Fourteen of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Dalgona Coffee

Merry Christmas! Wishing you all a safe, joyous, and peaceful holiday weekend. One week until 2021! Let the countdown for the new year begin.

Sharing the 14th fact the year has taught and reminded me:

14. Pending election results can cause a lot of stress and anxiety; hence, stress eating.

This year was an election year in the US. With all that’s happened in 2020, this election was also something to talk about- and stress about ,too. I’ve never been more in-tuned and involved during an election year than this year. It was another event that will go down in history. It was very nerve-wracking watching the presidential election results that felt like an eternity to finalize. I felt like I was constantly stress eating during that extremely long wait.

This year made me realize how important it is to do research on elective officials before casting my vote. I’ve lost trust in the government. It’s full of bureaucratic and undisclosed corruption. With a new president on the way for 2021, I hope they can restore trust back in the American people. I want to have faith and hope again that the government will truly make American wonderful and united again.

During Father’s Day weekend, I came across a popular Korean coffee drink called dalgona (see featured image) on The Pioneer Woman on Food Network. This drink became popular to make during the quarantine. It’s so simple to make. However, my version was super strong and rich! I think I may’ve used too much instant coffee.

The ingredients for dalgona Coffee, or whipped coffee:

  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Boiling water
  • Instant coffee

Mele Kalikimaka!

Be safe!

FS x

Thirteen of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Me + Fruit/Veggie Smoothie

Merry Christmas Eve!! Let’s start the holiday celebration! Please be safe. The thirteenth thing that 2020 has taught and reminded me is:

13. To continually advocate and fight for social justice and equality.

The song, “Fight Song,” by Rachel Platten, immediately comes to mind. This year revealed how divided the US is and how our nation is in desperate need of change towards unification. It breaks my heart that while we should be uniting as one, we are tearing each other apart. We’ve got some ways to go towards fighting for social justice and equality in this world. I believe it can be achieved one day soon if we all work together, with an open mind and heart. My hope and prayer is that with the new government inaugurated in the new year, our nation will be led to move in the right direction- towards more peace, harmony, laughter, and love. My wish is that we come together as one, supporting, encouraging, and loving one another. Treating one another as our equal; with fairness. Practicing non-judgment and non-discrimination. Prayers for our nation and rest of the world for deep healing.

This summer, I was on a roll with making various smoothies. The featured image has broccoli, cabbage, strawberries, and papaya. I added chia seeds, almond milk, and honey. It was the first time I added vegetables to my smoothies. It was very refreshing.

Wishing everyone a beautiful Christmas Eve. Be safe; wear your mask and keep your distance.

FS x

Twelve of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Red Wine

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! It’s been a very hectic week. Looking forward to some downtime and a long weekend ahead.

The twelfth fact that the year has taught and reminded me is:

12. To be grateful for the advanced and instant technology we have to communicate with one another today.

Technology has come a long way over the last few decades. It has advanced greatly and quickly in the last 10 years. Thinking about the first generation iPhone that launched in 2008 seems like ages ago. That device is considered “old school” in 2020. We wouldn’t even have the patience to operate that phone today. Every year, the speed of our gadgets and the internet gets faster and faster. Instant speed can’t come fast enough. Much thanks to the tech geniuses who constantly perfect our technology devices.

During this challenging year, I’ve relied much more on technology to communicate with others. I am truly so thankful for the wonderful access to these God-sent devices, apps, programs, and services. Without them, life would be less entertaining and communication would be much slower. I still enjoy “snail mail” letters. However, we live in a techology fast-pace world, where it’s so hard to imagine life without these grand, advanced gadgets. They make life easier to navigate in a lot of situations.

I find it amazing that drinking red wine offers so many health benefits. On the flip side, I’ve learned that too much consumption of wine can cause cancer and cognitive impairment due to too much alcohol consumption. Everything in moderation…

I love a good Pinot Noir or Shiraz. I also love the Stella Rosa red wines- the original Rosso, Black, and Red. They have a sweetness and carbonation, which makes the wine so yummy.

Cheers! Will be back tomorrow on Christmas Eve.

Happy Wednesday!

FS x

Eleven of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Ground Turkey Gyros

Happy Tuesday! How’s everyone doing as we draw nearer to Christmas Day? I hope the hustle and bustle has come to an ease and y’all can relax and unwind the remainder of this week.

The eleventh thing the year has taught and reminded me is:

11. The privilege to work remotely from home.

I have been so blessed to work from home during our stay-at-home orders and throughout the pandemic, even prior to COVID. My company provides us with a laptop, WiFi hot spot, and mobile phone. We use a cloud-based electronic system and can basically work from anywhere. I’m so grateful for that. I’m also so very thankful that I’m considered an “essential worker” and am able to aid my seniors during this crazy year, even if I don’t meet with them in-person. They need services and the connection more than ever. Thank goodness for the telephone, fax, email, and postal mail. We all need to lean on one another. We’re in this together.

I love Greek food, especially tzatziki sauce. I made my own ground turkey gyros (pronounced “yee-row”) with tzatziki sauce earlier this year (see featured image). It was amazingly yummy. I love ground turkey. It was a very simple and quick dish. I seasoned the ground turkey with garlic salt and garlic pepper. The tzatziki sauce was made with Greek plain yogurt, dried dill, garlic flakes, and pepper. Yum! There ya have it!

Good night, All! Until tomorrow.

FS x

Ten of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Poke

Happy Christmas week! Here is the tenth fact that this year has taught and reminded me.

10. Recognizing the importance of essential and frontline workers (i.e., grocery store workers, postal workers, sanitation engineers, MDs, nurses, social workers, paramedics, teachers, military, etc.).

Since the pandemic began, the spotlight has been heavily focused on the essential and frontline workers. I have the utmost respect for them, as they’re sacrificing their lives while they continue to service us in our communities. Much thank you to all of you– for all the hard work you put into this world to keep it and us going. You will always be appreciated. These people are our true superheroes. They are resilient and strong!

Last summer, my friends and I went camping and BBQ’d some ‘ono food (see featured image). It was so fun! We created such wonderful memories together. Can’t wait until the day we can do this again. We ate some of our local staples- ahi (tuna), tako (octopus), and crab poke. Poke means to “slice” or “cut” in Hawaiian. It was so good! The chicken we BBQ’d was excellent, too! Being outdoors, in the woods, across the ocean, eating yummy food with friends made the experience so merry and refreshing.

Take care and Happy Monday!

FS x

Nine of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Margaritas

We’ve got five days left till Christmas. It’s coming and coming fast! I managed to finish my holiday shopping yesterday. What a relief! What’s left is the wrapping and more holiday baking. I hope you all are keeping safe and healthy, as the pandemic is still greatly present in this world. Keep your distance, make good hygiene part of your lifestyle, and wear your masks. We are going to conquer this together!

Today, I’m sharing the ninth fact that the year has taught and reminded me:

9. To be mindful and open to change and possibilities.

2020 was a year to fully incorporate mindfulness and openness as change was and is still so prevalent in our world. Life has been very unpredictable and uncertain for many, if not, all of us. Feelings of daily ambiguity has never come to the forefront of my mind until this year. Before the chaos began, I never gave it a second thought. In a way, it felt like I lived my life blindly, though I was clearly aware of things happening before me. I can’t quite explain it, but all I know is that 2020 was a very unique year, where different feelings I’ve never encountered, were felt and made aware in my conscious that would change my life. This year alone, I’ve seen countless times where things constantly changed. Not only daily, but sometimes within hours of the same day. Change does not always come easy to people. Many people I know don’t like change. They have a hard time adjusting, including myself at times. With so many changes that occurred within 2020, I had to ready my mind and heart to be accepting of whatever changes came and are still to come my way.

This year was not all angst. I found light, too. A beacon of hope for potential possibilities in my life. A lot of ideas, thinking, reflection, pondering… Good moments. Inspiring and motivating junctures. Change is not always unpleasant. I’m grateful for the good changes.

Mindfulness has such awesome benefits. This article describes what mindfulness is and its health benefits: https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-mindfulness/. I have been trying to practice mindfulness regularly because I want to reap the positive benefits of this practice. Who wants to live their lives miserable and stressed?

Let’s talk margaritas. Blended peach margaritas. Yum! It was so good and very simple to make. All the ingredients listed you add accordingly to your taste buds and preferences.

Ingredients:

  • Tequila
  • Triple sec
  • Lemon juice
  • Peach slices/cubes
  • Salt
  • Ice

Cheers to the week of Christmas! Be safe! Until next time.

Happy Sunday!

FS

Eight of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + A Lot of Meat

We’re nearing the halfway mark of the lessons 2020 has taught and reminded me. It’s been very exciting to share each fact everyday. I’ve been working on this list ever since I came up with the idea, during the end of spring/early summer, and have been reflecting and recognizing what meaningful lessons the year had shown me. It’s been such an eye-opening experience.

The eighth lesson is:

8. Hugging mends the soul.

One of the things I’ve missed this year is hugging. Hugging my family, friends, co-workers, new people I meet… We love to hug in Hawai’i. The COVID virus has caused a lot of physical separation and distance amongst us all. We’ve gotten creative. In lieu of hugging, we’ve fist-bumped and elbow-bumped one another. However, there’s nothing like receiving a huge, warm hug. Humans need physical touch. It’s how we were built. Hugging brings people closer; it makes us feel loved and essentially, better… It’s healing. It really mends the soul. I always loved giving and receiving hugs. When it’s safe to be in close contact with people again, I will treasure my hugs more than ever. I’m looking forward to that day when we’ll feel safe and free to embrace one another in our arms again without having to worry about a deadly virus in the air. It’ll be so special.

I was searching the Internet about research done on hugging. I was happy to find various articles on the affects of hugging. I found this article from Time: https://time.com/5413957/hugs-are-good-for-you/

Last summer, my family threw a surprise birthday party for my aunt. We held the celebration at 3660 On The Rise. It’s a beautiful restaurant, with several private rooms, which we were blessed to reserve. Customer service was excellent. Everything went very smoothly. Can we talk about the food? OH MY! It was absolutely delish! It was buffet style. We had ordered a variety of meats, like lamb, chicken, salmon, and pot roast. My favorite of all the meat selections was the lamb. Hands down! One of the best lambs I’ve ever eaten in a long time. I was most excited about that being on the menu and made sure I had my fair share of it. Yum!

3360 On The Rise
3360 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, 96816
808-737-1177
https://3660ontherise.com/

Until tomorrow! Aloha!

FS x

Seven of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Holly Cookies

Happy Aloha FriYAY! It’s one week before Christmas! Spending this weekend baking and finishing up my Christmas shopping and wrappings. It’s crunch time! There’s so much to do! I’m pumped! I’m determined! Let’s do this!

The seventh thing that the year has taught and reminded me is:

7. To be loving, understanding, patient, and kinder to ourselves.

We need to take good care of ourselves. After all, we’re living with ourselves for life. We do everything with me, myself, and I. It’s important to love ourselves. If we can cherish our family, friends, and acquaintances, why can’t we reciprocate treating ourselves that same way?

I had experienced many moments of frustration with myself and with the world this year. All that has occurred in the world had affected me in both positive and negative ways. I recall the first couple months of quarantining went well. I was pumped and motivated. I had created a to-do list of tasks to accomplish while we were abiding by our state-at-home order.

That “honeymoon” period came and went. By the third month of the pandemic, this “new” lifestyle became tiring and mentally exhausting. There were moments of anguish, anger, and irritation. I had wanted to return to my regular life. Then I asked myself, “what was ‘normal’ now?”

It’s been a constant reminder to be more loving, understanding, patient, and kinder to myself. Give myself more grace. Forgive myself for mistakes. Not being so hard on myself, especially when goals and tasks haven’t been met. To create a happier me, I’ve reminded myself countless times to set smaller and reasonable goals and to do what I can. And if there are days where I don’t feel like doing things, that’s ok. It’s ok to veg and be lazy. Literally, when I tell people I’m taking it day by day and one step at a time, I truly mean that. This is the new way of maneuvering through life. We had to undergo a lot of changes this year. It’s been an adjustment.

I love holly cookies (see featured image)! They’re so yummy and cute. And, they’re super easy to make. No baking required. Yay! Perfect to make during the holidays, or anytime, really.

Guide to making these wonderful cookies: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/9498/holly-christmas-cookies/

Ingredients needed:

  • Marshmallows
  • Green food coloring
  • Corn flakes
  • Red candies
  • Powered sugar
  • Butter (softened)
  • Vanilla extract

It’s the weekend, All! Have a great and safe one.

FS x

Six of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Sushi

Today, as I blog, I’m listening to a webinar on how people’s mental health have been affected during this pandemic. There’s a panel of MDs, including a couple psychiatrists, talking about how children’s mental health are affected due to the lack of social support. They also discuss how the pandemic affects parents and other adults, too. All in all, this has affected all of us universally. This leads to the sixth fact of what 2020 has taught and reminded me today.

6. Social connection is vital for our mind, body, and spirit.

We’re social beings. Socialization is part of our genetic make-up. Doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert. We all need connection in some way, shape, or form. This year, we’ve gotten inventive with connecting in safer ways. So thankful for all the ways we’re able to connect with one another.

I’ve gone through periods of feeling lonely during the course of this pandemic. The feeling of loneliness is not pleasant. Overtime, it can mess with your mental and emotional health. Spending time in your own thoughts day-in-and-day-out is not always the healthiest. I’ve learned over the course of this year how essential connecting with others is. I can’t live without it. My family, friends… They’re important. My support system has always been loving, supportive, and encouraging. That’s been a blessing and what’s keeping me sane and as grounded as possible.

Today’s 2020 lesson fact makes me reflect on the new Shawn Mendes’ song, Call My Friends. Hearing the words of this song made me think about my friends and how I cherish my relationships with them. Love y’all!

It’s been forever since I had sushi (featured image). A few weeks ago, I ordered a nigiri set from Kozo Sushi and it was oh-so-good! Nigiri sushi is basically when a raw piece of fish, or egg, is placed on top of the vingear rice. It’s my fave type of sushi to eat. I especially love ebi (shrimp), tako (squid), and hamachi (yellowtail) nigiri. I don’t eat white rice very often. But when I do, it’s like heaven! White rice definitely pairs well with sushi. Hands down! I’ve tried eating sushi made with brown rice, but it doesn’t taste the same.

Visit the Kozo Sushi at Koko Marina Shopping Center:

Kozo Sushi
7191 Kalanianaole Hwy.
Honolulu, 96825
808-396-8881

Yay to FriYAY tomorrow! We’re almost at the end of the week. Hang in there! The weekend is coming again!

FS x

Five of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Hot Cocoa

We are midway through December, ya’ll! The days continue to fly by! Despite all that’s happening, this has been my busiest holiday season yet! Unbelievable!

We’re on the fifth fact that the year has taught and reminded me.

5. The never-ending need to self-care.

The term, self-care, was introduced to me when I was in my Masters of Social Work (MSW) program. Since then, the word has become a staple in my life. This year, more than ever, self-care has been endlessly spoken and practiced, not only in my life, but in my friends’ lives, too. I make it an appoint to frequently incorporate self-care. It’s so important to nourish the mind, body, and soul with lots of love and self-care. We need to take care of ourselves. If we don’t, how can we be of assistance to others? Always remember that self-care is NOT selfish.

I found this chart listing the different types of self-care. The list is quite extensive. There are so many ways to take care of oneself. Make your list or lists and take action! Ready? GO!

Onto some holiday hot chocolate making (featured image). I’ve always wanted to make my own hot cocoa from scratch and I finally did. I also added some booze to spike the drink up! Peppermint schnapps is DA BOMB! Whoop whoop! Here are the ingredients I used to make this rich and fabulous drink:

  • 72% dark chocolate bar
  • 1 carton of almond and coconut milk creamer
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • Peppermint schnapps
  • 1 drop dōTERRA peppermint essential oil

Cheers!

FS x