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! 

Summer Pinks

I just finished knitting this infinity scarf at the hospital where my dad was confined. He told me that he wanted a blanket from me, and when I asked which colors he would want me to include in the project, he told me that he was simply thinking about it. 

I finished this scarf right before my dad passed away. 

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It was handmade with love for my cousin Abby in Canada. I hope that she will like it. 

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Life is too short. Here’s to more stitches and ties that bind us. 

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.  

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! 

Faith and Family

I am thankful for family during this difficult time. My cousin Van sent us pastries, and I’ve been having delicious bread for brekkie. 

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I am thankful for our helpful Racquel who had helped me through thick and thin. 

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I am thankful for street food, such as these potato chip skewers. 

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I am thankful for knit and crochet. 

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I was able to give my makes to my relatives from the US. 

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I am thankful for a friend I met online whose ministry is to share wooden holding crosses to the sick and their families. 

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I am grateful for the gift of life. I am thankful for time with my terminally-ill father. I am happy that I can still share memories with my family. 

We are all in this together.  

For My Dad

Yesterday, I started with my new job. While my dad is fighting for his life at the hospital, I am beginning a new chapter in my life. I am commencing my new role as a Junior Accounts Manager in a digital marketing and tech firm in Quezon City.  

It is definitely a challenge for me to begin in an industry that I am new in. At the same time, it is the perfect opportunity for me to start again and grow during this difficult time.  

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I may be criticized by my relatives and friends for working while my dad is in critical condition, but I am doing this to empower myself. I need to support myself and buy enough food to survive. 

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I am doing this for my dad. I am dedicating my new job for him, as he has also worked hard to send me to school and to support me as I was growing up. Now, it’s my turn to earn and take care of him. 

I am thankful for the new job, and I hope that I can effectively contribute to the company’s growth as I also evolve as an employee.  

Cupcake Beanie

Today’s my blog anniversary! I started speakoutsam.com two years ago when I had a job in IT. I was the program officer of my alma mater’s IT department for during that time, and I felt that I needed to have something for myself that was related to my field. I am not a coder or a programmer, so a blog was the most logical choice for me to set up. 

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I enjoyed blogging so much that I ended up doing it everyday. I got to share about my interests such as knitting and crochet. Incidentally, I just finished knitting this beanie for my goddaughter. So, if there’s anything that I can say today, it’s that you can blog about anything that makes you happy. If you have a hobby, then you can share about that. If you have a job that enriches your life with skills and training, you may also apply your learnings in your blog. 

It is also my first day at my new job. It’s at an IT company again. As my blog turns two, I am thankful for blessings that come my way, and for opportunities that lead me to where I'm meant to be.  

Here’s to more years to speakoutsam!

NAIA Work Day 3

Yesterday was the final one of my three-day stint as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative. I watched the sunrise at the airport while knitting. 

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Then, I manned our booth and welcomed arrivals with a smile.  

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I had Jollibee’s halo-halo sundae and brewed coffee for dessert during lunch.  

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I attended mass during my break at the airport chapel.  

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Then, I got to finish crocheting this scarf during my shift. 

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I had maruya (fried sweet bananas) and brewed coffee at the cafeteria before close of business. 

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Then, I rode the bus to World Trade Center. 

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We had our debriefing at the venue itself. I was giddy to be back at Manila FAME. 

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After our meeting, we got to explore the fair.  

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All our hard work for the past three days was worth it once I saw the fair. I was blown away by the astounding exhibitors and the artistry of the Philippines.  

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I am proud to be part of this event, and I have a renewed love for country after this.  

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For dinner, I grabbed a beef bowl at Yoshinoya before calling it a day. 

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It was an honor to serve our country and witness the capability of our artists. I am proud to be Filipino!  

The Attic Adventure

Yesterday, I was invited to visit The Attic Yarn and Craftery in Marikina City. 

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I’ve been a client of this local yarn store ever since I began knitting and reacquainted myself with crochet last year. After buying their yarns at The Craft Central, I have since directly ordered from them online. Since then, I’ve become their friend in real life. 

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It was a dream come true to step inside their cozy “attic” space. There were yarns everywhere!

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It was heaven on earth! 

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The owners, Tita Ces and Ceryl, are vintage fans. I especially marveled over their refurbished typewriters. 

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I received a lovely handmade present from the owners. 

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I also ate lunch with them and had the best tinapa pasta I’ve ever had (so far).

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For dessert, we had flourless chocolate cake from a local pastry shop. 

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It was to die for.

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It was wonderful to see their yarns and winders in person. 

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More than having the pleasure of buying from them directly and not paying for shipping this time around, it was the friendship that I have fostered with Tita Ces and Ceryl that I truly treasure. I had a magical day, and I’m sure that this won’t be the last time that I will visit them in Marikina. 

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Friends and hobbies like knitting and crocheting make life sweeter! 

Knitting Strong

I stayed at the hospital with my terminally-ill father and knitted this cowl for my uncle, who’s celebrating his birthday in Europe next month. 

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I used The Attic Yarn and Craftery’s choco fusion yarn to complete this project. 

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I also got to attend Easter Sunday mass at the Pink Sisters Convent with my helper, Racquel.  

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We had brekkie at Mushroomburger, where I was pleasantly surprised by their delicious food, coffee, and buko panda macapuno sundae.  

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I met up with my paternal relatives for lunch to celebrate my uncle’s birthday in advance. I also gave my advance birthday gift to my goddaughter, Kate. I got her a curvy Barbie doll, to teach her about body inclusivity at an early age.  

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I also made her fit the beanie I was knitting for her for size. 

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I drove home and it was a beautiful summer day! Here’s to more sunny days where I knit myself strong.  

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Sunday Recoupment

This week has been pretty intense. I survived a traumatic job interview with a company who misleads their applicants. I was lucky that I trusted my instincts and left. 

I also got into a violent incident in the train, which didn’t stop me from attending a seminar at AIM.  

These incidents made me feel tired, so I ordered Japanese food to keep my spirits up. I had the omu curry rice at Kimono Ken, which is a restaurant that I’ve been frequenting since my uni days. I had a delicious lunch and I will definitely be back!

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I capped off my lunch with my usual Assam milk tea at Serenitea. 

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It’s easy to bounce back from setbacks as long as I learn from them in order to prevent them from happening again. In this case, I learned to research thoroughly on the companies I apply for, continue to trust my instincts, and maintain my composure whenever I am attacked in public. I believe I was able to do so as I was offered a seat on the train by a kind gentleman. 

Here’s to more lessons, foodie adventures, and milk tea! 

Rainbow Scarf

I knitted this rainbow scarf while attending conferences, at a coworking space, at a focus group discussion, and while reading books and listening to music at home. I am fond of unplugging from social media from time to time and just allow myself to knit. The handmade pastime keeps me busy as I process my thoughts on work, the challenges I am facing, and everything in between. 

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I am straight, but I respect people of all genders. It is my hope that by knitting this rainbow scarf, I can continue embracing diversity and the colorful future that awaits me.  

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The joy that knitting gives me is priceless. Having a hobby that keeps your hands busy will reward you with a better attention span, the best sparks of brilliance (I’ve experienced having creative ideas while knitting and crocheting!), and a renewed appreciation for the simplicity of handmade. 

I hope that you will also discover the joys of knitting or any handmade hobby soon! 

The Study Workspace

I was invited to try out The Study Workspace, a coworking space by Enderun Colleges. It is conveniently located at The Podium, Ortigas.  

The Study offers the following facilities: 

 -Fast internet

-Complimentary coffee, tea, or water

-Comfortable sitting desks

-Conference rooms for rent

-Printing services   

-Free access to The Study events, and

-A great community  

(source: The Study Team) 

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I occupied room M1, where I got to finish some deadlines, charge my gadgets, listen to music, and knit! 

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The place has a lively hipster vibe which I totally dig. 

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They also have books, a pantry area, a restroom, and spacious common areas.  

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They also had good coffee.  

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I enjoyed my stay here and I highly recommend this place for your coworking needs.

For more information, please visit  https://www.thestudyph.com/the-study-workspace/

Ortigas Meeting

I had a meeting this morning to discuss marketing trends with a company in Ortigas. It was held at Starbucks Tektite, where I used to hang out during my uni days. It felt nostalgic to be back! 

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I’d like to think that I’m forever young, though! 

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I will always be a nonfat latte girl. I also knitted while the meeting was ongoing.  

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I got to meet Laura, one of my fellow listeners of the Wake Up with Jim and Saab podcast. She also participated in the meeting. I’m all for meeting new friends and connecting with like-minded people. 

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Sharing my insights is rewarding and productive. I also get to keep up with current trends and educate myself in the process. Here’s to more learning opportunities for growth and advancement!

Ella and Vivaldi

Yesterday, I spent time with my beloved doggo buddies at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe.  

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I was feeling cuddly with my favorite dog Ella.  

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I received kisses from Stitch the Frenchie.  

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For snack, I had the Chocnut Dinosaur froyo from Elait. This is my new favorite from this celebrated ice cream stand! It is delicious.  

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Then, I commuted to the Ayala Museum for a night with the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra.  

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I had coffee and knitted while listening to them play my all-time favorite classical piece: Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.  

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To combat stress and fatigue, I find ways to keep myself happy. Dogs, ice cream, and classical music are just some of my preferred pastimes. Surely, I’ll find another concert to enjoy, and another afternoon with puppies. 

Barbie Style

Yesterday, I spent time with my family. We had lunch at Via Mare, where I had the corned beef sauté breakfast meal.  

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I was able to buy doll clothes and shoes for my Made to Move Barbie doll at Landmark Department Store. 

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I got this burgundy gown which was too long for my doll.  

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The pack of shoes were delightful, though. The jelly heels match her existing Hello Kitty outfit perfectly.  

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I shortened her gown and turned it into a dress to showcase her new pairs of shoes.  

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With a little creativity and imagination, life can be so much better! I’m never too old to enjoy the simple joys of play.  

Forever Young

As I face many challenges with my dad being terminally-ill and my jobhunting journey, I felt that I needed a break. I went to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe to unwind with their friendly doggos.  

I missed my favorite dog Ella’s kisses! She’s a tiny chiweenie with a big heart.  

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With Bonita, a tiny poodle. 

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Chocnut and Stitch!

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With Stitch. 

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With Martha. 

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And Happy the Pug!

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I had lunch with my family at Conti’s. Their chicken roulade was delicious! 

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For dessert, I had the Oreo matcha frozen yogurt from Elait.  

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Then, I dropped by the Barbie birthday event at The Block. 

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I’m a shameless Barbie fan. I got dolls for me and my goddaughter Kate.  

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I could hardly contain my excitement with my new doll. 

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My Grab car yesterday was cute! It had Doraemon seatcovers. 

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Then, I dressed my new doll in her new Hello Kitty outfit.  

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She’s a Made to Move Barbie, and I had fun posing her. 

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There’s nothing wrong with playing with toys as an adult. Being forever young helps me manage with life’s stresses with positivity and good vibes.  

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Here’s to more happy days ahead!

Big Bad Wolf 2019

Yesterday, I ate brekkie at our neighborhood canteen. I had tortang talong (eggplant omelette) and rice. It was so good! 

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Then, I had lunch at the 24-hour pop-up food court at Big Bad Wolf 2019!

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I got my usual at Potdog: crab egg with rice. Yum!

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It was cool to see social enterprise goods by Gawad Kalinga at the food court. 

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I was excited for this year’s Big Bad Wolf as I was able to hunt some fabulous finds last year

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The overwhelming amount of books did not faze me as I clearly knew what I wanted. 

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Still, I browsed through the stacks of books and enjoyed the hours I spent at the fair.  

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I stuck to my shopping list and bought three adult coloring books. I have already migrated to using ebooks, but the joy of coloring cannot be replicated by an app. I needed the real deal. 

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Before leaving the fair, I dropped by the Red Readerhood booth. 

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I donated two books for Gawad Kalinga kids. Of course, I had to select dog-themed books. 

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I offered eggs and prayers at St. Clare to ask for miracles for my family.  

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I wrapped up my day with some coffee jelly and coloring therapy at the café near home.  

Books, food, knitting, and coloring spark joy for me! I will be back for next year’s Big Bad Wolf for sure! 

Spring Scarf

Yesterday, I knitted while watching Jordyn Woods’ interview at Jada Smith’s Red Table Talk. I feel sad for her because she lost almost everything that she has because of one bad decision. It was painful to watch her interview, but I know that she’s intelligent and that she will somehow find her way through life. I just know it. 

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I continued knitting well into the night, until I finished this scarf that evokes sunshine and happiness.  

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Every time I finish knitting a scarf, I feel as if I am stitching together my story. Just like Jordyn, I’ve made some difficult decisions in the past. I’ve committed mistakes, and I have risen above them. More importantly, I have learned from them. I am thriving, crafting, and becoming. 

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Just like my scarf’s colors, I am in the springtime of my life. New beginnings usher in blessings and positivity. I am optimistic that this is my season, and that I will finally get the right job opportunity for me.