Christmas Cookie Recipes

Last year, I did not get the opportunity to fly home for Christmas. Since it felt very unfestive and depressing, I promised myself that this year would be different. The good news is that this year is indeed different than last year. However, after completing my final exams for the semester, I came down with a cold which later turned into what appears to to be the flu. Or pneumonia. Last night as I was lying in bed, I thought to myself, “This is it. I’m going to die. Pneumonia finally got me.”☠️

tenor

Replace Happy Valentine’s Day with Merry Christmas and you’ve really got something.

Unfortunately, due to my crappy immune system, I am unable to bake sugar cookies this year. It is a tradition at my mom’s house to bake sugar cookies and shortbread during the holiday season. Also, I am unable to attend a Christmas Eve party tonight with my husband and his family’s friends. There’s not a whole lot I can do while I recover but I pray that I will feel well enough to spend Christmas with my extended family tomorrow. I am hoping to see my cousins who I have not seen since 2016. In the meantime, I am admiring some of my mom’s ornaments and have uploaded some photos. Aren’t they pretty? I especially like the hand-painted bobble that was given to me as a gift when I was a little girl.

19713320811_25d2bca63a_o

19682548446_ed6ddc5dab_o

19701601332_60a9f9661a_o.jpg

My aunt’s tree is completely covered with these furry little owls. My mom only has a couple of them but I noticed that they kept appearing in the photos. All of these photos were taken by me.

Instead of wallowing in sadness and feeling sorry for myself on Christmas Eve, I had an epiphany. Why not share these cookie recipes with all of you? Wouldn’t it be better to spread some cookie love than to stay grinchy this year? I may be sick but I can still use a laptop and write cohesively for the most part. Here are the classic cookie recipes that my family has been using for decades.

  1. Shortbread Cookies
  2. Sugar Cookies

What are some recipes that you make during the Christmas holidays? Please leave a comment below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

great-vibes.regular (1)

 

 

 

Boundaries Matter

 

What are boundaries and why does it matter? 
Everyone should have their own set of explicit rules regarding personal boundaries. Personal boundaries include material boundaries, physical boundaries, mental boundaries, emotional boundaries, and even sexual boundaries. Personally, I know people who have a lack of personal boundaries which translates into a lack of respect for themselves. I also know generous people who are easily taken advantage of and are unable to stick up for themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who have a very firm understanding of their boundaries and ultimately, respect themselves and their personal rights. In an ideal world, we should all learn how to stick up for ourselves when our boundaries are crossed. We should also learn how to let go of toxic friends who are sucking the energy and joy out of our lives. For the majority of my life, I was easily taken advantage of because I am a people pleaser by default. I was afraid of losing friends if I were to upset them in any way. Being blunt towards a crappy friend is a messy process and it is probably going to hurt you in one way or another. This is all part of growing up and behaving like an adult, and it’s time that we start being adults.

Settling for crappy friends is better than being alone, right?
I let people take advantage of me for years and still have a very hard time standing up for myself. To this day, I don’t like confronting people face to face but have no problems sending a very blunt email or letter. Over the years, however, I learned that being a doormat in order to please others is actually harmful to my psyche. Just like being taken advantage of is a learned behavior, learning to stick up for yourself because you actually respect yourself is also a learned behavior – and a much healthier one!

If something doesn’t feel right, then why do you keep doing it?
After pondering this question for years, I have concluded that if something is causing you pain, then the best thing to do is to walk away. Often times, people do not want to change themselves and you cannot expect them to change for you. You can rip the bandage off now or peel the bandage off slowly, but it has to come off. You need to set yourself free of these toxic people. The initial pain of cutting them out of your life will hurt, but you are doing yourself a huge favor by practicing self-care.

ootorii1-big

Image: http://visit-miyajima-japan.com/en/culture-and-heritage/spiritual-heritage-temples-shrines/le-torii-flottant.html

It’s Not Me, It’s YOU!

These people face many problems of their own and likely come from broken pasts. We all have problems and deep psychological issues but the difference between us and them is our level of self-awareness and our ability to take full responsibility for our actions. Usually, these people are initially harmless and probably want someone who will give them the time of day, but the biggest conflict arises when they translate your kindness as some kind of love interest or booty call. This topic is taboo for me, and I do not want to pursue a friendship with anyone who believes that I am sexually available. I am a married woman and I feel that Millenials don’t take marriage as seriously as previous generations. Despite that, what really sickens me is the lack of respect for not only myself but also my marriage. The most frustrating aspect of this type of friendship occurs when [he] continues to seek validation by questioning whether or not I’m still friends with [him]. You should know where you stand with me, and if you can sense that I am annoyed, then you should be aware that you’re being a tool. This type of behavior becomes toxic when the person continues to cling to you like cat hair and continues to seek your approval regarding their thoughts and actions. They may ask you questions like, “Is this okay/Am I good enough/What do you think of… etc.?” as a way to confirm that their thoughts and actions are in line with yours. And if they frequently rub you the wrong way by saying or doing disturbing things on a daily/weekly basis, prepare for the avalanche of “I’m sorr[ies].” When adults make mistakes, we handle these issues on an emotional, and conscious level. “I’m sorry” is the shallowest form of an apology and lacks any kind of deeper meaning, especially on a mature level.

Guilt and Resentment

Anger and anxiety are usually the first indicators that something is wrong in a platonic friendship. To this day, I still struggle with feelings of guilt and resentment towards people who have wronged me. I hate tension and dislike upsetting people even if they may be toxic in the long-run. By walking away, I am not only setting myself free from pain but I am also setting the other person free from being misled by an unauthentic friendship that I have established with them. In this way, I am setting them free from being misled. Instead of enduring several more months or even years of anger, guilt, and resentment, I can rip off the bandage now and start healing today. This healing process starts as soon as you have walked away from the toxic parasite.

Tsunami_by_hokusai_19th_century

The Great Wave off Kanagawa | Taken from Wikipedia.org

When will you know when it is time to let them go? 
If you tell someone time and time again to back off, and they still don’t get it or can’t take the hint, it is okay to excuse yourself and walk away from the friendship. It is okay to nicely tell them that you cannot stay friends with them because they repeatedly disrespect your boundaries and that you feel uncomfortable being around them. If someone crosses my line, whether it’s through inappropriate actions or vulgar language, then I will question my friendship with this person. Often, I give people too many chances with the hopes that they will somehow smarten up and start treating me with respect. Sadly, these people are unlikely to change their ways because they don’t think anything is wrong with their behavior. Remember, disrespect is a learned behavior, but that does not exempt them from being a shitty friend because their personality sucks. Moral of the story: Find better friends.

great-vibes.regular (1)

 

 

 

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 7

53893244-businessman-feeling-tired-and-low-battery-This is the final day of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. Challenge and I am happy that some of you want to try the challenge too! If you end up participating in this challenge, please let me know by sending me a link to your first day so that I can follow along. I am currently experiencing an ocular headache so my vision is really wonky right now. However, I need to finish the 7-Day Challenge regardless of how I’m feeling. I have a lot of respect for bloggers who write on a daily basis. How do you do it?

The rest of this journal entry is practically routine by now. I don’t know if I will have time to blog this weekend since the semester is starting to become more intense. After typing up a schedule for Term 4 yesterday, it finally occurred to me that I actually have homework to do. I am a visual learner so I need calendars and charts to keep me on track.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears over the duration of 7 consecutive days. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.
S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 7 ~ May 24, 2018 

tired-and-gaining-weightS – This morning was a blur. I struggled to fall asleep last night and I am still full of worry and doubt. I worry about clinical and keeping up with school. I tried to calm my nerves by taking a shower before bed but I still couldn’t fall asleep 😴 I also tried drinking some strawberry rhubarb parfait tea for the first time and it was delicious. I have several tea samples so I am planning on trying something new tonight.

L – Today, I learned a lot of new skills because I spent the day at my clinical placement. I have very long clinical days which is another reason why I wasn’t in the mood to blog tonight. I have readings to do for tomorrow and need to get ready for bed in a couple of hours. I cannot tell you what I am doing for confidentiality reasons, but clinical is interesting and scary at the same time. I was surprised by the amount of psychology that is directly related to the nursing field. I am actually starting to apply the knowledge that I learned from my psychology classes and I’m using it in real life!

E – I spent the entire day at clinical and have been awake since 5 AM this morning. When I got home, I had zero motivation to do any homework and wasn’t in the mood to blog. I should be doing readings right now but I’m too damn tired. I’m fighting to stay awake as I write this blog post. Also, the dress that didn’t fit me 3 months ago fits me now, so I must have lost weight. I wore this dress two years ago so it makes me happy that I am closer to reaching my pre-pregnancy weight.

E – Here are my short-term plans:
(1) Attend the [protest] meeting tomorrow
(2) Complete Week 2 lecture notes
(3) Finish EBP readings/worksheet for Monday
(4) Write Week 2 anecdotal notes

P – Yes, I actually made several phone calls today! I’m hoping to continue to build on my social skills. Also, I hope to improve my listening skills. If anything, I learned that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. At least I am taking action by doing something about it. At the end of the day, I can feel good about stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. I believe that uncomfortable situations will eventually become comfortable to you as you continue to make positive changes in your life. You will acquire a higher threshold for tolerance and over time, you will adopt a new level of “normal” in your life.

S – Treating myself from time to time actually puts me in a better mood. Think iced cappuccino. I don’t treat myself very often but if it’s linked to a social event of some kind, then I will allow myself a small treat. I went out with my clinical group so it ended up being a social gathering. Also, given the fact that I was suffering from an ocular headache, the temporary boost of dopamine and sugar spike did help.

Summary

Why did I try this challenge? What was the true intention behind it? Ideally, I wanted to become a more consistent blogger by writing consistently for 7 consecutive days, regardless of my schedule. Also, I was hoping to improve my social skills, focus on fitness, as well as brush up on my writing skills. Because the semester is still young, this was the only opportunity I had to partake in this journey if I was going to do it at all.

I believe that we should start journalling about our S.L.E.E.P.S. on a daily basis. The limitation of this experiment is the time frame. 7 days is not long enough to develop long-lasting habits or do deep reflective work. It takes a lot longer than 7 days to grow as a person and develop long, lasting habits. On a happier note, having the ability to envision your future and develop a detailed plan of action will help you accelerate your progress and enable you to get the results you desire.

I hope that you decide to try this challenge! 😊 Please leave a comment below if you are interested ↓ and feel free to link me to your Day 1 of S.L.E.E.P.S. I would love to read about your journey. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

 

 

 

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 6

comfortableToday is day 6 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. Challenge and it is bittersweet. In a way, I am relieved that this challenge is almost finished because my schedule is starting to get busy again. After this challenge is over, I need to complete a few collaboration posts (did I say that right?) that I have been putting off for way too long. But once I have published these posts, I don’t plan on posting for a while so that I can focus on school. You can still find me in the WordPress community but I probably won’t be creating much content.

Last night, I was in physical pain and had a difficult time falling asleep. I knew that there was only one thing to do – call the doctor’s office this morning. It is better to nip it in the bud now than to ignore it and make a trip to the ER later. My schedule doesn’t allow for much free time so I knew that I had to get this issue taken care of now. Like anything in life, nothing happens without action. You can talk about making a change but what good is it without taking action? Ignoring the issue or procrastinating isn’t going to make the problem go away, so you are better off taking care of the annoyance now.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears over the duration of 7 consecutive days. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.
S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?

Day 6 ~ May 23, 2018 

S – Have you ever taken the time to appreciate the little things in life? This week has required me to tap into my emotional well being and do some deep reflective thinking. We are wired to avoid deep thinking and instead, we prefer to take the easy route, to distract ourselves, and to avoid conflict. By working on personal development in order to become your best self, you have to become uncomfortable. Most people don’t want to feel uncomfortable because being in a vulnerable place feels wrong to them.

fc37272394911e9ea3a644aefd55fd2d

This is exactly why I love podcasts so much. Usually, I would dive into a good book but this conflicts with my best interests. I am trying to practice minimalism which means that I try not to buy paperback copies anymore. Besides, I never understood the point of a kindle when the iPad does the same thing. Over time, I have learned to embrace audiobooks and podcasts. I also find that I pay more attention while listening to a podcast than I do from reading a good book. This is how my brain is wired, and in case you are wondering where my advice comes from, I did not make this stuff up. Nobody on this planet is born full of knowledge. We learn from others. I can only tell you what works and what doesn’t from my personal experiences.

L – What did I learn today? To take action when there is a problem! My main reason for taking action was physical pain, and fear of being in even more pain by Monday. Don’t procastinate. It is only the mind’s way of playing a trick on you. Procrastination is nothing more than an illusion that tricks you into feeling fine when in reality, you will need to face the problem eventually. Chances are, the problem will escalate into a worse case scenario the longer you put things off. Now if only I could apply this to school work. I came up with a plan last night to make a chart on the computer that includes all of the due dates week-by-week, similar to the one that was provided to us last semester.

tenor (3)

Spongebob Squarepants speaks to me on a spiritual level •◡•

E – I saw the doctor on campus today and got some exercise. I could feel the tingling in my legs while I was walking home. Every day, I can feel my body becoming more and more toned which is definitely a result of my walks to and from campus. My clothes are starting to fit better and I am feeling more confident these days. If you are trying to lose weight, ditch the scale. You can tell if you are getting healthier based on how your clothes fit along with knowing where you stand in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI).

E – Here are my plans for today:
(1) Figure out a carpooling schedule for tomorrow morning
(2) Write up a document with week-to-week due dates
(3) Call in-laws to see how my daughter is doing
(4) Send some important emails this week

P – I haven’t made any phone calls yet because the day is still young. I am planning on calling the in-laws again to see how my baby girl is doing. I decided to write this blog post earlier in the day so that I am not overwhelmed by it later tonight. Tomorrow is a very busy day for me and I need to prepare for it. Also, I have been thinking about a family friend who is expecting. I often wonder how she is doing. As much as I dislike making phone calls, I really think that I should call her. I have been putting it off due to social anxiety but this is exactly why I should do it. Getting uncomfortable is the key to becoming a better person.

S – What made me smile today? Today, I talked to another student who is in my program and she was very friendly. We chatted for a while and I learned that we share a lot in common. Talking to her made me smile. In contrast, the doctor who accompanied me wasn’t particularly friendly. I could tell that she was in a hurry and didn’t tell me why she was taking my blood pressure, which is very unprofessional in my opinion. I believe that all healthcare professionals need to show more compassion towards their patients which should be their primary focus prior to providing treatment.

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 5

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for visiting this blog. Without your support, I wouldn’t have had the motivation or energy to blog consistently. I am amazed that you want to read about the musings of my fantastical life as a nursing student, wife, and mother. If you are new here, this blog is not only focused on personal growth and development but it also highlights the typical struggles of a 20-something Millenial. My goal is to connect with people who may also be dealing with similar issues. I want you to know that you are not alone in this world. And it is okay if you don’t agree with my values and beliefs. To each their own.   

Secondly, if you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, feel free to keep calm and read on. You can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears over the duration of 7 consecutive days. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.
S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?

Day 5~ May 22, 2018 

S – I have tried convincing friends to blog, especially those who may feel stuck in life, suffer from depression, and/or possess creative writing potential. Personally, writing is very therapeutic for me and it has helped me untangle many complex thoughts that would have otherwise continued to make me depressed and hold me back from challenging the unknown. Last night, I tried convincing a friend to blog again and today, she told me that she wrote a new blog post. I am happy that she took my advice and I hope that she continues to write more often.

112890

LWhat did I learn today? Where to locate the lost and found. When you are as forgetful as I am, it is important to be able to solve your own problems. The lost and found didn’t have my computer mouse, but I ended up finding it nonetheless. It turns out that kind souls really do exist! My husband was less than amused since he was so adamant that I needed to welcome modern technology into my life. During the long weekend, he even jumped on the opportunity to convince me to buy a brand new mouse. First, there was one mouse. Then, there were two mice. Gosh, I’m turning into a hoarder! 😱

E – Lots and lots of walking. I’m less lazy this semester because it is summer. Actually, I am less lazy because waiting for the bus while the sun beating down on me is actually worse than walking to campus. We didn’t even get to enjoy spring this year. I wasn’t prepared for these drastic temperature changes and I’m still trying to adjust to the unpredictable weather here.

E –  The week has been one big blur so far:
(1) What am I doing again? Not homework, obviously.
(2) Yeah, I’m not filling this out today.

P – I called the in-laws today and Rebecca is adjusting well. She’s a very independent 18-month old and I think she bypassed the shyness stage that most toddlers experience. Also, she’s very comfortable around people so I’m confident that she will enjoy staying with her grandparents. I’m also trying to set up a Skype date with a friend but it’s very difficult to arrange. We have very busy schedules and I am terrible at initiating social events. Sometimes, being extremely introverted which borderlines #hermit-life is safer than being a social butterfly.

S – I am grateful for my health *knock on wood.* Last semester, I became very sick near the beginning of the semester. I encountered a couple of sick people today and had to sanitize my hands 10 times. Are they unaware of herd immunity? Please do us a favor and stay home if you are sick. In terms of stress, this week is like the calm before the storm. I don’t know what I should be doing or studying right now. It is difficult for me to stay focused on anything without a visualized plan. Am I about to face another wave of depression or am I drowning in an ocean of uncertainty?

e8f78fe25c99706a80c351ad1d7d3189

Is this really what depression feels like? Sometimes I feel like I am drowning underwater. Source: http://i.ntere.st/a/170318124/p

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

 

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 4

Today is Day 4 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! Ahhhh! I almost forgot to write an update because I was too immersed in my errands. That being said, today was quite adventurous for me. I finally took the 3 km hike to MCDs. There was a trail to follow alongside the busy highway. Even though there was lots of traffic at 9am in the morning, the view was very scenic. The sun was shining, it wasn’t too hot but warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket, and the grass was green. However, there was one disturbing thing that I saw below the bridge. I saw what appeared to be an empty backpack with clothes that were scattered on the grass next to it, but there was nobody in sight. It made me think very disturbing thoughts. Was someone abducted? Murdered? *shivers*

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears over the duration of 7 consecutive days. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.
S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?

Day 4 ~ May 21, 2018 

S – Last night, I listened to some self-help podcasts (thank you, Leo Gura, from http://www.actualized.org) while I cleaned the apartment and worked on my upcoming lecture notes for the week. I had a very lonely evening last night and couldn’t help but cry. It was just one of those depressing nights where the world seems to be turning but your world stands still. Whenever I feel this way, the last place I want to be is on social media so I avoid it like the plague.

When I am feeling sad, one thing that helps me feel better is the WordPress blogging community. Most of my readers and fellow bloggers live on the opposite side of the world so they are usually awake when I should be asleep. It is nice being able to vent about my problems to people who are experiencing similar hardships. Even though this community exists online, I am grateful to have encountered some wonderful people in this blogging community! 💖

Thankful-quote-hd-wallpaper-2015.jpgL – I learned that I can do more than one thing in a day lol After the refreshing walk to MCDs and back, I had the energy to bus to the nearby lame mall again. There, I ended up running some errands that I had put off last week. I also forgot to eat breakfast and lunch today.🤷‍♀️ I also forgot to eat dinner but today I am not hungry, and when I am not hungry, I don’t force myself to eat.

E – I think we covered this one for today. This also fits under Learn: I learned that I am very capable of getting bikini body ready for the end of summer/early fall. It won’t happen right away but I am not far from reaching my goal. The weight is coming off naturally ever since I gave up junk food. It may only be 10 lbs that I need to lose because I am a small person, but getting toned is what I am working on right now. Today, I feel like I got a solid workout from walking and carrying 5 heavy bags of groceries back home. That’s called weightlifting, my friend.

E – Here are my plans for tonight/tomorrow:
(1) Prepare meals for tomorrow
(2) Pack everything and try not to forget anything
(3) Does my hair smell? No. Well, have a shower anyway
(4) Make a document with due dates because I dunno wtf is happening anymore

P – I was planning to call the in-laws but they were at their cottage today. My mother had to tell me to call them because it didn’t cross my mind to do it myself. Does this forgetfulness make me a bad mother because I didn’t think to ask how my daughter is doing? I know that Rebecca is well taken care of and that she’s probably having way more fun at the cottage than she would be having at home. Here are some photos that they sent me and I wanted to share them with you!

img_0847

My baby girl is hundreds of miles away but she doesn’t seem too upset. Here, she is enjoying the sunshine at the in-laws’ cottage.

img_0846

Baby Becca has always had a love for shoes! She’s going to be a shoe lover when she grows up…. just like her “nan” (my mother)

img_0845

I love this photo so much! ❤️ I didn’t have this toy car as a kid and always wanted one. They look like so much fun! ❤️

S – I am happy that I have a new laptop mouse that is easy to use, that my daughter had a good day at the cottage and that my husband made it safely home. My husband and I are not living together right now (we both live in separate provinces with no family) but he is working on getting transferred here. I miss him and my baby girl a lot, and the way I cope is through nursing school. Nursing school keeps me on my feet and it is very fast pace, so I have no time to feel sorry for myself. I’m not sure if this coping mechanism is healthy or not, but having a blog where I can express my feelings when I am feeling vulnerable helps me feel better.

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! I took an iron supplement last night but it takes weeks for supplements to work their magic. The iron supplement that I take is a prescription that has a higher potency than regular iron supplements. Usually, I am exhausted, but today, I forced myself to take the bus to the clinical placement. I got lost getting there but managed to find the location nonetheless. The bus stops aren’t conveniently located so I ended up getting a good workout.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 3 ~ May 20, 2018 

S – Last night, I ran out of crackers and had to get creative so I made toast. Usually, toast tastes bland and dry but the bread is delicious. I also ate a few tomatoes and am feeling more energized. I’m trying to eat everything in my apartment before buying more food to include food in the fridge, freezer, pantry etc. Yesterday, I enjoyed a bottle of Grapefruit Perrier that has been in my pantry for months and it was delicious! 💖

Here is a big reason for me to smile. This morning, I received a notification that I reached a new milestone of 50 followers! Woooot! I would like to thank my lovely followers for joining me on this journey towards self-awareness and personal growth. Thank you for all of your support including your comments, likes, suggestions, and emails. This blog is alive and thriving because of you! 🧡 🧡 🧡

img_0829

Thank you for following Sereneluna and giving this blog some L.O.V.E. ♡♡♡

L – I learned that I still have cravings for steeped tea. I was planning to treat myself today if I found the clinical placement, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I could smell the aroma of coffee at a nearby Tim Hortons and I even sat in the chair by the fireplace. Just as I was about to buy a steeped tea, I left the store and took the bus home. I am only human and seek comfort food from time to time, especially since my family isn’t here. But then I remembered that I still have Perrier in the fridge it is just as good.

E – Like I mentioned above, I took the bus to the clinical placement and did a lot of walking. I walked in circles trying to find the place LOL. I don’t know what I would do without the GPS on my phone! Also, I hid the keyboard and remote for the TV because I have been spending way too much time being a couch potato. As tempting as it is to watch reruns all day, this activity is the king of procrastination. I won’t be watching any more TV since I haven’t been doing my homework all week. Oops.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Clean the apartment. Clean the dishes.
(2) Take a 3 km walk to MCDs for iced coffee
(3) The stove is still broken but I’ll live without it
(4) Write a to-do list for week 2 summer semester

P – So far, I only talked to my husband on the phone today and he sent me a very cute photo of our baby girl, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. I also received a couple text messages from acquaintances/friends but I’m in no hurry to keep the conversations going right now. Texting is dying and I find very little joy via texting these days. Phone calls would be more ideal but I feel like most Millennials are not inclined to call people.

150f0fa0-e0a4-4b58-ae61-7b416fef6a24

S – I am happy that I haven’t run out of food yet and don’t need to make a trip to the grocery store. I will put off grocery shopping for as long as possible and I have been eating mostly nutritious healthy food. Also, I am happy that I banned myself from watching TV because I know that deep down, limiting distractions will help me become more productive. Last semester, I didn’t have the TV and as a result, I was actually productive. Drop the excuses! 

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 2

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! Like the acronym suggests, I am actually feeling exhausted today. My iron deficiency anemia has caught up with me yet again and I crashed on the couch this afternoon. A trip to campus and local mall this morning was exhausting for me and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the bus to find the clinical placement today. I wanted to go there and had good intentions, but battling anemia is another challenge. I think I need to start taking my iron supplements in order to be a somewhat-functioning human.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 2 ~ May 19, 2018 

S – I did something spontaneous today and got my eyebrows waxed and tinted. They were unmanageable and I finally decided to pamper myself. I also got a second pair of scrubs for clinical and found some nursing shoes. 👠These shoes are funky and I was unsure about the pattern. However, I think that these shoes will help me stand out from the other students! These Alegria Debra Water Baby shoes are super comfortable to walk in because they have cork soles.

I shouldn’t be a Debbie downer but I lost my tracking mouse, which is inconvenient to replace. Ironically, I still have the marble and the piece that connects to the laptop, but it’s useless without the mouse. 😭 Everyone disliked my mouse because they couldn’t figure out how to use it. I am sad to have lost it during the lecture yesterday but my husband is relieved that I have to use a “modern mouse” now.

L – I learned that I need to start treating my iron deficiency anemia because it’s affecting my productivity. I also learned where the lost and found is on campus. I will check it out next week but I doubt that the mouse will be there. I pray that some kind soul returns it to its rightful owner.

E – I walked to the bookstore and wandered around campus today. I then took the bus to the mall and spent 3 hours there. This mall is kinda lame, however, they had everything I was looking for. By the time I got home, I took a nap and didn’t have the energy to leave the house again. I also realized that I need to get groceries or I will be living off of Kraft Dinner next week.

full.gif

Sorry MLP lovers but I am not a fan of ponies or cartoons featuring ponies. I don’t get what this GIF means. I like D.W. even though she loves ponies so she is an exception.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Take the bus and find the clinical placement
(2) Need groceries for next week or get creative with pantry food
(3) Let the landlord know that the stove is broken
(4) Clean the apartment. Make some overnight oats for tomorrow morning.

P – I called my mom today and also chatted with my husband on the phone for a while. I miss my husband and 18-month old daughter terribly and I wish they lived here. I didn’t talk to any friends today and I’m not in the mood to text people or check social media. I am feeling antisocial this weekend which is usually a sign that another depression wave is looming. Isolation usually makes the situation worse so I try to leave the house once a day.

S – Well, at least I left the house today even though it’s the only productive thing I did all day as well as writing this blog post. I always feel better after publishing a new post and will try to keep up with blogging during the summer semester. Right now, I feel like a bus ran me over because I am so drained of energy. Here is another thing to smile about: thank goodness for autosave. I accidentally closed the tab which is another sign that I desperately need caffeine!

giphy (3).gif

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge

Today, I was searching for new podcasts to listen to and I stumbled upon a podcast called Operation Self Reset. Immediately, I was hooked because this highly-engaging podcast focusses on personal growth and development which happens to be my favorite genre! There was a specific episode that made me think deeply about finding the motivation to gain more balance and happiness in my life.

By embarking on a 7-day challenge, this challenge will help me reflect on my daily activities and pinpoint areas that need improving. I want to do this challenge because I need to make positive changes in my life, and most importantly, maintain long-term positive vibes. I feel like the main points of the acronym cover all of the areas that I need to focus on. NOW is the time to start. Not tomorrow. Not next month. No matter how many excuses I have, I need to start this challenge today.

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

SSmile: what made you smile yesterday?
LLearn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
EExecute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
SSmile: what made you smile today?


Day 1 ~ May 18, 2018 

S – I don’t remember what made me smile yesterday because I had a bad day. I was so tired and lethargic and I slept for 12 hours last night. I was worried about my clinical next week. I was worried about my husband and daughter flying on the plane. I was praying that they would arrive safely at their destination. I was full of worry.

L – I learned about Family Assessment Models and Intervention Models in lecture today. The material is dry but I managed to get my readings done for the week. I was able to follow the lecture because I read ahead earlier this week. It is rare for me to work ahead so I guess that is something to smile about. ☺️

E – I walked to school and wandered around campus today. I think that the campus is big and my classes are spaced relatively far apart. Ever since moving to this new city, I started engaging in a great deal of walking. There is no need for me to join a gym because I get adequate exercise when I’m outside.

giphy1.gifE – Here are my goals for the weekend:
(1) Need nursing shoes for May 31
(2) Need another pair of scrubs
(3) Take the bus and find the clinical placement
(4) Finish cleaning the apartment

P – I tried calling my husband but he seemed busy. I texted a friend and she seemed annoyed that I sent her an article to read. I don’t like texting because it is difficult to read body language. Usually, I don’t call people unless it’s my husband or my mother. It will be hard to reach out to people through phone calls but I understand the impact of a phone call vs. a bland text message. At this time, I don’t see myself executing phone calls to friends yet.

S – I broke my Tim Hortons steeped tea fast today after my 21-day ban. Society’s belief system suggests that it takes 21 days to break a habit. However, I was miserable without my steeped tea and the caffeine withdrawal headaches were unbearable. It is not worth being miserable so I will allow myself 3 large steeped teas per week and the occasional iced coffee at MCDs as long as I walk there and back (3 km total distance).

giphy (2)

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

great-vibes.regular (1)

Happily Ever After

sunset-hands-love-womanThis post may be a day or two late, but I can explain. Still, I am not the proud owner of a laptop and am having a difficult time blogging from a cell phone. When will this madness stop?! May 7 is a special day for my husband and me because it marks our 2 year anniversary. When people ask me how I know that he is my soulmate, or ask me for relationship advice, I tell them this:

“I just know he is right for me because my heart says yes. I do not have to think about it or question where we stand in our relationship. It feels right to me so therefore, it must be.” -Hilary Tan

Love is simple, love is kind, and love does not have to be a complicated hot mess. A relationship is only as difficult as the two persons make it out to be. Your fate is manifested by the mutual exchanges between you and your partner. A relationship cannot work if both parties aren’t committing to each other or communicating effectively.

img_5489-e1525817006837.jpg

Our 2 year anniversary and 5 years of being together is another reminder that we are doing something right. ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

I am writing this post on our anniversary, May 7, but it still needs editing and further tweaking. Tonight we binged on Limoncello cake from Costco. Oh Costco, you really do have the best cake. I love this cake! 🍰 So much for my diet and my goal to quickly lose the rest of my pregnancy weight this summer.

Who says you have to get fancy cake at the bakery? Costco is where it’s at; not to say that the Costco bakery isn’t fancy but you know what I mean.

I snapped a few photos of this lovely cake at home but I don’t think that the photos turned out well. We recently moved a bunch of stuff into the apartment so it’s very disorganized and cluttered right now. It’s not the most ideal place for snapping pics that are supposed to last a lifetime. However, there is one noteworthy photo to share – the lovely orchid that my husband got me to celebrate our anniversary! He is so thoughtful 🌺

hubby and cake .jpg

The orchid is cut off in the photo (left side). This is the extent of my photography skills. My hubby seems to be enjoying the cake very much 🍋

Anniversaries don’t have to be expensive or extravagant if you don’t want them to be. For us, we are perfectly happy with our $17 cake that tasted amazing and the lovely orchid thank you very much. I am slightly annoyed by the Mother’s Day advertisements that were shoved in my face last weekend while we were at the mall. It’s just another reminder that we must BUY ALL THE THINGS!!

tenor (2)

I could not find a decent BUY ALL THE THINGS! meme so I give you The Simpsons.

Why are we celebrating our special moments in a simpler way? Less stress. More savings $$$. We are embracing life as frugal Millenials not because we have to but because we want to. The cake was our splurge and it was totally worth the money and the calories. This purchase wasn’t senseless. When we see most of our peers living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet, we realize that this is not the lifestyle that we want to manifest for ourselves. We are willing to embrace the frugal life if it means living more comfortably. Having a bunch of expensive jewelry and other bling that we apparently desire based on what society tells us we want won’t make us happy in the long run.