Healthy Lifestyle

I Don’t Shine If You Don’t Shine

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Dream Life

  • How adorable is this sweater!  perfect for my Maine trip (If I go) and cool nights at the beach! 
  • I could/should have worn this to my Aunt’s lovely “Going Away” Party for my parents 🙂  img_0555
  • Pretty


Fortunately, I have never been a big drinker. In fact, I very rarely drink now. I just don’t like the way it makes me feel. I love my mornings and feeling my best.  I am so grateful that I do not struggle, yet I do struggle with other enslavements. Here is an excerpt that I think ANYONE can relate to.  If alcohol is not an issue, insert with what is, still relevant!  (full article here, Why I Gave Up Drinking)

Ultimately, the best connections happen when two people feel comfortable not only with each other, but also with themselves. It took time for me to re-learn who I really was without alcohol, but time was something I now had in abundance. When you’re drinking, hours seem to pass by in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re sitting down to a late dinner, the next you’re tumbling out of a cab at 2 a.m. When I stopped drinking, I started experiencing every minute of my day, and I gained space for more meaningful activities.

  • Practicing Not allowing criticism to affect me  This one is my favorite “Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions…Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” — Tina Fey


  • I avoid many “trackers”.  They seem purposeless to me and don’t enjoy discussing stats.  I do use a sleep app, that tracks my sleep patterns, which I will remove now.  I got what I needed from it, its consistent and I have determined what I need to do in order to get a great nights rest. So while I DO think trackers can be helpful, I also think they are a MAJOR distraction.  Preventing us from actually DOING.  It is easier to turn to an app, track our food, fitness, sleep, bowels, periods, whatever, than to actually do something about our discomfort and unhappiness (SPOILER, our unhappiness usually not about our diet, fitness, etc, its larger scale things)

Despite the initial enthusiasm for fitness tracking, she reports, the first large-scale experimental study to compare fitness trackers with non-trackers found no differences in health outcomes between the two. Later she cites a study in which trackers’ behavior initially changed before reverting back to normal: “The novelty does wear off,” she writes, “and then we return to our baseline behavior.”   Read the entire article here

  1. You are going on a trip, and you’re feeling a bit nervous about it, so you do research and buy a bunch of stuff to take with you to help you feel more secure, prepared, certain.
  2. You’re going to attend a conference, and it brings up some anxiety, so you get some gear to help you feel more prepared.
  3. You get into a new hobby, and don’t know what you’re doing so feel a lot of uncertainty, and do a ton of research for days, buying everything you can possibly think of to be fully prepared.
  4. You are hosting a social gathering and this is giving you some stress, so you buy a bunch of things to make sure the party goes as well as you can hope for.
  5. You are feeling a lot of disruption and uncertainty in your life, and find yourself procrastinating on things while doing a lot of online shopping.
  6. You are feeling uncertainty about yourself, about your looks. To help with that, you buy a lot of nice clothes and gear to make you feel better about yourself


This really does come down to stubbornness, can we take a moment to stop, slow down and think about the situation differently? I love the author’s tip, try to picture that person that is frustrating you as a child. You would not feel the same frustration (or maybe you would?) I do genuinely think people don’t purposely try to harm or hurt or frustrate others, sometimes It really is just us, our perception our impulsivity, trying myself to practice a little more patience. Wish me luck!

  • What happens when we compromise our CORE VALUES?   Something that is important to me is being honest with myself and others. I am receiving SO MUCH resistance with this and it is taking its toll.  Sometimes being honest is not what I or someone else wants to hear, but it is……….honest. I apologize if you don’t like it. My intentions are never to hurt you, but I can’t continue to force myself to do and say things that don’t feel “right” for me.  This makes me want to crawl out of my skin and SCREAM off the top of my lungs at times. Image result for want to scream  Then am questioned why am I being so sensitive or cranky? Because I am tired of stating and saying the same honest things over and over and over again, without being actually heard. Honestly, I have a voice and sometimes others don’t want to hear it. I am constantly questioned or persuaded to change my mind. It pushes me further away from others and does not feel good in my body or my mind. It is difficult to be honest.  I am not heartless and understand that most actions by others come from a place of love, but really I feel like there is so much judgment all around. For being different than others (Not sure I really am all that different, just more honest)  Why do others feel the need to FIX people instead of focusing on themselves? It is easier to not focus on yourself. It is difficult to say to yourself that you are wrong. It is difficult to drop the beliefs that are so ingrained in us from childhood. Yet, we are all different, no one should be judged and nagged for their decisions or actions. We can’t control others, we can only control ourselves and our reactions.  I am guilty of this as well! I am far from perfecting this skill, yet I am aware and present when and why I judge.


The Girl He Used to Know I enjoyed this book immensely! The twist at the end was shocking. A lovely story about Annaka, who is wavering on the “spectrum”. Made me gain such an appreciation for my brother. My students and even myself. Life is hard. It is a struggle for all of us

Daisy Jones and The Six (Currently listening on audio) Woah, I did NOT expect to enjoy this so much!  The audio version is incredible! It uses different voices for different characters!! What an amazing vibe and feels like you are right there with them!!!

My Oxford Year – have not decided yet how I feel about this one, so far so good!



Relationships.  RESPECT >  LOVE. Yes!!!  Do you agree?  read the article and let me know!

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The loneliness of a quantified life. 


  • I ordered my first pair of sustainable sneaks!! I can’t wait to try them out and will share my thoughts!
  • Dead plants.  My beautiful plants are not doing so well. This wet weather has drowned them, they look sorry, I think a few have crossed over to the “other side” Also my flower pot is NOT draining water, so its a big messy swimming pool for my flowers 😦 My indoor plant is doing well, but the outside ones, not so much.Image result for dead plants
  • This Buddha Bowl looks amazing!
  • I don’t shine if You don’t shine. SHine THeory
  • How to find a counselor, therapist or coach.Image result for finding therapist
  • I am currently obsessed with Lemons. My aunt made a beautiful Lemon Cake yesterday! img_0558
  • Somedays
  • Yikes.  Oddly, I have always been drawn to creepy dolls, not sure what the appeal is/was, BUT I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any …..
Healthy Lifestyle

Watering down things, but NEVER myself

Dream Life

  • Obsessed with:  Skirts with buttons (click here and here)
  • Falafel. Yum. I am craving the falafel I had in …….Paris 😦

Image result for falafel  I am hoping to get myself over to Naf Naf Grill ASAP. I still have not been there!  I made my own lemon tahini dressing today, but quite honestly it was a bit disappointing



Ever wonder what it would be like to glimpse inside the lives of new couples, prisoners, pen pals through letters, texts, messages, Facebook posts, etc. Check this fascinating read out from The California Sun Magazine(Here)

How beautiful my dad’s lawn is and HOW I am going to have to try to keep up with THIS for 3 months…..img_0245

hmmmm, let’s see how long it takes for it to look like this….Image result for dead lawnImage result for did i do that meme?

Feeling lost? Here are 3 things you can do that will help (Link here)

1. Stop Big-Picture Planning – this is a skill. This is difficult and challenging. We always are thinking about what is next. I know that I am. ALL THE TIME. I don’t want to live my life like this anymore, because you miss out on so many beautiful experiences and opportunities in the NOW. Challenging? SURE,  but with a lot of self-talk, I have been able to get glimpses of this, whether on my yoga mat, in my classroom, with family, friends, at Wawa, I am trying to just be and notice and appreciate all around.
2. Asking your “people” deep questions about yourself. Find people you can trust. Shine the spotlight on yourself. ASK questions, sure it is a reassurance, BUT if the people you are asking are honest, these are all true things that will give you the boost you may need to continue working towards them
3. One tiny step. Just start. Somewhere. Anywhere. You will fail, it will hurt, it will not be enjoyable BUT this is how we learn. Being stuck in the same thing, same routine, day in and day out does NOT produce growth. This is difficult to hear. I know I DON’T want to hear this because I LOVE my rules and schedules and routines. It is so uncomfortable, PAINFUL at times to step out of that comfort zone.

I am still eyeing and contemplating purchasing Rothy’s (flats)Here are 13 of the Very Best Flats 

Inspired By

How to Self-Evaluate the 4 Parts of your Life that Matter – great read (here)  It can be troublesome to identify and admit to things that NEED changing, but the bigger challenge is actually finding WAYS to change them, instead of venting about them.  A quick rundown of the 4 areas?

  1. Psychological
  2. Physical
  3. Interpersonal
  4. Occupational

Take a compliment – why do we do this ? When anyone tells me something positive, I, in a hurried rhythm, quickly turn it into a negative.  How many times has someone complimented me on a recipe, for me to turn around and minimize it  “Oh I just followed a recipe, no big deal”.  Complemented me on a new success or achievement at work “Oh anyone would have done it if they were in my place”. My appearance. “Oh god, this old raggedy thing?”. You know the deal.  I notice women do it a lot more than men. Read here to help stop this self-sabotaging act

Buying TOO much stuff is inspired by uncertainty.  Yes! So true.  Humans avoid wanting to feel hurt, pain, love, etc. So what do we do? We gravitate towards distractions to “fix” us or make us feel better. Read this if shopping and purchasing things bring you joy. Can you find other things and ways to experience that same “high”?


Grateful For

Another beautiful weekend spent with my parents (They are leaving in about 2 weeks, so excited for them but I am so sad for me, going to miss them!)


The Girl He Used to Know – I loved this story so much. It was beautifully written and gave incredible insight into a woman with speculations of being on the autism spectrum. This made me tear up several times, mostly for the memories I had of my brother ❤  I loved the twist that I was not expecting. Great quick read! 4/5 stars

Healing Wounded Emotions

Quick 15 minute blinks on Blinkist. I am getting my non-fiction/self help/relationship, etc fix here with my free trial!

In a book rut. My library holds are not ready and I am audio-book’less. I am considering The Female Persuasion next.

Why I will NEVER water myself down for a date again

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Yes. 1,000 times. Never watering myself down for anyone. I am happy I am finally figuring this out now. I want to stop hiding and keep shining bright. No shame. Guilt. Or worrying about my successes making someone else feel less. Those are never my intentions. If someone else internalizes it that way. It is on them. A serial pattern in my relationships. Friendships have been easy because the expectations of “more” were not present. Once it turned romantic things changed. It does not have to.

It’s not me.

It’s not them.

It’s just not RIGHT. I’m ok with that, not watering myself down or changing who I am.



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My inbox and feeling irritated

My inbox is filled with people trying to get me to join something or buy something. I understand people need to make a living BUT I feel less and less peoples good intentions and authenticity. I feel this way specifically towards gyms and fitness related things. STOP forcing this on us. YOu are creating a much larger problem!


Book Journal.  I bought myself a flexible binder. Printed out these book journaling pages (weeeeee!) and plan to set this up and play with it! I love a good old pen and paper approach!

The Ordinary skincare update. Sadly, I want to love this stuff because of reviews and the price (very reasonable) But honestly, I am not seeing/feeling much of a difference. The Marula Oil is beautiful but too heavy for me. The toner? I am not really sure WHAT it is supposed to be doing?  I do like how the retinol makes my face tingle and tighten, that would probably be my one repurchase.  Sigh….such high hopes and expectations. It did not work for me , but YOU are a different person and it may! Would love to hear your The Ordinary loves! Click here for link

Healthy Lifestyle

Triggers, not always a bad thing


  • Have not read this yet, but I think we should ALL read this Especially if you are working, parenting, wife-ing, friending, breathing…
  • The Bride Test – really enjoying this! About 75% complete and I am hooked!
  • Loving this book rec from a friend as well!
  • Confess by Colleen Hoover. Yup, she did it again. Loved it, although I found it a bit triggering, although mental and physical abuse were not a huge part of this book, something struck me about it


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Very triggering but very enlightening. I read a book, Confess by Colleen Hoover, and it surprisingly was very triggering for me. Brought up many emotions I have been keeping inside. Today as I have been reflecting on my week and my anger, hurt, bitterness, pain, I can see why. The book is lovely and a beautiful story, but it includes abuse. Emotional and physical. Now, I take FULL responsibility for all of my relationships, and in no way have I dealt with what many others have, but it made me a bit sad that I allowed so much multiple times, over and over. I am SO Grateful today that I have learned lessons through all of those experiences to make me see things much clearer and make smart choices for myself moving forward. SO I am not sad, upset, resentful or upset, just RAW. The memories are painful. They are shameful and yet eye-opening.
We are constantly told to “THink positive!” “Look at the BRIGHT side of things”, “Make the best of what you have” “IF life hands you lemons….you know the rest of this”. SCREW THAT. I want to feel and see and remember ALL Those painful things because that is what made me grow and made me move forward. I LOVE this little activity I came across. If you are currently or in the past struggling with a relationship that you have ended or given space to, Make a list of all the REASONS that you made that choice! Write it, list it, hang it up! Look at it each time you feel yourself wavering and wanting to give someone another chance (Not that there is anything wrong with that) But if someone is stuck and unwilling to work on themselves too, you need to move on. You made a choice intuitively, stay with that. Trust yourself. YOU are not wrong. Your feelings are your feelings. Don’t sway. Most often our intuition steers us right. How many times have you gone back to things hoping things would be better and different this time. How many times did that last? I do believe everyone deserves a second (or third or fourth) chance, but sometimes we just know…#strong

  • Well damn, I think I could have written this…..INFJs are a unique breed. Making up only 1-2 percent of the population, this rare Myers-Briggs personality type is a paradox of traits. Called “the counselor” or “the advocate,” INFJs are fascinated by people and love serving them. However, their introverted nature clashes at times with their desire to sustain meaningful relationships.   Here are the main points the article goes into depth, which I honestly felt like I wrote myself
    • 1. Sometimes I self-sabotage my chances at friendship.

    • 2. Most Friday nights, I’d love to be left completely alone.

    • 3. I can totally destroy a hobby – yup, I am the MASTER of this

    • 4. I let people off too easily.  – Not so much anymore

Grateful For

Dreaming About

Milos, Greece. WHATTTTTTTT!


Visiting Tennessee is on my bucket list. Here is an awesome place and exhibit to visit if I or YOU go anytime soon 🙂

The best weekend road trips to take this summer. Some great ideas!

What a beautiful, feminine and classy dress! Classy girls wear pearls wears it sooo soo well. If it’s in your budget go for it sadly it is not in mine

Inspired By

  • Really want to and SHOULD read this book, The Attention MerchantsLots of people make New Year’s resolutions that focus on conserving something. Some people pledge to eat less junk food. Others will commit to saving more money.

    Columbia University law professor Tim Wu has a suggestion for something else people should consider conserving: attention. In his new book The Attention Merchants, Tim argues that our mental space is constantly being hijacked.

    “You go to your computer and you have the idea you’re going to write just one email. You sit down and suddenly an hour goes by. Maybe two hours. And you don’t know what happened,” Tim says.

    “This sort of surrender of control over our lives speaks deeply to the challenge of freedom and what it means to be autonomous.”

    Companies ranging from Google to Fox News have found ways to grab our attention, package it, and then make money off it by selling it to advertisers. On this week’s Hidden Brain, we discuss the strategies newspapers, television shows, and websites use to harvest our attention.

  • The EIGHT types of friends!  Which one are you??? Read more here
  • Timeless decor.  Yes, please!
  • Mental burnout is real. As an introvert and empath, this hits me HARD. I think my current struggle is #2 – Indecision. I make a decision then question it. I go back and forth weighing the pro’s and cons, all my options, and it is just plain exhausting. Read more here
  • More on ethical clothing. The more and more I read, the less I want to purchase anything ever again from Target, walmart, amazon, etc. We consume so much. It is ridiculous. It is so unhealthy and a search for happiness. But the only thing it is, is irresponsible Read this
  • I THINK I FOUND MY FIRST “ARTICLES CLUB” read  So many great points. Wow.
    “Men drain the emotional life out of women,”  Read it and let me know if you would be interested in an Articles Club discussion!  Date:  TBD!


  • Into the Woods performed by DIS. What a lovely show! So much talent from such youth!! (Were they really 3rd and 4th graders!) Wow, so much potential! ❤  So much fun and so much personality. I was a bit partial to an amazing little wolf in the show…<3Image result for into the woods play


A few of my favorites:

Trader Joes:  Cocoa Butter Lotion (Thank you to my cousin for introducing this to me!), fresh flower bunches, $1 cards for all occasions, peony candle, greek yogurt, horseradish hummus

Wegmans:  Salad Cheese Blend Mix, best prices on yogurt cups

Wawa:  Decaf and French Vanilla Coffee, the Wawa app (I have received numerous rewards (free coffee!)

Congratulations to my friend “A”. He is one of the kindest, caring, determined and dedicated people I know. This week he SUCCESSFULLY took his Final Exam in math and Kicked Butt!

Target:  This seaweed scrub is amazing I love how it smells and makes me feel squeaky clean, Acure Brightening Facial Scrub is amazing

Healthy Lifestyle

Valuable Values


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The struggle of being an introvert AND highly sensitive. Being highly sensitive means that you can’t handle loud noises, places, crowds, lights, sounds, etc. Anything that your senses can see/hear/taste and feel.  I struggle with loud places, smells, tastes, lighting. It physically hurts at times.  Its easier for me if I can be an observer in these situations, not interact just observe, but it can still be difficult (I very much dislike thing like crowded yoga classes, sitting too close or speaking too close to me, very bright places, very loud places (like concerts))  I also absorb what those closest to me are feeling. When it is something like anxiety or anger, it is painful for me too.  I wish there was a magic wand or pill I could take to make this easier, but there is not. My only choice is to make it work for me. So, I can plan short increments ( I love knowing there is going to be an end to something), choose “off” times or smaller venues, and just be clear and not force myself to stay in situations I can’t handle. Along with this comes guilt, something I also am working on. Here is a great article that goes in depth about all of these things.  Sometimes I would much rather do something FOR you than actually spend time with you.

So I can see how a lot of these are helpful and necessary but also have some disagreements with a few.  For example:  Working in a job you don’t love.  Luckily I am fortunate in this area because I do love my job, BUT others that may not, also may not have a choice at that moment in their life.  I think the focus should be more on finding joy in the little things and changing your mind frame versus quitting and doing something you “love”.  You can “love” things in various ways

#1 is my biggest struggle. Would love to hear YOUR thoughts!

  • Living Alone, You May Be More Likely to Struggle with Mental Health  I can see this view, however again,  I think it can be done in a healthy way
  • How to deal with Toxic Families:  I think this is great to consider for ALL relationships, not just families! I think it is important to add, how to encourage and practice empathy. You can still set boundaries without judgment for someone that does not fit into your lifestyle.  It is not to say the person is bad, evil or wrong, it only confirms it is not right for YOU at the moment.
  • About my Mothers Day/Fathers Day brunch menu. Since my parents will be leaving soon for their 3-month long trip/adventure, I will be having a little Mothers Day/Fathers day brunch to send them off 🙂


Dream Life

This is so pretty 

Larger View of Product

So peaceful

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Not a book, BUT an interesting article about how rich men, are full of it!  Do you agree? Disagree!?  Would love to hear thoughts and comments!

* I am interested in hosting an “articles party”. I would love to meet at a coffee shop or cafe to discuss an article.  This takes the pressure off having to read an entire book and would lead to some great discussion! let me know if you are interested in participating!

Currently Reading

The Silent Patient:  So good!! I was hoping to get through this quickly and need to be better about my physical book reading because this is just WAY too good! Also, I feel terrible, a friend wanted to borrow this for a trip this weekend BUT I failed to complete it 😦

Confess by Colleen Hoover:  Just started this. I love, love love this author!


Ghosted:  No, this is not about ghosts 🙂  It is about dating and being “ghosted” (new term now) When someone is really “into” you, seems to like you, then “Disappears”. This seems to be a huge trend today, especially with online dating……Ok, So I side-eyedImage result for side eyeing meme this at first and about halfway through was thinking of placing this on my DNF (Did not finish) List. I am so happy that I continued! This turned out to be a great read!  If you read it, hang in there the first half is a bit slow (I have issues with patience 🙂 )  Lots of twists and turns.


Spring cleaning and decluttering time! Struggling still? Read this amazing piece about what questions (Besides “Does it spark joy”) to ask yourself. I think you can use this in all aspects of your life, NOT just material possessions!

What an inspiring MORNING routine. Personally, I don’t find affirmations very helpful for myself, but I do love the other ideas, most of which I already do. Love the concept of breaking this into three areas: Mind, Body, Spirit. What a great way to start your day but focusing a bit on each area!  Something I find VERY helpful is doing a “BRAIN DUMP” first thing in the morning. Just write anything and everything in my mind. To do lists, thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions. 

The Case for Curiosity: We should never stop being curious. Stepping OUT of my routine is such a struggle and so hard for me, but we learn and grow from those hard moments and experiences.  I am going to continue to strive to be more present WHEREVER I am and WHATEVER it is that I am doing. Whether in a yoga class (feel my body, emotions, feelings) Talking with someone (Am I really listening, or am I trying to “fix”)  At a museum (Am I there just to check it off my “to do list” or am I looking at and feeling what the artists are trying to portray? How does it make me feel?)  These are just a few examples of HOW I plan to be a bit more curious. As I tell my students, ASK those questions!  Keep asking, get clarity, truly understand it (Does not mean you need to agree with it!)


Relationships around me. It is interesting to sit back and observe

People’s reactions IF I hung this in my bathroom (Don’t worry I don’t plan on it, as of right now)

Want to watch:  The new Brene Brown talk on Netflix and “Mine” , which was recommended by a friend, that I still have not gotten around to.


Boundaries Arent A Bad Idea Beautifully written/drawn and said, friendships and boundaries. So true, we (I) grew up in an age where movies like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, “Stand By Me”, etc were prevalent That is the vision and idea of friendship I had and strived for, yet never attained or achieved it.

Hobbies & Activities:  I do many “activities” (walking hiking reading yoga) and I am so grateful for those things. But do I have a hobby? Writing? yes. I want another one though.Image result for hobbies

Values:  12 of the Most Important Values in Life to Live By  Which of these are easy for you? Which are the most difficult?  These are difficult to read and really dive into and self assess yourself.


Updates on The Ordinary products – I ordered four products from The Ordinary. I have been using these items for two weeks so far, here are my thoughts and updates:

  1.  The Ordinary
    Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – 240ml

    Not sure how I feel about this honestly? It is a toner. I was previously using witch hazel. I do not see much of a difference nor do I really see WHAT is is actually doing for me? I do like the slight tingle factor (which witch hazel did not have)  I’ll continue for a few more weeks and see if my thoughts change?

  2. The Ordinary
    Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% – 30ml:  This by far has been my favorite!  I just started alternating with this because you should not use this along with Vitamin C. I notice this dries up and clears up any imperfections. Excited to see how I like this after a few more weeks!
  3.  The Ordinary
    100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil – 30ml:  I really want to love this, but honestly I am a bit scared of it because of its heaviness and likelihood to clog up more pores. I have been using it on my chest, elbows, hands, and any other dry spots. I find it leaves me VERY shiny when I use it on my face. Maybe I will try incorporating it during my PM routine. I prefer my rosehip oil (from Trilogy)
  4. The Ordinary
    Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% – 30ml:  This is a water-based solution. I use it in the AM. Honestly, I see/feel nothing as a result. I am not really sure WHAT it should be doing. Not sure I will reorder this.
  5.  The Ordinary
    Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (Previously Advanced Retinoid 2%) – 30ml:  Prior to this, I was using the Good Genes by Sunday Riley as my retinol. However, the price of Good Genes is quite steep.  So I thought I would give this retinol a try.  I think I may have experienced a bit of my skin detoxing as I noticed some slight breakouts, however, I am not certain it is from this retinol or the change of weather, where I am at in my cycle (hormones) etc. I had mixed feelings about Good Genes as well but from comparison so far, I feel like Good Genes felt better, but even with Good Genes, was not really sure WHAT it was doing or supposed to be doing




  1.  Are you highly sensitive? How do you deal with it?
  2. Do you have a hobby? What is it?
  3. Which value is most important to you?