#MotivationMonday : As An American

November 14, 2016

Originally, I wasn’t planning on participating in this year’s election.  First of all, I didn’t keep track on any of the candidates’ campaigns so I didn’t want to falsely caste my vote; secondly, this presidential race was a laughable one due to the fact that Trump was actually running; and thirdly, there’s no way in hell that the American people would allow an unqualified candidate become the leader of our nation right?

The days counting down to November 8th freaked me out a bit as I started noticing Trump and Pence’s signs outside of people’s homes.  I think it was the first time that I had realized we are all not on the same page.

As a result of the election, it clearly demonstrated how divided our country is.  Just to be clear, I am in no way patriotic, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel the overwhelming fear that so many anti-Trump supporters have felt that day or continue to feel.  It’s daunting to know that our neighbors, colleagues, friends and/or family had placed an inexperienced candidate, who used “hate” as the basis of his political platform, in the White House.

But, I am not here to go on a rant about that because, at this point, we can only hope that Trump will not burn this nation into the ground.  What I do want to discuss are the people who didn’t have any opinion on the matter.  To me that’s worst than not voting, and not voting is worst than the people who actually voted for Trump.  If you are an educated, privileged citizen of the United States of America, you should care about what is going on around you, and exercise your rights as an American.  As a reminder, “silence is also an answer.”  You have the opportunity to use your voice where others less fortunate than you do not.  You have the power to change lives no matter how big or small.

As an American, I strongly believe that’s what I owe to this country.  People have fought for my rights, so to avoid stomping on their efforts, I try to be politically aware of what’s going on around me (as much as possible) and participate in it as much as I can.

Why do I feel so strongly about this?  After my dad had passed away, my family and I had hit a financial rough patch, where we needed government assistance.  Regardless of the corruption behind the government, which I am not naive and ignorant of, the U.S. government has helped my family and I stay afloat when we most needed it.  Although my family and I no longer accept government assistance, there are still others who do (speaking only to those who actually need it, and not the ones who cheat the system).  Other than welfare, there are other issues that requires your participation, such as healthcare and education.

This election reminded me that I have a greater purpose than just trekking along with whatever is going on in my personal life.  As an educated young woman with a decent job, I know my voice can be heard if I scream loud enough.  So, I am proud to say that I did end up getting my ass to the polls for this year’s election, and submitted my vote for Hillary Clinton.  Even though America is not ready for our first female president just yet, Hillary has left cracks in this ceiling for the next female presidential candidate to shatter.

To all you who are not politically aware of what’s going on around you, I highly encourage you to start.  Because, regardless if it affects you or not (which it does by the way), other people’s lives depend on it.

Image via various media sites

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TOTD : Needing ≠ Wanting

November 6, 2016

As I begin to enter my mid-twenties, I can say that I’ve only been in one real relationship in my life, and I haven’t dated much to be label as an “avid dater.”  For most of my high school and college years, I was in a long-term relationship as I’ve previously mentioned here.  My boyfriend and I at the time ended things on good terms, so there wasn’t really any reason for the breakup besides the fact that I was tired of being referred to as “John’s girlfriend” (using a fake name to respect his privacy).

Since then, I’ve been categorized as the woman who is strong, independent, confident, career-driven and someone who is far capable of taking care of herself.  Unlike most girls who need a man’s validation in order to feel valued, I take pride in knowing that I don’t need a man to be fulfilled (it’s been me, myself and I for the past 4-5 years).

But, over the past few months, I’ve encountered this new sense of emotion that I can’t even understand or begin to describe, which is ironic because I’m usually in tune with them.  However, what I can tell you are the five things that bring them up:

  • I’ve made the mistake of scrolling through my Facebook feed to find a bunch of my former acquaintances announcing their engagements, changing their status’ from in-a-relationship to married and studio images of babies that they have apparently just popped out.  Although I think it is absolutely nuts to have all of that by our mid-twenties, I can’t help but think that I am falling a bit behind.
  • My friends are all in a relationship, so being a second priority on their list is never fun.  But that doesn’t mean that I am not happy for them.  Because at the end of the day, I’d want them to have that special person by their side.  As for me, I just need to know where all my single sistas’ are at!
  • At every family function, there is always someone who is going ask you the inevitable question, “Are you single?”  For every answer give, I always feel the need to explain myself in fear that they would see me as pathetic.
  • My mother consistently reminds me that I am not getting any younger.  Whenever she compares my youthfulness to fresh meat, it cracks me up a little because now I’m actually starting to fear wrinkles, random stretch marks and sagging boobs (not to mention our vaginas).
  • The lowest point of all points — having the balls to call the ex-boyfriend

So, after I had drunk dialed my ex twice, that’s when I immediately went into a panic.  What the hell is wrong with me?!  My best friends, who I love so much, dropped everything that they were doing to dissect my craziness (glad to have entertained them with this as well), and here’s what they came up with:

Lori, maybe it’s because you miss having that companionship?  I mean, you’ve been single for almost five-years, and I get that your mother has been the same way so that’s all you’ve known.  But you’re not 40-years-old, Lori, so stop acting like it.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  This doesn’t mean that you are weak.  We all know that you don’t need a man, but it’s also okay to want it.

My girls helped me realize that “needing” and “wanting” are NOT synonymous.  It’s actually okay for me to want to be loved and to be taken care of by someone other than my family.  This desire does not diminish my self-respect as an independent woman, and that’s what I’m learning to understand.

Image via Pinterest

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TrendingThursday : Just Like Family, Tattoos Are Permanent

November 3, 2016

There are plenty of negative stereotypes that surround the whole tattoo culture.  People with tattoos are associated with gangs, violence, promiscuity, unprofessionalism and low-social standing.  But, over the past few years, tattoos have evolved into more of a fashion trend.  For example, you’ve got the men inked with a tribal design on their arms while women have an infinity sign tatted on their wrist.  Regardless of what you get, tattoos are slowly becoming more acceptable in the workplace and society.

For me, I see tattoos as a work of art.  My tattoos are all symbols of the occurrences in my life, so I can pretty much give you a story behind each of them.  One of my latest additions is a dragon’s eye.  To you, it just looks like a triangular prism.  In some cultures, it is a symbol of protection or a balance between love, power and wisdom.  For my siblings and I, a dragon’s eye is a tribute to our mother.  The three corners represent my sibs and I, where we connect in the middle to show the overall bond that we have with her.  Since my mother is a dragon under the lunar calendar, we thought this was entirely fitting.

What also makes this tattoo experience so special is that I had gotten it with my siblings!  Well, not ALL of my siblings.  This would have been a very cute moment if my brother had gotten it as well, but, unfortunately, he’s too “pure” for permanently inking his body.  As my mother would always say, “Don’t you dare taint him with that crap” as I shamelessly try to peer pressure him into getting one.

As you can quite figure out, my mother does not approve of tattoos at all.  One of the reasons is because tattoos are permanent, just like how our family will always be “permanently” attached to us no matter what…

Yeah…my mom didn’t buy that argument.  

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#FridayFunday : Welcoming Fall

October 21, 2016

My life has gotten a lot slower and much quieter in the past few days.  There’s a chill in the air that brings about a sense of calm to oneself.  No doubt, fall is one of my favorite seasons – next to the California winters of course.  Now that we’re getting some decent breezes and clusters of clouds forming in the sky, it’s a perfect time to welcome the fall season with a visit to the Cal Poly Pumpkin Patch!

The Cal Poly Pumpkin Patch is open until October 30th (the day before Halloween) from 10am – 6pm on Sundays’ to Wednesdays’ and 10am – 8pm on Thursdays’ to Saturdays’.  There are no admissions or parking fees to enter the pumpkin patch, so you can just make your way to the field along the white fences.  Other attractions include a petting zoo and a corn maze.  There’s also a farmer’s market that sells homemade preserves and naturally grown fruits and vegetables.  If you’re craving a snack, there are various vendors selling toasted almonds, kettle corn and corn dogs (haven’t touched those since my “Hot Dog on a Stick” days).

Lately, my family and I have been dealing with a lot of shit.  It got to the point where we were at each other’s throats, so clearly we needed a break.  By taking a quick raincheck on reality, my family and I had ventured out into the beautiful, perfect day.  Our time spent at the pumpkin patch helped remind me of how blessed I am, and how I should be more grateful for what I already have, which was my family.  Honestly, it’s moments like these that I’m going to remember most.

Check out the highlights below!

Now, you’ve got just 2 weeks to get yourself a pumpkin so be sure to make a stop at the Cal Poly Pumpkin Patch before all the good ones are gone.  But, most importantly, be sure to bring along your family, a romantic partner(s) or even a friend to enjoy the festivities with.  There’s no better way to welcome the fall season than doing it with loved ones!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#MotivationMonday : Calm Your Tits Down

October 3, 2016

“Lori, why are you so angry ALL the time?!”

There is no denying that anger is one of the most common and familiar emotional responses out there.  We find ourselves feeling angry when we’re in a heated disagreement, when nothing is going our way or when someone doesn’t meet our expectations.  Like most things in life, there will always be a balance between “good” and “bad.”  If anger helps you to “stand-up” for yourself, then anger has served a positive purpose.  But, if anger is used to “hurt” someone, then we can all agree that that’s not a good thing…

For me, it’s my quickness of temper that gets me into trouble.  Because I am so quick-tempered, the people who I care the most usually are the ones that get hurt, whether they are the sole-cause of it or simply just victims of someone else’s instigation.  In order to help me turn this negative energy into something positive, I had decided to take up yoga!

Every Saturday, I participate in what yoga-enthusiasts call “traditional yoga.”  Instead of being confined in a studio, I am learning yoga in the grand outdoors.  Not only is it helping me save money on getting a massage (my upper right shoulder kills me), it’s teaching me to have compassion for others, to love myself a bit more and to live in the present moment.  But, most importantly, it’s teaching me to calm my tits down.

What I hope to accomplish by taking yoga is to, instead of simply reacting to situations, I’d like to get into the habit of taking-a-step back and processing them first.  Yoga is a discipline that focuses on controlling one’s breathing, so whenever I find myself feeling impatient or anxious (leads to anger), I begin to practice these breathing exercises – fill yourself with as much air as possible and then exhale it all out.  With more oxygen to the brain, it provides a clearer mind.

Not only does yoga help connect your mind, body and soul, it also gives you a great ass!  So, for those of you who are looking to improve yourself or needs some self-lovin’, checkout Yogalution Movement.  They are donation-based with professional teachers, providing yoga to the community.

Or in this case – Namaste.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TipTuesday : Dating 101 Pt.1

September 27, 2016

Aside from making a monumental decision career-wise (you can read all about it here), I had also decided to get myself back into the “dating” world.

When I was in a long-term relationship back in college, I was not happy with myself.  I was not happy in terms of who I was as a woman nor was I happy about where I was in life, which is flying by way too fast I might add.  What I desperately needed was to figure my shit out, and that had to be done alone.  So, from my last relationship I have been in pursuit of self-discovery ever since.

The expectations that I had for myself three-years ago have been recently met, meaning that I am entirely happy of who I am today.  For me, it is important that I feel good about myself before anything else, which now leads me to say, “I’m single and ready to mingle!”

So, I’ve started online dating.  People had advised me to have some fun with it because it’s going to suck.  Others have advised me to go in with an “open-mind.”  After going on a few dates this past summer, I think I have a gist of what the dating world is like nowadays.

Here’s what I’ve gathered so far:

  1. There are a LOT of creepers out there.  For any future dates, you know I’ll be googling your ass up.
  2. He has no social media accounts anywhere.  RUN.
  3. Why hasn’t he responded?!  This guy could be busy or he’s probably with another girl (s).
  4. This guy is going out with me, and he’s dating other girls at the same time.  Uh so?  You should date other guys too.
  5. When can I respond to this guy?  Well, don’t do it right away ’cause you be lookin’ too available.
  6. He asked me out like right away.  Girl, he’s trying to get in your pants.
  7. It’s been two weeks, why hasn’t he asked me out yet?  He probably is in a relationship that isn’t going so good right now so he’s using you for some sort of emotional comfort.
  8. When this fool lives 100 miles away, and suggest being “virtual” companions.  Honey, tell him you ain’t about to be his pen pal.
  9. This guy constantly talks about his job, and is looking for someone that, coincidentally, is what you specialize in.  Stating the obvious, this guy wanted to meet you for networking purposes.
  10. Looks like things are heating up after just a few dates, should I sleep with the guy?  Have you heard of the 90-day-rule?

The dating world is pretty much a “game.”  It’s a lot of effort gone wasted, but you’ll definitely learn a little bit about yourself along the way.  If you have any dating stories, feel free to share it below because I would love to read all about it!

Images via Pinterest/Tumblr

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#WardrobeWednesday : Wedding Style Guide Pt.2

September 21, 2016

Weddings are always so much fun!

Not only do I feel honored to be a part of the bride and groom’s special day, but I get to witness one of the many heartfelt moments in life — the celebration of L – O – V – E.

Even though the wedding that I had attended over the weekend was for a cousin who I have never, ever met before, it was still beautiful to see how happy people were.  For some reason, this wedding was filled with distant cousins whom I had just met for the very first time.  No worries about how awkward the night could have turned out because I ended up partying with them anyways.  Thus, bringing me to say that weddings are even more awesome because it brings people together.

Aside from all the lubby-dubbiness that I’m shedding on here, you can probably guess why I especially love going to weddings…dressing up of course!  Take a look at what I wore to a wedding same-time last year here, and check out what I had put together just recently below:

Top: Ribbed Cutout Crop Top by Lucy Paris // Bottom: Floral Print Pleated Midi Skirt by Lucy Paris // Footwear: Cathy Suede Pumps by Saks Fifth Avenue

My outfit was picked-up through a sample sale that I had previously interned over the past year in Los Angeles, but if you’re interested in locating these items, you can find them at Revolve and Bloomingdale’s.

Besides getting to know my family members, I got to camera-whore at the photo booth (can never get sick of those I might add), danced the night away and took full-advantage of the open bar.  But, what made my night even more memorable was the fact that my mother willingly took sips of my drinks.  I mean, who knew my mother was a whiskey-kind-of-woman!

So, thank you to the newly wedded couple, Mr. and Mrs. Wu, for a wonderful night, and congratulations on this new, exciting chapter in your lives.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TravelThursday : It’s A Day-Cation For Me

August 25, 2016

The past few months have been non-stop hectic both work-wise and socially.  Since I wasn’t planning on taking a vacation this summer, I had found myself very tensed, weary and overwhelmed.  In other words, I was in dire need of a break.

If you’ve checked out my Instagram, you’ll notice that I had taken a little ferry ride-out to Avalon at Catalina Island.  My best friend and I had basically planned a “day-cation” for ourselves.

We had relaxed at the beach by Decanso Beach Club, which I was surprised to see other people my age.  I mean, I grew up thinking that Catalina Island was a place for seniors to retire — it probably is but as I was just informed by a random dude at a bar over the weekend, Catalina Island is actually a place for people to party now.

After we had roasted ourselves on the beach, my best friend and I went parasailing.  We were both 800 feet in the air, and the only sounds that we can make out was our laughter.  All the noise from the ground floor disappeared. If I was to ever go parasailing again, I would probably ask to do it on my own because it’s kind of a spiritual feeling when you’re up in the air like that.

Kayaking was the next activity on our list, where we were basically looking for fishes underwater.  I didn’t care much for it, but my best friend was seriously all into it.  Beware of the sharks!  So many of the passerby’s kept warning us about it, including the cute security patrol.  Turns out, there are baby sharks in the water, but they mostly come out at night.

Before returning to the dock, we had ice cream from Scoops Homemade Ice Cream, which you can find my review here and a taco joint that was tucked away from main street.  By the end of the day, my best friend and I was absolutely exhausted.

Take a look at some of the highlights of my “day-cation” below:

FYI, you can get a free roundtrip ferry ride to Avalon in Catalina Island on the day of your birthday, and you can get a discount on some of the activities as well.  Save yourself $72 plus dollars!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Happy One Year Blogaversary !

August 3, 2016

When I started this blog a year ago, I was going through a quarter-life-crisis as most twenty-something-year-olds do.  During that time, I was consumed with the thought and fear of not finding the right “job.”  Even though I was grateful enough to have some sort of income, I was not content whatsoever with where I was.  So, to distract myself from my “misery,” I had decided to officially launch my own personal website.

Not that I am unfamiliar to the blogging world, I just didn’t have a focus or a sense of direction for all the blogs that I had in the past.  However, with this personal website of mine, it would not only serve as a fashion and lifestyle blog, but be a place where readers can feel less alone, specifically within their professional and social life.

It’s been such an amazing experience so far documenting my life over the past year because now I can go back and reflect on those old feelings with a different mindset.  My goal within the following year is to share more of my personal life such as my entrance into the dating world, more of travel adventures (if time and money permits) and more of my fashion-side.

Before I check-out for the night, I would like to say a big thank you to those of you who have taken the time to visit my blog, and read what I have to say.  For the next year, I’ll do my best to provide you with some ah-mazing content, and hopefully you’ll stick around!

Cheers to my One-Year Blogaversary !

Image via Pinterest

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#MotivationMonday : Real Strength

August 1, 2016

As I watch my mother fall in-and-out of sleep, I am left reflecting back to the last time I saw a parent of mine on a hospital bed.  It’s amazing how it’s already been over ten years since my dad had passed away, and how much of our lives had changed since then.

At just ten-years-old, I was mad at the world.  I had developed this sense of self-pity, feeling as if the world had owed me everything for not only taking my dad away, but for having my family go through one crap after another.

But, now as an adult, I look back to realize that I have absolutely nothing to bitch about.  Everyone has lost someone, and everyone faces the challenges that follows so I am definitely no different from the rest.  I was blessed with such a nurturing mother, who gave me literally everything that I had ever wanted, and, yet, I, out of all of her children, gave her the most heartache.  I was blessed with such amazing siblings, who took my abuse and still manage to stand by my side no matter what.  I was blessed with opportunities like getting an education and offered potential career paths that I had taken for granted.

When people tell me how “strong” I am, I cringe at the word because I have never known suffering before.  My mother, on the other hand, had escaped from Vietnam during the war, assimilated into a new culture, gave up her education to provide for her family and supported her kids as a single-parent.

So, when I arrived at the emergency room, I turned the corner to find my mother with a huge smile on her face.  She sat on the wheelchair, conversing with the nurse, giggling like a small school girl.  Regardless of what life has put her through, my mother still manages to put-up a smile.  To me, that’s real strength.

Now, “don’t freak out” as my sister had used earlier with me, my mother is doing well and is going to be fine.  She just had a minor emergency that required her to get a blood transfusion.  Heck, she’s back on her feet and is already getting back to work!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+