I Got my Mulberry plant for FREE

A year ago at the height of pandemic lockdown I came across a local facebook community called Share-a-plant Movement and luckily there was someone who posted that he’s willing to give mulberry cuttings for free but interested party will shoulder the shipping fee, it’s in a nearby city so I message that I would like to have some, he also taught me the basics on how to root the cuttings, I was very thankful for that information as well as the free cuttings now after almost a year here they are 🙂 This picture taken 2 mos. ago, I have 5 pots, some I already gave to some relatives and friends because that was also what the giver asked me to do to propagate the plants and in return someday I could also give cuttings for free. I already gotten some tiny fruits which is fine, I enjoy picking them and putting it on my tea or oatmeal.

God has blessed us with every blessing that comes from heaven.

Ephesians 1:3

Happy Place

” You have to find that place that brings out the human in you, the soul in you, the love in you.” – R.M Drake

This is the first in months that I drew something, through painting I can be at peace, my mind is focus on one thing, my hand glides through the paper in a meditative state- it’s relaxing, it soothes my soul and for a moment my mind’s in a happy place.

I grew my first Sunflowers

I planted a small variety of sunflower called suntastic sunflower – since I’m only growing them on containers. I saw an online shop that sells trial packs of seeds so it’s a good bargain, I never thought I could grow sunflowers but it did and I’m just happy to have seen and experienced the whole process. Now i’ve collected some seeds from the ones that I grew, planning to plant a bunch of them.

“Even on the darkest days, stand tall and find the sunlight.”

Rooftop Quarantine Garden

Due to the Covid pandemic we’re forced to stay indoors, the silver lining of this crisis is that we’re able to take time out, some of us learned how to bake, cook and some found their passion for keeping houseplants or was able to start a garden in their backyard, in a small spaced balcony or at the rooftop of their home. For me, I started to get serious with baking and tried selling some baked goodies. I also thought about trying to give container gardening another chance, since I still have pechay seeds. Because of the uncertainty that’s happening around I guess it was instinct that all I can think about was food security.

I started to grow pechay, tomatoes, radish and some bell peppers and a few flowers, sound awesome but not really, I don’t have a very productive container garden since I have limited and poor soils, however I’m a newbie and I’m still learning, despite the low productivity I enjoyed watching the plants grow and bear flowers or fruits even if its just two or three pieces, It was therapheutic- it calms my mind and I can feel it reduces my stress, truth is- I am in a lot of stress lately.

These are the pechay that I grew and harvested, cooked some with canned sardines in tomato sauce it was good.

 

These are the peppers, grown from kitchen scraps

The scarlet globe radish, I planted this just out of curiosity I’ve never tried radish like this before sadly the plant box where I placed my seeds fell over so I was just left with 2

 

These are the flowers that I planted, I really really wanted cosmos been trying to grow some before but no luck however now I finally got my wish, another dream plant is the moss rose or vietnam rose, my brother gave me some cuttings now I have propagated quite a number of them, I also have portulaca that’s also flowering 

the sunflower gave me a cheery vibe, this is the first time I grew sunflower, it really made me happy whenever I check on the plants now I understand why it is always associated with being happy, cheerful and hopeful,  because of that I might just do another blog dedicated to my sunflowers.

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I also have mini roses before I placed it on the rooftop both plants were really in a bad shape but somehow it grew leaves and now it’s also flowering, been raining the past few days and I think it likes rain been getting flowers non stop, I’m glad.

The before and the not-so-long-ago state of my rooftop container garden

garden

Now the sunflowers are gone and I have collected its seeds planning to try planting them this rainy season, currently I have a few water spinach or kangkong planted and also trying to grow eggplants and coriander, not so lucky with my tomato plant so in the near future I might buy seeds of cherry tomato, okra, basil and beans. Have a blessed day, keep safe!

 

A COIN & CHARM

August is History Month in the Philippines so I thought maybe I should find some information on 2 particular items that I own that I’m most curious.

First, a pendant I found on the side of the road while I was playing when I was little, I have kept it ever since but I don’t know what it really is aside that it’s a pendant, it has some Chinese characters on it but I don’t know what it means. My mother is a sucker of Feng Shui stuff so I’m familiar with the Chinese Bagwa, I thought it was a mini version of it.

With the help of technology – google translate, I think I figured out what it says.

So it must be a year of the sheep amulet/pendant. If anyone out there knows what this is, what’s it for and what it really means leave a comment I would really appreciate it.

Second is the oldest coin I own, the letter S at the left part of the date means it was minted in San Francisco if it were M it would mean Manila 😊 no value at all but cool to look at a piece of history.

 

A Rose on Mother’s Day

While I was staying with my mother after my father passed I noticed their neighbor has a beautiful blooming red rose, I really liked it I thought it was beautiful. When we were getting ready to go home after staying for more than a month at my mother’s house, we passed by the neighbor with the roses, the owner was outside when my mother approached her to say hello and introduced me, I remembered her roses and complimented her-during this time the roses has finished blooming and she was about to prune the plant, so she gave me 2 cuttings. FREE ROSES! I planted the cuttings the following day, I successfully grew one of the cuttings and I’m so glad, my mother bought a mini rose for her terrace and I promised her that if I grew the rose I would give her a cutting too so she’ll have a different variety. Share a plant, Share the love. 🙂

I received the cuttings by mid of March then after a week I saw some new growth on the stem. I was so happy , this is the first time I grew a rose from cutting. then weeks went by and it grew more leaves then last month I started to feed it with growth fertilizer.

Early this week I noticed a bud but at first I thought- is it possible? Seems like the plant is not big enough to produce a flower, I really don’t have a clue about growing roses. but soon enough it became clear that IT was a flower bud 🙂

Happiness. I messaged my mother to tell her the news, I even sent her a picture, she loved the flower told me to take care of it because the rose seems to be a generous bloomer. She also told me that her rose plant has one bloom as of the moment. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and my adopted plant gave me a rose.

Birthday Staycation

A staycation, or holistay, is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance of their home and does not require overnight accommodations.

This year I had some reward points from Agoda from our previous vacation so I decided to have a staycation on my birthday. My family and I stayed at The Malayan Plaza Hotel, this is the second time we stayed here, what I like about this hotel is their price, cleanliness, spacious room and location, it is conveniently located across 2 major malls – The Podium and a good 5 min+ walk away from Megamall. There’s also a Ministop convenience store outside the vicinity of the hotel. We booked the Studio Triple Deluxe room, it has a small kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, electric kettle and sink. The bathroom is also clean and that’s really a plus I get easily disappointed when the bathroom is not well maintained and clean. They don’t have available slippers and bathrobe so you need to bring your own slippers and robe. They have available wifi that can accommodate 4 gadgets however signal is a little weak, so if you’re bringing in work that would require internet usage you might get a little frustrated but for me since I’m just chilling and enjoying the comfort of an air-conditioned room while lying in bed-I’m fine with cable tv. Another facility we often used is the swimming pool area, my little one loves water so she enjoyed swimming in the kiddie pool. Their kiddie pool is under the shade so you don’t have to worry about your little one getting a major sun burn. The big sized pool’s length is long enough for you to make laps, the water temperature is manageable not too cold nor too warm. Another plus point is that their pool area isn’t always too crowded.

This is exactly the room we had. Photo grabbed from Malayan Plaza Hotel website.

They provide room service, the food that we ordered we’re good, my only issue is that some have small servings, their shake was served in a small glass, the pork sisig that we ordered (didn’t took a picture) have a really small serving, it’s in a sizzling plate so when it got to our room it was slightly burnt though it was seasoned well, it’s still a sad plate of sisig. The sandwich and the asian chicken that we ordered the first night were good in terms of it’s taste, portion and price. We didn’t get to try their breakfast buffet.

Staff were cordial and helpful. Would I ever come back? This is my 2nd time so, yes I might comeback for another staycation.

late afternoon view

Figuring out a skin care routine in my mid-3o’s

Last year I realized that I should start taking care of my skin, well because I can already see the signs of *bleep* like enlarged pores, yikes! I really have little knowledge about skin care especially in the face, my early introduction to moisturising was my mother’s Nivea creams in those blue circular tins and Eskinol. When I was a kid, I would put Nivea on my face just to imitate my mother- just for fun. One of the earliest skin care routine I remembered was during my elementary days, mama gave me Mena (a local cream) she said it’s good for my skin so I put it on my face before I go to school, it made my face so white that my cousins would laughed at me, so I stopped using it. During High school, I just use regular soap to clean my face, I never put any cream or any cleansing products on my face because I have sensitive skin I was scared I would get breakouts. One regimen though that I did when I was in college was introduced by my mother, she said that when I get a pimple I should wash my face with a solution of tea with calamansi (a local citrus), it worked on me, it easily dried my pimple, plus it’s all natural.

Now in my mid -3o’s, I was clueless on what product to start with, as a kdrama watcher I got familiarized with the k-pop culture and I thought why not try this growing popularity of Korean skin care method. I rarely use make-up so I want my skin to look presentable as it is- without concealers and foundations just a little blush and lip tint, that’s it! Thats what I want. I started reading and watching about the korean skin care routine, my first thought was- wow too labor intensive! (and a little expensive) hihi. But then if it could give me just a little bit of that Jang Nara glow then maybe it would be worth all that work.

I already started doing it last year, I was not really committed then, I was not consistent in doing it, I didn’t not really pay any attention of what it did to my skin then I stopped doing the routine and neglected my skin plus I haven’t been getting enough sleep these days then my face started to dry, it’s getting flaky patches, and I’m breaking out. I thought I was having dermatitis (the tragedy of diagnosing oneself thru the use of internet). I decided to pick up my night creams and for the last 3 days I’ve been hydrating and moisturising my skin. Viola! flaking is gone.

So here’s my simple nightly routine because I really can’t keep up with that 10 steps, however, with this limited items it has worked with my goal of keeping my skin moisturized and hydrated.

  1. Cleanser – I don’t double cleanse since I rarely use make-up. I used to use Neogen Green Tea Facial Foam wash, it’s good for sensitive skin it’s not drying and It didn’t break out my skin, I already used the whole bottle so for now I’m currently testing Face Shop’s Mineral Cleanser on my face.
  2. Exfoliator- I saw this on Michelle Phan, a slice of lemon and sugar granules then gently scrub on face.
  3. Toner- I used to use Son and Park Beauty Water, I already finish the small bottle so this time I’m trying a homemade / organic concoction- ACV as a toner, saw it on a youtube episode of Dr. Oz. I get dark spots whenever I get pimples since ACV’s claim to fame is clarifying the skin, like lightening dark spots, I’m gonna give this a go.
  4. Treatment – ACV serum by Skin genie, a local brand.
  5. Sheet masks- I love sheet masks! It seemed that sheet mask’s has essences and treatments in them so I decided not to purchase bottles of essences. I had the opportunity to go to S. Korea last holiday season and bought sheet masks on sale, I will try to do this maybe 3x a week just to see if it could make a big difference.
  6. Moisturizer – Benton High Content Steam Cream

So far after 3 days straight of doing this routine, my face hasn’t been too dry. Aside from the routine, I tried to drink more water and less coffee, of course all these products would be more effective if we also start to take care of what we put inside our body so I’m eating more fruits – trying to have a healthy habit and exercising for 30 mins in the morning. It’s advisable to start moisturising and putting sunscreens in your 20’s which I never did, but It’s never too late to take care of yourself, not only on the outside but also on the inside.

A baker’s daughter

2  years ago I wanted to make something productive, so I started baking. I have dabbled on it before but I had not taken it seriously but now I’m thinking this might be something I could do on the side that I would enjoy. Half of my childhood was spent in a bakeshop environment. My mother is a full time nurse and my father was a freelancer- sort of, he took vocational courses in Don Bosco College, so he took electrical repair jobs on the sides . My mother likes to bake, my father is a good cook and this tandem led to a small family bakeshop business but our bakery didn’t last long, we had to close it for some reason but it was transferred to our small house, our house became a home slash bakery. My morning alarm would be the sound of mixers mixing icings or rollers rolling doughs, it’s as irritating as an alarm clock when you’re a child- what’s worse is that It also happened on weekends when I so wanted to sleep late since it’s not a school day. My brother helped in our family business so he had to be home by 6 PM because they had to make monay- a filipino burger bun type of bread, and he would also deliver it early in the morning to selected stores in our neighborhood. When I was in high school we stopped making bread every day and scaled down to made-to-orders only, most of the time it was wedding or birthday cakes, I admire the partnership of my parents, they held their cool under pressure and I would always be in awe of the final result of their cakes. The design and quality can compete with the commercial cakes during that time. On my later years in high school they have sold most of the baking apparatus like the roller machine and the big oven, slowly our house looked like a home again that time my mother decided to open a little eatery in front of the house that sells baked products like cakes , brownies, puto and cassava cake and meals like mami, lugaw, sopas, short order pancit, palabok and halo-halo, most of these were cooked by my father- he’s very meticulous when it comes to cooking and he makes sure not to skimp on ingredients to produce quality dishes, we would all take turns to look after the mini store, sometimes exhaustion would cause emotions to flare but my brother was always there to support me. I grew up around food and I have to admit I am a foodie but one might wonder why I didn’t take culinary courses, one of the reason is I just realized my passion for cooking later in life. I don’t remember when we stopped running the bakeshop, but my parents still accepted made-to-order cakes on special occasions, they’d offer Christmas desserts like ube halaya and leche flan to their loyal customers. Sadly, my father passed this year, so I don’t know if my mom could still accept orders.  As for me, I’m trying to learn as much as possible about baking from my mother and some personal research on the internet hopefully I could be as good as them and hoping I could continue their legacy.

Here’s some of my first cupcakes and cakes 🙂

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