Wednesday, December 18, 2013

13 Days to 2014!

My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands'
Countdown to 2014

I love countdowns.

It helps me focus.  Keep things in perspective.

It is also the most motivating way for me to go back to blogging after a self-imposed pause or a pause due to me letting daily life take away my blogging mojo. is when I told to my brain, who was questioning what I was doing,
to "Shut up! I'm blogging no matter what!"

My fervent wish for 2014 as far as blogging is concerned is to do it more regularly, consistently. Most of all to do it because:
  1. I love it!
  2. Blogging is fun!
  3. My family and I can look back at what we've done; what we would have otherwise forgotten!
  4.  It serves as a meanigful reminder that everything does not last long - good or bad. 
  5. I have a place where I can count my blessings in a creative way.
  6. At the end of the year it makes me look back, no matter what, with a smile.
  7. It strongly reinforces my life's philosophy: be the change you wish to see in the world!
  8. When I blog, I learn in the process people I would have otherwise not met.
  9. I discover new blogs to read, and new positive perspectives in life.
  10. It takes me out of my comfort zone.
  11. It takes me out of my protective shell.
  12. It makes me travel more than I would.
  13. It makes me more spontaneous. 
  14. Magical things happens after I blog.
And this post is one of those spontaneous blog urge, which would have otherwise stayed in draft because a part (kill joy part!) of my being blocks it!

Wake up, blogger! The New Year is upon us! ;)

P.S. The magical thing? I feel freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Happy. :) Unfrozen.*

*(maybe I will get to blog about our Littlest second time to go the cinema with us - first time to see a film in 3D, first time for the whole family to watch 3D all together: Frozen!)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hello December 2013!

Sunday, 1st of December, 2013
“What if Christmas, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

December Calendar courtesy of Geninne's Art

Image from the blog: Simplifying Yule

from our album Advent Calendar  -Through the Years - 2011 (the only incomplete album)

Image from the blog: Hello December 2012!
 I am borrowing my own words from last year's blog to introduce to new readers this blog series:
Countdown: 23 days until Christmas.

I love counting down special celebrations with my family; I love December - the cold outside, the cozy inside and the smell of magic in the air; I love traditions with it's beautiful, nurturing predictability!

Combined together makes the best & special way to end the year ....
(click here to continue reading the: Hello December 2012! blog)

Our theme for this year: Simple is more .

The inspiration is from rereading a blog from 2011 - Simplifying Yule.

In this spirit, I hope you'll be inspired by this special blog series; make the most of the season with simplicity and more quality time together with your loved ones. :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Foggy Wednesday Morning & Wayback Weekend

image I took today at 8:41 am

Mornings here in Holland are getting colder and colder.

Perhaps I truly got used to biking in all kinds of weather and through all the different seasons, since we moved in the Netherlands because seeing fog on the way to bringing the Littlest to school, I greeted it with a smile.

Since I started again a new 365 project, changes in familiar landscapes, gets me inspired and  very excited.

Below is an image of a bike path I almost take daily.  Whenever I take a picture, someone usually stops and ask what I am doing.  I don't mind usually.  For this picture, nobody did and I am relieved! hahaha

Selfies are a tad hard to explain and could be awkward when you are trying to make it interesting.  But I am adventurous like that. :)

this image (taken with self-timer) is a part of the 365 Outdoor Selfies project
& of my #30BikeRidesChallenge
@The Lightness of Being on the Bike

I'm  a bit behind with all the blogging projects.  There were many ideas born in the time I was recovering from my injury.

So Long, September! On to October!
a blog @Happy Feet in the Netherlands
introducing blogging ideas/projects

No longer stressing about it, though.  So far, this year I have been more blog productive, than last year.

What I've learned to do is be more flexible and spontaneous with  blogging; the positive laid back attitude is slowly  spilling over my daily life. :)

For example, last weekend, instead of rainy outdoor selfies, I decided to dedicate it to the theme: Wayback Weekend.

A term my friend Eva, blogger @ Little Eve is trying to Grow Up came up while we were bantering about ways to share old pictures/blog stories, which never got published or even written because of varied reasons.

It came after I shared that I was planning to share old pictures and stories as a blog series: #MondayMemoryLane, #ThrowbackThursday, #FlashbackFriday, #SentimentalSaturday/Sunday. They are not new but have been popular terms in social media but I love the novelty and the practicality it offers for future blogs.

So tomorrow I will be sharing a week's worth of 365: Outdoors Selfies - #NoFilter, including the first 3 of the Wayback Weekeend theme.

My favourite spans from my 1st ever marathon
Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon, in it's 41st year is implementing the ballot system, and last weekend was the last opportunity to pre-register before it finally closed last Monday.

This occasion gave me the idea of using the Wayback Weekend theme.  Specially good for weekends, when I simply want to regenerate emotionally & mentally, and give myself a break from the week of Selfies! ;)

Don't get me wrong, it's fun but I've learned giving myself the freedom to adjust 365 projects has helped in getting further with them.  Change also takes courage.  The ideas and decisions, that comes up in the process of this project is all part of the project.

365 is in the core is my personal project in conquering my fears. :)

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom
- Marilyn Ferguson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Be OK in October: Outdoor Selfies with No Filter

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

Summer 2013 07.07.13
(Filtered) image shared originally
@Happy Feet in the Netherlands
(Filtered) image originally shared
@The Lightness of Being on the Bike

2nd of October 2013
The 3rd image in the journal-album project

365: Outdoors Selfie - #NoFilter

a partner-selfie commemorating
my ♡Positive Promise for October
29th of September 2013
 (Filtered Image)

On the last day of September, I spontaneously begun another 365 project. I mentioned it very briefly on my 1st October post @ Happy Feet in the Netherlands.

The theme is Outdoors Selfies, with #NoFilter for an entire year (30th September 2013 - 30th September 2014).

It is my preventive way of making sure that in the Winter season, the hardest period, where I can easily backslide and be overwhelemed with agoraphobia, anxiety and panic attacks, I would make an effort to go outdoors every day.

More on this project in the next days. :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Place to Wait, A Place to Grow, A Place to BE

This post is inspired in parts by an article a friend posted on FB, an FB post another friend wrote, and many positive words from lovely people, beautiful souls in my life (you know who you all are ♡).  

I've always advised friends going through a difficult time to use blogging, writing, running or any creative outlet and/or outdoor activity to help them "get out of their mind", when it is caught in the spiral of negative thinking, and that feeling of being overwhelmed with life.  

Today, I am taking my own advice.


We all have to wait.

We all have different kinds of waiting.

I'm not good at waiting.

Are you?

The ironic thing about life, it throws you in situations you are not good at (repeatedly!!!!!!!!!).

Or you find yourself constantly dealing with circumstances, which leaves you feeling trapped and alone.

Very alone.

All these situations and circumstances eventually makes you learn how to cope better and come out a winner.

One of my treasured "Moving-In Pictures"
- March, 2009 - the year we moved to the Netherlands from Germany
Holland is the third country I moved to (third continent I lived in) since leaving the Philippines in 1993


Bravely face the painful patterns, have the courage to break it and feel confident to face the next challenge.

Simple, right? Right.

Believe it is, and it will be.  I speak from experience. 

The paradox: the painful patterns makes one stronger, braver, more courageous & confident.

Main motivation why I begun with blogging 7 years ago:
actively battle the cycles of my manic-depression; stop my mind from imprisoning myself.
Discovering 365 projects, in 2007 have helped me "get out" of that self-imposed prison
using the creativity of blogging
image from blog published: 11th of February, 2011 (midnight, minutes before the 12.02.11)

One truly can come out of repeated painful life patterns, and come out of it a winner

I do not mean a winner in the sense of winning competitions or being champion at sports events. 

You can be of course, if that is what you want.

If that is the goal you would like to set to make you feel like a winner.

Since life will show you  :
  • if you set a goal, 
  • truly know the why behind this goal, 
  • commit 
  • and focus, 
you will attain what ever it is you set out to do. 

If you welcome life and all the possibilities it throws at you, you can be the winner of your goals & dreams.

A collage of my first ever 8K, October, 2011
TCS Amsterdam Marathon
image courtesy of my running blog
Happy Feet in the Netherlands

My first 10M Dam tot Damloop September, 2012
image courtesy of my running blog
Happy Feet in the Netherlands

A favourite Before & After collage
Left: My 1st Run2Day Ladies Damloop
Right: My 1st 10M Dam tot Damloop
image courtesy of my running blog
Happy Feet in the Netherlands
Marathons from 2012-2013, 2014
clockwise from the top : ING Night Marathon ran June 2013, September on the website page; invited to run 2014 Edition
right: Berlin Marathon & Amsterdam Marathon September & October 2012
left: Paris Marathon April 2013

There is a different kind of winning, though.

Being your own silent winner.

Being your own champion.

Winning your own silent battles is in the end the most important battle you will face.  The most fulfilling battle you can win.

Silent battles are battles each normal human being face.

Only not many talk, write about it...and yes, choose to "suffer in silence".

Sometimes, it seems it is the "only" choice.  We discover in time, this is not true.

Blogging Projects... have literally awakened my mind when it starts isolating itself.
image from blog published: 21st of June, 2011
I've done a lot of waiting.  I've done a lot of silent suffering.

Waiting  and suffering in one's youth; waiting and suffering in one's adulthood.

In youth: waiting to finish going to school - finally be freeeeeeeeee!

Be a free adult, and live life in the way I visualise a happy life to be.

In adulthood: waiting to be able to go to school again, learn the true essentials of life - finally be free.

Be free from silent suffering adults go through.

Since you are told from childhood on, that school prepares you for adult life.

Logic follows, that there is another school, when you have become an adult.

The kind of school that will teach you, "How to Live: when you have reached that point in life, that you should *actually, already know* how to!"

Acceptance & Growth. . .

There is one last, and most important school we will ever attend in our life time,  where there is only one degree to master:  Growth and Acceptance.

You might ask me, "Is there such a school?!? Where, when and how can I sign up for this degree???"

I have come to call this school: Life school. 

image courtesy of Google Images

Within you; it is in that inner fighting spirit that refuse to give up & keep on learning what life teaches
Now. The beginning of learning is always in the now.
Participate. Positively. Actively.

May, 2010
at Keukenhof  -
Holland's pride,
the World's most beautiful Spring Garden

June, 2013after running ING's Luxembourg's Night Marathon

image courtesy of

image taken October, 2011
during the TCS Amsterdam Marathon Fair
as I picked up my 8K starting number

Everyone has their own Life School


The important thing to note, and is worth repeating:

everyone has their own school to go, individual classes to attend fit for each individual, and the individual time period, when the search arise for such a school.

Still, we are never - I repeat, NEVER- alone in this everlasting learning process.

Never alone.

image courtesy of The Optimism Revolution
managed by blogger Jim Willet, ultra-runner


4th of September, 2013
When not running & blogging, I stay creatively & meditatively in motion through biking
@ The Lightness of Being on the Bike
in late Summer

Life School for me is about, acceptance, growth but most importantly: being.

Being authentic. Being who we truly are.

Simply being. 

We can say, life learning is all about:
  • loving learning, 
  • making the learning fun, 
  • plowing on when the learning gets hard,
  • asking - and yes, even crying out for help when the learning gets unbearable.

Still, in the end the core is: being.

Do we ever graduate from Life School?

I often think no one graduates from Life School. 

I want to believe though (the romantic in me!), that when we mastered *being*, we can be counsellors.

We counsel while we continue learning ourselves, how to...
  • breathe - show ourselves with each breath, that we might think and feel we are dead but we  are not
  • look inside ourselves, accept and grow - the bad, the good, the ugly, the beautiful . . .
  • express who we are - actively, creatively, honestly, passionately . . .
  • share - I can repeat it again, and again, we are never alone, we should not feel alone...but we need to reach out...
  • make a step forward - stepping forward, even in the unknown ...eliciting change because no movement means staying frozen, where we are
  • go back from the start and repeat 
24th of September, 2013
When not running & blogging, I stay creatively & meditatively in motion through biking
@ The Lightness of Being on the Bike

in Autumn

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Life is a Dance

This is a sponsored post
One of my favourite collage of the girls
a blog published 9th of May, 2011
It shows their love for movement, and for dance

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”
Martha Graham

A quick snap in from of the Music Center in Hilversum
Muziekcentrum van de Omroep

3 months ago to this day eldest daughter had her first ballet recital in the Netherlands.  It is one of the high moments shared by the family this Summer.  As this month nears it ends, I would like to share some of the images (and hopefully the small video clip! will edit it in after our weekend in Berlin) of their performance. 

It is an experience and a memory very dear to me because of how much the eldest love dancing.  What a joy to know how much ballet gives her freedom in movement and expression.

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

Below are some of the images I took in the dimly lit studio (I apologize for the quality!), where the dance school presented all the end of the year performances of all classes of various dance genres.

The eldest enrolled in this ballet class together with a classmate she met in her first year class in VWO-HAVO (the equivalent of high school here in Holland, a pre-university education as they are described).

Print screen image of a rehearsal for their end of the year presentation
taken from the phone
of her classmate and good friend L, who attends the ballet class with her

Print screen image of a rehearsal for their end of the year presentation
taken from the phone
of her classmate and good friend L, who attends the ballet class with her

I could not help feel very nostalgic, and dig some of the eldest ballet pictures in the external hard drive from archive dated 6 years ago, when she was 7 years old, and still attending ballet in Hamburg, Germany.

Here she is by the window of our old flat in north Germany.  She was always happy to prepare for ballet.


And here she is 6 years later...

After their class' performance

Our littlest 5, turning 6 y.o. in November is following the footsteps of her older sister.  I am contemplating on enrolling her and middle daughter to dance classes in the Fall.

I am worried though on taking on too much myself (again!), and loading the younger girls schedule.  It is always a balancing act between wanting and knowing the boundaries of my strength and capabilities to juggle everything.

Eldest is pretty independant now; she's been responsible about balancing her school and extra curricular activities.  After her regular class she goes to ballet school with her friend/classmate, after doing their home-work at the place of her classmate's Aunt; it is very practical and convenient for her.

We'll wait and see how we all feel after the Autumn school break.

If it would be too much to add to our daily schedule, I would still get both of them pretty clothes to wear at home to lend a bit of  fun & magic to their dance during leisure time.  I think, it is the least I could do, and a way to simplify our currently busy lives.

Mayoral Girls Pink Tulle Skirt
from Mayoral Clothing
seen @ Cheeky Monkeys

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
 This is a sponsored post

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Swooosh! There Goes September...

This is a sponsored post.
The sail of Mijn Liefste P's old boat hangs over our back garden

“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
Dr. Seuss

Next week, we will say goodbye to September!  I should no longer be surprised but each month I can't help exclaim, "How can time fly by so fast!?!".

At The Lightness of  Being on the Bike, I am doing a 30 Bike Rides Challenge, and so far I've blogged 2 of my bike rides, and today rode my 6th and 7th Bike Ride Challenge*.

*(FYI for followers/readers of this challenge, I'll be blogging about the rest of the bike rides, once we are back from this coming weekend's Berlin trip)

The two pictures below from this bike ride challenge illustrate clearly my love and fascination for the four seasons.

Autumn 2013
- September 24

@The Lightness of Being on the Bike

These images are 20 days apart!

#30BikeRidesChallengeLate Summer 2013 - September 5
@The Lightness of Being on the Bike

 My 7th bike ride challenge gives a peek to an update blog I will be writing @ Happy Feet in the Netherlands. Watch out for that post! :)

My bike aka Frodo and I went

As for updates on how our house is doing, specifically the renovations.

Well, let me just say, that although we are "taking our time", "taking it easy" and a lot are still left unfinished, we are enjoying our home sweet home.

You have not missed any blogs about changes, or progress in how we are improving our house since I have not had time to share any!
Be assured that they will be a lot of them in the coming months.
Very first picture together with our tree

7 months later...

Spring & Summer Time

27.04.13 - a much awaited day! 
The gardener finally arrived to put some order to our front garden. :)
Our front garden, still bare and full of possibilities (currently full of weeds as well)! 
Hopefully, I can show all of you soon what mijn liefste P, the family and I have done for improvements

Below P with our tree this month....

Mijn liefste P before driving off for work

As for the girls...they have been busy during the Summer.  This year is the first time they spent the full Summer school break here in the Netherlands and not half of it in Germany.

Jiji in the last week of her school break - she had one week more than her younger sisters

And they jumped wholeheartedly to the daily routine, as soon as school started again. Well, perhaps not wholeheartedly but they were very enthusiastic! :D

Kiki with Littlest and her classmate at our nearby playground
Finally able to fulfill my promise of hosting a playdate for her!

 I was not able to give each of the girl the individual date I had planned to do during the Summer.
But as part of my #SimplifyLife project, I will not be hard on myself with deadlines regarding fun times I want to share with the girls.

Ice-cream date with the Tator

 We are simply proud of the girls, and truly enjoy seeing how they are growing up, each and every day.  It does not seem so long ago, that they were all still little babies.

Tator almost off to school
Speaking of baby! The family finally welcomed little D two weeks ago. :) Mijn liefste P is a grandfather!

image courtesy of P's younger sister W

P has of course seen the little one a couple of times now but the girls and I still have to meet him in person.  So far, we have only seen his awesome pictures.

Tator has been fighting one virus cold after another that we postponed our visit because we did not want Little D to catch it.

But before we leave for our Berlin weekend, I am hoping we can see him.  We still have not had a chance to give him a welcome gift!

I wonder if he will like this?! :)
Inch Blue Baby Boys Leather Shoes (Sailboat)
from Inch Blue Shoes
seen @ Cheeky Monkeys

It would be great if we can contribute in anyway in making his "first baby steps"  a fun experience.

After all big dreams are reached with baby steps!  And we have been reminded of this a lot this month of September.

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