Learning Spanish Resources

A few months ago, I have decided to do something new. I tried to learn a new language--Spanish.

Why this language you say? I just thought that learning this would be easier than other languages because some of the words used in the Tagalog language were derived from Spanish.

However, teaching yourself something you have no knowledge about is not easy. But if you have resources to help you, then it can serve as a guideline to help you learn Spanish.

My plan months ago to learn the language did not have a lot of progress until last month when I started gaining a lot of free time. Today, I am trying to increase my vocabulary and hopefully someday, become fluent in Spanish.

For starters, here are some good resources to help you learn Spanish language:

Duolingo

Duolingo is a mobile language application which introduces language learning in a fun and exciting way. Play while learning Spanish by translating words, and multiple choice statements. Learning is divided in bite size lessons and you earn prize or lose life through the process.

Duolingo-Learn-Language-for-Free

The process is pretty simple and easy to understand. This is a great tool to learn new vocabulary and some Spanish basics however, it can be challenging to learn grammar through this platform. You can download this mobile app for Android, iOS phone, and Windows phone.

Butterfly Spanish

Learn the basic of Spanish language and a whole lot more for free from Ana, a.k.a. the Butterfly Spanish of Youtube. Watching her videos as she teaches Spanish really feels like you are a student in a classroom with her as your teacher.

Butterfly-Spanish-Yotuber

She teaches Spanish in a way so practical that it's easier to understand. I have some questions from Duolingo regarding grammar which were answered when I watched Butterfly Spanish lessons. I highly recommend you watch her video for introductory lessons in Spanish language.

The Mixxer

Another good way to learn Spanish is by finding a language partner who you can converse with and talk in the language you are learning. The Mixxer is a non-profit website hosted by Dickinson College to help students find a native language speaker of their study. The users from this site are varied so I guess someone can find a language partner of different kinds through this platform.

The-Mixxer-Language-Exchange-for-Everyone

I am still on the process of learning Spanish with two companions I met from the site who wanted to enhance their English language in exchange. We haven't started out yet, but I know it will be a good foundation for my education.

My Spanish is beyond good yet but it is getting better. I think practice will be my key if I continue with this. I hope these sites will help you just like they are helping me.

Share with us:
  • What language do you want to learn / or are learning?
  • Are you familiar with the things I mentioned above? 
  • Have you had a language partner before?

2017 with a New Perspective

When people welcome the New Year, a list of resolutions file up in my feed. I will do this... I will do that... I will become a new person. But I started feeling that it's not really that. New Year's resolutions are just things to cheat ourselves to think that we will change.

Hey, that is one pessimistic line! I know, maybe I could be more optimistic. Maybe there is a better way to write this down.

Live the Dream

January marks the start of new beginnings. There's already a few things in my list that I am eyeing to do. That mostly includes soul searching and dream catching.

The Year to Travel

In a few months, I will be graduating in college. I can't wait. I am excited. I used to loath the moment because I will be separating ways with my circle of friends, but after redeeming myself before the year ended, I just stopped having bad thoughts about it. It's not that I stopped loving my friends, but I've come in terms with the facts that one way or another, we will be separating our ways in the future. Depressing thoughts alert my mind right now. I love you friends.

I am thinking that this time, I might be spending it more with my family or with some of my other friends. Ate Reg, my former dormmate is actually asking me to go backpacking with her on a beach or somewhere. I'm quite excited because we are planning to do this together with Ate Rose (another former dormmate). It feels like were some independent women.

Riverside Moutanside

I am not sure though that would happen any soon now. I have to focus on studies until I graduate this March 2017, review for board until July, and finally take the board by August. I have too much to do by then but I know one way or another I'll be able to squeeze some time for travel.

A Year to Love Myself Better

A few days before the year has ended, I've started to come in terms with my worth as a person. A person I love passed away and it was disheartening. It just triggered anxiety in me. Things just seemed to pile up one by one and I became so sensitive emotionally to the people close to me. Things they said, things they did. As much as I try not to admit it because I don't want people thinking I'm forcing myself to them, I'm hurt because I care for them. And feeling like they don't for me is really sad.

This year, I started embracing myself more. Spending time reading books, studying, and eating alone has made me feel more comfortable. I stopped procrastinating over it but sometimes, I can still find myself thinking about it.

This time, this year, I declare that this would be the year to start loving myself more. Distance myself from people and things who makes me feel anything less. This is the year to love myself better. And it's quite working. It's quite weird being able to make others happy but feel otherwise yourself.

A Year to Try Something New

I could proudly tell anyone that I am the kind to try something just for the sake of experience. But ofcourse, there's a limit from the bad stuffs that without a thought should never be tried. I am looking forward trying a new hobby or learning a unique skill.


I've started trying to learn Spanish using the Duolingo app and I've been watching, otherwise listening to Youtubers. I actually like Youtube a lot because I find it interesting seeing regular people sharing their life and videos. It's also a weird way for me to learn and practice my English. I might share my favorite Yotubers soon. They're totally awesome.

This year, I'm trying to make it everything about myself. I'm trying to practice self-care and instead of procrastinating over what others feel (because I care for them a lot), I will be focusing more on my feelings. 

What about you, how do you see 2017?

Installing a Subway Tile Backsplash

If you want a really great way to add style, design, and personality to a kitchen, it doesn’t involve paint or new floor tiles. It involves a new backsplash. Are backsplash tiles beneficial in terms of cooking? Well of course. They keep food and other debris off of the wall. But, over the years more and more people are also adding backsplash tiles to their walls because it's trendy, stylish, can add color and texture to the walls and it looks amazing. Now, if you want to install a really great tile, and have really good kitchen backsplash ideas in your mind, subway tile is a good one to look at. Visit www.tilemarkets.com and see what options you can go through. This is a big material trend this year and will be for the next few years. You could also have a look at schluter.com. Here is a quick summary of how to install subway tile backsplash.

Installing a Subway Tile Backsplash

Materials Needed:

  • Tiles for the walls
  • Tile Adhesive like mastic or thinset
  • Spacers
  • Trowel
  • A nipper for your tiles or a tile saw
  • Grouting
  • Sponges
  • Grout Sealer
  • Colored Caulk to Match the Grouting

First Thing’s First

Always clean your walls before painting, wallpapering, or back splashing. Just do this quickly with a warm sponge that has been dampened with some water. Let it dry before you begin the next steps.

Second Step

Wipe a layer of mastic, thin-set, or adhesive on the wall. This tends to be a thick white substance. This really just helps your tiles stick to the wall. After you spread out your mastic, you want to make sure that all the mastic is smooth i.e. if there are any grooves or scoop lines, smooth them out. It's best to work row by row rather than slap this all on the wall – it will dry.

Aligning The Tiles

Assuming you are using individual tiles, take your first tile, bottom right-hand side, and make it flush with the wall as well as the counter. This is going to be the first puzzle piece in a much larger puzzle. Make sure that you press the tile into the mastic. Next, place a spacer between that tile and the next and repeat and rinse until you have an entire row done. Next, on that first tile you laid down, place a spacer on the top so that when you start the new row, you know where to go, add spacers after each tile is placed down, again rinse and repeat. This is very easy, just a tad tedious.

Clear Out The Mastic

Make sure that as you are doing your rows, you are clearing out any mastic that got on the tiles and any mastic that is between the tiles. If you don’t do this now it's going to be very hard in the near future. You have to remember, this stuff gets like dried cement.

Using Your Snippers

Not every subway tile is going to fit perfectly. I know, I’m sorry. I wish it did. But, what you can do is use snippers or a tile cutter to cut the tile into the shape and size you need. Elephantjournal.com provides you good reads on almost everything. So instead fiddling around, have a look at the site for some ideas. Or, simply use a tape measure to measure the size you need, then use a pencil and a ruler to make the lines where they need to go. Then use your tile cutter. A lot of people like snippers, it almost looks like a very small thick pen. It has a blade that comes out that “scores” the line and allows you to literally crack the piece in half right on the line to create the perfect size you need. This will need to be done around weird angles, outlets, switch plates, etc.

Visual Aspects

At this point you should look at your wall and see an entire wall of subway tiles – 4 inches to 8 inches up your wall, 8 inches to 12 inches, or the entire wall – all three options have their own benefits and looks. Between each tile on its bottom, top, left and right side (depending on the area of the tile) you should see your spacers. Good? Okay, awesome.

Wait To Dry and Then Grout

Your mastic will most likely take about 24 hours to dry. Check the label to make sure. Once it's done drying you get to do the fun part. Take all of your spacers out. This is messy and at first, you might feel like you screwed up somewhere along the way, but just go with it. Take your grout and mix it up. Then, take your trowel and place that wet grout all over the wall, spreading it out evenly and pushing it into the spaces (where the spacers used to be) of the wall tiles. Again, it's probably going to look messy, but it’ll work out.

Once you’ve applied grout to all the tiles and gotten it all inside of the spaces, you need to take a sponge, dampened with warm water, and then wipe the wall down. This is going to get rid of the grout from the tiles. This will need to be done several times over.

Make sure that you keep the grout where it belongs, in the spaces. Next, use your grout sealer and place that all over the grout lines. If it gets on the tile, get it off asap because once it dries, it's really hard to get off and it will show up on the tiles.

Lastly, take your caulk, the color choice is yours, and place that on the line right above the counter space. And pretty much any other place you need to. The caulk does not go in grout lines. That’s a whole other project.

Now, you will be looking at a beautiful and flawless end result. Because, it adds color, style, and function. Can't ask for anything much easier than that.

2016: An Eagle's View

Today, I reflected about how 2016 went. It was challenging. I worked hard twice. I cried some tears. I laughed a whole lot. But yesterday, it marked the start of the New Year. New me. New you. New us.

2016 may have ended but the memories and experience I had will never cease in my mind. I have a lot of things I have to be thankful and wept for. It would be a very long list if I have to enumerate them all so I had to compress them into few specific categories.

Travel

Would you believe that 2016 have been the most productive year I had for travel? Yes, it is. Just imagine going to different places. After the school started, we became a whole lot busier, but that didn't stopped us.



Here's a rundown of the areas I have been to.

  • Mt. Pamitinan in Rodriguez, Rizal - The first mountain I climbed. I went here with my circle and it was really fun. I wrote a post about my first mountain climbing experience at Mt. Pamitinan a while back.
  • Binan, Laguna - This was where I had my on-the-job training together with Joy, Mark, and Win. It was quite the two months of my life. I also experienced long distance friendship and quite enjoyed it. Stories were twice entertaining. (Say 'hi' Erin)
  • Calauan, Laguna - Part of my OJT gave us the priviledge to visit some of the site location being handled by the company we were at. I was quite disheartened with the situation in the area we visited. That's why my conviction for my program became stronger after this visit.
  • Baguio City (May, December) - I went to Baguio City for the first time in May to attend a convention. it was exciting and I was able to bring home the bacon on the contest I participated. Too bad I only stayed there for one night, and a day, then went home the following night to make it in time for the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban. Fortunately, I was able to come back this time with my family last December. 
  • Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon - Imagine an 8 hour drive from Baguio City to Cubao, then another 5 hours to Lucban. It was not cool. And I had to walk for like 2-3 hours because the traffic to Lucban was the worst during that time. But hey, it was an awesome experience.
  • Mt. Binacayan in Rodriguez, Rizal - Our second hike. It was awesome. I realized something during this hike which I hope to bury deep down in a pit somewhere. But yeah, awesome. I got over that.
  • Mt. Hapunang Banoi in Rodriguez, Rizal - Our third hike. Remember that second hike was never the same as the third hike. And it was worth knowing.
That was the gist of my most important travel experience. I hope to share more about them but it's kind of a mess right now to do so.

Friendship

I had the best circle in the college for crying out loud!

Let me be more specific and detailed about it briefly. We are six (6) in the group. Joy, Erin, Mark, Win, Lyn, and I. We were always together. As in most of the time in school. We did most overnights together for our projects or random stuffs. Celebrated many events together. And traveled through heights together.

Like any other friendship, we had differences. Well, we're not really the same. We do not have the same hobbies, likes and dislikes but we met each other and we clique sometime around. And so, our friendship started. We had a few bumps last semester, but we became closer somewhere.

Four of us are graduating this semester (Lyn, Win, Mark and I). I hope we would all stay connected after this. I love these guys a lot. I do think my love for them have grown unconditionally.

Academics

Yey! I'm doing better in study. After laying low for many semesters, I think I'm going back. It's a rough transition especially that I am handling an organization and graduating this semester.

But yes, I had to say, it was a really challenging year. I wept. I cried. I have to say I learned that I hate Plumbing and doing drafts. I had to endure sleepless nights mostly because of it. It was cruel. Out of all the areas in my program, I have to say I know one--I don't like Plumbing the most.



Relationships

I am trying to become a stronger person, and yes, I think I achieved it. But apart from all the things I acquired, there are still times when I felt vulnerable.

I met a lot of awesome people, and learned to love my inner self more. But truth is, I started to loath the idea that one of these days, these people will not going to be with me anymore. And I feel sad just thinking about it. I can sometimes cry for it.

This is one of the reason why I preferred having no label in relationship. Like I can be your friend but I can not be called your best friend. I don't have that kind of relationship with anyone. I only have closer friends. And these guys I have right now, they're the closest I have. I hate to see them all disperse at one point.


The most important thing though is, 2016 has been the best so far. By growing old, I learned a lot of things. A year older. A year wiser. I can never trade it for anything. I do hope 2017 will be better. Fingers crossed!


Three Health Strategies That Can Help You Feel Your Best

In today's world, more and more people are realizing that great health is the key to optimizing mood and enhancing productivity in one's personal or professional life. If you're ready to jump on the health bandwagon, now is the perfect time to start implementing wellness techniques that will help you begin feeling your best. Here are three of the most effective tips to get you started:

1. Locate The Right Doctor.

One great way to ensure that you get on the road to great health is by locating the right doctor. This step will help ensure that you attain the preventive care necessary to fight disease and detect existing conditions early so they can be eliminated with skill and speed. When you start looking for the right medical professional, be sure to consider Dr. Bryant MD. Dr. Bryant offers a wide range of health-optimizing services that help clients optimize their level of physical and mental well-being. Additionally, Dr Bryant offers the detail-oriented, results-driven cellulite reduction Los Angeles citizens need and deserve.

2. Join Your Local Gym.

Another health strategy you should consider implementing to start feeling your best is joining your local gym. This is the step that can really take your level of well-being from good to great by optimizing your physiological system. Some of the health benefits people attain from engaging in regular exercise include:
  • better sleep
  • enhanced immunity
  • clearer thinking
  • better memory
  • weight management
  • improved metabolism
  • better posture
  • enhanced digestion

3. Optimize Your Eating Habits.

Many health experts agree that the single most important factor that contributes to or detracts from wellness is the food one eats. As such, it's a good idea to focus in on optimizing your eating habits if you're serious about feeling your best. There are many ways that you can get this process underway, and one of them includes utilizing free online resources like www.cronometer.com. This resource enables you to document the food you consume each day. You can then go in and analyze your food intake based on factors like how many calories you've consumed and what your fat/carb/protein ratios were.

Don't Delay: Get Healthy Today!

If you're serious about feeling your best so you can lead an extraordinary life, you can begin the process of health optimization immediately. Use some or all of the techniques listed above to ensure that you begin moving forward today!