My Splice Of Life: The Someday Jar

Sometimes, you find a book and at first look, you knew you’re going to love the story. Does this happen to anyone, or just me?

Anyway, reading more books and staying offline as much as possible is one of my bucket list/ New Year’s Resolution for this year. Before Christmas, I decided to stop by Book Sale and find a book I could read. Luckily, I found this book entitled “The Someday Jar” by Allison Morgan.

The story is about Lanie Howard, who works at her boyfriend’s firm. She was about to get married to her boyfriend, when she found her someday jar. Her someday jar is like her bucket list, that she promised to her estranged dad that she will do and finish before she gets married. Although she was having second thoughts of opening the jar, she finally decided to open and read her slips when she was saved by a stranger/fiance’s family friend from choking on a lemon rind. Yep. Choked on a lemon rind.

It was very light and funny. It focuses more on Lanie’s attempts to fulfil her childhood wishes, before getting married. Of course, there is romance involved in the novel, but it was subtly  done, it didn’t overpower the main theme of the story. There are a lot of scenes in the story, wherein I had to to stop reading and laugh until I could no longer laugh.

When you’re on the brink of death, I guess not only will your life flash back to you like a movie. Maybe you’ll instantly regret the things you have not done in your life because you wanted stability and stay in your comfort zone. Honestly, this book has encouraged me to tackle all or most of my bucket list for this year.

What I liked about Lanie is that she found the courage to continue with her someday jar, although Evan, her jerk of a boyfriend, and her mother is against it. Although some of what she have written in her jar is impossible or quite silly, she managed to finish them all.

Wes, the stranger who saved Lanie, was a swoon-worthy character. He was very supportive of her, even if he doesn’t show it. He had always taken Lanie’s feelings in consideration, unlike Evan.

Kit is the kind of best friend you’ll want. She’ll hate whomever you hate. She’ll make sure you look good and pretty by lending you her stuff. She’s also very supportive of Lanie with her someday jar.

I really enjoyed reading the story. If I could, I could have finished this in a day. But hey, I got to finish it, and love it.

Here are some of the favorite lines/quotes from the book.

“Do you ever worry that life is passing you by while day in and day out you’re focused on what you’re supposed to be doing, rather than what you want to be doing? Then, before you know it, you’re old and curled up on your deathbed, weigh ninety pounds, nothing but elbows and knees, consumed with remorseful thoughts that obligations and function controlled your life while you sat idly by and watched it happen. Feeble and unable to eat anything but chicken broth or ice chips, you think, Golden years my ass, I’ll never get the chance to shout my name from the rooftop and why didn’t I take advantage of my youth?”

“Call me Wes. I dropped the ‘-ton’ years ago, right after my boy band fell apart.”

“Stay. Stay because I might be in love with you.”

“Because every girl needs a candy cane.”

“Fear reminds us we’re still alive. Regret will dig us an early grave.”

“Promise me you’ll explore life. Promise me you’ll color outside the line.”

 

 

 

Advertisements

Food Trip At Kantorini

It’s been a long time since I met up with my college buddies. I think the last time we met up was back in 2016. We didn’t have a chance to meet up last year due to our busy schedules.

So we decided to meet up yesterday and go to a food park. We’ve been wanting to go to this food park in Katipunan called Kantorini,, and so we went ahead with our plan. Kantorini is a small food park situated near Ateneo. Its aesthetics is inspired by Santorini in Greece. And the since this is right next to a street corner, hence, it was called that name (“Kanto” (corner in Filipino) + Santorini = Kantorini).

IMG_1702

Signage at the entrance

IMG_1712

Greek vibe

My friends wanted to go here because it was featured in a TV show. I got curious as well. I checked the menus of the stalls there, and the food they sell sounds promising. Unfortunately, when we got there, only a handful of food stalls are open. Some of the open food stalls had really pricey food. We’re not sure if all the closed stalls are already for rent, or they’re just closed because they know that not a lot of people will flock the area on a Saturday night.

We decided to order at Pizzanista, Bingsu Desserts and Potato Hub. We first got our Mango Cheesecake Bingsu at Bingsu Desserts, which is their best seller. We got the large serving for the 3 of us.

IMG_1715

Mango Cheesecake Bingsu

We liked how it was filled with so much mango bits. The ice was shaved very finely, and the whipped cream cheese topping has just the right sweetness. As my friend put it, the mango just takes away all the stress she had. This is actually the very first bingsu I was able to finish.

We ordered the sample platter at Potato Hub. I’m not sure what the toppings are, but it seems like spaghetti sauce, cheese sauce, and sour cream.

IMG_1725

Sample Platter from Potato Hub

IMG_1721

fries and bingsu

I like how abundant the sauce are. The fries were very filling, as we kept on eating them as we waited for our order from Pizzanista.

Although we ordered first at Pizzanista, our food arrived after we finished our bingsu and fries. I joked that our dessert is pizza and chicken wings. A lot of people were ordering at Pizzanista, so our orders came late. We ended up waiting for the chicken wings for 2 hours.

We had Quattro Formaggi pizza and Honey Mustard chicken wings.

IMG_1732

Quattro Formaggi Pizza

I think they bake their pizza by charcoal oven. I like how the crust is charred. I was surprised how soft the dough and crust is. I love the savoury and tangy combination of the sauce and the pizza.

IMG_1746

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

As for the chicken wings, we waited for more than an hour for this to arrive. However, it was worth it. We ordered 12 pieces, thinking that the wings are small. But we were again surprised to see how big the wings are. I love how sweet and saucy the chicken wings are. It tastes good together with their sauce. I think we were too full from the pizza and fries, or the wings are just big, that we were not able to finish everything and ended up taking it home.

It was fun to hang out at Kantorini. It’s vibe is very relaxing for anyone who is stressed out from work or school. It’s both for people who just want  to go  on a food trip, and for people who  wants to get a drink or two. It would have been nice if there were more options, and more food stalls are open. I enjoyed my food trip here, though.

Coffe Shop Saturday: SweetBlooms Cafe

Sometimes, you find a little treasure when you least expect it. Just like what happened to me this week. I only went to Miniso in Gateway Mall this Wednesday to hoard buy some pens, but after I came out of the store, I found a new little cafe hiding in one of the nooks of the mall.

I liked how the cafe was designed, even if they only occupied a small space. Again, I was not able to take a picture because I was scared the staff would find me weird. I like how their shelves were filled with pastillas flowers. Not only were they displaying their product, but it also made the place pretty.

Since I was in a hurry last Wednesday after my trip to Miniso, I only ordered their Iced Cafe Americano. The coffee is not that strong, which is to my liking since I had acid reflux that time. I’m not sure if it’s because of the number of Splenda sachet I put in my coffee, but it was a little bit sweet. Well, maybe it is anyway.

IMG_1455.jpg

So this Saturday, I decided to come back to this coffee shop. I was supposed to go to Megamall to meet my best friend for dinner, but she bailed out. And since I have so much time to spare and not much money to spend, I decided to stop by this cafe and order the other drinks and try out their cakes.

IMG_1482.jpg

Because I still have acid reflux, I stayed away from caffeine and ordered their Strawberry Smoothie. I also ordered the rainbow cake because it looks cute. Honestly, I ordered a cake, because the last time, their unicorn cake caught my attention.

IMG_1486.jpg

The strawberry smoothie tasted fresh. It wasn’t too sweet as I expected it to be. It was milky yet tangy and citrusy.

The rainbow cake, however, was on the sweeter side. The cream cheese frosting tried to balance the sweetness and tanginess of the cake. I like how vivid the colors of this cake is. It wasn’t only mouthwatering, it’s an eye candy as well.

IMG_1499.jpg

IMG_1489.jpg

The price for the drinks and the cakes are just right. I bought my iced coffee for Php 65, while the strawberry smoothie and rainbow cake were at Php 85 and Php 135. The place is also relaxing, as it was almost at the hidden part of the mall. I think it’s only new, so there are not many people hanging out there. The interior is cute and whimsical, which also relaxes my eye.

So for those who are in Cubao area and would like to try out a new coffee shop, give SweetBlooms Cafe a visit.

 

Not Another New Year’s Resolution – 2018 Edition

Well, it’s time of that year once again to make new year’s resolution and wishes. I’m not sure how many of the New Year’s resolution in 2017 was I able to do, and how may of my wishes came true. And so, here I am again with my resolution for 2018.

1. I’ll prioritize self-care.

This year was particularly a big challenge in terms of my health – mentally and physically. 2017 was the year I got really sick because of my lifestyle. I got more depressed during the first half of the year because of this. So this year, I’ll prioritize myself. I will eat healthily, take good care of my skin, exercise more,  and prioritize my mental health. I’ll stay away from anything that would stress me out. I’ll be more positive with my life.

2. I’ll overcome my social anxiety.

I’m not sure if I’m just unfriendly, or too introverted, or anti-social. Sometimes, I think the person who donated his/her blood to me simply has hatred for people in his genes, and passed it out to me. I observed that I’m having a hard time interacting with people these days. So for this year, I resolve to be more approachable and friendly, even if I don’t like the people around me.

3. Do most of the things in my bucket list.

I’ve listed a lot in my bucket list planner, and I hope I can do most of it in 2018.

4. Save more money

This is always part of my new year’s resolution. I’m not sure if I fail or not, but I think I did fail. I’ll try not to impulsively buy the things I want. I’ll do more money challenges (hey, the Php 50 money challenge was quite effective for me vs. the 52 week challenge). If I want something and it’s not on my budget, I’ll do my best to save up for it (this article actually has a good advice about impulse buying). I’ll do my best to addup to my UITF and Mutual Fund. Most of all, I will not easily lend someone a huge amount of money, because I’m not even sure if they will return the money to me on time.

5. Travel more.

I was able to do this last year, but there are still so many places I want to go. So I’ll save up more so I can travel more.

6. Stay away from social media from time to time.

If there’s one thing I realized this year, one of the source of my anxiety and depression is my social media. Honestly, I felt envious whenever I see my friends. Plus, it adds up to my stress and hurt my eyes. So I decided I’ll go offline for a week from time to time, especially in FB.

7. Read more books

Since I’m planning to be offline most of the time, and reading 10 books is part of my bucket list, I will read more books this year. I used to read tons of book back then, until internet ruined me.

As for my plans next year, still I’m not sure. That would depend on my work schedule 🙂

2017 Favorites And Higlights

2017 is almost done! Time really flies so fast, isn’t it?

2017 is the year I got to travel and eat more. I discovers old and new things that I absolutely loved. It’s also the year I got to go back to being the fan girl me. Sure,  lot of things has happened this year. Some of them are very memorable, some of them are just meh. So for this blog, I’ve decided to list the highlights of my 2017.

  1. This  #Instagrammable tour   in Batangas, Tagaytay and Cavite. 

I’m not sure why, but there’s something about me going on a solo trip that made me feel more recharged. This was my favorite travel for this year because not only was I going solo, it’s because I got to go to so many IG-worthy places.

So here is one of my favorite pictures I took from the trip:

 

 

2. Carousel Creamery has been one of the yummiest ice creams I have ever tasted. They  have tons of flavors to choose from.

3. One of the few dramas I have watched that I really liked is “Love, Timeless” which stars Nick Chou and Summer Meng. It’s about two friends who accidentally travelled back to their 20s after one of their friends jumped off the building. What I liked about the drama is that they are trying their best to correct the mistakes they made in the present by actually making different decisions and ultimately changing their present timeline.

800px-Love,_timeless.jpg

4. And speaking of “Love, Timeless”, the opening song 不放 or “Can’t Let Go” by Nick Chou has become a favorite of mine this year.

 

 

 

 

5. Speaking of time travel, I was also able to finally watch “Orange: Mirai” this year. Although it was released in 2016, subs only came out this March.

 

 

 

4. 2017 is the year I got to watch more dramas, more specifically the KO series. Watching all of the shows in KO Series is in my bucketlist and a challenge for me. This year, I was able to finish 3 seasons of KO One – KO One, KO One Re-Act and KO One Remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was only able to finish KO One after 8 years of putting it off. And out of the 4 seasons that were already out (A fifth season will be out next year), The fourth one, KO One Remember,  has became my favorite.

5. And it’s all because of this guy, who really gave an outstanding act in a rather absurd drama. Wes Luo suddenly became my favorite SpeXial member (well, next to Wayne and Brent).

KOremember_33.mp4_000126678.jpg

SpeXial’s Wes as Gu Zhan.

Oh, and Wes of SpeXial was also nominated at Golden Bell Awards this year (more like Emmy’s of Taiwan) for his performance in another drama.

6. Speaking of SpeXial, one of my favorite member also released a single, which I play on the loop.

 

7.  2017 is also the year I got to writeoff something off my bucketlist – and that is to finish NaNoWrimo.

My novel is still far from being complete, but I guess I have a good start. I’m halfway through, and hopefully I can finish my story next year.

8. I’m ending the year by starting to write a journal. I bought two journals/planner – one is the 100 Bucket List to write all of the things I want to do for the next ten years. Another is the 365 Journal, which I use for my 365 Alive Project. I’m going to blog about my progress with these journals in the future.

So that’s most of the highlight of my year. I’m looking forward to more misadventures in 2018. Hopefully, it will be much better that this year. I know it will.

Coffee Shop Saturday: Gift Avenue Cafe

I think I found a really nice coffee shop to hang out.

I’m browsing through my IG, when I saw a post about this new coffee shop in Gateway Mall in Cubao called Gift Avenue Cafe. Since I frequent Cubao and that mall due to my long commute, and because I was a little pissed off about something,  I decided to check it out today.

What brought my attention to this coffee shop is their nicely designed lattes, and that there are other knick-knacks (jewelries, stationeries, planners, art sets, etc) that you can buy from them, aside from coffee and snacks.

However, being familiar with the mall, I’m not sure where exactly in the ground floor they are located. Good thing I asked the guard where they are, I got to figure out their location (They are right next to BDO).

It’s a small cafe, quite homey in my own opinion. It’s not as crowded as the well-known coffee shops in the area, so there are a lot of available seats. I chose to sit at the table right next to their gift shelves.

IMG_0591

There’s also a lounge area with a nicely painted and hand drawn wall. I wanted to sit at that side, but there are some people in that area, and my social anxiety kicked in again. The lighting is very nice, and I like the design of their ceiling lamps.

IMG_0592

I ordered the Hazelnut Latte and Classic Sansrival. I like how nutty the sansrival is, but I had a little problem scooping the bottom part of it. The sweetness is just right.

IMG_0595

The latte is also just right. It was not too sweet and not too bitter. It suits my tastebud.

IMG_0598

I actually liked how the latte complimented the sansrival. I think I found a really good food combination with these two.

IMG_0593

Although I had a short stay here, I enjoyed the atmosphere, as well as the food. I think this will be my new favorite hangout.

 

 

Misadventures: An #Instagrammable Solo Trip To Cavite, Tagaytay & Batangas

I know , I know… I’ve been neglecting this blog. I have not written anything for the longest time. But… now, I’m back! Hopefully, it’s not that one-off-I-only-write-something-here-when-something-good-happens.

It’s been a long time since I went out of town. I think the last time I went out of town was during my goddaughter’s confirmation, and we went to Enchanted Kingdom that time. And so, I planned another trip -another solo trip, that is. Sometimes, you need a time alone by yourself without any of your friends, so that you could get to know other people.

I was planning to go to Las Casas Filipinas, but I’m still contemplating on whether I should go alone or join a joiner trip. While doing the planning, I chanced upon an #Instagrammable tour from Hitch Travel and Tours.

I checked their itinerary. The tour consists of different places (seven, to be exact) from Cavite, Tagaytay, and Batangas. They covered several IG worthy places in those three places. Honestly, I am not a selfie type of person. I don’t like taking too many selfies. I just like taking pictures of other things and post it on my IG. Since I wanted to practice taking better pictures, I wanted to go on a solo trip to refresh myself, I wanted something different to post on my IG feed, and I needed something to update on this blog, I decided to sign up for this trip.

We left early morning on Sunday going to Cavite for our first stop – the Korean Temple. For those who are K-drama or K-pop fanatic, this is a perfect place for them to take selfies. But for me, unfortunately, I am not a K-pop nor a K-drama fanatic (I am into Taiwanese dramas and C-pop). However, I’m curious as to how those temples look like.

DSC00768

I don’t understand what it says…

DSC00769

One of the “guards” by the gate

DSC00770

This mini tower will greet you the moment you enter the temple

We’re allowed to take pictures around the place, however, we are not allowed inside the temple. So, I just stood outside the temple and zoomed in my camera to get this shot

DSC00775

Inside the temple

IMG_0112

Full view of the temple, ignore the people taking pictures

IMG_0121

The mini tower again, I don’t know what this is called.

Of course, most of the people were doing the finger heart sign. I didn’t.

Next stop is Dreamland Arts and Cafe. It’s one of the IG worthy places in Tagaytay. This small cafe has two stories – the lower part is like a souvenir store, and the upper part is where you can eat.

The play is filled with dream catchers (maybe that’s why it’s called Dreamland). The walls are also filled with motivational posters and quotes. It looks like a hipster haven, in my opinion. From what I heard, they serve healthy foods, but we weren’t able to order or eat anything as we have a tight schedule. We stayed there briefly just to take pictures.

As you enter the cafe, you will be greeted by several dream catchers at the front of the cafe.

DSC00786

DSC00788

Be Brave

IMG_0129

IMG_0131

 

IMG_0132

This is me, I guess

IMG_0136

 

 

IMG_0137

This mandala caught my eye

IMG_0139

 

IMG_0151

 

IMG_0158

This is a good background for a selfie (and yes, I did take a selfie at this wall)

The upper floor is filled with more dream catchers. It even has a wall/division made of dream catchers.

 

 

IMG_0165

This table and chairs caught my eye because of its design.

 

IMG_0167

Dream catcher wall

 

IMG_0168

Surf board table

IMG_0169

You can calso play sungka 

IMG_0171

 

IMG_0172

 

 

 

Our next stop is Pink Sisters also in Tagaytay. When we arrived, there was an ongoing mass. I decided to take just a few pictures, hear a few minutes of mass and then I left.

DSC00794

DSC00798

DSC00799

DSC00801

On my way back to the van, I found a stall that sells bibingka. So, I had to stop by and grab one, because I suddenly felt hungry.

IMG_0188

Our next stop is The Gingerbread House back in Cavite. It’s like a winter wonderland in the middle of a tropical country. Going there makes it feel like Christmas. I think kids would enjoy going there the most.

Our tour guide said their bread tastes good. There were a lot of pastries, but I haven’t seen any bread (or maybe I’m being far-sighted again). There’s a smores place,  a playhouse for kids, and tons of place where you can sit and relax. There’s even a fish spa for your feet!

DSC00804

The main house really looked like a gingerbread house. Actually, it looks like Christmas. I heard that during the Christmas season, it’s snows here at night. Of course, the snow must be artificial, as there’s really no snow here in the Philippines.

 

DSC00820

Big gingerbread house. Not edible, though. 

 

DSC00806

DSC00807

DSC00809

DSC00810

DSC00811

 

DSC00812

Too cute to eat

 

DSC00814

DSC00831

There was also a huge bear here. Everyone wants to take pictures with it. I patiently waited until I could be alone with the bear.

 

DSC00844

You don’t know how long I’ve waited to take a picture for of this bear.

They also have a room, where they made a diorama out of the gingerbread houses.

DSC00846

 

Sonya’s Garden is our next destination. I’ve seen this place from the IG of celebrities, and so, I got curious. I was excited with all the flowers and plants that I can take pictures of. We were supposed to go downhill, but unfortunately, we were not allowed as we were not checked in. One of their staffs kept on following us, just to make sure we won’t go to where their guests are. And so, I just took pictures from areas that we are allowed.

DSC00847

DSC00848

 

DSC00849

Found a bed in the middle of the garden

 

 

DSC00855

I can’t pass into this arched tree, so I had to take another way

 

 

DSC00857

Got bitten by the ants when I sat and rest here for a while

 

 

DSC00872

Not sure which insect this is

DSC00877

 

 

DSC00885

IG worthy rose

 

We had our lunch after we went to Sonya’s Garden. After our lunch, we headed to our next destination, which Calaruega Church. I wasn’t abe to explore much or take a lot of pictures or even get to the church itself, because I was quite tired. It was noon time, and it was really hot, the sun is almost melting it. After taking a few pictures, I decided to go back to the van to rest.

DSC00891

DSC00895

DSC00906

Actually, I’m reserving all my energy to our last destination. I’m really excited about it because it’s the closest thing to Disneyland that I could go to. Well, that and Enchanted Kingdom.

Our last destination is Fantasy World in Batangas. This was supposed to be the Disneyland of the Philippines. Unfortunately, this project was abandoned because of lack of funds. I remember seeing this place on 90’s to 2000’s TV programs and dramas on TV. I wondered what happened to this place until this abandoned place was once again featured in some news and magazines.

It was a one hour travel to this place. We were supposed to take a 500 meter walk and ride a jeepney, but since we lack time and we wanted to get here before it closes at 5 PM, our driver and tour coordinator decided he’ll just bring us there. However, to get there, we have to take a zigzag road. And, it was like riding a roller coaster on our way there. But hey, that bumpy ride is all worth it.

DSC00908

DSC00910

DSC00912

DSC00918

DSC00925

DSC00929

DSC00936

 

DSC00939

A lame attempt to do something dramatic

DSC00950

 

DSC00956

DSC00974

 

DSC00985

I have a fascination with fancy, big gates

IMG_0531

 

I heard there were plans to re-develop this place. I really hope they will, because the place had a lot of potential. Plus, the structures are there and just needs repairs and restoration.

I did enjoy this trip. I’ll probably sign up again in the future, once I finished all the places in my bucket list. I do hope Hitch would offer an instagrammable tour to other places as well.