Filipino childrens books

FKB 4 + Better World Books Haul

Filipino childrens books

Good day readers, are you keeping cool?

Despite all of the heat advisories, I also mean mentaltally, spiritually, all of the -ies. If you follow me on Insta, you’ve seen that I’ve decided to try to sort my -ies out which should be, unfortunately, a long and arduous task especially since I’m kinda one foot in this boat and the other finding a lot of this hooey. But like with everything else here, I share in hopes that it helps you too.

According to this definition of spirituality, one should ask themself if they’re contributing to their community in a way that energizes them. Can I count this series? 😅 I do not find it particularly nourishing at the moment. But things that typically come up like church or volunteering honestly make me anxious. I suppose what energizes me is meeting people that are actually like me, on my level. But then I fear that they actually take action, and I am a coward!

Ah well, I will uh, meditate or whatever on it some more. In the meantime. Here are some Filipino kids books I actually bought this time. I wanted to send a care package for my new nephew and his parents and fortunately had already found a book I liked through the library. I would just have to find it to purchase! At that time, Better World Books was having a sale, so I decided to take advantage and try them out. Here’s what I got.

Alpabetong Filipino

This is an Adarna House book. My cover says it’s by Victoria Añonuevo but others say Virgilio S. Almario. It’s illustrated by Paul Eric Roca. It’s a basic alphabet book with illustrations of letters and words that start with them (or have the letters in them). At the time of the recording, I hadn’t seen other Filipino alphabet books before, so it seemed fine, but since then I have which are definitely better! Most words are in Tagalog with some in English.

Ang Bagong Kaibigan ng Bing Butiki (Bing Butiki’s New Friend)

This story is about lizards that hang out on the ceiling of an old couple’s home. Their son used to torture the lizards and fear him. He returns as an adult with his own daughter, and Bing wants to befriend her. She ends up being nice, but Bing really doesn’t have a reason to do this seemingly other than “she’s cute.” Perhaps the instinct to approach without caution (I’m giving them this as a benefit rather than superficiality) stems from the book’s Christian publisher which prints a verse on the back.

Inside Illustration

Perhaps not a problem but something others may want to know. The son/father also tells about how the daughter can’t take the lizards home because they have to stay and eat bugs which I don’t really understand.

Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories

This is by the same Liana Romulo of Filipino Friends in my last post! This was actually published before Friends, and surprisingly, I liked this much better. It’s a collection of folk tales. I’ve since read other collections, and I think this is edited for children. However, Stories was the book I decided to buy (and the previous two were lucky enough to come along), and I chose it because a few of them contained messages of organizing and rebellion! And I absolutely love the animated illustrated of Joanne de Leon whom will be making at least another appearance in this series in the future!


Title Alpabetong Filipino Ang Bagong Kaibigan ng Bing Butiki Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories
Author Victoria Añonuevo/ Virgilio S. Almario Yna Reyes Liana Romulo
Illustrator Paul Eric Roca Jason Moss Joanne de Leon
Publisher Adarna House Hiyas/OMF Literature(?) Periplus Editions
Year 2003 1993 2000
Language Mostly Tagalog Tagalog & English English
Level Pre-school 1st-3rd grade 4th-5th grade
Recommended Eh 😑 Yes

As for Better World Books, they are definitely an option to keep in mind. I’ve a reflex to go to Amazon for cheap books, but BWB has deals such as buy 2 used, get 1 free. I believe they also always have free shipping. I was able to score these 3 which can be difficult to find (and therefore expensive) for about $11. However, I did not receive tracking info. You might be able to pay for another shipping method to provide it. It seems like it is kind of like Amazon in the way that other users can sell on it rather than BWB being a retailer, so you may find condition descriptions like “may have wear.” 😅

Filipino Children's Favorite Stories Cover
Affiliate link
Pre-order the paperback at Target

Do you know what’s up with the two authors? Have any books you to see before you buy or want any other recs? Be sure to check out my previous reviews 👇
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July 2019 Empties: Scents!

Hello readers, what’s your favorite perfume?

I don’t really have one. I usually just use gifts but not overly so. There have been perfumes sitting around for years because I wanted to “save” them. For what? The opera? So I’ve decided I need to clean out and possibly even start trying new perfumes so I can find one for myself. 😄


Victoria’s Secret Strawberries & Champagne

This was a full size gift mist that lasted me a long time. I’m not really sure what a champagne scent would smell like, but this didn’t remind me of strawberries either. Fragrantica says it has cassis (red wine?), so I suppose that’s more of what the scent is. It’s light, but it doesn’t seem to have many good reviews! I don’t think it’s bad, but I wouldn’t buy it.

Victoria’s Secret Love Spell

I had a tiny sample for this and the next scent that were good for a few uses. This is light, but probably more sweet and floral than Strawberries & Champagne. Fragrantica users report peach, white jasmine and cherry blossom notes. One compares it to fruit punch. Again not bad; just not me.

Victoria’s Secret Sheer Love

Out of the three Victoria’s Secret mists, I’d say this is the one I liked most. Fragrantica claims it’s a floral fragrance that features lily, cotton flower, chamomile and aloe vera. I’m not sure about those, but I can see the melon that other users have determined. Victoria’s Secret does test on animals.



Kitty Girl

This was a rollerball knockoff/”our impression” of Katy Perry’s “Purr.” I don’t know how close this would be, but I liked it! It’s more what I’d imagine a perfume to smell like, but isn’t heavy. According to retail descriptions, it has top notes of tangerine, pear, jasmine, and gardenia with middle notes of honeysuckle, lily of the valley, and orange blossom. There’s a base of amber, vanilla, sandalwood and musk. Oddly, this came with a lotion, but I hated the scent of that.

Harvey Prince Hello

This was another sample from an old Birchbox. It is a citrus fragrance, but there’s definitely a musk base. It contains Meyer lemon, grapefruit, forsythia, and plumeria. Fragrantica also notes mandarin orange, frangipani, and Tahitian vanilla. I didn’t previously know this, but Harvey Prince is organic, vegan, and doesn’t test on animals. They also are free from certain ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and GMOs. I will consider them in the future!

Do you have a favorite scent? Perhaps because I don’t really use perfumes, I don’t know smells and how to describe. The only ones I know I like are Madagascar vanilla and how my linen closet smells. But things that are supposed to smell like linen don’t smell like mine!😆 So just let me know, and I’ll check them out!

August 2018 Empties

Hi readers, how’s it going?

I’m actually keeping up with these Empties & Monthly Wrap-Up blogs posting in one week! Ok, this is only the second month, but if you’d like to check them out, here are July’s Empties and Wrap-Up. This month is a little bit of a sequel to last. September should have things I haven’t talked about before though! And hopefully less vague reviews.

August Empties

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gel Scrub

Soon after I finished the mask, I finished off the cooling gel scrub. Similar to the mask, I liked this! There was a very refreshing sensation when first using that I think you get used to as well as the beads also being more noticeable. This is a newer Neutrogena product so it may be a little bit more. Personally, I’m currently trying a cheaper Neutrogena scrub and may actually have to go back to this or subsidize it. My previous review is here.

Esfolio Volcanic Ash Essence Mask

I got this from Rue 21 a couple of months ago. Was volcanic ash a trendy ingredient for a minute? I don’t remember nor was this sheet mask experience noteworthy. The wrapper now smells like a baby powder-y perfume, and it contains PEGs and methylparaben. TBH, I’d still be kind of interested in volcanic ash, but I see other Esfolio masks on Amazon for $15! I got this for $2! Other brands may be worth extra money, but I don’t think this is.

Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil

This micro-oil shampoo and oil creme conditioner were samples in the mail. I was surprised that when they said “oil,” they mean oil! At least for the shampoo anyway. The conditioner is more of a creme, as advertised. I like that it uses moringa oil, and it smells like other salon hair products. I think that it definitely helps replenish hair.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub

Readers, I’m torn about St. Ives (well, I find no reason to side with big brands so not really). This is one of the more affordable cleanser/scrubs that I, myself, haven’t had problems with as far as use. I know its plastic beads pollute water but they use natural exfoliants now. Now I hear they’re being sued because they cause microtears that cause infections! In any case, their parent company, Unilever, is really shitty, so I’ll try to stop buying them.

Love & Beauty Eye Mask

This is a collagen and aloe patch set from Forever 21. It says it has a peptide complex and is paraben-free. Has anyone had a good experience with such things? I didn’t really notice any difference. It kind of smells like a magazine perfume sample. Maybe I should invest in eye creams…

August Empties Affiliate Links
Affiliate Links
Neutrogena Scrub | Volcanic Ash Mask | Matrix Shampoo | Matrix Conditioner
Up & Up Scrub | F21 Eye Mask


Do you know any better alternatives?
Thanks for reading!

Niceface pin

Niceface Matte Lip Gloss Review

What’s up, subjects? Should I have this second cup of coffee?

A pal gifted me this 3 piece Niceface Matte Lip Gloss set either for my birthday or Christmas. Yeah, I know it was a while ago, but to be fair, we’re both procrastinators and didn’t exchange gifts until a while after December! Do you need to add it to your arsenal? Keep scrolling… 

Niceface Matte Gloss Set

This particular set came with the shades 22 Bare With Me, 06 Lulu, and 01 Silk Indulgent. Swatched, Bare With Me is a carnation pink, Lulu is a pink coral, and Silk Indulgent is a dusty pink. It reminded me of Nyx’s Lingerie in Corset, in color at least. I haven’t used Nyx, so I can’t compare about formula or anything.

Niceface swatches
Bare With Me, Lulu, Silk Indulgent

They have a typical fuzzy brush applicator and a somewhat thin consistency. I did not like the scent! Whenever I’ve bought e.l.f.’s tinted moisturizer, it’s had a similar, weird buttery smell, so hopefully both products have not expired!

Applied, Bare With Me and Lulu look very similar to each other on me. I tried to take photos, but now I can’t even tell which is which! When I first used them, I didn’t really like them because I thought they looked really awkward, but after taking photos, I don’t think that they look bad.

Silk Indulgent

I also thought that I would really like Silk Indulgent when I swatched it on my wrist because as I said, it looked like a Nyx Lingerie shade. It appeared very pretty, and I didn’t have a lip item like it. Unfortunately, it looked like I put some foundation on my mouth.

I suppose I could work with it, maybe mix it with another product. I was impressed with its… matteness, lol. I feel like some products labeled “matte” still have a sheen, but these typically dry very matte if a little sticky. This is odd since it’s a “gloss” too! The swatches on my arm could’ve probably stayed until I washed them off (with an oil), but they could probably last most of your school or workday. 

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links
Wet n Wild Lipstick | e.l.f. Lip Color | Nyx Lipstick | Julep Lip Mousse | Laura Mercier Lip Color


My verdict? I’m sure that you can find “matte” lip products in a similar (cheap) price range, but they may or may not be. With this Niceface set, they definitely are, but finding shades may be tricky. And smelly. However, if you think you see a color that could possibly be a dupe for something more expensive, I think it’s a great idea to try something like this to see if you’ll actually like the color of the more expensive product!

What are your favorite matte lip products?

June 2018 Empties


Hey followers, did you remember to do that thing?

I totally forgot about doing “empties” posts. Probably because I’ve been trying to cut back on spending and waiting to have enough for a collective post! So apologies that I didn’t write down my findings like a scientist and that some reviews may be vague or indecisive. I’ll try to balance groups with products about which I’ve more to say!

Mango Mud Mask

First up is something I don’t remember too well how it worked. It says it’s for purifying and soothing, but all I recall was that it smelled bad which is so depressing because I love mangoes. It was from Forever 21, but it was made in Korea. Does that alone make it K-beauty? In any case, I wouldn’t recommend it because it contains Dead Sea mud and salt, and the cultivation of those are suspect as heck.

Alba Sunless Tanner

I’m so on the fence about using tanning products like the subtle Jergens lotion I’ve used or something that seems more noticeable. I thought this Alba Botanica item might be a happy medium, but it’s honestly just like the Jergens. I will say that it smells very nice and doesn’t contain parabens or phthalates, doesn’t test on animals, and has 100% vegetarian ingredients. Alba costs more for about half the product. I think it’s worth it (I did use a gift card tho), but if you need to, I’d save your money and just get the Jergens (or something else). 

Product Empties

Dove DermaCare Scalp 2-in-1

A preface for this review: it was just a sample, and I don’t really have dandruff flakes (it claims to leave no visible flakes with regular use). I can get those tiny pieces if I don’t wash. So I’m unsure if this will work for more typical dandruff. It does contain pyrithione zine and has a peppermint scent. Personally, I felt like it didn’t lather well and make me more greasy 😩 

DHC Eye Bright

I think I threw this into my cart when I was trying out Dermstore. It is a clear gel made in Japan. Look, it says “eye bright.” I thought it would brighten my dark circles! I’ve only just noticed it says “eye moisturizer.” What the heck is that? That sounds like what Visine does. Anyway, this disappointingly did not brighten my dark circles. Debatably, it lightened the other nearby skin which sucks!! When you’ve yellow undertones, it looks like you’ve celebrated Independence Day a little too hard.

Rimmel Buff Beige

Rimmel’s Stay Matte seems like the affordable powder everyone recommends. I don’t hate it; I’m just not in love with it. I’m definitely willing to give it another try as I had been applying it with a brush but found smudging with a sponge definitely helps prolong use (I was worried about wiping away foundation). I’m just having a hard time with color matching. Pictured is 012 Buff Beige which I think may be too cool for me. I’ve tried 001 Transparent as I heard that was supposed to be not really pigmented and blend in to every’s tones but still felt it was too light. Maybe it was just my foundation?

Affiliate links
Forever 21 Mask | Alba Botanica lotion | Dove 2-in-1 | DHC Eye Bright | Rimmel Powder

Thank you for reading my unscientific findings!
Do you which Stay Matte shade I should use?

Neutrogena Deep Clean

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying

Hello followers, are you ready for spring?

A couple of weeks ago, Neutrogena sent me two of their new Deep Clean purifying products to try and share on Instagram. There was also the option to make a video, but I don’t normally make them and wouldn’t have been able to make it in time. But I thought I’d try, so I hope they don’t sue me because they didn’t pay me! Check it out, and please pardon any inconsistencies!

Making this one video has given me a new respect for vloggers 😅 They must chug a Red Bull before filming; I seem so low energy!

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Links
Affiliate links
Clay Mask | Hydro Gel Mask | Cooling Gel Scrub | Cleanser Mask

A few things that I didn’t mention in the video is that the products aren’t made up of the most natural ingredients. These two products don’t seem to have any particularly worrisome ingredients according to EWG, but some do have “contamination concerns.” There is also a notice on the back that they contain alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and possibility of sunburn.

Would you be interested in these products?

Link up: Sincerely Jenna Marie + More Pieces of Me

Moisturizer Pin

Is Your Moisturizer Doing More Harm Than Good?

skincare products

Hello readers, is it really the end of the month already?

Now, if you’re a superfan of moisturizer and have an absolute favorite that you swear by, I wholly acknowledge my click-baity title 😜 Furthermore, I’ve also added a disclaimer to my About page to say that I’m not a professional anything including aesthetician. So I’ve no educated beef with moisturizer…

Other than my skin is freaking out? Perhaps it is unfair to be so suspicious of the beloved moisturizer as at first I thought that this Pond’s moisturizer was a lifesaver. Affordable, accessible and it didn’t seem to have any problems at first.

But that’s what I thought about this Art Naturals clarifying face wash that I’m trying which is the weirdest one I’ve ever tried. It certainly doesn’t feel or smell weird, but it’s a metallic green color.

Art Naturals Cleanser

Yes!!! Have you ever seen something like this? Honestly, it has a kind of mushy feel like a Clearasil cleanser, and it does clean very well. The bottle also says that it’s actually for oily/acne-prone skin and is sulfate, gluten, and paraben-free. However, I’m very concerned with it giving me acne under the skin (the worst!!!).

So I’m trying to wean back on using it but… I still have it! And now all these bumps that I’ve never had before. I guess you could say, “Why don’t you just buy something that’s worked before like a Clean & Clear or Neutrogena wash?” Well, that would be just too easy, wouldn’t it? I must’ve seen cinnamon being good for something on Pinterest because I’ve started making a mixture of it and honey as a scrub.

Honey Cinnamon

I must say that when I wake up in the morning, my skin looks a lot better (except for the spots). Out of just sheer desperation, I’m seeing if some old contact solution will do anything. Doesn’t seem to be hurting unlike mixing cinnamon and aloe vera! I haven’t the slightest why but those two things together burned and made my face red (I’ve put aloe vera on my face before, so I don’t think I’m allergic…)!

In any case, I’ve actually stopped using moisturizer, and surprisingly, it hasn’t been a problem. At least, I haven’t been dry and flaky (except after using masks two days in a row). Maybe I’m more oily, but I’ve heard moisturizer is still good for oily skin.

Link up with Sincerely Jenna Marie + More Pieces of Me

Do you really keep a notebook and record how products work like a scientist? Is clear skin really worth not eating chocolate and using fuzzy pets as pillows? Do you have any DIY skincare nightmares?

Make money online

How to Sell Online (Mercari, eBay, Amazon)

Hello readers, is cleaning out your closet one of your new year #goals?

I’ve written about Poshmark, but I also use/have used eBay, Amazon, and Mercari. Obviously, they have different experiences especially depending on what you sell and how much time is dedicated. I’m just someone who is trying to clean out my (non-name brand) closet, so I’m not making a living. I just wanted to share my “set-up.” All of these services charge fees, so what you pocket may be less than expected.

Note- These experiences and info will be rather US-based.


The first thing I’d suggest is to consider how you want to use a service: Do you want to use a website? Do you have space on your phone for an app? Do you have a lot of time to invest? If you do plan to be into this task for some time, I’d definitely recommend purchasing a postal scale. I know it can be a pain to spend money before making it, but it can save you and your customers on shipping which can be more appealing for buyers! If you’re selling smaller goods like clothes, I think that a 10lb scale will be fine which run about $30- $40.

Additionally, seek out your packaging. I’ve seen people in message boards says they buy in bulk which is technically cheaper, but I don’t really like the idea that I might ever be stuck with 100 envelopes or boxes. So I just checked which stores closest to me were the cheapest.

Make money online


Get familiar with your postal services. Before I started selling online, I’d no idea there were so many classes and options and things 😵 And if you just show up to the post office with a box, you’re going to have to pay for it when you could’ve saved with an envelope! Let’s say you’re mailing a 6oz shirt. If you put it in a bubble envelope, it’d cost $3.32; if you used a box, it’d be $8.17!

If you have something that weighs more, it may actually cost less to use a “flat rate” service– “If it fits, it ships!” You must use certain packaging from the US postal service for this though. Books can qualify for media mail which is cheaper. Mercari also offers shipping labels which aren’t always cheaper but entirely more convenient (you don’t have to go to the post office).

If you use eBay (I’m not sure about Amazon), you do have the option to sell internationally! It can be fun but expensive, so make sure to have the appropriate options selected. Furthermore, there can be some unknown customs rules. Someone from Spain once tried to buy a shirt from me, but I had to cancel the transaction because apparently you need some sort of certificate for used clothing.


I don’t know if everyone else puts in the trouble to make spreadsheets, but this is how I keep track of everything! If you use Gmail, you also have a free office suit in Drive.

Fee Spreadsheets

I have different files for each service and then different sheets for different categories of things (tops, bottoms, media, etc). I create columns for a brief item name/description, price, and shipping info (not every bit totally necessary but helpful!). Then I use those formulas you can use to tabulate and calculate your fees.

Mercari charges 10% of your listed price. Mercari does offer its own postage which is why I’ve two rows per item– the first to see USPS costs; the second to see with Mercari. eBay and Amazon fees are more complicated because there are different types– insertion, PayPal (for eBay), and even varying amounts for what you’re selling.

Mercari Join code

I know I could go more in-depth into those fees, but I don’t like to make posts too long! Let me know if you want anything explained or another post about a service! And if I’ve interested you into joining Mercari, use my referral code when you sign up for a $10 coupon 💕

Coastal Scents Palette Pin

Playing with Coastal Scents Go Palette Cairo

Coastal Scents Palette Pin

Hey pals, are you keeping warm?

I hope everyone had a good new year’s eve/day! It is currently too cold for me to try to make any sort of resolution, so I’m just staying home and experimenting with this Coastal Scent Go Palette in the Cairo variety.

Coastal Scents Cairo

I’d been considering getting an eyeshadow palette for a while but just wasn’t able to bring myself to click the checkout button on one when I came across this little guy. I was putting together a little travel-themed thank you gift for a friend and figured that I might as well try it myself!

When I was subscribed to Birchbox, I’d actually received a sampler of Coastal Scents’s Revealed 2 palette and really liked it, so I was hoping to have the same experience. Just on the buying end, I was very pleased to see how reasonable their shipping prices are.

The Go Palette is about the size of a compact with 12 matte and shimmering colors. Now, with obvious exceptions, the shades are on the darker side, but they do look distinctly different, no? I’ve only played around with half the palette, but applied, especially swatched, they look rather similar.

Coastal Scents Cairo

If you number the shades in the compact going left to right, I tried 1, 6 (the copper color), 7, 10, and 3 (dark gold). You can’t even see the first white on my wrist, but things look different on eyes? I think it does make an acceptable highlight.

Coastal Scents Cairo Look
I’m trying to show how the colors look similar, please don’t laugh at my egg head. On the left eye, I used the copper shade and #7; the right, #10 and #3. I honestly wasn’t expecting #3 to be so dark, but oddly, #10 can be layered on itself. Is that a thing? I feel like my sockets just kind of do that (make colors darker in that corner).

Apart from my confusion about how makeup and my own face actually work, I’m still rooting for this little palette. Yes, the colors I tried aren’t as vibrant as they are in the pan and look rather alike, but I still have other shades to try. And with other methods! I just read about using shadows wet.

Personally, I didn’t experience much fallout, the shadows were easy enough to apply and blend, and I like the big mirror. Additionally, this palette and Coastal Scents in general is really affordable and even has sales! If you weren’t impressed by Cairo but are adventurous as both a traveler and with your makeup, perhaps you would be interested in their Passport Palettes with other city themes like London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Have you ever used a product from Coastal Scents?

Linking up with: More Pieces of MeSincerely Jenna Marie, Pinksole

Maple Holistics Shampoo

Get in the Holiday Spirit with Maple Holistics

Maple Holistics Winter Blend

Hi pals, are you finishing off your leftovers?

If you’re a resident reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed my love-hate relationship with Florida’s weather. From violent storms to moody season transitions, you can forget about the holidays when it just doesn’t feel like it, right? Heck, I know someone who moved up north to get those bloggable changing autumn tree leaves.

This is part of the reason why I made my choice when Maple Holistics reached out to me with a collaboration. Maple Holistics is a New Jersey company that aims to provide natural and holistic solutions to personal care. They offer items like bath salts, shampoo and conditioner, scrubs, serums and more that are all natural, sulfate-free, and aren’t tested on animals!

Maple Holistics Winter Blend ShampooI chose their Winter Blend Shampoo & Conditioner set because its formula has 5 different mints: spearmint, bergamot, peppermint, wild mint, and eucalyptus mint. The theme and scent should be perfect for inspiring your end-of-the-year activities if your climate is also not cooperating. Additionally, the conditioner has many essential oils and amino acids including jojoba and argan.

I was also interested in trying a peppermint shampoo as I’ve heard it’s helps stimulate hair growth. Maple Holistics says that the blend should soothe your scalp, clear dandruff and hydrate hair.

While the winter set certainly smells like mint– those little round green and white candies!– it’s harder to tell about any other benefits. It has washed away dandruff but hasn’t eliminated the problem (I’ve been using it a little longer than 2 weeks). I don’t think my hair’s particularly dry, so it’s harder to tell if it’s been moisturized or not. It has washed away all the product used for recent parties in case there’s concern about the strength of natural shampoos.


Perhaps I need to finish the bottles, but I really wanted to share this blend in time in case you were interested! However, I haven’t really noticed any change in my hair. They may also just not be what my hair needs, but I do highly appreciate Maple Holistics’s commitments! Not only do they have the natural aspects I’ve mentioned but even their bottles are recyclable and BPA free. I would definitely consider them in the future. 

If you’re in the market for natural personal care, check them out! Maple Holistics even offers a free samples program, so you can try them for yourself!

Have you heard of Maple Holistics? What products are you eyeing?
I was sent these products free of charge for review purposes.