Reviews and Other Stuff

Books to Read While Social Distancing. Part 1

all along you were blooming morgan harper nichols

 

As we try to make sense with our new normal, it’s very important that we keep our day to day activities as consistent as it used to be as possible. Establishing some sort of normalcy in our lives during these times is really challenging but it’s good for our sanity. Also, taking advantage of the extra time most of us now have will help to make us feel productive.

 

While I do like to binge-watch shows on TV (yes, I did watch Tiger King and Crash Landing On You :-)) and run to the tune of Dua Lipa’s “Let’s Get Physical” (how ironic is this song given our current situation?), I’m also a big fan of reading. Although it’s hard to read a book nowadays because a lot of us are worried, reading can actually provide a momentary distraction and a sense of focus. It’s going to be hard at first especially when thoughts are racing inside your head, but it’ll get easier as soon as you get into the habit.

 

So, without further ado, check out this first part of the books I recommend to read while social distancing.

 

andy warhol was a hoarder book

 

You Are A Badass Everyday by Jen Sincero – If you’re a fan of Jen Sincero and her original badass book, you will most probably like this one. I actually liked this book a lot and even more so than the first book. This was a quick read and Jen had put some very interesting self-affirmative advice that a lot of you will mostly like.

 

georgianna lane books

 

Paris, New York, and London in Bloom by Georgianna Lane – If you don’t feel like reading, you can just sit and browse through the beautiful pages of Georgianna Lane’s coffee table books. I absolutely adore these “in Bloom” books and these are perfect for Spring. Also, Georgianna is an amazing photographer with such Pinteresting work.

 

All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols – Such a great powerful book of poems by Morgan Harper Nichols whom I discovered through Instagram. This handy hardcover with a beautiful floral illustration is full of poetic healing words that are transformational and inspirational. Morgan’s words will touch your heart and this is the kind of book we need nowadays.

 

 courtney peppernell pillow thoughts

 

Pillow Thoughts I & II by Courtney Peppernell – I don’t think I’ve ever read a poetry book as interesting as Courtney Peppernell’s. Ever since the release of her first Pillow Thoughts book, I’ve become a fan and I really like how her words rhymed and the overall emotion conveyed on every page of her books. If you haven’t read one of her poetry books yet, well, her books have sections for whatever your heart is going through or whatever it desires.

 

top books to read while social distancing

 

Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder by Claudia Kalb – Here’s a Psychology book that reads like a very entertaining novel. What do Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe have in common? How did Charles Darwin manage to finish his “On the Origin of Species” despite having a psychosomatic disorder? And why was Andy Warhol a hoarder? This is a book about the minds of some of the greatest personalities in our history and why they became the way they were. Interesting right?

 

Have you read any of these books before?

 

Stay tuned for the second batch of books I’m going to recommend soon.

Take care everyone.

 

 

SHOP THESE BOOKS BELOW

 

 

 

Ouai Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Hair Review

ouai fine haircare

 

Hello. In line with taking care of ourselves during these quarantine times, it’s very important to take time to breathe, relax, stretch, exercise, and have a good soothing shower. Remember: “A sound mind is in a sound body”. So, speaking of baths and showers, I have a haircare line to recommend, that is if, you haven’t tried this line yet.

 

The Ouai Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Hair is a surprise love for me. At first, I didn’t expect much from this line, thinking it would be just like any of those shampoos and conditioners that claim to add volume and bounce, yet most of them didn’t really work for me. However, I do love a lot of Ouai’s haircare stuff, so, I gave this a try. My first impression of these? I was blown away.

 

As a side note, my hair is quite flat, straight, and has mostly fine strands especially in the inner layers, however, I also have some sort of thick strands mixed-in. On top of that, it tends to get oily. So, I always look for a good volumizing lightweight shampoo and conditioner to help with the issue. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like moisturizing haircare products. It really all depends on the situation. In fact, I’m planning to review the Ouai Shampoo and Conditioner for Medium Hair soon to see if that will also work for me. For now, let’s take a look at these.

 

ouai shampoo for fine hair review

 

Ouai Fine Hair Shampoo (10-32 oz: 28-56 USD) – This shampoo has a nice light floral scent (taken from Ouai’s Mercer St. EDP) which has a bit of lemon, jasmine, and musk. This has a very very lightweight feel that is definitely formulated for fine hair that needs volume or body. Also, this shampoo is color-safe, has no harsh ingredients, and this has Hydrolyzed Keratin which tames frizzies and flyaways. What I really like about this shampoo is that this foams and rinses the hair very well without having to use too much. This makes the hair feel so clean without drying it and this gets rid of excess oil. Along with the conditioner for fine hair, this shampoo delivers what it’s supposed to be.

 

ouai fine hair conditioner review

 

Ouai Fine Hair Conditioner (10-32 oz: 28-56 USD) – This conditioner has a nice smooth feel that is quite fluid and totally light. This has the same ingredients as the Fine Shampoo which has Biotin and Chia Seed Oil but this is definitely not thick and this doesn’t weigh the hair down. The jasmine scent of this is quite more noticeable than the shampoo counterpart but still very very light. I really like that the effect of this conditioner plus the shampoo gave that right look of clean, soft, bouncy hair and with relaxed or tamed frizzies and flyaways.

 

Overall, I am utterly impressed with this Shampoo and Conditioner. I think these are becoming my holy grail haircare since there aren’t really many shampoos and conditioners out there that truly volumizes the hair and makes it look clean. On top of that, these make the hair look nice and still volumized even the next day, and with the sleek packaging along with the lovely light floral scent, I really recommend these for those with fine hair.

 

ouai fine hair

 

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Simple Homemade Sushi Recipe (Pandemic Style)

homemade sushi

 

As a sushi lover, I had been making my own homemade Sushi even before the lockdown, although that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my favorite Japanese restaurant nowadays. Speaking of things I miss, I certainly miss my life pre-quarantine. I feel like “those were the days”, back when life’s mundane activities involved having to go to the grocery store while lazily choosing for goods, but nowadays, going to the grocery feels like a matter of survival in different aspects. Anyway, I hope this will all end soon and that we will finally be able to pick up the activities and plans where we last left off. All is not lost and all is not broken. In the meantime, let me distract you again with my simple Sushi Recipe.

 

This Sushi recipe, by all means, and by its title (sorry about that), obviously is not perfect. This Sushi is made of brown rice instead of white rice or Sushi rice. It’s been pretty difficult for me to find some white rice lately, even more so the ideal Sushi rice. Last time I checked, my local grocery stores ran out of rice and Amazon didn’t have much affordable rice to sell as well. Yep, this is the kind of reality we’re in right now. So, I made use of the brown rice in my pantry. I promise you though that this recipe tastes very much like white rice Sushi and I will tell you how and why. Anyway, I’ve also read somewhere before that the early versions of Sushi were made with brown rice. If that’s the case, then my recipe can’t be that bad, right? lol.

 

how to do sushi

 

Apart from using brown rice, my ingredients aren’t exactly the freshest. As you can see below, my cucumber doesn’t look like a cucumber anymore lol, and that’s because I froze it. Because of this Pandemic, I have been freezing most of my fruits and vegetables, as well as milk. Times are hard, so we have to resourceful and creative. Additionally, a couple of my ingredients here are on the verge of expiration, so I have to use them soon. I wish I could do this recipe with better, fresher, and varied ingredients, but rest assured that the concept of Sushi-making retains in this recipe, even though I’m not really a Sushi expert. Note: The measurements for this recipe are very flexible. You can adjust it however you like. Also, this Sushi recipe can serve 2-3 people.

 

Ingredients:

 

simple sushi ingredients

 

2-4 Sushi Nori sheets

1/2 to 1 cup rice wine or sweetened Sake

Ideally: 2-3 cups of steamed White Rice/Sushi Rice/Jasmine Rice, Pandemic: Brown Rice or any kind of rice will do

shrimp/raw fish/smoked salmon (in this recipe, I’m using steamed shrimp)

3 pcs small cucumber

Umami sauce

Unagi sauce

Soy sauce

Wasabi paste

Sesame seeds (for garnish)

 

sushi ingredients

 

Materials:

 

Sushi roller

sharp knife

cutting board

 

 

Instruction:

 

Cook brown rice using rice cooker or saucepan. Make sure to have enough water in it. Ideally, it should have more water than when you’re normally cooking white rice. The goal is to soften the brown rice.

 

Mix with your hands 2 cups of cooked brown rice with 1 cup rice wine or sweetened sake. You can also reduce the amount of rice wine if it’s too strong for you, although this type of wine is actually quite sweet and aromatic. Set aside.

 

Steam the Shrimp and slice it lengthwise.

 

Slice cucumber lengthwise.

 

Place one Sushi Nori sheet on top of the wooden Sushi roller.

 

Using a spoon, carefully pile some rice, a bit of cucumber and shrimp along one side of the Nori sheet (the one closest to you). See photo below.

sushi

With the Sushi roller as a guide, start rolling the Nori sheet slowly while running your fingers all over the roller to make sure that you stabilize the ingredients inside and that you create a firm roll.

simple sushi recipe

With a sharp knife, cut the long roll to make sushi slices.

sushi-making guide

Arrange the sushi and garnish with sesame seeds, together with Umami sauce and Unagi sauce if you have these. If you don’t, it’s ok. The sushi will still taste great.

 

Serve with Wasabi paste and Soy sauce.

 

sushi how to

 

Enjoy!

 

*An alternative to this recipe would be to place the rice first before you place the Nori sheets. This way, the Sushi will look aesthetically pleasing.

 

Do you also love Sushi? What’s your favorite type?

 

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