February 25, 2021

Yesterday's Mail - Timeless Thursdays 33

Postcards I received yesterday, Wednesday afternoon.

It was a very happy day yesterday and one of the reasons, aside from receiving my Graduation Sash (will be posting about that on another time, that's a truly special moment as well), was a very happy day for receiving so much mail! This probably has been the most number of mail I received in a single day since a long time ago! I have been waiting for a lot of Holiday mails from friends around the world and yes, the waiting we all worth it!

Postcards from different countries from my penpal/postcrossing friends arrived today all at the same time, with some from 4 months ago! They were from Portugal, Russia, India, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey, and Colorado (Look Brother Padre, it's from your state!).

Aside from postcards from my postcrosser friends!, I also received some of these special ones from my dear blog friends!


All the way from my sister Iri's hometown - Seesen, Germany!

Oh the joy I had when I saw this giant card! It's almost a foot in length! My dearest sister from Braunschweig, Iris Flavia, went home to visit her family on her hometown of Seesen and how swete of her to get me this lucky piggy postcard! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed your trip to see your nieces and thank you for guarding this beautiful card from your cute nieces to send to me! Haha Sending a lot of hugs back at you dear Iris! (You'll love it here today, it's the day of the year when the temperature would just rise up 5 degrees up suddenly - a signal that cool monsoon is over).

Look at that beautiful ornament from Scotland!

This one is from another dear blog friend Ananka of Posh Polishes! I'm not sure if she sent me this after seeing my ornaments post a couple of months ago but she did an awesome job making my jaw drop yesterday! I opened it and saw this beautiful black and gold star! I am so so so excited to hang this at my tree this year, one great thing to anticipate the holidays again. Hugs to you dearest Ananka, you made me super happy and you'll forever be part of my Christmases to come through this beautiful ornament :)

Also, I would like to share this beautiful card from my Boss all the way from Rhode Island! Love her so much and I owe a lot of learning and encouragement from her through the years! Aside from the grace of the Lord, she is one of the biggest reasons why I'm still here at work and seeing the joy and silver linings despite the stressful days it can get at times.

Christmas Card from Rhode Island

Thank you all so much for opening my mailbox with me! Times have been tough lately not just from work but also from my budding Brownie business that I get to enjoy as well despite the efforts to bake them. The beautiful words and feedback I get just warms my heart. But these beautiful cards make me extra extra happy! They may just be pieces of paper, but for sentimental people like me, they are timeless treasures!

Keep on snail mailing!
Stevenson
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February 18, 2021

Throwback Thailand - Timeless Thursdays 32

Ever since I was a little boy, I have develop the love for Geography and Culture through my Uncle who taught me all the countries, their flags and their capitals at the age of 5. I carried it over in my heart up until now. We are not very rich to be able to travel anywhere I wanted to go when I was growing up, but I never ran out of dreams, that someday, when I will be able through God's grace, I will be able to visit my dream places one by one.

As I am thinking of what to share this week, I thought about my first ever trip outside the Philippines as a grown up. It was March 2011 when I went to my first international trip to a beautiful and exotic place that still is one of my favorites - Thailand. My mother just died a couple of months before our trip but I still pushed through because I know she wants me to be happy, especially that she knows exactly that this is what I wanted to do.

Ralph, Me, and Ate Judy

Even just on the airport here in Manila, my heart was filled with so much joy already. That my dreams will be realized in just a few hours! This trip was with my college best friend Ralph and my cousin Ate Judy.

Driving my Tuktuk!

Thailand was amazing! And I think it's a perfect choice for a first timer because most people are nice and helpful. One funny thing though is that I am usually thought of as a local because I could pass as a Chinese-Thai, but when I start talking in English, they will simply shout "MANNY PACQUIAO!". He's probably the most famous Filipino in Thailand because they love our boxing champ so much. Even during my last trip to Thailand a couple of years ago, I still get the Manny Pacquiao calls!
My first Train Ride

The Bangkok to Ayutthaya train ride was my life's first! We don't have trains here in the Philippines aside from 3 metro lines in Manila so this was definitely another moving experience for me on that trip! For a very emotional and appreciative person like me, every simple things like these are very memorable and truly a grateful experience for me. I am thankful for this attitude I have because simple joys really create an impact to my heart!

Biking in the Ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya

I thank Thailand for being my first and will always have a special place in my heart! I very much appreciate Thai culture, Thai food, and most of all, Thai People! Will forever engrave this special memories that are truly timeless, in my heart.

Never Stop Remembering!

Stevenson

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February 11, 2021

Baking Time - Timeless Thursdays 31

It was a busy week, this one that passed. Because aside from my full-time work, I thought of starting a small time venture. I have always been a lover of sweets and brownies are one of those at the top tier! At first, I saw our old unused oven dusty and longing on a corner of our kitchen. I thought I'd bake some brownies so I gathered some ingredients online and for those I can buy at our corner store, I bought them last Thursday. While in the process of baking, why not try to bake some for those who would want them?


I started with just the plain one. After baking, I asked some of my cousins for feedback and they loved it! I did not just follow one recipe but read about 6-7 recipes and combined what's best about them all from the ingredients to special procedures that will ensure my brownie to be chewy on the inside, crusty on the outside. I was so happy that the first batch was already good!

Your truly, safely baking at my kitchen table.

As you can see, I am seriously doing my measurements but I asked my Aunt to take a photo of me. Who's Focused?

About the name, I branded my brownies with a Dutch word. I did a bit of research on Dutch words since I really want to inspire these brownies with something about the Netherlands aside from the fact that I use imported cocoa powder from the Netherlands, but because I really fell in love with the country when I visited last 2019. At first I thought of Lekker which means yummy, and then liefde which means love. But I thought, wait, Lief sounds short but classy, glad that it does have a meaning - sweet! (I hope my research was correct Ella?)


How do you like the packaging? I'm aiming for something clean and minimalist. 

At the moment, I already have 15 orders for the Weekend - Valentine's it is! I am a one-man team from preparations, to baking, to packaging, to cleaning, so wish your friend luck on this Weekend's bake-out! Hoping every person who will taste lief, will feel happy and loved and sweet!

Keep on being sweet!
Stevenson
 
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I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join Timeless Thursdays.


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.

This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Sunday at 11:59 pm (Manila/Perth Time)

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February 4, 2021

Plants at Silang - Timeless Thursdays 30

Last Weekend, after almost a month of being locked at home, my high school friends plotted a day on our calendar to go plant shopping two cities away from ours. The Town of Silang is famous for it's plants for sale for decades now and with the past year's houseplant bandwagon, it just got back it's glory days, as lush as the foliage of the leafy babies waiting to be adopted on new homes.

Fun photo using my Ferdie's "Change the Sky" App

There's a wide variety of plants that welcomed us and we were so happy to be surrounded by all colors and shapes of leaves, both those that we can name and not! My friends Ferdie and Myrcel bought a lot of plants home which made their whole families happy! As per me, I only bought nice pots since it's time for me to repot a few Bromeliad babies in the garden.

Most of the plants on this stretch of shops that we visited are mostly ornamental garden plants that thrive in tropical climate such as ours, but inside the stalls are potted houseplants that are more expensive but still cheaper than those sold online, plus you can really get to see the plant for yourself before buying it. 

Though in this time of the pandemic, shopping online still can win all its perks to avoid crowds, that's also why we went to Silang very early so we avoid the Sunday flocking. And of course, masks on!

Though I did not buy any plant, I was so happy to be there because I was surrounded with so much plants, truly relaxing and therapeutic to my senses, and of course, priceless to be with my best friends on a weekend after more than a month of not seeing each other.

Then we had lunch before we pushed our way home. We ate at Balinsasayaw restaurant where every group is assigned a specific Nipa hut which is perfect for social distancing! We had so much fun and of course, we had to have a photo of us taken for the books! Thank you to our waiter Sir Dan of Balinsasayaw for the awesome service!

Myrcel, Ferdie, Judy, RJay, and Me.

What a great end of January it was, we made the last day of the first month, truly timeless - together! May I send you all hugs and wishes of a great weekend to come! To all my friends up north, please stay warm on this Winter. And down under in Australia and New Zealand, keep yourselves hydrated this Summer (I'm already nervous with our upcoming Summer - I hate Summer - I don't melt literally but I have sleep problems when days hits 36-40C).

Sun's out, Masks on!

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I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join Timeless Thursdays.


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.

This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Sunday at 11:59 pm (Manila/Perth Time)

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January 25, 2021

Hello 2021!

Our Table last New Year's Eve

First of all, I want to extend my very late greeting of a Happy New Year to all of you my dear friends. I am deeply sorry that I was absent for quite a long time in our magical blog world that I love so much. I have been so busy with a lot of things that any spare time I get, I use it to sleep and get some more rest but I am slowly coping myself back.

Thank you so much to my dear friends Iris, Jesh, and Ananka who sent me emails to ask how I was, and  to you my dear friends who left their kind comments on the last post asking how I am. I am doing well, just had a good different holiday season. It was not bad at all, it was very good but different. I will do my best to start going back with Timeless Thursdays this week or maybe the next to be sure. But I cannot wait to visit your blogs as soon as possible because I missed you all big time!

How about you? How were your new year's celebrations? I know it's a lot different but I hope it was peaceful, beautiful, and reflective just like mine.

Let me tell you a little bit about the photo above. During new year's eve, we have this tradition of the media noche which Filipino families got from as early as the Spanish era. We serve a lot of food on our table, more than what we can consume that night as a sign of welcoming the new year with an abundance of hope and blessings. Don't worry, nothing is wasted since before preparing we also nee dto prepare some spaces on the fridge haha.

I prepared some Filipino style spaghetti (Filipino spaghetti is sweet using a mix of tomato sauce and banana ketchup). Then my brother made a lechon pork belly roll, my yeya made some Chicken sotanghon soup (glass noodles). And gifts from family and friends such as that rum cake, Cinnabon rolls, ham, ube halaya (sweet pruple yam), and fruits were also placed on display to say thank you to the gifts. I also displayed the Santa figurine which was a Christmas gift from my teammate from India. 

A lot of food on the table and it all comes with my prayers for thanksgiving and for blessings to all of you my dear blog friends!