Merry Christmas

There is so much buzz and cooking happening around me right now as Christmas Eve nears. In fact I'm in the middle of making photo booth props for our family reunion tomorrow but I can't let this day go by without greeting all my lovely readers a wonderful and Merry Christmas. This blog has been a wonderful part of my life and It holds a special place in my heart as much as you guys do. Thank you for making all this worthwhile. But before I get up and take a taste test of the dishes I smell simmering in the kitchen, allow me to share a short and heartwarming story that was shared by one of my teachers in elementary. After all, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and we have to greet him a happy birthday too! Let us not forget that. Now, here goes the tale...

Easy and Festive Christmas Rice Krispies

Easy and Festive Christmas Rice Krispies
It's the festive holiday season once again and giving presents has been a tradition for most of us. I for one believe that handmade gifts are very thoughtful.There's something about a DIY present that makes it so special no matter how simple the item initially is which is why I gladly helped my sister out in preparing these easy and festive Christmas rice krispies for her friends!

Falling and Flying {Thoughtful Thursday #12}

What if I fall? Oh but my darling what if you fly?
Sometimes you’re not sure what you want in life or where you’re headed to go. It can drive you nuts because for many of us uncertainty is scary. It scares me too. You never know what’s out there but then again your heart longs for something that’s invisible to the naked eye. You aspire more. You begin to dream. You chase happiness. You get ready to fly. However, we can’t help but ask: What if I fall? What if I can’t make it? What if I don’t end up happy after all? 

Spotlight: Mawee the Artistique Illustrator

Mawee Borromeo: The Artistique Illustrator
Can you picture a world without creative minds? I can't because for me artistic ingenuity and imagination are a necessity. Think about them as the twinkling stars or the northern lights against our endless sky. They inspire and they evoke emotion at a certain level. My love for everything artsy-craftsy and literary has led me to discover people who does exactly that and I came to realize that it would be such a waste to keep them to myself and to my computer screen. This is why I decided to showcase my favorite artists, writers, bloggers, photographers and creators and introduce them to my readers through a post series I'd like to call Spotlight. So for my very first entry, let's focus the limelight on the artistique graphic designer and illustrator Mawee Borromeo and her love affair with pastels, crazy hair and voguish fashion flair.

Mail This To Heaven {Scribbled Poetry}

How do you send greetings to heaven?
Do you roll it up and tie it to a balloon?
Or do you whisper it to the air and let it fly?
I want to know because I want to send some to you.

Food for Thought: Out and Cold

There are days when my eyes begin to water and I have to constantly pinch my nose. Here we go again. The uninvited common cold rears its ugly head. I try to shoo it away with lots of aqua but alas, it comes even when unwelcomed.

Sweet Surprises

Sweet Surprises Cebu Cupcake Shop
Whenever I'm blue, I thank the heavens for best friends and sweets. The glum clouds they shoo to bring rainbows and treats. I cannot quite fathom how life would feel like if these two would cease to exist. So to that, here's a toast to the Cupcake fairy for leading me to a road less taken, a route to a hidden gem called Sweet Surprises.

I Heart Black and White

Black and White Fashion (Cross the Line)
Women think of all colors except the absence of color.
I have said that black has it all. White too. 
Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony. 
— Coco Chanel —

Stars {Thoughtful Thursday # 11}

You have to revel in the darkness to see the stars.
Funny how it seems that the weather can perfectly mirror how I feel. All this rain and chilly gusts of wind are blowing my hair and my spirits across the expanse of the universe, sending words from my head and my heart to my fingertips.

Twenty Two

Birthday candles
Birthdays are special, would you agree? There's something about them that's simply magical and extraordinary. The year that was was a roller coaster ride. There were uphill climbs that brought me to the horizon while there too were trips that sent me spiraling downhill to the ground. It was a lot of things both good and bad for which I am very thankful for. Last week I turned 22. It was the simplest birthday so far with no shenanigans and whatnots but it sure was one for the books! All I had was cake and good company and I couldn't ask for more.

Food for Thought: Bullying. What Gives?

How to Handle Bullying
Today I decided to sway from the usual happy sappy tone of my blog posts and talk about something deeper and something that has bugged me to no end at the moment. Bullying. It’s nothing new. It has in fact been present for so long that you’ll definitely find a similar post like this elsewhere in the cyber-universe. We say it’s bad and it ought to be stopped but then it has only grown and evolved into various forms. In fact, it may have blown into proportions. Take cyber bullying for example. It is everywhere and worse it mostly stays anonymous.

The Liebster Award and Getting Personal

Liebster Award
Chain letters. Love 'em or hate them? For me it actually depends. In the world of blogosphere we have it too but it's not the type that annoy, tell you to do stupid things or give you bad luck if you don't pass it on. We call it the Liebster Award and according to Mr. Google it aims to bring the blogging community together and allow everyone to know each other better. Yeah, chain messages like this totally rock! So here's my take on it. 

Dearest Chummy {Scribbled Poetry}

You put a genuine smile on my lips
Whenever my sadness switch flips
You hug me by my shoulders and waist
Whenever I felt rainbows were put to waste

Innocent Frost {Scribbled Poetry}

With blush on her cheeks and a smile on her lips,
Off she jumps along and sings a song.
“Let it go, let it go.”
She hums to the tune of Disney‘s toon.

Tomo Cafe = An Oishii and Kawaii Delight

Tomo Cafe
Thanks to the patient-eating sweat-inducing butt-numbing traffic jam I experience on a daily basis, I noticed this newly opened Japanese inspired place called Tomo Cafe. Yes, I'm actually thanking Mr. Traffic. High five! After lusting over it for weeks now, I finally got to experience their oishii dishes and kawaii wonderland! (Oishii is delicious while kawaii means cute in Japanese. I have to thank my Japan and anime obsessed friend for these words in my vocabulary.)

The Fairest {Thoughtful Thursday #10} + Makeup Tutorial

Image via [Pinterest] from [gigikke]
Yes you! That's right. I'm talking to you. Please don't make me wave my arms in exasperation. There's no need to deny that YOU are beautiful. It is quite true that society has shaped up much of what people today see as beauty. What may be considered as such today may not be what was once true years back or in the days to come. Think about it. Decades ago the one stroke thin eyebrow was all the craze. Today, it's about rocking those bold brow ala Cara Delevingne, Lily Collins or the Olsen Twins. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is subjective. It can change. But of course that only pertains to the physical. We should never forget about what's inside, what's behind all that make-up and  all those pretty clothes. We can all buy those but character and personality are priceless.

I Heart the Valentino Rockstud Collection

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
Here goes the confessions of a shoe-holic. I admit that I am a sucker for shoes but alas I can't buy all the kicks I'd ever want. Perhaps someday I'd get the chance to have a special pair after I have saved up for one. But since my priorities have all been set, my shoe collection is but to remain a project in the making for now. 

Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes {Manila Travel Diary 4}

Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes
Sweet tooth alert! My love for desserts just wouldn't go away. I can't help but succumb to the temptation every single time. Oh dear, the weighing scale is even frowning at me. Is there a cure out there? I think I need help A.S.A.P. Anyway here goes my last Manila Travel Diary post and since sweet-toothed me is always looking for new dishes to try and satiate my food-lust, my pretty cousin Ryche and her family brought me to a famous dessert shop and cafe in Manila called Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes.

Stars and Constellations

I for one cannot contain my excitement for The Fault in Our Stars movie! I've read the book. It made me cry. It made me mad. It made me laugh. It made me fall in love. The timing could not even be more precise as I lost someone dear to me from cancer and the diagnosis came two weeks after I've read the novel. Maybe for some, watching this movie could be torture and if it is then so be it. I'm armed with boxes of tissues anyway. Wouldn't it be amazing to feel love at its utmost purity even within your numbered days?

Arariyo Korean Restaurant {Manila Travel Diary 3}

Arariyo Korean Buffet and Restaurant | Cainta, Rizal
When my relatives saw my plate (above) they gave me "the look" and asked the inevitable question. Are you on a diet? Of course I wasn't! No way! LOL. Whenever I go to a buffet restaurant I like to have a taste of everything so I get tiny bits of every dish and go back for more. Ever heard of a round 2? or 3? or 4? Okay before I embarrass myself of how big of a foodie I am, allow me to introduce you to a new food hub my relatives in Manila brought me to called Arariyo Korean Buffet and Restaurant.

The Great Unknown Interview

Hi everyone! I decided to take a little break from all my Manila travel diary posts. Okay, so here goes. Late last month, a blogger friend of mine from New Zealand started her series which she dubbed as "The Great Unknown" where she interviews bloggers from all across the globe about school, uni and work life. Her name's Emma and if you've been here for a while then her name would ring a bell. Want proof? Click here and here! We've been exchanging emails for a year now and she may have told me her plans about this series. I feel so grateful and honored for being featured alongside all the other wonderful and lovely bloggers. Here's a sneak peak of our little interview:

Blo Blow Dry Bar {Manila Travel Diary 2}

Blo Blow Dry Bar Manila
Blo Out (noun): a styling session or act of getting blo-wn out. That was exactly what I got when I visited Blo Blow Dry Bar's Rockwell Branch late last month. It was around July of 2013 when I won some hot pink Blo gift certificates thanks to Tricia Gosingtian. It got me all hyped up but alas I live in Cebu and all the branches are in Manila. I thought I'd never get to use them but an opportunity came up. *ahem* Dinner date with Camille Co *ahem*. Mind you, this blow dry bar that originated in North America is famous for hair styling services. It's dubbed as an affordable catwalk-quality bar for the modern woman.

Dinner Date with Camille Co {Manila Travel Diary 1}

Camille Co Birthday | Early Bird Breakfast Club
Having some sort of OCD whatnot running through my body, I was never the type to go on random trips. I prefer to plan and organize everything to the dot but somehow this was an exception. When you get the chance to meet an idol and an inspiration you let go of all those worries and what ifs. You grab the opportunity and hug it tight. What made it even more special was the fact that the person you look up to invited and handpicked you personally. Travelling alone was not my cup of tea but that is a thing of the past. I welcome random life events with open arms now! I'm a braver soldier. Thanks Camille Co for instilling in me (and to many others) that confidence comes from within, that travelling is a way of living and that chasing your dreams and passion is always worth it.

A Royal Treatment at Cafe Tiala

Cafe Tiala Cebu
After the week long hustles and bustles of a workaholic busy bee like me, I knew I needed some royal pampering. Luckily a new cafe recently opened up its doors called Cafe Tiala. From what I've heard the place is like a doll house with waitresses dressed in lolita costumes. Right then and there I knew I had to check the place out and of course I brought my other nobles with me.  Besides, no princess would want to spend a lovely afternoon all alone. The more the merrier! (That applies to both friends and food. LOL!)

1st Blog Birthday and Making Friends Online

As of today this blog is officially one year old! Yipee! *happy dance* It's been exactly 365 days since I started this cyber diary and it has been one amazing ride so far. It's better than any roller coaster I have ever ridden and mind you I love roller coasters to death! (I know many people dislike this particular theme park ride but we all have our preferences. Can we still be friends? I promise I won't force you to ride one. Pinky swear!) First off I would really want to send all of you my cyber hugs and kisses! Thank you so much for embarking on this journey with me and being patient enough to read my random whatsits. Now to celebrate my baby blog's birthday I would like to tell you a little something about one of my best memories as a blogger... making friends online.

30 Kitchen = Happy Tummies

30 Kitchen Cebu Restaurant
No sir I did not hop from kitchen to kitchen to feed my food babies! I'm so sorry to disappoint. LOL. This post is way overdue as I actually went to this lovely restaurant called 30 Kitchen + Bar to celebrate a good friend's birthday at the onset of February. (Talk about one month overdue! Oopsies.) Now before I get lost in my thoughts yet again, let me give you a word of caution. The following photos can get your stomach to rumble and your mouth to salivate. Read at your own risk. *wink* Seriously, scroll down to see what treats await you! Your tummy will thank you later... or maybe not. 

To A King

Image via [Pinterest] from [wallcoo.net]
For those of you who've been reading my blog for a while now then you must know a thing or two about my dad. I shared to you about him in this post. The reason why I've been on blogger hiatus for so long was because I had to stand by his side as he fought his battle. He passed away the 3rd of March this year after his long struggle with multiple sclerosis and cancer. I'd admit that I suck at expressing my emotions verbally so I usually end up writing them just like I did with this eulogy. (I tried reading it out for everyone to hear but as expected my words got caught up on my throat and tears were threatening to fall down. It sucks to be a softy sometimes.)

Faith {Thoughtful Thursday #9} + Personal Doodle

Faith is Magic
FAITH, TRUST AND PIXIE DUST. Growing up I have always loved that line from the Peter Pan books, animated films and movies. How about you? On that note I decided to doodle stuff on a piece of paper and voila!

Festive Tie Dye

A blogger friend once asked me why I don't do OOTDs on my blog. Honestly, I would love to try but then again I take too long in front of my closet and end up getting the comfiest outfit I could find (regardless of the look). Reasons, reasons, reasons. Okay I'll admit. I am a "lazy bones" when it comes to dressing up. I would put effort in it though but only for the special occasions. So yes, not a lot of opportunities for the so called outfit shots. Hahaha.

Cebu's Sinulog Festival

Cebu's Sinulog Festival
Every third Sunday of January, the Queen City of the South celebrates the infamous Sinulog festival. This annual event commemorates the Cebuano's acceptance of Roman Catholicism and at the same time their pagan origin as observed from all the "tribal" costumes, paint and masks. This year I got to enjoy it with my younger sister and my cousin from Manila who is a relative first timer in this grand festivity.

Stronger {Thoughtful Thursday #8}

You are stronger than you think.
Have you ever had those days when you feel like talking to yourself? I know it sounds cray-cray but I kind of like talking to myself. It's weird but in one way or another I find it therapeutic just like writing in a diary. 

Candidate # 9 (Miss Cebu 2014)

Miss Cebu 2014 Grace Anne Marie Yap
Belleza. Beauté. Schönheit. Beauty. Kagandahan. Kaanyag. The word beauty can be translated into many different languages but what does it really mean? In my case I believe beauty is beyond what meets the eye. It has something to do with character and personality. More than one's looks it also involves wit and intellect. I for one know somebody who is all that. Meet my dearest buddy Grace Anne Marie Yap candidate number 9 in the prestigious Miss Cebu 2014 pageant, the Queen City of the South's annual search for the city's ambassadress of goodwill and one of the highlights in the world famous Sinulog festival.

Simply J's Cafe and Restaurant

Simply J's Cafe and Restaurant
The new year brings with it a fresh start but there are still a couple of 2013 memories that I have to share to you guys and one of which is what I love to call holiday cheers with my high school peers. It was the 21st of December and a few days before Christmas when I met up with my closest high school buddies. In fact, we've saved the date since November. Hectic schedules are such a mean bummer so we had to get ahead and outsmart them. Luckily all the stars aligned and we met up, had dinner and lots of chitchats at a lovely place here in Cebu called Simply J's Cafe and Restaurant.