It’s been a busy Saturday. Aside from the usual gym to the gym, my daughter’s dance class, budgeting, and cleaning up the house, I met up with some friends planning our upcoming trip in October. Initially, we were planning on going somewhere in Europe but we’ve been hearing about a lot of flight nightmares around cancellation and delays. Plus we decided to keep our trip down to a week since one of our friends has been very busy with work. Our trip choices are narrowed down to anywhere in North America which also includes the Caribbean — how broad. This week each of us will be creating itineraries and we’ll vote on the best itinerary (of course factoring in our budget and what kind of weather we’d be willing to tolerate). It’s been such a long since I’ve done any trip planning, so I find this assignment quite exciting!

Continue reading Sublimation

Going on “Easy Mode”

I feel lately it’s been very hard to be invigorated. So many things have been weighing me down. I had a headache in the last few days that did not seem to go away completely even with (more) water, ibuprofen, dayquil, and sleep. The worst of the headache happened on Monday night into Tuesday morning. My headache was so bad that it felt painful to get up from laying down or sitting. I had to shut my eyes really tight thinking it would go away. I even thought I saw stars. On Tuesday morning I went to Urgent Care to go see a doctor about my headache.

Continue reading Going on “Easy Mode”

Have you heard of…

COVID pneumonia?

Have a seat. I won’t be serving coffee today. It’s too hot. Let’s have a milk and cookies kind of day because I picked up some fancy cookies because everyone I know has been raving about these cookies. Since these are BIG cookies, we’re going to be dividing it into smaller pieces like a cake. They’re all very heavy and rich.

Continue reading Have you heard of…

You’re not made of Teflon

A month ago, my husband assigned a task to his brothers to come up with a budget based on the income they have if they were to live on their own. If they failed to deliver on this assignment, they would get the boot. It was the simplest assignment ever. It was an assignment I did in high school economics. My husband’s thought process was if they make a budget, they could see how much it would cost to live somewhere and from there it could push them to get better jobs to get them to move out.

Continue reading You’re not made of Teflon

My first month of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. I would not call it a diet because it does not say what you should and should not eat, it is more like when you should eat. No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee (without cream and sugar), and tea (without tea and sugar), and other non-caloric beverages. There are different types of fasts, one being 16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours of eating (16:8), 18 hours of fasting followed by 6 hours of eating, and 20 hours of fasting followed 4 hours of eating. Then I have seen fasts run for as long as 36 hours — something I have not tried at all.

I’ve done IF since Thanksgiving, but it was something I did occasionally especially on the weeks where I knew I’d be eating a lot of food later in the day due to a bunch of holiday festivities. Since January 1st I decided to take a more serious look into IF to see if it was something I could do everyday. So here is my take:

16:8 fast – This is how I fast almost everyday. I don’t eat after 8:30 PM and my next meal is 12:30 PM for lunch. It is very doable.

18:6 fast – This one is a little bit of a stretch because it ends at weird time for me. About a couple of hours later, I leave work. I guess I could snack at my desk with my fasting period is over. I am not sure if this is something I could do everyday.

20:4 fast – Though this fasting window is even longer, I would more likely do a 20:4 fast than an 18:6 because by that time, I leave my office and have dinner. Doing one day of a 20:4 fast is doable, but two days in a row is much tougher. Maybe this would happen about no more than two times per week, but not consecutively.

Any changes since I started IF?

I feel more focused.

There seems to be less brain fog. Maybe instead of having food on the mind, worrying about preparing my next meal, I focus on what task I need to do.

Mornings feel less rushed

I don’t have to make breakfast, so it is one less thing to worry about in the morning. I can just make coffee, feed the dogs, and get ready to go to the gym.

Save money

I would like to think IF can help save me money. Before on most days I would buy a pastry and a coffee in the morning followed by buying lunch at the work cafeteria. Since IF, I know I can wait until I finish my fast. I would like to think it had helped me with curbing my impulse buys.

I had a surprisingly easy transition.

I guess I had a fairly easier time starting it because I don’t drink soda and I don’t add creamer and sugar to my coffee. 

Instead of lunch… I am more productive!

Instead of lunch, I plan, write, read, and learn.

Have you done intermittent fasting, and did it work (or not work) for you? Comment below!

20 for (20)20

I was listening to my favorite podcast, “Happier.” by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft going over their 19 for (20)19. I usually love making lists of things to do, but for the last few years my head was in a fog, and I never got around to writing them. I am sure my list that exists in my head is infinite, but yet I want to get around doing it now. Listening to this episode reinvigorated me to write my 20 in (20)20 list to make my new year fun.

Since I did not create a 19 for 20(19) list, I think I’ll create a reverse 19 for 20(19)  to reflect on the 19 things I did.

Anyways, here is my 20 in 20(20) list.

  1. Visit 20 different museums, landmarks, or national parks. 
  2. Try 20 different restaurants. This includes dessert places, food stands, and food trucks. Since I am going to be out of the country in February, for the sake of fairness, I’ll keep it local — within Los Angeles County.
  3. Try 30 new recipes. Since I finished school, I’ve got more time to be creative.
  4. Do a 1-second video every day and stitch it into a short video. I heard about the 1 Second Everyday App on the podcast. It reminds me of the one photo a day challenge. We will see how I keep up
  5. Read and complete 20 different books. I’ve got plenty of books I’ve started and have not yet completed.
  6. Take 750 classes Pure Barre classes. Stretch goal: Reach to 1000 classes. When we had to stay elsewhere during the home remodel, my barre attendance plummeted. Now since we moved back, I am slowly building back to a regular schedule.
  7. Add a chalkboard to the pantry door. I am not sure if we should paint the door with chalkboard paint and put a frame on it ala “Friends” or make an actual chalkboard.
  8. Create an artistic display of our postcards. We get postcards from friends, family, and Postcrossing. I collect postcards too. They are stored in a box, and they deserve to be out.
  9. Get up to 6 months of living expenses in our emergency fund. Self-explanatory. A lot of our savings went to our home remodel. It is better to have a definitive emergency fund goal, rather than just save for the sake of savings. There were times where I felt tethered. We exceeded our savings goal, and we never bit the bullet for almost anything. People have a funny interaction with money. Which leads me to my next point, we need to have a definition of what constitutes an “emergency.”
  10. To not buy any clothes and accessories for the year. The only clothing items I would buy are underwear, socks, shoes, and workout clothes. I have a small shoe collection which consists of walking shoes, one pair of fashion boots, two professional shoes which I keep in the office, one pair of sandals, and two pairs of hiking boots. I walk on average 10,000-12,000 steps a day. I have a fair wardrobe of workout wear, and I wear them until they’re worn out.
  11. Complete a perfect push-up.
  12. Plant a tree for the front yard. Don’t forget, keep it alive too.
  13. Clean and dress up the parking strip.
  14. Plant three herbs for the entryway.
  15. Make a wreath for the front door.
  16. Do a power hour once per week. I am obsessed with the idea of power hour. It’s an hour where I tackle all the non-routine things I’ve been meaning to do such as organizing the cabinets, doing our finances, cleaning the inside of the refrigerator, etc. I had a hard time doing a power hour in my previous job because I was working all the time. On my days off, my power hour was more like a power nap.
  17. Bite the bullet and buy a domain for my blog.
  18. Get a new FitBit — My Charge 2 is at the end of its life. The heart rate monitor feature no longer works. I can’t believe I’ve had it for four years!
  19. Host three get-togethers with friends. Maybe we will even get to host Friendsgiving this year.
  20. Send postcards to friends when I travel. Bonus: Send holiday greeting cards in December.

What is your 20 in (20)20?