"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My New Year’s Resolutions 2015 Edition

That’s how I would describe 2014 as it comes to a close.
I’ve had some ups and downs. I’ve dealt with too much especially during the second half of the year, and it tested my patience to no ends. But I figured, it’s getting out of my comfort zone and doing a little sacrifice that will define where I will be in the years to come. If it is for the fulfillment of my ambition, then so be it.
But I’ve had emotional blows, even unnecessary comments coming from people whom I expected to support me and yet all I got was... meh
Still, there is a reason why I am moving on. And so, here are my resolutions for 2015 and may the Year of the Sheep be gentler to me.
1.       Consume Only The Good (What’s good for the mind and body)
On the more obvious side, I would want to stick to only organic products and highlight them. I am making a conscious effort to live a healthier and greener lifestyle. On the other hand, I have the choice to believe what I want to believe. I can feed my mind and body with positivity and not let the negatives get to me in any way, no matter who they’re coming from. Which leads me to....
2.       Learn To Say No
Because people around me know that I like to be kept busy and that they can play up my contributions, I am now aware that I have the power to say no. Many times this year I have been approached and asked to do things that didn’t even benefit me or the direction in which I would like to take. In short, it all meant wasted time. But I learned to choose my priorities and the people who are really close to me.
3.       Keep Moving, Keep Going
This applies both ways. I have to physically keep moving and to keep going so that I am not affected by the negativity that comes my way. Sure, everybody around me is entitled to be an expert, but after they have said their piece, that’s done and I learn to move on. I have relatives who apparently have an opinion on everything, and sometimes it is just a reflection on how unhappy they are in their lives. I keep these thoughts to myself of course, because I don’t want to appear arrogant, but the aura overflows from their pores.
For the record, I pretty much stuck to last year’s resolutions. There were only two of them and I’m proud to say that I stuck with them:
Save Up- I’m now smarter when it comes to handling finances and I saved up! Better to start early. Money has to be earned and a portion of it saved for the rainy days. The spending portion has to be budgeted.  
Do Some Art- this one was easy and I’m still doing some now. I have transitioned from colored pens to paper cut-outs and now I have a set of acrylic paints to go crazy over. It’s my therapy.
But this year I made new friends and gained new experiences and also discovered that I have a meaningful ability and vocation where I am good at. I am also able to thrive very well in a place of my own, and it only goes to show that I can do well when I leave the nest.
For 2015, I know that I am going to overcome really big challenges like never before. If I want to go places, I know that I have to adjust and that I have to give my best shot it securing qualifications that mean something to me. I know that I have to go after my dreams and not someone else’s image of what success looks like. I can be happy.
What are your resolutions for 2015? How was 2014 for you?

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

OMG Accessories: Holiday Jewelry Favorites for 2014

I guess jewelry is one of the most memorable gifts that anyone can receive this season. Why not? The right style can be worn to many occasions this time of year and all it takes is some mixing and matching. But the holidays call for some dressing up and meeting people. Here are some holiday favorites that can inspire you to accessorize. 

Sonja Necklace and Bracelet by Avon

With a statement necklace like this, you don’t need big earrings to steal the show. Let this elegant pair do the talking, they match any little black dress and nude pumps. 

 Charm Lockets by Achi Kaye

What makes these charm lockets special is that each one is unique. The charms alone have their own stories to tell. Also, they can be worn alone over a simple plain tee and jeans plus wedges to match. They can also be layered up with various long necklaces.

I gifted my mother a charm necklace that contains the charms that reflect her personality- a KitchenAid pink mixer, a pink flower, a pink cupcake and perfume. What’s great with a charm necklace like this is that it’s a good gift not just for Christmas but also for Valentine’s and even for graduation or birthdays. Good news if you are in Zamboanga, our family friend Achi Kaye, sells this.  I'm really just so happy that she made time for me despite the Christmas shopping rush and she assembled this for me. For only Php 1,100 this month, you can get three charms with your chosen locket styles. It's time for you to personalize your locket and if you reach a new milestone in your life, simply add a charm.

 Blue Charm Bracelet and Blue Bib Necklace

Do you have a costume party to go to but don’t have the time to make a costume on such short notice? Here’s an idea- grab a royal blue dress, wear accents of blue, braid your hair to one side, add pops of blue on your eyes, wear heels-yep, you’ve guessed it right. You can be Queen Elsa without the overused Disney character costume. 

 It doesn’t matter though if your jewelry falls in a smaller budget range. What matters is that you know how to match them with the pieces in your closet. Always aim for sleek styles and remember that less is more. 

I hope you're all having a good time with your loved ones. This is for you my dear readers. Happy holidays! 


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Raisie Speaks: 4 Gift Ideas for Bookworm Friends

Hey everybody! 

Do you have close friends who are bookworms? (Almost all of my friends from university are not just collectors but book hoarders! These are the hardcore, I-don’t-wanna-part-with-my-books-like-EVER-bookworms. Yeah I’m looking at you Ate K and J!) =p 

Do you often have trouble finding them a gift during the holidays? I’ve put together a gift guide to help you sort out the dilemma, chances are you can come up with something more affordable that is still just as cute, or this list can serve as inspiration for you to zero in on the best Christmas gift you can get your bookworm friends-after all, you know them well enough to gauge what it is that they really want. 

1. Elegant Bookmarks

Whether personalized or store-bought, it’s the thought that counts. You can give your bookworm friends something for them to put in between pages to replace those grocery receipts and even tissue paper as bookmarks. You can either
a.       Make them a personalized ribbon bookmark
b.      Buy them a magnetic bookmark
c.       Or get them a fancy shepherd’s hook bookmark

I'm a huge fan of Ma'am Yen's shepherd's hook bookmarks because they are just so memorable and very pretty. There are other designs like mermaids and dragonflies but I always pick up the dragons.

2. Statement Bookends

I just think that fun bookends can be great accents for any shelf and the kind of bookend you select can also reflect the genre of the books your friends are into. For example, a katana bookend will go well with any Asian Lit selection, this Lost Head in Book version can be good for Philo and other related genres. Could you guess what selection will suit the Falling Bookend? 
 Photo Source: Quirks

 3. Book Totes

This is more than just dual-purpose, it is also an essential. Any bookworm will definitely be grateful for a book tote that is exclusively used for weekend reads, notebooks and journals. Throw in a bunch of pens and highlighters as well as bookmarks and post-its for those favourite quotes. Want to go extreme? Include a tin of sugar cookies! This design definitely hits the spot! 

 Note: Look for materials that are durable, the straps should be able to support heavy weight especially if your bookworm prefers hardbound books. 

4. Latest Releases From Their Favourite Authors

Some friends (who are huge fans of this or that author) might have eyes on the latest release and still might not have time to go to the bookstore, or may live too far away. Zamboanga needs more bookstores, I’ve heard this so many times. But if you happen to have an advantage, you might want to check out your friends' shelves and compare what they have or don't have. 

If you have the budget, you can get that final book of Sandman to complete the library, or get the latest Murakami flown in from Barnes and Noble (hand-carried, thank you very much) or the latest Stephen King that won't be released in the Philippines until after January 2015 but has been released in the US already. Hey, even your mother would appreciate a new cookbook for the holidays in the kitchen!

If there is anything I know about bookworms, it is the fact that they appreciate fun gifts or items that can protect their books for a long time, or even if you simply get them anything that can go on their shelves. 

What are you going to get your bookworm friends for the holidays? Here's a secret, I'm going to gift the dragon bookmark to someone really special! Clue: Year of the Dragon =)