February Goals | Winter 2023

It is indeed surprising how quickly February arrived, leaving me with barely enough time to check in with you all. Even so, I recognize the value in pushing forward with my goals and plans, and so, without hesitation, I have created a similar list for the month of January. My mundane day-to-day life has not changed much, but I remain committed to making sure I stick to my routine and achieve what I need to accomplish.

For those of you who have been following me on Twitter, I will continue to add updates of my progress, such as completing a challenging workout or achieving another Duolingo lesson. Additionally, I may post small pieces of creative work, like poems, pictures of my cat, and photos of my favorite beverage lol Twitter is where I tend to open up and share my thoughts. You can follow me via the following link:

♡ Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

𝒫.𝒮. 𝐻𝒶𝓅𝓅𝓎 𝐵𝑒𝓁𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝒢𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹𝒽𝑜𝑔 𝒟𝒶𝓎!

Different Month, Similar goals.

If you’re curious about the differences between this month and the last, you will find that it is pretty much the same routine (for the most part). Since I will continue to donate to Amref Health Africa, I left it off from my list of objectives for February. It was kind of like paying a phone bill where these things are automatically renewed. A month ago I put it up to send a message to an annoying spammer who kept pestering me on #Twitter. Following up with reporting him and blocking three accounts he had, things are better now. As I have no shifts on the Gen-Med unit this month, I chose not to include it in my goals either.

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

  • Continue to pick up day and evening shifts
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses
  • Bid on shifts for February as they become available
  • Work on the MLL courses. # of completed modules TBD

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly goals/recap blog posts
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice 🇩🇪

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress on Twitter
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time
Photo is my own. Please excuse the cat hair 🐈‍⬛

And there you have it! As you can see, my goals are similar to January. Ideally, I am hoping to get fitter so I can wear my pre-pregnancy jeans again. I lost a bit of weight last month but I don’t own a scale. I go by how my clothes fit and my clothes are starting to fit a lot better. During the month of February, I’m keeping my focus on fitness, along with career and personal goals (of course). My goal is to shed some belly fat so that I can wear my jeans by mid-March.

I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of January. Feel free to let me know in the comments section below ↓ Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), that is, if you aren’t already a follower. It is so hard to grow on that platform but I really do enjoy using it to connect with like-minded bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

January Recap | Winter 2023

It’s already the end of January 2023 – seriously, where did the time go? When you work on weekends, it can seem like months are passing by three times faster than normal….It can often feel like only a few days have passed since your last weekend. This phenomenon makes it easy to believe that time is indeed an illusion, as this concept supports that belief.

I didn’t work for the first half of January but I worked a decent amount during the second half of January. If you ask any of my friends and family members who I interact with on a regular basis outside of work, they would tell you that I’m rarely ever around from Friday to Sunday. When I’m not sleeping, I’m usually working or studying for some exam thing. During the weekdays, I have typically been more active online and while this has recently become less frequent due to my ever-growing list of tasks, I still strive to spend as much time online as possible. A hectic schedule can make the days seem to fly by, but it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed. To keep up with all my obligations, I’ll be writing monthly recaps – this helps me stay accountable and take a look back at what I’ve achieved.


Seeking Clarity ✨

Looking back on the month of January, I am incredibly proud to have accomplished a handful of my planned goals that I had set out for myself at the start of the new year. I am doing my best to take life one step at a time and not get overwhelmed by the pressures of looking ahead to multiple months at once. Additionally, I have been facing issues with indecision lately, however, I am expecting February to be the month that brings me clarity and the ability to make the right decisions.

JANUARY GOALS 2022

Career Goals:

  • Do not miss any work days this month I’m proud to say that I didn’t miss any work days this month, despite being ill right at the beginning of January and having to spend New Year’s Day in bed. Nonetheless, I was able to make it back to work mid January and ended up completing a total of 9 shifts! I’m really pleased with myself for managing to do this against all odds and staying productive.
  • Get comfortable with working on new Gen-Med unit Out of the nine shifts I have had so far, six of them were spent on the Gen-Med unit and I am gradually getting more and more comfortable working there. Although I am still not confident with the new admissions and discharges process, I have faith that with a bit of practice and determination, I will eventually master this skill as well.
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses I still have more than 30 modules left to finish by March 14th, 2023. Although I wish I could have been more productive with the MLL modules, I am determined to maintain pace and catch up on them before the deadline approaches. I hate doing things last minute.
  • Start bidding on shifts for February as they become available Yes, I eventually decided to put in a bid for two day shifts. Although I am not overly excited about working days, I will get through it…. but first, steeped tea lol Day shifts can be incredibly hectic and chaotic at times, but they can offer plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Writing has taken a backseat this month as I’m busy with exercises and language lessons. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in writing, but rather that I just don’t feel as compelled to create unique content currently. This month, I posted the following blog posts in case you missed them. I guess parodies are fun? You be the judge.
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog So far, I have only shared the What Do you Hope to Accomplish in 2023? article on my blog. However, the other Medium articles that I did publish are not necessarily focused on blogging but rather reflect a more broad range of topics and opinions. Do you really care about what I think about the “Follow 4 Follow” Method on Medium? Probably not, right? Thought so!
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments This seems to be an ongoing cycle that never ends, and even though I initially planned to share the details of my new planners for 2023, I haven’t been able to get around to it yet. For now, I am making do with a basic $4 Dollarama planner which does get the job done; but eventually when time allows it, I will upload a picture of the Posh Habit Tracker Planner that I recently bought.
  • Monthly donation to Amref Health Africa For the past twelve months, I have been regularly donating to Amref and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. I hope that by supporting their good cause, I can help make a difference. Moreover, anyone who attempts to pester me for donations on #Twitter will be reported and blocked without hesitation.
  • Daily Duolingo practice 🇩🇪 I have managed to form an impressive habit of sticking to my Duolingo practice this month. Additionally, by leveraging the advice from YouTube videos and Reddit forums, I have also figured out an ingenious way to get unlimited hearts without needing to purchase the Super Duolingo subscription. The leagues have been occupying a lot of my time lately; I was able to dedicate 10+ hours to learning German last week! This app is proving to be quite useful for me, so I will continue using it!

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on my days off + Accountability I was successful in maintaining a consistent routine throughout the month of January. Despite being slightly under the weather at the start of the month, I was back on my feet and on the treadmill in no time. On my days away from work, I made sure to allot at least one hour for exercise on the treadmill, doing a minimum of 300 calories burned and at least 3.2 miles/hr. I realized however, that this strict schedule might not be sustainable for the long-term as I have a tendency to quit.
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app I am terrible at consistently tracking my water intake, no matter how hard I try, unless I am always conscious of it and track it 24/7. Sadly, I could have done a much better job of monitoring my water intake if I was more diligent about it.
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app The nice thing about this app is that it syncs with the step-counter on my iPhone, which also syncs with my Apple Watch. This app only works when I am carrying around my phone though, and I don’t want to be a slave to having my phone in my pocket all day. I upped my step count for the month of February – more on this later.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time Although I’m quite conscious of my diet, I still indulge in unhealthy snacks. To make sure my lifestyle is balanced, I opted to reduce the amount of fast food intake, particularly from McDonald’s. Additionally, I abstained from purchasing donuts at Tim Hortons.

And there you have it! Do I feel more confident and positive about myself? Absolutely! Did I successfully achieve the goals I had set out to do in the month of January? Yes, indeed! Will I continue this positive trend of setting monthly goals for personal growth and development? Definitely! Will I be posting a Monthly Goal Blog Post for February? Potentially. It is likely that it will be similar to my January list as my goals have not changed.

Finally, if you want to drastically improve your life and have been procrastinating on setting New Year’s Resolutions, goals, etc., then I highly recommend that you take some time to read What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2023? I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to read this article, as it can be a key factor in jumpstarting your journey towards achieving all the goals you set for yourself and making meaningful progress towards creating a better life for yourself, starting now.

Did you achieve your January goals? Please let me know in the comment section below ↓ Also, if you’re not already following me on #Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my progress and you can get real-time updates about my journey there!

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

Stay Away

Before I get started, let me just say that this is a parody of  The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s hit single, “Stay,” but with a humorous twist – the title of my parody song is actually the opposite! This was completely unintentional but when I finally realized it, I could not help but laugh 😆 Until recently, I had never heard of the artist known as Kid LAROI. Upon doing some  research, however, I found that he has made quite a name for himself in recent years with his unique blend of rap and pop music. It’s no wonder why he has become so popular in such a short amount of time!

Initially, I was not a fan of Justin Bieber’s music because of his higher pitched voice and style of music, especially when he was younger. However, as time passed, my opinion has changed and I have come to appreciate his music. I want to be absolutely clear that this satirical take of Justin Bieber is created with the sole intention of providing humor and should in no way be interpreted as offensive. My aim is simply to craft an amusing piece of writing for the reader’s enjoyment. Please keep this in mind while reading for a more enjoyable experience.

If you enjoy reading my parodies, feel free to check out my other parody and poetry musings here. Thanks for your support! 💖

[Chorus]
Gotta get away, from your face
Radio is playing all your songs
I can’t take it no more, I am out of here
I don’t need this kind of stress

[Verse 1]
Stay away from me, don’t come near
I don’t need your singing in my ear
Your voice is too high for me to take
So just stay away and give me some space

[Pre-Chorus] 
Oh, ooh-no (Oh, ooh-no, ooh-no)
Oh, ooh-no (Oh, ooh-no, ooh-no)
Oh, ooh-no (Oh, ooh-no, ooh-no)
So just stay away and give me some space

[Chorus]
Gotta get away, from your face
Radio is playing all your songs
I can’t take it no more, I am out of here
I don’t need this kind of stress

Gotta get away, from your face
Radio is playing all your songs
I can’t take it no more, I am out of here
I don’t need this kind of stress

[Verse 2]
Your auto tune just makes me cringe
And your lyrics make me lose my mind
I’m gonna turn away and find some peace
This noise is not what I need

[Bridge] 
I can’t take it, no it’s too much
Can’t take your high pitched singing
So just stay away, that’s my plea
I am done with Justin Bieber

[Pre-Chorus] 
Oh, ooh-no (Oh, ooh-no, ooh-no)
Oh, ooh-no (Oh, ooh-no, ooh-no)
Oh, ooh-no (Oh, ooh-no, ooh-no)
So just stay away and give me some space

[Chorus] 
Stay away from me, don’t come near
I don’t need your singing in my ear
Your voice is too high for me to take
So just stay away and give me some space

Stay away from me, don’t come near
I don’t need your singing in my ear
Your voice is too high for me to take
So just stay away and give me some space

[Outro]
No-oh
So just stay away and give me some space

great-vibes.regular (1)

January Goals | Winter 2023

As the new year approaches, I have made a promise to myself to make setting monthly goals a priority and I am excited to start off with January 2023. Writing out a list of achievable goals that I can work towards has always been important for me, and this is an opportunity for me to start fresh and strive towards making real progress in achieving my aspirations.

For those of you who have been keeping up with me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), I am currently in the process of holding myself accountable for my exercise regimen. To do this, I have been using the treadmill to stay active on days where I am not occupied with work commitments. Keeping myself motivated and challenged on a daily basis by setting goals and achieving them has become an invaluable habit for me. I love to be able to take a step back at the end of each day and reflect on what I have accomplished, which is especially rewarding when I receive positive feedback from my followers that they find my posts inspiring! This is something that truly makes me proud and never ceases to give me a sense of accomplishment.

♡ Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝕖𝕩𝕔𝕚𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕥𝕠 𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕁𝕒𝕟𝕦𝕒𝕣𝕪 𝕙𝕒𝕤 𝕚𝕟 𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕞𝕖!

As I had mentioned in my previous blog post, the beginning of the New Year was unfortunately filled with a few days spent in bed due to illness. It wasn’t until January 4th that I started to feel slightly better and was able to enjoy a meal of sushi. Unfortunately, I was feeling depressed by January 5th. My depression is usually bad this time of year (aka. Blue January) due to the colder temperatures, lack of sunlight and the end of the holiday season which means there’s nothing to get excited about. I am the type of person who needs something to look forward to, so that’s where this blog comes in. If I cannot control my circumstances, then I will create my own goals and routines this year.

Yes, it’s the same template as previous years. 📆

Are you familiar with this template? If you read my March Goals blog post(s) over the years, I can tell you that it’s the same template. Why did I only post during the month of March? Who knows! This template, however, is something that I’m very proud of and I will continue to use it for this blog. Personally, I don’t like creating blog posts from scratch because they often lack organization and flow, which are things that I hold high standards for. If a blog post looks ugly, then I will often scrap it or re-write it so it’s “easy on the eyes.” You might be wondering how this month differs from previous months. Well,, let me show you:

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

  • Do not miss any work days this month 🙅‍♀️
  • Get comfortable with working on new unit (general medicine)
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses
  • Start bidding on shifts for February as they become available

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Monthly donation to Amref Health Africa
  • Daily Duolingo practice 🇩🇪

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress on Twitter
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time
My Mii looks constipated lol

And there you have it! As you can see, I have laid everything out in a clear and concise manner and I am very direct about what I do. I’m not an expert when it comes to achieving life goals, but I believe planning and sticking to what you set out to do is key. It’s not always easy and that’s why I remind myself of my goals every day. Even though it can be tough, taking consistent action towards what you want make the biggest difference in the long run.

I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of January. Feel free to let me know in the comments section below ↓ Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed me on Twitter, that is, if you aren’t already a follower. It is so hard to grow on that platform but I really do enjoy using it to connect with like-minded bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2023?

Happy New Year! This is a late post because I’ve been sick with a stomach bug these last couple of days, making me bedridden and incapable of doing much. Not the best start to the new year and I don’t know what happened to cause this? Someone may have wished me some bad karma because it came on suddenly. The only good thing that came out of this was giving my body the ability to reset via an unintended extended fast. So yay to maybe lowing a couple of pounds?

Anyways, I am re-sharing my Medium article on the blog. If you use the following link to read this article and you are already a Medium subscriber, I will earn a small commission. It might be only a few pennies but it’s better than earning nothing at all. This article is behind a paywall on Medium but I want to make it available for everyone to read.

♡ Medium Article: What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2023?

Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/

How to make better New Year’s Resolutions

Are New Year’s Resolutions a waste of time? It depends on the types of goals you make.

New Year, New YOU!

It really comes down to the quality of questions you ask yourself. When you don’t think about what you truly want, it’s impossible to know if you’re making progress and can become susceptible to failure. That being said, if you ask yourself the right questions, then it gives you a clear idea of your goals and gives you a sense of accomplishment for achieving them.

Remember, New Year’s resolutions are only effective to the extent they are fully aligned with who you are along with your goals. If you can understand such alignment, then you will be able to create a powerful resolution(s). It is crucial for such resolutions to be about things that are truly important to YOU.

Time for Self-Reflection

Reflecting on the past year, what you’ve achieved, and what you’d like to achieve for the next one is a good start in prioritizing tasks for 2023. To do this, take some time to reflect on your achievements and shortcomings from the past year, and make any adjustments so that you can set yourself up for even more success in the coming year!

As the new year rapidly approaches, your New Year’s resolutions need to be meaningful and serve a purpose that is specifically designed to better suit your needs and wants. This is not the same as following society’s norms or what your parents want for you. It also isn’t the same as doing what your friends or spouse want you to do. It’s important that your resolutions are personal and cater to your individual needs.

New Year’s Resolutions are worth a try. There’s something about them that makes people want to achieve their goals and stop making excuses.

Resolutions are a great way to look into the future, evaluate what you want to see accomplished in the coming year and create a realistic plan for achieving them. Now that 2023 is here, take some time to reflect and consider what your goals for this year should be. Tie resolutions to the goals you want to achieve and write them down so you can track your progress. Once you write down your goals for the year ahead, it becomes easier to do a lot of little things that can help you achieve them.

It is also important to note that writing down your thoughts and feelings releases a lot of emotional clutter, helps you revel in the joys of small moments even more than just putting some New Year’s Resolution ideas on paper, and has even been found to be more beneficial than journaling. But don’t just take my word for it. Why not give it a try and see where it takes you?

Image source: Photo by Lil artsy: https://www.pexels.com/photo/

How do you find your true potential and figure out what you want your life to look like in 2023? By answering the following questions.

Questions
1. What have you learned in the past year?
2. 
Visualize your life one year from now. What does it look like?
3. What steps can you take to put your vision into action?
4. How are you going to measure your progress?

Smart Goals Graphic by StudyLib. Link: https://studylib.net/doc/25489999/smart-goals-article

For those who want to be successful with goal-setting, it is important that you use a good goal-setting framework. I recommend using the S.M.A.R.T framework for all goal setting because it is one of the most effective frameworks and has been shown to be very useful for many people. Give S.M.A.R.T. goals a try and see if they help you too!

I not only wish you a happy new year, but I hope that all your wishes come true in the coming year. May you find a great deal of happiness, peace, and love in the coming year. I wish you success, too ♥︎

P.S. You can also connect with me on Twitter (@hellokitty8404) and I encourage you to subscribe to my website at http://www.sereneluna.net so that you can receive the latest updates from me.

December Recap | Winter 2022

I know I said that I wasn’t going to make these diary-style blog posts but I am even less inclined to write anything if I am going to stick with the original plan. So out with the old plan and in with the new plan! And right on time for the New Year.

You can read my blog post about the 6 Most Annoying Types of Blogs, right here.

♡ Related Blog Post: The 6 Most Annoying Types of Blogs

Do I care if this makes me a hypocrite? Maybe. But honestly, who is keeping tabs on me and who cares?! 🤷‍♀️

░J░u░d░g░e░ ░m░e░ ░w░h░e░n░ ░y░o░u░ ░a░r░e░ ░p░e░r░f░e░c░t░.░


(っ◔◡◔)っ Serious Question: Are you familiar with the game, Never Have I ever?

1. Never have I ever written a monthly recap blog post.

I’ve never written a monthly recap before but I think now’s a good time to start. I want to write this post in order to encourage myself and hold myself accountable, but also so others can take something away from what I’m writing.

I am still a little confused about what I am doing with my Medium profile. Traffic has declined a lot but I am still gaining followers. I have currently reached 1,100 followers and it is crazy to me. Whoever is reading my articles, thank you for your support!

In case you haven’t been following me on #Twitter or #Medium, I forgive you. Seriously though, you haven’t been getting updates from me if that’s been the case.

2. Never have I ever had COVID-19 😷

December sure didn’t start out that well for me. I got sick the first week of the month and had to call in for 5 shifts. That’s a lot of work! I ended up getting laryngitis and bronchitis, which resulted in this awful cough that wouldn’t go away. I’m glad I’m finally feeling better, though, and haven’t had a coughing fit in three days now.

One would think that I had been diagnosed with the COVID-19 plague, but I still haven’t been diagnosed with COVUD-19! It annoys me when people incorrectly claim to have had COVID-19 and refuse to get tested by a medical professional. You don’t actually know IF you have it unless you take the test. Honestly, I don’t know how I haven’t gotten it yet but I have a theory that I may have caught it in the earlier days before we had to get tested. Who knows!

Now that I feel better, I will be returning to work this weekend and need to make some money to cover the expenses this month. It’s a relief that I live debt-free and don’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck, but now I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed by the bills this month.

Other Life Updates

My daughter got her ears pierced. My husband was hesitant about it, but he quickly got over it. I took my six-year old to get her ears pierced on December 26, 2022, which is what we call Boxing Day here in Canada. My daughter’s earrings are the color of her birthstone which happens to be October.

My kids had a lot of appointments this month. With so much to do on a day-to-day basis it can be a struggle to keep track of it all. My calendar is pretty crappy and I am ready for a new one! Looking forward to some new stationary in January 2023.

I had a massage last week, for the first time in years. The last time I had a massage was 2019 before the pandemic happened. Although the massage was quite painful, I felt so much better afterwards. This weekend, I am less achy than usual. I plan on going back for another massage in the new year.

I started using the treadmill again. I was using it religiously during the summer, but then I stopped for some reason, and noticed that I have been maintaining my weight. This does not make me happy because I have 20 pounds to lose and most of it is belly fat. All I want to do is wear cute clothes and feel good about myself. And being skinny fat does not feel good. There is no denying that, and I do want to mention that “every size is beautiful” is an empty statement which does not change my reality. It’s not enough for me to tell myself that I look great when I don’t feel the same way about myself. The most important thing for me right now is getting in shape.

We did not see family this Christmas, and nobody visited us either. My mom is afraid of flying in an airplane, my dad doesn’t like to fly by himself, and my parents fear COVID-19. There is no convincing them to visit us this year as they are worried about their safety. My husband didn’t want to use his vacation days to visit family in Ontario this year because they would all be gone anyways since most of his extended family weren’t going to be there. Our Christmas was very scattered and uncoordinated. We didn’t do much at all.

My ASUS laptop is dying a slow, painful death. I need a new laptop and am at the point where I won’t even turn my laptop on. I have been having issues with my laptop for a while and know that I need a new one but am having a hard time choosing which brand. I currently have an ASUS and I am not interested in getting a MacBook. In case you missed my blog post about my experience with owning a MacBook, you can read about it here:

♡ Related Blog Post: RIP Old Friend 💀❌

My ASUS laptop got me through nursing school.

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

I have a feeling that this will probably be the last blog post for December. I don’t typically reply to blog posts on days that I am working, and I happen to be working this weekend.

I really appreciate it when readers take the time to read my posts, and I hope that you found them interesting. I know they were pretty straightforward and uneventful, which is why I want to hear from you. What was your December like? Are you enjoying the holidays so far? Feel free to join the conversation below ↓ And if you don’t hear from me, I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year! 🎉🥂

Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

12 Days of Finals

Disclaimer: This was an older post that I am reposting because I don’t have time to come up with a new idea tonight. As we all know, it’s Christmas tomorrow so I am going to go ahead and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas elf-ryone! 💚 Thanks, @ElsieLMC for coming up with that clever introduction. It’s very punny and I hope you don’t mind that I used your intro here. This year, I wanted to dress up my son as a cute elf but was unable to find an elf outfit. Maybe it will happen next year! 🎅🎄 I wanted to share with you some photos of our little Christmas tree. Most of the decorations came from Dollarama. As many of you know, this girl is frugal. Even this trademark wrapping paper came from Dollarama. 😊

12 Days of Finals 📖

When I was in university, I wrote a rough outline for a parody of the song, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” I never got around to editing and uploading this parody and at one point, I even forgot that I had the rough draft on my notepad. I figured that there is no better time than Christmas Day to upload this parody for all of my readers. If you enjoyed reading this parody, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here.

[Verse 1]
On the first day of finals,
My professor gave to me
A ton of anxiety.

[Verse 2]
On the second day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 3]
On the third day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 4]
On the fourth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 5]
On the fifth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 6]
On the sixth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Six study parities,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 7]
On the seventh day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Seven Venti coffees,
Six study parties,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 8]
On the eigth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Eight sugar crashes,
Seven Venti coffees,
Six study parties,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 9]
On the ninth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Nine cram-sessions,
Eight sugar crashes,
Seven Venti coffees,
Six study parties,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 10]
On the tenth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Ten people praying,
Nine cram-sessions,
Eight sugar crashes,
Seven Venti coffees,
Six study parties,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 11]
On the eleventh day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Eleven temper tantrums,
Ten people praying,
Nine cram-sessions,
Eight sugar crashes,
Seven Venti coffees,
Six study parties,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety.

[Verse 12]
On the twelth day of finals,
My professor gave to me
Twelve clocks a-ticking,
Eleven temper tantrums,
Ten people praying,
Nine cram-sessions,
Eight sugar crashes,
Seven Venti coffees,
Six study parties,
Five all-nighters,
Four restless nights,
Three Dunkin’ runs,
Two Advil pills,
And a ton of anxiety!

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This or That? Christmas Edition

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

Is This Déjà Vu?

Similarly, I did a Would You Rather? blog post 2 years ago which was a hit and I wanted to do it again this year. In case you missed that blog post, you can check it out here:

♡ Related Blog Post: Would You Rather? Christmas Edition

I’m writing this from our new desktop PC and it feels strange, but it’s noticeably faster than my slow-poke ASUS laptop. I need to buy a new laptop, and I’ll do so after Christmas. Recently, I saw this particular idea on Instagram, out of all places, even though I rarely use Instagram. This specific This or That? challenge was created by Beth @blushing.ginger and Julie @gladyourehereco. Rather than answer one per day, I am answering them all in this blog post. After all, I prefer not to do daily holiday-themed daily challenges.

A Couple Things to Note

I just wanted to clarify that my numbers in this list are not the same as the numbers on the board. My lists used to be numbered. However,I ran into some trouble and now my list items are in a bullet point form; it’s not terrible, but the spacing is off and that bothers me. The original board shows numbers 1 to 31, with 16 total squares. I am unsure of whether or not that is intentional, so I just wanted to clear that up for you first!

Before we get started, I am not tagging anyone. You are all welcome to participate if you want to join in! ⭐Let’s get started, shall we?

#thisorthatholiday

  • Cosy or holiday cheer? My daughter would choose Holiday Cheer, there’s no doubt about it. As for myself, I care more about coziness than anything else. I would always pick “comfortable” over “cheerful”, especially this time of year when depression starts to get me down.
  • Snow globe or snowflakes? Do I own any snow globes? No. Do I like snow globes? Yes. There’s no need to bring the snow home when there’s snow outside. We get a lot of snow where I live and I am over it. I love how you can catch the snowflakes on your tongue when it’s snowing. So I would still choose real snow over a snow globe.
  • Candy canes or gum drops? Candy canes, duh! I don’t like gum drops or jujubes so I think my answer is obvious.
  • Baubles or bows? I like baubles because they’re spherical and delicate. I also like the variety, whether they be cheap ones from the dollar store or expensive ones.
  • Something red or something green? Personally, I don’t care for the color red, so I default to green. Even though we only have basic red and white Christmas wrapping paper this year, which clashes with everything else, red is a very bold color. Of course, my husband decided to buy me red wrapping paper to wrap presents this year. even though I hinted to the colorful, non-traditional paper. I guess he didn’t get the hint.
  • Wreath or garland? My mom decorates her stairwell with garlands. It looks so pretty lit up in festive lights and I think that it would be even prettier with garland on the railing. Even though I don’t currently have a garland in my own home, I think that it would be an excellent addition to my home as well!
  • Postcard or letter to Santa? I never cared for Santa Claus when I was young, and I still don’t care for him. He seems way too commercialized. That being said, I prefer to send a Christmas card instead of a postcard, but a postcard is better than nothing.
  • Nutcracker or elf? My mom has a big collection of Nutcrackers, including a Viking Nutcracker. I still think Nutcrackers are creepy looking but the Viking Nutcracker with the Hollywood horns is cute. I wish I had a picture of the Viking Nutcracker to show you but sadly, I don’t have one.
  • White Christmas or no snow? I think we already established that we get a ton of snow where I live, so I highly doubt that we will have a green Christmas this year. It’s almost always a white Christmas.🎄✨

  • Let It Snow or Happy Holidays? What does this even mean? Are these song titles? I don’t go around saying, “Let It Snow!” to everyone I talk to, but I might say “Happy Holidays.” Preferably, I say, “Merry Christmas!”
  • Gingerbread house or cookies? Personally, I prefer cookies because less mess. My daughter would choose the gingerbread house. We are planning on making a gingerbread house this weekend. A few years ago, I made some mini sugar cookies to give to the in-laws. I think miniature cookies are really cute, plus you can eat a lot of them without feeling too guilty about it.
  • Presents or stockings? While I agree that stockings are adorable and festive, I find them to be quite impractical. Not only are they difficult to fill to the brim with all sorts of goodies, but they also have a tendency to snag and leave a mess on the floor. This year my kids will be getting stockings sent from my parents (grandparents) so they will actually be getting stockings for now on. We won’t be spending Christmas with them this year because they live far away and my parents don’t like traveling d/t the pandemic.

  • Sledding or ice skating? I haven’t been on the ice since I was 12, but I would choose sledding. It feels safer. My daughter would probably choose both, as she is learning how to skate.

  • Winter fox or penguin? I enjoy both foxes and penguins, but I feel that penguins are a bit more traditional. That being said, I can’t help but notice how adorable winter foxes are too.

  • Hot chocolate or champagne? Let’s save the champagne for New Year’s Eve!🥂 I would have to go with hot chocolate. By the way, if you are looking for a hot chocolate recipe, I have the perfect recipe for you!

♡ Hot Chocolate Recipe: Stovetop Hot Chocolate

Thanks for stopping by!

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I Reached My First 1K Followers on Medium!

Yes, I’m as surprised as you are. I gained 1000 followers within 8 months! In case you missed it, here’s a link to my latest post on Medium. By the way, this article is free for everyone to read. I plan on posting an article very similar to this one when I reach 2,000 followers on Medium.

♡ Medium Article: 1K Followers: A New Milestone!

👉 Follow me on Medium @sereneluna

First, let’s start with some housekeeping. I have been feeling rather emotional this week for several reasons not mentioned here. Moreover, I recently caught conjunctivitis from my 18-month-old, and trust me, Pink Eye is not a good look. I am also dealing with a lingering cough that makes me sound like a chronic smoker (mind you, I don’t smoke), congested sinuses, and a sore throat, and Aunt Flo paid a visit. The emotional toll has been significant and now it’s impacting my mental health.

Not only that, I need to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Friday because I am working. The last thing I want to do is cancel work because I am sick. I am doing everything that I can to get better, but at the moment, my energy levels are too low for me to write anything more than a few sentences at a time – let alone blog posts or articles. I will not be posting any new recipes this week but I plan to continue where I left off next week. In case you missed it, I have been trying to create an archive of recipes that can be found under my Pages.

👉 You can find the entire archive on www.sereneluna.net

Okay, so let’s get back to what I was saying about Medium. I’ve reached a very important milestone, and I think it’s worth talking about what I learned along the way.

(っ◔◡◔)っ Confession Time: I didn’t plan to join Medium – it was more of an experiment.

I had no intention of joining Medium in the first place, but I wanted to entertain the idea of making some passive income. I have never considered joining this platform before, but I heard great things about it from fellow bloggers. I might not be the type of person who is interested in trying out every social media platform to determine which one is “the best” because, in reality, no such thing exists. And don’t get me wrong, I am all for exploring new avenues and keeping an open mind, but actively seeking out and maintaining multiple social media accounts is time-consuming, and frankly, exhausting.

For instance, you will find me avoiding platforms like Mastodon and Hive Social because half of Twitter has already migrated to these social media platforms. I intend to stay on Twitter because I use it in a similar manner as one would use Facebook for status updates. It is my way of screaming into the void for others to hear, something that most of the time falls upon deaf ears and yet still feels validating in some weird way.

Two Truths and No Lie

Since joining Medium, I learned a couple of harsh truths, which also hold true for bloggers on WordPress. This is what I learned:

Truth #1: Not everyone will reach 1K followers on Medium

How many people actually gain a decent following? Most accounts I’ve seen are stuck between 100 – 500 followers, and I think they’re missing a key element. The key to writing successful and well-received content is something that I cannot quite put my finger on, but I know it exists. Maybe it is a feeling or the right timing of events happening in the world. Maybe it’s both. Whatever it is, I will figure out this conundrum with enough time and effort put into my work.

While my Medium account managed to reach over a thousand followers, one particular blogger who encouraged me to sign up for Medium in the first place, who I shall not name, has had notably less success with her Medium account. I think it’s safe to say that she has a total of 19 followers on Medium. But I stopped counting after she blocked me on every platform she knows I bless my presence with. I choose to believe that she was frightened by my excellence and couldn’t cope with the pressure of my brilliance.

Arthur reference: “I’m frightened by [her] excellence” from the episode, Popular Girls.

Truth #2: Other Bloggers/Writers are Secretive AF.

Here is a nugget of truth that you don’t want to hear, but many bloggers and writers are often selfish and don’t want to share their secrets with others. It is important to understand that people aren’t inherently bad. However, after being burned so many times, I learned not to trust people so easily and I’m overly cautious. The thing is, people will keep secrets unless there’s something in it for them. For example, I know someone who has been keeping vital information from me. Even though she knew how to solve my problem, she chose to keep this information to herself. She had nothing to lose by telling me, but instead, I continued to take a huge tax cut on Medium commissions each month. This was until a complete stranger reached out and helped me solve my problem, which was so kind of her! $hit like this is what I’m talking about.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

I’m not sure that my Medium account would have taken off as quickly as it has if it weren’t for this blog, www.sereneluna.net, in the first place. Although I am far from a professional writer, blogging has been a hobby that I enjoy doing for fun and it has also helped me stand out from the crowd. It could be because I have a passion for blogging, or maybe it’s simply because of the sheer numbers game behind it. Who knows?

I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m also sticking with Medium. There is so much to learn and explore on this platform. Do you have a Medium account? If you do, please share your handle with me so I can follow you. You can leave your Medium handles in the comment section below ↓

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

Fudgy Brownies

(っ◔◡◔)っTreat yourself to some fudgy, chocolatey brownies! Not only that, but they are also perfect for sharing with family and friends

★彡[ᴅɪᴅ ꜱᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ ꜱᴀʏ ʙʀᴏᴡɴɪᴇꜱ?!?!]彡★

Okay, so this recipe isn’t exactly the healthiest but kids love them. I do plan on posting a healthier brownie recipe in the future, but for now, this is the one that I am using. Because these brownies are made with simple, standard ingredients, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be a show-stopper!

If you’re looking for a healthier, plant-based dessert recipe, then I recommend checking out this chocolate cake recipe by Peppa Pig. Kids love Peppa Pig so you really can’t go wrong with this healthier alternative.

Anyways, back to the brownies. The fudgy brownie recipe is fairly simple and straightforward. To make the brownies extra special, you can dust them in confectioner’s sugar or add a few chocolate chips. Another advantage of this recipe is that it’s simple enough for children to help. Let’s get started, shall we?

FUDGY BROWNIES

Servings: 12                          Time: 40 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease an 8-or-9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Using a mixing bowl, mix together the cocoa and sugar. Add in the melted butter and stir again. Finally, whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour and salt, and mix just until smooth. Gently incorporate the chocolate chips (optional). Don’t overmix it.
  4. Scrape the mixture into the pan and spread it out n an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Take the pan out of the oven with oven mitts, then let it cool on a heat-proof surface before cutting. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar to decorate (optional). Enjoy!
Just so you know, Rebecca is the one who approved this recipe.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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Salad Dressings »3 Ways«

Here’s a funny joke:

Q: Why did the tomato turn red?

A: Because it saw the salad dressing!

*cue laughter*
♡ Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The Art of Salad Dressing

I typically don’t make salad dressing, as my mom makes better salad dressing than I do. I purchase Kraft salad dressings only when I am lazy or busy because they are easily accessible and convenient. However, homemade salad dressing is way better than store-bought ones – even my mom agrees. My mom lives halfway across the country, so I can’t show up at her house every day for freshly made salad. So that leaves me with two options: a) keep eating the Kraft salad dressings or b) learn how to make my own.

I’ve compiled these recipes so that you can enjoy more freshly made salads, and make salad a part of your diet. Many salads are healthy, but people don’t always like them because they’re so bland. If you dress the salad up with an interesting dressing, not only will it be more appealing to people’s taste buds, but it can also give their bodies all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. The best thing about this recipe is that it is all ready for you to use in just a few minutes and can be made using ingredients that are probably already in your house. I’m confident that these salad dressing recipes will be helpful to you, as they have been to me.

Salad Dressing Science: Salad dressing is a process where two liquids – oil and water or vinegar – are mixed together. Normally, liquid drops of oil and water remain separate from each other. If you start with just the oil and the vinegar, they won’t mix well until you add an emulsifier, which helps them to combine more smoothly. You can mix and match ingredients to create your perfect salad dressing.

𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝗻 𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗶𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴!

SALAD DRESSINGS »3 WAYS«

Servings: 1 mason jar each                         Time: 10 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

1. BASIC B* VINEGARETTE

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

2. CITRUS SUNSHINE DRESSING

  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

3. SWEET HONEY VINEGARETTE

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients and mix them well using a whisk.
  2. Slowly add a little bit of oil while continuously whisking the mixture. Once you have added a small amount, start to whisk faster.
  3. Toss the dressing with a green salad, or add it to a mason jar for storing in the fridge.

Image #1: Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

Image #2: Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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Creamy Vanilla Mango Smoothie

This recipe is very easy to make and I unintentionally discovered this delicious smoothie the other day when I used vanilla soy milk instead of coconut milk. This smoothie tastes super creamy and it is vegan! 🌱 This drink tastes like mango ice cream—no joke! Even my husband likes this beverage so I am going to show you how to make this Booster Juice Imposter in the comfort of your home.

If you have enough mango you can use it instead of ice. Personally, I prefer to use frozen diced mango and skip the ice. Also, the maple syrup makes a BIG difference when it comes to sweetness, and a little goes a long way. Feel free to add extra soy milk until the thickness of a milkshake is reached. I hope you like mangoes as much as I do because this smoothie is about to rock your taste buds! 🥭😋

Creamy Vanilla Mango Smoothie

Servings: 2                          Time: 5 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of diced frozen mango
  • 1 1/2 cups of vanilla soymilk such as Silk
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup to sweeten
  • Ice cubes (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour the vanilla soymilk and the maple syrup into a blender. If you can, use a good blender that is capable of crushing ice. My personal favorite is the Vitamix.
  2. Once you’ve added all the fruit and ice cubes to the blender, place the cover on top of it.
  3. Turn on the blender and blend/pulse ingredients until smooth. 
  4. Pour the smoothie into a tall glass. Enjoy! 

Image Source #1: Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Image Source #2: Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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