making me happy

sunny afternoons, watching the fog roll in, a pastel-colored sky

walking in sandals, brightly-painted toenails, jeans that fit just right

scent of roses, the color yellow, flowers around my neighborhood

patterns and textures, my binder's cover design, unrolling my yoga mat

how about you, what's making you happy lately?

a little trip to goldilocks

Last Friday, we braved the fog in Daly City to eat at Goldilocks, a Filipino bakery/restaurant, for some mouth-watering pastries. Our dinner was so yummy it made me forget about the mountain of paperwork that I need to organize for the beginning of school year.

Here's me being such a dork while eating bibingka (a form of rice cake). I personally think my grandma makes it the best but this one comes close. Afterwards, we watched the movie Julie and Julia, which made me crave for more desserts - of course.

Now about the movie, it was good but it wasn't great. I absolutely loved Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Child. In fact, I think a movie of just Julia (minus Julie) would have been so much more interesting. I don't know why but Julie (played by Amy Adams) seemed a bit annoying and needy to me. Anyone else seen the movie? What do you think?

come away with me

This summer has been very laid back, I've had a lot of free time (maybe even too much), I did so many things and visited places in and around California, but I still can't help but feel a little restless. For the most part, I've been surrounded by friends and family, and I guess I was just craving some alone time, so yesterday I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to the beautiful town of Petaluma in Sonoma.

Some photos that I took around downtown Petaluma. My aunt Faye used to live in this riverside town and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Its one of the places that made me want to move to the Bay area, it has a lot of old buildings, Victorian houses, art galleries, and quaint old-town charm.

This store is my favorite. Everything about it makes me happy, especially its name - Splendid Little Shoppe. Its filled with scented candles, handmade soaps, exquisite aprons, and all things lovely.

Soon I found myself at the travel section in a bookshop, but unlike before, I didn't spend my time browsing travel guides, wishing that I went somewhere far. I am happy to be here.

have a wonderful weekend!

I'm off to L.A. again for my friend Vanessa's wedding. It will be a fun weekend, I'm so excited to see my old friends from grad school, and also to have a real summer experience. Its been so cold and foggy here in SF that it feels like we live in a different hemisphere. And speaking of which, have you seen (500) Days of Summer yet? You should, its a great movie. I'm a bit biased though because Zooey Deschanel is my favorite and oh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my celebrity crush of the moment - what a gorgeous pair they make.

Hope you have a great weekend, wherever you are.

the artist at dolores park

He was sitting on grass, a couple of feet next to me, knees balancing a huge sketchpad, his fingers moving in long, steady strokes. I tried to pretend that I wasn't watching him intently, taking note of his colorful pants, the slightly crooked hat covering his thick grayish hair, the assortment of pens, pencils, and bags next to him -- everything about him is bursting in color.

Soon enough the book on my lap captured my entire attention and I was lost in it, the afternoon slowly winding down to sunset, all thoughts of people-watching and writing gone. It must have been after an hour or so when I finally placed the book down, stretching my arms and legs before laying down on the grass, staring at the sky.

An inspiration came and I hurriedly sat up, grabbed my notebook and pen, and furiously started scribbling away. It was then that I turned around and saw him looking at me while drawing on his sketchpad. After awhile I looked again and he smiled, I think I must have smiled back a little, though deep inside I was dying to know if he was sketching me or not. And if he was, how did he see me?

Such a small moment, but it made me happy.

confession tuesday

I've never wanted a tattoo, but I really like this one, maybe not on my arm but a smaller version on my ankle. (Mom, if you're reading this, don't freak out just yet, haha.)

After my post/confession about Anthropologie, I decided that a dress is not worth losing sleep over, so I went to the store and bought it. Of course, I had to justify the purchase by thinking how many times I'm gonna wear it and how will I mix and match it with other pieces so I can still wear it through winter. Yes, I'm neurotic like that.

One of my close friends just moved to downtown Berkeley and I'm so excited. I've always had this affinity for Berkeley and now I can visit her as much as I want to.

There's a scholarship that I wanted to apply 3 years ago and now its calling me again. The possibility of living in Europe and doing research on international child health is too good to be true. But do I want to be a poor, struggling student again?

Boy-that-I-like-who-just-got-engaged is killing me with his photo updates on Facebook. I'm considering taking him off my friends list.

I just realized that huge shopping malls overwhelm me. When did this happen? I used to love going to the mall, heck I spent half of my teenage years walking around malls because it was too hot to do anything else outside. I guess living in San Francisco and its countless little shops and thrift stores spoiled me.

I have a lot of poems-in-progress but I haven't finished a single one yet. Any suggestions?

And as always, feel free to join The Confessional.

(Photo via A Cup of Jo)

dear anthropologie,

Why must you tempt me so? I've managed to avoid you and your colorful displays for awhile now but when I 'accidentally' went inside one of your stores today and tried on a couple of dresses for a friend's wedding, I just couldn't help myself -- its seduction, all over again.

And oh, how dare you come up with the most irresistible new catalog with 'real people' from my favorite cities? Its almost like flea market meets The Sartorialist and Garance Dore, and again, I dreamed that I could afford to buy everything in sight. Okay, maybe not everything, but I did wish that it was already fall so I can wear sweaters and boots and go to London, perhaps? Because I really, really like these outfits:

But I think we both know that at the end of the day, I will gladly give up all my fashion wish lists for a room that looks similar to this:

So yeah, thank you Anthropologie. It might take all my willpower to resist you and your beautiful dresses, but you also just gave me an inspiration for my room and my book-hoarding ways. Someday when I'm not renting and I can mount every shelf that I want without getting kicked out by my landlord, I will surely think of you and celebrate in style. Bisous.

(Photos from Anthro's August 2009 catalog, via Anthropologie Addict)