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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Breaking Trust…..Again 💔

Disclaimer: I wrote the rough draft over a week ago as I am still fumbling around with the stupid Block Editor. However, this event does not dismiss the emotional turmoil, exhaustion, and frustration I have regarding what happened last week. Things are still awful and I am as moody as ever, since I am having a hard time coming to terms with things. I am not sure where to go from here or how to remedy the situation. It is hard for me to give you enough context without sharing too much of my private life online.

Sept 7, 2020 @11:55 AM: I am scrolling, scrolling. I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I am trying so hard not to cry. No, this cannot be real. This cannot be happening again. We had a promise. A promise of trust so fragile that it shattered yet again. A promise so fleeting that I could feel it escaping through my fingers like sand. I find myself screaming and shaking like someone who is in the midst of a mental breakdown. Then it dawned on me: Maybe I can take the pain away with some painkillers. Tylenol is innocent enough, it wont hurt me… maybe then, my emotional pain will disappear and I won’t have to feel anything. I just want to feel nothing…. 

I wish that I didn’t have to write this depressing post. I wish that yesterday didn’t happen, but it did. I took a more than the recommended dose of Tylenol. My liver may not have been too happy with me but I am fine. I suggest that you try to suppress your pain with medication. It will not take away your emotional pain. To feel any kind of relief, I think I would need to black out which might be accomplished with alcohol. I abstain from alcohol and I don’t take prescription meds, so the strongest thing I have is Tylenol. Once I swallowed 2/3 of a bottle of Advil in one sitting, took a nap, and woke up with an unrelenting headache. I was fine. Nobody found out about it until a few months later, and by then, I was back to my old self, distracted by academia. 

Miku Hatsune, Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/253679447

I can relate if you are reading this post and desperately want to numb your emotional pain too. To an extent, I understand the challenges that people face with mental health challenges, and I get that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. You will probably be hurt several times in your lifetime, and those you are closest to will probably end up hurting you most. I am writing this blog post because it’s incredibly painful for me to process what happened yesterday, and I just want to be understood. If you want to read about a similar experience I had a few months ago, you can read that blog post here.

Reflecting on 2020 so far, 2020 has been a weird year for all of us. I have been working on getting my $hit together since the beginning of the year. Did the pandemic disrupt my plans? Yes and no. Sure, I did not get to travel this summer but that is not why I am upset. Like I said in my earlier post, it is hard to stay positive when I am dealing with $hit that is VERY triggering for me. My mental health is fragile and I need to do everything I can to protect my well-being. Reflecting on my previous post , we know that there needs to be mutual trust between 2 or more people, in order for any relationship or team to thrive. 

What is so difficult about being honest? Why do you refuse to change your ways when you know that your behaviour hurts me? I don’t care if being honest is more painful than covering up the truth with a bunch of lies. What hurts the most is having the nerve to lie to my face without blinking an eyelash. Even when I question your behaviour, you respond with a lie. You are emotionally unavailable and uninvested in what we were working so hard to build. A relationship is built on 3 things: communication, trust, and affection (may be intimate or non-intimate). 

Liar, Liar 🔥

This is what I want to know: Have you ever told a lie, and did it end well for you? Because it did not end well for me. When someone tells a lie, they end up hurting the people around them. Even if they get away with their lie today, it will eventually catch up to them. Some of the best liars are known to be sociopaths and psychopaths because they are constantly forced to cover up their lies and believe their own BS. Also, they are known to have incredible memory recall. Imagine yourself telling a bunch lies and then having to remember those lies today, tomorrow, a month from now, and even years from now. The psychopath or sociopath might get away with it, but the rest of us will eventually caught. The person who hurt me certainly did get caught and I am still PO’d.

Do you believe that it is ever OK to lie to someone, or continue to lie to someone for whatever reason? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓ I really enjoy reading your comments! ❤️

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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My Favorite Quotes: Tea Time

Right now, I am sipping a cup of raspberry leaf tea while I am trying my best not to fall asleep at my computer desk. Even if I close my eyes for a few minutes, I would not get adequate sleep. No naps for me today. 😴 If we were having tea at my house or virtually via a Zoom meetup, I would share some of my favourite tea quotes with you. In May 2016, I printed these tea quotes and added them to cute frames to use as table placements. 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 tea quotes, right? 🍵💕

This blog post is as random as my mood today, and my mood happens to be a mix of depression, gloom, envy/jealousy, and frustration. Yes, it’s a weird mix of feelings and I and I am riding an emotional roller coaster right now. No, I am not dealing with PMS symptoms….yet. My depression seems to come and go in large waves, and these waves usually knock me off my feet. I will be okay; it’s just another wave that comes and goes like ocean tidal waves. As the saying goes, this too shall pass. 

Honestly, I could not find the energy or motivation to finish writing a decent blog post last week, despite multiple attempts. This morning, I resorted to reading fellow bloggers’ blog posts for inspiration, because my classic listicles and how-to guides weren’t cutting it. I was inspired by blogger Lucy, who runs a blog called Elsie LMC. If you aren’t familiar with her blog, I recommend that you check it out! She writes about similar topics, but goes into greater depth about her personal life which is a breath of fresh air. If you are currently following my blog (thank you~!), then you will probably like her content too!


It’s Time for Tea! (◡‿◡✿)

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Back in 2016, I didn’t use editing apps so the quotes were not as colorful as these ones. By the way, I am curious to know which tea quote is your favourite. It does not have to be one from my list. Also, do you enjoy drinking tea? If yes, what is your favourite kind of tea? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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🌞Sunshine Blogger Award 8.0🌞

On September 17, 2019, Stiina Marie nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This would have been my 8th award and I was planning to complete it when I had the opportunity to do so. It usually takes me several months to complete these awards. Also, I am very picky about the types of awards I complete, mainly because these awards are so mainstream and repetitive these days. Seriously, everyone and their moms get these awards. People have even started naming awards after themselves, which is a bit self-conceited if you ask me #unpopular-opinion

Sadly, it looks like I am a little too late to the party. Instead of being greeted by a working link, I was greeted by this oh-so familiar message from WordPress, which felt a punch in the proverbial gut. If you are a blogger, you probably know what I am talking about:

Stiina Marie, I hope that you return to WP one day. It seems like the blogging community loses fellow bloggers on a regular basis, which is a real shame. Well, this concludes the Sunshine Blogger Award 8.0!

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

Just kidding. It would mean a lot to me if you grabbed a coffee and took a moment to read this blog post! ☕💕

screen-shot-2018-03-23-at-8-2116615623 (1)The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Michelle, for nominating me for the award on December 11, 2019. Michelle blogs about her personal life and offers practical advice that is not only relatable, but also covers topics like mental health and well-being. I highly recommend that you check out Michelle’s blog if these topics interest you. 


🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Rules🌞

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions I was asked:

1. What is your favourite thing about blogging? Engaging with my readers, responding to comments, and following interesting bloggers! I get more enjoyment from interacting with people than I get from writing blog posts and humble-bragging about myself.

2. What do you like about winter? Nothing, unless you count Christmas. That being said Christmas typically lasts 2+ months which is WAY too long.

3. What do you hate about winter? I do not like the snow, slush, ice, snow, melted ice, slush, and more snow. Scraping off icy snow from my car each morning and praying that my car will start is the most anxiety-provoking thing ever. We can talk about winter after you try living in Canada 🍁

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Photo taken on a cloudy, cold day in Banff, Alberta BC (Before COVID-19)

4. Do you celebrate Christmas? Absolutely. I didn’t go home for Christmas 2017 and I didn’t decorate my house. My husband was out of town so I ended up watching TV re-runs on Christmas day, which was really depressing.

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A non-traditional Christmas tree | Christmas 2019

5. Have you ever written a blog post and later decided not to publish it? Can you describe the post and why you decided not to publish it? I currently have 34 unpublished posts and 98% of them are blank drafts. They’re mostly just titles for potential blog posts. If I recall, I wrote a rough draft about my Steeped Tea addiction, but never ended up writing the final copy. It wasn’t really an addiction since I was able to easily quit the following month. I love Steeped Tea but it’s not worth the price of $2.30 per drink. I’m a broke, frugal student and this habit was burning a hole through my wallet. I will happily accept gift cards though! 💌

6. Which country would you like to visit and why? I previously answered this question in 🌞The Sunshine Blogger Award🌞 and to cut to the chase, I would love to visit Japan!

7. How do you overcome a struggle? Good question. When faced with adversity, most people would probably give up and quit. Most people like to play victim and use the “poor me” get-out-of jail card, which is a pet peeve of mine. You see, I don’t have victim mentality. I refuse to quit, and I learned to embrace challenges. Even at my lowest, when I was suicidal and diagnosed with major depression, I kept fighting. Did I mention that I live medication-free? It IS possible to function even if you have a mental illness. I just refuse to accept that my life is hopeless and that depression rules my life. In most cases, depression is situational.

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The Pug Life is hard too 🐾

8. Can you share one positive thing about yourself? I have a good heart ❤ People have told me that my advice can be harsh and abrasive, but I have good intentions. A good friend is someone who is truthful and honest, even if the truth stings. I believe that it is better to have a friend like that than someone who always agrees with you. And if I am wrong, please tell me and we can have a mature conversation about it over coffee sometime.

9. What is one thing you want to do that you haven’t done yet? I really want to graduate from nursing school! 👩‍🎓 I was supposed to graduate a year ago and I am ready to move on with my life.

10. What is your favorite song at the moment? I don’t have a favourite song. My favourite music genre is Chillstep. Also, Lo-Fi hip hop music is starting to grow on me but I don’t know if I would classify it as a favourite genre.

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I think I have 500+ subscribers now? I haven’t logged into this account in ages.

11. What is your favorite movie? I don’t have a favourite movie 🤷‍♀️


🌞SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD NOMINEES🌞

I have received several requests from bloggers asking me to nominate them for a Sunshine Blogger Award, so I decided to leave it open to anyone who wants to complete it! Please answer the following questions below ↓

Questions for You:

1. What year did you start blogging?
2. What is the theme of your blog?
3. What topics do you write about most often?
4. Do you write short stories? Do you write poetry?
5. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
6. Have you ever gone to a meetup, such as the meetups from meetup.com?
7. Have you ever sold something on Facebook marketplace? What did you sell?
8. Have you ever bought something from Facebook marketplace? What did you buy?
9. Is it better to be rich, boring person or a poor, adventurous person?
10. Can you share one positive thing about yourself?
11. What is one thing you want to do that you haven’t done yet?

And….GO!! I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world and I appreciate that you took the time to read this blog post! I look forward to reading your answers if you decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. 

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The Lockdown Tag | 2020 Edition

log-down-tag-imageHello, dear readers! I am still alive. I am barely hanging by a thread, but I am alive and this blog still thriving! I am currently in the middle of Spring semester and my courses rely heavily on essay writing and group work. Trust me, it is as boring (and stressful) as it sounds.😴 Since I don’t have a lot of spare time, I was looking for a blog post idea that wouldn’t take hours to write… then I stumbled upon this gem💎 My creativity is nonexistent right now, so I want to thank blogger Pooja for sharing this tag with me! If you aren’t familiar with her blog, I highly suggest that you check out her creative musings on her blog, Lifesfinewhine!


Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the blogger’s questions. 
  • Nominate other bloggers. 

Questions I was asked:

1. What country do you live in? I live in Canada! 🇨🇦

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Mountains in Banff, Alberta

2. Favourite book? This is a tough question. I don’t really read fiction books, so a lot of the books I read are snore-worthy, self-help books. 😂

3. How do you spend your time during lockdown? During the first month of lockdown, I wasted most of my time doing unproductive things. Then school started near the end of April, which forced me to get my shit together. Now I am drowning in a pile of writing assignments which doesn’t seem to end. It is insane how quickly time flies, especially since this semester is less than 8 weeks long!

Study breaks with my kitty ❤

4. Have you tried cooking a new dish because of lockdown? When I am not busy with school, I am busy trying popular recipes that have been floating around the internet, such as whipped Dalgona coffee. Dalgona coffee is amazing, and you really need to try it. I used to think that instant coffee was yucky, but I assure you that it is not! Dalgona coffee is as divine as a fancy coffee drink from a coffee shop. Yes, it’s up there with the Starbucks Gods! ☕😍

Photo Credit + Coffee recipe: https://www.instagram.com/bbcfood/

5.Early riser or Night owl? I wish I was an early bird but I am a night owl!🦉 Given the option, I prefer night shifts over day shifts. Afternoon shifts aren’t bad but night shifts are the best! 😴🌙

6. Holiday dream destination? Cherry blossom festival in Japan! 🌸🌸🌸

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7. Favourite food? My Oma’s German cakes! While we’re at it, let’s take a trip around the world! LOL✈🌎 I wrote about my Oma’s desserts in an older blog post which you can read about here.

8. Instagram or Twitter? Neither?! I don’t like social media since it’s junk food for my mental health, and my mental health is SO delicate these days. I bet some of you are wondering if I have an Instagram or Twitter account. Yes, I do. My Twitter account is private which I seldom use for product reviews.

My Instagram account is @serene_hilz but I rarely update my account. Honestly, I am not a fan of social media right now. Feel free to follow me – my account is public but that may change in the future!

9. Favorite cartoon as a child? Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Spongebob SquarePants! 
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10. What do you prefer on a Saturday night? Netflix or Partying? Neither?! I prefer to play video games on a Saturday night or catch up on homework that I may have neglected during the week. I usually let my homework pile up on weekdays and attack it on weekends. Yeah, I am weird and I know I fit the stereotype of an extreme introvert. Don’t judge me until you try it!


My Nominees:

https://reasonstolivefor.com/

https://stevescountry.com/

https://themoodymom.com/

https://kimswebsite.blog/

https://bournemouthgirl.com/

QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEES:

  1. Overall, how are you handling the quarantine?
  2. Have you violated any of the restrictions? If yes, what rule(s) did you break?
  3. What viral recipes have you tried during the lockdown?
  4. What activities have you missed the most during quarantine?
  5. Do you wear a mask when you leave the house?
  6. Are you an essential worker? If yes, what is your job title?
  7. How do you exercise during the lockdown?
  8. Have you subscribed to any new subscription services since the lockdown started?
  9. What did/does your daily schedule look like before the pandemic started?
  10. Do you think that the pandemic is getting better or worse?

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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‘Tis the Season to Be Sick

Every year around the holidays, I seem to be one of the “lucky” individuals who gets sick. Last year, I caught bronchitis which started off as a head cold. Due to my crappy immune system, this nasty bronchitis refused to leave my poor lungs for several weeks which ultimately lead to an inflamed trachea. On top of that, I spent last Christmas in the ER. Thanks Santa! How thoughtful of you!

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Despite receiving the flu shot on Saturday, December 7, 2019, I wasn’t prepared for what was to come. From what I discovered over the years, the flu shot seems to work against me for some reason. However, the faculty insists that students receive their flu shots each year so that they can attend clinical practice. And this is kinda a big deal. If you don’t attend clinical practice, you automatically forfeit the entire semester. And anyone who has been following me knows why I cannot allow for this to happen.

On Sunday evening, I spent my waking hours in the bathroom puking my guts out. At one point, I didn’t make it to the bathroom on time and my poor husband volunteered to clean up the mess. I was in so much physical pain that I thought I was dying, similar to the memories from Christmas 2018. I didn’t see a magical light leading to heaven or anything, but if projectile vomiting is similar to what dying feels like, then yes, it was a near death experience for me.

Last night as I was lying in bed, I thought to myself, “This is it. I’m going to die. Pneumonia finally got me.”☠️ Memories from Christmas 2018 

It wasn’t just me who was sick this past weekend. My husband was the first one to get sick, so I spent the weekend nursing him back to health. Hey, I want to take some of the credit for making him feel better. It’s possible that I may have caught this stomach bug from him. However, he didn’t experience any vomiting whatsoever, so could it really be the same sickness? Yesterday evening, my toddler had a fever, but she displayed no signs or symptoms of being sick. Instead, she was full of energy and bouncing off the walls like any healthy kid. This morning, she asked us to take her to the playground so she could play on the slides. Not today, Rebecca. You still have a fever. You’re supposed to be sick. Silly girl. 

The Mystery Continues

Perhaps I had food poisoning, which is a possibility. Some of the food I ate last weekend was questionable, such as a bag of stale BBQ potato chips. Dollarama, get it together! 😑 Add 3 chocolate bars to my day’s worth of calories, and that binge could have been enough to cause a puking fest. We usually don’t eat junk food at home, but I thought it would be nice to surprise my husband with some of his favourite treats. He refused to eat any of it, so I ended up stuffing my face with chips, candy, and chocolate. Now, I am swearing off junk food for good, which could just be a temporary food aversion. Yesterday, I had a long conversation with Steve in the comments section over at Steve’s Country. He is super friendly and I highly recommend checking out his blog! 😀😺

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Always find something to laugh about every day. And if you can’t find anything, you can always laugh at yourself!

I am grateful that I am able to breathe through both nostrils. Thankfully, I didn’t end up with clogged sinuses or a stuffy nose. Try to stay healthy my friends, especially since there are sickly people everywhere this time of year.

Thanks for stopping by!

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I Attended An Anxiety Workshop | Part 3

This blog post is the final installment of the I Attended An Anxiety Workshop series. Please check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t previously done so, which give detailed descriptions leading up to this point. Thank you! ❤

During the month of November, I attended an anxiety workshop on campus called “Confront the Discomfort.I previously shared some techniques that were addressed in Session 1 and Session 2, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of positive comments and feedback I received from all of you. You guys are the reason why I continue to pour my heart and soul into blogging. Blogging is more than just a hobby for me. Blogging is an essential part of my recovery. 

be-still-be-present-be-mindful-quoteDuring Session 3 on November 19, 2019, we talked about positive coping statements for dealing with anxiety. I want to give you some examples of coping statements that I use in my daily life. Next time you are feeling anxious, I challenge you to try applying some positive coping statements similar to the ones I am going to share with you today.

Did you know that these coping statements can be used to manage stress, as well as phobias? Oh boy, so my fear of balloons can be overcome by repeatedly using positive affirmations? Even I am a bit skeptical about this one. Skepticism aside, let’s explore some coping statements, shall we?

♥ Let’s talk about coping statements ♥

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Before we dig deeper into some examples of positive coping statements, what the heck are coping statements to begin with?! ♥

The best definition I found is directly sourced from www.choosehelp.com, which defines coping statements as “truthful positive statements used to replace the negative and untrue thoughts that take over when you feel anxious, stressed, angry and/or when facing overwhelming situations [such as phobias].”

I really love lists. I love lists so much that I had originally intended to write listicles for this week’s blog post. As I started writing these lists, it dawned on me that the material this week is quite dry and does not really spark excitement. If my own writing is gonna bore me to death, then chances are you’ll probably be bored out of your minds too. And nobody would want that. Not me. Not you. Not anyone. 🙇‍♀️

A Simpler Way to Remember Things: Draw a Picture

Disclaimer: Since I do not have the resources to draw and upload my own images for you, I am using images directly sourced online. All images shown below belong to the rightful owner, Rebekah, from @journey_to_wellness_. The images that I am displaying here are strictly for educational purposes ONLY.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Rebekah from @journey_to_wellness_ does an excellent job at illustrating effective coping statements for dealing with anxiety.

♥ My New & Improved Listicles ♥

I’ve decided to take it upon myself to improve my otherwise boring lists by making them more visually appealing. This is literally the extent of my artistic abilities, and I know that these lists are not nearly as exciting as the previous illustrations. However, I hope that this information helps you find relief whenever you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.

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Coping Statements for Stress.pngWell, I hope you enjoyed reading the I Attended An Anxiety Workshop series as much as I enjoyed writing it! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated since I am trying to improve my blogging and writing skills. Have you used similar positive coping statements in the past when you had to deal with a stressful situation? Please leave a comment by joining the conversation below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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I Attended An Anxiety Workshop | Part 2

This week is a continuation of last week’s blog post, titled I Attended an Anxiety Workshop. Please check it out if you haven’t read it yet. Thank you! ❤

On November 19, 2019, I attended the last session of “Confront the Discomfort, which is an anxiety workshop offered to students at my university. I’m technically a student but at the same time, I am not a student. I am registered as a student, but I haven’t taken classes since being forced to withdraw in April 2019. I will be starting school again in January 2020. A part of me dreads 2020 because I used to think that 2020 was in the distant future. Well future, here I am so watch out! 🙊

peace-social-text-square-templateDuring the summer, I stopped taking my antidepressant medication. Please do not abruptly stop any kind of medication without speaking with your doctor first. After quitting my medications and significantly reducing my caffeine consumption, I am feeling mentally stronger these days. Hopefully, the progress I have made will be enough once I return to school in the new year. Ultimately, I figured that I had nothing left to lose and everything to gain by attending this anxiety workshop.

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited of what could go right.” —Tony Robbins

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I was unable to attend Session 2. Luckily, they were happy to fill me in on the details. Only I showed up for Session 3 (final week) so I got to word vomit all over ’em. Like diamonds, private counselling sessions like this one are incredibly rare, so I interpreted this opportunity as a blessing in disguise.

Here is what I’m having a hard time fathoming: One student in particular made a lame excuse as to why he couldn’t attend the last two sessions. Dude, here are 2 professionals who are willing to help you for FREE and instead, you rather turn down this opportunity? SMH. 🤦‍♀️

Tip of the Iceberg

Using the summary sheet from Session 2, we talked about The Anxiety Iceberg. If you have studied psychology, you’re probably familiar with this diagram. I don’t have an exact diagram to show you since the one they gave me is barren. Basically, the behaviors that we outwardly express on the surface are attached to underlying subconscious thoughts such as fears. What fears are holding you back in life? Why do you suffer from anxiety and what factors may have caused this? Most often, the root causes stem from negative childhood experiences. Our behaviors are a type of coping mechanism we have adapted in order to survive in the real world. In other words, your fears are meant to protect you.  

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What fears are you hiding under the surface?

As I dug a little deeper into my past, I learned that I have a fear of both success and failure. And balloons. I am afraid of succeeding at something that seems overambitious, like nursing school. In elementary school, I learned that peers will dislike you if you are the smartest kid in the class. In high school, I leaned that nobody will notice you if you are extremely introverted. Loneliness followed me throughout my childhood and adolescent years, which added to my depression and social anxiety.

In university, I was an average student. I took a mainstream degree so I could please my parents and win their approval. Unsurprisingly, a mainstream B.Sc. degree got me mainstream results. I stopped trying to stand out or achieve big dreams. I thought that I wanted to be like everyone else, but trying to fit into mainstream society DID NOT lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

“Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy.” —Rihanna, Shine Bright Like a Diamond 💎


Emotional Activators: What is Really Going On?

Instructions:

  • Think of one emotional activator that triggers you.
  • Write it down on the tip of the iceberg.
  • Think of the memories, experiences, thoughts, and beliefs that contribute to this emotional activator in particular.
  • Then write these memories, experiences, thoughts, and beliefs under the water of the iceberg → This is what’s really happening.
  • What can you do to better manage/respond to this activator? Write down 3-5 strategies.

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Drowning to be reborn again as her true self. Source: https://wall.alphacoders.com 

Thank you so much for joining the conversation last week, and leaving such lovely and insightful comments. This week, I plan to finish replying to the rest of your comments. I apologize for taking my sweet-ass time, as I unintentionally got swept away into the addictive world of video gaming. 105+ hours later, I finally beat the game and awoke to the realities of life. As of today, this blog has gained 400 amazing followers which is a HUGE milestone for me. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, for spreading the love and helping to keep this blog alive.

𝕊𝕥𝕒𝕪 𝕒𝕨𝕖𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖, 𝕞𝕪 𝕡𝕠𝕤𝕤𝕦𝕞𝕤.

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I Attended an Anxiety Workshop

I recently joined an anxiety workshop on campus because my cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) therapist suggested that I should see what workshops are available to students. Then she told me that she is happy with the progress I’ve made so far, and that I don’t need to book another appointment until the end of the year. Um, okay.

I have some mixed feelings here: Will I be mentally prepared to handle school in January? What if I have another major depressive episode like last time? Will the progress I made this year be enough to overcome failure? 

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“Confront the Discomfort” is the workshop I accidentally stumbled upon two weeks ago. When I signed up that day, I was innocently checking emails instead of studying, and thus, procrastinating like it was nobody’s business. This workshop takes place every Tuesday on campus and runs for a total of 3 weeks. I was unable to attend the second workshop since my toddler was with me that day, and I highly doubt that they would have wanted her running around and screaming the place down.

Fight or Flight

I admit that I was hesitant to join this anxiety workshop, since I often dismiss the possibility that anyone can help me with my problems. However, earlier this year I surrendered to defeat and accepted the fact that I do not have the answers to my problems. Shocking, right? I have some of the answers, but not all of them. Also, I am usually reluctant to join social gatherings since my natural instinct is to isolate myself from people. Social anxiety is real man, but I know that social anxiety is not an uncommon disorder. To make matters worse, [social] anxiety sufferers are the ones who are likely to refuse help, and thus, unlikely to attend these workshops in the first place. And yet, anxiety sufferers are the ones who are most likely to benefit by attending these workshops.

So far, I have only attended Session 1, and I plan to attend the Session 3 next week. I was unable to attend the Session 2 so I am missing that worksheet. Using the summary sheet from Session 1, I want to show you how to do the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique and the 3-7-8 Breathing Exercise. Both of these techniques are effective at calming your nerves so that you can focus to the present moment. I’ve been using the 3-7-8 Breathing Exercise for months now and can confirm that it works quickly and effectively.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique 

Preparation:

  • Place both of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lean back into your chair, and make a mental note of the feeling of the chair under you and against your back.
  • Cross your arms over your chest.
  • Gently tap your shoulders, alternating one side at a time OR place your hands on your thighs and tap one leg at a time.

Directions:

  • Find 5 things that you SEE in the room.
  • Notice 4 things that you can FEEL in the room (feet on the floor, itchy sweater you’re wearing etc.)
  • HEAR 3 things in the room right now (traffic, clock ticking etc.)
  • What are 2 things that you can SMELL OR 2 smells that you like?
  • Get 1 thing that you can taste (mint, gum etc.) OR 1 taste that you like OR think of 1 thing that you like about yourself.

3-7-8 Breathing Exercise 

  • Breathe in quietly through your nose for 3 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
  • With pursed lips, exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle as needed until you feel a sense of calmness.

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It is all about finding the clam in the chaos.

I am curious to know if you have attended workshops related to mental health, especially workshops focused on dealing with anxiety. When you were a college or high school student, were similar workshops available to you? If not, is this something that you would be interested in? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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