Posted in Activities

Doodle Book

img_6799Hello to my teacher and the couple of you who actually read my blog!

I know I’m 16 days late but HAPPY NEW YEAR! How is your 2017 starting off? I hope your new year is starting off fabulously rad! I got to say, mine is starting off rather sparkly (not literally) so far and I’m feeling good. (Except for the fact that finals week is coming in 2 WEEKS! :O I’m a little bummed by that but… it’s ought to come somewhen, right?)

Anyway, one thing that definitely helps me maintain a generally good mood this year so far is keeping (and constantly updating) my doodle book! I’ve actually been doing this since last March already, but I decided to share this fun lil activity with you now, what with the new year here and people always having that one “be happier” bullet on the top of their new years resolution lists.

Keeping a doodle book by my side has definitely made me happier and allows me to get creative and have fun, while sorting through all kinds of emotions (especially during this time of life, if you know what I mean? Haha.)! I don’t look at those bumps in the road as something completely negative or bad as much anymore. Because suddenly, thanks to this troublesome thrown my way, I have this new artwork I can add into my book. Whatever conflict you’re having can be turned into something more positive. Into art. And no one can possibly hate art, right?!

Whenever I’m feeling down or frustrated or just any kind of feeling really, I just whip out my doodle book and draw/paint/scribble it all out. Sometimes it’s a nice little picture, while other times it can be a messy, wild tornado of various colors. Whatever it is, it is definitely a really calming activity and… here’s an idea: make a little time out of each night and add a little piece describing your day – for every day of the year! By the end of the year, you’ve got yourself a nice little reflection book that you can flip through to see how your year went by. How cool would that be?

I hope this doodle book gives you some ideas! Bets wishes to you for the rest of the year!

Elyssa x

Posted in Food

Hot Cocoa Special

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Hey little presents! (You guys are the presents because the holiday season and because you’re PRESENT. Hahaha get it?)

Anyway, I am so excited and very much happy because it’s December, meaning lots of holiday vibes! Coming with those holiday vibes is the chilly weather and to stay warm, I like to drink some hot cocoa!

Here’s how to make one of my all-time favorite hot chocolate!

1. Pour the Swiss hot cocoa mix into a cup.

2. Wait for water to boil to pour into cup or feel free to add regular water first and microwave for one minute.

3. Once the regular cocoa is all set, add a whoosh of whipped cream on top.

4. Crush a candy cane and sprinkle the crumbles onto the whipped cream or in the drink. (When added in the cocoa, the peppermint melts, adding a lovely flavor.)

5. Add some chocolate sprinkles (as much as you like! But I prefer to go a little crazy with my toppings hehe!)

I hope you enjoy this simple but delicious recipe! Happy holidays!

Elyssa x

Posted in Lifestyle

Get In Touch With Your Inner Kid

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Hey everyone!

How is your Thanksgiving weekend going?

Over my Thanksgiving, my little cousin buddies came over for a party and one strange incident really took me by surprise and open my eyes a little bit. While I was sitting in my bedroom, minding my own business, my little cousin of 4 years old decided to go around redecorating my room. To be honest, I was a little irritated because she just messed up my new holiday decorations, but decided to shrug it off because I can just put it back the way it was later.

However, when she was finished, I was quite in shock and strangely impressed! She had put the white flowers in a gift box instead of the usual vase and poured the pink and white confetti (meant to be inside the gift box) into the cone-shaped IKEA vase. Then she added two bracelets from my bracelet rack onto the vase. (This is a little difficult to explain since none of you know how my room and what’s in it looks like but you get the gist.) She had done everything a little differently.. but a good different.

Now, obviously I did have to run it over and add or take away some items here and there like making sure the bracelet combo corresponded… but the idea. The whole idea was totally different and yet so simple, something I would’ve never thought of.

The thing about kids is, they don’t know the “rules” to what’s beauty and what’s not yet. They don’t know what’s labeled as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ so their creativity isn’t confined to a limit. I know for sure, for me, as much as I like to say I’m creative or imaginative, my artistry is definitely somewhat restricted. I could never sit down with a blank piece of paper and go absolutely crazy with it. Even if I try (which I did once as a matter of fact), something in my brain always goes ‘whoop, if you added glitter in the right corner, you gotta add glitter in the left Elyssa…’ Because I’m older. Because as much as I try not to follow the rules when it comes to art, some things that society has approved or disapproved of have already been soaked into my system.

But because she is still so innocent and young, these “rules” don’t apply to her creativity. Flowers can go in a box if she wants it to. A striped table mat can be underneath a bright polka-dot bowl if she wants it to. Colors can clash. And all these strange elements are definitely new and fresh and I love it!

So I want to encourage… if you have some free time over the weekend,

Get some pom-poms, glitter, sequins, foam stickers, markers, and crayons out! And get your hands a little messy!

Some fun activities to do are:

  • make a bookmark
  • decorate a frame
  • make a poster
  • decorate a vase
  • get any old item lying around the house and try to vamp it up!

These projects, though seemingly tacky and quite simple, actually works as a great de-stressor and can help you think outside the box a little bit! Try your best to get your inner kid out and mix those clashing oranges and greens … just because you feel like it.

Elyssa xx

P.s. I kept her new room makeover for me! 😉

Posted in Activities

The Happy Jar

imageHi lovelies!

There are many days we go through that seem like more rain rather than rainbows. And a lot of times, we tend to exaggerate by throwing around the dramatic phrase ‘I hate my life’ carelessly. (And I admit, I am guilty of this every now and then.) But in most cases, that is untrue. There are a lot of things to be happy about in life that we tend to overlook on bad days especially, because we’re too focused on whatever that went wrong. To help me remind myself of all the positive things in life after a bad day, I like to keep a Happy Jar on my work desk and another in my room.

So what is a Happy Jar? A Happy Jar is just what it sounds like. A jar filled with messages and notes that make me happy! Here’s how to make your own Happy Jar!

What you’ll need:

  • a jar
  • some paper / sticky notes
  • pens
  • any decoration items you want to add (stickers, ribbons, etc.)
  1. Cut your paper into slips (big enough for you to write on).
  2. Start writing anything that makes you happy on each slip! (e.g. Clean sheets, warm cookies that are crispy on the outside, but perfectly soft when you bite into it…)
  3. You can even add inspirational quotes or song lyrics that you like! Anything!
  4. Another fun idea is have your friends write an encouraging message to you and drop it in the jar! Don’t read it until you’re going through a rough day!
  5. Fill the stickies into your jar!
  6. Feel free to decorate it however you like.

+Put these lil’ notes on fun, colored paper to enhance the happiness!!

And voila! You’re finished! Really quick, really simple, and quite effective when you’re feeling down.

I hope this jar helps you keep your head up on tough days!

And try to remember to pick your words more carefully. You don’t hate your life. Maybe just the day. Or perhaps the hour. Maybe… you just dislike it.

Whatever it is, don’t make a permanent decision to a temporary problem.

Stay happy friends! (Especially since the holiday season is coming!!! I’m so excited!!! Eeeek!)

Posted in Activities

Rain, Rain (Don’t) Go Away

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetComing along with the gust of autumn is… rain. But why wait for the rainbow when we can dance in the rain? Okay, not literally because we’d probably get sick. But what I’m trying to say is sunny days aren’t the only days we can have fun. Here are some enjoyable ideas for a rainy day:

~ With friends / family:

  1. Board games don’t have to be boring!
  2. Candy Gambling! – Halloween is coming in just a day. Add a twist to card games by betting some of your candies with friends / family. You might even win some more!
  3. Fort Night – Build a nice fort out of sheets and pillows with your fave cousins or friends. Don’t forget to throw in some snacks and games to enjoy in there.
  4. Dress Up Battle – Have one person be the judge and pick a theme for that round. The rest of you will have a given time (ex. 10-15 minutes) to create a wow-worthy outfit! Once time’s up, the judge can critique each outfit, give it a rating, and pick the next person to be a judge!
  5. Indoor Treasure Hunt – Grab some trinkets from your house and hide them in various places. Whoever finds the most gets to hide them for the next round! You can even put a fun twist into the hunt by adding time limit or offering creative clues!
  6. Make a movie – Start by discussing what kind of movie you all want to make! Drama? Adventure? Mystery? Then, gather some props and costumes and go through the general plot! From there, you don’t even need a script. Improvise to keep you all on your toes!
  7. ABC Improv – This improv exercise isn’t just fun in an acting class! Have you and your family or friends gather around. One person says a line starting with the letter A. The next person reacts with a line starting with B and so on. Have fun and don’t break the order! Anyone who takes too long to think of a line or breaks the order is out! Last ones standing is winner!
  8. Watch a movie!
  9. Play a game of charades.
  10. Scribble art – Everyone participating close your eyes and make a quick scribble onto your paper. Pass the paper in a circle and try to create a drawing with your given scribble. Be creative!
  11. Build an obstacle course!

~ Alone

  1. Read a book.
  2. Write a poem / story.
  3. Re-organize your closet.
  4. Paint a picture.
  5. Watch a movie.
  6. Scrapbook or craft. (Go on Pinterest for some cool ideas for up-cycling!)
Posted in Food

Au-tummy

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So it’s officially autumn! (Well, actually it’s been officially autumn since September 22.) But anyway, autumn is one of my most favorite times of the year because well, everything! The crisp of the leaves, cold mornings, the coziness, the sudden flood of inspiration,  big scarves, the coming of the holiday season, oversized mustard-yellow sweaters… And let’s not forget the one thing that never fails to land in my list of season favorites: food!

Here are some of my favorite fall-time snacks that just put me in a good mood while carrying out my everyday chores and work.

  1. Crispy Granny Smith apples dipped in caramel
  2. Pumpkin bread with a glass of warm milk
  3. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
  4. Pumpkin pie
  5. Warm tea (any flavors of your liking)
  6. Hot cocoa with bits of peppermint sprinkled in
  7. Sparkling apple cider
  8. Candy corns
  9. Seasonal Peeps: Halloween Pumpkin Marshmallows

Here are also some recommended favorites from local people:

“My favorite fall-time food is mashed potatoes!” – Susan Le

“My favorite fall-time snack is pumpkin seeds, salted and baked. Oh, and pumpkin bagels for sure!” – Phoebe Minch

“I personally love eating a warm bowl of tomato soup with a side of crunchy garlic bread.” – Ashley Phan

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome

Hello to all types of people who are reading this.

I’m Elyssa and welcome to The 9 to 5 page!

So what is The 9 to 5 exactly?

The thing is; life can be tedious. For the most part, you follow the same routine everyday (with the exception of those few small plot twists that take you by surprise every now and then). But you do the same thing everyday. You follow the same pattern. You wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed. Go to work / school. Come home. Eat. Watch some television. Repeat.

And though sometimes, we feel as if we’re forever fixed into that position, we’re actually not. We’re capable of change. (Now, in some cases, maybe not the big major life changes. For instance, if you’re a student, please continue to go to school. I’m not trying to suggest that you drop out so you can make time for things you’re more passionate about). But I’m talking about;

The small changes. The underestimated differences. The 1%.

We spend most of our lives waiting for the weekend, or for the summer to do the things we really want to do. Okay, sure, maybe we can’t all go traveling to Rome or something on an everyday Tuesday, but I hope this blog will inspire you to jazz up your average day a bit with small, seemingly-insignificant things (like trying shoes adorned with bold, colorful pom-poms for a day, or eating out of a cute-patterned bowl instead of your ordinary one, etc).

So what kind of content will this blog offer?

Whether it be a new breakfast recipe made especially for Sunday mornings, or some new fashion item that can spice up your boring 9-to-5 wardrobe, I hope these small, sparkly changes, make your day a little more than just the typical 9-to-5. 

Here’s to enjoying the 24/7.