Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Post originally published by Jennifer X on Born Jennius, 20 February 2018.

Sometime last year, I started to drink coffee on a semi-regular basis. I still don’t like coffee, but sometimes I want a hot drink and sometimes I want a different taste than tea (I still love tea more). This year, I picked up a Bialetti MokaExpress, which is a stovetop coffee brewer. I wanted to make coffee at home and save money. I love that I don’t have to buy filters for it at all, or throw away coffee pods, and that it’s rather low-maintenance. And, it’s so easy! More on the coffee adventures later – these things are supposed to be quick update items.

I’ve been wearing less foundation – applying less product and not on the lower half of my face (under the cheeks and down, along the jawline). I’ve been taking better care of my skin more consistently, and so I don’t think I need so much foundation. Also, I’ve found a concealer that I like, so I’m using concealer again, to help even out the areas that have more discoloration. I have never matched my foundation to my neck because I don’t care about doing so since I never take the makeup down to my neck; I have eczema and my neck can be quite irritable.

At the very tail end of last year, I got a new phone. It’s the LG V20. I like it, it’s a good phone… but I miss my old phone. I do love that it charges up very quickly! I mean, I don’t know that it’s really that fast, and I may just be thinking about how my old phone wasn’t really charging at the end of its life there, but the V20 will charge from 30% to 100% in about… 45 minutes? I think it’s been.

I really need a haircut.

I’m having to learn grace in the context of sharing a workspace with someone I don’t relate to and whom has a few constant habits that irritate me. So far, I’ve been a slow learner. Can anyone relate?

Well, I just wanted to quickly mention a few things lately that I’ve been doing or thinking about, especially since I didn’t post much at all last year. I don’t have a sense of how this year will go with posting on here, but you’re always welcome to join me on Instagram (link below) – it’s where I have been showing up most for the time being.

I hope you are well,

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Healthy Go: Updates, September 2017

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Born Jennius, 01 September 2017.

Here I am again.

It’s been a while since my last Healthy Go post. Or, a post of any sort. I almost had this up in June, which would have been good because I think the original HG post was a few years ago in June. Almost doesn’t count.

Let me start again anyway.

I would like to stop saying, “I’m at my heaviest weight ever” eventually. Today is not that day. HG isn’t really about the weight, but that stat can be an indication of how I’m doing with HG things. I don’t own a scale at home, but the last official weigh-in at the doctor’s office was back in March of this year, at 184 lbs.

No matter the condition of my health, that is too much weight for my 5’2” frame.

I have had low energy levels and energy drops sometimes. I don’t move around as easily as I used to. I don’t fit most of my clothes. The extra weight is not helping my bad leg. I can tell that I’ve lost a lot of strength.

I’m uncomfortable. Time to rethink things and make more adjustments to improve the condition.

Even though I don’t always post for HG, I’ve continued with the journey - obviously not very well looking at the current situation, but I haven't given up at all. One of the recent life changes has been going from part-time back to full-time work. I had been working towards cooking more often and eating better foods, which was good because when I went to FT, I was in a comfortable enough rhythm with cooking that I’ve been good about preparing most of my work meals. I take the bus to work early in the morning, so I prepare breakfast and lunch (and sometimes snacks). In May, I bought 5 of my work meals; I think that will be my limit going forward. In June, I only bought my food one day (two meals); we had a farewell lunch for a co-worker who’s moving on to a better situation for him, so I consciously made the decision to get lunch with everyone else. I had been quite sick the week before, so I also decided to take that day to have other people make my meals and bought my breakfast.

I might have gained maybe 1 or 2 pounds since that March weigh-in, but I don’t think it could be much more than that. Going by the way my fitting clothes fit, I think I’m in maintenance – better than gaining more extra weight at this point.

I have noticed some health improvements with the changes in eating habits, which will probably be the main subject of a future HG post. A few other topics I’m thinking of writing about include:
  • Current work meal preps
  • HG goals
  • Helpful resources
  • Things I’ve learned
  • Am I going Vegan?
  • What Have I Been  Eating?

Not every post will have a clear main topic as some will be a few smaller updates, like this post. I don’t have a sense of how or when I’ll get back to posting regularly yet.

If you’d like to see some of the things I’ve been eating and other (possibly HG-related) content, I post rather regularly on my Instagram (@bornjennius) – you’re welcomed to join me there.

Otherwise, that is it for this post. I hope to see you around.

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

Facebook Profile: Jennifer X | Facebook Page: BornJenniusPage
Bloglovin’: Born Jennius | Pinterest: bornjennius
Instagram: bornjennius | Twitter: bornjennius

Disclaimer: I am not a professional health anything. I am a health trekker, updating my audience with the different sights, and hopefully encouraging others on their own journeys. I am moving towards a healthier lifestyle in a slow and steady approach. Please consult with your doctor before starting a new regimen.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Introduction to My Debt & Learning Simon’s Lesson

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Born Jennius, 28 August 2017.

At the beginning of the year, I had five debt items: 4 student loans and 1 credit card. I just paid off one loan, so now I have four debt items!

Having created a spreadsheet to help me manage the debt and paid off that first loan, I revisited and reworked the spreadsheet. I managed to “knock off” 3 more months of payment. I say, “knock off” because in reality I have yet to pay it all, so depending upon what happens in the future (like emergencies, etc.) that may have an effect on the debt reduction plan, it may have to be adjusted by adding months back – let’s hope that doesn’t happen!

At the moment, I plan to be debt-free by May 2021. It could happen sooner, and hopefully not any later.

All that sounds great, like I’m doing well, but to get to this point where I’m managing debt rather than trying to fend it off took years of building up general money management tasks. I still have a lot of room to grow. To be honest, it’s still quite intimidating, to think of how much things cost, to weigh the consequences of financial decisions, wondering if I’m making good choices, etc.

One keeps moving forward.

Earlier this year, I had received a letter about how I had enough student loan debt to apply for “loan forgiveness.” I would love to not have to pay any or all of my financial debt. However, my debt philosophy is “If I borrowed and used the money, I will pay the money back.” If I borrowed money from a personal relation and that person wanted to forgive the debt, I’ll take their kindness because that’s how personal relationships should be. I would never forget that kindness and I enjoy being generous to those I care about (when I can afford doing so), so I figure things work out in the end. I hope they see it that way too.

A little more on personal-relation loans: something from the TV show 7th Heaven regarding such has stuck with me for years; I apologize if I’m a little off on details as I have not reviewed the episode recently. It was when the Camden Family sat down with one of its members, Mary (played by Jessica Biel), to discuss where she was in life. The sense of the matter was that she had lost her way, her focus. The future she had envisioned for herself was gone and she was having trouble finding a new vision. She had become indebted to her family.

When it was Simon’s turn to speak (the brother who tends to be scrupulous towards saving money), he talked about repaying debt to family first. He said that it was a way to show who you are and the kind of person you want to be. What Simon said was the part that still sticks with me; I took it to mean more than about financial loans, but that is the topic of this post.

A few years ago, around 2013, let’s say, I wasn’t going to have enough to pay my tuition. I borrowed money from my brother. Understand that I could never pay back my parents for everything they’ve given me. I could also never truly pay back my brother for how he’s always taken care of me. And I’m not talking here about times people paid for me and wouldn’t take money back and such. This loan, and I saw it as a loan, was significant for me. I don’t like asking people for money, even for donating to good causes that I care about (I’m working on that part though).

My brother probably never expected to see that money again, and being such a great older brother and family man that he is, he probably didn’t think of it after – I don’t know. He gave me the money and then never mentioned it again. He has always looked out for me, and our parents, but that financial loan changed the dynamic for me. It was an opportunity for a lesson, for what I consider to be and refer to as Simon’s Lesson.

When I got a job, which my brother brought to my attention and so was instrumental in me getting it, the first thing I did was to save up enough money to pay back my brother, with interest also because that’s how much he means to me. It was my Christmas gift to him at the end of that year. Outside circumstances made it an odd exchange, as I just handed him an envelope with the money and a note but he wasn’t in the mood to open it right then; it kind of was better too, so he wouldn’t give it back and so I didn’t have to see what his reaction was.

Anyway, I paid him back and I learned Simon’s Lesson. Paying my brother back felt good, of course, as it spoke to how I value my integrity. Hopefully it also told my brother that I appreciate him, that I want our relationship to be good with nothing hanging over it. Money has a way of coming between people and oftentimes, we let it. I didn’t want to let it come between my brother and I – let the last bite of cheesecake do that!

To further illustrate why one ought to pay back family first, remember that loan collecting agencies like private loans, government agencies (like for federal student loans), or banks, don’t care about you personally. They want their money back for sure, but once you do pay them back, that is end of transaction. They don’t care if you invite them to your wedding or not. They don’t care if you get sick. They don’t want to go on a hike with you.

But your family might just. Pay back your family first.
Obviously, it helps to have a great family, and I happen to have one of them. Even if your family and/ or friends are not so great about money loans, keep in mind the person you want to be whether anyone else knows it or not.

I’m not a financial/ debt wizard. I haven’t read much/ taken courses/ attended seminars about how to manage money. I’ve picked up little things here and there, figured out how to make things work for my circumstances, and adjusted as circumstances have changed.

If you have significant debt, I recommend getting started in attacking it. It may seem overwhelming now, but one has to start somewhere. It does get better as one goes on, learning more, applying more, and with increasing confidence.

And I’ll be on my debt-free journey alongside you on yours.

It’s possible to become debt-free. I’m looking forward to it!

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

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