“I’m almost done having cancer!” :)

Up until my third year of teaching, I wondered everyday why I wanted to be a teacher when everyday felt worse than the day before. It seemed like a million jobs in one but with little appreciation or support.  Yet after those first difficult years, it became easier and I was reminded by my students of why I chose this career path.  It wasn’t just a career – it was a lifestyle. For me to teach children not just academics but how to aim for success in life, how to make friends, how to have manners and proper etiquette, I had to be aware of every move I make as well as learn to increase my interests for everything that I was teaching them. A simple “good morning” to a child or adult goes a long way and shows you care – I love when my students now say it first before me!  After a while, you see them mirroring you in both good and bad, and you realize how important your presence and your examples are. They look up to YOU

But last year, I realized that I look up to them too.  The intelligent conversations they have, the curious minds that allow for exploration and questioning, the innocence of knowing the good, the respect they have for others, the inner drive they have to succeed (though this could take multiple modes to dig out of them!), and the smiles they bring when you least expect it.

In the spring, one of my students was diagnosed with cancer. He missed a couple of days in school and I had wondered why. At first it was just a stomach problem but then it became more severe and treatment was immediately needed.

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A Sweet Treat with Judy Lai from Silk Cakes!

Are you in for a sweet treat?  I’m so excited to introduce to you Judy Lai, the creative and inspiring owner of SilkCakes located in LES, Manhattan and Forest Hills, Queens. Judy is the baker behindthose elaborately detailed cakes with unique flavor combinations that you may haveseen at a friend’s wedding, through my Instagram, or through wedding magazines.Recently, Judy and I had a delightful conversation over the phone (she’s incrediblysweet!) about the inspiration behind her craft and how she comes up with the different flavors. I thought why not let the baker herself tell you all about it! Then afterwards, make sure you take a trip over to either of her shop sites to get a real taste yourself of those moist cupcakes and cakes (and snap tons of pictures, for all you foodies out there!)

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And the winners are…

HOW FUN it was to look through all the entries submitted to our Snowdays gift certificates giveaway! After raffling all the names submitted through Instagram and Facebook, we have the 5 lucky winners!

 

Winners, you will be notified soon for further instructions on claiming your prize! 🙂 Congratulations!! 

Thank you sooo much to all of you who entered or simply shared the post! I had so much fun that you can count on me on doing another contest in the nearby future. A special thanks to Tony from Snowdays on collaborating with me to host this incredibly fun giveaway! If you didn’t win, please still check out Snowdays Shavery – the staff is awesome and the snow cream is superb! It won’t disappoint. 🙂

Until next time!

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Sushi Night

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If I had my own house with a nice kitchen and a large enough space, I would probably be hosting parties and special cook nights at least once a month! But.. I don’t.  So instead, I headed over to one of my close friend’s apartment and held our first sushi night. (If you’re not a fan of sushi yet you want to do something that requires collaborative prep and cooking, here are some ideas from my previous posts:  hot pot night or Japanese barbecue night!)

Sushi is quite popular amongst many people. It’s a Japanese food consisting of vinegar rice combined with other ingredients. Technically it’s an ingredient (often raw seafood) placed atop rice, but there are so many variations of it nowadays. When my friends and I got together, we decided to play around with the combinations and create our own rolls. Here’s what we did!

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Snow Day Giveaway

Are you in New York City? If yes, here’s a giveaway for you! Snowdays and I teamed up to give 5 winners a chance to each win ten dollar gift certificates to the dessert spot, Snowdays on 10th Street! Read below to find out how to enter and check out the the interview with store owner, Tony Quach here!

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To enter, you will need a Facebook or Instagram account. 

 Instagram:  
1) Follow @Snowdays and @lilspirations.
2) Like and Comment through the app on this photo tagging 3 friends.
3) For a bonus extra entry repost this image with #lilspirationsgiveaway!

 

Entering through Facebook:
1) Follow Snowdays Facebook page  and lilspirations page here.
2) Like the photo on my Facebook page and share the post with your friends!
3) Tag @lilspirations for your entry to be logged

 

Good luck, and thanks for entering!

Winner must follow each step in either methods to qualify. Giveaway runs through midnight est on Saturday, 3/14/15. Winners will be contacted through direct message and prizes will be mailed. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram or Facebook. 

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Behind the Scenes with the Founder of Snowdays Shavery, Tony Quach

This winter is probably one of the coldest winters I can remember here in New York. If it’s not snowing, it’s freezing and turning all the previous snow or puddles into ice!  Yesterday the floors were pretty clean from a couple of warmer days and then it started to snow again today.

But I’ve actually been looking forward to this snow day because how else to celebrate the day than with the popular Snowdays Shavery? You might remember 6 months ago, when I attended their first week opening and shared about the experience (click here to read!).  Since then, they have been the talk of the town (or in our case, the city)!

Over my week off, I got together with founder Tony Quach to tell you about how this unique place came about.  He’s such a down-to-earth guy and cares really deeply for what he does and about interacting with his customers. Now here’s your chance to know him a little bit through our behind-the-scenes interview.  (Make sure you read it all!  You may find a little surprise somewhere below.) 🙂

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