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

Four of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Kaleidoscope Bagel

I had the idea of creating this inspirational list to remind myself that I’m human and that I encounter good days and not-so-good days. I have various feelings that come and go. And during this year where I had a lot of time to sit and reflect, creating this list helped me normalize my thoughts and feelings, as well as provided me with motivation and inspiration. I hope it does the same for you, too. The fourth thing that 2020 has taught and reminded me is:

4. Appreciation, even for the small things.

I’m very appreciative of you, my supporters. Thank you!

Throughout this year, appreciation became a high point in my life. Taking time each day to appreciate all the good in my life, even the simplest and littlest things, has become important. Since 2018, during the entire month of November, I partake in a #thankfulchallenge where I share one thing I’m thankful for from the 1st through the 30th on my social media platforms. It’s quite fun! I enjoy creating the posts and sharing them with everyone. There really is a lot to be thankful for. I try to think of 30 new things I’m grateful for every November. I’ve also realized that sometimes the negatives events that happens in our lives can be a blessing in disguise. They’ve made me come to appreciate them, too.

There’s a new cafe that opened this year, called Conversations. It’s a cute place that has some simple grinds and the most creative drinks. They also sell the cutest knick-knacks. One of their yummiest dishes is the kaleidoscope bagel (see featured image). It’s too pretty to eat. I love how creative the bagel looks, with colored cream cheese, sprinkles, edible flowers, and fruits. It’s really good. They also make kaleidoscope toast.

Conversations
1805 Liliha St.
Honolulu, 96817
808-551-6645

We’re almost halfway through the week, and the month. Ten more days until Christmas!

See you here tomorrow.

Night!

FS

Three of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Cookies

Happy Monday! It’s day three and I’ll be sharing the third thing that this year has taught and reminded me. Plus, we’ll be talking about some yummy holiday cookies.

3. To keep on persevering, even through the challenging times.

The word, perseverance, has been the central theme of my life these days. It’s not always easy to be tenacious, especially during tough times. We often feel like giving up; throwing in the towel, and just say “forget it.” I know I’ve felt that way many times. But at the end of the day, I keep reminding myself to persist and endure, no matter how hard the fight is. I’m a fighter and I don’t give up! I’m a conqueror!

The new Taylor Swift album, folklore, has been powerful. Her lyrics have a deeper meaning than ever before. One song in particular, “this is me trying,” immediately resonated with me as soon as I heard it. I thought about many people across the globe who are trying their best every single day. I think as long as we’re trying and doing the best we can in life, that shows courage, fortitude, and stamina as an individual.

Ok, let’s talk cookies. Over the last few holidays, I’ve been trying to perfect a butter cookie recipe that my late grand auntie used to make when I was growing up. She didn’t write the recipe down; only the ingredient list that was actually created by my grandfather. It took multiple tries to get the cookies down-packed. I felt like I was doing a science experiment project. Eventually, I was able to make the cookies my own, which was my ultimate goal. Baking is not like cooking. It’s very important that baking recipes are followed to the T. Too much of this or too little of that, will turn your baking dish upside down.

Until tomorrow… Keep persevering.

FS x

Two of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Cornbread

Happy Sunday! We are 12 days away from Christmas Day. The days are flying by! Though, we are celebrating the holidays differently this year, I’ve never been more busier than this holiday season. I’m doing more baking and slowly expanding Foodnista Soul…, just to name a few…

I spent a lot of time this year thinking and reflecting upon myself, my family and friends, my life, my goals, my actions, thoughts, and emotions during our stay-at-home orders. There were many things- good, bad, and ugly, that were revealed to me during these periods of isolation. I think a lot of us can relate and say that we had a lot of time on our hands to sit, reflect, and even dwell in and on our own thoughts way more frequently than usual.

For the next 20 days, I am thrilled to share 20 things the year has taught and reminded me. My hopes in sharing these revelations would be to instill optimism, inspiration, realization, and knowing you’re not alone if you’ve felt like this, too. Plus, let’s talk about one dish each day. Food, for me, has always brought happiness, comfort, and togetherness. Cooking and baking, especially for me, brings joy and happiness. I also love trying new foods in my community, though, it’s been a little challenging to do that this year with a lot of restaurants closing, not fully operating at 100%, and the anxiety of being out in public places amidst the pandemic. 2020 lesson number two is…

2. To believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand why.

I’m sure we’re all wondering why this year turned out the way it did- with all the distressing events that happened and are still happening amongst us. I envisioned 2020 to be a start to a brand new decade, full of clarity, vision, and new beginnings and opportunities. But that wasn’t necessarily the case for many of us. There’s a reason behind why 2020 was the year it was. It doesn’t make sense to the human mind. It’s confusing, frustrating, anxiety-provoking. Nevertheless, I know that there’s a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. The light is coming. Soon.

Life is mysterious and complex. Life is challenging sometimes, and “not always fair.” When good and not-so-good things happen in our lives, we don’t always understand the meanings behind them. At least for me, I sometimes find that to be the case. Over the span of several years, I began to look at life, including mine, differently. I began to instill the notion that everything happens in life for a reason- wonderful things, not-so-great things, and terrible things… We may not always understand why, especially when things turn south. Sometimes we’re meant to learn something from the event. Sometimes it’s meant to show us something that may or may not have an influence in our lives in the future. Whatever those reasons may be, I find it important to keep the faith, no matter what, and to keep moving forward. It wouldn’t do good, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically, to always dwell in the negatives. Something great always arises from disappointments. Another door is opening; another opportunity is coming. A better one.

During the week of Thanksgiving, I was craving cornbread. I wanted to try making cornbread with creamed corn. Well, the recipe I followed, didn’t produce a yummy dish. The cornbread was very dry. It was not very appetizing. I still wanted to satisfy my craving of eating some good cornbread, so I tried again over the Thanksgiving weekend. I found a different recipe and omitted cream corn from the ingredient list. I also added almond flour to the dish. It was the first time I’ve ever used almond flour. I’ve been eyeing it for quite some time. It is a healthier alternative to white flour. Well, this second attempt at baking cornbread was a success (featured image)! It was a lot more moist, and it tasted great with the almond flour. Therefore, I was inspired to now use almond flour in future baking recipes. One of my goals when in the kitchen is about utilizing healthier ingredients in my cooking.

Have a wonderful new week. Until next time.

FS x

One of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught Me + One Dish to Talk About!

Happy Holidays! This year has been an unprecedented and roller-coaster year we all never had thought to expect. A year that will go down in history. Events the entire world collectively experienced together. Yah, 2020 was rough, but that didn’t stop me from rising above the difficult and prodigious challenges. Conjointly, we are resilient and tenacious. We are inviolable conquerors.

For the next 20 days, I will share 20 things the year has taught and reminded me. Plus, let’s talk about one dish each day. Food, for me, has always brought happiness, comfort, and togetherness.

  1. Faith, hope, optimism, support, encouragement, and love keep me going.

During my darkest days of the year- yes, I’ve experienced ’em- faith, hope, and love have gotten me through the roughest days, and still continues to do so. Optimism, support, and encouragement, have also been bright lights inside and outside of my tunnel. These are the words that constantly mold my character and my life. They provide a powerful and meaningful drive to keep me going strong, and to never give up.

This global COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the entire world. Like many other countries, our economy took a turn for the worst. Many people is Hawai’i became unemployed, including some of my loved ones. Recently, the State of Hawai’i provided those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, a $500 card to use at various participating local restaurants. One of my relatives received their card late last month. The deadline to utilize the funds on the card is next week Tuesday. We ordered these sampler dishes that happened to be the special of the day, which was a Monday, from Roy’s. The dish consisted of: seared ahi, grilled shrimp, Misoyaki butterfish, and braised short ribs (featured image). It was sooo delicious! It was a treat we all enjoyed! Mahalo, State of Hawai’i!

Stay safe and tune in tomorrow for my second thing 2020 has taught and reminded me.

Happy weekend,

FS x