Thursday, January 31, 2013

Certified Probinsyana - Living A Simple Yet Good Life

I'm a certified "probinsyana" even if I'm now living in a first world city country, Singapore. A "probinsyana" is a Filipino term for "a lass from the province". I practically grew up in a small town in the Philippines. I am the youngest among five siblings. We lived in a simple house not too far from our small farmland in Camiling. We're not rich, but we're not poor either (at least in my perspective). We had pretty much of everything we needed. We had food from the farm as we used to grow vegetables and fruits and raised poultry as well. We had a shelter where I shared room with my siblings. It wasn't big, but it was comfy and cozy. We had fun like buffalo back riding (our "alaga" (pet) named Bernardo on inserted photo), climbing trees, dancing in the rain, fishing frogs and among other things. We lived within our means, we lived a simple way of life.

My Father together with my siblings and our buffalo.
However, our father kept on reminding my siblings and I to study hard and get a good job to get a better life. Being a very obedient child, I did. I studied very hard, strove to be on top, entered in a good university and found a "good job". The question now is, “do you have a better life after having a good job"?

Having a good job doesn't necessarily mean having a better life. Yes, truly it may provide financial "freedom" or "security" but it may also create "more wants" in life. After thinking for three hundred and fifty-six times I finally decided to go back to basics. I'm going to live the life of a "probinsyana". No, I’m not going back to my small town, but I’m bringing the simple way of life in the city. And I want to share the “probinsyana” life – living a simple life, living a good life and appreciating simple things that can bring great joy in life. 

How about you, what's your idea of a "good life"? Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, reactions and consructive criticisms

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wear Something That Makes You Feel Good & Comfy

Going out with friends requires comfy outfit since you expect to stroll for hours under the heat of the sun. Make sure to wear something cute that can make you feel good and comfortable at the same time.

An unplanned day out with a friend one Saturday inspired me to dress up simple, comfortable yet a little fashionable. I chose a short polka dot black dress with a matching white Cotton On cardigan and thin black leatherette belt from G2000. A comfy open type outdoor footwear/sandal from Charles & Keith worn since the day out required us to walk, walk and walk. Added an orangey satchel bag, white dangle earrings and nude make up to complete the get up.

It doesn't matter what your style is, as long as you feel good about your everyday outfit, you will definitely look good on it. Have fun dressing up on your next day out!

Flat White Charles & Keith Sandals
      // buy at
White Cotton On Cardigan
      // buy at
 Thin Black Leatherette G2000 Belt
      // buy at

Find more inspiration styles at

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Turn a Simple Moment to a Seductive Magic

It's your anniversary and you may have so many plans on how to celebrate it with your loved one.

Perhaps, you're longing for a fancy bed & breakfast at the recently opened and very nice all-inclusive boutique hotel in town. Or maybe you're planning to go on a short vacation in an island with a beautiful beach, fine sands and nice shores; dine to a well-rated seafood restaurant; experience a romantic dinner situated atop overlooking the city or just watch a musical play. Unfortunately, the plan fails.

Don't fret when all the plans are not possible because of some reason like time, distance or money. If you can't control the situation or a person, there's one thing you can control. And that is your attitude towards the situation or a person. Just relax and think of alternative ways to celebrate the occasion.

Even though your anniversary or special occasion will not be going to be as planned, you can still do simple things to make it more fun and memorable.

You know you can’t go anywhere and you’ll certainly stick at home on your anniversary, why not turn your bedroom to a romantic haven? Below are some few tips to add romantic touch on your bedroom:
Red carnation and Heart Swan Shaped On Bed
  • Put up some tea lights or scented candles in your room
  • Try new different texture sheets like satin silk or a leopard print on your bed just for fun
  • Get fluffy pillows to cuddle up with your partner
  • Remove things that are not romantic like posters, relative’s picture, soft toys or kid’s stuff
  • Have an iPod with speaker or stereo and prepare different music tracks to play
  • Put some fresh flowers in the room to lighten up the environment (or sprinkle rose petals on your bed)
  • Make sure to have adjustable lighting
  • Have a wine and glass ready or simple sweet delights like chocolate, strawberries or cherries

These things will create the mood for your true romance. Spend a night of indulgence at your own “seductively” comfortable bedroom and enjoy the rest of the evening with your loved one with or without an occasion.

A Touch of Red Wine
You want to have a romantic dinner out, but you cannot go out? You want to do it at home but you also don’t have a great cooking skill to make it work. Don’t panic, you can still prepare your partner’s all-time favourite food at home like beef steak, adobo or even tuyo (dried fish) or you can opt to order and have it delivered right at your doorstep. You just need to add a little bit of romantic ideas to make your dinner special. No matter what main course you may be preparing, there are simple steps you can do to set a romantic mood on your dinning table:
  • Make sure to decorate your dining table, use a nice table cloth and coloured napkins
  • Use nice matching plates, cutleries and a wine glass
  • Put a simple flower arrangement or just a single stem of rose in a wonderful vase
  • Use a candle light and play a jazz or instrumental music
  • Don’t forget to prepare a dessert too
Celebrating an occasion like anniversary or any other occasion with your partner need not be so grand; you can still do simple things to make it fun and extra special. What matters most is the two of you are together and having a quality time. Make each moment count, because when it passes it can never turn back.

If you have any other ideas to make a simple moment to a seductive magic, share it with us. Please feel free to leave a message on the comment field.

* * * * * * * * * Photo Memories From Our Recent "Paper" Anniversary* * * * * * * * *

Red carnation for our first wedding anniversary.

Photo paper (comics) since it's a paper anniversary.

Red wine to celebrate good time.

Chocolates for a simple sweet treat.

Turn the bedroom to a romantic haven. Make fun shapes with cloths like the heart swan shaped.

Kisses lay out in a heart shape. Heart shaped on bed is always fun.
Red wine and "funny wine" glasses.

 Delightful dinner.

All images copyrighted. Please don't use without permission.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Getting Rid of Stress by Being Creative

Simple relaxation exercise - Breathe in/out
Are you feeling so tired and stressed out about your job, situation or people around you? Chillax, breathe in and breathe out. Pack your luggage and go on a short vacation somewhere else. Go to the mall and shop around. Or you can also go to spa with your friends. Have your hair and nails done at the salon.

However, if you don't want to hurt your pocket in managing stress, you can also try cheap activities right at the comfort of your own home such as do movie marathon, take a longer shower, take a leisurely walk at the nearby park, pray or meditate, read a book, play with your kids or pet, enjoy a cup of tea, turn on the music and dance and among other simple things that can help you feel refresh and rejuvenate. 

You can also get rid of stress by being creative like doing art crafts or painting. Another way of releasing stress is putting words in poems. Poetry for me is playing with words and phrases with whatever I can think of when I decided to start writing one. Start creating one poetry journal today and relieve stress by putting your inner thoughts on words. You'll be amazed how this can be so fun and relaxing. The good thing about writing a letter or poem is you can express your emotions and thoughts but you have the option not to share it.

Poetry is a form of expression, so either you use your personal experience or use your imagination. If you don't know where to start in writing a poem, the following steps might help:

  • Think of a positive experience. How do you feel about it? Why do think it is a beautiful experience? 
  • You can also use negative experience to write a poems. Write down your frustrations, angers and hatred. 
  • Try what "ifs" or write about your wildest dreams.
  • If you have limited experience, use your senses - smell, feel, look, listen and taste. Describe what you sensed.

Don't think of the styles, structures or choice of words; just write what’s in your heart. Start alleviating stress now, write a poem and have fun!

Below is a poem I wrote. This is inspired by my painting, "Wide Open", it's about grace and how I have been ungrateful to the great provider. It's a poem I dedicate to the one above.

Wide Open
Wide Open - Acrylic paint on a canvas 101412

How I often forget that the sun still shines
Even if it's so dark and rain at times
Oh Your embrace how I missed
Though You're always there and never left
On my walk how often times I stumble
Please allow me trust You and make me humble

You offered a love as clear as the blue sky
What else can I ask for in life
Your arms are wide open wider than the fields
In You alone my heart and mind should yield
Set my eyes upon You, I beg and pray
Stay with me always and even after my days

If somewhere somehow I lost my way in this journey
Hope I can remember to look up and see
That Your care is higher that the beam of clouds
And Your provisions is greener than the green fields.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nation of Happiness

Tiger's Nest - Purchased Image

If I would have to choose a country to visit in the near future, I will travel to Bhutan. I've never been to this place, but I would love to experience its beauty and serenity; its culture and people.

While the rest of the countries in the world give priority to their "gross national product", Bhutan gives more value on "gross national happiness". It is the only country that measures well-being and happiness. Both its government and people are also geared to preserve its natural resources and committed to sound environmental management and sustainable development.

Most people will probably visit places that are highly advertised, well-known and overcrowded. However for someone who would like to experience a unique and pristine travel destination, Bhutan is definitely a place to go to.

Eric Weiner, an author, describes the country as, "If Bhutan were a celebrity, it would be Johnny Depp — reclusive, a bit odd, but endearing none the less."

I like Johnny Depp, I'm sure I will like Bhutan too. I can't wait for the day I will set my first step to Thimphu. Kelan kaya yun, sana malapit na (when will that be, hope it would be very soon)!

Note: If you are interested to visit Bhutan, you may contact Ugyen Zangmo, a lovely Bhutanese lady who may be able to help you on your travels around the country, at +975 17 82 71 89

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Be Green & Save Money

It seems that everyone is going green nowadays because of all the media-hype about the climate change. People are starting to take simple steps like saving electricity, using public transport instead of private car, borrowing instead of buying and among other things to save energy and reduce carbon footprint.You too can help reduce your environmental impact, save money, and live a happier life.  One of the simple things you can do is to think before you buy. Instead of quickly going to mall, consider go online to check new or slightly used second-hand products. You can also visit garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items near to your place.Nowadays, buying used items is more socially acceptable than it was few years ago. So go ahead and include this as part of your shopping routine. By doing this, you're not just saving money but you are also becoming environmentally friendly.Please check out pre-loved items at Thrift Deal Shop, visit Have a Great shopping in Less Spending.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hate, Like & Love

"The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for." I heard this from one of Zig Ziglar's videos in YouTube and it struck me.

I must admit, I'm a constant complainer. I'm like "I hate this, I hate that, I don't like this, and I don't like that". I hate so many things about life! Most of the time, I don't like things the way they are. I'm also like "oh that won't work; I don't want to try, that's impossible", a very negative person it is. If I list down the things I hate about life, then definitely this space will not be enough. But what do I get if do that? It will only reinforce negative thoughts in my subconscious mind.

Today, I will exactly do the opposite and this is my purpose in putting my thoughts in letters, words, phrases and sentences. Besides it’s a brand new dawn, another chance to start right, a new beginning full of hopes and promises. Before stepping on the next stone, I need to recognize first few things I like and love about my life.

I like/love...
  • ...being wake up early in the morning and feel that I'm still alive
  • ...being with my husband John
  • dishes even if it doesn't taste good
  • ...having money to spend to for the things I need and some wants
  • ...having more free time
  • ...talking with my Nanay on the phone
  • ...travelling or taking tour to far or nearby places
  • ...bonding with friends, chats online, eat out and just laugh
  • ...taking photographs, writing poems, paintings and designing
  • books, watch movies, do facebooks
 ...the list continues.

Although, doing the things I like and love is an easy task there are also few things I'm not really into (things I thought I hate to do) but would like to learn to love. I believe that this is a crucial step to open up my mind and be more positive in life. It’s one of the bravest things that a person can do, instead of just complaining, abandoning and not trying at all.

I like/love to learn...
  • business
  • to be a successful in sales
  • be more patient about people/neighbor
  • ...more friendly
  • with different people
  •  ...accept "no's" or rejections
  •  ...cold calling ...have a good talk to strangers
  •  ...swimming
  • more outgoing
There's no short cut in learning these things, but I'm taking the initiative by accepting that I'm not good about these and that I need to do something about them. I'm grateful for tools and resources like computers and internet which can give me access to great teachers and coaches of all time who can motivate me to be more positive and accomplish certain goals I set for myself. I'm grateful for family and friends who encourage and discourage me in some way or another. And above all, I'm grateful to the one above who gave me one life to live and provides me with all the strength I need.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Colour You, Colour Me

"Rise Up" - Acrylic Paint on a Canvass
Painting is for everyone, not just for the "talented" or "artist". It is a form of expression and it enriches one's lives. Creating art can divert your attention from what's stressing you for certain period of time and once you're done with your art therapy, you can have a clearer mind.

According to Elizabeth Scott, M.S., a wellness coach, "you can experience 'flow' when doing creative activities. There’s a certain quality of being called “flow”, that experts say is very beneficial for us. This refers to a state of being completely engaged in something to the point of being in a near meditative state. It carries many of the benefits of meditation, leaving you much less stressed when you’re done." So if you feeling stressed, lonely, happy, in love or in despair try to get brush, colour and paper or a canvas. Relieve stress, release your emotions and turn it to an art piece. Here are simple steps if you would like to try our painting to relieve your stress:
"Black Day" - Acrylic on a Canvass

  • Buy some colour/paints. Get something that you can be comfortable to use - crayons, pencil colour, watercolour, acrylic or oil paint.

  • You will need a medium, paper or canvas which is the most common.
  • Get some paint brushes if you are going to use acrylic, oil paint or poster colour.
  • Once you have all your materials, think of a subject and choose the colour you want to use.
  • Unleash your creativity. Start playing with the colours on your paper/canvas.
  • Enjoy the process. Then stop when you think it's done.
  • You can show it to others or give as gift.
Try it once and have fun!

Here are some of the paintings I did during the most stressful days in my life. I'm glad I turned to painting, now I don't need to buy stuff to hang on my living room.

"Stand Still" - Acrylic Paint on a Canvas 
"Lampas Kalendaryo" - Acrylic Paint on a Canvas

"Woman's Mind" - Acrylic on a Canvas

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Art & Letter to God

"Master and Commander"

Acrylic Paint on a Canvass - L.Ajera 12282012
A fresh sailing to take,
As the new dawn breaks;

If the raging seas I will meet,

Fill me with Your strength;

When I lost my compass,

Guide and light my path;

If a storm comes by,

I trust You’ll be by my side;

Be my Master and Commander,

And make this journey a remarkable.

This is one of the paintings and poems I was inspired to do because of the One Above. I may not be a great artist but I'm grateful that I have hands to play and eyes to enjoy colours of life.