It’s a Wrap, January!

Holy smokes, folks—it’s that time of the month again! When I wrote my 2017 year-in-review on the first week of January, I considered changing the frequency of my summaries from a monthly basis to a posting every week (or every other week), but I quickly realized that it would be tedious (and time-consuming), so we’re sticking to monthly roundups for now. I am, however, changing things up by having a “standard-ish format” to make them look a little more organized and not all over the place.

So, January has come to a close. I don’t know about you, but this month went by in the blink of an eye for me! How are your New Year’s resolutions (or goals) coming along? If you persevered, great work; if not, don’t worry. It’s never too late to work on them! Anyway, here’s how our January looks like at-a-glance:

January 2018 Highlights

Jumped head-first into the Hobonichi Techo train. I don’t have any rational explanation as to why I did—just that my curiosity got the best of me. I’ve been seeing them on my bullet journal Instagram account, so being the impulsive shopper that I am, I ordered a Hobonichi Techo 2018 Planner (A6) on a whim at the beginning of the new year. One of my personal goals is to make journaling a daily (or nightly) habit, so I’ve been using it for that purpose. Shortly after receiving my Planner in the mail, I ordered the Hobonichi Techo 2018 Weeks version, and I’m totally hooked! I’m actually leaning towards using the Weeks as my bullet journal from now on.

Honestly, I was mortified the first time I used them. I didn’t realize how thin the Tomoe River paper is that I had to try out different pens to write with to see what works and what doesn’t. According to most Hobonichi users, the Tomoe River paper is fountain pen-friendly, but I have yet to rule that out (based on personal experience) because I own wet inks that take time to dry, and I don’t currently have an available fountain pen to use the ink samples I got. In the meantime, I find that ultra fine/needle tipped pens (0.3–0.4mm) work best for me.

Brooklyn Girl Eatery in Mission Hills, San Diego via
📍 Brooklyn Girl Eatery in Mission Hills

Brunched in Mission Hills. Roan and I live in the northeastern part of San Diego, so you’ll most likely find us hang out in this area on weekends. This year, Roan and I hope to try new things in the city and step out of our comfort zone. Instead of returning to our go-to brunch place up in Encinitas, we drove down to Brooklyn Girl Eatery in Mission Hills. It’s been six months since we last had brunch here, so we’d forgotten how good their food was!

We parked a few blocks away from the restaurant, so we decided to check out the record store called M-Theory Music down the street on our way back to the car. Roan has been toying with the idea of getting a turntable, but neither of us know anything about it nor have we ever tried operating one. It was the perfect opportunity to listen to a vinyl record in-store, and boy, was it life-changing!

RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen in Convoy, San Diego via
📍 RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen in Convoy

Fostering relationships. I’ve been trying to work on socializing with other people (outside social media) more, so I took it upon myself to reach out and set up a lunch date with an long-time blogging acquaintance, Patricia, and her husband Carlo this month. Pat and I have known each other online even before we both moved to San Diego to settle down. The Victas took us to RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen in Convoy, which Roan and I have been meaning to try!

Roan in Portland, OR via
📍 Portland, Oregon

Roan’s 31st Birthday Celebration. I took Roan to Vintana Wine + Dine up in Escondido for his birthday dinner. We had a reservation with them on our wedding anniversary last month, but we bailed out when the Lilac Fire broke out in San Diego. The food was amazing, and the service was even better! The manager gave Roan a birthday card (signed by the chef and some staff members) on top of a complementary pecan pie for dessert. We’re definitely coming back even when we’re not celebrating any occasion. Better late than never, I guess!

Roan’s and his younger brother’s birthdays are only four days apart. Last week had been one of the best weeks he has had in months (on top of his birthday, of course!), and that called for a celebration with the family. We went for a late birthday celebratory dinner (sans one of her sisters; she had work) at Sushi Kuchi down in Mission Valley then went for desserts at Frost Gelato in Camino Del Sur.

Got more involved in church activities. I may not be as zealous about being born and raised a Catholic, but Roan and I have remained close to our faith even before we were married. Very close friends and family know that Roan and I consider Sunday as a day of obligation, so we never miss going to church before (or after) any other activities we have set for the day. This year, we aim to get more involved in church activities other than Sunday mass. This month, Roan and I attended our first parish encounter and volunteered in the parish on two consecutive weekends.

The King's Craft Coffee in Poway, San Diego via
📍 The King’s Craft Coffee in Poway

Tried something new. Since Roan got into reading, we’ve been going to coffee shops more. We discovered two new-to-us local coffee shops this month: Swell Coffee Co. up in Del Mar and The King’s Craft Coffee in Poway (that’s no more than 10 miles away from where we live!). Our weekends this January looked like this: he reads while I do some work (or read, too) for a few hours. While I’m not a big coffee drinker, I enjoy hanging out in coffee shops every now and then.

Also in the “something new” department, we had brunch for the first time in Campfire in Carlsbad (convinced that we hang out in the northern part of the county A LOT?). We were so hungry that Roan and I ordered the same thing (smoked beef hash)! We plan on going back for dinner sometime!

Roan and I were at my in-laws’ unit the other day for my brother-in-law’s birthday celebration (Roan’s and his brother’s birthdays are only four days apart!). My brother-in-law asked us if we’ve tried one of the newly-opened dining spots called Open House Asian Kitchen in Encinitas, where he used to live. Roan and I loved the idea of four different food concepts under one roof! Definitely a reason to come back and check everything else out. P.S. They serve dishes with Filipino influence, too!

Received new blog opportunities. I don’t blog for a living, but I do accept brand collaborations once in a while, as long as I deem it fit for me and my blog. This month, I received several blogging opportunities, which was surprising since I haven’t been posting as regularly as I used to (no complaints here, though!). Speaking of which, have you checked out my collaboration with JORD Wooden Watches for Valentine’s Day yet? There’s a fun, little giveaway at the end of the post, so this miss it!

 Taking Stock: January 2018

  • reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah shortly after finishing Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which I also read almost as soon as I put In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch down
  • watching Portlandia on Netflix. This show is so weird (and stupid), yet so good and funny! Watching a few episodes every night reminds us so much of our trip to Portland last November.
  • listening to the Classic Acoustic and Morning Acoustic playlists on Spotify. Roan and I have been digging these this month!
  • thinking about joining my cousins on their trip to Houston, TX in March/April. We haven’t seen them since our spontaneous road trip to San Francisco in 2015, and we’d love to finally meet their first-born, Olivia! We have relatives there (from either side of the family), so all we really have to worry about is arranging our schedule to fit theirs and book our flight.
  • loving the new infuser teapot and loose-leaf teas (one and two) we got from Teavana
  • enjoying writing on my journal and decorating it with craft supplies I picked up at Paper Source and JOANN
  • playing Tamagotchi Classic app (iOS / Android)! You have no idea how excited I was when I discovered this app! My godfather bought me a yellow one when we were in Sydney in 1998, and I think I still have it to this day (if I go through one of the many tough boxes I brought from Manila). What I love most about it is that I can also play with it on my Apple Watch just like playing the actual toy!
  • feeling relieved that my car is now well and good. In case you missed it in my Instagram stories last week, I discovered that some 🤬 keyed my car the week before. Both Roan and I were livid, not knowing when and where it happened, but we eventually convinced ourselves that karma will come around.🧘🏻‍♀️
  • needing the motivation to put our Christmas tree down 🤣
  • coveting this satchel (or this one), this small crossbody bag, or an RFID clutch wallet that could fit my iPhone 8 Plus (one of my well-loved wallets is from this brand; I’ve had it since high school and it lasted ’til before I came to the US)


Last, but certainly not the least, I’m excited to share this little project I’ve been working on since, well, the beginning of the year. It’s a quick video montage of January memories that I created via the app called 1SE (1 Second Everyday), which I discovered late last year. I filmed 3- to 5-second videos of something that sparked my interest (or another memory) every single day to add to my timeline (I eventually sliced them into 1-second clips because isn’t that what the app is called?). Anyway, I hope to do this every month for the rest of the year, and put all 12 video montages by the end of the year as one, huge recap! I hope you enjoyed reading through this month’s highlights as much as I had fun putting them together!

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    • Same, Teesh, same, but I left it all up to karma now. Journaling has made a positive impact on me, and I really enjoy writing about the highlights of my day before I go to bed at night.

  • omg. reading this made me so jealous. we live on the east coast now, but we lived in Vegas for forever and we were in the dance scene and made our way to SD ALL THE TIME. my aunt lives off of the Carmel Valley Exit so SD is so near and dear to my heart. i miss in n out so much. i’ve heard some really good things about that Asian Kitchen even living over here! it’s nice to see some other filipino bloggers out here!

    • Hi, Justine! Kumusta? 🙂 Oh, my husband’s parents used to live near that area! I hope you make it out here again—take the kids to SoCal destinations, perhaps? 😉 My brother-in-law suggested the place, even said that the main chef is Filipino, too!

  • I can’t believe someone keyed your car. Infuriating!

    I love that you’re out and about getting to know different parts of SD. Dan’s grandmother is in El Cajon so I’m most familiar with a few places around there. There was a really great Mexican restaurant that I want to recommend but I can’t remember exactly where it was or what it was called…I just remember it was in a really quaint little residential area and totally unexpected. I’ll think of it and let you know! I also loved Hammond’s Ice Cream in North Park!

    • I think no one believes it either! I’m over it at this point; karma will come around to whoever did that to my car!

      Oh, I’ve never been to El Cajon! The farthest I’ve been to was in the Chula Vista/National City area. I’m sure there’s some really awesome hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants out there! I’m not a big fan of Mexican food, but I do have tacos every now and then. Hehe! And yes, we’ve been to Hammond’s in North Park! We walked to that shop after we had dinner at Under Belly in the area one night with my siblings-in-law. 🙂

  • Sounds like you had a really great January! Your journal is pretty gorgeous and you make me want to journal more! Also, I am originally from SD, so you mentioning all of these places is making me nostalgic 🙂

  • January sounds like a fun and busy month for you! I also love visiting local coffee shops for quiet afternoon, and I really hope to do that more often this year.

    • January was pretty good for us, thank you, Monica! I’m surprised that my husband asks to go to coffee shops more, if I’m being completely honest!

  • I am trying to get more involved at church as well! It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of just going to service and leaving and not be involved with anyone or anything. Good luck!

    • Hi, Amanda, I hope you get more involved in your church, too. Last month just felt like we were called to participate, so we answered to that call (if you know what I mean) with open hearts. 🙂

  • Wow, your journals are stunning! I’ve tried journaling and have been meaning to get back into it, but I definitely need to develop the discipline. I feel like it’s so hard for me to commit to it as I’ve started and stopped so many over the years. It’s really worth getting back into, however! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, Ro! Oh, you have no idea how many times I tried to get back into journaling. I’ve written on a few pages of a new notebook, and end up not using it. I realized, after writing on an A6 for a month, that it’s the perfect size for me to write about highlights of my day! I hope you get back into it because it’s I find it meditative, too.

  • WAIT, there is a tamagotchi app?!?!? DID NOT KNOW THAT EXISTED!!

    Lovely video and it is such a good idea to do a monthly version. I know of people who do a year long video and was feeling a little sad that I missed the boat.

    • There is, my friend! It’s a paid app on iOS ($0.99), and it resembles the actual toy! I love that I can play it in Apple Watch, but I couldn’t help but get an actual toy to play with! It just brings back childhood memories!

      Thank you, Nat! I hope to be consistent in filming every single day, so I have something to put together by the end of the year! Must be nice to look back on that. 🙂

  • I just have to say your journals are STUNNING! I wish that I was able to do that but I am horrible with drawing haha! I can sketch okay, but I’d totally ruin one lol!! And the restaurant and coffee shops look heavenly! They are seriously so cute! Also, YAS girl Tamagotchi!! My eyes lit up when I read that part haha! You already know how much I love mine!

    • Thanks, girl! I’m not good with drawing, too, but I enjoy creative journaling (although I’m too careful not to ruin a page). Haha! Girl, thanks for the inspiration—now I can’t wait to get my toys (yes, plural haha) in the mail!

    • That was one of my main concerns, too! I don’t think I’m creative enough (I can barely draw a proper face), but I also think that it brings out the creativity you thought you didn’t have! Journaling has been part of my nighttime routine, and it helps me wind down at the end of the day.

    • It is, Summer! It’s so pretty, especially in the morning when it gets all the natural in! I know you’re a coffee snob, but how can you not love this coffee shop?!