I Blog Because…

Before I tell you why I blog, I would like to tell you a story. 
Once upon a time, there was this girl. She was not your typical girl. She climbed trees. She went with her male cousins and uncles to go bird-hunting. She loved designing paper dresses but didn’t really like playing with them so she just made a lot of them and give the dresses (and the paper dolls) to her younger sisters. She loved books. She liked cutting funny or sometimes, sarcastic comic strips and gluing it on her notebook. She kept a lot of diaries. That’s where she kept all the letters, all her thoughts, her poems, everything. 
There was one thing she was really bad at, though. Keeping her things. So as years passed by, all those little treasures were lost. Sometimes, when she would try to look back at the events of her life, she gets nothing. Seriously, there is nothing. She could not remember a thing. So she would puzzle things together or sometimes doubt herself if those memories were just figments of her imagination.

So there. That girl was is me! I blog because I have a memory of a fish. I can remember dates, phone and plate numbers, names, faces but I cannot remember details of a certain event. They are all so blurry. Usually, my closest friends would be the ones to remind me of the whys and the hows of those events. But boy, I tell you, my memory? It is on standby! Has this every happened to you?
I do not want to not remember the events in my life. I want to tell stories to my kid someday of what I have been through, most especially the big moments in my life. Like how I have quit work for him (or her) or what his (or her) parents’ weekends were like when he (or she) was still not around. 
In many ways, it is a blessing. I do not hold grudges primarily because I forget about what happened (unless of course that incident has a tangible reminder that I see often). But it is also a curse — I could not remember a lot of happy things as well. I want to remember these moments and that’s why I am doing this. 
So what else? I blog because I want to share  my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences. To share it to someone who actually cares. To tell my story and hopefully those who are experiencing the same would feel that they are not alone. 
Lastly, I do this because I want to write. I really do. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. I just need to put these thoughts somewhere. Have you ever felt like this? Or am I just really one weeeiiirrrddd lady? 
How about you? If you do blog, what are your reasons? 
xx,
Balot

Coffee + Pups + Everything Nice

Staying at home most of the time is really unnerving. This is especially relevant to people who have always been “out” all their lives. Out for a meeting. Out for  a party. Just out. Transitioning from a phase when you were all over the place and to now when you are cocooned to take things slow and stay at home can be pretty  hard. However, there is one little trick to make it a little easier for you… for us, homemakers. Injecting a little extraordinary activities to our dreary routine.So I am sooo glad to be able to go out last weekend (Saturdays and Sunday are sacred to me and the husband now, to solely spend together and/or with family) and stumble upon this awesome new place in the north.

So….

Do you like coffee? How about dogs? Let’s say we throw in a little pup, I mean, cupcake? Would that be something of interest to you? If you said yes to the first three questions, then I would like to introduce to you some cuteness overload — Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe!

Pet cafes first started in Japan with cats as the “residents”. The Japanese believes that it is therapeutic to be in the company of felines at the end of a stressful day. The idea for these places is for you to be able to “pet and play” with the kittens especially if you cannot own one. Dog cafes are now becoming popular in many places around the globe such as in Korea, Singapore and Thailand, among others.

I could not stop being giddy just writing about this post because I am still in dog haven. So, Edzel’s boss posted these cute lil pups last night. Curious as I am, I asked her what it was and she introduced me to this new coffee shop in Katipunan, Barkin’ Blends.

Barkin’ Blends just opened last September and is located just behind Shakey’s Pizza in Katipunan.

Source: Barkin’ Blends’ Facebook Page
It is located at 91 Rosa Alvaro Street.
Cute little paw prints will guide you to the cafe.
This is how it looks at the outside.

Barkin’ Blends has two areas: the Human Zone and the Dog Zone.

This is the human zone.
You can order some beverages. Here is the list of their menu.
And they have pupcakes, too! Yes, you heard that right! PUPCAKES!
You can enter the dog zone for PHP180 for two hours inclusive of a drink of your choice.
Here you can spend time with pooches while enjoying your drink. I think this cafe will be good for:
  1. Dog lovers who cannot own one because they live in a flat where pets are not allowed. 
  2. Those who would like to know what if feels to be around a pup. I have a friend who likes the idea of dogs but is scared to be around them. This could be a place to get rid of their phobia because the dogs are sooo cute and gentle. 
  3. Someone like me who just wants to spend time with dogs, dogs and more dogs. (And because I have two already and cannot afford to take care of another one.) 
Okay, so the Dog Zone — I lifted this cafe guide from Barkin’ Blends Facebook Page
 
 
 
All the “resident dogs” have been vaccinated and the area is well-maintained. 
 
 
 
 
 
Once you enter, you will be asked to change into slippers and sanitize your hands. The cafe “seals” the drinks to avoid spillage inside the Dog Zone. 
 
Most of them were there except Skye ad Psyche.
 
But before I show you the cuties, let me show you some nice touches of the cafe.
 
 
Punny!


And now, let the dog smooching begin!!!!

This is Ella. She is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund.
She reminds me of Chow, our Dachshund at home.


Cuddle cuddle cuddle!


Of course, I lingered with the one who looks like Sachi. 


And oh yes, his name is Piolo. Hahahahaha!


Hmm, I will just stay here. Zzzz..


Cuteness overload! What’s your name again, bud?


Meet Stitch, uhh. Noo, meet Fiona! This is my first time to cuddle a Shar-pei!


Edzel’s first time, too!


Isn’t she adorable??! Can you see that she has twin nails on her paw?


This is Stoic and Sleepy Marley. 


And the Prima Donna Martha.

Oh and just before I end this, let me say my kudos to the three caretakers of these puppies. They help the dogs warm up to the visitors and made my photo-taking with the dogs possible! Yay!




That was one of the best two hours of my life. And you can see that there is really a community of dog-loving hooomaaannss!

 
 
What are you waiting for, dog-lovers? Cuddle a dog and get yourself some two hours of canine fun! Go and check out the place now! <3
 
xx,
Balot

How to survive staying at home for 17 days

Seventeen has always been a special number to me — my own lucky number. Edzel and I were officially together on a 17th and got married on the same date as well. 
My stint in Canon started on March 17, 2007. Today, October 17, is supposed to be my seventh year and seventh month. However, I am on my 17th day of being a stay-at-home wife (I refuse to call myself unemployed, anymore). So as my own little project, I am listing down the 17 things I learned while, uhh, yes, staying at home.
  1. It is okay to mope. There was a reason why you are now staying at home. Re-focusing your priorities can be tough. But you don’t need to do it on Day 1. It takes time to adjust. Cut yourself a little slack. 
  2. Exercise. When I was still working, I had my own little exercise. Dancing (and singing) inside the car while stuck in traffic. Walking from one department to another to discuss something with someone. Going to McDonalds at the Piazza for my morning coffee. I think (I wish) that I burned some calories there. But now, I have to will myself to stand up from my desk (or bed) and do some exercise. I am planning to attend some yoga classes by next week but in the meantime, I have been learning from Adriene. If you do not have the time  yet to go to a yoga facility, get to know Adriene and visit her site here. I found her on Youtube and I liked her instantly.

    I bet this caught your attention! Haha! Go check her out 🙂 

  3. Read a book. Yes. Of all things bright and beautiful. This is probably the thing that I enjoy the most other than writing. Today, I have re-read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn because I could not remember the details anymore. I have a memory of a fish and every time I re-read a book, it is a whole new feeling all over again. 
    Awesome plot. I wish I have the imagination to write like this. I WISH!
  4. Meditate. I try to do this one hour every day. I have this app called Omvana and they have various meditation “courses” from Overcoming Writer’s Block to centering exercises. It helps me to focus and at the same time, relieve some stress.
  5. Live for the day. I am a planner. I have been doing plans all my life. When I got into corporate, it was even magnified. Event plans. Marketing plans. Name it. Now, my life seems to be at a halt. I could worry about tomorrow. But I have learned not to. Tomorrow will take care of its own. In the meantime, I just do what I have to do for the day. 
  6. Learn how to cook. Okay, so I could not yet champion being a housewife because admittedly, the husband still cooks way better food than me but I am trying. 
    My first successful (read: husband liked it) Beef and Broccoli recipe.
    Check out these photo stories in Instagram: @mrscorporatejunkie.
  7. Go outside and walk the dog. Another version of my exercise. Just so I can walk Sachi, my dog, and get us both out of boredom. 
    Meet Sachi, my forever bored (or sleeping/eating) Labrakita – a half Labrador, half-Akita sweetie.
  8. Organize. Yes. This is the time to do it. I organized all the important documents, the closet, anything I could get a hold of. 
  9. Make a to-do list. If you think that only corporate people should do this, you are wrong. Crossing out items in your to-do list can give you a sense of accomplishment. Go and make one today. 
  10. Go outside and see friends. Because I have all the time in my hands, I have become kaladkarin. Whenever someone wants to have lunch, I am all game. Haha! Gives me more time to connect with friends than ever before.
  11. Write. Write for the sake of writing. Write like there’s no tomorrow. If you love writing, you don’t need any other reason to write except for the love of writing itself.
  12. Take naps. This was one of the many advice of my Ninong. I need to remind myself to take things slower compared to when I was working. I sometimes forget. So I made it a point to take a catnap every afternoon. 
  13. Take a bath. Sometimes, staying at home can be so comfortable. Just to spike me up in the morning, I do my usual routine when I was still working. Wake up early, have breakfast, take a bath. It makes me a little more productive.
  14. Eat at the right time. When you are at a corporate setting, there are scheduled breaks. Morning breaks, lunch breaks, afternoon breaks. It fixes your rhythm quite efficiently. When you have noone to have lunch with, it can get pretty lonely. But heck, that would still be better than causing yourself a really bad hunger pang or worse, some crazy migraine.
  15. Be involved in something. Being alone for most parts of the day (especially for someone like me who have no kids yet) can be unnerving. Noone to talk to. Noone to interact with. The good thing about technology and the Internet is that it now gives us the freedom to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Now, I am a member of several groups and am quite active in some of the forums. Haha!
  16. Play a music. Again, the worst noise you can ever encounter is silence. Play some music. For now, I love how expansive Spotify is. Whatever mood I am in, they got it covered.
  17. Learn when to stop. This I have to really put into action. Since I just stay at home, the things I work on are just around me (literally), I have the tendency to linger until late night. This actually loses the whole point of slowing down. 
So there you go friends. My 17-day journal for being a stay-at-home wife. How about you? Are you staying at home? What is your day like? 🙂
xx,
Balot