Last-Minute Christmas Shopping For the Girlfriends

Christmas is arguably the most expensive time of the year, what with the multitudes of holiday parties and exchange gift sessions that you have to engage in and all the inaanaks that seem to crawl out of the woodwork after months of non-contact, asking for their aguinaldo. (This is another story.)

This, plus the fact that road and human traffic during the Christmas season seems to triple, makes Christmas shopping seem more likely to turn you to a Grinch than raise your holiday spirits.

SO. I almost always end up buying something similar (in bulk) for everyone, to save both time and money. I make up for it by getting them something a little more personal on their birthdays. :))

BUT HEY. I TRY not to get anything TOO generic or passe. They may all be similar, but they’re always something passably stylish or useful. Or both. (Err…I hope.)

This year’s panic-shopping haul: statement accessories.

In my humble opinion, accessorizing is something that a lot of Pinays could improve on. Being a third world country, accents and little things like these are the least of our priorities when we have bills to pay and mouths to feed. I’m personally horrified at the idea of spending more than PHP 200 on accessories. I s’pose this is because I’m used to Quiapo-and-Divisoria prices, which are my go-to places for tipid-shopping.

Anyway, sharing with you some of my finds during my last panic-buying session:

1) Statement Necklace + Earrings Set: They’re bright and bold and can instantly add some color to plain outfits.
Wallet Damage: PHP 80-100/set (gift box not included)

2. Charm bracelets: With safe colors and just a hint of sparkle, these bracelets go well with daily office wear or even casual garb.
Wallet Damage: PHP 50-100/piece (gift box not included)

3. Cocktail rings: You see them all over Tumblr and Lookbook. Cocktail rings can instantly make an outfit seem more polished.
Wallet Damage: PHP 25-50/piece (gift-box not included)

Optional: Gift boxes. Yep, Quiapo has ’em too. For people like me who don’t have the skill patience for gift-wrapping, these are perfect for you. Just re-pack the goods and you’re all set.
Wallet Damage: PHP 10-15/box

Ready for distribution!

Bear in mind though, that since they’re not too costly, I couldn’t say much about their durability. That isn’t to say that they will break after a few uses, but they wouldn’t last years either. They’re not too bad for daily use though!

I hope the girlfriends liked their presents! ^o^

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A Very Geeky Wishlist

October means birthday month… which means it’s time for the obligatory birthday wishlist!

Onwards, then!

1. Desk organizer: We recently just moved to a new office location,  and I want to revamp my station. A pretty station keeps me motivated, k. Hush.

Desk Organizer from Refresh Fashion (clicky on photo to view site)

2. Geekcessories! When I fangirl, I fangirl hard.

Top: Time-Turner (Harry Potter) and Evenstar (Lord of the Rings) necklaces from noblecollection.com; Bottom: The Deathly Hallows + Mockingjay pendants; Alice in Wonderland pendant from Wickedclothes.com

 3. New mugs for the office. I consume a lot of caffeine and water, one mug is rarely ever enough.

Mugs! Gamer-reference mugs much preferred

4. Books/Graphic Novels. Self-explanatory. I doubt if these will ever leave my wishlists.

Clockwise from left: Sandman series; Fables series; Neil Gaiman books; Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

5. World of Warcraft hoodies. LOOK at how sexy those are. Yes, I want both Alliance and Horde hoodies, because I love my Night Elf hunter (Lurline) and Tauren shaman (Arrabelle) equally. And yes, I just described something WoW related asa sexy.

Clicky on photo to see the rest of the shop

6. Any accessory with an opal.Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find something with an opal that doesn’t look like it belongs to a grandmother??

Siobahn's Wish by Etsy.

Last, and most out of place of all…

7. An out of town trip. Somewhere quiet and remote, somewhere that I’ve never been to before where all I have to do is relax, enjoy beautiful scenery and LIVE.

Can I just say, that this year’s list is the geekiest one that I’ve ever come up with? :))

What do YOU want to get for your birthday?

One Month with Nymeria: X10 Mini Pro

It’s been a month since I got Nymeria, my X10 Mini Pro. She’s the first phone that I ever got with my own money, and my first SmartPhone too. It took a bit of getting used to, but so far, I’m in love with her. She’s compact enough, she does everything she’s supposed to, and can even do a few extra neat tricks.

Say hi to Nymeria

Admittedly she does not have the sexiest of designs. Aesthetically speaking, I think the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire models have the sleekest designs out there, as far as SmartPhones are concerned. I don’t mind it much, I like that Nymeria is small enough to shove in my pocket.

This post is basically an attempt of a basic, average, everyday mobile phone user to review what using an Xperia X10 Mini Pro is like.

What I especially like:
responsive touch screen
conversation thread type of messaging, very much like iPhone messaging. I love that correspondence with specific people can be archived this way.
battery life lasts for about three days of moderate texting and calling and minor web browsing
– having the choice between standard alpha-numeric touch screen keypad or slide out qwerty keyboard
WiFi connectivity and everything that comes with it. Get on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress anytime, anywhere as long as there’s WiFi
– USB connector makes charging via PC/laptop possible. No need to lug the charger around, just the USB cable.
– seemingly scratch proof. I’m not exactly careful with my stuff and they end up getting scratched one way or another. Not sure if I’m just treating Nymeria with more care than usual, but she’s still scratch free at the moment.
Little to no lag, as long as you don’t load her with so many apps.

What kinda sucks:
– sometimes OVERLY responsive touch screen. My cheek tends to hit the End Call button on the screen during calls >_<
wifi processes and certain apps tend to consume battery faster (but I think all SmartPhones have this problem)
– phone software updating takes FOREVER
– the tiny screen might make web browsing and reading difficult for some people. I can deal with it, since I don’t really use the browser function unless I really need to, but some people might prefer phones with bigger screens.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the purchase, even though it punched a 10k sized hole in my savings account. I’m on an app shopping spree in the Android market right now though. Someone stop me before I kill Nymeria with so much junk. XD

Succumbing to the Call of Androids

A few posts ago, I talked about the list of stuff that I would be saving up for. The list included several gadgets, like a new phone, a laptop and an MP3 player. A recent addition to the list is the Amazon Kindle. I’d write more on that, but that should be for a different post.

A month ago, I was so ready to buy the Kindle already, because I saw someone selling it for only 6k. But then Vixen, my five-year-old Nokia N70’s battery gave out on me. I tried replacing the battery, with a cheap-ass batt first, and then a more expensive original battery, but neither extended the battery life for more than a day of moderate texting and calling. I get a lot of calls on my mobile so it REALLY sucks when my phone dies on me. That was when I decided that it was time to put Vixen to rest.

RIP Vixen

I researched for days on what kind of phone I wanted to get. I initially was tempted to get a Blackberry, but I was told I might not be able to maximize its features here in the Philippines. Plus, it’s kind of expensive.

I was never a technophiliac, was never really up to date with what’s the latest on gadgetry out there. All I really wanted was a phone that wouldn’t die on me when I make calls, so I figured a nice Ericsson Walkman phone (Zylo or Spiro, to be more exact) is affordable enough and would serve my minimal needs well.

I always said that I didn’t like non-standard phones, because the mobility of a clamshell/slide unit tends to make it prone to damage. I also said I didn’t want a very complicated phone, because I might not be able to use its other features much.

And then the saleslady handed me a working model of Xperia X10 Mini Pro.

More on the X10 Mini Pro later.

This is why I fear credit cards

I know I’m not supposed to count chickens before the eggs hatch but a girl can dream right? And with a steady source of income, a girl can’t help but dream, and dream BIG at that. I’m not a shopaholic, but I’m sure I have a huge tendency to be one so if I can help it, I will never get a credit card. I don’t like borrowing money and being in anyone’s debt anyway.

This is me trying to lay out my bigger purchase plans so I can practice a smidge of discipline. Hopefully I get everything before the year ends.

THE GREAT SPLURGE LIST

PHYSIOLOGIC NEEDS:

1. Braces: I really want to fix my teeth, and realign my jaw. The sooner I get braces, the sooner I can get them off. Not getting any younger y’know!
Estimated cost: 30-40k max, staggered payments

2.  Lasik: I need to get a new prescription for my eyes (glasses/contacts) anyway, so why not go for the more permanent fix? I still have to see a doctor to know if I’m qualified for Lasik though.
Estimated Cost: 50k max, both eyes

3. Dance Classes/Gym membership: I get too lazy to work out at home, especially after the long commutes so I need to do my exercisin’ away from home. I can always just go jogging around MoA but dance classes just seem like more fun!
Estimated cost: ??

TECHIE NEEDS:

1. 64 GB iPod Touch 4: MUSIC + net browsing + cute camera apps.
Cost: USD 400 in retail

OR the slightly cheaper alternative

160 GB iPod Classic: MORE MUSIC. No other features though, but I’m thinking of buying a BB also, which can cover my netbrowsin’ needs. Argh indecisiveness will kill me.
Cost: USD 249 in retail

I think I can get a new iPod for a cheaper price in Greenhills (especially if I trade my old one in) but I kinda want to buy a brand new one, if only for the warranty. The Apple warranty for my current iPod has served me very well, I want that for my future iPod as well.

2. A Blackberry. Not sure what kind I want yet, but I don’t need a super fancy one. I have a separate music player and camera, so I’m not really looking for those features. Suggestions?
Estimated cost: 11-15k (for BB Curve)

3. Laptop: Not sure what kind I’m getting yet either but I want a heavy duty one that can handle my gaming needs.
Cost: ??

LONG TERM INVESTMENT:

– My own place. :p

Do you have suggestions, advice or discouragements to offer? Please do tell, I could use the opinions.