And Then There Were Four

May was another busy month for me. I ditched my daily habit tracker which I now realize was a mistake. That journal thing was useful and I was actually crushing big goals when I was using it consistently. My life is a mess without any kind of schedule or normality. Everything in my life is different now – new home, new baby, new location (sort of….) bigger family (totally not used to a family of 4!), and new plans. Some readers even asked about my disappearance on WP and if I was okay – your concerns really touched me. Thank you! 💕 I just wish that there was more time to write/blog.

Re-grounding Myself Again 🌱

I also wanted to update you on my whereabouts. Up until the beginning of June, I was temporarily working full-time from home. We were also in the process of packing and moving to a new home. On May 20, 2021, I went to my appointment as planned, only to find myself in the L&D triage unit at the hospital later that day. I had abnormally high blood pressure a.k.a. gestational hypertension + fluid retention, so they wanted to rule out some things, like preeclampsia. I am grateful for the knowledge I gained from nursing school because I knew what signs and symptoms to monitor throughout this pregnancy. That being said, I became concerned during the final weeks of pregnancy when my BP remained consistently high, which is abnormal for someone who typically has low blood pressure. Ultimately, childbirth was the best solution to quickly alleviate my gestational hypertension.

On May 21, 2021 at 4:48am, Baby Aaron was born weighing 7lbs 1oz, and measuring 20.5 inches. He had some mild jaundice (more medical jargon, see photos below ↓) but the jaundice went away on its own and he didn’t need blue-light therapy. Most of this pregnancy was fairly straight-forward and uncomplicated up until the very end, the delivery went smoothly despite dreading childbirth the most, and Aaron is a healthy baby boy. His big sister welcomed him with open arms! ❤

Rebecca and Baby Aaron
A jaundiced Baby Aaron, 1 day old
A sleepy neonate. He will be 1-month old on June 21, 2021 🐵

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

I am keeping this blog post short and sweet because honestly, I am not in the mood to write today. I am trying to write a blog post in the presence of others and the words aren’t flowing the way I would like them to – and good writing cannot be forced. I haven’t even touched my personal laptop in weeks which I mostly use for WordPress, but I consider it rude to spend hours blogging when we have company over. Also, my phone needs a major upgrade which I don’t see happening any time soon (it barely holds a charge), so I haven’t felt motivated to brainstorm blog post ideas, write rough drafts on my phone, or capture life’s precious moments. Perhaps it is time to revisit that habit tracker journal yet again, before I become a lazy potato.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

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The Merry Month of May 2021

An April 2021 recap blog post did not happen last month and I can explain. My [temporary] work schedule is crazy busy during the months of May and June as I am currently working 5-6 days/week until further notice. I say “temporary” because I do not know how long this pandemic will last, and the duration and severity of this pandemic greatly influences whether or not I get shifts. Although I am fortunate to be working these days, on my days off, I am often too exhausted to write a blog post, let alone do deep introspection which is necessary in order to craft a blog post that’s worth reading. And that’s the truth.

Happy Mother’s Day! There’s still snow on the ground, so planters did not happen this year. These flowers were from Mother’s Day 2019! 💐

April Reflections

Looking back on the goals that I made for March 2021, I noticed that my goals pretty much stayed the same throughout the month of April 2021. I believe that it is good to stay focused on a few big goals rather than flip-flop between a bunch of small ones. I call people who jump from thing to thing dabblers, which is something that I am trying to avoid, personally. How can anyone get good at something if they keep flip-flopping between things or take up too many hobbies? My advice is to stick to 1-2 hobbies and get good at them. No, you do not need a YouTube channel, a Podcast channel, 10 different social media accounts, and a small business in order to be successful, unless that’s how you truly want to waste spend your time. It is important to get very clear about what you want and make a plan, and my goals are loosely based on S.M.A.R.T. goals. I suggest that you do the same, but that’s my opinion.

How My Life is Changing

Reflecting on the months of April and May (so far), here are the goals that I managed to accomplish along with the goals that stayed the same since March:

Career Goals:

  • Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule As previously mentioned, I am not working at the hospital these days. Right now, I am working from home and my schedule is full-time due to increased employment opportunities. However, I have received some criticism from people regarding my work schedule (as if it is their business), saying that I should be taking maternity leave or time off to “relax”. Just because I am 37 weeks pregnant does not mean that I am incapable of working, nor am I entirely useless. Also, one should not assume that I qualify for maternity leave, because I don’t actually qualify for it. I only started working in February 2021 and thus, I have not accumulated enough hours. That being said, my husband qualifies for paternity leave.
  • Completed UWorld and Wrote the NCLEX-RN! As mentioned in a previous blog post, I wrote the NCLEX-RN on April 26, 2021. It was definitely the most challenging exam that I have ever written and I am super relieved that I passed in 110 questions! A few days later, I got my RN permit so I am very happy about that too! Even though I am too pregnant to be on my feet these days, I am excited to see what the future holds career/profession-wise. 👩‍⚕️

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Let’s face it: I am still writing the bare minimum right now. I am not sure if I will be uploading more blog posts during the month of May. My schedule is busy and I have no time for blogging as a result. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is not my priority right now even though I enjoy this hobby a lot. Connecting with other bloggers gives me a reason to log into WP every day, even though I am not actively posting new content.
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I am getting annoyed that some people are reiterating the same stuff that I mentioned in my previous blog post whenever I try commenting on a pregnancy forum which I won’t mention here. I am well aware that I might have iron deficiency anemia and I got my bloodwork done last week. I am currently waiting for the results and will find out if I am anemic on May 12, 2021. We still need to find a baby doctor which is hard considering that we are moving to the opposite end of the city at the end of the month. I know that I am running out of time, and I am not entirely sure who to turn to for advice regarding baby doctors. Finally, I got my COVID-19 vaccination (1st dose) last week! In Canada, we have to wait 12-16 weeks before receiving the second dose which is dumb in my opinion. With increased wait times between doses, how is the vaccine supposed to be effective?

Health Goals:

I am going to be truthful and real here. I am not exaggerating when I say that these past few weeks have been rough health-wise. 3rd trimester sucks and I really have no other way to describe the aches and pains that I am dealing with as I near the end of this 9-month journey. As I write this, I can barely stay awake. I hardly sleep these days and get poor sleep if I manage to sleep at all. My body aches, both physically and mentally. Overall, these spontaneous growing pains make me feel blah which I think is normal considering that I felt the same way with my daughter. A lot of people like to glamorize pregnancy but there are a lot of unglamorous things about it too. And that’s the truth.


FINAL THOUGHTS

  • My husband and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary on May 7, 2021 ♥
  • We had cake on our anniversary and cake again on Mother’s Day. You can never have too much cake! 🍰
  • Baby boy is due any day now, and I hope he arrives sooner than later. I am so uncomfortable and hotel uterus is ready for eviction.  
  • I am learning that I am much more capable than I give myself credit for 😇
  • My life goals are probably a lot different than yours, and that is okay. We are all on different journeys. One should not compare their journey to someone else’s journey.
  • COVID-19 is still really bad in my province (currently dealing with a 3rd wave), but we will get through this. On the bright side, the pandemic has given me shifts and I want to think that I am helping humanity with the work that I am pursuing. I want to think that I am contributing to something much bigger than myself. We really are all in this together! 😷
May 7, 2016 B.C. (before COVID-19) ♥

Thanks for stopping by!

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Ice Ice Baby!

You might be thinking, “What the heck is she talking about?” The title of this blog post will make sense in a moment. And no, I am not talking the illicit drug known as “ice”. I am literally talking about frozen water such as ice cubes, crushed ice etc. and weird pregnancy cravings. This is a vulnerable post so I encourage you to read the whole blog post before jumping to conclusions. Btw, all images are my own and any advice I share here is based on personal experiences. And just to be clear, I am not a medical doctor nor am I here to give medical advice.

Some Quick Life Updates

I have been busy this month studying for the NCLEX, so I don’t have a list of goals to follow except for the ones that were carried over from March 2021. I really need to pass this exam, and it is has been stressing me out because I still don’t feel prepared. To be honest, I don’t think that I will ever truly feel prepared for this exam. Also, I was working up until this past weekend, and had to decline another shift because it is getting increasingly more difficult for me to work; right now I am 34 weeks pregnant and feel totally useless. I picked up one CDC shift this week which is a work-from-home job, and I feel guilty for not picking up additional shifts right now. There is only so much that I can do these days without losing my sanity 🙄 In the meantime, my cravings for crushed ice are very intense. I crave ice more than I crave MCDs coffee and bubble tea.

Most of you probably enjoy munching on the ice at the bottom of your glass on a hot summer day, and it is quite normal to enjoy the occasional ice cube from time to time. But is it normal to crave ice every day, regardless of season? I have what is known as “Pica” which is defined as:

Pica – craving and chewing substances that have no nutritional value – such as ice, clay, soil, or paper. Craving and chewing ice is often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia, although the reason is unclear. – Mayo Clinic

For most people with pica, it is usually due to a deficiency and goes away once the deficiency is corrected. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved ice from 1st trimester up until I gave birth. We did not have access to the best health care services in Saskatchewan, so my anemia was easily overlooked. Apparently, I was severely anemic and nobody caught onto this, including myself. After I had my daughter, my ice cravings went away soon after. I think that pagophagia, that is, cravings for ice, are highly correlated with low iron levels during pregnancy. Now that I am wiser and have better access to healthcare where I currently live, I am suspicious that my iron levels might be dropping again, so I will be getting another blood test in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, I plan to start taking an iron supplement.

Symptoms Related to Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)

I am going to share with you some of the symptoms that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Women in their child-bearing years are highly susceptible to Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). You might have IDA and not even know it, since other health conditions can cause these symptoms as well. One particular thing that screams iron deficiency for me is pagophagia (cravings for ice) which is based solely on my personal experiences. Please speak to your doctor if you think that you may be deficient in iron or have similar symptoms as I do. I am not going to go into detail about the pathophysiology, pharmacology, and biological pathways related to IDA. If you are interested in that stuff, feel free to check out this link for more information.

My Iron Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Pica: Cravings for ice, dirt, clay etc. Has anyone watched My Strange Addiction? It is a rather disturbing show and yet I watched all of the episodes I could find on YouTube 😂 I am convinced that several of these people have Pica. Personally, I don’t think cravings for ice is that bad except that it is terrible for tooth enamel, but overall, I don’t think that my addiction to ice is hurting anyone. I know that every addict says that, but it’s just frozen water, people. It is not like I am eating paint chips or chalk. Personally, I prefer soft ice over hard ice (yes, there is a difference!). If you suddenly develop cravings for non-food items, please don’t ignore this red flag and speak to your doctor. I am not here to glamorize Pica – it is abnormal.
  2. Extreme fatigue and lack of energy Like I said before, other conditions can mask iron deficiency anemia (IDA). From personal experience, I know that 3rd trimester is exhausting, and perhaps my lack of energy and feeling like I am going to pass out are linked to that. However, fatigue and overall lack of energy are also related to low iron levels.
  3. Breathlessness with light exercise Perhaps this is related to pregnancy, as I am extremely exhausted climbing stairs these days. I can barely walk to the mailbox down the street without feeling totally exhausted. Even getting ready for work was a daunting task that I dreaded, and it is a miracle that I can even managed to get through the day without feeling like I was going to collapse any second. Other people have even pointed out that I look tired. Extreme exhaustion is not normal and should be discussed with your doctor if you are experiencing similar symptoms.
  4.  Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Since 1st trimester, I have been getting the worst leg and foot cramps at night. On average, I get anywhere from 2-6 leg cramps, including Charlie Horses, in a single night. I also get horrible itching at night, so I often need to resort to an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-allergy medication, which doesn’t always relieve the itching. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had similar itching so I know this is probably a pregnancy thing. But is it really a pregnancy thing, or an iron deficiency thing? 🤔 I already discussed this with my doctor and was told to increase my magnesium intake. The dose that she recommended for me is quite high so I am going to try a magnesium gel to help calm my restless legs at night. Apparently, gels and sprays are much more absorbent then magnesium gummies. If you are curious to know where I order most of my melatonin and magnesium products from, I use a Canadian site called www.naturalcalm.ca. Even though they only ship within Canada, I have seen some of their products in US stores.
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First comes love, then comes marriage 💕

Are you experiencing similar symptoms? Do you have weird cravings for things like ice? If yes, then I would highly recommend getting your iron levels checked. Sometimes, relying on food sources that are high in iron is just not enough, especially if you are also expecting 🤰 If you are struggling with pica or any of the symptoms I listed above, I want you to know that there is hope. Feel free to join the comments section below ↓ if you can relate to these struggles or deal with a deficiency. It helps knowing that I am not alone ♥ I will do my best to reply to your comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

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March Recap | Spring 2021

I wanted to upload a new blog post highlighting my goals for the month of March but I was working yesterday evening. And earlier this week, I was too exhausted to do anything productive. I am a very last-minute person when it comes to blogging because it is not my top priority these days, so consequently, my blog posts tend to be a bit late. As of late, WP has changed the settings yet again so I am not very eager to use the WP editor. A blogger suggested that I write my rough drafts elsewhere so I am trying Microsoft Word now. If this works, you might be seeing more blog posts from me in the future.

Although March started off slowly, I did end up picking up more shifts mid-March. In terms of the habit-tracker, I stopped using it because I find that a basic list is fine for my needs. I have simplified my life so much that nothing is overly complicated anymore. Furthermore, I believe that much of our anxiety and depression stems from having overly-complicated schedules and lifestyles. Don’t get me wrong – I still get anxiety and depression, but it’s manageable despite doing things that are still anxiety-provoking. I also pride myself for living medication-free and am living proof that one can work through their problems using a holistic approach. 


Learning to Let Go 🧘‍♀️🌱

I feel less guilty declining shift offers as long as I do not have to interact with people. Much of my shift offers are done through texting/email which I am totally fine with. I ended up picking up extra shifts this month and my once-barren schedule for March quickly became a colorful mosaic. I am the type who feels like it is my obligation help out wherever I can, while forgetting that I have other things to do like studying for an upcoming NCLEX exam that continues to nip at my ankles. Reflecting on the March of March, here are the goals that I managed to accomplish:

MARCH GOALS 2021

Career Goals:

  • Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule I managed to pick up a few extra shifts during the month of March and I am proud of myself for doing this. Let’s not forget that I am a newbie and stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me feel uncomfortable. I will admit that I often cry before shifts because I am terrified of the unknown. My dad used to tell me that I wasn’t making progress because my comfort zone only stemmed from my study desk to the garbage can in my room. And he was right. A person will not make much progress if they are unwilling to step outside of their bedroom, unless they are a full time blogger of course. As a teenager, I hardly left my room and my parents’ friends knew me as the girl who hibernated in her room and lived in her pajamas. To this day, I still live in my pajamas but I have made a lot of progress since then.
  • If shifts become available for second job, try to bid on them I ended up getting 3 shifts for my side-hustle job which was surprising. I did not have much luck bidding on shifts this week but that’s okay. You win some, you lose some. I predict that there will be a dry spell in April 2021 so I am not going to get my hopes up too much. Also, I might lose this job entirely once my job title changes (long story). Any extra shifts I am able to get during the month of April will be a bonus and definitely not something that I feel entitled to have.
  • Complete 1-2% of UWorld each day ➡ Test date is April 26, 2021 Yikes. I do not feel ready to write this exam and will probably never feel fully prepared. It is very exhausting juggling this pregnancy with a busy work schedule, and I hardly find the time to study these days. I am currently 86% done the QBank which I am proud of but I am still terrified of writing the NCLEX. I really need to pass this exam because my future depends on it #no-pressure
  • Finish writing the 3-6 month learning plan I submitted the learning plan but I still question how I am going to complete everything on the list. It is stuff like this that keeps me up at night. My learning plan is ambitious so I am really hoping that I will be able to finish it on time. I continue to try my best at work, but is “my best” really enough? I always feel like I could be doing more and never seem to feel satisfied with things.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Let’s face it: I am writing the bare minimum right now. I am not sure if I will be uploading a goals-related blog post for April yet. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is not my priority right now but I do find that these posts help keep me accountable for my actions. Also, I do not want to become complacent with my writing which is the main reason why I continue to blog.
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I went to all of my doctor’s appointments this month. However, I need to schedule a few more appointments which I plan to do during the months of April and May. I am still on the edge as to whether or not I should get the COVID-19 vaccine now or after I give birth. I am eligible to sign up for a vaccine now, so I am seriously considering it. There are a lot of appointments to keep track of so I recommend using a basic planner to keep track of everything, such as these ones:
  • Send some Easter snail mail I sent a bunch of mail to those who gave me their current addresses, but I have mixed feelings about continuing this craft. I love sending snail mail but I seldom get mail in return. Not only that, but half of the time, pen pals do not let me know if they received their mail so I often wonder if the mail got lost or something. Lack of communication drives me crazy and I try to practice what I preach. I try to let people know via email or text message when I have received their mail. Seriously, how difficult is that? 🙄
  • Continue tracking monthly spending I am really proud of this one, since I only spent $170.15 on myself during the month of March. My credit card bill was low because I cut out so many unnecessary expenses (except my monthly phone bill) and kept myself busy. I continue to shop at Dollarama but I go there once a week and spend ~$20-30 per trip. Did I mention that I still have money left over on that Tim Hortons gift card that I earned from Swagbucks back in January? I decided to finally use up the gift card by splurging on some treats for the family. It is hard to believe that $25 lasted me 1.5 months! With the Tims Rewards, Roll Up the Rim (RUTR), and hockey promotion thing, I managed to score some bonus drinks too! 🙌

Health Goals:

My only “health goal” was to stay healthy 😷 I am doing everything I can to keep myself and my family healthy, especially since I am exposed to potential pathogens at my workplace. Currently, I am craving crushed ice really badly which is a sign of iron deficiency. It is called Pica and I had cravings for ice chips when I was pregnant with my daughter as well. It turns out that I was severely anemic last time. I am not too worried this time because my cravings did not start until 3rd trimester where iron deficiencies are quite common; therefore, I am trying to eat things rich in iron. If anyone happens to know any recipes that are loaded with iron, please let me know in the comments section below ↓ In the meantime, I will continue chomping in my ice chips 😋

P.S. A while ago, I uploaded a Virgin Pina Colada recipe on my blog. I can assure you that all of my drinks are non-alcoholic. My current obsession are Virgin Lime Margaritas. My takeaway is that you can still enjoy these fancy drinks even when you are pregnant. Non-alcoholic drinks do not have to be “boring.” Another reason why I like these drinks is because #crushed-ice. It’s so refreshing! 🥥🍍

Thanks for stopping by!

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Affordable Self-Care Ideas

Are you one of those people who could use a self-care day to recharge? Me! Pick me! 🙋‍♀️ If you happen to fit into one of the two categories below, then you would probably benefit from a self-care day. Personally, I fit into both categories depending on where I stand in my work and personal life. When I am unemployed, I learn more towards #2 and when I am employed or taking courses, I learn more towards #1. Not to mention that we are also dealing with a freaking pandemic, which has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ So tell me, what kind of person are you? ♥
1. You are overwhelmed because you feel that you need to stay busy, or you have a hard time relaxing when you do have free time.
2. You do not know what to do with your free time so you end up doing nothing productive or rejuvenating.

Below, I have compiled a list of affordable self-care strategies that will not break the bank and will hopefully help you recharge and reground yourself. I cannot stress how important it is to take care of your mental health and well-being, especially during these difficult times. Obviously, I am not a party planner nor am I going to plan out the whole day from morning to night. What I will do is give you some free or budget-friendly suggestions for a self-care day. Self-care does not have to be elaborate or expensive! Let’s get started, shall we?

Go For A Walk Outside

What? You don’t walk your cat?

When my cat was sick, my husband took him to the vet. Afterwards, my husband spoiled the cat by letting him venture outside. And the cat loved it! ❤ Pet parents do not hesitate to take their dogs (and cats) out for walks, but when was the last time you took yourself out for a walk? Are you spending way too much time indoors and not enough time in the great outdoors? If you live in Canada like me, I totally understand why you may choose to stay inside the house. Canada is cold AF, especially in this province. If the weather is nice where you are, depending on what your definition of “nice” is, I encourage you to stand barefoot on the grass as a way to ground yourself and reconnect with Mother Nature.

Spending time outside can be incredibly therapeutic. I encourage all of you to leave the house at least once a day if you can, and spend some time outdoors. Right now, I am not getting my daily walks and my mood is suffering as a result. I am probably Vitamin D deficient because I hardly ever see the sun 🌞 My blinds are closed as I write this and I keep my windows shut due to the frigid cold. Also, the paths are icy AF outside so I try not to leave the apartment. The affordable solution is to suck it up and spend time outdoors, but knowing how terrible my balance is, I rather not deal with a sprained wrist or ankle. If you live in a warmer climate, then you are incredibly fortunate! 🌴

Enjoy A Hot Beverage

You can make a soothing tea at home for a fraction of the price!

There is something soothing about sipping a hot beverage any day of the week ☕💕 A hot beverage is fairly inexpensive if you make it yourself at home. Also, it is easy to make a basic coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, so there is really no excuse not to enjoy a cup or two. My favourite thing to do first thing in the morning is to enjoy a hot beverage while I read the latest blog posts from my fellow WP bloggers!

Read A Book

Got a book that you had every intention to read, but never got around to reading? Now is a good time to pick up that book and yenno, actually read it. I cannot tell you how The life-changing art of tidying up ends because I never finished reading it. Seeing my pile of unread books made me realize that there is no reason to buy more books when I haven’t even finished the ones I have. Reading can turn into an expensive hobby, which is why I encourage you to shop your own house first before buying more books.

Take a Bath

Source: Miku Hatsune from wallup.net

I used to be a shower person, but I have evolved into a bath person over the years. I take a bath 3-5 times per week, and thus, the shower gel and body butter did not last long. Enjoying a warm bath is honestly one of my favourite ways to relax. Also, I noticed that taking a bath is the fastest way for me to warm up after being outside in the frigid cold. Not to mention, baths can elevate a crappy mood, relieve muscle aches and pains, and reduce stress levels. Although I prefer to take a bath midday, I still recommend taking a bath at the end of day before bedtime. Why? Because baths have the tendency to calm an overactive mind, relax you, and make you sleepy. If you suffer from insomnia or anxiety like I do, then try adding this bath ritual to your schedule to help you wake up feeling more refreshed the next day.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Final Thoughts ♥

Finally, I would suggest journaling. However, I do not find it very relaxing. I use a planner to stay organized but that’s as much journaling as I do these days. I used to enjoy writing letters to pen-pals and still do to an extent, but it has been difficult for me to find the motivation and energy to send snail mail. I apologize to anyone who I have not responded to via email; I haven’t had the motivation to write my wordy, thought-provoking replies. It is not that I have forgotten about you ❤ Same goes with pen-pals – I have not forgotten about you either and I will send more mail when I find the desire to write again 💌

Thanks for stopping by!

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One Good Thing: Boxing Week Deals

I originally got the idea from blogger Becky who runs a blog called Strikeouts + Sprinkles. She has a weekly blog series called One Good Thing although I only plan on making this blog post a one-time thing. She made me realize that I tend to view life from a negative perspective, and therefore, I need to be more mindful about focusing on the positive things in my life. You might be wondering how the above photo fits the theme of this blog post; this is a photo of my car covered in snow from last week’s snowfall. Normally, such an event would discourage me from leaving the house, but luckily, my husband volunteered to rescue my poor car. Had he not forced me to get out of the house, I would have stayed indoors all weekend feeling sorry for myself.


Ruthless Frugality

Six years ago, I embarked on the frugal journey while working on personal development and honestly, I prefer this lifestyle compared to the typical consumerist culture that has plagued the western world. Every year, I look forward to the semi-annual sales because I can save money on items that I already use on a regular basis. This week, I am grateful for the boxing week sales and still having access to in-store shopping in my province. This weekend, I was able to buy what I needed for the New Year. These items will easily last me an entire year! 😊

Disclaimer: This is not a humble-brag blog post similar to the ones I have seen littering the WP Reader lately. The purpose of this blog post is to give readers hope and empower them to think about how they can save money and live life more intentionally. I challenge you to think about the things are most important to you, and learn how embrace discomfort in the year 2021. Most importantly, you need to learn how to let go of the things that do not matter and completely let go of the things that give you zero return in your life.

Buy All The Things!

Even though I am not currently employed, hopefully I will be starting a new job(s) in the New Year. It costs money to live, but I do not like spending full price on things if it can be avoided. Please note that there is a clear difference between being cheap and being frugal, and if you need more context, please google it instead of asking me. Also, if you want to learn more about frugality, you can read my blog post called 7 Ways to Stop Wasting Money under the page titled STUDENT LIFE ツ

Today, I will share with you what I bought during boxing day weekend. I purchased all of these items myself after making a list and checking it twice prior to going out. None of these items were gifted to me. Let’s face it – most bloggers would love to receive gifted items from sponsors and advertisers but this is not reality for the majority of people. Most of us are stuck buying our own shit stuff. Here is what I bought:

1. The Body Shop: Body Butter and Shower Gel

I bought 3 sets of body butters and shower gels from the Body Shop, priced $5 each ($15 for all 3). One travel size butter butter costs $6 regular price so this was a great deal. It takes me a very long time to use body butter so travel sizes are perfect for me. I have yet to try these scents: British Rose, Almond Milk & Honey, and Mango. The shower gels are bonuses! Every year, I also get a $10 gift card on my birthday just for signing up with The Body Shop!

2. The Body Shop: 2 Body Yogurts

One body yogurt costs $16 CAD regular price. At sale price, they usually sell for $10 each. Using the birthday gift card, I scored a free body yogurt 2 years ago not knowing if I would even like it. I ended up really liking the texture of body yogurt since it does not leave a sticky or greasy residue on my skin. I recommend body yogurt to anyone who is tactile sensitive like me. For this body yogurt duo, I only paid $12 CAD! This is what I call a discounted-discount item. I am happy that I waited until after Christmas to buy it as I have been wanting to try British Rose and Almond Milk Body Yogurt for a while.

3. Posh Planner from Costco & Backup Planner

Not everything goes as planned which is why I ended up with 2 planners for the year 2021. Ironically, I ended up with the same planners last year! I initially bought the planner on the right costing me a pretty penny ($4) from Dollarama. The planner itself is OK but the pages are really thin. Then I went to Costco for a non-alcoholic sparkling juice beverage, and to my surprise, this Costco had the Posh Deluxe Organizer! I love this 17-month, habit-tracking planner; Posh Deluxe Organizers are the best, hands-down. I loved my 2020 Posh Planner but I am not a fan of the price. It costs $14.99 CAD at Costco; if you go anywhere else including amazon.ca to get this planner, it will cost you $29.99+ so consider your options.

Where will 2021 take you? Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope that you feel inspired to live a more intentional life next year. By habit tracking, I believe that we can stop wasting money once and for all. Feel free to leave a comment below ↓ and I will do my best to reply to your comments! ❤

Thanks for stopping by!

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Would You Rather? Christmas Edition

I find Christmas-themed blog posts a bit overdone. Everyone and their moms seem to be doing Blogmas this year. You will not find me participating in Blogmas or other holiday-themed blog challenges. Ever. They’re just not my cup of tea. Why? I feel like I shouldn’t feel the need or pressure to publish a daily blog post for the sake of publishing something. I care more about high-quality blog posts than I do about quantity. Nobody should ever feel pressure to write, because I can assure you, that is when blogging stops being fun.

Recently, I saw this particular blog post floating around the WP sphere. Apparently, this specific Would You Rather? quiz originated on Pinterest. Who knew?! Normally, I give credit to the person who gave me the idea, but who started this thread? Was it a blogger or was it someone on Pinterest? This inspiration came from various sources and you are all welcome to participate you want to join in! ⭐

Would You Rather⁉

  1. Have to sing Jingle Bells loudly every time you walk into a room or wear a Santa suit to work every day for a week? My workplace consists of lounging at home and I basically live in pajamas. I am not a loud person so you will not find me singing songs on a whim. If I had to choose, I would pick the Santa Suit even though I do not like whimsical Santa Clauses and snowmen. A Santa Suit counts as pajamas, right?

  1. Not celebrate Christmas this year or not celebrate your birthday this year? We are not party-animals so I seldom celebrate my birthday. And if I do celebrate it, then it is pretty low-key and chill. Christmas on the other hand, is kind of a big deal to people. Sadly, we will not be visiting my parents or in-laws this year but it is still nice to relax on Christmas day, nonetheless. This year, I plan to spend Christmas at home with my husband and daughter.
  1. Have Frosty the Snowman as a friend or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Like I stated before, I usually do not care for fictional snowmen, whether they are found on mugs, plates, socks, cards, characters like Frosty the Snowman, or Olaf from Frozen I & II. If I had to pick Frosty or Rudolph, it would have to be Rudolph. Honestly, I find these fictional stories childish and overrated so Rudolph and I probably wouldn’t be like Anna and Olaf.

  1. Have mistletoe hanging in your bedroom doorway or have a large decorated Christmas tree in your bedroom doorway? How would a Christmas Tree fit in my bedroom doorway? Are we talking about a miniature Christmas Tree? Because that might work. Even though I appreciate a nicely decorated Christmas Tree, I would choose the mistletoe because of its minimalistic design and its anti-clutter approach when it comes to interior decorating.

  1. Write a five paragraph essay about the meaning of Christmas or solve a page of Christmas themed math problems? As much as I enjoy writing, I would not want to write a 5-paragraph essay about the meaning of Christmas because 1) Nobody including myself would want to read it and 2) How boring! 😴 Oh, how grinchy of me! I mean, there are better topics to write about, and being passionate about what you are writing is the true meaning of blogging. I much rather solve the math problems, even though I suck at math as an adult. As a kid, math was actually one of my stronger subjects.

  1. Have a job wrapping presents at the mall or have a job taking photographs of children sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall? I LOVE wrapping presents so presents all the way! I have been wrapping presents since I was 4 years old and volunteered to wrap relatives’ presents too. Wrapping presents is one of the few things that I actually find enjoyable and quite therapeutic. This year, I do not have any presents to wrap. 🙇‍♀️
I cannot take credit for wrapping this present. My mom wrapped it for Christmas 2019!
  1. See the Nut Cracker or dance in the Nut Cracker? I cannot dance to save my life so I would choose to see the Nut Cracker. However, it would be cool if I was a ballerina dancing in the Nut Cracker in a past life.

  1. Be given $100 for Christmas to spend on yourself or be given $1K before Christmas to buy presents for other people? $100 does not get you much in Canada. If I needed $100 quickly, I could sell unwanted items on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. I much rather spend money on other people so I would choose the $1K to spend on other people. Giving gifts to people and seeing their faces light up is very gratifying.

  1. Have a nose the glows like Rudolph’s or have pointy ears like an elf? Like I said before, red noses and Rudolph in general is too overrated for me. Elves however, have the potential to be “cool.” Besides, aren’t elf ears considered kawaii these days? Hasn’t there been a recent craze of e-girls and elf ears taking over the internet lately, or is it just me? Elf Girl Makeup Tutorial Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgU-GblHYM

  1. Be one of Santa’s elves or one of Santa’s reindeer? Isn’t this the same question as #9 only worded differently? Duh, I would be one of Santa’s free spirited elves. Let’s keep Christmas classy this year, rather than tacky (or trashy). 🧝‍♀️🎄

Thanks for stopping by!

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Let’s face it. Most of us are nosy people. At some point, I am guessing that you were probably curious about my life. I consider myself to be a fairly private person for the most part. Tiani Angela, who runs a blog called tianiangela.com, inspired me to write this vulnerable blog post. You can read her original blog post here. Like Tiani’s blog post, my blog post is extra-personal as well. Please read without judgement and keep and open mind. Thanks. 😊

10 Interesting Facts About Me

1. I am an only child. And I am not happy about it. I was never happy about it. I always felt like I was meant to have a sibling and being an only child felt “wrong” to me. When I was 18, I learned that I was a double-rainbow baby which explains a lot 🌈🌈 When I was 12, I asked my parents to adopt an orphan from China and sadly, they said no. I think that is where my fascination for Asian culture started.

2. I married an Asian boy. The fascination for Asian culture continued into my adult years. Although I have long graduated from reading manga and seldom watch anime these days, my husband has taught me a lot about his Asian roots, specifically Singaporean roots. I met him in January 2013 and we have been together ever since. He is my rock and we have been married since May 2016.

Celebrating Mother’s Day. with the hubby. You can’t go wrong with a cake from Costco!

3. I am mother to a Eurasian toddler. Most of you already know that I am a mom since it’s in my About Me section, yet people often seemed surprised when I tell them. I am a Millennial in my late twenties so I am not that young anymore. I try to follow other bloggers who are also in their 20’s+ but a few younger bloggers have slipped through the cracks. My daughter is a rambunctious 4-year old who loves life. Her favourite thing to say is, “Mommy, be happy.”

4. I had a miscarriage in October, 2015. My daughter was planned and she is a rainbow baby. Prior to having my daughter, I had a miscarriage and it was devastating. I feel like miscarriage is a topic that often gets swept under the rug even though 1:4 women end up having a miscarriage in their lifetime. Miscarriage is more common than people think and it shouldn’t be ignored. For anyone who has had a miscarriage, I want you to know that you are not alone. 👼

5. Given the choice, I would be a fruitarian. I ❤ Fruit! I find the fruitarian lifestyle intriguing and it would be my diet of choice if boundaries did not exist. However, I have a background in nutrition and neutraceutical sciences (NANS) from the University of Guelph, so I know that a fruitarian diet is not the answer to long-term health and longevity.

6. My pupils are different sizes. And this is concerning to neurologists. Ironically, my first clinical placement this semester was on an acute neurosurgery/neurology unit. I cannot tell you how concerned some of the staff was when I told them that I was born this way. When pupils are two different sizes, this usually indicates some kind of brain lesion or altered level of consciousness (LOC).

7. Also related to eyes, I am a carrier of Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR). Even though I am asymptomatic, my daughter is one of the unlucky few who is symptomatic. She was born blind in her left eye as a result of FEVR. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, FEVR defines a group of inherited diseases with abnormal retinal angiogenesis leading to incomplete vascularization of the peripheral retina. Every 3-6 months, my daughter gets routine surgery and receives laser surgery if necessary. Laser surgery is dependent on the progression of this eye disease. If she does not receive routine checkups, there is a risk that she could become blind in both eyes because the disease typically affects the eyes bilaterally.

Despite FEVR, she is a happy child 🌞

8. I was anorexic when I was 13 years old. I hate it when people try to glamorize anorexia to get attention or pretend they have an eating disorder when in fact they don’t. You’ll often notice this in the blogging sphere and social media and it’s is one of my pet peeves. I can tell you that anorexia is NOT glamorous. It is an eating disorder (ED) that the individual cannot control. These individuals know that it is wrong; they have insight but they lack judgement. I wish I had pictures and clothes to show you what I looked like at 98 lbs. but I don’t have any “memorabilia”. My parents threw out those memories without my permission. 

9. I attended 3 different universities. I am not making this up, unlike some people I know. I attended University of Guelph from 2010-2014 and obtained a degree in biological sciences. I also minored in nutrition and neutraceutical sciences (NANS). Sadly, I realized that I would not be able to truly thrive with this degree so I took some courses through Athabasca University, an accredited online university in Canada. Now, I am nursing student who is living in Alberta and I plan to graduate by the end of the year. It’s been a long journey and I am really, really tired of school. 

10. I own a 210ish year old violin. Or something like that. I lost track of its exact age; my violin is ancient. It’s been passed down in the family and got sold at one point. Fortunately, my dad was very lucky and managed to rescue the violin for me, which I received as a birthday gift. I named my violin Matilda the III and she has a very rich, pure sound. I haven’t played her in years since she doesn’t live with me, but I love the way she sounds. 

Well, there you have it! Did anything in my list surprise you? If so, what did you find most surprising? Do you know me as well as you thought you did? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓ If you decide to write a similar blog post, please let me know so I can check it out. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

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Something Needs to Change

XOn3CljIt’s rare for me to upload more than one blog post in a single week, but I haven’t been feeling super talkative lately. Usually, you can’t get me to shut up, but my mood has been $hit lately. If you read my previous blog post, My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag, you may have thought that I am as happy as a clam. At least, I was feeling happy until yesterday. And as much as I want to complain and vent about everything that is wrong in my life right now, I rather not ruin your mood too. Being pessimistic is like a disease and all it takes is one pessimistic person to infect us all 😷 The stuff that I am dealing with is very personal and bothersome, and this topic is not open for discussion. Please do not ask me to elaborate in the comments section below ↓ or try to convince me that things will get better with time. Well yeah, things usually do get better eventually. This thing has been bothering me for a few years now and it’s incredibly frustrating. I though that I would have made some progress by now, but instead, I haven’t made much progress at all. Like a hamster running in a wheel, but never reaching its destination. ‘Stuck’ is how I would describe my life right now.

Stuck in the middle

Lately, I have been thinking about revamping this blog. I have yet to figure out how to turn secondary pages into blog posts. I feel like the majority of my readers end up missing most of my poetry and recipes because these sections are categorized under pages rather than blog posts. I want my current pages to show up on the home page, but at the same time, I want them to show up as previews under the parent pages. I currently use the free version, so I am not blessed with plugins and unlimited features. It’s just the basics.

Does anyone know if there is a way to add blog posts to pages so that you can see blog post previews on the pages themselves? Is there a way to categorizes blog posts on these pages? Am I making any sense?

Over the next few months, I am going to transfer my secondary pages to blog posts so that they will actually show up in the WP reader, which is where most of my traffic comes from. When I first started blogging in 2016, having secondary pages made the most sense because it allowed for visitors, mainly people who were not WP bloggers, to easily navigate my blog. However, I want to expand my recipes, poetry, and student life ツ sections, so having secondary pages isn’t the best option anymore.

Secondary pages, sometimes referred to as daughter pages, will appear under their parent pages. These secondary pages are different than blog posts.

For those of you who have been following me for a while, did you know that these pages even existed on my blog? If you answered no, then this is why something needs to change.

Thanks for stopping by!

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My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag

Pink and Yellow Shapes Birthday Pinterest Graphic (1)I want to thank blogger Pooja for sharing this tag with me! If you aren’t familiar with her blog, then I highly suggest that you check out her creative musings over at Lifesfinewhine. A while ago, I promised her that I would [eventually] complete this tag which dates back to May 27. 2020. Even though I had good intentions and even jotted down a list on my phone’s virtual notepad, the note accidentally got deleted. I am now writing a new list which is in no particular order. Today, I spent some time reflecting on the things/feelings that make me happy. I purposely left out some of the obvious things like spending time with family and friends.


Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share your list of 10 Favourite Feelings. 
  • Nominate other bloggers. 

My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag

1. Spending time with my cat. As many of you already know, I really adore my cat. I adopted him last year when I was dealing with major depression that was quite severe. If you need some happiness in your life or feel like your mood is $hit most days, then I highly recommend adopting a cat! Not every cat is friendly though, so take your time choosing the right one. Adopting a cat is a big decision, but it is a decision that you probably won’t regret! ❤🐈

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Morning cuddles with my boy, Timon ❤

2. Connecting with WordPress bloggers, both online and offline! I am very fortunate to have this blog, where I am able connect and chat with other like-minded bloggers. Blogging has been incredibly rewarding and it only keeps getting better. I never imagined that I would end up receiving personal emails, end up receiving snail mail, and even meeting Vee in real life, who is one of my favourite bloggers.

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Before I started blogging, I used to send snail mail to online friends on Facebook. I am still taking a FB hiatus and have no plans to return to that platform any time soon.

3. The smell of the Earth after it rains. Am I crazy, or is there a distinct, earthy smell after it rains? Do you know what smell I am talking about? Because that’s the smell I love! It’s a refreshing feeling after it rains ☂

4. Reaching a destination after walking for what seems like 500 miles. If the destination does not include coffee or tea, then it is a waste of my time 😂 Most of my destinations are food-related. If I didn’t walk to these places, I would probably be obese by now. I choose to walk even though I have a driver’s licence. Personally, I do not like driving a car and I will avoid driving as much as possible.

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This is one of my favourite bubble tea places. Even though I took the Light Rail Transit (LRT), I technically walked there. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, I have not taken the LRT 😷

5. Having fresh-cut flowers in my house 🌻 My mom lives across the country, and she surprised me with a dozen sunflowers for my birthday! Best birthday surprise ever ❤Sunflowers are my favourite flowers and I associate them with the month of August. They’re so sunny and cheerful. What’s not to like about sunflowers? 😍

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Not my birthday sunflowers. This photo was taken at my mom’s house, Summer 2019. Look how big and gorgeous these beauties are! 🌻🌻

6. Sunsets from my balcony. You do not need to go to the beach to enjoy a sunset. In fact, you can view beautiful sunsets from the comfort of your balcony or backyard. Some sunsets are quite stunning. My favourite kind of sunsets are the cotton-candy colored ones 🤗

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This is what I call a cotton-candy sunset ❤

7. Finding $$$ in random places. It might be money laying on the ground (I wish), money in my coat pocket, or finding money in a drawer etc. Finding money I didn’t even know I had is a great feeling! Once I found $200 cash while cleaning the house, which was money I made from Kijiji sales. I had stashed it in an envelope for a rainy day and completely forgot about it! I’m also bad for accidentally leaving money in my coat pockets. Once my mom found a $20 in my coat pocket, so she kept it. It was an old coat that I no longer wanted, but I guess it still had some value.

8. “Kodak” moments. Let me be clear about something: I am aware that I am not photogenic. My dad thinks that I love taking photos of myself but I seldom take photos of myself. Yes, I have a profile picture of myself only because I rather see an actual picture of the face behind the blog, even if that profile pic happens to be filtered. Most of the photos I post on this blog are my own, such as this adorable pic of Rebecca and Timon the cat 💕 I am really beginning to loathe royalty-free pics because every blogger seems to use them nowadays 🙄 #unoriginal

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Photo taken October 16, 2019

9. Donating/selling items. Knowing that my stuff is going to a better home is a very satisfying feeling. Meeting the buyer in person also gives me reassurance that my stuff is actually wanted, especially since I know that they want to buy my stuff. I find it much easier parting with sentimental items if I sell them, compared to donating them. For all I know, donated items could be going straight to the landfill, which I find a bit disturbing.

10. Spousal business travel. I really enjoy taking advantage of my husband’s travel excursions whenever the opportunity arises. Usually, our schedules clash and I have to stay home, but sometimes I am fortunate to join him on his adventures! That being said, I can no longer tag along on his business trips because of the pandemic 😭


My Nominees:

https://popsiclesociety.com/

https://simplychronicallyill.com/

https://renardsworld.wordpress.com/

https://mymartialpath.wordpress.com/

https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com/

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination. I am curious to know what your answers are if you decide to participate! Whether or not you were nominated, you are still welcome to join in on the fun!

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My Favorite Quotes: Love and Marriage

I had good intentions to write a blog post last week, but procrastination got the best of me. I write blog posts from my laptop, however, my laptop is having issues. It’s overheating again since the fan no longer works. I tried getting it fixed but the computer experts refused to fix it. Instead, they kept insisting that nothing is wrong with my laptop. I cannot for the life of me write blog posts from my iPhone. I do not understand how bloggers can write and edit blog posts from their smart phones. How does the tiny phone screen not annoy you? It’s very difficult to edit from a phone screen that is not much bigger than a deck of cards. Okay, two decks of cards but you get the point. 👩‍💻

As a continuation from my previous blog post titled, “My Favorite Quotes: Tea Time,” I want to share some of my favourite love and marriage quotes with you. There’s a bunch of em’ and I personally don’t have a favourite quote! Similar to the tea quotes, I wanted a safe place to keep these quotes because #memories but didn’t want to keep the original document. It’s only logical to write a blog post about my favourite love and marriage quotes, right? 👰🤵 Some of you may know (or don’t know) that I married my husband in May 2016 and we have been inseparable since January 2013! ❤

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A rare photo of me on my wedding day. Photo taken May 7, 2016


(っ◔◡◔)っ♥ Love Is In The Air ♥

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♥♥♥

Did any of these quotes resonate with you? I am curious to know which of these love/marriage quotes is your favourite. It does not have to be one from my list. Also, do you believe in true love? What about love at first sight? Are you married or do you plan to get married one day? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I will try my best to respond to your comments this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Summer Blog Party! #Twitter-edition

Twi

A Little Birdie Told Me

I admit that I am most creative when I am dealing with insomnia, and last night was one of those nights. For once, I actually remembered my idea and came up with this gem!💎 I am extremely overtired right now, but I will try my best to explain my idea to you. As you may know, I am not active on social media platforms right now. Some people may argue that blogging is a form of social media, so basically I am was only active on WordPress. However, a little birdie told me about the benefits of using Twitter to help increase blog traffic, so I have decided to reopen and update my abandoned Twitter account, which can be found at @hellokitty8404 💕

*Gasp!* Twitter? But why?!? It’s simple. Because I find methods of communication quite limited on WP and email often dwindles after a few exchanged, heart-to-heart messages. Snail mail is even more unreliable. I sent out mail a few weeks ago and I haven’t heard back from my recipients, so I don’t know if they ever received their mail. That being said, I hope to connect specifically with WP bloggers on Twitter. Blog parties are popular in the WP community, and if you haven’t heard of a blog party, then I’m afraid that you have been living under a rock longer than I have! I was looking for the definition of a blog party, and I found the perfect definition from KaylaAnn’s blog, kaylaannauthor.wordpress.com, where she defines a blog party as:

“Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.” —KaylaAnn

She goes on to define what blog parties are on Twitter, but that’s where she lost me. My idea is a bit simpler. Anyone who has a Twitter handle (aka. @your.account) could share their handles in the comments section below↓ Currently, I am attempting to follow WP bloggers who also have Twitter accounts, as a way to hopefully improve communication and networking opportunities. However, trying to navigate through each and every one of your blogs is not an easy task or the best use of my time.

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“This will be easy!,” said my illogical, insomniac brain.

I Invite You to Join the Party!

I figured that everyone could benefit from a twitter/blog following networking party by joining the #follow-train (a cringe-worthy hashtag) in the comments section below↓ It’s simple and saves us both time! I will keep the comments section open until next Wednesday, August 5, which happens to be the day after my birthday! 🎉🥳 This gives you a week to join the party if you wish to share your Twitter handle with us bloggers! I promise to follow your Twitter account as long as your account has a) up-to-date tweets from 2020, b) your account isn’t a bot account or full of spam, and c) your account/tweets has some relevance to your blog.


Follow the Steps Below ⬇️

Like. Comment. Engage. Spread the Word.

  • LIKE! You are not obligated to like this blog post, but I appreciate the likes, especially if you would like to see more of these blog posts in the future!
  • COMMENT! Tell us your name, leave a short description telling us what your blog is about, and add your Twitter handle (@your.account) so we can follow you. Please do not skip this step or your comment may end up in my spam folder. 
  • ENGAGE: Like KaylaAnn mentioned in her blog post(s), blog parties are not about simply promoting your blog/work, and I completely agree with her statement. There is no party without engagement! I encourage you to visit other blogs and check out their social media accounts too. And follow them if you like their content.
  • SPREAD THE WORD: There is no obligation to re-blog or re-tweet, but I would greatly appreciate it if you did. The more you help spread the message, the more opportunities there will be to meet new bloggers and increase your following as well! ❤

The comments section will remain open from July 28, 2020 – August 5, 2020 at 12 p.m. Mountain Time (MT), so take advantage of this opportunity while you are here, especially if you have a Twitter account. Also, feel free to keep this party going by spreading the word! Remember, our blogs cannot thrive without each other’s support. We are all in this together! ❤

Thanks for stopping by!

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