surprising moments of 2017


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

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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LA is like Sand in an Hourglass

i feel like each time i’ve come home since moving to LA has been so different. I went from feeling a little remorseful and homesick about my move to not knowing where i fit in at home or  LA and I think I can say I’m finally at a place where i feel a lot of peace and gratitude with my decision to move.

it wasn’t an easy journey to get here because i had to numb all of my negative emotions in order to accept that LA was reality.  i was emotionally unavailable to everyone including myself and i think it was hardest on those who loved me most.  looking back now, those were some of the darkest days of my life, not necessarily in the amount of emotion but rather in the extent of loneliness.

as time has gone on though, i’ve slowly been able to break through the layers of regret and denial and am finally able to regain positive perspective and the colors of life.  as my time winds down here in LA, i’m unsure what i want to get out of these next few months but i feel like yes man will become a mantra.. literally saying yes to any opportunity i might get to try… seek, do, experience in all senses of the word.


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Front Lace Up Shift Dress

lace up dress

lace up front, bells sleeves, shift dress, tobi

lace up dress, shift dress

This shift dress is an absolute favorite of mine! I love the lace up front design with these adorable bell sleeves! I’ve been really loving neutral toned stuff lately and this dress is perfect for dressing up or down.  Anyway hope you all are having a fabulous week so far!

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outfit deets

Dress is from TOBI! | Similar items down below!


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


5 things i’ve learned and relearned from Failing miserably


Category: Self Compassion, Self Acceptance, The Best You

I’m just going to go on the record and say I’ve made countless mistakes and while society is trying to change the negative connotation of “failure,” re-wording it to things like: “an opportunity for growth,” “a lesson to be learned,” etc. — it does NOT make committing the mistake any less awful.

I’ve made plenty of dumb decisions; from my personal life all the way to the other end of the spectrum. However, I’m reminded by the fact that I have learned so much, not only about myself but about life in general throughout this process.

Things I am relearning:

  1. Growth is exponential and while you may be great at something, without continual practice the previously acquired skill could dissipate into thin air.
  1. It’s great to feel like you know what you’re doing but when things get hazy, get off your high horse and ask for help.
  1. Remember, it’s okay to SAY NO.
  1. Chasing after perfection is a great mentality to have, in fact I admire people who continually pursue this state of being. However, remember not to escape reality because perfection doesn’t exist.
  1. At the end of the day, as long as you gained something out of said mistake, then well… it was all kinda worth it right? I hope.

With that, while committing mistakes may not be the most pleasant experience, at least there are some positive outcomes that come from them. If we think hard enough, there will always be a lesson to be learned from our mistakes. And hey, it’s okay to make mistakes.. how do you think Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, right? 🙂

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu


12 Good Deeds to do this Christmas!


Category: Spread the Movement, The Best You, Self Compassion

is it just me or does it not feel like Christmas is right around the corner? as a general rule, most people are more giving around the holiday season and it really warms my heart to know there’s more good going around in the world. i’ve been reflecting on what i’ve given back this year and to be honest, it hasn’t been much since i was so focused on rebuilding myself and transitioning to life in california. despite the lack of giving though… it’s never too late to do good. i’ve decided with only 12 days left of Christmas, i’m going to commit to one good deed a day and YOU CAN TOO!


Here are 12 ideas on how to Give Back this holiday season:

  1. Go through a checkout line and pay for the car or person behind you
  1. Send a Christmas card to someone who’s made a difference in your life this year
  1. Next time you’re going through a door, wait to keep the door open for the next person behind you
  1. Give some extra change the next time you see a bell ringer at any storefront
  1. Genuinely compliment someone on something you really find unique about them
  1. Send a text message to a loved one telling them how much you appreciate them
  1. Rummage through your old stuff and donate some of those things you don’t really use anymore that could really be helpful to someone else
  1. Pick up some trash you see laying on the ground and throw it into the nearest trash can
  1. Smile at everyone you encounter in your day
  1. Intentionally pray or keep someone in your thoughts and send them good vibes
  1. Offer your help to someone

    12. Go one day without complaining, negative thoughts and just love on YOU

i’ll keep you all posted on the progress of my good deeds. good luck and let me know how it goes for you! happy holidays.


love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu


5 Practices I used to FEEL ALIVE again


Category: The Best You, Self Acceptance, Spread the Movement

I honestly can’t recall the last time I felt so on top of the world and boy, is it exhilarating.

These past few months have been a huge challenge for me because when you numb one aspect of your life, you can’t help but numb everything. Nothing elicited strong negative or even positive emotions within me, and that in itself is frustrating. You feel lifeless, trapped and the worst thing is: you feel as though it is completely out of your control.

Re-sensitizing my life has been a process within itself. We can’t expect to just wake up one morning and start feeling again. What I learned through the process is: it not only takes commitment but conscious effort in wanting to be you again. if you’re struggling, these are a few things I did and am still practicing daily to help me feel truly alive again.

  1. Stop focusing on the Negatives – as humans, we naturally focus on our opportunities for growth but take a moment and forget about that and realize how good you’ve got it despite those disadvantages.
  1. Be grateful – being thankful for all the things in your life really puts life into perspective. moreover it somehow transforms those significant problems into minor issues (for the moment anyway)
  • ie. Write down one thing you are most grateful for that day
  1. Dedicate some Time in your day to Do the things you Love whether it be blogging, reading, working out, etc. carve out a little chunk of your schedule and do just that!
  1. Create Goals and Action Plans we feel better when we are productive and can quantify the results. figure out what you want (specific goal) and ways in which you can achieve them (step by step action plan to achieve it).
  1. Pray when you have faith that God has your back, all of a sudden, you start feeling like David who manages to beat Goliath with his rocks and pebbles. I know not all of us are religious but, have faith that things happen for a reason because everything has a way of working themselves out.

My life is far from perfect but regardless of those minor imperfections, I am so grateful to be alive and I know I am exactly where I need to be. We are all fighting our own battles but I think we need to start caring and supporting one another because we are beYOUtiful sisters.

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu


Feel Like Your Hands are Tied? Did You Put YOUrself First?


Category: Self Compassion, The Best You, Spread the Movement

Something I’ve been meaning to do but have not followed through on is fostering my relationships and helping those in need. We fear imperfection for many reasons and for me it’s because I am so afraid of people recognizing my faults, judging me and ultimately losing any sort of prior credibility I managed to muster up. Part of the reason why I haven’t dedicated as much time help others is because I felt as though I wasn’t in a place in my life to do so and the other half of it was just literal fear, fear of feeling exposed, not knowing what sort of comforting words to offer if need be and the list goes on.

However, life is all about giving more than we take and to be completely honest, I spent a lot of time alone. Alone because I didn’t feel like I was in a place that I could give, not because I didn’t want to but simply because I felt as though I had nothing to offer.

This is something very important to note however, before we begin feeling guilty about not going out of our way to help another human being, we need to ensure whether or not our cup is full. What I mean by this is that we need to take care of ourselves first. Just like when flight attendants explain safety precautions, we must place our oxygen mask on first before helping another passenger. Same goes with our well-being; we need to be in a place of fulfillment on our end in order to offer our support.

So remember, YOU come first. After that everyone else can have a sip of your cup 😉

love simply, simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu


The 5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo


Category: Authenticity, The Best You, Self Acceptance, Self Compassion, Spread the Movement

I read a book titled The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die written by John Izzo and I could not have asked for a better read in such a pivotal time of my life. The problem was I kept filling my life with toxicity; from negative thoughts to making poor outwardly decisions, they just kept piling up one after the other. However after every offense, what kept me from moving forward was never allowing room for forgiveness.

I think having compassion for yourself can be quite challenging because we constantly doubt ourselves, wondering whether we’ll ever be good enough. There comes a point though, when you must let go of all of that and accept you for who you are and realize imperfections exist but opportunities for improvement are always at hand.

John Izzo says these five secrets to living a full and happy life are no brainers but they are quite profound when we finally actualize them into practice.

  1. Be true to yourself – we are the most happy when we follow our hearts and do what makes our heart sing. so don’t neglect that little voice inside of you, because it knows.
  1. Leave no regrets – don’t turn into that old person sitting on their porch still contemplating their life’s ‘what if’s.’ because happy are they who live a life without wondering what could have happened.
  1. Become love – be compassionate to yourself and to others because it does not serve anyone any good to be toxic but showing love and kindness can change and even save lives.
  1. Live the moment take in each moment as if it could be our last because when we realize how special this moment really is, we become grateful and gratitude is life’s currency.
  1. Give more than you take – research has clearly shown that people are happier when we practice random acts of altruism. There’s just something so powerful about giving back and making the world a better place than we found it.

The author suggests focusing on one secret at a time. So what could you work on in your life? as for for me, I will be living a life full of love and compassion. Best of luck!

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu