Zapateria 2019

Yesterday, I joined a bag-making workshop at Zapateria Marikina. I was mentored by Mariel Manalansan, a KL-based Filipino leather craftsman and teacher.

I enjoyed the workshop, and I was able to make my own shoulder bag! I met new friends, got to eat delicious tapsilog at Tapsi Ni Vivian, and support my grade school classmate Unyx’s creative co-working hub. It was a privilege to make something by hand and explore the shoemaking capital of the Philippines.

My creative journey has only just begun!

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Homespun Scarf

I just finished knitting this scarf using The Attic Yarn and Craftery’s Lion Brand homespun yarn. It has a slightly faux fur feel to it, which I love. It can also provide substantial warmth and style to any outfit. 

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This project has helped me remain cool during this week’s challenges: job interviews, meetings, appointments. I was able to do some adulting while knitting this scarf! 

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I know that I can achieve many things while applying my skills in knit and crochet.  

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. 

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! 

Assam Milk Tea Vibes

Last Sunday, I started my day with some handmade accessories: my ceramic earrings from Maria Ceramika and my stainless steel and crystal necklace from Made by KCA.  

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I was happy to spot some pretty tiles while ordering milk tea.

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I was feeling festive, so I got myself some Assam Milk Tea with Pudding and Pannacotta. This drink simply reminds me of good vibes and simpler times. 

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Then, I got myself a bracelet spelled g-r-i-t from Bedazzled Accessories at The Craft Central. It should remind me to keep going during tough times because I’m resilient and resourceful. 

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It was day two of the Destash Bash at The Craft Central Cafe! My favorite yarn store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery had a booth there, where they sold affordable yarns and makes.   

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I got myself this lovely cup cozy crocheted with love by Ceryl, one of the women behind this brand. I am thankful to have found this brand, and I look forward to more years of friendship with them.  

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I also returned to Made by KCA’s booth at the bazaar outside Vertis North. I got myself a moonstone ring inspired by my undying love for Bella Swan of the Twilight books. 

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I will forever support handmade because it inspires me to be a better person! I may not have much, but because I have grit and a good eye for local treasures, I know that I will survive anything that life throws at me. 

And at the end of the day, there’s always milk tea.  

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.  

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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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. 

Stuffed Dreams

I stayed home yesterday to spend time with family. While doing so, I also crocheted using red yarn from The Attic Yarn and Craftery. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I felt inspired to create using yarn that’s on-theme. 

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I like surrounding myself with stuffed animals which were created by women in communities that provide them with better opportunities. My knitted dog Ella was named after my favorite dog from Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. She was knitted by a mama who also plants rice at the Ifugao province. I have traveled to the Banaue Rice Terraces last year because I was so inspired by the story of Knitting Expedition, the company that creates these knitted toys. This has since sparked my own crafting journey, and to this day, I still knit and crochet. I will forever treasure this trip. 

My crocheted unicorn is from Mayown, which is a brand that sells amigurumi dolls crocheted by underprivileged women in Manila. These dolls are designed by Leen Van Dyck, a Belgian expat who works as a teacher in an international school and also trains women to crochet so that they could provide for their families. I have joined her workshop last year, and it has also inspired me to create more! 

Lastly, my Tubbs cat doll is handmade by Pop Junk Love, a local brand that sells hand sewn dolls at indie store Commonroom. I admire the women behind this brand, whose growth I have witnessed ever since their bazaar days. I will always treasure this doll to remind me that it is possible to grow once passion is combined with hard work. 

I surround myself with these dolls to push me to continue creating and dreaming. Whenever times are challenging, it can be difficult to dream, but these dolls remind me that it is a must to continue aspiring for better days ahead. I’m sure that things will drastically improve in the coming days and weeks. All I have to do is dream, and carry on!

Infinite Fan

Yesterday, I finished crocheting this möbius shawl using chunky yarns from my favorite yarn store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery. I am excited to use this in my future job, and also during possible travels! It’s warm and cozy. 

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All that crocheting made me hungry, so I ordered the Chicken Chizu Curry from Tori Chizu. 

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It was a delicious baked rice meal which combined cheese and curry! I’ll definitely order from this place again. 

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Then, it was time for me to book a ride to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. 

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The church is notorious for road closures during fiesta, so I opted to book a ride for a worry-free journey. 

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Before the fiesta procession, I fueled up first with some food. 

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I bought myself a Jolly hotdog and a choco float from Jollibee. Still so good!

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I also prayed for my intentions, such as my dream to land a job very soon, and healing for my dad. 

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Before I knew it, it was time for the procession!

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It was a spectacular procession, just like the one last year. I am a Lourdes devotee because of the miracles I have received from Our Lady. I continue to pray for good health for myself so that I can still be a blessing to others. I also prayed hard for a job that will enable me to support myself and my family. 

Life is still a beautiful journey, and my faith keeps me going. For now, I will continue crafting, eating yummy food, and praying for more blessings! 

Rosario Yarn Adventure

Last Saturday, I went to Lacion General Merchandise right beside Rosario bridge in Pasig. You won’t miss it- it’s located on the corner unit of a pink complex. There are sacks and bags filled with yarns! 

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I freaked out and wanted to buy so many yarns. But I resolved to only buy one kilo. This store is famous among local knitters and crocheters. Just search “Rosario Pasig Yarns” and you will know what I mean. 

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The store spins their own yarn imported from Taiwan. You may mix variegated and solid colors, and each kilo retails for Php390. 

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They also sell machine-spun shawls made of the same yarns. 

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After searching through their bags and chatting with the owners, Kuya Miner and Ate Gladys, I finally selected five balls to consist one kilo.  

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They recommend a size 4-5mm hook for their yarn. I am currently knitting using one of my purchases with a pair of 4.5mm needles, and the weave is so soft. 

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I highly recommend this shop! It’s definitely worth visiting and the yarns are worth the commute. The owners are also kind and honest. Drop by soon! 

Gotta Stitch

Yesterday, I spent the whole day caring for my sick father in the hospital. I brought my crochet project with me, and started to stitch with this lovely yarn in 2019’s Color of the Year, Living Coral.  

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I ended up finishing the cowl before bedtime. I am quite pleased with this scarf because it features the shell stitch, which is a dream to crochet during stressful times.  

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I love crocheting scarves because it keeps my hands and mind focused even if I am in a precarious setting such as the hospital. It is my wish that you will also find a hobby that will enrich your life and keep you going during the worst times. I found joy in crochet (and knitting!), and this is just the beginning of my maker life this 2019. 

Working It

Yesterday, I had an early start as I had a meeting to attend. I had a fast food breakfast and some coffee to-go. 

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I realized that I was at the namesake building of my venue a few minutes before my appointment. Good thing I walk fast.  

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I was able to make it at a reasonable time. My meeting was a success! 

I thanked God by visiting Padre Pio at St. Francis Church.  

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Later during the day, I got to walk at UP... 

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...and indulge in some dirty ice cream! 

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I also bought a bamboo toothbrush from Rags to Riches. 

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Finally, it was time for late lunch with my best friend Luti.  

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I used my gift certificate from Sunnies Santa . I won a pair of Sunnies Specs from them last Christmas. It was certainly the highlight of my holidays! As a bonus, my gift bag also included a gift certificate at my favorite restaurant. 

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I got to knit while waiting for my friend. 

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I also had a flat white to perk myself up. 

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And I ordered a guacamole and salmon dip with taro chips to start. 

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Luti and I had rice bowls for our mains. We had a fabulous meal! Thank you Sunnies Cafe! 

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I am working on improving myself and celebrating small wins to motivate myself to keep going! Here’s to a productive year ahead. 

Pink Christmas

I recently ordered a millennial pink unicorn from social enterprise Mayown. I recently took an advance crochet workshop with its founder, Leen, so it was perfect to gift myself with their product this Christmas. 

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This little buddy will keep me company this Christmas, and beyond. I’ve decided to name him Stitch!

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Leen was so sweet and she even included an octopus bag charm. 

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Stitch surely looks good with Ella the knitted dog and Chubbs the cat!

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Yesterday was special as I claimed my new pair is Sunnies Specs from @dearsunniessanta

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I selected the Dakota in Pale Nude. My new specs are lightweight and stylish. 

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I ended my day by cuddling with Ella from Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe and placing my glasses on various sleeping dogs. 

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Times may be challenging for me and my family, but with the will to wish and the drive to celebrate small (and big) wins, I know that I will have a memorable holiday season!