#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!

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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 had specified what direction I had wanted to take.  This personal website of mine 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 for this blog in the following year is to share more of my fashion-side.

Before I check-out for the night, I would like to say thank you to those of you who have taken the time to visit my blog, and I hope you all will continue to stick around!

Image via Pinterest

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#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!

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#ThankfulThursday : Because I Love What I Do

July 28, 2016

On the day of my graduation, which was also my birthday, I had made the decision to leave my first “big girl” job — a full-time role that I had secured months prior.  Having already started there two-months before my graduation, I couldn’t continue forcing myself to stay any longer for reasons that I will probably disclose in the near future.

Do I ever regret leaving it?  Sometimes, yes.  If I had stayed, I would of had a great salary, my own place, be given the opportunity to travel and I would have learned a lot of new skills.  Also, I would have saved myself the trouble of going through that horrendous job hunting experience.  But, at the same time, I don’t regret my decision because it has made me a better person today.  Not only did I become stronger as an individual, I had gained confidence in my abilities, became more open-minded and learned how to change my negative attitude into something positive.  Most importantly, I wouldn’t be given the opportunity that I have today.

If you’ve read my latest career post here, you must already know that I was dealing with job rejections one-after-the-other.  Ironically, two-weeks after that post, I was reached out by a recruiter for a position within the marketing realm.  Having been there for six-months now, I am, officially, a Production Coordinator at an advertising agency.  Even though I had always thought I’d turn into a high-powered, PR specialist in the fashion world, it turns out that advertising brings about a certain excitement that I had not experienced in the PR world before.  With my new role, I’m continuously being challenged everyday, and is always on my toes.

But, by far, one of the reasons why I’m entirely enjoying my new job are my colleagues.  The partners do not micro-manage, thus treating us as equals.  Together, we help each other to learn and grow, which I am so entirely grateful for their patience when answering all my questions.  I, finally, found a place where I can see myself building a career from, and can really treat this business as if it was my own.

For the first time in a long time, I can actually say that I am entirely happy with where I am at right now, especially since I love what I am doing.  I am beyond grateful for the journey that has led me to my new role, and I can actually see where I’d want to go professionally.  I can’t wait to see where this will take me, and to share with you this new chapter of mine!

Image via Etsy

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#WardrobeWednesday : Like A Kid At The Zoo

May 25, 2016

Except that I’m a grown-ass woman who spent her birthday at the zoo.  To celebrate my birthday last year, I had treated myself to a-week-long trip to NYC, which you can take a glimpse at one of my favorite moments here.  Since my availability is limited this year and I have been feeling a bit nostalgic (honestly it’s just the fear of getting older), I had decided to spend my birthday at the San Diego Zoo — something that I had wanted to cross-off of my list of to-dos’.

Growing up, kids wanted either a dog or a cat as a pet, but, for me, I wanted a giraffe.  Giraffes are my favorite animal because they rarely cause any trouble, they’re graceful and they’re amazingly tall!  Did you know that on average a baby giraffe are about 6’4″ tall when they’re born?  They’re also the tallest animals in the world thus far!

Not only was I excited to see the giraffes, but I was also excited to try on my new outerwear!  I found this gold, metallic bomber jacket at a BBDakota sample sale last week, and immediately fell in love with the design.  It’s definitely not what I typically find in my wardrobe.

Now, even though I didn’t get to book a flight for my birthday this year, I definitely had a wonderful time at the zoo.  Sometimes you just need to take a break from “adulthood,” and re-live one of your childhood memories.

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#FlavorFriday : Would Anyone Care For A Slice?

April 29, 2016

Everyone has a guilty pleasure, and at the moment, my guilty pleasure is cake.  I’ve been having a slice at least once-a-week for the past month now, and since I’ve been binge watching on Cake Boss to the Kids Baking Championship, it just pushed my cake craving even further.  I mean, who dreams about buying a cake?!  Because I’ve been feeling a bit inspired, I’ve decided to make my very first cake EVER.  Check it out below:

(2) Pillsbury White Cake Mix (1 cup of water, 1/3 cup of oil & 3 whole eggs)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup of oil and 3 whole eggs.
  4. Mix until everything is blended together, leaving behind any visible air bubbles.
  5. Pour the cake mix into (2) 8 to 9 inched-diameter pans.
  6. Once the oven is heated, carefully place your pans with the cake mix into the oven.
  7. Adjust your timer to 35 to 40 minutes.

Strawberry Sauce Filling (2 cups of chopped strawberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of water, 1 tsp vanilla extract & 1 tbsp corn starch)

  1. Pour the chopped strawberries into a saucepan along with the sugar and water.  Keep the saucepan at medium-heat.
  2. In a bowl, mix the corn starch and water until it’s in liquid form.
  3. Once the saucepan comes to a boil, add the bowl of liquid corn starch.
  4. Cook the strawberry sauce for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens into syrup-form.
  6. Remove from heat add the vanilla extract.
  7. Keep it cool and refrigerated.

Butter Cream Frosting (1 cup unsalted, softened butter [2 sticks], 4 cups of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/3 cup of milk)

  1. Mix the soften sticks of butter in a mixing bowl along with the sugar, vanilla extract and milk.
  2. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.  If it’s too thick, add more milk.
  3. Store it in the fridge until it’s ready for use.

Once the cakes are cooled, use a carver to cut-off its top layers so that the cakes will be flat and smooth.  Grab one of the cakes to use as your bottom-layer.  With the butter cream frosting, frost the outer borders of your cake so that it creates a barrier for the strawberry sauce filling.  Now, for the top-layer of your cake, place it over your bottom-layer that is frosted and filled with butter cream and strawberry sauce.  With your frosting spatula, begin frosting the top of your cake.  FYI, the first layer of your frosting will have cake crumbs so don’t freak out when you see how icky it looks.  Add another layer of frosting and begin to smooth it all out.  Because I like the rustic, unfinish look, I did not frost the sides of my cake all-the-way.  Finally, top the cake off with fresh berries (make sure they’ve been dried before placing them on the cake)!

Voilà!

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#FridayFunday : Afternoon Tea Anyone?

March 25, 2016

It took me three months to finally deliver my final Christmas gift from 2015!

Last weekend, I took one of my dearest friends for high tea at a chic tea room in Pasadena.  The french decor of the Madeline Garden was enticing, even my friend walked in with a gasp.  We were the only ones in the Grand Room so we took advantage of the opportunity to hold a photoshoot.  For high tea (don’t ask me what the difference is between that and the afternoon tea because I really don’t know), we were served peach bellinis, cranberry scones with cream and jam, ginger yam soup, a pot of rose tea and, finally, the three-tiered stand filled with finger foods!

It was so fun to watch my best friend in awe of every little detail of the experience from the scones to the little tea cups.  This is the reason why I don’t give out “materialistic” things as gifts anymore!  I’d much rather invest my money in an adventure, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Hope you enjoyed your Christmas present my dear!

Of course I couldn’t leave without a full-body shot!

 

To check out my review of the Madeline Garden Bistro & Venue, click here.

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#WardrobeWednesday : After The Storm

March 16, 2016

It’s all clear skies and sunshine.

The evenings are a bit chilly, but it’s nothing we Californians can’t handle.  After the downpour this past Friday, I had spent the following day in Little Saigon — it’s actually the second weekend in a row where I’ve been spending most of my time.

The best part about this side of town is the FOOD.  I actually had vegan, Viet cuisine at An Lạc Duyên in Garden Grove — you can read my review here.  If you’re ever in the area, definitely check this place out!

As of right now, I’ve been craving a bit of culture in my life.  It’s so funny because when I was a teenager, I had always avoided places like this because I thought it was too “fresh-off-the boat.”  But, now, I’ve been actively seeking out places like this!  If you have never visited Little Saigon in your life, you must add this onto your list of parts to see in SoCal.

Wearing a beanie and scarf from H&M, coat from Khalo, denim from Paige and shoes from Converse. 

 

Happy Wednesday!

 

P.S. I had gone faceless (aka make-up less) that day.  I thought my pores needed a break from the harshness of the week!

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#ThoughtOfTheDay : Feelin’ Like A Child

March 10, 2016

When I was a kid, I was always rushing to grow up.  During my childhood, my cousins were all in their twenties, discussing their careers, dating life and the craziest things that had happened the previous night.  As a ten-year-old, I was attracted to the whole idea of adulthood because of the self-assurance, independence and sense of control that grown-ups exhibited.

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’m practically considered an “adult.”  It’s ironic because I’ve been anticipating this moment for so long, and, yet, I feel far less grown-up than I thought I would be.  In some aspects, I have obtained the freedom that I so admired as a child, but at the same time, am limited as well.  Because with adulthood there are responsibilities and obligations to deal with whereas a child you didn’t have to worry about any of that.  As Nigel Cole once said:

“…I think it’s tougher to be in your 20s because you’re expected to be a grownup and expected to earn your own living and be successful and I think you feel like a kid still.”

You would think that “who-am-I-phase” in your life would just end after your teenage years, but that isn’t necessarily true.  I’ve learned that I will be spending my entire life trying to find the answer to that question as so many wise individuals before me have said.  I thought that by now I would know what I want and have a blue-print of my life, but it’s actually the opposite — I have so many wants’ and have no idea of where I’m headed.

It seems as if we’re all trying to appear put-together when in reality we’re all just making it up as we go.  You know that saying, “fake it till you make it”?  It applies here because no one ever knows what they’re doing as long as they’re doing something and that something is moving forward.  At the end of the day, you can only hope for the best, and trust that everything will be okay.

It’s funny how life works isn’t it?  As a child, you want to be a grown-up but when you’re finally a grown-up, you’d wished you were that 10-year-old self again.  At this moment, I feel like a child stuck inside an adult body.

Image via Tumblr

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#TipTuesday : Say Bye Bye To Dry, Flaky and Itching Skin !

February 16, 2016

Over the past few years, the area around my eyes get super dry, flaky and itching, causing some sort of inflammation on my face.  Typically, this occurs when the climate changes dramatically or when the weather is being bi-polar like it is now.  After doing my research, the only solution to fix this facial problem is to moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!  Because I am sensitive to certain products, I’ve been seeking more organic solutions.  Find out what I’ve been using below:

  • Virgin, Unrefined Coconut Oil – Not only does it act as a moisturizer, but it can also be used as a make-up remover.  The bottle below comes in solid form, so the coconut oil needs to be melted.  Once it’s in liquid form, take a cotton-round, get a dime-sized amount to remove the make-up on your face.  To use the coconut oil as a moisturizer, take a dime-sized amount onto the palms of your hands, and rub it on your face and neck.  To get the full effect, people tend to leave it on over night.  You can find these products at Target and Trader Joe’s.

  • The Revitalizer by Biossance – Acts a moisturizer for your face, body and hair, keeping you hydrated from head to toe.  After a good cleanse, take three drops onto the palms of your hand, and rub it onto the desired area.  I use this product on my face every morning before I work on my make-up and every night before I go to bed.  The Revitalizer is 100% made from natural oils, specially from a plant-derived squalane.  You can find a bottle here!

  • Fu Yu Run’s Ginseng and Pearl Gel – Was obtained over seas, where my family have asked me to be the guinea pig for this product.  There’s the Natural Silver that is used for the evening, and a Natural Gold that is used in the morning.  The Natural Silver diminishes inflammation and exclude toxins while the Natural Gold activates your weak and aging cells, prevents skin senility, exclude melanin, retrain facial freckles and skin wrinkles.  Both products have key ingredients that include the pearl powder and ginseng extract.

A lot of our skin problems has to do with what we put into our bodies like those chicken nuggets from Mickey Ds’ (McDonalds).  A lot of our skin problems also has to do with what nutrients we’re lacking such as the simple H2O.  To have perfectly, healthy skin, it’s time to start changing up our diet.  Feel free to share what you use to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized!

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