2016 Highlights

I have completely been gone in the blogging world this year but here I am again! A lot of things have happened this 2016 but I wasn’t able to post about them. 😦  One of my goals next year is to give my blog a makeover (for the nth time) and to stay active. And… to share this blog to my Facebook friends. Hihi.

Anyways, here are the highlights of my 2016!

  • I got my Green Card!

    So, you probably already know that I came to the US through K1 Visa. After 6 months since I submitted my Adjustment of Status papers, I was scheduled for an interview and received my Green Card. This card is only valid for two years though, so I’ll be working another set of paperworks next year! But it feels good that all the stress had been paid off.

 

  • My degree has been evaluated

I’m currently working in a preschool/childcare for our school district. In the Philippines, I was a licensed high school teacher. My goal is to be a certificated teacher here also but I feel like I don’t have the confidence to be one yet. So for now, I just wanna get used to the culture here first. I also had my Transcript of Records evaluated and the result is that I have the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education in a regional accredited institution here in the US . I need to find out the next steps to take to achieve my goal!

This would have been a good shot if I didn't notice the camera. Haha. #listeningtime

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  • Getting serious with music production

Last April, I purchased an audio interface with microphone to start my “home recording studio”. Hehe. I also bought a midi keyboard. I just started trying out these toys like a month ago and I feel like I have a potential to produce. Well, sort of. Haha. Maybe, I’ll share an output soon! If I ever finish it!

 

  • Watching Pentatonix Live

This has been the year I started being obsessed with this group and I’m just so lucky to have seen them perform live. It was kind of funny how I purchased the tickets right away after they got on sale but days before the concert, I found tickets on StubHub that has closer-to-the-stage seats. I sold mine in a desperately lower price so I could buy the better seats. Haha. It’s worth it though.

Pentatonix!!!

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  • Celebrating our first wedding anniversary

Time goes by so fast. It’s already been a year since we got married! We decided to take a day off to go around Seattle and stay overnight at The Edgewater Hotel which has a very lovely view of the waterfront (Thus, the name. We don’t have good pictures though). The day after, we watched a very romantic film called “Finding Dory”. Hehe.

Happy 6th/1st Anniversary, bebiness! I love you to infinity and beyond.

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Breakfast in bed?

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Just walkin' around. First time together at Pike Place. #yesterday

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  • Us the Duo Concert

After seeing them as the opening act for PTX, we decided to see them live again. This time though, they are the main performers. We also purchased the VIP package because it’s very affordable and because we love them!

My first VIP experience. Hihi. Sarap manuod ng concert pag small crowd lang. Hehe.

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Us the Quartet

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We got to chat with them and take a selfie with them! Woohoo! They are the nicest!

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They are incredibly talented, too (and a good-looking couple!).

Another cool thing that happened that night was that we met the Gardiner Sisters, too! They were sooo nice! We purchased their album and had them sign it.

 

So, we bought their album from a Tagalog/Bisaya-speaking white dude. I was kind of curious about him so I asked, “I’ve heard you said you’re from Cebu. Then, why are you speaking Tagalog?” Afterwards, he went on and on (in Tagalog) about how he learned the language, how much he loves the Philippines and that he has a group there and they’re gonna have shows there in two weeks. So, I asked, “What’s the name of your group?” He answered, “Hey Joe Show”. I told my sis-in-law, “Ui, sikat ‘to! Magpa-picture tayo!” (“This dude is famous! Let’s take a picture with him!”) That was kinda funny. Turns out, he was there selling Gardiner Sisters merch because he’s married to Allie Gardiner!

 

  • California Trip + LAs Vegas

I feel like this is the main highlight of this year. This is my first ever visit outside Washington except Oregon which is just a roadtrip away. My fave destinations were probably Universal Studios and Disneyland! Here’s a GoPro video compilation I created from my trip!

I also made a short clip of my experience with the walkers from Universal Studios.

And Disneyland! It’s the family’s first time to go there! My hubby and his family had this agreement that the first Disneyland visit should be with the whole family. My hubby was saying that I was lucky that I got to be there just after a year of being here in the US. He’s been here for 15 years. Hehe. Well, the good thing about being in Disneyland is it makes you feel young again. Our favorite parts are the parade and the fireworks! They are just so magical!

  • My vinyl Collection

After just a year, I have now a total of 27 vinyl records! I was planning to just buy one per month but I ended up with more. I’m planning to stick with my one-per-month goal this coming year.

 

  • Black Friday Post

On Black Friday, we went to the Seattle Premium Outlets which is really in Tulalip (not in Seattle). We went to different stores but the Nike Store there caught us by surprise. Every aisle of that store has orange boxes all over the place. My phone camera wasn’t working that time so I asked my sis-in-law to take a pic and send it to me. I shared that photo on my Instagram and it went viral!

It's like a zombie apocalypse. I feel bad for the people who need to clean this up. #BlackFriday #NikeOutletStore

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This Instagram account called Complex reposted it and it got 41k likes. Different sites like BuzzFeed and Yahoo! News also used this picture. I wasn’t expecting it at all! The only thing I don’t like about it getting viral is that I see people’s irrelevant opinions about the photos of this Nike Store. Just like any trending topics, they would involve race or politics with the issue. It’s just a darn messy Nike Store and I hated how people did this. It’s probably not because they were Asians or because they voted for Hillary. Not relevant at all.

  • My First Snow Experience

I’ve seen it snow before but it didn’t stick to the ground. This is actually the first time that it did and the beauty just took my breath away. I know not everyone likes it because it’s not safe to drive. I’m lucky I got to stay home that day because our school was closed due to snow.

It's snowing. ❄️ #myfirsttime #snowinseattle

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Woke up to this. So beautiful. Yet I know it's dangerous for some folks going to work today… Stay safe! #snowinseattle

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  • Christmas Gifts

These are the two things in my Christmas wishlist and I got them both! My hubby gave me the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera which I already knew about and in our family exchange gift, I got a concert ukulele from my mom-in-law and her partner. Now, my next project is a music YouTube channel using these new toys. Let’s see…

 

  • Something special coming soon in 2017…

Happy New Year! I have more things to share in 2017 and I’m so excited! Please stick around. 🙂

Photo Diary: Oregon Roadtrip

Roadtrip Dates: September 18-20, 2015

I know this post is a little bit late but I still want to document it and share it with you guys. As my birthday weekend activity, our family had a roadtrip to Oregon. It’s also my first time to travel outside Washington. I really had a great time. Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl

Our first stop was Mt. Hood Skibowl. We just ate our lunch here but since it’s a big adventure park, we should at least try one park activity. The kids wanted to try the Alpine Slide. I’m really afraid of heights so I didn’t want to go with them but for some reason, I was persuaded to go. Well, honestly, I really wanted to try. I was just really scared. Haha.

|09.19.15| First time in Oregon. First alpine slide experience. #birthdayweekend #roadtrip

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You have to go all the way up the mountain through the Scenic Sky Chairs. This was scary for me at first but when you’re already up, you’ll see Mt. Hood and it’s just so beautiful. Find out more about it here.

Mt. Hood

It’s my first time to see a mountain covered with snow. Hehe. Well. I saw Mt. Rainier from afar. This was closer to me. Too bad we weren’t able to go to Mirror Lake where we can see the reflection of Mt. Hood.

|09.19.15| Beautiful. #birthdayweekend #roadtrip #Oregon

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Horsetail Falls

Next stop was Horsetail Falls. It’s a very long and narrow falls. Wonderful.

|09.19.15| It's called Horsetail for a reason. #birthdayweekend #roadtrip #Oregon

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Multnomah Falls

This is another one that’s just close to Horsetail Falls. Another beautiful view.

|09.19.15| Another falls! #birthdayweekend #roadtrip #Oregon

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Food Carts

Here’s what we visited next. It’s a place with different food carts. I forgot the name of this place but this is in Portland. It’s really cool.

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There’s even a Filipino food cart!

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Pok pok

One of their favorite restaurants here is Pok Pok. It serves Thai food. The name is quite funny for us because in Tagalog, pokpok is a slang for slutty girl. Anyways, the food here is really yummy and the ambiance is like in the Philippines so I love it. It’s now one of my faves, too. 🙂

|09.20.15| Feels like I'm in the Philippines. #birthdayweekend #roadtrip #Oregon

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Yummy chicken. 🙂

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It was featured on Food Network!

Nike Outlet Store

Finally, it’s shopping time! Shopping is fun in Oregon because it’s tax-free. I never really get to take pictures during that time. (Well, duh, why take pics while shopping, eh? Hehe.) But this is what my hubby bought me from the Nike Outlet Store as his birthday present. I didn’t have running shoes yet that time so this is a perfect gift. 🙂

Shoe selfie inspired by @teacher_ella #nike #ilovemybrightshoes #sponsoredbyhubby

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Have you been to Oregon? What other destinations do you suggest? Share it in the comments!

 

 

Photo Diary: Washington Roadtrip

Roadtrip Date: August 15, 2015

Last August, my family and I had a roadtrip around Washington as a part of my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s birthday. It was fun for me because I consider it as my first ever roadtrip outside Seattle. During that time, I never thought of posting it on my blog so my pictures are not that good. But hey. since most views are still beautiful, I think you can still appreciate these places and maybe plan to go there. too. 🙂

Cascadian Farm

Our first stop was the Roadside Stand of Cascadian Farm, a grower, manufacturer, and distributor of organic products since 1972. I couldn’t remember why we didn’t have the farm tour. Maybe it’s because it was raining? Anyways, the view by the road was still nice. We just took some pictures and bought some snacks from the store. 🙂

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The Roadside Stand where you can buy some snacks and coffee.

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Selfie with hubby.

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Diablo Lake

Then, we headed on to one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen, Diablo Lake. It kinda sounds ironic, right? Haha. Well, it is a man-made reservoir in the North Cascades. We went first on the shore.

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Afterwards, we went straight to the park where you can view the lake from the top and appreciate it’s emerald hue.

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Winthrop

It was already lunchtime and we brought some rice and adobo to eat. There was a park by the roadside with tables and benches  just right for what we needed. However, after preparing everything, we realized that there’s something missing. We forgot the adobo at home! So we just decided to eat at a restaurant on our next destination. As we travel there, my sister-in-law said that we were almost running out of gas and and the next gas station was not too close. We were all quiet and there was tension inside the car. God was still good because we found a gas station just in time! We were celebrating! Haha.

We stopped by at Winthrop, a town at Okanogan County with a Wild Wild West vibe. We ate at a Mexican resturant and walked around the town afterwards. We found a homemade ice cream store and eat some for dessert. Yum! Sorry, I was enjoying too much that I wasn’t able to take a some good pictures. You can Google some though. 🙂 Everything here is Rodeo and Cowboy themed.20150815_12305620150815_122845

Leavenworth

We took a different route on the way home to visit the City of Leavenworth, also known as “The Bavarian Village”. They say that  this is Germany in Washington. There are also many stores and restaurants that you can visit here. One more thing I enjoyed was the folk band performing Polka music for the people.20150815_173027

I know. Searching Google for better photos is a good idea. Haha. Anyways, I just want to document the places I have visited so far here on my blog and share them with you. So there ya go.

More from Seattle

Date: October 18, 2015

Speaking of documenting and sharing… Last Monday, I also got to visit Seattle Center and went to Chihuly Garden and Glass. It was my first time there and all I can say is it’s beautiful. The whole place is such an amazing work of art. I’m just going to share some of the pics.

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I want to see the garden at night, too. Just imagine these glass light up!

It was also my first time going up the Space Needle!

Hello, Seattle. #firsttime

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I know that there are still a lot of beautiful places in Washington that I haven’t seen yet. Well, until next time…

What was the last place you have traveled to? Share it in the comments!

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Photo Diary: Hello, Seattle!

Before, whenever I watch Grey’s Anatomy and see the Space Needle, I always thought of my on-line friend… “Oh, my on-line friend lives there in Seattle!” And now I get to see Seattle because that on-line friend is now my husband.

As a newbie here, I was able to tour  some of its popular attractions and I’m gonna share some photos with you.

#HelloSeattle

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The Fremont Troll sculpture. The first tourist attraction I went to.

#HelloSeattle

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Pike Place Market. Who’s gonna miss this for a Seattle tour?

LOBSTERS!!! #HelloSeattle

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Giant lobsters.

First ever Starbucks store in the world. Too crowded. #HelloSeattle

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Lots of people during the day we visited the place.

Gum Wall ewness. Hehe. #HelloSeattle

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I was not touching it. Just sticking my gum. The wall smells fruity and gross at the same time. Haha.11229382_10206702994675156_5140752995550582230_n

View from the tallest building in Seattle. #HelloSeattle

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Next we went to  the the Columbia Tower. I haven’t been on top of the Space Needle yet but the view here is way better for sure because it’s the tallest building in Washington.

"Don't go chasing waterfalls…" But I just did. Hihi. #nature

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Okay, this one is the Snoqualmie Falls and it’s not really in Seattle, I think it’s an hour away. And did I say that I had to go hiking for thirty minutes just to see this view? Totally worth it.

|06.29.15| Visited Lolo Bruce Lee…

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Bruce Lee’s grave. Just paying a visit to one of Seattle’s icons.

|06.29.15| Hello, Seattle #latepost #findMarte

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And of course, the Space Needle.

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Kerry Park

This was my second time at Kerry Park. It looks so beautiful especially at night where you can see the buildings and lights. Too bad I didn’t have a good camera with me. It’s looks way way better in real life than this photo.

Well, I knew since then that Grey’s Anatomy was not really being shot in Seattle and now that I’m here, I don’t feel Seattle at Grey’s Anatomy at all. I still love the show though! Hehe.

Have you been to a place that you used to dream before? Any suggested places to visit in Washington? Share it in the comments!

Photo Diary: Ilocos Trip with the Sisterhood

Roadtrip Dates: April 9-11, 2015

You’ve probably heard of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It’s a young-adult book series written by Ann Brashares which were also turned into movies. It’s about four bestfriends and a pair of pants that miraculously fit them all. When they have to be apart from each other, these pants were passed from one to another and that somehow connected them.

I have my own sisterhood, too. And just like the four main characters from the series, we were also different in some ways but when we’re together, it’s like we have our own world. After high school, we started to be “apart” going to different colleges and now that we are already completely “adults” and in different professions, we hardly have time to be physically together.

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Before I share some of the photos I took from our roadtrip, let me introduce you to my sisters first:

Bax, the doctor. I can say that she’s the smartest among all of us since she graduated salutatorian when we’re in high school and that’s out of a thousand graduates. She’s also the only one who can actually solve math problems among us.

Chax, the writer. She’s an introvert but really talented. We usually sing together ‘coz we’re such a good match. (Read: All of us are musically-inclined though.)

Dax, the graphic artist. I can say that she’s the naughtiest among us. Haha. She’s also talented. We all miss her ‘coz she left the Philippines after she graduated to work abroad.

Last April, Dax went to the Philippines for a vacation and since I was also leaving for the United States, we might not see each other for a long time. Chax’s mom also came with us and the trip became my PG-13 Bachelorette Party. 🙂

Day 1:

|04.09.15| Somewhere in Ilocos. Hehe. #summerwiththesisterhood #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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I dunno where exactly this is but it’s a good view, right? Feels like every body of water surrounding Ilocos is blue.

|04.09.15| "I'm innocent." #summerwiththesisterhood #Ilocostrip

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First stop is the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. I went here before about four years ago and I can say that it has improved a lot. You can see different memorabilia from the former president here. This picture  was taken from one of the areas of the museum.

|04.09.15| My second time visiting the historical church of Paoay. #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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This is the Paoay church which I’ve seen, too before. There are a lot of old catholic churches in the Philippines and this is one of them.

True Story. #advice #PaoayChurch #Ilocostrip

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One of the signs around the church.

4×4 adventure and sandboarding with my sistars! #fun #sisterhood #summer2015

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Next stop is the Paoay Sand Dunes. This was a scary yet fun adventure for me. I hated it when we go down from a very high sand hill because I’m afraid of heights. But one thing I learned? Screaming makes me feel better.

|04.09.15| Sandboarding! Couldn't do it standing. #summerwiththesisterhood #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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And of course, we tried this, too.  #fun

|04.09.15| Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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Got to visit this lighthouse before the first day of our trip ended.

Posing from the lighthouse. 😀 #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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Dog’s-eye view.

We then went to one of the famous beaches in the Philippines, Pagudpud. We stayed the night there and just rented a room. It was so dark  so we couldn’t really see the beach yet but we had a bonding moment by the seashore. We were just stargazing and talking about life and stuff.

Day 2:

|04.10.15| Yeah. #Ilocostrip #Pagudpud #Philippines

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Here it is! It was so pretty specially in real life.

|04.10.15| Find the sleeping man-tain. #Ilocostrip #Pagudpud #Philippines

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As we leave Pagudpud Beach, we found the Bantay Cave. As you can see, it looks like a man lying down.

|04.10.15| Patapat Bridge #Ilocostrip #Pagudpud #Philippines

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Just a little drive from where we were was the Patapat Bridge. It is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines.

|04.10.15| The great Bangui #windmills. #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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One of my favorite places we went to was the Bangui Windmills!

|04.10.15| First horseback ride. On my way to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. #Ilocostrip #Philippines #summer2015

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Next, we went to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. You can either walk  your way there or rent a pony. It’s my first time to ride on a horse. Good thing, there was a guide who also became our photographer at the tourist spot.

Love this shot. Baxy posing. Hehe. #Kapurpurawan #summerwiththesisterhood #Ilocostrip #Philippines

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As I’ve said, the horseback riding guides also became our photographers. It was kind of funny how they let you go to some certain places of the rock formation and teach you some poses. Haha.

Last stop for the day is of course, the historical Vigan. We went first to the Plaza to watch the dancing fountain and light show.  It was really awesome! Then, we walked around and experienced the night life of the famous street, Calle Crisologo to eat dinner and shop for pasalubong!

We rented a transient house to stay the night.

Day 3:

We then went again to Calle Crisologo to shop for more pasalubong and eat sorbetes! Hehe.

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Fewer people in the morning.

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Chocolate and Cheese flavor for Daxy!

We also toured the Baluarte Zoo. To be honest, it was tiring for me. Haha. I already went here before so I was not that excited anymore.

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And nope, those are not real dinosaurs.

Lastly, we went to Bantay Church. Since I was already tired, Dax and Bax were the only ones who climbed the Bantay Bell Tower.

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Well, four years ago, I climbed it, too. 🙂 Here’s the evidence. #tbt243945_2080157005176_395859_o

And went there by riding this calesa.

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Okay, that’s enough for my double throwback post. Went in Ilocos twice already but it’s still one of the places I would recommend people to go to. You will find different attractions and do different activities here. Plus, it still feels different when you go to the same place but with different people, right?

Where would you want to travel with your friends? Share it in the comments! 🙂