Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Mind Museum Day

Mind Museum
Bonifacio Global City, The Fort, Taguig City
May 24, 2014

Travel need not be really far! I am classifying our Mind Museum trip still under Travel Tuesday because for me this is something of a "journey" though not that far away. Luke and I have long planned on this trip with his favourite niece, Andrea (finally met her this day!). And so when I spotted discounted tickets at dealgrocer.com I immediately purchased them. 

One of the things Luke and I love doing is loiter around "informative places", such as museums. Informative places talaga! Hahaha. I remember our Hong Kong trip when we entered four museums!! Oh how we enjoyed each one! Anyway, Mind Museum is no exception even though it mainly caters to kids. We got our expectations up prior to going this day and these weren't met sadly. It would indeed mainly entertain kids, we expected a bigger place -- the place is big we just expected it to be bigger. But don't get me wrong, the museum meets the standard or even a tad over it and it's still worth a visit most especially with kids!!! For kids, the four hours could be maximised but for adults who should have already figured out or already studied mostly what's inside, four hours might be too much. There are areas designated for astronomy (there's a planetarium!!), world history, math, technology, etc.

Below is a photo diary of our Mind Museum trip. Despite my not-so-positive review, this is still a must-visit most especially if one lives just in the metro; still a fun and learning experience. :)
The way up is through this escalator. Also there's some futuristic fashion area haha
Mind Museum ootd
the curious Luke
learning through arcade!
Selfie with the ancient people! What would they reaction really be upon seeing a camera?? Hmmmm...
The mind and the heart. Both occupied by Luke, hahahaha ang keso!
Must be the favourite part of the museum :)
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Comment: Quiet by Susan Cain

Title: Quiet
Author: Susan Cain
No. of pages: 352
Published: 24th January, 2012
Read: August 22, 2014

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer. 
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.

Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."

This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

Some weeks ago I posted this, an entry on Ted featuring Susan Cain. This book comment is highly related to it. I am talking about Cain's Quiet - the book that made it on top of my 2014 reads so far. The book that is an instant favourite. The book that best describes me. I know quite a number of people who would react "weeehh si Merie quiet hahaha!" Anyway, this book is more than just the one-word adjective as title. It's a whole lot more. 

I like how this book captured me. It made me understand myself more -- that I am not alone on those things I thought I was just being weird, on the way I think through things, on how I view events and scenes, on my restorative niche, on my preferred workstation and working habits and a lot more. This book convinced me that I am indeed an introvert, no more confusion, I just am and this book somehow contributed to the fact that I don't need to shy away from being one. It's a book of affirmation!! A book that will surely cheer out the introverts and will help people understand the people mistaken as just "Quiet". 

This book presents more than just the author's opinion. Substantial information, facts, previous researches are generously referenced to, making the author's points strong. It even has Bible references which is plus points for me. I highly recommend it to people who feel like they're introverts, who enjoy their self as company, who loves being alone, and to all other people who belong to the other side who tend to wonder on why this certain type of people exist. 

I don't want to spoil the essence and the pure enjoyment and entertainment with information absorption I received from this book by telling a lot of things belonging to the chapters of this well-written non-fiction.  Thank you so much Susan Cain. What a great read. 


Some quotes from the book but these are just some of my favourite parts, just really few:

"We don't ask why God chose as his prophet a stutterer with a public speaking phobia. But we should. The book of Exodus is short on explication, but its stories suggest that introversion plays yin to the yang of extroversion; that the medium is not always the message; and that people followed Moses because his words were thoughtful, not because he spoke them well."
“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

“There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're supposed to.”

“The highly sensitive [introverted] tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive. They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions--sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments--both physical and emotional--unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss--another person's shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.”

“Don't think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”

“We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard's education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you've been granted.”

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Baguio Food Trip after the Climb

May 2014

What to do after a tiring yet a successful and fulfilling climb?? FOOD TRIP!! Our Baguio food trip was not really part of our itinerary. For boss ano and me, it was a spontaneous one.

1st stop: Hill Station, Casa Vallejo

We were back in Baguio at around 4pm. We booked our hotel for an overnight stay. Imagine us so excited to finally take our much-needed shower after being shower-deprived for two days. Shower was a luxury. We rested for a little while. We needed something heavy to fill our tummies and so based on online recommendations and my ever trusty TripAdvisor, we headed to Hill Station at Casa Vallejo for our dinner.
It was a fancy place. A place I imagine to be romantic as well. A good place for intimate get-together's. They offer American and European cuisine. We ordered for ourselves Slow Roast Beef (Php490), Lechon Kawali (Php350), Baby Backribs (Php395) and Cambodian Chicken(Php380). The only photo I have is of the one below, which is my order. They all tasted good but our tight pockets say that the menu was a pricey one. For desserts, we had Death by Choco (Php115) and Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Php120).

2nd stop: Burnham Park

We had a long day ahead of us as we woke up the day following our successful summit climb. our minds were preoccupied of one big question: "Where are we gonna eat, and eat, and eat and eat??" E syempre food trip nga diba. Anyway...

Who doesn't drop by Burnham Park when in Baguio? Obviously not us. There is no particular food place here but we ate apple-mango (not sure if this is really is it haha but it's a cross breed of mango and some other fruit), ice cream (yes ice cream in Baguio's cool weather). And since we had a buffet breakfast back in our hotel before we went out and about, these were just filler foods. This simple but I enjoyed them a lot! Mangga pa!
Of course strolled around the vicinity, people watching, photo-taking. Aba papatalo ba kami sa mga couple na nakapag-boating na?? Syempre hindi! Hahaha! Now that I look back at it, it's indeed kind of cliche and cheesy hahaha but we had fun paddling around. Tamang exercise lang sa umaga.

3rd stop: PNKY Cafe

As of this writing, I had the chance to go back to Baguio and upon my return with my girlfriends, this cafe no longer exists! It was so saddening I was really eager to go back! But good thing we were able to freeze memories in photos below.

This was a good choice for our in-between full meals relax eating and drinking. Whatever it's called. It was a quiet place actually good for lone times. they have both indoor and al fresco dining. I like how the place was decorated inside and out. Simply good vibes. Somehow it gave me the impression of the theme "travel and take photos".
And for our sumptuous dessert orders from their "Guilty Pleasure" menu (yes they do have a guilty pleasure menu), we had fruits in chocolate fondue and brownie ala mode. I don't think there's really use for sharing how much these costs and their real menu names because... whyyyyyyy do they have to close it down?? However, we saw a new restaurant being built in replacement of this one. Hopefully it's much better than what already existed. Anyway, we also ordered different drinks for ourselves which has its own trait and uniqueness.
And since it was a good place to take photos, excuse our prenup shoot hahaha! I kid, of course the LuRie love team won't get away without having their photo op.
We stayed long at this place you know just chillin' (literal, hello Baguio temperature) and talked about different matters under the sun. I really appreciated Kimy and Tin's company. 

4th stop: Laperal White House

Not really a food stop, but something to feed the horror-seeking hormones or cells or whatever part of the body that is giddied up by a horror house. Laperal White House is known for being a "horror house" hahaha. It has an entrance fee of Php50. The ground floor showcased well-carved and intricately designed bamboos! Ang galing ng mga Ifugao! But the rest of the floors were bare and I find creepy. We just had a quick tour around as in super quick haha! No horror bones in us I guess.

5th stop: The Mansion

Just took photos feeling turista mode.

6th stop: Wright Park

It was a good stroll around this park. Except for the stinky horse smell, masarap mag-hhww dito haha! We had our strawberry taho here!! I was a strawberry taho virgin, actually all of us were, so it was mandatory to have it. 

7th stop: Ketchup Food Community

We didn't get the chance to eat here because a) not all food houses were open b) the open ones were crowded c) it's quite close to the horse area of Wright Park so the smell's not that friendly. But maybe next time since I have actually read good reviews for some. It was just notable that we have dropped by this food place. :)

8th stop: Forest House

I must say my favourite stop among all. I have nothing negative to say because I am biased in favour of this place! From food to the ambiance to the service it was all worth it. 

As you enter the restaurant area, you will be greeted by a welcoming fireplace nook. And behind it is a warm interior having an inviting aura. Their setup lives up to its name, sosyal na forest medyo ganon. Haha!
Now on to the food... We ordered 3-dip Forest House Special Salad (Php 420, first two photos below), Forest House Wine Sauced Chicken (Php 295, third top photo from left and second from top), Binagoongan Bagnet (Php 275) and of course I tried their Fettuccine Carbonara (Php 280, bottom photos). Nothing dismayed our taste! They were all a good first time! We enjoyed every bit of our eating in forest house. We were also well attended to during the course of our dining in.
Because the place is warmly beautiful, we took photos. By the way we were at al fresco dining, yes they do have one, but it started raining so we got the chance to dine inside and take more photos!
It happened to be that the owner was at the area and the manager talked to us having an instruction from the owner to tour us around their Bed and Breakfast place. It was also beautiful!!! It felt like we were taken to another dimension (medyo OA but it was how I initially felt haha!). It was clean, cozy, warm again living up to its label. It felt like you were in the woods even by the smell of it. The manager told us that the owner was hands-on on designing up to every corner of the place getting ideas from where she's been to abroad. 

There were four rooms each named to the sons and daughter of the owner. Every room is uniquely designed. What I felt that time was I want to experience each room -- it has its own bathroom, television, bed/s, sofa/s, crafty cabinets and displays and even an own wifi router. It was nice of them touring us around this place. Actually, when I went back to Baguio just last July with my girlfriends, we booked a room and I am yet to blog about our sweet stay.
And of course make room for LuRie's photo op hahaha!

Sadly Luke and I have to go back to Manila earlier than Kimy and Tin (they had a couple more food stops) because we have to be back to our jobs the next day. It was worth the spontaneity that day after the climb. We were just strolling, chit-chatting, and eating the minutes away. I don't think we've wasted any time and money. Every centavo and second was worth it, after all we deserve this after a successful climb.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Half-year Resolutions

More than a year from the date of this entry, I am writing another set of resolutions for the coming half-year or maybe another year. It’s a good time to look back and self-assess on where I am now as compared to where I was. This is also in light of my blog’s sixth anniversary last July (which is supposed to be close to 10 years already). I planned to write both my half-year resolutions and anniversary entries but (apart from being a lola for most of the days) my July was fairly frenetic and I was in a stage of valuation – I guess this is now an annual thing for me having this “midyear-crisis” looking back to see how I should move forward for the rest of the year, or should I? Questions like this are typical occurrences in my mid-year state of mind. Rereading that entry, I want to restate them not because I haven’t accomplished them (some nos. though hahaha) but because I consider them as things that should be part of a year’s routine. 

Anyway, the first half (plus a month) of my 2014 was tremendous. I also reread my Hello 2014 entry and I feel glad, I feel blessed, I feel so thankful. But at the same time I also feel “lacking”. If there’s one thing I should have consistently done, it has nothing to do with my tasks at work or my sideline or with how I treat the people around me but I should have exercised my faith very eagerly. I feel like I lack of faith while doing the things I’ve been performing this year.  So for the rest of this year STRONGER FAITH!!

I blasted this year with prayer and fasting and the half-year with a fast as well. My faith should be indeed stronger! Blessed enough that browsing through my prayer journal, our God is indeed an answering God. Luke's promotion, my new job role meeting my salary expectation, fashion endeavour, are few among what's written inside. So excited for the next set of God's answers!!!

Anyways, I have more or less five more months to make 2014 the best year of my life.

More travelling and exploring. 
Need not be grand. Need not to be real destinations as what I mentioned in my 2014 resolutions. Despite the fact that I am currently “stuck” in Alabang, which is essentially one good reason to travel and discover more places. In the past half-year I fulfilled the part of travelling to local destinations – I’ve been to Baguio twice, I have climbed Mt. Pulag, I’ve been to Bataan and finally experienced Coron (so out of these I have only blogged on one yet hahaha medyo on time ako mag-blog haha). Though initially I aimed for a monthly travel, this is not bad at all. 

I also discovered new places to dwell in – coffee shops and restaurants too. And I still have five months to go somewhere else! It makes me giddy and I am praying that I would still be able to go somewhere else. Because in travelling, I discover more of me, and more of the people I am with, and more of the life around me, that I am just a tiny particle of the universe and that there is so much more to life. Anyway, I’m aiming for another or a couple more of local and an international. 

Thrive in my fashion endeavour. 
Yes, as what my family, friends and boyfriend hoped for me and I hoped for myself, I enrolled myself to a Fashion Design Course. I formally launched my “fashion business” though I don’t really want to call it business per se, I want it more of a creativity outlet for now, as I am a full-time employee still. But as I want to thrive in this endeavor, I want to spend 10,000 more hours (learned something from a Malcolm book) just sketching, reading, learning, and writing all about fashion. I am looking into enrolling again either this end of September or early November (currently my dilemma), was supposed to have enrolled myself and start classes this coming 23rd but as per boss amo’s piece of advice, “huwag muna”,which I later on realized is a good decision as I might spend most of my Saturday’s working on my December bride’s wedding dress and entourage and some more clients in between. 
I am also praying that before this year ends, I would have a workplace which I want to call my creative abode so that I can finally move from my tiny office inside my room and have a slightly bigger space. I am also praying for suppliers, financiers, and a set of lovely fitting forms haha! Specifically stated? I also pray to invest on sewing machines and of course on people who would work with me. Farfetched?? Yes, maybe, but I believe in a bigger and sovereign God. I entrust all of these to Him. 

Devotion is the key to a beautiful day. To do it during the early hours of the day to have good conditioning. 

Read more!! Again hahaha. Goal is 50 books this year but best of luck hahaha! So far I read a little more than 10?? 

Save and hit the target. Push!!!

On time journaling just like I used to be. Hahaha obviously, this post as an evidence, I lag in blogging.

Get a driver’s license. So this has been a resolution ever since? Just got to show that it's not really  my priority hehehe but who knows when God might send me my car this year too?? Haha, why not, I am claiming it!!! 

These are my main resolutions and some more tads in between. I pray that I would eventually cross these all out. ☺ And oh yes if you noticed my blog’s sidebar, materially, I finally invested on my “dream” thingamajigs hahaha! And I thank boss amo for helping me attain them! ☺ So that’s all for now. Will revisit this from time to time and before this year ends. What’s yours?
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Fashion Friday: Amsale Spring 2015

In light of my December wedding endeavor, I’ve been in constant nourishing of my supposed to be creativeness and ingenuity in designing the perfect wedding dress and entourage dresses for my first ever bridal entourage. I am blessed beyond measure for the trust given to me by the couple. That is why I am trying my best and pouring my heart out on this. During my free time I browse through different creations and of different designers and stores. Below are some of this week’s finds.

Cr: Saja
Cr: AliExpress
Cr: Ogotoshop
This post also features Amsale’s Spring 2015 collection. One of Amsale’s design principles, which I critically consider, is “Make Believe”. I try to place myself in the shoes of my client imagining myself being on the place and the occasion where the dress would be worn – “making believe that I am already there”. In my December bride’s case, I try to fascinate myself as much as I can the details of her wedding, making sure I know where their wedding would take place, the reception, the set-up and even the couple’s love story. I want to understand her style and personality. I don’t want my bride (and my clients) wearing any of my creations not reflecting a good association of my aesthetics and their persona.

Going back, I really like how clean, dainty, flowy and elegant the pieces of this collection are.

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