Sunday, May 31, 2020

Tried Baking Ensaymada, Challenging Siya!

So I've started to tick off the list of Pinoy breads I'd like to learn how to bake. I read that pandesal is tough to bake so I thought I'd try something else first. I decided on ensaymada because I love this sweet, cheesy bread. I chose the "panaderia" version and not the soft, fluffy one that commercial bakeries make.



Ensaymada is my second attempt at baking bread. My first attempt was dinner rolls. I'm glad I started with dinner rolls because I figured it would be easy and fool-proof. Baking ensaymada was quite challenging. I only started getting the set-up right on the second pan. The sizes of the bread came out all different since I don't have a kitchen scale yet. I'll probably buy more baking stuff when I feel like I'm going to do this every week (maybe after I bake one more bread).

It took me most of the day to bake the ensaymada. I always finish just before dinner haha. We gobbled up a few and left the rest for breakfast the next day. Here's a vlog on my first attempt at baking ensaymada -




Next on my list is Spanish bread!


#CB55  #StuckAtHomeDay86 #StayHome #BeKind #SentiSabado

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Thinking of Colourful Sunsets and Blue Water

I spent the entire day in the kitchen today. It was a rare time that I woke up with Sweetie did. I let him sleep some more, slipped out of bed and went to the kitchen to cook kamote cue for the first time. I took my sweet time and also started to prepare the ingredients for today's bread project.

My kitchen is small and pretty cramped so whenever I'm there I think about large open spaces. Today I was thinking about going to the beach. I love going to the beach and good think we had a chance to visit Bohol after Christmas. I miss swimming though and I haven't swam since March.

For me the most beautiful sunsets are in the Philippines. Anywhere you go there you are sure to see a gorgeous one. I super love the ones you see from a beach front. Here's some from around the world -

Bohol

Tokyo

Taipei

I like being in water and when I was small they used to call me kutong tubig. It was always hard to get me out of the water. I wish they would lift the closure of pools here so I can fulfill my homework to swim several times a week (it's a doctor's requirement).

I love going to the beach and I should do it more often. That was part of my original plan for this year. The pool will make do for now. Maybe if I get too antsy I could just use the bathtub for now haha.

Bali

Boracay

Davao


I love walking on sand. I miss how it tickles the soles of my feet. I enjoy making sandcastles and just sitting by the shore. I like waiting for the tide to change and this was the reason why I always took so long to get out of the water when I was a child. I miss seeing schools of tiny fishes dart so fast through the water.

A few years ago I went to the beach with my high school friends and Anne. The water was just half a meter and we spent many hours just sitting out there. I wish I could do that again with my girl friends someday.

What about you? Do you like going to the beach? Do you love sunsets?

#CB54  #StuckAtHomeDay85 #StayHome #BeKind #SentiSabado


Friday, May 29, 2020

Found the Pokemon Center in Osaka

When I travel I enjoy figuring out how to get from one point to another. I had the opportunity to travel from Tokyo to Nagoya to Osaka. I left the event a little after lunch to catch my train to Osaka. Yoshi had planned to go back to Tokyo so I was on my own. The funny thing is he actually checked on me at the station to make sure I didn't get lost! I told him not to worry and updated him every step of the way.



The trip from Nagoya to Osaka didn't take long. I had to make sure I didn't fall asleep. It was drizzling when I arrived. Went to my hotel and decided to stay in since it was quite cold and the room I got was so nice. The next day I took the shuttle to the station to eat. The Osaka station is so huge! Of course I got lost.

And that's how I found the Pokemon Center! Hahaha. If you ask me now where it is I wouldn't be able to tell you because it just appeared in front of me while I was trying to find my way back to where the shuttle back to the hotel was. I just went around the shop quickly to look around for a gift for Miggy.




There was a Tokyu Hands shop around the corner too.



The next day I took the bus to the airport. I had to kill a lot of time because I had a red-eye flight. I was pleased to find another Pokemon shop at the airport. They actually had a lot of cute stuff. That's where the super cute Pikachu I hang on my bag came from.



I was on a tonkatsu streak that time and I had some at the airport too. It was delicious! I'd very much want to visit Osaka again since I only got to see my hotel, the Osaka station and the airport! That's usually my life when I travel for business and I always have a hard time going out in the evenings during winter. Even with limited movement I enjoyed my short trip to Osaka. Will come back someday!

#CB53 #WFH43   #StuckAtHomeDay84 #StayHome #BeKind #FlashbackFriday

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Multi-level Tokyu Hands in Nagoya

I bravely took the Shinkansen alone one cold November day from Tokyo to Nagoya. My friend Yoshi got the ticket for me and gave me instructions to go to a platform. Tokyo Station is huge! Yoshi told me to make sure I entered the right gate because the ticket is only valid once. I found the gate easily, but I hesitated to go in immediately and checked with the information counter which gate to go to. I was right all along.

In true Shinkansen fashion I bought some vending machine food to eat in the train. What I enjoyed most about the trip was seeing beautiful Mt. Fuji! I usually see its tip from our office, but seeing it closer was a rare treat! The last time I've been to Mt. Fuji was in high school.



I arrived in Nagoya in the evening. I just stayed at a hotel by the station since I was scheduled to leave for Osaka the next day. I love train stations in Japan. They're huge and usually connected to a nice mall. I walked around after checking in to look for some local food. I was told that I should try the tonkatsu in Nagoya since they have special sauce for it.

Absolutely yummy!

I walked around a bit more and discovered a gigantic Tokyu Hands branch! I lost count how many floors it had! It was heaven for me! As much as I wanted to go floor by floor the store was about to close. I decided just to go to the crafts floor and got some Christmas decor. They also had a lot of really lovely fabric. I got some sewing accessories I could use for quilting. If you're a crafts person, Tokyu Hands in Nagoya is a must visit!



We had our event the next day and I left after lunch for Osaka. I stayed in Nagoya for less than 24 hours. I stuck around the hotel/station area because it was a too cold outside for me. I had fun going around and observing where locals went. That's how I discovered the yummy tonkatsu above (as they say, line up where the locals buy food!). After Tokyu Hands closed I went back to the hotel and rested. The visit may have been short, but memorable nonetheless. Hope to get to visit Nagoya again someday.

#CB52 #WFH42   #StuckAtHomeDay83 #StayHome #BeKind #ThrowbackThursday 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Happy People Coping Habits

I just had a nice chat with some friends. We were supposed to plan for an event, but ended up sharing to each other how we've been coping with the pandemic. Just staying home day in, day out is hard! Aristotle said,

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ”

Happy times with my childhood friends.

We are meant to socialize and even introverts have friends too! For many summers growing up my Mom kept me busy at home. She taught me many different crafts. Eventually I became a teenager and started to prefer hanging out with friends. Fast-forward to our current situation made me realize that those summers I spent with my Mom is helping me cope better.

Here's a list of things my friends and I have been doing at home to cope -

1. Playing an instrument/learn to play an instrument

That week when I had to rest I brought out my old recital piece and tried to re-master it. My hands were very, very rusty. I only made progress with 2 pages of the 11 page piece. I spent 2 hours playing the piano. It was fun and relaxing for me. My friend bought herself a portable keyboard and got a subscription to learn how to place. We're looking forward to her first recital next month (over Google Meets of course).


2. Cooking childhood favorites/learning to cook favorite local food

My friend's husband has been cooking a lot for them and he made one of his childhood favorites for her -- misua. For me I want to learn how to make hardinera. It's a dish I think originally from Lucban. We used to eat it at the original Buddy's restaurant near the church in Lucban. I've been researching for the best recipe to try.

3. Create your own happiness photobook

I showed my friends the photobook I had printed recently and they thought others may be encouraged to create their own too.



4. Baking

I have friends who have been baking tarts, cookies, pastries, pies etc. I normally bake cookies and cupcakes. Now I'm learning to bake Pinoy bread. It's so satisfying to eat it after so many hours of waiting for the bread to be ready for baking.

5. Planting, it's a #plantdemic!

There's something about nurturing something from scratch that's so satisfying. I take mini-breaks during the day and hang out with the plants on the balcony. I think they like it when I check on them several times a day. I give them a lot of encouragement to grow and be healthy.

I think the most important thing to do is really take care of your well-being at this time. Do things you love and rest as needed. If you need help, don't hesitate to contact family/friends.



#CB51 #WFH41   #StuckAtHomeDay82 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lesson for the Day: Can't Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

It is challenging to teach someone new tricks if the person isn't open to learning. I think in some ways I am already like that (since I'm kinda old!). Over the long weekend break I told myself I needed to change my perspective so that I don't get super stressed.



It finally dawned on me today that sometimes the issue isn't because of me. Fact is we're all built differently. Depending on your personality type you can continuously clash with another person. This causes a lot of stress especially if you can't both agree on one thing. And there is also the fact that at some point you can't teach old dogs new tricks.

What do you think? Have you encountered this too?


#CB50 #WFH40   #StuckAtHomeDay81 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Pandemic Coping Mantra -- Learn New Things!

Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya!

It was a four day weekend for me! I was looking forward to this weekend for a few weeks now since I really needed a break. I spent a lot of time resting and just did stuff based on what I felt like doing. Looking back at the last four days I just ate-slept-cooked-did some hobbies. 

I made a new discovery about myself the last few weeks. I actually like tending to my tiny balcony garden. It's still fairly new, but I enjoy learning new things about planting. I used to buy a lot of plants when I lived in Manila. Usually got them from Tagaytay. Most didn't survive for a number of reasons. Those that did are with my Mom.



I prefer to plant from seed. It gives me so much joy to see a plant sprouting and grow centimeter by centimeter. Now I understand why my Mom always tries to rush back home to check on her garden. I can never keep her for more than two weeks when she comes to visit me in Singapore. She always worries about her plants. 

I told Sweetie this morning that I've decided to put a schedule on my hobbies because I've neglected my quilting and I have several projects that haven't moved for a few months now. I've been quilting since last weekend. I hope to finish a wedding gift I started last year before the couple celebrates their first wedding anniversary (haha, sorry got so busy!). I also need to make new throw pillowcases for our couch. 

I cooked and baked too. I wanted to bake some brownies, but I conked out yesterday afternoon. I'll just probably bake next weekend if I'm up to it. I think the most important thing we did was to re-organize our freezer. I wanted to keep track of our food so I only order what we lack. The circuit break is ending early next week, so I hope we could drop by the Filipino grocery also since that's what we're lacking now. 

I'm so grateful for the R&R at home. As much as there's so much unknown out there because of the pandemic, I'm glad my Mom taught me how to keep busy even at home. I've discovered a lot about myself also. I realized too that there may be things that's out of reach now, but there are ways to cope. One project I'm really excited to do is my home panaderia project. I want to learn how to bake my favorite Pinoy breads. I'm also putting together a list of food I miss most. I want to learn how to cook them. 

So that's my new mantra for now -- learn new things!

#CB49   #StuckAtHomeDay80 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Home Panaderia is Open! My First Attempt at Baking Bread

Two decades... That's how long it's taken for me to learn how to be comfortable at cooking. The only thing I new how to cook until ten years ago was spaghetti and lasagna and I only knew how to bake peanut butter cookies and crinkles. 



I was forced to learn to cook for survival. I got a lot of encouragement from my Ate who's a good cook. She told me that her initial attempts at cooking didn't always work. I still cannot figure out how she turned sweet and sour pork green. She said my brother-in-law still ate it and I thought if she could do it I could learn too. 



I tried cooking and baking like a science experiment. I rarely veer away from the recipe. It's my Dad and siblings who have that talent at winging it while cooking. Miggy actually has the talent for it. My attempt at teaching him through "Recipes for my Son" is just a way for me to encourage him to cook more.



I wanted to try baking bread as early as late March, but yeast was hard to come by. I only found some through Lazada and it took weeks to arrive. I was already researching for easy bread recipes I could try. I heard that our Pinoy breads are a little hard to make, so I decided to make dinner rolls for my first attempt. 

My cousin who runs a bakery in Naga City said she doesn't have the patience for baking bread. She prefers to bake cake. I told her I like baking bread because it gives me opportunity to rest in-between the proofing period. I followed the recipe I chose step by step and save for the uneven sizes of the dough it turned out well. I kinda regretted baking only half the recipe since we finished everything immediately haha. 

My new mantra now is, "Just keep baking to learn more!" My plan is to attempt ensaymada next!


#CB48   #StuckAtHomeDay79 #StayHome #BeKind 


Saturday, May 23, 2020

My New Normal

So it's been more than two months now since I've been stuck at home. I miss going out. Last night before we went to sleep I told Sweetie I wanted to have cappuccino for breakfast. I don't even remember the last time I had breakfast outside of home. 



We tried to order cappuccino this morning, but there wasn't any from our usual breakfast places. McDonald's is still closed in our area. I just contented myself with a double latte. I didn't stress over it because I've accepted the fact that things are different now. 

I've learned to "accept the unknown". It's been a struggle for me, but I did what I could to cope. I kept busy. My body rejected being work busy, so I worked on a good balance. I don't work 11 a days anymore, just 10 hours and 45 minutes. Kiddin'. I try to keep to 9 hours a day now. 

After work I break it by changing the lighting at home. I switch on the TV and watch a couple of YouTube videos relating to my interests -- planting, baking, home viewing etc. Then I prepare dinner. After dinner we watch our favorite vlogs and I either sew or do some research on my interests. I blog usually before I head to bed (that's why I post super late at night). 

I learned from Dr. Joe Dispenza that when you want to break the habit of being yourself you need to continuously learn something new. To keep myself on the bright side of things I've decided to re-work my plans for 2020. And working on the "stay at home" framework I'm going to learn new things based on my interests -

  • Planting - veggies! Become more self-sufficient! (Honestly, I just want to grow mustasa coz I want to cook my Dad's yummy mustasa beef dish).
  • Quilting - finish a couple of blankets I've started!
  • Cooking - learn to cook favorite Pinoy dishes that I miss so much!
  • Baking - learn to bake my favorite Pinoy bread (plan is here).
I'll work on detailing the list in the next few days. I'm happy when I'm productive and that will help me cope from missing Miggy and Mom so much. 

What about you? What's your new normal?


#CB47   #StuckAtHomeDay78 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, May 22, 2020

My Home Panaderia

We had an extra day off today. Yay! I woke up around 11 in the morning and just stared out of the window while drinking my coffee. I woke up rested and happy, I was content to just spend time doing nothing. After checking on my plants I decided to watch some bread baking videos. I've always wanted to learn how to bake bread. 

I took a trial baking class last year.
Plans have changed, I'm now a full time YouTube Academy student haha.



My biggest fear about bread baking is dealing with yeast. Luckily there's now a lot of videos on YouTube you can watch to learn how to bake. I've been watching a gazillion bread baking videos to learn how to bake bread. I'd probably start with something easy like dinner rolls and then work my way through different types of Pinoy bread. 

Dreaming of Panbonete. I hope my cousin gives me the recipe! :)



My original plan this year was to enroll in bread baking classes. I still want to, but in the meantime I've enrolled myself in YouTube Academy (haha). It took me awhile before I was able to obtain some yeast! Now that I have yeast I could start my bread baking career. 

I'm now compiling a list of bread I want to try baking. I hope to bake one type of bread every week. The perfect time is this weekend since Singapore is on holiday on Monday! Yay!

Here's my bread baking bucket list:

Dinner rolls
Ensaymada
Spanish bread
Pandesal
Pianono
Putok
Pinagong
Pan de regla/kalihim
Cheese rolls
Monay
Markina 
Panbonete

Wow, this is quite a long list! But I'm up for the challenge! What about you? What are your favorite Filipino bread? 


#CB46   #StuckAtHomeDay77 #StayHome #BeKind 
#ThankYouUncleSundar

Thursday, May 21, 2020

My First Visit to Korea

Last February I shared the time Sweetie and I visited Korea. I also visited the beautiful city of Yeosu. I have so much blog backlog and I remembered I never got to share that first time I visited Korea. 



My first visit to Korea is truly memorable. I went with friends from work. We always joked that it was a test of friendship since we spent our first night in a traditional Korean home. It was Myra who wanted to try it and we gave in. We all decided even before we went to bed that we were going to move to a hotel the next day. It was an experience like no other, but the need for conveniences won. 



After transferring to a hotel we immediately visited two palaces: the Changdeokgung and Gyeongbukgung Palace. All I remember now is we walked a lot. I guess at that I was already starting to have issues with clotting and I got so tired easily. At Changdeokgung Palace I parked myself at the museum steps while waiting for the girls to come back and get me. 





That same day we met a Kpop star who taught cooking at our office! That was a memorable experience! I should have probably asked him if I'd pass to be a Kpop star since I was mistaken to be one in Pakistan! Hahaha. 

By evening we dined out and ate yummy Korean barbeque. What was memorable for me was trying soju for the first time! They mixed it with beer and I absolutely loved it. I found it really tasty since it matched the grilled pork perfectly. We conked out immediately when we got back to the hotel. 


The next day we went to Seoul Skytower and Namsan. We took the cable car going up to the Namsan Tower. We decided to dress up for the day just for fun. We spent most our time there just taking photos and I remember laughing and laughing. There was a Latino guy who even asked to take a photo with me! That was so funny. 




After Namsan we went to a market since I wanted to buy fabric. That was where we had our second funny incident for the day. We were so hungry we went inside one of the shops. We immediately found a seat and tried to observe what other diners were ordering. We belated realized that everything they offered were raw food! OMG! We weren't ready to have that so we apologized to the server and moved to another resto. 



For our final full day we went to Nami Island. We just commuted and took the train. It was so cold! It was the perfect timing to visit Nami Island because the leaves were all orange and yellow. We rented a bike-trike (I'm not sure what it's called). It was an exhilirating experience to see the whole island through biking. I had so much fun doing that. After visiting Nami Island we also went to Petite France. 





We spent evenings roaming around Myeongdong. I learned a lot about beauty products visiting the shops. It was useful for me since Sweetie and I spent time in the same area when we visited last year. I wish I could visit Korea many more times in the coming years. I'm also interested to see the different provinces. Hopefully when things start going back to normal, maybe next year or the year after. I'd really want to visit all the wonderful people I've been meeting from Korea. I shall be back!


#CB45  #WFH39 #StuckAtHomeDay76 #StayHome #BeKind #ThrowbackThursday #TravelThursday

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Yummy Toastbox Peanut Butter Cookies



On Labor Day I finally tried out the oven in the kitchen of our new apartment. Here's how you can make it -



Full recipe here.


#CB44  #WFH38 #StuckAtHomeDay75 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Happy Birthday Daddy!

My Dad would have been 87 today. It's been ten years since we celebrated his birthday with him. 



My Dad was the funny one between my parents. I take after my being makulit after him. He was the one who was malambing. What I miss most about my Dad is his presence. He was my rock and I never thought anything bad could happen to me as long as he was there. 

Growing up my Dad would regularly bring me out on dates. We'd go to his favorite place "Luk Yuen" in what is now called Glorietta. Or we'd go to Dayrit's. He'd buy me ice cream every Sunday after hearing mass. I'd hang out with him and his friends at the tennis court or I'd bike alongside them while they would walk around the park. I remember hanging out at lot at his law office too. 

Makulit vs. Mas makulit.


It's been 9 years since I lost my Dad. I was beside him when his pulse slowly ebbed away. It was the most painful thing I went through in my life. A friend recently asked me how I coped and I told her I threw myself at work. Looking back I realized I kept myself so busy so that it won't hurt as much. It's not been good for me because I ended up not taking care of myself properly. It was Daddy who always watched out for me especially when I was sick. 

After 9 long years of salving the pain with work I've learned to slow down (a little) and I'm taking care of myself better. I'm grateful that I have a friend who reached out to lean on me at this time. This helped me resolve the pain of losing my Dad. I'd like to think that he's relieved that I've finally realized this and he's smiling up there in heaven. 

I love you Daddy and happy birthday!

#CB43  #WFH37 #StuckAtHomeDay74 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Balcony Farmer

I've been wanting to turn my brown thumb into green for more than ten years now. The only success I've had in gardening was ten years ago when I accidentally spilled a bag of mustasa seeds on our lawn. It didn't take long before the seeds started to sprout and a few weeks later I had more mustasa than I needed. My Mom had to help me with the crazy amount of mustasa I produced. 

Picking strawberries in Benguet.
The quest to turn my brown thumb to green begins again. 



My gardening journey though was interrupted because I moved to Singapore. All the plants I was trying to grow were adopted by my Mom. She had to revive most of them because when my family moved to a new place a lot of insects started eating up my plants. Most of the plants are still alive and my Mom is still taking care of them. 

We tried to plant some stuff the last few years, but our old apartment didn't have a balcony. Our landlord left us a plant to take care of and luckily it's still alive and healthy after 4 years. We brought it with us when we moved, but need to check if we should return it to the old apartment when the circuit breaker is over. One of the things we had on our wish list was a balcony where we can possibly do some gardening. 

Last weekend I thought I was ready to try planting again so I did. I watched a gazillion videos on planting/gardening when I was forced to go on medical leave. Sweetie said he was going to try planting some seeds and so I told him I'll plant on those pots he wasn't going to use. I was really hopeful that what I planted was going to sprout. 

My Mom's beautiful garden is always happy because of the care she gives it.
A friend told me her garden has fairies in it.



I went rogue and planted kitchen scraps. It took almost a week, but my experiment actually worked. I've been getting a lot of encouragement and tips from family and friends and just remembered that I created a blog ten years ago to journal my journey. I took a look at the blog just now and saw I actually had readers for it! So thought I'd continue to journal my quest to turn my brown thumb to green. I hope someday I'd be like my Mom. She has the greenest thumb in the whole wide universe :)

Please visit The Balcony Farmer if you're interested to check out my newfound hobby.


#CB42  #WFH36 #StuckAtHomeDay73 #StayHome #BeKind

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Last Normal Photo

The last time I was able to go out "freely" was on January 12. It was the day the Taal Volcano erupted. Miggy and I went to hear mass, have lunch and buy a few stuff. For me it was that day when things changed.



I'd like to keep that day as my last normal day. We were able to hear mass, have a great lunch and do some shopping. I remember we even got to try tikoy turon from SM Supermarket. I knew things were going to change when the electricity died when we were about to go home. On the way home, the air was acrid and the sun seemed to be dancing. 

Life hasn't been the same for me since then. The only thing I yearn for is to be with my family. To hug Miggy, to be with my Mom. Everything else will adjust as needed. I hope and pray things can be better soon so I can be with my family again. 


#CB41  #StuckAtHomeDay72 #StayHome #BeKind


New Habits

They say to form a habit you need to continually do it for 30 days. I asked Sweetie if he thought that people would just slip into their old habits after having to stay from home for two months. He said some might, but there will be probably those who will and there will be those who would have changed. 



I've accepted the fact that I'll probably be one of the last to go back to the office because of my health condition. Instead of dwelling on what should be I've been thinking more about what new things I could learn and do things I've always wanted to do. 

Here are some of the newfound things I've been doing the last two months -

1. Cooking a lot! See my recipes here.

2. Baking! I've been baking at least once a week. 

3. Quiling again. I took a rest from my quilting projects since December and have finally picked it up again. 

4. Writing! I've been blogging since January 1 this year. Yay!

5. Planting! I'm trying the art of growing my own food. It's still in its very early days. 

6. Watching more Kdramas! Finally got around to continue watching CLOY. OMG we're hooked!

7. I want to learn how to bake bread. I've just been waiting for my yeast to arrive!

#CB40 #WFH36 #StuckAtHomeDay71 #StayHome #BeKind

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Art of Doing Nothing

If you know me you know I could never sit still. I am a perennial multitasker. My Mom has been scolding me since high school. She says I never seem to rest. I remember she used to turn off the lights in my room by 9pm to force me to sleep early. Usually I wait for her to fall asleep and then I turn the lights back on and work on whatever I'm doing hehe. 



My body is what it is today because I didn't rest enough after I had heart surgery. I was running a huge event three and a half months after open heart surgery. I felt I was fine and even climbed the Borobudur temple. Crazy noh? I think it's normal for people who have had major surgery to try to prove that we're superhuman and do all sorts of crazy stuff. I didn't stop after one big event, I did a lot more in several countries. 

Looking back now, I could say I made bad decisions. I'm a work in progress and I've been told that whenever I feel unwell I should stop and take care of myself first. I decided to take a long break last Christmas because I felt like a top spinning non-stop. I had to "clear my cache". It worked, but by the time I felt I was stable again I once again started to be busy. It was "happy busy" because I finished my "back-up 15 years worth of photos. 

In my mind this is the perfect set-up for doing nothing (except maybe to eat a bag of Chips Ahoy)...

During my break I discovered the art of doing nothing. I had to start with just doing one thing. I was able to watching TV without doing anything else. It was hard for me because when I watch TV I normally sew or write. I still have a long way to go, but now I understand the value of just being still and being calm. I'm also trying to learn to do that for my mind too.  I still have a long way to go. 

Today I discovered this YouTube channel of a Singaporean who shares his thoughts about the art of doing nothing. He made me think about my well-being. I hope I can continue on this journey to take care of myself better. 

What about you? How do you take care of yourself?

#CB39 #WFH35 #StuckAtHomeDay70 #StayHome #BeKind

Thursday, May 14, 2020

My Happy Photobook!

Today was an amazing day even though I had to get up super early for meetings. I was in the middle of a meeting when the doorbell rang. Sweetie got the item and then handed it to me. It was my photobook!



At the end of January I was pretty stressed out one day and asked my friends to give me some happy thoughts. I went offline after that and rested. A few hours later I checked my post and was so surprised to see so many comments!



It inspired me to capture all the beautiful thoughts and I started working on what I called "My Happy Project". I finished the content and then gave it a rest. The rest stretched from end of February to last weekend! I quickly finished the cover and ordered it to be printed.

I didn't expect it to arrive so soon and right now hearing the doorbell ring is music to my ears. I was so excited I started opening the package during the meeting (sorry I got so distracted!). It was a huge happy boost and even though I was so busy the rest of the day I just went through everything happily. 

I chose this photobook printer mainly because it can connect to Google Photos and they have a lot of promos. I was happy with the quality of the paper also. In Manila I normally have it made through Picturebooks, but their app doesn't really work online. The price is just the same too. I have two more projects lined up, I'm still thinking about what I'm going to make. Maybe a recipe book for Miggy? Hmm...

#CB38 #WFH34 #StuckAtHomeDay69 #StayHome #BeKind

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

That Time I Went to Melaka

Last year I had the opportunity to visit Melaka for the first time. I was really excited to go since it's been sometime since I visited a new place. I took a short airplane ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur airport. A friend helped me hire a car and the driver picked me up from KL airport. It took us about 2 hours from the airport to my hotel in Melaka. After check-in she dropped me off to my gig. 

I should have closed my eyes coz it was so sunny haha.


After work I had the opportunity to walk around Jonker Walk. I was ecstatic because I had been sickly and it was one of the few trips I was able to do alone. I even sent photos to my Kuya to show him I was doing well after the session he did for me. I didn't really know much about Melaka and I purposely did not read up about it because I wanted to discover things on my own and through locals. At Jonker Walk I went through the many shops, tried some of the food and was amazed about the different products made out of gula melaka. It reminded me of something similar we have in Bicol. I have a sweet tooth and I was perfectly at home in Melaka.  


Went back the next day and tried a different drink.

After walking around Jonker Street I passed a strip of the Melaka River which looked absolutely stunning in the late afternoon. 



I hung around the plaza observing tourists. People were taking photos all over the place. I people watched while I drank the milk tea I bought from Jonker Walk. I continued chatting my my Kuya there and shared him some photos I took around, especially the super red church. 



I was so happy about hanging out in Jonker Walk, I went again the next day! I tried more food and bought some pasalubong  in the corner shop which was popular for tourists. I didn't buy a lot since my suitcase was tiny. The only other adventure I did was to have lunch at Ee Ji Ban. It's a popular chicken rice ball resto that my friend, Amir, recommended I try. He said chicken rice ball is really popular in Melaka and it was mandatory for me to try it haha. I probably looked crazy, excitedly eating alone. It was a happy experience though and after that I crossed to the nearest Starbucks to do a call. 

I dunno how I managed to finish all of these by myself!

I travel a lot for work and I realized I haven't really blogged about my experiences. I have about ten years worth of travel photos I haven't written about (been busy!). So thought I'd start writing about those experiences. It will also help me remember more happy days that have passed.

What about you? What was the last place you visited before the lock-down?


#CB37 #WFH33 #StuckAtHomeDay68 #StayHome #BeKind