365 Days of Blessings: Days 3-6

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365 Days of Blessings CroppedHere’s an update on my 365 Days of Blessings over the weekend (I wasn’t slacking!):

Day 3:

This is the badge I'm trying to earn.

This is the badge I’m trying to earn.

  1. Finally started my coursework on Building Your Textile Design Business and I have a renewed passion and direction for what I intend to do. I intend to focus on designing prints for children’s sleepwear and bedroom soft goods because I have experience in the children’s industry, both in sleepwear and accessories, and also I always enjoy trend research in this field. I remember if I was having a bad day, I would just do some trend research and pictures of adorable kids would always cheer me up.
  2. I am safe and sound in the comfort and warmth of my apartment in the first snow storm of the year, AND I was also able to make a hearty and healthy meal out of what I have in my pantry without having to step outside: Spanish Tortilla with Quinoa Sauteed with Swiss Chard.
  3. I helped out a family member plan a trip she really needs and deserves so much!

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First Weekend of 2014: Post-Holiday Regifting Party

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Snowy Trees Cityscape

View from my window

I hope you had a great first weekend of the year! Did you have some fun in the snow if you are in the East Coast or are you still recovering from the holidays while really letting the fact sink in that the-new-year-is-officially-here and thinking about how-can-i-make-this-a-kickass-one? Continue reading

Last Hurrah for Holidays

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Deer HouseDid you know that the Philippines celebrates the longest Christmas season? It’s from September to January. This is my excuse why I still have my tree up, aside from loving the cheerful lights and my singing ornaments and the wonderful smell, and it will stay that way until the Feast of the Three Kings. I did buy some fir-scented Scentsicles so I can keep the aroma of Christmas going way after the holidays are done. Continue reading

365 Days of Blessings to You!

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Ringing in the New Year with my jingling bangles!  Scorpio Constellation Bangle from Julie Nolan Jewelry, Bangles with Crown charm and Clover charm from Alex & Ani

Ringing in the New Year with my jingling bangles, all from loved ones! Scorpio Constellation Bangle from Julie Nolan Jewelry, Bangles with King’s Crown charm and Four Leaf Clover charm from Alex & Ani

Happy New Year! We were given a fresh layer of snow this morning with an imminent threat of a snow storm this evening, but it hasn’t diminished my excitement for this new year. 2013 was good overall, and for me, it was a quiet year of stepping back and taking a good look at the mirror and deciding what to do with my life and how to live it in the best way for myself and for others. Getting older also makes you think about a legacy that you would want to leave this earth someday, so it made me think of causes that are really near and dear to my heart. It’s been a great year of self-learning and now it’s time for a game plan to make it all happen! Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

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“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” -Janice Maeditere

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you are all surrounded by the warmth, love and laughter of loved ones this holiday season. Thank you for opening up your hearts, or rather eyes, to my blog in its infancy. I will be catching up this week after the craziness of the holiday celebrations and adventures so please bear with me, and I promise to share my latest awesome adventures with you. Thank you for stopping by as always!

Nature Color Stories

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A major part of any pattern or design is the color, and it’s a skill I am always looking to improve. I had taken a color class once where I learned I have a long way to go. Making gradations of several colors and manually mixing paints for hours had a special brand of pain and pleasure that makes you cherish that experience, and definitely remember the concepts. Since then I have started developing a library of tear sheets and pictures of color palettes that I like and it is a wonderful resource to have.

I am starting a series here on color stories that are currently inspiring me, and I would like to start with some of my photographs. For this set, I was inspired by nature and mostly fall colors (since you know I LOVE that season), and these feature the bold colors that I usually  lean towards. Designers, do you do something like this too?

Leaves Story Bouquet Blazing Fall

Also, I am excited to leave for New Orleans this week and when I come back I will share my explorations and inspirations. Enjoy your week!

Weekend Reading: Design Books and Random Bits

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BooksI rarely pay for books. I usually borrow most of my books for free on my phone from the New York Public Library, score some interesting ones from “free books” shelves in offices, or if I need to buy any, I go to Amazon.com and use my cashback credit card points. But since I received a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for my birthday, I had to man up and make some purchases. Continue reading

Thursday Thoughts: Christmas!

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Thanksgiving: check. Black Friday: avoided it. Cyber Monday: scoped out some deals but did not pull the trigger. Well actually, a lot of online stores made it Cyber Monday all week so I am still kind of doing that. But with Thanksgiving out of the way, my thoughts are on to the next holiday, my most favorite one of the year, Christmas! Continue reading

Last Minute Vegetarian Thanksgiving Ideas

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PumpkinsI mentioned in my earlier post what I was bringing for Thanksgiving this year (dessert of course), and I started thinking about what I would serve if I were to host a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. It’s an appealing new adventure being that all my Thanksgivings thus far have included turkey (both roasted and deep fried) and all the sides, but I would not especially miss it if I ate something else. For me, Thanksgiving is enjoying being with family and sharing whatever meal we have together.

For those of you who are hosting their own Thanksgiving dinner and would like some quick and easy, last minute vegetarian options (By quick and easy, I mean active preparation is less than an hour), here’s what my ideal menu would look like: Continue reading

New Things to be Thankful for & Spoonflower Mittens Gift Wrap Contest

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Mitten PatternI’m at it again! I joined the Mittens Gift Wrap contest on Spoonflower and I am quite happy about my design. Winter and the holidays make me think of Charlie Brown and Snoopy so I knew I wanted to do something reminiscent of that style. I looked up some Snoopy art color ways, then digitally drew my motifs using my trusty Wacom pen tablet, and played with the colors and configurations on Photoshop. If you like it, show me your appreciation by voting for my design here  Continue reading

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dessert: French Apple Tart

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It’s crazy to me that the holidays are upon us! I have started receiving all the holiday catalogs from stores, and I am determined to finish Christmas shopping early this year. I stopped by the Holiday shops at the Winter Village at Bryant Park and have come away with some fabulous gift ideas. Continue reading

Typhoon Haiyan and How to Help

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Generosity consists ofAs I have no doubt you have heard, my home country, the Philippines, was devastated by super typhoon Haiyan. The hardest hit was the eastern Visayas region, with the city of Tacloban in the Leyte province bearing the greatest devastation. Preparations were made as best as possible in light of the information received, so the areas hit were evacuated in advance and relief supplies were put on standby to be flown in when the typhoon is over. But still, how well prepared could anyone ever be for a phenomenon and disaster of this scale? Continue reading

Fantasy Adventure: Kauai, the Garden Isle

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Shipwreck Beach in Kauai

This week’s falling temperatures make me fantasize about my vacations in warmer climates. One of my favorite places is Hawaii and I somehow always want to live there when I visit because: Continue reading

May Cause Miracles

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Tibetan Prayer Flags

Tibetan Prayer Flags

When I left my last job and started my adventure into finding more happiness in my life, one of the first things I wanted to do was get into the habit of meditation every morning. At the time, I felt that my physical and creative energies were a bit blocked by all the stress that I was going through and that if I wanted to change that, I would have to start by taking better care of myself mentally and spiritually. I wanted to create more space in my mind so I can hone in on what would create long-term happiness. Continue reading

Last Call for Fall: Apple Picking & Wine Tasting

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ApplesIt’s last call for a fall adventure before winter takes over! Right around my November birthday, I usually drag my family on a fall trip or getaway to try something new and enjoy the outdoors. This weekend we ventured to lovely Warwick, NY, where I’ve never been to before. It’s only a little over an hour away from NYC. Continue reading

Halloween Spooks and my Spoonflower 2014 Tea Towel Entry

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1920's Tombstone at St. Raphael Church in Koloa, Hawaii, the oldest church in Kauai.

1920’s Tombstone at St. Raphael Church, the oldest church in Kauai, Hawaii.

Happy Halloween everyone! Things were a bit busy around here that is why I was on a bit of a hiatus. Whether you had your Halloween fun last weekend or you celebrated tonight, I hope you had fun! The NYC Village Halloween parade was cancelled last year because of Hurricane Sandy, but it’s back this year with “Revival” as its theme. Thanks to all the passionate people involved in making this happen and the supporters of the Kickstarter campaign that raised over $56,000! I love a good comeback story and seeing what people can accomplish when everyone pulls together. Continue reading

Choosing Love and Kindness Over Fear and Judgement

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I think the world can really benefit if we all make the effort to choose love and kindness over fear and judgement. Sometimes giving people the benefit of the doubt or a second chance is all that’s needed to turn a less than ideal situation around. This inspiring story made me pause and think of how I can be better when faced with difficult circumstances. Happy Friday!

Kindness Blog

Jessica Eaves from Guthrie, Oklahoma recently had her wallet stolen by a man while she was grocery shopping. Most people in that situation would immediately get the authorities involved, but she found a way to resolve her problem herself.

“I saw this gentleman down the aisle from me,” Jessica tells us. “He walked behind me, and when I got a couple of aisles over, I realized my wallet was gone.”

“I spotted him in a crowded aisle and approached him,” she continues. “I’m a pretty out-there personality, but I was quiet and calm.”

“I said to him, ‘I think you have something of mine. I’m gonna give you a choice. You can either give me my wallet and I’ll forgive you right now, and I’ll even take you to the front and pay for your groceries.”

The alternative? Jessica reporting him to the police.

“He reached into his hoodie pocket…

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Spoonflower Ghosts Contest and Designers’ Rights

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Ghostly Feathers: Lightly falling feathers take on ghost-like floatiness and transparency.

Ghostly Feathers: Lightly falling feathers take on ghost-like floatiness and transparency.

It’s Spoonflower contest time again! This week’s theme is ghosts, and since I really have not seen ghosts, I chose to lend ghostly qualities to some pretty feathers. I think this is a great pattern for a scarf or a blouse. You can vote for my design and see the other designers’ entries here. They are all fabulous! Continue reading

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