Sunday, August 26, 2018

Confessions Part 17: Better in Time

There are a lot of things that come with the passing of time like getting better. You get better in school; you get better at work; you get better with telling who your friends are and who aren't; you get better with travelling, etc.

In my case, I'm getting better at planning travels. I'm off to Malaysia this week and I'm proud to say I did the itinerary. Well with a little help from Klook. Still, I did it. And if you know me in real life, I'm not really the one who usually does itineraries. I usually just sit back and happily let someone else plan the trip. But not this time. It's not to say I'm not feeling even a teensy bit of anxiety in me because I am - but I'm setting my brain to attract only positive thoughts.

When I started travelling as well, I used to just stuff anything I can see in sight - clothes, toiletries and even books. Sometimes I get lucky being able to bring more than enough items I will be needing though sometimes I leave something important behind. But as time went by and I continued to have the occasional travel, I have resorted to making a checklist so that I know what I need to bring and I won't forget them because I check them one by one after. As I sit here blogging, my luggage bag is all set now and just waiting to be grabbed.

With the passing of the time also comes healing of the heart. If you've been reading my blog for sometime now then you know about a falling out I had with someone I had started to care so much about. Months down the line, I'm finally able to say "Hey I'm doing just fine." I'm lucky to find that even when someone walked out of my life, there are more than enough people filling the space.


Truly you get by with a little help from your friends and these are just some of the wonderful people I have in my life. 

Current List

Currently watching: Insatiable on Netflix

The story is about a disgraced, dissatisfied civil lawyer-turned-beauty-pageant coach who takes on a  vengeful, bullied teenager as his client and has no idea what he's about to unleash upon the world.(IMDB)

I've only started but my friends are raving about it. It's funny in a dark kind of way. 

Currently travelling to: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This time I intend to see Malaysia. An overnight travel to that country felt like I never went really. Watch out for my travel diary on this. 

I guess that's it for now because I'm off to get some shut eye before my trip. Long, long weekend for me! What's on your current list? Do share! 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Top 5 New Movie Recommendations to Watch on Netflix

Rainy days make me want to just stay at home every night after work and beg off on going out with friends on weekends. But while I still go out almost every night of the week to workout or to meet friends, it's somehow become a habit of mine to watch a movie on Netflix just before I call it a night. 

If you find yourself feeling like you just want to stay home to relax after work or school, here are some of the recent films I've watched on the streaming giant:

1. To All the Boys I've Loved Before

This is the most recent film I watched on Netflix and it's another original. If you love reading and browsing books at your nearest bookstore, then I'm sure you've seen the book by Jenny Han of the same title. I haven't read the novel to be honest because well there's just so many books I want to read! But when I did read online that Netflix was making this into a movie, I made a mental note to check it out for myself. I even saw on Twitter once that the author of the book offered to write love letters for her followers' crushes - they just needed to provide her the details about the crush. I thought that was a pretty cute way of promoting the film.

Anyway, so the story is about Laura Jean Covey, an introvert American-Korean teenager who writes love letters to all her big crushes but never sends them out. When the love letters somehow got sent to the guys she liked, it wreaks a havoc to her love life. 

I have avoided rom coms for awhile but I'm glad that when I decided I'd watch them again, this is one of the latest I've seen. It'll definitely make you remember what it feels like to have a new crush or a budding romance - all that warm fuzzy feelings. I couldn't get enough of Laura Jean and Peter! The story is so high school and I'm 33 but this was seriously super kakilig! I'd watch it again and again! 

2. The Ugly Truth

Speaking of rom coms, this is another one I recently watched. It stars Katherine Heigl as an uptight TV producer who is forced to run a morning show hosted by a misogynistic pig played by Gerard Butler about modern relationships.

In my list of rom coms to watch, this was definitely in the bottom if it was even included. I read bad reviews on this film. Also I just don't see Gerard Butler as a lead guy in a romantic role. Oh well. I finally gave it a chance and I would say it wasn't so bad. It's kind of nice - just don't expect kilig from this film though because Katherine and Gerard just don't have chemistry! 

But it's got an interesting story to it. It's kind of like He's Just Not that Into You where the guy guides the leading lady on how to navigate in the modern dating world to land the guy. 


3. The Secret Life of Pets

This was a film I wanted to see in the cinema but never did because well movies are expensive nowadays and I have a lot of things I like to spend for. Anyway, so it's finally on Netflix and I thought I needed to watch a feel good movie before I go to sleep. 

This computer animated adventure film is about Max, a terrier enjoying a good life in a New York city building until his owner surprises him by bringing in another dog into the family, Duke, a giant and unruly canine. When they get lost in the big city, they encounter a group of animals planning an attack against humans and what ensues is a story full of action and laughter. 

I don't own a dog. Actually I don't have pets now. When I was kid, I did own a fish, a bird, a rabbit and a dog. We tried cats but they only ran away. Now there are cats living in our house but they're not really officially part of the family. They kind of just made themselves at home here. But when I was growing up, I did wonder what my pets did when their human owners aren't around. Well this story sure answered that! Ha! Ha! 


4. The Equalizer 

This stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall who lives in a quiet life but has a secret past life. When he meets a young girl under the control of an ultra-violent Russian gangster, he decides to end his self imposed retirement and become a sort of avenging angel for the helpless. 

I thought it was a good movie. Denzel Washington was quite a bad ass in this film. Just be prepared for the gory scenes because this movie doesn't spare you from the blood bath. And recently, I read that it now has a part 2! Check out the trailer for Equalizer 2. It definitely seems like a movie worth watching again if only to watch Denzel in action again.    

5. The Stepfather

The movie stars Penn Badgley as the son returning home from military school finding out that his divorced mom is now engaged to a new guy, David whom she only recently met but makes her so happy. Though David appears to be the ideal husband, he turns out to be a psychotic serial killer out looking for his perfect family and will kill when it turns out that his new family ends up disappointing him.

I love a good suspense film and this movie brings it! It kept me at the edge of my seat, rooting for Penn Badgley's character to keep on digging about David, to not let his guard down on him and ultimately to save his family from becoming another one of his victims. There was also that part of me who wanted to scream at Selma Ward's character (Badgley's mom) and call her an idiot for being so trusting so easily of a man she just met. I mean, my gosh! Yes, you're lonely from being divorced and don't want to end up growing old alone but you've only met the guy!


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Confessions Part 16: A Year of Full of Hellos

Last year, around this same time, I wrote a post about how 2017 was shaping up to be. I called it The Different Kinds of Goodbye because well it was full of goodbyes. It was still all about saying goodbye up to the end of the year because I found myself leaving the job I thought I wanted.

Now that we're in August 2018, I found myself looking back to how this year has been so far for me. This year seems to be about Hellos.

Hello second chances   

Last year, I decided to leave in search of greener work pastures. But I ended up realizing I was better off where I was before so I left the shiny new workplace and went back to the previous one. I've been back for 8 months now. The only difference is I am no longer part of the PR group. I'm part of the digital marketing group. New challenges. Same company. 

I also have a couple more travels lined up for this later part of the year. Going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hongkong and Macau. I've been to all these places before. My first ever trip abroad brought me to Kuala Lumpur and my first travel with my mom was to the latter two. But here I am, going back!

Hello new adventures

This year, I'm finding myself exploring again. Remember when I went to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar? And when I celebrated my birthday with a trip to The Dessert Museum

I might have gone to Kuala Lumpur already but honestly I didn't enjoy it the first time around. It was work that brought me there - to chaperone winners of a contest and it was overnight. I did see Petronas Twin Towers and the Blue Mosque from afar and got to buy chocolates and a little souvenir but I didn't really get to experience much of it. 

Same goes for HK-Macau. I did see some places in both but I want to go back and explore some more. Take more photos too! 

Hello new friends

My best friend has been in a relationship for almost a year now! And that means I've known his partner, Dom for that long as well! He's a sweet guy who's crazy in love with my best friend and honestly who could blame him? I think he's nice and he's amusing with his corny jokes. I'm glad to know him. 

Rej is also a new friend. I've known him for awhile since he teaches the Body Jam class at the gym but we've never really interacted much 'til this year. He's a cool guy who seems to be a lot like Ryan   - personality wise. Who would've thought a spontaneous movie invite could bring me a new friend? 

Current List

Currently Reading: Origin by Dan Brown

I super love Dan Brown's Robert Langdon novels. They're so full of mystery and suspense! Plus the descriptions of the places that Professor Langdon finds himself going to just make me want to visit Europe and US more! If people who loved Koreanovelas went on a travel visiting famous places featured in those shows, I'd be the one doing a Robert Langdon travel itinerary. 

Almost done with the book. Well halfway through it at least. I would've honestly finished by now if only I didn't have to wake up early the next morning. I am super intrigue with this story and I can't wait to find out what happens! 


Currently Thinking About: The new Plains and Prints x Mark Bumgarner collection

So local fashion brand, Plains and Prints recently launched their newest collection - a collaboration with fashion designer, Mark Bumgarner and I love the designs! Have you seen them? I'm honestly a fan of Plains and Prints. I love how chic, playful and colorful their designs are.

Currently Saving Up For: Well my travels of course! 

I promised myself that I will not depend on the salary I will get right before I travel for my pocket money. I even downloaded an app where I set a target amount to save for my trips and a deadline to which I should have met my goal. 

It's called Saving Made Simple. Just as its name says, it makes keeping a record of my savings simple to manage. I'm actually not just using it to keep track of my travel funds but for all other savings I have. 

Recent Watch: Like Father 

It's a new Netflix original film that stars Kelsey Grammer and Kristin Belle. You have to watch it! It's such a tear jerker! Also it makes you realize that while work is important, there are other aspects of your life you just shouldn't forget to make time for.

Here's a trailer:

I also did watch Veronica on Netflix. I heard claims it's so scary that a lot of people can't bring themselves to finish it. It's from a true story. But well in my honest opinion, the movie was dragging. 

It's a psychological thriller that's worth reading. Trust me. 

What's on your current plate? I would love to know.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Book Review: Before I Go to Sleep

Still keeping up with my Goodreads challenge to read 12 books by end of 2018, I want to tell you guys now about my latest read: Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson. This is a pre-loved book which I bought from a friend of mine at the gym for only Php100. I still have a lot of books I bought from The Big Bad Wolf Books sale earlier this year but I found my interest veering away from my usual chick lits. Not that I don't want chick lits anymore but I guess my reading palate was looking for something different. I think that happens to the best of us book lovers from time to time - wanting for something new than what we usually read. 

How would you feel if every night that you fall asleep, you wake up in the morning not knowing who you are, where you are and what has happened to your life? I would most likely be scared to sleep. Well that's Christine's life.

The Plot (from Goodreads): Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories. 

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems. 

This was definitely a different book for me to read because when I'm not reading chick lits, I'm usually finding myself drawn to murder mystery books like Agatha Christie and lately, crime thrillers thanks to James Patterson. Before I Go to Sleep is a psychological thriller. 

On the first few pages of the book, I was already intrigued as to how the whole story would turn out especially after she found her journal where a warning "Don't trust Ben" was written. My eyes widened in surprise when I read those three letter words. I mean, why not trust Ben? This was her husband we are talking about! Why would she not want to trust the man who's been by her side throughout the ordeal? Why would she not trust the man who has to endure explaining every single day to her who she was, where she was, what happened to her and who he was in her life. 

I think that having someone you can trust is a very important thing when you have amnesia. After all, you'll be dependent on this person to tell you about the forgotten pieces of your life. It's a very scary idea - not knowing who you are, who those people around you are and realizing that you lost a huge chunk of your life's memories. So it's even scarier to think that you can't trust the person you're living with to tell you the whole truth about you. 

In terms of how this book ended, I'm honestly not sure what to feel about it. It has a nice ending but I guess I was maybe expecting for more. But then again, perhaps the ending is more realistic. I believe this book took a lot of research just to be made into a story so why should the ending not be as close to reality? 

What I'm surprised with is that the reviews of this book on Goodreads is a mix. I expected it to be a five star book. That's how I rated this book. But there were those who thought it was badly written and that there were a lot of inconsistencies to it. 

A quick look on Google and I found that this book had actually been turned into a Hollywood movie starring Nicole Kidman in 2014. 

Seems like it was a pretty exciting movie to watch to. But I don't think it was shown in the Philippines, was it? I'll have to find myself a copy of this movie so I can watch and see if the movie adaptation really did do this book justice. 

With Before I Go to Sleep now added on to my list of books I've finished reading this 2018, that puts my 2018 Goodreads Challenge to:

Have you read this book before or seen the movie? If you want to buy this book, you can shop for it through Amazon.