Instagram Stories: August

What an August.

So many things have happened that I can't (still) wrap my head around it all. New experiences, newly tapped abilities I didn't think I had, and a few other things.

1. Nueca

What a fun, fun environment! I anticipated my first job to be great, but not as relaxing and cool as the one I currently have. I love the environment, and though sometimes I tend to feel tired of how the office looks (I'd rather have the walls painted clear white and with wooden floors in the lounge area), it's still more than I could've hoped for in my first job. The people are great, and we all share a love for music, as different as they may be at times too.

It was just last Friday (the 28th) that we ordered a BFF bundle from McDonald's for snacks while we took a break from work, and the events that followed while and after we were eating were hilarious.

I love how free we can be to just sit back and take a break from time to time, eat a little, walk around, and in my case, do a little watercolor work.

Nueca has been amazing so far, and hopefully, they decide to keep me after the three-month probationary period (mine ends on October 6). Pray for me, please.

2. Hand-Lettering

I'm not stretching it when I say I'm starting to get the hang of this whole brush-lettering, hand-lettering thing. Just starting. I've been trying to learn since the start of summer, and my progress is quite okay. Personally, I think I've improved even a bit and I've become bolder in embellishing my lettering. I update on my Instagram more often than my blog, and I know I did something good whenever my follower count boosts to +10 a day. I was a little disappointed last night when I checked my Insta and saw I lost six people. I just posted a photo with a hamburger (the first photo, right)! I did say in my description that I was also a foodie, so I guess they just skipped and followed.

This September 6, a really good friend of mine will be holding a basic Calligraphy workshop in Naga City and I really wanted to go. Unfortunately, it's going to be held on a Sunday, which is basically family day for us. I promised her we'd meet earlier (or after) so it's no biggie. I also ordered a few things from her (well, she bought stuff in Manila) and I can't wait to try them out and blog about them. *Squeals*

3. My cousin and our puppies

My cousin from the UK spent her summer vacation with us here in the Philippines, and we (her, me, and my other cousin) bonded as much as we could. It was such an awesome experience with them. We talked and talked for forever, startled a few Starbucks and Red Platter servers/baristas with our British accents and basically just chilled the eff out. By the end of her vacation, we had names for one another, namely Ponycorn and High Horse. If you only knew half of our crazy talks, you'd be traumatized. She'll be coming back next year around March with the whole family, and who knows where that gathering will take us.

Another awesome event was the birth of our dog's puppies! There were five of them in total: Hercules (pictured), Spot, Shadow, Panda Bear, and Cosmo. The first time I saw them, they came over to me, tails wagging, and I introduced myself to them. I instantly had a favorite - Hercules. He was so gentle and so kind! He wasn't like the other dogs that were easily excited and bored. I wanted to bring them back to Naga so badly, but knew they wouldn't be taken cared of here properly.

Then, news broke a few days after that three of them had already been given away. I couldn't believe it. What made it more depressing was that Hercules was one of them. Ugh. No one consulted me what dogs should be given to who! I've never gotten so quickly attached to a dog before, and now that dog was gone. The only two that remained were Shadow and Panda Bear. Good thing I was able to take a picture of Herc before he was so rudely let go.


You will be missed Hercules.

That sums up my August (too many happenings, but I'd bore you if I discussed them one by one). It's almost September, the start of the "-ber" months once again, and I want to do something special before Christmas. Haven't thought about it yet, but the urge is present. Let's see.


Mary Kay

So... my mom got me some Mary Kay skincare products. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I'm excited to see how this will affect my skin quality (given the price, it should be worth it).

I'm not used to the whole night-time-routine, so this will be challenging for me to keep doing. I have to apply this in the morning and in the evening (both) and the cleanser needs to be rinsed/wiped-off with warm water (on a soft towel if you want). Admittedly, it's a struggle, but I'm starting to get used to it. Tonight was my second time using this.

Not knowing what this brand was, I searched for its prices, and the brand is quite pricey. I will surely not be wasting this any time soon. I haven't spent $30 on skincare ever (since I tend to direct my money elsewhere, like water brushes or jewellery). If ever I notice something change in my face texture, I'll let you know.

Speaking of skincare, I'm thinking about buying from the Devonne by Demi line, because you know, I'm a huge Demi Lovato fan. Besides, her skin is always at its best, with or without makeup. Ah, but real-world finances have to be set aside first before purchasing anything online. The temptation gets too strong at times, which is often.

My First Time

We all have our firsts. Our first step, our first meal, our first failure, our first crush.

I've always wanted to do it. I know I'd have a great time doing it, as tiresome as it might be (if ever). I'm proud to say that I can finally take this off my bucket list.

Last night, I made a Cheesecake for the first time.

It's not much since it's a 'no-bake' type of recipe (this was all I could make for my mom's post-birthday day), but I've never done any baking, or culinary-related things before. It was also my first time shopping for ingredients using my own money - and it was not as awesome as I imagined it would be. What a joke.


So it looks messed up, I know. I kind of had trouble placing it on the plate and once it had even a little piece of crumb on top, I thought, meh, whatever, and just went along with it. (My first time, okay? Cut me some slack.) As bad as it looks, it tastes awesome

I'm not taking credit for how it tastes like, since I got the recipe for it on Martha Stewart's website here. I know it looks nothing like Martha's cake, but hell, I spent money and allotted energy for this. I am proud of how this turned out. (Nothing like assuring yourself you did good, right? Haha.)

The ingredients totalled almost Php 1000, and that's not considering the sugar and the Vanilla. How pricey can these get, am I right? *Sigh I have learned. I now move on.

I later found out I could've saved money if I had bought ingredients from some place other than the mall, but that's where I feel most comfortable getting groceries. My bad. I'll let mom take over getting the stuff next time.

It's a relatively simple process, and if I had thought about everything before buying, I would've saved us 45 minutes of time. It took that long to grind (read: 'powderize') the Grahams. I am not doing that again.

Next came the sugar and the mixing-together process. I suck at these how-to's don't I? Haha. Sorry.

We (a cousin and I) then put these on the moulding pans and placed them in the freezer to harden. We did the filling next, and just mixed the remaining ingredients together. We were not calm at all during the process. We sounded drunk. Hahaha.

And we were done. We left it overnight in the fridge and this was the result (photo taken after we had already devoured half. Very planned, as you can tell).

It tasted heavenly. I really didn't mind how it looked, especially after my mom sent me a message on Facebook (complete with photos) of her enjoying the cake we made for her. I told her I thought it would get harder, but she said it really wouldn't get hard given the ingredients, which was just right for a Cheesecake.

In the end, my first time was not really a failure, but more of a work in progress. Yeah, I like how that sounds.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, Martha!
(Feeling close?)


Heartfelt and On Fire

My Superwoman.

She's someone who'd rather work to earn for the family than to rest her aches and relax at home.

She's someone who'd rather suck up the pain than spend money (which she says could be used somewhere more important) to get treated.

She's someone who'd keep saying 'yes' to people regardless of how tired or hurting she may be.

She's my mother.

She loves to bake, like most mothers do. :)

She sings (admittedly sometimes with a variety of voices, haha) to The Carpenters' songs and isn't afraid to throw in a few dance moves for fun.

She spends time tending the garden passed on by her own mother and considers it her mode of relaxation.

When I have friends over, she prepares special meals for us, insisting my friends to keep eating (you guys know this based on experience), even though she spends almost all day at work and has that little time to herself.

When people she's helped talk bad about her to others, I can see how hurt and betrayed she feels and I wonder how ungrateful and stupid people can be to switch loyalties so easily. After all she's done for you (and she doesn't even want to take credit), this crap is what you give her. Yeah, thanks. Your parents have raised you well.

When she tells us about her day, the things she had to do and the amount of travelling she had to endure to make others happy (and avoid conflict), it is I who want to shout at those who burden her so much. My mother isn't getting any younger, and you simply can't expect one person to do everything. Yet she still finds the will to smile and even lectures me about my feelings towards them. Apparently, it's wrong for me to ache in behalf of my mother.

It's not that we get along 100%. I'm quite the hard-head, and there are times I really want to get my way. There times when a single word I say ticks her off and starts a silent war, only to be broken a little later in the day. I know I've had a lot of bad-kid moments, and by no means will this post clean the red on my ledger.

This is more than a greeting for my mother. This is my defense, my protective shield, my no-barriers-held rant for her that will hopefully open the eyes of people she gets to interact with everyday, that she isn't a robot, she isn't immortal, she isn't as young as she used to be, and she most definitely isn't a slave of anybody. She entertains you because she wants to and cares for you, not because it's her obligation. Don't go around feeling like you made her do something for you. She did it willingly, because she has a big heart and doesn't tire of lending a hand.

My mom will probably be dismayed (angry, even) that I posted this, and this post may or may not start conflict in our different relationships, but to you who know my mom personally and who see that all I have said here are true - thank you. Thank you for seeing my mom's true worth, and not the value placed on her by other people. Thank you for realizing that she has her own family, a family who yearns for her time, her time which she selflessly gives to other people. Thank you for realizing that as her daughter, my need to bond with my mom, go shopping with her, have a heart to heart talk are incredibly important.

Remember, your comfort is in exchange for my mom being away from us, her family.
Your comfort means my mom's physical body aches.

We were taught as kids to be mindful of others, and to respect the elderly.

Ninety-nine percent who will read this are no doubt older than me, and I know will tell me that I have no right to judge or tell them off, that I don't know the whole picture or story. I understand your lament. After all, who would want to be in the receiving part of this rant? I wouldn't. However, I tell this in my own words, the way I see it from my mother's face when she comes home every night, the way my heart falls when she talks about her day, the way I explode inside when people look down on her.

She is my mother.

She won't want this post to ever reach the concerned people, but I want to, for her sake. I am in no way disrespecting my elders, family, and friends with this. It's a topic I've been meaning to get off my chest for years.

My mom may think I don't feel her pain, that I don't realize what she's going through. I just want her to know that even just a bit, I do. Call it a daughter's connection with her mother. I just do.

To my family and friends, to everyone who will get to read this, know that I love you and I mean no disrespect. I reiterate: I am not trying to disrespect you. I love you enough to tell you how I feel and be raw with my emotions. I love you. If this offends you, I am deeply sorry, and please don't take it personally. I love you, but I love my mother, father, and brother more and I will do anything and everything to make them happy.

Happy birthday mom. I love you.

(I'm making you a cheesecake when you get back! Haha. And maybe something else too.)

Almost A Shopaholic - Yikes!


Today (or yesterday depending on when I post this) was a holiday in Naga City due to the commemoration of Jesse M. Robredo's third death anniversary. I had planned to stay at home all day to finish up on chores, work, and other extras, but lunch at the mall changed everything.

It's my mom's birthday on the 19th and I wanted to treat her to a spa session or massage, or anything she wants, but being the simple woman that she is, mom chose to have lunch and just hang out. We walked around the mall until she had to leave for San Jose again, leaving us to continue window-shopping - or so I thought.

By the end of the day, I had spent more than I usually spend in a week. Bummer.

I don't even know. I'm meeting a friend on Friday and I don't want to go broke. Double bummer.

As disappointing as it may sound, today was not bad at all. I bought a sweater, a few make-up stuff, and a book I've been meaning to get since it came out.

Ever since I saw Abbey Sy's blog, I fell in love. I don't know how she does it and how she could be her age and so accomplished. I'm an ant. She inspired me to get started on hand-lettering and discovering brush pens, calligraphy, and watercolors. Good thing her book found its way to the NBS shelves in Naga. Better late than never. 

A few minutes later, I found myself in the middle of a sea of cosmetics. I figured I'd buy another eye liner and try liquid foundation. I went home with the foundation, and waterproof mascara from Maybelline. I've never tried mascara willingly before (the first and last time was during my 6th grade graduation) and I wanted to try something new. It's pink with an apple-green lid (my favorite colors) and the sales lady said it wasn't heavy on the eyes. I'm going to use this everyday and maybe update you in a week.

Here's a flat-lay of my current favorites. I bought the liquid foundation at the bottom-right along with the mascara today, while the "Rules of Body" water-based lotion I bought from their store at SM North Annex. Added the phone just because. Haha.

I mentioned the sweater I bought earlier in this post, but I'm planning to 'reveal' it differently - there's going to be a story behind it. It'll come, I promise, but not until all the factors are ready. You'll know why. *Wink, wink.

Now, looking at these purchases, you might not think them to be much for a 'shopaholic', but the prices are just... ugh. Too much tax. I can't. Spent a lot on food and other stuff too so...

But yeah. 

Today was a good day. 

Now, I can't sleep. Stressed over the pending projects I should've finished today. 

My Fascination With Horror

I don't remember the first time I got hooked, and neither do I recall what movie I watched that got this little addiction going. When I was a kid though, I used to have really weird dreams, and I know that because I can still remember most of them. Here's the very first one I ever had. Enjoy.

The Vent

I was in a dimly-lit bedroom (not sure if it was mine or someone else's) with purplish-red undertones. It was silent, and there were no windows at all, just a vent on the wall directly across my bed. I was snuggled up cozily under incredibly soft blankets and I could hear the gentle whirring of the air conditioner.

I got out of bed, put on slippers - and soon found out there was no door. The only opening I could see was the vent, which efficiently happened to be unscrewed. I peeked inside and being assured that it was clean and had no roaches, I took the lid off and squeezed in.

Suddenly, I was in a dark place, bathed with red lights. It took me a while to notice that I was under floorboards and a little longer to understand what the people above me were talking about. I saw a gap between the boards and looked up, only to see... nothing. There was no one there. But I could bet on my life that I could hear people talking, though I couldn't see them.

They were talking about skinning me alive! (I have no idea how a 5-year-old could've come up with this or why I even knew then about 'skinning'.) They wanted my blood as well, though I don't remember why and what they needed it for.

My breath quickened and I started to feel nauseous. I didn't want to die. I cried silently and hoped I could leave that horrible place unnoticed, and as if fate thought I needed even a glare of hope, I wound up in bed instantly. I sighed, relieved. That's when I noticed the vent wide open. The lid had vanished and I was staring directly at the opening, my mind filled with thoughts of what could come out. The last time I had gone inside the vent, I learned someone wanted me to die, and I wanted to be anywhere but near its opening. I didn't know what else to do so I just sat in bed and stared at the darkness.

A few seconds later, I heard a faint scratching noise. It sounded like it was above me at first, but as I listened more closely, I realized it was coming from somewhere up the vent. I got curious (Ugh, typical for horror characters, right?) and approached the vent. When I was just a few feet away, the sound got louder but instead of running back under the covers, I kneel and crawl towards it. For some reason, the vent had gotten smaller.

It only took a split second to switch from curious to struggling. I was now trying to get back (crawling furiously back) to my bed but an unseen force was pulling me inside the vent. Seconds later, both my feet were forced into it, my skin slowly getting scraped by the sides of the vent. I couldn't fit at all, and what's worse is that the thing that wanted me in the vent was pulling so hard at my feet that all my body could do was to squeeze itself in, my ribs and other bones cracking in the process. Blood spurted everywhere as little by little, my body caved in itself. I could no longer cry, but I could see my mouth gaping wide and my eyes almost ready to burst. 

Just like that, I was dead. Though I 'died' already, I could still hear myself being dragged within the vent until silence consumed the area. Once again, it became quiet. What's scary is that no one would know what happened. I was shut off from the world with no doors or windows anywhere. The vent was the only passage. 

I just have this insane fixation on horror-related things! I don't know how or why, but it's something I'm comfortable watching no matter what time of the day it is. I have other dreams which are a bit more... disturbing, but I'll leave that for another time. Ciao.

P.S. Yeah, so apparently, I skipped July too. Bummer. I have to keep up on things! Hopefully I have time this week to plan my post topics for the month.