January 22, 2019


There are bad days. Women experience hormonal imbalance and it affects our mood. We sometimes get super irritable even on trivial issues. But this should not be an every day thing for us. We should make it a habit to have a positive and a healthy mindset. 

"Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside 
will change along with it."

Start the day with a grateful heart. Give thanks for a brand new day. If you are a morning person, appreciate the silence of the dawn while enjoying your cup of coffee. If you are like me who starts the day around 9 am, my husband is already off to work and I wake up alone in bed. The idea of him kissing me while I was asleep before leaving the house always makes me smile.

One of my favorite quote is "dolce far niente" or the sweetness of doing nothing. Simply revel in the moment of being alone and doing nothing for a few minutes. Whenever I am having a very busy day, I would get off my chair for a while, stare out the window to have a glimpse of the pool and think of nothing.

Make time for the people in your life who matter. Spend an hour with one person every month. You'll be able to reconnect with 12 people in a year. Even though we get to keep in touch with them on social media, nothing will replace talking with someone while enjoying a good meal.

Let what you love be what you do. This has been my personal mantra since I started my blog Snapped and Scribbled in 2013. Learn to say NO to the things that you don't want to do and focus more on the things that makes you happy.

Be adventurous. Have you ever encountered the question "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"? I make it a point to experience something new once in a while. Some are scary while some are as simple as eating stinky tofu. 

Stop making excuses. Just start doing the above five things you should do to be a happy woman. NOW. 


January 12, 2019


Looking back, how did you live your life?

I know it's tiring to keep looking for love. You don't want to be alone. You don't want to feel empty. But are you ready to be in a relationship just to show him you've moved on? Or you only want to shut  those people up because you are so fed up with them snooping around?

This year, tell yourself that it is okay to be alone. Love yourself because no one can really fill up those empty spaces. No one can fix you. You have to fix yourself.

Have you given so much of yourself for others? You want to be always there for them, take care of them, prioritize them. Did it ever came to a point when you asked yourself, "who takes care of the caregiver?" or did you ever feel so drained you can't even take care of yourself?

This year, learn to say no. It is not selfish and don't feel guilty. Those who really care for you will understand that you also need time for yourself. 

Are you holding on to past hurts, past relationships, failures and what ifs? How long have you been carrying that heavy feeling in your heart? Does holding on ever make you feel good? Did it change anything?

This year, let go. You can't heal if you keep yourself stuck in the past. You are robbing yourself the happiness of what is happening in the now and the bright future ahead of you. 

Are you pressured by your friend's success? Does social media make you feel like you are not achieving something worth bragging?

This year, appreciate what you have. Never envy an instagrammable life. Don't pressure yourself to conform with other people's definition of success. Set your goals and work on it. If giving up an extra cup of rice is an achievement for you, who cares if someone on facebook bought a brand new car?

Every morning, get up and put your happiness first. You can spread happiness only when you are happy. You will only be able to love other people the right way when you love yourself.

This year, choose yourself!

(Note to self: It's okay to ask for help and you just did that. Thank you, Maricar.)



January 04, 2019


I am not into New Year's Resolution because I don't wait for the first day of the year to make some changes in my life. Instead, I choose a word that will help me become a better person. When I started Forty and Beyond, I picked fitness. Last year's word was focus.

Why I chose healing for 2019

A book that has made an impact in my life is Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven".  When I learned about the sequel "The Next Person You Meet in Heaven", I started googling quotes from the book while waiting for its availability in the bookstore. I chanced upon these lines:


"... because we embrace our scars more than our healing, we can recall the exact day we got hurt. But who remembers the day the wound was gone?"

I knew right away that my word for 2019 is healing. 

2007 was the worst year of my life. I was betrayed and was left feeling empty. I was never the same person since then. I started believing that every person I know will eventually hurt me. And those who have hurt me are capable of hurting me again.

I'm still struggling. 

I'm so preoccupied with nursing a perceived hurt I have not noticed that the genuine hurt was already gone. 

12 years of dwelling. 

This morning, I was decluttering and organizing my stuff. I opened the book "Yesterday I Cried" and read this dedication



I don't cry anymore or feel a stab of pain whenever I remember what happened in 2007. But there are times I still feel angry with the people who had caused me pain. Lately, It's my parents death that makes the tears rolling. A different kind of pain that I have to get used to.

I want to heal.
I need to heal.


December 21, 2018


Most of us are excited during the holidays because we are less guiltt to cheat on our diet and workout.
Staying motivated with a fitness plan during the holidays can be difficult for some (including me!). 

The holiday season can test the willpower of even the most dedicated fitness and health enthusiasts. So, this holiday season, set yourself up for success with some fitness and nutrition essentials that may help you to keep your weight loss or body composition goals on track. I'm sharing with you a list of fitness essentials that will help to keep you healthy and active during the holidays.

Here are some of my favorite essentials:

Calorie Tracking App

Keeping track of your daily calorie intake is especially important during the holidays. Download a calorie tracking app so that you can stay as close to your daily target as possible. Keeping your weight stable over the holidays is important, and having technology at your fingertips may help you to avoid high-calorie party snacks.
Activity Tracker

Wearable fitness devices are everywhere these days, and they can be helpful for improving your fitness level and keeping track of your daily activity minutes. There are several wearable devices to choose from, so consider selecting one that is easy to use and can remind you that it’s time to get moving.

Reflective Clothing

As the weather cools down and days get darker earlier, exercising outdoors can be a challenge. Investing in some warm running clothing with reflective strips can help to keep you safe and warm outside.

New Running Shoes

Winter is a good time to invest in some new running shoes. Poor weather conditions can make the ground slippery, so having running shoes with good tread at this time of the year is important. A lot of new models are often released during the holiday season, which will make shopping for new shoes a lot of fun.

Mini Stretch Bands

Mini stretch bands come in various colors and resistance levels. They are inexpensive, easy to travel with and perfect for using to warm up hips, glutes, shoulders and back. You can create a full-body efficient warm-up, or use them for a fast and effective resistance routine. Mini bands are perfect for a quick, at-home workout or for use during holiday travel.

New Music

When you really need a boost, put some new, inspirational workout songs on your playlist. Music is great for motivating you to get off the couch, helping you to run that extra mile, or pushing through a heavy lifting session. Download some new music or reshuffle your existing library to keep your workouts interesting.

Wireless Headphones

During the colder months, we often wear lots of layers for exercising. Even if you’re working out indoors, you still need to get warmed up before removing outer layers. Traditional headphones with wires tend to get in the way, so consider investing in a new wireless pair. You may find that you spend less time adjusting and moving wires out of the way and more time focused on your training session.

Foam Roller

Avoid paying for costly massages and do it yourself at home. A foam roller is a helpful tool for stretching and loosening tight muscles. It can be used on multiple parts of your body, and it’s particularly helpful for stretching your hamstring muscles prior to performing any high-intensity exercise.

Hand Sanitizer

Nothing will halt your workout plan faster than catching a cold or flu. So, arm yourself with hand sanitizer and use it often during the winter months.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a good old-fashioned way to warm up and get your heart rate going. Warming up for 10 minutes increases your core body temperature, gets synovial fluid moving and oils your joints, which will help prevent injury. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, you can use an interval style training method and use your jump rope for your entire routine.

Heart Rate Monitor

If you’re doing high intensity interval exercises, you may want to invest in a heart rate monitor. In these types of exercises, you want to raise your heart rate up to, or beyond, your calculated maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a short recovery period. You want to make sure you’re pushing yourself to your anaerobic threshold to get the best training results. It’s almost impossible to accurately measure your heart rate manually when it’s above 150, so investing in a heart rate monitor is a great idea.

Protein Snack Bars

Consuming a healthy protein-rich snack before attending holiday parties is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals. Protein is perfect for helping you to feel full and curb unnecessary party snacking.

Staying on track during the holidays takes a lot of dedication. Finding simple but effective ways to stay motivated and dedicated is important. Tracking your calorie intake and making smart food choices when possible will help you to maintain your figure and stay in control. If you don’t need the extra help for yourself, consider giving a healthy, active lifestyle gift to a friend this holiday season.

Posted by: Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness



December 17, 2018


If you are planning your funeral, you may not be giving cremation the consideration that it deserves. You are likely aware that it is much lower in cost that a traditional burial, but you are also likely to think that you will sacrifice aspects of a traditional funeral that you may want to have. 

The good news it's that cremation can incorporate aspects of a traditional funeral while still keeping the cost down. You can still have a viewing or wake It is possible to have a funeral service in which your loved ones can pay their last respects before your body is cremated. Of course, this adds to the cost of a funeral, but it still saves the cost of buying a burial plot. 

There are a variety of possibilities with your ashes. You can have your ashes dispersed in any number of ways. You can sprinkle them on the ocean or bury your ashes in the ground of your favorite place. Unlike a body, the rules for disposing of ashes are not as strict. However, many people like to buy urns for their loved one's ashes, so they can keep them in the home. It can be comforting knowing that some of the remains of your loved one are still close by.


Another option that many people are not aware of is that the ashes can be placed in an urn and left at the cemetery. There are rooms that the funeral industry calls a columbarium. The advantage of this is that everyone can visit and pay their respects the same as they would a burial plot. Of course, there may be religious reasons that prevent you from considering cremation, but many religions have changed their theology to embrace a cremation. 

You need to find out if there are any issues that your religion may have with this type of funeral. If not, you should contact a funeral services westchester il business to find out the wide range of services that relate to this type of funeral. It is growing in popularity for many reasons.