My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag

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


Rules for Award:

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

My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag

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

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Morning cuddles with my boy, Timon ❤

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This is what I call a cotton-candy sunset ❤

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

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

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Photo taken October 16, 2019

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

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


My Nominees:

https://popsiclesociety.com/

https://simplychronicallyill.com/

https://renardsworld.wordpress.com/

https://mymartialpath.wordpress.com/

https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com/

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

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My Favorite Quotes: Love and Marriage

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

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

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


(っ◔◡◔)っ♥ Love Is In The Air ♥

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♥♥♥

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

Thanks for stopping by!

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Summer Blog Party! #Twitter-edition

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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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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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🌞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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500 Followers: A New Milestone!

(っ◔◡◔)っHappy 2020! I wish you all a beautiful, magical New Year!

I know that this blog post is [very] late so I’m going to keep the belated New Year wishes short and sweet. We are well on our way into the month of January and it’s hard to believe that we’re living in the year 2020! If you made New Year’s resolutions this year, are you still sticking to them? Keep in mind that January 12 is the day that most people ditch their resolutions. 🙊

I had initially made a New Year’s resolution to write something everyday for 365 days, whether that is blogging, journaling, or note-taking. Even if I force myself to write 200 crappy words each day, it’s enough to build some kind of momentum, especially when I’m feeling uninspired or lack the motivation to get started.

Just Do It ✔

I am notorious for writing long-ass text-messages, long-ass emails, and leaving comments the size of Mt. Everest on my friends’ blogs, and yet, I rarely invest the same amount of time and energy needed to write blog posts on a consistent basis. Throughout my blogging journey, I learned that I much prefer writing for an audience than I do writing for myself. Another key factor that demotivates me from getting started on writing blog posts is based on an idea called paralysis by analysis. I haven’t previously heard of paralysis by analysis until recently, while I was listening to The Mindset Mentor podcast by Rob Dial. If you want to learn more about the crippling effects of paralysis by analysis and how you can overcome it, I highly recommend checking out his podcast on iTunes.

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A New Year, A New Direction

What is this blog’s outlook for 2020? Honestly, I wish I could tell you that overcoming paralysis by analysis will make me a more productive and active blogger. I wish I could tell you that I will publish weekly blog posts like I did last year, and that I won’t become another blogger who suddenly drops off the face of the blogging planet. I don’t want to feed you empty promises because I was too ambitious at the time, and then fail to deliver on these promises. This year, I have a bunch of shit stuff that I need to deal with and unfortunately, blogging is not my top priority right now. At this time, I am working on an even bigger project that will hopefully pave the way for a better future. This year, I’ve decided to return to university to finish what I started. 👩‍🎓

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go and no one else.” —Les Brown

In the beginning, I created this blog so I would have a place to share my poetry with people who actually enjoy reading poetry. A few years ago, I didn’t even know that I could write, let alone poetry. And as time went on, I discovered that I have more to write, more to create, and more to give back to the universe. These realizations were only discovered through the hardships that I have faced over the last decade, and for that I am grateful. I also discovered that writing helps me process complex emotions as well as make sense of my tangled web of thoughts. By pruning the proverbial shrubs, writing allows me to better understand not only myself but also the people around me. This blog is like a baby to me which I would feel terrible for abandoning. Similar to human babies, blogging takes long-term commitment and a great deal of time and energy.

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During my quarter-life crisis back in April 2019, my blog really started to blossom. Honestly, I did not expect to gain 500 wonderful followers, and yet, here we are. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, for spreading the love and helping to keep this blog alive! ❤

Thanks for stopping by!

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🌞Sunshine Blogger Award 7.0🌞

Whoever is reading this post, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to connect with me! I’m currently out of creative ideas so one of the best ways to kick-start my writing is to work on these Sunshine Blogger Awards. There always seem to be an abundance of them in my drafts because I am slow getting around to completing them. In case you missed my last post, here is a link to my similar yet different blog post titled 🌞Sunshine Blogger Award 6.0🌞

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The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Geneva, for nominating me for the award on August 14, 2019. Geneva runs a parenting blog called cerratomom.com, where she writes about “all things relating to baby, mom, and parenting” from personal experiences.

If these topics interest you, I highly suggest that you check out Geneva’s blog. My first impression of Geneva is that she cares about her readers. She goes out of her way to give encouragement and support to those who seek it. That being said, from a parenting perspective, she has a lot of advice and wisdom focused around dealing with anxiety and depression. 


🌞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 favorite kind of weather? Sunny with a chance of rain 🌦️

2. Would you rather read or write? Both! I need to read in order to improve my writing and communication skills.

3. When it comes to food, do you prefer salty or sweet? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was born with a rattle in one hand and a lollipop in the other. This girl has a terrible sweet tooth and still struggles with a sugar addiction to this day. 🍭🍭

4. Have you ever been to Disneyland? Nope.

5. What made you want to start a blog? Mostly boredom and the need to vent about things that were bothering me. Even though my blog is available for anyone to read, I feel like I am not annoying people with my venting and ranting, unlike other social media platforms which feel a bit too pushy and invasive. I appreciate each and every one of you who read my content and leave comments. The fact that you actually want to read my blog means so much to me! ❤

6. Which country would you love to visit? I previously answered this question in 🌞The Sunshine Blogger Award🌞 and to cut to the chase, I would love to visit Japan. I was fortunate to visit Asia in summer 2018 where I spent two weeks in Singapore.

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Luckily, Canada carries Japanese goodies. Image: Ramune soda fizzy candy, pretty origami paper, and a Miku Hatsune key chain.

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Featured here is my Miku Hatsune mug ◡‿◡✿

7. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? I wish I could teleport into fictional worlds, such as books or movies. Admit it! At one point, you probably wished you lived in a fictional world too. Day to day life is often too boring and repetitive for me, and and many people rely on escapism for a breath of fresh air. Being able to physically teleport into fictional worlds would be like escapism on steroids, and a step up from virtual reality. 😅

Escapism – the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

8. Who is your favorite fictional character? I recently had this discussion with Ilona from https://ciccophoto.com, and I told her that my favorite fictional character is Miku Hatsune, a voice bank from the Japanese synthesizing software known as VOCALOID. Even though the software has expanded over the years to include dozens of characters and their corresponding voice banks, Miku will always be my favourite! 

If you’re curious to know what she sounds like, here is a peaceful/sad songs playlist with hundreds of songs to keep you entertained for hours. You’re welcome. ◡‿◡✿

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9. What is your favourite show to watch? I prefer watching documentaries related to health and wellness. The majority of the documentaries that I watch happen to be British, which I usually stream on YouTube. I do not watch a lot of TV so I couldn’t tell you what the latest TV shows are on Netflix. Any TV shows that I watch on a regular basis are shows that Nick introduced me to, such as Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon.

10. What are you afraid of? I have Globophobia, which is the fear of balloons, especially the anticipation that they will pop. Surprisingly, this fear is not as unusual as you might think. A psychology professor who taught at my previous university has a fear of balloons, as well as my mom’s friend. According to Wikipedia, here is the definition of balloon phobia:

Balloon phobia or globophobia is a fear of balloons. The source of fear may be the sound of balloons popping. Generally, globophobics will refuse to touch, feel, or go near a balloon for fear it will pop.

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The phobia has control over you, which is anxiety-provoking at social events. Image sourced from https://pixabay.com

11. What is something you want people to know about you? I don’t have my life together, despite what people think. People assume that I have an easy life and that I get everything I want, but life is not all sunshine and rainbows. As someone who has always struggled with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, I’m slowly coming to terms with my demons.


🌞SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD NOMINEES🌞

https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/

https://midnightwander.wordpress.com/

https://theblackprincessdiaries.com/

https://middleme.net/

https://hunidasblog.com/

https://untipsyteacher.com/

https://kathleens-blog.com/

https://seaofwordsx.wordpress.com/

https://journeythroughlife591163021.wordpress.com/

https://mentalhealthathome.org/

https://mochalatteandconversation.wordpress.com/

QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEES:

1. What year did you start blogging?
2. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
3. What time of day do you blog most often?
4. Are you a morning lark or a night owl?
5. What is the first thing you do after waking up?
6. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Why or why not?
7. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
8. Do you drive a car?
9. What does luxury mean to you?
10. Who is your role model?
11. What is your job/career/profession?

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination, as I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world. I look forward to reading your answers if you do decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am curious to know what your answers are! BTW, I am reusing the same questions I asked last time because I haven’t previously nominated these bloggers.

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🌞Sunshine Blogger Award 6.0🌞

Whoever is reading this post, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to connect with me! I hope you are all doing well, especially since flu season is back and students are in the midst of stressful midterms yet again. In case you missed my last post, here is a link to my last blog post titled 31-Day Motivational Journal Review.

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, Tatterhood, for nominating me on August 12, 2019 for the award. Your blog gives me daily inspiration and reminds of reading a diary. I like the personal touch that you have added to your daily musings. If you haven’t heard of Tatterhood yet, please go give her blog some love! ❤

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🌞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. Have you ever been hypnotized (stage hypnosis)? No, I have not been hypnotized on stage or through self-directed hypnotic therapy. I’ve always been a little skeptical of hypnotism and feel like it wouldn’t work on me. I know that in order for hypnosis to work, one has to keep an open mind and I am already closed minded. 😂

2. Do you believe in aliens? Sure, why not? It is likely that aliens probably exist, considering how HUGE outer space is. There is probably intelligent life on a distant planet in a distant universe somewhere far, far away.

3. What would your Circus Act be? Well, I cannot juggle and my balance is horrible so that eliminates a lot of options. I took a quiz because I couldn’t answer this question, and my result is a sideshow performer!

You are a rarity indeed! A little off the beaten path, your pride is in your individuality. No bed of nails or floor of broken glass can scare you. You take it all with a smile. Some may call you a “freak”, but you should consider that a compliment. Remember, uniqueness is what gets you noticed!

4. If you were invisible for a day, what would be the first thing you would do? The first thing I would do is take advantage of free travel, find someone that I dislike, and follow this person home. Then I would haunt their house for the day and follow them around town just for fun. Specifically, this needs to be someone I don’t like because I would figure out their social media passwords, hoping that they still use Facebook and whatnot, and I would hack into their Facebook account to permanently change their passwords and emails. Facebook wouldn’t suspect anything since I would be doing this in real time and location. It would be fun to read their private messages, mess up their relationships, and maybe add a few status updates of my own. Karma’s a bitchAt the end of the day, maybe I will ghost slap them on my way out the door. Too bad the ghosting life is short-lived. 🤷‍♀️

5. Hogwarts House? I am not a Harry Potter fangirl, so I will let another quiz determine my fate. My results from the quiz indicate that I am 30% Ravenclaw, 27% Gryffindor, 26% Hufflepuff, and 17% Slytherin!

You believe above all in the importance of wisdom, which is why you undoubtedly belong in Ravenclaw, but your sense of adventure means you may also have an affinity for Gryffindor house. You are a thrill-seeker – you love to travel and there’s nothing more exciting to you than new experiences – and believe that adventure is essential in the pursuit of knowledge. You are brave, but would never intentionally put yourself in danger, placing you firmly in Ravenclaw.

Your slight compatibility with Hufflepuff house suggests a deep love and appreciation for those close to you, which you may keep hidden for fear of being hurt.

 6. A smell you hate? Gasoline.

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Corner Gas… well, what’s left of it. We were lucky to get these photos before it got torn down. 😥

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The fictional Dog River grain elevator lives on. My camera has a mind of its own since the ground is actually really flat.

7. A flower you love? Sunflowers 🌻

8. Who is the strongest Avenger? I know nothing about the Avengers except that it involves Superheroes. Based on this knowledge or lack thereof, I will conclude that the strongest Avenger is the Incredible Hulk.

9. Star Wars or Star Trek? Ugh, I do not like either of them. However, Star Trek is much worse in my opinion since it’s SO outdated. I choose Star Wars but please don’t make me watch a Star Wars movie with you.

10. Ever been on Stage? Does the stage in the school gym at my elementary school count? I played my violin in a school talent show back in Grade 6.

11. Do you have a pet? – Insert Photo & show your love ❤

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Cozy mornings with my therapy cat ❤

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Rebecca and Timon the Cat 💕


🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees🌞

https://puddlesidemusings.wordpress.com

https://sippingcupsofinspiration.wordpress.com

https://acupofwonderland.com

https://noloveforfatties.com

https://priyankaspen.com

https://ciccophoto.com

https://justhannahhere.blog

https://chocoviv.home.blog

https://giannaandgemini.wordpress.com

https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com

https://crystalbyers.com

Questions for the nominees:

1. What year did you start blogging?
2. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
3. What time of day do you blog most often?
4. Are you a morning lark or a night owl?
5. What is the first thing you do after waking up?
6. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Why or why not?
7. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
8. Do you drive a car?
9. What does luxury mean to you?
10. Who is your role model?
11. What is your job/career/profession?

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination, as I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world. I look forward to reading your answers if you do decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am curious to know what your answers are!

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31-Day Motivational Journal Review

I was hoping to publish a new blog post on Monday, but I found out that my grandmother passed away yesterday evening. I needed some space and time to myself to grieve. Nana, may you rest in peace, as memories of you live on. No matter what I do, I will always remember you. You always loved butterflies and even had a collection of beautiful butterfly figurines in your cabinet. Whenever I see a butterfly, I’ll know that you are saying Hi from up above. RIP Nana 🦋

“Butterflies are not only a symbol of transformation. They are heaven’s messengers, letting you know that your loved ones are by your side, always.” –Unknown

Speaking of transformations, I thought I would update you on my fitness journey. An interesting fact about my Nana is that she did yoga when she was my age. I did not know this until a couple months ago after I told her that I wanted to get fit. In memory of my grandmother, I will continue being healthy and live life to the fullest. She would have been 96 this year on November 5, 2019. Nana always seemed at peace and content with life. ♥️


31-Day Motivational Journal Review

As I begin to pick up the pieces from last night, I admit that I did not work out yesterday evening, but I plan to work out the rest of the week. Prior to working out, every day I ask myself the following questions: Why do I want to be fit and healthy? What is the point of working out 5-6 days per week? Is fitness simply for weight loss or am I doing this to keep depression at bay?

In August 2019, I met a kind soul named Benjamin Lee who runs a blog called I CAN DO. If you haven’t stumbled upon his blog yet, please go check out his blog! His blog is full of inspirational, relatable content about getting physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Not only does he take the time to reply to his followers, but he also gave his readers a FREE copy of his 31-Day Motivational Journal. Thank you, Benjamin, for your kindness and generosity!

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Photo credit: Benjamin Lee, author of Faith, Family, Fitness, and Food 31-Motivational Journal 

During the month of August, I printed off the journal, completed the pages, and worked out even when I was travelling. Because I was 100% honest with myself, I was able to see where I made poor food choices or ate one too many slices of cake. I admit I am a grazer by nature. Instead of eating 3 meals a day, I prefer to graze on whatever is easily available in my kitchen. Now that I am wearing Invisalign, which is an alternative to braces for adults, I do not have the luxury to graze as I please. As of last Friday, I now eat 2 large meals a day (no snacks) and stopped drinking caffeinated beverages. I was told that coffee and tea will stain my aligners so I quit coffee cold turkey. Over the past week, I experienced some wicked headaches due to caffeine withdrawal so sleeping gave me some relief.

Sadly, I didn’t end up losing any weight during the month of August or September. However, I am gaining muscle and my physique is slowly improving. My body transformation has been slow so far, but I also think it is time to switch up my fitness routine again. Starting out, I did high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in the comfort of my home. All I bought was a $12.99 yoga mat and searched for free videos on YouTube. Ultimately, YOU choose how much $$$ you want to spend on health and fitness. Working out at a gym is optional. Lululemon is optional. So is that expensive Swell bottle you purchased from Costco. But exercise is FREE.

Let’s be real with ourselves for a minute. If you claim that you don’t have enough time to exercise because of x, y, and z excuses, you are wrong. You have plenty of time to work out. You simply choose not to work out because it takes effort and long-term commitment. You’re too comfortable being a lounge lizard and change is scary. It’s OK if you feel this way; we are human after all. Benjamin addresses the common struggles we face when we are first starting out and he challenges our limiting beliefs. I like that he gives a little pep talk each morning as if he’s standing right in front of me saying,

Yeah, I’m talking to you!!! Get up!!! –Benjamin Lee

No subscriptions. No fancy supplements. No BS.

Benjamin’s motivational mantras are very effective in my opinion, especially when you are first starting out. By Day 8 I wanted to quit but he kept telling me to push through the pain. Best of all, he gave me a rationale each day as to why quitting was not an option. I noticed I had more energy after a workout and wanted to share my progress with the world so I posted daily Instagram stories regarding my progress. IG stories helped keep me accountable and I helped motivate others along the way. IG gave me a sense of connection.

I like listening to Britney Spears when I work out! #Stronger

As much as I want to continue posting IG stories after completing the 31-Day Motivational Journal, I decided to take another hiatus from IG because my mental health is still delicate. At this time, I need to focus on my top priorities if I hope to crush my bigger goals. These days, I still work out 5-6 days a week but I don’t share my progress online. Instead, I keep track of my progress on a giant fridge calendar and reward myself with stickers. Because why not? It’s not nearly as fun as sharing IG stories but at the same time, I don’t need the distractions or the emotionally triggering content. 🙅‍♀️

Lemme tell you that my fridge calendar is not nearly as motivating as Benjamin’s daily words of wisdom. In the end, you’ll have to find a method that works for you. Remember, getting and staying fit is now part of your identity. Eventually, you’ll need to spread your wings and fly on your own. Even if that means rewarding yourself with stickers.

Remember, physical and mental health are interconnected, and one cannot function very well without the other. What good is it if you have an attractive body but your mind is a mental mess? You need to feed your body AND your mind with diet and exercise. His journal will help you do just that. 🧘‍♀️🌱

I am curious to know if you work out on a daily basis. If you do, what is your favorite type of physical activity? Please leave a comment by joining the conversation below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Snail Mail, Anyone?

Whenever I am having a bad day like today, I have a habit to self-soothe (don’t we all?) by indulging in some shopping therapy. Not just any kind of shopping therapy though. Preferably, stationary-related shopping therapy. I don’t know why I gravitate towards glittery cards, stickers, notebooks, coloring books, etc. Now that Halloween-themed merchandise has taken over the store shelves, guess what I bought today? Halloween-themed cards and stickers! These items are flat enough to fit into an envelope which I can send via snail mail. Sometimes, I like to include photos, but this year I did not feel like taking photos that are worth sending. What can I say? Depression deprived me of the joy I once had for photography. 🙅‍♀️

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When I lived next door to the neighbors with young kids, I would make treat bags for them! 🎃

Seeing the kids’ faces light up made my heart happy.

Luckily, sending handwritten cards still brings me joy these days, and my CBT therapist encouraged me to continue sending mail because it gives me a sense of connection. One of my favorite hobbies includes pen-palling with both online and IRL friends who live across the country (Canada) and across the border (United States). This is my way of telling faraway friends that I am thinking about them. Some of them I’ve met in person, and others I have yet to meet. Perhaps I am childish for believing that snail mail is still a cool thing when there is email and instant messaging available at our fingertips, or maybe I am too old fashioned. After all, I am an old soul who feels like an old lady trapped inside a younger person’s body. Not only that, but I also find that text messaging lacks authenticity. Given the option, I much rather receive a birthday card with a hand-written message than a generic text message on my phone that says, “Happy Birthday!” 👉Copy. Paste. Send.

Cute birthday card I received in the mail from a friend back at home. Inside was a lovely handwritten note. 💌

Right now, I am only sending mail to people who live in Canada and the US. In the future, I would love to expand my pen-pal mailing list to include international pen pals as well. Luckily, I still have a few international stamps leftover from my wedding. If you are interested in exchanging mail with me, feel free to contact me here, or you can email me at hilary_harm_7@hotmail.com

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Like what you see? I try to send things that I think the other person will like. In this case, it happened to be rainbow unicorns and pink skulls #random

Disclaimer: I won’t be sending snail mail in 2020 because I will be a full-time student and part-time mommy again. If everything goes as planned, I want to take the accelerated route during the summer months so that I will [hopefully] finish school in December 2020. Will I be publishing new blog posts in 2020? Tbh, I am not a psychic so I don’t have the answer yet. Thank you for understanding that not all of us were gifted with the ability to foresee the future.

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I went a little overboard in 2016 and mailed 50+ Christmas cards to friends and family! 🙊

What are your thoughts about snail mail? Do you think that instant messaging is good enough or is mailing physical letters a lost art? Have you ever sent mail to online friends who live far, far away? Please leave a comment by joining the conversation below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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