Friday Finds | pagesfromtheinsideout.com

Friday Finds #1: face masks, snacks, and home office needs

Finding blog inspo from one of my few friends who get what blogging means to us, I’m joining Ate Gil in her Friday Finds series.

I’m not gonna promise that this is going to be every Friday as I would only be able to do this once a month *cross-fingers*.

For the not so millennial-ish, finds are things, places, sites, or just about anything online and offline that interests me so much I feel the need to spread word about it.

To begin, I’m listing down some of my tita finds. 

LULULUN Face Masks

Lululun Face Masks, Japanese face masks, skin care

As a kdrama fangirl, it’s pretty automatic I’m into Korean skin care. Some people think this is about trying to be a bit as pretty as those doll-like Korean celebrities but believe me – it’s just about giving my skin some love. You’d never understand until you get a feel of your face after a relaxing face mask sesh. More so, if you follow the Korean double cleanse + toner + moisturizer, etc.

That said, some face masks are so good for your face but not for your wallet. A good sheet costs about P75 to P200, and that’s for one use only. And so here comes Lululun to rescue not only our wallets, but our environment as well.

Hope this doesn’t haunt you in your sleep. HAHA. Just had to show how one sheet fits the not-so small faces out there 🙂

Lululun, according to its official US website, was “founded on the idea that
face masks can be used daily.” Operative word: daily. It’s made affordable but with highly effective ingredients. In fact, most days, I replace my skin care routine with just a basic cleanser followed by a 15-minute Lululun love.

Not only that, you get 32 sheets in one pack so there’s no need to throw too much plastic waste. Plus, it’s so easy to take one sheet a day without trying to get all the essence from individual packs.

You can order online from BeautyMNL at P1,095 per 32-sheet pack, or P390 per 7-sheet pack. BeautyMNL offers free shipping to anywhere in the Philippines. Catch is, it’s always out of stock.

I got mine from Beauty Bar which offers it at a lower price, only P995 per 32-sheet pack and P325 per 7-sheet pack. That’s just about P31 per sheet and given it can do the same work as essences + moisturizers and more, it’s a good skin care investment. I’ve been using this daily for two weeks now and I can see my dark spots brightening already. I even *bravely* went out with friends these past few days without makeup (well, I put on some kilay shade.. hehe, but that’s it).

Beauty Bar has a shipping fee of P250 for orders below P1,500. Alternatively, you may drop by its stores in Ayala malls and just buy from there.

Laptop Desk

I’ve always wanted a portable desk. I just wasn’t taking time to look for one until I had a flu around November. I was mostly plastered to my bed and couldn’t work much which led me to browsing Lazada for the right desk. It’s less than P700 and proven to be sturdy, has no sharp edges and from a legit seller. Here’s a direct link to this product on Lazada.

Even if you’re not working and only want to Netflix and chill in your bed without hurting your neck, this desk would adjust your laptop for you.

TakeRootPH

Take Root PH - Kale Chips - Vegan Cheeze, Sour Kream & Chive

I found these while looking for holiday goodies my mama can give to her friends. Take Root PH offers a variety of healthy snacks – granola, fruit chewies, trail mixes but their kale chips are the best! I especially love the Vegan Cheeze flavor and it’s no wonder it’s always sold out on BeautyMNL. Good thing, Take Root has its own website and they have an IG story feature for local stores that sell their products.

It’s a bit pricey at P220/bag compared to other chips but it’s not a bag of air and it’s beyond snacking. It’s healthy… but who am I kidding? It was a love at first taste for me, healthy or whatever. Crushed, the chips go well with salad and pasta, giving better texture and more flavor. On the Take Root website, you can order boxes of 3, 6, 12 which allows you to save a few pesos for more.

Canvas bags by my friend, Airah (psmadeinlove)

My friend recently launched her site. It’s still a work in progress but will soon have more to showcase her art. If you like handmade stuff – bags, home accessories, wedding/birthday invites/cards, and more, I’m sure you’d find a thing or two to love from Airah’s products.

I especially like her canvas bags because they’re durable and can fit my laptop plus a few more I can’t leave the house without – alcohol, wet wipes, power bank, and more.

Christmas is over but maybe you can keep her in mind next time you’re looking for a unique birthday gift for your family, friends and special someone.


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A list of things better adults should stop doing in 2019

Adulting 2019: Some things we should stop doing

It’s almost 2019 and while I feel that 2018 kinda slowed down, it’s now down to nine days. Let that sink in.

As with blogs come year-ender lists – things we’re thankful for, Christmas wishes, new year goals.

Coming up with this is party because I really believe I was a crappy friend/human being these past few years and I easily blamed that on all the struggles that came with that thing we call adulting. But silently retreating to my personal cave this year got me face to face with God’s grace. And indeed, as much as His grace heals, it transforms us from the inside out.

And so here’s a list of things we should stop doing as we grow a year older. And by we, I mean I’m the first to be found guilty doing these and must now commit to stop these.

Asking friends to treat us to a meal, to the movies, etc.

The libre culture among family and friends. I used to do this a lot to some of my best of best friends, half-jokingly asking them to pay for our lakad and I realize now that we’re all adults with a job. It’s fun when we were kids but as we age, we all learn the responsibilities that come with our hard-earned cash. Maybe our friends have shiny job titles that give us ideas on how much they’re earning but we should also be sensitive to their financial responsibilities (i.e. supporting a family, paying off loans, establishing a small business venture, etc.). These days, I aspire and pray to be the one paying for group meals from time to time but while I’m not at that stage yet, I can simply pay for my own meals, tickets, etcetera, etcetera.

Giving excuses, seen zoning people when we want to say no to a lakad.

I am so guilty of this. I not only seen zone people, I inbox zone them. And when I do open the message *accidentally* I try to come up with lame excuses like, “I fell asleep,” or “I have other plans.” One time, I tried being honest and it was just liberating. So now, I just really tell people if I had a long week and was planning to sleep/stream Netflix this weekend, or it’s tipid time of the month, or I have a lot going on right now and have no energy to go out. Newsflash: people actually understand reasons that are sincere, making our relationships better.

Matchmaking teasing our friends to just about anyone because we feel we have a say as to who they should be with, or whether they should be with someone in the first place.

Ugh. Do you recall that old saying, do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you?

I am so done with myself participating in friendly banter about my friends’ relationship status and/or who they should go out with. Personally, I’ve always made it clear (at least I think I’ve made it clear) that I have no time, plan, business in “finding the one”. If he comes into my life, he’ll be welcome but how could we even meet when dating isn’t even part of my calendar? Haha. Nonetheless, it’s not a problem thing for my family and friends to dwell on because I’m not even thinking about it except for the few minutes on every. social. gathering. I. attend. where people ask me about my singleness or about that guy friend they think can be a good match for me.

That said, I had to ask myself the hard question on why I enthusiastically tease my friends every chance I get? I don’t really ask people on why they’re single but I match-make them with this and that person, which is an equally uncomfortable thing. If I don’t really like it happening to me, I should not be doing it to them. If I have my own reasons for staying single, they must have, too. And unless a friend openly asks me for some single/relationship advice, I gotta learn to zip it.

Talking about what’s going on in the lives of people who aren’t around. No matter how concerned we are with how they’re doing. If we really want to know how are they, we can reach out on our own.

Again, if we don’t want people talking about us when we’re not there to hear it, much less defend ourselves when needed, why do we do it to others?

Also, not talking about other people gives us room to talk about things of value to everyone who is present. Talk about books you’re reading, movies you found hilarious, relaxing, amazing when you stayed at home that weekend. Talk about your struggles and discover that there is beauty and strength in being vulnerable in front of people who love you. Talk about the nation and its woes. Discuss who you’ll be voting for this May 2019 and why. Talk about your dreams and goals and who knows there might be someone who can start a passion project with you.

Asking our friends for free services/products. Haha.

We should be the biggest supporters of our friends’ crafts and skills. In this world economy, we can do better in helping those within our reach by sending cash flow their way instead of those multi-million dollar corporations. I have also learned that if I can’t pay someone to do something for me, I should learn to do it myself (hello, Youtube video tutorials and blog/reddit/wiki posts on just about anything).

Taking too long to return a borrowed item (i.e. books, clothes, etc.). Or maybe just simply update the person on when you can return what was lent to you.

Oh this. I still have a couple of books to return and my reason was I was mostly in Tarlac the past 3 years. Welp, I’m back home and hopefully finish returning items to people who entrusted them to me.


I still falter at these from time to time but I’m grateful for reminders sent my way that get me back on track. Partly, I’m writing this publicly to add another layer of reminder to self. Hehe. Also, to people I’ve done these to, please forgive me. And please do gently rebuke me if I ever do these again to you. As they say, there is no better apology than changed behavior.

On the other hand, I have learned that it’s good practice to expect these of ourselves but be gracious when people fail to do the same for us. And with that, here’s to better version of our grace-filled selves, 2019 and always! ♥

Youth_Family_For_Life

Home ♥

Last weekend, our old youth ministry group reunited over brunch and coffee. Some of them have been meeting once in a while these past years but I’m one of the minority who finally showed up this year. Yay to rebuilding friendships!

I’m still not a huge fan of big group gatherings but it was surprisingly pleasant to see them, see us in one dining table once again. As with big groups, it was difficult to talk to everyone at once but just being with them was a day well spent.

We tried to recall a memory with the person we’re exchanging gifts with but a lot of us couldn’t pin a specific event or moment. I guess, that’s how it is when you meet over ten years later. Or maybe, we felt we’re kinda old to get into details. Like, why be cheesy now? Here’s your gift, Merry Christmas, my good ‘ol friend! Haha.

As for me, while looking at every one of us in a circle, I tried to recall specific moments but everything’s a blur. It’s as if I can see our old days fading into pale colors. Should that make me sad? I think not. My memories of how we spent our younger days together may not be as vibrant anymore but how I feel at home with these people is still as bright and warm as our summer camps back then.

This year, I grew to realize that relationships don’t flourish if we don’t put in the work. For the longest time, I was on the extreme end of the low maintenance friendship spectrum but I’m glad some of these people kept on putting in the work of meeting up, catching up, being part of our lives. I’m thankful that some ten years later, despite our individual struggles, we have arrived at a season that agrees to catch up and find time for people we care about.

In this Internet age of articles talking about low maintenance friendships and hugot quotes about letting go of people in our lives, I consider myself blessed to have this ‘village’ I can always come back to and call home.

Photos from Mhe, Myk and Willa

Work from Home series by Joan Narciso @ pagesfromtheinsideout.com

[Series] So you want to work from home…

Hello! Last month, I started a series on my personal path to working from home as a freelancer. I meant to finish this series in four consecutive weeks but I got sick.

Anyway, I’ve talked about the personal reasons that led me to explore online jobs + the deeper reasons behind this booming field which I processed along the way. Today, I want to share with you how I started. I’m no expert but I hope this list could give ideas to people interested in exploring this field. 

FIRST THINGS FIRST

If you have a full time job right now, you DO NOT have to quit it while looking for opportunities online. Again, my circumstances then were kind of a unique mixture of super stress + a real need to get back home. Also, I have been blessed with the kindest brother who helped me see to it that if I don’t find a new job right away, our family would still survive. Hehe.

DETERMINE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, HOW YOU WANT TO DO IT

I already told you that when it became clear I’m quitting my last job, I really didn’t know where to go next, what to do next. Short version was I just knew I didn’t want the hassle of Cavite-Metro Manila commute. So I considered looking for remote jobs.

I knew friends and colleagues who teach English as a second language online, some do freelance writing, some video editing, and a few virtual assistants. I also heard of former contact center employees who used their BPO experience as a pathway to finding their own client and working from home. 

At first, I considered teaching English to Asian students. I even applied at BizMates but eventually decided against it. I know people who excel at it and earn a lot, but I know myself–I would either just have a few classes and do other stuff + rest, or get myself caught up in 16 hours/day of tutorial sessions in my drive to quickly pay off loans and save money.

That’s when I decided to google online jobs. On the results page alone, I found plenty of sites that advertise remote jobs. The challenge, as with almost everything on the internet, is to determine the legitimate sites and job ads. 

Household names include Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, OnlineJobsPH, and more. Time Doctor’s blog site listed down ‘38 Legit Filipino Work From Home Job Sites That Will Not Scam You.‘ The list was comprehensive enough but you have to do the work and go through those sites and read and browse and read and read. It might seem like a lot of work but I simply treated it the way I researched on companies when I was job hunting for non-virtual work. 

Those sites offer different types of jobs so it’s important I determined:

  • What I can do
  • What I want to do
  • How much of my schedule am I willing to allot for work
  • How much, how often and how I want to get paid

Answering those questions and jotting down any relevant experience gave me a quick reference/reviewer for the interviews I would soon have.

Get this list  here. Or a downloadable, ready to be edited PDF for you here

Notice that on the last column, I asked myself if I want to do this type of job. See, I’m switching careers because I don’t want to be too stressed by work anymore; I might as well make sure that I won’t be diving into something I already know to be too stressful for me. So even though I like to write and know that I can push myself to produce content when I get paid to do it (haha), I know that I have other skills I can tap that will equally generate income.

THE OTHER TWO QUESTIONS

  • How much of my schedule am I willing to allot for work
  • How much, how often and how do I want to get paid

Reading up stories of those who have already struggled and thrived in this field, I quickly realized that I have to market my skills in a way that is competitive and yet not too ambitious.

Many experts in the field know the way around negotiating higher rates but I’m not there yet so I set my expected pay at a rate that I know my skills+experience deserve. BUT! I added two more facts to the equation: 

  • I’m a newbie in the field. I have no actual experience as a virtual employee without a company (i.e. BPOs, call centers) representing me to a client.
  • I want a flexible schedule. As much as possible, I looked for jobs that don’t require me to man the desk for eight straight hours regardless if I’d already finished my tasks. 

EMPLOYMENT TYPE

Remember those websites where you can legit find online jobs? They vary in the types of jobs they offer, and it’s not just the positions/job responsibilities but the type of employment/client relationship you’d have. Some offer full-time positions, part-time, project-based positions. Again, ask yourself if you want to do several part-time jobs, or work on 1-2 projects every 3-6 months, or get hired by one client for a full-time position. 

EXPECTATION SETTING, DEBUNKING MYTHS

People say I got hired quicker than usual. Partly, I know that writing down that list helped me focus in looking for the right job ads. But also, I think, that’s because I kept submitting applications all day in those two weeks. So if you don’t get hired right away, or you don’t see as many opportunities that fit your short list, don’t give up just yet. Finding jobs – virtually or not – was never that easy anyway.

I might have kept saying I wanted a stress-free life which made me switch careers and that might have you thinking remote jobs are all breeze and fun. THAT IS NOT TRUE. As with any other job that pays money, this would entail hard work. The list I just shared? It’s meant to determine the job I wouldn’t be lazy doing in the long run. No one will be looking over my shoulder on a daily basis so I have to make sure I can oversee my work performance. I also remind myself that the job I have right now is a blessing from the Lord and His gifts deserve my utmost respect and gratitude. A grateful heart gives back. 

READY TO APPLY? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO PREPARE

If you’re still reading (wow, thanks ♥), and you keep thinking, “okay, I want to explore this further,” here are the things I prepared before sending out those applications:

  • An updated CV/résumé
    • focused on my previous responsibilities and professional highlights/achievements 
  • Internet connection
    • we had Globe LTE back then and it was pretty fast at 15mbps but most clients prefer cable(?)/line-based connection so we switched to Globe’s version of fiber technology (they call it BDSL)
    • note that it’s highly advisable that you have good internet speeds before you apply as most job ads require that you send your speedtest results;also, if you get set up for a Skype interview, it would be a shame if your connection is slow
  • Laptop computer
  • An over-ear headset with noise-cancelling features for when you have Skype team meetings, or especially if you’re going to do some voice calls as part of the job
  • A PayPal account
    • This is usually how overseas clients pay their virtual consultants, but there are some who use similar sites. Still, PayPal would be a good way to get yourself familiar with moving money in the web
    • You can connect this to your bank account, or to GCash for when you need the money to be transferred real-time

And those are the basics. I will try to write another post or two about this when the holidays are over. If you’re a friend with some questions, you know how to reach me. Otherwise, leave a comment here or send me a message thru the contact link above.

Happy Monday! ♥

P.S. Please pardon my grammatical errors here as I wrote this all night and I’m gonna sleep first before rereading and editing this.