Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

I started typing this post at 1:03 am of Tuesday. The holiday gives me an excuse to sleep early in the morning again. My original plan was to get to bed early and study my succeeding lectures. But as always, I never fail to ruin my own plans. My Monday was so exhausting. I spent the last few hours hopping from different TV shows, checking my Facebook account while having dinner. I know, bad practice. :) After some hours of doing nothing, I decided to check my email and remembered this blog hop post from the talented, Juanita Tortilla.

This virtual cupcake is for you Juanita ;)
I discovered Juanita's blog through one of my favorite bloggers and namemate, Diane of Lavender Dreams. Juanita sponsored a giveaway that led me to her blog. I became an avid reader of Juanita's blog because of her dress creations and lately, her 100% handmade collection of bags. What further captured my interest in Juanita's blog is her cross country adventures with her husband and Pickle! 

For this blog hop, Juanita asked me to answer a series of questions.

What am I working on?

I'm occupied with the follow up tasks of my documentation project and teaching. Me and my Big Boss underestimated the succeeding tasks of our documentation project. When we met our project consultant, we were surprised with the number of tasks and responsibilities ahead. What further complicates our situation, we are still hanging in the tree of uncertainty. As for teaching, I'm handling a new subject that is anchored with Algebra and Statistics. Brrrrrrrrrrr It's been two months since classes started and I'm still adjusting. While I can always refuse to handle this challenging subject, I figured out that I need to do this. I needed to be shaken. I have to move out of my comfort zone.

I almost forgot, I started a business with my friend CC. We own a candy buffet business. You can read more about us in our new blog

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

My blog serves as my online journal. I mentioned several times here that my revived interest in blogging was fueled by my desire to generate income aside from my day job. Months and years passed, my outlook about blogging changed. I gained online friends and met a few of them. I also found happiness on the shallow reason of being able to document great memories.

If there is one thing that differentiates my blog from the others, I guess it all boils down to the fact that this relates my life and my attempt to live it. 

Why do I write what I do?

I write for the simple reason that I love to write. I love documenting happy memories, capturing photos and back reading them once in a while. So expect more of my life being documented here over the next months and hopefully, years. 
How does my writing process work?

I don't really follow a structure or plan in writing. The only thing that appears a bit structured here is my Beautiful Sunday series and the rare book reviews (I miss writing one.) I write about things as they come and document them depending on my mood and preferences. A few years ago, Kelley of Kelley Highway asked me about my plans for this blog. I was caught off guard because I never thought of having one. I can't remember my response to Kelley. Hahaha As long as I love writing, I will continue to write and blog.

I hope I have fulfilled my mission Juanita! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 118 - Happiness and Surprises

Another exhausting week finally ended! Papers to review, coming to work at 7 am, having two consecutive classes after work, some office concerns, I can't wait for weekend! There are more work ahead next week but I know, there will always be some beautiful things I will encounter along the way. Meanwhile, here are a few that made the past week.

My favorite Bench store - This Bench store in SM Masinag is so clean, organized and has the best interior design. I love the mismatched wood structures. 

Friday Cheat Day! - Java rice and chicken tenders to end a very long week. Thanks K!

Monogrammed! - Thank you Leah of The Bright Spot. In the middle of the week, I saw an LBC package on my table. I wasn't expecting anything so this came as a big surprise. It came in perfect timing because I discovered the package after my two consecutive classes.

Nice message from a bar of soap :) - Fall in love, Find happiness! Yes to this.

One of my favorite childhood junk food - Granny Goose's Kornets, please extend your retail outlets.

Oreo Cheesecake - The many times this cake appeared in this blog. Please expect more appearances :)

Minicupcakes - My favorite has to be the green tea and Nutella. 

How to end a long day at work - A bowl of my favorite peanuts while watching some drama series.

Pizza and potatoes - Belated happy birthday Daddy!

Paotsin forever!!! - Lemak rice and fried sharksfin are for the win!

Share a Coke with BFF - Missing my lone BFF at the workplace. Hi T! 

I love misty windows - Except for the hassles in commuting, I'm loving the colder temperature brought by the rainy season.

Teasers from our 2nd Candy Buffet Project - I will blog about our second candy buffet project soon :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Liebster from Kim

This has to be my most tiring day from work since the school year started. Worst, I feel frustrated for rendering a very lousy lecture. I also feel an upcoming headache. Before I finally call it a day, I decided to unwind, check my personal email and remembered a pending assignment from Kim. (Hello pinsan!) Kim tagged me to answer a series of questions from her Liebster Award. So there, here are my answers to your nose-bleeding questions haha

1. State the title of your favorite book or film and relate the specific scene that made you decide why this one is your favorite.

Favorite Book - I have a lot in my list. But as of typing this post my top favorites are the classics, The Little Prince and The Secret Garden, PS I Love You, Life on the Refrigerator Door and Kite Runner. I also appreciate a few from John Green and David Levithan.

Favorite Film - Films!!!  It's so hard to choose. Based from my mood and memory :) I go for Beaches, Serendipity, 27 Dresses, Pretty Woman, The Devil Wears Prada, Jet Li's Hero and the Korean version of My Sassy Girl.

2. What is the corniest joke you have ever encountered? And what do you think is the basis of being corny?

Recently, a student mentioned  "Mabuti pa ang Roma, may Papa na"

Basis for being corny? I don't know, but the fact that it's too shallow and made me lol, I consider it the corniest. 

3. Name something that got you into a big trouble.

As a kid, I didn't know that I took home my quarterly exams. I left my exam on my desk, having it inserted in a folder that serves as our test cover.... to prevent cheating ;)  I went to the toilet minutes before dismissal time. All the while I thought that my "considerate" classmates made some effort to submit my paper. When I returned inside the classroom, I slid my folder inside my bag and rushed home. Come Sunday night, I was surprised to discover my examination paper inside my bag. When Monday came, our class adviser called my attention and there..... I added another item in my most humiliating moments.

As an adult, mostly occurred at work. I have a lot in my list but for safety reasons (haha) I prefer not to relate them. The greatest trouble would be when some colleagues decided to use my name to escape and pass the blame. (You know, in local parlance, mga nanlalaglag.) 

Oh, did I mention credit cards? One thing I can still be proud of, I'm cleaning up my own mess and I'm not playing hide and seek with those collecting agents.

4. If you have a book of life that would let you revive only one person, would you use it or just leave things as they are?

My dear friend Anna... She went ahead to heaven before we reach 30. I wanted to spend more years with her. I also wanted Anna to have more time with her aging parents. My heart breaks whenever I visit Anna's mom and dad. 

5. Would you rather go back to the past, or leap to the future, or perhaps stay in the present?

Stay in the present and let things fall on how they should be... The present is the link between the past and future. It holds that mystery that we all try to figure out. 

I hope I was able to answer Kim's questions. Mission accomplished? :) 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My First Cath Kidston

Some months ago, I ordered my first bag from Cath Kidston and had it delivered through Johnny Air. I did some computations and realized that just for one bag, it would be cheaper to have the item delivered from UK to US than UK to Ph. Unfortunately, the bag never arrived. My only consolation, Cath Kidston refunded my credit card payment in the soonest possible time. 

To be honest, I somehow lost a degree of trust to Cath Kidston and Johnny Air. I decided to search for other legitimate shopping sites that resell Cath Kidston bags. John Lewis is one but I haven't tried their services. ASOS is another shopping site I learned from Zigrid. I knew before that they resell Cath Kidston bags for a little additional price. I had a pleasant experience with ASOS and best about everything, they ship to anywhere in the world for free. I guess that accounts for the additional price in most of their goods. On the latter part of May, I learned their flash sale to US based shoppers. I did some computations and discovered that it's the best time to buy the Cath Kidston bag, given that my Auntie A gave me the consent to use her US address. The bag arrived in Auntie A's house last month but she decided to include the bag in her cargo packages. So most likely, I will receive my bag on August. 

After this expensive online exercise, I got involved with another shopaholic adventure. (Dear E and L, alam niyo na, hahahaha) Blame the blogosphere and Instagram, I met Leah and Ms. Ellen. We shared the same love love love for Cath Kidston. Hence, the Cath Kidston sisterhood was formed.   After weeks to months of liking and tagging each other to Cath Kidston's IG posts, Ms. Ellen (being our team leader) sealed our union.... we pooled our orders for that one great Cath Kidston sale!!!

After weeks of waiting, I finally met my first Cath Kidston

The packaging was so lovely. I actually kept the kraft yarn ;) and I tried my best not to ruin the Japanese paper. Haha

I even got freebies! Not in the photo is a cute canvass pencil case shown in Leah's blog here and the Cath Kidston stickers!!! Thank you Ms. Ellen and my answer to your question.... YES!!!

  I now understand the texture of an authentic Cath Kidston merchandise. 
Cath Kidston's classic oil cloth trademark is way superior than the "fake" items sold everywhere.

Even Cath Kidston's embroidered label possesses a different texture. The seamless stitching and smooth fabric relate the superior difference. 

The Cath Kidston sisters are planning an official meet up..
Excited but quite worried... sana hindi ako kainin ng hiya hahaha
I maybe too talkative here and in the classroom but deep inside.. basta haha

Thank you Cath Kidston sisters!!

The Typhoon's Aftermath

We are finally getting a more stable supply of electricity!!! It has been four days since our community was deprived of electricity and telephone lines. We are thankful though because there were no interruptions in our water supply. I brought all my electronic devices to work last Friday to prepare for the weekend. On the way to work, the photos relate the typical scene in Manila.

Yes we need rain but not another typhoon again please... 

Beautiful Sunday # 117 - The Aftermath

I'm writing this post way ahead of Sunday. It's actually Friday and I'm finally reporting back for work. It has been two days since work and classes were suspended because of typhoon Glenda. The extent of damage can be traced from the uprooted trees along the streets. In effect, we have been deprived of our much needed electricity for three... make that five days if this post gets uploaded.

Even the operations of key business establishments in our area were hampered. Banks and their ATMs went offline. Fastfood chains such as Mc Donald's and KFC were closed. There were long lines in groceries and supermarkets not because people were hoarding. The absence of electricity meant POS not working. Hence, the manual issuance of receipts. Imagine all your purchases manually written and computed by the cashier. Kudos to the hardworking and patient cashiers! 

I really hope everything will get better soon. At the very least, the roads will be cleared and our supply of electricity will be returned.

Meanwhile, here's what I can offer for my Beautiful Sunday. I have photos waiting to be uploaded from my camera. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring either my card reader or transfer cable. I have to share whatever I have from my Instagram account.

This random "Share a Coke" message is making me happy :) So even though I prefer the regular  (real) Coke, I tried the light or tasteless version to claim ownership with the "Hottie" hahahaha

One item checked off my bucket list!!!! Blame the team leader of the Cath Kidston sisters, Ms. Ellen!! She shared the online flash sale of Kate Spade. I don't have intentions of purchasing ... Sinungaling (liar) hahaha To justify my shopaholic attack, I don't encounter a Kate Spade bag worth less than $ 50 everyday. So there, the damage in my credit card account. During that time, my Auntie A is about to leave US and she willingly gave me her US address. I was spared from the shipping costs so I have no choice?!? but to take advantage.

Speaking of the Cath Kidston Sisters team leader, Ms. Ellen made me the happiest before my little storm misery. I can now claim that I'm an official Cath Kidston fan. My first Cath Kidston all the way from UK finally arrived. I have to blog this in another post... for my version. ;) You can read the entire story from our other sister, Leah in this post.

PS Cath Kidston sisters, before the year end ulit ha? please :) 

Because I have not been eating real food lately, I made sure that I will have my own recovery lunch at work. Keema and "yellow rice" from Kebabers never fail to add lbs of weight and happiness :)

A female seductive trash can ahahahaha Whoever thought of placing a black lace (of all colours) to the innocent and pathetic trash can hahaha

And a little inspiring reminder to everyone :)

Wishing everyone a Beautiful Sunday!

PS Dear Namemate, I'll upload the link up soon :) 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Random Sources of Happiness

My blog has been filled with nothing but my Sunday blogging series. My usual target is at least two posts in a week. One for the blogging series and the other for my monthly book reviews, places visited and other more interesting things. Unfortunately, I'm still adjusting or like I always say, I'm so lousy and poor in time management lately. Maybe my overweight self can also account as another culprit. I guess even my brain is filled with all the cheese and cholesterol I've been taking. Haha Just to break my series of monotonous posts let me write some good random things that happened lately.

1. Coming to work on time on Monday, despite waking up late, traffic and the fact that IT'S A MONDAY - Monday has always been a struggle. Ideally, I should have been more relaxed because of the weekend break. Unfortunately, Saturday and Sunday seemed to be not enough as I age ... and gain weight.

2. Encountered a courteous and accommodating jeepney driver - How often do we encounter one? Despite having a full schedule yesterday, I had the need to drop by the nearby mall to ship some items. The problem with the nearby mall is the location that entails a lot of walking. Despite the short jeepney ride, I still have to endure walking around 2 blocks from the drop off station. Fortunately, the jeepney driver told us that it was his last trip. He took the initiative to verify if everyone is bound to the nearby mall. Everyone was spared from walking because we were dropped off a few steps from the mall's entrance. Thank you Manong! You brought happiness to all your tired passengers.

3. My first order from eBay arrived - If I'm able to sell some of my items in eBay, I should return the blessing by supporting other eBay resellers. I ordered the item last Friday and it was delivered yesterday. 

4. I was able to help two people at the workplace yesterday. - Being able to contribute in the resolution of a problem brings a unique fulfilment for me. Two colleagues were confused over certain aspects of their work. I listened to their sentiments and gave suggestions. I believe I was able to contribute in the resolution process. I felt it when I saw their faces lighten up and they uttered those rare words of gratitude.

5. I enjoy my trips to the shipping centre - When I started selling my items on eBay, my trips to 2go have become frequent. I don't know, but I feel good whenever I'm able to pass my things to its new owners.  Despite subsidising the shipping fees which lessens my profit margin, I feel a degree of happiness when I'm assured that my pre-loved possessions will have a new owner.

6. I had a great lecture yesterday -  Mondays and Wednesdays are my most exhausting days. I have two consecutive classes in the evening. I started lecturing a difficult chapter last night. I decided to focus the entire lecture on the problem solving exercises. I want to prepare the college kiddies to the worst of the worst ;) In the the middle of the class, the kiddies became restless ... in a positive way. I knew at that point that they are bored and no longer challenged. I can confirm that I was able to impart the techniques they need..... I really hope so. Haha 

Wishing everyone a great day ahead! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 116 - Frustrations and Happiness

I was suppose to meet a friend yesterday. Last minute change of plans, we didn't make it. I was looking forward to it because I'm still struggling with my new work schedule. Office work is fine. Teaching is challenging me because after several years, I'm handling two consecutive classes. The level of tiredness was way different when I last had this schedule. My 26 years old self then had better and faster metabolism. But now, my overweight self easily gets exhausted and feels so lousy. I want to shed off the lbs but I don't want to exercise. :) Regulating my food intake is as always, the hardest habit to develop. What to do now?!? A little silly story about my overweight problem, I weighed myself two nights ago. I was surprised when the scale revealed that I was 10 lbs lighter. Really? (Weh, d nga?) I was almost ready to believe not until I stepped down and discovered the reason for the weight loss. The red line or the weight pointer was positioned 10 lbs away from zero. Hahaha for my ambitious self.!

Before weekend arrived, here are the few beautiful things that made my week

They never fail me! hahaha

Beef and cheese Nachos from Nacho King - Recovery meal after having two straight classes :) To the sales personnel, thank you for accommodating me despite nearing closing time.

Another set of Nachos and Cheese from Taco Bell - Taco Bell is heaven for me. I'm thankful that despite revising their value meals, the nachos and cheese are still available... for a separate order. But really, I don't like their idea of replacing the nachos with french fries in their value meals.

Crunchy Taco - Another favorite treat from Taco Bell :) I can have this for dinner everyday

Lotus Biscoff Cookies - I finished the entire pack by myself.. To my defense, I ate it the entire week ;)

Loving Coke's little surprises on the labels :)

How to end a struggling week? Wreck the wallet for a colorful blouse :)

The fountain looks way better in person. It was raining when I took the photo. I believe the fountain fronting the Philippine Postal Corporation was renovated. They infused colorful lights that added attraction and happiness. 

Cuteness! I hope there's a lifesize version too. 

All items here are intended for our next major project

Mini shelf from Papemelroti - This is one of the gifts I received from being a Papemelroti fan. I really hope this will be useful for our next project. Although I'm thinking if I should paint it with white. I wanted it to have that shabby chic look. Opinions, please? :)

Decorative Bin from SM - My initial plan was to purchase wooden crates. Unfortunately, I don't have the time and patience to return to Divisoria. I also can't find a local craftsman who can do it. I searched the nearby malls and I guess, this can serve as a decent substitute.

It's so crowded in here ;) - I have to tidy up these cuties again. You will be highly needed for our new project. Please cooperate with me. :)

I almost got to a minor conflict after purchasing this basket - I will not go in detail but it's not the fault of the Divisoria vendor. This basket costs only Php 180. Despite the deal, someone almost ruined my mood ;) I refused to argue because it was never my thing. I intend to prove myself once the DIY project is executed. Oh dear friends, please pray for me ;) 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beautiful Sunday # 115 - Routes

A Beautiful Sunday to everyone! I'm typing this post at 1:04 am. I feel so tired and sleepy after another long Saturday. I spent the entire day in Divisoria with CC for a major project. We braved the crowded streets for the best and cheapest finds. My legs feel like it has tons of sandbags attached to it. My eyelids feel so heavy now. To be honest, I wasn't contented with the materials we have sourced out. I have minor issues I intend to keep for myself. :) Instead or fully ranting about it, I plan to resolve it on my own. I hate arguments. I hate explaining myself, especially when I know that I'm right. Sigh.. Maybe this is one clear indication that I'm meant for freelance. No business partners to deal with. It's only between me and my employer.

I wanted to finally call it a day. However, I decided to finish this post so that I can spend the remaining hours sleeping. I'm having breakfast past 1:30 am now. I'm enjoying my crunchy waffles and fresh coconut juice (Yes, I'm weird.) No pictures to show because I'm too lazy to look for the camera, transfer files and upload. Haha  I'll limit this post to the few beautiful things that made my week.

The food posts are so back! :)

Breakfast for lunch - The tasty Star Margarine rice and longganisa for lunch. I love breakfast food. I wouldn't mind eating breakfast meals until dinner.  The photo also makes me miss my dear friend T, who shares my love for breakfast food. I really hope we can get together soon.

Cupakes from Brownies Unlimited - Oh yes, I did it again. I destroyed the cupcakes. Haha The cheapest yet tastiest cupcakes for only Php 55 in most SM malls. If you want to make me the happiest, a box of mini cupakes will do. ;)

Kimchi Rice - The photo may not look pleasing but I love the spicy  Kimchi rice served with egg and beef slices. I ate this while watching my (of course) favorite Korean drama series.

Rice in a Box - I swear, I can live with this forever. I love the java rice, freshly cooked chicken chorizo and the sharksfin oozing with bits of chili. When I want comfort food without wrecking my wallet, Rice in a Box is one of my reliable partners.  

Have you noticed the print on the Coke's label? "Share with Mommy" I believe Coke released unique "Share this Coca Cola" reminders. If I had shown this to my own mother, she would surely reply, "no thanks" haha 

How to end a long day at work :)

Bon Chon's Chicken - The chicken was almost great except for my faked bravery to beat the double spicy variant.  I will never again avail this double dosage of spiciness. I'll content myself with honey and soy garlic. Otherwise, I have to prepare pitchers of Coke to alleviate the spicesines.. Haha

Dirty Ice Cream - ...as most of my fellowmen would claim.. In reality however, their ice creams are not really dirty. Why was it called dirty in the first place? Anyone can explain? Is it because of the fact that the ice cream is sold along the "dirty" streets of Manila?

Crunchy Chicken Intestines - It may not looking pleasing to everyone but this item has been in my list of favorites. How can I refuse the happiness spent in Php 50.

Best thing I spent for Php 20 - I used to ignore the massage chairs in large department stores. My tired legs and back were given its much needed break and pampering for only Php20. 

I'm always fascinated with anything Shabby Chic. I hope Robinsons Department Store will include them on the next season's sale. Like, 50 to 70 % off and I will have a new project to use it. 

My Dearest Papemelroti - It started with the leather canvas giveaway. This year, I was blessed to be featured in Papemelroti's blog. In return, the company sent me a few gifts that made me the happiest. Thank you  and I love you forever Papemelroti!!!

Bellini's at Cubao Shoe Expo - Thanks to my former student H who encouraged me to try Bellini's. Surprisingly H was nowhere to be found last Friday. I ended up having dinner with another equally beautiful and smart kid, M. Hi fellow Bookworm M! ;) 

PS To my few blog friends who are linking up, I apologize for the absence of the link up button. I will post the script as soon as I get my much needed sleep. Likewise, I have not been doing my regular blog hops and visits. I'm still adjusting to my new teaching schedule. Hopefully, things will get better for me after a week or two.