My Latest Read: Crazy Rich Asians By Kevin Kwan

/ Saturday, January 20, 2018
I'd be lying if I'd say that my curiosity about this book didn't stem from the fact that Kris Aquino would be playing a part in its movie adaptation. It's been confirmed by Kevin Kwan himself when he came to the Philippines that Kris would be in it, albeit we don't know if which of the characters she would be playing. Maybe I haven't been doing enough research to find out because I'd love to be surprised. More on that later. ;)


When I read the plot at the back of the novel, I was like, what is the fuss all about? The plot is quiet simple, if not common. Asian Boy takes Asian Girl to Singapore for the first time to attend a wedding and to sort of introduce her to his family. But oooops! Girl didn't know that Boy comes from an uber rich clan. You can read the rest on this photo below. It's a favorite theme in our local teleseryes and telenovelas.


But you know what? What makes the difference is that Kevin Kwan is such a playful and funny storyteller. From the very beginning,  you get hooked up with the story that you never wanna put down the book. Kevin Kwan had me at Prologue. :) I love how he created like a short story in each chapter, usually focusing on one character which gives you the backstory of that person. Each chapter is entertaining on its own. And then he sort of brings all of those characters into another highlight chapter. I must admit that I had a hard time keeping up with the names and the inter-marriages at first. That family tree on the book really helped tons. LOL.

I was wondering at first if what was the title referring to. CRAZY RICH ASIANS.  Does it mean that rich Asians are crazy? Or if these Asians are rich to a crazy level? It turns out that those descriptions are both right. These Asians are rich to a crazy level, and they are also crazy about making themselves richer than ever, keeping the outsiders out, maintaining the bloodline and marrying into someone with a good background, to name a few.

The leading ladies of Crazy Rich Asians. I'm so looking forward to seeing these three on the big screen. Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, the lead character. Gemma Chan plays "the Goddess" Astrid Leong, Nick's stunning cousin. Michelle Yeoh will bring Eleanor Young, Nick's mom, to life and I am sure she will be loathsome because know of Yeoh's caliber as an actress.
*Disclaimer: These images are not mine. I found them on various sites through Google. Credits to the owners.*

For all this talk about Kwan's comedic knack, I must admit that I did end up tearing up a bit in the end, not just over Nick and Rachel's fate but also of Astrid's (Nick's favorite cousin). Filipinos are family-oriented and when that topic is on, it is bound to hit home. These three, along with the character of Eleanor Young (Nick's mum) are the characters I'm most excited to see. Of course, I am also looking forward to Kris Aquino's appearance. I am kinda hoping that she plays Fiona Tung. Oh! She could be Fiona Tung! I've been imagining how that scene where Fiona lends a sapphire necklace to Rachel will play out. But that's just me. Like I said, no confirmation yet.



But this Instagram post from Kris is enough to keep us pumped. Right?

It goes without saying, I am crazy excited about the film which comes out August 17, 2018. If anything, I hope production doesn't skimp on all the details. I want to see the lux hotels, the palatial homes, the private jests, the island getaways, the yachts, the closets overflowing with designer clothes. If there are shoes too, why not. And let's not forget the about jewelry. 

Please, let this movie be over the top! Kevin Kwan has such vivid descriptions on this book that I've seen the movie happening in my head all this time.

Waiting for August.

XOXO,
Cassie

I'd be lying if I'd say that my curiosity about this book didn't stem from the fact that Kris Aquino would be playing a part in its movie adaptation. It's been confirmed by Kevin Kwan himself when he came to the Philippines that Kris would be in it, albeit we don't know if which of the characters she would be playing. Maybe I haven't been doing enough research to find out because I'd love to be surprised. More on that later. ;)


When I read the plot at the back of the novel, I was like, what is the fuss all about? The plot is quiet simple, if not common. Asian Boy takes Asian Girl to Singapore for the first time to attend a wedding and to sort of introduce her to his family. But oooops! Girl didn't know that Boy comes from an uber rich clan. You can read the rest on this photo below. It's a favorite theme in our local teleseryes and telenovelas.


But you know what? What makes the difference is that Kevin Kwan is such a playful and funny storyteller. From the very beginning,  you get hooked up with the story that you never wanna put down the book. Kevin Kwan had me at Prologue. :) I love how he created like a short story in each chapter, usually focusing on one character which gives you the backstory of that person. Each chapter is entertaining on its own. And then he sort of brings all of those characters into another highlight chapter. I must admit that I had a hard time keeping up with the names and the inter-marriages at first. That family tree on the book really helped tons. LOL.

I was wondering at first if what was the title referring to. CRAZY RICH ASIANS.  Does it mean that rich Asians are crazy? Or if these Asians are rich to a crazy level? It turns out that those descriptions are both right. These Asians are rich to a crazy level, and they are also crazy about making themselves richer than ever, keeping the outsiders out, maintaining the bloodline and marrying into someone with a good background, to name a few.

The leading ladies of Crazy Rich Asians. I'm so looking forward to seeing these three on the big screen. Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, the lead character. Gemma Chan plays "the Goddess" Astrid Leong, Nick's stunning cousin. Michelle Yeoh will bring Eleanor Young, Nick's mom, to life and I am sure she will be loathsome because know of Yeoh's caliber as an actress.
*Disclaimer: These images are not mine. I found them on various sites through Google. Credits to the owners.*

For all this talk about Kwan's comedic knack, I must admit that I did end up tearing up a bit in the end, not just over Nick and Rachel's fate but also of Astrid's (Nick's favorite cousin). Filipinos are family-oriented and when that topic is on, it is bound to hit home. These three, along with the character of Eleanor Young (Nick's mum) are the characters I'm most excited to see. Of course, I am also looking forward to Kris Aquino's appearance. I am kinda hoping that she plays Fiona Tung. Oh! She could be Fiona Tung! I've been imagining how that scene where Fiona lends a sapphire necklace to Rachel will play out. But that's just me. Like I said, no confirmation yet.



But this Instagram post from Kris is enough to keep us pumped. Right?

It goes without saying, I am crazy excited about the film which comes out August 17, 2018. If anything, I hope production doesn't skimp on all the details. I want to see the lux hotels, the palatial homes, the private jests, the island getaways, the yachts, the closets overflowing with designer clothes. If there are shoes too, why not. And let's not forget the about jewelry. 

Please, let this movie be over the top! Kevin Kwan has such vivid descriptions on this book that I've seen the movie happening in my head all this time.

Waiting for August.

XOXO,
Cassie

Continue Reading
I managed to rummage through my mama's vanity stash and found this celebrity scent - Glow by JLo. The knee-jerk reaction of course is to just spray it on, then about 5 seconds into it, I decided to put my impressions in my blog. I'm no perfume expert though so I'll just write spontaneously. ;)

Mama said that the perfume was given to her by a former student so I don't really know how much it costs. However, I've seen one on Amazon and a 50 mL bottle retails for about $17.00 or about Php 860.00

A Whiff of Glow by JLo
Lopez said: "I wanted Glow to be fresh and clean, but still sexy and sensual – something that feels like you just came out of the shower and are the sexiest person in the world." Glow by J.Lo contains notes of: orange, grapefruit, jasmine, orris, irises, vanilla and musk. Lopez said the fragrance was created to fit what she would want to wear herself. Source: Wikipedia

Packaging
This here is the curvaceous clear white flanker of this perfume. It will remind us of Jennifer Lopez's own curvy bod. It also has a little silver charm with the JLO pendant in rhinestones.

Ingredients List


My Take
I easily get nauseated whenever I encounter new scents so it's a joy to find out that Glow by JLo EDT didn't have such effect on me. It is also not headache-inducing.

It starts out tangy, no doubt the orange and grapefruit notes then dries to a musky smell with just a little hint of floral sweetness. It is definitely a clean and wearable scent and is inoffensive. 

The staying power is quiet weak though. It stays on my skin for 2 to 3 hours, after which it is barely noticeable and becomes a skin scent but like I said, a light sweet scent is left behind. I noticed that the scent would stay longer or be more intensified if sprayed in clothes. I can still smell it on my clothes after 6 to 8 hours.

In my opinion it's not a very memorable scent; it doesn't really standout.

But you would love it for its simplicity. It is refreshing and clean and when you come from a tropical such as ours (the Philippines) and it's sweltering hot, maybe all you need is something as light as this and is not cloying. If you are feeling fresh, you will definitely glow! :)

Glow by JLo Edt Rating

Packaging: 3.5/5
Pricing: 4/5
Scent: 4/5
Staying Power: 2.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Have you tried this scent?
What do you think about it?

XO,
Cassie

Don't we just love to rummage through our mama's makeup stash?
I think I have been doing so since I was a kid. 
I recently found and tried this lipstick of hers which I'm about to review after the jump!
It's another gift from a former student, according to her.


L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick
Shade: Rose Bud F401
Price: Php 400.00
Where To Buy: L'Oreal Paris counters nationwide; online: www.beautymnl.com, www.lazada.com.ph

What is it?
The L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick has rich pigments and promises to deliver a full color pay-off in one swipe. It is also MOISTURIZING with precious Argan and Jojoba oils to help treat dryness. It promises long-wear.

Ingredients
Lanolin oil, sesame seed oil, oleyl erucate, microcrystalline wax, PPG-5 lanolin wax, acetylated lanolin, beeswax, disteardimonium hectorite, fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, rosa canina fruit oil, calcium aluminum borosilicate, silica, argan oil, BHT, BHA, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxycitronellal, calcium sodium borosilicate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, methyl-2 octynoate, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate. May Contain: Mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, red 7, red 28 lake, yellow 6 lake, red 22 lake, bismuth oxychloride, yellow 5 lake, carmine, blue 1 lake.

Swatches

In Action

My Take
First of all, take time to notice the HUGE difference between color representation on the cap and the color of the lipstick itself. On the cap, it looks like a reddish-mauve but IRL, the lipstick is a purplish-pink. That'll cause some confusion, maybe even disappointment for some who would be expecting a different color. I don't know if it's the same for the other shades on this range.

Now, moving on to the performance of the lipstick. I think the name Color Riche is really appropriate for this lipstick because it is really rich in color and pigment when applied. It does give full color payoff in one swipe. It glides on the lips very smoothly. It is comfortable to wear. It hydrates lips and it doesn't highlight patches.

On the minus side, it transfers a lot. That is to be expected from a lipstick with a shiny-creamy finish. It will stay put on your lips and the color would still be vivid even up to four hours but if you eat, it will fade away. That is exactly what happened when I had a hearty meal of fried chicken with gravy at KFC, so I really had to reapply. 

Starting this year I will be using a rating system for my reviews of beauty products, so here it is. :)

Packaging - 3.5/5
Pigmentation - 4/5
Quality - 4/5
Staying Power - 2.5/5
Ease of Use - 5/5

Average -  3.8/5

XO,
Carissa
On the first day of 2018, we went to the newly opened El MontaƱa Vista Resort. 
It's another local watering hole in my hometown Burauen. I've seen some photos of the location on Facebook and it doesn't disappoint in real life.
There are one too many picturesque parts in the resort. 
Growing up in Burauen, I never imagined that we would have anything as sophisticated as this place.

In truth, I could have taken better photos if the weather wasn't being such a b****. But here we are. I did the best I could with a camera that's not waterproof.


Team Rain or Shine
Tropical Depression Agaton was traversing the Visayas and Mindanao regions on the first day of the year. He brought with him a lot of rain. But I guess it would take more than some downpour to dampen the spirits of the swimming enthusiasts because the place was literally teeming with visitors despite the mad weather.
At the kiddie pool: me, with the two dolphins..errr my daughter and my hubby.
Kids don't need angles, they are cute no matter what.
Hey there! That's my mama and my brother.
Freezing, are we?
My darlings at the "waterfall".
 Here's the view from the top. 
Needless to say, we had a great time, especially my baby who was practically in the water the whole time. Honestly, I'm suffering from colds because of this little rainy adventure. 
See you next time El MontaƱa Vista. In the summer, maybe?


Happy New Year darlings!

XO,
Cassie

The El MontaƱa Vista is located at Bgy. Gamay, Burauen, Leyte.
It's kinda tucked away; Bgy Gamay is not exactly in the poblacion so it's best if you bring your own transport.
For non-Burawanons, this place might be hard to find so I hope the management of EMV would post some signage somewhere in the Bgy. Maghubas area, along the highway. 
But you can always ask the locals too. Burawanons are friendly and always ready to help.
If you have other queries though, here's the 
Official Facebook Page of El MontaƱa Vista.

Happy New Year!
Until recently I have postponed controlling my food intake because it's kind of pointless when you have all of these food screaming "eat me" on your tabletop.
In honor - or more like, in memory - of all the wonderful food that we have consumed over the Hew Year Holiday, I decided to feature them on my first blog post for 2018. :)
This is also my way of sharing and showing the Filipino food culture to the world. 
The Philippines has been a colony of Spain for more than 300 years so you can see the Spanish influence in some of our dishes. It's also been Americanized a bit because of the American occupation. But prior to that, the Chinese has already been doing trade in the country.
So what we have here is a mixture of all those influences - plus a few twists.
Here are some food and dishes that we Filipinos love to prepare on New Year's Eve.

The Fruit Basket
For prosperity. It has to have an assortment of twelve fruits - one for each month. Not sure if mama completed the dozen. The healthier option when you wanna take a break from all the fats and the sweets.
Sweets and Desserts 
Chocolate coins and whatnots. My dearest loves, Ferrero,Cadbury, Toblerone and Hershey's. :)
Home made Mango Float, Fruit Salad, Pudding and Chocolate Overload Roll from Red Ribbon.
Chocolate Mousse Cake from Red Ribbon - yummy! 
Filipino Style Spaghetti
It seems that the standard for the Filipino Style Spaghetti is the one from Jolibee. Well, that's how it's made here. More sweet than sour and has loads of hotdogs.

The Viands or "Ulams"
The word viand may have a different definition in other countries but in the Philippines, a viand is an item of food, a meat, seafood, or vegetable dish that accompanies rice in a typical Filipino meal. en.oxforddictionaries.com
Chicken Roll or something like Chicken Cordon Bleu. I used to make these stuff but it is kind of time and energy consuming so mama just orders 'em now. Still yummy, specially when you get to the gooey cheese.
Ham! But not like the  real beef or pork leg kind of ham, more like a loaf.
Shrimp sauteed in ginger. I dunno what else is in there, my brother made it. Yummy too! I'm not really a big fan of seafood but I am willing to make an exemption for shrimp.
Pancit and Beef Steak - both staples in Filipino meals. I love them both! They both look very oily but they're kind hard to resist. Like, gosh I don't even wanna try. 
Roasted Chicken. Since we are not big pork eaters in our household, chicken is always our preference. My brother made this. Chicken was marinated overnight with some special sauce and it was stuffed with "tanglad" or lemon grass. 

Looking at these photos just made me feel hungry.
XO,
Carissa

Here's a review of the Burt's Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream.

Price: Php 1, 050.00 for a 100g tube but I got this 20g sample from Sample Room for free


What Is It?
Burt's Bees Deep Cleansing Cream contains Soap bark which deeply cleanses, removing dirt, excess oil, and makeup. It is also formulated with Chamomile and Aloe to gently soften skin. It also has a hint of menthol which gives cooling and soothing properties. It is also 100% natural.



Ingredients
water, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, stearic acid, glycerin, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, sodium borate, cetyl alcohol, silica, glucose, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf extractaloe barbadensis leaf extract, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower extract, echinacea angustifolia (coneflower) extract, quillaja saponaria (soap) bark extract, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract tocopherol, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, coriandrum sativum (cilantro) oil, artemisia dracunculus (tarragon) oil, lavandula hybrida (lavandin) oil, jasminum grandiflorum (jasmine) flower oil, xanthan gum, sucrose stearate, menthol glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase. - See more at: http://www.burtsbees.com.ph/product/p/30.html#sthash.2ZwTnf07.dpuf



Up Close



My Take
Is it just me or is there a general notion that a wash-off facial cleanser is supposed to be soapy and sudsy? Well anyway, that was my expectation. This is a cream cleanser and it doesn't foam up when applied on the face. I even checked the 'How To Use' on the Burt's Bees page just in case I was doing it wrongly. :)

So you take a dollop of the product and apply it on your wet face. You massage your face and you work the product through the grime. About a minute or so you wash it off. First things first, it smells really good. If that is how chamomile smells, it's really good. It's a relaxing scent with a hint of menthol. It has a cooling effect on the face. But honestly, I was still looking for the foamy feeling. It really feels like it doesn't clean enough without the foam.

I was surprised when I checked my cotton pad after toning. There's basically very minimal dirt or makeup residue left on the face. It seems that Burt's Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream really does clean deep. Moreover, my face felt uber soft and smooth, I couldn't help touching it. 

It is priced quiet steeply though, maybe that's one of the negative aspects that I can see about this product. I also feel that maybe this product is not best suited for those who want to get rid of acne or blemishes as it doesn't contain ingredients that will combat those problems. It will be great for those who have dry skin because it really nourishes and moisturizes the skin.

XO,
Cassie
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Mask sheets, mask sheets...
Our Korean friends have really taught us well how to best use our spare 20 minutes. :)
Here are a few mask sheets that I bought from Althea. (www.ph.althea.kr)
Price: Php 20.00 (about .40 USD)

How to use:
1. After cleansing, tone the skin.
2. Open the pouch and apply the sheet on the face thoroughly.
3. After taking a rest for 10-20 minutes, remove the sheet.
4. Apply remaining essence gently to make it absorbed to the skin.

Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask Pomegranate for Firming
Details and Ingredients
Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask Rice for Brightening
Details and Ingredients
Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask Honey for Nourishing
Details and Ingredients
Mask sheets.
They can't solve all the problems in the world.
But putting one on can instantly boost your mood, improve your confidence.
And who knows. Maybe within those 20 minutes of putting the cool mask you can think of how you can best solve your probs.

XO,
Carissa
Here's a review of San San's budget friendly pressed powder.

San San Pressed Powder
Shade: 04 Porcelain
Price: Php 118.00
Where I Got It: local Mercury Drug

What Is It?
San San Pressed Powder is a budget friendly face powder. It has SPF 15 and is also enriched with vitamins A, C and E.

Packaging
Much like the San San Eyebrow Powder Duo that I have featured a few months ago on this blog, the packaging is also flimsy; there's fat chance that this will shatter when dropped. Careful there!

I appreciate the long mirror inside the compact and the perforated slot for the sponge applicator. I don't like the rubbery smell of the sponge applicator tho. As much as possible, I avoid using it because the smell literally transfers and lingers on the face. The quality of the sponge is great for applying the product, it's just the smell that I can't handle.

The expiry date is also well indicated both in the box and at the back of the compact.
Ingredients
Swatch, In Action

On first photo, I applied the San San Pressed Powder on the right side of my face. Left side is bare.
On second photo, I applied the pressed powder on my entire face.
My Take
I was in dire need of a pressed powder when I purchased this because I had just ran out of my Maybelline White Super Fresh powder. My choices were pretty limited since my local Mercury Drug doesn't carry much cosmetics. I was even in doubt that this shade - 04 Porcelain - would fit me. I would never consider myself porcelain-skinned. LOL. I am light to medium, with warm undertones. I saw on the cardboard container that the color representation had yellow undertones so I picked this one.

Thankfully, it's actually not too light on the pan and in fact looked natural on me when applied.

It yields light coverage and has lessened the appearance of my dark circles. It also minimized the appearance of my pores. Since it only yields light coverage, I prefer using it as a setting powder after applying a liquid foundation or a bb cream. It feels smooth on the face and gives a matte finish. It is also light weight. Try not to pile on too much though, as it can get cakey.

I'm afraid that the biggest negative aspect about this product is its poor oil control. That's bad news for us oily gals. I oil up in less than 2 hrs of wear time. It doesn't have oil control claims though, so it's kind of a give away.

Another thing is the smell of the powder (again). It seems that since it is housed with the sponge applicator, the scent has transferred and now, even the powder smells rubbery. 

To conclude, I may not repurchase this in the future considering that I prefer my powders to have better oil control capacity.
However, if you don't have an oily skin and prefer light coverage, this could work for you.
If you also have a sensitive nose, prepare to chuck the sponge applicator. LOL.

XO,
Carissa
Because baby was looking lovely today. :)
Thank you uncle IJ for the dress! Celestine had been so excited to wear it for the longest time.
The metallic pink sandals and over-sized bow headband were her choice of accessories. I would've picked a different footwear or hair accessory but once Celestine makes her sartorial choice, it's usually difficult to sway her. So here we are. :) 
Big hair, big skirt. 
Go big or go home, they say. LOLs.
Fortunately, she wore the dress, instead of the dress wearing her.
Work it, girl.
For what's a wonderful day with a wonderful dress if you can't spend it with your friends?
Celestine with her friends during their Christmas Party.
The mommas squad. I took this photo so I'm not in it. See you at the end of this post.:)
My beribboned girl stands next to teacher MJ (in gray shirt).
The face of excitement. Ecstasy? Elation?
Or maybe someone else is more excited to open the gift?
The  party ended quiet early though. We owe it a day-long power outage. Otherwise, the kids (and moms) would have been gyrating to Despacito until 12 noon. But that didn't happen. Instead, Celestine and I found ourselves heading to the Gabaldon Ruins which is located inside the Allen Central Elementary School.

The 'Ruins' is one of the known landmarks of Allen. It is located on a hillside of Celestine's school. I'm usually out of breath by the time I reach the top whenever I accompany her to school. But lately, she's been insisting on climbing up all by herself.
I was a bit of a history junkee when I was still in school so I love being around this kind of stuff. No, I am not at all spooked. I see beauty here. Cracked pillars and moldy walls can only tell so much.
Mimicking the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal.
The abundance of giant trees also bring some fresh air to the area. To be honest, it's like being in a different world when you climb up to the ruins.
At the ruins with Dr. Jose Rizal.
Careful there. Dr. Rizal is looking down on you.
A photo with this cannon is a must when you climb up here. 
Here's a good view of Allen poblacion from up here.
Sorsogon is just over the horizon. LOLs.
Someone's rushing to go home 'coz she's excited to play with her new toy. 

Okay. To be fair, I will not end this blog post without showing you a photo of me.
How's this? :)
Happy holidays!
XO,
Carissa

PS. She's dedicated to wearing the whole outfit. The giant headband stayed on. Didn't complain about the giant skirt. Wore heels while climbing up the hills. Phew!