My Instagrammable Life

I just finished reading Sophie Kinsella’s latest book, “My Not so Perfect Life.”

I have always liked reading Ms. Kinsella’s works (e.g. Undomestic Goddess, Can You Keep a Secret, The Shopaholic Series, to name a few) because the stories are light, funny, and the characters are pretty relatable. Her main characters could very well remind you of your best friend, your sister, or in most cases, yourself. A lot of times I catch myself thinking, “She’s just like me…” or “I could be her.”

My Not so Perfect Life (according to the blurb) is Part-Love Story, Part-Work Drama. One thing I found interesting, though, was how Katie, the female protagonist, portrayed her life on Instagram (living in an exciting city, doing cool stuff with marvelous friends), versus her reality — job issues, financial struggles, simple life, really small apartment.

It got me thinking… Haven’t we all, at some point in our social media obsessed lives, projected an alternate version of our reality?

(I will not spoil the book any further for the sake of my chick lit-loving friends, but it is a good and entertaining read. You won’t be sorry if you grab a copy.)

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Ahh, Instagram.

On any given day, we see something nice… or we go somewhere nice… or we think we look nice… And so we decide to take a photo — click, and then post. Then we add cute, interesting captions. We explain further by adding a number of #hashtags.

Then we wait for a hundred hearts (signifying that our follower friends liked the photo). Sometimes we feel bad when only a few people would “heart” the photo. Of course it hurts when you are not validated. (Personally, I am easy to please. I am happy with 10 likes. Anything beyond that to me is already a blessing — or a miracle.)

When you think about it, how much of our real lives is posted on Instagram? Or maybe the bettter question is… What stories do our IG accounts tell?

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Out of curiosity, I checked MY Instagram account.

If a total stranger will make a story about me based on my IG photos, what will he come up with…

From the 12 latest photos I posted, one will see: My latest selfie (with me all dolled up)… My bruised knees… Dining with my BFF… More selfies… A promo of my book… A collage of old photos with my son… A throwback photo with friends circa ’90s… And still more selfies…

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Basically from my IG, one will gather that 1) I have a book, 2) I have a son, 3) I was much thinner in the ’90s, and yeah 4) I am a selfie master — and I love myself so much.

My Instagram account pretty much depicts how self-absorbed I am. Yep, narcissism at its finest.

That’s my Instagrammable life. #ialwayswakeuplookinglikethis.

Alternate version or reality? 😉

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When we share photos on Instagram, we allow other people to take a glimpse of our lives.

It is easy to create a perfect, always exciting version of your life. Just carefully pick the photos you will post — Choose the ones that will tell the version you want your followers to see.

I bet our Instagram stories are all exciting.

Don’t be fooled, though. Things are not always as good as they are depicted on IG. That is why it is not wise to judge — nor envy– someone, based on what you see on Instagram.

I also believe that every photo has a backstory… And often times, it’s the backstory that is truly more interesting… and real.

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Example of Perception vs Reality / Alternate Version vs Backstory

latest selfie

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#selfietime #chilling #memyselfandi

Perception created: She’s so chill… She’s so vain… She’s always made up…

Backstory (Reality): Photo was taken after four (4) hours of sitting through the College graduation rites of our helper. FOUR HOURS. But it was a momentous occasion, a celebration of someone’s educational achievement. I had to keep a smile on my face, even after four hours…

Plus I looked good that day. So, I just had to take a photo…

So, yes, maybe I am quite self-absorbed. Quite. 😉

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What is your Instagram story???

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photos are mine 😊

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1st of March

…And just like that, it’s the third month of the year! Gosh.

Plans…

This time last year, I was pestering  reminding my editor about the draft of my book. My cover artist had also already given me sample artworks to choose from. Geesh, time flies. I’d better start working on a new project so I’ll stop this reminiscing and I can start moving forward. 

I actually have two book projects lined up. One is a children’s storybook and the other is the — drum roll please —  sequel to Twenty Years in Between. (Did I say that out loud?! Am I really committing myself to a sequel??)

Without meaning to brag, most of my readers have been asking for a Part Two. I would like to believe that the book was that interesting and exciting that they wanted more. I have been asked several times when the second book is coming out. Yeah, like it didn’t take me more than a year to finish writing the first one…
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Those days…

This is for the days when you wake up not feeling/looking like a Supermodel…

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Since I don’t have a magic mirror that would tell me day by day that I’m “the fairest one of all,” I suppose this should suffice.

Because really, there ARE days…

😉

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photo sent to me by my friend Jeg because vanity = Betsy

Being a Better Me

The last two weeks of December pretty much breezed by. 

There were endless get-togethers, last-minute shopping sprees and gift wrappings, family reunions with overabundance of food (with everything seemingly delectable, yummy but utterly sinful, and totally irresistible)… And we wonder how we gained those unwanted pounds. 😦

I can personally say, though, that aside from the full stomach, December left me with a full heart, too.  A heart full of love and joy.

Spending time with family and friends reminded me what true joy is about… what love is about. It is about having a certain sense of belonging and acceptance. It is about knowing that you are with people you love and who also love you back, regardless of who you are, what you have been through… People who are ready and willing to accept your flaws and quirks.  

It is about feeling at home and armed with the knowledge that there are people who value you, who will stand by you and protect you when need be. 

When you have joy and love in your heart, you are somewhat braver to face whatever tomorrow brings.  It gives you courage to conquer the new year and whatever surprises it has in store.

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I am a “New Year’s Resolutions” person. It has been a childhood practice of mine to list down the things I ‘promise’  I will do (or in some cases, not do) in the coming year.  

Yes, I normally start with : Lose five pounds… And truth be told, I don’t think I ever lost those five pounds.  Maybe sometimes I do, but I most likely gain them back when December comes… plus a couple more. 😦 

When no one else knows about your resolutions, chances are you will end up ignoring them or forgetting them altogether. It is never easy to lose those five pounds, you know. It IS easier to forget that you even thought of wanting to lose weight.

And so, to challenge myself this year, let me share with you my 2017 resolutions. 

If you are a friend and you see that I am getting off track, feel free to tap me on the shoulder — or send me a text message– and let me know. I will try not to feel bad nor get offended (…nor punch you on the face). Promise. 🙂 

Here goes — in no particular order of importance…

My 2017 ‘Be a Better Me’ list:

I will…

  • lose at least five (5) pounds. Yes, this still tops the list.
  • eat healthier.
  • walk more.
  • have regular spa treatments (facial, massage, etc.)
  • not scrimp on good moisturizers and body lotions.
  • wear more skirts and dresses.
  • be more positive; get rid of negativity and grudges.
  • leave hurtful events, people, memories behind.
  • do my best not to get easily offended by other people.
  • smile more; be friendlier.
  • learn how to take a compliment.
  • laugh at/make fun of myself more; learn how to loosen up.
  • be more patient with people, even the difficult ones — most especially, the difficult and overbearing ones. 
  • read my bible daily.
  • fill my head and my heart with worship and praise songs.
  • NOT listen to sad songs, especially when I am having an off day… they simply don’t help.
  • talk to my parents and spend time with them regularly.
  • make more time for my friends.
  • write more.
  • start writing my next book.
  • NOT be embarrassed to share my work, my talent and my thoughts.
  • still take selfies as much as I can, and enjoy every minute of it!
  • take photos to document my day.
  • make more picture books / photo albums.
  • read more books — one book a month, at the very least.
  • learn — really learn —  a new language.
  • travel to a country I have never been to.
  • always be grateful for the blessings, whether big or small.

Phew, that was quite a lot. I can still think of others, but this should do for now…

I know I will have hits and misses along the way… But aren’t we so blessed to have the chance to start on a clean slate? We have twelve new months ahead of us. 

Twelve months that we can spend trying to be a better version of what we already are. 

Twelve months of keeping the joy in our hearts… in our lives.

Because I said I’ll take more selfies (I guess I have this one covered)…

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And because I also said I will laugh at/make fun of myself more… 🙂 

Happy new year, everyone! Here’s to an exciting year.

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photos are all mine, obviously… 😉 

Pretty long lashes

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Pretty long lashes

They say that if you want a child’s eyelashes to grow full, thick and long, you should trim them while he/she is still an infant.  My mom did that for my brother when he was a baby. I guess it worked because his lashes grew thick and long.

On the same day that she trimmed my baby brother’s lashes, she looked at mine and thought that maybe, just maybe, my lashes needed some trimming, as well.

I’m a girl. I would be prettier with long lashes. So she decided to fix mine, too. 

I was seven years old.  

My lashes never grew long. They didn’t even get thick nor curly. They stayed straight. House broom straight… and kinda short. Much to my dismay.

I never got tired of blaming my mom, too, for that.

The phrase “And her eyelashes fluttered” never applied to me.  My lashes were never long enough to flutter. And unless I used a really good, expensive mascara, well, no one would notice my lashes.

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I am a girly girl.  I love my long hair, my pink lipstick, my pink toe nails.  I like getting all dolled up and feeling pretty. I know I will be prettier if I have doll-like lashes. 

So today, my best friend Gracie and I decided to spend the afternoon having our eyelashes fixed. Translation: Get eyelash extensions.

We had it done at  Lavish Lashes at Festival Mall in Alabang.

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Before…

I was really tempted to try the Glamour look… but I was afraid I’ll end up looking like a drag queen, so we opted for the Natural look… But we chose thicker, darker lashes (compared to the regular eyelash). 

The eyelash technicians led us to two beds at opposite sides of the room. I guess they didn’t want us to be beside each other so we won’t end up chatting the whole time.  (Like it will be easy to chat while your eyes are closed!)

The whole process took a little over thirty minutes. It was quite relaxing, really.

And, voila!

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After…

My pictures don’t do my new eyelashes justice… But if you will look closer, I am sure you will appreciate them better.

Another girly goal ticked off my list. 

Okay, so I am shallow… And yes, I am vain. It was a fun afternoon, though… and my heart is happy.

Plus my new eyelashes are just too pretty. ❤

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Evening shots… 

So maybe I look like the Grudge with pale face and red lipstick… but the lashes are still pretty!!

Oh, simple joys!  ❤

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photo credits: Eyelash cartoon via google images (shutterstock); All other photos are mine!! 🙂 

Lavish Lashes Studio located at GF Festival Mall, Alabang