Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Getting Decors for My Craft Room

I hope I can start using my craft room again by early next week. I had the opportunity to visit Papemelroti in person after almost four years! I've just been buying from them online, but the experience is so much different when you visit the shop. I'm so glad the shop in Glorietta is still around. Sadly my favorite resto, Don Henrico's, has been replaced! It used to be beside Papemelroti. 

I was so happy I had the opportunity to pop-in Papemelroti yesterday. Thought it would be nice to find some decors for my craft room. I already have a unique clock, but I want to add a couple more things to make the place more cozy. Papemelroti feels like home. I've been visiting the same shop since the 90's! 

I went through all the corners of the shop to familiarize myself with what they have now. Last time I got to visit was in November 2019. They have a lot of new stuff and it seems they have retired some items (i.e. wrought iron decor, they only have flat metal ones now). They have a lot of clocks and wall board decors now. I went through all the boards. I liked a lot of stuff and was so confused, haha. 

I ended up getting two items. A #Create board and a cute message board. I #Create board would be perfect for the craft room. I think I'll stick to the "create" theme for the craft room since that's what it's meant for. I have a couple of miniature sewing machines I collected. Oh! And I have a thimble collection from my travels. I'll bust them out once renovations are done. :)

#BeKind #StaSafe

Monday, January 30, 2023

Home on Mondays: Condo Kitchen Renovation

One lesson I learned through the years of home ownership is to get your place readied before you move in. Our first home was a condo unit. We weren't able to ready it before we moved in because we already extended our rental. We had to cross out our rental expense because we had a mortgage to pay. So we moved in with just a fridge, haha.

It was hard because it was Christmas so all our orders for furniture were delayed. We slept on the floor for a long time. Our clothes were in boxes and it was a huge mess (yes, we made the same  mistake again). Eventually we got our furniture, but it took a long time to get everything organized. 

The old look. 

Since we realized we should have added built in cabinets in the bathrooms. The kitchen was useful, but we didn't have enough space to place our kitchen appliances. Our fridge was too big and the electric stove and oven took a gazillion years to heat up. The cabinet doors in the bedroom ate too much space. Our large bookshelf was an eyesore because it looked so cluttered. We knew it was time to upgrade.

Finally after 10 yeaars we had the unit updated. We removed everything in the unit. Got help from the angels to pack everything. We moved it to our new home. Thought I'd start with what we did to the kitchen. Here's how it looked before move in -

Just after we moved in -

The messy lived in kitchen just before we left -

Here's what we changed:

Electric range to induction stove but kept the rangehood exhaust

Oven to built in electric oven

Side by side fridge to a normal 2-door fridge

Small sink changed to a larger sink

Added a side pantry cabinet

Weird purple countertop changed to off-white

Cabinets were spruced up too (finally removed the plastic on the handles hahaha)

Our shiny new kitchen after the changes :)

Now I want to move back, haha. 

Renovation was made by Alab Design & Construction (website and FB). Thank you Alab team, Arch Wansi, May, Mang Jo, Tukoy, Allan, Alvin and Kuya Gary!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Miracle Sundays: Healing from a Break-up

Break-ups come in different forms. The most obvious, of course, are romantic relationship break-ups. Break-ups also happen with friends and sometimes leaving your job feels like a break-up. That's how I felt when I went through the process of deciding to leave my job. It was painful and I moped for a long time. It's worse when you are laid off or forced to move. 

I can just imagine how anxious one gets when faced with change. Especially when it affects your future. I have experienced the break-up process several times. My heart broke each and every time. It even came to a point where it had to be literally repaired. Through the years though I realized that I'm one tough cookie. 

Different organizations present different stages of break-ups. It can be anywhere from 5 to 13 stages. Emotions run very high and you can end up doing things you may regret. Move on gracefully. You will be in shock, in denial, angry, depressed, and it usually takes a long time before you finally accept and be at peace. 

I've learned through the years that burying your emotions is not good. Accept the pain and let it run its course. Don't grieve alone. Surround yourself with friends you trust. If they really know you, they will wait until you are ready to talk. In my case, I usually mark the end of the process with a blog post. I do that because I feel it will be helpful to share what I have learned. 

There is no shortcut to healing. You just need to go through the process. You have to remember though, changes in your life whether you have control over it or not is a re-direction to your new path. Sometimes you are so stubborn, God has to do something drastic. Like what happened to me when I was forced to move to another company (a.k.a. laid off/illegal dismissal). After dealing with the grief I threw myself at learning new skills. What happened was a blessing in disguise. Making peace with what happened eventually led me to my new path. 

You will be okay. You are a tough cookie. And remember, God is always with you.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: Aphids Ate My Sili Plants

Aphids are incorrigible. They infested my sili plants after they finished off my tomato plants. I just trimmed the plants last week and they're all over it again. At this point there's no turning back, I'll have to lay the sili plants to rest. Such a bummer since they started to flower again. 

Well, on the bright side I learned that you can use free sili that comes with your delivery meal. Just take out the seeds and dry them out before planting. That's what I did and they started flowering after two months. It would have started to form into fruit already if not for the aphid invasion. 

Dealing with aphids has been very challenging. It's not enough to remove them physically and spray neem oil. You also have to deal with the ants because they are besties. We got pest control to help middle of last year because of the higad. The service effectively rid of invasive ants and the aphids were gone for a couple of months. I guess the spray is all gone now because it's been raining. 

I've decided to pause my veggie planting for now. The conditions of my garden have not been feasible for growing. I'll just wait for things to be cleaned up after renovations and then I'll think about what to do next. In the meantime, I'll focus on keeping my new plants alive (it's not looking good). 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Philippine Witch Dog (Aso ng Gubat)

I've been watching news updates about getting the Philippine forest dog (also called Philippine Witch Dog) recognized as the official national breed. From what I also read about it, the forest dog is believed to have been around for 36,000 years now (source: Esquire Philippines). From what I've seen on videos, they also come with very unique patterns and can jump very high. They are believed to have accompanied our ancestors when they hunted. 

I got curious about the Philippine forest dog because I had this funny moment with my scout team back in 2006. We were talking about what kind of dogs we had back home. My teammates were all mentioning the breeds of their dogs. They finally asked me what kind of dog I had and if we had our own breed in the Philippines. I proudly declared I have an askal*.

Met this cutey in Bohol last year. He's probably an aspin :)

Since it was the first time for them to hear the term "askal", they asked me a lot of questions about my dog. At that time we had a dog at home. I just let my teammates keep asking questions because I don't really know much about dog breeds. All the dogs I had were given to us and one followed us back home from church. The only dog I had with a breed was a Japanese spitz. 

Eventually I nonchalantly told them what askal meant. They roared in laughter. It was 2006 and you couldn't really show and tell with photos because I just had a Nokia classic phone. We had a good laugh that day, but since then I wondered if we had our own dog breed. Apparently we do and they're truly a unique bunch. Here's the video about it -

They are beautiful. I wouldn't want to own one though since they require a huge space to run around and well I'm not allowed to have furry pets. I hope the Philippine forest dog becomes recognized as our national breed soon.  

*Askal - asong kalye. This was way before we started calling them aspin or asong Pinoy

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Throwback Thursday: One Second Everyday December 2022

I discovered the app One Second Everyday (1SE) from a former colleague. We were at a day outing and he had me take a one second video of him. I asked him after what was the one second video about. He showed me the app. It seemed popular in Australia because another colleague was using it too. 

I've been trying to complete one whole year for a few years now, but I'm so bad at it haha. I was able to complete December 2022. The other months were meh (complete forgot to record). Here's the video -

It's nice to see a glimpse of your life through 1SE. It's just a second, but a good reminder that every single day counts (no matter how mundane it is). For me it's proof of life. :)

Now let's see if I'll finally be able to complete a full year. Wish me luck!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Stay Grounded

I lived in a nice bubble for 15 years. Nothing seemed impossible. I learned along the way that as long as you had clear goals and planned your program well, you'd definitely achieve what you want.

Mind you, working there was hard. You never really have time to rest on your laurels because you're expected to build on your achievements and multiply it. You're able to focus on work because everything else is cared for. No need to worry about your commute or food. I was cared for when I got very sick and I had access to the beat doctors. Honestly, I wouldn't be around if not for them. 

Early on though I knew it wouldn't last. In my early years I would always ask my managers if I was at the end of my journey and should I look for a new job. I flabbergasted two managing directors with those questions. I stopped asking when the second one got so shocked. I did that because I was a single Mom then and I needed reassurance.

When my cardiologist told me that I was finally due for surgery, I shifted gears and started planning for the worst. I saved and lives frugally to make sure my family wouldn't have a hard time in case I didn't make it. I kept grounded on the reality also that one day I would leave the bubble. 

It was hard to take the first step out of the bubble, but after spending most of my time in and out of the hospital for four months I knew realistically it was time to leave. So I followed the orders of my doctors and went back home.

I thought about staying grounded when a friend remarked about the perils of working for a company for a very long time. It becomes part of who you are and eventually it's going to be hard to separate yourself from it. What she said is true and I guess it's also hard for the people who knew you as someone who's part of that company. 

That's why the first thing I did when I left the bubble was to figure out who was I before I got sucked in. I retraced my steps, found my long time friends and created new routines. It took awhile and I honestly haven't been thinking about the bubble anymore. I'm at that point when I'm now just remembering the happy times and I just keep in touch with those who are really close to my heart. I'm also far enough now that I could look at what they're doing critically (haha). 

Keep grounded. At the end of the day what's more important is you and your loves ones.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Using Design Pegs for Your Home

I must admit, I'm not the best when it comes to design. I was stumped when Architect Wansi asked if we had an idea on what we wanted. Our response was a big, "Errrr". I turned to a friend for help and she gave me several ideas on where to get inspiration. Here's a list of what we looked at (it's also what I use when I look for inspiration for my quilt projects) -

1. Pinterest

I've been using Pinterest mainly for my craft projects. I was surprised to see a lot of home related pins too. Checked general pins first and then funneled it down to what interested us. 

2. Instagram 

When I started searching for home designs on Pinterest, of course, Instagram started showing stores selling furniture and furnishings. That's how I discovered limewash paint and turf grass.

Super cute girly bathroom for my craft room.

3. Netflix

Yup, there are a lot of shows you can watch on Netflix about home design/renovation/decluttering. There's Dream Home Makeover and Home Edit. We also like watching Tiny House Nation. Watched a few Marie Kondo episodes, but I'm not really fond of reading subtitles while watching (except for CLOY, lol). 

4. YouTube

There's a gazillion home renovations vids on YouTube. We used it mainly to understand what goes in your house since we're first time house owners. We usually watch Architect Oliver Austria, Architect Ed, Slater Young and we got ideas also from Mikey Bustos. There are a lot of local houses/rest houses featured on OG and Presello. We also watch foreign ones to understand concepts. That really helped us communicate better with Architect Wansi. 

5. Vacation photos and former homes we stayed at

Yes, vacation photos. We take photos of places we really like. Our bedroom's new look was inspired from our last vacation in Bohol. I think everyone can agree that your home should address your functional needs and make you feel good and happy. 

Old Fairmont Hotel in SG (c2015). The room was huge!

And, of course, there's Google for all the other questions you may have. We gathered up all our "wants" and collated it in a Google Photos album. It served as our peg board. 

We eventually ended up planning our rooms based on our needs. We went for a general "modern tropical home" look. We assigned our living room and dining room to be our "grown up" room. Colors are neutral, making it look light and airy. Decided on a classic kitchen look since my aim is to make it look uncluttered. This spilled over to the dirty kitchen now baking kitchen. The basement is where we hang out a lot, so we thought it should show our personalities more. In general though, save for Miggy's bedroom, we stuck to neutrals. We though we could just change accents whenever we feel like it. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, January 23, 2023

Home on Mondays: Decluttering | The Number of Pillowcases We Amassed

Slowly continuing the process of decluttering. Our coach, Ally Canita, said it's best to bring everything out, categorize and then choose what to keep and let go. Our lines were finally merged from our two homes. We've moved a lot, but never had the time to retire stuff. It was harder to do in Singapore since we didn't  know where to donate items. 

Sweetie had to remove the linen from the closet since it's going to be fixed. He took the opportunity to organize the linen so it would be easier to choose what to keep. We were surprised to find out how many pillowcases we've amassed in the past 13+ years. NINETY EIGHT! We do have a lot of pillows! 

Some of the lines are really worn down already. I won't donate those anymore but instead use them as backing for my quilt projects. Moving forward I think we'll limit the number of linens we have. One reason why we have a lot is because we delay washing laundry when we get busy. A tip I picked up from But First, Coffee is to limit the number of items you have so you are forced to wash laundry more often. 

Once we're done sorting, I plan to organize the linens properly. We've always had difficulty finding matching bedsheets and pillows. I think it was Marie Kondo who said it's best to keep matching linens together so it's easier when you need to change. You can also opt to tie them together with a ribbon and put them in baskets. I think that's a good plan. Now I just need to do this 100 times more across the house, LOL. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Miracles: Blessings in Disguise

I just saw some former colleagues share on Twitter that they were laid-off. It was reported earlier this week that the company was going to proceed with laying off 12,000 employees. My heart goes out to those who were affected by this move. 

It took me awhile to accept the fact that it was time for me to go. I agonized over the decision for months and I was still hopeful I'd get well. It eventually became clearer to me after praying a lot that it was time. 

I had experienced being laid off once. Our team was forced to move to another company. It was a very painful experience since it was my first job. The Court of Appeals eventually decided what they did was illegal. I never collected the damages since I just wanted to prove that it was unjust. 

It was very painful though and it took me years to go back to corporate life. The incident though opened a lot of opportunity to learn and that's what honed me to eventually land my dream job. I now look at that painful experience as a blessing in disguise. I also thanked God that he finally got stubborn me to leave my dream job. I would have probably gotten more sick if I stayed.

I pray that my affected colleagues and friends will be at peace. Your journey may have ended, but in time, like me, may you understand the new path God is leading you to.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: Got New Plants from a Neighbor

My neighbors in our old home sell a lot of different items. You can easily get silogs wrapped in banana leaves for lunch. And you can get a myriad of home cooked food also from them. That's one thing I miss since we don't have that in our current home. Looked over the list again and saw that a neighbor was selling house plants. I guess she's been growing them in her balcony. 

I haven't been able to focus on my garden the past few months. The renovation has affected my plants since I had to move them around. Saw some plants being sold by a neighbor and I thought of getting some since they were indoor plants. What interested me was the baby rubber plant. I had one in Singapore before, I left it with a friend. 

From the photos I thought they were just in tiny pots. They each cost about 100-140 per pot. I was surprised to see they were in big pots when it was delivered, haha. They are much cheaper than the ones in the nearby nursery.

So I got two baby rubber plants, a calathea and calladium. Read up on care and it said just water once a week or wait for the soil to almost dry. They also don't like too much sunlight. Goodie. I can just ignore them haha. The calladium though requires fertilizer, the ones that slowly release nutrients so I have to look into that. 

I put them on a shelf for now and will find a permanent home once renovations are done. New plants make me happy! Yay!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, January 20, 2023

How I Gave Up 3-in-1 Coffee

My former seatmate, David, always chided me for drinking 3-in-1 coffee. He tried to get me and Myra to reduce our sugar intake. Twice a week we'd go buy coffee at Starbucks or milk tea at Gong Cha. He was relentless and even set no sugar days on our calendar. I'd just skip the fave beverages on those days. His efforts eventually worked because I became more conscious on what I eat and drink. My daily 3-in-1 coffee ritual continued though.

I usually brought back with me my 3-in-1 coffee supply from Manila. It was the lockdowns that broke my daily ritual. I couldn't find my favorite drink in Singapore. I took it as a sign and opportunity to try freshly brewed coffee. I started with drip coffee and got curious and got a Hario V60 dripper. To try it out I got ground coffee from CBTL to try. I liked it and enrolled in Commune's coffee 101 lesson to understand coffee better.

My current coffee staples

I learned a lot from the lesson. I was able to improve my pour over technique. I wasn't ready though to advance to grinding my own coffee, so I experimented on variants and milk. I liked the ones that had nutty tones and I found out that British milk worked well with coffee. I just chanced on the milk from M&S which was located where I used to do PT. I looked forward to going home because I knew there would be other variants to try. 

I also joined the Coffee Home Brewers group after the lesson and learned more from other members. Started the coffee journey in 2020 and late last year we finally decided to get a grinder. I realized we should have invested in a grinder earlier because it got better. It also helped Miggy fully wean away from instant coffee. We're still doing pour over for now. We're saving up for a machine. 

Heritage coffee from Noemi's farm.

So that's how I finally gave up on instant coffee. I tried drinking some last year and I didn't like it. As my physiotherapist Wendy says, "You've become a coffee snob." LOL. I think it was a good shift because it's healthier than drinking 3-in-1 which has a lot of sugar. David would be proud :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Throwback Thursday: Do You Know What Party Line Is?

We're six years too late but we just started to watch Stranger Things this week. It's set in the 80s. Sweetie and I keep chuckling at things we experienced back in the 80s. Miggy, on the other hands, keeps asking questions about things he hasn't seen or experienced since he was born in the 90s. 

Seeing the mustard yellow phone of Joyce Byers reminded me of our rotary phone. We're able to enjoy communicating anywhere, anytime nowadays because we have mobile phones. We had a black rotary phone when I was a child. We shared a number with a neighbor who was a few houses away from us. It was a strange thing because sometimes there would be someone using the line when you pick up the phone. You'd have to wait for them to finish so you can use your phone. That was what party-line was*. 

Eventually we all got our own numbers. Mom even got an extra phone. The physical phones also eventually updated and came in different colors (still rotary). After a couple of years they removed the rotary dialer and it was changed to buttons. It hasn't really updated since then, but what was cool about the old phones is it doesn't need electricity. 

We still have phones at home because Mom never got used to using a mobile phone. We changed our phone though to a cordless one so we can bring it with us anywhere in the house. It's still useful for us since a lot of neighborhood suppliers prefer to be called on the phone. A lot of suppliers in our area don't even use Viber. 

Does your house still have a landline? IMHO it's still the best thing to use for telebabad. LOL.

*You can see this at work if you've watched The Crown.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Addressing Personality Flaws

My doctors told me that my biggest flaw is my type A personality. They told me I'd end up killing myself if I don't slow down. I kept brushing off their observation and would just laugh it off whenever it was brought up.

I didn't believe them. It came to a point one of my doctors wrote a note to my manager to prohibit me from traveling. I stopped for awhile, but eventually went back to my old ways. My thick head couldn't accept the fact that what my mind thought I could do, didn't measure up to what my body could deliver. 

After my second PE* my doctors sat me down and advised me to retire. I followed their advise because my body gave up. Looking back, I should have thrown in the towel after my first PE. I wouldn't be this weak today if I listened to my doctors in 2018.

I thought after retiring I'd get better. I didn't because I once again battled issues that I should have delegated. I just got worse and worse and here I am today still in survival mode. One good day can be followed by several bad days. It is exhausting.

I realized that my issue is intrinsically tied to my personality flaw. I'm such a go getter, I get so anxious just watching things happen. I also feel so bad when there's something I can't do. 

I got good advise from a neighbor who told me to block someone who kept pestering me even though we've told this person countless times that someone else is in-charge of the matter. It took all my will not to respond. I lost a lot of sleep worrying over it. 

Since stress causes my heart to enlarge I have resolved to finally address my flaw. I know it's going to freak me out because I'd feel I'm being irresponsible and uncaring. I just need to remind myself that I have done what I could, delegated to able bodied people and let them step up. It's also the only way for me to hopefully get better. 

*PE - pulmonary embolism 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Sewing Tools I Can't Live Without

Scrambled to pack my sewing tools and equipment the other day because renovation work is going to start again. It's best to be out of their way so they can work faster. That meant I had to pack everything I need. I'm targeting to finish the Santa seat covers by month end. This way I'll be way more ready for Christmas 2023! 

Here's what I packed -

  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing machine extender
  • Thread
  • Sewing scissors for fabric and thread
  • Cutting mat
  • Sand paper
  • Quilting rulers
  • Fabric pencils
  • Bias tape maker
  • My ginormous pincushion with pins and needles
  • Safety pin canister
  • Quilting clips
  • Iron
  • Wool ironing mat
  • Fabric and buttons I need for the seat cover
It would be a bummer if I forgot something! My cabinets are going to be covered and inaccessible for about two weeks. I decided not to pull out my sewing table since I have an extender. I can just plop down my sewing machine on any table. I can't wait to see my craft room completed.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, January 16, 2023

Home on Mondays: J&T Express Lost My Item

The AQI has been pretty bad for awhile now. My huge purifier, the Sky Atmosphere by Amway, needed new filters. Unfortunately the filters are not available locally and they're very expensive. We assessed whether it would be practical to order again from Singapore and then have it shipped. I have another air purifier and the filter is only available also in Singapore. After computing costs we decided to just replace the air purifier with a more practical and equally efficient one. 

Ordered a Xiaomi air purifier through their shop in Lazada on January 2. I figured that since it was after Christmas delivery shouldn't take long. I had previously ordered one the same way and it was delivered in 2-3 days. After a few days I started to wonder why delivery was taking so long. I read up on the experience of other customers through The Budol Group. Deliveries were delayed and I remembered I ordered trash bags on December 30. Delivery for it was delayed as well. 

Last year's successful delivery.

Decided to give it time. The app finally updated and said my ordered would be delivered on January 8. The day passed, no delivery. After a few days my trash bags arrived, but no sign of my air purifier. The app updated a few days later and said it was transferred to the Paranaque sortation center. No status update on new delivery date. I decided to follow-up on January 11 and received a response on January 13. The Lazada rep said that the item was in the sortation center and should be delivered soon. Since the response didn't really reassure me, I filed another request to look for my item. 

I finally got a response yesterday. Lazada said that the item was lost by J&T Express, the courier. They also confirmed that my payment was refunded. It will probably take time for it to reflect since I paid via credit card. The outcome was disappointing since I really needed the air purifier. I guess I'll just order directly from the Mi Store. 

I think the issue is with the sortation center. We know already most of the delivery riders. They indicated that there's not enough of them right now. I'm not sure if there's a huge influx of orders, personnel issue or inventory management issue. Like me there are a lot of other customers waiting for their packages. I still rely on purchasing stuff online since I'm immuno-compromised and can't really go out shopping. I still like Lazada, but hope J&T Express can work on their issues. They've so far been quite efficient, so this was certainly disappointing.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Miracle Sundays: Feast of the Sto. Nino

Viva Pit Senyor! Cebu is once again celebrating Sinulog. My friends based in Cebu have been posting about the preparations the past few weeks and everyone's excited about it. I've never attended a Sinulog since I'm always busy at work by this time. 

Sto. Nino though holds a very important part of my life. I grew up with a sitting Sto. Nino statue in my parents bedroom. Mom adored the Sto. Nino and taught me to pray to him. I'm not sure where my Mom got the statue since it's very unique. Mom took care of Sto. Nino very well and she would even sew new clothes for Him. 

My Mom would normally have the roof cleaned after New Year. We were once surprised when they found a hole directly above where Sto. Nino was situated. The roof had to be fixed and they also found a bullet near the hole. We were lucky the hole did not pierce through the ceiling. It may have hit someone and we all thought it was Sto. Nino who saved us from peril. 

Thank you for always protecting us dear Sto. Nino. May our childlike faith progress and blossom into mature love for you. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Plantta Saturdays: Onion Plant Update

After almost two weeks I finally planted the onion I propagated in water. 

I noticed part of it was starting to rot so I peeled it further to see if it was still feasible to plant. Part of it was still okay so I split it up and was able to plant it to two pots.

I'm trying to water it sparingly since my past experiments rotted from too much watering. One pot is so far growing well, the other one won't make it probably. We'll see.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, January 13, 2023

Lakwatsera Fridays: Breakfast Date with Sweetie

Took the opportunity today to accompany Sweetie on his errand. I also needed to refill my prescription and thought it would be easier to buy more at the mall. Well, that was my excuse. I just really wanted to visit SM. The last time I visited one was in 2020, on the day Taal erupted. 

After Sweetie's errand we walked a bit to look for breakfast. Luckily the restaurant beside the entrance was already open. It was a good choice since they had eggs Benedict available. It's been an elusive dish in our area. 

Enjoyed breakfast with Sweetie. We reminisced about the things we miss about Singapore because he spotted Nanyang before we entered the resto. He missed the ginormous Asia Square food court. It had a number of our favorite places, Toastbox, Guzman y Gomez, Aston's and it had a hidden Starbucks tucked away at the back. It was a memorable place since he would sometimes pick me up after work. 

After breakfast, we passed by Ace Hardware, Watsons and the supermarket. I realized I missed doing groceries in person. There's a lot of new things you can discover in person. It was fun to see some new offerings in the grocery. I was also able to compare prices and made mental notes on where to buy some items.

I was pretty tired by the time we finished doing groceries, but that was the perfect segueway to have a snack at Nanyang. Hrhrhr. I got my usual, teh peng, and thick toasts. The teh peng was okay, but the toasts were meh. Will stick to the cheesy chicken noodles next time. 

It's really good to go out once in awhile. I would've wanted to meet up with a friend, but it's hard for me to commit to a meetup. I only know if I'm up to a trip out if I wake up okay and sometimes my stamina runs out fast. I was lucky today because I made it back to the car before I had an asthma attack (AQI suddenly went up). Yup, I'm gonna be wearing a mask forever.

Happy weekend everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Throwback Thursday: Changi Airport

It's been almost 14 months since I last visited Changi Airport. It's one of my favorite airports since it's very efficient and there's so much to see in the airport. According to Google Maps it's one of my most visited places. I used to travel a lot for work and going through Changi was truly effortless. 

Here are some of my memorable experiences at Changi Airport -

  • Since I had a work pass I enjoyed going through the automated gates. The only drawback is most of the time the scanner can't read my fingerprints. I oftentimes had to go through the special immigration table so I could exit. One immigration officer advised to put lotion on my fingers before exiting. That trick finally worked and I finally got to enjoy the automated gates. 
  • Teh Tarik before flying out. I always went to the airport early because I don't like rushing (I walk very slow). I eventually set a tradition to drink some teh tarik before flying out. I'd buy some and just work before heading to the gate. Too bad you can't bring some to the plane.
  • The Raffles Hospital clinic at Changi saved me a couple of times. One time I rushed back to Singapore from the Southern part of Asia after getting food poisoning. I presented all the medications the hotel gave me and they said that none of those meds were meant for stomach issues. No wonder I kept getting sick even after I took it. 
  • One thing I enjoyed most was the themes Changi Airport would take on. They change it every few months and there was one time they did Star Wars. To me that was the best theme I experienced. 

  • Do you know that Changi Airport has a special scent? I actually didn't know, I just always thought that the airport smelled good. I only found out when a friend gifted me a bottle last year (haha). Super love it since it brings back good memories. 
  • Eventually I was able to accumulate points and I got to use the lounge. It was super useful for me after I had my first PE since I had a place to rest and I got first to board privileges. I also got additional baggage allowance which was very useful whenever I went to Japan and Australia (I liked grocery shopping there haha). 

  • I liked buying electronics at Changi Airport. I remember buying Sweetie a camera once, but it wasn't working! I immediately got in touch with the shop and they replaced the camera with a new one when I came back. The person who responded to my email was also the one who took care of the replacement when I arrived. So far everything I got from there still works (even the Phillips CD player I got even before I moved to SG haha). 
  • On our last flight out of SG, I had to use a wheelchair. They took care of me from check-in until we landed in Manila. I was so anxious about the flight, but they made sure we were okay all the way. 

  • My favorite terminal was terminal 3. I would go to the food street on the second floor if I was hungry or the restos in the common area if I was picking up someone. I preferred terminal 2 though for shopping since they had more variety. 
  • I wish though I had more time to explore Changi Jewel. I've been there a couple of times. We enjoyed going there since it had a lot of unique shops and restos. 
Captured our last trip out of Changi in a vlog. I was supposed to come back last August for a check-up, but we decided to cancel the trip since the boys got sick and my stamina wasn't at its best. Someday we'll go back at the right time :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Trouble Falling Asleep

I can commiserate with Grey*. I've been observing him the past few days from my maker room. We moved his bed outside of my room since there was a lot of movement where he used to sleep due to the renovations. The past few days must have been very hard for him because three orange cats have been barging in to attack him. I think they were trying to take over his territory. We had to help break up the fights since it would get so loud and alarming. 

It's pretty much similar to what I go through whenever I go to sleep at night. I have a hard time sleeping because I'm afraid I'd wake up with back pain. I've observed Grey take multiple cat naps . He falls asleep and then wakes up to check the area, probably making sure that the three orange cats aren't lurking. The good news is I'm a deep sleeper, I rarely wake up in the middle of the night. The back pain usually starts in the morning. 

I've been tracking my sleep pattern through Fitbit. It's consistently reported that I fall asleep longer compared to the average time people fall asleep. I've managed to lessen then time by adjusting my lifestyle. I  fall asleep faster when I have more movement or exercise during the day. A tired body seeks rest. I also make sure not to eat at least 3 hours before bed time. Avoid GERD (which also results in asthma). And avoid social media/reading messages before going to sleep. Sometimes I read something that triggers my PTSD. Seek peace and quiet.

One thing I haven't been able to do is get more sun. I take vitamin D3, but getting enough sunshine is better. I came to this conclusion when we went to Bohol. I'd wake up earlier, go out and I end up falling asleep faster. I wish I could just live by the beach (haha). 

My doctor solved my breathing issue after my first PE. He said you get better rest when you don't have breathing issues while asleep. I used to be so tired even when I had 8 hours of sleep. Fitbit showed that I'd actually wake up so many times while asleep. Doing deep breathing exercises and my meds helped. Breathe easy to sleep well.

I've been working on correcting this issue for years now. I was able to wake up earlier already last month, but the holidays ruined it. Well, that's something to work towards again :)

*Grey is the cat who adopted us 

#BeKind Stay Safe

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: My Ambitious Santa Seat Cover

Finally finished one seat cover for our dining chairs. I thought I'd finish it in time for Christmas, but so many things happened since I started the project in October. I decided to make one because our dining chairs are too big. None of the covers being sold in the market would fit them. 

Originally thought of using my Christmas jelly fabric roll, but thought that would be too simple. While searching for seat covers I saw some cute Santa designed ones. I looked at Santa quilt patterns and they looked easy enough to do. 

The trouble started when I was trying to adjust the pattern to fit the size of the chair. The shape was odd and it was a bit difficult to visualize. It looked fairly easy to do on graphing paper. Went on to cut the fabric and I worked on piecing them together. The second issue cropped up when I sewed on Santa's face. It looked too small. I made several paper iterations before I settled on the bigger face. 

I wanted to use whatever I had available in my maker room. Then I realized that the mustache wasn't enough. Santa needed a huge beard. Good thing I still had some of the white vined fabric I originally used for his mustache. It took me a week to finish the beard because I fussed over the size a lot. I thought I was going to finally free from issues.

Nope, issue number four cropped up soon after. I didn't have the right materials to complete my project. I tried to make the items I didn't have, but they did not turn out well. Good thing  you can buy almost anything online and that's how I got the bigger buttons, the red flowers* and the hat pompom. 

Finally finished piecing together Santa after several iterations of the hat (I still think it's not perfect). I went ahead to cut the stretchy fabric**. I didn't realize that it would be so difficult to use stretchy fabric. I thought I cut the right size, but it came up short. Set it aside for a few days and realized I needed to use interfacing to keep it stable (gaaah). So that's what I did. 

It wasn't home free after that because it was still difficult to combine it with Santa. Finally finished one piece out of size just an hour ago. It's far from perfect and now I have to think about how to make it easier and cleaner. Well, I have five more to go through, so maybe I'll perfect it by then, haha. 

*originally wanted stars but none were available

**fabric for sofa covers

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, January 9, 2023

Home on Mondays: Practical Kitchen Add Ons

Renovations have resumed today. We're targeting to finish all indoor fixes by month end. I suspended unboxing the kitchen stuff today since the backsplash was partly installed. I took advantage of the opportunity to renovate the kitchen. I drew a plan on where I wanted to place everything. Here are some practical add ons I requested -

Cooking Utensil Drawer

My goal is to rid of clutter. Seeing all the cooking utensils crammed beside the stove is an eyesore. Saw the idea to put them in a drawer from Pinterest so that's what we did. I already had two Ikea utensil holders and we just re-used it. There are three slots for it, I just need to buy one more. I also started to decant some of my frequently used ingredients (oil, soy sauce and vinegar). Found the container* at Landers. The container was perfect since the liquid doesn't drip down after you pour.

Baking Pan Cabinet

Apparently I have quite a collection of baking pans (lol). I had pans here and in Singapore and it got quite gnarly to pull out what I needed when we stacked it inside a cabinet. Again saw a good solution on Pinterest and I'm glad the manongs indulged me. I excitedly put them in the other day when I finally got them out of the box. I can't wait to start baking again!

Graphicote Backsplash

The original tiles that came with the house looked okay, but they eventually started to stain. I couldn't get the stain out and Architect Wansi suggested to just change it. They gave me several options and I chose Graphicote since it's easier to clean and requires lower maintenance. The last apartment we stayed at in Singapore used Graphicote as backsplash and I never had any issues just wiping it. The supplier only installed half since the factory made a mistake with the size of the other side. 

Dish Drawers

Always wanted to have a dish drain cabinet like what we had in Singapore. Ideally though the cabinet should be on top of the sink. Since dishes can be quite heavy, I relented and agreed to place it as a drawer. It's where we keep frequently used dishes now after they dry. I still need to figure out how to dry dishes without it being an eyesore. I'm unable to visualize it for now since I'm still washing everything that's coming out of boxes. 

Spice Rack Drawer

I had two spice racks in the old kitchen. Retained one in the main kitchen and had the other one moved to our service kitchen. Just make sure not to install a spice rack beside an oven. I had some spices that became unusable because they hardened (whoops!). I'll use the one in the service kitchen for something else. 

Water Dispenser Cabinet

Putting the water dispenser in a cabinet was Arch. Wansi's idea. He said it was an eyesore to have the water dispenser out in the open. We agreed and now it has it's own house. We just need to have the plug repaired because the original electrician removed the ground in the plug (galeng noh?). Mang Jo will repair it soon so we can plug it again. 

You could see from the backsplash photo that the counter is currently a huge mess. I'm still figuring out how to properly store things and I'm also working on retiring items I don't need anymore. It's going to take awhile before I finish fixing the kitchen. 

*Masflex container, around PhP229+ if I remember correctly (it was on sale after Christmas)

**Ikea utensil holder, currently selling at PhP300 at Ikea. It was just half the price when I bought it a few years ago in SG. You can also buy a matching black bottom for it, can't find it though in the website.