Self-Care: How It Was and How It’s Going

I came across this little questionnaire by jaquintinwriter and scored really low. Now, I’ve never really been high maintenance or the girly girl type but…5 out of 20? And this would have been a pre-pandemic score. I made a quick review of my self-care habits just to check if I still feel good about my habits lately.

Photo by Natasha Fernandez on

How It Was (pre-pandemic):

  • Almost daily exercise
  • Weekly Me time mostly consisting of meditation, reading, going for or making myself a nice meal
  • Some regular monthly pampering i.e. mani or pedicure, massage
  • Occasional pampering i.e. hair treatment, facial or some personal shopping
  • Annual medical/physical/dental checkup or treatment as needed.

How It’s Going:

  • Weekly exercise (mostly nature walks instead of gym) + Healthy eating (mostly home-cooked)
  • Me time still there (+writing or art when I’m feeling extra)
  • Monthly pampering scrapped – I still do not feel safe visiting a salon or spa.
  • Occasional pampering still there but more DIY/at-home, personal shopping at a minimum or barely happening (the latter mainly because I’m going for zero to less waste since mid-2020)
  • Annual physical and dental skipped last year (OVERDUE, so will probably try the mobile center options).
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My self-care habits now look very different, even more minimal and cost so much less, but a lot more mindful. Actually, this mindfulness spills over to almost all areas of my life now. Rare are the days when I’m running on autopilot. I still struggle a bit with consistency but motivation comes easier now, a lot lighter on my feet compared to last year.

What does self-care look like for you these days?

Seat At The Table

I found this very informative talk/video encouraging, stimulating and hopeful in almost equal parts. While the responsibility lies largely on this generation, it helps paint a brighter future if we start getting our act together as a global community and start working together instead of in silos, enormous challenges in themselves but not impossible. Which other generation has had the privilege to solve the world’s problems with all the information we need at our fingertips?

Another video I found highly informative and inspiring is this ted talk by Simon Anholt. It’s encouraging to know that about 10% of the world’s population share the same values/perspective as global citizens/globalists. That can make up a country with the 3rd highest population in the world. If you think in these terms, know that you are not alone in worrying about our future and where the world is headed.

5 Things – Kitchen Musts

I’ve been in the kitchen a lot more since the quarantines started and working with my hands has brought me joy (some days) or respite on others. Here are 5 things I always stock up on or always reach for in the kitchen these days:

Herbs and Spices

My usual picks are cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, basil, tarragon, thyme and rosemary. Even when I wasn’t cooking a lot (or at all), I’d buy spices during trips to remember it by, as a sort of souvenir. Now that I’m in the kitchen a lot, I love experimenting with these. As for herbs, I’ve been trying to grow a few things in pots.

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My top picks are relish from chopped veggies, sriracha, mustard, oyster sauce, worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, sesame oil, pesto and the occasional salsa, sweet chili, gochujang or mirin.


I still prefer this over other food cutting machines.

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Good Cookware and Bakeware

I used to improvise but now, I treat myself to a good set that’s versatile, looks good and can take a beating if needed.

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Cleaning Stuff

I hate leaving the kitchen dirty, disorganized or wet. Even before covid, I’m a little extra with these.

Written for 5 Things You Absolutely Need in Your Kitchen by Dr. Tanya over at Salted Caramel


Casuals Rule

Thanks to A Guy Called Bloke‘s Are You Actually Wearing That..Out? Got me thinking a bit about my wardrobe. Or lack of it.

Has the lockdown altered your day to day dress code and after lockdown will you instantly revert to old fashion you or new fashion you?

Nothing much has changed with the way I dress pre- and during lockdown. I’m inclined to think I won’t change my mind post-lockdown. I used to dress down by default or dress it down when I can. I liked looking at nice clothes from time to time with almost no intention to buy them. That was before but more so now.

What will your future fashion or dress code style be and consist of?

Maybe leaning more into sustainable fashion if they’ve figured out a way to make them more accessible/available/affordable (I’m counting on you, socio-entrepreneurs/fashionpreneurs). Still keeping my good clothes until they retire.

Will you even bother to dress up to go out post lockdown?

Only when I have to, like at a wedding or graduation or something. Or maybe when/if I miss dressing up. I don’t think clothes will matter as much post-lockdown, but I can only guess.

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#FOWC #threethingsthchallenge

Liquid Trail

Tinipak River in Rizal


Lakeside in Tagaytay at sunrise one summer

All-time fave coffee with lava sugar while enjoying a view of Mt. Fuji



Clearest pond I’ve seen during spring in Japan


A sacred well in Japan – can’t touch it!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Into the Woods


A place of healing and solace.  A short time bathing in it brings a world of benefits to your well-being.


But getting lost is as real as you and me and life itself.  Tread carefully.

via Daily Prompt : Forest


Place In the World


Marimegmeg Beach, El Nido

It used to be any quiet beach; calm but not dead.  I would lie down on this natural water bed without a care in the world.

Lately though, the mountains call to me.  I can recalibrate and feel at peace at just the sight of green mountains (or white, if winter) and be in awe.  A water beside it seals the deal for me.

Tinipak River

View of Taal Volcano from Tagaytay



But as a city girl, having lived in the city all my life, I never thought I’d love being in any city until I’ve been to Japan.  And I was smitten by this city with a soul, or at least personality.  Or dare I say, identity?

The Scramble

Also submitted for the Weekly Post Challenge

New to Succulents

succ_getting started

Acting more on my desire to lessen my carbon footprint, increase my ecological handprint, and indulging the environmentalist in me, I’ve been attempting to grow some of my own veggies and trying to be a successful plant parent.  It’s been hit or miss so far; I was able to grow some arugula and some low maintenance, air filtering plants but failing to propagate them.  And so, rather than spending more time doing trial and error gardening, I tried attending a workshop hoping this particular weakness of mine will be addressed.  I’m sharing some learnings here to hopefully help another plant parent out there from going crazier (crazy plant parents are totally acceptable 🙂 ) and also to document tips and tricks for this particular forgetful newbie gardener.  Here goes:

Prep the soil.  They say loam soil is the ideal garden soil, but for purposes of the workshop, we used an equal mix of loam soil, small pebbles for draining, and something close to clay.  We added a teeny amount of fertilizer (not too much to not burn the roots) and mixed these in a container.  Had fun shaking the mix.

succ_soil etc

succ_prep soil
Shake, shake, shake


Choose your plants/succulents.  3-4 will do depending on how big your pot is.  Try not to make your dish garden too crowded to allow your succulents to grow and spread.

succ_choosing succ

My workshop kit


Fill your pot halfway then plan on the placement of your succulents/plants in before filling it up all the way with all your succulents and soil mix in it.

Add some toppers for a nice touch.  Once your dish garden/pot is filled and styled to your liking, add some perlite, pebbles or vermiculite for a nice touch and to help in either drainage, airflow or moisture retention.


Voila!    You’ve got yourself a new baby!:)

succ_fin prod

Some good tips I learned are about drainage, water and sun requirement.  Choose a pot or container with a drain, that way you don’t have to skimp on water.  But don’t overwater to prevent root rot.  Last but not the least, know more about succulents; some require medium light but can thrive on low light etc.  That way you can pick and choose the ones according to your preference and level of commitment.  For the ones I chose, they can survive indoors with indirect sunlight, will require watering every 3-4 days and possibly repotting every 6 months.   Yup, I can deal with that.

Hope this helps to encourage you to try your hand at this.  It is definitely therapeutic 😉

What’s New in 2018

2018 was off to a great albeit busy start.  I was like a runner who got her second wind then runner’s high shortly after.  And it’s amazing what a shot of inspiration can do to you.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this year when I, a left-brain dominant person, decided to try and give her right brain free rein some days of the week:

  1. Learned a few things to take a break from wedding planning
    • Resin art –it was fun albeit time consumingresin
    • Leather crafting –I might do more of this on weekends.  Handmade shoes and bags, anyone?leather crafting
    • DIY candlecandle
    • DIY scents
    • Urban gardening –starting to grow some of my own veggies.  A nod to sustainability that I hope I can sustain.urban garden
  2. Started investing in altcoins, cryptocurrency in Feb –Oh, the potential here!
  3. Tried a diet for the first time, and still on, the keto diet
  4. Got married in March 🙂 🙂 🙂  Tried to make it as green/eco-friendly as possible.  It was fun!married
  5. Started blogging (again) in April
  6. Ongoing honeymoon
    • First stop – Tokyo, JapanSakura preview
    • Next stop –To be announced 🙂 Any suggestions?

What about you, what have you been up to lately?  Or better, what have you been inspired to do or explore lately?

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