Category Archives: Life

Back From a Two-Year Hiatus

Hi everyone! I’m back! I can’t believe it’s been two years since my last entry. That was not my original intention but changing careers, from consultant to teacher, was a shock for me and it took more time than I expected, which is why I didn’t have time to blog.

  • Got into Teach for America and was placed in the Bay Area to teach high school math. It was definitely a lot tougher than I expected and probably one of the hardest jobs I’ve had in my life. I remember staying up past midnight everyday planning and preparing. October and November are definitely the hardest months for first year teachers — I wasn’t even sure if I was going to make it. Luckily, with the support of my staff, I made it through my first and second years of teaching! Yay! It’s been an amazing journey — and the most amazing part of being a teacher is all the students I met and learned from. I’m lucky I had a great bunch of students, even those that sometimes drove me insane.
  • I was planning to stay at my school for another two years, to see my student mentees graduate, but life threw me a curve ball. Last fall, my husband took a job in NYC, which was a great opportunity for him. I wanted to at least finish my second year of teaching so I stayed in SF for the school year and I didn’t move out to NYC until this summer.
  • During my second year of teaching, I got pregnant! I’m currently 39 weeks pregnant, just waiting for this babe to come out!

So there you have it – my quick update with more posts to come!

June 2015 Goals

May 2015_CollageThoughts/updates this month:

  • Can you believe it’s June already? That means the year is almost halfway over! Have you reviewed your new year resolution? How is that coming along? For me, not so great. Ugh.
  • I met my new team members for the first time. It was the first time we got to meet each other in person. I didn’t know what to expect going into this “weekend retreat” but it turned out to be a lot better than I expected. I met some wonderful people, learned more about the SF community, and felt more connected and driven to help this community.
  • I went to New Orleans for the first time for a friend’s bachelorette. I only heard of the famous Bourbon Street (aka party scene) but it turned out there was so much more to New Orleans, such as the yummy food, rich culture, and warm hospitality of the south. One of my favorite part of the trip was checking out the Garden District and learning about the history of New Orleans. I would definitely recommend a tour of that area if you do go to New Orleans.
  • I went down to Irvine for my mother-in-law’s ordination ceremony. I can’t believe she’s officially a pastor! Yay! Hearing the testimonies from others reminded me that God is a living God and he’s not just some stories we read in the Bible.
  • While I was down in Irvine, I also got the chance to meet Shannon for the first time in person. I met her through the blogging world and as I go to know her through her blog and Instagram, she didn’t seem like a stranger but more like a friend so it was a joy to finally meet her in person. I had a great time getting to know her more personally. We both love coffee so I was glad I was able to introduce her to sea salt coffee at 85c Bakery (one of my favorite spot for sea salt coffee and pastry). That’s one great thing about blogging that I didn’t expect — to find new friends 🙂
  • I also went to Cancun for the first time for a friend’s wedding. That was really fun and relaxing since we stayed at an all inclusive resort so we didn’t have to worry about food or drinks although I felt like I had to eat/drink every hour to get my money’s worth. I also went snorkeling for the first time! We went on a boat to the middle of the ocean to go snorkeling. I was just tagging along, not expecting to get into the ocean since I can’t swim. The tour guide really wanted me to try it out and there were some peer pressure from the others so I actually jumped into the ocean (with a life jacket of course!). It was initially scary since this was the first time I’ve been in the water where my feet can’t touch the ground but eventually I was able to relax somewhat. The tour guide was really nice enough to pull me along the life-saver ring so I can look in the water. This was the best step I’ve taken so far to face my fear of the water.
  • Have you ever used Cetaphil before? I remember this cleanser being really popular since it’s suppose to be gentle and fragrance free, so perfect for all skin type. My facialist in Atlanta told me to stop using because of all the harmful ingredients in it so I stopped. This was almost 10 years ago. Then just a couple of weeks ago, one of my friend mentioned that she still uses Cetaphil. I told her to stop using it but didn’t have the exact reason except what my facialist told me 10 years ago, which was kinda hazy at this point. I happen to come across this article a couple of days after our conversation, which perfectly explains why you should stop using Cetaphil if you do.
  • This post and this comic strip got me thinking about privilege and how a lot of people are born with privilege without realizing it.

Last month’s goals:

  1. Catch up on #365DaysOfTruth Plan and complete month 5. I’m just four days behind so not too bad.
  2. Focus on studying calculus. I should have been more specific but I did finish watching the online videos and taking the practice test.
  3. Read one book this month. Didn’t read any book last month 🙁
  4. Donate at least a box of stuff to Goodwill. I did fill up a box for donation but just haven’t dropped it off at Goodwill yet.
  5. Workout once a week. I haven’t worked out this month 🙁
  6. Blog once a week. I missed a week 🙁
  7. Take more pictures of people! Yes! Although I should probably have a specific target.

This month’s goals:

  1. Complete month 6 of #365DaysOfTruth plan.
  2. Pass the calculus test.
  3. Read one book this month.
  4. Workout once a week.
  5. Blog once a week.
  6. Turn in my homework assignment on time.
  7. Spend below the new calculated budget.

What are your goals for this month?

May 2015 Goals

April 2015 Collage_FotorThoughts/updates this month:

  • This month was my husband’s birthday. Yay! We kept it low-key and just had drinks at a bar with some friends.
  • I cut my hair short! Eek! It’s so weird to have short hair since it’s been a while since I last cut my hair this short. I’m not sure if I like it since I think it makes me look older :p
  • It was so weird when I came upon this article randomly. I’m not sure if you heard of Jin or not but he was really popular in the early 2000s when he first appeared in BET doing freestyle rap battles with other contestants and winning seven weeks in a row (you can see a few of clips of the freestyle rap battles here). I was a supporter of Jin since he didn’t let his race or family prevent him from doing what he loves plus there weren’t many people on TV that looked on me. In college, I threw a “club party” with a group of friends and our special appearance to lure people into our party was Jin. I was a bit disappointed when I first met him though since he was a bit too arrogant for my liking. It’s been 10+ years since I even thought of Jin which was why it was so weird to read an article update on him. I’m glad to hear that he’s trying to make a come back and he found God during the journey 🙂
  • I thought this video was really interesting. I never thought of how a language can tell you about a culture mindset but it’s true. This explains why there are certain words in Mandarin and Taiwanese that I don’t know how quite to translate in English but part of that is a culture thing. For example, “jia you” (加油) literally means “filling a machine with gas” but it can also be used to cheer someone on and a form of encouragement. I was sadden when Tim mentioned that every two weeks on planet Earth, another language dies. It’s not just the language that dies, but also the culture and history that goes away. I think that’s one of the reason why my husband and I don’t see eye to eye on learning Taiwanese. He wants our future kids to only learn Mandarin and not Taiwanese since he thinks Taiwanese is a dying language and it’s not useful in the world. That may be true, but I don’t want my future kids to forget their heritage and where they come from. On a side note, you should check out  Shannon’s blog if you’re interested in learning a new language. She has some awesome tips and language websites to check out 🙂
  • I just found out that Nectar Collective is no longer hosting the Weekly Wishes linkup. I wasn’t sure if I should still continue my monthly goals but I decided to continue on since it’ll hold me accountable for my goals and I get to reflect back on the month.

Last month’s goals:

  1. Catch up on #365DaysOfTruth plan and complete month 4. I’m a few days behind for the month of April. Need to catch up!
  2. Read one book this month. Didn’t finish any books this month 🙁
  3. Study and take one exam this month. Completed!
  4. Complete “Pre-Corps Engagement”. Completed!
  5. Bake/cook one new recipe this month. I made my first vegan cupcakes and roasted a chicken on a bundt pan. The frosting on the vegan cupcakes were a bit sweeter than I liked but at least it was balanced with the non-sweet chocolate cake.
  6. Check out a new restaurant. Out of all the new restaurants I tried this month, Zazang Korean Noodle and Sotto Mare is on top of the list.
  7. Workout twice a week. Somehow the last two weeks I didn’t have much motivation to workout so I need to get back on the horse.
  8. Blog once a week. I missed one week 🙁

This month’s goals:

  1. Catch up on #365DaysOfTruth Plan and complete month 5.
  2. Focus on studying calculus.
  3. Read one book this month.
  4. Donate at least a box of stuff to Goodwill.
  5. Workout once a week.
  6. Blog once a week.
  7. Take more pictures of people! 🙂

What are your goals for this month?

April 2015 Goals

April 2015 Goals_Collage_FotorThoughts/updates this month:

  • I got the test result of my first exam and passed! Yay! 🙂
  • I just discovered there is a library one block away from me! Finally got a library card in Cali. I thought it was so fancy that I could choose my own library card design.
  • I went to an underground supper club. It was an intimate dining experience with 12 people. I didn’t know what to expect but it turned out to be a fun experience. The food was delicious and everyone was really nice. It’s funny how random people can gather together and socialize for good food.
  • I really enjoyed this post by Ken Wytsma. This made me realized that my sense of urgency and busyness is probably part of the reason that is keeping me from hearing God’s voice. I’m trying to slow down and have some quiet moments with God and not just quick, short prayers to God. If my brain is always preoccupied with something, how can I hear God’s voice? Apparently this post is partially adapted from his book, which I added to my list of books to read.
  • After reading this article, I decided to not buy anymore k-cups. I finally bought an individual dripper and grinder (BTW you should get a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder for coffee beans. Blade grinder cuts the coffee beans and the heat from the blade can cause the coffee to have a burnt taste while a burr grinder crushes the beans to release the aroma of the coffee beans and provides a more consistent grind). Wow! What a big difference the taste of my coffee is now. It taste so much better and is better for the environment. Only downfall is that it takes more time in the morning to prepare a cup of coffee.
  • The documentary “aka Dan: Korean Adoptee Story” was a really touching story. The part I cried the most was when he met his biological mom. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to wake up and realized her husband gave up one of their son up for adoption and there was nothing she could do since the paperwork was completed. You can watch this documentary here.
  • “Under the Dome” is another great documentary about China’s smog by Chai Jing. I never realized how bad China’s pollution was until watching this documentary. Can you imagine growing up and never seeing stars or clouds in the sky before? Or not being able to venture outside to play for half the year because the air isn’t safe to breathe in? I’m glad Chai Jing is bringing this to light so people in China can make a change. You can watch the documentary with English subtitle here.

Last month’s goals:

  1. Read month 3 of #365DaysOfTruth plan. Yikes! I’m a week behind! It’s scary how easy it is to get off course.
  2. Read one book this month. Completed! Have you ever watched Judge Judy on TV? I really enjoyed watching her show on TV when I was a kid since I liked how fair, honest, and smart Judy Judy was. I didn’t know she wrote books, which shouldn’t be a surprise, but she just recently released a new book called “What Would Judy Say?: Be the Hero of Your Own Story”. She’s offering the book for free (you can download a copy here) but she asks you to donate to Stand Up to Cancer if you found any of her advice useful. It’s a quick, easy read and I enjoyed reading it. Big take away for me was for me to define my worth and to take risks. I found it useful and donated to her cause 🙂
  3. Study and take two exams this month. Completed. I feel good about one of the exam but the other one I feel like I bombed. *sigh. Oh well.
  4. Complete “Who Am I” portfolio reflection. On target to complete by April 1! This was a lot harder than I thought since I really had to look inside myself.
  5. Bake/cook one new recipe. Sadly this didn’t happen.
  6. Workout once a week. Completed!
  7. Blog once a week. Completed!

Goals for next months:

  1. Catch up on #365DaysOfTruth plan and complete month 4.
  2. Read one book this month.
  3. Study and take one exam this month.
  4. Complete “Pre-Corps Engagement”.
  5. Bake/cook one new recipe this month.
  6. Check out a new restaurant.
  7. Workout twice a week.
  8. Blog once a week.

What are your goals for this month?

Linking up with weekly goals at Nectar Collective.