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


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How to Change Your Mood Instantly

How to Change Your Mood Instantly

How to Change Your Mood Instantly

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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.



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Traveling Solo




Traveling Solo


Traveling Solo


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6 Minimalist Gift Ideas

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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.

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minimalist gift ideas

minimalist gift ideas


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How to Create Sweet Mornings That Guarantee Sweeter Days

Morning routine

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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.


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Morning routine




morning routine

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Minimalism: The Path that Lead me to Finding Myself


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!


Minimalism was as foreign as those exotic, far flung places I often daydream about and different cultures that I wanted to experience so bad.


For someone who called herself a shoe-addict for a very long time, minimalism never existed in my limited English vocabulary. My disease to collect different fashion magazines has compelled me to buy everything inside it. The more that I have, the happier and the cooler I felt. I never allowed a week to pass without me buying anything new as if I’m a Kardashian.

Moving to another country lead me to a begin a different story. Packing was the hardest thing I had to face. My emotional attachment to my shoe and dress collection made me feel a bit of remorse towards my mom’s friend, cousin and two of my village friends who were all waiting for whatever I will decide to leave behind.

Though my heart was breaking to see them touch my treasured collection, it was pointless. Something in me was sure that I will not be home a lot anymore so all of them need to go than perish in my closet. I needed to let go. I don’t know where moving to Malaysia will bring me but I just know that it is not back home soon yet.


That time I wished I was a centipede so I can bring all my shoes without having to worry about additional luggage expense. My shopping addiction didn’t stop there. Shopping in Malaysia is even crazier. Everything seemed cheaper. Most of the brands that I love in the Philippines almost never go on sale but in Malaysia it’s like they are giving them away. I hoarded them as if my life depended on it.


When I dated my Syrian ex-boyfriend, I was always secretly checking his closet out. It was so small. He’s been living in Malaysia for few years already but it seems like he never really bought anything new. I was judging him secretly too. Later on I learned that he lived in Qatar and Dubai too but it never occurred to me that he might be doing it intentionally because he knows that he might not be able to bring all of them again. I just accepted the fact that I was dating a guy who never invested on his outer appearance. His PhD was the main goal.


The second move was the worst for my closet. The same exact thing happened again but it has never occurred to me that my search for life’s meaning and purpose is slowly introducing me a totally different lifestyle. When I got accepted to teach in Ecuador and ready to move the third time, it dawned on me that I should stop buying things because later on, I will be forced to leave everything behind.


This is the time I started educating myself about possible concepts and principles that will guide me in getting more out of this short life. .

I bumped into the term minimalism. As I read further I learned simplicity from Japanese Zen Philosophy where it is incorporated with aesthetic and design elements to design buildings. Zen is about simplicity, freedom and essence of living.


I started practicing it until I no longer recognize my old self for the benefits it gave me.


Minimalism gave me so much time.

It made cleaning and tidying up faster. Getting dressed and getting ready is a breeze too. I no longer stare at my bursting closet and declare that I have nothing to wear. I now have a half-full and fully functional closet. I formulated a new set of rules for what goes and what stays. If I haven’t worn a piece for more than three months, it will go regardless of the season. I use the time to read and design the life that I want and proud to live.


Minimalism made me let go of the past.

As my de-cluterring skill improved, I got better at mastering the art of letting go and making room for new ones to come.  I gathered what I don’t need anymore and let them go. I took the boxes out. It is such a beautiful feeling to unload everything that doesn’t serve me any purpose anymore.


Minimalism stopped me from losing things.

When summer came and I needed my sunnies, I need not rummage my entire place to look for them because I only have one pair. I always know where I put it.


Minimalism made me spend less.

When I became a minimalist, I no longer find lingering near the shops useful because it is really tempting. I stopped browsing fashion magazines too. I’m happy to say that I am no longer a victim of consumerism. Big brands can create the demands to having more all they want but it will never have any effect on me. I only spend for things that make sense.


Minimalism has made me found myself in terms of what I am passionate about and what I am called to do in this life. When I stopped clinging to having more material things, I started loving what I am becoming. Being a minimalist made me discover my other talents. Having less stuff gave me more freedom. A clean space is just so inspiring to create more. It has cleansed my thoughts. A cluttered space only give me terrible headaches.


Minimalism has made me grateful for the things I have.

My stuff has more value to me than when I have a lot of them. I feel so much lighter. My life is simpler. If something is still working, I will not buy new ones. I am no longer defined by the clothes I wear or by the mobile phone I am using.


Minimalism has made me mindful.

It made me take a step backwards, look at any situation from a different angle and do what is really needed. Since I became a minimalist, I became more open minded. I have more time to understand things that I once skeptic about. Minimalism is allowing me to have the proper mindset to enjoy the life that I have now while working on getting the life that I want. It has made me embrace the art of living slowly and enjoying the simple life. Happiness doesn’t involve expensive material things. Happiness is the simple things and activities that make my heart sing.


Minimalism has lead me to live like a nomad everyday which makes me always ready to go. I don’t worry about other things. I don’t need much. After all, I couldn’t bring all the material things with me in my grave. I’m sure no one will include in their eulogy for me that I have a lot of killer heels, cute ballerina flats and empire cute dresses.


I still will credit my conversion to minimalism as a benefit of living abroad and wanting to experience more the beauty of everyday life. For this, I am willing to downsize everything. Because of this, I found myself.



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Walk Away. It’s Okay.

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!


Let me drive you home.” The mother of my Moroccan students offered.


Oh no but thank you so much. I ate so much I badly need to walk.” I sincerely refused in my broken German.


It is too dark and cold.” She is obviously worried.


Yeah but I will be fine. My house is not so far.” I said while putting on my winter jacket and scarf then headed to the door.


Thank you so much, Danica.” And gave me huge bear hug.


I stopped, smiled and hugged her back. “You are welcome.” And off to the dark, cold night I go.
As the fallen leaves crushed under my winter boots, I felt something else. I adjusted my scarf, vowed my head down and inserted my nearly frozen hands inside the pockets of my winter jacket. I keep on forgetting my gloves. It will take time before I get used to winter and the changing seasons. I took my time walking oblivious to the cold. How can 5:30 in the afternoon be this dark? My head is throbbing, signaling a migraine but that worried look on their mother’s face keeps on flashing in my head. She looked older than she really is. One of the girls will stay in the current school level if she will not pass all the subjects and for this reason, I spend most of my nights in their house helping her study. She isn’t dumb as the color of her hair suggests. She just doesn’t have interest in learning. I see my young self. I was the worst student there ever has been and had I known I’d want to be a teacher, I would’ve been a good student and maybe that same worried look would have been prevented occurring in my own mother’s face.


I actually didn’t introduce any lessons today. We didn’t study at all. Instead I took them out for dinner where the cool kids hang out. In Mcdonalds. It was a bit challenging to seek permission from the Burka- wearing mother to bring these teenagers out but I still tried my luck. Maybe being in their house almost every night made me worthy of her trust. Or maybe because I allow her to pay less than what private tutors should get. I just don’t know where to get the heart to charge them more when I already know how hard it is to make ends meet. We went to the Christmas Market too though I am aware that perhaps it doesn’t mean anything to their religion.

It was freezing but we were laughing the whole time that it felt like a normal sunny day. It’s amazing how three people who can barely express themselves can still have fun. I brought them to the gym where I go to work out. By the way these kids’ eyes light up when they talk and laugh, I can tell they just need a different approach in learning. These kids show that burn out from a young age exist.



Few nights ago, the mother cried and sobbed uncontrollably and hysterically. I can only hug her for consolation. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t see that coming. I don’t have answers to her questions as to what she needs to do with her kids. First, I’m now good friends with her daughters even if I tried not to. Even if I needed to keep a professional distance. I don’t want to give them that feeling that I can’t be trusted. Second, I don’t want to meddle with how she wants to raise her kids by telling her what she must do. I’m just thirty, single and childless. What could I possibly know? I’m pretty much convinced that telling her that communication between them is the issue was enough and she, as the mother, knows the best for her kids. Culture is clashing inside their house and no one seem to go out of their way to explain it in a democratic way. Third, I know I have been going out of my way to help. I feel there is a lesson I need to learn than I need to teach. I am doing my best. I am giving myself. My heart. My soul. When I need not to. I can’t help it. It’s hard not to. If I do something, I do it all out. These kids should learn not from the mistakes I made but from the wisdom I’ve acquired from the choices I’ve made. They must be able to enjoy youth so they wouldn’t want to strangle fairy godmother when adulthood was given to them without so much warning.

I arrived home and cleaned up. I tossed and turned in bed and counted sheep in all the languages I know but I still can’t sleep. I have been overthinking again. I’m dreading the time I need to go to their house. Not because the girls are naughty but because I can’t deal with the mother anymore. I am close to stop showing up. Why am I even worrying about their problem? Why do I feel so responsible? I can only teach. I can’t be their mother too.



Few days after…



Dear Diary,


I know I promised myself and not them that I will not give up on these kids but I had to for my peace of mind. I feel guilty. I’m a massive failure. I failed miserably because I suck at handling stress from too much complaining of their mother. I learned to walk away from situations that will make me feel that being happy is being selfish and I will not give this an exception. I need my peace back. Working for banks’ Complaints Department gave me a trauma I haven’t gotten rid of until now and no amount of money can cure it I’m sure. When money issues arise, I ask myself why I kissed the rat race goodbye. No matter how overwhelmed and giddy I am to be welcomed in a Moroccan household to learn and see how they do things, I still can’t shake the fear I feel knowing it’s not only the kids I will need to face. Learning isn’t a spell anyone can cast. Progress can’t be seen overnight and being too strict and b*tchy about it will not help. The more that the kids will lose zest for it. It took me nearly a year to be able to somehow pick up the German Language so it will also take some time for the kids to learn not just English but all other school subjects. To be a hired a private tutor is a big pressure. If the student showed no progress, it’s my reflection. It makes me a bad teacher which I don’t want to be known for. I can’t explore all the best ways of teaching when culture and religion are on the way. In order for me to learn, I need to remove all the limiting factors I have in myself. I needed to let go. I wish I can make the kids or my other students perfect English in one month or better, in a snap. I wish I’m from Hogwarts. I wish I have a spell for things lack of patience can’t cure. I will cure myself first for sure.


Diary, I am sorry that I am not sorry about walking away. I just can’t tolerate unhappiness. It’s not worth it.




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Walk Away. It's Okay

Walk Away. It's Okay


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100 Little Things That Make Me Happy

100 little things that make me happy

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100% happiness doesn’t exist someone very close to me told me. It was a hard pill to swallow but since I’m stubborn, I still went out of my way to find out for myself.

It’s the hardest task I’ve ever done and even Google failed to give me an answer. I thought playing clown to be liked will give me happiness. Or losing tons of weight or dating the hottest guys or a nice secured job or even endless traveling but I was wrong and it was a tiring search. It was tiring to follow what society says just to be happy and I found out that happiness already exist even before I started looking for it full time.


I stopped on my tracks, closed my eyes, think of the times when my heart swells and the list below came up.

  1. Opening the balcony door in the morning
  2. My gratitude journal
  3. The birds chirping as I write this
  4. The mood board that I myself painted
  5. Wool socks
  6. My arts and craft DIY basket
  7. Upbeat Spanish songs
  8. Browsing Pinterest for next DIY projects
  9. My Yoga mat
  10. Cleaning the house
  11. An empty sink
  12. Fresh clothes from the dryer
  13. Looking at the hill outside my kitchen window
  14. Strolling along the nearby river
  15. Sand between my toes
  16. My bare feet on the ground
  17. The crashing sound of the fallen leaves under my boots as I walk
  18. Wool turtleneck pullover
  19. Hot cup of chocolate
  20. Coffee
  21. The sound of coffee machine in the morning
  22. Cuddles
  23. Kisses
  24. Holding hands while walking
  25. Sweet text messages
  26. Clean sheets
  27. Fresh towels
  28. Clean bathroom
  29. My feet on the clean house floor
  30. Sitting in a deserted cafe while reading a good book
  31. Writing in my journal in a deserted cafe
  32. People watching as the cafe gets a bit crowded
  33. Candles
  34. A quick trip to the church to light candles up and say my graces
  35. Weekly grocery shopping
  36. My homemade bodyscrub
  37. Giving myself a mani and pedi
  38. Meditating
  39. Simple Yoga stretches
  40. Dry-brushing
  41. A long hot bath
  42. Watering my plants and removing dry leaves
  43. Harvesting tomatoes, chili and zucchini from my little edible balcony garden
  44. The rose plant on my worktable
  45. My pens
  46. My journals
  47. The smell of old pages of books
  48. A glass of wine after a long day
  49. Preparing simple vegetarian mealsthings that make me happy
  50. Thick and soft duvet
  51. Spanish songs
  52. Mowering the garden
  53. A trip to the bookstore though I still have a lot of unread books
  54. Reading
  55. Amazon book window shopping
  56. That Amazon package when I accidentally hit “Buy Now”
  57. Book markers
  58. Thrift shops and flea markets
  59. Cobble-stoned streets
  60. Misty glass windows after the rain
  61. The smell when it rains
  62. An empty laundry basket
  63. A new book
  64. Arts supply store
  65. Writing
  66. The crackle of fire in the furnace
  67. Burnt marshmallow
  68. Bonfire
  69. Lemon and ginger
  70. Zumba
  71. Afternoon naps
  72. Eavesdropping in the bus to accustom my ears in learning a new language
  73. Designing Pins and Graphics for my website
  74. Brainstorming for new articles
  75. Waking up before the alarm goes off
  76. Doing a simple daily morning routine
  77. Public libraries
  78. Finding money in bags or pockets that I have totally forgotten about
  79. Sending monthly support to my parents
  80. Cleaning
  81. Sorting my stuff
  82. My almost empty closet
  83. Thunderstorm
  84. Watching the sun set
  85. Unplugging and leaving the house without my mobile phone
  86. Sitting on a park bench and people watching
  87. Baking
  88. My name spelled correctly at Starbucks
  89. Candlelit dinner
  90. Sweat from a good workout
  91. Bubblebath
  92. Crickets singing
  93. Snow covered places
  94. Winter boots
  95. Daily devotion
  96. Publishing a new blog post
  97. A genuine smile from a stranger
  98. Singing
  99. Ratty shirts
  100. Mario

What about you? What makes you happy?


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100 little things that make me happy


100 little things that make me happy



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Midnight Thoughts: Dear Life, where are we going?

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Dear Diary,


It’s almost midnight and I’m oblivious to the fact that I’m grinding my teeth. My brain is on turbo again. Yes Diary. ADHD is attacking. Yes. At this hour.

I opened the window ignoring the cold winter wind from the river that brushed my entire upper body. In few seconds my face will go numb. One last puff I said. Yes diary. I smoked again. I don’t trust myself so much when it comes to swearing to never doing things again. One nasty habit I can’t get rid of. I’m guilty about not being sorry. It felt good. I need it.


Dear Life,


Where are we going?


Duh?! Of course Life doesn’t know. It only brings us to where we are supposed to be. Even Fate doesn’t have much say on this but I sense the connivance. They both know all along but won’t admit. Fate isn’t a spoiler though I wish sometimes it gives even a little clue and not leave me in such limbo.


This morning I woke up cursing like a seasoned sailor. Why am I doing what I am doing? Why am I here? Why did I allow myself to be in this? Will I be like them soon too? I felt alarmed. I want to fly back home ASAP though I have no clue where that is. My head is filled with too much “why’s” and I honestly was too hormonally emotional to be rational. I don’t want to think of answers that will put my brain on fire.


Again, I wanted to run so far away not even my thoughts can find me and I will be honest, I don’t know where that is anymore.


I remember getting off from the bus and seeing how beautiful this place really is. Then I realized I’m studying.

I need to learn what real life is all about. Easy as that and I was reminded how I secretly wished for this lesson to be taught to me. I know learning this way is more painful and heartbreaking. I chose this path to feel more alive then why am I complaining?


Because I felt uncomfortable? Because I felt out of place? “Go Danica! Pack your things and fly back home where it is nice and warm and sunny all year long. Give up on your dreams because they are too impossible to begin with. Give everyone who doubts you a reason to think they are really right to begin with!” It was like a song that played on repeat in my head. It was annoyingly insulting that I struggled too hard to shut it off. Yes. I bitchslapped the bullies in my head. It was hard but I won over it. Maybe next time they attack me I know damn well what to do. But am I the only one in this world who experiences this? Am I the only one who hasn’t figured it out? Am I the only one who hasn’t found which path is for me? Am I the only one who questions the tried and tested path?


Am I the only who hopelessly stare at my unread pile of books and swear not to buy again until I finish them all no matter how much I know why these books are still being unread? And that they failed to light me up and connect to my soul? Am I the only one who secretly hopes that one day, I can force myself to read them? Is saying I will stop buying books the same with saying that I don’t want to live anymore because just living without learning and evolving amounts to nothing? In this life where happiness is being frowned upon, what is right and what is wrong and who decides that they are right or wrong?


I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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Midnight Thoughts: Dear Life, where are we going?


Midnight Thoughts: Dear Life, where are we going?


Midnight Thoughts: Dear Life, where are we going?


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Why It’s Okay to be Unapologetically You: Self-Love Lessons Learned from Blogging

Self-Love Lessons Learned from Blogging

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A Facebook message from a fellow blogger read something like:


Your website and articles are good but you must have a niche.”


I didn’t respond. I kept my one-blog-post-worth of answer in my head.


Having a niche will limit the scope of things I can talk about and really I don’t want to only be able to talk about one thing. I want to be able to talk about how I thought the clouds are following me when I was a child and that to be a mermaid was all I ever dreamt of no matter how much open water terrifies me.


I want to be able to talk about all the random little things.


I mean it’s okay to be able to just talk nonstop about one single topic and to create another blog that will talk about other things too but I didn’t want that.


I trust that if I have readers, they are well rounded individuals who can keep up and would also want to be able to let loose and dream freely.


I am sure that my readers, if I have any, also have thousands of random thoughts and I’m sure they want  to feel that it is normal. It is okay to be carried away by our daydreams.


Another goes like this:


Your article’s point is good and clear. I am an English teacher and it gives me headache to see misplaced punctuation marks and syntax errors. I don’t want to call your attention on this and make you ashamed about your writing by pointing out the mistakes but I want to help if you like and if it’s okay, I will copy the article from your website and proofread it. I will send you the edited version on Friday afternoon.”


I replied with so much gratitude. I am not so particularly strict when it comes to these punctuation marks and I am not a native English speaker neither so I’m sure that there will be a lot of mistakes. I just feel pure bliss when I write and I share it. Even if I have Yoast Plug in for SEO stuff, I still ignore it most of the time. I want to be able to write as I please. This is also why I feel so humbled when someone writes to me and comments on my post. Because I write as if no one will read it. I am now only writing for myself. If truth be told, I post and run. Writing became a very important part of my healing. Writing has helped me to disconnect. Writing has been a huge part of my personal growth and development.


A couple of Friday afternoons passed and I still didn’t receive the edited copy like what the Syntax expert promised. I would think that the message was just a spam but how can it be a spam when it was sent as a Facebook private message to my private Facebook account? I still want to think that she is a concerned citizen who wanted my grammar to be perfect for the world to see. Maybe the world’s entire problem depended on it. I should not think that she just wanted to remind me that my writing sucks. After all, I am open for criticism because that’s how I will improve.


You should be in New York and then London and then other countries.”


“But mine is not a travel blog.” I replied. Then no answer.


If I will be honest here, just traveling and nonstop exploring already lost its appeal to me. I want to be able to do something that has meaning. I want to be aligned with my truth. I want to be able to spend my life with purpose. I want a life that will allow me to be the person God has designed me to be.


Mark Manson, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, was right. After traveling so much, a new country will not add so much value anymore.

In fact, being on the road since 2014 is tiring. It has started wearing me off. I just wanted to be at home whenever I can, feed my soul, grow some roots and be part of something with great value. I am still traveling, am I not? Slow travel that is. After all, what am I still running away from?


A Pinterest message included a link of a course on how to use Pinterest to generate income. The same person who wanted to help me with it sent it as I started it in July. She offered to be my Virtual Assistant for free in exchange for a review of her performance. I was deeply touched.

I am clueless about how it works and seeing other accounts made me really stressed and pressured. I was tempted to accept her offer but I realized how much learning I will miss if someone will do it for me.


While it will be incredible to have my passion the sole source of my income, I really wanted to learn everything I can from it.


I don’t want to skip anything.


I am willing to see what works and what doesn’t.


I know that I will feel it when I have reached a point where I will need extra pair of hands. I was tempted to take the course and other courses that promised to generate hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of dollars income. Again, I want to be able to say that I did something for myself. So I’m very happy to say that though I only earned 3.15 Euros on my third month of blogging, I feel like a millionaire. I am not in a hurry to earn money from it. To have a creative outlet for a hobby is more than okay and to be paid just one cent for doing it, I will be ecstatic!

Web Hosting

I might have only earned 3.15 Euros but it’s okay. I am enjoying the slow process of growth and with all the other things I have learned in my three months of blogging, I feel like I have won the lottery.


And most importantly, if there’s one thing I have learned from blogging, that is to be unapologetically me.


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Self-Love Lessons Learned from Blogging


Self-Love Lessons Learned from Blogging



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Self-Care Giveaway Winner Announced!

As promised, the winner of  Self-Care Giveaway will be announced today, 18 August 2018.


It was not an easy task to choose who will take this self-care loot home.






I’d like to thank everyone for your time and effort.

I am overwhelmed by your love and support. I will be forever grateful.


Since it broke my heart to just choose one winner…


I decided to make it two.


Congratulations to:



Katrina Cebreiros




Lyka Balanquit.



Please keep an eye on your E-mail. You will be personally contacted via E-mail.


Again, thank you so much and I hope to see your entries in the next giveaway.

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.

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