Purple Beetle…

PURPLE BEETLE

“Where focus goes, energy flows.”~Tony Robbins~

It all started with this photo.

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Courtesy of: http://www.imgrum.org/media/1276837540570395942_1725691340

This is probably one of the most beautiful dream catcher that I’ve seen. It isn’t a painting, it isn’t a drawing, but a photo of a real dream catcher (s). Not just one but several dream catchers put together creating a very beautiful masterpiece. I’ve always thought and assumed that it is somewhere not near, maybe in a different country.

Then one day, while browsing for hotels to stay out of town, I came across this cafe in Lipa, Batangas. It’s called Purple beetle.

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A graffiti of a native Indian struck me, with all kinds of dream catchers surrounding it. Colorful feathers here and there. As I went further, a very familiar window captured my attention. It was that window with the dream catchers I’ve seen months ago. I couldn’t believe that it is here in my country.

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If I can only “DIY” this! ❤

As if running out of time, I immediately asked Jen to visit Batangas because I really wanted to see this cafe. There have been many blogs about it, though I really wanted to see it myself.

We were able to squeeze it with our busy schedules. Just recently, we decided (finally – after contemplating if we can do it) to go to the gym regularly. Adding up another activity that we try to manage inspite of our conflicting schedules tons of work in the office and at home.

We took a bus from Alabang, and it took us less than 2 hours to reach Lipa, Batangas. I must not forget to mention that I admired the town for its’ cleanliness, the roads are very organized, bus stations are situated in just one location giving comfort to commuters and tourists alike.

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Lipa City never felt like a province to me. I saw McDonalds one block after another, I saw a total of 3 McDonalds in Lipa. It was funny, because in my own hometown, I am happy that our village is in front of McDonalds, however, the next is an hour ride from its’ location. Very province right?!

The main roads in Lipa are a bit wider too, and before we reached our destination. It was inspiring to discover that Purple beetle is sandwiched by known restaurants like Army Navy, two very popular coffee shops: CBTL and Starbucks, and you will be surprised
to witness that despite of the competitors surrounding the place, their tables were seldom empty. When we arrived, we even have to wait for some tables to be vacated and we never had the chance to choose spots we like. I don’t mind, I’m just after that window with the dream catchers.

They also sell boho stuff: of course dream catchers in all sizes, hairdresses, boho tops and dresses, tasseled bags, shawls, and mandala spreads.

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Let’s take a look at their menu:

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We opted to have nachos salad and quesadillas which they called “Pizzadilla” because it has toppings too. I had my purple slush and Jen had coffee.

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Much as I do not want to be too transparent in my blogs. The place is just hype, famous among Millennials (Coachella type), but they need to make another study when it comes to the food that they’re offering.

The pizadilla, since it has toppings and fillings at the same time, tasted nothing but salty. No feel of the other ingredients due to its’ saltiness. The tortilla wasn’t able to balance it, apparently, my palette normally requires salty taste from time to time, but this one I couldn’t tolerate.

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In all my travels, several times I’ve proven that a picture can literally speak a thousand words. One can look so beautiful in pictures, when in reality, it is not that pretty if not disappointing. Honestly, the photos enticed me. The likes of Sonya’s Garden, Prado farm weren’t that pretty in reality. They were pretty in their own terms, but they didn’t have that “wow” factor. That feeling of satisfaction that you’re happy you came.

Jen was too positive to tell me that out of the many travels we’ve made, the disappointments are very few. That most travels made us happy because it surpassed our expectations. One piece of advise is to seek opinion of those who saw a specific place already. And you’ll never go wrong. Besides, it is always been a part of the adventure. Usually, it is not the place, it is the adventure itself.

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PURPLE BEETLE  is at Ayala Highway, Lipa City, Batangas Philippines 4217. You can send them email at: hello@purplebeetle.com.ph with telephone number: 0998-855-7732.

 

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PINTO ART Museum…

Pinto Art Museum – Your portal to one of Philippines’ greatest Art collection. 

I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”
~Vincent Van Gogh~

If you look at my blog site, my Facebook page, my Instagram and Pinterest account, you will instantly conclude that I am an artist by heart.

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Yes I am.

When I took up Interior Design, I have witnessed genuine artists. My classmates, my Professors and their colleagues.

We were exposed to museums, art galleries and exhibits. Some of which are ours where each student represents one creation.

I did not dare to categorize myself with them because I am not good at freehand drawing like my other classmates. However before graduation, our mentors since we’re freshmen identified the strengths of each. I in particular, my mentor claimed that I have tons of ideas to create original designs, that I am very detailed and that an artist never required excellence in freehand drawing so I can still excel with doing abstracts. And I tried a few times. She also enumerated what occupations would fit us. I remember her saying I am a free soul since I did not limit myself with established borders.

I did not end up like a Professional Artist. But it was good enough for me (just to mend a broken heart for not being a full-time one) that I was able to utilize my degree at some points in my entire career life. I did booths for exhibits, sleepless during ingress, commended for a beautiful color scheme by a former boss. He asked me to reproduce more sets, however, I only did them from the remaining fabrics that were already discontinued. So I can not clone that one anymore which eventually annoyed him. =(

I did window displays of Merchandise shops. Took charge of the the interiors and exteriors of a significant part of a theme park where I used to work, spear-headed annual competitions, emulating Broadway hits and won thrice. And as stupid as I can be sometimes, my designs were even stolen twice. These are some of my pride.

I love art. I love colors. Bright ones. Sometimes I love the soft pastels too. I am inspired by gifted hands and tried to do them in my own special way. DIYs, reproductions, tweaked in such a way you will be allowed to own it.

So anything that has to do with Arts. I am in that leaning. I am like a child who won’t stop asking her mom to give in to what I am wishing for.

One of the galleries I really wanted to see is Pinto Art Museum.

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Welcome arch..
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We’re here, finally, after four long hours of traveling.
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It’s still Christmas at Pinto..

It was a bit hard on my part since I have to spend 5 hours to get there by commute. A total of 4 rides.

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Nature and Arts combined.

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And then finally, I was able to visit it by chance on a Sunday. Which we realized isn’t wise to do since the place is a bit cramped. Considering you have to savor each piece, those works of art laboriously brought to life by renowned artists.

Jen and I had to wait (long) for our turns to revel on each piece and she ran out of patience and asked me if we can leave since she is no longer enjoying. I actually feel the same way but I tried to ignore it since I am in between enjoying the place and running out of patience at the same time.

I might suggest to the management the possibility of limiting the number of visits per day and maybe manage the galleries in such a way that bystanders won’t linger just so to give chance to others. Or it’s just a wishful thinking as I remember visiting this theme park with more than 10,000 guests at that time. Should we limit it or not might be a major concern.

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Yay!

I also asked Jen whether the “Pinto” is the surname of the curator or they are literally referring to the word which is “Door” in the English language. It is the latter.

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I have collected several photos with “doors”. And archs, stairs, windows and of course with the different art works carefully distributed in each gallery.

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Several stairs..

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You will find there everything related to the Arts:

Sculptures

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Photography

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Negatives lighted from the back. And most of them are Saints..

 

Drawings

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Paintings

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Huge!
Huge!

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Conceptual Arts

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For the girls!

Crafts

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This one is inside a glass cabinet..

Junk arts

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Thought it was a man’s ribs then I saw that padlock.

Historical and religious items

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There’s a chapel to welcome you at Pinto..

And even Architecture

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And nature in all its’ beauty.

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A day is not enough to revere in their pulchritude.

And so we will make a second visit. A planned one. =)

This blog is like a gratitude to the curator who assembled hundreds of different masterpieces. It is beyond question, one of Filipino’s pride. Thank you for promoting a world-class prowess.

Pinoy pride...
Pinoy pride…

PS

And secretly, I wished that I have one of my piece displayed there, under a pseudonym. =)

MAARTE Fair 2016…

Maarte Fair 2016

“I was created to create.”

Maarte Fair kicked-off 3 years ago and much as I want to see it then, time didn’t permit me.

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Since 2013…

So come 2016, I looked forward to it and kept an eye as to when it’ll be held and of course where.

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Photo source: http://www.manilashopper.com/2016/08/maarte-fair-at-8-rockwell-august-2016.html

Upon seeing the event’s title, I remember our own exhibit before I graduated from college. It says: “Artenikulasa”. It featured our actual execution of what was in our thesis. It was held at Shangri-la mall, in Mandaluyong City.

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OMG! 1993! ahaha

Being “maarte” might insinuate a not so positive thought to many, however, with me, at times I am being associated with everything that is “maarte”, I didn’t mind and even took it as a compliment.

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Ground floor of Rockwell 8..
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Best booth awardee..
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Everything is nice and pretty…

I’d rather be known as “maarte” than be bland, not necessarily being up to date with all the current trends, just making sure there is artistry, be it with the way I dress, the way I fix my sanctuary, even with my cooking and how I blog or write as well.

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Due to a really very busy schedule, and hunting for friends who would take their time out just to accompany me, even if at times it’s not their cup of tea, I found my way to see the fair on a Sunday. It’s the last day of the event. For the last three years, it’s been held every last weekend of August, from Friday to Sunday.

I had this fear of not being able to make it again this time, for one, I got sick last week, the whole of Saturday was pre-planned to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday and I made sure that Sunday would be free. And I had to mention being thankful to my ever supportive buddy – Jen, she is not just my travel and foodie buddy but also my art buddy as well. I am good to attend it alone, It’s just that it would be great to share with her this experience and get her views too.

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Cheese platter…

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Anthill from Cebu was there..=)

So this it, finally I get to see the fair. I could not express how happy and excited I was to make it and see myself witnessing artisans from all over the country showcasing the best of their crafts. It was an assembly of individuals with a common ground. Their love for art.

An artist’s life has two sides like a coin, the other is the realization that you are one and the other side is living the realization. They are the other side. While I, I think I’m on my way.

The artist in all of us is seen in all our surroundings. It is there each time we speak, it is traced in our gaze, it is evident in our every actions, with the way we express ourselves and it is felt in our hearts. You would instantly notice it upon meeting another.

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The fair was a gamut of everything that is nice and pretty and tedious. I say tedious because it took someone’s time and effort and laborious days and nights to finish a masterpiece. Signed with uniqueness.

plates

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coasters

ethnicity

pillows

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Time is gold…

And once it is finished, it spelled happiness in every artisan.

You will also wonder as to what inspired them to create one when passion is calling their names out loud. To create a piece, there is always an inspiration behind, and believe me, each story is uniquely interesting.

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Buslo.. and intricately embellished clutches..

Creating a piece for me is like two souls intertwined, the one who created it and the one who was why it was created. That piece itself is like a bond that will pull them together for as long as the memory can recall.

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Every artist can evolve… everyone can…

These are the things that inspires me as well, so I am looking up again next year to witness all things beautiful reborn. Who knows, I might see myself as one of them too.

Cafe ALEZON – Keeping on the quest for the best

Cafe Alezon – Keeping on the quest for the best…

“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”
~Thomas Keller~

<And I think, that place, wherever it is, must possess a soul too>.

For the foodies in us, it is more often that we tend to compare one preparation from another. The way it is presented. Its’ taste. And of course its’ impact on our budget.

In our search for a nachos salad that will excite us in a different way as we’ve tried more than a dozen. We ended up in this secluded Mediterranean themed restaurant in BF Paranaque. It still is a part of the Food Mecca which BF Paranaque is known for. It has been part of my bucket list for places loved by foodies. It is located at the farther part of BF Homes which connects to the other side of Las Pinas.

I actually wonder who started the progression of numerous queue of restaurants where guests couldn’t figure out who has the edge over the other. And they have it all. Pastry shops, American, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Coffee shops, name it. Believe me I couldn’t count them no more.

Honestly Cafe Alezon is enticing, not only because of that huge mural of one of my favorite artist from Mexico – Frida Kahlo. Which for me took center stage. While I am not the first one to blog about Cafe Alezon. Thanks to these bloggers who lead me to discover one such quaint place that offers delicious cuisine.

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There she is.

Most of those I’ve read were from artists (and foodies) like me. And it’s a colleague from Machuca tiles who encouraged me to visit and personally check their tiles at Cafe Alezon. So the reason why I need to go out of my way to go farther beyond Aguirre street is not only to satiate my tummy but to appreciate the decorative tiles (and the interiors itself, as a whole) which is all over the place and you can spot them even on their tables. If I didn’t mention in the past, I have once fallen in love with anything that’s black and white too. Floorings included. =)

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Those tiles are mesmerizing..

I must say that it was kinda tiring to reach the place by commuting. It’s just worth it when we arrived and the neon signage of all their best sellers welcomed us.

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Their facade is a head-turner..
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Interesting! =)

While waiting for our food, we were thrilled to take some photos to our hearts’ content. I must admit that I am so enthralled in seeing in actual this place that is loved by so many. Originally, my friend is  most proud to boast the one that they installed at Antonio’s in Tagaytay and I’ve been keeping it in my list for years now. Though, for now, Cafe Alezon is the one near at hand.

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Festive colors.. and intricacy..
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This door leads to the bigger dining area..
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Dining table with the Machuka tiles…=)
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And you will be welcomed by that smile upon entry..
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I had to capture the books so you’ll see how big these cups are like..
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Vintage stuff..
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Magical stuff..

So what we’ve had is of course their Nachos Y Salsa.

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Delicious!

The attendant offered this sauce to us and I forgot to ask if its strong and it was.

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Philippine-made..

Then, we also tried the Cookie shot. It is something worth a second or even a third try. And it is new to me.

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I guess I can consume three (or more) of this..

The Turon are with sweetened lanca which served as our dessert though this is something we can always prepare at home. It is nothing extra-ordinary like the one I’ve tried at Kanin club.

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A staple dessert in the Philippines..

For our drinks, we tried their brewed and Turkish coffee, another take of the third wave coffee beans.

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(–,)

The ambiance of the place has its’ old feel and gives the impression of the owner to be a lover of art, probably a coffee lover too and a frequent traveler. It is prevalent in the stuff displayed in all four corners. It looked like a mini art museum to me. =)

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Interiors are well-thought of.

Upon interviewing their attendants which courtesy and geniality aren’t canned. There are weekends where there are Art shows by a conclave of local Artists which draw more crowds.

When we came, there are 3 tables occupied inside and 1 outside. After staying for almost an hour, they are still there maybe due to the “homey” feel of the place and during that hour, guests come and go and when we’re about to leave, there’s already couple who are about to occupy the table that we’ve had.

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I definitely had a great time..
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Spell h-a-p-p-y! =)
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And happy tummy! =)

I actually wont mind if Jen will ask me to go back. Not just because of their love for art but because of the other items in their menu that sounds and looks interesting to me too. I am looking forward to try their pizza and paella.

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Didn’t hurt our pockets at all. =)

Envisioning this pursuit befittingly makes me a foodie… I don’t mind. =)

What’s with COASTERS?

What’s with Coasters? 

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” ~Eckhart Tolle~

At a time when I see tables in veneer or solid wood everywhere. Our house then, all tables of which are in glass tops instead. It was specifically chosen by my father.

He was also very particular that it must be clean and preferably shining all the time. We always have a supply of Pledge. He wants to make sure that they are clean, dust-free and glossy.

It is also his rule that guests if offered a drink must be provided with coasters. We have all kinds. Glass, wood, cork board, laminated sheets, etc.

My father was the most influential person in all of my life. Ironically, we used to argue most of the time. I see myself in my son, as we also quarrel and argue a lot over petty things more than the more important things that matters which I guess is worthier.

This training from my dad is where my fond of collecting coasters began.

While I was still young and adventurous and fearless. I would dare asking from restaurants if I can bring home one of their coasters as souvenirs.

I remember that Italianni’s even offered something to us since our order took more than the usual waiting time before they were served. The Manager was very apologetic and asked if we want something else from their menu for free, but we declined since we appreciated their humility enough that we let it pass when others might take advantage and grab the offer.

As the Manager was about to leave our table, I saw an opportunity. I called her back with the sweetest smile that I could give her, I requested from her if I can just have one of their coasters as a souvenir. =) And without batting an eyelash, she gladly offered me one. I was so happy then.

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I got this. I intentionally requested for this since I am also collecting Coke souvenirs..

During my travels, I make sure I bought coasters if I find one. I got a set from a Designer turned full-time housewife in Tacloban but since her artistic side is something she can’t sacrifice on top of being a wife. She put up a business. A souvenir shop where all items came from her numerous travels too, and that is where I got those shabby chic coasters which I instantly eyed from her collection.

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Shabby chic..

One Christmas, I even bought dozens of it from Starbucks and gave them as Christmas gifts to my office mates.

Then I wished for a wooden type with a peacock engraved on it, however, the price of it is shocking. One weekend, my foodie travel buddy surprised me with a “no occasion” gift and its a coaster! Wooden and engraved with a peacock! This soul mastered the art of pleasing me all the time. I was so grateful.

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Peacock!=)

I find them very stylish as well.

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Loved this!
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This one I often use everyday because of its’ depth..

My house is not the Zen type “less is more” type of dwelling. It now looked like a gypsy’s abode with all the trinkets and knick knacks and decorative pieces, souvenirs from my travels scattered all around. Though I make sure they’re not an eyesore yet as my mom will really reprimand me about it. As when you get to see our home, they’re just full of colors. All of it, vivid. I am bored with white or anything monotonous. I want happy colors and so is my house.

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Some from Starbucks and personalized ones from a Flea market I’ve been to years ago.

Passion comes close with alterations at times. I saw one of the most unique coasters. It has a very simple design as oppose to my usual preferences like floral, shabby, full of colors and the like. And they are very expensive too. I immediately bought them before I come back to my senses. For a change I got stripes in black and white. Very “Kate Spade” kind of design. And literally those coasters are from Kate Spade.

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Gave in to this..

Of course, I’ve got a set that’s Shabby chic too, it came with a case.

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Total of 6..
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This one came from my son as a gift..
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Very simple..
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Souvenir from my son’s prom..
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This one is made of ceramic, it used to be gilded on the edges, they were erased by time.. #wearandtear
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Freebies..
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From Bubba gump..=)
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From Peperoni Pizzeria

I plan to make my own soon, a quilted one. A lot I’ve seen which instantly inspired me. =)

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Courtesy of: https://www.pinterest.com/varbizu/beezycrafts/
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Courtesy of: criss cross http://www.sleepingbearcrafts.com
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Courtesy of: gedcarpizo.com

Like some who collects like the sky is the limit. I am the other way around. Its not like “I can’t get enough” thing. There’s a moment when it felt like “Okay this is enough”. And I’m happy about it. Besides it is not just coasters that I collect.

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I have like hundreds of coasters at home.

Getting strained from life’s realities, collecting some of the stuff I am fascinated about gives me an uplifting feeling especially upon seeing them surrounding me. In my bedroom, in our living room, dining room even in our bathroom. It uplifts me from within. It is very important that I follow what my heart and soul is dictating me. Otherwise, I will be very bored.

As Kurt Vonnegut said: “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.”