Have you heard, there’s a rumor in St. Petersburg?

This is not a review.

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Over the course of this trip, my four-year-old self would’ve probably been leaping for joy for having her dreams fulfilled. Growing up, I was obsessed with the cartoon Anastasia as well as the real one. I remembered always researching about Russian history even though I never really needed to learn it in school. I’d get giddy reading about the Romanovs in history books as well as fiction books. I loved learning about Anastasia’s life and family.

I used to have this CD of a collection of songs from the musical cartoons of “my time.”  My mom would play it in the car for me and my sisters and that’s how I was able to memorize the lyrics to even the most random songs such as “Poor Unfortunate Souls” by Ursula from The Little Mermaid or “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” by General Shang from Mulan. One of my favorite songs from that CD was Anastasia’s “Journey to the Past.” There was something about the way she was singing her story that captivated me. I think that started my passion for musicals and theatre.

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When I first found out that they were making a broadway version of one of my favorite cartoons, I just about flipped. I made it a goal to see it live. I never thought that it would’ve even been a slight possibility considering I also made it a goal to watch Britney Spears live and was never able to despite the fact that I lived in Vegas for two years during her residency. I think it began with what was just a random conversation between me and my friend Skippy about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show that suddenly led us to rush ourselves into buying tickets to New York.

Fast forward to us finally being in the Broadhurst Theatre for their evening performance, watching and falling in love with Christy Altomare and pretty much everything about the show. The best part was me not realizing that my ultimate broadway crush, Ramin Karimloo was also performing. As excited as I was about everything, I did not do research beforehand, so I just enjoyed the pleasurable surprise.

Before it started, I practically had to drag Skippy in with me. He was mostly “Oh this is no big deal,” “These things don’t make sense,” and “I’m not that interested in musicals.” Imagine my surprise when after they ended the first act with “Journey to the Past” I looked at him and realized that both of us were huge emotional wrecks. He told me he’s been crying (in secret) because of how amazing the show was.

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Towards the finale, the crying wasn’t a secret anymore. I have converted my friend into a broadway geek, and finally ladies and gentlemen, my work here is done!

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If you’re ever in New York for a quick visit, I highly recommend watching Anastasia: The Broadway Musical.

 

xx Gizel

Saying Goodbye.

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So I guess, this is how it feels to say goodbye to something you never thought you’d fall in love with. I sound like I just broke up with someone. Which is technically kind of true, I just broke up with my job. Been in the company for eighteen months, been relocated twice, been under three different bosses, and went through a buttload of associates.

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Every single time I talk to people about my work the first thing they would ask is “Do you like it?” and I would always undoubtedly respond, “I like the people I work with!” And it is true, I LIKE the people I work with. The job is not so bad. It’s not the field I went to school for, it’s not what my passion is all about, but it is pretty fun, and I learned a bunch of stuff that I never would’ve learned anywhere else.

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The people is an entirely different story though. My associates have become my family. I fell in love with every single one of them, even the few that I’ve come to despise, haha! I’ve been their manager, adviser, therapist, teacher, big sister, and even a mom at some point (but that’s kinda pushing it coz I’m a child most of time).

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In return, they have been there for me with almost everything I went through. They’ve heard the worst of my hunger complaints and body pains. It got to a point where, whenever they hear someone craving for chili barbecue fries, or talk about having back problems, it would immediately remind them of me. They have forced me to come see the doctor, and got scared for me when I talk about my health with them. They have seen me ugly cry over the most trivial things, and they have made me laugh so hard that I almost peed myself. I’ve been with them through the good days and the bad. My kids (as I call them) have taught me so much more than I have taught them.

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They’ve seen me grow into a “mature” individual even though most of the time they see me goofing around and just playing. Who knew a bunch of 18-year-olds could change me?

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My company have been both good and bad to me. As any other company who has their pros and cons, but it’s more pros rather than cons. Working in this company, I started out as a timid, soft-spoken person afraid of confrontation. Now, I know how to pick my battles and I’ve learned not to be a push-over. Trust me, for me, it’s a good thing! I have learned to be brave, and fight for what I know is right. I have a stronger backbone (even though technically I have actual back problems, haha!) and I have learned to face stress with a level head and an objective point of view all the time.

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The management team have been literal brothers and sisters to me. We’ve gone through a lot, and I mean, A LOT. They’re my best friends but they have become like actual siblings to me.  If you had to work with the same group of people for 40 hours of the week, you could never avoid conflict. We’ve had our fair share of arguments, and horrible fights, but we’ve also gone through so much that we literally cannot go a day without talking to each other, just like siblings. We joke that we are all alcoholics, because we would all go drinking together even after work. They are my family inside and outside of work and I feel like no matter what had happened to this little family I’ve created in my short stay in this company, everything has a reason why, and I will still love all of them.

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Leaving this job felt like an actual break-up. I knew I was eventually gonna move to another state, and quitting was inevitable, but I can’t deny that it still hurt. On my last day, everything was emotional. My last clock-out, last close, pretty much last everything! I wrote my “kids” and “siblings” a long-ass letter to say goodbye, and everyone who’s ever known me knows how much I hate saying goodbye. I couldn’t do it properly that’s why I wrote it down. I’m thankful to every single one I’ve met in this company for all the good and even bad experiences.

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I’m off to another new chapter in my life: a completely clean slate, but you guys will always be in my heart. I will never forget you!

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The single girl’s guide to Valentines Day.

First of all,


There are three different kinds of single girls on Valentines day.

One, the Awwww-I-wish-I-had-someone-to-spend-vday-with single girls. 

Next, would be the bitter single girls.


And last would be the I-don’t-really-care single girls.


Which one do you think you are?

Honestly, I feel like I’m a mix between one and three (mostly three), but for the past couple of years I’ve been two.


All the lovey-dovey facebook posts always used to annoy me. To some extent, it still kinda does. It made sense to me why it shouldn’t be considered a holiday when in fact it was just a marketing ploy by chocolate and flower companies to get people to spend money. But let’s face it, that was just the bitter single girl in me talking.

Last year however, I’ve decided to look at this certain holiday in a different light.

Instead of hating on couples and all the cheesiness this day brought, I have decided to embrace it and just be happy for others.


Last year, I spent the day having a picnic with my family, so that was pretty fun. This year however, I had to go to work.


But- I didn’t let that bother me! Like I said I will embrace this holiday and all the cheese it came with. I even made an effort today, wearing a red shirt and putting lipstick on, I even did my hair! It was funny because all of us who worked today were single girls, no one else wanted to cover shifts because everyone had plans with their significant others. That’s fine though, we made a day out of it! No negativity nor bitterness at all. No more hating on cheesy couple Facebook posts. It is the day of hearts after all.

And even though I’m single, I felt loved today! I got chocolates from my co-worker, my family came to visit me at work to bring me pizza, and I got home to more chocolates from my roommate! Pretty sweet!!


My takeaway is this: if you’re single on Valentines day, only YOU can make your day! If you wanna make a new tradition with your single friends or celebrate with your family, that’s totally okay! You can do anything you want, just promise me, don’t be bitter!!

xx Gizel

Hello, Aspen!

How do you fall in love with a place?

How do you decide you just want to leave everything behind and begin again?

In somewhere new, somewhere exciting, somewhere like… Aspen.

Hello, Aspen! from LAD Films on Vimeo.

January 27-31 2017 Trip to Aspen Colorado. (X-Games 2017)
I fall more and more in love with this town every single time I come to visit! Now, the question is, should I move here? Big thanks to my maga, Nenita for showing me around! x
Music used:
Follow You – Cheat Codes
Shots – Imagine Dragons (Broiler Remix)

On Wines and Castles.

I am one of those people who’s slightly a little bit obsessed with old castles. It’s not the grandeur or the lifestyle, but more of the history and mystery of huge places that  served as a home for some people that’s just so attractive to me.

Castles are dark, outdated, dingy, sometimes scary, but for some reason, something about it draws me in. I am in love with them! I love watching old movies set in castles, or the new ones that feature them. I’ve always wanted to live in one (not as a royal, but just a regular person living in a really old, really big house.)

Because everybody in my family has a weird work schedule, we knew that spending the holidays together would be difficult. So we planned to see each other earlier to spend our very own “Christmas” and “New Year.”

The thought of traveling always puts me in a good mood.

This December, we flew to San Francisco and visited a little castle-slash-vineyard in Napa Valley.

The drive up to Castello di Amorosa was such a sight. I’ve never seen this much greenery in Vegas, where I currently live. It made me sad for a little bit, but I quickly moved on as soon as I saw the castle.

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I don’t understand what it is about a dark place that could make me so happy, but I just let myself bask in the joy it gave me. I was slightly disappointed the vineyard looked a little empty, I wasn’t sure if we arrived before harvest season or just after harvest time, so I just  went ahead and distracted myself with walking around inside.

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Also, wine tasting, because why not?

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Maybe it’s because I’m weak, or just because I’m Asian and get embarassingly tomato-red when I’m a little drunk, that I prefer getting buzzed as slow as possible. I may know my way around tequilas and gins, but for wines, the sweets will always be my go-to.

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The courtyard was pretty, the corridors were charming. I may have secretly pretended to be a princess prancing around the hallways the whole time we were there. I wish they had an AirBnb or bed-and-breakfast sort of setting because I would definitely book a week’s stay to just day drink and run away from work.

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Castles and Wines are the perfect combo!

Link to location for questions and reservations

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#FindGizel

xx Gizel