No Spend Challenge | Monthly Wrap-Up

If you need a refresher, please go read No Spend Challenge | I Messed Up. Setting ambitious goals is one thing, but persevering despite a less-than-perfect month takes even more self-praise, motivation, and commitment. In total, I had 7 days where I “accidentally” bought non-essential items. Nothing is truly accidental because we are ultimately responsible for everything we do, including yearly subscriptions that we may have forgotten about 🤦‍♀️

Below is the PDF sheet that I printed off and taped to my wall for month of January. Whenever I had a good day, I got a sticker. I know it sounds silly but it keeps me motivated since I like to keep the positive streak going. I am also keeping a tally at the bottom of the sheet which indicates the number of days that I cheated or unintentionally spent money. I am aware that January has 31 days and felt that it was only fair to include that extra day in the challenge.

This is how I kept track of No Spend January.

Perfectionism Was Not The Goal

I received lots of feedback from my readers throughout the month of January, and your comments meant a lot to me – thank you so much! ❤ I couldn’t help but notice that several of you a) agreed with me or praised me for attempting such a challenge or b) were appalled that someone like me screwed up the No Spend Challenge or c) questioned this challenge with much skepticism. To clarify, I am human too and make mistakes just like everyone else. God might be a woman according to Ariana Grande, but last time I checked, I was an imperfect human being and still am to this day. Remember, perfectionism was not the point of this challenge. In fact, perfectionism can be quite damaging to one’s mental health and probably contributes a great deal towards neuroses.

Setting Personal Goals

Sure, I could have chosen to lie about my spending habits, but that would have defeated the purpose of this challenge 🙅‍♀️ Although the No Spend Challenge was annoying and inconvenient at times, it made me more mindful of my spending habits and helped me develop a better relationship with money and unnecessary purchases. Rather than go cold turkey during the month of February, I have decided to continue tracking my spending using a planner. I also realize that banning myself from places like Dollarama did not save me money in the long-run. Therefore, I am limiting myself to one Dollarama shopping trip per week with a budget of $20-30 since I also shop for the family. Honestly, this challenge helped heighten my awareness, and I am even more mindful about my spending habits these days. I learned that I do not need to deprive myself of the simple pleasures in life, as long as I continue to live an honest and intentional life 🌺

A Small Victory!

I accumulated $50 worth of Tim Hortons gift cards from Swagbucks, which helped me survive the month of January 2021. My husband decided to join Swagbucks using my referral link, after seeing that I was able to redeem $100 worth of e-gift cards in 2020! Because my husband joined and earned 300 swagbucks (SB) within 30 days of joining, we each received a $3 rebate bonus. In conclusion, Swagbucks is legit and rewards people for shopping online, submitting receipts, completing surveys, playing games, and completing daily tasks (they’re easy). You won’t get rich from Swagbucks but you will be rewarded for your efforts.

A shoutout goes to Nicholas Tan (my husband) for supporting me! Thank you for the delicious Steeped Tea(s)! 😊💕

If you sign up using my referral link and start earning SB, you will be helping me out A LOT. For every 10 SB you earn, I will be earning 1 SB which adds up over time. Also, if you acquire 300 SB within your first 30 days of signing up, you will receive a 300 SB ($3.00) welcome bonus on top of the $3.00 that you have already earned. As a thank you for earning SB to help support my steeped tea addiction, I will give you a shoutout in a future blog post (your blog link included) as my way of saying thank you. That way, other bloggers can find and follow your blog too! ❤

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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No Spend Challenge | I Messed Up

I think I just screwed up the No Spend Challenge. I did not think it was possible to royally screw it up until January 8, 2021. One thing I learned about myself is how easily I call it quits as soon as I make a mistake 🤦‍♀️ And just like that, on January 9, 2021, the No Spend Challenge went out the window. Like I said in my previous blog post, No Spend Challenge | January 2021, I have an All or Nothing personality which can really hinder progress and prevent me from implementing lasting habits. I know I can do better and I plan to pick up where I left off… today, anyways.

Below is the PDF sheet that I printed off and taped to my wall. Whenever I have a good day, I get a sticker. I know it sounds silly but it keeps me motivated since I like to keep the positive streak going. I am also keeping a tally at the bottom of the sheet which indicates the number of days that I cheated or unintentionally spent money:

This is how I am keeping track of No Spend January.

Hilary, How Could You?!

This No Spend Challenge was going well until I received a disturbing email on Friday, January 8, 2021. This company had no problem telling me that they charged my credit card for a another yearly subscription of $30.00 USD. In all honestly, I completely forgot that my subscription was about to expire and assumed that I already unsubscribed from this service. I know that this is my fault and nobody else’s, but I wish they had sent me an email alerting me that my subscription was about to expire. Personally, I think that auto-ship and subscription services are dangerous when forgotten about, and I honestly do not know how all of you manage to keep track of your subscriptions. I will not mention the name of this company out of all due respect. Don’t get me wrong – this subscription service is pretty good, except that I no longer need or use this service. *Sigh* I tell myself that I am more forgetful than usual due to my pregnancy brain. Update: Rebecca is getting a baby brother in May. We are Team Blue! 💙

Calling It Quits 🙅‍♀️

I felt guilty. I felt shame. I was angry at myself because I was the one to blame. I was upset because I broke the promise I made at the beginning of January 2021. So, what did Hilary do to make up for this screw-up? She dug a deeper hole on Saturday. SHE SPENT MORE MONEY! 💲💲💲

I ended up spending money on sour watermelon slices, sour neon gummy worms, and OMGs ($13), postage for the US and international stamps ($17 + $8.20). and a few other miscellaneous items that I certainly did not need ($15). Even though I continued to avoid Dollarama like the plague, as mentioned in my previous post, I ended up spending more money by avoiding Dollarama, so avoidance was clearly a dumb decision. At least I learned from these mistakes; however, I still messed up the No Spend Challenge, nonetheless. Like I tell my fellow blogging friends, I do not expect anyone to have a perfect month, and this includes myself. Like you, I am human and I make mistakes. Like you, I need to start practicing self-love and forgiveness. It is okay to mess up, and the important thing is that we pick up where we left off. 🙏💕

Thanks for stopping by!

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No Spend Challenge | January 2021

Can you picture yourself not spending money during the month of January? I was inspired by Happy Simple Mom to embark on this journey one year ago and I haven’t looked back. I did the challenge last year and felt much better after putting a temporary ban on buying non-essential items; thus, I was able to detox from the Christmas debt hangover. Is this extreme? Maybe a little, but I assure you that this challenge is totally doable. In fact, you might actually enjoy it. Chances are, you probably already have a lot of stuff laying around your house for future DIY projects (Pinterest, anyone?). And if you are like me, chances are you probably forgot about most of the stuff that you already own.

Below is a list of 10 non-essential items that I will not be buying this month. I do not encourage you to ban essential items like groceries, gas, phone bills etc. because these things essential for a reason. Non-essential items include extra things that you can learn to live without, and this list will vary from person to person. Remember, what you choose to give up for January is entirely up to you! 🙌

January No Spend Challenge

Here is a list of some of 10 things that I am not buying throughout the month of January 2021! 💰

1. Coffee and Steeped Tea I love coffee from MCDs and Steeped Tea from Tim Horton’s. Even though I can make MCDs coffee at home, I crave their coffee when I am running errands. I also crave Steeped Tea from Tim Horton’s which is a bit trickier since I cannot replicate it at home. I have tried numerous times to replicate it but I have not found a good replacement for store-bought Steeped Tea. I am able to justify buying Steeped Tea in-store by using gift cards and Tim’s Rewards (buy 7, get one free).

In 2020, I used my Swagbucks Rewards to purchase $75 worth of Tim Cards. If reward programs like Swagbucks appeals to you and you are interested in signing up, my referral link is https://www.swagbucks.com/profile/hellokitty8404. It is free to sign up using my referral link and you will be helping me out too. It’s similar to “Buy Me A Coffee!” but doesn’t cost you anything! ☕💕

2. Junk Food I have been a junk food addict for as long as I can remember. I could live off of junk food instead of real food but my guilty conscience does not allow me to succumb to poor lifestyle choices. However, I do consume a concerning amount of junk food on a weekly basis, specifically sugary treats like candy and chocolate. There is nothing wrong with junk food in moderation, but I admit that moderation is not a word in my vocabulary 😂 For this reason, I will be making my own treats in the New Year. In the past, I have made DIY honey-lemon candy, protein gummy candy, air-fried BBQ chips, kale chips, Dalgona coffee, and chocolate mug cake.

Dalgona coffee is the classic 2020 quarantine beverage! ☕

3. Ordering Takeout We told ourselves that we would only eat out twice a month, but we do not keep track of our spending. I feel like we were eating out at least 4 times per month, not including the Tim Hortons runs. I realize that we eat out way too much, so during the month of January, we plan to cook our meals at home. Often, I find myself giving into hanger when I am running errands, my husband wants to celebrate a special occasion, our daughter is hangry too etc. Next time, I will pack snacks when we travel, even if we are just running errands.

4. Eating at Restaurants We eat out at restaurants once a month because we spend more on takeout, and this goes hand in hand with point #3. Still, there is no reason to eat out if we can learn how to create our favourite dishes at home. There is no need for physical cookbooks since I can [usually] find what I need on the internet.

5. Online Shopping I pride myself for having self-control when it comes to online shopping. I keep online shopping to a minimum and only use a couple of sites, at most. There are some products which I can only buy online, such as Natural Calm – Calmful Sleep Natural Sleep Aid (powder) which you can purchase at an unbeatable price here. Now that my shipment has finally arrived, I do not need to buy anything else for a while. Oh yeah, and I avoid Amazon because of bad experiences/scams from questionable sellers.

6. Dollarama This goes hand and hand with #2 and #7 because two of my biggest culprits when shopping at Dollarama are junk food and stationary. Dollarama has good quality stationary and I cannot fathom why anyone would spend full price on greeting cards. The prices at Dollarama range from $1-$4 per item and the quality is decent, unlike other dollar stores I have shopped at. I shop there 2-3 times per week and usually spend $20.00+ per shopping trip. It is a problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.

It is addictive and it is hard to stop 😆

7. Stationary Where do I even begin with this one? I ❤ stationary! I love sending mail as much as I love receiving mail. Snail mail seems to be a dying art, and I usually give up when so-called pen-pals don’t reciprocate at all. I know I set my expectations too high and need to work on that. I also have an all-or-nothing personality, so this year I ended up mailing zero Christmas cards. That being said, I still have a problem when it comes to buying stationary and I get carried away sometimes. Therefore, I am putting a ban on stationary and will use up what I have before I buy more. 💌

I got a little too carried away one Christmas and realized that all of this effort wasn’t worth it in the end 💔

7. Skin Care Products Not only did I find some great deals during Boxing week, which you can read in my previous blog post, my mom also mailed me a bunch of skin care products from around the world for Christmas 2020. I definitely have an abundance of skin care products not limited to: face wash/cleanser from Japan, mini shower gel(s), a family-sized shower gel imported from Greece, body butters, body creams imported from Greece, hair care products from Korea, pain relief analgesics by Kalaya, and body yogurts. There is absolutely no reason for me to buy more skin care products unless I run out of something, which is highly unlikely.

8. Alcohol We are not big drinkers, so alcohol has never been an issue for me. Also, I am 19 weeks pregnant so I am not drinking alcohol anyways. I find it incredibly irresponsible for pregnant mothers to drink, fully knowing that they are harming their unborn child. For pregnant women who want something a bit classier than sparkling water this holiday season, there is a non-alcoholic beverage on the market known as sparkling fruit juice and it tastes delicious. I like how this beverage even comes in wine bottles which closely resembles champagne. This drink is a treat and not an every day indulgence. Cheers! 🥂

9. Miscellaneous Gifts I often spend money on others before I spend money on myself, and I like to buy “just because” gifts for my husband and daughter. I feel like this is my way of telling them that they are important to me. I know what my husband’s favourite candy and snacks are, for instance. He is aware that I am doing this January No Spend Challenge, and I am pretty sure that my daughter won’t notice. A friend of mine has an upcoming birthday, and because she lives in a different province, I want to send her something by mail. This might end up being an exception to the rule as I have no way of sending homemade gifts without paying ridiculously high shipping costs.


Finally, I encourage you to try this challenge during the month of January to kickstart the new year! I also encourage you to track your spending habits using a budgeting app or free PDF tracker so that you are able to see the progress that you are making. The results may surprise you! 🙂

If you need some extra encouragement this month, feel free to message me on my Contact Info Page. Please note that I mostly use email and WhatsApp. Also, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ and I will do my best to reply to your comments! ❤

Happy New Year! 🥳🥂

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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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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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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! ❤🐈

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-16 at 7.38.11 PM

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

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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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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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700 Followers: A New Milestone!

(っ◔◡◔)っ700 Followers! Like my toddler always says, Whaattt?!?! ♥

I try to publish a new blog post every Monday during the summer break. It’s not Monday yet, but I wanted to share some exciting news with you and this announcement cannot wait any longer. As you have already guessed from reading the title, this blog has reached 700 followers! If all of you were to attend a lecture at the University of Guelph, the biggest lecture hall has 606 seats. Sorry, I guess some of you will have to stand. Feet off the tables, please.

Honestly, I did not expect to gain 700 wonderful followers, and yet, here we are. I believe that this blog has a lot of potential and I am already envisioning it reaching 1,000 followers this year. 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 hungry, Stay Focused!

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What are you focusing on?

I believe that bloggers, especially those who are new to the WP community, are eager to gain followers which is a great goal. I mean, who doesn’t want followers, handfuls of comments, and daily traffic? When I first started blogging, I felt like I was talking to a wall. I rarely got comments, and if I did, it was usually spam. Lots of things have changed within a year, but most of these changes resulted from observing others, learning what not to do, and taking notes. Even though this blog is already 4 years, it sat dormant until April 2019. In other words, this blog gained approx. 680 followers in 15 months!

There is one blogger in particular who helped jump-start my blog. Even though Ilona was a fairly new blogger, the WP community seemed to naturally gravitate towards her blog because she had friendly, non-judgmental vibes. At one point, Ilona and I became international pen pals! 💌 Sadly, I haven’t heard back from her since November 2019 and I miss her terribly. It was recently brought to my attention that she permanently deleted her [second] blog which is really unfortunate. I hope she knows that she is deeply missed by the blogging community.🌹🥀

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” —Walter Hagen

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

Regardless of what happens throughout my blogging journey, I remind myself that I will gain some followers and lose some followers along the way. I consider myself to be a creative person but I am terrible at networking as well as collaborating with people. Also, I am the perfect candidate for transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) which are triggered by stressful events, and I have already had 2 major TIAs in my lifetime. Statistics state that 1/3 of people who experience TIAs will also experience a stroke in their lifetime. This is not a sob story; this is simply why I try to avoid taking on extra commitments. Just breathe, mes amis. 🧘‍♀️🌱

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you achieve your goals as long as you are constantly working on becoming a better version of yourself. I believe that nobody is entitled to success, but everyone has the potential to succeed with hard work, grit, and perseverance. Stay calm, and never give up on your dreams! ❤

Thanks for stopping by!

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7 Ways to Get Inspired About Writing

“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do the day after.” — Oscar Wilde

I am probably not the best person to give advice about blogging. This is coming from someone who lacks the motivation to open her laptop every day. This is coming from someone who much rather use her phone to read blog posts and leave thoughtful comments on other blogs instead of creating her own content. Yeah… that girl 🙇‍♀️

And who can blame me? Anything else is more exciting than this 🤷‍♀️

I don’t even enjoy writing blog posts but I write because I have something to give to the world. I have ideas that need to be expressed to an audience rather than keep these ideas to myself. Honestly, social media just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. Being obligated to write lame status updates or leave superficial likes/comments does not make a lasting impact in my opinion. I don’t know if blogging is a waste of time but it is a risk that I am willing to take. Tbh, the WP community is important to me so I will continue to write blog posts for them. I don’t write for myself anymore.

Inspiration is Where You Find it

writing-828911I am sure that any writer, including bloggers, have faced some kind of roadblock throughout their writing journey. If you have ever lacked inspiration to write a blog post that you are actually proud of, then welcome to the Writer’s Block Club! Just know that you are not alone if you are lacking inspiration. Personally, I do not really struggle from a lack of inspiration or creativity; my issue is motivation and laziness.

I want you to know that there are ways to overcome resistance, and often, the solution is pretty simple. I want to share some tips to help you find your spark in writing again. Here are some tips to get you back on track:

7 Ways to Find Inspiration

1. Write it on a Cue Card. Yenno, those little note card things you can buy at Walmart for less than $1.00? Do yourself a favor and buy a pack of cue cards. Whenever random ideas strike, write your ideas down on these cards and store them in a place where you won’t lose them. I actually use sticky notes for this hack but the type of paper does not matter. A notepad on your smart phone works too. However, if you lose your phone, then you’re out of luck.

2. Write it down on paper! Similar to point #1, writing your ideas or thoughts down on paper frees up space in your brain so that you can focus on the things that matter. Even if your ideas seem stupid or silly, write them down anyways! I also encourage you to write down those brilliant shower ideas. You could potentially use these ideas for future blog posts. #just-saying

3. Reconnect with the reason why you’re writing. Why did you start writing? What inspired you to start a blog post? Why haven’t you quit blogging yet? What is that spark that keeps you blogging? What is your “why”? Reconnect with your “why”. Surprisingly, I have a why, even though it’s a dim flame right now. I may be an inconsistent blogger but it really does not matter, as long as I do not quit. Winners will tolerate the mundane and the monotonous. Losers will quit.

4. Remember mindfulness? Yeah, mindfulness. If you haven’t been practicing mindfulness on a consistent basis, start reconnecting with it by silencing your mind. By living in the present, you break away from focusing on the past or future. Instead, you train your mind to focus on what’s right in front of your nose. Mindfulness closely relates to the concept of realism, but you don’t have to be a realist to be mindful.

5. Change your environment. You need to love your writing space. I don’t particularly love my writing space so I often face resistance. Why would I want to spend time at my desk when I can lounge on my comfy couch and watch TV reruns all day? If the weather is nice, I will occasionally write posts from my balcony. Writing blog posts from my balcony sparks joy. Writing blog posts from my bedroom does not spark joy. Find a writing space that sparks joy for you.

6. Move your body. It is incredibly difficult to become a productive human if you don’t know how to snap out of being lazy. Laziness often occurs as a result of environmental cues (I’m looking at you, comfy couch). You must find a way to snap out of your laziness, and sometimes, simply getting your butt off of the couch and cleaning the house for 10 minutes is enough to switch productivity gears. Incorporate movement into your day to break the laziness spell. Remember, long-term laziness is not sustainable, especially if you are trying to be a productive human.

7. Take a break. There is nothing wrong with taking a blogging hiatus, but there IS something wrong with deleting your blog when things begin to lack luster. If you feel burnt out, by all means take a break! Blogging is meant to be fun and it should not feel like punishment to you. And when all else fails, walk away from your blog for a while to clear your mind. You’re doing yourself a disservice by forcing yourself to write sub-par blog posts just for the sake of publishing something for your readers.

1941cf28de72a936b283224927879ac8Whether you are working on a blog post, essay, poem, or short-story, remember that laziness or lack of inspiration does not have hinder your writing goals and dreams. Turn off the TV, put your phone away, get your butt off of the couch and go write something. Good luck and happy writing! 💌

Thanks for stopping by!

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