2020 Unusual year yet Grateful for the Blessings 🙏

Basically 2020, albeit an unusual year, it still has many things for me to be grateful for to the Lord ✨ Looking back, actually scrolling through my phone to make it more accurate, these are the things that used up my time this year😁

  • plantlife aka plants in our home c/o @jzrojo 💚
  • cooking at home series, which I think contributed to a “better me”😛
  • food delivery series featuring ube cheese pan de sal🤪 #supporthomebased #supportlocal too!💯
  • obsessed with minimalist cakes and creatively think of different designs for each family celebration. 🤍
  • korean series! (and food! and drink! and music🤣) for sanity😄
  • Sam’s online class series. Didnt expect I would see a virtual PE class 😆 Wooh!
  • work from home and zoom meetings which I am grateful for 💙
  • virtual parties and video calls with Family which kept my sanity and affirms the gift of staying connected and love💖
  • care packages from family and friends – thankyouuu 🤗
  • and Tiktok😝

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Christmas in 2020

Birthday cake for Jesus

Global-virtual exchange gift?! ticked on my list🤪💚Always grateful for fun childhood Christmases✨Today, I am thankful for making it easier to reminisce cause of the virtual Christmas party and with the people I share it with growin up – family and the crazy cuzzies🎄

If at times I am being extra, that is because it runs in the blood😂 As such, we planned a pajama themed party with cookies. Crazy to do virtual exchange gifts across three (almost four!) countries and two continents props to cousin Elmrose 🌍Here’s to more timezone adaptibility during these crazy days, among us and jackbox tv games, secret santas, 5 hour virtual parties (thanks zoom for the unli mins), and fun times fam!💖 ps: thanks secret santa @seanonymous and to your lil helper aka Sam😊

Photo card Vancouver fam!
Prepared for our Party. Christmas cookies from littlewhisk

And a peak from our noche buena at home : Paella made by a neighbor friend, Seafood and Pork Ribs from a quarantine homebased biz favorite Chef Daddy’s and MIL’s fruit salad as Christmas spread.

Times may be different but there are many blessings to be grateful for. Let us all remember the reason for the season🙏🎄💖Happy birthday Jesus!✨ Merry Christmas everyone! Light and hope to yall! 💝💚🤍

#SupportLocal #SupportHomebased

Here are some of our favorite #quarantineats from local and homebased businesses. Also plugging our very own TheGiftConciergeMnl (IG) if you wish us to purchase for you for any products you may want us a gift or part of any celebration (including virtual or zoom parties! we can provide ideas and execute deliveries at affordable but worth it fees!) as we support local and homebased brands in our concierge service.

Milk Bombs from Bravery Bakery I gave as gifts a d bought as snacks too!
Buen Dark Chocolate and Tablea. Also available at IG; TheGiftConciergeMNL (a favorite!)
Chef Daddy’s viands and party trays

Once Japan-a Christmas 2019

I have been hearing stories from people how Japan is easily their favorite travel destinstion country and how they are surprised I have not visited yet. So imagine how excited I was for this trip. Jesus has made it very special for this trip with family before the lockdown restrictions and quarantine.

Here are the top 5 things I love in Japan:

1. People are considerate and respectful. This is very evident in train rides, hotel lobbies and even on rush hours in the streets. It is as if discipline is a must for all and courtesy is always given regardless of rush hours or crowded places. I also love how people put quality in their work which is very obvious in their service and products.

2. Food! Need I say more? There are a lot of food to buy on my list going to this trip. I literally had to taste and/or buy them all. Despite my family living in Vancouver with tons of authentic Japanse restaurants and sushi places, one cant just get enough in the country of origin itself.

3. Fashion. There are a lot of fashion finds! Did someone need to say Uniqlo? From the thrift shops of Kamata to Don Quixote to streets of Omotesando, and Harajuku, Ginza etc you can never have enough of choices and possible purchases. My mom even said she wants to go back just for fashion haha.

4. Nature. We stayed in Tokyo and most of our destinations or stops are city spots. But, their parks and gardens and even those our shinkansen ride provided the best nature views. No wonder lush greens and mountains are easily enjoyed by tourists.

5. Culture. It is amazing how they have preserved their culture (and how it is influential!) despite being on the forefront of technology and modern world. Enough said.

Colorful Cookie Virtual Party

I never expected to still be in quarantine during my birthday. Thinking about it last March, I knew it was possible but I didnt think it will come true. I know a lot of stores and restaurants have opened up but we’d better be safe than sorry.

So last Month, I knew I had to think of something so I would be a little extra while celebrating in the comforts of our home. And becaus I miss my Dad a lot,especially we almost have the same birthday, I feel God wanted me to reflect at home. Especially, given the situation I feel that aside from making my day more meaningful, He still wants me to celebrate by being my usual.

Aside from my family at home, I wanted to have stay connected my family abroad (which what I am pretty much doing since quarantine) and some of my closest relatives and friends – who have been with me through thick and thin.

So I thought of a virtual party! I have been staying connected with family and friends (maybe more than the ‘normal’ days) since the quarantine started. My cousins would also have zoom sessions with themes. I wanted to sort of thought hace something like that. At that time I was stalking TheLittleWhisk and its cute Korean series themed cookies so I thought of why not have a cookie party via zoom?! *lightbulb moment*

Zoom
Party!
PSJ

Backstory: I learned about TheLittleWhisk through my friend Lish. I first heard of Maggie, the super talented and cookie artist behind TheLittleWhisk, when Lish would bring her cookies to events (as far as almost a decade ago!) like bridal showers and even served it in their wedding!

When I was more active with blogging (which I want to fully revive soon!), I would secretly wanted to collaborate with women who I look up to in their crafts and brands for an event or workshop – and TheLittleWhisk is one of them. So, this quarantine made the dream come true! I tasted her cookies again when I ordered from her for Sam’s Infinity Gauntlet cookies for his 11th birthday. Sam looooveed it and his classmates were telling him that the cookies were yummy!

Good Job (?!)😂
The Cookie Sets from TheLittleWhisk

So for my birthday, I also requested a Whats Wrong With Secretary Kim (WWSK) cookie set! It was soo cute and thanks to TheLittleWhisk, PSJ came in threes for my birthday hahahaha! Plus, my guests got to receive their own cookie set! It was delivered at the comfort of their homes. I just hope I can send some to those abroad too which is kind of limiting given the halt in travels and shipping abroad. (Still thanks to my family and friends for sending some presents over! Felt the love!)

Sam doing it better haha

We had so much fun decorating the cookie and vibing the cookie artist in us (—-yesssss!). I am not the artistic type but Sam helped me and he had fun too. He also cant help but finished the cookies even if the design not been really set yet haha! I have an extra cookie set which were supposed to be for those abroad ans I was not able to ship cause lockdown. So, we are trying to do it again tomorrow (stock knowledge hehe)!

The cookie party was enjoyed for good two fun and productive hours! Can I just say that Maggie was so prepared with this zoom party?! I am impressed! It started on time and we are all set! Props to my family and friends too for actively prticipating. Talk about having a good time while learning a lot, especially for a zero knowledge cookier like me. But, not now! Haha! After the virtual cookie class, my family and friends said they had so much fun and it iwas a cool and unique party idea (pssst.. Ill post a blog soon on unique party ideas cause I have a list )*wink*.

Thank you to my family and friends for giving love through this virtual party. It was so much fun and more importantly it also means a lot to me! Thank God for another orbit around the sun and for love and life.🙏

Giddy with the Cookie Kit
*Korean Heart*
Cookie Kits for my (virtual) guests. Photo from my friend Fiel.
My Tita really did well!
Secretary Kim Themed Cookies!
No Makeup kind of party. Haha
Thank you! Love you!
Cant get enough
Youre welcome! Photo from my friend Mina

What to Do at Home?

This is not our usual routine. This COVID-19 thing is not what we wanted to affect our lives, but it does not mean we could not go on. Metro Manila has been put on ‘community quarantine’ like some other parts of the world. While I am personally waiting how our company would want us to have our work set-up during this times, we have been working from home for most days recently. Im anticipation on the possibility of the current scenario, I have thought of things like what to do at home. Aside from more time spent at home because of possible work from home set up in the coming days, this also means prioritizing staying in to avoid contributing to the spread of the virus.

We already did the the groceries for the essentials and our food in the coming days (a month at least). So, for me next is to squeeze in things I can add to my routine (silver linkng!) while staying home which I wanted to share. This is considering early summer vacation for kids (schools already suspended) and less errands/commitments for everyone.

1. Randomly select a netflix series with an interesting preview and watch it.

Choose a netflix series or google any series you would want to watch because of its intresting preview or description! Arent you glad you have more time for this? Less travel time to and from work means more time to relax and binge watch my chosen series! I prefer to binge watch movies. Thinking about it it is because maybe I do not have the luxury of time so I keep postponing it. This is also self care, friends!

2. Choose something to declutter.

It may be your closet, book shelf, drawer, bag etc! Oops, that might be everything for me. Haha! Positive vibes can also be gained by decluttering during this time.

3. Learn or try doing something new.

Remember that something you want to learn? Or something you have been wanting to do? Can you do it or make it at home? Then, do it!

Is it an online class? Go ahead and register! Wanted to do that DIY from that Youtube tutorial? Now’s the time!

4. Spend some minutes of your time for stretching.

Admittedly, I take doing some stretch for granted in the normal hustle of the daily grind. I just noticed I have been stretching more nowadays because of more time working from home, which actually makes me feel better after a few minutes of alloting time in doing it.

5. Meditate or Reflect.

Again, with the luxury of time a few minutes of the day can be spent on stopping and being mindful. Reflect on things and more importantly yourself. Hopefully, it can be a habit even after we overcome the current situation.

6. Prepare or cook a new recipe you learned.

With all the stocks we got from doing our grocery which we expect to last a month, I thought it will be better to be creative with a recipe I can surprise my family with. It could be a twist from your old recipr or something you learned from a friend. Check for the things you have in your pantry and be resourceful!

I have been meaning to do this, really! Cause I am not a cook😜. But who knows.

7. Reconnect with a friend or friends.

Most people are staying in. But, this should not stop you from maintaining connections. Social life these days having it virtually for now. Call or message your friend who you have not met or talk to for a long time. You might also do him or her a favor ‘socially’. So far, I am happy to do some ‘chika’ or exchange if stories and information about current events and life with my girls virtually.

8. Spend time with your family.

And ofcourse spend quality time with your family! For me the best part is having more time with my family at home and even my family in Vancouver! I will have more time for silly pasttimes and stories at home and through video calls! I also feel secure and happy with having more time like this.

As a bonus, I am sharing with you what I got from KimiLuLifecoach’s IG: https://instagram.com/kimilulifecoach?igshid=1qnbzalv5vn4i. This is for self care. We have more time for it!

Been seeing a lot if lists and ideas. Will share it on my IG as well . Visit : https://instagram.com/thewonderfulkind?igshid=1hb7ivms327yi

So, you see the silver lining? There is more time for self love, for pursuing what you like and love, and for being productive even during this times. Just stay up to date and let us all be safe and healthy.

5 Reasons for loving #CLOY

After more than a year of hiatus (haha), I am finally hooked again with a Korean Series. While my husband and our lil man was out for a father and son camping activity at school, I had an extra me time and chanced upon different Korean series on #Netflix. I refused to be ‘peer-pressured’ as I choose and start to watch a series. It really depends if I will have an interest and get hooked. So I have been hearing how Crash Landing on you is becoming a favorite, not only in South Korea

but, also locally. I had a chance to click on the play button and start this trending series.

I have to be honest, the first two episodes kinda dragged me on some parts. I was not expecting to be hooked. What got me was the curiosity on the North Korea setting. Here are the reasons I got hooked:

1. The lead characters:

To be honest, the Park-Park (Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young) fan heart in me is hard to impress (You’d know if you have read my previous blog on Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim). But, watching Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin for the first time got me staying enough in the first episode. It was not liking the chemistry in the first episode. But, their characters sparked an interest. In the second episode, I began to confirm liking their chemistry towards the end I know that they will be a favorite I am hooked! Yoon Se-ri (Yejin) and Capt. Ri Jeong Hyeok (Hyun Bin) have these unpredictable and unique and empowering attitude/vibe that I was drawn to them. Se-ri who is a driven self-made CEO despite being part of the 0001% richest family in S. Korea is so fasyon and cute but still exudes her go-getter and brainy aura. Capt. Ri is mysterious and dependable that you wanted to know his character more. Up to now, I even see their characters just by staring at their recent IG photos! I

2. the Setting

As I have said, I got really curious with the North Korea setting. The scenes in south Korea have excellent setting as well which is what I can say as usual in Korean shows and films. But, building a North Korea setting was really brilliant and different for me as an audience. Did I mention that the Switzerland scenes was extremely beautiful? So clever to pick Switzerland in the story and a pefect match for all those picturesque scenes that fit the script!

3. the Editing, order of scenes

Not sure if I used the right terms here though. I noticed Korean series often use flashbacks and insert previous scenes in their stories. But, can I just say how I loved the flow of the scenes in the whole series. I love how some flashbacks are inserted in each episode including the epilogues! I also find it amazing how the continuation of some previous scenes were shown at a later episode. Bravo!

4. the Story itself

It is the first time I have watched a South Korean and North Korean love affair. Not sure if there are a lot out there. But to me, I find it different. I am not only referring to the love story itself as unique. I also liked how they connected it with the lead roles’ family, social, and career background. The way it has been presented on screen is as great. I have expected an unpredictable plot twist aleady having watched a few Korean series which has good story twists. This one still got me though. It was more than what I expected. The light and comedy part was a good mix with the drama and conflict which made me feel that after the second episode, I was watching too fast cause I was surprised realizing I am already on the tenth one!

5. The supporting cast

In all the stories I loved, I noticed how the supporting cast was all unforgettable and great. In this TV series, I can say the same. Not one character was wasted to be forgettable or to be overlooked at. The second lead roles of Gu Seung Jun and Seo Dan left a mark and could be one of the memorable lead roles in Korean novelas, dont you agree? Even Seo Dan’s OOTDs are remarkable! Lets talk about the friends of the characters.. each comrade of Captain Ri’s company five plus the eavesdroping Man Bok are so funny and worth their scenes right? Oh and let us also not forget each ajumma in the North Korean village who may be annoying at first but turned lovable until the end. The villains Cho Cheol Gang and Se-ri’s manipulative sister in law will really pull some rage from your emotion. Still, each family member, person and friend at work, neighbor, and second lead had a story of their own that will leave a mark in your (Korean) heart.

Now that #CLOY is over, it is hard for me to get hooked again haha! But, while it still trends I know I will carry Yoon Se-ri’s fashion as pegs and remember Seo Dan’s shiny hair clips as fashion pieces.

Love Language

We often hear this phrase “because _____ is my love language” or question “what is your love language?”. Even if I have read about it countless times, I incidentally read about it again recently. We often read up on this to understand what our significant other’s love language is and to understand our own love language. Buuutttt, did you know that knowing more about this is vital in ways to grow our “self-love”. Annddd, for the mommies, daddies, uncles, aunts, granmas and grandpas..this is our way we could also understand our lil kiddos! Read up.

So I have encountered blessingmanifesting in IG (blessingmanifesting.com/instagram) and was fascinated with graphic on 5 love languages of Self Love.

Why not apply 5 love languages insights for ourselves right?

While sharing this with my husband to fondly talk about our own love languages, we realized we have not gotten our lil man’s love language yet. Anndd thats where I read about the 5 love languages for a Child through https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/children/.

We learned a lot and I recommend this to all parents to further understand what the kids value more.

Posting this on valentines because love is love. It is as important to give it to yourself to as much as you givr it to your partner or the significant people in your lives even the kids!

Once Japan A Christmas : Food edition

Its true what they say, Ill love Japan for its foooood.

First three photos are good finds in Hyakendanna🤫. Our favorite Cheese Shirasu (fish) pizza👌And Crab Pasta plus free appetizers from Bistro Masuya.💚 According to Sed, he had his best Danish bread at Intersect by Lexus at Minato😄And he also convinced me to have snacks at Mo’s Burger since it’s the first time we try it in its origin while always trying it in other Asian countries with its branches😂The Dark Chocolate Ice Cream at Tokyo Observatory was the perfect partner while we hang out for a bit.💙Tokyo Milk Cheese for pasalubong and since the brother first knew about the brand, he also bought and I ate a lot😜Okonomiyaki and Katsudon toppings at a basement located Izakaya in Shinjuku (Ill edit when I remember lol) and huge and yummy Takoyaki at Gindaco.😋Just some of the tons of food I filled my tummy with. 🇯🇵✨