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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.




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Category: Personal

beautiful pink peony flowers bouquet in vase
beautiful pink peony flowers bouquet in vase

it has been a whirlwind of a few weeks since my last post and my complete apologies.

we flew to seattle for two weddings the weekend of 4th of July and had another wedding last weekend. something i’ve noticed about myself is that my social skills are not up to par. i’m having difficulty making conversation with people, telling stories, and really just being comfortable in social settings.

i know the root of the cause though and it’s because i hardly ever hang out with people anymore. it’s funny to think that i used to try and run away to gain some peace and quiet and valued these moments of solace. now on the opposite end of the spectrum, here i am yearning for some quality time with my family and friends, sigh… i miss you guys



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me before you

Category: Personal, The Best You


we went to go see ‘me before you’ tonight and it got me pondering life. i was actually way more upset at the ending than i thought i’d be, which is making me realize how i’ve become more defined as a person.

i definitely support dying with dignity if that is what the person believes is the best fit for them. there are plenty of cases out there that justify its’ existence. and as a nurse, we are taught that we must respect and support our patient’s decisions regardless of what our beliefs are.

for me personally, i’ve come to believe that as long as we are still alive on this earth, God has a purpose us. i really think God takes those who are ready and waits on all the rest of us as we mature and prepare ourselves for the afterlife. i’m curious to find out what it’s like on the other side, but i’m even more excited to see how the rest of life unfolds. i’ve been reminded of how lucky we are to be alive and to have the life we have. God does bless, and he does it so many different ways.


simply beYOUtiful,



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long before i was born

Category: Personal


i woke up naturally early this morning anticipating Hoan’s arrival into town. i’ve been having a hard time getting up lately and i’m unsure whether its because of residual jet lag from my trips or what, but i stayed up this morning instead of going back to sleep to catch some precious z’s.

i stumbled across this video of a couple who felt compelled to name their child Chloe, even before they were even together. they struggled through years of infertility and ended up deciding to adopt. when they went to go visit the birth mom, to their surprise she had been calling the baby Chloe. like :O

tears started forming in the corners of my eyes as i was watching this story unfold. i was lying in my bed, in absolute awe of God’s beautiful work and began to reflect on my own personal life.

I thought wow… Hoan is exactly the man i dreamt of marrying… here i am living in California, which is something i had thought about for years, and pursuing my master’s in nursing education is a decision i made years ago when i was only a freshman in college!

and then it dawned on me, God has been writing my story… long before i was born, just as He has yours.

here’s the link to the video: God is Good (thanks to Katie Raddatz for sharing)