Snail Mail Love

Since I’ve been a kid, I’ve always enjoyed sending and receiving snail mail. It was a little sad that the advent of the internet made it an outdated form of communication, but I always try to find a way to have some snail mail in my life. I have discovered some services that enable me to easily participate in snail mail activities, and I want to share them with you.


Swap-bot is a service that allows users to host and participate in swaps of different types. Perhaps the easiest types that are available are postcard swaps, where basically you swap postcards of a specific theme or write specific things on postcards with your randomly assigned partner/s generated from the participants of the swap. Other swaps that I usually join include crafting supplies, planner supplies, and letters or notecards. I’ve been swapping for just over a year, and I’ve received some amazing stuff through these swaps, such as this beautiful piece of mail art (aka decorated envelope). Do note that most of the time you will be sending to international recipients, so keep that in mind as postage fees might be steep for heavier packages. I just use the “ordinary” post at the Philippine Post Office. If you want to learn more about the site or if you’re interested in joining, check out their About page.



Postcrossing is a straight up postcard trading platform. The idea here though is that you will be the one sending first to a randomly assigned recipients and depending on how many you send, that unlocks postcards being sent to you in return. The more postcards you send, the more you are allowed to send at one time. I have just recently joined Postcrossing and I don’t have a lot of received postcards from that platform yet, but I am definitely enjoying it. There is even a local Postcrossing Facebook group for more community participation.


Letter Writers Alliance

Lastly, Letter Writers Alliance is more geared toward pen pals and letter writing. And the biggest hurdle to this is that it requires a membership (with a fee!) before you can request for a pen pal from the service, but the fee is quite reasonable and you get some neat things from it. This is the newest service I have tried, and thus far I’ve only requested for pen pals once and have yet to receive letters from them. The other interesting thing about LWA is that they have a pretty nifty members-only shop where they sell really nice snail mail supplies.

Do you know of any other snail mail services that I have not mentioned? I’d love to check them out, so kindly leave links in the comments below!


The Sunday Currently #23


It has been a great month for reading! For some reason I’ve gotten so much reading in for the past month, and I love it! I wish I can sneak in this amount of reading every month!

First up! I’ve been curious about this series for the longest time since I’ve been seeing it on bookstore shelves on prominent display. That, and I’m quite attracted to the cover art. I did what I always do with untried series: I bought the first book to see if I would like it, and if so then I would buy the rest. The photo below clearly shows what happened. The day after I finished Throne of Glass (author Sarah J. Maas) I went and bought the rest of the series. I powered through the next three books within one weekend and came out really happy and itching to read the next in the series (which, unfortunately, won’t be out until September this year). The Throne of Glass series basically follows the story of master assassin Celaena Sardothien from the time that she was taken out of the prison she’s been in for a year to compete for the title of Adarlan’s Champion. There are lots of intriguing storylines and characters and the writing is fantastic and made it quite hard to put down. It is classified as Young Adult, although I think this should really be in the Adult category not because there’s a lot of sex, but because there’s just so much violence. It’s an excellent series and very engaging. For some reason I’m having trouble reading The Assassin’s Blade, which is a collection of prequel stories that go before the events of Throne of Glass.


As a fan of snail mail, it was a no-brainer for me to get Griffin & Sabine (author Nick Bantock). It’s an intriguing format in that the story is told through the correspondence between the two protagonists in the form of postcards and letters. The letters are actually in a separate paper that is inside an actual envelope attached to pages of the book, while the postcards are printed in a way that you can see both the front art and the back. I really enjoyed the first book (which is actually a 25th Anniversary Limited Edition reprint) that I went and got the other two books of the trilogy. At first it seemed like a straightforward love story, but there’s a lot more depth and intrigue that’s the story of Griffin and Sabine, and Nick Bantock makes devastating use of cliffhangers. Even if the story didn’t turn out to be engaging, just the books themselves are worth getting because of the wonderful production and art. The detail that tickled me the most is that it looks like Sabine writes with a fountain pen (and you know how much I love fountain pens!). There’s actually a second trilogy which I intend to also purchase.


I also was able to finish reading books 1-7 of the Amulet series (author Kazu Kibuishi), which is a comic book aimed for kids supposedly. We bought it for my daughter but she seemed very unwilling to continue reading it. I was intrigued, and read it for myself. The story itself is quite engaging, but is unfortunately very depressing and the setting and circumstances are quite bleak. The story follows what happens to Emily when she inher I saw almost immediately why my daughter was uncomfortable with it. I did enjoy it though, and the art is quite beautiful especially the full spreads. I’ve claimed the series for my own, and will continue getting the succeeding books.


There’s a last book I wanted to mention which is the comic Thor: God of Thunder, which I think I’ve read last month but forgot to mention. It’s a trade paperback book collecting all the issues that are included in this story arc. It follows Thor as he battles the God Butcher who is out killing all the gods. It is a really well written and well illustrated comic, and I like the fact that the book finishes the arc.


My husband and I started listening to the podcast The D6 Generation in the car again. It’s our favorite boardgame podcast and we like listening to this and helps pass the time very nicely. It almost makes the two-hour commute feel like 30 minutes.


My family watched Civil War and it was quite an enjoyable movie. The introduction of Black Panther and Spider-man is really nicely integrated, and made me look forward to their individual movies. The idea of the Sokovia Accords sparked some interesting debates and discussions. Before that, we were also able to finish watching the previous movies Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and about half of Avengers 2.


I have finally decided to uninstall Magic Rush because it was eating up too much memory. I’m still playing Spellstone of course, but I started playing a new mobile game called Zen Koi. It’s a beautifully rendered collecting game where you try to collect and breed the different varieties of koi fish, and maybe ascend them into dragons. It’s quite a relaxing game with nice music!

Boardgame wise, we have broken out a new game called Suburbia. It’s basically a tile-laying game where you build up your metropolis to be efficient and profitable and attract more population. It shines in a two-player mode, and I can see that with more players it might make the game unbearably long.


Wondering if I have swallowed more than I can handle at work.



I’ve been following @veganorganizer at Youtube and she has a nice cover for her Hobonichi Weeks that allows her to keep her wallet stuff with her planner. I want that cover!


Mostly amazed. My daughter is starting middle school this June, and I can’t believe how much she’s grown. She’s practically a teenager (well, not really) and I feel like time is running way too fast. She continues to grow in unexpected ways, and I am enjoying every minute of it!


My Diabetic Journey: 15 Months

The last time I updated on my diabetes, it was the first anniversary of my diagnosis and generally I was not feeling very hopeful about things. I have hit a plateau, and I didn’t really see any other adjustments I can do to start bringing down my numbers.

The quarterly wellness check came up in early May, and I held my breath for the results.


Holy amazeballs! I have been able to actually hit normal levels for all of the numbers! After a long, grueling fifteen months, I’ve finally reached safe levels for both my fasting blood sugar and my triglycerides! What an amazing surprise that was! My doctor was just as happy as I was.

What led to this? I could not really pinpoint it, but I did get a more regular frequency of exercise (usually badminton and some dance classes at my gym) and consciously chose to eat on the healthier side. I also attempted a diet delivery service (Gourmet Kusina, if you’re interested) for a couple of weeks, although that was a bit hard to get used to. I got the 1200-calorie plan, and I kept feeling like I wanted to eat maybe twice what I got for most of the first and second weeks. It definitely takes some getting used to, but I’m glad to say that the food is mostly tasty. I’m planning to get the shorter plans (3 days per week) for the coming weeks, just to get my body used to that level of consumption.

My doctor did not reduce my blood sugar maintenance medicine, so it is still at the maximum safe dosage for the next few months. He did adjust the medicine that targets my triglycerides, reducing the frequency to only every other night instead of every night. He said he will start reducing my blood sugar maintenance meds by next quarter if I can keep up these numbers. I’m very excited about this development! I really really want to get off the meds eventually.


The Sunday Currently #22

I actually had about a week’s hiatus from the blog, because I went on a week-long vacation. I did not really go anywhere; just stayed home and tried to do a lot of things that I am not able to do because I am too busy with work. That week went by awfully quickly, and there are still so much more I need to do!


wee free men
From Google Image Search

I recently finished three of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith) and I really enjoyed it as much as most of Pratchett’s work. I’m surprised that I have not yet read this particular trilogy, since it’s basically within the witches storyline and I’ve read most of that. Tiffany Aching is a young witch (she started out at 9 years old in The Wee Free Men) in training, honing her natural skills and hoping to eventually step into the shoes of her village’s previous witch who was also her grandmother. The three books I read follows her through increasingly challenging adventures and sees her slowly maturing as she grows older and into her power. Hopefully I’ll find copies of the last two in the series to round out the reading.

From Google Image Search
From Google Image Search

I also finished William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, and that was also a good read. I enjoyed his Neuromancer before, and it came as no surprise that I ended up liking Pattern Recognition as well. This particular story is about Cayce Pollard who has a unique trait: she reacts to brands and logos as one would to allergens. This trait allows her to be a trendspotter and is highly regarded in the marketing field. This brings her to an adventure as she tries to use her skills and experience to find out the maker of a mysterious series of short videos that was appearing on the internet. Very intriguing, and the writing is very engaging. Researching more about William Gibson, I am shocked to find out that both Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition are each part of two separate trilogies!


In an effort to prepare to watch Captain America: Civil War with my daughter, my husband and I decided to rewatch the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies starting from Captain America 1. We’ve basically gotten as far as Thor 1, and we are planning a marathon this weekend to make sure we are ready to watch Civil War as well. I’m very gratified to see that my daughter finally became a fan, as she had an adamant anti-superhero movie stance before.


Still hooked on Spellstone at the moment, while also still keeping up with my Magic Rush account.


In an effort to control the food I eat, I started signing up to a food delivery service called Gourmet Kusina. I first tried out the shortest program they had, a three-day, two-meals-a-day program that gave me healthy, 1200-calorie meals straight to my office. The food was actually delicious, although I still need to get used to smaller meals. I like that they occasionally give apples and other fruits along with the order. I was happy enough with that trial period that I signed up for another week. I’m hoping it will have a positive effect on my health!


More vacation time! There are still a lot of pending things that needs to be done around the house, and I could not attend to it while I have work.


Very tired of all the election-related posts in Facebook, so much that I uninstalled the app from my phone. I’m keeping it off my phone until at least the elections are done, which thankfully is soon.


The Sunday Currently #21

For some reason, this is going to be a post full of mini-reviews. There seemed to be a lot that happened this past month or so!



I’m still on a Mercedes Lackey reread, because I want to get on and read the newest series she has of the Valdemar world. I’ve also finished reading a black little book of short stories by Ryuunosuke Akutagawa. Unfortunately I did not really like those as they seemed to tend toward the depressing side of things, but I did enjoy the little black book format. I’ve also started reading a book of short stories by Isaac Asimov, in preparation for reading the Foundation trilogy, which I confess to never have read before. Lastly, my husband discovered a new comic book called The Unwritten, which is kind of a homage to the Harry Potter universe, but takes it a lot further into the strange and exciting. We only have the first book, and I can’t wait to get the next of the series!



I was not able to include Zootopia in the February update, but we did watch it towards the end of last month. It was amazing! It is quite possibly one of our all-time family favorites! On the other hand, Deadpool was indeed enjoyable to watch as the reviews say but did not hold up to post-movie discussions. We felt that the message it was trying to say wasn’t really good (PS this is the only movie on this list that my daughter did not watch). Gods of Egypt was the next on the list, and this one was something my daughter was really looking forward to. She’s a big fan of the Egypt mythology and it was a treat for her to see the gods in action. Lastly Kung Fu Panda was great initially, but like Deadpool it did not hold up to post-movie discussions.


I’ve installed Star Realms for some time because I was told it’s a step up from Ascension, but I found that there are some specific issues with it that make it unplayable for me. Not to mention, it is rather heavy on the memory and my phone cannot really handle a lot so I ended up uninstalling it. I still wanted a game I could play offline and I found 94% and 94 degrees, which are fun puzzle and trivia games. They both remain installed as they aren’t that heavy memory wise. Lastly, I discovered Spellstone through my wanderings around the Play Store, and it got both me and my husband hooked! It’s a nice combat card game that has upgrading elements, which make it really engaging!


We’ve recently rediscovered Faburrito, a very healthy place that offers fresh ingredients in burrito and bowl formats. I feel like it had gotten a lot tastier than I remembered, and it is now a personal favorite for both me and my husband!



I love it when two of my interests combine! Recently I’ve attempted what are called box inserts, which are basically custom-built trays for boardgame components. We have a lot of boardgames with a lot of components, and box inserts make it a lot easier to organize the components for faster set up and clean up. I’ve so far made two, and there are still a lot more that I can learn about making them.


Very very guilty. This month hasn’t been really good in terms of my no-spend goal, and I spent so so much. I need to reign in my wishlists and adhere to them strictly. You’ll definitely see what I got in future haul posts.

Also feeling quite tired. I’m entering my busy season at work, and I can already feel it. I’m just relieved that I don’t have to wake up super early in the morning as my daughter is on summer break and that gives me about an hour or more of sleep.


Boardgame Sunday #1: Dune


Boardgame Sundays is going to be a new series I’ll be writing about. Playing boardgames is one of my bigger hobbies, and it’s only natural to want to write about it. I’ve been wondering if I should be writing about it elsewhere, but I wanted my blog to be a repository of my hobbies. So here we are!



This game, of course, is based on the novel of the same title, by Frank Herbert. Now if you have not yet read it or watched the films based on it, then I really encourage you to do so! From this point on there will be spoilers. Dune is set on the desert world Arrakis, the only source of the spice melange which is a very valuable drug in this fictional universe. Paul Atreides and his family have been assigned by the Emperor as the planet’s stewards. Rival families and other factions come in and try to wrest control from the Atreides.

This is an area control game; the aim is to be the one who controls at least three of the five cities of Dune. Each of the six factions who are trying to gain control each have its strengths and unique characteristics, and if used correctly will pave the way to victory.


This is actually a print-and-play version of a boardgame that has long been out of print. The images for the actual board, player mats, cards, and combat dial can be found on BoardGameGeek, and the ships are taken from another boardgame called Cosmic Encounter. All of the images were printed on photo paper through a printing service (such as Fujifilm), cut and assembled manually. The combat dials need a small snap button to allow it to spin, but a brad can do as well.


The reason why the Cosmic Encounter ships work so well is because of the colors and number of ships per color, which match the requirements of Dune quite well, and the fact that they stack so neatly. The idea is that each faction needs twenty ships of their color, except for the Fremen and the Emperor which need 15 of their color and 5 of a different color (preferably different from the other 6 colors already mentioned) to represent special forces. Other components required are something to denote spice (any kind of token can serve here), something to mark the current location of the storm (see more below), and something to mark the round number.

How It’s Played

As I mentioned earlier, this is an area control game. Each player’s objective is to be the one who controls at least three of the five cities of Dune at the end of any round.

Each round starts with the perpetual storm moving around the planet killing and destroying everything in its path, after which spice appears on a certain location on the board (Spice Blow phase). A bidding for item cards begin, facilitated by the Atreides player since his special power includes being able to “foresee” what is being auctioned. Each player then gets to revive dead forces and leaders. Shipping and movement comes next, where each player in turn lands their ships onto Dune and move their forces around the board according to simple movement rules. Any location that has one or more hostile forces will be having a battle, which occurs after all shipping and movement.

Battles are an all-or-nothing affair. The losing player loses all of his forces and all the item cards he played for this battle. The winning player kills off his “committed” forces, but in return gets a chance to pick up any item cards up to his hand size and of course gets control of that location. The turn ends after all the battles have been resolved, and players check if anyone has reached the win condition. Another round begins with the storm.

At the end of each round, if any single player controls three cities they win the game. This is modified if alliances are made, wherein a two-player alliance requires control of four cities to win, and a three-player alliance requires control of all five cities to win. Alliances can only be made upon the arrival of a sandworm during the Spice Blow phase. There are certain special circumstances where certain players can win, depending on which faction they are playing, if no one has won yet after 16 rounds (note: we usually reduce this number to 8 rounds to keep the game short).

My Rating

This is one of my all-time favorite games. It has been designed to be very asymmetric given the differences between the factions, and yet it manages to be fairly balanced. The rounds go by pretty fast too, once everyone gets the hang of the gameplay. The game is best played at 6 players of course, so all factions are represented, but it is playable at 4 or 5 players. The best Dune games I’ve seen are the ones where the alliances are fluid. It’s quite fun, but it does take some time to explain all the nuances.

Postscript: I think I chewed off more than I can swallow here! Dune is such a deep boardgame and maybe should not have been the first one I featured. As it’s one of my all-time favorites, though, I couldn’t choose anything else!

The Sunday Currently #20

February has been really bad to me. Some bacterial infection swept through my family, and hit me twice! In fact I’m still recovering although I’m done with my (second) run of antibiotics. My doctor did say that my diabetes gives me a slower recovery time. This edition of Sunday Currently is going to be a really short one.



Mercedes Lackey is one of the earliest fantasy authors I became obsessed with, and I have a very extensive collection of her works, most notably of the Valdemar fictional universe. I had a craving to reread books that I’ve already read very many times, but it’s something that’s very comforting to do. These are the five I’ve finished rereading so far. I guess in a way, it’s a preparation for reading the latest series she published for that universe, which I’m just beginning to collect.

The Valdemar universe is centralized in the Kingdom of Valdemar, of which most of the stories are centered on Heralds and their Companions. Heralds serve as Valdemar’s peacekeepers, justice-dispensers, and occasionally fighters as needed. They are considered universally to be good, primarily because of how they come to their positions. They are chosen when in their teens (although some are chosen younger, or even much older) by creatures called the Companions, who are benign spirits in the shape of white horses. The reigning monarchs of Valdemar are required to be Heralds, and this keeps the kingdom to be generally honest and trustworthy. According to Lackey’s bibliography, there are already 30 novels and 7 anthologies in this universe.


Image credits: Gravity Falls in Wikipedia
Image credits: Gravity Falls in Wikipedia

It is with sadness that I watched the last ever episode of Gravity Falls. The series finally ended after two seasons, and for the most part I was really afraid of how rushed it might seem considering the episodes leading to the finale. Without elaborating further, I would say that it turned out to be much better than my expectations, and it is quite the fitting end to what will be a classic. If you have not watched Gravity Falls, I highly highly recommend this series!


Image Credits:
Image Credits:

I’ve gotten hooked into another mobile game. This one is called Ascension. It’s actually originally a deckbuilding card game that has been translated to a mobile app. It seems like a good translation, never mind that I haven’t actually played the real world version of this. It’s a fast time burner where each (offline) game lasts only about 5 minutes. It loads fast too, mostly! I like to play it for those times where I have to wait a bit, such as waiting for my lunch order to arrive.


My self-control has been really bad in the last week or so. I’ve been craving sweet things so much it’s scary. I didn’t really have this degree of craving in the past few months so it really took me by surprise. How I’m combating this is making sure I have the correct (and delicious!) foodstuff available on hand whenever I get cravings like this. I’m hoping that this blows over soon; it’s really very hard to resist!

State of the Journals

I’m a compulsive journal writer. I love writing about what happened to me for that day, my thoughts and feelings about certain things, anything! This is why I have several types of journals that I try to maintain, but as you can very well imagine, I really don’t have enough time to regularly update those. In this post I want to list down the various journals I have, and what state are they currently in.

Daily Journal [pocket blank insert by Planners and Journals] – This is probably my most updated journal. In this journal I try to write about what happened to my day. Sometimes if I’m too busy or tired, I skip some days and I just try to catch up on the next available day. I also like writing with this journal because I get to use the various fountain pens and inks.


Prompted Journal [pocket blank Tomoe River paper, DIY] – This is where I journal about specific topics, usually from prompts that I find from Instagram or blogs or the Paperblanks Journal app. I don’t get to write here as often as I like, primarily because I am very choosy about the prompts I use.


Letters to My Daughter [pocket BenCab blank notebook] – As I mentioned before, this is where I write letters to my daughter with the idea that she’ll read this when she’s much older. I make sure to write only about positive things, so that she will find this to be a comforting read. I also consider this as a journal because I do write about particular events here.


Gratitude Journal [A6 BDJ Petit Planner, weekly] – This is one of the “failed” journals that I have. I got this weekly planner around December, and started writing down three things I’m grateful for at the end of the day. I got things going well for the first few weeks, but fell off the wagon hard when I encountered a tiring and difficult couple of days where I could not really come up with things I’m grateful for. I honestly got depressed about it and was not able to get the inspiration to continue even if my days did get better eventually.

Memory Keeper [standard blank insert by CN Papercrafts] – I started this around October of last year, and was really pleased by how it turned out. It was very nice to look at when completed, and I was able to get maybe three completed months before I ran into a roadblock. The biggest difficulty I found with this memory keeper is the amount of time I have to dedicate into choosing and editing the photos that go into the layouts. The other thing is that for the most part, the photos I take most frequently are the ones connected to my hobbies, so eventually the overall look of the layouts are rather single-minded. I do hope that I can still update this journal because I really like how it looks.


Creative Journal [A5 CBTL planner, weekly] – I’m really a big fan of creative journals, which is one of the reasons I did the memory keeper. However, as soon as I realized I cannot regularly work on the memory keeper, I wanted to try a non-photo-centric type of creative journaling. I decided to use the CBTL planner which was in a weekly horizontal format, with a notes page on the opposite side. I thought this is a great way to make things as I wish. Unfortunately the paper wasn’t that good, so I could not use fountain pens or brush pens, which defeated a lot of the reasons I wanted to creative journal. The space was also much too big that I ran out of ideas of what to write or stick on the pages, and since I could not do brush calligraphy a lot of the space was left sadly blank. I stopped doing this after a couple of weeks of the mostly-blank layouts.


Moving forward, I still want to have some form of creative journaling because I think that the daily journaling is not really the place for all the bells and whistles that I wanted to try. I had already purchased a pocket sized printable from Growing Up Goddess in Etsy, and I have printed it on my choice of paper which based on previous experience is pretty friendly to fountain pens and brush pens. I’ll be starting on it next week!


As for the gratitude journal, I am thinking of incorporating it somehow into my Hobonichi planner. There are still quite a lot of space left over in a lot of my daily pages, so there might be a way to put in a line or two of gratitude journaling there.

Do you do any journaling?

My Diabetic Journey: One Year Anniversary

So it’s been a year since I was first diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. I figure this is a good time to refresh what this series is all about. The most obvious question is, what is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2? A Type 1 diabetic has a basically impaired pancreas; it is unable to produce insulin, which is used to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Without insulin, glucose gets accumulated in the bloodstream which makes it toxic. Type 1 diabetics need insulin from an external source, otherwise they will die. [Wikipedia]

Type 2 diabetics, on the other hand, are insulin resistant. Cells in the body are unable to use insulin effectively, leading to high blood sugar. The pancreas produces even more insulin as a response, which leads to high blood insulin levels. Initially Type 2 diabetics don’t need external insulin, but might need to eventually if the blood sugar levels are not managed properly. [Wikipedia] This is what I have, and so far I am able to manage it adequately that I don’t need to take insulin yet (and hopefully will not ever need to!). I of course went in for my quarterly check up and blood tests, and here are the latest results.


Unfortunately my latest results did not show as great an improvement as the previous quarters, which means I have reached a plateau. In fact, my FBS (fasting blood sugar) and Triglycerides are slowly creeping up, which are bad. My liver ultrasound showed no worsening or improving of my liver situation; it is still fatty. My doctor says that my current maintenance medicine is already at the maximum he’s willing to prescribe. He did not really change my medications except to add a midday pill that contains a very small amount of what my other meds have. I’m also supposed to increase my exercise even more.

I’m beginning to feel the effects of the plateau. I have already been sick twice since 2016 started, which is not really a good sign. It’s also harder to throw off simple things like colds, and takes me longer to recover. My doctor says this is a direct impact of the Type 2 Diabetes, since it is an auto-immune disease. I really need to be more careful and make sure I am well protected. I’m generally watchful of what I eat, and I don’t really eat a lot of sugary stuff. What I need to improve is the intake of carbohydrates, which is what I find more challenging.

The Sunday Currently #19

This edition of The Sunday Currently is going to be rather massive, as it will span both December and January.


I’ve finished reading the (depending on your view) infamous KonMari book in about a couple of hours; it’s a pretty light book, both in content and in actual physical weight. It’s a book about tidying, and the biggest controversy about it is how much discarding you will be doing to achieve the best results. While I don’t prescribe to the whole philosophy, I can see the advantages to making sure that your house is kept tidy, and all your belongings are where they are because you want them to. In fact I’ve started going through some old clothes, old hobby stuff, and other things in an attempt to get a bit more organized and to reduce the general clutter in the house. It does feel good, but it is quite a lot of work involved.


Much of my holiday vacation was spent reading the entire Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer (please note, this is different from Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo CEO). The series follows the adventures of a well-known girl mechanic named Cinder, who happens to also be cyborg, and her friends in their efforts to oppose the machinations of the evil Lunar Queen Levana. It draws from a lot of classic fairy tales, and retold in a sci-fi setting which I thought was a pretty good innovation in fairy tale retellings. The story was quite gripping, and I spent several times surfacing from reading to see the sun rise as I could not put the books down once I started on them. For an author’s debut series, this is quite well done and thoroughly enjoyable.



I have to say that I attempted some kind of gratitude journaling, in the BDJ Petit Planner that I previously got. The weekly format seemed well suited to writing down a few lines per day, and I thought of penning down three things I’m thankful for daily. I got most of December, but stumbled towards the end and never came back up. I think this sort of thing might not exactly be for me.

I also recently started experimenting with creative journaling, very similar to what is currently popular in Instagram. The CBTL The Giving Journal’s weekly layout (horizontal week-on-one-page with notes on the opposite page) follows the current trend, and I thought I’d give it a shot. Here’s my first week. While it does need quite a lot of improvement, I feel like it might be something I can do on the regular. I just need to remember that mine does not need to be as pretty as the ones on Instagram, considering I just started!


December saw me playing Magic Rush quite a lot on my phone, and it’s actually rather enjoyable. It’s an MMO with elements of tower defense and rpg combat, and the character designs are pretty nice. It’s also a free-to-play with a lot of in-game optional purchases, and I have to admit that there were several times that I was tempted to get micro purchases.

Image credits: Google Image Search

In January I revisited an earlier game I had bought from Humble Bundle, Kingdom Rush: Frontiers. It’s also a tower defense game and I thoroughly enjoy it. Since it reminded me where I bought it, I visited Humble Bundle again and found that they are running some hefty discounts in their store, and I took that opportunity to buy three mobile games that amounted to about Php250 in total. The one I am currently playing is called Detective Grimoire, an adventure puzzler similar to Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. I’m nearly done with it, in fact, and left me wanting for more chapters!

Image credits: Google Image Search
Image credits: Google Image Search


I bought some Tomoe River paper in loose A4 sheets from Pengrafik, and immediately attempted some Tomoe River paper inserts in pocket size. I assigned one to be my prompted journal insert, and gave another one to my sister in law. I really like this paper, and I can’t wait to start my daily journaling in one!


As I mentioned earlier, I KonMari’d some of my clothes and in the process I rediscovered my stash of office wear back when I still worked for a company with a dress code. Score! I had been wanting to upgrade my work wardrobe for a while to something less casual and more suited to my station, and the discovery of this old set of clothes means I can use the money I’d been planning to spend on clothes on something else! And most of these old clothes still fit!


Having a lot of hobbies and not having enough time for all of them makes me think of which hobbies I really want to focus on. The problem is, I’m not sure if I’m willing to let go of any of them! The reason why they are my hobbies in the first place is because I really enjoy doing them a lot. The workable solution I have come up with is to rotate hobbies or scheduling them such that I can pay enough attention to each one. This way, I can find out naturally which hobbies I really want to do when I have time time and which ones I actually just think I like but am not willing to spend time on it when I do have the time.


Since I don’t need to spend on clothes, I probably will try to get a new pair of work shoes. Something that I can wear socks with, since I can’t really go around without socks anymore. Boots have always been a staple, and I might go and get myself a new pair.


Generally I feel sad that the holidays are over, and the next one will probably be during the easter weekend, when my family usually goes to the beach. It’s back to the grind, and unfortunately traffic is getting worse by the day. As always I’m in desperate need of sleep!