Girl Crush Friday: Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black

I know that hit Canadian TV series Orphan Black has been around a while – in fact, I’ve had the entire first season waiting for me since last year – but since I just finished season 1 this week I’m late to the party. I heard so many good things about Orphan Black and the reviews are right. It’s a kickass series with a kickass lead actress.

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The Crystal Keeper by Laurisa White Reyes – Win a Kindle Fire or $100!

Today we’re featuring The Crystal Keeper trilogy by author Laurisa White Reyes. I’ve read her fantasy books The Rock of Ivanore and The Last Enchanter and really enjoyed them (read my reviews of those books here and here). The Crystal Keeper takes place before The Rock of Ivanore.

Read more about The Crystal Keeper and enter the giveaways at the end of this post for a chance to win a Kindle Fire or an $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash. What a giveaway, huh?

Crystal Keeper 1 to 3

The Crystal Keeper by Laurisa White Reyes

Fourteen years before The Rock of Ivanore

Jayson lives among the shadows of Hestoria, his sole purpose for staying alive – to protect his half of the Seer’s crystal. Exiled from his homeland for loving the king’s daughter, Ivanore, Jayson is now pursued by two opposing factions: the Vatéz (League of Magicians) who intend to use the crystal for their own selfish gain, and the Guilde, the ancient guardians of the crystal.

Meanwhile, Ivanore flees from her father to Hestoria in search of Jayson. As the Seer, she is plagued with visions of him being tortured and is determined to rescue him. When the Vatéz capture her, however, she unwittingly jeopardizes everything Jayson has vowed to protect. He must now make a terrible choice: Should he save Ivanore or save the crystal?

The Crystal Keeper trilogy is available in print or digital formats.

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Girl Crush Friday: Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson in The Fall

Or should I say, woman crush Friday? Sounds weeeird. Anyhoo, I found out about BBC TV series The Fall when I was reading an article about American actors in UK TV shows. The beautiful Gillian Anderson was on the list and I remember the article saying her ‘convincing’ British accent probably stemmed from the fact that she lived in London when she was a young girl. I know, that’s such a random and irrelevant detail to remember, but I love crime drama so I was intrigued by The Fall and decided I must watch it.

The show is one of those series with hour-long episodes and short seasons. Season 1 only had five episodes. Gillian Anderson plays Stella Gibson, a senior police officer who’s leading the task force investigating the murders of young women in Belfast. Stella Gibson is beautiful, strong, successful, calculating, focused, and very driven. She comes off as unfeeling and her colleagues seem to think she doesn’t have any emotion at all, but we can see that that’s not entirely true. She feels deeply for the murdered women and won’t stop until she catches the killer, who happens to be played by the equally beautiful Jamie Dornan a.k.a. Christian Grey (ugh).

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Win 12 pairs of adidas Originals sneakers from Mainline Menswear

Although these days my footwear of choice is a nice comfy pair of flipflops, I used to live in a pair of classic white adidas sneakers. I got them at a warehouse sale along with one of those classic adidas logo tees. I was a yuppie then and they were impulse purchases that turned out to be so worth it. Those sneaks and that shirt became my favorites and my go-to stuff for quite a long time. They even went with me on my first trip out of the country. I still have them but they have been loved to bits and are worn out. They have served me well and I have long given them their well-deserved retirement. Although… now I want to dig them up. I can still make it work, I think. I can always claim they’re vin-ˈtäzh! Hah.

ANYHOO, why am I talking about old shoes and tees? Because there’s a chance one of us could win not one but 12 pairs of adidas kicksHoly improbability Batman! Check out the deets below.

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Creating the space to create

How do you give yourself the space necessary to create?

This is the question designer and best-selling author Paul Jarvis posed to his readers and followers. He collaborated with writing platform Medium to give people a venue to post their response and Death to the Stock Photo has also generously provided ten amazing images that people can use in their stories.

I decided to grab the opportunity to do some practice writing and join in. I honestly had to think hard about it because I couldn’t really pinpoint a specific thing that I do that helps me get into that “creative space” or “writing zone.” It took a few minutes of net-browsing and reading some of the responses for me to come up with my own response.

Click here to read what I wrote.

Click on this link if you want to join in or read other people’s responses.

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By the way, the gorgeous feature image above is care of Death to the Stock Photo. Join their mailing list and receive a free pack of photos every month.

Girl Crush Friday: Gina Rodriguez from Jane the Virgin

Yup, I’ve a new girl crush. I’ve been girl-crushing on Gina Rodriguez (TwitterInstagram) ever since I started watching her TV series Jane the Virgin late last year. I’m actually a couple of episodes behind since I haven’t kept up with the series after the mid-season break, but I’m gonna catch up soon, you can be sure about that. It’s just a really fun and entertaining show.

If you’re not familiar with Jane the Virgin, the story is basically like this: Jane, who is in her early 20’s, is a virgin and she’s pregnant. Not by a miracle, of course (Gasp! Inmaculada!) but by accident – she was mistakenly artificially inseminated by the gynecologist who was filling in for Jane’s actual doctor and was feeling out of sorts after she caught her wife cheating, and who happens to be the sister of the baby daddy and the secret ex-lover of their father’s hot wife. Are you still with me? Hah.

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The Spa Wellness Datebook 2015

Last month I decided that I should keep a fitness journal this year. I was kind of obsessing about the Blogilates Fit Journal – which looks pretty cool (though it’s too structured for me and would probably be wasted on me) – and I was thinking maybe keeping a journal might help me be more consistent, so I decided to transform one of my unused notebooks into a pseudo “fitness journal.” I selected one with unlined pages and started logging in my workouts.

I was able to log in a few workout sessions before my whole fitness journal plan went kaput. Hah. It was around the time that Carpet Head gave me this “Wellness Datebook” by The Spa. I was ecstatic when I got it because it meant I can use it instead of the unlined notebook and save the other one for whatever mighty writing ventures I can think of in the future. Haha. I copied my records of my previous workouts into the datebook and that was the last time I opened it. HAH. I stopped working out days before Boracay Open and still haven’t started working out again days after Boracay. I know, I’m terrible.

Anyway, I think my grace period has ended and I should be starting my workouts again so I’m hoping to revive this “fitness journal” thing this month.

To jumpstart this “revival,” let me tell you a little bit about The Spa Wellness Datebook and what’s in it.

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How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life

There’s a contest about this topic over at Positive Writer. Fat chance I’ll win because the number of entries to these contests is ridiculous, but this is a good writing exercise and we must practice our writing, mustn’t we, precious? Plus the dude with the glasses in the photo above has convinced me it’s worth a try. Thank you, dude with glasses. Look at him, he’s got a light bulb on his finger.

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Boracay Open 2015: Sun, sand, sea, and ultimate

Every year since 2009, the Ultimate Warriors have joined the annual Boracay Open International Beach Ultimate Competition and, this year, for the third time in a row, we made it to the finals in Pool B. Woot.

The first time we made it to the finals, we lost to DUO, the club team from UP Diliman. Last year, we won against the Sexual Harassment Panda Experience, a team of players from different parts of the globe. This year, we were up against another Manila team, Pancakes. Unfortunately, we didn’t win this one, but, hey, this is our third year in the finals! Plus two of our players won individual awards! Carpet Head bagged a spot on the Mythical 4 for Pool B, while Ced (who plays for DUO which didn’t field a team this year) bagged the Finals MVP award for Pool B. YAYYYY.

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A weekend at Lagen Island, El Nido Resorts

Featured image from www.elnidoresorts.com

Got a few minutes? Good, ’cause this is a really long one. We had a five-day weekend in Manila when the Pope visited the country last month. Carpet Head and I decided to take advantage of this long weekend and go away somewhere nice. We saw a list of top 10 beautiful resorts in the Philippines (for the life of me I can’t remember the link now) and we decided to go to Lagen Island El Nido Resorts in Palawan. Gorgeous place, I tell you. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but it’s a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL place. I cannot say that enough.

There are two ways to get to El Nido from Manila. One is to take a flight via Island Transvoyager Inc. to Lio Airport in El Nido and then take a boat to the island resort you’re booked in. Another way is to take a commercial flight to Puerto Princesa, take a six-hour ride to El Nido and then take the boat to the island. Carpet Head and I decided that we didn’t want the stress of a six-hour land trip so we got the 3 PM chartered flight on Friday afternoon.

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