Diary, Life

Life in February: Of Roses and Proses

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Hello, everyone. I can’t remember the last time I did a post like this. From my last post about anxiety, I’m happy to say that my breakdowns have occurred less. Most of my time were spent in coffee shops for the month, which I’m honestly grateful for. I’ve missed those solitude-filled days I used to have.

Here are my stories for February.

One and Two.

I’ve been discovering coffee shops to escape in all month. I found out that most of them are hidden in town. A cup of iced latte is more expensive here than back in Manila, though. I am heartbroken.


I have good news to break – I’ve been hired! It really feels like things are slowly starting to fall into place. The job hunting seemed to take a handful of eternities. I’ve been offered positions here and there, but none of them felt quite right. I thought I was going to have to settle and wait for another opportunity to arise, when I suddenly received an interview from one of my dream companies to work for. I still couldn’t believe what happened. She must’ve liked me so much because she offered me the position right after my interview, and I was so happy I jumped from my seat and squealed with joy. I was shaking from head to toe (it must’ve showed slightly) and walked out from the office, floating on a cloud.

This heavenly and gorgeous acai bowl was to celebrate my small win. I can’t wait for so many things – I’m a pool of what if’s that scare me (such as what if I prove her wrong and do terrible at the job, what if I don’t meet my goals, etc) and excitement to work with people with the same passion as I do.


Jaime has adopted Pancakes! Look at how happy she is. His family loves her and treats her so special. I think Pancakes is even more spoiled with them than she was with me. She gets taken to trips, she drowns in too much treats. She sleeps on Jaime’s bed too. I’m quite jealous she gets to cuddle with him.

I miss her too much.


Valentine’s Day. Funny enough, Jaime and I told each other weeks ago not to get each other anything, and that we would celebrate the occasion the way we normally do our Facetime dates – pasta, a glass of wine (maybe coffee on his side), a movie to watch together. Little did he know that I planned a surprise for him: I ordered a dozen customized red velvet cupcakes to be delivered at his house. It’s cupcakes for him and his family, adorned with decorations that represented things he loves.

But I didn’t know HE also planned a surprise for me as well. The day before Valentine’s Day, I found this huge box sitting on our front porch. Inside – a dozen beautiful roses, a small teddy bear I now call “Choco”, and a box of chocolates.

What an uncanny thing to happen.


Coffee shop yet again. I want to take blogging a bit more seriously and share more of my writing and what my life is like in Hawaii, so I’ve been writing a list of ideas for blog post. That day, I also took the liberty of filing my own taxes for the first time.

I googled a lot of how-to’s, read articles (the one I found most helpful was this Forbes article) and was so close to giving up, I was even tempted to ask my American followers on tumblr to guide me at least. But I managed. After so many hours of enduring and silent screams and inside crying, I did it. I filed my own tax returns.

Another small win.


Starbucks introduced some new flavors – and so the other day, I tried their Smoked Butterscotch Latte, which was promised to resemble a Butterbeer from Harry Potter. I was quite disappointed, as my iced latte tasted like simple Caramel Machiatto. Perhaps it would taste different if it came in frappe or hot lattte, but my verdict for now is: don’t ride the hype just yet.


I left my window open one day and came home to my flowers scattered on the floor, the mason jar holding them together tilted, the water spilled all over the carpet. I cried to Jaime on Facetime, apologizing for this mistake caused by my forgetfulness and stupidity.

On the bright side, my roses dried quite easily and I waited patiently until they’re in that perfect state, dangling on the precipice of life and death. Since I have too much roses, I plucked off petals on some and wrapped them in a newspaper to dry, so I can make potpourri out of them. The rest are pressed.


My friend Noah gave me this gift the other day – my own bottle of fairy lights. I still don’t know how he made it (he assured me it was easy). Still, I love it so much. It settles perfectly in one of my room corners and even looks more magical when it’s emanating sparks and lights are closed.

What else is there?

I’ve been slowly crawling back into my old habits. I’ve only finished two books this month which is quite unusual for me, so I’m hoping to get back to the library one of these days and borrow books to finish for March. As for writing, I’m still out of words and I feel utmost discontent with things I write lately. I’m trying not to rush myself in recovering from a series of anxiety breakdowns. The best thing I could do right now is be patient, until I naturally get out of that slump.

How was your February? I’d love to hear your stories.

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  • Reply Dice

    you surely do love coffee shop. Same here! :) lovely instagram photos! new reader here! :)

    February 22, 2016 at 7:19 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Hello! <3 Thank you so much :) I hope we become friends!

      March 2, 2016 at 8:09 pm
  • Reply Alissa

    This is such a lovely read Cariza! :) Your Valentine’s day is so sweet. Congrats on your new job. So happy for you!

    February 23, 2016 at 3:24 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Thank you so much Alissa! :) Though, I’m sad I had to leave my other job (which was also fashion-related so unfortunately, there some conflict of interest), I can’t wait for growth and more opportunities with this new company. I hope you’ve had a lovely February as well!

      February 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm
  • Reply Mei

    My boyfriend and I also decided not to get each other something on Valentine’s and not spend too much on a date and I’m glad we didn’t go out of budget despite our random decision to watch the pyromusical event hahaha we’re saving for an upcoming trip kasi. Hehe Your boyfriend is so sweet for throwing a surprise! I know how much impact it gives! Hehe

    I wish I know how to dry flowers too. Nasayangan ako sa mga flowers ko dati na tinapon ko lang. Maybe I really don’t have patience and I didn’t even bother to try it haha

    The fairy lights look enchanting! And it’s a good decor too :)

    Congrats on getting a new ob, and going back to old habits. I hope you write more on your blog :)

    February 23, 2016 at 6:41 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Hi Mei! :) Haha, but to be fair, he was quite upset I surprised him first that day. The cupcakes arrived a day earlier than I was hoping, that’s why. So he was acting all aloof and distant for some reason until HIS surprise came. He played his part too well.

      Some flowers are *very* tricky to dry! Roses are easy, though. I just leave them out of water for at last a day and you get dark crinkles around the rose petals soon enough, and then it begins from there. :) I normally just wrap them in newspaper and leave as is. Over my years of pressing flowers, I’ve found that dried flowers are best to press. I had so many books with blotched up pages because of the brownish goo that flowers sometimes have when you press them while they’re still fresh. So I’ve learned to always wait for that moment when they’re wilting/about to dry. My boyfriend thinks it’s morbid how I love flowers only because I love to watch them die. /lol

      Thank you, thank you so much! <3 And yes, I'm hoping to post more of my writing here soon, so fingers crossed. :)

      February 23, 2016 at 7:58 pm
  • Reply Shannon

    I am glad your anxiety has improved… that can definitely halt your motivation too [I’ve been there]… it’s so cute that you cried when your poor flowers fell over, I did a little chuckle reading that but I’m sure at the time it was not funny at all! And you improvised by drying them instead.I love dried flowers, I have them all over my room. I am scared to file my own taxes too- not sure if I am brave enough to try this year…I am just so afraid of messing it up!

    February 24, 2016 at 4:02 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Hello Shannon! Thank you for your supportive thought. Of course, my battle with anxiety seems neverending, I’m just glad to get through each day for now. No worries about the fallen flowers, the only regret I have is that the roses didn’t last a week with me. I liked them better when they’re dried anyway! As for my taxes, oh believe me when I say I’ve worried too much over them (since I’ve never filed them before and filing taxes in the US is different than in the Philippines). There’s a lot of help online though! I filed mine through TaxAct and it was all free; I just got my Federal return last week and now I’m only waiting for my State. You can definitely do it, I strongly encourage you to at least try! :)

      Hope your February treated you well. <3

      February 25, 2016 at 7:11 pm
  • Reply Camie

    I had no idea you’ve been hired for a new job! I’m a terrible friend. Or maybe we did talk about this but amidst the other issues, I’ve forgotten — because I have terrible memory. Gab says I need to take these meds called “Memogold Plus”, which if you watched TV or listened to the radio while you were here, you’d be familiar with it… He teases me about it all the time and he’s the worst. LOL

    But anyway, reading halfway through this I realized I had a smile on my face. Your valentine’s with Jaime was too sweet. I love reading about you two. You guys are perfect, and even more admirable that you continually survive long distance. It truly does take two strong individuals. I look up to both of you for this. It makes me a bit sad that you can’t be here, cause if you were, we’d totally double-date. No question.

    I’m also quite jealous that you guys have nice libraries where you can actually go to borrow books. If we had a nice library, I’d definitely go there to do work, to read, to write, all of it. Instead, I stay home and fight the urge to fall asleep while I try to get some work done. It’s terrible.

    February 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Camieeeee! <3 Oh you would really love public libraries here! There's one in every town, but my most favorite one would be the public library in Kapolei. It's the one I always go to. It's huge and it has a wide range of books for every genre, including television series and movies you can also rent/borrow. Surprisingly, they have a lot of Japanese and Korean shows lol. They also hold classes from time to time there too! I love the entire system - it's such a pity our public library isn't up to par back at home. I didn't even know we had one until Jaime told me we did, it just isn't good.

      And I get you, really. For some reason I am more productive when I'm in coffee shops or libraries. Is it an internalized thing? Or perhaps subconsciously I've associated my bedroom = sleep.

      You are so sweet to Jaime and me. ;__; I'm not going to lie when I say we have moments wherein distance and time zones get the best of us. I guess I could say I'm really lucky to have Jaime be the one I'm in a long distance relationship with. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if it were anyone else. And definitely a YES to that double date! One day, I promise. :)

      PS. Congratulations on your Nuffnang wins!!!! <3 (Again. Haha)

      February 27, 2016 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Clare

    Hi Cara,

    It’s my first time here on your blog and I’m already loving it. Congrats on your new job by the way! I am currently reading blogs from Mei’s blog roll page and that’s how I came to yours. Coffee shops! They are the best place for me (when it’s not crowded :D) there’s just something about them that sets me at ease. I am not a writer but I’ve been working on improving my art and February has been the worst for me. I just did not have the motivation that I used to have. But I am slowly getting back into practicing and creating art with a happy heart and hopefully getting back into it by March.

    Looking forward to more posts from you. Hopefully you could visit my blog too if you have the time.

    Also I am going to include you on my blog roll page, I hope that’s ok :)

    February 28, 2016 at 1:04 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Hi Clare! I’m really glad you liked my blog at first glance. :) It’s always so nice to meet someone who adores coffee shops as much as I do (or obsess over, really haha I kid). I agree with the charm and ambiance that coffee shops have that make you feel at ease, comforted, as if you were in a place that is somehow warmer and more at home.

      Sending you a lot of hugs for what February did for you and your motivation to create art, I am wholeheartedly there with you. I hope March would treat us better and would send us ripples of creativity that would inspire us to create, create, create.

      I’m on your blog right now! <3 <3

      February 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Tanchi

    Nothing tops The Early Bird Breakfast Club’s Butterbeer!! It’s an awesome read as always. Congrats on the new job as well and take care!!

    February 28, 2016 at 9:04 pm
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Hi Tanchi, I definitely agree with you there. Early Bird Breakfast Club’s butterbeer is probably the best butterbeer concoction I’ve ever had so far in my life.. because I’ve never been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter lol. So I have to go there first and see what my final verdict is. :))

      Take care too, Tanchicat! Can’t wait to hear more of new Demi Tunes! *winkwink*

      February 28, 2016 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply Clarisa

    Hi, Cariza! We have slightly similar names! Haha. :)

    Anyway, I was randomly visiting blogs and came across yours! And I’m glad to have stumbled on here. Your blog is lovely, and this post is such a nice read. You really had an interesting and fulfilling month. I hope March will also be good for you. Good luck on your new job! x

    February 29, 2016 at 3:37 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      Hi Clarisa! Haha, now that you’ve mentioned it, when I was a kid most of my teachers would also mistakenly call me “Clarissa” or “Carissa”.. all because they think the way my name is spelled seemed weirdly different. Anyway, I’m glad you liked what you found in here. I hope you’ll stay. <3

      March 2, 2016 at 8:04 pm
  • Reply Clint

    You might wanna try to visit Local Edition Coffee and Tea in Makati if you’re near the area.

    Congratulations on the new job! It really would feel that you’re on cloud nine when you win your dream company.

    March 1, 2016 at 5:46 am
    • mm
      Reply Cariza

      I.. live in Hawaii. /lol But I *do* know Local Edition, I’ve been there quite a few times before for events and whatnot. :)

      March 1, 2016 at 8:43 am

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