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?! 🤷‍♀️

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(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! ♥