Sunday, December 31, 2023

Grateful 2023

Thank you Lord for the gift of life, the blessings and the time with family and friends. I am grateful for everything and understand that trials come along the way to make one stronger. It's also a way to appreciate and be thankful for what you have. 

2023 was another difficult year. Losing Mom meant I really need to find my footing and be completely independent. I started to learn this when we lost Dad back in 2011. I remember Mom would always say, "What will you do when I'm gone" when I was just a child. She wanted me to learn to be independent at a young age. 

Now that I am an orphan, I'm grateful I had my parents growing up. They left me when I was good and ready. They were very strict when I was growing up. I would probably not have the discipline to have done well if not for that. So I am truly appreciative of the time I had with them. 

The new year will be a transition. We will be working on my childhood home. I haven't even made a dent in sorting the boxes. Mom left a lot of stuff. It took me the whole month of December just to sort through her bead collection. She had taught kids how to make rosaries, so she had a lot of supplies. I haven't even started with her sewing supplies. It will probably take me half a year to finish going through everything. 

And, I have completed the challenge to complete one second video everyday! Here's a summary of my December 2023!

Let's all have fun in 2024!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Highs and Lows of 2023

The year has been one of the most devastating years of my life. I lost my Mom and I just had to cope with my grief through the rest of the year. The state of my health has also been challenging. Worse off, I was hospitalized for 3 weeks last month. 

Some of my friends said it hasn't been a good year for them too. I always remind myself that God only gives us trials that we can bear. The day before He took Mom home with Him, I had prayed in earnest for something I have been praying for over a decade now. God finally answered the prayer the day before my Dad's birthday. It helped ease the pain of losing my Mom. 

I wouldn't put 2023 as a bad year. We all go through highs and lows each year. I put goals for different aspects of my life so I could feel more productive and useful. Adjusting to retired but disabled life has been difficult for me, so having goals helped make me feel useful and needed. Here's how I broke it down:

Make Our Home Beautiful

We made a lot of progress with fixing and organizing our home. We had the electrical and plumbing issues fixed. Kitchen was overhauled. Garden is not muddy anymore and plumbing has been improved. We're down to a handful of boxes which I'll finish sorting today. We've sent more than 50 boxes of items for donation. Also hope to clear the sala before 2024 comes knocking in 24 hours (haha)

Craft the Year Away (

I probably finished half of the projects I wanted to do. I take time whenever I work on my projects since I want to enjoy every stitch I make. I enjoyed making the cat series the most. I also enjoyed the challenge of turning scrap fabric into something useful. Will prioritize those I wasn't able to make next year. If you want to take a look, I documented what I created on my YouTube channel ( 

Wellness, Stability and Stamina

I set wellness goals for the year to ensure I took care of myself better. The most important thing I did was to change doctors and hospital. I felt I needed a change because they were forcing me to have surgery. My doctors in Singapore warned that it would be very risky for me to do any procedure. I knew I really needed to change when the medtech staff doing my CT scan freaked out over my results. Changing doctors helped a lot and despite being confined for 3 weeks I feel I'm becoming more stable and my stamina is increasing. Ahh, and I finally got my PWD card (hooray!).

Bucket List (

I made my 2023 bucket list attainable. I was able to do 70% of it, the others have to wait (more like pass the approval of my boys). We were able to enjoy traveling twice without any incident and I hope we can do that next year again. Just need to avoid the flu season and ensure I'm strong and stable when we get to travel again. I hope to resume though in-person grocery and dine at interesting food places. 

Ambitious Gardening Goals (

I'm still not successful with my veggie garden. It's hard! It's been really challenging since one really needs to be consistent with it. Plus it didn't help when I got hospitalized since the watering and care had to be delegated to the boys. I've been more successful with ornamental plants. I bravely re-potted the plants Mom gave me and they're all thriving. I hope to do better with gardening next year. 

I'm still thinking about what I'll do next year. I haven't really thought about making goals yet since I'm a month behind everything (haha). I'll probably continue blogging everyday since it's part of my therapy, plus it helps me to keep active and productive. 

Let's all hope and pray for a better year next year!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 29, 2023

My Secret Spaghetti Sauce (Beef and Mushroom with Black Olives)

I was looking through "Recipes for My Son" and realized I never shared how I cook my beef and mushroom with black olives spaghetti recipe. I never had the chance to film it because I've been cooking more pink pasta. I also shifted to cooking tuna pasta (using the same recipe) than beef since it's just Sweetie and I who usually eats red pasta. 

Anyway, since it was Christmas I thought it would be nice to make my first spaghetti recipe. It was my seatmate, Maica, who taught me how to make it. I had to wing the measurements since she didn't give me any. I'm not ouido when it comes to cooking (that's Daddy), so it was hard at first. I eventually found the right mixture and don't really measure anymore when I cook this recipe. 

Well, those who have tried it said it's really good, so I thought it would be useful to share the recipe. It's not sweet pasta and I honestly don't know how to cook Filipino spaghetti (that's Kuya's expertise). Anyway, here's how I make my spaghetti -

For ingredients and more info, visit:

I really like having more sauce than noodles whenever I make spaghetti :)

Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Month of November 2023

Before the year-ends, thought I'd look back at the month of November since I'm still seriously a month behind everything. Nothing much happened in November since I was hospitalized for 3 weeks! I still managed to take photos while stuck in the hospital. The boys also took photos of the kittens and my flowers. 

The misadventure reminded me that God only gives you trials that you can bear. You should also respond to challenges as soon as you can. My doctor said that I was brought to the hospital just in time. If I waited a little more my risk for sepsis would have been higher. And after facing the challenge, rest and pick up the pieces after. 

To be honest, we were all derailed from what happened in November. It delayed all our plans and preparations for Christmas. My energy partially came back just in time for Christmas. I wasn't able to prepare any gifts though. We were also not able to send any Christmas cards. Priority for now is to get better and be stable in time for New Year. 

Well, here's my one second everyday video for the month of November. Just a few more days and I'll be able to complete it for 2023!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

My New Sleep Journey

A few months ago I told my doctor my stamina has been waning. I couldn't do a lot of my usual activities like cooking and gardening. The last time I was able to scrub our laundry area was January last year. After that my energy continued to dwindle. I brought this up with my doctors and they had me do pulmo rehab. It helped a lot especially since I easily 

My new pulmo is also a sleep specialist and recommended I do a sleep test. I had been having difficulty sleeping for a few years now and I usually wake up still exhausted. I finally did the test last October. Results showed I have sleep apnea. My doctor had me try using a CPAP machine while I was confined in early November. 

When I got home I was able to obtain a CPAP machine. I got confined again, so I only started using it two weeks ago when my throat felt much better. I wanted to be stable before I started using it again. After my post-discharge consultations I started using the CPAP machine again. I have since not skipped a night. 

From my Fitbit

I honestly don't understand the stats from the CPAP machine. I'll leave my doctor to interpret that. My stamina had further declined after my confinement, but it improved a lot once I started using the CPAP machine. To test my stamina I tried gardening last week and re-potted a few plants. By Christmas I was able to cook and bake again. Hooray!

My doctor also said that sleep is essential when you want to lose weight. I was surprised to see my weight started decreasing and I was at my lowest weight all year by Christmas day. Even with the meal plans my weight lose stagnated. Proper sleep is truly key if you want to lose weight. I hope I will finally reach my ideal weight by next Christmas! 

I will re-start my pulmo rehab after new year. My doctors wanted me to fully recover first and let me slack off for Christmas (haha). Better sleep will also help me cope better with my medical conditions. It will help not make things worse and that's what we're after. To be stable so we can make more happier memories together. 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Celebrating Our 14th Anniversary

Put away our aprons today, closed the kitchen from any cooking to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. That meant dressing up since we were going to dine out. We used the opportunity to take our Christmas family photo. Ended up a bit haphazard since we were rushing to leave for our lunch reservation. We'll just do it again for New Year, haha. 

Since on my birthday we tried Chef Tatung's Private Dining, I discovered he had a resto at BGC, Lore Manila. It's nearer and you can order from the menu (you can also opt for the course meal, but it's good if you're a bigger group). Traffic was light, so we arrived in just 20 minutes. Parking was very easy too and we found a PWD spot. Soon enough we were ushered to our reserved table. 

I was excited to try Lore Manila since they have Davao Kinilaw. I was hoping it would be the same as the one they served in Antipolo. We chose several dishes. Each dish is good to share 2 to 3 people. To break our fast we had Molo soup first. It was Miggy's first time to try it. I told him we used to have it often at home waaaay back. He liked it and I told him we should try to cook it next year. 

We also ordered Humba Cebuana, Five Spice Fried Chicken with Haw flakes sauce, and Grilled Bangus with Salsa. The boys loved the fried chicken. I liked it with the haw flakes sauce since it reminded me of my childhood. Mom always bought haw flakes for me since she worked in Binondo (the original PNB HQ). I also liked the humba since it wasn't too sweet and the meat was very tasty. Of course, we had Tatung's Fried Rice to match all the dishes.

One thing very interesting were the mocktails we ordered. I had ube macapuno, Sweetie got the ginger tea and Miggy had the strawberry-pineapple drink. They were very tasty and I think I got full quickly because the ube drink was quite heavy. It's delicious though, like drinking ice cream, haha. 

Well, we ended up skipping dessert since we were very full already. We enjoyed our meal at Lore Manila. The restaurant was a nice place. You can expect to eat good food with more than enough servings. We'll come back for another occasion (well we rarely go out anyway, haha). If you want to experience a higher level of Chef Tatung's fantastic dishes, try the private dining option (I have a vlog here). 

After our gastronomic dining experience, we walked around the mall and had coffee. Met up briefly with a friend and then did some errands (got water filter + a few missing groceries + gas). We don't like going out a lot, so we pack things in whenever we step out. Good thing traffic was light and we were home by sundown. 

We skipped gifts this year (also for Christmas). Well, we didn't have time and we were too frazzled because of November's misadventure, hahaha. We're also in the middle of decluttering so it didn't make sense to add more stuff. We'll just do it randomly in the next few weeks maybe. We're just happy to be together and enjoy it by eating good food. 

Happy Anniversary Sweetie and Miggy. Love you both forever!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, December 25, 2023

Celebrating Jesus Birthday

We haven't had time yet to take our annual family Christmas photo. Been busy in the kitchen the whole day, haha. So Brimsley, Grogu and Mando representing us first. The two kittens were hard to chase so just the older kittens.  

Promised we'd name the month old kittens. We've decided to name them Pikachu and Eevee. Here they are with their older sister, Mando. ❤️

Happy birthday Baby Jesus ❤️🎂🎁🎉

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

While preparing macaroni salad yesterday, Sweetie started to play the piano. He began with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I started to tear up because it's one of Mom's favorite Christmas songs. She would always listen to a radio station that only played songs from their era. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" always played on that station and Mom would increase the volume. 

This is the first Christmas we're celebrating without Mom. December had always been a busy month for us since Mom, Tito Tony, Kuya Koko and Tito Ben would celebrate their birthdays. Then there's Kuya and Ate Joy's anniversary, plus our wedding anniversary. Since we got home we'd always celebrate Mom's birthday with her favorite food. And there has to be cake. She preferred celebrating at home than going out. Then there would be noche buena, Christmas day and media noche and New Year.

Last Christmas with Mom. 

Last year, it was very hard to convince Mom to celebrate her birthday and Christmas. She was just not in the mood for it. She still came to hear mass with us and eat, but her mood was very different. It was very unusual since she loved to eat especially if you provided her favorite drink, Coca Cola (original only please). 

And now she's gone. She would want us to celebrate as usual, so that's why I broke down preparations for noche buena across two days. Didn't buy any softdrinks since she's the only one who drinks it. We didn't get any gifts for ourselves since we got busy with me being hospitalized and recovery. We only got gifts for our support teams. I told family and friends I'm a month delayed with my to-do list, so gifts were affected. What's important anyway is we have each other. 

Just celebrating at home (as usual). No get togethers for now since I'm still recovering, plus it's too risky to go out. Hopefully, the boys will be happy with our noche buena spread. I'm cooking enough food so we have leftovers until Christmas day. 

Merry Christmas everyone. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Miggy's Leche Flan

Ahh, Christmas is just a day away and for our last "Recipes for My Son" video I thought I'd share Miggy's leche flan. He finally agreed to film it the other day (took me months to convince him!). He was still perfecting it I guess, haha.

It was Titay who taught him how to make leche flan. I remember we were still living with my parents that time. Titay also moved in with us and so I snagged the chance to have her teach Miggy how to make leche flan. 

Miggy eventually started making it at home and I found this old photo of him. This was back in 2011 and I think it was his first time to make it on his own. He's our designated leche flan maker and I only learned how to make it when we were apart during the pandemic. 

Found a few cans of Alaska condensed and evaporated milk which we got for free from the Coffee Home Brewers event. Got some eggs and asked Miggy to make us some leche flan. We'll make a second batch this weekend so we don't waste the milk (we'll giveaway some hehe). 

And yes, Miggy has perfected his leche flan. Our favorite since it's not too sweet. Here's how he makes it.

Recipe at:

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 22, 2023

What We Thought of the Gashapon Place in Mitsukoshi

Visited the Gashapon place in Mitsukoshi a few weeks ago. We had planned to visit it in November, but we know where that month went. Anyway, we ended up dining at Mitsukoshi after my check-up. We were hungry since waiting for the doctor took so long. Well, that gave us an excuse to eat at Mitsukoshi and visit the Gashapon place. 

I had my doubts about going since I've thoroughly enjoyed gashapon stations in Japan. I frequented them whenever I went to Akihabara and also at the airport. Before going home from Singapore I found a lot of the gashapon balls. I didn't bring them home anymore since I really don't have use for it. I just kept the toys and trinkets I got while in Japan (it was a good way to use coins before leaving Japan hehe). I have nice Star Wars and Pokemon stuff from the gashapon I frequented in Japan. 

Anyway, so my expectations was high since they had the Bandai brand plastered all over the place. Went through all the aisles, but was sorely disappointed. Miggy also just found some Gundam paint. I wasn't sure though if they would carry Star Wars or Pokemon, but I was hopeful. Bandai carries Pokemon Nanoblock toys. I didn't find any Star Wars toys on their website. 

I didn't stay long and asked the boys to park me in front of Daiso since they have nice seats there. I was already tired from the short walk (this was just a few days after I got discharged). Daiso was a feast to the eyes. While in Singapore I used to have a SGD10 monthly allowance for anything I wanted to buy at Daiso, hahaha. Luckily went home unscathed this time since I didn't really need anything. 

Gashapon? Just skip it if you've been to Japan. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 21, 2023

October 2023 One Second a Everyday

October was a really good month for me. It was productive and we managed to do some lakwatsa. Miggy and I were able to cook quite a bit. Started the month off by making pancakes, special fried rice, arroz ala cubana, pork sisig and discovered how to make really good tomato cream pasta. 

I managed to do a lot of sewing and gardening. I worked on several scrap fabric projects and was able to make several items. I don't like throwing out scrap fabric so I was happy I was able to make a pot rug, coaster, pincushion and a tablet case. I also made two things that I recently shared, Daisy's baby quilt and the holiday potholder (which seems to be very popular on YouTube). 

For my garden, I re-potted all the orchids. Results came almost two months after when one of the orchids bloomed. I'm so happy about that! I also got a bunch of herbs and 4 gumamela plants from Mahogany Market in Tagaytay. Still no luck with trying to grow veggies. I think the issue is I don't get enough morning sun in the garden. 

Lakwatsa included a visit to Tagaytay. We had been meaning to do that for many months now. Luckily Taal Volcano quieted down and we were able to bring a friend visiting from Malaysia to see it. That's also when we bought several plants. We were also able to dine out a few times. That included trying out Sobra Cafe and a breakfast place in Nuvali. 

How I wish every month would be like October. We were aiming for that in November, but learned a hard lesson -- avoid going out by November since it's flu season. I realized I haven't posted my October 1SE, so better late than never!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

My Favorite Meal Plan Provider So Far

I gave myself a pat on the back when I weighed myself yesterday. I was at my lowest weight for the year. My weight constantly goes up and down everyday. It depends whether it's a diuretic day. I weigh to make sure I'm not retaining fluid. Well, it was a very good day yesterday since it was the lowest weight I've recorded this year. Yay!

My cholesterol went up a bit a few months ago and my doctor gave me a deadline to lower it. I have to admit I ate whatever I want after losing Mom. I found comfort in eating my usual bagets favorite food. After that wake-up call, I immediately signed up for a meal plan. 

One of Sexy Chef's meals

I previously tried Isabel's meal plan, but it was too hardcore veggie for me. My blood type requires me to eat more veggies, but I'm very picky with it. Then I tried Sexy Chef. It was good in the beginning and I had it for a few months. We also got ala carte viands for the boys. Eventually though the food started tasting the same. I would end up donating a huge part of my meal to Sweetie. That meant it was time to switch. 

Decided to try Fit Food Manila. I signed up for a meal plan after my first admission and had to put it on hold because I was admitted again. Good thing they understood and resumed when I finally got out. I wasn't able to enjoy the first week of meals. My tonsils were still bit wonky. The variety of food though was very interesting so I signed up again. 

Fit Food Manila meal

I'm now on my third week and I'm so far happy with what they send me. They usually publish their menu ahead of time, so I'm able to have the meal changed if I'm allergic to an ingredient. I like the variety and flavor of the meals. I'm on the 1,200 calorie heart meal plan and my tummy has adjusted to the amount of food provided. So far I haven't donated anything to Sweetie yet, hahaha.

We have a free pass next week and I think the week after. Two weeks of cheat days since the provider will be on break (and who wants to be on a meal plan during Christmas???). Well, hopefully I won't over-eat. My tummy has already been trained to eat smaller meals. We plan to cook our own food including our noche buena and media noche. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Made a Cute Santa Inspired Potholder

Found the Santa potholder I started last September. I cut the fabric and completely forgot about it, haha. Found it in my scrap fabric bin and worked on it last weekend. I haven't sewed since October, so this was a good starter project for me. Since I already cut the fabric and made the binding I finished this in one sitting. 

I thoroughly enjoyed making this project. The only challenging part was sewing the buckle part since I used bias tape for it. Maybe next time I'll just use a ribbon since that would be flatter and easier to sew. This potholder matches the placemats I made last year. I was hoping to follow the same pattern for other Christmas projects, but I ran out of time since I had to recuperate (my body takes awhile to heal now). 

Here's how I made it:

Maybe I'll make more to give as gifts next year. We'll see :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, December 18, 2023

Ready for Christmas?

It's been two and a half weeks since I was discharged from the hospital. I still felt woozy the first week I got home and rested a lot. Second week was a bit better. Finished all my post-discharge check-ups and luckily did not need any additional tests. My doctors said it's their Christmas gift for me! My energy is slowly coming back. No pulmo rehab for now since I still need to rest. 

Preparations for Christmas is going on. I haven't finished decorating! Haha. We got help from to help clean the house. It got so bad since we were away for 3 weeks in November. At least it's no longer dusty and all the bathrooms have been cleaned. Really helpful to get assistance from the team since we can't possibly do all the cleaning ourselves.

I haven't bought any gifts for family and friends! We prioritized the gifts for those who supported us throughout the year. That includes our medical team, the construction team, decluttering team, and our village security team, plus the delivery team. I had planned to quilt some stuff for friends, but that's going slowwwwwly (as usual). Well, it's okay, they understand (hopefully). 

What's important anyway is to be ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. I'm truly grateful for a lot of things this year even after losing Mom. It's going to be our first Christmas without her. I've accepted the fact that it's her time. She would want us to celebrate Christmas as happily as we could. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Car Refused to Budge

Looks like someone tried to get in our car while we were buying meds. Sweetie was able to start the far but it refused to move after backing up about two feet. 

He immediately said something was wrong since a light was flashing on the dashboard. After some research we found out it was the security Indicator. 

We frantically looked for a solution after we realised that the car turned on it's anti theft system. After a couple of websites and watching videos on YouTube, a solution was finally found.

I think my guardian angel stalled us because traffic was bad. It was also a reminder to be careful since there are always risks whenever we go out. Well, we went out just to buy meds and I was finally able to use my shiny new PWD discount. Yay!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Best Ube Cream Cake and Ube Cheese Pandesal Ever!

Going further south has been better for us than going to Makati or BGC. Few days after I got discharged Sweetie brought me on a quick trip to Binan. The idea was just to go on a short road trip, buy stuff within 15 minutes, and then turn-around and go home. And that's exactly what we did when we went to Chef RV Manabat's cafe in Binan. 

We experienced some traffic on the way home (toll exit blues), but getting stuck in traffic was worth it because the goodies we brought home were really good! Miggy and I tried the ube cheese pandesal first. I had him warm it in the toaster. I have been trying different ube cheese pandesal from various sources. Some were weird, haha. I really liked Chef RV's ube pandesal since the ube flavor plus the cheese balanced well. The cheese also tasted like my favorite cheese and not some inexpensive cheese. 

Tried the ube cream cake the day after. I only had a few bites of it since I wasn't supposed to be eating sweets yet post-discharge. It was amazing and I wish I could eat more! Next time I will get more slices or a whole cake (wish they have smaller sized cakes since there's just 3 of us and Sweetie doesn't like ube). Chef RV's ube cake is very unlike normal ube cakes. I love how he balanced the ube and cream. It was spot on. 

Aside from the ube flavored food, we also got tried the queso de bola cake which Sweetie liked a lot. Also tried the pistachio sansrival. I really liked the sansrival since it reminds me of Lachi's in Davao. Chef RV's pistachio sansrival though is light and has the perfect amount of sweetness for me. You could really see and taste the care he put in preparing the cakes! Maybe next time I'll buy the cake sampler so we can try all his cakes! 

Would love to go back soon, but it'll probably be better to do it after Christmas since traffic is really crazy right now. We'll probably stick to home-made or delivery from nearby places for the meantime. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 15, 2023

Finally Got My PWD ID (And the Pain We Went Through to Get It)

Ended an ongoing saga today. It started last year when I asked my former cardiologist if I was eligible for a PWD ID. After doing some research I asked for my doctor if she could write a medical certificate for me. Months passed and she just kept saying her assistant could write it for me. Followed-up frequently and I eventually decided to switch doctors since she didn't seem interested to take care of me. 

First appointment with my new cardiologist and he immediately wrote a medical certificate for me. He said I was definitely qualified for it. Then we had a hard time chasing the barangay health center doctor. They said the doctor was always out. Two months after we were told the doctor was re-assigned to the city hall. The replacement would just come in two hours a day, but you had to call at 8 in the morning to check if she was coming in. Oh, and I failed to mention that they limit the number of people who consult everyday. 

Tried going a couple of times to the barangay health center, but our attempts was unsuccessful. I also always picked up some germs whenever I went and I would immediately get sick after. Our barangay health center is also not PWD friendly. I always had palpitations and SOB whenever I tried to go up the stairs to see the MIA doctor. Yes, it was very frustrating. 

After six months of chasing the barangay health center doctor we decided to check the PDAO office at the Paranaque City Hall. Sweetie found out you could actually go straight to them if you have an ID with your address on it. Just also make sure that your doctor indicates the type of disability in your medical certificate. Good thing I had an appointment with my current cardiologist and he added the type of disability I had on the medical certificate he previously made). 

Sweetie as my guardian applied for me. He applied for me again today at the PDAO office at the Paranaque City Hall and finally got my ID and booklet. Hooray! The ID will really help me since my medication isn't covered by my medical insurance. Would have asked Sweetie to bring my 5 kilo worth of medical test results if they still pushed back, haha. 

Thank you the the Paranaque City PDAO for helping us! 

Here's the process we followed:

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Mickey Mouse Ruler from the 80s and a 20-year old McDonald's Pencil Box

I'm slowly regaining my strength, so decluttering continues. I found a few vintage stuff from one of the boxes I sorted on my Mom's birthday. Never knew I'd see a souvenir from the first time when we went to Disneyland in 1980. 

I was only 4 years old back then, but I remember a few things from that trip. I remember I didn't like walking and I preferred to be in the stroller. That or Kuya would carry me, hahaha. I also always felt cold. The most fun moment for me was when we went through the "It's a Small World" ride. 

Mom bought this super cute ruler. I remember playing with it when I was a child. Never really used it as a ruler. It's just been used for display and eventually was kept in a cabinet. It has some damage now, but it's still cute. I cleaned it up and just put it in my ruler drawer for now since everything's messy in my craft room. I probably need to spend a day organizing it.

Also found two McDonald's pencil cases. I couldn't find the exact date it was released. Probably from the 90s since Hamburglar disappeared from commercials in 2002/2003. I'm also not sure when "Love ko to" was introduced by McDonald's Philippines. The slogan though was used in the 2000s, so the pencil box may have been from 2000-2005 before Hamburglar was phased out. Found a few posts selling the pencil box and Sweetie said he wanted to collate all "vintage" stuff, so I turned it over to him. 

It's interesting to read up on old stuff, so I might do more of this for Throwback Thursdays :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

My New "Medical Bracelet"

Are medical bracelets a thing here in our country? I'm honestly ot sure. I first heard about medical bracelets while reading a book. The main character had diabetes and they explained how a medical bracelets can help save her life.

Patients with the same condition as me in other countries normally wear a medical bracelet. It's important to wear one to let emergency personnel know about your medical conditions and medication. 

I have several medical bracelets I bought online. The options were limited when I was in Singapore and there was no option to customize the bracelet. I chanced upon One Loop Tag here. They provide bracelets for athletes, but since it's customisable you can also add other information. 

The order process was easy. Just log on to their website and input the information you want printed. They have different colours and sizes for the band. It worked out well for me since I have a small wrist and I usually lose normal sized bracelets. I decided to pay via Gcash and I got my bracelet 48 hours after I paid.

I'm pretty happy how my new medical bracelet turned out. It's also probably useful for those with elderly parents. I remember Titay once went out and forgot how to get home. Good thing a neighbour saw her and brought her back home. We didn't even know she went out! 

I think it'll be a useful holiday gift too. Check out if you're interested.

*Of course, this is not a sponsored post. I'm just a happy customer.
**Sorry have too much PII on the bracelet so didnt want to share here.

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Easy to Make Holiday Potholder

I actually made this potholder last October for a friend and in preparation for Christmas. My plan was to make a series of holiday themed quilt projects. I haven't made anything else since the unexpected schedule interruption, haha. I'm also waiting for my hand to heal a bit more. Sweetie said the hematoma on my hand won't look good on vids, haha. 

My go-to block is the pinwheel. It's so easy to make especially if you use the half-square technique. I remember making a huge pinwheel yellow blanket for Mom. I didn't know yet the half-square technique back then, plus I hand sewed and quilted the whole blanket. It took me two years to make it! 

To cut time, I also used layer cake fabric (10" square pre-cut fabric). I rushed to finish this project since I was sending it to a friend who was visiting Manila for a short while. I wanted to surprise her with the Christmas potholder. I hope they're using it now in the convent. 

Here's how I made it:

Pattern and more info on my sewing blog:

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, December 11, 2023

Our Other Christmas Tree

I'm used to having more than one Christmas tree at home. I started this when I moved to the basement in my childhood home. The basement had its own living room so I would set up a smaller tree.

Set up one more tree in our family room since that's where we spend most of our time in. We decorated it with music notes and the gnome Christmas decor. Took a more traditional approach when we decorated it. Turned out cute :)

We're still not done clearing up the house since I'm still recuperating. Hopefully will have a nicer living room by Christmas! Also haven't done any Christmas shopping haha.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, December 10, 2023

What I Did on My Mom's Birthday

Yesterday would have been my Mom's 88th birthday. We would have had a feast a home with her favourite food. Of course, there would be cake and her favourite drink, Coca Cola. Original variant, non of those nonsense Zero she'd say. 

I wanted to have a feast. Originally planned to have an online party with my siblings, but I wasn't feeling well. We ended up just celebrating on our own minus the cake and drink since my doctor hasn't lifted my sweet food ban yet.

Photo by Kuya June

For a few weeks before I got sick, I got help from a decluttering coach. They helped me sort the stuff in my childhood home. I brought home a few boxes and had a box of Mom's sewing stuff just a few feet away from my sewing table. I brought it home in late October, but I couldn't sort it because Mom's stuff is sacred. She told me when I was growing up that it's a no-no to go through things that are not yours. 

I looked at the box every single day it's been sitting a few feet away from me. I told myself when I was in the hospital I need to get going with it because there's a gazillion more boxes I need to go through. 

And that's what I finally did yesterday. I went through the first box. It contained mostly office supplies and Mom's collection of scissors. I told the team I wanted to know how many scissors Mom owned. So they collated it for me.

Twenty six pairs of scissors. Plus six if you include my art scissors set. I think there's more in her sewing boxes since I didn't see those I bought for her for cutting fabric. I counted to prove that I collect scissors because Mom told me that you can never have enough pairs of scissors, haha. 

She also had a gazillion rulers, but I didn't count that anymore. I also have a lot of rulers already, so I'll donate some since I only really use a few for my crafts. 

Mom would be happy I finally got around to sorting the first box. It took me the whole day because I cleaned each item. At the rate I'm going it'll take me two years to finish all the boxes, haha.

Happy birthday in heaven Mom. Miss you.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Found the Best Bibingka in Binan!

Finally ticked off a line on my bucket list for this year. Got to visit the cafe of Chef RV in Binan. It was an unplanned trip. I just mentioned to Sweetie while we were eating lunch that I was thinking of getting Chef RV's multipurpose pot to replace my Tefal wok which has degraded already. He said, "Let's go after lunch." Of course, I agreed and off we went to Binan. 

It's much easier for us now to go southwards on weekdays. It's actually easier than going to BGC or Makati. Traffic was light and we stopped over at Petron to get some coffee. Soon enough we were at the shop. I was so excited since it was my first time in Chef RV's shop. I have been watching his vids since we were in Singapore and was always curious to try his food. 

We've called the shop a couple of times in the last few months. They said their bibingka usually runs out by midday, so we were not hopeful we'd be able to buy some. We got lucky that day and we were able to buy two. We immediately snacked on it when we got home and I promptly regretted just buying two. It's the best bibingka I've tasted my whole life!

I'm honestly not really fond of eating bibingka. I eat it when it's available, but it's not something I crave for. Oftentimes, the taste of the banana leaf overpowers the bibingka. That or it's too sweet or too buttery, so I never developed a liking for it. Chef RV's bibingka though is different. I must say it's the first time I truly tasted the real flavor of bibingka. I liked it very much and hope we'd be able to buy some again soon!


**Haven't been able to do proper gardening since I got home from the hospital, so no garden updates for now :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 8, 2023

How We Cook Store Bought Ikea Meatballs

Since Ikea is always crowded whenever we go, we just buy their ready-to-cook meatballs. No need to go through the whole shop since you can just buy it from the food section. We keep forgetting though how to cook it, so I decided to film it last time we had Ikea meatballs. Our "Recipes for My Son" channel was created exactly for that purpose - to remember how we cook things! No need to ask each other again whether we should thaw the meatballs or not! Haha. 

To avoid using too much oil, we cook the meatballs how we cook gyoza and hotdogs. We use a bit of olive oil to brown the frozen meatballs and then we add water. The boiling water and steam cooks the meatballs through. I don't like oily food so this works well for us. Here's how we do it -

We were able to buy the whole set (meatballs, gravy and lingonberry jam) before, but lately the gravy has always been out of stock. We were forced to try a different brand of gravy mix. It's worked out so far. We thought the meatball would taste different, but there's not much difference in the gravy. 

Easy peasy. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, December 7, 2023

That One Time I Won a Raffle

Unlike my Dad, I rarely get lucky and win raffle prizes. I still don't. I thought about it because a friend shared 8List's post about what you'll win from a raffle based on your birth sign (see here). For my birth sign it said I won't get anything. Very typical I said to myself. 

Then I remembered that one time I won the grand prize of a raffle. It happened 20 years ago at the Ad Congress in Baguio City. While eating lunch, Tessa Prieto and Tim Yap hosted the show. In between performances they would announce raffle winners. I was honestly not really paying attention since I never get chosen anyway. 

Taken moments after I won!

That day was different, I won the grand prize. My bosses back then had to tell me to stand up and claim my prize! I was so shocked I ended up saying thank you and then promoting the yellow pages when I was interviewed onstage. They had to wrangle the microphone from me, hahaha. 

The prize money changed my life. TBH, at that time I didn't really have any savings. I was earning enough to send Miggy to school and cover daily expenses. We were lucky because we still lived with my parents at that time. I was asked where I would use the money. I said I'd use it for Miggy. 

I kept it as savings for a few months and then decided to renovate our basement. Miggy and I moved downstairs since it was cooler. It was our way of living semi-independently since my parents did not want us to move out. Of course, we still ate with Mom and Dad, haha. 

My Ninong Billy :)

The prize also allowed me to learn how to manage my finances better. I only used part of the money to fix the basement. I kept the rest as my emergency fund. Since then I made sure to live within my means and paid any credit card purchases in full when it was due. Looking back, I wish I had invested some of the money in stocks! Haha.

One time, big time wins can certainly change your life :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

How to Avoid Infections, Tips from My Doctors

I have avoided having tonsilitis for many, many years now. The recent misadventure was really unexpected since we have been so cautious. Well, catching a bug can be really random even though you take care. I asked my doctors for some tips on how to avoid getting sick. My cardiologist said that the flu season is until February, so we really need to be careful. 

Here are some tips my doctors gave me before I got discharged:

1. Wear a mask wherever you go. We still wear a mask whenever we go out and whenever someone visits our home. A nurse told me to make sure that your mask fits your face snugly. Make sure no germs can get in. 

2. Wash your hands and always have alcohol on standby. 

3. Make sure your mouth is not dry, so keep hydrated. Your immunity is lowered when your mouth is dry according to the EENT. Apparently my mouth tends to go dry, so I have to hydrate more. 

4. Avoid crowded areas. 

5. Keep healthy so you can avoid going to the ER! There was a coughing orchestra while I was at the ER. It was scary! Avoid going to the hospital if you can. My pulmo rehab team all got sick while I was confined (the germs did not come from me, whew) :(

6. Eat well. I was forced to eat soft food because of my throat. I enjoyed eating the fruits the kitchen gave me and it revived my love for eating fruits. Eat in moderation though since the sugar content can be high. I'm trying different healthy food menus for now. 

7. Avoid public toilets. Both Miggy and I came down with something at the same time. I probably got infected with more germs. I had my pulmo check the boys too and he said they were doing fine and just prescribed over the counter meds. 

8. Get vaccinated! We got our flu vaccination a few months ago. It has protected us against flu germs and other viral infections. 

9. Know when to go to a doctor/the hospital. The infectious disease doctor said it was a good thing my boys forced me to go to the ER. My case could've gotten worse if I waited longer. 

10. Communicate your pain. My doctors had to make their treatment for me wholistic since I have other medical conditions. They checked my neck, chest, abdomen and head to make sure the bacteria did not spread. They did that because they kept asking if I was experiencing pain outside of  my throat. 

The tips are what we've commonly heard in the past few years. It's important to remember especially if you are immuno-compromised or have elderly people around you. 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Baby Quilt for Daisy

Tested my endurance and speed when I made a pinwheel baby quilt for my grand niece, Daisy. I rushed because I wanted a free "ride" for the quilt to reach Australia. Haha! It's expensive to ship stuff abroad. Well, the baby quilt is currently stuck in Indonesia since Kuya and Ate Joy had to delay their trip. Hopefully, they won't forget to bring it!

Since I was pressed for time, I decided to make another pinwheel quilt. I've made a number of these quilts, hopefully next time I can try out a different kind of block quilt. Anyway, I had fun making this quilt because I got to use fabric I got from Japan and Singapore. The wadding is from Australia. I used to buy some quilting stuff whenever I traveled (so for my former colleagues who were wondering where I'd go after work, I was normally in craft shops haha). 

Sweetie said it looks like a quilt my Mom would make. I told him that's what I wanted to do since Daisy never got to meet her in person. I did ask help from Miggy to make sure I got the colors right since I was confused whether I should use pink, blue or apricot for the sashing. I think it turned out well and hope Daisy will enjoy the quilt. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, December 4, 2023

Our Beautiful New Christmas Tree

We were in the middle of decorating for Christmas a few weeks ago. We decided to get a proper Christmas tree. One I expect to last for many, many years. The one I got in 2021 looks like a water bottle brush, so I wasn't fond of it. I like the bushy green ones like what Mom used to use in our home. I also always wanted to have a tree that has a wow factor, LOL. 

Found some foreign currency and that's what I used to get a new tree and additional decors. We were offered to have it done up by the store. I agreed since I know it's going to be physically hard for us to do it ourselves. I also wanted to see how it will be done, so we can just follow the pattern next year. 

Here's how it turned out -

I made the tree skirt last year. This is how it looks -

I think I might add a few more red decors. Or if I have time I'll make some red decors. Also need to buy additional lights!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Today I Pray For --

Today I pray for healing. The past few weeks have really been challenging and I am grateful to be alive. I did feel some panic when I felt really ill. I felt my body was battling something it's never fought off before. Granted that the pain was familiar, but my body isn't the same as it was before. 

It was love that made me fight back. I prayed hard and imagined God's healing light going over me. I pray for more love, patience and strength. I still want to build more happy memories with my boys, my family, my friends. 

Christmas is just around the corner. I had grand plans for Christmas. I even bought a new tree, additional decors, a simple parol and wreath. I want to celebrate like how Mom used to when I was growing up. She made sure our home was fully decorated, we always had good food and she made sure we were early for the midnight mass. I wanted to do it that way to remember her since it's our first Christmas without her. 

And that's why I pray for healing and for the stamina I worked hard to increase the last few months. If it doesn't, I will focus with what's most important, celebrating Jesus' birthday. 

Today, I pray for healing, not just for me, but the whole world. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Garden Update After Being Away for 3 Weeks

 My boys tried to keep my plants happy while I was in the hospital. They'd go home in the evenings to feed the cats and water the plants. Of course, this meant the usual routine was disrupted. The herbs were normally watered twice a day. I usually used a soil meter in the afternoons to make sure they were not overwatered. 

The orchids had a special watering routine. I'd give them garlic water once a week and spray the roots whenever they were dry. The gumamela plants were watered twice a day. The rest of the plants I'd water in the afternoons. Watering the plants is part of my exercise regime and I started doing part of it again today. I'll probably conk out soon, haha. 

As expected, some plants died while I was away. I haven't seen the herbs yet, but Sweetie said some of them look really sad. Told him not to worry, we can just buy again when we're able to go to Tagaytay. The orchids survived with some leaves wilting. I must have done something right because the buds that started three weeks ago have started to bloom. Yay!

I nicknamed the philodendron, Jack. It grew at least 2 more feet the past few weeks. I added a long bamboo stick to hold it up. I'll trim it once I get better and will start a new pot which I plan to put indoors. The aglaonemas are doing well. I hope to see them produce flowers like what I saw at Mom's house. 

Jack the Philodendron

The cacti and succulents are all doing well. I think they were happy to have dried soil. I think I asked Sweetie to water them once while I was away. Rubber plant soil was super dry, but it likes it that way. I've yet to check my veggies. The mustasa died while I was away, but it was already doing that direction even before my first admission. I'll just plant some again. 

The gumamela plants are fine albeit with some yellow leaves. Sweetie said they produced some flowers while I was in the hospital. I sprayed them with neem oil today and will resume spraying apple cider vinegar maybe tomorrow to keep the mites out. I probably need to prune new leaves also to encourage them to produce flowers again. 

Going to nurse them back to good health.

I hope to get some poinsettia for Christmas. Maybe I'll find some next week if I get my energy back. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe