Hello, it’s me.

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A whopping 623 days after my most recent blog post, I have returned. 

We’re barely a month into the new year, so I suppose this could be considered a resolutionary move. But I miss writing, and I’m tired of letting projects fall by the wayside, even when life does all that it can to get in the way of doing what I want (or be as boring as possible so that I’ve no impetus to do anything creative).

What’s happened in the 623 days since my last post?

  • I earned my first-degree black belt in tang soo do in June 2016! On top of that, I also successfully trained for my first-degree black belt in hapkido in December 2017. This June, should cards fall as they may, I’ll be testing for my second-degree black belt in tang soo do.
  • In September 2017, I did something I never thought I would: get a tattoo. This is all thanks to my mother and her new book, Conscious Ink, which was edited by yours truly. It sincerely opened me up to a world of body art of which I was unaware. I highly recommend Conscious Ink to anyone who has an appreciation or curiosity for tattoos. (By the way, I was inked again just three weeks ago.)
  • Skincare has become a passion of mine, specifically, Korean beauty (or K-beauty). It started with sheetmasks — the ones with the cartoon faces on them — and  have not looked back since. I’m hardly a year into my new-and-improved skincare routine and there is so, so much more I must (and am willing to) learn about the Ways of K-beauty. I will say this, though: My skin is much better off for it. Even if I am not as intense as those who use 25 products before bedtime, I’m still a long ways from the days when I’d fall asleep with makeup on my face. (Oops.)
  • I’m still traveling. Just returned from Ireland. A piece of my heart is still there. ♥
  • You know BTS? They’re kind of my favorite group right now, I’ve no shame in admitting this. And don’t get me started on the cuteness that is BT21. How old am I again? Does it matter?
  • A myriad of little victories, small defeats, and everything else that has made my life, in one way or another, uniquely mine. This is a poetic way of saying, “I don’t really know what else I can say here.”

So! Will I keep up with this aul blog? I’d really like to blow off the dust, dismantle the cobwebs, and try again. Let’s consider this Monday Diaries 2.0. I hope those of you who were with me before the long hiatus are ready and willing to join me once again…and bring a few of your friends with you, too, if you’d like.

The Monday Question

How much has your life changed in 623 days?

‘Til (hopefully!) next Monday!

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Table for One: 5 Perks of Dining Solo

Photo credit: : Katarzyna Białasiewicz

Photo credit: Katarzyna Białasiewicz

Confession: I eat out alone. Often.

Yes, I have friends, and I like (most) human beings. However, I also travel by myself a lot and run plenty of errands on my own. If I’m hungry, I’ll want to take myself to an eatery as soon as possible.

Whether at a food court or in a “fast casual” restaurant, dining solo has never bothered me. It’s a way for me to escape life’s trivialities and enjoy the food that I want at my own leisure.

I know several individuals who have curled their faces in disgust when I suggested the idea of eating alone in public. “Nope, I could never do that, I’d feel like a freak,” they’d proclaim. For them, eating out is strictly a social event, be it a catch-up brunch with girlfriends or a business dinner with stakeholders. (Mmmm, steak.)

What the detractors may not know, however, is that dining solo is a very common activity these days. Per data from online reservation service OpenTable, there has been a 62 percent rise in “party of one” bookings nationwide, with most growth occurring in major metropolitan areas such as Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

The next time hunger calls whilst you’re out-and-about on your own, consider these five perks of dining solo:

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