34 Reasons to Be Grateful For

Since I will be turning 34 in less than two weeks, I may as well share 34 reasons to be thankful for. While I am bummed that I wont be eating cake in Taiwan (Western cake tend to be way too sweet for me, anyway), I still have so many reasons to smile. Case in point?

1. My funky retro shoes picked out by my husband – he gets me.

2. I’m still making cute cards for loved ones. While they may be simple, I am still happy with how they turned out.

3. I had a breakthrough with my running. Who would’ve thought an asthma stricken teenager born with fetal alcohol syndrome barely can run a mile would turn out to run on a daily basis? I started to run at the age of 32 while I was living in Shanghai, and I still kept at it now that I’m turning 34 years old.

valen5I did 10 mile run. I never thought in  a million years I would accomplish something like that. Ever.

4. I have very strong legs. I gained a lot of muscle, and I couldn’t be happier…especially since I like to eat. More muscle – fat burning. Hi.

5. Also I live in South Florida so I don’t have to worry about snow storms…just these little creatures who seem to like to sun bathe with me.

6. Being a resident card holder for Taiwan since 2012. I can’t wait to go back home!

7. Being goofballs with my husband. 2017 marks our 10 year of marriage bliss. Yes, we actually like each other.

8. My family in Maine. While Maine never felt quite like home for me, I do miss my Grandmother and brother – just don’t ask me if I can ever see myself living there. The answer is always…no.

9. Taiwan’s health insurance.

10. Coffee

11. I found out I am actually not allergic to chocolate. Having said that, I can’t stand American candy bars. Thank goodness for Belgium.

12. Stinky tofu in Taiwan. Don’t judge me.

13. I will postpone my cake till I go to Taiwan, thanks. I want dessert – not diabetes.

valen814. I sometimes take a decent hipster selfie. Not bad for an oldie.

15. H&M and Forever21 only because it brings me back to the years I lived in Shanghai. nostalgia much? Now, where is my Uniglo? I’ve heard there is one in Disney, or something.

16. I now have new favourite earrings. I am not much into jewelry, but my husband gets me.

17. Once upon a time I lived in Shanghai, China. I got to visit Nanjing, Hangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong. Not bad!

valen1418. My relationship with my mother-in-law has improved greatly! I’m happy with that!

19. I lost over 50lbs. Not only that, I am much better shape now than I was when I was 23 years old.

20. There is a Taiwanese restaurant in Miami that is pretty Authentic. If I ever feel like having 3 Cup Chicken, I have a place to go to!

21. Dry hot pot. Ever since I lived in Taiwan and China, my taste buds has changed greatly. I really like spicy food now.

P_20141012_12150022. Beef Noodle Soup Festival is actually a thing.

23. Ice cream at a convinient store in Taiwan = me happy.

24. Taiwanese desserts.

25. Taiwanese breakfast.

26. I wont stay in the States forever…I will return home in Taiwan. My situation is not permanent, and just knowing that does give me a peace of mind.

27. My happy place in Taipei is Gongguan.

28. My husband’s famous beef noodle soup and his chicken noodle soup. I swear, he is broth KING.

29. Cats. Yes, these cute furballs exist. Yes, that actually makes me happy.

30. I’m going to see Metallica live for the third time in Miami. The last time I saw them live was in Shanghai. Finally, something worth going back to the States for.

31. I live near Key West – where my husband and I got married on April 24, 2007.


32. My husband got to try my dad’s cooking. Happy. I may not like the food in Maine, but I do miss his cooking!

33. Bonding with my husband by watching the Walking Dead together.

34. Inexpensive New York Style pizza at a run down movie theatre. Who knew?


  1. Oh, food. I love food so much. And yes, the American idea of cake frosting needs work. Real buttercream is NOT powdered sugar and frosting. I’m not likely to have cake unless I made it. 🙂


  2. you love for taiwanese food got me all missing taiwan now. and i would agree with you, american chocolates way too sweet and way below par in comparison to european ones.


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