Things to do before you get engaged…

I don’t know why people are upset about this young traveler’s post. It’s getting pretty viral or maybe viral among the 20-something engaged and 20-something wives.

She just sounds like a typical 20-something with a bucket list and giving some suggestions to the table because I know when school is over — whether you just want to end in high school or you Ph.D. and you don’t have anything lined up  afterwards then life is pretty directionless.

Her list is a little superficial but I think people are looking into too much and too literal. But maybe deep down you do need a new haircut or learn how to bake and start by I don’t know…maybe BAKING A CAKE! Or is it learning how to get baked?

I did have an ambitious list which I didn’t complete all since they were 101 things to do in 2.5 years after graduation. But at the time, I just was listing whatever needed to be listed because I was a UCLA graduate with a degree in Neuroscience with no intention to go to med school or pharmacy school — no direction.

When I was working San Diego and being around my fiance’s circle of friends and family and extended family, a lot of them did not pursue higher education after high school. None of them pursued a trade skill with a certification. A handful of them did join the armed services but only to return that even though they have the skills an employer is looking for, there is no piece of paper indicating where they went to school. It’s an invisible certificate that no one sees but themselves. A lot of them did get married after college and had kids. People who didn’t have kids and/or get married well…not sure what’s going on. I knew a girl who dropped out after a semester in community college because she wanted to work full time. A year later, she wants a job where she can move up in the world. She didn’t think about going back to school or pick up a new skill.

When I was living in SD, I did wonder how things would go with me if I were not pursue higher education after high school. But then…I just couldn’t see it. Clearly nothing was lined up for me if I decided not go to college.

So here is my list of things to do before you get engaged for any age (since I am 26 and engaged)

  1. Go to school whether it would be a bachelor’s or for trade. It gives you an opportunity to meet a lot of people (if you allow yourself to)
  2. Find yourself in a job you love — ok maybe people might say I’m delusional because the economy is so bad. But the way I see it, think of this bad economy as the new normal unless we place an embargo on all merchandise from China. But in the meantime try to make some (a lot of) effort to be more competitive.
  3. Travel somewhere, anywhere. Doesn’t have to a round-the-world trip, doesn’t have to be extended.
  4. Get on your own (without a boyfriend to supplement you) – I’m not saying you need to buy your own one bedroom apartment. At least be able to afford a room in an apartment without the help of a boyfriend. It’ll make you less needy.
  5. Make big purchases — Other than paying off those student loans, I would say my biggest purchase was buying my good old used car. When I moved to San Diego, I NEEDED a car. When I first bought it, I already knew that I needed to avoid eating for a while which leads me to…
  6. Getting in shape and exercise, eat healthier – Other than slimming down and getting in shape, you’ll be doing yourself a lot of favors. Besides if you’re engaged, you don’t want to work out too insanely hard during your engagement period. Enjoy engagement.
  7. Learning how to save (or is it learning how to be frugal?). For me, being frugal is easy but the saving part is hard for me. I feel I save and conveniently some disaster happens and I have pull out my savings. Yes I am happy that I have an emergency to pay off those disasters quickly like when my PayPal got hacked, I still needed funds because it was going to be a while until I got my funds restored. But anyways I wish had probably multiple savings accounts other than my emergency fund–I would hate to pull it out for wedding related things. I had a travel fund but I already knew I was traveling and I had to save up for that. But anywho…I know a lot of engaged girls who don’t even have an emergency fund. When they get engaged it was pulling out whole paychecks week after week. Ouch.

See? A small list of things to do before you’re engaged and I wouldn’t have it any other way :-).

Resolution #1


Not sure if it is a resolution but on my instagram I have been showcasing my homecooked meals. I do tend to stick to making the same things a lot so I decided maybe I should start cooking recipes only from the magazines I get in the mail and the cookbooks on my shelf.

The magazines I get in the mail are free. Don’t recall if I get a free subscription because I took a cooking class or I bought something somewhere and I got a free subscription. They have been piling up. When I was clipping recipes yesterday it was the first time I ever opened the magazines.

I got this idea from Pinterest because everyone pins all these recipes and all these ideas and people do a fraction of them. I’ve been pinning do much on Pinterest for inspiration, my magazines and cookbooks have been collecting dust.

Sadly my Moleskine has not been filling up any recipes in a while.

25 years: Day One

Here’s my list of things to do before I’m 30. Not as a long as my 101 things list but I think it’s still good for me :-). Lots of travels on my list (but really, my wanderlust can’t fit this whole page so I wrote something rather broad). I know as these years pass by, I’d be adding more things on my list (mentally). Anyways here’s my List of the Things to do before I’m 30:

1. Finish my students loans
2. Revisit France and cross the English Channel
3. Go to the Himalayas
4. Revisit to the Philippines
5. Go somewhere South of the Equator
6. Get my pictures professionally done
7. Start up my own fair trade company
8. Finish a marathon or maybe half marathons
9. Go to Italy
10. Go to a country in Africa
11. participate as an audience in a television show
12. Plant a tree
13. Go to the Eastern side of Canada
14. Go to New Orleans
15. Practice more yoga — being able to do crane poses and other crazy inversions
16. Join the Project Management Institute Pass my CAPM (eventually earn my PMP) 17. Spend a whole year doing 30 day stunts (see Matt Cutt 30 day challenges)
18. Learn to Paddleboard (bonus for doing yoga poses)
19. Public speak in large crowd
20. Go on a hot air balloon ride
21. Buy domain space
22. Buy a hybrid car
23. Go to the Antarctic Circle (At 16, I’ve already been to the Arctic Circle)

General and Continuous yet a great reminder:
24. Volunteer
25. Build and keep networking
26. Keep up this blog
27. Find my world inspiring
28. Do more acts of kindness
29. Save more money
30. Shake things up

How would I describe my blog?

I’m not a fan of labels. I’m really not.

I guess I can’t quite put my blog in a label. My blog actually started as a list — a list of 101 things to do 1001 days after my last day of college. I accomplished some on my list and some I didn’t, but that’s fine. Two years after graduation, I’m not doing too shabby but it could be better and it has nothing to do with crossing off more things on the 101 thing list.

When I turned 24, I decided to write a list of things to do before I turned 25. I’ve only looked at the list during the month of September (my birthday month) and forgot about it in October and beyond. Next month I turn 25. I forgot what I wrote on my 25 things before I turned 25 but that’s all right too, I think I had a great 24th year.

I guess to me, my blog is just a self-realization, a self-improvement blog and just a focus on putting my best self forward. I write these  goals to give myself a little bit of direction but it’s not necessarily a destination. The other day, I was reading an article on the NY Times on letting go of the outcomes and expectations of your goals and focus on the process on getting there and also don’t turn your goals into expectations — it’s a sad and defeating cycle.

My blog is a one-woman show. I cook, I do Pilates, I do yoga, I run, I write, I work a full-time job, I catch up with my friends, I travel, I take photos, I study, I do my homework, I clean the dishes, and do the laundry and I wouldn’t have that any other way. You really can’t put a label on my blog. I love write my rants, share things that inspire me, share my photos of places I’ve been and writing about my frustrations, what I can do better, and of course my accomplishments — recording how far I’ve come.

Question for you: How would you describe your blog?

Today is that day!!

My 101 things in 1001 days is all over. 

I made this list a week before I completed my college classes because I had no idea what was going to happen after when I was going to finish college. I had this on my mind in June after the graduation ceremony, my friend who was going to take another year in college tells me “since you graduated, you can pretty much do whatever you want!”

It’s a really nice idea but I didn’t know where I was going or where I’d up the year after graduation. Kept putting it off until the end of August — the week before I completed all my classes and OFFICIALLY graduated from college.

I wrote the list and basically wrote whatever that popped out of my head and money was no object. At the time, I just wanted the list to be a source of inspiration — a catalyst to my life after college. In college, I was working on campus and as soon as I was going to finish my classes I would become unemployed and now what?

I think uncertainty was my drive behind the list. I knew realistically, I needed a whole lot of money to accomplish everything on the list and a lot of time.  But looking through, I don’t think I was too shabby accomplishing whatever I wanted to do.

I did get a full-time job after graduation, I did pay off my credit cards, I was able to travel, and move out of my relative’s place which i thought were my biggest accomplishments. Definitely a big mark in independence. I’m very happy that I’m credit card debt free too — it’s made saving money a whole lot easier.

There were some things I wrote about such as building my network and learn 20 cooking recipes but I realized how hard it was to keep track. Also I don’t want to stop networking and stop cooking and stop blogging after my 1001 days. By the way, I’m still back logged in some dishes I made a while back, they’re still in my SD card.

Looking through my list from 2009–a lot of things do change in 1001 days. I remembered I listed “consider grad school.” I really thought I would go back to school by now or maybe a year before but now I’m perfectly satisfied putting it aside. I’ll just keep networking and making connections in the real world. I’ll admit, it’s not easy to meet people but I think it’s the way to go to be successful and live a satisfying life.

Speaking of more change, who knew that I’d end up moving to another city after graduation? Didn’t put that in my list but I let it happen anyways.

Even though I didn’t accomplish EVERYTHING of the list, to me all that mattered was that I lived a good life after college and not fall into a rut. I really do think there is more to life than just getting married and having children (or accidentally having children). I thought having the list at first was far-fetched or well…cheesy but after being around many people having children and getting married young, I always have my list to look back to. It’s like a super-long post-it reminder that I’ve got a lot more of life to go.

I’m going to look at my 101 things list and maybe I’ll put the things I didn’t accomplish this time to a list of things to do before I’m 30. No set number like 30 things before 30. Just any number…