Saturday, 17 September 2016

077. Favourite Beauty Product || Day 16/GGBlogChallenge

Ooooh wow it's already Day 16? :)

Despite the number of times I've missed doing the challenge, I still want to go on with it, and for today, we're talking beauty! Unlike most of the blogs I follow, I am on the fence about beauty products, as I don't buy a lot of high end brands, but they work well for me. 

Today's challenge asks for my favourite beauty products, and I am excited to share mine! :)

My favourite beauty products, from left to right: a local product that is at par with the powerhouse skincare brands-Celeteque hydrating moisturiser; then an old favourite, Avon's Ideal Luminous foundation in Shell; Maybelline Creamy Matte lipstick in Touch of Spice. Another Maybelline product is my favourite primer--their Baby Skin Pore Eraser primer. The last two are: Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream, and Revlon's Photoready Cream Blush in Coral Reef. 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

076. To all the books I've loved before. || Day13/GGBlogChallenge

Again, I apologise for not being on track with the challenge!

But here I am, making up for it--and for Day 13 of the Blog Challenge, I will share the list of books I've read while growing up. I still read some of them! :)

  1. Rilla of Ingleside by LM. Montgomery. I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables series. Who under twenty hasn't met the engaging and talkative redheaded heroine? I love all the books in that series, but the eighth and final book stood out for me. Rilla, the youngest daughter of Gilbert and Anne Blythe was a vain and selfish young girl at the start of the story, but the Great War changed her life. 
  2. No Flying in the House by Betty Brock. This is another book that I have read in my childhood. The heroine, Annabel Tippens is no ordinary child. With a little white dog for a guardian and a half-fairy for a mum, can you still say Annabel is just like any other child? 
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. No, I'm not kidding. As young as nine years old, my curiosity was piqued by a beautifully bound red and gold book sitting in the bookshelf. So I began to open the book, and the rest is history.
  4. The Harry Potter series, by JK. Rowling. Anyone who hasn't read this growing up has something missing in their life. Just kidding! Haha. :)
  5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. No, really, it's truly, truly worth a read! The first book that I haven't read in one sitting because of the story's length! :)
  6. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham. Admittedly, I bought this book at a garage sale, just because the cover intrigued me. But it's a good read! :)
  7. Jane of Lantern Hill by LM. Montgomery. From the same author who wrote the Anne of Green Gables, this to me was a refreshing story as the heroine Jane lives in a home where her parents aren't living together, she is lonely, and she hates it. A visit to her father changes Jane's outlook on life. She is pretty much different from the other heroines LM Montgomery wrote, because it is close to reality.
  8. - 10. A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I've read this triumvirate of Frances Hodgson Burnett's well-known work as a little girl. My favourite of the three? Little Lord Fauntleroy. 

So ends the top ten of books I've read when I was growing up. What was yours? :) Please feel free to talk about it here in the comments! :)


Saturday, 10 September 2016

075. Turn Back Time: A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self || Day 9/GGBlogChallenge

I'm sorry to have been away from blogging for a few days. Things have been so crazy busy--so many things to sort out, a few details to iron out, a few loopholes to close up. Okay, that last part's an exaggeration.

For Day 9, the challenge is to write a letter to my sixteen year old self. Boy, it's like going back through time, sifting through memories. While we can't use the Time Turner like Hermione Granger did in the third Harry Potter novel, it would be fun to write this letter, nevertheless. 

When I was sixteen, I am on my way to senior year in high school*. I was excited, nervous and terrified, all at the same time. It was a rollercoaster--but I wouldn't trade that year for all the frozen yoghurt in the world. Below is my class picture in high school--that's how most uniforms in Philippine high schools--public (meaning state/government funded) and private (fee paying, to UK readers reading this post).

Photo credits courtesy of Abby Veloso, one of my friends from high school. She's in the picture, third from left.  Haha now you will find out  how long it's been since I was sixteen!

074. Goodness, gracious.


This, last weekend.. I am about to undertake the first major project 
of my life--my room renovation. Really excited and nervous at the 

same time. Crossing fingers everything turns out well! Currently 

in the planning stages, so I am welcoming Pinterest board suggestions! 

Last weekend found me in the hardware store, something I haven't done in ages. For some weird reason, I've enjoyed going to the hardware to look at supplies. Probably it's due to some fantasy of getting my own home that I have this hidden obsession of looking for paint swatches, blinds, mirrors, and yes, even doorknobs.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

073. Re-post: The dish with no name || Day 4/GGBlogChallenge

So it's Day 4, and I can't believe I'm still doing this challenge! I almost didn't, since Sunday is always a busy day for me. 

Aside from music, lipstick, books, art materials (and so on, and so forth--just kidding, it's only up to stationery), my list of vices include food. As a little girl, "Food, glorious food" was my mantra.

 It still is, though.

Today's challenge called for my favourite recipe. So, what's my favourite recipe? This recipe below. I originally posted this one a few months ago, but to save everyone from rifling through the archives section, I will be reposting it. This dish is actually my mum's invention, has the main ingredients of chicken, tomatoes, oregano and cheese, and has no name. At least, none that would properly suit this little gem of a dish. 

I am happy to share you the recipe. :)

Saturday, 3 September 2016

072. That favourite artist post. || Day 3/GGBlogChallenge

Hellooo! :) How are you all doing? :) Hope everyone's okay. 

On Aimee's 30 day list, we are to share our favourite band/musician.  This, admittedly, is a very tricky challenge, as I have a lot of favourites, I kid you not.

But I'm going to try! I originally intended to share just my favourite band. But I wasn't sure if it was one of each, or just either-or, so I went ahead and included the musician--he's too good a musician to keep to myself if people don't know him already, which I am sure they do, but, just in case!

My favourite band would be Starsailor--a band that was formed in 2000. A trivia: Their frontman, James Walsh, was a choir boy prior to forming the band--which probably explains how their songs are delivered with passion--there's a certain soul in every song he sings.

 I love this band for their lyrics and their music, which may be a bit loud, but that's okay. Their lyrics stand out for me as they seem to touch everything that a lot of people encounter in real life--love,  death, abuse, grief, anger, joy.

"The Good Souls" from the album Love is Here is my favourite track from the band. Well, at least one of. Also, listening to this song has a strange, calming quality.


Hands down, Jamie Cullum is my favourite musician! He's that guy who plays the piano and sings like he owns it. He's really awesome at re-introducing well known jazz songs such as Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things", or Ira Gershwin's "I Can't Get Started" to a new generation of music lovers. His voice can actually generate any mood, ranging from playful to sentimental.

He made a cover and transformed the Rihanna original "Don't Stop The Music" into a song that's something subtly sexy (no, really), and I personally prefer it to the original. Sorry, Rihanna! :)

While Jamie's voice sounds good in music videos, I like his voice better live.

So that's Day 3 done! :) I can't wait to post for Day 4--but meanwhile, do let me know who your favourite musician or band is. Let's talk about it here! :)


Thursday, 1 September 2016

071. Things I'm thankful for || Day 2/GGBlogChallenge

Note: Just in case you've been wondering why I have two posts within the same day, it's because I originally started the post for Day 1 late at night last night (oh boy this doesn't seem to make sense), but the clock struck midnight the moment I was done. Oops!

While this photograph of a flower isn't really relevant to the post, I'm sharing this just to appreciate
life in all its forms. 

Aimee included this in her challenge list for Day 2--writing down things that you are thankful for. In this age where negativity seems to bloom like algae, we all need to remember that we need to take note of the beautiful and wonderful things around us, and also to keep beautiful thoughts. 

There are times that I admit to griping about things that are pretty much insignificant in the grand scheme of things: stress at work, a co-worker saying something that annoyed me. When I was still in uni--I complained about the massive workload, plus the never ending list of readings that sometimes can drain one emotionally, say a rape case. Or that of a battered woman who killed her husband because she had enough, but still ended up being jailed. That jolts me hard enough to realise that I should be grateful that I am not in their shoes--as much as my heart breaks for them. Frankly I am not sure how I would be able to cope through that if that happened to me!

So what are the things I am grateful for? It's hard to list them one by one, like a bullet list, but here goes. 

I am thankful for my family--the first group being my flesh and blood. They have been incredibly supportive of me in everything I do, even when I behave like a typical "youngest child" --that spurt of temper that comes out every now and then. Especially to my parents, who were my rock. I don't know where I would be without them. The second group of family are my friends. They are like brothers and sisters to me. I constantly look forward to eating lunch with them--their combined strength has made me strong. I appreciate the way they make me laugh, or lift me up when I feel chucking everything into the paper shredder! 

The next thing that I am grateful for is love. Not romantic love, but familial love. It is what makes me consider my friends like family. I love my family--to bits. It is the same love that makes me happy whenever my friends at work get promoted, or when my friends in law school get into the honours list.  Or when my parents tell me and my older siblings that they love us--and they show it in so many ways.

And lastly, I am thankful for the gift of life--which can be painfully short sometimes. A friend from work died unexpectedly--a young mother whose children are still very young, with the exception of one daughter who is already in university. It was a shock, as the last time I saw her, we were chatting about weekend plans. It was a reminder for me to appreciate life as it comes and goes. Life is a beautiful, endless cycle. I am also reminded of the time that my dad was hospitalised because of his seizures. He's much better now, but at that moment, I was almost made to face the fact that I might have to say goodbye to him. Thankfully, I didn't have to. And I hope, not for a long time.I treasure the moments that I spend with him.

I am glad to be alive--no matter how trying it can be. I am grateful for the fact that I can still get up in the morning, and get ready for work. I am grateful that I can spend time with my family and friends. I am grateful that I am still able to learn new things. 

What are the things you are thankful for?  :) Comments are really, really much appreciated. It would be great to chat with you. :)

070. On taking the plunge.

Hello! Just another update...well, no, not really. Not "just another". It's very special since it's the first time in my blogging life that I'll be doing this--like, ever. I kid you not! :) And I'm very, very excited! :) 

A brief background story: I discovered this blogging community through a friend's blog. One of the "badges" in her sidebar caught my attention and I clicked on and found Jemma, aka Dorkface's blog, the main woman behind The Girl Gang. I joined the Facebook group, and I am happy to be part of this awesome group who helps and supports each other. Can it be any more cooler? :) While I am mostly a lurker in the group--sorry, will be a little more active in the future--joining this group has been one of the best things I ever did for the past...few months. :)

Sunday, 28 August 2016

069. Ear Candy: Music that I have been listening to for the past few weeks.

I swear I am wearing earphones--my hair keeps them well hidden. Haha! 

Music has always been in my bloodstream. While I can carry a tune, and am a member of our office choir, I love listening to music more. It's actually a vice (next to books, food, stationery, art materials and lipstick, haha)--I would spend money on music, buying CDs of new releases by my favourite artists--long before the days of iTunes. 

Thanks to this awesome vlogger family--I am introduced to new music as cool as the family--so cool that I listen to it on repeat on my phone while I am on my way to work--and even while working! :) 

Here's the list of awesome songs--old and new that I would like to share with you. I'm also including a few songs outside their playlist--old songs thats I have been inspired to listen to again. Please note that they are listed in random order, and titles are in italic. :)

1. My Hands-Blue Bay Foxes
2. Express-Christina Aguilera, Burlesque Original Music Soundtrack
3. Nocturne 19 in E minor, Op.72 No.1-Frederic Chopin; Benjamin Grosvenor
4. This Charming Man-The Smiths
5. Mr. Brightside-The Killers
6. Mid-Air-Paul Buchanan
7. Sweet Jane-Garret Kato
8. Tonight-Stephen Day
9. Someone Else Inside You-The Anti-Job
10. Winning Team-Old Daisy
11. Hey Now-The Regrettes
12. YOU-Afreaux
13. From the Second Act, Un Bel Di Vedremmo from the Madame Butterfly opera- Puccini, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra; Chorus of the Theatro Nuovo di Milano
14. Blush-Wolf Alice
15. Firecracker-New York Movie
16. White Noise-Black Books
17. Great Indoors-John Mayer
18. Dots on Maps-Say Hi
19. Maps-The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
20. Is This Love?- Corinne Bailey Rae
21. Leopold Street- The Paper Kites

What's on your playlist lately? :)


Sunday, 14 August 2016

068. July in review.

It has been the best of months, and the worst of months. Sorry, Dickens, for stealing this from you...sort of.

But July has been a roller coaster in many ways that it's hard to put my fingers to the  keyboard where that is concerned! I don't often write about my family (because privacy and security), but my dad has been in and out of the hospital. But with prayers, he's much, much better. To be honest, though, I was so scared most of the time. Wondering if my dad would be okay again--he's not getting younger, and a few months' shy of eighty--and he's gotten so thin and sick of late. But, as my older sister puts it, he's wonderfully stubborn--it's in the genes, I suppose, haha. Kidding aside, we are grateful that he's putting up a fight, and doing wonderfully well. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

067. Scales of Justice

I know that I'm going to get in trouble after I hit the publish button but I'm going to write on, anyway.

Sometimes, I'm just like Blair Waldorf in the video above.

For the past few weeks, the Philippines has seen a lot of change. Changes that the new president has brought. Some of them elicited approval, some with dismay and anger. To be honest, I feel like I am that curious bystander, especially on Facebook. I see people who air their views with approval, others with barely concealed ire as they post their outrage over the latest issues--the extrajudicial killings of drug lords, drug pushers and their ilk, and the return of the death penalty. Other days, I can only laugh, but most of the time, I am seething. Seething because you really can't just stop hypocrisy.

One friend from church posted something in favour of the current administration and a mutual friend and I commented something about it. While I am first and foremost a Christian, I am also that person who doesn't suffer fools gladly, and I get brutally frank at the worst of times, which I understand  can be conflicting at best. So I admit I pretty much gave that person a piece of my mind. Just when I thought that the person who replied to my comments were getting to see my point, he began to message me on Facebook, TELLING ME HOW MUCH OF A BETTER PERSON HE IS than the person who made that main Facebook post.

I would like to tell you that I was really sweet and gracious about it. But to people who pretend to know more than they actually do, and claim that they are the better person over the person they compare themselves to--well, that's a different conversation. So I told him quite bluntly that we better call it a night, because with the way the conversation was going, it was going to end in...well, let's just say that it's not going to be pretty. I don't like arguments, I don't like conflicts. I hate debates, so I guess that's one reason why I will never be in litigation if and when I become a lawyer--but when there are people who seem to dig themselves into a hole where they'd go to the point of no return, I sometimes perversely dig the hole deeper for them--letting them ramble on and on, while I say no more.

So, I have a question for you all. How do you deal with holier-than-thou people who think that their way is the only way, and that their opinion is the ONLY right opinion, as if their word is law? Would it be better to end the conversation...or fight your way back?

Coming back to the main point, I see those news everyday, and sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't. Because there will be people who won't listen to your point of view, and probably criticise your opinion--and mark you as a bad person because of your opinions. It does happen everywhere. Be that as it may, I sometimes have this moment: "Will I respond to the comment, or will I let them bloody well alone?"


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

066. Blessing in disguise

Okay, not in the strictest sense, but sometimes, one has to make the best of what they have--and they still brought out good results! This afternoon, I made this.

You can find the recipe here! It's easy peasy. :)

It's the first time I made churros. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be a bit, er, strenuous, haha. The recipe video made it look easy--so I thought it was. Well, it was, except for the part where I would be mixing the ingredients to make it a dough. The only good thing about it is that I was able to exercise my arms. Boy, that was quite a workout!

Another challenge--since I don't have the star piping for icing, I didn't know how else. So...I thought it would be easier to roll the dough into a ball--it seemed to work. Plus, I was able to make a lot of churros that way. When they were done, it was such a hit with my mum and older brother that the balls were gone in less than an hour! I made chocolate dip, but as I bought a new jar of cheese-jalapeno dip, my older brother made a beeline for it. I tried it out, and it was just as good!

Cheese and chocolate dips. What more can one want? 


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

065. That very late Me Before You movie review.

It's always awesome to spend time with your friends--no matter how large or small the number. And that's exactly what my law school bestie and I did.

We watched the most anticipated movie for this year--aka. Me Before You.

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Brendan Coyle, Matthew Lewis, Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance, Samantha Spiro, Janet McTeer, Vanessa Kirby, and Ben Lloyd-Hughes.

Elle and I, along with our friend Nina (who is also my law sorority sister. She is currently in the US so she wasn't able to make it) have been looking forward to it for months--since the trailer was released. In my case, I've read the book, and was pretty excited to see how it would turn out. Luckily, Jojo Moyes also wrote the screenplay so I would have no reason to be disappointed!

For those who haven't read the book (although this would be impossible), the story begins where Louisa "Lou" Clark (adorably portrayed by Emilia Clarke) lost her job when the cafe she was working in closed down. She found a job later on--and she meets Will Traynor--a very successful, adventurous, thrill-seeking banker (the very gorgoeus Sam Claflin brings this character to life) turned into a cynical, sarcastic quadriplegic. Lou refuses to treat Will with kid gloves, eventually becoming friends with him, and later, developing feelings for each other--despite the presence of Patrick--Lou's thoughtless boyfriend in her life.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

064. The random five.

Sorry, this picture has absolutely nothing to do with the list below! I just thought of including this as it has a great way of making me feel energized. 

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I was holed up at home because of asthma. But it wasn't such a lonely convalescence as there were plenty of things to watch (on my phone), and stuff to read. A clue: some vlogs, a book, and a few articles. These links are cited without any order of preference.

I've come across this vlog through some YouTube video that the University of Oxford has posted for the benefit of international students. (You never know--a girl can dream!) This video, for some reason, was next in line for my viewing so I also checked it out too. End result: I've began to watch Simon's older videos. 

If you've watched the video above, then you would have heard of this article being mentioned. This an article about the struggling students who need scientific papers but have to pay a huge amount of money just to obtain them? Who made it possible? So what happens next? The article is pretty interesting--an eye-opener in fact!

Meet the Michalaks--Stef, Hannah, and their adorable toddler Grayson. They are a young family living in London--and their weekly vlogs are as real as they get. I discovered their YouTube channel by accident, through this blog. Since then, I have looked forward to watching their vlogs every Sunday. Better late than never, I say. ;)

This is one of the advantages of subscribing in Ebook Bub. If you're lucky--you will find a book that is free! :) I've found this book deal from one of their emails to me--and I got it without paying for anything at all. I'll have a review lined up! 

If there is one word to describe The Salty Sea Blog's entries, it's ethereal.  Someone must have sprinkled some fairy dust into Sarah's entries, because there is some kind of magic whenever one reads her blog. And it's not just me, everyone else who has read The Salty Sea Blog feels the same way too! This linked post, in particular, is one of my favourites. (She had a new post that week I was holed up, but I kept coming back to this entry.)

Hope you enjoy checking these links out whenever you can! :) How about you? What do you enjoy watching or reading online? :)


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

063. Lately, lately.

Me with my friends from law school at a christening celebration. One of our friends, Giselle (not pictured), invited us to her son's christening celebration. It's been great to see these girls as I haven't seen them in ages. Photo courtesy of Lorelie Dema-ala, who by the way is the gorgeous girl with the red matte lippie.

The previous week had me ill--severe asthma knocked me down, making me go off work for a week. In a way, I saw it coming, since I kept forcing myself to go to work even though I feel unwell (translation: my health is taking a nosedive on account of the summer weather). I've been doing so for several weeks--a month, to be honest.

The Sunday before that, I attended this really cool brush calligraphy workshop which is put up by this pen and art supply store. Brush calligraphy is a bit more tricky than pointed pen calligraphy in a way that it's a bit difficult for me (as a lefty)  to control the strokes and relax the grip on the pen at the same time. It was fun learning though. The workshop facilitator, Oats Diy, was really very patient--my hand having a mind of its own!

The kit for this workshop included a calligraphy practice pad, three brush pens, and the manual of sorts. The card with my name is actually a place card  for seating arrangements. I think I'm going to use this as a bookmark in the future!
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