March lessons


This post is part of my series for BlogHer’s March 2014 NaBloPoMo challenge. See all my NaBloPoMo posts here.

Prompt of the day:
Tell us one thing you learned about yourself this month.


A couple of things (and these five): I learned that I’m most comfortable when I’m hard on myself. I love doing things for their own sake, and though I’m virtually aware of my shortcomings 24/7, I accept that I will never know who am I to judge my own actions. With that, I might as well leave my fears aside and let my heart take over.

I also may have expressed my frustration a bit on the NaBloPoMo challenge, but the challenge itself is something I’m immensely thankful for this month. Read More →

Nota Bene

Figured I need this to last me through the year.



First saw it last month posted by Sofia from Sofia’s Journal.

Often I can get so wrapped up with my writing to-do lists that it feels like I’m micro-managing multiple departments even when all I want to do is go the extra mile.

Having read this, I’m reminded that I’m not supposed to be perfect, that it’s okay to allow myself a B+ once in a while. Gotta keep things in perspective.




via Sofia’s Journal


Links I Love: 2014.3.28


Happy Earth Hour weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? Let’s all turn our lights off tomorrow. I’m heading to see Divergent this weekend, as well as a special art show that I’ll talk more about later :)

In the meantime, check out the coolest links I stumbled upon this week. Happy weekend!


PicMonkey Collage


♥ First look: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer!! [YouTube]

This is what Earth Hour is really all about. [Newcastle Herald]

♥ Wow: 10 extravagant heels for spring. [Harper's Bazaar]

♥ Editor’s pick: Spring skincare products. [PopSugar BEAUTY]

♥ An eyeshadow trick to make your eyes look bigger, courtesy of Miranda Kerr. [Glamour]

Old-fashioned beauty tricks that work. [Refinery29]

♥ “I think Divergent is secretly about CrossFit.” [Vulture]

Three powerful ways to stop wasting time. [Forbes]

12 habits of productive people. [HuffPost]

This mother tore off labels and nurtured her son’s hidden genius. [The Mother List]

22 tips to better care for introverts and extroverts. [Buffer]

If you want her heart, make her laugh. [Elite Daily]




via Glamour / Harper’s Bazaar / CBC / Comic Book


Girl talk: Ideas for flying solo


This post is part of my series for BlogHer’s March 2014 NaBloPoMo challenge. See all my NaBloPoMo posts here.

Prompt of the day:
How old were you when you started your first diary?
Prompt of yesterday:
Have you ever taken a trip by yourself?
Do you prefer to travel with people or alone?


Although I have ‘fly solo’ under my bucket list since forever, I’ve never really done it. I did went to Denver in Colorado by myself for reasons I can’t tell you, but it certainly wasn’t for pleasure. I didn’t get to see much of the city, and I didn’t enjoy the whole stay either.

Way before that I actually went to get the materials to apply for a Schengen Visa – just because I wanted to see all of Barcelona by foot. I grabbed the brochures off the Spanish embassy, and I could really see myself exploring the city without end. At that time, I really wanted to get away from everything that was happening in my life, although now that I look back, I’m thankful that my conscience got the better of me (my mother would kill me if she finds out I travel alone to Europe).

Read More →

I’m in a relationship with an extrovert, and we live in an ideal world.


This post is part of my series for BlogHer’s March 2014 NaBloPoMo challenge. See all my NaBloPoMo posts here.

Prompt of the day:
Do you enjoy being alone? What do you do when you’re by yourself?
Prompt of yesterday:
What is your favourite personality trait that you possess?
Prompt of the day before yesterday:
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?


To be 100% honest, the NaBloPoMo challenge has got me jaded by now. I’ve got other projects under my belt for the blog and outside of the blog, but somehow I just won’t give up on this one. Although the prompts are directed to me personally (with “self” fittingly dubbed as the month’s theme), I strive to provide content that really achieves the level of depth I see in stories and writings I admire. Doesn’t look like it, but it takes a lot of thought before hitting the ‘Publish’ button for these NaBloPoMo posts. Since this is a challenge I signed up for myself to begin with, I’m gonna zip it from now on – no more complaints until I breathe out the final sigh of relief.


* * * * * * * * * *


The short answer: I enjoy being alone. I do creative stuff. My favorite personality trait is my introspective tendencies. While I don’t believe people can change 180-degrees, I do believe people change, just as I have consciously made changes about myself while being in a relationship with an extrovert.

The really long answer:

Read More →

3 simple and healthy snack ideas to tame your sweet tooth right now


I tend to stick with three meals a day and rarely get hunger pangs. But when I do, I used to lean on a heap of dried fruits and prepackaged trail mixes.

After some time experimenting around, I found that for someone as lazy as me, these incredibly filling combos are the best choices for snacks to boost satiety (admittedly, it’s mostly because they only take seconds to whip up).

While I’m no expert at nutrition, you can expect to dote on the mood-regulating effects of the following snacks, as well as the steady energy levels you’ll have even after hours since you last munched on them:


1. Raisins + cashews

DSC01390I was raised with 100-calorie packs of Sunmaid’s raisins as my daytime + evening snacks. My whole family enjoys raisins regularly, especially if they’re still cool when pulled right off the fridge.

Even without added sugars, the wrinkly fruit are sweet as candies, giving you an instant kick of energy. Pretty soon, its high fiber content will fill you up before you grab another bag of candies, which we all know are just empty calories.

For women who are menstruating, raisins are packed with iron and copper – two minerals essential to the formation of new red blood cells, as well as calcium and boron – nutrients that strengthen your bones.

Like raisins, cashews are rich in iron and copper, plus a slew of other essential minerals, namely potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium to boost the antioxidant activity in your body. They’re also one of the sweeter-tasting varieties in the nut family, at least as I taste it. High in protein and essential fats, the kidney-shaped nuts make the perfect sidekick alongside the carb-rich raisins.


2. Greek yogurt + mixed berries (optional: flaxseeds)

yogurtberriesIf you ask me, I’ll always have this classic combo with the extra crunch from flaxseeds. There is no gray area to my taste buds – I love anything silky-soft and chewy in texture. But if you’re sticking with having yours without the seeds, there’s virtually 0% fat in this snack.

For a light meal, the yogurt-and-berries mix is slightly high in calories – mostly coming from the tart, luscious, protein-rich yogurt. However, your belly won’t be growling for the next few hours. Together with the fiber-packed berries, these two make a great team to boost the health of your gut. Aside from its high fiber and high water content (read: extra hydration), berries are also a delicious way to fight midday fatigue and to alleviate overall stress, thanks to all that antioxidants working for ya.

Just make sure you’re basing the berries with 100% Greek yogurt, lest those added sugars/artificial sweeteners wreak havoc to your mood for the rest of the day.


3. Honey + cinnamon ginger tea

If you lead a pretty athletic lifestyle, you’re in for a big treat: The spicy duo are a manna from heaven when it comes to fighting inflammation. A recent study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine found that when given cinnamon and ginger powders daily, female taekwondo players experienced a significant decrease in the dreaded muscle soreness that normally occur post-workout, whereas the placebo fare did not see any changes during the 6-week intervention.

DSC02031Cinnamon is long known in the medical community to be a potent spice for regulating blood glucose levels and reducing oxidative stress in the body, whereas ginger is a medicinal powerhouse for treating a wide variety of ailments, from healing a mild headache to preventing tumor growth that leads to cancer. Another study conducted by the same authors also showed that ginger significantly enhances athletic performance as well.

Coated with the antibacterial properties of honey, not only will your sweet herbal concoction relax your worn and torn muscles in no time, it’ll also help you wind down, ward off seasonal allergies, curb existing inflammation in your system, and keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day.

P.S. Did you know that ancient Olympians used to dose on honey to boost their performance?




Links I Love: 2014.3.21


Spring is finally here.

It’s time to clean out all the junk and get organized – two things I’m really bad at.

Hopefully Jakarta’s weather will get sunnier soon, as I’m desperately needing an energy boost after days of gloomy skies – which calls for a massage sesh this weekend for me.

Anyhow, get your warm cup of tea and see what I’ve been leeching this week from the interweb. There’s a lot of self-improvement going on here. Hopefully they’ll get you motivated as well.

Have a great weekend :)


♥ First glimpse of Apple’s upcoming Healthbook app. [9to5Mac]

♥ Harvard Business School: How wearing jeans in corporate settings makes you look competent. [Wall Street Journal]

Automate your savings, plus some more valuable money habits to adopt ASAP. [The Motley Fool]

40 smart life hacks you never thought of. [PopSugar LIVING]

21 unexpected beauty uses for coconut oil. [PopSugar BEAUTY]

♥ Cheat sheet: The habits of healthy models. [Well+Good]

Eat bananas, carrots, cabbage, and plenty of greens to live long like this 182-year-old tortoise. [BBC]

♥ Tara Stiles: Really needed these stretches before I sleep. [PopSugar FITNESS]

So now there’s a formula for lasting love. [MSN]

How to love a girl who doesn’t know how to be loved. [Elephant Journal]

Things I wish I knew before starting a business. [AskMen]

Passionate, magnetic, and the many ways that sets sensitive people apart from others. [Lifehack]




via d D + Kim O’Donnell on Pinterest / St Helena Wirebird / 9to5Mac


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