My “Current” Pinterest Searches

Today, I’m blogging from a library, and as much as I love libraries, it definitely side-tracks me A LOT from what the things that I need to accomplish. Today’s library adventure brought me back to middle school and high school classrooms as mesmerized at my old text books. Definitely quite a trip down memory lane!

Today, I wanted to share my current Top 5 Pinterest Searches. Like most Pinterest users, I get lost ogling over the many different DIY projects its community has offered, and I won’t lie, many I have tried, and some even saved me some cash during my wedding planning! I will write a different post for that in the future and show some of the finished products – and maybe some that are purely idea based? ^_^  So let’s break it down!


  1. Bullet Journal Diary Ideas – As I mentioned in my previous post, I mainly use my bullet journal as a tracking tool rather than a planner, and one of the things I track is my day-to-day highlights. Kind of like a diary or journal. What I try to look for when I search on this topic is how people make it look creative and not just “blah” writing, if you understand what I’m saying (hopefully). I have tons of colored pens, highlighters, and a BAZILLION stickers that I hope I can use them on my journal entries. It would just make it look more…happy, I suppose!
  2. Healthy Vegetarian Recipes – My husband, Kenny, is a vegetarian. Or I should say pescatarian. Looking for wholesome, budget friendly, and easy-to-make dishes are my main goals when I search for this. I have tried many of the recipes that are in that board, but I think, my current favorite is by My Food and Happiness: Red Kidney Bean Veggie Burger. Soooo good!!! Please try it! I highly recommend it!
  3. Anime Food – Speaking of food, nothing speaks to me more than Anime food! I am a huge Anime nerd and drool over different shows that have glistening foods and bentos (which is coincidentally also on our list today!) My love for Anime food is the recreation of it. Although, I probably may not be able to get it to look – or even taste – like the ones on TV, it serves a HUGE inspiration in my cooking. Recently, I learned that Yoshoku is the Japanese way of cooking western foods. Pasta, pizza, curry, hamburgers, and omelets are to name a few, but when you see these types of foods, both in Anime and in real life, you will not be able to help yourself! You will want to try it! At least, I do!
  4. Bento – I don’t think I will be able to mention Anime food without mentioning my obsession with bentos! With trying to create a new bento design every week, my inspiration sky rockets every time I search for this. I’m definitely lacking in making kyaraben (character-style bento), but I am trying my best to have it as colorful, healthy, and fun every time I make one.
  5. Capsule Wardrobe – Last but not least is capsule wardrobe. I think this is a current hype among many fashion bloggers as minimalist is trend that I’ve noticed has been going on for some time now. Now, I’m not going to lie, but I struggle a lot with my fashion style. I stick to what is comfortable and most importantly, with what fits! Being a petite plus-size, it has been both challenging and exciting to look for clothes that are of good quality and will not break the bank. Maybe one of my posts in the future will be some of favorite clothing and staples – we’ll see. But going back to capsule wardrobe, this search has me wanting to tackle my closet of narrowing it down to my go-to wears, and most of all, what things I can pair together. My knowledge is limited in that area and this search is helping lots with ideas, especially when the school year starts and I can start dressing up daily again!

And there you have it. My current Top 5 Pinterest searches. I hope that you will be able to find some of my searches helpful to those who may be in the same boat as me.

Thanks for stopping by!


Beginning Updates

First, I want to give two thumbs up to Bess Dodson Walt Branch library. I decided to do my blogging and bulletin work here today, and I must say, I am impressed with this library. I haven’t roamed the aisles of books yet because I’m afraid to lose myself reading the previews or even a chapter, but before I leave today, I will definitely get a chance to do that. Those living in Lincoln, Nebraska, please give this location a check!

This week I tried to apply my lifestyle changes and so far, there have been some good points and some I may have to tweak. To start, I’ve gotten a better use for my bullet journal. Since I don’t use my bullet journal as a “planner” and more as a journal/diary, it would be better for me to track my progress and my thoughts on my progress in it than in a goal journal. At first I was going to use the Inkwell Press Daily Fitness Log and Food Tracker Planner to jumpstart the 12 week lifestyle change, but I didn’t enjoy the fact that it was very constraining in terms of what I could log, especially for the fitness log section. I’m not that much experienced when it comes to weights and reps and sets, nor is it even close to what I’m trying to do for now. I did not feel I could be as productive with it so I turned to my bullet journal instead. I started with writing my goals (which is what I shared in my previous entry), created a weekly schedule that I was going to try, a list for me to track daily, and the journaling sections, which is what I have been doing before. I will go a little bit more on my set up on a future post once I’ve started feeling comfortable with the ones I’m using.

I have to admit that I’m a little bit of an over achiever and I planned to do two work-out sessions almost every single day. And I’m sure maybe in the future I would be able to do it, but right after Tuesday’s FIT Interval group workout, I was craving “REST DAY! REST DAY!” I stretched, warmed up, and did my best to not over do it, but the next day, I just could not muster enough energy to get out in the blazing hot weather to bike to the gym. I faithfully went today (Thursday) and I’m glad I did because I wasn’t as confused as I was on Tuesday. I am interacting with people, which is something I don’t normally enjoy doing at the gym, and to be honest, I’m liking it!

I have been very watchful with my food and water intake. Since I’m a terrible portion-er, I measure food and water based on the items I use to eat and/or drink them off from. I’m trying to use smaller plates or bowls for my meals and the biggest water bottle I have and trying to drink two of those every day. I’ve been getting the munchies like no tomorrow since I feel hunger a lot deeper from being active. My go to snacks are plain apples and rice crackers with peanut butter, and if those do not fill me up, hello water my old friend!

I’m not going to lie. Making lifestyle changes is not easy, especially at the start. I’ve watched many food documentaries where people go on diets or start a work out regiment and the first week, they are exhausted, at an all time low, or second guessing their decision to start. People have many different reasons as to why they are doing what they’re doing, and I hear that most people do not stick to it because their goals are too shallow or they’re doing it for the wrong reason and not for themselves. If you ask me what my reason is, there is an underlying factor that yes, I’d like to lose the weight that I have gained over this past 6 years of when my “official adulting” started – which was college graduation. I believe that weight loss is one of the results of what one’s true goal really is. So what is my goal then you ask?

To live a full life and serve God with everything I have.

I suppose this is also my life mission, but I truly believe that this is where it all goes down to. In order for me to live a full life, I want to be able to have my body in a comfortable place where I’m not dying of breathlessness because I was not mindful of the things that I ate nor took time to train my muscles properly. I could still live a full life and serve God  with in my current, and I know I can do more if I made small changes in my life that could help maximize the experiences I can get from life.

Somehow I’m finding it a little cheesy writing my goal down! But I truly feel that you are driven by your own purpose. For me, my purpose is to live for God and this is part of my health journey is where I start. I hope to share more of my experience with you as I go along. I hope and pray that if you are just beginning your journey or are in the middle that you don’t give up and give it your all. You will not regret it!


Hiatus Much?

Well I’m a crappy blogger, am I! To be honest, I probably have the same excuse for the many projects I have started in the past, whether that is past blogs, a YouTube channel, side projects, and sadly, sometimes life goals. I’m not going to admit that life really does get in the way of my focus and unexpected things come up, but I also know that if I’m superbly lazy and sometimes would enjoy just plainly not doing anything.

And of course, the busy itch always returns.

Since my last post, the school year had ended and summer classes came and went. Within those times, I worked, went to meetings, made decisions for next school year, and dreamt what this summer would look like. I don’t know how many times I created a list and wish-goaled that these were the things I was going to do, and again, if I’m being honest with myself, I probably won’t do more than three of those things. So I thought to myself, why make things complicated and just do three goals this summer? Why not!

The biggest goal I really want to focus on this summer (and for the rest of the year) is health. Yes, the goal that everyone has during the new year, but somehow I’m doing it now. I probably did have this goal at the beginning of the year and once more, probably didn’t stick to it. There are really two main things I know I would like to work on: 1) daily exercise and 2) healthy food choices. Planning is the easy part of this goal and the commitment part, the get-up-and-go-do-what-you-wrote-down-what-you’re-going-to-do part, is the tough one. Hopefully to keep me accountable for these goals, my third focus may help in tracking and making sure that I am doing what I planned to do: 3) blogging.

Daily exercise. Healthy food choices. And blogging. So how will these look like?

For daily exercise, I hope to get 30 minutes of being physically active. I’m still deciding on the schedule, but I’m looking at 30 minutes of cardio, not including the strength training or yoga. For healthy food choices, I would like to commit to making one new dish each week and making one new design of bento box each week. Maybe some of my creativity can leak into those two things. And to track all of these things? Blog! Hopefully once a week, two the best. Hopefully you, as my reader, can help me be accountable about this.

Well, I’ll be planning tomorrow and this weekend. I’m starting next week so let’s see what we can do about my life for the rest of summer!

My Understanding of Success

Success is such a loaded word and concept. In all points in our lives, the yearning to be successful crossed your mind, and for many of you, probably more times that you could count in a day. Yeah, that’s a right. A day! There is a huge pressure riding on you because that is what everyone expects from you: society, family, peers, significant other, yourself, and who knows who else!

I work with students and some of these students have shared their visions of their future in hoping to accomplish something bigger than they can imagine. Some shared that they want to a stable job that will keep the money flowing. Some say that once they start paying their dues back to the people that have helped them is what they want to focus on. There are countless ideas of how others want for their future, and most of these have to deal with success. And who doesn’t want to be successful? It’s satisfying to feel that you have done something that others admire you for. Bragging rights? Sure. I’ve met people who do it.

However, the essence of success does not come with an instructional guide, nor is it a cookie cutter process for everyone. We all have to journey in our own way to find what success truly means in our lives. I must admit that I have compared how my success should look like from others, one in particular, and that is my sister. Being only the two of us and also the younger, the comparing and one-upping was a very serious matter – at least to me it was. I saw that the treatment I got from my parents, family members, and people we knew was very different from how they treated my sister. The doting was present from my grandparents, the grades expectations were clear, the looks and figures were highlighted, the gifts were one-sided, the privileges were somewhat unfair, the response to chosen careers were not equal . . . I can list many things.

I only came to the realization very recently that comparing my life accomplishments to my sister is something that will never be changed. The reason being is one simple thing: I am not her. We have so many differences and it’s one of the reasons why our lives should not be the same. I’ve always thought that I have accepted out differences long before my high school years, but it did not hit me full on until starting my masters program that I’m not meant to live a life like hers. I’m supposed to live mine. I’m not supposed to be treated the way that she is being treated because others see me differently and my passions are different from hers. The load off my chest from that acceptance was like a submarine finally emerging from the cloud of murky waters, and the years I’ve spent in grad school were some of the best years of my life because of this concept.

Now, success is still something I’m trying to pursue, and if I’m honest, I still compare myself to my sister every once in a while. Sure it gets me down, but not for too long. My understanding of success is our own making because no one else is going to truly benefit from the fruits of your own labor but yourself. I also think that success is the journey you were or are willing to take to get from before to wherever, because every day you are making an effort to change and improve your life by taking the chance to move forward. The results of those steps will come eventually, and still, we continue to push through to your next adventure, your next goal, your next mile. So enjoy your journey of success. You’re already a lot farther than where you were yesterday.

Thanks for stopping by, friend! I’ll see you soon!

The Test of True Forgiveness

UC_002What is harder: forgive or forget? Is it possible to do one without the other or somehow one will follow after you have done the other?

I’m going to be honest with you on this entry because this concept has recently crept up in my peripherals and I’m started to question if forgiveness is something more than letting it go. To start off, I’m the type of person who likes to see progress, and by that, I mean a result from a previous conversation or agreement. When some thing goes wrong, after discussing and seeing the fault, nothings means more to me than actually than preventing that issue from coming up again. If I expressed to Kenny that some of his jokes were offensive to me and the next time we had a conversation, he was more mindful about his jokes, that really means a lot to me! Because that means that they listen, they considered their actions and the results, and actually made the effort to avoid the conflict in the future. At that point, I feel as if complete forgiveness is applied because the conflict has been resolved.

However, what happens if it doesn’t?

In the past, someone has hurt me that the thought of saying their name, seeing their picture, or being reminded of a memory of them does not bring up good emotions or thoughts in my head or heart. I have prayed to God for me to forgive this person and have prayed to forget that the deed is done, it’s all in the past, but once I remember, everything resurfaces, included the pain and anger. I have a feeling that this always comes up because the issue doesn’t feel as if it’s been truly resolved even though it’s been years since that has happened. Was there some mending that tried to occur within all these years? Yes, there definitely was from the other party, but somehow I feel that there is still no resolution. I think because there was no apology or acknowledgement of the hurt, just the “hey, let’s be friends because I like to keep in touch with my friends” type of conversation, but really it’s just “I’ll let me look at your life through Facebook but not really ever interact with you.” That’s not keeping in touch, let alone mending. I guess I’m the type of person that can’t really move past a block until the block has been dealt with and moved?

I wonder if it’s wrong of me to ask for my hurt to be acknowledged before asking to move forward. To me that says that the person understands and is taking responsibility for their actions, whether it was intentional or not. This is where I get stumped about the whole forgive and forget because what I will always remember is whether or not the person followed-through with what they did what they said they were going to do. The biggest way for me to forget an incident is to have a new memory added to that bank to show the result of the conversation. Because action to me speaks in loud volumes because I can see that there is effort being made there.

*Sigh*. The test for me in this journey is seeing if I can face this person when they appear. I know that the emotions and hurt will come up and I can simply just swallow the hard pill and have God completely take over my being because I know that letting go is something that I may not be able to ever do completely on my own. So, God? Can you please do this for me? Can you give me the courage, forgiveness, and even love to move past all this?


The Trouble with “Where are you from.”

This past spring break, one of the unexpected things I did was transfer my CD back-up files into my external hard drive. Like all my random escapades, it all started with a memory that is being longed to be visited and it had to be quenched by proper action. So I looked for my old CDs in the storage, propped myself in the living room, and got to working. As I looked through these files, I was reminded on my past, my childhood, my upbringing, and how cheerful it was to see the difference places I have traveled and grown to love.

I was born in Manila, Philippines, where for six years, I grew up in a home that my grandfather have had built to secure his family’s futures. To his dismay, however, my parents decided to take the call in the southern part of the Philippines, the second biggest mainland called Mindanao, in a city called Iligan. I consider this as our first missionary move as I grew to find the place to be more different that where we moved from. Different language, different groups of people, different housing, different lifestyle, and different expectations. We stayed here for about three years, and I remember distinctly how my parents took me and my sister aside to discuss a new opportunity that they were considering.

Thus, Africa meets little Kian! We moved to Blantyre, Malawi, and this place for sure, is a living quite different from Philippines. But not only for me, but for my parents and my sister. Adjusting to a new country and culture required a familial effort, but it wasn’t long until we grew very fond of our new location. The people, the culture, the nature, the way of life that had bonded my family and I in a way that would take another blog post to share. It wasn’t long until the age of the high school years were calling me to my next journey: Kenya.

Yes, I attended a wee boarding school in Nairobi, Kenya called “Maxwell Adventist Academy”. I have an array of stories from my time and experiences in this high school in my future blog posts, so please look out for those! Kenya had so many adventures for me, and I was almost sad to say goodbye to it when my parents announced that our contract with Malawi had gone, and that now it was time to go on another adventure. Canada was a close call for us since we had some family over there, but God’s calling was for my family to stay in Africa, so stay in Africa we did and got another call to serve in Botswana. This allowed me and my sister to finish our high school years in Kenya before setting out to the United States to get a college education.

The unpredictable weather of Nebraska welcomed me and my sister as we moved to Lincoln to attend Union College. After four incredible years in this college, my sister decided to stay in Lincoln to continue pursuing her career in nursing, while I journeyed to Berrien Springs, Michigan, to pursue mine in community development. Once I was done, my calling brought me back to Union College in Lincoln once more, where after giving me a direction for my purpose, allowed me to return the favor by helping students find theirs.

And this is where we are today, my current place, which is in Lincoln, Nebraska. The arduous question of “where are you from” is such a challenging one to answer because what does that mean? “Where is home”does not help either as home has many forms of defining it. However, as I like to explain to others, 1) I was born in the Philippines, 2) I grew up in Africa, 3) I moved to the US for school, and 4) this is currently where I live. Although we don’t have our original home that we grew up in and my parents are still residing, serving in Botswana, I can make a home at where I am. And my adventure does not end there either! I hope to make many more memories and travels in my future. And for now, I will treasure my time here in this state and I cannot wait to share them with you.

Thanks for stopping by, friend. I’ll see you soon!

My Top Five Interests . . . Currently.

I have been described by many of my friends, family, and colleagues that I have many interests – and they’re right. There are many things that intrigue me, fascinate me. Maybe it helps that I’m always curious to learn about a new idea, or the fact that “Learner” is my one of my Top Five strengths from the Strengths Quest. I have many interests because I love to learn, and so to start of, here are my current top five interests today – this many change tomorrow, so be aware!

  1. Japan. I have a feeling that my current interests will fall into this category, but it’s really not a mystery to me because there is so much from Japan’s culture to explore. From Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji to the current fad of live-action Anime plays, they all grab my attention. It is difficult to chose just one particular area within this rich culture, so I decided to embrace learning about it! One of the ways I learn about Japan is through watching “Begin Japanology” on YouTube. It’s very educational and their host, Peter Barakan, does an excellent job bringing you into the Japanese world.
  2. Haikyuu! I’ll be honest – I’m not a sporty person at all. I am usually the person at the end of the hiking trail, heaving and gasping for breath while every one is a mile or two in front of me. So does it shock you that I have Haikyuu! as one of my favorites? Haikyuu! is a manga (Japanese comics)/anime that revolves around a boys’ high school volleyball team that is looking for redemption in the game and they are all willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top. If the funny dialogues, dynamic characters, or the catchy opening and closing theme songs don’t hook you, I hope the “fight” scenes will! (Okay, maybe not fight scenes, but have you ever imagined what goes on the spiker’s mind when he is going for that ball and there’s a wall of blockers in front of him? Yeah, I thought so!)
  3. Productivity. And who doesn’t? Because of my job, I am always looking for ways on how to be productive and how to reach your goals. As an academic and life coach, you need to have a few options, depending on the person that you are working with. Currently, I’m following Tonya Dalton’s “Productivity Paradox” podcast. She has great step-by-step instructions on how to achieve your goals, provides resources and tools, and personally, I like her methods and the way she explains them.
  4. Instant Pot. This product is apparently the current craze among moms, wives, and cooking bloggers last year, and I’m finally jumping on the Instant Pot wagon! I am a complete newbie with it, but that’s what makes it exciting! I get to try new recipes and it does make kitchen life so much more convenient. My first successful cooking claim has to be cooking brown rice! The recipe I tried is from Rebooted Mom, and I will definitely be using it all over again when the time for brown rice is needed once more!
  5. Swimming. My husband, Kenny, and I recently joined a gym, and we’re trying to make a habit of visiting it as regularly as possible. Swimming is my main form of workout. It works well with my weight, prevents my asthma from coming up, and I personally feel a good workout from it every time I leave the gym. I wish I could say that there’s something about swimming that I’m working towards, like a triathlon or contest or something. However, I don’t. I enjoy swimming because I have always liked the water, and right now, I’m looking at ways I can do to improve my pool time. My current obsession relating to swimming has to be my swimming cap! Yes, it makes all the difference for me since I no longer have to show up at work smelling like a pool for the rest of the day!

There you have it! My currently top five interests. I tried to be very generous with my choices too, otherwise I would probably have three items there that sound too alike! I hope to share more about my interests and even expound on these in my future posts. Until then . . .

Thank you for stopping by, friend! I’ll see you soon!