Life Update: September 2018

Hello, everyone! How have you been?

Yes, I have been away for a month. 😲

Here’s why.

  1. University. YAAAYYY!! In my last post, I did promise to update you guys when some things have been settled and now they finally are! I am going to start studying at a German university this winter semester. I still can’t believe it. The past few months I have just been sending documents, applying, and waiting for news, and after A LOOONG TIME, I got my acceptance. WOOHOO!! I just thank God that this whole university application process is done. It took almost a year for the whole preparation, exam, sending out of documents and enrolment.
  2. Holiday. I was really busy trying to tie up some loose ends with the enrolment and holiday preparation and packing that I didn’t have the time to write about it, haha. The hubby and I went to Cyprus, Greece. It was AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve had a proper holiday in 10 years. And after coming back, I am still in such a daze, lol.
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    Paphos Medieval Castle

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    Tombs of the Kings

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    Paphos Sunset

  3. Home Stuff. My whole life I didn’t understand why my mom loved Ikea. There was the food, yes, but that was it for me. But now that I’m married and actually have a home that had the necessities but looked very bare and minimal, something just clicked inside my brain. I found myself staring at the living room and thinking, “Well, someone has got to do it”. Lol. So off I went making multiple trips to Ikea, Depot, Butlers and Nanu-Nana, buying stuff that would make our home, well, more  homey. During this time, I also met up with some of my friends here in Berlin and found out what they were up to.

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  4. To blog or not to blog. During the holiday, I saw some amazing sights, and learned a great deal about myself. I found out that I have a lot of goals in life that I want to accomplish, and that the next few years are going to be very busy. This led to me thinking of whether or not I should continue to keep writing on here.

    While I do love WordPress and I LOVE WRITING, I also want to explore video editing or making podcasts because I want to try something new and I want to show a more visual side.I have also found that a lot of people that I follow here are moving on to other forms of media, such as Youtube, Instagram or Snapchat. BUT I do LOVE the people and the community I belong to here, so I am still debating whether or not I should move on or stay.

What do you guys think? Are you guys going to keep on blogging?

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After 12 years

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Hi everyone! How are you guys? It has been a while but there has just been so much going on that I haven’t had time to write about it. Anyway, here’s a quick update. I promise to write a longer one as soon as I’ve settled some stuff. 🙂

One of the things that has happened is that my former classmate came to Berlin, and this was the first time I saw him in 12 years! It was SO surreal. I still can’t believe that of all places, Berlin was where we got to meet.

We have certainly grown (physically and mentally, haha) over the years! During class ages ago, what we talked about was mostly where we were going to hang out and what homework we had. Now, we talked about how everyone else has been, what have we been up to, politics, insurance, life philosophies and everything we’ve learned over the years. It was great to see that we have changed so much for the better! He fell in love with Berlin, or Europe, in general, and I encouraged him to open his mind to moving here, haha.

We even talked to some of our former classmates through Facetime, and it was awesome how we can just talk to each other, without any awkwardness or weirdness! I am so grateful for how we all turned out! Some of us are now become politicians, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs, software engineers, artists, accountants, nurses, doctors, bankers, managers, etc.! Isn’t that amazing?

Talking to them made me want to visit the Philippines and just hang out with my friends for a while. They are good and great people, and it’s harder to find genuine friends nowadays. Anyway, hope you are all doing great! But I do want to know one thing:

Have you ever been to a school/university reunion?

July 2018 Favourites 💖

Hello, everyone! Can you believe it’s already August?! Four more months and it’s already 2019. So crazy when you think about it. Anyway, I missed out on my June faves so here are my July ones. I didn’t go to a lot of places this summer, because of the flu and heat. But does Ikea count? LOL. I hope this post will still inspire you to try these things out or try something new for yourself. 🙂

  1. Flat peaches. I have never seen flat peaches in my life, so when I saw these, I was skeptical, lol. But once I tasted one, I fell in love. Have you tried them before?

2. Anne with an E. Having had to stay in bed for two weeks, I got to watch this show, and I am so happy I did. This series reminds me of the good old days when stuff on TV transported you to a happy place, and does not make you feel like you got dumber at the end of the show. I like watching stuff that not only makes you feel like you’re reading a book and using your imagination, but also makes you think. This is a must-watch if you’re looking for a good one.

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3. Home-made salads. At Aldi, you can get Trader Joes’ salads, and they taste really good. It’s like you’re eating snacks and not salads. BUT they got more expensive. Previously they were less than 2€ but now they are 2.70+€, which is crazy, so I started making my own salads. They are cheaper and we can eat as much as we want. There’s a bit of work with the slicing and dicing, but at least you know what’s in your salad, and you save more money. Cha-Ching!

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4. Brooklyn 99. Who hasn’t heard of this show? When it got cancelled a few months ago, there was so much uproar, that it was immediately picked up by another network. Even the creator of Hamilton, Lin Manuel-Miranda protested. This is a fun show that makes you feel like you have a bond with each of the characters and the team as a whole. Gina Linetti, Chelsea Peretti’s character, is my jam. Lol.

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5. Mother Nature Vitamin C Serum. Last but not least, is a skincare product. I still want to do a skincare post, but this will have to do for now. This product is AH-mazing. I wanted to try a more natural approach to caring for my skin, and I found this gem. It IS pricey, but it’s worth it because you just put two drops and it covers your face, neck and décolletage. My skin feels so much softer and it definitely looks brighter. Really! It also has pretty good reviews on Amazon. I just checked the price and it is 21.85€. This will probably last for about 4-5 months.

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Those are my favourites for this month, y’all. 🙂

Do you have any faves for July?

What’s something new you tried this month? 

 

You’re hot and you’re cold

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Guys, I’m melting. No, really. Lol.

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year here in Berlin so far, I think. On the weather app it said 35 degrees, but I think it reached up to 38. It has been 30 degrees and above for the past two weeks, and this is SO unusual! This is my third summer here and this is the first time ever that I turned on the fan every day this time of the year!

Of course having lived in the Philippines and Singapore, I have a higher tolerance for heat than most people, but there’s usually airconditioning everywhere in both countries, lol. Here in Germany, there are mostly only heaters, because for the 9 months out of  the 12, you’re freezing, haha.

So I have just been staying indoors because I feel nauseous sometimes when it gets too hot. Also, when you ride a train full of sweaty passengers with no wind and no airconditioning, well, good luck with that. 😀 Just saying. My husband has been suffering through this heat. :/ He’s built for cold weather, which means he’s always feeling warm and he’s like my personal heater during winter, haha. I, on the other hand, am his personal cooling system. Like those fans that keep your computers cool, I always seem to find a way to keep my skin well, not hot. This is useful during summer, but I also absorb the cold  really fast during winter, haha. Does this even make sense? 😀

How is the weather like in your part of the world now?

What I learned from Germans about saving money

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Hello, everyone!

I have finally fully recovered from stomach flu. Yay!

During those two weeks of having no choice but to stay at home and watch TV or read books, I decided to watch Youtube and check out the people I previously followed. The last time I watched them was, I think, 1 or 2 years ago, and I wanted to see how they are now. And wow, much has changed.

Going on a year of not watching Youtubers has certainly opened my eyes. One thing I have noticed that they do ALL THE TIME is buy stuff, buy stuff, and BUY MORE STUFF. They go to supermarkets and drugstores, eat out, and shop online all day, every day. The worst part, I realized was, that I was being influenced to do it too. Anyway, that’s for another post. No hate here though, if shopping is what makes you happy and you got the money, you do you, boo. ❤

What I want to share today though is how I’m finally breaking (it’s a work in progress) that cycle of mindless consumerism that I was sucked into, and thank God for my husband, because he’s German, and Germans are THRIFTY. They try to save money whenever they can and I’m trying to do that now too. Here are some money rules I’ve learned and started to follow ever since I landed in Berlin:

  1. Eating out is OUT. Now don’t get me wrong. We eat out sometimes. And when I go out with my friends, being Asians, we bond over food, haha, so I splurge on that too. But what I found out is that I can easily spend 20€ in one sitting for something that will just be digested later on. With that disgusting thought in mind, I arranged it so I just meet with a friend, maybe just once a month, or we meet over coffee in the afternoon. By that time, we have already had lunch at home, so that’s money saved! Cha-ching!

  2. Bring your own Food/ Drink. My husband packs his lunch, and I do that too now. I am amazed at how much I actually save when I pack my own food and drink. I also stopped being lazy and carry my own water bottle everywhere with me so I won’t be tempted to go to a store and try to buy water, and then come out with snacks in tow. You know what I mean? HAHA. 😀

  3. If it’s broken, FIX IT. In the old days, when something I owned was broken, I threw it away and replaced it with something new. Nowadays, I channel MacGyver and use tape, glue or my saliva to make sure things lasts for as long as they could. With this goal in mind, I have learned to take extra care of the things I buy or recycle.

  4. Think before you click. When I saw something I liked before, it goes straight into the cart. This time around, I have learned to place it on my wishlist first, and then come back to it later. By that time, I would have gotten over my “Oohh, I want everything” or perhaps emotional phases, so that when I come back to that item, I already don’t see the point in buying it, lol.

  5. Treat yo’ self. While saving money is all well and good, don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. Did well at work this week? Buy yourself a piece of donut or pizza on Friday. Worked hard the whole year? Plan your vacation so you have something to look forward to. Don’t be afraid to splurge, BUT don’t go overboard. 🤑

Saving money is a discipline that I am still working on, and I’m glad I have my German hubby to rope me in every time I go crazy and want to buy everything in sight. ROAR! So there you go. Hope these tips will help you guys save your hard-earned cash!

What’s one money-saving tip that has helped you the most? 

 

Top 5 things in a German Get Well Soon Kit

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Hello, everyone!

Boy, am I glad to be back on this side of the internet. It has been two weeks since my last post and the reason for it is.. *drum roll, please* stomach flu.

According to the doctor, it has been going around in Berlin, but I have since recovered. My husband is now on the mend too, and since I am not feeling up to cooking yet, I went for a trip to the grocery store.

For me, the best and fastest way to get better, aside from resting and drinking lots of fluids, is going back to your roots, and by that I mean, eating your favorite childhood food. For me, the taste of Sinigang (Filipino sour stew) helps my body somehow. For my hubby, I bought all of the above, which is what I call the German Get Well Soon Kit.

Here’s what’s in it:

  • Fruits such as apples or grapes
  • Tea – the one above is supposed to soothe the stomach
  • Mashed potato – easy to digest snack
  • Brandt Zwieback – twice-baked bread or rusk for easy digestion
  • Grandmother’s Secret ready-made stew & chicken soup – add some sausages and a few veggies and it actually tastes good

What do you usually eat when you’re feeling under the weather?

So there you have it, a quick post from me, because I just wanted to check in and find out how everyone is doing. Hopefully, you guys are enjoying your summer and staying safe and healthy!

Until next time,

E. R. 🙂

#SBSB1: Stuff Berliners Swear By

Hello, one and all! I want to start a new series and hopefully be able to stick with it, haha. It’s called SBSB or Stuff Berliners Swear By, where I will feature stuff that Berliners I know are die hard fans of.

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The first product is my husband’s holy grail skin care product. In fact, it is shockingly (to me, haha) the only skin care product that he uses: Florena moisturizing cream. He said that it’s the only thing that works to keep his skin moisturized especially during cold winters. Now from what I have observed, Germans seem to have mostly dry skin, considering that the climate they’re born in is pretty cold. I, on the other hand, having lived in tropical areas for 20+ years of my life, have combination/oily/sensitive/whatever skin.

I didn’t believe in this Florena cream at first. I thought it would be too heavy for my oily skin, so I didn’t use it. But after my skin kept breaking out during winter because it was too dry, I decided to try it, and now it’s something I also swear by, haha. Of course, the amount you put on depends on the season. During winter, you slather it on like it’s frosting on a cake. During summer, you apply much, much less.

The awesome thing about this cream is that it’s only 1.45 Euros. AH-MAZING.

And it lasts forever.

Just one thing though, I only use it on my face. Even though it says that it works on the rest of the body too, somehow it isn’t as effective. I’m also not sure if this cream is useful when someone is living in tropical countries. The heat and humidity may cause the pores to clog more, but it may help those with normal to dry skin, when a tiny amount is used.

So there you have it, a skin care must-try when you’ve just moved to Berlin, Germany or to a country that has four seasons in it.

What skin care product do you swear by?

I really want to know because I may OR may not be addicted to skin care products, haha.