in Love on Amazon, I decided that it was something that I wanted to watch.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Netflix Picks: The Social Dilemma

Have you ever wondered about how much you have shared online? Have you ever thought to yourself: “How much is too much?” I have. After watching the documentary titled The Social Dilemma, I am wondering if it is time to try to pare down on the sharing or if it is too little, too late.


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Book Review: A Simple Wedding

One little white lie. It seems so simple. Until it snowballs into something bigger and bigger that you end up having no control over how it tramples on everything and everyone because of it. That is the dilemma that Jenny has when she travels to the popular wedding destination Heart’s Landing to plan her movie star cousin’s secret nuptials in the book A Simple Wedding by Leigh Duncan.

Credit: Hallmark Publishing


Monday, November 2, 2020

Review: Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2

It seems just like yesterday that Rihanna was singing during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Now she has her own lingerie line and is having fashion shows of her own via Amazon for her Savage X Fenty line. This year she just released her second show with Amazon, and I decided to take the time to watch it.

When I saw Rihanna’s first fashion show on Amazon, I admired the fact that they showed how much input Rihanna had with the designs and the fabric and every single detail of her show. This is something that was hers creatively and not just something that she put her name on to sell. 


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Netflix Picks: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

Is it just me or is there nothing good to watch on TV these days? It seems like every time I watch TV it is the same shows over and over again. I know that I cannot put the blame on the TV stations/channels about this since COVID 19 has affected every industry, entertainment included, and that it is so difficult (and no doubt more expensive) to make movies and TV shows these days. Because of the lack of new things to watch, I have found myself looking for shows or movies I have not seen yet on streaming sites. That was how I discovered the three-season series called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Online Shopping Tips

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we live our lives. Even for someone like me who tends to stay home often, being at home and not leaving the house at all has been a huge change. Apart from the one day that I have to report to the office per week, there is no motivation to go out, and even if there was, I often try to find ways to just stay home to be safe. The number of daily new cases in our municipality has not gone down so I feel the need to stay home as much as possible since I am one of those with at-risk conditions. Because of that, most of my shopping for my daily needs has been made online.

My sister usually takes care of the fresh produce that we need at home since we can usually buy them in our neighborhood. We do not even have to leave our street to buy vegetables, meat, and seafood, which is a good thing. As for our other needs, groceries, other food items, and home essentials, we have taken to purchasing them online via Lazada.

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Book Review: Sex and Vanity

Kevin Kwan, the writer of the Crazy Rich Asian series of books, has recently come out with a new novel called Sex and Vanity. As a fan of his books, I knew it was something that I had to have and read. I   do not know if being a fan was an advantage or disadvantage to reading the book: it was an advantage that I was familiar with his writing style, but it was a disadvantage that I expected too much from the book. I am not saying that it is bad, more of it not being what I expected.

Credit: Penguin Books


Monday, September 7, 2020

Album Review: Ronan Keating Twenty Twenty

Ronan Keating is one of my favorite male singers. I have been to the last two Boyzone concerts in Manila because of this guy. When I heard that he was releasing a new album to celebrate his 20 years as a solo artist, I eagerly waited for it on Spotify.

I would like to think of this latest album as his album of duets and an album of wedding songs. There are several duets in the album, with a couple featuring artists that I like such as Shania Twain, Robbie Williams, and Alison Kraus. I call it an album of wedding songs because so many of the songs would make great songs to dance to during a wedding which, when I think about it, is something that his first solo single, When You Say Nothing At All, has been all these years.


Sunday, September 6, 2020

New Obsession: Korean Celebrity Vloggers

With most people staying at home, celebrities have been using social media to be able to stay visible and in touch with their fans. I’ve noticed that more and more celebrities are embracing all forms of social media, particularly video, to remind their fans (and their sponsors, most likely) that they are still around.

This pandemic and the quarantines imposed on all of us have made me watch a lot of Korean dramas. My curiosity got the better of me and I went on Instagram, where I found that many of the Korean celebrities, I liked now have accounts. Back in the day when I first started being a fan of K-Dramas, most of them kept to social media accounts in Korea. I am glad that they now embraced more global means of staying in touch with their fans. 

These days my favorite way of keeping tabs on some of my favorite Korean stars is not just Instagram, but also YouTube, where some of my favorites maintain channels and post interesting videos for their fans. 


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Recipe Tried: Chrissy Teigen's Mac and Cheese

I have been a follower of Chrissy Teigen on social media because of her old blog, the one where she shared a lot of her recipes. This was before she came out with her cookbooks. She still has a blog today but it is under the name of her brand, Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. Last year I decided to try her Mac and Cheese recipe from the cookbook that I found on Brown Eyed Baker

Here is how I did it (with a few adjustments because of the availability of ingredients):


Friday, September 4, 2020

My Favorite T. Swift Leading Men

If my previous post on her latest album Folklore has not made it obvious yet, I am a Taylor Swift fan. I have been a fan of her music since her early years. I have always considered her to be incredibly talented and very smart with the way she makes decisions regarding her craft.

One of those types of decisions that I am thankful for is the type of guys that she chooses to be leading men in her music videos. She has had several of them through the years – a mix of celebrities, athletes, models, and fellow singers. I’ve noticed that when I trim them down to my favorites I really do have a certain type of guy that I am often attracted to: dark hair, strong jaw, intense eyes, and of course, a very handsome face.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Book Review: A Sweet Mess

I love romantic comedies. I know some people have asked me why I love these things when I know that the two characters are going to end up together anyway. For me, as cliché as it may sound, it is not about the destination, it is about the journey to get there.

Credit: Macmillan Publishers


Monday, August 31, 2020

My Fave K Dramas

Back in the day, I was introduced to Korean Dramas. Back then, K-Dramas were called Koreanovelas and were Korean series dubbed to Tagalog for local viewers.  It was around this time that I also discovered that you could watch subtitled, original language versions of these shows online (if you knew where to look). Listening to the actors speak in their own language and hearing the inflections, the pitch for me gave the scenes more depth and emotion than the dubbed version. While Filipino dubbers are good at what they do, nothing beats hearing the actors themselves speak to get the full impact of a scene.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Netflix Picks: Love the Way U Lie

With COVID 19 still making it hard for people to go out, many film producers have opted for other ways to show their films. Many of them have decided to release them digitally to be sold/rented or streamed via streaming services such as Netflix. Viva Films’ Love the Way U Lie is one of those movies.


Saturday, August 29, 2020


Taylor Swift surprised everyone with a new album during the pandemic. According to news articles on this, she did not plan to release one, but she had created so much during the pandemic that she had to release it. Good thing that she did, since this is something that fans (and non-fans) like me can enjoy from start to finish!


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

My Go-To Cafe: Brainstorms and Brews

One thing that I miss about the pre-pandemic life is visiting coffee shops and just enjoying the coffee and ambiance with my family and friends. As much as I love coffee, it is not just about the coffee, but about the social experience too. 

There is a local café that my family and I often went to pre-pandemic that recently made an adjustment to the pandemic life, and for that, I am incredibly grateful. They have created a website where you can order coffee and non-coffee drinks as well as other food that we used to enjoy when we used to visit their physical store. I love that you can order and pay online, which means that when the items are delivered there is no exchange of cash. I have heard that cash is one of those things that can spread the COVID 19 virus so not needing to pay via cash is a good thing for me. 

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