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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A Few Cherished Moments

I never thought that after that last post, I would be completely occupied with almost no time to spare, including Instagram, where I posted almost daily back then.  Everyday has been almost the same thing:  planning at work, stay late at work, planning for a Showcase presentation in December where tons of visitors are coming to our school, and cooking.  By the time I’m home, for the first time EVER, I just want to do… nothing.  Sit back, watch TV, and binge on some kind of snack, fruit, or dessert.  What is going onnnnn?!?

Adult life.  That’s what.  And before you know it, kids. Mortgage. Car loans. Ha! It’s not depressing at all though. It’s quite the opposite – exciting and full of adventures. But part of a reality check for me has been how precious time is. There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything I want and get the rest that I need. I still always try to make time for family and friends though – thanks to those who always reach out to me. I always appreciate it.  I post because I’m motivated by all of you who visit everyday – thank you for being a continuous supporter.

So to share with you things that are not so tedious and more exciting happening, here are a few of the more cherished moments in the past few weeks 🙂

Lots of home-cooking!  Not so great on the variety, but we try to fancy it up with some simple healthy ingredients. In this case, it was spare ribs on top of pumpkin with a side of Chinese broccoli. 

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Hmm…

Have you ever heard of that saying “My brain is fried?”  For the first time ever, MY BRAIN IS FRIED!  Don’t worry though, inspiration continues, but I just have no time to share it right now with everything happening all at once!  I barely even had any sleep the last few days. So for now, let me share a photo of my newest babies with you… they keep me sane as I tackle on some busy work at work 🙂 Plus when something is handpicked for a long time from your mom, it makes it extra special.

(If you’d like to keep up with me a little more frequently than the blog, please join me over at www.instagram.com/lilspirations ) It’s my most updated source of social media!

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Food for Thought

I came across this quote and it really got me thinking. Here’s the thing: for the past year, all I can really think about is what next?  If I’m not teaching for the rest of my life, what next?  I absolutely love my job and still can’t believe how far along I’ve come since the day I stepped foot into the classroom, but my curious mind gets me wondering … if this is not what I’m doing in 3 years, what will it be?  For the last 2 years, I decided to explore and bring out my adventurous side that I never knew until recently. I discovered a lot of interests and only need to narrow them down to something more sustainable, tangible, and possible.  Truthfully, none of them fall in any of these categories, but it has to start somewhere right?  So perhaps the bottom of the rock it is. It’s time I try because as they say… If you can’t stop thinking about it, it’s probably worth going after.  

Here.  We.  Go!   Thanks for joining in 🙂

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A Photo Documentary of NYC

Before I start my summer featured spotlight series later this month, I wanted to share with you one of the people that inspires ME in this city – Eljay Aguillo.  I came across Eljay’s Instagram (@whyilovenewyorkcity) sometime last year and started following him because just like him, I’ve grown to love New York City like no other since I moved here years ago. You hear tons of amazing (and also scary) stories about living in the different boroughs from people you already know. Now imagine broadening that even more and reading about specific moments that New Yorkers have while matching a face to it. Eljay’s project is a photo documentary about love for New York City and it’s really wonderful to read. Each story is full of heart, humor, and magic.  A couple of months ago, I felt humbled as he asked me to share my story. I didn’t think it was too special, but after I wrote it with him, it made me even more appreciative of the city. We walked over to the Seaport area to take a few photographs and there, a new friendship blossomed right out of NYC. Be sure to check out his website because you might just be inspired if you haven’t found your story yet, but even better, follow his Instagram. I promise you’ll love it!

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