Musically Uplifting

Music is therapy and the soul of many lives. I grew up being surrounded by music and having a passion for it. My mom has an incredible opera voice while my brother sings a beautiful tenor. No matter where I am or who I was with, I hummed and sang my heart out. I really can’t imagine life without music.

For the past 2 hours, I worked on my cover of Titanium by David Guetta and Blackbird from the Beatles, two completely different styles of music and different eras. As I relaxed and listened to the music through Spotify and Youtube, I came across this incredibly talented group called The Piano Guys.  I closed my eyes and heard every single harmony, rhythm, and beat from their songs and it was simply beautiful. Their vision is to create music and videos that uplift, and surely their music meets that vision.

I hope that if you need a little inspiration, head on over to their site or check them out on YouTube.  Their version of Let It Go from the soundtrack Frozen is not something to be missed!

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“Ladies, before you were Mommy, you were his. Men, before you were Daddy, you were hers. Remember this. Hold on to this. Keep these words precious to you.”

To Wives: Before You Were Mommy  by Becky Thompson
What a beautifully written article (and blog) to couples who are about to become or already are parents.  I know that recently my posts have been baby-related, but what greater inspiration is there than the birth of a beautiful new baby and the love and dedication of a new mother?

This makes me think back on when we first begin something new, we wonder if we could do it a better way. When my husband and I were getting married, we were given plenty of advice and encouragement about what we should expect in our marriage.  All of it stemmed from people’s experiences and they can be very helpful.  But the one quote I remember the most was “Every night, give each other a good night kiss and say you love each other no matter what.” Sounds simple right? Yet when you’re fuming with anger, it’s easy to skip this small act of love. Even through the worst of the worst, that good night kiss and acknowledgment shows that we are not each others’ enemies and that we are still loved by one another. As strange as it sounds, that quote has made a tremendous impact in our marriage.

Similarly, this article has made a great impact on parents and parents-to-be because it reminds us of something that we can easily forget when we have drool all over our clothes or food spilled all over the floor. Though my husband and I are not parents yet, I’m thankful for this advice and will hold myself accountable for when we do have a little one. We promise to take even one minute just to compliment each other daily or to never forget what we did when we were dating or newly married.  I’m pretty sure that when you read this article and remind yourself to spend moments with your significant other, it’ll be a nice feeling to fall in love all over again.

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“I believe that every person is born with talent.”- Maya Angelou

I hope people believe in this incredible poet’s words because I sure think it’s true. Though it may take months or years to discover one’s talent, every person has something that they are good at, even if it is the simplest thing. The joy of it all, is discovering someone else’s talent and shouldering your talent on theirs. The learning never stops, and the concept of “copying” isn’t always necessarily a negative thing.

A great friend and talented calligrapher, Wendy Fung, brought up the idea of hosting an arts & crafts day every month. I offered to host it at my apartment and rather than it being 2 hours as originally planned, we ended up working on projects for almost 5 hours nonstop. Turns out there are a lot of tools beyond color pencils and crayons that we may all know! 🙂 While we experimented with some of her calligraphy pens, we also worked with stamp, heat embossing, and collage work. Joy, whose beautifully crafted cards can be found at www.smithereenes.etsy.comalso showed us some of her talent with card-making.  I like to think of our day as a therapy session – it was far more relaxing than being a couch potato and I learned heaps from these friends.

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Baby Shower Fun!

I’ve reached that age where my beloved friends and family members are either getting married or having children and it is a beautiful blessing to be part of each journey. Besides giving a gift and being part of their big days, I’ve been wanting to be a bit more creative since the idea of Lilspirations was bloomed last year. The timing couldn’t have been better when my friend’s aunt asked me and another friend to throw a baby shower!

Though our friend didn’t have a theme preference, we knew an all-around animal theme would be perfect.  Let it be farm, zoo, or safari, who doesn’t love cute animals decorated with icing or sketched onto onesies? (Her registry was filled with adorable items that had animals on them too).

Here were some of my favorite pictures from her shower.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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It’s always a beauty to see gorgeous flowers everywhere and snack on delicious sweets! Whether you have a Valentine or not, give someone a hug or send a message and tell them how much you appreciate them.  🙂 May you enjoy this holiday with your loved one(s)!

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Chinese New Year Festivities

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It has officially been 1 week since the first day of the Chinese New Year. Chinatown, NYC has exploded with festivities during the first weekend! Lion Dancers and Chinese unicorns roamed the streets while visitors and celebrators took the day off and enjoyed the company of friends and family. Many also used this great opportunity to purchase and shoot confetti all over the streets before sanitation cleaned up at dusk.  I didn’t quite appreciate all this “craziness” until recently, when I realized how incredible the culture really is and how important it is to keep tradition for our future generations!

If you’re interested in seeing the last celebration of the New Year festivities, come out to Chinatown this Saturday!  Streets are blocked and Lion Dance groups and organizations come out to bless the stores with good luck and scare away the bad. I highly suggest public transportation because there will be no parking!

Here’s a few photos taken during the first weekend.

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 Gong Hay Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year!  

2014 is the Year of the Horse. One of the most important night of the Chinese New Year celebrations is the Eve, which falls on January 30th of this year. On this night, families gather together to celebrate the end of the year and the beginning of a new year with an important feast. Though each family cooks different dishes, many of the foods included are symbolic of good fortune, prosperity, longetivity, promotion, health, and happiness. The pictures above are dishes that my mother and mother-in-law made. They were simply delicious!  Although I can’t translate the significance behind every food, I know that oranges and the tofu skin wrapped in vegetables represent gold & fortune.  The fish represents abundance and the shrimp means laughter and happiness.

Other traditions that occur on this eve include throwing out the garbage and cleaning before dinner (not after as to not sweep away the luck), rinsing with grapefruit water (to wash away the bad), bowing to the God of Wealth, and having flowers & paper decorations to put around the house. It can get quite busy, but after dinner, it’s all rest and hope for a wonderful year!

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Elena Shumilova is a Russian photographer who took some of the most incredible photographs I have ever seen. For her, capturing photos of her children and the animals on the farm she runs is something she does everyday so she doesn’t miss any moments. As I looked through these photos and read about its purpose, with cameras on even our phones nowadays, we don’t need any excuses on missing out any second in our lives! Though the quality of the images may not be as stunning as these, the captured moments will be just as beautiful and cherished! I just HAD to share her talent and food for thought.

To see more of her photos, go on to Bored Panda. Get ready to drop those jaws 🙂

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“All it takes is one idea…”

When I look back just 6 years ago, I remember having the LG Dare as my phone. The idea of touch screen and having that phone with “good” camera quality was enough to grab the attention of many who were fascinated. Now 6 years later, I can’t even remember when the beginning of all this social media and incredible technology suddenly took over the world. Even more fascinating is that something new pops up EVERYDAY and you just have to keep catching up.

Pinterest. Etsy. Instagram. Vine. Google+. LinkedIn. Ahhh, you name it – they’ve got it. There are even apps for everything, from shopping at Staples to scanning an item for the cheapest price nearby.

So I wondered, where do these things come from? The more I observe, the more I connect with this thought: All it takes is ONE idea. If you’ve got a great concept, get motivated and get moving because if you can invest with time and be passionate about what you believe in, you just may be the next Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling (whom by the way, wrote the beginning of Harry Potter while she was on a train!) This article just may inspire you! “What Successful People Did in their Twenties.

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A Tree on a Wall

Christmas is around the corner, but buying a tree isn’t worth it for such a short time. While contemplating about a 1 foot tabletop tree vs. a wreath, I decided that neither were ideal in a tiny apartment.  With a decision to buy 100 lights and no publicly visible area to display it, my husband and I decided to create a tree using the lights, a pack of tiny sticky hooks, and a garland.  As a tree topper, a friend made a star snowflake out of yellow construction paper.

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Let the Christmas inspirations begin!

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