Friday, December 14, 2012

Newtown Tragedy. Change is needed NOW

I'm deeply affected by today's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. My daughters are 7 & 5, this isn't someone else's story. Children teach us beauty of life and adults repay them with violence and deadly silence. Children bring us joy and we kill their souls through childhood trauma.

This must stop. Now.

Today I vow to pay closer attention to others, especially my children and their emotional & mental well-being. I promise to dedicate my life to raising healthy individuals who love themselves and value other people. I promise never to let my child become lost in loneliness & anger.

Change begins with me, with my children, in my home. I hope you do the same, for me and for all our children, especially those children who lost everything today.

Something must be done. Change is needed NOW.

Heartbroken & in grief this gloomy afternoon.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's winter and I'm not even sad

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose...

No Jack Frost here in So Cal, but it's been raining since last night and I'm loving this weather. I can't imagine living anywhere but here, and I'd be awfully depressed if I was settled in rainy Seattle. Here, the rain can be much anticipated and embraced even for someone who's prone to self-induced SAD like me.

I want to wear my rain boots with a big pull-over hoodie and let the cold air whip my hair around. Then I'll return inside, make myself a warm cup of tea, cuddle next to a fireplace and hibernate like a bear with no distractions or worry.

No demands, no chores, no routine, no boredom--
I'll travel to a place where only dreams reside.

Before I close myself let me ask you,
Will you be there?
If not, can you come find me,
because it's winter and I'm not even sad.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The higher you'll fly

I can't believe it's December already. I've been loving this weather lately, where I can finally enjoy a cup of coffee wearing my warm fuzzy robe while looking out into the cool gloomy sky through the frosted window.

Winter mornings of Southern California feel more like late fall, yet it sure does feel like the holidays. Our tree has been up since Thanksgiving and my daughters have been busy making their Christmas list for Santa. New Christmas stockings have been ordered and I'm about 1/4th done with Christmas shopping.  It's these little things that fill my heart with joy...these little things that make me grateful for family & friends I'm surrounded by.

These days I find myself drawing closer with loved ones and farther from ones who are selfish and negative. Knowing to draw boundaries have gotten a lot easier then before, but sometimes I found myself still torn -not about whether or not it's necessary- but how and when to do so.

Sometimes I feel bad and hypocritical for not having the tolerance I once had for negative people. Yet I now know that I can't change other people and expect others to change for me. I need to embrace all my loved ones completely and wholeheartedly--and if I find that I can't, I must take a step back and reassess that relationship which usually turns out to be superficial and shallow for reasons beyond my control.

December is a time be thankful for loved ones- to express gratitude, appreciation and love. It is also a good time to reassess our surroundings, clean up shaky paths and start fresh for the new year.

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. 

I'm ending 2012 on a good note, without any footprint left behind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's be weird together

Been so busy lately. Days pass by swiftly and we're now two days away from Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for this year and will make the time to make a gratitude list.

Heading out to Disneyland with the kiddos so the list will have to wait. Meanwhile I know there is one thing I'm thankful for. That is, the courage to be myself no matter where and how I am. I know many people still struggle with this as I did but thirty something years later, I'm finally okay - and happy- with who I am.

I'm a little weird. I have unusual interests and have control issues. I turn into a total bitch when I'm hungry and hubby says I'm difficult to deal with sometimes. Sorry.  

Yet I like me. I like being uniquely me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

BIGBANG Alive Galaxy Tour 2012, Honda center

It took me nearly a week to get back into my normal routine after seeing BIGBANG's live performance at Honda Center last Friday and Saturday. Yes it was THAT GOOD. I may be a little biased because I've been a little more than obsessed with their music and waited nearly seven years to finally see them in LA.

Most people don't understand my obsession with them. They think they're just another k-pop boy group and call me a teeny bopper for liking their music. I noticed many non-Korean fans love BIGBANG along with other boy groups but I have no interest in any other musicians or celebrities.

I love BIGBANG because they write and produce their own music. They create their own styles and experiment with various sounds. They're not your usual corporate produced B-rate talents. They're versatile, creative, fashion-forward musical geniuses.  They're not perfect, and I love that about them. But I don't need to convince anyone because I have enough fans to compete with already...

I almost let the world convince me that my obsession is a little unusual...until I got to witness their talents in person. Now I realize it doesn't really matter who understands and who doesn't...they gave me THE BEST WEEKEND EVER and I'm a proud VIP for life.

I was fortunate enough to go to the concert both days, VIP on Friday and suite seats on Saturday. Both proved to be complete different experiences and even though getting VIP was more of a hassle, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I got to see them very close and got to feel the synergy between the group and the fans. They sounded amazing live and the energy, talent and overall vibe of the group was phenomenal.

I've been a fan of K-pop since the 90's and I FINALLY found a group who is worthy of my time and energy. Their music & performance are so vibrant, energetic, captivating and versatile. Their first U.S. tour in LA & NY has been successful and are creating quite a buzz among young fans of k-pop as well as other media journalists. Honestly I hope they never go mainstream in America and continue with their cult following because they're too special to go mainstream. ;)

This past weekend also taught me a few life lessons, one of them being the importance of enjoying and living life to the fullest. So many people limit themselves and their interests and feel as if they need to conform to their surroundings. They do what others do; they like what others like. If others don't agree or understand, you keep it a secret, or convince yourself that your passion is inappropriate.

I think otherwise. If you want something, go for it. If you have a passion for something, live it and love it to the fullest. Don't allow room for excuses. You are never too old, too busy, too tired or too ____ for anything. As long as you are confident in who you are, what others think or say doesn't matter. In fact, being unable to follow your true passions because of others will bring down your confidence and make your life less fulfilled.

Life is too short to worry about other people. They'll never completely understand you anyway. Your life is precious and whether or not you live it out or inhibit yourself, you leave this world alone, as you were born into it alone.


So one of my dreams of seeing TOP and GD up close and personal came true. Then I came across a fortune that reads, "YOUR MOST MEMORABLE DREAM WILL COME TRUE."

My dream partially came true but I want to keep dreaming. The dreams I hold inside my heart today, WILL come true as long as God wills it.

Thank you Lord for all the excitement and blessings you bestowed upon me. Now I can go back to normal life with amazing memories that I'll hold dear to my heart forever.

And for those of you who still believe Korean music is just a teeny bopper sensation, I'd like to ask,

Why so serious? :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BIGBANG: why I can't and won't stop loving them.

Seungri, G-dragon, Taeyang, Daesung, and TOP

It must've been about five years ago when I first came across him in a Korean drama. I grew up watching Korean dramas as a young girl so checking out a new popular drama series was nothing unusual for me. What was unusual though, was this new young male actor with the most intense, dark and beautiful eyes that I've ever seen. I didn't know who he was and where he came from.

My mom, who was sitting right by me, commented that he looks like he's wearing eye makeup and went on to talk about how kids nowadays knew no boundaries when it comes to fashion. I, on the other hand, was intrigued by his mysterious look and a deep curiosity was triggered.

It turns out that he wasn't really an actor but a rapper named TOP in a boy group called Bigbang. I had stopped following and listening to K-pop for some time so I had no clue who they were. Like Korean dramas, I grew up listening to Korean pop in the 90's but there wasn't any music or group that I found particularly endearing and captivating so I often opted for Korean ballads instead.

Even around 2006, K-pop was just K-pop..nothing brilliant or original but rather a clumsy imitation of American and UK pop music with Korean lyrics. They all sounded the same and every group sounded like a copycat version of the other. Every singer in a boy group looked like the next. With same hairstyle, fashion and voice, Korean pop music seemed like one giant blob of B-rated talents.

However, there was something different about Bigbang. First, they began their careers on a survival-type of reality TV series which documents their daily lives and struggles of five young men who dreamed of becoming a star. There were shortcomings, tears and misunderstandings amongst them and the producers and members were portrayed as humans with real feelings rather than puppets. Their talents were lacking in many ways and Top was often criticized for his lack of performance and dance skills.

Eventually the 6th member of Bigbang was eliminated and they debuted with five guys, leader GD "G-Dragon" (Kwon Ji Yong),  lead vocal Teydaddy (Taeyang / Youngbae), rapper (TOP), vocal Daesung (D-lite) and youngest member Seung Ri, who was on the verge of being eliminated from the group as well.

Their first few albums were okay, with a few good catchy songs like Lies...but nothing particularly brilliant. It was better than most songs out in the K-pop scene, but not enough to wow anyone, not even myself. Yet I followed their progress and remained a hopeful fan because I saw the immense potential and talent that lurks underneath.

G-dragon, who began rapping at age 8 with unprecedented talent, was only going to get better with training and time because he carried in him a particular style & swagger that I haven't seen elsewhere. Likewise TOP was born with this incredible voice and flow that can't be duplicated by anyone--and his voice paired with his insanely good looks were only going to attract more and more crazed female fans all over the world.

Unlike G-Dragon & Taeyang who was exposed to spotlight and celebrity life from a young age, TOP was an awkward and overweight teenager who hangs around hyung's and nuna's (older male/female friends) in the underground hip hop scene. Because of this GD is much more flashy with over-the-top swag while TOP carries a rather mature and understated charm that can melt girls' hearts with a single glance. Taeyang is hailed as one of greatest dancer and vocal even by other Korean idol stars.

Sure enough, Bigbang came a long way since their debut in 2006. They produced hit song after another and their album continued to improve in quality and talent. They refused to stick to one genre and continued to experiment with various sounds like hip hop, R&B, electronic, dance, urban, instrumental and created new blends of the mentioned and more.  In fact it's hard to categorize them into a single category because their music consists of many global influences and to this date, I believe there is no musician like them. To me, Bigbang simply sounds like Bigbang and they deserve to be categorized as its own, not compared to other K-pop idol groups and American rappers.

What's also special about this group is that each member has his own distinct style and has his own album to represent this. They perform well not only as a group but as solo artists and I can't think of any other Korean group who carries this kind of skill.

BIGBANG has produced some amazing songs and music videos that blows me away and G-Dragon's newest album One of a kind is by far, one of my favorites by the Bigbang leader. He truly perfected his craft and his musical talents seem boundless and endless. Sometimes he sounds like a masculine & energetic rapper similar to Wu Tang and Lil' Wayne while other times he sings with a delicate and beautiful voice in a heartfelt love song. He travels back and forth this dichotomy effortlessly and plays with lyrics & beat everywhere in between. He is also the epitome of androgynous music & fashion done to perfection but more about this next time.

Music is truly his playground and I have yet to come across musical geniuses like Bigbang. GD makes and produces their music and GD & TOP often work together on the lyrics.  Their music isn't mass produced, corporate recycled junk, it is a true reflection of who they are as artists and their 5+ albums document their growth from young artists to global musicians.

I had the privilege of seeing them live at Honda Center for their first US concert BIGBANG ALIVE GALAXY TOUR both nights and the weekend proved all my speculations and beliefs to be true.  I will write another post dedicated for the weekend of the LA concert. Until then, I'll be jamming to their music and being grateful for the wonderful dream-like weekend I got to spend with my favorite boys- BIGBANG.

Update: Here is a link to the latest article on the leader G-Dragon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween, which officially marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year. This year's Halloween is more festive and fun-filled than usual, with my aunt having a costume party to celebrate her 60th birthday. It was our first time dressing up as family with aunts, uncles & parents and we had such an amazing time. Here I was, complaining about passing time while others were celebrating life as is, as it happens in their later years. Perhaps youth never really passes; innocence & joy does only if we allow it.

Life is too short to complain about things that are passing and being filled with regrets of the past. This is often easier said than done but as I await the holiday season, I remind myself once more to live my life, enjoy what life has to offer, and prepare myself for my next path, whatever that may be.

For my aunt's costume party, I dressed up as Snow White to parallel my girls' fairytale theme, one being Dorothy and the other being Little Red Riding Hood. I needed something family friendly and appropriate for the little ones although I secretly wished I can be something darker & sexier for once.  I think the girls are finally starting to grow out of their Disney Princess phase which means we can start dressing up as cooler characters like Superheroes, Adams Family & vampires hopefully by next year. I can't wait...becoming a mom made me enjoy Halloween so much that I look forward to it more each year.

Dorothy is all ready for Halloween in her Ruby slippers. Little Red Riding Hood is in school and can't wait for trick-or-treating with friends later tonight. Mommy plans to step into her long hooded robe so she can pass out candy and keep the Halloween spirit alive for her little ones as midnight priestess.

Halloween is all about spending time with loved ones, sharing laughter over silly costumes and keeping our innocence alive. It's about feeling like a child again, even for a day- and playing out a persona you've always admired or imagined. Don't let adulthood take that away from you ever; my aunt who just turned 60 and is still fabulous, will agree.

Happy Halloween wherever you are.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A letter to Virginia Woolf

"I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. Oh my dear, I can't be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don't love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don't really resent it."
Vita Sackville West, from a letter to Virginia Woolf dated 21 January 1926.

Are these not the most beautiful words ever?

Today's Inspiration: Maya Angelou

Q: What makes a truly great piece of written word? 

Maya Angelou: The truth...It either tells the truth, or it's not of very much use. 

I came across this poignant interview by Maya Angelou, a writer, activist and thinker whom I have the utmost admiration and fasciation for. It is women like her who makes me hopeful that perhaps I still have a chance at writing something useful and valuable for the generation, or at the very least be one of many representative voices for Asian American women today.

Words connect us across gender, race and social lines, this much is true- but there are experiences that are uniquely ours that deserve its own representation rather than always having to borrow that of writers like Maya Angelou.

This is not to discredit her work and talent of course. She is unprecedented and her mastery with language cannot be duplicated by anyone, but a girl can only dream that one day, I can connect with other souls who yearn to speak out and strengthen her generation like Maya Angelou did for hers.

I always dreamed of this but my dream got muddled with life somewhere along the way. I never knew motherhood was so consuming but it is- and I've learned that I'm not one of those women who can put her career before her children. I wish I was, but I'm not.

But a girl can still dream...

I'm still suffering from this cold that refuses to leave me; my head feels stuffy and clogged, like no worthy thought can enter or leave. I'd rather have a fever than this dull headache. I feel lifeless, thoughtless, dumb and dead.

I must've slept over 20 hours in two days. Something in my body keeps knocking me out to slumber but instead of waking up refreshed, I wake up more tired and lifeless...

I had a dream last night that I was getting dressed for a wedding ceremony. Instead of the usual white wedding dress however, I was wearing this beautiful traditional Korean costume called Hanbok. Something wasn't going as planned and the wedding planner claimed she forgot the candles. What is the meaning of this, I don't know..but I looked beautiful in my reflection and the dress was so colorful, vibrant and exquisite unlike anything I've seen in real life.

Usually I think and overedit when I write but today I'm just gonna tell the truth. Hopefully the more I practice the better my truth will get, not better in fabrication but in honesty and honesty only.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Love is like the rainbow

Rainbow by my home. 10, 2012.

It rained all day yesterday literally and figuratively. I welcomed the pouring rain with open arms as I was tired of the heat and scorching sun. Everything was starting to feel artificial and forced and I was glad to finally open my windows and breath in real air and hear the sound of raindrops, not the usual humming of air conditioning in my home.

Life seems to have reset itself. I always feel this after a day of pouring rain. The sky changes from dark, to gloomy, to spotty, to bright, to high, to low and back to dark...and while it goes through these countless transformation all I do is wait for a glimpse of a rainbow.

True love is like the rainbow, it can only be created after the rain.

God's love for us is like this, as he strengthens us through numerous trials...and love between two people are like this as well, as the person we love sometimes bring us to a new low. Without love there would not be so much pain.

I saw a double rainbow yesterday, a beautiful & vibrant one, and my five-year old was so excited as this was her very first. We excitedly ran outside in our rainboots and began to snap pictures before it disappears. It was one of those quiet joys in life that God sometimes graces us with when we least expect it, the kind that reminds us that He  is always watching over us.

Grateful for rainy days, especially rainbows after the storm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Self-portrait at 32

I'm 32 years old and no longer a naive, carefree girl in my 20's. I've failed in numerous relationships and made countless mistakes in my lifetime.

I've cried over unworthy men, been betrayed by manipulative girlfriends, hurt people I shouldn't have hurt and stayed loyal to those who didn't deserve my loyalty. I've been heartbroken; I've broken people's hearts.

Yet I've never loved myself as much as today. I don't know why, I have a dull, lingering headache and my body is fighting a cold. My hair needs a trim and I can really use facials. I no longer have the youthful glow every morning and am starting to see fine lines around my eyes. The height of my youth is passing by and I'm no longer idealistic about life, career and men.

Yet, I love myself wholeheartedly.

I finally realize what womanhood is all about. Womanhood is about loving oneself despite her past mistakes and present imperfections.

It's not about loving ourselves in vain without truly understanding our flaws and weaknesses. Rather, it's about fully acknowledging our shortcomings and being regretful of our mistakes yet not being bound by guilt, shame and resentment toward oneself or others.

It's about becoming one's best friend first before turning to others for happiness and truly understanding herself- both her strengths and weaknesses- while being mindful of her surroundings.

It's about refusing to let others define what it means to be a woman, mom and wife and instead, defining what it means for her by learning, growing and striving everyday to make herself happy first and foremost.

It's about making sacrifices for others without regret or bitterness, and loving others despite their flaws and pains. A real woman stands by her family despite their inherent weakness, because she understands that it is only through her strength and courage that the structure can withstand trials of life.

It's about learning to be selfish about her dreams and desires without forgetting to be selfless when it comes to other people. It's about keeping her love under control and in moderation, and not letting it become controlling, superfluous or fleeting.

It's about setting boundaries, especially with those she loves and not letting her love get in the way of other's passions and dreams.

Today, I truly love myself. And I plan to love myself more and more each day, not by wishing for things that have already passed, but by embracing who I am at this very moment.

So stop trying to define how a mom is supposed to look or act like, I don't even know what that means. I'm just me, that's all. I've always been me, and I will always be me.

No passing of time or trials of life can take that away from me.

I hope all women will realize that womanhood is boundless, timeless and eternally beautiful. We are all beautiful in our imperfections, geniuses in our madness.  Anything is fine, as long as we remember to judge a little less and care for ourselves from within.

In remembrance, I snap a self-portrait and mark this moment of clarity. These days I find myself more comfortable behind the camera but today I'll defy my usual boundaries and appreciate who I am today.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thank you for loving me still

"I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." 
                                                                                                                                                              - Marilyn Monroe
I make mistakes....plenty of them, and often do and say things I know I shouldn't have. This past weekend was no different and I ended up doing what I did best in my 20's...being selfish, impatient and unpredictable. On Friday I ran into an old friend who commented that I still seem like the old Angie from college and asked why I haven't changed after becoming a mom?

Then I thought, hmmm I don't know, perhaps it's because that old Angie is still there? Perhaps not enough time passed since then? Perhaps there's still a part of me that refuses to be lost through marriage, motherhood & passing of time?

But the fact is, I did change since then. I can still be selfish, impatient & insecure at times but I now know what it means to be selfless, patient and confident even with my imperfect self.

I'm imperfect but still beautiful; I'm a little mad but know there is still genius in me and despite still making mistakes as a 30-something woman, I finally have the courage to love myself through it all.

Today I'm thankful for a few significant people in my life, those who saw me at my worst but still remained by my side. These are people who truly deserve me at my best, and I promise to never forget the warmth you made me feel, the comfort I felt in your arms.

I'm sorry I can't be there for you every time you need me; I'm sorry for my imperfect decisions and actions at times.

Thank you though, for loving me still.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Love burns

I'll never leave you by Jamie Beck

Many years ago, an overprotective and over-jealous boyfriend burned my old pictures and old letters in the small patio of my college apartment. I was appalled by his actions but so appalled that I was at a loss of words.  I thought I loved him at the time, and judged that the best thing to do was to let him be as something was obviously bothering him, and I wanted to be the one to provide some relief for him even at the sake of my memories.

Tonight I look back and realize I was simply caught in middle of someone else's dark passions and his actions had nothing to do with me or his love for me, but with his own insecurities and desires.

I've never been angry enough to burn any part of my past; perhaps this was the problem.  I wish I never have to do this but simultaneously hope I had enough courage to do this at a few pivotal moments in my life.

Love is passionate. For some love boils and glowers like fire. My love was quiet, gentle and reserved and somehow, somewhere along the way, my coy love began to ignite once it caught someone else's spark fueled by greed and dark passions.

Tonight it burns uncontrollably and there is no one around to put it out but myself.  I need to and I will-- but I still remember my love, the one that isn't jealous, possessive or controlling, the kind that just is.

I still leave it up to Him, God that is, and pray that I can live out my kind of love one day. I want to rediscover it and learn to be selfless again.

All in His time, I remind myself-- for the thousandth time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thoughts On Having Another Child

cinemagraphs by Jamie Beck

What a long week this was. I still have many things left to do but procrastination continues to hover over me. I've gotten so lazy in the past few months as a stay-at-home-mom that I have very little motivation to get back in school and work mode. Sometimes I look at my mommy friends who are pregnant and with newborns and think maybe this is a good time to have another child. After all, I'm not getting any younger and I finally have some alone time while the children are in school.

I've always wanted three children. Two girls, one boy; my ideal family. I can jump at this chance to fulfill my wish but something stops me. It's a hint of fear and anxiety about the unknown as well as the things I know too well...

Like a whole year without my favorite foods like wine & sushi, gaining weight, letting go of beauty treatments like deep tissue massage, hair color & gel polish, feeling stuck in my pregnant body, lacking sleep, backaches and dull headaches, random breakouts, uncontrollable hormones, the heaviness in my chest, the shortness of breath....but mainly about no longer feeling like a woman and being entirely consumed by motherhood for another 2-3 years.

Some of my friends do this with so much ease and grace that I wonder if something is wrong with me. Pregnancy and raising newborn are the most difficult time of a woman's life but ironically, the most fruitful and memorable.

Perhaps I'm ready to start all over again, perhaps I remember that feeling all too clearly---that feeling of meeting my child for the first time, drawing her pink body to my chest and truly understanding the beauty & depth of maternal love.

I miss that feeling. But first, my life asks to be lived and enjoyed. Looking forward to tonight's dinner with girlfriends and catching up over bubblies.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wedge Sneakers: Bringing back the 80's

My style has always been eclectic, a little off and contradictory. I like feminine, lacy & flowy things but simultaneously love a little androgynous edge like studs, black leather and S&M inspired accessories like cuffs, spikes and killer heels (hence my love for Valentino). And of course the typical tomboy-ish attire like denim, oversized top, cut off shorts & high top sneakers.

I think growing up with my brother had a lot to do with it, as I enjoyed riding my huffy bike around the neighborhood and mastering video games from its early days of Pacman onto days of Tetris, Original Super Mario Bros, Zelda and later Gears of War and World of Warcraft. I was a true nerd- an avid reader & female video gamer.

I was reserved and girly in that I enjoyed sitting alone in my room and read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women (Oh how I always dreamed of having curls like Beth) but was still boyish and sporty in that I watched every episode of Power Rangers (The OG Japanese version because we were cool like that- ;) and was obsessed with shows like Astro Boy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

Come to think of it, my eclectic style today is largely influenced by my childhood so it's no wonder I became obsessed with the wedge sneaker trend influenced by Isabel Marant.

These are sold out virtually everywhere and come with a hefty price tag of over $800. You can still find other versions at sites like net-a-porter  but cute color combinations with hightop design that celebrities have been rocking are difficult to find.  And honestly, I don't know if I can ever spend this kind of money on sneakers today.  If you can afford them, you're incredibly lucky! But as for me, I'd rather put it aside for new boots or heels for fall.

Even as I knew I wasn't going to purchase Isabel Marants I couldn't stop thinking about them and lusting after them. I still don't understand why some bloggers say this is a love/hate trend because I don't see anything wrong with them. Comfortable, boyish high top sneakers with hidden platform? That's not an oxymoron- IT'S THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!

They totally remind me of these awesome LA Gear sneakers I had in 4th grade with bright neon shoelaces in contrasting colors. I used to wear sneakers all the time in grade school and mix & match my shoelaces. I remember I had these bright blue shoelace on one time and was told by a teacher to remove it because it resembled 'gang colors.' I was disgruntled but still rocked my LA Gears proudly & blissfully.

LA gear in neon from late 80's

I think that gives me enough street cred to be an OG sneaker lover. For me, this hightop wedge sneakers trend is more than a fashion statement; it's a piece of childhood that I love & greatly miss.

So after some research I decided to try these wedge sneakers by Ash in distressed black leather. These were the most affordable ones I can find without being cheap quality and knock off versions. There are various versions like Bowie, Cool and their latest Bea but I went with the original Cool version with thicker sole since I wanted a style that resembled my original sneakers from the 80's & 90's.  However the updated versions are more modern, more feminine and just as cute as the cool line.

You can't really tell from my iphone pictures (I really need the iphone 5!!) but the leather and bottom sole are distressed for a worn-out look, not perfectly black & white like it looks in the picture.

Ash 'Cool Ter' Wedge sneakers $295 

Sometimes all it takes is one pair of shoes to bring back childhood memories and lift the spirits after a long week.

Feelin' youthful, tomboy-ish and very grateful!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wine tasting, Temecula CA

Briar Rose Winery, Temecula CA

Mister and I had a rare opportunity to spend our Saturday afternoon without the kids so he suggested we go wine tasting in Temecula. An afternoon of drinking good wine and eating gourmet cheese- yes please. Without giving it much thought we spontaneously headed to Temecula where we yelped a few different wineries with decent ratings.  

These days I find myself yearning for smaller, intimate experience with less crowd and my goal was to find a hidden gem in Temecula- the one less traveled but with more personality & flavor.  

We arrived at Briar Rose (I was sold on the name) and upon coming across its fairytale like cottage, I knew I had come to the right place. This is a boutique winery- small, private with personal service and great wine selection. I tried their premium wine list and their Estate cabernet was my absolute favorite. 

This was my favorite winery out of the three we tried for its intimate, private experience with good personalized service. Briar Rose is better for couples than larger crowds. 

Doffo Winery, Temecula CA

For our second stop we chose Doffo, another boutique winery located in a historic landmark schoolhouse. It was larger than Briar Rose hence more people and less personalized service. The sommelier simply filled our glasses and walked off to the next person with minimal explanation. The facility is clean, cozy & historic but I wasn't too impressed with their wine tasting selection. Nothing here really wow'd me like the ones at Briar Rose and I didn't like how the flavors were mixed from light, full-bodied back to lighter intensity.

Our third stop was Miramonte, a much larger winery with spacious patio and amazing view. This would be a perfect winery for wedding reception and private parties. After two rounds of wine tasting I couldn't do another so I opted for a sangria instead.

By 5:30 I was done with wine and ready to see the kiddos again. Marriage with two school aged children can get hectic and mundane for the parents- one works hard, the other takes care of the home. As always it's nice to get away with my husband and spend some time to wind down, catch up on stories and recommit ourselves to another crazy week ahead.

On Sunday we were invited to a BBQ at a neighbor's house which consisted another full day of eating ribs and drinking wine. I thought hangovers would be over once I stopped partying but nope...hangovers simply take a different form in your 30's. ;)

Time for detox. I think I'll finally put my vitamix to use.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Give a girl the right pair of shoes, she will conquer the world

Valentino noir rockstud slingbacks- patent black leather

Last Friday I headed out to Fashion Island in Newport to purchase the new iphone 5 and came home with a new pair of shoes instead. I do this all the time. My outdated iphone 4 still lacks Siri and a satisfactory camera but sometimes a girl has to re-prioritize her needs.

I'm usually quite practical and enjoy shopping sales & bargains but for some reason, this practical side of me disappears when it comes to shoes. I don't think it's an addiction or obsession, it's simply a priority over anything else in my closet...or so I tell myself.

You know that moment when you mindlessly try on a shoe and it feels so right on your feet like Cinderella's glass slipper? That moment when you're possessed by something beyond yourself and feel like your life can no longer be complete unless you take her home?

I felt this feeling as soon as I laid my eyes on this pair of Valentinos, feminine with edge, classic yet covered in dark studs that resemble rose thorns. It reminded me too much of myself that I couldn't resist bringing her home.

One very beautiful and famous woman once said give a girl the right shoes and she will conquer the world. I feel like she belongs to me and am anxious to see where she takes me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stranger in my room

Soft rose on the book by Andreka

Sometimes when I have a ton of emotions weighing down my chest, yet find myself at loss of words, I walk over to my bookcase, say a little prayer, randomly grab a book and let it speak to me. Sometimes I give them life, other times they give me voice.

Perhaps this is why as a young girl, I preferred to sit in my room in solitude and let books take me to places I can never go. I knew even at a young age, that I was only a limited soul in middle of a vast world full of things I didn't understand and things I couldn't see.

I couldn't wait until that one day when I'd be an adult, free to explore the world on my own..find true love and discover meanings embedded in feelings like happiness, delight, loss and longing.

Today I find myself yearning for something entirely different and was at complete loss of words...until now.
I would never be part of anything. I would never really belong anywhere, and I knew it, and all my life would be the same, trying to belong, and failing. Always something would go wrong. I am a stranger and I always will be, and after all I didn’t really care. 
Jean Rhys- Smile PleaseAn Unfinished Biography
Sometimes I wish I belong nowhere, belong to no one and be a stranger to everyone and everything.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Life is stranger than fiction

Candied Threads by Andreka

Another busy weekend passed by; one friend turned 33 and another friend's son just celebrated his first birthday. Life keeps bringing me around in circles as I run into old faces and meet new lives.

Life is pretty amazing I must say, and I had an epiphany as I was being introduced to babies and little juniors who look just like their parents, people from my past.

It was yet another opportunity to rethink ideas like destiny & fate...and destiny seems to work in funny ways. Old lovers break up and marry their close friends, acquaintances become husband and wife, one marries his friend's ex-girlfriend, and his ex-girlfriend marries her ex-boyfriend. As complicated and dramatic as these examples sound, these events really took place and this is only one person's life- mine.

If destiny wasn't invisible but took form in visible threads, it would look pretty damn complicated and knotty, and we wouldn't know how to untangle them ourselves.

I guess this is where God steps in. I guess this is why destiny is beyond our control.

So I was sitting there in this large room filled with these people from my past, some present friends, others from my distant past thinking how funny life works, how funny love plays out-- finally realizing that life really is stranger than fiction sometimes...

You really never know, this funny thing called life.

Occasionally I come across a song that I become obsessed with, one that I can't help but to play over and over again. It parallels my life and brings out emotions I never knew existed. A mere coincidence-- or another funny joke played by this funny thing called life.

I'm currently trapped in this obsession, thinking how fast life is passing by before me. Time flies by yet feelings remain trapped in these songs, packed into these words. I wish there's something I can do to make these feelings pass like time.

Why won't they go away. And why can't I stop playing this tune inside my head.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love languages

By Gemma Correll I like you

I wish I knew about love languages when I was younger. Today I realize how important it is for lovers to speak the same love language, or at the very least be willing to speak the other person's love language.

I do enjoy finer things in life but I know these are things I can live without. I don't need diamonds, flowers and expensive dinners.

But I do need to feel loved by you. As long as I know you love me in ways that work for me, and as long as you're willing to learn what makes me feel loved, I'm happy.

Note: that's different than you telling me you love me. I know you love me. I sometimes need to feel this, especially when I'm feeling sentimental or in need of reassurance. Sometimes I just feel lonely and nostalgic, for no apparent reason.

Sometimes I feel this...just because.

Not every feeling comes with a logical explanation. Feelings are feelings. One cannot explain every feeling because feelings operate on a deeper level and sits in your heart or deep down your gut. Once it passes through the head, it sits there- deep down inside.

Sometimes it leaves, sometimes it claims its home.

Women are usually more expressive of their needs. Men on the other hand, deny or repress- or when asked, shy away from answering the very important question, "when do you feel loved?" or "what can I do to make you feel loved?"

They say women are too complex- that sometimes they just need to be forthright and literal. Same goes for men. Sometimes I need you to hold me silently. Other times, you simply need to tell me. But we do have to speak the same love language.

So tell me, what is your love language?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Birthday weekend


It was hard to part with my twenties. In a way I was glad to begin a new decade since it marked another fresh start, but in the back of my mind I was sad that I was getting older. I can no longer claim being a 'young mom'- as I was now in middle of the child rearing age- and life seemed to offer less and less chances to let loose, have fun and be carefree.

This past weekend I got to celebrate another birthday with close friends and it was another reminder of how blessed I am to be surrounded by so much love. We had dinner at The Little Door, an adorable restaurant tucked away in middle of West LA that resembles a secret garden. You walk through the discreet wooden door and are invited into a fairytale-like courtyard with twinkling lights, candles & soft music. It's ambiance is romantic & elegant; the perfect restaurant for date nights and special occasions.

Food was decent although having dinner with a group of girls is less about the food but more about the ambiance, conversations and of course, good bubblies. This year we had a bottle of Moët & Chandon Nectarine Rosé to start the night. By far, this has to be my favorite rosé yet. We had mussels, mediterranean appetizer dish, black cod, fillet and chicken but I need to return to get a better idea about their food. We were too busy catching up, reminiscing about old memories, and congratulating new pregnancies so food was the last thing on my mind.

I'm incredibly blessed with wonderful girlfriends all of whom I've known for well over 10 years. Some of them are close friends from HS who I practically lived and breathed with everyday of my HS life and one of them is a roommate from college who I've been through all kinds of up's and down's with. Some of them I danced with, some of them I laughed & cried with and some of them I pulled all nighters with.

We slept on each other's hair and fought over stupid misunderstandings. We shared embarrassing drunken moments and secrets. We cried together over breakups and took long drives back home after all night of partying. In the end though, our friendship remains and becomes that much more valuable each year like vintage wine, but priceless and more flavorful. Seeing my girlfriends growing into beautiful mothers, wives & women is such a blessing and I'm incredibly blessed to have such genuine, long lasting friendships.

Female friendships are difficult to maintain, especially old friends. I too, had my share of backstabbing & jealous friends who smiled in my face and secretly wished for me to fall. In high school, I ended my first long term relationship because of a close friend who got between us. I was heartbroken for years after that. One of my bridesmaids tried to date my ex-boyfriend as soon as I got married. Another relationship down the drain with bad memories. Ahh the drama of broken hearts & broken friendships. Today I look back and laugh, as these stories remain as life lessons that make me more appreciative of my girlfriends today.

I had mixed feelings about turning 30, but today I'm glad to be at this place in my life. Twenties was so uncertain, unstable & drama-filled as I was still trying to find myself as a woman, wife & woman.  Turning 32 on the other hand, feels like a milestone because I now feel so much more grounded and happy in my own skin.

After our lovely dinner we headed out to a K-town club where we partied like we were 21 again. I walked in feeling awkward and old in midst of all the young 20-somethings but walked out totally lifted & carefree. Hours of singing karaoke, dancing & rocking to house music worked like a charm and I had so much fun -- too much fun that by the time I got home it was 6 am, another first in many years. :P

All my recent blog posts have been about family & children. Today I'm beyond grateful for my girlfriends- friends who have been by my side through thick & thin, friends who knew me long before marriage & kids, friends who I can grow old with. Even through wrinkles & gray hair, we will always be the same carefree girls we once were.

I remember watching Sex and the City as a college student and wishing I too, had friendships like them in my 30's. I remember wishing I aged gracefully & happily without forgetting how to belly laugh and dance all night with my girls. Today I realize I have all that and more and can't wait to see what the 30's have in store for me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear

Life is but a dream by Beverly LeFevre

These days everything around me makes me nostalgic. Movies, TV shows, songs and old books; everything around me carries some kind of hidden meaning, often in the form of fond memories. I guess this is what happens with age, as we are no longer simply creating new memories but recreating and retrieving old ones.

I'm bored and lazily flipping through TV channels from my bed. I come across an old episode of Friends. I'm amazed at how old the entire thing looks: the apartment, their outfit choices, their hairstyles. And I can't believe how young Jennifer Aniston & Courtney Cox look. Did they always look that young?

No one can withstand time, not even Hollywood A-listers, not even me.

Suddenly I remember an old friend whom I haven't thought about in years-- I mean in years. I don't remember his voice or last name but for some odd reason, I remember his favorite show was Friends. 

(People are funny beings. We remember the most random details.)

I was a first year college student. He was a few years older than me. We volunteered as camp counselors for a church youth camp and were assigned to the same group. We spent many Sunday afternoons together preparing for the camp and by the time the weekend came, we all seemed to know each other quite well.

He was cute in a preppy Ivy league college boy kind of way; tall, fit and tanned. For some reason he seemed to be beyond his years. The entire weekend he wore this funny backpack that reminded me of a tortoise shell. I often wondered what he kept in there. He was obviously the outdoorsy type with good exercise routine and few ex-girlfriends. He was older but seemed innocent, different than the sweet-talking womanizers I was used to seeing around my college campus. He was clearly different than most.

I liked his preppy college boy look and modest demeanor. He didn't seem to worry about looking or acting cool in front of women. He had this distinct style, far from trendy but it worked for him. He seemed comfortable and confident in his own skin, even with his funny looking backpack. He radiated an aura that was natural, dependable and genuine.

We organized different games and activities for kids. We built campfires. We hiked through the woods. At one point I remember sitting on stairs under the stars, just him and me, talking. I don't remember what we talked about but I remember certain feelings inside. It wasn't love or lust. Instead, it was a feeling of comfort, the kind you feel next to someone more grounded than yourself.

We never discussed anything beyond the usual and the ordinary but I think there were certain feelings that were mutually experienced and shared. We continued to keep in touch and hung out a few times after the camp. I remember having dinner with him at some restaurant in Costa Mesa. I remember being invited to a BBQ at his place and meeting his friends.

There I remember meeting a nice girl with a cute baby face. He introduced her as an old friend. I remember her being friendly, almost too friendly that it seemed forced and unnatural. She looked at me from time to time with nervousness and suspicion. Women can feel these things.

She was wearing blue jeans and a plain college t-shirt. I was wearing shorts with a baby tee. And wedges, I think. We were obviously different types and can tell after 10 seconds (as most women can) that we were never going to be close friends.

I remember this nice girl being so eager to cook, clean and be right by his side during the BBQ. I remember thinking what the heck is wrong with her? I remember wondering if she liked the guy.

And that's where my memory ends. I think we gradually drifted apart without apparent reason. Perhaps I was too busy going out with my girlfriends while he was watching old episodes of Friends and preparing for life after college. Perhaps I didn't like the way his 'friend' looked at me. Who knows. Either way I wasn't ready to do whatever she was doing.

The next time I heard about him he was in a relationship with that same baby-faced girl. She was the plain jane, sunday school teacher type, probably more his type than me. I was the girl who always lost the battle between saturday night partying and sunday morning mass. I'm sure she made a better girlfriend than me as I was too self-absorbed and juvenile at the time to cook or clean a guy's apartment. Sad but true.

Many years later, I ran into him during Christmas mass when I was pregnant with my first child. I walked into the kids section and there he was, sitting in the pew in front of us. And next to him was a young woman, not his girlfriend but his younger sister....his special needs younger sister. I vaguely remember hearing about his sister.

At that moment something occurred to me. I think I was finally ready to learn something new about myself. He probably didn't feel comfortable sharing his deeper life with me as his girlfriend. During that time I was immature, self-absorbed and proud- too proud to make myself vulnerable, too weak to share my feelings and too self-absorbed to make sacrifices for other people. He was probably much more mature, wise and experienced with real life, especially by loving and taking care of his handicapped sister.

I, on the other hand, was living in my sheltered world with petty worries, oblivious to real life problems and difficulties.

My intuition about him was right-- he probably was (and is) the natural, dependable and genuine guy I thought he was.

My intuition is rarely wrong.

I didn't have the courage to say hello or even smile his way. I should've been mature enough to say hello, but being uncomfortable in my pregnant body and standing next to my husband wasn't the best scenario for extending warm greetings to an old male friend. Plus I felt a hint of shame- shame of who I was and my past inability to share genuine feelings with a genuine person due to my flaws & weaknesses.

I did however, pray for him and his sister during mass. I prayed for his happiness and for his sister's health & well-being. I also told God thank you for this moment because somehow, in some way, I was moved by the presence of him and his sister sitting side by side.

Whatever I was feeling I think he felt too, because he smiled at me reassuringly as I was gathering up my belongings when mass was over. I returned his smile briefly and left the room hoping that he got a glimpse of who I really am inside, even if it was for one short moment on the stairs that night.

A month or so later I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful little girl- who I would later find out, has special needs.

Life has a funny way of teaching us important life lessons through certain people, experiences and events. Sometimes this lesson isn't truly realized until years later, when one is finally ready to learn.

Today through my own story, I'm learning the value of age- the value of wisdom & maturity that comes with age. By remembering who I was ten years ago and comparing that girl to who I am today, I realize how much I've grown and how far I've come.

As much as I miss my youth, I'm grateful for the things I know today.

I'm still learning and growing into a full woman. What's fascinating about life though, is that I'm not only learning from people and events of today but from stories and remnants of the past.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear - buddhist proverb

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good-bye summer

Labor Day weekend just passed, which officially marks the end of summer and beginning of autumn. Being a fall baby, autumn is my favorite season of the year: a time of abundance, harvest and gathering of families.

We spent a wonderful summer with weekend getaways to Laguna beach, Palm Desert & Rancho Mirage where we swam, ate & lounged around the water for endless fun under the sun. As a result the whole family had a nice healthy glow the entire summer and got to enjoy summer to its fullest, two of many perks of living in Southern California.

All good things must come to an end however; after a full month of lazy mornings, flexible meal time & building a fortress in middle of our living room the kids are back in school. Thankfully both girls were eager to return which lessens my anxiety and guilt- anxiety of letting teachers & friends replace my presence and guilt of feeling in need of more quiet time.

My children give me so many reasons to be thankful for my life. I don't believe our future can ever be definite but at least it's now more constant, hopeful & full of love.

Good-bye summer. Good-bye ducks by the pond and tiny kicking feet under water. Good-bye wet kisses after morning swim and margaritas by the pool. Good-bye desert sun and elongated palm trees. Good-bye breezy summer dresses, cut-off denim shorts & flip flops. You will greatly be missed until you return next year.

For now though, I'm ready for fall. I'm sad to part with a season that brings me so much laughter & fun yet this sadness is soon replaced by the anticipation of new season with its own beauty & charm.

This seems to be life's funny pattern, a recursive cycle of good-bye's & hello's.

Renaissance Esmeralda, Indian Wells. Palm Springs CA

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stress on mind, body & soul

Raspberry Tea by Andreka

New lesson of the week: our body detects stress whether or not our mind realizes it.

I'm a firm believer in keeping our surroundings positive and dynamic with like-minded people and staying away from negative, jealous and hateful people. However our lives aren't perfect and neither are those around us. There will always be a family member or close friend who goes through difficulties in life and at times there is no way to distance ourselves from negativity no matter how much we try.

Negativity is an inevitable part of life. When this happens, instead of trying to detach myself from the situation by avoidance, denial or indifference, it's best to accept my hurt, sadness & disappointment and communicate these feelings to loved ones around me.

Accept, acknowledge, embrace, resolve rather than avoid, escape, deny and ignore. No matter how hard we try to ignore, our body is already aware of these emotional & psychological changes and will begin to react.

It is the distraction, not meditation that becomes habitual.  Tonight I'm going to a small group meeting with women from my church. For the past few months I've been too self-absorbed to really reflect on myself and my surrounding-- and even though I'm running around busily, I find myself getting nowhere. I'm running around in circles...what a lonely and isolating journey it has been.

I'm looking forward to this time of reflection, rejuvenation & reconnection with self and God.  Today I'm thankful for my body and another chance at renewal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Muse: Jean Rhys

Paris by Louise

Tonight I pick up my old copy of Jean Rhys: The complete novels. As always I flip through its large volume and turn to Good Morning, Midnight. There is something so gloomy, lonely yet beautiful about this story that I just can't get enough of. It's like getting a glimpse of a rare rainbow in midst of steady rain. I love her and her mind.  She may be the most under appreciated women writer of the century.

She was born on August 24th and died the year before I was born. She's another virgo who I happen to share similar sentiments, fears & visions with. A coincidence, maybe. A part of universe's intricate & mysterious design, perhaps. This always happens in my life. I somehow find them and they somehow find me.

They find me through words and continue to live in me through dreams & imaginations. Jean Rhys is my muse---my goddess of inspiration. I come across my favorite scene. My heart begins to ache for her for a thousandth time. It takes place in the last few pages and goes something like this...


I am walking up and down the room. He has gone. I am alone.
It isn't such a long time since he left.
Put your coat on and go after him. It isn't too late, it isn't too late. For the last time, for the last time...
Well I can't, my dear. Not because I'm too proud of anything like that, but because my legs feel funny.

'Come back, come back,' I say. Like that. Over and over again. 
'You must come back, you must come back. I'll force you to come back. No that's wrong...I mean, please come back, I beg you to come back.'

I press my hands over my eyes and I see him. He is walking along the Boulevard St. Michel toward Montparnasse, thinking: 'Sale femme. Ridiculous woman.'

'Come back, come back, come back,' I say.
He doesn't hear. 
He is walking along as quickly as he can. He is cold and vexed.

(A monster...The monster that can only crawl, or fly...ah! But fly...)

This is the effort, the enormous effort, under which the human brain cracks. But not before the thing is done, not before the mountain moves.

He hesitates. He stops. I have him. 

'Listen. You hear me now, don't you? It's quite early- not twelve yet. The door will still be open. All you've got to do is walk upstairs. If anybody speaks to you, say: 'The woman in number forty-one, she expects me; she's waiting for me. Say that.'

I see him, very clearly, in my head. I daren't let him go for a moment.


He presses the button and the door opens. 


It's 11:45 pm. I love this time of the day, right before midnight when all is silent, peaceful, dark & beautiful. Good morning, midnight. We meet again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

About Virgo Women

Virgo by Cansu Girgin

It's that time of the year again- the month of virgos.  How appropriate it is to recall a part of who I am by the stars. This list is not exhaustive but eerily accurate in many ways and I know I carry some of its main characteristics. While there are many other factors that shape us as individuals, I always find horoscopes fascinating and fun to explore. Below are a few excerpts from various sources.

One thing you need to know about a Virgo woman - she has guts and lots of them! It doesn't mean that she is not as shy and as reserved as she seems to be. It's just that she can do anything and everything for the people she loves. By love, she means real love, no other type of love exists for her. A Virgo female is a complete woman! She has all the charms and tricks that any other female has, but she is not weak. Infact, she has quite a determination and can do anything if she sets her mind to it.

She will be completely devoted and loyal to you in a relationship. Still, if it doesn't seems to be working, she will sever all ties and become as cold as the North Pole. Virgo women's characteristics profile is an odd mix of emotions and practicality, romance and common sense. When they fall in love, they show such extreme passion and intensity that only few other women can. Making them fall in love is, however, an entirely different task.

It's better to get used to their critical nature. A Virgo girl believes that she is extremely efficient and organized and what is more annoying is, that she is right. She is a stickler for time and it's better not to be late when you are meeting her. She will not break the new, expensive vase when she is upset, but she can be very demanding and fussy. If the fault is yours, admit that you are wrong and say it while handing her flowers. Don't even try to argue, or she will lose her temper again.

It is better to leave her alone for sometime and she will cool again. On the other hand, a Virgo woman will find it very hard to accept that she is wrong. The fact is, most of the time she's not. When you are courting her as well as after you get married, it is advisable to mind your manners. She cannot tolerate someone using abusive language, coming late, dressing sloppily, not minding table manners, etc. It's better to brush up your vocabulary too. She will not cling to you, nor will she become totally aloof.

She is also very good with finances and extravagance is not one of her personality traits. A Virgo female isn't too into public displays of affection and it is better to be subtle in this area. Her taste is very good and her intellect quite developed. If you are trying to woo her, take her to places like theatre, art gallery, etc. Just like a typical Virgo, she is prone to worrying about things too much and she will do your part of the job too. She is very much attached to the ground and prefers to live in the real world.


Virgo woman as a wife/lover- Virgo female personality trait

She is a true woman. Her house will be full of sweet fragrance and beauty. She will take care of every need of her man. She will attend to her man when he falls sick. Feed him delicious food when he is hungry. Help her man in his professional and financial matters. Lucky him, right? All he has to do is to polish his manners and be a good man. This woman has such clarity of vision that it’s difficult for anyone to sway her from her decisions. She will be a loyal companion if she feels she has found true love. And she won’t hesitate to call it quits, even if she meets her real soulmate out of wedlock.

Virgo women have their very own brand of "professional sexy." Their outwardly reserved, intellectual and precise nature creates the perfect contrast for their wilder side within... they may not be the most overtly sexual of the signs, but their subtlety works just as efficiently.

Brains and beauty

If you're turned on by intelligent people then beware! Virgo's are nearly always intellectual, and this woman's fast mind can find humor in most things, and often empathize with others more than her emotions alone would allow. This ability to empathize while still remaining detached makes them some of the best counselors, therapists and psychologists.

Virgo women typically have a fantastic eye for detail and enjoy order, precision and efficiency in all things. This has several implications, for example she is likely to prefer routines to random or chaotic approaches, and is very likely to have a fondness for keeping lists and other tools which improve efficiency.

A common fault of Virgo women is to be highly critical when perfection is not found. This usually applies double to herself and her own performance, which can sometimes lead to reduced self-confidence. Virgos often have trouble relaxing, and often hate wasting time, or sitting idle.

Later in life she's likely to look much younger than she really is. Call it unfair but this is a sign which usually ages very well. One factor in this is that Virgo women are more likely than most to monitor what they eat and drink, how frequently they exercise, and generally to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

She is likely to be fairly reserved and shy with people she doesn't know, and may be uncomfortable receiving too much attention, perhaps getting embarassed easily. She is very unlikely to ever display any irrational or emotional outbursts in public, generally preferring to be discreet in all things.

Analytical, discriminating, precise, considerate and reliable, she is likely to enjoy work of technical or analytical nature, quite possibly working behind the scenes to ensure the efficiency of an organization, rather than taking center stage or seeking direct recognition for her achievements.

On the negative side, she can sometimes be seen as picky, aloof, sarcastic, pessimistic or whiny. She assumes everyone views her with the same critical eye that she possesses, which can sap her self confidence. Ironically, she is likely to be more perfect than most of us, yet she's the only one who can't see it. This level of self imposed modesty can be particularly endearing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Childhood Diary

Stories in the books by Andreka

I recently visited my mom's house and returned with a bag full of surprises: old pictures, letters and a diary I kept as an eleven year old. It made me smile and just as I was getting into my childhood musings, I realized most of its pages were missing. I must've ripped them out for fear of my mom reading through them (as she often did) or simply because I was embarrassed of my 11-year old self when I became a self-conscious teenager.

I wonder what kind of secrets and events took place in those pages. It's as if a huge chunk of my childhood is missing and all I have are these hazy, fleeting memories in my head. 

According to the few pages that remain, I stayed up late studying for a map test because I wanted to be the top of my class. I was preparing for a speech for our graduation ceremony.  I was disappointed that I didn't win the best student award. I was nervous about junior high and sad to be leaving my teacher and friends. I had a secret crush on some boy and was sad that he was exchanging letters with another girl in class. 

Some things haven't changed since age 11 to now, twenty years later.  I still enjoy staying up late alone and wonder if my crush thinks about me. 

"Do you still think I'm beautiful?" I asked my husband last night while getting ready for bed. 

"Of course I do baby, why do you even ask?" He replied matter-of-factly as if I was asking an unnecessary and trifling question.

There remained a silent distance between us; between my silly question and his indifferent answer. 

What was I trying to prove? Of course he did. We've been married for nearly 8 years and we have two beautiful children together. Of course he thinks I'm beautiful.

All night I tossed and turned, tired yet unable to slow down the memories flooding my mind.

This morning I stirred awake as my husband was putting Neosporin on my scarred shoulder. I had accidentally burned myself with a curling iron last weekend and the burn is a lot worse than I thought. It felt good, in a comforting kind of way, and reminded me of my childhood when my mom used to tend my scars. I murmured "thank you honey" and drifted back to sleep as he got ready for work.

Just like my scar and everything else in life, beauty will fade. And just as I look at my college graduation pictures and realize I was a lot prettier than I thought I was at the time, I'll one day look at today's pictures and think wow, I look so much younger here.

I know what really matters is not outward beauty but beauty that radiates from within, the kind that transcends time. It took nearly 30 years to truly love and appreciate myself--yet this doesn't change my womanly desire to be beautiful in my lover's eyes- ten, twenty and thirty years from now.

I wonder if he thinks about me even as he's immersed in work, exchanging words and glances with other beautiful people in the world. I wonder if he sees my beauty within. And when he does, I hope he can feel my heart that remains pure regardless of the passing time; immovable, unchangeable and reserved for him and him only.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I miss you

Writing by Sarinya Withaya

Real love is best communicated in simple words like above.