Climbing Up Mt. Sinai

When I found out that we were going to hike up Mt. Sinai during our Holy Land tour, I was undeniably ecstatic. I knew this was something I would probably never be able to do again! Mt. Sinai was where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It was definitely a valuable historical and religious site that I wanted to go to.

We were briefed about the trip before the tour group flew out  from Manila, and I have to admit, after all the advice and precautionary tips mentioned, climbing up this mountain started to feel very daunting–most especially because I’m not a regular hiker.

Here are some of the things they mentioned.

  • It takes a total of nine hours to climb–this is the average for beginners or non-hikers.
  • There are no decent toilets.
  • There are a total of seven pit stops going up where people who feel like they can no longer hike can rest and wait until the group passes for them on the way down. (You can’t go down on your own, for safety reasons.)
  • Each pit stop serves coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks, so the group can always take a break there as well before resuming the climb.
  • There’s an option to ride a camel for about 3/4 of the journey, but the last leg consists of 750 steps up to the peak. Camels are no longer allowed up this last leg.
  • If any of us lived a sedentary life, our tour organizers highly recommended that we start exercising and getting our bodies physically prepared.

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I wasn’t completely inactive, so I prepared by mainly altering my workout making sure I included leg strengthening and stamina building. I did a lot of squats, lunges, weighted step-ups, and running. I also bought entry level hiking shoes for better grip and compression leggings to help with the cold weather.

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3 Small Changes That Are Helping Me Develop Healthier Eating Habits

When the year began, I was determined to start eating healthier. For years, I have been able to incorporate working out into my lifestyle, but somehow, I had never been able to eat healthy.

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One, I don’t enjoy cooking, so I naturally will go for what is convenient if there’s no food at home–fast food more often than not. I also never really watched out for the amount of sweets I ate even if I knew sugar is the culprit for many diseases that show up later on in life. It has been a few months since I started making some effort to correct this, and through small, gradual adjustments and being mindful of my body’s needs, I have been able to sustain small changes that have led to positive impacts on my overall eating habits. Allow me to share them with you.

(1) Becoming a Cold Brew Coffee Convert
Before: My regular order used to be an iced caramel macchiato.
Now: I drink cold brew coffee.

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I liked my coffee milky and sweet. I liked caramel. But, I realized how much sugar intake this equated to. Initially, didn’t like black coffee, so I first switched to iced lattes with less sugar. Eventually, I was able to transition to drinking iced lattes without sugar. Then I discovered cold brew. My first introduction to cold brew came when I tried the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks–I loved it! But since I needed to be more realistic with my expenses, I decided to try buying cold brew concentrate from Type A, and Slurp. I would order in bulk and and just prepare my own coffee at home. It turned out to be the best thing ever! I now drink coffee sans the milk and sugar.

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Returning

There she was sitting at the cobblestone steps,

Familiar but foreign.

When was the last time she was here?

The creak of the door and approaching footsteps.

That smile. A smile that she hadn’t seen in so long.

After all these years,

It still had that warmth, that tenderness,

That silent beckoning whisper to come closer.

Welling up inside, pounding chest,

Into those arms that opened to her.

Some things really will always be.

She was home.

Our Pilgrimage to The Holy Land

I find it very hard to put into words what this trip was like. Whenever people ask me about it, I say it was an eye-opening experience, but I always find myself short of words, unable to fully express what the trip really meant to me. And though words may never be enough, I will now narrate, to the best of my abilities, what transpired during our two-week long journey to Jordan, Israel, and Egypt. Such a trip is definitely worth sharing with all of you. Here goes.

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Jordan

Jordan was our first stop and I came to Jordan with zero expectations, not because of disinterest, but because of lack of knowledge about the country. I was not aware that this place had a lot to offer. I only had Petra in mind as a place to look forward to, but I was proven wrong the moment we alighted from the plane and headed to our first two stops, Madaba and Mt. Nebo.

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St. George’s Church

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Mosaic at St. George’s Church

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It’s Not As Scary As You Think

I’ve already written about why I love short hair. (Click here to read about it.) And I just chopped my hair and wanted to help give other girls, who have been wanting to try it but are feeling very apprehensive about the change, some courage. It’s not as scary as you think.

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You’ll Understand When You Get There

I hated hearing this from my mom. I felt like it was an easy way out for something she said or for scolding me without having to fully explain it to me. Now more than ever, I have come to understand. Everything. All those times she said this, she was right.

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The Land of Beauty, Skincare, and Barbecue!

Korea was not initially in our bucket list, but since we love Korean food and I had recently gotten into the Korean beauty craze, it was about time we booked a ticket to this popular Asian destination. We spent a total of five days exploring Seoul and immersing in the city life. Here’s a quick recap of where we went, what we did, and what we love about Korea.

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First Stop: Hongdae

When we were doing research, we discovered that Hongdae was the place to be if you were young and into everything K-Pop. We aren’t K-Pop fanatics but we did consider ourselves young-ish (haha!) and we wanted to explore this side of town. We booked our Airbnb just a stop away from the main street.

Hongdae is full of character–from the street food, to the students that perform a whole repertoire of K-pop dances and songs on the streets. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something interesting. Small shops line the streets with unique finds and the most unusual of things. You’ll also come across thrift pop-up stores where you can find Korean fashion wear at affordable rates. We also had the BEST Korean barbecue in a restaurant in Hongdae called Red Piggy Bank. If you visit the area, please make room for a meal here. And even if we had quite a lot of time walking around this area, I felt like I still needed to see more of this lively place.

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Let’s Talk Lippies

This obsession about lippies began mid last year, when I discovered the myriad of looks you can achieve by just changing your lipstick color. Also, you don’t really need a lot of makeup if you dabb on a beautiful shade onto your lips–a plus for lazy people like me who won’t ever do a full face on a daily basis. I have a few favorites that I always keep at hand, namely Happy Skin in the shades Wonder Woman and Crushing on You, and Clinique in the shade Bare Pop. But I decided to try this new line my sister-in-law was raving about, Powerlips Fluid Lipstick. Here are a few of my first impressions about this new item on the market.

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