Married Life

So K and I got MARRIED! And I got to catch up with posting again. Surprisingly, this past week I was very tired. I wondering if it’s all retrograde tired-ness because I have spent SEVERAL weeks doing lots of DIY projects.

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We finished our wedding cake. We also have another cake from my coworkers and that’s in the freezer. I don’t think we’ll wait a year to eat that other cake. All I know is that I don’t want to see cake for a while…

On the way, there will be wedding photos taken by our professional photographer — that will come in 8 weeks. Also, I’ve got plenty of posts backed up talking about wedding stuff until then. I’ll talk about:

  1. Things I should’ve done differently with my wedding planning – I was suppose to post it BEFORE my wedding but where did time go? This also includes I should’ve had a higher friend to family guest ratio. Its makes the wedding more fun.
  2. No, I do not have post-wedding depression at all - I really don’t. Those who know me know that I did more life planning than wedding planning. I almost forgot we already booked some events already.
  3. Thing people say before the wedding/after the wedding - I’m a pretty cynical person.
  4. Expectations – Nope, we won’t buy a house and you can’t move in!
  5. Vendor reviews – Much needed. Our vendors deserve a lot of love.
  6. All about wedding guests and Asian weddings – Some of our wedding guests consisted of people we didn’t know because his family likes wanted to invite EVERYONE! This falls under culture and my family background vs. his family background.
  7. Finances – and doing it as a team.

Today, I will talk about the things we’ve done the past week as a married couple. We did not have a honeymoon. We went back to work on Tuesday and went through the week. So how did it go?

Sunday (Day after the wedding) - Packed up from the hotel. Went to brunch with a couple of our friends in Torrance. We went home and organized our wedding leftovers, opened gifts, organized who brought what, unpack, unpack,unpack. I was very excited when a bottle of lye I ordered from Amazon came in, I was fixing our SLOW draining bathtub and guess what it’s works!

Monday – Ate wedding leftovers. K had to study for school. I bought a new comforter. Later on, we talked about finances such as saving for our vacation and our future travels.

Tuesday – We both went back to work. I felt like I was busier.

Wednesday – I was really, really tired. It’s so hard to get back to gear.

Thursday – I had to travel to work today. Also, K got really sick from eating the wedding leftovers that he brought to lunch. I think they’re getting old. So for dinner we went to Korean BBQ down the street from our place.

Friday – I went to the gym this morning. After work, we tossed our wedding leftovers, we thought about going grocery shopping but instead we went to LYFE Kitchen in Tarzana. I loved my pizzadillawich, but I think I would DEFINITELY come back for the drinks. The ginger pomegranate lemonade was really strong.

Saturday – Went to the Sriracha factory and did their tour — got free Sriracha ice cream, popcorn, caramel, and Sriracha shirt. Met a couple people and went to Din Tai Fung afterwards with them. I wished they sold postcards so I can send them to our wedding guests saying “Wish you were here.”

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Wish you were here

Yes, I know sexy newlywed stuff — cleaning, balancing budgets, and unpacking. We will have a mini-honeymoon during his school break to Lake Tahoe but then we’ll go on a bigger honeymoon in Italy after he finishes school. I think even if we had the choice to do the honeymoon immediately, we can still wait. I’m glad we waited because after the wedding I was so tired. I don’t think if we were to go right away, we would have the energy to enjoy the honeymoon. But yes, to all those folks who go “what? You’re going back to work?” Come on, it’s inevitable, it’s always back to reality, back to the grind no matter how long your wedding phase lasts.

 

My September Box

I thought this would be a fun exercise, if I had my own monthly subscription box I would have these 5 following items curated by me and sending it to my subscribers. I was inspired by some of the Fancy boxes which are curated by models, singers, and other public figures but I wasn’t too impressed with a lot of the picks. Some boxes were really lame such as a Brides Magazine because they were on the cover or an engraved bracelet with the model’s name on it. I think that’s really weird wearing a bracelet with someone’s name on it.

Anyways if I had it my own way, I would like to share my monthly curated items. These items would be items I’ve purchased and maybe some items I’ve been lusting over recently — still haven’t decided.

credit: Sephora

1. Hot Toddy Heat Protector Frizz Fighter - I’ve been going to the gym in the mornings which means I have to shower before I get to work. I’ve been using the hair dryer lately which is something I’m not use to because my hair becomes too dry. I recently bought this and it stays in my gym bag and I have frizz-free hair all day. I can also comfortably use a hair dryer at the gym now without worrying my hair turning into straw. You don’t need a lot of product to use it.

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source: Etsy

2. Cherry Blossom Necklace with Pearl Pendant -I bought these for my bridesmaids. I wanted gift that could be used beyond the wedding and wear it for all occasions.

3. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf gift card ($10) – get yourself a Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea :-). It’s Pumpkin season.

source: iherb

4. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap, Rhubarb Scent – Best scent ever! I think you’ll be seeing Mrs Meyer’s in future subscription boxes too.

source: Amazon

5. The Art of Manliness by Brett McKay and Kate McKay – This is my fiance’s groomsmen gift, to be exact, he bought The Art of Manliness Collection for his groomsmen. Give this to book to your significant other, your brother, or any man in your life.

If you had a monthly subscription box, what would be inside?

Ways Pinterest has made me do things better…

For some people, Pinterest has made them psycho with being on the computer for 6 hours just pinning their fantasy world and events that won’t happen in the near future such as creating boards for their baby shower when they’re not planning to have kids within 2 years or single ladies who are planning their wedding or having a bunch of recipes when they don’t know to cook an egg.

I’ve been on Pinterest since 2011 (?) and I was pretty addicted to pinning everyday and pinning things all pretty. Three years later, I have 20 boards and 2,250 pins. I didn’t think I had that many pins. It made rethink how to make the most use of my Pinterest board — make boards that are practical and also learn how to manage some of my pins (get rid of pins I want and don’t want).

Here are the ways Pinterest has made me better at:

1. Planning a wedding – 

wedding board

 

First of all, you need to actually be engaged to create a Wedding Planning board*. When I first got engaged I pinned everything that caught my eye — I pinned weddings of different color schemes, centerpieces, dresses, escort cards, paper flowers, pom poms, etc. When I narrowed down which color scheme I liked, which DIY projects I wanted to pursue, which flowers I liked — I kept these ideas all in my head. When I showed my Pinterest board to my wedding coordinator, it was a mess. I may have told her what colors I liked but it was really confusing when she saw it because I pinned so many themes and so many different schemes — it wasn’t cohesive. I had to to go through board and showed her a couple of pins  I liked and promised I would clean up my Pinterest board which I did.

Tip on creating a wedding planning Pinterest board:

  • Manage it regularly. When you decided you like your wedding colors to be green and blue, delete all the other pins that don’t fit your color scheme like grey-and-yellow weddings or black-and-white weddings.
  • When you find out the thing you wanted is out of reach because it’s too far/impractical/expensive — delete it! If you can’t afford having a horse-drawn carriage on your wedding, delete it! I originally wanted our wedding in Topanga Canyon because I loved the idea of being on the mountains and having the beach in the background. Unfortunately, I learned there was hardly any reception in Topanga so I had to let that idea go.

*There are a couple of exceptions though:

  • you can be someone who is helping out plan their wedding and suggesting ideas to the bride. I had my unmarried bridesmaids collaborate on my board.
  • if you’re a wedding planning/event designer or someone in the wedding or event industry — those people need to constantly be inspired they listen to clients all the time and it’s a great a marketing tool for those people in the event industry.

2. Made me a better DIY-er

diy

FYI, I DIY’d a few things for the wedding and I learned it takes a lot of time. I’ll eventually reveal some of my DIY wedding decorations and event the seemingly most simple things took a lot of time. If you never DIY before, it’s better to start practicing before you dive into a Pinterest project.

I always knew how to make paper flowers but on Pinterest, they take paper flowers to the next level. I am also learning how to make flowers out of fabric.

3. Made me better professionally

work

I am a Levo League fan — they’ve got great pins! I think this is probably my post valuable board — I’ve collected pins on how to become a better writer, how to work with people, and just be a better worker overall.

4. Made me dress better

fashion

 

I have the most fun with my fashion boards because I have Stitch Fix. Instead of me going to the mall hunting of the items I wished for on my Pinterest board, I’ve got a personal stylist doing all the hunting for me. I love shopping…when I have the time. Before Stitch Fix, my “Dream Wardrobe” board was a mess and everything was all over the place. With Stitch Fix, I’ve been much more organized showing my stylist what items I’ve been dreaming about and they deliver. However, there were times I liked an item on Pinterest just to find out that the item I lusted for didn’t work out on me and I delete that pin. I do manage my fashion board the most, since it is one of the more watched boards.

Here you go, ways Pinterest has made things in my life easier. Just remember to organize it once in a while.

In what ways has Pinterest helped you?

Post-wedding plans

I think it was very smart of us to plan early and got all the big things needed early in the engagement so we can enjoy a big chunk of our engagement period. But also on the way, I got a root canal and I needed to replace my car battery. We’re glad we’ve been able to have a debt free wedding and be able to pay this out of pocket on our own.

Anyways, recently we’ve noticed we’ve done more post-wedding planning than the wedding itself. Here are things we are doing after October 2014.

1. Got tickets ourselves to the Russell Peters show 

2. Khoi’s college graduation – He gradutates in June 2015. He needs to power through another year more to finish then!

3.  Khoi’s graduation gift - a trip to Italy.

4. Keeping up our food blog, j+k eat [blank] - We’ve got plenty of photos to share!

5. Continuing this blog for my rants and insight. I think I should carry around a written book more often. I’ve been carrying a lot of inspiration around lately that when I go on WordPress I forget.

We also have done non-wedding things during our engagement too such as:

1. Paint Nite and other artsy things- I attended a Paint Nite class and I will be attending more in the future. After 7 years of living nomad, I think our wall deserves something nice.

 
2014-06-17 21.05.182. Doing well at my job – I have witnessed that wedding planning is very distracting. So distracting it prevents people from doing their job at all. It’s EXTREMELY counter productive and I knew I needed to prevent this mistake. I remembered reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In,she said that the time before you have kids/get married/get engaged is the perfect time to lean into your job. It’s probably the best advice I’ve ever received and I’m happy to say it’s paying off. Which ties in my next point…

3. Self-improvement - This applies to any part of my life.

4. Saving money – Enough said

5. Write, write, write (and read) – I don’t think I am writing enough. I feel if I spent less time browsing on Pinterest and Youtube, I could write and read more. Got plenty of Yelp reviews to go through :-p.

6. Buying flowers - I always wanted to be the person who is able to afford flowers every week. Well…I’m almost on my way. I’ve been able to buy flowers for the apartment every other week and it definitely brightens up the room. I like how change where the vases are. One week I’ll leave some on my fiance’s desk and another week I’ll leave it along the bar area. I recently purchased a pot of mini peach roses. Hopefully I’ll get more soon.

 

 

Rant: 4 am

It’s funny when I first started Facebook my feed had the following photos and statuses:

  • Things people did over the weekend (usually it was dorm or house parties and clubbing
  • People hanging out in the room playing video games, studying, or smoking
  • Complaining school is hard

Now my feed has photos and statuses of:

  • engagement rings
  • weddings
  • giving birth
  • ultrasounds
  • talking/preaching about motherhood

Today, on my feed I had this status:

“It is so amazing how much you can get done when your up at 4 am with a baby laundry is done and folded dishes are done and put away _____s lunch is made coffee made just waiting for ____ to get up so i can put the laundry away lets hope today continues to be this productive”

First of all, why are there no punctuation marks? There wasn’t even a period at the end of this status.

I know I’m not the best writer but this is just awful. Maybe an accomplishment can be proof-reading your status? You did wake up at 4 am — maybe take a minute to proofread before you post your status. It’s unbearable.

Probably what made me sick was the part “It is so amazing how much you can get done when your up at 4 am with a baby”. It’s like nobody EVER wakes up at 4 am unless you have a baby. Plenty of people without babies wake up at 4 am for the following reasons:

  • Work
  • Work, because you got a long commute
  • Work, because you got a report due that day (Been having plenty of those)
  • School, because you got an exam or a report due in a few hours (Had plenty of those too)
  • You have to pee really bad and you can’t go back to sleep
  • You can’t sleep because you woke up from a nightmare
  • Something loud like sirens
  • Natural disasters like earthquake or maybe just rain :-P
  • One night stand and you got to leave before s/he wakes up
  • Getting ready to go to the gym before work

See what I mean… Plenty of people all over the world wake up at 4 am. A lot people, including myself, sees sleeping in as a luxury. I would feel terrible if I sleep in whenever I wanted everyday.

Self-psychoanalysis via the Last 5 Books I’ve Read

I got this idea from The Daily Post. I think this might be hilarious. I will go with “self-psychoanalysis” of the last 5 books I’ve read/picked up.

Not sure if it’s something I would read cover to cover. It’s been too long. I think that’s my 2014 goal. Most of the books I’ve read lately are cookbooks and reference books.

1. Calculus the Easy Way by Douglass Downing- This is actually my dad’s book when he was in college. It helped me out with my college years. You see, my fiance is currently taking calculus and he’s spending a lot of time studying. I read him an excerpt and found it surprisingly entertaining. Maybe he’ll use this book to help him with his class because he had so much fun listening to me read it. For self-psychoanalysis, it tells people I hold onto things of value and I like math.

2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card- It reveals I only read books when there’s going to be a movie coming out soon or I’ve already seen the movie. I feel this is the first book of literature I intend to finish from cover to cover for 2014. My fiance had this book since…a while.

3. “Pure Vanilla“by Shauna Sever – Other than the fact that I love baking, I think I got this book because people do see me as “Vanilla”. This cookbook will show people to never underestimate vanilla again. I wonder if I keep cooking with vanilla, people will never underestimate me again… Maybe I am a complex and intriguing.

4. “It’s All Good” by Gwyneth Paltrow – It shows I love cooking and I bought this on impulse.

5. “Lonely Planet 1000 Ultimate Experiences” – This is a staple book in our living room. I’ve had this book for the past couple years. I bought this book when I decided to go on vacation to South East Asia in 2012. Then I went to NYC a couple months later. It’s a great book for our upcoming trips. I think we might inspire these experiences for our upcoming honeymoon. Who knows. Other revealing my love for travel — I am a bucket list freak.

Public speaking

As of Friday, I signed up for a Public Speaking Course through the University of Washington on Coursera. The course started last Monday and today is Sunday 10:11 PM and I finished the first week of the course. I need to finish my assignment which is due Tuesday.

I am taking a public speaking course to practice my public speaking. I have learned that writing is not the same as speaking. The job I am currently at — 7 months later, I learned I needed to work on my public speaking skills. I am speaking to more people nowadays — I would think it’s something I would pick up naturally, when really I need some extra practice. When I say “public speaking”, it does not necessarily mean speaking to 100 people. When I say “public speaking” — I mean the ability to get my point across at meeting (usually consists of 10 people at most). I guess there has been some situations when my mind has been so scattered and distracted that day and it shows during the meeting.

My boss told me the other day I was dragging during the meeting — which I tend to do. He knew I was nervous, which I was. I guess I was worried when I was leading the meeting it was very shorter than the previous meetings I’ve lead. I told him that after the meeting, I realized I shouldn’t have mentioned (fill in the blank) to (fill in the blank). (Fill in the blank) is so minor and didn’t affect the project — it’s useless to mention it. Every week, I’ve encountered major issues to report — I was uncomfortable that there were no issues to report this week.

He told me that knowing when and what to hold back takes practice too. In the past, I just haven’t had a lot of opportunities to do pubic speaking. I have a lot of catching up to do.

We created a food blog!

Khoi and I made a food blog called j+k eat _____”. I think it can be read as “j+k eat blank“. We are not sure how to title it yet. Maybe we’ll retitle it as “j+k eat [blank]“ because I think some people will read it as “j+k eat …” Then again, part of me thinks either title would work.

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Why did we create a food blog? 

This is my second attempt at food blogging. I created my first blog because a former coworker told me I should create a food blog since I post a lot of photos of my home-cooked meals on Instagram. What my former coworker does not realize is that the photos I posted are recipes I’ve done 2-3 times before I even take a picture. I have attempted plenty of recipes from Bon Appetit magazine but most of the recipes required a little bit of adjusting. Most of the time it’s because I thought the original recipe had too much salt or too much sugar. I adjusted the ingredients to my liking and then I share. Creating a blog dedicated to all my home cooking took a lot of work and I felt I was under pressure to create blog posts. I decided to let that go. I was not really interested in mixing my recipes blog to my personal blog either.

With attempt two, I decided to make it a little different. I still wanted to share photos of things I make but I did not want it to be the focus. I also wanted to share photos of food from restaurants we’ve visited. I think what makes it different is Khoi is part of it too. It helps when he writes and takes photos.

Khoi didn’t mind posting on this blog but I really want to leave this blog for my thoughts and non-food photos. It might be too confusing.

 

My grass does have flowers but I sewed them myself!

Generally I’m pretty comfortable with whatever I got in life. I asked Mr. Fish if he was happy with his life when he read this article with me. He said “yes I am because at least my expectations are realistic.”

In general I thought the article was pretty funny yet true. My favorite part was when they featured the unicorn barfing rainbows.

Anyways, just because I’m happy about my life overall, does not mean I don’t have expectations and it does not mean I don’t dream. The way I see things is that I work hard for what I want. I always tell people “you get what you give to the world.” If I performed really poorly, do I still deserve kudos? If I clearly know I did a bad job but I still had to turn it in, I already know what to expect (back to the drawing board). And if I get a bad evaluation and they didn’t like it then I’m most likely not upset because I already had it coming. I tell myself I’ll do better next time.

Example would be at work, I had to draft one proposal for a project and now I had to draft proposals for two more projects. The thing is, I never written a project proposal before so I tried my best to write my best first proposal. I look through past projects on how they wrote their proposals, looked online for ideas, and researched more about these upcoming projects. I drafted and my project manager took a look and sent me back with revisions and comments. I corrected my revisions and I replied to my project manager regarding the comments why I wanted these key questions there. But overall, I didn’t think it was too bad. Like I said I did my best.

What I don’t understand is that there are people who do a half-assed task and knew they did a half-assed job but then when they’re told they did a bad job, why do they go on some rant/rampage on twitter/facebook/instagram on how the person who told them so was a jerk and they really did work hard on their half-assed task in the first place?