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.
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.
っ(◔_◔)っQuestion: Is January a depressing month for you?
It is the beginning of a New Year and I am already off to a rocky start. I have been depressed since New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t planning to stay up past midnight but my husband and daughter insisted that I watch the fireworks with them… on TV. We had planned to watch the fireworks IRL but plans were canceled due to extreme weather conditions, which is not surprising to anyone who lives in western Canada. Okay, maybe I am being a bit melodramatic, but to give you an idea of how cold Canada is, I wanted to share a photo with you that my husband took on his phone. Just looking at this photo makes me feel cold! #brrr
I am Feeling Blue (SAD)
The New Year is meant to be a hopeful time for us all. Many of us have ambitious goals and feel motivated to crush our goals or face our inner demons. How many of you are familiar with the saying, This will be my year? or New Year, New Me? As tempting as it is to push the reset button on January 1, reality does not have a reset button. January 1, 2022, is no different than December 31, 2021, unless you decide to make a change and take actionto make it different. Usually, I am motivated enough to make a list of resolutions for the new year, but this year, I am struggling with my mental health which includes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It could also be due to the fact that the holidays are over and there isn’t Christmas to occupy my mind anymore. It could also be due to the fact that I have to go out in the real world again and I have the harsh realization that I am still dealing with social anxiety. To be honest, I haven’t done much to overcome that during the Christmas holiday. 🎄🎁
❄ The Long, Long Winter ❄
I want to hide under the blankets and hibernate until spring 2022. Nothing about winter feels rejuvenating to me. I cannot wait for spring because spring brings me hope. I need longer days, warmer weather, and sunshine in order to thrive 🌞🌻 In the meantime, I know that routines are essential when it comes to surviving the long, long winter. Last year, I distracted myself by doing a No Spend Challengein January 2021. However, this year, I don’t even have the motivation or mental energy to participate in this challenge. When I tried the No Spend Challenge last year, I enjoyed it very much so I still recommend checking out this challenge if you want to save some money and/or get out of debt. I am 30 years old and live well below my means. Both my husband and I are frugal people and we are actively saving for a brighter future. I might write more about frugality and money-saving tips in future blog posts 🤔
Insomnia Strikes Again
Confession time: I am not good with diary-style blog posts because it takes me several hours to edit them, and even longer if I am struggling to find the energy or motivation to write. I am editing this blog post on January 5, 2022, but I wrote the rough draft on January 3, 2022. To give you some context, I was supposed to work on Sunday, January 2, 2022 (day shift) but I did not sleep at all the night before. I had horrible insomnia because my 5-year old daughter kept me up until 0300 slamming doors and being obnoxious. I am a very light sleeper who needs earplugs and sleeping masks; even that doesn’t seem to help much. On day shifts, I have to wake up at 0430, so I was both physically and mentally exhausted. That morning, I had a pounding insomniac headache which forced me to call in “sick” at 0415. I feel bad for being that person who canceled last minute.
Below is a screenshot from my Instagram account. Feel free to follow me on IG even though I stopped uploading on IG a long time ago. I let go of IG because it wasn’t good for my mental health. You can only filter so much content, and even then, the algorithm is not perfect. There always seemed to be something triggering on IG no matter what I did which is why I took an extra-long, extended hiatus. Looking back, using #victim as a hashtag was a bit melodoramatic. Anywho…. as you can see, insomnia is still an ongoing problem in my life which could also be contributing to my $hit mood. 😴 I have tried everything to help me sleep and I even wrote a blog post about improving sleep hygiene a couple years ago. Insomnia is an ongoing problem for many of us who live in cold climates.
Not only am I disappointed when other people let me down, but I feel really bad when I let others down. I admit that I feel guilty for canceling my shift when I know that they are counting on me to show up and be present at work. I also noticed that this is not the first time that I had to cancel a day shift due to insomnia. What is it about early mornings that I despise so much? I call these “sick” days my mental health days or self-care days. I have to remember to be kind to myself, especially on days when I am struggling with anxiety and depression. Also, I have to remember to practice self-compassion which has started to gain more popularity over the years, especially in the mental health community. If you haven’t heard of the self-compassion movement, I recommend checking out this Ted Talk by Kristin Neff on Youtube.
I had planned to stay in bed all day but then I remembered that I had to go to work the following day (another day shift). Then I remembered that the world goes on without me whether I like it or not, and that the Earth will keep spinning regardless of how I feel. Sometimes, taking a day off after a horrible night of insomnia is absolutely necessary, but I cannot hide under the blankets forever. I know that I will have to get out of bed today and that it is only a matter of time before I have to go back to work. Tomorrow will come and I will have to face the real world once more. I might not see the light right now, but I know that there will be happier, sunnier days ahead.
Do you believe that changing seasons affect your mood? If you live in the northern hemisphere with a cold climate, how do you get enough sunlight? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I look forward to reading your comments. I hope that you are all staying safe and healthy during the winter season. 😷
✧･ﾟ: * We wish you a [belated] Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🎄🎁 *:･ﾟ✧
Here in Calgary, it is snappy cold. It is so cold that I seldom leave the house unless I absolutely have to freeze my face off. Yesterday, I needed to run some errands and happened to stumble upon a pharmacy that had Pfizer vaccines. The timing was right, so I ended up getting my 3rd Covid-19 booster shot. So far so good – I have a sore arm, but otherwise I feel fine. These days, I am still trying to avoid the general public as much as possible without resorting to a complete hermit lifestyle. The temperature here is disgusting, and there is nothing glamorous about staying frosty. Last night, it was -30°C (celsius) which is stupidly #cold.
Tis’ Flu Season Too
Not only is it unbearably cold AF, but it is also cold season (pun intended) ❄ I know that everyone is sick and tired of the pandemic so I don’t want to harp about the importance of getting vaccinated. I did what was best for me and you need to do what is best for you. I know that my immune system is not very good and I even wrote about my crappy immune system in an older blog post. I try my best to stay healthy, but sometimes sickness cannot be prevented regardless of how cautious and healthy you are. Sure, you can sanitize your hands and wear a mask all you want, but at the end of the day, there’s still a chance that you will get sick.
っ(◔_◔)っThink about it this way: It’s not a matter of if you catch it. It’s a matter of when you catch it. 😷
Thank goodness that I am not sick right now *knock on wood* but when I am sick, I usually get a sore throat. If I don’t get a sore throat, it’s usually a bad head cold. Head colds and sore throats are icky, and I really don’t care for the store-bought throat lozenges. The most effective throat lozenges usually contain eucalyptus which is so overpowering and makes me wanna gag. Eukalyptus is definitely an acquired taste. Sure, an alternative is store-bought vitamin C drops which are pretty palatable but they can be quite pricy for what they are, and I much rather get my mega doses of Vitamin C from fresh citrus fruits! 🍋🍋
I hope that my dear readers aren’t sick right now and that everyone stays healthy this holiday season. Whether or not you have a sore throat right now, I have a special honey lemon candy recipe to share with you today. This recipe tastes like store-bought candy but it is healthier and cheaper than what you would typically find in the supermarket. To be honest, I did not change the original recipe all that much; I used slightly less sugar in mine. Here is the link to the original candy recipe: https://www.manusmenu.com/honey-hard-candy
Even though the author says that you need a candy thermometer, I haven’t been able to find one. I made this recipe a handful of times without a candy thermometer and it worked fine. You really need to keep a close eye on the candy or you might end up with burnt sugar instead. An alternative to a candy thermometer is to take a cold bowl of water, and using a spoon, scoop some of the mixture out of the pot and transfer it to the bowl of water. If the candy sticks to the spoon and hardens right away, then that’s the texture you want. Also, this recipe calls for 6 tbsp. of sugar but I prefer to use 4 tbsp. of sugar for a tarter lemony flavor 🍋 It really depends on your personal preference! 😅
Not convinced yet?
Here are some photos of my cute heart-shaped candy creations. I hope that you enjoy making this DIY honey lemon candy recipe as much as I did. If you enjoyed this recipe and would like me to share more candy recipes in the future, please let me know in the comments below ↓ Have a safe and healthy New Year everyone! 🎉😷
August was another busy month for me – surprise! surprise!🤷♀️ I have not been journaling or habit tracking, which I think contributed towards my $hit mood. Normally, I wouldn’t even bother writing a blog post but I promised myself that I would post at least 1-2 blog posts per month and my calendar indicates that I haven’t posted anything for the month of August. I don’t know if you checked your calendar lately, but it is almost the end of August. The older I get, the faster time seems to disappear. As some of you may know, I turned the big 30 on August 4, 2021 and I am not gonna lie – I am not thrilled about being on the other side of 13 going on 30.
I spent my 30th birthday at my parents’ house and brought the husband, Rebecca, and Baby Aaron with me. My mom surprised me with a beautiful cake from a charming bakery called Bellissima. It turns out that you can have your cake and eat it too. We had the lemon buttercream cake which exceeded everyone’s expectations. This cake is hands-down, the best buttercream cake that I have ever tasted, and the macarons were heavenly! I highly recommend checking out this bakery the next time you are in Waterloo, ON! 🙂
Most people would be eager to brag write about what they did on their birthday and one would think that I am excited to share with you all of the deets. What I am giving you here is a brief synopsis of a couple of highlights, at most. Admittedly, I feel somewhat anhedonic towards a lot of things, and I am not sure what is causing me to feel this way. Currently, my life feels like one big blur, where the days bleed into one another and the nights are far from peaceful. My mind is its own worst enemy so the last thing I want is to be alone with my thoughts. It’s counter-intuitive really, because the best way to handle depression and/or anhedonia is to spend time along with your thoughts, basking in your stillness, and simply “being.”
A Trip Down Memory Lane
When I spent the weekend at my parents’ house, I was able to address an aching pain that’s been burning in my heart for the past decade 💔 Sadly, I learned that I still had no desire to try and patch broken friendships from my teenage years. A part of me was scared and anxious, but truth be told, I would have probably made an effort to reach out to them if I still cared. The idea of “let’s do coffee” seemed too awkward, and deep down, I knew that I wasn’t ready to take a trip down memory lane. I thought I was ready, but instead I chose to take the road of least resistance and binge-watched Season 3 of Desperate Housewives. 🤫
Now that I are back from our mini-vacation, most of my time is spent working, sleeping, doing chores, and taking care of the kiddos. Perhaps I am stuck in a rut or maybe this is the beginning of a #Milleniallifecrisis. In fact, over these past few years, I have slowed my life down by 50% and cut out 50% of the things that I used to do. Most of the time, we are too busy chasing our tails trying to find the next shiny thing rather than slowing the f*** down. So tell me, when was the last time you stopped and smelled the roses? 🌹🥀
▶ Want to know what makes me happy? Sunflowers 🌻🌻
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS
Flowers really do cheer me up, especially when I’m feeling like $hit. I’m curious to know if flowers cheer you up as well. If you like flowers too, what is your favorite flower? Please leave a comment by joining the conversation below 🠓 I am working this weekend and will try my best to respond to your comments. And if it takes me a while to reply to you, please be patient with me!
“I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment. And that is all I can expect of anyone, including me.”
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