My Questions For the World

Well, we’re done with high school.

Should I be crying? Because I’m actually so ecstatic that it’s over! I’m gonna miss my friends and teachers of course, but let’s be real…we’re DONE!

I guess you could say we ended our year with a bang, but our dysfunctional grade also almost messed things up again. Some people tried to have a balloon fight in school in an effort to squeeze in a senior prank, but that fell through when the principal found out first thing in the morning. Bravo, children.

We did have the water balloon  fight after school in the lot, which was {legal} and kinda fun. More fun was this big ice cream mess in business calculus! I’ve told you time and again— that class is about food more than anything.

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I had this ice cream at 10:30 AM, and I was off the walls. Insanely hyper.

Anyway, I got to sleep in today, which was wonderful in every way. So now I’m gonna answer some wild and crazy survey questions created by yours truly! Arman kindly asked me (yes, kindly can you believe it?) to come up with this week’s Spill It Sunday questions, so of course I said yes. I love me some survey questions! I also like Arman when he isn’t threatening to chuck things at me.

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I’m answering these on Tuesday, but the link up will be Sunday! Obvi.

1) What is your happy place?

The summit of a hike. I haven’t even gone anywhere that amazing, but nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment and peace.

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2) What are you wearing right now?

A t-shirt and shorts (aka my pajamas).
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What a color combo, eh?

3) Cookies or cake?

Why did I ask this question?! This is a toughie. I feel like I eat cake more often, but I prefer cookies. Favorites include oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter (betcha didn’t guess that last one).
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Like Kylie’s Almond Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies…I could go for some right now.

4) Which chore/errand do you despise the most?

Vacuuming. Even though dad does it most of the time, I’m not a fan of it when I do vacuum. Moving all the furniture, the loud noise, lugging the thing up and down the stairs, maneuvering around the wire… On the bright side, it definitely counts as some daily moves!

5) What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

I haven’t done anything super crazy, but the one thing that comes to mind is when I went Peppercorn helmet diving in Bermuda.
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The helmet dive was different from scuba diving in that you didn’t wear a suit and you basically just walked on the ocean floor (we were in a fairly shallow part of the ocean). Air was pushed into the helmet at however many miles per hour to keep the water out, and the heavy helmet just sat on your shoulders. I, being maybe 10 years old at the time, was FREAKED OUT when the guide first took me down. I started screaming in my helmet so he took me back up to the boat until I was ready to not be a chicken anymore. I wish I could find the pictures because my face is the picture of terror.

6) Brag and tell us one thing you love about yourself!

I love my public speaking ability. I definitely give credit to my dad for teaching me the tricks of the trade.

7) Now tell us one embarrassing fact about yourself.

I used to pretend to be Hannah Montana all the time. I would film myself singing her songs, pretend to be giving out autographs, try to write original songs, and make my brother take pictures of me dressed like Miley Cyrus (of the past). I don’t know why, I really don’t.

8) Name three things on your nightstand.

My prayer book, a squishy stress ball brain, and a container of cocoa butter (body butter).
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9) You can ask a famous person one (and only one) question. Who is it and what is your question?

 Mother Teresa: Who was the most influential person in your life?

10) Would you rather live in the breathtaking mountains or on a gorgeous tropical beach?

As much as I love a tropical beach, I would have to say I’d rather live in the mountains (hello, happy place!). To be honest, I’m thinking of Jo right now. I wanna live where she lives, because it looks like this:

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Yes, please.

Have a great day, friends! If you have a blog, try out these questions and link up with Arman on Sunday! If you do not have a blog, answer some of the questions in the comments below!

So tell me:

Cookies or cake?

Beach or mountains?

Your answer to any of the other questions!

Spill It Sundays #6: My Favorite Music

Can I just tell you how excited I am that we have a three day weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day? It’s somewhat bittersweet because it’s leading us right into midterms week, but the extra day off definitely helps with some extra studying time.

I have a social life, I swear. On Friday night, I went to my school’s varsity basketball game (that we won!) and then out for a delicious sushi dinner with my best friends. ‘Twas super lovely!

Alright, now it’s time for the fun stuff: Spill It Sundays Music Edition! I suggested this theme to Arman, so obviously, I want to participate!

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Head over to the big man’s world to check out what kind of music other bloggers love/hate!

All time favorite musical artist/band:

It’s too hard to pick one!!! Can I choose a top three? Of course I can— this is my blog. 🙂

1. Tori Kelly

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2. Coldplay

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3. Josh Groban (his old songs, not his new stuff)

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A varied group for sure, but all of these artists never fail to make me move, groove, and belt out their songs. Now, this doesn’t mean that I listen to these artists’ songs all the time, but when I do listen to them, I instantly remember why I love them so much.

Favorite genre of music:

Evidently, I like a variety of genres. Some of my favorites include:

  • Singer/Songwriter (Tori Kelly, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Lucy Schwartz, The Civil Wars etc.)
  • Alternative (Coldplay, Imagine Dragons. etc.)
  • Indie Rock/Folk Rock (Mumford and Sons, Young the Giant)
  • R&B (ZZ Ward)
  • Contemporary Christian (Chris August, King and Country, Audrey Assad, Moriah Peters)
  • and yes….mainstream Pop (Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, and everyone else on the radio)

I’m indecisive.

Least favorite genre:

Metal. Heavy metal, light metal, I don’t know. I just don’t get it and it scares the crap out of me.

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I mean…..

Musician that shouldn’t be called a musician:

Any heavy metal “artist.” Yelling doesn’t count as music.

Embarrassing music tastes:

I actually fear that my neighbors often catch me dancing around to super upbeat, feel-good songs like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and more recently, Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas song, “Underneath the Tree.” Yes, I do really love that song too. I’m a dancer (and fun fact: I used to take ballroom dancing lessons), so it might not be that ugly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make a fool of myself.

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I also used to be obsessed with Hannah Montana— the show and the music. My brother was kind enough to burn and label DVD copy of an old tape of me singing her songs…by myself…to the camera.

You will never see it.

All-time favorite song:

Ironically, it’s not even by any of the artists mentioned above!

*Drum roll*

To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra and Ma Fleur

I fell in love with this song when I first heard it in 2012. The teacher played it during shavasana at the end of her yoga/stretching class at the Orlando Ballet School Summer Intensive, and I started shedding tears as I laid there listening to this beautiful song. I really hoped no one opened their eyes and saw me. I made sure to ask the teacher what the song was, and then I purchased it on my iPhone almost immediately. I’ve listened to it a lot in the past 1.5 years, but I’m still not sick of it! That’s how you know it’s a favorite. It’s insanely beautiful and I’m always reminded about the blessings of my faith, family, and home when I listen to it.

Sap central right thar.

Bonus fact: I’m a huge fan of listening to music that matches my current state of mind, so I often imagine that I’m in a movie or a music video when a certain song is playing. Examples:

  • Driving on a beautiful day to “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
  • Being down in the dumps and listening to “The Scientist” by Coldplay
  • Gettin’ groovy with my friends to “Let the Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake

Don’t even tell me you’ve never done this!

So tell me:

Who are your favorite music artists?

What kind of music do you despise?

What is your all-time favorite song?

Agree that you’ve imagined yourself in a movie/music video when a certain song is playing. 😉

Spill It Sundays #4: Holiday Traditions

Phew! Despite a frightening start to our Christmas break, we are so thankful to be safe and together back in New York right now. We’re definitely bummed that we won’t be seeing all our relatives and friends in Canada, but it’ll be good to just chill out at home. Except for the fact that it’s not chilly at all right now. It’s balmy in the 50s and 60s— I was walking outside tonight in a skirt and short sleeves!

Other pluses about being home?

  • I got to attend my dance school’s holiday party this morning, which I was planning on missing.
  • My dad and I will be able to go to the Christmas pageant at our church. Some of my religious education students will be participating!
  • I get to bake and cook!

And the plus of it being Sunday? Spill It Sundays! This week, Arman asked us to spill about our holiday traditions and celebrations. Very appropriate for the Christmas season I’d say.

The Big Man's World
What is a traditional/cultural event you and your family/friends celebrate?
One thing that we like to do throughout the year is celebrate saints’ days whenever the saint has a name that is the same as that of one of our family members (ex: Patrick, Thomas, Mary, etc.). I’m sure you’ve noticed that I come from a very Catholic family 😉 We like to send a short and sweet email wishing the person a “Happy Feast Day!”
Another tradition is watching the NYC New Year countdown on TV and clinking glasses of apple bubbly at midnight!
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“Tipsy ‘Chus” (<— just made that up…the stuff isn’t even alcoholic). Taken in the 2012 New Year by my talented friend and fellow Pikachu lover, Christie
Do you have any traditions in which you partake on a consistent basis?
Whenever we go up to Toronto, we always have dim sum at least once. Naturally— we’re Chinese. And it’s Toronto. I’ve heard many times that Toronto’s Chinese food is better than China’s (shhhh).
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This used to be me. Like, SPOT ON.
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Shrimp dumplings are on the bottom right. 
What does a typical day during this period involve?
If we’re talking about Christmas: Wake up, eat a delicious breakfast (like one of these breakfasts!), hang out with family, go to Mass, listen to Christmas songs, open presents, eat lunch (dim sum if we’re in Toronto), do some fun activities, cook/bake, eat a big dinner, and maybe watch a movie or go to a Christmas party. More or less. 
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Essentially, eat and spend time with family. That’s what the holidays are all about, right?!
Most memorable event?
I’d say it’s a tie between two Christmases:
1) Christmas in 2004 (I was 8 years old) when my cousins, Ben, and I put together a Christmas show for our family that involved music performances, singing, break dancing, and…..pillow sumo wrestling. There’s a video, of course. I love that my most embarrassing moments are immortalized.
2) Christmas in 2011 when we were in Florida with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and best friends. All my favorite people in one house for my favorite time of year!
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Gahhh now all this talk is making me SO excited for Christmas! It also helps that I’m listening to Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album as I type this.
Happy Sunday!
So tell me: What are some holiday traditions you and your loved ones have? What does a typical day look like when you celebrate your favorite holiday? What was your most memorable holiday?

Spill It Sunday #2: The Most Embarrassing Travel Pictures Ever

Thank God for weekends. I slept well on Friday night, which did wonders for taking the anxiety off my back. I think it had something to do with a) not having to get up early the next morning; b) having ample time to just wind down. Although the tea didn’t do much for me (I swear it made me more energetic), I’m still grateful that I can get some Zzz’s without resorting to drugs. I did drink some more last night though, and my sleep was pretty solid. I also really like how that Sleepytime tea tastes, so it was still worth it. 🙂

Another reason to love the weekend? Spill it Sundays on Arman’s blog! Last week I talked about my Asian awesomeness and Mulan, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This week is all about travel fun facts— the good, the bad, the ugly, and the awesome. Basically, this is a collection of unflattering pictures of me in my nugget stage. With some cool landmarks in the background. Enjoy!

The Big Man's World
I’ve been quite fortunate to have traveled to a ton of awesome places around the world, but these are definitely some of the top destinations:

Hawaii 2003

I used to live in California (I was born in Los Angeles), so we went to Hawaii more often than the average person I think. I lived in Kansas during this particular vacation though, and this was also our very first cruise! We went with my grandparents and our close family friends.

Highlights: Diamond Head, the beaches, the weather, the pineapples, the luaus, fun on the cruise.

Lowlights: sea. sick. ness. Ugh.

Fun facts: 

  • I was a stubborn child who didn’t have an open mind, so I was skeptical of the whole cruise situation, but when it was time to leave, I think I cried.
  • Also, my brother, my friends, and I decided to film the most ridiculous show in our cruise cabin about a Fart Museum while our parents were out for dinner or something. Yes, we still have the video. Yes, it’s as weird, embarrassing, and hilarious as you would think.

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Celebrity smiles right there.

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I’m such a tourist.

Europe (Rome, Paris, London) 2003

This was a huge trip. The main reason we went was for my uncle’s ordination to become a priest in Rome, but we just decided to make a big European adventure out of it!

Highlights: The Coliseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, seeing Pope John Paul II, Trevi Fountain, The Eiffel Tower, Versailles, The Louvre (and seeing the Mona Lisa!), Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, eating Nutella on baguette with warm milk for breakfast in Rome

Lowlights: I got a terrible eye infection towards the end of our trip, and since I didn’t know how to swallow whole pills back then, it was quite a struggle. My dad would have to crush the pills into little crumbs, and the inside of those things were NASTY.

Fun facts:

  • We climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower! I think my little cheeks almost froze off, but it was still amazing.
  • Also, don’t ever take a picture with a man dressed up as a gladiator if you’re not willing to pay for it. We learned the hard way.
  • As I previously mentioned, my uncle was ordained in Rome, and he said his first Mass in St. Peter’s! We also went to the midnight Christmas Mass there, where we saw Pope John Paul II! My mom got her paparazzo on and stood on a chair to get the awesome picture below. I think I was actually sleeping when he came out…..of course.
  • Oh, and we stayed at a convent in Rome where we happened to meet a family who lived in same town in KANSAS as us. They even attended the same church! What are the odds?! Small world, people.

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Top of the Eiffel Tower

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Garden of Versailles

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Sorry. This is just too good.

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Ben at Big Ben.

Puerto Rico 2010

When we moved to New York, we were craving some tropical weather. Since Hawaii was no longer our neighbor, we took a getaway trip to Puerto Rico for winter break!

Highlights: El Yunque Rainforest, MOFONGO (our eyes were permanently opened to a new world of flavor), the weather

Lowlights: None, really!

Fun facts:

  • Our tour guide was a super fun and kind guy named Jorge, I believe.
  • Lizards were everywhere.
  • Mofongo rocks.

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Montreal 2010

We took a road trip to the very French part of Canada that we never visit, and I totally loved it! The quaint vibe, the food, and the jazz festival were right up my alley. I actually want to go there again next summer!

Highlights: Poutine, Jazz Festival, Underground Mall, street performers

Lowlights: It was HOT (see fun facts).

Fun facts: 

  • It was the hottest summer ever in Montreal (like, 102 F!), and since that was like a whole new world for the Quebec citizens, they were all walking outside while my mom and I took weird pictures in the Underground.
  • We had lots of poutine.
  • We passed by a guy named Marc Lavigne playing piano beautifully on the side of the cobblestone streets, and we told him that Ben is also a piano player. He let Ben show his talents, and he actually got a decent audience!

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Well that’s probably enough photo overload for you all. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed embarrassing myself sharing my experiences!

So tell me: What were your favorite travel destinations? Highlights/Lowlights/Fun facts? Where do you want to travel in the future?

Spill It Sunday #1: Struttin’ My Asian Stuff

Good morning and happy Sunday, everyone!

And HAPPY DECEMBER! I’m still amazed that it’s 2013, further less almost 2014. Hokey smokes. When I was in sixth grade, my class got T-shirts that said “Class of 2014,” and back then, I thought that year would never come. Now it’s around the corner and it’s exciting and freaky at the same time! But first, I’m in major anticipation of Christmas. A lot of people say we are in the Christmas season right now, but I like the sense of vigil for the actual day when our Lord came to us. However, Christmas music has been blasting in this household… 🙂

Today I’m sharing a fun post with you as part of Arman’s Spill It, Sunday link-up! Basically, bloggers answer some questions that allow readers to get to know them beyond their health and fitness lifestyles. Personally, I love reading about other people’s lives (nosy) and knowing more about the backgrounds of the bloggers I follow. So I think it would be a nice idea to give you all some more snippets of who I am too. Head on over to his blog to check out what other bloggers are spilling this Sunday!

The big man's world
What is your cultural background?
I am 100% Asian! My dad’s side is Chinese and my mom’s side is Laotian, so I’ve got a little Far East and Southeast in me. Unfortunately, I cannot speak the native languages of either those countries. My mom speaks Laotian and Thai with her friends and family (and watches Thai TV a LOT), but other than that, my parents have just spoken in English at home my entire life. I should learn Chinese from this girl! She’s got swag.
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I’m definitely very familiar with Chinese and Laotian culture though. Like, I say “Ai-ya!” a lot. That’s just one example, I promise. Also, we eat dim sum on the daily whenever we visit relatives in Toronto.
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I am overwhelmed.
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Mom in a traditional Laotian outfit
I was born in Los Angeles, California, so I’m also super American.
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I’m technically Canadian too, since I have a dual citizenship! My parents met in Toronto and my brother was also born there. Why I have citizenship there? I’m not sure. But I like Canada, so I’m alright with it.
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My cousin
So I guess you can say I am a cocktail o’ nationalities. 🙂
What was your most memorable birthday?
My 13th. Not because I was becoming a teenager or anything, but because my sweet friends threw me a huge surprise party that almost put me to tears. Such a lucky gal I was. Just look at the invitation for the party!
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I don’t even go this all-out for my own parties that I plan! I even wrote a whole story about the party and how thankful I was for my friends for putting it together. *Sniff*
Who was your childhood hero?
I guess I’ll answer like Arman with my favorite fictional character. I’d have to say it was Mulan. Yeah, it’s probably because she’s Chinese. Also, she’s freakin’ awesome. I mean, risking her life to save her father’s? Saving China? C’mon. Let’s also not forget the fun songs from that movie: “Let’s get down to business…to defeat….the Huns!
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FUN FACT— I met the woman, Ming Na Wen, who played the voice of Mulan because my grandma is good friends with her mother-in-law. I got to hang with her and her dog and we got her autograph on this special framed picture of a scene from the movie…This was when I was maybe 3 years old, so I barely remember. But here’s a photo of it!
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I’ll leave you off with that for this Sunday. I’m loving this Spill It stuff! Thanks again for hosting, Arman!
So tell me: What’s your cultural background? What was your most memorial birthday? Who was your childhood hero?