becoming an adult

December 19, 2014

Being in our twenties is an awkward state.

I say that with endearment and affection, though. I am currently in this limbo of an-almost-adult and an actual adult. Being an adult is scary because you have a lot of responsibilities. Whether it is paying your bills on time, work-related things or personal matters. I wanted to touch up on an experience that I recently encountered that clarified my limbo state.

2015 is creeping around the corner, literally less than two weeks, and with new healthcare policies in full force, it can be mentally exhausting and very confusing for any twenty-somethings. For those who are insured under your parents until you’re twenty-six, well, lucky you. Unfortunately, there are some stranglers out there, like myself, who are not insured.

This is the moment where I felt like a complete adult: shopping for healthcare. Not new shoes. Healthcare.

Many thoughts and emotions of how do I go about shopping for healthcare, and what would be most suitable for a fairly healthy twenty-somethings like myself. There are questions such as would my income secure me a decent health coverage? Like you, I worry about my monthly expenses and making sure I have enough for rent, bills and food.

I know, the idea is daunting and is overwhelming, but luckily we have options everywhere we go. A lot of things to factor when it comes to shopping for healthcare and one being if it’s accessible in your state. Secondly, where to go about shopping for healthcare coverage.

First, I Googled “health insurance” and took me to the Health Government website to make sure when were deadlines. There is a whole register for a log-in process that takes a couple of business days. Once you’re issued a confirmation email, the next step is building your profile with personal information. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you go to the Health Care website because there are important dates to mark down. For starters, last day to register health coverage is December 20th, which is tomorrow! Luckily, we can easily sign up for coverage online than the hassle of going in-person signing hardcopies. You are able to shop for your coverage in the “marketplace” that gives you a few options based on your health coverage preference.

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I recently discovered Hi Oscar, health insurance offered in New York and New Jersey, through the visual appealing cartoon ads through majority of subways. I was curious, so I went online. Super user-friendly to sign up and get information; easy as, inputing your age, how many people are in your household, who is the coverage for and how much you make. Afterwards, the system produces different options for you. It’s personalized.

I personally like information when it is clear-cut and omitting any jargon or fancy words that the average Joe or Jane understands. That would be me.

After reaching out to a representative, here I was, signing up for the coverage that is best fitting for me as an individual factoring in my income. I was told that I will receive paperwork via snail mail regarding detailed information of my health policy. My first payment and coverage will be effective starting January 1st.  A sign of relief overcame me, as well as feeling like an adult.

I just bought my own health insurance. So, this is what an adult feels like, huh? Not too shabby.

– C

 

 

 

weekday warrior: sister, sister finale

December 17, 2014

My Sister is such a brat, she was going through the “passengers only” boarding area and didn’t look back until I yelled out “Hey, are you going to give me a hug?” Her face had “Oh” written all over her and she walked back to hug me before we parted ways for now. What a butthead.

Alas, her trip officially came to an end, and with only a few minutes apart she tweeted how she missed me already, and I felt the same. But it was nice to enjoy her company these past few days; I forgot what it was like living with a girl (because I live with two dudes) and siblings, in general.

Here is the finale – filled with shameless selfies: 

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I can see why people enjoy this place. Not only it is the biggest attraction, but it truly captures the whole commercialness of America and somehow, those ad lights are inspiring – maybe I just like lights and anything that remotely twinkles. But just so you all know, New Yorkers hate this place for many reasons and one being the crowdedness of the entire area. Worst than busy train stations. Ugh.

After taking our selfies galore (there were a few more that I am lazy to upload), we headed to the Disney Store where we both drooled over Prince Charming and Prince Eric dolls! Plushes, too! As much as I wanted the a cute plush toy on my bed, I realized that I am not the cuddling type nor do I need it in my life.

It’s just cute to look at. Really.

Anyhow, finally, Wednesday is coming to an end, that means the week is nearly over. I am so ecstatic for the weekend just so I can sleep in and just get back into my regular routine. Having guests over is exhausting, and irregular sleeping patterns and conditions.

So many great things has happened in the past week that I cannot wait to share with you all, but the news will have to wait for now. I have so many project deadlines to complete and get some sleep!

Goodnite family & friendsThank you for tuning in, and I hope you all enjoyed the photos (:

– C

weekend warrior: sister, sister pt. 2

December 15, 2014

Our Sunday Funday consisted of:

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Central Park, 110 Street. Where there are more locals than tourists. Thank goodness. A candid my sister took of me that reads, “Don’t talk to me until I have my coffee.” Is that my resting face?

DSC02224 DSC02226 DSC02228We decided to “get lost” and hopped on the nearest bus. We rode down 5th Ave and ended up at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as The Steps from Gossip Girl.

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We went back on the bus and ended up at The New York Public Library to see the scene where Carrie was supposed to get married to Big, but he didn’t show up.

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“I want french fries,” she said. You ask, and you shall receive Belgian Fries from Pomme Frites with Parmesan Peppercorn. And it was oh. so. gooooood!

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There was a massive line at Bryant Park’s ice skating rink. I like to think everyone else was thinking, “Oh, it will be less crowded on a Sunday night.” Turned out it was. It was funny because the first picture (above) people were holding onto the rail and it was just a train of people. I laughed so hard, which is kind of mean, but made me glad that we did not make it in…

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Instead, we went to get desserts at Grace Street, where I believe the beverages are super overpriced, but we were near Koreatown so what the hey. Tried a new dessert, a Korean donut, which was filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts plus a serving of vanilla ice cream on the side (pictured above), and it was actually really good. The dough was soft and perfectly fried! Yum.

Tomorrow is my Sister’s last full day in New York, and I am getting super sad about it. Le Sigh… Only plans we have tomorrow is dinner at the Shake Shack, it will be our first time! Will upload the last bit of adventures until then.

Had a long, long day. Ta-ta!!!

weekend warrior: sister, sister

December 13, 2014

If you follow me on twitter and/or instagram, there have been postings about my baby sister being in town! And if you don’t recall my sister, she is the talented illustrator behind my blog posts.

She arrived last night and beaten up by her flight to do anything exciting, so today was our first full day of adventuring the City.  Luckily, my sister is easy-going about her trip; the only tourist thing she wants to do is Times Square, which is unbearable, but I will sacrifice. I won’t be exhausted like I was when D was in town a few months back. You can view that post here.

So thankful that my sister agreed to running errands with me, too, such as sending out Christmas gifts and sales from my Storenvy.

Here is what we did:

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It was my Big Sister duty to show great local spots, and of course, my favorite place in the City: The Strand. She dug up some books in the art section and found some gems. I got a couple new reads myself: How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran and Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark.

Ended our night with Trader Joe’s and dinner at the loft. We are so pooped from walking around in Williamsburg to Chinatown and all over SoHo.

Since I had some downtime I wanted to share my day’s recap with you all. Hope you enjoyed the photos, family and friends, and enjoying your weekend so far

– C

PS: my heart felt heavy when I witnessed the Millions March. “Don’t just watch us, come and join us” they shouted while they marched for miles around the City. I felt so guilty that I could not join the march because I am playing host. Although I may not speak about it loudly, I do care about injustice.

I had no intentions to end this post with such saddening thoughts, but I just did. For those who are not up to speed with current events, it is nice to know what is going outside of your bubble for a change and see what is happening in the World, beyond the clothing sales.

quote of the day:

December 9, 2014

I want to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can. – Kristin Armstrong

You and I have been told to get out of our comfort zones. If you haven’t been told, I am telling you now! Get. Out. There!

Line-for-line this quote describes my recent thoughts lately, especially when I think about the grand schemes of life. Armstrong’s quote pushes me to be more confident in myself as a person and with my work; and to be frank, I have been lacking that a little lately. It is unlike me, but I am myself to blame.

So family and friends, for those who are my goal-getters, dream chasers, if you were to take anything from this quote, take this with you: don’t shrink back just because it was not easy.

Keep dreaming. Keep hustling. Keep on. Because I strongly believe that persistence leads to success. And if you work hard and keep at it, your dreams and aspirations will unfold.

Happy Tuesday!

– C

a kristmas story

December 7, 2014

The highlight of my weekend:
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DSC02052 DSC02055 DSC02057 DSC02062 DSC02064 DSC02068 DSC02072 DSC02086 DSC02094 DSC02102 DSC02118I had such a great time! Mingling with new faces and familiar ones. You know when you are slowly entering the Adult World Parties when there are smaller groups of people, finer beverages, and board games (or at least something interactive).

Thank you for having me over K. I hope you had a great time and a wonderful birthday celebration! (:

– C

style influencers: a story

December 5, 2014

Good morning, and thank goodness it’s Friday!!! Diving into today’s story:

What does style mean to you? Fashion and style are two completely different entities, and if you don’t know that, well, I hope you do now. I do love fashion, but what I love more is style because as trends fade, style, however, does not.

Fashion is a form of art and expression, which now leads to my question: what do you think your style says about you? Or what do you want it to say? Hrm, a food for thought.

This blog is about finding myself in my career and as a creative individual, as mention when I launched this bad boy. While I have yet found those words that are concise to depict my wardrobe and personal style, I wanted to share some trend-setters that I avidly admire and get my inspiration from.

Alexa Chung. She is truly my style icon, a mixture of feminine and masculine looks. She jazzes up an outfit with a skirt with loafers, which is men’s wear inspired. There is something about her relaxed, messy locks and button-downs. (Buttons from buttonsandchary, holler). I am a sucker for a well-tailored pant suit for women (and men). To me that signifies confidence and power.

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Photo Credits: Alexa Chung Tumblr.

Pamela Love. My inner bohemian, free-spirited and effortless badass-edgy style. Think moto-jackets, funky prints, maxi dresses and ankle boots. All which I have! I discovered Pamela Love through her jewelry brand and when I was eyeing her aesthetics and style, I immediately fell in love. Want more insights? Click here.

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Photo Credits here.

The Olsen Twins. Their style has definitely evolved over the years, even when they are not dressed identical anymore, they both obtain similar aesthetics. This is where I adorn the classic black and white color palette. It is New York-esques to be decked out in black and white, apparently. These two are so iconic in the fashion industry, designing successful collections for The Row and Elizabeth and James.

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Ashley Olsen, Mary Kate Olsen

Photo Credits MKA Tumblr

I would say now, in my mid-twenties, I have a full grasp of what I do like and what I don’t like in terms of style, brands and clothing. It’s funny because I was never a stylish person growing up – ask K, one of my oldest and dearest friends. I wore Batman sneakers in Kinder, which haunted my childhood for awhile. But I will take that even early on, boyish elements have always charmed me. Honestly, I didn’t tap into my personal style until midway in college. What can I say, a late bloomer.

Hope this was visual stimulating for you as it was for me, or at least made you think about your sense of style. Have you figured out your personal style? If so, where does your personal style inspiration root from? Do tell!

(I intend to learn to describe my style in six adjectives instead of lengthy sentences).

a master of none

December 3, 2014

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Prior to landing in my current role, I was constantly being questioned where is my direction. What is my objective. What is my objective? You know those repeated interview questions.

Secretly, I know what it is: editorial. But on paper, literally, I may be deemed as a confused young professional because I have dipped my feet into public relations, marketing, styling and even administration. So it makes professionals question my motives and my future plans. I don’t blame them.

I hate being classified into one thing, especially in the professional realm – I know it’s easy for society to identify us if we had labels slapped onto us, but what if I can do this-and-that well? Can’t I pick what labels to be used to identify me?

You work in Marketing? Cool. Oh, you’re a fashion editor? Wonderful, too! Oh, you read, write, edit, and do so much more? So, what is exactly is your passion then?

I am passionate about life. Whatever life encompasses: art. food, travel, fashion, fitness and health, and new experiences. I find myself to be an adventurous soul. Also, I find it hard for me to cling onto one thing when I like a lot of things…

What I keep learning about finding myself in my potential career is constantly being pushed to find where I “belong” and specialize in one damn thing. Why?! Still figuring out my strengths and how I can apply that to my future roles, or how the hell am I going to land a role in the editorial field.

You know what they say: A Jack of all Trades, but a Master of None. This is precisely who I am because I acquire all these skills over the last couple of years, but I am in this awkward state where I really don’t know what I specialize in. As oppose to companies appreciating my versatile skills set, it can hurt me instead as a candidate. Again, what can I contribute?

You see the issue here, right? I have been told to find my niche, whatever I am “special” in and keep applying myself. I have yet discovered my special skill. What the hell is my special skill? Guess I will have to figure it out with my current and future experiences. Must I really specialize in something?

I haven’t found a solution, and if you do, please share a penny for my thoughts. Or two, whatever. It is the season of giving after all, hehe.

Hope you all have a Happy Hump Day! Quickly, just wanted to share something with you all!

After failing sharing photos with you all through my 30-Day Wardrobe Challenge, I did succeed in maximizing my wardrobe and not shopping. YAY! I cleaned out a few items and put them on my store. You will see a link on my home page labeled SHOP, where you can see what items I have available. Or, if you’re lazy, click here.

Secondly, viewing the home page, you will see a new category added: beauty. You know what that means? Yes, product reviews and sharing my personal favorite beauty brands. More to this section coming soon!

One last thing, if you are interested in seeing published pieces written about my dating affairs in New York to every day struggles of a twenty-somethings, you will find a link to my portfolio. It’s written a tad differently, but still me, I promise.

I am still working on my craft! I still get self-conscious of my work, but if you have any thoughts, please send them my way in  the comment section or send me a love note.

Okay, I’m done. Bye foreals now (:

a gobble recap: MA

December 1, 2014

I was in Boston from Thursday evening to Sunday morning, longer than my last trip out of New York. It was weird not to spend Thanksgiving with my immediate family. My family called me while I was rushing to my bus station and I was holding it all in. It is hard not to be around your loved ones during this time, especially.

Moving on, I realized after editing and uploading the photos for this post, that majority consisted of food. Well, that’s normal, but I was hoping I can capture more of the local scenes, but guess not.

The best part of the trip is witnessing snow. New York had a little bit, more like ice + rain sometime last week. But in MA there were two to three inches of snow. And I was squealing. It looked so magical! *Insert googly heart-eyes here* See it for yourself below!

This trip we didn’t do any touristy things, which was fine by me. I needed to get away from the City and wanted to relax so there was no urge to do anything extravagant. Seeing my cousins was more than enough. And that is what basically I did during my trip; plus being cooped up in the guest room watching Gilmore Girls. It was simply quality time spent with my Mom’s side and my aunt from my Dad’s side.

Here is a peek into my trip:

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I don’t know why he posed like that… but look at that view! Look at the snow! This was his front yard! Ah! Westford is very suburban and a nice change of pace from the City.

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Cousins and I bonding time! We were starving after adventuring Burlington Mall – bunch of chaos and crowds. We picked up snacks and food at H Mart.

DSC01999DSC02001DSC02004DSC01979My goofy Aunt from my Dad’s side. Got to sneak away for a bit and caught up over a popular Cambodian Restaurant, Simply Khmer, and shopping. (I was tired of shopping by now). My first bowl of Pho since I left CA and oh, my it was amazeballs.

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I swear Saturday was a day filled with hella food. Sushi Yanagi for dinner. I tried to control my consumption, but all hell breaks lose when you take me to a dessert place. Waffles and ice cream? I can never say no. I love it when places have board games – my favorite hands down is Jenga. Love, love, love!

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One more selfie with my cousin. Well, that sums it up. Hope you all enjoyed the photographs. I have so many to upload this week.

By the way, I cannot believe it’s already December, the year is practically over and it’s freaking me out. I have no clue why, but I have all this anxiety. Talk about issues…

Hope you all had a successful Monday, and a great kickstart of the month! Alright, enough rambling, time to finish some editing and this episode of Gilmore Girls.

– C

gobble, gobby y’all

November 27, 2014

With the holiday seasons chiming in and the weather dropping below 30s, I am sort of getting kind of sad. “Depress” is probably an extreme word to use, but it can commonly be used to describe how I currently feel. I won’t be going back to California for the holidays or anytime soon due to financial reasons. Le sigh*

Enough of the sad ramblings, today is the day where we express our gratitude over a delicious meal with our loved ones. Personally, I truly believe in counting our blessings on a daily basis, which in matter of fact, I do! 

Instead of expressing the big stuff that matters to me by default, ie: family, friends, a roof over my head, having a job and etc., I am going to count nine current blessings that can be considered “little,” and can be overlooked, but seriously thankful for anyway:

  1. First and foremost, I am grateful for New York and everything that makes New York, New York!
  2. The Q44 Bus Driver, who wanted to leave the bus stop, but saw me running and stopped for me. Random acts of kindness will always warm my soul and restore my faith in Humanity.
  3. Office coffee because I don’t have to spend money I don’t have for my daily essential beverage.
  4. The Asian blanket, you know what I am talking about. I am sure every Asian household has this type of blanket to keep you warm during the cold nights. Winter is here and I don’t have a heater in my room, so I am so grateful for this gift.
  5. Hulu Plus because it allows me to catch up with in-season shows on an extremely cold, lazy evening. I’m thankful for Netflix, too.
  6. Tumblr, Huffingtonpost, Refinery29 and New York Mag – the main sources of my interest, knowledge and entertainment.
  7. Snowballing from number No. 5, I am so, so grateful for technology that allows me to catch up with family and friends, making me being thousand miles away not-so-tragic.
  8. Chinatown and Trader Joe’s because these two markets are within my budget for groceries.
  9. Souncloud because that is where I have been streaming tunes, lately. Current track I been streaming? Chill V.4 by CSXPD; it is amazeballs. Take a listen:

Here is a food for thought. Reasons why I appreciate and acknowledge every single blessing in my life:

The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased. – Mark Nepo

While everyone here is New York is setting their ovens for the big feast, or freezing their butt’s off at the Macy’s Parade, I am here. On my sofa. Sipping on my chai latte while catching up with Gilmore Girls.

I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving Holiday in Boston with my Mom’s side. Looking forward to Cambodian food or just homemade Southeast Asian meals in general. I have yet finished packing and I leave in a few hours…

Family & friends, thank you for always checking in. Remember that today is merely a reminder to acknowledge the people and things we are thankful for, and that we continue to be grateful for every little spec that is given to us in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving (:

– C