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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“…and so launches, Lilspirations!”

If someone asked you, “What drives you in life?” what would your answer be?

Some of us have a clearly defined answer, ready to be shared with anyone who asks. Others of us have to think for a while and still might not have an answer. As I grew older, I realized more and more that my drive came from the talents, energy, and inspiration from the things I see and the people around me. When you think about it, every little thing in life derives from something else. I came across this great article recently on Serious Eats about the purpose of the new Museum of Food and Drink. Peter Kim, the executive director, said, “Behind everything we eat and drink, there are intertwining connections with culture, history, science, and economy.” So his purpose in this museum is to connect people with their food choices and the meaning / consequences of their choices. How often do we stop and think about the “behind-the-scenes” in the bites that we savor? Then I started thinking, how often do we use life around us to inspire us to do something greater than what we have already achieved?

And so launches Lilspirations, a blog where I hope to share the things that aspire me and inspire me in life. An incredible artist and friend of mine recently shared with me, “Be selfish in aspiration to be generous in inspiration.” It’s about time I share my countless thoughts and dreams with everyone.

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