52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge – My Best Friend


Leo is my best friend so of course he’s going to be a part of my 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge!! We became friends on myspace years ago and I don’t know how it exactly happened but we spoke almost every single day and I remember playing pool, monopoly, etc… with him whenever there was an opportunity!

Back then we were just internet friends, we would NEVER talk on the phone but we’d send each other 5 second voice mails. We’d chat until 5am on aim, we’d make up our own Spongebob and Sandy scripts (while pee laughing), going on these old chatroom things similar to BlogTv but I can’t remember the name at the moment lol… and then after a few years of friendship we met iRL. I didn’t tell my friends we never met in person before so the whole time I was freaking out because he was the first internet stranger I ever met in person. (Also please be careful if you decide to meet people from the internet!!!)


Fast forward to 13 years later and now we’re both married… to other people lmao! We have a million inside jokes and they’re all stupid but they’re funny af. Our significant others are close as well and whenever the four of us are together it’s my most favorite environment. We’re always laughing, they reluctantly play long drawn out board games with me, Ali and Leo reluctantly watch what we call “Ken movies” (I enjoy them), we all reluctantly watch Leo play on his xbox (one of THOOOOOSE people 😂) and Leo and Ken reluctantly let Ali put dishes in the dishwasher… and then they wash them again. it’s like we’ve always been family and the fact that we all get along means the world to me.

BACK TO LEO. He’s the type of person who will do everything he can for you if he is able to. He’s always around for a laugh and always there to let me complain and he understands because he’s also been through whatever it is I’m going through. He loves Disney and quotes the movies with me. We have our own language and the words don’t translate to what they might sound like in English no matter what Ali thinks and whenever we’re together we’re like those people who met in “CAHHHLEGE” and turn into teens again lol… cuz teens are all in college?! ANOWAIFS. I don’t know what I would do without him. He’s been there for me for as long as I can remember and he is one of like 3 people in the world who understands my dumb, immature, humor. I LOVE YOU CARRNIE MARRNIE ND ERRERERERER!

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge – 3 Inspiring Women

I’ve never had a girl squad. By this, I mean that I’ve always had girl friends, but everyone has either been in a different city, state or country, and none of them really spent much time together because of this! I’m going to be talking about these girls in order of how long I’ve known them, my type of relationship with them, and what they mean to me. This doesn’t mean that I only feel this way about 3 of my friends, but there’ll be multiple opportunities throughout the year so to those of you who are reading this DON’T GET BUTTHURT MKAY? I’m looking at YOU Leo & Ken!! This post is meant to be weeks 5 & 8 and 11. Something someone gave you, express gratitude to 3 people and someone who inspires you.

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Outside of DNB after peeing our pants playing  one of those 4D zombie games  – November 2015

Jessica – My Cousin but not by blood but still by blood cuz who cares because I love her.

I’ve known Jess since practically birth. My mom and her family knew each other since before we were born and we kinda grew up together. I don’t remember too much of our childhood, other than pretending to be in the elephant graveyard scene in The Lion King but I remember always feeling like family. Her uncle/my uncle made up the nickname “Shuringring” and I’ve always loved it. There’s always something about filipino nicknames that make me laugh and I’m pretty sure 90% of my family on my mom’s side still call me Shuri. BESIDES THE POINT THOUGH.

I didn’t go to the same school with her until high school but always saw each other at family parties and her friends were always nice to me even though I was so weird and awkward. One thing I always think of about her is how Jess hasn’t changed…. like at ALL. She’s still the same person I remember from years ago. She’s always been a kind person but assertive when she needs to be, genuinely cares about other people, honest (she don’t mess around), she is easily pleased, is an amazing listener (one time she let Ali give her a google maps tour of Glasgow for like 3 hours), and is a huge inspiration to me.

Our relationship was always like, “let’s not talk for like 5 months but then talk for 10 hours straight when we finally catch up.” It’s more than just “right back where we started” but I’m not sure how to describe it. It never feels like we’ve stopped keeping in touch. Now, we message each other more often, still not all the time but I always get so excited to hear from her! I’m trying to convince her to move here so we’ll see how far we get LOL.

She inspires me because when she says she’s gonna do something, she does it! She’s ran at least a mile every single day since I can remember her starting it. She visited me and Ali with her fiancé in 2015 over Christmas and was the first person to just be like WE’RE COMING!! Not that people purposely avoid us, but she was the first one to visit from the states and that meant a lot to me. I’ll always admire her for her free spirit and how much joy she brings whenever you’re around her!

This one time Jess bought me an Ursula decal for my laptop 😀


Hanging out in her pool on a hot summer day. This is a direct quote from the caption of this picture btw  “Ha! She brings the funny out of me! She knows me like a book, she’s honestly the best, even when she yells at me it’s for my own good.” YUP.

Kim – My lifelong friend that I yell at because I’m trying to protect her but she’s stubborn as frick and doesn’t listen lmao.

I’ve known Kim since elementary school. We were best friends and had a group of friends and we pretended to be the spice girls. She was baby spice. I’M GINGER. I’M ALWAYS GINGER. We were in almost all of the same classes (I think) and we also hated each other in middle school for reasons I can’t even remember. We have so many funny memories and to this day I still remember really embarrassing stories and I have to let her know right away and ruin her day. Two banana small strawberries.

Kim is the type of person who will do anything and everything for her friends and family. She’s a hard worker, a great listener, and does her best to make you feel comfortable and loved. She’s the definition of unconditional love, cares for others and even though it frustrates me because I can be protective of her, she still persists and will be there for those people she cares about.

When I was wedding planning, she drove from an hour and a half away to spend hours upon hours making things for Ali’s and my wedding… was that sentence grammatically correct? Whenever I visit her, she knows that hotlinks need to be involved because when we were kids, I used to go to her birthday parties and there’d always be hotlinks.. so tradition continues and now we’re almost 30 and less tolerant of spicy food LOL. Well maybe I am because UK. She has the patience of a saint for the most part and never really complained when her sister and I would tease her for just being Kim. LISTEN. DON’T JUDGE ME, THINGS ARE DIFFERENT WHEN YOU’RE FAMILY AND EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS EACH OTHER’S HUMOR LOL.

Our relationship has always been weird. She is like a sister to me and she pisses me off so much because she doesn’t listen to me but I’m sure I piss her off even if she won’t show it because I am stubborn and bossy. She’s bossy as frick too so that’s probably why we used to annoy each other so much hahaha! Basically she’s the Kimmy to my DJ.

Kim inspires me because she is so persistent and is so driven both in her career and life. She doesn’t give time to BS and just pushes through everything life throws her way.

This one time Kim bought me a dress because I bought her makeup.


Showing her a nice view of San Jose. Apparently I didn’t love her enough to look at the camera she was facing. February 2013

Mack – One of my newest friends but knows me more than most and we talk about poop and cats a lot.

Mack is one of my most recent friends and we’ve only met once in person and met online. She lives in New Zealand and on a trip to LA, the same time Ali was over from Scotland in 2013, she took a bus all the way up to San Jose to see us and it was the funnest 24 hours LOL. We took her on a tour of SJ, fed her my mom’s bbq, took her to Oakridge, and made her inhale food at Evergreen Inn.

Mack is the type of woman who is very compassionate and puts everyone else’s needs before her own. She does her best to be there for whoever needs her whether it’s for a ranting session or deep conversation. She is an extremely hard worker, persistent, kind, and the least judgmental person I know.

We talk every single day (kinda). It’s basically like a bromance but not really because like the girls above, she is family to me.  We have many inside jokes and a lot of them are poop jokes. We both send each other cat memes and cry face emojis because that means that we’re pet deprived and need cats STAT but we don’t have any so we live through other people on Instagram. My personal fave kitty is Tingeling.

She inspires me because she is just a good person. If there was ever a good person in the world, it’s Mack. She is so respectful and understanding it’s unreal sometimes. I can tell her something I am hating about myself at any point in time and she’ll understand how I feel and can relate a lot of what I’m going through. She also understands my need for poop space in a big group and only one bathroom. I NEED MY PRIVACY AND POOP SPACE!

This one time Mack sent me a package full of cute stuffed animals and Kiwi goodies. I miss those bacon ring chips too.

All of these women inspire me to be strong and help me remember to be myself in different ways. They are all very similar in that they’re all the type of people who are kind, generous, and put up with whatever comes out of my mouth but what I love most about them is that they are hard workers and do all they can to take care of themselves and those around them. Also all the girls love Disney soooooooooooo THERE YA GO! LOVE YOU!!!!

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge – My Siblings

As much as I’d love to make this a lovey dovey type post I’m not gonna because that would be very much unlike our relationship as siblings. Instead, I’m going to share my three favorite memories with each of them that are both embarrassing and hilarious. As the oldest sibling, I have the right to share these stories because I’m the best. This is weeks 3 and 4.


At my bridal shower. Weird prom pose.

My sister
1. This one time she ate a whole peppercorn that she got in her nilaga that my mom made and she was screaming and didn’t know what to do so she licked the couch while making a strange cow noise. I laughed so hard at her that I got in trouble.
2. This other time we were watching Star Wars with our uncle and they were eating peanuts. I think I was around 10 and she was 6 or we were possibly younger (I’m already laughing as I’m typing this by the way) They were enjoying the movie and chomping away on these peanuts still in their shells and all of a sudden, as Chewie does a wookie gargle, I hear a scream. I turn around and my sister is running down the hall to my mom’s room. I start cackling because my uncle is cackling and he tells me that she got a shell stuck in her gums. I immediately, being the amazing and caring sister, run to my mom’s room to see what’s happening. My sister is crying at the top of her lungs and I’m trying really hard to keep my laughter in. If she reads this, she knows what I look like when I’m trying to hold in my laughs. I JIGGLE. I JIGGLE A LOT. IT’S NOTICEABLE. Anyway, I can’t hold in my laughter anymore as my mom is trying to take this shell out of her gum. As she’s wailing my mom asks her if it’s out because she seemed to have taken something out. My sister, tears running down her face, puffy faced, snot shooting out of her nose (jk) stops crying IMMEDIATELY, whimpers a little bit, and lets out a huge, blood curdling NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And once again my laughter starts. My mom got so mad at me and I got in trouble… again.
3. My Uncle E passed away a few years ago and it’s a tradition that 40 days after the funeral (I’m not sure if this is a Catholic thing or if it’s a Filipino thing… probably both) you get back together with the family and do the rosary. My uncle E was very vibrant and my family never really takes anything too seriously so please keep this in mind when you read this next bit. My family likes to karaoke, especially one of my other uncles, we’ll call him Uncle R. My whole life it’s been HAYYY SHURINGRING, COME SING NOW!! And I’d either sing in front of all the aunties and uncles or do a duet with Uncle R. Basically, he’s always singing. Once the rosary is done, we all sing Amazing Grace, led by one of the older aunties who knew my family really well. As we were singing, (there weren’t very many of us, we were at Uncle R’s house in his living room) my sister and I start to notice something and figure out soon enough that my Uncle R is trying to do harmonies to Grace and is not hitting the notes at all. He kept saying “OH…” “Uh…” “amazing graaaAaaaAAAAce” and this was a moment that my sister and I knew we couldn’t look at each other because once she sees me jiggle laughing, that’s it. I don’t know what we both do, but we actually end up looking at my Uncle R as he’s making these mistakes in the harmonies that don’t exist. Meanwhile, the auntie is CRYING because she really feels the song and I’m in the corner jiggle laughing while my sister starts shake laughing and we can see a couple of other younger cousins about our age starting to laugh too. At the end Uncle R apologized for his singing and we all laughed. The Auntie said “Oh… I know I’m so sorry I just really feel the song.” Poor thing!! We had to explain to her while we were laughing through the 90 verses in Amazing Grace and we all laughed about it.


My mom & brother at AT&T Park, GO GIANTS!!

My Brother
1. One time I brought a kitty home from my friend’s kitty’s litter. My grandma hated cats or any animals and by the end of the day I was basically forced to bring my first ever cat back. I was in tears because I am a big baby and love animals and the fact that I didn’t get to take care of him broke my heart. My brother, who is a big softie too, even though we have established his “Cool Guy” persona online, cried and yelled something up and down the hall along the lines of THIS IS UNFAIR!! Totally feeling my pain and knew how heartbroken I was. I might cry a lot but I don’t cry for no reason at all and he knows that I have to be hurt to cry as much as I was.
2. When Ali and I had to be long distance again a couple of years back, he was there for me by driving us to the airport and basically picked up the pieces after Ali left. He put his arm around me, his blubbering older sister, and jokingly called me a sissy. I think I punched him and we left. I remember driving in silence as he drove us back home from SFO and I felt completely comfortable being a mess around him. After that we went to L&L and ate I ate my feelings. He’s always there for me when I’m having completely breakdowns.
3. I’ve had to think really hard for an embarrassing story because all I remember from when we were kids is playing video games, board games, running around at the park. I guess there isn’t too much that he’s done that’s embarrassing. My sister and I were the ones who always did stupid stuff together and my brother was usually doing his own thing or we’d all play together. I can’t remember anything he’s done where I’d cackle so hard that my face would hurt so we’ll leave it at the fact that he’s a good human with a cool guy personality and if you see him make sure you tell him that you’re a hunnie at da mawl! He’ll love that. One of my most favorite comments I ever got on a video was on mine and Ali’s wedding video:

For those of you who don’t know what his “Cool Guy” persona is… basically my brother is the type of person who was never really spoiled but has a cool guy car, has a beard, and basically just lives his life as a normal human being but not really because Ali and I have decided that the made up version we’ve come up with is who he is. I’ll do my best to try to explain this LOL.

Ali and I decided that he drives his manual transmission Trans Am with his cool guy windows down blasting My Chemical Romance (which we love IRL) or some weird classic rock while he drives/Tokyo drifts to “DA MAUUUUUL” to scope out some hunnies. Hunnies are the girls that always flock to him because he has just arrived and they always wait for him outside his favorite stores like Daiso Japan or Shoe Palace. He only takes about 5 or 6 of them out on a date to the food court for some Sbarro that they all have to share and they all have to chip in to pay for his slice. He’ll then take them to Mrs. Field’s Cookies where they have to make a custom cookie cake for him that says “It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or mile.. winning is winning” with a pair of sunglasses drawn on in icing. This is a big honor to those hunnies because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity! On the weekend he likes to donate his stale cookie cake that he didn’t eat because carbs to the hunnies that congretate around his car waving their hands in the air when he is finished looking at it as display art in the bathroom. As he stands on the hood of his car he can’t help but grab his fine toothed comb, some pocket pomade and slick his hair back as if he’s channeling the great Kenickie of the T-Birds, one of his idols. He looks down at the girls and says “yeh-HAH” jumps off like an acrobat in through his car window, his very own ring of fire, and drives away leaving streaks on the road to let the hunniez know that “COOL GUY WUZ HERE.”

… I literally just made that up LMFAO. That’s just an example of his cool guy personality that we’ve developed over the years. Anytime Cool Guy is in a video there’s always a comment about him meeting hunnies at da mawl and it’s one of my favorite things because it’s like I made fetch happen.

Anyway, those are my siblings and the dynamic of our relationship. I love them both very much and I hope you enjoyed this read! I’m pretty damn proud of that little blurb and I can hear my sister cackling about it hahahaha! See you again on Monday and sorry this was posted so late!!

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge – Why Start This Challenge?

I started this challenge because I feel like it would be a good way to keep up with my blog. For the last 3 years or so, I’ve kept saying “I’M GONNA START MY BLOG AGAIN” or “I’m gonna post more often” and never did. I think my record is posting once every month for two months haha!

If you look at all of the topics that are included in this series, it’s a great way to show gratitude towards people I love and also things that I don’t normally question or think about when it comes to me. For example the “5 things you like about you” blog will be interesting. Not because I don’t like anything about myself but because I *never* know what to say when questions like that are asked so it’ll be fun to see what I come up with. I’m excited to express gratitude to people who have inspired me, who have been there for me, and people I don’t think I’ve ever expressed gratitude to out loud.

Since I’m 10 weeks or so behind, I’d like to start with talking about…

The City I Live In – Manchester! (Week 6)

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know too much about Manchester, but I can talk about how I ended up here and what I’ve enjoyed so far.

To those of you who are reading for the first time, I am from California, my husband is from Glasgow, we met online, were friends for a couple of years, fell in love, he moved over to California for uni, we got married, and he got into a PhD program out here in Manchester. There’s a ton of videos about us on my YouTube channel, glowpinkstah and a bunch of little vlogs about our lives together on my gloriashurinava channel so please check them out if you’d like to know more about us.

We are constantly working and don’t get to explore much but one of my favorite places we’ve visited so far in the area (and not exactly in the middle of Manchester) is:

Lyme House! Lyme House is Mr. Darcy’s house in the movie based off of Jane Austin’s book, Pride & Prejudice. I’ve never seen the movie or read the book but when I posted pictures of my husband and I visiting everyone got REALLY excited. I have heard about Mr. Darcy coming out of the lake and it’s all scandalous because his shirt is all KIIINDS of wet though.

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Ooooh Fancy!!!  – The back of Lyme House (my favorite view)


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Waiting on Colin Firth to come out that lake!

It’s a beautiful house that was built in the Tudor period but expanded over the last few centuries. It’s full of pretty gardens to walk through, a lake to sit and have a picnic (as seen above) with your best squirrel friends and loved ones, but my favorite part of it all was what was actually inside the house. Even though my knees died from going up and down multiple flights of stairs, I really enjoyed taking the time to explore into every room. I loved the high ceilings, the stained glass windows, the library, and most of all, the dining area! Can you imagine having dinner parties here?!


I know that this isn’t what people think of when they think of Manchester, but it’s so beautiful that I had to share! You can also watch me attempt to play croquet, here!

I’m tired as frick and don’t feel like I’m 100% here at the moment but here’s a list of restaurants we love just in case you’re ever in the area.

1. Shaad – Indian Curry – the best curry I’ve ever had.
2. Luigi’s – The best pizza I’ve had in Manchester
3. The Stoker’s Arms – A pub. I love their burgers!!

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More from Lyme House cuz it’s cute ^