Disclaimer: Broken-Hearted Girl is based on a true story after having a fallout with a high school friend in 2017. Let’s call her Emma* – her real name has been changed for privacy reasons. This poem is 100% original and bullshit-free. I am re-publishing all of my poems to reflect the direction that this blog is headed in. Thank you for understanding. If you like this poem, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here. ✨
P.S. I also wrote a break-up letter called, Weeding Out Toxic Friends Part 2, which you can read here.
The other day, I was scrolling through WP when I stumbled upon Deandra’s 20 Fall Questions Tag on her blog called The Black Princess Diaries (TBPD). Even though I wasn’t asked to do this tag, I wanted to participate because it seemed like something I would enjoy doing! If you have a moment, I recommend checking out Deandra’s blog.
Today, I am excited to share my 20 Fall Questions Answers with you now that we are well into autumn. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. What is your favorite fall drink? My favourite fall drink is hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick!
2. What’s one thing you love about fall? I like that it is not winter season yet. I am not a fan of cold temperatures and snow. I like that I can still spend time outdoors with my daughter and go for my daily walks.
3. What’s one thing you don’t like about fall? I am not a fan of any month ending in -ber aka. The “burr” months: September, October, November, December. These months mean that the end of the year is approaching, the days are getting shorter, and temperatures are dropping.
4. Are you a pumpkin spice fan? Yes, I even have pumpkin spice in my pantry! A few days ago, I tried the pumpkin spice Timbits (donut holes) from Tim Hortons, which were nothing special to be honest. Timbits look like this:
5. What’s your favorite fall scented candle? This is tricky because I stopped buying candles. My favorite candle is Eucalyptus Spearmint from Bath & Body Works but that’s more of a winter scent. If I had to choose a candle scent for fall, it would probably be a basic vanilla scented candle. I am not a big fan of artificially scented candles unless they smell really nice!
6. Where do you buy your fall candles? I used to purchase candles from Bath & Body Works. Now, I am hesitant to burn candles because they aren’t safe around little kids.
7. What’s your go-to fall beauty product? Since I don’t typically wear makeup, my favorite fall beauty product is an Apple Pie bubble bath/skin cleanser by Korres. This is my favorite skin-care brand! ♥
8. Your favorite fall accessory? Mittens, perhaps? We’re gonna need them soon. I live in Canada so when it gets cold, it gets really cold.
9. What’s your typical fall outfit look like? I am not the right person to ask for fashion advice. I lack fashion sense and I am tactile sensitive, which limits my options. My feet are really small so most shoes don’t fit me. Also, did I forget to mention that I have a minimalist closet? My husband owns more clothes than I do 🤷♀️ I live in hoodies, long-sleeve shirts, jeans, sweat pants, or leggings, and sneakers.
10. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Pumpkin pie for me. Apple pie for my husband. We can never agree on pie! Costco apple pie is actually pretty good so we usually compromise with Costco Apple Pie.
11. What’s your favorite Halloween/scary movie? I don’t really watch movies so I don’t know ⁉
12. Do you have a fall tradition? Apple picking when I was a kid. Sadly, there are no apple orchards around here. Pumpkin patches are the next best thing.
13. What’s your favorite fall food? Does Halloween candy count? I love the variety of miniature chocolate bars and candy that stores sell this time of year.
14. What are your plans for Halloween? I don’t want the pandemic to ruin trick-or-treating this year. I plan to take my daughter trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Last year, it wasn’t cancelled (surprisingly) so we took her trick-or-treating last minute, and she loved it! 🎃
15. Do you plan on dressing up for Halloween? Nope!
16. What’s one thing you’re grateful for? I am grateful for my husband. Without him, I wouldn’t have my 2nd undergraduate degree, my cat, our kids, and our townhouse. Without him, I wouldn’t be living in this province. My life is better because of him ♥️
17. Halloween or Thanksgiving? I only care about Halloween because #candy and my daughter likes it. My adult self prefers Thanksgiving because #pumpkin-pie.
18. Favorite Thanksgiving food(s)? My mom’s turkey stuffing is amazing and I have her recipe. Sometimes, I make stuffing even when it’s not Thanksgiving. One thing you should know about this stuffing is that we don’t use it to stuff a turkey. My mom and I do not like stuffed birds and soggy stuffing, so we serve our stuffing as a side dish instead. Another favourite of mine is homemade orange-cranberry sauce! 😋
19. Have you ever participated in Friendsgiving? Um, what did you call it? The title “Friendsgiving” sounds so cringe to me. Let’s call it what it is: it is a get-together dinner for adult friends. And no, I haven’t participated in “Friendsgiving” because quite frankly, I don’t have a circle of friends to celebrate it with. The majority of my friends are online.
20. Have you already taken fall photos? I used to, but I stopped taking photos a while ago. I am not sure why I stopped. Instead, I will entertain you with some photos of my in-laws’ dog playing in a pile of leaves.
You are all welcome to participate in this tag if you would like! If you do decide to participate, I ask that you credit the person who gave you the idea in the first place, whether it is Deandre or myself, or another blogger. Do you agree with my answers? Did any of my answers surprise you? I look forward to reading your replies in the comments section below ↓
August was another busy month for me – surprise! surprise!🤷♀️ I have not been journaling or habit tracking, which I think contributed towards my $hit mood. Normally, I wouldn’t even bother writing a blog post but I promised myself that I would post at least 1-2 blog posts per month and my calendar indicates that I haven’t posted anything for the month of August. I don’t know if you checked your calendar lately, but it is almost the end of August. The older I get, the faster time seems to disappear. As some of you may know, I turned the big 30 on August 4, 2021 and I am not gonna lie – I am not thrilled about being on the other side of 13 going on 30.
I spent my 30th birthday at my parents’ house and brought the husband, Rebecca, and Baby Aaron with me. My mom surprised me with a beautiful cake from a charming bakery called Bellissima. It turns out that you can have your cake and eat it too. We had the lemon buttercream cake which exceeded everyone’s expectations. This cake is hands-down, the best buttercream cake that I have ever tasted, and the macarons were heavenly! I highly recommend checking out this bakery the next time you are in Waterloo, ON! 🙂
Most people would be eager to brag write about what they did on their birthday and one would think that I am excited to share with you all of the deets. What I am giving you here is a brief synopsis of a couple of highlights, at most. Admittedly, I feel somewhat anhedonic towards a lot of things, and I am not sure what is causing me to feel this way. Currently, my life feels like one big blur, where the days bleed into one another and the nights are far from peaceful. My mind is its own worst enemy so the last thing I want is to be alone with my thoughts. It’s counter-intuitive really, because the best way to handle depression and/or anhedonia is to spend time along with your thoughts, basking in your stillness, and simply “being.”
A Trip Down Memory Lane
When I spent the weekend at my parents’ house, I was able to address an aching pain that’s been burning in my heart for the past decade 💔 Sadly, I learned that I still had no desire to try and patch broken friendships from my teenage years. A part of me was scared and anxious, but truth be told, I would have probably made an effort to reach out to them if I still cared. The idea of “let’s do coffee” seemed too awkward, and deep down, I knew that I wasn’t ready to take a trip down memory lane. I thought I was ready, but instead I chose to take the road of least resistance and binge-watched Season 3 of Desperate Housewives. 🤫
Now that I are back from our mini-vacation, most of my time is spent working, sleeping, doing chores, and taking care of the kiddos. Perhaps I am stuck in a rut or maybe this is the beginning of a #Milleniallifecrisis. In fact, over these past few years, I have slowed my life down by 50% and cut out 50% of the things that I used to do. Most of the time, we are too busy chasing our tails trying to find the next shiny thing rather than slowing the f*** down. So tell me, when was the last time you stopped and smelled the roses? 🌹🥀
▶ Want to know what makes me happy? Sunflowers 🌻🌻
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS
Flowers really do cheer me up, especially when I’m feeling like $hit. I’m curious to know if flowers cheer you up as well. If you like flowers too, what is your favorite flower? Please leave a comment by joining the conversation below 🠓 I am working this weekend and will try my best to respond to your comments. And if it takes me a while to reply to you, please be patient with me!
“I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment. And that is all I can expect of anyone, including me.”
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ 1000 Followers! Thank you so much for following this blog! ♥
This was one of my long-term goals which I was hoping to reach by Spring 2021. I can happily say that I reached this goal on July 24, 2021 which is good considering that I seldom post new content on this blog. My only concern about keeping a free blog domain is that I may lose all of these stats if I were to switch to a paid domain. Knowing that I am not committed enough to post on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, I should probably stick to this free domain for now. I hope that you will continue to join me on my blogging journey when the inevitable happens, because one day I will have no choice but to upgrade and buy a domain.
Honestly, I did not expect to gain 1000 wonderful followers, and yet, here we are. I still believe that this blog has a lot of potential and I am already envisioning it reaching 2,000 followers. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, for spreading the love and helping to keep this blog alive! ❤
The No. 1 Mistake that Bloggers Make
My No. 1 tip when it comes to gaining followers is to actively engage with the people who bring traffic to your blog. And by this, I mean responding to the comments that you receive, as well as visiting their blogs in return. Without engaging with your readers, you will have to outwork the algorithm by spamming the WP reader and annoying your followers. Please don’t be that person. Without comments from your followers, your blog is practically dead space in the blogging sphere. And I think that is a waste of your precious time and energy. At the end of the day, followers help keep your blog alive, and your blog is nothing without loyal followers. I know this sounds harsh but it is the truth. Somebody needs to say it, so it might as well be me. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, nor do I want everyone to agree with me. All that I ask is that bloggers are kind to one another and understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion. Not everyone thinks the same way as you do, so I stress the importance of keeping an open mind. I also stress the importance of supporting other bloggers, because it is not all about you.
You should be allowed to leave a comment without worrying about being blocked for having a different opinion. You should be allowed to have intellectual conversations without questioning it. You should be allowed to give another blogger constructive criticism/advice without getting snarky, rude replies in exchange. I shouldn’t have to worry about these things, but I feel like I am stepping on eggshells with some bloggers. Even though I still follow some of these bloggers after having some nasty encounters with them, I stopped engaging with them on their blogs. I stopped liking and commenting on their blog posts. And that is something that they should be worried about. They basically lost future business with me, and any entrepreneur would tell you not to make enemies with potential customers.
If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!
Another Mistake That Bloggers Make
My No. 2 tip is not to anger your faithful readers and followers by pushing them away. Remember, the spammy genuine comments is the main reason why your blog is alive and well. Like a healthy garden, you need to water it often and trim the weeds 🌱 Also, you need to be able to regulate your emotions so you don’t piss off the blogging community and ultimately drive your loyal followers away. Personally, I love having healthy debates with people who are able to keep things mutual and respectful. Not everyone is going to agree with everything I say, nor should they. I am happy that people feel comfortable commenting in the comments section below 🠓, and that everyone feels welcome here. I am really grateful for the 1000 wonderful followers who chose to follow this blog! 🌻🌻
May was another busy month for me. I ditched my daily habit tracker which I now realize was a mistake. That journal thing was useful and I was actually crushing big goals when I was using it consistently. My life is a mess without any kind of schedule or normality. Everything in my life is different now – new home, new baby, new location (sort of….) bigger family (totally not used to a family of 4!), and new plans. Some readers even asked about my disappearance on WP and if I was okay – your concerns really touched me. Thank you! 💕 I just wish that there was more time to write/blog.
Re-grounding Myself Again 🌱
I also wanted to update you on my whereabouts. Up until the beginning of June, I was temporarily working full-time from home. We were also in the process of packing and moving to a new home. On May 20, 2021, I went to my appointment as planned, only to find myself in the L&D triage unit at the hospital later that day. I had abnormally high blood pressure a.k.a. gestational hypertension + fluid retention, so they wanted to rule out some things, like preeclampsia. I am grateful for the knowledge I gained from nursing school because I knew what signs and symptoms to monitor throughout this pregnancy. That being said, I became concerned during the final weeks of pregnancy when my BP remained consistently high, which is abnormal for someone who typically has low blood pressure. Ultimately, childbirth was the best solution to quickly alleviate my gestational hypertension.
On May 21, 2021 at 4:48am, Baby Aaron was born weighing 7lbs 1oz, and measuring 20.5 inches. He had some mild jaundice (more medical jargon, see photos below ↓) but the jaundice went away on its own and he didn’t need blue-light therapy. Most of this pregnancy was fairly straight-forward and uncomplicated up until the very end, the delivery went smoothly despite dreading childbirth the most, and Aaron is a healthy baby boy. His big sister welcomed him with open arms! ❤
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
I am keeping this blog post short and sweet because honestly, I am not in the mood to write today. I am trying to write a blog post in the presence of others and the words aren’t flowing the way I would like them to – and good writing cannot be forced. I haven’t even touched my personal laptop in weeks which I mostly use for WordPress, but I consider it rude to spend hours blogging when we have company over. Also, my phone needs a major upgrade which I don’t see happening any time soon (it barely holds a charge), so I haven’t felt motivated to brainstorm blog post ideas, write rough drafts on my phone, or capture life’s precious moments. Perhaps it is time to revisit that habit tracker journal yet again, before I become a lazy potato.
An April 2021 recap blog post did not happen last month and I can explain. My [temporary] work schedule is crazy busy during the months of May and June as I am currently working 5-6 days/week until further notice. I say “temporary” because I do not know how long this pandemic will last, and the duration and severity of this pandemic greatly influences whether or not I get shifts. Although I am fortunate to be working these days, on my days off, I am often too exhausted to write a blog post, let alone do deep introspection which is necessary in order to craft a blog post that’s worth reading. And that’s the truth.
April Reflections ✨
Looking back on the goals that I made for March 2021, I noticed that my goals pretty much stayed the same throughout the month of April 2021. I believe that it is good to stay focused on a few big goals rather than flip-flop between a bunch of small ones. I call people who jump from thing to thing dabblers, which is something that I am trying to avoid, personally. How can anyone get good at something if they keep flip-flopping between things or take up too many hobbies? My advice is to stick to 1-2 hobbies and get good at them. No, you do not need a YouTube channel, a Podcast channel, 10 different social media accounts, and a small business in order to be successful, unless that’s how you truly want to waste spend your time. It is important to get very clear about what you want and make a plan, and my goals are loosely based on S.M.A.R.T. goals. I suggest that you do the same, but that’s my opinion.
How My Life is Changing
Reflecting on the months of April and May (so far), here are the goals that I managed to accomplish along with the goals that stayed the same since March:
Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule As previously mentioned, I am not working at the hospital these days. Right now, I am working from home and my schedule is full-time due to increased employment opportunities. However, I have received some criticism from people regarding my work schedule (as if it is their business), saying that I should be taking maternity leave or time off to “relax”. Just because I am 37 weeks pregnant does not mean that I am incapable of working, nor am I entirely useless. Also, one should not assume that I qualify for maternity leave, because I don’t actually qualify for it. I only started working in February 2021 and thus, I have not accumulated enough hours. That being said, my husband qualifies for paternity leave.
Completed UWorld and Wrote the NCLEX-RN! As mentioned in a previous blog post, I wrote the NCLEX-RN on April 26, 2021. It was definitely the most challenging exam that I have ever written and I am super relieved that I passed in 110 questions! A few days later, I got my RN permit so I am very happy about that too! Even though I am too pregnant to be on my feet these days, I am excited to see what the future holds career/profession-wise. 👩⚕️
Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Let’s face it: I am still writing the bare minimum right now. I am not sure if I will be uploading more blog posts during the month of May. My schedule is busy and I have no time for blogging as a result. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is not my priority right now even though I enjoy this hobby a lot. Connecting with other bloggers gives me a reason to log into WP every day, even though I am not actively posting new content.
Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I am getting annoyed that some people are reiterating the same stuff that I mentioned in my previous blog post whenever I try commenting on a pregnancy forum which I won’t mention here. I am well aware that I might have iron deficiency anemia and I got my bloodwork done last week. I am currently waiting for the results and will find out if I am anemic on May 12, 2021. We still need to find a baby doctor which is hard considering that we are moving to the opposite end of the city at the end of the month. I know that I am running out of time, and I am not entirely sure who to turn to for advice regarding baby doctors. Finally, I got my COVID-19 vaccination (1st dose) last week! In Canada, we have to wait 12-16 weeks before receiving the second dose which is dumb in my opinion. With increased wait times between doses, how is the vaccine supposed to be effective?
I am going to be truthful and real here. I am not exaggerating when I say that these past few weeks have been rough health-wise. 3rd trimester sucks and I really have no other way to describe the aches and pains that I am dealing with as I near the end of this 9-month journey. As I write this, I can barely stay awake. I hardly sleep these days and get poor sleep if I manage to sleep at all. My body aches, both physically and mentally. Overall, these spontaneous growing pains make me feel blah which I think is normal considering that I felt the same way with my daughter. A lot of people like to glamorize pregnancy but there are a lot of unglamorous things about it too. And that’s the truth.
My husband and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary on May 7, 2021 ♥
We had cake on our anniversary and cake again on Mother’s Day. You can never have too much cake! 🍰
Baby boy is due any day now, and I hope he arrives sooner than later. I am so uncomfortable and hotel uterus is ready for eviction.
I am learning that I am much more capable than I give myself credit for 😇
My life goals are probably a lot different than yours, and that is okay. We are all on different journeys. One should not compare their journey to someone else’s journey.
COVID-19 is still really bad in my province (currently dealing with a 3rd wave), but we will get through this. On the bright side, the pandemic has given me shifts and I want to think that I am helping humanity with the work that I am pursuing. I want to think that I am contributing to something much bigger than myself. We really are all in this together! 😷
You might be thinking, “What the heck is she talking about?” The title of this blog post will make sense in a moment. And no, I am not talking the illicit drug known as “ice”. I am literally talking about frozen water such as ice cubes, crushed ice etc. and weird pregnancy cravings. This is a vulnerable post so I encourage you to read the whole blog post before jumping to conclusions. Btw, all images are my own and any advice I share here is based on personal experiences. And just to be clear, I am not a medical doctor nor am I here to give medical advice.
Some Quick Life Updates
I have been busy this month studying for the NCLEX, so I don’t have a list of goals to follow except for the ones that were carried over from March 2021. I really need to pass this exam, and it is has been stressing me out because I still don’t feel prepared. To be honest, I don’t think that I will ever truly feel prepared for this exam. Also, I was working up until this past weekend, and had to decline another shift because it is getting increasingly more difficult for me to work; right now I am 34 weeks pregnant and feel totally useless. I picked up one CDC shift this week which is a work-from-home job, and I feel guilty for not picking up additional shifts right now. There is only so much that I can do these days without losing my sanity 🙄 In the meantime, my cravings for crushed ice are very intense. I crave ice more than I crave MCDs coffee and bubble tea.
Most of you probably enjoy munching on the ice at the bottom of your glass on a hot summer day, and it is quite normal to enjoy the occasional ice cube from time to time. But is it normal to crave ice every day, regardless of season? I have what is known as “Pica” which is defined as:
Pica – craving and chewing substances that have no nutritional value – such as ice, clay, soil, or paper. Craving and chewing ice is often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia, although the reason is unclear.– Mayo Clinic
For most people with pica, it is usually due to a deficiency and goes away once the deficiency is corrected. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved ice from 1st trimester up until I gave birth. We did not have access to the best health care services in Saskatchewan, so my anemia was easily overlooked. Apparently, I was severely anemic and nobody caught onto this, including myself. After I had my daughter, my ice cravings went away soon after. I think that pagophagia, that is, cravings for ice, are highly correlated with low iron levels during pregnancy. Now that I am wiser and have better access to healthcare where I currently live, I am suspicious that my iron levels might be dropping again, so I will be getting another blood test in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, I plan to start taking an iron supplement.
Symptoms Related to Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)
I am going to share with you some of the symptoms that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Women in their child-bearing years are highly susceptible to Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). You might have IDA and not even know it, since other health conditions can cause these symptoms as well. One particular thing that screams iron deficiency for me is pagophagia (cravings for ice) which is based solely on my personal experiences. Please speak to your doctor if you think that you may be deficient in iron or have similar symptoms as I do. I am not going to go into detail about the pathophysiology, pharmacology, and biological pathways related to IDA. If you are interested in that stuff, feel free to check out this link for more information.
My Iron Deficiency Symptoms:
Pica: Cravings for ice, dirt, clay etc.Has anyone watched My Strange Addiction? It is a rather disturbing show and yet I watched all of the episodes I could find on YouTube 😂 I am convinced that several of these people have Pica. Personally, I don’t think cravings for ice is that bad except that it is terrible for tooth enamel, but overall, I don’t think that my addiction to ice is hurting anyone. I know that every addict says that, but it’s just frozen water, people. It is not like I am eating paint chips or chalk. Personally, I prefer soft ice over hard ice (yes, there is a difference!). If you suddenly develop cravings for non-food items, please don’t ignore this red flag and speak to your doctor. I am not here to glamorize Pica – it is abnormal.
Extreme fatigue and lack of energyLike I said before, other conditions can mask iron deficiency anemia (IDA). From personal experience, I know that 3rd trimester is exhausting, and perhaps my lack of energy and feeling like I am going to pass out are linked to that. However, fatigue and overall lack of energy are also related to low iron levels.
Breathlessness with light exercisePerhaps this is related to pregnancy, as I am extremely exhausted climbing stairs these days. I can barely walk to the mailbox down the street without feeling totally exhausted. Even getting ready for work was a daunting task that I dreaded, and it is a miracle that I can even managed to get through the day without feeling like I was going to collapse any second. Other people have even pointed out that I look tired. Extreme exhaustion is not normal and should be discussed with your doctor if you are experiencing similar symptoms.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Since 1st trimester, I have been getting the worst leg and foot cramps at night. On average, I get anywhere from 2-6 leg cramps, including Charlie Horses, in a single night. I also get horrible itching at night, so I often need to resort to an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-allergy medication, which doesn’t always relieve the itching. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had similar itching so I know this is probably a pregnancy thing. But is it really a pregnancy thing, or an iron deficiency thing? 🤔 I already discussed this with my doctor and was told to increase my magnesium intake. The dose that she recommended for me is quite high so I am going to try a magnesium gel to help calm my restless legs at night. Apparently, gels and sprays are much more absorbent then magnesium gummies. If you are curious to know where I order most of my melatonin and magnesium products from, I use a Canadian site called www.naturalcalm.ca. Even though they only ship within Canada, I have seen some of their products in US stores.
Are you experiencing similar symptoms? Do you have weird cravings for things like ice? If yes, then I would highly recommend getting your iron levels checked. Sometimes, relying on food sources that are high in iron is just not enough, especially if you are also expecting 🤰 If you are struggling with pica or any of the symptoms I listed above, I want you to know that there is hope. Feel free to join the comments section below ↓ if you can relate to these struggles or deal with a deficiency. It helps knowing that I am not alone ♥ I will do my best to reply to your comments!
I wanted to upload a new blog post highlighting my goals for the month of March but I was working yesterday evening. And earlier this week, I was too exhausted to do anything productive. I am a very last-minute person when it comes to blogging because it is not my top priority these days, so consequently, my blog posts tend to be a bit late. As of late, WP has changed the settings yet again so I am not very eager to use the WP editor. A blogger suggested that I write my rough drafts elsewhere so I am trying Microsoft Word now. If this works, you might be seeing more blog posts from me in the future.
Although March started off slowly, I did end up picking up more shifts mid-March. In terms of the habit-tracker, I stopped using it because I find that a basic list is fine for my needs. I have simplified my life so much that nothing is overly complicated anymore. Furthermore, I believe that much of our anxiety and depression stems from having overly-complicated schedules and lifestyles. Don’t get me wrong – I still get anxiety and depression, but it’s manageable despite doing things that are still anxiety-provoking. I also pride myself for living medication-free and am living proof that one can work through their problems using a holistic approach.
Learning to Let Go 🧘♀️🌱
I feel less guilty declining shift offers as long as I do not have to interact with people. Much of my shift offers are done through texting/email which I am totally fine with. I ended up picking up extra shifts this month and my once-barren schedule for March quickly became a colorful mosaic. I am the type who feels like it is my obligation help out wherever I can, while forgetting that I have other things to do like studying for an upcoming NCLEX exam that continues to nip at my ankles. Reflecting on the March of March, here are the goals that I managed to accomplish:
MARCH GOALS 2021
Continue picking up more shifts if it fits my schedule I managed to pick up a few extra shifts during the month of March and I am proud of myself for doing this. Let’s not forget that I am a newbie and stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me feel uncomfortable. I will admit that I often cry before shifts because I am terrified of the unknown. My dad used to tell me that I wasn’t making progress because my comfort zone only stemmed from my study desk to the garbage can in my room. And he was right. A person will not make much progress if they are unwilling to step outside of their bedroom, unless they are a full time blogger of course. As a teenager, I hardly left my room and my parents’ friends knew me as the girl who hibernated in her room and lived in her pajamas. To this day, I still live in my pajamas but I have made a lot of progress since then.
If shifts become available for second job, try to bid on them I ended up getting 3 shifts for my side-hustle job which was surprising. I did not have much luck bidding on shifts this week but that’s okay. You win some, you lose some. I predict that there will be a dry spell in April 2021 so I am not going to get my hopes up too much. Also, I might lose this job entirely once my job title changes (long story). Any extra shifts I am able to get during the month of April will be a bonus and definitely not something that I feel entitled to have.
Complete 1-2% of UWorld each day ➡ Test date is April 26, 2021 Yikes. I do not feel ready to write this exam and will probably never feel fully prepared. It is very exhausting juggling this pregnancy with a busy work schedule, and I hardly find the time to study these days. I am currently 86% done the QBank which I am proud of but I am still terrified of writing the NCLEX. I really need to pass this exam because my future depends on it #no-pressure
Finish writing the 3-6 month learning plan I submitted the learning plan but I still question how I am going to complete everything on the list. It is stuff like this that keeps me up at night. My learning plan is ambitious so I am really hoping that I will be able to finish it on time. I continue to try my best at work, but is “my best” really enough? I always feel like I could be doing more and never seem to feel satisfied with things.
Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Let’s face it: I am writing the bare minimum right now. I am not sure if I will be uploading a goals-related blog post for April yet. Like I mentioned earlier, blogging is not my priority right now but I do find that these posts help keep me accountable for my actions. Also, I do not want to become complacent with my writing which is the main reason why I continue to blog.
Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I went to all of my doctor’s appointments this month. However, I need to schedule a few more appointments which I plan to do during the months of April and May. I am still on the edge as to whether or not I should get the COVID-19 vaccine now or after I give birth. I am eligible to sign up for a vaccine now, so I am seriously considering it. There are a lot of appointments to keep track of so I recommend using a basic planner to keep track of everything, such as these ones:
Send some Easter snail mail I sent a bunch of mail to those who gave me their current addresses, but I have mixed feelings about continuing this craft. I love sending snail mail but I seldom get mail in return. Not only that, but half of the time, pen pals do not let me know if they received their mail so I often wonder if the mail got lost or something. Lack of communication drives me crazy and I try to practice what I preach. I try to let people know via email or text message when I have received their mail. Seriously, how difficult is that? 🙄
Continue tracking monthly spending I am really proud of this one, since I only spent $170.15 on myself during the month of March. My credit card bill was low because I cut out so many unnecessary expenses (except my monthly phone bill) and kept myself busy. I continue to shop at Dollarama but I go there once a week and spend ~$20-30 per trip. Did I mention that I still have money left over on that Tim Hortons gift card that I earned from Swagbucks back in January? I decided to finally use up the gift card by splurging on some treats for the family. It is hard to believe that $25 lasted me 1.5 months! With the Tims Rewards, Roll Up the Rim (RUTR), and hockey promotion thing, I managed to score some bonus drinks too! 🙌
My only “health goal” was to stay healthy 😷 I am doing everything I can to keep myself and my family healthy, especially since I am exposed to potential pathogens at my workplace. Currently, I am craving crushed ice really badly which is a sign of iron deficiency. It is called Pica and I had cravings for ice chips when I was pregnant with my daughter as well. It turns out that I was severely anemic last time. I am not too worried this time because my cravings did not start until 3rd trimester where iron deficiencies are quite common; therefore, I am trying to eat things rich in iron. If anyone happens to know any recipes that are loaded with iron, please let me know in the comments section below ↓ In the meantime, I will continue chomping in my ice chips 😋
P.S. A while ago, I uploaded a Virgin Pina Colada recipe on my blog. I can assure you that all of my drinks are non-alcoholic. My current obsession are Virgin Lime Margaritas. My takeaway is that you can still enjoy these fancy drinks even when you are pregnant. Non-alcoholic drinks do not have to be “boring.” Another reason why I like these drinks is because #crushed-ice. It’s so refreshing! 🥥🍍
Are you one of those people who could use a self-care day to recharge? Me! Pick me! 🙋♀️ If you happen to fit into one of the two categories below, then you would probably benefit from a self-care day. Personally, I fit into both categories depending on where I stand in my work and personal life. When I am unemployed, I learn more towards #2 and when I am employed or taking courses, I learn more towards #1. Not to mention that we are also dealing with a freaking pandemic, which has taken a toll on people’s mental health.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ So tell me, what kind of person are you? ♥ 1. You are overwhelmed because you feel that you need to stay busy, or you have a hard time relaxing when you do have free time. 2. You do not know what to do with your free time so you end up doing nothing productive or rejuvenating.
Below, I have compiled a list of affordable self-care strategies that will not break the bank and will hopefully help you recharge and reground yourself. I cannot stress how important it is to take care of your mental health and well-being, especially during these difficult times. Obviously, I am not a party planner nor am I going to plan out the whole day from morning to night. What I will do is give you some free or budget-friendly suggestions for a self-care day. Self-care does not have to be elaborate or expensive! Let’s get started, shall we?
Go For A Walk Outside
When my cat was sick, my husband took him to the vet. Afterwards, my husband spoiled the cat by letting him venture outside. And the cat loved it! ❤ Pet parents do not hesitate to take their dogs (and cats) out for walks, but when was the last time you took yourself out for a walk? Are you spending way too much time indoors and not enough time in the great outdoors? If you live in Canada like me, I totally understand why you may choose to stay inside the house. Canada is cold AF, especially in this province. If the weather is nice where you are, depending on what your definition of “nice” is, I encourage you to stand barefoot on the grass as a way to ground yourself and reconnect with Mother Nature.
Spending time outside can be incredibly therapeutic. I encourage all of you to leave the house at least once a day if you can, and spend some time outdoors. Right now, I am not getting my daily walks and my mood is suffering as a result. I am probably Vitamin D deficient because I hardly ever see the sun 🌞 My blinds are closed as I write this and I keep my windows shut due to the frigid cold. Also, the paths are icy AF outside so I try not to leave the apartment. The affordable solution is to suck it up and spend time outdoors, but knowing how terrible my balance is, I rather not deal with a sprained wrist or ankle. If you live in a warmer climate, then you are incredibly fortunate! 🌴
Enjoy A Hot Beverage
There is something soothing about sipping a hot beverage any day of the week ☕💕 A hot beverage is fairly inexpensive if you make it yourself at home. Also, it is easy to make a basic coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, so there is really no excuse not to enjoy a cup or two. My favourite thing to do first thing in the morning is to enjoy a hot beverage while I read the latest blog posts from my fellow WP bloggers!
Read A Book
Got a book that you had every intention to read, but never got around to reading? Now is a good time to pick up that book and yenno, actually read it. I cannot tell you how The life-changing art of tidying up ends because I never finished reading it. Seeing my pile of unread books made me realize that there is no reason to buy more books when I haven’t even finished the ones I have. Reading can turn into an expensive hobby, which is why I encourage you to shop your own house first before buying more books.
Take a Bath
I used to be a shower person, but I have evolved into a bath person over the years. I take a bath 3-5 times per week, and thus, the shower gel and body butterdid not last long. Enjoying a warm bath is honestly one of my favourite ways to relax. Also, I noticed that taking a bath is the fastest way for me to warm up after being outside in the frigid cold. Not to mention, baths can elevate a crappy mood, relieve muscle aches and pains, and reduce stress levels. Although I prefer to take a bath midday, I still recommend taking a bath at the end of day before bedtime. Why? Because baths have the tendency to calm an overactive mind, relax you, and make you sleepy. If you suffer from insomnia or anxiety like I do, then try adding this bath ritual to your schedule to help you wake up feeling more refreshed the next day.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Final Thoughts ♥
Finally, I would suggest journaling. However, I do not find it very relaxing. I use a planner to stay organized but that’s as much journaling as I do these days. I used to enjoy writing letters to pen-pals and still do to an extent, but it has been difficult for me to find the motivation and energy to send snail mail. I apologize to anyone who I have not responded to via email; I haven’t had the motivation to write my wordy, thought-provoking replies. It is not that I have forgotten about you ❤ Same goes with pen-pals – I have not forgotten about you either and I will send more mail when I find the desire to write again 💌
I originally got the idea from blogger Becky who runs a blog called Strikeouts + Sprinkles. She has a weekly blog series calledOne Good Thing although I only plan on making this blog post a one-time thing. She made me realize that I tend to view life from a negative perspective, and therefore, I need to be more mindful about focusing on the positive things in my life. You might be wondering how the above photo fits the theme of this blog post; this is a photo of my car covered in snow from last week’s snowfall. Normally, such an event would discourage me from leaving the house, but luckily, my husband volunteered to rescue my poor car. Had he not forced me to get out of the house, I would have stayed indoors all weekend feeling sorry for myself.
Six years ago, I embarked on the frugal journey while working on personal development and honestly, I prefer this lifestyle compared to the typical consumerist culture that has plagued the western world. Every year, I look forward to the semi-annual sales because I can save money on items that I already use on a regular basis. This week, I am grateful for the boxing week sales and still having access to in-store shopping in my province. This weekend, I was able to buy what I needed for the New Year. These items will easily last me an entire year! 😊
Disclaimer: This is not a humble-brag blog post similar to the ones I have seen littering the WP Reader lately. The purpose of this blog post is to give readers hope and empower them to think about how they can save money and live life more intentionally. I challenge you to think about the things are most important to you, and learn how embrace discomfort in the year 2021. Most importantly, you need to learn how to let go of the things that do not matter and completely let go of the things that give you zero return in your life.
Buy All The Things!
Even though I am not currently employed, hopefully I will be starting a new job(s) in the New Year. It costs money to live, but I do not like spending full price on things if it can be avoided. Please note that there is a clear difference between being cheap and being frugal, and if you need more context, please google it instead of asking me. Also, if you want to learn more about frugality, you can read my blog post called 7 Ways to Stop Wasting Money under the page titled STUDENT LIFE ツ
Today, I will share with you what I bought during boxing day weekend. I purchased all of these items myself after making a list and checking it twice prior to going out. None of these items were gifted to me. Let’s face it – most bloggers would love to receive gifted items from sponsors and advertisers but this is not reality for the majority of people. Most of us are stuck buying our own shit stuff. Here is what I bought:
1. The Body Shop: Body Butter and Shower Gel
I bought 3 sets of body butters and shower gels from the Body Shop, priced $5 each ($15 for all 3). One travel size butter butter costs $6 regular price so this was a great deal. It takes me a very long time to use body butter so travel sizes are perfect for me. I have yet to try these scents: British Rose, Almond Milk & Honey, and Mango. The shower gels are bonuses! Every year, I also get a $10 gift card on my birthday just for signing up with The Body Shop!
2. The Body Shop: 2 Body Yogurts
One body yogurt costs $16 CAD regular price. At sale price, they usually sell for $10 each. Using the birthday gift card, I scored a free body yogurt 2 years ago not knowing if I would even like it. I ended up really liking the texture of body yogurt since it does not leave a sticky or greasy residue on my skin. I recommend body yogurt to anyone who is tactile sensitive like me. For this body yogurt duo, I only paid $12 CAD! This is what I call a discounted-discount item. I am happy that I waited until after Christmas to buy it as I have been wanting to try British Rose and Almond Milk Body Yogurt for a while.
3. Posh Planner from Costco & Backup Planner
Not everything goes as planned which is why I ended up with 2 planners for the year 2021. Ironically, I ended up with the same planners last year! I initially bought the planner on the right costing me a pretty penny ($4) from Dollarama. The planner itself is OK but the pages are really thin. Then I went to Costco for a non-alcoholic sparkling juice beverage, and to my surprise, this Costco had the Posh Deluxe Organizer! I love this 17-month, habit-tracking planner; Posh Deluxe Organizers are the best, hands-down. I loved my 2020 Posh Planner but I am not a fan of the price. It costs $14.99 CAD at Costco; if you go anywhere else including amazon.ca to get this planner, it will cost you $29.99+ so consider your options.
Where will 2021 take you?Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope that you feel inspired to live a more intentional life next year. By habit tracking, I believe that we can stop wasting money once and for all. Feel free to leave a comment below ↓ and I will do my best to reply to your comments! ❤
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.
Recently, I saw this particular blog post floating around the WP sphere. Apparently, this specific Would You Rather? quiz originated on Pinterest. Who knew?! Normally, I give credit to the person who gave me the idea, but who started this thread? Was it a blogger or was it someone on Pinterest? This inspiration came from various sources and you are all welcome to participate you want to join in! ⭐
Would You Rather⁉
Have to sing Jingle Bells loudly every time you walk into a room or wear a Santa suit to work every day for a week? My workplace consists of lounging at home and I basically live in pajamas. I am not a loud person so you will not find me singing songs on a whim. If I had to choose, I would pick the Santa Suit even though I do not like whimsical Santa Clauses and snowmen. A Santa Suit counts as pajamas, right?
Not celebrate Christmas this year or not celebrate your birthday this year? We are not party-animals so I seldom celebrate my birthday. And if I do celebrate it, then it is pretty low-key and chill. Christmas on the other hand, is kind of a big deal to people. Sadly, we will not be visiting my parents or in-laws this year but it is still nice to relax on Christmas day, nonetheless. This year, I plan to spend Christmas at home with my husband and daughter.
Have Frosty the Snowman as a friend or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Like I stated before, I usually do not care for fictional snowmen, whether they are found on mugs, plates, socks, cards, characters like Frosty the Snowman, or Olaf from Frozen I & II. If I had to pick Frosty or Rudolph, it would have to be Rudolph. Honestly, I find these fictional stories childish and overrated so Rudolph and I probably wouldn’t be like Anna and Olaf.
Have mistletoe hanging in your bedroom doorway or have a large decorated Christmas tree in your bedroom doorway? How would a Christmas Tree fit in my bedroom doorway? Are we talking about a miniature Christmas Tree? Because that might work. Even though I appreciate a nicely decorated Christmas Tree, I would choose the mistletoe because of its minimalistic design and its anti-clutter approach when it comes to interior decorating.
Write a five paragraph essay about the meaning of Christmas or solve a page of Christmas themed math problems? As much as I enjoy writing, I would not want to write a 5-paragraph essay about the meaning of Christmas because 1) Nobody including myself would want to read it and 2) How boring! 😴 Oh, how grinchy of me! I mean, there are better topics to write about, and being passionate about what you are writing is the true meaning of blogging. I much rather solve the math problems, even though I suck at math as an adult. As a kid, math was actually one of my stronger subjects.
Have a job wrapping presents at the mall or have a job taking photographs of children sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall? I LOVE wrapping presents so presents all the way! I have been wrapping presents since I was 4 years old and volunteered to wrap relatives’ presents too. Wrapping presents is one of the few things that I actually find enjoyable and quite therapeutic. This year, I do not have any presents to wrap. 🙇♀️
See the Nut Cracker or dance in the Nut Cracker? I cannot dance to save my life so I would choose to see the Nut Cracker. However, it would be cool if I was a ballerina dancing in the Nut Cracker in a past life.
Be given $100 for Christmas to spend on yourself or be given $1K before Christmas to buy presents for other people? $100 does not get you much in Canada. If I needed $100 quickly, I could sell unwanted items on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. I much rather spend money on other people so I would choose the $1K to spend on other people. Giving gifts to people and seeing their faces light up is very gratifying.
Have a nose the glows like Rudolph’s or have pointy ears like an elf? Like I said before, red noses and Rudolph in general is too overrated for me. Elves however, have the potential to be “cool.” Besides, aren’t elf ears considered kawaii these days? Hasn’t there been a recent craze of e-girls and elf ears taking over the internet lately, or is it just me? Elf Girl Makeup Tutorial Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgU-GblHYM
Be one of Santa’s elves or one of Santa’s reindeer? Isn’t this the same question as #9 only worded differently? Duh, I would be one of Santa’s free spirited elves. Let’s keep Christmas classy this year, rather than tacky (or trashy). 🧝♀️🎄
Let’s face it. Most of us are nosy people. At some point, I am guessing that you were probably curious about my life. I consider myself to be a fairly private person for the most part. Tiani Angela, who runs a blog called tianiangela.com, inspired me to write this vulnerable blog post. You can read her original blog post here. Like Tiani’s blog post, my blog post is extra-personal as well. Please read without judgement and keep and open mind. Thanks. 😊
10 Interesting Facts About Me
1. I am an only child. And I am not happy about it. I was never happy about it. I always felt like I was meant to have a sibling and being an only child felt “wrong” to me. When I was 18, I learned that I was a double-rainbow baby which explains a lot 🌈🌈 When I was 12, I asked my parents to adopt an orphan from China and sadly, they said no. I think that is where my fascination for Asian culture started.
2. I married an Asian boy. The fascination for Asian culture continued into my adult years. Although I have long graduated from reading manga and seldom watch anime these days, my husband has taught me a lot about his Asian roots, specifically Singaporean roots. I met him in January 2013 and we have been together ever since. He is my rock and we have been married since May 2016.
3. I am mother to a Eurasian toddler. Most of you already know that I am a mom since it’s in my About Me section, yet people often seemed surprised when I tell them. I am a Millennial in my late twenties so I am not that young anymore. I try to follow other bloggers who are also in their 20’s+ but a few younger bloggers have slipped through the cracks. My daughter is a rambunctious 4-year old who loves life. Her favourite thing to say is, “Mommy, be happy.”
4. I had a miscarriage in October, 2015. My daughter was planned and she is a rainbow baby. Prior to having my daughter, I had a miscarriage and it was devastating. I feel like miscarriage is a topic that often gets swept under the rug even though 1:4 women end up having a miscarriage in their lifetime. Miscarriage is more common than people think and it shouldn’t be ignored. For anyone who has had a miscarriage, I want you to know that you are not alone. 👼
5. Given the choice, I would be a fruitarian. I ❤ Fruit! I find the fruitarian lifestyleintriguing and it would be my diet of choice if boundaries did not exist. However, I have a background in nutrition and neutraceutical sciences (NANS) from the University of Guelph, so I know that a fruitarian diet is not the answer to long-term health and longevity.
6. My pupils are different sizes. And this is concerning to neurologists. Ironically, my first clinical placement this semester was on an acute neurosurgery/neurology unit. I cannot tell you how concerned some of the staff was when I told them that I was born this way. When pupils are two different sizes, this usually indicates some kind of brain lesion or altered level of consciousness (LOC).
7. Also related to eyes, I am a carrier of Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR). Even though I am asymptomatic, my daughter is one of the unlucky few who is symptomatic. She was born blind in her left eye as a result of FEVR. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, FEVR defines a group of inherited diseases with abnormal retinal angiogenesis leading to incomplete vascularization of the peripheral retina. Every 3-6 months, my daughter gets routine surgery and receives laser surgery if necessary. Laser surgery is dependent on the progression of this eye disease. If she does not receive routine checkups, there is a risk that she could become blind in both eyes because the disease typically affects the eyes bilaterally.
8. I was anorexic when I was 13 years old. I hate it when people try to glamorize anorexia to get attention or pretend they have an eating disorder when in fact they don’t. You’ll often notice this in the blogging sphere and social media and it’s is one of my pet peeves. I can tell you that anorexia is NOT glamorous. It is an eating disorder (ED) that the individual cannot control. These individuals know that it is wrong; they have insight but they lack judgement. I wish I had pictures and clothes to show you what I looked like at 98 lbs. but I don’t have any “memorabilia”. My parents threw out those memories without my permission.
9. I attended 3 different universities. I am not making this up, unlike some people I know. I attended University of Guelph from 2010-2014 and obtained a degree in biological sciences. I also minored in nutrition and neutraceutical sciences (NANS). Sadly, I realized that I would not be able to truly thrive with this degree so I took some courses through Athabasca University, an accredited online university in Canada. Now, I am nursing student who is living in Alberta and I plan to graduate by the end of the year. It’s been a long journey and I am really, really tired of school.
10. I own a 210ish year old violin. Or something like that. I lost track of its exact age; my violin is ancient. It’s been passed down in the family and got sold at one point. Fortunately, my dad was very lucky and managed to rescue the violin for me, which I received as a birthday gift. I named my violin Matilda the III and she has a very rich, pure sound. I haven’t played her in years since she doesn’t live with me, but I love the way she sounds.
Well, there you have it! Did anything in my list surprise you? If so, what did you find most surprising? Do you know me as well as you thought you did? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓ If you decide to write a similar blog post, please let me know so I can check it out. 🙂