How to Change Your Mood Instantly

How to change your mood instantly

I used to grab cigarettes whenever I’d feel stressed or even just the slightest sign of irritation just to be able to change my mood instantly.


For years, I have successfully kept this from my parents. In their minds, how could I do heavy sports and live healthily when I am puffing every chance I get? Doesn’t seem logical, right?

But what could I do? Stress was at large especially in banking and customer service industry and the quickest fix within reach was to smoke. Plus, there’s some kind of badassery and coolness that lies behind smoking. I used to want to be so cool that I was willing to sacrifice having the funny smell on my mouth, fingers and the ability of my lungs and other internal organs to function well. I was young and would just do whatever trend says. I was so focused on the fastest fix I could get not realizing that it was the type of job I was doing that needs to be addressed and fixed.


When I quit my job, it wasn’t so hard to quit smoking. Sure I gained weight and had those what they call withdrawal syndrome but I wasn’t as stressed as before so I didn’t really mind. Mood swings were more evident. I know if I will follow old habits, I would just grab a pack and start again but I didn’t. I started practicing mindfulness and observed every little thing that changed inside me, the emotions, when I feel them, what makes me feel them and what I can do to psychologically train myself to turn it around.

While not all of us can change and quit jobs right away but I’d say from experience that I’d say that if I can’t change my situation, I will change my mindset. I started creating habits. This is not a guide on how to quit smoking. These are the things that I do whenever bad mood strikes. Without fail, they instantly light me up and forget that I have another habit called smoking.


Write it down

Never underestimate the power of writing things down. Not necessarily having to keep a journal all the time but having a journal is the best. Not having a journal in this digital age is not a surprise and also not a problem. At work, just open a notepad and start jabbing your keyboard and pour your heart out. Control + Alt+ Delete after and you’ll see the difference. Grabbing a paper to start writing also does wonders. You can then turn that rage in ripping the paper and throwing it to the nearby bin. Most days, I burn them after writing but I started this blog so it is not practical. I need to save my words. But I will not suggest that you burn them down. Save them. Hide them somewhere because few weeks or months later, you’ll be amazed on how something made you feel and you’ll start thinking of a better reaction next time the same thing happens again.


Hum a tune

Singing has been scientifically proven to release stress, strengthen the lungs, immune system, improve the posture, increase mental alertness among the other benefits. Who cares if you sound like a pig being slaughtered? You’re happy and trust me, happiness is contagious. For higher happiness meter, take your friends out to a Karaoke night and sing your hearts out. Music nourishes our soul.


Dark chocolate

Sometimes, when I want to punch someone in the face, munching on something crunchy tricks my mind to think that I have indeed punched someone in the throat. If you can’t have that little punching bag on your office workstation, keep some dark chocolates nearby. Aside from the health benefits like being rich in fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese and other I-can’t even-pronounce minerals, it is also rich in anti-oxidants, may also improve blood flow and lower blood pressure of course when consumed in moderation. But nerdiness aside, dark chocolate is a very good pick-me-upper during those times that your mood has gone sour.


No questions here. I don’t know about you but just the smell and sight of coffee is enough to make me jump up and down. Even just the sound of coffee machine is already enough to make me feel excited. And with a dash of cinnamon? I’m in heaven. Try it.

Crack a joke

Watch some funny videos, text or memes. If you’re not in a good mood after, it will be a wonder.


If you can’t do yoga at this time, just stand up and stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. I’m sure your boss wouldn’t mind that you take a little breather just to get your act together. For me stretching is a very important part of starting my day that I have started practicing yoga to get the maximum happiness effect. I may not as flexible as I want to be but I am starting to be in tuned with what I emotionally, spiritually and mentally need. Mine just started by closing my eyes, counting to ten to keep my cool when I was about to burst with so much furious. I extended the count up to 20 seconds and did some stretching which never fails to do the trick.

Call a friend

Calling a friend to catch up and talk is very important for our well being. It is important to let all our emotions out. This is an act of self care. Just few minutes of conversation with a friend who understands and care feel like either a therapy or an hour in the spa.

Go for a walk

A change of scenery and physical action lift our spirits in ways that we don’t realize. I have underestimated the power of movement in changing my bad mood instantly. This gives us time to breath and think and take a break from what is stressing us or making us feel bad. Going for a walk is not just healthy for the body but also for our over all well being.

The reason why I started blogging is to have parts of my journals saved in cloud because I don’t know where I will be next and bringing all my journals will mean that I can only carry few of my other belongings. They take up space. It’s such a pain to leave all my journals behind in the Philippines when I had to move to Malaysia and I did the same when I moved to Germany. This gave birth to my blog which is now like my online diary. I just didn’t know that it can be quite a bummer to keep one because launching a website also gave the possibility of it being a business. At times when I can’t handle the pressure and excitement of this being a business and I want to crack my head open just to learn more, I would go out for a walk. All the burn out and pressure starts to somehow melt away. I can think clearly again. My thoughts run freely again and I will come back and continue what I was writing or learning with a fresher approach.

Hot and/or cold shower

Wash the negativity away and sing your hart out under the shower. It doesn’t take me so long to take a shower but it does takes longer because I finish a song after another and I don’t want to come out until I haven’t felt that I have finished first or second set of my songs. I will then come my fingers looking like white raisins but my spirits already soaring high. I use favorite shower gel for more omph factor.

Sweat it out

Run. Brisk walk. Play that upbeat Spanish song, sing and dance to it. Move it. Smile or laugh while on it and trust me, you’ll have more reasons to smile and laugh because of the silliness of it all. In what Oprah calls delicious meter, I will give a good work out a 500 because of its ability to make me feel centered again. This makes me feel more focused in ticking off things from my to-do list and goals that I have set. Sweating out doesn’t just help me to be in good mood, it also helps my creative juices flow.


Nothing in this life is perfect. It will be only perfect if we create habits that will help us ensure that happiness is something attainable. Define your happiness. Write them down. Know which habits you really want to have to live your own definition of happiness. Building habits need not cost money. It only needs to start. Little by little, practice it. For me, being mindful in every little thing I do was the start. It is not easy but it is within reach. They say that it only takes 21 days to form a habit or 30 days to a maximum. I say it may take longer than that. It is not always going to be a success. Go fail but come back and don’t give up. Do it again. It is not easy but it will be worth it. Because trust me, bad mood and any negativity will be kept at bay.


Related Articles:

How to Create Sweet Mornings That Guarantee Sweeter Days

100 Little Things That Make Me Happy


Please share

How to Change Your Mood Instantly

How to Change Your Mood Instantly

How to Change Your Mood Instantly

Suggested readings

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

The Liebster Award: I Got Nominated!

The Liebster Award

I nominated you for the Liebster Award blah blah blah”. And more blahs. I swear I’ve only seen “nominated” and “Liebster Award” and all the other words were just “blahs” in my eyes. I felt like I was floating. Gee! The feeling was like when my fifth grade crush said “Hi” to me but after few seconds, the floating feeling was gone. It was then replaced by alarm. A realization came that my website’s design still looks like where the Gladiators fought for their dear lives or even as horrifying as the rubble after the Second World War.

Still, I wholeheartedly want to thank Ye Chen of for nominating me. You know that you have a fan in me. I am deeply honoured. Ye Chen writes about Life and Changes from his experiences in a very relate-able manner. Check out his work here.


But wait, Dani. what is Liebster? errr, Liebster Award? 

Liebster is from the German word that could mean sweetest, dearest, beloved and other adorable synonyms we can possibly associate to it.

Liebster Award is a chain mail where bloggers, whether beginner or professional, are given the chance to be discovered. This award’s goal is to support bloggers and connect them with the blogger community.

Here are the rules and challenges of the Liebster Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and put a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog.
  3. For the Liebster Award 2018. write a small post about what makes you a passionate about blogging.
  4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself (optional).
  5. Nominate 5-11 blogs.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Inform the people/blogs that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post or The Global Aussie.
  8. Create new questions for your nominees to answer.


What Makes Me Passionate About Blogging

I have always loved writing and have started keeping diaries at a very young age. Fast forward to my adult years where I somehow forgot that I loved writing, I followed everything I learned in school, what my family told me and what society expected of me. One day, I woke up and I just couldn’t do any of it anymore but I didn’t know how to explain how I feel. I never had enough words. I was empty, lost and confused. I left my job with no intentions nor plans of applying for new ones. When I found myself in a different continent, I was given the chance to be born again but with capabilities of an adult. I observed every little thing I have seen, what I’ve learned and felt. I wrote them all down. On days that I feel okay, I read them and thought, there’s no way that it was written by me. It all felt strange. I posted some excerpts in Facebook and got comments and suggestions of what I can do. I gave blogging a try which gave birth to a new adventure. My love for learning and my love for writing make me love what I am doing. It’s not about the possibility that it can be my sole source of income in the future but the new purpose that I found in this life which is to share my story. I love every single message I get like my stories somehow teach them something new and motivate them. I love that feeling and if I, in any simple way, can help anyone, it makes my existence in this lifetime worth it. This is what makes me passionate about blogging.

10 Random Facts About Me

  1. I super love the beach but only learned how to swim at 27.
  2. I had my first boyfriend at 25.
  3. I am not sure if ADHD or OCD (or both) is what I have. Or if I’m just addicted to having everything done and cleaned.
  4. I never had friends until I was 15.
  5. I have lactose intolerance.
  6. When I was young, I thought I was a boy.
  7. I have coffee addiction and I’m a light sleeper but I can still sleep even if I just had coffee before bed.
  8. When I was a kid, I thought the other countries are in the sky, behind the clouds. I thought that the reason why airplanes fly that high was to bring the passengers to the other countries.
  9. I can only sleep on my left side.
  10. I’m highly convinced that I was a Latina in my past life.

Bloggers I Nominate

  1. Ivana at La Ivana – Ivana writes about designing your ideal life, self-development, minimalism and law of attraction.
  2. Sondra at Curves and Carry on – Sondra blogs about her love for traveling, fashion and body positivity.
  3. Alex at Sagittarius Soul– Alex’s wellness travel blog is about fulfilling mind, body, and soul. It’s a blog about loving your body, loving yourself and uplifting others.
  4. Sunday Blake Mccalister of Brain Embryos– Sunday Blake blogs about Curiosity, Different Perspectives and Mindfulness.
  5. Gursimrat of Aiming the Dreams– Gursimrat blogs about money saving ideas, budget tips, how to make money, inspirational quotes, positive affirmations and how to be productive.
  6. Judy at Sensible Dove– She shares her expertise about personal development by way of self awareness, motivation, and putting wisdom to practice.
  7. Karen at My Chaotic Brain– Karen is a Mom, career woman, volunteer, musician, crafter, very amateur photographer of sunrises and sunsets, friend, walking on a faith journey, a seeker of new perspectives & intimate, engaging conversations; a lover of light, love and peace!


Questions Prepared For Me

1. What does success mean to you?

Success means being able to live slowly, aligned with my purpose in life while being able to reach my full potential and being able to help other people live their truths too.

2. What was the best phase of your life?

Being aware of my mortality and being able to live a simple, slow and meaningful life full of gratitude.

3. What is your favorite book?

Now this is hard. I’d say the current favorite is Relentless by Tim S. Grover

4. What is an ideal morning for you?

Ideal is waking up around 6:30. Fix my bed, do a child pose before I get off the bed, head to the kitchen to prepare my coffee, stretch a bit more while waiting and listening to my daily Hillsong songs. I then will start reading some affirmations while sipping my coffee. Then I will start my morning brain dump and write what I am thankful for, all my other thoughts and what I need to do for the day. Ideal morning is a sweet morning.

5. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

A ready smile I offer even to strangers. Here in Europe, it is flirting. Ooops.

6. Where is your favorite place in the entire (fantasy) world to go?

Church to light some candles or a library.

7. What are your top five favorite movies?


Eat, Pray, Love


I am Sam

50 First Dates

8. What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?


9. If you could get away with anything that you do?

Transfer all the money of the rich people to the poor ones. Makes everybody’s bank balance equal.

10. What fictional character do you most relate to?


11. What is your favorite day of the year?

Start of Autumn


And now for my Nominees:

  1. If you will start blogging again, what will you do differently?
  2. Would you rather be a princess in Africa or a beggar in Paris?
  3. If you could live until 105 and given the chance to keep either the body or the mind of a 20 year old. Which would you prefer?
  4. How forgiving are you when your friends or family let you down?
  5. Is there anything you’d steal given an assurance that you will not be caught?
  6. Your 11-year old daughter hacked a government database and was able to walk away with 2 million dollars. When caught, she said that it was just a prank. How will she be punished?
  7. What piece of clothing will you never be caught wearing?
  8. What’s your number one pet peeve?
  9. When are you happiest?
  10. If you’re told that you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what will it be?


Viel Glueck Nominees! I hope you have fun answering these questions. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.


Please Share

The Liebster Award


The Liebster Award




How Traveling Solo Stopped me from Sabotaging Myself.

Traveling Solo


I have confidence issues. I always had it since I was a child and too young to even know that it has actually a name.


Anxiety doesn’t exist in our small village like depression and mental health. They are often the topics that invoke so much laughter so I have learned to fake that I don’t have them until I actually believed that I really don’t. Faking and hiding felt it was like keeping a piggy bank where loose change go. without knowing it, the piggy bank became eventually full and has exploded. Traveling solo has helped me cope and recover.


Without really realizing it, these negative self talk were damaging my self-esteem.


Here’s what traveling solo made me stop telling myself that lead me to stop sabotaging my own happiness:


I suck at directions.

I really do. Until now and most of the time. Okay. All the time. It is not cute and it frustrates the hell out of me every single time. In the Philippines, no matter how poor they say our country is, we have enormous shopping malls. And because they are so big and direction has always been an issue for me, I have always needed to call a friend when I couldn’t find my way out of the mall after many failed attempts. My friends, family and everyone made my life easy. So when I moved to Malaysia by myself, it has been a surprise how I always somehow manage to find my way back to my place or a place where I want to go.

When I started traveling solo, it has always been a wonder how I am able to manage on my own. I have always figured it out. I still am not good with directions but I don’t stress about it anymore. I know, I just know, that I will figure it out like how I always do. Now I consider it as a hidden talent. A special gift that no matter how lost I get, no matter how I can’t seem to learn how to read maps, I am able to survive. It’s actually more fun this way. To be random and to not actually follow what has been proven and tested by other people. It actually feels better to just do it by listening to my gut and to my inner GPS. I will figure it out like how I managed to find my hotel in Laos written in a different characters or like how I managed to stay alive after my close encounter with raging motorbikes in Ho Chih Minh.


I’m so broke. I can’t afford it. Traveling Solo is just so expensive.

We get what we manifest. We get what we say. And for the longest time that I have been saying this to myself, I noticed that it has started becoming my reality. I underestimated the power of words in achieving what I want. Saying that I’m broke became like an affirmation. I have manifested that I couldn’t afford to do it so I didn’t do it for as long as remember. But when I started finally traveling solo, I proved myself wrong. Traveling solo is not as expensive as I perceived it to be. Traveling solo taught me how to be wiser and smarter when it comes to money. It introduced me to the world of budgeting.

My financial knowledge has dramatically improved compared to when I haven’t embraced the art of going solo where I can actually practice all the theories I have learned. I learned which sacrifices are worth doing to get what I want and to live the life that I am secretly dreaming of. I became more clever and resourceful. I wanted to travel more but my salary from my day job alone wasn’t always enough to get me by until the next payday. I have resorted not just once to the free drinks and digging biscuits from our office pantry. I know I needed to do something so I started teaching English on the side. This way I gained more friends outside my race, built more relationships, heard more inspiring stories and afforded the lifestyle I fantasize about. Traveling solo, seeing different things without anybody’s influence have opened my mind in so many different ways I could never imagine. This way, traveling made me see abundance where I only saw scarcity before getting to know it.


People will look at me. People will think that I am a loser for eating alone.

I don’t know where it came from but all I can remember now is that I couldn’t even stand going to the ladies room alone. I always wanted my friends around me when I do. This is definitely, well maybe, a Filipino thing.


In reality, other people have actually so much on their plates to even think of why I’m sitting alone in cafe or a restaurant. Some are even amazed that I go alone. Turns out that not everybody has the guts to explore other countries alone.


Now, nothing is sweeter than sitting in a nice cafe with a good book and a latte. This is even a part of my self care ritual. What I perceived as scary before is now one of the best little things in life I enjoy. Traveling solo has clearly cured my anxiety and self-confidence issues. Before I would shrink when I need to ask about something but now, I still get surprised that I can ask questions without so much fear. I can even voice out what I want and how I want things to be done. Traveling solo didn’t only cure my anxiety. It has also improved how I am when it comes to relationships. I have lesser fears in voicing out my concerns and I don’t sugarcoat things anymore.


I’m so stupid.

This is one of those things I often accuse myself of and even as a joke that I didn’t know that has been hurting my self esteem for so long. I used to say it out loud so often that it has started feeling like it is my second nature. It even started becoming a valid excuse when I failed at something that I did and not wanting to continue to try other things too. It’s so easy to say that the reason why I couldn’t do a particular thing was because I am stupid. Why? Because I have said it so many times that I have unconsciously convinced myself that it is my truth. Traveling solo taught me to be careful about what I tell myself because of the possibility of it shaping my thoughts and beliefs not just about myself but about everything around me. Traveling solo has made me respect myself in many little ways that I didn’t before doing it. My self-confidence improved.


I’m scared.

My first solo trip to Thailand was not how I envisioned it to be. I was thinking of arriving sweetly in my hotel, sleeping the night away and starting to explore the next day but it didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself alone in the wee hours of the morning,  carrying a big backpack in the middle of unknown streets looking for a hotel where I could spend the night because my flight got delayed, the driver couldn’t find my hotel and when we finally did, the reception has been closed but I still went on with my legs shaking and my heart thumping loudly inside my chest. I tried to focus and be alert on what can happen in case a mugger appears from somewhere to take my belongings with him or even try something more cringe-worthy. Was I not scared? I was scared but I still continued walking. My parents and grandmother always tell me not to walk in dark alleys at night but there I was walking not just in the dark but also alone in a foreign land. News said that it is not safe out there but I didn’t believe it. If I did, I will still be in our small village thinking what being out there feels like? I’m glad I didn’t believe that and I’m glad that traveling solo has made me question and disagree to what the society is always saying. I am still scared but that will not stop me from carving my own path. Traveling solo helped in making me believe in that.


Go. Travel solo. You’ll be amazed.



Share this


Traveling Solo




Traveling Solo


Traveling Solo


Reading suggestion



This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

Book Review | Relentless by Tim S. Grover 

Relentless Book Review


Warning: Don’t pick this book up if you are already satisfied with your life. Don’t read this book if you have nothing more to complain about and there’s no area in your life that you still want to improve. Don’t even proceed reading if you think that it can’t do something for you. Don’t read if you can’t handle the stress and pressure of living the life of your dreams. Don’t read if you have a faint heart. The author’s words are not for puss*es. Don’t pick this up if you don’t have any plans of becoming relentless. 


If I am a Book Award Giving Body and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck was last year’s recipient of the Most Life-Changing Book Award for its ability to point my brain to a completely different direction, this year, I will give it to Tim S. Grover’s Relentless.

Tim S. Grover is the CEO of ATTACK Athletics and worked with Pro athletes like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and other hundreds of professional athletes. He isn’t only a coach who designs training programs for the body but more of how to mentally train the athletes to reach their goals and even exceed them.


Ask yourself honestly, what would have to sacrifice to have what you really want? Your social life? Relationships? Credit cards? Free time? Sleep? Now answer this question: What are you willing to sacrifice? If those two lists don’t match up, you don’t want it badly enough.”


This line felt like ice bucket challenge during winter only I wasn’t nominated. I was just caught off guard. I could have used a little time to mentally condition myself for the shock that’s about to come so it felt like I was prank-ed.  His words, though written, never stopped reverberating in my head even after days have passed since I finished reading it.


Though I am not an athlete, this book didn’t make it seem that it is not applicable to me. This is one of those books on which I tried my best-est to read as slowly as I could just so I wouldn’t finish it right away but it was impossible. This book made me feel guilty about dropping the others that I was currently reading and nearly finish it in one sitting. I felt like a vampire with such blood-thirst for its words.


It was one of those weekends that I spent at my cousin’s place and I made a mistake of not bringing a book with me. Not bringing a book whenever I will head out of the house, no matter where I will be going, feels like I didn’t wear underwear nor brushed my teeth. Something isn’t just right. It’s like I am letting my thoughts wander instead of putting it work whenever I feel that it still can. Not doing it makes me feel like wasting every second of my precious short time here on earth when I still can learn about something that will make me a better and highly effective person. A minute I spend mindlessly when my body, soul and mind are fully rested is not worth it.


If my take away from Mark Manson’s book was  “Do something!”, Tim S. Grover wanted me to remember to not settle for mediocrity. Never ever settle. There is something. There must be something. Do it now and not later.


I never read a book twice in my life but I can’t get enough of the powerful words this book contains and I badly need them to continue pursuing what sets my soul on fire; no excuses. I sleep beside this book so it’s the first I see whenever I will wake up in the morning to go and do my morning ritual and the one I will see before I close my eyes at night. Just the word “relentless” and “unstoppable” are enough to get me worked up again. (I have to buy a copy because I’m sure my cousin wants it back.)


To tell you frankly, I want to be selfish. I didn’t want to write a review of this book. I didn’t want anyone else to get that edge and advantage of being able to access a book this powerful but that is not good. I want a lot of people knowing about what this book can do. I want Grover’s mission, purpose and goals for publishing this book to succeed. If this book helped me to beat my lazy and complacent a*s, I would want other pursuers of dreams to be relentless in achieving their dreams too.

Mark Manson has challenged himself to read 100 non-fiction books and I thought, what a weirdo! But when I started seeing the benefits and changes that challenge did to my mindset, I raised up the challenge and told myself that I will read more than that. Not to prove that I’m weirder than Mark Manson but because that’s how committed I am in bettering myself, reaching my full potential and being the person God designed me to be. 


Which book has the most effect on you? Which book changed your life? Please let me know in the comments and if I haven’t read it, I will add it to my reading list.


Share this



Relentless Book Review

Favorite Motivational Quotes

Motivational Quote Motivational Quotes

Motivational Quote Motivational Quote



Read next

10 Books That Dramatically Changed My Life.

Books to Read to Stay Sane, Inspired and Motivated

Books That Will Make the Rest of Your 2018 More Awesome.


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!


6 Minimalist Gift Ideas

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!


It’s just nearly three weeks before Christmas and I can already hear people thinking of what they should be giving as gifts to people they love. Practicing minimalism just made me shrug but I wanted to create a gift guide however, I felt like a fraud. I felt like a fake minimalist but I am not taking it back.


Travel alone has helped me change my life. At least the start of it. When travel lost its appeal to me, I became more interested in living in a country for quite some time to be able to deeply immerse myself into its culture. The main thing for me is to study how my fellow third world country citizens think and act upon living in rich, first world countries and second, to at least prove to first world citizens that not every third world citizen is the same. It made me very sad how my fellow third world citizen call these countries “the land of opportunities” making us “opportunists”. It is a challenge to move past the stereotype. I felt ashamed. It taught me what not to be like and the more that I am eager to be out there, to observe, to listen and to learn and most importantly, to be the living proof that not everyone from third world countries are blinded by how others define opportunities.


Living abroad has killed the old me and it has started with a simple itch to travel. This is the main reason why I made that guide. It was an indirect invitation to experience the magic and beauty of life that we often don’t see because we are so focused on its adversaries. We make sure to blurt them out loud for everyone to hear it. For everyone to agree. We focus so much on how to make our retirement comfortable while forgetting the beauty of now and to grow as much as we can through these hardships.


Black Friday came and I didn’t nudge. The only thing I bought was a book to help me better understand things I still haven’t. I can easily make so much money for promoting stuff but it is not aligned with my truth as a minimalist and even if I know that people I know might benefit on that, I still fought the urge to invite people I know to shop things they don’t really need and worse, might lead them to fall into debt. I learned how to only write about what I truly believe in. My closet is half full and I can’t be happier.


This is the thing that I love about the Germans. Their sensibility and practicality learned from the hardship that scarcity from World War taught them. (Or maybe just the older and wiser ones.)


Instead of showering someone gifts that they might not use, they ask them what they want and it makes so much sense.


Instead of what could be a potential clutter later on, they give experience as gifts or a thoughtless gift will end up being recycled and given away too. It’s never about the fancy wrapper or the amount of the gift. There is nothing to be bragged about. I guess when everyone can afford everything, fairness prevails. And I guess, when one realizes that nothing in this material world really matters, one becomes a minimalist.


In the world of wanting to have more stuff, here’s what to give instead:


Gift cards

The person can decide what to buy instead of receiving something that will never be put to use. One might say that it is not a well thought of gift but it actually is.

Food or cookies

Anything homemade and self-made is more appreciated. Effort and time were used and it is beyond valuable plus in less than a week, they will all be gone.


Because who doesn’t love wine?

Wellness pack

Because self-love is the best form of love that we can invest on. We can’t give what we don’t have. (Or try my homemade body scrub recipe here)


Before I came to Germany, I thought I know a lot of things because I love reading. Upon seeing how big their houses are and there are actually rooms intended just for their books, I felt ashamed of myself. Even men read in the buses and trains. Men where I am from would never do that. They need to maintain manliness and being a book nerd is not in the manliness guide. They know more than I do but they aren’t as obnoxious as me. There is no hint of cockiness in their voices. (Well, there are some but I know how to keep my distance.)


Books to Read to Stay Sane, Inspired and Motivated.

Books That Will Make the Rest of Your 2018 More Awesome


I never really appreciated the power of flowers to make a place more alive and happier until I started experiencing dark, cold winter days. I now have acquired simple joys of having weekly flowers and the happiness in actually changing and arranging them. It’s like a happiness ritual for me and I can’t blame the Germans for giving flowers a big importance in their lives. With flowers, one can never go wrong.


How about you? How do you plan to make the gift giving tradition better? Let me know on the comments below.

Please share if you liked it.


minimalist gift ideas

minimalist gift ideas


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

A Village Love Story: A Story of What-Could-Have-Been

Story of Could have beens

“I don’t like you for our brother.” My friend told me. I felt like she threw a flying kick that landed on my belly and it took few seconds before I could recover. This could be a village love story if I didn’t get scared of not being able to live. Even just a little.


I mean how she can tell me that? How can she be that honest? We are friends, aren’t we? How can she kill the joy I feel whenever I will see her brother? Plus, Filipinos are not supposed to be that straightforward right? She could’ve chosen better words to not hurt me.


“We know that you’ll just hurt him. Our mother also said that you are not meant for each other. He hasn’t finished college. You are so intelligent. It just will not work.” She continued. And if I will be honest, I love that she did it like how she did it. I’m scared for their brother too and I don’t want that it will become the reason why our friendship will end. I will unintentionally hurt his brother and it will be a very awkward situation between all of us. I mean, a guy shouldn’t like me. Danger is part of my last name isn’t it? I used to spend most of my days and nights with all of them. I enjoy being a part of their family and I, of course, wouldn’t want to do anything that can potentially harm that.


It was summer 2013. I was still with Citibank and living in Makati. I loved my job. Its perks. The salary. The freedom. The challenge. My office friends. The fun we have.

It hasn’t even been a year that I am with them but I already felt that I didn’t like the congested area anymore. It even floods with just a little drizzle. A nightmare for a village girl like me who has almost never experienced that kind of pollution in our little village.


I will admit that city life has taken most of my time socializing that I really treasure every single time I will come home to our little house to visit my grandmother and two brothers. My parents were in Germany.


During one of those weekend visits to my brothers, I saw that there were girls playing volleyball. Few steps from our house, a small chapel stood and beside it is a covered basketball court where the game was happening. I went to watch and started throwing jokes with the people I know though haven’t seen so much since 2010. There I got to know two girls and their mother. Apparently, they are the nieces of the lady who bought my father’s cousin’s parcel of land behind our house and currently a house is being built. Finally, a neighbor who isn’t a relative. In our village, it’s so normal for people to just fall in love with each other even if they might probably blood related. Worse than Iceland. Thing is, we don’t have that little mobile app to tell if we are relatives of not. People just fall in love. Build lives and families together. Nothing not normal.


Our little house is nestled between my mom’s and dad’s parents’ house. Yes. They are neighbors. Our house used too be a little field where my grandparents planted crops. My childhood days are fond memories of me running to my mom’s house for snacks and when I ran back to my dad’s house, his mother had something to offer me too. It was impossible to not get pudgy. I’ve always been the chubby little girl.


We built our house in my father’s little inheritance from his father. Our neighbors are my mother’s aunt and cousins to the right side of our house and my father’s brothers’ family to the left. It was a very close knit family compound. The fact that we will have an outsider for neighbors was exciting. It felt like I was in the city where not everyone knows each other giving more room for privacy.


These girls are friendly and they approached me. Instantly we became friends and the next thing I know, I am visiting my brothers every weekend. It was a breath of fresh from the city life.

When summer started, I was asked to play volleyball for the upcoming league. It was only during weekends so I said yes to it. I ended up being the team’s muse where there was a question and answer portion that looked like a stand up comedy show when it was my turn to answer. I mean how can I pass up a chance to make everyone laugh? I was born a clown and I have always liked that.


One of these weekends, while waiting for my brother to arrive, I went out of the house to look for him. I was already hungry and instead of cooking, we decided to just drive a little and eat out. That was our weekly bonding that made staying fit a little more challenging that it already is.


I headed out using the kitchen door at the back of the house and walked to the still empty and bushy part of our neighbor’s land. I didn’t know why I ended up there but I saw my brother together with two other guys; one of our cousins and the other that I haven’t seen before but never dared to ask.


They were cooking unripe jack fruit with coconut milk and dried fish and now waiting for the rice to cook. My mouth started to water. I have always loved those and I haven’t eaten them for such a long time. They all invited me to eat with them. With my bare hands, I ate with them in the nearby hut. It was such a beautiful sunny day.


(to be continued)



Read Next

Don’t Fall in Love With a Passer by: Part 1

Don’t Fall in Love with a Passer by: A Tale of a Broken Wandering Heart

Please share

Story of what Could have been


A story of what could have been A story of what could have been


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers

Holiday Gift Guide

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!


Gift giving season is on and yes, aside from of course, travel, what else should we give our travel addicted friends?


Here is the ultimate holiday gift guide for travelers that they can surely bring in their next adrenaline pumping adventures. Or if you’re looking for what to get yourself as a badass traveler too, you can choose from here and let me know if I missed something so we can update the list.


Sleep Mask

Colorful and cute printed ones would be perfect for long haul flights and for hostels to make sure that there isn’t any ray of light that will come in for some quality beauty zzz.


Scratch Off World Map Canvas

I know right. If I am not busy on my current adventure, I am planning for one and I made sure I have the world map tattooed on my left wrist. While not everyone will be willing to do such a crazy, a bit painful thing like I did, a Scratch Off Map Canvas will be perfect. Scratch off a country after the other. 



Because photos are a must and cute little Polaroid shots too.


Camera lenses

These lenses are perfect in making nice photos and travel souvenirs if bringing camera isn’t so convenient.


Camera Strap

The cuter the better.


Luggage Lock

Nothing is worse than someone stealing things from our luggages so sturdy luggage locks are a must. Give the gift of safety to your traveler friend.


SD Card

Yup. Travel bug, once it bit you, you’ll never want to stop wandering and capturing memories so the bigger the memory the better.


Phone Case with hidden compartment

When I travel, I make sure to hide some of my cash somewhere it doesn’t look like it will be for emergency purposes and this phone case is perfect especially for those days that your friend just wanted to go out without bringing so much stuff.


A Travel Belt Bag

Since I travel alone most of the time, I keep a belt bag that contains my passports, cards and cash. I keep it hidden. This is one of the best things a travel can have a one of the most perfect gift that can be given to your friend.


Travel Adventure Books

Any travel addicted person has somehow has a reading addiction too and who will not be happy to receive a book that retells someone’s adventures. This makes me want to somehow relive it with my own little version. (Or choose from the 10 Books That Dramatically Changed my Life here.)


Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel Guide

This will ensure that your friend will not have a shortage of places to see and experiences to try.


Fold-able water bottle

Because the normal bottles eats up so much space when they are empty and of course a bit heavier. One must always always stay hydrated. I remember almost collapsing after temple hopping in Cambodia. A little reminder like this will be appreciate by your travel addicted friend.


Solid Lotion

The number of bottles and sizes you can bring with you is limited so if your friend is a beauty and product junkie, this will give her a solution.


Solid Perfume


Solid Bar Shampoo and Conditioner

Solid Perfume and Bar Shampoo and Conditioner are perfect for the travelers because there’s limit to how much liquid that can brought. With these goodies, they can bring all they want.


Packing cubes

Staying organized while on the road is hard and I never mastered it but with this packing cubes, it’s a breeze. I normally would tape some label just so I know where I put something.


Passport Holder

The cuter and the more personalized the better. This is every traveler’s moist used possession like the passport. Your friend’s overly used passport needs a cute holder.


Amazon Gift Cards

This is a perfect give that will save you some headache and will your friend the freedom to choose what to bring for her next travel or in case your friend needs something while on the road. Amazon will give the answer.


A Durable Hiking Backpack

I have stopped using luggages when I travel and it is quite easier because I didn’t have to check it in during flights and it actually made my life easier. I learned to pack light and I invested on a nice backpack which can bring me to the airport to hiking or walking tour and while waiting for the check out. Traveling lightly was never easy can be learned. Give your travel addicted friend a nice backpack where she can practice to travel lightly that will eventually save her back.

Travel Themed Journal/Notebooks

If your friend hasn’t started to keep a journal of what happened on the road, invite her by starting to journal it. Whatever written on the journal, if your friend is comfortable sharing it with you can do so after a trip and you guys are ready to catch up.


Luggage Tags

Do your friend a favor and make her life easier by giving her a personalized luggage tag that will it easier to spot the luggage form the luggage conveyor next time while making sure that the luggage has enough info in case it goes MIA.


External Battery Charger

An external battery charger is nowadays’ every person’s dream especially for those who are mostly on the road.


Luggage Scale

Nothing is more annoying than paying for excess baggage. Don’t be like me. I paid twice for this. Once when I flew from Vietnam to Laos and another from Laos to Malaysia just because I didn’t keep track of how much shopping I made and I didn’t invest on a luggage scale. This is one of those sweet little gifts any traveler will be delighted to have.


Laptop Shoulder Bag

This will make a perfect gift for your friend. My transformer netbook’s screen got broken just because I insisted to keep it inside my backpack while on the road. Not cool. You can save your friend’s laptop by giving her a shoulder bag where can safely keep hers.


Antibacterial Wet Wipes


Give your travel addicted friend something to keep the bacteria away with these anti bacterial wet wipes.



For long haul flights, train and bus rides, a Kindle is a perfect travel companion for your travel addicted friend. (You can read how it’s hard for me to switch to Kindle here.)


Collapsible Backpack

Anyone who travels a lot needs a collapsible backpack. These are waterproof and perfect for outdoor activities.

Emergency Travel Kit

Things happen and we don’t have control over them so a little emergency travel kit is a perfect addition to the packing list and a perfect gift for your wanderer friend.


Travel Pillow


Make your friend feel comfortable during long haul flights with this nice travel pillow.


Fold able Sound canceling Headphones

Another to invest on to would be noise canceling headphones. Nothing is more irritating than loud people inside the plane. What if it’s a 16 hour flight and the baby doesn’t stop screaming? Save your travel addicted friend’s peace by giving her a noise canceling headphone.


Cord Organizer

Nothing is more annoying than tangled cables. This is a perfect gift for the traveler as this will ensure a little bit of organization and clarity which in the long run gives more time for exploring.


Travel Bottle Set

Reusable travel toiletries containers help reduce plastic waste by packing your favorite toiletries It comes with a clear pouch which makes it easier to locate the content. This is a perfect gift to your travel addicted friend and also to mother nature.


Universal Travel Adapter

Sure your friend can easily borrow from the hotel’s reception but it will be sweeter and easier if she will have one of her own so she can easily plug in wherever in the world she may be.

Silk Travel Sheet

This is lightweight sleeping bag liner and travel sheet that is great for travelers who are staying in hostels. Even if your travel addicted friend will stay in hotels, I will still recommend this one especially after seeing a video of a hotel in which the staff didn’t change the sheets and just fixed them for the next guests to use. This doesn’t just give peace of mind in ensuring the cleanliness but also the sheet adds extra degrees of warmth which is great for people who get cold easily.

Hope this helped you decide what to give the travelers on your list.


Please share if your liked it.



Holiday Gift Guide




This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

7 Benefits of Mood Boarding

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!


Wiki says that a mood board is a type of collage consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. It can be based upon a set topic or can be any material chosen at random. A mood board can be used to give a general idea of a topic, or to show how different something is from the modern-day. They may be physical or digital, and can be effective presentation tools but are there any benefits in mood boarding? 


The first time I heard about mood board was in University when it was part of an introduction to art related course. Though it has caught my attention, I was so caught up by what my classmates and friends were doing and nobody seemed to mention that they did something called mood board at home. I needed to do what they were doing. I needed to have what they are having. I needed to be a part of something they are part of. I thought if I will create a mood board, I will become a certified nerd and that is not cool. Plus, what else will I do with it? And it will take time to create one. So not worth it to lose some time to create somethings my friends were not doing. I wasn’t willing to be branded as uncool.


Nearly 12 years later in one fine summer day, my German host mother was so inspired to sort her stuff out and didn’t know what to do with a piece of wooden board in the basement. I know it will end up in the trash so I saved it. I didn’t know yet what I will do with it but I know that with a little creativity, it can be completely different. I will practice my ever poor painting skills and creativity with it.


I set it aside and waited until we finish our day’s goals.

I took it upstairs to my kitchen and started thinking of what I can do with it. I will paint it and I will decide later.

I took my arts and DIY basket out and started working on it. It didn’t look perfect but it’s okay. Done is better than perfect. After all, it was meant to be chucked away.

I wasn’t so satisfied with the outcome but I waited for it to dry and was surprised that it wasn’t so bad. In fact, it looked so alive.


Few days later, I decided to launch my website and decided to take it seriously and I found having a mood board beneficial for these reasons.


Photography props.

I didn’t hang it fixed on the wall. I just propped it against it so I use it as a background for my photos when I flat lay cute little things for my Pinterest Pins and for my other art cards.

Fun way to express ideas.

I had fun not just when I was painting it but I have fun every time will stick something to it. Mood boarding is a very creative way to express ideas whenever I don’t have enough words to express it.


A very useful productivity tool.

I originally wanted to post an article a week and focus on finishing my book but my mood board has other plans for me. It makes planning a breeze. Sure I created a blog planner but nothing beats a bigger and more tangible guide on how to do things. It made brainstorming easy. Mood board is like a giant daily planner page I can play with. Mood boarding makes visual organization, goal setting, planning and brainstorming a breeze. I also read somewhere that visualization is a powerful brain exercise which is a big factor in making dreams come true.


Helps me focus on my strengths.

Instead of making me focus on the things that I can’t do well, (e.g. technical aspect of running a website and web design), mood boarding has given me a reason to focus on what I do well which is writing and creating. And create more is what I do.


Invites more happiness and inspiration.

Just looking at my colorful mood board makes me happy. It makes me foresee how my next blog post, art card and other designs. Mood boarding can literally allow me to step back, look at what I posted on it and think of what I still can do improve my craft. It gives me total creative control and freedom.


Aides Social Media Detox.

Part of my hobby involves a lot of time with social media, designing, writing and a lot of time with technology. Trust me, not even my reading addiction takes me away from technology unlike my mood board. With my mood board, time passes quickly unnoticed when I try to dress it up and then tear it apart after one project to the other.



It is not only where I do my brain dump. My mood board is a piece of art itself and never fails to make my work space more inviting and the plain white wall alive. I also feel good knowing that I can use big photos, magazine clippings, big reminders, what needs to be done and by when I should finish it. When everything is overwhelming and I’m running on empty tank and feel so scattered, I look for my mood board and it instantly saves me from my creative exhaustion and blocks. 


I know everything is so advanced and digital right now but I enjoy doing simple and somehow, primitive things like this for the richness of my soul. How about you? Tell me. (Doesn’t matter if you have a website or not. You can use it for your weekly wardrobe or meal planning.) Do you love mood boarding too?


Please share if you liked it.






You may also like




This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!


Evolution: Thoughts on Outgrowing Friends and Why It’s Okay

Outgrowing Friends

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!



I used to seek for approval before I proceeded with anything. I had the need to be liked because who doesn’t want to be seen as cool? I always craved for validation from my parents, family, peers, colleagues, friends and men. It’s a culture thing. Trust me, it wasn’t just tiring. I got burnt out. 


During an uncontrollably hormonal day, I found myself posting my desperate cry for enlightenment on a Facebook Group called She Hit Refresh. She Hit Refresh is a tribe of women in their 30’s who quit their jobs, said goodbye to the lives they didn’t feel happy about and started anew somewhere far from their homes and everyone they know. Instinct told me that for sure, this is the right tribe to throw my questions to as they can for sure relate more. They have more experience in what I’m lamenting about but couldn’t find enough courage to ask anyone. I was scared to be misunderstood. Because the truth is, nothing has prepared me for running away with only my hopes and dreams of being able to find whatever it is that I was looking for along the way. I never had enough words to explain it.


Danica: I hit Refresh. Twice. Now I feel like I have outgrown my friends and I feel like I couldn’t relate to them anymore. Has anyone experienced this? I moved twice and now I became introvert. Maybe because I feel uncomfortable when new acquaintance keep on asking me what I do and I am a bit tired of repeating stories again and again.


Sandra: It is quite normal to outgrow your friends especially if you are hitting refresh and they are not. And even sometimes if we don’t hit refresh we outgrow the people around us. It is an evolution. However, the second part is on you to decide if you want to be a hermit or you want to make friends. It is normal when you meet new people to try to find commonalities which includes what you do, how you came to be in a place, etc. It is just part of meeting new people and connecting with them. People are going to ask questions.


Cepee Tabibian: Great advice Sandra! Danica, I’ve felt like that too. When I moved to Madrid it took about 2.5 years to find my tribe again. I found I really had to work at making friends and finding the people who “get me.” I realized the effort was my responsibility to create my community. I spent a lot of time with acquaintances who weren’t the right fit and had to repeat my story over and over to new people. But that is just all part of meeting new people when you’ve moved somewhere new. People are curious of who you are and your story that led you to where you are. Best of luck! It does feel repetitive but if you keep at it the right people will come along. Where are you located right now?


Judy Lancaster Hey Danica, yes I think it’s normal for anyone. I moved to a new country with a new language and it was very strange and new and a bit scary. I’m a quiet person also so a bit shy and not always feeling up to reaching out to people. I’ve met so many great people though along the way, and a few now that are more special than the rest that I’ve become good friends with. I’ve grown so much from doing this.
But you have to make the effort to get out and if you are not good at just showing up alone at an event or restaurant or bar to meet people then I suggest you seek out hobbies you like to do and join clubs or courses. For example I went to yoga classes and met a great bunch of women there… All single and wonderful. I joined a women’s dinner get together with another lady that invited me and met even more like minded women. I did volunteer work every week teaching children English and met other wonderful volunteers.
And of course they are all curious about as I am about them. Try a short watered down version of your story so it’s not bothersome to you to repeat. You can always fill them in later as you become friends.
But I urge you to join groups or activities that you love and you will find friends that have similar interests. Good luck!


KC: I didn’t realize up until now that it’s normal !!.Wow such a relief. I assumed that I was the problem. Thanks for posting this.


Liane: Same here. If you evolve, I guess it means your people of interest evolves, whether or not that means they need to be different people, new people, people you knew you were not so close to… I super feel ya with the questioning, sometimes it’s an effort I don’t feel like going through and those days I just avoid to be with new potential friends


Lara: Only recently I realized (with help of my life coach) that you don’t have to be friends forever. Friends for a time is a thing, and is actually the norm. People come and go in your life, fulfill some purpose, and USUALLY leave.


Audrey: Just give them the short easy answer to their questions then ask questions about them. Most people love to talk about themselves and would appreciate a good listener. Of course, if you are now an introvert, you may just want to be alone for a spell.

Patrice: I learned in therapy training as we get older things change a lot with friends. We need less friends but higher quality friends so you are likely finding you are at that stage where past friendships don’t meet current needs


Jana: Yes. I can relate, and too have evolved more introvert. I find it’s not the asking of what I do, but the response people have because they work a traditional 9-5, and can’t see how someone could make money doing anything other than. And the judgment that comes with it. The experience is like you have to defend your choices, even though you not asking for any assistance from these people. It’s exhausting.

I’m sure you know you this, just seek to be in the company of people who are living similar to you and mix it up a bit periodically.


Macey: I never stay in one place long enough to make friends. I travel for work 1-30 days at a time then I’m off to the next place. I’m only home 1-2 days a month.

If it weren’t for Facebook I’d never have anyone to talk to?

Wow! Thank you for sharing SHR ladies. This makes me feel normal and not alone in this journey. As it had been said by many above. People can come into our life for a season and letting go of old friends does not make us bad friends


Robine: It’s not easy. Of course you will leave some people behind but hopefully not all. At first I found I was spending time with some with whom all I had in common was the English language and it does take time to find like-minded friends. Interestingly, I found people who aren’t interested in ‘my story’ and we share a new life and move forward rather than looking backwards. Not knowing what people did in past lives is great because we can’t categorize or judge. People’s lives just emerge over time and the parts that do are the really interesting bits! Keep going. It’s worth it.


Sherri Schultz Hmm. It does get tiring to say the same thing over & over. I’m hitting a domestic refresh (sold home, moved to different state, living in building of micro-studios with 43 college students). After a week or two here I began a doc called “How Many Reasons” that answers the #1 question I got from everyone when I arrived, “Why are you doing this?” (I’m up to about 20 reasons now.) I also wrote up a one-page summary of the last 30 years of my life that I can send people who are interested, because there’s never enough time. … Also, if you have a website or a blog or a Facebook business page, and a business card with the URL, you can use the About to tell more of your story and point people to it.


Lauren: Friendships take effort regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, hitting refresh or not. It’s never easy regardless. Nor should it be considered bothersome to have to repeat your story. Part of friendship regardless of the circumstances behind it is compromise. And work. Yes, it might be annoying, sure you might be afraid. But human beings, especially women are intrinsically social. We ask questions because we genuinely want to know. Yes, it might be awkward to go to a bar by myself in order to meet a new group of intriguing people. Yes, I may have to do that quintessential American thing called schmoozing and it may be awkward as hell for a few minutes. Or the alternative sitting alone in my flat, with a new city to explore, not pushing myself to get out there and take that chance. The hardest part of this equation my friends is hitting refresh. The rest of it is easy comparatively speaking. I have met some of my closest friends in that “bar”, laughing at myself and my awkwardness. In Lisbon once, no concept of Portuguese, jet lagged, trying to order a tea because of remnants of food poisoning from Asia. Could it have been more awkward trying to order peppermint tea? In my mind no. But, through the random kindness of strangers, meeting people by chance who were able to get me into a doctor that day, essentially saving my life? I digress…however, keep doing the things you love and that come easy to you. For me because I love to read, I always find the English bookstore and the movie theater that plays either dubbed American movies, or subtitles. You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve watched James Bond movies in Turkish. My point is it doesn’t have to be bothersome or stressful making friends. But, it is a necessary evil in the sense that you do have to put yourself out there at some point. Just do it on your terms.


Pam: I am increasingly less outgoing as I age. I miss the friendships that have become less forefront because of the changes in my life. I miss those friends. That connection.
I never had more than a couple of friends at any given time. And I know I’ll never have new friends that fill the void of the old.

But … I expect to have new friends who mesh with my new interests and involvements.


One thought about telling the same story over and over: Is it necessary? There’s nothing that says everyone needs the whole backstory from Page One. Give yourself permission to not tell all right away.


Beatrice: Yes! All my friends in London want to talk about is building a loft extension or moving from their 3 bedroom suburban home into a 4 bedroom home. I still love them and feel horrible saying this, but I totally relate



I got the answers that I was looking for and felt bad about not being able to revert with even just a little gratitude for the wisdom they gave me. I am slowly learning to open myself up and be more social again. Perhaps I haven’t found my tribe yet but it’s not that important anymore.


A man is rich not by what he owns but what he can do without.” — Immanuel Kant


What matters is that I have taken the first painful step in acknowledging that I have issues to face on my own and not everyone will understand especially the ones who saw how cheerful, playful, easy-going and obnoxious I was. There was a big black, hallow void I needed to fill and only me was able to resolve it. I might have lost friends but I’ve come into terms with myself and it’s actually better. Sure I still have friends but we are continents apart and time difference is quite hard to beat.


I realized it’s normal to learn, to grow and to improve and not everyone will be doing it with me. I shouldn’t put my life on hold. I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to grow. It took a while to fully accept this but it’s worth it. In time for sure, the stars will align to bring me the friends I’m supposed to really have and keep for life. For now, I will continue to live in alignment with my truth.


(Disclaimer: The following are thoughts on Outgrowing Friends and why it’s okay. I have changed names to protect their privacy.)


Please share




Outgrowing Friends


Read Next

10 Things That Changed Since I Lived Abroad 

In Malaysia, It’s Never Too Late To Dream A New Dream


Suggested Readings


Special thanks to She Hit Refresh​ and to everyone who contributed for my enlightenment.


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

How to Create Sweet Mornings That Guarantee Sweeter Days

Morning routine

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!


I am not a morning person. How can I make my days sweet? Well, at least that’s how it used to be until I trained myself to be a morning person. Yes. You read it right. This is something that can be learned. I found out that life can be more enjoyable because there are so many other things that can be done after work or school. I always wish that days aren’t just 24 hours because my list of how to enjoy life just won’t stop growing. This is when I decided to truly utilize my time.


When I was still a corporate slave, there’s schedule bidding. I made sure that I perform so well just so I’d be able to pick a good morning schedule. This attitude made me lose a lot of weight, ate better and found out my passion. I’d always choose starting to work early just to finish early. This way I didn’t have to be a part of a battle called rush hour. I mean because, what’s the rush about? While others are on the way to work, I am on my way to discover other new things.


Like when I was still in Malaysia. I would always choose to work at seven in the morning so I will finish at three. This meant that I could enjoy the nearly empty public transportation in the morning on my way to work and in the afternoon. I would then have time to go for a walk at the nearby Petronas Towers, watch the ever relaxing dancing fountain to the beat of Titanic’s My Heart Will Go On, run, swim or do my other sports. I still had the time to enjoy Malaysia’s countless bars, to-die for street food and Tiger beers before I crash and sleep like a baby at night.


Later on, I started teaching English to my Pakistani landlady’s kids and my Syrian neighbors. I could have chosen to continue watching my favorite series or relaxing at home but I wanted to save that when my joints couldn’t take the new activities I want to try in different parts of the world.


Though I retired at 29, I still wake up half an hour to an hour earlier than I should to start my daily ritual. Sure it was easier to wake up in the morning when I was still in Asia and it’s not freezing but there’s also a positive side in it. These days, I get to enjoy hiding under my soft blanket with my wool socks little longer and as long as I please. This makes me work with ease and grace the whole day and not feel rushed into doing anything. It’s not easy. I hear you growling and trust me. When you start seeing the benefits of waking up early, you will be amazed and maybe, you’ll get addicted to seeing progress and a little shift in how you view the coming days.

My daily morning routine are as follows and I do them in no particular order.



I don’t know about you but when I open my eyes in the morning, I want something warm and savory. Maybe it’s a Filipino thing but I’m not 100% me if I didn’t have a healthy breakfast. On days that I think I want something sweet for breakfast, I soak oatmeal and/or chia seeds in milk with a dash of cinnamon and throw in some sliced banana. The smell of cinnamon is scientifically proven to lighten up someone’s mood and I totally agree. Without fail, it plasters a smile on my face.


Coffee and Mugs

Just the sound of the coffee machine in the morning is more than enough to make me jump out of bed and forget about other things. The sight of cute mugs and the warmth it gives my hands promises a cozy day. Maybe this is why I always grab coffee any time of the day and no matter how strange, even before bed. Coffee is an addiction I will and can never quit. It’s an addiction that I am always willing to feed. Call me psycho but a day without coffee is just the day that I am not willing to witness. My happiness of course is not solely dependent to it but it gives happiness a whole lot better meaning and in a way that I haven’t even found the right words. One day I will and it will be simple.



Yoga and Stretching

Now don’t fret and nor give me a raised eyebrow on this. A plus-sized girl doing yoga? Well, why not? Normally I crawl to a downward dog in the morning for my blood to start flowing. I try as much as possible to do a child pose before I step out of bed. Doing them makes me feel that I have started my morning right and and nothing can go wrong anymore. If I couldn’t do them in bed, I do them while waiting for the water to get warm for my coffee. It doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t have to be really flexible but trust me, once you tried it, your body will crave for it. Just start practicing and you’ll see. You’ll have more energy and zest to jump from task to task.




Reading my affirmations or my Self-Help books.

Reading is a big part of my life and had I known this will show me the way to open my mind and change my life, I would have started reading earlier. Nothing is wrong with reading fiction books and I will agree that non-fiction books can sometimes be boring. I understand that that’s why I don’t think twice about investing on books that help me reach the most unexplored part of my brain which made me start experiencing a different kind of contentment and happiness. The kind of life I chose is not easy but with the help of these books, I am getting more and more at ease in understanding myself and accepting the fact that I am different and it’s totally okay.


Daily brain dumping and my Gratitude List

The grateful people are the happiest people. Now they are not my really words. I’m sure I read it somewhere but couldn’t really remember the exact words. I just wanted to say that it is true. A part of my morning ritual is doing a brain dump if I wasn’t able to write everything the night before. Even if I already did, I still will write every morning. I write what I am grateful for and what I need to do the whole day. I start the day by counting my blessings and it never fails to make me feel like a millionaire.



Daily devotion

I’m not religious, I am spiritual. Though I am Catholic, I can’t stand mass. I need a quiet time to talk to God and I can’t concentrate when I see any movement around me so I’d rather go to church and light some candles to say my grace. And now, instead of questioning, playing victim and wishing for so many things without really willing to do the part, I only say thanks, ask for guidance and for Him to let me be the person He designed me to be. I will leave feeling bliss knowing and trusting that He knows the desires of my heart. In the morning, I do my daily brain dumping with Hillsong in the background. 500 in what Oprah says Delicious meter.


I know waking up earlier than you are supposed to is not easy. The secret lies in planning to be able to enjoy the sweet little things. If you are secretly wishing to change the situation you are currently in, I strongly suggest to look at how to attack your mornings. Sweet mornings mean sweet days.


Please share if you liked it.

Morning routine




morning routine

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

About Us


Dani is a plus sized Filipina ADHD kid, recovering shopaholic, alcoholic and workaholic. She doesn’t take herself seriously. She has an insatiable wanderlust, out of this world food cravings and goof addiction. If she is not busy planning her next adventure, she will be spotted taking OOTDs and OOTNs. She took a break from the crazy corporate world to see the real one. This is not another travel blog. This is her journey to self discovery, embracing flaws and feeding her soul of what sets it on fire. She is out to prove that life begins at the end of the comfort zone.

Follow Us

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required