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Life Lately No. 3

Hello! Just popping in to say nothing of substance. Yet again. I never thought to make “life lately” a series on this blog—because that’s what blogs are supposed to be like, right?—but I noticed that there are just some things that are hard to categorize. Lumping things that don’t make sense together, that’s my motto! No, it’s not, really. That’s a very bad thing to do. But for the sake of my own sanity, I welcome you to: Life Lately. Read More


Project Life: January 2015

As promised, Project Life spreads! I wanted to finish all my 2014 travel posts before sharing my 2014 PL album, so here’s a look at January 2015. :) I was going to post a Jan-Feb one, but it turns out that I have way too many photos, and I have some unfinished pages from February that I forgot about! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this!

I’m doing a Weekly Project Life scheme this year, though it’s proving to be a little difficult as my life events are really erratic. Some weeks are super fun + have tons of stuff going on. Other weeks, it’s just me & my dog & my house + sometimes family. One thing I wanted to note is that I do go over one spread if I have a lot of photos for that week. Read More


Casual Consumption No. 11

This is going to be short-ish, as I haven’t really been doing much indulging with watching and reading and listening to things. Compared to my usual allotment, that is. What can I say? The thirst is real, and so I hustle. Ahem.


My sister wanted to watch Comet with me, so I obliged.

Aside from the beautiful shots and some choice moments, I fucken hated this movie. I don’t know if it’s Justin Long (it probably is), or the extremely unnatural dialogue, but Comet just did not work. I can admit to liking some aspects of it, but I feel like it wanted to do too many things and ended up not doing all of them in the best way it could have, if that makes sense.


Kingsman was mildly exciting, but it gets a little dragging and indulgent in the middle. I was looking for other reviews to help articulate why it felt like it was missing something and I found this one by Wesley Morris on Grantland, which explains my dissatisfaction more than I could. Sarie and I watched this separately, but we both agreed that Taron Egerton was a cutie. P.S. Am I the only one squicked by the implied butt secks in a holding cell? Also, some punchlines come across as corny.

1384292_1532013940388256_4189633015030497311_n I feel like I never talked about That Thing Called Tadhana on here, but I watched it quite a while ago (first week of February), and while I enjoyed watching it, it’s not something I’m all that enthused to recommend to people in a go-out-of-my-way to preach this gospel and lead other people to enlightenment. It’s really funny and entertaining, and I am all too quick to tell people about how JM de Guzman looks like Piolo Pascual and John Estrada’s offspring, but it’s not the second coming of Philippine cinema. I liked it! It made me want to go to Sagada, but it’s not life-changing.

Medyo nabaliw ako dito, kasi jologs ako:


Parks & Rec wrapped recently, and I’m so happy I stuck around even when it started out a little rocky and sometimes not-so-funny, because it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent years.

Currently, I’m watching a lot of reality show trash on TV (namely Christina Milian Turned Up—just because it’s always on—and I’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians), but I’ve been so invested in Masterchef Junior, which weirdly wrapped up its 3rd season already, Total Divas which is surprisingly high drama, and Survivor, because it’s Survivor! It’s been real fun so far, but I guess we’ll see. I have a bunch of untouched shows that are waiting to be viewed, but I’m not in the mood to add new shows to my already huge roster.


Yeah, yeah, yeah—I drank the Kool-Aid. I really, really, really, really, really, really like that new Carly Rae Jepsen song. I’m sure you know which one. I’ve been meaning to give Kiss a listen and this just might push me to do that. Also, Taylor Swift’s new album. I’m embarking on my new pop (mis?)education and am welcoming any recs.

Also, have you guys seen this video? Of course you have!

My sister and I went on a Spotify-binge for some R&B and hiphop but we kind of failed and settled into the comforting familiarity of old pop music.


In case you missed it, I posted a bunch of capsule book reviews here. Right now, I’m working on The WORN Archive, which is quite interesting. I was so excited for an awesome fashion magazine when Anna broke the news to me that it wuz dead. Such a shame, this has been such a good read.

Another thing I have been (painstakingly slowly) working on is Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. It’s really, really great if you are a fan of American comedy, Saturday Night Live, et al. because it provides lots of little stories from Poehler’s time in specific shows and situations. It’s a little scattered, but I still like it. The audiobook is way better, but the book has so many funny pictures, too, so I’m a little torn!

I continued my re-read of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It’s slightly ousted JSF’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close as my favorite book by a little bit, but the re-read’s proven to be a little bit more tedious than I expected.

I’ve also started on Colin Meloy’s Wildwood, which I’ll probably save for a trip overseas next week.


I’ve been binge-watching Stephanie Bryan‘s Project Life process videos, but lately, I’ve been loving YouTube’s #DearMe project where a bunch of awesome YouTubers make a short letter to their younger self, from the perspective of their future self. It’s quite nice, and it’s a little bit of proof that it gets better. :)

This is just the introduction, but the description box has links to all the people they featured in the video, and their versions are so fun to watch! What would you say to your younger self? :)


Capsule Book Reviews No. 3: February 2015

I finished reading eight books in February (one was a graphic novel, one was a coffee table book), which means that I’ve caught up on my 2015 Reading Challenge! 0 to 8 books in 28 days is kind of pretty good, yeah? I haven’t done one of these posts in quite a while. I put book-ish thoughts in other list posts, but I feel like I should just lump them all together here. It’s a pity I’m only up to the third post as I enjoy writing them, but now’s a good a time as any to start again.

1 | The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

A proper review is in the works, but here are a few thoughts: a series of essays—a bulk of which examine our different capacities, in relation to other people—The Empathy Exams is an exploration of the human condition and how we treat, perceive, empathize with the “Other.” This appeals to the Atenean in me, but also the more human part of me.

Though there were some mediocre/slow-going pieces in the book, it’s become one of my favorites. I found myself wanting to re-read it in the middle of reading it. And if these words aren’t enough proof of my unwavering love for this beautiful book, here’s how much of it I’ve marked off as “important:”

CapsuleBookReviews3 - The Empathy Exams detail

2 | To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Man, this is what I mean when I say “good YA.” Like most other genres of books, YA is populated with trash. This is a gem among the garbage. Han’s protagonist, dreamy-eyed high schooler, Lara Jean, is humorous, kind of awkward, unfailingly romantic, and endearing in her naivete, and Han’s male characters/romantic interests (yes, plural!) are both charming and disarming, despite being foils of each other. The portrait of Lara Jean’s family is both painful and heartwarming.

I can’t wait for May, which is when the next book in this series comes out. Han left her readers with a cliffhanger. Luckily, someone pointed me in the direction of a blip of the continuation of that cliffhanger over here. Thanks, Lin!

3-5 | The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han

Inspired by Han’s inspired TatBILB, I purchased this series to read at the beach. Awful, awful, awful. I’m not sure why this got so much praise, but perhaps the reason why I hated these books so much is that I’m simply too old for this shit. If you want to hate-read something, the upside to this series is that they are page-turners.

For specifics, I’ve posted reviews on my GoodReads account: The Summer I Turned Pretty | It’s Not Summer Without You | We’ll Always Have Summer

6 | Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This is a page-turner, and I finished it in two days. Sarie called it an “airplane book” and “Asian Gossip Girl,” which I suppose are accurate descriptors. Though I enjoyed reading, I’m not sure I’m invested enough at this point to read the sequel.

My GoodReads review of Crazy Rich Asians

7 | The Sandman Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

The penultimate volume of Gaiman’s beloved classic series, The Kindly Ones fits all of the pieces from the last eight (TKO is the ninth) installments, and shows us the big picture, making the long and tedious journey worth the eventual heartbreak.

My GoodReads review of The Kindly Ones

8 | The World of PostSecret by Frank Warren

I’ve reviewed this here, but a few words: It’s been 10 years since PostSecret’s birth, and it’s still cathartic, familiar, and at turns, beautiful, horrifying, and sometimes both.

And those are my February reads. My favorites are The Empathy Exams, To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and The Kindly Ones… though I think you can tell by reading this post. Do share your favorite reads this year, so far. :)



Or, How I Stay Organized in this Paperless World

Let’s get this out of the way: I am not a Type A person.

It’s hard to attempt to be a Type A person, if it’s not in your bones, in your blood, in your Filofax. I think the sheer number of planners I have will lead people to believe my charade as Ms. Type A, but the truth is that I only have so many paper goods for planning because I need to write things down to make sense of anything. I love paper, but I’m also not very organized (though the paper helps). Read More


Life Lately

We’re two days into the third month of the year, which has thus far been pretty exciting for me. As usual, I have some woes about the future—but what person in their 20s doesn’t have them occasionally? This is the general theme of my life: panic and anxiety, punctuated with a few welcome moments of clarity.


In February, I went to Taiwan and Caramoan, two places I hadn’t been to before. Both are potentially life-changing, but I’ll sit on it first, and see just how much! My sister opened a two-man show with Ian Jaucian at Silverlens last week. It’s called In the Year 2000 and it’s on display until the 21st in case you want to see.

I also stopped by the Met again last weekend to accompany Sarie and Mikee. Imaging Philippine Flora is only up until MARCH 14, so go see it if you can! If you missed seeing Roberto Chabet’s “Bakawan” in his CCP retrospective, now’s your chance to see it in person. I caught Tropical this time around, which was really fun. If you do decide to go, make sure to stop by the Upper Level Galleries to view The Philippine Contemporary: To Scale the Past and the Possible; lots of gems to be seen. Admission fee is Php 100, but it’s well worth it.

I’ve been busy trying to get my groove back (how did you do it, Stella? HALP) and I think I’ve found my “planner peace” for now. I am currently working off of my Midori Traveler’s Notebook, still, with 3 Field Notes inserts—changed twice from the original incarnation—a Hobonichi Techo, and my iPad. I’ve mostly let go of my Evernote x Moleskine Planner, which kills me so much, but I really wasn’t using it.

Project Life is caught up, but I am wanting to do more spreads… but I obviously can’t because I’m all caught up. I’m working on organizing and cleaning up my studio space + working on some new art things. I think I need to recalibrate my brain and start making stuff for me again. For the past few years, my output has been largely task-oriented, I kind of forgot how it feels like to just make stuff for fun/catharsis/exploration, et cetera.

Anyway, that’s it. How’s about that new Carly Rae Jepsen song? I think it’s making me want to start my (recent) pop education, a field in which I am a dunce. Help?

The Worn Archive, The World of PostSecret

New in Books: The WORN Archive & The World of PostSecret

New in books—to my collection at least, as both books featured in this post were published in 2014. This post was supposed to have gone up way back in mid-February but I underestimated my busy-ness, and now we are here. Speaking of reading, I’ve practically caught up with my book goal for this year and read a lot of books this month, having finished a grand total of 0 books in January. I mostly hate-read through Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty series, but more on that later.

The WORN Archive : edited by Serah-Marie McMahon*

The WORN Archive is a collection of essays from WORN, a Canadian magazine formed in 2005 as a response to Fashion with a capital ‘F.’ Described right on the cover as “a fashion journal about the art, ideas, and history of what we wear,” The WORN Archive provides insight and context into fashion, but more on the cultivation of personal style and our relationship with what we wear. Read More


Casual Consumption No. 10

Before anything else, I’d like to invite you to check out a feature of my Project Life life over at Life Documented Manila’s blog!

Get a peek at some spreads of my Project Life 2014 Highlights album, and a bit of it into my process, but not really. If you’d be interested in a process post or video, or storage, or anything PL-related, let me know.


It’s been a great time for T.V. for me the past few weeks. Just kidding, it’s always a great time for T.V. But! I’ve been really enjoying HBO’s trifecta, Girls, Looking (a little less than the other two), and Togetherness, which—holy shit—is so frakking good. I am sometimes a little wary of the Duplass brothers, but I always err on the side of I LOVE THEM.

New episodes of Parks & Recreation are a thing of delight and dread because I am always thrilled by them, but I am also really sad that it’s ending. I continue to have mixed emotions re: The Mindy Project, to hate-watch Pretty Little Liars (because I’ve reached the point of no return), and to cackle like a fabulous little witch whenever I watch Broad City.

Oh, and how could I forget: I have been watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in the background while I work. If this has long-term side effects on the stuff I make remains to be seen. I have episodes of Better Call Saul waiting for devouring, and I’m still thinking about making the leap to see The Casual Vacancy before reading it.


I FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK FOR 2015. HALLELUJAH. I am planning to write a review on it, as a personal goal for 2015, but I have also started another book, on audio: Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which I feel like reads better than it sounds like being read to me.

I finally put my Audible subscription on hold—for three months—to see if I should continue my membership or not. All the books have just piled up, so I’m not sure if audio books are for me. Enough to spend $14.95/mo anyway, since I like reading and all.


Been looping Aly Cabral’s “Would You Do The Same For Me” on loop. I found it on Petersen‘s Twitter. You can hear it here:


I don’t even want to think of food anymore. My weight has peaked and I’m embarrassed that I even care about it, but I can’t lie. My body ballooning is, frankly, a terrifying thought.

That aside, I really fell in love with this pork floss we found on a random store in Taipei—it’s mixed in with nori and sesame seeds, but I ate too much one night and felt really sick, so I ingest the damn thing in moderation.

Oh, and in an effort to make healthier choices, I’ve been enjoying salads comprised of literally only lettuce, olive oil and lemon dressing, soft boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, and as much as it pains me to eat: bananas. I hate bananas.


OK. I think I am late to the gay YouTube parade because where has The Gay Women Channel been all my life??? I will be embarrassing and divulge how my discovery came about. Ahem: I was searching for “Project Life Lesbian” (lol) because I was sick of seeing Project Life albums from the “majority demographic,” let’s call them. And! I stumbled upon this wondrous channel and plowed through “Faking It Friday,” a series where they recap every episode of Faking It, ever. If you recall, I watched this MTV show called Faking It, and Faking It Friday made me want to rewatch it, even though I didn’t even really like it that much, but Sarah and Adrianna are just so damn funny. And I want to be their friend.

So, yes. I’ve been watching that series, and a bunch of other random videos from their 180-video archive (yay!) when I stumbled upon a new series from a different channel that I just finished devouring, Carmilla, which is about vampiric college dilemmas.

It’s based on the Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella, Carmilla, one of the earliest examples of vampire fiction. You’re welcome.

Other Stuff

I got a Hobonichi. In the middle of February. Oh, and the version I got? Is in Japanese. I wouldn’t say this is an impulsive decision, because I’d been thinking about it a lot, but I guess I’ll be honest and say it totally was an impulsive decision because I was blinded by the Gimme Gimmes when I was innocently combing through eslite in Taipei and found the Hobonichi, in the exact cover I wanted, staring me in the face. Yep.

A photo posted by Carina Santos (@presidents) on

Not my finest moment, but may I direct your attention the the sheer amount of decorative tape I have acquired on this trip instead? #aintnominimalist

Other Other Stuff

Oh my gosh, Tiny Letters, you guys. They are the best.

Anyway, I think that’s it for this volume! I will strive to make these appear more frequently, just because it’s a biznatch to catch up. If you want me to expound on anything, like in the form of a review or a dedicated post, please feel free to let me know. :)

Header photo was taken in Nevada with a Lomography Diana Baby.


Busy February

It’s only the seventeenth day of the second month, but for most of 2015, I feel time escaping me. Like I’ve stated before, I’m not sure if I keep running out of time or if I want to do too many things. February has been spent doing stuff for the Art Fair and going to a new place (Taipei!) for about a week, which means that I was out of the house for most of it.

This week, I’ll be spending catching up on work and blogging and Project Life, but I’ll be heading off to Caramoan on Sunday for a few days. I’m looking forward to that, partly because I haven’t been to Caramoan, and partly because I want to catch up on my reading. So far, progress has been slow-going. I have simultaneous reads going, but I have yet to finish a book for 2015, which is slightly embarrassing.

I’m trying to get back into the groove of things, and I don’t know if this confused old lady I have to deal with daily (a.k.a. me) has always been this slow or if my brain has decided to die much quicker than my body. Speaking of body, though, I am actually really, really sad about my weight right now. I know that that is such a stupid thing to be worried about, but it actually, honest-to-goodness worries me. I teeter between wanting to get myself healthy and saying “F.U.!” and eating everything in sight. So far, I have also been doing both. So maybe my body and my mind are actually deteriorating at the same time, but I’ve become too oblivious to notice.

How does everyone else do it? I don’t remember being this stressed out about “getting things done” and I hope that I’m only writing this in a distressed state, and not as a permanent mindset. Because I don’t want to stress about doing things or not finding enough time and I don’t want to spend my time regretting all the things I didn’t do because I simply felt bad or afraid or worried about other people’s opinions. I miss not giving a shit.

I spend so much time stuck in the in between that I’m scared I’ll never find my way out again.