Posted in Coffee lover, Coffee Princess, Gifts, Gratitude, Health, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Love, Travel, Word of God

In the Pink

The earliest citations of ‘in the pink’ are from the 16th century and, at that time, the meaning was ‘the very pinnacle of something’, but not necessarily limited to health. 

I actually feel that I am on my way to the peak of my life.
Life gets better and better every single year.
I thank and praise God for all His marvelous deeds in my life!
I am excitedly and expectantly waiting for more of God’s best to come my way. 🙂

One of my fave me-time/pastime(s) is chilling and drinking coffee in a beautiful café (with a good book is best).

Around this time last Sunday, I enjoyed a new cup of latte for the first time. 

When I was browsing through the coffee selection, “pink latte” caught my attention. Before I ordered it, I asked the waiter why it’s called pink latte, as soon as I heard beetroot and almond milk, I knew it was something worth trying. And I was right. 🙂

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
Posted in Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, Travel, Travel Highlights

{Another} one for the books

I had the most wonderful time last week in a place I have never imagined to see and experience in my lifetime, to say the least.

This photo was taken the morning after our Tbilisi event has concluded. I’m so grateful that everything went well, every single experience was new to me, and there’s so much joy in meeting and spending time with a bunch of brilliant, beautiful and kindhearted individuals while discovering an equally wonderful new place where every meal is a feast, and enjoying a couple of privileges for the first time.

Rooms Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia

My work is one of God’s best blessings in my life and in my family. From it, wonderful and unimaginable blessings flow, both tangible and intangible. In the recent years, I prayed to God to let me experience to go on mission (business trip) atleast once in my ADB lifetime. Though I know it’s kind of impossible for my current position, but still I love asking God for impossible things because I know He’s a waymaker and nothing is impossible with and for Him.

Based on my friends’/colleagues’ experiences, going on mission is not something that you would wish to do every so often because it requires too much work before, during and after. But still I prayed to experience it atleast once. And it happened, I was in awe, and my ❣ is overflowing with so much gratitude for how the Lord orchestrated everything behind the scenes. You are an amazing God.

I had no expectations whatsoever, I know it’s work, so I just prayed for 2 things: everyone’s safety (all 19 general counsels, plus Nino (the very lovely, kind, helpful, young Georgian lawyer in photo below) and I were coming from different continents) and for the success of the event. But as always, God has surprised us with sooo much more (beauty, favor, kindness, joy, laughter, productivity, food, wine, etc).

To actually witness and experience what we’ve been preparing for since last year is one of the sweetest rewards, ever. Thank you and praise you, Jesus! 

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Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15


Posted in Family, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, note to self, Travel, Travel Highlights

Summer Special (Last Part)

When I travel, I usually pack my clothes on the day of departure because I didn’t want my clothes to crumple (too much). I think this is okay for short trips, but not for 2 or 3 week trip. I tried to do that for my 3-week Europe trip, and it was not good, it’s actually a bad move, I ended up bringing so much clothes which was a nightmare especially in Europe!! I lost weight (even after so much eating – too much pasta, pizza and gelato) from carrying my heavy large luggage while transferring from one city to another. We explored 6 cities in 4 countries within 3 weeks, I knew it was only by God’s grace that I was sustained with so much energy and strength, and I was definitely in good health, before, during and after the trip, thank and praise God for everything and for sending kind-hearted people who helped me carry my luggage when I needed it most! 🙂

So on the day of the trip, I packed the lightest clothes, mostly white tops, because Bangkok weather was ranging from 32-36 degrees that time. I actually dreaded the hot weather but I just tried to prepare for it, I brought a big good old fan, facial mist, wet ones, towels, sunscreen, my good old Starbucks tumbler (which I always fill up with water), and extra shirts. Below is the photo of all the things I packed for the trip. On the day of return to Manila, I only had 1 shorts, 1 skirt and 1 sleeveless top which I was not able to wear, so I was really happy for doing a good job in my packing this time. 🙂 By the way, I ended up not using the distressed jeans on the photo, I wore a lighter pair of jeans with floral stitches thrice during the whole trip! 😛

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Our 4th and last day was basically a travel/airport day, no more other agenda aside from checking out the nearby pool in our neighborhood which was less than a minute walk from our beautiful and big AirBnb, our happy home. We had hoped to atleast hang out by the pool and swim but we were so tired each night after a long day of travel so we didn’t have the time for some refreshing night swimming. Another thing that we ran out of time to do was to get some relaxing, must-needed Thai massage – definitely a must next time! 😉

So on our last morning in Bangkok, we tried to capture some more remembrance of our happy home and lovely neighborhood. 🙂

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group photo inside our lovely home on Day 1

I had managed to do an endorsement shoot in the morning for a newly discovered drink which became an instant favorite Thanks for the sister for being my photographer! 😛

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Before heading to the airport, we had our yummy breakfast at a “fancy” street food stall near our home 😛

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2570.JPGHere’s the authentic, freshest, yummiest chicken Thai soup I had for brekky, and it’s the cheapest too! 

Of course, I wouldn’t let this day pass without my milktea! I loaded up on milktea for 4 consecutive days!

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last milktea for this trip… until next time 🙂

Before going back to our happy home to get our things, we had one last stop at 7-eleven. I would have hoarded lots of drinks (especially the collagen one, soooo good!) if only I wasn’t afraid of them accidentally spilling on my things! Next time, I should have a separate, durable bag for drinks alone! I ended up bringing home only 3 pouches of the collagen drink which I finished all in one day… 😛

Now, we’re ready to go and spend a few hours at the airport before our flight to Manila. The flight of Nikky, my brother and my sister was 5 hours earlier than Tet’s and my flight. So Tet and I had some time to window-shop, chill at Starbucks and chat a lot! 🙂

By this time, you probably know that I collect Starbucks cards from the places I visit, and even from Philippines when I find the cards lovely and pretty. And my very thoughtful and generous friends give me Starbucks cards as pasalubong from their trips too. 🙂 I find that they are the lightest souvenir that I can take home from my trips and also I get to enjoy a cup or two because when you “buy” the card, the cost of the card is actually consumable. 🙂 The cards are free in some cities/countries too! Here are some recent additions to my collection, which are gifted by my sweet and supportive friends. 😉

So for this Bangkok trip, getting a Starbucks card was part of the agenda. There were lots of Starbucks in Bangkok but we didn’t manage to visit most of them due to lack of time. I checked out one Starbucks branch, I forgot where, but I didn’t like the available cards so I didn’t get any. I thought I would get another chance to check out other branches, which I did, there were 2 or 3 branches inside the airport, I was able to go to 2 of them.

Tet and I went to the first branch after we had lunch with Nikky, Carlo and Kris just before they checked in.

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Another thing I really enjoy is trying out new drinks and pastries in Starbucks. I know these are not available in the Philippines, so I ordered and loved the new cappuccino blend and the green tea and red bean mascarpone. I had to check my Merriam Webster app to check what mascarpone means. 😛

mas·car·po·ne

  (mäs′kär-pō′nĕ, -pōn′) 

n. fresh soft Italian cheese with a high butterfat content, made from light cream.

My sister requested me to buy her a set of Starbucks demitasse, her collection. Sorry, I didn’t have a photo of it, but it’s a set of 2 mini-mugs with Bangkok and Thailand inscription on each, a good souvenir too. The first branch had no Starbucks card. So while getting the demitasse for my sister, I got tempted to get a cutie mini-mug for myself. 

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I love the design and it’s very handy too. For souvenirs, I prefer something light and small. Btw, the demitasse is on the lower right corner of this photo, sorry, it’s blurred.

Maybe after more than an hour of chatting and chilling at Starbucks, Tet and I waited at the designated Terminal to check-in. After we got in, Tet and I walked a long mile to find the 2nd Starbucks only to find out that there were no cards too! 😩😭😫 So I tried to keep my cool hahaha and I was glad that I got a better remembrance from the 1st branch! 🙂 Thanks much Tet for supporting me in my crazy pursuit though all in vain! 😛 But seriously, thanks a lot for walking the long mile with me to find the Starbucks on the other end (of the world) from our boarding gate, and window-shopping with me! Really appreciate it. Kob kun kaa. 

Now that I am about to close this 4-part series of my Bangkok posts, I would really like to take this chance to thank these 4 amazing, beautiful, lovely, fun-loving, easy going, generous, thoughtful, godly bunch! If not for all of you, I wouldn’t have a very special summer trip this year. I thank and praise God for our wonderful, glorious, short but sweet summer vacation. I am truly blessed to have visited Thailand for the first time with my Christian family and friends – that’s another reason which made this trip truly special.  Where to next? 🙂

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“Every good and perfect gift is from Above…’ – James 1:17

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Posted in Family, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, note to self, Travel, Travel Highlights

Summer Special (Part 3)

P4280355Big. Enormous. Gigantic. Elaborate. Intricate. Beyond lavish.

These are just some descriptions I have for Grand Palace. It is very true to its name, grand is actually an understatement. I’ve traveled quite a bit and have seen quite a lot but it still blows my mind each time I see such elaborate, intricate, gigantic edifice of different forms, kinds, architecture and history. How in the world were they able to create those structures some hundred years ago (sans machines, technologies, electricity) with such accuracy, beauty, artistry and intricacy…

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On Day 3, we finally had the time to visit the Grand Palace. It’s a must see, never to be missed even on a hot day. But if ever I will go back with family or friends, I would prefer to go on a cooler weather. We were literally dripping with so much sweat because it was soooo hot, another underestimate. 😛 We were there between 9:00am – 10:30am. The whole place, though it was grandiose, it was still unimaginably and amazingly filled with tourists!!

I tried to take photos though I could hardly see through my camera lens because the sun was up and so bright even with my sunnies on.
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Of course, the 🌞 didn’t stop us from taking group photos and videos and having some good laughs and blogger poses in between. 😛😂

As soon as we got out of the Palace, we beat the heat by rewarding ourselves with some ice cream. 😍

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été is a French equivalent of ‘summer,’ it’s pronounced ‘ay-tay’

Since Day 3 was our last full day in Bangkok, it was also our last chance to do some shopping.

We requested our driver to bring us to Platinum Fashion Mall, where we first had lunch at the foodcourt, I had the yummiest Thai soup (forgot how it was called), but I was too hungry to even take a photo of it 😛 (sorry!) and then shopped. Since we had limited time, I bought first my friends’ requests and some souvenirs for family and friends.

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I got these keychains (and some cute elephant printed pouches) for pasalubong because I love that they are hand-made in Thailand (not in PRC). 😛

When my friends go to Thailand, I only have one request – Durian Chips. I would have hoarded these chips but they are expensive! The one in round container is almost P500 ($10)!!

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Aside from the Jim Thompson scarf, this lovely elphie wallet and a keychain were my remembrance from this wonderful trip. Really love these cuties. 🙂

When my friends learned that I would be going to Bangkok, they all had the same word for me – shopping in Bangkok is cheap. So I kept it in my mind and heart 😛 and managed to keep myself from buying anything from the time the flight was booked  until our trip to Bangkok – big milestone for someone who never failed to buy something new to wear for a trip (you know OOTD is life in IG). 😛 Each time I got tempted to buy a top, or a pair of pants, or bag, or even accessories, I would instinctively tell myself “that’s probably cheaper in Bangkok” and then I would walk away as fast as I could. 🤪

So the day of shopping finally came, but by this time, I’ve ran out of my pocket money, my ATM didn’t work, so I borrowed a few bucks from my brother & sister!! Lifesavers! 😛 So I depended on little cash and my creditcard but unfortunately, most shops don’t accept creditcard payment and some have 3% bank charge! But I still tried to go through each floor and looked for something to buy for momsy, my preggy sister and/or me. I managed to buy a dress and skorts (skirt/shorts) for momsy and nothing for me!! Amazing, such a breakthrough! 🤣😂😜

So I had some affirmations about myself through this experience:

✅ I’ve experienced this a few times – I would go home empty handed from mall wide sales.  It came to a point when mall wide sales don’t entice me anymore. I don’t and can’t force myself into buying something just because it’s on sale.

✅ No fitting policy won’t work for me. I want to try something on and see if it looks good on me before I consider buying it.

✅ Too many options, limited time and crowded malls have negative effect on my appetite to shop – which is actually friendly on my pocket. 😜

✅ I would rather spend my money on food than things – I love to bring home some local goodies for my family and friends for them to try and taste. So I bought some locally produced coffee, milk tea, noodles, and snacks from Big C, a big grocery store near Platinum Fashion Mall.

Thanks to Eia for introducing me to this coffee brand (Khao Shong), I love it! 🙂

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So that’s all folks for Day 3! We definitely had a grand and lovely time! On this day, my brother, sister and I wore our matching shirts! I got one for momsy, daddy and Matty too! 🙂

Posted in Baking, Books, Coffee Princess, Family, Gifts, Goals, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, Love, Reading, Starbucks, Things to do, Word of God

So far, so good…

Hello everyone! How are you??

Hope you are all doing great!! 

We’re on the 63rd day of 2018, 2 months passed by so quickly, right?

My first two months were great! Thank and praise God for all that He has done and for all the blessings He has poured upon my family and all my loved ones and friends.

The biggest blessing/answered prayer so far is my little sister’s pregnancy. 🙂 Our family is soooo happy and grateful for this blessing, such a great way to start the year!! She’s on her 3rd month and we are so looking forward to the new addition to our growing family.

We are also counting the days to our first out of the country trip for the year, it will be my first time to travel with my sister and brother-in-law to Bangkok. It’s my sister’s first out of the country trip so we are all very excited. 🙂

With regards to my #Goals for 2018, I think I am doing okay, I have 10 more months to fulfill most of it. 🙂

Read and study the Old Testament. – I’m on Genesis 16. I am slow but it is okay. Reading and studying the Word of God is not a contest, it’s about consistency, commitment, and building a personal relationship with the Author. 🙂

Finish one-to-one discipleship with muy bella, Mel. Then participate at the Victory weekend and be water-baptized as a Christian. – I hope to be water-baptized this year, I am not rushing this, I will happily and peacefully follow God’s timeline.

Join VictoryFort’s feeding program regularly. – I will join VictoryFort’s activities after my baptism. 🙂

Buy an oven and learn how to bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes. – My target for this is next quarter. I hope to buy an oven by April and start baking thereafter. 🙂

Save up Pxxx,xxx by end of the year. – I think this is attainable. 🙂

Read atleast one book per month. – I’ve finished reading these 3 books but I started reading them in late 2017.

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I hope to finish these 2 by this month, March.

I bought 4 new books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair, here they are:

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I hope to read all these books this year, in addition to the original pile below…

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Learn French using the Duolingo app. – This one I am not consistent. I should start again very soon!!

For the first two months of the year, I had a couple of disappointments which caused me momentary heartbreak but it’s all okay now. I think I was able to manage my emotion well, and hold my peace thus no relationship was compromised. I have forgiven and learned to let it go. I know it is never right to judge anyone, but because of what happened, I had a better understanding and appreciation of why God has commanded us not to judge our brethren.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2

I have been judged, and it hurt so much. People, even family or friends, will not always understand why we do what we do, so it is best to not judge. Each has his/her own reasons for doing things, in most cases, only God is our witness and He’s the only one who understands, accepts, forgives and loves us, no matter what.

Anyway, I am so grateful that God is always ready to listen to us, to hear our prayers, our cries, and He is with us to comfort, to give us peace and the assurance that everything will be okay because He is our Father, He is in control and He has the best plans for each of us.

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Anyway, on a lighter note, I am very happy with my increasing commitment to working out/exercise. When I say “workout/exercise,” it means joining Thursday Bootcamp, planking and abs workout at home (checkout JessicaSmithtv), playing squash and doing treadmill at the company gym. I’ve recently discovered what will entertain me while I run, that is watching YouTube videos, I am specifically hooked with Erwan Heusaff’s videos, because it’s 99% travel and food! 🙂

On weekends, I try to jog/walk with my momsy, and then we would have coffee  (and French toast and baked sweet potato, oooopppssss!!!) afterwards if the time permits it. I think I am officially a coffee princess, in other words – coffee addict, which is not actually bad, for as long as I am not drinking too much. 🙂

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I super love our mom-daughter bonding on weekends thru jogging/walking and drinking/eating. 😛

We are only done with the first two months of the year, but I have been blessed with so much already. So many favors and blessings from God through my loving family, well-meaning friends and colleagues at work, good health and strength, travels to look forward to, a happy, healthy, godly baby for our family in a few months.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

The future is bright, it is so promising and filled with God-ordained circumstances. I am very hopeful and expectant of all things good, lovely and beautiful because my hope rests in the Lord.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord
    even as we put our hope in you. – Psalms 33:20-22

Posted in Bucketlist, Family, Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, note to self, Reading, Womanhood, Word of God

Happy, healthy, hopeful…

…blessed, lovely, and peaceful 2018 to all! 😀

Hello everyone! 😉

How’s your new year going? All good? I hope. 🙂

As I write this, 2 January, 2018, it’s all good. I had a good start, thank and praise God! 🙂

I was able to do some reflection, bible reading, I wrote my faith declaration for the year, prayer requests for family and friends, some goals which I offer and surrender all to God, the hope of glory. 🙂

On the last day of 2017, I attended the church service at VictoryFort. Before I attended it, I prayed to God to speak to me and guide me through the pastor’s message. Pastor Joey’s central message is about HOPE. You may listen to his message thru this link. I love the message and it was exactly what I needed from the Lord. I’m grateful to be reminded how great, how loving, how powerful, how generous, how mighty our Father God is, His unchangeable character and time-tested word [are] enough for us to depend on Him and hope in Him, it’s enough to be comforted and to have peace as we go about our days in 2018 and all the glorious days of our lives. Sharing with you some of the bible verses which Pastor Joey shared to remind us how important it is to focus and keep our hope in the Lord because HE is our Father, our Savior, our Provider, our Healer, Comforter, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, our Alpha and Omega, He knows the beginning and the end of our lives so trusting Him and hoping in Him is the best thing that we can do to live a victorious life today and everyday. 🙂 

Hebrews 6:17-19 ESV

17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Colossians 1:27 ESV

27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

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In the same way that the message of hope has given me all the comfort, peace, encouragement and excitement to face the coming year with a joyful, grateful and expectant heart for everything that the Lord has planned to bless my family, friends and me for the year, I hope you have been filled with the same strong hope from God’s unchangeable character and time-tested word. 

Cheers to a blessed, happy, healthy, hopeful, lovely, and peaceful 2018! 🙂 

God’s best always! 

Posted in Christmas, Gift-wrapping, Gifts, Inspiration

All about Pine Cones

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photo grabbed from Pinterest

I love wrapping gifts, and I love beautifully wrapped gifts. The photo above is my idea of a perfect gift wrapping this year. I love everything about it. 🙂 It’s simple, it’s classy, it’s so elegantly presented.

This year, when I was out to buy Christmas wrappers, I had no idea what to look for. Usually, I’m on the look-out for the perfect brown paper, or plain red, or plain gold wrappers but I wasn’t lucky to enough to find “the one.” Below are some of the beautiful inspirations I found on instagram. I used to like the traditional red-green-gold/brown Christmas combo colours, but now, I am open to try the not-so-usual holiday palette. Yearly, I look forward to seeing Peony Lim’s Christmas preparations, she’s my ultimate inspiration in many things, including her unique and very pretty wrapping ideas. 🙂

This year, I ended up buying this simple wrapper (photo below) — it’s all pine cones against a background of green hues. I don’t like some bold, “hey! it’s Christmas time” kind of print. Next year, I’ll think of something different and try my best to execute it. 🙂 I hope I’ll have enough budget to buy some accessories along with the wrapper/s. I might also decide to use different wrappers next year, and not limit myself into using the same print for all my gifts. 😉

I have some thoughts about Christmas gift-giving but I’ll share it some other time. For now, I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas time with all of your loved ones. May the true spirit of Christmas fill your hearts and your homes, every single day of the year. 🙂

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