Starting Good Habits

I wanted the year 2011 to be so much better than 2010, in terms of my health. With the help of my 2011 planner, a Belle de Jour power planner, I decided to make use of its Habit Tracker page.

I've said in my game plan for this year that I intend to create good habits. The Belle de Jour planner encourages rewards after completing each new habit. I sort of started with a reward in mind upon completion. I customized the habit tracker and lengthen the duration to a month. The plan is to start a new habit every month. Speaking of habits, I had Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in mind as I was thinking of what to reward myself at the the end of each month. Now that's Habit #2 which is Begin with the end in mind. I must say it motivated me to go on with my plan. I had a dress in mind, shoes and a bag to go with it.

January was all about drinking more than 8 glasses of water everyday.
I wasn't a water drinker. In fact, when I was pregnant with Javi, I was asked to drink more water. My favorite drink was Nestea's lemon iced tea. Yes, I am all aware of its sugar content. That's probably why I needed to force myself to drink more water. I still can drink colored beverages as long as I drink my eight or more glasses of water.

I was very pleased that I did pick up the habit of drinking more water. I also stopped buying juices and that dreaded lemon iced tea. It helped that I am here in Bangkok and the products are different from those sold at home. The only colored beverages I take every morning is a cup of coffee. Then it's just water throughout the day. I give myself breaks on weekends and order what I want when we're dining out.

With the heat here in Bangkok, it helped me to take in more water as the heat sometimes can be unbearable. I remember getting headaches the first few weeks because I wasn't drinking enough.

February is my fitness month. I aimed at waking up early, get on my workout clothes and turn on that WiiFit that I worked so hard to buy. Rather than it collecting dust, I might as well start using it again. I started with yoga and now I'm moving on to a combination of yoga and strength training. On days that Jed is off from work, I actually can go down the gym and do some cardio exercises. It looks like I better shed off the excess weight by end of the year as something major is about to happen. I have to picture-perfect. Eek!

Waking up early is hard especially when it's still dark. It is especially hard to wake up early on weekends. Slowly I've gotten the hang of it and would get up when the alarm clock goes off. I cut myself some slack and let myself sleep a little more one day a week. Six days of exercise a week is not bad for a start. I'm praying -not hoping- that I keep this schedule up. Yes, I need divine intervention. My motivation is for my Fit Bank to turn to another color. Once it accumulates a number of hours it changes to a different color.

It's not about the reward anymore. I have not bought the dress I promised to buy after completing my first habit. I am just happy I am making this effort to be healthier and more fit.

Please stay tuned as to what other habits I will be starting on next month and the rest of this year.

Spoiled (Last of 2 Parts)

I like writing this entry. It allows me to focus on the good things only. My adjustment here seemed easier than Cebu. Unlike when I was in Cebu, I am now in another country therefore I cannot visit my family in Bulacan and friends in Manila as often as I want to. Bangkok is a big city and it is full of surprises for me. In my almost three months here, I am wide eyed gal eager to explore my new surroundings. I am here to enjoy our stay. I don't want to miss anything as we may only be here for a couple of years. My Bangkok bucket list is gradually building up.

Back to to the subject, why do I think I am spoiled here?

Maid Service

Finally, a dream come true. I had been looking for a stay-out maid in Cebu up until a few months before we had to leave. As we all know, that is not the norm in the Philippines, especially Cebu, as househelp would rather be stay-in. I do not need a stay-in one, just someone who will clean the house and iron clothes -chores I have a hard time doing- twice a week. Who would've thought I'd find that person here in Bangkok? We found a Pinay (yay, someone who really understands me) and she visits me twice a week to clean our place and iron clothes. Ironing clothes is one chore I could not get right. Yes, I would wear wrinkled clothes simply because I couldn't want to iron them. Our cleaning lady is a BIG help. As much as I'd like to do everything, I cannot.


Apart from massages, Thailand is also the land of 7-11. They are everywhere. You can find several 7-11s in one street. It is now very easy to buy the little things that I forgot to pick out from the supermarket. I no longer have to worry about expired milk, we could easily get one from the nearest 7-11. Another great thing about the 7-11 here is we can also settle bills such as electricity, phone and water bill. This is especially useful as online banking here is proving to be a headache.

Bangkok Street Food

Just like 7-11, the street food vendors are everywhere. Javi and I usually go down just right outside our building to buy our fruits and snack for the day. I love how we can buy fresh fruits everyday. I have my supply of guava, pineapple, cantaloupe and papaya. The fruits are already sliced into bite-size pieces. I'm trying the street food one by one - started with the fruits, then the waffle, and my recent purchase was the sweet corn. Next on my list is the strawberry fruit that comes with some other stuff. I will also attempt to order Thai omelet from the carenderia type store outside. If it were a turo-turo type then ordering would've been simpler. Now, I have to find a customer who has ordered the omelet which I will show the cook so they can make me something similar. Wish me luck!

There are so many things that I am grateful for. God has been amazingly good to us with our move here.

Spoiled (1st of 2 Parts)

Oh Bangkok, I ♥ you. Everything has been great in the two months and two weeks that we've been here. I am adjusting faster than when I was in Cebu. See, I've learned from past experience.

There are three places/persons which I immediately look for when I move to a new place. I need a: (1) nail salon, (2) waxer, and (3) eyebrow shaper. I did find numbers 1 and 2. Eyebrow shaping/grooming is something I want to learn how to do on my own.

Tried a few nail salon and waxing places, so far I am very pleased with -

Photos from Nailicious Facebook page

I love how the salon is walking distance from our condominium. I can easily snuck out of the house and come back with manicured nails after two hours. The salon only uses OPI products. The service reminds me of my favorite nail salon in Manila, Nail Spa.

Pansy's Beauty Centre
20/24 Soi Ruamrudee Ploenchit Road Pathumwan
Bangkok, 10330
Phone: 66-2-2527594

I have relied on my guide books and travel guide for this recommendation. I need a waxer every month. I have had my arm and bikini waxed monthly for more than five years now. I tried a small-scale salon and I really thought I knew more than the lady who waxed my arms. I was so disheartened that I went back to my books and I found two books which recommended the same salon which is known as the best waxing place in Bangkok. Even if it is 6 train stations away, I would make my way there every month. Excellent and fast service. I was out in ten minutes. It took me longer to find the location of the salon.

As I am determined to learn to groom my own eyebrows, the budget for eyebrow shaping now goes to body and foot massages. What is the point of living in the land of massages when I won't get them regularly, right? I have loved massages and had them monthly before I had Javi. Now that we are here in Bangkok, I told Jed I want us to get a massage every month. A wonderful new friend treated me to a foot massage in Health Land and I swore I will go back there. We are lucky we live near the Sathorn branch of Health Land.

A foot massage for an hour is 250 baht in a place similar to the ambiance of The Spa in the Philippines. Health Land's rates are cheaper than those massage places near hotels here. I also learned that body massages could go as low as 250 baht upon purchase of the vouchers. It is no surprise waiting time on weekends and holidays could go for hours. We were told if we want to get a massage there, we have to go during weekdays or early on weekends.

Earlier today, Jed and I enjoyed a 3-hour spa treatment (body scrub, body massage and facial) at Lavana Bangkok from a excellent deal we found on Ensogo Thailand.

I'm truly getting spoiled here. I teased Jed that if this keeps up, I may want to stay in Bangkok for a while.

Watch out for my the little things that make living here in Bangkok so much enjoyable.

Starting My Life in Bangkok

We overstayed in the hotel. That's how it felt for me. We stayed there for almost two months. Towards the end of our stay, my patience was really tested. One thing I learned from our stay in the hotel is I never would want to live in a hotel.

While I am grateful for the facilities, room service, NEXT2 Cafe, laundry service, and maid service, I cannot wait to move in to our own "home."

On the first day of February, all our bags are packed and ready to go. I looked forward to being reunited with our stuff.

Talk about a chaotic life. Moving in to a new place is never easy. What a mess! Thank you, Lord (and Shangri-la), for the movers.

Amidst all the chaos, there was a little boy who seemed pleased to be rejoined with his crib and toys.

The first few days were a real pain. Unpacking and putting things in their right places seemed forever to finish. I had to remind myself, one step at a time. And I chose to sit down and take a photo of what I needed to put away.

I truly love our apartment. I am just motivated to put things away, keep the place tidy and in order. I have become obsessive compulsive of the highest level. I constantly refer to the Martha Stewart website. Martha Stewart makes household work seem glamorous. Right now, I am channeling her.

My life in Bangkok has finally began as soon as we moved in to The Empire Place.

We are slowly adjusting. I am liking what I'm seeing. I am getting used to riding the train with my little boy in tow. Even dining out without a baby chair has been more manageable. The heat is something else, but I'm looking at the glass half full, and the weather is perfect for drying 3 loads of laundry in one day.

The Lord has led us to meet the right people. We also found a church where we blended so easily. People have been welcoming us with open arms. Without a doubt, this is where God intends us to be right now.
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