Boracay Day 2

Yesterday was my second one in Boracay. I enjoyed swimming in the beach and walking along the shore. 

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I braved the monsoon to eat the famous piri piri chicken plate at Spicebird. That was delicious!

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I also went back to a Boracay Leathers to buy a coin purse. I highly recommend this store for quality handmade leather goods. 

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Later that night, my friend Pia took me out to have gingertinis at Aplaya. It was so good!

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I can say that the island life is a relaxing break from the busy city and it was a privilege to experience it. It was also lovely to catch up with a friend. On to our next adventure!

Knitting By The Sea

Yesterday, I finally got to knit at Boracay. 

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It was a treat to watch the waves crashing by as I stitched my scarf. 

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I also got to buy functional souvenirs from local handmade merchants, such as Boracay Leathers. 

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When it was time for a cuppa, I went to Real Coffee to sample their barako and famous calamansi muffins. 

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I bought myself a personalized anklet from a handmade jewelry vendor. 

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And even if I’m not into swimming, I enjoyed the remarkable white sand and pristine waters of Boracay. 

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Getting out of my comfort zone is part of the journey. For every new experience, there is always knitting to keep me going so I know that there’s something to look forward to. 

Supporting Makers

I needed a reminder to keep on making, so I went to The Craft Central yesterday to buy a “maker” bead bracelet from Bedazzled. Cath, the woman behind the brand, was my classmate at the weaving workshop that I recently attended. It was beautiful to meet another maker who was passionate about her craft, and was able to launch brands out of it.  It is through making that I also get to release my stress and apply myself through each chaotic day. 

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By choosing to make over wallowing in self-pity and disappointment, I am able to overcome challenges and daily struggles. I know that I can continue being creative by also supporting fellow makers, and learning from their own inspiring stories. 

Let’s support each other as we make it through each day!

Sunday Hugs

Yesterday, I spent time with the furry friends from the East! I went to Barkin’ Blends Sta. Lucia branch for some quality time with dogs.

I was warmly welcomed by Reese. 

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I also missed Robin, my favorite golden retriever. 

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Julia took a nap on my lap, and I felt very sleepy too. 

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Bucci kept me awake when Julia woke up. She is still a puppy, and likes running around and begging for belly rubs. 

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A hug from Martha before I left the cafe warmed my heart. 

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After playing with my furry friends, I had some chicken mami from Ma’s Chicken Mami House.  

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Then, I purchased some budget-friendly pocket notebooks for my bullet journal setup. 

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I was delighted with their paper bag, which features a woman with a pixie- and she kind of reminds me of myself! 

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I completed my Papemelroti purchase with new stainless steel earrings. 

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By giving myself the entire Sunday to play with dogs, eat comfort food, and buy little things that make me happy, I am experiencing joy which will fuel me for the rest of the week. 

Here’s to more Sunday hugs in the future!

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!

Manila Fame 2019

Yesterday, I woke up to a postcard sent by my good friend Nurai. She’s based in Germany, but she posted this from Spain while she was on holiday. 

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It was the ideal preview to my artistic day ahead. I rode the LRT 1 and hailed a tuktuk to take me directly to the World Trade Center. 

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I went to the Manila Fame to immerse myself in Filipino artistry. My short visit last Friday was too brief, and I really wanted to spend more time at the fair. 

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I started my visit with some refreshing liquer de calamansi. 

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Then, I had some good coffee.  

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I dropped by the Handcrafted by Harl’s booth because I love their advocacy in supporting differently-abled artisans. I bought a handbag from them last year, and it’s still serving me well. 

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I joined a leather-crafting workshop for only Php50. I made a leather coin purse with the help of their talented deaf-mute artisans. 

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I ended up being the empowered one because I learned a new skill and got to learn from a differently-asked person.  

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It was lovely to see fashion influencer Lolaandrogynous at the fair! I totally dig her style. 

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I also bought small trinkets from another social enterprise, Kilus.  

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I got to appreciate the finer details during this visit.  

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I finally got to try 1st Colonial’s sili ice cream and it was delicious!

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I had a wonderful evening at Manila Fame and I’m very proud to be Filipino.  

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I ended my day with cheese sticks, so I’m also doing the same here. 

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Here’s to more opportunities to be proudly Pinoy! 

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! 

Common Ground

Last March 28, I got to witness the opening of Common Ground , a ceramic art collaboration of Israel and the Philippines. It was held at the UP College of Fine Arts (UPCFA). 

It was my first time at the beautiful new building of the UPCFA. It was the perfect venue to showcase the exhibit, which was the culmination of a week-long partnership between noted Israeli ceramic artist Roy Maayan and the UPCFA students. The college is planning to institute a multi-disciplinary Ceramic Arts Program as a new minor in the future, and this collaboration is in line with that vision. 

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The Embassy of Israel has been a cultural partner of the UPCFA, and this collaboration has not only benefited the students and the artist himself, but also the public at large. The exhibit is just the beginning of a visual conversation between the Israel and the Philippines through ceramic arts. 

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Jezzel Wee, one of the artists in the exhibit, hosted the event and brought a youthful vibe to the evening. 

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Dean Leonardo C. Rosete welcomed everyone by saying that ceramics are “vessels of cultural exchange”. The masterclasses and open studio which was shared by the guest artist and the students has created an environment where art could be created and cultural ties could be strengthened.  

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To continue with the theme of cultural exchange, the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Rafael Harpaz has mentioned in his speech that he made ceramics as a child. His early exposure to the arts has led him to seek “culture as the highest form of satisfaction” amidst his hectic schedule and diplomatic career. He cited as an example of his visits to local tourist attractions and the simple joy of eating halo-halo in the Philippines as his introductions to our local flavors. 

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Later during the evening, I chatted with him about his early interest in ceramics. He said that while he no longer practices it, he is still appreciates the art. He is happy to continue the long-standing partnership between the Embassy of Israel and the UPCFA to bridge our common cultures and inspire the future of Philippine art.  

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The UP President, Danilo L. Concepcion (second from left), has also spoken during the event. He said that since assuming his presidency, he has declared that each new building in all UP campuses should have an artwork. He mentioned that the education of artists is important for our culture, and that international art collaborations is essential for the university. He thanked the Embassy of Israel and Roy Maayan for their efforts in enriching the UPCFA with this endeavor. 

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The UP Kontra-GaPi performed lively musical numbers during the intermission. 

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Lastly, Roy Maayan himself said in his message that he was happy to witness firsthand the talents and skills of the UPCFA artists during their masterclasses and activities. As an Israeli “Clay Ambassador”, he shares his rich expertise to students and artists around the world. He mentioned that he has found friends amongst the Filipinos he has worked with during this collaboration. I witnessed this first-hand as the warmth between the artist and the students was present. 

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Finally, it was time to open the exhibit! 

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Roy Maayan has used the Tembel hat, an Israeli bowl-shaped cloth hat as his cultural “base” for his works in this exhibit. 

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He mentioned that he combined tuff, a volcanic rock found his his country to be combined with some of the tembel hats, like the two bottom hats in this photo. He said that tuff and clay both share common processes of firing in order to form hard objects, and this is something that he highlights whenever he goes around as a clay ambassador. Every culture has something worth exchanging and elevating into art!

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Another Israeli element which Roy Maayan has used as a base for the exhibit is the matka. It is a wooden paddle which the UPCFA students has embellished with local elements, making it entirely their own.  

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My personal favorite was “Hangover” by Blessi Bariuan, because it spoke to me about overcoming a night of drinking and paddling through to carry on the next day. 

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Roy Maayan has given the students the freedom to inject local elements, while also contributing his own matkas with natural and earthy themes to showcase the commonality between all cultures: we are all made of the earth, and we can all collaborate together. 

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The mix of students, faculty, the diplomatic community, the media, and art enthusiasts like myself has made the evening a memorable and fun exchange between two rich cultures. 

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I was able to meet new friends from the Embassy of Israel, appreciate beautiful works of art made by an established Israeli clay ambassador and emerging Filipino artists, and witness the friendship formed over clay and culture. I am thankful that there are events that showcase the commonality that we all share in order to enrich our own respective experiences and perspectives. The future of art lies in collaboration, as the world is becoming more connected by globalization and social media. It is up to us to personalize the art that we make and share the art that we appreciate to make the world a better place to live in. 

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Handmade Gems

I dropped by the Destash Bash at The Craft Central Cafe yesterday. I was looking for new stud earrings, and I was not disappointed!

Maria Ceramika had accessories that spoke to me. I love handmade earrings because they perfectly complement my pixie cut. The brand is run by emerging ceramicist Aileen Viñas from UP College of Fine Arts. I’m a fan of her work and I’ll surely watch out for her brand’s growth. 

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I also dropped by my friend Jensen’s booth. She sold some cute trinkets at her booth. She’s my favorite Craft Central employee, and she knows all the cool handmade brands to watch out for. 

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There were other booths in the Destash Bash offering affordable art and home supplies.  

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I ended up buying a couple of ceramic studs from Maria Ceramika. 

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Then, I proceeded to the bazaar outside Vertis North to buy a handmade crystal necklace from local brand Made by KCA

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I already got a pair of dangling earrings from the brand at the now-defunct Wanderspace Cafe last year. This time, I selected a trio of pendants for everyday wear: aquamarine, peridot, and rose quartz.  

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I love my new accessories! I always choose stainless steel pieces because I have acidic skin. 

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Here’s the handpainted pencil case I got from Jensen and my new necklace. I love how the colors match- and how handmade continues to make me happy. 

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I’ll forever be a handmade fan! Do check out these brands and keep on following my blog for more local discoveries in the future. 

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.  

Joy in the Bag

I recently purchased this yarn bag from local brand Gantsilyo Guru. It is a collab with another local brand, Beyond Stitched, which is known for sturdy canvas bags and personalized purses. This is not a sponsored post- I just love supporting local craft brands and what better way to do it than to buy something that I can tote around while knitting on the go!

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I got the medium yarn bag in midnight.  

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It snugly fits a cake of Lion Brand Mandala Yarn purchased from The Attic Yarn and Craftery

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While my knitting needles don’t exactly fit inside the bag, they sort of protrude outside the sling and this makes it easier for me to whip out my project for easy knitting in transit. 

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I roadtested it at my neighborhood cafe. I must say that using it while having coffee makes knitting a breeze. I just sling the bag on my wrist and stitch my day away. (Yes, I had lunch and dinner at the same cafe).  

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I would recommend this yarn bag because it is important that we support Philipppine-made craft tools! Also, it is convenient to use. The minimalist design matches well with any outfit. Overall, it’s a great product and I would certainly use it a lot.  

Farm Saturday

Yesterday, I visited the GK Enchanted Farm with fellow Human Nature Core Advocates for a tour and immersion. This was my sixth visit to the farm. My previous tours were as a social business camper and with friends. Now, I am back as a core advocate with my own Human Nature Online Shop.  

But first I needed to fuel up at McDonald’s.  

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We met up at the Human Nature Flagship Store.  

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We were also given some nibbles by a fellow core advocate.  

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Then, it was time for our journey!

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We reached the farm at around 9:30am, and we started the tour.  

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Our bubbly tour guide, Gelai, is a graduate of the SEED School. She speaks French, English, and Filipino!

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I had a wonderful day of touring the farm, it’s various social enterprises, and of course, enjoying the delicious bounty of the earth!  

It was time for our ride back to the city.  

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And before going home, I enjoyed an early dinner of toasted naked longganisa at Breakfast Bin. 

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I needed the farm tour to realign myself with my values and to appreciate life more. I am proud to see the farm grow, and to be in the company of kindhearted friends.

Here’s to more goodness and opportunities!

1995

Yesterday, I went to UP Cine Adarna to go back to 1995. I was nine years old during that time, so I indulged on a childhood treat: bicho-bicho right outside the film center.  

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Then, I watched Sana Maulit Muli starring Lea Salonga and Aga Mulach. 

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It was released in 1995. It was a nostalgic trip back to the 90’s. Plus, it was a treat to watch a young Lea Salonga onscreen. 

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I had a lovely time, and I proceeded to some self-care at a spa. 

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I had early dinner at Breakfast Bin, where I had the delicious veggie skillet. 

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For dessert, I had matcha and banana ice cream scoops from Papa Diddi’s. 

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By the time I got home, I was inspired to finish knitting this cowl using yarn I bought from Rosario, Pasig

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It was time to continue knitting, so I chose a ball of Mandala Yarn from The Attic Yarn and Craftery. I carried on from there. 

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Sometimes, we need a trip back in time to appreciate the present more. I look forward to enjoying more vintage films in the future to inspire me to cherish my time.  

Valentine’s Clutch

I’m single and happy on Valentine’s Day. While I’m looking for a partner, I’m also happy with myself. I think that’s the perfect foundation for a relationship, because I’m already fulfilled on my own. 

Having said that, I finished crocheting this clutch using cotton yarn from my favorite local notions store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery.  

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To celebrate, I got myself some ensaimada and iced coffee from my neighborhood cafe.  

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I also got a pixie trim and I feel fabulous! 

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Self-love is the best foundation for a relationship. I am fortunate to have found fulfillment with my own talents, such as crochet! I know that whoever will date me in the future will be a lucky man because I’m already comfortable in my own skin. 

Mentor and Manila

Yesterday, I dropped by UP to quickly print some documents for jobhunting.  

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Then, I met up with my college mentor Mitzie for some Thai noodle soup at Sen Lek. 

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We later had bubble coffee at Kape Tayo. It was good! 

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We then parted ways and I proceeded to Binondo for a meeting. But first, I passed by Escolta to admire the heritage buildings there.  

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I had an insightful meeting. I went home and received snail mail from The Pink Sisters Convent. 

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I also got my yarn orders from The Attic Yarn and Craftery.  

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And finally, I received a postcard from my good friend Nurai, who was on holiday at Cappadocia.  

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I am very lucky to have few but well-meaning friends. I even have sisters who constantly pray for me. And I have a mentor who still advises me to this day. Here’s to a wiser adulthood and better decisions ahead.  

Monday Prayer

Yesterday, I visited St. Clare Monastery to pray for a good job (and a kind boss) this 2019. I also gave thanks for all the blessings that come my way, despite my dad’s illness and the current challenges that my family is facing. 

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As I crocheted a new scarf, I realized that my priorities are on point. It’s just that I have to be more thankful in order to welcome more blessings into my life.  

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I will also continue sharing my journey on this blog as I go along. I hope that with intentional prayer and action, I will be able to reach my goals this 2019! 

Budget Happiness

Yesterday was all about being happy on a budget! Here are some of my money-saving ways to indulge on a weekend while helping others along the way. 

Please take note that this is not a sponsored post, and I spent my own money for everything.  

I took advantage of the last day of Elait’s opening promo at SM North Towers. I got myself a solo cup of their matcha oreo frozen yogurt for P100 (regular price is P140- still affordable!). It was delicious! And it matched my knitting project too. 

I will always be a fan of Elait’s frozen yogurt and advocacy, which is to employ deaf employees.  

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Since I’ve been eyeing Muji’s P500 stationery gift sets but don’t have the budget for one of those, I selected a blue green ballpen and a light gray highlighter from National Bookstore. I threw in a slim plastic pencil case, and voila! Instant Japanese-chic stationery set. 

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I was so happy with my savings, that I donated a book for National Bookstore’s Project Aral campaign. All books and school supplies will be donated to their partner public schools and libraries. 

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Next, I got this Careline peach stick, which is a product that retails for Php205. It can be used on the cheeks, eyelids, and lips. 

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It would be nice to have a healthy complexion this holiday season, so I picked up this affordable product to try.  

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And it didn’t disappoint! It truly gives off a natural peachy glow for such an attainable price point.  

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I was happy with my makeup purchase, so I moved on to salvaging an old lippie.  

I was terribly sad when my Sunnies Face Fluffmatte lipstick in Mood broke because it was such a flattering shade on me. Instead of purchasing a new tube, I bought a 3ml container from Beabi, scooped out the remaining content from the tube using a small spatula from my Human Nature makeup remover, reheated it in the microwave for 30 seconds, and let it cool until it hardened again. 

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I also got this retractable mini lip brush from Fashion 21 for Php85 to help me apply my lippie. 

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I also got this 5ml atomizer bottle from Beabi and transferred some baby cologne there. 

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And there you have it! These are just some of my budget tips and thrills. I will definitely share more saving hacks in the future, and I hope that this will also inspire me to conserve and properly use my resources.  

Bright Gray

I love the color gray, and I own a lot of clothes in that color palette. I finished knitting a gray scarf, and it was a process that took me from coffee to dessert

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I finished this scarf in less than a week as I used chunky yarn purchased from my favorite yarn store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery.  

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The result was this beautiful graphic scarf that wraps warmly around the neck.  

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Before going home, I managed to snag a pair of white sneakers from local brand So Fab! at 50% off during the 12.12 sale. I am thankful for the cash gift from a relative which I have used to buy these shoes.  

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I stictched the scarf together by the time I got home. 

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And I made it into an infinity scarf for easier wearing!

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Before going to bed, I started a new scarf using yarn from the same store

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Gray may be a drab color to some, but for me, its simple elegance makes it a versatile hue to work with. I am inspired to keep on knitting, as I enjoy life with coffee and things that matter. 

The Active Foodie

Yesterday was all about simple joys such as food, fitness, and crafts. 

I had Potdog crab egg with garlic rice and sweet garlic sauce for lunch. Definitely worth the calories as this is one of my favorite supermarket fast food finds! 

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After lunch, I walked to the newly-built SM North Towers to visit the newest Starbucks Reserve cafe. 

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I was stunned! It honestly didn’t look like I was still in Quezon City.  

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I had my coffee while knitting, and I was able to unwind.  

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Then, I was able to buy these handmade polymer clay earrings from local brand The Baby Blue Bunny at The Craft Central.  

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I ended my day with a sunset walk at UP and a simple dinner of cheese corn and Rodic’s tapsilog. 

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Who says that I’m too complicated? I like food, coffee, crafting, buying handmade, and while it’s not pictured today, going to church. I burn everything I eat through fitness. And I keep the world updated through my blog. 

Here’s to balancing my life with each spoonful and step that I take! 

St. Jude Fiesta 2018

Yesterday was the feast of St. Jude Thaddeus. I got to hear Sunday mass at the National Shrine of the celebrated patron. 

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I prayed for my immediate concerns, as well as my family and friends’ prayer requests. 

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Upon exiting the church, I chanced upon a vendor who sells crocheted tumbler slings. Her name is Ate Nagie, and she painstakingly crochets each sling by hand using nylon yarn. 

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I bought a sling for my Starbucks water bottle, and I got to exchange yarn and hook stories with Ate. I shared with her my knitting work in progress, and my crochet hook of choice, which is 4mm. Amazingly, she uses a 2.5mm hook for these slings!

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I chanced upon a cute doggo outside CEU as I was walking to the train. 

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Then, I went to the QCinema Film Festival screening of Billie and Emma. I’m straight, but I enjoyed the film!

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I had a lovely day practicing my faith, appreciating handmade, and watching a movie beyond my comfort zone. Here’s to more cool experiences to brighten up my life!