While we are on the subject of change, I will be sharing with you some changes in me, very light and happy ones, so don’t worry. 🙂
I used to be an avid tea-drinker, well, I still drink tea but very seldom. I only drink it when I feel like I “need” it. Need means I need to detox, I don’t feel good and it seems that drinking tea will make me feel better because of its health benefits. I have lots of tea on my cupboard, all gifted by my generous and thoughtful friends. For some odd reasons, I became more of a coffee-drinker overtime… I guess it’s always true when they say that when you keep on doing something, in this case, drinking coffee, it will eventually become a habit, and your system just longs for it, sometimes you don’t realize that it has already become a part of you.
Here are some cups of coffee which I had in the past couple of months. Aside from the taste and aroma, I think I am drawn to its beauty. The latte art, whether simple or intricate, will always get me. My love for all things beautiful will always make me prefer coffee over tea. But don’t get me wrong, I know tea drinking and ceremony (is) another level of beauty and even history. And milk tea is a different matter altogether, I love milk tea with pearls, period. I am just saying, at this stage of my life, late 30s, I have discovered my love for caffeine and I am happy with the journey.
On normal days, days when I am drinking coffee alone, I drink different “instant” coffee which I discovered one way or another. I am trying to find that one instant coffee that will become my “go-to” for comfort and that morning caffeine fix. So far, I’ve tried the following: Nescafe Gold (Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Cafe Au Lait), Khao Shong from Thailand (Caramel Macchiato and Cappuccino) and Kaffea, a local brand and it’s organic, I love organic and supporting local brands. I’ve enjoyed them all though I am still looking for some more or “the one”. 😉
This is a little change in me lately and I am happy to embrace it. Drinking coffee is very special to me because most of the time, it means being with family and friends, catching up, having fun, making memories, enjoying a cozy ambiance, and just being together.♥
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.
I bought 4 new books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair, here they are:
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.2 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.
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. 🙂
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
Yes, a short vacation is always sweet when you are with your lovely family and/or friends. 🙂
It’s the first day of November (hello, beautiful November!) as of this writing, it’s a holiday so I had time to write and hopefully wrap up my posts about our Busan trip. 😉 Let me share with you a few more things which made this trip sweet’er’. 😉
On the first two days of our trip as well as the third and last day, I had the chance to go to Starbucks (SB) with my friends. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll remember that I shared in my post here that I collect SB cards, so it is a must that I visit SB whenever and wherever possible. Thanks to my supportive friends I get to do it with so much joy! 😀
During this trip, I was able to get 4 new SB cards from different SB branches around Busan and I super love them all, very pretty designs and very meaningful as well. 🙂
I also have a small collection of SB demitasses. So it was so tempting to buy this pretty set (photo below) but I restrained myself… Having set a working budget is really a good idea. It actually kept me from buying everything that I liked. Good job, Ryah! ;P
I not only tried new hot drinks but also excitedly tried some of these SB healthy drinks. I should have discovered this early on, I would likely try all variants, if I remember it right, there were almost 10 different variants. I bought these 3 on the 3rd day and had to drink within a couple of hours because I couldn’t hand-carry it and also didn’t risk checking them in. I tried the kale & apple drink first while at SB, while the last 2, I finished them just before I placed my hand-carry bag on the conveyor at the airport! hahaha They’re all so yummy! I should have hoarded!! Next time, I should remember to not only look for SB cards, but to try new drinks from Day 1 of the trip.
Remember the Swedish word and proverb I shared with you a couple of weeks back on this post?
Lagom which literally means not too little, not too much.
On day 1, I saw these products, it caught my attention because of the brand name (and the minimalist packaging, very true to its name)! 😉 And I just couldn’t resist, I had to purchase a small cleanser tube and small toner bottle so I could try them, I got some freebies too. 🙂
Gill’s fly out from Busan was earlier compared to my flight and Eia’s. So Gill left for the airport at around 12nn if I remembered it right. Eia and I had initially planned to watch one more movie in the afternoon of Day 3 but Eia had to work on some urgent matters, good thing we decided not to purchase another movie ticket the day we bought the first movie ticket. Eia and I went to Starbucks at around 1:30pm, it’s walking distance to the airport bus stop and also to Haeundae Beach. At 3pm, I left Eia alone at SB so she could focus on her work and I could explore the area a bit more. I really wanted to spend some time at the beach so I crossed and went to the beach area. Oh, how I love the beach, the cool breeze, the sound of the waves, I love everything about those little sweet moments to be one with nature. ♥♥♥
Photos with the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics’ mascot. 🙂
Victorious or not-so?
Remember the travel challenge I took upon myself for this trip? Well, the challenges are to stay within the budget (a total of Php30,000 or around USD580) and to travel light.
On the day of our return to Manila, I only had to use one additional foldable overnight bag, so in terms of travelling light – I am victorious, yey!!! 😀
For the other challenge, the target was to only spend a total of Php30,000. After doing my accounting, I spent a total of Php35,198.90. I exceeded Php5k plus, but Php5,483.25 was spent on pasalubong (small treats for family and friends). The excess was a sweet one because it’s for my loved ones. 😉 So I think, I am also victorious on this challenge, you agree, right? 😉
In this short trip, more sweet memories were created amongst the three of us. Gillian and Eia are my friends for more than a decade already, our friendship is becoming sweeter and sweeter as time goes by. I love these ladies so much, truly grateful for them. I hope and pray to create more happy memories with them, here and just anywhere around the globe. 🙂
As promised, I’m back to share more of our recent Busan adventures.
On our second day, 15 October, it was a Sunday, Eia proposed to go on a tour via hop on hop off. We boarded the bus at around 10:40am, we didn’t get off to most of the stops because it was raining, so we just enjoyed the view from the bus.
The bus had a 15-minute stop at the Fisheries Science Museum. We just stayed inside the bus and didn’t go inside the museum, but I got a bit bored after awhile so I stepped out a bit and took some photos and videos.
The first and only stop that we all decided to hop off was in front of an outlet mall. ;P
Since it was cold, I looked for something hot to drink, I loved the berry berry tea. I love everything with berries, oh, how I miss Europe, it’s the only place I was able to eat lots of berries because it was cheap!
Gill and Eia had some things to buy for their family/friends from some shops at the mall. Me, I bought some facial masks at the Lotte Supermarket, and some goodies too for family and friends. I bought a few packs of this Cafe Latte & Pepero Biscuit because I like anything that’s coffee-flavoured and the packaging is just too pretty!! I thought of giving them as Christmas gifts but I ended up giving them away as pasalubong. I left 1 box for me so I can try it, I loved it! I’ll hoard it next time. #notetoself ;P
I joined Gill while she was looking around. I went inside Coach with her, and I actually liked a wallet (forgot to take a photo), a pair of ballerines and sunglasses. Of course, I still found them pricey despite the big discount. ;P So as I advised in one of my posts, taking of a photo of it might do the trick, it did for me that time. 🙂 And I happily move away from them (as fast as I could). ;P
Gill and I met up with Eia in front of the mall after an hour and a half of malling. Our plan in the afternoon was to go to Nampo-dong, it’s a central commercial and shopping area, so more temptations to shop were waiting ahead of us! 🙂
The waiting was taking quite awhile, so I took it as an opportunity to photoshoot. 😉 Thanks to my lovelies who support me, as always. Hahaha
When we arrived at Nampo-dong, it was past lunchtime, so we looked for a place to eat, one of my agenda on this trip was to try jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce), I always see it in Korean series so I got curious… Eia brought Gill and I to a resto where jajangmyeon is served. Well, it was okay, I liked it with the yellow radish, I actually liked the yellow radish so much, we ate a lot, unli-side dish. 🙂 Next year, Godwilling, eating jajangmyeon will still be a part of the agenda. 🙂 I want to try eating unli-fried chicken, too. 🙂
Another agenda is to buy sunscreen, serum, lipgloss and bb/cc cream at Skinfood, my favorite Korean skincare/makeup brand. Since I am working on a budget, the challenge was to stick to it. Before going on this trip, I made an inventory of what I have at home so I would not be easily tempted to buy things which I don’t need. I said on my previous post that “Inventory is the Key.” Well, I guess, aside from inventory, the most important factors, when you are trying to work on a budget because you want to save up and focus on the more important things, are discipline and self-control. These two go hand-in-hand and sometimes are being used interchangeably. Either way, we need both to be able to overcome temptations, including the urge to spend too much on stuff we don’t need.
Self-control – restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires
So I actually was able to buy what I intended to:
BUT I also bought a few more stuff…
The saleslady at Skinfood told me that a serum works best with these two products, Essence and Cream. I thought about it many times, but I finally gave in because of the discount when I buy the package and she promised me with lots of freebies. ;P I also bought a nail polish in my current fave color, an acetone and a pretty set of nailcare.
Here are some of the freebies I got from Skinfood which I kept for myself. The other freebies which are not in the photo, I will give them to my aunt in the province, she likes those small stuff.
After buying the Skinfood products, we went to a very lovely cafe. I didn’t buy anything there, I just wanted to rest while Eia and Gill were across the street, looking for sports shoes for their brothers.
After awhile, I followed them to the sports store, and these two beauties called me. 🙂 I am not the sporty type, I only buy rubber shoes for running/traveling, since my current Merrell rubber shoes, the one I’m wearing on the photo are still in good shape, I restrained myself from buying a new pair. 🙂
We had a long day at Nampo-dong, on our way to the train station, Gillian showed me this, so we had to stop and Eia took these photos… Haayyy.. Nice seeing you, Oppa! ♥
We wrapped up the day with a super yummy dinner at a nearby Korean resto, it was past midnight already, my meal was a steaming hot beef soup, it was so yummy, and equally enjoyed the yummy unli-side dishes and fish paste.
We enjoyed our last night together. So chilly and breezy, and so lovely as well. ♥♥♥ #gratefulbeyondwords
On my next post, I will share with you how I fared againts the Travel Challenge I imposed upon myself. So stay tuned! 😉
Back from a very special lovely quick getaway from my lovelies, Eia & Gill, for almost 2 weeks now, but still feeling so happy just thinking about it and browsing through the photos and videos. 😀
This trip is very special because it’s my first time to Busan as well as Gillian’s, while it’s Eia’s 99th time, just kidding! ;P This trip is one of those spur of the moments’ thing. I shared how it happened in my post here. It’s special because it’s the shortest out of the country I’ve experienced so far, we basically just wanted to experience the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), had hoped to see some of our actor-crushes, half-wishing Gong Yoo, So Ji Sub, So Joong Ki, amongst others, would pop before our expectant eyes & ♥♥♥. 🙂 We also just wanted to eat Korean food (street food included!), watch movies, relax by the beach, and shop, a little. 🙂
Before the trip, I thought of using this hashtag #TRIPnotTrainToBusan, but ended up using a more fitting one…
#kdRamaloveliesGoEstoBusan = R, G and E = our initials are capitalized ♥♥♥
We arrived in Busan late night of 13 October, on our way to our accommodation, we were already hungry and feeling cold, so eating some hot and spicy Korean street food was the best thing to do, we ate one of my faves, Tteokbokki (rice & fish cake). Because I’m too happy and hungry at the same time, I only took a video of us (via IG stories) eating while standing with our luggage, but failed to save it. 😦 So here’s a photo from google…
The next morning, Saturday, the first order of the day was to eat brekky at Bread & Cake. When I went inside the patisserie/boulangerie, it felt like I was back in Paris, lots of very pretty breads and pastries. I ordered a croissant, a cheesecake with fig on top, cappuccino, and took home some madeleines too. 🙂 All were very yummy!!! 😀 I loved the cool weather so much, the fresh air, and the experience of having coffee (and pastries) alfresco with my lovelies. ♥ #justpriceless #gratefulbeyondwords
After brekky, we went to buy our movie tickets to watch one of the BIFF entries. We’re lucky that there was no queue and one of the movies we hoped to watch entitled “Old Love” still had available tickets.
I had hoped to be able to watch atleast 2 or 3 movies but our limited time didn’t allow it. It’s okay, we’ll make up next year, Godwilling. 🙂 While we were waiting for the 2pm showing, we went malling and tried to look for some beauty products which our friends requested from us to buy.
After watching the movie, we headed to Haeundae Beach for a Meet & Greet session, there were many Meet & Greet sessions but we only decided to witness one given our limited time. We saw some actors upclose, but unfortunately, Gillian and I haven’t watched any of their movies or series, but it was still a unique & fun experience to actually go to the Beach where BIFF events are held each year. 🙂
We tried to have a decent group photo and requested a friendly looking lady to take our photos but an uninvited gentleman decided to join us. Oh well! 😀
Our trip wouldn’t be complete without the “Grilled Pork Belly BBQ (samgyeupsal) with lots of side dishes” experience. Korean food is sooooo yummy and comforting… haaaayyyy 🙂 I’m feeling hungry again. ;P
And these are some of the food that I’ve had during the trip and I’m actually missing them so badly… Pls take me back to Korea, now na! 🙂
Before I dream of these yummies, I better sleep now, I’ll share more of our Busan adventures tomorrow. 😉 Promise!
Goodnight, friends! Kamsahamnida (thank you) for reading my post. 🙂
PS. I hope I will be able to share some videos from our trip but my current subscription plan for this site won’t allow it. I’m still thinking if I should upgrade my plan… For now, let’s just enjoy the photos. 😉
I only collect Starbucks cards. As much as I want to collect bags and shoes, I just couldn’t afford it. ;P
It started a few years back, my Starbucks card collection is divided into two sets, the ones that I personally buy from my travels and from the Philippines when I like the design, and the second set is from my friends who give the cards as their pasalubong from their trips. 🙂
This Osaka card is from my friend Leslie. She recently went to Japan and gave this as her pasalubong to me. She’s a very supportive friend in my endeavor to collect ;P, in her every trip, she makes it a point to get me a Starbucks card. 🙂 She also got me one from Nagoya, Seoul, Melbourne, California, and New York.
This one is the newest addition to my collection which I got from my recent Boracay trip with family. This design is not new, I have given this Starbucks card to a dear friend in September 2015 but I didn’t get one for myself that time. And then when I already wanted to get one for my collection, I saw this design in Starbucks Greenbelt, SM Aura and even in ADB, but for some reason, the machine was always offline so I couldn’t buy it.
Who would have thought that I would still be able to get this card for my collection after more than a year of missing it out. And it has become even more meaningful because gratitude is exactly what I feel for being able to go to back to Boracay with my family and have a really wonderful time. 🙂
I’ll blog about our Boracay vacation next time.
By the way, I recently found about this Starbucks card which slipped off my radar… It was released in December 2016. Haaayyyy I super like it! Sayang!!!