May Recap | Spring 2023

Can you believe that the month of May has already come and gone? It’s simply astonishing how quickly time passes us by, it really feels like it was just yesterday! Seriously, how is it already the end of May? It seems like time flew by in a blink of an eye and I didn’t even have a chance to take it all in.

This month has been incredibly busy – I worked on my anniversary day and Mother’s Day, so I decided to take the day off on my son’s birthday as a special treat. Yes, it was important for me to take that day off so that I could spend quality time with my family and enjoy the special occasion.

Feeling Burnout with Medium

As of late, I have been feeling increasingly frustrated with the Medium platform. My traffic and stats are at an all-time low and my follower count has stalled. Not only that, but I made a measly $0.78 USD this month which is maybe enough to buy a chocolate bar from Dollarama. Personally, I just don’t see how Medium makes any practical sense unless I want to devote 3-4 hours/day engaging with other writers, leaving comments, networking, etc. I don’t have time for these things when I could be doing something that takes me closer to my goals.

If you’re not already following me on Medium, I highly recommend it. I’m not planning on abandoning that platform, however at this time I will no longer be publishing original articles there. That being said, I’m considering transferring the previously written articles to this platform so that my followers here can have access to them as well.

πŸ‘‰ Follow me on Medium: @sereneluna


Career Goals:

  • Don’t call in sick this month I didn’t miss any days of work during the month of May! I didn’t get sick nor did I need to take a mental health day. Yay, me?
  • Catch up on work emails + check MLL modules No need to catch up on the MLL modules; most work emails have been taken care of, but not all.
  • Reorganize backpack + print notes I organize my backpack every week. I’ll remove it from next month’s list of goals.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly recap Yes, I am doing this right now. I have no plans to abandon my blog.
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog I am unsure if I should continue to pursue this goal. The outcome these past 2-3 months was not as expected and I don’t want to give up, but I am uncertain about whether to invest more energy into this hobby.
  • Announce the winner of the giveaway in a blog post You can read that blog post here! βœ¨πŸ’«
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments Managing my family’s busy schedule is exhausting. Text message reminders are helping me stay on track with all of my appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ + finish diamond tournament πŸ’Ž I completed the diamond tournament and felt slightly disappointed afterwards, so I am no longer as enthusiastic about competing. Nevertheless, I still plan on learning German but will take my own time to do so. If by chance I drop out of that league, then it won’t be a problem for me anymore.

Health Goals:

  • Continue to track steps + upload progress on Twitter After returning from Singapore, I failed to maintain a daily goal of 10,000 steps and became complacent. Feeling frustrated with the lack of progress, I gave up on reaching that goal. I want to get back into fitness next month.
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app β†’ advance to Level 45 πŸŒΈ Unfortunately, no progress has been made on Level 44 even after numerous tries. I’m still stuck there!
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app β†’ 1 Gallon of water per day My experiment of drinking a gallon of water each day using a large jug lasted ONE DAY! My husband complained about my water jug taking up too much space, prompting me to ditch it and stop tracking my water intake. Next time, I will keep my 32-oz water bottles chilled in the fridge. I really want to do better next month.
  • Simplify my diet and reduce my intake of processed food This month, I was unable to stick to any particular diet and I ended up feeling really terrible and bloated. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on how to reduce bloating? Trying to find a healthier way of eating for the long-term would be greatly appreciated.

And there you have it! Despite the fact that I worked hard and there were many distractions this month of May, I still feel like my discipline wasn’t up to par. My health goals were completely neglected and this is something I regret and fully intend to correct in the future. With that being said, I know that I can always strive for more and do better in order to reach my goals. I know I won’t be ready for bikini season but it doesn’t mean I can’t wear sundresses! I just want to wear sundresses without feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

(っ◔◑◔)っ FYI: If you’re not already following me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), you can get real-time updates about my day-to-day life there. Exciting changes are coming soon, and I’ve been hinting about it on Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by! β™₯


7th Blogiversary Giveaway Winner! βœ¨πŸ’«Β Β 

π”Έπ•Ÿπ•• π•₯𝕙𝕖 π•¨π•šπ•Ÿπ•Ÿπ•–π•£ π•šπ•€β€¦.





Congratulations, Rose! I am absolutely delighted to let you know that an email will be coming your way soon.

If you haven’t heard of the incredible blogger, Rose, then you are truly missing out. She blogs about topics such as cosplay, anime, anime reviews as well as all things kawaii. Her blog posts are both informational and entertaining; full of interesting facts and insightful analysis which makes it one of my absolute favorite blogs to read.

β™‘Β Link to Rose’s Blog:

✿ A Quick Note for My Readers ✿

I would like to extend my most sincerest appreciation and gratitude to everyone who participated. Despite the fact that it was somewhat anticipated that the overall turnout of Canadian readers would be low, I am still deeply humbled and pleased by those who took the time to enter the giveaway.

This is my first time organizing a giveaway, and admittedly, I’m still feeling anxious about making sure that the package arrives safely to its destination. I want to ensure everything goes according to plan. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that everything will work out in the end.

Thanks for reading! β™₯

Last Chance to Enter the Giveaway!

Hey everyone! This is your final and last-minute reminder that the giveaway is closing tomorrow at midnight ET, so don’t forget to enter for a chance to win! I’ll be randomly drawing the name of the lucky winner later this week, so be sure to watch this space. If you need a reminder of the rules, they are listed in detail below ↓ Just click on the link to enter the giveaway and you’re all set!

β€’βœ§Β GIVEAWAY RULES!!Β βœ§β€’

1️⃣ This contest is limited to WordPress bloggers only. To qualify, you must have a blog on WordPress and be following this blog. Following me on Twitter (@serene_hilz) is optional.

2️⃣ This contest is limited toΒ Canadians only. If I don’t get enough entries, I’ll include the United States too.

3️⃣ No purchase is necessary to enter or win. I will pay the shipping fee.

4️⃣ You’ll have to be comfortable sharing your email and address with me if you win.

5️⃣ Entries close at midnight ET onΒ May 22.Β I will announce the winner during the week unless the winner chooses to remain antonymous.

6️⃣ The winner must provide their address via email or text message to claim their prize byΒ June 1. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

➀ Click here to enter the giveaway


13 Reasons Why I Unfollowed Your Blog

The blog title is somewhat of an exaggeration and should not be taken literally. I wanted to create a similar blog post as the one I wrote some time ago, titled The 6 Most Annoying Types of Blogs. If you’re having trouble finding the blog post or just want a link, then I’ll make it easier for you and provide the link below ↓ I am experimenting with new formatting in the WordPress editor:

To Unfollow or not to Unfollow, That IS the Question.

Before anyone gets too worked up over my title, there’s a good chance that I didn’t unfollow you. Even if I happened to unfollow your blog, it could very well be attributed to WordPress’s quirky behavior. Okay, let’s say I did unfollow your blog. If that’s the case, then I would really appreciate if you kept reading in order to gain a better understanding of my thought process prior to unfollowing someone on WordPress.

Also, It’s important to keep in mind that the strategies outlined in this list aren’t limited to WordPress blogs, but they can be applied to other popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to name a few. I believe that this subject is closely related to the problem of annoying blogs, as it’s typically one of the main reasons why people choose to unfollow someone. Below ↓ I want to show you 13 Things that bloggers do which may prompt someone to unfollow them. Please note that the following list is in no particular order. Let’s get started, shall we?

13 Reasons Why I Unfollowed You on WordPress

1. You complain too much. I get the sense that your life sucks: there is too much bitching, whining, or complaining. If you see me constantly trying to give you advice, that means I want to help you. But seeing the same shit over an over and over again tells me that you don’t listen or you aren’t willing to take advice from anyone. I’m likely to unfollow your blog if the content is predominantly negative, so it’s best to keep things uplifting.

2. You teach me stuff that I already know. I am sure you put in a lot of effort and research into writing your blog posts. Though, if you seem to be replicating other people’s work and not contributing any originality in your blog posts, then it’s evident that your writing style does not fit my preferences. It is nothing against you, but this is simply my view.

3. You did the research but the execution sucks. Your blog posts have a lot of merit and you have raised some excellent points that I hadn’t considered before. Your blog posts look professional and well-crafted, and it is clear that a great deal of effort has gone into creating them. However, the execution of the content could be improved; you seem to be missing some very important and obvious points which could be key takeaways for readers.

4. You’re always trying to sell me something. It’s obvious that you’re putting in a lot of effort to persuade me into buying something and your marketing strategy is quite apparent. Unfortunately, not many bloggers have the expertise to incorporate ads tastefully without it looking too spammy. I will be sure to unfollow/unsubscribe if I see posts from bloggers that are trying too hard to make a sale.

5. You didn’t proofread first. Grammar and spelling errors are unfortunately all too common, which can a pet peeve for those who take pride in their work and expect the same of others. The lack of interesting visuals and creative writing style can also make the content appear visually dull, leaving a less-than-favorable impression on the reader. This is why it’s so important to be diligent in proofreading your work and use images where appropriate to add another layer to your writing.

6. TMI seems to be your niche. I’m already at my limit when it comes to the number of personal diaries and oversharing posts about sexual encounters, erotica, and other topics that fill up my feed. I have already chosen a few blogs that provide me with interesting content, but adding any more would just be too much for me to handle.

7. You’re obnoxious. That can range anywhere from inappropriate content like sexually explicit (see point #6) to questionable lifestyle choices. Controversial content is OK but keep it classy, please. I am not even bringing politics into this. If your moral compass is completely different than mine, then we’re not on the same vibe! ✨

8. You’re not being authentic. The inauthentic nature of content is painfully obvious, and it can be very tempting to try to fit in with the crowd. It’s always best to make sure you are staying true to your own unique voice and perspective. In the blogosphere, being yourself is much more valuable than blending in with everyone else.

9. You write like your age. I want to make this perfectly clear. I’m not saying that I don’t follow tweens and teens on WordPress, because I do. There’s a 14-year old entrepreneur who I follow on #Twitter, for example. I prefer to follow blogs and social media accounts with professional writing styles, regardless of someone’s age.

10. You post ++++ times a day. In my opinion, posting several times a day is too much for me. There are already quite a few bloggers who share multiple posts per day that I follow and have developed strong relationships with. My reader is already oversaturated with this type of content, and I feel that it would be best to avoid saturating it even more.

11. Your blog posts look like FB statuses. If I come across yet another blog post that is void of words and/or only contains pictures, I will unfollow you and move on. Keep the status updates for Facebook where they belong, and please don’t expect us to make the effort to click on a title that eventually reveals nothing but a post with no words. Nothing frustrates me more than when people post without any real purpose or value.

12. You’re too indecisive with your blog. What do I mean by this? You jump from one domain to another, constantly changing your blog’s name in a way that makes it confusing for readers to keep track of – either by making it unrecognizable or changing it too frequently. This can make it very difficult for your readers to keep up with who they are following, and can be a huge detriment to building an audience. Make up your mind and stop being so wishy-washy.

13. Your blog isn’t user-friendly. It seems like your blog’s link may be broken, or it is not properly optimized to be user-friendly. This makes it difficult for readers to leave comments, and as a result, many visitors may have stopped commenting on your blog posts. If you don’t use WordPress hosting services, your blog may not meet the standards needed to keep current readers engaged, potentially leading them to become frustrated and unfollow your blog.

(っ◔◑◔)っ β™₯ FINAL THOUGHTS β™₯

If you are a blogger, regardless of your level of experience, it is essential to understand how to engage with your readers in a meaningful manner. Even though you are the owner of the blog or website, this does not give you full freedom to post whatever content you want, that is, if you wish for people to remain loyal followers. Rather than posting any kind of content, it is wise to curate useful and relevant content that resonates with your followers while maintaining a level of professionalism and friendliness.

I’d like to make it clear that the reasons I’ve listed are not necessarily representative of everyone else’s reasons. It’s likely that my list looks very different than yours does. If this blog post taught you something or made you think about the way you go about blogging differently, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I will try to reply to your comments on my days off.

Thanks for stopping by! β™₯

great-vibes.regular (1)

May Goals | Spring 2023

Okay, I know what you’re thinking – I’m so late getting around to this monthly goals blog post for May 2023. You’re right, I am late but let me explain. Last weekend, I was working from Friday to Sunday, so I was M.I.A. It was also my seven-year (marriage) anniversary. At least we had cake, but everything was so rushed that I didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. I wish I could say that May has been a piece of cake so far, but that’s not the case at all!

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:

β™‘ Quick Link:

🌸 π’œπ“…π“‡π’Ύπ“ 𝒽𝒢𝒹 π“ˆπ’½π‘œπ“Œπ‘’π“‡π“ˆ 𝒢𝓃𝒹 π‘€π’Άπ“Ž π’½π’Άπ“ˆ π’»π“π‘œπ“Œπ‘’π“‡π“ˆ! 🌸

πŸ‘‰Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

I’m Tired and Grumpy. That’s a fact.

May has so far been exhausting, with mundane assignments and monotonous daily duties. My workload is especially demanding this month to the point where I am completely drained and lack the energy to do anything else. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced burnout yet, but tiredness and lack of interest in things are affecting me. I’ve been feeling quite anti-social lately, but I’m still managing to remain organized and productive. My secret? Writing out my monthly goals lol It has given me a sense of direction and purpose in life that I didn’t have before. Though I’m still trying to figure out how to maintain my productivity on a daily basis, the process of setting goals each month has at least given me a sense of accomplishment and control over my life. Yes, I believe this is something to celebrate! Please pass the cake!


Career Goals:

  • Don’t call in sick this month β†’ Stay healthy!
  • Catch up on work emails + check MLL modules
  • Reorganize backpack + print notes

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly recap
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Announce the winner of the giveaway in a blog post
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ + finish diamond tournament πŸ’Ž

Health Goals:

  • Continue to track steps + upload progress on Twitter
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app β†’ advance to Level 45 πŸŒΈ
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app β†’ 1 Gallon of water per day
  • Simplify my diet and reduce my intake of processed food

And there you have it! I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of May. 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. Additionally, I am hosting a giveaway for my Canadian readers to celebrate my 7th blogiversary!

➀ Click here to enter the giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! β™₯

April Recap | Spring 2023

I finally have a chance to sit down and write this month’s blog post as it has been an incredibly busy few weeks for me. Between the demands of my job, my household duties, and taking care of my children, I simply haven’t had the time to write until now that my husband is away on business trips. Despite all that, I can finally sit my butt down and write this blog post. I am working tomorrow so I don’t know when there will be time to draft a blog post for the monthly goals I have for May 2023.

Surprisingly, I managed to stay productive with my writing habits this past month in spite of being away in Singapore for the first two weeks of April 🏝️ It wasn’t until April 17 that I got back into the swing of things and started writing blog posts and Medium articles again. Unfortunately, I have limited time and energy now that Becca is at school and I am back at work every. single. week (Friday – Sunday). I apologize for any delays in responding and I’m doing my best to use my free time to catch up. Thank you for understanding.

More Articles for You to Read πŸ“–

On Medium (@sereneluna), I have the freedom to express my honest and sometimes controversial opinions regarding topics related to freelancing, entrepreneurship, and other fields (eg. what defines a toxic person?) that I may not be able to write about on my blog. I’m not an entrepreneur, but I still find practical advice from successful entrepreneurs helpful for personal development. Listening to podcasts hosted by successful entrepreneurs and life coaches is a great way to gain valuable insights.

Here are the Medium articles that I posted during the month of April, which doesn’t include the articles I already uploaded on this blog. For those of you who are members on Medium, if you click on the links below and read these articles, I will earn a small commission to help fuel my steeped tea addiction. Thank you, in advance! βœŒοΈπŸ’•

Medium Article Links:

1️⃣ Related Article: Somebody Cut You Out of Their Life, Now What?

2️⃣ Related Article: Stop Dabbling and Start Winning at Life


Career Goals:

  • Prepare to go back to work next weekend Yes, I went back to work on April 22nd, and I haven’t had to call in sick yet *knock on wood* As stated above, I work Friday – Sunday (evenings).
  • Catch up on work emails I am still catching up on emails. There have been lots of changes at work, so I have been receiving a lot more emails than usual.
  • Reorganize backpack + print notes I do this on a weekly basis and will reorganize my backpack tonight. I have already printed my notes.
πŸ‘‰ I am finally uploading the screenshot from last month!

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly recap I uploaded more blog posts this past month than I usually do. In total, I uploaded 4 blog posts in April! I think that is a new record for me πŸ™‚
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog I have yet to share the Medium articles on this blog. Is anyone interested in these articles?
  • Write an article about Medium 1-month trial experience Since Medium traffic in April was at an all-time low, I didn’t think many people would read my post so I wrote a rough draft of it on my phone. It’s possible that I’ll upload it at some point though.
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments Despite my enthusiasm for tracking habits, I haven’t taken the time to use my fancy planner this year. I’m still using my basic one, and I’m not sure why I haven’t been more diligent when it comes to staying organized.
  • Daily Duolingo practice  + weekly friend quests I made it to Diamond League and am back to grinding for XP on Duolingo! *grumbles* I simply don’t benefit from learning German if I am not grinding for XP and competing in the leagues.

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress Nope, this did not happen. I have given up on the treadmill because my clothes are fitting tight again and I feel like crap. I figured that I need to focus on my diet and hydration right now.
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee I drank whatever I wanted in Singapore, which included a lot of sugar cane juice! When I returned home, I went back to drinking water, tea, and some coffee.
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app By default, this app tracks my steps. I wasn’t too active with the social aspect, so I didn’t really plant virtual flowers. That being said, I still use the app on a daily basis.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time My diet suffered A LOT during the month of April. I felt so dehydrated and gross by the end of April but I couldn’t go back to eating a high carbohydrate diet. I was feeling the adverse effects of consuming too much sugar from all the fruits and snacks I was eating, so I decided to switch to a more intuitive way of eating. As a result, my body naturally gravitated towards intermittent fasting (IF), which is similar to what I used to do years ago before IF was popular.

(っ◔◑◔)っ FYI: If you’re not already following me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my health & fitness progress, and you can get real-time updates about my day-to-day life there.


P.S. As a special celebration for the 7th anniversary of my blog, I am holding a giveaway exclusively for my Canadian readers! If you live in Canada and already following my blog, you need to act fast – the deadline to enter this giveaway is May 22. I’ll announce the lucky winner on this blog so make sure to watch this space!

➀ Click here to enter the giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! β™₯

Things that Make Me Happy

I recently published a blog post about the Things that make me unhappy and it seemed to have resonated with a lot of readers. If you haven’t read it yet, here is the quick link to that blog post so you can catch up:

β™‘ Related Blog Post: Things that Make Me Unhappy

Naturally, it made sense to make another list, but this time focus on the Things that make me happy. Such an original title, I know! πŸ˜… Anyway, here is my list of 11 things that make me happy. Please keep in mind that this list is not presented in any particular order. Each list is unique to the individual, so my list will likely differ from your list.Β Let’s get started, shall we?

A List of Things that Make Me Happy

1. My cat, Timon. Timon is an absolute blessing in my life. We adopted him in Spring 2019, when I was really depressed and feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. Even now, when I’m anxious, the warm cuddles from my cat bring me immense comfort and joy πŸˆβ€β¬›πŸ’•

2. My family. Apart from my immediate family which includes my children and husband, my parents who live across the country are also a key part of my family. Despite our past issues, we try to stay connected through phone calls and have found that it is much easier to get along when we aren’t living together.

3. Steeped tea & MCDs coffee. I’m a huge fan of Tim Hortons steeped tea and McDonalds coffee. Even though I can make the coffee from home, nothing beats the joy of buying it. Steeped tea is something that I simply can’t replicate and will go out of my way to get, even though these feelings of happiness are fleeting.

4. Bubble tea. I think I enjoy bubble tea more than the average person, even though the pleasure is only temporary. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it on a regular basis, so it has become something of a guilty pleasure! Although I can make it at home, I still prefer to buy it at a tea shop. It’s more fun that way!

5. Bubble baths. I absolutely love taking hot, bubble baths to warm up on cold days where I live. They give me a much-needed break from the chill and serve as an escape for some relaxation and self-care. Not only that, but it also helps to reduce stress levels and soothe my mind.

6. Walks in nature. On a beautiful day, I will take a pleasant stroll outside. 🌞 Walks outside are far more enjoyable than walking on the treadmill. I try to limit my indoor time to three days or less, as feeling trapped indoors for extended periods of time can be mentally exhausting. The longest period of time that I stayed indoors without going outside was a depressing 3 weeks – something that I never want to experience again!

7. Saving money. I tend to prioritize saving my money rather than spending it because the feeling of having a substantial amount of money in my bank account is much more satisfying than the fleeting pleasure of buying something. Moreover, I enjoy living a debt-free life as I have worked hard to get to this point and would like to maintain it.

8. My iPhone. Despite my struggles with smart phone addiction, which I previously mentioned in [this post], I am incredibly thankful for my iPhone SE. While it may not be the newest model on the market, it still works and brings me immense joy every day. My iPhone allows me to stay connected with people all over the world! 🌎

9. My blog. I am eternally grateful for having my blog and access to the awesome WP community, as it has allowed me to build strong connections with people who share similar interests and passions. I’m filled with joy to respond to comments and connect with my friends on this platform. Every single one of you leave such beautiful and kind comments, which I always look forward to reading each day.

10. Podcasts. If you see me with airpods in my ears, it’s almost certain that I’m listening to an educational or self-development podcast. Podcasts are my go-to source of entertainment and I often find myself learning something new. Occasionally, I’ll listen to some music, but almost exclusively instrumental pieces; lyrics tend to distract me too much.

11. Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) has been a source of great fun to me. Even though there’s other games to play on the Nintendo Switch, I still find myself playing ACNH often. Animal Crossing has provided me the opportunity to step away from my depression and concentrate on building something beautiful.

Screenshots are my own β†’ I am always improving my 5-star Island!πŸοΈπŸ’

(っ◔Vβ—”)っ Please Note: Unfortunately, I cannot give players a tour of my Animal Crossing Island without renewing the online subscription first, which is a scam in my humble opinion. I am not paying for it this year! πŸ™‡β€β™€οΈ

(っ◔◑◔)っ β™₯ FINAL THOUGHTS β™₯

As you can see, there are 11 items on my list again which was intentional btw. I wanted to ensure the negative list and positive list were evenly balanced. And like I said last time, if I sat down for an hour to really reflect and journal about it, the list would be much longer. Overall, I think that it’s important to take time out of your busy day to think about the things that bring you joy and to practice gratitude. I highly encourage you to create your own list of the things that make you happy.

Thanks for stopping by! ❀️