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First Step in Achieving our Goals

phnom penh, cambodia, mission trip

Tonight, I just wanted to slow down… my life has been so fast paced lately and I feel like I can’t keep up. So I resorted to youtube and searched up my girl Oprah. I feel like she’s always got something to feed the soul and so I watched a 20 minute speech she made and honestly, I didn’t even watch the whole thing but I cried watching it. I’m still trying to figure out why I became so emotional over it and maybe it’s because the person that has been functioning is so far from who I am at my core. Just rush rush rush to get things done. I haven’t breathed, taken things in to process and really one of the big things is that I haven’t done anything to serve myself nor others.

She shared about her story on building a school and I can still remember at one point in my life where I really wanted to focus in on developing a nonprofit organization that could benefit so many people. I never got around to figuring out what it was going to be… and I thought maybe my blog would eventually become that one day and I’m sure it still has potential to become something big. But I gotta figure out what I want to create, why I want to create it, who I want it for. I know that I want to impact, on a larger scale. I know I want to work with women, I know I want to empower and influence… just don’t know on what. But Oprah talking about her experience going back to South Africa to carry out her Christmas Kindness mission of giving a gift to young children reminded me that I haven’t put any effort in doing anything larger than myself in a really long time. And part of me felt called. Called to come back to that place. The place where I wanted to help, encourage, and inspire. Not sure how, or who or even what… but I know it’s time to explore my options.

phnom penh, mission trip, tonle sap, siem reap, lasalle pothum

First step

First thing that comes to mind is I’d really like to get out of the States and go serve somewhere. The second thing that comes to mind is influencing through my blog and bringing my mission and vision to life. Because the slate is so clean, it can be really intimidating but the first step in pursuing that scares is committing to following through.

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How to Bring Your Life to the Next Level

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I believe that all of the activities we partake in outside of our obligations can essentially be categorized in three different ways. Being able to identify your activities throughout the day can easily show you things you can do to give yourself a little pick-me-up, especially on days they are much needed. So I’ve defined these activities as life-giving, chill or fun activities.

Life-giving Activities

Are things that give you life! Activities that fill your soul up with goodness so that you are full so you can easily share and support others.

Chill activities

Are  just like they sound, chill. They are things you do to relax and numb your brain so you don’t have to think about anything else.

Fun activities

Are things you just enjoy doing that aren’t quite life-giving but they just help  you have a good fricken’ time!

So for me

Life-giving activities – writing, gratitude, reading, working out, church at St John Fisher/Cottonwood, reflection, eating healthy, devotional, volunteering, quality hang outs/conversations

Chill activities – Netflix, social media

Fun activities – blog, photography, planning trips, online shopping, apex, chillin’ with friends

And now that I’ve categorized my daily activities, I have a much better sense of what I’m doing with my time and it allows me to be more conscious of what I do to ensure that I am filling my day with life-giving activities rather than chill activities that make my brain go numb. They say that if we’re not measuring progress, how do we know we’re improving. And if we don’t know, how do we know to shake things up to take things up a notch? So let’s think about what your activities are, and how can we be more conscious of doing more life-giving activities during our day because those are the ones that recharge and rejuvenate ourselves.

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How to Do a Self Check-In Assessment

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I believe reflection is a phenomenal way to process life, take a step back and make sense of all the chaos that surrounds us every day . Looking back at my life last year, it felt like a bunch of random events and moments I collected with not much understanding nor connection. Let me tell you, it’s the worst way to reminisce on life. And while I hit a major low last year, it was definitely something that needed to happen to spring me forward into the direction I’ve been wanting to go.

I’m currently reading this book called I am That Girl by Alexis Jones, and essentially it’s a self help book for women to speak truth and find their purpose. It had amazing reviews on Amazon so I figure I’d give it a shot. I’m loving it so far because the author tells her story and intertwines it with other powerful women’s voices and best thing is that it gives you activities to work on (definitely one of my favorite aspect of books that I read). One of the things I’ve really liked so far that I’ve actually completed is a life self assessment that you can do several times throughout the year. It is a way to stop and reflect, figure out where you are so you can figure out where and how to continue to proceed with life to get closer to manifesting those dreams.

Since March is just right around the corner, I decided it would be the perfect time to do this because Q1 of the year will be over next month!

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Self Check-In

Take some time to answer these self assessment questions and it’s ok not to finish in one sitting. It’s best to ponder and provide a thoughtful response than to rush through the process. I’ve also went ahead and shared my personal responses to each of the questions below. I think it’s best to be raw, and real… and feel as much as you can through answering these questions because it’s the only way to get an honest look at life.

So here we go…

  1. What are you most proud of recently? What are you least proud of? What did you learn from your least proud moment, and what can you do to inspire more of what you were most proud of?
  2. Rate yourself from 1-10 on the following attributes: AuthenticitySelflessness

    Kindness 

    Compassion

    Patience 

    Creativity 

    Forgiveness 

    Passion 

    What areas need the most improvement? How can you put them into action? Schedule them into your planner

  3. List out your top priorities (ideally) in order.
  4. Where are you spending most of your time (I’ll list what a typical week looks like?) Where are you spending most of your money? Do your priorities match your actions (bc where you spend your time and money is a direct correlation to your actual priorities)?
  5. How do you feel in general? Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Do you feel deprived in any area, too focused on any area, or in need of serious attention in any area?
  6. What are your current personal and professional goals? Write them down, steps to accomplishing them and schedule them into your calendar
  7. What was the last act of kindness you did? Think of a new one and schedule it

 malibu, malibu beaches, california, beach, beach life, california

My Responses

  1. What are you most proud of recently? What are you least proud of? What did you learn from your least proud moment, and what can you do to inspire more of what you were most proud of?

Recently, I’ve been really proud of my fitness progress. I’ve been eating well, working out 5-6 days a week for the last 3 weeks. I’m definitely beginning to see and feel results.

I am least proud of the way I’ve treated my loved ones, especially in times of need.

Promises are huge. I live in a gray zone, my life is gray, things intermix, change and constantly flowing and I need to learn how to compartmentalize. Be rigid, be strict, it is yes or no, not maybe.

  1. Rate yourself from 1-10 on the following attributes:

Humility (authenticity) 5

Selflessness 6

Kindness 8

Compassion 7

Patience 8

Creativity 7

Forgiveness 8

Passion 4

What areas need the most improvement? How can you put them into action? Schedule them into your planner

Passion, humility and selflessness need the most improvement. Passion, I’m unsure if I can truly say that I am passionate about blogging or nursing. At some points I feel like I have to do it… and of course there will be parts of any job or career that is not fun, but they must be done because they add to the bigger picture. Passion, I need to continue to push through and constantly remind me of the core reason why I began the blog, and why I went into nursing.

Authenticity, and I know I haven’t been incredibly honest and or authentic with others. Partially because I feel I can’t, that I don’t have anyone I feel safe enough to do it with. Isn’t that crazy? Coming from the lady who values it? But that’s it, I need to model it for others. Because this is truly something I believe in wholeheartedly.

Selflessness, I feel like I can be A LOT more selfless for Hoan. Hoan tells me I’m his number one priority and I believe him. I’m going to be more actively conscious of being more life giving to him.

  1. List out your top priorities (ideally) in order

 

  1. God
  2. Hoan
  3. Family/friends
  4. School
  5. Blog
  6. Work
  7. APEX

 

  1. Where are you spending most of your time (I’ll list what a typical week looks like?) Where are you spending most of your money? Do your priorities match your actions (bc where you spend your time and money is a direct correlation to your actual priorities)?

Two days of work, the weekend is usually chillin with church. The other three days, I’ll either work on blog, homework, do online shop, gym, prep food, grocery shop, watch Netflix

I’m spending LITERALLY all my money on food. Good, healthy, groceries, and also online shopping.

  1. How do you feel in general? Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Do you feel deprived in any area, too focused on any area, or in need of serious attention in any area?

You know physically I feel pretty good. I’ve been going to the gym the most I’ve ever gone in ever, I think. The other day, I weighed myself and breaking record I was 118.4, the lightest I’ve been in… like 3 years maybe?! Also, eating really well, lots of greens and shopping a lot more at trader joe’s and whole foods which is phenomenal. I’ve been much more conscious of what I’m putting into my body and limiting the amount of preservatives and unhealthy foods.

Mentally, I feel okay.. definitely not feeling burnt out in regards to school yet because it literally just started and school is actually (I think) going to be fun this semester? I’m not feeling mentally drained at all surprisingly. Probably because I’m definitely having a lot of balance in my life. The other day, I had such a productive day. I woke up around 8 or 9, went to the gym, grocery shopped, cleaned, made my shake, showered, did some online shopping and by the time I started homework, it was about 2pm. I literally cranked it out until 830pm and finished my project! It was such an exhilarating feeling. I need more days like that.

Emotionally, I feel okay. I know for sure that I haven’t quite tapped into those moody, negative, tough emotions yet.. regarding my friendships and healing from my move. I know there’s still a lot to dissect and I’m looking forward to mulling through it with my therapist. She provided me with some homework to work on before we meet again in March.

Spiritually, I feel okay, I don’t think I’ve been fully in tune with God and my spirituality. Lately, it’s just like I know I need to go, so I just attend. I’m not excited about going but it’s just like it is, what it is. The last time I felt really spiritually present and connected was when Hoan and I went to Agape church. Service was okay, but the community was what got me. I definitely felt God’s presence being with them. Their openness and realness was exactly what I needed in a season of stillness. Seeing how tight knit they were as a community of Believers was just so heartwarming. I need more of that in my life.

  1. What are your current personal and professional goals? Write them down, steps to accomplishing them and schedule them into your calendar

Personal goal – Write more. Write down what I’m grateful for every day. Post at least one blog post a week on the blog.

Take my finances to the next level. Hoan and I want to purchase a property by end of this year or next.

  1. How much money am I putting into it?
  2. How much will I have by the end of the year?
  3. How much do I need?

Professional goal – Find a part time nurse educator position that works in NRPs either in Seattle or LA.

  1. Apply for RN in Washington
  2. Sign up for nurse educator jobs on Indeed – CA and WA
  3. What was the last act of kindness you did? Think of a new one and schedule it

7. What was your last act of kindness. Schedule the next one

Last act of kindness… well, I attempted to give the lady next to us at church who was coughing a cough drop this last Sunday.

Let me think of an act of kindness. Being of help to my colleagues at work is normal. With this one, I feel like I need to go out of my way to do something kind. So I decided, I’m going to create care packages and donate them to a nearby women’s shelter once I get my bonus. Stay tuned for more details!

Well, I hope you all have really enjoyed your self-assessment, please let me know how it goes for you!

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Lovekini Obsessed

Hi lovelies!

Just wanted to share some new swimwear that I recently purchased for the bach that I am super obsessed with! If you missed my previous post on outfits I purchased for my bach, we’re headed to the Bahamas on a Royal Caribbean Cruise in mid-March! The Lovekini company has some super cute stuff, but their signature seems to be the ruffle floral detailing. It’s a little unfortunate that you can’t return or exchange anything you purchase and the shipping costs are a little steep (I think I paid $25.99). I definitely splurged on these cuties but oh my gosh, so worth it!! And cannot wait to wear them!

First one is called the “Lolita” in white and a really pretty rustic salmon ruffle detail | Shop it here

lolita, white bikini, lovekini, beachwear, swimwear, swim suitlolita, swimwear, lovekini, beachwear, swimwear, swim suit, summer swim

Second is the same design called “Cupcake” and is actually ON SALE! | Shop it here

I’m not normally a PINK person but this one was so cute to pass up. It’s definitely more of a pink/magenta color but the blush detailing is so precious and compliments it really well

cupcake, lovekini, bikini, sale, swim suit, beachwearcupcake, lovekini, swimwear, sale, summer swimcupcake lovekini, lovekini swim, swim suit, swimwear, beachwear, bikini

Hope you all enjoyed this post and let me know your thoughts! Are you headed anywhere with a beach? You should definitely consider these cute little numbers, it will definitely grab some attention and turn some heads!!

 

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10 Takeaways for a Successful Marriage

diablo lake, engagement pictures, couple

diablo lake, washington, scenery, couple, engagementdiablo lake, engagement photo, engagement poses

Hoan and I will be getting married in less than 7 months! It’s kinda crazy to think that it’s coming up so soon. We recently finished our catholic engaged encounter which essentially is a pre-marriage retreat for engaged couples that is a weekend long. This actually wasn’t our first time taking a class like this since we had taken another pre-marriage class from Cottonwood church, and that was every week for five weeks. I think a lot of the topics they covered were very similar to one another but after experiencing both I wanted to round up 10 take-aways we took from our pre-marriage classes for all of you since V-day is right around the corner! So here are 5 things I thought all couples who plan on getting married or are married could benefit from:

  1. Do not threaten with the D-word

    When you’re in a relationship where there is always an exit sign, you’ll never feel secure. It’s important to realize you’re in this together, forever and if you’re seeing red flags now… that may be a sign to re-evaluate

  2. A covenant is the most powerful promise you can make

    A covenant is more than a promise, it’s an eternal agreement you make between your spouse and God. The beauty of being able to declare your love in front of God and your loved ones on your wedding day is just the beginning. Being able to carry out that covenant daily is speaking with love, acting in love and being a model of God’s love.

  3. 2 are truly becoming 1

    I always believed that it was so important to be a complete whole person before getting into a relationship and allowing the relationship to compliment your life. However, when we look back at how God created woman out of Adam’s ribs, we find that God decided to take ribs from Adam to create a woman so perfectly made for him. If we looked at this in its’ purest form, that would mean that God made this exact person for you, and we’re just fortunate enough to find and recognize each other. However, if we really think about it, if God had made this exact person for you, he would have eventually worked his magic to bring these two beings together

  4. Do things that are life-giving

    Constantly ask yourself if what you are saying to your partner or what you are doing for them is life-giving. And what I mean by this is, living a fuller life, the life Jesus taught us to live. To be supportive of one another, generous beyond measure, sensitive to each other’s feelings and essentially to be selfless for our partner

  5. Intimacy is more than just sex

    You can easily be intimate and feel close to one another and this could mean being fully present with each other during a heartfelt conversation or just holding hands in public.

  6. Talk about finances before marriage

    It’s important to be aware of each other’s net worth, each other’s debt and how you plan to take care of your finances after marriage. Will you only have one joint account to share, or just have separate accounts, or both?

  7. Practice open communication every SINGLE day

    It’s important to be open and honest every single day. The most powerful thing we took away was the 5 A’s which is in itself a whole post itself.

  8. Speak with love your partner will understand

    This goes back to knowing each other’s 5 love languages and speaking in the way the give and receive love. Because otherwise it may not necessarily be felt.

  9. Race to repentance

    Relationships are not easy, and conflicts will arise.. maybe every day even. And it doesn’t have to be big, it could even be a slight disagreement on where to have lunch but both small or large… it’s important to apologize and forgive with our whole hearts. It doesn’t mean you can’t be upset anymore, but it’s about forgiving, truly letting go and not letting it come up later as ammunition.

  10. WEDDING IS A DAY, A MARRIAGE IS A LIFETIME

    I feel like society has put so much emphasis on the wedding day. Most likely because it marks a true milestone, but the milestone is only the beginning of the chapter, so what about the rest of it? It might start out with a big bang but it’s important to constantly nurture the storyline. As time goes on, relationships change and people change, it’s so easy to get comfortable and think everything will work out in the end but marriage, just like everything else needs to be invested in.

So there you have it, those are the 10 biggest takeaways I took from our marriage classes. I really hope that you invest in a pre-marriage class before marriage. It really helps to open communication and better yet, some states even give marriage application discounts if you give proof you’ve taken one. Happy love month beauties <3

 

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How to Have a Successful Relationship – the 5 A’s

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The most powerful thing I took away from our pre-marriage class was the idea of constant open communication through daily practice of the 5 A’s. Which are: Appreciate, Affection, Apologize, Ask, Amen. It is a daily activity you can easily do with your partner at the end of each day. And how it works is each person takes a turn to do the 5 A’s and then the other partner will go and it usually ends with a prayer. Hoan and I have been doing this EVERY single day since we learned of it. It’s definitely been helpful for us in continuing to stay open to one another and share what ever is on our hearts.

  1. Appreciate

    You first start out by telling your partner all of the things you appreciated about them today. Ie. “I appreciate you washing my car today, picking up my laundry, your humor and making me laugh in the morning when I was stressed about being late, etc.”

  2. Affection

    Once you are done telling them what you appreciate about them, you give them a kiss or a hug.

  3. Apologize

    Next you want to ask your partner if there was anything from the day that upset them. This is a great time to be able to share what small little things irked you such as, “leaving the toilet seat up again, not washing the dishes when you were done with lunch and there was a pile when we got home, etc.” I know for myself, little things can get to me so it’s nice to be able to get it off your chest and also help your partner become more aware of your likes and preferences this way.

  4. Ask

    You want to ask your partner if there is anything you can do for them? For example, you may ask, “can you please help edit my paper tomorrow, or pick up dry cleaning for me after work, etc.” And make sure you are honest about whether or not you can fulfill these tasks and if not, it’s okay, tell them what you are able to do.

  5. Amen

    Finally, ask your partner what they’d like you to pray for.

Once your turn is done, repeat the process and let your partner go through their 5 A’s. Once you each have gone, then it’s time to pray. Hoan and I usually pray by him starting off and I finish it off. But really, anything works!

Hoan and I have been doing this every day since we learned about the activity last May and have not missed a single day! It’s truly helped us to continue to have open communication, especially when we are upset. We all know open communication is the key to a successful relationship, but what’s challenging sometimes is when something so small irked you and you don’t know how to bring it up so instead you just let it go… but really deep down it’s still bothersome and if/when it does come up again, it’s become even more frustrating. And we find ourselves in a bigger mess than what it really was to begin with. I really hope these 5 A’s can help you and your partner grow as a unit and help strengthen your faith in one another and in God. <3 Lmk how it goes!

 

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Bachelorette Ready Outfits

Hey loves, as I’m beginning to plan for my bachelorette in less than 2 months! 5 of us girlies will be headed to the Bahamas on a Royal Caribbean Cruise! I wanted to share some outfits I’m planning on bringing with me

First is this cute little sequin number from Tobi! Seriously, so adorbs on, I’m so obsessed! | Shop this dress HERE

tobi, sequin dress, shine by me

 

 

Next is this Showpo OTS leopard print day dress for casual days out on the town! | Shop this dress HERE

showpo, ots, off the shoulder dress, summer dress

 

 

Last is this adorable OTS night out dress from Forever 21 that will get you looking classy! | Shop this dress HERE

forever 21, ots, off the shoulder, white dress, dress, going out dress

 

Welp, that’s it for now! Looking forward to sharing with you all more deets to come! <3

 

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How to Follow Your Heart – 3 Steps

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I think all my life, I’ve trusted the reason my heart would speak of and while I know it doesn’t always align with what is logically correct, in the end I know it’s what I need to do. Listening to that little voice inside me isn’t always easy though. Urging myself to do something that might feel uncomfortable is something I think many people have difficulty with. In the past I know that when I don’t do what that voice is telling me, I ended up feeling really disappointed in myself. I began to practice it more this last year with living intentionally, but I don’t think I did it enough. So with that being said, I’m definitely going to do my best to speak up when my heart says that I should.

How?

So how do we get ourselves to follow through with what we know is right in our hearts?

  1. Recognize the voice

    I think the first step in doing is realizing the voice is actually there. When you get into a situation where you feel compelled to speak up or do something, it’s important to be aware of the fact that your heart is trying to say something.

  2. Reason with yourself

    Once you recognize there is a voice, explore it more and ask yourself why? Why are you feeling compelled? What would be the end result if you did do it, and what would happen if you didn’t? Would you be willing to walk away from the situation without saying or doing and if not would you be okay with it? Figure out if it’s something worth your time. Sometimes the turmoil is what’s most difficult to experience.

  3. React to the situation

    After you’ve gone through the scenarios and realize you can’t walk away not doing what your heart is telling you, then it’s time to follow through. Sometimes this can be the most difficult task but take a deep breath, let it out and if you need support go seek it so you can stay accountable.

 I can’t say following our hearts is easy and I feel like as time goes on and the more practice we get in, the more comfortable it will become. One thing that helps me is reminding myself that we need to trust that the process will lead us to our end destination. The road may twist and bend but all of it will eventually lead you there.

 

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surprising moments of 2017

 

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there’s so much happening around me that all i feel i can do is freeze as to attempt to keep at least one thing constant. i feel like a little figurine stuck in a snow globe with a blazing blizzard endangering my comfort and safety and all i want to do is stop time so i can get a handle on all that’s happening around me. it’s been a long time since i’ve really sit down to write but i know I NEED to do more of it to really think through and reflect on my experiences. i feel like my thoughts are just getting lost in the mix of everything.

surprising moments of 2017

today ann asked me what was surprising to me this last year. can you believe that all the things that came to mind were negative? i was surprised that my extended family basically wants nothing to do with me… i find it so challenging to live in two different worlds, with two very different expectations. there’s a life that i want to live that may not necessarily seem fitting or appropriate to others. at one point in my life, it was easily shrugged off my shoulders because i felt i had support and the constant reminders of why when times were tough but i honestly don’t feel like i have that anymore.

i always thought i was such a resilient person, that i could easily adapt to new environments and social settings but just like anyone else, i experienced how difficult it can be to make new friends and really open up to others. i’ve always had a fear of people recognizing my faults but now there’s a fear of being authentic and showing my real emotions to people which is quite the opposite of who i was before.

and finally… because i’m not looking forward to moving, i wasn’t looking forward to the wedding. because i knew that when that time came, my time in LA was up. which is a sad concept to comprehend; that the most exciting day of my life that i’ve been looking forward to since i was a kid is now tainted because of this notion. but i’m definitely trying my best to lean in and trust the process.

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Floral Maxi Romper

floral maxi, floral romper

 

floral romper, floral maxi

Hi everyone! These maxi rompers are definitely still a love for me. They’re fun and flirty but you also have that casual feel because of the romper style fit. I actually got this from a friend of mine who said it would work perfectly with my style and I’m in love!! Thanks for all your support, Nelyn! <3 <3

You could easily wear this to a fall wedding, a party or a night out on the town! I found some similar items below, see the links! Happy summering <3

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outfit deets

Similar | Similar (White/Pink)

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