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! 🙂

Posted in Beauty and Wellness, Books, Change, Coffee lover, Goals, Inspiration, Just Random, Knowing oneself, Lagom, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Minimalism, note to self, Reading, Things to do, Womanhood

“me time” essentials

💁The ABCs of my “me time” essentials include:

Good:

  • Ambiance 🌿🌻
  • Book 📖
  • Coffee ☕

On this particular day, I managed to squeeze in some “me time.” I actually wanted to make it a regular part of my schedule, maybe once a month, one Saturday or one Sunday when I will spend it somewhere, just reading, chilling, writing my thoughts, drafting some blog posts, having coffee in a cozy place. On some days, I can also watch a movie after I’m done with my reading and writing. I should do it, I think it will be a good investment for one’s wellness to have some me time once in awhile. 😉

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Last Sunday, I brought this book with me, I’ve read it a few weeks ago, and I wanted to browse it again and be reminded of the beauty and versatility of wearing white shirts. I consider it to be a classic and classy wardrobe staple.

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I used to not like white shirts. I thought it didn’t look good on my complexion. But it has changed in the recent years, I now love white shirts. It’s either I’ve become less conscious of how things look on me or comfort has become a priority as I mature — must be both reasons. 😉

Photo from Pinterest

This is another change in me which I lovingly embrace, wearing a basic white tee with white or denim pants is my fave outfit now, and I am certain it will be that way for a really long time, or maybe until I get old and grey. 😛

#embracingchange #simplicityisbeauty

Posted in God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Love, note to self, Sweet Surrender, Things to do, Womanhood, Word of God

Take heart…

With all that’s happening around us, very sad and unfortunate, it’s a timely reminder that in this world, no one and nothing can truly make us happy and feel complete.

But it is such a comfort that our Father God can and will – yesterday, today and forevermore.♥️IMG_5639

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.””

John 16:33 ESV

 #hopeinGOD #sweetsurrender
Posted in Baking, Books, Coffee Princess, Family, Gifts, Goals, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, Love, Reading, Starbucks, Things to do, Word of God

So far, so good…

Hello everyone! How are you??

Hope you are all doing great!! 

We’re on the 63rd day of 2018, 2 months passed by so quickly, right?

My first two months were great! Thank and praise God for all that He has done and for all the blessings He has poured upon my family and all my loved ones and friends.

The biggest blessing/answered prayer so far is my little sister’s pregnancy. 🙂 Our family is soooo happy and grateful for this blessing, such a great way to start the year!! She’s on her 3rd month and we are so looking forward to the new addition to our growing family.

We are also counting the days to our first out of the country trip for the year, it will be my first time to travel with my sister and brother-in-law to Bangkok. It’s my sister’s first out of the country trip so we are all very excited. 🙂

With regards to my #Goals for 2018, I think I am doing okay, I have 10 more months to fulfill most of it. 🙂

Read and study the Old Testament. – I’m on Genesis 16. I am slow but it is okay. Reading and studying the Word of God is not a contest, it’s about consistency, commitment, and building a personal relationship with the Author. 🙂

Finish one-to-one discipleship with muy bella, Mel. Then participate at the Victory weekend and be water-baptized as a Christian. – I hope to be water-baptized this year, I am not rushing this, I will happily and peacefully follow God’s timeline.

Join VictoryFort’s feeding program regularly. – I will join VictoryFort’s activities after my baptism. 🙂

Buy an oven and learn how to bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes. – My target for this is next quarter. I hope to buy an oven by April and start baking thereafter. 🙂

Save up Pxxx,xxx by end of the year. – I think this is attainable. 🙂

Read atleast one book per month. – I’ve finished reading these 3 books but I started reading them in late 2017.

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I hope to finish these 2 by this month, March.

I bought 4 new books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair, here they are:

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I hope to read all these books this year, in addition to the original pile below…

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Learn French using the Duolingo app. – This one I am not consistent. I should start again very soon!!

For the first two months of the year, I had a couple of disappointments which caused me momentary heartbreak but it’s all okay now. I think I was able to manage my emotion well, and hold my peace thus no relationship was compromised. I have forgiven and learned to let it go. I know it is never right to judge anyone, but because of what happened, I had a better understanding and appreciation of why God has commanded us not to judge our brethren.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2

I have been judged, and it hurt so much. People, even family or friends, will not always understand why we do what we do, so it is best to not judge. Each has his/her own reasons for doing things, in most cases, only God is our witness and He’s the only one who understands, accepts, forgives and loves us, no matter what.

Anyway, I am so grateful that God is always ready to listen to us, to hear our prayers, our cries, and He is with us to comfort, to give us peace and the assurance that everything will be okay because He is our Father, He is in control and He has the best plans for each of us.

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Anyway, on a lighter note, I am very happy with my increasing commitment to working out/exercise. When I say “workout/exercise,” it means joining Thursday Bootcamp, planking and abs workout at home (checkout JessicaSmithtv), playing squash and doing treadmill at the company gym. I’ve recently discovered what will entertain me while I run, that is watching YouTube videos, I am specifically hooked with Erwan Heusaff’s videos, because it’s 99% travel and food! 🙂

On weekends, I try to jog/walk with my momsy, and then we would have coffee  (and French toast and baked sweet potato, oooopppssss!!!) afterwards if the time permits it. I think I am officially a coffee princess, in other words – coffee addict, which is not actually bad, for as long as I am not drinking too much. 🙂

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I super love our mom-daughter bonding on weekends thru jogging/walking and drinking/eating. 😛

We are only done with the first two months of the year, but I have been blessed with so much already. So many favors and blessings from God through my loving family, well-meaning friends and colleagues at work, good health and strength, travels to look forward to, a happy, healthy, godly baby for our family in a few months.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

The future is bright, it is so promising and filled with God-ordained circumstances. I am very hopeful and expectant of all things good, lovely and beautiful because my hope rests in the Lord.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord
    even as we put our hope in you. – Psalms 33:20-22

Posted in Goals, Things to do, Womanhood, Word of God

#Goals for 2018

Yes! I’m that kind of person, I write goals, things to do, faith declaration every start of the year, because I believe in the power of spoken and written words. Words are powerful, writing them down reminds me of what I have prayed for, planned for the year, and how the Lord has answered them.

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For 2018, I have written down 7 goals, I surrendered them to God. I hope I’ll be able to do them all, but as always, I am open to God’s interventions. If He has other things which He wants me to do, I am very much willing to do them. At the end of it all, I just want God’s best for my life. And I hope to glorify and magnify Him in my life.

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So please let me share my goals for the year. I hope to update you by next year and let you know how the Lord has blessed them. 

  1. Read and study the Old Testament.

IMG_0812I’ve read and finished the New Testament several times, but not yet the Old Testament (OT). I have read some chapters of the OT, this year I want to read it from Genesis to Malachi. I might not be able to finish it this year, but my goal is to read and study it daily, hopefully. Knowing God through HIS word is very important, if not the most important, that’s why I really want to have a regular quiet time. The word of God guides, equips, leads, enlightens, comforts, gives us peace and wisdom, amongst other things.

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2. Finish one-to-one discipleship with muy bella, Mel. Then participate at the Victory weekend and be water-baptized as a Christian.

This is very important and special to me. 🙂

3. Join VictoryFort‘s feeding program regularly. 

I have not done volunteer work for awhile so I really look forward to do it again this year. 🙂

4. Buy an oven and learn how to bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes.

I’ve always wanted to do this but didn’t have the time (and the oven) to do it. This year, I hope to finally get to bake. I have bought this book last year (hello! coffee-lover in me), so I am excited to finally use it this year. 😉

5. Save up Pxxx,xxx by end of the year. 🙂

Follow the 10-20-70 rule. 10% for tithes, 20% for savings/investments, 70% for expenses.

6. Read atleast one book per month. 🙂

Here are the books that I would like to finish reading by end of this year. Some of which I have already started but stopped somewhere… If I have more time, I have more books on queue, which are kept on my other shelf. ;P

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7. Learn French using the Duolingo app.

I really like to learn to speak French. I’ve been planning to enrol at the Alliance Française de Manille but I don’t have the budget for it yet. The tuition is quite high so for now, I will have to self-study using the Duolingo app.

So there, I have shared with you my goals for the year. Hope you get inspired to set your own goals too! 🙂

Let’s cheer on and support each other up. We can do all these, by God’s grace and our discipline and determination. 😀

By the way, the list looks simple and easy, but it will surely require a lot of time, hardwork and discipline (and God’s grace), so on the last day of 2017, I decided to minimize the use of Instagram (a time-waster for me). I will check my account on weekends only, or if I have something to post. But on weekdays, I will focus my time on accomplishing my goals. 🙂