April 30, 2015

April Favorites

Ivory Ella: this company not only makes the cutest elephant sweaters I've ever seen, but they also donate 10% of all profits to an elephant-preserving charity! 

JacksGap, aka the brainchild of Jack and Finn Harries--British twins + Youtube + a nack for sharing stories = happiness

Because one gif simply isn't enough to sum up the beauty that is Would I Lie To You's David Mitchell 

A fellow travel blogger, Brooke lives the life of a total nomad, and all (well 99%) solo!

This show, recently rediscovered by moi after an affair with the first three seasons a couple of summers ago, is always interesting, and every single episode draws a tear from the eye.
April 26, 2015

Dealing With An Injury

My plans for blog posts this week were derailed again by an unexpected occurrence in the form of an injury. I figured I could blog about this as, and both Ammie and Mom will attest to this, I've had my fair share and then some of injuries. I haven't had one in a while but this one is more on the serious side so I figured....

  1. Don't overdo it.  When you feel something pop or pull or snap...stop! Stop working out or doing what you're doing. Normally it's nothing too serious that a few days of taking it easy and some ice won't cure. If it continues, see number 2:
  2. Get help when you need it.  I know too many people, and I've been there myself, that don't go to the doctor until it's much later into their injury and it has progressively gotten worse than it was at the beginning. It's much better to seek a professional's advice on something when it's minor rather than needing more of their services when it has become something major.
  3. An ice pack is a necessity.  Also, ace bandages to wrap joints, Advil and Tylonol, a thermometer, orange juice, cough/throat lozenges, NyQuil for the nights you can't sleep. Essentials for when you're feeling bad. 
  4. Crutches suck.  Know this in advance. Know that your arms and your side and your back will hurt so much your first day after using them. Oh, and stuffed animals taped to the armpit rests make it better.
  5. If you have to call in it.  But don't phone it in when you can make it. Some days you really can't do it and have to stay home from school/work. Other days you may feel a bit sniffly but know you can make you go. Don't get into the habit of skipping when your allergies act up. Only stay home because you really have to.
  6. Don't fake an injury.  Like number 5, faking an injury leads us down a slippery slope. Fake an injury too many times and someone is bound to find out and they will never again believe you truly when you actually are injured. It's the Boy Who Cries Wolf story, but it applies.
  7. Naps are your best friend.  When you have the flu, orange juice, hot soup, and naps are your new besties. Naps even make injuries feel better!
Do you have any go-to tricks when you get sick? What about injuries? 

April 21, 2015

Recipe: Chocolate Cookies

As I am currently addicted to "The Great British Bake Off"*, I decided late Saturday night to bake some cookies! My ankle's been funky and I have some sort of mouth....thing going on so I figured no better way to get my mind off my sores than baking! I thought I'd share my baking experiences with you so here we go. 

*I know the show is during the summer but I've been watching the past seasons online and I can see exactly why everyone in the UK (and the rest of the world) is obsessed with this show!
I only had 1 egg so I used a vegan egg substitute for the rest of it. I also didn't have enough butter so I poured in some canola oil and soy milk (only soy because that's the only kind we have in the house). Fudging the recipe like this, and having it turn out so yummily, makes me feel like a master baker myself. Even if I'm really not. 
The recipe is as follows: 

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 sticks butter, or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups peanut butter chips 

As always you heat the oven to 350 (that's Fahrenheit) and just add all the things together. I personally didn't add the peanut butter chips and the cookies were just as good. (Although I did break into the peanut butter chips writing this post up....peanut butter is literally legal crack to me it's so yummy)
I highly recommend you always have a vegan egg substitute on hand in your pantry, even if you're not a vegan or have an allergy to eggs yourself, because you never know when you'll have an emergency, best friend 3 am baking sesh and you don't want to be the friend without eggs. There's no tasteable difference between regular eggs and substitute eggs so there's no need to worry about that either. 

And the final product! (They aren't the prettiest-looking cookies in the world but they are damn yummy)

Are you able to fudge recipes? Do you even like to bake? I bake when I can but mostly I don't really have the time or energy. Except, of course, for those 3 am baking sessions with Ammie! 

April 18, 2015

Social Media Shakeups!

I feel like I've left my blog for ages and ages!! I have more posts coming up so this is just a filler sort of post about my social media pages.
Instagram -- one of my favorite of the social media platforms, I try to use it in accordance with my blog plus other more random photos. I just linked this one with my blog so check it out!  
Tumblr -- I love Tumblr so much, it's just a creative space where I can go and relax and not really have to think about 'real life' for a while. While you're there, be sure you check out the 'My Pictures' tab because I post pictures from blog posts that aren't posted anywhere else, including this blog!
BLOGLOVIN -- you can follow both my blog and my own personal profile on this site. I check my Bloglovin' feed at least once, usually two or even three times, a day and I've discovered so many of my favorite bloggers through here! Rosie, Kenza, Lauren, Brooke, Amy, and the Travelettes.
Pinterest -- one of my newer social media obsessions, Pinterest is a great place to get to know the personality of someone and has some really great photos. 
Google+ -- another new platform, I used to consider Google+ a nuisance but really it's a great way to connect with readers and like-minded people. 
April 12, 2015

Bye Bye Bangkok! Catch 'ya later Krabi!

A little video in honor of our amazing trip to was truly a vacation I'll never forget. The song is Clean Bandit's Rather Be, one of my all-time favorites and one of the songs from my "Spring Break Playlist" which you can find here
If the video embedded above doesn't work, click here to view it on Youtube. 

April 9, 2015

Thailand 2015: Days Four and Five

The gorgeous hotel pool!

I'm so sad today (Thursday) is our last full day here in beautiful Krabi! :( We head back to Bangkok for one more night and then back to normal life we go. It's been an absolutely incredible couple of days here including Mom's birthday celebration, a hike up a mountain to see a temple, and discovering hidden beaches on a boat!
April 6, 2015

Thailand 2015: Days Two and Three--Nakamanda Resort

Krabi, Thailand is a gorgeous beach town, deserving of a place among the quintessential tropical island beach towns. They shot a James Bond movie a couple islands away from here! Mom and I are staying in the beautiful Nakamanda Resort & Spa here and, let me tell you, this place has blown us away!
April 5, 2015

Thailand 2015: Day One

So far our trip back to Thailand has been incredible! Granted, we arrived yesterday but still! Mom and I first enjoyed the wonders of Thailand 5 years ago...before we even moved to Manila. Then we wandered through Bangkok and lounged in Phuket. This time around we're eating our way through Bangkok, while scoping out the local scene, and (more actively) lounging in Krabi. 
April 3, 2015

How to Pack for a Tropical Vacation

As Mom and I are headed to Thailand for spring break tomorrow I figured I'd let you in on some of my tricks and tips for packing for a tropical vacation! Also, I couldn't think of a better time to highlight some of my favorite wardrobe pieces....I know I gave up wardrobe posts a long time ago but I may just have to compile one or two from our Thailand trip. 
When heading somewhere 'tropical' or 'beachy', I try to stay away from a lot of black clothing....vibrant colors fit my mood a lot better on the beach than dark ones and you'll sweat less, believe me
Lay out everything you want to pack first before you start to pack any of it. Begin to think about when you'll wear it, what you'll wear it with, and if it's appropriate for the climate you're heading to. Make sure you're packing things you really will wear, and find out if you'll have laundry services available because that can cut down on items if you are willing to re-wear. 
If your trip has multiple destinations....try to pack chronologically. For our trip to Thailand we're spending a day or two in Bangkok at the beginning before heading to Krabi for a week or so. All of my Krabi beach clothes were the first things I packed because I won't need them while I'm in Bangkok and I'm not going to be there long enough to make unpacking my entire suitcase worthwhile. It makes things much simpler.
All my long, flow-y dresses are packed together because they take up more space than the shirts that can simply be folded and squished to make room.
Lay out the clothes you want to wear on your day-in-transit. Ideally these clothes should fit the destination's climate but if you're migrating from cold to warm, or vice versa, you'll have to plan accordingly with jackets, sweaters, and maybe a change of shoes. Speaking of shoes, wear the bulkiest ones that will take up a lot of room on the plane/in the car so you don't have to take up room in your suitcase with them.
Remember to pack your essentials: underwear, pajamas, shoes, socks, toiletries, a hair brush, perfume, a laundry bag. (Also for the underwear: always over-pack on underwear. It's much better to have extra underwear left over after the trip than to run out of clean ones in the middle of it.) 
If you're taking another bag other than your carry-on, gently stuffing it with your underwear can help it retain its shape, and saves space! I hate arriving anywhere with squished bags and this is an easy way to solve the problem. (Just don't over-stuff)
All your clothes should be the first things to be packed, then you can put in your shoes, bags, accessories, toiletries etc. 
When packing accessories I always ask myself: "does this feel insert your own destination here-y?" If you don't have a jewelry case for traveling, Ziplock bags always work. Also, try to avoid over-packing accessories, especially for a tropical vacation, you'll be wearing bathing suits more than you'll be wearing those earrings. Trust me.
Bathing suits always go in my bag close to last, along with the shoes, because they're flexible and easy to stuff in corners.