June 30, 2009

July Updates. Oh, joy~!

Hi, people!

Really, time flies by so fast when you're enjoying your (shopping) life, and now, we find ourselves entering another month.


Just the thought of it brings smiles to our faces, for this particular month marks a very significant date in our calendar:

Come the 3rd, "Curls & Twirls" is officially half a year old! xD

We wish we can conduct some sort of mid-year sale to celebrate this wonderful event, but we haven't had much time to make any preparations, as we've been quite busy working on fresh innovations regarding some of our products.

Also, the Sushi USB's will be up for sale this month, so one can only guess how stressful the situation has been for us. Since the first week of June, we've been scampering around like possessed, caffeine-induced maniacs just to find the necessary materials that would complete each USB's ensemble and make the whole package perfect upon presentation. It's undoubtedly a tough job, but we were able to survive so far - sanity and all still intact. Hopefully, we can finalize everything this week. Please pray for us! ^^

Oh, and before you ask another set of questions regarding this, please note that a separate journal and FAQ about the Sushi USB's will be posted soon, so look forward to it!

Moving on, we will now be making some announcements regarding our system. Yes, we made changes once again, but do not roll your eyes in annoyance just yet. These new updates are not meant to confuse our beloved patrons, but to simply make our lives easier and more convenient.

...Are your eyes back in place? If so, then let us begin!

(Effective July 01, 2009)

1. RESERVATIONS ARE NOW GOOD FOR 5 DAYS ONLY. Waiting in line for something whose fate you cannot determine until a week later has proven to be very excruciating to both seller and buyer. Most of our products are limited in stocks, so when a particular item is reserved to a buyer, it will be unavailable to others for a specific duration of time. One week is a lengthy period, don't you think? Of course, customers would not wait, especially since the "RESERVED = SOLD" rule has already been pretty much established in every online shop in existance; rather, they would just settle to the next best - available - thing their eyes have laid on. It's not so bad, really - until a week later, the reserver decides that he/she didn't want to pay for whatever item they had you save for him/her, and you find yourself sighing forlornly and bowing your head in defeat. Yes, we've had our fair shares of these so-called "Joy Reservers", but we're not about to appease anyone's curiosity by making their identities known. Some were sincere enough to apologize, while some others would just turn invisible and act like they didn't waste a week of your time, but the bottomline remains unchanged - you lost not only one (the reserver), but two (the next buyer) or more (other prospective buyers) customers for that previously reserved item. Then, you would have to erase the "RESERVED" label next to its name (which could be quite embarrassing) and wait once again for another possible buyer, no matter how long it takes. See what being more than considerate can do to you? In our case, we're done with being pushovers. Come July 2009, 5 days is all we will be giving for reservations. Our trinkets are less than a hundred peso in price, and fair discounts are given for bulk orders - how much time does one need to make a payment for those? But we're not tyrants or money monsters, so don't be afraid to contact us in case you have any concerns.

2. CHEAPER RATES FOR XEND EXPRESS. Reading last month's journal made us realize that we've been pretty stupid in regards to our flat rates. What's the point of reinstating Xend to our list of preferred couriers if the price is the same as Air21's? People choose Xend for a common and shared reason, and that is because their rates are relatively the cheapest around. Thus, after much deliberation, we've decided that a fixed price of P50 will be charged for packages shipped via Xend Express (Metro Manila only). We do not want our clients to pay too much for "handling services" anymore; we would gladly do that for free anyway.

3. NO MORE BIRTHDAY PROMO FOR ML SUBSCRIBERS. Too many (stingy) people have been abusing this kind of privilege, and would even go through great lengths to avail more than the declared discount just because it's his/her "birthday". A very traumatic experience on our part, but we refuse to tell more. Ranting about it would be too time-consuming anyway, and the memories would only set off my temper again, so let's all just nod our heads in approval and understanding. From now on, the mailing list shall have a sole purpose - to update all subscribers regarding important announcements and new uploads.

That will be all for now. As usual, ask away if you have any concerns~!

Thank you! <3


Curls & Twirls

June 16, 2009

Best Desserts: Still Drooling...

"Still Drooling..."
Written By: Gen Medina

Yup, the same revel bars - and a few other goodies to rave about.

...What? Do you honestly think I wouldn't go back for more?! xD

A good 3 weeks have already passed since that blissful moment, but I can still remember how delicious everything tasted.

May 25, 2009. The moment I stepped out of PhilPost's customs office, the two heavy boxes of freshly imported hamburger phones and sushi USB drives in hand, I could see relief wash over my friends' faces. They cheered and celebrated (we were stupid enough to worry  that the customs people would think that our purchases were smuggled - don't ask), but I was long done with that phase when I was paying for the tax charges. That time, I was already looking forward to the next GOOD thing - claiming the new batch of sweets I've ordered from Best Desserts! :9

We rented a cab so we could get to the meet-up place faster. My boyfriend, Une, was sitting idly and silently on the front - probably traumatized, as he was the lucky guy who had to endure my endless beatings from my frustrations and nervous attacks earlier, Ate Mooch was complaining about bodily functions, and Cring and I were talking about Ms. Miren and her goodies. We recalled the conversation we had over the phone last night, that when we claim our orders, depending on the result of our trip to PhilPost, the batch of yummy desserts could either serve as our celebratory treats or comfort foods. Thankfully, it was the former. Teehee.

I texted Ms. Miren that we were on our way, and when she replied that she made me 2 free cupcakes to try out, I couldn't contain the instant burst of joy I felt - I just had to squeal in delight! I was super ecstatic, and I thanked her enthusiastically. It was like Ms. Miren was psychic, that she could sense our need to celebrate from our successful journey to Philpost.

The cab dropped us off in Vito Cruz, where we headed straight to the newly opened Tokyo Tokyo across DLSU. It was already 3:00 PM that time, and none of us had eaten lunch yet. Being the vegetable that I am, I didn't have enough calcium in my body to stand up straight anymore, so I begged Ate Mooch to claim the desserts in my stead. She was kind enough to submit - I love you, Ate! ^__^ -, and I nudged Une to go with her. Yes, I was still so pushy, but see, my vegetative state is only limited to my body; my mouth is a different entity in itself.

It did not take them long to return, and when I saw them enter the restaurant with a plastic bag in each hand, it was only then when I realized that I actually ordered too many! Cring went "Wooooow!" like a child opening a really huge present, and even Ate Mooch was grinning madly, her thoughts about bowel malfunctions seemingly forgotten. Before settling themselves on their seats, she handed me a small box and said that it was for me. "The cupcakes!", I practically yelled. My kilig level quicky sky-rocketed when I saw that Ms. Miren even put fondant "G" toppers on them. Really, I was touched! She was so nice, and all I could think of that time was how fortunate I was to have come across Best Desserts. Not only do they make one of the most delicious indulgences, they offer the friendliest service around!

Anyway, it was already close to 5:00 PM when we got back to Cring and Ate Mooch's house, where the much awaited event for that particular day finally took place. Carefully opening the lids of each box, our eyes glittered as if we were staring at gold.

Chocolate Double Creamcheese Squares. With so many good feedbacks on its name and the fact that I'm a big cheese maniac, it's only understandable that I'd get very much intrigued with them. We each took a piece, and for a moment, there was only silence. "Nakakakiliti!", was Cring's instant reaction. I wasn't really sure what she meant by that at first, but eventually, I've come to relate with her. It's that tingling feeling you get when you eat a slice of Oreo cheesecake; the taste of Oreo (or chocolate) and (cream)cheese is neither apparent on their own, but mixed together in your mouth, the taste is very becoming. Good thing I'm a big fan of cheesecakes! ^^

Fudgey Merengue. A recently added creation to Ms. Miren's product list that time, of course I'd like to be one of the first customers who would make an order! xD Its chocolate-y scent was very inviting, so I didn't waste any more time digging in, but before I could even get to chewing the piece, it just seems to dissolve! Then again, that's what all normal merengue does, right? They melt in your mouth before your teeth could graze on them, but these actual goodies would leave a small puddle of chocolate for you to swallow and savor its sinful taste until it gradually disappears in your mouth. My boyfriend liked them so much that he took home the remaining pieces! Too bad his niece ate them all when he was sleeping.

Banana Muffins with White Chocolate & Walnuts. Honestly, their appearance scared us a little. Cring and Ate Mooch's mom, Tita Nora, even mistook the small banana slice on each muffin as tongues! But hey, the muffins are Best Desserts-branded, so they had to be delicious (and edible!), right? So I took a piece and went for my first bite, making sure to target the tongue-like banana slice so it would finally stop creeping me out. Munch, munch, munch... It was a banana muffin, alright - only better! I'm used to eating banana bread with walnuts, but what made this particular lot a winner in my list was the dash of white choco chips included in the bread. All in all, the muffins were a pleasing treat - not too sweet (which I like), but VERY yummy (which I like MORE) and healthy (which I like MOST)!

Gooey Revel Bars. I believe I've already raved much more than necessary regarding these heavenly bars. They're my one true love! Need I say more? :3

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting and Edible Fondant Toppers. This was really a very delightful surprise from Ms. Miren. She's like a very thoughful and caring older sister, who is as sweet as the desserts she's making. Rarely do I find talented bakers like her who would be willing to treat their customers that way, so I truly commend her amiable personality. The cupcakes are downright delicious, as expected. The fudge frosting tasted like dark chocolates (my absolute favorite), and it went perfectly with the cupcake. They blend in your mouth, producing one solid taste - bittersweet creaminess. Believe it or not, I've never eaten any real cupcakes before (besides Kraft's desserts and lemon bars), so I'm really happy that the first one I've ever eaten was THAT yummy (and special!). It should also be noted that these cupcakes, for reasons I refuse to expound publicly, cheered me up BIG. TIME.

And just like that, I fell in love. I'm sure the same goes for my boyfriend and partners too!

All hail Best Desserts! 


Note to self: Whatever happens, love your body - it's the only one you've got!

June 9, 2009

New Shipping Details.

NO! No! It's not my fault that I didn't post the promised announcement regarding the new shipping details yesterday. The day just went by too fast! And before the thought fully registered in my mind, it's already Tuesday. T___T"

(Effective June 10, 2009)

1. SCHEDULE. Shipping every other day has finally become a stressful task for us, especially now that college is over and our time together has comparatively diminished because of the other commitments we are compelled to do. Yes, we are still managing the shop as one - Ate Mooch is still able to squeeze in a few meet-ups to her work, Cring retouches the items that need a few repairs before putting them up for sale, while I am left with transacting with the clients, processing their orders and packing them one by one. ALONE. That explains why a good number of our packages are shipped past the schedules we have formerly specified. I apologize for that, but please understand that we take great pride in the way we pack our products, and we refuse to look for alternatives. Effective immediately, there will be no more fixed delivery schedules. Upon confirmation of your complete payments, please allow us a maximum of 2 business days before we ship your items. This way, processing and packaging them will not be too stressful anymore, and we will be even able to make a much better quality control of the items. Tracking numbers will be sent to your mobile phones soon after, and if there will be any delays, trust that you will be informed promptly. Upon request, snapshots of your orders prior to shipping will be posted here for your assurance.

2. COURIERS. Our customers will now be given the privilege to choose which courier they would prefer to handle their packages. In view of Air21's sloppy deliveries lately, we have decided to rely on 2GO's elite service quality and reinstate Xend Express.

  • 2GO Express. Their rates are notably more expensive than most couriers, but we've selected them for a reason - much like other online shops. First, they have the most updated online tracking site out there - you don't need to wait a day before your tracking number is validated. Second, they offer same-day deliveries. Third, their pouches are pink - perfect for "Curls & Twirls"! xD But above all, they do not have any history of losing any packages they hold for shipping. Provincial buyers should definitely take note of this. If you want to have your orders be genuinely secured AND have the money to shoulder the expenses, choose 2GO. It's worth it anyway.
  • Xend Express (for Metro Manila only). We've had problems with their pick-ups before. Either Cring and Ate Mooch's house is invisible to the naked eyes or the pick-up guy is simply directionally-challenged. We choose the latter, because the house. Is. Just. RIGHT. Over. THERE. How they would continue to pass by it and tell us over the phone afterwards that there was no one home to surrender the packages still bewilders us, and yet, after vowing that we would avoid Xend like a plague based from the horrible experiences we've had, in the end, we humbly return - like the prodigal son - er, daughters. Why, you ask? For one thing, their shipping charges are arguably the cheapest around, and we know most buyers would prefer them despite everything because they do not like to pay too much for "additional costs". More importantly, the packages will be picked up from a different address, and this time, hopefully, they can find it.
*** Why not use LBC?
LBC's rates are expensive, but frankly, uncalled for. Have you seen the way they handle your packages? Normally, upon handing out your package, the person behind the counter would simply put it in a pouch, seal it, insert the waybill receipt to the attached plastic and place it in a basket along with the other packages. However, the person behind LBC's counter would feel up the package by juggling it in his hands, hurl it rushly to the counter before him, feel it up some more - by then, you could already see creases on your delicately wrapped package - before inserting it in the pouch. After sealing it, he would flip it over, put the address sticker, give the poor package one last look before tossing its battered figure to the basket. On our case, he even missed the basket and it landed roughly on the floor; he had to call his co-worker to pick it up and put it in the basket for him. We could only stare dumbfoundedly at what happened, and when he charged us P130 for a small pouch, weighing so much less than 0.5 kg - they're rubber-made flower rings, for Pete's sake! -, no declared value, and bound to Muntinlupa ONLY, we realized that if such brutality is already evident over the counter, how much more if the packages were delivered to the cargo house? Surely, LBC's handling service sucks so bad that charging for it will only be waaaaay immoral, but they DO seem to charge for their workers' juggling, throwing, tossing and flaring knacks - A.K.A. "talent fees". Now, THAT explains a whole lot.

3. RATES. Flat shipping rates will still be implemented for each destination group, regardless if you've chosen Air21 or Xend Express. Evidently, we charge based on Air21's rates, and although Xend is relatively cheaper by a few peso coins, it should be noted that we cover packages with tight bubble wraps for added security (apart from the usual packaging) before putting them to Xend pouches. Consider it as an extra insurance and packaging fee, if you may.

Effective June 9, 2009, the flat shipping rates via Air21 and Xend Express (Metro Manila only) will be as follows:

Metro Manila - P70
Luzon - P100
Visayas - P110
Mindanao - P130

Please note that these rates are for ONE POUCH ONLY. If ever your orders will not fit in a single pouch and will therefore have to procure another, you are obliged to pay the same amount as the standard fee, doubling your charge.

In the past few months, we have been shouldering the additional fees for such conditions, but it has become a major expense that we inevitably need to cut out.

There have also been orders that require boxes in order to be delivered. In this case, kindly PM/SMS us for the availability and price.

For 2GO Express, the shipping costs will be based on the size of your package and your delivery address. For an estimation of your rates, kindly refer to this page.

Feel free to post questions here, if you have any.

Thank you! <3


Curls & Twirls

June 8, 2009

JUNE Updates! On Sales & Shipping Delays.

Another month, another set of updates from "Curls & Twirls"...

June won't be June without the sporadic showers from above, be it feathery drizzle or heavy downpours; thus, we have decided to reprice our Princess Umbrellas. We can't have you walking through the rain without looking as hip and fashionable as you are on sunny days, can we~? :D

Effective today, the Princess Umbrellas will be on special
"Downpour Sale" for 380 PHP only!!

That's 70 PHP off the original price we have, and a freakin' 140 PHP less than the normal selling price! Don't you dare miss this opportunity! Grab one NOW! We know you want it~ ;)

Last month, we've experienced a few problems with Air21's shipping service. Their system seems to be going droopy on us, and we can't have that, especially with the huge batch of packages we surrender to them on shipping days. Some arrived late, while some were even delivered to the wrong docks! Whoever encodes the addresses and ZIP codes is seriously a few braincells short. And although it's waaaaaaay beyond our control anymore, we still can't help but feel responsible.

We deeply apologize to our beloved clients who had (and will have) their packages delivered late to them. It's understandable that a portion of your frustration is directed to us when such cases occur, but please do not berate us for their shortcomings. We ship your orders on time, and inform you quickly if ever there will be delays. We extend our services to you even after we submit your packages to Air21, which supposedly indicates the end of our transaction. We wait with you, check the tracking number online for you, call the customer service for you, and when the package finally arrives, we feel as relieved as you do.

Not all online shops have enough time in their hands to assist you like that, especially after payments and deliveries are made. Of course, this does not refer to "Curls & Twirls" alone, as there are still a good number of stores out there with excellent service quality as well. So learn to give love; not hate.

With this in mind, we are now making some changes on our shipping details. Make sure to check it out when the journal is posted some time today~!

Thank you! <3


Curls & Twirls