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#SpellSaabBookClub: The Happiness Project

A new month means a new book to giveaway!! I’ve never really read any self-help books before but since I’m on the road to a more organized and productive self, I picked up a copy of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin!

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This was my Christmas gift to my grandmother who is kind of a cranky woman. Haha! I know she loves her family but outwardly she can be a bit short-tempered. She told me that she enjoyed the book very much and I get texts from her every other day about random stuff. She sent me ox tail soup when I was sick, and a book about marriage! So sweet! I am hoping the book helped her become a happier person!

The author talks about how she is supposed to be happy since she has a great husband and 2 beautiful daughters. Instead, she tends to focus on negative things and keeps nagging her husband. I’ve asked Jim to read the book as well because he is the type of guy to think the grass is greener on the other side. He tends to dwell on missed opportunities and blames himself for things beyond his control. I also got him a one-sentence journal so he can keep a record and appreciate his beautiful life!

The book has sold over a million copies worldwide but has an average rating of 3.5/5 stars. People seem to find Rubin annoying and I can see why. It’s a very #FirstWorldProblems kind of book but I am a bit guilty of sharing some traits with the author. I can be a know-it-all, a nag, and a perfectionist. I sure hope this helps me address my annoying habits!

I’m giving away 3 bundles of The Happiness Project and the One-Sentence Journal!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be contacted personally via e-mail (the one used to sign in on Facebook) and they can claim the books within 30 days of ontification at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street!

Stay happy, guys!!

WINNERS: Desa Tayting, Ressie Santos, Ysai Santo – please check your e-mail inboxes for a message from Fully Booked within the day! If you don’t get one by tomorrow (August 18), kindly e-mail me at info@spellsaab.com :)


Saab

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What The Truck is Up? Recounting A Productive Week Despite All The Trucks

First things first (I’m the realest #waley): I’m happy to share that Jim has recently been hired by JB Music as their marketing head (woohoo!!). This is a super big deal as he’s perfect for the job, the right balance of musician and businessman! LOVE IT! Anyway, in between his previous job and starting his new one, he decided to take a 2-week break to help with the transition and more importantly to help me manage the wedding requirements. A few months ago I let go of my driver because I was pretty unhappy with him and I don’t have taping for a TV show right now anyway so I can drive myself. Drive myself crazy, that is. Chos. But seriously, each day that Jim and I would go around to run errands, about half our time was spent in the car!!

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Smile nalang?

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We could have been checking so many things off our to-do list but instead we could only do a few things at a time, carefully planning our strategy and timeline for each day. Kaloka talaga, it’s not supposed to be this hard… C-5 and Katipunan ave have been CRAZY all because apparently the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) implemented a NO APPREHENSION POLICY. This means trucks with no business traveling on a national road are allowed until August 29 to do so!! This resulted to an 80% increase of trucks along C-5 and Katipunan!!

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) revealed that there were 15,000 trucks that traversed along Katipunan last July 25. That’s double the number last year. Besides, there’s a daily truck band from 10AM til 5PM and 10PM til 5AM but when I’m driving, I see trucks all around me! WHY?! Also, just this Monday, a 14-wheeler dump truck carrying sand lost its brakes and killed 1 person in an 8-vehicle collision.

Photo from DZMM.abscbnnews.com

The dump truck, which reportedly had engine trouble, was parked by its driver along a steep portion of C5 but slid backwards and hit ‎a six-wheeler truck, three taxis, a closed van, a sport utility vehicle and a private sedan car. (Inquirer)

The guy who died was only 24-years-old. And just yesterday another truck rammed into a wall along Katipunan.

Photo from Coconuts Manila

I mean.. Come on. Get these slow but reckless trucks off the streets already!!

Anyway, I’m still glad we got a lot of stuff done this week. I’m very happy when I’m productive! Last Monday we went to the gym and we were about to go to a one-on-one pre-marriage seminar from 4-6PM along so we left Ortigas at 3PM. It was pretty crazy, we re-routed from Katipunan extension to Marikina but traffic on Marcos was horrible as well. It was already 4:30pm and we were still on Marcos highway, we had to cancel our seminar because we probably would have arrived at 6PM if we braved the traffic. The traffic and the rain even caused us to get so annoyed with each other and later we laughed it off like, “mukhang kailangan nga natin mag marriage counseling” CHAROT. May breakdown pa kasi ako na “I feel like we’re so bad at this! Why are we failing at getting requirements?” with matching tears (#gustomoyun?). Jim’s an angel, he actively changed his cranky mood and told me we could do this! We just needed to plan our day better and kick Manila traffic in the balls!

And so we did! Tuesday was spent at The Medical City, Jim needed to get his requirements for his new job so I figured I’d get my annual pap smear as well. As I exited my OB Gyn’s office, a blog reader of mine asked to take a photo with me. After the photo, I automatically said “uy hindi ako buntis ha!”

My #FanGirl moment! :) Saw @saabmagalona. Naglakas loob akong mag “Hi”. Nguniti sya at nag “Hi” din. Kinapalaan ko ang mukha ko para magpapicture, pumayag sya at kinikilig ako! Sa halos ilang minuto ko syang nakausap (habang nanginginig pa), bukod sa pagiging mabait at accommodating nya, dalawa sa pinakatumatak sa akin na kanyang sinabi ay::7″ 1. “hindi ako buntis ah”. Sobrang tawa ko dun kasi alam ko naman na hindi, dahil fan ako ng blog nya at wala naman ako nababasa dun at halata naman sakanya. 2. “I-tag mo ako”. Yes! Ito na! This is it! Thank you, Ms. Saab Magalona! God bless you and your family! #ThisIsTuesday #Lucky #Blessed

Hahahaha I had to say talaga na hindi ako buntis because about 4 or 5 years ago I went to the OB to get a cervical cancer shot and I saw on Twitter that some girl was saying she saw me at the OB and I looked pregnant!! GRABE ANG SAKIT NUN HA. HAHAHHAHA. Bwisit.

Anyway, we originally planned to go to Katipunan on Thursday very early in the morning but we were feeling lucky on Tuesday. After lunch, Jim said we should just go to Katipunan and get it over with. SO WE DID AND IT WAS GREAT. For some reason, 1PM was a good time to go to Katipunan! No traffic at all! We went to Ateneo so Jim could request for his transcript. Would have been nice to take photos but we promised the guard we wouldn’t park so I had to drive his car around while he dealt with the registrar. Ateneo is still so beautiful. Saw a lot of cute girls, too! Jim said we’ll actually roam around the campus once his transcript is ready for pick up so I’m looking forward to that!!

Our next stop was at Sta. Maria Della Strada Church to pick up Jim’s confirmation certificate (trivia: I’m not yet confirmed so will do that this Sunday, hopefully!!). You need to get your baptismal and confirmation certificates that says FOR MARRIAGE PURPOSES when you get married at church. It’s only valid for 6 months from pick-up FYI! We got there at 1:30pm but sosyal yung church staff, 12nn-2pm ang lunch break. We had time to kill so Jim took photos of me hehe.

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Once we got the certificate, of course it started to rain. We ran to the car and took a U-turn to get to Intermatrix, a company that prints anything you need. We got our Save The Date printed and it took about an hour to have 200 copies made.

DSC02705I can’t wait to share our Save The Date with you but I need to make sure my family and friends see it first before broadcasting it online! Haha!

It was our last task for the day and it was a day well spent :) You know what Jim and I realized?! We haven’t had any carbs or beer since Monday!! Of course it was a conscious effort but still, it was much easier to keep off the good bad stuff when you’re busy!

Wednesday, we separately went to the gym at 10AM and then headed to Makati to run more errands! First stop was at Hans Brumann to look at wedding ring options! Fun!!

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Oops, this one’s too small!

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They’ve got this ring full of rings (ringception) to check the size of your finger. I’m a 4.5!

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Pretty!

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After the jeweller, we headed to Jim’s Ministop branch where he had a meeting! Then we picked up my ate Unna who works in Makati and went to CCP for the gala night of Elmo’s Cinemalaya indie film #Y!

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It was so amazing, it deserves a separate post but I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to take photos, I was feeling very sick that night. I’ve had a runny nose and cough for 3 days now huhuhu. Got a bit claustrophobic with all the people at CCP but I’m very happy at how successful #Y turned out!! YAYY!! We got home so late na haha but still very happy because it was once again a productive day!

Both Jim and my car are coded every Thursday so I took an Uber to my meeting at The Fort. After a very fun meeting (can’t reveal much right now!), I passed by Nuffnang’s office where I always feel so welcome! Nuffnang pretty much manages all the ads on my blog and when I called the country manager on my way to The Fort to ask if I could get help with my layout, he said yes without any hesitation! I’m so happy Ritz of Nuffnang helped me fixed a part of my home page I thought was doomed! It’s a long story haha but anyway, Ritz is now my go-to guy when it comes to my layout! He is 20 but looks 13! I said goodbye to the folks over at Nuffnang (hello to my faves, Marianne and Arriane!) and went to Jim’s place where we watched an episode of Masters of Sex.

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We’re currently on season 2 episode 2 and I am not loving the lead characters (yeah, that’s “lesbian” Janis Ian from Mean Girls lol). We also watched Noah since we missed it in the theaters. Emma Watson was pretty fantastic and I have to admit, I didn’t like her in Perks of Being A Wallflower so I was surprised!

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Love her ♥

So we took a break yesterday but productivity won again as I was at a coffee shop at 7:30 this morning waiting for my ate Unna, my Matron of Honor, for our early meeting about my wedding. Maxx, my Maid of Honor, couldn’t make it because of a work shop but I’ll see her tomorrow! Ate Unna also taught me a little bit about budgeting to get me ready for managing a household! Omg, mother Saab. Exciting but also scary haha. She had to leave by 10AM to pick up her daughter from school so Jim passed for me and we went to the mall to do more stuff. It was pretty awesome getting to Shangri-la at 11AM because it was like a ghost town. Some stores were just opening their doors. I love almost-empty shopping centers! We got a LOT of stuff done and left the mall by 3PM.

And now I’m writing this blog post after taking a nap! We’re about to head out to have dinner with our friends Manny and Ernest and then we’re going to our first “gimmick” of the week at Cubao X for LockedDown night. Our manager thought we’d be out of town today so we aren’t part of the lineup haha but we still love LockedDown so we’ll be there! I haven’t had beer for 6 days and my tummy is thanking me for it. I plan to skip it tonight as well. ANYWAY MAT-TRAFFIC AKO NITO. BYE!

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REVIEW: The Philippine Star Page Suite App

Today’s world is one big blur.

There is always a new update for an app, a celebrity’s relationship status, a basketball game, or a news story. It’s hard to keep up when what I deem as relevant information is swimming in a sea of D-list gossip garbage. I like keeping tabs on important things like what’s happening about the PDAF/DAP scam or how my fellow countrymen are doing after the devastation #GlendaPH left in its wake.

It’s easy to sensationalize headlines for clicks and views. There are thousands of bloggers with no experience pretending to know what they’re talking about. The Internet is so saturated that it gets so confusing.

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For reliable information, I go to what’s black, white and read all over: the good ol’ newspaper – where actual journalists contribute! The Philippine Star, the leading news source of Filipinos worldwide, is embracing technological advances by creating an app accessible on tablets and phones for both iOS and Android devices! Awesome!

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It’s very easy to navigate as a short tutorial is shown once you download the app.

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Switching from one section to another is very neat as a menu pops open when you click the upper left section of the app!

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It’s definitely cleaner than reading an actual newspaper, which leaves ink all over my hands haha! Technically, the app is free. Users can view selected content in the app. However, you have to subscribe to access other content (like digital edition format and the archive). Price of the app subscription is about half of the price of the newspaper. Rates come in 7 Day ($2.99), 1 Month ($6.99), 3 Months ($19.22), and 6 Months ($34.99) for subscription. All subscriptions include a free 17-Day trial upon purchase!

I’m glad to know that The Philippine Star is adapting to the needs of its readers! Just don’t let your kids near your tablet when their teacher requires them to cut out a newspaper clipping!:p

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Songwriting Weekend in Tagaytay

Ready?

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Cheats decided to go to Jim’s house in Tagaytay for a weekend to write new songs. Here are photos I took during the trip! Our first stop was Army Navy for brunch!

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I’m so happy I brought Joey Bear along with me. It’s her first out-of-town trip but she was so well-behaved and had a blast!

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When we got to the house, we had to take out the covers of the porch furniture. It was one adventure after another as spiders and other bugs surprised us with each unveiling! The worst was when Jim took forever to find the right key for the main door and when he finally found it and shouted in celebration, a FROG jumped at us!! Grabe it was chaos thank the lord I wasn’t holding my camera or I would’ve dropped it! Hahaha! I actually thought it jumped inside my jacket so I took it off while running. So crazy.

Meanwhile, here’s Joey Bear hanging out

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Jim and I rode with Ernest and Enzo going to Tagaytay

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Manny rode with April who was my Creative Writing block mate back in Ateneo!

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We realized we were wearing matching clothes!

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Setting up!

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We grilled some steak and liempo for merienda. Well.. They did. Haha!

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Joey playing with Ern Bear

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Sarap!!

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Sanib pwersa tayo, brad!!

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Iron Manny

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The rest of the night was so much fun that I forgot to take photos na! Mau finally arrived with Mayumi coming from an Imago gig around 11PM and we played Taboo, it was so competitive you had to be there. The next morning I was up by 9:30AM and we all did our duties following the check list Jim’s dad gave me for locking up before leaving! Washed all the dishes, took out the trash, mopped the floor, locked bedroom doors, etc. So proud of everybody being so responsible and doing their part ♥

Another highlight of the trip was our impromptu radio show, here are some screenshots from my GoPro. Haha!

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Sunday, we had to say good bye to the house!

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We stopped by Bag of Beans because it’s what my Twitter followers recommended as a dog-friendly place. Not my first time there but breakfast food is always good in my book.

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April is vegetarian so she ordered a vegetarian pie!

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My coffee

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Chocolate chip pancake looks good but was just pancake a couple shades darker with some chocolate chips on top… My mom makes far superior chocolate chip pancakes

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Jim was so excited about his Chicken ala Kiev that even Enzo ordered it. They both agreed medyo waley daw. Haha!

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My personal go-to comfort food is pork tocino. It was so good but it’s really hard to mess up tocino haha!

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They did, however, manage to mess up the bacon. I asked for it to be crispy and they gave me something that was like jerky. Aww

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We surprised Mau at the end of our meal because he just turned a year older last Thursday!:) Yay!!

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What a happy weekend with the band and friends!

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Missed Candy & Miggy a lot but we’ll all be together again in 2 weeks when we go to the beach! Yay!!

Make sure to follow Cheats on Facebook for updates about our upcoming album release!:)

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How City Delivery Lost Me As A Loyal Customer

I have been an avid fan of City Delivery, a service that’s been allowing me to order from restaurants other than the usual fast food joints. I’ve been ordering from them for so long, I even remember back when there was no text hotline yet and when online ordering was much simpler – I’m not a fan of their complicated new website. As a woman with little to no cooking skills, I was happy to pay a little extra to have good food delivered to my doorstep. Lately though, I’ve been losing my patience with City Delivery and today is the day I give up on it out of principle.

Jim and I are homebodies and our date nights are usually spent watching movies at his place. Most nights he cooks for me (I prepare the rice haha) but about once a week we order from City Delivery. Yup, ONCE A WEEK. There was even a time I used to actually order from City Delivery for food that was available in the mall right across my condo just because I was on a writing spree and couldn’t be bothered to cross the street. So there you have it, I am not exaggerating when I say I have been a dream customer: lazy and hungry.

Just so you know I’ve tried ordering from so many restaurants already but for the past year and a half Jim and I have been ordering from either Omakase or Cibo. So last Sunday night when I was feeling a bit feverish, Jim advised me not to go to his or my family dinner and take a nap in his place instead. When I woke up from my nap I was feeling much better but hungry so I did my routine text to City Delivery.

I use his name when ordering from his place. The blacked out info is his address FYI:

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Okay, it’s embarrassing that I ordered pasta AND a panini but I only did it to reach the minimum amount, K?! I was going to keep the sandwich for lunch the following day. Just saying!! Haha. Anyway, as you can see it took them 20 minutes to reply. This is bothersome since delivery time with City Delivery usually takes an hour and a half. This is all so strange to me because back when things were much simpler, they didn’t even need to call me to confirm anymore. I asked them about that over a year ago and they said “when you are a loyal customer we no longer need to confirm your order!” Lately they’ve been calling me to confirm but it’s not a big deal since I just have to say OKAY to everything. The reason why I used to love their text line is because I don’t enjoy talking to strangers over the phone and since I place orders so often, I literally copy paste my text to them.

Tonight, Jim and I just came home from a tiring weekend trip to Tagaytay so we wanted to do our usual movie & dinner date! I ordered way early at 4PM. As you can see from the exchange below, I sent them a text an hour after placing my order. Don’t be deceived by their reply, they didn’t send that until after another 30 minutes when I was on the phone complaining to their hot line (landline).

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Hindi ko alam kung bakit hindi nanaman nila matawagan yung phone ko eh nanonood lang naman ako ng UAAP game on TV habang nagchcharge yung phone ko sa tabi ko. The girl from the hotline told me my order was on hold because they couldn’t reach my phone. I was so shocked that I wouldn’t have known my food wasn’t coming had I not called them. While I was on their hot line, their reply to my text came in. The girl on the phone said that she would tell the agent in charge of the text line to call me right away. I waited for 5 minutes but no call came. I finally called their text line (it’s not usually allowed) and a girl named CJ answered and she was apologizing. I asked why they didn’t just text me if they couldn’t reach my phone and she couldn’t explain she just kept saying “sorry for the inconvenience.” I asked her what was going to happen now and she asked me if I was confirming my order so they can finally process it already. Naloka talaga ako – an hour and a half to confirm and process my order. That meant I was going to wait another hour and a half for my order to arrive. I doubt they were dialing my number on repeat the whole time. They probably called, it was busy (again, my line was open and phone was working correctly) and they forgot about me.

Fast food restaurants usually try to appease their customer when they are a few minutes late by giving the food for free or giving a discount coupon. My order was going to take a total of 3 hours and they expected me to just take their incompetence. I couldn’t believe it talaga, I even told the girl to ask her manager if they couldn’t do anything to keep me happy not because I’m a celebrity (they think my name’s Jim Bacarro) but because I’m a LOYAL customer. What’s one free meal to keep a regular weekly customer happy, diba? Nope, wala talaga. I told her I was never going to order from them again.

You guys know I don’t like to rant about anything here on my perfectly happy blog but this just made me feel very small and dispensable. I hope by putting this out there, other businesses will learn to improve their customer relations. I’ve only said I wouldn’t ever go back to a restaurant once before when Sand Bar in Boracay charged us for a glass of scotch that never came and when we corrected them, they argued pa and demanded that we pay. Like I would try to get out of a 150-peso glass of scotch just for the sake of tricking someone. Of course we paid for it because ayoko mag skandalo doon noh but I declared I would NEVER go back there again. I don’t think I ever tweeted about that, it happened like 3 years ago – just to let you know I’m not in the business of ranting online. Well, it was my first and last time there so it’s not like I miss it.

But this is something I will probably miss so to help me keep my word and never order from City Delivery again, maybe you can give me alternatives? Thanks!<3

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MUDBLOODS: A Documentary About Real-Life Quidditch

It’s the first time I’m hearing about real-life quidditch, a sport invented by Harry Potter series author J.k. Rowling. Apparently the Quidditch World Cup has been happening annually for 5 years and this documentary called MUDBLOODS (how offensive.. chos) is about the UCLA Quidditch team making it to the World Cup in New York City!

My question is: is there a team here in Manila and how do I try out?!

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Pop Quiz: Rainy Day Essentials

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Yesterday’s OOTD was brought to you by Bagyong Inday! Here are my rainy day essentials!

BOOTS – Well, I wear these rain or shine but they’re especially useful in the rainy season! One of the worst feelings in the world is getting your feet (or worse: socks) wet outdoors!

SWEATER – I’m very sensitive to temperature changes. I sweat easily when it’s warm but I get very cold when there’s a breeze! I like wearing sweaters because you can just take it off when you’re feeling hot! Plus, wearing it allows you to eat a bit more of that rainy day comfort food ;)

LIP BALM – Beware of windburn! Even if it’s the wet season, it’s easy for skin to get dry so make sure you pack some moisturizer in your bag as well! I tend to bite my lips when I’m stressed (i.e. traffic because of the rain) and lip balm keeps my anxiety at bay.

MUSIC – Whether you’re safely indoors or you’re stuck in traffic (as a passenger, of course), the rain gets you in an emo mood so don’t try to fight it. Listen to those records or put your iPod on full blast. I-iyak mo lang yan, teh! Or if you’re not in the mood for drama, ask people to come over and have a small party. The rain shouldn’t dampen your plans! Unless it’s a really big storm then wag ka na umalis ng bahay mo. Lol!!

CUDDLE BUDDY - What I need most on a rainy day is a good cuddle! It can be my mom, my boyfriend, my pet, or my pillow!

Hugs all around!!

♥,
Saab

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Musicalligraphy: Leave Your Lover by Sam Smith

Today’s musicalligraphy (where I practice my calligraphy skills using song lyrics) is brought to you by the wonderful Sam Smith. Leave Your Lover is such a beautiful song – one of many from his amazing debut album. I can’t believe this guy is 22.

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We sit in bars and raise our drinks to growing old
Oh, I’m in love with you and you will never know

Painfully beautiful

♥,
Saab

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Musicalligraphy: Snap Out Of It by Arctic Monkeys

You know my daily song choices? Well instead of using YouTube videos to share them on my blog, I think I’ll practice my calligraphy. I hope you enjoy and I do hope I progress as time goes by!

Hooray for new hobbies! I’m seriously just a newbie at this so please have mercy.

Today’s song is Arctic Monkeys’ Snap Out Of It and my favorite line is this one:

forever isn't for everyoneDoesn’t it just suck when your friend thinks he/she is in love with someone but everyone else can clearly see otherwise? Heck, I’ll still post videos on my daily song posts haha! Enjoy!