Posted in Ballerines, Essentialism, Intentional living, Love local, Minimalism, Sustainable living

On switching and loving local

I’ve always been a ballerines (French word for ballet flats) kind of gal.

I just love its classic look and comfy style. 

Repetto Ballerines

Since I started working in my early twenties, that’s almost 2 decades by now, I’ve probably bought and worn (almost) a hundred pairs of ballerines. No, I am not kidding, you’ve read it right. Because I love it a lot, I just buy a pair or two, sometimes three each time, just of different colours. #beforeminimalism

Au revoir, Marcha…

I think it was in 2015 or 2016 that I discovered Marcha Ballerina, it wasn’t a local brand, but it has become my go-to when it’s time to shop for shoes. In April 2018, I learned that it’s going to close their physical stores in the Philippines, they had closed their small shops in nearby malls in late 2018. So my last purchase of ballerines was in mid-2018. Though they are still selling online in broken sizes.

Almost 9 months into essentialism journey, one of my guiding light in this journey is choosing and loving local brands whenever possible — it limits my options, thus making my life simple and uncomplicated, at the same time, helping out small, local entrepreneurs — basically my idea of intentional living at its finest.

I’ve always wanted to try Posh Pocket Shoes, it was always on my radar, but since Marcha Ballerina has become my go-to brand, I didn’t get to try Posh, though I bought a half-moon crossbody bag from their bag line, PoshEveryday.

One Friday afternoon last month, February, I finally had time to visit their one and only store in Makati, I didn’t buy thru their online store because I’m not sure what size to get, I’m usually 6.5 or 7, depending on the shoe style. 

After getting lost, I finally found their store which was located at the lower ground of a building so you won’t see it while inside the car, so I passed by it twice. 

I wanted to try their Pointy Basic and Erin (one of their ballerines’ styles) but they are not available in my size! Now I know I’m 6.5” with this brand. So after trying a couple of other shoe styles, I ended buying Prima shoes (the one on my right foot), another ballerines’ style, in blush. I bought only one pair this time because I wanted to try its fit and comfort on my feet first. So far, so good, I’m glad I bought this style and color.

Around 2 weeks after my visit, little did I know that the store will be renovated, the website is ongoing enhancements, too. I’m thrilled I managed to see the “old” store and really excited to go back and check out its new look. 

Hopefully by then, Pointy Basic in greige (gray and beige) will be available in my size. 

Posted in Change, Essentialism, Intentional living, Minimalism, Sustainable living, Things to do, Zero waste

The Perfect Combo for me ♥♥

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Milk tea with pearls. White tee and denim jeans. Coffee with sweets.

These are some of the perfect combos for me. And while I was on blogging-hiatus for more than 8 months (my apologies…), I was discovering and embracing another Perfect Combo for my life (as well as enjoying my new role as a certified Tita (aunt) to our baby Kaeleb – another happy story). 🙂

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Essentialism and Sustainable Living

In early 2018, I started watching YouTube videos on French and Scandinavian lifestyles, (yes, I discovered YouTube really late #certifiedlatebloomer), that was the time when I was itching (again) to work and live in Europe (that’s another story). And then I was led to videos on minimalism, intentional and sustainable living, and zero waste lifestyle. I got really interested, and in July 2018, I committed to take the essentialism AND intentional/sustainable living journey, my Perfect Combo. 🙂 Into the journey for more than half a year, I am loving and enjoying it, I am learning more and more each day. But I’m taking it slowly but surely. ️ I’m in no way in a rush because this is a way of life. A process of learning and doing things intentionally, with conscious mindfulness, will certainly bear good fruits and will reap long term benefits over a period of time. 

Since I’ve become an essentialist (aka minimalist), an advocate for less waste if zero waste is not possible, and a supporter of local goods whenever available, I have shared/passed on/discarded more than 50% of my clothes, bags, shoes, accessories and knickknacks. And it feels so good to be living with less (material things), less clutter, more time to focus on things that really matter, and more space for beauty and order. Less time in deciding what to wear because I only have few (but good enough) options. I now know what I want and what will work for me for a really long time, quality over quantity. I’m keeping what sparks joy, and I’m letting go of what’s not — mostly they are the excesses from impulse buying when I was younger and less intentional with my purchases. 
For me, being an essentialist perfectly works well with living intentionally and sustainably. I’m gradually transitioning to zero-waste/less waste products, and buying goods from local brands, “love local” in its sweet essence, and I try my best to get away from products with plastic packaging. Our one and only Mother Earth is in great danger from many harmful human activities all caused by manufacturers trying to keep up with consumers’ demands due to materialism and onset of fast fashion. The problem on plastics and the adverse effects it has on our environment is unimaginable and irreversible. 

On a day to day basis, I try to incorporate small acts of sustainable and intentional living with an essentialist mindset. Here are some of the small changes I made since I started my perfect combo journey, hope you’ll get to apply some of them, if not all, in your daily life too 🙂

Essentialism:

  • I value quality time and meaningful relationship with God, family and friends
  • I take good care of my health and wellness, I value work, I save up and enjoy travelling
  • Fika and hygge (hoo-gah) are my kind of chill #scandinavianlifestyle
  • I don’t say yes to so many things, to many events, I know my priorities and try my best to manage my time and resources well to limit the occasion of stress and exhaustion
  • I have a list/inventory of the things I have and the things I want to keep using as an essentialist, I know what I prefer now (quality over quantity, classic pieces over trendy ones, neutral colors for versatility and long term use, locally made with sustainable ingredients for food, sustainable materials for products, no plastic packaging in my personal care products as much as possible, multiple use for minimal set of products, less plastic packaging for food and ingredients)
travel essentials – lightweight, safe and minimal

Switches to Zero/less waste:

  • from shampoo in a plastic bottle packaging to shampoo bar (there are several well-meaning creators/merchants, please check out zero_waste_ph, daniela calumba)
  • I am just finishing up my plastic-packaged conditioner and feminine wash, then I will also switch to conditioner bar and intimate soap bar
  • from plastic-packaged toothpaste tubes to toothpowder in a jar
  • from plastic toothbrush to wooden/bamboo toothbrush
  • from dishwashing liquid soap in a plastic bottle to liquid soap in a refillable glass bottle (ritualph)
  • from using facial tissues to reusable, washable towelettes
  • from using tissue to dry my hands, I use hand towels
  • I just use my palms when I apply toner and serum on my face, no need for cotton balls
  • from cotton buds to reusable, washable ear pick
  • using loose tea leaves than the ones in tea bags (the bags are not biodegradable!)
  • from plastic-packaged supplements to supplements in reusable glass bottles (I usually buy them in healthy options)
  • from using plastic straws for milk tea w/ pearls to using my reusable bamboo straw, I also have the metal one with me always (sip, sloliving)
  • been using handkerchiefs since childhood, so less need for tissue = less waste
  • for times when plastics cannot be refused or avoided, we do “ecobricking
  • always bring your tumbler with water or any of your preferred drink to keep you from buying water/juices/soda in plastic bottles. I always bring my bamboo tumbler anywhere even during my Europe trip last year, aside from saving some euros, I also didn’t add to plastic bottle and coffee cup/plastic lid waste
  • always bring your reusable spoon, fork, chopsticks and straws with you (sloliving)
  • everytime I shop I use my ecobag, I refuse plastic bags and paper bags, no matter how pretty they are, they will just accumulate and will eventually be thrown away (another waste)
  • I bring a jar of nuts/snacks (bought from humblemarket, a bulk shopping store) to avoid buying plastic-packaged unhealthy snacks
  • I use baking soda as a cleanser for bathroom and deodorizer for my fridge
  • my tumbler cleaner, scourer and bottle brushes are made out of coconut husk (got it from groodwood_ph)
  • instead of drinking plastic-packaged instant coffee, I usually drink locally-produced coffee using my locally-made french press

I have more small changes that I plan to incorporate in my life, and I am sure to share them with you as I go along. As I mentioned, this is a journey, a lifetime journey, so we have more than enough time to learn from each other and do good for the environment and for the future generation. Always remember, every (small) kind act which is done consistently and mindfully over a long period of time, will surely bear good fruits. 🙂

There’s hope, always! 🙂