My June 2015

June has been a great month. Watch out for tomorrow's post as I explain why.

Thank you Lord, it's all because of You we cherished this month.


My day to day went like this --

1. Many (Oh my dear sweet tooth!) 
2. Looking up (Rode the boat because traffic is so bad. And here's what we saw, the best hotel in Bangkok. Of course, we are biased.) 
3. Silly (These two do the silliest things to amuse themselves. And they could laugh hard. Music to my ears.) 
4. Starts with B (Brushes. I washed them yesterday and they are all clean now. Majority of my brushes are Real Techniques and Zoeva. I still use my very first brushes from Shu Uemura. I have a couple from MAC, Sephora and elf. And the rest are brushes I picked up through the years which became favorites.) 
5. Looking down (Friday night traffic. Weekend is here!) 
6. Who I am 
7. Forgotten (This community mall next to our building closed late last year. Rumors said a condominium will replace it. But until now, it hasn't been torn down.) 
8. Sadness (Someone didn't get what he wanted.) 
9. Disgust (My eldest dislikes anything raw. He would gag when I bring him with me to the meat and seafood section of the grocery. He would complain about the smell of seafood when I cook them at home.) 
10. Anger (When my eldest is not happy with me - usually when I discipline him - he would make me notes and I am supposedly crying with a crossed out heart.) 
11. Fear (Mouse, rat and anyone from the mouse family.) 
12. Joy (My boys were spoiled by Uncle Chia again. This little one is overwhelmed with all the Kinder Joy in front of him.) 
13. On my mind (These three) 
14. Makes me feel good (I had a long overdue body massage today.) 
15. Sun (Sunrise. Joy comes in the morning | Psalm 30:5) 
16. Anything (What I'm doing now. Preparing for Javi's International Day at school next week. He is the only Pinoy.) 
17. Lunchtime (We were out running errands.) 
18. Local (I will never ever tire of Thai food.) 
19. 9 o'clock (So tempted to forget about my quiet time this morning. But no, I need this more especially things are about to go crazy. I have to connect with God all the more.) 20. What I’m doing now (Husband picked Insidious: Chapter 3 for our movie date. I cannot stand horror flicks but he loves them. I ended up reading Mockingjay on my phone using the Kindle app inside the theater.) 
21. Wet (My favorite dish from Up To Yuu. Steamed rice with deep fried soft tofu topped with minced pork and mushroom gravy. For only 90 baht. Yummy!) 
22. Money (I emptied my wallet and here's the cash I have. Not much, huh?) 
23. View (The little one amusing himself while we wait for Kuya Javi's school bus.) 
24. In the garden (So I went to some kind of a garden, snapped this photo of orchids and it was blurred. But I like how it turned out.) 
25. Depth of field (Puto or rice cake - a Philippine delicacy. We are so ready for Javi's International Day tomorrow.) 
26. Gift (The gift of a family. Javi did very well in singing Bahay Kubo for his International Day performance.) 
27. Mini (First look these are kangaroos but closer they could be bunnies.) 
28. Orange (Ready to eat orange slices) 
29. Animal (Our animals at home) 
30. Design (I used to have a handful of phone cases which I use depending on my mood. But for my current phone, I only want this cover. It matches everything.) 

Wow, and half of 2015 flew by so pass. How was your June?

End of the Starbucks Era?

I've been collecting Starbucks city mugs for three or four years now. I accumulated 330+ icon series mugs and a few mugs from other series. They were gifts, traded, bought. 

Looking back at my "mugging' season, it had been fun. It sure kept me busy (and broke). I made friends all over the world. The real friends I keep up to now. 

I've slowed down from collecting since last year. Life happened. New priorities, new interests. There are too many new releases, I feel I will never catch up. I started to feel miserable, I knew then, it was time to stop. 

From Germany. One of the harder to get ones.
Sent by a collector friend from Malaysia. 

My collection will never be complete. It's reality. No matter have obsessive compulsive I am, it is impossible to acquire all the mugs from the icon series. I am missing a number of first releases and these mugs are now selling for thousands of US dollars on eBay or through private sellers. I don't have that much money to spend on a mug and even if I have, I'd rather spend it on something else not on a mug which probably cost less than 5 USD to make.

I am happy with what I have and it's all that matters. It is my collection so I decide how big it is. One day, I will display them properly in a study room. Yes, I am missing 50 mugs but they do not matter to me. In the eyes of a non-collector, I have an awesome collection. 

The "mugging" world used to be fun, now it is very complicated. Too much envy, deception, distrust, jealousy, pride, gossip, secrecy -- all because of mugs. I don't have time for that.  I'd rather be productive elsewhere.  

To everyone who contributed to my crazy collection, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I have not forgotten. The mugs will stay with me and won't be sold or given away. 

I appreciate the friendships I made while collecting, and those who remained my friends until now, I appreciate you. Especially those who I go through life with. I am still around if you need my help. You know you can count on me..

To the hardcore muggers, good luck. My only advice, don't let these mugs consume you. If you think you can't go through life without them, you are in big trouble. You have a problem.

I am not swearing off Starbucks or the mugs from my life. I will just do it quietly, for my own peace of mind.

On to the next chapter!

Life's Truths | June 2015

I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to inspiring quotes. I like to be reminded from time to time especially when my emotional quotient is extremely low. 

My current favorite social media platform is Instagram. It is no fuss and drama-free. I find these wonderful quotes from people I follow and the random ones I see on my search or explore page. 

Here are the ones I am loving this month. 


An excellent reminder to focus on non-material things as these are which truly matter. We cannot bring these material things in the after life. We can instead invest in our spiritual life.    

In Solomon's case for instance, he was king, the richest, and wisest man during his time but he was miserable. 
"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind." (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 NLT)


The world we are living is crazy competitive. Everyone wants to be first, wants to have it all. It is draining and stressful. Please stop. We are not in a competition. Let us all find our own purpose in life. And believe me, mine is different from yours.    


Who doesn't love this wonderful quote from Dr. Seuss? It is my favorite. Well, I love everything Dr. Seuss. I think I enjoy reading Dr. Seuss books to my sons more than them listening to me. According to Dr. Seuss, be who you are. Stop trying to please people we don.t even like. What these people say do not matter anyway. Those who truly love us will continue loving us no matter what.  


Boom! Perfect timing to be reminded of this. I need to purge. I have accumulated too many things that I don't need. I am a neat freak and clutter makes me crazy.  


This last one is related to the second quote. We need more kindness and sincerity in this world. Let us choose to be kind and sincere from now on. 

Until my next favorite quotes! Do you have a great one to share?

Unplugging


Social media is truly addicting. Well, the use of the smartphone is. I am always looking down holding my darn phone.

Then lately, I am ashamed of myself at how much I am hooked on social media and just connecting with people when I am neglecting spending more time with the people who truly matters to me - my husband and our sons. I am ashamed how they always find me on my phone. 

One day, I decided to put down my phone and spend my day with less of it. As expected, I was more productive. I engaged my family members more. I read more. I have more tasks on my to-do lists and I finish them all. I even found the time to blog.

My no phone times:
  • No phone until I finish my quiet time (God first before the world) in the morning
  • No phone while I help my husband and son get ready for work and school respectively
  • No phone during meal times
  • No phone when I put the boys down to sleep
  • No phone when I spend time with my husband at night
  • I turn off the WiFi on my phone before sleeping so no checking the phone in the middle of the night 

As I try very hard to implement these, it feels great to be without the phone which is making a slave out of me but I refuse to let it take over my life that I miss out on what is truly important. 

Yes, I may not chat with friends as much as before. I had to sacrifice that. I trimmed down my list of accounts that I follow on IG and Twitter or even the blogs I read so it doesn't require that much screen time. What matters to me now is that I spend quality time with the people who's here with me and leaves me time to do things I have always wanted to do. I don't want my sons' memory of me when they were small to be of me on the phone all the time. I had to change that. 

I have neglected my Facebook account. I hardly check it except to check on posts from Sephora.  Of all the social media platform, Facebook is my least favorite. I have Messenger so people can private message me (but please be patient as I only check this once a day) and Groups for church announcement. I occasionally post on Twitter (@irmaloveslife) and I regularly post on Instagram (@irmaloveslife).

A couple of articles I read which inspired me to go ahead and unplug:

*social media is FULL of drama

*helped me in trimming down my list of contacts and accounts I follow

*why I stay away from Facebook

The Problem With Venting by Shawn Lovejoy
*another reason why I am staying away from Facebook. People vent too much and they post it for the world to read.

Have you ever unplugged? How was it?

TAG: Ten Things That Make Me Happy

I was tagged by my dear cousin in her post in Instagram. It gave me an idea for a great blog post. 

The IG post

We all know how God, my husband and sons and all the closest people in my life bring me joy, for this list, it will  be the simple things or gestures that excites me. 

Here are my ten simple joys --

  1. A good cup of coffee
  2. Sunrises and sunsets
  3. Eggs Benedict
  4. Productivity apps
  5. Handwritten notes (especially the ones from my eldest son)
  6. Beauty products (make-up & nail polish)
  7. Staycations (It would have been travelling but having small children makes it hard that I'd rather staycation.)
  8. Anything pink
  9. Organizing ideas and life hacks
  10. Dates with my husband
What are your ten things?

Date Nights

Who doesn't love date nights? Or "date days" which applies more to my husband and I. 

Photo from our recent date where we took selfies with Marvel characters to show the boys.

When we had kids, it became difficult for us to go out on dates. We never got a nanny whom we can leave our kids. Since we are abroad and away from family, it is hard to find someone we can trust to leave the kids with. Plus, I used to have separation anxiety when I am away from my boys, especially with the eldest. 

I know the importance of "date nights" to married couples. How we all need that time alone away from the children. How we need to prioritize marriage. Our mentors in church had offered to look after Javi in the past so we could go out on dates.

Last year, Jed was diagnosed with cancer. I accompanied him to his treatments and hospitalizations. We were fortunate to have Jed's mom look after the boys. At that time, I would only trust family members or our spiritual family with the boys. But then God changed my heart. 

Early this year for a period of five days a month for three months, I would need to be with Jed for his adjuvant chemo session. We were left to trust our Filipina stay-out cleaning lady who have worked with us for two years and whom the boys know, to be with them while Jed and I were at the hospital. We are blessed with our stay-out house help. 

Yes, our regular "date nights" now started out in the hospital. God has a funny way of reminding us how we need to enforce it in our married life. 

If we left the kids for days with our house help then of course, she can be trusted to babysit our boys on a Saturday when Jed and I would go out on dates. 

My husband and I look forward to our Satur-dates. We watch movies, we try out new restaurants or go back to old ones we love. Just the two of us. We can talk without the boys interrupting us. 

Someday, when the boys are older, we can go on that trip alone. 

To married couples, I strongly recommend you go on regular "date nights" with your spouses. Prioritize your spouses over your children. "Date nights" are only a couple of hours a day every week or every other week or monthly. When the kids are all grown-up and have their own lives, you don't want to wake up one day and realize you are married to a stranger. Right? 

My May 2015

It feels so good to complete a whole month of daily photos. So glad to be back and on track. We say goodbye to May and it was awesome.  


Here's how my May went --

1. Want (I created a wish list in Snupps of make up I want. I keep the list then after a while, I realize I don't really like the things I added. And the ones I can't get off my mind would've been purchased already.)
2. Faceless self-portrait (That's my shadow right there. And I added a nice quote.) 
3. A cup of...coffee. (Well, what else will I drink in the morning? I am definitely a coffee person.)
4. Today I saw (You had me at NEW. Had to check out the Brazil Collection of Bath & Body Works. Perfect for summer.)
5. Red (I have two boys, so it makes Spider-Man a staple in our home.) 
6. 10 o'clock (Stayed at home for a change. I need a quiet day after a very busy weekend which extended to yesterday's non-working holiday. Had time to juice.)
7. Key (The key to my sons' happiness. Yes, even a crushed Kinder Surprise. I don't know what it is with the Kinder eggs but kids LOVE them.)  
8. Four things (MAC Thailand is spoiling their buyers. I bought the Purple Times Nine palette and it arrived with the other four items. The eyeshadow brush, MAC 235, was part of a promo while the rest were freebies.) 
9. Peaceful (My neighborhood on a quiet and traffic-free Saturday) 
10. Playground (The little one had to ride the horse after his dip at the pool.) 
11. Upside-down (I use up every single drop of my bath products before I replace them with new ones.) 
12. Eyes (One way for my eldest to let me know how he feels is through his drawings and notes for me. Yup, that's me with a flower on my head, those heart-shaped eyes and cheeks full of blush.) 
13. Hands (My little one's cute chubby hands)  
14. Heart (Found this structure outside a building we passed by today.)  
15. I found this... (Gifts for me. One came from the mail and another one delivered personally. They are make-up bags.) 
16. Clean (The heat is too much. I ended up buying another hat.)  
17. Home (I had no idea the print on this reusable foldable bag is Manila attractions. I love it!)  
18. Musical (My little musician.) 
19. My mood today (Husband has been away on a trip. I've been exhausted and sleepy but full of love from the two boys.)  
20. Equal (Bangkok rush hour traffic on both sides of the road.) 
21. In a drawer (My favorite acrylic drawers with eyeshadows and blushes) 
22. Weather (It's a beautiful clear afternoon in Bangkok with a heat index of 41C)  
23. Good times (I love receiving postcards especially from family and friends who travel. I adapted the tradition when I travel and send out postcards.) 
24. Rule of thirds  
25. Lucky (A free drink)
27. Borrowed (Books from school which my eldest reads to me to practice reading. And the Dinosaur book he picked out from the library is what he wants me to read to him at bedtime.😁)  
28. Pink (Happy Skin's Beauty in Bloom Duo lippies)
29. Starts with S (A spoonful of shattered Sticko)  
30. Over there (There are rows of restaurants in those Guggenheim type floors in this newest mall in Bangkok. I must say I am pretty impressed.)  
31. Ha ha ha (My two boys had so much fun in the bathtub. Told them they now have grandpa hands.) 

I'm now off to another busy month. Hello June!

How did your May go?

Delighted with Happy Skin

My husband came back from a trip to the Philippines and brought me back Happy Skin products from my sister and a dear friend. 

I was over the moon. I love these Happy Skin products. I've only tried their moisturizing lippie and it has become a favorite. Told my sister these lippies are right up there next to the NARS Audacious lipsticks. For me. 

I get compliments whenever I have these lippies on. Always. 

So what did I get?

StyLIZed Leather Set (aka the Liz Uy collection)

24 Carats | Style Icon | Red Carpet
Beauty In Bloom Duo

Hold My Hand | Bride-to-Be

My dear friend also sent me the Eye Am The One Holy Grail Mascara

When we visit Manila later this year, I'd be heading over the Happy Skin counter and try out their other products. 

I am more than happy to support and spread word about these amazing products from a Filipino company. Pinoy pride. 

What other Filipino cosmetic products should I try?

 
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