Friday, May 23, 2014

Spa Day

Last week I had the pleasure of being treated to some spa treatments. I had my usual massage because my c-curve has been acting up and ruining my sleep and then I had a foot spa treatment because my feet has been dry lately.

I didn't really get to talk about the place I go to the first time I wrote about it, so this time I made sure I brought my camera so I could take pictures! :)

Fleur Spa is just across the street from my mom's office. It's also Tita Cathy's (her boss and good friend) so it also reflects the warm colors and ambiance of the office.
Some teas water and light nibbles at the receiving area..
This time, having wanted to take pictures, I was able to notice all of the sci-fi thing-a-ma-bobs they have there! These ones I've seen before when I had a facial treatment. If I remember correctly, from left to right these are a bright lamp, a steamer and the thing they use to exfoliate/clean your face. After my facial that time, my skin was super smooth and dewy and nice. Highly recommend.

But these thing-a-ma-bots were new to me. Luckily someone showed me around and explained them a bit.

Behind the pretty top-to-bottom curtains are actually body treatment machines. I didn't even know they had this kind of service 'till recently!

These are apparently fancy body-shaping machines for well known methods that reduce cellulite and generally sculpt/tighten the body. I believe the Vela one is the new one, it's best for loose skin (advertised to post-birth moms) or cellulite, just in time for summer.* Paying more attention that time (and consulting the leaflets they had) I realised they pretty much have everything there. 

Slimming options are not all they have when it comes to body treatments (although they do have a lot of options for that) they also have body scrubs, nourishing soaks, even hot stone massage. Some of their treatments have machine options, which means you can meet one of those thing-a-ma-bots if you are so inclined. 

The full-body massage I usually get is pretty neat. The masseuse ate Tin is really good. She can make the massage softer according to my taste without it being too weak! I make sure they work on my problem area (upper back) and the massage does wonders for my sleep.

An amazing discovery I made is that they have general salon treatments too, all of them in fact! Not just hair spa and foot spa treatments. They actually have mani-pedi and hair salon services too.

They even have gel polish!

Here is the salon area, with their resident hairdresser and my mom hehe:

I didn't get to snap a lot of pictures of it, but it's obvious how relaxing the space is, right? I like the wood interiors of this place.

Now if you're thinking that a relatively new place that has soo many types of services available is probably a jack of all trades but a master of none, I have to stop you there. Talking individually to some people who work there, it's clear that even if the staff is small, everyone had their place, and were assigned to a particular kind of service so they can do it well. There was a manicure person, a hairdressing person, a machines person, a facial person... The hair dresser was nice and chatty and talked freely about hair cutting techniques and the like. I was impressed by how passionate he seemed to be about his job. It seems to be paying off, too. I cannot emphasize enough how stoked everyone in the office seemed to be about hair treatments. Everyone was raving about how good the hair services were! Maybe one day I'll get a treatment done. Or coloring. It's really tempting, everyones hair seemed really nice, even my mom had one and she didn't have to tell me that day. I simply noticed. Even ate apprentice had nice hair:


So how do they manage to do all of these things and more?** Well they keep the staff small, and they are available by appointment. Call one day in advance if you can!.. although people who work at the office just call the same day like my mom here. But even then there were always patrons in there whenever I went. I guess they're really good! ;)

My cute happy mama.

So as I was saying my feet were really longing for a good buffing, and here's how it went:

First I had a nice warm soak. I was mesmerised by these colors so I took a couple of pictures :p

They let you borrow slippers and they're nice ones. They run a little small for my feet, but that's not unusual cos I have big ones B-)

They pat on a cotton wad and douse it with callus remover and it just sticks to your foot like this:

It tingles as the liquid soaks your foot. They buff your feet, and apply some creams, leave them on, rinse and repeat. After it all I was happy that my feet could feel again. Hahaha. But I did ask ate to not buff very hard, cos I was a bit scared! So I had a gentler buffing than usual. After a few days my feet started peeling, I guess it was a delayed reaction to the callus remover cos the skin wasn't forced off. So I just scrub them every day in the shower, and I think they're done peeling now. :)

I took more pictures of the interiors while having my foot babied. They always have nice magazines on their piles/racks. :)

Buff buff buff buff..

Then it was time for me to have a massage! Whee! I had a stressful morning so it was verrrry welcome and relaxing. This wasn't the actual massage table, but cute interiors, non?

One thing I really liked the last time I went was the soap they had by the sink. It was a lavender soap and I looove how it smells. But this time I changed in a different toilet. It had interesting stuff there anyway.. I like how random products are laid out like that around their sinks. You know when you go to a friends house and read all the labels on the bottles of their soaps and smell stuff like a creepy person? It felt like that, only it  felt like it was encouraged.

Click here for directions
Here's the back of the leaflet with their business hours and their phone number in case you wanted to visit!

*disclaimer: I do not promote jiggle hate or cellulite hate; you can go to the beach and wear a bikini if you want, whatever your body type/ appearance is! But it's nice to have options for people who want their skin to appear smoother. But if you're someone who's cool with it (like I am) that's also awesome!

**more means A LOT more. haircuts, hair color, hair therapies, rebonding (that everyone keeps raving about.. it doesn't make your hair look flat) diamond peel, acne and warts removal, cryoliposis.. laser hair removal and tattoo removal... I'm not even kidding.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"I write to discover what I know"

I had my Visa interview on Friday and I'm starting to feel the anxiety. I know I can make it through The Week of Not Knowing, but right now my nerves are sending me to the edge! It's at times like these when I'm happy that I write things down. I use my own past writings to reassure myself about things. It's amazing how much you subconsciously know that you can't use to your own benefit when you sit in silence and wallow in negative feelings, and it's amazing how writing things down, actually feels like learning them anew.

Right now I'm reading this one, to keep myself open to both possibilities while just focusing on the good feelings, and to be okay with either result. A lot of the feel-good "it's going to be okay" stuff I write are not only shout outs to the universe, but to my future selves as well. In case I forget to catch my breath. In case I forget what makes me happy. In case I forget what is inspiring to me. It's a way of connecting with myself, connecting each present fleeting self to another self in a different state of mind to allow for self-reflection and improvement. Let's face it, we don't retain everything we learn permanently, at least consciously. It doesn't hurt to ask help from the past.

There are other things I wanted to write about on here, but at the moment I can't really let my mind sit and focus on them, but they're coming! Probably this week. But for now, I'll just sort out my nerves and relax; it's still the weekend after all.

Friday, May 9, 2014

How We Do (best friend edition)

My friends just went home, man was that evening awesome or what.

This was the documentary we ended up watching out of a list I looked at online. Carmen asked if I had any documentaries on architecture history, and I didn't but I said I'd look for one and I made her check out the list I found, she picked four, and this was the one I was able to download. It was super inspiring and engaging. Kinda cool that they end up delving into film: Carmen and Aizel are from Interior Design and Architecture, while Pia and I are from Media Studies and Film. Woah.

I made popcorn before it ended and we watched the first episode of Broad City afterwards. The popcorn didn't last very long though. Maybe like three minutes. Haha.

It's a nice show, I think I'll keep watching it. I just decided to try it out yesterday and started downloading last night, it's pretty cool that I got to see it first with my friends. It's like, about girls who are not cookie-cutter in their girl-ness, much like all four of us. So yeah that was cool.

Afterwards, We had a photoshoot. We talked about the need for new pictures together, especially for our private FB group's page cover, and tonight was the perfect chance for it, even though the weather is melting our faces off and the fact that we can't stop laughing at everything is not helping at all.

Carmen internalizing for the shoot. "Uma-aura" as these other two described it
Numerous failed shots followed..

We just SOMEHOW can't stop laughing..
Carmen is holding it together so much better than all of us..
Not always though
We ended up going for this one. I'll probably make an edited version but man it's late, these'll do for now.

We had some iced tea spiked with this weird alcohol thing I got from a wedding; none of us know what it is..
After burning more calories by laughing, I made them watch My Mad Fat Diary!!! And they LOOVED it!!!

More than I thought they would :3 So happeh.

So yeah that was a great night. I can't bring myself to sleep!

Last workday of the week Bea, Go go go! To bed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

From Sappy Worrier to Happy Warrior (Happy Nudge v.1)

Changing your perspective, in my opinion, is a happiness tactic that requires the least effort. Bad times and happy times will always come and go, but if you actively try to keep happier thoughts in your mind, then you can battle negativity's unfair advantage.

Yes, negativity has an unfair advantage, apparently. I'm not speaking as a psychological expert, but rather as a regular person who has heard the fact over and over from different, relatively reputable sources.

So, in an effort to battle anxieties I feel about upcoming stuff, I'm going to let my mind linger a bit on how awesome this week has been so far. I will do a Happy Nudge, which is a term I would like to use from now on for actively reminding yourself of things you can be happy about. *nudge nudge*

So... HAPPY NUDGE V.1! Here are reasons why my week is being pretty cool:
  1. I met my friends on Monday. It was unplanned, they texted me and I went there. I'm not a very spontaneous person when it comes to going out, as much as I'd like to believe the contrary. So that was pretty cool.
  2. I've been crossing off some huge Very Adult of Me tasks on my mental To-Do list that I have been working towards for monthsss and monthsss and I've encountered some very serendipitous lucky stuff when it comes to the nitty-gritty paperworky logistics and preparations (that I won't get into because it would be very boring) that made this week a lot easier than I thought it was going to be!
  3. Due to the difficulties that I perceived as very likely for me to encounter, I was very stressed Monday night and I told my boyfriend "I wish I had more time every day" because I didn't get to watch any of my Sunday shows (that I watch on Mondays).. And the next day, my boss magically announced that I won't be having an afternoon class! So I relaxed and watched my shows and stuff :3
  4. On that same Monday, I caught 11:11 on my phone and wished for things to work out alright. When I got home, I saw that the helpdesk question I desperately needed answered by my bank was answered at 11:11, and not only that: the answer was the BEST NEWS I could ever ask for. I thought I was going to have to go to the branch where I opened my account (would totally F up my schedule) but I didn't :)

  5. My mom had been helping me so much, sometimes I feel guilty! But I realised that feeling grateful without guilt is a purer and more beneficial kind of thankfulness, and more likely to nurture loving feelings instead of indebtedness and bitterness. But I just want to take this time to say I LOVE YOU MAMA. I really appreciate everything you've been doing, you're like magic. (By the way guys, it's Mother's Day on Sunday.)
  6. Today I was having a weird lucid dream about time. I woke up sometime in the morning trying to check on the time (I usually wake up around 7 and take note of the time so I can nap shortly before I have to really get up) and couldn't see it very well, so I drifted back to sleep and asked a girl in my dream "What time is it?" and looked at the clock in my dream which confirmed the girl's answer that it was 8:19 (I leave for work at 8:25, for it takes me 5 minutes to walk there).. I check my phone and apparently it was set to silent mode so I didn't hear.. I panicked in the dream, which made me wake up. I looked at the clock and it WAS the correct time. I forgot to bring my phone into my room because I was printing some documents last night. I was so disoriented. But I still managed to hurry and get to work on time with some help from my brother who just drove me there! HOW LUCKY WAS THAT?! Then my boss declared NO AFTERNOON CLASS again today, and my friends have said yes to spending an evening watching a documentary together! And talking, of course. :) So that brings us to a total of TWO impromptu bestfriendly meetings this week. A very high number for us!
  7. I've been eating relatively well this week! Maybe that's also partly where I'm getting this break from negativity from...

So there, seven things that have made this week awesome so far. A part of me is trying to strike fear by saying "You've had so much luck that it's bound to run out soon" but I know that as long as I'm enterprising and keep a good-sport attitude about things, even if the worst happens, then I'll be completely fine. Like what we often hear, Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. 

I noticed, in writing this, that there are numerous moments where I suffered a bad imagined future in advance, not knowing that it was going to be fine... It's a natural emotional response in people, we feel like we need to feel bad in order to deserve feeling good. But it's a bit silly isn't it: If you imagine things to go bad, and they do go bad, then you suffer twice. If you relax and don't worry about them and they turn out bad, then at least you didn't suffer more than you had to. Worrying is A Bad Thing Happening all on its own. As tempting as it is, I think it's logical to avoid it as it has no purpose. Instead of worrying about things, care about them and act towards making things better, or as good as they can be!

Thinking Positively, using the same logic, is not as useless as some Grumpies may think. Thinking positively already gives you good feelings. It's a Good Thing Happening all on its own. If things go bad, you only suffer when you have to. If things go well, well you're just a happy little fuzzy peach then now aren't you. People (including me) often steer away from this because of fear of disappointment and the pang of shame that comes with looking forward to something that just kinda explodes in your face. But if you face the possibility of failure full-on with a brave face, have a plan B, and are prepared for the worst, then you can just get up and dust yourself off if things don't go your way. That's being a good sport. When things stop being about winning, but about doing everything to have the best result possible.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Ball Jar and Some Impulsive Candy-Buying

..The Ball mason jar, that is, of candy.

I have this candy jar in the fridge right now. I unwittingly splurged on some Candy Corner loot. They script it really sneakily, telling you it's 70-99 pesos for each kind but then there's a minimum weight you can purchase (for my brother he went for the 70 peso kind, but they kept saying he hasn't reached the minimum, and when he did it was already over 100 pesos!) .. I was very confused by this system and kinda shocked that my candy ended up costing me 263 pesos! I thought it was like per pound or something. It seems that it's more like per 50 grams. Unless I was scammed. (I was probably scammed.)

But anyway, I took some of the chocolate ones and then some gummy ones. They're priced separately. And bagged seperately too, as far as I can remember. I keep the chocolates in the waxy paperbag on top of the jar but I just let the gummies out to show their bright colors.

I got a bag of some chocolate covered salted caramels and what seems to be solidified jam? Like a dense turkish delight.. They are delicious! The salted caramels are just a wee bit too salty for me, but they're still nice. There was also a lone malt ball (the lightest one in the picture).

 I like the jam ones, this form of fruit goes so much better with chocolate than freeze-dried fruit. Even if it does have a lot more sugar, probably, I don't really know.

And then I got some really pretty and yummy gummies. I got some berry gummies; they have an almost clear gummy core (I checked) with berry-flavored candy nibs (they reminded me a lot of Nerds) I think they are supposed to be blackberries and raspberries. And they really do capture the look, I must say. Pretty impressive. Then I got some blue jelly bellys, I think they're blueberry... They're so nice, and they look super pretty.

Then I have these funny/sad little green soldiers. Like those toys we used to have (as also seen in Toy Story). Funny because a lot of them had broken parts and were kinda disfigured in the main tub thing. Sad because that really happens in real life, you asshole.

I've forgotten what they taste like exactly. I picked them because I like my gummies naked, that is to say, not covered with sugar/sour powder. I don't remember what the flavor is... but I want to say apple. Let's just say apple. I also want to say good. They were good.

After being told the price of my treasure, I tried hard not to think of how many blueberry Big Bangs I could have bought with the money I spent on this candy. (I failed. It's 32 blueberry Big Bangs.) I told myself, you've been saving so well and working so hard these past few months. You deserve this. But whatever I tell myself, it's hard to feel like I made a mature financial decision when I overspent on candy, of all things.

Luckily, every time I tried something from the bags, I kept being surprised by how good the candy was. So maybe it's very unfair to compare these to Big Bangs by sheer volume. These are not exactly Big Bangs. This is awesome candy. So it's okay that I spent more than I normally would be willing to spend on candy. (mental note: don't do this more than once a year, though.)

 Also, I think the fact that I've been analyzing and justifying every purchase for the past year just makes certain amounts seem bigger, especially when it comes from my own pocket. Speaking candidly here now, I didn't really have to deprive myself of a lot to be able to save, because my mom still buys me stuff and food! (Thank you mama. Happy Mother's Day haha) All that I had to deprive myself of are wants, like shoes, clothes, makeup or whatever; never my needs. If there's one thing I can't afford, it is to pretend I've been super mature this whole time with all things money. I can't afford to think I'm an expert at something when I still have a lot of room for improvement. But expensive candy, I can afford to buy some (just this once).

Boy I sure blogged a lot about candy this weekend. I'm sure we're all thirsty. And hot, for those of you who, like me, are suffering very hot tropical weather. So here's a nudge for water! Drink up guys.

Hoot hoot.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Big Bang Chronicles

JK This would probably be my only post about Big Bang candy bars.

So I've always loved these things, they're one of my favorite local candy bars. I like them even more than Cloud 9! 

One day I was craving for a treat, and I walked to the nearby sari-sari store to get something. Anything chocolate. 

I asked if they had Kit-Kat but they didn't. Then I saw that the purple things were actually Big Bangs. WTH? As far as I can remember they were red and yellow. But I bought them anyway.

But then I saw the label: Blueberry and Cheese.


Not even cheesecake? Not even cream cheese? Come on, now.

At first I was a little apprehensive, what if this isn't even chocolate?! (It was a period craving. So it was absolutely crucial that it was chocolate) 

For a split second, I dreaded that it was one of those new recreations plaguing our local cheap candy bar scene that are covered with white "chocolate"... and I had bought TWO (I'm a cheapskate so I was a little hesitant to even spend just 16 pesos. I'm a horrible person jsyk.) so I quickly fumbled in the dark to check if it's chocolate, and calmed down after verifying.

I was very pleased to find that there was no real sign of any kind of cheese flavor. Just the classic slightly salty taste that normal Big Bangs have.

It did have some berry flavor through, not natural, more like the way they flavor Japanese strawberry chocolate, or the strawberry filling in soda cracker sandwiches.
So I guess they just said "cheese" for the classic combo factor of blueberry and cheeseCAKE (idek).

In any case, even with the weird labelling, I really did enjoy this. It's similar enough to the old Big Bang that it can nix a Big Bang craving, but it was different enough from the old one to not be a huge re-branding scam.

So yeah. Blueberry Big Bangs. Blueberry Big Bangs. Blueberry Big Bangs.

They're nice, they're new, and they're fun to pronounce.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

One Year For Each Hour in a Day

Still talking about my birthday here (haha) this time I want to share the lovely night I had with three of my closest bestest buddies. My family didn't end up coming to movie night but it went really well regardless.

Actually I think it would have been too warm and hectic in the house if they actually came! Only having four people over apart from my family gave me the chance to give them my full attention. It was lovely preparing food I love, showing fantastic animated films on a huge screen, popcorn all to ourselves, ah it was nice. I want more nights like this.

My two best bros arrived first. I popped some corn and Sansa, Aizel, Carmen and I sat and watched Epic. I was a bit distracted for a lot of the film eating and preparing plates and stuff but it was a great movie! Touching, cute, funny.

This was the AV setup: just a projector from my mom's office (thank you!) hooked to the laptop, and some really loud speakers hooked to the laptop and propped up on a couch or on the floor...

And an electric fan that had the sole purpose of keeping the projector cool the whole time :p

I was super excited about this setup and it was a great success, the video quality was great and the audio was great... The living room was a perfectly cozy setting (even though it was a little warm because it's at the height of summer) and I think that white screen looks really pretty on the curtain rod... 

Jeren and Mio came soon after.. It was hard to take a picture of these two! It was dark in the living room of course, and Mio was really the life of the party running around and just enjoying himself, so pictures were often blurry! I was super glad to have these two around. They are just an adorable mom-and-babyboy duo.

By the time we were watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, I was already settled enough to really enjoy it. I kinda think I should have switched the order around because I'd already seen this before ^^ Maybe I should have played this while I was scurrying around and played Epic when I already could sit down to fully enjoy it haha.

Mio is so hilarious. These pictures are super cute. What an adorable curious little puffin.

I was super proud of the foodstuff, even the plates! These are picnic plates we have just hanging out back, and the forks are an accidental match. I just asked if we had plastic forks and yes we did and they matched perfectly. The white penne dish is a recipe of my own (tuna, mushroom, bell pepper! super good.) and the simple spaghetti is a readymade sauce I love (no shame) and then patties. AND SUCH AWESOME GARLIC BREAD. I'm so happy about 39-peso buy1 take1 baguettes from Shop Wise!!! I just finely crushed some garlic, mixed them in a tub of spreadable butter, cut up the baguette and slathered a thin spread in all the slits. it was heavenly.

Mio's favorite was definitely the popcorn, though. I wish I had a picture of him with the bucket on his lap XD

I decided to make this semi-good gif out of bad photos so you can get the general idea of what it was like... Super accurate too, what with Mio and Jeren being blurry because of Mio being supercharged! Hehe. I love these peeples.

Told you Mio is blurry in pictures XD Camera can't handle such speed!

Mio loooved Sansa! I'm very pleased about how Sansa acted around my guests. Very polite and sweet. Although a bit overwhelmed by Mio's supercharged energy! Not something she's used to, this one:

Here are Aizel and Carmen being entertained by Mio. Jeren is a supermom now :) I seriously admire her, she can totally keep up with Mio! When Mio bumped his head, we were all like *GASP* but Jeren just very calmly opened the freezer, took out a cold compress and pressed it against his head. Woahhhh~ She explained that she doesn't react when he hurts himself so he won't be embarrassed, and true enough, Mio just got up and played again like nothing happened. Super cool.

Here are the cuuute gifts I received on my birthday! The warmest, cutest, me-est hand drawn card, a pink lipstick (I have been looking for one!), and The Te of Piglet. Aizel was suuper sweet; we saw this book in a bargain section and I really really wanted it, but I didn't buy it because of limited funds.. But she apparently went back there and DUG THROUGH ALL THE BOOKS TO FIND IT AGAIN so she can give it to me :')

Isn't it cute how everything is blue and white in this picture? :3 (with a little pink..)

This year I am happy about a lot of things. I feel the me-est that I've ever felt, I feel like a solid me. That might sound like a bunch of jibberish, but I truly feel thankful for it. I've shed so much pain, so much anxiety, so much insecurity that I've carried during the past years. It's a constant climb, but at this stage, I feel like my state of mind is cooperating with me just a little bit more.

I celebrated small, but it was very meaningful and true. I watched things I genuinely like, ate food I genuinely love, with people (and a dog) I genuinely wanted to be around me.

If this is a taste of what the rest of my year will be like, then bring it on, 24! <3