A REAL LIFE RAMBLE

Currently, yes I have started editing my vlog on my first full facial, stay alert for that one.  I know I won’t produce a proper edit if I force finish it before midnight so I must as well just…talk to you guys.  When was blogging anything more than sending your own shiny thought bubble out into the world?  Or perhaps, a place to let out some emo steam.  I remember vaguely when I last felt the way I feel now which is utterly pressured and just a tad bit discouraged about somethings but not entirely, this is not related to blogging but more on some real life things I need to get done other than the blogging, hence this short hiatus (short only because of delays).

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UP FINE ARTS BLOCK BATCHMATES AND BEYOND: Dan Matutina (Twisted Fork), Me (Bless My Bag) Marielle Nadal (Craft MNL), Bernice De Leon Yumul (Plus63)

Back then I was a senior in university (blockmates above reunited about 4 years ago), I was on the university wide student council, and in the running for honors (but barely).  It didn’t help either that year that my general ed subjects sometimes felt just as taxing as my majors and that I contracted dengue fever in the first semester of thesis.  There were certain days that felt like things were going to tumble down on me the next morning (sheer number of things to do and classes etc) and at a wee hour in the morning I’d glance at the clock while being not yet done and sometimes I felt sort of in a bind.  The things I needed to get done were in venues so far away from each other I had to plan my life around that.  Anyway today I need to stop looking at all these to dos as a web and need to focus on snapping each tiny strand.  I’ll get through this, I’ll get every single thing done.  Oh, April, I’m so not ready for you with all these tickboxes still not ticked, but will endeavor to be and I shall overcome.  Oh, and you’re welcome for the emo steam.


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VIDEOS TO RESET YOUR HEART THIS WEEK

Holy Week or Spring Break as it’s called abroad is a time of renewal and rest, but always hopefully a time of reflection.  Lots of people won’t really relate to what the Bible says about Holy Week, because they haven’t encountered Jesus in the way that matters or to tell you the truth sometimes frankly the words on the pages of Scripture don’t make sense or can point out our more obvious sins, but it’s not all about telling us about right and wrong, the Bible was written to remind us that we are loved.  Those of us who feel negatively about the Bible (more specifically broken people who spout the Bible) tend to shy away from festivities or activities of reflection in connection with Jesus due to the fact that a lot of humans representing Jesus have let us down or we think we’ve let Him down in our own way.  The truth is we can’t shock God with blow by blow accounts of how we’ve let Him down.  What He is waiting for is whether we’ll take his hand and allow Him to lift us up again.  Today, in a bit I am sharing two videos with you to soothe your soul and encourage you. Below is the short trailer of the longer video.

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I believe it isn’t ideal to shy away from God’s Word even when we don’t understand it, because His Word will always come through for you, even if you don’t understand at first.  The garden, the flood, the parting of the red sea, and the baby in a manger are historical accounts of God’s power and love coming through for the human race, and He hasn’t stopped.  Think of His words in the Bible as a foreign language, the truths are another language from another dimension.  You’ll only get the hang of the language if you try to talk to Him first in your own.  There was once a rapper/comedian who turned over a new leaf that said in a video somewhere that for him it doesn’t make sense when confessing or ranting to God and trying to avoid being profane or rude in his desperation at times because He actually knows the words in his head before they come out.  Think of God as the friend who’s watching you punch walls or rip up paper while trying to tell Him how awful it all us and how fed up you are.  Read on to get to the two videos I chose for men and women that I believe will help reset your heart and bring peace this week.… To full post & COMMENTS...

ALMOST SPEECHLESS SUNDAY

Taken from another Sunday a couple of weeks ago this post is going up directly from bed, but I’ll have to get ready in a bit because we’re leaving AGAIN this time spending a clan afternoon together to remember my late Lolo’s birthday.  This week was a whirlwind one transportation wise…a lot of going to and fro and frankly, it can be mentally tiring and disorienting going back and forth(I won’t say physically because I’m comfortably transported at all times) especially choosing what bags and things to take with you because you’re posted at both ends you practically need to take half your life with you to get a lot done because of the traffic.

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I almost got sick but swiftly slept on it with a paracetamol so that didn’t happen, thankfully.  I’ve had to have my head down on some errands.  I’ve hardly had two minutes together because of this week to sit with my beloved BIR tax receipts on excel…that seems endless.  I’ve hardly even checked blogs and vlogs I normally read because I just couldn’t give up the time.  Mindset shaken and stirred I still wanted to give you guys a glimpse from the South today of Mom doing her thing at home when she has time to do it, who thought fresh labuyo chili could make such a nice arrangement?  And yes, she wears white even at home.  I’ll be back on the beauty bum soon with a new video for you if all goes well.  Come to think of it I haven’t even worked out this week since last Saturday’s spinning session at Saddle Row…does choosing to walk 4 blocks at noon instead of taking Uber in Fort and Alabang count?  Ugh.… To full post & COMMENTS...

IKEA ADD-ONS FROM FURNITURE SOURCE PH

I’m back in the rolling rumble of the city and I’m so glad I cleaned again last time so now that I’m back again in the flat it’s still cozy to come back to.  I make it a habit to do a real scrub down and disinfecting of our little personally old-yet-new rented space every time upon returning then once again before I leave (the polluted fluff of the area does gather even if just under a week).  We clean religiously to avoid getting sick or itchy in any way.  We may not be the neatest two on a daily basis, but we can’t stand dirty surroundings.  We can live with clutter but our tolerance for dirt is low because of our allergic reactions (afflictions apparently can be teachers in disguise).  My teenage brother maintains our place by sweeping and mopping when I’m not around, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and doing his laundry.  We like our floor to be so clean we can take our bare feet to it.  Once we’re six months in we’ll probably take my Mom’s high-powered rainbow vacuum cleaner over the entire place, but it will have an easy job by then since we clean so regularly.  This time upon returning to the flat I was delighted to finally to oversee a relative’s repair guy install our IKEA Melodi pendant ceiling lamp (Php950) which has just lifted the central room of our kitchen-dining area entirely.

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The IKEA Melodi pendant lamp is I think their most affordable ceiling lamp in the whole category, but it still makes a dramatic difference when you hang it thoughtfully.  It hangs here with an bright part-warm part-cool 9-watt LED bulb that I’m glad isn’t too yellow (GES from ACE Hardware have this warm-cool blend) that’s beautifully diffused by the faux/frosted plastic shade.  Lots of people ask me if IKEA is now officially in Manila, the answer is no, but Furniture Source, the helpful resellers of IKEA and other foreign brands of homeware, have been around for ages bringing in some new designs by ikea together with bestseller faves.  You might remember this post on the Php3,500 IKEA Glasholm desk I purchased from Furniture Source Philippines last year for my room in the South(@furnituresourcephils on IG) and this follow up post still with the same IKEA desk but paired with a Flototto pro chair which was a gift.  Read on to see more photos and more home items and repair tasks I kept busy with yesterday, plus Furniture Source PH sent me a surprise because of my blog posts featuring them!… To full post & COMMENTS...

CACTI CHARM BY ARTIST KATE JARMAN

Succulents and cacti are enjoying a lot of attention online these days, in homes, on prints, for like a good almost two years now I guess.  Last year, pineapples also peppered Instagram and they somewhat overlapped the early reign of terrariums and succulents.  I never took an interest in anything cacti related in real life as far as I can remember.  There was one childhood exception of repeatedly reading one narrative from one of my knowledge books.  In it, a barrel cactus helped save a father and son in the desert from dying of thirst when they squeezed out its juice.

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Today, oil paintings of cacti posted on Instagram by Perth based artist Kate Jarman had me smiling a lot and I hopped on over to have a look at her site and pictures of her paintings were on display.  Read on to see a few more.… To full post & COMMENTS...

ALGENIST GENIUS ANTI-AGING BI-PHASE PEEL

Here’s a quick one for you.  With the arrival of advanced marine botanics skincare line Algenist comes this bottle of beauty from their Genius range, a line of skincare formulated to nurture maturing skin but gentle enough for younger skin to try.  I personally was not given this full size to try, this was just the tester of their Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-aging Bi-phase peel.   I wish they’d used a different word as opposed to Anti-aging in the product name, something like “Clearing” or “Brightening” (“Ultimate brightening bi-phase peel” has a nice ring to it).  The double hyphen in the product name gives me a mental itch.

Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-phase Peel Php4650 (Rustan’s)

“For the first time ever, this bi-phase formula combines the powerful effects of a peel with the nourishing benefits of Microalgae Oil. Glycolic and salicylic acids work together for gentle, highly effective skin exfoliation and renewal while Microalgae Oil leaves skin feeling soothed, nourished, and deeply conditioned. The two phases combine to offer an unparalleled experience – the effectiveness of a peel, with the luxurious benefits of an oil. “

INGREDIENTS: Water, Isohexadecane, Glycolic Acid, Chlorella Protothecoides Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Algae Exopolysaccharides, Shikimic Acid, Menthyl Ethylamido Oxalate, Salicylic Acid, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Dextrin, Polydextrose, Algae Extract, Sorbitol, Oleyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Amylopectin, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Zanthoxylum Bungeanum Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Oenothera Rosea Extract, Sea Water Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance.

You shake it and top and bottom ingredients combine, smooth on with a cotton pad (reminds me of an old bi-phase shampoo on the market in the eighties) wait bout a minute or two then rinse with water, yes it requires a light rinse or spray with warm water and wipe it off.  Waiting longer with it on top, we were told, does not intensify the treatment.  You can wipe it away a couple of minutes after I’m guessing the soothing ingredients float on top of the more active ingredients like oil on water.   Again, the formula isn’t perfect, and it isn’t alchohol or fragrance-free, but there are soothing ingredients to counter that.  It contains glycolic as well as other safe acids to gently exfoliate the face.  I liked the difference I saw on the back of my left hand in comparison to my right hand when I tested it, sorry there’s no photo of that here because the venue was kind of dim and I don’t have a full-sized sample of this.  I wouldn’t say the difference was like night from day but you could spot the difference and feel it. My left hand was cleared of an ashy overlay which could only have been pollution and dead skin on a date together.  Most of that is lifted away and banished by Algenist’s bi-phase peel.  I advise using this product at night as it contains AHA acids like glycolic acid and if used during the day follow up with facial sunscreen to protect.  Using this liquid exfoliating toner by the way, no matter how cool it feels over the skin is not a substitute for true cleansing.  Stay tuned though, this wasn’t the Algenist item awarded by Allure’s Best in Beauty…there was something else.… To full post & COMMENTS...

MARCH SIX, TWO THOUSAND SIX

We’re not waiting for Thursday.  I once had a spot somewhere on blogspot where I vented way too many emotions online, as one does in her early twenties.  My early twenties, as opposed to my tame teens, were the most rollercoaster-ish years of my life in the realm of circumstance (then…little did I know) and ultimately also somewhat of a renaissance for me Spiritually.  However, note that I botched up the Bible reading about Adam and Eve here at my friend’s wedding, too long a story to explain why here, just know that somewhere at the end it was an epic fail LOL.  The title of this post is not based on this picture…but on my archived blog post from way back below.

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Even if you don’t feel the least bit spiritual, whatever, keep reading.  A post was supposed to go up about the Oscars red carpet style lineup, but because of where I’m currently at in life I didn’t feel like collecting material for it yesterday.  Hardly any of it interested me thanks to the fact that I’m currently bound to real life things that need doing this week ’til next week.  Real life responsibilities are taxing on the mind (literally).  No worries, will still find a way to blog beauty daily or at least post SOMETHING daily but they’ll be shorter posts if I’m way too busy.  This space was certainly made for a much needed calm before the plunge.  I’ll be 33 this year, soon.  Fancy reading a little bit of 23-year old me?  Then proceed.  I was just in a moment earlier where I very much needed to consult me from 10 years ago, because right at that time my heart was on the right track.


Monday, March 06, 2006 , 9:40am

The Teacher of Trust

I often wonder why it is that daily, as we all mature, things we want, big or small, or even situations and problems in our lives become harder to lift up to God, and the more difficult part even is leaving it there with Him, trusting Him with ALL of it. It sounds simple lang pero lam naman natin na it doesn’t feel simple for us. We’re reminded repeatedly, at least those of us who believe in God’s will for every good and perfect thing to come to pass. Yet, I still fear or agonize over the unknown. What do I do when I know how I should be, but deep inside my spirit is still restless?

I used to feel guilty about saying I trust Him then still having that feeling inside that I don’t. I’d suddenly remember the words “come as you are” from many Christian songs and I’d break down lots of times knowing I have no choice but to come before God with my doubt, with my fear and whatever it is I want Him to take or trust Him for. I can only run to Him knowing that no matter how dirty I am He’ll still embrace me…and even kiss me for coming to Him for answers and comfort.

A lot of people read Jeremiah 29:11. The familiar lines of this verse have comforted many through centuries. Recently, I found that reading the passage through all the way to verse 13 brings even more comfort than one expects to find in verse 11. For any of us who are searching and learning to trust, we can read and rest in His words.

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13To full post & COMMENTS...

FIVE UNDER THE SUN FACTS ABOUT ME AND YOU

I’ve never been the most toned beach bum out there but I’ve loved summers in the Philippines ever since my tender years.  My parents took me to the beach every year until I was a teenager at least 2-3 times a year.

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Swimsuit by Roxy Ph, shades by Sunnies (gifts from both brands).

I thought I’d just let loose and tell you a couple of real things about myself and summer then you can tell me your 5 summery facts in the comments.  Scoot over, Olaf.… To full post & COMMENTS...

WHAT DO YOU WANNA SEE ON bMb?

Did you notice?  While I can I’ve been making the effort to post daily …but once in awhile my fountain of ideas on what to post can have a dry spell.  So I’m here to ask you all the question: What would you like to see more of on Bless My Bag?

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Hit me up in the comments below, if you don’t have an idea, just come on over and say hi for the sake of it, and tell me what you do like about the blog and what’s been making you come back for more.  Topics I’d be willing to tackle are beauty, style, home and lifestyle, food, productivity and even…let’s get really game, relationship topics.  I’d like to hear more from you guys, to be honest, I love my readers but you guys are quite a silent lot, REALLY,…sooo quiet, except when there are giveaways, hahaha peace out.  No really, I’d love to hear from you, let me know anything in the comments below, and yes English, Tagalog, or both please :).… To full post & COMMENTS...