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

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Currently 1.1.18

Whoa it's 2018!

I'm pouring my thoughts on the first day of the year, and there's still so much to do but I'm hopeful.

I know I have to be patient with blogging, and I have to prioritize school and work. In the meantime, here are updates.

Work


Maybe I’m not the only one who feels like a robot whose vacation mode has been disrupted. I took quite a long time away from work, so when it was time to come back after Christmas and Boxing Day, I kind of lost my routine and also didn’t know what to do first. But then, there’s still New Year to think about, then it won’t be long before reality will have to bite back sooner or later. 


School


Even if we’re on a break from school, we still have homework to think of. It’s also quite a challenge since I decided to take the dive and take on full load of 12 units, that’s suicide! Or so I’ve been told. But I’m praying and wishing that I can survive. I’m enjoying my time off in the meantime. 

Writing


Well my writing life goes both ways. There’s the analog and digital writing life.

I’ve become productive at least writing down things that I’m supposed to finish in my new Mini Happy Planner. It’s so cute and I’m so afraid to ruin it with uneven pen strokes lol.  As for travel writing, I still take with me a traveler’s notebook, pens and washi even for short road trips.



I didn’t realize that running out of ink can irritate me and test my patience. It’s a necessity that I complete my traveler’s notebook so that I can move on to the next one. Does this give me license to get a pretty set for Pilot Juice Metallics for New Year?



In the digital arena, 1) I’m back to blogging because 2) I have a new laptop! It’s light, it’s fast, it’s cool and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made this year. Yehey for productivity! I don’t know where I’ll be without the card reader too lol. 



Travel

I went on a quick road trip with C for a couple of days, the traveling time took a toll on me. I don’t know why. It’s not my first long bus ride this year, having gone to Pampanga, Oslob and Baguio earlier this year. But for some reason, the bus ride to Pagadian just didn’t sit very well with me. I’ve always disliked traveling to Pagadian by bus, but had no problems traveling further via private vehicle.

Despite the crazy bus ride, I’m grateful for the quick time out and also time spent with C. But we’ve got travel plans brewing for 2018. 

There's a lot to be grateful for, as 2017 ended and 2018 has just begun. I know that it takes time for my dreams to come true, but I also can't help but feel blessed that I have my family, friends and C beside me through it all. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Review: Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Light Slim Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Light Slim Bag in Lush Blue

Perhaps I was inspired and amazed with the convenience that a small body bag can offer during travels. C has one and it’s been everywhere: Pampanga, Cebu, Baguio, Manila. On the other hand, I’m the more switchy-bags person, and I have this crazy habit of dumping in a lot of useless stuff in my bag that can make my load heavier and give me aching shoulders, even just an afternoon in the mall or going to a café. One time during the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, I dumped my mirrorless camera and other stuff in a hot pink tote bag like I would on a day in the beach. It looked cute, yes, but it was far from practical LOL.

But that changed with the Travelon bag that we got me from Travel Club.


It’s slim and compact and it carries my essentials very well. It also has packed anti-theft features. I told myself that I’d use it on travel and the road trip to Pagadian was the right chance to use it. 

Second Compartment with Spare Zipper Attached


What's To Love? 

The material is smooth and sits very comfortably in a bus window seat, even on my lap when back riding on a motorbike. The secret pockets inside can carry a lot of knick-knacks, even a long wallet and relevant pockets for a passport and cash.

It has roomy compartments, two for regular stuff, one in the front for small things like lip balm, OTG USB and the slip on pocket at the back is for headphones. Even the main compartment is large enough to hold a tablet and can even stay secure because of a zip wall pocket. The front compartment has an interior organizer and many slots for cards and other important documents. In short, it really just has a lot of pockets.

I also love that I can carry the Sony point and shoot for documenting travel memories with C on the road, even special occasions like friends’ weddings and just precious moments.

It’s made of anti-slash material but it’s smooth to the touch and even has RFID blocking technology.  For peace of mind, the zippers lock to shoo away those pickpockets during your travels. Who knows what can happen during rush hours in public transport or even in crowded, public places. 

 Front Pocket features RFID Protection Feature


RFID Protection 

The front pocket integrates an RFID blocking technology that’s similar to other travel wallets to help prevent skimming of information from credit cards and even electronic passports. If your credit cards, passports and even driver’s licenses come with radio frequency identification chips that can transmit data wirelessly, this can help insulate RFID skimming. You don’t want hackers obtaining whole credit card information from you now, do you?

Ready to head out with my Travelon Slim Bag


Versatile Style

On top of it all, I like that it’s a versatile style. I’m fond of shoulder bags so I just swing it over my shoulder and I head on out, now that’s for my feminine preferences. But during travel, I follow as the boys do and wear it cross-body for hands-free movement especially during long road trips.
And the best part? No more aching shoulders! It’s not just for urban exploration, it’s also great for outdoor day hikes.

Travelon has made it possible to explore easier and safer, and with sleek bags for essentials in new places. The Classic Light Slim Bag retails for Php 2,390.00 in Travel Club. Travel Club is located in the second floor of KCC Mall de Zamboanga beside Yellow Cab Pizza. 





Monday, 18 December 2017

Yoins For The Holidays



The whole year can take a toll on each of us, from various obligations at work and at home. But as soon as December rolls in, there’s the feeling of being able to wind down and recharge. But even if you had a tough year, why do you need to look like it? The holidays is the time to unwind, unplug and spend time with people who matter the most, your loved ones.

To also join in the festivities of the season, you can throw a Christmas party and introduce some fun games and good food to go with it. For your Christmas party, you don’t have to stress out on what to wear, https://www.yoins.com/ has a wide selection of hot and stylish dresses for women.



Yoins has a wide array of choices for your holiday getaway and those parties that are seemingly endless. It can take hours to get ready, but your look can be effortless with sexy tops sale online that you can find at Yoins. My personal picks are feminine lace tops for indoors, perfect for savouring those moments with family and friends.

It’s the time to make memories and with the accessibility of social media, photos can be uploaded in just seconds. Just like that, your photos can trickle to every person and home celebrating Christmas. It’s the season to be comfortable and relax as you lounge in the company of your loved ones.



Yoins also is the place to go for matching outfits, lingerie and sleepwear, accessories and score some great finds at the sale section. It’s the season to step into classic silhouettes and modern dress styles. Go on and make memories and have yourself a happy holiday!

Note: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Yoins. For similar features and inquiries, kindly send a message to raisa513@yahoo.com, I'd be pleased to hear from you! 

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 café 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!