Sunday, April 22, 2012

To Sir Phillip, With Love

Sir Phillip had lost his wife and when he was sorting through his mail, a letter of condolences came from his wife's distant cousin Eloise. Phillip thought it was appropriate to return some words and unexpectedly they corresponded for a year. From the letters, Phillip found out that Eloise was a spinster and she was not young anymore which is at the age of 28. Since Phillip needed a mother for his children and a wife to take care of the house he decided that it was a good idea to ask for Eloise hand in marriage if suitable.

When Eloise heard of the news of her cousin passing, she wrote to send her condolences and little did she know that one year in the future Sir Phillip had invited her to visit and if they suit they should marry. It was a marriage proposal through a letter and Eloise thought that she couldn't marry a man she never knew. Eloise wanted love like how she saw her elder siblings have gotten it so she wanted to wait for that spark to happen to her too. It was ridiculous to accept that offer but after her best friend Penelope who declared to spend spinsterhood with Eloise gotten married to her brother Colin, she felt lonely. She didn't know what to do and then without any hesitation she left London and headed to Gloucestershire. Eloise did not tell anyone and she left in the middle of the ball when Anthony was going to make an announcement.

Phillip was in a good mood because the weather was lovely and it would be a nice day to work in his greenhouse. While he was changing he could hear noise from upstairs and he knew his children were up to no good again. Just as he left his room, the butler was there telling him that a visitor arrived at his house. Phillip could not have imagined who would come at this time and went down where he saw a person who was young and quite pretty. Phillip thought he could drown in those beautiful eyes of hers. When she opened her mouth she couldn't stop talking and it slightly annoyed him, also the children were making much more noise upstairs. Eloise was talking and talking because she was nervous, she apologized for showing up without any word but it seems like Sir Phillip was lost in her words and it made her angry.

 To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn is about the fifth child of the Bridgerton family Eloise. As usual, the character of the book is unique, different on her own from the family yet still having some traits that is telling you that she is a Bridgerton. After three books about the men of the family, it's refreshing to read about the daughters. I like how Eloise is and she has this trait that remind me of myself which is a person who cannot sit around and do nothing. Not to say these people can't relax, but more like people who when they have time they would like to do something meaningful and fun.  The male character of the book is definitely different in ways such as his background, his current situation and most of all his personality. About his personality he is not a typical guy that you will find from the ton. I think that's because of how he grew up and also where he is living in.

This book was okay for me, it wasn't like the others that made me kept reading. There wasn't the type of romance spark that you find in previous books. It is still funny but not as much as others. For me the time spent between the characters was a bit too short and things happened too fast. I do enjoy the climax in the middle of the book and it suddenly made things more interesting. Before that it was just okay for me, not much excitement. I'm slightly disappointed with this book since it's previous books has been dreamy and wonderful but this one is just normal to me. It's doesn't have the type of romance that made me excited or dream about. Unfortunately, this is not a book that I will read again in future if I wanted a dreamy romance story.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mega mall story combos part 1

This is another Kairosoft game that caught my attention previously before Cafeteria Nipponica because personally I love games like these. Games are require you to build, manage and slowly earn money to rise among ranks. You could say that this game is like Sim Tower but minus out the resident and office lots. Of course it also has cute graphics, cute shops and cute customers. Throughout the game you unlock shops by either purchasing them or when you impressed a customer of yours they will offer it to you. This game is definitely easier than Cafe Nippon in terms of earning and unlock items but nonetheless it's still a fun game. I've manage to unlock 23 combos before the game records my high score and as I know there are 30 combos. If you're wondering what are combos, there are plans to help with your placements of shops to boost the stats of the store. I have yet to start a new game because I'm playing Cafe Nippon but soon I will start a new game to make sure I've unlock all the stores and combo available. For now, I've attached all 23 combos that I've come across in my game.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cafeteria Nipponica part 2

I have managed to unlock more recipes but it requires ingredients that I have yet to find so some I manage to make and some not. It's been tough getting recipes since the ingredient hunting places have all been visited and the treasures available all collected. You can only rely on impressing your customer and hoping they will give you a recipe. Hopefully with the recipes I show here, you can develop the new dish.

Updated a complete recipe list post here : Complete recipes

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Penelope has always loved her best friend's brother Colin and it's been a long time. She has always watched him from afar knowing that she would never have the chance to be his. So Penelope was determined that she would be a spinster with Eloise who had the same mind set. Colin had travel far most of his years because he loved it and also to avoid the season where ambitious mamas will aim for the Bridgerton man. It had been long but Colin was finally home from Cyprus and the season has just started.

There was a ball that Penelope attended and Colin was also there. He asked her to dance out of politeness and also because it was usually what he did when his mother ask for him to dance with the ladies. Penelope was sort of a friend to him too and the only Featherington he liked. After their dance, they both were intercepted by Lady Danbury and after some conversation, Lady Danbury announced to the crowd that whoever who can unveil Lady Whistledown's identity will be rewarded one thousand pounds.

It was a challenge that everyone accepted and many started their speculation. One afternoon when Penelope was visiting the Bridgerton house as usual she found Colin's secret and then she saw him as a different person. Colin was furious with what she found out and it have gotten into an argument. They were arguing really bad and an accident happen where Colin and cut his hand. The atmosphere changed because Penelope was worried and helped to wrap the wound. She expressed that she like what Colin was doing and thought it would be nice to share with the world.  

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn is about the third son of the family Colin and the wonderful person Penelope Featherington. My favourite of the Bridgerton family series is the first book and this is the next book that I loved. Colin has always been the character that I'm quite interested in. As for Penelope, she's always just mentioned in most of the books until she became best friends with Eloise. You would have read her name last time where her mother always dresses her in every ball where it does not flatter her at all. It's just wonderful to finally read about these two people because they are not who you think they are. They both have secrets and this book is about how they find out and how they deal with it.

I was surprised in the storyline somewhere pass midway of the book and it really excited me more to read continuously.  I truly enjoy the interactions between Colin and Penelope, it's really funny. This book is really wonderful because of the characters, I love what the author write about how they are as a person by the thoughts they have and the conversations spoken. I really ran out of words to praise this book because it's just good. I just want to say that this is the type of romance that is dreamy, funny and dramatic as well. I definitely will read it again in the future to relive the enjoyment I have reading the book.

Japanese Word of the Day - 51 to 55

Oh gosh when I did some counting on my calendar, I realized that I'm suppose to learn my 100th word today. But unfortunately for me I did not catch up at all. I'm so disappointed with myself in my progress and here this post I'm only at halfway point. I should not drag this so long so I'm going straight to the point here but before that I really love to associate my daily life if I could with the words that I learn. I really want to put more than just words to a post. Instead I want to put life into things that I learn and hopefully you enjoy reading, learning and knowing a bit about me too.

  1. Pacifist - heiwashugisha, 平和主義者
  2. Quake - jishin, 地震
  3. Race - minzoku, 民族
  4. Sacrifice - ikenie, 生け贄
  5. Tablespoon - ōsaji, 大さじ
Quake and race is easy to remember since it's kanji again, especially race because the way to pronounce is so close to mandarin. Happy Learning as always.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Japanese Word of the Day - 46 to 50

Another 5 words in this post, I try my best to learn them but honestly katakana is a bit harder because I have even learned the basics but it is soon to be one of the things that I will learn once I believe I am familiar enough with hiragana. As for words that are kanji, it's easier because of my Chinese education background. Apart from learning this, I actually have an idea of a post on how I learn Hiragana but I haven't started on the draft yet but maybe sometime this month or May.

  1. Keen - surudoi , 鋭い
  2. Laborer -  rōdōsha 労働者
  3. Machine - kikai, 機械
  4. Nail polish - manikyua, マニキュア
  5. Oasis - oashisu, オアシス
The first word is a mixture of kanji and hiragana. I was happy when I look through the dictionary on laborer and machine and found out it's written in kanji and it also sounds like mandarin. As for nail polish and oasis, it's in katakana.

Monday, April 16, 2012

An Offer from A Gentleman

Sophie Beckett has always known who she was as a child, a bastard child, though every servant did not talk about it, they all knew. Sophie looked like her grandmother which proves that she is related to the earl but the earl just said she was an orphaned daughter of an old friend. Sophie had lessons alone and was delighted when the earl was getting married and the lady had two daughters. She thought she would have sisters to play with at last. She thought wrong because the woman Araminta did not like her and did not allow her children to play with her. All things changed when the earl died and Sophie was since then treated as a servant.

Benedict was the second child of eight and often people only recognized him as the second or the tallest among the brothers. People of the society definitely know him as a Bridgerton but not as himself because Anthony is the viscount and Colin is the charming, witty one.Benedict was forced the attend the masquerade ball that his mother Victoria hosted. People would walk by him and knew he was the second child of Bridgerton family. His mother spotted him and requested him to dance with the debutantes but he was quite reluctant and then he saw Penelope Featherington all alone so helped her by asking her to dance with him because her costume was not a flattering one.

Just when Benedict was about to go ask for a dance from Penelope, the room was filled with low mumbling and he turned. Benedict saw the most breathtaking woman he had ever seen and he made his way to her to ask for a dance. She did not know how to dance and so he brought her elsewhere to teach her. Sophie was excited because she had never been to a ball and with the costume she was able to hide her identity. Since she was in a disguise, she felt there was no wrong in following this man which she knew to be Benedict Bridgerton from what she read in Lady Whistledown's papers. It was like a dream come true for the both of them but Sophie could not stay long and so she fled the ball early and Benedict chased after her. Unfortunately he could not catch up and lost sight of her.

Araminta found out of Sophie's betrayal and locked her down. Sophie could not take it anymore and left the place to find her place in the world but she did something bad so there was no turning back. A few years later, Sophie was working for a family but the son of the family decided to throw a party when the parents were not around. A lot of men was around and along with the man they assaulted Sophie. Fortunately for her, Benedict was invited to the party and he himself did not enjoy and fled early. That was when he saw the poor servant being harassed and he stepped in to save her. Sophie was shocked to find him there but also relieved that she was save. Benedict could not recognize her and she was somewhat disappointed, but what could she hope for since she was a servant. Since she had no place to go, Benedict offered to guarantee a job at his mother's home. Sophie was afraid to go back to London but she had no choice since Benedict insisted.

An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn is the third book to the Bridgerton family series and it's about Benedict the second son of the family. If you loved the first two books, you'll love this too. The characters are different where Benedict has a crisis on who he is in the society, it's not really a crisis but more towards a conflict for himself. The heroine is also a person of mystery, not to the readers but to Benedict. The excitement you get from the book is will he ever find out? You'll also love how you to get to read more about who Benedict is and also the heroine and how she struggled with life. 

The thing I love about this book is you get to know the characters well, you read about their endeavors especially the heroine. Sophie is definitely a different kinda girl from those that you read because of her background. I love that the story where characters have conflict with themselves whether to make the decisions they have to make. Lastly, I love that this book gave a little twist at the back and I enjoyed it. Overall, the flow of the story is well written, I liked every bit of it. For me I liked the first two book more, I guess it's because I like the two main characters more in those books than these two. But still a good book because I love reading more about this family.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Japanese Word of the Day - 41 to 45

In my last post I had A to E, so this post will have the following alphabets F,G,H,I and J. I have been trying to keep myself busy with writing my blog post instead of watching YouTube videos or TV series, I guess in two weeks time I would be able to catch up with my Japanese word a day learning process again. So without wasting any more words below is my following learning words for today:

  1. Fabrication - detchiage, でつちあげ 
  2. Gaiety - yōkisa, 陽気さ
  3. Habitation -  Jūkyo, 住居
  4. Ice Cream -  Aisukurīmu, アイスクリーム
  5. Jackass - baka, 馬鹿

Never thought I would find the word jackass in a dictionary, so funny. For the first word, it's all in hiragana, the second one is kanji with hiragana at the end. Third word is in kanji, fourth in katakana and last word is in kanji. Kanji is actually quite hard to learn but for me it's okay because I  have a chinese background and I've learn these words before but usually kanji is written in traditional Chinese.

Cafeteria Nipponica part 1

Lately when I'm not reading I'll be gaming away on my mobile phone. I have long abandon my nds lite because it is heavy to carry it around. Since my phone is a smart phone I definitely took advantage of playing games on it. Kairosoft is a Japanese game developer that makes games in the simulation/management category. They have many titles as of now available for Android and iOS phones. The first game that I bought was "Game Dev Story" and I was hooked, playing on my phone non-stop for hours. It was a very fun game and then when I discover more titles I got hooked even more. This new game that has just been released is just as fun and the difficulty is higher. When playing "Cafe Nipon" in short, you will spend time making money but then it always seems it's not enough. Kairosoft likes to make games that will make the players play over and over again which makes the game a bang for your buck. 

I love that this new game is the same, it's not easy to earn and open new stores. It's definitely not easy getting recipes and ingredients to make certain dishes. That is the challenge in the game, unlocking more recipe, ingredients, and also items for use in the restaurant. The urge of wanting everything in the game is what's make you keep on playing even though the high score is after 15 years, you'll start a new game with the things you unlock and carry on with your will to unlock everything in the game. It was hard getting recipes because it takes a lot of time, sometimes you wait for the hunting event, sometimes you just have to use your brains to simply mix ingredients to develop new dishes or you wait that you impress a customer and they might give you a recipe. If this game means it requires too much things to do then it's not the short 10 minute game that you are looking for. I personally loved games like these and Kairosoft has plenty of it.

Below are some of the recipes unlocked in my game and I know there is more because I only own two stores at two different areas. There are more areas which feature different ingredients and customers so the 18 that I have below is just a small amount. I hope the pictures will at least help those who read this article in your game play. Just follow the recipes and develop a dish and you can sell it in your restaurant.

Updated a complete recipe list here : Complete Recipe

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Japanese Word of the Day - 36 to 40

Oh gosh! I have totally lost track of how many words I'm suppose to learn. I seriously have no excuse in delaying all this and it's due to my laziness that it turned out this way. It's a bad habit where every time I have some time I then use it to do things that shouldn't matter so much. If I'm to be serious with learning and to be at least able to speak and read a bit, this progress is not the way. It's terrible of me to act like this because it doesn't benefit myself. So this week while I try to catch up with all my blog (I have lots of drafts with titles but no content), I will just randomly learn those words. I plan to pick from A-Z in my dictionary and the 4th word appearing in those alphabets. So below will be A,B,C,D,E:

  1. Abandon - akirameru, あきらめる
  2. Bachelor - dokushindansei, 独身男性
  3. Cabin - koya, 小屋
  4. Dagger -   Tantō 短刀
  5. Eagle - Washi, 鷲

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Viscount Who Loved Me

Anthony Bridgerton is at an age where he considers it is time to find a wife and ensure his family line carries on. As he is a viscount taking over from his father's duties he too needs a son to carry on the title and responsibilities. One thing that made Anthony the man he is today is his father whom he highly respected and deeply loved. In his younger days as a child, he loved spending time with his father such as going on hikes and riding. His father was a strong and healthy person and best of all he was a wonderful husband and father. Never did Anthony expected that his father would die young when Anthony was only 18. It came as a shock to him and that made Anthony a person he is now and with a fear that most would not understand, so he kept it to himself.

Edwina Sheffield is the prettiest debutante of this season which is her first and already she has many suitors. Anthony was sure that she would make a acceptable wife for a viscount and he was determined to make her his. This season was also Kate's first season as she waited for her younger sister Edwina to be of age to debut. Their family where the father passed away, does not have many funds to come to London and stay for the season, hence the sisters debut together. Mary their mother was sure that Edwina will find a suitor to marry after this season and then maybe the family need not struggle so badly.

At a ball, Edwina told her suitors that she loved her sister very much and that she would not marry a gentleman that was not approved by Kate. Kate was also determined to find the best man she could for her sister. Knowing that Anthony Bridgerton is a rake and also one who is courting Edwina, Kate tries her best to make sure that Anthony had no chance and that her sister's heart will be saved from being hurt by Anthony. Anthony tries his best to get Kate's approval while Kate tries to not let Edwina fall in love with Anthony.

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn is about a lady who is trying to find a man herself but don't mind if she ends up a spinster. The thing that she is really concern with is the gentleman that will ask for her sister's hand in marriage. Those men would need her approval if they want to marry her sister. The book is about how Anthony will find a wife but has to get his ideal wife's sister to like him. After reading Daphne's story I was really eager in reading the next book in this series. I had so much fun reading about Anthony and Kate as their personality sometime clashes. What made this book so funny was the person that Kate is and the encounters she has with Anthony is really funny. I thoroughly enjoyed how the romance slowly developed between two characters and how the love became so strong.

I love how that every book is about one of the Bridgertons, that way you get to know them one by one. You get to know how the characters interact with others in the story. Best part to me was how Anthony reacted to love, how he handled it and I loved all the encounters between the two hero and heroine. As I was flipping through the book to write this review, I can't help but read those events again. It made me laugh and put a smile to my face. I highly recommend this book because the Bridgertons will not cease to make you laugh.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Duke and I

Daphne Bridgerton is the fourth child of Violet and the eldest daughter who has been in two seasons but yet to find a husband. To most eligible men in London, she is a witty, kind and they liked her but not in the way that those men were awed by her beauty or that they would write poems for her. There were a few who asked for her hand but they were not the type of men that she can picture spending the rest of her life with.

Simon Basset the new duke of Hastings have returned to London and the first person he looked up was Anthony Bridgerton, Daphne's eldest brother. Simon and his father was not on good terms and he traveled  a few years to avoid his father. When news of his father has passed, he soon returned to London. It was his birthright to the name and duties left by his father. Since becoming the new duke, many Ambitious Mama soon target him as a gentleman worthy for their daughters to marry too.

Simon wanted to remove himself from being targeted and then made a deal with Daphne that he will portray that he is courting her hence made Daphne more desirable for other men. The plan worked and after the news was spread, many gentleman came to call upon Daphne in the morning itself. It was a good plan but Anthony did not agree with it, apart from that Daphne soon feels she has fallen for Simon. How will things go since Simon is a man who does not want to marry and Daphne is a lady who wants a family of her own desperately.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn is a historical romance about a girl who loves a man but this man might not love her back the same way. It is the first book for The Bridgerton Family series, which consists of eight books each book about the love story for the children of the Bridgerton family. After reading Just Like Heaven, I began scouting for other Julia Quinn's novels and these are one of the earlier books she has written. I totally fell in love with her stories after reading this book and I just went ahead and bought a few more titles. What I love about this book is the characters that are written, how they slowly develop relationships and of course I love how this romance turned out to be. I would have to say that the heroine is the one I love the most, her personality is just wonderful and it captures each special moment in the story. As for the Hero, he's not bad as he has his reasons to turn out to be the person he is. But still he could do a lot better which made the lady in the book look so wonderful as a wife.

What I enjoy about the other characters in the story is the family itself, how between siblings there is much love shown. When the family gathers you can see it's a wonderful family even though they often joke about each other and have sarcastic remarks, it's all fun and love. When the siblings are in conversation with each other, it's often where the humor of the book can be found. Besides that, certain events are also funny but I don't want to be a spoiler. I really really love how the flow of the story is and how things turn out to be. I'm really happy that I get to read her wonderful writing and that there are 7 more books about this wonderful family. I adore the era that this romance book is plotted in, I have always had interest in how gentleman during this era court ladies. It's definitely an era that I love and often dreamed to be in.
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