Spark joy in your home: “Claudemari”


This is a guest essay from Claudine Gamboa, the Philippines’ first KonMari consultant-in-training.

When I was a young 10 year old, I would get into a series of what I thought to be decluttering. I would stay up all night when everyone was asleep and do this ritual of removing everything from the cabinet beside me and my sisters’ bed and rearrange. I had no right to throw anything away that was not mine; just feeling as though there was progress happening in this act of “tidying” comforted me. 

When I enter a room I get an impression when it’s happy. It’s happy because it has attention. When we declutter, your most cherished possession are brought to light. After the act of touching each item, it brings them back into the waking world and there is great satisfaction in knowing that you have not forgotten that beloved book underneath all the other books that were just so-so. Let go of the so-so.

1. Peace of Mind

It’s great to get it out of the way. Finally! Those days are over when you’re stomach growls from the stress of just having glanced at a pile of mess that has been untouched for weeks. Decluttering my personal space gave me a feeling of relief and accomplishment. 

2. Control over things

It’s nice to know where things are, and to see your room more luminous in the morning sun. To be able to breath without fear of contracting an allergy, and to be able to invite your family over without any insecurities. Decluttering once and for all gives you that boost of confidence you need to show how well you are living your life because you have achieved something great: Ownership over your things (Instead of things owning you!).

3. It gives you perspective

In the practice of KonMari, we are instructed to place the items on the floor of the specific category you are working on. On the clothes category for example, this becomes a wake-up call. Seeing the amount that you own will give you perspective and insight into your purchasing habits. And even the selection process will filter what your style is really like.

4. It’s neat, yet democratic

One of the key messages of Marie Kondo (in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) is to be able to be Joy Sensitive. You need to hone your sense of joy. This was such a great and important message because what gives us joy may be very irrational. A collection of stickers? A tiny turtle? A cute Japanese newspaper? What the KonMari can confidently say to that is: “Why the heck not?” 

That’s the joy of decluttering right there. Keeping that broken brooch from Lola, but discarding the “cute” sweater gifted to you by mom (Sell it maybe?). We do decluttering because it is for ourselves and not for others. We must do it without regrets, always with care, and with a capacity of self-love.

Live mindfully!

Claudine Gamboa ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on The Spark Project to gain first priority clients for her first business, Claudemari Decluttering. She is running a whole day Workshop on July 15, 2017 for those interested in tidying their homes. She also offers one-on-one sessions to tidy your home, starting with your clothes, using the KonMari Method. Email her here.

Feel-good shopping.

Feel-good shopping.


This post is brought to you by Kamiseta.

I have one rule that I keep about dressing up: Go with what feels good. 

I actually don’t shop for myself much. I forget to. And if you look at my wardrobe, it’s nothing impressive. Mostly a mix of work/professional attire (for when I meet clients), some frocks for Sunday dressing, and a lot of muted or plain colored separates.

Recently, I had to shop for more pieces for a work trip abroad, and I needed to shop fast. Luckily, I was gifted by Kamiseta with some online vouchers for their shopping site, Kamiseta.ph, where I found everything available in their brick & mortar shops. Perfect timing! I had three days to make sure I could order, receive the delivery, quickly wash the clothes and ready them for my suitcase!

This is what I shopped for:


Grey lace skirt (my favorite!) and this mustard yellow crepe blouse with a gold accent. These were great for my work trip, because they could be packed in a garment bag, hung up for a short while in my hotel room, steamed gently and ready for wear. And it’s so my look, because it’s not to corporate and just enough femininity.

Ordering was simple! I was able to shop by browsing the attire by category. I liked that the size guide was available and detailed with the inches and measurements! So crucial when shopping online and you can’t try anything!


((I also got these bodycare products in my “Kamiseta Box” that arrived with my goodies!))

And here’s the second outfit I got: Another soft skirt and a batwing blouse in navy blue. What’s great about this look is that I can wear statement jewelry to play up the plain colors. So “me” again!


Kamiseta.com is a premiere online shopping destination for gals like me who don’t have the time to mall but know what they want. Shopping is as easy as registering for an account, filling your shopping cart, and checking out with either a bank deposit or credit card payment. Shopping and dressing up made easy, indeed. That’s what I love about being a #KamisetaGirl. Visit Kamiseta today and fill your wardrobe with nice things now!

Are you the victim? Choose not to be!


There was a time I felt really insecure about my credentials (or “lack,” thereof). In conversations where people would ask me, “Where’d you go to college?” or “What company are you with?”, I would respond apologetically, wondering why my life turned out the way it had, up to that point: college-less, credential-less, with only a career path paved in church work and ministry service, never in corporate like everyone else I knew. A million thoughts went through my head about who to blame for what I felt went wrong in my life. 

And, with every milestone on my resume came a ton of doubt, failure, loss and fear. Like, whenever I’d receive negative comments about my blog or hear my name mentioned in conversations about my kind of work or find out that this or that person didn’t like me, I’d blame my history or past that I was not good enough, not being educated enough, not this-that-whatever.
I played the VICTIM many times.

And guess what? 

It got me nowhere.
Have you been like me in the past? We are so obsessed with making ourselves the victim. We massage our souls with feel-good quotes and blame people, situations, finances, or anything, never ourselves, for our lives. 

It was only when I stopped blaming everything else and started working on ME that things would turn around. The only thing that I had to do was get out of that place in my mind where I was the VICTIM.

It is a daily decision to be a better person than you were the day before. Because life will happen, and every day we can experience unexpected outcomes. We can either let them keep us victims or we can get up and go forward.

Let REJECTION change the trajectory of your life so that you become a bette person.

Let FAILURE make you wiser, making sure you learn from your mistakes.

Let MISFORTUNE make you stronger, and decide you will never let life simply happen to you, but you will create your possibilities.

Let SICKNESS and chronic ILLNESS make you decide that life is meant to be lived fully, that it is selfish towards your family & loved ones if you don’t take care of your health.

Each day, we have the CHOICE to be a victim of our actions and decisions. Each day, we can choose learn from our failures, our mistakes, do what we can to repair the damage, and GET UP and GO again. 

So CHOOSE.

Let’s choose to stop blaming others. Let’s choose to stop hindering our lives of greatness and start LIVING. Let’s choose to really find that role we are meant to play, whether it’s to be the best janitor in our building, or the best salesperson in our team, or the best business owner & employer for our people. Icons ask, “How do I make OTHERS great? How do I help change a life?”

Let’s contribute to things we can be proud of, whether it’s to finally clean up our mess of an apartment, or to finally run with that advocacy we’ve been putting off for months and years. No one thing is more “accomplished” than the other. If a clean living space will take you out of the victim mindset, start there. Just start something.

I challenge you in anything you do to go deeper within yourself, and think bigger, think powerfully, approach life positively. Work on yourself first. Choose to fix the mess inside, because nothing will make you as a human being feel more accomplished than when you are able to do things for OTHERS. People who achieve great things are never half-assed. They’ll be MASTERS of themselves first because they know that it’s in this mastery that they will get lasting results from helping others.

And so, refuse to be the victim of yourself and decide you’ve made enough excuses.

CHOOSE to live a GREAT life. An iconic one.

#thepurposefilledhustle

Make an impact more than an income.

Why do we work? Simply to get by month by month, day by day? Often, we will think nothing of putting in more and more time at our job, just to get that next paycheck, or go from one company to the next every in order to bump up our salary bracket. Sometimes we willingly put our life savings into stocks, real estate or a business venture that can’t even give us a guarantee of returns and where we have no real prior experience of success in.

Do we really BELIEVE that our lives are what we make it to be? Or do we read motivational quotes, feel good for a while, but go back to the same old grind, hoping for change? If we really do choose to believe our loved ones deserve to have the best, doesn’t it follow that we would choose to do things differently? If we sincerely believed our families deserve the best quality of life, is that “best” only dictated by how much of our income we can bring home every month, or how much we can save for a rainy day? 

Making an IMPACT on our family’s possibilities is and should be more than increasing our income. In being ABUNDANT and financially FREE, we believe that we deserve what the most impactful people in this world have: financial freedom and the ability to help many more people, because they have been blessed with much. 

The action of WORKING for income should help us and our families achieve the BEST QUALITY OF LIFE possible. It isn’t about just making money. People rich & poor make money all day, every day, but few are financially free because that’s all they work for: to pay the bills, pay the school, pay the food. The impact is “just enough”, never abundant. If we truly understood the meaning of living a truly FREE life, we would see the clear difference between abundance and simply having lots of money. 

So… are you working for income, or to make an impact? If you know the secret to abundance, the answer would be easy.

Update: Follow #thepurposefilledhustle to see posts on how I am running my business, writing my book and trying to #makeitblissful as I take care of my family and self through it all!

Have you ever thought what your life is supposed to be?


Many people, when they think about their lives say, “I don’t really need to be so rich” or “I don’t really care about money”. Perhaps you’ve thought this? I know I have. It wasn’t until I learned a very important mindset shift from financial wealth expert T. Harv Eker that I began to see my “money blueprint” in a new way. 

What is this truth? Having money makes you more of what you are. So if you are a helpful, giver-oriented person, more money makes you more helpful, giving and able to bless others. If you are an evil person, well then, money can make you more greedy, selfish and unable to help others.

Sometimes the people who say “no thanks” to business opportunities (especially the idea of residual income) are people who think nothing of putting in more and more time at an office job or contractual gig, just to get a big paycheck that will eventually run out. (I am guilty of this). Some people are willing to live their entire adult life jumping from one company to the next to augment or jack up their income. (Guilty, me.) Some will willingly put their savings into a business that can’t even give them a guarantee of returns and where they have no real prior experience of success in. (Guilty of this, too! And broke. Such a pity.) I thought putting a business based on my passions would be the answer, only to find after six years of blogging that, well, it’s not enough. I love it, but I’d rather do blog coaching for free that make a living out of it. But I can’t do that unless I find a solution in residual income. Because I believe we were meant for more than just to work 40-hour work weeks, for forty years! I don’t know about you, but I’d like to LIVE more than I work, because that means more fully alive days with these people. Why work so hard for decades, only to realize we were never truly with the ones we are working so hard for?


We grow up thinking that life is what is handed to us. “This is just how life is. Hard. That’s what it was for my parents, so it’s what it will be for me.” But really, life is what we make it to be. THAT is what being blissful truly means. Believing our loved ones deserve to have the best, and not being limited by what we haven’t finished in college, or achieved in business, or what is dictated by our savings. 

Being able to DESIGN A LIFE WE LOVE is not about working until the day we die, according to greats like Warren Buffet and Jim Rohn. Designing a life you love is about believing that we deserve to have what the 5% of the world have….not be content with living like the rest of the 95%. “I can’t be in the 5% of those who are financially free” is just a limit. We can get over it, if we choose. We have to get to such a mindset that living in freedom is more than money. We have to believe our children, parents, friends, colleagues and, country can be better — the best, in fact.

Can you see your life as it is SUPPOSED TO BE, not what it is right now? If you’ve felt like you just have to work and grind and hustle til the day you die or get too sick or too old, then think again. There is a MUCH better way. And I can’t wait to share it with you more through this blog.


#makeitblissful

Go, and grow: Spectrum Fair 2017


Our little coffee brand, Shophouse Coffee, is more a passion project than anything. When we began it as a business, we wanted to grow it while learning the ropes, in the same way that the shophouse culture of the Orient ties in family values with a homebased business.  It wasn’t until we decided to try doing pop-ups that we really saw how our brand could grow. 


Spectrum Fair Manila was actually the best choice we made for Shophouse Coffee in terms of leveraging on a great community of merchants and small businesses that have heart and soul. When my friend and Spectrum organizer Aly (of Aly Meets World) launched the concept over a year ago, it was new and exciting. It was also an event after my own heart, because everything was intentionally meant to be beautiful and meaningful. I don’t know about you, but having beautifully styled booths and an interesting curation of products appeals to me. I liked the approach of the entire event being an indoor “outdoor fair” concept, where you could shop, dine, lounge and meetup with your friends.


This time around, Spectrum will be this weekend, March 18 and 19, at the fabulous Whitespace. Expect the fair’s signature experience of fun-loving brands, chill-out live music, an array of food choices that will definitely have you asking for seconds, and the kindest, hands-on organizers you’ve ever met in Pia and Aly Arellano, the inspired mom & daughter duo that launched this much-awaited shop ‘n’ dine event of the year.

We are particularly grateful to Spectrum for having trusted us as a specialty coffee company that has found a home of sorts in this fair. It really is very close to our hearts, and it means so much when we get to popup here. Look for us; we are at our usual spot beside the stage. (Photo below from our last popup in September.)



Our little coffee bar will be there to serve up our bestselling Cold Brew Iced Mocha, Cold Brew Tonic with Lemon, and our very satisfying hot coffees. We’re serving coffee from the Philippines’ no. 1 coffee shop, El Union Coffee, so if you want to get your Elyu fix without going the distance, then you know where to head this Saturday and Sunday.





Bring your family and friends, have a cuppa with us and leave your troubles behind our colorful ribbon curtains. See you there!

Spectrum Fair Manila • March 18-19, Whitespace, Makati, Pasong Tamo Extension • Follow on Instagram @spectrumfairmanila