My first digital camera was a cute little pink Cybershot U that I insisted on buying purely because of kawaii factor. I dragged my Kuya to Megamall in search of the maarte 1.3 MP cam (wala pang zoom!) and we celebrated my purchase at Almon Marina.

{ One of the first shots from that camera }

I still have that cute camera in my room and it still works, haha! But most of your phones probably take much better pictures. d: I'm keeping it for sentimental (and cuteness factor, obvs) reasons.

{ In Five Cows after Christmas lunch at Omakase in 2007 }

My next camera was a sleek, silver Canon IXUS that my mom and kuya gave me for Christmas about five years ago. My friend Kaich and I were camera twinsies until iPods/iPads/smart phones happened and we all forgot about our cameras. Everything was on TwitPic, Instagram, etc.

Until one fine Christmas afternoon, I walked into the mall, just planning to use my GCs for a new dress or a skirt (ended up with both, lol). I walked out with that and a paper bag from a camera store. HAHA! Talk about low EQ. I've actually been looking at the Fujifilm X100 ever since I found out Kristina of Kris Atomic was using that as her point and shoot, but it was just too much money for one thing. Last year, one of my photographer friends emailed me a link to the Fuji X10 and said it might be the camera for me. Didn't really consider buying one since my IXUS was still working and my brother would let me use his LX3 when he wasn't using it. Then Reggie posted about the X10 and I started looking at reviews online. Saw that it had film simulation (Provia, Velvia, and Astia) and I was sold (dali kong ma-convince, no?) Fast forward to two days ago, I finally got myself a camera with my own money (well, next year ko pa masasabing nabili ko na siya kasi naka-installment, haha).

Here are a few photos I've taken with it so far. The two photos of the bilo-bilo chair (haha) were taken by Pat (thanks for assessing my purchase, wahaha). Didn't do anything to these photos except resize them and put a watermark. Whee!


Christmas At Casa Alcaraz

{ Mini Nutella + Gigantic Elsie's Croissant }

{ Lazy Girl's Guide To Gift Wrapping: Tie with twine and make cards out of old business cards with washi tape and your trusty labelmaker.}

{ Raspberry Pie on the lips, Callalily on the tips. }

{ Simple dinner with mi familia ♥ }

 { With Ate Elena who prepared our Noche Buena.}

{ Nutella Crepe Cake from Dessert Du Jour. My brother's fitting description: a crepe version of Quadratini! }

 { My dad's face of glee riding his brand new wheels. }

{ My favorite 3-in-1 and my dad's gift from the grocery—which my brother paid for, hahaha! }
{ Managed not to open my treats till after 12mn. Yay for pretty things! }
 { I am aware I am no longer 15, but thank you to family and friends who indulge me and this ridiculous obsession. My small 1D collection, hahaha! }
{ Impromptu MRT ride because Shangri-la was not open and we didn't know till we got there. Whoops! I love my new sneakers. }
 { Christmas Dinner with my dad's relatives. So sad there were no lumpiang shanghai leftovers for today! }

 { My niece who shares a mutual love for the boys. So happy she read through this in one sitting! }


Christmas Eve

It's been four years. It doesn't really feel that long unless I read my previous entries and I'm proven wrong. It has been that long.

Five years ago was the last Christmas we spent with you, in an unfamiliar place that almost reminded me of Shake, Rattle, and Roll. I watched you get wrapped in sheets of powdered carbon, laying there while the acetate blackened by what supposedly had the power to remove all the toxins from your body worked its magic. I read a book by the shore while you sat in saltwater, hoping to be rid of the liquid your body had been retaining, causing you to bloat. I laughed in amusement as you slowly slurped your liquid pancit.

Five years is pretty long. Half a decade, a young preschooler, more than your entire high school or college stay. But five years is also pretty short compared to the years prior to that First Christmas. I always wonder if I'll ever get used to it or if I'll ever forget how painful it is to lose someone you love. And every year, though the tears are no longer as frequent and steady as the first time, I slowly begin to accept that I'll always remember. And it's okay.

Though I sometimes wish things would remain the same, I know that change is expected. This time next year, I don't know if we'll even be staying in the same home. There will be new people in our lives. And there will probably be new traditions to get used to. But one thing I know for sure will never change, I will always have a family to come home to.

Merry Christmas! I hope that you have a family to celebrate with tonight. ♥


It'll Take More Than Just A Breeze To Make Me Fall Over

Music Monday I'm a big girl now
See my big girl shoes
It'll take more
Than just a breeze
To make me fall
Over, fall over,
 Fall overboard, overboard
Fall over, just so you
Can catch me

Tasty Tuesday
{ Wagyu Cheeseburger with Shrooms, Charlie's Grind and Grill }

Wishful Wednesday
{ Dreaming of red hair and curls }

Thoughtful Thursday
Source: ohjoy.blogs.com via Macy on Pinterest

Fashion Friday

{ Bought a similar blouse a couple of weeks ago not knowing that the Color of the Year for 2013 would be emerald green. Also finally found my silk blouse that's been missing for months! Apparently, it's just be hanging around our laundry shop, with no receipt or identifying marks. Haha, at least I can wear it on Christmas! }

* weekly-themed post adapted from That's Chic


Made It Myself: Braids and Seed Beads Bracelets

Spent all of Sunday afternoon finishing up my handmade gifts for my friends in the office. I originally wanted to make my own version of these morse code bracelets, but I got reacquainted with this necklace I pinned a few months ago. Instead of necklaces, though, I made bracelets. I used silver seed beads, but ran out in the middle of the 11 bracelets I was making so I alternated some with gold ones.
I used mostly pink, peach, yellow, and greens from my mom's stash of string. I made sure to include green in all of the bracelets because 2013's year of the color is emerald. (:

And because I wanted to go handmade all the way, I made these pillow boxes out of an old paper bag. They're not perfect (because I missed a step!!! Hahaha!), but I'm pretty happy with how they look. You can make your own by following this tutorial on Mikko's website.

* Made It Myself will be a section I'll update regularly with all handmade and DIY projects. (:


Where Does Your Joy Come From?

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sitting inside that beautiful Church on the first night of Simbang Gabi is always special. It was my first time in Gesu again after moving in and out of Katipunan for the past couple of years. And it couldn't have been a better welcome.

Earlier that day, I visited my cousins who had just lost their father to a quick and swift but not any less painful bout with cancer. I had not seen them in years and all I could offer was a hug and a listening ear. Because I know that there really is nothing you can say to comfort someone who has just lost someone they love. Especially so close to Christmas.

That day, 20 children, who had yet to grow up, realize their dreams, and grow into themselves, had lost their lives to someone who could probably have been a child himself. How do you feel safe when terrible things happen to good people?

Today is the third Sunday of Advent and we light the pink candle of the Advent wreath. Pink symbolizes joy. The joy in our hearts that we know He is coming. That even when things aren't going our way, we know that we are safe because of Him. Joy can be a lot of things. It can be in the trivial things like a gift that greets you when you come in to work. Or a cup of your favorite coffee. But it can also be something infinite. Like sitting in a living room that doesn't feel like home, but being in the company of people who feel like family. Who are family. Condensing ten years into two hours, and conveying words through a big, tight hug.

Fr. Huang said during his Homily that when we pray, we should give thanks. Whether our prayer has been answered, has yet to be answered, or will not be answered in the way that we want, we should always say thank you. Beautiful words that are too true. So even if there are things that don't seem to be in our plans, or there are external forces that try to convince you that life is any less than amazing, think again. Give thanks because there is always more joy in our lives than we think.


Songs I Like: Up Dharma Down's "Thinker"

I've been listening to Up Dharma Down's Capacities for a couple of days now. This is my favorite. (:


Ten Things I'm Thankful For

♥ Listening to letters being read out loud.
♥ New Christmas music.
♥ Friends in the office who are just as crazy as I am!
♥ Up Dharma Down's Capacities (Thanks, D-an for letting me copy your CD!)
♥ Receiving very sweet words from my former boss. Here's hoping I really have it in me!
♥ Yummy sangria to end the week.
♥ Gold glitter polish!
♥ Christmas lunch with my college best buds.
♥ A batch of freshly baked cupcakes to give away.
♥ My new favorite person: Mitos ♥ My best friend's most beautiful baby girl.


Oh, But I Thought I'd Ask You Just The Same

Music Monday

Tasty Tuesday

{ Good food, yummy drinks, and tons of stories. Always good to share with friends. }

Wishful Wednesday
{ Maybe it's time to take a leap of faith. (: }

Thoughtful Thursday

Fashion Friday

{ Currently on my want list }

* weekly-themed post adapted from That's Chic


This Is My Office

And mine. And mine.

Hahaha! Have you been watching the latest season of The Vampire Diaries? If you have, you'll notice that the classic into ("...for over a century, I have lived in secret...") has been replaced with an updated version ("This is Mystic Falls. I live here. This is my home.").

So of course my friends and I decided to make our own version. Because why shouldn't we? Hahaha! I love these hams.


Songs I Like: Ingrid Michaelson's "Highway"

The radio waxes romantic. 
Its lullabies fill our eyes with tears.
We don't say a word.
There's nothing to say that hasn't been heard.


Ten Things I'm Thankful For

♥ Finalizing an interview assignment and not sounding like a gushing fangirl, hehe
♥ A yummy burger and a cocktail that makes me wish I were drinking it by the beach.
♥ Good news—two in a row right before 10 am!
♥ Getting an unusual amount of money in your account. Yay, 13th month pay!
♥ Chimichangas and a mango margarita to celebrate the end of the week and the start of the long weekend.
♥ An awesome episode of The Vampire Diaries—I'll pretend there was no Stefan/Caroline scenes during the last few minutes.
♥ Staying in bed and not changing out of my pajamas all day. Long weekends are always awesome.
♥ Getting some Christmas shopping done
♥ ...and treating yourself to a few gifts too (:
♥ My favorite cream cheese pastry <3


Young Hearts, Run Free

Music Monday

{ From the Levi's Pioneer Sessions two years ago }

Tasty Tuesday
{ What makes any breakfast great: crispy bacon and coffee!}

Wishful Wednesday
Source: parfois.com via Macy on Pinterest

{ A watch with a huge face. }
Thoughtful Thursday

{ My kind of peeps }

Fashion Friday
{ Finally got myself a polka dotted chambray shirt!}

* weekly-themed post adapted from That's Chic