Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018!

This post is 5 days late. I am still in a holiday-mode. I feel like I need a holiday break from the holidays. But then again, we gotta earn living or, in my case, start panicking! Breathe in, breathe out. I survived another year in this independent professional work that I am trying to create for myself. There were bright moments of 2017 and there were those heart-skipping moments whenever I looked into my bank account. Then I am suddenly reminded that I have somebody up there looking out for me. I should be okay.

I am excited for 2018! I have two high school reunions, 1 vacation already in the calendar, 1 wedding of a friend and several other things planned. Plus, my cousin is moving back in town! She will be staying in the unoccupied room of mine in the other house and she had laid out plans on how she would decorate it. We already spent one morning just hanging out and planning what she should do to the space.

I have my own personal goals. Honestly, I did not achieve much of my 2017 plans except for item no. 5. I did make a lot of memories and that is more than enough. I am eternally grateful. My journal is filled with much love and happiness.

I think my greatest achievement for the year is when I got the same remark from three different people in different occasions telling me that I seem to have no problems in life. Honestly, I do have my share of problems. I guess I need to write another blog post to share how I deal with them.

I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead of you. I hope we all get to achieve our goals. Even if we don’t, I hope we can learn a thing or two in the process. I leave you a video of this adorable little girl talking about New Year’s resolutions. I hope this makes you smile.

10 Surprising Things You Need to Know About My Friend, Janus.

Last March, I posted on Facebook a link of the blog post I wrote about my friend, Ernelyn, as a way to greet her on her birthday. I got a comment from my friend, Janus, that he was sad that I did not write a blog about him. I know he was kidding but I already promised to write something by January 1, 2018- on his 42nd birthday.

This was the conversation, mostly in Bisaya. (You may skip reading this part if you do not understand Bisaya. )

So here it is! Let me tell you 10 surprising things about him.

1. Janus was a hearthrob. In grade school, girls from other schools would ask to pose for photos with him. Like an artista, he would oblige.

2. Janus once declared that I was not his friend. And it was true. Although I knew him since grade school, Janus became my friend just 6 years ago. Our common friend, Mitzi, told me that when she invited him to her birthday, he asked who were invited and when Mitzi mentioned my name, he immediately said that we were not friends. So, when I saw him in a get-together with friends, I said hi. From then on (and with much regret! Kidding!), he became my biggest bully.

That regretful day. hahaha

3. Janus may be a bully but he has a soft heart. He and another friend once organized a visit to an orphanage. They sponsored the food we brought and spent time to play with the kids. He was also quick to organize a pass-the-hat activity whenever a friend needs financial help.

4. Janus is a dog-lover turned cat-lover. He used to have a pet named Extra. He chimed that he called him Extra because of the extra expenses incurred in having a dog. He gave him up for adoption when he saw that Extra looked lonely living with him. Now, he is a magnet for stray cats. #titogoals

5. Janus is surprisingly witty. His friends know that he is effortlessly funny. To his friends, he is the undisputed comment king on Facebook. Post something on Facebook and you kind of expect he would have an opinion about it. Sometimes, when I sense a conversation that seemed like an onset of a joke, I would just ask him to tell me the punchline because I know he has something up on his sleeves and I don’t want to be outwitted again and again.

Ernelyn and I were in fits of laughter.

6. Janus is a grammar nazi. He has quite a radar for such language blunders. (So, please be nice to me when you see grammatical errors in this blog post, Kuya Janjan. I call him Kuya Janjan because I am respectful to elders. Hahaha)

7. Janus is well-loved by friends and many of them are female friends. I guess it is because when one needs his opinion on something, he does not mince his words. He gives his unedited male perspective on things. He also shows he cares even when he is miles away.

8. Janus is old-fashioned when it comes to dating. He puts on the works- flowers, chocolates and gifts. Maybe because he is older. Old dog, old tricks. Peace, Kuya Janjan!

9. For someone who likes giving chocolates, he does not like chocolate.

10. Among my friends, Janus is the most eligible bachelor and he is not afraid to find that person he is going to spend the rest of his life with. I hope you find her, Kuya Janjan.


Cheers to your 42nd, Kuya Janjan! Happy birthday!

Photos: Credit goes to the owners of the photos. (Grabbed from Janus’ FB)

How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving with Your Furry Bestfriends

I live in a country that does not celebrate Thanksgiving. I would like to believe we are thankful everyday.

I am thankful for this life I have. Although I have many wants, I have everything I need. Although I have many worries, God has His way of reminding me every day that He has everything covered-that I just have to chill and let His will be done. I do forget to be thankful sometimes but I am happy He sends friends my way to nudge me a bit.

These best friends of mine remind me how to take it easy. I am thankful for all their sloppy kisses and hugs. They appreciate the little things I do for them.

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My friends at Puppyspot have these tips on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving with your furry friends.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Planning the Planner

It is that time of year again when many people unintentionally gain pounds by drinking all the coffee in order to get that much-coveted planner.  Ha! I am a planner girl myself but I usually D-I-Y my planners. Because there are less than six weeks before the new year comes, I figured I should have a planner strategy. Talk about planning all the planning!

I now have a plan for my 2018 planners. I will have 5 planners for 2018.  I know what you are thinking. I am overdoing it. ( In Tagalog, OA na! LOL) So let me explain why I will have 5.

The Visual Journal

Since I no longer print my photos, I have no more new photo albums. This is how I keep my memories. I started this this year and I love it. It is easy for me to look back at the memories for the year.  So, I am doing the same journal this year. I have this Midori Travel Journal as a gift from a friend and I can just buy the inserts if I use them up. I have extra inserts so I am good for 2018.

The Task Journal

This year, I am using this planner from Myanmar. It is quite a novelty because this was a token from a trip. It has photos of Bogyoke Aung San (Aung San Suu Kyi’s father). Hehehe!

I got another Midori planner as a present so I will be using this for my to-dos in 2018.  This insert has grid lines on one side.

The Personal Journal

I have had this journal since 2008. This is a Moleskine that I covered with washi tape. It was meant to be my diary/journal at first. It has doodles and clippings of anything that reminds me of a moment. Through the years, this journal has become my refuge. Writing is one of the ways I talk to God. It has mostly my prayers to God in letters.

Idea Notebook

I write painting, writing and business ideas in this notebook. It is really a simple unlined notebook I got from a department store. In this notebook, I also list down the materials I need to buy for my paintings and other wishlists I have for the blog and other interests.

Reflection Journal

This was a corporate giveaway from my cousin that I did not use last year.  The dates without the year were already printed which makes it easy for me to use in any year. I will use this to write some short reflections for the day. I will try to incorporate into my routine to write something before I sleep.

I think I am all set.  I still have my washi tapes. My friends know that I am into this stuff. They have been my enablers.

Hmmm. I think I need to find nice colorful pens. I have brush pens and colored pencils. I need colorful fine ballpoints. When I get those, I am set. Or maybe I need some rubber stamps, too.

We’ll see. 😉

Walk-in Fridge: Safe Food Storage

The wonders of the walk-in fridge!

Have you ever wondered how restaurants, bakeries, pastry manufacturers and other kinds of businesses cope with storing large amounts of food in a way that respects all the relevant environmental health requirements? Well, the walk-in fridge, (or cold room) together with its big brother, the walk-in freezer, pretty much hold the key to how they keep their stocks of food products and ingredients at the right temperature. As their names suggest, these items of kitchen equipment are large enough to actually stand upright in. They can come in a variety of sizes, but all will adhere to fairly strict guidelines when it comes to temperature. Generally-speaking, walk-in fridges will maintain temperatures of between -2°C and 12°C. There are often two different temperature zones in play: a chiller, with temperatures of between 2°C and 12°C, and a colder zone, (-2°C to 5°C). Walk-in freezers, on the other hand, typically keep food at a constant -18°C to -22°C. At these temperatures, food can be stored safely for years.

How to store food safely

Fridges and freezers, of the walk-in type or any other, need to be used correctly to ensure they do their job properly. With this in mind, one of the most important things you can do is to keep a careful eye on your appliance’s temperature. Domestic fridges and freezers don’t always have their own digital displays – in this case, invest in a thermometer and check it at least once a week. Keep fridges clean by wiping up spills – this will help keep bacteria at bay. It is also extremely important that food that needs freezing or refrigerating is safely stored away as quickly as possible. Nothing destined for cold storage should be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. In warmer weather, this time limit is reduced further. Finally, neither fill your freezer too full – this prevents proper air circulation – or leave it mostly empty either, as it will have to work harder to maintain the proper temperature in a nearly empty space.

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