🌱 Taking care of things
I spent a lot of my January and February doing self-maintenance work:
- I went to the doctor and did a full physical
- I went to the dentist for my check-up and cleaning
- I got a Sonicare toothbrush and I’m using it
- I’m drinking way more water
- I’m sorta exercising
- Oh and I hurt my foot the other day and I’m resting it instead of pretending it’s fine, so now I’m almost all healed!
I also had an assortment of home maintenance to do in January: I fully moved out of my old apartment, I got my dryer fixed, I bought and assembled the last bits of furniture to “complete” my new place.
January is a nice month to do all this stuff! When the weather is cold and the days short and dark (and with covid still around), many of my usual favorite things to do are hard to do, so doing things to keep myself healthy and my home functional isn’t the worst way to pass time. It feels like I’m setting myself up for the rest of the year ✨
🏡 Furniture purchases I don’t regret
As part of my home maintenance work, I bought these things:
- LENNART cubby from ikea – I’ve got a lot going on in my living room so I really wanted small storage that didn’t feel bulky. I was agonizing between this guy vs every option on the internet that kinda looked like this, but this was so cheap ($17.99?!) I was like… I might as well just see if this works first. And I LOVE!! It’s exactly what I need and surprisingly solid.
- Alden counter stool from west elm – omg I agonized over these too!!! and gah I hate spending a lot of money on something I’m not sure about, you know? I considered a few cheaper options from Wayfair, buuut I wanted a backless style to keep things as low-profile as possible, so I decided to get the “twice as much” stools. I am enjoying them!!!
- Nomad Ottoman from burrow – I’ve had my gray couch for like… 8-9 years through 3 cities and 6 different apartments, and so I’ve (yes) agonized for years over the question, “should I replace my couch?” Recently I thought “maybe now’s the time!!” because I really want a sectional, especially a fluffy dreamy modern one, but I decided instead to opt for an ottoman to try out the idea before fully committing. The verdict: Unclear!! I love the functionality but I can’t tell if I like how it looks… 🤔 and if I am annoyed by how it looks, am I bothered the bulkiness of a sectional in general or because I had to get a “close but not quite matching” version since my couch is long-discontinued… 🤔🤔🤔 anyway pictures above if you wanna ponder with me
💧 Sometimes you just need the right water bottle
An outcome of my doctor visits: I need to drink more water. This was not like “an apple a day” advice, but more like “hello, these things you are complaining about might go away if you drink a liter more water a day” 😩 Drinking water is so boring though!!
But I came up with a ✨ new system ✨ that is working for me:
- I bought two of these 32oz water bottles in different colors
- I fill them with ice and water
- I drink both by the end of the day
I’m drinking way more water than before!! Two water bottles are just enough to help me with pacing — like “hey it’s midday, have you finished a water bottle yet?” — without having to track each individual 8oz glass. Also I like having a straw! 🥤
Like usual, I had to experiment a bit before I came up with something that worked.
Methods that didn’t work for me: Tracking water intake in my planner or in an app (I’d never do it); drinking more water in cups (I would never remember how many I had); drinking more water in small (~12oz) water bottles I already had (I would only drink a few of them – this is when I thought, “hmm what if I just got bigger water bottles?”).
🍳 Cooking easy stuff
I’m a (former??) person who never cooks, who has tried unsuccessfully in the past to become a person who cooks, who still wants to become a person who cooks, so before I tried to “cook more” again, I did some research on how one starts a cooking habit. I couldn’t find much, but I loved this video: How to ACTUALLY cook more
So many practical gems:
- 🤯 Start with really simple dishes
- And I looove that she is literally making toast in this video lol
- 🤯 Make your kitchen a place you like to spend time in
- 🤯 Try to make your food look pretty
- 🤯 A few finishing touches can make your dish way more tasty
These tips have really worked for me, especially the idea of making simple stuff. Lowering the bar for what “counts” as cooking helped me grow confidence and try more dishes. When I scroll through my photos app, I’ve kind of made a ton of stuff since January!! Oden soup, ddeokguk, this airfryer salmon thing, kimchi burritos, Japanese curry, a few salads, …
Here’s some easy stuff that I’ve made multiple times:
- 🍠 Roasted sweet potatoes (the yellow kind): bake at 375 for 1-2 hours
- and maybe top with kimchi???
- 🍳 These scrambled eggs (though I halve the butter lol)
- 🍢 Oden Tang
- 🍝 Spaghetti: SPECIFICALLY with Rao’s sauce, thin spaghetti, and grated parmesan, just follow the instructions on the packages
- 🥗 This tomato cucumber avocado salad – the dressing also saved me a few times when I ordered delivery sweet green salad and they forgot to include dressing!
(I’m not making exclusively emoji’d food on purpose)
Also, gosh I need to make H Mart a regular part of my grocery rotation. There are so many things from H Mart that have a GREAT effort-to-deliciousness ratio — easy to make and soooo tastyyyy!! Maybe my next update I’ll talk more about those! 😋
🇰🇷 YouTube videos and bibimchat
I switched up my Korean study routine a bit. I had been starting my study sessions with flashcards, which is fine but can also get kinda… bleh… after a while.
Now if I’m starting my study session and I do not feel like looking at flashcards, I start instead with a Korean-language video!
My three favorite sources these days:
- 티아 Tia – 안녕하세요 티아입니다 I LOVE TIA! and I love her 꿀팁s!!! These videos are excellent because the content is the exact content I want to watch anyway – journaling routines!! morning routines!! cleaning routines!! THE BEST
- Jessi’s Showterview – 세상에서 가장 핫한 사람 만나보는 시간 jessi의 showterview! I’ve talked about Jessi before, I love her, the best interviews!!! and I love that she also struggles with Korean sometimes loll 💕 even though her level is my 목표 lol
- bibimchat: 한국어로 하는 별의별 한국 이야기, 비빔챗! I looove this series from TTMIK! The conversations are interesting and it’s on a wide range of topics so I feel like I’m stretching my vocabulary a bit. I have a TTMIK membership so I watch the full videos with transcripts (which you can use Google Translate Extension or Papago to get a good-enough-for-studying English translation), but they provide free ~5 min clips on their youtube channel too!
☀️ Sorry I haven’t been social
I’m awful at keeping up with texts and emails and virtual hangs, and so much better at “we should grab lunch!” I miss being social! I’m looking forward to warmer weather (and for more studies on long covid to come out). Let’s see what things look like by next update 🌈