Happy Monday + updates 10.2.17

Hi! How is your day so far? Last week, I stayed most of the time in kn’s place. At first I was a bit scared because one time when I went there for sleepover I wasn’t able to sleep well. Thank God my sleep was really peaceful during my stay!

I also went there because the internet in our place was all used up. I didn’t know that we have to downgrade the quality of youtube videos so that the internet allocation won’t be used up immediately. Or I might have downloaded a lot!

Eating breakfast and at the same time writing reflections after a very refreshing jog around the campus! I already took several bites before I took this picture.

I met with my mentor, Ate Vaye, across the school. She was visiting student volunteers as well. I committed to accomplish several goals for the last 3 months of the year. Truly it is refreshing when we seek other people’s counsel. We shared a bunch of Jollibee’s peach mango pies!

I accidentally dropped my phone so I went with Nikki to Greenhills for repair. It feels brand new now! We also had a mini adventure along the way.

Sesame balls for dessert! Brought a mini notebook to document our trip.

I also watched The Painted Veil. Its cinematography is so cool! Through this movie, I was reminded that love forgives and that people can change.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day!

Jannel

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In the kitchen: home cooked meals (Part 1)

I love taking pictures of the food that I eat. Also, recently I wanted to document some dishes that Teaz cooks because I will be going back to my parent’s house. I want to incorporate some dishes to our daily meals.

Half cooked broccoli with baby corn. Teaz sautéed it with onions and garlic. I love this simple meal!

Chicken in soy sauce with pineapple chunks. I love the sweet taste of the pineapples mixed with the mild saltiness of the dish. In this picture the sauce was a bit dry already since Teaz cooked it for an hour before meal time.

Fried boneless bangus cut in four with no vinegar. I also love this simple dish especially the bangus belly!

What are you go-to meals? Do you prepare on your own? I hope I can try them as well.

Stay inspired,

Jannel

Happy Monday + updates 9.25.17

Hi everyone! Last week was full of celebration and dine outs because I just celebrated my 24th birthday.

My sister gave me statement earrings but when I wore them they just didn’t look suitable. I clipped them on my clothes instead.

Everyone at home has either work or school so I ended up buying my birthday cake. I decided to do something different. I tried to come up with 12 different flavors of cakes that I have not tried before. I thought it was easy but the 12 slices became 8. And the 8 became 4. I struggled a bit because I cannot find a good reason to splurge on cakes that I know I wouldn’t finish eating.

I bought a Pistachio cheesecake from Toby’s Estate and Ube cheesecake, barako cheesecake and dark chocolate cake from Delimondo Cafe.

My cousin Kn on my left and my other sister on my right

My other sister was in a retreat so I ended up holding a tiger puppet in lieu of her presence.

My sister also gave me brownies from Purple Oven. I cannot imagine that a few years back I disliked eating chocolate cakes or anything chocolate flavored because they are too sweet. I guess that’s because God is capable of changing our preferences just like He is capable of changing our attitudes, actions and outlook in life.

It was also my friend’s birthday! She hosted a dice game and I got these prizes. She also gave me a card and gift for my birthday.

I enjoyed wrapping this present! It is also eco friendly!

I also had lunch with my best friend at Ba Noi because I wanted to eat something Vietnamese. She gave me another skin care product to try on. Nikki is my skin care specialist!

We tried the beef noodles, chicken rice and spring rolls.

We also tried Mesa’s saba con yelo for dessert!

Achi Jehan and I had dinner at Coffee Bean for mentoring group. It was a meaningful time! I learned a lot from her! I also saw my close college friend in the cafe! What a joy!

Last sunday I had lunch with my mentoring group at Botan Cafe. It caters mostly to Taiwanese/ mainland Chinese but everyone is welcome to try their food. I like their Taro milk tea a lot!

In between celebrations, I continued taking up online courses, doing business and exercise. I also took the Value in action (VIA) survey and learned that my number one strength is appreciation of beauty and excellence!

I will posting a special entry sharing my reflections as I celebrate my birthday.

Until then,

Jannel

Fresh finds: Durian fruit

As mentioned in my previous post, the past week was my first time to eat Durian. I don’t know why it took me this long to taste this fruit.

We bought it from a street vendor for around P160. I think it’s not bad considering we asked around the fresh market and got an offer for around P300!

Here are some of the fruits the vendor was selling.

The durian solo shot. It looks like a porcupine/jackfruit/rambutan mixed altogether. It is amazing how this fruit can prick anyone with its spikes.

After waiting for two days it was time for me to cut it. I asked the help of Teaz. I had a hard time opening since I could not hold on to the spiky shell.

Durian cut open. To be honest, I live its smell. It also looks like jackfruit.

Close up version. I think one of the reasons why we had a hard time opening the fruit is that we cut the shell in a wrong manner.

If you’re buying Durian anytime soon, you might want to check if there are cracks beneath. It is so much easier to open. Also, the fruit must be golden. When we bought the fruit it was still green. You might want to check this video to know more about it.

This is me looking crazy because my sister was making fun of me. At first, I didn’t like its taste. I also felt hot after eating around 4 small portions of it.

My dad checked on the net and saw a post about this fruit. It says Durian is an energy booster. It can also easily add up to you daily calorie count. The next few days I eat only one portion a day.

If you have ever tasted Durian let me know what you think about this fruit. If you haven’t, I hope you can try it soon! It is Durian season in the Philippines so I see a lot of them now.

Stay inspired,

Jannel

Happy Monday + updates

Hi everyone! How’s your day going so far? The past week I tried eating Durian the first time! My sister was totally against it because she didn’t like the taste. I waited for two days for it to ripen and searched on youtube how you can actually cut the fruit.

It was spike-y but I like the smell of it. I miss the durian candy that I tasted before. It’s brand is Apo ni lola but I don’t see it in the supermarket.

I also invited some friends over for a movie entitled Do you Believe? I cannot believe that one of them cried a lot!

I prepared something light. It is an improvised cheese platter with a filipino twist (rambotan instead of grapes).

I have also browsed a couple of magazines from my friend Dara.

I loved the idea of this place! It looks so fresh!

It was also rainy for a few days and dela Rosa became flooded. Thank God the next day it was already sunny!

I also tried doing self portraits.

Have a good week ahead!

Stay inspired,

Jannel

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

Takeaways: The Art of Tidying (Part 2)

 

As a kid, I would often ask my sisters to pose for me. I would pretend as the photographer and let them act as my models. Before the “shoot”, we used to conceptualize the outfits by taking out some of my parents’ clothes as well as my aunt’s clothes (she lives with us). We would also borrow my aunt’s shoes and accessories. I would often get upset because after the shoot, I would return the pieces one by one despite asking for help.

J during our photoshoot
Ironically, I was the one posing here because they might get angry if I post their photos

My aunt has the most stuff among us all. Some of her clothes were stored in our closets. At one point in time, I was into cleaning and organizing the house. I transferred her stuff to her room and stacked her clothes inside her closet. I got scolded afterwards but because of this I felt good that my sisters and I can have a space that can be called as our own.

J's closet
Sneak peak of my closet. Confession- I wasn’t able to take a before photo.

I agree to Marie Kondo’s point in the book that the way we were traditionally taught how to organize would never really give us a decluttered space. Through the years, I would often sort my clothes when I feel like they were totally disorganized. While sorting, I would often hesitate to give away some stuff that really looks good but won’t fit me anymore. Sometimes, I would hesitate because my aunt will get angry at us for not appreciating the clothes she bought for us. I would also sort the accessories me and my sisters shared. There was one three layered and one five layered plastic drawers on both ends of our vanity table where these were stored. I wrote labels for clips, hair ties, combs, lip glosses, hair nets etc. Because the drawers were big and the space was communal (our helpers also access this when they help us do our hair), it was always messy. Organizing was never ending! My clothes, shoes, accessories were never really fully organized!

I applied Marie Kondo’s advice that we start tidying by discarding. She also suggested that we discard the clothes, shoes, and accessories first among other things because it is the easiest and most visual. She said we should discard stuff that do not spark joy one by one by touching it. For me it means discarding the things that were left unused for several months, clothes/shoes/accessories that made me feel less confident and won’t make me look good. After learning my body shape, colors that complement and style, I was easily guided in this process. I would say that the hardest part would be letting go of clothes that are already worn out and yet are memorable. My closet was never been this spacious! Although that is the case, I still have to sort my stuff in our “ancestral” house.

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Closet in progress. Believe me I already took out a lot! Before, you cannot see the margins.

While reading the book and decluttering at the same time, I also realized that we are so bombarded by media! A lot of advertisements lure us to buy more stuff. It is also a common notion that to have more things equate to a good and successful life. Growing up, we would often go to out of town trips just to shop usually for clothes. It was my mind set that is flawed. Although I knew that I already have enough clothes, I want to have more. I thank my aunt for showing us her love by giving these things but it also led me into a series of “shopping failures” and wasted money. I realized that I was shopping for items that were beautiful but won’t perfectly fit me. I also realized that I was not spending my time wisely when I stroll in the malls aimlessly. My wants are limitless and buying more things wouldn’t make the list shorter. It won’t also make me happier.

During this process, I was drawn to more neutral colored clothes like black and white. We weren’t allowed to wear these colors because of chinese beliefs that wearing these would bring or signify death and bad luck. My aunts prefer bright colored clothes as well as printed clothes. I realized that although I keep some of these type of clothing, I prefer solid and neutral colored clothes. Here is a very helpful guide I found on pinterest in building a capsule wardrobe from Flip & Style:

Capsule wardrobe.jpg

 

Lastly, as a follower of Christ, I am accountable on the resources that he has given me. I want to be a good steward. This means I ought to give more rather than receive. I also need to have a simple lifestyle although that does not mean deprivation of the good things that God has given. He also wants us to enjoy these little pleasures but we need to be on guard.

We need to be aware on what we purchase, consume, and read. The social media, television and magazines always entice us to look like the fashion bloggers, artists and other influential people. We might also feel pressured because our friends are wearing trendy clothes. May this passage remind us of what we should focus on.

Colossians 3:1-3

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

In the succeeding posts, I will be sharing my journey in tidying up as well as my reflections.

Stay inspired,

Jannel