Cali galleries: Old town San Diego.

TBV - CGOldTownIt took a few days for the other members of my family to fly into San Diego from all over the US. When everyone who could make it arrived, the adventure began. Our first day all together became a full on tour of San Diego sights. It was a really tiring day, but still a lot of fun. 😄IMG_4602

Our first stop was Old Town San Diego, which was explained to be one of the first towns in California. It was such a fascinating place to be in and go around because it was like going back in time, or going to a movie set but everything is real. An old bank, a carriage, a classroom, several other structures, everything authentic to the time (although probably touched up a bit to avoid too much wear). There were several museums that show how life was back in those days, and even their stores and restaurants were on theme. 😄

There was this area that I think was a town square of sorts? Perhaps a place where people gathered for special occasions. This place had these beautifully painted benches, as well as these two ladies made of plants that were just really well made and nice to look at. There was also this carriage outside with some Mariachi looking statues and a variety of plants. There were so many areas to take photos and it was a place that was both really upbeat but also chill. 😆

Apart from the beauty of the old structures and other details, the nature in the area was also incredibly beautiful. There was so much open space, and there were so many cacti, but also so many colorful flowers and towering trees. I probably spent more time taking photos of the scenery than the museums and fixtures. 😆

The last part of this stop was the gift stores. There were so many stores selling many different things. There was one big one that sold random house fixtures, there were a few stalls that sold souvenirs, and there was this store that sold crystals and other crystal-y things. These were the only two photos I took of the stores, but I think that they convey how overwhelming it was going around this part. 😳

So yeah. That was Old Town San Diego, the first stop of this ultra crazy day. If you want to check out the introduction to this series as well as links to the other posts, go ahead and click here. I hope you have an amazing day, where ever in the world you are. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

What I needed to do.

TBV - WhatINeededToDoLet me preface this by saying that a large part of this was written when I was struggling with this decision a few months ago. I didn’t know whether publishing it would help me, but it turns out that just letting my feelings out helped me a lot. I’m putting this up now, edited and added onto, because my story wouldn’t be complete if this important part was left out. At the same time, perhaps someone will read this, relate to it, and find that difficult decisions like these need to be made, and there is nothing wrong with following your heart. Here we go.

For a while, I was feeling lost and dejected, and the monologue in my head began to say, over and over, that I wasn’t doing anything with my life. I had bouts of random break downs, as well as times that I found myself spaced out and staring at the ceiling. I felt lost, and alone, and wanted so desperately for things to turn around. Or something.

I decided to do something kind of drastic, something to shake up where my life was going. As the plan unfolded, I found that that decision hurt someone important to me more than I thought it would. Just to clarify, the decision wasn’t something permanent. I really just wanted, and needed, to take control of something in my life, just me with no one really intervening.

Nonetheless, this person was hurt. And I felt bad, and still do feel bad that this person was hurt. There’s something deep inside me pulled me down because I knew that this was the case. The thing was though, I really felt that this was something that I needed to do. I had this sinking feeling that if I didn’t push through with this plan, I would stay stuck in the rut I was in and wouldn’t be able to move forward.

I decided to go back to Manila to get a little more experience and to find myself. Cliche as that line is, I think that right now this is where I need to be to get a better grasp of what I can do and where I can go. This is just something I needed to do to grow and grow up. So yeah. Things will be okay.

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Cali galleries: Lucille’s flying pig lounge.

TBV - CGLucille'sFlyingPigNo trip would be complete without checking out the local food scene. I’m a huge fan of barbecue, so when my mother’s friend suggested we have lunch at this really good barbecue place, I was stoked. 😆

From the minute you enter the place, you are bombarded with the scent of food being grilled, as well as the visuals of the decor around the place. It was kind of crazy in the sense that there wasn’t really a single theme to the whole place–the bar area was dimly lit and, for lack of a better word, bar-like, but the outer extensions of the bar seemed to have a more homey vibe to them. Their setup was kind both in-cohesive and cohesive at the same time, if that makes any sense at all. 😆IMG_4547

Now on to the food. So Lucille’s has 3 different barbecue sauces that you can try when you eat there, and purchase to take home if you’re into it. I tried all three, and my favorite is probably the original. The Memphis sauce was a bit to tangy for my liking, and I was never really a hot & spicy type of girl. 😕IMG_4548.JPG

When I was looking through their beverage selection, I saw the words “Muddy Waters” and I was so fascinated by the name, I just had to try it (although my tita did say that it was a good drink too). The drink is a mix of iced tea and lemonade, which isn’t too unusual a drink mix. Back in Manila, actually, I liked to mix different drinks and this was a mix I’ve tried. There is a difference though–iced tea in the States is different from Iced tea in the Philippines. I can’t explain it, but even International sweet tea is not the same as the iced tea I’m used to. 😆IMG_4549

Let me tell you, that was soooo good. Again, it’s different from what I’m used to, but it was such an awesome mix of sweet, bitter, and sour. Aside from the flavor itself though, the drink also looked cool with the gradient of brown to yellow in the huge mason jar. It makes it look all the more elegant and chill. 😊

IMG_4550.JPGOkay, now on to the food. Let’s begin with the biscuits and Honey Apple Butter. Now, I’m not really a big fan of biscuits and butter, but as always, I didn’t knock it ’til I tried it. It was different from other things I’ve tried. As can be guessed from its name, the butter was sweet–and way different from what I’m used to. It wasn’t bad at all, but not exactly my type. 😕

IMG_4551Next up is what my tita said was a must try for this place: their Onion Straws. This is Lucille’s version of onion rings–thin strands battered with buttermilk, seasoned, deep fried, and served with their BBQ ranch dip. It was amazing. First of all, when they put it down on the table, I was surprised at the size of the serving, it was just a mountain of onions and I got excited. I love onion rings, but am kind of picky about it, and this was just really really good. In a way, it was both something very familiar, and wonderfully surprising. 😊

Now for the main. When I was looking at the menu, I had a really hard time deciding what to eat because there were so many choices and they all looked good. I then found that they had lunch combos. It was an opportunity to try multiple items on one plate, but not too much of each. I decided to get their St. Louis Spareribs with Brisket Burnt Ends and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. 😄IMG_4552

The photo I took doesn’t quite look too appetizing, and I think it looks smaller than what it actually was. The serving was pretty big, almost too big for me (and can eat A LOT). It was a really good combination, and each item was good on its own. I was worried that having two barbecue meat dishes would be overwhelming, but it really wasn’t. The ribs were delicious, they were really tender and slipped off the bone, and they just tasted like really good ribs. The burnt ends, I thought, took the best part of barbecue (the charred bits) and let it stand alone. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but boy was it good. The garlic mashed potatoes accompanied the two grilled dishes well, while at the same time being able to stand on its own. It wasn’t the type of thing that I couldn’t eat by itself. 😊

After finishing the main, I was so stuffed that I didn’t have space for dessert, so I missed out on that on this visit. I’ll have to try it next time, and there will be a next time. I really enjoyed my meal here. Their decor, their servers, their food–everything just came together in an upbeat and energizing way. If you happen to pass by one of their locations, I say check it out if you haven’t yet. So yeah, that’s it for this installment. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

P.S. – Check out the introduction to this series here. Links to the other posts are here too. 😄

You are more than your resume.

TBV - YouAreMoreI’m not sure about you, but I grew up being worried about how my decisions and actions in school would affect my future. I was always wary of what I could put in my resume and how things I participated in would help me. That said though, I think I have to disclose that I didn’t do everything just because it would be “beneficial” to me, nor did I skip out on things just because it technically wouldn’t.

Anyway, I think this was because of the illusion of the pedestal that excellence is put on, and in connection to that the more concrete things that tend to constitute excellence, especially in the educational setting–awards, classes, degrees, certificates, and the like. In this sense, your resume is your greatest trophy, a one page declaration of your concrete achievements.

This, unfortunately just made entering into the real world a bit more pressure-filled for me. As I was applying for jobs, I made sure that my resume was the best I could make it. I was more or less confident about the experiences that I wrote about. I was a fresh graduate and given that, I assumed that my resume would at least suffice for consideration. When I barely got any responses, I was crushed, and I started to think more and more that I didn’t amount to much.

I started to spiral into a loop of self-questioning and self-belittling. I was sinking pretty deep into a depressive state and I was just unsure of myself, my capabilities, and my worth. Then one day, I decided that enough was enough. I was talking to a few friends who helped me through this tough situation. I forced the negative thoughts away, and just reflected.

I realized that my worth is not defined by those things that I put on that piece of paper. There is so much more in this world to learn and experience, a lot of which will probably never end up on a resume. That doesn’t make those experiences irrelevant though, some of them might even be more substantial than a previous job or certification.

I realized that, yes, I needed to start to stand on my own two feet. Yes I needed to get a job, which I would only be considered for if employers are impressed by my resume. This is not meant to set aside the importance of this document. It’s really more about what we are beyond this piece of paper and the words written there. We dictate what’s written, but the reverse is not true.

This was the realization that I needed to get out of my funk. My mistake was focusing too much on the approval of complete strangers and thereby letting their feedback, or lack thereof, stick to me like super glue. I should have focused on putting my best foot forward looking for a job, whilst still remembering that that’s not all that I’m about. Since then, this has been my constant reminder to myself: Those things are not anything against you. It does not diminish your worth at all. Just keep going. You’ll find something soon.

I decided to put this here as a reminder to myself, as well as whoever is reading this. If you ever feel like you’re in the position I was in, perhaps this could serve as a little nudge. You are worth so much more than you think you are, and you’re strong enough to push forward. So yeah. That’s it from me right now. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Cali galleries: Disneyland.

TBV - CGDisneylandThe first stop of this adventure was Disneyland in Anaheim, California. From the airport, I took a shuttle straight there, with no time to spare. It was about an hour and a half drive away from LA, from the drive alone I could already see how different this place was from the windy city. Without further ado, let us start this gallery off with the first photos I took as I entered the grounds of Disneyland. 😊

I spent my first few hours there in Downtown Disney. I walked around and spent quite a bit of time going in and out of the stores. This activity in itself already showed much wonder, from the the entrances of the World of Disney store to the displays inside the stores themselves. Unfortunately, these four below are the only photos I took that weren’t of merchandise, but they are pretty cool photos. 😊

I then met up with one of my friends whom I haven’t seen in years. She served as my guide throughout the park, and we got to catch up on what’s happened in our lives since we last saw each other.This was my first time in Disneyland, so I told her that she had the reigns on what we did next. 😆

The first ride we rode was the Pirates of the Caribbean, which she told me was changed a bit for the 50th anniversary of the ride. She also pointed out, when we got to it, the only real skeleton left in the whole ride. Pirates was pretty cool in its different settings, but if you’re not a fan of scenic rides, you might not enjoy this one too much. 😕

Then after that, we went on the Haunted Mansion. I found the technology used in that particular ride very fascinating. The mixture of projections and animatronics made for such a wondrous visual experience, and I couldn’t help but be in awe at each part of the ride. This was similar to Pirates, but the doom buggies that we were situated in moved a little faster than the boats. 😋IMG_4466

The next ride we rode was the Hyperspace Mountain. Now, I’m not a fan of roller coasters. For the longest time, I avoided all coasters like a plague. So you can understand the fear rushing through my veins as we lined up in this ride. Man, I think this ride changed everything though. From the very start of the ride where they played the Star Wars theme, I got chills down my spine and I got really excited. And then that was followed by what I think could be the funnest 2 minutes of my life. I guess I like those kinds of coasters now. 😆

After Hyperspace Mountain, we rode the Indiana Jones ride. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from that ride. I thought I did, but I guess not. This was the last ride we ended up riding, and I think it was a really good way to end the day, ride-wise. This is one of the oldest rides in the park, and can be considered a must-do for first timers. 😁

One thing I noticed about all the rides that I went on was that the designers of the rides paid attention not only to the rides themselves, but also the areas that lead to the rides. Some of them had attractions before the rides themselves–like the stretching room in haunted mansion. All of them had beautifully decorated line areas which made the walk and wait leading to the rides entertaining in their own way. 😄

Apart from the rides that my friend considered to be “first time essentials,” she told about two particular things that I had to try: the Mint Julep and their Churros. This seemed a bit random to me when she mentioned them, but they were both very delicious! I’m not sure how else to describe them apart from saying that. 😅IMG_4464

It rained at some point when we were there. Also at some point, I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the streets of Disney or Cinderella’s Castle. So amidst the rain that poured around me, I took these two shots. The park, even in the rain, is pretty magical. Walking down the streets felt like being in a different world, with the music and even the smell of the place. I also saw what could possibly be the biggest horse ever, so that was pretty cool. 😆

After Indiana Jones, we went ahead and headed back to World of Disney, and looked around for souvenirs and other trinkets that we could get. I ended up buying some tsumtsums to add to my plush collection, as well as a necklace for my sister. After our shop, we headed to dinner and then walked back to watch the parade. 😊

The parade that night was the Main Street Electrical Parade, an old and retired parade that was brought back just for a while. It was pretty cool that I was able to catch it. Everything was so pretty and bright–as a light parade would be. I felt like a kid watching each float as they passed, almost yelling the characters on them. It was a really cool ending to that night. 😄

So that was pretty much my trip to Disney! I only spent half a day in the park itself, so there are probably things that I missed, not to mention my not being able to explore California Adventure. It was a really fun and memorable day though, and I definitely will be coming back someday. 😊

That’s it for now! Thank you for your patience with this series. I’ll put everything up as soon as possible! 😊

’til next time,

🐰❤️

P.S. – Check out the introduction to this series here. Links to the other posts are here too. 😄

Fidget away.

TBV - FidgetAwayI’m the type of person that doesn’t like being completely still for long amounts of time. I pace, I click and spin my pen, or tap my toes or my fingers on the surface nearest me. I just have to keep moving some part in my body, so when I heard about this thing called a fidget cube, I had to check it out for myself. 😆

A few months ago, a friend sent me a link to this cool new prototype of a product for fidgeters. After I saw the video, I scoured the internet and ended up at some point on this kickstarter page. After a few weeks of contemplating whether or not to back this project, I ended up going for it. This project currently sits in the list of the top 10 most funded projects on kickstarter–a feat that confirms the high demand for this product.

A few months later, and after several bumps in the road including knock off versions and delays in delivery, a box arrived on my doorstep and my mood went from 1 to 100. I had just gotten home from work when I saw it, and I hurriedly tossed my bag aside in my excitement at the arrival. 😆IMG_5071

From the get-go, you can tell that the creators of this product took time and effort in making it the best it can be–even down to the packaging. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the other cubes out in the market, but you can tell which one came from Antsy Labs at first glance. Each cube is shipped wrapped in bubble wrap and a quirky little sticker that says:IMG_5494

I think that just shows the attention the details were given. When you take off the bubble wrap, you see the product and its packaging in all its glory. The cube sits in the center of the container whose lid is clear plastic with a hump on the top, similar to the Flip side of the Fidget Cube itself. Although very eye catching and pretty, the packaging seems to be a little to big for the product it contains, and a little too fragile as well. Inside, under the cube, is a little white Antsy Labs pouch, and inside that is a really cute Fidget Cube Sticker. 😊IMG_5495

Okay, that’s enough on the packaging. It’s great and all, but I think it’s time to move on to the actual cube itself. It has 6 sides, as cubes do, and each side is designed for a specific action: flip, click, roll, glide, spin, and breathe. I’m not going to go through each one too much though, I’ll just link the Antsy Labs video on them here.

Ultimately, I found the fidget cube to be a good purchase, albeit a pricey one. It really keeps me occupied when I’m waiting or having to stay still. My two favorite sides are the Flip and the Roll, with their light switch-like design, and combination lock-like dials and metal ball, respectively. The Flip is a bit loud, but for me, the mechanic is really satisfying. The roll gives you two things to fidget with, and the ball clicks too! I think that was just a great design thought. On the flip side, the side that I don’t quite understand still is Breathe. I’ve had my cube for about 2 months now and I don’t find myself going for that side. This is even with me making sure to switch things up so I don’t use one side too often. 😕

When I bought the Fidget Cube, I also bought the Prism, which is this silicon holder for the cube that has a key chain attached to it. This made the cube more portable, but not invisible. I am able to bring it around with me, but since I could see where it was hanging, I rarely forget that I have it. The catch with this though is that the silicon where the key chain is attached to is pretty thin, and therefore easier to tear than the rest of it. 😕

I got the Fidget Cube on kickstarter, but you can get one for yourself here. And that’s it for this post! I know I still owe the posts for the Cali Galleries. They’re coming, I’m just having a bit of trouble putting everything together. Please bear with me. 😔

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Busy bee.

TBV - BusyBeeHi! I know I’ve been MIA for a while now. I thought I’d drop by and fill you in a bit. It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks. 😳 I got sick straight after I landed in Chicago, that lasted about a week. On top of that, I also had to start getting ready for my trip home to Manila, which included packing and buying things to bring home to family and friends. After that was my actual flight, and the bit of readjustment that comes with travelling about halfway across the world. 😔

I have a long list of posts that I can’t wait to share with you. I know I’ve been idle recently, but I’m readjusting and working to get back on track. I’ll be back as soon as I can, with the Cali gallery posts, and then a bunch more after that, and I’m excited for things to get back to how they were. For now though, thank you for your patience. I appreciate every single one of you. I’ll be back soon! 😊

’til next time,

🐰❤️