A Whole New World

I hope you all had a lovely Easter.  It was quite sweet to scroll through my Instagram and Facebook to see all the fun Easter pictures people take. Though bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with the holiday, it’s nice to see people gather together and find joy in the day.  Meanwhile, this was the first Easter I actually missed in terms of going out for festivities and brunch. Instead we were home all day (or on my part, home all month…) celebrating this little one’s one month. That’s right!  Baby came early, hence my disappearance right after the last entry.

Meet Baby Kairi who so loves the world already.  Well, the world inside these 4 walls anyway because due to Chinese traditions, new mothers go through a “sitting month” where we don’t step outside and have to rest at home for an entire month! I know.. crazy, right??  Partially true depending on what traditions you’re told to follow, this article just about sums up this confinement period in the most hilarious ways.  As for being a new mother, I can’t even begin to describe the experience except that I understand now that we won’t really know what having a child feels like until we bear our own (emotionally, physically, socially). It’s quite the journey.  While there are struggles, the love is so huge, I feel like Jasmine sometimes with this whole new world I’m living in.

At the same time to be honest, I look and feel like this little one sometimes with just enough energy
to walk from one room to the other.
(Note: I am currently wearing pajama pants and an oversized tshirt as I write this entry) 

People are right though. After having a baby, there really is no shame (in how you look, dress, etc.) That bundle of joy literally keeps your world turning despite the fact that she refuses to nap and keeps you on your toes for hoooouuuuurrrrrssss… the random never-ending sounds she makes, the smiles, the incredibly loud farts she makes, the cute whimper sounds, the sudden cries that wake you up and then becomes silent (almost to say “WAKE UP! Oh, just kidding”) … yup, all worth it. She is already my inspiration and I hope that she will grow up to be a strong woman who fulfills what she believes in and aims to make a difference in this ever-changing world.  Girl power… oh yes.  🙂

Just an FYI for those who are wondering, this isn’t going to become a mommy-blog, but if you are a mommy and would like to know some of the coolest spots in New York City, recipes, and things to do with your kids, check out my friend Yvonne’s new blog, Hopscotch_Mom.  She has quite the fun ideas with her 3 adorable daughters!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, Lil

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Lunar New Year, #1 Seattle Instagrammer, Baby, and Toys!

Hellooooo, dear friends!

There is so much going on, I don’t even know where to start!  First off, a happy LUNAR NEW YEAR to all those who celebrate (it lasts 15 days so it’s not too late!) This year, I wasn’t out taking photos and parading with the lion dancers like I usually do in Chinatown, New York, but it was most definitely nice to stop by and join in for a little bit!  Here’s a photo of the Southern Praying Mantis group getting ready to march across Canal Street.

Second, a HUGE shoutout to my friend Samantha Leung for kicking @$$ on social media and her business. Remember her from one of my first featured spotlights and giveaways back in 2015? (http://lilspirations.com/featured-spotlight-samantha-leung) She is now the #1 Instagrammer in all of Seattle!  You can see her highlighted in this recent article on Narcity.  I don’t know how she does it, but her work is absolutely beautiful.  If only I had a green thumb!  Congratulations, Sam!

Third, I am now 38 weeks – CRAAAAZYYYY!  They say many women go through a nesting stage where they scrub, clean, and organize like crazy to get ready for the baby, but who knew I would go through that!  I thought I’d be out and about, traveling, scrambling to get to every bookmarked restaurant I can and mingle with my friends while I still can.  Okay fine, I still try to do all that in my little waddling ways.  Little did I know the energy runs slightly lower and weird things start happening to the body that prevents a bit of that.  So, here I am cleaning like a mama, sniffing and getting high off of baby detergent smells, and baking as if I was catering a party for 50 sweets eaters.  Do check on me please, friends.  We don’t want me to get TOO high off of these things now!

Lastly, I did get an opportunity to go to the exclusive non-public Toys Fair 2018 at the Jacob Javitts Center.  (Thank youuuuu Wendy).  It was fascinating to see the never-ending amount of toys that exists but even more interesting to see how business people interact with one another to get the toys into the market.  My favorite toys had to be the education-related ones because there was so much thought put into them and engages the next generation of children into the modern day tech world. I want one of these Botley coding robots myself!  The Bump recently wrote up an article about some of those STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) toys that you might be interested in if you have or work with children.

As for all of you who have been looking to this blog for food and places to go, I’ll try and keep you updated as much as I can before baby comes!

That’s all for now!  Thanks for popping by 🙂 xoxo, Lil

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A New Year cute video & giveaway!

Happy 2018! 

Remember I told you in my last entry to think about all that you’ve accomplished and not what you couldn’t get to (because we all have a never ending list of to-do’s!)?  Well… this little one surely was shocked at all that she succeeded in 2017!  One of my favorite YouTube stars, Claire Crosby, shares her successes with her family. She has QUITE a few considering she’s only five years old.  Oh-so-adorable I can’t stop watching her and listening to her sing – she is practically best friends with Ellen!

This year, I really hope to share with you more inspiring stories and people to connect with. To start off the year with this entry, I teamed up with Jeanne Chiang from @jeminidesigns just for fun to do a New Year’s giveaway for our Instagram followers!  Head over to my Instagram account @lilspirations for your chance to win one of her unique elemental earth bracelets.

I’ve known Jeanne for years and watching her shop grow has been incredible. (You can find her on Etsy here).  She has a keen eye for architecture, so when it came to jewelry design, you can imagine her merging the two well. I asked her where the idea for these particular bracelets came from and she responded with the following: “It came from studying soil samples for architecture.  Soil is the very depths of our earth – so rich in color, texture, and material.  Elemental earth is my tribute to our planet, for appreciating its rarity and uniqueness from every particle. In these pieces, no stone is exactly alike. The raw and organic, harmonizes with the crystalline perfection of the crystal seedlet clusters. Just like architecture, man’s integration of form into its natural environment.”  Indeed when you look at them closely, the stones are all different.

What are you waiting for? Head on over and enter now!  Wishing you all a joyous, adventurous, and healthy new year!  xoxo, Lil

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Goodbye, 2017!

Helloooo, everyone!

Your first question is probably where in the world I’ve been.  Let’s just say 2017 was quite the busy year, and as close as I was to ending this blog due to a lack of time, I just couldn’t do it. In fact, I renewed it for another 3 years.  As I look back on the 3 years of Lilspirations, I remember why I started it in the first place.  To learn, to share, to be inspired, and to inspire … and indeed I felt it was successful. I met so many wonderful people whom I still connect with thanks to their collaboration or even just all of your support with this site. I created so many new things that I never thought I’d have the talent or skills for because I was motivated and encouraged to, and I learned so much about people, places, and myself.  It has truly been an inspiring journey.

However, I can’t say that things will ever be the same again in 2018 because it won’t be.  In a good way though.  I don’t have the time to travel, go out and explore as much as I used to so I can share with you all the special events that happen here in New York City, but I will continue sharing with you the people that make this city what it is.  I will share with you the stories behind the places you visit and the food that you eat (which by the way, just 3 years ago when I started, Smorgasburg wasn’t even popular yet and now we’ve got food halls everywhere!)  Lastly, I will hopefully share with you something very new – a glimpse of my journey as a first time mom.  We are so excited to have a baby girl this spring.  She just may be the lil’ in Lilspiration!  Here’s a GIF hubby and I made for our announcement that I’d love to share with you!

 

As I close the year with this entry, I want to remind you to celebrate all that you have accomplished, not what you wish you had accomplished (because we all know there is plenty on our lists!)  Ask yourselves – What are you most proud of? What did you learn? What do you want to make happen in 2018?  Don’t let the little things slip away – you’ll be surprised how accomplished you feel when you recognize even the smallest things you’ve done.  Remember sometimes, it’s the little things that inspire.

Happy New Year, friends!  xoxo – Lil

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A Brand New Look!

Helloooo everyone!  Whew, it has been a long time!  Thanks for checking back in 🙂  As you can see, Lilspirations has a new look!!!  It used to be hosted by Tumblr, but we are now on… ::drum roll please:: … WORD PRESS!  A huge thanks to my hubby, web designer and developer for the site – I love keeping things minimalistic and that’s exactly what he did with the colors and design! It’s a simple layout I simply love!  Here are some of the new things on the site!

  • a search button (whaaaaa!) –  You can now type in any key words to see what posts/articles are related
  • monthly archive – Go ahead and look back at some of the old posts!
  • new tabs – everything I write will be categorized into one of the following categories:  Life (anything related to me or life in general); New York City (places and events); Travel; Teaching; Featured Spotlights (all the awesome people I interview to inspire you!)
  • comments – YES! Some of you have been asking me for such a long time. I was against comments for a while, but why not give it a try? Please do share your thoughts with me! I’ll always reply as soon as I can 🙂

I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next! As I work on the blog and also catch up on some new big things in my life, I’ll keep you updated. For now, go ahead and check out some of the old posts in the archive on the right for ol’ time sake.  I’ll be working on some new ones soon! xoxo, Lil

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What Goes On During CNY?

Hellooo, there!  Happy Chinese New year to all those who celebrate! It was a little hard planning a post this year around the holiday given everything that’s happening in world news. There’s just so much to be said about this year’s changes in 28 days, but what we need is some positivity and a great hope for our future.  My one advice is that now more than ever, stay updated and stick with one another.

In the meantime, so many people have been asking me about the customs, traditions, and events that revolve around this huge holiday celebrated by so many. Last year, Chinese New Year was officially dubbed a holiday in NYC so public schools had the day off!  I am far from being an expert and I am still learning every year, but based on the people around me and the traditions that I see, I made a very simple checklist of what people do to get ready for the new year and what they do or can’t do during the first 15 days. I did a FAQ on it last year, but comparing that to this year’s, either I’ve forgotten some or I’ve learned a couple more things, haha!  (Related article: 10 Things to do during Lunar New year) . Hope this helps!

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MLK

This quote says it all.  On this Martin Luther King Day, let us remember that we are ONE, and that nothing is stronger than love.

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Looking Backward, Moving Forward

It has been a full one week into 2017! Have you given up on your New Year’s resolutions already? I sure hope not!  

I decided this week to look back at all my entries in 2016 as I’m working on the makeover of the blog and found myself reflecting on whether my resolutions were completely forgotten or actually successful.  Here’s a short recap of last year’s goals (you can read the full entry here)!

 MAKE EATING & FITNESS FUN.  – Still working on the fitness part of this, but the healthy eating was pretty good last year!

 EMBRACE THE TOUGH DAYS. Yes. 2016 surely had some tough and life-changing days, but I made it through. Stronger than before, and so thankful to be surrounded by incredible people.

BE CURIOUS.  I’m still a little shy about this, but I’ve gotten to know certain people on a much deeper level than before, thanks to the courage of asking questions and being vulnerable with some. 

BOND WITH FAMILY.  Strong and full of gratitude, always. <3 

This year, I didn’t make any resolutions. My motto is simply to eat and live healthily, be happy, and balance my life (particularly not letting work consume my life).  What are your resolutions? Please share!  xoxo 

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Why, hello there, 2017!

Goodbyeeeeee, 2016!  You were quite a year of change for me & my family, and tons of learning experiences:  a trip to the Bahamas and Montreal, an opportunity to share my passion of arts integration with other schools, courage to apply for international schools in Hong Kong, my brother getting engaged, and my husband and I becoming an aunt and uncle again with our newborn nephew.  Though there were more downs this year than in previous years, I’ve learned how to deal with them and move on, pushing myself to be even more motivated and helping others in doing so. Someone once quoted to me, “Every failure is a stepping stone to success.”  They couldn’t have been more right. After being turned away for teaching in Hong Kong, that same week, my husband got an offer from an incredible agency.  It all worked out and I’m SO ready for a challenge I’ve been dreaming of for years now.  🙂

So 2017, we are ready for you, and this blog is getting a whole new makeover soon.  Here we gooOoo!

Happy New Year, everyone!  Wishing you all lots of LOVE.  HAPPINESS.  SUCCESS. and may all your dreams come true in every way possible. Remember, “all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney.  Just don’t go jumping off the bed thinking you can fly… because I tried it and it doesn’t work.   🙂

As always, thanks for reading.
xoxo, Lilian

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate! This year, for the last time, we created a wall tree using lights (you can see it on my Instagram!) Then on the actual Christmas Day, we went to my brother in law’s new house. I’m sitting right next to it as I type this LONG-awaited post, reflecting on what an interesting year it has been. My brother getting engaged, a new addition to my husband’s side of the family, an additional role at school, teaching in an ICT class, and two huge moves coming soon. I can’t wait to see what will come in 2017!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. Lots of love!
Love, Lilian

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