The first half of February whizzed by completely because of a hobby I reconnected and fell in love with again. Ever since I received my first Barnes & Noble leather-bound book in the mail, I felt the same throb of passion for rebuilding and collecting rare and beautiful books. It's like meeting with an old but tender flame over the summer. I completely lose my grip once I become so engrossed with something, be it an object or a new hobby. I remember spending hours—days even—on goldfish and fish care when we first set up an aquarium at home. 🐠 I guess I took it from my dad, who's just as passionate about his interests and hobbies. His are along the lines of high-powered motorcycles, drones, and expensive DSLR cameras. It's nice to see . . .
https://vimeo.com/100981409 I discovered Renegade Folk on Instagram a long time ago, completely head-over-heels over their limited edition Feeling Good sandals in Marsala. They're simple, sexy, and exactly the kind of sandals I'd wear everyday. The brand itself is admirable as they've grown into one of the most popular local fashion brands in the country. Launched in 2007, Renegade Folk relies on the skills, talents, and creativity of their team of Marikina-based artisans to produce comfortable and stylish footwear. Every pair is made by hand and competitive in the market. Unfortunately, I had a couple of pairs on my shelf at that time and wasn't open to the idea of buying shoes online, so I didn't look into the brand further. . . .
Yesterday, I passed the Nursery class after dropping Noah off at his classroom for the day. The kids formed two lines, with their Chinese teacher demonstrating how to, if I understood their gestures correctly, walk properly within their lines. Their hands at their hips, the taller assistant standing behind her, the Nursery teacher spoke her instructions in smooth and fluent Mandarin. I listened to the unfamiliar words, letting them take me back to an older Chinese-English elementary school where the teachers drilled the same language into the students' heads. It's a lot to ask from a seven-year-old, but I couldn't help wishing I had been more mature when I had that education served to me every afternoon. Linguistically limited I read . . .
I'm still wrestling with the idea that twelve long months have already gone by. So many things happened and changed, so many goals accomplished and failed, it's hard not to wonder what the new year could bring to the table this time. My 2017 ally is my undated Passion Planner and it enabled me to plot my year's goals and put ideas to action. One of its nifty features is the GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPENED section to the right of the weekly timeline where you'd list down the week's wins. It's a great appreciation exercise where you learn to focus on the good and appreciate what you received or worked for, motivating you to seek out that same positive magic next week. https://www.instagram.com/p/BW8IG_zhGCh/?taken-by=passionplanner I decided to . . .
Before moving to Cagayan de Oro city, I brought a super old Fisher-Price basic telephone and a stuffed Thumper doll that I’ve had since I was a child. Both were for my kids to play with as they settled into their new home. I guess I saved them so I could anchor to cherished memories of my childhood as well. They remind me of the fun and stuffy afternoons inside the makeshift bedroom my parents built for my sisters and I at our now-defunct lights and electrical store. We’d stay upstairs where all the stocks were stored while they managed operations below us. https://www.instagram.com/p/BbHVsjhnB_n/?taken-by=dolldalitadollmaker A Dolldalita doll has that same charm that sweetens a child’s memories of playtime. This adorable and . . .
I read that asking a child, or anyone for that matter, what they would like to be growing up is problematic. The question demands that you select and identify with one specific occupation. It leaves no room for changes in decision, interest, or preference. Moreover, if you come from a family that expects you to choose from any of their preferred career choices, the pressure becomes too heavy to bear. These days, I find myself thinking about the less popular variations to the question, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" I do so mainly because I realize how my personality and interests vary over the years as I introduce myself to new people, places, and cultures. As I see how the world changes and how technology transforms the way . . .
I've always loved creating and managing projects, but I've yet to find the project management tool that I'd stick with for the rest of my life. Each PM tool I’ve signed up for has their strengths and limitations. And with every one of these tools I had to adjust the way I plan and manage to fit within their limitations. Todoist was fast and simple with ticking things off the list, but managing the work that needs to be done for that task is always messy business on the app. Trello is ideal for all things kanban, but kanban itself doesn’t really feel like I’m completing a project. Like a neverending waterfall of tasks and processes. Asana—well, I just deactivated my account five seconds ago. Mindmeister and its brother . . .
I've come to believe that important life lessons are learned through either advice or hands-on experience. The latter, more often than not, is the best and most painful teacher. It's also the teacher whose classes I keep attending with or without intention. 😕 This week's lesson I had to (re)learn is to read before you sign. Read what you're signing up for before putting your signature on the dotted line. Read, else you'll realize three years later that you just spent a good portion of your life savings into something you'll probably never get back. That something was my life insurance plan. P185,736.96. Imagine that big an amount going to something that I wouldn't be able to enjoy until I was dead. That could've been for my . . .
Every time I log in to Twitter (@heysstef), I get distracted by the 18.4K tweet count glaring at me from the side of my feed. I couldn't shake off the urge to bring that number down, no matter how senseless and time-consuming the task was. Did I really post that many tweets? What were those tweets about anyway? When DID I first jump on the blue bird wagon? Bored with work, I checked for possible ways to go back to the start of my timeline. Turns out you just need to go to https://twitter.com/search-advanced, type in your username and select the date range. BOOM 💥 instant shame and embarrassment to scroll through for the next half hour. As a regular digital consumer + content creator, mindfulness is something I've only begun to . . .
Socially responsible stationery—it’s everything a paper collector like me could ask for. I get to bring ideas to life while helping others in need. You can just imagine my joy when I stumbled upon Bright Books by Amy O’Shea. Founded in 2009, her experience in Uganda with the Arlington Academy of Hope inspired her to start a business that could help the communities that struggle for electricity access everyday. I was shocked to learn that the most frequent health problems encountered at the clinic were chronic upper respiratory infections. Not malaria, not AIDS but chest colds, in large part because of the indoor air pollution created from kerosene lamps and cooking over open flames. This seemed crazy to me because we have the technology to . . .