The Green Grocer

I love fruits! Fruits are friends. I could eat fruits all day, everyday! Lychees, pineapples, apples, grapes, and of course my favorite MANGO BANGOS!! Veggies, well, that's another story. My relationship with vegetables feels like a fixed marriage..you know, something against your will but Mom and Dad thinks it's what's good for your future. Hahaha! I remember as a child, I used to cry at the dinner table when my mom would force me to finish my veggies..I would wail like I was being tortured in Guantanamo Bay! May drama line pa ako na paulit-ulit: "I can't help it if God made my taste buds like this..they just hate vegetables! I can't do anything about it!" Well I don't like raw tomatoes, blehk! But other vegetables are much easier for me to digest. I've been trying to incorporate more gulay into my diet these past few months..it's a struggle but I know it's good for me!:)


A few months ago I discovered The Green Grocer, the brainchild of my friend Nikki Herrera-Bharwani. It's a special home delivery service. They bring your favorite fruits, vegetables, and other products fresh right at your doorstep! Alleluia indeed for busy bees like me! It's a classy, healthy, online palengke!:) It's marketing made easy. It started as a very personal project for Nikki and after getting rave reviews from friends, it became an all out biz!

"I had a medical crisis last year battling cancer. I was already a young, somewhat healthy eater living an active lifestyle (daily gym regimen with twice-a-week pilates classes at that!), so you can imagine my shock when I was diagnosed with the big C. I turned to green shakes and veggies with a vengeance after my chemo treatment. Because my mom was into vegetable trading, I researched on where to find the freshest produce so that I could get them for myself. You cannot believe the HUGE DIFFERENCE vegetables taste when they have just been harvested, as against gulay we normally buy in the grocery. It felt like I had discovered something groundbreaking with no one to share it with. Admittedly, it was also such a painstaking experience to go through all the hard work of buying fresh gulay just for my household. I decided to offer produce to some of my friends which I would deliver to them. As you can tell, one thing led to another, and The Green Grocer was born!" 
Nikki with hubby Bebo and their adorable pups.





"We like to incorporate items in our product list that my husband and I have tried and enjoy. We feel it's easier to push products we personally believe in."






Nikki knows her shizz! Sometimes she even texts me just to give me tips on how to store the fruits properly, how many days to wait for them to ripen, and she even shares simple recipes for me to try! A lot have tried to copy Nikki's original idea but I can personally vouch for The Green Grocer because they really have strict quality control. If you're like me and are quite discriminating when it comes to the freshness and quality of your fruits and veggies, the Green Grocer will certainly not disappoint. Plus their prices are hard to beat, very reasonable! :)

As Nikki shares, "We partner with a few farms in Tagaytay who harvest the produce for us right upon order. Unlike vegetables at the grocery that have been sitting there for days (or worse, a week! Yes, sadly it's true), our veggies get to our customers fresh because it's only been hours since its harvest. Lettuce is at its crispest (is there such a word? :) and tomatoes last forever! Haha, I joke, but they do last a whole lot longer. For veggies that do not grow in Tagaytay, we have produce partners in Baguio as well that supply us."

Aside from plant based products, they offer lots of other goodies too! They have Chef Neil Ramos' famous gourmet bagoong which goes perfectly with their Cambodian mangoes. They also sell red mountain rice and coffee, which are both proudly organic. But my personal fave is the Delimondo line..they have the best sausages and corned beef! SARAP!! Ayyy, meat lovers delight talaga!:) Bigla akong nagutom just typing the word DELIMONDO. hahaha :) Now that I made all your mouths water, it's time to leave my site and check out the Green Grocer! I hear close sila ni Ryan Reynolds, you know...The Green Grocer, The Green Lantern..no? not quite? How about The Green Archers? Hindi pa rin?! Aww man, I tried. I'm losing my mojo! *Teardrop rolling down my smoother than a baby's bottom right cheek*








 The Green Grocer
Text 0918 959 4220
Call 552-2574




I hate puddles. It's not that I dislike them, I despise them. Just the pitter-patter of rain gives me goosebumps because this means more puddles all over the metro! But I saw this photo on the web and I couldn't help but say "awwww". Hmmm. Maybe if it were a muddy puddle in some farm in Wichita..only then would I reconsider...but if it were a puddle in the middle of Metro Manila (with yosi butts, candy wrappers, rat piss, and God knows what else) I think my position against puddles still stands. The weather has been so erratic this week! Kawawa naman ang PAG-ASA, mukhang wala ng pag-asa pagdating sa forecasting...so just take extra caution guys and try to keep safe. 
Image from Apartment Therapy

NBA All Stars Weekend

Wattaweekend!!!!!

Party-in-a-Box


They call us a Party-in-a-Box because you could put us anywhere and we're SURE to have a ball. We've known each other all our lives and I simply can't picture myself without these three stooges!

I met Kat when she was only 9, I taught her arts & crafts when I was still a teen...despite our age gap, we've grown really close (almost like sisters) through the years and I'm proud to say that sometimes she's even more sensible than I am! She's really wise beyond her years. :) I really have NO patience dealing with angst-y teenagers with issues, I have such a low tolerance for kids with emo-boy crazy-the world is horrible-I'm gonna be mean to everyone around me-I hate my parents-phases! Haha! So Kathleen was the only kid born in the 90s that I could deal with..because she was always a good natured kid. She's well loved by her peers, always a hit with the boys, a smart chick, she knows how to have FUN and extremely close to her family and God.. hayyy, sana ganyan lahat ng bata!!! (Nanay Patty is that you?!)

"The Muffmeister" as I like to call her. She's the most responsible and organized person I know. She's also a teacher which is why we both share a love for children. I grew closest to Muffin in our last year of college, we were thesis mates and spent endless nights SPSSing our way to a decent grade. We also traveled across Europe together and had quite an adventure when we were fresh out of college. Muffin is a nurturer, she takes good care of everyone dear to her..talagang "maalaga" is the term. She's every guy's peg for a dream girlfriend! I remember one time she even baked me an oreo cheesecake just to cheer me up! But don't be fooled by her sweet demeanor...she was voted "Gimik Queen" (not princess..but QUEEN!!!) by our entire batch upon graduation! May hard core party girl past yan! Tsktsktsk :) I was voted "Crush ng Bayan" (oh yeahhhh..believe it or not, benta ako nung 2004! hahaha) AND "Most Talked About Senior"---meaning ako yung pinagchichismisan ng mga tao?!?! Hindi ata magandang award yan ah..explains all my singaws! Yes, we were sooooo COOLIO IGLESIAS back in the day! Hahaha..and now we're a bunch of lolas!

Zexbam. The time we met was when the Tom Jones' song "Sex Bomb" was blasting on the airwaves, so it seemed fitting to call each other that. (hwwaaat?! why?! ah basta!) She is my partner in ALL crimes..my TRUE best friend and life coach! She's my MOJO booster! Hahaha. We can keep ourselves entertained in the most bizaare places. We once got a room in Sofitel and spent the whole afternoon watching MTV and dancing (following all the choreo..step by step) to Chris Brown and the PussyCat Dolls. I even got injured during our "performance" because I fell off the bed! (Yes, we made our bed.."our stage") We both have the same twisted sense of humor..I think this is what made us popular in school. If other girls were known to be hot, kami yung sikat dahil kalog at sayad! Alessa is the creative genius of our group. She's a graphic designer, a painter, a jewelry designer, the vegan Martha Stewart rolled into one! In fact, she's responsible for the layout and design of this blog!

 
I decided to talk about my best friends because I noticed that many young girls (and boys) tend to take friendships for granted nowadays. Friends are more than the people you drag out on a Saturday night. Sure, many will be willing to share a few drinks with you, you'll probably dance together til 5 am and they'll probably like whatever dumb facebook status you put on your wall..but what happens when all the fun stops and you are faced with serious life dilemmas, who do you turn to then? Surrounding yourself with people who are GOOD to you and GOOD for you is always your best bet. If you're picky with the clothes you put on, you should be picky with the people you hang out with too. There are only two types of friends: 1)People who bring out the worst in you 2)People who bring out the BEST in you. I'm happy to say that my girls are the latter. Now, let's make some friendship bracelets and paint our toe nails!!! wooopeee!

We love to: EAT and LAUGH. You'll find us regularly in Pipino doing dance sequences and re-enactments with about 7 plates of different dishes on our table. We're a riot when the four of us are put together! Another thing we love to do together is have our nails done...it's a MUST for girls :) I love having clean toes and clean fingers..ALL the time! It's nice to have deep and meaningful conversations with my girls while doing something really kikay and shallow. It sort of balances things out. Hahaha:)

As a treat to you and your best friends, I'll be giving away an 
ORLY NAIL LACQUER GIFT PACK
to one lucky barkada!

1) Click LIKE on the Facebook button below this post and on this ORLY FACEBOOK Page.
2) Get your 4 best friends to click LIKE too on both!
3) Send all 5 names and 1 mailing address to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com before July 30, 2011.
Winners will be notified via email.

Lookie Here!!!

Guess what my dad bought me in SM before leaving for Italy. He left it in my room as a "surprise". ♥ Weeeeeee!!!!! Take note, they're called DINOSTARS not dinosaurs! Hahahaha! My buddy Andre has dared me to wear it out...in a high society event! I told him "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED" and we had a facebook handshake to seal the deal. So, if you see me walking around Greenbelt in these green monsters...please know that is was just a DARE. I'm normally very chic :) Hahaha!!! (But they are INDEED heaven for your feet!)



Keep Calm and Carry On

In the 1930s, the British Government released this poster to keep their citizens calm and hopeful when the Second World War was just about to begin. The message was very simple but sometimes simple is all we need to get through each day.  It could be a sickness, a broken heart, a deadbeat job, or a financial crisis.. each of us have our own wars to face, so KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON my brothers!:)

I've received emails from people I've never ever met in my entire life, yet they have opened up their hearts to me and I feel so blessed by their honesty and humility. I can't sleep because I'm still fighting my jet lag, so I thought this would be the perfect time to write an open letter to all of you out there who may be going through a rough time.  I feel sorry for taking forever to write a decent post about this..but the time I spent alone in the past month made me compose all my thoughts and today I have this burning desire to share it with everyone. Are you ready for the emo volcano that's about to explode?? Ngayon lang ako magiging senti, consider this a historical event! Mark it!

I may be a kengkoy goofball on most days, but I've had my share of disappointments and heartaches too like most of you. I do thank the Lord though for giving me my humor (whether it's good humor or corny humor, that my dear readers is for you to decide!)..it has become my personal coping mechanism. My friends are always puzzled by this and they just think I'm weird..hehehe. I guess I'm built this way. :) But I admit, I've had those dark days in the past also..when you can't even find the strength to muster a decent smile..or when you feel like laying in bed to be alone with your thoughts all day..NO chocolate bar could make me happy..kahit Lindt Pistachio pa! Yes, it was that BAD. But it was during this time of emotional emptiness that I found myself slowly being filled with God's love and grace. You see, I was never really religious and for some time my faith took the backseat, yet even though I was so unfaithful to God..HE remained steadfast and faithful to me. Now, I ask you..how can you NOT love a God like that?!

I always try to remain grateful. I find that this humility is what you need to make you enjoy life more. I look at my life now and I say THANK YOU to the BIG MAN up there for every little thing. I look at my ulam and I say THANK YOU dahil masarap at walang kamatis! I look at my legs in the morning and say THANK YOU dahil gumana yung Off lotion at hindi ako kinagat ng lamok kagabi. I look at my parents and I say THANK YOU for making them happily in love after all these years. I look at Ateneo and say THANK YOU for making it the BEST school! Hahaha! (Ateneo haters, whattup?!) I look at my best friends and I say THANK YOU for making them talk some sense into me pag medyo tinotopak ako. I look at this fella with a scruffy beard and a baseball cap and I say THANK YOU that God has good taste, hahaha!

I know it seems odd to be thankful when your whole world is crumbling down, but give it a try..you will find that there will always be MORE things to be grateful for. This conscious effort to be more grateful started exactly 3 days after our first date. We barely knew each other, still in our pa-cute phase kung saan pinopormahan palang nya ako at nagpapakipot pa ako kuno..hehehe. I already knew from the start that I liked him, but I was still guarding my heart because I was deeply hurt in the past.. I wanted to make sure I was giving my heart to someone who would really take care of it this time.  While talking on the phone, we just randomly decided to end our conversation with a short prayer before hitting the sack. So we did. It was awkward at first because I never REALLY prayed with anyone else (well, except my folks..and this was when I was still a little girl!) but it felt good. The following night, before we said our goodbyes..we prayed again. And we've been praying together every night since then. Kahit magkagalit kami, we still stick to our promise and pray..and thank God for each other kahit may konting kurot ng tampo! Ang hirap, tsong! Hahaha! But surprisingly after we pray, nawawala na yung tampuhan namin :) Our prayers are really simple and honestly, very mundane. But I guess that's how God wants it. And it's one of my favorite activities ever! Some of you may think it's corny, but that's how we roll. hehehe :)

I'm not one to impose my beliefs on anyone..you are entitled to your own opinion and free to worship or to not worship as you please. Maybe you don't believe in the church as an institution and maybe you have something far more logical to throw at me..that's perfectly fine. Hey, I catch your drift.. religion COULD BE the opium of the masses. But I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about FAITH. Maybe I've been drinking the kool aid and have gone completely bonkers here, but I'd like to believe that this is real. When you've fallen in love with God, there really is no way you can deny it! It's just way too personal for you to even question.It's still an ongoing process for me.. I'm a work in progress. I have a looooooong way to go! Ang dami ko pang kailangan ayusin sa sarili ko. Sometimes I worry that I'm far too jaded and damaged to be loved by God, but you know what...he's a God of second, third, fourth chances and will take you in any shape and condition!:) So allow him to surprise you and sweep you off your feet.

Let me leave you with this song by Robin. He wrote this song for his cousin and a dear friend of mine, Michelle :) I hope this song speaks to your heart too. :)

My Sweet Switalian Week

In the many times Ive been to Italia, I've never ever been to the actual city of Milan. Believe it or not, hanggang airport lang ako palagi! As soon as I hit Malpensa airport, I get straight on a train and head to another city.. it's basically just a port of entry. So finally, my sister and Mich decided to treat me to a girls night out! We had aperitivo at Yguana, a popular Milanese hang out for college students (thank God I could still pass as a "college kid" in Italy! Hooray for my petite frame and Asian features that make me look much younger than my caucasian counterparts! Patty P.D.W. "por da wins" hahaha!) We took her teeny-weeny barely-living smart car and drove al-fresco (the aircon was busted!nyehh!) from Como to Milano. Milan is indeed the fashion capital of Italy and everyone was all decked out in head to toe Gucci and Prada. It's a good thing my high fashion sister gave me a decent prep even prior to my arrival..but even if I was really dressed (in Manila standards), I still felt completely inferior fashion-wise walking next to these glamazons! The entire Milan is a catwalk! It's actually a very rough and tough city and if you're a newbie, Milano might swallow you alive. I guess Rome is still my favorite Italian city and maybe Venice is a close second..but Milan has its own character too and is still worth a visit. :)

Just a few days before I left for Manila, my folks flew in and joined us in Como. It was good that all our travel plans coincided and we were able to be together as a complete family again, even just for a weekend. We decided to take a couple of short trips outside of Como. We visited the quaint little town of Bellagio, which is about 2.5 hours away by boat. We passed by huge Italian villas and joked around, acting like house hunting bajillionaires! Feeling big time even for just a day. "Magkano yang villa na yan??! What 5 million euros only!? Gosh, C-H-E-A-P lang pala!" Mwahahaha! We even saw Richard Branson's ginormous villa..and also the villa they used in Casino Royale! We failed to spot George Clooney's villa though..well, rumor has it..he might be leaving Como soon because of his recent break up with Elisabetta. Haha, The Buzz Italian edition yan!:)





The following day, we took a train and crossed over to Lugano, Switzerland..surprisingly, it only took us 30 minutes! My regular commute from Alabang to Makati takes even longer! Como is in the northernmost part of Italy so it's right at the Swiss-Italian border. (Oh, how I wish they could improve our public transport system in the Philippines...it would make local travel much more affordable and convenient!) It's amazing how a 30 minute trip can change everything completely, I got a small bottle of mineral water for 350 pesos!!! @#$%^&! And mind you, it wasn't even Evian or Perrier! It was just your average bottled water, it was simply because we were in Switzerland and their cost of living is just much higher than the rest of Europe! Syempre tinipid ko talaga, it took me the whole day to finish that bottle of water..piso bawat drop din yun! I had to convince myself that the water was extra special but truth be told, it was water that tasted like water! Grrr. The Swiss are one of the most pleasant people you'll ever meet (I blame their historical/ political neutrality! Haha!)..next to the Greeks and Spaniards, I think I like them a lot too..just because they're NICE people. And nice is always a WIN for me! Pero when it comes to being FUNNY..as in really kabag-fest FUNNY?? Mga PINOY ang panalo diyan! Iba pa rin tayo!:)
I love markets! Flea markets, flower markets, food markets, and of course, supermarkets! Every time I travel, it's one of the first things I research on..local neighborhood markets. My most highly recommended markets would have to be: 1) El Rastro in Madrid 2) Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam 3) Nishiki Market in Kyoto and of course 4) Market, Market in Taguig (wahahaha!! hey, saan ka pa makakahanap ng "market" na may lasertag?! Beat that!) Last Saturday, we visited the weekend market just outside the walled city of Como. It's a relatively small market, but still very colorful and fun :)



I'm now back in Manila, after 26 hours in transit..hopping from cabs, trains, and several planes..not to mention endless layovers in between! It was a quick but meaningful sojourn to Europe, a big blessing indeed :) Just enough to scratch my travel bug itch for the year..and now, it's back to reality again!

Lago di Como



My one and only sibling, Daniela and my bro-in-law Stefano, have been based in Lake Como, Italy for over a year now. The last time I was here, it was a bitter cold winter and we barely spent time outdoors. This time, it's the complete opposite as summer has finally made its way to the lake and everyone's (and I mean EVERYONE) been sunbathing like beached whales. These Europeans and their banana hammocks, tsk tsk tsk, made me appreciate our sensible and modest Pinoy boys in their board shorts even more.  If you think you've got it, please...please..for the sake of all humanity..please don't flaunt it! 

We invited a few friends from Milan, including our fellow Manilena Mich, for some sunbathing by the lido. :) Just a lazy, sunny Sunday with no big plans..just the way I like it! :)

 



Here's a track by Italian singer, Maria Gadu. This is my official summer anthem! :)

Hola Mis Amigos!


Every time I visit Madrid, I always make it a point to visit El Rastro. When I was in my teens, it was heavily frequented by the locals looking for el cheapo goods..nowadays, it has become more of a touristy activity, but still a lot of fun!
 
Here are two more videos I made for you all. Notice that I now have background music..uyyyy,improving na ako! Pwede!!! Hahaha :) It's still unpolished and the only sounds I could dig up are a bit corny..but it's still way better than my past vids. I can already see my buddies Wacky ( a film director) and Patrick (a commercial editor) shaking their heads right now! Haha! For those asking, Im using my Kodak PlaySport Camcorder and edited it all roughly on IMovie. Im so thrilled to hear that you're all enjoying this trip with me..it gets lonely at times on the road traveling alone (especially waiting for hours in the airport or traveling by train), so I love reading all your emails and messages! The airline actually lost my luggage (thats what I get for getting cheap budget flights! Patay!) and so my laptop is still missing! Im blogging through this Italian PC I borrowed with all these odd keys!So forgive al the errors. And please pray I get my suitcase back! All my Spanish chocolates and goodies are there!!!! Que Horrror!!!


My feel good track for the week



Nothing compares to this love, love, love burning in my heart :)

Sunny Spain


This summer, I decided to do a 5 day visit to one of my favorite countries in the world...ESPANA!:) I used to come here often when I was much younger and it's always been a place that almost feels like home. (Could it be because we were under their rule for hundreds of years?!?) It also helps that I have family here, so having a place to stay for free makes it much more attractive for the kuripot traveler in me.  Since I've done the touristy things before, it was nice to have just a steady weekend as a local Madrileno. I spent the whole weekend immersing myself in Madrid and Toledo with my cousin Inigo. We practically grew up together. My sister and I would sleepover in their home in Dasma every weekend when we were kids. The 3 of us would stay up working on Inigo's elaborate Lego structures all night and we'd steal his comic books and read them under the covers. Now, Inigo is very successful in the environment-management industry here in Madrid..a major upgrade from Lego-builder and Archie-collector. Haha! I'm so happy he took time out from his busy schedule to show me around and babysit me all week :)

Toledo, or as they call it here "La Ciudad Imperial" has a very interesting vibe. It's a mix of different cultures and religions. Centuries ago, this was where the Spanish-Jews, Muslims, and Romans all lived. Bits of town feels very Middle Eastern then just a few blocks away you'll find a glorious Gothic cathedral just shouting "Surprise! Surprise!". I especially enjoyed visiting the synagogues around town..the architecture was just so intricate and even if it was centuries old, it still felt very contemporary. I even picked up a few design ideas for my future flat! I think I shall have a synagogue inspired apartment! Sweet! :) I also loved visiting the house of EL GRECO himself and seeing the Burial of The Count of Orgaz up close. Inigo had to translate everything to me in English because all the captions were in Spanish! Di bale, Inigo, akong bahala sa pag-translate pag Bisaya yung captions! I've got this. Hehe.


We also bought some local Mazapan, which is famous in Toledo. It's a pastry that's usually served as a Christmas treat. It's made with sugar and almond meal. We visited a little convent and purchased them from the nuns! Holy Mazapan!


Been getting lots of kind reviews about my amateur bidyos..Awww!! :) Gumagaling na ako little by little..still trying to figure out all the little buttons on my I-Movie. Thanks for being so encouraging though, will try to shoot some more in the coming days :) Abangan niyo na, I'm gonna be the next JJ Abrams-Jerry Bruckheimer! NOT!




You can still join the Slap Watch contest!:)

1) Click LIKE on the Facebook button below this blog post.
2) Get your 2 best friends to click LIKE too.
3) Send your name and your friends' names to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com along with your address on or before July 15, 2011!


Part 2: Czech-Czech-Czech it out!

Here's the second leg of my Czech adventure. I have another video for all of you, again very poorly edited but made with much gerbil love. :) I made it while killing time at the airport. It's literally a chopseuy of video clips all meshed into one. Hehehe :)

 



P.S. Thank you so much for all your sweet emails and messages..I love traveling with all of you too! Keep those comments and letters coming!:)  Salamat!


       I'm giving away SLAPWATCHES 
to 3 Lucky Blog Readers!
Click on their Facebook Page to see what the craze is all about.


1) Click LIKE on the Facebook button below this blog post.
2) Get your 2 best friends to click LIKE too.
3) Send your name and your friends' names to pattylaurelblog@gmail.com along with your address on or before July 15, 2011!
Winners will be notified via email. Good luck, kiddos :)

Looped on my Ipod

You know how there always seems to be THAT ONE SONG on your playlist that just best describes the current state you're in? Well, this is the song for me NOW. I'm not exactly the most lovable person in the world (on most days, HORMONAL MONSTER seems to be more appropriate than GF) but he still makes it look so easy to love me everyday..it's actually quite baffling. Hahaha :)

To all you pretty girls out there, i pray that you too will find someone who'll make you feel extra special :) If your man doesn't adore you this way, I think it's time for a serious upgrade! *Snap,Snap*



At dahil baka magtampo yung mga male readers ko, here's a song for you too...MWAHAHAHA!!!

I am Number 28: Czech Republic


I made it!!! My 28th country at age 28!:) Prague has always been on my wishlist for years, but it was always way over my budget. A couple of months ago, I was just daydreaming in my bed and decided to try searching for a random flight. I stumbled across a promo and got a round trip ticket for Milano-Praha-Milano for only 3,000 pesos! :) Half the price of a Manila-Davao-Manila ticket! I also got my hotels and tours for peanuts..as in nagaraya level! Haha! And just this morning, I discovered that my room comes with free daily buffet breakfast..wow!!! it's amazing how God surprises me with sweet little things each day! Nagtitipid pa naman ako sa pocket money ko, so this was such a big treat for me :) Yesterday, I was close to tears because my travel adaptor wasn't working..and then I met the nicest hotel receptionist who let me borrow his personal gadget chargers. God is clearly in control of the big and small things, this was evident in the past few days I've spent traveling alone. So here I am, dear friends, blogging from the picturesque city of Prague.
Posted by Picasa 

Prague is as Bohemian as you can get...it just feels completely different from Western Europe. It's an architect's playground really with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque influences all around. I found myself walking and looking up about 99% of the time..the superstars of this city are the beautifully restored buildings. I must've took a hundred photos of random buildings in one day! From red bricked roofs to green domes, you'll have your camera pointing upwards for majority of the time when in Prague. It's also a dream place for a man's-man, Czech Rep is known for beer and beautiful women! What a combo right there..samahan mo pa ng Classical Music! You must remember, this was Mozart's fave hangout! 'Nuff said.
 
 
I got an awesome PlaySport camcorder from my friends at Kodak, so I decided to try it out for the first time. Forgive the shaky hands, still trying to learn how to film myself while walking. And the editing is really bad because I completely rushed it.. Low budget film lang po ito! Hahaha :) Hopefully my next video clip will be much more "professional". Presenting "Instik IN Czech!" I hear ever since I arrived they had to change their name to CHICK REPUBLIC. Mwahahaha :)
 

Tear jerker Monday

Here are 2 of my favorite love story videos of ALL TIME. Everytime I feel a bit emotional, I google for these two vids and massacre a whole pack of MM's Crispies while watching! I'm trying to combat the jetlag+homesickness so bear with the sappiness on this early Monday morning. This is how I cope=Chocolates and Cheese. :)Enjoy!!!


Carlo and Cat from Bob Nicolas on Vimeo.



Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

The Master Mother Packer

Packing was once my Waterloo. It would take me forever to assemble all my things into one suitcase. I don't have any brothers, so as little girls we were always trained to pack light because we were expected to carry our suitcases ourselves. We were deemed responsible for all our belongings from check in at the airport, to baggage claim, to the train station, the bus terminal, and finally our hotel. Kung may mawala, yari kami sa magulang namin! We started packing at a very young age,so from a little padawan packer..I have now reached the elite status of Master Mother Packer. I'm flying to Milan in a few hours and packed all my goodies just this morning! I feel like I'm still missing a few pieces..hmmm..did I leave anything???
Gadgets and Knick Knacks



Nuggets of Wisdom from the Master Mother Packer herself....
1) Do extensive research on the destination of choice. It's important to check the current weather conditions. Also consider local customs and religious traditions in the country you will be visiting. Trust me, You don't want to be the ditz in a mini skirt in a mosque. It's important to dress comfortably and respectfully as well.

2) Get your daily travel itinerary and make a corresponding clothing itinerary. (if you do not have a travel itineray, it's important that you make one) Again, very OC of me, but I promise you this will lessen your clothing load by 10 pieces instantly! When you know what to wear for each day (that is appropriate for the activity assigned for that day), you will be able to figure out which clothes you can repeat and which clothes you can actually do without.

3) Find ways to use your clothes in different ways. I always pack shawls/scarfs because they can accessorize your neck, you can wear it as a head dress, or even as a sarong! You can also use a maxi tube dress and transform it into skirt! Also, roll your clothes instead of folding! This is a sure space saver.

4) Bring clothes that are easy to mix and match.. this way you can repeat the clothes without repeating the same look. I always go for plain tops, pants, and just add a punch of color with accessories like necklaces, scarves, earrings, etc. Layering will also completely change your look.

5) Choose clothes that will make you blend more with the local scene. You can still look stylish and carry your own personality, but make the effort to go with the environment. Don't wear red leather pants in Boracay, don't wear an NBA Basketball jersey in Istanbul, and please do not wear a Disney shirt with friggin' Mickey Mouse while posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. NOOOO..Oh, que horor!!!! Be a smart, chic and sensible dresser.

6) Listen to some pumping music while packing. For this "pack", I listened to Rihanna, Chris Brown and LMFAO. It helped me pack my clothes faster because I had to keep up with the beat! I've packed my bags to Daft Punk, Kylie Minogue and some classic Janet Jackson hits too! Don't put Sarah Maclachlan on, just dont do it. You might end up lying flat on your belly and crying over your high school sweetheart. Zero productivity guaranteed.

7) Always leave your suitcase at least 1/4 empty. You should always leave room for souvenirs, food treats, trinkets, and other purchases you might find during your trip. For this trip, I had to bring my sister's bilins from Manila..which as you see in the photo, took half of my maleta. But as soon as I unload all that in Milan, I will have about 1/2 free space.

8) Bring lots of dried mangoes! I love meeting new people while traveling (of course, you also have to be discerning when talking to strangers.) and I always make it a point that I talk about the Philippines as much as I can. I'd like to believe that we're all little ambassadors and it's important that we represent our country well when we're abroad. I always pack some Filipino treats with me and give them to my new foreign friends! Polvoron, pastillas and dried mangoes are always sure hits!

9) Keep your things compact and in place. Limit your luggage to 1 piece for check in, 1 piece for handcarry like a shoulder bag/backpack. Make sure that all your items are secure in each. Avoid bringing several different little bags like paper bags, plastics, etc. Don't decorate yourself with bags, magmumumkha kang Christmas tree! It's better to keep it all in one big bag then have 30 million little bags. When you carry too many things all at once, this makes you a bigger target for pickpockets/thieves because they know you wont be able to keep track of all your belongings.

10) Pack shoes that are durable, lightweight, and can match any outfit. I always try to limit my shoes to 2-3 per trip. For a cosmopolitan trip: 1) For daily walking, I usually pack a pair of Suelas ballet flats in a neutral tone. 2) Dressy Shoes for more formal events/Nights out 3)Comfy Sandals. For outdoorsy trips: 1) Rugged, Heavy duty trekking shoes 2) Sandals/Flip Flops 3) Sneakers. For winter trips: 1) Boots with Rubber Sole (anti-slip factor!) 2)Closed waterproof shoes for walking.

I hope you found these tips helpful :) I'm still learning as I go along and I hope to share more practical info with all of you in the near future!

I'm giving away some lovely SUELAS to 
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