Staying Sane

Q&A Friday πŸ˜€

 

It’s been a while since I’ve had some sort of Q&A fun on this blog and I miss it. I always have fun answering those simple, get-to-know-yourself questions or self-reflection prompts and I bet many of you do too.

Hmmm, might even make it a regular Friday feature. (Or every other Friday? πŸ€”) Well at the very least this I know for sure, there are 8 Fridays remaining of 2018 (including today) and we can do 8 questions, right? Let’s do that!

So lemme start with this week’s prompt — join me in the comments section, ok? πŸ˜€

Have you done anything [a bit] out of character lately? What was it and why.

My answer to this is a “yes”. And it was sharing my goals for next year with my friends. Why? Because I realized I needed “cheerleaders”.

~ oOo ~

I recently opened an Instagram account because I’m intending to sell my crochet/knitting next year. There are already a few posts of my creations on there and, of course, none of me [because it’s pure business]. I wasn’t planning on telling my friends about it because I’m afraid of what they might think (silly, right? 🀭). But when we had a group chat earlier this week I went ahead and announced it, even asked them to like every post and follow me 😁

Originally I thought I could just tell casual acquaintances about my IG and let it grow organically, and then (maybe) tell my friends about it much later. I’ve always been like this. I don’t mean to be secretive, just that I don’t want attention at the start of something, when everything is “iffy”.

But lately I had a thought where I realized perhaps thinking this way is unfair. Perhaps in doing so I was instead cheating myself out of “cheerleaders”. And perhaps what I needed to think was that if any of them should think negatively, for me to not let it deter me.

I then thought back to times in my life when I had done something without talking to friends about it, and I realized a few wrong moves could have been avoided had I just done so.

To be totally honest with you, there was a full minute-and-a-half of internal struggle going on in my head before I finally told my friends about my IG. And right after that I went “whatdidIdowhatdidIdowhatdidIdooooo???“.Β  But now, I’m relaxed and feeling emboldened. Like, okay, now to give them a grrrrreat show! 😎

~ oOo ~

And that’s me. How about you? Fire up my comments section right away! πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ I’ll be waiting πŸ™‚

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Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

Lessons from 2017

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A friend from home recently told me she was feeling depressed. She was doing an end-of-year review and was feeling morose about the year that wasΒ πŸ˜• Which got me thinking about my own experience of 2017 ~~ hmmm, certainly not bad and definitely with a big bang 😁❀️

The good thing about having a blog is that it makes a year-end review quite easy. Even if you didn’t blog everything, the posts will be enough to jog your memory. So here are my take-aways from 2017 (in no particular order):

1.Β  Man plans, God laughs.

2.Β  Create happiness within your own 4 walls.

This applies to everyone but is especially true for expat SAHMs.

3.Β  Happy people are good people. Good people are not always happy.

4.Β  Community (really) matters.

And I’m talking about the village of support you create for yourself in the shape of friends, neighbors, your go-to hairstylist, even your favorite book store. Let’s just say this is one thing I didn’t know I missed until it was gone. Unfortunately, I still have to find a way to fix this (if there is one!).

5.Β  Never under-estimate the power of retail therapy on not-so-busy weeknights (or wherever the malls are open till 9 or 10 PM).

Much lesser people makes the whole process unhurried and, actually pleasant.

6.Β  Schedule a real change of scenery from time to time. (As in, anywhere but on this island)

Short reason: so that problems don’t seem larger than they are.

Long reason: otherwise idyllic, the sleepy atmosphere of this place (that permeates everything) can drive me nuts at times 😏

7. Dress and make yourself up for the day, even when you’re just staying home.

This includes taking a shower before 10AM otherwise, good luck with the humidity! πŸ˜„

8. Let the breadwinner earn bread the way he wants.

Everyone is just happier that way.

9. Have fun marking the passage of time.

Set goals, take on projects, schedule stuff in your calendar to look forward to, and then blog about it.

99.9% effective against the doldrums 😁

10. Break it down into bite-sized chunks.

Absolutely golden advice.

11.Β  Never run out of Re-Mag & Re-Myte supplements.

I didn’t blog about this but this has to have a spot on this list because the difference it makes is just too obvious to ignore. I have more energy, I sleep better, I am in a pleasant mood, I have better cognitive function, I even have more breast milk. When I was pregnant, I would experience those pregnancy-related swollen feet & ankles whenever I did not take these supplements.

12. Everything looks better arranged on a tray.Β 

(I absolutely love this one!)Β  I mean, seriously! Just give it a try! πŸ‘πŸ‘

πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

What about you? What are some of the lessons you learned in 2017? Let me know in the comments section, bet I can learn from you too πŸ˜ƒ ❀️

Books

November Read: One Small Step Can Change Your Life

KaizenOne of the perks of being a Kindle owner is being able to download free ebooks. (I think this is where Amazon puts new and aspiring authors to test the waters, you know, before they charge for their book … But I’m just taking a wild guess here 😁).Β 

Anyhow, I’ve downloaded quite a few free ebooks in the past and find that most of them should [perhaps] just remain free. I don’t say this to be mean, I know writing takes a lot of work but, there’s something to be said for quality and talent (or real good editors & proofreaders). I just think that quality and talent deserve distinction, price be one of them.

I digress because I can’t imagine this book, authored by Clinical Psychologist Robert Maurer, would stay free for very long*. It is well-written and well-organized. I wasn’t distracted by errors in grammar and composition (which I sadly often find even in books that aren’t free), and the thought process represented by the chapters flows logically and smoothly.

But good grammar and composition is definitely not all this book has to offer. The content itself, while not something novel or ground-breaking, is gold.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Tao Te Ching

Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, is very familiar in the field of work.Β  Kaizen advocates using very small steps to improve a habit, a process or product using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions. Because it is so identified with efficiency at work, it just totally escaped me that Kaizen could also be applied to your personal and daily life.Β  (Yes, I’m looking at you flabby, post-baby body! 😠).

“Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.” ~ Tao Te Ching

Chances are, there’s something in your life that you want to change or improve but have been dithering on.Β  According to the author:Β  “All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear.Β  But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.”

The key idea here is how fear (of change/improvement) can be conquered by something small. The book helps the reader explore how small can be very potent through chapters on asking small questions, thinking small thoughts, taking small actions, solving small problems, bestowing small rewards, and identifying small moments.

Even problems such as pessimism can be subdued by the question: What is one thing about me (or my spouse, or my place of work) that is special?

The book ends with the chapter “Kaizen for Life”Β  and encourages the reader to hold on to the essence of Kaizen, which is an optimistic belief in our potential for continuous improvement.

Like earlier mentioned this book was an easy yet stimulating read. I love books that give pragmatic and sound advice, more so this one where the recommendations do not involve drastic actions or shelling out money. I highly recommend this πŸ™‚

In ending I’d like to share with you one of the phrases that I highlighted and which is, I think, my favorite in the entire book:

If you spend a minute or two each day writing a kind note to tuck into a loved one’s briefcase or a child’s lunchbox, you may save yourself the headache that comesΒ  when relationships grow cool from a lack of nurturance and daily care”.

Now excuse me, I gotta go give my eldest a hug πŸ™‚

 

‘* as of this blogpost, the Kindle edition is now priced at $7.23 … aww, drats! 😢

Fitness & Vanities

Flat Belly Made Easier πŸ˜‰

Happy Monday beautiful people! ☺️

Sometimes (because most times I use musicπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ), when I need to get myself motivated to exercise, I scour the net for nutrition or fitness infographics. A few days ago I found this and thought you’d find it interesting too – might not be new information but a little reminder can’t hurt, right? ❀️ πŸ˜€

Oh and, I’m all for the dark chocolate advice. You too?! XD XD

Have a strong start to your week, peeps!

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Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recog-awardHappy Monday everybody! πŸ˜€

I’d like to start this week on a really positive note – a Blogger Recognition Award, bestowed upon me by the lovely Joanne @ A Glimpse Into My Journey.

Thanks so much, Joanne! ❀ I really appreciate this πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

The Rules of this Award (are actually pretty simple πŸ‘ πŸ‘):

Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Β Write a post to show your award. Β Attach the award to the post. Β Give a brief story of how your blog started. Β Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers. Β Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Β Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide a link to the award post you created.

Okay then, here we go!

How this blog started:

It was on a flight home from LA. I couldn’t sleep, my head was swimming with so many stuff because things were happening career-wise and my personal life was also screaming for attention. In a bid to calm myself I commanded my brain to focus on things that made me happy.

I was riding this train of thought but my mind was still restless – up until the thought struck me that I should start a blog.Β  And that’s when I got excited πŸ˜€

I realized I needed an outlet, something that forced me to focus on the good things, the simple pleasures, the lessons, the fun and the crazy side of me. Something that could also be a platform for connecting with others of same interests but without the obtrusiveness of Facebook. I needed a happy space ❀ πŸ˜€

And thus OSB&V was born!

My advice to new bloggers.

  1. Β Be yourself.Β  Write to express, not to impress.Β 

When I started blogging I had no voice, I wrote to please the reader. I was tentative and needy of likes and comments. The things I wrote about were chosen with the reader in mind. Needless to say, I wasn’t really having much fun.

Then I started just expressing myself – this is my party, I can dance the way I want to, right?! πŸ™‚ As I gained more confidence just putting myself out there I also started having fun. And that’s when the likes, comments, follows and even the awards came πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ (Along with much much muccccccchhh appreciated comments like, “I like the way you write”, which always catapult me to the stars!).

In my experience, the posts that are the most “me” are the posts that get the most likes and comments.Β  So be yourself. Express yourself. It’s your blog πŸ™‚

2.Β  That said, do pay attention to quality writing.

I don’t know if many will agree to this but it’s like when we know we are going to have a visitor, we do comb our hair and wash our face at the very least don’t we?

Just because we are expressing ourselves, being real and all, doesn’t mean we forgo basic rules of grammar, composition and presentation. I mean, I think it’s just being respectful to our readers. Many times I’ve come across an otherwise nice post but went away with less esteem for the writer because it was written and presented in a careless manner.

I value every visitor to my blog so much that I sometimes edit my posts to death! LOL! πŸ˜† This is extreme of course and I’m no great writer by far but I do what I can to put my message out there in a way that is easy to read ❀

3.Β  Make it fun!

By now you should know it’s all about the fun factor for me πŸ˜€ To me this means, blog about the things you love, the things that matter to you. Don’t worry about finding your niche or your audience, this will come in time. Express your joy, marvel, appreciation, confusion. Express your crazy and unique sides.

Find other blogs of like-minded bloggers, reach out and make friends. Join writing challenges and prompts or make your own. Be as regular as possible, but allow yourself to take breaks whenever necessary. That way you come back refreshed and ready to put your piece of sunshine out there for others to find πŸ™‚

My nominees:

Hmmm … I’m never quite sure how to do this part 😲

There are quite a number of bloggers I’d like to nominate but I also know that some bloggers aren’t into this type of thing.Β  So allow me to try a different approach this time – I will nominate these sexy people on their blogs personally πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ This way I feel that I’m not putting them on the spot if they choose not to accept.Β  (I don’t know if this is a good thing even πŸ˜– How do YOU do it?)

~ oOo ~

And that is that! πŸ˜€ Thank you for reading and – what advice do YOU have for new bloggers? Share YOUR thoughts in the comments section and (if you’re feeling sexy today!) feel free to consider yourself nominated for this award ❀ ❀ ❀

And don’t forget to visit Joanne.Β  She creates really delicious stuff over there and her posts are always a joy to read πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful week everyone! πŸ’‹

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