Letting my Guard Down

Last day of November, time really flies!

I had a busy weekend, starting with a progressive dinner on Friday night with the foodie girls, Mich, Wai and Shirley. We started with a meal at Bivouac and then finished the night at The Old Crow.

I attended my first Christmas party of 2014 last night, and it was fun. It was with my first group of friends in Perth, and I’ve known the core group for 5 years now. Since then partners, kids, and additional friends added to the mix, so it was a mix of old and new faces. It was a Rubik’s cube-themed party, and it was rather fun. We had catered Filipino food like sisig and lumpia and palabok and staples of a typical Filipino Christmas party–games and a raffle. There was a disco light set up and a smoke machine, so later on that made a fun dancing atmosphere. I cannot dance to save my life, but I was in the company of friends, so I felt it was okay to let me hair down😉

Tomorrow I will be back at a favourite client for another stint, and I am sure they will keep me challenged. As things wind down for most people, I hope to thrive when things get extremely busy. I am also attending a networking event for young professionals, I will do my best to enjoy and I hope this sets a change in my social skills and attitude about relating with different types of people.

Over the past few months, I’ve met and had experiences with people that made me realise how much I starved my curious soul and mind with opportunities to learn and grow. However, I feel intimidated by the effort required. My wall has gone quite high, my heart quite guarded and not really keen to try new things with the risk of failure or looking stupid. Also, the logical side of me is quite settled where I am at the moment. I am way inside my comfort zone. I am now uncomfortable with uncertainty and find myself stressing over matters I cannot control. So yes, I have to make it a point to find new experiences to freshen things up and feed myself.

I will allow myself to enjoy life. I am now out of survival mode. I’d like to attract positive change, meaningful relationships and personal fulfilment.


I am grateful that I have the ability to figure difficult issues out and gain respect of customers and peers. You cannot put a price on a good reputation.

I am grateful that I was allowed to work from home when I was not in the best shape to commute last Tuesday.

I am grateful to be reminded that I am not alone in my situation. We are all very different but pretty much the same, that we all just do the best we can to go through life to find that feeling of belonging, and continued growth, learning to pick the right battles and finding joy with what we have and who we are.

I am grateful to have met a good broker who understands my sentiments in investing and my goal of financial security.

I am grateful for a friend’s generosity that I can attend the Taste of Perth event for free this weekend.

As always, I am grateful that I can go to sleep tonight well-fed and warm, and that my family and my Perth family’s safe and well.


Today is Anzac Day and a public holiday in Australia, making it a long weekend.  When I have nothing planned I usually use the first day of a long weekend as a write-off. I sleep in, spend most of the day in pajamas and catch up on what I feel like I’m outdated on.

Today I got to catch up with friends who I haven’t chatted with the past few weeks. It is exciting updating each other about our lives and I am glad that technology has brought us the convenience  (and cost-effective ) ways of keep in touch with family and friends who live away from us.

I sound like an old fogey being slow, lazy and reflective. I feel that way right now! I have been absent from blogging for a long time…..but for some reason, I felt like writing tonight even if no one visits my blog anymore.

Back to my lazy day. I had date and salted caramel hot cross buns for breakfast which I thoroughly enjoyed. Easter might be over but I still have a hangover from hot cross buns! Over the last few “seasons”, non-traditional flavours have come out, and some gourmet ones too. But the smell of the spice and texture of the bun, slathered with butter…mmm!

A 7th Heaven rerun was on and then watched the Anzac mass at Gallipolli, which was solemn and left me with respect for those who served with honour in the army and the families who tirelessly remember their loved ones among the fallen. A rerun of The Bachelorette finale came on and that kept me occupied as I enjoyed fluffy white rice with boiled eggs and spam, topped with peach chutney. Such comfort food, I haven’t had it for ages!

After a long nap and some paperwork (Ha! I got something done!), I settled myself down with roast chicken for dinner and a mojito for a nightcap. Yes, I have learned how to make a cocktail and  I am pleased that friends have enjoyed it over the Easter holiday and so have I! Time to get my own cocktail shaker and muddler, I want to learn more! Kiki’s Delivery Service came in the post the other day and it was a fun movie. I have not gotten over my Studio Ghibli phase since visiting Japan last November, and each movie is so different and beautiful in their own right. I am not a fantasy genre person but just have to go through the Ghibli stars like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. My favourites are the touching ones though, Only Yesterday and Up on Poppy Hill. I’d like to mention Grave of the Fireflies is a movie that moved me, affected me for days after watching it. It was such a sad, beautiful film…ironically, I agree it’s a film that I hope I’ll never have to watch again.

Tomorrow’s forecast mentioned rain, but I hope I can go to the beach for a walk. I’ve been missing the energy of the ocean; missed weeks of. beach walks due to surgery recovery. I wish I lived closer to the beach, but for now, a 15 minute drive ought to be a reasonable commute.


I went to my local shopping centre this afternoon and passed by a booth promoting volunteering in our local community. They were looking for IT specialists, so I walked up and asked the lady manning the booth what IT skills they were looking for. It was mainly issues around setting up a small office, but with limited resources. I think I can help…putting it on my list then🙂


Woke up ravenous and decided cook myself a silog breakfast. Silog is an acronym for a common Filipino breakfast that combines garlic fried rice (sinangag), egg/s (itlog) and flavorful protein on a plate. Depending on the chosen protein, you complete the acronym. The usuals are tapsilog which is with tapa, cured beef, tosilog, served with tocino which is cured pork. I personally love bangsilog, served with marinated and fried milkfish called bangus and replace the fried egg with a salsa of salted egg, tomatoes and a bit of red onion. So yummy, it reminds me of home.

I had bangus in my freezer but it is smelly to fry–maybe on the weekend–so I decided to do a Spamsilog with Spam! I had it with this nice peach chutney introduced by my South African colleague. It was good, nice alternative to tomato sauce/ketchup.


Mrs H.S. Ball's peach chutney

This chutney would also be fantastic on broiled Confit de Canard, preserved duck leg, which is common in France. I can attest that ducksilog is also yummy! My brother and I loved it!

My Year-Ender

2012 was a mixed bag. I was confronted with so many changes that caused me physical, mental and emotional stress. Still, I think 2012 was a good year. I was blessed with my own home, an answer to a long-standing health issue, received dual citizenship, and started feeling a real sense of belonging in Perth by having trusted friends who are now my second family.

I felt softened by this year’s events. I struggled physically. My mindset wasn’t as positive as I’d like and I was very emotionally vulnerable. Despite the challenging year, I felt closer to my old self, myself in my early 20s when I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain if I followed my heart. It’s hard to explain but realizing this, I hope I will do better dealing with bouts of loneliness, fearing and worrying about the future. See, I survived the last 6 years. God gave me what I needed at the right times. There were things that didn’t work out in my favor but so many did. I know now I have nothing to lose and have everything to gain by taking care of myself, being true to myself and believing in myself!

For 2013, I hope to be closer to my life purpose and re-discovering things that are enjoyable and relaxing to me and doing them often. I want to learn to slow down, enjoy and live in the moment again. I hope for good health and good relationships for myself and my loved ones. I want to improve my fitness and confidence. I want to start meeting new people again, and hopefully meet someone right for me and ready to be with me. I hope for a job change and that is something that will drive me to learn and accomplish cool things. Let’s see how it goes–again, I have nothing to lose aspiring for what makes me happy.

Cheers! I hope 2013 will be a great year for all of us!

My 2012 Christmas

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I spent Christmas eve with Jojo and her family. We had good wine, the best caesar salad, pasta, steak, roast chicken and leche flan and watched the kids open their presents at midnight. I love that they shared their tradition with me. I love traditions and I know I want something similar with my own family someday.

I rang my mom the following morning before heading off to Christmas lunch. It was good to hear that everyone was going to the lunch and I got speak to my nephew for a minute. My family is not the affectionate type but what you see is what you get.🙂 I spent Christmas lunch at Ces and Bien’s with their family and Jojo’s. Again, we stuffed ourselves with yummy food and alcohol and sang karaoke til dark. I really enjoyed the day and grateful for the company of friends.

Today (Boxing Day) was a hot and lazy one. I watched a marathon of Stoked which is a Canadian cartoon TV series and some TVSN–no damage done…yet. I am close to buying an eye serum because I do feel I need to start paying attention to the area around my eyes! Back to work tomorrow–how I wish I took the next 2 days off as well!