Category Archives: adulting


“I’m so full”, I said as I stuffed my face with more pizza on Dec 30th 2017.

I guess last year’s resolution of “stop eating when I’m full” wasn’t really working out for me.

But you know, new year, new plans, and last but definitely never the least – NEW LISTS.

Oh, I love making lists.


  1. Be more independent

This needs to be #1. If there’s one thing I want to continuously improve on this year, it’ll be to be more independent. Last year, I told myself that I need to be nicer to myself. It’s clear that even last year, I knew that this problem existed – the self-judgment, the imposter syndrome (thinking I’m a fraud), the impulse to satisfy others, and the uncontrollable need to keep everyone happy.

My fiancé will sometimes say, “always put yourself first, not as the second”, and I’d be thinking “second?” I don’t put myself second. Or third. Or even 15th. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’m even on my list of people to satisfy. This past year has shown me that I don’t know how to put myself first and it comes extremely unnaturally to me. Why this is the case may or may not be important for future learning, but the more important thing is to improve on this.

I learned that it is not easy for me to remember that I should put myself first. And whenever I am cognizant that I should do that, my first thought is that I’m being an asshole to others. I don’t want to become mean and selfish. I don’t want to become someone I am not, act rudely, and then lose my friends, and then my life will be a disaster (etc. etc.)

This resolution goes against all the “New Year Resolution rules” that I’ve written about using behavioral science. It’s not concrete. It’s not measurable. It’s not a goal with quantity (like going to the gym 3 times a week, or losing 5 pounds). I guess there’s the goal, and then there’s the execution of the goal.

Here’s my vague thoughts on executing the goal of being more independent, organized into three categories:

*spend some time physically away from fiancé*

  • Continue with daily meditation and attend weekend retreats
  • Have weekend trips or extended trips with my girl friends
  • Go to a WWOOF (its like farming Airbnb) to be close to nature and learn something

*do things I used to normally do but have stopped because of this relationship* (note: important)

  • Schedule calls with my friends independent of what my fiancé will be or might be doing. Should not just wait for him to make his schedule and them schedule my own to fit his.
  • Go workout regardless of whether he’s going with you.
  • Find the time to read more books, listen to TED talks, actively learn about something (and not only watch YouTube videos that he plays…)
  • Schedule dinners with friends and acquaintances, people who I haven’t connected with for a while
  • Attend events

*just general good things to improve on…*

  • Ask for what I want (tell my fiancé what I want and then he can just say no if it doesn’t work for him)
  • Try new things even though you might think it’s a shock to people (I have a tendency to not pivot because I think people around me are used to me doing something and that if I do something crazy and out of the blue then it’s weird and I’ll have to explain myself. don’t do that. people can just adjust to what you do.)

Well, I already feel like a mean person writing those executions. People can just adjust to you? I don’t know about that…but maybe that’s a good barometer to measure myself by. If I’m feeling uncomfortable about it and think that it’s a mean or rude thing to do, it means I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. I even bought myself a nice keychain that says “didn’t please everyone” as a daily reminder to celebrate that. (friends, please give me an intervention if you think I’m changing for the worse…and really becoming a rude and awful person…)

That’s it then! Here’s to 2018 – a year full of challenges, probably with more ups and downs than last year, potentially more extreme emotions that I need to balance, and more adulting struggles coming my way. I know for a fact that I’ll learn so much this year – about myself, at home, and in school. I think I’m going into this year a bit more centered than I was last year. Finally, I’m very excited for the year of wedding planning (and future planning), prepping for PhD applications, and putting myself first.


How to surprise a friend this holiday season

One easy thing to do to surprise a friend: write them a holiday card.

Not the e-cards. Not an e-mail. A physical card! Some of you are probably thinking…who still writes physical letters these days? It’s all on the internet. But I still remember the joy of writing and receiving physical letters and cards. It made me feel important. It made me feel loved and special. Something different from the type-type-click-send routine on the internet.

So, in the last few years after college graduation, I’ve started to write physical cards or postcards to friends and family. A good opportunity to send a postcard is when you’re visiting a new city (whether its for vacation or not), or best of all, HOLIDAY SEASON!! aka, RIGHT NOW!!

It’s a simple act and if you have never done this or do it very infrequently, I am very certain your friends and family will love it ❤

For 1 card, you’ll need:

1 card


Find them at Papyrus or Paper Source (google one close by)
Or you can go to pharmacy stores such as Walgreens or CVS
Or post office…since you need stamps anyway

1 stamp


If you’re sending within the US, you’ll need to get a “Forever Stamp”.
Find them at post offices (google USPS close by)
Or pharmacy stores such as Walgreens or CVS – for this you need to ask at the cashier
If you’re sending internationally, you need to buy stamps at the post office.

Friend’s address
In the US, your friend’s address will need (1) street name [(2) apartment number] (3) city (4) state (5) zip code



  1. Write card
  2. The front of the envelope:letter.png
  3. Post it at mailboxes or at the post office


That’s it! I hope you go out today and buy a card and stamp to send to your loved ones! It usually takes 2-3 days to arrive, so you still have time for New Years if you go now!!

Merry Christmas everyone!
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


How to make Brussels sprouts

Wow – Thanksgiving break feels like such a long time ago and all eyes (and ears) are on Christmas now. My Christmas lights have been up since October, so I’m very super excited for this! But you’re still not ready for another gigantic-I’ll-ate-so-much-i-can’t-move meal yet, I totally understand. So, instead of making some heavy meal, how about we try something healthier?

Brussels Sprouts trivial: Where are Brussels Sprouts from?

*drum roll*…Brussels, in Belgium. ITS IN THE NAME! I totally had my mind blown; never thought about BRUSSELS sprouts that way before, but apparently you need to capitalize the B since its for Brussels, the city/region. Now you can never read it the same way again! Check it out the next time you go to the grocery store, I bet they have Brussels capitalized. Remember to grab some on the way out! Because they’re really easy to make.


(1) Brussels Sprouts / (2) Olive Oil / (3) Pan


(1) Chop each of the sprout into half
***Please, please be careful with this. These sprouts are like tiny cabbages, and its easy to roll around. Don’t chop your finger off!


(2) Put some olive oil in the pan


(3) After the pan is hot, put Brussels sprouts into pan


(4) Cook for 4-8 minutes


(5) You’re Done! Add salt & pepper and enjoy.

Fancy it up

version 1: add herbs such as Sage, and cook with the sprouts

version 2: you can bake it instead of using a pan (e.g.

Honestly, despite all the many recipes on the web, these are the only variations I’ve tried because the simple version is already so damn awesome!


Illustrated by Marko Mille (@marko_mille).


Thanksgiving Edition: Feeling the Polarization

Happy Thanksgiving week! As everyone is getting ready for the huge thanksgiving (or friendsgiving) dinner, here’s an exercise to help you get through tough political conversations that might inevitable arise in the next few days (link).

While it might be a good idea to avoid talking politics for the entire trip home, it could also be a good idea if we can turn political conversations with family into a bonding experience instead…but How, you ask?

I created an exercise/game session called Feeling the Polarization. The first screen is below, so if you’re interested, host one with your family over thanksgiving!

top-pic-polarizationbottom pic-polarization

Looks like something your family needs? Click here to start!

and Share it with your family and friends.


How to cook pasta

Dear millennials, adulting is difficult. As a result, I’m going to cover here the things that I’ve slowly learned over the last few years. Tiny steps that I’ve made towards being an adult that I am actually pretty proud of. As a heads up, they’re mostly going to be recipes that surprised me as actually pretty easy to make.

Whenever I open Instagram (which is more often than I would like), there are basically two types posts: dogs and food. My response to dogs = awwww! and food = oooo yummm! But whenever I read the recipes from professional food bloggers, I’m always intimidated by how many ingredients there are (endless), how beautifully it is put together (even filters can’t save me from that), and the fact that it is always portioned for 4-8 people (I’m either 1, at most 2. maaayybe 4 if we do leftovers, 8 if I end up hating my leftovers). As much as I love the food pictures I’m scrolling through, I never imagine myself making it. Everything about it seemed so perfect, and as an extension, so daunting.

For dinner tonight, how about I just stick to my boiled pasta + canned sauce instead?

So here’s my first post on #adulting. Let’s start with making pasta at home:

You’ll need:

                   Pasta                   Pasta Sauce                Salt + Olive Oil                    Potingredients



  1. boil water
  2. put pasta in a pot, along with the hot water (add a bit of salt and olive oil to improve taste) and leave it to boil for 13-15 minutes
  3. separate the pasta from the water using a strainer (or however you can separate them, even with a fork or spatula)
  4. pour sauce over the cooked pasta
  5. Enjoy!

Need help with the ingredients?
Pasta: you can buy a box from your grocery store. Anything you like – long ones, short ones, fat ones, tiny ones…[forget the fancy Italian names if that’s too much for you – the pappardelle, fettucine, rigatoni…], you can always stick with spaghetti, that’s Italian!
Pasta sauce: also from the store, choose whatever you like. they’re usually right next to the pasta boxes

Special shout out to Marko Mille for illustrating. Check out her other work on instagram @marko_mille.