Saturday, September 6, 2014

Treat Yourself Saturday

Having self-time is a priority for me. Even if someone has a great relationship with family and friends, a woman needs to have some moments to herself. Go for a walk, have some merienda on a cafe, bring a new read along with you, go window shopping.. Anything to get those creative juices flowing.

I had time for myself a couple of days ago at Chez Karine. It's a relatively new and coming bakery over at Serendra. While having a latte, I opted to try out their macarons (dark chocolate is the best for me!) and it made my afternoon. I walked around the area and visited Fully Booked, reserved a few books that were out of stock. I slowed down my pace with a bit of effort. I'm always moving too quick that simple pleasures pass me by. See how a few hours for oneself is essential for sanity. :)

  • I'm an introvert. According to new studies, introverts get energized either when their on their own or when they are doing things with just a friend. Sometimes I imagine the future. Having my own home + inviting a couple of friends over + making kwento for hours. I need to have a way to set up a snack bar that is both yummy + effortlessly pretty to look at. This bagel bar setup is one of my inspirations.
  • Awesome travel instagrammers that will make you hop on a bus and go somewhere new!
  • If there's a brand that I'll splurge on, it's Kate Spade. I know I'm not the only one! I especially love the array of bright colors they have--from shoes, to pouches, to bags.
  • It's the weekend and it's the perfect time to go out and enjoy the places you don't normally visit on weekdays. Do so in style by  giving new life to your outfit staples by these simple tips.
  • Writing has been a silent guilty pleasure for me. The slow outflow of energy from my mind to my fingertips relaxes me and gives me a sense of satisfaction. It's always a treat to read a few tips about simple grammar rules here and there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Natural hues

Why do I love this room?

1. The walls seem like a blank slate and it lets the various colorful pieces speak for the personality + lifestyle of the people who stay there.

2. The bed is a bit on the low side, which I love. This encourages a deeper comfort level since I find high beds too formal. This bed is perfect for lounging and playing around without ruining the beddings (yes, I care about that). You can also use the space below the bed for storage.

3. The room is well lit. This design is feasible for small spaces as well. The part of the room not in the picture can be the area for storage + a vanity desk maybe.

4. It's like a vacation home. Your house do not need to look like a storage area or be cluttered with too much stuff you collected over the years. Make it breathe-able. To personalize the design above, move the crib and place a work desk in front of the window instead. It will be a nice space for inspiration since you can see nature outside.

5. It has a lot of potential to be more.. It has so much space for you to do more: crafts + yoga + workouts. It's an area to be "more".


Monday, September 1, 2014

Wild for Books: Crazy Rich Asians

The Crazy Rich Asians.. Where do I even start? :)

Well, it's the newest book by Kevin Kwan and it's selling like pancakes everywhere. Being an Asian, it naturally made me curious how the author will knit the intricate Asian culture into a supposedly love story.

Synopsis from GoodReads

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

The whole book centers on Rachel and Nick's romance but it's way more than that, it's tells a lot of small love stories here and there about different characters. From the way other girls fight for the rich bachelor to the way a reputable businessman creates quick wealth for a competitor.

Each chapter was told on a different person's perspective. There will be unwarned perspective changes mid-chapter that will keep you alert while reading. Kwan showed readers a new, unexplored view of Chinese families, especially those in the $$$ income brackets. There are moments that will leave you awed and pleasantly surprised that certain decisions and situations are possible--I know they are. Absurd but possible!

Grab this from the bookstands now! Have you read this too? Let me know what you think ;)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Treat Yourself Saturday

I bought a new book! I seldom buy paperbacks since I cannot carry them in my bag anywhere. This one though.. This deserves to be given some love and time! I'm dedicating my weekend to the Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan for the following reasons: (a) I'm Asian, (b) It's hilarious. Kwan slips in a lot of cultural tid bits in the book and I love learning about those. If paired with a naturally funny flow of writing, it's irresistable. How's your weekend so far?
  • Maginhawa Food Street has been gearing up some noise since a few years back because of the array of food choices being offered in the town. They have a food joint in almost every other house! Even the cuisine offerings and interior decor are unique from one place to another. You can check out this map for Magingawa Food Street and check off all that you've visited.
  • I've visited one of Maginhawa's premiere breakfast places, Ally's All-day Breakfast.
  • Speaking of breakfast, there's a new study about coffee being taken an hour or two after waking up, especially if you're waking up within the 6am to 8am window. That window is when your body naturally generates cortisol, your own personal caffeine. So if you drank coffee at the same time that your body's generating cortisol, your body becomes used to the caffeine from the coffee and will immunize you to its effects. The best time to have that cup of joe is late morning, around 9-11am and in the afternoon, 1:30-5pm.
  • Having some crazy schedule lately, I need to have a go on these tricks to boost willpower.
  • I try and always find time for blogging and reading. I want to have some outlet to give room for my own creativity to flourish. I don't naturally get the chance to do it at my day job so I have to force it in little bits throughout the day or on weekends. Are you in the same rut? While on a work meeting, try doodling. It will give you that boost you need while also being present at work.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Move it, move it

I crave for experiences. There's always a desire to try and look for something I want to delve into, an activity to discover more of myself + have some fun. Having a 9-5 job* limits my options but if there's a will, there's a way!

I have the same aspiration for workouts. There's a new age for being active nowadays. Back then, it was just running + gym. Now there are Barre3, Jukari Fit to Flex, TRX (Total Resistance Exercise), pole dancing, Bollywood dance class + a lot more! I started being active around 6 years ago** and I've tried Barre3Bikram yoga, various types of yoga and the normal gym equipments. It was a pretty long fitness journey for me but it was all worth it.  Let me list the reasons why you should do the same thing:

(1) You will learn the fundamentals--which is really what we all have to have to serve as foundation for whatever exercise we want to try out. Doing yoga and pilates gave me body awareness. It taught me the basics of each pose, which is normally the starting position of other exercises.

(2) You'll figure out what you love doing. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a destination. If you reached your goal weight, it doesn't stop there. Consistency is key to maintain your health, or else you'll just be back to square one--nobody likes that. That's why you should do what you enjoy. Sweat on doing something that makes you smile, an activity that won't make you drag your butt out of bed, an exercise that excites you. Try a new workout for 1-2 weeks. You might hate it at first as it's too hard and your body's adjusting. But after quite some time, you'll be strong enough to decide.

(3) You'll gain new friends. Studios and gyms usually engage new members. They really talk to you about your goals, the FAQs of the exercise (this is SOP for Bikram first-timers), and ask how your first time was after the class. Studios also have seasonal parties and you might get invited into those too!

* Or more realistically, 10-9. Whatever time I finish what I had to do for the day.
** I have only realized how many years have passed since I started college.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quick morning eats


Cold water and coffee is enough of a pick-me-upper for weekday mornings, but the possibility of having a real, delicious breakfast is something I really look forward to. Just thinking of it makes me happy! Oh, the smell of freshly baked pandesal bread with creamy peanut butter, partnered with newly ground coffee.. Aahh good stuff.

I usually make something to eat before leaving for work though. Just to give me the energy I need post-workout and pre-pollution (due to jeepneys I commute in). Nothing fancy since I'm running here and there for my clothes and stuff (read: changing up to 2 different outfits depending on my mood). Workday mornings are hectic. Thank God, I don't get that hungry after a workout so a simple flourless banana pancake or buttered toast will fill me up. Or if I run out of ideas.. I turn to eggs. :)

Eggs are man's best friend, at least for me. You can literally have an egg a day without repeating the way of cooking for a week. I gathered a few links here and there that will help you (and me, both) to learn proper ways of cooking eggs that will about a yummier version of what you normally come up with. You will not have to go out to a breakfast resto and order overpriced eggs ever again!

Which one's your favorite?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fears of a first time night shift-er

Okay, I'll just let it out.

I'm scheduled for night shift. Starting tomorrow.

I was forewarned a couple of weeks ago that this will happen so I was expecting it. But now that's it's finally, officially here, I am dreading it. I feel unprepared in spite the nights of talking myself into this new schedule.

Feeling a little embarrassed about being so nervous about it, I haven't really talked to anyone about my feelings until yesterday morning when I received the text that my new schedule is from 6pm to 5am. I am hoping this change will only last for a couple of weeks. I'm a morning person and this just saddens me. My boyfriend has been supportive and he's disappointed (which gives me relief) that we won't be seeing much of each other on a daily basis anymore.

It makes me feel better to write about this. To let things out this way. Well, what am I worried about?

Well, just two things really:

1. First and most importantly--the very horrible, weight gain. I workout consistently first thing after waking up and this routine has ruled over my mornings for around a year now (previous years were spent on studios and gyms after work). I want to adjust my body clock to a new schedule before actually allotting a time for being active. Also, I have seen a lot of friends gaining a few pounds on night shift. They're ok with it and that's nice. But I'm not. :(

2. Food schedule. I have read articles saying that there's constant hunger throughout the night. I'm an eating machine during normal days... What will happen to me if I feel CONSTANT HUNGER during the night. To counter possible relapses, I am planning to be more disciplined and to bring a panini sandwich (I even bought a panini maker just this morning) to work. This will lessen the chances of me giving McDonald's a quick visit on 2am in the morning.

Wish me luck! :)

A second look at clipboards


Here on Wild for White, we're all for simple but chic sophistication. No need for expensive, over the top pieces. A clean slate and some pop of color will be more than enough to bring out style and personality without being too much for the eye.

The home office desk above is a vignette of useful office stuff mixed together with aspirational clipped photos. I love the idea of placing clipboards on the wall while the picture frames landed on the table. The interchanging of where stuff should be gives the look an exciting twist.

Aside from the witty use of clipboards and the presence of the mannequin, there is also a room for organization. You won't have to dump all of your stuff above the desk since it has little cabinets on the sides. I figured that the desk can easily be found on thrift stores as the design is simple but do-able with just a can of white paint.

For more of these aspirational work desks, head over to Naturally Jes. Just by looking at this "Inspire" post, I know we can be pals! :)

How do you add inspiration to your work desks? What do you want to add to this vignette to make it your own?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Treat yourself Saturday

Saturdays are sacred to me. I weigh and choose the activities I do on this day as this is the time I can relax without having to shove away worries. It's the day before the dreaded last weekend day so I can lounge all I want without feeling guilty that I'm doing nothing.

I'm starting "treat yourself Saturday" for the sole reason that this day is for me. I want to be able to fit in the things I don't normally do (read: stuff for myself, lazy, unproductive, terribly relaxing guilty pleasures). Here are a few links to browse through. I warn you, these links will urge you to go shopping (another "me" time example) so brace yourselves.

  • I've always wanted to be a mom someday and I wanna look good and healthy doing it. Here are model mom-style inspirations (Miranda Kerr, Kate Moss, you know, just simple people).
  • Heels never fails to make any woman feel confident. Though it's too stressful to wear it to work especially if you walk and run around all day, you should keep a pair or two under your desk for those just-in-case moments.
  • My new favorite: Blake Lively! She exudes such personality in the 73 questions from Vogue.
  • Some exciting tips on getting the LIKE-able Instagram photo.
  • After learning a lot of photography tricks from pros, some more ideas for making blogging/social media a career, specifically creating iPhone apps.
  • The reason why I added Croatia to my bucket list! I didn't know it's that beautiful. It has a unique, traditional design across the whole country and it's such a wonderful sight. It's like seeing history unfold itself.
  • One of my obsessions after I had bangs--how to trim and maintain the length I want (and the one that suits my face shape). I used to go to the salon almost every week just to have my bangs trimmed. But now, with these tips, I won't have to.

Friday, August 22, 2014

No hustling

Team building 2014 is now officially a few weeks away! It has been quite some time since the last outdoor activity with my workmates so I'm excited. So how do you usually prepare for these things? It's like a milder form of camping but a wilder form of group games. It usually involves some obstacle/relay race, a balance test that I'm really nervous about, tons of nature excursion, and to add to the "wilderness" theme, a man-made lake. Let's get ready!

1. Know the details.

This may seem like the simplest, duh tip but I find it the one thing that people often skip. You know they did when they ask "what time should we meet up?", "what activities will we have?", "do I have to bring swimwear?"... the list of inquiries goes on and on.
You can either:

 --> Check out the brochure or invite. You know, the email that informed you about having the team building in the first place. Yes, that one. Now, go and click.
 --> Visit the website of the venue. Most team building places have their own list of what-to-brings and reminders. Those will surely help you.

2. Be healthy.

For desk workers who spend 90% of their office work sitting down, it is an unexpected surprise to go through the physical requirements of team building without any warm up or practice. Beyond being healthy, try and train yourself to sweat out a couple of weeks before the day. It will not only give you the seemingly unattainable glow but it will also help you be stronger in enduring whatever games the facilitators think of.

3. Be open.

Don't let fear get in the way. No team building venue is untested in terms of their safety guidelines. I'm sure they check their materials every time a new crew visits. They won't want any accidents to happen since it'll be bad for business.

I'm scared of heights and deep (+ dirty) water. Those two are staples of TB activities. I just kind of suck it up and do them the last time. What's the worst thing that could happen if you fall? Yeah, your team might lose a point or two but everything is for clean fun. If you fall into the dirty lake, shower right after the activity. If you got winded within seconds of the obstacle relay, don't think too much about, your boss might struggle even more than you did.

This is easier said than done, I understand. Think about it for now. Are you really throwing away the one chance you can cross a man-made lake using just two ropes (one for the feet and another for the hands to hold on to) or a a skinny log?

4. Bring what you need + a little bit more.

The TB venue provides a list of things to bring. Those are essential, yes, but it's also important to think ahead. Instead of just using the list you printed off from the net, use your daily routine as a guide for packing/listing what you need. A few guide questions/phrases to help you:

 --> If you have sensitive skin (like myself), what's your morning and evening face routine? Make sure to have a complete list of the toner, moisturizer, sun block and lotion.
--> The venue advises two sets of outfits for changing. Bring essential pieces to create three to four outfits + 1 swimsuit + 1 activity outfit (read: clothes you can throw away) + appropriate footwear. Always extend another mile for things like clothes. You'll feel so much better if you're wearing new stuff after the tiring activities.
 --> I encourage the use of aqua shoes especially to those with sensitive skin on the feet. You will never know what's on the ground. Don't wait for mother earth to surprise you (read: splinters, sharp rocks)
 --> These are just a few stuff. More on this soon :)

5. Smile and enjoy.

The activities are always done on groups and it might stir some competition within the subsets of the team. Once you keep in mind that in the end, you're just one team. Then the competition will melt away, leaving a stronger team on its wake. Give it a chance.

How do you prepare for out of town trips?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tips on how to endure


I was a chubby kid. I struggled with weight for as long as I remember... What I do is I diet. My discipline is unbreakable back then as I was 20 lbs overweight. By now I realized, dieting by removing a staple food from one's daily intake is the amateur's way to slimming down. I stopped eating rice  for a few years before realizing that it will be futile if I don't move my butt away from the confines of my incredibly comfortable bed.

Everything changed when I discovered exercise. I started with home exercise videos, continued to Bikram yoga classes in Greenhills and Makati, went to the gym in Makati and Mandaluyong, moved on to the yoga studio in Pasig then ended up back to home exercise videos. I bought myself two pairs of dumbbells, a yoga mat and talked myself into strengthening my willpower--it's all you'll ever need, my friend.

Endurance is a natural gift for me, I noticed. I get exhausted. I get winded, quite quickly in fact, as I have asthma. But I picked up a few tips here and there on how to push yourself to maximize your high intensity exercises.

1. Warm up.
I feel how inflexible my body tends to be whenever I start an intense exercise without warming up my joints first. Warm ups are proven* to enhance performance and avoid injury just because it starts up the blood flow before the main exercise starts. It's a cliche but you sabotage exercise if not done with proper warm ups and cool downs. 

2. Find a dot.
I learned this trick from my first ever yoga class, during the practice of the tree pose. Balance** is tricky. Many are born without the natural ability to calm down as they balance and stand on one foot. Tree pose is a measure of how silent you can be while your body adapts to the gravity and settles down into equilibrium. The teacher told us to stare at a dot in the wall and focus. Just give all your attention to that dot until we were told to get out of the pose. I use that trick every time I balance, even outside the mat. It's like you're balancing your mind together with the rest of your body.

This is very helpful in doing plyometrics as well. It forces your eyes into a single space wherein the pain from the jumps (read: rock star jumps) are separate.

3. Breathe out through the mouth.
For interval training, people get so winded that they forget to breathe deeply. I do the same thing unintentionally, I hold my breath because the pain and exhaustion. I consciously breathe in and let the oxygen into my body. I found it better since it made me do the circuits longer and more efficiently. It may take a lot of getting used to though. Just work through it together with your form.

Now, go, lay open that yoga mat and sweat it out!

How long do you workout? Do you easily give up on a session when it gets too hard?

*Bernhardt, G. (n.d.) The real reason you should warm up. Retrieved from
**Cole, R. (n.d.) Plumb Perfect. Retrieved from

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to make mornings a little less dreadful

I adore mornings. The heat, the smell of a new start (it's a little earthy but sweet for me) is always refreshingly nice. No matter how miserable the day before was, the fact that there's another day to move on, to let go, to accept things is more than enough.

Luckily, waking up in the morning is usually an easy task for me. I put myself on a schedule everyday so I know pretty much what to expect. Even if my job has flexible time in (I believe hehe), I try to go to work a bit later than when I should come in but before the everyday buzz starts. I have a lot of friends who are night owls so they miss mornings most of the time. If you're one of them, I might have a few things you can try to make mornings a little less dreadful.

1. Say "thank you".
My first thought, literally, is a simple thanks that I'm here and I am loved and I have reasons to be happy. It's all sappy and mushy but it does help to give a boost to your day even when you're so sleepy still. Thinking about stuff I'm grateful for pushes my brain out of the sleep zone and way into the it's-time-to-wake-up zone.

2. Drink tea.
I used to only drink coffee (preferrably the kind made by my dad) but I find that it just gives me a little jolt and it's too sweet. Now, I have tea on mornings then coffee as part of my merienda. I drink Tiny Tea right after I wake up or during my workout. I can feel the energy on my veins. It wakes me right up. Thank God for tea.

3. Talk to yourself.
My bed turns softer and colder when it's time to wake up. I want to delve into the insides of my bed sheets, stay there and wake up when I'm starting to have headaches (I have those when I oversleep). One thing I tell myself is "It's Monday and you have to start early to end early. Wake up! Wake up!" or if it's almost the weekend, "It's Thursday! Just one more day of this and you can sleep in!" I think about this rather than actually saying it. I'm too sleepy to open my mouth. But still.. Talk to yourself, it's safe and it works.

4. Open your windows to let sunlight bathe your sheets.
Sunlight on mornings are lovely. It's not painful and not too hot, it's perfectly warm. Enough to make you exhale and smile. Also, sunlight signals your body to wake up. I'm sure there's a scientific explanation about that.

5. Move.
Make a habit of doing your exercise on the mornings so you have it checked out of your to-do list as early as you can. Don't think, just do! You can find ways to make AM your exercise sched here. And maybe here too.

6. Drag your eyes to see outside the window, take all of the wonder in.
Even if it's just your neighbor next door. Or the traffic from the streets. Or maybe just your backyard. Look out.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The best tuna pasta ever!

Good morning!

It's heart warming to write posts early in the morning. It's a pain in my eyes sometimes but I love the flow of energy from my freshly waken up mind to my typing fingers. I'm zen! I'm on the zone!

I am so excited to share my recent leveling up activity (linking in Giselle from gisdoit, a role model for leveling up). I cooked tuna pasta with tomatoes for the first time. This is my second dish so far and it's been a slow progress due to my lack of time and mood to do something productive. Oh well, here it is!

I posted in Instagram and it feels good to finally be sharing a creation rather than just something I ordered from somewhere. I used canned tuna, tomatoes and fusilli pasta. It's pretty basic.

I love the practice of cooking pasta. It's a slow process that really develops my patience. I learn just how time makes stuff more beautiful, tastier.. If I let the heat do its thing (with the addition of slipping in a bit of oil and salt in the water), it'll result to something al dente.

I cooked the spicy canned tuna with garlic then added the tomatoes when it's almost done. See, easy peasy! I'm still proud though. I got myself a dark chocolate bar to celebrate. Cheers to easy-to-do pasta and small-packaged-and-guiltless chocolates! :)

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
- Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Call It Spring flats
I had a cup of Pan de Manila's coffee and my energy is through the roof! I also had a couple (ok, several heeheehee) tamarind candies so my sugar level really is beyond my normal state.

I want to share a quick post about a realization I had today.

Kindness is contagious (I feel weird comparing it to a disease but it's the closest analogy I have). Once it's out there, people can barely resist being it, absorbing its impact and just being overwhelmed by the side effects.
Being infectious, it has to come from a source. A source strong enough to fight anything that hinders its preservation (okay I'm being too scientific). Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, the source is you (or me, in this case).

Slight segue:
I don't think I can ever write a novel. My mind's too excited with different topics, a single storyline. Hence this "slight segue" section. I think I need to do more of this just to satisfy my blabbing fingers or my coffee stained neurons. I have a degree in Psychology, thus, all the scientific references. Okay back to my realization.

I am usually not the kind of person to do good first. I always reciprocate. I get tired from being nice easily. But this time, with all the energy from the magic coffee, I surprised myself by being the one to initiate a conversation, to start a rekindling of friendship, something of that sort but less dramatic.

It's a great feeling to be able to be a bigger person than you usually are. But the better feeling is to see the effect it has on the receiver of the action. It's digital good karma, baby! It's that quick! The receiver, someone I haven't talked to for quite some time, returned the kindness I naturally, unintentionally, did.

Being the bigger person is hard but it is so so worth it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Moshi Koshi ramen loving

Good morning!

Today is a happy day as I will be sharing one of my ultimate comfort meals! :)

I've had a lot of instant ramen in my life--from killing off those late night blues to nursing the rainy day with a bowl of hot noodle goodness.

Moshi Koshi is a good place for a quick ramen fix. You order and within a few minutes (their words, not mine), it will be served. A few minutes initially scared me. Fie and I were waiting for a movie sched so we had this meal planned to just be 30 minutes tops.

Why I liked?

1. The menu is as clear as can be. It has the fewer choices than what I was used to but nevertheless, we relished the simplicity.

2. The ramen and gyoza were served within 10 minutes--yey! :) Needless to say, it has exceeded our expectations with regards to serving time.

3. The place was spick and span. It is minimalistic and shows that they are a good ramen fast food place.

4. The manager is friendly and accommodating. This is something I admire and I rarely encounter in international food joints.

5. The best ramen I had so far! :)

What I think needs to be "more"?

1. The serving size for the big bowl is good enough for 1 hungry person and 2 merienda-eating people (hence, us). If we would have eaten this when we're hungry, it would not have been enough. Or maybe I was just expecting too much.....

2. A bigger variety on beverages. I noticed they have the normal sodas and popular bottled iced teas. It would be more fun to have their own milk tea or home-made iced tea! Just thinking aloud here. ;)

Visit their newest branch in LG Flr of the Annex bldg in SM North EDSA.

"When you had a bad day, a really BAD day, try and treat the world better than it treated you."
- Patrick Strump

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Milo Marathon!

Joining a marathon, or what I prefer to call "fun runs" because they're supposed to be fun and non-competitive (for me at least), with Fie is one of the top stuff in my bucket list. I love staying active and doing it with him makes the exhaustion sweeter.

My friend at work invited us to join the Milo Marathon last July 27. I can't be any more excited! It was a Sunday with no plans set and the venue is somewhere familiar to us, Mall of Asia, so Fie and I decided to sign up for 5k. It's the normal route, we thought. 3k seemed to short. We want to get our money's worth! We wanted some challenge! So 5k it is.

For a first timer on this event, let me tell you the things nobody tells you about Milo Marathons--and fun runs in general:

1. They don't have lockers for 3k and 5k runners.

Fie and I brought backpacks thinking we won't carry them all throughout the 5k route. But no, we're wrong (ugh, first timers). We decided to just suck it up and look at the positive by thinking it'll up our fitness level a bit. Our backpacks are as good as 3-lb dumbbells. Fie made a pact with me though: we'll go backpack-less the next time we run. I agreed at once.

2. Eat something before the run. Don't trust coffee to carry you through the whole route.

Portalets are the pits. Worrying about the awful urge to pee before and while running, I didn't eat anything before going to MOA. I made coffee, drank it with so much slow fervor (as it's amazingly good to drink something warm early in the morning) then off I went. I felt the effects of such stupidity when I'm already running and I have this crazy tummy cramps. I felt gassy and weak. Hate you, acidity. You suck.

3. There are tons and tons and tons of people.

Milo Marathons are for charity. They encourage schools to join by giving them discounts and by having a cheerleading competition after the run. If I have known about this, I would have prepared more. There was a thick wave of people--families, friends, students--and looking at them just discourages me. Fie made another pact with me: We'll not join if it's this popular. We'll choose less hyped fun runs. I agreed again, of course.

4. You don't want to be one of those who take a lot of selfies with absolutely anything remotely interesting while on the route.

From the 1k-distance signs (the big signs that says that you've passed the 1k mark), the family photos (done via a monopod in the middle of the freaking road), the bridge (the view isn't even pretty), to the 41k-mark (even if the person taking the selfie is only registered for the 5k-route. Seriously?)--these people took so much space that it's impossible to really run. Avoid them at all costs.

5. The energy is incredible.

I may have a lot of complaints and I would have preferred things to be done certain ways but the Milo Marathon is so much fun. The people really gave their energy and, being Filipinos, there's so much laughter around us while we run.

I'm so so happy to have finished this race with Fie. I forgot how tiring and exhilarating running can be since I do my workouts at home. I don't do distance-y stuff. I stay in a single place for my circuits. It was so fulfilling to have this checked off my list. Fie and I talked about joining another race in the future, not the neaaar future since we're still sore (We were. Sore. Yes. For days!) but I know we will have another one under our belt.

Stay tuned!

PS: Here are the photos :)

"What you do today is important because you're exchanging a day of your life for it."

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

message in a bottle: time and silence

Time and silence are today's luxuries.

I live for Saturdays and Sundays.
I live for the peaceful feeling of waking up and expecting absolutely nothing stressful for the day.
I live for hours and hours of Hay Day playing and book reading with occasional tea drinking and cupcake munching.
I live for the quality time spent with my loved ones.
I live for days when I can wear shorts or jeans with slippers or tank tops.
I live for the heat of commuting and the cold of going home from a fun day, no reason to frown, no reason to get tired.
I live for the days when I'm off work and work is off me.

I'm an introvert so I naturally get pulled to the silent, more "boring" side of things. I always was the one who can just stay in one corner, read and time will pass by unnoticed.

Being in the middle of the hullabaloo of the mid-20s (work, career and the chase of a dream), I crave for time and silence. I long for those precious hours I have for myself when I can do anything and it won't matter to anyone but me. I find those moments important. Those times are when I get to center myself and bring back what the noise and pressure tried so hard to get rid of.

The world is more than the activity, the movement, the cycle. It is existing to be appreciated, to be known, to be seen. How can we see something that constantly moves and changes? We have to stop our own noise and just look.. So we can begin to see.

Give yourself that chance to stop and relax, to know more about your surroundings, to get to know more about yourself. I sometimes hear people labelling that as "laziness". No it's not. It's a wise decision to have that pit stop. I'm not saying to discontinue work or learning, it is to welcome rest and quiet.

Grab a cup of caffeine. Sip slowly. Turn an electronic page (if you're into ebooks) slowly and purposefully. Glance somewhere else if the written word impacts you. Go out and try a new food joint. Try a new cuisine. Cook. Walk. Run. Hug your husband. Make time. Savor silence.

I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. - Chaim Potok, The Chosen

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Teatox with Tiny Tea of "YourTea"

There are days when being a natural morning person isn’t enough. I know everyone has their own way of kicking off their day. It's usually a workout and a caffeine fix--like me. I only open my inbox at work when I already have my cup of coffee or tea with me. The tension/pressure/stress I expect from my emails is melted off by every sip! The heat just massages me from the inside. 

I’m no black-coffee drinker, I think that’s too boring. I tried it a couple of times before and my heart beat just went through the roof! The palpitations I had made me swear off that kind of “healthy” coffee forever.

Chill, moderate energy is more than enough for me. Thus, the choice for a creamy cup of coffee. The sad thing about this is it makes me feel bloated afterwards. I think it’s all the cream I add. :( Given that, I went through Instagram for possible options on how to perk up my day.. Hopefully, my experience with this tea will help you achieve what you want + more unexpected results. I'll get to the latter in a while :)

I met “YourTea” in Instagram and I stalked them in Pinterest and their blog. It was an exciting discovery for me! I read more about the brand and here goes: It’s an international brand of tea that has tons of benefits, more than what a normal blend will have. The people behind YourTea are like us—tea drinkers. They have been creating tea combinations that will balance taste + benefits (the latter I was talking about earlier).

I want you to meet someone--
Natalie Kringoudis is an ambassador of YourTea. She is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Natural Fertility Educator and Author. As a way to support wellness, she has developed a unique style to treating health and well-being with Traditional Chinese Medicine. She helps YourTea provide its drinkers education on diet and lifestyle to maximise the benefits of the tea blend.

I’m really only after the energy boost but if it eases my bloated tummy, then give it to me! I experienced how good it was for me so I am writing about it, sharing the wonder, and willing you to try it out :)

Here’s a list of their tea blends and the benefits they give you:

—> TINY TEA (reduces bloating, removes toxins, improves energy levels, and nudges away any surplus weight)
—> EVERYDAY TEA (boosts immunity, regulates mood, aids digestion and allows the skin to have the healthy glow we all crave)
—> ANTIOXIDANT TEA (the antioxidants assists with anti-ageing, fights free-radicals, and detoxifies the body)
—> BREAST FRIEND TEA (nourishes the liver and activates the kidneys to support the body in producing a healthy supply of strong, nutrient loaded breast milk)
—> SKIN MAGIC TEA (nourishes and cleanses the system so that the body won’t have to push out toxins and waste through the skin; nourishes the blood to better assist the removal of internal toxins)
—> MAN TEA (nourishes the organs, promotes muscle growth, and increases strength; combats the signs of bloating and fluid retention to achieve a greater muscular definition)
—> FERTILITY TEA (supports the hormones, benefits ovulation, and regulates the woman’s cycle to maximize fertility and conception potential)
—> ANTI-C TEA (assists in cleansing the kidneys and liver to help the body lift stagnant dampness and phlegm)

YourTea offers a 14-day and 28-day teatox program that won’t leave you starving. I purchased their 28-day teatox box of Tiny Tea wherein it’s recommended to have a cup of tea twice a day, 20-30 mins before/after a meal. It is easier for me to drink it after a meal since planning to drink before a meal isn't always a success. I don't know what time I'll really get to eat, being busy with work and personal errands.

By the way, I bought my box from TeatoxPH, a distributor of YourTea in the Philippines. 
       *They’re really professional and makes the transactions easier for buyers. If you choose to try this out, contact them! :)

Trust me when I say this:
You won't starve. Drinking this won't be a hassle. You can retain how you eat, just add the tea on your daily food intake. It will make you feel full since it’s warm water. Every time I have a cup, I feel like it’s melting (or maybe “digesting” is a better term, but really, who feels “digesting”?) the food I just had. In a good way. I feel a bit lighter after!

Mom noticed how clear my skin was days after starting the teatox. She, of all people, doesn’t sugarcoat stuff about me. If she says something nice, she means it! I haven’t changed anything in my lifestyle, no facials, no special juices or whatnot. Just the teatox and my usual morning exercise. So plus points to YourTea! :)

A significant thing I noticed after taking the tea for 2-3 weeks was whenever I have an unhealthy meal (fast food junk, instant noodles—both I love but both are so bad for me), drinking the tea makes me wish that I took more time in choosing a better meal. The tea taught my body what it needs, what it should love, what it should flush out ASAP. It teaches me to be more self-aware, to give more time in deciding what’s best for me, giving my body what it needs and, at the same time, satisfies my cravings.

YourTea Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Pinterest
TeatoxPH Instagram (Manila distributor)

"If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

message in a bottle: the best attitude


Let's talk about gratitude.

I woke up the other day feeling sluggish and I just cannot drag my butt out of bed. My mind is spinning from the long list of to-do's I have to check before the day ends. Imagine thinking about a day ending even before I got out of bed! The first 10 minutes of welcoming a new day already exhausted me. I used all my willpower to rise, drink a glass of water, sweep the floor, roll out my yoga mat and just work out. I promised myself that I'll feel better after I sweat all my apprehensions out.

Every time I finish a workout session, I take some time to just sit still. Dripping sweat, shoe-less and feeling light since my body just undergone something it needs. I feel the endorphins rushing in and I visualize sharing the good vibes with everyone I know, those that I love and even those that I am annoyed at (we all have that list! Hehehe!).

On my way to work, I began noticing how different I see things.. I appreciate:
             (a) The elevator waiting on the 5th floor of our building. Like it knew that I'm going down for work. I whispered thank you to the last person who pressed the elevator button for this floor.
             (b) The funny pedicab driver that seems to be friends with everyone we pass by. For non-Pinoy readers, a pedicab is a small, pedal-operated vehicle. I ride a pedicab and a jeepney for work everyday. They're incredibly humbling and fun. I thought thank you for light hearted public transportation drivers whose attitude on life is contagious.
             (c) The cool breeze that greets me as I walk by to get some breakfast for Alfie and I. I whispered thank you for the little gift inspite of the heat.
             (d) The easy feeling I had as I read through my emails of the day. I whispered thank you for giving me a break today.

Those are incredibly shallow stuff, I know, but the joy it gave me as I continue my initially weary day was just fascinating. It made me realize just how easy happiness can be created. The gratitude I felt in every trivial thing (which a pessimistic person might find annoying and pointless) carried me through the day.

There can be so much light and love you can create and share when you're thankful for what life brings you. It's a constant positive cycle that's on your control. Look. See that this life is more than what you imagined it to be, even more than you wanted it to be. Treat each obstacle as a challenge, a practice session, a time for contemplation. There are a lot of beautiful things that are left unnoticed. The gift is here, all you have to do is to merely acknowledge its presence. Feel thankful. Express your gratitude by sharing it. Smile. Continue the cycle of positivity. Be happy. Most importantly, be kind.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 
― Melody Beattie

Monday, July 14, 2014

easiest pancake recipe ever

Cooking is as unnatural to me as singing (or anything that involves a performance haha!) so it took me a fair amount of courage to start learning.

I have always loved watching cooking shows, especially those who bake so much. I adore Nigella Lawson's calm instructions, Giada de Laurentiis' amazing bod, Kitchen Boss' baking masterpieces... I can go on and on!

I wanted to be like them but I have to start somewhere, right? So I started with the simplest thing ever.. I'm skipping over cooking instant noodles and boiling an egg here. Let us start with a breakfast staple: pancakes!!

As I try to be healthier and more conscious when it comes to choosing what I eat, I am beyond delighted to read about the two-ingredient pancakes. This is great for those in paleo diet and those who want to have protein after a workout. This recipe just needs banana and eggs. If you want it sweet, balance the ratio of the banana to the egg (1:1). If you don't have a sweet tooth, 1:2 ratio for banana and eggs is perfect. :) **I feel so good writing this! Self improvement--yey!**

Step1: Prepare. This is all you need! Those who never cooked at all will understand how much of a relief this is! :)

Step2: Slice the banana in small pieces for easier mushing. If you're a bit of an OC, do this one part of a banana at a time. It's awesome to be able to crack an egg open flawlessly! Practice makes perfectionne! :)

Step3: Mix, mix, mix!

Step4: Cook in medium-low heat. Trust me, I've tried various levels of heat and "slowly but surely" is the best way to go. This is the prettiest batch I've ever done so it's blog-worthy enough for me! If I can do a prettier batch, expect a comeback post :)

Oh and I personally loved adding peanut butter. I use it as an alternative to maple syrup. It balances out the sweetness of the banana. :)

Have you done pancakes this way before? :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

cafe on the 6th at ascott hote, makati

Again and again, Dad has been a consistent role model and positive beacon in my life. He has taught me a lot that I know and he gave me this cool, reserved demeanor, something I only share with him. :)

Last Fathers' day, we headed out to have lunch somewhere new. We had no idea where at first since this is a special day yet not as remarkable as birthdays so we want to splurge just the right amount. I love dining in hotel restaurants/cafes. It's a chance to check out their amenities and have an idea in mind for a staycation or a celebration venue. Seeing different nationalities being catered to in hotel cafes are nice too. It makes me feel one with the world even if it's just eating in the same place as people who look different from me.

So in we went inside Ascott Hotel in Makati. It's fused with Glorietta so it's real easy to get to. The doorman is always a huge guy with an adorable guard dog--I am not sure what breed but it's a black and big thing that looks so calm and nice, or maybe a little bored.

Of course, Cafe on the 6th is on the 6th floor. The hotel is, as expected, a good venue to have some privacy. I barely saw any guests, actually. They're mostly in the pool area rather than lounging elsewhere. The design is a bit oldish so it's not something I rave about, but it's nice enough. The staff are friendly though, they ushered as in. They immediately set up a table for us, gave us warm, freshly baked bread and left us happily munching on those. We even asked for seconds! :)

Okay.. Documenting where we eat is a job. I usually stop them from messing up their food just so I could take a picture and show it to you guys. See how much I love you?! Hahaha. I don't look at the menu too much for the prices as I expected to find a decent menu online. But.. There seems to be none since the place is more known for its breakfast buffet (courtesy of bloggers who stay overnight in the hotel). So I will be improvising on the names of the food and maybe my little blog will somehow be seen by their manager so they'll upload their menu or something. Hehehe. Enjoy! :)

Shrimp pesto--creamy and has a generous serving of shrimp.
Fries with absolutely everything on it--not a fan of this. The fries were dry.. I prefer my fry dripping with cheese and bacon. I think this was overcooked.

For the diner that cannot decide what to order -- I think this is called "Anything Goes" or "Can't Decide", something witty but true ;) 
The best: four cheese pizza. I can marry cheese and this one has four! Heaven on a very hot plate.

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
- Clarence Budington Kelland

Linking up with Friday Blog Hop.