Budget planner

Budget planner

I’ve been neglecting my writing duties because I’ve stumbled upon the wonderful world of planners! I bought this budget planner because I get a little frustrated opening up multiple website to see my finances, and then reconciling them with a simple mental note that I soon forget. I’ve tried making spreadsheets, but when you spend all day looking at spreadsheets, the last thing you feel like doing is another spreadsheet for your personal life.

So I thought I’d give this planning thing a try and boy did I went tumbling down that rabbit hole. After reading the reviews, I started watching YouTube videos on planners. Seeing all the designs, methods, and stickers got my full attention. It turns out my sister had been a big fan of all these planners and she gifted me with a bunch of things to launch my newfound hobby. I had heard her talk about this for years, but apparently I did not pay too much attention.

So I’m hoping with a few separate planners, I can start organizing different areas of my life a little better (including posts for this blog)!

P.S. I’m typing this all on my phone well past midnight, so this post was not reviewed for errors. 🙂

Ramblings about my day

Ramblings about my day

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

I’ve been intentionally giving myself a little break from the daily posts since I am no longer attempting the daily challenge. I did, of course, manage to miss a few posts here and there in my challenge, but overall I am pretty satisfied with the result. I like having the freedom to write without the challenge, but I have come to enjoy having my space to express myself. So I’m here to spill some thoughts onto this (web)page.

I am working on my draft of my little weekend adventures as I delve into my attempt to do some more travel writing. So what am I doing writing this post instead of working on my other one? I organized my home office a bit, and I am now enjoying a less cluttered desk and listening to Hilary Hahn perform J.S. Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor. I love to clean and organize…once I’m done with the process. I struggle with this, and I don’t know why. Having an organizing environment is so satisfying, and the process to achieve it isn’t even all that bad. So why am I so lazy sometimes? I think it’s just a matter of me building the habit so I can do it on autopilot.

Speaking of habits that I should build, I woke up earlier than I have in a long time. It was 5:30 am, and once I saw there was light outside, I found myself unable to go back to sleep. So I decided to head out the door for a walk around the neighborhood. It felt very nice to be outside so early in the day when the air is slightly chilly, and all is calm and quiet.

Now I will end my night with my usual habit of reading before bed. I sound like grandmother happy about completing chores, reading before bed, and looking forward to waking up early.

Squeezed in two short workouts

Squeezed in two short workouts

Weeks ago, I did a few posts about working out and getting back into a routine. I failed at that attempt, so I’m back to finding ways to motivate myself to get back into a routine. I haven’t found my motivation yet, but today, at least, I managed to squeeze in two 10-minute workouts. I used Apple’s Fitness+ workout app. It may be a glorified workout video, but I like seeing my stats displayed on the screen while working out. It makes it a little more motivating, and it’s easy to see your progress. While I find my motivation to get back into a routine, I may need to squeeze in these short 10-minute workouts multiple times a day

I’m back

I’m back

I’ve rather enjoyed this one year of writing, and I’m here to sign up for another. Well, this time around, I’m not looking to a specific challenge–at least not at the moment. I do, however, intend on writing every day as much as I can. Even though I do my best to mention too many specifics or anything personal on here, I have found this to serve as a sort of journal. I’ve considered adopting a hybrid between some kind of short form and long form of blogging where I work on writing longer posts that I work on over days while doing tweet-like posts for random things I come across. I was thinking of using Twitter for the micro-blogging, but I was turned off by all of the ads. I want my content to have its own private space.

So here’s to another year! It was far too busy and late to have a celebratory drink, but tomorrow I will pour myself a glass of wine.

365: Day 365 – Mexican Mother’s Day

365: Day 365 – Mexican Mother’s Day

And so it seems that we now come to the final day of this year-long project. I didn’t realize that this would end on Mexican Mother’s Day, but it is a fitting conclusion to this little project. As is the case every year, my mother gets celebrated for her motherhood on two separate days (except for those years in which both are on the same day).

I took my mom out for brunch to a favorite restaurant of ours in La Canñada-Flintridge, another one of those communities that are as far as urban development can go before the mountain shoots up in steep angles. Today, the marine layer was thick enough that it never really burned off, even at the foot of the mountains. I discovered this restaurant because they had our “awards ceremony” for the Bootcamp program I did way back at the end of 2011. We met for Bootcamp at 5:30 am and then had our little reception at 6:30 am. I later brought my mom, and we have been coming here ever since. However, we had not come since the pandemic began until we came with my dad a few weeks ago. I love that many of the staff are still there and that they were so happy to see my parents.

To get to the restaurant and return home, I took the scenic route that weaves through all of the hills that get increasingly taller as we near the mountain. These are beautiful roads because there are so many trees. As you drive past Pasadena and into La Cañada-Flintridge, you start to drive past beautiful mansions with impeccable gardens. This drive, too, we had not done in almost a year and a half.

It all felt like a victory lap. It was a celebration of so many things. Honestly, I couldn’t have planned for a better day to conclude this little project. Today, Los Angeles Opera announced that they would be holding their first live performance indoors next month. Tomorrow, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will announce the concert schedule for Hollywood Bowl.

Finally, one of my mom’s favorite things on this drive is the above statue of Christ facing the mountains with open arms. Today I am grateful to God.


And now to properly end this post and this project, let’s listen to the Immolation Scene from Wagner’s Götterdämmerun. Only the greatest ending to the greatest work or art ever–Der Ring Des Nibelungen

365: Day 364 – Mother’s Day

365: Day 364 – Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day 2021. Things have not felt this normal for about 15 months. The entire family was at my mom’s house and we were able to gather without masks and without the fear of a COVID-19 infection. We have all been fully vaccinated and we have emerged unscathed by this pandemic. It was hard having the family apart for all the special occasions over the past year, but that sacrifice is a small one that allowed us to all be together for this Mother’s Day. I’m not sure when this pandemic will be completely over, so we will continue to be careful. For now, however, I am grateful that we can spend time as a family once again without the constant fear.

365: Day 363 – Hidden gem in the foothills

365: Day 363 – Hidden gem in the foothills

I found this hidden gem nestled in the foothills where the mountain meets the urban sprawl of the Los Angles region. It’s in the Sierra Madre community at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. I loved seeing all the potted plants and so many flowers. The day was perfect. The marine layer had already dissipated, and we were left with warm sunlight and a cool breeze stirring the leaves of all the trees. We had a late breakfast here, but I did not post any pictures of the food because it was a simple breakfast burrito, and it didn’t photograph well. It was tasty, but nothing extraordinary. The attractiveness of this little café is not so much its food, but mainly its decor, location, and overall friendly and casual atmosphere. The other thing I appreciated about this place is the ladies working in the restaurant. Their lovely smiles, floral dresses, and flowers in their hair completed a charming atmosphere. I will be coming back here and giving the other items on the menu a try.

365: Day 362 – Night drive thoughts

365: Day 362 – Night drive thoughts

Even though I tend to stay up late, I am usually at home early. A few years ago, I wouldn’t think twice about being out and about late into the night and into the single digits of the clock. Tonight I ended up being on the road past midnight due to a combination of things: late dinner with friends; having to wait for an available supercharger, and of course, traffic.

It is always a wonderful pleasure to be driving at night. The expression “night and day difference” is often used to exaggerate a drastic change or to contrast two vastly different things. It’s used so often that the power of those words lose their effect, but the truth is that there probably exists no greater contrast than between night and day. The obvious difference is the amount of light you can see. There is more light during the day…but is there really? It is certainly more intense, but at night we witness the light from trillions of galaxies and the hundreds of billions of stars in each of them. Much of it is unbelievably ancient light from incredible distances. And beneath this spectacular window into our universe, we create our own galaxies of light with our cities. We are a diurnal animal whose curiosity for the night sky led us to conquer the night by creating our own light. I like to think this was a necessary evolutionary step as this diurnal animal begins to set sail into the night sky.