Hey there! Hope you’re all safe despite the terrible weather. Yesterday was such a shizzy day and I felt like I needed to pour it out. So, yeah, as the title says it, Nope, this is not my ordinary blog post.
Yesterday’s thoughts start beyond this point:
I don’t know where to start. I don’t even know if I should post this, but I truly want my blog to be as real and transparent as possible – at least to some extent. As much as possible, I’d love to spread positivity and happiness.
But sometimes, it’s also good to pour out some of the heavy shiz and make it less difficult to bear. So, please bear with me.
I am 32 and I’m just… Rika.
I’m not really gonna go into details, but today’s weather accurately reflects my feelings at the moment. (Hashtag: ATM)
My Dementors really never left. I think it’s because I can barely conjure my Patronus even if I had it tattooed on my arm. The Patronus charm requires a strong, happy memory.
And I just can’t get myself to muster a single happy one.
If only life could at least be so kind and spare me one good reason to keep me going, or to at least make me think there’s still hope. A reason that can make me save myself from my Dementors. Just like when Harry conjured a full-fledged Patronus at the lake to save himself and Sirius (HPATPOA).
Back to today, I had an equally shizzy day, which turned out even worse. Again, I won’t go TMI(Too Much Information), but let’s just say, when life gives you shit, it pours.
I felt like I was just going into the drain…
Then, I received two e-mails related to my YouTube channel. One required a lot of weighing and thinking; while the other one was a big
Quite a number of good things started rolling, and I hope there’s more. I DO thank the Almighty Being for surprising me with something I wanted – something good to make me go on. God bless the universe for finally conspiring to give me a bit of inspiration. It’s like a gentle nudge or perhaps a pat in the back.
Hi! I know it’s been pretty quiet on my blog lately. (Sorry about that!) My sleeping habits have changed yet again, and my work’s been up to my eyeballs.
The other day, I saw a very interesting book in a friend’s IG story and I thanked her for sharing it. The author seemed to have been inspired by The-Boy-Who-Lived and it caught my eye. The book is shattering, though, but it is truly an eye-opener.
Anyways, the same friend nominated me as one of her five Awesome Blogger awardees. (Thank you!!!) Her name’s Rosemarie, also known as @theimportedwife. Her blog is awesome, totally worth reading.
So, here are the rules. They’re really simple:
⚡ Thank the person who nominated you.
⚡ Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
⚡ Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
⚡ Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
⚡ Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
⚡ Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated.
Now, let’s get to her questions.
1. If your life is going to be a movie or a book what would be its title?
Hmmmh.. Tough one! After several minutes of thinking, I came up with “Too Young to be Old, Too Old to be Young”.heehee
I’ve made “adult” decisions at quite a young age and because of this, I had to experience adulting early. It may not seem like it, but I think maturely. Because of this, I only got to really enjoy myself later in life. Now I feel like I’m too old to do stuff I should’ve experienced in my salad days. I’m still trying to keep up, y’know? I hope it really IS never too late.
2. Do you share your blogs with your friends or just the blogging community?
During my first months of blogging, I just kept my blog to myself. Then some people online stumbled across my [first] blog and found myself in a blogging community. Later on, I started sharing my blog posts on my Facebook. A few of my friends read them, but it wasn’t (and isn’t) really a big deal. The fact that there are people who read my blog already makes me happy. (But of course, I’d love to see my stats going up! 😀 )
3. What’s the story behind your blog name?
RikaNobela because this is MY story. 🙂 Whatever I post, whether it’s a product review, something I experienced, a place I went to, food I cooked or ate, and whatnot, they’re all from MY life. So I’m basically sharing some parts of my life and fragments of my thoughts. Rika, which is my nickname (my full name’s Rikatrina) and I think our life is more like a written narrative, right? So yeah, Nobela(novel).
4. If you could go back or start over college, would you change your major? What is it going to be?
Perhaps not. I DO love to teach and I love English. But perhaps I would, too. I’d love to learn more about Psychology and Creative Writing.
5. What is your most annoying habit that you want to get rid of?
PROCRASTINATING! So much stuff to do, but I end up telling myself ‘mamaya na!’ I want to be consistent and to be more punctual. Like now, I still have so much in my hands, but they’re still sitting on my desk.
6. If you could move and live to a different country or city, where it would be?
Inasmuch as I’d love to live in the Philippines, I would also wanna see and experience what living in Australia is like. We have friends and relatives residing there, and I think there are amazing places and better job opportunities.
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Lying. Whether or not it’s the so-called “White Lie”. I don’t care if it’s going to hurt, but I’d rather be told the awful truth than a yummy chocolate-coated lie.
Pretentious. I hate posers! People who claim to be a fan of someone or something, but as they keep talking, you’ll see how little they really know.
Know-it-alls who don’t really have any idea what they’re talking about. Ugh!
BRAGGARTS. Braggart braggarts and humble braggarts. Basta braggarts! You’ll know naman who’s just sharing and who’s bragging, eh.
For example, I have this high school schoolmate, who wasn’t really one of the popular kids in school. Later on in his life, he secured a job abroad and started earning big. He then started posting photos of his new iPhone, new DSLR, new car… Okay, these things are tolerable. But this: “Hirap talaga mag-vacuum ng auto, buti na lang meron akong Black and Decker.” I mean… What’s the point?!
8. What is your top 5 blogging tips for new bloggers?
Hmmh… I honestly don’t feel entitled to give any tips or advice (since I’m not a pro) but if I must, I guess, that would be:
If you are going to review a product, try to be as detailed as possible. As a reader myself, I want reviews that can provide me with essential information that can help me decide whether or not I should buy a product. I am also very curious about how it looks so the next on this list is also advised…
Take as many photos as you can. Make sure the photos are clear, sharp, and interesting. Professional cameras are not a requirement, I myself use only my Acer Liquid X2, then use some photo editing apps to make my photos look better. But if you have a nice camera, then better.
Use appropriate descriptive words, especially when reviewing a product or an item or a place. One rule in writing is that we should try, as much as we can, to avoid using the same word repeatedly. When my memory fails me, I often get help from a dictionary or a thesaurus, to find a proper synonym for the word.
Proofread your work. Before hitting Publish, you would want to re-read your work more than twice. I suggest that you give yourself at least about 1-hour interval, because our eyes notice errors better some time after writing it. A mistake in grammar can change the context entirely. Better check everything first before making your post public. I learned a great deal out of my own experience. I often got too excited about publishing my post, then I ended up editing it tons of times!
Like what you’re writing. It is important to know the latest fad… to stay-up-to-date, but you don’t need to write about something you don’t like. You have to LIKE what you write. You have to be interested in your topic to keep the ideas coming. Whether the product you’re reviewing is something you recommend or disapprove of, you should at least be engrossed in your subject.
Hope these simple tips help! Coming from an amateur such as I am!
9. Who would you consider your best travel buddy?
I’d say my partner, Guil. He knows a lot of things when it comes to places. He has a good sense of direction, and I feel safe and less awkward when I’m with him.
10. If you only have a day to live, who are you going to spend it with and why?
Oh, of course my family. We would eat together, watch a movie together, sing together… I’ll hold and embrace them until the last second of my life.
Wow… The last question was pretty tough! Thanks, Rose, for these really challenging questions. Now, I nominate you, my wonderful blogger friends!
Hey there, Playmates! Today, I wanna share with you my favorite makeup items or tools for the months of January to June.
Just remember! The products shown under a certain month, may not have been purchased in the same month. There were times it took me a while before I truly appreciated a certain product.
So without any further achuchuchu, let’s get started!
Colourette Colourstick in the shade York
Eversince I got this, I had been wearing this lippie for the whole month! It’s from their Morena Love Collection. As you can see, it is a delicious greige shade that has a little more brown tone to it. I LOVE bold lipstick shades, so when this particular shade came out, I knew I had to have it. PLUS it’s pigmented, made with natural ingredients, moisturizing, and local!
EB Advance LTD Liquid Lipstick in the shade Rich Vino
Another local brand that made into my faves list is this EB Advance LTD Liquid Lipstick in Rich Vino. In all honesty, although I had some Ever Bilena products, I never used to be a fan. But this particular product changed everything. When matte liquid lipsticks boomed, a lot of Pinoy brands released their own line, but – let’s be honest – a lot of them weren’t even close to those of the expensive foreign brands. Then this happened. I’m really impressed that for its really REALLY low price point, I hit a jackpot. The color pay off and the pigmentation left me open-mouthed. It felt comfortable on the lips, too. It lasted for hours, and did not budge when I ate or drank. It faded a little but retouching was never a problem. Just remember that it does not dry down to matte in a snap; it usually takes minutes before it completely sets.
Where I bought it: Watson’s
Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip and Ultra Satin Lip
For this month, the first on the list are these liquid lipsticks from Colourpop. These were my first Colourpop, to be honest, and that’s when I fully realized why this particular brand gets a lot of love. It’s not just because it’s affordable, but because it does work amazingly! I got two Ultra Satin – Hutch and Calypso; and one Ultra Matte – Notion. Despite the fact that I prefer Ultra Satin than Ultra Matte due to its creamy finish, I still love using either of them whenever I go out. I feel unfazed when I have any of them on my lips; I just know I won’t look stupid with patchy lips.
This isn’t makeup, but this is one of my must-wears this month. It’s a leather bracelet from @gingerandaki and it was included in my Saladbox. As you can see, it’s super simple, but that’s why I adored it. I am in love with its simplicity. The magnetic locks add class to it. I wore this every single day I went out and I felt naked without it. Because of this, it started to wear out, and I need to get a new one!
This has become a total must-have for me. Since it’s got 9 eyeshadows and 9 lip colors, what more can you ask for? The pigmentation is amazing. The eyeshadow shades, which are matte and shimmery, are good for day to night looks; the lip colors look and feel good on the lips. I didn’t use to like the lip products but as I kept on wearing them, I started to appreciate them. They actually feel good on the lips and they can stay on for hours! It’s convenient for travelling; you won’t need too many products in your kit.
Price: $14.50 (I got it in a bundle so the price was lower.)
Where I bought it: BH Cosmetics
BH Cosmetics BH Liquid Eyeliner
Another one from BH Cosmetics, this is the BH Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I got this in a bundle, along with the Shaaanxo Palette. I. LOVE. THIS. PRODUCT. Next to my all-time fave Tony Moly Back Gel Liner, this is my go-to eyeliner. It’s easy to use. It does not clump or cut off during the application. It glides smoothly. It lasts all day! (And all night when I fell asleep with my makeup on!) I highly recommend this product.
Price: $4.99 (Watch out for promos! Sometimes it’s free!)
Where I bought it: BH Cosmetics
Faith. Hope. Love. Coffee Soap
I have two separate blog posts where I mentioned this particular product. Please click the links below:
My first high-end brand! Haha! Who wouldn’t be excited to have these?! These are from a friend who works in Dubai. Getting a minis set is so much better than getting only 1 or 2 full-sized products. In this set, I get 4 gorgeous red shades – 3 mattes and 1 metallic. The ones with matte finish are Heartbreaker, Material Girl, and Famous. So that leaves Showgirl. I have used all these shades and have tested their performance. I am in loooove! It has a really thin consistency, but the pigmentation is CRAZY!
This is Kay’s (aka Mojito Monologues on YouTube) newest line – her very own organic lip creams. I had them in March, but it really hit me last April. I used them almost every day both on my lips and my cheeks. The cooling sensation soothes my lips while giving off a natural color. They’re also really easy to blend, so using them on my cheeks was never a problem. They’re also transfer-proof once they completely set. I have two out of five shades namely: Naked (nude with a hint of pink); and Vamp (a dark shade of red).
Terra Merita Natural Oil Cocktail; Watering Cocktail
I got a handful of product samples from Mara when she came home for Christmas. I was quite hesitant at first, mainly because all the details were written in Japanese. (Thanks, Google Translate!) Basically, it’s a natural facial oil that moisturizes your face. It comes with hydrating liquid that also acts as a toner. Continuous use of this product gives a positive result.
Beauskin Invisible Pores Foundation
I have oily skin so I always stayed away from foundations with dewy finish. So when I got it back in April, I felt a little disappointed because it was super dewy, BUT I did love it because it truly minimized the appearance of my pores PLUS it is lightweight. My skin looked really smooth most especially after baking and setting it with loose powder. When we stayed in Baguio for three days, this was my go-to foundation. I thought this foundation was the better choice since it was cold in Baguio. Matte foundations turn really patchy when the weather is cold.
This is one of the prizes I received from YEF Philippines. This is not your ordinary shampoo. When it says it clears our scalp and hair from oil, dandruff, and excess sebum, it DOES clear all the dirty stuff! But remember to use a conditioner afterwards, as it could feel a little dry. If you have oily scalp and hair, I highly recommend it! It’s a bit pricey though, so I guess I’ll have to start saving up while I’m halfway down the bottle.
These are my first Real Techniques makeup tools and I finally understand why they’ve gotten so much love from many makeup enthusiasts. They work like magic! I love how the Expert Face Brush (the big one) blends my foundation nicely and pushes the product into the pores, giving it a medyo flawless na look. The Miracle Complexion Sponge works just as fine, so I can’t really tell which I like more. The Deluxe Concealer Brush can also be used as a blending brush for eyeshadows, but it also does what it was built for. It blends the concealer seamlessly. The only trouble, perhaps, is that it’s too small that working on the undereye takes a longer time.
Korean sheet masks have finally taken a huge space in my heart! I was never a fan; I didn’t understand what the fuss was all about, until YEF Philippines gave me three awesome sheet masks, and that’s when my love blossomed! I used sheet masks for 5 consecutive days as a treatment or therapy for my terrible skin. Moisturizing is the key to make other facial products work more effectively! It softens the skin making it easier for the skin to absorb any product we apply. Then, I set a schedule for my home facial treatment every Monday and Thursday. (See: Taking Facial Care More Seriously)
Price starts at P25
Where you can buy it: BeautyMNL, YEF Philippines, and many other online shops (make sure they’re legit!)
Skin Food Black Sugar Mask Wash Off
I had seen so many positive feedbacks on this product and the moment I learned it was one of the prizes I received from the YEF PH giveaway, I was thrilled! Although I started using it the previous month, it only started really getting into me three weeks ago. I didn’t regularly use it last month, until I began my own skin care routine this month. I love this product from the smell to its texture to what it actually does to my skin after rinsing. My skin feels uber clean and smooth afterwards, I know it really does remove the nasty stuff on my face. The best thing about this product – it’s made with natural ingredients!
Last year, on our 6th anniversary, Guil and I went to The Nook Cafe on my request – all because I am a huge Potterhead.
This year, I wanted to celebrate it [again] somewhere special. Some place we haven’t been. I chose Cup Fiction. First, it’s because I love Saab Magalona-Bacarro. She’s one of the owners, along with Jim (her husband), and two friends. Second, I’ve seen the place on IG and I knew it was going to be worth the long trip.
We live in Laguna so going to Manila would take a lot of time, money, and effort (and transfers – trike to van to jeepney to bus to taxi).
First, Guil and I met at Alabang Town Center. I was also going to meet Jem, a friend (slash) colleague to give her my Christmas present. While waiting, we looked around for some running shoes and he bought hand wraps at Olympic World.
Then we had a quick bite at Burger King and an ice cream sandwich from Louie-Luis. It was sooo good! It only costs P60! Got no photo, such a shame, but it was included in my vlog! (Please see below.)
Finally met Jem, last saw her back in September 2016. After meeting her, we took a jeepney to Starmall where we hailed a bus going to a place whose name I forgot already sorry! Then took a taxi to White Plains.
Cup Fiction has a very welcoming atmosphere. Their staff is approachable and really polite.
Aside from the bookshelf, the random chairs caught my eye. I love the fact that they’re not uniform, I mean, everything’s quite random.
Like the books! There are books about history, art, music, comic books, etc. (Of course, there’s a Harry Potter book, too!) There are speakers and a set of Eraserheads action figures which I never knew existed!
The Batman tissue holder in the comfort room drops the bomb! (See photos below.)
If people knew Saab well, they could tell that this cafe IS she. I mean, there’s no pizza, yes, but, it’s like her personality reflected in the place. So happy to hear the same kind of music we listen to, playing softly in the background.
It felt like being in your own room, with lots of your random stuff, kulang na lang damit na nagkalat sa floor!
Now, let’s talk about our favorite part – the FOOD, of course! First, we ordered something to drink. Guil ordered Capuccino (P140), and I got their Hot Chocolate Chip (P110).
Then for our main meal, I had The Kerouac (P395), which is an American breakfast skillet consisting of a special [juicy] sausage, homemade corned beef, bacon steak, marble potatoes, and two eggs (I chose sunny side up).
Guil had The Agawan Plate (also P385), which is a Filipino breakfast skillet. It consists of caramelized tocino, Pinoy pork adobo, homemade longganisa (na super yummy, I swear!), two eggs (also sunny side up), and a cup of garlic brown rice.
We also ordered their BFG Cookie but asked to serve it after our meal. Unfortunately, they had run out of the BFG Cookie when we asked for it. We were told that the person who served us earlier failed to relay it to them, and they didn’t know we had ordered a cookie.
Okay lang, we just had two Capuccinos na lang before we left. We took a few more photos together, then left for home na.
But of course, if there’s one area in any place we have to be happy about, that would be the comfort rooms! Their CR is super clean. No fancy, shiny, colorful tiles, which is really nice because they broke the norm na dapat shiny ang CR. Idagdag pa yung Batman tissue holder which I think is Jim’s?? hehehe!
I had a wonderful time with Guil. Every day is special. We’ve been together for years now; it wasn’t perfect but I’m just so glad that my love is being reciprocated, as well as all my efforts. He believes in me. He lets me do the things I want. He feels happy when I’m happy. I’m happy that he has never given me any reason to lose my trust. Thank you, Always. (Insert Professor Snape’s voice.)
ANYWAYYYY, if you want to go there, here’s their info:
I had been wanting to get a tattoo but my fear of needles always held me back. Back then, I wanted Sasuke’s Cursed Mark somewhere between my nape and my left shoulder – the same spot where Orochimaru placed it on Sasuke. For those who have no idea who Sasuke and Orochimaru are, they are characters from a Japanese animation called “Naruto”, which I’ve been a fan of.
But because I am also a big Harry Potter fan, I decided that my [first] tattoo should be Harry Potter related. That for sure, I won’t ever regret. I searched and searched for designs and for tattoo stories. I wanted to know what the others’ first experiences were like. How the pain was… They all said the same thing, though – that the pain was tolerable. And they all said that once you got one, you’d want more.
There’s only one way to find out! I have to really have it done! And I finally did on the 18th of December this year. Through my cousin Generoi, I met Kuya Christopher Ponce, who’s normally called by his last name ‘Ponce’. His works are awesome. He also does portraits! My cousin had his sons’ portraits on his forearms. There’s this guy who had John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s faces tattooed on his forearms as well and they looked as though they were taken out straight from a picture!
Guil’s sister and I were in my cousins’ house waiting for a loooooong time for the artist. 😦 That time, he had other clients, too. When he was finally done, he had to go to buy some stuff. He came back after about 5 hours! We initially wanted to start around lunch time. But we started at 7 PM.
Seeing his tools made me so nervous, but I wasn’t going to back out, of course. I was already determined. It’s just that I was sooo nervous! I was sitting on one of the dining chairs, and he on the sofa. I placed my left arm on the arm rest (or whatever you call it) and closed my eyes. I kept saying, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!”
When the needle touched my skin, I was like, “Hmmh… Okay…” Of course it wasn’t “honey” but it was truly TOLERABLE! Some parts were a bit painful, but mostly okay.
The results are worth it (except for the ‘Patronum’ which turned a bit messy) so I hope to get it fixed in the future. The whole session took us only an hour.
I’m just so happy with my first tattoo. It’s the Deathly Hallows symbol, from the seventh book of Harry Potter. It represents the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak, which were believed to make the uniter invincible. The text is ‘Expecto Patronum’, which is the spell used to conjure one’s Patronus that drives away the Dementors. A wizard or a witch could only conjure their Patronus by thinking of a strong happy memory. The happier the memory is, the stronger the Patronus can get. This is from the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. J.K. Rowling said that the Dementor was the representation of her depression. So for me, this tattoo is like a reminder that I can be invincible even when my Dementors come.
A friend has even asked me if there will be more [tattoos] to come. I wasn’t sure that time, but then, I thought of the possible designs I might have next time. I’m not sure if I’m gonna get them, though. As soon as Guil approves, then I’ll go. 🙂
At this point in time, I feel satisfied that I have finally crossed out one big item on my bucket list. I’m not getting any younger and as I age, I hope I could say that I lived my life to the fullest!
Note: This is not a makeup related post, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, no worries! I understand. 🙂 This is a “Rikanobela” post, which means it’s a little piece of myself… which means this is going to go a little intimate. So yeah. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I was raised by very strict parents. Every rule had to be followed, otherwise, my brother and I would get a detention. Playing with friends outside our house was permitted, but we had to be home when the clock struck 6. My childhood bestfriend, who is STILL my bestfriend up to this day, lived next to our old house. When our family moved, we couldn’t meet and we didn’t see each other for about 2 decades!
During those years, I met new friends and playmates, who were so much younger than I was. I couldn’t meet my classmates on weekends, so I only played with them at school. I became shyer and less social. I was actually the exact opposite of myself! It’s confusing, I know. What I meant was, I was timid, but when people got to know me, I was jolly and playful and talkative and noisy! 😀 I grew up with a strong personality, but surely had a gentle heart. (I’m sure! No kidding! :p )
Then my teenage years passed and I became a young adult. I was both loved and hated. The crazy part was, the more they got to know me, the less friendly they became. It was either I was a difficult person to appreciate, or they were wrong for not knowing how to appreciate me. That’s why I became more hesitant to make friends. I kept myself inside my shell, and stuck myself with my small circle of true friends.
I am a person of quality, even before. I didn’t mind having few true friends. But this has kept me from going out and be friends with new ones. Every time I had the opportunity to build a new friendship, I got bombarded with “You talk a lot, do they even wanna talk with you?” by my other cynical self. I became scared of getting close to people only to end up getting stabbed in the back.
But ever since I decided to start my new account on Instagram (@cosmerix), and getting into a beauty group on Facebook called Beauty Bloggers Circle, I met new people, got connected with amazing and lovely women across the globe! I even got to meet some people from my own country who actually wanted to do a collab with me! However, since I was being an awkward turtle, we’re not really going to meet YET. We will next time, when I’m a hundred per cent ready! 😀 (We agreed on making a video with the same theme and just mention each other.)
I want to be as carefree as others, to feel more comfortable in a crowd of new friends. I want to stop being an awkward turtle, and to free my mind with negative thoughts.
I wanna come out of my shell and be the best that I can be.