Bougie Parfumée

i have seasons for things i like - food, music, tv, movies, accoutrements. one second im into all of something and then it slowly fades.

when i was purging my belongings during the Christmas break, i found a box of scented candled. i sniffed them one by one and wondered why i havent burned any of them in a while. all it took was one candle, burning in the background, to light my candle season - all the puns intended.


my favourites are the ones pictured here. Calone 17 from Le Labo, Peony and Blush Suede from Jo Malone, and Mimosa from Diptyque. these scents are so subtle and yet very long lasting, when i cam back from my trip to Mexico, Calone 17 welcomed me home when i opened the door.

hot tip: make sure the pool of melted wax reaches the glass before snuffing the flame. et voilá, no candle tunneling! if its taking too long, wrap the candle in foil.

spectacles

i was always one of the tallest kids in my class. this meant that i was always in the back of the line up and i always sat in the back of the class. 

there was one year when we were doing math drills, where the teacher would flash problems and we would solve them quietly at our desks. except i had a problem; i could not see clearly from where i was sitting. so i would run to the front, read the question, and then run back to my seat to solve it. i would do this for every flashcard. my teacher found this very odd so she talked to my parents about it and suggested that i get my eyes checked. i did and voila, we discovered that i needed glasses. i was in fourth grade. 

my prescription then wasnt so bad. maybe about -0.25 on both eyes. this just means that numbers and letters are a bit blurry on the edges but you can function without glasses for the most part. wearing glasses in the fourth grade was not cool. i was afraid i would look like a dork. so i just squinted my way out of it. 

bad move. by the time i got my eyes checked again, my prescription was went up to about -1.00 on both eyes. i needed to wear glasses now - for real. it was no longer a difference of SD to HD with glasses; the whole world was a blur and i needed to wear glasses to make it make sense.

every year since then, my prescription had gone up. my glasses got thicker and thicker. it affected my self-esteem but there was nothing i could do about it. when i turned fifteen, my mom suggested contact lenses and that helped - a lot. 

i would still work glasses at home and i did my best to give my eyes a rest from contacts. but the best twenty year-old me could do was not enough. i had a few complications with contacts which resulted to strict glasses only. the first time it happen, i was shook but apparently not enough because it happened again. the second time around, i was so afraid i would not be able to see in the future, i really took it seriously. 

in 2016, i had a check-up and my prescription went up again: -5.50 on the left eye, -4.25 on the right. i was not surprised but i was also not happy. even when i did everything right, my eyes just kept getting worse. this was gonna be my life, higher and higher prescription every time i leave the optometrists office. 

new glasses from Bonlook - Varna in gold.
these are very similar to the pair i wore when i was thirteen - metal and totally round.
a couple of weeks ago, i went in for another check-up. the doctor said something that i thought i would never hear: "i think your prescription will be the same based on the machine tests we just ran." say what? 
so then we did all of the physical checks and tests: 

"can you read line five for me"

"follow the light"

"is number one better or number two? number two or number three?"

"cover you left eye and read line six for me please"

and yes, he guessed right, my prescription was exactly the same. this is the very first time this has happened to me in twenty-three years. this has opened a new possibility for me - Lasik. i can now consider this in the future. 
also, simply being able to use the same glasses i currently have. 

i was so amazed and elated, i celebrated. i went out and bought new glasses. go figure. 

side note: i usually cant wear glasses for too long since they give me headaches. ive been wearing these glasses since i picked them up at noon. its past 10PM now and no headache! it was meant to be.

slow mornings

ive always had a morning shift since i started working - either 8AM to 4PM or 9AM to 5PM.

it wasnt until i took on my current role that lead to an evening shift - 12PM to 8PM.

it was definitely a big change with pros and cons. however, the pros mostly outweighed the cons. almost two years later and im pretty much settled in and have found even more benefits to working late. on top of that im also more productive now and weirdly enough, more of a morning person now than ever.

when i worked the morning shifts, i pretty much had to leave running to make it to work by 8 or 9AM. commute was very unpredictable and i hated being late. this meant that i rarely had time to eat breakfast or just have any morning rituals in general. i tried waking up earlier but it just didnt stick. i think my ultimate maximum for wake up time is 6AM - any earlier than that, its not a great time. and because i wake up so early, by the time im done work, i mostly feel like doing nothing.

working the late shift has allowed me to learn how to wake up naturally and still have plenty of time to make and eat breakfast, exercise (if i wanted to), read, make coffee, blah blah. i legit even have time to grind coffee beans these days. 

it didnt start out like that though. ive always been a late(ish) sleeper. the earliest i sleep is probably 11.30PM - this is probably why waking up early was such a pain. with a late shift, i could sleep late and wake up late and still have more sleep than i have ever had. of course, i abused this in the beginning and just started sleeping later and waking up later. that didnt work - i felt as rushed as when i had to be at work for 8AM. thats just ridiculously unnecessary. i also felt very unproductive and sluggish. so i started sleeping earlier and naturally, my body adapted. now, im almost always asleep by 12.30AM (max, 1.30AM) during weekdays and i naturally wake up around 7.30AM. i just allow myself to roll around in bed until 8AM (max, 8.30AM). this has also affected my ability to sleep in but maybe thats also just me getting older. 

my mornings are the slowest part of my day. i allow myself 30 minutes for each activity i would like to accomplish - including the time i allow myself to lazily roll around in bed. i dont know when or why i started doing this but it kind of reminds me of Hugh Grants character in About a Boy.


i mentioned this in a previous post, im great at being productive at work but my personal time was more or less unstructured. lately, i am noticing that i am getting better and better at getting through the "must do" stuff. therefore, giving me more time to spend on my "id like to do" stuff. i feel that i am more mindful of the time i spend doing certain things which allows me to pivot faster and having less of the "oh my gosh, its [blahblah time] already?! what have i done today?" moments.

this sense of accomplishment at the beginning of the day has done wonders for me. i now see mornings as more than a "getting ready" time of day. i can get stuff done in the morning which allows me to just relax in the evening, guilt-free, if i wanted to. sometimes i am also in such high spirits the entire day that i can keep going and just do more stuff in the evening as well like go out and hang out with people. as an introvert, this is very taxing more often than not, so even i surprise myself sometimes. 

one thing that i did have to avoid was to start working as soon as i woke up. i used to bring my laptop home everyday and just got things fired up right away - emails, Slack, everything. i wanted to get caught up right away so that when i get in, im ready to go. this just didnt end up being good for me and my health, mental and physical. instead, i compromised. i tried to get in 30 minutes earlier and this is when i do all the catching up - again with that 30-minute unit of time. 

all in all, i now see mornings in a new light (haha, get it?) and i enjoy them so much more. 

four months into my new role and shift, i started experimenting with breakfast. 
i remember vividly that this was when i started to appreciate the gift of time in the morning.
and avocados.

internet

last week, a friend of mine was going through the archives of the internet. literally.

we had a great time looking through old things. internet presence in the early 2000s was just G R E A T - early days of social networking and social media.

here's a list of my movement through these sites (in order of account creation)

  • MySpace - probably around 2002
    • i moved from one side of the world to another when i was 16. i made an account in MySpace to stay connected with my friends back home. 
  • AsianAvenue - definitely 2003
    • no need to think about why i had one - e v e r y o n e had an account in high school! everyone who wanted to have a fire layout needed to understand a tiny bit of html or at least learn how to steal someones code. of course, we also learned how to stop someone from right-clicking our pages. 
a portion of it says:
"im at it again. spiral notebooks and 0.5 pilot gelpens. volume III. here we go."

i guess my precious layout did not survive the end of AA.

  • LiveJournal - 2004 & back again for a little bit in 2012 & 2013
    • it seemed like a few people had moved on from AsianAvenue (or AA as we called it) and people were linking their LJ accounts to their AA. i started to like livejournal because i was done with the html and i really just wanted to write about anything and everything. i feel i like this was when i really started opening up to the internet. maybe it helped that i was able to lock my account and make it private. 
this is a trick to make a post "stick" to the top - you would enter a date in the future.
i remember thinking, "oh yeah, 2020 seems far enough"
its legit two years away from now.

  • Blogger - 2008
    • i left LJ to go public again. im not 100% sure why i chose blogger but here we are in 2018, and im still here. ten years. wow. i didnt even realize until i started writing this. how fitting.
  • Tumblr - 2009
    • tumblr came into the scene in 2007 and 2 years later i was on that bandwagon too. that reblog feature was just straight fire. i left briefly to go back to blogger, but then the instagram integration with tumblr was shipped and i was right back into it.
i jumped between livejournal, blogspot, and tumblr for a few years. i think went to the platform that served my purpose best. honestly, i still have access to all three. 

aside from these, i was an early adopter of twitter, facebook, gmail, and instagram. i remember when facebook only allowed sign-ups with official university/college email addresses. AND, remember when gmail required an invite for you to create an account?

wow. im just dating myself now.
if you would like to take a trip down internet memory lane, i invite you to find your old accounts using the Wayback Machine.

i will end this post with my first instagram post dated november 04, 2010 (instagram was released october 2010).

A post shared by kae natividad (@0kae) on

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