Sunday, 9 October 2016

080. Zoom, zoom, zoom!

My change has come sooner than expected!  

Just a few days ago, I talked about how I intend to change things up--including platforms and urls. But before I have to do that, I need to wrap things up here--backing stuff up--posts as well as photographs. 

I'll be telling you guys where I will go next--so, watch this space! :)

Saturday, 8 October 2016

079. On hold, but still here.

Hellloooo! I'm still here...and the blog isn't going anywhere either. It's just...trying to sort itself out as to what it really wants to be. 

If that makes sense.

For the past few days I've mulled over things. People do change as time passes, and at my age, I have more or less figured out who I am and what I want...and do not want. The same thing goes for things I can and cannot do. I've decided to really, finally stay. My blog won't go away--although it might change names, change urls and platforms. And the way I want to tell my story to you guys. I just haven't decided yet. 

Oh, and a few days ago, I celebrated my birthday. It was, for the past three years, with my favourite people at work. One of them shares a birthday with me. Just that day, however, I wished that I had someone else to share it with apart from family and friends. No, it's not a self-pity party, but one just can't help wishing. I am, however, grateful for my family and friends. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am right now.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

078. Time out.

Right now, I'm figuring out everything in my life. Transitions, changes--that kind of thing. It might extend to the blog, and I still don't know what to do with it. 

Will keep you posted one of these days. 

Till then! 

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!

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

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.

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! :)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

059. By the book.

In a previous post, I've mentioned that while shopping, you'll most likely find me in the bookshop more than in the beauty counter. In short, it's the next best thing to heaven. I found this post in Mimmi of Muted Mornings' blog, and thought I'd give it a try. 

Is there a book on your nightstand right now?

Rilla of Ingleside, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables series, and reading those books reminded me of how simple life was back then, and goodness and kindness are always important. In this book, Rilla starts off by being really selfish and vain. The outbreak of the First World War changes her life. This actually is a re-read--just like all of LMM's work! :)

What was the last truly great book you read?

Treasures from the Attic: An Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family by Mirjam Pressler. If you're one of those people who grew up reading Anne Frank's The Diary of A Young Girl, you will find this an extraordinary read, as the title says. It was a great journey finding out about Anne's ancestors, other family members, and what happened to them after the Second World War.

If you could meet a writer, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you want to know?

Frances Hodgson Burnett. I loved reading the three of her most well-known work--A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Secret Garden. I want to know what Sara Crewe would be like when she grows up,  how the garden would affect Mary Lennox' life after the story has ended, or how Cedric Errol would be like in his adolescence and adulthood, and what kind of Earl he would be. I feel that these stories shouldn't have ended where they did.  

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

What Not To Wear by Trinny Wooddall and Susannah Constantine. I admit, I'm clueless about clothes--well, I was, until only recently. There's nothing more awkward than going somewhere wearing something that's not appropriate.

How do you organise your personal library?

Currently by category. Books I use(d) for uni belong to the top and second shelves.  Books for leisure go to the third shelf. Magazines, and other stuff go to the bottom.

Is there a book you have always meant to read but haven't got around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed not to have read?

I have a list as long as my arm! Included would be Vera Brittain's The Testament of Youth,  All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Jojo Moyes' After You, and Emily Gregory's Little Book of  Lettering. And as a die-hard Downton Abbey fan, I would love to get my hands on a copy of  Downton Abbey: A Celebration.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good; name a book you feel you were supposed to have liked but just didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Fifty Shades of Grey, just because I was curious, so I borrowed it from a friend. Returned it to her the next day. I couldn't get past the first page.

What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?

I steer clear of the vampire/mean girls/cliquey sort of books. Or anything with a depressing plotline. I've been going through something lately, and books with that kind of plotline would seem too close to home. Otherwise, I read just about anything.

If you could choose a book the President (/Prime Minister) had to read, which would it be?
I honesttly don't know. Like Mimmi,  I don't think anything could make him a better person. To be honest, I just want his term to end. I probably wouldn't recommend anything because he's not that kind of person.

What do you plan to read next?

I bought Margaret Macmillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, Hew Strachan's The First World War. Not exactly a cheerful reading matter, but when I was still in law school,  my Public International Law professor revived my interest in that subject matter, which started when I was reading Rilla of Ingleside. Before I've read that book, I have only heard of the Second World War--and back then, I didn't know that it was the second.  I really wanted to know what had transpired back then.

Please do let me know if you're going to do this tag, and I'd love to know about your answers!

Until then! :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

058. Come on, skinny love.

For days, this doll standing inside a call centre window has caught several people's attention. If it hasn't yet, then it should be! I pass by this window every day on my way home from work, and I have to admit that I haven't paid much attention to the doll, until one day, I saw this with a note, propped, "Will work for love." This pretty much caught my attention, since lately, I find it difficult to get up for work.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for my job, but it seemed that I was focusing on the negatives recently. 

And we can't have that. 

Truth to tell, I'm trying very hard not to make this entry a whine-fest, but sometimes, there are days that I felt like I should be at many places at the same time, and when I don't, I get angry at myself. There will be people who will call me out for something I didn't do, or didn't do properly. But that's okay. It would be a different story if people would let things pass by and before I know it, I would be in trouble. I am grateful when people call my attention about things.

Nine times out of ten, I give myself a scolding for not bringing my A-game  recently. I scold myself for a lot of things lately. Whining about things I cannot do will get me nowhere, I've later realised, and there is only one thing I have to do--do something about it. I write things down, to help me remember, and that I should take it each day at a time. And also, getting mad about something doesn't solve it. It messes things up even more. 

Going about my day would seem like an uphill work, but I am trying the best I could by taking each day at a time, and by praying, and forgiving myself when I've come short. 

I really should be kinder to myself.


Saturday, 23 April 2016

057. The tale of the frightened sardine

I stumbled upon a website where I posted all my literary work*, however mediocre. It had been ages since there was last an update, and forgot about it, until I tried to Google an earlier work that I was looking for, but sadly, I no longer have a copy of it.  There was one particular post, however, that made me laugh--did I really write that? But I did. 

This was written after a class gone wrong, when I was still in law school. You see, in law school, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there. One can be on tenterhooks, wondering if he or she will ever get called. To my relief, I wasn't, but I know the feeling of terror--no matter how one has studied, recitations still manage to put the fear of God in every law student.

Mirroring that sentiment, I have written a poem--one that is also a story about a sardine named Mac, who wandered about, lost sight of his companions, and later finds himself into trouble with other errant fishes. 

Below, I share to you the misadventures of poor Mac, the frightened sardine. Enjoy! :)

Just one day, I was swimming peacefully,
With my friends, in that one school.
They call me Mac, just for fun,
and we were just going about on our adventure.
I suddenly lost sight of them, and lo,
found myself in unfamiliar territory.
Inside a heavy net, the kind my friends warned me to stay away from.

Finding myself with other fish like me
Scared, alarmed and trapped,
not knowing what to do, wanting to get out,
but cannot.
It seems that fate has played a nasty joke.
We didn't think it would happen to us,
but indeed, indeed, it has!


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

056. Last week's (book) haul + those H&M snowflake earrings.

I don't always go out to the mall, but whenever I do, I feel like a little girl let loose in a candy store. While I do like shopping, one would likely find me in the bookshop than in the beauty counter--although I do like makeup, I still have plenty and could go without a new item of beautifying gunk, save for the primer--which is something I couldn't do without. And skincare stuff too. ;)

Sometimes, the best things happen when they unfold unexpectedly. Like the Jojo Moyes book. I was supposed to get the sequel to Me Before You, but sadly, it went out of stock. Instead, I bought The Ship of Brides--another book from the same author that I wanted to read. That book was really something--Jojo Moyes really knows how to make you feel like you were one of the brides in the ship--and see things happen. Maybe one of these days, I'll write how I felt about that book. And probably with Me Before You too!

The white book on top was one bought out of sheer curiosity. Besties is a book that is full of surprises. I never knew how I could relate with the authors in some way--until I read this book! It covers everything from finances, food, friendship and being bullied. 

And finally, the book that I've always wanted to buy! Well, one of. My interest in lettering, calligraphy, and typography is growing tenfold, and I really want to do more. And practice more. This book is more than just a practice pad--it shows different styles that you can learn. Can't wait for the weekend so I can get started! 

After purchasing the books, I went to H&M for a while to look at clothes. Not that I could afford to buy them at the moment, but it's nice looking at them. Apart from clothes-ogling, I was there to buy their nautical-themed earrings, but alas, sadly, they weren't there anymore. So, instead, I bought this little beauty--a set of three snowflake earrings. It's a little too late for Christmas--and winter, for one--but I found that I couldn't resist. So there you go. 

My favourite is the third pair. Very delicate-looking, in spite of it being the biggest of the three. 

That would be all for the time being. Have you had a "haul" for the week, day, or month--and what was your favourite item? Please don't be shy to comment! :)

Till then! :)


Sunday, 17 April 2016

055. Happy Saturday(s)

I always look forward to the weekends simply for the reason I can switch off from things work-related. Back when I was still in law school, Sunday was my only rest day, as I do have Saturday classes.  Borrowing a line from my favourite TV series--"What is a weekend?" --that was pretty much applicable to me!

The weekend also means the time to try new things--like, baking, for instance. Or cooking. One of my baking/cooking goals is to make pancakes from scratch. My dad was asking for an afternoon snack, so I thought of making pancakes. At first, I was about to use the pancake mix, but for some reason, inspiration struck, and I found myself getting the flour box instead. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

054. Under re-construction

Due to unforeseen circumstances, posting entries will temporarily cease! Am currently sorting things out with this blog (layout concerns, rather), but I promise to have things back to normal programming!

Will be back soon!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

053. #FOMO

Image credits here.

We've had the popular hashtags #YOLO, and other related hashtags in every social media engine, and one can only wonder how does one get to the right events and the right functions.

I'm not usually one to attend huge events, but when I do, I usually look forward to it. For instance, the ink calligraphy workshop I attended was an activity I looked forward to attending. Or that beauty fair from my favourite planner brand.

Recently, someone from Eventbrite emailed me about their project, FOMO Prevention. So, you ask, what exactly is FOMO? It's actually Fear of Missing Out.  This Huffington Post article can give you an idea what FOMO is. They have also asked me how do I keep myself informed about events, and this is well, how I kept myself informed up to date.

Lately, I am interested in calligraphy and lettering-well, basically, about typography. I've signed up for newsletters from local craft shops that offer workshops. To be honest, I follow Facebook pages of stuff ranging from frozen yoghurt to brush pens. Probably someday, I could save up to buy that set of Zig brush pens!

 And I do appreciate the value of mailing lists from blogs--they usually have something new to offer every week. Well, almost. I've signed up for newsletters from every possible website. While I may not always be able to attend or afford something, it's good to know that it's there. 

And it's not just Facebook-liking pages that keep me connected. A few days after the ink calligraphy workshop, I was added to the Viber group (Hi, Sweets and Letters!), which informed me of a certain yoghurt brand's promos, as well as new workshops. If only the main branch of my favourite bookstore wasn't so far away, I'd be there often. 

How about you, guys? How do you keep yourselves in the loop?  Please let me know in the comments! 


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

052. Lately, lately.

  Mark Umbers and Scarlett Johansson as Mr. and Mrs. Windermere in A Good Woman.  Image credits here.

There is no excuse--being busy doesn't count, and plus I had to deal with a personal matter, that my resolve to keep this blog updated regularly like clockwork has again gone down the drain.

I've been inspired by Just Charlotte's manner of giving her blog readers her updates--it's a very efficient way of updating, so I'm borrowing this idea! Hope she doesn't mind!

(Re-) Reading: As a young girl, I've finished reading Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl. After that, I have been fascinated with her, and her family. Last year, while I was browsing at books at one of my favourite bookstores, I've been hooked with this book--Treasures in the Attic: The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family, by Mirjam Pressler. I read this book during lunch break at work, as part of my me-time. I've finished it earlier, and I'm revisiting Anne Frank's world. If you've read the The Diary of A Young Girl,  you would enjoy this.

Eating: The Manner citrus wafers from my aunt, who lives in Vienna. They are the bees' knees!

Watching:  I somehow got my hands on a copy of United, a TV movie about the Manchester United players who died in the 1958 plane crash. The movie stars David Tennant, Sam Claflin and Thomas Howes, Dougray Scott, among others.

Looking Forward To: Learning basic brush pen calligraphy! I've attended an ink calligraphy workshop two months ago, and I'm eager to learn more! I've signed up for another workshop, and I can't wait for May! :)

Wearing: Nothing noteworthy, sorry!

Feeling: A roller coaster of emotions, something I'd rather not share here!

Wanting: The Benefit Majorette cream blusher! I've tested this during a beauty fair sponsored by my favourite planner brand. And let's not forget the Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation! But I'd like to know what you think about these products!

Thinking: A variety of things! Stuff I'm really excited to share with you!

Loving: the movie called A Good Woman! It stars Scarlett Johansson, Mark Umbers, Tom Wilkinson, Helen Hunt and Stephen Campbell Moore. It is based on Oscar Wilde's play Lady Windermere's Fan. I never knew that Scarlett had been in a movie like that, and it's worth a watch (no matter what the reviews say), and I'm watching it again! :)

Let me know what you're currently reading, eating, looking forward to etc in the comments!


Saturday, 12 March 2016

051. What's in my bag?

While on our way to a sensory test activity at work, my friend Bill asked if I ever thought of taking a picture of the contents of my bag (he's posted his on Instagram), and posted it on a social media platform, ie, Instagram. Actually, once upon a time, I did. But I blogged about it, since there was no Instagram yet on 2011. (Or was there already?)

After careful consideration, I've decided to bring my self imposed blog tradition of posting the entire contents of my bag back. I've had a bad experience as I've lost my phone years ago, so, better be safe than sorry! But I think it won't do any harm if I revive that long extinct, self-imposed tradition.  

I've read somewhere that the personal effects of one person determines what he is or she is like.  I'm still wondering if that's true.

Without further ado, the contents of  my bag--starting well, with the bag itself.

I found this bag in the local department store. As a child, I've always had a love for anything British, or Irish. Don't ask me why. So it would come as no surprise that when I found this pretty roomy Union Jack flag, it was love at first sight.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

050. That Me Before You trailer

I'm trying to figure out why I HAVEN'T read this book before. Well maybe, because, law school (when I was still there). But I've caught on, before this one hits the cinemas! I really can't wait to see it!

For those who have read the book, are you looking forward to watching it? :)

049. Go-to morning songs,and why I love them.

It's been ages since I've made a post like this one--particularly because I've stopped listening to music through my phone for the past few months. Because of recent events, however, I needed something to help pick me up, and it made me wonder why I put it to a stop, apart from the fact that my old laptop went kaput. 

Music has been one of the things that helped make me feel less sleepy at work--many thanks to Spotify and iTunes! Seriously, there were days that I didn't want to get up for work, but music made a lot of difference.

Below are the songs that made its way to my phone...and my heart!

1. Breakfast in NYC, Oppenheimer- While sorting out files in my laptop, I came across this song--I was in the middle of skimming through an album labeled Gossip Girl Music. I really can't deny it--that TV series really had an awesome soundtrack! The opening notes alone can motivate one to wake up your eyes!

2. Young Folks, Peter, Bjorn John-Also from the Gossip Girl soundtrack album, this song is perfect while traveling to work--be it driving or commuting. Which reminds me, I SHOULD BE LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE. Haha. The artist's name also reminds me of peanut butter jelly sandwiches. (PBJ)

3. Love for Sale, Jamie Cullum- Having read the lyrics this song is basically about um, prostitution, but it doesn't stop me from listening from his rendition of one of Cole Porter's songs. The beat is very far from the original one, but it's what Jamie Cullum is good at--delightfully reinventing old standards.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

048. The Getaway Dinner: Cloud9 Resort

At work, my friends tease me a lot for not being out often. And if I do get out, I would have to give my parents advance notice. Lately, however, I get allowed out without the aforementioned advance notice, provided I have someone who goes home with me in the same direction (hope that makes sense, haha). 

Angel, my friend from work visited home from Japan (he's doing his Ph.D there), and as a treat, we went out to dinner to resort an hour away from my office (bad traffic included). There were five of us in the car, and it was an hour catching up.

An evening spent with my favourite people at work always makes me smile--and it did help me get through something I was dealing with days prior to the dinner. It reminds me that there are people who know me well, that they value me, and I will forever be grateful for that.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

047. Sweets To My Sweet: The White Hat Sweets and Letters Calligraphy Workshop

Oops, this one's two weeks almost a month overdue!

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I went to the White Hat Yoghurt store in Fully Booked at the Bonifacio Global City. I brought nothing but excitement and enthusiasm, having little or no knowledge at all about calligraphy, let alone ink calligraphy. But hey, part of life is learning something new, so why not learn something that might become some kind of skill in the future?

The workshop began with an introduction about the pen and the nib--and there are actually many kinds of nibs! Three of them are actually provided in our workshop kit.  The resource person was Ms. Fozzy Dayrit, and she was really awesome! She helped me find a better way to write because as a lefty, I had a difficult time writing properly, and the ink tended to blot on my drill sheets.

Sadly, I've lost all other pictures about this event, but it's possible that in future entries, I may document my progress in lettering and calligraphy!

Till then! :)


Sunday, 17 January 2016

046. Truly, truly scrumptious!

While watching random videos of musicals in YouTube, I came across this. For someone who grew up on musicals like The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, it makes me wonder why I've NEVER seen this when I was little! It's never too late, though. ;)

This video is always on repeat! I'm practically hooked to the song. :) It features Sally Ann Howes, Adrian Hall, and Heather Ripley, and the movie where it is from is called Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang.


Sunday, 10 January 2016

045. Yellow Rum Cake recipe

Rum cakes remind me of my childhood, my teenage years attending youth gatherings at church, and on occasion, choir rehearsals on Saturday evenings.

My confirmation godmother loves to bake and cook, and she does it very well! A few examples are her apple pie, and of course, her rum cake. She gave her recipe, which includes yellow cake mix. Pillsbury has them, but alas, we don't have Pillsbury cake mixes anymore, so I had to find a recipe from scratch. 


044. Game Over

How is everyone? Doing fine, I hope. 

Remember this post a few days back? I still had ten stickers to go, but after the New Year, Starbucks' had a double sticker promo so I was able to catch up. And I did more than catch up. 

I got it! :) 

Yes, the green one! :)  The black notebook contained (sadly) discontinued notes for my Labour Relations class nearly two years ago now.

Getting the stickers was a different experience. To be honest, I was at one point chucking it all, but I decided to keep at it. I told myself that I will use this experience as an inspiration. That if I didn't give up in getting the stickers, I wouldn't give up in other things worth striving and persevering for--law school, my career, and everything else.

I wouldn't have this planner without the help of my friends at work! One of them knew I love Moleskine, so she encouraged me to get this planner. The other one gave me two extra stickers that surely helped a lot in speeding up things! I really thank them both!

My stomach, however, paid for it. I've forgotten how it reacts when I have consumed an excess amount of caffeine. So, for days, my stomach was in its absolute worst. While it has been a great experience getting the stickers, it's not something I'd do every year. 

And after this, I won't be drinking a single drop of coffee for the rest of the year, and inspire me to save up for a Moleskine planner that I've bought off store shelves! Looking back, I've calculated the cost, this planner, and the expense of getting this cost more than the ones bought in the bookstore. 

Next year, I know better! ;) But thank you Starbucks, for helping me unearth a blessing in disguise! :)

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