"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."
-Unknown

Monday, 6 November 2017

Washi Wednesday: Hobby Depot Haul



It all started with the idea that I needed washi holders to bring my washi with me to my upcoming travel. I already set up my traveler’s notebook in advance. Only one shop had them, so I combined my order with washi to add.


Hobby Depot offers stickers, stamps, washi and also washi holders for those antsy documenters who cannot bear to be away from their favorite washi. (Guilty.)


I also took the chance of including the camping themed outdoor seal sticker for the pages of my traveler's notebook. I already used up the bus and tent image on my TN. Hobby Depot has more stock of this, so I'm going back for more (for those hiking trips next year). 


Now I just had to have this panda washi because it's meaningful for me. I personally know someone who claims to be a panda, so it sort of became a panda obsession. 


The ticket washi adds a vintage feel to my TN pages, and it’s relevant because of the bus ride, road trip to the mountain ranges, and then the flight. I love it really. It completes the travel theme.


Finally, I cannot do without coffee. This is for my coffee-themed planner, my TN and anything that’s coffee oriented. Something tells me that I need to have an extra roll so that I won’t panic when this one runs out. I love the handpainted details on this roll. Yep, I’m going to get another one.


Hauling from Hobby Depot is easy, shop owner is quick to reply and updates with stock availability. Transaction is a breeze and I’m definitely coming back for more hauls. The shipping is also quick, it arrived just in time for me to set up my TN and bring these washis and the holder with me.

If you want to purchase washis, holders, stamps or stickers, feel free to visit Hobby Depot on Facebook anytime. There’s a lot of good stuff and pretty washi to satisfy your artsy gut. If you want some inspiration, the Instagram account can also give you that. 

A New Coffee Haus Is in Town (And It’s Right Behind Where I’m Studying LOL)



It’s funny how best friends get to observe things that otherwise we may overlook, such as a new coffee house conveniently on its soft opening at the back of the university where I’m studying. You know how coffee is an essential part of my being. This gal runs on coffee….


So while my regular lunch date C was out of town, M and I caught up over coffee in Barako Haus.  Now what makes Barako Haus interesting is that it’s the only cafĂ© that serves Civet Coffee at Php 365 per mug. Civet Coffee is one of the most expensive types of coffee in the world, and the most flavorful. Kopi luwak or civet coffee, is coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). Yep, Barako Haus serves that for Zamboanguenos to try.


But I didn’t go there for the Civet. I needed my good old barako in my system, and I did get. I ordered the longganisa and pan de sal with scrambled eggs for my lunch. Crazy I know. Although there were pasta dishes, the mood hit for longganisa at that moment. I also had iced barako to go with it. M ordered the tuna pasta for a healthier option.


Well, the longganisa served with my pan de sal was the sweet variety, and I have to admit I’m not used to sweet longganisa, as I always have my longganisa quite savory. I enjoyed my iced barako and I’m quite satisfied to have had it with muscovado sugar to lessen my refined sugar intake. This was before my travel to take on Benguet so I was still a bit conscious with my sugar intake.



As for the price range of their food selection, I find it reasonably priced, and that dishes are mid range.There are also other desserts on display, such as yema cake, choco yema cake, ube yema cake, moist choco cake, muffins and cupcakes to satisfy those with sweet tooths.


I like that the interiors make use of elevated platforms covered in banig, or the traditional woven mats made out of dried palm leaves. It makes me feel like I’m having coffee in someone’s veranda with such comfortable materials, because banig to me always means cozy.


In totality, I’m satisfied with my barako experience in Barako Haus. The staff were friendly, coffee selection is good, place is clean and comfortable. I’ll just have to practice my indian seat the next time I go back in one of those nooks. Thankfully, it’s very accessible for quick pick-me-up between classes.

Barako Haus is in Nunez Street right behind ADZU back gate. You may visit their Facebook page here.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Feature OAT Manila Killer Combo: Tote and Traveler's Notebook



I’ve always been curious with having a traveler’s notebook from Organize and Travel (OAT) Manila. So when they announced that they’re offering the killer combo consisting of the tote bag and traveler’s notebook, I didn’t hesitate to get it. Of course, there was a surprise free gift that came with it, plus the safe bag that I could use for when I’m not using the tote to keep it from dust and dirt.

How’s it holding on so far? Here are my thoughts on the tote and TN. Read on!


Tote Bag: Large in Black

I guess I miscalculated the size of this bag. I was actually in the market for a leather bag that I could use to work that can withstand all sorts of business-style uniforms. One facet that I’ve overlooked is that it has no zipper and it’s pretty much a carryall. So, I’ll keep on searching again in the meantime.

What’s to love:

  • Vegan leather
  • Large size can carry so much stuff
  • Very lightweight on its own 

Thoughts so far:

I’ve already used it as an extra tote for work so that I can bring my workout clothes when I do the dance dance portion in the afternoon. Sweating out is good, right? So far, it does a good job of carrying my workout shoes, extra shirt, workout pants, small towel and other stuff that I may toss in there.

Why do I love it?

It’s more stylish to carry a black vegan leather tote than a bright gym bag on wash days. Black matches everything. 


Traveler’s Notebook with Accessories in Rose Gold 

Here’s something to fall in love with, I kid you not.

Maybe because rose gold is a weakness that’s why I gave in. But nothing could have prepared me for the beauty that’s the TN. 

What’s to love:
  • Vegan leather in rose gold!
  • Side pocket for stickers, travel washi stock and other ephemera
  • Beautifully stitched
  • Comes in safe pouch
  • Handmade
  • Comes with detachable pen holder
  • Inserts are both in Plain White Paper and Brown Kraft Paper, (be still my vintage-loving heart)



Thoughts and Why I Love It:

If only it arrived earlier, I think this might be the TN that I’ll be bringing along with me for my Mountain Province escape. But I have a pretty good feeling that this TN will have its own time to shine. Just looking at that neat stitching has just assured me that it’s worth the treat, and that I’m a proud owner of a uniquely Filipino, handmade TN. 

Have you tried any of OAT Manila's products? What do you like to purchase from them? 




Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Mountain Province Travel Mood Board

I honestly can’t wait to unplug and be closer to nature. I guess it’s one of the factors that influence us every time we decide where we want to go. This year’s themes have some sort of element in them, and we have completed that immersion factor already. January, we had air at the Hot Air Balloon Festival. April we had sea as we went Whaleshark Diving. For October, it’s going to be land because where we’re headed, is all full of land as far as the eye can see but it’s still going to be a memorable experience.

Since I want to maximize the time out I’ll be having, I’ve organized a mood board for our upcoming travel. I’ve fantasized about this for quite some time now, also because it’s on C’s bucket list to experience these all. It’s kinda contagious don’t you think? 

1. Mt. Pulag- The Playground of the Gods

We’ve heard many things about Mt. Pulag both mystical and natural. It captured our curiosity, plus C’s friends have shared stories of the Playground of the Gods, I also saw some milky way shots from visitors who have been there. It’s been on C’s bucket list and I’ll be happy to put my photography skills to the test. 



2. Sagada Tour

I’m after the hanging coffins in Sagada for a photo opp and then maybe do a side trip to one of the strawberry farms in Benguet. I might meet Ifugaos as well. Who knows what else I can do in Mountain Province. I’ll definitely be happy to just drink it all in. My cameras better be ready with spare batteries! Don’t give up on me powerbank!




3. Baguio City Tour

Just like the Sagada Tour, I’ve also listed what I want to do in Baguio. That includes a visit to Mt. Cloud Bookshop, then a taste of strawberry tahu, visit the nearby attractions and then…






4. Shopping for Pasalubong and Succulents 

I know that I’m supposed to grab pasalubong with anything strawberry and ube in it. Yep, I’m a good tourist like that lol. I’d also like to get myself a little souvenir from Ibay’s Silver Shop if I’m lucky. 





5. Conrad Manila 

We will be ending our week with a stay in Conrad Manila. It’s also quite a meaningful place for C because he’s one of the engineers who have helped construct it. From roughing it, we sure can lounge around in a luxurious place such as a hotel by the bay. 





I really hope we can cross off all our items in our bucket list. Plus, I’m hoping that all goes well. We can come back with more stories to tell too. Who knows where else our feet will take us. 

I guess it's also going to be our last travel for this year before we head on out next year. We've sort of developed appreciation for looking at both ancient and modern architecture lol. We'll definitely share some more stories here as well as our hacks and itineraries. 

Washi Wednesday: Scouting for Travel Washi

It’s probably because my last quarter travel is nearing, plus almost everything is in place that’s helping to build my excitement. I really, really want to unplug and be with C already.

Nature has always been our surest way of recharging. Unplugging is what we really need right now, plus discovering new places together. And because bringing along a traveller’s journal is one of my hobbies, I’ve started setting up my upcycled, hand-painted TN from Airees Creates.

I guess C is already used to all my shenanigans every time we travel. I have a tendency to scout for art materials and linger a bit too long over the watercolours. I know it too well, that a pair of scissors are definitely not allowed in hand-carried baggage. (They have to be checked-in).

So in the name of setting up my TN and for our upcoming escape, I’ve gathered travel washi that I would definitely like to get my hands on lol.






I'm seriously thinking about getting world map washi, but who knows what else I can come across by the time I get to roam around Manila as well. That and some vintage ticket washi.

But of course, I'm not forgetting why I need to get away for a while. And I can't wait to capture anything interesting I see on camera. Wheew! I'm quietly, super excited. =) 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Trudy Lauren Diamond Pen in Rose Gold and Planner Charm Review


Because rose gold is the craze for planner girls this season, who can resist a rose gold Trudy Lauren Diamond pen and planner charm for a quick pick me up? Here’s my two cents on the diamond pen and charm that I got from Excelite Liwag.



The color is gorgeous! And yes, because it’s rose gold. The diamond detail is a bit flashy but isn’t that what lady bosses are after? LOL not that I am one, but it’s good for those insta-snapshots. The ink is on and off and made of the regular ballpoint pen and not gel ink pen. It’s a regular twist barrel with no clip holder on the side whatsoever. I thought that it will suit my Forever New Pearlised Blush Planner in A5 but I have to be careful that it does not slip off the pen holder. It does feel a little heavy to write with so it’s really more of a decorative pen rather than a functional one. 



The planner charm is another story. The charms included in this gold (yep, not rose gold chain) are an acrylic high heel shoe, (the other pair must be with Cinderella right now), a transparent heart gem and tiny gold coin with a stamped message that says live, laugh, love. The combination suits my planner because these charms are uber girly. But again, I thought that the chain would at least be rose gold to match the diamond pen.

And then there’s its durability. It’s gotten detached from the clasp midway in my bag twice. I just had to stop re-linking them together and something tells me that it should just stay at home on my desk. But it’s a planner charm and has to hold together!


Have you tried any of the Trudy Lauren stationery? They’re cute I must say, but you have to personally evaluate which ones are truly functional for your planning and desk activities. Don’t be shy to leave me a comment! 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Washi & Co Bundle Deals: Feeding The Washi Hoarder in You

It’s no secret that I have a weakness for pretty washi. And where do you go for pretty washi? Washi & Co!

Washi & Co is a heavenly shop for those who find joy and thrill in owning pretty washi, yes I can’t emphasize that enough. So when bundle deals were announced, there I was again with head lolled to one side, thinking about restraining myself.

And as you know how the story ends, I got three bundles.

Temptation.

I gave in.

But hey, look at all this….


I got a teal bundle; 



And there's a pink bundle;


And florals;


And patterns….


Washi & Co is Davao-based that curates pretty washi for all seasons and all moods. I’m also keeping an eye out for the Christmas selection there, because they’re the non-traditional, sleek designs. To tell you, I’ll be proud to show them off with my Christmas packages even if let’s say I’ll be giving away baked goods in glassine bags to friends. That will be a nice touch.

I’ll get my hands on them soon.

School has made me busy with requirements for our midterms. Priorities. I even complained that I don’t have that much time to do creative stuff anymore.

But having new washi to play with kind of makes me giddy and excited inside. And the thought of having new ones for Christmas too.

There’s so much going on with my academic and family life right now, that plus the demands of work and it all makes me wonder how much sleep I have lately. I can get through it all though, one day at a time.

Besides, washi is always a good idea. Right? 


What do you think of the bundle deals? Did you get some too? Which ones are your favorites? Let me know by leaving comments below! 

Category: stationery, washi, crafts

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Writing Icon: The Fountain Pen



“I was thinking of getting you a fountain pen for a wedding present, but then I realized you already had one.”

That’s the scene in The Sound of Music with the very regal and fabulous Baroness Schraeder played by Eleanor Parker that reminds me of why the fountain pen is an icon.

It’s rare to spot a fountain pen in one’s desks these modern days, but it continues to be an icon of a writing instrument among those old-school pen and paper writers.

A close friend of mine still writes handwritten letters with a fountain pen on parchment paper in the age of computers and Facebook messenger.

A fountain pen comes in many different varieties such as capped or retractrable, fine or thick nibs, pocket-sized or the regular length. Basically and by definition, a fountain pen is a writing instrument with a reservoir or cartridge from which the ink flows continuously to the nib.



The list of masters who use the fountain pen in writing their works are Neil Gaiman, Simone de Beavoir, Stephen King, Dylan Thomas and Claire Messud.

Never have I expected to actually own a fountain pen because the ones I usually see are the posh ones which must cost a small fortune already. But thanks to my crazy friends A and M, I have a simple but meaningful fountain pen with my name engraved on it. It came as a surprise and these are the times when I feel so grateful to have thoughtful friends who know me so well.




I’ve used the pen mostly for signing cheques and policies as well as bank transactions. I received a box of refill cartridges with it and I’ve already consumed half of the cartridges. I like the cartridge system to minimize having to frequently dip into ink and also avoid any mess I might cause because honestly, my desk is far from very neat. Though I’m anticipating that I have to look for replacements pretty soon because I live and work far from town and the local and only bookstore might not carry it here LOL. Let’s just say fountain pens are not very popular in this city and only a handful of people actually use it.

But they do make very beautiful and thoughtful Christmas (or even wedding) gifts. 

So what do you think of the fountain pen? Would you consider acquiring one or are you going to stick to a good sign pen for your signature? Share your thoughts with me by leaving me a comment. Cheers!

Washi Wednesday: Fall Washi




There’s just something romantic about entering fall and the change of the color palette that makes it lovely. And perhaps the signaling of the last quarter of the year with the -ber months beginning. Soon it will be winter and before you know it, the holidays will be upon us and then there goes the end of the year and we will be welcoming the next year in our doorsteps.

I’ve rounded up some fall washi for inspiration because this season just brings us closer to thanksgiving, and the earthy tones of burnt reds, oranges, browns, mustard, and even plaids and dark florals. It’s very comforting too, and also thinking of food for the season. I’d love some shepherd’s pie and chocolate cake…

And here I am presenting to you some fall washi for inspiration just in case you are looking for a new color palette to try out in your journal, diary and planner spreads. It’s fitting since we’re only a few days away from September.

Drool with me, will ya?



category: inspiration