Gift the Child, Gift the Parent

Five gift ideas for kids that will make their mommies happy too

Christmas is a time of giving, and oftentimes that giving is focused on the kids we know—which is just as it should be. But when you get to be a certain age, you find that you might have a lot of kids to get gifts for (mga pamangkin, inaanak, and more) when really it’s their parents who are your friends.

So recently I got to thinking, why not kill two birds with one stone and get your friends’ kids gifts that their parents will really appreciate too?

Of course, this got me thinking, what kind of gift would this be? To get ideas, I went back to my marketing roots and asked myself, “What’s the one problem every mom, myself included, suffers from?” And the answer was obvious—lack of mommy time!

That is to say, just about every mom I know wishes there were more hours in the day because we are all so busy. Not only are we charging forward with our careers, whether we’re employees or self-employed, but we’re also busy managing our households and families.

Given this problem, it was easy to think up a solution: get gifts for kids that keep them active and creative… and out of their parents’ hair! That way, while the kiddies are enjoying, Mommy and Daddy can take a breather.

So here are a few ideas for these kiddie gifts that are actually gifts for the whole family:

KidZania passes

I’ve been a KidZania Manila fan since the child-sized city opened in Bonifacio Global City a couple years ago. It’s not just that it’s fun for kids between the ages of 4 and 14 to get to experience their dream jobs in areas that look like scaled-down versions of actual workplaces. It’s that they learn a lot about themselves and also the challenges adults face, which helps teach them responsibility and creative thinking.

Oh, looks who’s one of them? 🙂 hehe!

Zeeka created her own comic strip at Metro!

Learn more about KidZania Manila via their website. http://manila.kidzania.com/en-ph/

Ticket prices range from P900 to P1100 for kids aged 4 to 17.

ActiveFun

Another play and activity center kids are guaranteed to enjoy is ActiveFun, which has branches in Bonifacio Global City, SM Megamall, The 30th Mall, Power Plant Mall, and Evia Lifestyle Center. In fact, if the members of your barkada all have kids around the same age, it might even be cool to make a fun day out of it so the kids can exhaust themselves on the slides, in the ball pits, and more, while the mommies can have a spa party.

Learn more about ActiveFun via their website. http://activefun.ph/

Admission rates for unlimited play are P480 per child.

GummyBox PH

Just a couple months ago, I discovered Gummybox, which offers themed activity boxes containing everything kids could want or need for a hands-on crafting or science project—something sure to keep them occupied for at least a whole morning or afternoon.

To learn more about Gummybox PH, check out my previous blog post or the company’s Instagram account, @gummybox.ph. For inquiries, email kfunkidstoys@gmail.com or text +63 939 551 1501.

 

Workshops and Kiddie Courses

Who says learning can’t be fun? There are workshops all around the metro to cater to a whole rainbow of kids’ interests. SparkleLab.ph alone offers courses on game development, toymaking, robotics, film and animation, and more.

Know any MasterChef Junior contenders in the making? Check out the kiddie courses at the Red Apron Cooking Academy. Dolldalita offers dollmaking workshops where kids can learn what goes into making toys they love. Or if you know any kids set to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, check out the courses at Jack.com.ph. And kids with an eye for style and beauty can learn a lot from the programs at KidzArt.

Craft Supplies and Kits

Know kids who love to get hands-on with crafty materials? Feed their love for these types of activities by getting them age-appropriate art and craft supplies, such as watercolor, calligraphy and lettering, or scrapbooking sets. Some places to shop include The Craft Central, Hey Kessy, Craft Carrot, and National Book Store.

Do you have other suggestions on gifts that will make both the parents and the kids happy? 🙂 Share it with me in the comments section below.

8 Locally Sourced Gift Ideas for Titos and Titas

When it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts, we mommies can often find it easy to shop for kids and find it hard to shop for the titos and titas in our lives—especially as we become titas ourselves. Recently, though, I’ve been embracing the idea of the #lovelocal movement, where we are encouraged to support local businesses who in turn support local communities.

So I thought, why not make a list of Christmas gift ideas guaranteed to make titas of Manila like me happy? Plus, if you check out my list below, you’ll notice many of the gifts can be bought in bulk, which is a great way to get your Christmas shopping done in record time.

For the fashionistas

*From the Renegade Folk website

Who says footwear can’t be comfy, high-quality, and fashionable? Certainly not the people behind Renegade Folk, who sell leather footwear designed and handcrafted by local artisans from Marikina.

Check out the Renegade Folk website for more information.
(https://www.renegadefolk.com/)

For the eco-conscious

If your tito or tita talks the talk and walks the walk about being more eco-friendly, one thing you might want to gift them a set of reusable straws, the better to help them reduce their use of plastic on a daily basis. The stainless steel straws from Go Zero can be ordered with tikog pouches made by Leyte locals.

Visit the Go Zero PH Facebook page to learn more about their products and order a few sets.
(https://www.facebook.com/GoZeroPH/)

For those who like to keep things organic

*from the Human Nature Facebook Page

Social enterprise Human Heart Nature doesn’t just work on helping Filipino communities who need it; they also have created an extensive line of organic personal care, beauty, and home products perfect for titos and titos with big hearts themselves. Check out their Natural Hand Soap and Coffee Body Scrub.

Check out the Human Heart Nature Facebook page for more information.
(https://www.facebook.com/humanheartnature)

For chocoholics

Who doesn’t love chocolate? And even if the tito or tita on your Christmas shopping list is watching their sugar, you can still gift them with unsweetened options. And the products from Davao brand Malagos Chocolate aren’t just delicious—they have also won multiple times at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London, UK.

Check out the Malagos Chocolate website for details on where to buy their products.
(http://malagoschocolate.com/malagos-chocolate/)

For coffee addicts

*Image from Bo’s Coffee website

If your favorite tito or tita can’t face starting the day without a freshly brewed cup of coffee, why not encourage them to go local with premium coffee beans from all over the Philippines? You can easily source packs of barako beans at the supermarket, or you can head to your nearest Bo’s Coffee branch to buy a bag of their Philippine-origin beans from Sagada, Benguet, Mount Matutum, and more.

Visit the Bo’s Coffee contact page to find the branch closest to you.
(http://www.boscoffee.com/contact-us/)

For the health conscious

Snacking can be tough if you’re watching your weight, your cholesterol, your salt intake, and more. Which is why the snacks from Founding Farmers are such a godsend for anyone looking to eat healthier—something we should all be doing this coming year! While the original product, their Mixed Veggie Crisps, are still a best seller, you may also want to try their Shiitake Mushroom Crisps.

Visit the Founding Farmers website for more information on their products.
(https://www.foundingfarmerssnacks.com/shop)

For the kikay titas

*Image from the Happy Skin Website

Happy Skin makeup and skin care products are sure to please any kikay tita, with the local brand’s unique formulations for sensitive skin and oh-so-cute packaging. Their Disney Princess lippie line is perfect for grown-up princesses, though their Shut Up and Kiss Me Matte Lippies are great too.

Go to the Happy Skin Cosmetics website to learn more about their products.
(http://www.happyskincosmetics.com/)

For those who need a break

Is your favorite tito or tita always on the go? Treat them to a massage package at a spa with branches close to their home or work. Or, if you’re a little shy about offering them a full-body massage, why not treat them to a mani-pedi somewhere convenient, such as a nearby Nail Tropics branch?

Learn more about Nail Tropics via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NailTropics/

Got other local gift suggestions for me? Please leave a comment and tell me all about them!

Realign your Life

Every year, around October to December, I set a day in my life to realign my life. By definition, to realign means to change or restore to a different or former position or state or to change one’s position or attitude with regard to (a person, organization, or cause). I think  realignment is necessary as our environment changes, but most importantly, we change as people. Even if just a year has gone by, a lot of things happen in a year.

Last year, I’ve defined a mission for myself. That mission is to help more aspiring business owners and freelancers create and start their own businesses and careers. And I do this, through all of the businesses and consultation that I have been doing. This year, I will still focus on that, but I will zoom in further.

I will zoom in further into these two aspects: one is legalizing their businesses and careers and the other one is to spread news about the amazing small business owners that we have in the Philippines.

For my personal goals, these are the goals that I have set for myself this coming year:

Relationship with Family and Friends
– I will spend one on one dates with Zeeka once a week
– I will spend one on one dates with EJ once a week

Personal Growth
– I will set aside time for studying more about different topics, not just those related to my craft or expertise

Spirituality
– I will pray more often

Finances
– I will add more to the investments that I have, especially those with the objective of helping in Zeeka’s tuition fees for college. I want her not to worry about the school and just focus on where she wants to go for college.

Career
– I will fix and create more online courses for aspiring and current business owners and professionals

Leisure Time
– I will travel internationally at least thrice this year

Volunterism
– I will continue to donate to the organizations that I am contributing to
– I will volunteer to help some small businesses fix processes for their company

Health and Fitness
– I will workout three times a week.

These are the things that I have thought of this week. I have a more detailed breakdown of these things on an excel sheet.

Have you thought of what you want to do next year? Have you thought of your goals and plans? If you have, please share them with me! I’d love to hear more about them 🙂

Looping Philippines Squizz 2.0 Stroller

Why are all amazing strollers made in France. This is the second brand of stroller that I checked out this week. It’s from a brand called Looping in France, and the model is called Squizz 2.0.

Image from @cocoonstudioph #cocoonstudioph

For a busy family, like us, we need a stroller that will compliment our needs. We travel often out of the country, and we love bringing Zeeka. The reason why we bring her is that we want to expose her to different cultures, for her to widen her view of the world. But as you know, if you’re a mom and you want to travel, you need to plan well. You also need someone to help you carry some of your stuff, bring the stroller, hold the baby while you get things or unfold the stroller, etc.

But this Squizz 2.0 Stroller from Looping Philippines promises convenience for every mom!

It’s benefits are the following:

One Hand Folding Promise: The Squizz 2.0 can be open and folded using only one hand. Mom can travel on their own with the baby. I tried this and what I liked about it is that the lock was at the side of the stroller, so you just need to unlock it and use the handle to pop it open.

Lightweight: It only weighs 6.7kg. You can also pull it around using the T-bar luggage handle.

Suitable for Babies up to Toddlers: You can use the Squizz Stroller from when your baby is a newborn until he or she weighs 20 kilograms (so until he/she is 5-6 years old). Adjusting the stroller for your baby is also very easy, just pull the buckle behind the seat to recline or put upright.

Compact: Since we live in a condominium and I’m very particular about what we put into our “space” (this is why I practice the Konmari method), I love things that are compact. The Squizz 2.0 stroller can be folded into a compact size that can easily be stored in our home. Here are the dimensions.

Stroller size: W48 x D77 x H104cm.
Foldable size: W48 x D26 x H57cm.

Safe Stroller: The Squizz 2.0 has a 5 point safety harness that keeps your child safe in your stroller. Even if it’s that safe, it’s also very comfortable too for your baby or toddler.

What I would wish for though is that they add more colors. Right now, they only have two colors: you can either get the black or white frame.

So there you have it! That’s Squizz 2.0 Stroller. It’s being sold at an SRP of Php 16,999 at Baby Company, The SM Store, The Parenting Emporium, Rustan’s Alabang, Cebu, Shangri-la Plaza and Makati and MilkandHoney.ph.

So, what do you think? Are you getting one soon?

Check out other details at these Looping Philippines links:

http://www.looping.com.ph

http://instagram.com/looping.philippines

http://facebook.com/loopingph

 

 

 

Healthy Meal Plan using US Potatoes

As someone who’s always on the go, cooking on a daily basis sure is challenging. Since I’m trying to change our eating habits, I’ve been trying to encourage myself to prepare food every day and try new recipes that will also entice Zeeka to eat healthily.

Weekdays are usually the busiest. I had this bad habit before that I’ll munch on high-calorie snacks and sugary drinks to make me feel full and energized. Whatever’s fast and easy to purchase from the counter, that’s what I get.

I’m immensely grateful for the huge shift I made towards my impulse eating habits and decisions. In the beginning, it doesn’t seem to look like a big deal. But the bad effects happen at the end part, right?

Consuming more vegetables, fruits, and protein may seem to be a bit hard to commit every day, though the end results usually are the grand motivators.

Meal planning shouldn’t be complicated particularly for moms like me, who don’t have a lot of time to prepare and cook. I’ve learned that the best way to achieve the effective weight loss is to consume food that will make you feel full longer every day. One of the easiest and readily available in the market is the potato. US Potatoes are the freshest and the packed with vitamins! You can learn more about US Potatoes from this page: https://www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/

This power crop has a lot of nutrients and vitamins that is enough to make you healthy and feel energized. It is rich in Vitamin C, immune-boosting and helps lower cholesterol. One medium potato with the skin contributes 2 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value per serving.

Day 1: Bacon and Potato Wedge Omelette

Ingredients:
250g US frozen potato wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
4 rashers bacon, diced
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of mozzarella cheese

1. Place the frozen US potato wedges in a pan of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until tender, then drain.

2. Heat the pan then add oil. Fry bacon for 4-5 minutes then add the potatoes. Fry for
another minute.

3. Beat the eggs then add milk, salt, pepper, and half the mozzarella cheese. Add the mixture to the panand cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining mozzarella cheese and place under a preheated grill until golden. Serve with your desired sauce.

Day 2: Garlic Herbed Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:
3 lbs. frozen US potatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp rosemary
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.

2. Cut the frozen US potatoes in half or quarters then place in a bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Toss until the potatoes are coated.

3. Transfer the US potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Add the butter on top to
spruce up the flavor. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until browned and crisp. (Flip
with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.)

4. Remove the potatoes from oven, sprinkle parsley. Season to taste.

Day 3: Garlic Potatoes, Green Beans, Shrimp And Cauliflower

Ingredients:
1/2kg prawns, peeled
1 lb. US fingerling potatoes
3 c. cauliflower florets
1 lb. green beans
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
5 clove garlic
1⁄2 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp red wine

1. In a large pot, cover the US fingerling potatoes with 2-3 inches of salted water. Boil over high
heat. Then, reduce the heat and cook for 8 minutes until the potatoes are almost tender.
2. Add the cauliflower florets and green beans to the pot. Simmer until tender for 5 minutes.
3. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil then add the garlic. Cook over low heat until golden brown. Add paprika, a large pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
4. Drain vegetables and transfer to serving bowl. Season with salt and drizzle with garlic oil. Sprinkle with red wine.

Day 4: Potato Lollipop Recipe

Ingredients:

2 medium US potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 medium carrot, boiled and peeled
3 bread slices
2-3 green chillies
1 small piece ginger
2 teaspoons cornflour
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt
Olive oil

1. Boil and peel the potatoes and carrots. Mash well. Crush peeled ginger and green chillies using a mortar and pestle.
2. Add crushed ginger-cilantro-green chillies paste,salt and cumin powder.
3. Soak the bread slices in water for 2-3 minutes,squeeze the water well and ad to the potato mixture. Add corn flour and mix well. Mix well to form a dough.
4. Shape into small lollipops from the dough and shallow fry from both sides till golden.
5. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Now insert lollipop sticks or snack pickers into each lollipop.

Day 5: Potato and Peppers Stew

Ingredients:

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 whole garlic, mashed
8 bell peppers (red, yellow, green), seeded and sliced in julienne
28 ounces canned tomatoes
1 lb. US potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into ½ inch cubes
250ml vegetable broth
1 handful of fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pan, saute onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil and set on medium-high heat. When completely softened, before it starts browning, add the garlic. Sauté for an additional minute.

2. Add all peppers and lower heat to medium-low and stir well. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and US potatoes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste and keep stirring well over low heat and cook for 1 hour.

4. Add vegetable stock gradually using a ladle while cooking. Add the stock to reach attain desired consistency. Consistency should be thicker than a pasta sauce. Garnish with parsley on top.

I hope you enjoyed these recipes! Feel free to share these with friends so that all of us benefit from eating Potatoes!

Get more information about potato nutrition, recipes and general potato facts from Potatoes USA – Philippines Facebook Page here.

Potatoes, Potatoes!

Part of growing up was encountering the countless times of being told the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables daily. I know, because I’m now continuously encouraging Zeeka to be religious in adding these healthy and natural crops to her daily food intake. My husband and I have also seen the benefits of having fresh produce
on our plate.

Since we’re always on the go, we have to make sure what we’ve eaten will suffice our energy to tackle the day. Carbohydrates have a bad reputation when you want to lose weight. For weight watchers like me, I say carbohydrates aren’t that bad because its main function is to give you energy. It all boils down to moderation and balance in everything we consume coupled with proper exercise.

I’ve learned to eat more vegetables and protein often because I don’t want to sacrifice my health. It sure wasn’t easy on my end, but I know Zeeka will benefit how I started to change my perspective in eating what’s right.

Aside from the leafy greens, vibrant cherry tomatoes, and refreshing zucchini, the potato is a vital crop that contains a lot of nutritional value. What we get in our home are US Potatoes. We get US Potatoes from supermarkets like S&R, SM, Rustan’s, and Robinson’s.

Do you know how important eating potatoes are? Here are some facts you might have missed about this crop:

1. Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, potassium, and energy. One serving of potato has more potassium and energy than a banana. Also, it’s a better alternative than eating white rice or bread if you’re trying to start with an effective healthy diet.

2. Potatoes are fat-free, low in sodium, and cholesterol-free. I didn’t know that this power crop is also a great source of vitamin C!

3. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States! It’s also being hailed as the world’s fourth most consumed along with wheat, rice, and corn.

4. In the early 1950s, most Americans preferred to devour fresh potatoes. However, it gradually
changed when they were introduced to processed potatoes such as fries, wedges, and
hash browns. Processed potatoes have grown more favored when the technology to properly
freeze the vegetables improved.

5. Here in the Philippines, we’re usually exposed to russets. But in the US, there are thousands of potato varieties. These varieties are further classified to either Russet, white, yellow, purple, blue, fingerling, petite and red.

6. A key to fulfilling your weight loss goal is consuming foods that make you feel full longer.
According to Dr Jacquie Lavin, a weight-loss doctor for Slimming World, it’s better to eat complex carbohydrates like potatoes, rather than simple carbohydrates such as sugar or bread
which give a short energy boost and are usually followed by hunger pangs. Potatoes are one of the best options that can help reduce binge-eating.

You should take heed that the precise quantity of potatoes you’d consume has still to be
measured, a few good and suggested servings of potatoes daily would also help lower blood
pressure and cholesterol.

To know more about US Potatoes, you can visit this link: https://www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/

How to Achieve The Picture Perfect Kitchen using the KonMari Method

Each day that you come home, do you feel relaxed and at peace? Do you feel that your home is a place where you can relax, feel safe and secure? There was a time two months ago when I felt so stressed even while at home. Thinking about the reason why this was the case, it knew that it was because of all the things scattered around the house. Our things were a mess — therefore, I felt my life was a mess, too.

I know it may sound ridiculous to you, but studies really show that a messy home or office hampers productivity. Since I work from home, this is important to me. Luckily, I have a friend who is a consultant for people who want to tidy up their home using the Konmari Method.

The Konmari Method was developed by Marie Kondo. She’s the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way To Banish Clutter Forever and Spark Joy, Her method is being used widely by people who want to declutter their homes. I actually started decluttering using Marie Kondo’s method since last month. I haven’t finished yet, because it’s been soooo hard letting go of stuff! But I seriously believe in the KonMari Method and how it transforms our homes into peaceful, inspiring spaces.

So are you ready? Here are the steps:

1. Visualize your picture perfect home! Yes, everything starts from knowing how you want your home to look. Also, visualize the lifestyle that you want. Then ask yourself why you want to live a life like this. In business, the WHYs are important. In decluttering, your WHYs are important, too!

2. Declutter by category, not by part of the house. The KonMari Method says follow these categories: CLOTHES then BOOKS then PAPER then KOMONO (miscellaneous items) then SENTIMENTAL ITEMS. Marie explains further in detail each category into sub-categories.

3. The way to tidy-up is to place all items from one category in a spot in your home and only keep items that spark joy! Instead of throwing items away, be sure to thank them for the memories and happiness that each item gave. If you are unsure whether an item sparks joy, hold it and hug it! The KonMari method is a very emotional process..
After you tidy up, this is when you think about the proper storage.

I’m so bad though, because I skipped PAPER! Haha! So I finished tidying up my clothes and went straight to tidying up my kitchen. Before you judge me for not following the KonMari Method, the reason why I really wanted to fix the kitchen was because this is where we cook and prepare food. Also, this is the part that is exposed to a lot of house guests. We usually have boardgame nights, so I really want my kitchen to be picture perfect, neat and clean.

These were the before pictures of my kitchen. As you can see, we have been using a lot of stuff here for 5 years already. It was time to buy new things!

As you can see, I badly needed new pots and pans, a new oven, etc. Also, I didn’t get to take a picture of the insides of the cabinets, but they were all a mess!

Here I am tidying up:

After this, I went to S&R Membership Club to look for things that “sparked joy”. It was perfect since they were having the S&R Members Treat — the time when you can get a lot of things at affordable prices (some even drop to as low as 50%).

Shopping at S&R for the S&R Members Treat!

Here are the things that we saw!

Celestial Tea that brews in cold water! How cool is that!

For my kitchen… Hampton Forge Knives!

Nice Kitchen Towels! Again, buying this for my kitchen!

Another item for my kitchen! Arkwright home rugs!

These are the other things that we bought at great prices!

Essential Home 25 Piece Mega Cookware Set

With Ariel! (let’s not forget that we need to wash our clothes after tidying up.. hehe!)

 

A new electric oven!

 

Different variants of SPAM! Because Daddy loves SPAM!

 

And snacks for us, because WE love snacks!

 

And E. Wedel Chocolate and Cadbury, too!

So, do you want to see the after photos of my kitchen?

TADAAAAA!

new pots and pans!!! Sorry, i’ll remove the plastic pa!

Check out the kitchen towel from S&R! Color coordinated!

Better stock up on food!

Super linis na! wooohooo!

Super clean! Even our dishwashing soap is aqua (also from S&R)!

I’m so proud of my little picture perfect kitchen!

If you want to do a makeover of your kitchen or of any part of your home to make it “Picture Perfect”, head on to S&R Membership Club! The S&R Members treat sale will happen from September 27 – October 01, 2017 (Wednesday to Sunday). It will happen in all 13 warehouse clubs nationwide. Again, this sae is exclusively for S&R members. Most of the items will be on sale (up to 50% off), Buy 1 Take 1 deals and lots of other great deals!

Follow these links for more information! After you’ve achieved your picture perfect kitchen, can we see it, too? Use #LoveSnR #SnREveryday #SnRMembersTreat2017 🙂 Happy shopping!

Facebook: snrmembershipshopping
Instagram: snr_official
Twitter: @snr_official

7 before 37

Faces. When I look at different faces — faces of loved ones, faces of friends, faces of acquaintances, faces of strangers, I think about the beauty and the mystery of life. Each face that I remembered tonight was seconds, minutes, hours or years of memories that made up my LIFE. How amazing is that? If you look at your life, how many faces have you seen? How many faces have actually taken up moments in your life?

In 7 days, i’ll turn 37. 37 is actually not a bad age. I think it’s actually the perfect time to contemplate on past actions and on choices that I’ve made, and still have ample time to work on more things.

I know my life isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. And I know that behind the faces that we have are complex individuals that sometimes others may not expect or even comprehend. Sometimes, we can’t even understand our own actions. But behind these complexities, we all have the same objective. Our objective is to be the best version of ourselves for whatever we believe we may encounter in the future (whether it be a God that we believe in, a divine being, reincarnation, etc.). So whatever we believe will happen to us after our death, we’re prepared and we know that we have acted accordingly to reach that “goal” or acted in accordance to what we believe is true to our nature.

I wish that life was that easy.

I wish that life could be as simple as choosing what’s right and avoiding what’s wrong, choosing good over evil. The reality though is that life presents us with tough choices. Some of these choices may all be “good”, depending on who “sees” it or who’s affected by the decision. And some may be bad, but sometimes, different factors can even blur that line of an act being “bad or a sin”.

In the past year, I’ll start with two things that I learned from my own experiences and from what I have observed. Do you know what these are?

It’s that life is made out of several (let’s say) time components, and when you see a single part or a moment in a person’s life, you cannot judge nor draw conclusions. This is because, you haven’t seen all of the components. And another thing is that you only have control over your own actions and decisions. You cannot and should not think or event attempt to control another person’s life. These two points (I think) are the basic premises of respect.

So keeping this in mind, we should not punish ourselves for broken time components, because we know that we can do better and make the next components better. In doing good, we don’t need to brag, broadcast or tell the world about those amazing moments, because what really matters is that you enjoyed those moments, you were present and that you will forever remember them.

So there. Those are my thoughts on this night. Those are the thoughts that came to my mind while remembering the faces, the feelings and the random moments in my life. On this night, 7 days before my birthday, I wish all of you clarity, empathy and hope that would help you live the rest of your lives in happiness and love. 🙂