New Look

My blog's new look 

Props to all bloggers who devote so much time and energy in designing their blog. I don't know how you do it, but I almost ran out of patience and did not want to mess with my blog layout anymore after going through several free templates online. However, I really am inspired by all of the blogs I follow and decided I need to put an effort in fixing my site, even if I don't make money out of it.

So the previous day while waiting for our scheduled conference call, I was again searching for sample layouts online. My previous one was from Blogskin. It was pretty and simple, but I always have to adjust photos and captions each time I write an entry. Plus it looked a little plain, and quite hard to navigate. I ended up browsing Etsy, an online shop. I found this particular template which was on sale for only NT$99 so I immediately clicked BUY.

Screenshot of my old layout from Blogskins

When I got home, I downloaded the files and tinkered with it. I didn't know it was so easy to add all the widgets and whatnot and there's no need for html skills (haha sorry but I'm a first grader when it comes to all things techie). I was overjoyed when I clicked on Preview and my blog showed up the way I wanted it to be, not so cluttered with just the right touches of pink. I also added Disqus by following their website instructions and my comment section turned out so neat. I can now reply to comments one by one. Why did it take me so long to update my blog's layout? Thanks to all my blog inspirations! I hope you like my page's new look. Happy midweek everyone!

Friday's 10 Happy Things 2

I'm joining Helga Weber's Friday's 10 Happy Things where bloggers list ten things that made them smile this week, so we can start the weekend on a more positive note. Here are my 10 happy things, in no particular order :) Thank you Helga for hosting this!

1. Pay day. Our pay day came in early because of the long-weekend. Happy to say we have the most considerate accountant-HR in the office. I portioned the amount and set aside money for my rent and other bills, allowance, savings etc. My BPI Maxi Saver and Save-Up accounts are filling up nicely too, a little more to go to reach my target for this year.

2. Night market trip. My friends and I heard mass for the feast of Our Lady of Holy Rosary. There's a night market near the church where we found these really pretty school of fish. 

3. The sunset photo above sent by Agnes. Agnes told me my two goddaughters are adjusting well in Japan. The elder Emi is no longer crying at night, while my little Lisa can now speak one complete sentence. The sea is a 5-minute drive from their place so they go there often to play and run around. I miss them so much. 

4. Pan de sal. It was my first time to make pan de sal from scratch and it turned out really good. I still have to find finer breadcrumbs for the topping to make it more 'authentic', but the taste itself is legit pan de sal!

5. Cook out. I really enjoy cooking and so during the long weekend, I whipped up a meal for my friends. I was too energetic last Saturday, probably from the 3 bowls of sibut (Chinese traditional herb/medicinal soup that Auntie Maria made. I didn't get tired baking and cooking the whole day. Our dinner spread consisted of orange chicken, steamed fish and blanched pechay with garlic. 

6. Little catch up with a friend. My friend Ate Rina is now based in Singapore and she always sends random Viber messages to me. Since I was feeling a bit low lately, I opened up to her. It's always nice to hear someone's words of wisdom, especially when they're older than you. 

7. RT Mart and Costco trips. I'm trying to save all that I can lately, so I go crazy over cheap deals. My friend Abby and I went to Costco but found out that nearby RT Mart (Taiwan's version of SM Hypermart) was on sale. We didn't buy anything from Costco, but rummaged through the aisles of items that were on sale in RT Mart.

8. Shangri-La voucher. Ahia was finally able to use my Golden Circle voucher for dinner at Circles Makati Shang last night. It was worth more than US$150 from all the points I accumulated in my hotel stays last year . He brought my mom and my uncle for dinner. I'm just happy seeing them together enjoying a good meal. 

9. Dihia's random messages. My dihia's been sending random messages from the watch that he wants to buy, to helping him translate some words into Mandarin because his co-workers are from Mainland. I miss this guy so much. 

10. Ahia's good news. This is the highlight of my week. Our prayers have been answered and I hope everything goes well. 

Thankful for another week, despite the crazy amount of work in the office. 

Grateful for Always

It still hasn't dawned on me that I'm no longer in my early or mid-twenties. I have just turned 27 a couple of days ago and it will probably take some time before I get the hang of being 27.

I'm truly grateful for so many things in my life (cue Seinabo Sey's Younger in acoustic version). This path I have taken may be the road less traveled- it gets too difficult at times that I want to give up, but I draw strength and motivation from my loving family, my support group here in Taiwan, and my best friends. There are nights when I'm afraid and cry myself to sleep, but then I try to remind myself that for the past 6 years, God has never left me alone, and He will never leave me. He takes away this part of my heart that is sad, consoles it and fills it with joy again. He has given me so much more than I deserve.

Thank You, God, for all 27 years and for Your love which is being manifested through all the people you've put in my life.