Behind the Mask

What kind of mask do you hide behind?

Which color is most comfortable?

Which of those personalities make you feel most alive?

Would the world love you for what’s lies underneath?

Would you someday accept who you truly are?

Snippets and cut outs of colored cardstock from @boysenpaintsphilippines paint swatch catalogue.


𝑮𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝑩𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒎𝒔 and Golden Truths

I learned how spontaneity is invaluable when it comes to art. Just like water, its fluidity causes one to learn to ‘go with the flow’. Never knowing what the piece is going to look like next, always anticipating how unusual the next brush stroke would be – or how the whole thing would turn out.

Swipe to see process photos.

At first I was going for an abstract geometric piece.

See the three women etched into the gold? So I decided to try women empowerment…

..and then it looked off

..and so I obviously covered it in up – badly. I was going for a forlorn lady with purple tears – which I believe looks more like two mutilated butterflies on a golden puddle.

I covered the rest of the mess in gold paint and decided to turn them into flowers instead.

Painting is therapeutic. I’ve had a lot of time to ponder on some realities.

In life, we never get the whole picture – and we never will. There’s a certain morbidity and comfort in this truth. That no one really knows wtf they’re doing now, or what in the world would happen next year. You could be filthy rich now, and a mess tomorrow. You can be struggling now, and victorious sooner than you know it.

We’ll never know the whole picture. So let’s just make sure that we’re on the path to making a good one. At the end of our lives, we’ll all take a step back to either admire our works, or cringe with disdain..




Facebook Kon-Mari

Over the course of time (or maybe it’s just me getting older) I’ve learned that there is a certain kind of relief that comes with de-cluttering. After reading Gretchen Rubin’s book (which I must say, is a definite must-read for those of us who feel like we’re going on an endless loop-de-loop in life) I instantly followed one of her steps to a happier life.

One of which is cleaning up my closet. Who would’ve known that something as simple as this could boost one’s mood? One day as I reveled at the towering piles of clothes I’ve collected over the past..decade; I realized that my stuff mainly fall into these categories:

a) Clothes that looked nice in the dressing room mirror, but looked like something I’d never actually wear.

b) Worn-out clothes that I seemingly could NOT live without – talk about that solid black v-neck top that I wore whenever I was too lazy to put an outfit together – which was pretty much 80% of my life.

c) Hand-me-downs which had so much sentimental value.

d) Clothes that have gotten too tight as you know, metabolism *ehem* slows down drastically as years go by

e) Vacation shirts.

f) Bras that are over-stretched and worn out

g) Gym clothes that always made me want to wear them to the gym – out of guilt

h) My art stash. This list is unending. Honestly. I couldn’t tell you how much I’ve hoarded over the past years. I’m a sucker for cute stuff.

The day I let go of these, is the day I felt the weight being lifted off my shoulders. The guilt for not using my gym clothes. The sadness that my 20-something clothes could no longer fit. The heaviness of seeing stuff I could never use on a daily basis, brought a tiny bit of either remorse every day I crack open my cabinet.

I gave some of my stationery away to some of my -awesome- Instagram followers, with the hopes that I could spread the happiness those things brought me at one point in my life. I’ve donated some of my clothes to people I know would appreciate them, and some I’ve sold in a thrift market (where the proceeds are donated to Rescue Dogs).

In a way, this has brought a kind of release for me. I felt a sense of lightness that the pressure of actually USING the things I’ve bought was gone. At the same time I was glad that I’ve made others happy in turn.

I’m writing about this today, not because of my closet clean up. It’s actually about de-cluttering my Facebook Friends List.

Some things we keep. Some things we leave behind.

It was one night when I couldn’t fall asleep, I decided to delete every one who didn’t fall under all of these catergories:

  1. Have we spoken (chat or in any means possible) in the last 6 months?
  2. Have we seen each other within the past 2 years?
  3. Have we worked together and are we still working together in a project/business?
  4. Has he/she said anything to make me feel incompetent or unusually uneasy?

I realized that Facebook has NOT connected us to each other. Social Media has actually brought people further apart, fueled and brought down by emotions of inadequacy, insecurity, entitlement and the desperate need to have MORE. More travels, more photos to post, more likes, more followers, more subscribers, more, more, more.

This generation has forgotten what it is like to have ENOUGH.

This generation has forgotten how to make friends. To think you would already call someone you recently met, looked up and ‘added’ on Facebook, a FRIEND. It’s quite different to the traditional way of making friends where two people meet, shake hands, engage in small talk, move on to deep conversations over coffee, read each other’s facial expressions and gestures. Back then we read people for what we see them, how they talk down to their subtlest body language. Now all we read are blatant Facebook Status Updates, selfies and (the cause of all self-pity, the ever famous) #HumbleBrags.

That is not the type of friendship that makes us people. That type of friendship negates the mission of social media to bring us together.

With all of these thoughts and realities swimming in my head, I deleted my Facebook “friends” one by one that night. (Trust me it was a long process of removing one by one, there is no easy way to multiple-delete, in case you’re thinking of trying). I felt that I needed to let go of the people I accepted and added for the sake of calling them an ‘acquaintance’ or a ‘friend’ or even just ‘someone I met in the grocery store’.

Currently, all that I use Facebook for is to get updates on the trends, art, business, news and of course – DOGS. I’m sure this may spark different views from readers. Please note that my choice to de-clutter my Facebook List was to free myself of excess baggage and memories I wanted to move on from (which is not by any means to “delete” people out of my life, but to re-live the traditional sense of friendship – not by adds, likes or comments. But rather by what it actually means).

Self-care is important, Self-care is real.

My friends list shrank from 1,000+ to 83. There is no shame in it. I doubt half of my friends list would notice, though. I was a tad worried that many of my friends might get upset with me had they found out one day that I ‘unfriended’ them. But I knew that if people are truly our friends, a man-made social media website shouldn’t be the basis of our friendship. I’m not even Facebook friends with my boyfriend and it doesn’t make us any less in-love. Unfriending my family does not make us any less of a family, either.

It doesn’t matter who we’re friends with on Facebook. It matters who we’re friends with in real life.

If social media is the very core of our self-esteem and social well-being… Then what has our world come to?

Think about it. Does Facebook actually Spark Joy?


Snuggly Pets Philippines

I am incredibly thrilled to share with you guys a collab with possibly THE HOTTEST shop for 100% pet-parent-approved items in the Metro. I’m talking about everything customized just for fur your pet, from life-size plushies, leashes, dogtags and keychains! Oh my paws, it’s the one thing I never regret spending on (’cause that’s just how much we love our pets, don’t we?)

My mom’s Yorkshire Terrier, Candy passed away last 2018 and it left a heart-breaking memory as we watched the little one fight and lose the battle after less than a week. On my mom’s birthday this March 14th, I believed that having a replica of Candy would be a way to embrace the loss, but to remember the beautiful memories our girl has left us with.

Snuggly Pets

I came across Snuggly Pets on Shopee as I was trying to find the perfect shop to print Candy’s photo out for me on a pillow. I’m so glad David reached out to me, and was so kind to make one for Sushi as well.

So without further ado *drumroll* here they are!

Sushi is possibly THE happiest she has been this week even after all the road trips, because now she knows how obsessed mommy is with her special she is to mommy!

Snuggly Pets launched their new product 14x14inch Pet Portrait Pillows, and we are so honored to have been the first to have one! This takes me back to when Sushi was a pup, lounging about all day beside my giant teddy bear. It’s an amazing feat, as their company strives to create a solid, tangible memento that we, pet owners could look back to and remember every milestone and  memory that we have shared with our pets.

Their awesomeness doesn’t end there though, here are more things they can customize for you! What do you think of a personalized collar + leash set +  dog tag set? It’s certainly a must-have! You’ll never lose this at the groom shop again – they’ll know exactly who this belongs to. Oh, I couldn’t get over the excitement of taking Sushi out for a walk in this.

The back-side of the dog tag has a neat name and mobile printed on it too. Sushi is clingy as can be when we go out, but sometimes when she’s off-leash she gets carried away. This is a perfect addition for those of us who need to be *extra* sure that our beloved pets don’t stray or get lost.

Want one of your own? Already thinking of which photos to have immortalized?

I don’t blame you, I was sooooo damn excited too. 🙂 This is….
LEGEN… – wait for it – ….DARY!

So here’s a little more about Snuggly Pets and how they turn your dreams into reality.
(Psst…We’ve teamed up to give you a 10% OFF discount code on your orders! See below for more deets)

MAKE YOUR PICK! Their pillows come in THREE sizes, and more to come!
Check out their NEW 14x14in pillows launching this March 2019!

Look at all their creations, aren’t they just precious?


PHP 650 
Transform your favorite pet into an adorable Pillow Pet! Just send us a single high-resolution image of your pet, and we’ll cut out your pet and create an adorable cat pillow, dog pillow, or animal pillow out of it.  The Pet Pillow measures 15 inches on the longest side and is colored black on the back side.  Pet Pillows make the best gift to remember your pet by.  Order one today!

PHP 2,700
The Giant Snuggly Pet measures 40 inches on its longest size and stands around half the size of an adult. The enormous size will make this pillow pet the center of attention wherever you choose to display it.

Php 180
Carry your pet everywhere with you as a keychain pet! Send us a picture of your pet and we’ll transform it into a miniature-size 4 inch Pet Pillow keychain. The picture is printed on both sides. The pillow keychain comes with a keychain ring so that you can attach it to your keys, to your bag, or hang it anywhere you want. You can also choose to have a suction cup instead of the keychain ring so that you can hang it in your car window or any other glass window.

PHP 280

Our customized round and heart-shaped pet tags can be customized with any photos or message you want.  We print on both sides of the tag.  Put your contact number on the back of the tag in case your pet gets lost.

I’ve actually done some research and spoke to travelling pet owners, and gathered that one can only bring their dogs on board the plane – on coach – given that the said dog is certified as a therapy dog and trained as such, AND is flying overseas. Sad news is that we can’t bring them on local flights, but now, Snuggly Pets has come with (sort of) a solution to our dilemma.

For those pet owners (like myself) who have terrible sepanx and who would want to bring their pets EVERYWHERE (which aren’t pet-friendly — BOO), Snuggly Pets should be hailed a SAVIOR.

I can’t have enough of those puppy-dog eyes, so here’s some more!

Personally, the beauty behind these is the fact that every photo, every detail and how the workmanship gives justice to the personality and the uniqueness of our pets. In the littlest ways, these are the perfect keepsake, gift and memento we can have to remind us of our furry friends.

Snuggly Pets is launching a new 14×14 in personalized pet pillow this March. Along with their new product, we’re proud to share our collab by giving you guys a unique promo code for your first order!


Snuggly Pets

I’d love to see what you’ll have made, tag us at #Snapperdoodles or #SnugglyPetsPh!

Snuggly Pets Website

Phone / Viber: 0927-452-8620

(Photos and copyrighted media taken from Snuggly Pets’ website, Facebook and/or Instagram)



The Bluebird of Happiness (P.2)

A continuation to my previous blog post about my current read:



I spent countless days wondering why my life is going. My doctor couldn’t answer life’s purpose for me, nor can a Sunday Church Service magically tell me that. I figured only I could, and the Happiness Project reiterates that there is a difference between people who LOVE their work and people who are simply hardworking. People who actually, genuinely, sincerely love their work tend to pour more enthusiasm and intensity into what they do.

The author has helped me find what I love to do by a simple question: What do you do on your spare time? What did you do enjoy doing when you were younger?

I paused to think for a bit. What is fun for ME?


1. I love, love, love spending a quiet time alone at a coffee shop with good music and the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee wafting through the air. Reading a good book, writing down my thoughts on old-fashioned paper and reflecting about life. This is when I feel most inspired – a really big sort of an “I-can-change-the-world” kind of inspired.

2. It fills me with a sense of warmth when I spend time with my pets. I have had Sushi, a sweet, adventure-seeking Maltipoo (Maltese-Poodle), for a year and a half now; and I believed it was about time for another source of joy. I bought Summer the kitten (at four months, she’s the sweetest little thing. A British Shorthair cat breed, sold to me without papers, but it doesn’t matter because I loved her the moment I saw her). Knowing that you have a purpose in something-someone else’s life. Feeding them, giving them lots of love and care, it really does help boost my mood when they give back love in return. By this I mean lots of furry cuddles, I love it!


Here’s little Summer, the newest addition to our family!

3. On my spare time, I enjoy window shopping,

29663913_10160308595705525_1910296982_n.jpgor in this generation, online window-shopping (what’s that called?). I am thrilled when I see unique new things on the market. I also happen to have a knack at remembering item prices, making it easy for me to compare the price of one item from one store to another.

4. When I was younger, I don’t remember doing anything else apart from drawing, really. I draw during class, I draw at home, I doodle during Sunday Service, I draw through meetings. That’s pretty much what defines me and what I truly enjoy.

5. TRAVEL! I love it. I’ve been a junior jet setter since I was three years old. I love seeing new places and it fills me with overwhelming joy when I see new places, discover new cultures and indulge in unfamiliar dishes all over the world.


It took me these three bullet points before I realised that I am already exactly where I should be. At BARKINGHAM PET GROOMING SALON,  I work day in and day out with dogs, I’m surrounded by people of similar interests, and colleagues who I now consider as my family. I am able to use my purchasing “ability” for the shop, and by thinking out of the box (and hating to see the shop become JUST an ordinary grooming salon), I put up a cafe to serve the waiting customers.

Pets, friends and coffee. Barkingham, I realize, is my bluebird of happiness.



Here’s a quick tour through the shop, in case you’ve never been here yet. (Oh, please do come by with your pets, I’d love to meet you guys!)


I’m not one fond of a change when it comes to things I’m already used to, such as waking up at 7:30am in the morning, eating only after I’ve fed Sushi, things like that. Rubin speaks of embracing change in terms of opening yourself to try new things. So I’ve made a list of my own to live by this year, even just to TRY.

  1. TRY BOXING (AGAIN) – I’ve tried this and quitted on my second day a few years back because of the intense post-work out body aches. Maybe with a new set of goals I can do this with purpose this time (and not quit, hopefully).
  2. TAKE MORE PHOTOS – Sometimes they’re all we’ve got at the end of the day. It’s a way to preserve not just the memories, but the feelings associated with these keepsakes. Here are a couple of my travel photos, I’m making a mental note to have these developed as soon as possible. Alaska, Greece and Spain have been my favourites so far.

    PLAN A PARTY – I’ve  been giving this some thought because I’m not that all fond of planning my own party or much less being in a room full of people. The author mentions that it increases one’s happiness to be around people, and rekindle friendships and build stronger ties. So I’ll add this to the list as well, and plan a double party (for Sushi and Me) soon. Part of the source of happiness for this would come from the planning, and then half would be the actual event itself. I’m half excited and half scared, fingers crossed!



At the end of it all, GROWTH = HAPPINESS. During this time of reflection I realise, how much of a different person I am now than I was three years ago. The twenty-two year old me would be afraid to speak my mind, would be afraid to take chances and would fall into the guilt-trap when I happen to say “NO”. Now, I say “NO” with enough conviction, and in my own way, tread the path I want. It’s one thing to be spoiled, and a whole different thing to be brave enough to lead the life you choose. “You are one choice away from a different life”, this much is true.

I’ve learned to live independentIy, as costly as it might have been. I’ve learned to walk away from a group when I don’t belong.

Having been brought up in a family that communicates very little, I never learned to speak my mind or to express any sadness, anger or hurt. I’ve always kept to myself, my thoughts, my opinions and my desires until it turned me into a shrivelled shell of a person. It never occurred to me how important it is to step out of the shadows and be heard. Therapy has played its part in my growth, it has taught me to be more open, to allow the past to be the past. Amidst my recovery, it has also been my conscious decision to find ways to grow.

On my twenty-fifth year, I finally learned to express myself.  I cry when I need to let out some stored-up emotions. I’ve learned to get angry, likewise I have learned to let go.


A tree doesn’t grow through sunlight alone, it also needs plenty of air and water to flourish and become one that gives oxygen, fruit and shade to the people around it. Likewise, there are many ways to grow, through friendships, through books, through experience and so much more. Allow these things to help you grow, allow life to bring you to the best you can be.

Constantly be ready for change, be ready for growth but always, always remain true to who you are. Even if you’re like myself, a complicated mess of things. 😉







The Bluebird of Happiness (P.1)

With an all time high and newly energised by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, I started this morning with a feeling of newness.

I strolled through a park to a nearby Starbucks with spring through every step, the cold wind brushing my cheeks and the warm sunlight on my skin at 7am in the morning. Nothing came close to this feeling of freedom and contentment, well, not for a while now at least. For some reason I felt optimistic, more than I’ve ever been since January this year. I was excited for this day, I was excited to share all that I’ve learned from the book so far, and how it has turned my life around.


I’ve often seen this little blue book at the bookstores. Wondering with interest as to why had always been one on the best-sellers list. I never bothered to pick up the book, thinking it would be a nasty, preachy, wordy, self-help book. There came a point in my life though, when I wanted answers, I was looking for directions in this ever-so chaotic world, so one day I grabbed it and purchased it straight away. I didn’t regret a single penny that I spent on the book that day.

The Happiness Project, has gives a wholistic view of how life could change for the better, with one’s own conscious choices and decisions to do so, of course. It doesn’t work like a preachy Sunday sermon or a lengthy book going around in circles. Rubin’s book was straight to the point, and very down-to-earth. There’s a kind of practicality in it that makes us realise what we’re missing and what we could do better; as a friend, a spouse, a family member, and a whole person generally.

I lie in bed on most days, wondering how my life has ended up going around in circles. Wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. It didn’t sound like much, and I knew there should be more to life than such a routine. I’m sure we can all agree that we are destined for more than to live a life dictated by society, family, traditions and status quo. I wanted more, and that’s why I purchased The Happiness Project. I was hoping for a roadmap, no, a treasure map. True enough, halfway through it I can feel my spirits lifting, as my mind grasped the fact that I was never alone in the search for true happiness. Rubin answers the life questions we were all too afraid to ask. In truth, this book is a wake-up call, an invisible force to urge us all to get up, get out and be YOU.

I’ve always asked myself why I feel stuck on the first step of the ladder, never going another step higher as the days go by. Why am I stuck in this vicious cycle? Why didn’t I feel any progress?

The Happiness Project highlights baby steps we all can do to find ourselves. As “finding ourselves” is such a broad incomprehensible goal, Rubin lays it out for us by chapter, with achievable goals and rewarding results.

Here are the points that have changed my life today.



Declutter. It has hardly come to my attention -until just now, that each day I open my cabinet, there is a slight nagging at the back of my mind that I should wear that blouse I bought two years ago. Going through that everyday cause a kind of guilt that I needed less of in my life. That’s why Rubin went straight to cleaning out her closet, and she felt free of that tiny shopping-guilt.

I happen to love this tradition I call “Spring Cleaning” even though Spring isn’t a thing here in the Philippines. It’s that day of the year when I go thorough all the things in my 10×10 sqm room and decide if it’s a keep or a toss. I went straight to the task, removing everything from my shelves, tables and cabinets, and deciding which one was worth keeping.

We, girls often have this habit of keeping clothes-we- actually-wear, clothes-we-hope-to-wear, and clothes-we-won’t-wear. I opened my cabinet to see all the impulse-buys I’ve made over the past years. Seeing that I had tons of clothes I just kept for the sake of it did give me that guilt, that feeling that I need to wear it soon-just because. Eventually, I mustered up the strength to finally let go. I was surprised myself when I ended up with two extra-large garbage bags full of items and clothes that I didn’t really need, at the end of the day, I decided to give them to charity.


HOARDING 101. My room has always been the only place where I can express myself. I can’t quite distinguish if it’s a good clutter or a bad clutter. Anyway, I’m happy the way it is, and it very well defines ME. A mix of artistic, adventurous and quirky.

Pinned to my wall are photos from my travels, a large world map to exude my sense of adventure, polaroids of my dog – Sushi, postcards from all of the places and countries I’ve visited (a colourful mishmash of cards I hand-picked from Greece, Spain, Tokyo, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, Paris, and more).


I am a fond collector of miniatures, figurines an memorabilia from various countries. Photos are a great way to remember not just the adventure, but the feelings associated with them. I kept a postcard from our recent cruise to Korea, and I couldn’t forget the nostalgia, the sense of comfort and enjoyment it brought me up to this day.




“THERE IS NO LOVE, ONLY PROOFS OF LOVE” (P. Reverdy) It’s often the little things we fail to notice, yet it’s the little things that matter. They say that expectation is often the poison of relationships. As a girlfriend I admit that I occasionally fall into the trap of expecting much from my significant other: expecting him to give me a ride home, or writing love letters in reply to the ones I wrote him (a year ago). Sometimes people love differently, and show it in their own way. I accept him for being that guy who shows his love silently, simply and yet genuinely true.


An illustration of love I drew quite a number of years ago.

As a big sister to two (annoying, smart, not-so-little) brothers, I do miss those summer days when we would stay in and do simple arts and crafts together while the dogs lay asleep beside us. Those little moments won’t happen again, those memories shall remain memories. Some say we never go through the same road twice, on the contrary one writer exclaims, we never go through the same road once. At one point we will always be a different person, at a different place in life, at a different scenario. “The days are long and the years are short” I will get out of my way now to say that I do miss those days. I hadn’t realised how much those meant until now that they’re too old or too far away to spend time together as a complete family again.


It struck me how simple yet profound this principle is. My generation and the ones to come, (admittedly I am also a victim to this) have a low self-esteem because of the standards set by others; whether it be the social media, movies, peers or family. Furthermore, the number of “LIKES”, “COMMENTS” or “SHARES” do NOT dictate who your worth. The only person who can define you, is you. Rubin mentions a quote by Erasmus: “The chief happiness of a man is to be what he is..”


I admit I’ve always been ashamed of who I am, for being that finance major who never had a inkling about math, for being an introverted wreck, for the inability to express my emotions vocally since childhood and the fact that I am an emotionally unstable person (currently under therapy). It’s hard to love a person like myself, I have accepted this fact since day 1, and I’m surprised there are a handful of people who have provided me with the kind of love I’ve never had nor deserved.

Rubin was right about this: “People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think they do” I have long been afraid of gatherings, and opt out of group events because of the fear of being different. I’m afraid to be judged, to be noticed and then be the subject of gossip. I learned it the hard way, that you can never please anyone, no matter how what kind of wallflower you are. They’ll notice you anyway, gossip about you anyway, make up stories too. If you’re lucky, they won’t notice you at all. In the end their opinions about you don’t make up your identity, that’s your job, not theirs.

I am often plagued by my inner dialogues such as: “Go there and mingle! You need to get out there!”, “But I don’t know what to say!”, “Find a common interest and get to it!”; thus leading to lower self esteem when I don’t do what my mind tells me to because I personally enjoy being on my own. The Happiness Project reinstates my stand that you don’t have to have the same interests as others, you don’t have to go with the flow if it isn’t YOU. I, for example enjoy the company of dogs more than people for the reason that I am fascinated that they have a language heard only by those who listen well enough.



While on the other hand there are people, like my boyfriend who can mingle with a crowd like it’s no big deal! Some people can work for years in a closed-office environment, while it would drive me nuts to sit in one place for hours. Everyone is different, and it changed my life when I began to accept that I don’t have to be like everyone else, I don’t have to enjoy what others enjoy, but be at peace being ME.

“In many ways I wish I were different…” but I have learned to “embrace what IS”.

29829236_10160308098305525_783679629_oWe are all unique individuals, beautiful and interesting in our own way. The key to happiness is to accept oneself, and be free of the standards posed by society. That’s true freedom, that’s true happiness.

I’ve divided my blog post into two sections, partly because it’s quite long, and partly because I can’t wait to have this post up right now and share Rubin’s goldmine of wisdom in this book. (THE HAPPINESS PROJECT)

I’ll be working on the second part soon!





Stationery Haul-idays!


Christmas is in the air! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with (more than) a room-full of colors? I was giddy with delight as I stepped into the SM Stationery section was bursting with delightful colors!


PRO TIP for Stationery Addicts like myself:

  1. DO bring a basket. If you’re a hoarder and a rainbow fanatic like me, a double decker trolley would be much recommended.
  2. DO NOT set a budget. Hey, it’s Christmas! The perfect time to splurge as a way to say “Thank You” to the people who have made your 2017 extra special. (And of course you can get yourself a little something along the way, too. You deserve it, girl! ) *wink*

I was eyeing these black and white tote bags. These would make perfect personalized gifts for those closest to your heart. Just grab a set of fabric paint or fabric markers and you’re all set to make your gift, a masterpiece from the heart.

Ohhh those colors. I had to resist grabbing all those candy-colored wall plaques. The inspirational ones were among my top picks. I’ll post the rest of my haul on Instagram, check it out here: LITTLE GIRL WANDERS


Did I just see a unicorn? I’ve been obsessing over lights since I moved down from my attic-studio. I spent half of my moolah mostly on home decor recently (much to my wallet’s regret). These unicorn lights are the more affordable version, compared to those I’ve seen from Typo Shop. It’s pretty much the same thing and costs less, so why not?

SM Stationery prides itself for having a little something for everyone, check out the latest stocking-stuffers they have for everyone!

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Here’s my recent haul from the stationery section. My favorite is the rub-on sticker that says “Collect Moments Not Things” and I plan to stick it somewhere in my room! The toiletry kit and travel pillow are such cuties, perfect for my upcoming December travels, more on this soon!

I was never fond of cats, and a cat-lover was the last thing I thought I’d be. But I guess it just takes one cat to steal your heart: I rescued a stray kitten from the streets one day and my life was never the same again. That’s why I just had to get my hands on this pink kitty-cat bag – because it’s pink, too- duh! Oh, I absolutely love a pastel-themed Christmas! Don’t you? 🙂 What are your Christmas gift ideas? Show me your Pastel Christmas hauls and be sure to tag me at @littlegirlwanders!


Have a merry, merry Christmas shopping! 🙂




About Coffee and the South

We all need a break once in a while. Sushi here has been itching for some time out of the hustle and bustle of busy-‘ol Manila. The road trip was a quick one as we drove steadily down to Alabang early in the morning. Here we are hanging out at Starbucks for breakfast with my baby girl. She loved the cold Greek Yogurt cup they serve!


If you want my honest opinion on their Americano though, I’d say McDonald’s is way better – by a lot. I’m not too fond of Starbucks when it comes to coffee, as it seems too diluted for my taste.

The best places for coffee for me (whose budget isn’t a far stretch):

  1. Costa Coffee and Seattle’s Best. They make their coffee just right, with the blend of Espresso and milk right on fleek.
  2. McDonalds (perfect for those who are on a budget and fond of straight black coffee).
  3. Barkingham Pet Cafe (@barkinghampetcafe) – of course, where I can bring Sushi along with no fuss. No skimping on the espresso right here, I’ll tell you the beans are the secret. (Will blog about this soon!)
  4. Afters Espresso and Desserts. They take their coffee business seriously.
  5. Craft Coffee Revolution. Always the first in mind when it comes to the entire beans to brew process. They roast, brew and serve the best of the best.
  6. St. Marc. Well, not the best but the Vietnamese Coffee kept me up til sunrise.


On a hot day, thankfully Evia Lifestyle Center was (seemingly) open-air, yet air-conditioned. Lovely, lovely place to survive the Philippine heatwave, especially for the pets.


Evia was certainly a place perfect for lovers of all things fun and whimsical like myself. From the brightly colored buildings to the amazing display of flowers in Happy Magnolia and the fantastical ambiance of Another Story; Evia is certainly a must-visit. It is a bit far from Manila, with a one-and-a-half hour journey, but it’s definitely worth it for pet-owners seeking for an indoorsy-outdoorsy venue (Visit Evia and you’ll get what I mean).


Sushi loved the mini Carrot Cupcakes from The Cheesecake Fairy! They’re tiny little nuggets of joy for this little one. (I checked the ingredients, they said it contains no nuts, no raisins, just carrot, egg and flour.)

Where else have you and your furry friend been to? Share your experience with us and sign up on our newsletter below to win PAW-some prizes from the BarkinghamPH!


Love lots,

Sushi x Pearl


16 Signs You’re Not Actually An Introvert, You’re A Highly Sensitive Extrovert

By : Brianna Wiest

As everyone is both introverted and extroverted (we identify with the one we prefer more) it can be hard to weed through the nuances of what each of them mean. This is never as true as with someone who is a HSP, or a Highly Sensitive Person. HSPs are identified as being more emotionally intelligent, intuitive, creative and sensitive to stimuli than the average person. When these traits are combined with extroversion, they can create the illusion of introversion. It’s a tricky but important distinction to make, because the better you know yourself, the more you can build your life to fit who you really are.

1. You don’t actually mind being around other people, you just prefer to be around some more than others. Being around the wrong people exhausts you; being around the right ones makes you laugh a lot and feel understood.

2. You have one or two close friends who you see or speak to regularly. If you have one best friend you see every day, or a significant other who you love to be around as much as possible, the sheer quantity of time you spend around others might make you more extroverted than you think.

3. You want to be liked by everyone. This sounds unflattering, but is a common human desire. A deep longing to be loved or admired by many people often correlates to social anxiety or a fear of being unloved or disliked, especially in people who prefer to feel connected to others.

4. You love being in love. HSPs are true romantics (and are usually pretty sexual). This is because they are so attuned to their emotions; being in love is a true high for them. Of course, introverts can also love being in love, but extroverts tend to be more outwardly expressive of it.

5. If you take an honest look at your emotional patterns when you’re alone vs. when you’re with a community of friends or loved ones, you see that you thrive more in the latter. You think you are happier on your own, but you’re not really.

6. Your daydreams revolve around other people: impressing them, being loved by them and so on, rather than the high you would get by seeing and experiencing the world on your own.

7. You were an extroverted kid. If you think back to an average day in your childhood, you were always calling friends to come over or playing outside with other kids on your street. Then, at some point, you had some traumatic event(s) that lead you to prefer to be on your own. Being isolated is a coping mechanism for you, not something you are naturally inclined toward.

8. Your intuitive ability to pick up on what people are actually thinking and feeling can be uncomfortable, because you have a hard time just letting things go. On the other hand, it’s the same quality that makes you such a “people person” when you are being social.

9. You get really stressed when you feel like someone is self-sabotaging and you can’t help or fix them. This is what makes you want to isolate yourself – the fact that you are hyper-sensitive to other people’s problems, and often take them on as your own.

10. You actually connect with people rather easily. When you go out, you’re the life of the party, or the person all the baristas know at the coffee shops you regularly visit. The sheer ability to relate to or at least get along with most people well is more commonly a trait of extroversion.

11. You are a very loyal person, but only with someone you love a lot, or friends you are super close with. When you love, you love completely, and that person becomes a part of you. However, getting to that point is a longer-than-average process of opening up and building trust.

12. You love to go out and have fun, but in limited doses. When you’re out, you’re the life of the party. However, being around so much energy (and exerting so much energy) exhausts you, and you need a stealthy recovery period afterwards.

13. You “ghost” on people a lot, even friends. It’s sometimes hard to articulate that you need more time to yourself than other people do, and when people don’t respect that need (even if their intentions are good and they just want to see you) it’s sometimes easier just to make yourself inaccessible.

14. You’re more at ease around a large group of strangers than a smaller group of acquaintances. This is because there is no social obligation for you to impress, connect with or bond with a stranger. This is an equal display of your extroversion (not caring about being around others) as well as your HSP qualities (being drained by having to connect with people too much).

15. You prefer to work alone, but do something that other people have to relate to. For example, you’re a writer who works on their own, but who then shares that work to many people who consume and respond to it.

16. If you were to draw a picture of your dream life, you’d ideally have some combination of a loving partnership, a few great friends, or a close family. Your objective in life is not to stay away from people, but to choose the right ones, and keep them close to you no matter what.



In Escaping, I Found Myself

Over the past few months, my heart grew weary and my mind has been collecting cobwebs in the attic. In my journey, my hands stopped drawing and my feet stood still, with no inspiration nor optimism to keep going further. I felt lost without an identity.

My love, my best friend; grew more and more concerned for me as the days went by until all he knew would be best for me is to take a breath of fresh air and begin again.

Thus, our annual Tagaytay day trip came early this year, probably because I needed it sooner than I thought.

We headed out first thing in the morning, the long drive slowly easing me from all thoughts and worries hours I have left behind me in Manila. I smiled from ear to ear, my heart filled with happiness as the cold air of Tagaytay welcomed  us cheerfully through the car window.

At the stroke of lunchtime, we arrived at Bag of Beans, quite luckily to one of their branches that offered a spectacular view of the lake. The lush green garden was perfect to soothe a battered city-living soul such as ours. Nature does in fact, heal you in many ways.


Bag of Bean’s, Tagaytay

This hidden gem reminds me of the beauty of a simple life: surrounded by nature, delicious home-cooked meals and being in the company of people you love.


Beef Short Ribs

I’m personally not a foodie but these are well-deserved photos for a memorable outdoor date in Tagaytay. (We had Beef ShortRibs with Mashed Potato, Aligue Penne Pasta and not pictured is the Carmel Macchiato and Shepherd’s Pie)


Aligue Penne Pasta

Trips like these are often filled with more spontaneity than usual, this explains a lot how we got from land to lake right after a relaxing brunch. We’ve decided to visit the crater of Taal.


Upon reaching the shore, I sat under the little hut and watched the volcano from afar. I thought to myself, that’s where I’ll be in a few minutes, right up there. I watched the boatman’s skilful strokes as he readied the boat for our ride across the lake. Deep inside me, I was happy. Happy because of the simplicity, happy because of the adventure that lay ahead.

The weather wasn’t the prettiest, we had to brave the downpour of rain as we sped across the lake. Just one word to describe the 20-minute boat-ride ordeal – WET.

Despite getting off the boat soaking wet, it hadn’t dampened our spirits to see what waits for us atop the rocky volcano. We rode on horseback for thirty minutes (but we very much would’ve preferred hiking it all the way if it wasn’t raining), admiring the smell and feel of nature (while petting the horse I was riding, of course. I couldn’t resist!)

What was in store for us was much more than I had expected. I’ve been up the volcano once before, but I didn’t remember it being this beautiful. The clouds were low and heavy, the breeze was perfect, the view was nothing short of spectacular. Right that moment, I felt my heart bursting with happiness, leaping with the thrill of an adventure, and full of love for the person who did everything to bring me to where we were that moment.


I had half a day to explore, twelve hours to be exact. In those few hours, I haven’t felt more alive in my life. The little day trip has rekindled my passion, showed me that beauty lies in places where only few venture out to see.

In life, we often need to rest. Resting and sleeping are two different things. Sleeping is a way for your body to regenerate, to regain energy for your daily activities…

…while through resting, you allow your soul to breathe.

I don’t know what you are going through right now, I’m sure we each have our own giants to face. But I’ve learned that with a lot of love and support, we gain courage to become who we were meant to be. With someone to hold your hand through it all and someone who believes in you no matter what, you will grow wings to soar and to do so much more than you can imagine. All it takes is ONE PERSON who believes in you, unconditionally.

For whatever challenges you are facing, remember that sometimes  oftentimes…

The best view does come after the hardest climb.