• Random

    A Day in Graham, NC: Triple Celebration

    Last week, Thea invited my sister and her family to a special occasion—the birthday celebration of her two children and the housewarming of their new home in Graham. Mom and I tagged along. We were the first to arrive at the party. While waiting for the other guests, Thalia and Uriah immediately started playing tag. It was so much fun to watch them! They seemed to be enjoying themselves so much, running around with pure joy. We were also pleasantly surprised to see that they had rented inflatables, ensuring that the kids (and the kids at heart) wouldn’t get bored!

    As more guests arrived, the party officially started. The food was laid out on the table, and we served ourselves. Thea and her family had cooked all the delicious dishes. There were so many tasty options, clearly prepared with a lot of love and effort. After eating, we all sang happy birthday to the celebrants. The kids were so happy, surrounded by friends and family, everyone cheerfully singing along.

    Their place in Graham is beautiful—quiet, far from the crowds, and with such a refreshing ambiance. It felt like a place you’d want to stay forever! As the celebration continued, we noticed other guests slowly leaving, but we stayed until the very end. That day was truly worth it. The house was filled with laughter, stories, and joyful memories. It wasn’t just a party; it was a celebration of life, friendship, and new beginnings. Thank you, Thea, for inviting us. Until next time!

  • Random

    Yearning for Amazon Finds

    Today, I found myself browsing Amazon, and my fingers were itching to click that checkout button. If only I had the money, I would’ve already checked out everything in my cart. There are a few things I’ve been eyeing—like iPhone cases. Specifically, I want a transparent one, and a classy black one.

    Aside from phone cases, I’m also itching to get myself a Stalogy notebook. There’s something about starting fresh with a crisp, new notebook/journal that gets me excited about journaling my days. And of course, I can’t forget about pens! A good set of pens makes planning and note-taking so much more enjoyable.

    However, the reality is that I am currently without work. I’m hopeful that things will turn around soon. But for now, my shopping spree remains a daydream. I’ll have to hold off until my wallet agrees with my wishlist. Until then, I’ll keep adding items to my cart and imagining the day when I can finally hit that “Place Your Order” button without a second thought.

    Maybe soon I’ll find a way to treat myself to a few of these goodies. For now, I’ll just enjoy the anticipation and keep my fingers crossed for some extra cash to come my way. I’ll stay patient and keep my spirits high. I know that better days are ahead. Until then, I’ll enjoy the thrill of window shopping and planning for brighter times ahead.

  • Life Lately

    A Day Out: Errands and Pullen Park, Raleigh, NC

    Yesterday turned into a surprisingly delightful day, starting with a simple errand and ending with memorable adventures. My brother-in-law needed to get his guitar serviced, so we headed to Guitar Center. While he went inside to take care of his guitar, we waited in the car, planning the rest of our day. Our stomachs led us to our next destination: the Oriental Store in Raleigh.

    Walking into the Oriental store felt like stepping back into the Philippines. The aisles were packed with familiar Filipino goods, bringing a wave of nostalgia. From snacks to condiments, it was like a mini homecoming. Although the prices were significantly higher than what we were used to back home, the craving for those familiar flavors made it worth it. We decided to have lunch there and ordered some of our favorite dishes: longganisa, Bicol Express, laing, and BBQ. The food was fantastic! The portions were generous, and every bite was a comforting taste of home. The longganisa was perfectly spiced, the Bicol Express had just the right amount of heat, the laing was creamy and delicious, and the BBQ was tender and flavorful. It was honestly one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time.

    Despite not feeling our best, we didn’t want to waste the day, so we decided to make the most of it and headed to Pullen Park. Even though it was extremely hot, we pushed through with the idea of having fun at the park. The place was bustling with people, all soaking under the sun and playing with their families.

    My nephew was over the moon with excitement. He got to ride the paddle boat, the train, and the carousel. We also joined him on the train ride, which was a lot of fun and gave us a great view of the park. The sun was blazing, but it didn’t deter anyone from enjoying the day. Everywhere we looked, families were having picnics, kids were running around, and the atmosphere was filled with laughter and joy.

    His laughter and joy were infectious, lifting our spirits and making us forget we weren’t feeling well. Watching him have so much fun was the highlight of our day. We ended up enjoying every moment, from the rides to just being outdoors together. The day was a perfect blend of cherished memories and simple joys, proving that sometimes, a bit of home and family fun can turn an ordinary day into something extraordinary.

  • Life Lately

    A Tuesday in Cary, NC

    Yesterday was one of those wonderful, unplanned days that end up being unforgettable. We decided to take a spontaneous trip to Downtown Cary Park, just a 20-minute drive from home. Honestly, I didn’t know exactly where we were heading, only that it was somewhere in Cary. As we drove into downtown, I couldn’t help but notice how much it reminded me of Wilmington with its charming streets and friendly atmosphere.

    We found a spot in the public parking area and headed straight to the park. It was absolutely beautiful – the kind of place that immediately puts you at ease. After a bit of exploring, we started to feel hungry. We stumbled upon a little stand and treated ourselves to some rose ice cream and coffee. The flavors were as delightful as they sound, and they gave us the perfect boost to continue our adventure.

    As we walked around the park, we discovered a lovely botanical garden. It was the perfect spot to rest for a while. My brother-in-law took a nap on a bench while my nephew and I roamed around, marveling at the beautiful plants and flowers.

    Around 5 PM, I asked my nephew if he wanted to check out the playground. He enthusiastically agreed, so we left his parents and my mom in the botanical garden and made our way to the playground. We had an absolute blast climbing, hurdling, and even taking turns on the slide. It felt great to let loose and have fun together.

    After a while, we heard my nephew’s dad calling his name – it was time to go. We reluctantly left the playground and regrouped with the family. Our day wasn’t over yet, though. We headed to a nearby Korean restaurant for dinner. The samgyupsal and hotpot were delicious and the perfect way to end our spontaneous outing.

    All in all, it was a fantastic day filled with laughter, relaxation, and quality family time. Sometimes, the best days are the ones you don’t plan at all.

  • Travels

    Day 4 of 4 States in 4-Days: Virginia

    Day 4 of our adventure began with a little extra snooze time—I must’ve needed it! I woke up feeling refreshed from a great night’s sleep. Breakfast was our usual eggs, but this time with a bonus—bacon! I was craving sausage, but no luck there.

    It was bittersweet knowing that today marked the end of our journey, a mix of contentment from the experiences we’d had and a touch of sadness that it was all coming to a close.

    Newport News, VA

    We started our day by exploring Victory Landing Park, we found ourselves momentarily lost before finding our path. Eventually, we found a spot to park, soaked in the sun and cool breeze and enjoyed the tranquil beauty around us. We stayed for about an hour, simply soaking in the beauty of the place. The distant calls of seabirds, and the peaceful atmosphere made it easy to lose track of time.

    Virginia Beach, VA

    Next up was Virginia Beach. The sun blazed down. We strolled along the boardwalk, taking in the sights. I wish we’d booked a room at one of the beachside inn we passed, so we could’ve taken a dip before heading out.

    We ended up at Ocean Eddies Seafood Restaurant for snacks, enjoying delicious calamares and a refreshing sundae. The calamares were perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and tender inside, while the sundae was a delightful treat, a perfect way to cool down on such a hot day.

    As the day unfolded, I made time to pick up some souvenirs. Though I found a few lovely items, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have ventured a bit further off to find something truly unique and special.

    Our adventure concluded with a grand buffet feast at Yukai Japanese & Seafood Buffet, where I indulged in sushi, salmon, oysters, shrimp, and more. As we savored each bite, I couldn’t help but reflect on the memories made and the bonds forged throughout our journey—a perfect ending to an unforgettable adventure, a day filled with joy, laughter, and a deep appreciation for the beauty and richness of our experiences.