Year: 2016

Stunning views, continental buffet, and other cravings that will make you want to experience Breakfasts on Cruise

Echoes of rustling waves caressing the shore, cloudless cerulean blue sky, and sparkling sunbeams reflecting on water, all while eating your morning dose of pancakes and fruits and enjoying the light lullaby of the ocean— sounds interesting to you? If it does, breakfast on cruise is one thing you shouldn’t miss in your lifetime!

Last September, my SO and I marked our first year together. And what’s a better way to celebrate it than going on a Bahamas cruise! With endless entertainment and activities all lined up for us, we definitely had a good time. But if there’s one thing that remained my favorite- it’s having breakfast while overlooking the seemingly infinite shades of blue. From the farthest sky down to the deepest part of the ocean, there’s something about this view that just quiets my inner self.

Our favorite spot in Carnival Victory was the Lido Restaurant. They open around lunch time, and since we woke up late most of the time, this has been our breakfast spot. They have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and the food options are unbelievable. Some features that I loved were Mongolian Wok (I’m Asian hello) Salad Bar, Chef’s Choice, and Pizza Pirate that’s open 24 hours! I remember Luis trying to stop me from getting pizza at 3am. He didn’t win though, my cravings did. There were Carnival Deli and stations for unlimited soft frozen yogurt that we weren’t able to try because in as much as we wanted to eat everything, our tummy couldn’t anymore handle all the food, but they look appetizing, too.

Those times that we actually got up for breakfast time, we had memorable munch at Seaday Brunch and Breakfast Grill. Made-to-order omelettes, fluffy pancakes, and sizzling bacon were of course part of those glorious mornings. Don’t try to miss their hotdogs! I was just shy to ask about the brand that they use, but it’s so juicy and full of flavor! Next time, I promise to ask. I’m just not sure if they’re gonna reveal that secret to me.

On top of that, all these buffets were included in our cruise package! What more can we ask for, right? Devour all the way! Who said something about diet, and figures, and waistlines? After all, those are just numbers! Kidding aside, if you’re on a diet, they have options for you, too. Veggies and calculated calories are on their menu. And the fitness center is located on the same floor! No reason not to maintain your shape or skip the gym.

With happy people around and overflowing food at every corner, it feels like celebration every day.

Also, I think the warm greetings from staff also added to this amazing vibe. I’m so glad we went for Carnival. In case you ask, we booked it at Priceline.com. They have good deals, we had many options and most of them are within our budget. I called them to verify our booking, and their customer service is fantastic. Didn’t have to wait for them to connect me to a representative, which was cool for me since I don’t have all the time in the world. I was hesitant at first because of some negative reviews from other customers, but since it’s cheap, I didn’t really expect much. I booked our flight there also, and guess what, even our shore excursions! It’s one big leap of faith for us since it’s the first time that we used their website. But I’m glad we did! It saved us a lot of money in the process.

So there. I think the rest of our cruise trip should be in another post. But for our breakfast fix, Carnival Victory offered us great food, breathtaking view, and one of a kind experience! ‘Til next time!

 

***This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from them, OMG! gets commission, with no extra cost to you. See our Terms and Conditions as well as Privacy Policy located under Contact at the top right of your screen. Thank you.***

25 Things You’ll Be Thankful For By The Time You Turn 25

When I was a little kid, I imagined my 25 year-old self with long, straight hair, makeup caked on my face, and sporting a denim. Don't judge, I think it's because of my tita(s) (aka aunts) or other ladies in the apartment where I grew up. I also assumed I'd stay in the Philippines and be a lawyer or broadcaster or teacher. I had all these dreams wrapped inside a magical box called "childhood."

I'm 25 now, and none among these things happened. My hair is short and curly. I use makeup, and it's not cakin'. I don't wear denims. I live in the USA, and I am a full-time nurse and part-time blogger entrepreneur. I have all these realities, and I can't even imagine myself not living the life I have right now. Contemplating on how my life turned out, I couldn't be more thankful.

As you reach this age, you begin to understand what "quarter-life crisis" means. We've all had those frustrating moments, but let me tell you these 25 things you needed to hear to convince you that your 25th year is the most badass year yet!

  1. You no longer care about what other people think of your fashion statement, how you dress up, and why you wear torn denim jeans. Whether you follow the latest trend of wearing chokers and off shoulders, or sport a professional look with nude blouses and pencil skirts, you don't care about others' POV at all. And if you wear scarfs or boots or coats on a hot day? Gee, that's for your #OOTD and #WIW
  2. You learn how to love your body type. This goes to skinny and not-so-skinny people out there. Movements against body-shaming are getting noticed and it's a good time to celebrate these differences especially when your body type doesn't look like those model figures on TV and magazines. Yes, you may sometimes feel ugly browsing Kylie's feed but you give yourself a break and not *actually feel ugly*
  3. Or you're only insecure for about 5 minutes. It doesn't count. Your self love is way greater than what you had 5 years ago. Maturity comes with age, and apparently, so does confidence.
  4. Relationship status isn't a biggie anymore. You don't feel the pressure to have someone just because. No proms to attend to. No social gathering every now and then. No pressure from friends, because hey, most of you are on the same page! Let's not talk about our parents' constant questions, but really, it's a fresh air not to be bombarded by those annoying love-related Qs.
  5. #WorkGoals and #CareerGoals are your favorite hashtags. Because we're workaholic like that. Thanks to Instagram for making coffee and tea as the new normal, because we're so over soda and beers. With a lot of work comes lotsa cups of coffee.
  6.  Money. While you're still struggling with your finances, most of it are just because you enjoy traveling every now and then, or you can't get enough of eating somewhere instagrammable and fancy. But really, you're not really struggling, are you?
  7. Bullies don't control you anymore. You're done feeling sorry for yourself. You now have the guts to tell them straight to their face what you don't like about them, or if their actions are way too irrational.
  8. You already acquired the superpower of telling who's fake and who's real in your life. When you know, you just know.
  9. Your relationship with your parents is everything in your life right now. They treat you like adult, but they still pamper you with support and trust. How amazing, right?
  10. You are BFF with your siblings. After years of fighting and yelling at each other, they suddenly became your partners in crime. Everything seems so real, and even though you still annoy each other, you can't deny the sibling love that grows every day.
  11. No friends quarrel, because guess what, your number of friends were down to half! This isn't a bad thing at all, this only means that you grew as a person and in growing, you lose people along the way.
  12. Dating. You know what you want, and you don't settle for less.
  13. Having dreams, and knowing that you'll get there. Maybe not soon, but right now, you work hard to glue your end points together. Convincing yourself isn't that hard anymore. Or maybe it still is, but recognizing that you have years ahead of you to figure it out consoles you in a way.
  14. You're not as lazy as when you were studying. You get things done, and nobody's stopping you.
  15. You look up to someone worthy of your attention. Popular artists are MEH, and bosses who inspire you are the BOMB.
  16. You know the importance of sleep. And everything is alright in the world when you get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
  17. Mastering to-do list is your expertise. You developed a skill of juggling your child duties, paying bills, doing groceries, and work. If you have other stuff going on, you just know you have time for it.
  18. Whether you binge-watch or stay home on weekends, you don't feel guilty doing so. And when somebody asks how your day off went, you smile and say you had the best weekend! You don't feel like you're missing out on something.
  19. Hangovers aren't your thing anymore.
  20. Your faith just gets stronger. It doesn't matter whether it's faith in God or faith in yourself, the thing is, you believe in the greater version of everything. Your optimism may sometimes wither but once you envision how you want your life to unfold, it reassures you.
  21. What you think of as complicated doesn't sound complicated at all aka your taxes, insurance, investments, savings, and all those adult stuff that you're now dealing with. Remember your old self feeling puzzled over these things? And OMG, some of your friends are even your financial advisers already!
  22. You're a nicer version of yourself. Gone are the days when you have zero tolerance on people who bring out the beast in you. You just unfollow or block them from your feed, and you're done.
  23. Savings is your best friend.
  24. You know how to cook a meal or two. And I'm not talking about frying eggs or boiling noodles.
  25. Finally, the satisfaction and comfort you feel knowing you share your frustrations with your age group. You're not afraid of opening up, and letting your problems out because you are not alone in this fight, and life gets better anyway.

Quarter life isn't that bad at all. Or do you want to wait for your 30th year to feel it? 😂

The art of making salad

I’m not really the health-conscious kind of person. I know it’s ironic that I belong to healthcare team and not religiously observe balanced diet and proper exercise. I won’t even try to rationalize my food preferences- first off, I loovve pizza… annnd BURGERS. Who doesn’t? I also share the world’s addiction to sweets. And being Asian, I can eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No holding off. So yeah, that sums up my food obsession.

This past month, though, it finally came to my senses that I’m gaining a lot of weight. I work graveyard so I can blame that to my slowing metabolism. But I know for certain that my food choices are terrible, in a way that it’s tasty but sinful. I sometimes cook for a ‘less sinful’ alternative but I find it hard to fit food prep in my schedule. If I work four nights straight, I’d rather sleep than cut meats and slice veggies. So I went grocery shopping for healthy options, and I found this salad brand that really surprised me. I thought, maybe, I can try having it as my lunch at work. I tried it the whole week I was working, and from a meat-lover, I converted to being a salad enthusiast real quick. Lol.

Here are some Taylor Farms salads that I got! My favorite is Ranch Chicken! Ya’ll should try it.

I really wanted to provide a version of salads for you so I googled some easy steps for ya’ll to enjoy!

 

What you need:

Lettuce (or spinach if you want)

Veggies you love (bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers)

Meat (grilled chicken bits, tuna, bacon)

Toppings (cheese, nuts, croutons, avocado)

Dressing (vinaigrette, ranch, thousand island)

  1. Wash lettuce in cold water. This is to prevent it from being soggy. Dry it with some paper towels.
  2. Slice your meats and veggies into cubes. Makes for an easy packing, in case you want to bring it for lunch like what I always do!
  3. Toppings are what make your salads look pretty. LOL. I personally want croutons and nuts because it adds crunch and crisp to every bite!
  4. Only put your dressing when you’re already ready to eat your salad. Or you’ll risk having a very sad and soggy salad. I’ve made this mistake before and I had the ugliest salad ever 🙁 So don’t try, I warned you!
  5. There are many available salad dressings that you can play with, but I copied this simple recipe from WikiHow in case you want to make your own version of balsamic vinaigrette:

    The ratio of oil to acid is often 3:1. This means for every three tablespoons of oil, you would use one tablespoon of acid. A basic dressing is simple and painless.

Mix:

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon any variety fruit jam or jelly (optional)

 

  • For dressings or vinaigrettes, the gold standard of oils is extra virgin olive oil. You can also use canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, or sesame oil for Asian-style dressings.
  • The gold standard of acids is lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Also, any citrus juice (orange juice and grapefruit juice) works well with vinegar (apple cider or white wine vinegar).
  • Whisk olive oil and lemon juice together (about 30 seconds). Add salt and pepper. Whisk the jam or jelly into the emulsified dressing (optional). Serve!

I like that salads are easy to make. It fills you right up, it’s healthy, and Taylor Farms offers a wide range of options. So there, my new favorite lunch! Wuhuu!

10 Smart Hacks Every Wanderlust Should Know

If there's one thing I don't like about traveling, it's the "before" of every trip. I always find myself cramming to buy essentials I forgot to bring, or losing accessories and cords that go missing at the exact moment I badly-badlyyy- need them. (Feel me, bruuh?) I love planning but there are things that planning couldn't do for you. In terms of saving money, time, and space, there are a lot of smart ways you can do that are way better than the traditional travel preps you always go for:

1.Book your flight 54 DAYS IN ADVANCE.

This is a secret shared to me by my friend who happened to be in a research team of an airline company. I googled it myself and I was amazed by the algorithm that these airlines use. True enough, with 3M trips (within US) collated and analyzed, that's the magic number that will save you a dime!

 2. Maximize containers.

Do you have a pill/ sun glass container lying around your house? Bring it to good use by utilizing it as your wonder organizer. You'll never lose a pair of earrings again! It's also the best container for earplugs and memory cards. These little things are easy to misplace and I assure you, it's truly surprising how many important things these containers can fit in.

pill

3. Ladies, forget your hot curling tools.

Aside from carrying its weight, it's also prone to malfunction after a bumpy travel. Here's a pro tip for you: Spritz damp hair with sea salt spray, cover it with towel, do a bun, and sleep on it.Unwrap it the next day and you'll see beachy waves perfect for your #HairGoals. After all, a free-spirited look is what best sums up a fun-filled adventure.

4. Bring a plastic bag or two for your dirty clothes.

And not just that, go to your pantry and snatch some dryer sheet. You can use it to keep your dirty clothes from smelling. You'll never know if your flight back is going to be delayed, or worse, if you're going to be stranded somewhere. And isn't it cool and awesome to have a fragrant smelling luggage?

5. Scarfs. Jewelries. Sunglasses.

The hack of every fashion-oriented individual when traveling. You can bring 4 or more to change your vibe using the same set of clothes. You can wear the same boots WHILE mix-and-matching your scarfs and accessories and your friends won't even notice it! It's in the details, you guys! Plus, infinity scarfs are life savers, make it a blanket, or cover up when you need it. Infinity scarfs equal infinite options.

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-10-35-23-amscreen-shot-2016-10-15-at-10-36-51-am

6. Eat right.

Too general, you say? But really, you can avoid jet lag by  just eating right. Lay off booze and caffeine, and hold off your heavily processed food for a while. These food dehydrate you and make your jet lag worse. And if you're doing an overnight flight, expect mouth dryness and peelings on your face when you do otherwise.

7. If you think couponing is just for groceries, think again.

Browse destinations that you're planning to visit and look for restaurants and hotels around the area. You can find printable coupons on their websites that are beyond compare. Deals like Family buffet, Free room upgrade, and unlimited drinks are just some of these amazing offers!

8. No need to bring your shoe organizer.

Shower caps can do the trick. Wrap it on, and viola, your baggage stays dirt-free.

9. If you're travelling internationally, call your bank and credit card companies first.

Make sure you do it prior to avoid receiving alerts for suspicious activity. Or worse, last a day without access to your hard-earned money!

10. Bring empty water bottle.

Do this or pay $4 for water. I assure you, there are many refilling stations after you pass security.

Travel light, and in-budget, with these smart hacks!

sig

35 Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar You Never Knew About

Ever wondered why your mom always keeps Apple Cider Vinegar? For so many reasons, of course! Skin remedies, health issues, and a lot more. I compiled 35 uses of ACV that you never knew about! This post is print friendly, so feel free to have a copy. Not too traditional? Share this post on your social media to spread the life hack that might just save somebody's day. 

  1. Cures bad breath

  2. Cures acne

  3. Removes dandruff

  4. Removes warts

  5. Relieves sore throats

  6. Clear sinuses

  7. Lower cholesterol

  8. Prevent diabetes

  9. Manages itchy skin (caused by bug bites, poison ivy, jellyfish)

  10. Treats sunburn pain

  11. Clears lymph nodes

  12. Weight loss

  13. Adds fluffiness to cookies and cakes

  14. Acts as chemical-free home cleaner

  15. Removes feet odor

  16. Whitens teeth

  17. Deodorant

  18. Removes hair grease

  19. Lessens bruises

  20. Facial toner

  21. Stomach soother

  22. Stops cats from biting cords

  23. Gets rid of hiccups

  24. Fruit fly trap

  25. Beats exercise exhaustion

  26. Untangles hair

  27. Prevents tooth decay

  28. Makes rice fluffy

  29. Prevents acid reflux

  30. Weed cleaner

  31. Fruits and veggies wash

  32. Stamps out stink in the room

  33. Keeps pet flea-free

  34. Improves complexion

  35. Natural aftershave

Why wait for the next grocery shopping? Buy one now:

Spicy Tortilla Wraps

Here is a simple lunch idea for spicy-lovin’ humans out there! It’s so easy to make with few ingredients to consider. Let’s start!

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp sriracha (adjust according to preference)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup squash, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 cup canned chickpea

1 flour tortilla

1/2 cup spinach

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 slice of cheese

Directions:

  1. In a small skillet, stir-fry garlic and squash over medium heat.
  2. Cook until squash is tender. Season with paprika.
  3. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and yogurt. Cook until heated through. Set aside.
  4. Heat tortilla in a skillet, just enough for it to form brown patches. Make sure not to burn a side. Place on a plate.
  5. Place the chickpea mixture and spinach in the center. You can add cheese to make it creamier.
  6. Fold and roll the tortilla.

Hospital stories: Last things people do before they die

I have a personal theory about painfully ill people on their deathbed. That is, they seem to have a burst of energy right before they die. It's weird to witness it first-hand because you're there thinking, is this chronically-ill patient really getting better or is his death just ticking soon? I don't know about other nurses, but experiencing this scenario more than once made me a believer of one last chance.

As a Christian, I believe that there is life after death. And these things, as I see it, are moments worthy to be cherished. I have this patient before, let's just call her 1; she deteriorated as soon as she talked to her family. Hours before that, she could barely speak, and open her eyes. It's only minutes when she opened her eyes, conversed with her family, then eventually died. Minutes. Maybe it's a rush of hormones. A gush of adrenaline high. Like when you watch fireworks during 4th of July and the biggest and most stunning display marks the end of it. Who knows?


Maybe it's a rush of hormones. A gush of adrenaline high. Like when you watch fireworks during 4th of July and the biggest and most stunning display marks the end of it.


There's another one that I can recall. He doesn't have any family nor friends. Just us. Nurses, and other healthcare team. He wasn't even seen by the doctor when he passed away. I can remember him packing his things, washing his face, and telling everybody that he's ready for whatever procedure we're going to do to him. There was none, actually. He was suffering from sundowners, so we just ignored his actions. Around midnight, he died in his sleep. Peacefully. Like everything he did that day were for that last hour. I mean, if you know your time of death, you'd want to clean yourself right?

His story is actually familiar with my grandma's. My grandma's death was unexpected. One day, she was just taking a shower, slipped, hit her head on the floor then died because of the impact. That part was excruciating for us especially because we weren't there when she died. I was at school, and my parents were abroad. That week, though, was exceptionally weird. She kept telling us that she dreamt of grandpa, telling her to come with him. Backstory: My grandpa died while on sail. Gone after a typhoon hit the island, assumed dead afterwards.  So her telling us her dream was kind of odd. One, because the dream is odd. And two, she doesn't really share her dream. She even mentioned that she dreamt of my dead cousin, too! Could you believe that? It's creepy, and at the same time, reassuring. I was at peace knowing that maybe, just maybe, they are already having a reunion over there.

Let's face it. We won't really know when our time will come. But until then, let's do the things we really want to do, and hope that before our last deed on earth, we did something worth living.

 

 

Fall Favorites: Off shoulders and Wraps

fall-favorites

What to love about this trend? The comfy tops, of course! And you get to show off your shoulders, 'coz why not, you'll be slayiinnnn! It's already October but these pieces are still having their moment, from little girls who pair them with skirts to women who pair them with denims and classy jeans. It's perfect for the weather, and gurl, don't forget your glasses!

SHOW 'EM SOME SHOULDERS

CLASSY WRAPS

These elegant wraps are really to die for! A collection of nude and bold colors, this fall palette is sure to up your mood. Most days are windy and sunny while other days are significantly hot, and how else can warps save the day, right? Aside from its classy appeal, wraps offer #aestheticgoals that we all need. 

Did you like this Fall Favorites as much as I like it?

Share the post if you mean it!

'Til next time, guys.

*This post may contain affiliates.*

sig

 

 

How stress keeps you up at night

Counting sheep is so overrated. We've all done it. And it simply doesn't work. Reciting alphabet backwards, shutting your eyes off like you're going to burrow your eyelids into your face, flipping pillows, turning to sides, lying on your stomach, switching position for the nth time--- we've all done it. We've even come to that point where sleeping is a need and not a routine.

Working graveyard shift, I find it hard to force my body to sleep, especially if it's really sunny when I get home. But other than environmental factors and varying schedules, the thing that keeps me from sleeping is stress. Is it just me? Or are we really supposed to zombify ourselves in order to function at work?

Last time I checked, it's the work that steals my sleep. Thinking about what you missed, rewinding how your day went, the people you encountered, new friends you made, and your bosses who aren't easily pleased--- in my case, it's my patients. Not all, though. But gee, it's stressful enough just  thinking about 'work' itself. When I was in college, I doze off as soon as I close my eyes. Like clockwork. 1,2,3..sleep. Just like that. I don't know what changed or what bad routine I adapted, but I was able to go back to that as soon as I learned how to de-stress.

This may help you, too! Let's start with the basic one- ACCEPTANCE. Don't worry, you are one with a million others. You can deny that you're stressed and pretend that you're the cool and chill yuppie at school or the plain lazy ass monkey at work, but unless you face the problem head on, your sleeping pattern will not be patterns at all. But a random thing that happens at any given time of day. Or night if you're lucky.


STRESS AFFECTS OUR SLEEP


Ok, let me say this straight, not all stressors are bad for you. Surprise, surprise! In fact, right amount of stress is needed in order for you to function effectively. You need it to stay on top of your game. It's the reason you beat the deadline, and the cause of most of your accomplished tasks. We call positive stress, eustress. But when does it start to affect your bedtime cycle?

It's when your anxiety kicks in. Stress and anxiety are soul sisters; they actually have the same last name- Nightmare. You don't want to meet them, do you? It's also when your stress level is too much. Remember the last time you forced yourself to do overtime, or read one more page, or watch one more episode of your favorite Netflix show? That's when you forget to relax and pause for a minute. We call it distress. Tension builds up in our bodies like legos that kill us every time we step on them. (bruuu!)

Stress actually turns into physical symptoms. Don't believe me? Which of these symptoms did you experience in the past days without enough sleep?

 headaches

 upset stomach

 tremors

 dry skin

 hair loss

More than three? Uh, oh. So what can we really do to reduce stress and get a good night sleep?

1. Exercise

Get moving. Muscles are less likely to be tensed when you do stretching or cardio workout. By decreasing your muscle tension, you're actually giving your body some space to breathe and relax. I really don't exercise that much (although I should), but a little stretching every now and then helps a lot. Let's release some endorphins, y'all!

2. Happy, healthy thoughts

I self-talk. A lot. Sometimes it's great, but other times it's annoying and uncontrollable. That's why I write/blog. Some things I do to have healthy thoughts is to read and watch shows and TEDtalks that I really like. Gone are the days that I'll follow whatever's trending. I learned to value quality "me" time. Bible reading, bullet journaling are some of the good things that happened to the anxious me.

3. Better diet

Less sugar. Less caffeine. No soda. More fruits and grains. I can't stress this enough: we are what we eat. I used to drink more than five cups of coffee per day; trending it down to one per day made me more energetic and alive. Less acid in our bodies truly makes wonders.

4. Less loads

Doing overtime or taking too much responsibilities could bring you more harm than good. Find your balance. Weigh things, and only choose what really matters most. You only have one body after all.

5. Relaxation

It's only you who can know what relaxes you most. Aside from reading, I found a weird Youtube channel that helps me sleep. It's like my go-to page whenever stress is high and my sleep is rock bottom. Have you ever heard of ASMR? I didn't know what it means before but researching about it, here's what I found: it actually stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. I was browsing Youtube, looking for some relaxation videos, then I stumbled upon GentleWhispering channel. Could you believe that most videos there are with more than a million views? Search it yourself, and be among the weird people. LOL.

 

stress-4 

Hope you have a good night after

de-stressing!

sig

❤︎

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: