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September 30, 2013

Blogging Tips from an Amateur

I know you've probably seen numerous blogging tips from all over the internet. Paving your way to having a huge amount of readers and pushing your blog all the way up there is no easy task. So let me help you a bit in reaching your blogging goal. :) I'm no pro at this but I hope this will be of help to everyone, especially to those who are just starting out. :D

If you're a personal blogger like I am, this is probably the first thing you should put into mind. Be yourself. Be unique. Be original. Find your own 'thing' that will keep you and your blog apart from the rest. Though you may not find it that easily, you will, sooner or later.

I know how blogs are considered to be online diaries for some - a diary that contains all their heartaches, family problems, etc. Yes, blogging is a medium to express but that doesn't mean that you can type and publish just about anything. You have to choose what and what not to post. Blogging is more than just sharing all you problems to the world. It is also a place for people to learn and get some experience. If you're a personal blogger, you can't just write all the things that you do every single day. Perhaps, write a DIY or your newest discovery once in a while! Think of something creative that will keep your readers coming back. 

You cannot make friends when you just look at them from a distance right? That's why you need to interact and create a new circle of friends through blogging! It's one of the many fun ways to get to know people from all over the world! A really good way to earn more friends and readers is to join blog hops! There are thousands of it on the internet! Just type in 'blog hops' on google and you're good to go! But don't just let people visit your blog, visit theirs too! Every blogger appreciates every single and sincere comment or message. Don't just slap 'Nice blog. Follow me and I'll follow you.' in their comments. That's just rude. Earning readers and followers takes time but you'll get there. :)

I do love it when I visit a blog and there's a new post every up single day! If you want to keep your readers, you need to post regularly. It doesn't need to be everyday though. As long as you have something new about three to five times every week, that's good. An easy way to post without having to type daily is to schedule them! But what do I post? You can make or join a series like The List of Seven, Five Among FriendsThe Happy List and The Sunday Currently! Or better yet, join blogging challenges! That'll keep you posting everyday!

When you go to an event, you need to look neat, clean and presentable. This is also true to blogs. They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but most times, it's not like that at all when it comes to blogging. You see, one of the first things people notice when they visit the blog is the blog design. No matter how nice your posts are, more often than not, no one will actually care to read it if it's comic sans, size 15 in red or orange. Ok, I was a bit exaggerating, but you know what I mean. :) You don't need a really gorgeous layout. The key here is the right combination of colors and fonts. Make it readable, neat and pleasing to the eyes. If you're not comfortable with font or color combinations or fiddling with your html, consult the internet. There are like thousands of tutorials to help you designing your blog.

In blogging, you may share your daily life, your likes and dislikes, or your favorite color. But then again, you must learn what and what not to share. Blogging may be fun but you need to consider your privacy too. Try not to divulge details such as your real name, address, credit card number and any other information that needs to be kept private. Keep in mind that this is the internet and anything bad can happen when you're not being careful. Remember: It's better to be safe than sorry.

So that's about it. :) I hope you've learned something from this. Goodluck on your blogging journey!

This post was first published as a guest post for Jei at Jeicrochet.

P.S. Awww. It's the last day of the first -ber month! So long, September! The October Daily starts tomorrow! I am so excited already! :) If you still haven't read the topics, you can do it here! Have a wonderful week ahead everyone! :)

September 29, 2013

Playlist: This Love

  1. Falling by Tyler Ward
  2. When You Love Someone by Endah and Rhesa
  3. Nothin' but Love by Tucker Jameson
  4. Who You Love by John Mayer ft. Katy Perry
  5. Isn't it a Wonder by Boyzone
  6. Feelings by London Grammar
  7. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer
  8. Somewhere with You by Tyler Ward
It's a cold and wonderful evening so I decided to make a playlist! Believe it or not, I myself have just heard of the songs in this playlist! I wanted to create a certain mood, but wasn't sure of what songs to put in. So I just typed in random song titles and listened to it. When I feel like it comes close to the mood I want to create, I added it, and voila...the playlist was born! I'll do better next time but I hope you all like it!

I found this through Kisty's blog. You can make your own playlist here. It's very simple, you just sign up and you're good to go! Once you've made your own playlist, share it to us through the comments! We'd love to hear it! :)

Sunday Currently 2.0

View of the skyline from our 'house' in Taytay, Rizal.

It's a fine Sunday afternoon y'all! Time for another round of Sunday Currently! :)

  • Reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I know I'm still not done with The Memory Keeper's Daughter but, laters baby. TGST is a new book I found on sale (99 pesos!) at National Bookstore last Friday. It is a story set in Kerala, India that tells about the tragic decline of an Indian family whose members suffer the terrible consequences of forbidden love. It's my first read from Roy and I believe this is going to be a good one. 
  • Writing entries in my daily log. I am such a lazy student! Lol. It's due on Friday, together with the portfolio, and I swear I'm going to finish it before Wednesday dawns. \m/
  • Listening to New York and the sound of the tv just outside my room. They're watching cartoon network. Ah, kids. 
  • Thinking about how to transfer my photos from camera to PC when my card reader won't read the memory card, and the camera's adapter has been misplaced. Anybody, help?
  • Smelling the September winds. 
  • Wishing I could play the piano and write a song. 
  • Hoping for a wonderful week ahead. ♥
  • Wearing my fave Jack Daniels shirt (it's like the only JD shirt I own) and shorts.
  • Loving this new song I heard from Gia's post - New York by Snow Patrol. Is it weird that I've been constantly replaying and listening to it the whole time I'm writing this post?
  • Wanting a pet. Preferably dachshunds, because they are so cute and loving! My aunt had her baby pups from Daphne (mother dachshund) last month and I hope she gives us one. :)
  • Needing sleep. I feel like I still haven't recovered from staying up all night and all day long working on the exhibit.
  • Feeling tired from doing the laundry. Thank God for washing machines, I don't have to wash it by hand.
  • Clicking on blogs of girls who linked-up on the October Daily! :) I'm also clicking on another Snow Patrol song called You Could Be Happy

Join the link-up here! Also, if you're running out of ideas about what to post this October, then you might want to check out the October Daily! :)

September 28, 2013

The Happy List 3.0

A view from the Ruins of St. Paul, Macau 2012
  1. Knowing that a lot of bloggers are going to join the October Daily! Thank you guys! :) This makes me really giddy excited!
  2. Little bonding moments with my brother (He's in uni now so we only rarely see each other)
  3. The sight of super cute 3-year old twins on the ride home
  4. Getting to the good part of a novel
  5. Getting to read a novel from a newfound author
  6. Winning 2nd place for this year's exhibit contest (the effort was totally worth it!)
  7. The sight of the beach
  8. The smell of the ocean
  9. Old songs
  10. Extended vacations
  11. Receiving a giveaway from CN Blue's concert thru a friend (a card with Shin's photo!)
  12. Sweets
  13. Belting out a song that's out of tune (it's how I entertain myself. lol)
  14. The smell of a really good perfume
  15. Dining at a new place and discovering that the food is really worth the price
  16. Reminiscing last year's HongKong-Shenzhen-Macau Tour
  17. Naturally waking up early (no alarms and mom shaking me awake, just pure body clock)
See more Happy Lists here!
Make your on happy list and link up with Camie! :)
Happy Saturday!

September 24, 2013

Takeover Tuesday: Meet Louise

It's the last Tuesday of the month (I checked)! Wow. In a matter of a few days, I'll be seeing 'deadline' face to face! I am currently recovering from the lack of sleep. I've been up since yesterday morning until 7AM today because we were in-charge for this year's exhibit for our Intramurals. I feel like I'm going to be sick and my runny nose is getting to my nerves, but I must keep the good vibes coming. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine really! :) 

This post shouldn't be about me anyway. Today, I am very glad to introduce to you one of my good friends here in the blogosphere ...*drumroll* ... Louise! :) 

Come in Louise. Over.

Hi! My name is Louise, a 24 year old from Cavite, Philippines. My blog is practically about anything. I still have a lot of posts on queue because I didn't have much time before to blog and post them. But...
I love to travel. I love to eat. I love to read and I'm a shutterbug. Having those things said, I hope, I've given you an idea of what to expect from my blog. Hehe.

For you, what is blogging?
I grew up not having a brother or a sister so I don't have anyone to talk to about how my day went or so. That is why for me, blogging is like a virtual friend whom/where I can share my every day discoveries with. And like every friend, she will tell other people about what I have told her. Oh now we see the power hash tags. :p
How did you come up with your current blog name?
This blog is like a place where a part of me resides in. This is where I feel safe to discuss my whereabouts, my stories and my experiences as a lady living independently in the Philippines, hence the name The Sanctuary of an Independent Lady.
How long have you been blogging?
I can't remeber the exact date or the exact month but I started blogging since 2006. I remember my first two blogs were about my love life and my literary pieces. Reading through those blogs now just makes me laugh. My former blogs were too personal and immature. It's cute to see my progress to maturity through the things I post.
When you started blogging, what came in to your mind?
FRIENDS. For I know that through blogging, I can eventually make friends that share the same likes/dislikes, same experiences, and same views like me. As I grew older, I no longer looked at blogging as the virtual friend rather the key to meeting new ones.
What kept you blogging all this time?
Mainly because I want to share different things to different people who might come across my blog. Also, I want them to be informed with the things I believe should be told. Simple as that.
You can find Louise on her bog here!

October Daily: A Blogging Challenge

Hiya! Welcome to my blog! I'm glad you're here to check this out. As most of you know, link-ups and blogging challenges are a fun way to meet and get to know all of our fellow bloggers out there. Last May, I joined a blogging challenge by Jenni of SOML. It was so fun that I wanted to do my own, too! So here it is! The October Daily, a blog everyday in October challenge!

What really made me giddy excited to have this, is the opportunity to be able to meet new people and discover new blogs through the link-up! I've been brewing this (like coffee) for about two weeks and I can't wait to start already! Come and join in! This is going to be fun!

The Rules:
  • The main goal of this challenge is to be able to blog daily this October. But then, you may choose whether or not to skip a day, and you may or may not make-up for it. 
  • I'd really appreciate it if you put the little "October Daily" button (found below) that I made for this challenge. You may place it after your posts or on your sidebar. ♥
  • Don't forget to link-up below so others can find your blog and read what you have to say, too! 
  • If you joined in late, don't worry! Nothing's ever too late! 

Here are the topics. Now it is important that you read the prompts for Days 7 & 17 so you can prepare for it. Happy blogging everyone!

The Topics/Prompts 
  1. Share at least five reasons why you blog.
  2. Get a certain or favorite lyric/s from your favorite song, and tell us how it inspires or describes you. 
  3. Share a high school memory that you will never forget.
  4. Share your experience during your first few weeks/months in blogging.
  5. Complete the sentence: If I had a _________, I would __________. You can make as many sentences as you'd like.
  6. Dig out a childhood photo and share something you remember happening during that time the photo was taken. You can post as many photos and describe as many events if you like.
  7. Go without something (e.g. phone, twitter) for a day and tell us what it feels like.
  8. Share a blogging/photography tip or tutorial.
  9. What are 5 songs that elevate your mood?
  10. Pick 3 random blogs from the link-up below, describe their blog, and tell us what you think about it! Share a snippet/screen capture of their blog too!
  11. What are the things you love to do during rainy days? List them down!
  12. Your day in photos.
  13. Comment on this: If you cannot find a way out, look up.
  14. What are your Top 5 favorite posts in your blog? Don't forget to share a link so we can check it out!
  15. Post you favorite word and describe it in photos.
  16. What are your goals and dreams for the future? You can share to us your dream house, dream workplace, or even your bucketlist before you turn 25!
  17. Time for Throwback Thursday! Raid your archives and re-post something you want us to read!
  18. Name at least 3 scents that trigger a good or bad memory.
  19. Write about something you believe in. It can be anything at all!
  20. Show us what's in your bag!
  21. Guest posting! Write 5 questions, ask someone from the link up below to answer it for you, and post their answers on your blog! To make sure everyone is invited to guest post, ask the blogger whether he/she's invited for a guest post already. If not, then you can ask another blogger. If you've been asked to guest post more than once, do all of them! :) 
  22. Post a review about a book, lipstick or anything you like! Rate it in a scale of 1 to 5.
  23. If you could hang out with a celebrity for a day, who would that celebrity be? Why did you choose to hang out with him/her? What would you do or where would you spend that day?
  24. Write a letter to someone whom you judged by first impression. It can be a serious or a humorous one! :)
  25. Tell us a bit about the place where you grew up. Don't forget to include a couple of photos!
  26. Enumerate the ways that a guy can win your heart.
  27. Imagine you are only seventeen right now, and your big 18th birthday bash is happening next month. How are you going to plan for it? Like: What would the theme be? How many people are invited? Will it happen at the beach? Be creative! It's your birthday after all. Don't forget the photos! :)
  28. Outfit post! Show us your favorite or your usual get-up!
  29. How would you define 'Happiness'? 
  30. Share a generous act that you did to a complete stranger. (e.g. helping an old lady with her luggage and getting asked to join her for a snack!)
  31. Who are the people you miss? What are the things that you miss doing together?
Count yourself in and link-up below!

Link up your blog url below! (e.g. Name @ Blog Name)
Also, make sure to link-up everyday so others can read your posts too! :)

September 22, 2013

The Sunday Currently 1.0

Happy Sunday lovelies! I hope you are all feeling good today. It's pretty rainy in here. I am currently sitting at my favorite spot in my room, which is beside the window. In front of me is my laptop, and next to it is a pile of binders waiting to be opened. I can feel the cold winds blowing and I like it very much. The frogs are are doing their thing - making noise after the rain.

Currently, I am also...

  • Reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I'm not even halfway considering that I started it probably months ago. I just can't get the time to read it straight. :/ I took a sneak peek at the succeeding chapters and they're getting interesting. More or less I will start it over again when I find time. :) 
  • Writing this Sunday Currently post + the things we need to buy for our exhibit which is to be set up tomorrow afternoon. 
  • Listening to Ryan Cabrera's I Will Remember You. This song brings back all the high school memories! It makes me miss them so much more.
  • Thinking about a lot of things involving school (e.g. exhibits, portfolios). 
  • Smelling Wish's First Kiss perfume next to me.
  • Wishing that it's Christmas already. I can't wait for the holidays too come!
  • Hoping that time would slow down so I can catch up with things.
  • Wearing a pink shirt with a cute little voodoo doll sewed on it and floral shorts. 
  • Loving my new layout! I love the colors so much! I'm totally digging the floral wreath I got from Shabby Blogs! I feel like I'm going to stick with this for a long time.
  • Wanting a cone of Cornetto! Or maybe two. I miss eating Ice Cream! Perhaps a Magnum? :D
  • Needing to get my portfolio and daily log finished! The deadline is in barely two weeks!
  • Feeling the cold winds blow. Christmas, please be here already...
  • Clicking on and checking out blogs from the link-up! This is fun!

What are you currently doing on this beautiful sunday? Join the link-up!

*The .gif does not belong to me.
September 20, 2013

Get the VSCO Effect with Photoshop

I'm not much of a vintage junkie but don't you just adore blogs that have a vintage feel to them, especially the photos? VSCO Cam, according to what I've read, is an application for Apple products that offers a variety of good presets that mimic the look of film photos. It has become very popular that one article said it could be the next Instagram! 

It's sad that this is only available for Apple products. There's news that it'll be available for Android 4.0 soon (or is there already?) But whether or not, there's good new for us non-Apple users! This afternoon, I was browsing through blogs and came upon Hannah Rose Beasley's blog. She has an amazing step by step tutorial here and another updated one here on how to vsco-ize your photos! What's better is that she's provided a Photoshop action that's ready to download, too! Fabulous! 

Here are a couple of photos I tested.

I personally like the first one. It gives a more vintage vibe rather than the second. Though the latter seems to have more of a film effect to it. What do you think? :)

Now here's another photo, to end the post! If you've found some wonderful VSCO-like actions for Photoshop, share it in the comments! We'd love to try it too! Happy Friday! xx

September 19, 2013

Throwback: Korean Restaurant Experience

September 29, 2012. Today was a totally different experience. See, my friend (a K-Pop fan) introduced us to this Korean restaurant which is about two jeepney rides from the city. The restaurant is located in a village and we had to ride a tricycle to get to since it was scorching hot and we were already so hungry. It was past twelve when we got there. ;)
imageUpon entering, we removed our slippers (korean tradition) and went in. It was waaayyy better than the first Korean Restaurant we dined in! It seems that you’re really in a Korean Restaurant! (Duh? LOL!) So there, we ordered Gal-bi (says my friend) which is what they call marinated beef. As for me, the only food I know by the name is Kimchi and ramen or ramyun. Shame. Anyways, I’ve always thought Kimchi was some kind of meat or something. Turns out, it was a veggie!

There goes a lot of side dishes! We had Kimchi, Fried Kimchi, eggs in a sauce of some sort, sweet potato which my friends call Goguma (am I right?), and a lot more. I loved the Fried Kimchi and Goguma!! Of course we had rice since a meal wouldn't be complete without it. We are Filipino’s after all. :)


I’ve worked on the chopsticks and I’m getting used to it. XD Hihi. It’s pretty fun. That’s Gal-bi cooking above charcoal on the photo above.

During our ‘sumptous’ lunch.


I have to admit that I had my stomach full after that. It was just great! 155 pesos for lunch was worth it! I’ll definitely look forward to the next time we’ll eat there. :)

Five Among Friends 7.0

1) If you could be famous for ONE thing, what would it be?
Given that chance, I want to be someone influential. Someone who could change lives and someone who can lead people to their betterment. :D
2) If you had a super-power, what would it be? Why? 
I would love to be Invisible! :) I've always wanted to have that power since I was young! Lol! On a serious note, I'd want to be able to FLY so I could go to several places in no time! Especially now that there's a commotion in Zamboanga, I'd want to be able to fly so I could fly there (like after lunch), help the evacuees with their needs and fly home just in time for dinner! :)
3) When did you realize you wanted to be a blogger?
I have never imagined it would be like this, right now. Before, I never knew what blogging was until I came upon Tumblr. There, I wrote my personal and innermost thoughts for more than a year. Slowly then, I've seen more and more blogs that are of a different genre other than being a personal blog. Perhaps, I've realized I wanted to be a blogger when I started getting addicted to it. You know, updating my blog by and by and thinking of things to blog. So this April, I thought I should get serious with it and moved to Blogger (which is a more ideal place for blogging). And I am totally happy to be where I am now! It's a whole new place and a whole new family in here!
4) UPS or FedEx? Which is better?
Aren't those US delivery services? I have no idea since I live in the Philippines. :3
5) What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
There it is on the photo above! You got it! Chocolate and Vanilla! I am a huge fan of chocolate and vanilla just goes great with it!

Five Among Friends 6.0

I know this post is very late, but it's never too late for anything! So here is my post for Week 6 of the Five Among Friends! Don't forget to check out my friends on the link-up! :) You're still welcome to join if you'd like! Just link up with us below and answer the questions posted for the week! We're currently on Week 12 (which means I really do have a lot of catching up to do!) and you can find the questions starting Week 9 on Jeane's blog! Happy reading!

1. Put your iTunes on Shuffle, what are the first five songs that come up?
Oh, I love this one! 
  1. 5 Colors in Her Hair by Mcfly
  2.  You Got Me by Colbie Caillat
  3. Hero Heroin by Boys Like Girls
  4. Your Body Is A Wonderland by John Mayer
  5. The Remedy by Jason Mraz 
2. Who was the last person you held hands with?
My Mom, I guess. During mass. I haven't held hands with any other people except my parents and siblings. I don't even hold hands with my friends! I don't know why I find it awkward. Haha!
3. Name two personality/character traits of yours that you love.
Time to compliment myself! Lol! Anyway, I like how I can listen and give a helping hand. When people want to share their feelings and they need someone just to listen, I can do that. And whenever someone would need some help in doing something, even if it's a stranger, asking for help from me would not be difficult. :)
4. Who is your best friend? How long have you been friends? Where did you meet?
Actually I don't have that one particular person I call a bestfriend, but I do have lots of friends! But my bestest friends would be my high school buddies. We've been classmates for our whole four years in high school and we've been through a lot of happy and sad moments. Ahhh just answering this question makes me miss them. 
5. If you could do one random, crazy thing, with no fear of doing it or any lasting effects, what would it be?
Okay this is hard. Uhm, maybe sail on a boat with a couple of friends without an exact destination, hopefully find an island to get lost to, know what it's like living in the wild, meet members of the tribe and who knows what'll happen next! Haha! Totally crazy, right? You shouldn't try it if I were you.
Check out my previous Five Among Friends posts!
September 18, 2013

Throwback: High School Reunion 2012

I know it's definitely not a Thursday. But Throwbacks aren't just for Thursdays you know. I've started this Throwback Sunday thing on Facebook and about a couple of my friends are doing it already. Haha. Anyway, this afternoon I was scrolling through my old posts imported from my good old pal Tumblr, and found a few wonderful posts that I thought I might share to you! :) 

This one dated December 29, 2012 (wrote it the day after). Enjoy reading! :)

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
It’s the 28th! The sun was shining brightly in the sky. The surroundings were without a trace of the passing storm two days ago. We arrived at the beach at almost eleven and had lunch about three hours later at two pm - just in time for all the barbecues to get cooked. It’s a shame we burned out some of it. Even though that was past lunch time, we still had a pretty good conversation beforehand. We talked about typical teenage topics and laughed our hunger out. We had barbecue, roasted chicken and rice for lunch, like we always did. For dessert, we had a cake! I forgot to mention it was my friend’s birthday yesterday, so it’s sort of a double celebration. :) We also had lots of curls, which means non-stop eating. Gosh my face is getting bigger! Darn vacation! XD


[Us playing “Lumpia”, to see who’s It!]

The sun wasn’t going to allow us to swim, especially in midday. It was just so crazy hot. We can’t. Even. So we waited until the afternoon to actually take a dip in the water.


There were about twenty of us, but only a few joined in the water. Boo. I don’t know what the first game is called (I think, caterpillar?) wherein you form sort of like a caterpillar like what we did in the photo above. Then the first person is going to try to catch the last person. It was a short chase since the line isn’t long enough. But it was fun! I’m usually scared of this kind of game since it requires running underwater and you don’t know what your feet touches under. I’m glad we all got no cuts after that. :)


We then made an attempt to make a floating human circle (is that what you really call it? lol) We get to drink seawater everytime we fail but that’s the thrill of it, I guess. lol


Oooohhh, so close! 


Hahah. I can’t stop laughing at my face in here! Trololol! I didn’t know Jodi was constantly taking photos of us! Haha. I look like I’m dreaming and trolling at the same time! XD


Ladies and gentlemen, to end the day, a glorious sunset! I absolutely love this time of the day. Just so you know, I loooovvee sunsets! I mean, who doesn’t? I guess everyone knows that heavenly feeling when you see hues of orange and violet and yellow in the sky. The mysterious silhouette of the trees always gives me the chills. The reflection of the setting sun is just too beautiful for words. 

I guess this was my shot. :) I’m afraid of bringing my friend’s camera into the water for a better shot of the sunset. But anyways, here it is. Lol. ;)


Several jumpshot attempts! :) 

We had to make it fast since this sunset don’t last forever!


Damn beautiful!


The second from the left is me. I know it because my shorts’ pockets are out. :D

What a fun day with friends it was! We packed our bags at about six. We lost track of time since we were enjoying the water so much! It was cold and great! I’ll surely miss the beach. :/

(I thought of not including this part, but meh, read on guys! Haha! )The moment we stepped out into the highway, something took my breath away! (And it rhymes!) The moon was just gorgeous! It (the moon)was rising just a little bit above the trees and it was perfectly above where the streets bend! It was like we were in a movie. The only thing missing is a convertible and a boyfriend. Then we will be driving towards the moon and then he says something, and then we k… *clears throat*. So where was I? ;) Yeah, we were tired and happy. I don’t know what else to say. :) I arrived home just in time for dinner at our neighbors house. It’s a family Christmas Party!

And that was one long throwback. :) Find more of my throwback posts here! Expect more soon! 

The Happy List 2.0

Just as I was about to get to the thought of making The Happy List (originally by Camie of Wild Spirit) a filler on my blog, I've seen just this morning that she's made it into a blog link-up! So cool! :) Now, that's one of the reasons to be happy! :) Link-up here and join in the fun!
  1. Blogging. 
  2. The smell a new notebook with blank pages and a cute cover. 
  3. Discovering a new blog.
  4. Sunsets.
  5. Receiving e-mails and replies from my bloggy friends.
  6. Listening to songs from the 80's to 90's.
  7. The smell of rain.
  8. Knowing that an old shirt still fits.
  9. Reading my old blog posts and laughing at my own jokes.
  10. Knowing that the group of people I met through a competition four years ago, wants us to meet again.
  11. Leaving Booksale ( a secondhand bookstore) with a new book to read.
  12. Saturdays.
  13. Finally getting to organize my blog planner/notebook.

What are the things that make you happy?
September 17, 2013

Takeover Tuesday: Meet Niquelle

Hey hey hey! It's Tuesday, and you know what that means? It's time for Takeover Tuesday! I'm super duper glad to have all these wonderful ladies take over the blog for a day! It saves me the time to write a post for Tuesday and enables us to get to know more about our fellow bloggers! You can check out the others here!

So here she is! Pretty Niquelle looking good with her husband! :)

A little about me:
Hi there! I'm Niquelle & I blog over at Paper Plane in order to keep myself accountable to various goals I have set as well as remember what I've been doing (because I can hardly remember what day is it most of the time!) I live in Pittsburgh with my hubby and I work a couple of random (but really fun!) part-time jobs while I search for a teaching position. Above all I love God and try to be more like Jesus each day (what an incredible & challenging journey!) I'd love for you to visit my blog and say "hi!" but until then here's some more info about me!

1. Who inspired you to blog?
In short, a bunch of other wonderful bloggers inspired me to start my own! I really loved the way they were documenting their lives and I wanted to join in on the fun. I actually have  list of specific ladies that have inspired me & continue to inspire me on my blog.

2. How long have you been blogging? 
Technically I have been blogging since July 2011, but my blog has changed a bit since then (including the name!) and I started blogging more seriously in May 2012.

3. Do you ever blog in your PJ’s?
I almost exclusively blog in my PJ's! (Or some form of sweatpants and such) Isn't that one of the greatest things about blogging, after all? 

4. What are 5 items you never leave home without?

I never leave home without my iPhone (4s), my Tide Stick (because I spill something on myself almost daily), hand-sanitizer (because I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe), a re-useable cup (because I love, love, love the earth), and my American Express (because I get some pretty great rewards... and who doesn't love rewards on things you need to buy anyway!?)

5. How do you understand 'true happiness'?
Not too long ago I wrote a post about this! True happiness, to me, is just taking a moment each day to appreciate the little things in your life. The beauty of a newly bloomed flower, the time you get to relax at a red light, the blue skies above, etc.

September 16, 2013

Things that a twenty year old should know

You are never too old for cartoons. You think Spongebob is the coolest underwater sponge ever. You love minions so much. You still find your eyes glued to the television every time Looney Tunes Babies come up. You still laugh every time Jerry does tricks at Tom. Your favorite channels for all time is Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. You do that. I do that, too. We're twenty and we still love cartoons. Nuff said.

It's okay to be single at 20. Have you ever been jealous to 15 year olds having boyfs and girlfriends? (If yes, don't worry. I do, too. Lol!) But mah ladies, twenty is young! This is where we should spend time for ourselves before we give or spend it to somebody else. You're just about to start living. Perhaps, Mr. Bautista is right - that there is more to life than love. Learn to discover and know yourself first, and when the time comes, you'll be ready to show and share it to your other half, whoever that is.

Chocolates don't really cause pimples. Admit it, we all love chocolate and perhaps one of the reasons that most women try hard to avoid it is that they're afraid to further trigger breakouts. You can't really blame the sinful taste (and ingredients) of chocolate as a cause. But can something as delicious as chocolate really cause a dreadful breakout? 
"Conclusion: False. Chocolate cannot be directly faulted for breakouts, but high sugar/high-fat foods (which chocolate has in spades) can increase the body's sebum production, which then create inflammatory responses in the body -- sometimes in the form of acne. Additionally, this myth is partly rooted in coincidence: many women's craving and consumption of chocolate coincides with breakouts. To stay on the safe side, load up on fruits and vegetables, and when you need a chocolate fix, try to stick to dark over white or milk varieties." (Source)
Height doesn't matter. Unless you're applying to be a flight attendant or at a work that requires a certain height, then it doesn't matter. It's not your fault. It's not anybody's fault. Let's just be thankful that we were born complete (two arms and legs, ten fingers and toes). Besides, it's just a damn number and what matters is all about how much you can do. Agree or not?

It's time to start saving. If you already have a bank account and good amount of money in it, congratulations darling! If not, then you should probably grab an application form and sign up for a bank account as in now! Or maybe you can start with a piggy bank and save up your remaining allowances in your last couple of semesters. Trust me, you're going to need it in the future.

It's okay to lose. You should probably know by now that bringing home the bacon is not always what matters most. I'm not saying that it's not important. What I mean is that, sometimes, it's not about the recognition or the awards. It's about the experience, the new friends, doing your best and letting everyone know that you're a good sport. Sometimes, we need to lower our expectations and let other people shine, too.

You should start taking care of yourself. You should have probably done this years ago, but then again, twenty is still young. Take care of yourself and do it now! Eat healthy, stop eating junk, start a daily exercise routine, mind your posture, take care of your skin, never skip breakfast. These maybe little things that you think are easy to do, but let me tell you, they're not. You have to make a habit out of it. We all want to be healthy and live a long life. If we do, then we should start as early as today, cause years from now, you're not the only who's gonna need yourself.

What do you think are other things that a 20-year old should know? 
Drop it in the comments below! :)

September 15, 2013

September Wishlist

Ahoy maties! Arrrrr! Lol! How are you? It feels like forever since I've posted. I was like 'Whaaaat?!' when I saw my August Archive empty. I was at an unplanned hiatus for a month! *sad face* But here I am again, lurking in your dashboards! I missed this place so much and I have to catch up with plenty of things that's going on in here. Besides, I have a few months for free before another semester starts. Yay! :)

The -ber months are back! And you know what that means! Christmas is just around the corner! The nights and early mornings are getting colder and I can already hear a couple of Christmas songs being played by my neighbors once in a while. Aaahhh, I wish you all in advance a wonderful Christmas!

Meanwhile, I give to you my recent wants (or needs?) that I'm sure you'll want to (or not?). LOL! Anyway, here it is!

I'm definitely not much of a sneakers-kind of girl but aren't these shoes the bomb? I especially love the crochet detail at the back as well as the fact that it's a bit girlish-boy thing or a boyish-girl thing, if you know what I mean. :D

Why buy an iPhone when a very classy (and not  to mention, affordable) phone that resembles the  features of an all-expensive iPhone is in the market? I have plenty of ebooks and I'd want to read them in it (and play with my ever fave Temple Run!). I hope someone gives me one this Christmas...uhm, Mom? Dad? GodParents? Anyone?

Am I the only one who hasn't read the book yet?
*sobs* I've read only books reviews and I badly wanted to have the book. I've seen one at a local bookstore but I don't have enough to purchase it. Hashtag - bookloverproblems. I heard there's a movie adaptation coming November 15, 2013 and I must see it (even if it means watching it alone).

The Book Thief @ National Bookstore
Found an Ebook Version!

P.S. There is currently a conflict at Zamboanga here in our country and thousands of civilians and innocent people are affected. They have lost their homes due to fires, lost their relatives due to bullet shots and bombs, and are struggling and wanting to go back their homes. We are lucky that we are far from the place, but we should care because they are are our countrymen. They are also humans. Please help us pray for them. Let us pray that the dispute will be over, that they will surrender so that the people can go back to their homes and families. Let us pray for all of them that they may have a Merry Christmas, too. Thank you, guys. #PeaceforZamboanga

September 13, 2013

Acne Solution: Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5 and Adapalene Gel

As we all know, a good image matters. And in order to have that good image, we need good skin. Right? I remember when I was still in elementary, I used to get pimples in my nose area. It would happen often that my nose always gets red. Thus, my classmates would call me Rudolph, as in the reindeer. (You're familiar with him right? Had a very shiny nose and all?) I didn't care anyway because I thought it'll be gone sooner or later. But I was wrong. Pimples still popped up every now and then. The annoying ones are those filled with pus. Ew! I tend to pop them sometimes which is supposedly a big no-no. So in order to hopefully eradicate the annoying pimps, I tried various facial products one after another. Some just triggered pimples. Some successfully removed it but came back after I stopped using the product. Still I continued to try several products that could possibly stop these pimples from growing around my nose. I've used Ponds a lot and my skin does not like it. I use Safeguard on my face too since it fights bacteria. It was a bit okay at first since it's just in the nose area, but during my fourth year in high school, I got them all over my face! I was horrified of course! I guess it was the first time I had pimples all over my face, especially on the cheeks. It continued during my first year in college and I felt like it was pulling down my self-esteem. 

One time, someone recommended I use Cetaphil which is a gentle facial cleanser. It worked but most of it was still there. Well at least it cleaned my face. I felt like it was a bad case of acne. I tried doing research on how to get rid of it, but I was afraid I would just worsen the condition. Then sometime in September of 2011, a friend recommended that I visit this dermatologist. She said she had acne all over her face once, but she got rid of it and she's totally got her clear skin back. I told my mom about this dermatologist, so we scheduled a day to visit her. We got to see her during the second visit since she was out in Europe or something the first time we went there.

She asked a few questions and recommended a few solutions involving a laser and etc. I cringed after hearing it. I suddenly recalled some people I know that have undergone something like those and had little holes in their face making the skin uneven afterwards which is not attractive. So my mom asked if she could suggest a solution not involving some surgery. So she recommended me this Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5 and Adapalene Gel. At that time, each small container cost about less than P300 which is very affordable. The BP is to be applied in the morning and the Gel applied at night.

This was how I looked before the treatment. I totally feel sad everytime I look in the mirror. :/ Benzoyl Peroxide is white in color and has the consistency of common bleaching creams while Adapalene Gel is opaque with the consistency of toothpaste (sort of). I religiously applied them as scheduled and as the days went by, I started to see results! My classmates even noticed it during the first few weeks! After about two months and two sets of creams, I can totally say that it worked!

Applying BP might cause your skin to get dry or burn but I guess that's how it works. So you must not be exposed to sunlight if you don't want your skin to burn further. As for the gel, I've noticed that I get glowing skin whenever I would wake up in the morning. It also removes dark spots caused by the acne too! How awesome. :)

I'm not a skin specialist nor do I have any idea how these creams work, so I searched this one for you:

What does Benzoyl Peroxide do?
  • Benzoyl peroxide removes the top layer of skin and goes deep into your pores, unclogging them and killing acne causing bacteria. (Yahoo Answers)
  • Propionibacteria acnes, or P. acnes, are the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts. They cannot live in an aerobic (oxygen-rich) environment. Benzoyl peroxide works by introducing oxygen into the pore, thereby killing P. acnes. When the bacteria population is reduced, the number of breakouts on the skin is reduced as well. (About.com)

What does Adapalene Gel do?
  • Adapalene is used to treat acne. Adapalene is in a class of medications called retinoid-like compounds. It works by stopping pimples from forming under the surface of the skin...Adapalene controls acne but does not cure it. (Medline Plus)

This was about a year after I applied the creams. Awesome right? Though there is visible redness at times, I'm pretty happy that I'm now acne free! Besides, I could use a little blush on my cheeks. Hihi. I still get pimples but only occasionally like when I'm having my period or when I get stressed. I've stopped using it regularly about a month after I got rid of the acne and came to a full stop after like 5 months.

Currently, I'm still using Ponds but only, and only their Facial Cleanser. I've seen how my skin likes it so I think I'm going to stick to using it to avoid having those pimps. A few days ago, I visited the clinic wanting to buy the creams again but they were out of stock. The dermatologist has also changed the Benzoyl Peroxide to the one with Erythromycin that's used to treat bacterial infections. I guess this treatment (sold in a small spray bottle that cost P500) is for those with severe acne cases. Take note that you should not apply this if you're allergic to Erythromycin.

So that was the 'how-i-got-rid-of-my-acne' story. I hope you've learning something out of this. :) It took me all the courage to post those photos up there. Lol! But of course, a healthy diet and a good hygiene is always one sure way of avoiding having pimples. And never pop the zits and keep your hand clean and away from your face! :D

*Results may vary, perhaps depending on skin type or acne case. Though it may seem to be a for-all-types-of-acne treatment, it's best to consult your dermatologist before applying any medication so as not to worsen your skin condition. :)