Life Lessons from Miss Universe 2015

Hurrah! Proud Filipina here as Miss Philippines won this year’s title. 🙂 If you watched the coronation night (I actually just saw the last part) or noticed from your social media feeds, it has been controversial because Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia as Miss Universe 2015 instead of first runner-up. She has already been crowned and it took a few minutes before the host came back to the stage to correct his mistake. It was so awkward that you’d think it only happens in the movies.

Until now, I still see different reactions from people. Some mock Steve Harvey, some show sympathy to Miss Colombia, some blame Miss Philippines for what happened and a whole lot more reactions. Oh well, all I can say is we still get to learn some life lessons from this year’s beauty pageant.

1. Humility is Beauty.

Pia Wurtzbach’s reaction when she realized that she is the real winner is really priceless. She was never bitchy. I kept on watching that scene, honestly. It was mixed of confusion, happiness and sympathy to Miss Colombia. I love how she was already feeling happy being the first runner-up until the new announcement was made. She really deserves it. 🙂

2. Be man enough to admit your mistakes and correct them.

Come on, you guys. Steve Harvey made an honest mistake. He apologized for it and did the right thing. Stop making fun of him or blaming him.

3. Perseverance can lead you to success.

Did you know that Miss Philippines joined the national pageant three times before she won the crown? She said she has three notebooks (one from each year) that she reviewed for Q & A. She never gave up even though she already lost two times and look where she is now.

4. If you have a dream, believe that you can achieve it.

She was so positive that even in her previous Twitter posts and interviews, she claimed that she’s gonna win and she did!

5. everything happens for a reason.

This is what Miss Colombia said in an interview backstage after the awarding. I agree with her. I know that what happened was awful but  I believe that there are a lot of things in store for her because she’s remembered by people. This might be a good thing after all.

6. Be confidently beautiful with a heart.

This was taken from Pia’s answer in Q & A. No matter who you are or what you look like, we can all be Miss Universe if we live by it, too.  🙂

I hope we can just focus on these bright sides. Don’t be haters. It’s almost Christmas after all. 🙂Untitled-1


Any other life lessons you can share about it? Write them in the comments! 🙂


Original photo via



Life Lessons from Sounds Like Me

Sara Bareilles is my most favorite artist not only because she can sing so well but also because she writes songs with heartfelt lyrics and melodies. When I first heard that she’s going to release a book about her life and songs, I made sure that I was going to have it as soon as possible. Hurrah! Not only I get to have her book, I also got it signed by Sara herself!

One of the best moments of my life…


I was able to finish her book in just two days even though I was busy because I really loved reading through each page. I am a frustrated singer-songwriter and this book was the kind of inspiration I was looking for. More to that, I’m glad that you can also gain some life lessons from it. Here are the things we can learn from the book.

1. Heartaches help you become a better person.

Whether this heartache started from your childhood or from your first love, it will help you become better and stronger as a person. So, don’t dwell in your heartache. Create a beautiful song out of it.

2. God listens to your prayers.

I think she mentioned three times that she literally prayed when she was feeling so hopeless like the time when she just wanted to write a song for herself and not for anyone else. After praying, she placed her hands on the piano keys and voila, she finished writing Love Song in about thirty minutes.

3. Do not be a people-pleaser.

I understand how sometimes we must consider other people in making decisions but if our own identity or happiness suffers, it’s time to listen to our own voice.

4. Believe that you are beautiful (inside and out!).

Sara had her insecurities, too and I think I will never run out of them. As we grow older, we will meet people who will make us believe we’re ugly or we’re not good enough. Truth be told, the number one person who should find you beautiful is yourself.

5. Do not forget the people who have helped you.

It’s nice to know how Sara mentioned different people who have helped her in small and big ways including a musician she met in Italy where she lived for two years, her bandmates and co-writers and even Taylor Swift! I admire how she expressed her gratitude to these people.

Yay!!! Now, I just need's Sara's signature on this! Haha. #SoundsLikeMe #sponsoredbyhubby @sarabareilles

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6. Do not limit yourself.

She thought writing for a musical was just a fantasy. She thought she wouldn’t be able to always reach the highest note in Brave. She thought she wouldn’t be able to finish her book. If you surround yourself with people who can help you achieve the “impossible” and also believe in yourself that you can do it , you’ll taste the sweetness of success.

7. Stay humble

“..I was reminded there is always room for more humility. It’s one thing to dream of connecting in a big way; it’s another thing to crave attention.” I can definitely relate with Sara on this one. Sometimes, we expect praises from other people after doing something we’re really proud of. In the end, instead of feeling disappointed, we would feel embarrassed of the thought and realize how we needed to be reminded of humility.

8. Rejection is a sign of something better.

As I’ve mentioned, Sara really wanted to be a part of a musical. To start taking action for this dream, she auditioned for a role in a musical but was turned down for it. After a couple of months, she’s asked to write songs for the stage adaptation of the movie Waitress. Don’t wanna mention more “spoilers” about this one but you’ll find out why being rejected can sometimes lead to good things.

9. Use your talents for good.

Whatever gift you have, use it to inspire others. 🙂

10. Be brave.

Just like the message of her song Brave, the book speaks about courage… Courage to speak up your mind, courage to try new things, courage to trust others and courage in being yourself.

If you’re a fan of Sara’s music, I encourage to read this book. 🙂

What life lesson from this list struck you the most? Share it in the comments?

10 Simple Ways to Lose Weight Without Torturing Yourself

Okay, let me just say that my blog is supposed to be about happiness and not fitness. But why am I going to post something about weight loss? Well, so I can have more page views. Haha. Just kidding (half-meant). I know how lots of people are probably researching about this. I did. That’s why I know the ways, not because I’m an expert. But even though I know I should stick with these “rules”, the more I stress out about it, the less happier I become. It’s like being healthy contradicts with self-love which sounds wrong.

I’ve been here in America  for four months now and I just gained 6 pounds (which is not a lot, I know). I still have no job (no work permit yet) and still adjusting with American food products.

How am I going to lose weight without being unhappy? Join me here.

Lose Weight

1. Know the formula. Work More + Eat Less = Lose Fat. 

Want to eat more? Move more. 🙂 Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk more. Fidgeting is moving. Simple moves like that can add up to the calories you burn. Try to eat food with less calories. This stresses me out  most of the time so I just kinda ignore it but yeah, let’s be aware of what we eat.

2. Don’t starve yourself.

It’s okay to eat. You heard the phrase (or sentence), “Too much of anything is bad.”? Just eat anything in moderation. If you’re craving for that donut or cake. Grab a bite. Satisfy your craving. Another thing is it’s better to eat every two hours with small portions than eating a big meal (because of too much hunger). The more you starve yourself, the slower your metabolism gets.

3. Drink lots of water.

This is pretty easy. Just drink  at least 8 glasses of water a day. It boosts your metabolism and makes you less hungry. At night, when you feel like you want to have a midnight snack, just drink water. You’re just thirsty.

4. Drink 3-5 cups of green tea a day.

I find this effective.  I love green tea because of its benefits but honestly, I hate the taste of it. (But I love the Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino). Anyways, 3 – 5 cups of  green tea (not the Frappuccino) makes you burn about 70 calories even without doing anything. The only downside of this for me is, I pee a lot (which is not bad if you’re just at home all the time). So maybe drink all those cups when you’re already home about 30 minutes to an hour after dinner.

5. Get enough sleep. 

Don’t be a vampire. Less sleeping time makes you eat more. Enough sleep plays a role in regulating your metabolism. Just research about it. There are a lot of health benefits in sleeping.

Patrick sleeping

6. Eat negative-calorie foods.

This is fun. Fruits and veggies with low calories such as apples, cabbage, lemon, broccoli, etc are said to be negative-calorie foods because when you eat them, you need more calories to burn them than you actually get from them. Google those foods now!

7. Avoid eating fast food and junk food.

One meal of McDonald’s is equivalent to two (or maybe three) of home-cooked meals. But oh well, I understand how yummy the fries are. And oh, how I love Cheetos. And soda? Just a sip will do. If you can’t live with them, just try to eat less. 😛 (Duh.)

8. Exercise at least 20-30 minutes a day.

Remember what Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde? “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Endorphins give you the same feeling as when you eat chocolate and when you’re in-love. But what if I don’t have time to exercise? As they say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”

9. Avoid too much cardio, get some Strength training, too.

There was I time that I’d really really like to gain muscles. Just because I want to be able to eat more without gaining weight. Haha. Too much cardio make you lose fat but it can also burn down your muscles which is not good. So in the first place, the title of this article should not be about losing weight but losing fat. Sorry. If  your weight didn’t change but you’re doing weight training and everything else in this list, then congratulations, you just gained muscle mass.

10. Don’t stress out.

Losing fat is not instant. Stressing out doesn’t help you at all and it might give you the opposite results. Think of the reason why you want to do this. Is it for health reasons? Then, that’s a very good motivation. Want to impress others? Or a lot of people insult you? Whatever you reasons are, I hope you do it for yourself. Do what will make you happy.


  • I’m a person with lots of insecurities and writing this article is like hypocrisy. But sometimes, I write these things not only for other people but also as a reminder for myself.
  • I’m not the perfect person to testify that these tips are true but I’m pretty sure these are effective, I’m just not able to do them constantly. I don’t have the perfect body but no body is perfect (no pun intended). Anyways. we all have different body types so don’t torture yourself. Know when you’ve done enough.
  • I’ll say it again. Do what will make you happy. If eating is what you love, then eat. If looking at the mirror makes you depressed because you think you’re “too fat”, do something about it. If you don’t want to, then just be contented with your body. You look beautiful no matter what, anyway.

Be happy with your body quote

So there ya go, either follow my tips on losing fat or be happy with your body. Your choice. 🙂

Any other tips that you know of? Do you also have body insecurities? What do you do to get over them?

Don’t forget to smile. 🙂


Post-LDR: Relationship Goals

After five years of being in a long-distance relationship, we finally closed the distance and got married. We’re living the moment we were waiting for. Now, what’s next?


I can’t compare our relationship with most traditional couples who probably saved money for a big wedding or to buy a house, or who can’t wait to have a baby and build a family.  It’s on our list, too but when you came from LDR, your first priority was just closing the gap and be together for good. That doesn’t stop there though. A new chapter has just begun.

Here are some of our marriage goals (so far…) which you can include in your relationship goals, too.

1. Get to know each other more.

I’m pretty confident that I’ve known him a lot by now but we have only been together physically for four months and it’s the longest time we have been so far. Many things are new to us but fortunately, everything goes smoothly. When you start living with your partner, it’s given that you’ll know the person better. You’ll see all the good things and the bad things about each other including all that farts and the snoring but you are willing to accept them anyway. 🙂 Know what he loves and hates and you’ll have a happy relationship. If you think your SO has certain attitudes that need to be changed for the better, tell them honestly and vice versa. You will always have differences. Humble yourselves and learn to compromise.getting to know

2. Do activities Together.

Being away from each other, we had to be creative so we can do things “together” like eating dinner at the same time in front of the computer as a substitute for a dinner date or watching a movie on-line instead of a movie date. Now that we’re together, we can do those dates for real and it’s awesome. There are so many activities that we still want to do like play games, travel and other activities that a traditional couples would do.

|09.20.15| Feels like I'm in the Philippines. #birthdayweekend #roadtrip #Oregon

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Doing things not only together but also with other people. For my birthday celebration, we had a roadtrip to Portland, OR.

3. Be financially stable.

Being financially stable might have a different meaning to each of us so our personal goals might be a little different but I know we are all hoping to live a comfortable life. As I’m writing this, I am currently unemployed because I’m still waiting for my work permit and my green card. I still want to pursue my teaching career but there are more steps to take before I can do that. Basically, my husband and I both plan to take some units from our fields of interest so we can get our dream jobs. If we can’t get there yet, as long as our jobs can provide our needs (and some wants :P), then we’re good. 🙂Ellie Carl Saving

4. Build a family.

Of course, it’s on our list! 🙂 But since we were deprived of physical connection for five years, we feel like we are still enjoying the boyfriend-girlfriend phase until now. If time is of the essence in your case, then there’s no problem with that. If God will give us a mini-me or a mini-him earlier than we plan, then we won’t consider it as a burden but a blessing. 🙂

cute baby

5. Stay Committed.

Once you closed the gap, that doesn’t stop there. We should prove that a product of a long-distance relationship really works, that your time apart was just really short compared to the rest of your lives together. I hope it will all work for all of us.

Ellie kisses Carl

Images via, via, via and via.

What are your hopes or goals for your relationship? Share it in the comments. 🙂

Note: This post is written as a response to the the Blogging Prompt: Hopes from LDRBlogs.
Other Blog Posts I love from the same prompt:

What’s on My Desk?

Yesterday, I took a picture of my messy table. I was planning to post it on my Instagram but I ended with a different picture instead. When I checked the Daily Prompt today, it says to post about the last picture I have taken so here it is. I put some markings though so it won’t look like it’s a hidden-object game. Haha. Submission of grades was supposed to be three days from now. That’s why my table looks like this.

10928649_10205519019916527_876945668_n copy

What’s on Teacher Wax’s Desk?

A. My Class Schedule. I’m handling 11 sections and I meet them twice a week. The schedule was not easy to memorize since it’s different everyday. On Tuesdays, I only have three classes but on Wednesdays, I have six! That’s six hours of teaching!

B. My Laptop. I need this everyday. I use this from preparing lessons to calculating grades. It was shut down on this picture because I need to focus on checking first. I’ll be distracted if I turn it on.

C. Pile of Notebooks. It’s one of my requirements. I’m teaching Values Education in a public school. Sadly, they don’t have books for this subject. Photocopies are not allowed so I require them to copy notes (which takes time, by the way. 😦 ) At the end of each lesson, I ask them to write journal entries so they can express the things they have learned.

D. My Multi-Colored Pen. I just love the shades of this pen. (It’s not seen on the picture though!) I use this in checking my students’ outputs. I’m not a big fan of the red pen in checking!

E. Class Record. We can just actually record grades directly to the computer but I still prefer to write them first so I can encode grades easily.

F. Pencil Case. Besides pens, having a correction tape and a stapler inside my pencil case is a must.

G. Index Card. I dunno but there are still students who forget to write their names on their notebooks. While I’m still searching for the anonymous owners of these notebooks, I record their grades here.

H. Pile of Answer Sheets. The next grades I have to record will be from their tests.

I. Blue Clear Book. This is not supposed to be on my table but since it’s almost full, it’s getting harder to put it inside my drawer. I insert my certificates, test papers and other documents here.

J. Lesson Plan. That’s actually my old one. (I submit my current LP to my department head every Monday). I’m still using it for other note-taking purposes.

K. Post-It. Well, who doesn’t need it?

L. Random Stuff. I’m not sure if you can see everything but here are the things you can find on that upper right side of my table:

  • an empty bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol – Yes, I’m not throwing it yet. Well, it’s a small bottle. I can just refill it but I always forget. 🙂
  • a pen holder – with pens, ruler, scissors, candies and whatever stuff that fits in it
  • glue – I have bad handwriting. I type my lesson plan, print it out and stick it to my lesson plan (the big notebook -see letter J).
  • a small bowl, a mug and an eco-bottle – my cabinet is full so they’re on my table. Plus, I always use them.
  • Graham crackers – my snack
  • another pile of notebooks and worksheets – I’ve got loads of stuff to do.

M. A Student’s Project. Their project is to make anything out of recycled objects. This one is already late in submission so it’s the only one on my table. It’s a bottle of brandy with marbles (also known as jolens–a traditional game) inside.

Whoo! And I thought this is going to be a short post. Hehe.

It’s embarrassing to say but I can’t really maintain a neat table. Good thing, I just found out that I’m not alone. Even Mark Twain, Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein have messy desks and it’s actually a sign of having a creative mind!

I am sure that I will clean this up once I’m finished with my grades but as days go by, I know it’ll end up messy again. Well, I’ll just listen to Einstein.

“If a cluttered desk a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” -Einstein


What about you? What are your desk essentials? Share it in the comments! 🙂