Daily Must-Read Inspirations


This is your LIFE.
Do what you love, and do it often.

If you don't like something, CHANGE it.
If you don't like your job, quit.
If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV.

If you are looking for the love of your life, STOP.
They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.

Stop over analyzing, life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, APPRECIATE every last bite.

Open you mind, arms, and heart to new things and people.
We are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their PASSION is,
and share your inspiring DREAM with them.

TRAVEL often;
getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, SEIZE them.

Life is about the people you meet,
and the things you CREATE with them.
So go out and start creating.

LIFE is short.
LIVE your dream,
and WEAR your passion.

*Thanks kaffiekins for these lovely words of inspiration!

Sending love,

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Food for Fridays: Shabu Shabu Bar, Santa Ana


We met our friend for dinner at Shabu Shabu Bar in Santa Ana.

Cute table setting. I'm very into details so the little things are noticeable to me.

Here we are grinding our own sesame seeds for the peanut sauce. It was harder than I thought.

The red drops are spicy drops. Can you guess which one's mine?

Yokozuna Platter - eater beware this is a LOT of meat! 40+ slices for $55.49

We got 2 orders of this to share among us 4...talk about major food coma afterwards!

Lychee & peach sakes - aka "sake in a bottle." I really wanted to keep one of those bottles for myself. They're so cool looking aren't they?

It was quite interesting that they made the soup for us. That was a nice surprise.

Black sesame ice cream - omg have you ever had this before? It was GOOD and so was their green tea ice cream! I forgot to take a picture of that one but it was really rich in flavor. You must save room for dessert here!

Thanks Shabu Shabu Bar for such an awesome first experience here! The wait was short, the staff were friendly, the food was great, and the place was beautiful! See you again soon. I can't wait to try the other meats and more bar drinks! ;)

Bon appetit!~!

Sending love,

CHECK IT OUT: Shabu Shabu Bar, 1945 E. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA. Tel: (714) 954-0332.
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Happy Birthday Love!

[tank: f21, cardy: foreign exchange, skirt: volcom, heels: bakers]

Over the weekend I planned a birthday party for the bf. The past two years I had surprise birthday parties for him so this year, obviously, wasn't going to be one.

Thank goodness for little sisters because they helped me set up and get some of the stuff ready. It was a really busy, nonstop day for me. In the morning I had training with the American Red Cross from 8am until 5pm and then I had to go pick up the cake across town, finish decorating the house, and set up food/drinks/entertainment before our guests arrived. What a day right?

Being a hostess is a lot of work (I don't even remember if I ate) but I love decorating and planning events so it's always a blast for me. As long everyone had fun - especially the birthday boy - then I'm happy.

Party pics:
We had gourmet food galore...and I made the jungle juice ;)

Of course, I got one of his favorite cakes from here

And topped it off with the crazy flaming candles

Happy birthday to my dearest babu! Wishing you an awesome year full of wonderful memories! <3

Sending love,
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What Else Matters?


Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to not stress about the little things and just enjoy the simple moments together.

*Thanks to my little sisteroo for this quote! Sharing is caring. ;)

Sending love,
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2012 Year of the Dragon


Happy Lunar New Year! Or, in Vietnamese, Chuc Mung Nam Moi! This happens to be the year of the Water Dragon.

If you want to read your Chinese Horoscope for 2012, click here and find your "animal sign." You may need to scroll up afterwards to read the horoscope. Enjoy!

Hope many great things come your way this year!

Sending love,
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It Was A Sign


When there's a sign, you take it. And this was clearly a sign for me!

Every year I get a new planner - it's my ultimate way of organizing my schedule, events, birthdays, happy hour nights...basically, my life (I'm serious. If you saw it, you'd be amazed...it's very neat & colorful). So finding the perfect planner is really important to me. After all I'm going to be looking at that thing for an entire year so I better like it right?

While searching through planners at multiple stores, nothing really appealed to me. Then I stumbled across this one. Now I'm not really a "pink" person (it's too girly for me) but I do love purple. I usually would bypass this planner since it was so pink but something in me said to open it and look inside. And so I did. It hit me right away and I instantly fell in love with it. Why? Well the planner totally matched my blog card that's why! Pretty crazy how close it matches huh? If that's not a sign, I don't know what is!

Lesson learned: always be open for the unexpected. Always! Or you might just miss something good.

Sending love,
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One Life to Live


[top/skirt/belt: closet find, heels: anne michelle, sunglasses: electric]

"It's not about being who everyone else wants you to be; it's about being yourself and finding someone who loves every bit of it." ~ From my little sister.

I can be a little crazy sometimes (aren't all girls?) but since I only have one life to live, I am going to make the most of it! If you want to come along for the ride, be my guest. :)


Sending love,
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A Traditional Vietnamese Engagement Party


Another week, another engagement party.

Yup, two engagement parties back to back!

This one was for my dear friend Kelly & her fiance Paul.

For her engagement party she wanted to celebrate it the traditional Vietnamese way.

Meaning: the girls wear an ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress).

Obviously we LOVED the ao dai theme and had a lot of fun taking pictures!

Can you tell from our major photo sess?

What I Wore: custom-made & designed ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress)

Wearing an ao dai always reminds me of my trips to Vietnam and the loving culture there.

An ao dai has many symbolic meanings to me that I will forever hold dear to my heart.

Sending love,

P.S. Fun fact: I had this ao dai custom-made about 5+ years ago for the Tet (Vietnamese New Year) Pageant (where I won Miss Congeniality) and thank goodness it still fits!
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BGHS 10 Year Reunion


Attention BGHS Class of 2002: it's our 10 Year Reunion coming up! Did you know the Senior Class Officers are responsible for organizing this event? Who knew there'd still be duties 10 years later right? Well as the fellow Senior Class Vice President, I didn't mind because I love event planning. It's a lot of fun for me and I get really excited, especially when it comes to decorating.

*Special thanks to my fellow Senior Class Officers for helping to put this event together: Christina Tran (President), Tracy Phi (Treasurer), Jennifer Tran (Secretary), and Maira Thompson! Can't wait to see everyone at our 10 year high school reunion!

**Extra special thanks to my awesome G who created the above flyer for me! He's so talented isn't he? Why yes he is!

Sending love,
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Congrats to the Bride & Groom-to-Be!


[dress: h&m, heels: jessica simpson]

BIG NEWS: My dearest Alex just announced over the holidays that she got engaged to her long time boyfriend of 10 years! It was a lovely surprise and I'm so happy for her. We've been friends for about/over 15 years now and still going strong.

The pictures above are from her engagement party last weekend. It was at the Yardhouse in Long Beach and I loved the view of the docks outside. Pretty, isn't it? This special event brought practically all the girls out to celebrate and there was a lot of love in the air. *sniff sniff* We're all growing up so fast...

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

I am super excited for you Alex and can't wait for the big day to come! CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement! <3

Sending love,
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Food for Fridays: Cucina Alessa, HB

Went to Cucina Alessa in Huntington Beach like 3 times this past month! So this is a collection of pictures of the many things I tried...

homemade bread -it's so soft and you can taste the freshness!

caprese* - light & very easy to eat (and, of course, the bread is freshly made too)

minestrone - I didn't have this but my friend did & he said he liked it so we'll just take his word for it

calamari fritti* - crispy and goes great with the arrabiata sauce

pizza margherita* - without excess toppings, you can really enjoy the simplicity of a basic cheese pizza

pollo tortellini - never had this before so it was interesting...like stuffed pasta

lasagna napoletana - fun fact: this special recipe comes from Italy!

lobster ravioli - superb! The only problem? It may not be enough.

lamp chop - it was a little overcooked this time but still good (last time it was perfect)

ravioli di zucca* - created from homemade butternut squash, this dish is sweet and almost counts as a dessert to me

cannolis - a little too sweet for me; I've had my fair share of cannolis so I'm kind of picky when I eat them now

Okay are you hungry now? Cause I am. I think I can sample a bit of everything above again! FYI if you go during their happy hour, they have the foods with asterisks (*) above at really great prices! Definitely worth a try and you can always walk to Huntington Beach pier afterwards during sunset (I did this with one of my gfs). You burn off a little of what you just ate and get to enjoy a romantic view. ;)

Bon appetit!~!

Sending love,

CHECK IT OUT: To find the nearest location, click here.
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