This Complicated World Called "Mugging"

ugging is a term my fellow Starbucks mug collectors call what we do. It is the act of collecting, trading and buying mugs to grow one's collection.

2012 marks a major year in my mug collection. I started this year with only 17 mugs. I am probably ending the year with 220+ mugs. A special thank you to family and friends who "donated" to my collection. A big thank you to fellow collectors who have helped me with my collection.

Mugging is a complicated world. You put several people from all over the world with different culture and personalities in groups and you end up with drama and chaos. Facebook, for me, is no longer about connecting with family and friends, it is a means to communicate with fellow muggers. I met so many wonderful new friends and at the same time created "enemies." I had unfriended and learned to use the Block button when I can no longer handle it. I am not supposed to like each and everyone of the 500+ collectors. And I cannot please all of them. There is nothing wrong in staying away from people who are toxic and full of negative vibes. (Proverbs 22: 24, 25 NLT)

Our world is full of drama, deceit, envy and greed. I am constantly reminding myself to put my guard up.  These are only mugs. At the end of the day, these are mugs that would break if you drop them. There are definitely more important things in life.  

Unlike my fellow collectors, I do not have a plan. My only game plan was to collect as much as I can. Yes, I keep a master list of the icon mugs and tick off those I acquired. I would hunt down those I don't have yet. It would be nice to have all of them. Some are impossible to own as they are discontinued and requires hundreds (or even thousand) of dollars which I obviously cannot spend on a mug. Miraculously, my collection has grown. I have mugs in my collection I cannot believe I have. I am very blessed.

There are collectors who makes you lose your faith in humanity. A test of patience and a test of grace. When I would feel discouraged and frustrated, I would be surprised with a mug or I would find an opportunity to help or start a friendship with another collector. I have learned a big deal about generosity, too. The more generous you are, the more it'll come back to you. The key to receiving mugs as gifts is to give mugs away. 

I am a follower of Christ so I do connect everything with my relationship with him. I knew God was speaking to me and He gave me an idea through this fellow collector who just joined the group. She is a youth pastor and we belong to the same church. We may be thousand of miles apart but God made sure we meet. She uses her mugs for her prayer wall. She prays for the country or city that is written on the mug (as we are supposed to pray for every nation). And then would pray for the person who gave or sent her the mug. What an excellent idea! I finally found a purpose for my mugs other than for them to collect dust and look pretty on the display shelves. 

I may have 200+ mugs but the most important take home for me is the relationships and friendships I fostered because of collecting. I never imagined I would end up with so many new friends and be reconnected with relatives. 

The good outweighs the bad. I will continue mugging as long as there are collectors who needs mugs I can offer. I know God will lead me to the people I would need to help out. 

It is all good, right? 

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Photo-A-Day December 2012: Second Week

It is already mid-December. Wait a minute, I haven't even put up my decorations yet.

My second week of December went like this...

Day 8 - Someone I love
My two loves. We went out for a special dinner that evening.

Day 9 - Out + About
A stone's throw away from our balcony is my go to place - grocery store and post office in one complex.

Day 10 - Under
As always, my son's toys are found under our bed.

Day 11 - Sweet
There was a time when I used to be so addicted to Skittles.

Day 12 - Hat
Javi in a Santa hat which we found in the grocery store.

Day 13 - Lights
Lights from the vehicles caught in traffic in the intersection of Sathorn and Narathiwas.

Day 14 - Something green
I was on a special dinner with my husband for our fifth wedding anniversary. I ordered broccoli (my favorite vegetable) as a side dish.

Now I have to get back to my Christmas decorating.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Photo-A-Day December 2012: First Week

The last month of the year is here! "It's the most wonderful time of the year." CHRISTMAS. 

I am enjoying taking photo from my iPhone. I finally have Instagram.

My first week of December went like this -- 

Day 1 - 8 o'clock
I was cooking a hearty Filipino breakfast for my family and house guests.

Day 2 - Peace
I love watching the full moon from our place. We get an excellent view of the moon rising.

Day 3 - Something you held
Our house guest blessed us with massage vouchers. My husband and I were just talking that we need massages. 

Day 4 - Black + white
My husband has a new toy, his second keyboard

Day 5 - Looking up
This is the view from the BTS-BRT sky bridge.

Day 6 - From where I live
December 5th marked our second year of calling Bangkok our home.

Day 7 - Stars
The stars on our Christmas cards. I love receiving holiday cards from friends and relatives.

How did your first week go?

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Photo-A-Day November 2012: Fourth and Last Week

My favorite month is ending. So grateful that the last week was spent with my mother and sister. 

Day 22 - Grateful
So happy my phone arrived days before the expected delivery date. It's time to say goodbye to my trusty ol' BlackBerry phone.

Day 23 - Black
Friday is laundry day. My hangers and clothespin are black. I chose a neutral color.

Day 24 - A sound I heard
Familiar voices. My house guests are here. My mom and sister are visiting for the week. 

Day 25 - Sky
Overcast sky on a Sunday in Bangkok.

Day 26 - In the cupboard
My cupboard badly needs organization.

Day 27 - Tree
A Christmas tree from a Starbucks branch we visited today. 

Day 28 - Vehicle
Traffic jam in Bangkok

Day 29 - Big
The Empire Tower in Bangkok. 

Day 30 - On the wall
It's finally Christmas in our building. There are decorations everywhere.

Was your November a good month? Moving on to December.

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Photo-A-Day November 2012: Third Week

I have seriously neglected my blog. 

Anyway, catching up on my monthly photo challenge.  

My third week of November went like this -- 

Day 15 - In my bag
In my reusable bag. Christmas cards and packages for mailing. 
So happy I get to send them out so early this year.

Day 16 - The view from my window
I always take photos of the view from our unit. I am in love with our view. 
So this is a different angle, it's peeking through our window pane.

Day 17 - The last thing I bought
It's the weekend so time to do our grocery shopping and re-stock our fruits and veggies.

Day 18 - Happened this week
We went to the Filipino store and we ended up buying this marinated bangus or milkfish. 
We ate it for Sunday lunch.

Day 19 - Something awesome
These are the Malaysian edition of the Starbucks 2013 planners. I love the leather cover with zipper.

Day 20 - Work/play
Have been busy exporting my Multiply blogs and downloading all media files. 
Multiply will focus on online selling and will therefore shut down other services by December 1. 
I have too many memories on Multiply.

Day 21 - What I wore
Got this tank top from Chatuchak market. Perfect for home. 

Off to the fourth week!

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Photo-A-Day November 2012: Second Week

It's my favorite week of my favorite month of the every year.

Day 8 - Something I do everyday
I am a housewife so one of my daily task is to COOK my family's meals. Sometimes, I love what I do while there are times when I want to take a break from it.

Day 9 - Small
These are Smurf gummies from Germany.

Day 10 - Can't {won't} live without
I can't and won't live without my husband's thoughtfulness. He got me these pretty flowers for my birthday.

Day 11 - Night
Sunday evening along Narathiwas Road was traffic free.

Day 12 - Drink
Still working on drinking as much water as I can. I keep a water log so I know how much I've drank throughout the day.

Day 13 - Where I slept
Someone crossed over the big bed.

Day 14 - Man-made
This is the waiting lounge at the Pediatrics Department on BNH Hospital. We were there for Javi's check-up.This is the waiting lounge at the Pediatrics Department on BNH Hospital. We were there for Javi's check-up.

It was a beautiful week! And I am finally catching up on my blog. Christmas is making its way to our home. 

Enjoy the rest of your week!
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My Perfect Kind of Day

I look forward to my birthdays even if I cringe that I am getting old. I'm probably in another age category again.

I shared with my closest girlfriend that my dream day would be a staycation in a nearby hotel, then an afternoon of pampering and I will meet my two boys for dinner. 

Now that didn't happen.

I am a planner. I like to plan for everything. My husband is not. He is spontaneous. We complement each other. And I had a wonderful day because of it.

And my perfect day began with ---

I was on my way out get some coffee when someone delivered this...

I absolutely love flowers.

My husband had them delivered.

 And it came with a card. I was teary eyed. 

I always look for a card on a gift. It is sometimes more important for me than the present itself.

I got my Toffee Nut Latte which came with those free drink after answering a survey receipt. It truly is a special day.

And I came home to breakfast especially prepared by my husband. I just let him spoil me on this day. 

We left for lunch after a couple of hours to this Italian Bistro that I've always wanted to go back to. 

Javi needed time to play so we headed over to a play area. I searched for a spa so I can get that much-needed massage.

I found a spa and I had a 90-minute body massage. 

We moved on to another mall. I wanted to see Skyfall.  My husband and son stopped for a snack before the movie. 

I agree Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies. My father would've liked it. Javier Bardem, you are brilliant. If you notice, I named my son after you.

We wanted to dine somewhere special for dinner but the movie took longer than we expected. So we ended up with pizza and red wine for late dinner at home.  

Oh, I also logged off from Facebook, most part of the day. And that was bliss! When I logged on again, I found all the wonderful greetings from family and friends. I had a difficult time acknowledging each person who greeted. Facebook has suddenly become not so user friendly. 

I had the perfect day. I only needed to spend it with two people who mattered the most to me. 

I am a year older and hopefully a year wiser.
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Photo-A-Day November 2012: First Week

Hello November! You are my favorite month. People close to me know why.

And here is my first week of November in photos --

Day 1 - Something beginning with "C"
Whenever we visit a Starbucks store, my son gets an oatmeal raisin cookie.  

Day 2 - Colour
This is my little boy's improvised ball pool at home.

Day 3 - Breakfast
We had to go to my son's doctor appointment so I ended up with just a cup of coffee for breakfast.

Day 4 - TV
Sunday night is our family movie night. I am relaxed when this is my view. 

Day 5 - 5 o'clock
It's 5 o'clock in the afternoon and traffic along Narathiwas Road is still light.

Day 6 - A favourite thing
A drawerful of my favorite 3-in-1 coffee, Kopiko Brown. Oh, the lengths I go to, to ensure my stock is full. 

Day 7 - Reflection
A reflection of my little boy on his new bike. 

For the complete set of my November photo entries, please check out my Flickr album here

How did your first week go?

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Photo-A-Day October 2012: Fourth & Last Week

I will keep this short as I need to catch up on so many things on my blog.

Sharing my last weeks of the tenth month in photos --

Day 22 - In my town
Bangkok is well known for its street food. It's such a delight to discover the variety of food items the vendors are selling. One can get a complete meal from these different vendors.

Day 23 - The view from here
From our balcony, we can see the intersection of Sathorn and Narathiwas Roads. My little boy likes pointing out the train when he sees it.

Day 24 - Weather
It was a cloudy Wednesday morning in Bangkok.

Day 25 - People
Little people from the Kinder Chocolate Egg. They are so cute!

Day 26 - Listening to
I am listening to Glee casts Christmas album. Yes to Christmas songs in October. I am Filipino, after all. Christmas starts as early as September where I'm from.

Day 27 - Morning
We ended up in the hospital as the little boy accidentally poked his left ear and it was bleeding. Thankfully, he only hit the skin and not the ear drum. All's good.

Day 28 - Looking back
My son gave me an idea for today's prompt when he asked to take a look at our wedding photos. 

Day 29 - Moon
The full moon was absolutely beautiful over Bangkok. Sadly, my phone's camera does not shoot very well at night.

Day 30 - Clothes
This is my favorite piece of clothing right now. My very first top from H&M.

Day 31 - Whatever I please
These are poke marks my little boy made with his birthday cake. 

For my complete Photo-A-Day October 2012 photos, do check out my Flickr album here.

And just like that we say goodbye to October. Hope yours was an eventful one.

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Photo-A-Day October 2012: Third Week

October is saying goodbye soon. How did your third week go?

Mine went like this...

Day 15 - Dinnertime
Dinner took longer to make tonight because I had to cut so many veggies. 

Day 16 - Something I wrote
This blog.  I really wish  I have more time for it.

Day 17 - Fruit
Now, this dragon fruit is definitely eye catching. From our neighborhood supermarket.

Day 18 - Made me smile
My husband brought home these deep fried fish skin. 
I love these! They're from Singapore.

Day 19 - Letters
This is a banner of the post office next to where we live. I find the mascot really cute. 
Take note of the the Thai characters which I cannot understand.

Day 20 - Four o'clock
At four o'clock in the afternoon, I was waiting to board the train which would take me to the mall.

Day 21 - Calm
My idea of calm is a vendor-free side street. 
And this only happens on weekends. 

My full-sized Photo-A-Day October photos may be found here.

Enjoy the rest of your October!

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Spoiled With Mugs

There are ups and downs in joining Starbucks Collectors Group to help my mug collecting. I will deal with the downs in a separate post. For now, I will focus on what makes it worthy. 

When I reached my  first year in the hobby, I listed down all the people who helped me. Every time, I see a mug, I remember the person who gave it to me. Each of them hold a special place in my heart.  

This hobby proved to me that there are people with genuine and generous hearts.

You have to hear the stories of this one collector who lives in a country with no Starbucks and no PayPal (which means she cannot buy from eBay) yet her collection of mugs continue to grow. She really has the best stories and I do hope one day she gets to share them through a blog or somewhere similar.

I received two mugs recently and I've considered them very special.

A fellow collector, Dids, had a spare Cleveland mug. Cleveland is a hard to find mug and rumored to be discontinued. On eBay, a Cleveland mug sold for 200USD. Serious business, eh. But this Cleveland from Dids had special needs. 

It looked perfect this way. 

But when it is turned around, there are several chips at the bottom. This is the reason why it can't be traded. No one will take it. The value of this mug probably went from 200USD to a dollar.  

Dids asked me if I would want the mug, and I said yes. I know there are superstitions about keeping chipped items at home, but I never believe them.  So this chipped Cleveland mug found its way to our home where it'll be taken care of. I can't explain why I have a soft spot for this mug. I guess it will always remind me of Chip from Beauty and the Beast. 

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A week after, I found a surprise in the mail. Another collector, this time, from the US sent me goodies. And I received this beautiful white ceramic mug with copper band. It is beautiful. I was very touched with the gesture and the thoughtfulness.

I learn more about thoughtfulness because of this hobby. There are so many ways you can show people you care for them. It's really just the small things.

I made so many new friends this year all over the world. It's fun as I try to recall the many countries I sent packages to.  

In the end, it is the friendship that will last more than the mugs.  
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Photo-A-Day October 2012: Second Week

October is inching it's way. The second week is gone. Here's how mine went.

Day 8 - Angle
From this angle, it shows the flaws of one of my favorite mugs. 

Day 9 - Red
In honor of Canadian Thanksgiving, this mug stands out among all my Starbucks mugs.

Day 10 - Emotions
One of my favorite Joyce Meyer devotional about managing one's emotions.

Day 11 - Something close up
Mooncake from Malaysia. It's hazelnut latte. This is yummy compared to the ones sold in Thailand.

Day 12 - On the table
This is my home office where I print, scan, laminate and other things. I was working on address labels for my pending trade.

Day 13 - Landscape
This is the lobby of the Shangri-La Bangkok. I love all the orchids and the rich colors.

Day 14 - Makes me laugh
I accidentally bought a ruffled pajama top for my son. And I never noticed. My husband pointed it out to me last night and we were laughing so hard.

For the complete set of my Photo-A-Day photos for October 2012, please check out my Flickr album

Have a great week everyone!

Call Me, Never?

You may be surprised to find out that I am not a fan of the telephone. Well, not the phone itself as I love smartphones. But the act of talking to another person on the phone feels torture. I am serious when I say the only person I talk to is my husband. My family comes next. But we're not phone people. Not even when I live far from them.

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While reading about the introvert personality, I found out, not being fond of phone conversations is one of the traits. I am a truly a introvert as I read more about it. I am also always unavailable on Facebook chat, Skype, YM. I cannot strike a conversation with just about anyone. I consider it small talk which is my waterloo.  

It is not that I am incommunicado, there are text messages, BBM, Twitter direct messages, Facebook private messages or even e-mail messages. It's probably the urgency of a phone call and the fact that I am always in the middle of something.

However emergency situations are different. I would pick up when I see several missed calls on my phone. So please be assured I am ready to help.  

So am I the only strange person who hates the phone? Share your experiences away.
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Photo-A-Day October 2012: First Week

I am rushing to catch up with Photo-A-Day recaps. Hoping my blogging schedule will return to normal. Please please please.

So I am now on October! The tenth month of the year. And somehow my favorite as it my little boy's birth month.

Day 1 - Where I stood
The view from our balcony on a Monday morning while I hang our laundry to dry.

Day 2 - Lunchtime
Lunch today is chicken and mixed greens with my favorite sesame dressing.

Day 3 - This happened today
My husband was home sick yet he was still working.

Day 4 - What I read
It's actually what I'm reading. This book is  an eye opener and teaching me it's okay to say "no."

Day 5 - Shadow
This is me taking a photo of my shadow with the bright sunshine as I hang our clothes to dry.

Day 6 - I'm thankful for
Grateful for a wonderful Saturday out with my two boys. My little boy was dancing in very store mirror he finds. While he was napping, my husband and I watched Taken 2 peacefully.

Day 7 - Light
Light from our bedside lamp. I find it really soothing.

I'm now up-to-date with my photo-a-day recaps. Yay! 

Enjoy your week!

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Photo-A-Day September 2012: Fourth & Last Weeks

I am so behind my photo-a-day recap. It gets more difficult for in a day to quietly compose a blog post. My time and attention goes to my highly energetic toddler. It's early in the morning and I am sneaking in to write a blog post.

Recapping my last few weeks of September --

Day 22 - Up
And this is the big billboard right outside the Paragon mall in the heart of Bangkok. 

Day 23 - Three Things
The three things I am packing and shipping out to Dids, a fellow collector. 

Day 24 - Before bedtime
I check up on my social networks, play games and read before I go to sleep.

Day 25 - Frame 
A cute giraffe frame with a photo of my son when he was two months old. 

Day 26 - Near
This is the train station nearest our place. So when we see this, home is close.

Day 27 - Love/Hate
I love watching the rain ad how it cools down the temperature. But I hate the thunder and lightning part, it scares the wits out of me.

Day 28 - A good thing
My good thing is the slow cooker. I get yummy meals while saving time. 

Day 29 - Errand(s)
Saturday is for grocery shopping. Plus I made a quick trip to the post office. 

Day 30 - Me, then
This was me when I was a year old. I surely look like a porcelain doll.

I have to catch up on other posts, so ta-ta!

Photo-A-Day September 2012: Second & Third Weeks

I have been neglecting my blog. Sigh.

I am trying something different as I need to squeeze two weeks' worth of photos. Dids gave me an idea in her photo projects. I now have a collage!

Here are two weeks' worth of photos --

Day 8 - At night
At night, we turn on this lamp from IKEA which we bought when we just got married and which we brought from Manila to Cebu, now Bangkok.

Day 9 - Something I do most weekends
(1) I sleep in, (2) Attend church, and (3) Lunch in MBK

Day 10 - Black + White
A black and white photo of the nearest Starbucks store to our house.

Day 11 - Hero
I absolutely love this poster by Mark Gosingtian which he created during the time of typhoon Ondoy to boost the Filipino spirit.

Day 12 - Together
You can never ever separate Buzz and Woody of the Toy Story.

Day 13 - Table
Our dining table at home, which also serves as a multi-functional workstation.

Day 14 - Favorite
I am taking advantage of Starbucks seasonal drink, Salted Caramel Mocha. My current favorite coffee drink.

Day 15 - First thing I see
The first thing I see when I open my eyes every morning is our curtain and a ray of sunshine.

Day 16 - Strange
When I looked out our balcony, it was foggy. Fog rarely happens in Bangkok.

Day 17 - In my fridge
I stocked up on fruits in the hopes of eating healthier.

Day 18 - Price
I got the newest IKEA catalogue and it's in Thai and the only thing I understand aside from the photo is the price.

Day 19 - Underneath
It's an interesting world when you have a toddler, I find all these crazy things under our beds and the couch and the table.

Day 20 - Man-made
Starbucks ready-to-drink beverages straight from my cousin in Phoenix. I have never tried Pumpkin Spice Latte as it has never been sold in Asia so I finally would know how it taste.

Day 21 - Sometimes
Sometimes, all I want is to have coffee uninterrupted. And it did not happen this day as my son decided to throw a fit right inside the store and I had to bring him out.  

My two weeks just flew by very fast. And we are on our last part of September. Make every day count.  

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Photo-A-Day September 2012: First Week

This post is too late. I was so distracted last week I couldn't focus.

Well, September is here. The BER months as it is known in the Philippines. And by this time my good ol' home country has started playing Christmas tunes. I can also do that here. Even if I'm the only one playing Christmas music.

I was so stressed last week with all the house repairs that have to be done. Our glass sliding door to the balcony got jammed. For four days, we did not open it. I couldn't do laundry as it's where we dry our stuff. The amount of laundry was seriously alarming. By Wednesday, it was still not fixed - we decided to seek the help of our landlord as we couldn't communicate with the outside contractor who speaks Thai - I forced the door open just so I could wash clothes. Up to this day, it is still jammed. 

Here is my first week in photos -- 

Day 1 - Me, now
Right now, I am a mother. And it couldn't get any better than that. We were out this Saturday about to watch a movie and have a yummy dinner.

Day 2 - Father
My father passed away in 2000. Twelve years after, I will always miss him. This is the frame that used to be displayed in my desk at work and now my son broke it.

Day 3 - Far away
These are magnets from the cities and countries we visited. It is not a full collection as I shifted my efforts to collecting Starbucks city mugs.

Day 4 - In my mailbox
From an empty box when I checked earlier in the day to a big package from the US containing mugs from my dear Marsha.

Day 5 - Bright
Enough of the rain, the sun is up shining brightly this morning.

Day 6 - Every day
I get to take care and spend time with this adorable boy every single day.

Day 7 - Natural
These are Japanese eggplants. And I tried making Rellenong Talong or Stuffed Eggplant for dinner
 and I failed miserably.

How was your first week of the ninth month? Did it treat you right?

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