Be blessed, dear Christian friends! 

Just a few passages that have been working on my heart lately. Great reminders of God’s love for us displayed through His son Jesus Christ! 

Enjoy and God Bless you all!

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:19-22

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15: 14-17

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Romans 5:10

July Favorites-a few products

Peppermint tea 

You’re probably thinking, “tea? During the summer?” I like tea all year round and typically enjoy a few cups a day. Peppermint is so calming at the end of a long day. I currently have Tetley’ s Peppermint tea at home:

  

If I have one criticism it is that the pyramid bags don’t expand very well in the tea. The sides remain flat rather than fanning out like other pyramid bagged teas I’ve tried. Kind of defeats the purpose of the bag being made in that shape to increase the movement of the leaves inside. 
Bass Comb 

   
  

I got a new comb at the end of June and have been enjoying the way it has given my curls more bounce! Regular round brushes don’t give quite the same effect. This comb is great for detangling as well as styling. It works best when I brush my hair upward as shown in the picture above. I keep it in my purse for touch ups and totally feel like I should be in Grease or something.

Except I’m not a boy so I couldn’t be a T-bird…and I’m just not as cool. 

But anyway… Next item 

Ginger tea (homemade) 

My mom used to boil ginger root in water for me to make a natural ginger tea that helped me in high school with tummy aches. I had several tummy aches over the course of the month and found this old favorite do the trick. No need for medicine.

Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield Mouthwash 

  
The effects last all day. You can eat a can of sardines and still have pretty good breath. More importantly it helps prevent cavities. I’m very good at avoiding cavities, but it’s always good to go the extra mile- brush, floss, and rinse! 

(Raw) Naked Wild Honey 

This goes so well with all my teas- ginger included. If you want to try ginger tea for stomach pain, but are not a fan of the taste of ginger, you may find adding honey a big help. This honey blends so easily in any warm drink. I’ve found other honey I’ve tried to stick to the spoon and not blend into the mixture. 


There you have it for the month of July, folks! Thanks for reading! 

Would You Pray For a Grad Student (Part Two)- This is hard

While I’ve been enjoying school very much and learning a lot, the rest of my life has been really tough.

It’s been hard not to get anxious, but I’ve been dealing with it better than I have in the past.

But I can still do better.

There are times where I can say, “I’ll be fine. God will provide and will not forsake me” and times that are difficult and I say I believe those things, but don’t quite feel it.

Things have not been easy.

So many job interviews that go nowhere. I don’t even feel like going to any more just because I think they will be pointless.

I can always go back to freelance writing, but I would be underpaid for a lot of hard work and I don’t think that is fair. The Lord knows I need money for a driver’s license and a clearance card for my practicum classes. He will come through for me.

I am away from people that mean a lot to me and most days feel incredibly lonely. Doing school online is nice, but after a while I just get so sad and grow very tired of the same old thing every day. The same city, the same routine.

God always turns bad things into good for His glory.

Although I am having trouble seeing how or what He will do with my situation, I know He is not going to cause me to fall.

Please pray for me, friends! God will do something amazing here….we just have to have faith!

Would you pray for a grad student-part one 

No makeup! 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I like makeup. I even have two makeup routine posts because a few months after I posted the first one I bought new makeup and added those products to my routine and replaced a few things. 

I like how makeup can enhance what’s already there. A lot of people used to tell me growing up (and still do) that I have great eyes and naturally beautiful eyebrows 

  
My basic routine was just some eyebrow powder to fill in my brows, blush, and mascara. Nothing too complicated. After college I became interested in looking at pictures of models in full makeup and wondered how I could create a full makeup look for myself. That look is pictured above. 

So I went shopping for foundation and some other items..

More full face makeup:

 

  
I liked how I looked, but I was slowly becoming very dependent on my makeup. It got so bad I would get insecure just going to the laundromat to wash some clothes- no one wears make up at the laundromat, but I felt so awkward without makeup. Whenever my mom was talking to my grandma and aunt in the Philippines in a video chat and handed the phone to me to say hello, I would turn my head away if I had no makeup on and tell her I looked bad and didn’t want grandma to see my face. 

Wearing makeup when I was home all day seemed like a ridiculous idea, but if I could get away with it, I would have. 

 Hideous disgusting ugly gross 

Were just some of the words I used to describe my bare face. 

Last summer I tried not to wear a lot of makeup. We had a small reunion on my dad’s side of the family and were constantly going out early in the mornings to places like the beach and museums so I didn’t want to bother with makeup. 

But I couldn’t keep up with the change for very long. I just felt too insecure, especially when photos of my bare face were being tagged on social media. 

Even minimal makeup made me feel insecure:

  
I struggled to look at this photo when I took it in November. Now I think it’s actually a very nice photo. 

Makeup isn’t bad. I’m not saying that. I’m not even saying I won’t wear it anymore. For a night out or special occasion, of course I’ll wear makeup. But to lounge around with my friends or go to Target to buy shampoo do I really need to be wearing makeup? 

Am I really ugly without it? 

  
No, I’m not. 

And neither are any of the girls out there who feel “gross” without any makeup on. 

It breaks my heart to hear girls say they feel ugly. That is just not true! 

**images below found on We Heart It

 
   

:( 

I found this very helpful video that I think will really help a lot of girls feel better on the days when they aren’t wearing makeup.

  I will link it down below.

Heavy makeup is definitely the trend right now, but if you look at some of these makeup artists and celebrities without makeup on, they are still so beautiful! 

At the end of it all what people should and will find most attractive about a woman is her personality. A beautiful heart always shines brighter and is seen with or without makeup. 

That’s the girl I want people to know! The real me!

Wearing no makeup isn’t the fashionable thing to do, but I’ve always liked being different :) 

We need to embrace our differences more often. They are what make us all beautiful. 

  
  

 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

Thank you so much do reading! God bless you! 

You ARE beautiful 

How to look beautiful with no makeup- Sona Gasparian 

  

“Eyeball it” recipe: avocado toast 

In my quest to start on a new diet for my health (story link at end of post) I’ve researched some recipes for healthy food choices. I couldn’t find anything on avocados though. We have so many at my house I thought I might just improvise since my search wasn’t bringing up anything that works with my diet (I wish I could have bacon with it…but I have to be diciplined)

With no official measurements (I eyeballed everything) I give you… 

The avocado toast! 
  
Ingredients:

One avocado 

A half a lemon

Olive oil 

Ground black pepper 

Unsalted sunflower seeds 

   
 

Cut avocado in half and remove seed. Place inside of avocado on a small plate 

My nail polish color reminds me of Barbie. I wish I could tell you the name of the color, but the bottle doesn’t say what it is. It’s just a purple shade from Forever 21’s Love & Beauty collection. 

  

Pour on desired amount of olive oil, black pepper, a small squeeze of lemon, a little more olive oil, and sunflower seeds

 
Heat in microwave for a minute and a half 

  Meanwhile toast some bread. I recommend oatnut (available at Costco) 

  

After the avocado is done, it will look like this:  

 feel free to mash the avocado further if desired 

  Place toasted bread on plate 
 Add avocado to toast 

 

Eat! 

About my new diet   

June Favorites & New Diet

Hi, everyone! Did June go by fast or what? It’s crazy to think I already have a June favorites post for your guys. I’m really excited about this one because almost all these favorites are food related. I have also discovered some things about my health which require me to adopt a new diet. I’ll explain that at the end of this post.

Here are my favorites for the month of June:

Ginataang Mongo

   

 According to pinoychow.com Ginataang Mongo is a dessert made of toasted mung beans, coconut milk, and evaporated sugar. The one my mom bought also included some Filipino fruits. This childhood favorite was reintroduced to me through a shopping trip at a Filipino market near an uncle’s house. My local Filipino store doesn’t have it so we have to go out a little further…but it’s so worth it! This dessert tastes best when served warm.

Do not Disturb Mode- iPhone 5s

When I started graduate school last month I knew I needed to find a way to keep from getting distracted by my phone. I had only used the Do not Disturb mode a handful of times in the past because of group message notifications. This month I used it every time I needed to give my homework full attention. This feature on my iPhone allows me to focus on the task in front of me first before getting to any text conversations. 

Sprite with light ice

When afternoons started getting warmer there was no better way to cool off than with a glass of Sprite with just a little bit of ice.

2 for 1 Pizza

On Thursdays we normally are out of the week’s supply of food for dinner, so we get pizza and salad from our nearby 2 for 1.

Can I just say….BEST PIZZA EVER! Even when we have leftovers, slices taste just as good re-heated like the day they were ordered. Not too salty, not heavy on the tomato sauce, and certainly not boring. Normally I don’t like pineapple in my pizzas, but 2 for 1 somehow made it taste amazing on their Hawaiian pizza without that overly sour taste.

They also have great salad which pairs well with my next favorite

Feast from the East Sesame Dressing

  

My sister hates sesame. She doesn’t even like sesame seeds on her burgers. For me, sesame is great on anything! I used to put sesame oil in my instant soups. I’ve made healthier choices since the last time I had instant noodle soup and I’m glad I didn’t have to sacrifice the sesame taste I craved for so long when I started putting this design on my salads.  The tangy taste of this dressing works so well with the watery, crisp flavor of iceberg lettuce salad.

Pastries By Edie- Crème Brulee

  

Crème Brulee has always been a favorite dessert of mine, but having it was a rare occasion. Few places serve it. Or so I thought. Pastries by Edie has been a family favorite for desserts in my since I was a kid. Only thing is, all those birthday cakes, cookies, and tarts were purchased by my mom. We never went to their with her. When My sister and I made the trip to Edie’s for ourselves we had to try their crème brulee.

 FAN-TASTIC. Delighted in my purchase and happy with the taste I had just encountered, I jokingly told my sister ( who had the marzipan pictured above the crème brulee) that I want crème brulee served at my future wedding instead of a traditional wedding cake. Hey, why not?

   
    Sprouts Black Tea Orange Pekoe

  

My family and I don’t normally shop at Sprouts. But on a recent trip their with my mom where she allowed me to get any tea I wanted along with her choices of chamomile and peppermint, I had to go with black tea. Reading further into orange pekoe when I got home I learned that their are different gradings for how black tea leaves are prepared. Orange Pekoe is high quality.

It was actually through this tea that I discovered I may have a medical condition and will need to limit my intake of many foods and beverages…including caffeinated tea.

I have always suspected I might have it, but never looked into it too much because I was dealing with other things (if you have been reading my blog for a while you know what I’m talking about). After journaling my symptoms for a few months I have found I may have PMDD-Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, an extreme form of PMS with symptoms appearing about every two weeks and causing so much pain and emotional struggle they can interfere with a woman’s daily life. Lately I’ve been having very painful cramps in my abdomen and right ovary. Emotionally the smallest things can cause me to have a meltdown. Last month when my old computer stopped working I threw it down on the ground in a rage. 

I act like the Hulk, but without the cool transformation. My poor family has had to put up with my irritability for years now. 

People might find these things funny, but it isn’t. So many women don’t know why for two weeks out of the month they feel out of control or suicidal only to feel completely normal after their periods have started. 

Some doctors recommend anti-depressants. I’ve already been down that road. I do not want to use medication like that to treat my moods. So, I looked into some natural remedies. 

Cutting caffeine out of my diet, eating high calcium, low fat meals free of fried ingredients, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of rest and exercise are recommended. 
Here’s a recent journal entry that gives an example of the kind of changes I will need to stick to. I hope to see improvement in my physical symptoms and mood. 

Oatmeal for breakfast 
Salad and rotisserie chicken for lunch 
(Maybe if I stay on a diet like this I’ll be less irritable…all that caffeine I had been drinking this month to stay awake for school must be doing real damage if I’m getting irritated and having stomach pains similar to menstrual cramps) 
Greek yogurt with fruit jam for snack 

(I feel like I’m becoming a reluctant vegetarian…oh well. Whatever I have to do to stay healthy) 

Cabbage soup and potato with ground turkey for dinner. Had some peppermint tea after dinner for my cramps which were at their worst just before dinner. Seems to have helped a bit 


Thank you so much for reading! 

I would truly appreciate your prayers at this time as taking on a new diet will have its difficulties. I do hope to get better and report on some new favorites from my diet that I can share with you all in my July favorites! 

I never get political on my blog…but (you know what’s coming, dont you?)

In light of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling which allows those in the LGBT community to marry in all 50 United States…

I do not support gay marriage. There. I said it.

A part of me is relieved to be able to say that. Back in 2008 when California banned gay marriage I was hounded by my friends from high school (I had just recently graduated a few months earlier) for not supporting gay marriage. “Why?” They asked. “Aren’t there a lot of gays in the Philippines (my country of origin)?”  “Don’t you think they have the right to be happy?” “I can’t believe you don’t support it.”

Some things you should know (although you’ve probably heard it said by a ton of Christians already)

1. I DO NOT hate gays, lesbians, transgenders, or bi-sexuals. Not supporting their lifestyle does not mean I hate them. People need to understand that. Not supporting and hate are not the same thing, it’s just disagreeing.

2. I think it is unfair for people who support gay marriage to label those who don’t support it as haters. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Just because I don’t agree with a majority, does not make me a hater of a group of people. I simply disagree with their lifestyle. If tolerance is going to be preached here, good. Please be tolerant of MY view, even if you don’t agree. I’ll continue to do the same to you. 

3. Yes, I am going to cite the Bible for passages supporting my views.That’s where my worldview comes from. To ask me and other Christians to take the Bible out of our reasoning for this or any other views we hold to is not right.

4. So many people have posted comments back toward Christian commenters (on twitter, youtube, and other social media) with blasphemous statements. Again, if we are going to be preaching tolerance here, please DO NOT use my Lord’s name in these crude ways. You can make your point clear without saying such hurtful things.

In 2008 I felt like I couldn’t express myself because I didn’t want to hear what people had to say about my views. Seven years later, I’m not at all concerned about the things people will say to me because of what I believe. I’ve always been honest about my life on this blog since I started it almost three years ago. I wanted to be honest about how I feel about all of this. 

I may lose some friends over this, but I’m not going to change my mind. I will only pray. The Supreme Court has done what it has done. I can’t change anything. All I can do is pray that people will realize that yes, love did win. But not on Friday June 26, 2015. I believe love won when Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone’s sins (see Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:10).

God Bless you guys. Thank you for reading. I know this is a little different from the things I normally post, but I had to share my thoughts.