Showing posts from January, 2018

How to throw a sip-and-see baby shower

One of my coworkers recently had a baby, and another one of my very extra coworkers (Jamie) wanted to throw a party at our office in celebration.  It was very successful and a nice break from work/opportunity to drink Veuve at 10 AM. Disclaimer: I did not do any of the party planning, I merely approved the email invitation, brought fruit (which I knew no one would eat), and provided moral support for Jamie as she labored on her [Disney] diaper cake.  Here is my guide on how to throw a sip-and-see baby shower at the office:  1. Look at Pinterest for party inspiration (i.e. rubber ducky theme) 2. Ask supervisor for permission to throw party, then email the office a cute invitation 3. Delegate some duties to coworkers but really do most of the work yourself  4. Shop for party decor and baby items because it’s “fun” 5. Question why you are spending the weekend making a diaper cake and update your coworker(s) for validation of your efforts The finished product w

The Power of Habit: Book Review

The Power of Habit : Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg was listed on "most popular" on my library's overdrive for e-books, so I read it because of its "bestseller" status and because I've been more into self-help/self-entrepreneurship recently. It is an interesting mix of historical storytelling, psychological analysis, and personal interviews to explore human behavior. From Michael Phelps becoming an Olympic Gold swimmer to pregnant women shopping at Target, Duhigg scientifically examines how good [and bad] habits develop and how we can change our habits. Everybody can relate to this book because we all have habits: brushing our teeth, listening to music, shopping at certain stores (i.e. my weekly Costco trip), etc. Duhigg provides a basic framework on how to identify our habits, and explore ways to use habits to implement positive change, whether on an individual level or a societal level. One part of the book that stood o

In defense of small city/suburban life

As I was driving from Sacramento to San Francisco this morning, I thought "I'm so excited to get out of boring Sac." My plans to visit SF MoMa (Museum of Modern Art), however, were derailed since I gave up after being rerouted multiple times due to road closures from the "Walk for life" anti-abortion rally. The trip was still worth it since I got to spend time with my friends Jocelyn, Jean, and Abby, but also affirmed that for everyday life, I'm content not living in a big city. I've experienced both small town suburban life and living in 2 of the 20 largest cities in the world. I grew up in Pismo Beach (population: 8,198 (2016)), went to college and worked in Los Angeles (population: 3,792,621 (2010)), and studied abroad for a semester in Shanghai (population:  23,019,148 (2010)). Big city life is definitely more exciting: more restaurants, events, and things to do. But with more people in a big city, there is more traffic, more problems, and more st

Poo-pourri: overpriced odor eliminator or heaven in a bottle?

I first saw Poo-pourri in a  commercial  on youtube and thought: is this for real? Essentially, a bougie white lady says that her poop smells bad, but she no longer worries about her poop stinking up bathrooms because of this magical product. A few sprays [of this essential oil + other ingredients mix] creates a layer that traps the smell of your poop and allows you to flush it away. It's not super cheap though, while some aerosol air fresheners are only a couple of bucks, poo-pourri can be up to $10  for a 2 oz. bottle. Is it worth it? YES YES YESSS. My friend Josey brought it on our month-long post-bar-exam trip to Asia and it was a lifesaver . There were times when there were 3-4 people and I sharing a single bathroom and poo-pourri ensured that we wouldn't have to wait for the bathroom to air out after any of us pooped. Travel is also a time when you are supposed to experience different cultures by trying out all the food, and you're not sure how your body will re

How much time do I spend on social media?

I probably spend too much time on social media. I tend to look at my phone whenever I get bored or want a break/distraction, and also check on social media somewhat more now that I have an apple watch. After a Life Entrepreneurship workshop this weekend, I resolved to stop spending more than an hour a day on social media. Yesterday I did a self-assessment, guessing that I spent about 2 hours yesterday browsing instagram, facebook, twitter, and snapchat. Back at work today, I endeavored to check apps less frequently, and noticed my productivity went up. After work I researched "apps to track time on social media," and many of them were android exclusive which wouldn't help me. I don't feel like paying $10 a month to keep track of the time I spend, so I decided to use the battery setting to get an objective measure of how much time I spend on social media: So as of today, I am definitely failing my goal of spending less than an hour on social media per day. I use

What I ate in Hawaii

As a foodie and instagram user, I had a few bookmarks of places to try in Hawaii. Alas, my trip to Honolulu was not a vacation, but I still managed to scrape in a few good eats. Day 1: I ate a spam musubi from the grocery store. Later on, we went to get brunch at Moena Cafe, where I got a pork kalua (basically Hawaiian pulled pork) omelet. With a little room for dessert, we got Bubbies right next door: Ice cream mochi I pretty much ate Costco food for dinner, then went to drink at Lulu's which was ratchet (per my standards). After clubbing, we went to a place that would be open late: Mac2Go, basically a more expensive Hawaiian themed Dennys. Loco Moco Day 2:  Woke up slightly hungover, thought maybe I should be healthy, and then got an acai bowl from Beach Walk Cafe.   Acai bowl When everyone else I was traveling with was ready for food, we got brunch at Embassy Suites where I got an omelet and oatmeal. We went to the pool a bit, and then it was tim

What it's like to attend a destination wedding

Now that I’m progressing past my mid-20s, people around me have found their forever partner and I’ve been attending more weddings. I was asked to be a +1 to a wedding in Hawaii, and crashed  attended my first destination wedding. It was basically like any other wedding, except you could wear whatever you like. The wedding invitation said the attire was “casual,” and the audience took it to heart as less than 25% of the crowd wore a full suit or full length dress. Comfortable clothing was very key since the ceremony was in an outdoor courtyard and I’d presumably awkwardly dance at the reception. I wore: Shirt: Express short sleeve button up Pants: Express white denim pants Shoes: Sperry’s denim colored boat shoes I chose white pants because I think of Miami, Pitbull, and generally partying in a tropical location. Also, I have short legs so pants make me look taller. The Sperry’s were a good medium between dress shoes and sandals, plus they matched my shirt and I want

What I'd do if I won the lottery

Two years ago, my friends and I went to 7/11 to buy powerball tickets, joking that we would not have to take the bar if we won the $1.5 billion. I unfortunately did not win, and carried on with life finishing law school, etc. If I won, I'd take the lump sum over the annuity, and embark on the following: Pay off student loans Go on that HGTV show where they film lottery winners splurging on villas/invest in real estate Hire a financial advisor [and a personal trainer while I'm at it] Invest  (diversity is important, need to make sure I'd get more back than I'd make on the annuity, also I want to see what it's like to own a parking lot, specifically Disneyland Resort's parking)  Pay off my parents' home Start a foundation Addressing goals such as helping Cambodian children, and making unsightly communities more aesthetically pleasing (a modern day Miss Rumphius )  Travel  Become a male socialite It's fun to fantasize, but even without win

Can you go on every ride at Disneyland in one day?

If you've ever wondered whether it's possible to ride every ride at Disneyland in one day, the answer is yes (and I've [essentially] done it). A Disney fan group called MiceChat puts on an annual competition called the Gumball Rally, where teams of 2-4 "race" to go on every Disneyland attraction in 12 hours. The first place prize is a gumball trophy. I competed with my college roommate, Andrew Quan, in 2010. Being super Azn, our team name paid homage to Mulan. (our oversized $2 Chinatown shirts say "handsome guy" in Chinese) First we picked up packets that contained a booklet with questions we had to answer about every ride. This is how they test if you've been on the ride: they ask an obscure question you can only answer if you've been on the ride, i.e. how many __ can you see on the ___ in the last left turn? Rides with longer waits i.e. Space Mountain were worth more points, whereas walk-on attractions such as Chip and Dale'

How far I'll go (for food)

Today I drove 6.1 miles after work to get fish tacos especial from Rubio's. As I sat in my car, I thought about whether the trek would be worth it and all the time in my life I have traveled a (probably) unreasonable distance just for food or drinks. Driving from UCLA (Westwood) to San Gabriel Valley (626) just to get Half & Half Teahouse Boba (23 miles one way)  Back in senior year of college when I was very into yolo-ing and fulfilling my Asian-foodie destiny, I would drive friends all the way across Los Angeles just for the best milk tea in town. Half & Half had the glorious brown sugar honey boba which was far superior to any boba in the Westside. Looking back, it's ridiculous that I would spend over an hour [total] driving just for boba, but it was just so hyped up and it really is  some of the best chewy pearls you can get on the planet. Driving from Davis to Vacaville for Olive Garden (18.4 miles on way)  I was on a budget in law school (and still paying

Designing my life: a self-assessment

I once told a friend in college that I would never be happy because I think there's always room for improvement in life. While I've somewhat distinguished happiness from content, I'm definitely not completely content with my personal and professional life. Sometimes I'm wonder if I'm trapped by my degree, and whether what I'm doing is making me actually fulfilled. I discovered Designing Your Life by Bill Burnet and Dave Evans on Blinkist, and hope that following their exercises will help plot my way forward. The first step is assessing four critical areas of life: Health, work, play, and love. Health I'd like to think I'm pretty physically healthy: I workout a few days a week, try to sleep at least 7 hours each night, and eat mostly balanced meals. Since entering the field of law, my mental health has not been as great; there are times when I felt an extreme amount of stress, and I even had some of my worst mental breakdowns studying for the bar e

What's my purpose?

I was reading a snippet of Brendon Burchard's  High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way  on the Blinkist  app, when I started questioning everything about my life: Will I accomplish anything important? Am I not working hard enough or is my shitty personality preventing me from making "extraordinary achievements?" What is my purpose? What is my life going to be?!?  While "purpose" is something that I'll probably be gradually discovering each day, Burchard provides 4 different perspectives for us to find purpose. 1. Self How can I become the best version of myself and be remembered this way? If I had to narrow a few adjectives I aspire towards: helpful, fun, and caring. Working on this blog is hopefully memorializing "helpful" tips such as making a spa-ffice , but generally I get the "warm-glow" feeling from helping others. I also try to spread fun whenever I can, because life is about enjoying the good

How Hayao Miyazaki's movies have added meaning to my life

I was on twitter this morning when I saw that it was Hayao Miyazaki's 77th birthday. Out of all the filmmakers in my life (including Disney), none have had a profound an impact as Miyazaki. Growing up, I loved cartoons, and even though Disney has the characters and catchy songs, Miyazaki's movies told stories that moved me and shaped my identity. While he covers a multitude of important themes, a few are especially important to me. This Miyazaki movie symphony in Shanghai was the best symphony I've experienced. Cherishing your inner Child-at-heart If I had to pick a favorite Miyazaki movie, it would be "My Neighbor Totoro." It may not be the most compelling, but there's so many memorable moments such as the iconic bus stop scene or the girls yelling at dust bunnies in the attic. Being the older sibling to a younger sister, I resonated with Satsuki being responsible but also playing make believe with Mei and laughing at the silliest things. Miyazaki

What's my daily routine?

I currently don't have a set daily routine (my unpredictable work schedule makes it impossible), but I do try to craft time in my day to form regular habits/do a fun activity. Although "variety is the spice of life," there's something comforting about having a regular routine and knowing where you'll be and what you'll be doing at a certain time of day. That said, I'm aspiring to enjoy the limited control I do have of my schedule and make each day as productive as possible. My typical work day:  7:30 - 8:30 Wake up, but actually stay in bed as long as I can 8:30 - 8:45 Make breakfast (aka green smoothie)  8:45 - 9:00 Commute to work (this includes driving and walking from the parking garage)  9:00 - 9:30 Turn on my computer, fill and turn on my humidifier, turn on salt lamps, eat more 9:30 - 12:45 Work  1:00 - 2:00 Lunch/gym 2:00 - 5:00 Work (this may extend to 7 or 8 PM once in a while) 5:00 - 7:00 Drive home, cook and eat dinner while wat

Pills, Pills, Pills

(To the tune of Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills") Should I take these pills? Should I take these vitamin pills? Should I take these Biotin pills? If I did then maybe I can chill... As a self-proclaimed health nut, I am willing to try anything that promises to improve my health. I've tried juice cleanses from Costco the week before my first marathon, survived over 35 bikram yoga classes, and also still currently consume a multitude of multivitamins and supplements. I am trying to not throw away my money take less pills since my nutritionist friends and family say it's better to just get your nutrients from a balanced diet, but I still have a large supply left so I thought I'd share what's in my Daiso pill box: Some people think I'm a grandpa, but we shall see who lives longer ;) These are the pills I try to take every day, roughly in this order. Daily Multivitamin (Kirkland Signature)  Apple Cider Vinegar Green Tea Ex

New Year, Same Me

Now that it's 2018, lots of people around us are making New Year's resolutions and saying "new year, new me." While it's great that people are setting goals to improve their health and other aspects of their lives, I personally believe it's foolish to adopt the mentality to be a "new" person (even though I LOVE the lyric "the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now" in Look What You Made Me Do.) "Cuz she's dead." The old Taylor is NOT dead but in the hearts and memories of Swifties <3. And still on Vevo ? My problem with attempting to transform your identity [or an aspect of it] within a year is that it can be completely arbitrary. If changing ourselves wasn't hard enough, oftentimes we don't even stick to our resolutions because we revert to our habits of skipping a day at the gym or eating junk food. So how should we set our goals? For example, I recently set a list of 30 goals to aim for