From ‘boob mugs’ to makeup, here’s a review of my most recent online purchases

Just like many millennials nowadays, I like to look through online shopping websites for new items or accessories. Most of the time, what I buy are necessities like toiletries or stuff for my dog (and yes, I do classify those items as essential). But this time around, I was lured by the much-awaited payday deals of these local, online platforms–and I (inevitably) ended up giving in and checking out some items.

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Here’s my review of those purchases: 

  1. Boob Mug 

I’ve been eyeing the boob mugs of peek a boob ph ever since I saw them on Instagram. They were cute and quirky; and they celebrated the feminine body in all its imperfect glory. 

They even stated in one of their posts, “Our boob mugs are meant to express the value of women in our lives–how individuals, represented in boob form obviously, are perfect in all shapes and sizes.”

Given this, I was excited to get one of these mugs… and as luck would have it, the store offered a 10% discount on some of their on-hand items. Through this month-end sale, I was able to purchase a medium-sized Birthday Sprinkles Boob Mug for only 630 PHP (original price was 700 PHP). 

The ceramic mug measured at around 4 inches tall with a diameter of 3.5 inches. According to the brand’s post, it can hold 300 mL of liquid.

What I liked about it was that you can clearly tell it was handmade. It had a large handle that drooped down and a pair of sculpted breasts that were not 100% symmetrical (just as most boobs are). But it’s this rustic look that makes it that much more unique and special. 

I also liked how it was handcrafted by Filipino artisans. This just goes to show how innovative and creative many of our artists are.

I’ve been drinking from this mug for a few days now and I enjoy it’s size and its colorful appearance–it really does make my morning coffee sessions that much more enjoyable! 

2. Benefit lip tints 

I’ve been a fan of Benefit Cosmetics ever since I tried their eyebrow gel in 2017. Although I absolutely love their products, any makeup enthusiast would tell you that their items are NOT cheap. 

Thankfully, National Lipstick Day happened and with it, came an awesome deal for their lip tints. Because for the price of 1,190 PHP (and free shipping), I was able to receive (1) 6.0 mL BeneTint, one (1) 2.0 mL ChaCha Tint, and one (1) 2.0 mL Love Tint. 

These lip tints all came safely in a colorful Benefit box. 

I first tried BeneTint, which had a see through, light red hue to it. What I liked about this product is that since it’s water-based, you can easily build color by dabbing some more of the liquid on your lips and cheeks. 

It’s also long-lasting–I barely had to reapply throughout the day–and it has an addicting rose scent to it. 

I highly recommend this product for those looking for natural-looking and buildable lip and cheek stains for their virtual meetings.  

Next, I sampled the Cha Cha Tint from the package. It had a light orange hue and was much thicker in consistency than the BeneTint. 

It also had a pleasant mango smell and when applied, it gave your lips a subtle peach color. 

This item is definitely for people like me, who like to rock the subtle makeup look.

Lastly, I tried the Love Tint. This lip and cheek tint had a thick, dark red color to it and definitely gave your lips a striking scarlet look.

Personally, it’s not my favorite color out of the three; but it is very pigmented and easily buildable when worn both as a lip tint and blush. 

Overall, I am very happy with the Benefit products I received and will surely use them during many of my virtual meetings.

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Here’s to hoping my next shopping haul can be as nice and awesome as this one! 

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These affordable, flavored chicken wings will definitely satisfy your food craving

NOTE: This is a personal review of the product and not a paid, branded post. This means the author does not receive any money from the publication and clicks made on this article. 

I don’t know about you but one food item that I often crave for is chicken wings. Whether it’s mixed in a sweet, soy garlic glaze or coated with a spicy buffalo flavor, it’s one dish that always seems to get my mouth watering when I see it.

So, when the Mandaluyong-based shop My Food Grabs PH let me sample their newest chicken wing variants, I was definitely excited to dive in and eat their newest creation. And here’s what I thought about it: 

The chicken wings were full of flavor

The chicken wings were carefully packed into two food containers and they came in three variants–namely, sweet soy, sweet chili, and buttered buffalo. 

The sweet soy variant and the buttered buffalo chicken wings were placed in the rectangular plastic container, while the sweet chili-flavored wings were placed inside the circular one. 

A photo of the My Food Grab PH’s food packaging.

The sweet chili wings were coated in a thick layer of sauce that dripped down when picked up. And it wasn’t necessarily spicy, but it did have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor that paired quite well with rice. 

A photo of the My Food Grabs PH’s sweet chili chicken wings.

The sweet soy variant, on the other hand, was not as “saucy” as the sweet chili one, but it was glazed evenly and topped with sesame seeds. It wasn’t too sweet either–which was good (since not everyone likes their food to be overly sweet)–and the soy flavoring gave it a nice, savory taste. 

A photo of My Food Grabs PH’s sweet soy chicken wings.

The last set of flavored wings–which is, perhaps, my favorite of the three–was the buttered buffalo wings. 

These chicken wings were such a delight to munch on as the butter gave it a sort of creamy texture that complemented the ‘buffalo wing’ flavor. And out of the three variants, this is definitely one I’d come back to order!

A photo of My Food Grabs PH’s buttered buffalo chicken wings.

Although these flavored wings don’t come with dip, I think they are flavorful enough and could stand on their own. Plus, they make for a scrumptious ulam (viand) come lunch or dinner time. 

The chicken wings come at an affordable price 

Personally, I think these chicken wings are well worth their price. Because for only 160 Philippine Pesos (PHP), you can enjoy six (6) pieces of these delectable, flavored wings. 

You can also expect more exciting things from the shop in the near future 

I caught up with store owner Sabrina Mata to get more insight on why she decided to add these flavored wings to My Food Grabs PH’s menu. To this, she said that she was inspired to create and offer new food items due to the dining restrictions brought about by the quarantine. 

“I think this is a perfect opportunity to innovate my products. So, I’ve decided to add flavored chicken [wings to the store’s existing menu] which is [made] accessible to anyone across Metro Manila through online [orders and food delivery],” she explained. 

Recently, the online store shared its newest variant, Korean spicy chicken wings. And this new addition is just the beginning of what the 25-year-old envisions for her food shop in the near future. 

“I’m planning to further innovate the products by adding more flavor options and dips to my chicken wings,” she shared. “Also, I’m planning to partner my chicken wings with french fries and bring back [customer] favorites on the menu–which are the dynamite and cheesy lumpia [dishes]. So, stay tuned!” 

You can now order and stay up-to-date with My Food Grabs PH by liking and following their Facebook and Instagram pages. Happy eating, everyone! 

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For media invites, partnerships, or writing collaborations, you can contact me at cmilitarwrites@gmail.com.

This online shop makes the most beautiful paper flowers–and they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day

NOTE: This is a human interest story and not a paid, branded post. This means the author DOES NOT receive any money from the publication and clicks made on this article.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, a lot of people are rushing to malls and online stores to purchase their loved ones a present. Whether they would buy something simple like chocolates or something lavish like diamond encrusted jewelry, gift-giving on the day of love is a tradition that has been present since time immemorial. And one gift that will always be available during this holiday season is flowers. 

From roses to orchids, many have chosen to show their love and appreciation for their friend, family member, or significant other by buying bouquets of these colorful floras. Although these gifts are beautiful in themselves, one downside to them is that they don’t last forever. After a week or so, these flowers will wilt and you will only be reminded of their beauty through pictures. 

But what if there was a way to give a flower that will never wilt? Would you be open to that? 

Well, now there is. Local online store Alaya Paper Blooms offers shoppers the chance to give their loved ones flowers that are not only beautiful, but will also last far longer than a week. 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Created with quality colored paper, these flowers are the ideal presents to give come Valentine’s Day. And to help you better understand more about the shop and its products, I got to chat with its owner and designer Kevyn Tapnio. Here’s what I learned during my interview with her: 

There is an ‘everlasting’ beauty in paper flowers 

Typically, when people think of flowers, they don’t relate it to paper. But there is a sweet and genuine kind of beauty to receiving paper flowers–a sentiment that Tapnio realized when she decided to make these floral creations.

“Some people think flowers are overrated, myself being one of them up until recently,” she explained. “As I started to learn more about them, flowers started to become dear to me. Paper flowers take the fleeting nature of flowers out of the equation, so you wouldn’t have to throw them away.” 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Tapnio first started making paper flowers in 2017 when she helped create a bouquet for her aunt’s wedding. Then fast forward to 2020, she decided to return to paper flower-making while waiting to start her new job. 

“My start date was moved back due to the community quarantine that was put in place. With nothing much to do at home, I ended up making paper flowers, learning more about the craft, and falling for a different flower every day,” she shared. “I didn’t intend to make a business out of it at first, but then I thought, why not?” 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Today, the shop has over 300 followers on its Facebook page and continues to produce intricate paper flowers. 

The flowers are each a tedious yet rewarding work of art 

Much like any masterpiece ever made, a lot of time and effort go into creating them. The same principle applies to each of Tapnio’s flower creations, which take multiple hours to make. 

According to her, a “single, long-stemmed Ecuadorian rose can take 2 to 3 hours to make” and a  “sunflower can take around 3 to 4 hours.” Boxed flowers and bouquets–on the other hand– take even longer to create because there are many elements that go into them.

“One full arrangement of our heart-shaped boxed blooms takes me a whole day of non-stop work. [And] Bouquets with stems take longer, since I have to add the leaves and several fillers as well.”

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Also, crafting these floral arrangements isn’t always easy. Tapnio admits that there are times she has faced difficulty in making them. 

“It can be frustrating when you’re unable to get the look that you’re going for. Paper does have its limitations, and it could take hours and hours of experimenting to really achieve the likeness of certain flowers. Even the tiniest of details can affect the look of the whole flower–the curl of a petal, the length of the stamens, the ridges in the leaves.”

Despite the complications she has faced, she still finds the end result worth it and she is always elated when her customers find delight in her products.

“Made to last forever, our paper flowers are created with utmost love and care, and with only one goal in mind: To make you smile,” she added. 

Shoppers have variety of flowers to choose from  

The online shop offers a variety of products to choose from and the prices differ depending on the item ordered. 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Though for Valentine’s Day, Tapnio highly recommends their boxed creations. 

“Our heart-shaped boxed blooms are a crowd favorite, though all slots for those have already been reserved as of writing,” she said. “I do recommend our Mini Gift Boxes though. Many people go for roses and hydrangeas, but we also make them with different flowers by request.” 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

If you’re interested in ordering any one of her paper flower sets, visit their Facebook page and send a message. You and your loved ones will definitely not regret purchasing any of these gorgeous paper flowers! 

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For media invites, partnerships, or writing collaborations, you can contact me at cmilitarwrites@gmail.com.

Did I get ‘way more than I paid for’ with the Papemelroti Surprise Box?

NOTE: This is a personal review of the product and not a paid, branded post. This means the author does not receive any money from the publication and clicks made on this article.

Ever since my college years, I have been a fan of Papemelroti‘s products. Whether it’d be their stationery pads made with recycled paper or their colorful wall art, I have always been enthralled by the creativity and farmhouse-like design of their products. And truth be told, I have a variety of their items stocked up in my room–particularly their stationery sets and cards which I use to write letters and notes to my family and friends.

So when I found out that they were selling surprise boxes online, I was eager to buy one of my own and see what goodies I can find inside them.

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According to the store’s Shopee page, these boxes are said to “contain a unique selection of products that are worth way more than its price” and that they range from 199 to 499 PHP (excluding shipping fee).

Since I was a bit tight on budget, I opted for the lowest priced box. And combining the 199 PHP cost of the item to the 40 PHP shipping fee, I spent a total of 239 PHP on the whole order.

Here’s what I discovered about the Papemelroti Surprise Box:

On packaging

Seeing as my last boxed purchase showed some external damage upon its arrival, I was a bit skeptical with this one. But to my surprise, the item was securely wrapped in corrugated paper before it was placed inside the courier’s plastic packaging.

This extra step ensured its protection while in transit and I am grateful for it since the box was not damaged upon receipt.

The box was light brown and featured the brand’s logo and a gift carricature in black ink. It also had a dedication note which allowed buyers to give the box as a gift to a loved one.

I personally liked this idea because now, the customer doesn’t need to find nice packaging if she or he would choose to give this item as a present.

Inside the box, I found the following items:

– One (1) black, faux leather bag tag with the word “Hope” on it
– One (1) square notebook with a Christian-themed cover
– One (1) Shakespeare-themed stationery pad
– One (1) inspirational designed notebook with a hot air balloon design
– One (1) free teacup card (this item was not inside the box but inserted in between the box cover and the corrugated paper covering)

Let me go through each of these items one by one…

On the black, faux leather bag tag

The bag tag looks to be made out of black, faux leather and has a copper plate with the word “Hope” engraved or stamped to it. The tag’s lock also seems to be very tight and sturdy–which makes it ideal for luggages you would choose to check in when traveling.

It basically satisfies everything that a bag tag should be. However, in terms of design, there’s nothing particularly special about it. And compared to the whimsical designs of their other products, I have to say that I am not totally impressed with this item.

And after much digging on their website and Shopee account, I can’t seem to find the price for this product. But I found a similar item online that retails for about 85 to 138 PHP (excluding shipping fee)–and I’ll be using this price range as the basis for my overall calculation.

On the Christian-themed square notebook

Everyone who is familiar with the brand knows that it showcases a lot of Christian-themed designs on its products. From bible quotes to religious images, many of their items immediately show customers that this is a store that is highly influenced by Christianity.

And in this particular case, I received a square notebook designed with a blue background, a dove image, and the Philippians 4:6-7 bible quote that says, “I am not anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I present my requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

As someone who is diagnosed with severe anxiety and is also a practicing Roman Catholic, I do appreciate the message being shared in this item’s design cover. Plus, its overall appearance is also quite pleasing to the eyes and the pages are clean and made out of recycled paper.

This item also doesn’t seem to be listed on any of their selling platforms, but if I would guess its price, I believe the item would lie somewhere between 80 to 100 PHP (I based this amount on the store’s ring notelets, which look like a smaller version of this notebook).

On the Shakespeare-themed stationery pad and the inspirational notebook

Earlier in this article, I mentioned how the store has a lot of pretty, whimsical designs–and these two items are proof of it!

Even though the stationery pad has a relatively simple design, I liked how it was laid out on the page with Shakespeare’s quote seamlessly integrated on the lower left side of the pad.

Likewise, I liked Robert A. Alejandro‘s hot air balloon design on the notebook. It also featured clean, ruled pages–which is ideal for me since I like writing on notebooks with lines.

But I think the highlight of these two products (and possibly almost all their products in the store) is that they are both made locally and created with recycled paper.

On their website, a colored notepad like this would sell for 28 to 35 PHP and a large notebook like this would sell for 50 to 64 PHP.

On the free teacup dedication card

This free item was lodged in between the box and its corrugated paper covering. It featured a colorful floral and bird pattern created by Robert A. Alejandro and was shaped exactly like a teacup.

This was, for me, the prettiest and most aesthetically-pleasing from all of the items I’ve received. It’s also the cheapest in the bunch as it sells for 8 to 10 PHP on their website.

So, when added all up, did I really get “way more than I paid for?”

Upon calculating everything, at the very least, all of these items would amount to 251 PHP–only a few Pesos away from my total purchase of 239 PHP. So surprisingly, the brand did deliver on its claim of “getting way more than you paid for.”

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Despite this finding, I don’t totally recommend buying the surprise box for the sole reason that you can’t choose the items that go in it. Just like in this review, I received a bag tag that I don’t necessarily find pleasing or have a need for.

Moreover, if you are thinking about giving this as a present, I suggest giving it to a friend who likes stationery items and is okay with receiving religious-themed items. The brand has a very unique set of designs and products and that might not appeal to everyone.

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Lastly, I recommend choosing from the store’s gift sets instead of buying the surprise boxes. At least, in this way, you can be assured that you will like the items you have ordered from the brand.

Hopefully this review helps you make a decision on whether or not you should buy the Papemelroti Surprise Box. And until you make that choice, I wish you all the luck in shopping!

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I bought a Harry Potter–themed box online – was it worth it?

As a Potterhead, I have always wanted to buy some of the Harry Potter-themed subscription boxes featured by YouTubers like The Potter Collector. Unfortunately, because many of these boxes cannot be shipped to my country, I have never been able to purchase one. 

So, you can understand my excitement upon finding out that local artist Ella Mercado was selling her own Wizarding World-themed boxes online. Immediately, I purchased her limited edition Potterhead box 2.  

Now, before I share with you my review of it, I would like to note that this article is not sponsored and that I have purchased the box on my own volition. Therefore, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and are not influenced by external factors. With that said, let me continue with my thoughts on the item… 

On packaging 

When the box was delivered to my house, I was disappointed to see that a portion of the plastic had either been chewed off by a rat or partially burned as seen in the photos below. 

However, this is not the fault of the seller but perhaps, the courier for not taking better care of the item. Luckily, none of the items inside were damaged, but the box was frayed in the corner. 

The box itself is plain brown, with a few Harry Potter-themed stickers on it. When opened, you can see that the items are carefully wrapped in yellow japanese paper–which I love since I am a proud Hufflepuff–and joined with a rolled-up map of the Wizarding World on top. 

Inside the folded-up yellow paper are the following items (which I will go into further detail later): 

– Four (4) glittered postcards that feature scenes from the movie 
– Nineteen (19) glittered sticker pieces
– Three (3) pins
– One (1) Deathly Hallows necklace
– Three (3) Daily Prophet posters
– One (1) Quibbler poster
– One (1) Hogwarts acceptance letter signed by Professor McGonagal 
– One (1) copy of the Hogwarts rules and regulations

On the Wizarding World Map 

The Wizarding World Map was printed on a thick, yellowish-brown paper and its illustrations are printed with black ink (the teaser video I made for this changed the color of the details on the map–making it purple instead of black).  

I consider this item as one of the highlights of this Harry Potter bundle. Not only was it rolled up well but it was very detailed and showed almost all the locations of the Wizarding World–From Hogsmeade to Hagrid’s Hut in the Hogwarts campus. 

It’s definitely a worthy piece of merchandise in this bundle. 

On the glittered postcards  

Personally, I like almost anything that’s been bedazzled or glitter-fied. And these postcards are no exception. 

I like how they were printed clearly on quality glittered paper. And that the scenes chosen were memorable moments from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie. 

On the glittered sticker pieces 

These stickers are my absolute favorite from this box! They are not only made from what looks like waterproof, glittered paper, but they are also masterfully designed by the artist. 

I especially love her designs on Hedwig, Dobby, and the Sorting Hat.

On the pins

There are three pins in this lot: a Butterbeer shrink pin, a cat-themed button pin, and a Harry Potter enamel pin. 

All three pins are very cute and well-designed. Although from the three, I absolutely love the Harry Potter enamel pin as it is very detailed and it features the infamous Quidditch scene in the first film.  

These, again, are a win for me. 

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On the Deathly Hallows necklace  

After seeing the quality of the stickers, postcards, and pins, I was excited to see the next item. To my surprise, I ended up greatly disappointed with the Deathly Hallows necklace. 

The reason I said is because the lock on the necklace won’t even open and the chain is not long enough to fit over the head. This makes it unwearable and honestly, quite useless as an accessory.  

On the Quibbler and Daily Prophet posters

What I love about these posters is that they are about the A5 size so they are quite small and are perfect for displaying. 

The text and illustrations of the posters are also very clear and readable, making it a good addition to the box. 

On the Hogwarts acceptance letter and the rules and regulations 

Like the posters, these were also printed quite well and the text is clear. The only thing I really have to comment here is that I kind of hoped that the letter would be more personalized because at the moment, it does say “Dear (Your name)” in the acceptance letter.

So, through it all, one question remains: was it worth the buy?  

Generally speaking, I am happy about this purchase but if I could, I would have preferred if the item was maybe 100 Pesos cheaper, especially since the lock on my necklace wasn’t functioning. 

Other than that, I still do consider this as a worthy buy since I was able to receive a cool set of well-made Harry Potter stickers, pins, postcards, and posters. And I was also able to help a local artist continue to share her work with the world. 

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So, if any of you are interested in checking this item out or looking through her other Harry Potter-themed boxes (yes, she has more), you can check out the artist’s Shopee account here.

This online shop proves that vintage wear will never go out of style

Much like technology, fashion evolves through time. For instance, back in the 90s, people couldn’t get enough of bell-bottom jeans, baby shirts, and all-denim ensembles. But this time around, you would rarely see people donning that kind of get up.

Now, it seems that wearing the “basics” is what’s trending–from simple colour-block shirts to the quintessential sweatpants. (Case-in-point, the new Yeezy clothing line) 

It’s true that fashion continues to change as the years go by. But there are some essential pieces that seem to never go out of style. And among them is vintage wear

From the puff sleeves to the long, flared out skirt, vintage wear defined the 60s through the 80s. And even though it’s been decades since that time, the style never seems to go out of date. In fact, you would still see celebrities and  other prominent figures sporting the look during special events. 

Princess Beatrice wore her grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s 1960s gown on her wedding last July 17, 2020.
Photo Credit: Facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy

But what makes the style so timeless? 

Well, for one thing, it gives off a casual yet chic vibe. For example,  wearing a button-down blouse makes you look more put together than just the regular crew neck shirt. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

And second, it’s a style that can be fused with a more modern look. Think about it, you can pair a puff-sleeved blouse with some denim shorts for a more effortless, semi-casual look, or even wear a flared skirt with a graphic tank top for a more unique style.  Seriously, the possibilities are endless when you think about it!

To prove this point, Pampanga-based shop Style for LESS PH shows you how to combine vintage wear with a more modern look. 

With their second collection, the owners remind people how fashion can be fused together for the perfect #OOTD. Here are a few examples of the styles you can do with the items in their new lineup. 

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/StyleForLessPHbySnC
Photo Credit: Facebook.com/StyleForLessPHbySnC
Photo Credit: Facebook.com/StyleForLessPHbySnC
Photo Credit: Facebook.com/StyleForLessPHbySnC

Moreover, these items are super affordable. Priced at 150 Pesos per blouse, you can definitely get your desired look without breaking the bank.

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So, if you’re interested to know more about their collection, click here to open the album. You definitely won’t regret the purchase!

NOTE: This is not a paid, branded post, which means the author does not receive any money from the clicks or purchases on this article. This article was made in an effort to help a friend better advertise her products and online store.