Happy Monday + Updates 10.16.17

How are you all? It was a week full of meetups with family and friends. It was fun to get updates from them but it was also exhausting! As an introvert I have to sneak in some quiet moments to recharge.

While waiting for Michelle at Fully Booked.

Business + self help books

Meet ups with Michelle after a year! We attended a very interesting videography conference but more than it was a great time catching up with her stories! I realized that we both appreciate beauty and excellence.

Meeting people also meant getting to try food that I don’t usually eat on a daily basis.

Duck and noodles for starters during our family’s mooncake festival.

We also played the customary dice game!

I also got to know more about my cousins and other relatives during our family dinner. Janine made this penguin bookmark on her own. This is so cute! We might have inherited some creative genes from our grandmother!

Dara gave 2 tea bags (with no caffeine) during our high tea. I was so energized after we discussed about our learnings about God, ourselves and other people. It was great catching up with her too!

I was able to finish reading Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy. I was reminded that we shouldn’t settle for mediocrity. Our lives are more than just having worldly success.

Capped off the week by going to Circuit Makati for our group’s mini outreach. Jefferson (beside Chelsea) wants to be a police man someday while Yuri (wearing olive green shirt) wants to be a soldier. These kids are so attentive and adorable! They were so eager to learn about God! This experience reminded me that God is the one who works in our hearts but He wants us to take part in sharing Him to others.

Have a fruitful week ahead!



What to Wear in Mt. Pulag (For Those Who Easily Feel Cold)

A great read while preparing for my Mount Pulag hike!

Just Go Ge

Mt. Pulag 29 Just Go GeFrom L to R: Jovs, Anna, I, Jonathan, and Faus. (the always last in line group, haha)

Weeks before we set out to Mt. Pulag, my biggest concern was the right clothes to wear. I can endure long hours of walking but I doubt my body could survive the freezing weather. I easily feel cold.

My solution: read through blogs and look into outfit photos. And two important things I’ve learned: Layer up and (try hard to) stay dry.

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In the kitchen: desserts I’m lovin’

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. Today I’m going to share some desserts that I’m lovin’ as of the moment.

Heidi dark chocolate with pistachios. We actually stored this bar for quite some time now. It’s amazing how my sisters forgot some food when they are stored in the cupboard. Before, we had a bad habit of storing food beside the dining table so food was easily accessible.

This cute cookie bear from Dara.

Saba con yelo from Kanin club. I like the coconut jellies and the saba in this cup.

Yellow kiwi. I’m not sure why it ended up in our fridge. Most of the time, Teaz buys the green one because it’s sweeter. I guess it landed here for a change. We need to alter our diet and habits once in a while.

What’s your favorite desserts so far?

Stay inspired,


Thoughts: 24 lessons I learned as I turn 24 (Part 2)

Hi everyone! This is a sequel to my previous post. I recently turned 24. Yay! As always, I write reflections and thoughts for every experience, event or learnings from people I meet. I deemed it timely to share 24 lessons that I learned through the years.

I hope you’ll find this article useful.

THIRTEEN- Live with a war time mind set. 

A few years back I was sitting in the pew during our church’s prayer time. As our Pastor shared the Psalm for the week, he also shared John Piper’s book called Don’t Waste Your Life. It is one of my favorite books and I try to read it again and again in order to be reminded that we are here on earth for a short time. We need to make every moment count. We need to be good stewards of our time.

This is also the reason why I had a shift in perspective regarding shopping and spending idle time.

I encourage you to read this book! It is free for download. Just click the link above.

FOURTEEN- Make others feel good. 

I am a very sensitive person. I tend to be very happy for a moment then sad for the next several hours. I am easily affected by circumstances and words of other people. I guess it’s just part of my personality but I think it is not an excuse to make others feel bad.

I am still working on this but thank God for Joy’s mom for her example! We can be joyful even if we feel disappointed.

FIFTEEN- Live with less. 

I wasted a lot of parent’s resources when I made bad decisions. I tend to buy unnecessary stuff but they all ended up sitting on the table. After a while, I realized that I am not being a good steward of the resources that God has given me or my family.

Recently, I have been more conscious with what I buy or consume. Maybe because I am already working and spending my own hard earned money. I learned that we can enjoy life by living with less. It also helps us to clear our thoughts when our spaces are not cluttered.

SIXTEEN- Be in the moment. 

There are a lot thoughts popping in my mind as I write this line. I better understood myself after reading a series of blog posts by Katie Kuo especially this one regarding day dreaming. My sister will often get angry at me when I could not keep up with what she’s saying. I think this explains why.

I need to remind myself to be in the moment. To focus on every word that some people are talking about. I think looking at them in the eye helps.

I also deem it useful to bring my notebook with me and write down what I observe. It helps me to be immersed.

SEVENTEEN- Allow yourself to fail. 

I am afraid of failing. Everyone is looking up on me especially during my elementary and high school years. I am afraid of seeing myself lose. Thankfully, after failing a subject in college, this fear was lessened.

I’m not sure how to do this either but maybe trying to do something that you like will help you accept failure.

I learned that failures are not the end. They’re like closed doors of opportunities. We should just keep on knocking on different doors so that we’ll find the right door. But of course we must choose wisely!

EIGHTEEN- Read. Read. Read. 

I hated reading when I was a kid. I cannot stick to a page without moving uneasily. I preferred making up stories while playing with my sisters or browsing my aunt’s pile of magazines. I got sick of my dad constantly reminding me to try reading.

This changed when a relative gave us a Magic Tree House book. It was really interesting and short. I started reading this series but always wondered why I could not find the purpose of doing it.

When I joined a camp and had to leave because I got sick, we dropped by at the nearby National Book Store because I asked my dad. I saw Sean Covey’s book entitled 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I knew I wanted to try reading that book after seeing the adult version from my dad’s shelf. After reading this book, I realized that I am interested in non fictional books–business, self help and inspirational.

My dad would always brag about his reading achievements. He told me he could read a book in one sitting. I wanted to achieve that so I never stopped reading ever since.

My course also required us to read a lot! I guess I appreciated reading more!

NINETEEN- Learn something new today. 

I believe that we can learn something new every day. It can either be a skill or an information about something or somebody. We just have to be unconventional and try to look outside the box.

We can start by asking, “God what are you trying to teach me today?” too!

I love reading blogs because I can gain new insights and ideas from people around the world. My favorites are mentioned here. In addition, I also love Joy Mendoza’s blog.

We can also learn something new when we visit to a place we’ve never been to. Several weeks ago I had the privilege to get to see Dangwa, the flower district in Manila. I’ll be posting our photos and reflections separately.

TWENTY- Acknowledge that everything has a purpose. 

When we seek God, we gradually understand that even though we may not see a bird’s eye view of our lives, He can. We may not understand why we are going through a season in life but He knows. He knows everything about us.

I always go back to Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

That is also our mentoring group name.

TWENTY ONE- Give more. 

For the past several years, I always write a goal to give more but I could not. I guess it’s because it is a bit vague. They say that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I couldn’t agree more! My aunt has this generous spirit that is why people are naturally drawn to her.

Studies also show that people who give more are happier. They are also content. During the year, I hope I will be able to live by this lesson.

Setting aside a certain amount will be of help. We can give to our family, relatives, friends, organizations, and those in need.

TWENTY TWO- Eat what is right (and enjoy your food). 

During my high school years, I restricted myself to a lot of food types but never resisted anything sweet. This imbalance will probably cause me to be more diabetic prone.

After eating halo halo (filipino version of Bing su) in my university years, my tonsils suddenly hurt. I ate congee for several days but the pain would not subside. I visited an ENT doctor to check the swells. This incident occurred again after a year.

I learned to lessen my sweets during that time. God taught me to eat a balanced meal gradually. I am also learning to enjoy my food.

TWENTY THREE- Care less about how you look. 

I craved other people’s attention. I wanted to always stand out. My image became an idol. I cared about how people compliment my outfits or the way I look. I tend to get sad when nobody tells that I look pretty or that my dress looks great.

I guess it was connected to my clothes obsession (although I think my previous outfits were horrible looking back). Living with less means living with the basics.

I am learning to care less about the way I look. Instead, I wanted to exude a God given confidence so that other people will be blessed and will feel good.

TWENTY FOUR- Freebie suck. 

I am always thrifty. I bring food in school and at work. I also bring my water bottle with me. I love free stuff. I enjoy them! Through the years, I made a conscious effort to use free stuff or service as long as I can in order to save. I realized that we don’t need to spend to have a good time.


Happy monday + updates 10.9.17

Hi all! How was your week end? What interesting things did you do?

For me it was spending time with my aunts. It was a bit exhausting knowing that they love shopping. Although that is the case, being with them allowed me to get to know them–their current stories, joys, hurts and frustrations.

A family shopping at S&R.

Zests! I will be posting my top S&R picks separately. I love to see new packaging!

Our youngest sister was extremely talkative this week. She had the initiative to call and have a chat with me! Sometimes this girl makes pleasant surprises! She even showed me her work from Color Touch app.

I also attended an Ikebana exhibit with co-mentees. Our mentor Auntie Vangie did some for the exhibit. This particular piece is made out of chopsticks.

What I love about the Ikebana style of flower arranging is that it is both simple and elegant. They have a motto that you can arrange flowers any time and made out of anything.

Back to this street again with my aunt. She’s still so energetic! One time she’s even faster than me even at age 70.

Our former househelp came along with my aunt. She’s spoiling us with pasalubongs from Laguna! She knows I like their home made ube!

I was also able to finish reading Brave Enough by Nicole Unice. It was a really good book.

May we find the courage to do the hard things this week. Having the courage means saying yes to Jesus. It could mean praying for other people who have hurt you or going an extra mile to win a friend.

Enjoy the rest of the week!


Field trip: Ayala Triangle

The past fee weeks I frequent in Ayala Triangle park since Legaspi park is closed for renovation. Also, my cousin Kn needs a volleyball enrichment class with my sister.

I’m loving the green scenery! I wish I brought a picnic blanket!

I noticed that the branches were chopped. Maybe it’s time to groom them. Because of this, I am reminded that even trees need to be cut and “broken” so that they will grow better. In the same way, God prunes us in such a manner that we will grow more in love with Him.

Care free bags.

Kn and Khelly doing some drills while I’m half reading a book and looking at them so that I won’t get


Ball fascination. I tried to defeat my cousin so that we’ll both strive to do better. Confession– I suck in sports especially sports that has to do with balls!

It is such a joy to look up and see the sky and trees! How amazing! I love this view!

It was getting dark when Dara followed. I didn’t know she brought her dog with her. Her name is Eli. Surprisingly I wasn’t that afraid of her. I didn’t panic as usual. I guess it’s an improvement for me. I think God allowed this to happen so that I can overcome my fear of dogs.

Eli and six pack (another dog strolling in the park). Their colors complement each other!

Eli sniffing trees. I guess she also likes nature just as Dara does!

Loving the autumn look of the dried leaves. We just had to stop for a while to snap this photo.

Loving this silhouette when the sun was about to set.

I hope you had a great week! What are you going to do this week end? I hope you can stroll in a park!

Stay inspired,


Thoughts: 24 lessons I learned as I turn 24 (Part 1)

Hi all! As I’ve shared in my previous post, I just celebrated my 24th birthday. As always, I write reflections and thoughts for every experience, event or learnings from people I meet. I deemed it timely to share 24 lessons that I learned through the years. I hope you’ll find this article useful.

Jannel at 24

ONE- Know God.

I believe that we exist because God created us. He loves us and He has a wonderful plan for us. We are not created by accident. He longs for us to get to know Him. We are wired to have satisfaction when we know Him. As John Piper used to say, God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.

I learned it the hard way. I craved for new toys, new stationery items, and clothes. I delight in high grades and applause from relatives. I watched korean drama endlessly. All these give momentary pleasures but never really trully satisfy. I just feel tired chasing these.

Purpose driven life

When we know God or have the desire to know Him, we see a different perspective, a clearer perspective on life. We have that sense of purpose and peace and joy and satisfaction that only God can give.

Bible in One year

I encourage you to read your Bible. If it is your first time, start with the gospel of John. Read a chapter a day and write down what struck you in a journal. I just also started last year and God never fails to amaze me.

TWO- Know yourself. 

Knowing God is just a part of our existence. We also need to know ourselves. I believe that we are unique. Each one of us has a set of skills and talents. God also placed us strategically. He knows where we can best exalt Him.

Consider your strengths, weaknesses, personality and circumstances. Know where you excel and try to join in interest groups to gain more experience and knowledge. You can also look back to your childhood self. What do you enjoy doing? Are you good at it?

For example I like to draw, write, take photographs and sell stuff but I did not put in efforts to develop my talents. Recently I set up this blog to dedicate some time to practice writing and share some learnings with you. I am also helping my dad in the business. I hope it isn’t too late.


THREE- Set a vision for yourself. 

Well, it’s not really setting a vision for yourself in a way that you disregard God’s design. You envision yourself as God reveals.

I never really  sat down to think about this because it is mind boggling. However at this point in my life, I was somehow forced to do it because I got stuck. Although I still have a long way to go, I grabbed these pictures on the internet that somehow resonate with me.
I put it in collage form vision board as inspired by Nubby Twiglet. Create one for yourself too! Don’t settle to see it on your mind. Put it on paper and share it to your tribe. Start thinking about your future now!

Jannel's vision board

FOUR- Cherish time with your family.

family at manly

I think you heard this statement many times over. I cannot emphasize enough to value your grandparents, parents, siblings, uncles, aunties, cousins, and others in the family.

I am guilty of this because during high school years, I was so engrossed at extra curricular activities and anything school related. I was juggling leadership roles in several organizations while striving to top the class. I felt really exhausted but I was so thrilled in seeing myself get awards. I did not think about how my parents feel about this. I was selfish of my time.

When I studied in the university, I was living alone. I would cry because I miss them and would send random text messages to them. We became closer ever since. I would also constantly call my mom to share some stories. My dad on the other hand would share his stories to me!

FIVE- Share your life with someone else (and stick with it as long as you can).

lights and gloves

My parents brought me and my sisters along at church during sundays. I grew up in ‘sunday school’. We would perform during special occasions. My parents gave me and my sisters money to drop in the offering box. It became a tradition ever since.

I never knew something is lacking but I felt I was not growing enough. I struggled in my time with God. I also felt detached from other Christians.

When I joined a mentoring group in the church I am part of in Makati, that’s when I realized that we need others to keep us accountable. We also help them in their own journey in life.

To be honest, at first I did not feel I belong to this group. Or was I being a typical INFJ? I wanted to stop attending our weekly gatherings but I could not find any reason to leave aside from my feelings. Several years later I realized that I was hoping to feel loved but never really took the time to show love towards them.

After 6 years, I can see God’s work in our lives. We have grown more mature and our bond just got stronger. Several people come and go but we still keep in touch.

SIX- Meet new people and don’t be afraid to ask. 

 A muni meet up. Photo from Jen Horn

I was a very shy person back in elementary. I even refused to join a contest because I felt I will just humiliate myself. In the contrary, during the latter parts of high school, I joined a lot of events because extra curricular activities would result to additional points.

During university days, meeting new people meant gaining additional insights on various topics. It also meant having connections when you need people for surveys, professors as resource speakers and books for the term.

My dad encouraged me to meet new people. This gave me motivation to initiate conversations. I was also able to meet new people by joining an organization. Through Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), we did outreaches together with other volunteers. We would approach students during free times and talk about life and Christ.

It was quite exciting to hear their thoughts and reactions.

SEVEN- Spend time with like minded people.

While it is good to get to know new people, I realized that we also need to choose our friends wisely. I’d rather have a few close friends who share the same values and principles and who strive to move forward than friends who want to remain in status quo. People who want to grow and learn and be unconventional. People who want to make a difference and use their influence for good. People who want to do hard things.

EIGHT- Welcome spontaneity and be adventurous. 

jumping kid

I am a routine person. I’d like to know how my day looks like. I’d like to minimize surprises. As a student, I would prepare homework in advance. I am content of eating the same dish almost every day. I hated spontaneity. I carried this behavior even during my free times!

After I graduated from college, my week ends were usually free. I got a bit bored of the routine stuff. I cannot believe it took me five years before I get to see the shops near our place!

In the past several years, I would make a conscious effort to be more adventurous. I have to push myself to try going on a different route. I have to accompany Teaz so that we’ll get to buy ingredients we don’t normally use. I have to force my relatives to try a different cuisine or restaurant.

I realized that new places, food and experiences inspire us and make us more creative.

NINE- Life is full of choices. It’s either you choose one or the other.

market finds_ choices

For the longest time, I am troubled by this question–Can we live in luxury (or have a very comfortable life) at the same time have integrity in the business? I still cannot figure out the answer but one thing is for sure–for every decision that we make, there’s a trade off.

I realized that we need to make choices. Not deciding on anything is also a choice! These choices reflect our values and beliefs.

As an INFJ, I struggle in this area. Every viable option seem interesting. Until now, I haven’t figure out where I can excel but I choose to get to know myself better.

TEN- Reflect. 

notebook, pen and camera ready

Reflecting on life gives me the thought that I am making a progress every single day. I cannot pass a day without pausing. More so, I cannot pass a day without writing my thoughts, feelings and ideas. I hate hurried life! It just doesn’t make sense.

Reflecting allows us to be honest with how we feel towards God, ourselves and other people. It helps us process the things that occur to us or to the environment around us.

If you haven’t tried this yet, you might want to start writing a line per day. If this is still difficult, words or phrases may do.

Identifying songs relatable as of the moment is also good. Or how about taking a picture of what your day looks like?

ELEVEN- Discipline on sleep and exercise 

sleep essentials
sleep essentials–Pillow, socks and blanket

I disliked sleep and exercise especially when I was a kid. I just can’t wait to play and get everything be fixed. I suck in sports and couldn’t figure out why we need to exert effort to be in shape.

Later on, I realized that when we sleep and exercise we nurture ourselves. We help ourselves to do our tasks better. Both activities are not a waste of time.

I learned that when we sleep, we are trusting God that He will restore our bodies, protect us from harm and equip us for the tasks ahead.

I also learned to enjoy exercise when I learned how to swim and do pilates. I realized that we need to find the exercise that fits our style as well.

TWELVE- See beauty in everything 

Rainy day at Hosier Lane

I used to hate the rain and having to walk in the rain. I cannot bear the feeling of wet shoes and feet. I hate it when we are served with dishes that I disliked. I hate it when our flights get delayed.

Through the years, thank God my patience grew! Despite these seemingly unfavorable circumstances (on my part), I try to see the hidden beauty in the moment. I try to capture the rain drops or the people walking in the rain. I try to experiment on the food that I disliked. I try to talk to people when flights get delayed.

When we accept these circumstances and turn them into something good, we do not waste time. More so, we are able to have new realizations, create art or make new friends.