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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!


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,


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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

get inspired, inspiration, inspire, lake, seattle

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,


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How to Make a Vision Board

vision board, the secret, cork board, inspiration board

The idea of a Vision Board was first introduced to me by my brother in a book called The Secret which was later made into a documentary and  featured on Oprah. Ever since then, I’ve had one plastered up on my wall.

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is basically a board that you can place all your dreams and goals on. They can comprise of pictures and or words that remind you every day of what your goals are.

How do I use my Vision Board?

It’s really important to have your vision board in a place where you can see it every day. This way, you can be reminded of what the big picture is! Once you’re reminded of your goals, it helps you to be more intentional with how you use your time. It just makes you think, oh is this activity helping me to get closer to my goals? If not, what should I do get me closer to my goal of xyz.

How do I make my own Vision Board?

Materials needed: Cork Board, Magazines, Paper, Markers, Srap booking material (optional)

  1. First you’ll need to think about your goals. You can write down a list of what you want to put on your board or think about quotes you want included
  2. Starting flipping through your magazines to see if there are any quotes or pictures that you could cut out and place on your vision board.  
  3. If there’s something you can’t find but really need on your vision board, get creative and whip out those markers and some paper
  4. Start putting it on your board – it’s important to put what you want to focus on most at the center of your board so that your eye zones into it and then all of the smaller priority goals can surround that central goal.

These are the essential things you need to make a vision board. It’s simple but it’s important to really brainstorm what you want the focus of your vision board to be about! So take some time to really think about that and then also, find a friend and maybe you guys can work on it together and make it a date night because it’s so much more fun doing it with a friend! Hope this has been helpful and good luck!


Live simply, love beyoutifully


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5 Tips on How to Live Life For Yourself

how to live life for yourself, live fully, dtla

I am struggling between finally living life for me versus living to please my family. While I know it’s a responsibility to care for my aging parents I still can’t help but yearn to live a life dedicated to me. I think though, that at some point we need to let go of our obligations to friends, family, boyfriends or even jobs we might not necessarily care for and finally live the life we’ve always imagined. It takes a great deal of courage to venture out and live life for YOU because while some people might accuse you of being selfish or too egocentric, it is imperative that we forego these thoughts and live for us. Here are a few tips on how to live life for yourself.

1. Know Your Whys

When you know why you’re doing something, it helps to drive all of your actions. If you don’t have a clear understanding of why you want to live for you, it will be pretty easy to be swayed a certain way. So you have to live and breathe why you want to live for you.

2. Create Alliances

Find friends or family members you can confide in and support your cause of living for you. Call on these guys to help remind you on days when it’s difficult and you feel like giving up because even when you don’t believe in yourself, these people will and you need to feed off that energy to keep you going.

3. Take Responsibility

When people blame you for not doing this or that or not living up to your role of whatever, take responsibility for your actions. However, not only will you need to take responsibility for disappointing others but also ensure that you are taking your life into your own hands and are moving closer to your goal of living for you despite disappointing people along the way.

4. Be Okay with The Repercussions

Ensure that you are aware of the repercussions that may occur if you decide to do something. However, not only do you have to be aware, you need to be OK with whatever happens, whether it be burning bridges, bringing disappointment to people you care about.. Etc. It will be tough but you have to be okay with it in order to move forward with living for you.

5. Be Kind To Yourself

You are going to get a ton of backlash for all of your “selfish” decisions. But remember to be kind to yourself through the process. It can be really easy to jump on the bandwagon and believe that you are being selfish living for you. Remember though that you are not because YOU do come first.

There’s going to be a lot of backlash when you decide to live for yourself and the repercussions may be difficult to handle. Trust me, moving to LA was one of the most difficult decisions of my life… but at the end of the day, I really do think your loved ones just want you to be happy. They’re going to try their best to warn you to bring an umbrella. But it’s your choice whether you want to bring an umbrella or dance in the rain… Good luck my loves


Live simply, love beyoutifully,


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5 Tips on How to Love Yourself More

self love, how to love yourself more, self worth, self compassion, how to love yourself

Having self compassion can be one of the most difficult things to do, especially after you’ve done something you aren’t proud of. However, I believe self compassion is the core to so many other things. From inner peace, to courage and love… self compassion affects all of who we are. When we love ourselves, it is so much easier to love on others. With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought it would be fitting to talk about the most important person you should love on! YOU. So here are 5 Tips on How to Love Yourself…

1. Know Your Worth

It’s so important to recognize our worth. Brene Brown talks a lot about how the wholehearted can love and be loved because they feel that they are worthy of love and belonging. It’s a simple concept yet very difficult to practice. I know especially for me, it’s tough to love myself after I’ve done wrong. Allow yourself to feel the negativity, but the moment it passes, remind yourself that you are worthy of love and belonging regardless of your shortcomings.

2. Accept Your Faults

This brings me to my next point that we need to accept our faults and move forward. It’s really easy to get caught up in the feelings of shame and disappointment. I experience it all the time and we are all definitely our worst critic. It’s tough to hear others criticize us but I think our inner voices can be so much worse. We need to remember to acknowledge our shortcomings but also let go of those emotions because it’s not going to do us any good to hold onto them.

3. Treat Yourself

Everyone deserves a treat, even ourselves! I think it’s so important to be able to love on you the way you love on others. Reflect on whether you’re treating yourself the way you treat others? If you’re praising others, and putting other people first, shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves? And YES I think we should, so I think it’s perfectly okay to treat yourself to that sweet dessert or that pair of heels you’ve been eyeing at the store.

4. Practice Positive Talk

This is really difficult for me but this is something i’m constantly working on. What I mean by positive talk is yes, thinking positively but also speaking positively and using better more empowering words when we talk to ourselves or others. For example, instead of saying ‘I think I can do this’ change it to ‘I know I can do this’ or, ‘I hope I have a good day’ to ‘I’m going to have a good day’ and ‘I think I look alright today’ to ‘girl, I look fiiiiine!’

5. Do good

Finally the last item I want to touch on in trying to love on ourselves more is being able to love on others. For me personally, I always feel better about myself when I do a good deed or random act of kindness. It always feels good to be able to help in some way for the good of others. So with that,  once you start feeling a little love within yourself, try to give back in some way and I promise you, the love will keep on coming!

Happy loving and happy Valentine’s day beautifuls!


Live simply, love beyoutifully


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5 Reasons it’s Okay Not to Know Who You Are

it's ok not to know who you are right now, sad, beach sad, beach girl, sitting

Category: Self Acceptance, Self Compassion, The Best You, Authenticity

People are like onions. There are so many layers to our personality that it can be challenging to know who you are. I have a pretty good sense of who I am, but through trial and error, experience and exposure we learn a little more about ourselves.

I believe the experiences that move us outside our comfort zone, are the moments in which we learn the most about ourselves. While I may not fully understand why I might act a certain way, I am now completely aware that there exists within me a random, awkward, completely face-palming worthy girl. And hey, THAT’s OKAY because…

1. Humans are constantly evolving, learning and growing  

I think even in old age, we’ll have a very good sense as to who we are but there might be something that will always make you think, “huh… I never thought about it that way “

2. We can and need to act differently in various situations anyway

Of course you’re going to act completely different at your best friend’s bachelorette party than you are going to act at say a meeting for your internship or job.

3. Knowing your likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses is a great start

Even though you might not think you know who you are, recognizing what we like and what we’re good at gives us the beginning sketches of who we are

4. Exploring our values, non-negotiables and passions take time

Knowing what we stand for is truly the essence of understanding who we are and if you don’t know, pick a topic and see what side you take and discover why, ie. abortion

5. We’re still young, it’s hard to know everything

we’re human, we’re not going to know everything.

So the next time you feel like you don’t know who you are, remember that there are plenty of other people out there who are probably experiencing the same thing. So cut yourself some slack and realize these things take time. However, just the fact that you are concerned about wanting to have a deeper understanding of who you are, what you believe in and who you want to be are the first steps in learning more about your beYOUtiful self 😉

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu

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5 Tips on How to Attract the Right Person into Your Life

joy, how to find your true love, significant other, love, how to attract the right partner

Category: The Best You, Authenticity

I’ve been so blessed in that God has given me an amazing man and surprisingly is exactly the man I dreamt of years before! Hoan and I met over two years ago at a conference I was volunteering for in Dallas, Texas. He does motivational speaking for a living and was one of our speakers for the weekend. It was mere happenstance that I ran into him in the lobby that day because I wasn’t even supposed to be there to greet him and I guess the rest is history! Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with the details so I’ll get right to it.  

I believe attracting the right person into your life requires not only effort but also patience. Effort in seeking but also effort in knowing who you are and what you want. A lot of people think it’s about getting out there, meeting people and going on dates… and that’s about half of it, the other half is really envisioning the right person – life partner you want and knowing your non-negotiables. Here are 5 Tips on how to find Mister Right!

1. Know who you are

this is really the foundation of it all because it really starts with you. Take some time to reflect on who you are, and what you offer to the table. It’s tough going into a relationship with low self-esteem or not knowing who you are because relationships require a lot of compromise and it’s easy to lose sight of who you are if you don’t have a good grip on what you value in the first place.

2. Be authentic and exude confidence

like attracts like and if you want the right person, such as a confident man who can meet you where you are, you’ve gotta show your worth. In addition to that, be authentic and upfront. At this stage in our lives, it’s tough to play games and besides, everyone loves a genuinely, open and honest person.

3. Know your non-negotiables

This goes back to knowing who you are and what you want. Write down a list of what you want in a man and what would be completely unacceptable as well. I remember back when I was in college, my best friend and I wrote down a list of all the attributes we wanted in our future hubbies and shockingly when Hoan and I started dating I looked back at the list and Hoan had everything I mentioned on the list and then some, it was crazy!

4. Seek in the right places

Again this goes back to like attracts like. Continue doing the activities you enjoy and putting yourself out there. If you enjoy volunteering, find those opportunities and maybe you’ll find them there. If you’re not finding anything locally, see if you can join something that is on a national level where you’re exposed to more people, join a singles network like events and adventures, try online sites like okcupid or apps like coffee meets bagel

5. Initiate or at least give them signs you’rE interested

We live in the 21st century and I think it’s perfectly a-ok if a woman initiates these days! I think men find that attractive. If you see someone cute, and y’all have locked eyes, I think that’s a good enough reason to casually walk on over (without being obvious or creepy lol) to say hi. the confidence you have to go up to them speaks volume and sometimes men really appreciate the obvious signs 🙂

Of course, take it with a grain of salt, there are a variety of ways to meet your significant other and these might work, these might not but what’s really important is to know what you want in a partner because when you know what you want, you know what you don’t want and that helps narrow down the selection. Good luck and let me know how it goes! <3

Love simply, love beyoutifully,


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The Key To Happiness

key to happiness, happy, joy, palm trees, california,

Category: Authenticity, Self Compassion, The Best You

There are so many people out there who constantly strive for happiness and personally I think happiness is but a fleeting moment. Probably because happiness is an emotion. And with any emotion, they can change with a snap of a finger because of its’ volatility. Regardless of its characteristics though, so many people are constantly trying to achieve happiness. I believe the key to happiness starts from within and like with everything else, there are extreme highs and lows.

The Key to Happiness

I find that the older I get, the more I settle into the mold of who I am, which means the more content and comfortable I feel. We’ll know pretty instantly whether something feels right or wrong. However, I believe it gets a little easier over time as we get more exposed to different experiences that test our ability to stay true to who we are. Because as we stay as close to the core of who we are, the happier I believe we will be. Therefore, the key to happiness is being authentic and loving all of who you are, including those less than perfect characteristics!

So love on and be happy!


Love simply, love beyoutifully,

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What I learned Running Away from Reality

Category: Authenticity, Self Compassion, The Best You

I spent a year running away from reality during my transition to California. While it was a decision I made and ultimately wanted, what frustrated me was I found myself constantly lonely, which caused me to doubt my decision. I sat with these feelings for a long time and did my best to let go of the thoughts that held me hostage by traveling to distract me from the reality of California. I did my best to keep my game face on because I didn’t want anyone to know that deep down inside, I regretted my decision to move away from home.

It wasn’t until a conversation I had with my best friend that made me realize I hadn’t been at my best this last year. In that moment I knew I had wasted away an entire year, drowning in my own self pity… which was when it hit me, I can’t just let these negative emotions consume me nor control my life any further.

As embarrassed as I am to admit to all of this, I know it had to happen this way for me to truly appreciate and love my life, so as 2017 begins… this is what I need to let go of and forgive myself for.

The lesson I was reminded of through this process though: is that self compassion can be one of the most difficult things to practice but it’s the key to self love and pure confidence.


love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu