Hey, I'm Hazel!
I'm a first time mama to a very active insanely smart toddler. I'm a self taught graphic and design artist. I live, breathe and manifest Disney life. A former Walt Disney World Cast Member who somehow ended up in Texas and is constantly dreaming of warm weather and people who actually know how to drive in the rain.
I'm a bookworm who once had a successful book blog and loves to review and word vomit all things books. A lover of words and a bit of a shutterbug. A lifelong gamer as well as a complete and total foodie. My brain is 60% thoughts of food, 20% my anxiety, 10% content ideas and 10% everything else.
I was diagnosed with mild anxiety, OCD and depression in 2006; I was in therapy for 8 years with a fantastic therapist. In 2014 I had a massive mental breakdown which resulted in me giving in and taking meds. A divorce followed right after that. I ended up back on meds in 2019 cause apparently every mother in law I've had has a problem with me, this one however wants the whole world to know. Zoloft controls my anger for me.
Oh I'm also madd sarcastic. Dry dark humor is my jam. And yes on bad days I go back to 90's rap of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Eminem when I'm really struggling.
Grab a fizzy drink, a snack and an anti anxiety cure of your choice and stay awhile!
Do you remember who you were before someone tried to tell you who you are?
No one knows us better than we know ourselves, despite what anyone thinks or wants to believe. They don’t live in your head or soul, they can’t hear your inner thoughts, they only know what they see on the outside.
So why do we let other people dictate who we are. What we do. What we’re capable of? It’s easy to listen to someone on the outside, and I’m still trying to figure out why and how that is. It’s frustrating af. But apparently knowing this doesn’t make it easier to stop letting it happen. Not everyone has the best intentions for you — no matter who they are in your life. Some people just don’t want to see other people, esp those close to them win or do better than they are.
This has been heavy on my mind this last week. I’m diving into a project I’ve been thinking of for literally over 12 years but just never had the courage to actually do. It’s amazing what having the right people around you can convince you that you can do anything. I realize every time I feel myself holding back and wondering why. What am I so scared of? It’s not like any of this is new or harder than anything else I’ve done. It’s just, different.
I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone this year. I feel like I’ve been stagnant the whole time I’ve been in TX and it’s making my soul itch. I really want to talk about what I’ve been working on but it’s also been why posts have slowed down around here as well. I’ll link my instagram for it soon!
It’s been raining here all week. Yesterday it got up to 80* and my Floridan self regret not wearing shorts. The heat here is like CA. It just HITS you. It’s not humidity which feels like a warm hug from inside a marshmallow.
How are we 6 months into 2021 already? How the heck is time just flying so dang fast?? Kinda sus if you ask me. So here I am again, in June. The literal worst freakin month of the year for me. It’s the anniversary of a once was very special date, the anniversary of my Lolo’s (grandpa) death, the anniversary of my first pregnancy that ended pretty tragically and the anniversary of my divorce. Awesome, right? But it’s also the anniversary of Penny and Axelyn’s first date. Man I miss those (literal) cat’s. But not enough to spend $22/month to see her face. At least, not right now (she also lost her beach house sooo, I’m a little afraid to see her right now).
I spent a lot of June spacing out. Staying in bed and like… binge watching shows. Which I would LOVE to continue my annual pity party tradition but it’s a bit hard with a overly bubbly toddler pulling you around. All day. So, instead, I decided to literally pack my calendar with millions of things to do. Including getting my first massage. I went in for an adjustment last weekend after WEEKS of not getting one; and she said most of what was tense was from muscle tension. Say less; I’ve been telling myself to start doing spa days back in Jan anyway.
Here are a few things I hope to get done in June;
| Work on designing shirts & launching Etsy store This is one I’m really really hoping I get done this month. I’m telling myself to come up with 2 designs for each fandom to launch with. It’s mostly finding the right combo of elements that’s really setting me back. I might be overthinking this. But I mean, overthinking something isn’t always a bad thing!
| Work on wax melts This is another I hope to get to; I’ve been wanting to work with making wax melts since 2015 and just never had the GO to do it. I got a candle kit for review and I figured that was a sign from the universe to get on it.
| Work on selling and unhauling books I have a ton of books from Owlcrate that I didn’t really care for when they came out or I didn’t even unwrap out of the plastic. From like, 2 years ago. If I haven’t read them yet, I probably won’t. So. They’re gonna go. I typically sell the ones I can at Half Priced Books and the ones I can’t or that get a low return I donate them.
| Refresh kitchen pantry & snack box This is one B gets on me about literally all the time and I’m tired of hearing it lol. I’m a sucker for all snacks new and seasonal. And I need to start putting those snacks up on review on my food blog that really really needs to be built up already. SoPleaseReadMyFoodBlog. I’m doing better with clearing out the panty but I haven’t touched the snack box in the office yet. And I need to, because I think some of the stuff in the way bottom are expired.
| Work on typography I’ve been working on this for the last week. I’ve always been in love with typography, quotes and fonts. So I decided to make some of my own. But for some reason now that I’m putting this in front of me, I can’t come up with any good quotes. Most of my “good” quotes came from word vomit blog posts in the past which brings me to…
| Keep up with journaling I’m obsessed with the Noteshelf app on my Galaxy Tab. I literally write everything in there and it has so many pages to keep you SUPER organized. What I like the most is that the planner I have has a page under the daily stuff where you can write down notes and stuff. I use it to journal my day. And it’s become a habit that I’ve really been enjoying. I get to reunite with working on my hand writing and actually writing.
| Play 2 new games Since getting my Galaxy Tab I’ve been downloading a bunch of really cute games and since I don’t have to worry about it deciding to not charge like my iPad sometimes does (more on that later) I feel a bit more comfortable playing games on it more. There are a few iOS games that I do want to play on my iPad and try out, so I’m hoping I can try a few more of these games I’ve downloaded this month. Also a few demo’s on the Nintendo Switch and start Stories of Seasons!
Normally I’d have “read x amount of books” but reading has taken a bit of a back seat lately and that’s fine. I don’t typically like reading unless I know I’ll have uninterrupted time to do so. I’m currently reading Jessica Simpson’s new e/audiobook and I’m still working on Dante Basco’s Rufio to Zuko. They’re both fairly short reads and I’m still struggling to get them read. Let’s not even begin on my NetGalley TBR, I’ve stopped logging on so I can finish the books I already have.
What are some things you hope to get to this month?
Into The Unknown from Frozen II has been living rent free in my head all week. Unpopular opinion: Frozen II was way better and WAY more empowering than Frozen I. I think I’m one of the few who don’t care too dive too much into Elsa and Anna’s past/parents. I’d much rather know who the fuck raised Hans. But there was something magical about this addition to the franchise, and I surprise myself by saying that since I worked at Disney when Frozen came out and when I say you could not escape Let it Go on stage I mean it. Living in Orlando didn’t help either because it played everywhere. Even at Target and Publix. Like pls Elsa, can I just grocery shop without you following me?!?
But a part of me feels like this song is speaking to my soul.
Every time I’ve moved away from Florida, I’ve hated it. I feel my soul start to ache and dull. I’m not inspired. I’m not cheerful. I don’t know how to explain it, but spiritually, I just don’t feel good. I will forever long to be back in Florida; it’s a place I made into a home, for myself. And I suppose people who’ve never done that for themselves couldn’t relate to what that means. But that doesn’t excuse them from preventing others from doing what their soul tells them. I mention this topic a lot, because to me, it’s important. YOU have ONE life. A life that is YOURS and NO ONE ELSES.
I know that’s MUCH easier said than done, but I’ve always went in the direction that I felt the most pull towards. I told myself as a kid I wouldn’t live life with regrets — I grew up with my dad swearing he was dying for at least 25 years before he was actually diagnosed with cancer. I never understood how someone just flat out refused to live freely and constantly decided to live in fear. I told myself I wouldn’t waste my life away in a small town in California. So I didn’t. Yet somehow I’m finding myself stuck in a small town in Texas that’s far worse than American Canyon could ever be. Stuck, and alone. With no friends and no family. Would I trade it for CA? I want to say no, but I do miss the food and my friends and family. I haven’t been home in 10 years. I’ve been too busy living life, but ever since my dad did pass I’ve also felt a pull to go home. To say my goodbye’s. Even if I think he won’t hear me.
Small towns kill dreamers.
That’s for sure. And constantly having this song on repeat has reminded me I’m not some small town girl. I’m not someone who doesn’t dream. I dream BIG and OFTEN and that’s who I have always and who I will always be. Just because now I’m a mom as well means nothing. That shouldn’t stop me from being who I AM. To do anything else just sounds fuckin ridiculous. We should be raising stronger, smarter and much more driven women in the world. And I refuse to ever contain my daughter or her dreams.
This week I want to manifest;
A reminder of who I am. A reminder of what I am. And a reminder of what I’m fully capable of.
Lately a lot of my time has been spent learning how to make my own typography (I am OBSESSED with IG’s of Typography and art) and learning how to digitally watercolor. I don’t know how to draw and tbh I’ve always been afraid to learn. I come from a line of super successful artists from the Philippines so you know, the pressure. I didn’t get the art gene, my brother did. I got the talent of writing instead. But since I needed a new way to express myself I told myself in 2021 we were gonna learn how to draw… or something close to it.
And with the recently loss of my dear cat Sophie (I haven’t written about this yet because I just… ugh) I really wanted to learn how to draw a cat and make a series of illustrations of her. Mari had the super cute idea of making her a kitchen ghost cat and I just LOVE that idea. I’m sure Sophie would too. Considering how much she loved the kitchen and food. Also check out her blog, she’s literally the sweetest person ever. I absolutely appreciate you checking on me all the time!
I’m reminding myself to be kind to myself. Like every other new hobby you decide to learn, it’s going to take a lot of time to learn what you’re doing. In absolutely no way did I learn Photoshop, how to use makeup or how to curl my hair in one day. Or even one year. I took me at least 5 years to learn how to curl my hair right! Photoshop was a thing that I invested years into. I remember the first time I was able to open Photoshop 7 up, I opened a new document and just stared at it. My ex husband (who was my bf at the time) was like “…what are you doing?” and I remember just staring at the screen like “where the fuck do I even begin?” I was so obsessed with learning Photoshop and had so much fun doing it. I couldn’t (and still can’t) do everything but over the years I learned new techniques and I’m still learning! But I am a completely self taught graphic designer and this was before YouTube was even around. So. I really wonder how I pulled that off.
I’m not going to learn how to illustrate or draw or paint likely by the end of this year. That’s just not realistic. But I will be farther than I was when the year started and honestly, that’s all that really matters.
In the mean time, I need to remember that.
And I need to remember to be gentle with myself as I learn.
Nothing great happens overnight. And that’s totally okay.
What’s something you want to remind yourself or manifest this week? I’d love to know!
I’ve learned that people don’t really like or want to respect other peoples boundaries. For some reason the people who set boundaries are often called unreasonable or experience verbal abuse for having them. I don’t really understand why or why it bothers so many people the way it does. You are the creator and the maintainer of your own life. This life is no one but yours. So you should be the one to call all the shots, no matter what they are. But some of us don’t like conflict and so we let other people slide by treating us the way we don’t want to be treated just to “keep the peace”. Your boundaries tell people how to treat you. And that’s something that took me a long time to learn. And it wasn’t something I would let someone else push aside once I had Tums. And my boundaries were and sometimes still are pushed to the side. But if there’s one thing I don’t let slide anymore, it’s that if you push me, I push back. I refuse to settle for being pushed just to “keep the peace”. My boundaries insure my peace of mind, everything else is just in my way.
Ironically it wasn’t until my second set of in laws that seemed to have a problem with me and my way of life that I realized how much of my own boundaries I would bend for the sake of “looks” and “pleasing others”. And thinking back on it, omg, what was I thinking by allowing people to think certain things that were okay when they really really were not. The difference between my two sets of in laws is that at least the first set took the years and time to get to know me, and know how I work. So if I said no to something, even if they didn’t agree with it they didn’t question it either and just chalked it up to “that’s just how she is” and never tried to change or pressure me into anything else. It wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t want to show up to their house for whatever reason. And if I was having a fight with my sister in law then it was just between me and my sister in law; it wasn’t some big family lets-jump-this-person. Most of the time her parents stayed completely out of it if me and her were having problems. And it’s still like that today, if I’m mad at my sister, I’m mad at her. Not her mom, not her dad, not her brother. Her. And WE handle it. Without inviting the rest of the family to join in. Well that and her family would never spread rumors about me. So. Wait, her bother — my ex husband — has. But you know what, he went through a lot, so I’ll let him have that.
4 boundaries that count as self care;
| Saying No As a kid who grew up in a Filipino household I always questioned the whole “I’m the adult, you have to respect me” ideal. I remember asking my mom at 6/7 “isn’t respect suppose to be earned and mutual…?” and she didn’t have a response. But it was one of those “adult” things that kind of stayed with me my whole life, for sure.
Filipino’s are SO BIG on appearances and what people think of them. Everyone just wants to appear better than the next person. Why? I freakin have no idea considering most of them grew up in the same poverty stricken neighborhood. But hey, whatever makes them feel better about themselves. It definitely bothered my mom that I didn’t take my “appearance” seriously enough for her.
I said no to dresses a lot and yes to boy clothes, video games and jeans. Being bullied about my skinny legs my whole life can do that and dresses did not make me feel comfortable, at all. Not until I was in my 30’s. And living in hot ass Florida.
It should be obvious that it’s your body, your life, your peace of mind that you need to protect. But too often we’re caught up in what our boundaries might look like to other people instead of figuring out that we should only be around people who respect our boundaries. And yes, there is a huge difference between the two. And while I get it’s easier said than done, your tribe should really understand you as a person and that just because you say no, it doesn’t have anything to do with them personally.
| Setting aside “self care” time daily/weekly When Tums was still super little — like couldn’t walk yet little — I made it a point to always set time aside for myself. I didn’t want to be one of those new moms who never showered or did anything for herself. So I often took time to take bubble baths and set aside every Sunday for myself — which is something I’ve been doing since way before I even met my husband. Now that Tums can walk and talk and understand things a bit, it’s been a little harder to find time to take bubble baths. And because of COVID it’s been hard to set aside Sunday’s for myself.
So now I try to find other ways to set aside “self care” time. Be in watching a few episodes of a show I’m looking forward to before bed. Or finding time to do a page out of a digital coloring book or even just playing a few rounds of Freecell or something before going to sleep. I do miss taking the time to play Animal Crossing or FFXIV. And I even just bought Story of Seasons for the Switch and haven’t made it passed the intro yet. But I’m working on that.
Setting aside “me time” is so important and often super looked over. There’s a bit of guilt in it, esp if you’re a (new) mom. But finding/remembering who YOU are is also a super important thing to consider when these sort of times come around. Finding self care time helps to keep you balanced and can play a part in your self confidence as well as prevent burn out. As much as I love being around other people, if I don’t get enough self care time with myself, I start to get super irritable.
| Kicking out people in your life who don’t contribute to your well being This is def easier said than done and it’s probably one of the harder ones on this list.
I wish I could fully explain in words why this is so important. But I can’t. We as people like to be accepted, even if we know those we seek acceptance from aren’t even good for us. Or that the effort is worthless. But it doesn’t stop us from trying because we want to be liked, accepted and loved. And we feel like the people in front of us are as good as it gets. But that’s not true, at all. Making friends can be really hard, esp now during this whole COVID thing; but settling for people who don’t contribute to your well being is going to do nothing but hurt you more as time goes on.
I’ve had my share of friendemies and let met tell you — even now, almost 20 years later — sometimes I still get mad about the things I let certain people get away with. I was super insecure and shy as a kid and I hate that I let people take advantage of me or try to tell me who I was which looking back was just a projection of their own insecurities. Which is hard to see when it’s happening; but if you feel anyone isn’t contributing to your well being, it’s your right to kick them out and deny them access to your space.
| Having needs that are uncompromisable You learn a lot from having mental health struggles and especially with OCD. The fact that I need things at home to be a certain way is a lot, I get it. And for the longest time I felt like because of these things that no one could ever live with me or everyone would eventually leave. I’ve been around people who truly didn’t believe OCD was real and made me feel absolutely awful about my anxiety. So I decided to live alone because no one could make me feel bad if no one was here and it was great. The most stress free I had ever been.
Bubba might not get some of the things, but he does everything he can to make sure my mental health isn’t spiraling out of control. Most of the time. He gets I freak out about certain things. I was so worried about Tums having to “grow up with an OCD mom” but to be honest, she doesn’t mind having to clean. She knows certain things make me upset so she tries to help as much as she can understand. But neither of them make me feel like I’m hard to love or live with. My BFF is also really aware of the things that freak me out when it comes to my OCD and is absolutely considerate when it comes to it without question.
This kind of ties in with the last one; but find people who care if you’re comfortable. Find people who get it and won’t accuse you of “being/doing too much”. Having needs that aren’t up for debate or compromise are things you’re allowed to have.
But also be mindful of the things other people set as their boundaries as well; my BFF will make plans with me super in advanced and will cancel at least like 80% of those plans and that’s just who she is. Sometimes she just doesn’t want to physically be around people. Sometimes she goes off the grid. And that’s totally fine.
Finding your people who respect your boundaries is possible. Don’t just settle for the people around you because they’re there. Esp if they make you feel bad about yourself.
Still recovering from COVID so this week I’ll be doing nothing but focusing on self care. Still feeling pretty drained and fatigued. Hoping this isn’t a long lasting thing.
I’ve been binge watching Schitt’s Creek and I’m already on season 3; I’m loving it so far. Stevie, David and Ted are my absolute favorites. Bob annoys the living hell out of me, like how is that dude even a person. This has become my favorite night time routine.
I’ve gotten my sense of smell + taste back, thankfully. So I’m trying to zen out as much as I can this week with uplifting and aromatherapy scents.
Half way through May and I haven’t finished a book yet — I’m still working on the audio for Everless and still reading Dante Basco’s From Rufio to Zuko. I really want to get started on the Filipino history books on my TBR this month but I have a feeling those will take longer than I anticipated.
I also plan on taking some time to recenter myself and figure out a plan to a healthier lifestyle. While I try to eat healthy/better there are some things I stopped doing; like walking mostly and also meditation and yoga.
So those are some things I’m hoping to manifest and put into action this week. I’m glad most of the sickness is over, I just want to get back to being 100% better again. And stay there.
Wishing all of you a healthy and happy week ahead!
On Mother’s Day the hubs went to the ER and got tested for COVID which came back positive. They gave him some medicine and an inhaler. He also picked up some Vit C which I’ve been popping like a mf because 1) they’re yummy and 2) everyone and their mama has been telling me to pretty much OD on Vit C. Thankfully I had minor symptoms, and most of them became the worst at night. Bubba however probably had the worst of it. Between coughing, struggling to breathe and a fever. He literally spent about 2 weeks doing nothing but laying around watching KDrama and coughing his soul out bit by bit. I only had a low grade fever, body aches and a migraine for a day then for 3 days after I had this weird ass dizziness that felt like my soul was trying to ditch my body. And now on day 6 I’ve lost some of my sense of taste but other than that I feel 90% better. Granted I didn’t feel horrible by any means. I’m still pissed at the people who claim surviving COVID is 98% chance. Because sure, some people survive but at what cost. I can see how this virus can fuck with your organs and your lungs. I would much rather have a few days of side effects from a vaccine than weeks of not knowing how you’re gonna feel from one hour to the next.
Def could had went the rest of my life not catching COVID. Bubba said he might had got it from a co-worker so there was sort of no way around that.
This passed week Sophie had been acting weirder than usual. She was constantly crying day and night and she wouldn’t eat her medicated food. Her eyesight was in and out and it was just horrible to witness. She had a mass in one of her eyes growing last Oct, we were told that they weren’t going to remove it because of her age and her kidney failure, it might had done more damage than good. On Friday she was struggling to breathe and just laid there. It was pretty obvious she wasn’t going to make it much longer. I tried my best to stay with her as long as I could before I had to go to bed since I was still feeling sick — the whole fuckin thing just sucked.
By the time Bubba woke up the next morning she was gone. As long we knew this day would come, nothing really prepares you for death of any kind. I feel so numb. Sophie was a birthday gift from my mom the year of my divorce. She was 10. She had been at the adoption center for 3 years waiting for a home. Despite knowing she was an older cat I told myself I wanted to give her a life of love for however longer she had left. It’s been 6 years.
And in that 6 years we had an adventure of happiness, trauma and sadness. Through it all, she would sit with me when I did dishes, when I felt sick, when I was angry. She was the sweetest cat. She never once bit anyone. It didn’t matter how you pestered her, she would never ever bite anyone (except me but she’d lick where she bit after she did). She was patient with Tums and would follow her around. I don’t know if Tums notices she’s gone yet — but it does feel a little bit more empty and quiet without Sophie.
I can feel my mind blocking off certain thoughts; the reality of what losing Sophie means.
I’m suppose to be catching up on things today and for the first time in a long time I just… don’t feel like blogging. I know I’m suppose to give myself time to grieve. But I don’t even know if I want to let myself.
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ve seen the spew of tweets of how I’m feeling. Which seems to change daily, hourly. I have no freakin idea anymore. But I’m convinced you can’t live in TX without catching COVID somehow. Esp since they lifted the stupid mask mandate.
B tested positive for COVID on Mother’s Day, and out of the both of us, he has the worst symptoms. He thinks he got it from a coworker who had it before he started showing symptoms. I however have been popping Vit C, Tylenol and eating greens like my dang life depends on it. I just haven’t been drinking water. So Mother’s Day kind of didn’t exist for me this year. I did try to cheer myself up and go on a Bath & Body Works shopping spree. I have super minor symptoms and I’m extremely thankful for that. But the micro symptoms I do have are annoying. And like I said — it tends to change day to day. Thankfully the body aches and the god awful dizziness is gone. That shit felt like my soul was trying to leave my body. Luckily I didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell.
And yes I’m mad I somehow caught COVID, but when you live with others there’s only so much you’re in control of. I’m trying to learn that and let it go, but man, it’s annoying.
Here’s 4 Ways I’m Coping;
| I started binge watching a new show I’ve always wanted to watch Shidtt’s Creek. 3 episodes in and I’m already hooked. David MAKES that show. Foreal. The dad was also one of my favorite characters in my favorite movie Serendipity. Crocodile shoes? I miss having someone throw movie quotes at/with me.
| Journaling As in, writing. With a pen. Well kind of a pen. Digital planners/journals have been my thing in 2021. I wish my dang iPad would start charging but the iPad Air 4 clearly freakin hates me. So right now I’m using Noteshelf which I don’t hate. It’s just finding a drawing app on Android that is as easy to use as Procreate that’s a bit of a challenge.
| Mobile Games Pre COVID I was going on massive depression shopping sprees. Past me did manage to grab some bath salts thank goodness. But also a few new Switch games. Like Cooking Mama, Story of Seasons and a bunch of demos. I’ve also been playing a ton of Freecell and Solitaire on my tablet and my phone. I needed a puzzle game before my brain felt like it was going to deflate on me. So I went back to my roots and tbh I can spend all freakin day playing these two. I’m not sure why. My dad taught me how to play Freecell and I would watch my mom play Solitaire growing up (with actual physical cards btw).
| Not resting as much as I should I have a huge problem with resting. I’m Filipino. WHAT is rest? How can I rest when the laundry needs to be done? The kid needs someone to play with? The dishes need to be done? THIS GODDAMN FLOOR NEEDS TO BE MOPPED HOURLY. Know what I mean? I don’t like laying around doing nothing. I reminds me of my dad who would just lay down waiting to die over every little thing and I don’t know. I just don’t like the idea of it. So I push myself to get normal things done. Except yesterday. I freakin slept in until 5pm somehow. I don’t know. And I can’t decide if it helped or hurt me.
I’m trying to be better at it, seriously. But I can only handle so much of laying around. Unless I’m playing a game or doing something. I’m truly trying to manifest getting over this thing as quick as I can. The quicker I do, the quicker I can get the vaccine and never have to go through this again. Cause even the minor symptoms suck. 7 more days until I can get tested.
Having friends that have been checking on me daily have been helpful and lifting my spirits. Shout out to those who have been messaging, calling, texting, ya’ll make this a little easier to deal with.
Growing up Filipino American had its ups and downs; now that I’m older, it’s clear my parents sort of had no idea how to navigate life in America + raising kids + being American. I was scolded a lot for doing things that “we don’t do in our culture” like hugging my boyfriend for more than 2 seconds. Or standing in front of his house in conversation before leaving to go home. I don’t know, it was just… weird. And it was usually my dad who said these things but it was also my dad who loved my bf’s being around versus my mom really didn’t. It’s like the ones my dad liked the most, were the ones my mom didn’t like even more.
I was lucky enough that I was surrounded by my culture everywhere I turned. I was born in San Jose, CA and raised in Vallejo, CA. I was lucky that Asian culture was strong in both places and everywhere in between. I could get Filipino snacks/food from my mom making them or I could buy them pretty much anywhere. I was also really lucky that I grew up going to the Philippines. In fact a lot of my favorite Filipino snacks have some kind of Philippines memory attached to them.
I haven’t been back since my Lolo passed away; it’s been way too long. But it’s harder to get there as an adult and with everything going on. I def owe him a visit. And speaking of, I owe my dad a visit as well. It’s going to be so weird going home and knowing he’s not there anymore.
My culture is incredibly important to me. My roots are my everything and I don’t hide that. I’m a combination of the people I’ve loved and lost and the things I grew up learning as a Filipino American. I just hope I can pass these things to my own daughter as well as these snacks;
| Durian Candy I know this is like… controversial, even in the Filipino community. My BFF who was born in the Philippines is even like “wait, you eat Durian? Why?” lmao. But I grew up eating Durian Candy. Every time my dad would come back from the Philippines or any relatives they would bring us some. And every time I went to the Philippines as a kid I would STOCK UP on this stuff! Because for some reason you can’t find these anywhere in the US. Like at all. I’ve searched loads of Asian grocery stores and even freakin Seafood City doesn’t carry them?! But hey, WHITE RABBIT FOR EVERYONE I guess lol.
And it’s so crazy cause growing up I never knew it was a thing people didn’t like. I guess because my family in the Philippines didn’t really act like it was a big deal. So it wasn’t until, I don’t know, I started dating my ex husband who’s half Filipino when I found out most people don’t like it. Probably one of the handful of things me and my ex father in law had in common — we both liked Durian. And the rest of the family didn’t lol.
| Otap Okay, seriously, how can anyone hate Otap? It’s basically a crunchy, crispy fried biscuit with hella sugar on top and if you know Filipinos, you know we LOVE our sugar. We LIVE for sugar. SUGER ON EVERYTHING PLS. I freakin loved these as a kid. And for some reason there was always some in my house even though I don’t remember my parents ever eating them… weird.
And now as an adult? Yep, still love them. They bring back so many good memories of making a mess in my mom’s house sitting on the floor just shoving these things in my mouth lol.
| Mamon I lived for these when I was pregnant and my mom would send me box full’s! I only like the butter one though. I feel like these have changed since I was a kid — I remember there being a cheese bottom and the top being more sweet. The ones now are just as good; if you’re needing something bland to eat but not boring I’d suggest these!
| Pastillas De Leche / Yemas I have so many memories growing up and this candy. I remember my Lola showing me how to make them in the Philippines and recently my brother attempted to make them as well and sent me some. They’re fairly easy to make and they’re super yummy. Especially if you like things rolled in SUGAR. Told you we like our sugar.
| Ice Candy I vividly remember when I first tried this; it was in the Philippines and my mom had made them. The coconut ones are my fav and if my childhood could have a taste, it would be this! She made them again when we got home, I’ve been asking her how to make them because I’ve been craving them. They’re basically Coconut milk + Coconut in a plastic bag almost but in a small popsicle shaped plastic bag, if that makes sense and frozen.
They’re super refreshing on a hot day and the fact you bite in them in a plastic and suck makes it harder to make a mess, esp when it starts to rapidly melt!
Despite spending a lot of time in high school making Halo Halo’s, Buku Pandan floats and whatever that drink with the balls (kinda like boba but not) I don’t eat any of those snacks lol. I’m really not a fan of Halo Halo, and when I do feel like eating it, I’m super picky with what’s in it.
Have you tried any of these? If not which one would you be more likely to try?
I was sick but not with like a fever. It was mostly body aches, migraine and fatigue. B had been coughing for a few days and he swore he wasn’t sick, despite openly coughing all over the house. Well 2 days ago he then says “I don’t feel all that good, what if it’s Covid.” I must had dropped everything I was doing to stare at him for asking such a stupid question.
Then you get tested and quarantine?!
Then he said maybe I got him sick cause my throat was scratchy earlier last week. Yeah and I spit out a tonsil stone. But Tums hasn’t slowed down or been any extra fussy, so whatever we got she didn’t. Or hasn’t. Or she just doesn’t care, though last time she had the flu she was pretty miserable. So I’d think she’d show some kind of apathy towards running around like a crazy person all day long.
So, that’s why I’ve been away-ish. I just didn’t have the energy or the mind set to really post anything. I feel better now, but still kind of drained and really hungry even though it’s 350am. I’ve been up for like, 2 hours. And my lower back where I usually have pain is like, throbbing. It’s so annoying. I haven’t gotten adjusted in 3 weeks so… yeah.
My reading has also slowed down which sucks. But hey it comes and goes, when it’s here it’s great. So let’s focus on that.