Pink Notes: People Like Us, Kurant, Darwin Blake, Girl On Fire

I was dead set on going crazy on my 3 days off since that’s just how I roll. So I ended up watching a movie called PEOPLE LIKE US and it was surprisingly a good movie. Too bad it was only shown in selected theaters in Manila. Movie made me cry and I need to find the 6 RULES cause they were awesome rules. 

Favorite rule LEAN IN TO IT! It doesn’t matter what the outcome as long as you were there for the experience! 

And did I mention that Chris Pine was an eye candy in that movie… seriously what’s up with men and chucks… he looks so good in them… too good actually!

See what I mean? Come on!
Post movie me and my friend ended up having coffee and well it would be a series of coffee sessions for the rest of the 3 days… yup I do love coffee.
Ended up going to a fund raiser at a bar later that night. Having no expectations whatsoever but turned out to be an amazing night with friends and family. Usually I don’t go to these places cause I’m shy & struggle with face to face interaction (yup I am awkward like that). But after 3 glasses of Vodka Kurant your inhibitions slowly go away… nothing wild but its a big step for me talking to random people. So a piece of advice NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF LIQUID COURAGE! 
Surprisingly the following day I found out that Vodka doesn’t give you a major hangover… headache was tolerable so it might be my new go to drink when necessary.
Okay my favorite part of the blog post… I’ve come across this person in twitter named @DarwinBlake as per friends recommendations of his poetry and thoughts. Took a chance and followed him. Read his blog and if you have the chance the Almost Famous Author comes up with surprisingly amazing stuff. I wish I could write a blog post as simple, poetic and as funny and as straightforward as him.
He has this courteous and old person vibe (not meant to be an insult) its actually quite charming to say the least. 

Thank you for your tweets its been nonetheless entertaining and sweet. Looking forward to more coffee conversations with you and maybe if you convince me I will give Espresso a try. For now I am sticking with Americano 😉

Keep on posting coffee cups and I might just do the same once in a while. Thank you again for your wonderful gift of poetry. And see you around Twitter and how should I address you? (assuming that you’re reading this should I call you Darwin? Blake? Mr. Blake? DB?) Nonetheless thanks for being part of the highlight of my 3 day off. 
Lastly, I poured my heart out at around 2am today it had to be done in order to move forward. I needed to be the girl on fire and I did it but it was painful. Heart was gutted today. 
And well I am back to work tomorrow (kind of in denial) but it has to be done! Off to welcoming babies to the world (which never fails to make me smile their just too adorable) oh the wonder of life! Its a 4 day work week for me!
Until my next blogpost!

Don’t Forget To Remember Me by Kahlen Aymes

Don't Forget to Remember Me (The Remembrance Trilogy, #2)Don’t Forget to Remember Me by Kahlen Aymes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading The Future of our Past it took me a while to start reading this book (thus the seemingly 5 day book read). I was wrapped in the emotion of the first book that it left me quite breathless.

I prepared myself for the emotional roller coaster involving this book. This time I think that Ryan gets to be the center of the book and reciprocate the love Julia has always given her so unconditionally (although they’ve always done this but I think more so in this book). With the challenges of their current situation you see how much Ryan longs for Julia and what they had and the fear of it and her being lost forever.

Although their love for each other was never really lost since they still had the connection ever present when their eyes met and spent time together. It was just a matter of how they were going to deal with their current situation and a choice to move forward or linger on their past. Each of them having different views on the matter which creates a gap for the both of them.

It was a love remembered through new experiences embraced in challenges and obstacles. The book was about love surpassing & withstanding every situation. Its a story about love that keeps on giving and giving until sometimes it hurts but still you do not stop you just give more.

“I can live through anything as long as I have you”— lines like these tug my heart

I fell asleep holding my phone reading this book with tears in my eyes. I am so amazed how Ms. Aymes made this book and the connection between Ryan and Julia being so very present despite the distant memories. Even as I am writing this review recalling moments of this book tears are filling my eyes. This was probably the statement that defines Ryan and Julia and the line that made me sob like a freaking baby:

“Without you, I am only half of myself… with you, I am whole”

I cannot wait for A Love Like This… I cannot be more excited for what is next for Ryan and Julia. Oh and it wouldn’t be so mad to see more of “Caveman Ryan” LOL! Ms. Aymes thank you again for such a wonderful book. I cannot thank you enough and I will never tire of saying it :)

The Future of our Past by Kahlen Aymes

The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy, #1)The Future of Our Past by Kahlen Aymes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I promised myself that I would write a review to this book prior to starting the 2nd book. So I need to get this done since I cannot wait to read the 2nd book. Its killing me!

I got this book for free via Amazon since it was offered in lieu of the release of Don’t Forget To Remember Me. Thank you Ms. Aymes for giving us the opportunity to download this book :)

The moment that I read the first chapters of this book I thought okay the premise is quite simple best friends having feelings for each other I can go with this but nothing prepared me for the emotions that I went through in going through this book. The love that Ryan & Julia bottled up for the longest time it was just pure explosion the moment they let their feelings take control of the situation.

You can tell how they fit and know each other just by their looks and sometimes just by what the other person is saying. I absolutely loved their dynamic. I love how Julia spoils Ryan rotten from the littlest of things and how Ryan knows he gets his way on most things. And at the same time Ryan reciprocates this by loving Julia with everything he’s got.

I think that with this book you will see and get to focus on how much Julia loves Ryan although the feeling is mutual I just felt that it was highlighted more… not that Ryan did not have his moments (because he did) and every time he did it… tears just came running down my face.

Every time there was a moment that my heart tugged on I had to stop reading and take a moment Ms. Aymes made those moments so perfect I was just left speechless for minutes and I just had to take it all in. The Christmas Lodge scene was my breaking point… I cried my eyes out on that scene and slept having tears in my eyes. It was that good! And the ending… don’t get me started there… more tears were shed!

In my ideal reality I want to meet my Ryan Matthews. I really hope that I get to meet him someday. I loved how this story goes from being best friends to lovers. I just think that its the best way to go in a relationship. I like the idea that you know your partner well enough before diving in to something even more intimate. It’s funny that I have his description in my head but I can’t seem to paint a picture of him completely or have like an ideal celebrity to play this character like what I usually do in other novels that I read. I truly hope to meet you someday Matthews!

I love Julia too and how I could identify myself with her in more ways than one. I like how she’s firm but caring. How self sacrificing she is even if it means very little for her end. That she’s determined and hardworking plus she’s a great cook. I admire how she kept all her emotions for Ryan all throughout those years and she saved herself for the right person. By all means, she was really a person who stayed true to herself and I loved her for that.

I think its a story of love and finding the right time but when its love does it ever come at the right time? This book perfectly shows that and the obstacles they have to overcome to fight for that love. In the end love has no boundaries and when you have found the one everything is just worth going through.

Now that I can start Don’t Forget To Remember Me… I am looking forward to see how Ryan reciprocates everything Julia has given… and I swear I think this will be such a tearjerker!

Ms. Aymes thank you for writing such a wonderful book and I am looking forward to more of your writing may it be part of the Remembrance Trilogy or not I am sure it will be worth the read. Thank you also for taking time in replying to my tweets you have been so good to me and your other readers. Its nice to be able to talk to the authors first hand and sorry if we drive you a little crazy with our book reactions… but Im glad we made you GIGGLE! Lol! Looking forward to tweeting more with you and getting to know you better! I will patiently wait for ALLT whether it comes out Christmas or the following year also I’m looking forward to other book titles. You are the 5th author that made me cry in my whole time of book reading. You are amazing!

Pink Notes: This Will Be My Year!

I have had a fair share of frustrations over the past years and I think they still keep on coming. Most of my frustration comes from my career. Prior to graduating, I’ve had everything mapped out. I was the most determined person you will meet. It’s so surreal if you see me now I have no inch of confidence left in myself especially in my hopes and dreams.

Every time there is this obstacle that needs to overcome. Nothing ever came easy that was just my destiny. After graduating I passed Philippine RN licensure but I had to overcome the leakage exam issues of our batch which set me back with my plans and had to retake part of the examination. 
By the time I passed my USRN licensure, nurses were no longer needed in America or there was a lack of visas for foreign nurses. I invested so many years to making this happen and ended up nowhere. By the time I’ve accomplished this I am left with zero experience as a nurse. 
Thankfully, I got a job as a RN in one of the tertiary hospitals in Manila and now earned sufficient experience as a RN. And as much as the job is challenging I am thankful for the opportunity and continuously letting me grow with my profession.
I have no idea if my dreams of working overseas will still happen… a big part of me hope it does soon. But given the frustrations I’ve experienced these past years I learned to just take it one step at a time and not force myself too much on the situation.
In general, I think I’ve just learned to take things day by day as opposed to mapping out everything. I learn to deal with frustrations better in this frame of mind. I also decided that even if this might not be my year to get out of the country I have other things to look forward to and be happy about.
Its more than halfway through the year and this can still be my year. It might not be career wise but in some other aspects of my life. I kick myself in the butt for not thinking about this sooner I was so focused on my career that I forgot I actually have a LIFE! An actual life!
I’m not going to go all cray cray and break rules cause that just isn’t me. I’m on a mission to self improvement and I still have a long way to go but I am slowly getting there. I’ve pretty much let go of myself these past years so now I am starting to really take care of myself. 
I rediscovered my love of book reading once again. I don’t know if I should thank FSoG for it but as far as I remember its the book that got me started reading again. It was also the book that made me purchase eyeglasses with UV protection since it strained my eyes cause I could not drop that book (I read books on my iPad). 
I absolutely love the feeling that books give me. I live in a bubble every time I get to read a good book. Books give me the opportunity to convey emotions I might not necessarily be able to feel or express in my everyday existence. So thank you to all the wonderful authors for creating amazing stories!

I’ve met so many wonderful people on Twitter who enjoys reading as much as I do and its an honor meeting you guys. You know who you are and thanks for making book reading extra fun!

I still have tons of things to be thankful for despite my frustrations… and I will claim it this will be my year! 2012 will be a good year for me :)

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last LectureThe Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember seeing this book at a local Borders store when I was visiting my brother in California. I usually spent a lot of time there since I loved the fact that I can hang out there all the time and get lost in all the books and read for free. Every time I visited I always bump in to this book but never had the courage to browse or view it.

I was back in Manila and was at our local bookstore and yet again saw this book. I took it as a sign and purchased the book. I was killing time so after purchasing I was at Starbucks waiting on my mom to finish her meeting and started reading the book.

Prior to reading this book I never knew anything about Randy Pausch. But after getting lost chapter after chapter I have nothing but good words for the guy. He encourages everyone to follow their dreams and up until now I hold on to those words.

This was probably one of the only few books that made me cry. Sometimes I didn’t even realize that tears were coming down my cheeks. I do not know if it was just the situation that I was in while I was reading the book that made me vulnerable but nonetheless its a book that I hold close to my heart.

I’ve actually lost track of where my actually copy of the book is since I’ve lent and encouraged most of my friends to read this. Just by seeing this book here in goodreads made me teary eyed again. I haven’t even viewed his actual lecture in YouTube which I am anticipating will make me sob.

I know that his wife has released a book journeying her experience during his husband’s endeavors and I am still thinking about whether or not to read it.

If you are in a situation wherein you do not know what to do with your life or just simply frustrated this is a book that can place things into perspective. His advice is simple but sometimes the simplest of things is the hardest thing to do.

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Slave: Finding Anna #1 Book Thoughts

Slave (Finding Anna #1)Slave by Sherri Hayes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I took the chance of reading this book as per recommendation by friends. I had my reservations based on the title and I did not want to go FSoG all over again. I mean I did enjoy FSoG but at some parts of the book made me uncomfortable & cringe (but that’s just me… since its my first time learning and thoroughly reading about subs/doms and everything else in between).

But the book was far beyond my expectation and I surprisingly liked it. I dove into the book being mentally prepared for gruesome details, playrooms etc but it was not the case. I downed this book in almost a day with just 4 hours of sleep. It was such a hard book to stop reading.

Its tormenting what Brianna’s character has been through and you see why she acts the way she acts. And you see Stephan clearly wanting to help her in his own terms. They said to have a tissue at bay upon reading the book and I did just that but I never saw the need to use them BUT I was going through with every emotion from anger to sadness and those little moments of happiness that they shared. So with that I thought the author Ms. Hayes did an amazing job of making the readers feel what these characters are going through especially Brianna.

I appreciated the fact that the story was told in the perspective of Brianna and Stephan. They fit so well for each other in an odd way that they haven’t really fully understood especially on Brianna’s part and I think and I hope that is what the 2nd book is for.

Love, kindness and understanding comes in so many different forms and surprisingly Stephan shows them in so many parts of the book. The book ended so abruptly which leaves you wanting to figure out what happens and luckily the second book is at bay. I am looking forward to see what lies in the story of Stephan and Brianna and with that I am off to read Need.

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The Redhead Series: Sweet Nuts, Schmaltz, Crazy & The Oonie

I am trying to write about the books as soon as I finish reading them since I have this tendency to jumble things together maybe from one book to the other which is not at all good as I can confuse you guys (Plus I tend to have a short memory… you know name wise and stuff). Obviously, I am not a professional book reviewer but I just had to say something about the book since it made me feel something (like the bubble I always feel when I get to read books).

The Redhead Series comes in 2 books named The Unidentified Redhead and The Redhead Identified respectively. The first book introduces us to Jack and Grace and their whirlwind romance and other steamy stuff. And with the second book their journey continues and challenges come along the way and you see how they deal with those issues from their respective “drawers”.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it made me laugh in so many parts. It has been a while since I’ve actually enjoyed a good fun novel. Jack and Grace have this quirkiness that works to their advantage. And their constant bickering and name dropping was too funny.

Lines like this made me laugh so hard:

“And does he happen to have abs you could grate cheese on?”  

That line was just brilliant! I felt connected with Grace since I see a lot of myself from her. I admire her strength to acknowledge her issues and take action. And then we have Jack who was in a way a total opposite of Grace who exudes confidence who is also young and very good looking and above everything else is a Brit! He surprises me how his actions can be so youthful at times then when words come out of his mouth he’s like so old.

I cannot wait for the 3rd installment in the series which I hope comes out soon. To end this post what I take from this book is to grab and take happiness in whatever form it comes. Everyone deserves to be happy and sometimes we feel guilty if something too good comes our way which shouldn’t be the case. Sometimes its what we need or better yet what we deserve.

Stay happy everyone! And I should start drinking Olive Juice aka Dirty Martinis they sound more fun than my usual Mojitos!

Joan Gillen :)

Pink Notes: Weighing In… Shedding Pounds, Feeling Better

I’ve thought about countless time on whether or not I should write a blog post about this ongoing journey of mine and my battle with loosing weight. As a matter of fact as I am writing this I am still having my reservations.

But I do feel I need this I need to write it out because I am overwhelmed and blogging has been a good way to clear out my thoughts about a lot of things.

I’ve always been a healthy kid but that was never been an issue since I remained active in sports and other activities. And I guess the constant bickering and jokes of being called fat/ big has sort of numbed me as time goes by. I’ve always felt good about myself until recently…

I have weighed my heaviest at 204 lbs. last February and it scared the sh*t out of me. When I was at work even running in short distances made me run out of breath (and as a OR Nurse running is a skill especially when obtaining emergency supplies). And even just talking for long periods I gasp for breath especially when I announce the patient safety checklist. It sucked and I got worried.

So I started my journey by doing calorie counting and easily in almost 2 months I lost 10 lbs. I was so happy and all those symptoms I felt went away. But I knew I still had a long way to go but then old habits started kicking in again especially when I had my vacation leave from work (this was around June)… I was a bum! I gained 4 lbs in a span of 10 days… it was ridiculous.

So that scared the sh*t out of me again since I really did not want to reach the 200 mark again. So I cut back on my eating and in 2 weeks time I lost all the pounds I gained so I am back to 194. I realized that it was not good enough to be “yo-yo-ing” my weight when just wanted to. I needed the commitment.

So I am glad to report that I have lost another 14 lbs which brings me to my current weight of 180 (i’m back to my weight circa 2010). I admit I still have a long way to go but I feel different and happy. I hope I get to stick with this until I reach my desired weight.

Its been challenging to food choices and exercise. But my motivation is different this time… I feel like I am doing this for myself as opposed to succumbing to the pressure of outside forces. I am slowly able to wear clothes that haven’t been used for a long time. I can work more efficiently and without running out of breath. My scrubs are not as tight which is awesome!

Confidence is slowly moving up little by little. I am now adding gym time to my regimen to help me lose weight even more. And I find it good to have gym time as it clears my head and its a good ME time.

Oh and on a lighter note, I am starting to get sick of vegetables which is what I dominantly eat… so I am finding alternatives to spice things up… Broccoli is good but it is really gas forming… I have yet to try the mashed cauliflower… so if there are any suggestions please leave a comment :)

To all my family and friends thank you for your support… and I really want to make this work. I promised myself that this will be my year… so this will be my year!

Poughkeepsie: Smile, 446 & Tattoos

I’ve read this book as a recommendation from one of the book clubs I found on Twitter called @theSUBCLUBbooks as I finished another book called Gabriel’s Rapture (which I have yet to write about… since its my most treasured book of the moment together with the first book). I was finding a weekend book to read and they suggested POUGHKEEPSIE.

At first I thought the cover was captivating:

See! Who would not be interested in a cover like that. Its too intriguing and that tattoo who would not want the story behind that right? So just by seeing that I had to download the book via my Kindle App. I just had to. (Yup! I am a visual person)

First few chapters of the book I thought was pretty bizarre I kept thinking am I understanding this correctly? a homeless person and this beautiful girl who had this amazing smile how is this going to turn out?

By the time it reached Chapter 5 everything was clear the connection between Blake & Livia (the lead characters). How Blake counted Livia’s smile the moment he laid eyes on her (this is probably my favorite scene in the book). And as if counting was not enough he knew what number each smile was.

Then the other characters had something going on for themselves as well. I liked how it didn’t focus to just the 2 main characters and how each of the other character’s story intertwined with the others.

It’s a story of love and kindness shown in different situations and perspective. How humanity always has a chance to redeem themselves in unexpected circumstances.