Saturday, July 31, 2021


I started new challenge today - the 30 day minimalism challenge. Life has been so different in the past year and I realized I don't need a lot of my things. Week in, week out I wear the same clothes. I rarely dress up nowadays and I think it's going to be that way for a long time. I cleaned up my backpacks awhile back and I'm wondering why I have several backpacks -- oh because I used to switch depending on where I traveled.

Anyway, I found a nice 30-day minimalism challenge on Pinterest (it's become one of my fave apps). Today's order is to purge your wardrobe. I decided to purge first the folded clothes -- tshirts, shorts, pajamas etc. I was able to pack away two bags worth of clothes. Whew! Feels good to have more space in my closet. Maybe I'll work on the clothes on hangers tomorrow. 

I think it's a good thing to do now and I look forward to the next 29 days. I tried purging Marie Kondo style, but everything is precious to me so it didn't work (haha). Purging through a daily theme might work better. We'll see. 

Day 29 Gratitude Challenge, A compliment you have received. There's one compliment that comes to mind right now, it's when my friends call me FGM (fairy godmother). It makes me feel needed :)

CB///*Yr2/112 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/135 #NewG334 #Home92 #StayHome #BeKind   

Friday, July 30, 2021


I had a strange dream last night. I had a pet tiger. Yes, a pet tiger. He was the sweetest pet and followed me around wherever I went. He would come with me when I would travel and would be ferocious at protecting me. 

When I woke up I checked what dreaming of a tiger meant. It means power and strength. Maybe I dreamt about the tiger because I was so inspired by Hidilyn Diaz yesterday. I don't really believe in dream stuff, but I was happy to read about what tigers in dreams mean. It makes me think that the fighter in me is back. Yay! 

Day 28 Gratitude Challenge, Something that brings hope. I've been writing about this the past few days -- Hidilyn Diaz! Did you see all the brand ads who greeted her? It's a great showcase of Filipino wit, go look for it on FB. 

CB///*Yr2/111 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/134 #NewG335 #Home93 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Go for Gold

I've been watching videos on YouTube on Hidilyn Diaz and she's inspiring me a lot. The Olympic gold medalist went through a lot of challenges before she won. She was stranded in Malaysia and had to train on her own. That meant she didn't have any proper equipment. A good samaritan Malaysian took her in and helped train her. I read he was the president of the weightlifting association (thank you sir!). One news video showed her using makeshift items for training. 

In Boy Abunda's interview with Hidilyn after she won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, she said that the first thing she'd do every morning is pray. She shared also that through her challenges she felt that God became her best friend through prayer. She doesn't believe so much in luck, but she believes in hardwork and letting God do the rest. In her interview with ABS-CBN Teleradyo she reaffirmed this and said she surrendered everything to God during the competition. 

This gives me so much hope that things will be okay. I have been worried the past two weeks because of the new findings. This new challenge is something that I should just surrender to God's Will. At the same time I have to do what I can to avert disaster and make myself strong. This is the journey that I am on now and as Hidilyn Diaz keeps saying in her interviews, "Dream high, go for gold!" 

Thank you for the inspiration Hidilyn :)

PS I also discovered Hidilyn Diaz has a vlog! Go check it out.

Day 27 Gratitude Challenge, A gift you received. My favorite gift nowadays is my sewing machine which Sweetie gave me for Christmas. I've been learning how to use it properly the past few months. I think I'm getting the hang of it and I'm finally able to make straight stitches. I had been dilly-dallying about getting myself a sewing machine because I'm happy sewing by hand. I wanted to try using the sewing machine, but I wasn't sure I would commit to it. I dragged getting one for years, so Sweetie just got one for me haha. I'm so happy he did because I've been having pain in my hand and arm when I sew by hand too much. Getting the sewing machine forced me to learn new sewing skills too. Thank you Sweetie :D

CB///*Yr2/110 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/133 #NewG336 #Home94 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

How are You?

Hello my friend, how are you today? Are you happy? Sad? Tired? Restless? Anxious? Bleh? 

It was a sunny day today and I just quietly worked on my new quilt project all afternoon. I didn't nag Miggy and Sweetie as much because I watched three episodes of The Good Doctor while ironing half-squares. The episodes I watched were the ones where Dr. Glassman was forcing Dr. Shaun to see a therapist. Shaun didn't want to and did things to avoid seeing the therapist. 

And that's why I asked how are you today? This pandemic has been so hard for all of us. I've been able to cope mainly because of my family and close friends. I still feel antsy every so often about being stuck at home and the lack of social activities. The first few months when we had to stay home was the hardest. I'm grateful that we were able to move homes because our old place had a lot of plumbing issues. 

I was getting some counselling last year. We were trying to work out the extreme stress I was going through. The break I took helped and eventually my counselor said he had resigned. I was okay by then and replaced him with gardening and baking. I managed until I had another PE* and I was able to cope, but there were things that would trigger symptoms and anxiety. 

It was then I realized that I needed help because I might have PTSD (which is common among PE survivors). I asked help from a friend and he referred me to his doctor. I'm glad I went to see his doctor because it also helped with my recovery. The doctor also understood very well that I've been through a lot and knew what to do. 

Our sessions have been pretty straightforward. I report the status of my medical condition and share what I've been doing for my recovery. It's not like what they show on TV where you lie down on a couch and talk about your issues, LOL. I've just had a handful of sessions and I'm happy to share that the strong, fighter me is back. And that was my main purpose of getting help to deal with PTSD. The triggers still exist, but I'm able to deal with it much better. I'll probably graduate from seeing him soon. 

Back to Dr. Shaun Murphy, I kinda get why he's resisting to see a therapist. He probably thinks and feels he can cope with things. That's how I felt too, but after losing sleep for 48 hours a couple of times I knew I needed help (and that's what other patients would advise too). It was one of the best decisions I made for myself because the issues I was having eased up a bit. I know there will be more challenges and I'm not out of the woods yet, but at least I'm able to cope better now (and I'm no longer a dead weight at home!).

So, how are you my friend? I'm just a ping away if you need someone to talk with :)

Day 26 Gratitude, Something in nature. The breeze. I super love it when a gentle breeze blows through. That's what I always imagine when I'm lulling myself to sleep. The breeze reminds me of afternoons I used to spend in my Mom's garden. She'd usually place a banig (mat) on the lawn and that's where I'd play or work on my crafts. We usually get a nice breeze in the afternoons on her lawn. 

CB///*Yr2/109 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/132 #NewG337 #Home95 #StayHome #BeKind 

*PE - pulmonary embolism; PTSD - post traumatic stress disorder

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Hidilyn Diaz, Hardwork and Faith

I was super teary eyed last night when I watched videos of Hidilyn Diaz winning the first Olympics gold for the Philippines. From reading articles I found out she fought at the weightlifting 55kg category. Carried a total of 224kg, beating China by 1 kg! She knew as soon as she finished her third try that she cinched the gold medal. I think it was really meant for her. 

I first heard of Hidilyn Diaz when she started winning medals in the SEA Games and Olympics over a decade ago. I cannot help but admire Hidilyn. You can see that she really worked hard for her passion. She didn't have enough support to fulfill her dream and had to ask for help from private companies to continue her training. 

One thing I noticed after she finished her round she was immediately given a Miraculous Medal which she immediately worse. In her interviews she mentioned that she was surprised she was able to carry the weight and felt that it was her faith that helped her carry it all. It goes to show that hardwork and a steadfast faith will really carry you through challenges. 

I am so inspired with Hidilyn Diaz. I always believed that when you are working on something you are passionate about, you should keep your head down and work hard on it and pray for guidance and success. 

Congratulations Hidilyn for winning the first Olympic gold for the Philippines! And thank you for giving us so much hope and inspiration <3

Day 25 Gratitude Challenge, Another person. Need I say more? This whole blog post is a gratitude post about Hidilyn Diaz :)

CB///*Yr2/108 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/131 #NewG338 #Home96 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Jaybucks' Sunflower

I thought today I'd showcase Sweetie's successful gardening project -- his sunflowers have started to bloom! Woohoo!

Nine weeks ago we re-started our balcony garden. I haven't been successful at planting flowers, so I focused on veggies. Sweetie though has been trying to grow flowers since last year. We don't know if the seeds we got were not good or it's the soil, but the only flowers that so far bloomed in our "balcony farm" are tomato flowers haha. 

Sweetie got a packet of sunflower seeds from the supermarket. He planted it nine weeks ago. Three out of the five that sprouted survived getting transplanted. They're all blooming now! Woohoo! It's been really exciting to watch the sunflower grow taller and form the base of the flower. In the past few days yellow petals have started to bloom. We hope to see it in full bloom by end of the week! 

Updates about our other plants are on our gardening blog :)

Meanwhile while Sweetie's been busy with the plants, I finally had some energy today to bake peanut butter cookies. I used Toastbox peanut butter again (recipe here). I can't wait to bake it with Lily's peanut butter again. Will be giving some to our neighbors. Hope they'll like it!

Day 24 Gratitude Challenge, A book, magazine or podcast. I've been listening to some podcasts now that I have time. I haven't listened to a lot, but have so far enjoyed "Superhuman", the podcast of Wil Dasovich. He went through a lot when he had cancer and was able to overcome it. I'm fascinated with his energy and I'm grateful for the example he shows on how to live a healthier life. I'm hoping that I'll be able to bike again in time. 

CB///*Yr2/107 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/130 #NewG339 #Home97 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

I Enjoy Doing This

When I started my YouTube channel over a decade ago I used it to post videos from music events Sweetie and I frequented. Eventually I started to make travel vlogs. Then I started making tech vids. I was always so self-conscious in front of a camera. I never got used to it so I stopped. 

I've always been fascinated about creating videos. I used to make videos for my friends who were getting married. At that time it would mostly be a compilation of their photos with a few greetings from abroad. In late 2019 I wanted to resume creating videos again. I bought a camera and thought I'd pick up where I left off. I tried to make some travel vlogs, but I realized I prefer taking videos than being in videos. 

To lessen my camera time I shifted to making cooking videos for Miggy through Recipes for My Son. It certainly reduced my time in front of the camera. I only comb my hair twice a day so it just didn't work out for me. I eventually discovered that I could just put captions on the videos. No need for me to be seen or to talk! Ahhh, I think I finally found what I want to do with my interest in creating videos -- just make tutorial vids!

And that's what I've been enjoying doing nowadays. I've been making tutorial videos on quilting and gardening. I'll probably do cooking videos again once I have more energy. I've never enrolled in video editing classes, I just make videos based on how I think the viewer can learn. I enjoy making the videos because it spurs me to learn more about my crafts (and gardening). I hope it'll inspire others to get crafty too!

Here's a video I just made - how to make 8 half squares at a time! I just recently discovered this trick by chance through Pinterest! 

Come on now, just humor me, please subscribe to my YouTube channel! I've also started to post short versions of my vids on Instagram. And to keep updated on my new blog posts, you may want to follow my page on Facebook. Yay!

Day 23 Gratitude Challenge, Something Nice. I've been appreciating the moon tonight since I saw it through the window. It looks perfect and I tried to take photos of it, but my camera isn't made to take super zoom shots. So I'm just admiring it from where I'm sitting right now. And because of the moon I fired up the Sky View app to know what's around me. Venus and Mars are floating on my left side, while Jupiter and Saturn are to my right. The app also showed me where some popular stars are located like the Ursa Major. It's nice to have this app because I could barely see stars outside because everything is so well-lighted here. Try the app! :)

CB///*Yr2/106 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/129 #NewG340 #Home98 #StayHome #BeKind 


Saturday, July 24, 2021


I told Sweetie earlier that it must be so hard to be an artist. You have to continually make yourself relevant unless you reach superstardom levels. Sweetie said artists reinvent themselves all the time. Famous artists do it all the time, but those who are really lucky just sit on their laurels. 

One actress I've been following closely is Sandra Oh. I saw her first on Grey's Anatomy, then I watched her on Killing Eve. She has an upcoming show on Netflix, "The Chair". She's a really great actress and you could see a different side of her in each of her roles. She's one of those who catapulted to superstardom and will never be forgotten imho.

So how do ordinary citizens like us reinvent ourselves? I've been thinking about this because I feel I'm in transition. I very likely won't be able to go back to my old life. The good thing about being an ordinary citizen is I'm not pressured to stay relevant. I can just slink away and hibernate back into my old quiet life. 

There are things that come naturally for me -- monitoring crisis, building communities, working patiently on projects. I think my life will still revolve around those things, but scaled down. It's all just ideas for me right now since I need to focus on getting well. 

Much like moving houses, our needs change depending on where we are in our lives. When we were a new family we moved to a cozy apartment, then a bigger duplex. Then we got our condo unit which served us really well since we traveled a lot. Things have changed a lot and we're going to reinvent how we do things again. 

Day 22 Gratitude challenge, Something that made you laugh. You gotta hand it to comediennes, may it be a film, a series and their vlog, they make us laugh. I really appreciate the effort they make to entertain and make us happy. 

CB///*Yr2/105 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/128 #NewG341 #Home99 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, July 23, 2021

A Day in My Life

I've been a bit worried this past week. My doctor gave me some news and I've been anxious about it. I guess it's normal to feel this way. It doesn't help that the doctor I've been referred to isn't easily accessible. I'm still waiting to get an appointment to see her. 

Anyway, I'm sure it'll work out soon enough. I just need to make sure I focus on thinking happy thoughts. To be honest it gets really hard especially when I feel unwell. I have to make a conscious effort to shift where my thoughts are going. 

Yesterday I discovered The Good Doctor on Netflix. I like watching hospital dramas and this one was quite interesting. I was surprised to find out that a lot of friends have watched it and are looking forward to season 4. I'm really behind on watching films haha. 

Started my new quilt project yesterday. I'm making lap quilt blankets for my doctors as a thank you for their care. I learned a trick to make it faster... well hopefully. I hope I could finish this project in a month or two. After this I plan to make a Christmas tree skirt which I've been meaning to do for a few years now. 

My days now go slowly, very different from what my pace was before. I wake up really late to complete 8 hours of sleep. I eat my breakfast very slowly. I usually eat oatmeal and then drink my meds. Prepare my coffee and exercise while waiting for it to drip through the filter. Read or watch videos while drinking coffee. In between doing those things I try not to distract Sweetie too much while he's working (he took over the dining table as his workspace). 

After breakfast I move to "my office" -- the couch. Depends on what I feel like doing, but this is where I work on my quilt and writing projects. I can't wait for the day I'll have a real space for my crafts. Right now our living room looks like a messy craft space. I have fabric, thread, patterns and other stuff all around. I just need to make sure I don't have pins and needles lying around hehe. 

Our mealtime has been erratic the past few weeks. Sometimes Sweetie gets so busy so we usually eat whenever we get hungry. I normally eat a light dinner. I don't skip meals because of the medication. After dinner we watch some films until it's time to sleep. Across the whole day we keep in touch with Miggy. 

That's how my weekdays go nowadays. I like my newfound chill only days. This is what I need for now and I'm grateful for this time to rest. 

Day 21 Gratitude Challenge, A technology. Google Meets! It's what my family has been using in the past decade to keep in touch. We have an archive of all our chats through the years. And the best thing about it is it's free and reliable :)

CB///*Yr2/104 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/127 #NewG342 #Home100 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thinking of Getting a New Laptop

The last time I bought myself a laptop was in 2013. It was a touchscreen laptop which I mainly used to manage my photos. It started getting buggy just a year after I got it. The service center had to change the screen. Good thing it was still under warranty. It still served it's purpose until the keys started to break down and it eventually died on me early last year. 

Since my laptop was buggy I would just use Sweetie and Miggy's discards. I'm typing this post on Miggy's old Toshiba Chromebook. It still works well and the battery life is still amazing. The only drawback is it's been hard to edit videos on it. I've been using Sweetie's old laptop now to edit videos, but it's been cranky the past two months. I wait an hour before it turns on. 

Ten years ago I used to spend so much money on buying branded desktops. I wanted my gadgets to work smoothly. I'm not so patient with building computers. My friend who used to build them for me moved elsewhere so I stuck to buying branded ones. They worked really well for me. My needs changed though and that's why I've been able to survive using old devices for my personal use. 

I know the Toshiba Chromebook (2015) still have a lot of life in it. I'll continue to use it for writing and non-editing tasks. It's auto-update policy though expires in September so I expect it might start slowing down more. So I'm now searching for a new Chromebook. I'm choosing between the Google Pixelbook Go or the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2020 (not the Samsung Chromebook 2). 

The Google Pixelbook Go option is a no-brainer, but it's certainly more expensive. The auto-update policy ends in 2026. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2020 expires in 2028, but the specs are lower than the Pixelbook. Sweetie said he'll have to compare the specs of the two before he makes a recommendation. I know though build-wise the Pixelbook Go will give me less issues since it's built by Google (that's why I stick to Pixel phones). 

Oh well, have you acquired any new devices? What do you use?

Day 20 Gratitude Challenge, A holiday you love. The holiday I love most is Christmas! It's just always a happy time to be with family. I love the traditions we built around the holiday. We always have a family picture with our Christmas tree every year. Last year since we were incomplete Miggy worked on adding himself to our family photo. It was hilarious and fooled a lot of people haha. My one wish this year is to celebrate Christmas as a complete family. 

CB///*Yr2/103 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/126 #NewG343 #Home101 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Don't Be Too Good

Got a book last weekend at the bookstore, "Love for Imperfect Things". It caught my eye because of it's headline which reads, "How to accept yourself in a world striving for perfection". 

I am honestly behind with reading the mountain of books I've been getting. My eyes have gone bad again. I probably need to get new eyeglasses again. The book I just bought though was printed on really nice paper and the font and spacing is just right. It's been an easy read for me. I'm relieved because I've been wanting to read a book for awhile now. 

I bought the book as part of my healing journey. I absolutely despised myself for getting sick. I'm over that hump now and have accepted that things happen. I've also accepted that I could have taken care of myself better. I realize now I could have avoid a lot of these issues if I avoided the danger I had put myself in - namely too much stress. 

Chapter 1 of the book talks about self-care. The message of the chapter revolved around being kinder to yourself and that you shouldn't pressure yourself to please others. "Don't think you are lovable only when you succeed at what the world demands. You are already worth of love."

I pushed myself too hard and tried my best to deliver what was expected from me. A lot of people were already saying it was too much. I should have pushed back harder, but it's always been so hard for me to say no. Looking back, I should have heeded to the warning signs. 

"Don't be too good." 

"Your existence is always enough."

My friends also kept telling me that I don't need to keep proving myself. "You have done a lot," said my seatmate last Friday. "You deserve this break. Just focus on getting well." And that''s what I'm working on right now. If you feel that things are too overwhelming, it's okay to take a break and it's definitely okay to remove yourself from a situation you feel is dangerous for you. Getting too stressed over something is never worth it. 

Day 19 Gratitude Challenge, Something about work. One thing I'm really grateful about work is the support they have been giving me as I go through all these medical issues. I haven't done any work since mid-December, but they have reassured me to not worry and just focus on getting well. That's truly helped me a lot in the past couple of months. Thank you G. 

CB///*Yr2/102 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/127 #NewG344 #Home102 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

2-Years in the Making Harry Potter Quilt Blanket

Since I picked up quilting again I thought it would be nice to make quilt blankets as a wedding gift. My friends Jomar and Celine were set to do their church in July 2019. I started the project a month before their wedding thinking I would finish the quilt project in time for their wedding. I was dead wrong. 

It took two years and a month, multiple trips across Taiwan, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, the US, South Korea and what-not before I finished it in Singapore. The culprit was the tiny triangle highlights which required painstaking precision by hand. Aunties would fawn over me whenever I would sew in-flight (hahaha). I think it took me a year to finish the triangle highlights of the blanket. Here's how I made it --

The funny thing is I also ran out of fabric! I still don't know how to estimate the amount of fabric needed and I was very busy at work. I ended up waiting to get enough fabric before I could finish the project. One thing I did not anticipate also was the blanket got quite heavy to work on. I had to work on my stamina and energy so I could finally finish it. Sweetie had to help me carry it around and fold the blanket (Miggy helped me with the Wonder Woman quilt blanket project).

I chose Harry Potter as a theme because Celine loves HP a lot. I love working on themed quilt projects too because it gives me a reason to buy licensed fabric (quite expensive though haha). Celine and Jomar have just celebrated their second church wedding anniversary. I have to figure out now how to send this baby to Canada. I hope it gets to them in time for autumn! 

Day 18, Gratitude Challenge, An item you use everyday. One thing I'm really grateful for at the moment are the medications I drink everyday. It's keeping me alive! So I'm really grateful to all the scientists who figured out how to make meds to help keep me well! Without the medications to help with blood clots and pulmonary embolism I would have probably been long gone by now. Thank you dear scientists! 

CB///*Yr2/101 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/126 #NewG345 #Home103 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Why Me Again?

I got a call this morning from my doctor's assistant. They wanted me to come in to see the doctor immediately. The doctor ordered some routine tests and they found something which they want to investigate further. 

I thought I could just focus on recovering and getting stronger now. It took me a few weeks to get better after the last test and I've just started to ramp up on exercising again. It was my first time to see that doctor. She was referred by another doctor because she thought it would be good to do a routine check-up to get everything covered. 

After the check-up I went to eat. I was feeling glum when I received news that someone passed away. That stopped me from feeling so frustrated. I realized then that God's plan for me is different. I've always wondered why I got the worst latak genes  (LOL). Better me than any of my loved ones. 

I wrote this post today to remind all my female friends to get your routine check-up with your gynecologist. I had been busy with my other doctors and brought it up randomly with my uro. She referred me to an OB and I had re-scheduled the appointment thrice before I went. Whew! 

Day 17, A personality trait of yours. My fighting spirit. I'm grateful my parents taught me to strong in the face of adversity. I still remember that day when Typhoon Ondoy's floods drowned everything I owned. I was sitting in the kitchen with my Dad and I started to cry. He immediately reprimanded me and said, "Para yun lang iiyak iyak ka na." That was the day I learned how to cope better when disaster strikes. 

*Latak = sludge 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Went to the Gym! Pokemon Go Fest 2021 Day 2 in Singapore

I meant I went to the Pokemon Go Gym today. Today was raid day of the Pokemon Go Fest. We thought we had to head out again just to complete the tasks. Luckily you don't need to go out just to join the raids. We were so relieved since we were so tired from yesterday's activities. Thanks Niantic for providing free remote raid passes! It's still best to just stay home nowadays. 

What I enjoyed about today's activities is we were able to play together with friends from other countries. We had several chats set-up to coordinate raid invites. It was a joy to play together with friends in the Philippines and Canada! I just focused on participating in raids and let my Pokemon Go Plus do the catching. 

The last time we were able to play Pokemon Go in person with friends was during my birthday celebration in 2019. After the program we just converged and started trading before we went home. It was a great time to play since I had lucky friends who I haven't seen for a long time. Some friends also exchanged trainer codes that day. 

I've been playing Pokemon Go for five years now. I remember I installed it in Tokyo and it was friends who are teachers who taught me how to play. I always looked forward to traveling because I could pick up regional Pokemon which wasn't available here in Singapore before (i.e. Farfetch'd in Japan, Kangakshan in Australia, Tauros in the US, Mr. Mime in Europe. I would catch as many as I could so I could trade it with Sweetie and Miggy. It's also been my companion to get me moving more. 

Day 12 Gratitude Challenge, A person you look up to. I look up to many people. Instead of pointing out one person I thought I'd share something I learned from Dr. Ned Roberto. When I was taking market research lessons under him he advised me to always have a mentor at every point in my life. He explained that the person doesn't need to know that you're appointing him/her as a mentor. You just look at this person and pick their best qualities/skills and learn from them. This is why I look up to many people and I'm grateful that I've learned so much through the years because of the advise Lolo Ned gave me :)

CB///*Yr2/99 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/124 #NewG347 #Home105 #StayHome #BeKind 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Pokemon Go Fest 2021, Singapore Experience

We've been looking forward to the Pokemon Go Fest this year. We prepared better for the event this year. We watched vlogs of other players and read articles. We learned our lesson last year because we could complete the tasks at home. So we planned ahead for the event this year. 

We decided to go to Vivo City today. It's where we usually go when there's a community event (and we used to live across it). We think it's the best place to play Pokemon Go in Singapore because it has a lot of Pokestops and Gyms. You can catch a lot of Pokemon also across the mall. Walking around also makes it easy to hatch eggs and complete distance tasks. 

Good thing I had a lot of errands this week. That helped prepare me for all the walking I had to do today. We started at Harbourfront Centre where we had breakfast. Did errands in between while working our way towards our last stop (Fairprice at Vivo). The mall though isn't as PWD friendly as it was before. They removed all the seats that was scattered around the mall (boo!). 

Overall, I'm glad that the collection challenge was easier this year. I was able to complete the collection challenges within the first 30 minutes of every hour (whew!). The special tasks were also quite easy to complete. Sweetie though had to help me with the 3 nice throws in a row haha. Good thing Sweetie got me a Pokemon Go Plus. The gadget really helped me today since sometimes I get so impatient catching everything in sight. I wish though I got more shiny Pokemon, sigh. 

One more day tomorrow! I hope it won't be as intense as today! Rest well tonight my Pokemon Go friends!

Day 11 Gratitude Challenge, A food you love. SPAGHETTI!!! I could eat spaghetti everyday if I needed to. If you read my yearbook write-ups, all of it mention I love spaghetti. Eating spaghetti always makes me happy. I have many memories associated with eating spaghetti. One would be going to Makati Supermart with my parents (when it was still in Makati). We'd also grab some spaghetti at the coffee shop. Another would be when Tita Olive would cook spaghetti for my birthday parties. Date days with Daddy at Dayrit's. I used to order spaghetti that was served on a carabao sizzling plate (until I discovered their burger). And Kuya's spaghetti. Spaghetti just brings me so much joy :)

CB///*Yr2/98 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/125 #NewG348 #Home106 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Date Day with Myself

I woke up bright and early yesterday for an errand. Sweetie suggested the night before that I should buy my coffee after the errand. I was shocked! I usually rush back home after I go to a doctor appointment and Sweetie told me not to take any unnecessary risks. I was giddy when he suggested I pick up some coffee after my errand. 

I finished my errand early. I hung around a bit and thought about whether I should still go buy some coffee. The mall was still closed. I checked Google Maps to see if there was anything open already. Toast Box was already open. I decided to go. 

I did the required check-in and skipped going to Toast Box since it was too early for my favorite teh tarik. The smell of freshly baked bread encouraged me to sit down on the egg seats across BreadTalk. I sat there for 20 minutes just breathing in the smell of freshly baked bread (it goes through the mask nicely!). At 9:59am I went upstairs to the coffee shop and was surprised to see some customers having breakfast. 

I originally planned to just get a pack of coffee and then go home. My favorite craft shop though was still closed so I decided to get a cup of cappuccino and play Pokemon. I settled on a seat far away from other customers and played Pokemon in-between pinging Sweetie and Miggy. Eventually I quieted down and realized it's the first time in a long, long time since I dated myself. 

I usually go out with Sweetie because I still experience get shortness of breath when walking long distances. I have mastered the art of stopping whenever I start feeling breathless. Yesterday I felt a little bold and went to Art Friend after I finished my coffee (Spotlight was still closed). I needed to buy some supplies. I was so happy walking up and down the aisles. There's just something about being in a craft shop that brings me so much joy. 

After Art Friend I took the lift back to the fifth floor and dropped by Spotlight. I went around to check out some fabric. I didn't get anything (the boys said it was a miracle!). I was just happy for the opportunity to visit my favorite shop. I was a bit tired by then though so I didn't stay long. I was already happy from the short date time with myself so I went home after visiting Spotlight. 

When was the last time you dated yourself?

Day 10 Gratitude Challenge, A Person in Your Family. I've always talked about how grateful I am for my immediate family. My Mom has a set of cousins who lived with us when I was growing up. Tita Olive took care of me (and all of my cousins and nephews and nieces, of course Miggy too). She's known as the family baby whisperer. If you look through our family photos she was always carrying a baby. Then there's Tita Alon. I don't remember if she lived with us, but she was always there at home. She always accompanied my Mom whenever she had to go to Bicol. Tita Chu in Sydney is my most adventurous Tita. I would always meet up with her whenever I visit Australia. She always tells me stories about our family (I missed out a lot because I'm the youngest). And there's Tita Pet who lives in Japan. I remember following her around when I was a child. I have a special bond with her, we always feel whenever the other is in trouble or sick. Each of my titas play a different role in my life. They're just always there for me and I always look forward being able to spend time with them. Did I mention that the four are sisters? :')

CB///*Yr2/97 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/124 #NewG349 #Home107 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Bright Side

I finally got my mojo back. It took a huge dose of Pinoy food, a trip to Spotlight and Art Friend and an SOS to Sweetie to come home earlier than usual from work. Whenever I get back to back bad days, a dark cloud settles on my head and it's hard to shake off. I'm glad it's gone now and I can focus again on getting better. 

Being forced to rest wasn't easy for me. It was an incredulous situation for me. When I accepted my new reality, I realized there were other things I could explore. That is the brighter side of the situation. Here's what I've been able to do on good days -

  • Work on my quilt projects - I'm finally making progress in acquiring more sewing skills. I always make sure I learn something whenever I start a project. I hope I can master using my sewing machine by end of the year. 
  • Start writing a book - I enrolled in an online writing retreat. It ran for five Saturdays. I honestly didn't think I'd finish it, but I did! I've so far written only one chapter and got stalled on chapter two. I think I'll be able to start writing again soon. 
  • Work on my long-term photo project - gosh, this project has been running for about four years now. Part one was getting all my digital photos in one place (it used to be in a gazillion CDs). Part two is putting them on the cloud. I'm still in part two, year 2010. Part three is to create photobooks out of the photos. This project will probably take another decade to finish haha. 
  • Watch films - well I do this on good and bad days. I have missed a lot of shows in the past decade, so Netflix has become my bestie. 
  • Exercise - yup, it's part of my vocabulary now! 
  • Make future plans - being forced to drop everything gave me time to think about what I want and what I could do. I always felt that I put my life on hold 10 years ago when I moved to Singapore. I felt incomplete. I think it's the right time to circle back and close the missing gap. 
  • Dream - yes, dream. Part of my healing process includes envisioning who and what I want to be in the future. The good thing about it is you end up creating new dreams. I was in my early 20s the last time I felt this hopeful.  
I'm just really glad I'm back to being my cheerful self again. I'm tired from doing errands this morning, but that's okay. I'm going to take a nap after posting this so I can work on the templates for a Christmas project (I know it's only July, but I sew super slow). I pray things will get better everyday. Have a blessed day my friend. 

Day 9 Gratitude Challenge, Something you like about where you live. I currently live in Singapore and for the past year we've lived on a higher floor. This is the first time we've lived on a higher floor (not counting hotel stays) and it's been a different experience. What I like about where we live now is the beautiful view. There's a park just across and I love watching birds fly by everyday. It's a peaceful view and it's so far the best I've had in all the places I've lived in. 

CB///*Yr2/96 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/123 #NewG350 #Home108 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Just Resting Today

My energy got sapped from the long afternoon at the hospital. Will just rest and resume blogging tomorrow. Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

I Surrender

The past week has been difficult. My doctor reduced my medication and it caused an imbalance. I've been having headaches daily. One of our goals has always been to reduce dependency on meds and supplements. He removed a supplement. I guess that was helping balance other things and removing it wreaked havoc. He brought it back so hopefully things will get better in the next few days. 

One thing I learned through this ordeal is to just surrender everything to God. My body is different and out of the normal my doctors are used to. They have tried their best to make me better. I have to do my part and do what I can to get better. 

My situation is going to go on indefinitely. This is what my doctor wrote down again this morning. I was really upset about it before, but I have accepted my new direction. I'm actually excited about where this could lead me. I hope I could go home soon and be with Miggy and my Mom again. 

Sometimes God gives us challenges which we cannot solve ourselves. It's His way of reminding us that He's always there for us. The only way out of it is to trust in Him and let Him lead the way. 

Day 8 Gratitude Challenge, A Happy Memory. I have a lot of happy memories! I treasure most those times our little family would go on trips. One of the happiest is when we went to Bali with our parents, Tita Rose, Kuya and Ate Joy decided to join us in the last minute. We rented a villa that had at least four huge rooms and it's own pool! The thing we enjoyed the most was dining together. We all hope we can do it again someday.  

CB///*Yr2/94 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/121 #NewG352 #Home110 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Stepped on Philippine Soil Today!

I intended to wake up early today to work on some stuff online. I did, but because the bed felt so warm and cozy I fell asleep again. Sweetie eventually woke me up because I had to eat and drink meds. I've been having a hard time sleeping again. I end up waking up late because I have to sleep at least 8 hours everyday to feel like a person haha. 

I went out for some errands. I stepped on Philippine soil*... went to the Philippine embassy. I used to go there a lot before because you're required to get a pass (OEC) whenever you go home. The embassy transformed a lot in the past ten years. The transaction experience got better in the last few years. All the procedures are detailed online and you just need to book an appointment before you go (plus they added a/c in the hall!). I'm usually in and out in just 10 to 15 minutes whenever I go. I wish agencies back home would be the same.   

I usually take Grab whenever I go out. It's always a joy whenever I get a huge car for my trip. I especially like the cars with automatic doors. It reduces the things you need to touch, plus the car is so roomy. I got lucky today because I got two big cars! Appreciating the little things can bring so much joy. The second big car brought me to the hospital. I had to drop off a CD for my doctor to scrutinize (they're so fascinated with the make-up of my body haha).

Just before I got on my ride home big raindrops started to fall. It was so sunny when I left home so I didn't expect it would rain today. It was still a beautiful day and I'm thankful I had a chance to go out again. 

*Embassies are thought to a piece of the country in a foreign country.

Day 7 Gratitude Challenge, Something that Makes You Smile. A lot of things make me smile. Waking up, seeing Sweetie, getting a ping from Miggy, perfectly made coffee, our healthy plants, getting a huge Grab car, seeing cute photos, crazy vids and many other things. There's just a lot of things to smile about everyday. What about you, what makes you smile?

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Day After the Wedding

Chanced upon our after the wedding photos last night. I was uploading old photos to the cloud and got curious on what happened after our wedding more than 11 years go. 

We checked out of the hotel the day after the wedding. Good thing my parents brought home all the gifts. We went straight to our new home, a 3-bedroom apartment we rented from my Mom's friend. Of course, Sweetie carried me inside our new home. Back then I was so easy to carry haha. Here's the video --

Our new home was a huge mess when we arrived. The first thing we did was put some order to our new home.  After fixing our home we opened gifts! That was super fun to do. I still have a list of everything we got and we're still using most of what we got. 

We were saved from preparing food because we went to my parents' home to eat and they sent back a lot of food for us. The first meal we ordered was Binalot! 

I guess we were able to go to SM Hypermarket because we also ate some maki with leftovers. Sweetie also made a salad (I can confirm his red sando is still alive until today hahaha). 

The next few days was spent attending a gazillion family reunions. Mom and Dad also celebrated their golden wedding anniversary a week after our wedding. We only started to settle down after the second wedding. The weeks that followed were very eventful. I was able to blog most of it on our "Mabuhay ang Bagong Kasal" blog. Reading about our first cooking attempt, the first laundry day where our new washing machine broke down, and almost poisoning both of us is so hilarious. 

Our logo by Miggy and Gail dela Cruz Villanueva.

Since our first home we've lived in six other homes in two countries. We learned a lot since we tied the knot more than 11 years ago. We've had our ups and downs and a smattering of challenges. Our love and faith has kept us solidly together. And everyday still feels like those first few weeks after our wedding. The adventure continues :)

Day 6 Gratitude Challenge, A Smell You Love. When I was young it felt weird when my lola and titas would smell me like they sucking the life out of me. The funny thing is I do the same now especially for babies! Haha. My nose is super sensitive so I don't like overpowering smells (or anything that smells for that matter). I guess I love the smell of the people I most especially love.

CB///*Yr2/92 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/119 #NewG354 #Home128 #StayHome #BeKind 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Finished the Shophouse Quilt Sampler!

Sometimes inspiration can be hard on you. I've wanted to create a shophouse quilt since I laid eyes on a book featuring Singapore shophouses. I super loved the colors of the shophouses. Two years passed and I promised myself I'll work on it this year. 

I started working on it three weeks ago. I thought I was going to finish it in a few days. It took three weeks because each block took almost two days to make. Selecting fabric, measuring and cutting took up a lot of time. Each block had 16 to 24 pieces that had to be sewn together by hand. After combining 9 blocks I had to add in the "windows" and "doors" for each block.

Halfway through the project I wanted to give up. Hand-sewing each block took a lot of time and I had to rest my hand in-between (apparently sewing can cause carpal tunnel too). There were nights when I'd look at a finished block and think it was ugly. They looked better in the morning (haha). I'm not one to leave a project unfinished so I continued work on it. 

I finally finished it last night! I used a sewing machine to put the binding on. My hand had run out of stitching power already. Yes, I also thought it was ugly last night. It looked much better when I woke up this morning (hahaha). 

Here's a video on how I made it -

This is a sampler project. I'm going to finish first other projects and then I'll work on my shophouses for my home quilt project. At the rate I'm going I'll probably get to it next year. 

*If you want to try making the shophouse quilt, I have the template available here.

Day 5 Gratitude Challenge, A friend. I have so much to be thankful for my friends. I consider them as my guardian angels. They are always there whenever I need them. Love to all my friends. 

Happy weekend everyone. 

CB///*Yr2/91 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/118 #NewG355 #Home129 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, July 9, 2021

My Dream Space

I was already in high school when I had my own room. Growing up I slept on the floor in my parents' room. We had available rooms in our home. I just never had the urge to move. My realm was my mattress and the space around it. My toys would lay beside the bed, eventually an Olympia typewritter, books and then I went through a period with my walkman. I soon moved to my Ate's room after. 

When my Mom taught me crafts she would put projects in a basket. This allowed us to move around the house. We'd usually start in the bedroom and by afternoon in her garden. This is how I learned to work anywhere. With little space though in our apartment here in SG, I commandeered the couch and sala table as my craft space. It's not a pretty sight. My materials are also lined up across the kitchen. 

I've always dreamt of having a proper space to do my crafts. Right now I use the dining table to measure and cut fabric. Fabric and scraps are scattered across the living room table. The couch holds my rulers, biscuit can of thread and sometimes the pincushion. I once had a walk-in closet which I turned into a craft room. The room housed all of my beads and I had a table I could work on. Too bad though I barely had time to craft then!

I've been looking at craft room vlogs and designs on Pinterest. Wow! It would be wonderful to have proper storage for my sewing materials. Then a center island where I can cut fabric (okay, Sweetie can also use it for his projects). I also want to have a sewing machine table I could push around where I want to work. I get so excited thinking about it haha. I've been trying to draw my ideal craft room, but my drawing skills does not exist. 

I can go on and on about the features I want for the tables, but I won't bore you with that. What about you? Would you want to have a special space for yourself? 

Day 4 Gratitude Challenge, An Accomplishment of Yours: surviving motherhood until this day! Whew! I was looking at licensed cartoon fabric early this week because I'm planning to make Miggy a quilt blanket. I realized though that he is already an adult! I ended up not getting any fabric because I realized I need to reframe my mind and accept that he's no longer a tiny 4-year old. I am grateful to everyone who has accompanied us in our journey. 

CB///*Yr2/90 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/117 #NewG356 #Home130 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Finally Losing Weight!

I have been struggling with my weight for a few years now. I started to gain a lot of weight when my asthma medication was changed. It got worse when I started taking blood thinners. I tried so many ways, but nothing worked. I was so bloated and my doctors were concerned it was straining my heart. 

Here's how I finally started to lose weight:

1. Doubled my water intake from 2 liters to 3 liters a day. 

2. Counting calories and eating more chicken than pork. I don't eat beef often. I'm also trying to eat more fiber rich food (honestly lagging in this department). I basically halved my food intake and reduced my sugar intake. 

3. My doctor increased my probiotics dosage. 

4. Unintended intermittent fasting. I have had to sleep longer to increase my deep sleep, this has resulted in unintended 16-hour fast. 

5. Eating oatmeal for breakfast 6 times a week. My cardiologist ordered me to do this. Good thing I love oatmeal! I cheat once a week with something heavy like pancakes. 

6. More exercise. I've been ramping up on exercise. My stats though are laughable, but I try to do what I can. At least now I can use the exercise bike for 12-minutes non-stop. Walking is still limited, but I hope this would improve with time. 

7. I sleep at least 8-hours a day. 

I was so overjoyed when I started to see my weight going down. I hope I'd get to a decent more appropriate weight in good time. 

Day 3 Gratitude Challenge, A Song You Love. One of the songs I love is "It's Gonna Be Okay" by the Piano Guys. I first heard this song during their concert here in Singapore. It was the day my first PE was discovered and I was feeling so down. Music heals and this song struck a chord in me that helped me go through the ordeal. 

CB///*Yr2/89 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/116 #NewG357 #Home131 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Singapore Bucket List

They have just announced plans for re-opening here in Singapore. I have been thinking about places I'd like to visit for the rest of the year. I think going out at least once a week would help me increase my energy and stamina. I'm also so fair already I need more time under the sun. 

I've lived in Singapore for 10 years already. I've been to the usual stuff, but I think there are more places I should visit at least once. I wanted to visit all the Toast Box branches across the island, but I've been to a handful only. I found a buddy to do this but then the pandemic happened! We only got to go to one branch before he left. 

Here are some places I'd like to visit:

1. The Joo Chiat shophouses/Peranakan shophouses - I've only seen them in photos. I have been so fascinated by the artwork by Kildi Photos which I first saw at my PT clinic. Super love the colorful shophouses, it's inspired me to create a quilt project. 

2. East Coast Park - the last time I visited this park was before I moved to Singapore. I always see it on the way to the airport, but haven't had time to visit. I just live across the West Coast Park and we love going there. I wonder how different the ECP is.

3. A reservoir - I've only been to the Bedok Reservoir. There are many more and I heard that the MacRitchie Reservoir is a great place to visit. 

4. Jurong Bird Park - I've been there several times, but it never gets old for me. The last time we went was before Miggy went back home in August 2019. I'd like to see the Philippine eagle again and say hello. 

5. Pulau Ubin - believe it or not I haven't been to Pulau Ubin. It's supposed to bring you back to the 1960s when you go there. I'm really curious to see the island. Will have to research whether they allow people to visit. 

6. Sentosa Island - I used to live near Sentosa Island. On weekends we'd just walk over. They regulated visitors last year so we just avoided going. I wonder if we could come visit again soon. We just enjoy walking around and spinning Pokestops. No need for me to go to the Universal Studios, taking a photo by the globe should be enough haha. 

7. Night Safari - taking photos is better during the day though. I've been to the Night Safari only once and it was fun. Oh I should check whether the zoo has moved. I remember they announced that they were going to move last year. 

8. Singapore Flyer - would you believe I've never been on it! I have been trying to convince my boys to come with me. Maybe Sweetie will go with me soon? Or maybe at least the cable car. 

9. Sunset Sail - I saw this attraction from a leaflet when we did a staycation a few months ago. I'm really curious how this works. 

10. Chinatown - we used to visit Chinatown often, usually after hearing mass. The energy there is really different and I miss the food! Maybe we can finally try the Michelin starred stall there. 

CB///*Yr2/88 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/115 #NewG358 #Home132 #StayHome #BeKind 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Moments That Changed My Life

Have you thought about events in your life that changed your life completely? I started thinking about this after reading the Didache reflection last night. I looked back and thought about events and decisions that changed my life completely. Here's a few I thought about -

That time I had Miggy - having Miggy early ignited the fire in me. I had that burning desire to succeed because I wanted to provide the best life for my son. It hasn't been easy, but my decisions have always been what I thought would be best for him. 

That time I decided to take graduate studies - I was already working at a telco when I realized what I really wanted to do with my career. My undergraduate degrees were far from the direction I wanted to take so I enrolled in grad school a year after graduation. This decision helped me gain important skills I still use.

That time I worked for my Mom - I had a hard time during my first year in grad school. I was still inexperienced. They usually accept students with at least 2 years work experience. I got in because I got a good recommendation. I tried to move departments in the company I was working for but they didn't allow it. I realized that I wasn't going to get the opportunity to grow there so I left. I joined my Mom's export business and that's where I really learned a lot. I was doing web marketing as early as 1998. This moment set my path to where I am today.

That time I bungled up an interview - unfortunately my Mom's business was affected by the crash of the economy. All export businesses were affected. I completed grad school at that time and had to find a job. I made a good impression on the HR manager and was immediately sent to the president for the interview. I got really nervous and failed the interview. I had another interview the next day with a start-up company. I over-prepared and got the job. The interview I failed pushed me to the right direction (who would've thought I'd end up in the tech industry?). 

OHSI days.

With my scout brothers.
That time I applied for a job at Google - I heard about the opening from my boss. She heard about it from a conference she attended in HK. I looked it up and the job description was overwhelming. I checked it again six months later and was surprised that the job description changed. It was less intimidating. I submitted an application without expecting anything. I was super surprised to receive an email the next day. I went through the eye of a needle and was eventually hired. This is probably one of the biggest life changing moments in my life. 

That time in the airplane I asked God to take over - after a series of disappointing relationships, on September 27, 2007 I begged God to navigate my life. During that year I told him that if by September 30, 2007 I didn't have a partner I would enroll in post-grad studies and live a life of single blessedness. I had no clue that He had already started writing my love story when I met Sweetie. On September 29, 2007, Sweetie asked me if he could court me. 

SG office when it was just tables and chairs.
That time I jumped at a role that brought me to Singapore - I never intended to leave the Philippines. My Dad would not have allowed it if he was still around. My old mission had ended and I was told to look for a new role. I really thought my journey had already ended. My managers though were keen to keep me and it was fate when my manager met my future manager in a trip to Indonesia. He set up a call with my future manager who was based in Zurich. That call eventually brought me to Singapore. 

That time I had open heart surgery - It was honestly the move to Singapore that eventually saved my life. The surgery changed my life completely. I had to change the way I lived my life. My family wasn't living in Singapore when I did my surgery. Sweetie stayed as long as he could (he had to go back to work). My Mom and Miggy stayed with me until I was well enough to fly back to Manila to recover more. I never went back to normal so the OHS effectively changed the course of my life. 

That time I had pulmonary embolism - post-OHS I was still able to do a lot of activities. I tried to cope after the first PE, but it really changes your body. The second one I had early this year has changed my life completely. A year ago today I was a very busy bee. My focus now is to get a bit better everyday. I'm still living this moment and I expect it will be what will completely change the course of my life. 

Life is beautiful. We go through a lot of moments. Some effectively change the direction of our lives. I believe though that we all have our individual missions from God. He nudges us to the right direction at the right time. I'm never scared whenever I feel I'm going through a life-changing moment. I embrace it because I know it's where God wants to take me next. 

What are your life changing moments?

CB///*Yr2/87 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/114 #NewG359 #Home133 #StayHome #BeKind