πŸ“š Reading Roundup: March 2021

A groovy month of beautiful books, my StoryGraph, and how to get out of your literary echo chamber. In January’s Reading Roundup, I shared StoryGraph, an alternative to Goodreads that puts your reading into these colorful and interesting graphs and charts. Now that the first quarter has passed, I thought I’d share what mine looks…

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πŸ’» What’s your work style? βœ’️

I used to work for a management company as an administrative assistant. There were a bunch of us, underlings, who were assigned to different managers (who were in charge of fancy condos and gated communities). I started off as a temp downstairs, but as often was the case, after head honchos figured out I could…

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πŸ“š Reading Roundup: February 2021

Short month means short books! Ha! I read four books this month. Three were fairly short, under 300 pages while one was over. Two of the books I read with my teenage students, who are studying literature with me online, which means the other two were for my nighttime reading. First up was Out of…

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πŸ“š Reading Roundup: January 2021

Current status: reading obsessed! Since I enjoyed reading about other people’s reading lists from 2020, but reading challenges are a bit too much to commit to, I thought it would be fun to start a monthly reading roundup (let’s see how this goes). I’ve also signed up for The Story Graph which is a Goodreads…

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πŸ₯¦ What I eat as a vegan

[or how to eat more fruits and veggies!] It’s actually pretty easy and fun, but I enjoy cooking, being creative, and learning new recipes. Trust me though, you can be a lazy vegan — oh, and I hardly eat salads. For some out-of-character reason, I recorded what I ate for an entire month, early on…

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✨ New Year, New Beginnings

Anyone else being forced to adapt and change during these times? Days before we closed 2020 and pulled out 2021, our apt manager announced that the pool and gym were closed due to a new wave of COVID. We howled over the lack of logic. Never mind the chances of COVID surviving in a chlorinated…

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The Changing Seasons – Nov 2020

November was the month that technology and I battled it out. Not exactly to the death, but it came to blows. The fieriest dogfight was over my OS or operating system. When I bought my Aspire All-In-One, I thought this one looks good enough and it’s cheap. (It’s how I chose my men…) But as…

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The Changing Seasons – Oct 2020

One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries. ― A.A. Milne October was a month of discoveries. When we moved here about two years ago we were disappointed that transportation was challenging. In other words, there weren’t any Grab cars. But with the surge of food delivery options…

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✈️ What kind of traveler are you?

β€œThey’re saying you need your passport.” β€œDon’t you have a copy?” β€œYeah, but they need your visa page.” β€œWhy?” β€œSome stupid COVID thing.” I turned away from talking to the BF, back to the front desk clerk. β€œI promise you he hasn’t left the country in three years.” β€œSorry, it’s the policy of the government.”…

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πŸŽ₯ Film Fridays – Xanadu (1980)

The combination of my partner playing ELO in the gym and reading The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley made me think of one of my childhood favorites, Xanadu. Considered a truly awful movie by many, but a cult classic by Oliva Newton-John fans like me. While the soundtrack went double-platinum in the US, the…

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The Changing Seasons – Sept 2020

The challenge. I didn’t go anywhere. What do I take photographs of? I’ve exhausted my little neighborhood, haven’t I? My world has shrunk, and like many, I don’t really venture beyond a small area. Yes, yes, COVID and all that, but the problem still needs to be solved. Ah, ha! What’s on your desk? Here’s…

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What are your little joys?

I try. I really do. After all, there’s no shortage of horrible news that makes you want to suck your thumb, strap on an adult diaper, and lose yourself in a tub of tears and ice cream. Salty! Happy Panda did a ‘Happiness is…’ photo series which is such a good idea. Here’s one of…

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πŸ“š The gifts of a reading habit

Falling in love with reading has been one of my biggest influences. I can’t imagine my life without a good book or even a shampoo bottle for me to read. I was thirteen when I walked into Waldenbooks out of utter desperation to do something with my time after I had no friends, no outside…

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Changing Seasons – Aug 2020

Hello, again. I’m back! Sorry about missing June and July, needed a break, but I’m ending the month with a holiday so I’ve got time and sanity back (momentarily). Most of August was tough though. I was juggling two jobs, teaching online and in the classroom. We went back into the classroom at the end…

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Social media: self harm or much ado about nothing?

Every day, I usually do a quick scroll though Facebook because: it has become a second inbox, it’s how I remember birthdays, and it allows me to stay connected to my family, friends, and students from around the world. On this particular occasion, I was having a giggle over the above image. Was it 100%…

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What do you value?

Quicksand economies, medical crises, personal blows, you name it, there’s no shortage of external and internal factors that can cause us to reevaluate how we live our lives. A couple of years ago, I had a wake up call when I realized, like really realized, how much my mom and I are different, how our…

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πŸŽ₯ Film Fridays – Jaws

Until recently, I never saw Jaws. Now you might find that odd, or you could argue that since I was born and raised in Hawaii, this made perfect sense. We don’t fear the water over here; we respect it. I grew up listening to the surf report on the radio. Our islands have good warning…

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How to improve your mood (extra strength edition)

Prior to 2020, life was plenty challenging enough, but after? As soon as we entered this new and momentous decade, 2020 took the reins, told us to reach for the sky, and it doesn’t look like its going to stop terrorizing us anytime soon. After months of isolation and contemplation, as well as witnessing what’s…

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πŸŽ₯ Film Fridays – The Graduate

I am not a fan of movie trailers. I think this is because trailers often do a poor job of grabbing my interest and often spill the whole story including plot reveals. When I was listening to Tim Ferris’s podcast with BrenΓ© Brown, she confessed that she likes to binge watch movie trailers and never…

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What’s your relationship with clothes?

Clothes and I have never had any problems. Clothes have taught me a thing or two about penny-pinching, distorted body images, and beloved jackets. And just like how you change on the inside throughout the years, β€œmy style” has evolved too. [Thanks, Marta for the inspiration for this post.] Childhood Running around with the boys,…

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Changing Seasons – May 2020

Hello! I’m back for another monthly photo recap hosted by Su (find out the details if you’d like to join here). For my birthday month, I decided to do something a little different. Please share yours too! My biggest wins: // getting published for my funny essay “Jumpsuits, not just for air-raids anymore!” on Drunk…

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πŸŽ₯ Film Fridays – 1917

I have wanted to hang out with the cool kids, Darren and Sarah, doing their Film Fridays but it is a rare day when I watch a movie. Normally, I watch British panel shows or standup bits and specials. The last movie I watched before 1917 was months ago, and it was Grease because the…

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Fish out of water: expat bloggers interview series #6

Hello everyone! We’re back with another interview with expat bloggers from around the world. I know it’s been a while, but it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want. (* evil laugh *) I’m pleased to introduce Damianne who I met through WordPress’s April Discovery Prompts (met several great bloggers actually). But check…

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Discover Prompts, Day 30: Grateful

Despite participating in #365grateful for several years, I’d still wake up with an expletive as soon as my alarm went off on certain mornings. A gratitude (or even a mediation) practice is no magic pill, but many of us believe that it’s the Holy Grail to serenity, sanity, and everlasting self-discipline. Yet there are plenty…

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Discover Prompts, Day 27 + 28: Team & Focus

Like most kids in Hawaii during the β€˜80s, I enjoyed an abundance of free time and sunshine. My younger brother and I grew up in an enclosed neighborhood of tall rock walls and bougainvillea and hibiscus bushes. Even though I had a collection of Barbie dolls and her accessories, I ran with the boys. We…

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Discover Prompts, Day 26: Hidden

Are you good at spotting hidden objects? Just for fun have a look at what Nature magazine has done. One of the things I did when the news first came out of China (regarding the virus) was avidly read scientific articles, and since I found myself returning to Nature magazine’s website, I decided to subscribe…

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Discover Prompts, Day 24 + 25: Elixir & Magic

Beauty hacks come in all shapes and sizes, but budget beauty hacks that reuse materials you already have in the house are the best. I mean, don’t you just hate waste? For example, I’ve always felt a sense of loss after I’ve clipped my nails, especially my toenails because they’re so big! But did you…

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