November 28, 2012

Handwriting - The Secrets It Holds

I’m sure you're aware that everything about you sends signals and thoughts to others.  You may not be telling them something outright, but from the moment you get up in the morning and the moment you lay your head on your pillow, you are sending cues to those around you. 

The clothes you wear, the car you drive, the job you have, the food you eat (and how often you eat...and maybe even sometimes the way you eat), the things you say and the tone you say these things ... all of these play a role on how you are perceived.
   All of these things say something about you; even if they’re not true.

Sometimes I wear a baseball hat, do I play the sport – no, do I watch games – never, but I wear it. Someone who sees me with the ratted hat on my head, I’m sure are thinking “she likes the Yankees”...false.  It’s just an item I put on when my hair is a mess.

Though there are many things that you do/wear/say that may not truly represent who you really are, just by chance I found that there is one thing that says more about you then you probably ever thought.   Your handwriting.  That’s right, the way you write will often tell you who you are and what you are currently feeling in your life.  Pretty neat eh?

I got my handwriting analyzed (I was at a conference and naturally they had an acclaimed certified graphologist there, what conference doesn’t?) and I was pleasantly surprised to see what my “chicken scratch” said about me...most are true while other, well, I’m hoping are true as I definitely never thought these things of myself before.

"Above average intelligence" - awesome!
"Original Mind.  Creative" - sure
"Decisive. Persistent. Practical minded." - naturally ;)
"Sensuous" - ???

"Amiable. Friendly." - always!
"What you want you get, therefore, no one ever should underestimate you!" - truth!

July 22, 2012

Same Page. Different Paragraph

Glad to see I'm not the only one who has:

So many thoughts
So many feelings
Oh so many doubts.
So much hope
So many dreams.
Will they all work out?
I hope they all work out.

July 3, 2012

Cottage Life

During this Canada Day Long Weekend, I had the opportunity to go to a cottage by Perry Sound.  It was beautiful!  The cottage, the lake, the weather...everything!  Every morning I woke up early (internal clock gets me up at 6:37 on the nose, as that's when I get up for work) and made my way to the dock.  Here I sat by myself for a couple of hours just sitting, waiting, writing, wishing. 

This was my entry from Canada's 145th Birthday morning...
Room with a view
All This Beauty
Woke up on Canada Day in time to watch the sun rise come over Salmon Lake at the cottage I'm staying at for my mini-break.  I'm staying with friends and strangers (they're still sleeping...why wouldn't they be?  It is their vacation after all, and any sane person would take the opportunity too...but alas, I am up).

Sitting on the dock; my oasis.  The sun is already beating down on me, it's hot and it's not even 7 am yet.

The song on my iPod (playing softly as I try to immerse myself in the sounds of nature) is fitting.  "All This Beauty" by The Weepies. 

"Cause all this beauty
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
And watch the sun rise"
Gorgeous sunrise
I look around; the water is calm, still and cool with lily pads on them, there are tall lush trees surrounding me making this place seem secluded and I welcome the seclusion, the loon and other birds are making noise in the distance - as if calling one another and wishing them a good day, a frog behind me croaks to remind me that he is still there, like the night .  Nature, mother nature, is truly beautiful. 

All this beauty, celebrated and appreciated.  All this beauty in Canada.

My sanctuary: morning, noon, night
If only everyday can be like today

365 24/7 - Fun lover

June 16, 2012

Sounds Like Music


"Just because you're not my enemy, doesn't mean you're still my friend. 
Just because you're not my family, doesn't mean that I won't defend. 
Just because you don't love me, doesn't mean that we can't pretend. 
For a night, tonight only, doesn't mean, that it has to end."

Wintersleep's "Ghost" from their latest album Hello Hum is just one of the songs that I look forward to listening/watching them play live at tonight's Sound of Music Festival in Burlington, Ontario.

This festival pretty much kicks off various concert festivals in the city and surrounding areas this summer.  These fabulous concerts allows music lovers of all kinds for a chance to listen to a number of musicians, bands, solo acts of various genres for free!  These concerts also allow them to be exposed to bands/groups that they wouldn't normally know of; while allowing for die hard fans to enjoy their favourite bands without having to shell anything out for a concert. 

Thanks City of Burlington for putting on this festival and having a pretty decent line-up!  Come one, come all!  No matter who is on stage, I can assure you, one won't be disappointed!  The ambiance, the location (right on Lakeshore), the sense of community, the music, everything...a trip to this festival is worth it!

Enjoy the sound of music!

June 12, 2012

20 Things I Should Have Known At 20

To go with my "Dear 7 Year Old Me..." post written in May, I read this blog today from The Buried Life and thought I'd share.  Though my twenties are coming to an end in a couple years (shhh don't remind me), these are still very much poignant points.

20 Things I Should Have Known at 20.
1. The world is trying to keep you stupid. From bank fees to interest rates to miracle diets, people who are not educated are easier to get money from and easier to lead. Educate yourself as much as possible for wealth, independence, and happiness.
2. Do not have faith in institutions to educate you. By the time they build the curriculum, it’s likely that the system is outdated– sometimes utterly broken. You both learn and get respect from people worth getting it from by leading and doing, not by following.
3. Read as much as you can. Learn to speed read with high retention.
4. Connect with everyone, all the time. Be genuine about it. Learn to find something you like in each person, and then speak to that thing.
5. Don’t waste time being shy. Shyness is the belief that your emotions should be the arbitrators of your decision making process when the opposite is actually true.
6. If you feel weird about something during a relationship, that’s usually what you end up breaking up over.
7. Have as much contact as possible with older people. The reason this is so valuable is because people your age don’t usually have the decision-making ability to help you very much. Also they know almost everything you will learn later, so ask them.
8. Find people that are cooler than you and hang out with them too. This and the corollary are both important: “don’t attempt to be average inside your group. Continuously attempt to be cooler than them (by doing cooler things, being more laid back, accepting, ambitious, etc.).
9. You will become more conservative over time. This is just a fact. Those you surround yourself with create a kind of “bubble” that pushes you to support the status quo. For this reason, you need to do your craziest stuff NOW. Later on, you’ll become too afraid.
10. Reduce all expenses as much as possible. I mean it. This creates a safety net that will allow you to do the crazier shit I mentioned above.
11. Instead of getting status through objects (which provide only temporary boosts), do it through experiences. In other words, a trip to Paris is a better choice than a new wardrobe. Studies show this also boosts happiness.
12. While you are living on the cheap, solve the money problem. Use the internet, because it’s like a cool little machine that helps you do your bidding. If you are currently living paycheck to paycheck, extend that to three weeks instead of two. Then, as you get better, you can think a month ahead, then three months, then six, and finally a year ahead. (The goal is to get to a point where you are thinking 5 years ahead.)
13. Learn to program.
14.  Get a six-pack (or get thin, whatever your goal is) while you are young. Your hormones are in a better place to help you do this at a younger age. Don’t waste this opportunity, trust me.
15. Learn to cook. This will make everything much easier and it turns food from a chore + expensive habit into a pleasant + frugal one.
16. Sleep well. This and cooking will help with the six pack. If you think “I can sleep when I’m dead” or “I have too much to do to sleep,” I have news for you: you are INEFFICIENT, and sleep deprivation isn’t helping.
17. Get a reminder app for everything. Do not trust your own brain for your memory.  Do not trust it for what you “feel like” you should be doing. Trust only the reminder app.
18. Choose something huge to do, as well as allowing the waves of opportunity to help you along. If you don’t set goals, some stuff may happen, but if you do choose, lots more will.
19. Get known for one thing. Spend like 5 years doing it instead of flopping around all over the place. If you want to shift afterwards, go ahead. Like I said, choose something.
20. Don’t try to “fix” anyone. Instead, look for someone who isn’t broken.

Written by: Julian Smith

June 3, 2012

Listen to me, I'm older

Ten years.  That's how long I've been involved in Filipino organizations across Southern Ontario.  Ten years.

During this time I have worked closely with various non-profit Filipino organizations not only in Hamilton but also in Mississauga and in Toronto. My involvement ranged from being the Assistant Public Relations Officer, Master of Ceremonies, Event Producer, Choreographer, Director, and participant.  Throughout the years, as my responsibilities grew so did my passion to make our Filipino culture and heritage known to the mainstream Canadian community...especially to the youth.

Keeping our Filipino culture vivacious with the active participation of our youth is surely a challenge.  What youngster wants to hear an "oldie" (oye, I hope I'm not considered old) talk to them about their culture and why they should be proud to be Filipino?  Why would they want to give up their precious time with an organization (with other oldies) when they can use it hanging with friends or playing on the computer?  Yes, it's surely difficult to try to get youth involvement, but I love the challenge!

Motivating these young individuals to participate in an organization or volunteering during an event is, interesting, to say the least.  I try to be as creative with them as possible; finding ways that will hit directly home to them and hope to say something that will spark an interest.  As many participants I get, after the event, it's 50 / 50 really; some stay, some go.  But the most important thing is, some stay!

Currently I am the Press Relations Officer for the Philippine Canadian Association (PCA).  Through this organization I was able to get involved with a new project called, Fiesta Filipinas.  It's a one day event where various groups come together in a venue in Hamilton and hold a festival showcasing the amazing food, entertainment, art and culture of the Philippines.  The highlight of the Fiesta was a pageant. 

Two years ago I had the pleasure of being the Pageant Director (choreographer, MC etc) for this said pageant, Miss Fiesta Filipinas, where I met seven beautiful and talented candidates as well as entertainers.  In all my years of planning this type of event, I have come across many young women, but from the first meeting, I noticed this group was different.  Not only were they extremely diligent, they were also helpful with giving suggestions and on top of that, two years since the pageant, I can still always count on each and everyone of them to lend a hand during other Filipino community events.

This year, I had an involvement with the same pageant, but my role was slightly less all encompassing and time consuming.  This year I had the pleasure of being just the MC...

Again, I met seven fine young women who are a special group and it is my hope that one day they are going to be great assets to our Filipino community.  These young women  are what the Filipino community needs if we want the organization to strive in the future.  Their fresh ideas, talent, strong sense of community, their enthusiasm and hard working ways lets me know that not only do they enjoy being involved but that they will one day be great leaders.  With their help now and in the future, I am confident that they will impact our organizations' and that their own lives will be impacted by what they learn about those in the community and our beautiful country, the Philippines. 

Yes, I can try to encourage our youth as much as possible but I need YOU to do the same.  Talk to your daughter, son, nephew, niece, or friend to get involved in the PCA or take part in any Filipino group in their community.   We have to try to engage them now so that they can move the Hamilton Filipino community forward.

I look forward to working with people in my generation or younger. Just like me, you will be enriched by the experience and with the promise that you will not regret getting involved.

Ten years...and counting.

May 27, 2012

Iiiiiiiit's Show Time!

After months of prepping, these girls are taking the stage for tonight's main event...which I'm hosting!  They will all walk into the venue as a representative of their organizations; however, only ONE of them will walk out as the new Miss Fiesta Filipinas 2012, representing the Hamilton Filipino community.

Can you tell who will win by this one photo?
Two years ago I Directed the pageant and announced Elisha Ladeza the winner...
tonight I announce a new Miss

Photo taken on the Talent Night, which I hosted, on May 12, 2012

I've had the pleasure of meeting them and mentoring them and I know that even though there can only be one winner, they are all winners and will make the Hamilton Filipino community proud!

I'll be writing a post about The Importance of Being Involved in your Community soon, so keep an eye out!

But for now, it's time to wish us all Good luck and break a leg!

May 24, 2012

May 13, 2012

Dear 7 Year Old Me...

What would you tell your 7 year old self knowing what you know today?

This is what I would tell myself:  (enjoy the photos lol)
Beauty is everywhere

Accessories are key to any outfit
Especially for the LBD

Dance the night, every night, away

Playing dress up never goes out of style
Trying new trends is ok...pulling them off, that's another story

Family is everything

I'm putting two photos of us up
as these are hilarious

She's your #1 home girl

Mama knows best...even when you think she's wrong

You're never to old to play with toys

These girls will always, always, have your back

You're shy now, but you'll get over it!
You will actually like being in front of audiences
and being involved with the media

(Little Dancer: Abigail Santos, 7, from the Royal
and Tahitian Hawaiian Dance Troupe dances up a
storm during Levi Stauss' Multicultural Open House)
You can rock bangs...
You will break hearts...
Your heart will be broken (and you will be fine!)...
Success and failures go hand in hand...
Life is hard, but it's great!...
You are unique and that's fabulous...
and more importantly, you are pretty (inside and out)

 So, what would you tell your 7 year old self? 

May 4, 2012

11 Years Already?

11 years ago, today, I was a shy 18 year old girl freaking out about being on stage in front of hundreds of people in a swimsuit.  

Got your attention?

May 5, 2002 - Miss Philippines pageant

11 years ago tomorrow, I was a shy 18 year old girl who overcame those nerves and was crowned Miss Philippines - Toronto (PIDC to be exact and the first with that title).
Newly crowned Miss
I am shy.  I have always been shy.  To those of you who know me, I'm not lying ... I may be loud and confident now, but deep down, the girl inside is still shy.  I don't think I'll ever get over that - does anyone?  BUT the important thing is, I got over the nervousness, the stage fright, the idea of having people I know and don't know looking at me.  I got over it, I had too.  Being thrust in the spotlight does that to a person. 
Talent Portion - been dancing
since I was 7
I had no choice and on top of that, I had no formal training.  I was basically called up to stages in front of an intimate gatherings without preparation or knowledge and hoped to the good Lord that everything would go well.  I was told I would be the MAIN master of ceremonies for the largest Filipino festival in Canada without a clue as to how to MC anything!  I was told I had to dance and MC concerts with big name Filipino stars at sold out concerts without a) knowing who they were and b) what I was realllllly suppose to do.  But I did all of these, and more! 

The Q&A Portion aka
Make it or break it
This is what I was scared of...b/c I was shy!

I dove into everything that year head first!  Something scary before, but now, it's what I prefer to do :)   I was told I exceeded expectations and I learned to love everything about what I was doing in the spotlight.  Which is the reason I do what I do now.  Today I'm involved in many organizations as a communications consultant, event coordinator, media liaison, directress, and I'm even a sought out MC!

"And the winner is.....(longest wait ever).....Candidate #3"
To this day, no matter what I find myself getting involved in, I have my one year experience as a pageant contestant and a "Beauty Queen" to thank.  I don't know what type of person I would be today had I not gone through this once in a lifetime process...probably still that shy girl.  It may sound cliche, but it's true!

Rebecka 1st RU, Me Miss, Christie 2nd RU
Both fantastic and beautiful!!!
The organization that I have to give big props too is: Philippine Independence Day Council

The best girls!
During one of our many Monday night practices in Markham
*missing Kim

Awarding Portion...who will it be?
All of these women are beautiful, in and out!

The making of the swimsuit portion... 
  • Practice...I think we spent more time on the swimsuit routine then any other portion of the pageant
  • Pageant night: when it's your turn, take a deep breath, go out on the stage and own it.  Your  personality comes out best in this portion, so have fun!
  • Once everyone has presented themselves, get ready for the "routine".  We did our dance (did I mention we did a dance?) to J-Lo's "Aint it funny"
    • Dance with your partner
    • Dance with everyone
    • Take your sarong off (count to five)
    • all the while SMILING!
    • get off the stage and get ready for the next scary bit, the Q&A portion
Practice, practice, practice

Backstage behind the scenes: last min practice and last min prep

Working it

As much as ladies dread this bit, it was the best bit of the pageant

May 1, 2012

Mojo Baby

Psssst!  Guess what, this kid has got her mojo back! :)
Now let's be clear, when I say mojo I mean self confidence, self esteem...not Austin Powers' meaning of mojo = sex-appeal (I don't even know what that is...really, what is that???).  It's been a tough few months but all is well in Abi-land!  (great news eh?)

The new year didn't start off as grand as I'd hope (with exemption of my fantastic cruise) but through the ups and more downs, today, May 1st, I was pleasantly surprised when I looked in the mirror and saw someone I haven't seen in awhile, myself!  Something in the past month changed me.  I found my swagger, my confidence, my groove...and it feels wonderful!!!  I'm happy.  I'm me!


April 22, 2012

Y is for


Just a little thought to get you through today, tomorrow and always... "You are anyone you want to become.  It might take getting out of bed an hour earlier, and hitting the pillow an hour later.  It might mean being flexible with your dreams to make them a reality.  It might require a sacrifice now for gains later.  In the end, it's up to you"

Style A to Zoe - Rachel Zoe

April 9, 2012


Happy Hippity Hoppity Easter Love Bugs! 

After mass, and throughout the whole day I ate and ate and ate...  Here's what I broke my Lenten fast with

Just the beginning

Hot (temperature not heat) Stuff
Went to Binh Minh on Upper James and had me some vege tofu soup in coconut milk.  Extra spicy
Fresh Prince
Fresh roll of vermicelli noodles, tofu and veges.  With a side peanut sauce.  Added chilli spice to it
Filling Groovy
Tofu vege stir fry in a red (apparently the hottest option between green and yellow...wasn't hot at all) curry.  Side rice noodles.  Requested extra spicy curry.  Still added extra chilli sauce on top of it can see the red blobs.  Couldn't finish this, so I look forward to going home and having my leftovers (of this and my soup) for dinner!  Num num num

April 7, 2012

Raw. Day 45.

The end is near.  Tomorrow is Easter.  Tomorrow is when we break our Lenten promise and recall the process, the sacrifice, the thoughts and feelings we had during this time.

From the get-go I knew this was going to be a challenge.  From the get-go family and friends were telling me to re-think my decision.  From the get-go I was ready...ready as I could be at least. 

As this is the last entry about raw, I feel it's best to do a wrap up.

What I ate:  a lot.  Even though there were soooooo many foods I wasn't able to eat, there were also soooooooooo many more I could.  Didn't really realize all the options and companies that were out there
What I drank:
  Lots of water and enough smoothies that I'm ok with saying "See ya later" to the Magic Bullet (at least for a week)

What I wanted to eat/drink: I found myself yearning for cooked food more so at the end of this journey.  At stressful life moments I usually grab something caloric filled to make me feel a bit better (emotional eater I know), when stress hit me during Lent I was able to grab...fruit, and I was fine with that!
My thoughts:  I appreciate this lifestyle more now after having done this process.  I don't think I would be able to pursue this lifestyle forever, but I will try to keep up with things as often as I can.  After Easter I won't be raw, at least not on Easter Sunday, but I will continue to stay least fro a bit!  I like this lifestyle, it's easy, it's good for me.
Energy level: 9 apples/10 apples
Stats: Lost 10 lbs...NOT all because of the raw lifestyle!  I think the raw foods and lifestyle attributes to maybe 5 lbs, the other 5 was for other reasons.  I feel good though.  AND I feel better knowing that it will be fun trying to put back some weight!

To those who traveled with me on this journey, thanks!  I will still be posting, obviously not about this topic, but still posting non-the-less.  So keep up, if you can!

Until next time, be well!

Raw. Day 43

I think I have an addiction
Still in Toronto, having me some fun with fab friends...then I eat ;)

Fresh Beach Bowl.  Red pepper, zucchini & sweet potato with avocado, sun-dried tomato, sunflower sprouts, olive oil, tamari, lemon, mixed herbs.  This was the baby bowl which is so filling.

Super Protein Salad.  Chick peas (like 2 cups worth), grape tomatoes, cucumber, tempeh & Fresh salad topper on salad greens.  Peanut Lime dressing made with peanut butter, lime, sambal oelek, coconut milk.

Wow, a new location
After work, I ate and drank the week away with a fantastic salad and fruit filled sangria.  Il Fornillo in the Entertainment district is a lovely romantic restaurant with great choices on the menu.  I would definitely like to try this place when I'm not raw vegan...

April 4, 2012

Raw. Day 42

It's almost time! I can count the days to Easter in ONE hand!

I'm in Toronto for work for a few days and I'm smack downtown ... in culinary heaven for Veganists alike.  There's Fresh on Spadina, Loving Hut also on Spadina, Fressen on Queen, countless of sushi joints in walking distance... and the list goes on.  Why Hamilton can't have more vegan options is beyond me, they can really take a page out of Toronto's food diary!

Tonight I went to Fresh on Spadina, again.  Anything you order in this restuarant, you will NOT be disappointed!


Tastey Special
Mighty greens: kale, bok choy and swiss chard with miso tahini dressing and Fresh protein boost

BBQ Burger
Bun, Patty, Rings
High-protein, house made vegan burger patter topped with BBQ sauce, quinoa onion rings, garlic mayo, napa cabbage, hot banada chillies, tomato and lettuce on a whole what bun.  Side of marinated kale slaw


Raw. Day 38

Naked Sprout, we meet again!  This time I had a chance to try an app, main and tummy and taste buds were more than satisfied...and once again I came out with a doggy bag :) (in my opinion, the best type of bag out there!)

Who wouldn't want Love?

Apps: The Naked Sprout Signature Nachos - Carrot flax chips, guacamole, sunflower seed, 'refried’ beans, salsa fresco, cheesy cashew cream. 

This was soooo filling.  There are probably 8 nachos on the plate and after 3 you will be stuffed - look at the photo, it's topped with mile high ingredients, so how couldn't you be?!  The carrot flax chip was strong and held its own flavours against the ultra strong cheesy cashew cream.  It wasn't as crispy as I'd like tortillas to be, but it still had a semi-crunch.  Couldn't really taste the 're-fried' beans which was fine sine the fresh salsa had all the taste- it was so fresh, so clean, so finger licking good.

Twisted Tacos - Soft shell carrot flax taco, guacamole, salsa fresco, sunflower taco meat
*Added side cashew sour cream

Not gonna lie, when it came on the table, I thought, that's it?  That's so small!  But after three quarters of one, I was done...  These tacos was very similar to the nachos I had earlier, but the main difference was the taco "meat" made from sprouted sunflower seeds.  These seeds were soaked for 6 hours and the texture of it was very meat-ish (from what I remember ground beef feels like) and the taste was impeccable!  The spices, although could have been hotter, was a nice change from the neutral fresh taste of the nachos.  What I didn't like was the side cashew cream.  This is way to strong of a flaour for me and it was a weird flavour at that.  It's an option to get with your dish, I would suggest opting out of it.
Dessert:  The best part of the meal.  Last time I was here they sold out of this cheesecake, and for good reason, it is mighty good!  Today I was finalllllly able to try the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake - Nut crust with cashew cheese filling flavoured with carrot juice, agave,
coconut butter, cinnamon & clove

No pumpkin?
Delightful!  So satisfying!  It wasn't as light as the berry cheesecake, but it was nice and the sense that it makes you go back to warm thoughts about Thanksgiving and time around the table with family and friends. 

Another successful tummy filling expedition to the Naked Sprout!