My birthday is just around the corner so I created a list of gifts I want to receive. Because I am materialistic like that. LOLJK. I really don’t expect (and definitely do not oblige) anyone to get me a gift but just in case somebody out there wants to, this would definitely make it easier for them.

Painting materials. I really want to try my hand at painting but I am too lazy to go to an art store and actually buy my supplies. Plus I really hate crowded places so I avoid a trip to the mall as much as I can. Please make a lazy girl’s life better LOL

Instax case and film. I haven’t touched my Instax mini in months since I’m almost out of films. It is also such a bother to carry around without a case. Well actually, that’s not the reason but I just really want a case for it. I found an Instagram shop that sells nice cases – @DEALSONLINE_INSTAX.

Birkenstock sandals. For some reason, I have been crushing on Birkenstocks lately. It would be a nice alternative to my Havaianas slippers when I go out but too lazy to put on some shoes.

Longchamp bag. This too. Everyone seems to have it now but for some reason, I haven’t bought one for myself. Lately, I’ve been wishing I had one because it’s simple and roomy and it looks like it can handle all the stuff that I bring with me everyday.

Baking supplies. So Cris got me an oven but I haven’t gotten around to buying baking supplies. I really would like to try some cookies and pastries but I can’t start just yet because I don’t even have measuring spoons LOL. Buy me stuff and I’ll feed you haha.

That’s all, folks! I might actually just end up buying these stuff for myself (as with previous years huhu #foreveralone #notreally) and I’m perfectly OK with that. Then instead of a wishlist, this will just be my To Buy List hahaha. But seriously, material things are not all that matters. A sincere birthday greeting would honestly suffice.

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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I almost did not push through with this week’s happy list because the past 5 days has been all sorts of tough. Work is outrageously busy and challenging, it’s sucking the life out of me. I’m also having post-holiday anxiety, and birthday blues, and the weather is so gloomy, and I’m getting my period soon so my emotions are going batshit crazy. I honestly struggled to complete this week’s list but got it done anyway.

  1. My 4-day visit to Bohol last week. It was raining most of our time there due to the major typhoon that passed through our country but we took it as an opportunity to relax and take multiple naps a day.
  2. My parents sent me a care package from Ilocos. The box was full with food that I love – Ilocos garlic longganisa, bagnet, morcon, and a bunch of avocadoes and dragon fruit from our very own backyard.
  3. Grabcar. I never need to worry about my ticking taxi meter in traffic because Grabcar sets a fixed rate for a desired destination immediately upon booking. This means avoiding drivers asking for additional charge on top of meter rate just because there’s traffic jams everywhere.
  4. Colleagues giving me food and coffee. For no apparent reason, people at work has been giving me food and treating me out for coffee runs. Maybe they know that I’m stressed hehe.
  5. Cris buying me food LOL. He always sees to it that he brings me home some food every time he eats out. What a sweetie.
  6. Supportive friends. As I mentioned above, work has really been very challenging and I have been doubting myself lately. But my good friends reminded me to not be too hard on myself. Awwww I love you guys!
  7. Cris buying groceries. I have been working extra late this week, hence I don’t really have time to get some essentials from the supermarket. I’m glad he’s dependable enough to pick up my momentary slack.
  8. Packed lunches for work. My mom sent me lots of ulam from the province so I always have some to bring at work.
  9. Becky Nights public chat on Viber. LOL I just like seeing how the beckies interact with one another.
  10. Soba noodles. Japanese food is life! Today, we had lunch at Nadai Fujisoba and I had my usual hot soba again. Hay naku #thisiswhyimfat.

 

When I visited Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, I made sure that I would have my fill of their infamous pho or Vietnamese noodle soup. I was hellbent on trying as much pho as I could that it was actually my first meal in Vietnam (our breakfast in Ben Thanh Market). But there was one restaurant that made its mark on me, mainly because their noodle soup was really good.

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The restaurant was just an accidental discovery but it was already way past lunch time and it was the only restaurant we spotted around the area. We didn’t know anything about the place but we bit the bullet and went in anyway. Upon entering, I was appeased when I saw one wall plastered with photos of locals enjoying their food. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if locals frequent the place, yeah?

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When we got seated, we were immediately served with some sort of pastry. We weren’t exactly sure if they were complimentary but Timmy was too hungry to bother so she went ahead and ate one. I was saving room for my main meal so I only took a small bite off of hers. It was actually delicious! The pastry was flaky, and the filling (which I suspect to be minced pork) was tasty and savory.

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Also on the table were the usual accompaniment for pho – mung sprouts, cilantro and chives. There were also some additional condiments like garlic oil, sliced peppers, marinated garlic and three types of sauces that I honestly didn’t use so I never got to identify them.

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After a short while, our orders were served. Timmy and I got the same thing which had everything on it. Wantons, shrimp, pork balls, and egg noodle soup. My favorite part was the “pork chops” which were actually boiled pork reminiscent of our very own nilaga. The pork pieces were so delightfully tender and the broth was really tasty. I think the dish cost around ~Php120, honestly a fair price for such good quality.

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If I ever have the chance to go back to Ho Chi Minh, I would definitely pay this restaurant another visit. If you’re going to HCMC, this is a must-try! It’s around 8 minutes by foot from Ben Thanh Market.

Check out my previous posts on my Indochina trip here:

It feels like it has been ages since Tim Ho Wan opened its first store here in the Philippines and I have been wantingto eat there ever since. Consistently, I see a buttload of photos of their infamous pork buns which made me even more eager to try it for myself. But since I hate crowds and I always see a long waiting line outside their branch in SM Megamall, I get turned off and always walk away looking for somewhere else to eat. Until one Saturday evening, when Cris and I were deciding where to have our dinner. There were no lines outside Tim Ho Wan so it was instantaneously decided, Tim Ho Wan for dinner it is!

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(Spicy) Pork Ribs Rice | Php170
The dish was served piping hot, and the pepper slices on top made it even hotter. The pork ribs were tender; with the right mix of meat, fat, bone, and cartilage. Cris enjoyed this so much, he ate 80% of it LOL.

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Braised Chicken Feet | ~Php140
We ordered chicken feet because we have been craving for Causeway’s chicken feet for the longest time. Tim Ho Wan’s were good, the meat was tasty and soft. However, I still prefer that of Causeway’s.

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Congee | Php140
Their congee had lean pork, Century egg and salted egg. It was super good!!! Don’t be fooled by the seemingly plain appearance, it packs a lot of flavor. I especially love the salted egg bits in it. I would definitely order this again next time.

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Beef Ball w/ Beancurd Skin | Php120
This was actually a wrong order. We originally wanted the Beancurd Skin Roll but I mistakenly ticked the wrong box LOL. With that being said, the beef balls were still appreciated. It tasted really meaty – no extenders. However, the cilantro taste was a tad too strong for my liking. This is just a personal preference though, I just don’t like cilantro that much.

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Baked Bun w/ BBQ Pork | Php145
First of all, I feel like this dish is pretty cheap considering you get 3 pieces of pork buns per order. I have heard nothing but good things about Tim Ho Wan’s pork buns so I was really, really excited to taste them. They were served hot and the crust was oh so crunchy yet soft at the same time (if that is even possible). On first bite, I was in love. So I took a few more bites, then it hit me… It’s sweet. Too sweet. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The BBQ Pork filling was too sweet for me, again, a personal preference. But I loved the pastry shell. I imagine it would work well as a dessert if it was filled with custard or red beans.

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Overall, I loved Tim Ho Wan’s food! I was a bit sad that I didn’t like the Pork Buns as much as I thought I would, but the Pork Ribs and Congee more than made up for it. I would definitely go back again, only if the lines are short enough LOL.

Have you tried Tim Ho Wan’s food? What’s your favorite dish from them?

For my friend’s birthday celebration (a year ago LOL), she chose to have our dinner at Naci’s. Naci Comfort Food brings comfort food that’s simple while still robust and full of flavor. We’ve tried their desserts one other time but it was actually our first to try their meals.

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First off, we each ordered their fruit shakes. They were rather fresh and refreshing (is this redundant?), but nothing worth writing home about. Their fruit shakes range from Php145 to Php175.

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Their Triple Nachos (Php280) were such a hit. A combination of deep-fried flour tortillas, taro and corn chips served with Mexican beef and the freshest tomato salsa drizzled with cheese sauce and tangy sour cream. I couldn’t stop myself from popping one chip after another into my mouth. The chips, despite being deep-fried, were not oily at all so that’s a big plus.

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The Yakimeshi Beef Rice Bowl (Php380) is a fusion of Japanese favorites. Sukiyaki beef, tofu and sauteed mixed vegetables topped over Japanese fried rice drizzled with teriyaki sauce. I honestly don’t remember a lot about this dish but I know that the beef slices were perfectly tender.

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Their Grilled Mahi Mahi (Php380) had one thick fillet topped with dill cream and cherry tomatoes served with parsley rice and buttered vegetables. The fish was grilled perfectly – it did not come out dry. But oddly, my favorite part of this dish were the buttered veggies. They were fresh, crunchy and sweet, just the way I like my veggies to be.

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Last that came out was the Milton’s Fried Chicken (Php450). Crispy fried chicken marinated in Naci’s secret spice blend and buttermilk served with mushroom gravy and tomato ketchup. The chicken pieces were huge and the batter was so deliciously crispy. To top it all off, the potato fries on the side was also yummy. I found myself eating the fries even if I already felt a little full. LOL glutton much?

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Dinner was very good and we capped it all off with their Yema Cake which we got for the birthday girl. My favorites for the night were the fried chicken and nachos.

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Sadly, Naci is no longer open in BGC (it has been replaced by Shingetsu) but I am hoping they open up again in another location.

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I know I won’t be the first one you’ll hear (read?) mutter the words “This year has gone by so fast!”. It really did go by so fast and more often than not, I have a hard time coping up with how fast-paced life has seem to become. August is my birthday month and that reminded me to reevaluate how my year has been so far. I honestly don’t have a list of my goals for the year but from January til March, I wrote down monthly targets that I wanted to achieve. Then laziness got the better of me and I started failing almost 50% of my goals and things just went downhill from there, until I eventually stopped making lists. LOL. Nice try, self.

But since I will be turning another year older this month, I decided to give this monthly goal another try. I’m posting my list in here so I will have some sense of accountability (uhmmm to like 5 people who actually read my blog LOL.) So here are the things that I hope to accomplish in August. Here goes nothing!

  1. Read one (1) book. LOL. What a way to start off this list, huh? But seriously. I need to make this my #1 so I will always be reminded how much I have faltered when it comes to reading actual books. I used to go through books really fast but for some reason, it just started being such a hassle for me to lug a book around. Flipping through pages turned to jumping from one online article to another and ~blog-hopping~ and essentially being glued to my phone almost every waking hour. So consider this is a humble start, let’s try one book first.
  2. Drink soda at most five (5) times. One count for each weekend. ILOVESODA. I used to drink it like it’s water. But I know it’s not good for me so I will (once again) try to keep off it. I have tried so many times to quit it cold turkey but I’ve always relapsed. I swear it’s an addiction! The longest I’ve gone without soda was 4 miserable months. For now, I will try to give myself at most one cheat day a week.
  3. Workout at least twice a week. I also used to be more active. I played sports, I went to the gym, I worked out with some friends. I really never got skinny but I got less pudgy. And I felt prettier when I was less pudgy because who wouldn’t, right? But I let it get into my head that I am busy and therefore never made time for workouts. So now, I am committing to at least 2 workout sessions per week. Because I owe this to myself.
  4. Bring packed lunch to work. I love cooking and this shouldn’t be that hard for me to do. Besides, I was able to do this before – bring packed lunch to work 4 out of 5 working days a week (Fridays have always been lunch out days). I just really need to get through this lazy slump.
  5. Go to work earlier. Right now, I start my shift between 12nn and 2pm. This is fine with the company as I actually deal with Frankfurt clients, but I know I need to start going to work earlier than usual so I get to start (and end) my day earlier as well. As a start, I commit to get to work not later than 12 noon.
  6. Deposit to my passbook account. I opened a passbook account so I have some money tucked away in a place harder to access. But I already let more than a year pass without depositing to it. I have my savings sitting in a spare Savings Account with an ATM card and I’m afraid I might (unnecessarily) touch it now that the travel bug has bit me hard and I want to get away every freaking weekend.
  7. Renew my passport. My passport expired last March and I have an international trip on the first week of October so I really have to sort this out. I am such a procrastinator.
  8. Make an artwork. I would really love to try my hands at painting. I would draw but I could only whip out stick figures, and even then, they would be the ugliest stick figures you’ll see. So that’s definitely off limits LOL. I’d like to try painting ‘coz even if it sucks, I would just pass it off as abstract art hahaha!

That’s all I got for now. I really hope I get to accomplish all of this. I have yet to come up with a reward for myself if I successfully finish all 8 goals. How about you guys? Do you have monthly goals set? Or goals for the year maybe? Maybe you could also help me think of an awesome reward, yes?

 

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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  1. 10 hours of sleep. We had to drive to Pangasinan after my 1pm-10pm shift to attend our friend’s dad’s wake. I was awake for more than 36 hours straight and I felt so drained. When I got home, I had 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Having more than 5 hours of sleep is already such a luxury for me.
  2. Our wi-fi router at home finally got fixed. We had a power interruption in the building during the heavy rains and our router somehow got busted. We had no wi-fi for 4 days and I had to make do with my mobile data while eternally being bugged that Globe might cap me off anytime and decrease my browsing speed. LOL #firstworldproblems
  3. People paying me up. Someone who owed me money finally paid up! She was 6 months delayed with her payment, grabe!  I hate lending money because I always feel awkward when I need to ask them to pay up. Ugh.
  4. My new powerbank. I need a powerbank for when I’m out and I use my mobile data. Turning on my mobile data sucks the life out of my phone. And I think it’s quite a steal at Phph795 only for 10050 mAh (whatever that means LOL.) Yay!
  5. Subway sandwiches. This is my go-to lunch for when I’m in a rush to get to work. It is very convenient and way healthier than other usual fastfood choices.
  6. Securing our accommodation in Bohol. Cris and I will be travelling to Bohol in 2 weeks and I finally decided where to stay. We already paid 50% of our bill therefore securing our desired beach-front room. Yay!
  7. Writing down a list of goals for August. I decided to be more productive and drafted a list of things I want to accomplish next month. Here’s to making this year a greater one than it already is.
  8. YouTube karaoke. I have been bugging my friends to go to a KTV restaurant and sing cheesy 90’s pop music but our schedules just does not sync up! Thanks to YouTube, I get to sing my lungs out (with accompaniment) while taking my shower. LOL
  9. Travel plans. I am cooking up a backpacking trip with a good friend whose birthday is just a few days earlier than mine. If we push through, it will be my birthday getaway even if I will already be back on my actual birthday LOL. Maipilit lang…
  10. Today’s Japanese lunch. It’s the third week in a row that my Friday lunchout is at a Japanese restaurant. And I love it! We tried out a new resto around the office area – TENYA – which serves bomb tempura bowls. If it isn’t obvious by now, I love Japanese food.