Tuesday, December 19, 2017

London, Once Again

When I updated the fiance of my future whereabouts, he responded with an inquiry, that needless to say, I haven't bother to think about for a while. "Pang ilan London mo na yan?" It was four months or so that I haven't had a layover in the place and I clearly remember how the adrenaline and excitement for the coming shopping spree made us left the hotel in quick 10 minutes during my last visit. This month, nevertheless, London was on my priority list, not for me to splurge, but to see the famous Winter Wonderland and witness first hand the lights of Oxford Street.

The fiance's question left me reflecting on how, with the number of times I came to London, why do I get the feeling I have only seen so little of it? The places on my list I have yet to visit was as long as it was last year. Knowing our layover will start in the morning, I was determined to scratch a few destinations off my list.

1. First stop - King's Cross Station
 A tour in Warner Bros Studio is an ultimate bucket list, but since a limited number of tickets are sold in a day, I'm still waiting for the perfect timing. Anyway, the platform 9 3/4 station still fueled with joy my HP fanatic heart.

Beside the station is an HP souvenir shop where they sell all sort of HP stuff mostly categorized by houses - from key chains, magnets, jackets, and what have you. I was eyeing on the Marauder's Map, but since I didn't have extra pounds with me, we left the place with a vow to buy it next time. 

2. Buckingham Palace

A close up photograph will undeniably reveal the fatigue in my eyes. The temperature was dropping as the sun started to disappear beneath the horizon. The pain on my toes was too much to ignore either; but the night was young, and we just started on our second destination.

Notice beyond the gate.

Ayesa and I and the palace behind. :-)

3. Green Park

It was not on my list but I'm happy it's like a pre-destination before you can get on to Buckingham. :-) Not entirely certain if it was the lack of oxygen or too much walking, but my feet demanded rest and with its view, surely there was no better place to sit , relax and rest. I imagine the place would be lovelier in spring. 

4. Oxford Street

So here's a spoiler -  we didn't make it to Winter Wonderland. Because 1. Exhaustion is replacing all my energy and 2. With the temperature, never did I plan to get on the rides, plus all I ever wanted was to see the place. So we spent the rest of the evening admiring the beautiful lights of Oxford Street.

Plus a little shopping. *lol

Oxford Street was jam-packed as always. Year-end sale is just around the corner so tourist and locals will definitely make the most out of it. I couldn't remember the exact time we decided to go home, yet I do know Ayesa and I were sleeping for the greater part throughout the trip. By the time we were just one bus ride away from the hotel, the temperature was too much to bear. What I thought earlier was overdressed was obviously the contrary at that moment. Winter has its ways of making me hate it. 
Nonetheless, I still found myself bidding for London next month <3

Alhamdulillah we arrived in the hotel safe and sound. 
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Life Lately Volume 1

So I gave another attempt on Game of Thrones, and the next thing I knew, I finished one season in a day. Brutal killings and betrayals are still not of my liking, but the twist and turn are too much to sleep on. Also, I have been patiently watching Star Wars series - something not of my interest as well, but the boyfriend is an avid fan and I am the best girlfriend, ever (lol). Only halfway done with it so I'm not giving any feedback just yet.

My playlist "Rania's Chill Vibes" on my boyfriend's spotify account is still on repeat just as how it was a month ago. The latest song I added was released back in 1999 by Savage Garden. I am certainly the last person you would want to converse with in the subject of music.

While I continuously fail with my healthy meal, the contrary happens with my water intake. I found myself opting for water more often than before, and my intake of sodas is now limited to 2-3 cans in a month.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - About a german boy and a french girl trapped in the time of World War II. If not for Game of Thrones, I would have finished this book by now. I try to think of a possible ending to its story every time I read, but my brain cannot produce any predictions. Well, I do expect it to be happy, or if not, at least a hopeful one.

Lucknow, India - The city view surprised me a little too late when I had my lunch shortly before our flight back to base. The day previous of that, I just locked myself in my room with internet on like the introvert that I am. Perhaps, next time!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Spending My Days Off (The Rania Way) + Paris Travel Video

  •  If it wasn’t for my conscience, I wouldn’t be carrying yet another plastic bag with me, on top of the other five, full of greens and oranges and all that seems to be good for my well-being. I ain’t sick first and foremost; it’s just my conscience, knocking, reminding me to be good to my system - a byproduct of adulting I believe. To be fair enough, I decided to have junk and greens one after the other, more like a reward and punishment system. Not entirely healthy you may say, and I tell you, still better than nothing. Cutting the chase, I’ve been trying to eat less of fried and adding more of veggies to my daily diet. 
  • Fixed my closet that partly resulted to a dress up game as what I supposed. Cleaned the room, changed the sheets; Finished two cycles of laundry plus did a little handwashing of the delicates. Everything is waiting to be folded and ironed right now. 
  • Binge-watched some of the series on my list. Will be starting on Riverdale’s season two right after this. Is it just me or the show’s ending notes seems to be a good mobile ringtone? yes? And oh, I saw the first five episodes of game of thrones, and, I don't know , just not my cup of tea. 
  • Writing my 4th post, in this month. It’s a record, you guys! plus I got to edit and upload my long overdue Paris travel video !

 I still have clips waiting to be edited, perhaps on my days off next month.
Meanwhile, my seldomly updated youtube channel is here.

  •  Excluding the chores, I literally,  just savored my days off through watching and cooking and eating. Nonetheless, such blissful days will be over soon as I have a busy week ahead. This might be my finale post for the month, wishing you all a lovely November~

Monday, October 16, 2017

What Happened in New York Does Not Stay in New York

I do hope you are not expecting me to be stealing something, using illegal medicines or anything of some sort, as I didn’t.

It was a long and chill 14 hours flight. Our drive to the hotel was enough to regain back some strength but what happened with me was otherwise. My brain would like to sleep yet my eyes were open almost the entire trip looking on what was there to see through the window. Because hello? It’s New York! The city that never sleeps! The chance of having another visit is highly possible, nonetheless, still had that first time feels ~

It felt just about a minute when I took some time to rest and lay down before I started prepping up again as our layover just started. A free bus service to the subway was provided by the hotel so the struggle with directions obviously started within the metro.

Vanessa and I badly wanted to explore the whole of New York yet clearly we only had few hours to spend. Add up the fact that we cannot abuse our bodies much more as our strength were already drained from the flight; with that, we decided to go to the most likely, reachable places.

First stop: Brooklyn Bridge

We were told sunset will be around 6:30 PM and we had only less than two hours left to be there. We were lost at first but eventually found our way just right before the night sky showed up.

What came to view when the moon was up was stunningly beautiful.

Above photo obviously does not give justice to that. It was too lovely my camera cannot even focus on me lol

Wished there was more time to savor the view but time was running and there’s still more to see so we headed to our next goal.

Next and final stop: Times Square

Few hours left till midnight and still, people are everywhere. Several shops were still open so I got to buy my every layover, must have, souvenirs.

I was up and moving for 24 hours or so, that when we reached the center of Times Square, there’s nothing much that I can do apart from admiring the place. We still managed to take couple of photos and did several poses along with this gang, which by the way, we payed for 20 bucks.

I also got to see the famous red stairs which was, by the way, too crowded that night so I was happy enough to see it in person. A shooting of movie or show or whatever apparently happened that time that people were still busy taking photos and videos of what was left, so I took one for me as well. Lol.

We went back to our hotel sleeping along the way as that was how exhausted we were. Alhamdulillah we didn’t miss the stop nor lost our way. The whole experience, despite how exhausting it was, is surreal - the fact that I walked the streets and see places in person that I watched only in movies before. I cannot say when my next visit to NYC will be, but I do hope I'll see the Statue of Liberty by then. *wink
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Saturday, October 14, 2017


Consider yourself warned, SPOILER ALERT!

Yes. I am seriously making a post for this because I have loved TVD since my early college days and my post series depression isn’t just going away. I don’t think people I talk to everyday would understand my heartbreak over the finale. There is no blame on them as they did not know how way back in my late teenage years I have developed my fascination on this series. Several new shows have been aired and became more popular yet TVD remained my ultimate, favorite one. I still remember my old self getting hooked on its first ever season during the old twilight era and this show had saved me from my Edward Cullen obsession. I was never the one who religiously watch the episodes every single week as life got in the way. But when things are okay and I had the chance, I had spent my time not on the latest award-winning movies, but catching up on this series. You, perhaps, is wondering what was in it that I loved - well, first was the never ending thrill and twist - and I literally mean THRILL; okay, so you see, I am more of a bookish person than a movie one, so I get bored easily with videos and all that, but not with this show - it kept my eyes glued to the screen for the whole 40 minutes and I love just how I always wonder what’s gonna happen next. Beyond that, was the whole brotherly and true love emotions the characters have portrayed excellently. I had shed bucket of tears for each season and every single one reminded me the importance of not turning your back to your family.

So what are my thoughts on its finale?

To be honest, I was imagining a more, happy ending - wherein Damon and Stefan are saved, delena married along with Stelena and Enzo and Bonnie, and everyone of them. I should have known it does not always work that way.

Stefan’s death was just something unimaginable for me as I had watched the two brothers saved each other every single time. I could almost feel Damon’s grief but when I try to analyze everything, Stefan’s life had worked out well enough even before the finale - well I mean, he got back his humanity on and got married to the love of his life - and since there is always a twist for every ending - there is no other character that suits it well more than Stefan. On another note, I wish they made Enzo free from the new dimension so he could marry Bonnie because being stuck there forever isn’t a justifiable ending for his wilidly romantic character. Moreover,  I expected more of the Damon and Elena come back scene - I imagined heartbreakingly lines of how Damon had waited for her for the longest time followed by a long passionate kiss - but, I couldn’t blame them. I’m glad enough that Nina Dobrev came back. It must have been really uncomfortable for the two.  Nevertheless, the last scene couldn’t be more perfect and I was once again impressed as how Paul walker and Ian Somerhalder portrayed between that hug the happiness the two brothers had felt when they saw each other once again.

I will surely gonna miss how those two brothers had melted my heart all throughout these years. I am presently searching for a new series to watch but i don't think i will ever like something the way i like tvd -  just as the way we feel with our favorite pet or our favorite book. 

Thank you TVD, since 2009. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Korean Skin Care Haul (September 2017)

The title does not obviously coincide with today's date but I'm blogging about it anyway. I had my  month-long vacation in Philippines last month and just came back from New York yesterday, and yes, the first thing I'd like to write about isn't how I spent my vacation nor how heartbreaking it was to be back here, or how wonderful New York is,  but this. Now can you sense my excitement? :D

I'm not totally certain but as far as I've seen, the only korean skin care shop they have here is The Face Shop. Not only we have very limited choices, but the prices is considerably higher as compared with that of Phils. So when I had my week-long stay in Manila, I dragged my fiance with me to every korean shop there is.

 I used to buy few pieces of korean products to try, but I was never a regular puchaser. With the drying environment, plus my dry and aging skin, the daily moisturizer I use apparently does not sufficiently moisturize my face here in the sandpit. So if it happens to appear to you I hoarded a little too much, I, in fact, stocked up for a good number of months.

Almost everything was from Nature Republic excluding the Aloe Mask sheets and the Fresh Milk Cream I got from The Face Shop, and the Drawing Eye Brow was from Etude House.

So, let's get into details ~

1. Nature Republic Snail Mask Sheet - Despite the disgusting thought of spreading the eeewy snail's secretion filtrates on my face, still I bought a bunch of this as it promises "ultra moisture". This, perhaps, is the first I am yet to try.

2. Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet in Green Tea  - "Green tea extract deeply moisturizes and helps the skin stay moisturized".

3.  Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet in Shea Butter  - "Shea butter nourishes the skin with a luminous glow" there is just something with shea butter lately that makes me consider it every time i get the chance to choose.

4. Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet in Tomato -  "Tomato extracts hydrate and brighten skin" Based on what I researched, tomato also has a good way of whitening skin, and I could really use one after getting my face sun soaked during my vacation.

5. Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet in Chamomile - "Chamomile extracts provide moisture and make skin feel refreshed" -  well who does not want to feel refreshed? This is by the way the fiance's pick (talk about being a supportive husband to be) :))

6. The Face Shop Real Nature Aloe Face Mask - The product claims to be gentle on sensitive skin without the five harmful additives (parabens, triethanolamine, propylene glycol, tar colorant, mineral oil).

7. Nature Republic Soothing and Moisture Aloe Vera Soothing Gel - I've been meaning to get my hands on this but I was careful not to have fake products (I believe there are) so I waited for the longest time. Cannot wait to experience the good reviews I read beforehand.

8. The Face Shop Fresh Milk Cream - Yet another body cream for the upcoming winter.

9. Nature Republic Real Squeeze Aloe Vera Toner & 10. Nature Republic Collagen Dream - these are actually freebies after I purchased their face masks and I could not be happier to know they are producing from marine collagen. I became too careful with collagen products after i found out some were pork derivatives.

11. Drawing Eye Brow from Etude House - Excellent product for only 178php. Why did I waste my money on all those more expensive eyebrow pencils?

So that was everything from my haul. Whether a review is coming up or not, still I cannot say. I lost count on the number of times I planned to make one, yet it remained to be just a plan. Also, I have yet to make my second travel video in case the planner won't give me flights on the next few days.
Ending note -  the korean shops were actually in good sale so do not judge :P

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Quick Update

Hello Loves ☺️ Twenty days left of my vacation and I totally regret not bringing my laptop with me. I'm stuck with my 5 inch mobile phone and unbelievable slow internet connection, thus, you'll always find me on twitter and instagram.

The things I'd like to blog about is piling up day by day - to start with the stressful week I went through before my vacation, how I welcomed my 26th birthday, from the latest books I read and until my recent make up haul - unfortunately my mobile phone is the most inconvenient thing when it comes to blogging so all that must wait until I get my hands back on my laptop. In relation to that, time is flying like it's catching a 10 hours delayed flight. It went by so fast, what have I done for the past two weeks? It doesn't even feel that I already stayed here for exactly 16 days. If only by some miracle I can extend my vacation :( but reality is inevitable you guys, there is no option left for me but to think positively and make the most out of my remaining days ☺️
I initially planned to attach the most decent from my latest photos taken on my birthday but I have yet to figure out how. So for now, let me shamelessly plug my social accounts: twitterinstagram, and sarahah :) Needless to say, formspring.me and ask.fm are way better! ☺️