Category Archives: BLOG

#TravelThursday : A Weekend Getaway

January 4, 2018

Towards the end of the summer, I was in desperate need of a mental break.  Work was a bit crazy for me, especially since I was tackling on new responsibilities without the #bosslady.  Not as if it I hadn’t done the work before, it’s just the fact that I was juggling so many projects at the same time, all of which had tight deadlines.  All I remember from the month of September was going to bed thinking about work, and waking up thinking about work.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one feeling a bit overwhelmed – my best friend had just started a new position as a nurse, so she found herself going crazy too.  What to do when you’re just about to explode?  We pulled an all-nighter, driving out of Los Angeles, passing through Vegas (both of us were mind blown about what lied beyond the strip) and found ourselves at Zion National Park in Utah.  Both my bestie and I were running on zero sleep, so you can just imagine how tortuous it was driving that blacked-out highway.

After being on the road for six hours, bestie and I, finally, arrived at Zion National Park – a place that I’ve been wanting to check-off of my bucket list.  The first thing we did was head-up to The Narrows, a pretty easy hike for people with tired eyes.  The Narrows requires you to tread through the Virgin River, which is about 16-miles in length.  Bestie and I did the typical 2-3 hour hike, which I believe is 3-4 miles to and back, starting from the Temple of Sinawava.  The time that we were there, the water was only up to our knees, which I’ve heard can go up to your waist line if you proceed deeper into the hike.  During this hike, I found myself laughing a lot, and that’s probably because I kept being sucked into the sand.  Not only was I laughing to myself, but the strangers around me couldn’t help but crack up at the fact that I couldn’t pull myself out!

The following day, bestie and I, originally, had planned to check-out Angel’s Landing, which was noted to be an extremely strenuous hike.  But due to the fact that bestie was bit fearful of how difficult the hike appeared, we decided to head over to Observation Point instead, which was noted to be just a strenuous hike.  Oh boy, was I SOOOO glad that we did not end up doing Angel’s Landing because Observation Point kicked-my-fucking-ass!  Literally, not within 5-minutes of the hike, I was already out-of-breath.  From that moment on, I knew I was going to have a rough time.  Not only was I was dealing with being #hangry, I was nearly this close in knocking the next person out, who would tell me again, “You’re almost there!”  Cursing at mother nature, I grew extremely silent as bestie and I made our way up the mountain – when that happens, you know it’s best to leave me alone.  As we approach closer to Observation Point, all that feeling of frustration vanished – mother nature turned out to be beautifully, breath-taking…

Want to hear the most funniest part of all this?  After returning back from Observation Point, bestie and I had strongly believed the hike was altogether a 16-mile trail, to and back.  The hike that bestie and I both agreed would be our first and last time to ever do, turned out to be only an 8-mile hike, to and back!  Like, what the hell…

Aside from all of that, if you ever decide to visit Zion National Park, be sure to check-out Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  Bestie and I “glamped” out there, since it was the only available space near the park, which I had, later, discovered why – who the hell “glamps” in 30-degree weather?!  The difference between camping and “glamping” is that there’s electricity (and if you’re lucky, there’s a flushable toilet and showers next to your already-made tent).  The resort gives you the option to either camp, glamp or rent a well-heated cabin on the facility.  They also provide you an itinerary of the day-to-day activities available, from rock climbing to star gazing.  If bestie and I had more time, we would have taken full advantage of the place.

Check-out some of the highlights below:

After our weekend getaway, I definitely felt rejuvenated to push out the last of our client’s launch.  All I needed was a bit of the grand outdoors to help me re-focus my energy.  Aside from that, I was, especially, excited because it was literally just one-month before I take-off on my Europe trip!  Stay tune to read all about it next week 🙂

#TOTD : Bring It, 2018

January 2, 2018

Even though I had stepped into the year on a sour note, 2017 turned out to be my favourite year, thus far, which explains why I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to it just yet (hence, the delayed post).

If we take a look at my professional life, I did end up getting a promotion, where I am now managing people.  My financial management skills has gotten way better, where I am now putting it towards adult shit (oh, how millennial of me).  Crossed-out the last item off of my childhood “goal” list, which was to get my ass to London, Paris and Rome – something that I’ve attempted to achieve several times over the past few years (also something that I have yet to share with you all).  Developed stronger friendships with the people I made the year before, and I’ve learned to trust my friends can pretty much take care of themselves.

2017 felt more settled than any other year, and 2018 will be more defined.  What I mean by that is I, now, have a greater knowledge and wisdom that can be passed onto others.  There’s a lot that’s going to happen in 2018, which makes me rather nervous, but I’m so ready to tackle it heads-on – it’s because I crave that shit.

My goals for the new year has been shifting lately, and that’s probably because for the first time, I actually do not have a I-need-to-do-this-or-else-kind-of-goal.  Everything is dependent on factors that I have no control over, so you’ll notice my goals are pretty basic:

  • Chef Laurie (thought I’d go with a fancy spelling).  Not really trying to be a chef, but I do want to spend more time in the kitchen (sounds totally wrong).  I’d like to cook more than what I do now, as I have just discovered the peacefulness in laying out ingredients, throwing them altogether and creating a dish that I can actually enjoy.
  • Off To Scandinavia!  Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland are the next destinations on my list for next fall.  Why these countries?  I want to head-straight into places that is a total opposite of California, and Scandinavia is the place for it!
  • Open Up Your Mind. Can’t stress enough how much I have been working on this.  I don’t remember saying this before in a previous post, but sometimes I find myself seeing things as black and white, when there is actually a gray area.  It’s affecting all aspects of my life in a negative way, so this is something I am constantly working on.
  • Continue To Practice Patience.  Got my grandfather’s genes!  I’ve learned that timing is everything, and I just have to trust that everything is going to be okay.  Sometimes, there are certain things you can’t rush, and try to take control of.  Trust in the timing!
  • Take More Risks.  Half of me can be very spontaneous, while the other half plays it safe.  This past year, I took my chances in the work environment and got myself somewhere I didn’t expect.  For 2018, I want to take more risks in my social life like accept more group invitations, get back in the dating game and do whatever people are doing nowadays.

This new year is going to be a tough one for me, but I’ve learned that I can definitely take on whatever I set my mind to, so bring it 2018!

Aside from that, I hope everyone had a wonderful new years 🙂 I had celebrated the new year in Vegas with my family, and couldn’t feel more grateful for them.  Vegas has been a bit quieter than previous years’ due to the shooting a couple of months ago – something our government needs to start addressing as we consistently encounter these situations…(yeah, had to throw that in there).

Either than that, Happy New Year, everyone!

#FridayFunday : Fun In The Sun

December 1, 2017

Although the calendar clearly states that summer is over, it appears that Southern California has other plans.

I have fallen a bit behind in updating you on how I had spent my summer this past year.  I didn’t let the last couple of months go to waste, and ended up having some fun in the sun!  This past summer was ultimately a special one, especially since everyone in my family (the ones who I actually talk to), crammed ourselves into a three-story beach house (all 60 of us) for our annual family reunion.  Each generation was represented, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this huge family.

We had spent a three-day weekend in Oceanside, San Diego.  All bedrooms, sofa beds and floors were assigned to a specific family member.  We invaded a buffet, made breakfast and lunch together, had a taco man come in, played several rounds of volleyball on the beach and celebrated the birthdays of all the August babies.  We stormed the beach with our personalized t-shirts that had each family’s member name on it – from grandparents to grandchildren.  We drank together and talked about how freakin’ awesome it is that we’re all here!

Originally, I wasn’t planning to go…The reason for that is because I was saving up for a huge trip that I had already booked.  But my cousins who were arranging this whole getaway did not take “no” for an answer.  You know what?  I’m glad I was forced to go because this trip was something I very much needed.

In the next upcoming year, it looks like my family is planning a trip up north.  Again, I had flatly told them that I will not be going, and, of course, many did not understand why…Between work and bills, I have room for only one-trip next year.  I had always longed for the adventure that I had read about growing up.  Therefore, I made a commitment to myself that I’ll travel to new places each year – a goal I am completely determined in making it happen.  But, due to my absences over the year, I hope my family knows that if they ever needed me for anything, they know to call me, and I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to be there. 

Image photographed by me

#TOTD : It’s Time To Face Them

October 14, 2017

There are so many different ways in how people deal with their problems.  Some like to tackle them heads-on; some won’t hesitate to ask for help; and some would just completely avoid it.  Depending on the situation, people can respond to problems in any of these various ways.

For instance, when I found out that one of our vendors at work wasn’t able to deliver on time, my head rang in high alert.  Instead of chocking on the news, I immediately took action by formulating a back-up plan, doing what I got to do to make this deadline.  Even though my heart was racing in sheer panic at the possibility of failing, my immediate reaction was to tackle the problem heads-on because it would be a bigger disappointment if I didn’t at least try to make this work.

Now, have you ever heard of the stereotype that “Asians are really good at math”?  Well, don’t count on me to live up to that.  One of the reasons why I majored in Communication Studies is because I didn’t have to take any math classes.  With that said, I stumbled onto a problem, where I had to calculate the cost of a booklet per page – a task that was beyond my mathematical skills.  After multiplying and dividing numbers that made my head go round, I decided that it was time to ask for help.  Sometimes, two minds are better than one.

No matter where we come from or have gone through, we all have problems that we like to refer to them as our “demons.”  One of the demons that I am, currently, battling are the constant voices in my head saying — you’re doing this wrong…why didn’t you think of that in the first place…you can’t do this.  These voices are constantly telling me that I am a total failure.

For the past couple of months now, it feels as if bricks were being dropped onto my shoulders, pushing me into the ground.  Even though every step I take gets a bit heavier and heavier, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been fighting through all that weight.  To relieve me of these thoughts, I went on a solo hike, took a road trip, bought a new hat and got myself a new hairdo.  Unfortunately, what was perceived as solutions for me in the past apparently are not solutions for me in the present moment…

I’ve realized that my lack of confidence and self-doubt are problems that have always been present, and what I had thought were “solutions” are actually distractions.  Because these distractions can no longer shield me from the bigger issues, I am at the point in my life where it’s time for me to start facing them.   

Anonymous Quote

#FridayFunday : Strollin’ In My Garden

September 29, 2017

I’d like to say it’s my personal, secret garden but there’s no way that 120 acres of land can be hidden from the world.  Located in Pasadena, the Huntington Library is one of the must-see places whenever you’re in Los Angeles.  The Huntington Library is a host of various botanical plants, libraries, art collections and research centers.

During my visit, I had spent much of my time exploring through the different gardens.  Unable to get through them all (sadly I missed the English-styled garden), my favorites of the day was probably the Japanese and Chinese gardens, which may appear bias since I am of Asian descent.  When you enter these gardens, it’s as if you had literally stepped-into the country without having to fly across the ocean – it felt entirely surreal.  I stood on the steps with the bridge and pond below me, surrounded by all these bonsais – a type of plant I had for the office that I was unable to keep alive.  When I migrated to the Chinese garden, I had placed my bottom on a bench, and began to take in the moment.  As I sat in pure silence, I watched the people around me (not like a creeper, but as an observer).  One of the observations I made is what you would commonly see folks my age or what millennials are famously known for – we like to take pictures more than we like taking in the moment.  A young couple, who were likely around my age, snapped away on their phones without absorbing the beautiful view before them.  Basically, they took their pictures, and simply rushed-off.

My biggest pet peeve is just that!  Of course, take the pictures you need to take, but make sure to actually LOOK at what’s in front of you too.  No matter where I’m at, I always take the time to recenter and draw my upmost attention to the present moment.  My mentality is “when am I ever going to get this again?”

With that said, I definitely enjoyed the hour I took, sitting on a bench under a tree with the Chinese-styled bridge and pond (filled with cat fishes, by the way) in front of me.  It makes me really eager to see what Asia is really like!

Check-out a few pics of my visit below: