Takeaways: Meaningful Christmas

Have you ever celebrated an occasion for the sake of just getting by traditions? For years, we celebrated Christmas as if it was about us.

Being in the retail business, Christmas season is always our busiest time of the year. My parents are always tired come December 25th. So we usually stay at home and just have lunch together.

In 2014, I proposed that we make our Christmas day meaningful. I wanted to really make it different so Chelsea and I came up with game ideas and activities.

It was truly one of the most memorable Christmas celebrations because we had fun while playing games! We had a game where the players need to memorize a bunch of words.

Through the games, I sensed everybody’s excitement especially my mom!

As always, we still wear the customary red shirts.

We also wrote letters to each other. Chelsea painted these greeting cards.

My mom was silently writing as we played music.

At the end of the day, we prayed as a family and sang worship songs. It was a very memorable time! I led the discussion about prayer and asked my dad’s help.

We got a bit emotional as we shared God’s faithfulness in our lives!

I realized that spending the Christmas season with God and loved ones can be meaningful. As long as we know the reason why we celebrate, we find a deeper meaning behind all the traditions.

I also realized that it is important to be mindful of the activities that we do to celebrate. We should always ask “Is it drawing me closer to God?”.

Lastly, make it fun and memorable!

Merry Christmas,

Jannel

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

A great read while preparing for my Mount Pulag hike!

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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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Takeaways: Art of Tidying (Part 3)

notepads from Japan
Notepads sold in one of the quaint stores near a shrine in Japan

I am a huge collector of pens and other stationery items! This is my soft spot. I am drawn to collect things that are nice and kawaii. My sisters would often remind me that I still have a pile of unused notebooks and I have a bunch of colored pens when we see items that are sold in stalls. They would often accompany me while shopping so that I will not get side tracked.

pens from national bookstore
I tried to find the cheapest but still easy-to-use pen so I bought black pens from different brands.

Confession No. 2—I am having a hard time getting rid of cute pens that were already used up. As I go through the discarding process, I realized that no matter how small they are, they add to the clutter. Marie Kondo’s book helped me see used items in a different light. She reminded me that once the item is already used up, it already served its purpose. I also realized that I am so attached to things like these but whether I keep them or not, it wouldn’t matter several years from now, more so in eternity.

cute pen
isn’t this cute?

I started my decluttering process by grouping the things that have the same function as the book suggested. Through this exercise, I realized that I was not able to designate a storage space for most of the items I purchased. Also, because they were located in multiple locations, I wasn’t able to track how much of the like items are still in store. The decluttering process is the same as that with clothing. Discard on the basis of what sparks joy. In this case, I took into consideration my style and preferences.

sorting stationery items
crazy scene!

While I already discarded most of the unwanted stuff, I still struggle to let go of craft materials that are lovely. I once bought this rope in divisoria while tasked to buy craft materials for Christmas. It looks so good. I tried doing these pom poms out of it but it wouldn’t work. Anyone who knows how to make it useful?

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the ropes, corks, & burlap among others

For the storing part, I used clean shoe boxes to temporarily store the stationery items that I have. One box each for washi tapes, letter pads, label supplies, pens and cases, and stickers. I still have to buy storage containers for my unused notebooks, note pads and sticky notes. I’m thinking of purchasing the carton boxes from National Bookstore to match with the box that my aunt gave me several years ago. In lieu of the box, I rearranged the things contained in a part of the cabinet to store these as well as other toys like lego pieces. I also tried to apply what Marie Kondo taught in the book regarding the way we should keep our items. She said that we should store anything vertically. Through this method, we will be able to easily see the stuff that we own. We will also have an easier access since we don’t need to take out the things on top. It totally made sense to me. I wasn’t able to realize this before reading the book.

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Vertically arranged letter pads. Now I can easily scan which ones to use

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I also compiled some interesting ideas from Pinterest as crafts room inspiration (Please check my board here). I’m moving back to my parents’ house in a few months so I’ll see from there. For the mean time, I am happy that I can already remember where I store the items that I need and that I am already able to use the things that I bought for my journal and other projects.

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several unused notebooks and note pads are temporarily stored here.
Storage space
In progress crafts & books organization
gadget storage space
This is where the miscellaneous items are stored before. I became more intentional in using this space after reading the book.
pending files folder
This is where pending items go. I grabbed my parents’ identification pictures because they are so cute!

I realized that just by tweaking how we organize, we will be able to make use of the stuff that we have more efficiently. I also realized that these stationery products must serve a higher purpose other than displaying their beauty in a box. They ought to be used or given away! They have to serve a purpose like making others happy by sending them greeting cards.

stickers from Japan
I only used one because they are so cute! I bought this strip from Yurindo in Tokyo

I learned that I need a conscious effort to tidy up my space. The things that I use will not return to its proper place. I also learned that our things should have a designated area. It reminds me of the time when I visited Japan. All cars should have parking spaces so that there won’t be street clutter.

sticky notes.jpg

Lastly, this process taught me that buying excessive stationery products cannot satisfy me. Although they give me pleasure, it won’t last. Only Jesus can satisfy the longing of my soul.

How do you store your stuff? How do you make sure that you utilize them wisely?

stay inspired,

Jannel

Happy Monday + Updates

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you’re having a blast doing your work. As for me, I will be on a hiatus mode. For the coming month, I will be taking things slowly asking God for clearer directions in my life. I took a break from work knowing that my current job is not in line with my long term plans. I hope everything will turn out to be alright (edit–I know everything will turn out for the best. I just need to trust God). For the meantime, here are my favorite blogs. I hope you can visit them:

Joy Cho of Oh Joy- link to blog

Tricia Gosingtian of Tricia will go places- link to blog

and

The Simple Things magazine- link to blog

stay inspired,

Jannel

Tips on Thursdays: themed photos

Hi there! How’s your week going so far? For today’s tips, I’m sharing how to you can prepare color coordinated photos in your phone library or instagram.

Tip #1. Choose a theme. I usually prepare a theme for a week in order for me to easily pick my subjects, outfits, and style my journal. This week I picked black and white.

Tip #2. Use the same filters. I use the same filter for each of the photographs in order for them to have a uniform look. I also put an instax frame to make it more vintage.

Tip #3. Take photos of random stuff. I took photos of the falling leaves, water bottle, and outfits during the week.

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have fun,

Jannel

Thoughts on Tuesdays: Reflections on Toruk

A couple of weeks back, I got the chance to see Toruk:The First Flight held in Mall of Asia together with my relatives. It was one of those Cirque de Soleil tours where actors do different stunts as the story goes. I expected it to be more lively but it turned out to be more dramatic.

The story was about the village of Pandora and the two brothers who had a long journey to get articles from the sub-villages. These articles would then be used to save Pandora from the foreseen disaster.

As always, I try to get life lessons from anything. Here are my realizations while watching the show:

  • Creativity comes in different forms. In order to make the show, there were orators, dancers, singers, prop makers, make up artists and directors. Each one has been given a different talent essential to make the show outstanding.

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Balancing Act. The beam looks sturdy!

  • Technology helped a lot in the props making. Instead of using three dimensional props to recreate a scene taken from the sea, the directors used audio visual projectors instead.

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  • The dancers took time to train really well. It takes a certain amount of time to master the moves especially for the people who did aerial stunts. I applaud them! I was inspired to practice yoga and pilates to gain more flexibility.

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Here are the other photos that I took during the show:

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Stay inspired,

Jannel

Courage to start

I always wanted to start a blog but my perfectionist tendencies dictate that I research some more, try to figure out the best title, work on to make sure the blog will be a success. I ended up not making progress one and a half years later!

Courage to change my hair style

Recently I realized that in almost all areas of my life I am afraid to try because  I am afraid to fail. I listed down things that I really wanted to do in life but kept delaying because I reason that I am not ready for each of them– this blog included. I always like to remind my sister not to cram for exams and projects but I ended up doing the same. 

May this blog post (and my new hair style) remind me of the courage that I need in order to do great things for God and others. 

 

 Psalm 3:5-6

I lie down and asleep!

I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 

I will not fear though tens of thousands 

Assail me on every side. 

Stay posi,

Jannel