2017 Week 4: Home for the Weekend

January 16-22, 2017

Work

Work is smooth sailing to date. But I’m beginning to have delays due to other meetings that were not factored in during the initial timeline planning. But I’d like to catch up first before moving timelines.

Weekend

It was our father’s second death anniversary last January 21 so I went home last weekend. I took the 6 PM trip last Friday so I arrived in Baguio at around 1AM. I like this schedule because it’s like spending 2 nights at home. I might be taking this schedule moving forward. Or earlier if work schedule permits and if the body is able to report to work early with a sharp mind hehehe.

We lighted a candle, offered prayers, prepared lunch and invited some relatives over.

After lunch, I played with the kids and we took a lot of pictures together! I’m taking advantage of this because once they become teens, they might think it’s not cool goofing around with tita anymore hahaha.

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Picture picture!

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Lambitin sa puno ng bayabas

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Pahinga…yung isa, sa puno ng bayabas at yung isa, sa hagdan ang trip.

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Look! Only one hand! 😀

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Mowdels!

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Belat…joke! Sino ang naiiba?!

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Yung sabi nila wacky daw pero ako lang ang sumunod…hmp!

On Sunday, I went to mass. The BF and I were able to go out after the mass for lunch. I also accompanied him to buy some goods at the market for him to bring home to his family in the province. *Cheese alert.* It makes my heart so happy to have witnessed that my BF has a generous and big heart. I know he has, but it’s still different if you witness it first hand. Hayayay! I said “Thank You Lord” in my mind and heart countless times that day hehehe.

After all the shopping, he went back to church and I decided to just go back to Manila earlier than planned so that I have more time to rest before another work week starts.

Firsts

I saw a lot of posts in FB about the Salted Egg Potato Chips and I was curious to try it. My boss brought 1 and she said she bought it from a classmate so I asked her to order one for me. She gave it to me last Monday. Gone in 2 or 3 sittings hehehe. I had to REALLY control myself not to eat it all in one sitting. The struggle was real.

SaltedEggChips

The BF and I ate at Kuya J. They already have a branch in Baguio. I know Kuya J has been around for a while but it was our first time to eat there. The food was good. We actually loved the sinigang na bangus which we ordered. But their service can still be improved. Well at least for the Baguio branch as I can’t really say the same for the other branches.

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Some solos and the obligatory couple pic 😛

I made a no-bake cream cheese flan! I really did! I myself was surprised hahaha. I don’t know and am not really interested in cooking/baking, you know. But the cream cheese called me. I even bought a baking pan to use hahaha.

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The presentation is blah but it is goooodddd! But then again, I’m biased to anything cheese 😛

Anyway, I just followed a recipe which I found in FB. It was easy to do. I even did it again at home for Saturday’s lunch but the one I made here was better and I have a hunch it was because of the cream cheese. I used Arla on my first try and Philadelphia last Saturday. I liked the taste of Arla better though. I’ll do this again and will adjust the caramelized sugar as it was too sweet to my liking. I will also try another cream cheese.

It was my first time to try Godiva chocolate. A teammate brought it back from his trip. Thank you! I don’t see this in SM though so I’m not sure where it’s being sold here in PH.

Godiva

Chocolate is always happiness! 🙂

So that’s about it.

Have a great week ahead.

Goal: Buy Less, Want Less

Buy Less, Want Less

This was one of my goals in 2016 which I was able to successfully accomplish. I did not ban myself from shopping. I was just more mindful of my purchases. Besides, generally, I am not an impulsive buyer because I easily get frustrated especially when trying out clothes that I like but don’t fit hahaha!

However, I had my fair share of moments in the past where I bought things in the hopes that these will fit me after a month. As if. Of course it did not happen so those things go to the someday, maybe pile. And I don’t want to add to this pile anymore, hence this goal.

How did I do it?

In February 2016, I listed down every single clothing I own. I then set aside those that I cannot or don’t see myself using in the future and gave them away to my family. I had a hard time letting go to be honest, but I really wanted to purge so I just closed my eyes and dumped them in the “To be given away” bag.

I also assessed how many pieces of items I really NEED for each category. For instance, how many office blouses and pants must I own given my nature of work and work schedule? If I have x blouses, will I still have something to wear during the days I can’t do laundry because work is busier than usual or my social life was suddenly activated, hence no time during the weekends which I usually use for domestic chores? Do I really need more than 10 pairs of socks? How many casual shirts do I actually own? Do I need more? Do I need to give some away?

I did that exercise for maybe a week during my free time.The final output was a tally of how many I should have, how many I currently own, how many more do I need to buy or how many excess do I have and how many are in my someday, maybe pile and this includes those that fit in the past hehehehe. After all the tallying, while I lack a few items to complete my projected numbers, there are still a lot of items in the maybe, someday pile. And also, how in hell did I accumulate so many pairs of socks?!!!! Hahaha!

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My inventory of the things I own as of February 2016.

I saved the stats in my phone. From then on, every time I want something, I check the stats first to see if I still lack items for that category. Most of the time, this curbed my impulse to just buy, especially if I see dismal numbers under “pile”. It also did not fail to remind me that I had enough stuff and no need to buy more. Once or twice though, I have to admit, I think I hoarded some shirts but simply because some of my current shirts already need replacements.

I need to update that file now since I think I still gave away a few pieces after February. I also now need to check the things I currently use, especially my office outfits, to make sure that these are still in good condition, colors included.

I also need to do this exercise again in case there are items I am now willing to let go.

I will continue doing this until I am able to fit everything in 1 panel of the cabinet in the apartment. But to be able to have everything in that 1 panel, I should really work hard in shrinking my body so that those under “pile” will be put to use again. I still refuse to give them away because these were favorite shirts and blouses when I was slimmer hahaha!

Aside from helping me purge stuff that I don’t anymore need, I also realized that at least I am not too attached to my things and that I can easily let go of them. I don’t even remember the items I gave away. I just get reminded when I see them worn by my sisters or my aunt. Hehehe.

2017 Week 3: First Break After Holidays

January 9-15, 2017

Work

Workload now is a continuation of last year’s projects so at least there are things to do at the start of the year.

Personal Tasks Completed

  • Write the year end reviews of my 2016 goals and 2016 Financial goals
  • Reflect and write about my 2017 goals
  • Deposit payment for all things I need to pay. One bank account is BPI and the other is Security Bank for my niece’s tuition so I can’t do online banking. Boo.
  • Buy the book 4 Disciplines of Execution. This is required by my boss as mandated by higher management. This will be our guide in doing things this 2017. One of the projects I will handle this year is actually based on the concepts from this book.

Weekend

I purposefully did not plan anything this weekend so this was my first real break after the holidays.

I used the time for some Bejeweled type games on my phone, and domestic chores like laundry and mending some clothes. I also fixed the layout of some posts that were distorted when I migrated to my own domain. There are still a few posts to fix.

I am going down in the next 2 weekends so I purchased my tickets at Victory Liner using their online reservation. This is good news for me. While there’s an additional charge because you are required to pick a seat, and not all schedules are available online, this is still better especially for trips that are planned way ahead of time.

I just went out on Sunday to attend the last evening mass.

While it was uneventful and I don’t have interesting stories, my wallet and I are happy because I was able to cut costs hehehe.

Winding down now while watching What to Expect When You Are Expecting on Channel 2 hehehe.

Have a great week ahead.

2017 Goals

It’s a brand new year and so here is a list again to target to achieve for 2017.

  1. Visit at least 6 mountains doable via day hikes. I used to hike in the past years and I kind of miss that.
  2. Read at least 6 books.
  3. Attend at least 2 online courses related to my job.
  4. Start living a healthier life by starting my weight loss journey. I failed this in 2016 and I hope to have a successful start this year. My target is to lose at least 40 lbs. this year.
  5. Reduce my garbage footprint. I’ll talk more about this in a separate post.
  6. Stick to my 2017 financial budget.
  7. Continue construction of my Sayote Kingdom in Baguio, especially its exterior. The plan now is to work on a section as soon as there is enough cash saved.
  8. At least 1 local travel.
  9. At least 1 international travel. Thinking of South Korea in December just because I want to experience winter!

Keeping it short since I am still contemplating on going back to school and if that happens, most of my free time will be spent with doing school related requirements.

Financial Goals for 2016: Year End Review

Aannddd reality check for these 2016 financial goals too!

Statuses:

  • Completed! – as in done/finished
  • On track – met based on budget file
  • Not yet started – not yet started based on target start date on budget file
  • Quite – met but budget not followed (lesser than what was in my budget file)
  • Not met – target not met based on budget file
  1. Religiously pay SK-LU. 5 months to go! Excited to mark this as completed!
    • Mid: Completed! – Last payment made this month! Ahhhhh, so happy happy!
    • End: N/A
  2. Save 50k for processing of papers for SK-LU. After completing the payment in June, I’ll have the same budget reallocated to this.
    • Mid: Not yet started
    • End: Quite – Just need to save 35K as confirmed by agent. 85% completed.
  3. Religiously pay SK-Silang. 2 years to go.
    • Mid: On track – many more months to go :p
    • End: Completed! – for all payments for 2016. 1 year to go!!!!
  4. Save 50k for lot processing of SK-Bgo.
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Not met – saved amount will be used for the completion of the SK.
  5. Save 35k for CR of SK-Bgo
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Quite – the saved amount will not be for the CR yet.
  6. Increase EIP allocation to 3k/month
    • Mid: On track – started March 2016
    • End: On track
  7. Increase MF to 20k (carry over from previous years)
    • Mid: Quite – still catching up with the savings but haven’t made any deposits to FAMI yet
    • End: Not met – Reallocated budget for nieces, plus, I’ll stop my FAMI contributions for now.
  8. Add 20k-30k to COL
    • Mid: On track
    • End: Quite – 2K deficit to 20K. Was not able to increase this but I opened another investment account instead.
  9. Save 80k for Project BD (new in my budget file)
    • Mid: On track
    • End: Completed! – and even exceeded by a few thousands hehehe
  10. Religiously save 3k/month for niece’s tuition
    • Mid: On track – I can’t wait for her to graduate hahaha!
    • End: On track – Crossing my fingers that she’ll finish her studies on time.
  11. Set aside a Tulong fund
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Not met – I decided in the end to not allocate for this on a regular basis due to other allocations. I just check which ones to sacrifice if I need to shell out for items not in my budget.
  12. Continue saving for an international travel
  13. Set aside 10k for December 2016
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Completed! – met this, and allocated some more, hence the Tagaytay trip
Summary:
7/13 – On track/Completed
3/13 – Not met
3/13 – Quite
Ok, happy to see that I was able to meet most of my financial goals. Those that were not met were because I had to re-prioritize and reallocate them to other things.
Praying for wisdom to better manage my financial blessings in 2017.

2016 Goals: Year End Review

Before I forget all about my year end updates for my 2016 goals, here it goes.

Just like what most companies do where they have regular business reviews, I also like to have at least a mid-year and year-end review of the goals I made early this year, just to check how I am doing and ensure that I am still on track.

This year’s focus will be: chill, family, health, wealth.

Statuses:

  • Completed! – as in done/finished
  • On track – met as of time of review
  • Not yet started – not yet started as of time of review
  • Quite – met but there were deviations
  • Not met – target not met
  1. Chill
    • Mid: Quite – There were stressful moments but I just kept quiet and pushed myself to just do whatever it is that needs to be done.
    • End: Quite – It was more stressful at work when the 2nd half of the year rolled in so my patience and grace under pressure was really challenged. The good news is, I survived!!!!  😀 😀 😛
  2. Buy less, want less
    • Mid: On track – All items bought were needed.
    • End: On track – While I think I went overboard with shoes last year, I still did not overdo it, that’s for sure.
  3. Stick with financial budget for 2016. I made a new list specifically for my financial goals after posting my 2016 goals in January. I just feel that it’s more effective and more inspiring for me if I track my financial goals separately.
    • Mid: Separate update here.
    • End: Separate update to follow.
  4. Get additional income stream
    • Mid: Not yet started
    • End: Quite – I tried something recently but I’ll still see how it goes.
  5. Spend more time with family
    • Mid: Quite – Spent some time with some siblings last Feb, to support my brother and his family since he lost his mother-in-law. Had a picnic at Burnham Park on Easter Sunday for my birthday celebration with family. No event in Q2.
    • End: Completed! – there were meet ups during the 2nd half, plus we siblings all made the effort to at least spend time especially during the holidays.
  6. Get down to my ideal weight
    • Mid: Negative. Pfffft!
    • End: Negative. Another pfftttt! Admittedly, I excessively ate all kinds of junks especially during those stressful months at work.
  7. Start training for a marathon
    • Mid: I am not sure about this anymore.
    • End: I am still not sure about this at this time.
  8. Push with Japan Travel
    • Mid: On track – Return tickets bought, accommodations booked.
    • End: Completed! – read all about our Japan adventures here
  9. Go back to school
    • Mid: Not yet started – Still undecided.
    • End: Not met – Things got crazy at work and that time, I thought that it was a wise decision to not take on too much as my stress levels were at its highest.
  10. Become an early riser
    • Mid: Quite – I have been forcing myself to sleep earlier in recent weeks so that I can wake up earlier. I try as much as I can to sleep by 12 AM, 1 AM at the most so that I can wake up at 7 AM, after 6-7 hours of sleep.
    • End: Quite – It really depends on what time I finish at work.
  11. Journal more
    • Mid: On track – My total posts to date are already more than my total posts for the whole year at least for the past 5 years.
    • End: Completed! – The fact that I completed my monthly updates for 52 weeks was already a guarantee that I was able to meet this.

Summary:

4/11 – completed/on track

4/11 – quite

3/11 – not met

Thank you, 2016. Looking forward to my adventures for 2017.

2017 Week 2: Back to the Daily Grind

January 2-8, 2017

Ok, so the holidays are over and so we’re back to the daily grind.

I traveled back to Manila on January 2. Thank you, Lord for a safe trip that night.

Work was just picking up from what we all left when most of us went for that much needed break on the last week of December.

I met with my friend’s family on January 3. They are based in SG now and are here for a visit. We ate at Gangnam Wings at SM Megamall. The store is located at the strip, Mega A side. It specializes on Korean fried chicken.

Our orders:

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Fried chicken. I liked the chicken. It’s crispy but not too oily.

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Spicy seafood noodle but we requested a less spicy version.

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Watermelon with soju. This was refreshing. Good thing they did not mix the soju so we had control on the amount of alcohol to add to the watermelon hehe.

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Rock melon bingsu. Fresh fruit and ice cream. Winner!

Weekend

My friend and I met up on Saturday to catch up on some of the MMFF movies. We watched Die Beautiful, Vince & Kath & James and Sunday Beauty Queen.

Paulo Ballesteros (Die Beautiful) would have been beautiful if he was a woman hehehe.

Vince & Kath & James was really for teens hahaha! It was also ok though. We enjoyed laughing at the crowd’s reactions. There were 2 groups who were quite loud. One is obviously rooting for Vince and the other one for James. While it can get irritating at times, we just had fun laughing at them because their reactions to some of the scenes can really be hilarious hehehe.

The most touching movie for me was Sunday Beauty Queen. This is a documentary about OFWs in Hong Kong. I have seen again that life is not really fair and it gets tough and tougher for some of us. Hence, we should always be thankful for all of our blessings, no matter how small these are.

I went to mass on Sunday and then to the mall as I need to replace some blouses and I was hoping to score some from the end of season sale. Mission accomplished as I was able to buy 3 blouses, which was my goal.

Next stop was the grocery for some supplies before going home.

The end.

Have a great week ahead.

The Power of the Selfie Stick

I bought a selfie stick to be used at home, and in anticipation of our trip over the holidays.

This was what my phone contained on the day I and my nieces started using it. That little lady in red dominated my phone and the selfie stick. My phone was filled with her photos and videos. I’m not complaining though. At least as early as now, I already have some things to blackmail her for when she becomes hard-headed when she grows older hahaha!

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Thank You, Dear Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all the blessings in 2016, most especially for keeping me in your tight embrace during those times that I was frustrated, angry, tired, impatient, uninspired, ungrateful and doubtful of Your plans for me.

Thank you for all the blessings that You will give me in 2017 no matter how undeserving I am. I know that You know my heart’s desires. I’m claiming that You will grant them all in Your perfect time.

Guide me so that all that I do will be for Your glory. All for you, Lord. Amen.

2017 Week 1: Holiday Break Part 4

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

December 31 – January 1

Happy New Year!

Our new year was just low key. Lesser people than what we used to have in the past. But we still prepared a few dishes in case there are visitors on New Year’s lunch.

My niece will be joining a Math contest so I helped her review a little. Her reviewer contains all worded problems. Worded problems are now for Grade 1 students?! The questions are tricky that I cannot even get the correct answers on first attempt. Tsk tsk tsk.

I asked my brother to run to the grocery for the things we need the following day.

I went up to my sister’s place before 12 AM for the bonfire, bbq, hotdogs, marshmallows and fireworks watching. We don’t need our own fireworks display because a lot of our faraway neighbors take care of that hehehe. Thanks, neighbors! I did not take pictures anymore because I want to focus on just watching and enjoying those fireworks.

We siblings, except for my brother’s family in Tagaytay, gathered at my place on January 1 for lunch. My auntie, uncle and 2 of their kids joined us too. My cousin’s kid came over too.

I prepared salad. My other siblings prepared their own food and just brought it at my house for all of us to feast on.

I went out in the afternoon for mass but had to go home right away for fear that there will be no transportation available if I stayed out longer hehehe.

January 1 was spent eating, exchanging stories, sleeping and eating again hehehe.

Happy New Year again!

Bonfire 2017 edition.

Bonfire 2017 edition.

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