Friday, May 30, 2014

Got a New Running Shoes!

Y'all know I love running.

My New Balance running shoes is pretty much nearing the end of its life. The sole is now so thin that I developed some big-ass callouses, and whenever I step into a pebbled trail, I instantly feel a pebble hitting and poking a callous which hurts like crap, so I decided that it's time to get a new one.

Look at that beat up sole

I have been using the same pair of shoes for about 2 1/2 years now. I got it for 60 bucks. It was quiet pricey for me coz I'm cheap like that, but it was all worth it. It's like paying $1.50 every month for the last 30 months.It had served me well. Totally!

My New Shoes
Nike Flex Trainer 2
Pink Force/Volt White

I got it at Off Broadway Shoes, a store which sells different kinds and different brands of shoes. The price was $64 including taxes. Yah, I consider it expensive coz again, I'm cheap like that, but I can see myself using it for a few years so totally worth it.

 I thought it was pretty and I fell in love with it at right away. This is like stepping-outside-my-comfort-zone-kind-of-shoes.  This will definitely motivates me more to run. Plus, it's pink so how can I go wrong? Haha!

And oooh, I decided to upgrade my workout clothes so these will totally match my first matchy-matchy outfit which I got from Fabletics- Kate Hudson's athletic clothing line (she is the co-owner). The pair that I ordered didn't arrive yet. It was 50 percent off for your very first order, so I went for it.

I am excited to hit the trail with these cute little things!

Random shoe-thing about me : The blue New Balance shoes (above) was my very first rubber shoes I bought for myself. My very first running shoes was a hand me down from my cousin, which I had been using for 4 years up until I went abroad to work.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Long Weekend: Mountain Climbing and Caribbean Festival

I spread myself too thin this weekend. I agree to go mountain climbing on Saturday and I also agree to go to a festival the next day coz the hubby of one of my friends is playing in a band.

Since I love the outdoors, one of my life goals is to climb many mountains. My first climbing experience, which I've done many of times after that,  was Mt. Palpalan in Pagadian City. My aunt lives at the foot of the mountain and I remember going there for vacation all the time when I was living in Cebu. There, I sealed my love of nature. 

My coworkers were planning to climb the nearby mountain and I tagged along. It has been glorious and I'm glad I went.  

Let me bombard you with pictures but first, enjoy my short clip of me being so happy I get to the top, after hours and hours of hiking. I was goofing around. Enjoy my monkey, awkward and childish moves!

The next day, I went to a festival which was a bad idea coz I was so tired from last day's hike. I already said yes and I haven't seen my Filipino friends for a long time so I decided to go.

It's my first time attending a festival and man, people got too wild... on dancing... I was just people-watching and I took a lot of clips with all that dirty dancing. I was just laughing and shaking-my-head. (For some reason, I can't seem to upload longer videos here so, I only uploaded one.Oh, well.)

Today, I am just chillin' like a villain at home. I am too tired from being out this past two days but, I did enjoy it. Some kind of experience, I must say.

 Readying for  another day at work tomorrow.

How's your Memorial Day weekend? 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

IT'S OKAY TO BUY "THAT" IF AND ONLY IF: Questions I Ask Myself Before Buying " WANTS"

"We work to live and not live to work"

A phrase I always remind myself when I become painfully stingy.

I can give to my family but not to myself and sometimes, it becomes so unbelievably extreme to a point that I question myself.

I totally change. I realized that life is here and now, instead of constantly worrying what my life will be 10 or 20 years from now.

Worrying is a reason we survive but too much worrying can make our lives miserable

Again, we work to live and living means to live, to spend time with people we love, to buy flowers and enjoy and smell it, to enjoy life coz life is here and life is now.

I am not suggesting you become a hedonist, doing what feels good without thinking of the outcome of your actions or without regards of the future consequence. We need balance and balance means not going to the extreme- extremely cheap or extremely extravagant.

Though I have been preaching and practicing frugality, I still get urge to splurge once in a while. Yep, I am still human and I get tempted. I want to buy this, I want to buy that. A part of me says "Come on, you only live once, what if you'll get hit by a car tomorrow and die?" and another part says " Pffffft, it's a waste! Why are you entertaining such thoughts? You are waaaay better than that" 

I am no saint and sometimes, I give in.

Yes, I give in once in while, BUT if I allow myself to buy something, I make sure I go "through a process". A process of asking myself questions, a process of waiting to make sure that I thought about it thoroughly, to make sure that it's not an instant-gratification-kind -of-spending.

  • Why do you want this thing?
  • Will it improve the quality of my life?
  • Will it make my life easier?
  • Will I be using it often?
  • Will it make me a better person? Will it gives me positive outlook in life?
  • Do I need to take money from my emergency fund to buy this thing?
  • Did I already put at least 50 percent of my income this month? 
  • Am I willing to spend X amount of hours at work to be able to get this? See explanation here.
  • Am I willing to wait at least 2 months before saying "go ahead and buy it"?
After 2 months, I ask myself if I am still thinking about that certain "want",then I'd go ahead and ask myself the same questions above with an additional questions below:
  • Now that you have spend 2 months thinking of buying "it", are you still super duper mega over sure to buy it? You survive for 2 months without it, is it still worth to spend that certain amount of money?
  • Are you sure about it?
  • Are you really really sure?
  • Are you really really really really sure?
  • ............. :)
And the next day, I would go ahead and march to the store and buy it, or not buy it at all. I wouldn't doubt myself coz I know I went through a process.

It is okay to spend, I am telling you, but you need to make sure that you aren't spending like there's no tomorrow. 

Always remember to seek balance.

Have you found your balance yet, my friend? 


Sunday, May 18, 2014

FAMI Mutual Fund: Three Years Later

Ahhhhhhh, my very first paper investment. 

I've mentioned before that I invested in two mutual funds and one is FAMI. The other day I received an update through them by mail ( yes they mail updates from Philippines to abroad!). I usually don't really check it but for some reason, I did and boy, was I surprised! 

It grew to almost 100 percent!

Note: I am not bragging. My total invested amount in this fund was just small. Red is even expensive than my FAMI  but just telling you how time could be our ally in investing- as what I always say.

Sorry, it's blurry.

The picture above is a Statement of Account from April 01, 2011 to June 30, 2011. Encircled ( upper left) is the total total amount I owned which was PHP 46, 366. 81 and encircled ( lower left ) was my total shares bought which was  13,187

As of January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014, it is valued at PHP 86,094. That's PHP 39,728 more! Sweeeeettt!!!

It might not be a lot but hey, who would give me PHP 39,728 just for waiting? Sweet, indeed!

Note: Nowadays, I  invest more on individual stocks more than mutual funds. This mutual fund was kind of like "getting my feet wet" and "testing the water" type of investment. Not bad, huh?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Do You Write Your Dreams?

My dreams and goals, written and pasted on the wall

Do you write your dreams? I do.

Write your dreams, read it regularly, visualize it , pray for it and doors will open one way or the other. The results might not happen today or the next day, but do  believe that it will unfold soon, when the time is right and you are ready for it.

"The Power of Visualization"


“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.”

 Robert Collier quotes (American motivational author,1885-1950)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Frugal Tip: Save Those Packets/ Sachets From Fast Foods

Yah, I am a hoarder but I use most of what I hoard and then share some so, why not?

Ketchups. Mayonnaise. Soy sauce. Hot sauce. Salt and Pepper. Huzzah!

Believe me, I don't buy those condiments coz the free sachets I get from when I buy fast foods, which is rarely, are more than enough to last me forever.

At least I put them in a nice looking glass container. Haha!

I love bringing these for lunch. You can toss it in your lunch bag. Leak-free and the serving is just right. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday: Argan Oil, Hobbit 2 and a Boo-boo

The rain has been playing peek-a-boo today but, I decided to bike around town anyway.

I have a complicated skin care routine. I have a product for every need, from toner, eye cream, serum, moisturizer then acne medication on top of those, don't forget the sunblock. I do that two times a day.

I want to simplify and switch into something easy. Argan Oil caught my eye. I have been eyeing Josie Maran's Argan Oil but I don't want to go to Sephora coz it's too far away so, I just decided to try the Whole Foods one. It's cheaper (coz it's not widely marketed) and according to my research, it is similar to JM.( I still want to try JM's Argan Oil just for the sake of comparison)

Yes, Argan oil is expensive but I believed it will save me money in the long run coz I don't have to buy tons of products for every little needs and it's natural so I went for it.

Acure Argan Oil
Bought at Whole Foods
2 fl. oz ( 59 ml)
Price: $20

 It claims to be:
  • Vegan
  • Sulfate free
  • Cruelty free
  • Paraben free
  • Gluten free
  • PEG free
  • Petroleum free
  • Phthalate free
  • Silicone free
  • Won't clog pores 

  • Repairing Facial Serum
  • Body+decollete massage oil
  • Hair serum
  • Hand+cuticle repair
  • Soothes dry elbow + heels
  • Minimize scars + stretch marks
  • Helps fight fine lines 
  • Pore-refining
  • Helps with acne and blemishes
  • Help fades scar due to acne

Hopefully this will work for me. I will surely update you guys in a month or so.

After Whole Foods, I went to the mall and grabbed something from Chick-Fil-A ( my favorite fast food chain). I had some Spicy Chicken with fries and Dr. Pepper ( the usual). People have been commenting how "neat", "cool", "amazing" Red is! Proud Owner! 

My last stop was to pick up the DVD I reserved from the library. I was excited coz  they emailed me that The Hobbit 2 is ready to be picked up and you all know I am a big fan!

 On my way to the library, something happened: I FELL!

Ouchie :(

It was raining and I got distracted and BAM! I fell! I'm glad I was wearing a helmet coz I hit my head on the pavement. I was okay,though. I knew it could happen to me anytime. It's a risk I fully embraced right after I bought Red.

Drama drama
I am expecting my bruises to fully show up by tomorrow, haha! Oh, well! At least I get to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for free! 

All for you, Kili

Tea Tree Oil for my dry,itchy scalp bought at Whole Foods,too.

Train tracks and Red
Poor baby, he got a boo-boo,too :(

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying a House

I was 23 years old when I bought my first house. Yes, it's a small house but I was proud of it like heck. It was a dream and when I finally got it, I felt like a winner! (Read more about it  here)

 When I think about that day, it makes me smile. In it, I saw my hard work came to life. All the scrimping and all the ramen-diet I was doing didn't go to waste. It goes to show how being frugal can, sometimes, make your dreams come true. 

As much as I am happy I finally got a house, there are things I wish I knew before I let go of my 1.3 Million:

  • I wish I knew the power of good debt. I should have apply for a mortgage, pay the house every month and invested the rest. 

  • I wish I knew about investing, compound interest, stock market, mutual fund and the "power of time" at that time. I would have invested earlier rather than buying a house.

  •  I wish I checked the location and the house personally before buying. I just did the checking in the Internet. I let my cousin and my mom checked the property. Since my mom liked it, I said yes. 

  •  Since my brother was going to college nearby, I wish I just let them rent a house or a room instead of buying one. It would have saved me money plus, Cebu isn't really a place I'd like to live  so buying a property wasn't  necessary.

  • I wish I knew about foreclosed properties. I would have checked on that avenue  first before deciding to buy a house.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret buying  it but if only I've known more about buying properties, like I do now, then it would have been so different. 

At least I have a house I call my own to go to when I finally come home for good in 4 months!