Blizzard Jonas in Chinatown, NYC

While it was heavily advised to stay indoors, I did cozy up in my apartment for the most part but couldn’t help but step out to Chinatown for a bit to capture some photos of Blizzard Jonas. I’m glad I did because it looks like I wasn’t the only one … there were quite some people and friends out there having fun! 

Grabbed my DSLR and out I went with my snowboard pants, hat, gloves, ski jacket, HeatTech, and snowboots!

(Transfiguration Church – Mott Street) 

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To my surprise as someone who had missed that blizzard of ‘96, parks weren’t necessary for fun in this snow. The streets were wide open!  

Here’s a really awesome local resident I met snowboarding down Mosco Street … 

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Pell Street was a playground in itself for snowman building, fort making, and snow angels! 

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A huge kudos to all those who had to come out during and after the storm to shovel

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Check back here for photos of the day after the blizzard.  Stay warm, be safe, and as Ellen always says …. be kind to one another. =)  Thanks for reading!

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6 Habits You Need To Ditch In The New Year

6 Habits You Need To Ditch In The New Year

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It’s nice when one of your favorite people in the world gets an award they truly deserve. Ellen’s huge heart and a intentional desire to help everyone spread kindness is inspiring and hopeful… Much of the news nowadays isn’t exactly heartfelt nor are the celebrity gossip, so when you see a celebrity using their fame for goodness, you can only stop and smile, and try to implement that same kindness to your own life. There aren’t too many celebrities I look up to, so I am darn proud that she was the one to win this well-deserved humanitarian award. (If only you can see the big smile on my face!!)  Congratulations, Ellen!

As Ellen says.. be kind to one another! And as always, thanks for reading ; )

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More Than Just a New Year Resolution

First of all, I just want to say Happy New Year to all of you!  2015 really was an adventurous year that I am eternally grateful for. Without the support of my friends and family, I couldn’t have gone through my second year of blogging nor have ventured on all these trips and adventures.  Major things got checked off my bucket list, such as hugging a koala in Australia, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland, and learning how to sew! Then there were wonderful events such as one of my best friends getting engaged, having extended family time in Hong Kong, visiting my brother in San Francisco, re-painting my small but cozy apartment, and celebrating my father’s retirement. There were some downfalls that I never quite shared with anyone, but nonetheless I feel incredibly blessed!

This year, 2016… comes a whole new journey. I have lots of goals – both big and small, personal and professional – that I want to go after. If you’re also trying to find ways to be achieve your goals, let’s do it together!  

(Ideas inspired by Maria Sharapova’s article “New Year, New Goals”) 

MAKE EATING & FITNESS FUN.  We spend a lot of time listening to ourselves and others talk about diets.  I cringe when I hear the word because I find it to be a difficult thing for most people to go through. YES, even the skinny ones go through their own health concerns and have certain “diets” to adhere. Diets don’t work if you’re not consistent and balanced. I think a better term to use is “lifestyle eating.”  So this year, I want to do more exercising and eating what I enjoy but in small portions, especially those sweets!

WRITE IT DOWN.  If I’m sitting in a meeting or class without a notebook, chances are I will forget some of what I just heard. So I’m bringing my notebook everywhere with me.  Taking notes helps you remember, but using the notebook to also track yourself in fitness, eating, ideas, etc. will remind you of how far you’ve come from the beginning and formulate your thinking.  You’ll physically see your progress too.

EMBRACE THE TOUGH DAYS. On some days, there are things I’m not too fond of. Bad hair day, students not listening, a failed creative project, favorite sweater getting ruined. No one is perfect. So keep this in mind – if we’ve done our best and we got the job done, then that’s the important thing. Work harder the next time and keep going until you’ve maximized your potential. Things can only get better from there. Or another solution?  Sleep it off and await the next day. You’ll be surprised what a difference one day can make! Sometimes, rest is the key to a better you!

BE CURIOUS.  One of my best friends recently told me to ask her more questions about the hardship she’s going through because the more I ask (as uncomfortable it can be for fear of intrusion), the more it shows how much I care.  Sharapova said the same thing in her article: “The more interested I am in other people, the more interesting I become as a person.” I’ve always been a listener, but can be quiet in response.  So this year, I’m committed to asking more questions of my friends and family and really listen to their answers. Keep in mind though – there are some people who just rather not share anything or get offended by questions, so respectfully move on.

BOND WITH FAMILY.  I remember when describing what my future husband would be like, I always had “family-oriented” as the top 3 personality traits because that’s what I was and wanted my significant other to be. Family will always be first. This year with my husband, I want to help my parents and parent-in-laws really explore the culture of today’s generation and experience new foods, new places. If they don’t like it, we’ll try something else!  Hello, ramen burgers, Shakespeare in the Park, and Guggenheim Museum!

So what are your new year resolutions and goals? : ) 

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Holiday Checklist Begins

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23 presents and counting … Sometimes being the older one in the family makes me feel like Santa. Wrapping gifts used to be one of my favorite things to do – I’d even volunteer my time with New York Cares to wrap gifts at Barnes and Noble.  I still love to do it, but wish the shopping part was a bit easier! When you don’t know what the people want, it makes it ten times harder! 

I started my shopping a few weeks ago, and one of my first stops was the Union Square Holiday Market.  I’ve always wanted to go but somehow never did!  They have some beautiful things that I adore, but then there are these little trinkets that you kind of wonder what you’re going to do with after you buy them…  the trip didn’t wind up to be successful with shopping, but I did enjoy the time spent looking at some of the talent out there and the unique handmade items. Plus, who can resist the view of the Empire State Building right behind!?  

One of the two “cute” vendors that popped out at me – how cute are these handmade planes and animals?? 

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Some vendors offer samples, some are just attractive to look at based on packaging and a friendly face. I met Mary here from Lebkuchen who offered some delicious Gingerbread cookie like no other!  It’s made the European way – baked with a wafer on the bottom, with the sticky dough on top. Her company packaging was adorable! 

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There are lots of shops to choose from, and even if you’re not shopping, it’s good to stop by for a nice sample, viewing, and good holiday cheer. It’s almost as if you’re in the Christmas markets of Europe… except without the mulled wine and bratwursts!  (Ohhh Germany, how I’ve missed you…) 

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Sad that December is already half gone, but excited that the Christmas countdown has begun. Union Square market down, Rockefeller next!  What’s on YOUR holiday to-do list? 

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Happy 2 Years to Lilspirations!

I’m gonna need some twins for this one! 😉  I can’t believe it has been 2 years!  It has been such a joy to have this blog since my husband slash web designer created this as my way of sharing my joys with all of you.  A HUGE THANK YOU to YOU – for reading, for sharing, for just listening to me share (and sometimes vent!) about all the little things in life, especially here in New York City. The blog has come a long way, from a simple entry about how all it takes is one idea to being an entrepreneur to interviews with some incredible talents out there such as my friend Christina Seid from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.  I can’t wait to see how much the third year will grow as I recently renewed this domain.  Just thank you thank you for all of it! 

Wish I had time this week to create a little collage for you, but here are 5 of some memorable posts from the last 2 years!

Easter Egg Hunt of NYC 

My Australian Animals Adventure

Foodies Love Hudson Eats 

Behind the Scenes at the DonorsChoose Office

My Visit to a Fashion Designers Ruben & Isabel Toledos’ Home

Please do send an email and tell me what you’d love to read about or what your favorite entries were! 🙂  As always, thanks for reading! xox

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A New Angle (literally) on Thanksgiving

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A whole week after Thanksgiving weekend, I’m finally here to share all the fun and yum! I got to spend a laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts Thanksgiving with both my family and my in-laws, and it was just a huge blessing.  A family-oriented weekend indeed, and that’s really what I believe the holidays should be if we have the opportunity to.

As always, I’m looking for new insights and things to learn even in the midst of the ordinary. During our Thanksgiving dinner, I broke out my Nikon camera with our new 35mm 1/1.8G lens and started clicking away. Thanks to the tips from my professional food photographer uncle (Thanks, King!), I was able to capture some new angles of food photos (family photos can’t be posted, sorry!). Here’s what I took, with the exception of the last and above photos.

Starting with the star of the dinner…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s a day of appreciation in the States – for me, I am entirely grateful for all of you! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and sending me lovely comments. Wish you and your families a wonderful holiday!

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‘France is our home’: Watch a dad comfort his son over Paris’s ‘bad guys’

‘France is our home’: Watch a dad comfort his son over Paris’s ‘bad guys’

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