Posts Tagged ‘habits’

Deep food coma

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The first few days we got back from the UK, I was doing pretty well with the getting up in the morning thing. I’d wake up around 5 or 6 and decide that it was too early, so I’d let myself slowly drift off again until about 7. By then my body couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to get up. Because of these earlier starts, I also got tired earlier in the day. In fact, as soon as we’d get back from dinner, I’d jokingly wrap up in my new sherpa throw and say, “Good night!”

curled up on couch with new super soft and comfy sherpa throw blanketNext thing I knew, Panda would be getting ready for bed and turning off the lights. For some reason that always woke me up, though I very easily slipped back into sleep. Then another hour or so later I’d wake up and force myself to get up to blog for the night. I am dedicated to my craft, after all! If the only thing I get right is that I post every time I tell myself I will, at least I will have that. Most recently I have a goal of one post a day in addition to my 365great post at the end of the day. I’ve been doing quite well and throwing in posts about random things, mixing in reviews and pictures and whatnot. I was not about to let some strange sleep schedule jeopardize that! 😛

But what I’ve learned is that jetlag + sherpa + dinner = major food coma/crash. I mean, 8 PM I’m sound asleep as if I’m 5 again. Actually, I’m not even sure I slept that early as a child. It’s just not my thing! So I’ve got to say, this sherpa and plush blanket is one magical thing to get me to fall asleep so well. I can’t get enough of it and I’m already thinking about getting more (much to Panda’s chagrin, lol). I’ve had to resist using it tonight for fear of falling asleep before either of my blog posts are up. Alas, work now keeps me busy in the day and I need to write posts at night! This will take some getting used to.

365great Day 172: afternoon tea

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 172: afternoon teaThis is a British tradition that I wish I could partake in more often! I love drinking tea and eating small snacks. I’ve only had afternoon tea a few times and each has been wonderfully enjoyable. Part of it has to do with the fact that you’re taking a break in the afternoon; there’s something very serene about stopping to sip tea at that time. I think we often get carried away with the fast pace of life and taking time to slow down and savor the afternoon is a beautiful thing. Plus, I’m a big fan of snacking and the treats associated with tea time are all fabulous. Of course the best part is probably still the tea, all steaming and fragrant. I love a fresh brew of loose leaf tea. Nom! Tea time is great not only for the pick-me-up but getting us to take a moment to truly enjoy our day.

Getting optimal sleep

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

After staying at so many hotels on the UK trip, I’ve learned quite a bit about what I like when it comes to my sleeping arrangement. I’ve also been noticing I need more sleep while traveling – at home I’d settled into a routine of about 6 hours, but when on the go I could sleep on for 8-10 hours if I didn’t have to get up. It makes sense since I spent so much of my day on my feet, walking for hours on end.

So what’s the best thing to come back to after a long, tiring day? Well, a cozy and warm bed. The weather is nothing like the California heat my body has gotten accustomed to and even the winter is Virginia was pretty mild so my body tends to be cold (especially with some of that crazy wind in Edinburgh!). Thankfully, the coldest place had the warmest blanket – a down comforter that kept me nice and toasty. I definitely want to get one of those for my own bed sometime! However, when I’m that snug, it’s sooo hard to get out of bed so perhaps that isn’t the best idea…

sleeping with cat resting in crook of arm and head resting on chest

I love snuggling with Missy.

Back in college I got an amazing body pillow and between that, the down comforter I was using as a mattress topper, and my cozy blanket, I couldn’t drag myself out of bed for a week. Now that’s the sort of sleep I like best. I enjoy being in a super cush environment surrounded by soft blankets and pillows. That might be why I love having my cat sleep with me – she’s so soft and warm! Plus, she purrs and that is very soothing – great for lulling me to sleep. 🙂

In high school and college I could sleep like there was no tomorrow. I’d easily stay in bed until the early afternoon and then saunter out around 1 or 2. Now that I’ve been getting enough sleep at night, with no more all-nighters to pull, I’ve discovered that 6 hours of sleep is the magic number. I wonder if it’s also partly due to changes from aging? I mean, older people do seem to sleep less, it seems. Still, that might not be accurate since Panda manages to sleep a good 10-12 hours on the weekend if he gets the chance. It’s funny how different our bodies are. I can operate perfectly fine on almost half the sleep that he needs!

What I’ve learned and relearned over the years is that if you wear yourself out during the day, you crash hard and fast at night. I sort of miss those days when I was too busy to stop and treasured my precious little sleep. I don’t enjoy my sleep nearly as much now and if I do get really deep sleep I tend to dream, which doesn’t give me as restful sleep. Ah, the intricacies of trying to find the optimal zone of getting enough restful sleep… it’s all so complex!

Are you the same and don’t need much sleep or could you win a sleeping contest?

365great Day 162: couponing

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 162: couponingI never learned how to use coupons until Panda showed me a few years ago. I still rarely use them, but I’ve gotten to appreciate their value a whole lot more. I’ve managed to get cool shampoo for less than a dollar and enjoy some fun nail polish because of my couponing efforts. I grew up used to not buying things very often and when I did it was usually from China or some random small thing that I liked. These aren’t the type of things you find coupons for. When it came to household items, my mom got great deals sometimes by attending closeout sales and browsing swap meets. Our family just wasn’t into the couponing thing and I can’t recall using them as a child. In the past year or two I’ve started to pay more attention because Panda showed me how you can sometimes get free things. We had a lot of fun bonding over an outing to get free things and I really enjoy getting such a deal. I’ve also gotten more into the blogging scene and a lot of bloggers are mommy bloggers who write about saving money and will at least bring up coupons if they don’t actually focus on it as a topic. I think coupons are a great way to save money if you plan wisely!

Toothpaste preferences

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

No, I’m not talking about what brand of toothpaste you like to use. Perhaps more accurately I’m wondering about your toothpaste tube squeezing preferences.

collage of toothpaste tubes squeezed randomly versus neatlyYou see, I’m a bit OCD about my toothpaste tubes and they must be neatly squeezed toward the top of the tube, with the empty part flat and usually folded over. I don’t know how I developed this particular preference since my parents don’t appear to do it. It drives me crazy when I use a tube that is just a misshapen glob, where squeezing it causes the toothpaste not just to come out the top slowly, but sometimes even pushes some of it further back into the tube. Panda’s the type to also let his toothpaste tubes run wild and I’ll find it looking like the one on the left. I then carefully squeeze everything towards the lid and flatten out the bottom. Usually I’ll use a rubber band to keep the flap folded over so his next squeeze doesn’t undo my work.

Am I weird to be so picky about this? I can’t help it; it’s just something I have to fix. What is your toothpaste tube squeezing preference? Do you even have one?

Attention to detail

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,

I’m generally very good at noticing slight changes in details. If something is misaligned, if a font has changed, or if something is happening in the background, I’ll probably notice it. Sometimes this is a bit of a curse, since it makes the perfectionist part of me cringe and then I can’t help but focus on that slight imperfection. I’ve learned to tone it down over the years so that I notice, but don’t mull over the details too long. After all, in day to day life, who wants to spend their time constantly nitpicking what’s wrong?

mini boot camp platoon formation with drill instructor yellingThis served me well in ROTC days, when we were often berated for inattention to detail. Hospital corners had to be perfectly 45 degrees, uniforms had to be perfectly creased but not wrinkled, hair had to be perfectly groomed with not a strand out of place, and the head had to be perfectly cleaned. Everything spotless, in its place, and perfect. Every minute detail was critiqued and criticized, from how you held your hands to where you placed your feet to what your facial expression was. I loved my time in military training, particularly the boot camps I attended. I think the discipline and focus on details was just the environment where I could succeed relatively easily, so that made me feel good. It makes me think of when I took shop class in middle school and the teacher singled me out as having great writing skills, because I could follow his instructions to a tee and write the letters and numbers exactly like him. I’m very good with instructions.

In my personal life, it makes me notice so much around me that my mind is constantly racing. A slight chip in my nail polish, that mark on my wrist bone where it rubs on the computer all day, my slightly uneven features, the way I tend to use one side more than another… these are the things that are in the back of my mind even as I’m working, resting, or interacting with people. Sitting here now I’m thinking about how my ankles don’t bend the same way (one is more flexible than the other), how the sheets don’t fit just right on the bed, and how a new purse I’m breaking in doesn’t stay perfectly centered. I can now think the thought and put it away until I notice it again, but imagine how insane it’d be if I had to try to fix everything! Thank goodness that’s not the case, or else I might go insane.

new facebook toolbar with larger search bar and font

I actually thought of writing about this because recently Facebook changed their toolbar – did you notice? That was a pretty big change, but there are other things like font changes that I can pick out too. I use a tool called Reachli, which has changed nearly half a dozen times in the last month, with small tweaks to the font, font size, menu, etc. Most recently, I was watching a video today and saw that one of the guys in the background was sitting at his computer, typing away when everyone else was paying attention to the speaker (President Obama). If you’re that person in the background yawning or picking your nose or looking away, I’m the person who sees it. With each of these cases, the details were glaringly obvious to me, but I wonder if some people never even noticed a thing. Of course, I don’t notice everything and I certainly fell for the basketball passes trick, but I do feel like I have a much higher awareness than most people. Are you the same?


That ring thing – help!

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

custom made engagement ring with purple sapphire center stone in black jewelry boxOk, so I’m still pretty new to this whole engagement thing and I am so curious what people (especially women) typically do with their rings. Do you wear it all the time? Do you always take it off to wash your hands? Do you often forget it at home? I have no idea what is normal for ring-wearing behavior and I could really use some guidance. My parents are from a generation of Chinese who did not have rings, so growing up I didn’t have role models for that sort of thing. In fact, I’m not sure if any of my relatives have rings. Well, they might have rings, but not really wear them. However, my generation of cousins are getting married now and I think some of them have rings. Still, I don’t think it’s as common or as big a deal as it is in the US.

I’m always concerned about getting the ring wet so I make sure to take it off to wash up. I’m also very careful about where I put my hand since I don’t want to scratch it up or anything. I see older women who seem to have had their rings on for so many years now that they basically forget about it. Do they also meticulously take them off each time they wash their hands? It seems like such a hassle.

What about at home behavior? Do you just keep the ring(s) on all day, every day the way I do with my stud earrings? Or is there a special place you keep your rings at home? How do you make sure to remember to wear them? Or do you just leave them and forget to put them on frequently? Just yesterday I was running late and headed out completely forgetting my ring. I figured it didn’t matter since I was getting a massage and would have to remove it anyway, but I felt a little bare. Should I just keep it on at home too?

Oh and speaking of ring etiquette/habits, do you wear yours on the left or right hand? I’ve seen both and I know different cultures have different habits, but in the US I kind of expect them to be worn on the left hand. Yet I’ve noticed a ton of people wearing rings and bands on their right ring finger… are those just decorative or is there some other meaning to that? Or is it just due to personal/cultural differences perhaps?

And finally, why am I even so concerned about this? I’m sure everybody has their own way of doing it and really it’s a symbol that I don’t need to show to the world all the time. Just because I don’t have a ring doesn’t mean I’m not committed and just because I have a ring doesn’t I’m bound. When it comes down to it, it’s what’s in my heart and mind that matter and I don’t need other people to know what my relationship status is. But, since we live in a society where we do use symbols like these and I do have a ring, I’m super curious about what other women typically do.

So tell me, what ring habits do you have?

What’s in your fridge?

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Much like finding out what is in your purse or your medicine cabinet, seeing what is in your fridge can be an interesting insight into your life. I know one thing that distinguishes our household’s fridge from most others in the modern world: the lack of alcohol. I’d imagine most homes have at least a wine or a beer chilling in there, but not us. My dad’s the only one who drinks alcohol at all and not all that much. In fact, I don’t think we ever had alcohol in our household until I was in college. Neither Panda nor I drink, so if you ever see alcohol in our fridge, it’s someone else’s (or we got it for them).

Well, what is in our fridge? Let’s take a look:

fridge door open with contents showing

Let’s start with the door, which has eggs, salad dressing, soda, marinated mushrooms, pickles, and peanut butter. I don’t think there’s ever a time that we are without eggs. They’re a great food item to eat in the mornings, throw in a soup or noodle soup to add protein, or boil and use as a snack. Definitely a staple in my household. Also very important are the mushrooms and pickles – I love love love just about anything brined, salted, preserved, etc. Usually this meas pickles and marinated mushrooms, but I also enjoy kimchi, preserved radishes, and more. This particular bottle of soda was actually free due to a promotion Pepsi is doing for their Pepsi Next product – usually I’d have real Coke or Dr. Pepper and Pepsi cans. The peanut butter is not mine… I’m not a fan.

Then you can see in the body of the fridge, it’s pretty empty. At this stage, Panda and I still eat out quite a bit so there are a bunch of takeout boxes from the leftovers we had at Olive Garden. We love their 2 for $25 deal! You get so much food to eat while there AND there’s plenty of leftovers for the next meal and the next next meal. I also have a bag of black pepper turkey from the deli section, since I don’t eat much meat and Panda thinks I should consume more. We’ve got a nice half of a watermelon left, plus some oranges at the bottom (you can see one peeking through). I don’t eat fruit nearly as much as I probably should and watermelon is just about the only fruit I can eat a ton of. We’re also not so great on the vegetable side of things, so the corn helps out. It’s so easy to gobble down one of them and feel good that you’ve eaten something vegetable-like (I mean, is corn actually a vegetable? Close enough!).

And now let’s peek into the freezer!

looking into open household freezer with contents showing

Ice cream is a must, no matter what the season. You never know when you might want some chilled goodness. Other than that, we like to fill up with various microwavable items that I can easily heat up for a snack or lunch. We recently stocked up on these and got some taquitos in addition to the Hot Pockets, pot pies, chicken kebabs, and (hidden) bowls of wonton noodles. When you’re lazy and not a very skilled cook, the microwave is your friend. I sure wouldn’t know what to do without it!

So what do you have in your fridge and freezer?

Cleaning regimen

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How often do you clean?

I grew up not having chores; my parents were far more concerned about my academic and personal development. So, I got to enjoy a lot of time in my room doing my own thing. I didn’t make my bed (never saw the need) or dust or whatever other chores you might need to do to keep your room spotless. I did help out with general household chores ranging from mowing the lawn to washing dishes, but my room kind of remained my sanctuary. I rarely had to do chores within the room itself.

I now have the habit of cleaning only when I see a need – such as water marks speckling the mirror or visible dust on my shelves. I wash the dishes when they’ve filled up the sink and I do laundry when I’m running out of clothes. I don’t do preventative care or have any sort of set schedule or pattern. Meanwhile, Panda is almost the complete opposite. He regularly cleans when things are still “clean” (by my standards at least) and immediately washes dishes after eating. He does laundry at least once a week regardless of how much has accumulated and vacuums frequently too.

cleaning with hands in blue metal bucket/pail filled with soapy water

Last time I cleaned it was so notable I took a video. 😛

It’s really interesting how different our habits are. I enjoy a slightly messy room because it feels lived in. When things are too neat, it feels unnatural. I’d rather focus my time and efforts on living in my space; he’s willing focus his time and efforts on keeping the space neat and clean. When I do get around to cleaning, it’s usually a bit of an overhaul – a spring cleaning, if you will. I like to save up for one big effort every few weeks/months so I can spend a few hours (or the whole day) working up a sweat and really changing the way things look.

Is either way better? I don’t think so; to me, it’s a matter of preference. If cleaning all the time keeps your home in a state that makes you happy and peaceful, that’s probably what you should do. But if cleaning all the time brings on the stress of constantly thinking about it and worrying about all the chores left to do, then what’s the harm in cleaning less frequently? People have developed such an aversion to germs and things that are “dirty” but if society gets too hygienic, there are plenty of health issues to contend with. So why waste all that effort trying to avoid dust and germs only to get sick anyway? I think we could be a bit less uptight about the whole cleaning thing.

Time disconnect

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Holy cow, is it really [insert day of week]?!”

This happens to me just about every single day. Call it the life of the self-employed/entrepreneur/stay-at-homer. Every day is mostly the same to me – there is no such thing as a weekday vs. weekend. I work daily, unless I have plans to go do something, so it really doesn’t matter much what day of the week it is. And so it is that I often find myself disconnected with the rest of the world in that way. I don’t hate Mondays nor do I look forward to Fridays the same way a “typical” worker might.

calendar page from the world's most super-amazing 100% awesome cat calendar for 2014

Without a calendar, I’d be lost.

Perhaps I need to build more of a weekly structure, but it doesn’t make sense to take time off when I’m really trying to build something. I’m certainly not wearing myself out and I get plenty of rest and play daily; in fact, you could say I go through an entire week each day: there’s the waking up in the morning and trying to get a rhythm going (Monday), getting back into things (Tuesday), starting to feel an afternoon slump (Wednesday – “Hump Day”), recovering a bit as my day looks like it’s ending (Thursday), and feeling good that I’m nearly done with my day’s work (Friday). Usually my “weekend” is sort of sandwiched in between the other moments, though sometimes it ends up being no more than the time that I sleep.

Since I don’t watch TV or read the newspaper, the only way I can really stay in tune is based off whether Panda is home or not, but I’ve been staying with my mom more and she works from home too…  but hey, is it really that important that I always know what day it is? I could just check my phone’s calendar and in the long run, it doesn’t affect me much, so I’m perfectly fine forgetting the days sometimes. What about you? Would it drive you crazy if you didn’t have a distinct weekday and weekend? Or do you meander through the weeks and months without a strong sense of time like me?

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