7th Blogiversary Giveaway Winner! โœจ๐Ÿ’ซย ย 

๐”ธ๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐•จ๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•Ÿ๐•–๐•ฃ ๐•š๐•คโ€ฆ.

โ€ฆ.โ€ฆ.โ€ฆ.

โ€ฆ.โ€ฆ.โ€ฆ.

โ€ฆ.โ€ฆ.โ€ฆ.

โ„๐• ๐•ค๐•–!

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.

โ™กย Link to Rose’s Blog: https://wretchedanddivine.wordpress.com/

โœฟ A Quick Note for My Readers โœฟ

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! โ™ฅ

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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 โ†“ Just click on the link to enter the giveaway and you’re all set!

โ€ขโœงย GIVEAWAY RULES!!ย โœงโ€ข

1๏ธโƒฃ 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.

2๏ธโƒฃ This contest is limited toย Canadians only. If I donโ€™t get enough entries, Iโ€™ll include the United States too.

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

4๏ธโƒฃ Youโ€™ll have to be comfortable sharing your email and address with me if you win.

5๏ธโƒฃ Entries close at midnight ET onย May 22.ย I will announce the winner during the week unless the winner chooses to remain antonymous.

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

โžคย Click here to enter the giveaway

โœฐ MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR โœฐ

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 โ†“ 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 โ†“ 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 donโ€™t listen or you arenโ€™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 didnโ€™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! โœจ

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.


(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

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 โ†“ I will try to reply to your comments on my days off.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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:

โ™ก Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

๐ŸŒธ ๐’œ๐“…๐“‡๐’พ๐“ ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐’น ๐“ˆ๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐“Œ๐‘’๐“‡๐“ˆ ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐‘€๐’ถ๐“Ž ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“ˆ ๐’ป๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ๐‘’๐“‡๐“ˆ! ๐ŸŒธ

๐Ÿ‘‰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!

MAY GOALS 2023

Career Goals:

  • Don’t call in sick this month โ†’ 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 doctorโ€™s appointments/pending appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช + finish diamond tournament ๐Ÿ’Ž

Health Goals:

  • Continue to track steps + upload progress on Twitter
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app โ†’ advance to Level 45 ๐ŸŒธ
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app โ†’ 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 โ†“ 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!

โžค Click here to enter the giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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 ๐Ÿ๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿ“–

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! โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ’•

Medium Article Links:

1๏ธโƒฃ Related Article: Somebody Cut You Out of Their Life, Now What?

2๏ธโƒฃ Related Article: Stop Dabbling and Start Winning at Life

APRIL GOALS 2023

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.
๐Ÿ‘‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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 doctorโ€™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.

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ 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.

โ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ข

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!

โžค Click here to enter the giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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:

โ™ก 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! ๐Ÿ˜… 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.ย Letโ€™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 ๐Ÿˆโ€โฌ›๐Ÿ’•

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. ๐ŸŒž 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! ๐ŸŒŽ

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 thereโ€™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 โ†’ I am always improving my 5-star Island!๐Ÿ๏ธ๐Ÿ’

(ใฃโ—”Vโ—”)ใฃ 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! ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ


(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

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! โค๏ธ

Forever Stuck Leveling Up: A #PikminBloom Review

Before I begin, I am reposting my original Medium article on the blog. However, this blog post is the most comprehensive and up-to-date version of the article, as I have edited it to reflect some updates. I am not being endorsed or paid to write this review. However, if you are already a Medium subscriber, I might earn a small commission for my Medium article. It might only be a few pennies, but it’s better than earning nothing at all. Here is the link to the original Medium article:

โ™ก Medium Article: Forever Stuck on Level 42

Since fall of 2021, I have been playing this cute little step-tracking game called Pikmin Bloom. It is very similar to its older cousin, Pokรฉmon GO since both mobile games were developed by Niantic.

I’m not going to explain how this game works, so if you’re interested in learning more, I’ll leave a resourceful link for you here:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://pikminbloom.com/en/

At one point, there were 60 levels but the game has since been updated to reflect the need for additional levels. In the beginning, the levels are simple and easy to complete, but as you progress in the game, it becomes more difficult with each level. The game is very simplistic and adorable in my opinion, and it has a lot of decent side quests to occupy your time with.

Personally, I am absolutely obsessed with this adorable little game that is available as an app on my phone. My followers on #Twitter are probably annoyed by my tweets and rants about it! This game has become such a big part of me that I have even included it in my Twitter bio ๐Ÿ˜… I am indeed a #PikminBloom enthusiast and I am not ashamed.

What Makes This Game so Great?

The Pikmin Bloom mobile app is a spinoff from the Pikmin Bloom video game(s) which I have never played. Sure, leveling up can become a grind, but I think thatโ€™s what makes the game exciting to play. Those things that we have to work hardest for are often the most rewarding.

At first sight, this game may appear to be just like any other fitness game but there are hidden depths to it. There are side quests and other challenges which you can complete, helping you stay motivated and engaged with the game for longer. Despite my best efforts, I found myself stuck at level 42 for 8 freaking months!

When I wrote this article, I was struggling to advance to Level 43 because of the number of flowers needed. However, I managed to move on to Level 44, which I am currently stuck on. Unfortunately, I am still having difficulty advancing any further as there is a necessary flower requirement that has proven to be an obstacle in my journey. Ironically, the flower requirement for Level 44 is the same as the one I had for Level 42 ๐Ÿ˜‘ This is an ongoing struggle of mine and it is almost laughable at this point.

As you can see, I have let my steps accumulate but I am disengaged with the game itself. I tried doing additional side quests, collecting cool postcards from around the world, and leveling up with team players who I found on #Twitter, but thatโ€™s where the fun stops.

I stopped caring about the steps. I stopped putting in the hard work and I have become complacent. At one point, I resorted to my treadmill back when I still cared about steps. Then I quickly learned that there was an additional challenge to this game: You need to plant flowers!! ๐ŸŒผ

๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ ๐š ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ?

I’m having a hard time leveling up because it takes too much time and effort to plant more flowers, and the inconveniences outweigh the benefits. I know this is a lame excuse, but please hear me out. Living in Canada is already quite challenging as it is, and here’s why:

๐ŸŒธ My grass is not that green

I live in Canada, and the grass here is not nearly as green as it is where you are. Rather than being sunny and warm, itโ€™s snowy (and cold!). So why would I want to go out when I could stay inside? It might sound a bit ridiculous, but when itโ€™s below freezing and thereโ€™s snow on the ground, the chore of planting virtual flowers in a game is humorous because it doesnโ€™t represent real life.

I would like to see the gameโ€™s design reflect the real-time weather conditions in more immersive and realistic ways like itโ€™s done with Flight Simulator. My husband is excited about the future of the Flight Simulator update, so heโ€™s been telling me a lot about it.

๐ŸŒธ Treadmills are only good for steps

I used to use my treadmill when I first started this game. But then I found out that there was an additional challenge of planting flowers. You can’t plant flowers on a treadmill because the game does not count walking in one spot as square footage for planting. Treadmills are only good for adding to your daily step count.

(ใฃโ—”Vโ—”)ใฃ Game Update: After I posted this article, I like to think that the developers listened to me, as now I can plant flowers while on the treadmill. As you can see, I still suck at planting virtual flowers.

๐ŸŒธ I have limited phone data

I live in Canada where phone plans are expensive for what they are. I have limited data on my phone, and have used up my data trying to plant flowers outdoors. I seem to have a 50% success rate planting flowers at locations with free WiFi but the game eats up my phone battery like itโ€™s a snack.


(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

I am very curious to know if you have played the Pikmin Bloom mobile game. What level are you currently stuck on? Please leave your comment below โ†“ and join the conversation!

P.S. You can also connect with me on Twitter (@hellokitty8404), and I encourage you to subscribe to my blog so that you can receive the latest updates from me. Additionally, I am hosting a giveaway for my Canadian readers to celebrate my 7th blogiversary!

โžค Click here to enter the giveaway

A Giveaway, Maybe?

Lucky Number 7๏ธโƒฃ

For me, the number 7 has always held a special significance and has been linked to luck in my life. On May 7th, I married my SO and this year marks our seventh anniversary together. Additionally, this is also the year of my 7th blogiversary and coincidentally, it is also the same year that my daughter turns 7 years old – making it an even more remarkable milestone to celebrate.

Celebrating my 7th #blogiversary with a #givesway! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿฅณ

โ‘ฆ โ‘ฆ โ‘ฆ โ‘ฆ โ‘ฆ โ‘ฆ โ‘ฆ

I knew that I had to do something special for my readers and decided to try a giveaway for the first time. This is a great opportunity for me to give back to you guys who have supported me all of these years. The prize is a Meditative Adult Coloring Kit from Costco, which might be useful to anyone who enjoys this activity. You may be wondering why I chose this particular item as the giveaway – and let’s just say it’s a long story that I rather not get into.

If you want to see what the adult coloring kit looks like, I took a some pictures with my phone. You might have noticed that the price tag is still on it. I am not going to bother removing the price tag because it will make a sticky mess.

โ€ขโœง GIVEAWAY RULES!! โœงโ€ข

1๏ธโƒฃ 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.

2๏ธโƒฃ This contest is limited to Canadians only. If I don’t get enough entries, I’ll include the United States too.

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

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

5๏ธโƒฃ Entries close at midnight ET on May 22. I will announce the winner during the week unless the winner chooses to remain antonymous.

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

โžค Click here to enter the giveaway

โœฐ May the odds be ever in your favour โœฐ

Things that Make Me Unhappy

I noticed that there is a tendency for people to post about the things in life that make them happy, and while that’s a great thing to do, I thought it would be interesting to identify some of the things in my daily life that make me unhappy. Now that I am home, I want to “reset” my life and start taking back control. Lately, I have felt like my life is out of control which can be problematic if it’s not dealt with right away.

Here is my list of 11 things that make me unhappy. 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. Let’s get started, shall we?

A List of Things that Make Me Unhappy

1. Drama. I’m not a fan of drama and I prefer leading a life that’s peaceful and serene. It’s amazing how drama keeps finding its way into my life, yet all I wish for is peace and quiet.

2. Arguing with people online. it never makes me feel good afterwards even though I might feel better about myself in the moment

3. Wasting time. Nothing feels worse than realizing I’ve squandered my day away doing absolutely nothing constructive, especially on my days off. It’s such a waste of time and energy when I’m being unproductive.

4. Eating too much junk food. A little junk food feels good in the moment and usually doesnโ€™t affect me too much, but binging on junk food makes me feel like crap afterwards.

5. Health issues. Health issues like chronic fatigue, stomach pain, and mood swings give me feelings on uneasiness and make me unhappy. What’s worse is that it’s harder for me to get things done.

6. Wasting money. Instead of wasting money on short-term pleasure, I prefer investing in things that will give me long-lasting joy. Spending money on items that just offer a fleeting dopamine rush does not make me happy.

7. Smart phone addiction. Spending too long on my phone or the internet can have negative impacts on both my mental and physical health. Without any restrictions, it can cause feelings of despondency and will often make me feel distressed. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one grappling with this issue.

8. Working too much. There is a fine balance between work life and personal life. If I work more than 30 hours a week, I will be miserable.

9. Menstruation. Every month, I’m faced with something that makes me incredibly frustrated and irritable. When I’m on my period, having to deal with the cramps and the pain puts me in a bad mood.

10. Being disorganized. By nature, I tend to be quite messy, which is incredibly frustrating. Despite my best efforts, keeping everything organized is a real challenge for me.

11. Having too many social obligations. Being an INTJ, I find social activities quite tiring. Therefore, I’m more selective with the social obligations I take on nowadays.

๐Ÿ‘‰This explains a lot about my personality type. I’m not surprised that I am an INTJ.

(ใฃโ—”Vโ—”)ใฃ Did you know? INTJs are analytical problem-solvers, eager to improve systems and processes with their innovative ideas. Source: www.truity.com

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

This is merely a concise overview of the things that make me unhappy. If I sat down for an hour to really reflect and journal about it, the list would be much longer. It’s important to take time out of our busy days to really think about what it is that causes us distress and unhappiness so that we can work towards finding solutions. I highly encourage you to create your own list of the things that make you unhappy.

Thanks for stopping by! โค๏ธ

March Recap | Spring 2023

Spring is here and it’s time to spring forward. That being said, it doesn’t feel like Spring here and there’s still lots of snow on the ground. Oh, the joys of living in Canada! ๐Ÿ

This month has taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of learning to let go and move on with your life. Although I have made some progress, I still have a long journey ahead of me. I have the itch to physically and emotionally declutter my space, so that is what I have been doing. I am currently in the process of decluttering my old laptop, phone, and #Twitter feed. It’s a work in progress but I am starting to feel a bit lighter.


Fill Your Own Cup First

This month, I only shared one post on this blog other than my Monthly Goals and Recaps. Although I had anticipated sharing more articles from Medium, I hadn’t found the time to do it yet. Nevertheless, I still have the intention of publishing my most recent article from Medium on here as it is an inspiring self-help article! If you want to read it now, I will share the Medium link here:

โ™ก Related Article: Nobody is Coming to Save You


Trial and Error

I also started a 1-month Medium subscription trial earlier this month and have already made plans to write an article regarding my experience with that. Although this content won’t be published on my blog due to its highly niche-specific nature and the fact that not all readers of my blog may be as interested in this subject matter, I do plan on writing th follow-up article eventually. For now, you can check out my article about my initial thoughts on getting a Medium subscription:

โ™ก  Related Article: That’s it. I’m Buying a Medium Subscription!

MARCH GOALS 2023

Career Goals:

  • Stay up-to-date on my work schedule I wasn’t too pleased with myself during the month of March as I had two days off. One of them was spontaneous as I didn’t feel well and the other one had been planned for a while in order to do some shopping before our trip.
  • Attend in-class sessions on March 14แต—สฐ & 15แต—สฐ I attended this class and got 100% on the exam. I was surprised because I didn’t feel ready to write it.
  • Request March 26แต—สฐ off as it no longer fits my schedule As stated above, I planned this at the beginning of the month.
  • Complete the Connect Care modules on MLL I made sure to review every detail twice prior to the upcoming exam in order to ensure that I had everything covered.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Screenshot of Work Schedule TBU (To be uploaded…eventually)

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly goals/recap blog posts In March, I published only one blog post which was a cross-post from Medium. I didn’t bring anything original to the table this month – sorry.
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog If you’re interested in reading these articles, you can take a look at my work here and here. I already gave an overview of these articles up above (re: Nobody is coming to save you).
  • Sign up for a 1-month Medium Membership trial โœจ Yes, I signed up for the 1-month trial on March 6แต—สฐ Will continue with it once the trial ends? That’s for me to know and for you to find out in a future Medium article.
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I have been managing my schedule without any sort of planner and it’s amazing that I haven’t missed an appointment yet. However, it is time for me to update my planner this week as doing so will help me stay more organized.
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช I am determined to learn a new language but I’m choosing to take my time and go at my own pace. From what I can remember, I believe I am currently on Day 111 and have been steadily progressing this far. Since starting Duolingo, I have lost count of where exactly in the learning process that I am and know that this streak will be broken once we go on vacation. To be honest, after 3 months of using Duolingo, it has become quite tiresome and mundane which often leads to me forgetting to even open the app unless it notifies me with a reminder. Not gonna lie, I do miss the social aspect of the leagues and will likely re-join at some point.

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress At the start of this month, I really made an effort to get back into using the treadmill. Unfortunately, I slipped back into bad habits and eventually stopped. Bad habits seem to repeat themselves, donโ€™t they?
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee I mostly stuck to water, tea, and coffee this month. I also drank a lot of pineapple juice because I ate a lot canned pineapples ๐Ÿ
  • 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.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time I was really diligent about eating plant-based during the month of March up until this point lol Since I am currently on the go, I cannot eat as healthy as I would like to. I prefer eating low-fat, plant-based whenever possible. I am not vegetarian or vegan and do eat meat when plant-based meals aren’t an option.
When fresh fruit isnโ€™t an option ๐Ÿ

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ FYI: If you’re not already following me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my fitness progress, and you can get real-time updates about my day-to-day life there.

โ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ขโ™ฅโ€ขโ™กโ€ข

And there you have it! Just a quick update that I won’t be posting Monthly Goals for April 2023. Why? Because I will be visiting Nick’s relatives in Singapore. Although travelling stresses me out, at least Singapore is a tropical island! ๐Ÿ๏ธ I even named my #ACNH island after Sentosa, which is a beautiful place in Singapore. Before I go, I will share with you some photos of Sentosa, my Animal Crossing island. Do you play Animal Crossing too? Let me know in the comments section below โ†“

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup

Regularly taking the time to look after yourself is absolutely essential for your physical and mental health and well-being. This has been a hot topic of discussion online, however, this does not make it any less important; in fact, it only further demonstrates the critical role self-care now plays in our lives. Don’t ignore the importance of taking a moment out of your day to focus on yourself and prioritize your own health and happiness.

That is why I felt that it was important to re-share my Medium article on the blog. If you use the following link to read this article and you are already a Medium subscriber, I will earn a small commission. It might be only a few pennies but itโ€™s better than earning nothing at all. This article is behind a paywall on Medium but I want to make it available for everyone to read.

โ™ก Medium Article: You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup

Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

Taking care of yourself with self-care ๐Ÿง˜๐ŸŒฑ

I recently saw this topic appear in my newsfeed and it made me contemplate the meaning, โ€œYou canโ€™t pour from an empty cup.โ€ This phrase can be used when considering your relationship with yourself and the importance of self-care. As much as I think the word โ€œself-careโ€ is grossly overused, I donโ€™t have a better word for what I am describing here.

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ Taking care of yourself is essential before you can pour your energy into anything else โ™ฅ

In order to be there for others, you need to make sure you first take care of yourself. Moreover, when we are not taking care of ourselves, it can be extremely difficult to show up at our best in all areas of our lives, whether it is for ourselves or for others. This is why the expression โ€œyou can’t pour from an empty cupโ€ also applies to you as an individual, and not just when discussing how it is important to show up for the people around us. Sometimes you need space to do your own things and focus on yourself, which doesn’t make you selfish.

The importance of self-care

One of the most effective ways to do this is by engaging in self-care on a regular basis. Self-care is defined as any activity that someone does deliberately in order to take care of their mental, emotional, physical health, and overall well-being.

Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/

By taking the time to prioritize your well-being and spend time with yourself, you will have the energy and motivation that you need to be present in each of the different areas of your life. Thus, it is important to show up for yourself in every area of your life that is important to you. The following quote resonates with me:

โ€œSelf-care is not about self-indulgence, itโ€™s about self-preservation.โ€ โ€” Audrey Lorde

I will tell you one thing many people get wrong about self-care. Self-care should not involve self-indulgence, which entails lavish massages, expensive hair appointments, and other things that require spending a lot of money to temporarily make oneself feel better. On the other hand, self-care is about doing things naturally that will help you to feel good. Spending more time outdoors, exercising, etc. are great ways to look after yourself.

Remember, self-care can be done without having to break the bank. There are a number of ways to make self-care a priority and you don’t need to spend money in order for it to be effective. If you’re in need of some affordable self-care ideas, you might want to check out my hobby blog, www.sereneluna.net, for a few ideas. You can check out my list of affordable self-care ideas here:

โ™ก Related Blog Post: Affordable Self-Care Ideas

Take It or Leave It

It’s natural to want to be there for your loved ones and friends at all times of the day. However, it often leaves us feeling a lack of balance in our lives which can lead to neglecting our own needs and health. It’s important to take some time for yourself from time to time, so that you can be a better person for the people around you. Moreover, as we all come to rely more and more on ourselves in a world that encourages self-sufficiency, the importance of self-care becomes even more important. We need to have our cups full before we can start achieving the things that we want. Thus, self-care is a fundamental part of our lives.

If you found this article interesting, or even if it just changed your perspective on things, please let me know in the comments below โ†“ Your feedback really matters to me.

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

Thanks for stopping by! โค๏ธ

March Goals | Winter 2023

You guys, it’s March 2023! I’m feeling excited to see what this month brings, but I’m also a bit overwhelmed. There’s so much I need to do and the days are flying by! It feels like I barely have enough time to check in with everyone and make sure you are doing well. To be completely honest, I’m still unsure if I will continue with these blog posts in the foreseeable future or not, but for now I will try to stay consistent. These monthly goal blog posts go hand-in-hand with my daily updates of what my life is like, which I will continue to post on Twitter. If you’d like to follow me and get a glimpse into what my day is like, please feel free to click the following link:

โ™ก Quick Link: https://mobile.twitter.com/serene_hilz

โ„‘๐”ฑ’๐”ฐ ๐”ฑ๐”ฅ๐”ข ๐”ฉ๐”ฒ๐” ๐”จ ๐”ฌ๐”ฃ ๐”ฑ๐”ฅ๐”ข โ„‘๐”ฏ๐”ฆ๐”ฐ๐”ฅ๐Ÿ€

Turning Over a Renewed Leaf

This is not exactly a new season or month for me, instead, it is more of a continuation of the last two months in terms of my monthly goals. I have made some small adjustments to my diet and have been exercising regularly, so I am not making any drastic changes or starting a new diet, etc. In fact, I intend to remain consistent with my current habits and continue to make subtle improvements that will help me ultimately achieve my goals. This month is a particularly busy one for me, as I am juggling my work commitments and parenting responsibilities, while also trying to get ready for an upcoming vacation next month. The pressure of having to finish all of these tasks in a timely manner while still having the time and energy to prepare for the trip is causing me a considerable amount of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with any details about my travels yet, but I can assure you that I won’t be very active on social media while I’m away. All I can say is that my destination is a warm and sunny place! ๐Ÿ๏ธ

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

  • Stay up-to-date on my work schedule
  • Attend in-class sessions on March 14แต—สฐ & 15แต—สฐ
  • Request March 26แต—สฐ off as it no longer fits my schedule
  • Complete the Connect Care modules on MLL

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts + monthly goals/recap blog posts
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog
  • Sign up for a 1-month Medium Membership trial โœจ
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช โ†’ I want to go at my own pace

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on days I am not working + upload progress on Twitter
  • Limit drinks to water, tea, and coffee โ†’ cut back on spending $
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app โ†’ continue to plant flowers ๐ŸŒธ
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time
Selfie taken March 17, 2020 ๐Ÿ€

And there you have it! My goals this month are very similar to those of last month, with an emphasis placed on getting fitter and healthier so I can feel more comfortable in my own body and potentially even wear my pre-pregnancy clothes again. My goal is to build a positive self-image, not only in regards to physical appearance, but also for my mental health. It is not only about accepting your body but also feeling good about it and not waking up every morning with self-hatred. Mental and physical health are equally important and should be given priority in order to achieve inner peace.

I am curious to know what your goals are for the month of March. Feel free to let me know in the comments section below โ†“ Also, I would really appreciate it if you followed me on Twitter (@serene_hilz), that is, if you aren’t already a follower. Though it is often a struggle to gain traction on that platform, I still find it really enjoyable to establish connections with fellow bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ