OFF TO CHASE MR. SUN


Hello Guys! The sun is shining in London today but that's not all! Today is my last working day for August as I'll be on a 2-week holiday soon! Woopie! Don't get me wrong, I love my job (more on that HERE). There's just days that you need to take a hiatus on things so you'll appreciate them better.

Picture above is the chain bridge in Budapest (Thanks Pinterest!). Our plan is to visit Austria, Hungary and Slovenia in that order. It will be an early flight tomorrow (hello London Heathrow Airport) and I haven't packed my stuff yet! I've already made a list though. It's going to be exciting because I've never set foot on these countries ever. It will be a new experience, that's for sure!

In another news, I've been loving Veet's waxing solution, Marks & Spencers bath cream, Zumba classes, Blindspot series, strawberry banana chia pudding and green smoothie with ginger.

I'm a creature of habit and I love routines. In the same vein, I live for adventures too and am up for spontaneity. Yeah, sometimes I think I'm a bipolar in that sense. A part of me is hesitant to go but I'm certain that all I want is on the other side of fear and procrastination. So Central Europe, here I come! -CMK


MONEY MATTERS : 3 STOCK INVESTMENT STRATEGIES TO CHOOSE FROM


I was walking along the shops one weekend when I saw a sign saying: MID-SUMMER. Gawk. That means, uhm, winter's coming soon? The daunting realities during winter are a) it gets dark too soon (when I say soon, it's 3 pm-soon!) and b) you are compelled to spend your time indoors. I always believe that there is beauty in every season so I'll try to enjoy the rest of the sunshine and enjoy a new season when it comes. Having said that, I'm excited to set foot on three new countries next week: Austria, Hungary and Slovenia! After this, I may need to stay in one place for a long while because I barely have any leave credits left! :D

Now, let's talk about these investment strategies. Caveat: Note that this won't be uber technical, I just put it the way I understand it to make it easier. We'll skip the jargons as usual.

1. PESO (OR DOLLAR) COST AVERAGING.
One of the most popular strategies in stock market investing. Basically: here's the logic. Day 1 share price is Php 2.00. Day 2, it's Php 3.00. Day 3 it's Php 1.00. If you've bought the same number of shares from Days 1 to 3, the average share price is Php 2.00. Since you don't know the next share price absolutely, you manage the risk by buying with these constants: a) number of shares and b) period when you buy shares.

Personal take: I tried this before but it just didn't work for me. There are studies debunking that this is a safe strategy but for me, it is just too much work and too little result. I tried to subscribe to one of the popular stock subscriptions in the PH but I don't see it's worth it.

2. BUY AND HOLD.
Simplest and low maintenance among the three. You just buy a share of stocks and wait it out when their value hits your target. Usually done for blue-chip companies and when investor's time horizon is medium to long term (i.e. 5 years or more).

Personal take: I opened a second COL account (steps HERE) for this one. I realised that instead of my money resting on a bank somewhere, I'll just use it to invest into something more positive yielding. I make it a point never to withdraw my gains (no matter how tempting it is!) and wait it out until it's full-grown.

LONDON DIARY : 5 HEALTHY TIPS I WISH I KNEW EARLIER

Let me start with this: I haven't arrived just yet. I haven't shed ridiculously large amount of kilos and I am still in the process. You know, it's easy to publish 'the' success story where you can show off the before and after 'you' but yep, this is my current situation: I am still a work in progress. So if you are too, let me give you a virtual high five!

Since I was 18, I've been struggling to lose weight. Fad diets, diet pills {bad, I know}, on and off exercises, non-invasive solutions... name it, chances are I've tried it. Anything but liposuction because heck, I'm too afraid going under the knife for aesthetic purposes.

The thing is, I'm not humongous but I'm not fit either. One thing I know for sure is this: I can be leaner and remove excess fat hanging around, but I cannot get rid of them until I read and invested time about health and being kind to one's body. Allow me to summarise what I've known so far:

TIP #1: EDUCATE YOURSELF. Say whut?! Most tips will start on eat good food, etc. but drawing from my own experience... you need to understand personally the WHY behind all these. I've mentioned this before but let me repeat it: You only have one body... one heart, one pair of lungs etc. and that body will stay with you until you die. So... it's best to take care of it because there's just no spare :)

* I encourage you to watch FORK OVER KNIVES, HUNGRY FOR CHANGE (both of them are available in Netflix). Also, this VIDEO from Youtube might be a good start. Bottom line is: if we study to amass money, if we invest in a good relationship, it's equally important to set aside a part of your time to nurture one of God's greatest gifts to you: YOU.



TIP #2: Know that EATING IS A FORM OF SELF RESPECT. Before, I thought overly healthy people are a bunch of self-glorifying freaks. They don't eat this and that. Who doesn't like fried chicken and hamburgers, after all? However, the more I do my research on how to eat healthy, the more I understand them. And I have to say sorry because I was the freak and not them. Lol. Our body is a strong machine and it can heal itself but we need to feed it with the nutrition it needs. You can't run a gasoline-driven car with diesel right?

* Go over to blogs, pinterest and youtube for inspirations. I particularly like Ella of Deliciously Ella, Jess of JessBeautician and Olga of Fablunch, among others.

TIP #3: There are HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES. One of my challenges when I shifted to a healthier lifestyle is to answer this question: What can I eat now? Instead of dwelling on what you cannot eat, why not think of healthier options? 

Case in point: Dairy milk like cow's milk is not good for you {and this has been backed up by loads of studies, I leave it up to you} because when the milk is being sucked from a cow's breast, it doesn't analyse what is it that it's sucking. So in turn, all of this are getting sucked: pus (nana), antibiotic, the milk itself and other components. Studies show that even if it is pasteurised, bad elements can still be seen in a glass of milk. 

* Having said that, there are LOADS of better options. Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Rice Milk, Hazelnut Milk, Macademia Milk. Again, we just have to do our research. You know what they say, when there's a will, there's a way!

Your food can be your daily dose of poison or medicine. You are ingesting food {whether good or bad} every day. Imagine if you take processed, chemically altered food everyday for 50 years, how will your body react? 

TIP #4: GET MOVING. Our body is designed to function most of the day. However, thanks to civilisation, the only body part that's highly exercised in my 8-hour workshift is my fingers {and probably my brain as well}! Point is: if we are sedentary for 8 hours and eat heaps of chocolates {which I love} and chicken curry and the likes... where will our body store all the excess fats? I can tell you mine decided to be a mainstay around my belly!!! :(

Again, I'm a self-confessed lazy bunny. I just love lulling around doing nothing. Unfortunately, nobody can help myself except me. After so many attempts, I finally found a gym that's right for me. I started off attending spinning classes and I tell you that it's not as daunting as it sounds. Later however, I noticed I'm beginning to get bored so my boyfriend suggested that we go to a gym together. Fitness4Less at Soutwark to be exact. 

One Saturday morning, we decided to attend a Power Bar class which was a struggle at first but I managed to finish it {albeit panting}! A little side note: So, my boyfriend was helping me setup the bars, steps etc. when a middle aged chick approached us and mistaken him to be the gym instructor! I was telling the tale to the office the Monday after and they were teasing me and asked if the snitch was still alive. Haha. Of course she is! That whole incident was just mighty #awkward :P

You wouldn't believe it. Now, I'm actually looking forward to go to the gym! I'm attending Fitness4Less at New Malden though since it's closest to Wimbledon. Class exercises work for me. I particularly love Power Bar, Zumba (shout out to my girl, Natalie!) and Body Art (it's more of a stretch session). 

*You need to balance these 3 things to maintain a healthy lifestyle: FOOD, EXERCISE and SLEEP. Without one, your body won't function as nicely as they can be.

TRAVEL SNIPPETS : NORTH ENGLAND



Enjoy the little things, 
               for one day you may look back 
                              and realise they were the big things.

The day I moved to London is the day I get acquainted with being 'comfortably' independent. It is a process - don't get me wrong - but it is worth it. Suddenly, I need to do everything. No more people around me that I get accustomed with for the longest. And oh, when you are sick and you still need to do things regardless, that's the part that made me cry. It's a slow, sometimes daunting, path but I am sure that GOD allows us to go through different stages to a) strengthen us b) prepare us for something big and c) appreciate the things and people we have today.

Last weekend, we have visited the North. I can't think of a more apt title because we have covered {albeit quickly} Northwich, Chester, Chesire Oaks and Liverpool.



Quick coffee at Chester
From Northwich, we rode a bus (about £5.00) going to Chester. We planned to rent a car (like what we did on our North Wales trip) but we thought it's best to ride a public transportation this time. Chester is lovely and most shops in London are here too. It's quaint and picturesque and they've preserved the old country vibe even on the centre. I love that!

TIP: When  you can visit the Jaunty Goat Cafe. They have the best chicken caesar panini and their coffee is nice too! The best part is, prices in general are relatively cheaper up north. What's not to like about that?



Chilling at Northwich
The first picture above is our view on our way from Waitrose to the flat. It's sunny (hooray!) and I ended up having a weird sunburn on the lower part of my nose. I think it's time to go one shade darker on my foundation!

Okay... before I get side tracked some more, we ate at two yummy restaurants at Northwich. One is called The Indian (they serve ahh-mazing curries, you guys!) and a place called Chesire Bar & Grill. I literally told the boyfriend that we have to go back to the latter because the place and food are right up to my alley! Their turquoise bar is very sophisticated. Since we pigged out at Chesire Oaks, we decided to be kind to our tummies. I had a broccoli and steamed fish whilst Gab had a chicken breast and asparagus. This is definitely worth the visit!

LONDON DIARY : 5 TIPS TO SPRUCE UP YOUR SPACE + MY CURRENT SUMMER MAKEUP FAVES


Apart from trying out healthy recipes, spinning and going around every weekend... I'm currently obsessing over decorating my space. It took me a month to finally settle down and move over my stuff to the Wimby flat. I realised that I need to do some spring cleaning because there's just too many stuff hanging around and I'm trying to keep only the things that I need.

So where should I start?

√ Create your own photo collage. Notice the wall behind me. That's it! It's so easy to put together! Just a) print your pictures b) on a free wall, paste your prints using a double sided tape and voila! It's a great centre piece specially if your room canvass is white. Not to mention it's a good way to display your memories. Imagine you get to see your trips everyday!

√ Make it an effort to leave a blank space. I don't know about you but it's therapeutic for me to see spaces that don't have anything on it (ala Japanese minimalist style). A little shout out to my alkaline pitcher! London water is not the purest and unlike in Manila where we have mineral water, it's usual here to get the water from the tap. I got the pitcher from Amazon for £30. I'll use it for a long time and it comes with another cartridge so hooray for this good deal. Most of all, good to know that alkaline water is best for you (cancer cells live in acidic environment)!



√ Display the things you need (keep the things you don't). And I'm talking about an everyday-basis-type-of need here. It's easy to get lost over 20 lipsticks when factually, you only need one a day, at least for me. I'd like to promise another post about my current makeup faves but I reckon it's best to list them briefly now:

  • Primer - L'Oreal Paris Infallible Primer Matte Base (£7.99)
  • Foundation - MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 (£22.00)
  • Eyebrow Mascara - Nichido (Php 180.00 or £2.50)
  • Eye Primer - MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base (£16.00)
  • Eye Shadow - Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (£38.50)
  • Concealer - MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter, Light Boost (£19.50), I also use Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer 15 interchangeably (£5.99)
  • Bronzer - NARS Laguna (£28.00)
  • Cream Blush - H&M in Peachy Rose (£6.99)
  • Lipstick - MAC (I have my top 5 but my summer shade is Pink Nouveau) (£15.50)
  • Highlighter - MAC  Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle (£24.00)
  • Mist - L'Oreal Paris Infallible Fixing Mist (£7.99)



√ 'Box' them. Somehow, putting your stuff in compartments make them appear in order when in fact they're still cluttered? You know? :D It makes it easier to move around your trinkets when they're in group. It's totally up to you whether you want to splurge on boxes. We got Daiso in Makati, PH whilst we get Tiger in the UK. I bought the makeup organiser from TK Maxx whilst the jewelry holder is from H&M. The pink pen brush holder is from Landmark PH.