Howdy folks? 2022 has been an awesome year, much better than 2021 was for me at least.

Blog-wise, there aren’t many updates, but I am experimenting with a new featured image format. Let me know how you like it!

So much has happened IRL, though. (In a nutshell: new jobs, new home, and new cafés visited. Speed-read to the café part? ☕️)

The good stuff ?

Here are some of the best things to have happened to me and my family this year:

  • New Year 2021: Moved to the house in Marikina
  • Got dismissed from a job that really sucked in hindsight (but I’m still grateful for it because it helped us stay afloat at a time of great need)
  • Got a couple new mental health diagnoses (ADHD + Bipolar II)
  • March 2022: Landed my first major freelance client
  • August 2022: Got hired FULL-TIME for another freelance client
  • Niovember 2022: went to Baler for a friend’s wedding
  • Earned some decent bonuses for pretty much the first time in my life!
  • Paid off some of our debts and dues (we’ve still got a few more to go)
  • Fixed up and decorated our home for Christmas
  • Got the cozy living room of my dreams!
  • Husband became a Certified Voice Artist
Hello, Marikina! ?

There’s really so much to be thankful for.

But of course life isn’t always great, and perhaps one of my major learnings this past few years has to do with being okay with it.

Christmas blues

It’s so cozy!

And of course, there was some not-so-great stuff as well – like finding out we had a termite infestation (after the said pests had already eaten up a special bag of mine!) and some uncertainties surrounding my freelance career – to name a few.

Post-Holiday Blues

As a matter of fact, right now, I’m feeling a tinge of post-Christmas blues.

It started the day after Christmas. My husband had two seizures in one day, while at a party with relatives. Typical, given his condition. But I felt slightly unsettled, knowing that he had not had a seizure in a long time, even while we were rushing to get decorations and gifts.

Then came the insomnia. Nothing new to me, but still unsettling.

According to an article on, experts seem to agree that this common phenomenon could be due to adrenaline comedown.

The holidays are like a huge commercial break in the midst of one’s “regular programming.” During this time, the mind may exaggerate realities or over-romanticize experiences. Once typical schedules resume, we’re forced to deal with real life as it is.

True enough, receiving Christmas bonuses and splurging on gifts did send me on a bit of a mental high.

Almost four-year-old Cittie and her Christmas tree! ?

But now that the kids are done opening their presents, and all the surprises we’ve carefully orchestrated are over and done, all I have now are memories.

Now I’m forced to deal with the thought that it’s back to job-hunting, studying, and wrestling with my ADHD.

I’m off one of my jobs for an indefinite period of time, which means I’ve lost one of the activities that give my days structure. I’ve also lost one of my major income streams, which makes me anxious about how we will manage our expenses.

It sucks, but as a freelancer, I must accept that this is simply part of the career path I chose.

The best I can do is look for other opportunities I can juggle alongside what I already have.

So wish me luck in 2023. I hope I get my lucky break!

December Café Crawl

Today, I have decided that a blog on COAT (Cza of All Trades, get it? ?) should not be complete without photos from the present month’s café crawl.

I’m working on a bit of a TikTok “project,” Lisa in Marikina, where I plan to show videos of adventures in my city. I currently don’t have a lot posted yet (save for the random family videos I’ve been sharing over the past year – nothing thematic), but I hope I will find the time, energy, and funds to create more content.

Why Lisa, when I am Cza? Because someone once told me I look like LISA from BlackPink. While that is contestable, at least in my opinion as a non-Kpop fan, I liked that the name is a portmanteau of my two given names, Alliah Czarielle. (And finally, a name people can say, for once!)

And of course, “in Marikina,” because that’s where I live.

So, in keeping with that theme, here are some of the Marikina cafés I have visited in December 2022:

Felicidad Coffee House, along Aquilina St. (near Gil Fernando Ave., Marikina)
Having coffee while getting a foot massage at Relax & Brew Spa/Cafe! How heavenly! ☁️ Relax & Brew is located at Mach 1 Building, Katipunan St., Marikina
No Perfect Cup Café along Champagnat St., Marikina Heights. This one is so close to home, literally! They give out these stamp cards that come with seeds embedded. After you’ve claimed your drink, you can dunk it in a pot and grow some plants.
Norberto’s Barbecue at 92 G. del Pilar St., Parang, Marikina. Not a café, but a fun discovery nonetheless. Having lived in Project 4, QC, I was accustomed to the taste of Danny-licious’ famous BBQ. Truth be told, I miss it! Thankfully, Norberto’s did a good job at satisfying my craving.

To more Marikina café visits in 2023!

Do you know of other great cafés to visit in Marikina? Comment below and I’ll try to drop by!

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