Blogiversary & 1500 Followers Giveaway

Further Afield (1)I’m happy to announce that it’s time for another giveaway! This is my third giveaway because I love doing them! I just think it’s nice to do them to give a little something back to you lovely lot.

I was going to do a giveaway to celebrate my blogiversary, and another one to celebrate 1500 followers, but they have pretty much happened at the same time!

I will keep this short and sweet because I have a blogiversary post coming up very soon. But I would like to say thank you in advance to everyone for your continued support throughout my one year of blogging- what an awesome year it has been!

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Further Afield (3)

I was hoping to find someone to sponsor my giveaway (like I did here), but as time has been going so quickly I ran out of time to organise something, unfortunately. However, I have bought a few bits and pieces…

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Beautiful Disaster (Mt. Mayon Eruption 2018)

If you live in Albay or have been here, you’re probably familiar with the famous Mount Mayon volcano. With her majestic stature and perfect shape, who wouldn’t be captivated by its beauty?

After peacefully resting from its last eruption way back 2010, Mt. Mayon is now waking and starting to unleash her fury again. At the moment, we are in alert level 3 and danger zone is extended to a 7-kilometer radius of the volcano. Evacuation for everyone within the danger zone has already been carried out. Everyone is safe. Hopefully, it will not extend much further because we are located within the 10-kilometer radius. 😦

Here are some photos of Mt. Mayon for the last 24 hours.

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Photo by Charism Sayat
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Photo by Drew Zuniga
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Courtesy of ABS-CBN News
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Photo by BM Snapshots 
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Photo by Gov. Bichara
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Photo courtesy of Cong. Joey Salceda
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Photo courtesy of Cong. Joey Salceda
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Photo courtesy of Cong. Joey Salceda

 

Locals here cannot help but stop while walking or driving whenever the volcano have these episodes. As much as we’re already used to her standing so grandly in front of us wherever we go, her fury captivates us. It’s very beautiful yet spine-chilling. Just imagine those house-sized rocks rolling down along with the extremely hot magma and deadly gas. Nothing in its way can survive.

Our local government said that a much stronger eruption is still expected that’s why everyone is advised to be cautious. The volcano’s activity is expected to last days or even weeks. Nobody knows if when it’s going to erupt or stop.

In this times of disaster, nothing else we can do but to be ready, pray and hope for the best.

Please pray for Albay. 😥

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Battling PCOS and weight gain

Good day, beautiful people! 🙂

I got inspired to write about my constant battle with PCOS and weight gain because of this post from Kat’s blog.

Hello Kat! Thank you for the inspiration and I want you to know that you’re not alone in fighting this battle. 🙂 ♥

It’s heartbreaking that so many women of different race and ages suffer from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). From what I read, there is no known cause of this illness. They said that it’s genetic and can be passed down if women in your family have it or have irregular periods or diabetic. In my case, as far as I remember, my genes should be free of the above-mentioned concerns. However, my grandmother from mother’s side died of cervical cancer. This might somehow be related to my hormonal imbalance thus having PCOS.

Let me share my personal experience in this regard. I started having a period when I was in 5th grade. Around 4 years after that, I started having an irregular period. At first, I took it lightly because I was only delayed for a month. I will usually have my period after a month of not having it. A few more years later, the period delays increase to 2 and 3 months. That’s when I decided to see an OB-Gyn specialist. She recommended an ultrasound and found these multiple small cysts on both of my ovaries. I was then diagnosed with PCOS. She gave me medicines that will help me bleed and ask to start taking the pills as soon as I got my period and continue up to 6 months. Unfortunately, being on the pills made me really cranky. I constantly have headaches and I felt sore always. So I decided to stop it.

All along, I already know that I only experience period delays when I start gaining weight (which is very common when you have PCOS, your hormones is always all over the place). So I experimented. When I reach a certain weight (around 65 – 75 kg), I will miss my period. And it will never come until I drop some weight. My normal weight should be 55 kg below. It’s fascinating because I have no idea how the fat is connected to it. So I seek a professional advice again. Not only to ask about that (though they said it was normal) but because I am 3 months delayed again. I undergo the same procedure. They found out that some of the cysts are starting to grow and that I have some lumps in my left breast too. They recommended the same medication, the contraceptive pills. They also ask if I want to undergo an operation to get the mass in my breast so they can perform a biopsy. This is where I started to panic. I did not follow any of their recommendation. Especially the operation. Because as per my sister, once I’ve been cut open,  some nodules might be affected and will cause more damage than cure. It might be the start of a much serious complication. So then I decided to stop seeking medical advice and live a healthy lifestyle instead before I lose my mind. I instantly got my period the moment I reach my normal weight. Anyways, For the record, I am not a medical expert nor expert in anything. I know that some people might disagree with me for not following medical advice but this is what I want and what I feel comfortable doing. I refuse to let my liver and kidneys suffer any longer.

The start of my battle with weight gain and loss began. I tried almost every common ways of losing weight. I did Keto diet, Intermittent fasting (16:8), eating less, no carb diet, etc., What sticks to me and found so much more effective is the Intermittent fasting 16:8 (click the link to understand more about IF). My usual routine is very much compatible with this diet. It is not a struggle for me because I patterned it on my daily schedule. I am in a BPO company and my schedule is mid-shift. I woke up around 9:30 am and will be at the office at 11 am. I am used to not having breakfast. When I woke up, I automatically prepare for work and just have a glass of water before going out. I buy coffee to go on the way and have it in the office. I usually consume other beverages from 11 am up to 2 pm (this will be my breakfast time). Then I will have my lunch at 2 pm. Within the 2 pm to 10 pm time bracket, I eat whatever I want. Literally anything. But of course in moderation and I only divide it into two big meals. For example, I had rice and adobo (meat) and some veggies for lunch (2 pm), the hours after that, I will keep on snacking on anything, like nuts, bread (may it be wheat or not), sweet potato, fruits, anything you like. (the key is to never let yourself feel hungry, this way, you will avoid overeating) Then I will have my dinner at 10 pm. I made sure that I already ate before the clock strikes 10. 🙂 After 10, I can only have water and other liquid beverages again until 2 pm the next day. Before going to bed, (my sleeping time is usually 1 am) I do a 1-minute planking. This combination works wonders. 🙂 I don’t have to do some serious running and heavy exercise and I am losing weight fast. The 1-minute planking really helps a lot. I sometimes push it to more than a minute when I feel like it but I never go under 1 minute.

It’s normal if the 16:8 Intermittent fasting will not be easy for a few days when you’re just starting because your body is still on adjusting period. The mornings is the toughest. This is when you will really feel the fasting effect. I suggest that if you’re not used to skipping breakfast, make some soup (clear broth). Remember that we can take any liquid within the 16 hours fasting, so having some soup can trick your brain that you’re having something aside from just coffee or other beverages. It will surely help you make it until the end of the 16 hours. 🙂 I guarantee that these methods work really well. If you are determined to lose more and faster, you can add up cardio and the likes. To me, this is just fine. Because aside from my laziness, I am trying to stay on this healthy path permanently. Exercising too much burns me out easily and makes me eat more, thus resulting in weight gain again. So if there’s what they called “lazy keto”, I am calling this the “Lazy IF diet”. (please also note that I am not an expert in intermittent fasting nor any fitness regime. I do not count my calorie intake. I stick to ‘the healthier the better’ theory. I am only speaking based on my personal experience. 🙂 )

However, due to my condition (having PCOS), my struggle with losing and gaining weight is still ongoing. It’s really hard because when your hormones start to act like crazy, you will just find yourself eating everything in front of you anytime of the day. No matter how much self-control you try to apply. 😦 But still, life must go on. I am actually doing my lazy IF diet at the moment again because I am 4 months delayed as for January 4. I don’t want to blame the holidays but oh well… Hoping to get back to my normal weight within a month or two. *fingers crossed*. Wish me luck! 😀

To all the women who are struggling with the same situation, feel free to leave me a comment or questions and I’ll be glad to help as long as I’m able. Remember, you are not alone. 🙂

If you happen to find this post helpful or relatable, feel free to share. 🙂 Thank you!

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Monday :)

Hello there!

Soooooooooooo yeah, today is Monday. 🙂 And there is really something about Mondays that most of us hate so much.

We’ll no one can blame anyone right? Monday is just the least favorite day of almost everyone. Why? Because of course, Monday is the first day of work/school week. After an awesome weekend, here comes Monday and ruins all the fun.

I was also part of the population who hates Mondays because of that. However, I stumble upon these infographics. That’s when I start looking at Mondays differently.  Well, who wouldn’t? Just look at his face. 😥

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Look how sad he is. 😦 Poor Monday. And look how little Friday is. hahaha

Anyways, this made me think. Monday, any other days or situation is exactly just like a person. What it will become to you is usually the reflection of how you treat it. Personally, I have several real-life experiences that relate to this.

Just like when I was just in grade school. I have this classmate who is always dirty and stinky. He is always being teased and bullied. Everybody hates him and no one wants to sit beside him. One day, he’s crying and biting his pen out of stress because as usual, the bullies are making fun of him. He didn’t notice that the ink is already spilling out of the pen and are going in his face. This made the bullies laugh and tease him even more. They are also starting to throw things at him. That’s when I finally gather my courage and stand up to go to him. I sit beside him and wipe the ink off from his sweaty and tear-filled face. I ask him to stop crying and stop biting the pen. I was bullied too because of that. But I couldn’t care less. I just imagined that if that was my little brother, I will do everything to protect him from those bullies.

That’s when our friendship starts. I then started to sit beside him. I taught him how to ignore bullies. We stayed friends until the end of grade school and we parted ways after that. After several years, I saw him on facebook. He is now a successful employee and also a guitarist in a band. He looks very well and confident. So far away from what he was before. 🙂 I don’t want to take any credit but I know, somehow, what I did kind of made a difference. Remember, kindness goes a long way. 🙂

This is why I reacted to Mondays positively. Everything that is happening around us will really depend on how we react to it. That’s why the saying “We write our own destiny” is really true. If you treat someone nicely, they will also do the same to you. And if this person is depressed or going through something really hard, how you treat him will make him realized that the world is somehow okay. At work or in school, when you wanted a promotion or flying colors, treat what you do with so much love and it will undoubtedly reward you back. Optimism is the key. Always be positive in everything as much as you can. You’ll be surprised at how it will change your life. 🙂

So you see? There is no such thing as a bad day. It’s always how you react to it.

How’s your Monday going? 🙂

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Random photos from my hometown (Albay, Philippines)

Hey guys!

Happy weekend! Just wanted to share some of the random photos I got on my phone from around my hometown.

You see, I’m really interested in photography but I still cannot afford to buy a DSLR. Good thing I got my phone. 🙂 I think it took a decent enough photo. 🙂 So here you go…

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For the love of blogging

So…I just started this blog a couple of days ago. Came here with absolutely no idea how to navigate things and all. Thankfully, got a little hang of it already through nonstop trying. 💁🏻‍♀️

At first, I got so addicted tweaking the theme, customizing it and eventually finding a new one to customize again. (kinda feeling the itch to do it again just right now) haha 🤦🏻‍♀️

I also spent time creating my header logo and signatures and all these other stuff that I saw on some of the blogs I followed here. Thank you all for the inspiration by the way. You’re all so amazing! 😘

Within the time that I have been searching for awesome blogs to follow, I stumbled upon Emma’s blog.  She’s a certified blogaholic and such a great inspiration for newbs like me. Also, this post on her blog and her facebook community named Blogs in Bloom for bloggers helped me a lot!

I met awesome people in there! Everyone is friendly and helpful and will never make you feel like you don’t belong. For this, thank you so much Emma. May you help and inspired many more people like me. 💕

It is really a struggle to start a blog especially if you cannot get the hang of it sooner or when the excitement of the idea starts to wear off. If you are starting to reach this point now, stop and recall the reasons why you’re here in the first place. Hang in there. I’m sure it’s worth all the efforts. 🙂

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Advertise Your Blog In My New Facebook Group!

Hello, everyone!

One way I like to advertise my blog and get it out there is to participate in Facebook blog groups. Every group is different, but you get the chance to leave links to your posts, blog and social media accounts: if you leave a link you have to join in and interact with others.

My blog group is called ‘Blogs In Bloom’: I decided to name it this because Facebook groups really are a great way to make your blog bloom! I know the name sounds quite girly but I hope that doesn’t deter anyone from joining in. I designed the cover to be the same as my blog banner to keep my blog branding the same- I hope you like it!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE GROUP

I would really appreciate it (and love you forever) if you could share this post on social media or even re-blog to…

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