February Goals | Winter 2023

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

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

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

𝒫.𝒮. 𝐻𝒶𝓅𝓅𝓎 𝐵𝑒𝓁𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝒢𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹𝒽𝑜𝑔 𝒟𝒶𝓎!

Different Month, Similar goals.

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

January Goals 2023

Career Goals:

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

Personal Goals:

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

Health Goals:

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

Stay Away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2023?

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

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

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

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

How to make better New Year’s Resolutions

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

New Year, New YOU!

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

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

Time for Self-Reflection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December Recap | Winter 2022

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

2. Never have I ever had COVID-19 😷

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

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

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

Other Life Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

♡ Related Blog Post: RIP Old Friend 💀❌

My ASUS laptop got me through nursing school.

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

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

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

Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

12 Days of Finals

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

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

12 Days of Finals 📖

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I Reached My First 1K Followers on Medium!

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

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

👉 Follow me on Medium @sereneluna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Truths and No Lie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

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

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

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

Stovetop Hot Chocolate

I noticed that people don’t visit my blog pages, but rather they read the blog posts. This is why I wanted to add an archive of only recipes to my Recipe Page.

Now that it’s practically winter and it’s too cold to do anything outside where I live, there is nothing more comforting than a hot cup of tea or coffee. I don’t mind the instant hot cocoa from the grocery store – we have a can that we are currently using. Sometimes, I want “a taste of home” and yearn for something a bit sweeter and richer than a cup of hot tea or coffee.

♡ Image Sources: https://www.pexels.com/search/hot%20cocoa/

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I can still remember my most recent experience with homemade hot chocolate and the memory is so vivid that I can almost taste it. My husband and I were in southern Ontario, at an outdoor outlet mall, when we decided to stop for a hot chocolate at one of the cafes. We were window shopping when we came across this amazing café and had to try their hot chocolate. I can remember exactly how it tasted and it was by far the best that I’ve ever had. I want to try and recreate that recipe, I know mine is nothing special but I always love when my daughter asks me to make something. A few weeks ago, I did just that. Although I didn’t take any photos at the time, I wrote down the recipe. Now, I want to share the recipe with you!

❄ 𝕴𝖙’𝖘 𝖙𝖎𝖒𝖊 𝖙𝖔 𝖒𝖆k𝖊 𝖆 𝖜𝖆𝖗𝖒 𝖒𝖚𝖌 𝖔𝖋 𝖈𝖔𝖈𝖔𝖆! ❄

Stovetop Hot Chocolate

Servings: 4                          Time: 15 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 handfuls of mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon (optional), and water in a saucepan. Turn on the saucepan to low heat.
  2. Use a whisk (or another spoon/spatula) to mix the ingredients until there are no lumps of cocoa powder left.
  3. Slowly add the milk and whisk the ingredients together.
  4. Keep stirring the ingredients until the mixture is hot. Bring to a light boil.
  5. Before serving, froth the milk and cocoa powder together. Add marshmallows and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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I’m Keeping My WordPress Premium Plan

Yes, that’s right. I’m not leaving WordPress and I renewed the Premium Plan a few days ago. I was lucky enough to find a coupon for 50% off the Premium Plan and ended up only having to pay $63.00 CAD after tax! If you have a Premium Plan and are interested in taking advantage of this offer, please DM me. The coupon is only good for users who already have a Premium plan. 💻

Whenever I compare WordPress to a self-hosted site, I still conclude that WordPress is the best option for me. It’s no surprise that WordPress is popular because of the vibrant, caring online community that supports it. Even if you decided to host your own site instead of using WordPress, you wouldn’t get that same feeling of being part of a larger community. Yes, I know that WordPress is overpriced for what it is but it’s the community of bloggers that keeps me here. You can read my thoughts about WP Plans and what I like or dislike about it, here:

Related Blog Post: Blogging Fatigue

Regardless of whether you stumbled upon my blog, or you are already a member of the WP community, it is important to be courteous, kind, and respectful of those around you even if you disagree with their opinions. Please don’t be a little b.i.t.c.h. in the WordPress community. Because when you are, it becomes less enjoyable for everyone else.

The online world is already filled with criticism and naysayers. Individuals who don’t like you will always find a way to talk or write about you. It is never been easier to ignore these people because, like they have always done, they’re likely still lurking in the shadows of cyberspace 👀 If I left WordPress, my voice would be silenced, and I would be doing myself and everyone else a disservice. Her name is not mentioned for privacy reasons, but if she’s reading this and recognizes herself in these words, then yes–I am talking about you.

My Voice Will Not Be Silenced

You see, I still have a lot to say; hence, I am not going anywhere. Writing is very therapeutic for me and it helps me make sense of my thoughts and complicated emotions. And I know that there are some people who will disagree with me, but I also like using the Medium platform (follow me on Medium @sereneluna) because it is a great way to share my thoughts with the world. But it is not always easy to use and navigate, whereas WordPress is much easier to use. That’s why I will continue to share [most] of my articles on both platforms.

Furthermore, I have no intention of making my blog posts private because I aim to make all of my content easily accessible. Understand that I am not monetizing my blog content (I make $0 from this blog) so it’s a labor of love. I don’t need to blog for a living, so instead, I do it out of the kindness and generosity in my heart. Instead of putting up paywalls on everything, that’s what Medium is for 💁‍♀️ One way or another, I will find a way to pay for my blogging expenses so that I can continue to provide my readers with quality content.

Dear Readers, I Love You.

I want to take this moment to thank each and every one of my loyal readers for sticking around with me for all of these years. If it wasn’t for your dedication, my blog would never have grown into something so special and I am forever grateful that you have been there through the ups and downs. Something needs to change in order for me to keep going with this blog, but I am looking forward to what the future holds. I know there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect and keep up with social media trends but I don’t want to fall into the trap of being fake. That’s why I want to stay true to myself while also finding creative ways to show my personality. I really look up to bloggers who are able to write controversial blog posts and put out a clear message when they know some readers will disagree but they do it anyway because they are following their own truth. Only a small handful of bloggers come to mind, which I can count on my fingers.

This might be hard to hear (er, read), but I’m gonna be 100% honest with you. You can’t deceive yourself that everything is fine when it isn’t – I won’t lie and say “everything’s fine” when that is not the case. Sometimes my blogging may stop for a few weeks, but I can assure you that I have no intention of neglecting this account. I am not going anywhere, and I still try to find time to read your blog posts when I get the chance. I will admit that I read a lot fewer blog posts than I used to, and try not to get caught up too much in the blogging world these days.

(っ◔◡◔)っKey Takeaway: So I guess I am stuck using the WordPress Premium Plan for another year, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

P.S. If you’re interested in following my stories on other social media platforms, you can find me here. I do not actively post on Instagram and if you try to send me DMs there, I probably won’t reply. Twitter is where I primarily post updates about my personal life, especially my cat! 🐈‍⬛

Instagram: @serene_hilz

Twitter: @serene_hilz

Medium: @sereneluna

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

great-vibes.regular (1)

6 Subtle Signs of Loneliness

(っ◔V◔)っSerious Question: Do You Struggle with Loneliness?

𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝒶𝓁𝑜𝓃𝑒.

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

It is never good to be lonely and it can even lead to feeling vulnerable. There are times when you may feel like you don’t need anyone, even though we all need people around us. I know how it feels and I want to reassure you that you’re not alone.

You might not be aware of how lonely you are. People have different ways of showing the warning signs, but if you ever have the sense that you’re lonely, it is best to deal with it as soon as possible. Knowing these early warning signs can help prevent feelings of isolation. Here are 6 signs to help you determine if you are struggling with loneliness.

Disclaimer: The same article can be found on Medium, but is behind a paywall. If you are still interested in checking it out, then you can do so by clicking on the following link:

♡ Medium Article: 6 Subtle Signs of Loneliness

6 Subtle Signs of Loneliness

1. You often feel bored.

Do you often feel lonely and bored? Do you have days where you have nothing to do and no one to hang out with? Is your social life a little dull?

It may surprise you to know that these feelings are not uncommon. Humans are social beings whose brains are designed for connection. People need connection and it doesn’t matter if we’re trying to connect with friends, family, or strangers. But if you don’t have many friends or if you’re not close to the ones you have, your life may start becoming monotonous. You spend every day doing tasks by yourself, eating meals alone, and scrolling through your phone without really paying attention to it. In this case, the boredom you feel could mean that you’re feeling lonely.

2. You have nobody to lean on.

Who do you have in your life who can support you during tough times? Do you have a friend that is always there for you to talk about what’s bothering you over the phone or in person?

Imagine that you had a long day that has gone from bad to worse. You finally get home and your mind is still racing. You want to speak with someone about how you are feeling but don’t want to overwhelm them with your problems. You reach for your phone and scroll through the contacts, but you are unable to find even one person who would understand how you feel. Who do you call if you’re having trouble finding someone to talk to? Not only are you feeling stressed but you’re struggling with loneliness too.

Loneliness is not just about not being able to find someone to spend time with. It’s about not having a close friend that you can talk to, who can help you sort out the bad things that happen in your life. You might have people you see at work or school or neighbors with whom you talk about the weather. However, it’s also essential to have someone who will be there for you when things get tough.

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

3. You overshare when someone gives you the time of day.

Do you speak quickly when you’re having a conversation? Do you speak in great detail, sharing lots of personal information that you might regret later?

Oversharing is another sign of loneliness. Lonely people might talk a lot just to fill the void, but not necessarily in person where they could connect with others. People have a deep social need to connect and when we finally find someone who listens, it can be hard to restrain our thoughts. The sudden outpouring of all that pent-up loneliness can often be overwhelming for both parties.

4. You are jealous of others having a good time.

How do you feel when you see a group of friends hanging out and you weren’t invited? How do you feel when you see all those pictures on social media of people having fun? Do you feel indifferent or does it make you feel jealous?

If you are currently feeling lonely and left out, know that it is normal to want to spend time hanging out with friends rather than being alone. And even if nobody talks about it openly, it is obvious that many people share the same desire—nobody likes to feel left out. As a result, it wouldn’t surprise me that the fear of missing out (aka. FOMO) is directly related to this natural human desire to feel included.

5. You distract yourself with self-care activities.

Yes, you read that correctly! But please hear me out on this. If you find yourself constantly distracted by things that make you feel good, such as warm baths, bath bombs, or a hot cup of coffee, but your ambitions or goals aren’t being fulfilled, then maybe this is a sign that you are craving comfort. There is nothing inherently wrong with self-care, but consider how much time (and money) you invest in these activities daily.

A while ago, I published an article on this blog, with self-care ideas that are free or inexpensive. Why not take a look and see if you can find anything that would be helpful to you?

♡ Related Article: Affordable Self-Care Ideas

6. You compensate by shopping and hoarding things.

Do you enjoy shopping a little too much? Does your home have an excessive amount of clutter? Do you feel like you can’t stop yourself from shopping and don’t know why?

As children, we find a sense of security and emotional support in our favorite teddy bears and blankets. When we feel unsafe as adults, it can be satisfying to buy our way back to safety. When we are feeling lonely, for instance, buying items that make us feel safe and protected can become addictive. We want things like clothes, trinkets, and jewelry that make us feel like the world knows we exist, even though they don’t actually solve the underlying problem. Being attached to objects might be an attempt to compensate for the loneliness you feel.

👉You might be feeling lonely at the moment, but don’t let that get to you. Here are a few things you can do to start feeling better:

  1. Talking to someone can help you open up about what you’re going through. Whether you prefer professional therapy or just want to talk to your family and friends, they must know how they can help.
  2. Engaging in social activities like volunteering or joining a sports club are all good ways of socializing with others and keeping a healthy mind.
  3. Taking care of our bodies is vital. It applies to both mental and physical health and ensures that we can live with a sense of quality in our lives. Drink plenty of water, get outside for some sun rays, and try to get your blood pumping!

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

It is natural to feel lonely at some point, but don’t let it get you down. Reach out to friends, or try other creative ways to meet new people and make connections. Remember that you are not alone in how you feel and there are so many people who are going through the same challenges as you. You can ask for help and support when things get tough and it is okay to talk about how you’re feeling.

Did any of these points resonate with you? Let me know by joining the conversation below ↓ Feel free to share this article with anyone who might be struggling with loneliness.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

10 Self-Improvement Habits to Make You Happier

Background: It is my pleasure to have Davis return as a guest blogger for the third time. You may remember him from his first and second guest post appearances in July 2022 and September 2022. Davis has two previous blog posts that you might be interested in and you can read them here and here for some insightful advice on how to improve yourself!

Disclaimer: Davis runs a blog called https://businessisfun.net that I highly recommend you check out and follow him if you haven’t done so already. Since Davis wrote the following guest post, I cannot take credit for it. While you are here, I would love to hear your thoughts about this article. Let’s get started, shall we?

Image via https://www.pexels.com/

There are many things you can do to make your life better, and the good news is that it’s never too late to begin. In today’s article, Davis shares ten things you can start doing today to improve your life and make yourself happier. Whether you want to feel better about yourself or your career, or you are just looking for some inspiration in everyday life, these tips will help guide the way.

10 Self-Improvement Habits to Make You Happier

1. Start a Morning Routine. Sticking to a morning routine can help you start each day with greater focus and productivity, ensuring that you begin the day right. 

2. Journal Each Day. People who journal have increased happiness and lower levels of stress. By putting down on paper all your anxieties and worries from your day, you take some power back from those worries — and gain perspective, too. 

3. Exercise Regularly. Daily exercise improves your mood and gives you extra energy to tackle tasks. Psychology Today notes that exercise is a natural antidepressant and can make a huge difference in your happiness quotient by easing stress, relaxing tense muscles, and helping you sleep better. 

4. Set a Fitness Goal. If you have a fitness goal in mind, it’s easier to start and stay on track. Set your fitness goals with a coach or trainer as they can help keep you accountable for your workouts and ensure you use proper form. Once you hit a milestone, such as running your first 5K, you may consider a nutrition plan to further enhance your health. 

5. Spend Time in Nature. Cornell University cites research showing that spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, improves mood, boosts your immune system, and helps prevent dementia. Try to spend some time each day walking around Midvale, Utah, or sitting near a window with a view of trees or other greenery.  

6. Take Regular Breaks. Taking breaks throughout your day, even if just 5 minutes long, can help improve productivity and decrease stress. 

7. Remove Toxic People From Your Life. Some people bring a sense of harmony to your life, while others cause discord and unhappiness. Find out which kind you’re dealing with, and start changing your social circle. By removing toxic people from your life, you can reduce stress and increase happiness. 

8. Organize Your Home. Remove negative energy from your home by having a deep cleaning and decluttering session. Not only will it look much better, but you’ll also feel more relaxed and stress-free.  

9. Start a Business. Starting your own business can be scary, but it also has many benefits. You’ll learn new skills, set your own hours, and gain the freedom to make decisions as you see fit. If you’re looking to change your life for the better, starting a business is worth serious consideration. Online resources, such as website builders, and templates for invoices and business cards, can all be a big help. 

Starting a business doesn’t have to be an overwhelming endeavor, because you have a lot of resources at your disposal. For example, if you want to learn about content marketing (a specialized area of advertising), check out CornerstoneContent.com. Or, you can reference DreamHost.com for a complete guide on how to launch a business, including what goes into a business plan.  

10. Get the Right Amount of Sleep. When you’re well-rested, you can concentrate better and see situations clearly. Less sleep impairs concentration and memory, making it harder to problem-solve and think critically when issues arise. 

And most importantly…..


░E░n░j░o░y░ ░y░o░u░r░ ░n░e░w░ ░l░i░f░e░!░


Good habits are essential for self-improvement and it can be tough to build them up, but all it takes is a small change and even one small, permanent change can make a huge difference in your life. Why not challenge yourself this month to start using your new habits and see how you feel?

If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to read more posts from this blogger, you can visit their website at https://businessisfun.net. Finally, if you learned something new from this blog post, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ Interested in writing a guest post for www.sereneluna.net? If you would like to write a guest post, please email me your idea by filling out this form.

Thanks for stopping by!

Having a Midlife Crisis? Here Are 5 Changes You Can Make to Overcome It

Disclaimer: I am pleased to have Davis return as a guest blogger. You might remember him from his first guest post appearance in April 2022. Davis runs a blog called https://businessisfun.net that I highly recommend you check out and follow him if you haven’t done so already. Since Davis wrote this guest post, I cannot take credit for it. While you are here, I would love to hear your thoughts about this article. Let’s get started, shall we?

5 Ways to Overcome a Midlife Crisis

Midlife is the term used to refer to the transition phase between adulthood and old age. For many individuals managing this phase of life can prove to be challenging given the sheer number of changes it can bring. Moving towards 40 years of age means individuals start nearing the end of their careers, which can cause uncertainty regarding what to do next. Additionally, with age, certain health problems are bound to arise, and even if they’re minor, individuals need to focus on their health more than ever before. The struggle to manage these changes is often referred to as a midlife crisis. In this article, we’ll explore the best ways adults can tackle these changes healthily and improve their quality of life.

1. Commit to an Exercise Regime

According to research by AARP, the following are common health conditions faced by adults during their mid-life: high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and anxiety. While each of these conditions affects the body differently, they have one thing in common. Regular exercise can significantly reduce the onset of these diseases and help individuals manage any existing symptoms.

Exercising 30 minutes a day, whether cardio or weight-based exercises, will help you improve cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, keep blood pressure in check and promote happier moods. Additionally, it will reduce the chances of developing further age-related conditions and keep you active for longer.

Regular exercise is bound to make you feel tired each day, which is a good thing as it will lead to a healthy sleep schedule. On average, adults require at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night. A good night’s sleep will improve your ability to manage stress, increase energy levels and keep your mind sharp throughout the day.

2. Start Practicing a Hobby

If the stress of handling numerous life changes is constantly at the forefront of your mind, consider starting a hobby that helps break the chain of thought and puts your mind at ease. Best hobby ideas to consider include:

  • Learning how to play an instrument
  • Starting a mental health journal
  • Reading books
  • Starting a vegetable garden in your backyard
  • Volunteering at a local NGO, animal shelter, or any other organization of your choice
  • Learning how to cook

The number one benefit of having a hobby is that you’ll dedicate time and effort toward something which brings you a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Even after a long day, a hobby will help take your mind off things and develop a positive mindset. Incorporating a hobby as part of your daily routine will keep stress at bay, allowing you to come to terms with changes without being overwhelmed.

3. Pursue an Online Degree

If you aspire to have a more fulfilling job than your current one, adding an educational credential to your resume will open doors to numerous better professional opportunities. For instance, if you want to boost your salary potential during the last years of your career in human resources, earn your human resources degree. This degree will help you develop the necessary skills and expertise needed to land a better job.

Regardless of the program, compared to traditional degrees, an online course provides the benefits of a flexible schedule and affordable tuition fees. As a result, you can continue working while studying and get the best of both worlds. Additionally, you can start applying for new roles towards the end of the course and make a smooth transition post-graduation.

4. Launch a Business

As reported by SSA.GOV, the legal retirement age in the US is 67 years. But, you can continue working way past this age by choosing to start a business. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have full control over how much you work, your compensation, and the clients you work with. This is a great option for individuals who do not want age to restrict their career aspirations. While many may feel mid-life is too late for making the switch to entrepreneurship, in reality, the experience you’ve gathered through decades of work will serve as a great foundation to run a business. However, running a business will bring a few risks, such as:

  • Your income will be directly dependent on business performance. Hence, conduct thorough research regarding what products/services are in demand and the customer demographic you want to target.
  • As a business owner, you will be liable for business-related liabilities. But, you can significantly reduce your risk by establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC). There are various online formation services you can work with to form your LLC without any hassle.

Additionally, with advancements in technology, it has never been easier to run a home-based business. Whether it be marketing, accounting, project management, or other business operations, various free applications can be used. For projects where you require expertise, consider hiring freelancers from reputed websites such as Upwork and Fiverr who work on a per-project basis and charge affordable rates.

5. Reconnect with Old Friends

For adults who feel that they’re stuck in a rut, reconnecting with old friends can be a welcoming experience. For most of us, the time spent in school or college is what we cherish the most. But, as time passes, we lose touch with friends with whom we share numerous happy memories.

Using the power of the internet you can easily find what your old friends are up to and set up a time to meet. As long as you remember their full name, a simple google search will bring up their LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook profiles through which you can contact them. In case you only remember a part of their name, add their school/college name in front of it during the google search and you should find their profiles without any hassle.

➤ As reported by SocialSelf, being social provides various benefits to adults, such as:

The best way to overcome the challenges of midlife is to make healthy changes. Each change you make, whether it be following an exercise routine, pursuing an online degree, or starting a business, will have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. Additionally, remember that you are not alone in your struggles and can always reach out to family and friends who will provide you unconditional support in times of need.


If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to read more posts from this blogger, you can visit their website at https://businessisfun.net. In the event that you are going through a mid-life or quarter-life crisis, you can refer to this blog post for future reference. Finally, if you learned something new from this blog post, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ Interested in writing a guest post for www.sereneluna.net? If you would like to write a guest post, please email me your idea by filling out this form.

Thanks for stopping by!

Social Media Anxiety

First, let’s start with some housekeeping. I am re-sharing my Medium article on the blog (same article but listed under a different title). If you use the following link to read this article, I will earn a small commission. It might be only a few pennies but it’s better than earning nothing at all. This article is behind a paywall on Medium but I want to make it available for everyone to read.

♡ Medium Article: Is Social Media Making You Anxious?

Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

Social Media Anxiety

It is no surprise that technology has become predominant in everyone’s lives in the past 20-something years. People now have smartphones and smart TVs, and they don’t even bat an eyelash. Smartphones especially have been making life a whole lot easier by enabling people to stay in touch with friends, classmates, and family at any time of the day. It can be hard to not check your social media sites or text your friends constantly but we love being connected. With the click of a button, we can find pictures and videos of animals, recipes for some of our favorite foods, or any photo from friends’ latest vacation. We have everything at our fingertips and everything that we could want in the palm of our hands.

(っ◔V◔)っSerious Question: What is Social Media Anxiety?

Social media sites can make people feel anxious when they use them too much. It’s important to think about how checking the sites impacts you and try putting the phone down even if you don’t want to stop using the site for good. We can all relate to the feeling of being sucked into the vortex of social media. It’s hard not to get distracted by all the yummy recipe videos and adorable photos of our family pet, but it doesn’t come without a cost. Look at that mouth-watering slice of pie and think about how your homework isn’t going to do itself. One more scroll is time that could be spent doing something more productive.

♡ Related Article: It’s Time to Stop Procrastinating

Down the Social Media Rabbit Hole

Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/aya-mei/art/

If it’s not the perfectionist’s rabbit hole, then it’s the social media rabbit hole. You may find it hard to get out of the Facebook and Twitter loop when you spend too much time scrolling through social media. It’s important to take time for ourselves, but these days it seems like it’s almost impossible to do so. With the world at our fingertips and the internet constantly online, it can be difficult to unplug. You are always expecting someone to contact you even if you’re not that social yourself. When your phone is constantly in reach and within sight, it’s hard to avoid distractions from all of this constant connectivity.

Social media can have a negative effect on your life if you mostly use the platform for negative engagements such as arguments or venting frustrations. This manifests as social media anxiety where you worry about updating social media and partake in this compulsive behavior because you feel obligated to check in constantly. And it’s not just the social media platforms themselves that are the cause for concern; some experts say that engaging with these platforms too much can lead to a number of mental health problems, such as depression, depression, and FOMO. 

You might have social media anxiety if you answered “yes” to the following questions. Keep in mind that these behaviors could lead to symptoms of anxiety:

Questions
1. Have you ever compulsively checked your phone, laptop, or tablet?
2.
Do you spend hours scrolling through social media feeds?
3.
Do your friends and family think you spend too much time online?

What can you do about it?

There are a few ways to stay off your phone when you don’t want to. For instance, if you’re talking with someone in person, keep your phone in your pocket. Other tips include turning off all notifications and using an app like Freedom, which automatically blocks apps that cause addictive behaviors while blocking notifications. This is a way to control your social media scrolling by not splitting attention. Stop reminding yourself that there will be more to look at. If you’re unable to access your social media for a while, it will create anxiety in the short term and make you more productive. It’s worth standing up for your social media rights as they allow people to communicate, with friends or family. Pictures are a great way to show people where you’ve been or what’s happening in your life. You can send me photos of your pet any day!

(っ◔◡◔)っKey Takeaway: It’s important to remember that social media is supposed to be fun. If you find that it’s not fun anymore, then it might be time for a break.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

I am mindful of the impact social media can have on mental health, so I make a conscious effort to limit my usage. The upside is that by limiting my use, I am not exposing myself to social media as much. Less time on social media means less anxiety. These days, I am mainly active on Twitter and this blog. I’m not active on Instagram (@serene_hilz), but I do check it occasionally. As for Facebook, my account has been collecting virtual dust for some time.

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! ❤