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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,


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

what would your 17 year old self say about you today, beach, palos verdes, look out, sunset, california, west coast

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,



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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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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,


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what i’ve learned about TRUE happiness


Category: Authenticity, Personal, Spread the Movement

as young adults, i think many of us oftentimes get sidetracked and want nothing more than a successful career. i’ve seen countless numbers of college grads throw away romantic relationships to up and leave for an opportunity in career advancement miles away from home but more importantly their loved ones. and let’s be honest, it is one of the best times of our lives to do so because most of us don’t have commitments or obligations holding us back… so why not, right?

but as exhilarating as that may sound, i have become challenged by this very concept. if we remind ourselves that life is only but a balancing act then we must take into account what else we need in our lives such as personal fulfillment but more importantly intimate connections.

the critics are beginning to voice their concerns and some are even becoming radical as to say find love first because your career can wait. which let me say, is a new school of thought but i think it emphasizes what this next generation is lacking; romantic intimacy.

so quit with the excuses; we need those relationships for a wholesome, elated life.

as christopher mccandless realized, [the man who walked into the wild looking for happiness in solidarity]: happiness is only real when shared.


live simply, love beyoutifully,

Anh Thu

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happy Thanksgiving!


Category: Spread the Movement, Personal

i think the second piece to thanksgiving is the giving part which is obvious, considering the name. i’ve noticed that regardless of how i give, whether through donations, volunteering, or my time, there’s always a sense of fulfillment that i gain in return which i think is so paradoxical. when we give, we’re losing something in return but despite the loss, whether it be money or time, there’s a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day. and that is what’s so unique about the gift of giving.

this year for thanksgiving, Hoan and i are volunteering for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission women and children’s home. and while we only spend 2 hours here, i think about what it’s like for these families to come here every day… and it makes me realize how lucky i am to just have a roof over my head and a full belly. then i think about how loved i am… from the love I receive from my parents, to Hoan… to kindness from friends, strangers and co-workers– it’s hard not to to feel full after realizing how much love there really is for me.

Thanks so much everyone, y’all are truly the best ❤️

what are you thankful for? and what are you doing to give back?
love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu 

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so many rocks and hard places

Category: Personal, Self Compassion, Spread the Movement


i can’t believe it’s been a month since i last wrote and i am so sorry. life has really picked up this last month with work and school but i guess October won’t be any different.

today was a tough day… it’s never easy when you’re placed in a position where you feel like you have to choose something over the other. i’m realizing that the older you get the more frequently you’ll encounter these situations where you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. and while the way we react to the situation may get easier over time but figuring out what to do and actually following through with it never seems to get any easier.

but despite the difficulties, we just have to remember that this is only just a little dip in the big incline towards the top.

simply beyoutiful,




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labor day pains and gains

Category: Personal, The Best You

big bear

life is always a little difficult around the holidays, regardless of what holiday it is. this three-day weekend reminded me of the consequences of my decision in moving here. and sometimes i still have some remorse about moving here and doubt whether this is where i’m supposed to be. it’s been a lot better lately as i feel like my transition period is coming to a close but today i felt like i took two steps backwards.

knowing that my friends and family back home are enjoying their time together this weekend without me is beyond difficult. whats even more challenging is knowing i might never have that again is indescribable.

i don’t know why i moved out here, but i know there is a purpose to me being drawn to the west coast. so as i mope about not being around my loved ones this labor day weekend, i’ll work on being grateful for being here in california because there is a purpose, i just don’t know what that is right now but i’m determined to find out.


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…and the truth comes out

Category: Personal, The Best You, Authenticity 

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something i’ve realized as of late is that i haven’t been fully honest nor vulnerable with myself or anyone else for that matter. part of it is because i’ve been avoiding wanting to admit to some of the faults in my life.

the first thing i need to come clean to is: i miss home, i miss my mom, and i often still question whether moving to LA was the right decision. as much as i try to glamorize this experience, quite frankly there’s no meaning behind any of the physical beauty i post on instagram.

next, i have not been my best self. i’m not reading, i’m not writing, i’m not reflecting, i’ve lost sight of my goals and of who i am. i’ve been numb for quite some time and i’m unsure of what life would be like without my safety shield.

finally, my relationship with God and everyone else has been on such a surface level. i’m having a hard time connecting and asking for help even with the ones closest to me. i fear being exposed as inadequate and imperfect and because of this, i can’t foster any relationships because i’m afraid they’ll know the truth.

coasting life is not something i’ve enjoyed nor valued and it’s embarrassing to say that i’ve been doing it for the last year. it’s a tough cycle to break because it’s comfortable and safe. but i need to remind myself why i made this decision in the first place, do my best to make the most out of life and the experiences i’ve been given.

sigh… wish me luck

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the biggest lesson i’ve learned

Category: The Best You, Personal


life has been a whirlwind of events and i feel like i’ve had no time to process life. currently i’m back home and it feels so nice to see familiar faces, to do my old routine,to be with friends and family… and amidst all of this, i’m feeling a little remorseful that i left such a perfect place.

for the first time since moving, i’m toying with the idea of moving back home and what’s different this time is that it’s not accompanied with FOMO.

seeing all of ann’s wedding stuff and realizing i wasn’t there to help her through this, or seeing her new place and knowing we won’t be able to hang out there, and hearing about birthday plans and not being invited because i live so far away just really breaks my heart.

and it brings me back to the biggest lesson i’ve learned since moving away and that is it’s the company that makes the experience, not the activity.