Religion, Uncategorized

Words of Encouragement

Dear readers,

There comes a time when your moral hits low and you feel like staring at your laptop screen instead of finishing what needs to be done. Especially for students (unless you’re one of the super few), you hit this mood maybe once or twice in a week. It’s a harsh world out there and there aren’t many signs that show hope. I’m in the same boat as well. Sometimes, I question if I’m truly doing my best and using all the resources available to me properly.

Enjoy the little victories in life. That’s the whole point of this blog, is to enjoy the simple things around you! Life may seem bleak, questionable, and scary. But it does have glimpses of beauty that you should maybe spend more time paying attention to.

Breathe. You need to breathe. Our world is going to keep on progressing and moving forward, no matter how unready you are. So, breathe and take the time you need to calm down. Don’t take your time, just make it happen. Go on a walk, have a good cry, a run, a bike ride, eat, take a short nap, and so on. You can’t think well when your mind and emotions are in shambles.

Pray. If you’re religious, like me, just give all your struggles to the Lord. You won’t get an overnight miracle or God might throw you half of one. But for me, I feel much better when I pray for sanity, strength, and a peaceful mind. #jesustakethewheel

Persevere. Even the brightest stars have their bad days. Everyone is susceptible to a slump. This is the chance to build up your perseverance. It makes you grow thicker skin. It makes you humble. It makes you even more driven. But most importantly, it makes you appreciate the little things.

Last but not least, repeat this to yourself: You’re worthy. You have potential. You are alive and going to thrive.

Best of luck to you and comment below if you want more posts like this!

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Uncategorized

Paige & Rae Part 2

Read here for Part 1, which is AKA day one of their fabulous trip to NYC.

So recap on Part 1: We met up, check out the Air BnB, went to the 9/11 memorial, and said “good night”. When the clock struck 9:00 AM, we were up and ready for another day filled with adventure. Unlike the rest of the trip, we did have some concrete plans. Paige and Rae needed to get Kanye cookies.

But first, we needed to get some brunch. Down the street is this cute, hipster brunch place. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty expensive. It was good, but expensive, so I opted for a chocolate croissant ($2.50!). Rae & Paige went matchy-match with avocado toast. It had a cute outdoor seating area.

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After brunch, we embarked to Cupcake Market for the Kanye cookies. It was such an adorable little cafe. They served coffee, cakes, and other sweet delights. All the servers were very accommodating and genuinely nice people. Inside the cafe was like stepping into your British grandmother’s tea room. Lots of antiques, dim lighting, and tea cups. It also functioned as a retail space, where you can buy all these vintage tea settings and books.

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Unfortunately, the Kanye cookie frosting was still drying, so we had to come back in the late afternoon.

To kill time, we walked around 2nd avenue and Washington Square Park. 2nd avenue is a darling place. Also known as the Ukrainian Village, it had so many small shops, cafes, and restaurants. Trendy and young, but quieter than the Meat Packing district. It wasn’t too far from Japan Town. I showed them the wonders of NoHo (North of Houston), like NYU, Cooper’s Union, and the park.

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We explored a few vintage shops before walking back to Cupcake Market.

Finally, the cookies were ready (and costed $16!!!). They were hand painted and pasted on a regular flavored cookie, then wrapped up in a box of tissues. Paige wanted to eat our Kanyes and Kims in Central Park, so we started our train ride to uptown.

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It was a little hard finding a field to sit at (it’s such a huge park), but we found ourselves right in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was such a nice, chilly day. We people watched, while trying to finish these super sweet cookies. Ugh, I actually regret buying it, because I couldn’t finish it. It was way too sweet for me.

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Since we were sitting in front of the museum, it was only natural to want to go in. I’m going to bold the next sentence, because it’s important to know about the MET museums. YOU CAN PAY WHATEVER YOU WANT TO GET IN. I repeat, you can pay whatever you want to get in. Obviously, it has to be at minimum a $1.00, but the ticket price is just a suggested donation (a strong one, too). So, don’t feel like you have to pay $25.00 (or $18.00 if you’re a student) to get in.

Paige has a deep interest in African art, Rae wanted to see the Polynesian art and Photography, and I wanted to see the Greek and Roman art. Luckily, the African, Polynesian, and Greek and Roman art was all in one place (haha). We breezed through the Bronze Age, into the diverse African art, and emerge ourselves in Polynesia. Although the museum is extremely huge, we were disappointed with the selection of art in the specific regions we were interested in. For example, there were only a few, small pieces that came from Hawai’i (much to Rae’s disappointment). Although this makes sense, because I  would think that Hawai’i would be super protective over their artifacts.

Papua New Guinea was represent really well and all these other Polynesian and Oceania cultures. It was amazing to see how each island had very similar themes and aesthetics, but had their unique flair about it.

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We browsed through the American exhibit, but were disappointed that it was White American artifacts and not Native American. I’m sure they had some Native American pieces somewhere, but we moved on to the Photography exhibit.

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The Photography exhibit was really small. I guess it just wasn’t the season for photography. There was this one small area (that was kind of hidden) that had these 19th century pictures of Bethlehem. It was crazy cool to see how different everything looked back then and how crisp the shots were.

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The Egyptian exhibit was very fascinating. Rae was joking about how bias the descriptions of every papyrus scroll. “How do they know that this meant this?” It was really cool to see and go inside actual Egyptian temples. I’m not sure how they moved it in the museum (I guess block by block), but it was pretty surreal. The costume museum was closed until November 7th.

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To wrap up the day, we went to Times Square. Now, I really don’t like it there. It’s really crowded and it’s much smaller than it seems in movies. The theater circuit is actually much bigger and circumferences Time Square. But every tourist has to come and take pictures of all the bright billboards. Paige and Rae said it wasn’t as magical as they thought it was going to be (sorry!). Hey, they got some really cool pictures of it, though.

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Uncategorized

Paige & Rae Part: 1

I just had a wonderful weekend with these gals! My friend from home, Raelene, and her friend (now my friend), Paige. Doesn’t she look like Taya Smith???

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Last year, I got a random call from Rae asking about visiting NYC (they go to school in Chicago), then one thing lead to another and we planned a trip! Thank goodness for Air BnB! For those of you who don’t know what Air BnB is, it’s an app that allows people to rent a space in a house/apartment for a short amount of time. People can also lease an extra room or their house on the app. This is perfect for people who are staying somewhere for a weekend, who are on a budget, or who don’t like hotels. It’s as easy as searching the area, looking through reviews, and booking it.

We found Raquel, the host, and she had a basement apartment available for a very decent price. It was so clean, it was styled very nicely, and it had everything we needed. If you’re not familiar with NYC, everything is super small and condense, so don’t expect a huge room to stay here. It was a studio apartment, so the kitchen, living room, and bedroom were all in the same space, but it wasn’t cramped. The bathroom is really tiny, but it does the job and it’s super clean. Raquel had free WiFi, Netflix on the TV, and she left a note saying where the nearest subway stations were and restaurants.

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But before we checked in, I met Rae and Paige at Bakeri. This really cute bakery cafe in Brooklyn. It’s very homey feeling and shabby chic. The waitresses have these cute Rosy the Riveter like uniform. Then we found ourselves in a cool vintage garage. I bought these projector slides, which I’m seriously thinking about collecting from now on. Lots of cool things in there. Then, we walked to our Air BnB.

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Our day wasn’t finish, yet. After unpacking, we immediately set out to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a pretty price to pay ($18 for students) to get inside the museum, but it was really worth it. I cried so much and the museum was gracious enough to provide tissues at every corner. What really got me was the exhibit dedicated to those who jumped or who fell out of the top floors of the tower. The stories that were told were so chilling and the actual voicemail messages that play through out will haunt you. It will give you a new found respect for our public service warriors (policemen, firemen, and EMTs) and so proud on how the nation recovered from such a tragedy.

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We capped the night at Chinatown for some chow. Rae and I are so used to eating pretty authentic Chinese cuisine, so we went pretty mild with Paige. We got pork buns, egg rice, and sweet & sour chicken; served family style. It was so filling and delicious. We had ice cream from The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I got ube (the one in purple), Rae got butter and macha oreo, and Paige got almond cookie. It came with a Green Tea Pocky stick.

It was a super busy first day. Stay tuned for Part 2-5. They won’t be as long as this, because I got lazy with taking pictures, but I’ll still write in detail about the places we visited.

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Adventures, Uncategorized

Adventures at the World Trade Center

This last weekend, my roommate and I explored the World Trade Center shopping center, which is in the Southern part of Manhattan. I’ve visited the new World Trade Center building before and it’s extremely beautiful. Indoors is all white, marble, glass, and extremely secure. The mall is located in the Oculus just outside of it.

The Oculus is this magnificently designed building. It’s full of luxury brands, and like the new World Trade Center, it’s entirely white and secure. I passed by 10 security guards and two patrolling army men. Is it intimidating? Not really.

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Since it was close to closing time, we didn’t get to visit all the shops. We first first visited Kate Spade, which was glorious. Then, I saw & Other Stories, which is the high end branch of H&M. Compared to the other shops in the Oculus, & Other Stories was affordable. Lastly, we came across a high end candy shop, Sugarfina.

Sugarfina is like heave for my 6 year-old self. The packaging is so cute and you can buy these adorable gift sets or bento boxes. Surprisingly, they have a decent candy assortment that were either made in the US or in Europe. Their top selling candy is the champagne marshmallows. They’re not available in New York anymore, so you have to make a stop at their LA store to get some of this delicious golden fluff.

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I bought the Bella Rosa. These are the tastiest and cutest candies I’ve ever had. It’s made from rose water and has a strong floral taste. It’s not too over powering and it’s not too sweet. If you like Turkish delight, then you’ll like Bella Rosa.

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My roommate got the champagne gummi bears. They’re non-alcoholic, but according to her, they taste good.

Tip: If you ask nicely or charm the manager, you can sample some of their candies. That’s how I got around to buying Bella Rosa. Kindness pays off!

I’m not a big fan of going to memorials, because it’s so sad. But I finally got around to the North and South World Trade Center memorials. To me, the best way to see them is at night, when they turn the lights on in the pool, because it gives a warmer and happier vibe. If you’re short and you don’t have a selfie stick, forget about getting a nice pic.

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