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Happy wife, Happy life

….musings of a happy wife & more….

learning life from plants…(part 2)

One of my joys during this pandemic is embracing my Plantita journey day in and day out. MY PLANTS!☘🌷😎 I’ve written a Part-1 on this about 3 1/2 months ago. I am writing a Part-2 now. Life happens so fast these days that much as I would want to write more frequently – everyday routines (read: home chores) and unexpected surprises just come by. Mostly pleasant ones, so that’s good! Writing gigs that are really blessings! For now, let me give you a rundown on how I am subtly learning LIFE through my plants. Plants provide us many facets of life that we can learn and re-learn. HOW? 🥰💚


TIMING is EVERYTHING.

Gardening is about doing things at the right time. Take our spinach veggie patch as an example. When we got the seeds given by a kind neighbor —  we didn’t immediately plant them. We kind of  planned for it. We prepared the soil, the plot and we took the time.  We thought of the perfect place – should it be at the backyard? front yard? Do we just put them in pots or upcycled containers? A lot of thinking. Finally, hubby and I agreed on the same spot.  Sowed the seeds and we waited.

Our spinach plants are growing taller than me…yay! Blessings!💚

GROWTH was slow in the beginning but we were just surprised one day to see them so tall with leaves that are wider than the size of my palm.  Oh yeah! We harvested 4x in a row, so far. They’re now producing their own seeds much like what we had the first time. Another season continues.🌿 Even for repotting ornamentals  – you need to know when is the RIGHT time to do it. Is your plant prepared for a bigger pot? Is it healthy enough to withstand the process? Or, sometimes plants droop when they are transferred to a pot. I had a few experiences on this. When this happens – just be patient and check on the plant every now and then. For some plants,  you can always get them out of the soil. Then, place them in a container with water until you see root growth and then put them back again in soil. Not always the case. Timing is everything.⏲ I learned my lesson the hard way with my Swiss Cheese Plant – from 9 to 7 leaves to 5, 3, then nil. It died on me! Huhu. 😥Perhaps, repotting was the culprit – I don’t want to dwell on it for now. Hehe. End of the story. But what I’m saying is this: We cannot hurry things, ALL the time – as some things really take time. Some thrive at a slower pace.  How something is called a success is related  to when it happens.  You shouldn’t start a new business when economy is down ( but some would argue you CAN! 🙋‍♀️).  Or wait for that perfect moment when you launch your new product. In relationships – timing is also a factor.   Talk about OTL or One True Love  – it  comes at the time you least expect it eh…. so, you do not wait for it.😍 💖💕

ADJUST, STRATEGIZE and LET GO!

Do you sometimes enjoy the insights you get tending to your plants? Most of the time, you stumble upon them unexpectedly. For the plant enthusiasts, do you feel and act as some kind of “scientists” doing experiments all the time? As all plants have their own requirements for growth – we usually do a “trial and error” – right? You assume, you deduce, you reason out, formulate a hypothesis. You experiment to test that “intelligent guess.” This constant experimenting is clearly one of the most unexpected garden insights I’ve had. Still at it!🤓 I used to enjoy this “hypothesis-experiment thingy” back in high school. Hehe. It’s all coming back again NOW. But with my plants – I DO it my own way. I just discover and re-discover. For instance, I know that when I give my plants rain water or if I leave them in the rain for a while to be watered — they LIKE it a lot, especially the caladiums, my caladiums! (And oh, they also love the bright sun so I take them outdoors – the leaves have grown!😉). Where before I was scared of overwatering them – I let GO now and they’re growing better, lusher. It helps to read up, too, on what requirements your plants need. You learn from experience — so you adjust, strategize and let go! Like in life – whenever you face trials or challenges – you do the same. Do not sulk in one corner. You have to think clearly and face them head-on. PRAY about it! Always! 🙏☝One good example is this pandemic we are all in – we have our time now in our hands as we are all staying home.🏡 Have you done what have you’ve been longing to do? We cook, we bake, we draw, we paint, we de-clutter – possibilities are endless! YES- we plant our own vegetables & herbs to harvest and eat. Garden to table. What do we do next? We take the next move. Can you translate that passion for cooking into an online food business ( aaahhh, we know how they’ve sprouted here and there for the last 7 months or so….)?!🥗🥡 For the Plantitas – do you sell your plants? Or you’ve been mulling over other plant essentials or garden supplies that will benefit the plant lovers which you can provide? Can you go into that kind of biz? Do you have that drive and creativity to take plant photos (or essentials) which are compelling? How will you differentiate from the rest? Admit it – a lot of tough competition out there! There are lots of ways to adjust to these changing times while providing you a good source of income. I know some are doing it as a side hustle only, others for a hobby or just to actively pursue their passions. Whatever your reason is – go for it! It is in these times that we thrive and survive. Let go of all those fears, insecurities, doubts, worries or sadness. Life is still good despite our unusual circumstances – remember that. Make the most out of the situation as we hope for brighter and better days! Yep, we can still shine bright on these uncertain times – take for instance, Ms. T, a friend, who has gone full-blast on her plant essentials business during the pandemic. A certified plant lover and collector – she has also put both her creative and marketing skills to good use. Those unique and useful fabric planters in my photo collage above for some of my best-loved plants at home (that can also alternate as ‘storage bins’) come in different sizes, colors, and prints. You can find these and more at their social media accounts- Peachy Casuals Dvo.🧡💚

FB : https://www.facebook.com/peachycasualsdvo/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/peachycasualsdvo/

Photo by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash

Going back to the garden – now that you’ve seen how it works means that there is just one direction to get there. The fact that plants are living indicate that there is so much room to try new things. It’s just like feeling, sensing or  discerning what your plant needs and be receptive to it. You might be completely wrong with one move as you watch your plants struggle. But everything will be part of a learning experience. Do they need more light or sun? Less water or more? More fertilizer? Need to transfer to another place? Add more soil and the list goes on. IKR. Sometimes it’s quite frustrating trying to figure out what a plant needs but once you get the hang of it and you see positive results, it spells SUCCESS! It’s both fun and fulfilling! When one strategy doesn’t work — look for another one. Try and try until you hit THAT spot!🤩✅

We all have our SHINING MOMENTS!

Plants thrive to the best of their abilities – they do not suffer the same hang-ups we have regarding our growth or our individualities with how other people see us. All of us have their own shining moments! Focus on that. Plants are so refreshing because they lack self-awareness. What they know is that striving to shine at their best is an absolute goal – a takeaway that is a life lesson to all of us!✨✨✨

Photo by Michel Boulé on Unsplash

We embrace our VALUE to others.

Photo Source: Pinterest

No doubt, plants have their values that are not left unnoticed. As it is, plants are constantly providing us benefits – for nutrition, purifying air that we breathe, shelter, medicinal values, aesthetic purposes, their roles in maintaining a balanced ecosystem plus just their calming beauty and freshness are enough to make us LOVE them. We are grateful to them. As we realize this – we can reflect and ask ourselves – What value am I giving out to the world and the people around me?” Much as you embrace your flaws, you also embrace your value to others! Your love ones, specifically. Home is where the heart is. It all starts there until you bring that value outside. Think about it! 🙋‍♀️💫

In LIFE – we just need the essentials.

Plants are simple – they just need a few basic things to be at their BEST. 💚
With their huge benefits to life here on earth – they really don’t ask so much EXCEPT air, water, sunlight and yes, nutrients from the soil. In reality – do we need AS MUCH? ⭐💧🌞We can live simply just like our plants. What an invigorating way to just be contented with what we have and not complicate our lives with the “must haves.” These are luxuries that we can do without. We rationalize these  stuff – material or not, as what will make us feel happy, successful or fulfilled. Hmmm. Can you simplify your list? We have learned that absolutely at this time of Covid-19. People even trade their well-loved bags or shoes for food. NOW. Survival is the name of the game.

What is really essential? 🌷🌿🌴🍂 

Have a HAPPY LIFE!


2 Corinthians 9:6
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and
whoever sows generously will also reap generously."

… becoming a plantita (part 1)

The plants are having their moment now….MORE than ever! 🌱🌿🌾🍀🥰 If you know me, I am a lover of plants long before we had this online craze now. 🥰 I love nice plants, lush leaves, pretty blooms and rare, colorful finds. Yes, even herbs and vegetable gardens, LOL. 😂 In fact, I almost always showcase them in my social media posts with my resident hashtag: #gardengoodness. Yes, I feel that plants bring just about everything GOOD to us. I am a ‘Plantita’ all over again, a version 2.2. Waahhh, yeah – there’s a love at 2nd sight…a rekindled love all over again! Check one of my latest IG posts below ( Btw, a plantita is the term used nowadays for someone who loves to care, nurture and collect plants – in today’s lingo: a plant owner, a plant seller/reseller or buyer, a plant enthusiast, plus just a lover of plants…PERIOD!!!!!🤍).

Now that most of us are stuck at home due to the CoVid-19 pandemic, many have taken to keeping themselves busy in order to fight boredom and be productive at the same time ( so Netflix bingeing doesn’t count on this, hehe..😂). While some have elevated their cooking and baking skills to the next level, others are doing online selling for a side hustle while some of you may have taken or taking some useful online courses, whether free or not. Whatever it is, you are open with a lot of OPTIONS and it’s up to you to choose what will make you happy and less stressful, forgetting all the worries of the world! Ha! 😉🤗

If you are a home maker or perhaps, a WFH employee or a freelancer like me, you ought to do something for yourself aside from what you usually do. Take a break from the grind and what do you usually do for yourself? One surefire way to de-stress is to get on this plantita/plantito journey. Yes, I know a few gentlemen who are into this, too. TBH, I actually want plants mainly for aesthetic reasons – maybe adding some life and color to our home. Don’t you want to care for something that brings JOY and CALM? There are are findings that show plants and flowers can do wonders in your stress and anxiety levels. Even having your own vegetable garden and growing your own food is a health-boosting activity. I can not overemphasize the benefits of going GREEN anytime! 💚

Most of us right now can’t go and look for these plants outdoors – in garden centers or home gardens. Fret not – enter the seemingly plant online sellers & resellers in droves who can easily cater to our various ‘plantita’ needs, wishes and demands ( last thing I know – the pots are flying-off the shelves in the stores in our city, duh…🤔🤷‍♀️). Hehehe. 🤔🥰What’s even great is that they can deliver personally or you pay extra for delivery service, usually the local service riders available in your area. These riders already know how to care for the plants so somehow they make sure that these will arrive at you in their perfect condition even while driving a motorcycle. I prefer this delivery rather than pick-up since only my hubby can go out for now and once he’s out — he’s not too keen to while away his time and that’s perfect! For personal deliveries, the bonus is I get to meet these sellers whom I am just imagining the faces only as we exchange DMs ( Direct Messages ) online. Or, for riders – we can help them as well since more deliveries mean they can earn good money as well from your orders! WIN-WIN situation, eh! ✔👍

View this post on Instagram

Ending this month with a BIG thank you! Thank you for the renewed love & passion for plants and for new friends whom I've met online in this platform- their giving & generous attitude in sharing truly warms my 💚. Kinda' inspiring, too, as most of them are really young yet you can see their zest and creativity in this 'not-so-usual thing' for the millennials. I have also been extra initiated & resourceful now to check every nook at our own place for neglected plants that are worth repotting and taking care of ( i.e., caladiums which are just sprouting sporadically… ☘🍀) plus finding those old pots which needed some dusting off and cleaning to be of use again. Now is the TIME.✔💯 Many forgotten treasures at the front and backyards. One day at a time…one pot…one plant.⚱🌱⚱🌱⚱ Like this watermelon peperomia with a cute leaf unfurling- everything takes time. Growth. Thriving. Survival. 🍃 You just have to be patient. Ohhh yes, starting to talk to my plants AGAIN, too. Haha! 🤣🤪 I just feel I need to. I have many thoughts on my mind now – will gather & probably sum them up in a blog. SOOOOON!😊😉 So, goodbye JUNE- it was a happy, insightful ride. Thankful for all the learnings…holding on and on…plants somehow make it easy, light & bright!!!! 😊🙋‍♀️💚 . . . #byejune #thankfulforthelessons #insightful #plants #plantlessons #renewedpassion #plantita #newlifeforplants #watermelonpeperomia #leafunfurled #30june2020

A post shared by Carina Marchadesch de Pano 🇵🇭 (@carriedepano) on

Life hasn’t completely ground to a sudden halt, there’s a LOT more to be done like collecting and caring for plants – whether indoors or outdoors. Gardening is such a good mental therapy so it takes away all the negative vibes and thoughts you may have . I know some friends who took it upon themselves to grow their own vegetables in their own backyard for their own consumption ( and there are a lot of ways to do this – you can plant in your upcycled containers, in pots or if you have a bigger space, a plot in your front, side or backyard – it doesn’t matter…) . In some communities, they even provide free seeds to their people that are easy to plant and can be harvested in less than a month. I know of a place in Q.C. where an empty lot in a neighborhood has been transformed into a big vegetable garden by the neighbors and see, they get their veggies/produce shared equally among them. The best thing is they do not throw their garbage there anymore- it has been a ‘happy place’ to all of them. 🥦🥬🍐🍅🍆As Audrey Hepburn says, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” 🖐 💥👏👏

Another day, another plant…one pot AT A TIME!!!!!

Plants make our lives a bit happier, brighter and our minds better. They really CALM us, ‘right? Who doesn’t want cooler and cozier nooks at home, especially at these trying times?

I’ll be back with PART 2 of this short blog series ( hopefully ‘more frequent’ as I used to..😉 ) so I might be writing about the most common indoor plants, their health benefits and how to care for them. Maybe ‘plant and gardening hacks’ as well based on my experience so far, wait for that. Trying to share what works best for me. Haha! Promise!!!!🤗

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Have a good LIFE!!!!

ISAIAH 61:11 ” For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. “

Staying productive: fighting corona virus at home…..

Everybody these days are at it. With the global pandemic of Covid-19 or corona virus as it is more popularly known, people are now confined to their homes – as community quarantine or lockdown is being implemented almost everywhere. Borders are being shut down, many business establishments have closed shop and economic instability is looming. Panic and uncertainty are definitely hovering around us so it is so easy to be overwhelmed by these tough times. The good news is that we can change our outlook and proactively do something to keep us sane, safe and healthy. I’m sure you have read a number of articles about it at this time on how make the most of our time at home in isolation. Binge watching of Netflix? Long, restful naps? Endless junk food snacking? Baking and cooking day in and out? Clearly, boredom gets in the way and these may not be so enjoyable after 2-3 weeks.

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                        FACE MASK becomes THE  most-sought after accessory these days! (Photo credit: Jiawei Zhao/UNSPLASH)

 

Here are a few tips  to make you focus on being productive and happy at home and yes,  less irritable : 🙃

1. Limit social media’s consumption about the Covid-19 topic for only 10 minutes a day. A famous psychologist and decision scientist, Baruch Fischhoff recommends just choosing three print media sources and one local public health agency to follow. Check on their coverage once a day. Our advice is to limit coronavirus media consumption to just 10 minutes a day and not 10 minutes every hour. The news updates on TV or social media will keep you watching and reading and engage you to the fullest so take time to break off from them. One thing to make us calmer is to control what we take in. Stay informed but avoid going through fake news or repetitive stories with no or little new information. Don’t let the news heighten your stress. IKR. Better said than done. But it is doable….

2. Keep yourself strong. Eat healthy. A healthy body certainly makes a healthy mind. Taking vitamins like Vitamins C and E can help us all get essential nutrients to stay in tip-top shape, more so at this time. Eat more fruits and vegetables. We know being at home can be boring, do not go overboard on eating all the chips and junk food. You may prepare your own healthy meals right at home since most restaurants are closed, too. It is also recommended to reduce intake of carbohydrates and sweets in this low period. Resist the urge of being a “sweet tooth” lest your blood sugar may shoot up. Take in nutritious food, as we don’t want to be sick now.

3. Enjoy the sunlight. Why do we enjoy soaking up all the sunshine in the beach? It can help us get our daily dose of happy hormones. Fight off boredom and sadness by taking a walk around your neighborhood or even just around your house. Take time to check on your plants. Smell the flowers. Breathe some fresh air and explore the surroundings around you that you might not have been noticing at all in the first place. Enjoy outdoors and the sun, a good source of Vitamin D.  Going through blooms in our garden is my happy place everyday!

 

4. Exercise daily. It is not going to help you by being a couch potato all day – sitting down and binge-watching Netflix all day. Do your own workout routines everyday. Exercise! Get up – stretch and flex those arms and legs. Get moving so all your energies will be up! A simple leg stretch, stomach crunch or jumping jacks will do for now. Whatever it is, go ahead and do your body a favor by exercising even for only a few minutes each day. There’s a new study that says that taking an extra 4,000 steps a day might reduce risks of premature deaths. So, how do we do this now when most of us are confined to our homes and are not active enough? Fret not. What the study has proven is that the added steps do not have to come from running or jogging or any other exercise. It tells us that even if it’s just wandering around the room or strolling within the rooms of your house – decreases the risks of dying early from heart disease or cancer or any other cause by 50 percent more.

5. Read a book. Check blogs. Listen to podcasts. Our minds certainly need exercise, too. Stimulate your brain cells. Have you been putting-off reading that favorite book of yours? Now is the best time to catch-up on all your readings. Or pick-up a new book that interests you. There are free e-books now, too, like Paulo Coelho’s. Check on them online. Challenge yourselves by reading a few books each day. If you’re after the older books from authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte and others – you may check them out at Project Gutenberg. Yes – this is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. It is like an online database of books where U.S. copyright has expired so it is now in the public domain. You may also want to check some interesting blogs online of various interests , which are worth your time. Or listen to inspiring and motivational podcasts. There are certainly a number of wonderful lessons out there to hear right now – you just have to check what you want from online lists. I’m partial to Crosswalk podcasts for spiritually uplifting messages.

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Photo credit: Florencia Viadana/UNSPLASH

6. Learn a new skill. Now is the best time to learn a new skill or fulfill your passions. Is it cooking, baking, watercolor painting, crafts or sketching? There are a number of free tutorials online so just be sure to choose which suits you best. Or perhaps, finish one or two online courses (you may want to check Coursera where there are free and paid courses where you will be issued “Certificates of Completion”). Check out COURSERA or may try UDEMY’s  free courses. In fact, I will be enrolling in one free Writing course at Udemy in a few days from now.

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Photo credit: Gaelle Marcel/UNSPLASH

7. Learn a foreign language.  Studying a new language? Me? I want to learn Korean after that “Crash Landing on You” experience! Haha! 😂 There are numerous available You Tube videos that you can check for free classes. I will be seriously looking for one soon. Yup! One that I got hold just recently at YT is “Top 25 Must-Know Korean Phrases” by Korean Unnie. I will check some more. I’m determined! Hehe…😜 For beginners: try “Get Germanized” for basic German language lessons or perhaps, for French language with “Vincent”.  They’re all available at You Tube. Or you may check some online sources for linguistic tips for mastering any foreign language.

8. De-clutter. Clean out all the unnecessary stuff in your room and house. If you have been busy, this is the right time to do your 5S – whether in your cabinet, bookshelf, storage room and whatever part of the home that needs to be fixed. You’d be surprised that a lot of non-essential items can be discarded. You will feel light and relieved knowing that you have made a clean sweep of all the excessive stuff hanging around your home for a long time.

9. Communicate with family & friends. You might be physically separated from family, friends and relatives but there’s technology to help us keep in touch. Do a video call; use Facetime or any other app to see them virtually. Or maybe if that’s not possible, call or text them. These conversations will surely lift up your moods instantly. Continue looking out for each other and keep lifting each other up in these trying times. Distance is not an issue now. The best realization now in this situation is to keep the connection with family and friends. This is important to me as I am away from my Mom and siblings ( me in Davao, them in Quezon City/Manila). The comfort and assurance when I engage in our family group chats and when I hear my Mommy’s voice over the ‘old-fashioned phone’  (aka landline📞 ) are enough to make my days definitely better. 😍

10. Pray. Whatever faith, religion or creed you belong to, let us keep praying and believing that we will get through this virus soon. Have faith that everything will be well again in time with your community, your country and the world. Pray on it, pray over it and most of all, pray through it.

ENJOY. THIS. TIME.✨✨✨

 

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Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez/UNSPLASH

Stay productive. Stay informed. Stay safe and healthy.

Hopefully, these tips can make you skilled, healthier, and even happier as we face the Covid-free future ahead of us! ❤️😀🙏👏👏

 

 

 

 

Check some of these useful LINKS to help you tide over the days until all will be well again:

BroadwayHD.com

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/virtual-tours

https://mymodernmet.com/learn-during-coronavirus-lockdown/

https://www.goodthingsguy.com/…/educational-resources…/

https://www.travelandleisure.com/…/museums-with-virtual-tou…

https://www.idfa.nl/en/

http://www.openculture.com/…/use-your-time-in-isolation-to-…

 

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 40:31 

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint. " 

 

 

 

 

keep on writing…

3 years. ✨✨✨

It has been quite a ride being a freelance content writer for 3 years now.

How did it all begin?

Fresh from a year of  long “post-retirement” trips to New Zealand and Japan months after I was out of corporate life, I figured what can I do after to make my days worthwhile (and maybe earn on the side). I need to do something! I need to reinvent myself – that’s what my immediate thought bubble was. Remote work, work from home, freelancing and with more and more into it —  I found myself thrown into it as well.

Next thing I knew –  I was checking platforms I can join like Upwork, OnlineJobs.PH and lately, Fiverr.  Although there were attempts to join a regular office in the city way back – the thought of waking up early, preparing to go to the office, working for 8 hours(and more), 5 days a week – doesn’t seem to excite me anymore. Plus, yes – with so many local developments (mostly infrastructures) coming up around, city traffic seems to be a bit worse than it did a few years ago.

WRITING!!!!!💙

 

I’ve always loved writing.🤩

 

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Photo credit: Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

I guess it started when I was in 1st year high school when we had a very good English teacher – Ms. Josephine Agbayani (who I believe has since migrated to the US). She was one of a kind and frankly, I enjoyed her kind of teaching. I learned a lot. My being “too-OC” on grammar, punctuation, active voice vs. passive voice, parallel sentence construction, subject-verb agreement and those stuff:  I can partly attribute to her. Oh, why? I even remember our textbook – it’s a white, red and black hardbound “English Communication Skills” (American authors), which I raved about so much. It was really a good textbook – very helpful. I remembered going back into it for any questions  I had in my 2nd-4th years in HS. My English 1 subject somehow honed me first on what I would love many years after.   But nope – I was not part of our school’s organ (Editorial or Features Writing Team) as my writing skills somehow surfaced many, many years AFTER.  It was something bound to happen NOW.

As I went through the  various online platforms for freelancers – a writer is supposed to send writing samples. How can I?  So, I started blogging. Yes, my blog is also 3 years old now. But personal matters late last year and recent writing  demands compelled me to write MORE for others’ blogs (mostly corporate) than my own. Perhaps, I should spend more time for my blog, eh? That’s my game plan. SOON!

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I am enjoying this freedom to write, do some research, learn in the process and collaborate with clients from all over. I have 2-3 now which I am doing work on a regular basis – a Filipino based in the Middle East, a Chinese based in one Asian country and an Indian based here and at times, in his home country. I admit there’s always some semblance of apprehension on writing for other people but these clients are all professionals:  well-organized, detailed, easy to deal with,  understanding and overall, a breeze to work/write for.  Lately, I’ve become more choosy in my clients and more intentional in the topics I want to write so this is doing me good in terms of how I pace myself.  

Allow me to provide some of my 3-year highlights in freelance content writing:

  •   203  articles
  •    18  clients 
  •      7  countries where my clients come from
  •      3  online platforms

Do I enjoy this work? YOU BET! Does it pay? Not as much as when I used to be in the corporate but the thing is – being a writer has its own unspoken rewards. 😁 Btw, I have been receiving a share of offers for a “regular 8-5 writing job” with a monthly income but nope – I didn’t consider ANY of them. I have been politely declining the offers. These offers usually come from OnlineJobs.PH and LinkedIn.  I DO prefer part-time writing – I like that I have a lot of activities in-between just in case I suffer “writer’s block”  or get bored. Or BOTH. And yes, I need some fresh air to breathe, too! 🙃

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Photo  credit: Writer’s Relief/LinkedIn

Ahhh, DIGITAL AGE – writing is a bit different now. Quite dynamic. Ever changing. There are many blogs and journals about one’s experiences. Just look up the internet and a number of writings will amaze you on a wide variety of topics. But being a good writer, I believe, takes TIME – to hone your skills to perfection. You need to follow the best practices and apply the right methods. Have a plan and put down your goals. Writing needs discipline, insights and talent. Stay focused on what your priorities are. Keep on that reading habit. Better reading habits lead to the best writing habits. Read more and some more to broaden your perspectives. Writing is all about connecting to yourself and your thoughts to impart something beneficial to your readers. Your way with words and details helps so it pays to have a wide vocabulary and a creative mind or maybe some imagination, to boot. Oh, well.

 

The joys of writing are unexplainable. It’s like choosing a favorite dish in a restaurant over and over again. You miss it when it’s not there and when you have it in front of you – you almost always relish it with so much gusto! Like my favorite ‘beef salpicao’ at a local restaurant here – just love it and always go back to it when I need a boost every time. Even for the nth and umpteenth time. Ha!😆

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AND so….AFTER 3 years….. I humbly pat myself on my shoulder and whisper,

“Well done, Carrie!  Keep on writing!”

( Okay, so I am now doing this blog while taking a break from the other ‘work blog’….and that’s maybe the game plan…~wink~😉 ).

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Content writing has opened a lot of  ‘doors’ for me and I’m SO thankful. God is good all the time! ❤️(Montserrat, Spain|Nov 2019)

 

HAVE a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

 

   Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

new year, new thoughts…

Random walks & reflective musings.👣🤔

Spontaneous little adventures. Unplanned meet-ups. Completing chores ahead of time. Managing time better. Listening to uplifting and enriching podcasts. Learning to cook. Learning new stuff online or within the community. Eating healthier. Less procrastinating.  Taking notes.  Filling-up reminders.

Challenging  myself. Writing better and smarter. Saving money for travels & experiences.  Reading books.  Reading God’s Word consistently.  Reading more devotionals. Appreciating more of the simple joys.  Less malls. Less screen time (unless work, ha!😀) . Have more of  nature.🍃🌹

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Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Starting a new hobby.  Finding that potential business (try…~wink~). Learning a new skill. Setting smaller & doable goals. Doing things at my own pace. Staying in touch more with family and  friends. Deleting not-so-useful apps and photos. Decluttering files. Organizing  MOST of my stuff  (a lot! 🤪). 

Planning more my days and  weeks wisely. Cutting down on my “to-do” lists. 😀😌💪

 And YES, blogging more often.✨😍

 

 

Investing in my SELF more.

Prioritizing who and what matters…. MORE than anything. ❤️

NEW beginnings.

This is MY 2020 in a nutshell. 🙏🤩💃🙋‍♀️

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At Sitges, Catalunya, Spain| November 2019

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

Isaiah 40:31..." But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their 
   strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall 
   run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. "

5 months after…

 

First of all, I apologize for not writing for a long time. Yes – 5 months to be exact. Many things have happened towards the end of the 3rd Quarter to this looming year-end.⌛️ End of a decade, as they say. ⏰

There were both beautiful moments and not-so-pleasant circumstances I had to face during this period. A lot of challenges, learnings, introspections, adjustments.  There were misses, losses 💔- but definitely a lot of  hits and triumphs, too. 💝 Which gave me the PUSH  to write today…as I complete my writing gigs for two clients who trusted me to write for their business blogs  this year. Need to finish till the 31st.  Modesty aside, I think I wrote the MOST in my whole year in December – but surprise, I didn’t feel the stress. Yeah, it was a non-issue. I guess I was more intentional in choosing which topics I want and which to refuse politely.  

Everything is looking bright! There is HOPE for the coming year…yay! ✨ 

 I am also engaged in a new platform – after signing up two years ago,  I had to just leave it at that. Last MAY ( of this year) – I slowly got back to it, completed my details and  had my profile plus put out my GIGS. I am supposed to be the seller of these gigs and buyer (client) will ask for orders from me. I was feeling pretty disappointed ‘coz after a few months, there was nothing! But by end of OCT – two potential clients sent me messages. Had to decline as I was on a birthday trip out of the country. One article was kinda’ urgent so buyer cancelled the order while the other one really waited for me to come back. Pretty cool! I am humbled. ❤️  You may have someone in mind who is looking for a writer, perhaps? Pardon my subtle kind of marketing (~wink~). My profile LINK is here: https://www.fiverr.com/carriedeps?public_mode=true

Going back to the not-so-good events: I am not to delve into the details (maybe on another post, I will)  but just letting you know that I am doing alright,  renewed with  LOTS  of gratefulness for a year that was! A year that WAS – I really need to say that  again. It must be  one of the “toughest” years ( if not the MOST ) I had but still thankful. I am really now in a happy place as far as my content writing is concerned:  I have a number of articles to write ( on a more regular basis…) with topics that I am more comfortable with. I am learning from these niches and yes — I will even study a subject that I’ve been avoiding all along… ( I hope I can catch-up – helloooo, digital marketing?!?) I need to do this to be able to cope with potential work for another client.  These millennial entrepreneurs are really a different lot. Hehe, trying to ride the tide with them – happy to be of help in enriching their businesses.

On a personal level : my latest health check-up is really promising (thank God!), lost a few kilos with the dear hubby ( husband is down from size 2XL to XL;  me from L to M in a few times…) and  slowly getting to be more relaxed &  uncontrolled  with the less-important stuff.  Feeling really very upbeat and excited to what’s ahead! GOD is good!

Who’s with me?!? 🙏

Before I  forget – beginning to love a lot of the household chores, too.  My forte is washing the dishes and mopping the floors. As you see, we were without househelp since mid of July. My all-time FAVE: watering the plants and tending to the garden. Ha!😆The downside of all these  – I have neglected my early morning walks. Waaahhh. But all these chores made up for it. 👍👍

NOW – I wake-up early looking forward to the chores – naaahh, sometimes. Hehe.😜

Well, I guess that’s about it – a short recap of what transpired from my last post till today.

So, yes – I AM STILL HERE…and not giving up!✅ I will continue to WRITE in this blog.

 

I hope you ALL had a wonderful Christmas and since it’s almost 2020 with 5 days left:

Cheers to a blessed, joyful & fulfilling 2020! May it be a BETTER
YEAR for all of us! ☆

MY 2020 WISH: To be able to write MORE here in my blog and share them all with you.  I will really TRY.  Maybe shorter posts and  ‘spur-of-the-moment’ topics and musings like this one.

Who’s ready for 2020? 🤩

At Montserrat Mountains in Catalunya, Spain| Nov. 2019. GOD is good! ❤️

 

    Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 


Psalm 31:24 "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."

back in the groove…

 

Great to be back! Forgive my “unwriting” for close to 2  1/2 months……it has really been a  loooonnggg while. ✍️😆

BUSY? Nah…I purposely stopped writing. I guess all writers have THAT moment when all they want to do is anything  EXCEPT write. I DID!  Dang! It was probably at the right time when all I want to do is what I’ve been missing all along… familiar, routinary activities which were put on halt while I was trying to make a go of this freelance content writing career. But much as I want to write…I decided to just take a break! Hey, the ‘lull’  is also kinda’ form of inspiration. Hmmmm.😀   IT IS!  While on a “writing hiatus” – here’s what I did:

  • WALKING in the mornings  ( and I know how this is so important 1st of all…but the blinding heat of the sun these days as early as half-past six to quarter to seven in the mornings  was the very reason that made me skip doing it…) And so I did some walks instead during the late afternoons but then again…..rains came to the rescue. Ha! Rains were a lot more frequent in the past weeks. JUNE ( last month)  is usually the rainiest month of the year in our country.  I know I can do stationary biking at home but the pleasure of walking around our village is something I always look forward to. I  get to meet old and new friends – I guess both the familiarity and surprise make this activity a worthwhile one.🤩
  • GARDENING  – I planted some flowering seeds ( wait till they bloom…😊)  and checked on some plants I haven’t seen for a while ( mostly at the back of the house). YES – did a lot of pruning, too, especially the humongous bougainvilleas for which branches can extend up to near the skies and get as low till the street ground.  I loved this part – the times I have not walked due to the rains  – I made up with this. Perfect! ✅
  • MARIE-KONDO-ing (Tidying/Organizing/Decluttering) –  Just recently, I filled-up a “Balikbayan Box” of old (and some unused) stuff – mostly clothes, shoes, accessories and bags – the recipients of whom are my millennial nieces who may be able to make better use of them now that they’re part of the corporate workforce.  I do not see myself back in a  corporate setting (  oh yes, love being home-based now, hehe…). More stuff to unload and give away hopefully – maybe another batch by end of this year.✨✨✨

 

 

 

Did I feel excited? Happy? Inspired?! You bet!  I’ve heard some saying that their toughest challenge is on putting it simply –  FINDING THE TIME to write. For writers, there is such a thing as planning your day wisely to manage your writing time. I did manage it by  NOT WRITING at all!  Hear me out on this –  I’ve made some little writings here and there – but mostly, they are not work-related. (*wink*)

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Photo source: Pinterest

So, just about anyone is going through this period or experience of a rut – which is that time when they feel like they’re not getting what should be done ( or is the work good enough?). Still, others wonder if what they’re doing is really meaningful, at all. Worst, many are living by 1-2-3’s:  going through all the motions the SAME way  – day in and day out and they do not know if that’s really okay or not. We all get into a rut – but what distinguishes one from the other is in how fast one can realize that he is there – and eventually, do something to get OUT of it.

Here are simple tips to bounce back & survive the rut:
  1. RELAX & EXERCISE.  Breathe some fresh air.  Head to the beach. Get a dose of the morning sun. Walk into nature. Nothing will help you reset and recharge than a quick journey to those soothing blues and greens. Perhaps, a cup of coffee or tea, too.  Ohhhh. Exercise. The best way to beat your anxiety is to set aside what you’re doing momentarily and to focus on other things that would keep you busy and happy.  Go for a good walk or run,  attend a Pilates or a spinning class, or do some kickboxing if you want. Ensure that you are keeping your options open for any activity that will make you HEALTHY: physically, mentally and emotionally. There are a lot of avenues out there to refocus your mind and energies.
  2. ACKNOWLEDGE  that there is a problem and you know it.  You will not be able to get out of the rut if you don’t acknowledge you are in one in the first place. How is it usual for one to feel not at par with himself or others? Or not happy? We feel that sometimes. But you can always bounce back.  Don’t feel guilty that it’s been too long before you even took notice. The MOST important thing is you’re doing something to address the problem now. 
  3. TALK IT OUT.  If you think you need to discuss challenges about your work or gigs, then, by all means, DO it – with a loyal colleague, a boss or client. Or if it’s a personal problem or struggle – talk to any member of the family or your church authority and most probably, a very good friend. You can always seek professional help – if you think it’s needed. Do not assume that your family or friends know what you’re going through – be open and tell them what you feel and want. Reach out to those whom you think can understand you – people that are always there to help and support you. For me – I just told my dear hubby that I wanted a break from writing and that’s it! I’m happy that he was there to LET  ME BE….. so thank you, Papa B!❤️
  4. REDEFINE your goals and passions.  Write it down and take some notes: What truly matters to you NOW?  What makes you happy? This is TODAY – not the past or future.  Instead of thinking about how you want to do something perfectly or different from the rest, think about how you want to do things thankfully as it should. Or maybe, you want to explore NEW  stuff: new skills, new learnings. Tap into your ‘creative’ energies!  I have long been wanting to do something else, too – like making nice handmade jewelry and producing sweet-smelling soap & shampoo bars, to name a few. Ooooops  – that’s for another blog post, if and when. 🤩👏👏
  5. MOVE FORWARD. Perhaps you’ve fallen behind in your activities, work or gigs and worst, keeping in touch with friends and even family members. Get out of your bubble. Make a “to do” list to get through it and tick it off one at a time. If you wish to do ALL at the same time, it will just defeat your purpose. It can get to be so overwhelming and then, you’d be surprised you would fall into the “rut” trap again…and again.  Do it one step at a time. Focus on what you need to do first  – prioritize tasks and keep track of your small strides of success. Keep going, keep doing it and suddenly, you will realize you are now BACK on TRACK. ➜ ➜ ➜ Strive to do your BEST and set to achieve what needs to be fulfilled. Don’t aim to be foolproof – instead, whether what you work for turns out to be bad – you did your best and that’s what really matters. Tomorrow is another day, definitely.  You are NOT perfect!😊✨

As they say, it is our responsibility to take the time to develop our gifts and talents – and in that way – we can best SERVE others. Invest in yourself.  And in the end – it’s not what others think of you that really DEFINES you, rather it’s how you show the world who YOU ARE and what GIFTS you have to share.🖤

So yes, I. AM. BACK. ☆☆☆

 

Have a good LIFE!

 

 

 

1 Peter 5:10   "And after you have suffered a little while, the God  of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will
himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."  

writing highs….

On my most recent post, I talked about how I dealt with some writing challenges, putting part of my heart on my sleeve.  Learning experiences that I went through, leaving me wishing for better days!  ✨✨✨

Exactly three weeks after  – I am writing today what I consider  simple joys and highs  in this freelance content writing that I do. 😄📝

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Photo source: Pinterest

COPYWRITING – yes, that’s what I actually did for my 2 most recent clients. One is a 2nd-time client, another is one where I just got invited to apply.  TBH-  I didn’t know that much about copywriting per se nor do I have ample experience writing about it….BUT being the MORE adventurous that I am now in terms of tackling different niches and  types of writing – I went ALL for it….fast! 😎

One task was to create a business letter for a marketing company where I have to make a “call to action”  for their supposedly clients about their proposed value-added service on “business  coaching and consulting.”  I am NOT a SALES person but somehow,  my constant  collaboration and coordination with our Sales Teams back in my last corporate job was the very useful, helpful experiences I held on to.  A short letter I did  but nevertheless, I had to do a  2nd revision as the 1st draft was a bit weak and needs a  “stronger stance.”  I considered my client’s inputs.  I even had to ask my DH to read my 2nd draft and ask for what he thinks (  if I used rightfully some business idioms in the letter…) knowing he would have ideas to share.  Got his feedback and  finalized the draft.  Wheeewww….approved finally! ✪✪✪

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Photo source:  Pinterest

The second client was for a copy as well, but written more as a blog to be posted in the company’s website –  for a “home services” industry.  At first, I was kind of…..Ahhhh? What do I know about this? It has something to do with storage units and you know, being in a tropical country such as ours – I could not very well relate. We don’t have winter – only summer and summer.  Just kidding!😆 It’s about a moving and storage company (and a specified service) but to make the long story short, I got an awesome feedback and  the client said he’ll invite me again for future writing opportunities. Double whammy…not!  Pure bliss, twice in a row!

What did I say before? You WIN some, you LOSE some. I love that I am slowly  scoring some ‘little’ breaks now, (modesty aside…😌).   For that, I am truly grateful.  Ending this month on a happy note, albeit still with one week and 2 days away.   And hey, didn’t I say I just had a new writing offer this week. 🤩 It was totally unexpected but nevertheless, so much thankful.  I hope it would  blossom into an engaging and warm professional relationship later on. New collaborations, new clients, new niches and definitely new learnings are always like  “sparks of joy!” ❤️  I am an optimist so even if still early to tell —  I am definitely upbeat, excited  and  totally gung-ho about it.  I appreciate being read, but the person I’m really always writing for is ME. It’s something that I could not live without. Patience and perseverance….until you finally get there ( or so, I hope…). But when you get there – there’s no  explanation needed.  There is relief, there is something inside that tells you to continue and go on…then start again and have another inspiration, another goal,   another article to draft and polish, edit and finalize UNTIL…..it’s published.  To MORE writings and beyond is what your heart’s saying though you don’t need to utter anything.

 

And so…..


Scribbling this on a rather  sleepy and  tiring Sunday night ( fresh from a long day road trip…)  
but as they say – when you need to write, JUST WRITE. It’s the Resurrection Sunday….or Easter Sunday – with everything NEW that it brings –  new life, new hopes, new inspirations, new offers, new blessings, new interests!  What an apt time it is!  Oh, JOY! 😆😍 Continue reading “writing highs….”

writing lags…

At the start of this year, I told myself that I’d be more “adventurous” in my “freelancing-slash-writing” gigs. I would explore options to learn and write on different niches other than the ones I am familiar with. Stepping out of my ‘comfort zone,’ as they say.

Judging from the almost a quarter of the year that has passed, I can say I’ve been a bit successful somehow in doing this. But not really 100%.  Late last January- I applied through LinkedIn and passed an exam for a writing job where I had one-on-one training with a tech-savvy millennial soon after. This group is based in our city – but I have yet to start though I’ve been notified that it’ll be soon ( since team was still on the task of pooling a number of local writers…).  I’ve also tried exploring a different platform and frankly, had a number of offers ranging from writing about ladies’ garments (swimsuit), hair extensions, nutrition, self-defense and yes, even managing a digital marketing agency itself. Ha! Unfortunately – all these offers are pretty full-time jobs on a different timezone and I guess, I’m NOT up for that.  Ugh! This means being in a ‘graveyard shift’ to adjust to the client’s timezone. I am not too young nor eager for that, hehe.  Get it? 😎

So, back to my  regular platform – I had 2 very interesting trial writing jobs  these past 2 weeks :

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Photo source: Pinterest

✪ PRESS RELEASE – I wrote a “press release” for the first time with all the information provided for this millennial Aussie new artist ( yes….IKR 😎). Imagine my apprehensions at first. Although I am a music lover listening to Spotify while writing and I sing sometimes,  ehem…🤣   BUT still I could not imagine writing something like this one EVER. But I took on the challenge, went for the Skype call and the client explained what their business is and what I was writing about. I had been given some samples which I can refer on. I  DID  IT! 👏 👏Submitted it and yes – my writing was ‘impressive’ as they say – but maybe had to do a few “tweaks” in some of my words (quite gentle…) and shorten it a bit for a press release. My article was more apt for a BLOG and so they got an idea of putting up an online blog in their website for their artists. Wheeew! Hopefully, when that’s set up – they will get back at me for work ( they would as they told me…) but of course, that will take time. Anyhow, I am so thankful for the opportunity and  I ACTUALLY enjoyed writing it. Yup – putting some “personality” and “character” to the artist other than her music is really a breather in this type of article. So, that’s what a press release is!?! I feel I have added a new dimension to my writings. So far, so good! 

The next one is…….

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION –     For this one, I had no idea ( and you know, TBH – been avoiding this type of writing with so many invites and ads – just maybe not my ‘cup of tea’ for now….). But one day, an opportunity was there with a trial write-up. I passed and they asked for 2 more product descriptions as “additional tests.”  I was a little hesitant to proceed but on my mind, I was thinking that as I enjoyed the 1st – these 2 might be the same. You bet it is! I proceeded with the tests and ideas just flowed smoothly – I completed them in just a few hours.

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Photo source: Pinterest

So when I submitted – after a day – they said we can proceed with work. Ahhhh – first, a Skype call. The work – 50 descriptions a DAY for 8 hrs?!!!! And 5 days/week. Not for ME, haha!!!🤨🙃 I easily get bored with writing the same thing, much more do it in straight 8 hours in one week….and yes, eventually WEEKS!  I had to think it over…begged off politely and actually, what they’re looking for is someone who can fully “commit” to the Team . I. COULD. NOT. Oh, well – I need to LIVE! Haha!😀a lot of

And so…. life goes on. I move forward and as I shrugged my shoulders – I do not regret TRYING both. After all, life is like that – it’s a HIT or MISS. You’d never know what you’ll miss if you don’t even take a hand on what is being given. Go for it!   Do you realize that?  I know I am more of a risk-taker now…. maybe ‘reluctant’ at that but thank God, I am managing somehow with a lot of “what ifs!”

The truth is when I am being offered a writing gig ( no matter how ‘small’ it may seem) — I ALWAYS PRAY ABOUT IT.  I guess if the job  is not meant for me, then it’s fine –  if a client will tell me bluntly, “Sorry, this is not the kind of writing we are looking for. “

Ohhh…..PERFECT!✨✨✨

That to me is a “sign” that maybe – I will not be a good fit or I will not do well in this type of writing. Or I have yet to LEARN more. No worries. Or perhaps, better writing offers are coming along. Writings that I will love to do. Because to DO well – I guess you must have your HEART in it. ❤︎❤︎❤︎ At some point, I even ask myself, “Am I NOT good enough?”  Silver linings? Maybe. But as for me, I will continue to WRITE no matter what.  You will not know if you can do well in one niche if you don’t even try. Putting off those fears. Doing what I know is right – apply all the tools and skills I know in writing  plus some inspiration- anything CAN BE an inspiration. Read on some more to add to what you know, it really HELPS  ( I had to research on “what makes a good press release/ product description” as I was writing  those trial articles…).

And hey – I hope trial writings are ALWAYS paid. ✅  Haha.😉 JK. Enough said. But the truth is,  I don’t really mind. What’s important is – I’VE LEARNED SO MUCH MORE!!!!😍

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

 

 


Romans 12:12     "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful 
                 in prayer."

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