Things I’m Loving – July 2015

It’s time for me to play catch-up. Things got super busy before the Fall semester even started and once I got behind in posting, the job of getting back on track seemed more and more daunting. I’m still super busy but I’m going to try to post for each of the months I missed even though they’re so late. It’ll be good to remind myself that even though I sometimes feel like I’ve done nothing but work the past few months, there are always things to enjoy. 🙂

Nexus 5

Image source: www.amazon.com

Image source: http://www.amazon.com

My husband decided it was time for us to get new phones. The phones we’d been using were probably 6 years old. We got them when we first moved to Hawaii and then used them in Japan, too. They actually still worked perfectly fine…by which I mean they worked great for such old phones…but they didn’t support all the latest software and we’d kind of run out of storage on them long ago. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised my husband lasted as long as he did before looking at new ones since he tends to keep up with the latest technology. I’m a bit more of a “use it until it doesn’t function at all” type. But I admit, I absolutely love the Nexus 5 and wouldn’t dream of going back. It provides helpful updates on appointments, distances/times to destinations, news, interesting articles, etc. in a way that is much more seamless than I’ve seen with other phones. Very happy with this!

Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment oil

Awapuhi Styling Treatment Oil

My hair is very fine and gets tangled very easily. When I went in for a cut, I saw a new stylist and she couldn’t believe how easily my hair tangled as she was working with it. She suggested this product to help smooth out my ruffled feathers. It takes just a very little bit to run through my hair while wet and like magic, it’s silky and smooth! I couldn’t believe how much it helped to keep my hair from tangling. And I love the wild ginger fragrance, too.

Let’s Speak English comic

My husband introduced me to this comic and it really cracks me up. It’s drawn by an American who is teaching English to elementary school students in Japan and chronicles some of the interesting experiences she has there. Often I’ll start laughing because many of the experiences she has remind me of my time there. I especially love the times she comments on things she finds odd about differences in customs because I’m usually sitting here saying, “That’s so true!” 😉

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Image source: www.amazon.com

Image source: http://www.amazon.com

I found this book to be both entertaining and motivating which I think makes it a great read. It includes many stories about the years Hadfield spent training to become an astronaut as well as his time exploring space. I loved getting insight into his perspective on the many challenges he was faced with and how his mind tackled the years of intense training for what most would find an impossible dream rather than a realistic goal. Hadfield injects a lot of humor into his stories which kept me smiling even when he was relating tense, life-or-death scenarios. I highly recommend this!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Image source: www.imdb.com

Image source: http://www.imdb.com

Oh, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. You amuse me so. This comedic TV series follows the officers of Brooklyn’s 99th precinct and the wacky situations they get themselves into. Each character is crazier than the next but somehow the writers balance it all out so I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Whatever it is, I know it’ll be entertaining.

That was July! Perhaps it’s just because the summer heat still hasn’t left us but I feel like it was just last week I was discovering these items!

Things I’m Loving – June 2015

I have been relaxing so much this summer that it’s just slipping by me so quickly! I’ve really been in that mode where I forget what day of the week it is and when I actually go to schedule a meeting with someone, I realize it’s already half way through July and wasn’t it just June?? Yeah…time to post that list of things I was especially enjoying in June! (more…)

Things I’m Loving – May 2015

It’s so hard to believe May is gone already! In truth, the first half of the month was a bit of a blur with final papers and exams to complete for my classes and a few papers to finish editing at my job. Once those were finished, I spent the following week just sleeping and recuperating. Since then I’ve been settling into a routine of work and play. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving in May!

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Things I’m Loving – April 2015

As I was reviewing my Things I’m Loving list for May, I discovered I never posted my April list! I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because April felt like a string of deadlines held together with days of increasing stress, moments of thinking I was about to have a lull in my schedule to relax, and realization that there was yet another extra project/reading/paper thrown at us. April was definitely not my best month but I was able to pick out a few things that made it a little less stressful.

1. Spring flowers!

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April was full of both spring showers and spring flowers. Walking between classes, it was always nice to just breathe in the fragrance and take a moment to concentrate on something outside the stress of school work. And it brought back memories of relaxing walks through Showa Kinen Park to view the Flower Festival there last year. It makes me want to go back right now!

2. Study groups

When studying up for finals, I’ve found that study groups can be a huge help. If there was a concept I was trying to figure out, sometimes hearing someone else’s perspective would help things click. And I found that explaining concepts to others was helpful not just to them but also to me as it helped me solidify my understanding since I had to be very clear in my explanation. A win for everyone!

3. TheBus

Yes, that is the name of the public transportation system here in Honolulu. 😉 You might be thinking this is a strange thing to include on my list, especially if you’re familiar with public transit in the US. When people think of public transit here I’m guessing the first thing that comes to mind for most are the hassles of buses not showing on time (or at all), standing out in the rain waiting, etc. Usually I walk to campus and work just for the exercise but during April when my schedule was so tight, that extra time for sleep was much appreciated. And really I never encountered any problems with the system here. I would simply check on my phone to see when the next bus would arrive and head out to the nearest stop. Of course traffic can always make the timing a little off but the buses I rode were all carrying a tracker so I could simply check my phone for an updated ETA at any time. Convenient!

4. The Blacklist

TheBlacklist

Image source: http://www.imdb.com/

Granted, I didn’t have a lot of time for watching TV as finals approached, but I did try to keep up with some of my favorites, including The Blacklist. This series starts out with one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals, Raymond Reddington (played by James Spader), turning himself in. He offers to share with them information on other criminals they don’t even know about but will only talk to Elizabeth Keen (played by Megan Boone), an FBI profiler brand new to the job. The show is in it’s 3rd season now and the mysteries surrounding Reddington and Keen are still being slowly untangled. It’s a fantastic series and I think Spader steals the show. I would definitely recommend this!

5. Pepperidge Farm Double Chocolate Nantucket cookies

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These made a regular appearance on my shopping list, so much so that if my husband was stopping at the store and asked if I wanted anything, he’d say, “I know, cookies. Anything else?” And no, cookies weren’t making up my entire diet. I simply trusted him to come up with the rest of the meal plan and I focused on the dessert. 😉 Each cookie is packed with dark chocolate chunks and you know how I feel about dark chocolate. With or without milk, these are just so good!

So that’s my list for April. It was a very hectic month and I think I allowed myself to get much more stressed than I would like to admit. But these items helped make the month a bit more pleasant and May has been quite different as you’ll soon see with my May list. Stay tuned!

Things I’m Loving – March 2015

It’s just now the beginning of April but the temperatures have risen here in Honolulu and it’s already making me think of summer. Even though it was just a year ago that I was in Japan and enjoying the beginning of sakura (cherry blossom) season, it feels like that was years ago and a world away. My days are still filled mostly with school-related activities, whether that be class, studying, or working on any of the several projects I’m involved with at the university. But I think when it’s so busy, that’s probably one of the most important times to take a few minutes and reflect so here are some of the things I was loving in March! (more…)

Celebrating Pi Day of the Century

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Pi Day is celebrated all around the world on March 14 every year (3/14) since the Greek letter pi (π) is used to represent the mathematical constant for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which is approximately 3.141592653. This year they are calling it the Pi Day of the century because the date 3/14/15 covers the first five digits of pi. And of course, at 9:26:53 on 3/14, the time approximated pi to ten digits. What were we doing at that time to celebrate? Eating pie of course!

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Things I’m Loving – February 2015

February was quite a busy month. So busy that when I went to write this post, I discovered I hadn’t ever finished my January Things I’m Loving post! I knew I’d worked on it but I forgot that I still needed to add photos and hit Publish. >_< Oh well. It’s done now. The one good thing about it I suppose is that it further supports my decision to cut back on my commitments. I’ve just had too much going on and was beginning to feel rather run down. I did reduce my hours on one project so hopefully I’ll feel like I have a little breathing room for a change. Considering this post isn’t a month late, maybe it’s already working! ^_~ (more…)