The 'Busy' Cult

>> Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crazy busy.

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. 

I don't know about you, but I must've thrown that phrase around for the last ten years with so much frequency that busy have become the new normal, the new successful. Busy seems to equal importance, or value. Busy have become the new black. When I tell my mom about the state of my life {that is, *surprise*, crazy busy}, she tells me to be thankful instead. And I am.

It's just that ...

Lately, the definition of successful has begun to take shape in another form. Whereas I used to think that success would mean a day full of nonstop, back to back to back meetings, a full eight hours of nonstop productivity --- I find myself craving for more time to breathe and be bored. Boring has always been my time to be curious and thus have led me to various discoveries.

Not that I cannot afford to un-busy myself. The truth is, even if numerous posts on this blog have said how the week was such whirlwind, I do have a choice. It just wasn't a choice I've taken a lot of times. It might be because being busy and feeling important can be so addictive, one cannot help but plunge into more and more work {both for primary occupation and secondary}. The world glorifies the hard worker --- and I wouldn't dare say otherwise. Where I am, busyness is self-imposed that we have really no one to blame but ourselves. A mangled sense of what should happen in one's day has driven many of us anxious, cranky and exhausted.

And surely, that's normal. But ...

At the end of the day, I can't find the meaning in the thousands of words I've spewed. Or the numbers I've crunched. Or strategies built like fortresses. Or tactics that come like typhoons. There's a sense of emptiness that comes with losing a day to the bed, mastering the art of doing nothing, daydreaming, wishing, hoping, singing. When I think about retirement, the fuss of which I get to deal with everyday, needing to plan for it, I think of the possible things I could do when I'm older. I think of doing nothing when I'm old, gray and wrinkly and I think ----

... those are pretty much what I want to do now. I want to step foot in a plane once again and just get lost in thoughts or in streets. I want to incubate dreams and plans where I can see the clouds billowing and trees swaying with the water providing the soundtrack to my day. High stress levels are surely as indispensable as any other nutrient to a city girl, but maybe there is more to life than trying to squeeze so much in concrete, in industrial furniture and high speed internet.

Surely, there has to be more to life than that.


Best Lashes Ever: 3S Preglued False Eyelashes

>> Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I think that any girl would agree with me if I declare that the best kind of false eyelashes would be the ones that are foolproof.

As a complete idiot when it comes to applying falsies, it came as a treat when these "flirty little secrets" came my way one day and generally just made my life better. I've never applied falsies on myself even if I declare myself a beauty fanatic. I am just scared of poking my own eyes and having no one to help --- well, I couldn't even imagine.

Speedy, Safe and Smart, is what 3S stands for and when you're a klutz in the application department, the "just-stick-it" directions of these lashes sounded pretty much like heaven. The truth is, it can truly be mesmerizing to see eyelashes of the fluttery kind.

Why 3S Lashes:

  • Lightweight, looks natural on the eyes
  • To apply, just remove from the stand, apply on the lids using your fingers, cut if needed.
  • The adhesive is usable twice, and there's an extra sticky strip you can use as well. 
  • After four uses, you can use a standard eyelash glue --- value for money!
  • May appear expensive at PHP 250 but this is a sturdy product which makes more sense to use than the super flimsy ones at PHP 20 per pair but are falling off by the middle of the day.
  • Various lengths and thicknesses
  • Where to buy: Beauty and Minerals Online Store

See the extra strip?

Overall: I can't contain the happiness of my day when I'm wearing falsies. The joy of seeing through thicker lashes is just indescribable. Oh the joys of being a girl!

Have a lovely Wednesday, girls!


Like a Hero

>> Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Unknown to many, last Thursday was already a patriotic day for me, as some friends and I went to Meralco Theater to catch a musical tribute to Ninoy Aquino and Corazon Aquino. I wouldn't go into details of what had happened in the musical, but there was one thing I remember: and it was to fight for the country.

Now, I don't know, had it been 2011, or 2012 or any other year, I might've just chalked it up as a cliche and that just might've passed from ear to ear. I guess, this year's Ninoy's anniversary hits a nerve, as the country faces a big battle against it's PDAF/Pork Barrel.

Ten years ago, {sue me} I wouldn't even have cared. I wouldn't have known why I should care. And now that I do, I cannot accept that I wouldn't do anything about it.

As the call for the #MillionPeopleMarch ignited all over social media, I quickly searched for a companion to make a stand. In a very fitting timing, on National Heroes' Day nonetheless, I did something heroic for the country {without dying, of course}. It was more than enough to make a stand.

{Thank you Allan and Tita Fatz for the photos.}

What did you do for your country today?


LBD's Best Friend: The Invisible Deo

I literally squealed when this arrived in my inbox. FINALLY! No more LBDs with white stains!
Thank you, Castro PR!

Now available at leading groceries and Watson's for PHP 170.


Lipstick Chronicles: Bobbi Brown in Sandwash Pink

>> Thursday, August 22, 2013

There's something about Bobbi Brown makeup that makes me feel --- matured. And no, matured in this post does not mean lola-ish. There is a a very understated, simple elegance that emanates from each Bobbi Brown product. This lipstick is just one of the many.

About Bobbi Brown Lip Color: According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.”

What I thought of Bobbi Brown's Lip Color:

  • Moisturizing, indeed. Unlike another Bobbi Brown favorite that I have {a matte red lip, YUM}, this one is creamy in texture.
  • Mauve-y pink. Bobbi Brown describes it as beige pink but I guess, myself having yellow undertones makes it appear a bit mauve. 
  • Long lasting. This shade has made it to my usual routine, especially if I have business-related functions to go to. If there's anything I love most about Bobbi Brown, it's that its stuff are always so classy, it makes you want to wear an LBD and a structured power blazer. And yes, it lasts very long, too!
  • Looks classy against the purse. Most people assume that just because we're girls, we always like pink everything. You know why I don't like pink-cased makeup {well, not always, and not when I'm working} is because no one will take me seriously. This lipstick makes me want to whip it out at office rest rooms and even hotel lounges because its packaging is classic.
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Color is priced at PHP 1,200 and available at Bobbi Brown counters nationwide.

And now for some Bobbi Brown wisdom, snagged from their Facebook page:

Have an awesome day, dearest readers!


Chronicles of Concealers: Naturactor Cover Face

>> Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Third day of nonstop relentless rain, and nth day of Janet Lim - Napoles being a fugitive, I am ready to be talking about something else! It's a holiday today {thank you, Ninoy Aquino} but the rains are still making the city gloomy.


Roll call: Phoebe, Sophie, Jheng, Myself, Shen and Jamie

Today, I'm sharing with you a serendipitous find from a month ago. Team E and I were coming from our yummy brunch at Maple, Shangri La, when we all decided to go visit Digital Traincase, Manila's answer to brands we need to scour eBay for. We spent a good three hours at Sol's store and today, I will be sharing a valuable find, the Naturactor Cover Face in 140.

Japanese makeup is always good!

Jheng chose this shade for me, as she made me her guinea pig in testing Naturactor as concealer for the undereye area. For reference, I'm MAC NC30.

Thoughts on Naturactor Cover Face:
  • Coverage is Naturactor's biggest strength. Prior to Digital Traincase's introduction, I encountered Naturactor from our makeup artist at office events. I've always been amazed at how well it covers the face, literally. Do not expect glowy finish from this.
  • That said, I used this for a TV shoot, and IT is perfect. It tends to cake when applied thick but just blend well and set with loose powder for a flawless finish.
  • As an undereye concealer, Naturactor is up in the ranks of Kuma Concealer and MAC Studio Fix. Eyebags, begone!
  • No scent. Hooray!
  • I still need to use a sponge {which I don't like} and a mini scoop to get the product. But it's fine.
  • A 20g jar will last forever. Of course, I'm exaggerating but hey, I've barely made a dent on mine and I've been using it everyday! Naturactor Cover Face's price is PHP 790 via Digital Traincase.

Overall Recommendation: If you appear in photos on a daily basis or you just want to look perfect everyday, this is it!

PS: Look who I bumped into at the Digital Traincase HQ:

Super gigil with Sol's son, Miguel. Photo via Jheng

Digital Traincase is located at Unit G109 Corinthian Executive Regency, 7 Ortigas Ave. San Antonio, Pasig City. 



What an awesome reminder :)

Some additionals from myself, as passed on by my mother:

  • Never go out with wet hair. Blow dryers are in hotel bathrooms for a reason. {Guilty}
  • Do not show off your underwear.
  • Do not flaunt your money.
  • Do not text at the dinner table {UGH, guilty!}
Here's a nice article for your reference, too.



>> Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My mama warned me against this: "It's not your job to judge her, you are not DOJ," was what she told me when I would fume over my breakfast over Janet Lim - Napoles. If you're a Filipino taxpayer and still do not know who she is, or care what she has done, well, it is time to start caring.

Of course, my mother is right and I'm thankful that I have someone to remind me that it's never my place to judge. But everyday, even now that there's a typhoon ravaging the metro, we get news about all this woman's, and the solons allegedly benefitting from the pork barrel and well, I can't wrap my head around the idea that someone could want so much. That someone had to have 30 cars, despite having only four immediate family members and businesses which haven't been explained.

Maybe because I have no dependents, is maybe why I'm saying this. Or because as the Embassy of the USA always tell me: you have no reason to come home to in the Philippines {which is wrong, with all due respect}, or maybe because I am just a common Filipino who goes through everyday life, working, having fun every now and then with friends and watches a movie if something is worth watching. I'm guilty of having a few branded stuff and sometimes, it matters to me that where I'm going is of good quality {of course, if I can afford it}. I've let go of my car and I've given away many of my clothes, shoes and bags. My furniture are -- not even worth mentioning, really. I'm happy to get to travel someplace a few times in a year. Many times, the things I want are not material things and can't be bought by money. There are times when I would be truly guilty of blogging / Instagramming material things --- shopping, after all, is a widely-known advocacy of women. But I've come to a point where money ceased to become an issue because I know how much I need, what I need --- and it's really not so much. I have enough.

But returning to the country was really an eye opener and seeing hardworking Filipinos smile through labor-intensive jobs was enough to feel stabs in the chest. It's heartbreaking to watch that elevator girl video, who was a happy employee through and through, millions of people wading through floods --- because one woman and a number of lawmakers let greed get the best of them. I am sad for the Filipino who has to downplay his dreams to adjust to the way of life his government has dictated upon him. My heart breaks for the Filipino who has to resort to going to noon time game shows in an effort to alleviate his family from poverty. It disgusts me that this elected senators, whom most votes come from the masses, are bent on keeping the masses in the dark. What is with money that people in power are so attracted to it? To clarify, there's nothing wrong in being rich and wanting good stuff. If you can explain where you got it, as well as have paid your dues, it's nobody's business. But if you're spending the country's money, well --

Between ill-gotten wealth and clean {both meaning minimal and legit}, I'd choose the latter. I am after the uninterrupted, peaceful sleep in the end.

At the end of the day, isn't that we all want? 


Foundation Review: Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse

>> Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hola! I’m now back in Manila and have been stuffing myself silly with rice yet again. I had massive craving while I was in Nova Scotia, where it’s pretty tough to find any Asian dish but I had been able to find some. Anyway, I’m back now and for today, we’re taking a break from the serious posts {ha ha, I get feedback that I am too serious sometimes} so here are bullet points from my notes on one of two foundations I’ve been using lately:

This little bottle of neutral goo had me at mousse. In tropical Manila, the consistency and texture of foundation can easily make or break repeat usage.

The Good:

  • No smell.
  • Mousse-y. Not at all sticky and has this glow-y finish to it. I find that especially on days when I have dry skin, I use more of this mousse to achieve non-matte complexion.
  • Pump bottle has lock --- which is travel-proof {I brought it to Nova Scotia and no spill whatsoever}
  • Light-to-medium coverage. 
  • Economical at PHP 599 for 30 mL
  • No breakouts, no allergies, no blemishes. To Maybelline’s credit, I think the brand has a pretty awesome track record for not giving anyone blemishes or anything at all.
  • Medium staying power. I always find myself retouching my the middle of the day, which is common for most liquid foundations. 
  • This is perfect for everyday use.
  • Sold everywhere in the Philippines such as Watson’s, Beauty by SM, Landmark etc.

The Bad:

  • I don’t really find anything bad to say about this product.

Overall: Like I said, I do use this every day and it blends well with my Baby Pink BB powder, which I use for setting. I completely recommend this to anyone who’s yet to find a liquid foundation for everyday. Dreamy foundation indeed :)


Things I Love Sundays: Dreams

Eating a peach while sitting on the grass, looking at the lake. Waking up without an alarm and not having to rush. Having my mom voluntarily take care of my laundry {just because she wants to}. Talking to my dad about derivatives and stocks during breakfast. Bonding with my mother over kitchenware and furniture. Summers in the north. A shopping sprint. My favorite lake, my secret garden. Warm laundry. Violets. Moon Mist ice cream. Tim Horton’s. Blonde babies. Blonde babies who baby talk in French. Being faraway from the reality. Being under the sun where the wind is blowing and there’s a bit of chill. Seeing puffins. Seeing puffins that look like they’re on Happy Feet. Seeing baby seals. Eating a gigantic spoon of ice cream every day. Shopping for peach water. Going to an Amish-esque village. Meeting a blacksmith. And a wood furniture man. Seeing the Titanic museum. Knowing that at the end of the day, when you know what matters to you, everything else don’t.

Happy week ahead!


Be good at something today

>> Thursday, August 8, 2013

If I could sum up the days that have gone by for me, an apropos would be a mastery of craft. 

The other day, we were at an 1800s preserved town called Sherbrooke Village, where every house is a glimpse of what a village was made of in those times. Even prior to that trip, I had gone to imagining what it was like to live where you had to make bread out of flour before you can eat. Or if we all had to milk cows to drink milk in the morning. Or to know some basic pottery before we can have plates to eat on. If I lived back then, I probably would've taken all day to do everything. What a blissful day that might've been!

Sherbrooke Village's blacksmith

You see, nowadays, things are so easy. Just today, my mother finished a load of laundry and my clothes are all warm from the drier as I type this. Everywhere I go, including the lakeside, which is where I am now, there IS wifi. And while I am mostly happy that things are more convenient, and as with all things that's easy, it can make us take things for granted.

Amongst many other things, our generation is so spoiled and entitled we already demand a promotion after one year. We get impatient at lines, we don't like being ordered around by our bosses and we daydream of building a business instead of focusing well on our jobs. To me, one can only go into business if one is considered an expert or master in that field. An expert is someone who has spent at least 10,000 hours or five years honing that craft {ask Malcolm Gladwell}. There is a reason why those

So that's your word of advice today from me, courtesy of the blacksmiths, apothecaries, milk maids, wood craft makers of Sherbrooke: Do something with your hands today.

If you're a blogger, read, read, read. Then write, write, write. Bloggers, as a collective, at least in the Philippines are being judged as hacks for not knowing proper grammar to save their lives. Defend this, not by telling naysayers that we can say anything in our blogs because it's ours BUT with a properly written, articulate blog entry. Blogs are this generation's literature, because not many kids these days read books anymore. Be sure to put in something valuable to your reader's minds, and not just what you wore today, ate today, applied on as makeup today {hehe, guilty as charged}. The Internet is free real estate, sure, but to whom much is given, much is asked.

If you're a young professional dabbling in technology, master your craft by creating small projects for your friends, your family or your church. Volunteer to make your church's app for livestreaming, to handle the church's social media accounts, your friend's small business' website. Don't be too snob not to do things for free ---- because in the real world, people are not afraid to pay for quality things and services.

If you're a small business owner, study the ropes of your industry. Scope out technologies on how you can make your craft better. If you are in the cosmetics industry, READ a lot on chemistry, psychology, finances. Don't be limited to what you think you already know --- that is usually the bane of existence that leads to failure. Practice, practice and more practice. Do not stop at 10,000 hours. Use your hands to tinker for the best visual merchandising for your goods.

If you're from the financial services industry, find a mentor. Listen to the experienced folks. Take note from their triumphs and mistakes. Invest in yourself. Build a career that's beyond you and bigger than you. Use your hands to help other people, wherever you are.

Mastery. This refers to the art of getting better and better at skills and talents that you enjoy using, to the extent that they become intertwined with your identity. Picture a Jedi, or a Samurai, or a master blacksmith.

When things get hard, and the pursuit of mastery seems impossible or worthless, remember that experts didn't become experts because they don't commit mistakes. It's really true {as cliche and cheesy as it sounds} when they say never give up.

We have forgotten the lost art of mastery. Maybe it is time to bring it back.


Fifteen Minutes of Privacy

>> Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I had taught a couple of classes about social media responsibility where I work. It's one of the most fun things I get to do, as every quarter, I find myself sharing different case studies on social media recklessness. There's that PBA fiasco, the amalayer thing, the one about celebrities and the list goes on. I always use a mainstream example to drive home a point to always remind my students {and myself!} to filter what we put out on social media.

This video by TED of Juan Enriquez, is yet to be my favorite material:

I sincerely hope that you get to watch it, because it can be truly mind boggling and scary creepy at how one click, a person has access to the lives of anyone s/he pleases to stalk. If you have learned over the years that you know so much about someone, one way of looking at someone knows so much about you, too.

It is scary. And to quote Mr. Enriquez, Andy Warhol may not be as right anymore. We all now have just fifteen minutes left for privacy and the rest --- well, the rest is just one Google away.

This leads me to the pressing issue of Jeane Napoles and the current issue her family, especially her mother, Janet Lim - Napoles is facing. I wouldn't go into the details of the alleged scam {though I am studying pork barrel stuff BECAUSE it is every Filipino citizen's job to care, after all} but it's interesting to note how Jeane Napoles' social media accounts led to her "online" damnation, if that is a term. {LinkedIn, Tumblr} Her Instagram, prior to her shutting it down, opened a dam of lavishness for the whole country to see. In a second, her whole life, all her material possessions, whether legit or not, were brought to the public's eye. 

We don't know yet what is to happen on this PDAF scam. I am convinced that JLN Group of Companies needs to be looked into, after all she conducts business with the Philippine government {one look at the website and well, see for yourself} but hey, that is not my job and I'm withholding judgment on what I don't need to judge. I don't know when it will progress as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima halted the probe on this issue. Hopefully, no one forgets about it.

Juan Enriquez is right. One may only have fifteen minutes of privacy. So choose the things you post online. Everything will be your digital tattoo and will outlive you, too.

PS: I know everything in our social accounts should be our own individual concerns but as I always tell my students, if you can't defend your statements or status in court, you should think about saying it at all.


The Self Phenomenon: The Curse of Narcissus

>> Monday, August 5, 2013

The original selfie-trator, Narcissus.

My bestfriend and I recently hung out with a group of friends we haven't seen in a while. It was a dinner at a quaint place at a very busy city so the second floor of the place had pretty much just our table of about 10 people. We both haven't seen this set of friends and on the way home, as she dropped me off, we did our "check." "Is it me, or is everyone busy talking about themselves over the other person?" she asked. 

As we tracked back into the night, we did realize that as we sipped on our smoothies and nibbled on our salads, everyone was indeed a) taking photos of themselves b) talking over the other party c) playing a game of who's better than who. Now, before you think we are both some kind of self righteous hags, well, we did have our own phase of self love going on. 

Erik MacKinnon, a blogger and entrepreneur from British Columbia recently came up with an interesting commentary on the behavior of social media and the phenomenon that's the #selfie. He boldly states {and with accompanying research, too}, that:

What’s the point of all of this? It’s pretty simple: if you’re the type of person that relies on the constant admiration of others through #selfies or whatever else – you might need your head examined. Perhaps try using the camera on the other side of your phone for a while.

What is wrong with taking selfies, you ask? Technically, there is nary a wrong reason for putting up your 'at-the-dentist' selfie. Or your 'before-going-to-sleep' selfie. Nothing, really. Everybody who's had a smartphone in their teens and up have gone through it. But as time has proven, a little too much self-involvement can be lethal.

I hear this a lot in the circles where I move: the numbers of likes, hits, pageviews, UVs, retweets and all those reflect how much your selfie / site / blog is liked. Humans are rewired to feel neuroplastic changes in the brain such as dopamine rush from all the likes and the hearts from virtual friends, therefore causing a pathological addiction to online attention. It's like eating ice cream, cookies, chocolate and cookie dough in one sitting. All that sugar and when you've ran out --- hello, withdrawal symptoms.

Going back, what happens now to narcissistic folks? A trip to mythology from Erik tells us:

Do you know where the word ‘narcissist’ comes from? In ancient Greek mythology, Narcissus was a man that was incredibly proud of his own beauty. As the legend goes (and depending on which version you read), Nemesis – the goddess of revenge – became angry with Narcissus when he rejected Echo, a nymph that had fallen in love with him. (That’s them in the photo above.) Nemesis lured Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and – not realizing it was himself that he saw – he became enthralled at his own beauty. When he eventually figured out that he was looking at himself and that he could never be in love with what he saw, he died. Or turned into a flower… again, depending on which story you read. 
That’s right – the guy took the modern-day equivalent of a #selfie and HE DIED.

Though fictional, Dorian Gray is to be remembered when in discussions on the topic of vanity. He after all preserved his skin, his lips, his age, everything -- in exchange for his soul. The world has changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curve of your lips rewrite history

Now, you're probably wondering if you are a narcissist. Dr. Sandy Hotchkiss outlined the seven deadly sins of Narcissism. A quick scroll in here tells us all the traits and signs of a narcissist, too.

  • Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
  • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
  • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
  • Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
  • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

Pretty much like Narcissus and Gray, self love is good but excessive, tunnel vision love for oneself is pretty destructive. I cannot believe the self entitlement statements we all hear everyday {and all those that have come from me}.  Mythology and Dorian Gray have had it. It can happen again. 

OH. And while on the subject of the selfie, here's a cute little video that reflects another angle of the Selfie Phenomenon:

Guess I will lay off on the Instagramming for a while. :) Maybe we all should.


What I Know For Sure: Safety Nets

>> Sunday, August 4, 2013

Over the last few days, I had forgotten what day it was and that in the other side of the world, where it’s home, it’s finally the weekend. When you’re on vacation, in the North nonetheless, and have been spending days on end on the road, it’s easy to forget which day it is.

It’s been five days since I’ve been here. Truth be told, I hadn’t planned much for a vacation in the great vast Nova Scotia. I had been prepared to go to Paris and Vienna, Ireland and Salzburg. I was not prepared to see endless rolling hills and oceansides. But there was much to be gleaned from this small detour.

First Time | Lifehouse

Everybody’s wired for a different adventure. If it were up to you, and not the people around you, where would you go? What I learned today is that after all these years, if you ask me, if money was no issue, where would I go? I don’t know. I’d say Europe in a heartbeat because Europe is on everyone’s bucket list, including mine. While I know I would go to Europe soon, I just realized that it wasn’t what I needed now. For some reason, this was where I needed to be and I love where I am. While this decision wasn’t mine to make, it helps me decide a lot of things for when I return home.

It’s a rush to be in so much space. It was getting boring in Manila {this is not to be confused with hating the Philippines because I don't}, with everyone having the same thoughts, the same adventures, bumping into each other in the usual places, myself included. I guess I’ve fallen into the trap of following the crowd, doing the popular choices and having the same beliefs. Today, I am thousands of miles away from that and beside the bonus of having a lot of space to myself, I get to be exposed to various thoughts, hear miner stories, among others, get immersed in Celtic culture. I guess this is why I spend hours on end reading Sarah Vickers’ blog and Manger. They are blogs that tackle life in places not too many live in and philosophies in life that don’t follow the crowd.

I actually like coastal living. True, I didn’t go fishing or anything in the water but living near the water is such a delight. In the morning, waking up to the sight of the lake IS amazing. At nights, it is an experience to breathe in salt-tinged air while having a glass of wine, talking about the mysteries and wonders of life. The problems of my real life seem so far, far away. You know what I also like? Country music. Country music have been the soundtrack of my life these days. When I was 14, I abhorred country music for no good reason. Now that memory seems so far away.

Stress will haunt you down, of course, no matter where you are. Before I left, I had been thinking a lot about all these things that doesn’t even have to do with me. Sometimes, I want to just walk away from it all, really but of course, the sensible side always wins. A stress-less life is fun, that is what I know. But if I take off the goals, the failures, the losses, well, that doesn’t make me much either. That said, a person’s strength is measured by the failure he gets up from, not the ones he walks away from.

One travels to meet God. I haven’t been to church for numerous weeks and I can’t really pinpoint a specific reason. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of nowhere, marveling at the awesome nature I am in, while listening to Hillsong United that I was washed with the Holy Spirit.

Stay and Wait | Hillsong United

Choose your battles. Because really, do you have to attend to all that you're invited to?

I'm off to bed in a bit {at 9 PM here, where I am} but I do wish you, whomever you are who's reading this blog, a very wonderful Sunday. Keep your heart light always.



Summer in the North

>> Thursday, August 1, 2013

I can't remember ever spending July and Augusts far from home. To me, July and August will always be months of wearing rain-proof clothes, monitoring weather updates, making sure I never pass through flood and end up doing so anyway.

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

This year is different though. After numerous planning attempts, three visas that expired on me and unused tickets and hotel vouchers, I am here. I am where people dress up in nautical prints, have houses by the lakes and have barbecues in August. I just ate a peach in the grass this afternoon and I have never felt so quietly happy in my life. Too bad I didn't bring in outfits like Sarah's. But surely, life feels a lot like Summer Sisters now. :D

Cape Breton

Thank you for this lovely, lovely chance to be where I am.

OH. And because I'd been Googling where the nearest Lululemon store is, I came across the Lululemon manifesto. Inspiring.



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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