A trip around Europe. [L Reviews: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson]

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About the book

We join Virginia Blackstone,a 17- year-old  who recently lost her aunt due to Cancer. She  found out that her aunt passed away because of a letter addressed to her, it had instructions that at first she herself did not understand. Later on, she received 13 blue envelopes that assigned her to different tasks to be done at different countries in Europe. Her aunt also wanted her to go on this journey by herself and without any form of communication with anyone back home. Despite her doubts, she had the courage to follow her deceased aunt’s instructions and in the end she made friends and even family.

Twist of fate

Rarely do I have this attraction to a book,it was like it was screaming my name every time I entered the bookstore. (Or maybe I am getting sick!O_O) I think bibliophiles get my drift?

What caught my attention was the plot of the novel itself. It was a round-trip ticket to Europe without applying for a Schengen visa. I can instantly go back to the Philippines whenever I want and fly to London or be in Copenhagen the next hour. It was a thrill having Ginny and her Aunt Peg as my tour guide through Europe via this book.

A Special Bond

This book also shows the special relationship of an aunt to her niece and how it is important to love every single family member you have in your life because you will never know when will be the last time you will talk to them. Unless you are like Ginny who has a cool aunt who made 13 letters that would take her with her in spirit.

Where are they?

Fiction is a work of the mind, but as I read through this book I couldn’t help but think: Can a 17 years old girl do all these things by herself?  Maybe it is just one of the cultural differences Filipinos have from Americans. I mean who would allow their daughter to go around Europe by herself without proper updates on her whereabouts? I don’t think such parents exists! But come to think of it, it’s fiction so anything can happen.

I think reality can hit the sidelines when writing a novel but sometimes it can also be a way for people to think that you did not work on your writings well enough.

The YA version of the movie Eurotrip

Like I said earlier, the book will take readers on a journey around Europe with it’s main character Ginny. If you are a travel junkie and a YA lover, I do suggest you read this book. This is a good read with a stress-free plot.

 

♥L

 

 

 

Reading Challenges, anyone? {Updated: January 24,2017}

Reading has been part of my life since I was taught to read when I was in kindergarten. My mother purchased a whole set of children’s picture book to encourage me and my sister to read aloud and read as many as possible. It is probably due to my mom being a wide reader herself. She wanted to pass her hobby to her two little girls and she did not fail on that life goal.

I am not a person who has those new year’s resolution but I do set one year-long goal for myself every year.This year my goal is to read more than the past few years.

Ever since I focused on finishing Dentistry I had to set aside this hobby of mine. I still read a book or two every year but I know that it is not enough.

With that long overdue goal done, (I am patiently waiting for the DLE results as I write this) I have all the time to focus on myself and my pastimes. It also help lessen the stress and the anxiety of waiting for the results. It’s like my brain’s stress ball.

Research her and research there

So I was looking around the inter webs and on facebook for tips and what to put on my to-be-read book pile, when I encountered an article about reading challenges.

Reading Challenges, what’s that?

Basically, a reading challenge can be classified into two (based on my observation.)

One form has reading prompts and the other tracks down how many books you have read throughout the year.

I have tried the latter challenge last year but did not hit my goal of reading 24 books in a year because “dentistry is calling” .

This year I want to try out the reading challenges with prompts. I think it will help me in making up my mind on what book to read next.

Reading Challenges I will participate in

Bookbed’s Reading Challenge

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I told myself to read more local books this year and I know this will help me in my mini goal leading to my year long goal of reading more. 🙂

I hope you can join us as well and use #BookbedReadsPHLit so that we know you are participating.

Currently reading:—-

Finished:

[x] Any book by a Filipino author: Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

 

PopSugar Reading Challenge

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Finished reading:

——-

Currently Reading:

A book involving travel: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

So with all of these challenges, I think I can reach my reading goal. 🙂 Will you join me in facing this challenges?

Comment down below if you will and what you think about reading challenges.  If you have book suggestions, don’t be shy to tell me. 🙂

’til next post!

♥L

 

 

 

Bookbed Dugtungan (L Blogs#14)

Do you have this little urge to write a story but don’t know where to start or do you want to practice your writing skills this month?

I got the right activity for you!

If you are a regular reader of my little blog you all know that I am contributing and sharing short stories,book reviews and article(s) (singular for now because I only have one posted but I hope to contribute more) on bookbed.

I am very excited to share this activity the bookbed editorial team made for everyone and I want to invite anyone interested in joining me (yes I signed up!)  and other bookbed storytellers on this project.

What project/activity?

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The activity is called Dugtungan. Basically , the end result may be a short story, novelette or novel that is co-written by everyone who joined in on the fun.

More Information and how to register for Dugtungan here.

I wanted to share this because sharing is caring . ahaha.

Joking aside, I want to share this great idea of an activity because it is a great way for aspiring writers to practice and enhance their writing skills, and gain a little more confidence when it comes to their new found or old flame with writing. 🙂

I hope you join me and the bookbed community in such a great collaboration. 😀

See you soon or read you soon. 😀

♥L

The Booze Stole my Son book review (L reviews#10)

Wow! This is an achievement, it is my 10th review on this blog and I am happy to share this because it is a book review also featured in another blog.

If you follow me on social media I have already mentioned this. Here is my promise…the untouched version of my review. 🙂

A Mother’s Unexpected Inspiration

As the book title suggests, The Booze Stole my Son: Don’t Let it Steal Yours is a literary piece created by a mother who experienced the loss of her son due to alcoholism. She wrote her struggles, realizations, regrets, and thoughts about the disease in the hope of inspiring and educating other people about it.

What I like about this book….

The book is full of emotions, scientific facts, and some bible verses to back up all that the author is describing in her work. It gave light to Alcoholism as a disease and not just a social issue.

What I like most about this book was it gave us a glimpse of how it felt to lose someone you love so unexpectedly but could have been avoided if we took time to be with them. I also like that before and after every chapter there is this letter that the mother addresses to her son and it is relatable to almost everyone who has a mother or generally someone you treat or love as a mother (who doesn’t have one?).

As sad as the whole book may be I will spoil you that you would not want to put the book down in the last few chapters of it because it does have this unexpected happy ending or maybe some thoughts that would make you happy you read the book.

What I did not like are….

I had some urges not to continue reading this book. Probably because I myself have not experienced such great loss and I also have this short attention span but I think it was also due to some “dead” moments in the book. I warn you, some chapters are full of scientific facts and studies that may be too much for some people, like me, to read through. If you are not a believer of the Holy Bible and the scriptures you may not agree with some of the content of this book.

Overall,

I would have never thought of picking this book up if I saw it at an online bookstore or a traditional bookstore and to tell you all the truth I am glad I had the privilege to read and review this book. I never experienced alcoholism at first hand but I know a few of my friends who struggled with a loved one who is afflicted by this disease. As I read through the book I saw a clearer vision of how it is like to live with someone who is an alcoholic. It is harder when this person is someone you treasure, you turn a blind eye and believe in their deceitful lies to cover their illness up. I cannot blame anyone because trust is part of loving someone and this book is a clear example of that, love. It is rare to find such local author and book about this topic maybe because most of us are not proud of saying that I have an alcoholic family member but bless Ms. Au V.for sharing her story and her experience through this book.

I also have this little back story about this certain book and the author….

I actually received , via email , a reviewer’s digital copy from the author herself a few weeks after I finished reading her book. I have already wrote and submitted the review for bookbed as well.

I am posting this review on my blog because she reached out to me, I felt blessed and honored that she choose me and this is my way of saying my thank you. Based on our short email exchange she is a very kind lady and I admire her for sharing her experience to all of us.

I wish to help her and other Filipino authors boost up their reading audience because there is talent all over our small country.

I am not closing my doors to other nationalities’ books (of course I will only understand and read books that are written in English)  I am simply setting my priorities. 🙂 I still love to discover new authors and books from all over the world but like I mentioned I want to help my countrymen and women as well.

I hope to read one Filipiniana book per month and I am actually trying my best to do so. I encourage my fellow Filipino readers to do the same. 😀

Mayroong ibang libro sa bookstores na hindi baduy. You simply have to dig and search deeper. 😀

Have fun reading and I hope you get a copy of this book because it’s worth the read.

’til next post!

♥L

Another bookbed contribution (L blogs #8)

hey everyone!

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend for me and my emotions last weekend and it’s a mixture of guilt, failure, and giddy excitement.

I do not want to further tell you a personal topic involving someone else and posting it for public eyes to read but let’s just say ‘lil ol’ Lucille had a major slip-up on scheduling last Saturday. I’m still not over it and I am still angry at myself for such a big mistake. I hope to get over it and move on soon. I did all I could to rescue the situation but it is now out of my hands when it will be okay.

I still think telling it to someone made our plans unlucky.

Note to self: Never tell anything about your life to him anymore. I Think some voodoo brazilian magick is happening and it’s bringing you badluck in your life  goals and plans.

The excited feeling came on Sunday night. I was slightly positive for a good 12hrs after I saw this post. I actually knew that it will be out that day but I guess I really wanted to share it with my friends  and  family. 😃

I’m talking about my first bookbed.org short story contribution.

Again another streak of badluck is upon me. My tablet’s web browser isn’t cooperating with wordpress and I can’t seem to paste the url of the post on this blog post. 😓😓😓😓

I will be sharing the original unedited/raw version of the said story on my next scribbles blog together with the URL of the posted story at bookbed.org.

For now, I will now bid you goodbye because I’m starting to get annoyed with how WordPress and my tab are not friends.

See you tomorrow,

♥L

SATURDAY BOOKSTORE BARGAIN AND SUNDAY FAMILY DAY ENSEMBLE (L Blogs #7, Vlogs #6 & Reviews #9)

Hey Everyone its a new week and I have a lot of things to tell you. 😀

SATURDAY BOOKSTORE BARGAIN

My friend woke me up by calling me to say she will drop by and hangout at my place that day. I asked her to come over because I have this stuffed animal that I have to give her as a late Christmas, valentines day and whatever holiday gift. I fixed myself in just 30 minutes because I thought she was already near my house when she called. I then got another call from her that she will be bringing lunch for the two of us and that I had to provide the rice. So I cooked it while waiting for her but she arrived a few minutes before the rice cooked and knowing her she is probably hungry from her work and the trip to my house. She was patient enough to wait for the rice to cook.

We talked about life and everything in between and then my boyfriend called and arrived and we had this Magic Sing Concert. It was nice. We had fun but the highlight of her visit would probably her thrift store haul. She actually was happy about her purchases and the saving power that comes with these kind of activities.

After our visit to the thrift store we said our goodbyes and me and my boyfriend had our alone time. As usual we headed to our usual “date” place. SM. We actually have no plans that day. We did planned on a swimming escapade but dear old “red tide” got the best of me. At the mall I requested to go to Watsons and National Bookstore.

At Watsons I purchased a BB cream but what made me happy is what I bought at National Bookstore.

I got these three babies for 99 PHP each. I was particularly happy about the Amy Tan Book. The Dan Brown Inferno book is actually my boyfriend’s but he said I can keep it and give it to him after I read it already. The third book is entitled Under Fishbone Clouds, judging from the cover you won’t think of it as a Chinese related novel set in the time on the Mao Communist Era of China. That is the reason why I purchased that novel. I had this curiosity about their culture since, I don’t know, grade school?  So this is another book to add to my knowledge about what other people know about Chinese culture.

My Saturday was full of fun, laughs and of course bargain hunt escapades; I am fairly myhappy with that.

MY SUNDAY

IWHITE BB.HOLIC BB CREAM REVIEW

I saw and purchased at Watson’s this new product from iWhite Korea. It is called the iWhite BB.Holic everyday BB cream. I wasn’t exactly in the mood to buy a BB cream but I am a sucker for new products and I wanted to test it out myself.

This is for anyone out there who is curious about this product but hesitant to try it for themselves. :))) Well look no further I am here to give my thoughts about this product.

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

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Not so cute right? I expected more from the packaging.But what can I complain about? It is still presentable but unlike the other products they have I don’t think this product will catch my eyes in the drugstore. Maybe it’s the name that would make you want to purchase it. I don’t know I am no marketing or advertising genius. This is a 4ml packaging and it is separated in 2 ml each. I guess it’s because its for everyday and you will only use let’s say 2ml of the product each day.

HOW THE PRODUCT APPLIES AND FEELS ON MY FACE

The product has two shades: light and beige, I got mine in beige. I only put a pea size amount on my fingers and applied and blended it in on my face. At first I didn’t notice that there is this great scent coming from the product. I can’t say if its fruity or floral scent, I have to recheck again.

The coverage is actually good and it can actually stand alone because it covered my flaws/ acne marks or you can use a powder foundation or setting powder to go with it. I opt to use my powder foundation because I felt it was a little bit oily for my face but maybe it’s the korean “dewy” effect that they are promoting.  It did not cake up and that is a big plus for me. 🙂

After a few hours of having it on my face, I noticed my face got a bit oilier than usual. I suspected it was from the BB cream because I did not put anything else new on my face besides that.

TIME TEST VLOG

I actually made a video using this product and here it is. I time tested it for everyone but I don’t think 4 hours is enough for a true verdict.

This video is actually a makeup tutorial of some sort. This is basically my everyday and go-to make-up look minus the red lip color. I think it is perfect for the hot humid weather we have here in the Philippines. It a very light and easy makeup routine for anyone and specially beginners.

If you watched the video, you saw at the end there was a comparison of before and after we went out and I think there wasn’t any significant difference. Mind you, it was actually very hot last sunday and I was sweating and we were actually at the mall doing some grocery shopping and you all know how intense grocery shopping can be sometimes.

I think I will have a separate review on the  menow kissproof lipstick because it actually deserves to be reviewed. XD I actually just used that lipstick shade/product that morning and it impressed me a lot.

GOING BACK TO BBHOLIC…..

  • The product is very affordable for only 24.50 PHP but I believe they have not put out a tube or larger packaging for this product.
  • If you have oily face I do not think this product is right for you.
  • It last for a decent amount of time.
  • The packaging is pretty messy if you have left over product.

SUNDAY ENSEMBLE

I just wanted to share my outfit ensemble last Sunday because I think it looks nice and it would help those larger ladies, like me, to find some style inspiration. 😀

  •  Top is  from the thrift store: 100PHP
  • inner garment/ gray tank top from Daiso: 88 PHP
  • Leggings/Jeggings from Payless Shoestore (I forgot the brand name; it’s at the socks section) : around 700PHP
  • Sandals are from CLN(Celine) : I can’t remember the price but I think we got it for less than 1000 PHP
  • Watch is from Swatch a gift/ pasalubong from my mother. 😀

 

I hope you all had a great and fun weekend. 😀 I surely did.

‘Til next post

♥L

P.S. I have a little project for my site and I can’t wait to show it to all of you but I have to contain myself. Check on my instagram for a quick peek. 😉

 

 

“Interesting may not be for everybody” (L Reviews #8)

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Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting

Author:  Holly Bourne

Genre: Young Adult Fiction; English

About:

In this book we meet Bre, a teenager who has an ambition of being a famous writer. The problem is that her works are always rejected by the publishers, they deemed it too dramatic or even suicidal. Bre’s student life was something everyone never wished for, she only had one friend and she was invisible in a school full of spoiled rich kids. She did have Mr. Fellows’ class to look forward to, she was advised by him to be a little bit more interesting and “commercial” because that is what publishers like. It was something she was not happy to hear about but she took that advice and together with Holdo’s, her only friend, idea of making a blog. She started a journey of transforming herself to be more interesting and wrote about it on her blog which was later on called the manifesto on how to be interesting. This transformation came with gaining new set of friends, falling in love, making someone happy but it also came with losing her true friends, getting hurt in love, and did I mention, nearly dying.

Not your usual YA book

This is the first YA book I read since I stopped abstaining from reading a book for a hobby. I always thought of these kind of books as something for light reading or simply a read during a long relaxing weekend/holiday. I never expected it to be that interesting that I had to read it slowly just to make the book last longer.

The way that Holly Bourne, the author, wrote this novel is something out of the ordinary YA books (that I have read as of now) mixed with the typical high school setting and scenarios every book of this genre had a reputation for.

What I really liked about this book is that it talks about self- harming and how it affects the lives of the characters in the story. It also talks about it as if it is a normal scene for teens, which I think is true nowadays, and that it is what most teens might actually think of doing when faced with a situation like Bre’s.

The main character is someone that you will become friends with. She is the epitome of the social outcast, the weirdo, and I guess the anxious normal teen sans the cutting part. She wasn’t the super depressed girl but the regular girl you will meet around school who is silent and knows when and where she should talk. Bre has this confident vibe in her personality that I personally like for a teen or someone younger than me should look up to. She wasn’t the typical nerd that is a super outcast that spends her time popping pimples and talks about scientific terms that a normal person can not even pronounce correctly. She is this girl that is smart and strong, that is probably why most popular people do not notice her. She is too smart for them and it was not really considered cool to be friends with a girl like her in this type of books.

What I didn’t like on this book..

It showed self-harming as something so normal and something that should be taken lightly. It did not really show the seriousness of the situation besides the part where the character almost lost her life. Depression was talked about but it was only a small part of the book. I guess it is just me and my stance towards mental illness awareness.

Overall,

This book is a great read. It is not for those who think self-harming and mental illnesses is a joke in this society that we live in. This book gave me an idea about what other people experience when they are in that state and how that behavior affects everyone around them. It helped me open my eyes to what is always under the shade and is not talked about often about these issues. Hopefully I get to read more books concerning these topics because I think it will help everybody understand more about these illnesses.

So what books have you read lately? Does it touch any topic about mental illnesses? How is it different from this book? Would you mind sharing it to me? 😀

♥L

 

 

 

 

Never too late for a start (WOLM? #23 & Scribbles#2)

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

I know for most of you this is just a normal day but here in the Philippines and in most parts of Asia it is another New Year. I myself do not celebrate this holiday but I can’t complain that it’s a holiday here.  :)) I’m happy I spent the day with my family and also got good news via email. 😃

Remember the other day I was feeling excited,anxious and nervous at the same time? Well now I feel happy. The one I submitted got published. For some, it may not be a big deal but for me it’s an achievement and I am feeling blessed, accomplished and inspired.

Here is the link to the article: http://bookbed.org/2016/02/08/readingnation-why-i-read/

I posted the original essay here. I want to tell you more about this site and organization but I think a blog post should be made for the site itself. So stay tuned for that.  🙂

’til next post. I’m updating on my mobile and it’s bothering me a lot but I am so excited to share this news to all of you. 😀

Always remember: Don’t give up on something you love and enjoy doing because that is what makes you who you are.

♥L

 

 

 

Feel Good Weekend (L Blogs #5)

Hey Everyone. I’m sorry I went MIA for the last two days. It’s a very long weekend for me and I tried my best to be out and away from the internet world for a while. I wanted to spend time with my family and my boyfriend.

So I think you already know what this blog post will be about. 😀

Let me start with Friday 😀

Flashback and Movie Date Friday

This day started early at around seven o’clock in the morning. My boyfriend called me up and told me he was already on his way to my apartment. I was expecting him later that day but he called and told me to wake up, take a bath and get myself together.

Last Wednesday, I was talking to my dearest High school friend. I asked her if she was okay to meet on Friday morning. She agreed. So I told my bf and he agreed to come with us to my high school campus to get our high school yearbook.

Before we went to the bus terminal we had enough time to go around Quiapo to buy some goods for my bf’s mother. She wanted him to buy mint candies and so we did. What I noticed is he did not have a sense of urgency when we were walking on the busy streets. It is particularly busier on a Friday because Quiapo is home to the famous Black Nazarene who they say performed numerous miracles to those who ask Him for help. I myself have not experience it but I do feel that that is true. When we rode the bus it was already 10 am and my friend already sent in a text telling me that she was near our meet up place.

We did arrive to our destination, late. I later then found out the reason why we were late and that my bf did not have a sense of urgency earlier because his wristwatch was not set on the right timezone. What a great excuse for being late right? :)))

We had lunch and later walked our way to my Alma Mater. When we went inside the campus most of the places we used to go to are already non-existent and replaced by concrete or new facilities. We waited for a while before the stockroom where the yearbooks are to be redeemed opened. After we got our yearbooks, flicked the pages and tried to find our own page. We laughed a bit about everything and remember what we were doing when, why and how some photos were taken.

I will tell you more about how I feel about my yearbook and high school days some other time. It will be a long post. Mind you, it might be a little bit depressing or as some would say… “dramatic” but I promise I won’t forget to share it to you.

After the visit to my old school. Me and my bf made our way to the mall to watch a movie. We were talking about it the day before and he asked me to check if it was showing at that mall. It was. We bought the tickets and rushed our way to watch it. The movie is entitled “13 hours”. It is a true story about the conflict at Libya that was experienced by the USA CIA. I will give you a thorough review about it in the following days. 🙂 Overall, the movie is not what I expected. I thought I would sleep through some parts but it didn’t even bore me at all.

I was tired by the time I got home due to the fact that my bf convinced me to go down a stop when I am not suppose to because we saw my family car  in the traffic we were also in. He did went down when the lady in the bus told him that I was not able to ride the car. Sweet simple gesture. 🙂 Other than those happenings all I remember when I got home was after I cleaned myself up, said hello to my parents and read a little of the book I was reading, is that I went straight to bed and slept all night through.

I didn’t forget it was our 49th month together as a couple. I just didn’t want to say it. I think I know he knew about it but he was waiting for me to say it in his face. I didn’t want to expect anymore, that’s also the reason why I treated it as a normal day. At the end of it, it really wasn’t.I wouldn’t write about it if it was just a normal day. 🙂

Typical Saturdate

I woke up late that Saturday morning. The first thing I thought is to clean the “penthouse”( as what my aunties would call that part of the house.) It was somewhat a guest house and now that the guests are not home there are no people in it. I planned on just staying there to watch a movie, again, with the bf. It is due to the fact that the weather was not so good that day. It was wet and gloomy. After a little “date” in the “penthouse” we found ourselves walking towards the transit area to the mall. We roamed around and I got a chance to buy an item for my dry skin. I might write a review about the item soon but I am still testing it out.

After some time at the mall we headed back home. It is unusual for him to stay that long with me (it was almost 6pm when we said our goodbyes). I can’t complain I wish we could be together longer. I guess he really wanted to stay longer but he couldn’t. I wish it was easy. </3

Sunday Family Day

Around 4 am I woke up and couldn’t sleep so I continued to read the book I was reading. I finished it and I might post a review here about that book. 🙂 What I can say about it is that it was hard to put the book down because of the story.

There was not much that happened today. We went to church in the morning and we cooked lunch. I had fun cooking. We cooked Sinigang na baboy(traditional Filipino pork sour soup), and Calamari. That night I made the calamari into sweet and sour calamari. Thank you, daddy love for the idea. I think my family liked it. That makes me happy as a cook. 😀

Other than finishing yet another book, cooking for the family and giving the baby dogs a bath I cannot think of anything important that happened to me today.

OH its the Chinese new year/ Spring Festival. So I wish you all Happy Lunar New Year and I wish all your dreams will come true this Monkey year. Stay lucky!

♥L