Sleepless in Seattle.

Seattle is one of those places in the world that I fell in love with without even stepping foot in. Honestly, it’s probably because a few of my favorite movies & shows are set in this city. (I’m looking at you, Grey’s Anatomy.) But also, one of my dream jobs is based in Seattle. I’ve stalked this city madly in hopes of moving there in the near future. I’ve gone as far as looking at real estate and rental apartments. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I have been known to move my whole life in a brand new place without thinking of consequences or repercussions. It has been pretty okay so far, but that mindset has sort of prepared me into understanding how nothing stays the same forever. I could just now easily let go of places, material things, or even people. But before delving deeper into my psyche and how it works, lets go back to the topic at hand: Seattle.

Oh Seattle; the skyscrapers, the sea, the markets and the art. Everything about this city, just had a way of drawing me in. I went there to meet up with three of my favorite people in the world; Ryan, Anna & Pierre (my Vegas siblings) because we haven’t seen each other in a long time, and we’ve always wanted to travel together, but it’s never panned out. I’m so glad it finally did, and in this hip city of all places!

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AirBnB with #staywithvioure IG: @coffeecityglam for inquiries.

I didn’t quite get enough of Seattle as I’d hoped, but the few short days we were there was enough to convince me that it’s definitely a place I’d consider a future in. Granted, we were there on probably three out of the only few days of the year that it didn’t rain. We got pretty lucky that it was all sunny days during our trip, which somehow kind of tells me something, because I have this memory of an old lady telling me about this belief that if it rains the first time you visit a certain place, it means you are coming back.

Traditional customs aside, I definitely feel like I will be coming back to this colorful city!

In the first stop of our “Top Places to Visit in Seattle” tour. We went to a breakfast place highly recommended by locals. We had to wait in line a little bit before the place opened, but it was definitely worth the wait! Pike Place Chowder deserved all their “#1 Awards” plastered all over their restaurant. Their Seafood Bisque & Seared Scallop Chowder we’re both really top notch. There’s a reason why they’re the #1 Chowder in the US. I really can’t describe it any better! Also, I could probably only count the times I’ve had chowder in my life in my two hands, so I don’t really have a lot to compare it with, but out of those few times, I’d agree that this was the best!

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One of my favorite places we went to was the Pike Place Market. We had a conversation about how much the fish stink was very nostalgic. It felt like home somehow, because you could smell the ocean, and it just reminded me so much of the wet markets in the Philippines that I remember I never really enjoyed going to. It was funny, I never appreciated the fishy smell back home, but being away from it for such a long time and experiencing it again in the US is definitely something that felt almost bizarrely exciting. Aside from the fish that gets thrown around and caught by fishermen/vendors, Pike Place also sold a variety of fresh things around the wet market, like flowers, vegetables, and organic jams. 

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Underground was where they had the dry area where all these really eccentric, amazing shops were located. It was very colorful and fun just going in and out of shops, boutiques, pharmacies and libraries. Each place had it’s own personality, and it was just very amusing to see everything.

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We spent a lot of time in the stores just wandering aimlessly feeling like there was no concept of time whatsoever, and that we were almost in a different world. As we went up and out, that’s when we realized that we were back in gloomy old Seattle, back in the real world, and our adventure resumes.

The next stop, in an alley just outside the market, was where we discovered the Seattle Gum Wall. Not as exciting as everyone makes it out to be, but it was very entertaining to be there.

It was literally the most disgusting yet colorful display I’ve ever seen in my life. Imagine being around thousands of people’s combined spit, and you’re standing a feet away from it. It does feel as gross as it sounds, but it was such an awkwardly hilarious experience. I will not go further into the depths of  what we each did to get a great picture, so I’ll have you just enjoy them.

Most of the day we spent just walking around, eating and shopping and just generally enjoying each other’s company. We decided to rest up a little bit so we could meet Ryan’s friend for dinner, and see the city at night.

As beautiful as Seattle was in the day, nothing compares to what it looks like at night. We went to a place called Kerry Park where we had a full view of the city lights and the iconic Space Needle in between all of it.

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#findgizel Anna version in Seattle

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#findgizel Pierre version in Seattle

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Also, the Escape Room virgin in me did my very first escape room experience and had so much fun. I was literally halfway out the door because I thought it was one of those interactive scary kidnapping experiences. I still don’t understand why people pay for stuff like that, but, that’s them. Anyway, we did a witch themed escape and managed to solve the puzzle just 3 minutes before the timer! Pretty proud for my first time. Thank you to The Escape Artist for such a great experience, and the free winner’s pin!

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We went to a carnival themed bar called Unicorn on Capitol Hill, and had this really fun drink. I already forgot what it was called, but that’s one way of saying that I definitely enjoyed it! The bar was very whimsical, and the people in Seattle were very interesting in a fun, eccentric way. This definitely explains why everything in this city is very colorful and almost magical. (at this point, I’m running out of adjectives to describe this city.) At the end of the night, there’s no one else I’d eat grimy sidewalk hotdogs with, other than these three.

On the last day of our trip, we squeezed in a couple of food places and a bunch of city walking and people watching before our collective flights in the airport. Every street or building has such a character that it was fun just walking around despite the cold.

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Myself and Anna sneaked a little donut date(breakfast) from Mighty-O Donuts, because the sign has been calling to us and we’ve been talking about it non-stop ever since we arrived, and we just never really got the chance to come in the first few days. They had really great organic donuts and coffee, and we had a great view of hot men falling from the sky (No, I will not explain this sentence.)

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Then, just before heading to the airport, we had a quick lunch at Pier 57 in a place called The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar, where we had great fish & chips and even greater service.

The flight back home made me very sad because I was saying goodbye to a city that I really loved spending time in, and three people I really love spending time with.

See you again soon, Seattle! And to my three siblings: I wish we go on another trip soon!

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#findgizel in her future home, Seattle.

xx Gizzy

interesting finds in an interesting city

Once in a while you discover new things about a place that’s considered as somewhere that’s “always just been there.” You ignore it without realizing how beautiful and actually great it is. That’s my relationship with Denver. I’ve always seen Denver as a place to layover when I’m headed home, or when I’m leaving home. Despite the many different times I have been in this city, I’ve never actually gone past the airport. I almost somehow have it memorized better than any other airport in the world. Landing and taking off, I would often think how ugly and empty Denver seemed.  Turns out, the actual city proper is a half hour or more away, and I’ve just been viewing the almost secluded “ugly and empty” landing strip.

One of my best friends(ew) Ricardo, decided that he is turning himself into a “traveler” and will now be going to places he’s never been to; and because we’ve missed being assholes to each other in person, we’ve missed each other(ew, again) and none of us have ever really spent time in Denver, we decided to come “travel” the city together.

The city is such a fun and colorful place with a lot of hidden gems everywhere, even in the alleys! It’s one of those places that’s very artsy-funky, and historical but also kind of modern at the same time with a gorgeous mountain view surrounding it.

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We spent most of the time we were there just walking around Union Station and discovering something new around the area every single day.

 

 

 

We paid a visit to the Denver Art Museum and had so much fun watching the exhibits. Although, to be honest, I think we probably weren’t sophisticated enough for Rembrandt because we seemed like two fishes out of water compared to all the guests inside that gallery. The museum had so many interesting art displays that we must have spent hours literally just getting lost in there.

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When we left, the outside actually felt like an extension of the museum. Almost every building-wall was painted with cool murals; a lot of the alleys had interesting interactive installments; random areas in the streets and outside some of the buildings were a couple of weird-but-cool statues; and pretty much everywhere else was a random street performer a mile away from one another.

 

 

 

The food places we’ve been to eat were also nothing short of amazing. I have no complaints with every single place we went to. It might’ve possibly been the other way around though, since at one point, we went to an all-you-can-eat Korean restaurant and REALLY got our money’s worth. The waitress looked at my tiny frame and probably assumed I ordered more than I could handle. She was wrong. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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On the nights that we went out, we had such a great time because the Denver night life is actually pretty exciting. All the bars are walking distances from each other, and we pretty much went inside each one of them for one drink or just to warm up. They all had good local beer, funny-named drinks, and were just all-in-all really great places to chill in.

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My favorite must’ve  been the place called 1UP. It was this really cool bar that’s partly an arcade. The whole place was surrounded with a lot of different vintage pinball machines and arcade games with the full bar situated in the middle of the whole thing. People pretty much just casually took turns playing games while drinking and mingling. Not a lot of mingling from my part since I was mostly just playing and I was being a little competitive.

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Towards the end of the night, we randomly walked into this bar called Ophelia’s and ended up staying there ’til closing time because we had so much fun people-watching and surprisingly enjoyed ourselves dancing to 80’s music.

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During our last day, the weather decided to match with our feelings, because it was suddenly too cold and gloomy. It was scheduled to snow the night we were both leaving, so the city was a little dark and empty. Not a lot of people were walking around the streets because the weather was around 20 degrees.

 

 

 

We also just bit the bullet and braved the freezing weather to do the full tourist experience and just walk from landmark to landmark in the city hall and the civic center.

 

 

 

 

 

Our uber driver suggested for us to visit Larimer St before we left, and we were not disappointed! Despite my frozen fingers and Ricardo’s swollen ears, we managed to still do our dumb photoshoots and enjoy ourselves. Larimer St was amazing! They had a great festive Christmas display(and if you know me, you know how much I love Christmas!) They had all the christmas lights turned on in the middle of the day because it was such a gloomy morning, but that just made it  even more interesting to look at.

 

 

 

The whole time I was there, I just felt happy and unfazed by my version of real-world stresses. It made me want to commit to making it a habit of visiting Denver as much as I possibly could. I know there will be a lot more to discover, and I can’t wait for more adventures.

Til next time!

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#findgizel in Denver, Colorado

xx Gizel

 

Digital Detox

I recently came across the phrase “digital detox” and it resonated with me on a deep level. There was a point in the beginning of my (adult) life that I was unknowingly going through my first digital detox experience; It was after I graduated college and wanted a clean slate. I deactivated my facebook, changed my phone number, cut my hair and travelled around the country. It made me feel good. It was a great and humbling/freeing experience to not depend everything on technology and social media, but then it also felt that I was basically cutting off everyone and everything in my life. If you know me and understand how my brain works, you’d know that whenever I tend to decide on one thing, it would always be one of the extremes.

So instead of getting either too in your face everyday that you’d get sick of my shadow, or falling off the grid completely, I decided to now try and find the perfect balance. I know. Seems easy enough, but such an arduous task for someone like me. (Why can’t I just be a normal person?)

Starting today, Im gonna try this social media hiatus. I am not gonna be gone completely, but I will definitely be online a lot less. I’ve already deleted my facebook app (not the account, coz I still need to talk to my family and best friends that are continents away) so I don’t have as much things to waste my time on. I’ve found myself more invested in the relationships of other people rather than the ones I have, and I grew tired of making comparisons and unnecessary judgments. I honestly don’t think me deleting anything makes a difference to the people around me, but it will make a huge difference to myself and the way I perceive things.

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The plan is to decrease a significant amount of time staring at my phone as the first step. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I’m not on it as much as every other person. Its almost impossible to set it down because somehow there’s always gonna be content that I would unashamedly devour, no matter how nonsensical it is. It also already proves to be such a challenge considering how working in the fashion industry, I’d always have to be well versed and know about whats going on around it. I literally get emails of runway shows from my manager that I have to watch and share knowledge about. Giving myself a limit on media time is a smart way of prioritizing what I need to look at, and what I shouldn’t even bother concerning myself with.

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Step number two is to reconnect with the earth. I’ve found that I personally always get a sense of balance whenever I do nature trips and the like. It’s somehow a sort of reset button that whenever I go up to the mountains by myself or go to the lake with my friends, I always “come back” to the world with a renewed sense of energy.

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Going up on little hikes without any phone service actually helps you look a little less at your device and a little more at what surrounds you. Spoiler alert: its beautiful.

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A few days ago I went floating with a couple of my friends and just looking at the scenery or listening to the river and to the birds was such a calming experience that it made me not want to leave that state of mind.

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With that said, step three is to spend more time with people. Actual physical people that you get to have conversations with right in front of you. I want to make a habit of just being in the moment with my friends and family without any worries of what the rest of the world will think. I want to be there and be present instead of being in their company, but occupied with some other people’s curated lives on their pages.

Buying plane tickets to go to places and see my friends and family, just so I could be physically present in their lives is something that I found very important. I had the realization that I didn’t really mind spending money to travel because that’s what I was saving up for in the first place. To see the people I care about in person instead of through a screen has proven great benefits for my mental health.

These little steps are the beginning of my so called digital detox. Cleansing myself from the negativities of the internet, and trying to get a break from it every once in a while.

Less screen time, more nature time, and more people time. It would make me become a better person, and it would give my poor phone a chance to rest. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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#findgizel @ Maroon Bells, Colorado

xx Gizel

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)