Tag Archives: ME

Good Good Hair

Top – Brandy Melville / Denim – Urban Outfitters 

Social media is a funny thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a piece on a friend in their photos and have messaged them immediately to be like, “What is this? Where did you get it? How much was it?” That’s what this Brandy Melville top was for me and my friend Wanita. And what’s even more funny is the piece that I heard about it from someone else is the piece that people will then in turn ask me about – it all come around full circle. For the last year, bandanas have been my favorite accessory. They’re inexpensive and there are so many ways to wear them as part of your outfit – whether that’s around your neck, in your hair, or even tied to your bag. I can’t live without them.

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Outside the City / Inside Oakland

Top – Forever 21 / Leggings – Aritzia / Boots – J. Crew

I say this all the time, but I’m so fortunate to live in a city where it’s so easy to get to and from other places. Come September, I’ll have lived in the Bay Area for four years now! One area that I haven’t spent too much in is actually Oakland, which is very very close to me. While Ashley was visiting back in April, she happened to me over there for a conference and we took full advantage of being in the city. It started with a hotel date. It ended with 4 meals in less than a full day and an exploration of every part of the neighborhood. We felt like we had seen a lot of it, but I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen it all so I’m looking forward to the next time I can return and with a list of the restaurants we still have to hit up.

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The Moment I Found Out I Wasn’t White

I was advised a long time ago to keep not only my personal stories to myself, but also my views on politics to myself and away from social media. It doesn’t feel right anymore to stay silent. For months, I retweeted and quoted tweets never taking that firm of a stance on Yow Yow, but the news of the weekend has taken a toll on me. I’m distracted at work. I’m losing sleep because I am consumed by what is happening in our country. You can ignore all of this for a long time and focus just on what directly affects you, but the truth is – this affects all of us.

*****

I was 5 years old and in Kindergarten when it was pointed out to me just how different I was. My hair wasn’t brown or blonde, but black. My classmates had similar clothes to me and we were the same size. I imagined that everyone could speak two languages at home. I just didn’t know if it was the same as mine. No one had ever treated me as if I were different up to this point. You were considered the “bully” of our class. My parents told me to not engage and back then, I hadn’t discovered how confrontational I could be yet. I boarded the bus like I did every day and took a front seat because the sooner I could get off the bus, the faster I could get to my seaweed wrapped rice crackers that Grandma always put out for me as my afternoon snack.

You singled me out. Pointed to me. “Go sit in the back of the bus.” An order.

“Why?”

“You don’t belong up here.”

*****

Every day I climbed on top of the chair to talk to my mom as she prepared dinner for our family and she would ask me about my day. “Today, he told me to sit in the back of the bus. Why did he say this to me?”

What I remember is the glass shattering moment that I discovered how white I wasn’t. The part I don’t remember is the look on my mother’s face.

What I didn’t realize until I was much older was how much I tried to self-correct myself after this happened to me. For years in my childhood, I pushed myself to be athletic because I thought it was who I was supposed to be. I never liked participating in sports, but all of my caucasian friends were in cross country and track. I didn’t want to bring rice for lunch; I wanted a Lunchables. I stopped speaking Vietnamese until I forgot how to completely. Instead of embracing the culture that I grew up with, I did all that I could to be anything, but different so as to never feel as isolated as I was during that moment when I was five.

*****

I think about this story all the time, but I never thought to ask my mother about how she felt when I came to her until Sunday. I wish I had a recording of this phone call, not to share it widely, but because it was so honest and meant a lot to me to hear her own point of view. What she told me was that she never forgot that moment. Like me, she too, thinks about it. Back then, she couldn’t go too into depth about race or Rosa Parks or the kind of hatred that could live within a child without them truly understanding. I wouldn’t have understood it fully and I sure as hell could not have taken that discussion with me back to school. She admitted to me that she knew my life could be challenging and that I would have to always work harder and be smarter just to be considered equal to my peers. The expectations for me would be much higher and that I might endure more instances like this in my life in different forms. And I did.

*****

So I watched what reminded me of a witch hunt this weekend play out on Twitter. I read the articles about the young man named “Peter” who decided to March at UVA on Friday with a torch and then claim that he’s not the angry racist we see in that photo. And I wondered how a man this young could be taught to be this way – to have this kind of hatred in his heart. Who taught my 5-year-old bully to also have this same way of thinking? I’ve tried to be patient. I tried to understand and read the point of views from both sides to have this awareness, but I’m disappointed and frankly, heartbroken. I never want to have to explain this to my future son or daughter the way my own mother had to with me.

So your vote wasn’t the same as mine. It’s not about our egos and our pride, but let’s move forward. Let’s just agree that we need a better future than what is our current state right now.

And because this is an important recap from the weekend…

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Wedding Mondays

We are overdue for a Wedding Mondays post and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this one with you all this morning. I’m actually headed to a wedding this weekend – my last one of the season! – however, before we get excited about that one, I wanted to express how much it pained me to have to miss the nuptials of Alyssa and Eric. I’ve known both of them since my freshman year of college and even remember meeting Eric during my first week at orientation. They both have been great friends to me over the years so it was difficult when I learned I couldn’t make their special day.

This video was everything though. I’m elated to see how special their day was and it was nostalgic thinking about how their relationship blossomed into what is now a marriage when I look back on their years of dating in college. Alyssa was a stunning bride and I’ve never seen Eric look so handsome. These two are so perfect together <3

Thank you both for sharing some amazing photos and this video to catch me up on what I missed. I wish you two a very happy marriage and a lifetime of happiness together.

 

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A Trip to the Color Factory!

I was introduced to the Color Factory in mid-July about a couple weeks before the actual opening through a press email. The Pop-Up was organized by Oh Happy Day– a team of creatives that I’d been following for years. They’re famous for all of their DIY ideas and in general just bringing more color and happiness to things. When I heard that they were behind this project and collaborating with other well-known artists in this space, including Geronimo Balloons, I didn’t even bother trying to dig for more information. I bought the tickets the first chance I got and for Day 1!

By the time it opened officially, they were completely sold out for the month of August. Interestingly enough, they only planned to be open for one month, but decided to extend through September because of demand. Personally, I love things like this. Not only is it something to do, but it’s fun to be a part of a pop-up experience! The collaborators put so much work into it and it’s beautiful. People of all ages will love it. In a way it’s sort of like a giant playground for adults.

Here’s what I love about it:

  • When you get tickets, you select a designated time and you need to arrive within 30 minutes of your window in order to get in. This really stressed me out because it was the first day and trying to rush there in San Francisco traffic, I wasn’t confident if I could make it. It ended up working out and the reason why they do this probably is to control the crowds. During each half hour, they know how many people are actually going through the pop-up. The best part is that it never got too crowded! I could get the pictures that I wanted and I didn’t feel rushed. I could just go at my own pace.
  • It can be educational. Each piece has a little description and a note about the artist so that you can learn as you go along.
  • It’s interactive! There’s a lot that you can see, but you’re also taking part as the creator too.
  • Going through the pop-up takes about an hour, which I think is pretty decent for the ticket price. I heard the Museum of Ice Cream takes around 30 minutes, which doesn’t seem very long to me.
  • Everyone is so friendly! The staff was so incredibly nice and you can just tell that they’re having a great time with you. There’s a lot of love and passion that went into making this for the people of San Francisco.
  • There are designated areas within the pop-up that allow you to take photos hands-free! All you have to do is get a photo card when you arrive and program it with your name and email address and then at these spots, you would scan your card and then a timer will count down until it takes your photo. It’s great because you don’t have to take a bunch of selfies and you can do group photos altogether. The area where they can improve is probably being a little bit more clear about where to stand in the photo so as to not include other people or be off center.

Things that could be better:

  • The snacks throughout are a nice touch, but it’s not a lot. It’s no Museum of Ice Cream. You’re not really going for the food anyways.
  • It can be pricey! It’s a fun experience for sure, but ticket prices are higher than what I thought they’d be.
  • When I said earlier that it’s a giant playground, I really meant it. As cool as this pop-up is, I imagine that there’s a lot of germs around because you’re touching so many things, you’re even doing a scratch and sniff and there’s a ball pit. Maybe… take a shower when you get home.
  • It’s sold out already and you have to put your name down for September. :(

Also – just to note, this place is a Boomerang heaven! I actually ended up taking more Boomerangs than photos and the reason why I’m limiting some of them here is because I think you should go and see it for yourself! I definitely don’t want to spoil it for you. Don’t make the same mistake that I did though. On your way out, you can continue the “color tour” by picking up a map that will take you to other colorful spots all around San Francisco in conjunction with The Color Factory opening!

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Cool Carson City

I would not have ever known about Carson City if one of my friends hadn’t relocated there earlier this year. In fact, I really knew nothing about it and for some time even thought it was in the same vicinity as Lake Tahoe. Close enough, right? A few of my friends and I took the weekend off to venture over there to see her new life. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and living in Seattle, you got to be pretty close to it without having to go to far. I wouldn’t exactly say that Carson City was in our backyard though. I’ll admit, the drive was hard for (especially being the driver) and even though you’re not that far, the difference in cultural views and how you’re treated by other locals was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.

That being said, I enjoyed the time away and spending time with my favorite girlfriends.

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SF Eats: Flour + Water

Wowowow new title because we live in San Francisco now! Truth though – Flour + Water has always been in San Francisco so that hasn’t changed. The first time I ever ate at Flour + Water, my friends had made a reservation for a late Sunday evening dinner a month in advance. I’ve pretty much been an early bird all my life and on Sundays, I like to eat dinner at 4PM! Since my first instance was a reservation so far in advance, the impression I got was – wow this is some serious San Francisco restaurant. It is, but there are ways around it so that you can at the restaurant WHEN you want.

My office is nearby and by a stroke of luck, I happened to come upon the restaurant with Leslie right when it had opened on Friday at 5:30 PM. We were seated right away at a communal table. If you’re a lover of delicious pasta, you need to make your way here. I’m convinced that I’ve never had a bad dish here and you know what? I’m convinced that eating there at 5:30 PM on a Friday tastes much better than waiting a month to eat there on a Sunday at 8PM. The menu is always changing – likely by season – so it’s fun to try all of their new dishes.

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A Collection Part 48

48 posts and counting! I’m convinced that writer’s block is a thing that happens to everyone. I can still remember being in college and becoming upset at myself when I knew I had waited until the last minute to complete a paper. Typical. Writing always came easily when it wasn’t out of desperation and when it wasn’t at a time that I needed it the most. These “A Collection” posts are my favorite because they don’t ever require writing, but I like to write a little piece to go along with it anyways. It’s nice to just sift through a bunch of images and decide on the spot if I want to include them or not. I will usually know within a second and if I’m thinking about one for too long, that might also mean something too. I like to think that all of the images represent the mood that I’m in or a period in my life. I never actually write out the exact feeling at that moment and we’re completely okay with that. If you read into these a bit though, you can always sense a type of pattern.

Enjoy!

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July Favorites

Whoa! The last time we did this was in April for March – we really dropped off on this. Sorry about that.

Favorite TV Show: The Bold Type

You would think that because I’m working full-time and writing part-time on Yow Yow! that there wouldn’t be much time left over for my television. False. This is a terrible thing for me to say and my parents and my childhood self would probably be appalled by this statement, but my TV is one of the most important things in my home. It’s my constant background noise. It’s the one thing that I never get tired of and there’s always something to watch. When Kevin was in town a couple of weekends ago helping me move, we decided to upgrade my 32″ from college to a solid 49″ and it is life changing. In case you were wondering just how serious I was about my television, now you know.

Freeform (formerly ABC Family) recently debuted a new show and I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t all that convinced that this would be something I’d enjoy, but I’ve watched other shows on Freeform that I’ve liked and it deserved a fair chance. The show centers around three women working at a magazine that resembles Cosmopolitan. They each have three different roles, social media, writer, and assistant each with their fair share of issues – like the rest of us! I identify the most with Jane, who has recently been promoted to a writer and is a mid 20-something who just snagged herself the hottest boyfriend (also a writer in the same building!)

Anyways, I’ll let you check out the show for yourself, but four episodes in and I’m hooked already.

Favorite Album: SZA – CTRL

SZA is one talented individual. We actually wrote about listening to her album all weekend at the end of June – happy to announce that not much has changed and I am still very much listening to her every day.

Favorite Product – Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color in Air Kiss – $19

Honestly, I haven’t bought any new products lately! I will admit that I have a lot that I hoard over the years and since I’m using all of them at the minimum, I don’t finish my products that quickly. I’m always open to trying new stuff though and I love when brands email me to see if I’d be open to sampling. The problem ends up being that I say yes very often. I’m still very new to the lipstick game and even though I bought this back in December, I’m still very much in love with it. It’s a good lipstick for “most days,” but not everyday use. I’ll only wear it if I feel like it makes sense for the outfit that I’m wearing, but more recently – I put it on before I did a fitting for my bridesmaid dress at Weddington Way just so I could look a little bit more done up.

Favorite Closet Item: Wilfred Beaune Dress – $185

This isn’t the type of dress that I would normally gravitate towards because of it’s length, but lately, I’ve been more open to this style especially for the weddings I’ve been attending. I bought a dress for Jennie’s wedding a few months ago, but I’ve had slight reservations about it – just that it wasn’t “the one.” I know, I’m kind of weird like that. I happened to be in Aritzia last weekend though for their sale and while perusing decided to just give this a shot. It fit like a glove. I felt pretty and like a little princess with the pleating! The color made my complexion feel and look warmer than it really was. I left the store that day without it because of the price, but I couldn’t stop thinking about. I published me trying it on to my Instagram stories to which 5 of my friends had responded “I hope you got it!” I texted my mom a photo of me in the dress. When I returned home that evening, I realized I had made a mistake leaving it behind and promptly ordered it the next morning. Interestingly enough, the dress on the website is selling out! Looks like we snagged it just in time. ;)

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Chambray and Blue

Chambray – Canyon Child / Turtleneck + Skort – Aritzia / Keds

It’s funny sometimes that I can look back at some of my photos and remember exactly what I was feeling that day and the emotions that were running through me. Sometimes it’s plain as day written across my face, but other times there are instances where I may be feeling nervous or anxious and either I can hide that well when being shot, or it’s very visible in photos and you can tell that I’m uncomfortable.

This one is a good one though! During my time off before working, I met Leslie down by the Embarcadero for lunch at one of our favorite spots – Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building. Okay, we’ve been there twice, but we love it so now it’s our thing. Having that time off is something that I’ll always tell people was the best thing ever for me. It felt great to not have to worry about the responsibilities of work in a current job or even a future job yet until you start. I remember waking up every morning for two weeks feeling energized and able to look forward to something that could be exciting for me. I was the happiest I’d been in a long time and it completely shows in this photo. Thanks Leslie for capturing me at one of my best moments!

As for details on the outfit… I really took a shot in the dark with this one! I wasn’t inspired by anything I saw and I had never put something like this together. That turtleneck is my favorite piece ever and I combined it with another Aritzia skort. San Francisco, especially down by the water) can be pretty chilly and windy at times so instead of opting for a light jacket, I threw on my favorite chambray from Gelesia’s line “Canyon Child.” Not wanting to be too dressy in boots or heels, I decided to casual it up with my Keds. Overall, this color combo just works.

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Limited Too’s Pop Up

Limited Too will always hold for a very special place in my heart. It was the first retailer that I truly felt that I could identify with as a young girl growing up in the 90’s and discovering my own style. It meant so much to me that it was the first employer I ever had when I was just 16 years old and could finally start working. I lasted a whole three months before I decided to throw in the towel and jump ship to another retailer literally across from the store. Even though I wasn’t there anymore, I wanted Limited Too to continue on being the place that it was for young girls. Not too long afterwards, the store went through a name change to “Justice” and then ultimately was bought by Bluestar Alliance in 2015. It seemed like their footprint was disappearing from malls almost everywhere.

Now, word has dropped this week that Limited Too is staging a comeback and I couldn’t be more onboard. Any by onboard, I mean supporting from afar because I can no longer fit into their clothes. Centered around back-to-school shoppers, Bluestar has announced that Limited Too is coming back for a limited time only mobile pop-up! The pop-up will tour around New York City starting August 6th until August 10th.

The Limited Too back-to-school pop-up will start on 3rd Avenue, between 59th and 60th Streets (on August 6), and then will be stationed in Herald Square (on August 7 and 8), moving to Union Square (August 9) and finally ending the tour with a stop near Flatiron (August 10).

I cannot wait to see what their new merchandise will look like! The styles in which I wore as a kid and even the ones that I sold when I worked there will have vastly changed from what kids might be looking for now, but you can definitely assume that the glitter will be everywhere and that graphic tees and slogans are still a hot item.

[Source]

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Every Day in San Francisco

It’s official! I’m into week 2 of living in San Francisco and no surprise here – I don’t hate it. In a way, life has sort of been upgraded in a number of ways, new job, new city, new commute for awhile (not much of an upgrade,) new home, AND new photographer! I met Jimmy during my first day at work through someone on my team. He’s sort of “the photographer” for outings and events at the company and also just enjoys it in his spare time, but was trying to get more into fashion photography so of course I volunteered myself as a subject. I was really grateful to have had a number of friends / coworkers that I could go to at my last workplace to always take pictures for me, but now that I’m in SF, there’s something vastly different about these photos. I love incorporating parts of the city – the brick, the middle of the street shots, the signs.

Having our office in the Mission District means that we have so many elements to work with. Even though I haven’t known Jimmy for too long, we make a good team. I quickly warmed up to him and have felt pretty comfortable with him shooting me ever since. I’m not sure if it helps that we didn’t know each other too well or that his camera is 10x better than my iPhone, but whatever’s happening is working!

This is from our 2nd shoot together as he’s also the one that shot me in West Hollywood previously too.

Dress – Aritzia / Sneakers – Keds

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West Hollywood Transformation

Dress – Free People / Bag – Forever21 / Heels – Vince Camuto

Recognize this dress?! It’s the same one that I wore to my company’s holiday party back in 2015 and today – I’m still loving it and just excited that I was able to get a second use out of it. I was informed a week before I started my new job that three days into my first week, I’d be heading to LA with my new team and to bring something that was either business casual or a little bit more formal. I think I packed three options for this event even though it was just a one-night thing because I wasn’t really sure and needed to compare with my new colleagues. This emerald lace number will forever be a prized possession for me! I still remember stumbling upon it randomly when I was in desperate need of a holiday party dress and almost didn’t buy it because it was labeled as a “slip.” Don’t be fooled though because it is in fact just a dress (rather a more fitted one) but still just as classy.

Also forgive me because I’m still trying to learn how to curl my hair and I’m definitely not a pro.

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Your Beauty in 3’s

Imagine if you were tasked to pick three items from your beauty routine to use while getting ready that day. If I’m being honest, I haven’t even done that, but it’s something that I’ve thought about it. Picking three items would mean that I could prioritize the things I wanted to highlight on my face. Picking three things would significantly cut down on my “getting ready” time in the morning and lastly, it just allows me to not spend so much time thinking about the way I look. Cause it doesn’t really matter that much right? If you had to choose, what would you pick! So I didn’t challenge myself with this, but I was able to get halfway there and pick three items!

I didn’t want to focus only on the face or the eyes so instead, I chose three different areas:

  • Shu Uemura eyelash curler – hold the eyeliner and mascara
  • Chloé “Love Story” rollerball perfume
  • Benefit hydra-smooth lip color in “Air Kiss”

Now, I’m not sure when an opportunity or an event would arise where it would make sense to only wear these three things because I realize it’s an odd three to select, but who knows – maybe we’ll just give it a shot someday.

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Yow Yow! in Pescadero / Half Moon Bay

I hate the word funemployment so we’re just going to call this period of my life the time that I took off. Between securing my new job and actually starting, I didn’t have enough time to take an extravagant trip or even fly back home for a little bit. Living in California though makes it easy to get a little further out for the day. I only had two weeks before starting and every day was packed with something – errands, blogging, getting myself mentally prepared for my next job, but something that was really important to me was taking a day for myself and having a day trip. The internet gave me a lot of great ideas for day trips that I could take in my area and I picked Pescadero because it was a pretty unlikely spot that I may never have chosen on my own if not for this moment. I knew I wanted to be near the water and see some sights, but not spend all day getting there. What I didn’t know is that Pescadero’s main attractions are a couple of blocks long. Our day there ended before we really just got started! Luckily for us, Half Moon Bay wasn’t too far and it was another spot that I’d always wanted to see. The us I’m referring to is my friend Jason who was also “taking time off” at the same time I was! I could’ve done this trip alone, but it was more fun with him and he agreed to my entire agenda.

Apparently, Pie Ranch is a major attraction for Pescadero so I needed to see this in person. Honestly, I only wanted a slice, but on the day that we went, there happened to be a field trip for kids in a summer camp and they snagged all of the slices before we could grab one. Hence, why we were forced to order a whole pie. To make matters worse, there were also kids behind us and while we offered to split our whole pie with them since we only wanted a slice, kids are advised to always avoid strangers so…

If you look closely, it looks like these rocks are kind of hairy!

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