Holiday Gift Ideas for Men

Ah! It is that time of the year again wherein we dish out our scouting skills for gifts to give for our loved ones. Welcome to the Christmas season!

Personally, I sometimes wish that I can only give my gal friends gifts. I can do all-out with stocking stuffers and, let us be honest, most commercial items are aimed towads women. We are the impulse buyers, not men. They are meant for investments. Just think of it. His nice cufflinks are worth more than your party statement dress.

The Blogmas challenge was that I share gift ideas under $50.00. To be honest, you can buy so many things for fifty dollars. Stocking stuffers? Go to Bath & Body Works. They’ll take care of you. So, I’m tackling something different… and harder. Gift ideas for men. I will try my best that these are the kind that don’t suck.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

  1. Razors. Go to Costco or your local wholesale store and buy those things. If you need it then they need it more.
  2. White Hankerchiefs. Stay classy, people.
  3. Trail Mix. DIY it or buy by the bulk.
  4. Bowties. They’re cool. But not all like it. Be warned.
  5. Anything inside the CD case. Video game. Movie. Software. They’re bonkers for those stuff.
  6. Hair wax. The guys are the first to sport the “I-Woke-Up-Like-This” look.
  7. Altoids or the equivalent. Stay classy and fresh *wink*
  8. Socks or shoelaces. Tried, tested, and cliche. Last resort
  9. Funko Pop! Figures for the geek or fanboy in your life.
  10. Headphones or earphones.
  11. Baseball cap to represent the team of the sport enthusiast.
  12. Confirmed Netflix subscription for 2016 or the equivalent.
  13. Swiss army knife. Ooh, fancy tool skills.
  14. A year’s supply of condoms. For your boyfriend or that playboy friend of yours that won’t stick to one no matter how many times you tell him to do otherwise.
  15. Wallet. The thinner yet the more pockets the better.
  16. Tools. For the chef/ gardener/ mechanic/ whatever
  17. Fancy pen. Run to Parker or Cross for name engraving or go online for those specialty handcrafted ones.
  18. Movie tickets. Make it two. One for him. One for you.
  19. Manly scented soap or shampoo. No floral, please.
  20. Car. What? It’s a big stocking.

So, erm, hope that helps. Good luck! If you got more ideas, add them on in the comments! Happy shopping!

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Photo-Dumping San Francisco

I present the first time that I walked the streets of San Francisco, California. Featured are the San Francisco Bay side, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Transamerica Pyramid, and the city skyline and shoreline.

East Hillsdale Blvd

Port of San Francisco

Port of San Francisco

Pier 3

Pier 3

Street performer

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

PiersideYatch Masts

Pier 39

Pier 39

Pier 39

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Parked Yatchs

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf

Cream and Tan Buildings

Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid

Downhill Lombard

Downhill Lombard

Lombard Street

Lombard Street

Coit Tower and Sts Peter & Paul Church via Lombard skyline

Coit Tower and Sts Peter & Paul Church via Lombard skyline

Going down Lombard

Bikers Transamerica Pyramid

City Lights Bookstore

City Lights Bookstore

Poetry Room Panorama

Jack Kerouac Alley

Jack Kerouac Alley

Chinatown

Chinatown

Lamp post in SFO Chinatown

Blogtober Challenge 27: Shop Til No Drop

27 Blogtober challenges completed. I know that it is too early to rejoice but I could not help it. I am just so excited and I just can’t hide it. (Made you sing, hahahah)

For now, I am to share my favourite shopping spots.

Technically, I like any place with a big “SALE” sign.

But, when I am in a shopping center, the places that I look for are hobby shops. I love fandom memorabilia, figures, comic books, board games, building kits, DIY things, and all those other things you see in a hobby shop. I could spend a good hour for just looking (or deciding what to buy when I have the funds). I also like to search an area for charity or thrift shops. I feel like I’m inside a piece of history whenever I scan the racks and shelves.

When I am in my home court, I have one favorite shop. Book Sale. It is a chain of secondhand book stores scattered all around the nation. You can find a wide array of books from coffee table finds, collegiate references, self-help, non-fiction, magazines, local publications, graphic novels, and fiction.

I am proud to say that 89% of my book collection came from Book Sale.

During my uni years, I had enough cash to spend on myself but I did not want to have it all gone at the expense of one newly released book. So, I would go to Book Sale and scan the shelves.

I had two priorities whenever I go there.

1. To find a first edition Bloomsbury Harry Potter Hardbound book.

2. To find a book included in the list of the 50 books that I should read before I died.

Three years since I started my book scavenging…

… I only have to search for the Philosopher’s Stone to complete all seven Harry Potter books.

… I have 20 of all 50 books to read before I die.

… I have at least six uncompleted book series.

… I have loads of sidetrip purchases like literary classics, Shakespearean references, modern publications, tutorial books, and graphic novels.

I am addicted. I know. No, I refuse rehabilitation.

I find the happiness of finding a coveted book among the stacks and stacks of books there. Its like a treasure hunt there.

So yeah, my favourite shop is Book Sale.

What is your favorite shop?

Blogtober Challenge 26: I Eat Pages For Breakfast

On the last week of Blogtober, I could not help but rejoice. This is momentous for me. I am about to completely finish a task for the first time.

For today, I am tasked to share my favourite book or magazine.

I am a bookworm before anything else. My bonding time with my mother when I was little (sometimes we still do it now) is to sit down beside each other on the sofa and read whatever we chose to at that moment.

My bookshelf (not 100% is in this photo)

My bookshelf (not 100% is in this photo)

I also dream to be a mother. A good mother.

For me, my books are my children. A good mother does not have a favourite child. Consequently, I have no favourite book or magazine. I do not even have a favourite author.

I have fiction, non-fiction, religion, self-help, and Doctor Who (it has its own category)

I have fiction, non-fiction, religion, self-help, and Doctor Who (it has its own category)

Old fairy tale hardcovers and children's books

Old fairy tale hardcovers and children’s books

I have to admit that my first edition Bloomsbury published Harry Potter set is their big brother. Not my favourite. It was just that I was a Potterhead first before I became an avid fan of anything else.

My fictional series books. None of them are complete as they are all thrift store finds so bought them individually. Another stack and stack of books are behind this one.

My fictional series books. None of them are complete as they are all thrift store finds so bought them individually. Another stack and stack of books are behind this one. Obviously, I need a bigger shelf.

What are your favourite books?

Blogtober 24: Outfit of the Day in San Francisco

I am currently in San Francisco, California. It is my first time here so I am rather excited. Unfortunately, all my colleagues did not want to go and explore as they have flown here a few times already. I had no choice but to get my ‘Dora the Explorer’ on and roam around downtown San Francisco alone.

My attire for the day

My attire for the day

I decided to go a bit neutral today compared to my colored Melbourne get-up.

For my top, it is a white long-sleeved shirt adorned with thread baubles and glimmer.

For my bottoms, I chose some tan cropped pants.

My outerwear is sleeveless cardigan lined with crocheted edging.

All of these I got at bazaars and sales.

My bag is a recent purchase from Forever 21 which I also bought during a sale.

My shoes are nude Tory Burch flats with a gartered back. This was a gift from my brother last Christmas. He is cute like that as he splurges for the family. I also believe that one reason why he bought me one is because I am too much for a cheapskate when it comes to buying stuff for myself. Even if I could, I would not buy myself my own pair. I’ll have to make sure that my funds are really in excess then I might consider.

Outfit of the Day

Outfit of the Day

So, this is the outfit when worn. Forgive the buldgey appearance of the top. I had a thermal shirt underneath as it was colder in the morning as I expected.

TIP ONE: Invest in thermals especially when you are travelling. I get mine at Marks & Spencer. Their thermals are lightweight and are good for layering. Also, it can repel colder temperatures than others that I have tried.

As you can see, I used the cardigan as a scarf. I wrapped it around my neck and fashioned it to look like a chunky infinity scarf.

TIP TWO: Be imaginative to maximize your clothes. I used the cardigan as a scarf in the morning because my neck was bare as it was quite chilly. When it came to the evening, I unraveled it from my neck and wore it as it should to protect my body from the cold gusty winds as my torso is vulnerable to such conditions. With this practice, I appear to have more clothing items than I really do which is a huge help in the budget.

What do you think? Do you have any fashion suggestions? Share it in the comments.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Cebu’s Finest: Casa Verde Restaurant Review

For someone who denies being called a critique, I give out a lot of reviews.
Just like what I said during my For One More Day and my Black Mass reviews, I am writng in the point-of-view of a spectator.

In food, like what I said during my Liebster post, I call myself a gourmet gobbler. I eat food with finesse. Anything that can be digested, Im all for it from the most-expensive cup of coffee (only in the PH) in the whole world to the freshest service of live woodworm (yeap, in the PH too).

I don’t know how to cook. I know how to eat. I don’t know the measurement of extreme flavor. I don’t know the meaning of all those descriptions that people use in food shows. As long as that stuff sends me to heaven when I take a bite out of it then I am all good.

Cebu is famous for their lechon (slow-roasted pig). It is a famous Filipino delicacy and the Queen City of the South makes the best in all the nation.

So, a trip to Cebu will not be complete without it!

Not for me.
I can skip the lechon.
What I can’t skip is a visit to my favorite restaurant in the whole world.
That, my hungry peeps, is Casa Verde.

Casa Verde's original restaurant sign

Casa Verde’s original restaurant sign

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Black Mass Review

I like movies. Cross that. I like movies. I love movies.

I am no critique though. Like in books, I can’t tell what is the measurement of perfect lighting. I can’t distinguish the cinematographic technique used. I can’t use those technical movie-making terms because I don’t know them.

I am a fan. That’s it. I have my own criteria for judging a movie.

So, yeah, Black Mass.

Black Mass movie banner

Black Mass movie banner

I know nothing of its plot. I have never seen its trailer. I wanted to watch it because of Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch (shameless fangirl moment. I know, forgive me).

I give it an 8.0 out of 10 stars. This rating was not significantly influenced by the presence of the two aforementioned actors. Also, may I add a disclaimer that this movie is based on a book of the same title which I have only learned while watching the end credits. This resulted in me recalling that I did find such a book in a second-hand bookshop a few days or a week back. I thought that it might just be a coincidence that it had the same title as the movie as I knew nothing about it so I did not buy it. Add that to my list of mundane regrets.

What I liked

1. The presence of ‘garnish’ scenes. I don’t know what to call those scenes that are not technically needed for the plot arrangement but is there in the movie anyway to give depth and flavour to a specific event or character. Thus, I will call them ‘garnish’ scenes. The movie has plenty of those. I have notices it also in the previous movies that I have watched. I like how it serves as a passageway for the reader to connect with the characters of the story to a more equal level.

2. The focus on the faces of the characters during different parts of their lives. It appears as if you were there with them and you really wanna feel sorry for them and pat their back or something.

3. The diversity of the issues being discussed. I like how each character represents a different issue and situation. I like how the movie makes you think about each of them and take them into consideration. I’ll discuss more later on.

What I did not like

1. Nothing really… Told you that I am no critique. I can’t pinpoint wrongs. All I know that it was not perfect. Is there honestly a perfect movie?

Black Mass was an excellent film. Go watch it if you like mafia movies, family relationships, and those that tackle morality. It got that all covered.

PS. For the Cumbercookies out there, Mr. Cumberbatch makes a great American accent. Is there such a thing as ear candy?

PPS. For the Deppheads out there, the Master of Disguise sports a thinning hairline with blue eyes and wrinkles + freckles. Its like his version of Old Man Logan (X-Men special).

Now, I am going to talk about the issues in the film like I promised earlier. IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED BLACK MASS YET, STOP READING RIGHT NOW.

This is a major spoiler alert. I have spoiler-phobia so I would not read any further if I were you. But if you’re really persistent then go knock yourself out and read on.

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Blogtober Challenge 20: The Evolution of My Workspace

I wish I have a desk. I wish I did. I used to have one. During my school days.

Once I stepped into the alumni batch, my parents thought it fit to disassemble and dismantle my desk.

My heart broke.

I was proud of it. I used to have those Re-Ment miniatures and cute little pencil holders. Then I used to have those colorful notepads and notebooks. I had assorted clear books and those Japanese DIY magazine on the top shelf of my desk.

When my school desk was destroyed, my things were brought outside and packed in garbage bags. I had to go out one night and do some scavenger hunting.

At least, I had one picture of it. Well, I tried looking for it. I can’t find it anywhere. Let me just sob in a corner for two minutes.

When I started to go into cabin crew training up to my first year of flying, I has shifted my amusement for my late great school desk to my bedroom headboard. It had Pop! Figures and photos of myself in large gold-leaf frames. I also had my notebooks and Harry Potter memorabilia. Then, I was also proud of my growing snowglobe collection.

wpid-wp-1445250039423.jpeg

My bedroom headboard during my post-school and pre-flying years

After my first year in flying, I transferred all my stuff to a glass cabinet. I only left my notebooks on my headboard resulting in my current ‘desk’.

my desk

My current ‘desk’

So yeah, its a mess.

The box contains assorted art supplies, too many and too much of an assortment to mention.

I miss my old desk. Although, the lack of desk taught me to work with what I have and to maximize my thoughts and ideas.

I guess it was all good in the end. It will still sound good to have a proper desk though.

Blogtober Challenge 19: How To Make Scrambled Eggs

I don’t know how to cook. But, I love breakfast food. I could eat breakfast all day. (Yeap, take down notes, boys)

I can cook breakfast food. That is because the recipes can be found behind the box of flour or whatever and as long as you make that then whatever you add to it is still acceptable. Breakfast food is very open to interpretation and adaptation.

So, for today, I am tasked by Blogtober to share my favorite recipe. This is the only one that I have mastered (only recently). Let me put on my imaginary chef’s hat and I will teach you how to make scrambled eggs.

SCRAMBLED EGGS, yes, you read right.

Oh but these are not just any kind of scrambled eggs. You can’t physically eat them. But, it will satisfy you nonetheless..

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