Week 27/52 : Sing me an island lullaby

Yes, yes … another dippy.  I seem to be making a lot of those this year.

This was taken over the summer when our family went to Boracay (blog entry to follow). It was a little last minute getaway.  My aunts were visiting from California and we figured it was the perfect excuse to go :)

I’ve still got a couple of self portraits to post from last summer, but I haven’t had time to sit down and edit them properly. It’s the second week of classes and I’m still trying to adjust to my schedule. Hopefully in a few more weeks I’ll be able to get some free time and catch up on this project.

Thank you to Ckloy for being patient and helping me with this shot :)

(Title inspired by the lyrics of Jump Right In by Zac Brown Band)

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Week 26/52 : Chase your dreams instead of running from your fears

A simple self portrait. I shot and edited this in early July but forgot all about it. I’m now 6 weeks behind on this project. I have 2 other shots that I’ve finished editing, but I keep forgetting to upload them as well.

Classes have started again. It’s been 4 months since I last taught a class, it feels a little weird to stand and talk in front of a group of people again. I’m sure I’ll adjust soon, probably in a week or so. Right now I’m trying to fix my sleeping schedule. I’ve gotten so used to sleeping so late and waking up around 9am. I have an 8am lecture this semester, which means I need to train myself to get up around 6am again. Gah~

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Bangkok Shopping Experience

In a previous entry, I talked about how our family spent Christmas in Bangkok.  I spent a lot of time going shopping, and promised that I would make a separate entry about that.  So here it is :)  A little late, but what did you expect.

I mentioned in my previous entry that our hotel was located in the Pratunam area, which was awesome.  The hotel we usually stay at in Bangkok requires us to take a taxi to get to Pratunam, but this year our parents thought it would be better for us to get a hotel in the area itself.  Best idea ever!  Ezra, my mom and I were so excited that as soon as we got there, we decided to check out the shops around us.  It was pretty late at night and we were tired from travelling so we only allowed ourselves 2 hours to walk around.  In that short amount of time I ended up with 5 dresses and 2 earrings.

This was what the street outside our hotel looked like:

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Lots of little tents/shops.  And lots of people.  Sometimes I forget that these shops are located along the road, and I would get startled when a car honks or drives really close to me.

Sometimes Ezra and I would venture further and check out the streets a few blocks away from our hotel.

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Shops everywhere!  This was on the sidewalk so we didn’t have to worry about getting run over by speeding taxis

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But we did have to be careful not to get carried away by the crowd.  Don’t let this picture fool you.  I had to wait a while to get a shot without that many people because I wanted to show you guys the shops.  In reality, the place looked more like this:

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There were times when I had to just stand still and wait for everyone to pass because it was so crowded

I mostly bought clothes but they had other interesting stuff there too

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Like these cute pouches.  I bought my Instagram pouch here for only 50 Baht.

 

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Powerbanks for only 100 Baht

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Adorable phone cases.  Most of them were for the iPhone though :(  Sucks because they had so many designs I wanted.  (I found a Khuntoria case here.  WGM FTW!)

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There were also plenty of cute accessories there.

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Book Review : Veiled Innocence

veiled innocence

I have to say I’m in love with Ella Frank’s writing.   I’ve never read any of her other works before, but now I’m probably going to have to check them out.  Reading Veiled Innocence was like putting together a puzzle in my mind, it was very fascinating.  It alternates from past to present events, therefore readers only get bits and pieces of the story at a time.  The book starts in the present, so you know where Addison has ended up, but you have no idea how she got there, and you just can’t help but read on to find out.  At the same time, the point of view changes between Addison and Mr. McKendrick, so readers get an idea of what goes on in their minds.  I couldn’t put the book down because I couldn’t wait to see how everything unfolded.

I should probably mention that this book belongs to the student-teacher romance genre.  I love reading forbidden romance novels, and although I don’t necessarily gravitate towards student-teacher romance, it seems to be a pretty popular genre and I’ve read several of them already.  I know it’s probably not a good thing for me to admit that I enjoy student-teacher romance novels, considering that I’m a teacher myself.   Believe me when I say that my love for the genre does NOT translate to real life.  I know it’s wrong and definitely unethical.  I have never gotten a desire to be romantically involved with a student, nor do I think it’s okay for other teachers to do so.  I understand that sometimes a teacher will form a special bond with their students and might end up dating one of them.  As a teacher, I think this is only acceptable if (a) the student has passed the class/has graduated, and (b) you are not breaking any laws (example : dating a minor).  If for any reason the teacher and (former) student feels like they have to hide the relationship, then that probably means that they know that they’re doing something wrong and should probably stop.  I believe that true love is beautiful and it should be celebrated and not hidden.  But, this doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy forbidden romance novels :D

(Technically you could say that I’ve been in a student-teacher relationship before.  My boyfriend and I were batch-mates during college, but I graduated before he did.  I started teaching immediately after that, so for a while, I guess you could say that we were a student-teacher couple.  We were both Applied Physics majors, and after I graduated I taught in the same department he was studying in.  But I don’t think this counts since everyone knew that we were already a couple before I started teaching.  Besides, he was never MY student since he was already finishing up his thesis at the time, and I was a new instructor so I only handled general service courses.)

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Week 25/52 : Some infinities are bigger than other infinities

I’m pretty sure that most of you already know which book inspired my self portrait this week. I saw this shirt being sold at the ToyCon last June and I knew I had to get it. You guys know that I’m a fan of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars. I loved both the book and the movie. (You can read my review of the book HERE.) I actually shot a self portrait last year that was also inspired by the book (which you can see HERE), right after I finished reading it. When the movie came out last month, I knew I had to watch it. Ezra and Ckloy had no interest in seeing it but fortunately I was able to get Amie to watch it with me. Having read the book, I already knew what was going to happen but I still ended up crying my eyes out at the theater. I actually think that reading the book made me more vulnerable because I knew what was coming. Even during the happy moments, all I kept thinking about was the ending.

I usually prefer comedies over drama, but I really enjoyed the movie. If you guys haven’t seen it then you might want to check it out. Give the book a try too if you have time :D

(My title came from one of my favorite quotes in the book)

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INSTABITS : July 2014

It’s a brand new month, which means it’s time for my July Instagram dump :)

This was Ckloy’s pasalubong from Texas :D  Most of my free time has gone into making good use of this baby. I’m currently playing Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends.  Ezra and I have loved that game since Bam introduced it to us almost a decade ago.

Date outfit for when Ckloy and I watched Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Brinks has been complaining that she never sees mocha ice cream at the grocery anymore, so when I found this,  I had to share it with her XD

My hair got some much needed TLC this month.  I used to go for treatments every month back when I had colored hair, but ever since I went back to my natural color my hair has been healthier and I haven’t needed it as much.

This is what my bedroom ceiling currently looks like thanks to Glenda. Read more about it in this entry.

Glenda aftermath at our house

There wasn’t much to do without electricity so I spent most of my free time reading ebooks.  This was one of the ones I finished this month, and I loved it!  It reminded me a lot of the Sea of Tranquility, which was my favorite book of 2013 :)  I wrote a review for it which you can read HERE.  (This was the first book in the More series. I tried reading the others but so far I don’t like them that much)

Since it took a week for electricity to be restored at our house, we would occasionally invade my uncle’s house in San Pablo so we can charge our devices and go online.

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Thailand 2013 : Indra Regent, Siam Paragon and Lady boys

For Christmas this year (well … last year, since this entry’s 7 months late), our family went to Bangkok.  The last time Ezra and I were there was back in 2009, so we were pretty excited.  Thailand will always hold a special place in our hearts because back when we lived in Myanmar, there were no direct flights from the Philippines and we would always have to spend the night in Bangkok.

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This is the second year in a row where we spent Christmas day at the airport :D We went there early because last time we flew on Christmas day, it was very crowded
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We were pretty relaxed this time since we had plenty of time to spare before our flight.  We took advantage of the airport’s free wifi to surf the net while waiting.

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After a peaceful 3-hour flight, we landed safely in Bangkok.

We booked a shuttle to take us to our hotel, but the van that was supposed to pick us up got stuck in traffic due to the protests.  Fortunately the company had this little lounge where we could wait.

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Garcia girls on their iPads.  What were we so busy with?

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Why Candy Crush of course.

After a short wait our shuttle arrived to take us to our hotel, the Indra Regent Hotel.

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My parents have stayed in this hotel countless times before because of work, but this was Ezra’s and my first time there.

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It was Christmas day so naturally they had this huge Christmas tree in the lobby

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Hallway leading to our room

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My parents booked the Lanna Suite, which was at the very end of the hallway.

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Ezra posing with the beautifully carved door to our suite

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Inside, there’s this little foyer.  If you turn right at the end you have Ezra’s and my room, and to the left is my parents room

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Ezra and I were surprised by how spacious our room was.  You could probably fit two more beds in there.  Plus, we had a queen sized bed each.  Plenty of room to roll around while we sleep :D

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The master’s bed room was even fancier of course.  But it had a lot furniture so they didn’t have as much space to move around.  They had a vanity table, a sofa set and a four poster bed.

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Cute mirror
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The master’s bathroom also had a shower and a tub :D (Our room only had the shower)

Since we haven’t had dinner yet, we decided to walk around outside and look for a place to eat after dropping our luggage off.  Our hotel is actually connected to a shopping mall, which has a nice food court, but they close at around 6pm. It was pretty late so most of the restaurants were already closed too.  We did see lots of these carts selling Thai street food.  We were pretty tempted to try them, only we didn’t have plates or utensils we could use.  I think these are mainly made for take-out customers.

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Eventually we found a small family-owned restaurant nearby that was still open and we had our dinner there.

Afterwards my dad went back to our hotel to rest, but we girls wanted to get a head start on our shopping.  We were in Thailand after all!  Fortunately our hotel is located right in the center of Pratunam Market.  It’s every shopper’s dream to have so many shops outside their doorstep.

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Everything was so affordable.  And we didn’t even have to bargain that much.  I ended up buying 5 dresses and 2 earrings in the two hours we spent there that evening.

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My mom wasn’t that interested in shopping for clothes but she did get excited when she saw these little buko juice.  They’re her favorite.  I expected them to taste like a regular coconut water but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how sweet and delicious they were.  I’m not sure if it’s a special kind of coconut or they did something to it, but it was super yummy.  Ezra and I got soon got addicted to these too and we’d buy one every night.

(I was planning on sharing scenes from our shopping adventures in this entry, but I realized how long it was getting so I decided to make a separate entry.  You can read it HERE.)

The next day my mom had to work, so she stayed in the room while my dad showed Ezra and I around the mall.  But before that, we had breakfast at our hotel first.

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The breakfast room was open air, which we enjoyed because the weather was nice and cool.  We just had to make sure to keep a close eye on our food because there were lots of birds in the area waiting to steal them off our plates.

While we were eating, one of the staff came up to us to tell us that we were in the wrong breakfast room.  She told us that since we booked a suite, we should have had our breakfast at their second breakfast room.  We were almost finished eating so we told them we’d rather not transfer.  But after we were done, we decided to go down to the other breakfast room to see what they offered.

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Unlike the other breakfast room, this one was indoor.  I expect that the guests appreciate that during the summer, but since it was December, it didn’t really make a big difference.  And to be honest, the buffet was pretty much the same as the other breakfast room, except this one had an omelette station and bacon.  (Well, I suppose for some people the presence of bacon is enough reason to upgrade….).  But honestly, we preferred the other breakfast room because it was more spacious.

My parents told us that the hotel had a koi pond nearby, so we decided to go and check it out

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We passed by the pool on our way there.

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Ezra and I got all excited when we saw the all the huge fish in the Koi pondIMG_5522a (6)

Look how big they are!  Some of them were longer than our arms!

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After playing with the fish, my mom went back to the room to work and my dad took us to go shopping at Indra Square, which was connected to our hotel.  (You can access it via the 2nd floor).  I picked up a dress and a phone case there.

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Ezra found this giant lolly and she convinced my dad to get it for her.  It took her three days to finish the entire thing.

My parents wanted us to see this mall called Siam Paragon, so we decided to have our lunch there.  We went back to our room to pick my mom up and grabbed a cab to take us there.  It’s actually walking distance from our hotel, but we were really hungry so we wanted to get there faster.

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We found this interesting sign on our cab window.  It’s an illustration of things that aren’t allowed inside the vehicle. Some of them were very clear, but some were confusing.  Ezra and I were laughing at the  the one the middle because we figured it meant “no hanky panky in the cab”, but my mom’s convinced that it meant “no fighting”, lol.  What do you guys think?  Also, the one on the far right has us stumped.  Is that a sheep or a goat?  Ezra says it looks like a ghost.  So “no haunting the cab”?

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