Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

#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+

#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

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

#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!

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

#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.

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

#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!

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

#TravelThursday : Howdy Ya’ll !

January 28, 2016

If you follow my Instagram page, you already know that I was down south this past weekend.

My friends and I spontaneously booked a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas — a place I thought was pretty random, especially for a girl like me.  But, to my friend, it’s a place she had once called home.  In Fort Worth, we checked out the Stockyards — a rodeo show that features bull riding, tie down roping, team roping, barrel racing, bronc racing and break away roping.  Here, I definitely saw plenty of men and women dressed in their cowboy hats and boots.  It felt as if it was Halloween again!  In Dallas, we took a tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.  It felt disheartening to stand in the same place where our former president was cruelly assassinated, but also inspiring to know that this human being accomplished so many great things before his death, such as establishing the Peace Corps.  For the rest of our stay, we spent most of the time grubbing — we had a bbq, crab boil and Mexican cuisine.  I’m kind of drooling here…   

There are three prominent characteristics that I want to point out during my stay in Texas:
 

  1. Endless amount of land.  You know that saying, “you can run, but you can’t hide?”  Well, it applies here in Texas.  There are so much space, it makes sense that everything is 30 minutes away from each other.  The homes are definitely bigger — they have a huge front yard, drive way and back yard (you can literally build another house with all that land).  I even saw a full playground set in the yard, where kids were running around.  It was like watching a Hallmark film!  So, if you’re looking to settle down with a family and all, Texas would be the place!
  2. An unfamiliar sense of politeness.  The people aren’t in a hurry like that in LA or NYC, so the Texans actually take the time to say, “Excuse me Ma’am,” while tipping their hats.  On top of that, it’s not weird to be smiling at someone while making eye contact without it meaning “Come hither.”  Although we did get some looks here and there, it was not enough to make me feel uncomfortable like some places I’ve been to.
  3. Conservative and patriotic.  It wasn’t until I was at the rodeo that I realized I was surrounded by devoted Christians,  who had a great deal of pride for their country.  Compared to Los Angeles, the people are pretty much liberal when it comes to religion and politics so talking about atheism at a dinner table would just bring conflict.

My friends thought I wouldn’t like Texas, but I’d have to say, I didn’t think the whole southern, country lifestyle was bad at all!  I’m actually hoping to plan another trip down there, but in a different city this time.  Honestly, I wouldn’t mind spending a week down south.

Check below to see some of my highlights of the trip!

Hope you liked my brief glimpse into what Texas is like, and if you ever get the chance, you should definitely try to head south for a week or two.  There are definitely a lot of things I wanted to see, but had no time to do such as line dancing and horseback riding.  I guess, that’s another reason to head back then!

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

#FridayFunday : Mountaintops + Ocean Views

January 22, 2016

At an impulse, my best friends and I have decided to do a little weekend getaway so if you’d like to see where I’m headed, visit my Instagram for all the deets!

If you aren’t getting away this weekend, there are plenty of things you can do in your own backyard!  One of the great activities that Los Angeles has to offer is a vast array of mountaintops for you and your friends to reach.

If you checked out my Instagram feed, it’s apparent that I am an avid hiker.  My friend, however, is not.  Since she is undergoing a new phase in her life, I thought I’d introduce a new experience to her.  We headed up to Corral Canyon Park, a 2.5 mile loop in Malibu that took approximately 2 hours to finish.  The hiking trail is just right off of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH/1 Hwy), next door to The Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market.  There is also a $5.00 parking fee for the visit.  Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll get a view of the beach and the highway — something you’d get out of a picture, but way better.  If you ever plan to visit this trail, plan to wear long sleeves and pants because you’ll have plants brushing against you.  The difficulty of the hike from 1 to 5 — a 5 rating being “difficult” — I’d give it a 1 so it’s not rigorous at all.  My favorite hiking trails are the ones with an ocean view, where I’m surrounded by greenery, not just dirt and dead trees.  In Los Angeles, the winter season is the perfect time to go on a hike.

The best part of the hike is the reward that you would give yourself right after  — for me, that’s food!  My friend and I went to the Malibu Farm, where it has a restaurant in the front and a cafe at the end of the pier.  The Malibu Farm is all about the local, organic and healthy lifestyle, which you can check out my review here.

If you are ever in the area, here are some of the most popular hiking trails in SoCal: Eaton Canyon, Hermit Falls and Crystal Cove State Park (my favorite place to hike by far).

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

#TipTuesday : How To Deal With Rejections

January 19, 2016

I’ve consistently maintained a solid, positive attitude on here, especially about my struggles finding a full-time position in a competitive industry.  I definitely have a great support system, where my friends and family constantly encourage me to go after my dreams.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I am pretty much stubborn and won’t let anything go until I get what I want.

But, I wouldn’t be honest and real if I didn’t mention the grim side to all of this.  Right now, I am having a tough start into the new year.  I had spent the holidays, submitting job applications where I’ve received rejections left and right.  I even got a rejection email on New Years Eve!  Some carved out a moment of their time to chat with me; some liked me enough to move my application forward for an interview; some decided to take back those interviews; some decided to go forward with a different candidate; and some didn’t want to give me the time of day.

Rejections can leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated, especially the ones where you’re just inches away in closing the deal.  So, having had enough experience in this department check below to see how I respond to these rejections:
 

  1. Take A Moment To Pause.  One of the things you don’t want to do is to react poorly to a rejection.  Before you respond to the sender, you should definitely take a moment to wash away the anger that is probably flooding your body.  Participate in some breathing exercises, get a workout done, or even continue coloring in one of those adult coloring books.  For me, I would head over to one of my favorite spots in the world — the beach.  It doesn’t necessarily wash my disappointment away, but it sure helps me zone out from the rest of the world.  By clearing my mind, I’d definitely be in the right mindset to respond appropriately to the rejection.
  2. Let It All Out.  It’s also a good idea to find someone who you can vent to.  Typically, I will call my sister and give her a little rant of the situation.  At this moment, I don’t need any comforting, especially when all I’ve been hearing are, “it’s not the right job for you,” “something better will come along,” or “it’s their lost.”  The purpose of venting is to say whatever is on my mind, letting all that I have bottled up out.
  3. Respond Appropriately.  The worst thing you can do besides not responding back to the rejection email is to reply back in a very negative way, which is why I suggested steps 1 and 2.  By taking a moment to pause and letting it all out, you would already have cooled off and cleared your mind to respond appropriately to the rejection.  Politely thank the sender for their time and effort in interviewing you, and for giving you a chance to discuss your background and qualifications.  Always end things on a positive note — you will never know what other opportunities they may have for you in the future!
  4. Ask For Feedback.  When you are responding to the rejection email, make sure to ask for feedback.  It doesn’t hurt to ask why you didn’t get the job.  If anything, it shows the employer that you were serious about pursuing the position, and that you care about growing as a professional.  Also, there criticisms can provide insight to how you can better yourself for future opportunities!
  5. Accept It and Move On.  The most important part about accepting job rejections is to not take them so personally.  Employers are just looking for the best candidate to take on that role so you have no control over the decision-making process.  Once you get that rejection email, it’s very important that you accept it, and continue forward with your job hunt.

I hope my advice helps you in your job search, and if you need any guidance with the job hunt, feel free to check out my previous posts here.  Good luck to us all!

Image via Pinterest

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