Books, New Hobbies and OMG I Actually Cooked

Dear Blog,

I know you’re upset that I neglected you but I have a perfect explanation for it … I couldn’t write anymore. I felt like I needed a break before I traumatize you with low traffic and ratings during the infamous DA update, I took a break for a couple of months. Hopefully, I’ll keep the motive and energy to keep posting because I really missed blogging.

In my previous post, I talked about trying new things to break my comfort zone and that’s what I’ve been doing in the past couple of months. I’ve been reading (and listening) to a lot of books, currently sitting on 49 books out of the 100 I challenged myself to finish this year.

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I have to say that buying Kindle was a trigger in unleashing my hidden bookworm. I’ve been reading most of my limited free time as being a mom has a lot of time restrictions so I switch from reading and listening. I’m planning to post reviews on the blog, I started it in a couple of posts before. I’m also trying to be more critical when it comes to reviews, I honestly feel horrible when I think about giving a low rating to certain books because I feel that I am personally hurting the author’s feelings (I hope I’m not the only one thinking that way)

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I’ve been trying to get into new hobbies, to be more specific “Gardening”. My husband tends this small garden which has various types of trees, flowers and of course his beloved Jasmines.

If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. ~ Robert Brault

I’ve been into succulents and cactus for the longest time, and I thought it’s time for me to channel this fixation in getting a cactus. It’s the cutest Bunny Ears cactus I’ve ever seen (You’re not allowed to tell me otherwise) of course I’m planning in growing more succulents and cactuses, probably create one of those small stairs that has pots on them that I keep seeing on Pinterest which I’m sure will never look as aesthetic as the pictures. At least I’ll try and my effort will be valued by my currently non-existent potted plants.

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Last month was Ramadhan and let me tell you the greatest achievement of my life, in my twenty-something years on this earth I’ve finally cooked something and fortunately didn’t burn the house down. I would consider myself privileged as I’ve been used to having maids around me that serve, cook, clean and do the laundry for me. When I got married, I wanted to do those chores on my own and it felt refreshing to be able to do all this except for cooking. I was intimidated by the idea that one day I’ll have to cook for my family when I’m clearly bad and inexperienced so this ramadhan I decided to try using the app Tasty, which was a blessing for me and it helped me a lot.

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Now that we are up-to-date, I’m happy to be back blogging ❤

 

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Comfort Is The Enemy of Progress

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It gets easier

or so I tell myself everyday …

Remember how hectic your life was when you had one child? I’ve always wondered how can moms manage themselves with multiple kids, I’m not sure how I have adapted to this life but my time management skills have greatly increased. While I was on my maternity leave, I still wanted to be productive in some way to my own benefit.

I’ve set a new motto for myself for the year 2019 which is “Comfort is the enemy of progress” I want to better myself instead of staying in my comfort zone, I’ve been in a positive mental state lately and it’s probably one of the reasons that made me think about improving myself. I’ve followed the technique of creating a habit for myself by utilizing my phone notifications on certain times to remind me to do that habit I’m planning to catch on if that makes sense, according to most of the self-help books and articles I read, you need about 21 days to form a habit. Did it work? Yes absolutely.

I can happily say that I started reading every day and from that, I thought of challenging myself to finish 20 books this year, hopefully, more if I could. Along with reading, I started to learn Japanese. It doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know me, I’ve been into the Japanese culture as long as I can remember and I don’t mean just from Anime. It’s always been a goal for me and I think it’s time that I get serious about it so I could at least say that I know how to read, write and speak three different languages.

I’ve been in a negative state of mind after my first pregnancy which I spoke about quite frequently in my older posts so learning from my mistakes before, I’m trying to get myself out of the “Isolated Parent” label. I started taking care of myself more without completely drowning myself in guilt that I’m leaving my children, for example, it’s ok to have my own time in the salon. It’s ok leaving my children with my in-laws even if I don’t always agree with them, it’s ok going out with my friends without overthinking about how my children are going to be without me during those couple of hours I’m away.

In terms of my anti-social side, I’ve been trying to get out of my shell. I became friends with a fellow blogger whom I enjoy reading her content Karalee, she’s the sweetest and I enjoy seeing the pictures she sends me of her daughter’s everyday life. It’s kind of refreshing to see how a person on the other side of the world would live their day-to-day life and how different it is from my everyday life. Speaking of the blogging community, I’m very happy to announce that one of my posts got approved to be in Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums the third issue which I’m very excited about. It feels like a huge step for me to branch out my blogging activities somewhere and I hope it opens new opportunities for my blog to thrive.

 

Wireless Car Charger Mount (DesertWest) Review

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If we are being honest, being a parent makes your multi-tasking skill level up instantly. You could be doing simultaneous things at the same time while keeping your attention on the children, I could honestly say that I learned I could be using one hand for various things while holding the baby with the second hand. It gets hectic though while you are driving and having two children, and I tend to avoid using my phone but sometimes I have to use the Map or GPS apps to know where I’m going and it’s pretty dangerous to hold your phone while driving in general. I was considering getting a phone mount that could hold my phone while driving instead of getting it from my side and keeping my eyes off the road.

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The mount itself is pretty sturdy and held my phone firmly, it didn’t budge till I pressed a button from the back to release the side. The mount can be rotated and moved from side to side using a ball jointed part which I appreciate because I can switch from horizontal to vertical view.

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The mount held on the air vents and it has two gears as shown in the picture to choose from (I. 2mm and II. 1mm) So you could choose how tight it’ll hold the air vents.

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My phone doesn’t support wireless charging so I had to use my sister’s iPhone X to test it out, be sure to check if your phone supports wireless charging before ordering the product. The mount has an opening to plug the USB wire, can be used if your car has a USB opening or you can plug it to a power bank. Charging-wise, I could consider it fast enough definitely not slow. My only problem with this product is the wires, I think it looks messy but it might be just me not knowing how to manage it.

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Considering my phone doesn’t support wireless charging, I think the mount alone is useful for me. I think it’s a great charger and very useful, sadly I wouldn’t use the “charger” side of it.

Surviving an Unpaid Maternity Leave

Stress is everywhere in today’s hectic society. From finding and keeping a job to paying bills on time to providing for a family, there are a million reasons to be stressed about money. And now, studies are showing increasing evidence that mental and physical health are linked — meaning our worries are wearing down our bodies.

The good news is that once people pay down debt and become more financially stable, they report feeling generally happier and healthier. Symptoms like muscle tension and digestive problems seem to lessen when people don’t have to worry about money. So start paying down debt and saving as much as you can — your mind and body will thank you. Not sure where to start? This infographic from Self Lender gives some ideas in the form of self care tips to help combat money stress.

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My motherhood duties required me to take two months of unpaid leave, and of course that dragged the inconvenience of staying without an income for awhile. I’ll be starting work in a week and I have mixed feelings about it, I’m glad because I love working and staying busy yet I’m anxious about leaving my daughter. I’ve actually considered quitting my job and being a stay-at-home-mom but part of me doesn’t want to accept that. Being on an unpaid leave came with stress which I mentioned earlier, here are some of the ways that helped me survive those months:

  • Saving Money

I mean it’s an obvious thing to say. I managed to save enough money to pay for my car installments for those two months.

  • Consider using paid off days

During my pregnancy days, I’ve been saving up my off days so I can make my maternity leave longer and get paid each month.

  • Ask Family Members for Help

I’ve depended on my husband for probably most of the things I needed, obviously financially. Don’t be afraid to ask family members for help whether you needed someone to help you babysit or lightly used baby supplies.

  • Take a Temporary Part-time Job

I like making friendship bracelets, they keep me busy. I decided to sell them on Instagram and it’s been helping me through the weeks thankfully.


What are your strategies in surviving unpaid leaves ? I would love to know what do you think.

 

 

Goodbye 2018

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I’ll pretend I didn’t disappear for a whole month … Seriously though, I felt that I needed a break from blogging while I start adapting to my new life as a mom of two. I promise you it gets easier, just needs a little bit of time and I’m planning to post about it in the upcoming weeks.

Like last year, I wanted to sum up 2018 in one post. This year, I began writing about parenting and videogames more than beauty related posts which I’m planning to get back to in 2019. I normally don’t focus on views and traffic but beauty posts did attract more views. Along with few guests posts that got published, I had my first sponsored post which was very exciting to me. It opened up new opportunities for me as a blogger and it motivated to work on my blog in more of a professional level.

I tried new subscription boxes:

Speaking of YumeTwins, I won’t be posting December box but I’ll post January box when I receive it and get back to blogging again.

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on December 9, I celebrated my 29th birthday marking 2019 to be the last year of my twenties. Not going to lie but thinking that I’ll enter 30 soon is intimidating and makes me feel old, but not in a bad way.

What are my plans for this blog in 2019 ?

Well I’m planning on going self-hosted and taking blogging more seriously. I’m also thinking to rebrand my blog theme-wise with a new header and icon designed by my favorite artists to fit this new persona.

I also want to thank my readers and followers for making my blog have a purpose and existence, thank you so much for the support and here’s to a new year of hopefully success and new lessons.

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Am I a Blogger ?

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I’ve been blogging for two years now, I don’t know when I started calling myself a “Blogger” but really who is a blogger ?

a person who regularly writes material for a blog

While some people wouldn’t consider it a real job, it actually generates an income. Because of the last part of the previous sentence, some people think it’s easy to sit home and post on their blog while money will begin to pour to their account. Obviously it’s not that easy but it’s doable, along with paid opportunities as well.

I started this blog as means of an outlet for my postpartum depression and I ventured from there to post about variety of topics, honestly I didn’t think of myself as a blogger. According to most articles you’ll read, they’ll focus on something called SEO and it’s like rocket science to me. I tried understanding it but I think I’m just slow. Because of that, I didn’t see myself as your typical blogger. I still used my blog as a personal space for me and I guess in the blogging community that would be called “niche” or more of my brand.

Being a blogger has been my self-improvement method, it requires me to be a photographer, a critic, a story-teller. Creating content is never an easy task, we bloggers constantly wondering if what we publish would be good enough or enjoyable for the readers. Sometimes numbers of traffic and views would make some obsessed or stressed and it’s definitely not healthy. I’ve fallen to this trap before and I’ve been trying ever since not to compare my blog stats with others, I write whatever I want without sticking to a niche for example calling myself a Mom Blogger who’s supposed to post about parenting and motherhood only.

My point of this post is, it’s okay if you want to blog without categorizing yourself to a label. It’s okay to try to take on blogging opportunities even if you think your blog doesn’t have that many followers or you’re not good enough. As long as you call yourself a “Blogger” you are considered to be a creative person since you create content.

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5 Things To Do While Breastfeeding

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It’s 3 a.m. and I’m sitting as straight as possible so I wouldn’t have any backache after I’m done feeding my child, I’ll still doze off few times. I try to reach my phone sometimes just to keep my eyes open while she’s done but that doesn’t always work, I always find myself dozing off all the sudden. Since feeding time is getting longer, I thought of ways I can keep myself occupied while breastfeeding and maybe keep me awake at night.

  • Watching YouTube and Netflix

Probably the easiest thing to do, open the apps from your phone and just watch a random video on YouTube or catch up with your favorite TV show on Netflix. I started watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina recently and I’ve been enjoying it during feeding time, since the episodes are an hour long, I continue watching the episode throughout the day.

  • Reading a Book

I thought of setting for myself a goal to read at least 15 minutes every day because I stopped reading ever since I cancelled my subscription to OwlCrate, so I downloaded the Amazon Kindle app on my phone and got few free books since I have prime. I’m currently reading Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates and I’ve been enjoying it so far, I highly recommend it if you’re into horror novels.

  • Talking to Friends

In my first pregnancy,  I went through postpartum depression and I’ve gave myself the label “Isolated Parent” because I’ve kept myself isolated under heaps and heaps of house chores, neglecting myself and my well-being. This time I’m keeping my social life, chatting with friends online or giving them a call. It helps releasing some stress, also venting and complaining with other moms.

  • Gaming

This one is tricky as I found gaming using a laptop would be hard when you play a game using keyboard and mouse because one hand would be free for gaming but the other one would be supporting the baby, so I’m suggesting a controller for this and using a nursing pillow to help support the baby and also help you keep your back straight.

  • Feed Yourself

Being a mom can be hectic, taking care of babies, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry, and like me you might forget to eat. While feeding the baby, how about feeding yourself as well and of course drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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