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!
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. 🙂
if someone approached you and asked, “What part do you love best about you?” what would you say? Would it be your hands? Your eyes? What about your feet?
It seems so much easier for many to answer this question if it focused on the negative, just because society portrays so many things to be perfect… like the celebrities on the covers of different magazines. It’s easier to say things like “I don’t like my hands because they’re so wrinkly” or “I hate my curly hair – I wish it was straight.” So when we’re asked to think about something we LOVE about ourselves, we take a few seconds longer to ponder about it.
Ahhh it’s that time of the year again! As you may or may not know, I LOVE featuring some incredible founders / artists every summer. If you know anyone who would love to be featured, please contact me and I’ll be glad to share their story! It’s incredibly inspiring to hear what happens behind the creation of a particular product, company or store. For the next month, you’ll learn about 3 founders that I met who are incredible human beings with such a strong passion about what they do.
First, I’m thrilled to introduce Mark Fang, the witty and humble co-founder and teacher of the Wine O Club. Co-founded with Jabin Kim, the two have created a club that customizes to people’s personal tastes and provides classes to teach the basics of identifying, tasting, and pairing wines. It’s up to you what wines you get, when you get them, and how often. What makes this company stand out for me was that the 2-hour wine tasting session was classy without being pretentious and provided a really fun and comfortable way of learning the different kinds of wines and what to look and smell for. If you think your sense of smell is strong, you may be surprised (I sure was!).
So to find out a little more about the story behind this company, I was fortunate to have a one-on-one interview with Mark at Wine O Club’s new event space in an elegant but casual atmosphere in Midtown. If only you can hear the chuckles and the sense of humor behind the scenes with him, but you’ll definitely know what I mean by that if you sign up for the class as Mark is often the teacher! When you’re done, be sure to read below for a little surprise just for YOU!
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!
And that’s the formula I learned today for finding out what you should do with your life. For the last 2 years, I’ve been asking myself that question. Don’t get me wrong. I am very content with the way my life is. I’m just curious how far I can push myself and it seemed I had forgotten what I’m good at or passionate about (besides teaching and blogging). I decided to spend a lot of “me” time just reflecting and excelling in something, but there’s never enough time in the day! I can’t wait for summer vacation, where you know I’ll explode with posts about anything and everything!
So back to what I was saying. There it was. G + P + V = C … G for gifts (what you’re good at), P for passion (what you care about), V for values (your lifestyle and personality), then you get the result of a career. It sounds so simple, right? I would say it’s a pretty good starting place to figure out where to move next. But what the heck am I good at?? I enjoy doing almost anything because I just love learning and having hands-on experiences. But specifically, sewing went out the window for 3 months (that attempt at a zipper really got to me, and I’m still digging myself out of that hole…), photography is really just something I enjoy, not a career, and moving to Hong Kong seems a bit more impossible now… Except if Trump becomes president, well… g’day, mates. I’ll be in Australia with my little friend from Featherdale Park.
If you have a little advice for what I should do in the next year, do shoot some ideas – I would love to hear! I’m down for some new adventures in the next few months. And of course…. the more, the merrier.
Though we should be celebrating women everyday, it was nice to see all the positive, inspiring posts about International Women’s Day yesterday. It was even nicer to hear a waitress stop in front of my mom during dinner just to say “You are loved. Happy Women’s Day. May you be as beautiful as you are now and everyday.” It’s not everyday a stranger comes up to you to give you a really nice compliment – think it even made my mom blush! 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Are you ready for a special treat?
It has been a while since Lilspirations had a Featured Spotlight post! (In case you didn’t know, Featured Spotlight is when we shine the light on someone and readers can go behind the scenes to learn about the maker/owner!) 2015 was a good year where I had the incredible opportunity of meeting owners such as Solomon Choi (founder of 16 Handles), Tony Quach (founder of Snowdays), and makers like the talented Andrea Watson and Kristine Brookshire. This time, I’m super excited to feature someone new to the business and having a really awesome purpose behind her work.
Since this isn’t a mommy blog, I won’t have the answers for you.. But I know someone who will! Parents of picky eating munchkins, this one’s for you!
I’m so excited on this February 1st to announce a Kickstarter project created by my close friend and mentor, Kendra Chao. Kendra is now the author of Read Them and Eat, fun interactive books that help children see food in a new and adventurous way. Because her son Lucas, is a super picky eater, she created these books to help children enjoy eating their vegetables. Sometimes, the airplane trick doesn’t work and neither does bribing your kids. So why not turn eating into an activity that results in a finished plate? It’s an awesome idea, and I know it’ll positively impact many people out there!
If you’re interested, through the Kickstarter websitehere, you can support her project (even $1 helps!) or get your own copy of Sally Strands and her Wacky Hairstyles and The Most Delicious Train Ride. I’m quite excited to get my own copy to read to my niece!
Here’s Kendra and her son, Lucas!
I hope you’ll support this wonderful project and really fun cause! The campaign will run until February 22nd! xoxo
After over 10 years of not seeing my cousin Anita since I visited Hong Kong long ago, I finally reunited with her this past summer when I visited Sydney, Australia. I had such a blast introducing one of my best friends to her, playing with her two sons, and getting to know her after all these lost years. I was really inspired when I found out that she had started her own company long ago making these gorgeous handmade purses, bags, hair clips, and all that you might find on sites such as Etsy. She’s quite the talent! But even more inspiring was learning about her behind the scenes as a landscape architect.
Recently, she finished designing a new park in Lane Cove, Sydney, AU. It’s not just a simple playground for kids. It’s one intended to be interactive, entertaining, and educational. It includes a braille trail for wheelchair or vision impaired visitors to interact, giving everyone an experience similar to that of a “treasure hunt.” You can read more about it in this news article from The North Shore Times. Really wish I can be there to experience the park, especially as my second graders and I have been studying New York City parks since September!
Thanks to Anita, I’m able to share some of these fun photos with you that she took on her visit with her kids! If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and have some fun!
A huge congratulations to you, Anita! I’m celebrating overseas for you 🙂