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Wasn't able to enjoy Christmas at all because I got sick on the 24th so I had to rest until the 27th. I was only able to come to work yesterday because I'm afraid of incurring anymore unpaid leaves huhu. It's the same diagnosis year after year after year. I can't remember any other illness I had that has nothing to do with my throat (except for chickenpox 4 years ago). I feel bad that my husband and I weren't able to join any family reunion because he has to attend to me. But I'm thankful because at least we were able to dine with our families together before I got sick. And they all went to visit us multiple times this week to check up on me, with my sister even staying the entire day (despite her first day of bloody hell) to nurse me while my husband is at work. So yeah, super thankful! But still could've been more fun. I'm not really in the mood to do any recount of what's happened this year, but I'll indulge given that there's really only a few things that spun my life for that majority of 2017.

First is our wedding.
Next is my moving to a new company.
And finally, married life.

I won't elaborate hahaha I'm so tamad.

Right now I'm trying to condition my mind to let out more creative juices for this logo project I wanted to accomplish before the year ends. It's only been 2 months since my last design gig and I'm already experiencing a major drought in the right hemisphere of my brain.

It could be because I've been writing more than designing lately so the gears are working the wrong quadrant. According to my freelance activity logs, of the 3 sidelines I do (blogging, writing, designing), 48% of my total income came from writing, 27% from designing, and 25% from blogging.

This is the first time I actively monitored my freelance earnings and I'm pretty proud that I've earned 94k this year. It may be small compared to other passion projects out there by my goal is to just reach 100k so I'm already good with that figure even though it's 6k short haha. And besides not all contracts have been paid in full so I can say I've closed over a hundred thousand worth of projects this year. I can't believe it when I saw the numbers rising. But on the other hand I was hoping it was passive income instead. So I didn't have to work extra hours. :(

I only want one thing next year: good health. When you're sick you get to appreciate your health a lot. And I did. I was in the middle of a 48 hour bed rest and I'm being plagued by the articles, logos, and illustrations I have to work on. Filing for sick leave was a necessary sacrifice but I was tormented at the thought of it. That's 2 days off my paycheck. My paycheck that's only enough for our bills. When you're sick it's not the disease that cripples you. It's worry.

So Lord, I just want to be healthy this year please! <3


Disclaimer: this is a guest post.

Are you ready to put back your body into shape? Some people have nothing to deter from achieving the goal. However, certain ways of winning results are rather arguable. Thus, in addition to accustomed ways of shedding excess fat, some category of users opt for pharmaceutical products to accelerate their endeavors. Certainly, such decision entails particular risks including the risk of health issue, the risk of failure, and the risk of wasting money. On the other hand, such approach can bring fruit and provide a significant performance.  Today, we are going to discuss a kind of diet supplement from the category of meal replacements. That category is known for fewer health risks than versatile capsulated fat burners or appetite suppressants. Nevertheless, it does not mean that users get a superb product with top productivity. But first things first. Meet Plexus Slim review.

Photo from thesponsoringsystem.com

Not a Meal Replacement 

People who used to take versatile MR shakes have a general idea of content and nutritional values of such category of diet products. The principal character of the present article is another kettle of fish. Though it is a powder, its potency resembles a weight loss pill. First, there is no protein in it. Second, the energy value of one serving is beyond borders of a traditional MR drink. Your body gets 5 cals only!

Your doubts will increase as soon as you blend the powder with water and get a pink mixture. In fact, the nickname of the shake is the pink drink. Perhaps, the situation will be clearer if we look at the content.

Under the Hood 

Major advantages of Plexus include the lack of gluten and possible artificial components like colors, sweeteners, and flavors. Besides, the product is a fit for vegetarians since it is absolutely organic. And here is what you will find inside.

Chromium is a mineral with numerous useful functions like reducing appetite, improving blood sugar, and metabolizing fats and carbs.

The second and final ingredient is called Plexus Slim Blend. This blend consists of elements that are typical for a variety of diet capsules. So, if you have ever tried such type of supplements, the names of green coffee bean extract, as well as Garcinia Cambogia, should be familiar. The third element of the blend is represented by alpha lipoic acid.

Performance and Safety 

Now, it is time to answer two essential questions namely “Will Plexus help me?” and “What side effects can it trigger?” The second question is easier to answer since the product is mostly safe. Why mostly? Because one can find some reports of non-serious reactions like stomachache, bloating, anxiety, headaches etc. These are like to be caused by the abuse of the supplement.

As for the performance, the situation is more complicated. Certain ingredients do provide weight loss effect. However, the user’s experience shows controversial outcome since many consumers claim on the lack of efficiency. Those who managed to shed a couple of pounds have used Plexus along with dieting and exercising. So, its contribution to success is unlikely. 
Photo from Pixabay

When you hear the word alcohol, you might think about ‘good time’, ‘friends’, and ‘party’. Well, alcohol is not really a terrible thing, it’s just how most people take it. The real problem is, alcohol is the main culprit why people are losing self-control. A lot of road accidents are triggered by drivers who are influenced by alcohol. If you think that you are one of those people who are addicted to alcohol, and want to break free from it, you’ve come to the right place. Before I proceed to explaining how you can control your drinking, you need to know why you need to get motivated to start doing it.
  • If you are bearing a child, you can prevent damage to your baby in your womb when you stop drinking. Alcohol is the worse enemy of that little thing inside your womb. 
  • It can prevent further damage to your health. According to study, as many people know it, alcohol is the main culprit of liver damage. You don’t want to spend the rest of your lives visiting a doctor, do you? 
  • It prevents family problem and other relationship concerns. Why is it so? Once you are influenced by alcohol, you are usually out of control of your emotions, especially your anger. We hear lots of quarrel from our neighbors, and the most probably reason is that the one is under the influence of alcohol. 
  • You can prevent from acquiring legal problems due to drinking alcohol. How do alcohol drinking damage your reputation? For example, let’s say you came from a party, and drank just few shots. You drive your way back home, and you bump into a man who suddenly cross the road. Even though the problem is not with you, you will be the one to be blamed especially if you are positive in alcohol test. 
  • You can become more productive to you work if you control your drinking. Drinking alcohol is also time consuming. Yes, it is true that you also need to have an enjoyable time, but there is appointed time for everything, and being too addicted to alcohol is truly waste of time.
How can you break your alcohol addiction?

1. Know the cause. 
Some people choose alcohol to divert attention from the problem they are experiencing. According to psychologist, most of alcohol addicts have family problem backgrounds, environment influence, and peer pressure. Are you undergoing with such circumstances? You must self-analyze to know the main cause of your actions, so that you are aware of what to avoid and how to do it.

2. Decide of what you must do.
In other words, you should make plans before it gets too late and you become slave of alcohol. But if you think that you are already indulged in alcohol addiction, you should make a move. Do your plans moderately, and not in an instant.

You must be realistic with your plans. The more unrealistic it seems, the more you’ll find it hard to achieve. If you have alcohol addiction for quite long time, you have to reduce your alcohol intake little by little.

For you to achieve the goal of breaking alcohol addiction, you must put your date of when you should achieve it. Write it down in the paper or sticky note, then stick it to the wall or refrigerator where you can easily see it. Let’s say you have three months to achieve it. In the first week of achieving your goal, you can try to control your drinking into 3 times a week. Then, minimize again for another week until you finally get rid of alcohol.

3.Share you plans with others.
Tell it to the people that mostly care about you – your family. Inform that you are planning to break from alcohol addiction, and they can help you to monitor and encourage you from time to time when you seem keeping out the pace of your plans.

4. Do not get downhearted by your relapse. 
There are times that you get relapsed with your plans of not drinking. But do not give up! Just because you failed for certain time, you’ll stop trying. Repeat again and continue the progress you are making.

5. Divert your attention.
You don’t need to drink alcohol just to have a good time. You can enjoy, even without it. Instead of focusing your mind with the alcohol, why don’t you spend the time with your friends, family, and kids? There are lots of things to do than drinking. Doing outdoor activities can help you to divert your attention and make you feel that drinking isn’t the only way to have fun.

Think of the good reasons why you need to stop your alcohol addiction. Get motivated, and visit a doctor if necessary. Do not give up, and all your sacrifices will reap its fruits.
Disclaimer: This is a press release.



So you’ve got your festive outfit set and the fancy gift wrapped for your “monito” or “monita”. All that’s left undone is a party season-perfect hairstyle.

The fresh out of the shower look can be seductive yet temporary. Blame it to tropical climate, it can spoil your appearance, besides making you feel sweaty and stale. The heat and humidity brought about by extreme weather condition, likewise, dries out the locks easily and make it more fragile. Adding damage to your delicate strands are the chemical contents of various products on hand. From shampoo to conditioner and hair treatment, down to styling goods to groom it to your liking, their harsh synthetic materials jeopardize the natural oil and luster of your mane.

Because you are what you eat, the fate of your crowning glory is in the plate. Your diet must have the correct balance of vitamins and minerals to supply hair with all that it needs to become shiny and strong. So don’t overindulge, especially this time of the year when gastronomic feasts are spread almost everywhere you go. Be careful on what you take in, thinking that it’s also what you feed your ‘do.

Even stress can wear off the beauty and health of the tress. And that’s exactly what you should avoid this Yuletide season. Never put pressure on yourself just to please everyone. Just take it easy, let your hair down and party all night long.

In this time of gratitude, NOVUHAIR makes everyday “a good hair day” for its valued patrons like you with its Christmas and Year-End Promo. Get an extra NOVUHAIR Herbal Shampoo 200 ml. worth P1,040 for FREE if you buy a NOVUHAIR 3-in-1 pack at participating WATSONS stores nationwide (DOH-FDA CCRR Permit No.: 967 s. 2017).

Packed with 19 natural ingredients—mostly standardized herbal extracts, essential oils and co-factor nutrients—NOVUHAIR Topical Scalp Lotion does not only help prevent the hair fall malady, but also aids in stimulating hair growth. NOVUHAIR helps prevent hair loss, improve overall appearance, promote nourishment and rejuvenation. It is clinically-tested and proven safe and effective.

Opt for the best with this Christmas and Year-End promo. Whether it’s a luxury gift for your loved ones, or a self-indulgent treat for you, NOVUHAIR has the perfect gift to inspire and keep you party-ready this Holiday season, while providing you with the ultimate styling result.

For inquiries, please call 413-6570 or 0922-8830575. You may also visit www.novuhair.com or Novuhair’s Facebook page – Novuhair Official.
Long time no Sunday Currently! I didn't really want to go back to this format, but I needed to organize my thoughts haha so yeah. It's already Monday but my Sunday hasn't ended yet so. Who cares.

Dinner!

My husband asked me if I have trust issues because I have trouble warming up to people, don't have any "close" friends, and doubts every claim advertisements make (but really, who doesn't). He also thinks I'm borderline conspiracy theorist with the amount of skepticism I show with things, adding he wouldn't be surprised if I thought the earth was really flat. We've already discussed it but I don't think I made my point clear so imma get defensive here instead hahaha. 1. I'm pretty easy to be friends with, but my natural aloofness will make me doubt if I've really made friends. LOL. 

2. I have close friends but I'm not big on hanging out because aside from gastos, I also grow distant with people I don't see regularly. I'm bad at keeping in touch too so I'm not sure if I could still consider my old best friends as my close friends til now. I'm plagued with thoughts like, what if they've changed? What if they don't get my jokes anymore? Are we still close? Can I still tease you? Aaaaa-aaaa-aaaaah. Identity crisissssss. And in terms of hanging out, I prefer to be alone so there's really nothing conclusive in this sentence sorry hahaha.

3. I'm actually pretty gullible, and I'm only fascinated with conspiracy theories. I hardly believe them... even though I have one (which I'm saving for a novel, or selling to Dan Brown HAHAHA). Anyway, I just don't believe in ads so much because hello has anybody measured how Safeguard kills 99.9% of germs off-cam on an actual hand?! Nope. Because we don't have the tools, the bacteria meter is fiction. So is that dandruff strip. And that germ-revealing UV gun. The media is the real spawn of satan. Misinformation, deceit, and thievery right under our noses. Charot. 

4. So yeah, I'm really just a very very shy person who'd rather keep her nose down.

Reading: Sally Thorne's The Hating Game (what a swoonfest!). More on the book when I finally finish it. 
Writing: This. And according to my pending job list, I have 2 home improvement articles due tomorrow. Urgh.
Listening: Nothing, but I have a favorite playlist on Spotify: Classic Road Trip Songs. Rock and roll. Check it out.
Thinking: About how to save on electricity. We're p500 over the budget this month huhu.
Smelling: Coconut scented massage oil from earlier's swedish session at Mont Albo.
Wishing: We had tons of passive income right now.
Watching: Brooklyn Nine Nine. Sobrang funny please watch iiiiit and let's geek out? Definitely a favorite, next to Big Bang and 2 Broke Girls which I never finished haha.
Loving: Bulletproof coffee. I just tried it this morning with local ingredients and it tastes amazing. I once talked about BPC in my Battle Brew post years back, if you want more blah. I've been meaning to try it but the ingredients - grass-fed butter and MCT oil - sounds imported and expensive so I dropped the thought. But just recently I learned you can make it with regular brands (anchor, magnolia, arla) and virgin coconut oil. So yeah, I'm sold. I'm thinking tuloy how easy it is to make money out of this fad. I can just repackage local brands, give it a face-lift and slap all sorts of organic terms to lure people in. I'd sell it at a 300% markup and people will still think it's cheap. Anyway.
Wanting: Money to pay my credit card.
Needing: To finish The Hating Game before the year ends. 
Feeling: Such a loser reading chick-lit. HAHAHA. What can I say? They're the only types of books I like to read. 
Disclaimer: This is a guest post.

Photo source: Pixabay

From classic steakhouses to vegetarian outlets served from seaside shacks to some of the most fine dining outlets, eating out in Los Angeles today is considered to be extremely exciting. The large number of food trucks and some offbeat joints have given a great boost to the gastronomical reputation of the city, transforming it into a true culinary haven. So no matter what your food preference may be, there is a restaurant to cater to your budget and every whim and demand. 1. Providence

Even though Los Angeles is a city right next to the Pacific Ocean, there are very few dining outlets providing good seafood options. This is where Providence has endeavoured to narrow the gap by offering a deft aquatic menu that aptly manages to bring the bounty of the Pacific to the table. Among the various choices displayed on the large menu, Maine Lobster, Norwegian Cod and King salmon steal the show. For those craving for a luxurious and sumptuous fare, the 16 course chef menu will delight you with caviar, truffles and the catch of the day.There are also lots of vacation rentals in Los Angeles that you would like to consider basing yourself.

2. Mh Zh

Pronounced mah-zeh, this strange restaurant features dishes from the middle east and extremely affordable prices. This relatively new restaurant has menus written by hand on bags made of brown paper.The seating is on an open patio and the best dishes on offer are lamb and tahini. Mh Zh is located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles CA.

3. Badmaash

Los Angeles is full of Indian eateries, ranging from large banquet spaces to casual food stalls.The Mahendroo family owned modern restaurant Badmaash, with vintage Bollywood posters adorning the walls, provides authentic Indian fare. Wines are sold by the glass or the bottle and there is a large collection of local beers to go with the excellent food.

4. Urasawa

Ask any food connoisseur as to which city has the best sushi in the US, and the universal reply would be Los Angeles. Sushi chefs, who been practicing their craft for years, can be found in most of the high end Beverly Hills restaurants. While there are quite a few affordable options, Urasawa heads the list of the top most sushi outlets in LA. The fish is flown in daily from Japan, and the meals can be served upto 25 carefully prepared incredible courses. This is sushi dining at its finest, so be prepared to dole out 500$ per person, and that too if you book early.

5. B.S. Taqueria

Los Angeles is a paradise for taco lovers, with streets literally crammed with people flocking to try out any possible taco variation. Whether a visitor or a local, head to B.S.Taqueria for the most juicy clams with thick corn tortilla underneath. All the tacos in this popular downtown spot are not only delicious, but innovative and tasty as well. New tastes are created by balancing the quality of the ingredients, which can be ideally topped with some fluffy churros to cap the meal.

6. Yang Chow

Los Angeles has many Chinese food options, with some of the best being congregated in the San Gabriel Valley region. From Peking duck to classic egg rolls, LA is a mecca for Chinese food lovers. This is where the family run Yang Chow, running since 1977, occupies the pride of place in Los Angeles. This outlet offers a staggering menu option of over 100 Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine, with the famous slippery shrimp being the star attraction with most customers. Its location in Chinatown offers other specialities like General Tseng’s chicken and kung pao squid, all reasonably priced.

7. All About the Bread

Los Angeles has a plethora of choices for the sandwich lover. Though the food truck, burger stand and farmer's market are the obvious choices, All About the Bread is one joint which stands apart from the rest. The sandwiches served here are crisp from outside and soft inside, served with a range of ingredients like meatballs, turkey and mozzarella. The entire menu of All About the Bread is dedicated to quality and making good and proper sandwiches.

8. 101 Coffee Shop

Retro dining hot spots in Los Angeles are said to be some of the finest. The 101 Coffee Shop, a decade old outlet, costs a bit in dinner items, but has stand out dishes on the menu. Breakfast is a full day option here, with the pancakes, bacon and sausages being the most sought after. The ambience is perfect with the round pendant lamps casting a natural light on the blue tiles.

9. El Huarache Azteca

With Taqueria being available around every corner of Los Angeles, it may seem that Mexican food is the official cuisine here in this city. This south of the border fare has been drawing hordes of hungry fans to El Huarache Azteca, to relish the excellent Mexican huaraches, topped with beans, meat or vegetables. Apart from this signature dish the other recommended dishes are the quesadillas and barbacoa specials served with fresca made from fresh fruit.

10. Cheap food joints

Prices may have skyrocketed all over the city but there are plenty of places in Los Angeles where you can enjoy good food without making a hole in your pocket. From kebabs in Glendale to tacos at Leo’s Taco Truck, there are places where one can have a full meal at under 10$. If sandwiches is what you are looking for, head to Philippe the Original for some exquisite meaty French dip sandwiches, which have been retailing at this original outlet since 1951.

I'm typing this entry with my middle finger raised, in protest of the pain I'm feeling right now. But really it's because I can't type with the said finger and had to raise it to break muscle memory hehe. You see, my middle finger got cut while I was unclogging our bathroom sink last night. I was already grossed out having to scrub the insides of our pipes with my bare hands, then I just had to incur a minor cut that burned like hell. All that gunk and an open wound and the gross levels rose to a million. I can't even. Hahaha. I don't even know what that even means. Needless to say, I learned a lot that day. I fixed two problems in the house last night. Our broken freezer door and yeah our freaking bathroom sink. My lips were curled in the disgust the whole time but it needs to be done. We're having guests over this weekend, that's why. LOL.

In fairness, it wasn't that dirty, it's just the strainer that needs to be cleaned. But fkn strainer is buried so deep and is part of the popup stopper thing (I need to know how it's officially called) so I really had to make my fingers work down there yuck. Even the drain snake I bought was useless because it barely fits in the strainer holes. Whatever.

My husband is currently sick, if you're wondering.

Funny how a small cut could affect my productivity so much. You know when you have to rely on your keyboard to get you through the day but you only have 90% of your hands working? Doesn't seem like much of a pitfall but my typing prowess relies heavily on 100% functioning hands and I don't have that right now. I can't believe how alarming the difference is. It's like, I forgot to tpye al o f a sddn.

WAAAAAHHH!!! For the first time in a gazillion years, I've reached threshold at Google Adsense! Hoorayyy! This is like a major highlight of my week hahaha so here's an account of how I cashed out my first Adsense earnings. Not much, just $100. But that freakin sum saved us from getting legally kicked in the ass by our creditors so yeah, thank God!

In summary, here are the steps to withdrawing your Adsense earnings:
  1. Get your payment receipt from your Google Adsense dashboard
  2. Go to Western Union or any Western Union agent (bring a valid ID)
  3. Request for a money transfer, then wait for your cash
It's that simple. But if you'd like more gibberish, carry on as I've prepared a boring narrative of the steps above. Make sure that your primary payment method is set to Western Union. You may also receive your Google Adsense earnings via check or bank deposit but I'm not sure about the fees. Receiving payments via Western Union is free, making it the most preferred withdrawal method in the Philippines - at least from what I've observed haha.

Okay. Note that Google Adsense issues payments every 21st of the month as soon as you've reached the $100 threshold. Then, you'll receive an email notification from Google Payments that your earnings have been processed. It's a sign that your payment is ready to be claimed. The email looks like this:


Find your payment receipt
Now let's find your payment receipt. It contains info you need to cash out at Western Union.

Login to your Adsense account and navigate to Settings, then Payments. Under the Transactions section, click on the most recent one.




Check the description, If the status reads ISSUED, then you're good! Click on the description to reveal your payment receipt.



Here's how the payment receipt looks like:


I highlighted the important details in red. Or quite simply, just take note of the details at the bottom part, under Bring the following with you.

Go to Western Union or any accredited WU agent
You don't have to print the details, just make sure you have it with you because you need those in filling out the money transfer form.

Here's a WU agent locator to help you out: http://www.payment-solutions.com/agent.asp

In my case, I went to Sanry's Money Changer in Greenbelt 1, it has a Western Union outlet inside which is great because I can get my dollars from WU, then exchange it to peso via Sanry's. It's a two-step process but it's better because local money changers usually have higher exchange rates than WU. WU exchanges at ₱49 point something per dollar, whereas Sanry's offers ₱50.73 per dollar during that time. Also, you can ask WU to exchange your earnings directly to Sanry's so you only have to line up once. The two merchants share the same space and their counters are just adjacent to each other.

But of course it depends on you. WU can directly convert your earnings into peso if that's what you want. Just giving you options in case there's a money changer nearby! :)

Before I came to Sanry's, I actually inquired at Czarina Foreign Exchange first because it's nearer. Some money changers are authorized WU agents. Unfortunately their WU processing could take 30 minutes according to the staff because it has to be approved by the head office. I couldn't wait that long so I went to an actual WU outlet instead.

Finally,

Filling out the form
You'll be given a To Receive Money form which you should fill out using your personal details and the ones in your Payment Receipt. Don't forget to bring a valid ID. Here's a sample form I filled out. The personal details are made up for illustration purposes only.

  • Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) can be found from your Payment Receipt.
  • Country of Origin refers to the Google office who processed your payment, in my case it's Singapore.
  • Amount expected should be exactly what it states in your payment receipt. I'm not sure if it's possible to cash out just a fraction of your earnings hehe. 
  • For Occupation/Nature of Business, I just put Advertising.
  • For the Sender relationship, just put Advertiser.
  • For the Sender name, I put the company name who sent my payment. That is, Google Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
That's it! Just wait for a couple of minutes and your money will be ready. :)

Hope this helps! And hopefully will get to reach threshold again soon. Hahaha.
Alright, here's a list of all our wedding suppliers. Knock yourself out. Also, a directory of all my wedding related posts can be found here.

September 22, 2017
#DAVEstWeddingEver

Venue (reception and ceremony): Don Jose Heights Clubhouse
Catering: Queensland Catering
Hotel: Seda Hotel Vertis North
Photo and video: Dave Sarabia Photography w/ God's Grace Productions
Ceremony setup: Amaranthus Florist and Event Stylist
Tiffany chairs: Eventials Manila
On-the-day coordinator and host: Okasyon by Anton
Crew meals: Jappy Meals
Cake: Queen Spatula
Lights and Sounds: PurpleMix Lights and Sounds
Photobooth: The Big Picture Manila
Bridal gown (RTW): Blitz - 168 Mall, Divisoria
Groom's barong: Orias Bespoke
Entourage gowns: Love Humbly
HMUA: Ivy MontaƱa Makeup
HMUA (for immediate family): Gracie Santos-Josue
Flowers (faux): Cherry Berry Divisoria
Band: Unit 406
PS Souvenirs: Coffee grounds

Ay in fairness it doesn't look much naman pala on list view hahaha. DIYs:
Read: All the things we DIYed for our wedding
Invitation layout and design
Invitation envelopes
Flower balls for flower maidens
Boutonnieres (that weren't used)
Guestbook
Digital background for LCD

Nice-to-haves that we didn't have:
Lechon
Will-you-be gifts
Wedding favors for entourage
Guest souvenirs (apart from Photobooth)
Wedding album (will order in the future)
Fancy bridal robe
Supplier tips and tokens

:)

Today I was reminded to get back to reading. I haven't finished a book for the past yearsss and I'm kinda disappointed at myself. The only time I get to read something is when I research about the articles I'm writing. Other that that, no new novels finished. I remember being halfway through The Girl with all the Gifts and Before we were Strangers but until now I never got to finish any of them. The company held a leadership townhall this evening to launch a book called The Power of Positive Thinking. I dunno why they called it a launch, the book has been around for decades. Anyway. My takeaway from the meet was to get back to reading. Reading helps me write better and it's a good brain exercise.

Also, I can't believe I'm part of this kind of townhall. The company held a different book launch for another set of people, but this one's for leaders, wtf. I still can't let it sink that I'm on a supervisory level already. Though don't get me wrong, I have no one under me haha. Come to think it, I'm already 5 years and counting in  the industry. When I was a newbie in the workforce, my first supervisor was 5 years my senior. Looking back at all those years and damn, it's really about time.

So yeah, it's really the fleeting feeling I can't get over with. Though technically I'm not doing anything supervisory per se, cos like I said no one's under me and we're pretty much individual contributors, it feels grand to be around people so high.

So yup. Will definitely get back to reading and this time I'll probably quit the digital format and go back to old school paperback. But they're frkn pricey so we'll see.

Last book I was checking out was the The Conjugal Dictatorship..., seems like a good read but it's so frkn long and the kindle sample I got is so full of errors arg.

Is my birthday! Nothing much really, ate with family, played with friends. I can say my 5-day weekend was well spent eating, working out, and writing on the sides. I'm not so big on birthdays to be honest, what a sign of aging haha. I would usually close my Facebook wall for greetings and hide my birthday to anyone. For practical reasons. My wall is home to memes and posts I want to remind myself with and quite honestly birthday greetings are spammy at best hehe. They bury content I want easily found. I know Facebook has a way to collect your greetings in one post but there will be still be a bunch who'd write directly on your wall. IDK. It's additional work for the celebrant to, yknow... like each of the posts and maybe even reply HAHA. Not worth it for an introvert like me. Same goes for my FB messenger, it's become a major mode of communication and I don't want it flooded lol. Scrolling amidst a ton of happy birthdays is already quite a task for me. Whut. I'm perfectly fine with the few who recalled this day. The important thing is I got to celebrate with my closest friends and family. IKR.

Now let me share about my problems.

//Blogging problems!
What else. I'm feeling super sad right now 'cos my DA dropped by 3 points. I've narrowed down 2 activities that may have caused this. And being that I'm not super versed with how domain authority rises and falls, here are my hunches:

1. 2 consecutive guest posts
2. Leaving my blog URL in comment exchanges

For the first one. I'm not so sure how a do-follow link affects the standing of my blog. All I know is that I'm earning from it so I must keep improving my DA. Next, comment exchanges are there for the purpose of artificially improving reader engagement. I sometimes feel bad participating in such initiatives 'cos it looks desperate. The only good thing I earned from this is maybe learning about new blogs to follow. Other that that, I don't know. I don't even reply to the comments because I know it's from a comment exchange and was written for the sake of commenting hehe (with the exception of the really curious ones). Well, I'm guilty too. I'm thinking my DA dropped because of how frequent I left backlinks on other people's blogs this day. Could that be the reason? Alright, will not put my URL anymore lol.

//Money problems!
We're 3 months behind paying our condo (the one we bought 2 years ago) and Security Bank called to inform us they're taking legal action if we don't call tomorrow. As if. But I'm basically stressing about it right now. This wasn't a problem when it was BPI handling the auto-debit collection of our down payment. They'd just add a ₱200 penalty for every month we miss and that's it. LOL

6 months ago, Avida Asten management changed their collector from BPI to Security Bank and we were informed about it through mail. But then they stopped collecting for 5 months so the money was accumulated in the bank. Back then, we were in the middle of pooling funds for our wedding so we kinda used most of our condo funds to pay our suppliers! Now it's payback time! HUHU. I want to blame Avida and Security Bank partly for this. If they debited on time we wouldn't be tempted to touch the money intended for them. LOL.

But really, it's our fault for pushing for a wedding we can't afford. Did you know we're over a hundred thousand in debt after the wedding? Yep, even with the hundred thousands we received in gifts. And I'm all about paying them completely before the year ends. Blog, don't jinx. I just don't want to deal with the stress of paying ASAP because my face is already ageing exponentially with all the extra work I'm doing right now.

//Work... problems?
I don't know if I have a problem at work. I shall know tomorrow because my manager called for a catch-up meeting. Allow me to be paranoid, there were times I think I'm being extremely underutilized because work's kinda lax recently. And being the super introverted person that I am, I'm not pabibo enough to ask for work. In fact I enjoy being chill. It gives me time to read. I just do what I'm told specially if there's a deadline. Which sucks, I know. So I had a, uhm, a what-if scenario. What if because of my low performance they reduce my status to a contractual employee and that my term will end in 6 months? I was mentally crying at the thought but at the same time preparing myself for it.

Pros: I can finally try working freelance for real and see if I have any chance at it at all. I can ask for more articles to write, maybe even apply for a full time position. Also, if my current company fires me I should be getting some kind of severance pay right? So yep, that's money to live off for maybe a month, while I'm out (or in) looking for a new job.

Cons: I will be constantly stressed looking for a new job. I'll be bugged by our bills. I'll probably lose weight. I'll lose my iPhone and my only source of internet connection.

So. Yeah, I'm 27 by the way!

Alright, back to writing about fish tanks... which is my 102nd (is there a limit to adding nds and ths?) article. Grrr I totally forgot to celebrate my 100th article with this client who's been underpaying me for 6 months now, charot hahaha. I was supposed to make a celebratory post for it, but in my eagerness to earn money I haven't stopped writing and now I'm on article #102 and it's an odd number to celebrate to, ironically haha. Anyway. You'll hear about this next time.

For now, sleep.
Disclaimer: this is a guest post.

As a rule, the focus of most female users choosing a diet supplement is to cut calories and get a slim shape. Yet, some women are not satisfied with what has already been achieved and shift to another level that foresees putting on muscle mass. The way of weight management you choose is the shaping factor of the supplement to choose.

Instant Protein Intake 

Being a woman in the present time means to be a universal soldier. Wife, mother, employee, athlete, and other personalities are implemented in one body and one mind. An abundance of versatile tasks cut the time for such vital activity as taking a meal. And having enough amount of energy to succeed in all endeavors within a day is obligatory. Naturally, the so-called junk or fast food can be the way out. Yet, such solution entails miscellaneous unwilling consequences like overweight and digestion issues. An alternative is represented by a healthier product named meal replacement. You may also find it under the name of RTD or ready-to- drink protein shake. The essence of the drink is to supply a maximum possible set of vital ingredients within a tasty and low-calorie shake. Thus, you replace your full meal with a pack of nutritional materials in liquid form. These products differ in content, brands, price, and other important aspects. On this account, we decided to introduce five decent solutions for female users currently available on the market.

Pure Protein 


170 kcal in a small can is a convenient way to nurture your organism. Pure Protein is low in sugar and fat. Yet, the volume of the core ingredient is impressive – 35g. Moreover, the drink is an excellent source of calcium. Though the shake cannot boast of benefits of Shakeology, users admit its flavor versatility, as well as decent performance for both intense training and average daily needs.

AdvantEDGE 

If the mentioned amount of calories and protein is too much for you and you hate cans, meet another RTD with decent nutritional values but in the paper pack. Obviously, this drink produced by EAS is not a fit to achieve high results in gaining musculature. Yet, if you pursue the goal of cutting body mass, AdvantEDGE’s 100 kcal plus 17g of protein is a perfect solution.

MET-Rx 

As we mentioned in the very beginning, female users can set opposite goals. So, if some woman may consider 35g of protein as an overstated value, others may need a larger content of this ingredient. RTD 51 by MET-Rx offers the value indicated in its name. Indeed, along with  250 kcal, each can of this drink supplies 51g of the muscle-building material. Besides, the shake is packed with versatile minerals to cope with your hunger.

Isopure 

The first thing about this shake admitted by users is the appearance. Indeed, it looks great and attracts with its appealing view. Isopure Zero Carb does not resemble a regular meal replacement but a flavor-infused water. However, 40g of protein disconfirm this possible mistake. Forget about sugar or carbs when drinking this fruity liquid. Besides, due to a large volume, you can split the content into two servings with 20g of protein per each.

Muscle Milk 

The final product in our list does not need to be split since it already offers 20g of the core ingredient. Muscle Milk is a well-balanced drink for those who cannot imagine their life without the gym and women that require a decent meal replacement. In addition to the low content of such vital nutrients as sugar, carbs, and fat, the RTD provides a magnificent flavor for its customers.
In which I talk about my week by sharing my expenses. But first, here's a giant Christmas tree being set up at the office. It's maybe 3 floors tall. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


The last time I did this was seven months ago, and back then it didn't sound so legit because I still live with my parents and thus get a lot of things for free. And yet I still spent over 3,000 that one week lol. Anyway, this time it's for real. We're now living off of our salaries and man is it so hard so keep a strict budget on everything.

I'm hoping to taper my expenses by limiting my milk tea, salad, and coffee consumption, and also confining myself to eating only those that I packed from home. ALSO, I want to quit taking Grab/Uber/Taxi because sobrang gastos aaarggh but they're always so tempting especially when I'm running late for work or feel like going home faster. Anyway, thank God we did the grocery last Saturday so our pantry's pretty full. Plus our parents still come by to stock our ref with food. What is #Blessedt.

★ Monday (November 6) - ₱28 YASSS!!!
○ Bus going to the office - ₱14
○ Bus going home - ₱14

Mind you I brought so much food with me. For snacks I had 3 choco wafers, 3 one one's lol, and cinnamon bread x arla cheese spread sandwich (so goood). My lunch is corned beef flakes, and super garlicky chicken breast.

Free food:
♥ My officemate brought imported cheese. It's packaged like an oversized sausage, smells like tinapa, and tastes delicious. I think it's smoked gouda cheese. I googled that.
♥ Milo from the pantry
♥ Joined a forum at the office where they served snacks afterwards. Was able to score a ton of  hors d'oeuvres. Theres maki, vegetable sticks with super yummy asian sauce, wheat crostinis with amazing liver spread sauce, ham balls in crazy garlic mayo sauce. My goodness everything tasted so goooood huhu.

So you see, no chance I'm buying food outside. Free food is life.

★ Tuesday (November 7) - ₱478 
○ Bus going to the office - ₱14
○ CSR contribution - ₱450 (which will go to filling 5 shoe boxes of school supplies for kids)
○ Bus going home -  ₱14

Was so tempted to grab a cab going home 'cos it was almost 1am when I timed out, but in the name of cost cutting and our burgeoning bills, bus it is!

★ Wednesday (November 8) - ₱3,356.82
Had to pay our monthly dues asap because I can't make coffee and rice. In short, I'll die. Our condo supplies us with drinking water as long as we pay our dues on time hehe.

○ Condo dues - ₱1,516.36
○ Utilities - ₱1,812.46

I wasn't supposed to count them under my expenses but for the meantime I'm paying for them 'cos we're broke AF.

○ Bus going to the office - ₱14
○ Bus going home - ₱14

This afternoon I finally got my backpay and my clearance from Pointwest. Yey for money in the next three days, which will be gone in an instant because we have debts to pay lol.

Also, I accidentally withdrew funds from Paypal which I was supposed to convert to PHP. Crap. That means I'm getting charged 300 when it reaches my bank account. Huhu. I'm praying for more writing assignments this long weekend so I can save enough to pay for my credit card. Have I mentioned we're broke AF?

Okay, I just informed my client that I'm open to accepting more writing tasks this week due to the long weekend. Who cares about my birthday. Let there be more work cos I have bills to pay!

I swear when my check gets cleared I'm going to pour all my freelance earnings to balancing out our dues. It's gone crazy.

Another good news, I've reached the threshold on Google Adsense. AFTER A MILLION YEARS YOU GUYS. I'm gonna get my first-hand experience cashing out on Western Union. It's only a hundred dollars but still, I'm thrilled for Google Mail!

★ Thursday (November 9) - ₱ 107.08
Before heading to work I had to meet someone for an OLX transaction so hooray for earning extra cash!

○ Bus going to Ayala - ₱12
○ Grocery - ₱81.08
○ Bus going home - ₱14

It's raining hard outside and the temptation to ride a cab home is unbearable. But nope, must stick to the budget.

★ Friday (November 10) - ₱ 298
I was running late for work so I decided to book GrabShare. Too bad I still arrived late. Waste of money, so never again.

○ GrabShare to the office - ₱164
○ GoSalads Smoothie - ₱120
○ Bus going home - ₱14

★ Saturday (November 11) - ₱ 0
Stayed at home all day. Jeckie did the laundry, I cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the floor. We spent hours and hours watching Brooklyn Nine Nine. SO HILARIOUS. Officially one of my favorite sitcoms now! We ate whatever's on the fridge.

I can't believe I'm seeing a zero day. It pays to be an introvert guys, literally.

★ Sunday (November 12) - ₱ 398
Grab to Shangrila Plaza - ₱44 (promo)
Lunch - ₱136 (that's KFC + Zagu)
Snack - ₱45 (Nova)
Dinner - ₱173 (Chowking)

We were out the entire day. Met with the family, went to church, visited some friends who live nearby (which we learned just this afternoon haha). Not proud of my food choices, but I loved my Zagu Pearl Milk Tea hehe.

Total? ₱4,665.90. Damn the dues. No pun intended.
Disclaimer: this is a guest post.

A holiday romance can turn your vacation into a real adventure. But in order for such relationships to leave only good memories and not turn into bitter disappointment, you need to follow certain rules.

These tips were kindly provided by Jump 4 Love. There are no people with whom it doesn’t happen. Once or several times, leaving good or, conversely, sad memories, a holiday romance happened with many. Holiday romances are good for those who know how to quickly let it go and forget; who is able to turn off emotions at the right time and turn on the mind again. It is also great for those who treat life easily, like thrills, don’t strive for serious relationships and don’t want to create a strong family. For such people, a holiday romance is like energy for their “battery” of love, new feelings, emotions, and impulses.

What are the pros of holiday romance? 
Photo by India Tupy on Unsplash
Improvement of self-esteem. Nothing convinces a man of his irresistibility like compliments and attention from the opposite sex. But here it is necessary to be cautious because self-esteem can increase during romance, but greatly decrease after its completion.

Feeling of happiness. Going on vacation, most people leave their worries and problems at home and it helps them feel really happy. But this feeling can intensify into a hundredfold when you begin to communicate with new people and feel the obvious interest of beautiful girls.

New experiences and sensations. You met a new person and got a new experience of communication (not only mental). You can meet again in the future if it is really good to be together. Who knows, maybe you can start a relationship built outside carefree holidays. Undoubtedly, you can gain experience in personal relationships. Such a holiday romance doesn’t oblige you to anything. It allows you to fully reveal yourself and implement even the most intimate fantasies. You can remain yourself or play a role that you could only dream of at home, for example, to become a reckless hooligan.

Revaluation of life values. Perhaps, this is one of the most useful aspects of holiday romance. After a man experiences very strong emotions, he usually overestimates his own life and what was once important for him.

Careless life. You are perfectly rested, let all your feelings, desires, and impulses go, satisfy all your fantasies, allow yourself just to enjoy life. Love. This point is in the last positions completely not in vain, since such relations very rarely become serious. So, there is always a chance that you will be lucky and meet true love as in holiday romance movies.

What are the cons of holiday romance?
Photo by Timothy Kolczak on Unsplash
Venereal diseases. No one should forget about one’s own protection. Whatever emotions and impulses you feel, no matter how this romance ends, including sexual relations, contraception may protect you from many possible unpleasant consequences! Don’t forget about it.

Scammers. Experienced scammers always know where they can profit. So, very often they go to different resorts. After all, it is very simple to deceive relaxed, having a rest and nothing unsuspecting holiday-makers. Therefore, be very careful and vigilant. You have to be very careful when getting acquainted with new people.

Suffering from unrequited feelings. If you are careless and fall in love with your new acquaintance, who doesn’t reciprocate to you, this can turn into a serious problem for you. But in addition to suffering from unrequited love, you can drive yourself into a kind of “emotional trap” that will not let you go any further and establish a serious relationship.
Which would not be possible without my dear sister and maid of honor. Together we braved Divisoria to buy my wedding gown, our entourage flowers, and a lot of other stuff we need for making uhm, rustic accents haha. Mind you, I'm not a crafty person! While I consider myself creative, I prefer to concentrate my creative juices to digital outputs. I make a mess of glues and tapes and I'm averse to any creative endeavor that requires dirtying myself. Which is why I'm sooooo happy that my sister is super game with helping me with JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. <3 So here you go:

  • Invitation layout and design
  • Kraft invitation envelopes
  • Boutonnieres
  • Flower balls for flower maidens
  • Guestbook
  • Loop video for the screen

Invitation layout and design
Of course I had to do our own haha. Shameless plug: www.yanbirog.com for my creative portfolio hehe. 4 cards, 5x7 in. The hardest thing about this is actually doing the map because it involves illustrating and scaling.


Tool: Adobe Photoshop CC
Fonts: Bringshoot, Libre Baskerville, and Monsterrat
Graphics: Freepik
Printing: c/o my father-in-law because they have a print shop yeyyy!
Paper: Linen 246 GSM

Kraft invitation envelopes

I wanted to get kraft envelopes talaga but there seems to be none in the market! National Bookstore has brown baronial envelopes but the flaps are trapezoid, I want triangle flaps HAHA. So yeah no choice but to make our own! The materials are SOOOO CHEAP it was really the labor (of love) that racked up the value of these envelopes haha. So please guys if you received one... I hope you think it's pretty. Then, you can throw it away lol.

Tools: Kraft paper, ruler, pencil, scissors, glue/paste/double tape, A7 envelope as pattern (5.25x7.25in)

There are kraft cartolinas at National Bookstore that cost around ₱8/pc. You can make 5 standard A7 envelopes with them. BUT we've searched some more and found kraft paper being sold at Prestige Paper. They're not on the shelves and are used to wrap packages but the staff offered it to us because we couldn't seem to find what we're looking for. It's local quality recycled paper. It's the same paper used in regular brown envelopes. WHICH IS DEYM PERFECT. Kraft cartolina is too hard and too brown. Prestige Paper's paper (haha) is just right. Peso power? ₱6/sheet. One sheet can make 12 envelopes are you kidding me?!

Nope.

Prestige Paper is located at the back of Fisher Mall in Quezon City.

Boutonnieres

Another major labor of love! We weren't able to use them 'cos we got convinced that it's bad for barong, but oh well!


Fake flowers and leaves are from Cherry Berry in Divisoria.
Jute strings, floral tapes, and pins are from Tabora St. and Anding's (around Divi).

Flower balls for flower maidens

Para maiba, we didn't opt for the basket of flowers for our flower girls. Instead we made these 2 flower balls.

Tools: 7in Styro balls, mini flowers, dress pins, ribbons.
Useless tools: poster paint, glue gun

All of the tools were bought from Divisoria, except for the useless tools. The mini flowers cost ₱2/pc, we were advised to get 100 pcs per ball so we got 200pcs. In the end we weren't able to use everything, I think we still got around 100 pcs left haha.


The plan was to cover the ball in green paint before sticking the flowers with glue gun para hindi pangit if may gap. BUT HOLY MOLEY the ball turned out very sticky even after the paint dried. It was kindof useless too in the end because there were no gaps when I finished the project. So much for dirtying my fingersss! ALSO, if you buy flowers like that I suggest you PIN THEM instead of glue-gunning (???) them. I REALIZED THIS TOO LATE haha. You can pin the center of the flower with a dressmaker pin. Imagine my grief when I learned about this.

Guestbook

Since our photo and video package didn't include a guestbook, I decided to make our own. With less than a week left for our wedding, I didn't have enough time to order a custom Photobook huhu. So yeah, ano pa nga ba.

For this project I wanted to get a small sketchpad that's not springed para hindi mukang scrapbook haha, stick some photos inside, and wrap it with kraft paper or whatever haha.


Thank God I found Abbey Sy's My Lettering Progress Keeper at National Bookstore. It's the perfect sketchpad for this DIY! It's not springed, the paper is artist grade watercolor paper from Canson (doesn't really matter, just wanted to spell out the specs haha), it's in the perfect size (7x10in), and it has 25 pages only! Just about right considering I don't have a lot of photos haha and duuuh guestbooks aren't usually thick diba haha, like.. who needs all that space. At best, people are just gonna write congratulations and best wishes over and over HAHA. I really just wanted something they can look at and pass around lololol.

Anyway. I had our prenup photos printed in 4R size at Tronix. I was worried that the prints would come out too glossy but thank God they use Satin paper, which is like half linen and half glossy, basta. Maganda naman sya. ₱7/photo. For the cover, I took inspiration from pinterest and made a heart shaped collage of our photos. I also designed the cover and had it printed in A4 size for ₱30, still at Tronix. Then I used that to wrap the sketchpad. Ang hassle magbalot jsklrd HAHA. The paper, as I mentioned was Satin, so it was sticky and kinda not waterproof hahaha. Sobrang ingat ako madumihan yung papel! But yeah, I pushed through HAHA.


And voila! Our guestbook is doooone! <3 Now that the wedding's over, we're peeling out the yellowing photos and turning the book back into its original form, a sketchpad!

Loop video for the screen
Because I didn't want the screen to be blank all the time, I made a loop video for display purposes. Also to remind the guests of our wedding hashtag #DAVEstWeddingEver haha. I actually love it!


I can't believe how easy this was to do. I had to learn the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro but basically all I wanted was to put some text with a video background - which I got from Youtube. Just search for "HD background video loop", take your pick, and get it using your favorite illegal downloader (char).

Aaaaand that's about it! Thanks for reading all the way, awardddd!
Hay I'm so lazy to chronicle what happened months back during our visits to Divi, specially that I'm writing this 5 months late hahaha. So eto na lang, let me show you the winning gown, as well as a couple of other gowns I tried from various parts of Divi that I'm not ashamed to show you hahaha. LOL isa lang naman ata hahaha

Jenen!


Brought this at Blitz - 168 Mall for ₱8,500 only, accessories included. Most of the gowns I tried range from ₱10,000 to ₱15,000 so I was really sold when I scored this for a lower price. It's the only gown I tried that didn't need alteration so pak, we got it right away. It's an off-shoulder, ball gown with a-line petticoat so the skirt doesn't open too big. 

In fairness, props to our photographer Dave Sarabia for making our wedding elements look mahal HAHAHA. I know right, nasa photographer talaga. 


Here's how it looks when I tried it on sa Divi. It looks really niiiice and not cheap looking hahaha. In fact when I was wearing it around the store there were people asking the ate how much the gown is. Tas si ate pa-simple na ₱12,000 daw. Wow naman sinuot ko lang tumaas agad ang value! Charot.

If you're going to look for RTW gowns in Divisoria, I suggest you look in the air-conditioned malls na lang because dyahe magsukat sa labas promise! 

168 Mall is already brimming with choices, go visit the basement, ground floor (not sure), 4th and 6th floor. Blitz is at the 4th floor around the escalators pala. :D Dragon Mall has a lot of choices too but they're on the pricier side already. 


Aside from 168 Mall we also scoured the streets outside because we heard there are tons of great options there as well. True enough, sobrang daaaaaamiii sa labas. We went to Ylaya, Tabora, and the dry markets in between the streets. They're filled with patahians and you'll go crazy with the gowns too. Downside is sobrang init and ang haggard magsukat. As in. 


Be prepared, there are no fitting areas in the stalls. Wear comfortable clothing, pieces where you can slip in and out easily. Buti na lang I was trying purely ball gowns so I had the space under the skirt to undo my clothes. Kebs lang din naman cos hello, what is Divi. Not for maartes (like me, internally). We carried through and I was able to try 2 gowns at the palengkes which are all super sikip on me so waley. Bye.

So... yon.

Chungdam Bridal is a bridal boutique offering wedding gowns for rent. Prices range from ₱6,000 to ₱30,000. Sometimes they hold a sale too where you can purchase their gowns.

Their studio is tucked inside Bel Air subdivision in Makati and all visits are made by appointment only. Each customer is given 2 hours to fit at most 3 gowns. What I loved about my visit here is that their selection is really really huge, the fitting lounge is exclusive for you, and you get the complete fitting experience, including a curtain reveal which really adds to the wow factor HAHAHA. As iiiiin!!! You know the makeover portions in KDramas where the bida girl gets to fit pretty dresses in a boutique and gets a yes/no nod from the obnoxious rich guy? Yeah, except there's no obnoxious rich guy and I can't get a detailed reaction from Jeckie lol.


The quality of the gowns are really great. They're all from Korea so expect the sizes to be good for small to medium built girls. I actually had trouble fitting the gowns because I'm large. The body of the gowns are hard so ramdam ko yung pagka-corset nya. Lakas maka-sexy! Tiis-ganda rin 'cos for the most part I can't breathe. The fabric of the skirts feels super premium din. In short, the gowns are of superb quality.


I got assisted by 2 of their staff, and even the owner Ms. Saera Kim also helped in choosing gowns and picking accessories. So I stripped off behind the curtain, slipped on a petticoat, and got in a tube ball gown.

It's fascinating, the dresses. They're basically tube dresses you can mix and match with their wide selection of bridal boleros. I didn't know that's how it works! I always thought the intricate top details are all sewn on the body. Saya haha.


They tied my hair in a bun, attached a hairpiece and pinned a veil on me. They also made me wear earrings and a necklace, and strapped a mega huge bow at the back of my gown. IT'S SO FREAKING LOVELY. Then they made me hold a bouquet. How perfect is that.

And and and, I'll never forget this: Goblin OST was playing at the background. AAAARGHH.

As much as I want to rent from them already, I still find their rates pricey considering they're just for rent. The gowns I tried range from Php11,000-16,000 and honestly it's a bit too much for me. Anyway, that's not to stop you from trying out their gowns!

Location and Contact
Facebook: The Chungdam Bridal Wedding
Their shop is located at 157 Neptune St., Bel Air Village, Phase 2, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila

GFR by Damsel was the first boutique I visited in search of a wedding gown. If anything, I've already decided I'm not going through all the fuss of having a custom made gown 'cos my preferred style is already abundant in the RTW scene (you know: A-line, ball gown type) and rightly so 'cos I didn't have trouble finding one!


So yeah, there's only really 1 gown that fit me properly when I visited Damsel. It's this off-shoulder white wedding gown with cathedral train that's super niiiiice! I tried on a couple others but they just don't fit me nicely. Also I'm too fat. Too bad they didn't let me fit with a petticoat, could've seen the skirt better.


Fitting for gowns at GFR by Damsel is by appointment only. Or not? But it's better if you do it by appointment 'cos someone will be assigned to assist you in fitting. There will be other people coming in at the fitting area so yeah, your timeslot is not exclusive for you. But you're allowed to fit as many gowns as you can.

Rates:


Tips for fitting wedding gowns at Damsel:
  • Come early. Get a 10am-12nn weekday slot if possible so that there are less people coming in. There's a 9am schedule but the mall isn't open by then so baka ma-hassle kayo with parking. I think 10 is the best time hehe
  • Be warned though that their location is very ma-traffic cos it's along Chino Roces Ave.
  • Browse their Facebook page and take note of the gowns you want to try. Send it beforehand and request for them to be pulled out in advance para mabilis yung fitting nyo.
  • There are wedding gowns that are not published in their page. Ask for their catalog baka may magustuhan din kayo from there.
  • If you're not ma-pamahiin bring your fiance with you, they have a rental package that includes the groom's attire as well, so why not.
When we finished fitting I already wanted to get the gown I tried on but figured no not yet, I have to look for other options pa. Haha

Location and contact:
Their shop is located at
LG4 Lower Ground Level,
Makati Cinema Square,
Chino Roces Ave. Makati City

Facebook: Gowns for Rent Manila by Damsel
Instagram: @gfrmanila

Draft entry dated June or July. Published just now cos I totally forgot hahaha

----

I won't be surprised if I get called out nastily for slacking off too much at work. For the past few months I'm not doing any scripting and it bums me 'cos you know, that's the fun part of my job. Right now I'm assigned to collecting summary reports and analysis for a bunch of projects we did in the past and it's boring as hell. So boring it's delayed for months. There are days when all I ever did was check out the excel document from Sharepoint and stare at it. Seriously. No new rows. No significant data added. I don't know how do deal with this immense feeling of demotivation. It's not like I have better things to do. Err, actually I do.

Jeckie and I are condo hunting right now. Mostly me actually haha. We're looking at possible places to live in after the wedding. Since I'll be working mid-shift in Makati, and Jeckie reg-shift at Cubao, we figured the best place to stay would be around EDSA-Mandaluyong area. I'm looking at the bunch of condos littered around there, SMDC Light, Pioneer Woodlands, Flair Towers, Pines Peak, etc. My choice? Hands down Flair Towers because the building layout is more breathable than their neighboring condos. I have a bias for DMCI. Anyway, what I'm looking for is a semi-furnished real 1 bedroom unit with balcony because I need walls and I need air. Our budget is around 15k per month inclusive of any association dues. Long shot but I'm still looking. So far, our budget is only good for a bare unit, something we have yet to consider.

Oh, allow me to blab about the joys of condo hunting. First, I'm learning about the market value of rental establishments around the metro.

Makati

I started searching at Makati because I thought we were both gonna be assigned there. For 15k you can get a fully furnished studio with wobbly brass bunk beds, mismatched furniture, and zero ventilation. 18k would give you larger windows (where only 1/4 can be opened and at a maximum of 45 degrees only) and probably a balcony. Hay. Those are my observations from the row of condos at Malugay and Chino Roces listed at RentPad (Avida West, Linear, Beacon, etc.).

Ideally, I would want to live inside Salcedo or Legaspi Village. You know, the residential areas surrounding Ayala Avenue because there are trees and parks at least haha plus it's walking distance to the actual CBD. But the condos there are not cheap. They're super old and ridiculously priced too (Asian Mansion, Prince Plaza,  etc). 50k for 2 bedrooms anyone? The cuts are definitely bigger but the flooring is mostly outdated wood parquet and the walls are trimmed with moldings. Not my style.

EDSA-Boni/Mandaluyong

Boni area is slightly cheaper, and there are also a lot of condos around. It's central enough and transit oriented too so yeah, not a bad place overall. Except that it's too industrialized for my own liking, it's almost suffocating. I didn't try looking at the Makati side of Mandaluyong, which is by the left side of EDSA if you're north bound. I dunno how the place is called lol. I just didn't like the environment there haha. Based from the route the colorum vans used to ply whenever I go to Makati CBD, I see shanties, towering condos that look run-down, and it's so frkn dense with people, so nope. You can maybe get a place there for 5-10k though. Haven't explored the deeper parts yet but I didn't like the idea of riding a jeepney or a tryke to work so we skipped it. I skipped it hehe.

The other side of EDSA was bearable. So many new condos to choose from, but I didn't really like most of them. Narrow hallways, ugly cabinets, poor tile works, screaming tile gaps, bad bathroom layout, I could go on, the finishes are just so bad. You really gotta choose your developer seriously if you're getting a condo.

Anyway, fully furnished studios range from 13k-18k depends on where you're looking. If you're super arte like me, get a bare unit and customize it to your heart's content. The condos in this area are too clustered together, IMO. Flair, Light, Pines Peak, Pioneer Woodlands, Sunshine, Gateway Regency, etc. They're all within a block of each other. If you're lucky you may still get a little sunshine lol. The area behind these condos are mostly factories, outlets, and low buildings. Then there's the residential Kapitolyo side which isn't so dense. This side of Mandaluyong is generally nicer lol.

---
After six years of being together, six years of laughter and friendship, I decided to break up with my boyfriend. It took almost a year to emotionally prepare for it, but it had to be done.

We knew the time would come eventually, and we both agreed it's for the best.

And so one day, on the eve of our 6th anniversary, we called an end to our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend.

September 22, 2017. It's all over. And surprisingly, there were no tears.
When all the words have been said, we took a moment to let everything sink in.

And then that's it.

I will never forget that day, when we broke our hearts into two...
and gave each other a piece.

My boyfriend of six years, finally became an ex.

But more importantly, he became my husband.


Want to know how we did it? Here's my 5 secrets to a long-lasting relationship:
Also, enjoy the random photos from our prenup lol

1. Annoy each other

In short, be each other's best friend. Even studies agree with me here, thanks Huffpost. Marrying your best friend is the best romantic decision you'll ever make, trust me! It's the ultimate test of patience, you know, living with someone who's annoying to the bones. You're guaranteed to grow more mature, more patient, and more understanding. And best of all, you're guaranteed someone who knows you inside out. Someone who knows how to cushion your every downfall, and support you in times of need. That's what friends are for.

2. Make him do the laundry
Believe me, it's the one thing you can entrust to him when it comes to house chores. I have strict standards about keeping cleanliness around the house. And for some reason we don't share the same criteria. But surprisingly he does well with the laundry.


And quite frankly, I have to thank Del Fabric Conditioner for that! I've been a huge fan of Del because of its mild yet fragrant scent. We use lavender for our clothes but when I learned about their new variants Forever Joy and Forever Love, I just had to try them.


And in fairness it did not disappoint. The rags we use for cleaning and our wasting Good Morning towels were literally reborn. All thanks to Del Forever Joy and Forever Love. Our cleaning rags were gifted with 15x longer lasting bangoooooooo that's sure to give regular detergents a good run for their money.


Forever Love, the pink one, smells like cherries. Forever Joy also has a sweet and fragrant smell that I can't spell but it's closer to lavender so I was sooooo inlove with the scent.

Big shout out to Team Kramer for trusting Del to keep their clothes mabango all day. In light of all the controversies they're facing regarding their parenting style, they've done a great job upholding their values. I admire them for keeping their faith and putting God at the center of their family. We have much to learn from this couple.


3. Cuddle when you're angry

You may have fought a lot while you're dating, but believe me, you'll fight a lot more when you're married. But that's part of life. Just don't let your anger consume you. The Biblical approach to resolving issues with your spouse is to not let the sun go down while you're still angry. Of course not literally, but ideally, don't leave anything unresolved for too long.

I'm blessed to have a husband who doesn't face me when he's angry. He cools down by himself and approaches me when he's ready, all within the day. It's hard to sleep beside someone you're mad at. And I've proven a lot of times that my silent cuddles work wonders when he's mad. But it doesn't end there. The silent form of affection, despite comforting doesn't help you resolve your issues entirely. When you're angry, cool down and let the other know you're not mad anymore, then talk about it. This brings me to my next tip.

4. Stop dropping hints

Men are simple creatures and would appreciate it if women would quit beating around the bush and being passive aggressive with their issues. Marriage doesn't magically give our husbands psychic abilities to hack into our minds and decode what we meant when we say we're fine. If you keep speaking metaphorically to your husband that means you're not comfortable communicating with him at all. It pays to be direct. Be ready to spell everything literally to your partner. From your excitement to your grievances, you gotta let your spouse know what you feel. In our six years of being together I thought we already knew each other completely, but it turns out there's still a ton of things we don't understand about each other. Beat the gap by practicing open communication. Talk to each other everyday. Tell them about your work. Share all the funny things you saw online. At the end of the day, you've only got each other to talk to lol so don't shut up. Annoy each other like friends do haha.

Last but not the least,

5. Keep God at the center

A healthy relationship is where 3 parties are involved. Man, woman, and God. What were you thinking haha.

Put God first. A husband who puts God first will become a good husband to his wife, and vice versa. Without the Bible to guide a relationship, everything can go haywire. You'll be influenced by all the things modern society is shoving down our throats. Let the Bible be your moral compass and let it guide your marriage. A family that prays together, stays together. Cliche but true!

Before I end
Remember that love is a choice, an action verb that requires work. And like everything in life, you must work hard to stay in love. Keep it a point to choose loving your partner no matter what happens.

Sharing with you our same-day-edit by God's Grace Productions. Shoutout to our official photographer too, Dave Sarabia, for capturing our favorite moments! ❤ Still on wedding high, am I?