Handwritten Fonts: How I Make Mine

I still keep a planner where I write my schedule in—although I admit that I sometimes log in the details after the fact. I keep a journal where I write down my intentions every month or so. Even with most of my life online, I still always keep a pen and paper on me. So it’s no surprise how I’m drawn to handwritten type (or at least looks handwritten).

Back in school, my friend Mikko and I would hand-letter our classmates’ names for their filofax dividers (now you know how old we are, heh). We’d copy our favorite fonts (mine was Jester) using different colored gel pens. One of our fave fonts to copy was Funstuff. Haha! Our lettering eventually evolved from our faves and we developed our own style.

These days, Mikko turns her handwriting into fonts. When she was just starting out, she’d ask us to write down the letters of the alphabet and she’d convert them into fonts we could use on Word or apps like Phonto. She has over a hundred fonts on her site now, including one she made out of the Assumption cursive.

Mix Font Guest Font Macy Tilt

My Macy suite (all fixed and converted by Mikko) is now 7 fonts strong. The latest one she made for me is now available on her site for download! How cool is that? I wrote this one on card stock from Alessa with a Pentel touch brush pen. And then the rest is all Mikko’s magic. Check out Mix Fonts for more of her handwritten fonts!

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

♡ finding time to reconnect with old friends and realizing that some things are bigger than past hurts

♡ snagging a hot-ticket item online

♡ going on an elyu food trip—even if it’s just through writing about it

♡ booking a writing gig that’s close to my heart

♡ finishing up a consultancy and learning a thing or two from it

♡ learning how to make “bacon” out of eggplant

♡ trying out some new good eats and eating better (which just means I now eat veggies more often, lol)

♡ getting back into ntc (it’s my third week now and hopefully, I won’t stop)

♡ filing my taxes with not much trouble (and grateful for the work that came my way this second quarter)

♡ anticipating two new babies in the near future (not mine, obvs, but excited just the same)

Currently / July 2018

Formerly a weekly themed post I adapted from That’s Chic, this is a list of my favorite things for the month.

Music Monday

I only ever learn about new music on Spotify these days. This isn’t even that new but it popped up in one of my Discover Weekly playlists in July. I love it when I hit the play button on a Monday morning and I never have to hit the next button.

Tasty Tuesday

Coco Mama Spice Bird Poketo Fat Rice The Grid Rockwell

Ever since a friend posted a shot of her Coco Mama order from Boracay, I’ve been wanting to try it. I haven’t been to the island in a long time (and they’re on lockdown until October), so I was excited to go to their pop-up here in Manila. After many failed attempts, Koko took me to Hole in the Wall to check out all the other Boracay restos hanging there. As you can see, we ordered from all the spots, haha! We got Piri Piri Pork from Spice Bird, a Yakitori Bowl from Poketo, and Fish with Dill and Vermicelli Noodles from Fat Rice. PLUS, I finally got to try Coco Mama, which I wish I could have again. SOOO good. I also got to visit The Grid at Powerplant when I had a catch -up dinner with Mara and Pam. This Lechon Porchetta with Eggplant and Buttered Rice is massive and I finished it all except for a few bits of chicharon.

Wishful Wednesday

Cleansing Starter kit Woo Woo Ritual Goods Iron Gall Ink Life After Breakfast

I’ve already talked about how I’m getting in touch with my intuition before. My high school friend Jenn started a shop for “spiritual housekeeping for the mumus in your life” and I got myself a Cleanse Starter Kit just in time for the new moon. It comes with white sage, selenite, palo santo, black tourmaline (not in photo), a tea light, and a ritual guide. On the right, I was testing out this Iron Gall Ink by Life After Breakfast with words from Madame Clairevoyant just around the time Mercury went into retrograde. I’ve always loved reading her weekly posts because they remind me to be a little kinder to myself.

Thoughtful Thursday

It’s a work in progress but I think I’ve taken strides the past couple of months. Here’s to being okay with your own pace and remembering that life isn’t a race.

Fashion Friday

Souvenir Modern Myth Soleil

My friend Sam finally launched her honeymoon project Souvenir. Been eyeing this piece ever since she posted it and I’m so happy I was the first to call dibs on it once she released her first collection. If you’re looking into starting a vintage jewelry collection of your own, it’s a great place to start. They only carry one of each piece and they’re reasonably priced, too! I’ve been loving all these local brand collabs lately, too, so I had to get myself a piece from the Modern Myth x Soleil Ignacio collection. Naturally, I had to get this necklace called “Maria.”

Clearly, the past month was a blur and I haven’t been able to sit down and write here. But I have a ton of things to tell you about, so let’s start again! (:

Currently / June 2018

Formerly a weekly themed post I adapted from That’s Chic, this is a list of my favorite things for the month.

Music Monday

Our new episode is up! Doree and Kate sit down with producer, writer, and director Priyanka Mattoo (@naanking) who discusses how her experience dealing with post-partum depression after the birth of her son helped her get serious about her self-care. Priyanka goes through her simple but effective skincare routine, and also shares the Maybelline lip stain she's been wearing for over 10 years. Plus, Doree and Kate celebrate Doree's big news: she quit her job! And Kate grapples with staying politically engaged while not binging on 24-hour news and Twitter. For more info and a list of products mentioned on this week's episode, visit forever35podcast.com. You can also join the Forever35 Facebook group, follow the podcast on Instagram and Twitter, and send them an email at forever35podcast@gmail.com. And now you can call them and leave a voicemail at 781-591-0390! This episode is sponsored by ThriveMarket (visit www.thrivemarket.com/forever35 for $60 off, free shipping and a 30-day free trial) , Begins With Skin (visit beginswithskin.com and use code FOREVER35 to get 10% off your first order), and Merge Records (visit mergerecords.com and enter FOREVER35 at checkout to get 20% off your purchase).

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This isn’t exactly music but not too long ago, I started subscribing to podcasts. One of my favorites is Forever 35, which I kept seeing on Facebook ads (LOL). Before this, I only had Modern Love, Rookie, and Thirty-ish Going on 13 in my podcast library, haha! Two writers Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir talk about self-care (mostly about skin care) and have guests over to do the same. It’s kind of like eavesdropping on two friends chatting about serums.

Tasty Tuesday

Usually when it comes to selling my baked goods, I’ll admit laziness gets the better of me. My first instinct is to say no to things I don’t already offer or I’ve never done before. But I caught myself this time and said yes to a request for penguin cupcakes. A lot of people have told me to learn how to do fondant because it’ll help me earn more. But honestly, I don’t have the patience to learn how to make something I don’t even like myself. How many times have you peeled off fondant so you can eat a piece of cake or cookie? Sooo, after hours of Googling and searching through Pinterest boards, I finally came up with a modified Oreo design (the one I saw added frosting to the cookie while I halved the cookies and removed some filling) to top my chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. Turned out pretty cute and was tasty as always!

Wishful Wednesday

La Union shoreline

Been dreaming of the beach for a while now and haven’t been on a trip since March. Hoping to head somewhere near the ocean soon even for just a day or so. Anyone up for an impromptu beach day trip?

Thoughtful Thursday

Tim Kreider

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how we throw words around carelessly sometimes. Maybe out of fun, maybe out of jealousy, maybe out of boredom, maybe even all of the above. How horrible we get sometimes when we spew words of hate because we think it doesn’t matter because the person we speak of isn’t there to hear it. It’s not okay even if “we all do it anyway.” It’s an ongoing process for me and maybe one day, I hope, I won’t catch myself doing the same thing when I let my guard down.

Fashion Friday

Been on a self-imposed shopping ban because I made a few (LOL who am I kidding, a LOT of) adult transactions the past month and I really can’t afford to splurge on anything. But I just want to give a shout-out to Bags by Rubbertree for repairing my 4-year-old tote (one of the straps tore) and sending me some cord wraps, too. Ahhh! I know I just bought a saddle sling in April but omg just look at the new styles they’re releasing this month!

And just like that, we’re already at the mid-year mark. I cannot believe it has been six months (eight if you count the last two months of 2017) since I plunged head first into the freelance life. It doesn’t feel like it but when I look back on all the things I’ve done, I’m pretty proud of myself for what I’ve achieved. Here’s hoping the next 6 months are even better than the last.

Barbecue Chicken and Mushroom Pizza

I haven’t been cooking these past few months since Ate Elena came back to our house. She’s the one who prepares our meals so I’ve been doing what I do best—eat. Lol! But lately, I’ve been wanting to mess around in the kitchen so I volunteered to cook my dad’s lunch today. Since he still had some leftover pizza, I decided to whip up a chicken and mushroom topping for it. Like always, I tried Googling an easy recipe but decided to just wing it in the end. I’m pretty sure you can make your own seasoning (if you don’t want to use store-bought barbecue sauce) and even top it with cheese (I ended up eating mine on bread with some grated edam cheese) if you want. I just tried to use up the feta cheese we had so that’s what I used on my dad’s pizza.

Maybe one day I’ll make this with pizza dough from scratch!

Barbecue Chicken and Mushroom Pizza

I tried Googling a recipe and then just ended up winging it. Came out great!

Keyword pizza
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 chicken breast fillet boiled and shredded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup garlic sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 can button mushrooms drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used Rack's)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • feta cheese
  • 2 ready-made pizza crusts personal size


  1. In a hot pan, add olive oil and cook onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. 

  2. Add mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. 

  3. Add shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, and sugar. Stir continuously.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and take off the heat.

  5. Time to assemble the pizza! Layer feta cheese and top with the chicken and mushroom mixture on your pizza.

  6. Stick in your oven toaster for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of your crust are golden brown.

Skin Care Empties: Toner, Cleanser, Serum, and More

One of the first things I did when I was sorting my life late last year was go through my baskets of beauty products. I had amassed all these makeup and skin care products that there was simply no place to put them in! I threw out all the ones that were past expiration, set aside the ones I’d give to family and friends, and I ended up with just a few things I wanted to keep for myself. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s so hard to stay away from the beauty aisle in any drugstore and to stop myself from adding stuff to cart on the Sephora app. But in reality, I don’t really need ten million moisturizers, right? Every time I post a snapshot of my makeshift vanity (I use a Gorilla Rack for my clothes and reserve one level for my beauty products), my sister-in-law keeps commenting, “All of that for one person?” So I realize that even pared down, it seems like I still have so much stuff! I think I’ve been pretty good the past couple of months save for my last purchase from Glossier (and their new Cloud Paint shades are definitely not helping…gah).

In an effort to be more conscious about my consumption, I’ve been keeping track of the stuff I finish down to the last drop. Then I decide if I love them enough to repurchase or not. So welcome to my first skin care empties report, lol.

Glossier milky jelly cleanser. I know some people don’t think much of it but I love it. It’s gentle enough for my eyes but gets all of my makeup off at the end of the day. I use this in the morning when I shower and at night. I’m already on my third bottle and have already repurchased a back-up. Just wish I knew where I could get these bottles recycled somehow?

Dr. Belmeur daily repair toner. I never used toner before but maybe getting older made my skin a little drier? I feel like when I put toner, everything else I put just gets absorbed better by my skin. Maybe it’s all in my head but after I shower, I pat it on and my face instantly feels hydrated. Would probably repurchase this but I’m going through a bottle of Bare Essentials Primer Water from Althea at the moment.

Bioderma Hydrabio H2O cleanser and makeup remover. I’m actually not sure what the difference is between this and the first one I tried (Sensibio) but I love this for days when I get lazy removing my makeup. It’s a bit pricey but it does the job. Also I don’t feel like my face is dry after using it. Haven’t repurchased since I’m finishing a bottle of Biore Moist Up Micellar Cleansing Water.

Nuxe Prodigieuse Yeux eye cream. I love this line from Nuxe but it’s so expensive. ): Maybe I’ll wait for the brand to go on sale before I buy this again. Haha!

MAC Lightful C vibrancy eye cream. Always thought this was an insta-brightener but realized a highlighter mixed with your concealer will probably do the same thing, lol.

Sephora honey lip scrub. Yes, yes, yes! Except I have two more (LOL! One I got as a gift and one I bought, I think?). Also finally used the coconut one and it’s bomb, too.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra intensive hydration gel. I should have included the C-Firma that this came bundled with but didn’t get to finish that since it oxidized before I could. I loved this but I think I’m pretty happy with my Glossier Bounce.

Do you guys finish your products down to the last drop? Which of your skin care empties do you end up repurchasing? Not that I need any more reason to buy more things, but what are your fave skin care products?

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

♡ revisiting my favorite albums because of that modern-day chain letter in the form of facebook tagging (only one of the people I tagged continued the tagging haha)

♡ going back to sgd coffee and areté

♡ getting my pink bubble wrap pouch with new mascara 😛

♡ making intergalactic cupcakes for a mystical gathering

♡ making a mess in the kitchen again (made myself a grilled sandwich with caramelized onions and honey garlic cauli twice in two weeks)

♡ hanging out with friends over food and coffee and chika

♡ watching movies (in the cinema and on netflix)

♡ finishing a book after so many months of not reading

♡ writing about filipino brands—just a few of my fave assignments the past month!

♡ being indoors on rainy days

Currently / May 2018

Formerly a weekly themed post I adapted from That’s Chic, this is a list of my favorite things for the month.

Music Monday

After spiraling into a John Mayer time space warp with Patty and Chinggay, I started a collaborative playlist on Spotify featuring oldies but goodies. While I’m amused with his latest single (and matching kitschy video), I truly miss Room for Squares!JMayer.

Tasty Tuesday

I joined some friends for a cosmic collaboration called Mystic Matter. I haven’t really sold my baked goods at bazaars or anything like that (unless you count bake sales in grade school) so this was a fun first for me. I gave my bestsellers a magical makeover to fit the theme. Kahlua Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting never looked better!

Thanks to everyone who tried some and posted about it, too. I haven’t been cooking since Ate Elena came back plus the heat has been unbearable, but I’m hoping to spend more time in the kitchen again now that the rainy season is just around the corner.

Wishful Wednesday

Full Moon

So during the last full moon, I pulled some cards to help me figure out what’s next. Though the first five months of the year has been all about collaboration, I think it’s time to focus on my personal goals. The thing about working in a group is that sometimes, we tend to get lost in all the noise, losing sight of our own vision in the process. We’re almost halfway into 2018 and there are just so many possibilities! So here’s hoping the next few months will help me move forward in the right direction.

Thoughtful Thursday

A reminder that this, of course, goes both ways.

Fashion Friday

Dandy Ona x Prima Kirby

When I was planning the Dandy Ona x Prima collection with Mansy, I asked my friend and fellow Candy Girl Sam if she and her husband Ralph (omg then-boyfriend when I asked!) could shoot the pieces. We were originally planning a location shoot here in Manila but they ended up taking the clips on tour while they were in the US for their wedding. <3 Love how all the shots came out and happy to finally share them in a Prima Diary on the Dandy Ona website. You can still order your own Prima clip online or drop by any of Hey Kessy’s branches to pick up a piece for yourself or to give as a gift. I also have a few pieces on hand so just let me know if you want to order from me!

Getting In Tune With My Intuition

I’ve always been the type to flip to the horoscope part of the newspaper or a magazine ever since I can remember. I thought it was cool when my reading would mirror what was happening in real life. But I never made it the all-encompassing guide of my life. Sure, I would obsessively check Astrology Zone for my monthly horoscope (and now I’ve moved on to Madame Clairevoyant‘s weekly reminders on The Cut) and have followed astrology Twitter accounts, but as I’ve grown older, I realize that astrology has a lot to do with our personal intuition.

Chinggay Labrador of Practical Magic
Chinggay of Practical Magic giving me a birthday reading in November of last year.

A couple of years ago, my friend Chinggay started offering tarot readings for us as “practice.” Now, she runs Practical Magic, which marries the magical with the practical—tarot readings that help make sense of what’s happening in your life or help nudge you in the right direction. Every reading I’ve had with her has always been enlightening. I leave with a sense of peace and clarity and it helps me sort out my own thoughts and feelings.

Oracle and Angel Cards
Oracle Card from my birthday reading and an Angel Card my friend Em pulled for me

I’ve never really paid much attention to my intuition until recently. You know how some people almost always know when something major is about to happen or when there’s that voice in your head that feels like a warning? Malakas ang kutob, in Filipino. I think I’m one of those people. A palmist told me over a decade ago that should I want my third eye opened, I would be able to harness my untapped energies. Apparently, she could see I had the potential. At that time I got scared because I equate anything occult to, well, ghosts. But I realize now that it has more to do with intuition and foresight.

Practical Magic deck from Chinggay

Naturally, when Chinggay released her Practical Magic Starter Deck, I knew I had to get myself one. At first, it was more as a show of support to a friend, who was one of the people I turned to for advice and was basically there for me when I was not in such a great place. Then, when I started to pull cards for myself, it became apparent just how life-affirming reading for myself would be. I also started to read for friends and it’s amazing to see how the same cards can mean different things to different people, depending what their situation is.

Practical Magic tarot cards

I’m still learning but there are so many resources to help me understand or go beyond what’s already written in the super helpful zine that came with my deck. I also now have a Tarot Support Group with Chinggay and Ines, so that’s been fun, too! We share our pulls and try to figure out what the cards mean when we don’t understand them right away.

Practical Magic deck

Another practice I’ve recently started is to set intentions during the full moon and since I’ve gotten the PM deck, I’ve started to pull cards to help me figure out what I need to let go of and make space for. While it’s important to manifest what you want to happen, I think it’s equally important to be open to what you actually need. We get disappointed when we ask for things and they’re not given to us but we fail to see the things we actually have and should actually be grateful for.

I know some people still think things like tarot readings and horoscopes are strange but so far, it has done nothing but good things in my life. I’m more mindful of the way I live and the way I make my choices. I’m even more self-aware now and recognize that every failure makes way for a chance at success. Though these cards will never really predict the future (that’s what I think, anyway), I know that when I feel lost or if there’s something that isn’t making sense to me right now, I can look at them to help put the puzzle pieces together. And in the end, I know that ultimately, it’s my actions that will lead to what’s written in the cards.

Practical Magic deck
My pulls for the last full moon. I wonder what cards will appear tonight.

BTW, Chinggay just restocked the Practical Magic Deck. You can order through her website!

Chunky Potato Tomato Soup

A story I did for Cosmopolitan Philippines’ final issue required me to create 5 lunch recipes and I’m sharing one with you today. The easiest soup for anyone craving something warm and comforting. You’ll need only about 15-20 minutes and there’s absolutely no need to turn on the stove to make this.

Chunky Potato Tomato Soup

The easiest soup to make when you're in the mood for something warm and comforting.

Keyword soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes roasted
  • 1/2 cup white onion roasted
  • 3/4 cup marble potatoes roasted
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Slice white onion in half and separate into rings. Cut marble potatoes in half.

  2. On a baking pan, place tomatoes, potatoes, and onion and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven toaster for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  3. Place roasted vegetables and sour cream in a blender and pulse until just combined. Slowly pour chicken broth into the blender while mixing. You can puree until smooth or pulse for a chunkier soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite bread for dipping!

Also, I forgot to take photos when I made this so you’ll have to settle for my quick watercolor illustration. To see the recipes (and the nice photos, haha) for the 4 other dishes I created, buy the May 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan Philippines available on stands and online. P.S. I also interviewed Julie San Jose for the cover and my Prima x Dandy Ona collection is mentioned in the Ed’s Note. Thanks, Marla and Dyan! <3