Monday, October 2, 2023

The Path to Our Current Home

After our wedding, my sister gave me very sound advice. She said, "Your first home doesn't have to be your forever home." She said that circumstances change and sometimes you have to move. I guess she gave me that advise because it was my first time to move out since birth. 

Sweetie, Miggy and me moved to an apartment a few streets away from my parents. We decided to live near my parents because it was close to Miggy's school. We tried to look for a home closer to his school, but rent in the area was more expensive. TBH, we got so busy with wedding planning we forgot to plan for our first home. 

December 2009

We stayed there for almost a year and decided to end our contract earlier because of plumbing issues. Luckily, our landlady was my Mom's friend so we did not get penalized. Mom heard about a duplex that was being rented out a hundred meters away from her. The place a bit bigger and it was easier to manage since if we were still at work we could just pick up Miggy from his grandparents. 

December 2010

We stayed there for more than two years. It was a nice home since it had a lot of space. That was when we learned it's really hard to move homes. We made the mistake of hiring a small vehicle to help transfer our things. It took a lot of trips.

During our stay at home #2 I suddenly got an offer to move to Singapore. After a few months after reviewing our finances, we decided to invest and buy a condo unit. Since turnover kept moving, we ended up extending the rent of our second home. Luckily, our second landlord was also very kind. I moved all our stuff by my lonesome self with help from a professional moving company. 

Early 2013

Moving to the condo was much easier for the boys. The timing though was very hard. It was Christmas, so we were not able to furnish our new home properly. Our old furniture were too big, so that went to Mom's house. I also had heart surgery in Singapore a few weeks after we moved. Well, at least we weren't paying rent anymore.  Our furniture was finally complete just before I was allowed to go home to recuperate. 

We lived in a couple of other homes in Singapore. All of those were rented. As a family we always talked about eventually having our own house. The condo eventually became too small for us. It was during the pandemic when I was convinced by my doctors to retire when we started to watch house and lot videos. One house caught our eye and I found out a friend was the agent for it. 

Will it be our forever home? Probably not. As my sister said, circumstances change and sometimes you just have to move :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Did I Make It?

It was my Dad who loved to write. Through the years Mom gave me his love letters to her and his writings. I found a "retrospect" in one of his papers (you can read about it here). He was just 26 when he wrote it and I think Mom gave it to me because I was feeling lost when Dad passed. I guess it helped because my life completely changed later that year when I moved to Singapore. 

We're still going through boxes of our stuff and yesterday I found my Orient3 papers. That was the very last class you take before graduation and was meant to help you plan life after school. I'm actually surprised this document survived the multiple floods we had at home (the worst was Typhoon Ondoy). And TBH the only thing I remember about the paper was writing my requirements for my first job. 

There was a section where we had to define our goals. You have to define the life areas, then break down goals into 5 years, then 10 years, and your immediate goals. I broke down my life areas into career, Miggy, love, family and spiritual life. So, this is my retrospect. 

Career - I surprised my GPA target and was 0.2 shy of an award. Got gold for our thesis and completed my MBA by the age of 25 (yes, I was such a nerd). I also met all my career goals much earlier than I targeted. An additional goal set by Kuya was for me to be financially free by 50. I retired at age 46. 

Miggy - I think every parent's wish is for their child to be successful. I think I was able to do that for Miggy and I'm letting him do what he wants to do. I really wanted him to have siblings, but my health didn't allow that to happen. I understand now why I had him early because I was really meant to be a Mom. 

Love - oh, this is where things went haywire. I did not meet my 10 year target. God took His sweet time writing my love story. The path to my forever wasn't an easy one, but all I can say is, true love heals.

Family - it's almost 3 decades now since I wrote those goals and so much has happened. My parents were very strict, but at some point our relationship changed to something more relaxed and chill. They worried a lot about me especially that decade after graduating from college. Mom and Dad are both gone now and I'd like to believe I made them proud.

Spiritual - I did eventually go back to serving in church. I served until I moved to Singapore. This is the part where I struggled a lot when I was away because I grew up serving. It felt like I was missing something. 


It's been a long bumpy road, littered with a lot of potholes and humps. The journey was painful, but I was always focused on my goals and what mattered and I always leaned on Him. I am where I am and have what I have because of Him.  

So did I make it? My 21-year old self would probably be overwhelmed if she knew what was up ahead. I worked really hard for 25 years and I'm retired now. Just let Him navigate your life and everything will be alright. :)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Kalanchoe Pinnata Gone Wild

I received a small pot of kalanchoe 14 months ago from Ate Rose. She told me to re-pot it since they were overflowing from the pot. I wasn't familiar back then about taking care of succulents and researched before I embarked on re-potting them. I previously overwatered the succulents I bought and just gave up, so I saw it as a chance to learn.

Here's the pot of kalanchoe Ate Rose gave me -

And how I re-potted it -

It seems I finally learned how to take care of succulents. They are best left "alone". I just watered them once a week and more during really hot weeks. I did well because they had gone wild!

I potted them in more than 12 pots. I intended to give them away for Christmas last year, but I forgot. We got busy with renovations and I was distracted with other plants I needed to take care of  (Ate Rose gave another batch of cactus hehe). They were just there and didn't need much care, so I let them be.

Finally got around to re-potting the overgrown kalanchoe. The ones that curved out of their pots were harder to re-pot. I have to remember not to let them outgrow their pots. I'm making a new batch to give away. What I'll probably do is give away one everytime someone visits me, haha. They grow fast! I'll never not have kalanchoe with how prolific they are. They are after all also called the "mother of millions". 

What I hope to happen is to see the kalanchoe produce flowers. I think I saw it in one video and the flowers are pretty! I hope the bigger ones I re-potted in larger pots would grow taller and produce flowers. Well, let's see!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, September 29, 2023

Tried Tatung's Private Dining

Part of my bucketlist this year is to dine at my favorite YouTube chefs restaurants. We attempted to visit Chef RV's resto in Binan, but discovered they only offer takeaway. We were set to go already, but postponed it for another time. Chef Tatung has several restaurants, but most of them are far. We are not so brave when it comes to going through traffic, so I thought the next best thing was to book a private dining experience.

And that's what we did to celebrate my birthday. A few friends came along with us and it was really a different experience. I opted to do that instead of travel since it's typhoon season and the weather  can get really nasty. Our Bohol trip was also just two months ago, so I thought an afternoon at Tatung's Private Dining was a good alternative. 

I'm not really good at describing food, so I thought I'd compile the experience in a video. I'll let your eyes feast on the sumptuous food that was served -

Chef Tatung's private residence is a place where you could relax. It was a long trek for us from our home, but the fresh air and rich foliage made us feel welcome and relaxed. It's no wonder Chef Tatung spends time there and it's truly generous of him to share his place for others to experience it. Maybe next time they can just use a catapult to bring me to the dining area. The stairs were challenging, haha. Chef Tatung was around, but wasn't feeling well after his trip. That means we'll have to do it again, maybe with Kuya and Ate Joy. 

Thank you Chef Chester, Elmer, Jay and the rest of the team for taking care of us. And thank you Elmer for assisting me going up and down the stairs (haha). 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, September 28, 2023

My Favorite Buffet Restaurant in Singapore

It's been a long time since I ate at a buffet restaurant (excluding hotel/resort breakfast buffets). I thought about our favorite Japanese buffet place in Singapore, Kuishin Bo. It unfortunately closed in 2020 during the lockdown. 

We usually headed there for special occasions (normally birthdays) and when friends came to visit. There was always something for everyone. What I loved about Kuishin Bo was the variety of delicious Japanese food. They had bottomless sushi, maki, ramen, yakiniku etc. They also offered some international dishes like pasta and different kinds of dessert. And ah, not to forget the bottomless milk tea and Milo aside from your usual ice lemon tea. 

The last time I ate at a buffet was in January 2020 (or December 2019) with relatives. We met up at The Alley at BGC. It was really good and I was hoping to come back again. We haven't had the opportunity since we've been taking a lot of precaution with me being immuno-compromised. I guess the closest would be the bottomless food at Sonya's Garden. I don't count hotel/resort breakfast as a buffet since I normally eat just a serving of silog

We have a lot of good memories of dining at Kuishin Bo. Too bad it hasn't come back. Their website is still up though, so maybe there's hope that they'll be back. I have no plans anytime soon to go to a buffet. I've been counting my calories and I'm on a meal plan. I need to watch what I eat so I can improve my health. 

But buffet restos are still fun. Maybe plan to go for a future cheat day noh?

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Unwell from the Smog

I was looking forward to doing groceries and trying a new cafe last Monday. Started feeling unwell on Sunday though. I think the smog finally got to me even though I've been staying indoors with the air purifier on. I also wear a mask whenever I go out to water the plants and say hello to the cats. 

I guess it was inevitable. I battled the infection with Betadine nasal spray, my usual inhaler and Avamys, plus essential oils. As much as I can I avoid drinking more medication. My cardio in Singapore told me that I was already immune to some antibiotics. He tracked all the meds I drank since 2003 and he monitored my blood twice a year. It's great he did that for me and my doctors here are grateful I was care for really well in Singapore. 

I was able to hold up really well until Saturday. On Friday though, the air really stung even though I stayed indoors with air purifiers. At some point Miggy and I smelled something like gas in the air. We're not sure if it was from a passing vehicle or particles in the air. I started feeling bad the day after that. I also kept waking up in the middle of the night and noticed my oxygen saturation kept going down. 

Haze in Singapore, c 2011.

Skipped pulmo rehab yesterday since I wasn't feeling well. I had slight fever the night before and was down most of Monday. I knew though it was different from a viral infection since it lacked the weird fluttering on my chest. Told myself if I wasn't better by Tuesday I'd see my doctor. I guess the mix of concoctions helped and I'm glad I battled the smog infection without additional prescription meds. 

Do take care especially if you have a lung impairment like me (or asthma). It's not fun to have weak lungs, but as my doctor said, there are ways to strengthen it. Protect yourself as much as you could to prevent a trip to the ER. Remember also, the virus is still around. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Retaso Project 3: DIY Essential Oil Pouch from Scrap Fabric

Found another leftover from a previous project. The scrap was pretty small and I thought it would be perfect to make another essential oil pouch. I like how this one turned out because I was able to use other scrap fabric for it. The black garter fit the look perfectly.

Here's how I made it -

Can't wait to see what I could do with the tinier pieces of scrap fabric. I want to utilize the scraps for something useful. I could also use my scrap project to practice and improve my quilting skills :)

#BeKind #StaySafe