Category Archives: simple things


I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately.

At first I thought it was because I’ve been sick for the past couple of weeks – it’s tough to sleep with a coughing fit.

Next, I diagnosed that it must be my coffee intake.  After all, introducing caffeine into your body after a long hiatus is sure to send it into shock.

Hmm… maybe it’s my late night workouts.  It probably takes some time for my adrenaline to slow down after an intense work out.

J has to literally tear me away from my computer during these restless nights, only to have me toss and turn wide awake.  Anyone who knows me would find this behavior unusual – I typically sleep fast and soundly in an instant.  When J, who is himself an insomniac on occasion, can find sleep more than I can – something is off.

I began to realize that taking Nyquil was only a quick fix.

Last night, I jumped into bed and just stared at the ceiling.

“I think you’re right.”  I said.  That got J’s attention.  He put his book down, and asked, “About what?”

“I’m overwhelmed.”  Still looking at the ceiling.  Not angry, not upset, not in a fit or crisis.  I was simply, calmly acknowledging a very obvious fact.  Obvious to everyone but myself, until that very moment.

“Well,” J started, as he turned to face me, “You’ve been working non-stop all month.  Of course, you’re overwhelmed.”

I tried to mentally list all of the possible culprits for my anxiety.  I’ve been dedicating time to Stella & Dot, my new side business and learning all of the strategies to successfully book and execute trunk shows.  In just my first month of signing up as a Stylist, I had done 4 trunk show events, including my initial launch party!  Wedding planning is just gearing up, with the continuous hunt for a wedding venue and the seemingly never-ending task of gaining my family’s approval.  There are days when I wince at the thought of devoting an entire year just to planning it, with the current stress already forming & the anticipation of more stress.  Job searching is still on the periphery of my mind, especially with lay-offs occurring in the next month or so.  With all of those things, financial security is a big factor in my worries.  And somewhere crammed in the rest of my head are the obligations and expectations to multiple roles in my life: being a good fiance, sister, friend, employee, daughter, etc. etc.

Ugh.  No wonder I’m a mess.

Just from voicing it aloud to myself and to my wonderfully supportive fiance, I decided that the bulk of these issues were not going to be resolved that evening.  If I’m going to have a busy year, I can’t burn out this early in the game.  Something needs to change.  I need to change my game plan.

At that moment, what I decided I needed more than anything else, was a chance to just rest from all of the chaos and noise in my life.

So I made a conscious effort to hit “pause” for the evening, and I finally went to sleep.



Filed under Bridal blues & bliss, epiphany, relationships, simple things, Stella & Dot

black cloud

I’m in a foul mood today.  No thanks to the stress from my & J’s family situation with the engagement ordeal.  A lengthy phone call with my mom earlier this afternoon (possibly mixed with a heavy dose of caffeine this morning) only fueled my grudge against the world.

Today’s entry is devoted entirely to things that piss me off.

– adults who act childish, knowingly or unknowingly.

– people who cough/sneeze without covering their mouths.  It’s flu season, cover it!

– men who disgustingly stare.  Anyone ever tell them it’s NOT attractive?

– when a person chooses a bathroom stall RIGHT next to mine, when there are countless of others to choose from.  Hello, personal space?

– indecisiveness and fickleness.  ESPECIALLY when it’s at the expense of my time and energy.  No, I will NOT humor you or be a “good sport.”

– solicitors at my door.  NO, I do NOT want the Mercury News.  *slam.

– people who ask “how are you?” but don’t really care to listen.  Don’t ask and I won’t waste my breath!  Thanks.

– being tricked into feeling guilty for something that’s not my fault.  Parents are really good at this.

– doing something for the sake of doing it, or “tradition” or “that’s just the way it is” without real knowledge or explanation of purpose.  That drives me CRAZY.

-caring/worrying over things that I don’t have control over nor should spend time on.. but I still do anyway.


Bah humbug.



Filed under relationships, simple things

projects & loose ends

Status Update:  Officially moved in!  Still engaged.  Just got cable and internet.  Starting to feel like home…

Mood: Exhausted, but excited.  Starting a new life while still trying to reconcile with your old one is not an easy task.

New Project Line- Up: Now that furlough days are hitting the CSU system (furloughs = a funny sounding and looking word = forced unpaid days off), I’ll have some extra time on my hands to devote to other activities.  In no particular order:

1) I want to start doing a better job of documenting the engagement/wedding process; perhaps even submit some queries for freelance articles again.

2) I took a bookbinding class recently at Paper Source with a friend and was surprised at how simple it was to create a book!  Definitely a hobby worth continuing. No need to ever buy my own journals or albums again!

3) Photoshop. Photoshop.  Photoshop.


Because I promised myself I’d finish it, here’s a rough outline of the last bit of our Hawai’i trip.  I’m terrible at post-photo blogging and have decided to bring along a notebook on future travels to record details.

Hawai’i Day 3 & 4 Mash-Up:

North Shore and Waikiki

Hale'iwa Joe's

Hale'iwa Joe's

Matsumoto's Famous Shave Ice

Matsumoto's Famous Shave Ice

Driving through Pineapple Country

Driving through Pineapple County, Hwy 99

Hotel Balcony View

Hotel Balcony View

Diamond Head

Diamond Head

hawaii 158

Flying back home engaged…  happy and also contemplative about the thought of coming back to “reality.”


Filed under city travels, photography, simple things

happy flowers

5 Years and 6 Months Tulips

5 Years and 6 Months Tulips

My first attempt at a self-portrait.

This was a few weeks ago, when J surprised me with flowers on our anniversary.  He signed it ” from your not so secret admirer.”

I love tulips more than roses, to be honest.  I find joy in its simplicity and vibrant color.  A tulip doesn’t need to demand so much attention with a million petals and thorns and leaves.  It’s not so complicated and busy.  It just IS.

If you asked J, he’d say I was more like a rose – pretty but thorny!  Not the most flattering comparision, but I see the truth in it.  I’m really trying to practice living more simply like a Tulip.  I’m starting to see that the more complex and full of choices/decisions, and expectations you clutter your life with, the more difficult it is to be happy.  Whereas, having a simple positive outlook on life and its meaning can work wonders on peace of mind.  Instead of focusing so much on doing the right things to ensure happiness and “perfection” down the road a year or two from now, I try to focus on this moment.  This day.

“Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life!” – Omar Khayyam


Filed under simple things


I decided to venture outside for a run this weekend.

Running outside is a nice change from the treadmill. Even though I don’t have the convenience of counting my calories and distance, it forces me to listen to my body. It’s also nice to enjoy the scenery – to feel like I’m running somewhere.

That sunny afternoon, I run past my usual cut-off point and end up at the street where my best friend used to live. On a whim, I decide to veer left so I can run past the exact apartment complex. Instead of brown and cream, the exterior is now painted a light blue. I remember being dropped off at this very spot nearly every Friday night during the summer of my freshman year. Early on Saturday morning, I’d wake up to go to church with her family. Of course, the real reason I begged my mom to have me stay over was so that my friend, G, and I could stay up late giggling over our boyfriends, trying on her newest outfits, and gossiping about mutual acquaintances. I heard so-and-so got caught messing around… is she really running away with her boyfriend…who’s still a virgin…? Things that were of utmost important in a 14 year old girl’s life.

Rejuvenated by my sudden nostalgia, I ran further down towards my former elementary and middle school (attached to the church), where she and I have stayed friends since the 4th grade. I slow my jog down as I peek inside the parking lot. There’s a pang in my stomach when I notice that the rainbow arched bars, my favorite place to sit during recess, is gone. This was the very bar where G & I sat with our other friend, school uniforms and all, for a yearbook photo tagged “Best of Friends.” Only tanbark and a lone monkey bar set are left behind. No one would be able to guess that this place once held memories of where G & I had our first fight in the 5th grade (over a game), where a group of us would lounge on the picnic tables trying on the new “raisin” colored lipstick, or that I cried and sat on the nearby curb the day my 8th grade crush turned me down. In many ways, this was where my theories of life and relationship dynamics were first formed – this very playground.

It’s Saturday afternoon and though I know the church service is long over, I wait around, though I’m not sure for what. I spot my friend’s auntie loading her car with potluck utensils and head over to say hello. She breaks into a smile when she sees me waving. I would hug her, but I’m sweaty in my shorts and blue Ciao Bella t-shirt. We exchange the customary “how are you doing”s and status updates.

“It’s been such a long time since I was last here…” I say wistfully. I’m positive she can’t place the emotion in my voice since she’s not sure how to respond other than to smile and nod. When we part and I turn away, I can’t stop the wave of heaviness. I’m a sentimental person, but I wasn’t expecting this. Nearly thirteen years later, why do seeing all of these old places make me feel so bittersweet? Maybe I wish for those days of simplicity again. Maybe I fear that I’ll easily forget these seemingly insignificant moments, forget about those two little girls. Maybe so much in my life is changing that I’m not quite ready to “grow up.”

As I run back towards my home, I know it’s a mixure of all of the three.

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Time for something light and fun amidst the past few months of weighted contemplation.

Santa Maria – Gotan Project.

I wish I could dance like this effortlessly.  I took a tango class when I was in LA and loved it. The funny thing is that I would “think” too much about perfecting the footwork (and thus, screw up) when I should just be “moving” intuitively.  I needed to just trust what felt right for me.

Symbolic?  I think so.

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the PNW

If I had to sum up my entire trip to Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland, it would be this:

I love being in a job that lets me travel as part of my professional development (NASPA conference). I feel silly holding an umbrella when it snows. Food tastes fresher by the water, real or imagined. Urban cities near the water and natural landscapes feel more relaxed and socially aware – likely real, not imagined. Oysters, wine, and coffee have never been consumed as much together as it did in one week of my life. Random road trips with friends are the best (even when you’re stuck for 2 hours at the Canadian border patrol). Running into celebrities at the airport are a nice way to end a vacation.

I am irritated that my vodpod account is not working and that Google Photos & WordPress have not yet found a way to compromise so that slideshows can be embedded! You all will just have to make do with the burden of linking to another page…

Pacific Northwest Tour blog pix


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