Who Am I?

So… In rebooting this blog, I realized that I should at least introduce myself to whoever may be reading this. A bit of personal background so you’ll at least have context for whatever things I may end up blogging about.

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Rebooting this blog

So… It’s been more than three years since my last post. (Ohmigod). I am now in my thirties, and life has.. changed. I’m thinking of blogging more regularly and to have more variety in my blog posts. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up, but I do kind of want to share more about my life, and life in Metro Manila in general.

I’m thinking of getting into blogging about personal finance and budgeting, because it really is a huge part of my life right now. And just life as a thirty-something woman living in this crazy city (that I love so much, LOL).

I’m still percolating this whole idea, so it’ll probably be awhile before something really comes out of this blog, but I’m kind of excited to dive into more of my life and revive this blog.


Meet My Cousin! (Hobonichi Cousin, that is)

So, I showed you guys a sneak peek of my DIY cover for my Hobonichi Cousin last time. I’ve decided to share a bit how I made it and how it looks.


The front. Yeah, it’s plain looking, that’s how I roll

It’s something I whipped up quickly because I just wanted to keep Hobo (that’s what I call it. Haha) safe. It’s really more of a temporary cover since I really want to get him a leather cover, but I want it to be a cover I fall in love with.



I spent nothing making this because everything was already from my stash. The denim came from an old pair of jeans and the blue cloth is from an old button up.


The front has pockets

Because I’m a lazy person and I really just wanted to do a quick project, I didn’t really do any proper measuring for this (if I had, I would have made the covers fit a lot closer to the gutter of the binding). Instead I traced around Hobo straight onto the denim. The slip pockets and front pockets were all eyeballed. I used the sleeve of the button up to make the pockets. See those hemmed tops? Yeah, I just used the hemmed ends of the sleeve so I would have to do less sewing.

This was basically just sewing a square. I think pinning it together before sewing took the longest time, just because I had to keep several layers in place. Yes, it’s kind of lopsided, but I love it still.

And as a bonus, I’m showing you a bit of how I’m using Hobo right now. I’m still trying to figure it out and I’m pretty sure once January starts and I start using the daily pages, I’ll settle into it.


Year view

I’m still trying to decide exactly how I’m planning to use the year view. So far, I’ve only got holidays in (I shaded the last box, so there’d still be plenty of space in case I do decide to use this for something else)


December month view

This is actually how I plan to use the month views during the previous month. To keep track of bills and income for our monthly budgeting. I used plastic sticky tabs so I can just move them to the January once December starts.

I don’t plan to use the month views for actually planning (hence all the sticky tabs). Planning will go into the week views. I’ll be using the month views the same way I use the month views in my previous planner, for recording the month’s fun events.


I do use the notes column at the end of the month view for tasks I know I have to get done in that month, but isn’t a set week or day for it yet. The picture above is from May. My driver’s license is expiring on my birthday, so I know I have to renew it sometime in that month.

I hope you liked this look into Hobo. I’ve never actually used a day per page planner, but the Hobonichi paper is just so gorgeous that I had my heart set on using it as a planner.

I know most of the Hobonichis online are being used as art journals, but I’m going to be one of those boring people who’ll be mainly using it as a planner. With some of my daily mini-journaling that I actually do in my weeks across two pages planner right now. I got the Cousin because I need the weekly pages for planning and A5 really is my favorite size for notebooks

I’m baaaack

So… I haven’t written an entry in more than a year. Ohmigod. I’m really bad at this blogging thing. I guess I’m really not much of a blogger, but I’ve decided that if I want to write an entry, by golly I’m going to write an entry.

I’m currently obsessing over my 2016 Hobonichi Cousin. I’d been lusting over the Hobonichi for quite some time now and was contemplating getting one for next year or even for 2017. Luckily, one of my friends had a conference in Japan in early November and that quickly made up my mind for me. I got him to buy me one since was the cheapest option, compared to buying from local resellers. I didn’t get a cover, though. I’m on the lookout for a cover I’d love, but for now I made a cover for it (I’ll probably do another entry on this, since it’s actually something crafted).


Here’s a pic of my Hobonichi Cousin in its new cover

I’ve also been making a bunch of Christmas presents. My Christmas list isn’t completely done, but I’m probably midway done. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I like to get my Christmas list done waaay ahead of Christmas. There’s just something about making lists and putting together Christmas presents that I love.


The bottom shelf of one of my bookshelves is reserved for Christmas prezzies (as you can see I already have some wrapped)

I’d love to say that I’ll be blogging more, but I don’t really know. Work has been eating up my days, and my life is pretty boring.


2014 Christmas Prezzie List

(edited: 2015-05-06)

I know, I know, it’s still two months to Christmas, but I like to start on my Christmas prezzies early. So… Here’s my Christmas list.

Kids in my life:

– I don’t know if I’ll be able to get Christmas prezzies to my cousins’ kids this year because I don’t think we’ll be having Christmas together since we’re staying here in Manila.

– K (my childhood friend’s little boy). I was able to score some Janod lacing blocks for P200 (that’s about $5) at the Hobbes and Landes Warehouse Sale last Friday. The box was so damaged, hence the rock-bottom price, but the blocks were good. I’m thinking of adding some shoelaces to it for lacing since the string it comes with is pretty short and sewing a case for it. (yeah, that didn’t happen)

[x] wooden lacing blocks

[x] additional laces

[x] two stuffies (bought at the Hobbes Sale for P50 each)

[ ] case

– J (the little boy who has his bday so close to Christmas). Since the punch box was such a hit last year, I’m using that again this year, but with a twist. (I spent the afternoon making the punch box, actually). J is a fan of legos, so I made this punch box look like a Lego brick. Everything was made from stash and I decided to make this one more permanent than last year’s so they can reuse it as a punch box (I’m planning to give extra tissue paper and rubber bands to his mom so they can have fun with it).

[x] bday: Lego punch box – from stash

  • [x] 2 packs interlocking popsicle sticks (bought at the National Bookstore sale last year)
  • [x] stickers (NBS sale)
  • [x] dice erasers (NBS sale) – may add Lego erasers here too
  • [x] finger paints (NBS sale)
  • [x] gift check stating that we’ll take him out skating when he wants (still have to check with his mom that she’ll agree to this, though)  (decided to go with fabric crayons)
  • [x] Lego knock-off toy rocket shooter thingy that I took home from our high school’s alumni homecoming last year
  • [ ] 7 balloons with flat tops inside (or whatever candy is his current favorite)

[x ] Christmas – planning on wrapping in a Lego brick box

  • [x] stacking spoon and fork
  • [x] rainbow markers

(ended up not giving the markers, but he enjoyed the spoon and fork


– still thinking about this. To be honest, I’m out of ideas for these guys. I’ll keep an eye out for things I can give them, but I can’t really think of anything to give them that I can make (that I haven’t already given them.

– DL: maybe a recipe book/binder? I think she misplaced the one I gave her before. If I see one on sale, must get it.

– LC: no idea. I might split with DL for her present?

–  RC: same as LC

HS friends:

– if we end up having a group exchange gift, I’ll splurge on one good gift. If not, I guess I can make something small for all of them? No clear ideas at the moment.

Amazon’s 100 Books To Read

Idea from Planet Millie

Books. I love books, if you haven’t noticed yet. Here’s another book list, this time from Amazon. I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a lot of these, but we’ll see, right? (Bold for finished, italics for started and not finished)

1. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

I never got into this book. Everyone in my family read this, my father kept asking me to find him copies of the whole series and my brothers were really into it, but when I tried reading it, I just didn’t like it. 

2. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Yes, it’s a sad book. But I liked it. It’s not life-changing good, but it’s a good read

3. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

One of my favorite books from childhood. I love this book a lot.

4. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Weirdly, enough, haven’t read this yet. 

5. The tiger who came to tea – Judith Kerr


6. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson


7. Nineteen eighty-four – George Orwell

Read this and enjoyed it. I can pinpoint the general time I first read it, that’s weird.

8. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nope. I keep meaning to read this, but I always forget about it when I’m picking a book to read.

9. We’re going on a bear hunt – Michael Rosen


10. The Secret History – Donna Tartt


11. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Oh, god. We had to watch the movie of this when I was in 2nd or 3rd year high school. I think it pretty much scarred me for life. I can’t read it, I just can’t

12. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend


13. Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt


14. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne


15. The Hare with the Amber Eyes – Edmund de Waal


16. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman


17. A brief history of time – Stephen Hawking

I love this book. But I really do think you have to be a huge science nerd like I am to really enjoy it. I’ve read and re-read this a few times because you just don’t get everything in one sitting. I love how it gets to the fun parts of science without having to get into the nitty-gritty of the math, unlike textbooks. Reading it also makes me realize just how incredible human brains can be

18. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

Nope. Again, I keep thinking about wanting to read this then forgetting

19. Cider with Rosie – Laurie Lee


20. The Road – Cormac McCarthy


21. Long walk to freedom – Nelson Mandela


22. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier


23. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

Read this. But the story I always remember when it comes to this is one of my father’s university professors assigning this book (and only this book) as the reading for one whole semester. That must’ve been exhausting.

24. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

I hate the Bronte sisters’ books. I have no idea why people like them. 

25. The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde

This book is awesome

26. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote


27. The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sacks


28. Bad Science – Ben Goldacre


29. Never let me go – Kazuo Ishiguro


30. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien

A family favorite. This is the first fantasy series I ever read and finished and I love to re-read it. I really associate Tolkien with a lot of things in my childhood since The Hobbit was the first novel I ever read, even though it took me weeks (or was it months) to finish it. 

31. The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton


32. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

I don’t think I ever finished this

33. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

I just started reading this!

34. The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes


35. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

For the longest time I associated Austen with the Brontes and I kept away from her books (I know, that was stupid of me). Thanks to rewatching Wishbone in uni, I read this and I loved it. I’ve also read all her other books by now.

36. Crime and Punishment – F. M. Dostoevsky

My father had a complete Dostoevsky collection. I remember starting most of them, but never finishing them

37. Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz

Haven’t read this

38. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque


39. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami


40. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

I was freaking scared of this as a kid. Still read it though.

41. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins

Haven’t read it. But I think we have one of his other books. I remember the name

42. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

This is hilarious. I used to grab one of the five books of this ‘trilogy’ whenever I wanted something light to read.

43. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith


44. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Nope. But I have been wanting to read this

45. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry


46. Dissolution – C. J. Sansom


47. American Gods – Neil Gaiman

I love this book. Especially for the ‘I believe’ speech. ‘I can believe in things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe in things where nobody knows if they’re true or not’ (typed that from memory, it might not be completely accurate)

48. Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson


49. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson


50. Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson


51. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Love this. For the longest time, my (big now) little brother would only read Roald Dahl books and we had all of them!

52. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Read this during that classics phase I went through in high school.

53. A History of the World in 100 Objects – Dr Neil MacGregor


54. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh


55. The Stand – Stephen King

Haven’t read this, but I like most of King’s books (not so much his later ones). I have this huge problem with reading Stephen King because horror books make it very hard for me to sleep at night, but I like his writing so I keep reading them.

56. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy


57. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis


58. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh


59. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie


60. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Read this as a kid

61. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver


62. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks


63. London: The Biography – Peter Ackroyd


64. Wild Swans – Jung Chang


65. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett

I keep meaning to read Discworld, but haven’t gotten around to it

66. White Teeth – Zadie Smith


67. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John le Carre

I liked this book

68. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

Haven’t read this one yet.

69. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Sad, sad book

70. Atonement – Ian McEwan


71. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding


72. Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer

I liked reading this, but I think it was my little brother who absolutely loved this series. He was a lot younger when he started reading this, so that must be a factor.

73. Brighton Rock – Graham Greene


74. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

High school classics phase

75. Casino Royale – Ian Fleming


76. Do androids dream of electric sheep? – Philip K. Dick

Another book I keep meaning to read

77. Watchmen – Alan Moore

I liked this, but I decided that I would never read it again because it was depressing.

78. Little Women – Louise May Alcott

‘A classic.  I have read it, and I cried. Pretty much the standard response.’ <- what Millie said

79. London Fields – Martin Amis


80. Venice – Jan Morris


81. Knots and Crosses – Ian Rankin


82. Watership Down – Richard Adams

I keep meaning to read this

83. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie


84. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot


85. The Hound of Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

We used to have the whole Sherlock Holmes collection. I love reading Sherlock

86. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje


87. Schlinder’s Ark – Thomas Keneally


88. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

Read this, of course.

89. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby


90. Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne

I love Winnie-the-Pooh. 

91. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

Read this, of course

92. Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian


93. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood


94. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson


95. Birdsong – Sebastien Faulks


96. Last Orders – Graham Swift


97. The Time Machine – H. G. Wells

I remember reading this for the first time and it was like a light bulb switched on in my head when he was explaining the dimensions.

98. My Man Jeeves – P. G. Wodehouse


99. The Commitments – Roddy Doyle


100. The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy



Gaah. I can’t believe I’ve only read a fourth of these books.


Well… It’s Been Forever

I haven’t blogged in forever. I’m really bad at this blogging thing. This isn’t even a real entry, really. I just wanted to share this with the world (picture not mine, it’s from Alunsina’s FB page):

I’m soooo excited for this. I just preordered a set (and aren’t I lucky that my name starts with an A so having Alunsina’s embossed A makes it look like it’s been personalized for me?). I plan to blog about it once I get my set and hopefully get back into the swing of blogging. (Really, 5 months away is just crazy)