Saturday Teacher

Yesterday, I lent my time to the scholars of HOUSE Foundation. I taught two classes Business Communication, and I managed to do so without coffee! This is totally out of my comfort zone as I am not a teacher by profession, and I have never handled a class before. Nonetheless, I was able to deliver and help these students in my own little way.
These scholars work for Messy Bessy, the social enterprise that enables these students to go to school. I am very proud to say that they are competent and determined to learn. They just need our help to continue thriving.
You may also help these scholars. Visit http://ww.housefoundation.com.ph today to volunteer or donate!

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Jolly Dogs

Ever since I resolved to be more thankful even before receiving the blessings that I am praying for, I realized that being happy is a choice. Part of that is choosing to be with dogs, whose calming presence has always helped me in managing my emotions.

I am still dealing with my father’s passing, the emotional demands of jobhunting, balancing freelance work, managing my online Human Nature shop (please support!), and ensuring that my widowed mom is doing okay. As a multi-tasker, it can be pretty laborious to check on myself. It is only when I am at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe that I am able to let my hair down and play with furry friends who are happy enough to be with me.

I feel content with the unselfish joy that these dogs share with me. My worries melt away whenever I hug Ella the chiweenie, or Piolo the Labrador Retriever. Actually, I am glad to cuddle with any dog in the cafe. It is only a bonus that they serve killer coffee along with my entrance to the cafe.

Being caffeinated with dogs is my idea of heaven, and I hope that you will also get to experience this by visiting Barkin’ Blends soon!

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Barkin’ Tuesday

I always enjoyed bonding with my furry friends at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. Being with dogs has helped me process grief after my dad’s death. Now that I am moving on, I still visit the cafe for good vibes and simply because the dogs have become close to my heart.

Please visit them if you also love dogs! You won’t regret being with these furbabies.

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Self-Care Friday

I have been taking care of myself since getting rejected from this job I’ve been applying for. Everything happens for a reason. The best way to move on is to practice self-care.

I went to a waxing salon, then I watched LSS starring Gabbi Garcia at UP. I enjoyed my me-time and I realized that life isn’t too bad at all.

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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! 

Furry Kisses

Self-care remains to be my top priority. Amidst all the challenges that my family and I are currently facing, I find time to take a step back. I take short coffee breaks to see the bigger picture and work on my personal goals. 

One of my go-to rituals is visiting Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. I am already a regular in both of their branches. Since I was in Quezon City yesterday, I visited their SM North Towers cafe to have a cuppa with my furry friends.  

Milo the Yorkie was especially clingy to me yesterday. Of course, I also spent time with my favorite doggo, Ella the black chiweenie.  

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Hugging dogs and receiving kisses from them can be therapeutic, and this dog cafe reminds me that life can be better as long as I continue to seek for my bliss. 

Presidential Car Museum

Yesterday, I spent the day exploring my local park. But first, I began my day with a hearty brunch of gyudon and milk tea coffee (yes, it’s apparently a thing!) at a Japanese restaurant.  

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Then, it was time for some culture at Quezon Memorial Circle. It was my first time at the park’s newest museum, the Presidential Car Museum. 

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The imposing modern building blended nicely with the park’s existing trees.  

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I was in awe of the vintage cars inside the museum.  

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As a history buff, this was quite a treat! 

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It was also lovely to see stamps inside the museum.  

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I enjoyed my time with the presidential cars, and I was pleasantly surprised to see cute souvenirs for sale outside. 

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The souvenir shop also carried NHCP publications at reasonable prices.  

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For my next stop, I went to Museo ni Quezon to reacquaint myself with the founder of my city.  

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I was delighted with my history trip, and it was time to have a snack. 

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I chose a coconut ice drop for merienda to beat the heat. 

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Coconut House inside Circle sells local products made of natural ingredients.  

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Then, it was time to go home, and savor the memories from my day tour of my local park. 

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Having fun doesn’t need to be expensive! Sometimes, a trip to the local park can be an educational and enjoyable experience. Hopefully, you also have nearby places where you can enjoy an afternoon of culture and history! 

Knitting Anniversary

Today is my knitting anniversary! It’s been a year since my fateful Knitting Adventure at the Banaue Rice Terraces. It was where I first learned to knit. The lesson wasn’t easy for me, and I did struggle at first. But with a lot of practice, I did get the hang of it. And I even re-learned how to crochet along the way!

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To celebrate this important milestone, I crocheted and knitted this infinity shawl using chunky yarns from my favorite notions store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery. The ladies behind this local shop has become my friends, and it is touching how this friendship has also become a source of strength and inspiration for me to keep going. 

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My knitting and crochet abilities are in line with my goal to diversify myself through continuous learning of skills. You may be wondering how this connects to my goal to work in a corporate setting. Well, knitting and crochet has taught me patience, perseverance, resilience (especially when I would drop a stitch and have to start over!), creativity, and imagination. I have also learned these skills from scratch through workshops (like the advanced crochet one I attended with Mayown last year). If I can train my mind and hands to manipulate yarn, needles, and hooks, then I’m sure that I am ready to learn new programs, business platforms, and skills. 

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I have also started a new scarf using the knitting needles that came with my kit at Banaue. Using these 6mm bamboo needles again is humbling, as I recall the awkward stitches that I have made 365 days ago in the mountains. Now, I am in my room in the city, with pop music blaring in the background. I have yarn from Pasig, the yarn bowl that I gifted myself with on Valentine’s Day, my first knitting needles, and the determination to keep going. I have amazed myself with how far I’ve come in my creative journey. 

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I know that this is only the beginning. 

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Last FURiday night

Last Friday night, I sipped on some milk tea while hanging out with the cute dogs of Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. I can visit them as often as I can as they help me relax and calm down amidst my busy schedule.   

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Chocnut the chiweenie has an amusing angry face!

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Ella, my favorite dog, still approaches me and sleeps on my lap- even if someone’s already snoozing there!

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Visiting my furry friends is one of my self-care rituals. I have my own pet dog because my parents are allergic to them, but I can spend time with these friendly dogs when I have the time. I hope that you also found your happy place, and that you always have a reason to go back. 

Fluffy Sunday

I spent my sunny Sunday with my favorite dog Ella at Barkin’ Blends! I love cuddling with her because she makes me feel as if all is well in this world. 

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Her expressive little face also cheers me up whenever I look at our pictures together. 

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I also got to hug the other dogs, like Charlie the chocolate lab. 

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Then, I watched a local film entitled To Love Some Buddy. It was entertaining and funny! 

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I also had the entire section of the cinema all to myself. 

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I ended my day with a whole body massage by a blind masseuse. It was a relaxing way to unwind after a week of tasks and errands. 

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I look forward to more chances to unwind to balance my life and find more meaning amidst daily challenges.  

Knitting Myself Together

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I first learned how to knit at Banaue. I realized that  it might be something I would enjoy, so I persevered until I eventually finished my first scarf

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Since then, I continued to knit like it’s no one’s business. By now, I know that I prefer working without a pattern. Focusing on scarves and beanies make me happy as I mindlessly knit during meetings and events. And yes, knitting helps me focus during discussions. 

This is why I am glad to finish another scarf, this time an infinity one which could be rolled to be a chunky wrap around the neck, a tube top, or rolled to an even smaller size to be a loose cowl.

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I knit because it gives me a sense of purpose, no matter what. I will continue to do so because it gives me joy, and I know that it will empower me even during those times when I feel weak. Knitting is my strength.

If you are interested to learn, there are tutorials online and workshops that you could research on.

Please consider knitting. You won’t regret learning this mindful craft. 

Back to Me

Yesterday, I bought Maine Mendoza’s MAC Maker lipstick in her custom shade, @mainedcm. I think it’s adorable that she named it after her Instagram handle. And in fairness, it is a wearable nude shade. I am in between morena and mestiza, so finding the perfect nude can be quite a challenge. This lippie gives me a subtle pop of color without washing my face out. I feel proud to wear Pinay MAC Maker’s lipstick, and in so little color, I feel as if I have returned to myself. 

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Like all MAC lipsticks, the matte formula has lasted me through two meals and a coffee break. I am very happy with my new lippie!  

Paint, Sip, Laugh

Yesterday, I had fun painting at Sip and Gogh. I paid for my own session, and it came with a glass of red wine and a platter of salami and cheese. 

I enjoyed it so much! I chose to paint the Eiffel Tower because Paris is always a good idea. 

I also brought my knitting work-in-progress with me. It was awesome to see my knitting work along with the cafe’s colorful painting selections. 

I will let the photos speak for themselves, as my joy can really be seen in them. I also knitted the beanie which I wore during the session, just because the yarn matches the color of red wine.  

I was so inspired that I also sketched my breakfast and bar chow on my traveler’s notebook.

Indeed, when I spark my creativity, it cascades on to my other crafts like knitting and food illustration. I can see how crafting has made me happier and more resourceful. I look forward to more handmade lifestyle moments, and I hope to witness the positive effects across the other aspects of my life. 

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Crafting Potential

Yesterday, I bought yarns from one of my go-to handmade shops, The Craft Central. I did not have any particular project in mind. I simply wanted the colors I got and filled my basket. 

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I do believe in surrounding myself with things that fill my heart with joy. Knitting using yarns in colors that I like makes me giddy, and it helps clear my mind. 

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I also believe in shopping small and independent, that is why I frequent craft shops, indie businesses, and local brands. The yarns I bought yesterday were from The Attic Yarn and Craftery, and just like The Craft Central, it fulfills all three aforementioned qualities. 

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Simply put, having a handmade lifestyle makes me smile!

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If you would like to learn a craft of two, here are the upcoming workshops at The Craft Central SM North Edsa:

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I hope that you will also find your craft, and enjoy shopping for supplies every now and then! It is good for your soul. 

Diane’s 31st

Yesterday, my friend Luti and I remembered our high school Diane. She would have been thirty-one. 

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We went to UP Town Center for a food coma worthy of our late friend. She was a foodie as well, so we planned on eating nothing but the best. 

First stop was local favorite The Chocolate Kiss.  

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Luti had the taco salad, while I had chicken satay with nasi goreng. Both of our orders were delicious!

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We stopped by Biblio, a secondhand bookshop for good measure. Diane loved to read. 

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I bought a bamboo toothbrush holder for my toothbrush made of the same material. I also got a pack of world map postcards. I was able to score free Sagada coffee with my purchases. 

Diane would have loved this bookstore, as well as their local coffee.  

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Next, we went to Waffable by Rustic Mornings. I got an apple crumble waffle. It was amazing!

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Later during the day, we had an early dinner of hotdog and mac n’ cheese at Starr’s. 

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Then, we returned to The Chocolate Kiss for cake slices in honor of our birthday girl. 

Luti chose the devil’s food cake, while I had my favorite, dayap chiffon!

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Happy birthday Diane!

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Lastly, we passed by Diane’s final resting place. 

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We all miss our friend. 

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We hope that shes in a better place now. 

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And someday, we will see her again. 

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We hope that Diane likes our simple tribute to her in the form of yummy mains and cakes. It was a food coma to remember, and a celebration that we look forward to observing again next year.  

I hope that you will also make time for your late loved ones, and continue praying for their eternal repose. They are our guardian angels. Let us never forget them.  

Puppies, Coffee, and Cinnamon

I had a latte with my favorite dog Ella yesterday as Barkin Blends Dog Cafe. You can expect to see me here on Sundays as it has already become my default happy place. 

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It was time for Ella’s nap so I let her snooze on my lap. 

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Of course, the cafe also has other dogs! I couldn’t resist having pics taken with the whole gang again. 

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After my fluffy adventure, I returned to Lil’ Orbits Mini-Donuts to have their cinnamon dozen. 

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It was heavenly! 

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If you want to be happy, spend time with dogs and have some mini-donuts! That formula has never failed me. 

Have a great week ahead, friends! 

Thirty-Fun

This was me nine years ago. I was working at my first job in a local bank. I was mighty proud of my desk, my business attire, and PC! But I was not happy about my body. I was not confident even if I was not overweight. I just didn’t feel good about myself. I had no exercise, and I did not watch what I ate. 

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Good thing I realized that the secret behind confidence is hard work! I started exercising by doing Zumba and cardio.  

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I enjoyed food but I became more selective. Mindful eating became a healthier process since I made each meal count. I ate to live, rather than the other way around. 

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I also supported social enterprises to remind me that the things I own matter as well. I use handmade, artisan-made objects to motivate me to live meaningfully and appreciate the littlest details. 

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My quest for social enterprises has led me to a trip to Banaue with Knitting Expedition, where I learned basic knitting and met some awesome people.  

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I never stopped enjoying food. I just did so in moderation. 

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I also continued supporting charities, like World Vision and PAWS.  

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While waiting for the right opportunity for me, I attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to sharpen the saw, so to speak.  

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Whenever I need good vibes, I visit Barkin Blends Dog Cafe to cuddle with my favorite chiweenie, Ella.  

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So now, I am thirty-one and confident! I am happy with the life I have built for myself. I am excited to continue growing, learning, and being. 

I hope you will continue following me as I improve myself! 

Waffle Reward

Whenever I feel like giving up, I always remind myself that I am worth more than my mistakes. I have had my own share of shortcomings, but I have learned from them. I make sure to take note of my areas of improvement so that I will know what specific things I have to work on. I am determined to be the best version of myself by highlighting my strengths to reinforce my limitations. 

Having said that, I do reward myself for small wins! Recently, I have been slaying through my workouts. I have decided to eat my favorite food as a personal backslap. For instance, I had this delicious bacon, egg, lettuce, and tomato (BELT) waffle sandwich from Breakfast Bin. It was delicious and satisfying! 

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How do you self-audit your skills? What areas do you have to improve on? And how do you reward yourself for small wins? I hope that you will also find the balance between self-improvement and self-care!