Yelly Writes

Bon Retour fellow working folk!

So did you go back to work this week? How was it?

To be fair, I was okay. I had a better state of mind, and whilst I was battling some sort of viral infection, I felt okay about going back to work. I think it helped that I was working from home this week and only had to roll out of bed and walk to the work desk I set up in my living room (there was such a huge mindset shift in having a separate workspace area, as opposed to having my desk in close proximity to my bed, let me tell you!).

Apparently, post-holiday blues are now a recognised thing. According to verywellmind, post-holiday blues usually refers to the short-lived mental distress, anxiety and sadness after the holiday season. I’ve always just used it to refer to my reticence about going back to the daily grind. Of course there were days when I really could not face going back to work – the whole getting up, getting in the shower, getting dressed, commuting to work and sitting at my desk was a bit much to contemplate after the holidays. Of course, like everyone else who had a job, I did the adult thing, dragged myself out of bed and sternly gave myself a telling off (verbally, in front of the mirror and mentally, still sometimes in front of the mirror).

After reading through several articles, there seems to be an agreement amongst mental health professionals that the holidays can have an effect on a person’s psychopathology. In the run-up to the holidays (especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali), there is the frenetic energy of preparing for it, all those tasks on your to-do list to get things done for friends and family, for all the meals, for the gift-giving, treats for visitors and the children. Then there are those days that you are enveloped in feel-good feelings where you are loved-up, relaxed (or in a contstant state of stress as family or social situations can be stressful!), or marinating in dopamine-producing experiences.

Then of course, there is the huge thump of a landing once the holidays are over; you are back, right smack in the middle of the daily grind. the days are grey, damp, cold and depressing, and everything that made you happy might not be around you anymore. I love Margaret Wehrenberg’s suggestions on Psychology Today for beating the post-holiday blues: to start with, it’s the mindset shift that whatever you’re going through is a change in stimulation and, more often than not, it’s less stimulation so you need to get used to that (so be kind to yourself and allow yourself to adjust); then it’s physical activity (which I think, in my case is finally unpacking completely and finally finding all my comfy sweats because apart from them being comfortable but presentable lounge wear, they’re also warm!); following that you go through a “looking forward” exercise – not resolution-making or massive life goals-setting (because that’s just daunting and you don’t need daunting whilst dealing with the blues!), just planning or thinking about something that you want to do in the new year (in my case it’s getting a lovely tea set and ingredients so that I can invite my friends over and have tea and cake with them in the new place); and finally, you steer clear of any holiday-related reminders, like watching Christmas movies because the post-holiday blues is a rabbit-hole that you don’t want to, like Alice, want to inadvertently fall into.

It’s going to be a difficult few weeks for all of us, perhaps more for some than others. Be kind to yourself (it’s a reminder that has almost become a personal mantra) and if things become difficult, remember to talk about it. I am reminded of a meme that I often see on Instagram: if you’re not speaking out, you’re storing it, and that gets heavy.

Yelly Reads

Writing weekend

This weekend I’m going to do a lot of writing…and tackling a huge amount of ironing!

I posted a question on my Instagram stories a few days ago because I’ve been building a list of books I’m aiming to read this year. What are your book list must-haves?

Right. Enough prevaricating. Those clothes aren’t going to iron themselves!

Yelly Eats

Stick food!

There are a few things that make this life so much better.  One of them is barbecue pork on sticks Pinoy style.  I’m going to find out how to make barbecue Grill Queen style.  Grill Queen is a small independent chain that sells barbecued meat – pork, chicken, seafood…you name it, they probably barbecue it.

I haven’t quite cracked it, but the recipe I’m tweaking is nearly there.  I’ll be posting the recipe on the blog soon.

But for tonight, I am eating something comfortingly Filipino: barbecued meat, rice and sautéed vegetables!

pork bbq Pinoy style

Yelly Writes

London love

I do love my little junkets to London Town.  The city feels alive, like it’s an actual living organism, it’s got moods too (yes, I know, waxing poetic about a city is a bit cliché but I really do adore London!), and there’s always something new to see, even in places that I often frequent.  I also love how native Londoners love London.  You see their appreciation on their Instagram accounts.

I’m putting it out there.  I want to move to London.  I want to live in a place that doesn’t shut down at 5 or 6PM.  So that’ll be my goal, to find myself actually living and working in that cosmopolitan city that I love.  I know it comes with all the negatives: the high cost of living (the rent and property prices are horrendously overpriced), the pollution, the crush during morning and afternoon rush hours, the almost constant deluge of tourists (the foreign students on a school trip are the worst!).  Despite all that (especially the high cost of living), I’d still want to live and work in a city that’s constantly alive and buzzing.  I miss that.

Here’s a photo taken from Tower 42 from Open House London just this past weekend.

So apart from my plan to be organised, I need to mobilise!

Next question: does anyone need a highly organised executive assistant that has experience in travel, event management, association management, and has worked in the tax department of an accounting firm? 🙂

London and the Thames





Yelly Snaps

The Cecil Brewer staircase

I love it when a store has a photogenic feature.  It makes for a great marketing opportunity!  Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road has such a feature.  Heal’s first opened its doors in 1810, at a different location.  But as luck would have it, the Heal family produced an amazing architect, Cecil Brewer who designed their flagship store on Tottenham Court Road.  The store is a large, open space filled with beautiful things.  I am always tempted to take a bowl, or a mug or a plate or a set of place mats to the counter and take the beautiful thing home to my tiny flat!  I haven’t succumbed to the urge yet, but I think it’s only a matter of time until I allow myself the indulgence.

Apart from being responsible for the architectural masterpiece that is the Heal’s flagship store, Cecil Brewer was responsible for creating the beautiful spiraling staircase that so many photo buffs have photographed.  It’s a star feature on Instagram for people visiting London.

I visited Heal’s primarily to look for Duralex cups because I wanted to bring them back to the Philippines as it carries a line of clear glass cups and saucers that my dad loves.  But apart from the Duralex cup hunt, I really did want to take a photo of the Cecil Brewer staircase.  I took a photo before, but I wanted to take a better one.  So after checking on the cups, I went to the back of the store and took my photo of the staircase from the foot of the spiral looking up at the beautiful light fixture.

I loved this latest photo.  Mostly because it was very quiet at Heal’s on the day and I had the spiral staircase all to myself (for a while, anyway).  After posting it on Instagram, a few days later, the picture got featured on Culture Trip London‘s (amazing) Instagram feed.  To say that I was tickled pink is an understatement.  The only word to describe how I felt was the Filipino word kilig.  It’s nice to be recognised like that.  Ha!  I’m really pleased that I’m taking noteworthy photos because it’s so much fun learning how to use a camera, properly!

The Cecil Brewer Staircase, Heal's London


Yelly Snaps


I’ve been meaning to write about this for ages.  I got featured by one of the Instagram hubs as their picture of the day.  This might sound like small fry for some people but for someone like me, who is learning to take proper photos, being featured on the Instagram account of the UK contingent of my camera brand is a huge deal.  So I am sharing the photo!

Yay me!  Thank you Olympus UK for choosing my light trails photo as your Photo of the Day on 20 July.  You have no idea how much of an honour it is.

Oh and of course, thank you for creating such an amazing line of cameras!

Light trails

Yelly Writes

Oh brother!

Clara Ortega said “ To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”  And I agree.

To me you will always be the little boy who “break dances” by spinning on the floor, on his tummy, the one who invents words, our source of joy and entertainment.  I pray that you will be blessed beyond your desires, because we are so very blessed by you.

Happy birthday (big) little bro!



Yelly Writes

Making lemonade

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

LemonadeIt’s always a good thing to try to look at a bad situation from another angle.  Focus on the positive…and all that.

I know!  I sound very grumpy.  I am.  It’s really not a great way to end July but I’m going to make sure I try to find the positive spin because otherwise, I’ll be insufferable!