Dear Student: What To Do When You Like Someone

Just a very timely & beautiful reminder that in your brokenness, you are not alone.

It’s so relieving to know that there is someone in the world who has felt and experienced the exact same thing I am experiencing & that I can learn from her.

To the author of this post, you are a blessing! Much thanks for the wonderful & undoubtedly inspiring insight. 🙂💕

Sharing the love I received!

Dear Student,

I have something to say first, because maybe you have heard from some people that you should not like someone. Maybe you’ve been told that you’re too young to develop such attraction. I’ve had a lot of voices like that in my life. I grew up feeling condemned and sinful whenever I had a crush on someone because there were those who told me that I shouldn’t be having any crush at all. Having a crush meant I wasn’t fixated enough on God. Liking someone meant I would be distracted from God. Admiring meant I would be sinning emotionally. (If you have never heard these statements before in your life, you can skip ahead to the numerated part of this post).

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand where they were coming from and I appreciate the heart behind it. However, experiences like those left me scarred, dubious…

View original post 1,516 more words

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How to Make the Best Chocolate Muesli Cookies for Beginners

I was haggard as hell last night but making these cookies was a decision I definitely do not regret. So I baked these guys for a tea party I was going to, but I never expected them to turn out this scrumptious. 

Continue reading if you wanna know how to bake the chunkiest, chewiest and fudgiest chocolate muesli cookies ever!

Inspired by this recipe from Food Network but because it had a lot of bad reviews, I decided to switch things up a bit. 🙂

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difficulty-1

Ingredients

2 sticks of margarine, at room temperature

2 cups of brown sugar

2 large eggs (preferably native)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup Ricoa cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

10-13 tablespoons of Muesli (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and using a mixer, cream everything until it becomes a semi-homogenous mixture.
  3. Gradually add the eggs and the vanilla extract to the butter and the sugar mixture.
  4. On a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (salt, flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, muesli) and mix well.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients while continuously mixing the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until it turns into a kind of pasty consistency.
  6. Prepare a baking tray and line it with parchment paper.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the baking tray with scoops of the cookie dough until completely filled. Make sure to leave room for when the cookie expands and flattens.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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Best served with milk and/or yoghurt!

I had these for breakfast this morning and they were absolutely delightful.

Top 10 Forgotten Musicians Millennials Need to Revisit

Since we are a generation being ruled by Drake, Kanye West and whatnot in the music department, I realized that it would be nice to share something a little different from the usual go-to playlist.

I’ve listened to these artists all my life and I just thought it would be interesting to share with my fellow millennials.

I mean, modern day music is alright and modern day artists are great but nothing will ever compare to the glorious magic vintage music can bring to the hearts of its listeners.

It’s quite sad that people barely listen to vintage music anymore so here’s a little tribute to my favorite artists of all time.

10. Peggy Lee

peggy-lee

Best 5: Fever, You Belong to Me, I’m Confessin’, A Kiss to Build a Dream On, Ole Buttermilk Sky

Peggy Lee was an American jazz singer, songwriter and composer among others. Although some of her songs (e.g. Ole Buttermilk Sky) were originally sang by other artists, there’s just something oddly alluring with the way her voice is projected through her music that will keep you coming back for more.

9. Andy Williams

andy-williams

Best 5: Can’t Get Used to Losing You, Moon River, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Hopeless, A Fool Never Learns

Andy’s songs range from one genre to another. You’ll see that some of his pieces are similar to Frank Sinatra’s style while he also sang blues and Christian songs. My favorite among his pieces would definitely be Moon River.

8. Etta James

etta-james

Best 5: At Last, Sunday Kind of Love, Trust in Me, Lover Man (Oh Where Can He Be?), Something’s Got a Hold on Me

Etta James sang one of my most favorite songs of all time: At Last. Her powerful voice always manages to capture the intense emotions being projected in her songs. One of the best.

7. Dean Martin

dean-martin

Best 5: Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu), Nobody’s Baby Again, It Just Happened That Way, You’ll Always Be the One I Love, (Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You

Dean Martin was also an American singer but the music he sang varied in language. Volare is an Italian remake (originally sang by Domenico Modugno) but I’m sure you’d prefer his version. I know I do.

6. Mel Tormé

mel-torme

Best 5: Blue Moon, Poor Little Extra Girl, Comin’ Home Baby, L.A., I’ve Got You Under My Skin

I will always love Mel Tormé’s version of Blue Moon. He was an American jazz singer but he also sang songs of different genres.

5. Frank Sinatra

frank-sinatra

Best 5: Fly Me to the Moon, Love Walked In, The Way You Look Tonight, That’s Life, You Make Me Feel So Young

Frank Sinatra is the best mainly because he is Frank Sinatra. He’s the OG Michael Bublé and the best one at that.

4. Charles Aznavour

charles-aznavour

Best 5: Il Faut Savoir, For Me Formidable, Plus Bleu Que Tes Yeux, Oui, Je T’aime

Charles Aznavour is still alive and even I can’t believe that (I’m kidding!). My favorite would definitely be Il Faut Savoir because it perfectly encapsulates the image of a broken heart.
Il faut savoir rester de glace et taire un cœur qui meurt déjà.
(One must know to remain cold and hush about a heart that is dying.)

But for real, I will always love Charles Aznavour because his songs, even though majority of them are in French, are as phenomenal as his ability to withstand aging.

3. Billie Holiday

billie-holiday

Best 5: Gloomy Sunday, Stormy Weather, Say It Isn’t So, I’ll Be Seeing You, On the Sunny Side of the Street

I’m currently loving Stormy Weather as of the moment but let’s be honest, nobody can ever not like Billie Holiday’s songs. There’s something about her voice that would make you fall in love over and over again.

2. Nat King Cole

nat-king-cole

Best 5: Answer Me My Love, L-O-V-E, The Very Thought of You, Let’s Fall in Love, Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Nat King Cole makes me believe true love actually exists because all of his songs are so heartfelt and so meaningful. My current favorite is his version of The Very Thought of You. I really love the way he sings the lyrics to the song, especially these:

I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It’s just the thought of you,
The very thought of you, my love

1. Edith Piaf

edith-piaf

Best 5: Milord, Padam Padam, Non Je Ne Regrette Rien, Paris, Les Amants de Paris

I don’t think there’s any other artist in the world who can ever be better than Edith Piaf. She was the original singer of La Vie En Rose which, I’m sure everyone has already heard. When I listen to Edith, I feel like I’m walking along the romantic streets of Paris. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you start to listen to her, too. 

Although not enough words would ever be enough to justify the astonishing beauty of these artists, this is the best that I could do. I hope you enjoyed!

Wanna check them out? Here’s a Spotify playlist for your benefit. 😉

Here’s a link to the playlist if it doesn’t work:  https://open.spotify.com/user/zabala.thea/playlist/1LnSI5bTZFpPGOcpnKlTKZ

Post-High School Journal: When Your Future Starts to Seem Hazy, Trust in Him

As a kid, I was very very insecure. It wasn’t my parents’ fault, it wasn’t anyone’s fault, actually. I guess it was because as a middle child, you can’t help but be insecure when you’re an average-minded kid sandwiched by intelligent siblings. But even when I was insecure, I still had a strong relationship with my family, especially with both of my sisters. I have looked up to my eldest sister, Ate Gail, basically my entire life. She was kindhearted, really smart, sometimes really peevish but she embodied, in my eyes, the type of young woman I should be. So when she got into UP four years ago, it was only natural for me to want to go to the same university as well.

Since then, we’ve had this family dream of the three of us siblings having our UP sablay(s) displayed along the staircase of our humble home. It was a family joke that we all looked forward to. It was a dream we all shared but deep inside I was afraid that I’d be the one to break it because that would mean I became a disappointment again.

Little did I know that that would come true. But instead of being a disappointment,  The Lord maneuvered the course of my life and showed everyone that He was with me and that He was going to bring me to His greener pasture.

The CET results came out in December 2015. I thought I would not get into my supposed dream college but The Lord allowed me to pass. I got into UP Baguio and to top it all off, the Lord also allowed me to get into the Ateneo with my first course choice. I couldn’t believe it and nobody could believe it, either. It was impossible for anyone to comprehend how an average mind like mine could actually have a chance of getting into the top 2 universities in the country. Everyone knew that it was The Lord Who answered my CETs for me and I was beyond grateful.

For the entirety of the time, my parents were sure they were going to send me to UPB to study for a year then to transfer to Diliman, just as my Ate Gail did. I was okay with everything at first but the problems started to arise when I began to feel hostile towards UP. I didn’t even understand why I felt that way but I started to not want to study there anymore. It bothered everyone in my family, including myself, but my parents naturally still wanted me to pursue our plan A.

My parents choosing to not let me enroll in any college is even more plausible that them choosing to enroll me in the Ateneo, or any other university for that matter, when UP was in the equation. I knew that by heart and so, I obeyed my parents and asked The Lord to help me be grateful to Him under all circumstances. And so, by His Grace, I was able to wholeheartedly obey my parents.

And because The Lord was and is good, He did something that was beyond my imagination. In April 2016, I received an email from UP Baguio. They informed me that because of the small number of qualifiers who confirmed to UPB, we were all getting absorbed into UP Manila. To top it off, we could choose any course in UPM and we’d get in.

I thought that getting into UPM was so much better than having to live a thousand kilometers away from my family. I thought that UP Manila was a much better option than anywhere else. But even then, I was wrong because God proved to me that He was The God of the impossible when He manipulated all circumstances just to bring me to my land of milk and honey.

After parking our car in Robinsons Manila for my medical exam, my mother, my little sister & I began walking to UP-PGH. I was ready to enroll in UPM and experience the Manila life. We were even going to rent out a condo unit at Studio 87 on that same day. Everything was all set.

That was until while walking along Taft avenue, a random man suddenly stole my mother’s earrings. He cursed at us while doing that but he came in so swiftly that we had a hard time comprehending what was actually happening. I had my pepper spray with me and even got to spray him with it but he got away with the earrings anyway.

Haly, my little sister, and I were petrified. I started to get teary-eyed like the annoyingly sheltered little girl I was, even if I was already 18 years old, but my mother decided to just let everything pass. “Earrings lang naman ‘yun,” she said. And so we continued walking. But when we were about five steps away from the main gate of UP-PGH, a group of policemen stopped us.

A series of events occurred but through the experience, we learned about so many frightening incidents that happen on an hourly basis in that area. I’d rather not get into details but to make the long story short, my parents decided that UP Manila was not the university for me. After this incident, my mother decided to drop by UP Diliman and see if we could do anything about my college situation.

At that moment, I had no college to go to. The confirmation period for the Ateneo had passed for about a month already and since UP Manila was out of the question, I had no college to go to. But a spark of hope in me believed that I would, at long last, finally get to go to Ateneo. Actually, it wasn’t hope. I was begging The Lord to just let me go to Ateneo, instead. It became my first option. I realized that I did not want to go anywhere else but there.

And so, by some miracle, everything in relation to UP became hazy paths. Basically, if I didn’t enroll in UPM then I wouldn’t get to study in UP at all. My parents finally decided to give Ateneo a try. Despite being fully against the said university under all circumstances, they finally realized that The Lord was pushing for me to get there. When my parents paid for my confirmation fee and later on, my tuition fee, they were surprisingly happy and proud of me anyway. They all knew that God’s mighty hand was at work and that He brought me to where He wanted me to be.

So here we are, a few months past. I’m an official Atenean with an Ateneo ID and everything. Even I can’t believe it, to be honest. I never would have thought that I’d ever even want to be an Atenean.

Here’s the thing, the greatest lesson I learned from all these things is the fact that no matter where you are or no matter where you want to be, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at this exact moment. God is always working behind the scenes to bring you to His greener pasture. Just keep that in mind when you start to feel like all else is failing. I didn’t but God proved Himself faithful to me, anyways.

So to all seniors out there who are worried about what college you’re going to, just ask The Lord to guide You and He will always prove Himself faithful anyways. It doesn’t matter what school you end up getting in. Sometimes, you get to have the best things in unexpected packages.

I love you, but I’m not waiting for you.

A few days back, I stumbled upon this blog post on Facebook. Although I cannot relate to the sentiments of the writer as of now, I’m pretty sure my time will come one day. I just thought it would be nice to leave this here for anybody who might find it as beautiful as I did!

charlene manalang

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Dear Friend,

From telling you simple greetings like “Good morning” and “Good night” to random things like what I’m doing, where I’m going and who I’m with, all the way down to my deepest emotions, fears and desires, I have devolved into just saying “Hello” and mostly “Good bye.”

I used to tell you everything.

There are so many things I want to tell you. From the most random things like I cried while watching ‘Finding Dory’ and I cried more while watching ‘Me Before You’ down to the most blissful things like I’m becoming a better writer, singer, daughter, sister, discipler, disciple, servant and friend, I want to tell you everything.

There are so many questions I want to ask you. From the most generic questions like “Have you eaten?” “What are you doing?” and “How was your day?” down to the most difficult questions like “Are you okay?”…

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The Korean Skincare Routine for the Clueless Filipina

Recently, I’ve been becoming really interested in all things Korean skincare and I discovered The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine from esthetician Charlotte Cho of Sokoglam.com. It’s basically a foundation skincare routine for people who are not fully invested in the topic.

I was hesitant to try it out at first because come on, 10 STEPS?! But once I began faithfully doing it twice a day, even though I haven’t been completely invested in all the steps, I’ve been seeing a huge improvement on my skin’s condition. My breakouts have greatly decreased (except on red days, of course) and my overall complexion has improved.

I wanted to share it with my fellow Filipinos because it’s very effective and I’m pretty sure not a lot of us are familiar with Korean Skincare. With enough research and experience of certain products for several months now, I can confidently encourage others to try this routine out as well.

I’ll be sharing with you all of the steps used by several Korean women with the inclusion of my own personal experience and about how to incorporate them into your skincare routine. Alongside these, I’ll also mention the products I’ve been using and also a few products that I’ve heard are pretty good but haven’t actually tried.

 

Step 1: Oil-based cleanser

You need an oil-based cleanser to cleanse your skin well without stripping it of the natural oils that your skin actually needs. Oil-based cleansers, including milk cleansers and balms, are great mediums to remove makeup and stubborn substances such as your sunscreen, BB cream, dirt and etc. This is absolutely essential to all skin types, even oily skin! The idea that putting oil on your face will make it even oilier is a myth. Oil-based cleansers will help control and balance your facial oil while cleansing the surface of your face as well.

Product recommendations:

Products I’ve tried

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (effective but difficult to remove, use warm water for washing it off)
  • Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser (not oil-based, but it’s a cleansing milk although it can’t be used in place of a make up remover)

Recommended by experts

  • Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity Cleansing Balm 
  • Etude House Real Art Moisture Cleansing Oil

 

Step 2: Water-based cleanser

A water-based cleanser gently yet completely cleanses your face while allowing it to breathe in its cleanliness as well. It removes residue from the oil-based cleanser and other impurities found on the surface of your skin. This method is often referred to as double-cleansing. I usually double cleanse during night time and use my water-based cleanser in the morning. However, some Koreans double cleanse twice a day as well.

Tip: Use a gentle cleansing tool!

Product recommendations:

Products I’ve tried

  • Lactacyd Baby Wash
  • The Face Shop Herb Day 365 Cleansing Foam (I only use this on exfoliate days because it’s very drying; I’ll post a review of the product in the future)
  • Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip Cleansing Foam (My favorite among the three, to be honest)

Recommended by experts

  • Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Cleansing Foam

 

Step 3: Exfoliator

Exfoliating your skin should be done 1-2 times a week. By doing this, you are removing the dead skin cells and impurities stuck on your pores. This is very important as it reduces the chances of acne occurring and it allows your skin to absorb all the nutrients that you’re going to add in later really well. Also, exfoliation can be done both chemically and physically. Chemical exfoliation is generally more effective and is best for people with sensitive skin while physical exfoliation is effective in itself but it’s not as good as the former.

Product recommendations:

Products I’ve tried

  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 calamansi: lightly scrub onto face, leave on for 1-2 minutes and wash off with facial foam and warm water.
  • Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off

Recommended by experts

  • Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

 

Step 4: Toner

Moisten a cotton pad/puff with toner. Gently slide the cotton on face in upward motion to avoid pulling on the skin and causing wrinkles/fine lines. DO NOT SOAK. Toners are absolutely essential in everyone’s skincare routine because it cleanses your face even more while also adding in a few of the soothing nutrients that your face needs, depending on the type of toner you have. Most toners contain alcohol in them which is alright but it would be best to avoid toners containing the said ingredient. For acne-prone skin, be sure to use the most gentle toner that you could possibly have. I highly recommend toners from Korean brands because they are very hydrating and very gentle on the skin.

Product Recommendations

Products I’ve tried

  • The Face Shop Chia Seed Hydrating Toner
  • VMV Hypoallergenics Superskin 3 Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid Toner (active acne treatment)
  • Celeteque Acne Solutions Oil Control Toner
  • 1 part Organic Apple Cider Vinegar + 1 part purified water (effectively lessens white & black heads)

Recommended by experts

  • Son & Park Beauty Water
  • Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner
  • Mamonde Rose Water Toner

 

Step 5: Essence

Essences are applied on the face using either a cotton pad or bare hands. These function as vitamins in order to ensure that your skin is properly hydrated and healthy. Their functions vary from one essence to another but overall, use this to supply your skin with the nutrients that it lacks and/or to help your skin achieve a certain goal that you want to (ex. anti-acne, pore-tightening, anti skin aging, skin brightening, etc).

Product Recommendations

Products I’ve tried

  • The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Essence (minimizes the size of pores after months of use)

Recommended by experts

  • Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence (anti-aging)
  • Nature Republic 80% Aloe Vera Essence (anti-acne)

 

Step 6: Serum/Ampoule

Serums or Ampoules are more concentrated substances that are also more focused in giving your skin the nutrients that it needs. It’s actually one of the most effective mediums that should be present in your skincare routine when you’re trying to achieve something for your skin due to its high density and concentration, as I’ve mentioned. It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to use both essences and serums however, if I had to choose between the two, I’d definitely pick using the latter simply because it works faster.

Product Recommendations

Products I’ve tried

  • Leftover serums from face masks inside the pack!

Recommended by experts

  • Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule
  • Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum

 

Step 7: Mask Sheets

Mask sheets are one of the best Korean inventions of all time. These things give your skin the right oomph that it needs especially if you’re looking for the best way to instantly vamp up your skin’s condition. Using a face mask 1-2 times a week is enough for regular people but if you feel like your face needs some spa treatment then you can use it as many times as you’d like. I usually apply my mask sheets on exfoliate days because I feel like it would be the best time for my skin to absorb all the nutrients that it has.

Tip: If you’re trying to achieve a certain skin goal, make sure you use a certain type of mask sheet continuously. For example, if you’re trying to lighten your skin it would be best to use lightening sheet masks for a certain period of time rather than using different mask sheets that serve different purposes.

Product Recommendations:

Products I’ve tried

  • The Face Shop Real Nature Face Masks
  • Etude House I Need You Mask Sheets

Recommended by experts

  • Leaders Mask Sheets
  • Manefit Bling Bling Hydrogel Mask Sheet

Step 8: Eye cream (optional)

I don’t have much to say about eye creams because I’ve never tried using them but people say they’re very effective. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory why you need them, though (ex. dark under eye circles, etc).

Product Recommendations:

Products I’ve tried

  • none yet (6/8/2016)

Recommended by experts

  • Missha Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream
  • Elizabeth Arden Eye Care 0.5 Oz Perpetual Moisture 24 Eye Cream
  • Innisfree Eco Science Eye Cream
  • Innisfree Green Tea Seed Eye Cream

 

Step 9: Moisturizer/Emulsion

Moisturizers are one of the most important parts of your skincare routine. You cannot have great skin without an effective moisturizer (unless of course you were born lucky). I used to think that I didn’t need one because my skin is already very oily but I was wrong. I learned that moisturizers help decrease the oiliness in your face by balancing out the excess sebum and giving your skin the right kind of moisture that it badly needs.

Tip: If you have oily skin, never use a cream-type moisturizer. Only trust gel ones!


Product Recommendations

Products I’ve tried

  • VMV Spring Fresh Oil-Free Nourisher for Oily Skin
  • The Face Shop Chia Seed Hydrating Emulsion

Recommended by experts

  • Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion
  • Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera 80% Emulsion

Step 10: Night pack (optional)

Because your skin repairs itself when you’re asleep, it’s always a good idea to feed your skin good stuff while you’re sleeping. I bought the Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel a few months back and leave it on my skin once or twice a week and it’s amazing.  If you’re legit trying to get yourself some beauty sleep, be sure to grab one of these. I mean, you just put it on, go to sleep and wake up with supple skin. What more could you ask for?

Product Recommendations:

Products I’ve tried

  • Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel

Recommended by experts

  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Step 11: Sunscreen

Product recommendations

Sunscreen is very important in the morning! I cannot stress this enough. They say that sunlight is one of the most harmful things that cause skin damage and skin aging. Always use a sunscreen under your BB/CC/DD creams or whatever it is that you use. I used to think that my water cushion from The Face Shop (listed below) was enough sun protection but I was wrong so I’m off to buying myself one of these very soon as well. Try to find ones that aren’t sticky! The products I’ve used weren’t sticky on my skin at all so you might want to give them a try.

Product Recommendations

Products I’ve tried

  • The Face Shop Oil Water Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ (not really advisable)
  • Biore UV Aqua Rich SPF 50+ PA+++
  • Laneige Pore Control BB Cushion

Recommended by experts

  • Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish SPF 50+ PA+++
  • Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect Sunblock SPF 50+ PA+++

 

That was a pretty long blog post! I actually spent 3 days writing this one. I sincerely hope this helped you (if you took the time to actually go through everything). If you have any more questions/inquiries, feel free to ask me. Much thanks and good luck on your journey to great skin! 🙂