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Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Best Makeup Guru: Wayne Goss

There was a time when I loved putting on makeup. I hardly ever put on makeup when I was still a student so when I finally started working, I started wearing makeup to work and whenever I needed to go out. Lately, however, I have shied away from using too much makeup. My policy on it is to wear as little as possible, meaning just a dab of lipstick, eyebrow brush, and a dusting of powder to cover up any oily spots. It goes without saying that this habit means that I am a little rusty when it comes to doing the best makeup application on my face. This is where my favorite YouTube channel, Wayne Goss, comes in.

Wayne Goss is a makeup artist who has a YouTube channel and website where he shares his best makeup tips and tricks. If there is anyone that I trust when it comes to makeup these days, it would have to be him.
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Friday, December 28, 2018

This Blogger is Also Miss Fix It

A little bit of trivia: I like tinkering with stuff and figuring how things work. If I can fix things on my own without bringing it to a repairman, I will try to do it myself. I’m such a guy that way.

My parents told me that it’s something that I’ve been into since I was in pre-school. They used to catch me tinkering with our Betamax player (unplugged, of course), trying to figure out what goes in inside the machine when I put a tape in. These days I don’t really have time to tinker with appliances and such during my free time but when the situation calls for it, I still channel my inner MacGyver to try and fix things. Call me Manang Gyver (get it, Manang = Old woman and Gyver = McGyver?).

Girl Repair
Photo from Merylin on Pixabay.com

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: Maybelline BB Cream

I love wearing makeup when the occasion calls for it: Base, Foundation, Concealer, Eyeliner, Mascara, Eyebrows, Lipstick, Blush, Powder…I can go all in. I love how makeup gives me that boost of confidence whenever I feel that I need it. Most of the time, however, I am low-maintenance when it comes to the makeup department. It’s just lip gloss and powder for me sometimes. More often than not, I stick to plain lip balm and moisturizer.

maybelline
If you think the packaging is different, it's because this is an old photo. :P

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Memories of Christmas Plays

Back when I was younger, I used to participate in Christmas plays for elementary school. I was part of the manger nativity scene, where Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus were the centerpiece of the program. The Christmas play is the start of the school program and for the entire show, I had to sit with another classmate playing Joseph in the manger watching as the rest of the performances for the day are performed. We only got to leave when the entire program was over.

Christmas plays
Me smiling as the innkeeper turned us down (FYI, I thought my shawl covered my smiling face)

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Book Review: Still Star Crossed

What happened after the death of Romeo and Juliet? Did the families stop fighting as the Prince instructed? How did the death of the two young lovers affect the lives of those around them? Melinda Taub imagines a world after Romeo and Juliet with her book, Still, Star Crossed, which, incidentally, became a TV series produced by no less than Shonda Rhimes.

book review
I don't know about that cover...I thought it didn't do Rosaline justice. I imagined her stronger than that.

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Zero Waste Ideas: Green Bags

I've always been the type of person who has concern for the environment. I'm the person who fusses if someone in the car wants to throw trash outside the window or if someone wants to throw those toll receipts while in a running vehicle. I fuss over people who burn their trash (to the point of tweeting the DENR when I spot one, hahaha) and really look for ways to be more environment-friendly. I can be incredibly annoying and OC when it comes to these things. I will nag you over and over until you do it the right way.

reusable bag
Image from OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay.com

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Recipe: Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms

If you’ve read my previous recipe posts, you’d know that I’ve been tinkering around in the kitchen trying out recipes that I’ve discovered through Pinterest. I prefer simple recipes and something that I’d love to eat. When I found an easy baked chicken recipe, I knew that I had to try it.

Here’s a recipe for Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Chicken & Bacon from the website Cafedelites. It’s tweaked a little to make it easier for me to prepare. The portions are from the original recipe but I did twice as much since I had more people to feed. It’s an easy dinner recipe so I thought it was good for the entire family to try!
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Monday, December 17, 2018

Famous In Love Review (Books and TV)

Usually, I’m the person who reads the books first then watches the movie or TV show later but this time around, I saw the TV show first. When I heard that there was a series called Famous in Love that you can watch online, I downloaded a VPN app and watched the pilot. After that, I decided that I couldn’t wait to watch the show when it airs here (if it does, which is not likely since it has already been canceled in the US) so I watched all the Famous in Love episodes online. I liked the show and I couldn’t help myself. I just had to read both books: Famous In Love and Truly Madly Famously.

Photo from Sophkins on Pixabay

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Like Churros? Try This!

Churros seem to have become a popular snack these days. Shops that offer churros as a specialty have been popping up everywhere. It would be a safe bet to say that there would be a churros place near me in every area I go to. Instead of trying these places out, I decided to go the practical route and find an easy churros recipe to try to see if I can make it myself.

I have this friend from back in college who got burned with oil from frying churros so I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to give this a try. I think I had to get my sister to watch me make sure I didn’t mess things up!

This version I found is a copycat version of Disneyland mini-churro bites from Family Food Fun. I made some changes to the recipe, but nothing too different. I would have preferred baked churros because it’s healthier but I didn’t want to mess it up so I followed instructions and deep-fried it instead.
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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Thinking About Septage Management

We never really know how lucky we were as kids until we had to be the adults themselves. Being an adult, aka “adulting,” is not an easy job. On my end, I just wing it and hope for the best.

The thing about adulting is that you become more aware and responsible for how things are around the house. When I was younger I never worried about plumbing, home repairs, and all that. Now I do. I wish I didn’t have to but when you’re faced with leaks that need repairs and no one else to turn to, there’s no other choice.

One other thing I never thought I’d worry about? Septage. Specifically, septage management. Worrying about where the wastewater from our home (and toilets) go and when I have to get our septic tanks cleaned. It’s a dirty job (pun intended) but someone has to think and worry about it.

sewerage
Septage Management --- it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it! (Photo from Bevlogenteams on Pixabay






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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Recommended Blog: One Good Thing

Getting older means having different interests. Growing into the whole adult phase of my life has meant being interested in things for the home: quick fixes, tips and tricks, and whatnot. I’ve read through home improvement books and magazines to find solutions for the things I want to get done at home but for the most part, they have not been simple and practical solutions. I don’t have a lot of money so some of the suggestions I’ve read were just too unrealistic and expensive for me.

One website that I regularly read and appreciate is One Good Thing by Jillee. It’s a blog that features home solutions for cleaning, organizing, home décor, and all the other things that I have been looking for in-home improvement magazines and books.

one good thing
Screen capture of One Good Thing By Jillee blog

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Cheese Recipe: Rattlesnake Bites

I was going through some copycat recipes on Pinterest when I came across this copycat recipe of Texas Roadhouse’s Rattlesnake Bites from Alli of Tornadoughalli.com.  I have never been to Texas Roadhouse even if there is a branch here in the Philippines so I have never tried this. I just know that I wanted to give it a shot. My nephew had also commented that I love cheese dishes too much too – so maybe that’s another reason why I wanted to try it.

My version technically isn’t a copycat of the Texas Roadhouse one since I skipped on the jalapenos – that’s what happens when you have kids in the house who you know will want to try whatever it is you’re cooking! I guess that means it isn’t really a rattlesnake bite since it doesn’t have that much of a kick to it but I will still call it Rattlesnake Bites. I kept a bit of the spice with pepper and paprika so technically it should still have a bit of a chili feel to it.
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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Confession: I Am A Bookworm

If there’s one thing that people remember about me from my childhood days, it’s that I’m a bookworm. I love books. I love reading and being entertained by books and the stories they tell. I used to start reading in the morning and by the time the sun is setting people would have to remind me to turn on the light because I literally cannot get up to do it myself unless I cannot see anything at all anymore.

When I was a kid I was hooked to the Choose Your Own Adventure and Nancy Drew books. As I grew up, I liked the Sweet Valley and Sweet Dreams series of books. These all inspired me and made me want to be a writer. I remember that I used to write a lot of stories back then in my notebooks because I was inspired by the books that I was reading at the time.

bookworm
Photo from 4956365 from Pixabay.com

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Thoughts on Before the Flood

One thing that pushes my buttons a lot is the subject of the environment. I’m not an expert but I am concerned about the state of the world today and the effects of climate change on our daily lives and in the lives of future generations. I’m the type of person who would read the latest news on climate change. I’d try to learn about the facts of global warming and climate change when I can and subscribe to several environmental websites to learn more.

pollution
photo from kartal8167 on Pixabay

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bellevue Alabang -- I Want to Go Back!

There are times in my line of work that I get to travel. Before my trips, I try to find the best deals on hotel rooms, because I usually stay in low-budget hotels as per office policy. I try to make sure that I read hotel reviews before making a booking just so there would be no surprises during my stay. The best hotels, however, are usually off-limits unless there is a need to be at the same hotel where an event is being held, as was the case a couple of years back when I attended a convention at Bellevue Alabang.

The previous time I stayed at Bellevue I had stayed at the Main Wing. The room was OK, but it wasn’t anything notable. The second time around we were booked at the Tower Wing and I think the room was much better than the last one that I stayed in. I don’t know how to explain it, but the room at the Tower Wing seemed bigger and more luxurious looking than the previous room I stayed in at the Main Wing. I heard from a friend also staying at the hotel that the Tower Wing was newer than the Main Wing so maybe that was the reason for it.
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Monday, December 3, 2018

Appetizer Recipe: Crab Rangoon

During my random attempts at cooking, one category that I wanted to accomplish was seafood cooking. I had tried the Steamed Cream Dory in Light Soy Sauce and it was a success so I decided to try another one.

I was searching for seafood ideas and found some appetizer recipes featuring seafood. I found a recipe from Alison of Pint-Sized Treasures for Crab Rangoon and decided that this was the recipe that I was going to try. I changed up the crab meat and opted to use the crab sticks you can buy at the grocery store but other than that, the recipe stays the same.

appetizer recipe


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Sunday, December 2, 2018

My Niece Danielle's Art

Art is something that I have an appreciation for. I enjoy looking at framed art paintings at museums and for a time I used to make pencil portraits from photos (I think this was in high school). One thing I do know is that it does not only take talent but it also takes a lot of patience to create a work of art. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The best works usually take a lot of time and inspiration from the one creating it.

pencil art
A very realistic looking sketch of Arianna Grande (It really looks like her right?)

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Love By Design: A Review

I’m a sucker for romantic movies, especially those made-for-TV films that Hallmark and Lifetime churn out. They usually have these simple storylines that revolve around two people who end up falling in love and have their happily ever after. I love feel-good films like that when I’m trying to relax at home. It’s a guilty pleasure, really. 

One of these movies is the film Love by Design that stars Giulia Nahmany, David Oakes, and Jane Seymour.  It’s about a young woman (Danielle, played by Nahmany) who works for a fashion magazine who, after having a falling out with her boss (Vivien, played by Seymour), ends up losing her job (and her boyfriend, who looks like he’s never up to anything good anyway).

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Boyzone's Farewell (?) Asian Tour - Manila

Back when I was in college, boy bands were a big thing. While I did have a love for NSYNC, the group I was a big fan of in those days was the Irish group Boyzone. I remember my planners were filled with photos of the guys and I saved up my allowance so that I could buy their CDs. I used to stay at home if I knew they had a TV appearance whenever they were in the country so I could watch them (this was a time when YouTube was not yet a thing kids). 

I always wanted to watch their shows back then, but I didn’t have any money for it and my parents weren’t willing to pay for it either. Even when they came back during the times when I was already working, I wasn’t earning enough to make it to a show, plus I now lived in the province which was too far away from the concert venues. When I found out that they would be back this year for a farewell tour, I knew that it was now or never.  I decided that I would gladly make do with the long commute (2-3 hours trip) to the venue just to see them! I bought two tickets with a credit card for the VIP seats and decided to watch their concert with my younger sister, who has proclaimed Boyzone as the music of her childhood because it was all I listened to when she was a young girl.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Must Watch: Crazy Rich Asians

After a long wait, I finally got to watch Crazy Rich Asians over the weekend! I’ve been wanting to watch this movie since it was announced and I was actually looking forward to seeing it on the first day that it started showing in local cinemas but unfortunately, I was severely under the weather at the time and had to give it a few days before I was strong enough to get up and out of bed to watch it.




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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Miss Granny (A Review)

My niece and I were going to watch Crazy Rich Asians in the cinema when we discovered the time we planned to watch was already blocked off for a group of students. If we wanted to watch the movie we had to wait for three hours. We decided to watch another movie in the meantime, the Sarah Geronimo-starrer Miss Granny.




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Monday, August 27, 2018

K-Pop Superstars: BTS

Unless you live under a rock or have become a hermit, I don’t think that you wouldn’t know BTS. The Korean boy band has exploded like crazy in the past couple of years and has broken through the US and other international markets. Everyone knows them and practically everyone loves them, my niece included.

This is a group that is not a surprise hit. It’s not a group that just exploded into the scene. To give them credit, before they broke out internationally, they have been a group since 2012 and were launched in 2013. It still took the group a few years before they gained the success that they have today. I think just on that basis alone they are not a group that will just pop out and disappear. This is a group that has paid its dues and is now being rewarded for it.

Honestly, I didn’t know who they were until my niece became obsessed with them last year, which led me to an online search of BTS merchandise that I could give her as a gift over the holidays. That was when I realized how popular they were: there is so much merchandise and most of them are very VERY expensive! It’s crazy! The only items I have been able to get for her so far is the Army Bomb and a Barbie/Mattle-made doll of Jungkook.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

My Spotify Dependence

Do you still remember the days when you had tons of cassette tapes/CDs at home?

Do you remember having to sort through the hundreds of CDs, tapes, and vinyl records in music stores to look for your favorite music? 

Do you remember carrying a walkman around? How about a diskman? How about those tiny mini-disk players?

Do you still remember those moments when you had to record music from the radio or bought a mixed CD of songs you liked?

No? I guess I must be older than you then.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

If You Could See Me Now

Cecelia Ahern is one of my favorite writers. She has had many books that I have enjoyed reading (some of which have been turned into movies) and this book, If You Could See Me Now, is no exception.

The book takes the idea of (spoiler alert) a child’s imaginary friend and taking it a step further by asking, "What if these friends are real?" In the book, Elizabeth is an adult trying to balance all her responsibilities when she meets Ivan, who helps her navigate and see her life in a new light.
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Monday, August 20, 2018

Thinking of Trying Intermittent Fasting?

As I’ve mentioned in previous entries, my doctor has told me that I need to make an effort to be healthier. I needed to lose weight if I want to be healthier. One of the things that I have attempted to do for weight loss is IF, otherwise known as Intermittent Fasting. Some people also call it the Eat Stop Eat diet.

The concept of the diet is that when you fast it helps to jump-start your metabolism and helps you to burn more fat. The fast is also not that complicated: while you are not allowed to eat, you are however allowed to drink as long as it is sugar-free (think tea and water or black coffee without sugar).
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Sunday, August 19, 2018

My Gray Hair Problem

I have a problem with gray hair. I have a lot of them. A LOT. It’s not even gray, to be honest. It’s white. It’s upsetting because the hairs just stand out from my actual hair color. It doesn’t look good. And I am only in my 40s!

I am aware that there are people who have gray hair at a much younger age and do not find it that big of a deal but I do. It makes me look a bit unkempt. It makes me look stressed and yes, it makes me look older. I’ve tried coloring my hair a different shade in an attempt to cover it up but it hasn’t worked. I tried a lighter shade and while it does hide it a bit, the gray/white hairs are still there, sticking out like it wants people to look at it to remind them that I am getting old and am more stressed than usual. I have been tempted to color it all gray/white but I have been told that it is a long and tedious process that could damage my hair and it would eventually fade out to a dirty sort of blonde that I might not even care for.
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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Show Review: World of Dance

Dance is something that I’ve loved since I was a little girl. I would have taken lessons and taken that interest seriously if my parents didn’t think it would distract me from my studies but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love it any less today. I have so much appreciation for great dancing and amazing dancers, which is why I enjoy watching dance competitions on TV. World of Dance is one of those shows.

Produced by Jennifer Lopez, World of Dance is a competition where dancers audition under their respective categories (Junior, Upper, Team, Junior Team) and are made to battle for spots to get to the finals, where all the categories compete with each other for the top spot in the competition. Each contestant can compete using their respective styles, which means that a ballroom dancer can compete with someone doing contemporary or hip hop. In the finals, age also does not matter because younger dancers will get to compete with older ones. If there is an Olympics of dance, this would have to be it.
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Tracing Out Our Family Tree

Have you ever wondered where you came from? What your family was like in the old days? I’ve realized after talking to my mother that apart from knowing who my great grandparents were on her side of the family, I never knew who they were. It surprised me even more than on my father’s side, they couldn’t even tell me the name of my great grandparents. I thought that was interesting so I decided to do a little research.



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Thursday, August 16, 2018

My Smoothie Phase

A couple of months ago a co-worker offered me some of her breakfast smoothies. It was made of cucumber, lemons, honey, and celery. It wasn’t bad and it was also very filling so I decided to try it myself.

I ended up shopping for enough ingredients to make one glass a day for two weeks. I loved that it helped me to feel fuller faster and the flavor was light and good. I read online that the smoothie was also good for detox so I was also hoping that it would help me to be healthier now that my doctor said I needed to.



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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lessons on Debt

Debt. Who doesn’t have it these days? I know I do.

When I was younger and starting out I had responsibilities to take care of that I couldn’t pay off with just my salary alone per month tiding me over. I learned early on how to avail of loans and had started using credit cards to be able to pay off the necessary expenses. Thankfully, however, I also learned the value of being able to responsibly decide when to take on a loan and how to pay it back. Some people, however, are not as lucky.

photo from Rilsonav on Pixabay.com

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TV Show Review: The Bold Type

I watch so many TV shows in a year that sometimes it makes even my head spin. I can’t help it, there are just too many good ones out there! It can get confusing sometimes considering that I switch between watching on TV or on streaming sites to catch up on my favorite shows or discover new ones. I’ve had to stop watching some shows just to have enough time to actually have a life apart from these obsessing over these TV shows. A problem of my own making, I know, but a problem nevertheless.

You’d think that I have more than enough of my fair share of TV with cable and streaming services but sometimes I still go to those free streaming sites to find the good ones that do not make it to local TV or the sites that I subscribe to. One of those shows is The Bold Type.
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Family Get Togethers

When I was younger, it was a given that weekends were usually spent with my cousins from my mother’s side of the family. Summer vacations too. There were also the holiday get-togethers at our grandmother’s place so we could see each other for Christmas.
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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Take Two: A Review

I have a confession to make: while I do know who Rachel Bilson is, I do not remember seeing her in anything she has done until I’ve seen her on the TV show Take Two. A friend of mine pointed out a couple of shows I’ve seen that she guest-starred in and a movie she was in that I’ve seen but my mind still draws a blank. I just haven’t seen her in anything memorable until her team-up with Eddie Cibrian on Take Two. I only know her from being married to Hayden Christensen but that’s about it. I never watched the OC either so I had no idea what kind of actress she is.

Eddie Cibrian, on the other hand, I’ve known from his days in the late 90s on Baywatch Nights and Sunset Beach (plus, of course, the controversy when he cheated on his wife with LeAnn Rimes, who he eventually married). He’s been on several other shows since then but I’ve never seen him as a lead until Take Two.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Gadget Buying Tips

I’m not your typical female shopper. I’m not into clothes, shoes, and accessories. As long as I have something to wear, even if it means wearing something over and over until they become worn out, I’m good. It takes convincing from family and friends before I actually go out and buy something to wear for myself.

Gadgets, on the other hand, are a different story. I love my gadgets. I find them very useful and I own my fair share, but I don’t go crazy about it. Here are some tips I’d like to share through the years when it comes to buying gadgets:


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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Childhood Memories: The Sound of Music

When I was a little girl, my father liked to encourage us to watch movies that he liked. It had gotten to the point that particular movies became traditions for us to watch during the summer. One of those movies is The Sound of Music.


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Monday, July 30, 2018

Falling for Remember Sunday

I’ve always loved romantic movies. Feel-good movies are my thing. They can be crazy simple and predictable, but I’ve always enjoyed watching these types of films. This is why I’m a fan of Hallmark Movies. They’re one of my guilty pleasures. They never fail to give me a positive feeling especially after a long and stressful day. Love stories are just a feel-good thing for me.

Photo Source: Pixabay

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Care to Sworkit?

As I have mentioned in a previous post, at the moment I am not allowed to exercise (cardio, weights) due to a weak heart and other heart issues. However, there was once a time when I was healthy enough to do so and I did it with the help of this app called Sworkit.



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Friday, July 27, 2018

Bloggers I Follow: Solenn Heussaff

In the Philippines, most people would know who Solenn Heussaff is. She’s an artist, an actress, a TV host, an author, a model, a social media star (along with her husband Nico) and she is also a blogger.



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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Making Time for God

Religion and I have a complicated relationship. I was raised a Roman Catholic. As I got older I’ve attended service for Born Again Christian groups. I still go to Catholic church during the major holidays but for the most part, I don’t anymore. I may not be perfect in the sense that I am not religious, but I do believe in God and I try to maintain a relationship with him in the ways that I can.

Prayer is something that I may not do in the formal sense, with recited prayers at specific times or whatnot, but I do pray. I can’t say how often because it depends on the day: sometimes something catches my attention and I say a silent prayer in thanks or for assistance (not just for myself but for others as well). I was also brought up with the idea that your work can be a form of prayer, that you glorify God with your work. I do my best to live up to that whenever I can. I say whenever because obviously, I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes from time to time. 

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Women in the Workplace

One thing I realized after learning through the years about equal opportunities in the workplace is that I have been lucky because all the places that I had worked for had female bosses. The owners were still male, but the people I worked under were female.



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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Book Review: The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes

Imagine making a mistake in your youth that you regret greatly. It’s something that drives you to change for the better. You do everything in your power to make things right – except owning up to your mistake. What do you think will happen when you finally have to come right out and admit it? The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain is about just that.

Credit: MIRA Books

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Our Stay at Summit Ridge Hotel

The staycation our family had at Taal Vista Hotel was so much fun that my family and I decided to have another one over the summer holiday. This time we went to Summit Ridge in Tagaytay.

View from our room

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Diet Tea for Weight Loss? Pass!

Full disclosure here: I am overweight. I have been overweight since I had my thyroid issues. I’ve been struggling with it for a long time. I am now seeing a different doctor to treat me for my thyroid problems (among other things) and for the first time in a long time I have been losing weight. I’m hoping that this time around it will be more consistent, and I can go back to the ideal weight for my height and body type. Fingers crossed on that one. 

I’ve tried various methods to lose weight. I think I’ve tried every diet imaginable, but the weight loss just didn’t happen for me. It got to the point where I used a lot of laxatives, particularly diet tea, to lose weight. It was probably one of the biggest mistakes that I have done for weight loss.

Image Source: ahgomaaz at Pixabay.com 

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Crown Princess

Through the help of a friend of mine, I recently discovered the TV series called The Crown Princess (Likit Ruk) from Thailand.

Photo Source: AsianFuse.Net, Credit: Channel 3 Thailand

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Friday, July 20, 2018

The Price of Progress

Life in the province has been great for the past twenty years (well, almost 20 that is). I’ve always appreciated the fresh air, the lack of traffic, and the laid-back lifestyle. I feel bad that these days, with the progress going on in our neck of the woods, some things have got to give.

Road widening projects have been common in our area for a couple of years now. While it’s good that the roads will be wider since traffic is slowly starting to build up in these parts, I feel sad about all the trees that are being uprooted in the process. It has always been one of my favorite parts of living here that when you are on the road, both sides are lined with trees. Sometimes some of the high branches look like they’re reaching out to one another and crossing the road, making a sort of canopy that the cars pass under. I always thought that was a beautiful thing to see. Now we don’t have that anymore.

Road Widening Project I passed...note the trees are marked. 

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Atmos Fit Elite (A Review)

Last Christmas I received the Atmos Fit Elite as a gift. It’s a fitness watch that helps the user tell how many steps he/she has taken as well as know a person’s heart rate monitor one’s sleep. I remember my sister telling me that she wanted to buy this from Kimstore and it was amusing that she was the one who wanted it, but I was the one who got it.

Credit: Youtube Unboxing from Alvin Nazareno La Victoria


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Our Taal Vista Staycation

It has always been my dream to take my family on a staycation, but I never got around to doing it until last summer when I took them to Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay.

Checking in...

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

My Dream Celeb Squad

Have you ever liked a celebrity so much that you wonder what it would be like to hang out with that celebrity and maybe be “besties” with them? I have.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Pure Genius: A Review

I have an iFlix account that I hardly use, so I thought that I needed to make it worth my money by watching a movie or two on it when I can. That was when I discovered this (now defunct) series called Pure Genius.


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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Accidental Icon

Blogging is something that has been a part of my life since 2003. When I turned 40, I began to wonder what role blogging would have in my life (if it were to have any at all). Almost all the bloggers out there seemed to be younger and most of the bloggers I’ve known in the past have not blogged in years. Blogging since to be about being an influencer these days and I don’t know if I fit into that category. 

I started searching for older female bloggers to see if this is something that I can and would still want to do. That was when I found the blog of Lyn Slater, more popularly known as the Accidental Icon

Accidental Icon


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Saturday, July 14, 2018

On Gadgets and Brand Loyalty

One thing people close to me know about me is that I love my gadgets. I use my laptop, phone, and tablet often. It’s not just for going online and using social media but also for a lot of other things: reading books, taking photos, editing photos and videos, watching my favorite movies or TV shows, playing games with my nephew, and shopping. The apps I use help my gadgets become my work planner/diary and health journal too. I do some of my writing with my tablet and laptop as well.

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

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Friday, July 13, 2018

America's Next Top Model Season 24

I don’t know if anybody else has been watching this on Fox Life Channel here in Asia, but that’s where I have been catching up on my guilty pleasure: America’s Next Top Model. Unlike the previous season that resurrected the show that was hosted by Rita Ora, this one is again hosted by the original host and producer of the show, Tyra Banks.


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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cafe Review: Mountain Brew

If you’ve ever gone to Batangas via Cavite’s Kaybiang Tunnel, you’ve definitely passed by this coffee shop that I love going to.

mountain brew


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hey Bearded Guy!

Last March 3rd, 2018 – a Saturday – I went out to see a friend to catch up and we ended up at XO 46 Heritage Bistro. This is in S Maison at the Conrad Hotel.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Health Scare

As I mentioned in a previous entry, my co-worker died while attending a seminar a few months ago. It was such a wake-up call for me in terms of realizing that I needed to reassess my priorities and focus my life on the things that matter to me the most.

Recently, the wife of another co-worker had gotten sick. They took her to the hospital and found out that it was cancer. She died not soon after that. It was heartbreaking to see how it affected my officemate. Apparently, his wife had been keeping how she has been feeling from him and by the time they got around to seeing a doctor, it was too late.

These two deaths made me think about my own health: Two people had commented that I seemed to be out of breath often lately. I always dismissed that by saying that I haven’t gotten used to being overweight and that the excess weight had been making physical exertion from simple things like walking has made it difficult for me. I thought I just got tired easily from the excess weight. I’ve also had a history of asthma, so I thought with the summer heat and all it was probably just that. After those two deaths, I decided to go see a doctor.
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Monday, July 9, 2018

A Death and Some Flashbacks

A couple of months ago, I had just gotten into the office when we got a call from the place where a couple of our co-workers were attending a seminar: one of our co-workers had lost consciousness and was not breathing, although he had a faint pulse. They were taking him to the hospital. Everything then seemed to happen so fast. We got his wife to the office to inform her of what happened, coordinating with the people headed for the hospital at the same time. We rushed to the hospital because we were informed that he was going to be taken to the ICU.

On the way to the hospital, I got a call from one of the seminar organizers who went to the hospital: my officemate had died. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and tried my best to remain calm during the entire phone call. We were stuck in traffic and I didn’t want his wife to panic or go hysterical on us while we were in the car. There was no point in telling her right that moment when there was nothing she could do so I made a judgment call and decided to wait until we got to the hospital. My other officemates told me I made the right decision.
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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Remembering My Father

Last month marked the anniversary of my father’s death. It doesn’t feel like it’s been years. It still feels like it happened recently. Remembering my father on his death anniversary reminds our family all over again of what we lost, of a person we wish we still had around.

Missing my father after his death is something I do more often than I thought I would. I thought that after some time we would move on and things would get back to normal but I was wrong. You never really get over it. You move on – yes – but you move on with that person still in your heart. You carry on with that loss still on your mind. You just learn to live with it.
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Monday, June 4, 2018

The Red Lip Thing

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to makeup. When I was in high school my classmates already experimented with lipstick while I stuck to lip balm (that wasn’t even tinted/colored in any way). By the time I got to college, I knew I should start so I used face powder and tinted lip balm. I think I worked my way to the lipstick and blush midway through college. 

The one thing that I have been obsessed about since I started wearing makeup has been my lips, particularly red lips. I don’t think that I’ve ever had the perfect red lip in all my years of buying and using makeup. I’ve tried several brands from the expensive to the very affordable and many different shades of red. I’ve mixed and matched lipstick, tinted lip balm, lip gloss, lip tint, lip liner, lip crayon, powdered lip color, liquid lip color, matte lip color, and so on and so forth but I’ve never been satisfied with the color I get. I think I’ve tried almost every kind of red and type of lip coloring method in the last 20 years without finding my perfect fit.

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Saturday, June 2, 2018

#MeToo

Way back in my younger years, someone started stalking me. There was this guy who would just pop up wherever I was. Sometimes he’d stand behind me in line but not actually need to be there. Or sit beside me waiting for someone who would never arrive. I knew he was doing something. I could feel it. I could feel his eyes. I could see the expression on his face, taunting me as if daring me to react. It affected me to the point where I lost my sense of confidence. I began to wonder if it was because of what I wore or if it was something I said or did. It made me paranoid to think about it because I could not complain about something I could not prove.

photo from pixabay.com

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Summer Be Gone!

Summer is not my season. I’ve never enjoyed it. It’s too hot, it’s too humid…you can see steam from the pavement and you can feel the hot air suffocating you whenever you go out of the house. It’s never been my thing. I think I need to move to another country. I heard the UK weather is the kind that would fit me. Too bad I can’t live there permanently (or can I?).

so hot even in the shade...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Hamilton Obsession

I mentioned in an earlier post that I sometimes use sound apps or music to focus and write. There was one time a couple of years back that this strategy helped me with an urgent and very draining work project that I needed to finish. At the time I was on a musical trip and had been listening to the Waitress cast recording when I decided to try one of the suggested albums: the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording. 


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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Promdi Life: My Long Walks

One of the things that I appreciate about my life here in the province, especially in our neck of the woods, is that we can take long walks. Sure, you can do that in any part of the country, but where I’m from, I can do it without worrying about pollution, traffic, or getting mugged/robbed (something that I was concerned about when I was living and working in the Metro). I think it helps that I’m from a place where everybody practically knows everybody. There are always around 3 (or fewer) degrees of separation between you and any person you will run into in the neighborhood. 

When I first moved to the province, I had to adjust a bit to the whole walking thing. When I lived in the city I didn’t do much of it even if I did commute because there was always a public utility vehicle I could take to get where I needed to go. Here in the province, if people can walk to the destination, they will walk. It was surprising to find out that when you ask directions and they say you can walk to that place, they sometimes mean it is a long walk. A REALLY long walk (which is normal for them by the way). That caught me off-guard, but I’m used to it now (as opposed to the whole huffing, puffing, and midway complaining that I would do wondering how much farther I had to walk to get to my destination).
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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Dean's Wedding

Last February my family and I went on a trip to Tagaytay to attend the wedding of my niece, Dean. She's the daughter of one of my cousins from my mother's side. Her mother and I practically grew up together because we were always around each other so it was only natural that when she had kids, I got to spend time with them too. I can't believe that Dean, who is also my goddaughter, is now a married woman! Time sure flies fast, doesn't it?

The wedding for me was a can't-miss event. After all, she is my goddaughter and she grew up close to my family...I think my youngest sister and Dean were also classmates way back in pre-school too. Normally I skip big events because I hate dressing up and traveling (and socializing, to be honest) but for Dean, I made an exception.



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Friday, April 20, 2018

What Makes a Good Leader (A List!)

I just realized something today: in December 2018, I will officially celebrate my 20th year of working. I may not be in the same company where I had my first job, but I have been working for that long and it feels overwhelming!

As most young people do, I jumped from one job to the next during my early years and even considered being a freelance writer during those times in-between jobs when I sidelined as one. Once I found my current job, however, I've stayed in one place. It's been 17 years in this current one.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jesus Christ Superstar

During Holy Week last month, I decided to restart a family tradition that we had when my father was alive: we watched Jesus Christ Superstar together. I think it's a good approach to getting the kids to watch something religious by showing something entertaining. It worked for my dad when we were kids so might as well give it a shot with the niece and nephew this time around.



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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Good Books to Read: It Ends With Us

I first discovered Colleen Hoover when I read her book, Ugly Love. It was equal parts sexy, romantic with dramatic moments that move you to feel for her lead characters. When she announced the release of her new book It Ends with Us, I knew that I had to have it. If you’re looking for good books to read, this is one of them.

book on domestic abuse
Of course, after reading, I need to write in a journal. Lily, this is your fault!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My Love for NCIS

I love watching TV shows. I watch a lot of shows, both new and old but there is one show (or family of shows really) that I have been loyal to from the start: NCIS.


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Monday, April 16, 2018

Wanted: Doctor

One of the reasons that I haven't been able to blog much lately (aside from my recent writer's block issues) has been my health. I don't want to bore you with the details, but it's just been difficult for me to do much of anything these days apart from work because I feel tired all the time.

I'm not sure if it's the weather, if it's because I'm overweight or if it's because of my thyroid condition (or a combination of all three), but I am just so fatigued 24/7. It's such a struggle for me to get up and go to work because of how I feel. Just to get the strength to be professional and act like you're not feeling like you want to lie down in bed all the time while I'm at the office is exhausting in itself!

People tell me that I need to see a doctor but it's not that simple. I've been seeing a doctor who, for the past couple of years, has been treating me the same way even if I feel worse. I think this is common for a lot of people with thyroid disease. Just because the labs say that our levels are normal, it doesn't mean everything's OK. Unfortunately, I have a doctor who thinks that it is. I know that I am partially to blame for this because this doctor is a GP/Internist, not a specialist in my condition. But the thing is, it is so difficult to find someone in my neck of the woods who is a specialist. Honestly, I haven't found any in my area. The nearest hospital with a doctor with the specialization I'm looking for would be an hour or so and in the next couple of municipalities away. It's too inconvenient of a trip, especially with my fatigue.
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Sunday, April 15, 2018

My Search for Soothing Sounds

Here’s the thing about me and writing: people seem to think that it’s easy, that it just flows out naturally when a lot of times, it’s not. Yes, there are moments when you get that moment of inspiration and you can write on and on and it will just keep going but for the most part, if it’s not part of your creative process or if you are not moved to do so, you don’t. You’re stumped. You have writer’s block and there isn’t anything you can do about it. That has been my problem for the past few weeks. I’ve been wanting to blog, and I’ve been meaning to, but the words just would not come out.

When I write about things that I am interested in, it can be easy to write. Will it be good? Maybe, maybe not…but it will not be a struggle (OK, maybe a little). But if I’m writing for work, if it’s about something technical or for business, I can get stumped. Maybe because it’s not really something I enjoy doing (even if I have to), maybe it’s because there is too much pressure placed on me by people who expect that I can do a quick and easy job of these things.
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Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Review: Love & Gravity

It is a love story that transcends time. A young Andrea is playing the cello when a wall in her room suddenly cracks open to reveal a young boy from another time. She tries recreating this moment several times after that (sometimes successfully, sometimes not), to the point where she questions her sanity. It is only years later when she discovers that the young boy she saw was Isaac Newton – yes, that Newton who discovered the laws of gravity. She then starts to receive letters from Newton, which eventually guides her to more encounters with Newton, which led to her being transported in time to be with Newton himself. 

love & gravity
Cover credit: Penguin Random House

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Thinning Hair Solution

One problem that I had recently has been thinning hair. I think I’ve had hair fall issues my entire life. It was not a big deal back then because my hair was thick and whatever amount of hair fall I had didn’t affect how much hair I had on my head. I don’t know the reason for the hair fall but the thinning hair could either be one or all these things: my thyroid condition, old age (yes, 41 is old for me), or the fact that I often color my hair.

I only realized that my hair was thinning out when my sister colored my hair. She commented that I didn’t seem to have as much hair as I used to. I always wear my hair up in a ponytail or in a bun so I never really paid much attention to it, but I became very self-conscious about it when my sister brought it up. There aren’t any bald spots or anything like that, but when I let my hair down I did see that it wasn’t what it used to be. 

Maybe it is just natural for my age to not have the thick hair that I used to have when I was younger. Maybe it’s just a phase. I don’t know, I never consulted a doctor about it. But like any person who lives in this day and age, I googled it. I went online to look not for reasons but for solutions to my problem. I’ve discovered a fair share of pricey scalp treatments, serums, creams, shampoos, and vitamins that are supposed to help with hair fall and thinning hair. There is a lot to choose from, but most of them do not have real-person assurance/experience that this or that product will work. 

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wanted: Cheap Small Air Conditioner

(Reposting an older entry from an earlier version of my blog because someone has been looking for this!)

The holidays are over and summer is just around the corner. I promised myself over the holidays that I would buy a window type air conditioner for my room that the kids can use for the summer when the heat gets unbearable.

Last month I went on the lookout for a cheap, small air conditioner that I could buy. I had a feeling that air conditioning units would be expensive during the summer season so I decided to buy one over the cold holiday season. That decision paid off when I found a .6 HP window type air conditioner from GE. It cost less than P8,000.00!

GE MABE .6HP Air Conditioner
The AC I bought post-installation. I think I need some paint for those edges.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Money Saver: Kindle Freebies

I’ve loved reading books for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I loved sitting in a corner and reading until the sun went down. My paternal grandmother would have to turn on the lights for me as I struggled to read with what little light was left from the window in the afternoons. I was that hooked to reading. It can be an expensive hobby/interest, but it is worth it.

When e-books became a thing, I wasn’t sure if it was something that I would be interested in. After all, part of reading the book was the experience of having one. The feel of the pages on your fingers, the smell of a new book, the creases that develop from a well-read one…it’s just a different experience from the eyestrain and the need for gadget charging that is involved with e-books. I remember owning an early-era Kindle, which I eventually bequeathed to my niece when I discovered that I could install Kindle on my phone, along with other apps where I could acquire e-books from. 

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Memories of My Childhood Home

I’ve moved around in the last 40 years of my existence. I’ve lived in several places but there is only one place that I still call home: our family home from back in the 80s and 90s in the south of the Metro. I know it’s cliché but there really is no place like home. I grew up there, my formative years were spent there. That was where I dreamed of the person I wanted to be and slowly grew into the person that I have become today. So many memories were made in that house, both good and bad. I will always love and miss that place.



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Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Trike Experience

It’s been 17 years since I moved from Metro Manila to the rural setting that I am based in nowhere in the province. It has been a big change, but I have adjusted to it fairly well. In fact, I have gotten to the point where if given the opportunity, I would turn down a good job in the city if it meant leaving home and the province that I have become so used to. Life here is simpler, quieter,, and peaceful…plus the traffic in our neck of the woods is virtually non-existent.  Who would want to give that up? 

One of the things that changed the way I live my life here in the province is my mode of transportation. Back when I was living and working in the city, I was used to taking buses and cabs to go all over the place. Now I take a tricycle to get around town because it takes me to my destination directly compared to a jeepney and it is much more practical to take instead of bringing your own vehicle to and from anywhere around here. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when you do need to take your own car, ride a bus or a jeepney but those are for longer trips to other cities or municipalities in the province. But for where I’m from, the tricycle will do just fine. 

tricycle


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Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Guilty Pleasure: Twinings Tea

Most of the people who know me would be aware that I am every bit of a coffee girl. I love coffee, mostly when there is no cream on it and just a little bit of sugar. Not having one cup daily is a challenge for me because it feels like the one thing that gives me energy and wakes me up in the morning so that I can start my day right.

Someone once asked me if I would ever switch to tea in the morning instead of coffee. I said no. For me, tea is equated to times when I don’t feel well and my father would make me drink it to help me feel better. I also tend to think of those diet/laxative types of drinks when I think of tea. It’s a weird thought to have but it’s what made me avoid tea for some time. I always thought of tea as just one flavor: the lemon-ish Lipton kind. I wasn’t aware of the other variants/flavors until I had a panic attack and someone brought me some Chamomile Tea.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Confession: I Was (Am) A Fan of Dennis Trillo

It’s rare for me to be a big fan of any celebrity. I may like one celeb here and there but no one has ever made me go on the whole “showbiz fan” ride except for one actor: Dennis Trillo.

The first time that I noticed Dennis Trillo was in his role in the move Aishite Masu 1941 back in 2004. I thought his portrayal of Ignacio/Inya was amazing. I was such a fan of his performance that when I learned that he was going to make an appearance at a nearby mall, I had to drag my sister over so that I could have my DVD of the film autographed. I met and befriended a few of his fans from that day and it all just went super crazy from there. Dennis Trillo movies and TV shows became an addiction for me.

I watched Dennis Trillo in Mulawin (TV and movies) and in all the other shows where he was made into all sorts of supernatural or superhero characters, no matter how corny some of the shows may be.

fan pic
First time I met him.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My Love for Peanuts Characters

One of my favorite McDonalds memories was when they came out with some Peanuts character merchandise as part of their Happy Meal. I remember pre-ordering the entire set to make sure that I could have all the characters. I’m always on the lookout for where to buy Snoopy stuff (hopefully the affordable kind) so this was something I had to grab while I could. I remember that my sister was so amused at how happy I was that I had the entire set when we picked it up. I know it’s weird and maybe slightly immature for someone my age, but I can’t help it!

Peanuts Collection from the McDonald's Happy Meal

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Custom Cakes from Karenina's

When most people are thinking about custom cakes online or birthday cakes to order or for delivery, several TV shows come to mind. Ace of Cakes, Cake Wars, Cake Boss…all these shows that feature custom cakes that you once thought would be impossible but end up getting made as cakes. 

For me, when I think about custom cakes, I think about my cousin Karen, who has her business called Karenina’s Cakes. 

wedding cake
A Wedding Cake from Karenina's Cakes





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Saturday, March 17, 2018

My Attempt at Eggs in Hell

Whenever I poke around on Pinterest I can't help but pay extra attention to recipes that I would like to try. One of those recipes that I saved and tried was Mario Batali's Eggs in Hell.

Eggs in Hell is an egg and vegetable recipe that is based on the North African and Arab meal called Shakshouka. An Arabic word that means mixture, Shakshouka/Eggs in Hell is a mix of eggs cooked in tomato sauce, chili peppers, and onions. 

Mario Batali is an American chef (who has had his share of sexual misconduct allegations recently) who shared this recipe on the TV show The Chew. 

The recipe he shared serves four but it can serve more than that since it does include 8 eggs. Here are the ingredients and instructions as shared by Batali (with some changes I made on it):
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