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Our Wedding Update

What is the meaning of a wedding? I think the first few words that come to mind is partying, celebrating, fun, loving… beautiful. I think of a day full of highs and lows and celebrating the union of two souls in front of God and all our loved ones.

ALready planning

The stress of wedding planning is really beginning to set in. AND I’M NOT EVEN ENGAGED YET. Hoan and I thought it would be smart to just start planning now… being engaged is really just a matter of a ring. However, since we already know it’s going to be forever, we figured why not be productive in the meantime. He says failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Weddings are expensive and I’m realizing the fantasy wedding I dreamt of may be a difficult one to achieve, not impossible though.

Our wedding day is still over a year away but already, many tears have been shed because of everyone’s disagreements. I’m fearful of the journey ahead and am constantly trying to tell myself to fall in love with the process. But I feel as though every step we take, takes us further away from the wedding I’d always dreamt of. Part of me wants to surrender and say do what you please…but the other side of me wants to continue fighting for what is rightfully our decision. I feel my strength waning as the days go by… and I worry this is something I’ll regret when it comes to the day I say “I do.” Because instead of planning it for us, we planned it for everyone, but us.

Feeling a little hopeless 🙁

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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Growing Up – What would your 17 year-old Self Say

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My friend Ann recently asked me if my 17 year old self would be pleased or disappointed with the 27 year old self that I am today. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago that I was 17… it feels so long ago yet at the same time feels like yesterday. Being a senior in high school, I felt like the next few years were so cookie cut for me. At the time, I knew I was going to the University of Minnesota for the next four years, was exceptionally excited to grow up and start adulting even if 17 felt old already. I was literally looking forward to growing up, getting married and being a mom, starting a nonprofit of some sort… and just basically being a rockstar.

In the here and now at 27, I can say that I am nowhere near being a rockstar. While getting married and having kids is on the horizon, I’m definitely nowhere near starting a nonprofit! My life is so different than what I thought it would be but I’m grateful for who and where I am today. The one thing I do want to pick apart is the nonprofit I dreamed of starting. Honestly, I never considered myself an entrepreneur but the older I get the more enticing that sounds.  I can say with confidence though, that starting this blog is a starting point for that nonprofit I dreamed of. I’m not sure how or when… but I know there’s more to the blog than just this.

So if you want to join in on the reflection, here are some things to ponder:

What did I picture life would be like when I grew up?

What dreams did I have as a child that I wanted to pursue?

Am I living the life I deserve?

What more can I do to create the life I want?

 

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are!

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

 

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Goal Setting: What’s Most Important

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I look at my goals and a lot of times I think: how the heck am I going to get there? Reaching the top is such a rewarding experience that a lot of times we want to skip the hard work and just bask in the glory. But of course, that’s never the case. I know especially for a lot of younger people, we want to be successful NOW.  In this post, I want to talk about why it’s so important to enjoy the here and now. 

We live in a world where instant gratification is the new hype. Everything is NOW. But what’s definitely sad about it is that we’re not enjoying nor appreciating the process we must go through to get where we want to be. Psychology coined the arrival fallacy to acknowledge a lot of the disappointment that people experience when we get to our end destination, look around and go, ‘that’s it?!”  And it’s like ‘yup, that’s it.’

The purpose of every goal

Hoan told me something really valuable that one of his mentors shared with him that I want to pass along. The purpose of every goal is not to achieve it. The purpose of every goal is to learn, grow, and become a better person through the process.

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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How to Make a New City Feel Like Home

how to make a new city feel like home, laguna beach, california, orange county, oc, beach, west coast

The transition to California was definitely a difficult one. Being that it was the first time on my own, I constantly missed Minnesota. I thought for a long time that LA would never feel like home. However, I’m happy to say that it’s finally beginning to feel like it! In this post, I want to share what helped me with the transition in becoming a California transplant but also how to make a new city truly feel like home.

When I first moved to California a year and a half ago, I constantly missed home, my family and quaint-old Minnesota. I fought for a long time to even accept LA as home because I had too much pride in being a Midwesterner. It finally crept up on me one day after a trip to Florida. I was sitting on the airplane thinking, man I’m excited to go home and get some poke! I thought dang, do I really like poke that much? No! It’s because I love having a variety of food all in a 5 mile radius. Which I never even thought twice about until I was looking on yelp for a green juice place.  To my surprise, the closest one was 17miles away!

How

As I began reflecting upon why I was so excited to get back to California tho, it soon dawned on me that I was looking forward to coming back not just because of food but really,  because of what all I had going on with my friends. And that’s when it hit me, California felt like home because of the friends I had made. So, for all you new transplants… to make a new city feel like home, really get to know the people and find some really darn good friends because these are the people that become the reason why this new city feels like home. Good luck and happy living!

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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My family

family, holidays. asian family, happy

My family and I have grown much closer as I’ve gotten older. Especially now that I live in California. I never actually considered myself much of a family person until recently.

My family

Since my move, I’ve discovered how important family really is and how loved I am by them. When you’re younger, you always think you’re mom is the prettiest and your dad is the strongest of them all. Of course this changes as you grow up and even more so when you butt heads. Unfortunately, this stage lasted for quite some time with my parents and I. We couldn’t see eye to eye to save our fricken lives and the gap between us just seemed to grow even bigger.

For us though, space has really helped, so it’s true that distance makes the heart grow fonder because mine definitely has of them.

We gotta love on them

And now, I can’t believe I’m entering the stage where you look at your parents and realize they’re aging O_O and like sand in an hourglass… i feel like my time with parents is running out. I’ve had several friends who’ve lost their moms and some who are in the process of losing their mums… and my heart hurts for them. So if we’re lucky enough to still have our parents around, let’s give our mums and dads an extra hug and kiss today. <3

 

live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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2 Keys to a Successful Relationship

successful relationship, relationship goals, couple, happy couple

A lot of people comment on how Hoan and I always look so happy together. While that’s true the majority of the time, like any other relationship there are factors constantly straining our relationship. We’ve only been together over two years so we don’t have all the answers but I do want to share two key practices that have really helped us in our journey together. So here are 2 keys to a successful relationship that I’d like to share with you guys!

1. Open communication

So this can be really difficult to practice, especially when there are a lot of toxic emotions and thoughts. And while you think something might hurt to say (which it probably will), it’s really important to be transparent and let them be in the know so you guys can work through it together.

2. Holding on

It’s really important that when it comes to a successful relationship that each side holds on when the trying gets tough. What I mean by this is when it feels like one person is letting go, it’s the other person’s job to hold on. Whether it be staying on the phone to settle an issue or not letting the other person storm out. It’s definitely a balancing act on both sides.

I hope these two pieces of advice can help you to have a successful relationship. Whether it be with your significant other, your best friend, or whomever is important to you, wishing you the best!

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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5 Ways to Spark Joy in the Home

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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a home body. I really do enjoy being home on a Friday night and that’s because I’ve always tried to make home a sanctuary. It’s important that your surroundings lift and brighten your mood not bog you down. Here are 5 things I do to help spark joy in my home.

1. Clean

I always feel so amazing after I’ve vacuumed and have tidied things up. It’s nice to be able to look around and know that your surroundings are light and dainty. They say your environment is a reflection of what’s going on inside which I find so true

2. Decorate

It’s always nice to have a little splash of personality that reflects who you are in your home. It helps to make it feel more cozy and really your space instead of someone else’s

3. Light a candle

This I love! It always feels so amazing to have candle light in the background. I feel like it always changes the ambiance of the room 🙂 it’s even better if it smells amazing

4. Declutter

I always think decluttering and donating things we don’t need is always great to do. Not only are we doing good by donating but it also helps us to feel lighter because we literally have less

5. Have real plants

There’s something about real plants that is so awesome! I do have fake ones too because they are fun to have. But maybe invest in some succulents or something that has little to no maintenance if you’re a busy bee like me

Anyway, I hope these small things can help spark joy in your home as they have mine. Let me know how it goes or if you have any other ideas! Would love to hear them 🙂

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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6 Reasons to Ask Questions

ask, asking, flower, beach, mexico, pink flower

Growing up I always had a difficult time asking my parents for things. Which then translated to pretty much everything else in my life. I was afraid of asking for fear of anger or disappointment. The fear also applies when I have to ask for help as well. For some reason I have this weird thing about asking especially if it will expose me as incompetent. I feel really uncomfortable when people are aware of my weaknesses because it makes me feel so vulnerable. However, vulnerability is exactly what we need to make real connections. People can identify much easier with our vulnerabilities than our achievements because not everyone’s wins look the same. But the emotions people experience as they struggle are very similar.

Therefore, I wanted to remind myself why asking is so powerful and why I should continue to ask and here are 6 reasons why.

1. Discovering truth

Asking uncovers the truth. If you think you’d much rather live with the truth rather than living in the dark, it’s important to work up the courage to ask.

2. Practicing courage 

Asking for the truth can sometimes be painful… but there’s something in asking that makes you feel so vulnerable that whenever I complete the task, I feel so proud of myself

3. Feeling authentic

Whenever I seem to ask, I always feel a little exposed… which is a good and bad thing. Mostly I think it’s a good thing because it allows us to be truthful not only to ourselves but also the people around us

4. Feeling connected 

When we are vulnerable, we’re able to relate to others a lot more and thus we feel more connected to those who identify the way we do

5. Getting the help we need

When we ask, we are letting others know of our needs. And because people are aware of our needs, they’re more inclined to meet us where we are.

6. Allows for clarification and growth

Asking to clarify understanding is so important in the process of learning and building upon our knowledge base. If we aren’t able to understand at a certain level, how do we expect to fully understand the next level?

I hope these 6 reasons can help to remind yourself why asking is so important. I know it’s not easy to put ourselves in a vulnerable position to ask, but remember that asking is completely appropriate and worthwhile!

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully

Anh Thu

 

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3 Tips on How to Get Inspired

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I’ve been feeling really off lately, almost like I don’t have the energy nor the drive to do anything that once gave me so much energy. There could be a lot of factors playing a role though.

I feel like whenever I come back from vacation, I always feel a little off-centered and it takes a little time to readjust to my routine schedule. Secondly, I had to work four days last week which is a bit unusual for me because I’m only used to working  2-3 shifts. And I don’t know about you, but after work I’m not as productive. I literally just go to the gym, come home, eat, shower and hop into bed. My life feels like it’s been too routine. Therefore, I’m trying to get re-inspired so I can have the fire I need to pursue my goals… so here are 3 things I’m trying to implement myself to help get inspired!

1. Write down a list of what you need to get done and cross them off as you go

I don’t know about you but man, I get so much excitement when I get to cross things off my to-do list. It also helps to visualize the productivity too throughout your day.

2 . Engage in activities that have sparked inspiration in the past

For me, church always helps to regain some juice. Maybe go to a coffee shop and read a book, take a road trip and admire the scenery.. or watch an inspiring youtube video. Just find something that has inspired you previously and get your butt to do it!

3. Do something new 

It’s in the routine that things can get really mundane and boring. It’s also important to try to get out of your typical zone and do work somewhere else for example. Although we’re creatures of habit, we can thrive from excitement and adrenaline

As I slowly try to get back into the swing of things, I hope these three tips will also help you. I went to church this weekend and that definitely helped, it felt even better because I wasn’t in the mood to go. I guess usually when we don’t feel like doing it is when we should really do it! So focus on your dreams and figure out what you need to achieve them. Do some stuff out of the norm and hopefully you’ll start feeling a little more inspired! Good luck

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL