Category Archives: INSPIRATION

#FridayReads : Acceptance At Twenty-Five

April 21, 2017

Over the past year, I have been trying to pin-point this apprehensive fear as my birthday draws nearer.  As I am about to officially reach a quarter-of-my-life, I feel this great deal of pressure from the people around me.  People are asking me questions about where I am headed in my career, when am I going to start dating and when am I going to start investing in my retirement.

This is all just part of being your twenties, and it’s hard not to avoid getting “lost” within your journey in figuring it all out.  Tired of being soaked in this fear of aging, I started to ask myself what makes getting older a great thing?

For the first time ever, I had pitched and submitted an article to Literally, Darling, discussing how I’ve reached my mid-twenties with a sense of acceptance.  In the middle of the night, I had awoken with a sudden urge to spill out all that I had difficulty to explain onto what we’ve replaced paper with today, Word Doc.  Hopefully, some of you can relate to what I am addressing and that it can help provide you insight to what you’re experiencing as well.

Without getting into further detail, check out my published piece here!

Image via Tumblr

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#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

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#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.  

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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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#MotivationMonday : Another Year, Another Letter

December 28, 2015

Sick of making resolutions that never get fulfilled?  I sure never followed through on my workout plan!  Instead of making a list of things to check off, my best friend and I started exchanging letters to each other at the end of the year.  We never read what each other wrote, but handed it off to one another for safekeeping.  Until the new year comes around, we would unseal our letters and reflect on thoughts that we once had before.  Unfortunately, the exchanging of letters never caught on, but that didn’t stop me from writing letters to myself.

These letters are not a list of “to dos” that simply gets checked off  — they are long-term goals that I hope to continue or implement into my daily life.  It’s a way for me to strive to be a better person (or a better me).  They are also a representation of how far I’ve come!

Below you can see what I’ve consistently concealed in my letters:

 

  • Go after your dream.  I have a simple dream really, and it’s to get that dream job.  It has definitely been very discouraging during the past few months, receiving one rejection after another, but I’m not the type to give up so easily.  So, I encourage all of you to find your passion, work at it and to never give up!
  • Know your worth.  There’s a saying, “If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?”  There are going to be plenty of people who will discourage you, lower your self-esteem and push you down.  Keep in mind that you are the only “you” in this world, and no one can take your place.  It is your job to fight for yourself because no one else will.
  • Who cares what they think.  At the end of the day, what matters most is what you think of yourself.  Trust your instincts, do what you believe is right and live the life you aspire to live.  As stubborn as this may sound, this is your life and you only get one chance to live it.
  • Hold onto the good people in your life.  There’s a few people I can name on the top of my head who have proven from time to time that they got my back.  If you ever find those kind of people who would be there for you in both your successes as well as your darkest hour, hold onto them — they are the ones who you can actually count on.
  • Change your attitude.  You’ll learn that what constitutes a “good” day from a “bad” day is partially due to your attitude.  The secret to finding happiness is you — you can decide to be happy by waking up every morning with a smile or waking up every morning wishing the day was over before it even started.

This past year has taught me many things, including patience.  My family is not known to have it, I can say we all got it from our grandfather.  Our low patience is what gets us easily frustrated and aggravated with ourselves and others, and from the trials I’ve been put through this past year, I can definitely say I’ve been tested.  Even though I haven’t reached my goal just yet, I know I am slowly making strides.  Right now, I’m just going to keep putting myself out there, and trust in the timing.  Because as Yoda says, “Patience you must have!”  (A little Star Wars reference for all the fans out there).

With hard work and patience, I’m going to continue to work on myself each and every day. So, if you want to move on from making the traditional list of New Year’s Resolutions, try out what I’ve been doing here!  There’s a sense of romanticism about opening a letter that was written over a year ago.

Here’s to another year, another letter!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

Image via Elite Daily

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#MotivationMonday : Creative Ways To Serve Your Community

November 9, 2015

Discovering new things are always fun, especially whenever you stumble into them.  If you’ve read my previous post, you know it’s times like these that I love and value the most.

After having brunch, which you can read all about my review here, my friend and I started to wonder off down the block on 3rd until we saw a little shop with all these trinkets inside.

The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse is a non-profit business that collect donations of used and recycled materials.  People would then purchase these materials, from construction papers to buttons to fabrics for any crafty and artistic projects.  Originally from the Bay Area, Lisa Hernandez opened the shop about seven years ago in the East Village of the Arts District, having heard word that Long Beach was going green.  Lisa wasn’t happy with the jobs she held in the corporate world, and with the encouragement from her daughter, she then decided to introduce the first creative reusable shop to the city of Long Beach.

The idea of the shop came from many influences, including being inspired by her father.  Growing up, Lisa’s father had her reuse materials until they were no longer able to use them.  She didn’t understand the purpose of her father teachings then, but after doing a little growing up, she learned to appreciate the value of her father’s lessons.  Lisa’s father owned a warehouse, and he had collected arts of his own, so The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse is decorated in his memory.

If I had known about the place, I wouldn’t have dumped six boxes of magazine articles in a dumpster.  Because of that, I want to encourage you to find a local reusable shop. Take in your used or recycled materials so that kids or artists within your community can use it for their own creativity.

Lisa reminded me the importance of giving back to the community, and finding creative ways to reuse unwanted materials.  Overall, it was such a pleasure speaking to Lisa about the business!  As advised, call to inquire about dropping off any of your unwanted materials at The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse!  For more information, please visit The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse.

 

Happy Monday!

– Lori

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#WisdomWednesday : Defining Your Own Success

October 21, 2015

In a call-to-action, Julianne Hough discussed her journey in defining the word success.  As confirmed in the dictionary, success is defined as the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.  Even though I am appalled by the definition, I couldn’t help but remember a time when I agreed with the folks behind Webster’s Dictionary.

When I was growing up, my idea of success would begin when I receive that college degree.  Waiting for that big day to come, I can still remember what I imagined my graduation to be like — I’d be wearing a big smile on my face, laughing along with my friends as we throw our caps in the air.  When the day finally came, I sat at my seat conflicted as the dean spoke of our achievements.  At that time, I was secured with a full-time position and was in the midst of moving out.  You’d think I’d be happy with all that I’ve “achieved” like graduating and all, but I wasn’t.

I ended up leaving what I thought was going to be my next chapter.  But, instead of feeling relieved, I felt just as unhappy as I was before.  Well, what’s the problem then?  Because success and happiness goes hand-in-hand, I eventually realized that the problem was me.  The problem is that I wasn’t happy with myself.  With this revelation, I know now that no one and nothing is responsible for my success and happiness because only I can create that for myself. Like Julianne says:
 

“We get to create our own success.  Success is about being happy with yourself and doing what you love and being surrounded by amazing people.”

So, what is success?  For me, success is about being the best that I can be because that’s all that I can ask of myself.

This topic is so abstract and complex that I hope you somehow figured out what I’m trying to say.  Trust me, I got lost in here a few times — I’m still lost to be honest…Regardless, it is your turn to share your definition of success.  The word can be interpreted in so many different ways, and that’s okay!

Visit juliannehough.com to get a further reading!  Also, please sign the petition at Strayer University to change the definition!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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#MotivationMonday : It Takes Courage To Be A Woman

October 19, 2015

“It takes a lot of courage to be a woman!” shouts Jackée Harry while a roar of applauses echoes through the crowd.  As people shouted in agreement, I was trying to figure what she meant by that.  How is it courageous to be a “woman” when they don’t have a choice in the matter?

Well, it’s not a matter of choosing to be a “woman,” but the matter of dealing with the cards given to you as a “woman.”  The roles women have been identified with are given at the exact moment they are born like how “women should only be in the kitchen” stereotype.  Women will be scrutinized for their appearances; women will face the challenges of unequal pay; and women will continue to feel unsafe when walking to their cars.  This concept that Jackée introduces emphasis how ALL women live courageously.  Because, let’s face it, it’s tough being a woman!

Jackée Harry, whom you may know as Sandra Clark on 227 and Lisa Landry of Sister Sister, was one of the key note speakers for the Ultimate Women’s Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  It is an event that introduces local business from all things lifestyle.  There were cooking, baking, and sewing demonstrations, where the free make-over demos were the most popular.  My sister and I instead took advantage of the free wine tasting at the sample booths.

But, I didn’t come for the free samples or demonstrations — I wanted to be surrounded by other inspiring women!  After Jackée gave her introduction and answered the audiences questions, she gave us one final advice — women should stop being critical of one another and start supporting each other.  Women shouldn’t be putting each other down, but bringing each other up.  We’re at our strongest when we’re working together!

So, start reminding the women in your life how important they are!  Because most likely they need reminding.

 

Have a wonderful Monday!

– Lori

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#MusicMonday : Light It Up With Eliza and the Bear

October 12, 2015

Lately, I’ve been slacking off on delivering the daily posts.  When it comes to writing, I can’t force myself to come up with something to talk about, especially if I lack the inspiration to do so.  I ended up spending a lot of time checking out local gigs, and found myself immersing in the music scene.  Plato once said:

 

“Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

On top of that, music creates this sudden awareness of the present moment.  After catching a show for City of the Sun, this sudden fleet of inspiration reminded me of a time that I last felt this way by another band — Eliza and the Bear.  Eliza and the Bear is a five-piece indie, rock band from London that formed in 2011.  The band includes James Kellegher (vocals/guitar), Callie Noakes (vocals, guitar), Martin Dukelow (guitar), Chris Brand (bass), and Paul Kevin Jackson (drums).  Since then they had published the following songs: Brother Boat, Upon the North, and Friends.  With great lyrics and instrumentals, they’ve created a unique sound that is comparable to the likes of The Lumineers and Of Monster and Men.  They’ve debuted an EP that included tracks like Light It UpLet Us Be Young, Talk, and It Gets Cold.  Just recently this past year, they’ve released Make It On My Own and Lion’s Heart on VEVO.  To give you a sense of who they are, check out the videos to some of my favorite tracks below:

 

 

While Eliza and the Bear continue their tour across Europe, they’ve also been busy debuting their first album so I’m hoping they’ll set foot on U.S. soil pretty soon!  If you’re having some #MondayBlues, take a listen to their tracks at the following links below!  It will sure cheer you up, I promise!

 

XOXO,
– Lori

 

For More Info: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | SoundCloud |  SpotifyWebsite

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#MusicMonday : City of the Sun @ The Viper Room

October 5, 2015

If you’ve already checked out my previous post, you’ll know that I had discovered my love for the band during my visit to New York.  To those of you who aren’t quite familiar with City of the Sun, it is an instrumental band that consist of John Pita (guitarist), Avi Snow (guitarist), and Zach Para (drummer/percussionist).  They are known for their “re-invention of acoustic music,” where their sound is simply created out of a box, bells, and guitars.

What had attracted me to City of the Sun is how worldly their sound is.  It’s mesmerizing and alluring in a sense that if you ever heard them from a great distance, you’d come running towards them.  Their music provoke emotions that you didn’t even know you had.  As humble as they appear, City of the Sun is a great representation of artists who are true and passionate of their craft.

From New York, City of the Sun have traveled to the west coast this month.  Last night, I was able to see them perform at The Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard.  One of my favorite songs from the set list is, “In The Beginning,” which gives you a preview of how talented these musicians are.  To get the full experience, City of the Sun are performing tonight at 8pm in Bardot on Vine Street so go check them out!

If any of you have been fortunate enough to hear them busking through town, please let me know what your experience was like by leaving a comment below!  I would love to talk it over with another fan!

 

Have a great Monday!
– Lori

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