Calming Inspiration

So far 2021 has felt like 2020 version 2.0, but with a new anime season airing. I’m trying to find relaxing things to do in my off time. Bujo-ing has been part of that because I’m writing most days. I’ve also been crocheting more. I’m determined to finish my scarf – even if it’s past winter when I’d actually wear it. I’ve got a few crochet projects and will finish at least one of them this year. (Mini goal)

Aside from that I’ve become a little addicted to watching relaxing videos on youtube about homebodies, singles & marrieds in their home life, sewing videos, cat spa days, wild terrariums, and various crafts. It’s inspiring to see what people can make with very limited tools and a small budget or a lots of fancy tools and a garage/workspace. I also learned how to make drip coffee – the proper way. I’d been sort of doing my own thing, but after watching some videos and changing my methods I think I’m getting much better at it. What new/different/odd habits have you picked up to cope with?

Channels I’ve been watching for those interested:

XiaoQuianFeng – She makes lots of things that aren’t necessarily practical, but definitely fun and obviously makes her happy, which is a huge part of why this is so entrancing. I think she’s Chinese, living in Netherlands.

nyangsoop – This channel started my downward spiral into youtube videos. It’s very calming. Basic, everyday life in South Korea. It seems very rustic, but of course has all the niceties of modern life.

Choki – This is just like the above, but in Japan in an apartment complex. I think the above one she’s got a space attached to the main residence b/c she says she lives with her family. This one is more about really living alone.

Hayao – Same as above, but from single male perspective.

Her 86m2 – Vietnamese family living in Germany. Everyday life, some DIYs, wellness type stuffs.

DinLife – Sewing. It’s extremely soothing to watch and makes me want to be better at sewing. I’ve got a list of projects mapped out to work on this year.

Hanabira – Miniature maker. I’ve almost fallen asleep due to how relaxing this is and even the youtuber has asked, “fallen asleep yet?” in some videos because they can be long. The final products are really amazing.

Bear Soongnyoong – Cat spa videos. These are hilarious and cute and make me sleepy in a good way as well. The mother does all the acting with the cats and the daughter films, edits, and adds witty/funny comments about the scene or her mom.

This is just a sampling of the videos I’ve been watching. I like these the most because the majority of them do not have people talking in them, only music or ASMR ambience. The exception is the cat spa videos because the mom talks throughout them, but in a very hushed tone. Plus she’s really funny.

For an American, it seems I like a ton of asian videos and again, that’s mostly because they don’t have people talking and use subtitles. The background family noise doesn’t bother me because it’s not the focus of the videos. Most western style videos of the same vein have people explaining/talking/justifying everything and I find it tedious to listen to when the action in the video speaks for itself. If I find more western style ones without so much talking I’d definitely watch them. I’ve watched Girl in Calico, Fairyland Cottage, etc… but I end up muting them or turning them off part of the way through because all the talking kinda ruins the soothing aspect of the videos. My enjoyment from all of this started more in the ASMR area where you listen to everyday life happening in these videos. It really helped calm me down during some stressful times last year. At some point I noticed a lot more music being put in them, but I didn’t mind it too much because it was soothing as long as it was instrumental. Sometimes the vocal music is a bit jarring though and I wish it wasn’t there.

If anyone has videos to recommend, let me know!

Itching for something different

The end of the year brings tension, excitement and expectations of something “different” about to happen. Resolutions come to mind. Will new goals penned down stick? Lately I’ve been rewatching some old anime shows and reminding myself of how much I learn from the characters. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if it’s anime, a tv show or a movie. Resonance with a character always brings to mind: What would I do in this situation? How would this character act if they were in mine?

I’ve had many fluttering thoughts about changes and wonder if I can make them or if they are worth considering at all?

  • Can I try another shopping ban this year? Is it necessary considering the “itch” I had this year when I tried to do one came undone. Is the itch over? Have I learned from it? Since I’m not remotely tempted by anything and feel the need to change my focus, would it even be beneficial to chain myself down to doing one anyway?
  • Should I try making a more structured routine to my life in general? Will this help me get my exercising and eating habits back on track? Will I fall off the wagon again like I did before because I achieved my goal previously and didn’t know where to go afterwards? Am I even capable of having a more regimented routine when I’ve been notoriously slovenly and disdainful of anything disrupting my freedom to do whatever I want – even if I’ve self-imposed my own rules? I’ve always done what I want when I wanted. I am spoiled and privileged. Perhaps I need that structure now more than ever.

I still struggle with finding the right jeans. I bought a pair of Everlane skinny jeans and returned them. It was disturbing how they fit. Perfectly at the waist, but even with the elastic in them the legs were too tight. And yet, when looking on the website one can view how those jeans fit on different body types – to a degree. The smaller sizes still stick to a specific body type. I have no doubt the larger ones do too. I bought size 27, which general equates to a US size 4 – and yet I felt like I was busting out of the legs. My legs are more muscular and did not fit the mould of skinny legs – my thighs were tight and my calves were trapped. I almost went into a panic trying to get the jeans off me since the ankles felt like vices. If I sized up then the waist would be too big. After returning the jeans I looked in the back of my closet and saw the dark blue Grana jeans I’d not worn in 6 months or so. Over the summer I told myself I would turn them into jean shorts. I’m glad I didn’t because they fit just fine. I wore them a few times this week and Z even asked if they were new. No, I’d just not worn them in a while. I’m glad I’m over the Mari Kondo phase because keeping those jeans helped me out this week.

Shopping feels tedious now. I’m not motivated at all by looking at pinterest for style inspiration or ideas. I’m not inspired by anything new now because I’ve started accepting everything I have and started wearing a sort of uniform this winter. Whenever I’ve been tempted by something, I’ve stopped and told myself – I already have x thing that’s just fine. I don’t need anything else or a replica or the newest version. Maybe I’m starting to learn how to truly appreciate what I have? Is this a temporary phase? I’ve become more preoccupied with enriching my mind and getting myself into better shape. No – “better shape” is the wrong phrase. There’s nothing wrong with my shape, but rather – I want to feel the strength I did a few years ago when the soreness of my muscles made me smile each day after a workout. Feeling the shape of muscle under my skin made me happy. Being able to do so much with so little effort due to my strength was invigorating. Shopping has been replaced with strengthening.  The caveat to all of this is I still suck at keeping a consistent routine, hence why I’m tempted to get a bit militant on myself.

Winter weather really is the best time to make one stop and consider what one has and whether or not it is enough. I’m not bothered at all by constantly wearing the same sweaters and pant combinations over and over. It’s comforting and it works. It helps that I’m so cold in the mornings I get dressed without thinking – I just need to put clothes on to keep warm. I’ve also given up taking any outfit photos because the lighting is horrible and even though I do have the studio light I wasn’t a fan of how those photos came out when I used it last year. Therefore outfit photos are on hiatus until spring!

The winter will be spent forcing myself to keep a routine, reading more in order to open up my head and attempt to undo inherited ADD due to social media and the fast pace of society in general. I’m also focusing on writing more for myself. That combined with exercise and fretting about keeping my plants alive should be more than plenty to deal with outside of work. Maybe I’ll have many more navel-gazing posts in the future.

For now, here are some photos I took from Thanksgiving break. Z had to work the Father Ted Village Turkey Trot again this year. While he worked I wandered around Balboa Park. We’d been there before, but much more was added and had changed from several years ago. Over half the Japanese Friendship Garden was closed then, so I got to see all the new sections. I have a thing for Japanese lanterns. I love them and we have one out front of our house and I want many more.


This bonsai is roughly 45 years old. I saw the garden caretakers working on it with little clippers and tiny scissors and brushes.

bridgelantern and waterlanternsmall lanternsquat lanterntall lantern


Butchering language in fashion


I love seeing photos of middle-aged/elderly people amazingly dressed. The couples kill me.

However, looking through pinterest makes me want to bitch-slap half of the people who post on there. More often than not I see the description “Advanced Style” associated with these photos. WTF does that even mean? Just because a person is older doesn’t mean they are “advanced” in the way they dress. I really hate and cringe at seeing “advanced” being equated to the word “old” as a result.

All images found on Pinterest.