Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Rewind

January In One Word:


January was a so full of surprises, with all the good news and blessings, reunions, cooking/bonding with my mom, happening everyday! I really had a good start this year. Hopefully, it will be the same for the next coming months. There are six days left before my flight to Sydney, and I wanna make this a monthly segment here in my blog so I have something to look back on in the future.

1. My visa was finally approved on January 5th at 10:32AM. I've mentioned before how tedious this task was, so when we received the news, we felt overjoyed and I think I may have shed a few tears of joy. Praise God!

2. Booked my flight to Qantas Airlines on February 7. Obviously, the next step was to book my flight to Sydney!

3. Reunion with my friends. One of the best things that happened this month! I finally saw my best friends from high school and college after a long time.You can definitely tell those who are sincere and true to you, when they stick with you through rough times and I'm blessed to have a few but close and trusted friends in my life.

4. Balikbayan box arrived. FINALLY! My sister sent this box full of goodies last October and it only arrived this month because of a certain policy about the crates.

5. Lola's Lechon arrived for my despedida. My thoughtful and sweet grandma gave us a whole roasted pig for my despedida. She told me that if I ever miss the taste of lechon, I can always go back home and she'll cook one for me. She's the best!

6. Lego Cake. Mom and I made this Lego cake for my niece's birthday party.

7. Cooked holiday ham just because. My mom and I cooked this melt-in-your-mouth pineapple glazed ham. It came a bit late but its a tradition of ours so we couldn't let it pass up. We cooked five kilos of meat for three days and enjoyed it with bread and salads that lasted for a week(normal in our household! LOL!)

8. Healthy Foods. Still sticking with my healthy habits! So proud of myself, cause I usually eat everything without giving much thought. I'm more aware now of the foods that I put inside my body and how they affect my weight and mood. It takes a lot of discipline but the results are worth it.

9. Letting go of my favorite books and giving them a new home. As I was organizing and packing my things, I came upon a huge dilemma: Do I bring all of my books with me and pay a pricey baggage allowance or leave them inside boxes in the attic? I didn't want them to collect dust and fray, so I decided to go for the best option which is to sell them(even if it saddens me). At least that way, it will give happiness and entertainment to their new owners!

10. Dyed my hair Ash Brown. My first time to get it colored professionally. It turned out exactly the color I've always wanted, I'm super satisfied!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Happy List

1. The approval of my visa

2. Starting a new adventure in Sydney

3. Balikbayan box from my sister has arrived last Sunday

4. Bonding with my family and friends

5. Cooking healthy meals and sharing them with my mom

6. Making fresh and yummy smoothies

7. Working out in the morning

8. Shedding unwanted fats, especially in my problem areas

9. Tons of nuts, muesli, chocolates, snacks shared with my family

10. Supportive people around me, helping me out every step of the way

11. Sticking to my healthy and fitness lifestyle for 2 months now

12. Thoughtful friends

14. Cooking holiday ham with my mom

15. S & R dates with my momma

16. Gaining confidence and loving myself more

17. Exploring and traveling new places

Credits: Camie Juan

Bucket List: Australian Edition

I'm already off to a good start this year! My visa was finally approved and I'm leaving next month! It took us months to collate all of the visa requirements, not to mention the expensive costs, but finally, all of our hard work paid off! Truth be told, there was a slight chance that my visa won't be approved since we had a problem with a certain requirement. I was already bracing myself for the worst and I was praying to God for help. Thankfully, my mother, grandmother and aunty were able to come up with a solution. And on January 5th at 2PM I received the great news via email, I felt overjoyed and I even shed a few tears of joy. I'm deeply grateful and blessed for my loving family! So now, all I have to do is make the necessary travel arrangements, shop for winter clothes and prepare my things. It feels SO good to finally be here. I chose to move out of my comfort zone in pursuit of bigger and brighter things.

To celebrate this, I've decided to create an Australian mini bucket list! I'll be posting photos that I took personally over here. :)

1. Take the Bondi to Coogee walk
2. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
3. Scuba dive in Great Barrier Reef
4. Hug a Koala and meet a Kangaroo
5. Witness the New Year fireworks at the Sydney Opera House
6. Participate in a Free Sydney Walking Tours
7. Go on a wine tour in one of Australia's wine areas
8. Wander Melbourne's laneways
9. Indulge in the famous coffee culture
10. Sunset cruise on the harbour
11. Walk through Hyde Park
12. Witness Vivid Sydney
13. Explore the Rocks District
14. Go to the Observatory Hill
15. Participate in a fun run

Life hands us opportunities at every turn to get over ourselves, to get outside ourselves, to wake up from our own bad dreams and realize that really lovely things are happening all the time.”        Shauna Niequist

Life Lately

I made this post similar to Lauryn's, which is I think is a more personal take on the popular Sunday Currently link-up. Here's a look at what I've been up to lately.

Reading: The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler. I discovered this book from a good friend of mine who happened to carry it inside her bag during our reunion a few years ago. The title was stuck in my head until now, so I decided to read the book and find out what it's all about. Its a book about the philosophy and way of life of Buddhism and even if you aren't practicing the religion, it is a nice read about contentment, positivity, gratefulness and how to become an overall happier person. It was actually written by Howard Cutler, an American psychiatrist, who posed questions to the Dalai Lama and together they explore the different facets of life.

Listening: I mostly listen to R&B, hip hop, and pop music to accompany me while working out. I just browse through Spotify's workout songs and blast them on my speakers. It keeps you pumped up and motivated!

Feeling: Happy, excited, and nervous. Mixed emotions, really. There are two and a half weeks left before my departure to Sydney and I haven't started packing yet. Sometimes, I feel excited about starting a new life in a new place but other times sadness cause I'll be leaving my family behind. You see, I'm a very family oriented person and this is going to be my first time being away from them. So naturally, I've been bonding with my family and friends a lot these days. I'm definitely going to miss a lot of things here in the Philippines but also, excited to learn, grow and become independent.

Photographing: I love taking photos of the yummy foods that my mom and I are cooking. I also take the time to plate my healthy meals so I can snap a good photo. It serves as an inspiration to me so that I'll be motivated to continue this healthy lifestyle.

Writing: A list of things that I need to bring with me to Sydney so I won't forget. Also, a shopping list like my winter clothes, shoes, bags, etc.

Watching: I haven't been watching movies or TV shows that much lately. The only movie I saw this month was 21 Jump Street, a comedy movie starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. I'm going to watch the second part with my mom soon.

Using: Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Workout Guide for 2 months now! That's a record for me right there cause I usually stick to a workout routine for only a month in the past. You only need 30 minutes a day to complete Kayla's routine, very sustainable if you ask me and it's like having a personal trainer right in front of you. I can honestly say that this is one of the best things I've done in my life.

Learning: To take care and love myself more. I used to be so hard and critical of myself, to a point that I get so stressed out and depressed. And ever since I made the decision to eat healthier and exercise every week, I noticed my stress levels are down and the fats are melting away! :D

Reminiscing: About my carefree days when I was younger, when life was so much easier. But now its time to put my big girl shoes on and face the real world! It's truly a bittersweet feeling.

Thinking: About the blessings I've received this year, the biggest of which is the approval of my visa, the positive things in my life, my lovely family and friends, my big move to Australia.

Reflecting Upon: My Australian dream and career path. This journey has definitely molded me to become a better person. I took a detour in my career path last year, but now I'm back to where I started. I believe God is directing me to the right path. :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five On Friday

Monday 1-5-15
Finally my student visa was approved! I can finally breathe! I have a few weeks left to prepare and say my farewells to family and friends. I'm so excited to start this new chapter of my life.

Qantas Airlines booked
I'm already booked on February 7th, I chose a flight with a strop over at the Changi Airport, Singapore as the ticket was a lot cheaper. I'll be setting foot on two different countries, yay! I'm coming AUSTRALIA! The wanderlust bug has bitten!

I'm on a health kick!
I'm so proud of myself for sticking to my fitness routine until now. My clothes fit better, and my stamina has increased! No more bloated and sluggish feeling! I hope I can continue this when I go to Australia next month. This is my favorite post workout smoothie - banana dates!

Oh She Glows cookbook
I finally have this vegan cookbook(my first ever) by Angela Liddon. I'm not really looking into going vegan, I just want to get inspired to cook healthier and this is just what I needed!

Sunday Mass with my sister
The day before my visa was approved, my sister and I went to mass at SM Megamall. I asked God for help regarding my visa and the next day my prayer was answered. Its amazing how God gives you the things you need at the RIGHT time, His time. Praise God!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Goals List


- Move out of my comfort zone
- Move to Australia
- Take risks and opportunities that come my way
- Learn to be more patient and grateful
- Live happier and have a more positive outlook in life 
- Become less sensitive with what other people say
- Meet new trustworthy friends
- Learn, grow and become independent
- Build my career

- Achieve my ideal weight 120 lbs. and maintain it
- Finish Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide 12-week workout
- Stay motivated with my healthy eating and fitness habits
- Give up sweets, sodas and processed foods
- Have one cheat meal, ONCE a week


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

This weekly bookish link up is hosted by Broke and Bookish.

Yesterday, I completed my 2014 Goodreads Challenge, which was set to 40 books and I'm proud of myself for achieving this goal. Now is the perfect time to do my yearly round-up of the best books I read this year:

 1. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman - Allison's life journey is almost the same as mine, which is why I love this book so much. Her decision to agree with Willem's offer to go on an adventure transformed her life for the better and it made me realize the importance of taking risks in life now matter how scary it looks. There are so many nuggets of wisdom that you can find in this book and I'm truly grateful to Gayle for writing such a fantastic book!

2. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it kept me up reading until midnight for two days in a row just to finish it.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - This is my favorite among the series and possibly one of my all time favorite novels. Perkins is now an auto read for me, I just love her writing style!

4. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare - One of the MOST unputdownable books I read this year which is why it is so hard to pick a favorite in this series, so naturally I had to include all three of them. I much prefer the storyline and characters of this over the Mortal Instruments. I feel like it has more depth and exciting parts in the story and it has WILL HERONDALE.
5. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera -  I'm really glad I reread it this year cause there were so many parts that made sense to me when I did. It was that deep.

6. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse - I read this when I found out that it is Leighton Meester's favorite novel. It tells about a man's journey to self-discovery, spiritual enlightenment and the meaning of life.  It’s filled with incredible writing, and it is one of those books that I recommend everyone to read at least once.

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - I just found out that this is going to be adapted into film soon. AWESOME.

8. Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin - I'm reading the ASOIAF series, one book per year cause I think it'll make waiting for the 6th and 7th installation much bearable. Obviously, this is included and I can't wait to read the 3rd book next year.

9. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami - I read this at the beginning of this year and it's responsible for breaking my reading slump. This book is so amazing, I'm definitely going to read more of Murakami's works next year.

10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - It's impossible to start this without finishing immediately. It's just SO addicting! It made me wanna read her other novels too(I heard they are equally good!) and I'm now a fan of psychological thriller novels because of this! 

What about you? What are the best books you've read this year? Come and join the link-up!