2013…You’re My Year!

216243219579778052_dEeBx3e3_cHello Friends and Happy New Year! I’m sorry for the major silence over in these parts. I’ve been soaking up the holidays with loads of family and friend time as I’m sure you all are!

I’ve also been busy with some major changes in both my professional and personal life. I know I’ve been a little cryptic if you follow me on Instagram, but I’m excited to officially announce that I’ll be moving to Seattle this February! I’ve been promoted to help lead the new PR department at another division of the company while also boosting visibility for my current division in the Washington market. I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for quite some time and excited to follow my passions in the field of public relations!

seattle_kerry_parkSo with a new year comes new adventures! You’ll be noticing changes on the blog, including regular updates and a new blog title! I know it sounds corny but 2013 is our year. I just have a sneaky feeling. So cheers to a new start, embracing change and grand adventures!! Bring it on 2013!

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If you really knew me…

Some of my favorite bloggers have been getting personal with their readers and I’ve loved getting to know the “real” woman behind the blog. I thought I would blatantly copy them and do the same!

If you really knew me…

…you’d know that I am a total dork. I listen to “This American Life” on long runs, have solo dance parties on Sunday mornings, geek out at museums and at the symphony, have hang out sessions with friends that inevitably turn into a discussions about literature.

…you’d know that I’ve been bitten by the puppy love bug. Nevermind the fact that I can barely take care of my self, nothing would make me happier than adding a little furry pup to make this a family of two.

…you’d know that my idea of a perfect Friday night is making a delicious gourmet meal while enjoying a bottle of Cabernet (current favorite: 2008 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet) and watching Harry Potter. Oh, and eating an entire pint of coffee ice cream by myself. Dessert is the only thing I’m not good at sharing.

…you’d know that I am full Chinese and speak Cantonese fluently and pretend I speak Mandarin too.

…you’d know that I am such a hopeful romantic.

…you’d know that I am a hostess junkie. No, not the Twinkie eating kind but the kind that loves to have her friends over for good food and wine. I find every excuse to gather friends together and make them try my home cooking, drink margaritas while soaking in the rays, and girl talk over a bottle or two of wine.

…you’d know that I love a good dance party.

…you’d know that I have a gazillion blog drafts that have gone unpublished. You can blame it on the perfectionist in me or the fact that I am actually really protective of my personal life or that I’m insecure about the content I share with the world or the fact that I simply love to write.

…you’d know that I take long drives when I’m upset.

…you’d know that I was classically trained on the piano for 14 years and even placed 7th in a statewide competition my junior year. Someone recently gave me the remarkable gift of old music books that made me want to play again.

…you’d know that I am a really happy person. I smile, a lot.

…you’d know that I am a planner. I plan everything. Brunches, vacations, weekend getaways, my finances, life. But this last year has taught me that the most incredible things in life are those unplanned.

…you’d know that I’ve been through a hell of year. From heartbreak to new love, to professional triumphs to office politics, to professional growth and self-discovery. This year has been one chuck full of lessons and challenges. It has taught me just how resilient and strong I really am. And also what an incredibly lucky girl I am to have this life and the people in it. Cheers to second chances…

P.S. If you’ve even made it this far, I’d love to read your “If you really knew me” posts so please post a link in the comments section!!

Welcome 25, I guess. I’m not quite ready for you yet.

Welp, I guess I can no longer deny it. I’m an adult. I have turned 25 and I don’t quite feel ready to be here yet. I hear from many that turning 25 was hard one. It is an age that a lot of us looked forward to when we set goals and hopes for our future. I’m going to be a lawyer by the time I’m 25. I’m going to own a beautiful condo downtown. I’m going to be married. I’ll have 2 kids. 25 seemed so far away at the time and yet the reality is that we have barely scratched the surface at this age.  When we’re young we spend a lot of energy thinking and planning for the future. We wished that we were older so that we could drive ourselves to orchestra practice, go to a R-rated movie by ourselves, have a cocktail with dinner, have a successful career and make a lot of money. Now that I’m old (ha!) I daydream about the days when I was young and feeling overwhelmed with the endless possibilities that life had to offer. I could be anything I wanted when I grew up. While many might roll their eyes when I say that turning “25” is old, for me it is a wake up call that the future is here now. So as I kiss my 24th year goodbye, I say hello to my future. I say hello to enjoying the unpredictable and insignificant moments of life. I say hello to being whatever I want to be now that I am “grown-up.” So while I made a traditional wish when I blew out the candles on my cake, here is my wish list of 25 things I hope to achieve/have happen this year! Cheers to finally being “grown-up” and living the dream.

Oh, and p.s., thank you for the incredible love notes, calls and gifts yesterday. It was truly one of the most special birthdays I’ve ever had. Thank you for the support and love of my family and friends. You are incredible.

Run a half marathon.

Take a trip to visit my friends that are in graduate/med school.

To enjoy a “me” day once a month.

Take a photography class.

Vote to help re-elect President Obama for a second term.

Make an advancement in my career.

Take an impulsive trip to the Oregon Beach on a sunny day.

Learn more about heart disease prevention.

Shop at Safeway. Once.

Spend more time outdoors this summer – hiking, riding bikes, picnics in the park, etc.

Start a new, collaborative young professionals group.

Try a new dish whenever I go to an old restaurant.

Master a personal signature dish.

Dine alone.

Go to the Newberg drive-in and watch a movie in the back of a pick-up (AKA Theo).

Host more dinner parties.

Go fly fishing.

Taking the tram up the hill to OHSU.

Spend an entire day with my phone turned off once a month.

Re-learn a favorite piece on the piano.

Go to a movie by myself.

Go abroad. Temporarily or permanently…just kidding on the permanent part, Mom.

Buy fresh flowers at the Farmer’s Market.

Spend more time learning about my parent’s childhood.

Spend more time volunteering.

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Relationship Advice

Have you ever dished out relationship advice? Maybe to a friend, sibling, a perfect stranger? Have you ever received relationship advice? Maybe from a friend, a sibling, a perfect stranger? Whether you’re alone, dating, in a relationship, divorced or married, everyone has given or received advice on their relationship. I’ve been getting a lot of relationship advice lately and it got me thinking: how much weight should you place on other people’s opinion of your relationship? Afterall, do they really know enough about the ins and outs of your relationship to judge it? Or perhaps their judgement is valid for them, but may not be right for you. Because at the end of the day, you’re the one who is dating him; not your friend, your sibling or that perfect stranger. At least you hope not… On the other hand, perhaps they have a clarity that you don’t have because your judgement is clouded with love?

So when does other people’s advice begin to dictate your decision-making process?
Advice is a tricky thing. Sometimes you need the wisdom of others because they can see things about your relationship that perhaps you can’t because you’re in it. Sometimes you have to take others’ advice with a grain of salt as they don’t really know everything about your relationship.  I’ve felt the frustration when my friends haven’t taken my advice especially when the choice has been so clear. And I have also chosen to not take my friend’s advice even when the choice was so obviously clear. No matter what, the choice is yours to make. Whether or not they believe it is the right or wrong one, you are the one you owe it to to make the right choice for you.

What do you think? Is relationship advice meant to be taken with a grain of salt? Or should you follow the advice of others even if it doesn’t feel right because they have your best intentions in mind?

image via Pinterest

Hello, Goodbye

2011 was a year chuck full of change. Change is a scary thing but more often than not, it is a good thing. You just can’t always tell immediately. I am not a lover of change, but I believe that in order to achieve success and true happiness, you must embrace change and let it evolve you for the better.

Despite all the changes, looking back on 2011, I was blessed with great friends both old and new, an awesome job, a loving family, safe travels and a whole lot of smiles. So really, what more could a girl ask for? I’m a lucky one.

I can’t wait to see the many changes that await me in 2012 including a couple upcoming ones that I am SO excited to announce soon. I have a sneaky feeling it’s going to be a great year full of adventure and happiness. Thank you for your love and support of this blog, which has been so much fun to start up again!! I cannot wait to keep learning and sharing with you in the year to come! So adios 2011 and cheers to a better, happier 2012 for all!

Top to bottom, left to right: Arielle and I at David Hill Winery; Bachelorette trip to Arizona to celebrate my good friend’s nuptials; Meeting my nephew Bentley for the first time; My dear friends Irene, Grace and I reunited in a trip to San Francisco; Meeting a couple of players from the Portland Timbers; My sister Alexis and I celebrating her 21st birthday in Arizona; Working with Portland Trail Blazer LaMarcus Aldridge at a public signing; Meeting Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan at a signing, Spending the day learning and chatting with the President of the Kroger Co. during a summer conference.

Practicing my photography: Butterfly Pavilion in Colorado, Portland Waterfront, Fall Leaves, David Hill Winery, Mount Hood Winery, Rocky Mountain National Park, Oneonta Gorge, Orange Tree in Arizona, Rose from the International Test Rose Garden.