I’ve been blogging on and off for years writing about my faith, family life, and whatnots, but I never really thought of niching down to one particular topic. This time, though, I’d start a garden blog. Yes, specifically, a garden blog.
Because Missus Blossom sprang from my love of plants and it aligns with my garden center page Missus Blossom Shop.
And since I love gardening, why not just focus on it, right?
I’m dedicating this blog to all gardener expert wanna-be just like myself. Although I love planting, I’m no master of the field here. So what I’ll be sharing are my real experiences in the garden, identifying names of plants (’cause this is my weakness), as well as new discoveries and even failures in gardening.
That pretty much sums up why starting a garden blog is my next thing. So how did I prepare for it? Here are a few things:
I bought a beginner DSLR camera.
Quality images are a must if you’d have a professional-looking garden blog. Since I don’t have a budget to spare for a high-priced camera and since I’m not a skilled photographer yet, I settle for Canon EOS 4000D which I bought from a store on Lazada for 14620php.
Taking your own images is also important. I want to be authentic and credible so I have to take pictures of my own plants and garden to be able to achieve that. Images will tell about garden experiments and DIY projects.
I’m learning SEO.
I want this blog to grow and become my portfolio as an SEO specialist. It’s a must then to learn the trick.
I’m learning about writing great.
Again, I like writing but can’t claim to be an expert. I just know that I write from the heart. But sometimes writing from the heart is not enough. Writing must be understandable so that we can pass our message along to our target readers.
So there. They’re just my two cents on why I’d start a garden blog. I hope I can see you around as I share my wins and losses in my garden!
My vision for 2020 was based on my 2019 experience. So here’s a little reflection of the past year:
2019 became an eye-opener. It’s as if all the pains, challenges that defeated me, and inner struggles kept over the years finally came out to the surface. I spent days crying as I dealt with them one by one. It was so human to finally grieve what should have been grieved about and feel every emotion as triggers come.
This “new me” is because I’ve come to know Jesus Christ, and being a recipient of God’s grace, I am able to conquer the past.
So in 2019, I became fully aware of God’s presence, love, grace, and mercy. Ang awesome Nya ‘di ba? As a result, I committed myself to follow Christ, putting my faith in Him as my Lord and Savior.
November pa lang, my 2020 vision was already laid out. Excited! I already knew what I want to become and I wanted to have a one-month trial run with the new habits.
Then I started looking for a planner. Over the years, I’ve collected different planners, usually mommy planners. But every year, I only used them for a maximum of 6 months inconsistently.
Part of the problem was me–for not having a clear vision of the character that I want to become. So I chose planners that, in fact, didn’t fit my life.
Ang planner ay parang life partner for a year in a way so you have to choose wisely. A planner is a tool for you to organize your life so that you’ll reach your goals and achieve your vision.
In the past, I chose planners based on their color, layout, and cuteness. ‘Pag chic, ok na. Even it’s expensive, ok lang, for one year naman ang paggamit ko eh.
Pero hindi ko sya nasusulit dahil hindi ko naman pala kailangan ng cute na cute na planner, yung may maraming sections, o mahal na planner. Kailangan ko lang ng malinis na space para sulatan at isang planner na focused.
So dito nagdecide ako na magkaroon ng dalawang journal at isang planner.
Let me now introduce you to my companions in achieving my 2020 vision:
First journal — The first page contains my 2020 vision so that I am daily reminded why I do what I do. This journal is for my gratitude list, release and forgiveness, and whatnots.
Gratitude is essential so I have made this into a daily habit by writing down things and people I am thankful for. A grateful heart replaces a complaining heart. It’s done so much good to my mental health by making me more aware of the blessings God has already given.
So if you struggle with discontent and complaining, the habit of gratitude can combat them.
I also write here ideas that I should let go of and every person that I need to forgive or ask forgiveness from.
There are things or experiences that I can only process when writing, so yes, I dump them here, too. As I always say, writing is a free therapy session.
Second journal — My Bible meditation goes here. Mag partner ang second journal at ang Bible.
Here’s my process:
Write down God’s word.
Write it in my own words.
Write my action plan on how to apply this in my life.
I learned this method from our small discipleship group.
As a mom to both humans and dogs, homeschooler, and an entrepreneur, I have many tasks every day (which I am working on to minimize). It is imperative to meditate on God’s word not only because it is His command but also because I thirst for His word. It fuels me to live the day.
Seriously, how would I live without the loving guidance of my Father and Creator?
My prayer list belongs here, too. I specifically write the people and things I’m praying for, and when I get a positive answer (aka God has shown me the answer), I put a checkmark on the item.
Sa totoo lang, it’s really sweet to do this. Ang sweet because I get to realize how powerful and awesome and loving and caring our Father is when I let Him have His ways in my life. I’m so looking forward to many answered prayers–whether yes, no, or wait pa yan, because His ways are the best!
Piso Planner — I love this planner for several reasons but mainly because it was offered with Chinkee Tan’s other books for financial literacy.
So bet na bet!
It’s so practical. For the value of Php 640 (including the shipping fee), I got the Piso Planner and the books My Ipon Diary, Diary of a Pulubi, My Utang-Free Diary, Keri Mo Yan!, and My Badyet Diary.
I am inspired by people who are way ahead in financial literacy, so if you are, kudos to you. For me, who is a late bloomer, I need to educate myself more to handle our financial matters, and one way is to read the books and another is to apply it.
The Piso Planner is my partner in managing our finances well.
Because I am already tired of mismanaging it. Haha. I want to have a healthy life money-wise by earning well, being debt-free, living within our means, saving, and investing.
Look here, for every month, it has a page for budgeting–how much goes to the savings and expenses. Neat, right? Pero ang hirap din especially that I’m still living with the consequences of my past financial decisions.
But I always remind myself to press on. No quitting.
The Piso Planner also offers 12 Steps to Master in Order to Live a Debt-Free and Wealthy Life. One step every month.
This one reminds of the due dates so that users can be proactive in paying bills.
The Piso Planner helps me to be aligned with my vision and the meditated Word.
There’s a space here for the monthly to-do’s. I have not used this yet but by February, I’m going to utilize this space for my focus items which are my small goals.
I love the space for weekly planning. Right after scribbling in my two journals, I go to this space to write my daily to-do’s and not to-do’s according to the action plan from my meditation. This way, my actions for the day are aligned to my overall vision and the word of God.
Just like life, using this planner is a journey. So I may do more things with this planner just like putting more notes or doing the weekly challenges. For now, I believe that this planner is being used according to my present needs and it’s serving its purpose.
What’s your 2020 planner? I’d love to know through the comments or read on your blog! Drop the link in the comments.
This blog post is part of the Mommy Bloggers Philippines Blog Hop for January 2020.
Check out the cool blog posts from my fellow moms!
Yup, emphasized mga mamshies ang “meaningful and practical” because that is my goal for any celebration.
Of course, a celebration should be meaningful. If not, why do you have to celebrate anyway, isn’t it? And to be meaningful, I am not talking of symbols. Our hearts and souls should be involved.
Second, a celebration for me should be practical. Why?
We are aware that during this time, we cannot afford to waste food or other resources. Everything wasted equates to a value that we can save to be used in other important things.
We need to let go of some cultural beliefs or traditions because they are no longer serving us.
So by being practical, we become good stewards of our material blessings and we can show that the correct mindset will lead us to success (whatever that means to each one) in the year ahead and it doesn’t depend on the rituals we do on New Year’s eve.
So if bet mo ‘to, here are the tips for you:
Buy fruits that your family wants to eat.
A famous Filipino belief is to prepare 12 (sometimes 13) round fruits in welcoming the New Year as a symbol of prosperity. Twelve represents the months in a year, and the round-shaped fruits symbolize coins (money).
But I only bought grapes, kiat-kiat, and lemon added to the bananas my parents gave. And it’s okay.
It’s okay if our fruits didn’t reach 12 because it means we can consume all these fruits before they rot. It means we are not wasting food, and we can buy the same or other fruits once they’re all eaten up.
God is the source of blessings. Ask Him. Lay your requests to Him. Also, He has given us resources to use, such as our talents and skills, that if we are going to put them in good use, we’ll be able to improve our life and the life of those we love.
Cook or order enough food.
I ordered lasagna because that’s my favorite and made siomai and lumpia for the boys. My mother-in-law gave us buko salad, while we spent early dinner at my parents’ enjoying native chicken tinola.
Just like the fruits we bought, I chose to order and cook food that we can consume only in a day or two and enough to be shared with other people.
The sooner we get back to our regular diet, the lesser we complain of the few inches we gained over the holidays–the lesser we trouble ourselves on how to lose them.
Just savor the time you have, at this moment, with your family.
New Year somewhat slows time while we stop and count down as the clock reaches 12 o’clock–a historical event of us bidding goodbye to 2019 and saying hello to 2020.
Yet we know, soon after this celebration, everyone will go back to their own life and probably be caught up again by “busy.” So yes, savor the togetherness whether that be physical or even virtual such as us, an OFW family. Don’t hesitate to show your love.
Share your blessings with those in need.
Know someone whom you want to bless on New Year’s eve?
It’s heartwarming to share food with neighbors who are likely to prepare the same food and would give you another food in return. But we can go the extra mile by sharing or ordering food for someone who probably would need it more, without us expecting anything back at all.
Instead of having a surplus of food, we can redirect our money to buy or cook food for that someone or those people we want to bless with. For sure, they are going to thank God for that gesture–and that would be very wonderful.
Be grateful for God’s faithfulness.
Yes, mamsh. You are already blessed. The fact that you are breathing means God has been faithful to you.
I remember a song saying, “If you are breathing, say thanks!”
No matter how my day goes, it always reminds me to be grateful just to be alive and be human. And I feel more blessed counting the things I have on top of that.
Remember that we are already blessed. More so if we realize the goodness of God. When we realize this, we have no time to make “hisa” (Ilonggo) or “inggit” to other people because you know that each one of us is blessed accordingly. This is then the secret to a content heart.
Lay your requests to God.
Every New Year’s eve since high school, I make special requests to God. I just smile whenever I remember I actually prayed to break our TV because it was distracting me from studying. Haha!
I had those kinds of requests, but then I also had serious ones. Like 11 years ago, I prayed for a man who would love me and I would love him back.
God gave me a husband that same year.
This time, I have another one; it’s so special because it’s for the people I love. And I’m so excited about how He will orchestrate things and events for this. He is such an amazing God, you know.
I used not to care at all and was an impulsive spender, in fact. But I realize that as a mom with two young kids, practicality is important to prepare for their future. How about you? Care to share your tips for a meaningful and practical New Year celebration?