As 2016 draws to a close, it's time to take a look back at the year that was. In no particular order, here are the 14 most important things I learned this year:

1. Enjoy the view. And take lots of pictures while you're at it. Life is too short to not enjoy every moment the best way you can.

2. Get over it. You got cheated on? You didn't get the job you've always wanted? Your friend betrayed you? Sure, it was unfair and cruel but you can't let these things define you. At some point, you just have to MOVE ON. When God tells you to let something go, always trust that He plans to replace it with something better. Always!

3. Being lonely makes you tougher. Because you're a strong independent woman.

4. The less you care, the happier you'll be. People are going to say all kinds of things about others and it's inevitable. It's a free world after all. However, it will only affect you once you allow them to. Ignore them or better yet, block them on your Social Media accounts. It's not an immature move, it only means that you choose to focus on having a happy life rather than focus on what they say about you.

5. Mom always knows best. Don't you hate it when your Mom tells you to do something you don't want to do? Whether it's not dating someone which you think is "the one" for you, or not going out with your friends to a part of town that isn't entirely safe. Trust me, I know the feeling. You'll realize that your Mom is right when you look back and see everything she told you would happen actually happened. Or in my case, I realized it sooner.

6. Chivalry is not dead. You thought it was until you met this man who will walk in front of you so he could open the door, greet your parents before you leave for a date, calls you beautiful everyday, sends you sweet long messages when you're feeling down, surprises you with the little things and when you needed a hug he will call you up to tell you he's outside your house. Romance and chivalry aren't dead we just happen to live in a society where they are desired yet not appreciated. If you come across these kind of people, keep them and appreciate them because they are really hard to find.

7. Hang in there. Whatever you're waiting for - graduation, love life or job offers. Be patient and trust that everything has its time. You are as good as everyone else is, instead of doubting yourself, put your mind on positive things that will help you in the future. Like what one of my friends always say, "enjoy the process." Don't rush, sweetheart. You have a long way to go!

8. Always smile. A friendly gesture and a smile can really cheer someone up and make their day. You never know who you are helping along the way.

9. Never fall for words. Instead, watch their actions.

10. Stalking people online is a waste of time. This is a common pastime millennials engage themselves into and I must admit, I'm guilty of this too. It is not necessarily bad, but if it is starts affecting you emotionally then that's another story. Whether it is checking your crush's girlfriend's Facebook or the Kardashian sisters' Instagram you should know that your time is precious and doing these kind of activities won't do you any good. If you begin to feel insecure and bad about yourself, always keep in mind that what you see are just the façades these people hide behind. There's always more than one side of a story. So stop making it a habit and start improving on yourself instead.

11. Keep your circle small. Number 1 rule: Never open up to people you've just met. Sure, they're fun to talk to and you get along quite well but you can't always guarantee their trust. 2017 is a time of growth and success, you have to make sure you have the right ones on your team.

12. One must learn discipline. We can't always rely on motivation because sometimes it's not there. Self-discipline, however, is unwavering. Once you have that, maintaining your weight goal or keeping a healthy lifestyle will be effortless!

13. Take chances. Because you never know how perfect something can turn out.

14. Learn to appreciate the little things in life. Many of the little things in life have yet to grow. Appreciate them, and they may just show you something bigger than you could have ever imagined.

Writing something like this is actually very refreshing for me, it makes us realize how far we've come and how fast things change in a span of 12 months. Despite the bad things that happened this year, a lot of good things came out of it - many life lessons, personal growth and love. I wonder what 2017 will hold for us? I don't know - but I'm looking forward to finding out.

So, what have you learned in 2016? Share it with me. Happy New Year everyone! :)

Stay Sassy! 


14 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2016

31 December 2016



As 2016 draws to a close, it's time to take a look back at the year that was. In no particular order, here are the 14 most important things I learned this year:

1. Enjoy the view. And take lots of pictures while you're at it. Life is too short to not enjoy every moment the best way you can.

2. Get over it. You got cheated on? You didn't get the job you've always wanted? Your friend betrayed you? Sure, it was unfair and cruel but you can't let these things define you. At some point, you just have to MOVE ON. When God tells you to let something go, always trust that He plans to replace it with something better. Always!

3. Being lonely makes you tougher. Because you're a strong independent woman.

4. The less you care, the happier you'll be. People are going to say all kinds of things about others and it's inevitable. It's a free world after all. However, it will only affect you once you allow them to. Ignore them or better yet, block them on your Social Media accounts. It's not an immature move, it only means that you choose to focus on having a happy life rather than focus on what they say about you.

5. Mom always knows best. Don't you hate it when your Mom tells you to do something you don't want to do? Whether it's not dating someone which you think is "the one" for you, or not going out with your friends to a part of town that isn't entirely safe. Trust me, I know the feeling. You'll realize that your Mom is right when you look back and see everything she told you would happen actually happened. Or in my case, I realized it sooner.

6. Chivalry is not dead. You thought it was until you met this man who will walk in front of you so he could open the door, greet your parents before you leave for a date, calls you beautiful everyday, sends you sweet long messages when you're feeling down, surprises you with the little things and when you needed a hug he will call you up to tell you he's outside your house. Romance and chivalry aren't dead we just happen to live in a society where they are desired yet not appreciated. If you come across these kind of people, keep them and appreciate them because they are really hard to find.

7. Hang in there. Whatever you're waiting for - graduation, love life or job offers. Be patient and trust that everything has its time. You are as good as everyone else is, instead of doubting yourself, put your mind on positive things that will help you in the future. Like what one of my friends always say, "enjoy the process." Don't rush, sweetheart. You have a long way to go!

8. Always smile. A friendly gesture and a smile can really cheer someone up and make their day. You never know who you are helping along the way.

9. Never fall for words. Instead, watch their actions.

10. Stalking people online is a waste of time. This is a common pastime millennials engage themselves into and I must admit, I'm guilty of this too. It is not necessarily bad, but if it is starts affecting you emotionally then that's another story. Whether it is checking your crush's girlfriend's Facebook or the Kardashian sisters' Instagram you should know that your time is precious and doing these kind of activities won't do you any good. If you begin to feel insecure and bad about yourself, always keep in mind that what you see are just the façades these people hide behind. There's always more than one side of a story. So stop making it a habit and start improving on yourself instead.

11. Keep your circle small. Number 1 rule: Never open up to people you've just met. Sure, they're fun to talk to and you get along quite well but you can't always guarantee their trust. 2017 is a time of growth and success, you have to make sure you have the right ones on your team.

12. One must learn discipline. We can't always rely on motivation because sometimes it's not there. Self-discipline, however, is unwavering. Once you have that, maintaining your weight goal or keeping a healthy lifestyle will be effortless!

13. Take chances. Because you never know how perfect something can turn out.

14. Learn to appreciate the little things in life. Many of the little things in life have yet to grow. Appreciate them, and they may just show you something bigger than you could have ever imagined.

Writing something like this is actually very refreshing for me, it makes us realize how far we've come and how fast things change in a span of 12 months. Despite the bad things that happened this year, a lot of good things came out of it - many life lessons, personal growth and love. I wonder what 2017 will hold for us? I don't know - but I'm looking forward to finding out.

So, what have you learned in 2016? Share it with me. Happy New Year everyone! :)

Stay Sassy! 



Paris, France is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. It is a city full of museums, art galleries and other top attractions. So we thought, it's never a complete trip to France without visiting the City of Lights! With the help of Trainline Europe (Captain Train) app, we were able to reserve a two-way ticket ride from Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau Station to Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris and vice versa for more or less 80 EUR (4,000 PHP) each person.


Our scheduled departure from Toulouse is at 12 midnight and I was ecstatic to find out that we're riding on a train with couchette compartments rather than the normal reclining seats. This is an advantage since we'll be able to get enough sleep and wake up refreshed for next day's adventure.

Parc Du Champ-de-Mars


My family and I rarely travel with any set itinerary, maybe we did once in Ilo-Ilo but that's about it. In my opinion at least, spontaneous travel is really the best way to see the city. However, this is not the case in cities like Paris. If you're not one for joining group tours with very strict itineraries, at least find time to research about the city you're visiting; its tourist spots and how to get there. Spare yourself from the stress specially if you only have less than 24 hours to explore the city. This was definitely a lesson learned for me since I honestly got carried away with excitement on just seeing the Eiffel Tower, that I forgot to realize that there are more to Paris than that.



From Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris we took another train to Gare du Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel metro station, the ticket doesn't cost much but make sure to bring change with you. Some automatic machines only accept coins or credit cards as payment.



The Eiffel Tower was a lot bigger than I thought! I can still vividly remember how I felt the first time I stepped out of the metro station and seeing it in front of me. Of course, I can't help but get teary eyed.

It was one of those rare moments when I can really say, "DREAMS DO COME TRUE."


Anyway, if you're planning a trip to Paris with only a day to explore the area, the best way to get around is by foot. Just beside the metro station is a beautiful park overlooking the Seine River. If you walk further you will see famous bridges such as Pont Alexander III, Pont Neuf and Pont Des Arts also known as the Love Locks Bridge. Parc Du Champ-de-Mars, a large green space where you can see the Eiffel Tower up close is only a 10-minute walk away from the metro station.






They say, summer is a great time to travel in France (June to September) but expect high temperatures and crowded places. If you live in a tropical country like here in the Philippines. I don't recommend traveling to this city around these months. Our trip to Paris would have been pleasant if only the heat wasn't sweltering! I guess, my brother's face says it all.


Paris is not everyone's cup of tea, I've come across a couple of blog posts that said their experience was a mix of good and bad. There are also those who said they would never go back because of many different reasons. Well, everyone has their own opinion, so you really just have to see to believe.



If you want to enjoy Paris and not end up getting disappointed, you should not expect too much because just like any other other normal city, it is a densely populated place with beggars and garbage around. It's not all glitz and glamour, they also have some less desirable parts.




Here are 10 simple things you should take note before visiting the French capital: 

1. Beware of pickpockets or the "gypsies."
2. Parisian drivers are notorious for refusing to stop at pedestrian lanes so ALWAYS BE ALERT when crossing the streets.
3. Create an itinerary. It doesn't have to be detailed, just make sure to familiarize yourself with the place.
4. As much as possible, bring a jug, bottle or any container filled with water.
5. Bring a map or simply download an app from your phone.
6. Always carry change/coins with you.
7. Learning and speaking basic French phrases will make your experience easier.



8. Walking is one of the best ways to take in a new city. So the number one item that you should bring to Paris is a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

 The Louvre

9. Book yout ticket to Louvre in advance! Link here. We didn't have enough time to get inside the most famous museum in the world but just seeing it is incredible.
10. Bring EXTRA everything. Extra memory card, extra battery, extra charger, extra power bank or even an extra camera because believe me, you will need these. You won't want to miss any picture perfect moment!



Paris is not like how it is in the movies - don't go there expecting mimes everywhere, men in beret saying "ooh lala!" and even French women all dressed up in high heels or you'll just end up getting disappointed. Although, I believe Paris is a really interesting city and it is definitely well-worth visiting. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about it and like Toulouse it is incredibly beautiful in every turn. I'll be sure to bring someone special with me the next time I come back :)


Stay Sassy! 

A DAY IN PARIS

30 December 2016


Paris, France is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. It is a city full of museums, art galleries and other top attractions. So we thought, it's never a complete trip to France without visiting the City of Lights! With the help of Trainline Europe (Captain Train) app, we were able to reserve a two-way ticket ride from Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau Station to Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris and vice versa for more or less 80 EUR (4,000 PHP) each person.


Our scheduled departure from Toulouse is at 12 midnight and I was ecstatic to find out that we're riding on a train with couchette compartments rather than the normal reclining seats. This is an advantage since we'll be able to get enough sleep and wake up refreshed for next day's adventure.

Parc Du Champ-de-Mars


My family and I rarely travel with any set itinerary, maybe we did once in Ilo-Ilo but that's about it. In my opinion at least, spontaneous travel is really the best way to see the city. However, this is not the case in cities like Paris. If you're not one for joining group tours with very strict itineraries, at least find time to research about the city you're visiting; its tourist spots and how to get there. Spare yourself from the stress specially if you only have less than 24 hours to explore the city. This was definitely a lesson learned for me since I honestly got carried away with excitement on just seeing the Eiffel Tower, that I forgot to realize that there are more to Paris than that.



From Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris we took another train to Gare du Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel metro station, the ticket doesn't cost much but make sure to bring change with you. Some automatic machines only accept coins or credit cards as payment.



The Eiffel Tower was a lot bigger than I thought! I can still vividly remember how I felt the first time I stepped out of the metro station and seeing it in front of me. Of course, I can't help but get teary eyed.

It was one of those rare moments when I can really say, "DREAMS DO COME TRUE."


Anyway, if you're planning a trip to Paris with only a day to explore the area, the best way to get around is by foot. Just beside the metro station is a beautiful park overlooking the Seine River. If you walk further you will see famous bridges such as Pont Alexander III, Pont Neuf and Pont Des Arts also known as the Love Locks Bridge. Parc Du Champ-de-Mars, a large green space where you can see the Eiffel Tower up close is only a 10-minute walk away from the metro station.






They say, summer is a great time to travel in France (June to September) but expect high temperatures and crowded places. If you live in a tropical country like here in the Philippines. I don't recommend traveling to this city around these months. Our trip to Paris would have been pleasant if only the heat wasn't sweltering! I guess, my brother's face says it all.


Paris is not everyone's cup of tea, I've come across a couple of blog posts that said their experience was a mix of good and bad. There are also those who said they would never go back because of many different reasons. Well, everyone has their own opinion, so you really just have to see to believe.



If you want to enjoy Paris and not end up getting disappointed, you should not expect too much because just like any other other normal city, it is a densely populated place with beggars and garbage around. It's not all glitz and glamour, they also have some less desirable parts.




Here are 10 simple things you should take note before visiting the French capital: 

1. Beware of pickpockets or the "gypsies."
2. Parisian drivers are notorious for refusing to stop at pedestrian lanes so ALWAYS BE ALERT when crossing the streets.
3. Create an itinerary. It doesn't have to be detailed, just make sure to familiarize yourself with the place.
4. As much as possible, bring a jug, bottle or any container filled with water.
5. Bring a map or simply download an app from your phone.
6. Always carry change/coins with you.
7. Learning and speaking basic French phrases will make your experience easier.



8. Walking is one of the best ways to take in a new city. So the number one item that you should bring to Paris is a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

 The Louvre

9. Book yout ticket to Louvre in advance! Link here. We didn't have enough time to get inside the most famous museum in the world but just seeing it is incredible.
10. Bring EXTRA everything. Extra memory card, extra battery, extra charger, extra power bank or even an extra camera because believe me, you will need these. You won't want to miss any picture perfect moment!



Paris is not like how it is in the movies - don't go there expecting mimes everywhere, men in beret saying "ooh lala!" and even French women all dressed up in high heels or you'll just end up getting disappointed. Although, I believe Paris is a really interesting city and it is definitely well-worth visiting. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about it and like Toulouse it is incredibly beautiful in every turn. I'll be sure to bring someone special with me the next time I come back :)


Stay Sassy! 

The city of Toulouse is located in the Southwest of France. It is known to be the center of the European Aerospace Industry and is home to one of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world - Airbus. Not once did it cross my mind that I would get to travel this beautiful city let alone explore other cities of France, so when my Dad allowed us to tag along with him I was thrilled!



We have few weeks to prepare everything for this trip - visa, tickets and accommodation. I'm sure a lot of you who have traveled abroad will agree to me when I say that visas are a frustrating necessity. If you're a first-timer like myself, you'll find the number of required documents needed so over-whelming that sometimes it will make you think twice whether to push through with the trip or not. I'm just glad that I got to experience the whole application process with my parents because they were the ones who prepared everything for us such as the travel insurance, copies of bank accounts, etc... at least now I know what to do the next time I travel alone.


We submitted our French visa application at VFS GLOBAL located in Ecoplaza Bldg., Don Chino Roces Ave Ext, Makati City. It wasn't as cumbersome as I thought it would, all you need is to show up with the required documents on the day of your scheduled appointment. No need to worry about the "interview" because there aren't any. Anyway, it was smooth sailing! We got our passport back with our French visa 3 days after our personal appearance at VFS GLOBAL. If you want to know more about the visa application process, you may visit their website or contact them at (02) 790 4903.

Like applying for a visa, booking a trip tends to be an extremely stressful and grueling task. We usually spend hours online bouncing from one website to another searching for deals on flights. Since it was our first time traveling to Europe, we thought it was necessary to ask help from a travel agency. I recommend Marvels of Travel, a travel agency in Ayala Alabang if you want to experience great customer service. They will surely help you look for travel deals that will fit your budget!


Fast forward to August 23, as soon as I stepped out of Toulouse-Blagnac airport, I didn't realize it was possible to feel almost every contrasting emotion at the same time. I was definitely exhausted from the long-haul flight but also elated to see my parents waiting for me at the arrival area. Looking back, I still can't believe I am in France. It was truly a dream come true.




Usually, when we think of France, one of the things that come to mind is Paris and the Eiffel Tower. But what some of us don't know is France have 123 other cities and one of which is Toulouse. Having no knowledge of this city, I researched about it and learned that Toulouse is known to as La Ville Rose or The Pink City because of its distinctive pink brick stones used to construct many of its breathtaking buildings.






Toulouse is often overlooked but it's one of France's most historic and fascinating cities. Walking around this beautiful city is a bit like traveling through time because of its winding old streets and medieval/Gothic cathedrals.



There are a number of awe-inspiring churches in Toulouse such as Notre-Dame de la Daurade and Conventuel des Jacobins, but the Basilica of Saint-Sernin (see photo above) is where my Mom usually brings us to pray. It is the largest Romanesque Church in Europe and one of the most famous pilgrimage churches in Southern France. If you've read Paulo Coelho's book "The Pilrimage", you might remember him mentioning this church in Toulouse.





I'd say, Toulousain & Toulousaine or the people in Toulouse are incredibly warm compared to those in other cities like Paris. They are actually friendly and most of my interactions there have been positive, whereas with my experience with Parisians, they could be snobby and rude specially if you don't speak their language. But I guess that's already expected.




Just like in the Philippines, homelessness is prevalent in France. There are homeless people begging on every corners, sleeping in metro stations or rummaging in rubbish bins but there are also talented homeless performers who play instruments or do circus acts to earn money.




Many of the malls in Manila are usually crowded on Sundays. However, this is a day of rest to most people in Toulouse. Don't expect to find shops open except in specific locations at certain times of the year. 


Observing the people passing by Capitole de Toulouse, shopping along Rue du Rempart St-Etienne and sightseeing at Pont Neuf are just few of the many activities I enjoyed doing in the Pink City.





For someone like me who has been living in a city, seeing Toulouse is like a breath of fresh air. It's different from the urbanized lifestyle I'm used to because unlike here in Manila, their old buildings have been kept and the streets have this rustic and vintage feel about them. I loved every minute that we were there in Toulouse and as much as I want to explain in detail my experiences there, writing it all down would take forever. My 1 month stay in Toulouse is an eye-opening experience for me and I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to travel to this fascinating city with my family.

I hope you enjoyed reading my trip to Toulouse as much as I enjoyed writing it. See you in my next travel post - "A Day In Paris". 

Stay Sassy! 

A THING OR TWO ABOUT TOULOUSE

17 November 2016


The city of Toulouse is located in the Southwest of France. It is known to be the center of the European Aerospace Industry and is home to one of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world - Airbus. Not once did it cross my mind that I would get to travel this beautiful city let alone explore other cities of France, so when my Dad allowed us to tag along with him I was thrilled!



We have few weeks to prepare everything for this trip - visa, tickets and accommodation. I'm sure a lot of you who have traveled abroad will agree to me when I say that visas are a frustrating necessity. If you're a first-timer like myself, you'll find the number of required documents needed so over-whelming that sometimes it will make you think twice whether to push through with the trip or not. I'm just glad that I got to experience the whole application process with my parents because they were the ones who prepared everything for us such as the travel insurance, copies of bank accounts, etc... at least now I know what to do the next time I travel alone.


We submitted our French visa application at VFS GLOBAL located in Ecoplaza Bldg., Don Chino Roces Ave Ext, Makati City. It wasn't as cumbersome as I thought it would, all you need is to show up with the required documents on the day of your scheduled appointment. No need to worry about the "interview" because there aren't any. Anyway, it was smooth sailing! We got our passport back with our French visa 3 days after our personal appearance at VFS GLOBAL. If you want to know more about the visa application process, you may visit their website or contact them at (02) 790 4903.

Like applying for a visa, booking a trip tends to be an extremely stressful and grueling task. We usually spend hours online bouncing from one website to another searching for deals on flights. Since it was our first time traveling to Europe, we thought it was necessary to ask help from a travel agency. I recommend Marvels of Travel, a travel agency in Ayala Alabang if you want to experience great customer service. They will surely help you look for travel deals that will fit your budget!


Fast forward to August 23, as soon as I stepped out of Toulouse-Blagnac airport, I didn't realize it was possible to feel almost every contrasting emotion at the same time. I was definitely exhausted from the long-haul flight but also elated to see my parents waiting for me at the arrival area. Looking back, I still can't believe I am in France. It was truly a dream come true.




Usually, when we think of France, one of the things that come to mind is Paris and the Eiffel Tower. But what some of us don't know is France have 123 other cities and one of which is Toulouse. Having no knowledge of this city, I researched about it and learned that Toulouse is known to as La Ville Rose or The Pink City because of its distinctive pink brick stones used to construct many of its breathtaking buildings.






Toulouse is often overlooked but it's one of France's most historic and fascinating cities. Walking around this beautiful city is a bit like traveling through time because of its winding old streets and medieval/Gothic cathedrals.



There are a number of awe-inspiring churches in Toulouse such as Notre-Dame de la Daurade and Conventuel des Jacobins, but the Basilica of Saint-Sernin (see photo above) is where my Mom usually brings us to pray. It is the largest Romanesque Church in Europe and one of the most famous pilgrimage churches in Southern France. If you've read Paulo Coelho's book "The Pilrimage", you might remember him mentioning this church in Toulouse.





I'd say, Toulousain & Toulousaine or the people in Toulouse are incredibly warm compared to those in other cities like Paris. They are actually friendly and most of my interactions there have been positive, whereas with my experience with Parisians, they could be snobby and rude specially if you don't speak their language. But I guess that's already expected.




Just like in the Philippines, homelessness is prevalent in France. There are homeless people begging on every corners, sleeping in metro stations or rummaging in rubbish bins but there are also talented homeless performers who play instruments or do circus acts to earn money.




Many of the malls in Manila are usually crowded on Sundays. However, this is a day of rest to most people in Toulouse. Don't expect to find shops open except in specific locations at certain times of the year. 


Observing the people passing by Capitole de Toulouse, shopping along Rue du Rempart St-Etienne and sightseeing at Pont Neuf are just few of the many activities I enjoyed doing in the Pink City.





For someone like me who has been living in a city, seeing Toulouse is like a breath of fresh air. It's different from the urbanized lifestyle I'm used to because unlike here in Manila, their old buildings have been kept and the streets have this rustic and vintage feel about them. I loved every minute that we were there in Toulouse and as much as I want to explain in detail my experiences there, writing it all down would take forever. My 1 month stay in Toulouse is an eye-opening experience for me and I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to travel to this fascinating city with my family.

I hope you enjoyed reading my trip to Toulouse as much as I enjoyed writing it. See you in my next travel post - "A Day In Paris". 

Stay Sassy! 

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