May 14, 2015

Book Review: The Girl on the Train (some spoiler alert!)

Lately, I have been into reading mystery, thriller and suspense genre. Compared to before, I usually finish one book every 2-3 weeks or more. From last month, I finished 6 suspense novels and I just started my 7th book with this genre 2 days ago.  I think all books are worth the read but there is that one which sticks and deserves a review and that is this book right here. 

Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Published Date: January 13, 2015

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? via Goodreads
Well, it is indeed my favorite book this year. I liked it because it was fast paced. I could have finished reading this book in one day if I don't have that much mama duties and family errands. Three days is not bad for a wahm like me.

For the first few chapters of the book, the story took a little slow to really catch my concentration and when it did,I just cannot stop reading. The part where Rachel had a complete blackout, when she was tracing back memories after getting home with some bruises and a cut on her head, the same time Megan went missing, that's when I cannot stop reading.

For most of the thriller/suspense/mystery books that I have read lately, I usually have a clue on who the culprit is but not on this one. This is why it deserves a review despite my lack of vivid words to describe the emotions I got from this book.

I liked all the characters but my favorite is Scott. Those rise and fall emotions, felt it all for him. Although I did thought of him as a suspect, there was a reason for him to be, deep enough to commit murder. Let me now stop from here because if I don't, I might spoil the whole story for you which I tend to do when I make book reviews.

As to the part where it will forever change the way I look at other people's lives, not much impact on that for me, not really.

My Book Rating:

May 12, 2015

Side Trip: Manaoag Church

During summer time, having to stay in Baguio is the best thing to do for someone like me who's not a summer person. Yes the city does experience the heat but electric fan and halo-halo is the only thing you need, after all, the warm weather only lasts a couple of hours in a day. Going to the beach excites me yes but it's not a goal I would want to do every summer unlike most people I know.

During the past weeks, my facebook timeline is flooded with people clad in bikinis at the beach. I do envy them but not enough to make me want to save up and go. Not even enough to do that balik alindog program/plan. 

You know, I was thinking that maybe I was some kind of bug that just stays under a rock for most of her life during my past life. I swear, for most of the time when going out is really needed, I have to drag myself up just to prepare. 

So once in a while, if I go to the province or other places for that matter, I think it would be nice to blog about it. 

A good couple of weeks ago, me and pops and the kids and the siblings went to the province, to my papa's hometown. It was the first death anniversary of my aunt and with this includes a mini reunion. We stayed there for 5 days and oh my goodness the heat. Felt like I am being roasted. It did not stop me though from enjoying. The feeling of being roasted was worth it all if my family is having a good time.

After 5 days of lamon hits sa bahay ni lola, it was time for us to head back home. I did miss the cold cold weather plus there were some things that needs to be done asap so our vacation was cut short.

We dropped by Manaoag Church which we always do every time we visit Pangasinan. We might go to Manaoag again this coming weekend for fudra and the older sister's birthday (hopefully). If it does push through, I would take pictures of the interior and exterior part of the church . There were lots of improvement on the exterior that's worth sharing so for the mean time, enjoy the pictures of us being happy and grateful and making wishes on the floating candles.

May 11, 2015

On Brows and Looking Good

Another post just before the sister comes over for beer. It's Monday, give us some slack this early. So last year, around September, I remember so clearly because that was the time I started my TV internship at ABS. That was also the right time (I thought to myself) to be a little more conscious with my looks.

I know the basics in make up but I would not want to have it take most of my time in the morning so I opted to just choose something that I can maintain and needs a little touch up for the rest of the day and the brow was decided.

Me and bunso does not really care about how bushy our eyebrows were. We remember when the older sister was always fussing about her eyebrows. I did try to do something about my eyebrow when I was in high school but I got tired because it was so bushy and all over the place so I gave up. For the rest of my university years, I kept my looks on the down low. Like not putting any kolerete at all, not even lip gloss. My siblings and mom was always bothered about how I look. Was a bit annoyed that it bothers them when all I wanted was to be simple and invisible.

I just decided to change that outlook during my last semester. Got me conscious knowing that I will be working for a few months with reporters and people whom I occasionally see on TV.

A day before the start of my internship, it was a good timing as well because it was payday. Overnight, I changed how I looked. From having hair color, to buying beauty stuff such as bleaching creams, lip glosses and an eyebrow kit. I also bought a few pairs of jeans to change my not so form fitting ones.

It has been months since I started maintaining how I look. It was not like a major major transformation, I just did a few basic touch ups like the one for my eyebrow. I did the honor of taking a picture of my before and after eyebrow look.
If you do have the time to browse through my posts from years ago, I might have posted some pictures of me with my Betty LaFea brows. It was unappealing. I did realize how a good shaped eyebrow can make someone look pretty. It felt that way for me apart from the positive comments I got from people and bunso which I think influenced her to try the Brow Studio's brow design like I did. Every four weeks, I go back to the studio for my brow clean-up.

My brows is the only part of my face that needs spending monthly in order to look good. I do buy other beauty products for the face but it comes in jars and bottles that lasts for 2 months and anyway, clean-up is not that expensive. The part where I need to schedule an appointment and the need to prepare with no other appointment in mind is the one that I consider a nuisance. Aside from the brows, I started making sure to not go out if the hair is not blow dried. I also shampoo every after 2 days and I do take a shower the night before sometimes just to make sure that my hair is soft and manageable the next day. I also started doing the no-heat curls which mom loves because according to her, it looks natural. I also apply lotion every after shower and not just when I go out. I tried drinking 8 glasses of water, making efforts to not just look but feel good as well. 

Lessons learned: looking beautiful is not my goal but instead to look presentable. I do not like to over do and be stared at because of that obviously too much effort before going out. Looking presentable does draw respect from people and it feels nice to feel kyot once in a while. 

My Take on #TTCT

Yesterday was mother's day so I pampered myself on the couch with cups of instant coffee (creamy white) and with movie marathon for the rest of the afternoon with typhoon Dodong on the background. Included on the list was 2 missed episodes from Grey's Anatomy, Still Alice and the last one which supposedly was planned to be watched with the siblings weeks ago but never seemed to happen.

For people I know who watched it already, most made a comment abt the movie being non-sense, wala lang daw, in short, disappointing. Now that I have seen it, I can say that it was a good movie and I liked it, recommend it even.

Will not delve into details about the movie but this question I would want to talk about.

I know that you have been through this right? Coz I did. 

I remember those days when I was just dazed and emotional. I turn the radio on really loud. I would dance around the room after bottles of san mig apol, would jump up and down the bed and then would bawl for minutes, lots of minutes. I then would set a deadline when to get over that person. At first a month and then a couple of LOTS of months.

Now where am I pointing at you ask. 

May phase kasi para makalimot.

First phase.You feel and sometimes act crazy. Yung eksena at litanyang "tang-ina, ayaw ko na ng ganito. Hindi na ako magmamahal. Okay naman buhay ko bago siya dumating. Ano ang point ni Lord, bakit pinayagan niya pa 'to? Ilang beses na pero iniwas ko kasi I am too old for high school love life drama tapos ngayon na sinubukan ko ulit i-open heart ko, lecheng sinaktan naman. Wala pang explanation, iniwan lang ako sa ere. Xet." sabay lagok ng beer.

Believe it or not, I did go through this phase. Puts a smile on my face pag naalala ko eksenang yan. May pa stalk-stalk ka pa nga sa facebook diba? Yung nagtatalo isip mo kung ia-unfriend at block mo ba siya. Sabi ng ilan, immature ka daw pag ginawa mo yun. Agree ka naman pero parusa pag friends pa din kayo sa SNS kasi nakikita mong ang bilis niyang maka move on. Putting salt on the wound nga sabi nila. Pero wag ka, kinaya ko, yung stalking phase siguro e nag tagal ng more than a month. 

I did stop when I saw he's happy with someone else na may bago nanaman siyang winish ko sa sarili ko na true love na niya. That fast yes. Naawa na ako sa sarili ko e. Ma re-realize mo na lang na yung akala mo real, parang wala lang pala sa kanya. That was my turning point.

Second phase. Life goes on. My favorite phase sa moving on. 
Wala e, alangan namang tumunganga at mag emote ka habang buhay diba? Anjan ang family, friends na may natitira pang pasensiya na nakikitang umiiyak for the longest time (yan ang friends na for keeps). I did manage na i-unfriend siya sa facebook. Walang bitter bitter sa pusong nasaktan. 

I did eventually get over that person. It took almost a year and as per a borrowed statement "..nagising na lang ako isang araw, nakalimutan ko na siya." Eto na yung phase na napaka gaan sa pakiramdam. 

Does that mean your heart is ready to fall again? Ay syempre, tao ka lang. The good thing about hurting is you learn. What I learned is, you don't plan for the future kahit gaano pa katagal kayo. I, just let it be. I take every love that I can get, it might not be enough pero I think what's important is the love that I give. I give what I have pero I make sure to leave some for myself. Plus the older you get, the better you understand. 

Yung eksena kung pano maka move on, oo tadhana nga siguro na makilala ni Mace si Anthony. Tadhana nga na halos muka ng scripted pero yun nga yung surprising diba? Yung taong darating para tulungan kang mag move on, hindi man kayo tinadhana para sa isa't isa, may forever friendship ka naman. 

Yung mga taong nagsabing walang kwenta yung movie, yun yung mga naniniwala pa din sa happily every after, mga fairy tales. Sila yung mga taong hindi pa nasubukang umibig ng deep.

You know what the weird thing is? During those 3 phases, I enjoyed those bitter-felt-moments. While I was going through it, in most times, I am grateful because it "might" be the last time I get to feel it. Part of my lesson is to know how to deal with people and to not easily fall for them.

May 8, 2015

Fondant Cake by Divine Sweet Delights

My daughter celebrated her 7th birthday last month and from what I have heard, this age should be extra special. With that, I decided to spend a little bit more on the cake. Usually, in every occassion for that matter, we buy cake on the day of the celebration at either Red Ribbon or Goldilocks. These two are the most popular go-to for cakes in the Philippines. Here in the city alone, there are a couple of bakeshops which makes pre-made cakes like Sunshine Bakeshop or Tea House and they do serve quality cakes but the designs are limited.

I did try choosing a design from one mentioned bakeshop and on the picture, it shows a fondant cake. We had it ordered 2 weeks in advance as per their rule. Imagine my disappoinment when it arrived, instead of fondant, it was an icing cake. I never ordered from them after that.

This time,I relied on google on where I can find a good fondant cake maker. Mama suggested a cake maker who made a fondant cake for my niece but the location of the bakeshop is a bit far from where I live so I relied on my research. Amazingly, I did find the facebook page of ate Divine. The designs are so cute, it made me so excited.

Me and my daughter made plans for the design and it turned out pretty cute and elegant at the same time. Ate Divine was very accomodating and she also gave suggestions on how to make the cake cute-errr.

It's a chocolate cake, a bit moist. It is fondant so it is super sweet but the chocolate I think compliments the sweetness. I also ordered seven cute cupcakes and that is with additional charge.

Everyone loved it including Papa who is not that fond of cakes. 

Pia loved it most especially! If you want to order with your choice of design, just send a message on facebook to ate Divine, search for DivineSweetDelights.

May 7, 2015

Lots has happened but don't know where to start

My 2014-2015 has been a blast. The thing that I anticipated to happen for a couple of years has finally been achieved. I am no longer a student, finally finished my bachelors degree a couple months back. I consider it the main highlight of my year.

As for my plans after, haven't decided yet. I might take up masterals, another chapter of my life that I want to happen would be to teach at a university concentrating on Radio Broadcasting. I have been floating resumes on some radio stations in the city but no luck so far. I am a very patient person though so yes, willing to wait here, after all, there are at least 10 radio stations for both AM and FM so yahs.

Aside from this, my stint as an online tutor is still active. Helps me get by and provide and I am happy because it pays well as long as I am motivated to teach. 

I tried applying at hotels as well but no luck for me on that (well, I tried on one hotel but the got-no-feedback page did not sit well on me so it might take awhile for me to try again. 

I might have been mia for a couple of months but blogging will always be something that I will be doing so please excuse my being in and out on this space.

So, what am I expecting to write about? Here are some of the things I have set for myself this year.

  1. My travel experiences. This has been a target on my wishboard since last month. Palawan is my first stop. 
  2. Reviews. Book reviews, beauty products maybe and all other stuff that needs reviewing.
  3. All new experiences all included on my bucket list. 
  4. Job hunting tips and and experiences on such.
  5. Rants most probably and a lot of random stuff. 
  6. Inspiring stuff.
  7. New Hobbies to try.
  8. .....
Short list for now but will be coming up with lots more in time. Now let me go gather my thoughts and come up with interesting things to blog, who knows, maybe in the next few minutes.