To the stars by hard ways

A personal online diary of a thirty-something Filipina.

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? :)


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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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Sunday, 22 May 2016

062. The dish with no name.

A friend asked me once what I like to cook. I remember telling him that it really depends on which ingredients are available, and he in turn asked me if there is any dish that I particularly love to cook but unfortunately, I don't get to often. So hence, this dish, which (haha it rhymes) is originally of my mother's invention (she swears that it was an experiment involving chicken, tomato, and cheese in a combination she has already forgotten). With her permission, I modified the recipe. Below is the recipe I am excited to share with you all!


You'll need:

2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly*
5 leaves fresh oregano, chopped finely
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups grated quickmelt cheese**
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp corn starch, dissolved in water

For sauteeing, you'll need:

2 tbsp olive oil***
1 onion, finely chopped
garlic, crushed
1 chicken broth cube
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Friday, 20 May 2016

061. All this, and everything else, too.

I'm not going to lie. I've been going through a tough week a week ago, and I'm still going through it. But I'm going to do something about it soon! I'm not, at the moment ready to tell you about it yet. Meanwhile, however, one must still fight and soldier on. Today being Friday makes it so much easier, ha! 

Yes, I intentionally posted this as it is. I'm still new to this flatlaying thing, but it's
pretty handy when I make posts! A guide from one of my calligraphy-typography heroes
can be found here. Please do check her out, she's totally awesome! :)
The past weekend found me in one of my favourite malls in the city I live in. I was a woman with a mission; get a copy of Jojo Moyes' After You (a book review will be in the works!) as well as the increasingly popular (elsewhere, seriously Philippines, what are you on about?) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I bought this book because I seriously need help, and I want to learn.

And yes, it's mission accomplished. I've wanted to buy these books for ever so long, and I thank my favourite bookstore for not failing me for the past five years.

A confession: I fangirl. Yes, I do. And you can only guess why I bought that magazine. The magazine toasts Georgina Wilson (she's one of the It Girls in the Philippines--for a good reason) as she is now Mrs. Burnand. This woman has it all--but she manages to keep it real, and that's why I think she's fabulous. I really do wish Mr. and Mrs. Burnand the best! :)

#TheBurnands. Image source here.
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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

060. The struggle to travel light

Image credits here.


To be honest, I don't get to travel a lot. But when I do, I get very excited, and tend to be reckless with packing. The last time I traveled was to visit my cousins in another province. I just packed about everything--well,  nearly--and it caused a bit of inconvenience. First lesson learned: never bring a shampoo bottle that contains more than 100 mL! 

Then I brought a lot of clothes--some of them ended up being unused, which caused unnecessary extra weight. The next time I travel, I will make it a point to know what the itinerary or activities would be! 




I have a confession. This struggle isn't confined to long trips! If any one of you have read this post about the contents of my bag, you would know about the ridiculous amount of stuff that's in it. And I bring that bag everyday to work.  It's really difficult to weed out which ones are (un)necessary, especially when I feel that they are--I think you guys know what I mean! Because girl's gotta have options! Of course that's not a healthy thing to do, because the bag ends up heavy, and you'd get to bring a lot of things you don't need! Hello, masochism!

So lately, I evaluate the contents of my bag--which is really hard to do--go through things that I need, and don't need. Medications, cooling powder, hand lotion and hand sanitizer,  check!  The makeup bag is another story, and it's like a time bomb waiting to explode. Which reminds me, I have to go over it again and take out stuff that's pretty redundant. Which is pretty much a daunting task. Just kidding, haha! I'll just need an extra dose of resolve. 

Then, in goes my planner, and uh-oh, the also fairly bulging pencil case. I love my pens, and woe betide you should you borrow them and lose them! Sometimes, I bring them, and sometimes I bring a smaller pencil case--which I really should. I'll have a bigger problem when I go back to law school, since well, hello highlighters again! Haha. 

Tomorrow is another day, and I should really, really think twice about putting in a tube of lippie when there's a lip and cheek stain.


Hi, my name is Layla, and I'm a work in progress.



Till then! :)
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