Posted in Lessons Learned, Minimalism, Travel

Inventory is the Key

Traveling usually gives a person the license to shop, it just happens that way. As a continuation to my previous post, I thought of doing a quick inventory of the things which I have right now, the things which I think I might get tempted to buy in Korea. I know I need to do this because I can easily get tempted to buy something I don’t need, just because (i) they are cheaper, (ii) they have the cutest packaging (!!) and (iii) Korea is known to produce great skincare products, just like Japan.

IMG_0706I went to Seoul once, so I know there are lots of good skincare products there, which at my age, I should be investing now. So I am resolved to only buy a serum, a sunblock, a lipgloss, and probably a BB/CC cream. For other makeup products, I think I have more than enough lipsticks/balms/tints, I have a powdered and a tinted blush on, I have a bronzer from Paris and another one (bare minerals) from Gillian, one of her pasalubong for me from her US trip last year. I’m actually not a make-up person so it takes a long time for me to finish a product. As for toiletries such as facial wash, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and scrub, body lotion, hand cream and sanitizer, I still have enough, including perfume. 😉 So I really don’t have much of an excuse to shop. 😛

In my recollection, Korea has all the cutest stuff (AS IN), which I went gaga over the last time I went there and I have to admit, I bought things which I didn’t need. But now, some 6 years later, I hope I am more disciplined and more of a saver than a spender. 🙂

Just for good ol’ memories’ sake, I’m sharing some photos from that trip and the things which were too tempting for me. 🙂

These two bags below, I really loved them, thank goodness, they’re too pricey, I couldn’t afford them, so I kept them in my memory through these photos!! 😛

Okay, bye for now, I will update you on my return. 🙂

Remember, inventory is the key. 🙂

And probably just taking photos of what you like will do the trick. 🙂

Posted in Lagom, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, Travel, Womanhood

Just the right amount is best…

Just the right amount is best…

This is the translation of a phrase / Swedish proverb “lagom är bäst” which I recently came across through this article Forget Hygge: 2017 Will Be All About Lagom.

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Hygge is Danish, while Lagom is Swedish.

“Lagom” – very seldom, that I fell for a word, and this is one of the very rare occasions that I instantly got curious about a foreign word — it’s love at first encounter. 🙂

The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right“. Lagom is also widely translated as “in moderation“, “in balance”, “perfect-simple”, and “suitable” (in matter of amounts). – Wiktionary

Lagom — the Swedish concept of not too much, not too little, just right — just the kind of lifestyle that I strive to practise day-in day-out in all aspects. I believe it’s one of the keys to enjoy a peaceful and balanced life, which we all need/want/dream of. When one learns how to be grateful for what is enough, let go of everything that’s too much and weighing us down, when the focus is enjoying what we have at the present, and making the most of what is working and serving its purpose at the moment, that’s truly liberating and vital to achieving one’s sense of joy and wellness.

With lagom är bäst in mind and as a practical application, I made a conscious effort to bring just the right amount of everything for my upcoming travel to Busan which is just 5 days away. I am actually SO excited about this trip, this is the shortest out of the country trip that I will get to experience so far, I even made a travel challenge for myself, so this Swedish concept is not only helping me succeed on the challenge but also gives me a better appreciation of the travel experience itself because my focus is on the new experiences that this new city will offer, the fun memories, lots of it, that I will once again share with my lovely friends, Eia and Gillian. 🙂 🙂

So  here’s what I packed for next weekend’s trip:

On the day of the trip, I will pack my clothes, the planned OOTDs might change depending on the temperature. Don’t worry, I know already what to bring, whether the weather gets too cold or just cool enough, I just don’t want my clothes to crumple so I pack them on the day of travel. 😉

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Someday, I hope to visit Denmark and Sweden to have a first hand experience of Hygge and Lagom. 🙂

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, – Matthew 6:19

Posted in God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Womanhood, Word of God

the Woman that I aspire to BEcome

I’m officially 38 as of this writing. I had celebrations more than I had wished for, which makes me feel so grateful, grateful beyond words, to God and all the lovely, generous, wonderful loved ones in my life. He gives lavishes HIS children with HIS best, and I couldn’t be happier with how things are right now. Well, my life has not become perfect, it will never be, here on earth. I guess I just become more dependent on the Lord and I learned to surrender and entrust everything to HIM because He has the best plans (Jeremiah 29:11) for my life and I definitely want that more than anything else.

And I actually feel it, exciting and wonderful things from Above are up ahead. 🙂

As I journey with the Lord, as I wait for His plans to unfold before my eyes, I am determined to know Him more deeply in a personal way through His word, following His guidance, living in His righteousness by His grace and mercy. I know I couldn’t do this on my own, I need God’s grace day by day so I can become the woman that He created me to be.

So how will I be able to know as to what kind of woman I should aspire for? In Proverbs 31:10-31, known as “An Alphabet of Womanly Excellence,” I found the kind of woman that I want to become. For me, it’s the best guide, every aspect of womanhood is there, of course we are not expected to become exactly like it, it’s the ideal woman, but to aspire for it is a good start. In my current state, I want to focus on a few verses (Proverbs 31:25-26, 30). I pray for the Lord to help me become this kind of woman (I’m so far from it) and all that He wants me to be. I memorized these verses and I recite them often so I get reminded of it.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. – Proverbs 31:25-26

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

In this world, there are so many #pegs, so many #goals, but they are mostly worldly. It’s hard to cope up in this fast-paced world, where everyone is exposed to luxury, beauty, materialism, convenience, where everyone dreams for what the world dictates as “best.” Life is hard as it is, it will be harder when you don’t know the Lord and who He truly is in our lives. We need a guide, and that guide, only comes from the Lord through His word.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105

I am very grateful because for every single question we have, the bible has the answer for it, for every single worry that we have, the bible has an antidote for it. The bible is what I call “the manual for life.”

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,… 2 Timothy 3:16

When things get so confusing, the word of the Lord will make it crystal clear for us. When womanhood has become so complicated, so high maintenance, I’ll just go back to these verses, they will keep me grounded and always assure me that I am right on track. Womanhood can be simple when we get to learn to see our worth through God’s unconditional, unfathomable love for us. God loves us, His children, and that’s the most important thing. We are precious in His sight, period. 🙂

Ahh, I almost forgot, remember, we are only passing through this world, eternity is soooo much better, so don’t fret, okay? 😉 For a glimpse of what’s to come, read Revelation 21.

Posted in Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, Travel

37, thank you…

Today is 9 September, a day before my 38th birthday 🙂

I thought of writing a few realities / things I am grateful for, so here it goes 😉

  • the God of my life
  • my faith, being saved
  • Victory – the church where I belong
  • basically everything in my life, just the reality that I am alive
  • the dreams in my heart
  • the hope that I have in Christ
  • the woman that I am now (definitely not perfect, but under God’s grace)
  • love for the Word of God – my manual for life, my comfort, my teacher, my guide
  • fulfilled dream travel to Europe this year
  • in good health, good shape and feeling strong
  • best Omma and Appa, the sister and the brother, all loved ones
  • my sisters-in-Christ, I couldn’t thank them enough.. (Hazel, Alica, Mel & Bong)
  • my lovely friends (a lot of them, all wonderful individuals, I’m beyond blessed)
  • my colleagues (all good and helpful)
  • my work in ADB, the fact that I belong in this wonderful organization
  • benefits as an ADB employee
  • my simple but comfy home sweet home
  • my cozy room
  • my oldie but trusty car
  • ongoing “A” process (hopefully will be granted by 2018)
  • upcoming Busan trip with Gill and Eia
  • being able to play squash and exercise
  • food on the table and fridge
  • lots of good food to try
  • coffee time with family & friends
  • my gadgets which make me reachable and sociable
  • technologies which make life convenient and comfortable
  • my little savings and a few investments
  • things that I own and manage to buy (clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc.)
  • my female inspiration – Peony Lim and Mari Jasmine
  • Korean series/movies (my guilty pleasure)
  • my crushes (Gong Ji Chul aka Gong Yoo, So Ji Sub and a whole lot more)

I’m sure I have more things to be grateful for, big and small, but for now, written above are the first things which came to mind. 😉

God, thank you so much for a (beyond) wonderful 37th year of my life. 🙂 

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I am excited for the 38th – hopeful, grateful, blessed and expectant of God’s best to come my way. 🙂

Posted in Bucketlist, Busan, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Lessons Learned, South Korea, Travel

Travel Challenge ;)

😉 I’m taking this challenge upon myself for the first time.

I thought THE Europe trip would be THE only trip I’ll experience this year. But of course, God always has better plans. 🙂 He delights in blessing and surprising His children, and I do love surprises so I am one happy daughter. 😉

You probably know that I love Korea, of course, the one in the South. 🙂 I’ve been in Seoul only once in 2011 but my soul longs for it since then. I have hoped to return in 2012 and the following years but it didn’t happen, just not meant to be back then…

It was at this dinner for Mark’s birthday celebration when I remembered to ask Eia when is she going back to Korea, she goes there atleast yearly. I asked because I would request her to buy my favorite sunscreen which she bought for me early this year. She said she would go back in October and invited us to go with her to Busan, she said it’s just a weekend trip. So Gill and I entertained the thought quite quickly, a few days later we had our flights booked! 🙂

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As of this writing, we only have a month and 4 days before that #TRIPnotTrainToBusan. 🙂 I’ll post more about it after that quick getaway. So before and during this trip, I thought of doing some sort of a travel challenge. Since this trip is not “planned,” I have to be within budget this time, well I should always travel within budget but since it was my first time in Europe, I didn’t know much what to expect and how much to spend so I think I kinda went over the top. ;P Don’t worry, I learned a lot so the future trips would be better, budget wise. 😉

For the #TRIPnotTrainToBusan, we only have 3 full days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday). The target overall budget is Php 30k, that includes the airfare (almost 10k), accommodation (around 6k), visa processing (Php 800), so I only have around Php 13k for food, transportation and shopping(?!). So for 3 days, my budget is around Php 4k per day which is fairly decent. ;P

So the challenge(s) is keeping within the budget and travelling light. This seems so easy, but for me, believe me, it’s tough, and it’s an understatement. I have travelled a few times and I have to admit, I always, that means without fail, felt that I spent more than I should (because I didn’t set a budget for each trip) so I wouldn’t actually know how I fared. For the Europe trip alone, I think I shopped more before the trip than during the actual trip, I bought camera, luggage, clothes, shoes, etc. When it comes to packing light, I’m still not good at it, I only have a couple of short trips which I packed just enough ensembles, but for most trips, I overpack, period.

For this trip and the trips to follow, I hope to get better as time passes by. So I’ll start with this short trip, if I do well this time, it is likely I’ll become a better traveler in no time. 😉 Well, I believe, I’ll become better at this, I know I can, always by God’s grace. 🙂 Pls cheer me on, okay? 😉

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Japan trip with Eia & Gill (December 2015)

 

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” ~ Matthew Karsten

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

Posted in Fashion sense, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, Minimalism

#REPEATisTHEnewHIP®

I follow very few celebrities. Not that there’s something wrong with following a lot, but I know myself, I get influenced, though not quickly, I believe exposing and allowing oneself to be vulnerable and to get swayed to materialism, worldliness, etc., I am mature enough to protect myself, that’s why I usually edit the ones I follow. I only keep those who inspire me and influence me in a good way. I believe we have to be careful with what/who we surround ourselves and with what influences we take in as our own.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny. – Mahatma Gandhi
I started following Mari Jasmine just a couple of months ago. I just felt there’s something different about her, she’s unassumingly very pretty and brainy, she practices a healthy lifestyle, and I know I’ll learn lots of good stuff from her. #followTOgrow:)

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A couple of weeks back, she shared that she wanted “to learn to love, reuse, restyle the clothes she has instead of consuming new things all the time.” I got to admire her more because of that. And I also got into thinking that it’s something that I should follow for practical and a whole lot of reasons. On her post today, she asked what hashtag can we use to view all the clothes that we repeat. So I left a comment with this hashtag #REPEATisTHEnewHIP®.

I repeat wearing my clothes obviously, but I’m guilty in the sense that I make it a point not to wear the same clothes in between close occasions. But having this new way of thinking,  #REPEATisTHEnewHIP®, I wouldn’t care wearing the same clothes as often as I want, but of course using my little creativity for a different twist😉😛

FullSizeRender (2)#Repost @mari_jasmn (@get_repost)

Trying this thing where I wear and repost more of the same items of clothing. I’m not so comfortable with this culture of consuming new things all the time to just wear it once or twice. I feel like Instagram has definitely contributed to this phenomenon 😂 what if we made it like a styling challenge so we get maximum usage out of our clothes? Anyone keen to join me 😋

Posted in Beauty and Wellness, Health, Lessons Learned

All the Hs that I ♥…

IMG_0507The first H that I love is no other than Hermès, it’s a given, right? ;P Of course, I’m kidding, or more appropriately, daydreaming. 😉 I like Kelly, but I love the Constance bags much more, photo on the right. If there’s one overly generous person who will be willing to buy me luxe bags, this would be it, I’ll get one in dark chocolate, deep red, moss green & rusty tangerine. Dreaming is free, right? 🙂

Oh well, sorry, on a serious note…

The most important H for me is Health. To be healthy is the best blessing that one can ever  have from the Lord. When you are in good  health, you can live the best way you can possibly hope and dream of. I  just couldn’t emphasize enough how important it is to take care of one’s health, to be mindful of what it really means and to actually breathe it in as a way of life.

In our family, my sister and I were raised knowing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, eating fruits and veggies and drinking lots of water are good for our bodies. Thankfully, I grew up healthy, though I was thin. I used to be chubby when I was a baby but gradually became thin when I started going to school at age 6.

I became more health-conscious when I was in my early thirties. I had endometriosis and adenomysis since I was in my mid-twenties which caused too much pain when I was having my period, I took pain relievers for a really long time because I refused to take pills and other medicines. I decided to take the alternative path to healing through eating healthy more consciously, limiting sugar and dairy intakes, trying to exercise and reading a lot of stuff about healthy lifestyle and overall wellness and applying the lessons I get from it. And then I learned that a healthy lifestyle isn’t only about what we eat, how often we exercise, how intentionally we avoid getting stressed out and living a life with positive and thankful outlook. We also need to check on the products that we use and apply on our bodies. The products we put on our skin are being absorbed and can have good or bad effects on our health depending on the ingredients each product has.

So for more than 3 years now, I became very picky with the products I use, I read labels and I avoid buying anything with EDTAs and parabens. There are a lot of ingredients to avoid, which I couldn’t memorize, which are unfortunately in most products we use. So I prefer all things natural, organic with my skin care & beauty products, even my nail lacquers are made of safe ingredients, my fave brands are Orly and Zoya.

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To make things easy for me (less stress, better health, right?) I support local brands which use organic and natural ingredients, so #loveOrganic #loveLocale. 🙂

The 2nd and 3rd H” which I love are HumanNature and HappySkin.

So I will be sharing the products that I lovingly use regulary and will surely use faithfully for a really long time. 🙂

Let’s start with bathroom products, all by HumanNature, from hand wash to feminine wash (top left to bottom right).

IMG_0735First, I wash my hands using the liquid soap, brush my teeth using the natural toothpaste and wash my face using either of the 3 facial washes. I use the hydrating creamy wash on weekdays, the balancing wash on weekends, while I use the nourishing wash after I play squash in the office. I use the mandarin fresh scent for shampoo and conditioner, I use them alternately during the week. I use the gentle berry body wash most of the time, sometimes I only use soap, and then coffee&vanilla body scrub once a week. For the feminine wash, my favorite scent is the chamomile, because chamomile is one of my favorite flowers. 😉 At home, we also use the natural dishwashing liquid for our kitchenwares (photo on the left).

Before bedtime, these are the products that I use.

IMG_0726I start of with the Pixi Glow toner, then I apply the SkinFood Royal Honey Eye Cream on my under-eye, then apply either the Overnight Elixir or the Radiant Grace night cream, both by HumanNature.

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For more than a decade already, I made it a habit to apply a clear balm on my lips before I sleep. Here are my favorite brands, Nuxe, HumanHeartNature and VMV. Kiehl’s is gifted to me.

 

IMG_0720In the morning, before I go to work or church or other commitments, I apply basic make-up. I am not a heavy make-up user, I can go out just wearing a lipstick, I use other make-up products just because I am a woman. 😉 But honestly, I really prefer a no-make up look – always! 🙂

The first product I apply on my face is the SkinFood Tomato sun cream, I absolutely love this product, love the scent and finish on my face. I’ll buy my next tube in October, when I go to Busan. 🙂

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After the sunscreen, I apply the zit-zapper cream on my under-eye, then the blur cream on my T-zones.

Next to apply is my favorite bronzer by Nuxe, I bought this in Paris, I so love its scent, it is so easy to apply, it complements my skin color well.

After the bronzer, I apply some cheektint using either of these HappySkin products.

The next products I apply are the lipgloss and lipstick. There’s no denying that I love HappySkin lippies, I currently have 5 in different colors but I think I was able to finish 2 sticks already. For the lipgloss, I have 5 as well, by HumanNature, Muji which I bought in Osaka, 2 BareMinerals (gifted by Gillian) and the last one is Clinique from Leslie. 🙂

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If I will be asked to just use one “make-up”, this will be it, I love the color, the finish on my lips and it’s so affordable, too! 😉

I finish off my make-up by spraying this hydrating face mist. 🙂

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So there, I hope you learn something from this very long post, and I hope you also enjoy reading it. 🙂

Stay H, everyone! 😉 Happy, Healthy & Holy. 😍

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20