Friday, December 20

I'm NOT an Excellent Gift Giver

Here comes the season of gift giving & merriment... and I'm pretty bummed... again! Last year, I promised myself that I'll make a gift list for my family and friends. This is to make me a more thoughtful giver and make my receiver the happiest. Not to mention, this strategy will also be easy for my pocket.

Where did the time go? I have not listed anyone/anything for Christmas. It made me cray-cray again, nearly into tears as the days are nearing to the 25th! I know, I know I should not stress myself as the season is stressful enough - with the traffic, parties in every corner, ballooning expenses and what-nots. 

Suddenly, the inner gift goddess in me come to life. Tada! I'd like to give gifts that are practical, has long expiry, eco-friendly and most of all, something that I would love to receive too. Since I needed a quick fix and can no longer stand the rowdy shoppers (both malls/bazaars), I decided to purchase almost everything online. And the product that holds true to all my simple standard is Human Heart Nature. I've been using their products for years now and I want to somehow promote their value-for-money, high quality Body & Home Care line to my receivers. I enjoyed the hassle-free shopping online! On the other hand, some of their best-selling products are already out of stock like the bug spray and massage oils. With a handy list of what exactly to buy for the others, I braved the mall and got items that can create traditions. One of my favorites are the 2-tier cupcake/pica-pica holder that will be perfect for tea parties. Yay!!! Of course, the foodie in me shouldn't be left behind. I got signature Owl coffee for some of my office mates. It took me only 3 days to complete everything minus the headache.

Bonus thing is I still had time left to be creative with the wrapping. I pulled out my kraft paper roll from last year, jute strings and washi tapes because I want to keep it simple. Here you go :)

I get passed the terrible gift-giver stage but I still feel I'm not yet excellent at this. I hope to do better next year :P

Happy giving,


Friday, December 13

Mama at 53

Mama's birthday last September 22nd was a perfect excuse to bring out all the creativity in my household. She came all the way from Pangasinan to be able to celebrate her special day with her family in Manila. Thank you Pop for being kind enough to "lend" her to us (I have clingy parents, just so you know). 

On a hot Saturday afternoon, we started to brainstorm for what simple gathering. We pulled out the YUMMY magazines and gathered a few recipes. Since Mama wanted a low-key, hassle-free food preparation (she is always the master chef)... we decided to have DIY burgers! I added leftover beer to the patties to tickle the adult taste buds and it was a hit! Everyone is happy to place their orders! Instant business! :) She also made her famous spring rolls. Miguel brought the yummy black velvet cheesecake from Mary Grace. My cousin Micha insisted to make ref cake and popcorn cups. After all, we expected little cousins and kids at heart to drop by the apartment. 

Posing-posing with the burger
fun starts here

graham cake. strawberry lemonade. popcorn cups. spring rolls.
Look here, Ma! Does she look like she's 53? I wish to look like her someday. She is aging with grace and I think he best secret is having that positive, cheerful outlook in life. She talks a lot and laughs really hard. In fairness, di pa yan mahilig mag-ayos. She always want to keep things simple :)

birthday girl

We are happy to welcome guests at home too. Our family is camera happy. No need for games or to turn on the videoke machine! It is so much fun just catching up with our relatives :)

a decent one
The look-up pose
And oh, this little munchkin also celebrated her birthday same as Mama. They're cute together! <3

Mama & cousin Naya

Kaching, Kaching!

High five Friday the 13th! It's not like it is the most celebrated day of the year but if you belong to the working class like me, today is your lucky day. Coming up is our much-awaited, well-deserved "extra" income, 13th month pay on Friday the 13th! Oh yeah!!! Everybody in the office must be in good mood. Oh EDSA traffic, please be good also :)

BUT before we spend/save our little "treasure chest", let's understand how our perspective of money can affect our decisions and our well-being as well. Did you know that money is an issue of the heart? Think of the times when you needed to pay your bills and suddenly you feel some unexplained heartache? Or those days, when you lined up at the counter and realized you forgot your plastic card so you have no choice but to pay in cash? It hurts, right? Because you know it is hard-earned money. You wake up early each day, geared yourself up for work and do your best to contribute for the success of the company you are employed at. Sounds familiar? Now, I wonder how much joy... and stress money can give us every pay day. 

A few Wednesdays ago at Church, I was blessed to be reminded by this verse from Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." This only validates that God is our ultimate Provider and we should put our heart in Him first before worrying on how to budget our earnings. It is putting into perspective that He gave us abilities and a job for us to get paid twice a month. I don't claim I'm stress-free in terms of my finances but it is more manageable than ever! I'm also able to give more cheerfully with the right frame of mind :)

Do you consider God as your master over money? Think about it! 

Bountiful life ahead,


Thursday, December 12

Hello, Ako ay Muling Nagbabalik!

Alam kong ang aking pagbabalik ay di kasing kaabang-abang ng TWD season 4. Ngunit, subalit, datapwat... batid ko na nakakarelate ang karamihan sa akin sa tuwing sasapit ang BER-months sa Pinas, eh nagiging sobrang-super-mega busy tayo. Aminin na natin yan! Don't tell a lie, alalay! Nyahahaha! (Eeeek, nakaka-hyper pala ang muling magbalik... hindi sa nakaraan hah kasi bilang GV advocates tayo, moving forward dapat ang peg natin. Ok?)

Ayun na nga... 'di ako nakahanap ng panahon upang silayan man lang ang mumunting tahanan na ito para ma-irecord man ang mga living-the-life moments ko. Oh well papel... naging busy man, ang mas importante ay nagbababalik diba? Nakaka-miss din pala dito. Dati, ilang oras akong nakatulala sa harap ng monitor kakaisip ng isang cool at inspiring na post. Hanggang ngayon, wala pa rin ata akong cool na post pero may mga ilang posts dito na nakaka-inspire talaga. Nakaka-inpire kumain! HAHAHA! Kung di yun ang hilig mo, naku iha/iho... naliligaw ka nga. You are so lost! (pero, sana naaliw ka kahet konti... puhlease? balik ka ulit bukas ah :P)

So, ano namang mga ganap nung offline ako? Bilang independent city dweller, first order of business ang DIY laundry at pagluluto ng baon sa office para makatipid. Uy, big deal yan ah. Side note: kelangan ng matibay na buto sa pagdedesisyon na humiwalay sa magulang after college. Nga pala, nagstart din ako mag-boxing for more push to kaseksihan! Nakapag-join din ako ng badminton tour-nament. Hehe, sa QC lang naman pero the fact na there's tour sa tournament, eh convinced na ako. Nagsimula din akong tumakbo ulit. At feeling ko, sa White Plains ang aking sweet spot. May dalawang fun run din akong nasalihan with my cousin Mine (todo karir para sa nalalapit niyang wedding bells). Siyempre, dapat balance diet diba? So ayun, I'm on a SEE-food diet na rin. Andami kayang naglipanang kainan dito sa Manila ngayon. Panay hype din naman so savor while it lasts. (tse, excuses!) Di rin patatalo, ang mga makakating paa ko. May mga travel milestones ako in the past months at pramis ko, isusulat ko yun dito. Most of all, the event of all events and the travel of all travels in my life... nag-pre-28th birthday ako sa Singapore. Nakaka-kilig talaga yun! Not the kilig-about-love kind of way ah. Basta, sasabihin ko rin yun dito... baka sakaling may mapulot kayong konting inspirasyon at aral. Ayyy wait, parang nakaka-pressure bigla ah.

Sige, last na 'to.. masyado ng mahaba eh. Eto na ang moral of the story. Get busy living your life, offline. Then, upload during your alone/quiet times! Uy, totoo 'to. Sa panahon kasi ngayon less na ang human interaction (I mean, kamustahan in person.. as in face to face. Pati nga high five at power hug, virtual na). Minsan, sa sobrang daming Instagram-worthy na nakakapagbabusog sa ating mga mata... nalimutan na nating makipag-interact. Aliw na aliw lang tayo kaka-picture-picture sa mga nasa paligid natin... tapos pag-uwi mo, mapapatanong ka na lang sa sarili mo kung na-achieve ba ang goal mo sa pakikipagkita mo sa mga amigas/amigos mo or na-achieve mo na ang quota for the day sa mga SNS. Hehe! Mababaw pero life-changing 'to. Try mo! Sana kung nabibigyan natin ng oras ang pagbabasa ng blog, mag-check ng FB, i-update ang Twitter at IG natin... i-push din natin ang tunay na experience. Yun bang magagamit natin ang ating 5 senses na natutunan natin nung kinder tayo. Sayang naman kasi. Wherever you are, whether you are enjoying the lush scenery sa probam or dealing with the crappy traffic in the city... ibulsa mo muna yang Smartphone mo at appreciate the life you are in now. Malay mo bukas, wala na yan. Kasi sabi nila, the only constant thing in this world are taxes and CHANGE. 

Oh siya, humayo kayo at let's live a life away from the PC/internet. Kitakits sa susunod na kabanata :)

Mula sa puso,