2015 Discoveries

by RF

2015 was a very interesting year for me. I’ve discovered a new lifestyle my twenty five year old self would abhor. It was a pleasant surprise to realize I actually enjoy and love the whole process of being mindful and future-oriented with my well being. Must be aging? It came as a blessing that my closest friends have also changed their life choices framework similar to mine. It became easy for me to do the transition. Importantly, it is comforting to know that I am not going through these changes alone. Having such supportive community, albeit small, is truly a gift. Hashtag blessed. 🙂

So, to my dearest friends — particularly Wy, Mon and Josche — thank you for being so supportive. The changes I’ve gone through in 2015 were a challenge but they became bearable, later on easy, because I have you guys. Thank you for always listening to my confusion, complaints and useless rambles. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me to live healthier and to be the best version of my self. I sincerely appreciate all the exchange of ideas how to live better, and for all the push in the shopping front — that I deserve it. Most specially during pre and post operation days, thank you for always assuring me that everything is going to be ok. I can’t imagine not having you guys in my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. ❤



Towards the end of 2014, it was a shocking surprise for me to realize I prefer black teas over espresso. That continued until this day. The shock and the preference for tea. One of the teas (sort of) I can’t forget is this very, very simple concoction of Tarragon leaves and hot water. It is so simple and clean, I can’t believe the world doesn’t take advantage.

Throughout the year, I enjoyed discovering new teas. So far, my favorites are from Kusmi (Imperial Label and Spearmint Green Tea), Compagne Coloniale (Verth Menthe) and Yogi (Skin DeTox and Echinacea Immune Support). I appreciate how these brands thoughtfully combine ingredients to produce flavorful teas. Bonus for Yogi teas, each bag comes with these quotable quotes that are really amusing. 🙂

One of the things I find immeasurable pleasure … food. I enjoy knowing the history of a dish, the ingredients and preparations, and main story why it is enjoyed. This year, it was a surprise that I started reaching for simpler food — fruits mainly. I would insist having fruits for breakfast, over the usual tapsilog (fried cured beef served with garlic rice and sunny-side up egg) or adobo (meat marinated in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic). Avocados are definitely one of my favorites. On days when I need fat and protein, I add cottage cheese to my avocados. Simple, but amazing. We are fortunate to live in a tropical country, fruits are abundant. Along with avocados, I enjoy bananas, papaya and mangoes almost on a daily basis. Again, my twenty five year old self wouldn’t even care about this. Harhar.

This year too, I’ve been very mindful on my food choices; ingredients source and processing. For obvious reasons, I’ve been favoring organically and locally grown produce. I prefer vegetables over meat (what a shock to everyone I know). And I consciously avoided useless white carbs. It was tough at first but I’ve noticed remarkable changes in my body.

Being mindful in what I eat supported my physical activities. In mid-2014, I started doing exercises on a daily basis. I signed up for a gym membership, and started with the treadmill and other equipment exercises that will help me develop muscle strength, then yoga and pilates. Later on, to my shock, I started enjoying my daily exercises. The routine definitely helps the body, but more that that, the physical exercises are great in clearing the mind. Seriously, what a revelation. Losing weight and building strength became useful this year in preparing for and recovering from an operation I needed to undergo. Running and yoga helped me deal with anxiety pre operation. Having some form of upper body strength supported my movements post operation. Later on, doing breathing exercises and mild stretching helped me recuperate and rebuild strength. More than everything, these daily exercises calmed me.

In January 2015, I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed this book, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are. This book made me realize how important it is to be the best possible version of yourself at any age. It made me appreciate how aesthetics are important, and how it is and integral part of the process towards well being. Though it is obvious, apparently I needed a book to emphasize how looking and feeling good must be for oneself, not a response to society’s requirement or expectation.

After reading this book, I actually became more interested with skin care and make-up. Regular trips to my dermatologist felt as a necessity, not a dragging task I have to do to deal with my skin (almost weekly glycolic acid peel, fraxel / fractional laser sessions every six weeks).

Though embarrassingly late, it is only this year that I really had fun discovering new skin care and make-up products. The goal is to find nurturing products that will take care of the skin and bring that luminous healthy glow. I enjoyed reading product reviews and tips from Into the Gloss (the best!). I will forever appreciate how through this amazing blog, that is actually a community, I was able to discover products that best work for me — Glossier and RMS Beauty. The masks from Glossier are great for pore cleansing and moisturizing. The skin feels unbelievably soft after. The priming moisturizer has been so good to me, with or without putting on make-up. The biggest product discovery for me is RMS Beauty’s Beauty Oil and Living Lumiziner. I will forever and ever, and ever, use these.

I don’t think I can get over how amazing RMS Living Lumizer is. Since I started using this, literally all of my friends and family noticed how my skin looks fresh and luminous. I have nothing but love for this product. I love it so much I force my closest friends to try it. Sorry, not sorry!

Another big thing this year, I finally convinced myself to get treatments that would enhance what I have, and make day to day management more efficient. Sometime in April I had my first Keratin treatment to make my hair smoother, less frizzy and more manageable. I’ve been getting this treatment every three months since. Probably the biggest treatment I’ve committed to this year is getting a 3D eyebrow embroidery. This, without a doubt, is the best beauty decision for the year. It made my eyebrows look better (natural and perfectly shaped brows, yo!), it made my daily prep time faster (less than 10 minutes skin care and make-up ritual!). I truly appreciated the value of these treatments, definitely will continue getting them.

I am a scent person; my memory is triggered with scents. This year, I fell in love with Le Labo’s Santal 33. To be honest, I love it because wearing this scent made me feel sexy. Initially, it was a shock to have that sense of confidence, eventually I became fascinated how a scent can give that alluring feeling to a person. Amazing.

Speaking of sexy. This year, for the first time ever, I bought a pair of shoes because I find it sexy. I am not the type of person who will gush over a fashion item, nor I am the type to spend so much for shoes. But after seeing this pair, one thing came to mind: I need to have it.

I’ve been an advocate of spending money on experiences, not on things. Buying this shoes fell under the experience category for me. Honestly. For the longest time, I have this mindset that I do not deserve expensive things. I am not a fan of shopping, and I feel guilty whenever I spend certain amount of money just for clothes and accessories. I’ve always preferred to have simple and monotonous take with my clothes. Thus, it was a novelty for me to actually consider this pair, more so to fall in love with it. There was a sense of liberation being able to afford this kind of item, and indulgence being able to wear it. For the first time, I felt I deserve this indulgence. I do not need to be defensive about this item, and it is not a big deal to spend on things from time to time (but must always be within our means). Again, what a revelation.



2015 brought so many experiences, most lead to one lesson: importance of well being not as a response to the world’s expectations, but as a primary care to oneself. Can’t believe it took me this long to understand, appreciate and commit to this. So yeah, thank you 2015, I’ve become mindful with my choices, embraced new risks, I have nothing but appreciation.