Relationship Lessons I’ve Learnt in 2018

Relationship Lessons I’ve Learnt in 2018

I can’t believe we’re in December! It feels like 2 seconds ago I was just starting graduate school and now I’ve been here a year. Moving to a new place was challenging, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed my to interact with different types of people. With this, I had my ups and downs. I had to learn how to properly navigate interpersonal relationships with different types of people. I’m still working on this, but I’ve learnt some lessons along the way…

ITS IMPORTANT TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m easy-going, or because I’m just hyper-sensitive to people’s feelings. But there were several situations I encountered this year where I could have just put my foot down and spoken up. I think because of this, I’m probably at risk of becoming oppressed. This a serious fear I have always had so it’s disheartening that I keep finding myself in these situations.

I noticed a reoccurring theme with me this year: Something would happen that I don’t like, a situation that I was not comfortable with and instead of just speaking my peace, I would manage the situation poorly until after a long time I would finally realize I’m being taken for granted then speak up.

Remember how I said I need to take into account people’s feelings and how it affects them? Well that backfired. A lot of people tend to take advantage of that. They begin to manipulate and use this thoughtfulness or are too selfish to meet me at the middle. Because I am thinking about them and they are thinking about themselves, there is a massive imbalance. On one hand, I don’t want to be an absolute savage, but the serious peace of mind I had when I was savage was just amazing.

In light of this, my goal for next year is to figure out how to balance my savagery and putting people’s feelings into consideration. I need to properly vet people and see if they deserve this consideration, because not every person is deserving of me. Else, I run the risk of being taken advantage of.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF CONFLICT

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I think it’s important to fight sometimes. It’s weird but observing people’s relationships and mine, I think the only way some solutions can be met is if there is an argument. Arguments are completely natural. However, what I think is important is how both sides handle that argument.

I usually don’t like conflict, I’m more of a “agree to disagree” type of person. However with conflicts I just know how quickly things can devolve into a screaming match and I hate that. But if two parties come into an argument with a place of humility to listen to the other person and accept their faults, this is a great way to handle conflict. It’s not always easy though.

I’ve seen conflicts work this year….even screaming match, throwing chairs conflicts. I still hate it though. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to handle conflicts properly.

I’VE REALIZED THE VALUE OF A SUPPORT SYSTEM

Honestly I don’t know how I would have survived 2018 without the support of my family. This was the toughest school year I have ever experienced and I was at one point I was the verge of tears. Having my family (especially my mom and dad) constantly reassure me that I can do it was really the push of confidence I needed to see through my school.

Being around people who are always looking out for you is very hard to come by. Handling tough situations is so much easier when you have people by your side cheering you on. I think this semester really allowed me to realize that and I will never take that for granted.

Those are the relationship lessons I’ve learned in 2018. Thank you so much for reading! What have you learnt?

Travel Diaries: Epcot, Disney World Florida

Travel Diaries: Epcot, Disney World Florida

Last year, I visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom on my 21st birthday and I had an absolute blast. This year, I wanted to visit a Disney park that I haven’t been to in almost 14 years:  Epcot! Epcot is one of Disney world’s six theme parks. The theme of Epcot is not as obvious as Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom but it all ties together nicely. Epcot is used to display modern innovations as well as world nations and their exhibitions.

Epcot has several pavilions dedicated to specific countries. The buildings, stores and restaurants in each pavilion are very reminiscent of each country. In Morocco, there’s a Souk selling traditional Moroccan outfits and a restaurant with belly dancers. In Japan, there are traditional restaurants, buildings and live Taiko performers in the street.

The same thing can be seen in “United Kingdom”, where there are Fish and Chip shops, english pubs and phone booths everywhere. In France, there’s a mock Eiffel tower and several French luxury designer shops like Coco Chanel, Yves St Laurent and others.

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My favourite country to “visit” was Mexico because they had a whole building dedicated to the movie “Coco” and the Mexican holiday The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos). I absolutely LOVED Coco so I was pleasantly surprised to find it at Disney!

There’s also super futuristic rides at Epcot like Spaceship Earth, which is a simulator thrill ride depicting flying into space. For extra science-ey talk, the G-force simulated on spaceship earth is 2.5G, which is more than twice the force of gravity on earth, essentially this means the rider’s weight is multiplied by 2.5. I felt like shit after this ride and I was dizzy for several hours. It’s not for the faint hearted, but the adrenaline rush is something else and that made it super fun. Will I do it again? Probably!

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I also did several other fun rides like Test Track, which is a fast paced, simulation ride of a Chevrolet concept car. I watched a Guardians Of The Galaxy musical in the American Pavilion a Frozen ride at the Norway Pavilion where I had a delicious pretzel for the first time!

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Speaking of food, in every World Pavilion, there are several restaurants serving the native food of each country. But for some strange reason, I was craving a burger that day and just decided to eat at a general space-themed restaurant. It was delicious!

I’m really glad I visited Epcot because the last time I was here I was 7/8 years old. Epcot is a beautiful park that should be on your list if you want to visit a Disney theme park besides Magic Kingdom! Thanks for reading!

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Chit Chat – Life Update

Chit Chat – Life Update

I’ve been away from my blog from several months and I thought it would be fitting to write a life update! As I mentioned in my New Years Post, I’m moving towards a more quality centric blog instead of quantity. The pressure to blog/vlog has had very bad consequences in the past but blogging when I feel like puts me at ease. However, I always worry that if I’m away for too long, you’ll all forget me! So a life update is awesome to just catch you up to speed on what I’ve gotten up to in my absence!

If there is anything on this list you’d love me to expand on and write a blog about do let me know!

Graduate School

I’m now in my second semester of graduate school. It still feels strange sometimes that I’m doing my masters because I never had a concept of what graduate school would be like. It’s a lot of work, but it’s given me a lot of skills in a few months. My favourite part about graduate school is learning coding/programming languages. I was excited, but nervous to learn it from scratch coming here but I’ve learnt so much and its now one of my best parts about the course. I think it’s that eureka moment I get after stumbling on a code for hours and finally seeing it work. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but I love it so far.

Move Back To WordPress.com

Earlier this year I moved from my blog, which was hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosted site. This inadvertently caused a massive amount of headache as my website crashed multiple times within this time. Also, trying to find the right themes and customizing was also challenging. However, the final nail on the coffin was the lack of engagement with the WordPress community! I hate it. I realised that I don’t care about SEO, domains, self hosted, traffic or any other blog things I “should” care about. It produces a lot of negative feelings for me and makes me unfocused on producing blog content.

I decided to move back and I’m happy and calm not caring about all the extra blogging stuff. I just want my likes and comments over blogging jargon that gives me headache any day!

My site currently looks like a headache so bear with me because WordPress is currently facilitating my transfer! Everything will be back to normal after October 5th.

Self Awareness

I’m striving to be more self-aware. I was really inspired by a Japanese TV show called Terrace House (It’s on Netflix, thank me later).  Besides being amused by all the cultural differences Japanese people had with the Western world, I was particularly impressed by their self-awareness and reflection on all aspects of their life. There is also a strong desire to be better, and think of other people’s feelings and how their interactions affect people. I tend to think of how interactions affect me instead of the other way around, which upon watching this show, exposed my selfish tendencies! I know, strange. I can learn from anything, even reality TV shows. Haha

Dreadlocks

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I started dreadlocks! Myself! They’re currently 4 months old and coming along nicely. I guess you could say I gave up on my natural hair this summer. The breakage and tangling was real so I decided to lock it since my hair tends to want to lock itself every 2 seconds. My locs give me even more peace of mind since I use less products and only have to deal with my hair every 2 months. I ALSO DONT HAVE TO COMB IT OMG YESSSSSSS!!

Weight Loss

I’ve lost a total of 8kg (17lbs) since the beginning of the year.  I lost a lot of weight, but I lost it slowly to preserve my madness. I attribute the first few months of the journey to eating low-calorie alternatives of the things I loved like brownies, ice-cream and spaghetti. However, towards the last few kilograms, I attribute my weight loss to intermittent fasting and eating one massive, delicious, calorie dense, meal a day. I have my hangry, binge days but all in all its going pretty smoothly since I always feel very satiated after each meal.

That’s it for my life update! Theres many little other things that have happened but this is just the main stuff. Thank you for reading!

Graduate School: A Semester In Review

Graduate School: A Semester In Review

I think I should skip a long winded excuse and give a perfectly good reason for my hiatus; Graduate school has been kicking my butt! It really hurt me to not blog consistently but I could not give a hundred percent to both blogging and school. One had to suffer. In this instance, it was the blog. But I’m so glad to be back!

I started graduate school in January after a looong gap year. The gap year was fun (and very much needed) but I was excited to go back to university and study again.

A Steep Learning Curve…

Right off the bat I knew my degree would be challenging. My Masters is completely different from my Bachelors degree because it requires more Math knowledge than Biology (which is not my strong suit).

In my Bachelors degree, I studied cells and peered down microscopes. But in my Masters, I’m staring at codes and computer screens. I’m really lucky my program required no formal college background in computer science, but there was a learning curve at first. Learning programming languages is challenging, but so rewarding and fun in the end.

I’m Married To Coffee

Before graduate school, I was a very casual coffee drinker. By casual I mean a Frappuccino at Starbucks once in 2 months. Now I guzzle down record amounts of expressos every few days. My coffee relationship started because all my classes are taken at night (7-10pm), which is a huge adjustment for me. However I fancy myself sort of a night owl now!

Grades Don’t Really Matter….Or Do They?

They never really did, but this is more emphasized in graduate school. As long as you’re not flat-out failing and you understand the basics of the program, you’re in the clear. However, the failing grade is B-, below a 3.0 gpa which is a HUGE oxymoron. They say that it’s more about what you know, than cramming and getting A’s, but your grades must still reflect your knowledge. But the perfectionist in me is still irrationally obsessed with grades and if I don’t get an A or A-, I’m usually not happy. So thanks, but no thanks. LOL

Moving To America

I have been visiting the U.S for over a decade now, but studying and living in the U.S is a different beast of its own. It was not so difficult moving to the U.S so much so as it was moving to a new place where I knew no one and had no family nearby.

There are things that I’d usually brush off for my brother or father to do for me, especially the stereotypical “manly man” jobs. But this time I had to do everything myself because I was on my own. It was a fun experience to be much more independent but I’d rather not do that again. Lmao

So here’s to next semester! AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET THERE BE NO MORE GROUP PROJECTS OR THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Jk, not really, okay bye.

I Don’t Know What To Blog About Now….

That being said, I missed you all! I’m going to have to slyly infiltrate the blogging community again because no one will remember who I am at this point. I’ve also been gone so long that I don’t know what to blog about any more. I need a fresh dose of inspiration. Suggestions?

Do you have any questions about graduate school? I would love to answer them. Please comment below!

Travel Diary: Times Square, New York

Travel Diary: Times Square, New York

I guess you’re wondering where I’ve gone to, disappeared, hidden and concealed myself from this beautiful blog. Trust me, I’m as hurt as you.

I’ve been trying to set up myself for graduate school and believe me, it was a looong process. I had to take a hiatus from blogging for a few weeks but I’m so glad to be back!

I finally got my student visa and travelled so my family decided to stop by in New York for a day before transiting to our next destination.

In my previous travel post, I mentioned that New York is somewhere I would love to visit again! I last came here in 2008 so I was extremely excited to visit again.

I wanted to see Times Square again because the picture  of the place was imprinted in my brain from the last time I went there and it’s such an iconic place.

Times Square….

Times Square is in Manhattan and it’s mostly known for all the brightly adorned electronic billboards and massive pop up shops below. It’s also super close to where the famous Broadway shows are played!

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New York City is chaotic, crowded, a little dirty and full of life. There also seemed to be a lot of larger-than-life personalities here. I saw a lot of interesting things and strange people while I was in Times square.

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As I mentioned before, there is no place I’ve ever visited that’s like New York because it’s so different! It’s also one of the only cities I know that becomes even more busy at night.

It’s such a peculiar city, I’m so sad I couldn’t see more of this place. I will come back again one day because I still need to see the Statue of Liberty duh!

Without boring you further, here are some of the pictures I took at Times Square! All of these pictures were taken on my iPhone! Gasspp!!

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What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

I’m pacing up and down in my living room, phone in hand, thinking of how I’m going to complete a post about how to stop feeling overwhelmed with blogging when I’m encountering those feelings myself. Haha I’ve been overwhelmed with blogging so many times but I’ve always managed to come out alive and kicking!

Finding the motivation to write, publish and promote posts can be difficult for some bloggers. Blogging can be hard sometimes. And trust me, I totally understand how difficult it is to keep up with writing posts, sharing them, promoting and engaging with your community. It can easily turn into a full-time job.

Overwhelmed with blogging….

I usually overwhelmed when I have a mountain of tasks I need to complete. I wake up some mornings dreading all my Pinterest pins, blogging posts and Instagram pictures I have to keep up with. Then instead of actually doing it, I shut down and do nothing at all.

Once I have a long to-do list I begin to prioritize what is really important and that can leave my blogging as a second priority (I know).

I often shut down because I ask myself “why is this causing so much anxiety for me? Is it even that serious”. The answer to me is no, nothing is never that serious. Which results in me pushing all my blogging duties aside.

It can also be extremely demoralizing when you are pushing out posts and you’re not getting the engagement you want or you are working for. It’s in those times that it is most tempting to ask yourself if you should to quit or keep going?

And sometimes…it’s just not fun. That’s the one thing I dread the most. I never want to get to a point in my blog where I feel like writing is a chore. I always want it to be fun and something I look forward to.

Ask yourself what is really important.

What is really important? Blogging to me is important but at this time in my life is it really important to cause more anxiety than my education? Or my health? No it’s not.

I’ve always gotten some form of anxiety/FOMO from social media so I always aggressively take action when I feel it creeping up again. I try to re-center my thoughts and focus on what is really important. Doing this removes those feelings of anxiety.

Only do the bare minimum and what is necessary

You’re not super woman. It’s okay to not be able to do 1000 things at once. Try to focus on one thing and do that well. Last week, I didn’t want to read any posts or pin on Pinterest. I guess you could say I took a break because I didn’t have the mental energy to do blogging stuff. I just wanted to binge watch Stranger things 2. LOL

All I did was like a few pictures on my Instagram. It really took the pressure off for a while and now I’m ready to go back in full force!

Always try to automate things that can be automated. Automate your Pinterest with Tailwind. You could even automate your Instagram. At the moment, I don’t do either because I don’t want to spend that money yet. But once I do, it will definitely ease the pressure of keeping up with blogging for me! I highly recommend it.

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Force yourself to write, Even if you don’t feel like it.

When I don’t feel like writing, I write. Even if it’s the shittiest thing I’ve ever written in my life I’ll keep typing and finish the post. I can then later go back and edit it. Which usually turns out to be a really good post!

You don’t have to be completely inspired each time you write a post. I highly doubt that even the greatest writers were inspired each time they put the ink on paper. So write away!

Don’t get hung up on numbers

It’s fun when you’re growing in numbers but very discouraging when you are not gaining followers or even losing them! My fellow blogger friends often complain about losing followers so I can empathise with them over this situation.

Never compromise yourself for a few followers or likes. It soooo exhausting and burns you out faster than you can imagine. I know numbers are all the rage right now in the blogging world but I believe we are shifting towards an engagement-centric community soon. It doesn’t matter, as long as your 50, 100 or 1000 followers are engaged that is amazing in itself.

Your blog, your rules

It’s your blog and you make the rules. When I had 15 followers and now I have 2400, I always had an audience that genuinely enjoyed my content. I listened to them but I always blogged about what truly interested me. I made the rules as I saw fit and because of this, it’s more difficult for me to be overwhelmed with blogging.

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy with your blog and if something is making you feel unpleasant, scrap it! It takes the edge off knowing you are completely in control of your blogging outcome…


I hope I’ve helped you with some ways to get over those overwhelming feelings over your blog.

I would love to know if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with blogging?

What methods do you use to ease that pressure?

Amazing Books To Read This Fall

Fall is upon us and I think this is the perfect time to snuggle up and find some new reads! But first let’s take a moment to thank the book gods…I’ve read more than 2 books in a month! I have read a lot of  books recently and I decided that it would be nice to share 4 amazing books to read this fall.

I can’t believe I’ve read these many books in a short span of time because I literally have the attention span of a fish. Reading for me used to be anywhere and an anytime thing but now it has become so ritualistic and boring. 

I need to have the perfect conditions present before I can read now. I’m talking a dark room, complete silence and preferably snuggled in a blanket, before I can read. My high maintenance habits have made it difficult to finish books within a sensible time frame…until now!

I usually read all my books on the kindle app on my iPhone or Kindle device and I buy all my books on Amazon. It’s so much more convenient and I prefer reading the reviews before I shell out money to buy it. Most of these books are 4.5 stars so they’re fan favorites!

Lifestyle Blogging Basics – Laura Lynn

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I’m always on a path of self improvement especially when it comes to my blog. So I decided to buy a book about lifestyle blogging to see if I would learn anything new. This book is written by Laura over on Breezy and Brazen.

Why you should buy it:

This book is perfect for any beginner blogger that wants to get started on their website/blog. It talks about starting a blog, what blogging platform to use, how to promote your posts, working with brands and many more. I also loved how there was a “how I failed” section in each point because it’s reassuring to know that blogging is not a smooth sailing ship. You will make many mistakes but as long as you keep going it’s all good. It’s an extremely valuable book for all level bloggers so it’s worth a read!

Luring A Lady – Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is a really popular author and I’m sure almost everyone has read one or two of her romance novels. I’m a romantic girl at heart so I enjoy reading romance genres from time to time. I was pulled in by the plot in this book so I decided to make a purchase.

Luring A Lady is a about a woman called Sydney Hayward who recently took over the family’s real estate business. She has always felt the pressure to be the perfect wife/socialite/daughter so she is closed off and too busy for any distractions…that is until Mikhail comes along.

Why You Should Buy it:

It is a simple, cookie cutter, entertaining romance story. It’s so easy to read and you don’t have to rack your brain trying to comprehend what is being said. It was also cute to see how her ice-princess facade was slowly melted by Mikhail. And if you love an Alpha type main character in a novel, this book is for you.

The Curated Closet – Discover Your Personal Style And Build Your Dream Wardrobe

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I have the most haphazard personal style ever because I just throw anything on and pray for the best. I also happen to hate shopping and the thought of spending hours in a clothing store makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Although I hate shopping, I love fashion! I wanted to see if there is way to build a wardrobe I love that captures my personal style, but is versatile for any season. Enter the curated closet! It goes into detail about building your wardrobe based on what you like, shopping tips and building a capsule wardrobe! It’s a really invaluable tool for anyone that wants to improve their closet with minimal effort.

Why You Should Buy It:

If your closet is a mess, you have no semblance of a personal style and you don’t have the willpower nor energy to figure it out yourself, this book if for you!

The Naturalist- Andrew Mayne

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The Naturalist is a thriller/crime investigation novel about a scientist who is thrust into the middle of an investigation when one of his former students is brutally murdered in the woods. I’m not done reading this but I’m really enjoying it at the moment! I’m also getting a serious Gone Girl vibe from this novel and I know there’s going to be a massive bombshell at the end. Fingers crossed it lives up to my expectations!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my post this and found some new books to read this fall!

What are your current favorite books?

Related: The Mid Year Favourites Roundup: Books, Music, Movies and Makeup!

4 amazing books to read this fall