Happy February 29th!

Photo Source
Today is February 29. It's a leap day!

And I needed to write this entry.

Well, four years ago, this blog has not even been born.  

Four years ago, I was living a completely different life. Jed and I were newlyweds. I was still working at the Canadian Embassy. I definitely had no plans of resigning. I was happy with my life then.

Little did I know God has amazing plans for us. Towards the end of 2008, I was suddenly living in Cebu City and unemployed.

So many things happened in our four years. We now have our wonderful son, Javi. We are now living in Bangkok, not Cebu. I wouldn't have thought these things would have happened to us since the last February 29.

I am excited today. I want to mark this day by doing something special. Too bad Jed is at work. It'll only be me and my little boy.

I was inspired by the suggestions from Fat Mum Slim over at her blog.

We definitely will wear something nice when we go out today. We will eat somewhere nice and not our usual McDonald's or Burger King for dinner.  

How was life for you since the last leap day? What special thing are you going to do today?


post signature

What I Love About the 84th Academy Awards

I am one of these people who never misses the Oscar's. I love movies so I follow the awards season in the US so I would know which movies are worth watching.  

Last year's winner, The King's Speech, did not disappoint. Jed and I have been watching it over and over when we catch it on cable TV.

Of course, the Academy Awards brings out the fanciest gowns. I delight looking at beautiful gowns worn by gorgeous actresses.  

My favorite gowns this year are:

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford
Photo Source

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Photo Source

Octavia Spencer in Todashi Shoji
Photo Source
And my favorite performance was the Cirque du Soleil act. I was blown away. I had no words.



The most touching moment for me was when Meryl Streep thanked and honored her husband first in her accepting speech. What a woman!

Loved this Instagram photo posted by E! Online of the Best Actor Jean Dujardin and Best Actress Meryl Streep.

Photo Source
What's next for me? I need to watch all nine films that were nominated for the Best Picture. I would start with The Artist and Hugo.  

What are your favorite moments at this year's Academy Awards?
post signature

The No Junk Food Challenge

I went through my third annual prayer and fasting last month. You would think that since it's my third time, it would be easier. Oh no, it had been more difficult for me. My mind played tricks on me and I craved for food more than ever.

And as if the 7-Day Prayer and Fasting was not enough, I wanted to go through the 21-Day No Junk Food Challenge which I found on Pinterest. Oh, junk food plays a big role on my emotional eating and I had been wanting to cut it back. I figured this challenge would help me curve my cravings. I needed the Prayer and Fasting time to commit to this one, too. If I would do it at another time, I know I would not be successful.

Photo Source

The rules were pretty straightforward. I cannot eat those food items listed in the poster for 21 days. It took every will power and discipline in my body. It was hard because every item on the list belongs to my comfort food list. Yes, not even biscuits or cookies. Cakes, oh how I love them. The no fast food was difficult as Javi and I usually have dinner in a fast food joint before small group every Wednesday. I had to avoid fast food for three weeks. The Nutella and peanut butter were the hardest. Peanut butter was supposed to be healthy so why was it on the list? But I still followed every rule. Twenty one days without these things won't kill me. 

Yes, it did not kill me but it made me cranky and irritable. I avoided several aisles in the supermarket. I closed my eyes when I pass by the donut shops even if I can smell the donuts. It was self-control at its finest.

I did not finish the entire 21 days. Half way through the last day, I saw a Goldilocks booth with all the yummy pastries I've been missing. So I had to sink my teeth through those fluffy chiffon slices. But before that after a wonderful lunch of fried curry crab, we were invited to Swensen for dessert. I had a dilemma. Do I decline? Sadly, I did not finish strong I gave in and had a sundae. 

It was not a complete failure though - twenty and a half days. Not bad.

So what did I get from the challenge?

I can eat healthy if I choose to. I still have that discipline and self-control. It got me thinking maybe I could have a no junk food weekday and only have them on weekends. Yes, that would work.

Since it is the Lent season, I have heard people pledge to no desserts for 40 days. Now that is taking this challenge to a higher level. 

But you know what, everything is possible through God's grace. I definitely cannot rely on my own self control and will power.

Have you done something similar? Or are you going to do something crazy like this one?

I'd love to hear your stories.


post signature

The Perks of No House Help

Majority of our household had been sick the past few weeks. First, it was Javi who caught a viral infection (again!). I eventually caught what he had and was sick the following week. 

I was down for three days. You can imagine the chaos that put our house into. My dear husband had to run the house, take care of me, feed me and look after Javi. Boy, it was not easy for him.  But he did a marvelous job. He even had to take a day off since I was too weak to move. I hate that he had to miss work but we had no choice. 

I appreciate him MORE the past weekend. 

Photo source

If we had household help or nanny then Jed would not have taken care of me the way he had. So for me, it's definitely a perk of having a husband at the same time of no house help.  I love being spoiled that way.

I am so much better now. TLC definitely works. 

"In sickness and in health..."

post signature

My Favorite Love Story

Surprisingly, my favorite love story comes from an animated film and not those dramatic or cheesy romance movies.



I wanted to watch Up because of the cute kid, Russell. It was supposed to be comedy, adventure and animation in one. What I did not expect was crying through the love story of CARL and ELLIE. It was one of the sweetest I have seen. A couple of years later and I would still cry while watching Up. 

Carl and Ellie met when they were young kids. They became good friends, fell in love and got married. Life was not easy for them, they were not blessed with children. They still enjoyed life and each other despite that. Their love story continued until their old age.

Ellie fell sick and eventually had to die. My heart sank. Poor old Carl. He ended up bitter and grumpy. And then he met the cute boy, Russell. 

The story focused on Carl's adventure with Russell.

At the end of the movie, Carl went through a scrapbook from Ellie.

This is the page that made me cry again.


I found the one who is loving me and would love me like Carl. The kind of love I want is one that would last until we are old and gray. I used to be afraid of growing old. Not anymore. I guess I was afraid  of growing old alone. 

Happy Valentine's day to my one true love - my dearest husband! We will definitely have a story like Ellie and Carl.

Happy Valentine's day everyone!

By the way, what's your favorite love story?


post signature

Unfollow, Unsubscribe, Unfriend

Keeping up with today's social media sites eats a big chunk of my time. I love how social media connects me to family and friends I miss and it connects me to the world. However, it is not my priority.  

Time is not the only thing it eats up, it influences my values and outlook. I definitely have to be cautious. I need to guard my time and values.

Social media sites have these three features I am not afraid to use:

Unfollow

Photo source
If you're on Twitter, this is a popular word. I am not using Tweetdeck or some other tool which would help me organize my account. I feel my presence in Twitter is still not too hard to manage. I keep the number of people I follow to those who I personally know (family and friends), those who would help me with my spiritual walk, the news, celebrities (show business, politics, fashion, sports).

There would always be a difference in opinion. I welcome and respect different viewpoints. But the things I definitely cannot tolerate are foul words, negativity, too much gossip, shallowness, and attacks to my beliefs. I would immediately unfollow.

Pinterest has the same button and I would use this so as not to get overwhelmed with too many ideas.

The interesting part, there are people whose blog and boards I follow but not their Twitter account. Let's just say I do not need to know details of their every day lives.

Unsubscribe

Photo source
I subscribe to more than a hundred blogs in my RSS reader. New posts daily can be as many as 150 entries. I wold quickly skim through the titles, mark those I want to read and send those that would be useful in the future to Evernote. When a blog owner has not posted in a quarter, I'd immediately unsubscribe. It allows me to subscribe to other blogs where I would learn. 

Facebook used to have the "Hide" button for feeds or updates I would rather not see. It has been replaced with the "Unsubscribe" button. And yes, I use this. Facebook can get very personal. My connections in Facebook are those I personally know or mutual friends or distant relatives. The first thing I unsubscribe from are game updates. Next would be those who use foul language or would be fighting someone or those who are just simply negative. Uhm...I definitely do not need to know about these things. If it is against my beliefs and values, I would rather not read it.

One other thing I unsubscribe from are junk e-mails!

Unfriend


Photo source
When it's someone I discovered I do not know at all, I unfriend the person. Then I had a realization that I can keep anyone who wants to be connected to me. I have things to share with them - my blog entries and the gospel. Somehow through my writing I could bless everyone who reads it. 


Life is much better when you're surrounded by positive people whom you can learn from. I definitely do not need bad vibes and I can eliminate them if I choose to. There is not enough time in a day and I want to make sure I am using my time wisely.

What are other things you do to increase your productivity?

post signature
 
Blogging tips