Updated: Apr 5
As I've been so consistent and committed to my yoga practice this year, I find myself getting slowly detached from material things and pursuing more of the abstract things in life such as love, laughter, joy, contentment and comfort. After my game-changing experience last year, I realized that acquiring material things do give you a certain kind of high; however, it's only temporary. In the end, you're back at the emptiness so you buy more to get that kick again and the vicious cycle goes on. Until one day, you find yourself with so many stuff you don't even need but still discontented with life.
The truth remains though that certain material things are still necessary to survive and thrive. In my case, it's now about investing on items that help me live my life easier and better. It's not about looking cool or being associated with prestige anymore but being savvy practically. Listed below are the 20 things I can no longer live without as a self-proclaimed grown-up (or so it seems!) in SoCal setting:
1) BLOGGING EQUIPMENT - I am now a bonafide blogger and vlogger so a smart phone, foldable tripod, and laptop have become a huge part of my life starting this year. Other people may have a weird judgment with what I'm doing... documenting daily snippets of my life and thoughts on social media but it doesn't matter. I am extremely passionate about putting my story and thoughts out there and as long as I have the fire inside me to create, I'll keep writing, shooting, filming and editing.
2) GOOD QUALITY BLACK LEGGINGS - I'm a spontaneous woman on-the-go and a pair of quality black leggings that fit really well is the best all-around bottom. You can wear it casually (in the house, running errands, going for a stroll). You can use it to work out (do yoga, go for a run, hit the gym). Or you can look stylish and trendy if you match it with a nice top and chic accessories. It goes with any shoes too... trainers, flip-flops, heels, boots, flats, ANYTHING! Yup, this one's a non-negotiable fashion investment.
3) BLACK SPORTS BRA - I was all about underwired cupped bra before but now, I've converted and this has become a daily uniform. It lets you move in any direction but still providing your boobies with the right coverage and support. I wear it alone during yoga or I can jazz it up and put on a cute tank top over it when going for a stroll or doing errands. I love the ones with a cool design in the back... comfortable yet stylish.
4) SNUG FIT ZIP UP HOODIE - Southern California is all about fitness fashion and the one thing that really got me hooked is the cozy, nice fitting hoodie get-up. The recent one I fell in love with is from Lululemon which I got at a discounted price and although it's still quite pricey, the fit, quality and design is just exceptional. It has now become my constant companion during early mornings or late nights when the temperature gets cool.
5) BAD ASS BLENDER - I've been an advocate of making green smoothies because I'm lazy to eat vegetables. A powerful blender makes it easy to consume the dark, leafy greens I need as daily supplement. I prefer blending than juicing because it lets me ingest the fiber from the fruits and vegetables. I use Blendtec and I've been happy with it. I just put all the ingredients inside, cover it then press WHOLE JUICE or SMOOTHIE and voila! Green smoothie is ready in less than a minute. This is now a daily morning ritual. I feel so healthy and happy after chugging a drink.
6) TRAVEL YOGA MAT - Some yogis prefer the thick one because it's more comfortable but I prefer the thin one for 2 things. First, it's easier to pack and carry around. Second, I feel humbled when I do my practice because I am more connected to the ground. And since yoga is now a daily practice, I can no longer leave my house without it.
7) STAINLESS WATER BOTTLE - I was never a fan of colored drinks even as a kid. Water has always been my jam. I'm glad I got into the habit of consuming tons of h20 early on because I really felt the health benefits as I got older. Not only does it help me maintain a good weight, but it keeps my skin supple and my energy revitalized. Hence, carrying a water bottle everywhere I go is mandatory.
8) FACIAL MOISTURIZER WITH SPF 50+ - When I was in my 20s, I can afford going out in the sun on midday with no protection whatsoever and I would achieve bronzing in a flawless manner. But not in my 30s. If I do, lines in my forehead become prominent and my skin gets dehydrated and drained. But I can't let go of being a sun lover so I put on a facial moisturizer with the highest SPF possible daily so I can still do my sun stuff. The one I'm using now is Cetaphil daily moisturizer with SPF50 and so far, it does the job well.
9) BLACK STRING BIKINI - When I travelled all over the world and even just on daily adventures here in San Diego, I always carry one with me because you'll never know when you're gonna need one. Like the black leggings, it can be used in multiple ways... for swimming, sunbathing, spa day, underwear, a fashion statement (if you put a nice off-shoulder or crochet top over it.) On a super warm day, you can even sleep on it! And since it's black, staining it is the least of my worries.
10) BALLERINA FLATS - They're just so fashionable, feminine and comfortable! They can pass in a corporate setting, a casual environment or even a night out if given the right ensemble to match with it. I'm a big fan of the light tan color or metallic gold because it can literally match anything. Better if it has a little elevation in the heel to add a more feminine touch.
11) METALLIC FLIP FLOPS - When the Havaiianas craze took over Manila when I was still living there, I went nuts and bought so many colors. But when the hype died, I ended up just keeping 2... the silver and the gold. They've been my travel best friends and my original ones already broke but I ordered new ones. It's very basic, durable and easy to wear with anything. Why silver and gold? Because I can just match it with the accessories I'm wearing for the day. No brainer matching.
12) RUNNING SHOES - Going for long brisk walks is my form of therapy to calm anxiety down. After living in beautiful cities such as Sydney, Madrid and San Diego where the surroundings are very pleasant and there's fresh air everywhere, getting into the walking groove is inevitable. When it comes to shoes, I've always been a Nike chick as they fit very well and they last forever.
13) LIGHT WEIGHT SARONG - Whoever invented this baby is a total genius because it has so many uses! It can be a towel to dry you off from water or sweat, a swimsuit or after-shower cover up, a last minute summer dress, a scarf to keep you warm, something to lay down on, and even as a bag to put your stuff into. And the best part is it dries really fast and the designs are funky.
14) TINTED CHUBBY STICK - For daily wear, I like this because it gives my lips the full moisture it needs and the hint of healthy color that's not too overwhelming. I can even put it on without a mirror because the slightly pointed tip makes it easy to apply. Since my skin is on the yellowish olive side, I look good with the berry, fig or melon hint.
15) MEDIUM COVERAGE CONCEALER - I wish I can claim that my skin is perfect but it's not. My eyes are starting to droop on the sides and I do get dark spots from time to time. And the solution for this is a concealer that does the trick of covering imperfections. I'm currently using Lancome Teint Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer and I like the natural and dewy coverage it provides. Perfect for non-humid weather.
16) DAILY ORGANIZER - As I'm still experiencing foggy brain occasionally from going through chemo, writing down the things I need to accomplish for the day and the week has become a necessity. Otherwise, it will just float away from my mind and will never come to fruition. So noting it all down in an organizer helps me stay focused on the tasks at hand.
17) BEST FRIEND JEANS - My petite figure is composed of a short torso (which makes my waist higher than normal) with slightly meatier thighs. So to find a good fitting jeans for me is like spotting a needle on a haystack. That's why I never owned many pair of jeans ever since because it's rare to find one that hits home. But once I do, it's for keeps until it gives up. My current best friend is the low rise slim fit one from H&M... hoping it stays for awhile.
18) DENIM SHORTS - Another one of those versatile piece of clothing that can match with any top and shoes. It feels sexy and sporty at the same time and they're just so easy on the eyes. I prefer the neutral denim shade with no cuts or fringes because it can go with any color and can look rugged or decent depending on how you style it.
19) BASIC WHITE TOPS - Ironically, they say that the basic things are always the hardest to find. True that! And nice white tees (long or short sleeves, pull over or button down) are some of them. I'm notorious for always buying them especially if it falls perfectly on my feminine curves because it simply looks so clean, vibrant and sensual in a very discreet way. I honestly feel the sexiest wearing this along with best friend jeans or black leggings. So basic and simple yet so classy and confident.
20) BEN - I consider my cars my sacred sanctuary. And right now, my Civic Honda 2005 EX Sedan named Ben is my home away from home. He's the only place in this world that makes me feel like I can be myself, do what I want and feel totally safe. It's my own little studio, breathing room, venting booth, karaoke machine and adventure buddy. He's currently the man in my life that I absolutely can't live without.
[TO YOU READING THIS: What are your thoughts on my can't-live-without things? Do we have anything in common? Any brands that you know of that's worth checking out in each category? I'd be delighted to hear your input and your list of must-have items as well. Feel free to comment below.]
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