Tag Archives: ME

Natalie Tran – Asians in Media Talk

A few years ago, my brother introduced me to Natalie Tran’s videos and I found them to be pretty comical, but this is – by far – the most powerful video that I’ve ever seen from her and I’m really excited to share this with everyone.

Growing up, I’ve experienced having to answer every question under the sun about my heritage and the stereotypes that come along with it. The “where are you from?” question is one that I know all too well. In addition to “…but where are your parents from?” like Natalie mentioned, I’ve also gotten much more.

“You’re full Asian? But your eyes are SO big.”

“You must be really good at math.”

“Are your parents fresh off the boat?”

“Are your parents upset that you didn’t go on to be a doctor?”

“Do your parents speak any English?”

“Wait – say something in Vietnamese. Anything!”

It’s interesting for me to look back on my childhood and the types of things people expected me to answer. There were plenty of times when I received questions from those that were Asian that also confused me. “What do you mean you can’t eat spicy food? Didn’t you grow up on this?” “You only have a few Asian friends? That’s weird.” “If you grew up speaking Vietnamese, shouldn’t you still be pretty fluent?”

In the end, I think having to endure these types of questions has probably made me a stronger individual. At first, I felt pulled in a number of directions and naturally – it’s these questions that cause you to question yourself and who you are and who you should be. But we’re not alike. Not any of us. I don’t have to radiate “Asianess” to show that I’m proud of my heritage and where I came from. I want to show that in my actions and the things that I can accomplish. And goodness, it’s crazy to think of the things I still have to experience in 2015, but that just means that we still have a ways to go.

It’s important to know and continuously remind everyone through media or through our everyday relationships that not all Asians are the same and that racism does very much exist on both sides so let’s help each other out and just let people be who they are and be okay with that.

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Review: Ariana Grande’s Honeymoon Tour

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the first day for Ariana’s pre-sale tickets to go on sale (September 15, 2014) and I had downloaded some app called “Fahlo” so that I could gain access to buy tickets first. After they were purchased, I thought waiting 7 months for the actual show was forever. Turns out, it was. That’s a long time to wait to go to a concert, but it was so worth it. I didn’t have any doubts about her vocals because as most of us know – she’s kind of a powerhouse. With that said though, I definitely have a lot of feels about the show itself.

Let’s start with the positives.

Singing – She sang her songs in a different way than I’ve ever seen her perform them before at any event, show, or performance that I had to stream on YouTube so it’s unlikely that she was lip synching. If she did lip synch at all, it was most likely for “Hands On Me” which is fine because that’s not her best song anyways and doesn’t exactly highlight her range. There were so many times when the audience was just in awe of her vocals and you just couldn’t even look away from her because it was that. amazing.

Dancing – Ari used to get a bad rap for not being a great dancer because of the dance moves that she produced while always performing “Problem.” In her defense though, that’s not really a track where you need to go all out for. I had read articles before about how people have said that she’s actually a really good dancer, but just hasn’t had a chance to show them off. Well, I think it’s because she was saving them for the Honeymoon tour! I was actually super impressed with her moves and she looked adorable as always.

Outfits – For her tour, Ariana worked closely with Emmy-award winning costume designer Marina Toybina who designed the seven looks that she took the stage with. Each outfit was cute, sparkly, and sexy in true Ariana fashion. Also, let’s not forget that each outfit had a pair of matching cat ears, which was probably the best part. Glowing cat-ears were also being sold as part of the merch and it was probably one of the best merch pieces I’ve ever seen. The cat ears glowed in a hue of colors and sometimes even with the beat of her songs. The more I saw them in the crowd, the more I wanted them… that was until Sheila and I learned that they cost $40! We’re assuming that they only cost about $5 or less to make, but whatever – it’s a day later and I still want a pair.

Instrumentals – I couldn’t get enough. Her mini orchestra transitioned into her songs beautifully especially for “One Last Time” and “Tatooed Heart.” I love seeing this kind of thing at shows because I find that artists often get lazy and rely on a DJ or a backing track and having strings there on stage with her brought her songs to life in a really refreshing way. If you want a sneak peek at what this actually looked like, here’s a video that she shared with her fans prior to the tour starting.

Opening Acts – I can’t believe I’m considering this a positive because when I first caught sight of the opening act, I was completely over it. How quickly I change my mind… So Sheila and I ended up missing Cashmere Cat which was a huge bummer. We didn’t know if he’d actually be there or not so the whole thing was very confusing to us. After CC, Rixton took the stage – a UK boyband that we’d never heard of before, but somehow grew to love by the end of their set. Tbh, their songs aren’t all that great, but they can really nail some covers. When I watched them cover “Frontin'” by Pharrell, “Fine China” by Chris Brown, “Uptown Funk,” Beyonce, and Sam Smith, I was sold. The last song of their set was actually a song that played on the radio and was considered Top 40, but we had no idea they were the ones behind it. Embarassingly enough, Sheila and I just thought it was yet another cover.

And now… for the negatives. I know… I just wish I didn’t have any!

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Herschel’s 2015 Spring Collection

It has only been four months into the year, but already I’ve got travel plans on my mind. San Diego next month is just the first adventure, but after that we’ve got so many more months ahead to plan for week-long trips, weekend trips, and even longer trips! The goal is to have one 10-day trip on the calendar this year – where we’re going to go – we’re not sure yet! But there are possibilities. However, the only travel bag I’ve got is my Herschel duffel and there’s no way that will last me for a 10-day trip so it’s back to square one. Once we settle on the bag, we can settle on the trip, right? When I first bought my duffel, it was just after graduating college and I thought it was perfect for my weekend long trips. I think it’s called the Weekender anyways so it was a good fit. However, when that thing is all stuffed, it can be really difficult to lug around. I’m totally THAT girl that has to ask people on my flights to help me stow my bag overwhead and take it back down again. Also, I’m that girl that is lopsided carrying my bag because it’s so heavy and I’m sweating getting to my gate. Herschel just unveiled their new Spring collection and I’m really excited about their hard-shell luggage with wheels!

Now I can’t have all of these things, but if I had it my way – these pieces would be mine!

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I’m An AirBnB User

If being in my mid-20’s has taught me anything, it’s that I procrastinate way more as an adult than I ever did in college. Jennie and I are headed to San Diego next month for our bff Ashley’s 2nd graduation (grad student y’all!) and for an all-around girls’ spring break trip and as of today we have finally solidified our plans. Since the graduation takes place over Memorial Day Weekend, hotels were snatched up almost immediately. Jennie and I are normally “hotel” girls, but I thought this might be a pretty good opportunity to try out AirBnB since I never have before.

Surprising, right? I actually dug back deep into the archives and noticed that I first wrote about AirBnB back in 2013 – so not like it took me two years or anything to try it out myself. As a first time user, I felt really self conscious. Was it supposed to take me THIS long to settle on a place to stay at? Are the photos an accurate representation of what the place actually looks like? I will also note that I nearly messed up three times on the booking because the dates had somehow gotten switched in the process. Close. Call. In the end, we settled on a nice studio for the two of us – really we’re only looking for a place to sleep because we’ll be out and about eating and beaching the entire time.

Nadia told me that for some bookings you have to request to book – as in the host approves YOU. Is there anything more nervewracking? I was anxious for a few hours after that just hoping that Jennie and I would be selected and eventually we were and I received a message from the host via AirBnB right after the approval which put all my worries at ease.

Spring Break is on y’all.

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Proud Owner:

Azure Skies Dactyl Tank – $35

While running errands yesterday, I stopped by the mall to make an exchange on a swimsuit piece that I had recently purchased. I had been getting emails from Aritzia that they were having a huge spring sale so I figured while I was at the mall, I might as well pop in. To my disappointment, it seems like the sale was only online, but that didn’t stop me from perusing the rest of the entire store where every piece was originally priced.

I told myself – I’m just browsing. My wallet is staying in my purse and I’m not going to take it out. There’s no harm in looking. This was very similar to the lie that I used to tell my grandparents when I was a kid and they took me to the grocery store and I told them that I only wanted to “look” at the candy aisle, but promised not to ask for anything. They always caved, of course. And naturally, I did too and purchased this adorable pastel colored and polka dotted tank. I almost walked right past it, but it was sort of… twinkling at me on the corner rack. It looked great with my new Uniqlo jeggings that I have been obsessed with and it’s a perfect wear for both spring and summer. I feel like every summer is a summer devoted to stripes, but I’m really looking forward to bringing back the polka dots and hopefully soon I’ll show you all some of my favorite polka dotted picks for the season!

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What 25 Feels Like

ralph

When it was my birthday last week, Diana and I held a mini photo shoot. I really wanted to capture exactly how I was feeling that day and at this moment of being 25. Also, I purchased my pinata Ralph last year with every intention of smashing it, but I’m such a little hoarder and I didn’t have the heart to do it! So now Ralph and I are celebrating our birthdays together every year. We took a few photos this day, but this one is probably the best. I’ve really matured y’all.

*This is a Birkenstock post. Ever since I bought these, I’ve been struggling to find a way to make these work with my outfits, but I’m not quitting yet.

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Currently Craving:

I’ve been having a major craving for sweets lately…and Seattle. That could only really mean one thing… it’s time to book a trip home! Thanks to Cupcake Royale for posting this delicious picture that appeared on my Twitter feed today and giving me a nice hungry reminder. These chocolate cupcakes have marshmallow dipped in chocolate to top it off. Yum. Nomzzzz.

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I’m 25.

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There is nothing like celebrating a birthday to show you just how many people care about you both near and far. It’s something we often forget about the other 364 days out of the year. 24 was a great year, but I am looking forward to 25 so much more. Everyone keeps asking me how I feel and if I feel older. The answer is yes. I do feel older, but I also want to act older. Your 20’s are supposed to be some of your best years and I’m halfway with so much more to look forward to, but at the same time at 25, I want to be more confident, more assertive, and of course making better decisions for myself and my life. Not a bad plan, right? The 25 year old me is already so different! I always used to emphasize celebrating birthday month and birthday week in high school and college and I’m glad to see that that hasn’t stopped. I felt really spoiled this week by having Kevin visiting, eating out non-stop, and catching up with so many great friends especially ones that happened to be in town from college which I didn’t expect. My former manager even baked me the most delicous cake on my birthday! My only request? Candles, pls! It used to be one of my favorite parts about my birthday and as you get older you kind of stop doing that.

Earlier this week, I was checking out the top posts like I normally do and saw near the top my throwback post that I wrote when I celebrated turning 20. It’s funny to look back on this and remember that back then I had no idea what was going to be in store for me. I didn’t know what living outside of a dorm would like or what graduating college looked like or what having a job would look like. Five years ago… I was a child, basically. I guess the reason why I’ve been blogging for so long is so that I can have moments like these.

Thank you so much to all of my friends and family who made my 25th birthday so wonderful.

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And a bonus photo of the birthday card my lovely parents sent me. Adorableness.

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Wedding Rules You Can Throw Out

What I love about weddings changing over time is that traditions get completely thrown out. I’ve known for a few years now that I wouldn’t have a very traditional wedding and while some people may not be okay with it, I definitely am. I’ve been to more than a handful of weddings and in this time have learned what I like and don’t like. I recently came across this article on Refinery29 about the 10 Wedding “Rules” You Don’t Have to Follow and I couldn’t agree more with their lists.

Wedding Rules I Won’t Be Following: 

  • Having a bouquet toss
  • Having a garter toss
  • Cake cutting

All these things completely take away from the party that you’re supposed to be throwing and can be really stiff and awkward in the night. I’m going to give my bouquet to whoever wants it and I could care less about who shoves cake into the other person’s face first. It isn’t a very attractive photo op to begin with. Just to be clear, if my dear friends decide to have these things be a part of their wedding, I won’t knock it. In fact, I’ll particpate myself, but I could never envision my own wedding with these things included which is just fine because every wedding should be a little bit different. :)

Wedding Rules Being Broken That I Love: 

  • Opting for a first look instead of waiting until the walk down the aisle to see the bride/groom
  • Bridesmaids wearing white. This is OKAY. Guests wearing white to someone else’s wedding is not.
  • Brides being walked down the aisle by BOTH the father and the mother. I find this to be super sweet.

Current Wedding Trend I Don’t Understand:

  • Combining last names

I recently had a Facebook friend tie the knot who was planning on merging half of her last name with half of her husband’s last name in order to make a new last name together. I thought this was pretty bizarre and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, but it’s interesting “trend” nonetheless.

Are there any that I have missed? Do you agree with ones that I both love and hate or disagree?
I’m such a little critic.

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Sometimes You Meet People Twice

There have only been two times in my life where I have managed to sit next to someone on an airplane and then come across them in “real life” afterwards. It’s one of those things that you just never expect to happen, but when it does you’re half surprised and half not. Over Thanksgiving break, I was taking off on a flight to Southern California thinking that I’d just be holed up for an hour reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In.” Fact: I’ve been trying to read this book for months and I’m still not done. As I was starting to get comfortable with the book, I became aware of my seatmates – a mother and her son. A mother… that looked a lot like Sheryl Sandberg herself! Could it be?

As expected, I played it cool and decided to strike up a conversation just asking her what she did instead. Turns out, I was wrong. Not Sheryl. What actually happened next was that we talked the entire hour of the flight, I made no progress in the book at all, and this went down in being one of my favorite memories of meeting a stranger while flying. A couple of weeks ago at brunch, I ended up seeing this woman with her family again at one of my favorite spots (hers too! as we also had a conversation about Borrone on the flight) I didn’t get a chance to talk to her because I wasn’t sure if she would remember me too, but it made me really happy thinking back to my talks with her and recognizing the funny coincidence that we were both in the same place at the same time again in our lives.

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Proud Owner:

Converse

After a couple of months disciplining myself from any shopping trips, I finally caved! And for good reason – cause it was my birthday after all! Last weekend, Kevin and I ventured up to Union Square for a little “light” shopping. I had never been to the Converse store before and wasn’t planning on buying anything because I didn’t think I needed a new pair of sneakers. During a phase in high school I thought that I HAD to have a pair of purple vans and then quickly got over that phase. But while walking through the Converse store, my eyes landed on this pair of Converse. It was nice because it didn’t come in some outrageous bright color and it was a subtle black and white – something that I would wear every day. It had to be mine. And so it was. You can’t tell from this photo, but the black top where my toes are is made out of leather! It only took me 25 years, but I’m now a proud owner of a pair of Converse!

I’m also wearing this with a pair of jeggings that I purchased from Uniqlo. Never in my life did I think I would own a pair of these, but once I slipped these on, I knew that it was a match made in heaven. I would probably wear these every day or every other day if it were socially acceptable. I realize that decision is solely up to me and that no one really cares anyways.

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Blog Roundup

– 8 Graphs That Capture the Truths of Breaking Up [The Bold Italic]

– How addicted to the internet are you? [PsychCentral] I received a healthy score of 14! What did you all get?

– The Secrets of Highly Efficient Napping [i09]

– How my old neighborhood of Capitol Hill is evolving and unfortunately, not in a good way [Seattle Times]

– The science of why Legos are so painful to step on [Quartz]

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Currently Craving:

Oh boy, another late night craving has returned! So tonight I made the mistake of not picking up second dinner for myself when I didn’t eat enough at first dinner because I wanted to make it home in time for the Vanderpump Rules Reunion Pt. 2. The sacrifices I make! And now all I want is just this bowl of pasta pictured above. When I was living in Seattle, I would have no hesitation at all making myself a large pot of pasta late at night at say 9:00 PM and then inviting Veronica over to eat it with me. But now, I’ve reached the ultimate laziness and am making myself wait until the morning when I can actually have breakfast.

Guess it’s a good thing I have an early morning call…

And if you’re looking for the recipe, you’re welcome!

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Currently Craving:

Happy Pi Day!! When I was in college, I would always claim that Pi Day was my favorite school holiday – mostly because I felt no shame in having it for both lunch and dinner. We were completely spoiled by our caterer and would have a selection of 8+ pies to choose from to have with our lunch. Additionally, they’d have one giant apple pie skillet (the largest that I’ve ever seen!) off to the side because HOBviously apple is a popular choice. I had been craving a slice all day and never got it though! Sad day.

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Proud Owner: Birthday Edition

Wilfred Free Yasmin Dress

I’ve been doing such a good job lately of saving my moneys and it’s something that I’m actually really proud of. Other than purchases made on a gift card, I haven’t bought any new clothes for myself in what feels like two months. Turns out that I never really needed to anyways. However, with my birthday just around the corner, I thought I deserved some new pieces and was pretty excited to splurge a bit on things that I knew I would love. This year, I decided that I wanted two dresses – one to wear the night I celebrate my birthday and another one to wear to work on the day of my birthday! Both dresses are from Aritzia and I adore them for very different reasons.

I have a long sleeved sweater dress similar to the one above, but I didn’t feel like it would be casual enough to wear out – plus I don’t want to wear long sleeves out. I decided to opt for this more laid back look with a sexy back cutout. I think it’s kind of fun! I’m really excited to not only wear this dress for my birthday, but for other occasions too. If this dress looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it during a “Closet” post that I’ve done.

The dress below is just really pretty and quirky. I really liked the print and the black and white is very versatile. I tried this dress in an electric blue too which would be great if I were headed to a tropical island, but I didn’t find it to be as wearable as this one.

Talulah Lipinski Dress

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