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My sink has been bothering me for a while now, since it drains water super slowly. I’ve heard of the magical cleaning properties of vinegar and baking soda, so I decided to look that shizzle up! So simple. And no need to handle toxic chemicals. I like it!

  1. Pour some boiled water down the drain.
  2. Pour baking soda as best as you can down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Mix some hot water and white vinegar together and slowly dump that down the drain.
  4. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Hear that fun sizzling!
  5. Flush your drain with some boiled water again.

For exact measurements, check out this post from Crunchy Betty.

No more gloop clogging up my drain. 8-)

Hello~ I decided to change up the colors a little bit and the banner after what, a few years? I also cleaned up the links in the sidebar and fixed up a few pages. Now that I’m finally on my summer break I thought this place needed a little cleanup. That’s as far as I’ll go in terms of changes, lol. I use this website mainly as a written platform rather than overly concerning myself with coding/graphics. Unfortunately I stopped learning & being interested in that many years ago after life started getting really busy, but I’ll never end my love of blogging. If anyone knows of any free and great WordPress theme websites, please point them my way for future reference :)

It’s been over a week since I ended spring quarter, so I’ve been enjoying my summer break. It will be my last summer before optometry school will continue for 3 more years straight, so I’m trying to make the most of it. This last week I celebrated by having all-you-can-eat sushi (my favorite!), SLEEPING IN, cleaning out my room, organizing my files & backing them up, catching up on shows and movies, reading books, hanging out with friends & eating great food, and playing video games.

If you’ve ever visited my collections page, you’ll notice all of the stuffed animals I have. Not pictured are the toys from my childhood as well. I had SO many. I’m kind of a hoarder in that sense…I had a really hard time giving any of my old sentimental toys and cute stuffed animals away. Everything that had a sentimental value or had a good memory attached to it was kept on display or in one of many clear, plastic tubs for storage. I figured I would never give them away, ever, so that I could keep them forever and look at them again. Recently, I’ve had a change of heart. I decided that I really never look at them since I have so many and many are stored away. It was time that I freed up all that space in my room (my room is very large but doesn’t have much space due to all of my toys!) and as a grown woman, these toys were probably better off donated to others. You should have seen the mess in my room for the few days as I sorted through them all! Now my room is much more spacious and I’m looking to buy a dresser & a loveseat couch. I’ve been trying to go the used route and ideally find a microfiber or leather couch for cheap. I’ve found one that seems very promising, so we’ll see how that turns out.

Oh! I also dyed my hair since this is my last summer and I won’t be able to have colored hair during the school year (since it’s not “professional”). I finally made myself learn how to french braid my own hair too! This was my second attempt and I’m pleased to say it was pretty good! (I won’t lie about how my arms were getting tired from learning how to do it though lol)

Dyed Hair

I’m hoping I’ll be blogging much more regularly now that I’m free! *love*

Sometimes I think I’ve made a really good connection with a friend, but time and life get in the way. For most of my life up until maybe a few years ago, I used to be one of those people who would say, “We should keep in touch; let’s meet up soon,” even though I fully knew that we probably would not keep in touch. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I was just a pessimist at heart and also didn’t want to get my hopes up. Nowadays I pride myself in the real effort I put into keeping in touch with people I care about. I hated it when people flaked on me or when people say “let’s meet up” even though they didn’t really mean it – so I should give it my all to NOT be that person.

Sadly, just because I’m willing to give it my all in order to avoid being “that” person, it doesn’t prevent other people from being like that. But I realize that it’s okay. I’ve tried my best and the rest falls on the other person since it’s a two-way street. Although sad, if the other person just wasn’t able to put enough effort into it, that’s just how things are and it’s a sign of how high on the priority list you are to them. It doesn’t mean that you should give up just yet, because everyone deserves other opportunities to try again. When it happens for long enough that it fades away, however, it’s probably okay to let go. How long is “too long” really depends on yourself and the strength of your relationship.

The last few vacations from school (namely, Thanksgiving break and winter break) triggered me to think about all of this. Grad school is incredibly time consuming and it really leaves me available only one evening out of the whole week – zero nights if exam time is too overwhelming. As you would imagine, that makes it really difficult to see anyone besides my classmates, my boyfriend, and my family. When vacation came rolling along, I made sure to make plans with the people I wanted to keep in touch with and well in advance, even if it meant a video chat or a phone call. That left me with a fully occupied vacation and kind of shed light on the special people that made an effort to do the same for me. It also shed light on the people that are still special to me, but disappointingly didn’t put in enough effort to make it work.

I’ve kept a really special connection with a friend whom I would never have expected to have one with – we were no more than acquaintances in the last year of high school. I’ve kept connections with some of my really good friends and it’s amazing how hard we work to keep in touch. At the same time, I’ve also lost connection with some people. My efforts for a phone call or a message even seemed out of reach. Despite their (plural, since I’m referring to more than one friend) planned visit home for a couple of weeks, they managed to hit me up last minute to let me know they were actually in town and failed to make it happen. Maybe if I were more free it would have been easy to work out, but that’s not the case and that’s why I’m disappointed they decided to contact me as an afterthought. I get to see them perhaps once a year or less nowadays, but the one time they come home to visit, I was a last minute kind of thought. I’m grateful to have been in their thoughts at all at least, but let me remind you these are people I thought I had a really special connection with. And as disappointing as that is, it’s just how life is. You get to witness the people who surprise you with their love and dedication, and you get to witness the people who disappoint you with the lack of effort.

As I get older and we are all becoming occupied with work, school, and careers, I realize how important it is to 1) plan things majorly in advance for it work out and 2) keep the people you care about somewhere in the edges of your mind (for lack of better wording right now) so that you don’t lose sight of them. It’s really easy to lose sight of someone and let go if you don’t do that.

I had another study date with my classmate today for almost 5 hours – thank goodness for that. It’s really hard to get back into studying after having such a fun break from school. When I got home, I pretty much just caught up with Legend of Korra, lol. I gave it a chance because everyone keeps saying it’s a great show, and I’m glad I did.

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! I feel really thankful and I hope to bring these thoughts with me into the new year. January and beyond is supposed to be a really tough time for me, but hopefully I’ll be as ready as I can be!

This year for Black Friday, I didn’t end up doing any shopping. I might see if I like anything for Cyber Monday, but other than that I won’t be shopping. I find it sad that a lot of stores don’t really have much of a sale for Black Friday anymore. They’re pretty much deals you can find any time during the year. It’s more like a marketing strategy just get people to think they’re getting a Black Friday deal, when they’re really not. Anyway, instead, I ended up doing a video chat with a good friend of mine, Megan, who has been living in Japan and I haven’t really been able to talk to her in a long time. Later that night, I did a gaming session of Terraria with Mart and Ricky. 8-)

Thanksgiving food

Thanksgiving Day: This year, my mom and I cooked traditional Thanksgiving food again. Normally I prepare ingredients and most of the dishes the night before, but this entire week I’ve been having a ton of fun & keeping myself busy every day of the week so I was dead tired and went to bed instead. I ended up waking up early on Thanksgiving day to do the cooking. Since I woke up early to cook, my mom was there to help me with a lot of it. She’s really fast at dicing and chopping ingredients, and doing the dishes, so that cut the time down by a lot. I made mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, roasted caramelized butternut squash, gravy, and stuffing, while my mom prepared the turkey. It was a lot more fun cooking this year since my mom and I did the cooking together!

I was expecting my cousin and their family to join us, but unfortunately they were all sick, so my mom packed some of our food to drop off at their house instead. My mom wanted to go to Express at the mall after dinner to get their 50% off sale, but it turns out that even though Express stores are supposed to open at 6pm on Thanksgiving day, our mall wasn’t open until midnight, so even though we were able to get into Macy’s, the connecting entrance to go into the mall (where Express was) was closed off. We ended up just going home. It’s ok, since didn’t mind the extra walking with my mom after dinner. :p

My brother also left for Vietnam in the evening as well, so it was nice having a family meal together before he left. He’ll be back in two weeks.

Overall, my Thanksgiving break was a lot of fun and really relaxing since we got a full week off from school! I haven’t had a real break since the quarter started.

Last Saturday: Ricky, Mart, Julie, and I checked out the new Jollibee that just opened up in our area for dinner. I love Filipino food, so that was exciting. Later that night, we went clubbing! We played it safe and took an Uber ride to the club, so we were all able to drink with no worries. It was a ton of fun!

I love EDM, and the DJ frequents Marquee in Vegas, apparently, so I loved the music. We got to meet a lot of strangers who were really friendly and funny. The most memorable person was this gal who was in her late thirties. She was going through a bad divorce apparently, and was there to have fun. She was super sweet – she even bought Julie and me drinks. I actually have her phone number haha. Mart also randomly ran into a friend he met when he first moved to America over a decade ago – crazy coincidence! There was this one guy going around asking for kisses since he wanted 24 kisses for his 24th birthday – too funny. :p We ended up meeting a lot of fun people, which was great. Towards the end of the night, the club dropped confetti and glow sticks!

Afterwards we weren’t ready for the fun to stop, so we took our drunk selves to Denny’s haha, which totally hit the spot. I had country fried steak w/ homefries. Yums. Julie and Mart pretty much K.O.’ed in my room when we got back to my house. I was the only one who walked Ricky out before he left for home, lol.

Last Sunday: I spent some time with Julie and Mart in the morning since they slept over at my place. Later that evening, I hung out with my friend Helen. A lot of dramatic things went down regarding her personal life (she was in tears when I opened my door to greet her…), but we ended up having a really good time catching up with each other and enjoying each other’s company. We kept it local, and tried this Mexican place really close to my house that I never tried before, and then went to an ice cream parlor. I even got to practice an optometry technique on her eyes for school back at my house haha. It was great seeing her before she moved out of town the next day.

Hiking

Last Monday: On Monday, Mart and I were supposed to go on a train trip and go exploring. It failed miserably and I was super sad about that. At the very least, he tried to make it up to me and we went out to eat for both lunch and dinner! For lunch we had a Japanese fast food joint. At my request, we went hiking afterwards. We never found the hiking trail I wanted to go to, but ended up at a different one by accident instead. The scenery was pretty much all dry and dead, but the peacefulness and isolation of the location was very nice. For dinner, we went to a very fancy sushi restaurant. We had “omakase,” which is chef’s choice of nigiri (sushi). It was really expensive, but Mart didn’t want to tell me how much it cost him lol. I will say the sushi was so good we almost had tears in our eyes haha. Every bite was eaten in silence with internal reflection on how it tasted. There was no soy sauce or wasabi served. The sushi chef added a little bit of wasabi, soy sauce or salt or citrus to each piece himself, so we could enjoy the flavor of the fish properly. When we went home that night, we ended up watching the Jiro Dreams of Sushi movie LOL. It is a great movie for sushi enthusiasts.

Sushi

Last Tuesday: On Tuesday, I actually went to work. I normally only work on Saturdays since I have grad school all week, but since I had the week off and saw an opening on the schedule, I worked about 5 hours. It was great seeing my coworkers again – I normally only see a few coworkers who only work on Saturdays with me. I miss working with them. Laster that evening, I had dinner with Mart and Steven at a Japanese curry house. It was so good!!! I had chicken katsu with curry, salad, fried rice wrapped in egg, and a potato croquette. So good. We had a great time catching up with our good friend Steven. We even went out for dessert afterwards and spent even more time just chatting in his car when the dessert place closed. We ended up not getting home until past midnight so we were pretty beat, but it was a great talk.

Japanese Curry

Last Wednesday: At noon, I met up with my classmate, also named Helen, who lives somewhat near me. We hit the books together and studied at Starbucks for a few hours. It was a very welcome study date because neither of us cracked open any of our study materials over the Thanksgiving break. After our study date, I met up with my old friend Madonna. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year, so it was a great feeling to see her again. We were never too close in high school, but we were in choir together and were friends. After so many years, we still end up on each other’s minds, so now and then we reach other to one another to hang out and catch up. She’s one of those good friends you could always pick up right where you left off. We had a tasty dinner (sushi burritos!!!), went to karaoke (in a private booth) for almost 3 hours, and talked for hours at a restaurant afterwards. We were really shy at the karaoke place at first, but we warmed up quickly and had such a good time. ^_^

Sushi Burritos

I had a pretty amazing Thanksgiving break. It was a really welcome break from school. I’m really glad I planned out my break weeks in advance so that I could spend time with all of the people I consider very special and dear to me. I’m not ready for school to start again…but I can definitely say I had a good break. As you can see, I also ate a TON of food. I’m going to need to go on a diet when I go back to school this Monday haha.

Last time, I was in a very distressed state. Today, I begin a new quarter, the second quarter of optometry school. A new quarter, with new deadlines and new courses, so for now I will remain starry-eyed and hopeful. :p I am going to do my best to stay ahead of the game this time since it’s supposed to kick up a few notches and yet I already struggled insanely last quarter.

Evernote is working really well in helping me stay organized! It helps me stay synced with any of my devices – my Windows desktop, my Macbook laptop, even my Android phone, and any random computer in the library. If I forget something at home…it doesn’t really matter, I can still look at it on Evernote. Now there’s less stress about whether or not I’ve manually downloaded everything onto each device. There’s no excuse not to study during downtime such as waiting for class to start or while waiting in line.

It’s been a lot of trial and error finding methods that help me tackle grad school better. For my own reference, here are some things that seem to be working better for me:

  • Going to bed early and waking up early. I can’t stay up late like I used to in HS & college because the day (8am until evenings at school) is just too long for me to feel energized at night anymore. Go to bed, and when I wake up feeling fresh, instantly dive into studying.
  • Using downtime between classes for easier subjects.  Tackling difficult classes in a short period of time seems like time is wasted and my attention is more spread out in loud environments
  • I had a few study sessions with a classmate – we split the time up between homework/concepts/creating an equation sheet so that we spread our time out efficiently. This is something that I need to do at least weekly to keep myself on top of things. If a classmate has a schedule conflict and is skipping our meeting for the week, I need to force myself to find someone else. There’s always someone willing to study in my class, as I’ve discovered over the last few weeks. I just need to put in the effort to locate them and fight the temptation to just go home.
  • Studying in the library after class is over for a few hours until traffic dies down. Less time is wasted in traffic, and I get some good productive hours in there. Usually when I go home, I don’t get into studying right away – it’s more like instant unwinding time & dinner whether I plan to or not.
  • Taking breaks when I felt less sharp and productive. These breaks are like taking a nap or cleaning, doing laundry, etc. A few short breaks are like with YouTube and a snack (when snack is done – so is YouTube break!).
  • Doing an “out loud” study session with a friend where we worked through tough material together pushed my brain much harder, but made it much less tiring than doing it on my own.
  • Writing things out on a whiteboard – even if it’s to just have a nicer layout in color (and then taking a picture of it to study more later!) – made it a lot easier to remember.
  • Speeding up lecture recordings by 2x saves a lot of time when re-listening to them and also pushed me to keep my focus level high rather than getting bored and dozing off.
  • Create a Google document and be responsible for creating a portion of the study guide. Even if you’re not going to look at it later (you probably will though), it forces you to become an expert at one section at least.
  • Create mini-deadlines, and major deadlines – all due before the actual deadline. Mini-deadlines to make things more manageable. Major deadline to force myself to cram if I failed to complete the mini-deadlines (which is more than likely to happen). And yet, the major deadline will still be before the actual deadline so that I will have extra time available for review.

Like I said, I’ve been using the free version of Evernote, which gives you 60MB of space per month – plenty if you’re only dealing with text and images. Premium gives you 1GB a month. Once you start putting in large files (like the huge pdfs I have from my professor for lecture), it starts to eat up space really quickly, so it depends on what you need to do. Additionally, Premium has other really useful perks such as being able to annotate onto pdfs directly and being able to search within image files and pdfs.

I like Evernote a lot and I’m considering purchasing the Premium edition but I’m not quite sure yet. I figure I’d try it out first before purchasing, but unfortunately I already tried Premium apparently when I first joined in 2008…..6 years ago when I didn’t even really use Evernote much, lol. If you’d like to help me out and would also like to try Evernote, you can use my referral link! If you join using my link, download Evernote onto your device of choice, and then log in, I’ll earn some points that can be used for a temporary month of Premium! Also, by using my link, you will get a month of Premium as well.

Here is my referral link! Thank you to anyone who might decide to use my link ^_^

I’ll make a post later detailing some of the tips I have on how to use Evernote! For example, I’ve got a to-do list on there, notebooks for each class, textbooks, a record of all my coupons, restaurant menus, and even a table of contents linking together related notes. Stay tuned!

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