We moved

I just want to thank everyone who visited and followed this blog for the past 3 years… now that we moved to our new home… I’d like to invite you to visit us there, follow and witness our trying hard moments towards a minimalist lifestyle. 🙂

TRYINGHARDMINIMALIST.COM

Minimalist-Logo-web

I will migrate and update most of my posts here and put it on our new family blog so we’ll not miss our favorite stories and we’ll try to write new posts to document our precious Memories and Everyday Life.

Thank you once again and Merry Christmas! 🙂

Mel

Efforts of a Minimalist: Gift Certificates

If there’s one thing that I will truly miss honey… it will be this, only this. 🙂

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That’s my favorite incentive from hubby, not only because he gives it all to me (well he practically gives me everything he earns – yes! I’m a very lucky girl) but because it is not taxed and I don’t get the guilty feeling spending it – what else can I do with those GCs right? 😉

Well, we all know that GCs are meant to be spent but since I’m a minimalist… I don’t splurge, it’s not my thing. I only buy staples – food, groceries and sometimes clothes, in tranches using those stubs. I divide them equally, so we can spend it monthly for the entire year.

Where do I usually spend our GCs?

1. Food – the fast-food chain that serves my son’s favorite breakfast and my husband’s favorite chicken combo gladly accepts GCs… Yehey! We always get a double treat!

2. Groceries – our monthly groceries are usually charged to our GCs. Either we buy at SM, Robinsons or Shopwise, it doesn’t matter – I always pay less than 200 pesos.

3. Clothes – on rare occasion, I buy clothes in stores that accepts GCs. I’m not only talking about department stores, but stand alone shops like Uniqlo. Sweet isn’t it?

Minimalist Version – Emergency Kit

As promised, I am now sharing what I made out of my dad’s luggage and its contents.

luggage dad

Our Emergency Luggage

I made it into an emergency luggage, which contains basic survival kit – a minimalist version of Red Cross’ Family Survival Kit which I copy from its Facebook Page sometime last year. Feel free to copy and prepare your very own emergency kit/box/bag/luggage… whatever you want to call it and put those containers to a very good use. Here’s another updated list from Red Cross which you can refer to, Red Cross Lifeline Kit.

If you think you will not need any of it soon… well that’s really very good for you, but at least you already have something to give away to the needy, right?

WATER
✓ 3 bottles of DRINKING WATER (5 gallons/bottle)

FOOD ITEMS
✓ 10 kilos RICE
✓ 10 cans CANNED GOODS (2 cans meatloaf, 2 cans corned beef, 6 cans sardines)
✓ 7 pouches INSTANT NOODLESs
✓ 1 kilo SUGAR
✓ 1/2 kilo SALT
✓ 1 liter VEGETABLE OIL
✓ 1 pack ASSORTED BISCUITS
✓ 1 pack CANDIES or CHOCOLATES

Mel’s Note: I make sure that we have most of this on our pantry, specially bottled water, rice and easy open canned goods ready to be packed at all times.

NON-FOOD ITEMS
✓ 2 pieces FLASHLIGHTS with extra batteries
✓ 1 piece AM/FM RADIO TRANSISTOR with extra batteries
✓ 5 pieces WHISTLE (or 1 whistle/person)
✓ 1 piece POCKET KNIFE/MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL with can opener
✓ 1 piece LIGHTER or 1 BOX OF MATCHES
✓ 1 roll PLASTIC OR GARBAGE BAG WITH TIE (medium)
✓ 1 set EXTRA CLOTHING FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
✓ 5 pieces RAIN GEAR
✓ 1 piece WATERPROOF ENVELOPE (containing copies of personal documents, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
✓ 1 piece DUCT TAPE
✓ 1 pair SCISSORS
✓ 1 set of GAMES AND ACTIVITIES for children
✓ 5 pieces FAMILY EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION CARD

HYGIENE KIT ITEMS
✓ 2 bars SOAP
✓ 5 pieces TOOTHBRUSHES
✓ 1 tube TOOTHPASTE (225 grams)
✓ 2 pieces SANITARY NAPKIN
✓ 5 pieces PERSONAL TOWEL (14″ x 27″)
✓ 5 sets CLEAN CLOTHES (long-sleeved shirt/long pants/underwear)
✓ 2 rolls TOILET PAPER
✓ 1 pack COTTON BUDS (100 pieces)
✓ 1 bar DETERGENT SOAP

FIRST AID KIT
✓ 20 pieces STERILE GAUZE PADS (4×4)
✓ 4 pieces SANITARY NAPKIN
✓ 6 pieces ROLLER GAUZE BANDAGE (4″)
✓ 6 pieces ROLLER ELASTIC BANDAGE (4″)
✓ 4 pieces TRIANGULAR BANDAGE
✓ 3 pieces PLASTER/ADHESIVE TAPE (1″ width)
✓ 30 pieces BAND-AID ADHESIVE STRIPS (assorted sizes)
✓ 1 piece BANDAGE SCISSOR
✓ 1 piece TWEEZER (plastic)
✓ 3 pairs STERILE GLOVES (medium)
✓ 2 pieces PERSONAL FACE MASKS
✓ 5 pieces TONGUE DEPRESSORS
✓ 10 pieces COTTON APPLICATORS
✓ 1 bottle POVIDONE IODINE (100ml)
✓ 1 bottle HAND SANITIZER (100ml)
✓ 1 bottle CALAMINE LOTION (50ml)
✓ 1 tube BURN OINTMENT (25g)
✓ 1 piece PENLIGHT
✓ 1 piece THERMOMETER
✓ 1 piece CPR ONE-WAY VALVE FACE SHIELD
✓ 1 piece INSTANT COLD COMPRESS
✓ 2 bottles DISTILLED WATER (500ml)
✓ 1 piece EMERGENCY CALL CARD
✓ 1 booklet FIRST AID/EMERGENCY GUIDE
✓ 2 pieces EMERGENCY THERMAL BLANKET
✓ 1 piece CLEAR PLASTIC CONTAINER BOX (Water Proof)

COMMON MEDICATION
✓ 15 tablets PARACETAMOL (500mg)
✓ 15 tablets IBUPROFEN (200mg)
✓ 15 tablets LOPERAMIDE HYDROCHLORIDE (2mg)
✓ 15 tablets ANTIHISTAMINE (10mg)
✓ 10 pieces ORESOL PACK

Mel’s Note: Just make it a point to have the basic family necessities ready and available at all times. Your family might need something else that is not here, fell free to adjust based on your family’s immediate needs.

Keep Safe Everyone. 🙂

Mel

Minimalist Counter – Luggage

Despite my love for travelling, I didn’t get to feel the need of owning a piece of luggage until we’re set to travel with our 2 year-old son, more than 2 years ago. So, we bought this.

 luggage correct

It is a 15-kilogram capacity trolley from Delsey which we got on-sale at Travel Club in Gateway Mall and it has become our family luggage. We bring them whenever and wherever we go and I’m very pleased that it has withstand the stress of being loaded and off-loaded of more than 20 trips. And yes it is up to now the only luggage that we bought. 😉

Though, we still have two other luggages in the house -one is with an obvious-Burberry-knockoff-fabric-design that was given by a supplier in our office as Christmas raffle gifts. We only use this when going to and from condo since we don’t wash our clothes there. So this one is basically the busiest trolley we own.

luggage2

Another is my dad’s luggage. He used this for all his travels until the very last. We kept his personal stuff here for one year before deciding to give most of them away. We know that our dad is too generous to feel bad over his unused stuff being given away and I am too impervious to let this trolley sit under the bed and collect dust so I assigned this as our emergency luggage. 🙂

luggage dad

Wait for my next post to see the details.
There you have it, our three useful trolleys.

Efforts of a Minimalist – Laptop/Notebook

We know for a fact that laptops/notebooks have become a usual thing of most individuals nowadays, but not for me. It’s not that I’m against it or what; I just don’t feel the need for one. I have my iphone (a-good-hand-me-down-3GS) and a desktop in the office and I’m perfectly fine and fully functional. Oopps! Yes, I write my blogs here at the office (Sorry Maam/Sir, this is my way to divert my thoughts and relax a bit) or using my iphone when I’m at home.

Because of the abundance of laptops/notebooks these days Gilmore Avenue (in Quezon City) has become the “Banawe “of computers… however during the early 2012, it was not like that yet… yes, there a lot of shops providing sales and services for all your computer needs but they are just waiting for customers to come-in or approach their place before they will hand you a flyer with their computer package pricelist while trying to help you with your concerns. Now there are boys who are eagerly welcoming every LRT passengers alighting from the station with photocopied flyers while shouting “laptop repair, laptop repair!”

Since we moved-in to our condo unit (beside Gilmore station) last June 2013 I’ve been trying various ways to politely and briefly say no and refuse to accept the flyers that they are giving away simply because I wasn’t there to avail of their service nor buy any of their products… Literally, NAPADAAN lang ako. So here are my ways:

  1. Slowly shake my head and say no in a very low tone.
  2. Slowly shake my head without looking at any of them, while walking a bit faster.
  3. Raising my hand a bit and gesture a no sign.
  4. Look down while walking faster than usual and say no.
  5. Say: No, thank you.
  6. Short smile with head shaking.

You get the picture? I’m really trying to say a straight forward NO. Why?

  1. I don’t plan to buy anything.  – Hubby has a desktop and a laptop while my son has a tablet. Do I still need more?
  2. I don’t plan to avail their repair services. – My husband can fix computer problems, may it be hardware or software problems. Do I need to say more?
  3. I don’t want to waste their flyers. – I’ve done leafleting myself. I know it’s frustrating when people refuse to accept it but it is MORE frustrating to see your flyers in the trash or lying on the floor. Wasted efforts and money, right?

Those are my reasons but I know that I cannot explain it to each one of them and make a lecture every time I pass by their spot. That’s why I just try my best to say no as simple and as polite as possible though it’s quite hard not to be annoyed especially when you hear rude side comments.

Gilmore Boys: Laptop repair! Laptop Repair! Laptop Repair! Miss Laptop Repair!

LRT Guard: Doon kayo. May mga dadaan.

Gilmore Boys (still in their position extending their arms with flyers): Miss Laptop repair!

Me (doing one of my gesture tricks): No.

One Gilmore Boy: Laptop Repair, Miss… Kunin mo na (referring to his flyers).

Me (still doing the gesture while looking for my way out, their arms are extended partially blocking the walk way)

One Gilmore Boy: Sige na… Kunin mo na! (With a tone like unfinished: Sige na… Kunin mo na. Pakipot ka pa eh!)

Me (Napikon na): WALA AKONG LAPTOP!!!

LRT Guard: O ano?

Gilmore Boys (umatras): DEAD AIR

It is hard to maintain a minimalist lifestyle but it’s harder to keep cool at all times. Wink!

Efforts of a minimalist (cellphone)

I’m a trying hard minimalist. Our mother raised us that way and now I’m fully embracing and advocating such a lifestyle. I believe, for the longest time that you only replace whatever is broken. If it’s not broken yet, then use it until it can serve its purpose.

Nothing wrong with that, right? But oftentimes it’s just so hard to keep such a way of life, especially now that developments and improvements are happening so quickly that the most expensive and the latest model of a certain gadget will be a candidate as a museum-grade artifact in a few years or even months. True isn’t it?

A couple of years ago, I think that was around February of 2010 when I had a meeting with the Account Manager  of one of the largest cosmetic chain store here in Manila. I was called to her office for an afternoon meeting. That being the case, I came over in chic-corporate attire (something I rarely use, so I’m sure it looks good and new). I slipped on my cute kitten heels and same colored cocktail bag to match. I decided to bring a small bag since a pen and a small notebook would suffice for this short but important meeting, and of course I have my 4-year old motorolla-flip-top mobile phone with me.

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Her office is at the 9th floor so I took the lift and went straight to her office. Our meeting went well and we agreed into great terms for both of our company. I feel great after the meeting, I even felt so confident.

On my way down the lobby, I had to call our driver to tell him that we’re going back to the office. So I made a call inside the elevator (yes, there’s a full signal inside). After our short conversation, I hung up and noticed I have some important messages from the office and while I’m reading my messages, I heard a voice of a man talking to his friend,

Man A: Pare, kaparehas mo PA ng phone oh.

Man B: Oo nga.

Of course, they caught my attention, and I was about to give them a mind-your-own-phone-look when I saw a phone similar to mine (but in silver color) in the hand of a man who is sending an SMS. As I raise my head even further, I saw the two of them looking at my hands, este my phone in full disgust. And at that moment the air in the elevator was filled embarrassment radiating from me. The man who owns a similar phone to mine is like in his mid to late forty with a receding hairline and probably has a child in college who apparently has a pass for using such a remote cell phone. Shame!

I tell you, its not easy trying to be minimalist. Wink!