Archive for July, 2018

2018, July 27

What a real work-from-home morning routine is like

Like I said before, I like to pop a YouTube video in the background while I’m cooking or doing other house chores every once in a while. And lately, from what I have noticed, full time you tubers are trapped in this world where (because they can stay home all day and just receive free PR products) feel that they have to give life advice when they have no experience in working in a job that requires them to leave the house or answer to someone else. All these lifestyle gurus come up with videos about their morning routines. They have catchy titles like:
“Productive Morning Routine!
Positive morning habits to work on!
Build Your Perfect Morning Routine!”

Most of these morning routines are summed up easily by saying that these people proceed to laze around in bed or on the sofa for an hour with their phone on “airplane mode”, cook breakfast for half an hour, work out for two hours and plan an empty day for another hour.
I might be judging by the minority (so, sorry if that’s the case), but I think these people will be in for a shock when the YouTube bubble bursts eventually, and they’ll have to leave for a full time job 5 days a week at 7 AM and not get home until after 6 PM.
To me, it’s one of the funniest and most frustrating things to hear these people say “I wake up an hour earlier to do these things.” An hour earlier than what? Their fictional self-enforced “normal wake-up time” before they get to do whatever they want all day with maybe editing a video and hitting the “publish” button sprinkled into the day?

Personally, I started working from home most of the time as of March this year. I work normal shifts of 40 hours a week.
However, I still don’t have the time to do two hours of jogging and yoga before I cook a fresh, wholefoods macro-filled low-calorie home-cooked breakfast before I start work /head to work on the days I go to the office!

My morning routine is wake up, feed the cat, make the bed so the cat doesn’t undo it later, drink coffee the BF made and get dressed lastly so the cat doesn’t mess up the outfit – with the added don’t fall on face on the way to the car from the 4th floor and drive to work, on days I’m heading to the office.
Most days, I have the first meal of the day at/after 12 PM and the morning dishes stay unwashed until way into the afternoon.
I do like the flexibility working from home gives, but if I throw in a load of laundry for example, I usually forget about it and they stay in the machine for an extra hour or more before I hang them to dry on the balcony.
When I sometimes get to duck out for a run before work, I am the happiest! I do have to quickly catch up after I get back though, sometimes not even having time to shower right away.
And, just to make a note of it: I don’t have the luxury of putting my phone to “airplane mode.” Real life just doesn’t work like that, and emergencies do happen.

I’m waiting for helpful suggestions to improve the above… and “read a book before starting work” is not good enough, thanks ;)

Once one gets into a routine, I guess the flip side is also true – breaking that routine.
“Routines are a very weird thing, because on the one hand we are always being encouraged to make routines and to stick to a solid routine. We;re told that the most successful people in the World have a routine and stick to it. But on the flip side, by breaking out of your routine and trying something else, you might actually find a better or a simpler way of doing things. And you might learn that you can feel more present and get more out of your day just by doing some simple things like putting your phone down or taking a walk outside with your head up.” – Lucie Fink

2018, July 22

Chewed shoelaces

Some of my shoelaces have chew marks. I need be careful they don’t rip when I tie them up in the morning. Their role is to remind me that I once had a Pixel kitty. And that he was mine. And that sometimes, when I didn’t notice, he’d get to my shoes and play with them. And that he was loved, so very loved.

I’m keeping the shoelaces when I (eventually) throw out the shoes.

In loving memory of Pixel, 2014-2017

2018, July 13

Recipe of the Month: Light Asian-Style Noodle Lunch Bowl

A new grocery store opened here in my city recently, “Taste of Asia,” with mainly Korean food items. It’s right next to where the BF usually plays soccer, so one evening before picking him up, I went in for a quick browse. I came out with a pack of home-made style wheat noodles, two sauces, and two Aloe Vera juices (because I was thirsty and knew the BF would be, too.)

We love pasta in general, so first off I served the noodles with a homemade mushroom sauce. It was very yummy, but I need to tweak the sauce recipe a bit before sharing.
A portion of noodles was left over, so today I made myself a very light noodle lunch bowl (I placed it on a plate, hence the photo below, but bowl just sounds cuter). I almost feel foolish for sharing, since it’s so easy to make, yet it was sooo delicious, it might become a go-to lunch idea for when I’m having a busy day.

Light Asian-Style Noodle Lunch Bowl

Asian-style Noodles
Feta cheese, optional
Salt, Lemon pepper
Soy sauce, Spicy Mango & Lime sauce
Lemon juice, optional

Cook the noodles as per the package instructions. Mine was the Fu Lin Men Home Made Style (wheat) Noodle, so it needed to boil for about five minutes and it was done. I added some salt to the water and half a bouillon chicken cube.

Peel and cut your avocado. I like to cut all the way around the seed, to get two halves, then twist so they separate. I slice the avocado while it’s still in its shell and then gently scoop the slices out with a soup spoon.
Of course, you can leave the halves as they are and simply run a soup spoon between the flesh and skin of the avocado half to loosen it and then pop the intact avocado half out and cut to your liking.
Season with a little salt and lemon pepper. Add a few drops of lemon juice if you want.

Steam the broccoli. Place the thicker pieces below and the thinner ones above them in your steamer. Cover with the lid and steam until it becomes bright green and tender to touch, but still a bit crisp. It should take around five to ten minutes.
Season with some soy sauce and the spicy mango and lime sauce.

Cut the Feta cheese into small cubes.

Throw everything together into a bowl ;)

This was one of the best ideas I had so far for a very quick, easy and light lunch. The flavors were complementing each other, tasting very Asian-style – like I’ve only had at a Vietnamese acquaintance’s house when I visited Sicily many years ago. I think I’ll be paying a visit to that grocery store again very soon!

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, July 6

Things I won’t achieve by 31

With my birthday in mind, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on a couple of things that I haven’t achieved. The blog post won’t be a bummer though, I promise.

While the things listed below are definitely things I haven’t achieved, they are also things that I figured I would achieve or thought that I should achieve like anyone who has their life figured out at 30, let alone by the time they reach 31.

  1. Live with a friend – I’ve only ever lived at home with my mom/grandparents, with my ex boyfriend for a while, and with my current boyfriend for the past 4 years. Thinking back to my childhood however, I recall playing house with my friends and with several of them along the years, depending who I was closer with, discussing with how when we’d grow up, we’d get a place of our own and be roommates. We’d plan for what our apartment would look like from furniture to the pet we’d own, and even the plants on our window sills.
  2. Work as a teacher, veterinarian, stewardess, interior designer – These were the top ideas I had for what I would become when I grew up/finished school. Now, I don’t want to be any of these things.
  3. Live abroad – This one might still be in the cards, since it’s not necessarily age-related, but I’m including it here, because I was actively searching for a job and trying to move abroad around eight years ago. I don’t regret it now, yet, had I not taken the job at the curtain shop in 2012, I could currently be living in the UK where the family whose little girl I was babysitting moved and where they took their nanny who came after me.
  4. Get married – Nine years ago, I was engaged. Before I broke things off, I figured I’d be married within two years time. Well, I’m glad I wasn’t, because in hindsight, it probably would’ve ended in divorce, like a lot of my high school friends’ marriages who got married before they turned 25.
  5. Have kids – I imagined I’d have kids one day. Goes almost hand in hand with the above one since I wouldn’t want kids before I got married. But honestly? It is such an expectation from society that one gets married and has kids, that until recent years I didn’t even stop to think if it’s only outside influences or my own wish. I’ve discovered that I probably don’t actually want to have kids.
  6. Write this blog post on time – I started the draft in March. My birthday was in May. My regular posting schedule is Friday and I am hitting publish on Monday, so on top the previously mentioned, this is also back-dated.

We make assumptions, we expect things to go a certain way, but Life doesn’t work like that. On the other hand, let me see a show of hands – have you had your life all figured out by the time you reached 30 or 31, or are you still working on it at insert current age here? What are some of the things you didn’t get to do/accomplish that you don’t regret?

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