Monday, April 13, 2020

Quarantine Update: What I've been watching on YouTube

Hello everyone! It's a month into our community quarantine because of the novel coronavirus. How are you all? I hope you're all safe and healthy inside your homes, with family you love. We're doing okay over here in our condo. The kids are watching more TV than usual but they do spend their mornings doing chores, playing with each other, and doing arts and crafts. My husband is working from home. I sometimes work, do a few chores but I'm mostly sleeping in. I haven't slept well in 10 years because of motherhood so I'm now definitely catching up!

What else have I been doing? Well, there's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (yes, I started Tweeting again!). Organizing. Cooking a ton! I finished Spiderwick Chronicles because my eldest boy said he liked it. I've been seducing my husband every chance I get haha.

I fell in love with this little cutie while quarantined.

Another thing I've been doing is watching YouTube a lot. I thought I'd be Netflixing or reading a book, which I do now and then. But I'm mostly on YouTube. I think I'm late to the platform. There are just so many videos I've discovered! I used to just watch YouTube for music videos. But now I'm browsing so much and having lots of fun, I'm even thinking of finally vlogging (yikes—discourage me please haha).

It all started when I was looking for an old Spice Girls music video and got this on my recommendations: a funny Posh Spice!

After wandering around in YouTube, I found tours of tiny homes. Such joy! I follow all sorts of tiny houses on Instagram. It's a little hobby I love—checking out people's houses, specifically tiny homes. I like to dream that when the kids are all grown up, I'd live in a tiny home with a big garden or a magnificent view of the mountains.

So imagine how thrilled I was to find Living Big in a Tiny House! I have a lot of favorite episodes but I want to share this one because the couple living here are so cute. The guy's obviously in love with the girl. Ladies, always be with someone madly in love with you.

Another thing I follow on Instagram and like on Facebook are cats and dogs. I can spend hours and hours watching corgis and munchkins! So I searched for cat and corgi videos on YouTube and found so much happiness! My super favorite channel now is Kish-log, which follows the adventures of a munchkin kitten in her new forever home.

It's also a peek into life in South Korea. I loved the accidental home tours (because the camera followed the cat around the house), the food the hooman eats, the changing seasons, and the family trip to Jeju island. The recent videos also touched on how COVID-19 has affected their lives, which was jarring for me because here I was enjoying all the cuteness and then suddenly a reminder of the health crisis felt around the globe.

How about you? What do you watch on YouTube, Netflix, etc? Please share with me! Our community quarantine just got extended and I need more happy distractions from these strange times.

I hope you are all safe and healthy!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Oh, to see beyond the tomb! Hope in time of deep despair

In the Christian world, today is Good Friday, the day when Jesus Christ gave up His life for all mankind for our salvation from sin.

I've always loved the story of salvation. For some of my friends, they don't like the theology of man needing saving. It makes them feel like they aren't good enough. Me, I like the idea that I'm not good enough. It just makes sense because I'm not perfect. I'm not the prettiest, the smartest, the sexiest, the healthiest, the kindest, the mostest of everything. And while I try to be a better person every day, I also rest in the sweet comfort that I may not be good enough for people, but I was good enough for Jesus to give His life for me. It makes my heart glad, no matter what life may throw my way.

Good Friday is when Christians grieve for the death of Jesus. I honestly don't understand why we need to kill Him every year. Why not just celebrate Easter, right? But today is the first-ever time I thought about Jesus in the grave and how his followers were scattered in fear and despair, their beloved Lord and leader dead. All they saw was Jesus in the tomb and they saw no future beyond it. And that made me think of all the times I felt fear and despair: when I was molested as a child, when I was bullied in high school, when I had an abusive boyfriend in college, when Mama died, when I lost my dream job, when Papa died—one year ago today to be exact. 

There were so many times I could've gone down the path of hatred, depression, and self-destruction. But every time I bounced back. Okay, sometimes I crawled back. But every single time I just clung to God's promises that He has plans for me, that there is hope for me, that there is a future. And yet every single time, too, I will confess that I couldn't see beyond the tomb. All I could see was the darkness, never the light. And I guess that's why I just clung to Him because I can't see what He can and I knew if I let go, I'd be swallowed up in the abyss. But because I didn't let go, He always led me beyond the tomb and my life has become bigger and better than I ever even dared to dream it could be.
So I was so happy that in my devotions today, I read this verse: “Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. Through these, he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts, you can share in God’s nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

The world tried but it failed to ruin me. Not because of me and how perfect and amazing I am. Far from it. Because of God's nature and the promises of Jesus, my little old self in all its weaknesses and imperfections was able to go through the darkness many times unscathed. How beautiful is that! Thank You, Lord!

I see all the people around me now doing their very best to overcome the fear and uncertainty that the novel coronavirus has suddenly wrought upon us. It's hard to see beyond this, to imagine the new world where a deadly virus is loose amongst us. I honestly don't know how life as we know it can go on. Things will drastically change, no doubt. What I hope is we don't lose hope. I see all the wonderful things everyone is doing—whether it's donating their time and resources to help frontliners and the less fortunate to whipping up amazing things in their kitchen to give happiness to everyone locked up at home. 

Yes, there is darkness around us but everyone is working hard in their own big and little ways to fight it. We are all little pockets of light! I still believe that faith in God adds more than hope. It protects us from despair and ruin. Let's not let these dark times ruin us, dearest friends. This will end, sooner or later. I miss the sun, walking around, freedom. I miss my family and my friends. But for now, I will stay home and cling to that hope that Jesus gave us when He broke the tomb, the hope for a better world and a future beyond our wildest dreams. It will come. I know it! I hope you know it, too. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

How to perfectly brush your teeth and floss with braces

GUEST POST - Do you have questions about cleaning and flossing your teeth with braces? Read on to learn about a simple dental routine that will keep your mouth perfectly clean. 

My teeth were so bad, I had to wear braces for years! 

If you or your child has braces, it can be a challenge to clean them properly. How do you floss between your teeth when the braces themselves are in the way? How do you get rid of food particles if there is a wire barrier preventing access to all parts of your teeth? Not to worry, here are some guidelines to help you find a clean routine to keep those teeth flossed and clean while wearing braces.

Step 1 - Get Ready 

The first step is to get ready to brush. To do this, remove elastics and removable parts of your orthodontic appliances. This step gets all the elements that can be removed out of the way, and makes more space for cleaning. 

Step 2 - Choose the Right Toothbrush 

An electric toothbrush is going to make cleaning your teeth with braces a whole lot easier. Electric brushes also have sensitive modes that go at a slower speed, so you don’t hurt your gums or damage your wires. There are also toothbrushes made especially for people with braces, visit dental clinic in Guelph if having hard time finding the right toothbrush for you. Spindle brushes can get in between your teeth and behind braces to clear plaque and food particles. 

Step 3 - Brush Around Your Braces 

Carefully clean around each brace and under the wires starting with the outside of your teeth. Clean each tooth from top to bottom. It helps to angle your toothbrush to get the best position for cleaning in between and underneath your braces. Once you’ve done the outside focus on the inside of your teeth. 

Family dentists recommend spending at least 2 minutes brushing your teeth to be sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned them of plaque. This is about 1 minute of brushing for the outside of your teeth, and 1 minute of brushing for the inside. Also, be sure to change your toothbrush regularly as braces can cause more wear. 

This was in 2006. I looked so much better after! Braces are my best beauty investment.

Step 4 - Time to Floss! 

Now it may seem impossible to get a thin band of floss in between and underneath those braces, but flossing is an essential part of dental hygiene — with braces or without. 

Waxed floss is much easier to thread in between your teeth and is not as likely to get caught in your braces. Simply thread the floss under the main wire before passing it in between your teeth. Gently move the floss up and down and then repeat for all of your teeth. You can also use a floss threader to make it easier to thread between your teeth. 

Dental tape is also a good option and may be easier to manipulate than floss. Water picks are an even easier option for removing plaque and debris from in between teeth. They spray water between the gaps in your teeth and do an excellent job of removing food particles and plaque buildup. 

Step 5 - Time to Rinse! 

Mouth breathing can cause health problems so it is a good idea to finish off your brushing and flossing with mouthwash. Mouthwash helps kill any bacteria on or between your teeth that you may have missed when brushing or flossing. It also helps keep your breath minty fresh. Find a mouthwash that contains fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and strengthen your enamel. 

If you don’t like the taste of mouthwash, you can also gargle and rinse with saltwater. Saltwater can help with any pain or soreness you might have because of your braces, and it will help keep your teeth clean. 

Follow this routine, and you will have no trouble keeping your teeth and braces perfectly clean.

This is a guest post. Guest post writer Katrina Fernandez is a hardworking individual who always gives her best. As a degree holder, she aspires to establish herself within the media industry. Expert in building online partnerships, she's been working in digital marketing services, Local SEO Search Inc. for several years. To place a guest post, email for my rates.