Sunday, October 05, 2014

Grow Where You are Planted

Filipino Community Abroad:
My flatmate and I moved to a new apartment when we got back from our holiday from the Philippines last month. (The move was due to housing regulations here in Jersey). We got friends who visited and invited themselves at our new place during lunch since ours is convenient to most of our work places. Earlier today, we also volunteer to host our choir practice for this Sunday's mass. We also took this time for the "house warming". I am glad that our new place became a venue to provide shelter and bless our friends.

In the middle of singing and catching up with my "new family" here since I started working abroad, I am grateful that the Filipino choir members became instruments for me to stay rooted in service for the Great Guy above.

Reflection: Show what gifts the Great Guy above has showered upon you and used these gifts to bless others, anywhere you maybe in the world. Grow where you are planted.

I am given a new project at work involving non-audit related stuffs. I have done this for 3 years in a row now during my slack/non-audit season months, just like during this time. I remembered that I used to complain about this kind of projects because I feel being deprived of technical learnings which I could have learned if the company has given me other projects. But I realised that this became blessing in disguise - because I was able to enhance my network, build client rapports and able to "diversify" my learnings on other field of expertise.

Earlier today, I manage to submit the reports using the client's new system, eventhough I was only on this project for a week. The superior was happy with the work - and I am glad too that I have no overload work to think of for the weekend. Fresh start on Monday!

Reflection: Instead of complaining about working so hard, why not be thankful for the blessing of having a work and earning an income? Work is an oppprtunity for us to show our expertise/God-given talents to our colleagues and subordinates. Grow where you are planted.

I had a two-year old relationship when I went abroad and the long-distance relationship tore me apart because it was difficult to manage given the time difference, change in priorities and different environments that  surround us. The LDR continued for another 2 years and eventually, we both decided to put an end to it.

I was heart-broken. All my dreams and hopes for our almost 4-year old relationship came crashing down. At that time, all I ever wanted was to go back home to the Philippines to start anew and find for the "right Filipino guy" for me. During that time, I never ever ever eveeeer consider having a relationship with a different race/culture other than a Filipino. I was firm on this decision, and ready to pack my bags and go home for good... until "the honey" came. And he showed me that love accepts different culture/race - it is the decision of a couple to make the relationship work out despite the differences.

And since Day 1 until as of this writing, he continues to pursue and court me. Every single day, I feel so special. He has never missed a day of showing his love (may it be through a call, text, flowers, or sending me a cartoon image). I love cartoons!:) Nad he cooks! (Yahoooo!) He knew that my love language is quality time and affirmation - and he makes sure he achieves them no matter how busy he is at work (on a side note: we are thankful for the answered prayer for his promotion!). For the more than 365 days we have been together, I have learned that he is happy and feels more loved whenever we spend time talking and laughing together (I never thought that speaking English can be this spontaneous.) We are blessed to celebrate our anniversary just last month.

Reflection: Finding the Mr. Right takes awhile - you have to work on to being the Miss Right first.

Grow wherever you are planted.

Love Lots,
Lyn-Lyn \(",)/
03 Oct 2014

PS: The photo was taken during our house warming.

Friday, October 03, 2014

White is Relaxing!

I recently read an article about "why hotels are the best places to offer relaxation and comfortable sleep". The answer? All their garments are colored white!

It's true indeed - all luxurious hotels have white bed sheets.

So, I made a test - I did some maneuver and changed my duvet cover and pillowcases to white. I also bought a white bath mat which I got @ 50% discount (I sound so proud with this purchase). :P

(This blog is now given the privilege to have the first public peak of my bed sheets and bath.)

I love it!!! Everytime I arrive home, all I wanted is to jump under the covers. And whenever I wake up, all I wanted to do is to stay under the covers. Hahaha!

I am loving the minimalistic style of white. Simple, yet elegant.

Love lots,
Lyn _(",)/
02 Oct '14

Simple Thoughtful Loving Words

It's the month of October - my birth month! I am bias to say that this is my favorite month of year. And this morning, I thought about an idea to jot down entries of gratitude for each single day of this joyful exciting month. (I am just more energetic and ecstatic during these days).

We had a company team building the other day - and I joined the go-karting where we had to race, just like F1 (Formula 1), but only a much simpler and easy race track. We then played mini-golf (where I learned more rules and strategies on playing golf) and then proceeded to a hotel in front of a beach for our lunch, drinks and merry session.

Due to the race I participated, I went home really tired and with sore muscles. I had a few exchanges of messages with the "honey" and promised to wait for his call after he finished dinner. However, just 5 minutes after I sent him that message, I dozed off to sleep! Zzzzzz....! So in the morning of the 1st of October, I woke up with a missed call and with his Viber message saying:

- - - - - - - - - - -
"You missed a call from your boyfriend at 9.45pm. To redial press 1, to call back press call and to kiss press x. End of messages."
- - - - - - - - - - -

Hahaha! His message made my day!

It was also my first day of lunch training sessions for digital business seminar which is ongoing for the next 3 weeks! It involved information technology through the use of web designing and html codes. The subject excites me and triggers my yearning for web code knowledge, which I had been interested in since I was in high school. I am looking forward to share this here at the end of our course. We are also required to submit an idea of a webpage using all the tools we learned from the course. (I still have not finalised my concept for the website that I plan to do.) Still, I am excited for this learning!

I am also given a new project at work (secondment), where I learn about real estate fund industry and met new people.

I am excited for the coming days ahead.

Love lots,
Lyn _(",)/
01 Oct '14

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Weddings and Teenage Dream

It was still clear in my memory when I was 14, during my sophomore year in high school, when I dreamily declared that the early years of my 20s will be devoted to do what I am passionate about, to enjoy my single life, to give back the credits to my parents (monetarily speaking) and at the age of 28, to walk down the aisle and say hello to married life.
Adding on some maturity as compared to my 14-year old self, I have come to realise that those plans that involve other party in our lives, those that are outside of our own self-control do not just happen the way it should be. An approval/agreement from another person needs to happen.
I am savouring my remaining days of being 28. Next month, I will have to say hello to being 29 – my last year of being 20s! Yay! It sounds so old if I focus on the “age number” – but I still feel I am just 21 (ooohkaay, maybe this is self-denial).
I also visited My Bucket List page, and I have noted that marriage and family come first. I look forward to the day I will have to tick it off. I am ready and prepared for the next stage! =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Theme Song for Financial Budgeting

And now we're starting over again, it's not the easiest thing to do
I'm feeling inside again, 'cause every time I look at you
I know we're starting over again, this time we'll leave all the pain away
Welcome home my lover and friend, we are starting over, over again

For the first half of the year, I have exhausted my stock portfolio to half and almost nil out my emergency funds coz of my eagerness to pay off in full my home mortgage (wohooo! Just a few weeks ago, I have claimed my property title back from the Registry of Deeds!). I am now living a life of being debt-free! And then whaaapaaak! Suddenly, I drifted away from my financial goals and my discipline of monthly savings and investing were torn apart. Waaah! *Cry

The Anchor of My Life

Whenever I am too lazy to write a blog post (which I always am) or just take privately the things that are happening to my life (and write them on my notebook journal of gratefulness, instead), I spend some quiet time re-reading on some of my previous posts, and reflect on how situations have changed…for the better.  It’s amazing at how at most times that we plan every single bit of detail for our lives, even up to the single centavo that we would allocate or budget to certain wants or needs, but then there will be situations that will happen that will either break or make us – and everything just changes.

I saw a Facebook post of one of my friends earlier that said,
If material things are what you refer to when you say I AM BLESSED, then you have no idea what a blessing is!”

Since I have started to become a financial advocate and enhance my knowledge on financial literacy, I have been reading posts on basic finances and how to properly prepare for future needs. Somehow along those anxiety, fear, excitement and joy of either disrupting the finances or achieving financial goals, we have mislooked the present situation and should have been grateful instead of what we currently have that simply never really take much money to bring us joy and much gratitude for life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The 10-20-70 Rule

Prior to setting my foot in going abroad and with the knowledge of how much I will earn, I prepared a detailed excel spreadsheet of how much of my monthly salary will be allocated to paying my house mortgage, monthly allowance/allocation for my parents, food, rent and other possible expenses that I may incur.  I never had put aside something for savings/investments on my spreadsheet, because I have lack of knowledge about the investment instruments that I can possibly get into. The topmost priority during that time was instead of paying my house for 21 years, I will strive to achieve to pay it within my 3-year contract abroad.
Armed with this, I had myself ready for my financial and career journey.
But eeeeek!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Leap of Faith!

Just bought another real estate for investing! It is in prime location in the capital city, with 2 bedrooms and 2 balconies! Such a blessing. This entails me to work smarter in managing finances. May this also be a form of blessing to others. Looking forward to helping more Filipinos to also be financially educated and take charge of investing!:)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When Actions Speak Louder than Words

For the last couple of months, I kept on chasing dreams that are so elusive. For one, I would like to jumpstart my career in other field, but there are always circumstances (i.e. my need for a work visa) that hinder me to get job offers. There was one wherein I had already my pen ready to sign the employment agreement, but when I checked again to confirm if the new employer will give me a visa, they declined. (That was close for me to render my resignation on my current job, which may end up for me being kicked out of UK coz my "new employer" will not provide me a visa!) I was still blessed that I did not reach that point. I was also offered an opportunity to work in a project which I believe would provide me the necessary career exposures I need, but jurisdictions and immigration rules have again set the boundaries - and I feel that these dreams/goals are slowly taken away from my grasps. There were moments I felt frustrated, almost can't plan out due to anticipation, got hopeful, confident, then excited, insecured and back to hoping again. Beyond all these, I would like to choose to keep my faith. Someday, soon, that which is meant for me will come and I will welcome it with arms wide open.

James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy when you fall into various trials, cause your faith and perseverance are being tested."

I would like to specially mention "the honey" who has always been there for me and witness the moments I laughed, I cried, I sat quietly looking at nowhere, felt frustrated (I guess I have shown all bits of my characters in front of him!). The "honey" who patiently listens to my indecisiveness and my scattered thoughts coz I could not come up with final decisions.  He often says "I am here and I will look after you", but it feels more better when those words became actions whenever he wraps me inside his arms to assure me that things will be alright and when he makes efforts to see me back smiling and laughing and back to my happy self again.

Everyday I am filled with his "I love yous" - he has never missed out a single day yet! :)
During moments like this I feel that those I had been dreaming/aiming for are so far away, it helps so much to choose to take away my thoughts on them and instead, focus more on what I do have now and be grateful for them. The greatest blessing I have (next to family) is "the honey" - and with that, I feel so abundant and prosperous in my life with his overflowing love. (Thank you, Jesus!)

During one of those times I felt melo-dramatic (blame the hormones caused by the monthly red visitor), I poured out my emotional baggage to him, and felt just so blessed with his response. (I just have to blurry his name.)

Such priceless gift. :)

Love lots,

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

What is My Purpose of Being Abroad?

During one of my catch-up meetings with my client recently, we had gotten “out of focus” from work and ended chatting more about our personal lives – especially relating to life’s choices, retirement decisions and plans for the future. He was married to a co-Asian and recently had their first child, a bouncing baby boy, last month.  It was a great opportunity for me to listen to thoughts of someone who grew up in a first world country and to learn from his elderly thoughts of setting out plans for the future.

He told me that our resident place is surrounded by materialism – I agree! Our place is called “tax-haven” and all professions here are mostly related to finance, managing wealth of the wealthy! Most people have forgotten about family values – parents usually send their children to nursery day care centers, while they keep themselves busy with work to earn.  On another hand, this man had made a choice to be the sole provider for his family, with his wife tending to their son, and had a mortgage for a house near the beach. His thoughts were as simple as ABC – nurture his family with one parent looking after their kid/s (he plans to have another baby soon!), he balances out his work so he can be home early to play and see his son goes to sleep, stays at his house over the weekend to spend time with his wife and son, buy a house to serve as a capital asset which he plans to sell 15-20 years from now, and use the money to retire in Asia! Wow….! He told me that Asia has been growing and with its low cost of living, he can have a comfortable, simple retirement life there with his family.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One word: ACT! (My 2014 Goals)

What was it again that, generally, us, women always wish for our men to do?

To fulfill their promises. Because:

"ACTIONS speak louder than words."

I strongly agree. Why the infamous "promises-are-just-meant to be broken" statement? Because many of us lack action.

It's time for a change. And taking action and fulfilling our promises apply to everybody!

Hence, to start my action plans, I wrote down here my goals and passions for 2014 (& onwards):

- Be fit and healthy. To develop my endurance (needed when I take short cuts to climb hilly roads), achieve a waistline of not more than 30 inches and weigh 60-70 kilos. I commit to eat healthy food, do 30-minute walk each day and an hour of jogging/zumba dance/swimming on weekends.

- Minimum of 10 blog posts per month. To develop my writing skills (goal of publishing an inspirational book), enhance my communication with blogosphere, network with people online and best of all, to share and learn ideas with everyone. Result: at least 120 blog posts for a year!

- Develop a hobby for cooking. FYI: I am a "parasite" for people who loves to cook ('coz I love to eat!). I am well-surrounded by friends and a boyfriend who enjoy cooking, and I enjoy tasting their food. Somehow, I want a change and be the one to make special meal for them. I will master two special recipes (or bake one cake, or make a dessert) per month. This recipe must be other than ordinary daily food.

- I want to get married and have twins. (This goal will require a decision of another party though.)

- Last Monday, I plotted my 2014 financial plans and I commit myself to it. I made some changes and renamed "emergency fund" to "peace of mind fund"; "weekend dates and travels" to "happy fund"; and all the rest remain, as is.

- Attend a seminar/enroll to a class (like IT information, online marketing, gardening, etc) and get a certification/qualification to enhance my self-education. Life is always a continuous learning.

Putting our goals and dreams on paper provide us a clearer view of what we want to fulfill. I wrote down mine above and it's time for some action! =D

Cheers to a fulfilling 2014!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 2013 Milestones: A Look Back

I am sooooo back! And I would begin my first entry of 2014 by completing on the months that I made this blog blank on the remainder of the year 2013. (Ooooops!)

And as for every year that comes and goes, it is always nice to reflect and look on what had been the blessings that I am thankful for, as well as the trials that molded my strength. The year 2013 was a year that tested my capacity on major decision-making skills, taking big steps toward personal finances and investments, and best of all, the bloom of a LOVE LIFE! =D

So, here are the milestones of the 12 months in my Year 2013:

January 2013 – As most of my readers here know, I always take December as my holidays to spend Christmas and New Year with family in the Philippines. And returning to the cold winter January in the UK after a month of vacation at my warm tropical Philippines always gives me a heavy heart.  The beginning of this year was also “supposed” to be the last year of my 3-year working permit visa in the UK. I am just SO EXCITED to finally be back in the Philippines FOR GOOD come December 2013!!! (And as you may now know as of this writing, this did not happen. You will know the major reason in the coming months to follow). And this reason was also briefly introduced to me during this month of January. I was assigned for 4 months (from January to April) to our affiliate office to work on a client. This was the longest I was ever away from my 2nd home! And my adventurous self did not like being away for such a long time – but I tried and managed to enjoy whatever life has thrown on me at the onset of the year 2013. Picture was the sunrise at 8am in Guernsey Island from the penthouse apartment provided by our office.


February 2013 – Since I started receiving my very first salary, I made a budget (which most often is not being followed.) My spendings are over the variance and I admit that I do not have the proper money management skills, plus a really low personal finance and investment knowledge.  I took budgeting a little bit seriously when I started working abroad in 2011, equipped myself through learnings via the internet and get myself involved into investments. Two years passed and I became thirsty of finding a community who share the same enthusiasm that I have towards financial literacy.  I found them via The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI). Join our Facebook group of now more than 22,500 members!  I also became one of the group’s administrators during this month.  Read my full interview at MoneyGurado’s blog here.


March 2013 – Too late for winter, ei? Who would not get excited to tick off one of the looooongest pending adventures on my bucket list – an experience which I had been dreaming of since I was in high school? Finally, I experienced being under the rain of snow and felt them melt under my bare hands. Freezing cold!!! Definitely worth it. And FYI, I never want to experience snow again, though. The road was wet and slippery, plus it was sooooo cold!!! Brrrrr….. One of my weekly work flights was also cancelled for 2 days due to snow – and I was able to take much from my travel insurance for the delayed flight. Yey!


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