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I feel like life is slowly resuming to “normal”… or whatever new normal I’ve been transitioning towards. My fear and anxiety related to the pandemic have finally subsided, and I’m feeling pretty grateful to have the opportunity to work from home. I’m lucky to be able to say that the pandemic has not affected my lifestyle too much since I spend most of my time at home anyway, but finally having the stress out of the picture has made it easier for me to focus and go back to my normal operations of balancing my job with my personal life.
What’s New This Week:
Work has been a little slow for a lot of online entrepreneurs and business owners. A lot of my sponsored campaigns have been put on pause and my site traffic has also died down (I can only imagine that people aren’t really Googling budget-friendly tips for women as much as they are news about COVID-19), so I decided to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Although I made around $45,000 last year, as a business owner a lot of that income goes towards business overhead expenses and taxes. And while I’m savvy enough to effectively stretch my remaining income, the slowdown of work has made me feel a little unsure of my projected growth in income for the rest of 2020.
I figured it was worth trying to apply for some financial assistance to keep my business afloat, so that I’m not dipping into my net income to fund my operations. Worst case scenario, I won’t get approved for assistance. But these government programs were made to help us all, so why not try?
I was a little hesitant to share this little piece of personal, personal finance information, but I feel like it’s important to be transparent (I mean, part of this blog is about money management anyway!). Yes, my business has been doing well over the past 3 years and it’s still growing, but none of us are completely untouchable by economic disasters like the one that COVID-19 has brought. While I’m immensely grateful to say that I’m not in immediate financial hardship, as a business owner I do have to think ahead and strategically about how I will be scaling my business moving forward, and financial preparation is part of the process.
I want to remind people that while being self-employed comes with a lot of freedoms, there are a lot of responsibilities that also come in tow, like thinking ahead. So if you’re in the same predicament, take advantage of these government programs and see if they can benefit you. There is no shame in looking for help – we all need it right now.
Moving onto this week’s Volume 12 of Friday Favorites…
More Friday Favorites:
- Friday Favorites Vol. 5: Coping With COVID-19 Panic, Anxiety Attacks, Self-Quarantine and Social Distance
- Friday Favorites Vol. 1: Chic Sweats, Healthy “Frappucinos”, and Mercury Retrograde
- Friday Favorites Vol. 6: Staying Sane (& Cute) During Self-Quarantine, Breathing to Pass the Time, Chocolate Hummus? & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 8: I Got Tested For Coronavirus, a “Safe” Cookie Dough Recipe, a Staub Dutch Oven for $99!?
- Friday Favorites Vol. 9: $6 Skincare, Nikes on Sale, Trauma Healing & More
Beauty: LilySilk Silk Charmeuse Scrunchy
Have you heard about those Slip silk scrunchies at Sephora that all the influencers are raving about? They’re amazing for keeping your hair healthy and preventing breakage, but at $49 for a pack, it’s really hard to justify. But silk doesn’t come cheap, and the satin scrunchies that are widely available aren’t the same. Silk glides against the hair smoothly, helps seal in its natural oils, and doesn’t snag or encourage dryness or breakage the way regular hair elastics do.
That said, I was really surprised when I saw these silk scrunchies available on Amazon for $9.99 each. I checked the reviews and saw many people even went to the extreme of lighting theirs on fire to test if it was real silk – low and behold, it is! My hair suffers from breakage due to our hard water septic system, so I have to tie my hair up at night unless I want to exacerbate the problem with friction. Thanks to this silk scrunchie, my hair has done a better job of retaining its natural oils and feels much less frizzy. This scrunchie is a must-have for healthy hair!
Style: Jordan Fire Red 5’s
I’ve been wanting these Jordan Fire Red 5’s since around 2013, and I finally got my hands on them! This particular colorway is rare and was originally released back in 1990. It’s pretty significant in basketball history (especially in relation to Chicago Bulls), so a lot of basketball fans really covet this shoe, which made it really hard for a lot of people to successfully walk away with a pair.
Wynn from Wander x Luxe and I had been anticipating these shoes to drop, and on sale day I woke up early to hop on my computer, opened up about 10 browser windows for different shoe retailers, and waited until the clock struck 7AM to quickly check-out. All the websites slowed down and crashed, but luckily we were both able to get ourselves a pair before the websites went down!
These Jordans retailed at $200, but as a woman I can fit grade school (youth) sizes, which meant I was able to get my pair for $140 + tax. Right now, there’s still grade school sizes available at Foot Action, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Shiekh, Hibbett, and Finish Line. So if you’re female and eyeing them, don’t hesitate to get them – once they’re gone, they’re forever gone! *PS: I wear a women’s 7 which equals a youth 5.5, but Jordans generally run small, so I go half up a size. Youth 6 (women’s 7.5) fit me perfectly!
Food: Trader Joe’s Ube Ice Cream
Trader Joe’s killed it with their ube ice cream! As a fellow Filipino, I was hesitant to see if Trader Joe’s did our country’s dessert some justice or not, but they didn’t let us down! If you don’t know what ube is, it’s a purple yam that tastes like a cross between vanilla and pistachio when mixed into desserts. It’s nutty, creamy, and super delicious.
Compared to the Phillippines’s Magnolia-brand ube ice cream, I think TJ’s comes in at a really close second. And a pint is only $3, which is much cheaper than the imported price of Magnolia ice cream, so I grabbed a few pints! You definitely should too!
If you’re big on alternative medicine, natural healing and holistic wellness, you might want to look into the benefits of colloidal silver. It’s very effective for boosting the immune system, which is paramount right now. I picked up a bottle of Sovereign Silver to try a new detox method out for my Epstein-Barr virus, since it’s been such a headache to safely detox from my system (if I found something that worked, it was too fast and my body became so weak from it). There are so many great success stories of healing yeast infections, eye infections, cuts, skin conditions and more using this product, so I figure it’s worth a try!
Sovereign Silver is actually hydrolyzed silver which means that the silver particles are nanoparticles and suspended in water, compared to the larger particles of silver in colloidal silver. Because it’s hydrolyzed, it also contains no impurities that are notorious for the side effects commonly associated with colloidal silver supplements.
I’ve been trying this out over the past few days and have nothing yet to report, but after researching more about the benefits of silver, Sovereign Silver is something I always want to have in my medicine cabinet in case of cuts, infections, or for a general immune system boost.
It seems air fryers are the latest trending small kitchen appliance because you can make anything crispy and crunchy without deep-frying: it’s convenient, it’s cleaner, and it’s healthier. I’ve been using this every day for the past few days and everything comes out perfectly crispy and gives me the crunchy satisfaction that deep-fried food does, without the calories!
Aside from fried food, you can also roast vegetables to the perfect amount of crispiness, and you can also bake desserts in it. It’s a pretty versatile replacement to a small toaster oven, and for the $65 price tag, this 5 qt air fryer is a bargain! Most air fryers this size cost around $100 or more. It doesn’t look or feel cheap, so definitely try it out!
Lifestyle: Astro Soul Oracle Deck
Another great astrology tool I recently got my hands on is the gorgeous Astro Soul Oracle Deck. I backed their Kickstarter back in October 2019 for my birthday, but due to COVID-19 I was unable to receive my order until earlier this month. Needless to say, the wait was worth it! I have a few tarot and oracle decks and this is by far one of the highest quality decks I own. The nicest decks I have were also around $80, but this one is $52!
Not only is the deck gorgeous, but functionality-wise, it’s a great tool to practice and learn astrology, and also works well for its own standalone readings or to add additional context to another deck reading. Any astro junkie, tarot junkie, or mystic junkie in general would love this!
Entertainment: Sailor Moon
Quarantine has given me the freedom to revisit lots of my childhood favorite entertainment, which means Sailor Moon made it on my quarantine “to-do” list. Hulu has both the original Sailor Moon series as well as the new Sailor Moon Crystal (which is completely different), but for nostalgia’s sake I’ve been binge-watching the original series nonstop this past month. It’s cheesy, it’s marvelous, it’s annoying, dreamy, girly, and my childhood re-lived. And astro junkies… did you know that Sailor Moon is accurately based on karmic astrology? Totally brings a whole new meaning and tons of deeper layers to this anime.
If you have Hulu, I definitely suggest watching this if you haven’t watched it since childhood. I’m telling you, that theme song is gonna hit you in the feels as soon as you turn on episode one. Look for Sailor Moon S, not Sailor Moon Crystal.
Video: What if you could trade a paperclip for a house?
Jun showed me this video earlier this week and I could not wait to share this! Jun has been very active in buying, selling, and trading through Craigslist since he was a teenager, and he told me that Kyle MacDonald’s story was the reason why. Many years ago, Kyle became curious about what he could get in exchange for a red paper clip and made his first trade. Over the years, the many exchanges he made led him through a series of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and meetings, and at the end of his red paperclip trading chain, he received a house.
This story was so brilliant that years later Kyle went on TED to share his story. It’s fascinating, motivating, and really encourages us to think outside of the box using the resources we already have. Because of this story, Jun was inspired to trade on Craigslist and OfferUp and over the years he’s learned how to get some amazing trades, like his RV, some of his collectible cars, and much more. I’m not sure who the real Baller on a Budget is – Jun, or me. Sometimes I think it’s really Jun.
This Week’s Mantra: “I don’t need to eat my feelings to feel safe and secure.”
Have you heard of the running joke, the “quarantine 15?” Supposedly, during quarantine many of us have been eating and snacking so much that we’re expected to gain around 15 lbs during the stay-at-home order.
Like a lot of people, my weight has slowly been creeping up during quarantine. I’m finally in a good mental space to say that this isn’t affecting me as negatively as it would have during my eating disorder years, but these extra pounds did allow me to reflect on the why: why am I eating more? What quality food have I been choosing to eat lately? When am I eating? How am I feeling emotionally when I choose to eat?
The truth is, most of us, if not all of us eat emotionally at some point in our lives, and it’s to be expected these days. I was spending a lot more money than usual on groceries because I was buying a lot of snacks and unhealthy foods to subconsciously comfort myself during these stressful times.
I have brought a lot of awareness back to my eating and cooking habits this past month, and as a result my weight is going back down. This cause-and-effect relationship is making me realize that it’s okay to gain some weight right now. Weight changes are indicators of something deeper that’s going on inside you. Fix that problem, and the weight will follow.
Mantras and affirmations are so powerful, and the more I’ve been telling and thinking to myself that I don’t need to eat my feelings to feel safe and secure, the less I feel compelled to eat when I’m feeling emotional. I really hope that this piece of advice helps some of you that may be going through the same thing during quarantine.
That’s it for this week’s Friday Favorites! If you liked Volume 12, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so you get informed as soon as I hit publish on a new Friday Favorites post. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
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