Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home

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I'm quite excited for this week's Thanks a Latte blogpost since I failed in the latte department in last, last week's gratitude list and completely missed this post last week. Oops. Right as I was writing this post, I discovered a new website today while reading some of my favorite blogs and it had the perfect, written-in-the-stars message for me:

The way to get enthusiastic about doing anything is to get involved in doing it. You can’t just expect to magically become enthusiastic before you ever lift a finger.

- Ralph Marston

These words by Ralph on his website, The Daily Motivator, hit the nail on the head. I have been feeling stagnant lately - lots of ideas brewing but none of them materializing. While I was wondering why next-to-nothing is happening despite having all this enthusiasm for the ideas, I figured, therein lies the problem. I kept on wondering, but I wasn't DOING. Okay Universe, I got the message. I'll get on with the 'doing' and the rest will follow!

Let's get started, shall we? But first, coffee:

Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home | Organized! by Pam

Love, love, love this tasty Iced Chocolate Chip Cookie Latte from Scout's Honor (Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall)! Iced latte with crushed chocolate chip cookie? Yes please!

Taking stock of what I'm thankful for:

01 | welcome home, mom!

Last week, I drove up to Katipunan Ave. with my two sisters to pick up Nico and get our family car a good cleaning. Then, we buckled down for a 45-minute drive to the international airport. We got there a tad bit too early (thanks to my panicky self overestimating time, as always) at 10am. After almost two hours, we lined up at the arrival area and held up various impromptu signs, thanks to a LED marquee app we found on the Google Play Store.

My mom vacationed in the US for about six weeks and while we're constantly in communication (hello technology!) throughout the whole period, nothing beats having her at home with us. First agenda was to feed the hungry traveler with some classic Filipino 'fast food,' Andok's chicken! And as expected, a deep slumber awaits her (she slept through the entire day!). Welcome home, mom.

02 | driving, driving and driving some more

I'm a lazy driver, really. If anyone else wanted to drive, I would gladly oblige as I prefer being able to sit and look outside the window during any kind of trip. With my mom arriving from the States, my car freedom has come to an end. No more waking up early to avoid the rush hour traffic. No more worrying about where to park AND paying the parking fees. No more dragging myself to drive home after a long day at work. No more napping in the car when I just can't be bothered to drive anymore. Lovely. But at the same time, I will miss:

  • getting to work early and doing my work in complete silence,
  • bringing extra stuff and leaving it in the car,
  • going home at any time and not having to book an Uber (with the high surge multipliers!),
  • picking up Nico from his work and taking him home (but to be honest, once I picked him up, he takes the driver seat and drives himself home. See earlier statement: 'I'm a lazy driver, really.'),
  • hanging out with Nico at the car, belting out Korean lyrics or old school boy band songs,
  • always having access to transportation when I need to go somewhere (went to Mall of Asia Arena for the BIGBANG concert by myself!),
  • and going to a Starbucks drive-thru!

I'm thankful for six weeks of car freedom but right now, I'm relieved to be a passenger once again.

03 | a new 'dress' for my laptop

I've had my current laptop for almost three years now and I'm definitely starting to feel its age, visually. Non-MacBook users unfortunately have fewer options in terms of styling our laptops with candy-colored cases and decals so it can get pretty boring, visual-wise. Until Windows dropped the bomb that is Windows 10. Hell to the YES.

Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home | Organized! by Pam

Sexy + sleek new interface. Flat design everywhere. Faster and better performance. Numerous improvements to existing functions. Lots of new ones as well. Ahhhh, nothing like a new 'dress' to make an old thing feel new again.

04 | fresh-from-the-States loot

Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home | Organized! by Pam

Not a lot words for this but definitely truckloads of excitement! I'm upping my game in lots of areas in my life by investing in fewer + quality pieces that I know will help me make my dream a reality. A few items from the bunch: Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch*, Clarisonic Mia 2*, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer* (repurchase!), Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner*, EK Tools mini paper trimmer* (to replace my old one that broke), Chromecast*, and Daisy by Marc Jacobs*. Not pictured are three pairs of shoes from Aerosole (best place to buy comfy + classy work shoes that fit my large feet!), Anastasia Brow Wiz* (repurchase!), workout clothes and gear and lots of chocolates + snacks!

I am thoroughly enjoying Chromecast and I'm happy to report that I have been watching all my Youtube videos on our flat screen (to the annoyance of my mom) ;)

* Above links are my Amazon affiliate links! I have researched extensively about these products and some of 'em I've used and loved so I am confident in recommending these items to you, my lovely reader. I hope you don't mind!

05 | yoga

Seriously. I'm so thankful that I've finally tried yoga. I'm not going to expound much here since I already raved about it on my last post. Here's a little excerpt ::

The poses we did looked simple but man, they were difficult! It took a lot of concentration to balance myself and keep still. I felt my muscles ‘untangling’ as I twisted and stretched and shifted from pose to pose. My joints made quite a few cracking noises; tell-tale signs that I haven’t really moved my body in a long time. It was challenging but what I loved about it was that every movement was made with intention.

To sum it up, after my first yoga experience I’m feeling grounded in the Here and the Now, something that’s hard to come by recently. I’m definitely coming back for another round.

Read the rest here.

06 | products from local artists

Last Monday, I went to a newly opened shop that I've been meaning to go to for a couple of weeks now: Common Room PH.

Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home | Organized! by Pam

Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home | Organized! by Pam

It's a small shop packed to the brim with the latest and greatest of several talented local artists. The range of products that they house vary from craft materials to leather envelope clutches. They even had succulents! I like them a lot because they are championing the work of local artists. Here in the Philippines, we often look down on locally made products as we praise products from US, Japan, United Kingdom, etc. We still haven't completely shaken off the colonial mentality within us. Initiatives like this - which bring out the locally made products to the forefront - are slowly turning the Filipinos' eyes inwards rather than outwards.

Two things caught my eye (Actually three! That totoro plushie is going home with me someday.) and I made my first ever plant purchase!

Thanks a Latte! -- Welcome Home | Organized! by Pam


Over to you, finish this sentence: This week, I am wonderfully grateful for...

P.S. If you're a Project Lifer, head over to this post and leave a comment with your struggles and burning questions on memory-keeping. I'm crafting a monthly series + something else specifically for these and would love your input!