travel essentials

We are going on a trip yay!

It’s been 3 years since our last vacation and looking forward for a whole new perspective, visit places, meet people, discover their culture and the best part is to taste their food (Spanish tapas – yum!)

Here’s an accustomed checklist of mine improved through time & designed for long trips with young family members, kids and also elderly having special needs. 

  • passport (VISA if applicable) – first on the list, obviously you can’t travel without it 😉

  • itinerary – unless you want to be carefree with your trip, be adventurous and just visit the places you’d like to see in your own time.

  • airplane tickets – internet made everything so easy and convenient. From buying to check in. Hooray for internet! 

  • book your room – for me this is very important, it’s your home away from home. There are several sites that will help you choose the best hotel that suits you. Below are direct links for legit and safe – hotel booking sites ↓ you’re welcome 🙂

Booking.com

Hotels.com

Trivago.com

Agoda.com

Expedia.com

BookingBuddy.com

  • medicines – the basic over-the-counter medicines, in no particular order; pain reliever, anti-diarrhea, for motion sickness, for dyspepsia, maintenance medicines for our elder companions (anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol, etc), anti-histamine for allergies and first aid kit.

  • neck pillows – because sleep or even quick nap is a must!

  • shawl/cap – to keep you warm & cap for sun protection

  • clothing and other accessories – if fashion is your statement 

  • vitamins and supplements – to support our immune system as we are exposed to a different environment when we travel

  • camera and extra memory cards – to store priceless selfies and memories

  • phone chargers, cable and adaptor – across the world, there are varying power outlets that may be different from your plug

  • powerbank – as we take a lot of selfies, our phone’s/camera’s batteries drain faster than usual

  • a good book 

  • traveler’s notebook and pen

  • toiletries

And the rest is all up to you 😉

 travel essntials

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Baked cheesy salmon (super easy)

Pardon the photo, my family couldn’t wait to eat before I could snap some Instagram worthy photos. I’m sharing with you the recipe for this super easy and no fuss – baked cheesy salmon. 

ingredients

  • 2 lbs salmon fillet, boneless, with or without skin
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • lemon juice
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded (I used monterey jack, cheddar and parmesan cheese)
  • parsely, finely chopped (optional)

 

procedure

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a layer of cooking spray on a square baking dish will do
  • place the fillet with skin side down (if any) on the baking tray/dish, squeeze some lemon juice, rub garlic, sprinkle and rub salt and pepper then top with cheese
  • bake uncovered for 15 minutes
  • garnish with parsely if desired
  • serve warm and enjoy!

 

try this recipe today, it took me only 20 minutes to cook and about 5 minutes for my family to finish it 🙂

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much love,

mitch ❤

A letter to my daughter on her birthday

Dearest Baby girl,

Today is a very special day not just for you but also for me. On this day, I was blessed with a very beautiful baby. You may sometimes tease me when I get sappy, but what I’m feeling as your mom is best expressed with tears in my eyes for it is the finest feeling in the world. I’m so proud of you, maybe you already know that. And I want to be with you and see you in every milestone, every step, every dream you want to achieve. I will be here no matter what, I will be here as your confidant, as your art-buddy, as your adviser, as your mentor or math tutor, most especially I will be here as your mom – always and forever… I will give you all the love in the world, all the love I can give simply because you deserve it. You are such a wonderful being, a little timid, sensitive, compassionate, smart and an artist by heart. I would do everything I could so you can have a better life, better that what I had. The material is of least importance as we pass unto you the values and tradition we have received from our parents. These will guide you as go through life particularly on tough times. Always remember that God gives favor to those who love Him, believe and ask with your heart, God can hear you… just like when God heard me and gave me you…

happy birthday.

I love you,

forever, mom.

anyway

 

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat on you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

  • Mother Teresa

In our lifetime, we all experience pain, sufferings and sorrow. It used to give me a bitter outlook of the world that’s filled with heartaches. Both my partner and I encountered perfidious relationships from the past so when we met it was quite challenging. It was more hurtful for him because it involved his family. You will not know the exact meaning of pain until you’re cheated by someone you loved. And I believe it is the greatest tragedy of mankind.

People doubt, deceive, forget and are unkind…

There will always be a few, who would disagree and dislike. I don’t need to recount the myriad times I was judged and criticized, maybe all these are part of my “purification” I guess.

Having gone through a lot, lest we didn’t know God was there. He is always there… Until present day that I realized, all I need to do, all these time, I just need to talk to Him. to surrender,

“Lord… I do not trust my weakness, I can’t bear this pain, I can’t do this alone, I need You and I trust You… Your love for me is greater than anything else so I lift all these up to You…”

and it is only Him, who can judge, who can deliver, and can help us.

I’m glad I didn’t end up being bitter after all, there’s always a hint of hope inside of me. Perhaps, that is God’s grace over me…

When I lost my only brother this year, it was an awakening and it hurt so much because of a few regrets, I felt I could have done something before he died. The guilt being the eldest  and most able, forgiveness was not easy. As I thought I will not be able to recover, but I did. One of the countless blessings God has given me… I was healed, forgiven, heard and loved…

anyway.

 

gone too soon…

While the rest of the world celebrates, I remain quietly observing, feeling all emotions, trying to rise above the bitterness and sadness of our lost. The way i see life will never be the same again…

The sudden passing of my only brother – Vannie, changed the way I see life. It is much shorter than I thought, it gives us blows that sometimes knock us out to the ground. His death was so heartbreaking. He was so young, full of life, a music lover and a good singer. As his big sister I felt that I should have spent more time with him, but having my own family changed my focus and then it’s too late… I realized that in this finite life, we have our family, my daughter who I now embrace much tighter & longer. I began playing with her again, spending time with my family as much as I can. The need to see or talk to them is now more profound. In this finite life we tend to waste the chances of sharing a life with and for others. That’s why God created Eve for Adam, sharing is the key and loving is the way of life.

 

life goals

I attended a funeral mass recently of our dear tita Ester, reminding me once again how vague and short life is. It was solemn and poignant.There were about 12 priests who celebrated the mass including Bishop Palma. And so family members, one by one said their eulogies, and as expected tears were flowing incessantly especially from an emotional one like me. I was inspired by her stories, she lived a life of servitude. Somehow, I saw myself at her, being a devotee of Mama Mary and rosary crusader. I thought, in this lifetime I should be doing everything I can to please God because we are given only one opportunity to use all that He has gifted us.

This is something to keep in mind…

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, there is neither working nor planning, nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Father’s Day

Father’s Day used to hold some rancor as I wasn’t blessed to have one I can praise and greet on this special day. It was impertinent and seemed like an ordinary day in our lives. But now seeing my daughter loved by her dad so dearly is a dream come true for me. It patched up the missing pieces of my childhood’s yearnings.
I’m blessed to have the best dad for my angel and to have God the Father who is above all is the source of these blessings and love.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads!

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– mitch