An Ode to Spam

Last week was monumental in that I ate roughly 12 spam musubis over the course of the week. All I can say is YES. Every bite was a joy, and I’ve come to the realization that almost any food item can be improved by adding Spam. For example, I made pasta, but I didn’t have any cheese, so I put sauce and hot sauce and Spam, and it was as good as ever. Better, even.

So for your reading pleasure, I bring you AN ODE TO SPAM:

As my time in Hawaii comes to an end
I think of a new, yet consistent friend
that I made when I very first came to this land
And could only afford foods that are canned.


At Foodland, where nothing comes cheaper than 10
I stopped buying fruit and salad and THEN
I purchased some Spam, since locals professed
it made even simple meals some of the best.


I sliced it and fried it and added some rice
Spam musubis are really quite nice
to eat when you add nori in sheets
and Separated Parts of Assorted Meats.

I will sorely miss thee, oh dear Spam musubi.

#collegelife Reflections

My #collegelife AND #HiLife will soon be over. In 11 days, to be precise. So in honor of this momentous end, I’ve decided to write about the joys of being a college student, and maybe some conventional wisdom I’ve attained. In list form, for your convenience.

1. A few really good friends are better than a thousand acquaintances.
Maybe this comes from growing up with two BEST friends, but I’ve learned the importance of close friendships– people who legitimately care about me as a person, and people who I feel for equally.

2. Sleep is literally a need.
I had the “sleep is an unnecessary luxury” mindset my first two years of college. Since then, I’ve learned that I’m a million times more effective if I have enough sleep. I feel so much more alive when I’m well-rested! And let’s be honest, nothing good goes down after 11:00pm anyway.

3. Pandora One is worth it. Netflix is not.
Some of my favorite college memories consist of my besties and me sitting on my bed, watching our show. The only show I’ve made it all the way through is Chuck, which I watched my Sophomore year. All the other shows (The Office, Psych, Once, and Gilmore Girls) met an untimely demise, and I’ve never gotten around to finishing them. As delightful as relaxing with friends and being entertained by your hilarious on-screen friends, I’ve learned that there are better ways to spend God’s time. By deleting my Netflix account (side note– the Netflix free trial is what got me watching shows to begin with! #brilliant) I suddenly had time for things like exercise and Conference talks and pleasure reading. Pandora One, on the other hand, is a complete joy.

4. It always works out when you put God first.
There’s not a lot I need to say about this. Keeping the Sabbath is one of my favorite commandments, because it has brought me so many blessings. Making weekly temple service and daily scripture study priorities opened the doors for all kinds of blessings. He ALWAYS keeps His promises.

5. Being single is not the worst fate to befall a person.
Not by a long shot. I admit, I would’ve liked to be married by the time I graduated. But I’m happy to announce that because of my extremely single status, I am footloose and fancy free. I can go wherever I please. Being single all through college allowed me to reach out in ways that I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to under other circumstances. It gave me relationships I wouldn’t have been able to develop otherwise. It gave me empathy and patience. It saved me heartache. It was great.

6. The Oxford Comma will ALWAYS be appropriate.
Nothing more needs to be said.

7. Thank you notes are never a bad idea.
I’ve had the fun experience on multiple occasions to see a note I wrote posted in a professor’s office or on a friend’s mirror, and it just makes me smile. Nobody doesn’t want to be appreciated, and I’ve learned that written appreciation goes a loooong way.

8. Expensive granola bars, man.
I hate spending money. Hate it. Besides rent and tuition, the only thing I really spend money on is food, and I’ve developed some weird spending habits when it comes to grocery shopping. A word to the wise: at the end of the day, the expensive granola bars are the best, and are legitimately worth their outrageous price. As for the expensive cereal, give me a break.

9. Setting goals and making plans is vital.
Daily and weekly planning are things I would NEVER do before my mission, but I’m happy to say I’m a changed girl in that aspect. Daily and weekly planning keep me organized in goals and plans, and keep me progressing. After all, if you aren’t progressing, you’re digressing.

10. Grades don’t matter.
It’s all about an education, which is absolutely not measured by your Grade Point Average. I was super externally motivated my grades throughout most of my college career, and I’ve come to realize that it just really doesn’t matter. Turns out grad schools don’t even really care about your GPA. #theSystem

11. Everyone has a story.
Judging a book by its cover limits you from a plethora of fantastic books that no one else is reading. When you take time to open the book and READ it, the results are stunning.

That’s it. Cheers.


This is the masterpiece Seeley and I concocted yesterday, after our $1 spam musubi plans were foiled. We didn’t have the strength to walk alllll the way back to Foodland, so we decided to make do with what we had, and ended up with my new favorite sandwich.


Not sure if your eyes might be deceiving you? I’ll tell you exactly what this delectable dish contains: Sharp cheddar cheese, Spam, and dill pickles. (For the record– I think sweet pickles are one of the most repulsive food items on this earth.) Grilled to perfection with just the right amount of butter. #win #usingourresources

I Wasn’t Always Like This: a reflection on change

Mosh pits. Loud music. Minimal clothing. Late hours. Poor lighting. Suggestive dancing.

These are the elements of the Halloween party I was forced to attend last night, as the pianist for a good friend who had been asked to sing. Of course I was happy to help him, even if it meant I didn’t get my weekly Sherlock fix, because friends.

I walked down about 50 stone steps into the back yard of some boys in our ward and saw the mosh pit. I also heard excessively loud drumming and felt the temperature rise about 15 degrees as I neared the humans. I immediately felt uncomfortable.

After what felt like 4 hours of torture, where I was on the brink of tears and experiencing my own personal Hell, Mike decided not to sing the songs I played with him. Eagerly my girlfriends and I took off. As we were leaving, my friend Tori turned to me and said, “You know, I didn’t used to be this lame.”

This gave me pause, because a) I don’t think it’s lame to leave a party where the Spirit can’t be, and b) Shoots, I didn’t used to be like this either.

Did I attend wild parties before my mission? No. Did I enjoy low-qual music? Heck no. But before my mission, I could handle the big groups and loud music and late nights. Before my mission, I could also handle going places by myself, sleeping past 8, going to bed after 11, and not ever making plans. Before my mission, I was a different girl.

I can honestly say that I was my #1 convert. I already had a burning testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, but it sure did get stronger every time I shared it. I already knew the Gospel blesses families, but I know it even better now that I’ve seen it bring families together. I already knew that God loves all His children, but I felt His love for them more powerfully than I ever had before or since.

So although it may seem lame that I don’t like big parties anymore, I’m going to resist that. I’m going to embrace the changes I experienced on my mission, such as delighting in setting goals and making plans, and continue to progress.

I don’t think God wants me to be like I used to be.

Fall Break

Last week was Fall Break for the Hawaii public school system (#sorrynotsorry everyone else), so I had an entire week to rest and recharge. #necessary #tendermercy

As I ponder on what I did for my “vacation” here in Hawaii, I realized how different it is as a resident, as opposed to a tourist. If I lived on the Mainland, and I had a week-long dream vacation in Hawaii, I would’ve hit up as many beaches as possible, probably gone snorkeling, done some good hikes, graced PCC with my presence, and eaten lots of ono food.

That would’ve been fun. Unfortunately, as a Hawaii resident, I naturally take my vacation-destination location for granted, and I did none of those things. How did I spend my break, you ask? The following:

1. I slept in every day. #heaven
2. I wrote ten pages of my Senior research paper. #success
3. I made serious progress on my portfolio.
4. I went to the temple several times. #bestplaceinhawaii
5. I watched plenty of Gilmore Girls episodes with Seeley. #roommatebonding #teamLuke #teamJess #oywiththepoodlesalready #whereyouleadIwillfollow #StarsHollow
6. I graded. A ton. #teacherlife

Umm that’s about it. It was delightfully relaxing, and I must say I’m almost ready to go back.

Quick thought: what do you take for granted? Are you living beneath your means? (#PresUchtdorf #MormonMessages) Are you skipping out on Paradise, and trading it for sleep? Chew on those.

Real Life

All my life, I’ve been hearing about “The Real World”, that ominous, ambiguous, paramount future, whose preparation was the goal of all my public education.


I’ve shifted from hanging out with 20-somethings who are definitely still not in The Real World, to 8 year-olds who are being prepared for 4th grade, where they will be prepared for 5th grade, where they will be prepared for 6th grade, where they will be prepared for Middle School, where they will be prepared for High School, where they will be prepared for College, where they will be prepared for… The Real World?

Wait, what? I’ve realized that in taking steps to prepare for The Real World, we spend at least a quarter of a century in Preparation Mode; that is, outside The Real World. So where are we, anyway?


I submit that The Real World begins at birth. We’re on this earth to have valuable life experiences, and to say that what takes place before getting your Doctorate isn’t real is to undermine God’s plan. Maybe I’m not working 40 hours a week. Maybe my students don’t have as many responsibilities now as they will someday. Maybe the High School senior still lives at home. (Heaven forbid!) But I don’t think any of those qualities remove reality from the world.

A voluntary raise of hands from my third graders told me that roughly 70% of my class has had or currently has a parent or parents in prison. To my knowledge, at least 25% of my students don’t live with both parents. If that’s not real life, I don’t know what is.


The world kids live in is cold and hard and REAL, and I think we’re doing them a disservice by always harping on about The Real World and how different and great and scary and the same and new and messed up it is. They don’t need to hear that. They’re living in it.

LIFE is The Real World. Every experience we have is significant, no matter how old we are, or what state of life we find ourselves.

Do What You Love


I had a major realization today: somehow, in the last month or so, I acquired a ton of confidence.


That’s kind of weird, because I’m pretty sure I asked the Lord for confidence about ten thousand times on my mission, and I’m pretty sure if you read my journals from my Sophomore and Junior years of college, you would never label me as confident. I was a Music major, struggling to compete with all the other Asians #realstereotypes and let’s just say it was rough on me. We’ve all been there.


Anyway, on my mission, I really worked on the whole positive self-talk and talking back to negative thinking thing. For most of my mission it was a battle. The critical voices in my head just wouldn’t shut up.


Yesterday I went to the temple, and I became aware of new voices in my head. They were kind, loving, and positive. They were the way I try to talk to others, but somehow never really get around to using for myself. They made me happy!


Is it because I suddenly started getting asked out all the time? Heck no. I haven’t been on a date in months. Is it because I lost a ton of weight and started getting compliments? Haha nope. I don’t even have time to work out anymore. I think it’s because I absolutely love what I’m doing.

girl happy

I loved my mission with all my heart. I loved being Hermana Blair, an official representative of Jesus Christ and full-time servant of the Lord. But now I love being Miss Blair, a civilian representative of Jesus Christ and third-grade teacher. These kids need me, and I LOVE MY JOB.


I think that’s the secret. I’m doing what I love. I loved sharing the Gospel, but that was a different season of my life, and the Lord had other lessons for me to learn. His timing is perfect.


Aloha! I hope you’re having a good weekend! My weekend has been AWESOME, and I attribute it to the start of my new goal: go on an island adventure once a week. For this week’s adventure, I went with some friends yesterday to a hike called Dead Man’s Cat Walk. #hilife (Get the hashtag? HI is our postal code, but we’re also living the high life.)

After the hike, my good friend Alyssa invited me to run to the food trucks in Kahuku with her, so we ran to a legit MEXICAN food truck! We ordered our food in Spanish and felt like we were back on our missions. Then we went to a nearby frozen yogurt food truck. #divine #hilife


I set this goal because I LIVE IN HAWAII, and I don’t even go to the beach that much! You know Pres. Uchtdorf’s story about that man who went on a cruise, and spent the whole time in his room eating canned beans, because he didn’t realize everything had already been paid for with his ticket? I’m not a huge fan of that Mormon Message, because it’s so frustrating, but I think it teaches an important lesson on using the blessings made available to us. For me, that means taking advantage of this beautiful island and adventuring!

Are you utilizing all the resources our Heavenly Father has given you? I invite you to ponder that. Watch the Mormon Message if you like.

Exciting Announcement!

Aloha, friends! Today I just wanted to share one really exciting piece of news from this week:

I PASSED THE TEST REQUIRED TO START MY STUDENT TEACHING!!!!! It was a beastly 4-hour, $150 exam called the Praxis 2, and the majority of students that took it last semester failed it the first time. So… you can imagine where my expectations were. I was positive I failed at least the Social Studies section (no, I have no idea what the topic of the 1960s novel Silent Spring was), but I didn’t! Yay!


So now I’m one step closer to becoming an actual teacher! #almostanadult