Monday, December 4, 2017

10 Songs That Remind Me of You

Recently, I've been thinking about how it's both a blessing and a curse that you remember people as the last time you saw them. Something I've learned through the years is that people will go in and out of your life constantly, and sometimes the ones that do leave, take something  of you with them. Lately, I've been thinking of someone in particular, someone I haven't spoken to in years, yet still manages to sneak into my thoughts every now and then. It's times like these that you wonder, did they really ever leave your life? Or does thinking about them just keep them alive in your memories? 

Today's post goes out to that someone who made quite an impact in my life, that years later, I still find myself thinking about them. Some days it's during a movie, sometimes it's when I'm reading a book, but most days, it's through music. Here are 10 songs that still remind me of you.

And tonight, I can't help but wonder, do you think of me too?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Letter to My 30-Year-Old Self

Hey, you!

It's weird thinking that you're already 30! Please let me know what that's like? Is it all we imagined it to be? Or is still age primarily just a number?

As this letter is being written, you're only 25 and are currently going over the biggest dilemma you've ever had to face. I'm so curious to know what path you chose to follow! Whatever it is you decided, I hope you didn't make anyone too sad.

What is your job like? Are you still working the same field? I hope you still have in your heart the best intentions for people, and doing everything the best way you can. You were never one to half-ass anything, and I hope that never changed.

Are you in a relationship? Are you married? Do you have any kids? You always said you weren't ready for any kind of relationship until you found your sense of stability. I hope you let your guard down just a little and allowed this to happen.

Where do you live? Is it a cozy apartment with a cafe down the street that you visit regularly to read books? You always said you wanted that. That, or an apartment in a high rise building with ceiling-to-floor windows overlooking a busy city with bright lights. I hope you got either of the two, if not, something better. You were never one to settle.

Speaking of books, do you still enjoy reading them? That was always your favorite thing to do, and you always found time to do it. I hope that this, too, didn't change.

Did you learn to drive? I really hope you mustered up the courage and did that! You knew you wanted a sense of independence and you believed that this was an important step to achieve that.

How's your relationship with your family? They're the most valuable thing you have right now and I do hope you still keep in touch with them!

What things did you cross off your bucket list? Did you finally get to visit Paris? Was it as magical as you thought it would be? I hope you're working on ticking off everything on that list! Don't make up excuses, we both know we're better than that.

Do you still write posts for this blog? I honestly hope you do, so you can find this letter and remember the person you once were and hopefully still are; someone who was never afraid of chasing her dreams, no matter how big or small they seemed.

Above all, I genuinely wish you're smiling and finally meaning it.

With the best wishes,

Your 25-year-old self.

Monday, September 5, 2016

How I've Been Using Spotify in Kuwait

While tons of apps are made available worldwide, it still sucks that there are some great ones that aren't. Spotify is a popular audio/video streaming service that has been out for quite sometime now and while it's slowly opened it's availability to some Asian countries more recently, the Middle East has yet to be acknowledged.

However, where there is a will there will always be a way! When I found out this little trick that allows you to use Spotify and other apps not made available in your country, I was so excited and knew I had to share it with you guys!

Disclaimer: I'm still unsure if this is totally legal but I've been using this method for almost a month now and it's been going smoothly so I figured it's okay?? Please let me know in the comments if you have further thoughts about this, please!

Step 1: You will need to download a VPN! The one I personally use is called Betternet (available for both android and iOS) and I highly recommend it. It's free and gives you unlimited hours of use!

Step 2: After installing the app, you'll see a screen similar to the one below. Since I knew I wanted to use my VPN primarily for streaming, it's what I chose.

Step 3: Once that's out of the way, just press to install your profile (no personal information is asked) and allow the app to add VPN configurations.

Step 4: Once that's done, the screen below is what you will now see every time you open up the app! I like to activate my connection only when I'm using Spotify, otherwise I turn it off because I have noticed that it eats up my battery so I recommend you do this too! :)

Step 5: Welcome to a world with no boundaries! Aside from Spotify, I've also been using Betternet with an app called go90! Currently, my favorite things to watch there are Betch and T@gged!

As long as that little VPN icon (displayed at the top of your phone's screen) appears, you're connected and good to go!

Technology advancements right now both scare and fascinate me and leave me thinking if there is anything else the Internet cannot do?! I hope you're all having a nice start to your week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Learning to Say It Out Loud

For a great deal of my life, I struggled with saying things out loud. It's just the way I've always been and I guess, in a way, still am. I've been in multiple situations where I would like to state my opinion on something, but then I hold back. I feared that maybe if I said something, it could either be wrong, grammatically incorrect or that my voice wouldn't be loud enough and no one would hear, let alone understand, what I wanted to say.  I feel that's why I'm better at putting my thoughts through writing. When I'm writing, I feel I can organize my thoughts better and really get my point across. You could say that writing has always been my ultimate comfort zone.

This year, I've been trying to allow myself to speak out more. Key word - TRYING lol. It hasn't always been so easy, though! I went on a little holiday trip to the Philippines early this summer and while I was there, decided to try a Thai massage for the first time. I hated it. I honestly felt like my masseuse was trying to release the devil from my insides. Now I'm not so familiar with Thai massages but surely it wasn't supposed to feel that way...? I wanted it to end STAT but physically endured the torture because I was scared of hurting her feelings. I've had several experiences where I was so concerned with how the other person would react that I would rather just keep what I was thinking to myself, even if it meant enduring lots of pain! Yup, I was that scared!!

Moreover, I've also realized that I do this with blog ideas as well. If you've been a long time reader of this blog, you would notice that I constantly talk about wanting to put up different kinds of posts but I never get around to it! The ideas are constantly piling up inside my head but for some reason, I never let them out. It's something I really want to improve on and actually why I wanted to write this particular post. I wanted it to be more of an encouragement to myself (and maybe a little bit of a test to see if I can still remember how to write lol!). I'm slowly realizing how important it is to speak your mind and how there are so many ways to do it while still being cautious not to be offensive or rude. If you're anything like me, I encourage you to try this with me as well. Little steps are key! 

I know I've said this countless times before, but please, stick around because new blog posts are sure to come your way very soon!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

3 Things I Learned in 2015

It's slowly become one of my favorite traditions to write these kind of blog posts  at the end of every year! It's a nice way to allow me to look back on all the things that happened over the year and reflect over the lessons I picked up from my experiences and share them with you guys.

This year, I wanted to do something a little different and just focus on three major things I learned this year, as opposed to what I usually do (read THIS and THIS if you're confused!). I also wanted to work together with my sister on this! She's also making a similar post on her blog and you can read it HERE!

2015, if I were to sum up in one word, was a whirlwind. It was a whirlwind of so many things, to be honest. A lot of change I didn't anticipate took place, which actually brings me to the first thing I learned this year which is the only thing that's constant in life is change. If you were to ask me exactly one year ago where I would be today, it would've been a completely different answer as to where I am right now. I've come to notice that no matter how much effort I put into planning how certain events should take place, there's no guarantee that they'll always turn out that way. Usually, this would leave me feeling super frustrated and annoyed and it would affect not only my day, but the decisions I make, the way I treat the people around me and all because of something that's not in my control. Over the year, I like to believe that I became a lot better at dealing with this by understanding that it's okay for things not to go according to "plan" sometimes because sometimes, whether we see it or not, it usually happens for the better.

In 2015, I put in a lot of work towards my career. I'm still not in the position I want to be and this year, I really wanted to work hard to change that. It's still a work in progress but I'm quite happy and proud with the things I was able to achieve this year, career-wise. Trust me, it wasn't all that fun and many, many times, I wanted to just give up but I persevered with this thought constantly running through my mind - do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do.

Another thing I learned this year, albeit the hard way, is life isn't fair, but it's still good. This is also the first lesson Regina Brett teaches in her book 'God Never Blinks'. There were many - WOW, how many - times where I just wanted to kick life in the butt for being very unfair. I hate how some people can get away with doing such horrific things, and yet so many innocent lives suffer as a consequence. It's unfair how someone can put in so much work into something and yet, the person gets apprehended for it. I just don't get it. Life still doesn't make sense to me, it will never be fair but I've also come to slowly learn that it doesn't mean it's not good. At the end of the day, Io like to think that these are the cards that we were dealt, and it's up to us on how to play the hand. There will be cheaters, there will be losers and there will be winners but the cards are, after all, still in our hands.

However your year was, I hope you come out of it a better person! If you'd like to share any of your experiences this past year, they're always welcome in the comments section below. As always, I like to start off the year keeping my chin up and always, always, always looking forward to all the good things to come, because they will. 

Bring it on, 2016!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life Is Too Short To Wear Boring Pajamas!

Fact: I lounge around in PJ's way more than I should and if only my work didn't have a dress code/required uniforms, I probably would even wear them there! Comfort > fashion ALWAYS!! Haha!

This past weekend, I went shopping with my sister and I noticed that Oysho launched their new winter collection in stores and I honestly flipped out! Everything they had was so soft and fuzzy, I think I looked like a literal psychopatch as I grabbed every item and cuddled it shamelessly. Eventually, I walked out the store with nothing because as ridiculously cute as everything was, I wasn't about to drop an insane amount of money on a PJ set that I'd probably just be caught crying in while watching a sappy, romantic movie. Nope, ain't gonna happen!

But I went home and of course, images of that stupid soft, fuzzy owl pajama set literally would not leave me!! Like, I would be wanting to pick out something to wear to sleep and I would be thinking that nothing I have would ever be as cute so I came to a realization that you know what? Life is too short to wear boring pajamas!!! So, I took the liberty of going back to Oysho - but online this time - to share with you some cute PJ sets that you need in your life right now! Go ahead, treat yourself, you deserve it! (I will admit right now that I'm writing this whole post to convince myself that I, in fact, do need these PJs in my life!)

Hedgehog top: 8.50 KWD bottoms: 9.50 KWD
Grey Seal top: 8.50 KWD bottoms: 9.50 KWD
Koala top: 8.50 KWD bottoms: 9.50 KWD
Raccoon top: 12.50 KWD bottoms: 9.50 KWD
Owl top: 15.50 KWD bottoms: 12.50 KWD
Mr. Wonderful Watch top: 10.50 KWD bottoms: 9.50 KWD
Mr. Wonderful Unicorn top: 12.50 KWD bottoms: 10.50 KWD *This one is currently at the top of my wish list!!!*
Bunny dressing gown: 17.50 KWD
Unicorn dressing gown: 17.50 KWD
Constellation dressing gown : 17.50 KWD
Raccoon dressing gown: 17.50 KWD
Now that's only a few of the things they have, if you want to check out the whole collection you can go here or visit one of their stores if you have one in your area! I think Kuwait only has four branches so far - Avenues, Marina Mall, Gate Mall and Kout Mall.

Disclaimer: Although it might seem like it, Oysho is not paying me to write this post! I don't think they even know of my existence lol but I'm purely writing this because I'm in love with everything they have right now!! When my paycheck rolls in, best believe I'll be splurging on something from here! ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My One Direction OTRA Tour 2015 Experience!

To be honest, I had this post drafted to go up over 6 months ago but I never got around to finishing it! Yesterday was the boys' last show of the tour and I remembered that I never put this blog post up so here you go! Better late than never, yeah? :P

*** Warning: strong, emotional fangirling may occur as I re-live this experience so reader discretion is advised! ***

I'm going to first start off by giving you guys a brief summary of the series of events that led up to this moment so you can get a feel of the anticipation and excitement I was feeling!

Dec 2013 - My friend and I decided to each make a small wishlist for the new year ahead and naturally, "see One Direction perform live" was on the top of my 2014 wishlist.

May 2014 - Someone must have heard my one too many 11:11 wishes because a few months later, One Direction announced that they would be playing in Manila the following year (March 2015).  I currently live in Kuwait, if you're wondering, but I already consider Philippines as my second home so it's easier for me to travel there as opposed to other places. I clearly remember this moment because I was legit freaking out at the idea of possibly getting to see them and maybe, almost may have peed my pants a little bit!

July 2014 - It was announced that tickets would be going on sale in July and they couldn't be purchased online; they would have to be purchased from certain outlets located in the Philippines so I had to ask for giant favors from my amazing friend over there! (Giant shout out to you Paolo if you're reading this! You're the best!) I really wanted to try and get VIP tickets but they were ridiculously priced and already sold out by the time we checked. After long, chaotic phone calls, our concert and plane tickets were finally purchased and the countdown began! Over the course of the next few months, serious concert prep was in order including glow stick shopping; I even downloaded a countdown app to keep track - the dedication was full blown.

March 19, 2015 - I remember just arriving at the airport to get on my flight when I saw the announcement on Facebook about Zayn not continuing on with the tour. I had about a year's worth of excitement built up for the show and to read that was just disappointing. Life sucks sometimes but you gotta carry on, you know?

March 21, 2015 - We (my sister and I) had tickets for the second day of the show but since the venue was quite close to where we were staying, we decided to go and see how things were like for the first day. Since we had no tickets for this day, we just listened to the show from outside. We didn't think there would be so many people outside but wow, it was packed. There were girls (and guys) screaming and crying everywhere when we heard the boys go on! I filmed a clip but I accidentally deleted it! :( The venue was outdoors so we had pretty good visuals...of the laser lights lol. There were a ton of trees purposely grown to block out the view - how rude! But still, I was so happy we went because it got us pumped up for the show! I stayed for a few songs and it started to rain so we just grabbed some shawarma (shout out to Khaleb Shawarma for the laughs and the food) and went home. 

And finally, March 22, 2015 - SHOW DAY!

It was my first time getting a ticket with reserved seating so I was happy to know we didn't need to wait in line for hours which meant one thing - I got to sleep in all morning! \o/ We got to the Mall of Asia (the venue) at around 3pm and had lunch there to kill time. By then, my anxiety levels were flying through the roof! You know that feeling where you want that thing you've been waiting for to happen but at the same time you don't want it to happen because you don't want it to be over?? Yeah, I was feeling that.

My sister and I decided to head over to the concert grounds when the gates started to open which was about 6pm! Sadly, they had some stupid rule that didn't allow cameras with detachable lenses in the venue, so I had to leave my camera outside, BUT so thankful that they allowed my sister's camera in - so thank you, Sheila for all these beautiful pictures (aside from the super grainy ones which were taken with my phone lol)!

The weather had been bad all weekend but since we always like to think positive, we hoped for clear weather and naturally, got the exact opposite haha! The rain just kept going for over two hours! Meanwhile, Sheila and I were huddling under the only type of shelter we could find -  a Penshoppe catalogue that was literally the size of a magazine. One of my prime times, ladies and gentlemen.

The opening act was DJ KC and he did a pretty good job in distracting the people from the pouring rain! His set was pretty decent but I stayed in line for the porta potty for the most of it haha! Side note: the porta potties they had at the venue were air conditioned! Now I don't know if that's a normal thing now but wow, I was blown away (literally and metaphorically!).

-When the waiter comes out with your food-

The rain started to slow down a little and that's when the boys came on! They opened up with a video montage similar to the one they had at the WWA tour, only with some minor changes. But let's be real, I wasn't even paying attention to that because I was waiting to see them run out. My heart started racing and I can only describe what felt like riding a roller-coaster and anticipating the drop; only the drop never comes and you're just waiting for it.

The first song they performed was Clouds and it was a great warm up for the rest of the show. I don't know what kind of person you are at concerts, but I'm the one that basically just screams all the lyrics - start to end. This was the full set list for the night!

1. Clouds
2. Steal My Girl
3. Little Black Dress
4. Where Do Broken Hearts Go
5. Midnight Memories
6. Kiss You
7. Stockholm Syndrome
8. Ready To Run
9. Strong
10. Better Than Words
11. Don't Forget Where You Belong
12. Night Changes
13. Little Things
14. Alive
15. Diana
16. One Thing
17. What Makes You Beautiful
18. Through The Dark
19. Girl Almighty
20. Story of my Life
21. You and I
22.Little White Lies
23. Best Song Ever

-Harry 'Bender' Styles-

-Let's pretend Niall's staring at me in this picture-
I loved the fact that they chose to add Stockholm Syndrome to the set list as it's one of my favorites off of 'Four'! The ones I particularly enjoyed dancing to was Kiss You, Diana and One Thing! Night Changes was also beautifully performed! The backdrop was a giant setting moon and lamp posts along the sidewalk and gave off 'A Walk to Remember' vibes! Don't Forget Where You Belong was one of the songs I was looking forward to hearing live because Liam just kills it there with his harmonies. And of course, Better Than Words was another one because, well, Niall's hip thrusts lol. I only wish they would've performed more of their newer songs!

My favorite thing about the boys are their different personalities and how they always shine through, even during their shows. They're casual and make you feel like they're still normal people, just with an abnormal job. (Plus points if you know who originally said that! ;)) 

-Harry Styles - the human birthday chair-

Overall, it was still an amazing concert, despite Zayn's departure. The boys carried the show fantastically and they were always interacting with the audience so it was nice! Cheeseburgers were thrown on stage, the kissing Niam selfie happened, fan signs were read and I could swear that Liam waved at me at some point, but then again given my state of consciousness, I wouldn't believe anything I said to be true at the time lol.

Concerts are something I'd happily splurge on again and again because they make for the best memories. I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity to see some of my favorite musicians perform live! If there's someone you look up to in music, I would highly recommend saving up and watching them live because it's a whole different experience, let me tell ya! :)

-Cute Niam moment-

-Ridiculously beautiful fireworks display after the show-
Let me know in the comments below who you would want to see live; or if you've also been to a concert recently, let me know how it went! I love interacting with other people in the comments so always feel free to leave one! :)