Slay, Pray, Play

I had a productive Thursday. I started my day with a meeting in Manila. My brunch consisted of this hearty mac and cheese, which was topped with sunny-side up egg. I ordered corn and cheese jello for dessert. It was a delicious combo!

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After my meeting, I headed to Sta. Clara to pray for my upcoming opportunities, and to give thanks for all the blessings that I continue to receive.

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I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe for some quality time with my furry friends from the east. Spending time with dogs is therapeutic for me, and it keeps me balanced.

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I ended my day with some dirty ice cream at UP. I was in the campus to watch Pan de Salawal, an indie film which warmed my heart.

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I make sure that I have enough hobbies to make life meaningful. Working all the time is not sustainable, so whenever I have time to spare, I visit the dog cafe, watch movies, and pray for more chances to slay. Life is about balancing my priorities and making each day colorful. And of couse, I show up daily to blog about it here on speakoutsam.com.

Summer Knitting

Yesterday, I knitted while having lunch and coffee at Summer Cafe in Coron. It was a ray of sunshine amidst the gloomy day.  

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I ordered the cheesy omelette and americano. It was a delicious combination!

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For dessert, I headed to Pedro’s Gelato, a local ice cream joint in Coron. 

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I had the ube langka and mango sorbet. It was so good!

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Then, I visited the mangrove forest near the Maquinit Hot Springs. 

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It was fun to knit, be my foodie self, and explore nature all one day. Hope to have more memories with the things that make me happy.  

Weaving and Kanto

Yesterday, I attended a modern weaving class hosted by Judith of The Art of Yarn. I got to finish a piece, which I designed with happy colors!

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It was a productive morning with these ladies. 

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I even got to meet Cath of Bedazzled, an online accessories brand that I’ve been supporting for years. 

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I’m proud to finish this piece in four hours. 

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Then, I got to eat brunch at Kanto Freestyle, where I had coffee and sardines eggs ben. 

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I enjoyed learning a new skill and eating delicious rendition of my usual eggs ben. Here’s to more learning opportunities and delicious meals!

Sukiyaki Smile

I was invited to a party at a family friend’s residence last night. It was a privilege to eat delicious sukiyaki and twin popsies again. 

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I may not be close to the hosts, but I appreciate the yummy food as these simple eats brought back many good memories. Sometimes, all we need are throwback dishes and desserts to inspire is to keep going.  

Stepping Forward

I choose to move forward with my life by appreciating pretty floors whenever I see them. 

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I go to mass whenever I can. 

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I enjoy delicious food, such as this vegetarian pho from Bawai’s. 

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While looking around Papemelroti, I found this Ifugao house figure. I took it as a sign that I will go back to Banaue someday!

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I finished my day with some lovely strawberry mango cheesecake frozen yogurt from my usual dessert stand, Elait. They employ deaf employees who are empowered with work and fair wages. 

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I move forward from challenges with the things and experiences that make me smile!

Aida’s Chicken Inasal

I had the best chicken inasal I’ve ever had (so far!) at Aida’s Chicken Barbecue. It’s located at Makati Square, which is one of the oldest malls in Makati. 

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I was in the area for a meeting, and after a productive morning, I was starving! The hefty serving made the commute from QC to Makati all worth it. 

I hope that this won’t be the last time that I’ll feast on this delicious chicken inasal! 

Uplifting

It’s not everyday that I get to do brisk walking around the UP Academic Oval. Being with trees and sunshine inspires me to get moving and stay positive amidst life’s challenges. 

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The street food scene at the university uplifts me each time. The carioca, fish balls, and kwek kwek filled me up and made me feel young again. 

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I got to watch Paillim, one of the movies featured in the recent Sinag Maynila film festival. The movie featured a fictional family who lives in a public cemetery, and their struggles to make ends meet- literally. 

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Since I was already at UP, I maximized my visit by dropping by the Vargas Museum to recharge amidst art by Amorsolo, Hidalgo, Luna, and Edades, among others. 

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Before going home, I had early dinner with my helper Racquel at Malingap Central, a hip food park near home. We had mushroom burger steaks from MushEat Lite, a vegetarian kitchen. We loved our food, and it was best paired with Siam Yum’s delicious Thai milk tea. 

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It was also an honor to meet the man behind Malingap Central, Pino, Pipino, The Burger Project, and Breakfast and Pies, PJ Lanot.  

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It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Art, film, healthy eating, and conversations keep me motivated to live my best life. Here’s to more uplifting experiences to come!

Happy Monday

I had a busy Monday. I found myself at Power Plant Mall yesterday for lunch, so I brought my starving self to Shawa Wama. 

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I ordered the red beet falafel rice meal with a side order of fried cauli. It was delicious!

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I later proceeded to Trinoma in Quezon City for a meeting. Later for dinner, I treated myself to this beautiful chicken and pasta plate from World Chicken. This outlet in the mall never fails to please me with their flavorful chicken and generous sides. 

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And before calling it a day, I spent time with my favorite dog Ella and her friends at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. It is always a lovely time with these fur babies who love being with humans.  

Having a good Monday is a state of mind. Even if I’m busy, I find myself eating the food that I want, knitting, and swinging by my usual dog cafe. Life is too short, so let’s make our Mondays count! 

Bloggers United 17

It was my first time to explore City of Dreams yesterday. I was excited to go to Bloggers United 17, an event that gathers bloggers and influencers under one roof. So when I received an invite from Melissa Gatchalian of Sartorial Panda to attend the said event at City of Dreams, I said yes! 

It was a beautiful, sunny day to visit a new place.  

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I was able to buy clothes from bloggers and celebrities Melissa and Blythe. I can’t wait to rock my pieces from their booths!

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It was lovely to meet Melissa in person. She was personable and very accommodating. I am grateful for the invite to this event!

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After shopping, I got to walk around the hotel.  

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And I finally got to eat dinner at Pink’s, where I had the philly cheesedog and cookie dough milkshake. Both were delicious! 

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My visit ended with this smiling K9. Thank you for a wonderful day, City of Dreams! 

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In_Pact Asia 2019

I was fortunate to be a delegate in the In_Pact Asia 2019, a conference on inclusive impact at the Asian Development Bank. I attended because of my passion for social enterprise, which I apply to my Human Nature online dealership.   

Please support me by making a purchase on my Human Nature Online Shop!  Every purchase supports communities in need and sustains my micro enterprise. Thank you! 

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I started my day with a hearty breakfast at the famed ADB cafeteria.  

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The delegate wristband was cool as it was embedded with spinach seeds, which makes it grow when it is planted.  

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I also got to connect with Mariel, a familiar face from my previous conferences in an educational institution. It was lovely to chat with someone from the inclusive business space.  

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My key takeaways from the conference is that diversity drives businesses to foster collaboration. This will drive inclusion in the sense that no one is left behind, and ethical business decisions will help workers thrive amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Also, social enterprise is key to sustain communities and to empower women to make a difference in the age of fair trade. 

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It was a privilege to attend the fireside chat that featured Human Nature’s President Anna Meloto, who shared how Human Nature empowers women (particularly mothers) to have stable careers while caring for their families. 

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I got to enjoy ADB’s notable cuisine and interact with like minded individuals. Learning about industrial trends is the reason why I attend seminars and conferences. May this be the start of more productive events that allow me to share, exchange ideas, and realize my place in the bigger picture of business and social impact. 

Mentoring Lunch

Yesterday, I had the time to do some brisk walking at the UP campus. 

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I was able to burn some calories before my lunch at Sunnies Cafe. I got to do some crocheting before meeting with my friends.  

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I had a lovely lunch with my uni mentor Mitzie and her niece Maiko. It was nice to catch up with friends after my dad’s recent passing. 

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No visit to Sunnies Cafe is complete without some selfies in their famous washroom. 

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I got to buy Sunnies Face’s new Airblush after lunch. 

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I also got to offer eggs at St. Clare Monastery. 

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I bought carioca, a local street food consisting of fried sticky rice. It was a delicious afternoon snack. 

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Before going to bed, I brushed my teeth using this bamboo toothbrush that I bought from social enterprise Rags 2 Riches. 

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I know that by continuing my passions and meeting my friends from time to time, I can carry on with life after the storm. 

IFEX 2019

Yesterday was the fourth and last day of my stint as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative for CITEM. It was a productive gig, and I am thankful for the chance to serve our country by smiling and assisting VIP passengers. 

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It was a privilege to hear Sunday mass at the Terminal 2 chapel. 

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After mass, I ate Minute Burger’s pizza burger for brekkie. It was so good! It went well with Jollibee’s surprisingly flavorful brewed coffee. 

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After airport duties, I rode a bus, train, and a tuktuk to the World Trade Center for IFEX 2019, the country’s premier food expo!

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I got to eat, drink, and appreciate all the hard work I have contributed for the past four days. I am very proud to be Filipino, and it makes me happy to see all these exhibitors bring the best of Filipino cuisine to the world. 

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I made sure to buy straw bags from Crafter’s Joy, a Pangasinan-based social enterprise that provides livelihood to local women weavers. 

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I am excited to use these straw bags! The planter was for my mom. 

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It was an honor to serve our country for the past four days, and to sample the best Filipino food and drinks at IFEX. I look forward to next year’s expo, and I hope to serve the country again in the future. 

Mabuhay! 

Coloring My Vision

I ordered a pair of tinted specs from local optical shop Sunnies Specs. I won a pair of glasses during their Dear Sunnies Santa giveaway last December. Since my father passed away recently, I felt the need to start anew and I’ve always wanted to support Sunnies Specs after their generosity last Christmas. 

I get new glasses during new beginnings. I believe that it is now my time to be stronger and more stable after my father’s passing. These new tinted specs will not only keep me looking smart, but they will also inspire me to live life more colorfully. 

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I’ve also been getting more sleep and it shows on my clear skin. 

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After claiming my specs, I went to CITEM in Pasay for my training. I am chosen to be a NAIA Services Representative for the second time. The upcoming IFEX fair will usher in foreign buyers, and it is my job to welcome and assist them at the airport. 

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I can’t wait to begin this three-day “modeling gig” and meet new friends. 

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After my meeting, I had late lunch at Echo Cafe, a sustainable social enterprise that sells natural products and healthful food.  

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I had their delicious banana heart burger and cafe espagnole, which is a mix of coffee and chocolate. So good! 

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I capped the afternoon by visiting my best friend Luti at her condo. She took this photo of me from her window.  

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I had my pixie trim for the month of May and a massage to relax me after a long day. 

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I also received this gift of semiprecious bracelets from Luti. I am eager to release negative emotions and have more energy this year!

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Here’s to more colorful opportunities and blessings on this new beginning! 

Picturing Happiness

I spent the weekend at my best friend Luti’s condo. Our friend Amabelle was in town (she’s based in Batangas), so we watched Netflix while catching up. 

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Luti’s condo is right in the middle of the city. It’s also near a couple of malls that I frequent. 

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The sunrise looks pretty from her window. 

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We did some brisk walking early Sunday morning.  

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I also bumped into my friend from Human Nature, Cindy. 

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We had breakfast at UP’s local resto, Chocolate Kiss.  

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Their tsokolate (hot chocolate) was delicious. 

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So was this longganisa brekkie plate.  

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We ordered cakes in honor of our late friend Diane’s birth anniversary.  

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It was also a pleasant surprise to see the photo I submitted to Manila bulletin get published.  

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I needed a cuppa after our heavy meal, so I got myself an iced latte from Nomu.  

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It’s a well-balanced cuppa! I highly recommend it. 

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Back in the condo, I was even able to do some crocheting.  

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Later during the day, we went to the mall and I donated this Project Aral kit with slippers. It has become my tradition to donate kits every year. Hahahahaha  

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I had yummy burger steak from Bigger Better Burgers.  

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I managed to find a pretty floor. 

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And I witnessed a beautiful sunset.  

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I had quite a lovely weekend. Thank you Luti! 

Toast to Life

Yesterday, I was joined by my mom and maternal relatives for a day of unwinding. We visited the church where my parents were married.  

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Then, we had lunch at Livestock for some delicious comfort food.  

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We transferred to Hello Kitty Cafe for dessert and coffee.  

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I also managed to crochet throughout the day.  

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It is possible to go on living with family at my side.  Despite the pain of losing a loved one, I can carry on with life, one day at a time.   

Gourmet Healing

My mom and I celebrated Mother’s Day at Mango Tree Bistro. Her brother Butch joined us for lunch, and it was a festive feast amidst the sadness of my dad’s recent passing. 

I had the tom yum spaghetti and Thai iced coffee. Both were delicious!

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Yes, it’s possible to heal from pain through food. When taken in moderation, food (and coffee, of course!) can uplift the soul. Will definitely have more pasta and caffeine! 

Spicing Up Life

My life right now revolves around my terminally-ill dad. Whenever I need a break, I walk around the hospital.  

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I buy food from nearby establishments, such as Bonchon.  

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I knit.  

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And I talk to friends, such as Bianca (kinder and grade school classmate) and her boyfriend JP.  

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They gave my dad this prayer card from Padre Pio Chapel in Libis.  

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I am grateful for friends, food, and yarn that keep me going during this tough time. With a dash of faith and a lot of prayer, I know that I got this.  

Tied Down

Yesterday, I had a difficult day as I encountered problems in the bank. I had to discuss my status quo with the manager, who didn’t seem to grasp the urgency of my situation at first. She did help me after my explanation, and I am awaiting the full resolution of the issue within the week.  

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Having said that, I decided to unwind with some cheap thrills at the mall: a sizzling burger steak and iced coffee shake.  

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I also got to watch Tayo sa Huling Buwan ng Taon, which is the sequel to one of my favorite local indie films, Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa. 

It was beautifully acted and very sad.  

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I stayed at the hospital with my terminally-ill father, and I found him restrained to his bed to prevent him from removing his respirator. It was sad to see him this way, so I have to keep myself strong in the coming days.

I just have to find ways to be happy amidst the darkness of my current situation. 

Going Up

Yesterday, I found this staircase at the hospital with natural light. I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in the sunny stairwell. 

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I knitted as I cared for my terminally-ill father. 

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Then, I joined my US and Canada-based relatives as they toured the village where we all grew up. I stayed here until I was twelve years old. 

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We ended the day with dinner with Tarlac-based relatives and more Filipino food! 

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I drove them in the rain, and I’m happy that we reached their hotel safely. 

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I enjoyed my relatives’ company, and their visit reminded me that there’s nowhere to go but up. In tough times, there’s family I can count on, and faith to strengthen me.  

In Good Company

Yesterday, I had lunch with my helper Racquel at a Greek restaurant. We had to finish some errands, and this was a delicious break from our tasks. 

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Then, I met my maternal relatives from the US and Canada for early dinner. We ate Filipino food, and had a massage afterwards. 

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I even managed to squeeze in some knitting while having my massage. 

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As an only child, it’s important that I find good company to help me get through my dad’s terminal illness. I’m glad that my maternal relatives supported me during this difficult time, and that my helper is always willing to extend a helping hand. They inspire me to keep going, no matter how bleak the days seem to be. 

Here’s to better days ahead!