2013 in a tiny Box.

Who knew events of the year could fit in a tiny, old DKNY watch box?

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I got the concept from tumblr exactly a year ago. It was New Year’s Eve, and I saw this picture of a glass with what seemed like letters inside it. The idea was to write out things that made you happy in the course of the year in small pieces of paper, and store them in a jar, and then read everything you wrote by the end of the year.

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When I opened my tiny “Best of 2013” box, I felt excited. I haven’t opened any of these small pieces of paper ever since I started writing them. One by one I slowly opened, and read these happy moments that I wrote

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They made me remember the moments and made me feel all sorts of things: happiness, nostalgia, and sometimes, regret, for missed opportunities, plans that didn’t pull through, things that don’t happen, and people that I don’t see anymore.

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But here I am, on my first day of 2014, reading memories about life, love, friends, and family that made me happy throughout 2013. I giggled at some, and cried happy tears in the others.

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They made me realize that what makes me happy the most are simple things, like having random sleepovers with my friends, coffee dates, roadtrips, and the beach. I wrote about the most random and small things that made me appreciate my days, some as simple as “waking up to a good hair day” or something big like “seeing a falling star for the first time.”

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I’m pretty sure I wasn’t able to write about every happy memory that happened to me in the year, but it’s okay. I had a tiny box, that was filled with love letters to myself. It’s proof that, despite the lows that I’ve experienced, a lot of good things happened to me in 2013, and I’m thankful for that.

xx Gizel

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Photos by: Me

Travel “Shoe-Selfies”

For some strange reason, I’ve acquired the strange habit of taking shoe-selfies.

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I have been doing it for quite some time now, and only recently have I figured out why exactly. I realized, that most of these “feet pictures” are usually taken in places where I felt that “calmness.” Like when you go to a certain place and you look at the view and think to yourself: “This is amazing, and I want to document it.”

But somehow, you’re too ashamed to take a photo of yourself in a public place, or in a somewhat weird position (i.e. backriding on a motorbike) so you tend to just look down at your feet and decide they’re more interesting than what surrounds you.

You subtly take a photo of your shoes as proof that you’ve set foot on that wonderful place (even though it doesn’t show anything much, aside from the ground you’re standing on) and walk away contented with what you took.

But as soon as I went through my cellphone and camera photos, I have no idea how to appreciate these pictures of the ground and my shoes. I don’t have a foot-fetish, so I don’t know why I’ve been keeping these pictures all this time.

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Somehow, I’ve found a purpose for these “shoe-selfies.”

I’ve always wanted to try and create a travel tradition. Like get something wherever I go to take home with me and keep as memorabilia. I used to collect rocks from places I had happy moments when I was a little kid. What can I say? I’m sentimental. But it didn’t work because they’re too bulky, and not everywhere I went to had rocks. Most of the places I had happy moments were indoors, plus, I keep forgetting where exactly I got those rocks from since I never really labeled them.

Instead of rocks, I decided another creative way of keeping memories from places I went to would be these shoe-selfies. However, because these photos obviously don’t show the actual places I went to, I made collages. Simple, yet effective.

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Orchard Central Mall Singapore

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Universal Studios Singapore

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On-the-Spot trip from Cadiz to Concepcion with my friends Anika and Rhaizza.

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For RJ’s birthday, we went from Dumaguete to Dauin.

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Mission to the recently disaster-struck Bohol that was ruined by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake.

I had a lot of travel experiences, mostly in beaches, but I figured 7 more pictures of my weird looking feet wearing slippers would be annoying.

A new tradition begins! Although I do realize, for this sort of collection, I’d probably need a bunch of new shoes.

xx

Gizel

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Cooking with Tuesday: Spicy Tuna-Mushroom Sauce

Call me Chef Tuesday and bring out the kitchen tools, I’m ready!

Actually, I’m not.

Do not be deceived by the title of this post. Spicy Tuna-Mushroom Sauce my ass. Sounds classy and totally planned right? Well, it’s not. It’s a far-from-what-I-originally-planned-but-got-lucky kind of dish. I did warn you guys, that kitchen duty is not my strong suit.

The original recipe I tried to follow said “Tuscan-Style Tuna with White Beans” but since I had no white beans and sage, I decided to substitute these two main ingredients with whatever I could find in the kitchen. Basically, my very first cooking blog, is an experiment. (Thankfully, I was alone at home when I did this, because God knows how hard everyone would try to keep me out of the pantry.)

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I have absolutely no idea what Tuscan-style meant, and the picture showed something that wasn’t really interesting to eat at all, so I went crazy with the other stuff and added unnecessary ingredients as well, that’s why I’m not so sure if this dish was meant to be a sauce or soup.

Also, I didn’t have any clue how to cook mushroom from the can. I mean, that’s already okay to be eaten right? I wasn’t exactly sure, so I kind of made it linger in the pan for quite a long time. I think it was okay though, because it tasted right. I mean, is there such thing as raw mushroom? The color was a bit intimidating.

I impulsively added cream of mushroom soup into the mix, and I think that was what made the dish complete, however, I think everything relied on that for texture. Flavor-wise, I got carried away with the black pepper and I forgot to check the tuna flavor. Turns out, I picked the spicy one, so the dish was bound to be a pain in the – tongue. Good thing, I like my food spicy. What can I say? More for me!

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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 can shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 can spicy tuna in oil, drained
1 cup cream of mushroom
black pepper, ground
basil leaves, ground
brown sugar
salt

Saute onion and garlic in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushroom and continue stirring for about 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in tuna and cook until just heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cup of cream of mushroom.
Lower heat. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, basil, salt and brown sugar.
Serve immediately.

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I never exactly figured out if this was soup or sauce, but it was too thick and creamy to be soup so I called it sauce. Serve it with bread or rice, and even add on red wine, for that classy finish.

Cooking with Tuesdays Part 1: Success (with a whole lot of luck)
Photos by: Me (remind me to do this earlier next time, food pictures look a lot better with with natural day lighting rather than indoor lighting.)

xx

Gizel the fail chef

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Summer in the Rain.

Yesterday, there was news about a tornado hitting close to our area. I spent the whole day re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because there was no electricity, and I couldn’t get out of the house. It was a definite stay-in-bed-and-be-lazy kind of weather because the rain just kept coming and going.

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Waking up to a storm when you needed to be somewhere just makes you feel really shitty for the rest of the day, and it seems this storm won’t pass for at least a few more days. Without any sign of sunlight for the rest of the week, how can a person like me (who loves the sun so much) shift my mood?

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I didn’t have anything to do! I was so bored, I was honestly, so close to making a twerking video.

 

In perfect timing, my friend (finally) posted a five-month-late album of our summer trip to the beach, and so I decided to just get lost in pictures of the sun, sand, and dry land.

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Please do forgive my lack of shame in posing like I’m on a swimsuit catalog. I have this crazy voice in my head that lies to me and tells me that the likes of Tyra Banks and Coco Rocha will cry when they see me.

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(which they probably will, of laughter.)

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There you go. My little bit of summer in the rain. Wonderful, sunny, photos of an amazing week spent in the island of Bantayan. This photo reel brings back so much memories of starry summer nights, and lazy afternoons in the hammocks. I just loooove summer!

But then, my beach-photo-perving had to end eventually, and well, I realized, it’s still raining outside.

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xx Gizel

The Sail Away Series

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So basically, I made four looks for what I’ve come to call “The Sail Away Series”

For my sister’s pre-birthday photo shoot themed nautical, I had the opportunity to style her and of course take photos of her.

The SAS is not about me, but my sister. And since she’s the conventional tomboy, this make-over is a step up to her finally becoming a lady.

I chose her outfits from mine and our other sister’s closets because we technically couldn’t find anything remotely nautical, or at least girly from hers.

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So basically these are the four different looks that circled around the “nautical” bandwagon.

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I had fun shooting and styling her because it’s like you have your very own life-sized doll! Every little girl’s dream come true. Except this doll comes with constant complaints and eye-rolling. haha!

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Anyway, massive thanks to:
Marc J for the make-up
Cleo P for the shoot assistance

Also, thanks to:
Fe for modeling, Mutoy, Nephi and Faye.

(hype all looks on my lookbook!)

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Ahoy mateys!

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When I was a young girl, my mum used to work as a supervisor in a shipping line company. Basically this meant my childhood was full of water travelling and making a playground on a sea vessel. I don’t remember much of it, but I think it kind of remained in my subconscious – which is probably the reason why I’m obsessed with anchors, and docks, and the beach.

Same goes to both my sisters as well, that’s why, it’s a no-brainer for my younger sister to choose the theme ‘nautical’ for her debut.
So goes my continued quest to find my passion.

If you didn’t already know, I used to love photography, and I was good at it too. When my sister asked me to do this for her, I was a bit hesitant at first, because I did not want to disappoint her. What if she didn’t like the photos? What if it sucked? But no matter how much I wanted to say no, a huge part of me was a sucker for fashion shoots, and given that my sister had a 4:1 ratio of guy friends over girl friends, I became her stylist as well.

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Doing this is not as easy as it looks; I asked my best friends Marc and Cleo to help me and well they did that and more. My usually shy sister couldn’t help but laugh at the antic of my crazy friends. The shoot was fun and comfortable, and easy-going.

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With the good weather and the car shade (that with our resourcefulness became useful as a reflector) the photos I took were good-to-go.

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I can’t be the judge of that, so here you go.

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By the way, Marc, Cleo and myself are planning to make a career out of this. If you or anyone you know is planning to have pre-wedding, pre-debut, or just random photo shoots, let us know. We also do, hair, make-up, styling, and motion editorials. Contact me in any of my links in this blog.
Sail away!
Xx
Gizel