Goals for the rest of the year

I was so inspired after reading fellow blogger Milet's most recent blog entry about her goals for the rest of 2014, so I figured I should also do my own version. Thank you, Milet for the idea! It will serve as my reality check and a reminder on all the things that should be done.

The first half of 2014 just wheezed by and I cannot even think of something worthy of being called an accomplishment. I promise I'd work double time for these goals, never mind if I'd have a nervous breakdown somewhere down the road. I even want to remove that part of my brain that gives me shivers every time I remember I'm turning 26 soon. So goals, here we go.

1. Complete 3 doses of Gardasil
This is one of my top priorities right now because I cannot miss a dose. When I was still working in Manila, my neighbor Razi said she can help me buy 3 vials of Gardasil with her company discount. I remember it being so cheap (around 2,500-3,000 a vial at the time, whereas doctors sell them at twice the price). However, I thought it was too early to get the vaccine. I was only 19 then and have just started working. No money lah. I was too shy to ask my parents for money after graduation. So after a lengthy discussion with Dra. Bernice, the Fil-Chi doctor I met recently, I finally decided to give it a go. Dra. Bernice said that the ideal age to get vaccinated is from 9-26 years old, so I still fall in that bracket. She explained the benefits of this vaccine, and compared it to the equally famous Cervarix. I took her advice and got Gardasil instead. This vaccine is helluva expensive, I hope it does its job. (Update as of January 13, 2015: 3 doses completed on December 12, 2014)

2. Save: VUL payments, stocks and finish the 52-week challenge
Oh this big four-letter-word. I'm tightening my belt for the rest of the year to work on my savings. It is not an easy task specially if I open my budget spreadsheet, but I hope I'd be able to do it. If I end 2014 with a fat piggy bank, it means I'll have a happy 2015. I will also get a health insurance plan soon. I've become such a worrywart since my uncle died of cancer last year. I've heard of AXA's Health Max from my good friend Bea and I'll be getting it from my cousin who's an agent for AXA. (Update: I received my AXA Health Max and started paying for it in September 2014. I finished the 52-week challenge up until the second week of December. Half of the amount went to a scholarship fund.)

3. Korea trip in October with Monnette
This will be my birthday gift to myself. We've booked our tickets and hotel accommodation months ago and my visa has been approved. Monnette will apply for her visa next week and then we can finally edit our semi-complete itinerary. I will try my best not to shop (!!!). I can do without a trip to Etude, Innisfree, Face Shop and other Korean brands because I'm not a huge fan of skincare products and cosmetics, but knowing Monnette, I'm pretty sure we will pay each store a visit haha :) Dearest piggybank, I commit to no useless spending and shopping. Wish me luck. (Update as of January 13, 2015: I was able to control my spending and had some spare cash from my pocket money.)

4. Focus more on work
Although the past few weeks have been really terribly busy at work, I still find myself spacing out  a lot. I promise I'd dedicate myself to my job because really, if this job is a person, I'd say I owe him a so much. We have a workshop and conference scheduled in September, and we're organizing another conference in November. A lot of work-related travels and probably a lot of time to be spent revising conference programs, writing materials and chasing after high profile speakers, but once everything is over, December is just waiting around the corner. Hooray!!! (Update as of January 13, 2015: November was cray cray but 2014 work ended well.)

5. Family's trip to Taipei in December
I'm looking forward to a great year-ender. My ahia (eldest brother) will be celebrating his birthday here in Taipei in December and the parentals will be tagging along, which is really like a once in a blue moon occasion. I have booked their hotel and will have yet to work on their itinerary. No more "basic" Taipei tour for them as they have visited me before. Ahia and papa's US visas have already expired so they still have to apply for a Taiwan visa- not that it's complicated to apply for one, but some people in TECO (Taiwan representative office in Manila) in charge of visa processing can really get on your nerves.(Update as of January 13, 2015: Family trip was a blast!)

6. Be healthy- physically and spiritually
As mentioned in my last post, I'm trying my best to keep up with the Blogilates program. I also walked in to one Pilates studio here in Taipei the other day just to have a feel of "real" Pilates. I had a posture analysis done and I'm impressed because the lady knew I have mild scoliosis even without checking my Xray films. I'm still thinking if I should sign up for the regular classes because... see Goal No.2 haha! For my spiritual health, I honestly think I'm growing more and more in faith as I've been spending a lot of quiet time lately. I reflect and do my daily devotional reading at night and I hope I can keep this routine. I believe, and I can feel that the Lord is always by my side esp at times when I do feel lonely. (Update as of January 13, 2015: I didn't sign up for Pilates because it was just too expensive.)

So those are the things I will be working on in the remaining months. I have to get myself moving and stop procrastinating.

Hello, August!

Hello, August! August started out perfectly because I received my tax return on the first day of the month (Who doesn't love tax returns?!!!). Also because one of my best-est friends, Monnette, celebrated her 26th birthday yesterday. Since I'm not in Manila, our other best-est Monica planned a little surprise for her. We sent her a bouquet of flowers early in the morning, just before she heads to the office. Monica wrote a card with all the crazy hashtags we can think of that Monnette usually uses to tag her photos on IG. This collage shows our friendship through the years. They both have visited me here in Taipei a couple of times, and when I come home for a vacation, it is always a priority to set a date with them. I just love them so much. We've been  great friends since high school, and even if we went separate ways in college, we made it sure that we meet during semester breaks. That is how friendship works, we nurture it and let it flourish.

What else is keeping me busy aside from work? I'm currently on my Day 3 of the Blogilates program. I first read about Blogilates on Kristine's blog. I skimmed through the website and bookmarked it for future reference. "Future" meaning two to three months after haha! I have finally decided to try the beginner's program. My thighs and non-existent abs were sore after Day 1, but I enjoyed it! My goal is to slim down a bit and tone my arms and firm-up my belly. I'm not aiming for the perfect abs, it'll probably take ages for me to get there. I also inquired about a program at a Pilates Studio offering English classes, but since I'm saving up for a vacation in February, I don't know if my budget will allow me to purchase the package. It's quite a hefty sum of money for 20 sessions, but we'll see. I'm still thinking twice of going back to practicing yoga.

I also visited the Hello Kitty Exhibit last weekend. My friends know how cray cray I am when it comes to all things Kitty-related. My churchmates gifted me with two tickets so I went there with my friend Sharie. Not much to see, but we took photos of almost everything. The Hepburn Hello Kitty was just too adorable. I wanted to get the plush doll but the smallest size is prized at NT$750, and the biggest at NT$3500. I'm not yet out of my mind so I didn't buy, I took a photo though haha.

Our big boss celebrated his birthday and treated us to lunch last Thursday. His cake was so yummy, I heard it's from one of those overpriced famous French patisseries here. Anything French is expensive in this island. So there goes my update :) I'd be busy these coming weeks because of two work events in September but I'll try to write. Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!