Borealis Crystals

I recently ordered a bespoke ring from local jewelry company Borealis Crystals. It is a PWD-run online jewelry boutique which I have been stalking on Instagram for quite some time now. I have been privileged to earn some money from freelance work, and I set aside some of my pay to have a custom ring made for me. 

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After a month of communicating with C & J, the couple behind this homegrown brand, I finally got the pink ring of my dreams. 

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I love that they added a couple of Flat Tops with my order for a touch of whimsy.  

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My pink tourmaline is professionally-set in rose gold. I requested for a comfort-fit band, and I have been wearing this daily for almost a week now. I can definitely say that it lives up to its comfort-fit name, as it is really comfortable. I was able to write at work and the ring felt light on my fingers. I think it helps that C is into calligraphy, so she knows that a ring must not get in the way when one is writing. 

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I love supporting social enterprises, and businesses that empower PWD’s. I am happy that I can wear something that’s both handmade and bespoke everyday. What’s more, I get to wear a ring with a story that’s more radiant than its innate sparkle.  

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I highly recommend this brand, and I hope that you can check out their Instagram page for their latest on-hand designs. You may also order bespoke jewelry. Production time is from 1-2 months, depending on the design. May they help you realize the jewelry of your dreams! 

Hope and Hunger

Okay, I’m serving you some real talk today. I had difficulty starting my car right before my GK Enchanted Farm tour last Saturday. I was left my car at a safe parking spot and joined my friends at the van we rented. I was able to drive to dinner at Breakfast Bin, and back home afterwards. Starting the car was a struggle, but I made it home. 

Fast forward to yesterday morning, and I couldn’t start my car at home. My battery is dead.  

I realized that how fortunate was that I was able to go home and not have car problems on the road- or in the middle of Maginhawa Street, post-dinner. God still looks after me after all.  

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After hearing mass with my family yesterday, I ate this glorious chicken ala Kiev from Conti’s. Then, I proceeded to my derma appointment. I took Grab coming home. 

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I wore my new handmade earrings from GK Enchanted Farm social enterprise Hiblahi. As always, this is not a sponsored post. I simply like supporting social enterprises and wearing local pieces with pride. 

I am lucky that I was able to go home safely. Here’s to a restored faith that enables me to hope for better things and a hunger for opportunities! 

Social Saturday

Yesterday, I bought my personal toiletries from the Human Nature Flagship Store. I also bought some orders for my customers. For all your natural personal care needs, just buy from my Human Nature Online Store! Thank you!  

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I also claimed my Dealer ID from the girls at the store.  

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I finally got my own Human Nature matte lipstick too! This is much talked about as the packaging is mostly paper. Here I am in the shade Warmth.  

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I indulged in some pasta for lunch at the Vertis North weekend market. 

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Then, I met up with my best friend Luti for some froyo at Elait,  

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I ordered their strawberry mango cheesecake froyo and it was heavenly as always! 

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We also had Fried Chicken Master. 

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And for dinner, I had Kimchi Project’s kimchi rice.  

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Life is always better with natural products, good food, and great company! 

Pink Christmas

I recently ordered a millennial pink unicorn from social enterprise Mayown. I recently took an advance crochet workshop with its founder, Leen, so it was perfect to gift myself with their product this Christmas. 

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This little buddy will keep me company this Christmas, and beyond. I’ve decided to name him Stitch!

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Leen was so sweet and she even included an octopus bag charm. 

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Stitch surely looks good with Ella the knitted dog and Chubbs the cat!

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Yesterday was special as I claimed my new pair is Sunnies Specs from @dearsunniessanta

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I selected the Dakota in Pale Nude. My new specs are lightweight and stylish. 

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I ended my day by cuddling with Ella from Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe and placing my glasses on various sleeping dogs. 

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Times may be challenging for me and my family, but with the will to wish and the drive to celebrate small (and big) wins, I know that I will have a memorable holiday season!

Core Advocate Forever

I have been selling Human Nature products for five years now, and I have been an online seller of their natural products this year. My Human Nature online store continues to be a blessing to my life, as I am able to earn extra by selling products which I personally use and have transformed the lives of many Filipinos. Please support my store by making a purchase today!

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To my regular customers, and to all of you who have made a purchase by reading my blog entries, thank you! It is because of you that I continue to believe in Human Nature and its effective products. 

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More importantly, your support has enabled me to believe in myself. And because of this, I have supported Human Nature’s fundraising initiative for Marawi this Christmas. In exchange for my support, I received this beautiful bracelet by Silverworks.  

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My life continues to be blessed, thanks to brands like Human Nature that allow me to give back with every purchase and product sold.  

Walang Iwanan! 

Pixie Dust

Lately, I’ve been handling a lot on my plate. I have to take advantage of the short breaks that I have in each day to eat at drink coffee. 

In this case, I had the cheesy baked penne and brewed coffee from Mister Donut. This combo never fails to uplift me.  

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I also got myself this door hanger from Papemelroti. A lot of people have been criticizing me for having a pixie. But I like rocking my hair this way, and I refuse to believe that I have to change my style in order to satisfy what the world wants. 

After all, the things that really matter are faith, trust, and a little pixie dust- that it factor that makes me stand out! 

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And lastly, I received this eco bag from Batik Boutique, a social enterprise from Malaysia. You may say that it’s only a simple tote, but I do appreciate being acknowledged for my interest in supporting social entrepreneurs. 

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One day, I will find someone who won’t ask me to grow my hair long. I will keep on attracting the right people, because I keep on promoting the things and causes that make me happy. And I will always begin and end my day with good food and coffee, as I get over each challenge with a little pixie dust. 

Warmth in my Heart

Last night, I tried dining at the newly-opened cafe near my house. I had chicken arroz caldo and breads for takeaway. I sat down to savor the warm broth of the porridge, and I felt warmth in my heart. The simple recipe of my dinner, and the knowledge that the cafe is a social enterprise, brought happiness to my soul. 

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I enjoyed my dinner, and I will definitely be back to have more meals for a cause!

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Core Advocate

Now that I am working full-time, I ensure that my weekends are spent well. I always begin my days with a workout, whether it’s a weekday or the weekend. 

Last Saturday, I was reminded to count my blessings and be myself as I dropped by my usual waxing salon.  

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Then, I went to Human Nature to shop for my needs this August. I stocked up on moringa chocolate chip cookies...

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 ...had some brewed coffee in the store...

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...tried the new bath jelly (which was fun to use!)... 

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 ...and treated myself to a bar of Theo and Filo 70% dark chocolate!

I am also a fan of Human Nature’s new initiative to encourage shoppers to bring their own eco bags.  

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After shopping, I went to Breakfast Bin for even more coffee and pancakes. 

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And then, it was back to Human Nature for me as we celebrated our get-together with my fellow core advocates. 

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It was a fun night of potluck eats, karaoke, and friendship!

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My Saturday was a relaxing one, because I got to eat, shop, and party for a good cause. I am glad that by supporting Human Nature, I also help Gawad Kalinga communities and provide jobs. I look forward to the rest of my workweek knowing that my weekends are spent with my advocacy. It makes all the hard work worth it.

Hooking, Burning, and Yearning

I started my day by crocheting while waiting for my workout to start. 

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Then, I satisfied my craving for cheap pares by having it for breakfast.  

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I continued hooking while having cofeenut.  

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I later rode the BGC bus (which was efficient and comfortable) to Net Park.  

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I took a few selfies  (using self-timer!) at the lobby. I was wearing a scarf that I quickly knitted using chunky yarn and 10mm needles from Dreams Yarnshoppe. 

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Then, I proceeded to Manila House...

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...for the Katutubo Pop-Up Market!  I bought a woodland garland for my mom from Knitting Expedition, one of my favorite social enterprises. Their stuffed animals and home trimmings were handknit in Ifugao. I also joined their Knitting Adventure at Banaue last February!

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I caught up with some of my mom’s friends from the fashion industry (she used to be a ramp model).

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I also saw Candy Reyes, Knitting Expedition’s girl boss and master knitter! 

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I also looked around the fair. Everything was beautiful. I saw this wallpaper in the premises, and I loved it because it was somewhat related to my crocheting and knitting. 

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I sat down for a cuppa. 

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And I transferred to Fully Booked to enjoy their sale.

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I wrapped up my Sunday with a visit to the PAWS Pet Cafe. My favorite shelter dog Ruff was there! If you want to adopt him, please contact PAWS!

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I also saw other PAWS dogs in the cafe.  

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I ordered my favorite tapa from The Craft Central Cafe

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I had a productive Sunday! I worked out, crocheted, and supported my favorite advocacies. The way I see it, is that I get to hope and yearn for a brighter future for myself by sharing my blessings with social enterprises and causes I believe in. I am claiming that more blessings will pour into my life in the coming days, weeks, and months! 

Knit, Nom, Now

I am a firm believer in rising above challenges through action. Lately, I have been dealing with some personal matters which I have already resolved. To celebrate these small wins, I went to Human Nature to transact orders and to have a cup of coffee. 

I am a Human Nature dealer, so if you would like to buy affordable yet high quality natural products, you may order from my online shop!

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I used my Knitting Expedition tiyargo bag  to carry all my purchases. I also took another photo because it amuses me how much the social enterprise brands I support complement each other with ease and style.  The coffee beside me in the photo is from Cafe Lugud, my Ifugao bangles are from Natalya Lagdameo, my T’boli bangles are from Nawa, and the location was of course the Human Nature flagship store! All of these brands are social enterprises, so they do not just look good- they also commit to doing good as well 

After shopping, I went to the new Rodic’s branch along Maginhawa with air conditioning! I had tapsilog while knitting. 

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After wrapping up all my errands, I bought my dad his favorite yema cake. 

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And later that night, I finally finished knitting my first beanie. I knitted it using the magic loop technique. It was also my first time to knit in the round! This is definitely proof that I am willing to learn- and from YouTube, at that!

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I am overjoyed with my small wins, and I also feel accomplished to have knitted a beanie! I am truly determined to overcome each challenge with positivity, optimism, and action. Here’s to more small wins and lessons learned along the way!

Knitting Expedition Starter Pack

I have previously shared with you about Knitting Expedition, a social enterprise that employs mothers from Banaue to knit toys, home decor, and now, bags! Their first bag, the Tiyargo (which means summer in Ifugao), was originally meant to be a beach or market tote. Since I am a city girl at heart, I have reinterpreted it as a carry-all, and yesterday, I brought it with me to Human Nature. 

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The bag was chic and sturdy enough to house all of my purchases for the month of June. 

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It can also stand on its own and hold its shape. For a multitasker, it’s quite a looker too. 

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It also matches all my outfits, whether I am shopping in casual clothes, or hauling daily essentials on a work day. The possibilities seem endless for this bag, especially when its owner plans to carry it to opportunities along the way. 

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If you also want your own Tiyargo bag, you may check out Knitting Expedition‘s social media pages, such as their well-curated Instagram account. Their website contains their catalog and online store. Do support this business, where every item has been knitted with love. Who knows, it might also encourage you to visit Banaue someday, just as I did!

Human Nature Launch

Yesterday, I attended the magalogue turnover and new product launch at Human Nature, a social enterprise that is close to my heart. The company launched its new anti-dandruff shampoo and reformulated body lotions. They also kicked-off their tenth year anniversary, which is happening this 2018.  

I sell Human Nature products via my online store. Please do support and buy today! The company provides employment to Gawad Kalinga residents and beneficiaries. Plus, the products are affordable and effective. My favorites are the sunflower oil and Radiant Grace moisturizer. 

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Of course, a visit to Human Nature is never complete without their free-flowing brewed coffee (on the house!) from social enterprise Cafe Lugud. 

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Light snacks were served and this Pinoy pasta was delicious!

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I also met Gel of Aurae Natura, a new social enterprise which sells essential oils! Their products look promising, and I love their packaging. 

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I continue to be a core advocate for Human Nature because they pay it forward. I have deep respect for a brand that champions the poor and encourages Filipinos to buy local. I hope that you will also buy Human Nature and experience the goodness today!

Calado Oh Na Na

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I have recently shared with you my favorite handmade hoop earrings from homegrown brand Calado. My Mirasol spiral hoops were handmade in Dauis, Bohol by artisans who have inherited their skills in filigree and silversmithing from their ancestors. Their artistry can be traced back to the Spanish colonial times, and Calado is committed to preserving their craft through their handmade jewelry line. 

I am impressed with the quality of my earrings, and I feel pretty whenever I wear them. I think one of the reasons why I feel confident whenever I wear brands like Calado is because I am a strong supporter of the local handmade movement. Becoming a conscious consumer has also let me be naturally drawn to goods which were ethically and fairly made.

I am happy that my earrings, just like many of my belongings, adhere to my handmade lifestyle. It is my hope that more people will discover the joys of conscious consumerism and the beauty of each handmade object. I will continue to share my handmade finds here on my blog, so watch out for my lifestyle posts! Together, we can all discover that hands will always be better than machines in terms of quality and heart. 

Human Nature Online Store Launch

My Human Nature Online Store is now LIVE! You may now place your orders on my very own shop

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I attended the launch of their online store for dealers (like me!), as well as the release of their new hair mist, cooling body cleanser, and odor protect feminine wash. 

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My new online store is a side-hustle and passion project which I hope you will support!

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By getting my own link, https://humanheartnature.com/buy/speakoutsam, I am able to sell Human Nature products under my name. Human Nature’s website allows convenient payment options such as credit card, PayPal, and bank deposit. In addition to that, delivery will be conducted via Human Nature’s system as well so it is an easy and worry-free business for me. 

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I celebrated the opening of my store with a veggie skillet at Breakfast Bin.

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I also went to my favorite waxing salon for some self-care. 

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Here’s to more small wins and milestones ahead! I hope that you will buy from my online store soon and experience Human Nature products yourself. Thank you and God bless you!

Calado Earrings

I have always been a supporter of locally-made items, handmade businesses, and social enterprises. 

These three factors all make up Calado, a heritage jewelry brand owned by Tricia Ancheta. I met her during my Banaue trip, and I was fascinated with her handmade earrings once I viewed them online. Her merchandise are handmade by plateros or silversmiths in Dauis, Bohol. These craftspeople have inherited the art of jewelry-making from their ancestors, who learned the skill during the Spanish regime. 

The jewelry are all made of sterling silver, with the option of having them dipped in 24k. Since my style leans toward edgy and minimalist, Tricia personally helped me select the pair which would suit my taste. Her suggestion, the Mirasol spiral hoop earrings in sterling silver, was perfect and I bought them with no regrets. 

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I love the premium packaging and classy presentation of my purchase. 

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My Mirasol hoops looks even better in person! Check out the intricate detail, which is a trademark of Dauis jewelry-making. 

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My favorite thing about Calado earrings is that they are lightweight! Tricia wanted to present a brand of earrings that she could comfortably wear (and buy, as the prices are reasonable for the amazing quality of the pieces). 

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The story of Calado is included inside their jewelry boxes. 

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I am delighted to own a pair of Calado earrings and I hope that more ladies will discover this local, handmade, and social-enterprise-made brand! I will rock these earrings in my everyday life and fancier events. 

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The earrings make me feel beautiful and classy! 

Banaue Day 2 Part 2: Rice Planting and Cultural Night

After exploring the hot springs, we then proceeded to a plot of land owned by one of the nanay (mom) knitters. We were there to try planting rice, and in order to get there, we had to hike down a mountain. 

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We were not forced to plant rice, and some people in our group did not feel like doing so because it would entail having to step on mud. I respect their choice, but I was there for the full experience. 

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Planting rice is one of my bucket list items, so it was natural for me to be the first to volunteer.  

The mud was soft and mushy, but it was manageable to walk on.  

Photo by  Rocelle  

Photo by Rocelle 

A few of my groupmates eventually joined me.  

It was so much fun! However, I also realized that it was hard work. I finally had respect for farmers who plant rice for a living. It is definitely not easy.  

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Photo by  Knitting Expedition    We wrapped up our farming experience with a hike upwards. After a jeepney ride to our inn, we were all starving. I had delicious vegetable curry and beer by the best view. 

Photo by Knitting Expedition 

We wrapped up our farming experience with a hike upwards. After a jeepney ride to our inn, we were all starving. I had delicious vegetable curry and beer by the best view. 

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To be exact, it was beer and coffee. I had this combo all throughout our trip that my friends dubbed it “The Sam”.

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I also continued knitting while waiting for the cultural dancers to arrive. 

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We then had our cultural night, featuring talented Ifugao dancers and percussionists. Some of them were our knitting nanay’s kids! They let the children dance and perform for visitors in order to preserve their culture and to educate us about their tribal heritage. 

We danced the night away with them and I really enjoyed myself.  

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We chose to have our group shot with the kids. 

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I ended the night by trying on their traditional skirt and a photo op with these talented ladies.  

It was an unforgettable day with new friends and magical experiences. I will never forget this day.  

Nawa

When was the last time you wore something that inspired you to be a fighter?

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I experienced that when I purchased my Nawa bangles and rings. I received it the other day, and it honestly felt like Christmas all over again.  

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My bling was packaged in eco-conscious materials and the rings were housed in this adorable woven pouch. 

I ordered three bangles because I already have ten Natalya Lagdameo ones, and I needed to make it a stack of thirteen (it is my lucky number). I also got rings, because I thought it was cool to have stacks on both my wrist and finger. 

Nawa donates to the Lake Sebu School of Living Traditions (SLT) with every purchase. 

I feel thankful that I selected these bangles and rings for my Valentine’s gift to self this 2018. It is a gift that gives back to the T’boli tribe in South Cotabato who created these bling. Also, their culture and traditions are preserved and kept alive through the efforts of SLT.  

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Also, the girlbosses behind the brand (Timmy Potenciano and Jopie Sanchez) are rad and they are totally supportive of the community and their customers. I personally like how Timmy designed the jewelry to have rounded ends for comfort and ease of wear. Putting them on is a breeze and the quality is superb. The bangles and rings are lightweight and they have a modern look (Read: they are not your usual tribal jewelry!).

They sell individually too if you prefer ordering just one ring or bangle. If you want a full wrist of bangles, they sell stacks of ten as well! 

Nawa is your go-to brand for boho to boardroom jewelry- with a story to tell.

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Not to mention that these babies are still minimalist enough to join a stack or blend with your existing jewelry without making you look tacky.  

Whenever I feel challenged or troubled, all I have to do is look at my warrior bangles and rings. I immediately feel empowered with my North to South stack, but I am more partial towards my Nawa pieces because they are social enterprise-made (handmade by Filipino craftspeople) and inspired by centuries of rich T’boli heritage. 

It is my turn now to go further in life and continue being a fighter, with meaningful bling to boot! 

Day 13: #30GratefulDays | Coffee with a Conscience

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Yesterday was the first workday of the month, and it also meant that it was my shopping day at Human Nature, a brand which I have been supporting since 2013. I am now a Core Advocate, which means that I am not just a dealer, I am also a partner in spreading the word about their Pro-Philippines, Pro-Environment, and Pro-Poor advocacy. I patronize the brand by purchasing almost all my toiletries from them. Every purchase in their branches entitles the customer to a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and I am a fan of their local cuppa. I always bring my own mug or tumbler though, and yesterday, I brought my pink one from Craftsmith Living. As I sipped my coffee, I reflected on the years I have been supporting Human Nature and how I have switched from using imported, chemical products to all-natural, Philippine-made essentials. 

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Human Nature prides itself in sourcing the best raw materials from Mother Nature. What’s more, these wonder ingredients are mostly found in the Philippines. Like the oils shown in the photo, each raw material has a purpose to heal, renew, and restore. I am a huge fan of their products as most of them are infused with sunflower oil, which is kind to my sensitive skin. From sleeping with their sunflower oil on my face to using baby lotion with the same oil, I am making sure that my skin only receives the best care from the brand’s organic items. 

I am using Human Nature products even when I am jobless. They have affordable price points so I can still enjoy using my essentials even when I am on a budget. I am glad that I am also able to relax at home with my favorite spa-quality products like their body scrub and cooling gel.

Indeed, there is no need to splurge for natural products. Human Nature has given me the best local essentials which are kind to my skin, wallet, and social conscience. I get to have a cuppa or two as well after shopping. Coffee with a conscience has never been more in style.