Week 5: Nurture your relationships

Relationships are living, dynamic aspects of our lives that require attention and care. Much like a plant needs water, love and attention, so do human beings!

While it is important to work on ourselves and our personal growth, we should not take our relationships for granted. We can damage beautiful relationships if we don’t give them the attention they deserve, so it is necessary to put in the same amount of time and energy you would any other aspect of your life.

For this week, I have prepared two sets of relationship challenges below (feel free to do one challenge, or both):

  1. Spice up your (romantic) relationship
  2. Nurture your relationship with others

I hope you will find these easy relationship challenges helpful!

Have fun and enjoy each moment with your loved ones!

With much love,

Jomay

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Week 4: Love yourself

This is what my typical workday looks like: I sit in the office all day working on loads of paperwork, finishing off a mile-long to-do list, managing my boss’ jam-packed calendar, booking staff flights and meetings, ordering supplies, answering phones, etc.

Then after work, I take a long commute home, do errands, make dinner and spend time with my husband. By the time I finish doing stuff for other people,  I have canceled my yoga session, coffee with a friend, or massage appointment.

Sounds familiar?

Life is crazy and most of the time, I tend to put my self-care on the back burner to make room for all other things.

And I know most of us do, too.

However, practicing self-care is an essential part of my life and it has helped me stay sane and upbeat. A few simple habits of self-care can be so rewarding and relaxing that it allows me to let go of everyday stress and negativity around me.

Below are 12 self-care tips that you can try this week. Pick the ones that speak to you and do it as often as you can.

1. PUT YOURSELF FIRST

As women, we find it really difficult to remember our own happiness in addition to everyone else’s. We tend to love selflessly, but we also forget to love ourselves.

Do you remember what flight attendants say before the plane takes off?

They always say, “Put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others around you.”

If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how will you be able to take care of others?

You cannot share an empty cup. Fill yours first.

Put away the excuses and take care of yourself.

2. SAY DAILY POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS.

In simple terms, the definition of affirmations (sometimes called “self-affirmation”) is ‘positive sentences that you repeat to yourself’.

Saying positive affirmations helps me stay grounded and positive in the midst of daily challenges. It helps build my self-confidence, and overcome self-doubt and negative thoughts.

Remember: You are what you think.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that you can tell yourself every day:

“Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.”

“I am beautiful and strong, and my imperfections make me unique.”

“I am worthy of love, respect, and acceptance. There is love all around me.”

“I have the power to create change.”

“All areas of my life are abundant and filling.”

“Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.”

“My past is not a reflection of my future.”

“My life is a gift and I appreciate everything I have.”

“My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.”

“I am successful. Money comes easily and effortlessly.”

3. EMBRACE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS.

Have you ever felt pressured to have the perfect body or a flawless image of your life on social media?

Have you ever scrolled through your social media feed admiring a friend’s vacation photos or flawless selfies, only to find yourself depressed or anxious about not measuring up?

In the age of social media, we often find ourselves obsessing over how other people perceive us, so we use filters and whatnot to paint a perfect image of ourselves.

But what if, instead of trying so hard to be perfect, why don’t we just allow ourselves to embrace imperfection?

4. CREATE JOYFUL RITUALS.

One of the simple things that make my soul happy is having a few joyful rituals. This is my way of celebrating life and infusing my days with joy and meaning.

So what is a joyful ritual? For me, it can be a simple thing as enjoying tea time while reading a book on a weekend. Or having a nice, warm bath while listening to a relaxing sound or music. Or it can be a hugging ritual with your partner each night before bed.

A joyful ritual can be something so “simple” or “common”, yet heartwarming enough to make your soul smile, no matter what life throws at you.

5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE.

Being thankful can make your life better in so many ways.

Research shows that people who are grateful find a greater sense of feeling connected to others and have a more optimistic view towards life.

One way of practicing gratitude is by starting your day with morning gratitude affirmations.

Affirmations of gratitude will help you to set the intention to spend your day in a state of thankfulness. This positivity allows you to better cope with any unpleasant surprises which the day may bring.

6. EAT GREEN.

Green eating is about making healthy, natural choices when it comes to the foods we eat along with choosing foods that are healthy for our planet.

Why do I choose green eating?

Because it is better for your health, it helps the local economy, and it reduces fuel consumption and global warming.

Buy local. Choose organic. Eat well knowing you’re taking care of yourself and the environment.

Journey-of-Joy-week-3-embrace-a-healthy-lifestyle

7. SQUEEZE IN A MORNING WORKOUT.

One of the best ways to energize your day is to do a short, quick workout in the morning.

I personally do a quick 10-minute yoga session in the morning, and I feel great every single time.

You can use Youtube or apps that offer 5 to 10-minute workouts that will help keep you going throughout the day.

8. UNPLUG.

We live in such a busy, over-gadget-ized world. Most people, including myself, are guilty of being “disconnected” socially by being connected digitally.

The one bad habit that I want to get rid of is grabbing my phone first thing when waking up. (oops!) I regularly set my alarm clock to wake up early but most of the time I would find myself wasting a good hour scrolling my Facebook or Instagram.

Unplug for several hours a day and find a quiet place – and just sit there. Be still. Enjoy the peace, and just appreciate the stillness.

9. LEARN TO SAY “NO”.

I have been a people pleaser all my life.

And this attitude has caused me a lot of stress and heartaches.

But now I have slowly learned the art of saying no.

Being able to say “no” means that you are aware of your own value and boundaries, and you are not afraid of letting other people down to protect your own happiness or safety.

It’s when people learn to say no that their careers take off, their well-being improves, and personal values are preserved.

Learn to say no and you’ll realize how liberating it is.

10. AVOID NEGATIVE PEOPLE.

Did you know that negative people are literally killing you?

Yup, those toxic people that are no fun to be around, can actually have incredibly negative effects on your health and success.

Avoid that friend or coworker who always complains or spreads gossips. Don’t let them bring you into their negativity.

Unfriend those annoying people on Facebook. Unfollow the “toxics” on Instagram.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you, encourage you and help you realize your potential.

11. SUBSCRIBE TO INSPIRING BLOGS.

Now that you’ve taken the toxic people out of your life, it’s time to surround yourself with uplifting, positive thoughts.

Pick a few articles from blogs and websites that you find inspiring and read them throughout the day.

You can also help share positivity by sharing these articles through social media.

Be inspired – fill your heart with love and your mind with positivity.

12. PAMPER YOURSELF.

Reward yourself by giving in to some simple pleasures.

When I think of simple pleasures, I think of all the little things I enjoy that are either free or inexpensive. They are the most unassuming moments, but things I truly find immense pleasure in.

Simple things such as enjoying a decadent dessert, a hot bubble bath or a romantic-comedy movie make my soul smile with glee.


Love yourself as much as you would like to be loved.

So which ones of these self-care tips will you try first? What self-care tips can you share with me? I would love to hear from you 🙂

Take care,

Jomay

Week 3: Embrace a healthy lifestyle

Hi there, welcome to the third week of the Journey of Joy challenge!

Most of the time, a goal can be so big, so all-encompassing that it can seem downright overwhelming. Improving your health is no exception.

These past few months I have been wanting to make some “dramatic” changes in my life. There are so many things that I want to do: dropping unwanted weight, eating better, decreasing stress levels, improving my fitness, and so on and so forth. When we don’t know where to start, we tend not to start at all.

This past week was really a challenging one for me. I had been sick all week (*sigh) – thank God, I made it through the week without missing a day at work.

And this is exactly why I started the Journey of Joy challenge – I want to be healthy again.

Why do I want to be healthy?

I want to be healthy mainly because I want to be able to do more with my life.

I want to have that energy to pursue my passion.

I want to live longer so that I can continue to love and provide for my family.

I want to have a long and happy marriage – and enjoy every moment of it.

I want to have a happier, more meaningful life.

I want to make a difference.

WEEK 3: MY JOURNEY TO EMBRACING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

This week, I am going to focus on improving my health and wellness.

With strong determination and discipline, I hope to accomplish the following goals that I have set for myself by the end of this year:

Achieve a healthy weight

I hate to admit this, but in the past couple of years, I have taken myself for granted.

I stopped doing yoga. I stopped eating healthy. I stopped pampering myself.

I have completely forgotten to take care of myself.

So I have to make some big changes to my life. I need to get my healthy weight back no matter what.

I currently weigh 144.4 lbs (ugh!) – and my goal is to achieve a healthy weight of 120 lbs, which was prescribed by my physician. That means I have to lose at least 24.4 lbs by December 31, 2018.

Eat more plant-based food

One of the things that I want to do is to be able to make healthy food choices again.

Starting this week, I will create a weekly menu that consists mostly of vegetarian dishes. I will also feature some of my favorite Filipino veggie dishes and I hope to inspire you to try them as well.

Move more – regularly and consistently

One of the challenges I face in terms of keeping a healthy lifestyle is to be consistent in doing regular physical activity, especially during winter. I have joined numerous gym memberships in the past only to find myself quitting in the middle of the winter season.

Starting this week, I will schedule daily small workouts and activities that I can break up throughout the day.

For example, I can do a 15-minute yoga in the morning as soon as I wake up. Then I will take a 15-minute walk during lunch break. Then in the evening, I can watch and follow some dance workouts on Youtube for 30 minutes to an hour.

Get enough rest and sleep

A good night’s sleep is very, very important to me. Every time I sleep less than six hours, I find it extremely difficult to stay awake and focus at work.

So starting this week, I will do my best to:

  • Set a regular bedtime
  • Prepare next-day preparations about an hour before bed
  • De-stress and relax

Feel healthy for real

Research shows that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management.

And this is exactly why I created this 90-day challenge. I truly want to be a better version of myself – mentally, emotionally, financially and physically. I realized that I won’t be able to achieve all my goals in life until I become 100% healthy.

So in the next 30 days, I am going to do the following (no excuses):

  1. Schedule workouts
  2. Break up workouts throughout the day
  3. Do exercises on a budget
  4. Drink plenty of water
  5. Make a menu
  6. Cook at home
  7. Fill up on fiber
  8. Pack own meals
  9. Get small portions
  10. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  11. Drink green tea
  12. Get enough sleep
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Foods that I will avoid in the next 30 days:

  1. French fries and potato chips
  2. Fruit juices
  3. Sugary drinks
  4. White bread and rice
  5. Candy bars and chocolates
  6. Pastries, cookies and cakes
  7. High-calorie coffee
  8. Processed foods
  9. Foods high in sodium
  10. “Health foods” that are junk foods in disguise

Rules that I must follow in the next 30 days:

  1. Eat more greens and vegetables during the week.
  2. Cut back on white rice, coffee and meat.
  3. Weekends will be my “cheat days” and therefore I will allow myself to enjoy small amounts of meat dishes, desserts and some wine or craft beer.
  4. Choose organic products.
  5. Buy Canadian products and locally-grown foods.

I am so excited with this 30-day challenge and I hope you will join me, too!

Do you have any health tips that you would like to share with me? Please tell me about it through the comments section below.

With much love,

Jomay

“Journey of Joy” challenge: Week 2

Hi there, welcome to the second week of “Journey of Joy: A 90-day journey to a happy, meaningful life”. I am so glad you’re here! (yay!)

I had so much fun during Week 1 of Journey of Joy challenge and I hope you did too!

(If you haven’t done the first week’s challenges, please check it out here.)

NOTE: Please take note that starting this week, I will publish weekly challenges and reflections every Monday and not Sunday.

Okay, here we go…

Week 1 was designed to be simple, fun and easy to accomplish. The Week 2 challenge though is a little more serious but important.

WEEK 2: PREPARE YOURSELF FOR CHANGE

This week’s challenges are aimed at helping you prepare for change and identify the areas in your life that need to be changed.

Unlike Week 1, the Week 2 challenges have to be done in chronological order and each step cannot be skipped.

So here’s what Week 2 challenge looks like:

DAY 1. Identify aspects of your life that need to be improved

DAY 2. Be clear with your intentions

DAY 3. Set realistic goals and deadlines

DAY 4. Get all the tools and help you need

DAY 5. Get support from family and friends

DAY 6. Change your mindset 

DAY 7. Take your first step… NOW!

I will expound on these steps on my next post this week.

Goodnight everyone – chat soon!

-Jomay

A Diary of Joy: Week 1

WEEK 1


Hello everyone! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving day celebration wherever you are.

I sure had a busy day yesterday cooking and just having fun with my family and friends. I feel truly blessed to be able to share these moments with the people I care about.

Thoughtful-Thursday-be-thankful-for-what-you-have

Okay. So the first week of my “Journey of Joy” challenge is over and I am excited to share with you how my first week went!

But before I get to that, I would like to thank my sister Jane Remolacio for participating in the first week’s challenge! Yehey!

Here are some of the photos of what she did this week:

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It looks like she really had a great time! So I asked her a few questions and here’s what she’s got to say:

Jomay: What inspired you to join the challenge?

Jane: I want to be able to achieve a happy and meaningful life, and for me to be able to do that I must start doing small things that make me feel good inside and out. I am at the point of my life where I want to make good changes. I want to improve my health, my financial situation, and most importantly – my relationship with others, especially my loved ones. 

Jomay: How did you feel after accomplishing the challenges?

Jane: I felt awesome! I know that great things can be achieved by taking small steps!

Jomay: Would you do the next set of challenges?

Jane: I’m certainly into it. Challenge accepted!

Thank you, sister, for joining me in this worthwhile journey and I couldn’t wait to see more of what you can achieve in the next few weeks! Thumbs up!

Okay, so as for me, here’s how my week went:


DAY 1. Take a 15-minute walk

This challenge was super easy because I have been doing this for a while.

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I regularly spend the other 30 minutes of my lunch break walking and just enjoying some fresh air.

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I took a 15-minute walk twice on Monday and because it felt good, I did again for the rest of the week.

Do small things like this on a regular basis until it becomes a habit and part of your daily routine.



DAY 2. Donate 5 items

In the past four years, I have donated a lot of items to family, friends, and charities.

A few weeks ago, I was able to donate some of my unused office supplies to my nephew Jaron’s school. His teacher was so happy and it really made my day!

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This week, I was able to find some more stuff that I will donate to Value Village, and I plan on donating some more.


DAY 3. Make a grocery list

On Saturday, my brother JR and I went to Young’s supermarket on McPhillips to buy groceries. As always, I really find my grocery list useful. The store was packed with people buying groceries for Thanksgiving celebrations. Despite that, we shopped with ease and we were out the door in no time.

Since I made the list on beforehand (Day 3, Wednesday), I was able to estimate how much I was going to spend. So I brought cash for my groceries and I was really happy that I spent within my budget, woohoo!



DAY 4. Take a funny selfie with your loved ones

So like I said, Steve was not a big fan of “selfies”. But a day before taking a selfie, I told him about the challenges and my very kind husband agreed to do it just before dropping me off to work.

I showed him some of the selfie stickers that we can use from Camera360, but he chose this one and it was hilarious:

Week-1-Funny-selfie-with-Steve

DAY 5. Serve a veggie dish for dinner

So I was excited to make a veggie dish, but then I realized that our fridge was almost empty and I wouldn’t be able to buy groceries until the weekend.

Luckily, I found a bundle of spinach in the fridge, a jar of mung beans on the shelves and a cute little squash on the kitchen counter, which my sis Jane harvested from a friend’s farm.

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With the help of my brother JR, we were able to make some hearty bowls of mung beans soup with squash and spinach! It was our Fri-yay dinner! Yummm!



DAY 6. Book a fun day

Steve, JR and I went to Landmark, Manitoba to spend the Thanksgiving dinner with Steve’s family.

My mother-in-law’s dishes have always been drool-worthy and unconscionably delicious. I enjoyed the warm, welcoming and intimate family dinners such as this and it was truly a fun and meaningful day for all of us.


DAY 7. Pamper yourself

It had been an extremely busy week for me doing a lot of things – keeping my fulltime job, managing a new blog, running errands, doing a huge amount of cooking, and more!

The only two things I craved for yesterday were:

(1) a good nap, and

(2) a sweet, warm crepe loaded with banana slices, hazelnut spread, and vanilla ice cream! Yay!

Simple things like this truly make my soul happy. That nap and crepe gave me a good boost to accomplish a lot more!


I am so happy with how my week turned out. I hope you had fun as much as I did! 

So which challenges did you take? Did you enjoy doing it? I’d love to hear from you!

Oh please don’t forget to check out our Week 2 challenge!

Have a great day,

Jomay

WEEK 1 of “Journey of Joy: A 90-day journey to a happy, meaningful life”

Hi there, welcome to the very first week of “Journey of Joy: A 90-day journey to a happy, meaningful life”.

As promised, I have created a very simple, easy-to-follow seven-day challenge to jumpstart our week!

Check this out:

Week 1

WEEK 1


DAY 1. Take a 15-minute walk

This 90-day challenge is going to be a life-changing journey so it just makes sense to start it off with a very energizing 15-minute walk! Whether you’re at work or at home, use a 15-minute break to walk around and get some fresh air. If this makes you feel good, do it again for the rest of the week.

OPTIONAL: Take a picture of scenery while you’re strolling and post it on my Facebook page or on the “comments section” below. I will feature it on my next post. Please include your name and a short description of your photo.


DAY 2. Donate 5 items

Look around your home and find 5 items that you:

  • no longer need
  • don’t need
  • haven’t used in the past 6 months

Check your closet, pantry, kitchen, living room or garage. What did you find? Do you think these are items that other people can benefit from? If yes, donate them.

Once you’ve collected 5 items, take them to the nearest charity store or the local charity of your choice as soon as possible.

OPTIONAL: Take a picture of the stuff that you have donated and post it on my Facebook page or on the “comments section” below. I will feature it on my next post. Please include your name and a short description of your photo.


DAY 3. Make a grocery list

What if I tell you that making a grocery list is one of the simplest steps to achieving financial freedom?

Okay, I am not exaggerating this, but this useful habit provides a disciplined approach to the shopping spree. Having a shopping list in your hand prevents you not only from filling up your shopping cart with stuff that you don’t need but also from spending money that you worked hard for.

REMEMBER: In these strained financial times, we need to pay attention to where our money is spent with great diligence.


DAY 4. Take a funny selfie with your loved ones

Oh, I love this one! Get your camera or phone and take the funniest-looking selfie with the person/s you love to the moon and back!

Okay – I get that not all of us (including my husband Steve!) is a big fan of “selfies” but hey!! One silly selfie with your spouse or children doesn’t kill, right?!

Yes, you look hilarious, but so what? Won’t you give up anything just to see that infectious, beautiful smile on their faces? After all, this is all about having fun!

So what are you waiting for? Take a selfie and say “CHEESE”! J

OPTIONAL: Share your funny selfie by posting it on my Facebook page or on the “comments section” below. I will feature it on my next post. Please include your name and a short description of your photo.


DAY 5. Serve a veggie dish for dinner

I belong to a very poor family so I grew up eating vegetables every single day.

Nothing makes me happier than to enjoy some of the most popular Filipino vegetable dishes such as pinakbet (vegetables with shrimp paste),adobong kangkong (river spinach with vinegar and soy sauce), ginataang sitaw at kalabasa (string beans and squash with coconut cream), and Ilonggo’s laswa (vegetable soup).

However, this challenge may be a little difficult for meat-eating folks. If you haven’t had any vegetable dish in your life, this may be a good time to try one. You can either use some recipes online, get a family or friend to cook you a dish, or simply order a veggie meal at your favorite restaurant.

OPTIONAL: Take a picture of your vegetable dish and post it on my Facebook page or on the “comments section” below. I will feature it on my next post. Please include your name and a short description of your photo.


DAY 6. Book a fun day

We are getting closer to the end of the week, yay!

You have spent the past few days working, studying, taking care of the kids – doing whatever that is taking you away from having a great time. Today will be about spending time with your loved ones. Go out and play with the kids, take them to a nearby park, eat out with your friends, watch a movie with your significant other – do something fun and enjoy the moment!


DAY 7. Pamper yourself

Save the best for last!

It is now Day 7 and it is time to reward yourself for accomplishing so much this week.

My “me” time would be something that I truly enjoy doing alone (meaning, no spouse (or kids) lurking around, LOL).

I truly enjoy reading a book, getting a therapeutic massage or foot spa, doing yoga at home, watching Netflix and writing a blog. J

What is it that makes you enjoy your “alone” time? Do it.


Easy, right? These challenges are so easy that you can even do them all every day for the whole week.

I have intentionally chosen these simple tasks for Week 1 mainly because I believe that taking baby steps at the beginning of the challenge is achievable and a lot easier than trying to immediately commit to something big which can be really overwhelming.

I also made sure that each area is well-covered this week, take a look at this:

HEALTH & WELLNESSSELF-CAREMARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIPSINTENTIONAL LIVINGPERSONAL FINANCE
Take a 15-minute walk

 

Serve a veggie dish for dinner

Pamper yourselfTake a funny selfie with loved ones

 

Book a fun day

Donate 5 itemsMake a grocery list

I will share with you my personal reflections on the Week 1 challenge this Monday, so stay tuned!

Please subscribe to my weekly challenges here.

Meanwhile, have fun doing these challenges and feel free to share what you’ve done so far.

Thank you for joining me and talk to you soon!

cheers,

-Jomay 

Journey of Joy: A 90-day journey to a happy, meaningful life

I love the idea of always trying to improve myself towards becoming the best version of me that I can possibly be.

Every now and then I would start a 30-day challenge to improve a certain aspect of my life.

Whether it is to lose weight, change a habit, or help a community, taking up a challenge can help solidify a new habit that you want to improve or incorporate into your daily routine, or eliminate that nasty habit that hasn’t been good for your health or well-being.

While many people wait until January to set their new year’s resolutions, the window of opportunity is always open for those who want to set new goals. In fact, now is the right time to take up a challenge and strive towards improvement.

Since I started my blog in August, I have been thinking of creating a challenge that is, in such a way, focused on a few areas of my life. Rather than lay out my project for the entire year in detail, I have made a list of specific things I want to work on every week for the next 3 months.

In the next 90 days, I will embark on an exciting journey that I believe will lead me to an even happier and more meaningful life. 

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly blessed and happy, but I also believe there are always areas in which I can improve.

For this 90-day personal challenge, I wrote down things that I want to change in my life.

After carefully examining my list, I have identified five general aspects of my life that I need some improvement.

Here are the five general areas that I would like to improve:


HEALTH & WELLNESS

  • Achieve a healthy weight
  • Eat more plant-based food
  • Move more – regularly and consistently
  • Get enough rest and sleep
  • Feel healthy for real

SELF-CARE

  • Have special “me” time
  • Take time to pray and be grateful
  • Start a journal
  • Create/do something new
  • Ditch bad habits and start good ones

MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIPS

  • Prioritize our relationship
  • Respect alone time and plan fun together –regularly
  • Communicate with kindness
  • Support and understand each other
  • Spend quality time with family and friends

INTENTIONAL LIVING

  • Embrace a minimalist lifestyle
  • Adopt a simple living
  • Keep a simple wardrobe
  • Pay it forward
  • Protect the environment

PERSONAL FINANCE

  • Spend less money
  • Pay off debts
  • Earn extra money
  • Save up for an emergency fund
  • Build a strong credit

NOTE: You can also create your own list of things that you want to improve using my example above. If you need help with that, please send me a quick note using the contact form below and I’d be happy to share some helpful tips.

Here we go…

The “Journey of Joy” challenge STARTS RIGHT NOW!

From October 1 to December 30, 2018, I will post both my weekly challenge and personal reflections every Monday.

There will be a total of 13 weekly challenges throughout this journey.

Week 1 starts today (October 1st) and ends on Sunday (October 7th).

The “Journey of Joy” project really excites me and I am so confident that after 90 days, I will not only achieve significant changes but will also learn so much about myself and the world we live in!

Please feel free to join me on this journey by subscribing here

Goodnight and talk to you again tomorrow!

love lots,

Jomay