Okay, let's breathe!

Oh my goodness I'm still so frkn busy with work! I can't believe it! I mean I'm not complaining, I love what I do, but maaan it can become a bit overwhelming looking at how things are starting to pile on my lap. And it's already performance appraisal period so I got to hustle to make extra good impressions right?

Anyway.

Yesterday we attended a short internal seminar on fighting procrastination. I learned that my level of procrastination is still on the safe side and that I'm probably a combination of these types of procrastinators: The Perfectionist, The Dread-Filled, and The Lucky One (Thrill-seeker). (Source) How so?

As a perfectionist I tend to become too drawn in the smallest details that I get stuck on perfecting a component when I could've spent my time wisely to finish the project on time. Example, focusing too much on UI when I haven't even mapped out the back-end yet. Argh.

There are tasks I that are just so dreadful I don't want to hear about them. These include complex test scenarios that require coordinating with people *shudders*, and business processes that are too vague, too complex, that I don't know where to begin and what even to ask. Because I'm afraid to face them I go for the quick wins, eventually forgetting about the big scary tasks, until such a time when someone follows up... And when that day arrives, I switch to a thrill-seeker. I procrastinate until the time comes that I'm forced to do it and there's no other way but to face the beast of a task head on. Pressure. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But for the most part I end up regretting not tackling it earlier, when I had all the time to dwell on it understand it.

So you see, if the task is too easy I become a perfectionist. That or I delay it because I'm over-confident about it lol. When it's too hard, I go dread-filled. And when there's no other way, I cram.

But what have I learned, really? Besides getting a better profile of the type of lazy ass I am? I realized that I should frkn impose my own system of managing tasks. I want to go agile, even when I'm a lone developer. Organize my tasks into tickets, run sprints, be efficient! But argh, just the thought of it dreads me out lol. For now I'm good with my good  'ol to-do list. It sits on a Monokai themed Notepad++ so it's looks like code and already gives off a productive vibe hahaha.

Moving on.

It's been a month since I started doing daily devotions regularly. Regularly, meaning 5 days a week. I'm really grateful ate Jez encouraged us to do a shared devotion on YouVersion. Ever since then, I've been planning my devotions and waking up early too haha!

It's been one of the happiest changes in my lifestyle so far. I get my daily coffee fix during devotion, and I get to workout afterwards (either gym or Youtube workout video). Speaking of, my gym subscription is about to expire and I'm planning on not repurchasing another month because apparently, I only went to the gym nine times since the last month. Other days I just worked out at home. Yeaaaahhh.

That's it. Pretty much.

Still swamped with work but loving it so far. Here's to hoping I deliver them right. Whew.
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What's uuuup, ang dami kong updates!

I feel kinda productive today at work, I updated some of my clients about what's happening to their projects so far (that is -- nothing lol) just to get it out of my system. I mean, not hearing anything about your project can be quite frustrating, and personally not being able to move a project to completion is stressing me out. 

I've been worrying about my work lately 'cos I feel like there's too much on my table right now, and none of them and inching to the finish line. I'm at the point where I don't wanna see my stakeholders around the office because I'm afraid they'd ask, "oh kamusta na yung project namin, tagal na nun ah?" Like OMG how do I tell you I'm not done with yours yet and that it will take a lot of time because I'm so currently swamped. Can we not see each other anymore? Char.

But yeah, being able to update them at least, that there are some delays, that we're not moving yet, it's good enough for me right now. At least I told them what's up. At least I did something and not have them wait in vain?

So yeah, while waiting for some action items, I'm here tackling another project that's been looong forgotten because of how complex it is. Lord help me!

Anyway, despite the stress I feel at work, which is all on me I know I know, I feel generally okay.

Enough about today. Let's backtrack the past weeks!

Started going to the gym regularly (since August 12!)


I've been working out consistently for the past two weeks. I signed up for a one-month access to our condo gym and have been going there to do some bike exercises regularly. I'm proud to say there was a week where I worked out 6 out of 7 days, even though I'm just striving to be active at least 3x a week. On that said week, I went to the gym 3x, played badminton 2x, and did a Drop 10 workout once. It was a freaking exhausting week but no regrets! As iiin. But yeah of course that was an extraordinary week, I'm not about to push myself too hard. My knees will give up lol. 

CR selfie!

But weeeeell, even with regular workout my weight doesn't seem to be changing. In fact I've been gaining weight huhu! Really need to be serious with dieting to complement the workout. Aja!

Took a badminton training class with my colleagues (August 17)

With Coach Martin Choi (leftmost)

Our first session was so physically draining. Warm up pa lang ubos na buhay kooo, but it was sooo fulfilling. Learning the proper way of holding a racket, getting to ready position, swinging a forehand, and doing footwork, it's a lot to take in with just one session so I really have to practice it!

Which is why the next day, I made sure to play badminton! Badminton nights are a regular thing with my in-laws every Sunday, it's just now that Jeckie and I have finally prioritized joining, after agreeing on a parentals schedule that will work for both of our families. We used to skip it because our Sundays are usually planned this way: mornings at church, lunch til afternoon with in-laws, and dinner til late night at my parents'. Most of the time we can't attend to both families in just one day so we decided to just split our weekends to Saturdays = chores and my family, then Sundays = church and my in-laws. So far so good? We're not getting too tired from moving all over QC! Haha

Watched a gig with Sunday Radio (August 18)


After our badminton game we went to watch a friend's gig near our in-laws' place. I'm never a fan of watching gigs but every time I do I always leave amazed with how different it is hearing something live vs on studio. It was awesome, I enjoyed it so much!


Holiday well spent (August 21, 2019)

Oh this holiday was so packed for me. I woke up early to get our car checked for its 30km PMS. Since we're past the three year Toyota warranty, we decided to just have our car serviced at a trusted auto clinic instead of at Toyota Service Center. Upon the recommendation of VCP members on Facebook, I drove the car to Patch Power Auto Clinic and Spa at Pasig.


Diagnosis seems fine and they were able to finish the routine check and maintenance in just around 30 minutes. I was so surprised! I thought it would take hours. The last time I had my PMS done at Toyota, it took me 5 friggin hours just to get my car back. They boast of 1 hour express service and yet didn't warn us of a freakishly long waiting time. Argh.

This PMS only cost me ₱4,450 - parts and labor included. Can you believe it? And Toyota gave me a quote of ₱7,494 for the same service. What a scam.

After having the car checked, I drove to SnR to grab some Swiffer wet floor wipes.


Well, that was the plan. In the end I came out with 1k more worth of other items mostly consisting of food! I got apple pie and rotisserie chicken and couldn't be happier! 

When I got home I did a quick workout (Drop 10!) and headed out for a full body massage hahaha. I thought I needed to reward myself because I've been so stressed and busy lately.

But actually, I just wanted to cheer myself up for breaking up with a client (first time!). I have a logo project that's been eating my design mojo lately because I just couldn't get what she wants. I ended things with her after I've already sent 3 logo studies which all failed her standards. I knew I can't let this take more of my time anymore because it's taking too long and we're not getting closer to what she envisions for her brand. Also, I've come to realize that we're really not a match and that I'm probably not the designer she's looking for. We parted peacefully naman I guess, and I offered to refund the DP. She accepted and just took half na lang to compensate for the effort made. Err, thanks. 

It hurts when your work doesn't get appreciated, and that's how I felt the whooooole time I was working on this project. That's the primary reason I had to let go.

My Saturday was packed too (August 24, 2019)

I had my last UA diode session with SkinStation, sa wakaaass!!! Here's a blog post about it which I can finally close hahaha [Review] SkinStation Underarm Diode Laser Hair Removal


After the session I grabbed something from Healthy Options then ate at Auntie Anne's. When I got home I realized I left my shopping bag at Auntie Anne's and had to drive back to Shang to get it. Sobrang hassle huhu my thoughts were running wild that time. What if someone took my bag? That means I just wasted 300++ and parking fee huhu! But thank God because the staff kept my shopping bag, and my parking fee was waived because of their 15-minute grace period. Yehey!

Cooked chicken rogan josh for the fam! (Still August 24, 2019)

I promised my parents I'll bring chicken masala for dinner but the sauce is out of stock when I went to the grocery so I opted with the next best thing, Indian curry rogan josh! Two packs of the sauce, 1.5 kilo of chicken meat, lots of onions, and 2 packs of greek yogurt and tenen!


They loved it!

Philippine Chili Festival 2019 (August 25, 2019)

My husband was so excited for this you know hahaha. He's coming to judge the hot sauce making competion and also, of course, to hoard spicy stuff. I just came to support him really. Most of the time I was waiting for him to get done with judging, buti na lang I got Netflix to keep me company! Hahaha

At first I was weirded out that there's an event so specific to chili lovers, but I was surprised at how much people came and how they all seemed to enjoy the happenings. There was a fresh Carolina Reaper eating competition, chili growing contest, and even an intiation rite for this uhm Labuyo lovers group? Grabe this niche!

And can I just say, what I enjoyed most about this event, because I'm not really a spicy lover, are the products - specifically the packaging and product presentation. 

Sobrang cool!


Galing!


After the event we went straight to our weekly badminton thing. Had dinner with the family then headed home. 

Sobrang pagod na pagod katawan ko lamoyun?! And I really had to let this all out kasi baka makalimutan ko na sila!

Will end the post here because my PC needs to restart already lol. Ciao!
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Life Lately and the long weekend

Last Week

I remember worrying about work in my previous post. Well, things aren't better. It's still the same. I don't even think I'm moving forward in any of my tasks. Urgh.

And then, the logo studies I was trying to finish? I didn't make it to my deadline which is supposed to be last Friday. I got busy with work, and there's also something about the requirement that's super vague to me. I can't find out what she wants. We agreed on the pegs but when it came to the output, turns out she wants something entirely different. And I spent so many hours conceptualizing that first study you know. Urgh. And can I just say, I don't feel it. I don't feel this project at all. I want to get this over with soonest. Urgh.

Anyway. On to the good vibes.

Saturday

Since it's a holiday on Monday (Aug 12), we decided to put off doing the chores during the weekend. We went to my parent's house to celebrate my sister getting a new job, yehey! Helped cooked lasagna and chicken. It was soooo gooood! Wish I could stay longer and bond with my parents more!


Sunday

Our Sundays are usually spent at church and with my in-laws. We met at Fisher Mall for lunch. I also took the chance to shop for some office clothes cos our laundry schedule is becoming so erratic lately that my office wear (I only have 4 I rotate every week) isn't getting washed in time for the coming work week.

Also, I gained weight so I need to update. That's the real reason lol.


I didn't get the first top cos that would be excessive. I just need two new tops, and a new dress. My office wear is mostly boring, I just try to get the same style, in either black or navy blue, because I don't want to think too much about fashion when going to work hehe.

During the afternoon we went to church and stayed for dinner at my in-laws place.

Monday

It's a holidaaaaay, hooray! We had so many things lined up this day. But first,


Gym! It's our first time to try the gym in our condo. I've been wanting to get regular exercise but I'm just too lazy most of the time and my ever excuse would be that I get home too late, so the gym is already closed, and our house is too small to workout at. But yeah, this week I tried waking up early so that I could do a daily devotional, then go to the gym. Let see how far this pans out!

I just used the stationary bike and followed a cycling workout video on Youtube. The ending? I threw up after working out! Alam mo yung pagod na pagod ka tapos inom ka ng inom so sinuka mo lahat after?! Ganon hahaha. But no regrets, I'll get better! Hahaha

After that wqe headed to Capitol Commons. Did the laundry at Unimart because our community laundry is closed. As usual, there's a line. Had to wait for around an hour to get our turn so while waiting Jeckie had his hair cut, and I got a facial.


I don't really get facials often but I got curious with this new clinic. I availed of their regular facial for ₱500. A 45-minute process that includes a facial massage, masking and cleansing, exfoliating, facial hair shaving, vacuuming, and high-frequency treatment. It was okay. I didn't see much difference (huwaw haha). My pimple scars got more prominent too because they cleaned my face thoroughly. We'll see if I'll try again. But it's good to know there's a derma nearby!

After doing the laundry and the grocery, we had dinner at Tipsy Pig. New discoveryyy!


We now have a new favorite restaurant! That sisig wrap is sooo good we had two servings!

Tuesday

Probably the highlight of my week. My Lazada order got delivered!


I've been dreaming of getting a Dyson but I can't afford it, so I searched for good alternatives. Here comes Dibea, a Chinese knock off that looks great, performs well, and costs 5x less than the usual Dyson. After getting home, I tried it out immediately and it's so cool! Review soon! :)

Wednesday

I feel so bad for snarking up on someone who's ahead of me on the microwave, earlier at the pantry. I was so hungry and she punched in two minutes and I'm like my gaaawd hurry up. I was making faces behind her, and I knew people noticed but I couldn't care less that time. Uuuurgh. Have to be nicer next time.

Uhm, that's it for now! Got to go home!
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Tangadan Falls Adventure!

Super duper late post but who cares haha. I just don't want to forget this event 'cos it was so fun!


We went to La Union during one long weekend in December last year and our itinerary included a trip to Tangadan falls. I was actually surprised that we were going somewhere else aside from Urbiztondo beach area so I was internally freaking about it because I wasn't prepared! I didn't bring my pang-malakasang tsinelas (ie my Sandugo) and I didn't bring enough clothes. I was so dreading the thought of river trekking and wading in the waters while I'm not equipped with the right, uhm, slippers. I could die you know?!


But what have you, our biglaang Tangadan proved to be my favorite part of our LU trip. Aside from our friend's proposal hehe! It was thrilling, exhausting, and rewarding. And even if I woke up super sore from the short trek to the waterfalls, I could do it over and over again because the experience is truly worth it! Littered in this post are a couple of snaps from that super memorable trip. We were driving all the way in that we didn't notice a bunch of locals had gestured for us to stop. They chased us for a bit until they were able to catch us to inform us that they do not allow private vehicles to drive up the mountain because it's not safe.

So quick note to those using Waze or Maps to drive to the place: DON'T IGNORE THE SIGNS. We missed the checkpoint so they had to chase us hehe.


You either have to trek, or rent a vehicle (motorbike, tryke, or jeepney) to get you up there. Since we're a big group we opted for a jeepney and paid over 1k for it. We thought we were being scammed but eventually got convinced of why we had to transfer vehicles.


The trip to the falls was soooooo exhilirating. Nerve-wracking climbs and steep descends filled our short journey. And on a road just wide enough to accommodate our bigass sarao?! We were juggling between trying to enjoy the moment and praying for dear life. Kaya naman pala pagsabayin.


After the jeepney ride, we still had to trek a bit to reach the falls. And when we got there, man was it so beautiful. You can swim, dive, or just chill by the big rocks. Water is cold, the river is deep but they rent out life-jackets naman for 30 pesos each.


There are locals who can guide you during the trek too. You can even borrow a walking stick to help your knees lol. Our kuya was kind enough to lend me his and GRAABEEE sobrang hayahay magtrek pag may walking stick lamoyon?!?! Hahahaha

Can't express how much I loved this trip! I wanna go baaaack!
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Looking around EaTogether Food Hall by Vikings at Capitol Commons


Chanced upon this newly opened food court one weekend while doing the laundry hehe

Disclaimer, I just looked around and didn't buy anything cos Jeckie and I already decided we'd eat at Coco Ichibanya that day. Here's what to see at the newly opened EaTogether Food Hall at Capitol Commons.


Super nice and well designed interiors, lots of dining space, and also an outdoor area for smoking.


Based from what I read from other bloggers (who were lucky to be invited to a press opening lol), transactions here are CASHLESS. You either pay through debit or credit card, or use the reloadable Vikings Rewards Card. Hmm... for now I can't say if that's a good feature or not.


There's a variety for you to choose from. There's Shabu-shabu, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian...




There's chicken and steak...



And a drinks station with cocktails, beer, juices, and bottled products.


There's even a small nook for live performances. Cool!


Will definitely try this place out next time! What do you think about this place and how do feel about the cashless transaction?

ETA after a week: We did come back to this place to eat but upon circling the place twice nothing seems to catch our attention. Not to be nega about the food hall but there's seems to be not a lot of food offerings. There's only around 10 stalls inside. Food is generic and price tag is a bit hefty. You'd have to spend 250/head for a single meal in here. The stalls have a Mercato feel to them, alam mo yun, unfamiliar but interesting. But the price tag would shoo you away talaga haha.

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EaTogether Food Hall is located at the 2nd floor of Unimart Capitol Commons
Operating hours: 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm (is Unimart even open until 11pm?)
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Swamped

I have so many things I'm putting off doing at work that I'm starting to feel like it's gonna bite me anytime now, specially in the coming weeks. Whew!

First, I've been delaying on this RPA project for so long because it scaaares meee. How do you handle this? I keep on pushing it in favor of the easier ones, but now I feel like I need to get it rolling somehow. The thing is, I'm already quite sure it's gonna be very hard to automate, if not impossible. Part of me wants to get back to the client and say it's not possible to do this since it's too complex, there are too many exceptions, and yet a part of me wants to keep on digging for solutions. So what happened? It's been benched for two months JUST BECAUSE I can't afford to say it can't be done. I have yet to understand why it's so hard for me to break this kind of updates to our clients. I know perfectly well how some scenarios don't fit into the robotic scheme of things, that there's only so much I can program without the use of ~real~ AI algorithms. And we're not even there yet, so there's really not much I can do.

Second, I have like two other RPA projects in-progress that I can't seem to drag to the finish line because, uhm. Yeah that's on me. They're supposed to be my quick wins but procrastination got the better of me. Huhu.

Third, I have another RPA project that super duper hard and complicated I don't even know where to start.

Fourth, I have a wedding invite and two logo studies to finish this week. Invite's almost done actually, so it's just the logo that I need to really sit on. I have a couple of ideas running in my head but recently, work has been eating more than four hours of my life each day that I'm left with no time to focus on my other ~endeavors~ haha. My boss is gonna kill me for this.

Anyway. UPDATE! My first problem just got officially solved so that's now old news.

Thanks to my senior, I was able to get through that trap. I really just needed validation that it can't be done, and if my senior agrees, then I have to be confident about it.

Yey. So now I'm working another project with them lol, cos you know, just in case one of the proposed ones doesn't work out they've listed a ton of other things we can try haha.
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Smart Tips to Start Socialising Again

Photo from Pixabay

It's a lot easier to start isolating yourself from others than you might think, especially if you're a naturally introverted person. Maybe you work from home or spend a lot of your time doing something that doesn't require you to leave the house, like playing video games. You might go through a period when you don't feel like socialising, but then find it difficult to reconnect with your social circle once you do feel like being social again. If you want to get back out there, you need to have a plan to start socialising more.
Reconnect with Friends
If you haven't been socialising much lately, it doesn't mean you don't have any friends. It's easy to convince yourself that your friends might have forgotten about you or no longer want to hang out with you, but most of the time, that's not the case. In fact, they might be wondering where you've been and when you're going to get back in touch. You have nothing to lose by reaching out and asking some friends if they want to get together. Start with just one person who you're more confident will be happy to hang out with you or maybe plan a get-together with a few of you.

Deal With What's Keeping You In
Sometimes you don't spend much time socialising because something is stopping you from going out. It might be that you're always online, whether you can't stop streaming Netflix or your whole life is video games. Even sex addiction can keep you from going outside or can limit your socialising. If you're dealing with sex or pornography addiction, professional sex therapists can help you to address your habit. The same is true for other addictions that might be stopping you from having a normal social life. Even if you're shy or dealing with social anxiety, getting professional help can allow you to confront the issue.

Photo from Pixabay

Find New Social Circles
Not everyone feels that they have friends who they can reconnect with. Maybe you've moved to a new town, or you've found it hard to make friends since leaving school. Looking for new people to socialise with can help you expand your social circle. It's a good idea to look for activities and groups to join, whether you join a hiking group, become a member of a choir, or start volunteering. Making new friends as an adult can take a while, but when you find your tribe, it can encourage you to be a lot more social.

Set Goals
If you want to achieve anything in life, it's always a good idea to set some goals. As well as having big goals, you can break them down into small objectives and actions. Your main aim might be to make some new friends but to do that you might first challenge yourself to start participating in a new activity, talk to three different people or ask someone to hang out with you.

It can be tough to start socialising again if you've been isolated. But once you decide to make a move, you can get out there and step out of your comfort zone.
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Retrain Your Mind To Slash Your Anxiety Levels

Anxiety is a modern epidemic. It’s something that seems to permeate every level of our society and imposes enormous costs. Stress literally ruins people’s lives.

It’s only relatively recently though that anxiety has become a publicly-recognized issue. Not only have we become better at talking about it, but it’s also become a bigger problem. We live in a society where no matter how much success you have, it’s never enough. We’ve become slaves to the constant need for “more” in all aspects of our lives. The pressures of the modern world create a situation where anxiety is the inevitable result. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can retrain our minds to overcome the pitfalls of our economic and romantic lives and live more healthfully (and joyfully).

Shrink Your Amygdala
Scientists think that the amygdala has a significant role to play in the modern anxiety epidemic. The pea-sized region at the center of our brains is responsible for a vast amount of the anxiety that we experience. It’s an ancient part of the brain which gives us our essential “fight or flight” response.

Photo from Pixabay

The problem is that the modern world can corrupt the amygdala. It played an essential role in helping us avoid danger in our evolutionary past, but the contemporary world confuses it. The daily stressors of industrial production switch on the amygdala continually, enlarging it and putting it into a state of permanent activity.

Shrinking the amygdala is vital for long-term mental wellness, but how do you do it. The leading approach right now is to spend 30 minutes per day meditating. The incredible thing about meditation is that it appears to shrink the amygdala back down to a regular size while cutting out the unwanted activity.

Supplement To Reduce The Activity Of The Amygdala
Incredibly, as CBDOlja.nu points out, some foods and supplements reduce the amount of brain activity in the amygdala. Ashwagandha, for instance, is a natural herb which cuts the level of activity in the brain and helps people to feel more relaxed about their day.

Something as simple as taking a powdered berry supplement can help too. Inflammation in the brain can change our thought processes, making us more susceptible to negative and unhealthy emotions. Using berries to flush out some of the inflammation cuts the odds of our thought patterns from getting out of whack with reality.

Try Unlearning Your Fear Responses
What’s so upsetting about the whole anxiety epidemic is that it is almost wholly unnecessary. Our lives are not in danger the majority of the time, but our biology causes us to react as if it were. Ancient biology hasn’t yet adapted to the realities of life in modern offices. It’s all so new.

As bodyandsoul.com.au points out, researchers are now experimenting with ways to help people unlearn their fear responses. They do this by asking people to create a list of their fears from least bad to worst. Practitioners then get people to face their fears head-on, instead of avoiding them, helping them to see that they’re usually not in danger after all.
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About this weekend


God has been so gracious to us this week, super! Friday night Jeckie was supposed to come home early because his stomach isn't feeling well. So yeah he was about to go home, but the car won't start so he was stuck for a while hahaha. He figured it's a battery problem. Our options: Motolite 24/7 delivery or Petron roadside assist.

Called Petron to seek help in jumping the car but was denied because we didn't qualify for their free assistance. Apparently, we needed to gas up around 5k/month to qualify and our last transaction was 4 months ago pa hahaha.

How useless, we don't even spend 5k per month on gas and we barely fill up at Petron anymore since there's a Clean Fuel nearby. Nearer and cheaper. Okay, anyway

Jeckie's officemates came to the rescue and he was advised to just jump the car and get an Amaron battery later. Thank God for his friends, they were able to get a jumper cable, and start the car. After a while we was able to drive home safely, with one of his friends even following him closely from behind in case the car conked along the way. He had to drive with every battery operated thing off except for the engine and headlights, to conserve power. So no aircon, no signal lights, no hazard, no radio, no dashcam, no everything. Just the bare minimum to arrive home in one piece. When he got home I took care at having the battery replaced. I searched all over Facebook for recommended Amaron models and suppliers who can deliver to our Area.

I couldn't wait for opening hours so I tried to message some of them if there's any chance they can delivery asap lol. The quickest to reply and offer its services was Dremzie's Battery so I went ahead with them. Delivery took around 30 minutes and kuya Darwin from the shop was kind enough to let me record the process for future reference!

Dremzie's is an official sponsor of a car group I'm on at Facebook so I never doubted haha.
FYI, I'm not car savvy but I enjoy lurking around car groups on Facebook because I'm learning a lot hahaha.

Dahil dyan, here's a Youtube video of the installation of Amaron Hi Life on a Toyota Vios. I was meaning to learn here okay so I was talking to kuya Darwin while he does his thing.


This couldn't have happened any later as we had an important trip the next day. So imagine our relief that it happened right when it did!

Yehey for a new battery! Not the best color out there but who cares. Ako lang to hahahaha. Like why would you choose a battery because of its color lol. Hopefully this would last like The Hulk lol.


The following day, we woke up early to get ready for a friend's wedding. It's my first time in a looong time to participate in the entourage and maaaaan was it a challenging feat, physically. Call time was early and we had to drive almost two hours to get to the preps venue, a resort situated at a very very very high point at Baras, Rizal.


I kid you not, as we approached the resort, we saw this road on the side which was terribly inclined. Sabi ko pa, grabe naman yung kalsada na yun sobrang taas! Everyone in the car agreed. And just like that... surprise! That's the frkn road to the venue! Yehey! My head was shaking in disbelief. But I had to trust the car. Hindi naman pala ganon kalala, I didn't even have to lower the gear. I also didn't have enough bwelo but it sustained just fine. Maybe the new battery has something to do with it haha but yeah, I thank the Lord for keeping us safe!

Sobrang haggard mag-preps. Dibaaaaa? But I'm not complaining because it's just as fun as it is exhausting. I gained new friends and truly enjoyed myself! This wedding was so beautiful despite the heavy downpour. Our gowns and shoes were soaked in mud but we didn't mind! ♡


Here's a collage of a few photos! I hardly feel pretty about myself but heeeeeyyy a layer of foundation, eyebrows on fleek, and a truly long lasting and waterproof lipstick and this girl is feeling GGSS that day.



We were so tired on the way home but we still managed to stop by Metrowalk for a Japanese fix at Nommu Yakitori Izakaya. We had sushi, sashimi, miso soup, and uzura bacon. Ang saraaaaap! ♡


Definitely July's highlight! ♡
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Surefire Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy While You're Travelling

You spend all year daydreaming about your holiday; don’t you?

Where to go, the kinds of adventures you’ll have - and picture yourself out there in paradise - blissful!

Photo from Pexels

But although we all make lots of practical preparations -  it’s easy to forget our own bodies - and we shouldn’t do. Travel can be a big drain on your health if you’re not careful - so it’s important to take the appropriate precautions.

Before you travel
Boost your immune system

A strong immune system is crucial to your overall health - so make sure it’s in shape before you set off.  Try to eat well in the run up to your holiday - and include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Dark leafy greens like kale and brightly colored fruits are particularly helpful.  And remember to take small, healthy snacks with you on your journey.
Check if you need any vaccinations

Depending where you’re going, you might need vaccinations - so make sure you’ve checked - it’s really important.  If concerns about pain put you off - don’t let them - perhaps using a numbing cream could be the solution.

You can find lots of useful information online about which vaccinations might be appropriate for your holiday destination.  So do your homework. And your doctor, physician or pharmacist will be able to advise you too.


Photo from Pexels

Buy the right sunscreen

We can’t emphasise enough the importance of taking - and using sunscreen - particularly if you’re visiting warmer climes.  Make sure you choose a cream with at the very least a factor 15 (30 is preferable, particularly for children).  Look for good UVA ratings - and apply it really regularly while you’re away.

While you’re travelling
Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential to our health and wellbeing and research has revealed that it’s crucial for our immune system.  Put simply, you’re more likely to catch a virus without it - and to shake one off if you do get sick.  So getting proper sleep is very important before and during your journey.

Consider packing a travel pillow and earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to help you sleep more soundly too.

Stay hydrated

When you travel by air, the lack of humidity in the cabin air can lead to dehydration - and dry out mucous membranes.  This can make you more susceptible to germs - so remember to keep as hydrated as possible.  Water is the best option - obviously - so consider taking a bottle with you and refill whenever possible. Potassium-rich foods like bananas are also great options to help keep you hydrated.

Try to keep active

That might not sound straightforward while you’re travelling but it is possible - and, of course, crucial. Because it’s another really effective way to stave off unwanted infections - and boost your energy.

Photo from Pixabay

So make time in your travel schedule to do something that gets your body moving - even if it’s just a quick stretch.  And when you arrive don’t neglect this either - check out the hotel gym and go for a walk or run to explore your new surroundings.

Wash your hands regularly

It’s surprising how many people forget the importance of regular hand washing - and how it helps maintain health.

This is even more important when you travel - as you come into contact with surfaces that many other people have touched. Using handrails, touching counters and opening doors are all things we do without much thought.

Health professionals recommend carrying out the following steps to make sure your hand washing is effective:

  1. Wet your hands with water.
  2. Apply enough soap to cover your hands.
  3. Rub hands palm to palm.
  4. Rub the back of your left hand with your right palm with interlaced fingers. Repeat with the other hand.
  5. Rub your palms together with fingers interlaced.
  6. Rub the backs of your fingers against your palms with fingers interlocked.
  7. Clasp your left thumb with your right hand and rub in rotation. Repeat with your left hand and right thumb.
  8. Rub the tips of your fingers in the other palm in a circular motion, going backwards and forwards. 
  9. Repeat with the other hand.
  10. Rinse hands with water.
  11. Dry thoroughly, ideally with a disposable towel.
  12. Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.
If you can’t get access water to wash your hands fully while you’re in transit - try using an alcohol based sanitiser.  And remember to keep applying it frequently, to make sure you’re properly protected.


Photo from Pixabay

In conclusion
Just a little common sense and a tiny bit of preparation can help you stay fit and well while you travel. And then you’ll be sure to arrive at your destination - and home - relaxed healthy and happy.
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Ah, something to dream about


Apple finally makes the iPad mini compatible with the Apple Pencil! I got really excited when I learned about it. I almost immediately wanted to get one. Key word: ALMOST. We all know I've got no money to spare for unnecessary things like that. Actually I just have no money, period. Haha

I'm still good with my Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 with S-Pen, even though I hardly use it to sketch nowadays. So see, it's not like I'm gonna love drawing again when I get my hands on an iPad. I bought a tablet with stylus for the purpose of reading and sketching, but the stylus isn't quite fit for the latter, and tablet too heavy for the former. Then again, maybe I'm just not that talented, and not much of a reader too. It's not about the tool right? It's what you make of it. Anyway. Peso power of the wifi only variant plus the first gen apple pencil rounds at ₱30,000. Hmmm....

So what's new?

Nothing much, really. 
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[Review] The Serviced Residences at Kasa Luntian

To celebrate my parent's 31st wedding anniversary, I booked a staycation for the family at Kasa Luntian, Tagaytay. We all enjoyed our stay, and wished we could extend but oh well, we'll just come back next time!


The Serviced Residences at Kasa Luntian is part of an Alveo Land development located along Tagaytay-Calamba road. Kasa Luntian is part hotel part residential area, with its hotel services managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII).


The best thing I liked about the place is really the ambiance and how the suite is designed. The interior is soooo beautiful. Love the layout, decor, and patterns used in the room. The one-bedroom suite we booked looked super big at 55sqm, considering it has a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, spacious shower and toilet, and a balcony you can actually chill at.

Check-in

Check-in at Kasa Luntian is okay. The front desk is situated at The Lanai building, which is different from where your actual unit will be. So once you get your key card you have to move to another building.


The front desk area is super lovely! What it lacks in space it made up for the beautiful design. Welcome drinks (pandan juice) is a nice touch too!

There's temporary parking beside the reception area and after check-in you'll be given a car pass you can use to drive in and out of the property. To check-out you also need to go back to the font-desk area. Mild hassle right but it's fine if you have a car. Plus, walking around the place is such a delight! It's quiet and serene and the landscape is truly relaxing. The guards are also super nice and polite.


There's free open parking for hotel guests available beside each building. Covered parking is reserved for residents only. You can probably get in, but only to drop your luggage by the elevator. The Lanai also has a few restaurants and shops like 7-Eleven, Nailandia, and Taza Mia.

Before I move on to the things I liked and didn't like about our stay, here's a pic spam of the amenities and our room!


Amenities


Very relaxing ambiance.


Gorgeous pools, which reminds me of our condo lol. There's some serious DMCI vibes to this place, considering it's built by Ayala lol. Maybe because there's a resort theme to it.

We didn't really roam around that much so we only saw the pool and this small playground for kids. I'm not sure what else is there but I know there's a function room somewhere hehe.



One-bedroom suite
Now onto our room...


Oh this room is soooo lovely!

There's a fully equipped kitchen enclosed with a counter-top. There's an electric stove/oven, exhaust, set of knives (which needs sharpening), cooking utensils, a pot and pan, microwave, kitchen sink with sponge and dishwashing liquid.

They also have this complimentary glass bottle of drinking water, which they will remind not to take with you, both during check-in and check-out. Yeah. Apparently, guests keep on taking it with them because it's cute lol. There's a tabletop sign beside it which we didn't read lol. Perhaps it contained a note not to take the damned bottle, that it's not a hotel hoardable if you know what I mean hehe, but guests probably don't pay attention so management resorted to just keep on reminding everyone? Kinda condescending. For a while it felt insulting, being reminded TWICE, not to take something from the room. Sorry if I probably look like the kind who would request for extra bottles of shampoo lol, but heyy, you didn't have to imply it.

So. Can you request for extra water? That's 150 for you lol. There are better ways to remind your guests not to take the bottles with them, and drinking water should always be complimentary in the hospitality industry. If they care so much about losing glass bottles they should stick to the good 'ol plastic ones. Urgh.


What else. They also have four sets of eating utensils, as well as bowls and plates. We loved the kitchen so much because we brought in a lot of food and cooked a lot as well! They have glasses and teacups too, complimentary instant coffee and tea, and electric kettle.


I loved the living area. There's a big flat-screen smart TV equipped with cable. You can also watch Netflix and Youtube as soon as you connect it to the wifi (which wasn't setup properly, I had to call the front desk to fix it). The daybed is amazing, I actually slept in it!


Dining is perfect for the four of us. :)


The bedroom is separated by a sliding door. The balcony is spacious enough you can actually hang out outside.


That's fake turf by the way.


Closet space is enough for a staycation, there's also a safety deposit box, hair dryer, iron, and ironing board. There's an extra hidden storage behind this wall painting beside the bedroom door. Just slide the artwork aside and it will reveal more storage space for you.

Here the view from our balcony...


The pool is probably their greatest feature so I specifically requested to get a pool facing view, and also a high floor. Latter wasn't granted but it was fine cos the pool view provided such a nice backdrop during breakfast!



Price point
We stayed overnight on a Saturday and our bill totaled to around ₱8,500. Which is too much, so I don't recommend staying here on a weekend unless they have a promo. I mean if you're gonna charge me 8k+ for a night you better submit to all my requests, but that didn't happen so I think it's overpriced.

For the quality of our stay, I'd say ₱5,000 tops. Room plus taxes cost us around 7k. Then remember they charged us for extra people so that's additional 1.6k. The weekend rates can get really steep so I'd recommend staying from Sunday-Thursday if you can.

Price varies of course but Saturday rates are the worst.

Okay. Now down to the things I thought needed improvement:
  • For some reason our room smelled like paint. Anyway, we quickly got used to it.
  • There's an apparent lack of mirrors in the suite. The only mirror present is in the vanity area, and the lighting is bad over there. Can't glam yourself up and take OOTDs. Sad. Hope they get a full-body mirror in a well-lighted corner hehe.
  • Hairdryer cannot be plugged near the vanity area, where the only mirror is. I guess this was deliberate to avoid accidents? So at least add more mirrors diba so we can properly fix ourselves lol.
  • As mentioned, I didn't like how they remind guests to leave the glass bottle behind, both during check-in and check-out. Reminder during check-in is enough, then they could charge any lost bottle from the security deposit. But to ask us if the water bottle is still there when we checked-out? I really find it insulting. Could've just put a note on the bottle's packaging instead or highlighted it on the tabletop sign you know, something like "Take the water, but not the bottle". Anyway.
  • Extra drinking water will cost you, so just bring your own.
  • The flooring is elevated as you enter the room, so be careful. I fkn tripped twice on my way in and hurt my nails. Arte no.
  • The TV remote control is makunat. Ang tigas nung Enter and up arrow haha!
  • No extra keycard.
  • Not really something they should improve on but they're really strict with extra persons and guests. We're 4 adults staying in a one-bedroom suite with a capacity of 2 adults and 2 kids, and we were charged 800/per extra person. Not like most hotels where you can sneak in more guests lol. Fair is fair so next time, we'll just come in pairs. Visitors are only allowed until 10pm and they need to register at front desk before meeting you. Hmmm...
  • Hopefully they offer breakfast and other amenities too like a spa! That would really complete the serviced residences experience :D
  • If you booked online via 3rd party agent (Agoda, Booking, etc.), check-in time is 3pm. You can probably request to check-in early though. We came in around 1pm and had to wait until 2:30pm to get our suite ready. We just happily waited at one of the gazebos. But srsly, if I hadn't called front desk to follow up on our room (they said they would call), they'd probably let us wait 'til 3pm. That's how I feel about the girl who attended to us lol. Parang ayaw nya kami pagbigyan sa kahit ano lol.
And to sandwich my feedback...
  • I'm probably coming back despite the mild annoyances and hopefully they've improved by then (ie. mirrors). 
  • Their official online photos did not disappoint!
  • We all had a good night's sleep! Bed and linens are comfy, daybed in the living area is super comfy too.
  • I wasn't able to swim because I got my darned period but their pool looks really awesome there's even jacuzzi on one level. Plus two of the levels can be heated, I guess it depends on the weather. It wasn't on the morning my parents swam.
  • The guards are super nice.
  • I really really enjoyed the TV haha. Netflix should be a standard in Hotels you know. As in. Nobody watches cable anymore.
  • I loved their bathroom essentials. The handwash, shampoo/body wash, and conditioner smelled sooo sooo good!
  • Toilet has bidet, hooray!
  • Place is perfect for 2 adults. More than that and your bill will make you feel unwelcome lol.
Finally, here's short video tour of the place! Enjoy!


Hope you liked this post! I'd say Kasa Luntian is great for couples and those with at most 2 kids only. Hoping they'd considering catering larger groups but I would understand if they can't to preserve the serenity of the place lol, after all it's also a residence. Looking forward to our next stay.
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