Throwback Travel at Ocean Park Hongkong And Some Feelings

I miss going out but because the partner has an erratic schedule these days (training mode, as he’s just left his former employer and is now adjusting to a new one), we have to wait until the dust settles and we can find a cheap getaway in the island.

We do have a short vacation coming up this February though, in time for Valentines.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a few pictures I had during our college batch tour to Hongkong (yeah, well…hahaha). I kind of miss these carefree days but I can’t wait to bring the partner and the daughter there as well. I hope that happens in a year or two. (I’m trying really hard to do away with the expensive trips though since we will be starting on our future home’s monthly payments.)

Here they are:
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DIY Your Way With These Personalized SWAP Watches from Tomato PH!

Disclosure: I was not paid by Tomato or SWAP watch to feature them in this post. In fact, I shelled out my own money to buy their great watch. I did get a discount, after failing to win one of their past contests.

Hello, it’s DIY Tuesday!

But, instead of making something that’s totally from scratch, I am featuring a cute item today that’s also partly DIY and a whole lot unique.

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Yeah, I didn’t remove the protective sticker because I am a careless person. I don’t want my watch to be marked with scratches when it’s barely a week old (as of picture).

Tomato timepieces have been around for some time now, giving all watch lovers and aficionados their dose of satisfaction. However, aside from the corporate looking watches, Tomato also has the SWAP line which consists of a face (where the actual watch is located) and the colorful straps. What’s so great about these SWAP watches? You can simply buy one watch and two straps then you’d have two watches you can swap around.
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Food Tripping, Singaporean Hawker Style at Chop Chop Restaurant, Cebu

Disclosure: I was not paid to feature Chop Chop Restaurant or mention Y101 FM in this post. I did, however, get a portion of my meal for free (but not to give them a review).

I love going to new places around the city (mostly because I get to have the chance to blog about them, too, haha). So, when an opportunity to eat free of charge, thanks to one of my favorite local FM station, Y101 FM, I grabbed it right away.

I actually won a gift certificate at Chop Chop Restaurant from the station and all I had to do was tell them where exactly it is located (The Gallery in Mabolo). The restaurant’s fairly new which explains why they have these daily promotions at the station. I think they give out about two or three of those GCs everyday. Neat, huh? Yeah, you could start tuning in right now if you would like to have the chance to win such contests, too.

Anyway, I took my mom, brother (who celebrated his birthday yesterday – YAY!) and the daughter there on Thursday lunch. The original plan was a date with the partner but he was busy adjusting to his new work so there.

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Review: The Match Maker by Karey White

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The Husband Maker #2: The Match Maker
Karey White
Published November 1, 2014 by Orange Door Press
xx pages | New Adult, Romance

5 stars

 

About The Match Maker

(Summary contains spoilers if you haven’t read The Husband Maker)

It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart.

In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever–at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

Read more on Goodreads

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | The Book Depository

 

About Karey White

71Jh8EfaYPL._UX250_ Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Read more on Goodreads

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Excerpt

I should have felt uncomfortable talking about guys and dating with a man I was sort of dating for only the second time, but I didn’t. There was something strangely easy about talking to Flynn. Maybe it was the fact that he lived on the other side of the world that seemed to give me the freedom to say what I was thinking instead of filtering myself. Or maybe it was just that he was warm and friendly and had a quick, good-natured smile.

“Yeah. I’m still sad about that. He’s engaged now.” Flynn waited, like he expected me to say more. “But it’s not just him. I sort of have a dating reputation that isn’t easy to live with.”

“You have a reputation?”

I laughed. “That didn’t come out right. Does a girl having a ‘reputation’ mean the same in Scotland that it does here?” I put air quotes around “reputation.”

“Probably. But you don’t seem like a girl with that kind of reputation, so you must mean something else.”

I nodded. “I do.” And then I told Flynn about being called the husband maker. I didn’t go into specifics about every guy, but enough that he understood I wasn’t joking and that it was a well-earned nickname. He asked a few questions, but mostly he listened without laughing at me.

When I finished talking, he looked thoughtful for a few minutes. I started to think he had nothing to say about the sad tale I had just shared, but finally he spoke.

“You’re lookin’ at it as a bad thing, but I think that’s wrong.”

“There’s a good way to look at it?” I glanced at him skeptically.

“Ya make men think about growin’ up and settlin’ down. So they do.”

“With someone else.” I was glad I needed to watch the road. I didn’t want to look at him looking at me.

“I guess they weren’t the right one for you. But Charlotte—” why did I melt when he said my name?—“ya make them think gettin’ married would be a good thing. It might not be great for you, but I think you should take it as a compliment.”

I didn’t speak. For the second time in two days, someone had chiseled away at the shell that had been forming over my once hopeful heart. I blinked hard. It was one thing to feel comfortable enough with Flynn to tell him about my nickname. It was quite another to melt into a weepy mess when we hardly knew each other. But his words did something to me. They made me a little teary, but that wasn’t all. They softened some of that shell. For more than six months, fear had been calcifying there, making my hope harder and harder to find. Would every man find happiness with someone else? Would there ever be a man who found his happiness in me?

“Thanks, Flynn,” I finally said. I had never been so open about dating and my worries with a man before. I had always been afraid it made me look lacking in some way. But Flynn was easy to talk to. I wondered if it was because this was a short-term arrangement or if it was just Flynn. Whatever it was, the openness was nice.

“Maybe I should be the one who’s scared, aye?” His voice was teasing again.

“You sure you want to call this a date?” I asked. “Are you ready to go home and get married?”

“Ah, Charlotte. You don’t scare me at all.”

 

Review

The Match Maker was such a fun story because it was such a lighthearted read for me. Sure, there are emotions involved what with relationships coming and going but it did not leave me with such a heavy heart. I had a great time reading in Charlotte’s voice – it actually felt like I was being hauled into my past (yes, I am about Charlotte’s age but I had a long-term, serious-ish relationship when I was much younger haha!). It was very easy to relate to the character but not that I am a husband/match maker or something. I guess it’s just the things (and thoughts) that we both went through, losing love and finding – err, looking? – for it all over again.

Of course, I super love the clean romance. I would definitely opt for those butterflies-in-the-stomach, wholesome feels more than anything else.

Other Books in the Series

The  Husband Maker #1: The Husband Maker
Goodreads
Amazon | Nook | Kobo | The Book Depository

The Husband Maker #3: The Wife Maker (COMING SPRING 2015)
Goodreads
Amazon | Nook | Kobo | The Book Depository

 

Giveaway

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(Follow the tour here)

 

 

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Travel Updates

So I haven’t been updating the blog for a while now. My month at work has been really crazy and this week, I’m trying to catch up with a deadline. Add that to my huge pile of reading list that I have to do for my book blog (and even here) and, well, I’m not quite sure where else to put blogging here after taking care of our very active toddler.

We haven’t been able to travel though but we are planning to have our mini getaway pretty soon, hopefully this weekend.

We are still straightening a few things out (jobs, getting a house) so yes, our days have been pretty packed lately.

Hopefully things will change soon. And I’m also very happy to receive good news today that I will be having a slightly regular gig with writing articles (I also do freelance writing on the side apart from my full-time developer job, mommyhood and blogging/book reviewing). Despite stretching myself out thin, I’m happy with this new development because it all involves writing travel articles – the ones we’ve experienced. We hope this opportunity will open up more in the future and will push us to experience Cebu – the Philippines and the world, later on – even more.

Do stay tuned!

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