Know Your Worth

Dear readers,

I am going to take a break from my very happy posts to post something a bit serious and something that has been on my mind these past few weeks. So my apologies if this post seems a bit melancholy after my string of positive posts, because to be quite honest, that is how I am feeling now. Melancholy.

In a romantic relationship, sometimes people ask themselves if they feel worthy to be with the person they care about. What deems a person worthy of being with somebody? Do their qualities in terms of looks, personality and all that like determine if they are a “worthy” candidate of someone else’s affections? I have heard often times my girlfriends telling me throughout the years, “He is so not worth it” or “He is really not worthy of you.” During those times, I was almost always sitting on the couch with them, box of kleenex in hand, bawling my eyes out. Now when I really think about it, what really defines a person’s worthiness in a relationship?

These questions are coming from my own personal experiences in my previous relationships that have led me to feel for the longest time that I was not worthy of the person I was with. After being hurt so many times from these relationships and losing bits and pieces of my self-esteem, I felt that I was no longer good enough to be with somebody and had concluded that all males were the same: nice at first, but later turned into ruthless and heartless jerks.

Of course, that conclusion isn’t always true, but from my own painful experiences, I had come to be quite bitter, cynical and really doubtful of the opposite sex and their true intentions when it came to relationships. What was it that lead to my former break ups? Was it because I wasn’t pretty or smart enough? Was it because they finally woke up and saw the light that they could have any other perfectly great girl other than myself? These break ups had led me to believe that I simply was nothing of value and I continued to wallow in self-pity and my silly insecurities.

This all changed very recently.

When I began dating D, I was a very broken person. Many terrible events in my life had turned me into a person that felt so small and fragile on the inside. Since then, D has tried faithfully every single day to teach me how to know my worth and to be fully content with what God’s graced me with and just live life. Unfortunately, time and again, my insecurities have gotten the best of me, and in turn, hurt both myself and D. It was just a constant cycle of negativity and it wasn’t until very recently that I realized my worth and truly made the efforts of waking up and changing things.

Day by day, I learned to appreciate myself and what I do. I learned to not seek the appreciation from others as much, and instead, be content with what I contributed in life and just move forward. I constantly told myself that I am a wonderful person and really do deserve happiness. Even now, while feeling a bit melancholy due to a stupid argument and misunderstanding, I told myself that just because I inadvertently hurt somebody I care about, that does not make me a bad person. It simply makes me human. And yes, I am worthy of all the happiness that graces my life, simply because I realize my own faults and do my best to be a better person every day.

So how does all of this tie into my first question? Well, I think that we define our own “worthiness”. Sure, there may be some mean and negative people out there who constantly bring you down to their level, but at the end of the day, we are responsible for how we feel and how we think of ourselves. I learned the hard way that wallowing in self-pity and entertaining my own insecurities were not going to get me very far in life, so why stay in that mindset? I learned to love myself for who I am rather than changing myself so to please other people in my life. Though I still have some massive insecurities (heck, who doesn’t?), I know better now that I am a pretty darn awesome person, but I do make mistakes and am quite the oddball. But hey, that’s part of what being human is all about. Learning to accept your strengths and weaknesses and realizing that you can’t be perfect, no matter how hard you try. No matter how much make up you put on yourself, no matter how many degrees you have, no matter how many clothes you have in your closet, no matter how many flashy new things you own, they will never amount to how you truly feel on the inside. Your worthiness is determined by how happy and content you are with yourself and how you strive to be a better person every day. So just be happy with what you have and go out and do great things.

With these things in mind, every day I feel like a better person. Even though I do have some bad days, I have learned that I am worthy of all the good things God has graced me with, and all of the things He will continue to grace me with.

I hope all of you readers are having a better day than me. I promise to go back to my happier posts once I am feeling better from a good snuggle with my big bear, Albert.

Love,
P

My Trials in Food – Simple Spinach Salad & Blooey Smoothie

Hi everyone!

It is another beautiful scorching day here in Vancouver, and I decided to go grocery shopping today for a small pot luck I am hosting for my girlfriends tomorrow at my house. Luckily for me, D drove me to our local Safeway and helped me carry my bags of goodies back home. Thanks, boo! 🙂

Today, I made a simply yummy salad that is perfect for summer. I have a feeling I will be eating it quite often and it can definitely transition well into the colder months by adding some heartier veggies or even some grilled chicken!

Simple Baby Spinach Salad:

  • 2 servings of organic baby spinach (can be non-organic if you wish)
  • A handful of organic baby carrots (again, can be non-organic)
  • A handful of pine nuts
  • A handful of dried cranberries
  • As much greek feta cheese as you want
  • Salad dressing of your choice
A simple baby spinach salad I threw together that is perfect for summer!

I just quickly threw all of these ingredients into a bowl and tossed them together. For the dressing, I used a simple vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad and that was pretty much it. Next time, I think I might add in some roasted or baked chicken to give it some more weight, and toast the pine nuts in a pan before throwing them in. Otherwise, it is a pretty solid meal on its own, and I was full from eating it as a snack!

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I have been addicted (no seriously, I think I am going to need an intervention soon) to the magic bullet kept at home and have been using it 2-3 times a day. Today at Safeway, I grabbed some Vanilla Greek Yogurt and decided to add it into my smoothie and oohh man, is it ever good.

Paula’s Blooey Smoothie:

  • 1/3 cup of organic blueberries (again, you can use non-organic)
  • 1/4 cup of Vanilla greek yogurt 
  • A handful of baby carrots 
  • 1/2 banana 
  • 1/2 cup of milk (used skim milk for this)
  • 1/4 cup of ice
A yummy refreshing smoothie that is sure to tickle your taste buds!

I put all of these ingredients into my beloved magic bullet and let it do its magic. I was pleasantly surprised that blueberries weren’t overpowering the smoothie at all, considering it was the most used ingredient in this drink. It blended perfectly with the yogurt and the banana. So I can say once again that another smoothie turned out to be successful!

I am pretty excited to host my little potluck together with the girls – I haven’t seen them in almost two months! It will be nice catching up and just enjoying good food and good company. Hopefully they enjoy the treats I will be making them tomorrow. 🙂

Let me know if any of you try out these simple recipes and if you find them delicious and feel free to suggest other recipes in the comments below!

Love,
P

My Trials in Food – Organic Spaghetti and Yummy Healthy Smoothie

Hello beautiful people!

This little series of blog entries will consist of my little blurbs here and there about my trials (good and bad) of food I have made myself, or with a little help from others. I am no Nigella Lawson, but I am very much interested in learning a few culinary skills that will hopefully help me out in the future! Besides, I need to feed myself and my future family somehow. 😛

Without further ado, here are the things I have made today at home! Enjoy and let me know what you guys think.

For a late lunch today, there was literally nothing for me to eat as is in the fridge, so I managed to put together a spaghetti dish that turned out quite well.

This is my home made organic spaghetti meal I threw together and my home made organic garlic bread my sister helped me out with.

When I was throwing this together, I was honestly just hoping for the best. I put in random things in my fridge and just kept tasting my sauce every once in a while, and surprisingly, this turned out to be a hit! I am definitely making it again. Here are the list of ingredients that I put together to make this yumm-o creation:

Random Spaghetti:

  • 1/2 pack of organic spaghetti (or any spaghetti you like)
  • 1/2 bag of Filipino UFC tomato sauce (this sauce is quite sweet and typical of Filipino spaghetti)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • some pieces of jarred cooked artichokes
  • 1 diced hotdog
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of white or brown sugar

I basically just put all of the ingredients sans the spaghetti into a pot and let that cook for 20-30 minutes. Then I just threw in the cooked spaghetti straight out of the pot and voila! Bon appetite.

Now my smoothie. Lately, I have been addicted to the magic bullet we keep at home and have been using it almost every day, whipping up yummy smoothies. Here, I have made a yummy and nutritious smoothie which I have named the Pooey Smoothie. Here are the ingredients:

Paula’s Pooey Smoothie:

  • banana
  • 4 ice cubes
  • a handful of organic baby spinach
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • a handful of organic blue berries
  • 1 cup of milk (I used skimmed milk for this)
I threw in together some yummy and nutritious fruits and veggies and it turned out quite well!

I threw in those ingredients into the magic bullet and turned that bad boy on. To be honest, I was kind of scared of the results, and was even more wary after seeing what colour the smoothie turned out to be. Even my father told me it looked like poo. 😛 But hey, even putting together nutritious things can taste delicious! Plus, this smoothie is a great way to get your recommended fresh and raw veggies and fruits into your diet.

I threw in together some yummy and nutritious fruits and veggies and it turned out quite well!

So my first day of putting together some healthy things to eat turned out to be quite a success. I give myself a pat on the back and now have more faith in myself that I can cook for my future family and won’t have them starved, haha.

If you guys try out my random recipes, please let me know what you think of them! Again, I think I was just really lucky and the culinary gods decided to lend me some skills for today. Hopefully they will be even more generous and aid me in my future endeavours in the complicated area of cuisine. Wish me luck!

Happy cooking!
P

5 Things That We Love About Each Other

A month ago, I was inspired to write a post about the top 5 things D and I love about each other. Now that I have returned from my vacation, my boyfriend has so graciously given up his time to help me with this blog post. I hope you all enjoy him guest-starring in this post! 🙂

These are D’s 5 things he loves about me (that he wrote!):

Hi my name is Dinel Ulpindo. I’m Paula’s boyfriend. She asked me to write 5 things I like/love about her. Well here they are: (No Particular Order):

  1. How you act so nice towards people. You are a very friendly and down to earth person. You are so humble whenever you speak to people and that’s one thing I love about you
  2.  Whenever you tell me you’re my soulmate. I know we are only in our teens, but we’ve also grown in our relationship and it shows whenever we call ourselves ‘SOULMATES’. You make me smile so much whenever I hear that word and it’s one thing I like about you.
  3. How you can still make me smile whenever I’m sad/angry. Somehow only you can do that. Nobody else can make me smile when I’m sad. This ties back to number 2 because it shows you really are my soulmate.
  4. I LOVE your nose. It’s one of the features I like about you and you know that it’s true. I always touch your nose whenever I can because it’s so cute!. Since our kids will have that same exact nose I will cherish the one till more pop up for me to feel their noses haha!
  5. I love how you love me. No matter the circumstances. I really am grateful for your love. I wouldn’t have it any other way. You make me happy. Always.

P.S It’s our 18 months tomorrow!

These are my 5 things that I love about him:
  1. How he has a big heart. Even when D is being quite mean to me, deep down, I know that he is still the same person I fell in love with. Since I met him, he has always been the type of person to enjoy giving back to others simply because he finds it fulfilling and worthwhile. He does the things he does out of his heart and never fails to remind me that the reason why he works hard is to provide a good and happy future for me and our future family.
  2. He does the little things to make sure I feel lovedFrom opening doors for me like a gentleman to leaving little love notes for me, or just driving me to places, the little things D does makes me feel so loved. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t do the big things. Oh no. D does big and special things for me. For instance, he helped my friends from school surprise me with a free ticket to the Bon Iver concert held in Vancouver a few months ago. He told me to get off work early, blind folded me, and drove me to the venue to surprise me. If that doesn’t say romantic, then I do not know what does. He is such a sweetie. 🙂
  3. He is straight up and honest with me, because he knows me better than I know myself sometimesI’m the type to want to be coddled and comforted. However, D is more of the type to be up front and straightforward, which keeps me grounded and strong. He never fails to let me know what is on his mind and heart, even if I do not agree or like it at first. He knows me better than I know myself, and this quality about him helps me grow more as a person.
  4. He is a positive role model/teacher in my life. In our relationship, I am the negative Nelly. D is the more positive of the two of us, and more realistic. He has taught me so many things about life and has changed my outlook on it. He’s taught me to appreciate God’s blessings and just accept life as it is and do my best to be content and move forward. Nobody has never done that for me, and for that, I am truly blessed.
  5. He is real and my soul mate. D and I have different views on what paths lead to success. He and I fight a lot and bicker like an old married couple. Recently though, he and I have come to a mutual understanding and my heart feels so much more at ease with us. He is real and I honestly never believed in soul mates until I met him. I don’t need him to have a numerous degrees or have a fancy title to his name. He is just himself and that’s why I love him.

And there you have it! Thanks to my man for guest starring in this and writing such beautiful words. I love you! /Cheese. I hope you readers enjoyed this little cute post. 🙂 I suggest that those with significant others do this every once in a while. It is a healthy exercise for couples that let’s them know why they appreciate the other and fosters love and growth and mutual respect.

Oh, and aren’t we cute here? 🙂

Filled with much love,
P

Life in the Motherland – Pictures

Hello everyone! How are you all?

Now that I have gotten over the jet lag, as promised, I can finally show you guys some of the pictures I took during the trip!

This photo was taken while waiting for our connecting flight to Kalibo, Aklan.
Tricycles are one of the primary modes of transportation in the Philippines.
This was taken at the beautifully kept mangroves in Aklan, in a city a short drive from Kalibo.
I didn’t even have to edit this one. It is so beautiful.
Here I am enjoying my morning stroll in Boracay.
The last night of Boracay, my cousin and I had a few drinks to celebrate. Pictured here is the very first Red Horse beer I have ever tried!
The sun setting had a beautiful effect on the skies at Boracay. It looked like the skies were littered with cotton candy!
This picture was taken while I was riding in the back of the tricycle on a rainy day in Kalibo.
I finally went for a change from my usual long, black hair to mid-lengthed, brown hair. How does it look?
Meet our family dog, Bruno. He is so loyal and absolutely adorable – even if he is ridden with fleas!

And there you have it. I hope you guys enjoyed a small snippet of pictures from my trip! Have any of you been to Philippines? If so, where have you been to? I’d love to know where my readers have travelled to or where they would love to travel to. There are so many places I have yet to travel to, but I intend to see much of the world when my schedule and budget permits it.

Take care, everyone and happy summer!

Love,
P

Life in the Motherland – Manila/Makati

After nearly a month in the Philippines, I am now very unhappy to update that my family and I will be on our way home to Vancouver. We just spent a few days in Makati, where our hotel was and wow, I couldn’t believe how highly populated and how busy it was. The traffic here in Manila is insane and I give major kudos to those brave drivers who have to put up with hours of driving here!

Here in the capital of the Philippines, all my family did was shop, see some sights, go through very long drives and eat out. As much as I enjoyed the cheap shopping sprees, I would rather not put up with the exhausting and heavy commutes every day. Now, I appreciate the traffic better in Vancouver and promise not to complain too much about. 😉

The shopping districts here are very busy and travellers should be wary of theft which occurs quite often. Luckily, none of my family and I had anything taken from us. Vacationers will also have to put up with the heavy rains that literally flood the streets and have travellers knee to waist deep in water.

As much as I enjoyed the shopping sprees, I prefer the more laid back atmosphere that Aklan had. I will definitely miss my family here so much and I’m glad I got to spend some time with them, since it isn’t often that we get to come back here.

On my next entry, I will be posting up some of my favourite pictures from the trip. I hope you enjoy them!

Thanks to those who have liked my posts recently, I am very much flattered. I hope you are all enjoying yourselves and are safe and well. 🙂 Oh, and please pray for a safe flight for my family and I! I’m quite the paranoid person when it comes to flying (the result of watching way too many shows about airplane crashes…)

Saddened to leave the Motherland and filled with a lot of family love,
P

Life in the Motherland – Aklan

I am sad to update that my family will be leaving for Manila and Makati this Thursday, leaving behind Aklan for another few years. It has been a pretty busy couple of weeks here with my huge family, (many of which I still have yet to meet!) and it is going to be bittersweet getting on the plane at Aklan International Airport and saying ‘see you later’ to my family here.

At first, it was difficult for me to adjust to the life here in the Philippines, especially here in Aklan. The extremely early wake up calls courtesy of the roosters and the very late nights were not things I was accustomed to. What’s more, I was not used to the long drives to different municipalities to visit family, friends and constantly being offered food and drinks! From travelling several hours a day, my tailbone has certainly been mistreated and I am certainly paying for it now. Another thing I wasn’t used to is the way Filipinos simply do not stop working. From the crack of dawn until the end of the night, you will see the people here working hard so they can provide for their families and think very little of living luxuriously and entertaining things we North Americans like to indulge in every day. From this trip, I have gained a bigger outlook on life here, and more importantly, life in general. I have so much respect for the Filipinos and my family for working so hard to make ends meet every day.

What surprised me the most, however, was the overall general kindness and hospitality of the people here. Growing up, I always knew that Filipinos are considered to be quite the hospitable people, but coming back here, I really discovered a whole new horizon of that hospitality. In our home here in New Washington (a small municipality in Aklan), my family was treated with so much care and it made me feel so pampered to be waited on hand and foot 24/7, always being offered something to drink/eat or if I wanted anything or if I wanted to go anywhere. I have truly been spoiled rotten here!

Culture shock aside, I was blessed to have been able to catch up with my enormous family, and go back to my roots. Although I was born here in Philippines, my parents and I had immigrated to Canada when I was three, so I basically have lost almost all of my Filipino roots. These past few weeks have helped me get back some of those roots and now, I am left with very valuable lessons and memories that I’ll certainly cherish.

I will miss so many things here in Aklan that found very endearing. I will miss one of our family’s dogs, Bruno, who never failed to greet us when we came home in the tricycle and would adorably follow us as we drove away, barking up a storm until he saw the border signalling the end of New Washington’s perimeters and abruptly stopping his chase to sadly trot back home. I will miss the feeling of wanting to adopt every single cat and dog here in Aklan that roamed the streets and were most likely ridden with rabies and fleas. I will miss coming out of the shower feeling refreshed, only to go out and come back smelling of pollution and feeling unclean. I will miss the sense of community within my family, travelling from municipality to municipality, being greeted like old friends and being told almost all the time that I am a spitting image of my father. I will miss Boracay and its beautiful scenery and its bustling lifestyle. I will miss the cold showers, only being able to use a tabo (a small bucket) instead of a shower head.  I will miss the delicious home cooked Filipino meals that my extended family spoiled us with. I will miss my cousins, all of whom have treated me as if I had never left those eight years ago. In particular, I will miss my kuya (older male) Martin, who “baby sat” my sister and I throughout our entire stay, and helped keep things together (don’t worry, kuya, I will save up enough money to send you to Vancouver!). I will miss my naynay (grandma) here in New Washington that took care of our house and of us, making sure we were well fed before she was, did our laundry and cleaned the house daily. I will miss my aunties, uncles, grandpas, and grandmas, all of whom told me stories of my childhood and a bit of family history, and of course, never failing to remind me how much I look like my father. 😛

Most of all, I will miss the life experiences I have made here. Although I was at first not enthusiastic about spending a month here, things turned out a lot better than I imagined they would. When I get on that plane on Thursday and bid my loved ones here farewell, I probably will be holding back tears because I am such a big sentimental baby. Fortunately for us, we now have Facebook/e-mail/phone and the like for means of frequent communication. Those things however, simply cannot compare to actually being around my family and being able to talk with them whenever I like. So I will definitely be coming back to Vancouver with a heavy heart from missing everything and everybody here.

All sad farewells aside, I am so grateful for this trip. I was blessed with so many things and would not trade this experience for the world. I aim to be back here in the next two years to check up on the newly built hotel my father, his sister and I co-own and of course, to be with my family again. Till then, Aklan – thank you for the memories and love.

Hopefully the next time I update will be in my family’s hotel room in Makati. If not, then hopefully I will be updating safe and sound in Vancouver!

Till my next blog post,
– P

Life In the Motherland – Boracay

Hi everyone!

I am currently typing this up in our very beautiful hotel room at hotel Royal Park, in Boracay. If you don’t know, Boracay is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in world. It is everything you would expect out of the perfect beach: white sand, clear blue waters, a nice breeze, endless palm trees… it is breath-taking. My family will be staying here for a few days, and so far, it is wonderful.

Yesterday, we toured around for a bit and later on in the evening, my cousin and I had a little … excursion. Let’s just say that I cannot recollect any memories of last night and woke up with the biggest headache. Teehee.

Today, my family and I went to watch a presentation, then went island hopping! I would definitely recommend island hopping if you are at Boracay. We managed to go snorkeling – I was a bit scared, but it was soooo worth it. Being able to see the unique and beautiful fish and the coral reefs was absolutely spectacular. I would definitely come back to do that again! After that, we went to a few other beaches on the island and just walked around.

Everything here is pretty commercialized, but I still would recommend vacationing here once in your life! The night life is extremely busy and the day time is teeming with activity.

Tomorrow will be my parents’ 25th-year anniversary with their college classmates. Since they will be occupied, hopefully my cousin and I will be able to have fun with the night life Boracay has to offer. 😉

Have any of you readers been to Boracay? If so, how was it? If you haven’t, would you like to?

I hope your summers are going well – nice and toasty. Go get that tan on!

– P

Back to the Motherland!

I am glad to update that my family and I have made it through both our flights (our red eye from Vancouver to Manila and Manila to Kalibo) in one piece. Now I remember why I dislike travelling by plane for more than 5 hours – the lack of space and comfort is truly one of the most terrible things ever. Luckily, our second flight was in business class, which was such an improvement. If only I could always afford flying business instead of economy… oh well.

Philippines is, for a lack of better words, hot and humid. However, I was quite surprised that I was faring pretty well with the temperatures considering I was still wearing pants and a blouse. Hurrah for my inner Filipina coming out! Weather talk aside, one thing that I have enjoyed a little bit too much on this trip so far was riding a vehicle that we Filipinos call the tricycle. It is basically a motorcycle with a sub-car that holds more passengers. My aunt picked my family up from the Kalibo airport, and she took my sister and I to our house in one of the municipalities via the tricycle.

Honestly, if there is one thing you must try in Philippines, it is riding a tricycle. It made me feel so at peace and at home. The breeze cools you down, and the ride is slow enough so that you get to appreciate the view better. Although the tricycle isn’t exactly the best contributor to lowering the threat of climate change, it is truly an experience that I would love to go through every single day.

Oh, and some of my cousins that live next door to us, they are way too funny for words. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since we have last seen each other! We all definitely have some major catching up to do in the next couple of weeks.

I hope you are all enjoying your last day of June as it is now July where I am.

Happy Canada day to all us Canadians! Our country is really one that we take for granted.

Love,
P