Monday Musings: New Year’s Eve

Monday musingsI don’t really want this to turn into a Monday Musings only blog, but I am beyond thrilled that I am back before the week was up, writing another post. I would like to believe that I’m getting back into the swing of things, even as I’m writing this at past midnight of Sunday, but technically the first minutes of Monday.

I am hoping to get up early enough to head into the city to grab a fresh cut of a porterhouse for two.. our noche Buena of choice, between my now growing bigger and taller guy and I.

Our New Year’s Eve date. He may be a picky eater, but he is a very discerning carnivore. He knows regular from Angus, so spending on quality steak is not wasted on him. So I’m getting our steak from Cierrelo’s Fine Foods in Grand Central Market— my go to place for quality meats, as is or marinated. My date is not picky with sides– but he does prefer his steak with rice and a side of corn. That’s it. No fancy mash or vegetables, but I will prepare some for myself beyond the Almost perfect mash potatoes I ordered from Fresh Direct. I bought a half bottle of champagne because I will end up drinking more than half of a full bottle if I dared, and I’m hoping to whip up some fruit salad, Filipino style, if I get back in time.

Most stores close early this time of the year to give their employees a chance to go home to their families to celebrate, so I’m hoping for an early start myself.

Sewing away. I feel like I accomplished a lot this past weekend, redoing my holiday skirt and then hemming two pairs of pants shorter. All of the work was done sewing by hand, and I’m pretty proud of the work I did. I am most excited by my holiday skirt which I hope to wear to work this January — just to get more wear out of the gorgeous fabric I used. Watch out for that story in my craft blog, Gotham Chick. I had worked through sewing this piece mostly with my trusty sewing machine through the four nights before my holiday party — but decided to redo the finishing by hand. I am happy. I am hoping to make more pieces eventually.. but first, I have to

Organize my craft supplies. This seems like a never ending project but it is a must when you are sourcing materials constantly and trying to come up with new designs. I had stopped making new pieces before the holidays as work got busy. I have also been updating my listings in my Etsy Shop by providing tags that would help buyers find my store. I know I have to step up the social media marketing as well, but there are only so many hours in a day. I am trying..

Feeling grateful. Although the year had its challenges, I am grateful for a lot of things and I feel truly blessed. I am trying to look forward to 2019 with optimism and hope. I know it can only get better.

Here’s my New Year’s Greeting from NYC, taken December 31, 2018.

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Monday Musings on a Tuesday: Christmas Edition

Monday musingsCan you believe it’s Christmas already? In a few days it will be 2019 and we get to start over. I’m all giddy about the fact that I’m back here so soon after the last post, and I’m hoping the writing streak holds. Just random blurbs here on things I feel like writing about, although not as a full blog post.

So even if this was meant to post Monday — and of course the Christmas Eve prep and all got in the way — I thought I’d try and finish it and just publish whatever I come up with.

Rainy Christmas Eve Monday. I woke up to a cloudy day which turned out to be a bit of a drizzle later, and I had to hop on the bus to grab some last minute items for Christmas dinner with my guy. The sun started peeking out by the time I got to Manhattan, and while the clouds seem to be bent on staying, it’s a rather mild day. Lucky for the tourists roaming the city — and there were a lot of them.
Wet Christmas Eve in NYC

Bryant Park after the rain on Christmas Eve

Days like this make me miss home. It was always busy on Christmas Day as our relatives came for Christmas breakfast, or for some, lunch. It was a big production for us — with mom’s famed Karekare (Ox tail in peanut sauce) and her Leche Flan and Fruit salad. Of course we couldn’t have Christmas breakfast without the Spanish chocolate and quezo de bola!

It has been a while since I celebrated Christmas back home– it was back in 2013, and that wasn’t exactly a happy Christmas for me at the time. But my holidays have changed dramatically since, and I am back into the spirit of having a merry time.

Reviving my art journal. I tried in 2018 and that ended up nowhere. I had an art journal that I had worked on and which I hope to re-bind, and it helped me in many ways during a very trying and difficult time. The relaxation and the de-stressing it provided me, and now, the memories and realization of how far I’ve come have made the entire exercise very meaning to me. While I may be in a much better place right now compared to where I was when I was working on it back then, I think the positivity and joy should be documented and expressed with the same fervor as those negative emotions. Fingers crossed!

Destashing. For starters, I gave away a coat to the coat drive in Grand Central terminal. I have weeded through my clothes and continue to go through it, and three bins laters, I have one balikbayan box full of clothes to send back home. I went past the “Does this still fit me?” Criteria and simply went with “Will I wear this again in the next 12 months?” Sometimes there is such a compulsion to hold on when what we really must do is let go. I would rather see my clothes make someone else happy or find some use in someone else’s closet.

I’m hoping to continue to simplify goals and life in general — and hopefully have a more balanced self in the year ahead. What are you doing to make things better for you?

And the holidays are here

Christmas in New YorkDisclosure: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

I actually started drafting this post maybe two weeks ago, and then I got caught up with work and real life so all I came up with was the banner above. Tonight, many weeks after my last attempt to get back to regular blogging, I’ve promised myself I will hit send at the end of whatever I write here, and hopefully write more consistently.

It’s Saturday and I’m hoping to get two packages out by Monday to cross the oceans to friends I want to surprise. That thought makes me smile. Somehow the holidays have always been about giving to others more than to myself. There’s joy beyond description when I see the joy in the faces or the voices of those that get my card, my letter, my gift.

Isn’t that what the holidays are about?

Upon Angelo’s insistence, we got a new Christmas tree this year. As I’m basically an online shopper, I ended up getting this tree from Target. I chose it because it was unlit, above 6 feet tall (I ended up getting something that was 7 feet) and of course, on sale. So it arrives as promised, and while it was the size it was touted to be, I was kind of disappointed that it was similar to the tree we had which shed blades like there was no tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, the tree was fine, but I was looking for a certain type and chose something else. As someone who doesn’t drive, I take pride in my online shopping savvy, and the convenience of free shipping to my home was something I could use, more so for an item the size of a Christmas tree. It was good — but I wouldn’t have minded except that it clogged my vacuum cleaner, so the only way to tidy up was to brush the carpet. I have a feeling this will be the first and last year of this Christmas tree. I will endeavor to find an artificial tree similar to the ones I used to know when I was a child.

Christmas trees are a big deal in my family. A good sized manger, too. But I have no room and I don’t have the manger here in New York, so I make do with a tree and lights around my window sill.

I bought a new set of Christmas balls in a teal or is it periwinkle color, mixed with matte and shimmery silver. You’ll have to forgive me for not posting a picture of my tree. It’s kind of camera shy. I used lights from last year and will be discarding the sets that don’t work anymore.

I decorated my windows and put up my parol or Christmas lantern, the newer one. I take pride in the fact that it identifies my home as Filipino because we’re really the only ones who have this kind of lantern which is sort of a cultural signature in the way we celebrate Christmas.

And I got Christmas cards.. haven’t sent them out and it’s (almost) Christmas. Hmmmm… Baby steps, I say.

To be continued…