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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Rising Again

I was recently rejected for this job that I really want. I am choosing to move on by applying again for other jobs, praying at Baclaran Church, and crocheting a beanie.

Coffee also helps in strengthening my resolve and rising again!

Rejections can only make me stronger! I know that better things are coming my way.

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Coffee Fix

I had a busy day filled with personal errands and work-related tasks. I was able to finish them all by late afternoon, so I drove to UP to have some coffee and a pain au chocolat at Nomu.

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Then, I watched The Cleaners, a feature film from the Active Vista Film Festival at UP Film Cine Adarna. It was a gripping documentary about the outsourced content moderators working in BPO’s in the Philippines. Having worked in a BPO for more than five years myself, I can say that I have experienced the unhealthy effects of outsourcing, even if I did not exactly work as a content moderator. I have experienced wrath, anger, and racist remarks from customers overseas. Watching the negative effects which these content moderators had to go through as cleaners for Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube was excruciating. And yet, they were doing their jobs as cyber cleaners to provide a better future for their families.

I consider myself fortunate that I can afford to leave the BPO industry. I am hoping to be part of the academe soon, where the environment is more dynamic and forgiving.

Documentaries help me process my own life. To have a warm pastry and coffee along with the films I watch is sheer bliss.

I hope that you will also watch films that have social relevance, and have your favorite snack to make things sweeter.

Weave and Woofs

Yesterday, I had a weaving brunch with my fellow workshoppers under The Art of Yarn. We ate at Motto Motto, a Japanese restaurant at Serendra. It was lovely to catch-up with our weaving teacher Judith and meet new friends, such as Tisha of Why Knot Craft. I enjoyed the experience, and I loved my chicken tocino and flat white.

After my brunch with the ladies, I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe to hug my furry friends.

I had a wonderful Saturday filled with craft and dogs. There is joy in yarn and fur!

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Magical Plans

Yesterday, I dropped by The Study by Enderun to get some planning done. It was indeed inspiring to work on my bullet journal with a cuppa on hand at a stylish coworking space. 

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I also managed to crochet on my desk for the day. I enjoyed my stay, and the people there are so accommodating. I highly recommend this space if you prefer having coworking access inside a mall, right in the heart of Ortigas. 

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Then, I attended the BDJ Housewarming Party. Belle de Jour Power Planner or simply BDJ is a local planner brand that has an online community of goal-digging women. It was an honor to be a part of their new office’s opening. 

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They had a planner customization area where I also had a housewarming of sorts for my Foxy Fix planner. 

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It was inspiring to make my planner more colorful by using their washi tapes and stickers. 

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There was also a photo studio where I got to have a professional photographer take pictures of me with my planner and yarn. 

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Speaking of crafts, it was wonderful to meet Janna, the talented artist behind local sticker brand Crafts Delight. If you want stickers for your planner or journal, check out her page and support her emerging brand!

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Lastly, I got to have my oracle cards read and I got the Diana and Krishna cards- gentle reminders for me to stay focused and to expect the best possible outcome. 

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It is important for me to write down my plans in order to be fully aware of my path. Attending a coworking open house and housewarming party for a planner company were lovely opportunities to get centered and remind myself of the magic that I am capable of executing (just like the event hashtag, #bdjmagicinme). 

Here’s to more plans and motivational messages from the universe! 

Exploring Growth

Yesterday, I started my day with a pasta salad from Juju Eats. I had the Sicilian salad with pesto dressing. 

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Then, I went to Vista Mall Taguig for a meeting. But first, I explored this mall as it was my first time there. 

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I had a glazed donut at Bake My Day. 

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It was delicious!

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Then, it was time for my meeting at Coffee Project. 

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I loved the floral details in their interiors. 

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I had an oatmeal cookie and a tall brewed coffee (not pictured). Both were yummy and awakening! I will definitely be back at one of their branches. 

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I was feeling positive on the way back to Makati. 

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I stopped by Glorietta to check-out Lazy Fare, a local boutique that has been making waves on social media for their eco-friendly stance of manufacturing clothes using reclaimed fabric. 

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These reclaimed fabrics were rescued from landfills and turned into everyday basics for women. 

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I especially appreciate their inclusive designs which cater to different tastes and body types. 

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I bought a plain gray t-shirt and pink kimono. I only paid Php200 for both!

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I am currently exploring opportunities for myself this year, and beyond. I am also trying out new cafes, clothes, and places. I hope that there will be more possibilities for me this 2019! 

Core Advocate

Now that I am working full-time, I ensure that my weekends are spent well. I always begin my days with a workout, whether it’s a weekday or the weekend. 

Last Saturday, I was reminded to count my blessings and be myself as I dropped by my usual waxing salon.  

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Then, I went to Human Nature to shop for my needs this August. I stocked up on moringa chocolate chip cookies...

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 ...had some brewed coffee in the store...

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...tried the new bath jelly (which was fun to use!)... 

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 ...and treated myself to a bar of Theo and Filo 70% dark chocolate!

I am also a fan of Human Nature’s new initiative to encourage shoppers to bring their own eco bags.  

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After shopping, I went to Breakfast Bin for even more coffee and pancakes. 

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And then, it was back to Human Nature for me as we celebrated our get-together with my fellow core advocates. 

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It was a fun night of potluck eats, karaoke, and friendship!

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My Saturday was a relaxing one, because I got to eat, shop, and party for a good cause. I am glad that by supporting Human Nature, I also help Gawad Kalinga communities and provide jobs. I look forward to the rest of my workweek knowing that my weekends are spent with my advocacy. It makes all the hard work worth it.

Uni Memories

I had a productive first week of work. It was overwhelming, like most adjustment periods. However, I was never short of colleagues to help me. It also helped that our office is still located near my uni, where there is a chapel, convenient food options, and space to process my thoughts during my lunch break.

I have been having Food Channel shawarma rice with cheese for lunch, and it is still delicious! I feel like a student again whenever I savor it.

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I have to visit our office’s new site and project manage its progress. I have to be organized and on top of things!

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Another food from uni which I enjoyed this week was the sticky cinnamon bun. It was comforting after a busy day.

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And I was also fortunate to have my college friend Ceetee with me for coffee that day! She also just recently started at her new office in Ortigas.

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Here’s to more opportunities at work, more happy college memories, friendship moments, and comfort food!

Fitness, Food, and Friends

Yesterday, I was able to return to my Zumba workout at my local park. It was fun, and I missed burning calories outdoors. 

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I also got to have my favorite breakfast burger steak from Tropical Hut. 

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I got to visit Diane, and I left her a post-it, following our custom. 

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I had lunch with my family at Soban

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And I had this beef korilog. It was delicious!

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I got to use my new Addi circular knitting needles for the first time. I bought mine from Dreams Yarnshoppe

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The Addi needles were a joy to use! They’re definitely worth the premium price tag. And yes, they’re comfortable to use.  

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For dinner, I had spinach tartufina carbonara and this yummy pesto pasta from Salta! with my best friend Luti. 

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Yesterday was productive and relaxing at the same time. It was also valuable to spend time with my loved ones, and even try out new notions. All the food made my workout worth it. I look forward to more balanced days like this one. 

Knit, Nom, Now

I am a firm believer in rising above challenges through action. Lately, I have been dealing with some personal matters which I have already resolved. To celebrate these small wins, I went to Human Nature to transact orders and to have a cup of coffee. 

I am a Human Nature dealer, so if you would like to buy affordable yet high quality natural products, you may order from my online shop!

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I used my Knitting Expedition tiyargo bag  to carry all my purchases. I also took another photo because it amuses me how much the social enterprise brands I support complement each other with ease and style.  The coffee beside me in the photo is from Cafe Lugud, my Ifugao bangles are from Natalya Lagdameo, my T’boli bangles are from Nawa, and the location was of course the Human Nature flagship store! All of these brands are social enterprises, so they do not just look good- they also commit to doing good as well 

After shopping, I went to the new Rodic’s branch along Maginhawa with air conditioning! I had tapsilog while knitting. 

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After wrapping up all my errands, I bought my dad his favorite yema cake. 

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And later that night, I finally finished knitting my first beanie. I knitted it using the magic loop technique. It was also my first time to knit in the round! This is definitely proof that I am willing to learn- and from YouTube, at that!

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I am overjoyed with my small wins, and I also feel accomplished to have knitted a beanie! I am truly determined to overcome each challenge with positivity, optimism, and action. Here’s to more small wins and lessons learned along the way!

Prayer and Hope

Yesterday, I had a meeting in Ortigas. I knitted while waiting for it to commence, and as always, knitting was able to give me a sense of purpose and calmness. 

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It turned out to be a productive morning filled with promising opportunities! Before proceeding to the rest of my day’s agenda, I dropped by Padre Pio’s relic and statue at St. Francis of Assisi Parish to give thanks. I also prayed for wisdom in discernment and guidance as I embark on changes in my life. 

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I had the creamy cheesy penne, donut, and coffee combo from Mister Donut. It was a delicious and comforting lunch on a rainy day. I recommend that you try this combo as well, not just on rainy days! The pasta was indeed cheesy and creamy. And their donuts and coffee are always on point. 

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I wrapped up all my tasks for the day and had dinner at Breakfast Bin. I opted for my go-to meal there: the toasted naked longganisa, with a runny fried egg, talangka brown rice, and spiced vinegar. 

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I hope that you will never be afraid of exploring opportunities! Prayer works, and it helps in thinking things through. Meanwhile, knitting keeps my mind sharp with every stitch. 

And as always, food nourishes me and warms my soul.  

May you have a great weekend ahead, friends! 

Pasta and Yarn

Yesterday, I was able to enjoy knitting while eating delicious Italian food at one of my usual restaurants, Cibo. This time, I tried something I’ve never had before- the penne al’amado with burrata. 

The braised beef beautifully complemented the cheese, resulting in a flavorful meal that brightened up my Monday. 

My red grape shake and coffee made lunch- and knitting- relaxing.  

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After finishing my meal, I proceeded to a store I have never been to before: Dreams Yarnshoppe. I was looking forward to it, and I was not disappointed.  

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The store had a killer inventory for such a small space! 

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Prices were reasonable for the thrifty crafter.  

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I ended up with a variegated ball of yarn and a pair of oversized needles to go with it. I also got some extra point protectors.

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I was definitely happy, and I carried on with my shopping. I got a 90’s pair of sunnies to update my look.  

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It was similar to my old pairs of sunnies during my childhood. I am happy that skinny frames are back because I can be my 90’s self again somehow! 

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I am lucky to have been able to enjoy my Monday with delicious food, a memorable retail experience, and some crafting along the way. I hope to discover more stores to inspire me create, write, and explore!

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! 

Comfort Brunch

Yesterday, I was feeling down because I had a difficult conversation with a good friend of mine. It was challenging for me to point out some painful truths to her, but it was worth the effort as we both understood what went wrong. Even if I was the one who had the upper hand, it was still uncomfortable to discuss things with a friend, especially since she is the sensitive type. However, sometimes these conversations are necessary to ensure that the people we love address their concerns. I promised myself a hearty brunch after that discussion. 

I delivered that promise to myself in the form of corned beef and talangka brown rice from my usual, Breakfast Bin. 

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For dessert, I walked to Papa Diddi’s for corn and strawberry x double chocolate ice cream scoops.  

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It was dreamy to eat it next to this charming Underwood typewriter, which is still functioning well according to the staff! 

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I then proceeded to Human Nature to buy some necessities and have some of their in-house brewed coffee, Cafe Lugud! They have free-flowing coffee for all of their customers. I usually bring my own reusable tumbler and have a cup or two after shopping.  

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I had a fulfilling day, even if it did not begin on an easy note. I am continuously working on myself, and being a good friend is one of the hats that I strive to wear. Of course, I should love myself before I can even be a friend to anyone. This is why I constantly find ways to improve, so that I can always say that I love being me!

Another Barkin’ Sunday

I visited Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe last Sunday to get some good vibes from my favorite furry friends. I visit the cafe whenever I need a few hugs, licks, and cuddles. 

I am never disappointed because the cafe has plenty of dogs to have coffee with. All dogs are clean, soft, and fluffy! 

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I was able to spend some time with lots of dogs! 

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My favorite dog is this chiweenie named Ella, who has been giving me some TLC for the past three years. I know I’m not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. She is the sweetest.  

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What places do you go to whenever you need some good vibes? Do let me know! For now, consider visiting Barkin’ Blends at Sta. Lucia. You will definitely have a better day after meeting their dogs. 

The Craft Central Cafe

I have been sharing my craft journey here on my blog, whether it is through knitting, journaling, or brush lettering. I have been fond of working in cafes and restaurants, but sometimes, people tend to stare or blurt out unkind remarks when I stay at a place that is not necessarily for crafters. 

This is why I am ecstatic that The Craft Central finally opened their cafe at Vertis North. It is close to home, packed with craft supplies and handmade goods, and is a safe space for crafters! 

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Their menu features light food, which is perfect for crafters to munch on during an hour or two of working. 

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I was happy to discover that they also carry yarns and notions! 

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I ordered the parmesan chicken picatta open sandwich, and it was delicious!  

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I simply feel giddy whenever I am surrounded by handmade love.  

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The cafe has a balcony with succulents! 

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For dessert, I had a brownie and their delicious americano.  

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It was difficult not to feel happy as I was eating beside these jars of calligraphy ink... 

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...and locally-made pins! 

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The cafe also has decent WiFi connection, so I was able to watch the ADB Meeting via livestream.  

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I had a yummy meal, a productive seminar via the interwebs, and a new hangout! I will surely be back!

Fear and Friendship

Yesterday was a fun one. I started my day with a visit to Philippine Artisan Trade, where I saw these cute plushies from Knitting Expedition. I knitted with them at Banaue last February, so it felt like a homecoming. 

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Afterwards, my friend Luti and I settled down over Bukidnon coffee and cinnamon rolls at Hineleban Cafe.  

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Hineleban was the venue of this month’s Word of Mouth night. The topic was fear, and I spoke about overcoming my fear of heights, being single, and expressing my feelings. 

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I was grateful to speak in front of my high school friends Luti and Jamie. My childhood friend Chesca was also there. It felt awesome to have my friends with me.  

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I love having different friends together!

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We then transferred to Milky Way for some halo-halo and catching-up.  

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I crashed at Luti’s pad for the night, and woke up feeling fabulous after being with friends.  

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I had so much fun! I need more of this. Here’s to  more coffee and excellent company!

Spam and Pizza

Yesterday, I attended to some personal matters which required me to suit up on a Friday! It was fun to adult and explore possibilities for my future. 

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I went to mass at Megamall Chapel for some thanksgiving and quiet time.  

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I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they bless religious articles after mass. Any amount to be donated to Caritas Manila will do. I had my new necklace blessed. 

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I rewarded myself with a flat white...

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 ...and a yummy caramelized spam rice bowl at Sunnies Cafe. 

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I spent some time at the mall and I had pizza for dinner. 

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It was a learning experience for me to discover opportunities, blessings, and delicious food! Here’s to more possibilities ahead. 

Sunday with Friends

I was able to spend time yesterday with my high school friends Luti and Mabs. We ate lunch at Japan Fudo Street. 

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I liked my oyakodon as it was flavorful and filling.  

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We bought drinks at Serenitea, where I had this delicious Okinawa Tea and Espresso mix. Yes  

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It was so good! 

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We then watched Never Not Love You on recliner seats.  

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For early dinner, we bought Samyang spicy noodles.  

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OMG IT WAS SPICY! But it was a memorable experience.  

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I am thankful for true friends who are willing to enjoy new experiences with me. I hope to create more memories with them in the future. 

Learn, Knit, Nom

Yesterday, I finally finished the scarf I was knitting for my best friend. 

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It was my first time to make a man scarf so I hope this works well during an overseas trip or two. 

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I started another scarf, this time for one of my closest girl friends. I am using the popular Shawl in a Ball yarn. 

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I was giddy because I was also wearing my new leather mules which I purchased from local brand Tutum. They looked fab with the floor at Pablo. 

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I continued knitting at Pablo. Their mini chocolate cheese tart was delicious with their coffee. 

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Their coffee maker was also adorable!

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After finishing my coffee, I proceeded to the Asian Institute of Management to attend the lecture on Technology and Big Data lecture I was invited to. 

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More knitting ensued as I waited for it to begin. 

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The professor’s credentials and the topic of our talk are on the screen. 

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It was an insightful lecture and I was happy to attend it!  

I was craving for pasta after class so I went to Cibo for my favorite Farfalle Alla Genovese.  

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I also had a chill P2P ride home where was able to knit and nap. 

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I had a lovely Friday and I couldn’t ask for more! I look forward to more opportunities to learn, try new food, and knit in colorful spaces.