March 26, 2016

How to Pack a Hat

I used to have a very love/hate relationship with hats. I liked the idea of them but never really liked wearing them until I met the beanie that changed my mind. Fast forward a few years and now I take a hat with me pretty much everywhere I travel. Packing a hat in luggage is a very simple task, once you learn how to do it without squishing, rolling, or folding. I promise your hat will arrive wrinkle free!
Place your hat upside down in your suitcase.
I like to place socks on either side of the curve just to help maintain the natural shape of the hat.
Lightly pack your sports bras, regular bras, or bandeaus until the hat is full but not bursting. You'll want to pack the underwear that won't crease or bend. (This can also work if you don't wear or pack bras--just put your underwear in the hat)
Flip the hat, with all of your underwear in it, over. Place it in the middle of your suitcase.
Pack the rest of your clothes, shoes, underwear, everything basically around your hat. 

And there you go! The foolproof method to arriving in your destination with a wrinkle-free hat. See you in Thailand!

March 20, 2016

Foodfest 2016: Surf 'n Sand

Moi, Christina, and Shiini

Our last Foodfest! Senior year is rapidly coming to a close and the next big "last" on the list was our school's International Food Festival. (I went in 2014, and worked Food Fest in 2015) Comparing the pictures between sophomore year and senior year is pretty fun (and bittersweet). As always, there was plenty of food, tons of fun, some not-so great moments, and an overall happy ending.
Princess Celesty

The food was front and center of Foodfest, naturally, some highlights including: the meat pies from the Australian table (Shay ate 15 of the glorious pies), the Italian lasagne was a highlight for me, as were the Indian tables' samosas and naan (honestly my favorites every year). The go-to spot for dessert was the American table (if you can see the two overflowing plates of cookies and brownies in the above photos).
I think Japan had one of the longest lines (next to Turkey--I think the two are tied every year for the title) for their food...and definitely some of the prettiest decor around. I'm always a fan of sushi, tempura, and sashimi so we didn't mind the wait.
The talent show stage
The second big attraction to Foodfest are the game booths on the athletic fields behind school. One of the biggest attractions is always the jail, where you pay to have one of the Juniors running the booth chase down whoever you want and put them in jail for 5 minutes. Teachers and principals included! Our vice principal definitely spent some time in the slammer.
As the sun sets, everyone gathers in front of the stage, hand-painted just a few hours before, for the annual talent show put on by the entire school. There were dancers from kindergarten through seniors, singers, jump-ropers, and raffle prize winners. If you follow me on Twitter, which I highly recommend, you will notice that I tweeted about the dance troupe's performance during the talent show (here and here). I didn't and still do not agree with what they chose as their performance, and especially what happened to the song. Whether it was the administrators, a teacher, or the dance troupe that censored the song I feel it was inappropriate, wrong, and sends the wrong message. They should've known better. This was really my only issue with Food Fest this year. It's just a shame that at a festival that celebrates the diversity of our school and welcomes the differences of all the cultures, a song that celebrates black people's culture and achievements was censored.

The rest of Food Fest was pretty great--especially the fireworks. It was a bittersweet moment, knowing it was our final Foodfest but we were so happy being all together.
My camera kind of freaked out during this shot but I actually like the way it turned out

March 19, 2016

Contributor Post: 15 Songs from My Best Friend

Reaper - Sia
I came across this song and it just made me really happy

Hallelujah - Panic! At The Disco
I'm one of those terrible people that says they like panic! but didn't actually listen to their earlier music. Regardless, this song is a JAM. (K's input: I can concur, this song is indeed JAM)

Be Alright - Ariana Grande
This has been on repeat ever since it came out (last night). The BEAT. Her VOICE. I'm in love.

Death of a Bachelor - Panic! At The Disco
Neo-panic! at its finest

Mark My Words - Justin Bieber
I'm not even sure if this counts as a whole song since it's so short, but I'm obsessed with it for reasons I can't place.

Dangerously - Charlie Puth
I love Charlie Puth! And Charlie Puth's voice! And the fact that this song makes me feel like I've been part of a really intense, passionate relationship even though I'm single as a pringle! :-)

Formation - Beyonce
No words are even needed. This is everything.

Blue - Troye Sivan
This is such a calming, beautiful, haunting lil song and I listen to it all the time. 

Cheap Thrills - Sia
This song is just really fun and for some reason it makes me feel like I'm living a life that is way cooler than it actually is.
Alive - Sia
This was the first song released off of Sia's new album "This is Acting", and the entire album is composed of songs that she wrote for other artists that ended up getting rejected. Every single from the album has a picture of someone wearing her classic Sia wig, going along with the theme of "acting" since she wrote these songs for other people. I just thought that was a really cool concept and also this is my jam.

UGH! - The 1975
Well. This is really just one more on the long list of great songs about cocaine.

If I Believe You - The 1975
I love everything about this. I love the lyrics, and the music, and Matty Healy's voice, and I know the song captures a feeling a lot of people can relate to.

You Should Be Here - Kehlani
I LOVE HER VOICE. I just love her voice. It's such a pretty voice. I'm blessing you with her voice.

Hanging On Too Long - Duffy
I heard this song on Pretty Little Liars in the background of a Hanna and Caleb scene and I just thought it was really gorgeous.

Catch the Wind - High Highs
This song was used in a super romantic scene in Teen Wolf last summer, when Scott and Kira had that super cute kiss in the rain in the middle of a traffic jam. It now reminds me of summertime and Teen Wolf and that's fine with me.
This post comes from my very best friend (and resident music expert in my life) Amrita! What's fun about this post is that A and I do share some similar taste in music, but I find we differ a lot (and she usually hears new songs before I do, me living over here in Manila) so I wouldn't have come across many of these songs without her.

From A:
"Some of these songs make me happy and some make me sad and sometimes they fill me up with light, I hope they do the same for you."
March 14, 2016

18th Birthday Week

Good things truly do come to those who wait! Almost exactly 1 month past my actual 18th Birthday, my Manila squad gathered together to celebrate the joy that is me.

We started off our weekend at Vikings--the quintessential Manila buffet to hit when it's your birthday. (Warning: you better book early early early in the week because if you wait until even Wednesday, their Friday and Saturday nights are usually all booked) Vikings offers so many different types of cuisines it's difficult to wrap your head around! We all started off at the sushi bar (many of us going back for 2nd or 3rd plates). The mashed potatoes and macaroni bars were oft-visited by us, as was the Italian station. They offer kebabs, to-order cooking of fish and meat, roasting chicken and pork (for the meat eaters among us), salad, fresh fruit, and, the best part of course, dessert!
Moi, Celesty, Aliah, Celene, Tina, Shiini
The dessert bar was probably the most-visited station for our group. Offering freshly-scooped as well as soft serve ice cream, cake upon cake upon cake, panacotta, bread pudding, truffles, a fondue station....the entire setup was very much appreciated by our tastebuds if not our waistlines.
1 of 2 cakes--this one just for me from the Vikings bakery

Vikings is well-known for their birthday celebrations. Two waiters, dressed as 'vikings', will not only strike up a friendly banter with you and your table, they'll sing you a personalized song! They covered modern day hits, retro pop, country western, and then for us they performed an international take on the traditional birthday song. That's right, I had the birthday song sung to me in Filipino, English, Japanese, Mandarin, Persian, German, and (they tried) French. You get fun props and tons of photos taken and overall it's a really enjoyable experience, even when you're in the hot (birthday) seat.
After dinner we took a little stroll around the mall before heading back to chez moi.  
This shirt is actually one of my most-coveted items from Forever 21 lately, and also happens to be a birthday gift from my Aunt Sharon! I love the ability to play white up with any other color--in this case with gold accessories and golden-tinted eyeshadow.

After cuddling with the pooch (who was loving the attention of 6 people all focused on her), the girls and I took a little stroll down high street where we treated ourselves to some Lush products and a birthday drink or two at the Rocket Room bar. When we got back to the house, we had a little clothes-swap party.

I really suggest you try this with your own squad! You ask everyone to bring their unwanted clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup etc., dump everything on someone's bed and sort through it! Everyone tries on the dresses and shorts and shoes and bangles, makes a stockpile of things they want (little guideline: avoid grabbing your own stuff back), and the rest of the things that nobody wants all goes to charity! It's a fantastic way to update your wardrobe, clean house, and give to charity all at once! Put on some tunes and start finding your new favorite outfit!
Cake number two! This massive creation was the product of a google image and Aggy's Cakes, the bakery Mom and I turn to for all of our cake needs (also the namesake of a certain little mutt running around...) This cake was absolutely huge: two layers, one chocolate and one vanilla, all covered and smothered in buttercream frosting. Since there were six of us, 2 of us tackled a slice and nobody managed to finish it! I would still have cake leftovers in my fridge had I not brought it to school today and fed it to anyone who even so much as asked about it.

After cake we stayed up late into the night, playing cards and girl talking. We even FaceTime'd with A so she could 'meet' everyone! It was a pretty great birthday party, even if it was a month in the making.


(How could I forget?! We gorged again the next morning on Wildflour treats--still my favorite brunch spot probably ever)