Live. Learn. Love.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


It's been about a month now since I started volunteering, and this week has been challenging. With my community of volunteers, we live out simple living, which is one of our main values. These past couple of weeks, I have truly embraced simplicity. I changed my spending habits such as cutting back on dining out. I definitely appreciate simple living because it helps me see joy in simple pleasures.

I don't even notice my changed lifestyle at times. We find free things to do on the weekend using Time Out New York, a really useful magazine if you're looking for things to do in NY. Just last weekend, I went kayaking with a friend in the Hudson River. It was great to be outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather. It doesn't even bother me that I can't afford to go to concerts or movie theaters on the weekend. The best things in life really are free.

But this week I have been feeling tempted to go shopping. Maybe it's just a combination of factors creating this urge in me to consume. Work was hectic, and I worked all seven days of this week. My weary state of mind is causing me to think I need to buy something pretty to cheer me up. I am hoping that after a full day's rest tomorrow, I will be back to my normal self and embracing simplicity.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NY vs. LA

I've noticed a couple differences between NY and LA.

People: New Yorkers talk fast, walk fast, and just about do everything in a NY minute. Even when there's a stop sign, there's nothing stopping pedestrians from getting a head start across the street. Los Angelenos tend to take their time and stop to smell the roses.

Weather: In LA, there's no need to check to weather on a daily basis. It rarely changes -- in the coastal area the weather stays at a mild temperature year round. But in NY, you better check the weather forecast frequently. It can change from hot and sultry to a chilly day in just a couple of hours.

Food: I can't really compare the food since I had a more flexible budget in LA, but Manhattan definitely has some overpriced eateries. Ramen at Ippudo will cost $14. I definitely miss the convenience of Koreatown in LA. It's about a 25 minute drive from home. I haven't even ventured out to Flushing, Queens which is NY's Koreatown. I hope to go soon though. It's about a 1.5 hour subway ride from where my apartment. I do appreciate the diverse communities; I can walk one block west to enjoy some tamales or one block east to enjoy dim sum.

Religion: There's a lot of diversity in both cities. Hopefully I can venture out to various places of worship and learn more about other religions. I've been two different churches, and I noticed that one pastor spoke with a fiery passion, which is something I'm not used to back home.

Lifestyle: There's definitely a lot more things to do in NYC. And it's relatively inexpensive, which is surprising because NY is the most expensive city to live in the United States. You can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, people watch in Manhattan, or hop on a ferry to Governor's Island.

I don't want to bore you with constant chatter about NY this and LA that...

This is my update until next time!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Went exploring this weekend around NY.


On Crosby Street.

Housing Works Bookstore, Soho.

Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New York, New York

Hello! I apologize for the lack of updates. I moved to New York this past weekend, and I have been running around the city getting used to my new surrounding. In this coming year, I will be volunteering. There's going to be many challenges, but it will definitely be a rewarding experience. I am ready to serve. Hopefully I will post up photos soon. In the meantime, please enjoy some photos from Flickr.

Photo credit: David Teter

Photo credit: Keaton Andrew

Photo credit: Von Schnauzer

Well, I'm off to do some soul searching!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Last week, I visited Chicago with my mom for a few days, and I definitely enjoyed the trip. Some of the trip highlights were: visiting the Arts Institute of Chicago, touring Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio, and going on the architecture boat tour. Public transportation was easy to use; I mainly googled the directions the night before and asked the locals for help. Sometimes we used a taxi when we were pressed for time, and it was relatively inexpensive because everything is close together. People in Chicago are friendly and helpful. My former supervisor is from Chicago, so she was helpful in recommending where to stay, go, and eat. Here are some photos from the trip:

Waiting for the boat tour.

On the boat ride learning about the various buildings.

I brought my traveling gnome with me. Mom asked if they came in smaller sizes. I think she's embarrassed that I bring it along every time we travel. :D

In front of The Bean or also known as Cloud Gate. I have been wanting to go to Chicago for many years to see The Bean. It was definitely worth the wait.

We walked through the Millenium Park to visit the Art Institue of Chicago. They have so many wonderful artists. I wanted to stay there the whole day. Thank goodness I was allowed to take pictures inside.

Standing in front of a home that Frank Lloyd Wright designed.

President Obama was in town for his 49th birthday. We got stuck in traffic because he was passing through. So we hopped out of the bus and waited for him to drive by. There were so many cars that I didn't which one he was in. Mom just waved to every car hoping to catch a glimpse of Obama.

We had a great view of the John Hancock building from our hotel window.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The weather was for the most part good. It was hot at times, but the light rain would cool down the weather. Sightseeing was fun, transportation was convenient, and the food was delicious.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trip to the Getty Villa

I'm happy to say that I am now done with my summer classes. This weekend has been enjoyable thus far. I've been catching up with friends and eating good food.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Getty Villa in Malibu. I went on the last day of their Aztec Exhibition; they definitely brought in some note-worthy pieces. The Aztecs were known for their human sacrifice rituals, and so their huge statues with enlarged organs reflected that.

I would highly recommend that you visit the Villa if you get the chance. Admission is free; you just have to make reservations in advance online. I feel like I am in Italy when I visit.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I love this MV. I love Ingrid Michaelson.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blue Lips

Blue lips, blue veins
Blue, the color of our planet
From far, far away
Blue lips, blue veins
Blue, the color of our planet
From far, far away

Blue, the most human color

-Regina Spektor

I was listening to this song while walking, and I think it's one of most beautiful yet simple songs ever written. I just grabbed some old photos that reminded me of the lyrics.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Sometimes I save images onto my desktop of photos I really like. Here are some of my current favorites:

I've had this as my desktop since freshman year of college. Yikesabee. That's a long time. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it because I love Feist and the scene is so peaceful.
(Forgot where I got this, but she is so elegant):

My Kate Spade flats that I bought off ebay:

From my camera phone: A tree blocking the street

Camilla Belle:

From Garance Dore

From Sartorialist (maybe this will be my next haircut):

TGIF. Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tres Chic

Paris, when it sizzles. . . is a great resource for current fashion inspiration. Top-notch photographers such as Scott Schuman share their amazing skills at capturing wonderful fashion moments. I just like to oogle at the pretty dresses and towering heels that fashionistas seem to effortlessly wear. I can barely pull off wearing 2 inch heels. Perhaps I just need more practice, but I think I'll just stick to my flip flops for the time being. These nude dress are so avant-garde and so French. I don't even know how to speak French, but these photos just make me want to speak the language and eat buttery croissants. If only I can fly off to Paris for a day or two...

Photo credits:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Livin'

I've been trying take it easy the past few days. I finished a test last week, so I decided to take a break. I went to the gym, did a little shopping, and listened to Leona Lewis' Echo. And today I treated myself to a skin care facial. I can't stand the pain of extractions, but summer is not good to my skin. Afterwards, my mom and I headed out to Nickel Diner, located in Downtown Los Angeles. We tried their famous Smac and Cheese and Maple Syrup Bacon donuts. Rich and decadent. The waiting line can get long so it's best to go earlier than later. Plus my mom told me the last time she came here they ran out of their popular donuts!

Here are my recent buys:

Cardigan: Nordstrom. Necklace and earrings: Forever 21.

Side note: It bugs me that I can't seem to rotate the bottom picture counter-clockwise. Ah well.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cute Music Video

Just wanted to share with you a cute music video "As a Man" by Gummy, a Korean pop singer.

Starring actress Jung Ryeo Won and Kim Hyun Joong.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dance Dance

A blog post by Adore Vintage reminded me of my favorite dancing scenes on screen. Now thanks to Youtube, we don't have to whip out our DVDs and fast forward to our favorite scenes.

Duckie dancing in a record store. I love his energy and pizazz.

Singin' in the Rain. Real talent, a rarity nowadays.

Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Step At a Time

San Francisco homes

Presidio, the Palace of Fine Arts


While I am at home running errands and taking a class, some of my friends are on vacation! They must be having a great time. A former professor of mine once told my class that she liked to live vicariously. I think that is true for many. That's why I like reading blogs and oogling over travel photos.

A few months ago, I went to San Francisco with my mom and brother. We stayed at the Fisherman's Wharf and tried out various restaurants. Some of my favorites include: Good Mong Kok Bakery (delicious dim sum at inexpensive prices) and the Boudin Cafe (rave-worthy clam chowder in their sour dough bread). I am not particularly picky with food; I eat just about anything that's healthy and/or delicious. We were in the mood for some Chinese food, so we headed out to R & G Lounge. They did not disappoint; good food, fast service, and a warm ambience. I really liked their R&G Special Beef.

If you can't venture out for a vacation, no worries! A day trip to the beach or hiking a local trail will suffice. I read in an Elle magazine that it doesn't matter if you go or not - planning a trip will boost your happiness. How wonderful is that?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Anne Frank: Writer

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! A fellow blogger asked about my Cambodia photos awhile back. Here is a link to my post on my volunteer trip:


“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” - Anne Frank

Photo credit:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Hooray for the weekend! I studied all week, and took a test today. I thought my head was running around in circles, but a walk around the neighborhood helped clear my head.

Summer is here, and that means super oily skin. So I changed up my skin care routine a bit. A few key things I've been trying to stick to: exfoliate, treat, and moisturize. I'm a bit lazy when it comes to taking care of my skin, but after a desperately needed trip to a skin care facialist, I was reprimanded. I avoided acne-medicated products for awhile because I have sensitive skin. However, the facialist recommended that I use something. So I am using Neutrogena's Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Cream Wash. My brother left it at home, and I didn't want to bother going to the drugstore. It does a good job of gently exfoliating the skin without stripping away moisture. Plus, I'm noticing less whiteheads.

A clean, healthy complexion is essential!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

5 Ways to Relieve Stress

Currently, I am taking an online class. It's very time-consuming and requires a lot of self-discipline. On the top of that, I am getting stressed out and feeling a bit tense because I have a bunch of questions to answer and a test to study for! (My little rant.) So here are a few tips I follow to de-stress. Hope this helps when you're feeling stressed.

1. Meditate - It's important to take the time to stop whatever you are doing and take a couple deep breaths. Working harder won't make you any less stressed out. Pray, do yoga, or some simple meditation techniques to relax and rejuvenate.

2. Watch TV - or do anything to take your mind off of whatever is bothering you. Laughing is good for the soul and body.

3. Exercise - This is really important. No matter how hectic you're schedule can get, taking a brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood does wonders to clear your head. I like to walk daily because I often think of solutions to problems this way. You can also head to your local gym. Sometimes I go with my mom, and we share helpful tips with each other.

4. Sleep - Sometimes you're just running low on fuel. Even though you think you're fine, it's just the adrenaline talking. So sleep it off!

5. Talk it out - with a friend or family member. They usually can bring a new perspective to your problem and can offer solutions that you didn't think of.

How do you relieve your stress? I will leave you with some photos of a bear and how he solved his dilemma. He got stuck in Rainbow Bridge, but after some sleep and the help of a rescue team he landed safely on the ground. I received this from my supervisor last year, and I always think of it when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Hey, sometimes sleeping solves the solution!

Photo credits: unknown

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When I Was a Runner

I used to love running junior year in college. I ran with my church buddy and her co-worker along the beach. It was exhilarating! I don't run anymore due to knee pains, but I still like reading blogs about other people's running adventures. Healthy Tipping Point is one my faves. Blogger, Caitlin, posts about her daily runs, healthy dishes, and motivational tips. I like eating healthy, but the support is not always there. Ads for fast foods are so common, and we all just want to eat good, inexpensive food. This blog is very encouraging if you want to take care of your body and eat healthy.

I tried Caitlin's Green Monster, and I loved it! It's an easy way to incorporate some green into my diet. I changed the recipe a little:

1/4 cup raw oatmeal
3/4 cup almond milk
1 banana
2 cups spinach
a handful of walnuts

The good thing is that smoothies are easy and flexible. You can put in pretty much anything ou want.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hot Pink and Lilac

I painted my toenails lilac and did a french tip manicure with hot pink! Such fun summery colors. I was inspired by a Korean drama called Prosecutor Princess. The prosecutor dons neon-colored french tip manicures.

I may never get around to finishing my Top Ten Leading Ladies List until after summer school ends. It's intense.

Photo credits: