Life Lately and what's up?

Heya! Here's the latest Weekly Monotony on the channel. :) I've been very religious in updating weekly, you know! So yeah, same old boring clips. Waking up late, cooking dinner, weekend errands. The usual. The normal. Hmm.

You know how other people started picking up new hobbies like gardening, baking, wood working, whatever? Vlogging, or mainly just making more Youtube content, has kindof become my quarantine outlet. Even though I've been doing it way before ECQ (start of the year actually). Damn, now I feel useless. Like what has quarantine taught me, really? Besides splurge on kitchenware and judge my neighbors' sushi bakes?

I actually wanted to be more productive than that, like I want drawing, reading books, and even gardening to be my quarantine thing, but urgh, I just can't find the motivation to pick up a pencil. And even now that I already have a new tablet to read e-books with, I suddenly find it too heavy?! And planting may seem so simple but I'm worried I'd just end up acquiring more clutter (aka gardening tools, pots, planters, that I won't be able to maintain). Daming excuses no. So ayon, no new art, no new books, and a balcony still devoid of plants. I'm so lagging behind my GoodReads 2020 Reading Challenge too. Which is not new.

But anyway. I'm really here to expound on my weekly monotony video haha

Last week we ate mostly leftovers and stocked food items. We didn't buy groceries because we've been constantly overstocking and overspending and it's bad for the wallet. The take-out food we usually buy on weekends end up in the fridge for at least two more days so sobrang sayang if I keep on cooking. Also, for some reason I'm unable to cook just enough for two people. I always end up cooking a lot of ulam. Parang feeling ko ang onti ng 2 servings lang hahaha

Highlights of last week:

✱ Our sofa is back in!

We had it pulled out for repair a week back and it was done exactly seven days later. Earlier than expected! I liked the upholstery, I chose a light gray linen for it. But the repair, not so much. They had to add a leg in the middle to support the new wood plank they inserted, but it ended up kindof unbalanced, we had to insert a riser. Basta iba yung feel nya. I was expecting it to be sturdier but now we have to be even more careful with it. Hay. So much for 10k huhu. But so far so good. Hopefully it'll last a couple more years before we can dispose it for maybe 5k, or even free lol.

IKEA Ektorp dupe no more.

✱ Dined in outside for the first time!

Gulo ba hahaha. For a while we were hesitant about dining in at restaurants 'cos we didn't want to be hassled by their rules. But well, di naman pala ganon ka-hassle. For the most part you just have to fill out a health declaration form and sanitize before picking a spot, but that's the most arduous part. You're allowed to take off your mask while eating naman and even share food with your company. It's not like you'll be isolated from each other while eating.

More and more restaurants are back to offering their tables to dine-in customers so we thought we'd try. Dined in for the first time this quarantine at Banana Leaf, and we enjoyed it! The next day we ate at Mesa.

Hassle din kasi mag-take out no daming itatapon tapos magbabalat ka pa ng takip hahaha. 

✱ My first Corelle and Tefal

Aaaaaaaah! My hearrrttt! I got these on a sale at Rustan's. They're like 20-30% off when I checked. Definitely not bad. 

✱ Am I a coffee addict?!

I think I unknowingly went on withdrawal last week. I usually make five cups of a coffee a day. But really it only amounts to two regular sized mugs hehe. Anyway, I decided not to drink coffee one day last week because I wanted to wake up early the next day.

The following day, I woke up with a splitting headache. I thought it was just my usual period migraine so I endured, later on taking mefenamic and trying to sleep it off. But heck it won't go away. 

Two days later it's still there so I got alarmed. I'm unable to sleep well, I didn't enjoy my vacation leave, and I started throwing up everything I ate. I have no appetite and everything I swallow goes straight to the toilet in a matter of hours. Until I made myself coffee. 

I finished a cup and suddenly the pain is gone?! That's when I realized I could be an addict. I deliberately tried to cut off my coffee intake that weekend so I could wake up early and get more daylight lol. So ito na ba yon. Withdrawal symptoms?! Ohnoes. 

Thank God it's over. One of my friends thought I could be pregnant buti na lang meron ako hahaha so ekis agad ang pagbe-baby. Also, we practice safe sex so imposible rin wahaha. 

Yun lang naman for last week! I'm back to drinking coffee.

Hope you're all doing well!

Keep sane!

Alternatives to Metal Braces that Work Great

Plenty of us have had braces, and those of us who have can tell you that braces are often expensive, painful, clunky, inconvenient and you have to wear them forever. To say nothing of the retainers and other things you have to undergo after the braces come off. Braces are definitely beneficial, straightening your teeth and improving mouth function, and can be a huge confidence boost in addition to improving your overall dental health. But for those of us who can’t afford braces or don’t want to spend years of our life with metal on our teeth, there are alternatives. 

Photo credit: Shiny Diamond

Dental technology has come a long way in recent years, and these days, there are several options on the market for those who don’t want to wear traditional metal braces for whatever reason. Products like clear and invisible braces (one of the more popular brands being Invisalign) are a great alternative to metal braces that achieve much the same result in less time, are more comfortable, less visible/clunky and much easier to deal with. Invisalign is a great alternative to metal braces because they cost only a fraction of what metal braces cost. They’re all but invisible, so the wearer is much less self-conscious about their braces, and they are totally removable. Many Invisalign users remove their braces to eat or sleep. This also means they are less painful, as they can come out easily and be readjusted if you’re experiencing discomfort. Invisalign and other invisible braces are molded to your mouth and teeth and are always comfortable and fit well. There are no bulky brackets or added retainers or anything, either - you just wear them for a few months, and that’s it! Enjoy the benefit of a straight, beautiful smile without paying thousands of dollars on braces that you’ll have to wear for years. No more cut mouths, painful metal equipment or bulky, embarrassing retainers. 

You can find Invisalign and the great invisible braces and products from most dental clinics, including cosmetic dentistry and regular dentists, like DFY Dental. Having beautifully straight teeth can be as simple as calling and making an appointment for an initial consultation. Your dentist will speak with you about your needs and preferences and help you choose the best invisible braces for your needs and budget. Next, you’ll be fitted for your braces and that’s it! You’re well on your way to a beautiful smile, affordably and easily. 

Many happy dental customers love their invisible braces and far prefer them over their metal counterparts. While there are some cons, just as with any product, the pros far outweigh for most dental customers. See if Invisalign or another similar product is right for you. Call your dentist today!

Upgrading Your Life, Step By Step

When we ‘level up’ in a video game, that’s usually associated with a range of virtual benefits we can make use of. From assigning character points in the leveling system, to becoming stronger and more versatile. Of course, life is not a video game, but sometimes ‘gamifying’ our everyday priorities can help us feel a little more motivated and able to track our goals.

Now, this sounds silly, and you’re more than within your right to think so, too. However, there are some worthwhile concepts to keep in mind here. Perhaps, in real life, we could take the time to ‘level up,’ or upgrade our daily experience through a few wise investments of our cash and time. After all, why shouldn’t this work? Every gym session you attend will incrementally increase your physical fitness, which will ultimately help you become in-shape physically. Is it possible for us to manage a few hobbies or actions that enables us to move forward with confidence, especially after the great cultural reset of a coronavirus lockdown?

We think so. In the following column of advice, you’ll find some loving guidance to that end:

Upgrading Your Fashion
When you look good, you feel good. Does this mean you have to wear the best clothes in order to feel like a worthwhile person? Absolutely not, and you will read nothing similar to that erroneous viewpoint here. However, it can help to ensure you’re wearing clothes that help you feel comfortable, and confident, and put together well. 

This might mean taking the time to look for some worthwhile eyeglasses that suit your head shape, as prescription lenses can help you interface with the world with further clarity. It might be that investing in a great pair of sneakers can help you relive your nostalgia for comfort wear in the 90s. You may even find that purchasing body-hugging gym wear allows you to work out in style, confidence, and with even-more enjoyable practicality. 

Do not feel as if you have to wear certain clothing to impress others. Finding style that compliments how you feel inside, helping you express your inner self, can help you feel much more present in everyday life. If that’s not a worthwhile upgrade, we’re not sure what is.

Taking Care Of Your Body
Your body is your temple, and taking a renewed effort to look after it can be one of the most important things you do in life. From exercising to the degree you are able to eating enough green vegetables a day, the way we treat our body is ultimately the way we perceive the world.

Your body is also sensitive to many daily habits that you could improve if you’re looking for a life upgrade. For instance, getting your sleep cycle in check can be a tremendous aid to anyone hoping to preserve more energies throughout the day. From heading to bed at a regular nightly hour to rising in the morning and performing a few stretches at a standardized time, the more you can gain your eight hours each night and stay hydrated, the better you will feel on average.

Unlocking Your Routine
Life is much easier to deal with if you follow a routine. Those with 9-5 jobs will often be experts at this, but it’s also important to iron out some of the details if you have a chance. 

A routine is not just getting up and showering at the right time, but ensuring you meditate each morning, preparing your meals for the next week (and freezing them in an organized manner), or it can mean preparing your skincare routine every night. This way, the habits you know you should keep on top of become less isolating and unenjoyable, and instead start to fill your life with a sense of responsibility and perspective.

Furthermore, just like following the same route to work each day, the tasks you must keep on top of require less energy output if you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. So, if you really wish to become more productive and gain more free time each and every 24 hour cycle, learning the power of routine can be a great benefit.

Stay Humble, Staying Honest
An easy means of improving your life, starting now, is to be honest, or at least to make an effort not to lie. This can be a very hard task. Many of us tell white lies or mistruths in order to function socially, or to limit the effects of a negative situation, or to try and avoid social faux pas.

Of course, we can tell our colleague their new hairstyle looks great despite it being questionable in your eyes, those kinds of mistruths are necessary for people to get along, and for us to live well.

But being honest with those we’re close to, or especially ourselves, can be important. Do you really wish to purchase the latest fashion styles because you feel comfortable in them, or because you’re trying to overcompensate in some way? Might it be better to find the styles you actually enjoy and wear those, without having to worry about ‘fitting in’ all the time? Furthermore, staying honest can often help you out of difficult situations. If you’re struggling with a past even that has left its mark on you, you’re well within your right to discuss it.

If you’re worried for a family member, avoiding bottling those emotions up can help you start to make real progress in your relationship with them. Staying humble and staying honest can help bring your mindset down to a grounded level, and it’s from there we can see what is most important, and how we can function in the world with care and consistency. To us, that sounds like a fantastic place to start.

Setting Realistic Goals
When we’re tired of occupying the same position in life, or we need a change, it’s very tempting for us to throw the baby out with the bathwater and invest all our time, energies and finances in a new direction. Yet sometimes, this can leave us feeling rather put-out and tired. It can also prevent us from making thorough and insightful progress due to how intensely we’re forcing the process.

Could it be that setting realistic goals is important to help us upgrade our lives? Whenever we wish for an important change, we can find it incrementally. If you hope to get fit and muscular, for instance, you do not attend one mighty gym session aimed at training each muscle group you have and eating twenty thousand calories that day. Instead, you head to the gym and work out a little, come home and rest. Then, two days later, the same. Over time, you will have set realistic goals that have are specific, measurable achievable, realistic and timely. Over time, progress will be made through this careful setup.

Sometimes it’s not knowing what you want that becomes the important part, rather how you believe you will get there. When pursuing tangible goals through this template, you will see just how quickly a dream can become reality.

Social Curation
You would be (and will be) astonished just how effective great social curation can be when helping you better your life. It’s not uncommon for people to find their life populated with people who simply do not want what is best for them. From unreliable to toxic friends, to colleagues at work we dread to socialize with, or even family members that seem content to belittle us thanks to little pushback over the years, sometimes it can be tiring to feel alone despite being surrounded by people.

So, it can be worth deciding to speak to negative influences less, and to bring people closer to you who are a net positive influence in your life experience. Social curation of this nature can help you feel more positive in yourself. It will also help you work as an ally with those you truly care for. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who provide obstacles. Of course, there’s a difference between a friend who gives you constructive criticism and someone who lambasts you for no reason. Taking stock and seeing just who your true friends might be can serve as a worthwhile yearly practice. It helps you avoid placing your energies where they’re not appreciated.

To Summarize
Life, in general terms, is largely unpredictable. It’s hard to say what any of us will be doing ten years from now, or how happy we will be. However, we can always take the time to focus on goals that keep us on the right path, and help us enjoy the journey of this crazy life. The more we can do that, the more we can feel an improvement over time, and the better rewards and positive experiences we can squeeze out of our yearly plans. With all the templates given in this article, we hope you can find a few measures that help you move forward with confidence, care, and renewed life potential.

Quarantine Wishlist Part 2

Aha! In fairness to my previous wishlist, I already bought most of them lol. To recap:

✔ Tempur sleep mask - reviewed here
✔ Xiaomi Mi Box S - already ordered when I created this list
✔ Sofa repair - finally pulled out three days ago
✔ A comfortable PC setup - all good! Monitor good, keyboard good (reviewed here). Current setup here.
✘ Lots of money - oh you'll be a mainstay
✔ Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 - passed up on this and got airpods instead. Reviewed here
✔ iPad mini and Apple pencil - Finally after a year of contemplating lol. I got a mini and my husband got an ipad and a pencil 1. We're sharing the pencil until I decide to get my own (or not) haha.
✘ Instant Pot - not so hot for this anymore hehe

Now I have a new list! What the heck, they're mostly kitchen things, effect of quarantine. Hope I'd get my husband to chip in these ~upgrades~ 'cos after all... yes I do the cooking, yes I do the cleaning. Okay nvm.

Subway sticker tiles

Oh I've been eyeing this subway white sticker tiles from Stiles PH for a while now. 

Can you believe those are just stickers on the wall?! Hopefully when they restock, and my allowance permits, I'll be able to finally put a backsplash on our kitchen.

High quality non-stick pans

I've had it with low quality cheap sets from SM Store. Metro and Chef's Classic suck. After a while we switched to stainless steel kahit mas hassle thinking it's healthier cos at least we won't die of teflon poisoning or whatever, but cooking is a nightmare when everything sticks! Argh.

I'm looking at Tefal, Neoflam, Lock & Lock or whatever's good out there. Kahit pa-isa isa!

Corelle dinnerwares

I just want the plain white ones. They're so freaking light,  have 3-year warranty, and claims to be break and chip resistant. Urgh, ECQ got me upgrading our kitchen all of a sudden hahaha.

Cute mugs and placemats

I really want to refresh our mugs to something plainer and more elegant. Like black, gray, white, or transparent lang ganon. Hahaha

Humidifier or Young Living Diffuser?

Actually I already ordered a Xiaomi humidifer lol. I already have a small essential oils diffuser but it doesn't really help improve the moisture levels in the room. Ever since the quarantine started we've been using the AC for longer hours and my throat really suffers specially in the morning. It's always sore and dry, and I always get sniffles when I wake up. I thought I just needed a humidifier, so we'll see.

I'm also curious with Young Living oils because I hear they're super effective! Someday, we'll know!

Basil plant

I want to start planting basil. Need to take advantage of our empty sunrise facing balcony, and also try my hand at gardening, baka sakaling I have a green thumb din like my dad lol.

Do you also find yourself spending more with quarantine? I know I do!

My quick and easy loan application experience: CIMB PH 0% Fixed Loan Term

CIMB PH is offering 0% fixed term loan of up to ₱50,000 to select customers. Here are a couple of things I like about this promo:

✓ Fully digital loan application
 Approval takes less than a week
 0% interest rate for a fixed 12 months
 Cheaper than most loan programs from big banks
 Loan amount is disbursed to your CIMB account which you can transfer to GCash or withdraw directly via CIMB debit card (with 0 atm fees - tried and tested)

For more info:

In this promo, for a loan of ₱50,000 you will be disbursed a net of ₱47,125. Your monthly installment for 1 year is ₱4,166.67 per month.

Here's how other banks compare, taken from iMoney PH Personal Loan Calcualtor

Principal loan amount: ₱50,000
Loan tenure: 12 months

Seeeee? With other banks you'd be paying ₱500 more each month! But of course, this is just a promo. 

CIMB's regular personal loan rate for 50k at 12months is:

Still cheaper.
Alright, now on to my application experience
June 10, 2020 - Applied for a ₱50k loan through the CIMB mobile app
The application flow in the app is pretty straightforward. You'll be asked to enter your personal and work details, attach your recent payslip, provide some ID details, and sign electronically. 

After submitting your application and getting pre-approved, every time you open the app you will be greeted by the current status of your application.I don't know who really qualifies for a loan but ever since the promo period started I've been receiving SMS notifications about the promo. According the Verified GCash Users group on Facebook, there's no required amount on your CIMB account to qualify. Even those with zero balance with CIMB, as long as they have an account, can apply. 

To manage your expectations, here are  sample computations:

For a ₱30,000 loan amount you will pay ₱2,500/month for 1 year
✦ But you will only be disbursed ₱28,275
✦ The deductions come in the form of 5% processing fee (₱1,500) and Documentary Tax Stamps (₱1.50 for every ₱200 amount of loan - that's ₱225)
✦ Total deductions - ₱1,725

For ₱50,000 loan amount you will pay ₱4, 166.67/month for 1 year
✦ But you will only be disbursed ₱47,125
✦ The deductions come in the form of 5% processing fee (₱2,500) and Documentary Tax Stamps (₱1.50 for every ₱200 amount of loan - that's 375)
✦ Total deductions - ₱2,875

So you're not really getting the full loan amount since there are fees deducted upfront. In case you're thinking of abusing this promo lol. Also, who in their right minds would offer 0% interest rate with no processing fees?

June 15, 2020 - Approved and disbursed net loan proceeds
I was notified via email that my loan application has been approved.
Email contains the loan contract, breakdown of fees, ammortization schedule, and so on. Loan amount (less deductions) has also been disbursed to my CIMB FastPlus account.

Due date is set to the 1st of every month

Aside from the abovementioned fees, the following fees are also worth noting:

✦ Loan repayment fees - waived 
✦ Early settlement fee* - 4% of the total unbilled loan  Free
✦ Late payment fee - 5% of unpaid installment due or Php300 (whichever is higher)

* - to be clarified because while it says 4% in the email, it says FREE in my attached contract. It's important for me to know if I can finish my loan in advance without incurring fees. Other banks charge you for loan contract pre-termination so hopefully it's really free!

ETA: I just confirmed that the early settlement fee is FREE because I just paid the whole loan amount and I wasn't charged for it. Yey!


Overall I'm pretty pleased with the experience. Everything was fast, smooth, and easy. 

Have you tried applying for a loan with CIMB? How was your experience?

Busting Stress Has Become A Requirement, Not A Luxury

Source: Pexels

Oh boy, 2020 has been a doozy so far, huh? And it looks like there’s no sign of it slowing down. For many, this can be somewhat of an unfortunate realization, but despite the difficulties we’re all going through, or how close you may be to certain issues, self-care has never been a more essential priority. Like any terrible moment, this silver lining has the potential to at least bring one ray of light to the encroaching darkness. This silver lining is the ability to functionally preserve ourselves and care for our families with kindness. It seems that busting stress has become a requirement, not a luxury. This can keep our mental health balanced and our motivations clear. It can help us avoid falling into despair or letting challenges get the better of us. This sounds like a primarily defensive form of self-care, but it’s also a means in which to grant ourselves some breathing room, and ultimately to grow.

But what habits and practices can help you bust stress in this way? With the following advice, we’d love to discuss that with you. Here's some good information about how to get help with stress-busting habits you can try:

Finding A Positive Habit
You can reduce your stress through one-off measures that often have great impact. For instance, visiting a spa and enjoying a massage are known to be some of the best ways to feel peace. But it’s unlikely you can fit one of those in each day, nor would you want to if you could. But a small positive habit we can practice anywhere, such as with the Tai Chi For Health Institute or practicing transcendental meditation can have growing and lost-lasting effects. What’s even more important is how low-cost or free these practices can be to integrate with your life.

Removing Unnecessary Stressors
Sometimes it’s not about limiting stress, but removing yourself from unnecessary stressful situations entirely. Does this mean you have to hide from the world? No. But it could be that you decline meeting up with a toxic parent after bringing your child to school, because all they seem to do is complain and gossip about others. Maybe you are tired of feeling so worn out all the time, so instead of working out so hard you focus on achieving a near-perfect sleep schedule, with the right time and monetary investment (such as memory foam mattresses) that you need for that great night’s sleep. This effort, and factors like this, can help you avoid encountering unnecessary stress in daily life.

Never Bottle It Up
Bottling up stress can seem important depending on how you usually approach these situations. Of course, breaking down in the office multiple times a day is unlikely to be a good strategy, nor is complaining about every little issue you encounter. But if something is truly weighing on you, it’s important to find the time to speak to those you trust, and allow yourself to speak your truth. This way, solutions can be found, and those around you will understand. This can also help you avoid falling into subconscious resentment.

With this advice, busting stress will become a hobby, not a simple luxury.

So so so lazy

New social media cover photo! Thanks a bunch Canva, these cute abstract blobs are super trendy right now no? Haha

As usual, here's some randomness in my life.

✱ Whenever I play Clash Royale I always tell myself not to give a fuck every time I lose because it's just a game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, specially when I'm on a losing streak. There's only so much failure I can handle and losing 5x in a row really kills my zen yaknow?!

✱ Speaking of mobile games, these are the apps I have in rotation: Clash Royale, Ball Blast, Cooking Madness, and Coin Master.

✱ And speaking of Coin Master. I can't believe I'm playing this right now. I used to be bombarded with their ads. And every time I watch them I can't help wonder where they got the budget to have JLo, Terry Crews, and even Kris Jenner appear in their promos! Could be deepfakes though but who knows?

✱ Alright. It's already GCQ. I don't really know what's changed. I stopped caring about guidelines since MECQ started. We all know the basics anyway, the most important thing is to keep yourself isolated as much as you can. We're still practicing social distancing, wearing masks at all times, proper handwashing, and we're still not coming back to work at the office. Which is good. Only difference is that Jeckie and I are shopping together now. I can't find any definite answer as to whether the one per household rule is still being enforced, but no one has ever checked our quarantine pass in the last three weeks, checkpoints are not checking, and no one has stopped the two of us from entering an establishment together. Entrances are loosening up. It feels like people are less fearful of the virus now. I guess we've adapted and now know how to protect ourselves when going outside.

✱ Still eyeing the iPad Mini and Apple Pencil but official stores have not restocked yet. I'm checking everywhere for updates. Power Mac, Beyond the Box, iStudio, Switch, nada. I've also asked around Anson's, Abenson, Octagon, Silicon Valley, ElectroWorld, to no avail. All they have are iPhones. No tablets, at least not the tablets we want. The only stores I know that have stock are online sellers and tiangge owners. But I find it too risky. Hopefully Power Mac restocks soon, cos we've purchased cases for them already and they're arriving soon haha! Also, I'm so excited to Procreate. The app, of course. 😉 Excited na ko i-joke to sa mga nanay ko hahahaha

✱ Damn it's always Wednesday and I haven't done anything productive for work. Uuuuurgghhh.

✱ Hmm, what else. Oh right, I have duplicate Facebook accounts too. Can't say they're my fake accounts though because who am I to assume I have troll posers? My name is pretty common on Facebook, and I'm not about to report a potentially innocent account you know? Like how do you really know? On the grounds of having the same name and a firstname.lastname.number format in their username? That's crazy right? Facebook automatically suggests those usernames, it's very easy for someone to agree to having a random username because maybe they just chose to get one then just went with the suggestion? Anyway. I'm leaning more towards the possibility that my Facebook twins are legit or just simply uber private accounts with hidden everything, cos you can do that right? Idk.

I do feel a bit worried though so I'm kindof backreading all the posts where I might have said something about this government that may sound incriminating. Well, there's none.

✱ I hope I'd have more subscribers on Youtube, but frankly I have the most boring content and just like this blog I hate promoting myself on Facebook like hey guys please follow my channel pretty please, help me on the road to 1k subs! Hahaha I'm kinda done with that. Nahihiya ako eh, I'm afraid of rejection. And my boss seeing my social media activity lol. I hardly even show my face in my channel, even when making reviews. And I'm well aware that thumbnails with faces are favored more by newsfeed algorithms.

✱ Anyway, please subscribe to my Youtube channel: The Blahger LOOOOL I'd be happy with just 100 subs, I just really need that custom URL hahaha.


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