About verabear

http://verabear.net

Posts by verabear:

Good Friday at The Infinity Tower Suites

The Guevara-Apitanas have a family tradition – spending Holy Week at the Guevara home in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte and participating in the Holy Wednesday procession of saints with their very own San Andres dressed, lit up, and surrounded by a sea of flowers. I had the privilege of taking the trip with the family and spending the hot but happy few days of Holy Week the summer before we got married, but I have yet to go back. We thought it would be this year, but we weren’t so lucky. Work obligations didn’t permit the husband to take a long vacation so we had to make our own plans. My side of the family also couldn’t get away, so it was really just the two of us. 

Thanks to Deal Grocer, we found a discount voucher for a night’s stay at a one-bedroom suite at the Infinity Tower Suites. All our asks checked out – a pool, separate living area and bedroom, fully equipped kitchen. The hotel is in Makati, which we could reach traffic-free on a Good Friday. I called the hotel before purchasing the voucher to confirm availability on our check in date. I wouldn’t have had to do it normally, but we had a very specific date in mind (Good Friday), and it was four days away when I made the purchase. As soon as I got my voucher number, I called them back and made the reservation official. 

On our way to the hotel, we realized that the vet where we leave the dogs to room and board while we go on vacation was closed for Lent. Even another pet hotel we checked out wasn’t available anymore. The website showed no pet policy so I called the hotel and was gladly informed that they can make an exception for us jut this visit – we could definitely check in with our two dogs! Though we didn’t have to bring our pets after all, it was nice to know that the hotel could make such accommodations for us. That’s a huge plus for the establishment. 

Waze showed us the way to Infinity Tower Suites, although I had to ask the staff out front where the parking entrance was (on the other side of the building). Check-in was a breeze. We were instructed to bring a print out of the voucher but I had no access to a printer and they accepted the digital copy I showed them off my phone. Our suite was at the 12th floor and though the furnishings were quite dated, we loved how spacious the rooms were. Just like every other time we are in hotels, we kept imagining what we’d do with the space if it were our home own home. There were double sliding doors that led from the living room to the bedroom. There was plenty of space for a craft area and computer area before you reach the bed. They could also convert an area to a good-sized walk-in closet. It was really just a very big room. 


Right away, we felt like throwing a party! I messaged my friends saying they were welcome to drop by. I even extended the invite to our family in case anyone could make it. As expected though, everyone else had their own plans and we had the place all to ourselves. 

We reserved the visit to the pool and gym area until after dinner. Good decision, the place was deserted!


Just like the room though, the pool area could use some updating. The pool was only 4 ft deep and the water was very cold. They also probably prepared for a lot of guests because it smelled heavily of chlorine. The water in the jacuzzi was a bit warmer than the pool’s but it too was cold. 

There seemed enough equipment at the gym and both the hubby and I went on the bike and treadmill for a few minutes each. Mostly though, we just had fun. 

The hotel didn’t have a restaurant so there was no room service, but overnight accommodations included breakfast the The Wholesome Table located at the ground floor of the building. Food was good. There is a separate menu for hotel guests so be sure to ask for the regular menu if you’d like to order additional dishes/drinks. The pancakes I had wasn’t enough to satiate my hunger (we were considering it brunch) so I asked if they had fruit or fruit shakes but I guess the waitress misunderstood me because she said no. I asked for a regular menu and ended up ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. I would have just been okay with a fruit shake though, which were apparently available but were on a different beverage menu. So I ended up being very full having had the pancakes, grilled cheese sandwich, and a fruit shake. The husband had a rice meal plus his own refreshing fruit shake. The restaurant deserves its own review. The decor felt very organic but my phone had no battery so sorry, no photos. We also had celebrity sightings!

Overall, it was a good overnight staycation. Just what we needed after months of focusing on just work. We spent the rest of the weekend with friends at another staycation as if one was not enough to recharge for another long stretch at work. ­čÖé

The 100 Day Project

The 100 Day Project for 2017 officially kicked off on April 4th. Everyone is encouraged to participate by choosing an action to undertake and share in the next 100 days. It’s a global art project that anyone can participate in. 

My action? I chose two. 

#100daysofhandlettering

As a little girl, I admired the way my Auntie Leesah would letter words in big chunky characters. In high school, I would envy classmates who did creative lettering on their notebooks and letters. I’d try my hand at it sometimes, but I never really felt like I did them quite as well. I even bought nibs and ink for calligraphy work but gave up on it after just a weekend running around in my Grandmother’s house trying it out. I wonder where those have ended up?

Now, I still do some lettering but mostly I doodle. Still not as quite as beautiful as others I like looking at. But a hundred days of practice should help me get better, right?

So far, I haven’t been able to post daily but I certainly try my best. Here are my posts so far:

    

#100daysofyarnprojects

Oooh. I cannot even tell you how many times I have given up on being ‘artistic.’ I’ve given up on drawing or painting. I’ve always thought I just wasn’t good enough at any of those things. But with yarns… there’s something I could really be good at. I’m not an expert, not at all, but I love making stuff with my hands. And it is working on my yarn projects that make me happy, joyful, alive. 


My crochet and knit work are nowhere near perfect. I frog many times. But I keep going. I seldom give up on any project although I have abandoned one or two only to return to it with fresh eyes a few months later. I wish I could actually do 100 yarn projects in 100 days but I can only commit to hooking for the same period. I don’t have a target for how many completed works I’ll have after a hundred days, but I sure hope to learn new stitches and challenge myself as a yarn artist. 

To no surprise, I am also behind on this project but that’s not a problem. There is freedom in knowing that I can simply take action again the next day, pick up the hook again and carry on. I guess the point of the project isn’t really in posting every day for a hundred days, but to commit to creating something and following through. 

If you would like to join in, just choose an action you would like to undertake, create your unique hashtag and announce it on Instagram. Jump in anytime!

Why I Love My Passion Planner

As a former BDJ Bella, I used to carry a Belle De Jour planner everywhere. My first impressions of the planner were published in this post.  I liked the BDJ planners for all the extra pages and features it had. I particularly benefitted from the Cash Flow and Bill Trackers. Talk about adulting huh?! Although I don’t really plan by-the-hour, I found that making lists helped get me on track. I even wrote about Lists on the BDJ Blog!

The monthly inspirational pages, and the quotes all over the pages were also nice to have. I missed having those when I decided to ditch planners and use a handy notebook ala Bullet Journal instead. But my pilit Bullet Journaling days are over. The only BuJo tip I really followed was to add page numbers and maintain a table of contents. 

This year, I decided to finally get my own Passion Planner


I am a Passion Planner Kickstarter backer in their 2014 campaign. I liked CEO Angelia Trinidad’s story and vision. Being a backer gave me access to the PDF printables of the various pages they had available. Right after my wedding, I printed out the Mind Map pages and sat with my husband for a visioning exercise. It allowed us to really think about what we wanted to focus on and understand the steps we need to take to achieve our goals. Of course, the real action doesn’t stop there and is another story altogether. 

Before 2016 ended I had been thinking a lot about how to further up my game. I wasn’t completely satisfied with how I’d been leading my life. Sure, I have a good job, and a happy family life, but I felt that I could do more each day. I had been pushing my team at work to make their game plan a tool for success, but I felt that I didn’t have a real overall game plan. I considered several options, including Elise Cripe’s Get To Work Book, but the cost of the planner plus International shipping was a big issue for me.  Finally, a backer’s sale plus a deal on International Shipping just before the year ended made it easy to choose the Passion Planner. 

My choices were the dated Birds & Bees Blush Classic, and the undated Paradise Blue classic that starts on a Monday. Why 2? One is for next year, but if the wind blows in another direction, I may decide to give it away, Hah! We’ll see. A new edition was released in March and it is taking all my self-control to keep away from carting it. The Lavender Bliss. It doesn’t just come in my favorite color, but it also has a Mandala-themed cover design; and, each purchase is matched (1:1) by a donation of planners to organizations that help raise awareness on domestic violence. You can learn more about the different editions at the Passion Planner Shop.

Get One, Give One

Their mission of giving one planner away for each planner purchased isn’t limited to the Lavender Bliss. The Limited Editions sold just determine which groups receive the free planners, but overall they believe in giving back to the community the best way they know how: by providing people a tool that encourages them to go out and reach for their goals and make their dreams come true. I love that about this company. 

The Passion Roadmap

The Passion Roadmap is also a big reason why I love my Passion Planner. It’s not just the pages, but the process. Because of the mindmap I was forced to really think about what I want. And to examine whether I am spending time towards the pursuit of my goals or if I am wasting it on things that don’t really matter in the long run. The process forces you to be SMART about your goals too. The Monthly Reflection helps in accountability, but also allows you to reframe your thoughts and actions if necessary. 

Customizable

I love how I have been able to really make it my own. It really is becoming more than just a planner, but a journal and keepsake that I can keep and come back to in coming years. It helps me live out my scrapbooker dreams for now (but reminds me that I should spend time on actual scrapbooking too). Look what I’ve done on the first page:



#PashFam

The company behind the Passion Planner has done an excellent job harnessing the power of social media. They have built a vibrant community and they continue to spread inspiration through their Website, YouTube channel, and Instagram. I love spying on other people’s weekly or monthly layouts as featured on their feed. They also share tips and just a lot of motivation too. 

If it isn’t obvious yet, I really love my Passion Planner. I am using the classic size, which I realize is huge, but I can’t imagine having enough space on the compact version. I’m sharing my January pages to close this post, but know that it’s now the first of April and I am still loving everything about it. 





It is the 25th day of the year and already I can’t wait for 2017 to be over. Or maybe I should say, I am looking forward to the year to get a lot better.

You could say that I’ve had quite a time so far. My program is shutting down (but I still have a job), and I had an accident on Friday night. I crashed into another vehicle. Although I am quite thankful that neither the other driver nor I sustained any injuries, the hassle of getting my insurance to pay for the repairs on both cars is stressing me out.

 

Unboxing

When a package gets delivered to my door, I always get a sense of excitement. It doesn’t matter that I was the one who ordered it, and I know exactly what’s inside the box or bag.

HN box

It doesn’t matter that’s it’s just an order of bath and body essentials┬áto restock what we’ve already used up around here.

HN goodies

There’s still excitement with every unboxing.

Do you like Unboxing too?

I am a Human Nature advocate and I personally choose their products and encourage friends and family to do the same. If you’re interest in their products, you may sign up online┬áto be an advocate and get a discount for every purchase.┬áRemember to input Vera Ocampo as the person who introduced you to Human Nature. As an advocate you can also earn from selling these amazing products from your friends and family.┬á

%d bloggers like this: