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Five Thangs Friday Life Lately

Five Thangs Friday

Wowwee! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on this corner of the internet, but I’ve been itching to write/create/speak so cheers to me bringing PseudoMidlifeCrisis back! The last year I’ve learned so much and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how therapeutic words can be. SO even if no one reads this, I know I’m healing myself a lil with each post.

Enough of that. I want to start light so here are five things this week that humored/amused me.

#1 This Kid

Real talk – she will probably always and forever be my #1 for any list, even 5 thangs Friday. But let me explain this picture. This here is my daughter, the thief. You see that chocolate on her face? She stole that out of my purse. This was her face when she got caught. Cutest thief ever.

#2 Goghing on a Date Night

Pun TOTALLY intended. My husband and I finally got out of the house after what felt like five million years to go on a date. We had tickets to see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Overall, it was super fun! The music and the animation of the paintings were beautifully done. Of course, the creme de la creme was the abundance of “Gogh” puns scattered throughout.

#3 A Potential New Hobby

School is officially out for the summer so that means I have more time for hobbies, like crafting. A girl I know posted an instagram photo of yarn art and I was immediately enthralled. *cue trip to Michaels* I tried my hand at it the other day, but it didn’t come out to my liking. I’ll be playing around with it more and hopefully, by next Friday, I have results to share.

#4 Good Ole Thrift Shopping

Nothing puts me in a better mood than a good deal! Today, I found I had some spare time so I hit up a Salvation Army. I recently got rid of the majority of my clothes because they didn’t bring me joy (or more likely they didn’t fit as I would have liked) so I have space in my closet that obviously must be filled. I found a few super cute pieces today! Score of the day was deffo the brand new Lululemon windbreaker that I scored for $4.

#5 My New Job!

Last but not least, I found out I secured my dream teaching job this week. Starting in August, I’ll be starting a new cluster program for students with moderate disabilities. It is my dream to start from scratch and to have complete autonomy over the program and I AM FLIPPING JAZZED!

So that rounds out my five thangs for Friday. After writing it all out, I have to say I had a pretty great week. On the downside, I am on my final taper of Lexapro so my brain feels like mush and my face is number, but things could be worse! I’m excited to be back in this space and hopefully you cannot wait for more word vomit from yours truly. XOXO.

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is meant to be one of the happiest periods of your life. There’s nothing like that feeling of growing a whole new human in your womb. It overpowers the nausea, sleepless nights and body pains that come with the magic.

I am happy about this pregnancy. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and I wouldn’t wish it away. But… I feel sad. There’s no reason to feel sad, but I just am. It’s that deep sadness, the kind that’s stuck in your throat and makes it hard to swallow. It’s the sadness that comes to haunt me from November until March of every year. My seasonal sadness.

I’m used to this sadness. My usual bandaid is to book a trip to a far away place with sunshine and delicious food. Unfortunately, I can’t utilize this bandaid now. My pregnancy hasn’t been easy and I would never forgive myself if something happened if I were to travel.

So I’m forced to deal with it.

It’s hard guys. I don’t know how to deal with this. I feel immense guilt for being sad while I’m pregnant. I feel guilty that I feel jealous when I see friends traveling and going to hot yoga (my two favorite things that I cannot partake in at the moment). I feel terrible when the thoughts “I hate pregnancy” cross my mind.

I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last few weeks crying. Yesterday, I cried in the middle of brushing my teeth. Today, I cried at least 8 times. It’s fracking hard.

I know I’m not the first woman to deal with sadness while pregnant. I know I’m not the first to feel guilt. I’m hoping I can turn this around and figure out a new way to deal.

Today, I went out and bought a ball of yarn and some knitting needles. Clearly, I am desperate. I just needed to get that off my chest. Because maybe someone else out there is sad too, and they needed to hear that it’s okay. Because it is okay. You can be thrilled and sad at the same time. The human body is a crazy thing.

My First Post… On Pregnancy

Tah-dah! I’m pregnant. Knocked up. Bun is in THE oven (I don’t even like bread though – we’ll pretend it’s a cassava flour challah or something).

At the moment, I’m 11 weeks pregnant. I am so close to being out of the first trimester and into the safety of the second. Over the last few months, I’ve learned a lot. I feel like at the end of this, the hospital should award me another Master’s degree or something. So here are my musings so far on the whole process…

  • I am exhausted.

Like exhausted beyond belief. I thought I knew what tired was. I was wrong. At the beginning, there were days where I would take 4 (FOUR!) naps! The exhaustion has gotten better, but I’m still drained. I feel like I do the bare minimum to get through the day and only look forward to sleep. As Drake said… “I only love my bed (and my mama), I’m sorry”! I’ve also found it difficult to get back to sleep after peeing in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time. I used to look at my phone to see the time, but that was a guaranteed way to get even less sleep. I still haven’t hacked this one yet, but I’ll keep you informed!

  • Food has become a foe.

I love food. Like LOVE food. Food and I have an interesting relationship that is decades old but we’ve been at peace with one another for the last year or so. Until now. I’ll make a meal, and get excited to eat it. First bite? Bleh. I can’t. My diet has been a lot of pickles, “healthy” chicken nuggets (don’t judge me), kombucha, half a cup of decaf coffee a day and whatever odds and ends I can manage.

I did find one hack though! I’ve been trying to up my collagen intake in part to help the baby grow strong, and in part to reduce stretch marks. I was trying to force collagen down via green juice (my only form of vegetables sometimes) but I was having a hard time with it. I read the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols and she had a recipe for collagen gummies. I TOTALLY FORGOT THAT GELATIN IS WHAT MAKES THOSE DELICIOUS GUMMY BEARS! So… I made a batch. 1.5 cups of 100% cherry juice mixed with 4 tablespoons of collagen over low heat, then placed into a container and in the fridge for an hour. BAM. Collagen gummies… that I can tolerate! The cherry juice is great before bed because of the natural melatonin and the sour taste helps with stomach upset so it’s a win-win-win in my book!

  • I cry. A lot.

I’ve always been pretty sensitive. I cry when I read sad books and watch a heartbreaking scene in a movie. My sensitivity has peaked though. I think I cried 8 times yesterday. None of the reasons I cried were cry worthy. Once, I cried because a restaurant was out of some food I wanted. I also cried in the fitting room when I could no longer fit into my pre-pregnancy size. It’s ridiculous and I have no clue how my husband will survive this terrible symptom.

  • My anxiety has never been this high.

Going along with being a naturally sensitive person, I am also a naturally anxious person. Anxiety for me is a double edged sword. I get what I need to get done, but I often feel shitty while doing it. I worry about the baby often. After a doctor’s appointment, I feel relief after hearing the heartbeat, but soon after, I start to worry again. Is the womb cozy enough? Does he need more blankets? Hows the temp?

Mantras have really helped. “Today, I am pregnant.” “My body is capable.” Lame stuff like that, while breathing in for a count of four, and out for a count of four have done wonders for me. Keeping my mind busy has helped too. I’ve been reading more than usual (there’s SO much information about babies out there!) I hope this anxiety settles at the next ultrasound and when we are safely out of the first trimester.

  • I am flipping excited.

Yo, I am a baby making machine. My body is changing every day and I’m noticing (so are the students in my class, however they just think I’m getting phat). I cannot wait until baby M is here! I know there will be a lot of adjustment and learning, but I am ready! Bring it on, mama nature!

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Thoughts

On Judaism/Religion/Happiness

I saw this at a bookstore in Auckland and it made me stop. It also made me giggle a little. Was the store implying that religion and happiness are one and the same? Were they just short on shelf space and had to consolidate?

Religion is an interesting thing to me. Personally, I was raised Jewish… and Catholic, simultaneously. Think Star of David atop your Christmas tree and that was essentially my upbringing.

For me, it was hard to believe that either religion was “right” when I was raised as both. If Judaism was the word, why did we also practice Catholicism, and vice versa? Today, I’m a 25-year-old who identifies as Jewish, but only culturally. I feel a little gross writing that out to be honest.

When I see people going to church, or talking about their religion, I almost feel a twinge of jealousy. How nice it must be to truly believe that there is a power above you, guiding your life. How peaceful it must be to know that there’s more to life, after life!

I don’t have that. I have a lot of confusion about religion. In my head, Judaism and Catholicism swirls into a gross cone of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, that was left in the sun for a bit. Who was Moses again? Why is 12 a good coming of year age for a girl?

My brother and I in Israel

When I was 20, I went on my Birthright. Birthright is a trip sponsored by insanely rich Jewish homies (as well as the government) that brings Jewish kiddos from around the world to Israel for 10 day. To prove your Jewish roots, all you have to do is write a little blurb about it. My grandmother was active in the Jewish community and a big supporter of Magen David Adom. My family has a decent number of rabbis. My last name was Feldman. I was Jewish enough to pass.

To be Jewish goes beyond a religion. It’s an ethnicity too, which makes it quite interesting in terms of religions.

Going there, part of me expected to be thrown into the Jewish religion, but instead, I came home with a newfound appreciation for my Jewish culture. I could be Jewish without synagogue. I am Jewish every damn day because of my ancestors. I am Jewish in the same way that someone could be Swedish. That trip helped me settle into myself and my identity a bit.

The Israeli flag

Since that trip, I have been back to Israel twice more. Each time, I feel a bit more connected. I’ve found best friends who are Jewish who help me to understand my roots. I’ve developed an understanding for the intricacies of Israeli culture. Every time I go, I come home with a better understanding of myself and my ancestors.

All the hummus

I think there is a beauty in the Jewish culture that I hope to pass on to my children one day. The family time, the holidays, the time for thought. I love it. Parts of me wish that I was raised “more” Jewish so I could appreciate these more. From what I understand, pillars like these are in most religions, and it makes sense why people follow them.

Humans want to belong. Religion is a group that gives them that, and promises that life will go the way it is meant to go. It gives people hope and grounding. I understand that desire.

Am I religious? No. So I need to find my hope and grounding elsewhere. Do I think that religion means happiness? No. I think that if one relies solely on religion, they’re living quite a naive life. Do I understand and respect why people turn to religion? Yes, I do.

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Uncategorized

A Casual Day at the DMZ/North Korea

We have a scratch off map at home with all the countries we’ve been to, and I’m having a serious moral dilemma. Can I scratch off North Korea now that we’ve been to the DMZ?!

When we were in Korea a few weeks ago, we booked a tour to go to the DMZ – the area between North and South Korea that serves as a buffer zone. The tour included stops at the Doransan Station, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, the Dora Observatory, Imjingak Park. The tour itself was $40 – so quite a good bang for your buck, in my opinion. Now let’s break it all down.

Dora Observatory

The Dora Observatory is an observatory (duh) that you can see North Korea from. Well, usually. The day we went was extremely hazy so this was the best that we could do.

View of Dora Observatory

According to our tour guide, on a clear day, you can actually see a North Korean town (although she claims it’s a facade and not an actual town). From the viewing deck, you can also hear North Korean propaganda music!

South Korean Artwork

Downstairs, they had videos playing about North Korea, as well as artwork made by South Koreans. All of the art centered around how it felt to lose family in the separation. The picture above was one of my favorite pieces. (For anyone looking for a latte – this is the one of two stops on the tour where you can get one. You’re welcome, in advance).

Imjingak Park

I will preface this by saying this is the second stop on the tour where you can get your coffee fix. Aside from that, this park is located in Paju, South Korea and is known for the Freedom Bridge there.

Train shot by North Korean military
A train that was shot by North Korean military that sits within the park
Train sign to North Korea
Prayer ribbons
Prayer ribbons put up by vistors
Prayer ribbons
South Korean army man
Obligatory South Korean cheerful army man near the entrance to the bridge

While Imjinak Park is an important landmark, as an outsider it was just an okay stop along the way. I think my favorite part would probably have to be seeing all those prayer ribbons, because it made the war and the separations that followed feel real to me. It made me understand that there are people, to this day, that are hurting because of it.

Dorasan Station

The next stop was a train station. Random, right? It’s actually the last train station in South Korea, and if trains were allowed, it would continue on to North Korea. Not so random after all, my friends!

Dorasan Station map

At the station, we learned that South Korea refers to itself as an island. If you look at the map above, if it weren’t for the inability to go through North Korea, you could hypothetically travel Europe via train from Seoul!

Dorasan station and tickets

At the station you can purchase a “ticket” to get inside the station. I guess it was cool to see where we would hypothetically catch a train to North Korea.

Ticket to Pyeongyang
The ticket – pretty official ya’ll

3rd Infiltration Tunnel

After the Armistace Agreement, South Korea found a series of tunnels that the North Koreans dug into South Korea. Most of them routed themselves to Seoul, making the South Korean believe that they were planning a massive attack on their largest city.

DMZ sign
Peep the soldier with the peace sign between the M

Interestingly enough, North Korea claimed they were mining for coal, and after getting caught, painted the interiors of the tunnel black to look like coal.

DMZ

We decided not to go down into the tunnel as it was incredibly crowded but did watch the video that South Korea made to discuss the tunnels. Holy propaganda guys! If you get the chance, go to the tunnels and watch the video. Bring some popcorn. It’s pretty damn amusing.

DMZ chocolate
Didn’t purchase this, but was mildly amused by it.

Also – pro tip, buy the hoodies at the gift shop there. They are the comfiest hoodies I’ve ever owned.

In Conclusion…

No travel post would be complete without a food pic, so here ya go! For lunch that day, we had a choice between bulgogi or bimbimbap. We both went for the bulgogi and it was surprisingly delicious. Lunch was served in what looked like an old government building and was buffet style. I would just like to point out that they had cherry tomatoes in the dessert section. I did not snap a pic because I was too infuriated by the fact that someone could call tomatoes a dessert.

Traditional Korean lunch

At one of the many gift shops, we picked up a bottle of North Korean liquor. It was fine. It tasted like plum wine and communism.

North Korean liquor

That’s all folks! I personally enjoyed the tour, although I don’t know how much of that is just because I can now (kind of) say I’ve been to North Korea. If anyone is looking to book it, book it far in advance as they do tend to sell out! We went through a tour group called Kooridoor, although there are numerous other tours that go out that way.

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Sparking Joy

Dear Me, Love Me

Dear 5 year old Jeanette… It’s okay that you don’t look like everyone else in your classroom. One day, you’ll appreciate the intricacies of who you are and where your family comes from.

Dear 13 year old Jeanette… I know you feel like an outsider again, and maybe you are. It will pass and you will find your place, I promise. Be grateful that your family has given you the opportunity to get a better education than you would have at home. At the end of the day, no one can take your mind and your knowledge. Don’t be scared of the changes, flow with them instead.

Dear 16 year old Jeanette… Take care of yourself. It doesn’t matter what any boy thinks of you. How do you think of yourself? Are you as compassionate with yourself as you are with others? Oh and that scale? It can fuck off. It does not tell you your worth. Your life is worth living – every damn second of it.

Dear 18 year old Jeanette… Yet another season of change. Use this new beginning as a way to explore the world. Meet new people. Learn from the heartbreak. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that are just not for you. Oh, and stop playing that Words with Friends game during biology. You’ll do much better if you pay attention.

Dear 19 year old Jeanette… You’re off on a new adventure in a new country with new people. Please soak up this time of your life. Embrace the difficulties that come with learning a new culture, and use that to bring inspiration into your life at home. And don’t feel bad about eating the scones at Spar – you’ll never taste another like it.

Dear 20 year old Jeanette… You’ve decided to get married. Know that marriage is not easy, but it is worth it. I’m so elated that you’ve found someone who will make you think in new ways, and push you for growth. Love him, but do not forget to continue to love yourself as well.

Dear 21 year old Jeanette… You’re a big girl now, with a big girl job! Oh, how I wish I could hug you and tell you that it will all be okay. The tears and long hours will be worth it in the end. Every day of the next two years will make you a stronger human. Just know that you are making a difference, every damn day.

Dear 24 year old Jeanette… This is your year of saying no to things that do not add to your life. Your time is your time – use it however you please! Be grateful for who you have in your life, and don’t be afraid of letting people go. This year might get rough at some point, but you’ll get through it – you’re strong as shit. Don’t forget that.

Love always,

25 year old Jeanette

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Travel

Discovering the Heart and S(e)oul of South Korea

After our brief visit to Singapore, we moseyed on over to Seoul, South Korea. Going into this trip, I had an idea of what most of the places would be like, but Korea was an unknown for me. If you asked me what I knew about Korea, the most I could give you would be a list of assorted food items that I’d seen at the Asian market growing up.

Our flight to Korea was about 6 hours long. We flew Singapore airlines, which I had heard rave reviews about. The airplane/airport geek in me was pumped! My short review? Good meals for economy. Decent leg room and seats that were as comfortable as an airplane can get. Great service. Insanely clean bathrooms.

Upon getting on the flight, we met our seat mate. His name is Jin, but he goes by Jimmy. Jimmy chatted with us throughout the flight, and essentially made us feel like unaccomplished humans. He had been in the Olympics as a judo fighter (I’m not 100% sure if it was judo or some other sport but I am 100% sure about the Olympic thing). He also had completed his mandatory 2-year service in the Korean army. What was Jimmy doing now? Training to be a commercial pilot. Jimmy gave us a little crash course into Korean life and described how insanely long days are for both children and adults. If anyone would like to follow our homie Jimmy on Instagram, click here. (You’re welcome Jimmy).

On to Korea.

Day One

We took a cab from the Incheon Airport into Seoul. Cabs are pretty affordable in South Korea and saved us the headache of trying to figure out the bus system. To be honest, we used cabs to get pretty much everywhere while we were in Seoul because #affordableluxury.

We stayed in an area called Myeong-dong, which is known for it’s shopping and K-beauty (neither of which interested me). For our first night, we wandered the streets near our AirBnB, and ate our little hearts out. The area was fun to wander through because of all the little side streets that kept leading you to more food! Scroll on for the grub from that night 😉

Buchimgae – Korean pancake
Kimchi
Banchan 4 life
Cute rice balls for the banchan
Hot pot

Day Two

The next day, we had meandering on our schedule, as well as a kimchi making class. Whilst we meandered, I made a few observations…

  • Public bathrooms were a bit hard to come by – as were garbage cans
  • Americanos were not very good at all!
  • Air was dirty. Dirty enough that I longed for that presh Chicago air. Yes, it was really that bad!
  • Everyone is incredibly nice. Reflecting back on it now, I can’t determine if it was genuine niceness or just a politeness that we don’t have at home.
Google Translate: if I buy you a bouquet, will you be mine?
#kawaii

Meandering was fun, but the streets were incredibly crowded and the air was not the best, so we were ready to go indoors for our kimchi class. Kimchi is something that we eat frequently – we’re all about those probiotics! During the class we learned so much about the history of kimchi and what it means in Korea. Essentially, kimchi is a staple in Korean daily life. Families even get together annually for an event called Kimjang, in which they make kimchi all day long. People even get the day off of work for this! We also learned about the million and one types of kimchi, as well as how kimchi ages (similarly to wine I suppose).

If you’re curious about the process and history of kimchi, take this class! It was taught by a husband and wife team, and not only did we make kimchi, but we also had a homemade meal together! I would recommend it 100%!

All the spices!
Smug mug
Dinner! Bossam (boiled pork), buchimgae (pancakes) and rice cakes!

Day Three

The last thing that we did in Seoul proper was a city walk. We booked a tour off of AirBnB and our host was great! We met at the Seoul Cinema, where he began by talking about the history of the Korean language. Fun fact alert: did you know that up until the 1980s, Mandarin Chinese was a common language for Koreans? I didn’t!

We continued on our tour by visiting what was the first shopping mall in Seoul. It has since been converted into electronic shops, as well as studios for young artists, who can receive funding from the country for an apartment and studio space! In front of the building was a statue of a robot, which symbolized the creation of new technology that occurred there.

We had to
There were public rooms where you could listen to a collection of records!
They had rooms throughout where people could meet and work!

As we delved deeper into the buildings, we came across stores that sold all types of obscure electronic pieces. The tour guide told us that the government paid for training so that these store owners could keep up to date with current technological needs!

The interior of the buildings
The view from the top floor, which had been renovated as a meeting space for locals

After exploring the buildings, our tour guide brought us to a fun little coffee shop in the design market. In Seoul, businesses that do similar jobs are located near one another. This coffee shop was in an area that had many businesses that did graphic design and packaging for goods. Clearly, the coffee shop had a great design team behind it.

The coffee shop!

We continued on with a walk through the Gwangjang market, where we saw stands selling custom made hanbok – traditional Korean dresses.

We ended our tour in the street food section of the market. Our tour guide got us bean sprout pancakes, as well as gimbap – Korean sushi rolls, and we went on our merry way to explore the market on our own! The tour itself was great, and I would highly recommend it! If you’re interested, this is the one we took.

Now here’s the exciting part! Guess who we met? GUESS? No, it was not the dude who sang Gangnam Style. It was mother fracking Yoosun Cho from Netflix’s Street Foods! Of course we stopped for a bite to eat and a selfie with the noodle queen!

Day Four

We ended our visit to South Korea with a day trip to the DMZ (which I’ll obviously need to dedicate an entire post to), and a day in Incheon where we ventured to a Korean spa. In all honesty, I don’t get the hype about the Korean spa. It had a bunch of different saunas at different temperatures and purifying elements (like a sauna full of charcoal and one full of amethyst). It was cool, but one sauna room would have done the trick as well.

Reflection

Overall, South Korea gave us some great times, some good laughs and tasty food. Coming from the U.S., it was hard to ignore the level of conformity that existed (a lot of websites were blocked – like Reddit) and the insane hours of work that people put in. At the end of a visit to a new country, I like to reflect and think about if the place I visited was a place I could imagine myself living. While Seoul was fun, it’s a hard no for me. The air quality was terrible (which is huge for us) and the idea of being a “company man” would never be appealing to me. Korea was fun to visit, but I’ll keep it at that!

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Travel

Singapore: Too Perfect?

I’m trying to write all these thoughts out before too much time passes so that the details are still clear in my memory. Today is July 29th and we are 11 days into our 5 week trip through Asia and Australia. So I guess all of this word vomit is 11 days old.

We left Chicago on the 18th on a flight to Singapore, with a layover in Korea. Our first flight from Chicago to Korea was glorious… meaning we had the seat next to us empty. There’s nothing like sitting cross legged without butting your neighbor with your knee on a fourteen hour flight.

After a 2-hour layover in Seoul, we had one more flight to Singapore. Why Singapore? I’m an airport geek. I love watching YouTube videos about airport features, and apparently, Singapore is #1!

We stayed at the Yotel at the Singapore Airpot for both nights. It’s fine for a layover, but expect to be stepping on the toes of anyone you happen to be staying with. I didn’t get get any photos of the room, but I assure you that one photo would have captured it all. Also, there’s no real divider between the bathroom and bedroom, so I hope you’re comfortable with your roomie.

Moving on… we arrived around 1am and decided to have a little walk while it was empty. The Jewel, which is the part of the airport that the Yotel is in, is a brand new addition to the Singapore Airport. It was opened this past April and is essentially a massive mall attached to the airport with an indoor forest and waterfall. It’s pretty spectacular, especially at night when no one else is around.

Around 3am we finally fell asleep, and woke up the next morning to explore Singapore! Singapore has been intriguing to me ever since watching Crazy Rich Asians. Was it really that rich? Was it really that manicured? After 24 hours there, I can safely say that I don’t have an answer for the first question, and a definite yes to the second one!

Driving out of the airport into the city, you couldn’t help but noticed how well maintained everything was! Every bush, flower and tree we passed was in pristine shape. Garbage on the road was nowhere to be found. It seemed almost too perfect.

Our first stop was to a hawker center, or Singapore’s version of a food court. The one we went to was called Lau Pa Sat. When we got there, we walked around and saw about 100 different food stalls selling a variety of food. We finally settled on a serving of Kaya toast, which is toast with a spread of coconut milk and eggs (something that Singapore is known for) and a plate of char sui, which is Chinese barbecue pork. In all honesty, neither blew me away.

After eating, we walked over to Gardens by the Bay. Along the way, we found an Ayurvedic shop called Ega Juice Clinic, which sold pressed juices, as well as goods based on your Ayurvedic type. The woman at the shop was so kind and explained the concept to us, which we both found incredibly intriguing. She gave us some soap for our type, and a couple of quizzes to determine what we leaned towards. (For anyone interested, I’m a Vata).

After drinking our juices, we finally made it to the Gardens by the Bay. While there, we explored two of the conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Both were beautiful! It was incredibly hot, so we didn’t explore much of the outside – although we did get an obligatory picture.

After exploring the gardens, we headed back to the airport to explore the Jewel some more. The taxi driver along the way gave us an interesting insight into what it meant to be from Singapore. Singapore was established in 1965 when it broke off from Malaysia. Singapore is a city-state that is only slightly larger than the city of Chicago, yet it is an economic hub. Essentially, they have limited natural resources, due to their size, but have made a name for themselves in finance due to their political stability. The taxi driver was incredibly excited to talk to us about the Jewel, and rattled off all kinds of facts, such as how many stores they had and the exact date of it’s opening. Clearly, the launch of the Jewel was a source of pride for those from Singapore.

The Jewel has no shortage of delicious food, but what few may know is that it also has several restaurants which have received Michelin stars! That night, we ate at Putien, whose other branch had earned a Michelin star in 2016. The restaurant specializes in Chinese food that is sourced from the best regions in China.

Bian rou – dumpling soup
Roasted bitter melon
Cold Pork Trotters Jelly
Seaweed with mini shrimp
Braised bean curd
“100-Second” yellow croaker

In all honesty, I wasn’t blown away by the food but it was an experience. Most of the Chinese food I’ve had in my life has come from either Joy Yee or Panda Express so I was glad to get have some real Chinese food. The best dish would probably be the dumpling soup. Interestingly enough, the wrapper isn’t made of flour but of pork meat! #keto

With that, our 24 hours in Singapore came to a close. My thoughts? It was beautiful, but almost too perfect. It kind of felt like that scene in Passengers where they’ve built a garden in the space craft. I’m grateful to have visited, but in my opinion, one day was enough to get the gist of Singapore. For anyone visiting, take some cash out for the hawker centers, but everywhere else will accept credit card. Taxis are extremely reasonable as well!

See the similarities?

When we woke up the next morning, we boarded a flight to Seoul, South Korea… which is where I will pick this blog back up at (soonish). Side note – Singapore is one of those airports where you can’t bring water past security, however you can bring empty bottles and fill them up before boarding. Just in case any of ya’ll are into hydration like we are.

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Head + Heart = Hustle Thoughts

Do You Follow Your Fire?

I went to the DMZ yesterday (that’s a story for another post), and along the way, in an effort to reduce my battery usage to increase Instagram story output, I rediscovered some of my old downloaded playlists.

Does anyone remember Kodaline? I know they’re still active, but let’s be real, they peaked in 2014. They have this one song, that I listened to on repeat yesterday, that has had me thinking. A lot.

Are you still following your fire? Do you even know what it is anymore? Remember in college, when you had passion? Lord knows about what – possibly a war in a country that you hadn’t even heard of or being a vegetarian – but it was passion. It was something in the pit of your stomach that just made you feel all these exquisite feelings at once. You felt like you could possibly be an agent of change one day. You felt like you could matter.

Then you graduated college, and your passion became your career. Maybe your drive became paying your bills and keeping up with rent. Passion became productivity.

I’m on a 5 week trip at the moment, and I really hope that this helps me rediscover my fire. I’ve been feeling a bit drained lately. I want that fire in my life again – excitement, too much energy to sleep, the whole nine yards.

In the past, I’ve always taken away so much from travel. Much more than I ever expect to. I can zoom out and see my day to day life clearly. I can see how others live and see what I need add to my own life. I’m excited to see what comes of this trip.

I’d like to have a conversation. For anyone who is reading this, what is your passion? How do you balance your fire with being an adult? How do you ground yourself in the fact that you are more than your job description?

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Life Lately

Life Lately

I have been neglectful AF towards this blog – which is audacious considering I pay to have it! I don’t even have a good excuse – I’ve been on summer break for the last two weeks doing nothing but going to yoga and annoying my husband.

I thought it’d be fun to do a quick scrolleroo (can someone with the hook up at Websters get that word in please?)through the phone and use my pictures to show you what life has been like lately.

First things first – I got licensed as a real estate broker. My husband works in real estate and it’s a nice little side hustle for me, especially with the down time I get with teaching. Plus I’m super nosey and very into HGTV so the fact that I get to sneak peek into people’s homes and lives has been a great lil perk!

I mentioned this before, but when my friend and I went to New Orleans, we ended up binge watching practically the entire first season of Yummy Mummies. (Side note: Yummy Mummies is NOT fun to watch alone – you must have a companion whom you can trash talk with) Last week, we had a private viewing party (real talk – it was me and her and a few bowls of carbs) to watch the second season. We made it 80% through. In my humble opinion, there was just not a whole lot of drama happening which made it not as enticing to watch.

In more royal news – last month someone told me that whenever Meghan Markle goes on tv, they’re reminded of me. I have been riding incredibly high on that compliment horse. The combination of joy that I got from that compliment, combined with my abundance of free time has resulted in me making too many photos to show off the similarity that I, a simple Muggle, have with royalty.

If you’re local, you need to check this place out. I had it last night with my mom and ugh, it was so good. It’s basically Chipotle style bimbimbap! Definitely go with the beef over the chicken though. Also – they have free miso soup! Like $0.00 free! GO NOW!

What a great introduction into my next photo, which is an image of the 50,000 Korean Won. I have never felt so wealthy. In reality, that bill is $40. BUT IT SAYS 50,000! WOAH! We’re heading to Korea next week and I am so excited. Stay tuned for a review comparing Korean bimbimbap to that of the previous photo!

Lastly – I am obsessed with these pants. They were $10 at the Gap and I am looooooving them. I have recently discovered that I do indeed like shopping which I thought was a problem, but it’s only a problem if you say it is. I will continue to allow myself to purchase clearance items because why the feck not? Maybe this will turn into a pseudo-fashion blog?!

That’s all for now folks! I’ll be (hopefully) keeping this blog more updated – especially with our upcoming travels! Enjoy your tans, ya beautiful people!