Ramblings and Brain farts

Alunsina Handbound Books

The first time I held an Alunsina Handbound book in my hand was at the 10A Alabama Arts and Craft Fair before Christmas 2011. I liked it, but skipped buying. I wanted to get one only if I were sure to use it.

This month, I held my own handmade book.

Verabear's Alunsina Journal

I loved it from the moment I laid eyes on it. It came packaged in brown paper, tied up with string. The leather is so soft and didn’t make the book heavy at all. The paper is so soft and smooth and felt like it was really really meant for writing. All I can think of to describe the paper was buttery soft. 🙂

As if being handmade wasn’t personal enough, I love that the artisans who made my book attached a hand written note to the package. It truly felt like it was a gift, rather than a purchase. And in some way, I do consider it a gift.

Alunsina Handbound Books

I’ve written my first page. My handwriting, sadly, didn’t magically become better looking. Haha. But I wrote my intention of making this book a chronicle of my life in my 31 years. I will be turning 32 next month and before I do, I’d love to fill this book with photos of what made my 31st year an awesome one. Hideous as it may look, I will snap a photo of my stitches and add them in. It’s a huge part of why I want this book made right now. I’ve never been good at keeping up with memory keeping projects, so wish me luck on this one 🙂

Check them out on Facebook if you want your own Alunsina Handbound Book. If you’re the type who uses Moleskin notebooks, consider this a better alternative. It’s beautiful, local and handmade.

Sleeping it Off

I’ve been going back to work everyday for the past two weeks, but I’m absent for today’s shift. I knew I’ve had allergic rhinitis attacks in the mornings since last week but yesterday I woke up with a clogged but runny nose. It did not get better with water therapy. I knew coffee wasn’t bound to help (I was told it promotes congestion) but I needed help to stay awake and focused so I fixed myself half a sachet of instant coffee. When I got home, I did nothing but sleep. Whenever I woke up on the couch, I’d complain to either Dad or my boyfriend that I was feeling so sick. My head felt so heavy, nose still runny, had a very sore throat, and I felt feverish.

In the afternoon, I got up to eat and popped OTC cold meds. After reading two chapters off Clash of Kings, and doing two rows of crochet, I went back to sleep.



I know that the natural remedy to colds is lots of sleep and lots of water. So I skipped work to catch up on sleep. Since getting back into the grind I felt like I have lost so much of it.

I worked the early shift (8PM-5AM) and mid-shifts (10PM) before but I was doing the closing shift again (2AM-11AM) for at least three weeks prior to my long medical leave. I always loved the closing shift. Being an opener only worked because we made arrangements for the boyfriend to have the same schedule as I do. When I was in the hospital his schedule got moved again and now we’re on opposite shifts and not the same weekends off. That is not helping. I try to stay up until he gets home but I just can’t. Truth is, the best time for me to sleep is 12 noon so I can get up feeling well rested at 6PM. But when I get home at 8 or 9 in the morning, I just can’t stay up. So I sleep way too early and wake up four hours later. I stay up for two hours before I get sleepy again and then try to get some more rest before I absolutely need to get ready for work. I hate that pattern but it’s become the story of my life. I hope it only takes one more week to adjust.

Right now, my back hurts a bit. It does that sometimes. It’s not too painful that I’d need to take any medicine, but it hurts enough to remind me that I probably need to be a little more aggressive in my almost non-existent effort to lose weight. And that I should also do the back exercises my therapists used to make me do.  I know that getting home tired isn’t an excuse to not making time for exercising but it’s just so easy to use that excuse. I’m also always blaming the boyfriend for not being fit, my argument is that if he made time for it, I would too. But he’s not responsible for my body, I am. If he doesn’t feel that it’s urgent that he lose his belly flat, well it’s a very urgent thing for me.

Besides, if I am to do any travelling soon, I’d better get my stamina built up again. I can’t be tired after only 5 minutes of walking, can I? Too bad sleeping doesn’t miraculously slough off the pounds…

Gladiator Week

I survived a week at work! Thank you, Lord!

This is pretty much what I have in front of me everyday at work: my planner (it has a lot more writing on it now, hehe), two pens (I always have a green one handy for our audits), and my PC. Beyond my computer monitor my rowdy bunch (team) is spread out in front of me. Last night, they lined up to dance to Psy’s Gentleman. Hilarious!

It didn’t feel like a heavy week. Lots of catching up, and re-familiarizing myself with day to day processes. It was genuinely nice to be back. By the end of the week (Friday morning for me), I was excited to get to sleep in again. Haha! Also, it was the boyfriend’s birthday on Saturday (6/8) so I was really looking forward to that. The only downside is that the boyfriend and I have very different schedules now. Our rest days are mismatched. I am sleeping when he gets home. We didn’t see each other the entire day Thursday. But we more than made up for it this weekend, I think. Although it didn’t feel much of a weekend for me. I needed one more day (doesn’t everybody else?)!

The week ended at a high note. I got the chance to visit the UP Gym again. Sadly it’s not because I’d gone all fit and sporty (I wish!), but because I went to support our account’s basketball team for the company sportsfest. Our boys won all three games they were scheduled for!


These boys were really amazing. Most of them had shifts on Friday night. Then they had to play three games, with one-hour intervals in between. And they went on to win each one.

3-1 win!

3-1 win!

Next week’s game will be a tough one. I hear we’ll be up against the team with no loss record yet. Hopefully, my friends and I get to show our support again, along with a lot more others. Speaking of friends, these girls kept me company:


Hanging out with these two were among the things I missed while I was recovering. But when we weren’t teasing each other or bashing the other team like die-hard hooligans fans would, they were making an attempt at playing volleyball:

The initial plan was that Cha and I would walk around the Acad Oval before the games, to exercise. But I didn’t wake up until 12 noon that day, just as the first whistle was blown for the team’s first game. After the game wasn’t an option because it would have made me late for the boyfriend’s birthday gig. It would have been a nice day to fasten the bikes on a yakima rack and pedal around campus, perhaps another day.

So there, I had a good first week back at work and things seem to be just getting better. 🙂 Oh and people were either just being very nice to me, or I must have really lost weight. 🙂

Happy 1st Monthsary to My Back!

A month goes by very quickly; whether you’re busy or just chill it doesn’t matter, time still flies. It’s been a month and a week after my back operation!

I posted this on Instagram after my doctor’s appointment on May 25th. It was at that appointment that I was proclaimed fit to work and ready for the world. Hehe. So I’m going back to work full-time beginning this Monday, June 3rd. Yep, all in time for back-to-school rush.

It was only while we were having brunch that I realized it’s my back’s one month anniversary. That day, I went up and down the stairs at Il Terrazzo in Tomas Morato, and then again to get to Shmily Arts & Crafts Store in Sta. Ana, Manila. The girls were excited enough to go along with me for a drive and to buy some craft materials. Oh we didn’t know exactly where the store was, the iOS map was pretty helpful and we didn’t get lost or anything. Hehe.

The girls are selfie addicts, so we had our customary shots while in the car, and right before food was served.


Just now though, I realize more how crazy fun these girls are, look at all these photos they left for me to find on my Photo Stream (taken on the iPad):


Pretty young ones, aren’t they? Hell’a crazy too. And I’m just really glad they spent time with me that day. I may have given them an awkward talking-to about the birds and the bees but I just really love these girls and I want them to make the right decisions in life, young as they are. They were still toddlers when I was their age now, and back then I spent a lot of time with them too. I love that they still like being around Tita Vera, even when there could have been a hundred and one things they could do on a Saturday. 🙂

Zach Sobiech: The Kid Who Went Down Fighting, and Didn’t Really Lose

Zach Sobiech. Have you met him?

He inspired millions of people even before he turned eighteen. He had osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer that affects children), and he knew he wasn’t going to live long. Instead of languishing in the dark, he chose to live the remaining days of his life by sharing his feelings through music. Instead of waiting for people to cry for him when he dies, he chose instead to put smiles on people’s faces – because knowing he was responsible for that made him happy.

He died on May 20, and heaven just got brighter. Get to know him, and take inspiration from his life through this video. It’s 22 minutes, but definitely worth the time. I first watched it when I learned of his death and I was moved to tears. Good tears. And I felt that it’s now my responsibility to live my days endeavoring to make someone else smile. Please please watch it.

If you don’t have time though, here are two lines he uttered in the vid; I made these cards because these lines will always stick with me:


Make people happy

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