Category Archives: Life

Dating Problems Specific to 2016

This illustration by Mari Andrew on Cup of Jo made us laugh. Is it missing anything?

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Seattle’s Summer

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Whenever I return home, I never feel like I have enough time. In a perfect world, I would spend every summer in Seattle and then elsewhere for the other seasons! I spent a week this past June like I always do and we’re now sharing some of the photos from our trip. If some of these look familiar to you (because you’ve seen these shots before) it’s because I basically will do the same kind of thing on every trip. We know what we like, obviously! Now if only we could get back there more often…

^^ I will tolerate sushi in the Bay Area, but we all know that it doesn’t exactly compare to Seattle. And even though my go-to place looks like a club inside, the food is 100. This is at Wasabi on 2nd Ave!

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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It took me four years to finally visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. It’s one of the most touristy things I could have done in my hometown and we took a bunch of photos that have all been done before, but I didn’t really care. While I was visiting home this past summer, I took my dad on a special Daddy-Daughter date and the anticipation and hype were HIGH. I was pleasantly surprised that my dad enjoyed it just as much as I did and even got a kick when HE was trying to advise me on how to take better photos.

My sentiments are that the place is beautiful. The sculptures are incredible pieces of art and you get a whole venue full of them as opposed to when you visit random places throughout the country and only get to view one. If you have an interest to go visit the museum, you should do it. If your interest is 5/10, just look at the tagged photos on Instagram to get the same experience. The tickets are kind of pricey as museums go and because my dad is still a WA state citizen he got a discount. I didn’t. -_-

Not to get all mushy gushy, but the best part of this was actually doing this with my dad! Many of you may not know this, but my dad is an artist too so this is something that we really appreciated doing together. I’m looking forward to our next outing together where I drag him along to a KEXP radio station tour the next time I’m home!

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Looking Forward, 2017

This is the post that we both love and hate. There’s something so challenging about making yourself accountable to the things you write on a blog and share with your readers. Also, I don’t exactly enjoy making myself feel vulnerable – a normal feeling that I’m sure most would agree with. I’ve been thinking a lot about my resolutions for 2017 even before the New Year hit. As I’m shopping at UVillage, I’m jotting thoughts down in my notes on my phone. When I wake up, I’ll roll over to grab my phone so that I don’t forget about the resolution that maybe resonated from the dream I just had. What a process, man. I liked the format of how I wrote this post last year including the previous year’s resolutions and the ones I have for this year so we’re going to do that again. What I’ve noticed in these last year’s goals, however, is that they aren’t really measurable. And if there’s anything that I learned from my work life this past year is that you need to have measurable goals and tie numbers to things so that you can track your process; otherwise, they’re kind of useless. I’m seeing this in blog posts that other people have written this year advising people on how to make resolutions. We’ll try to strive for that in our 2017 goals.

2016:

  • Finish the things we start – What did I even start last year? We’re already off to a bad start. The only thing I can remember finishing is Modern Romance. Hooray! The reason why I remember that is because I was talking about that for this bullet in this same post last year. I also finished Gilmore Girls Revival on Netflix. Television series aren’t easy. On that note, here are two things I started that I didn’t finish – Stranger Things and Westworld.
  • Have more of an adult apartment – I didn’t move this year and we’re not mad about it. I am obsessed with my home – probably more than the average person. We didn’t make any extra purchases for the place this year, but we did tidy it up more than usual and added candles to our everyday decor. Happy to announce that I now have a candle queue and it never gets down to zero. We haven’t given up on our ideal dream home yet, but we’re not in any rush. What person living in the Bay Area is?
  • Get to 1,000 Instagram followers – Nope.
  • Go Abroad – We went to Mexico! While we didn’t take any other international trips in 2016, we did explore a new place every month and that felt good. We’re going to continue that in 2017 too.
  • Do all the things you said you were gonna do – We did our hip hop class! We may have put it off for months, but we went and I’m including this in a goal for 2017 too as a stretch goal. Just keep reading!
  • Save Save Save – I’ve got some work to do in this area. I don’t know how people do it. It’s not like I think I actually have a spending problem, but what I’ve realized is that in order to save you need to have a detailed outline and that’s something that I don’t have. Also there are times that you need to spend a little to save in the long run. I’m still trying to grasp this. This is returning for our 2017 goals and this time we have more actionable steps that we’ll discuss in a bit.
  • Work Smarter – I wouldn’t say that we had better work / Yow Yow! balance in 2016, but I stayed at work later less than I have in previous years. I finally started adopting the things that I was preaching, which is that while it’s important to be urgent, it makes no difference if you respond to an email at 8:30 AM the next morning vs. 11:00 PM the night before. If you remind yourself that enough, you’ll be okay.

2017:

  • Get to 1,000 Instagram followers – If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
  • Trim the Fat – For as long as I’ve known, I’ve always had that hoarder mentality in the back of my head. Maybe this was passed down to me or maybe I just don’t like change and letting things go, but we need to be able to let things go. In Q1 of 2017, we’re going to finally drop off the clothes that we don’t wear anymore to Goodwill. As much as I sort of like the record player that I got as a gift from an ex years ago, it’s not my dream record player so we should part ways with that too.
  • Procrastinate Less – It’s unrealistic to just say “don’t procrastinate” because we could never do that so instead we revised it. I learned a pretty important lesson in 2016 when it came to making adult decisions. The longer I put things off, the worse things were. When I didn’t get my car serviced exactly when I should’ve, it was more expensive than I had anticipated. If I had decided upon something later than I should have, I was often making quick decisions that weren’t researched carefully or well thought out – sometimes out of desperation, which was costly. My hope is that if I am more thoughtful about these types of things in 2017 that it will make life easier for me.
  • Back to Dance – We’re rusty; there’s no denying it. Attending Monday Night Workshop this past summer was scary, but it was just the push that we needed. My work life can sometimes be a little chaotic and it doesn’t always allow me to express myself in the outlet that I’m looking for. When I first thought about this goal, I was too ambitious. In 2017, I thought I was determined to choreograph my own piece! We’re now retracting that and I think if we can perform a piece and post it on Instagram, we’d be pretty happy with that. I really hope I don’t end up regretting having this as a resolution.
  • Consider Health and Wellness – When it comes to being fit and doing what’s right for my body, I’m not one for consistency. Over the summer, I felt a spurt of energy that I hadn’t seen in myself before and I started waking up earlier and having a routine of basic exercises and stretches that I would do ahead of starting the day. The more I did this, the more normal it felt and soon it was just habit. That was… until we got to the fall and I started traveling. Doing this routine in a hotel room didn’t exactly feel quite the same. I read so many different blogs everyday – all offering advice and instructions on what to do and how you should do them. My goal is that I’ll be able to collect these over time and I’ll start off by having the same routine everyday, but as I start adding more things, I’ll have a set routine for everyday of the week.
  • Do Something for Yourself Everyday – This is not an easily measurable resolution, but it’s an important one. Sometimes the days are so busy they just kind of pass me by. When something bad happens to me, I let it destroy my entire day like a hurricane. It can be hard for me to see the little things – the good things! I want to be mindful as we head into 2017 those moments that make my day memorable whether that is a text convo in the morning with one of my best friends back home while I get ready, a treat that I can spoil myself with in the afternoon or ending the work day a little bit earlier than normal or at least having a cider or a glass of wine after work. (Only one and occasionally!)
  • Taking Care of Current Relationships – When you’re living in a state different from most of your friends and family, staying in the know can be challenging. What’s even harder is when you make trips back home and you can’t make time for everyone. I’ve had to deal with this for the last 3 years and sometimes I like to think it gets easier, but I could always be doing more. I mentioned this in my last resolution, but one thing that that I try to do is text with different friends in the morning since that’s when I have the most time. I’m also not opposed to a phone call or Facetime sesh either.
  • Actually Save – I’m not great with the savings. I have plenty of friends who are, but I also know people that are in the same boat as me. I thought I was doing something right by saving here and there and for the past few years I’ve gotten by simply by keeping track of things in my head. But it’s not really working the same way that we’d like so it’s time to seek help and I’ve considered Mint, but I’m also considering an app called Digit. It’s also super important to keep track of my finances so once a week, I’ll log into all of my accounts that handle my $$$ just to make sure things are in order. Other people have called this taking a “Money Minute.” When you think about it, it’s not too much of an ask and really – you’re only helping yourself by doing this.

There’s a lot of great posts out right now about how to form your own resolutions and how to keep them. Here is one from GOOD that I wanted to share and stood out to me!

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Bay Area Eats: Souvla

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I was not familiar with Greek food growing up. It just wasn’t something that we ate so when I tried Souvla for the first time, I was hesitant. And actually a little bit self-conscious. Was I going to be the only person in the group that didn’t fall in love with it? The menu is simple. The portions? Large. The decor and interior of the restaurants – beautiful. And the crowds? Long, but reasonable. Souvla is a cult favorite in San Francisco right now and I’ve had the privilege of eating there twice at both locations with the one in Nopa being my favorite.

What I order:

  • Mary’s Free Range Chicken Sandwich – “Granch” dressing, Fennel, Navel Orange, Pickled Red Onion, Pea Shoots, Mizithra Cheese
  • A glass of the Souvla Greek Red wine
  • Frozen Greek Yogurt – Baklava Crumbles & Honey syrup (to share!) for dessert

It’s been awhile since I last went there with Mandi for one of our girl dates, but I’m already developing a craving as I type this.

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Yow Yow! in Big Sur!

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Living in the Bay Area has provided me with so many opportunities to have the quick getaways that I always wanted! In the 3 years that I’ve lived here, I’ve spent time in Napa, Sonoma, Tahoe, Sausalito, Monterey, and Carmel. It’s not like I was in the middle of nowhere when I was living in Seattle, but because I had lived there my whole life, I thought I had all the time in the world to explore places. The problem was that I never did. This is something I’ve taken advantage of more since moving. One of the places that I’ve been itching to get to was Big Sur. I knew it was close and on one of my long weekends from work, I knew it would be perfect for a day trip. I also was set on doing just about anything to see the Bixby Canyon Bridge. Death Cab for Cutie did that to us back in 2008. Sandeep and I set out in the morning and went straight to the beach for our shots. From there, we went to lunch and Glen Oaks, which I totally thought was going to be just a hike in the woods for us, but ended up being a hotel in the woods. Lucky for us, a jaunt around the grounds was about a mile anyways so…it was a mile long hike. Then on our way out – the bridge! We must’ve driven on it back and forth at least four times until we could find parking. We couldn’t leave without it though.

To end the day, Sandeep and I hit up Monterey on the way home for an Italian dinner and then made our way back to South Bay.

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Blog Roundup

Some of these articles are outdated; we were saving them for this!

  • A photo series capturing two sides of a persona for TIFF [Hypebeast]
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A Collection Part 46

I always seem to have the most time to blog around the holidays, but it just so happens that I like being able to post for “A Collection” during this time too. We last did this post about 6 months ago so all of today’s photos are ones that I’ve been collecting and saving since then. Here’s hoping that these photographs tickle you, inspire you, or spark some kind of emotion within you the same way they do to us. Happy New Year! We’re excited for you 2017.

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My Favorite Posts of 2016

Typically when I write “end-of-year” posts, I’m always pulling up what I wrote the year before in another tab as a reference. I already know that I didn’t do too much writing this year so it will be ambitious to find 12 posts that I really liked as opposed to last year when that feeling was so easy for me! That being said, I think there are going to be a few treasures in here that we can highlight. They may not be the posts that rank to the top in terms of views, but they are the posts that I enjoyed writing the most and the ones that you know I probably re-read a dozen times before feeling comfortable posting. Thank you all for another fantastic year… now let’s head into our 8th year of Yow Yow! This blog is now older than my previous Polly Pocket collection (7 years!)

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  • This Happened Tonight – I honestly don’t know if this is enough to consider it one of my favorite posts, but this is me totally just fangirling out over here. It might be on my list of funny moments in 2016, but whatever the case – this needed to belong on SOME list and I chose this. I think I like this post just because it reminds me a little bit of how I used to write in the old days – you know back in 2009/2010 – no filter – just blagh! whatever I felt like spewing out at the time. If you read the post though (and you know me!) then you know I’m suppressing my feelings here for the sake of appearing normal on Yow Yow! If only this weren’t so short lived…

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  • Happy 7th Birthday Yow Yow! – We’ve never celebrated a Yow Yow! anniversary like this before. The number 7 has no significance to me or Yow Yow! but after all this time, you kind of just feel like you need to do something different. We were already doing regular outfit photos, so I thought – why not throw in a balloon?! One of the best parts about this post is that Aritiza decided to feature this photo above for their Instagram account. I was ecstatic, but very quickly commenters started to notice that the balloon didn’t actually look like a “7” and actually looked like… male genitalia. So almost immediately, my excitement did a 180.

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  • Looking Back: Space Girl – It’s a weird thing to be in front of a camera. I’m not a natural by any means. Every shoot, Elynn probably takes on average 15-25 photos and while we sometimes get 2-3 really good ones, the rest are of me opening my mouth, fixing my clothes, talking, being awkward, you name it. We’ve come such a long way… this post was incredibly special to me though. Space Girl was everything to me when we were in college. I never could get comfortable in front of the camera and having this helmet on made me feel invincible. When we stopped using it and went back to outfit shoots, you can plainly see how hard it is for me in these photos, but I will never forget the gateway that Space Girl provided for me to get me to where we are today.
  • Wedding Mondays – I know what you’re thinking. How can you choose a favorite? We’ve highlighted so many incredible wedding videos in 2016, but one that I keep going back to (in addition to Mandi’s of course!) is this one featuring Jean (from Extra Petite) and her husband Nick. To this day, we still can’t wrap our head around the three dresses, but we think it’s amazing. Secondly, Long Haul films is no longer doing wedding videos so that makes this one extra special. (see what I did there?) Also, when I was in Boston this past fall for work, I got to stop by the Boston Library and see this venue myself and we fangirled the  same amount we did for BJ Novak. It was just as amazing in person as it is in the video…
  • Revisiting Casual – I like to look at “Casual” as something we continue to pass on. Every year, I’ve gotta share it with someone new and last year that was Manan. Together, him and I watched the entire series from start to finish and he loved it as much as I did! No surprises there – everyone I’ve ever shown this too has fallen in love with the series so it’s not too late if you decide to hop on the bandwagon. We’re still accepting fan club members. In all honesty, relationships are hard, okay? I’m never 100% content with mine and in 2016 it’s tough to date. If I knew in the long run that I was going to be okay then I would love to have that off my shoulders, but if Casual has taught me anything and if life has taught me anything – it’s that it’s all about timing. We have to let things play out the way they are supposed to. Thank you Casual for continuing to be a positive force in my life year after year.

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  • And When We Give Back – It was such a surreal experience to be speaking with students that had been accepted to Seattle University as the class of 2020. Let that sink in a little bit. When I was a kid, I used to think that college was almost the end all be all. It was hard for me to imagine being a woman with a career – not because I didn’t want to have a career, but because it just seemed so far away. I’m fortunate that my friend who works at admissions asked me to do this panel because it put a lot into perspective. It was a very humbling experience to be giving advice to students as to why Seattle U was a great school for me even though I kind of do this in my real life job too. Additionally, it made me appreciate my parents in a way that I haven’t before. Seeing the parents of these accepted students was a little bit entertaining; they were SO nervous. I wondered how my parents were able to handle me going off to college with such ease and tranquility when that is very clearly not the case for most.

  • To Be a “Leftover” Woman in China – Never have I ever ugly-cried so hard over a YouTube video, but this struck a chord with me. It’s 2016 and the pressures of settling down or being in a committed relationship are still very much a priority for most. It’s overwhelming at times! I loved hearing the stories of these young women – young women that I can identify with and find to be so brave for doing something like this. I’m glad the video had a happy ending too, a newfound perspective for their parents.
  • A Girl and Her Bed – I never write pieces like this and I remembered being very on the fence about it because it seems abnormal for me to dispel some serious feelings about a part of my daily routine. In reading it over though, I think the post is kind of beautiful. I’m using words that I don’t normally use and I’m being vulnerable in a way that I haven’t with Yow Yow! before.

  • “The Panic in Central Park” – Is this my favorite TV moment in 2016? Yes. I must have watched this episode at least 25 times and at one point, once a day for a week. We had given up on Girls the season before this one, but after hearing about how much commotion this episode stirred, we hopped back into it. Luckily, for this episode, you didn’t need to know what was happening before it. It was like it’s own standalone episode and it was a beautiful piece. Marnie may be one of the most annoying characters in the series, but in “The Panic in Central Park” she was all of us. We’ve all had that scenario – some version of it, sometimes shorter or longer or more fun or less fun than what Marnie had, but we all got to the same theme at the very end of it.
  • Our Twenties: How We’re Doing – “Be good to yourself” – a friend once advised me. Too many times in a year, I find myself complaining about how I don’t have this or don’t have that. How annoying for those around me that have to listen to this! The truth is, your 20’s aren’t easy. They were never supposed to be so it’s important for us to cut ourselves some slack. Earlier in 2016, I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions. This post though was sort of like our midpoint review. Initially this started out as a mini-project with Casper, but I ended up actually enjoying this more than I thought I would and had a lot of fun with it.
  • Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown – I have a thing for pieces that remind me of my sweet Grandma Ruby. This profile by Mantai Chow truly captured a look into the life of an elderly living in Chinatown. I remember watching this video and thinking back to how I never worried about those that lived there because they had what I believed to be a strong community. In reality though, it seems much more lonelier than I thought. These individuals are more brave than I could ever be especially this woman profiled. Hearing her story was one of the highlights in Yow Yow’s 2016.

  • Let’s Talk About New York! – We made it to 12 posts! With all the trips we took this year, how could we not include our favorite one? It took me 26 years to get to New York, but I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling partner and tour guide. Mandi and I took the next step in our friendship and explored New York City together. She was a pro – obviously having done grad school there and me? Well, I could barely have a successful run on the subway without having a mini freak out. There was never a moment for us to stop because we were constantly on the move. And even though we had made a very packed itinerary for our trip, we only ended up doing half the things we were supposed to. I guess that just means we have to go back.
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Let’s Get Shmandied!

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This will be the first of many posts highlighting some of our trips from this year! I couldn’t wait to celebrate Mandi’s Bachelorette Party with her this past spring in beautiful Palm Springs! It was my first time there and it did not disappoint. It was everything I could’ve wanted in a weekend – sun, pool, drinks, and girl time. The weekend had a nice blend of activities and a little bit of something for everyone, but more importantly, everyone there just wanted to make sure that Mandi had the best last weekend before she was completely off the market forever.

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Evan

 

This is one of the more powerful ads I’ve seen in preventing gun violence in a long time. I remember feeling floored after watching it the first time around that I watched again. Thank you Herman for sharing this!

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Yow Yow’s Top 10 Posts of 2016

If only the posts I wrote in the month of December were written earlier…right? December is always the month when I have the most time to write posts, but that doesn’t seem to count for too much! Actually I have really enjoyed sharing my top 10 posts over the last couple of years on Yow Yow! because even as I work on the post, it ends up being a surprise to me! All the time, I’m wrong about what I think will do well or will be stunned when something I wrote that I didn’t spend too much time on goes viral. Every. Time!

This year, we finished out Wedding Wednesdays with Mandi as she finally got married in September! However, her and I are both planning on writing one more post to conclude things. Still, her series continued to do really well in 2016 and you’ll see that reflected in the rankings below:

With that, here are our top 10 posts from the year 2016:

  1. Wedding Wednesdays – Engagement Shoot Adventure
  2. Is It Time To Make A Move? (I know…we’re a tease!)
  3. We’re Not Moving to Squarespace
  4. Wedding Wednesdays – “It’s a Fritz Bernaise”
  5. Wedding Wednesdays – You’re Invited!
  6. Wedding Wednesdays – Building A Wedding Website
  7. Our Twenties: How We’re Doing
  8. Happy 7th Birthday Yow Yow!
  9. Looking Back: Space Girl
  10. Wedding Wednesdays – We Can Have Our Cake and Eat It Too!
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