At the end of last month, I had the opportunity to visit Montana for Collective Quarterly's 2018 Portfolio Showcase. It was SO beautiful up there and I miss it terribly already. The showcase was my first ever creative retreat, and I'm glad I applied for it. It was kinda scary (terrifying) because it was my first time putting my work out there for direct judgement / criticism in a formal setting since graduating from college a few years ago. The environment reminded me a lot of being back in school -- having "teachers" (industry professionals) look at my work and give feedback, attending lectures and panel discussions (and taking notes, lol), eating meals together, and "living" just down the hall or the next building over from other peers for a few days. As intimidating as it was, I'm so glad I took the leap of faith to be a part of it!Read More
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the press preview hour for Dessert Goals (spring disco edition!) Sound River Studios made for the perfect new venue right along the water with high ceilings and amazing natural skylight light (SO great for photographing all the yummy desserts!) I have been to all three NYC editions thus far, and I feel like they get better (sweeter) every time. ;)Read More
I can't believe it's taken me so long to write this post, LOL. It didn't take me too long to gather the content... but what I mean is that Chinatown has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am 100% Chinese-American, and my mom actually grew up in Chinatown. I still have a grandma who resides there, as well. I have been visiting Chinatown since my early childhood... and my favorite part about it has always been the FOOD. It's about time I write this guide! ;)
This year, Chinese New Year falls on Friday, February 16 (tomorrow!) - so I figured now would be the perfect time to share my recs. Are you heading into Chinatown to celebrate and experience the dragon dancing / parade? The confetti filled streets alone are worth the trek! I'm sure the festivities will continue into this weekend and maybe even into next week, too. If you have never been, it should be on your NYC bucket list. Highly recommend. ;)
Of course, before or after the festivities - you'll want to stuff your face! So I've compiled this guide for ya - in the case that you aren't quite sure where to begin. If you don't frequent Chinatown on the regular, it can be kinda intimidating (kinda like stepping into another country for a hot second). The places on this list are a combination of the places my mom has frequented over the years as well as some newer wave Chinatown spots that I've scoped out on my own.Read More
Happy almost Super Bowl Sunday!
I've never been a huge fan of football... but I AM a fan of the food to be had on game day! (haha) Bring me ALL. THE. SNACKS. !!!
Zucchini is proving to be one of my staple ingredients this year. You can cook it in SO many different ways! Today I'm reinventing fries. Of course, I still love the OG potato classic (who doesn't?!) - but sometimes I opt for this healthier version. They're so easy to make - and delicious too. And of course - you can't have fries without a dipping sauce of sorts! These would probably be great with guacamole (a Super Bowl must) - but if you're looking to switch it up... maybe give this (dairy free) lemon garlic cashew cream sauce a shot?!? (I promise you won't regret it!)Read More
Self care is such a hot topic right now... EVERYONE is talking about it! Or rather... who isn't talking about it?! Last year, I really focused on getting back on the self care wagon. I think I had been struggling to get back on since finishing college in 2014, as sad as that is. For most of my life, I've put school / career first.. but as the years go by, I'm finding that prioritizing that above all else really doesn't work and may not be the best for me personally. tbh, is it really the best for anyone??! I feel like if you don't make self care a priority... eventually, you will be forced to. And it's a not-so-pretty rude awakening when that time comes.
I by no means have "mastered" self care. I work hard at checking in with myself regularly to "see how I'm doing" and make adjustments accordingly, lol -- but here are 15 things that I've found work well for me:Read More
This week, I've been cleaning out both my physical space(s) and my digital space(s). It is quite a task, but one that needs to be done to make room for the new. In one box, I came across a little coverless notebook I scrawled some notes on from a Milton Glaser talk I attended in 2013. At the time, I was in the midst of my senior year at design school. Fall semester was winding down, and finals were looming or already in progress. I dragged my sleep deprived exhausted ass out to Manhattan (from Brooklyn) because I wasn't gonna miss this talk for the world (even though all I could think about was my next nap and the golden beacon that was *wInTeR bReAk*).
Now if you have no idea who Milton Glaser is... welp, IDK what to tell you. LOL. He is a graphic design legend... and that is an understatement. You probably are familiar with the "I Love New York" logo. He made that. As well as a LOT of other iconic stuff. I'm not going to give you the long list - but feel free to check his site out for yourself. Anyways, I got a slice of pizza after the talk and thought it'd be a GREAT idea to put that bagged pizza vertical in my backpack... and the grease dripped all over my notes. I was devastated... but clearly still held onto the notebook because one does not throw out notes from a Milton Glaser talk! I'm surprised it's actually still holding up and that there's no mold?? But thought it might be useful (for myself) and maybe for others as well - if I gave the notes a new life. I read through what I could - and it almost reads like poetry. Here are some of my favorite notations:Read More
I used to hate that my birthday was in January... just a few short weeks after Christmas and New Year's. It always felt like an overwhelming double whammy of self reflection. But I think I've actually grown to love the fact that my birthday happens this time of year! January birthdays are like an extension of the holidays. And I actually enjoy having that extra time to really think about all the things that I want the next year to be.
Here are some of my hopes and dreams for this year:Read More
First, I'd like to start off by saying that I am not 100% vegan. The food section of this blog is not exclusively vegan, and I don't think it will ever be fully converted to be exclusively vegan, either. This is the first vegan recipe that has actually graced my blog, haha. But I'm sure there are more on the horizon! As I mentioned in my "2017 In Review" post, I have been on an ongoing journey towards a better relationship with food. I feel better when I eat better - I have more energy, and am more productive. It's better for the planet to eat more veggies - and in a way, is a form of activism. The reason I can't commit right now to being fully vegan? It sounds super selfish, but I think my love for ice cream and pizza run too deep. I also LOVE seafood.. shrimp and lobster particularly. I'm sure this makes some of you vegetarians / vegans cringe. I am not opposed to incorporating more nut milks or nut cheeses, but am allergic to many nuts.. which makes it more difficult / a pain in the ass to find those alternatives. I really admire those of you who not only manage a fully vegan eating regime, but also do it with food allergies! So anyways, right now... I am okay with being "vegan-ish" or "vegetarian-ish" and making active better plant-based choices when I can -- but also not beating myself up for eating ice cream or pizza or whatever it may be every now and then. Everything in moderation!
Now... onto what you came here for: Zucchini Noodle Ramen!Read More
At the end of each year, I like to link all the year's posts in one place (for archival purposes). I used to title this post "best of ____" but "____ in review" seems more fitting. 2017 was certainly a whirlwind.. and I'm not sure I know anyone who is sad to see it go. It was a hard one for our world on multiple fronts, and for me personally it was a hard one as well. I disappeared a bit from social media at times - and largely disappeared from writing in this space. I did a lot more writing for myself - a lot of offline journaling and self reflection. A lot of self doubt crept in. There was a lot of me asking myself "where is my life going?" / "what's next?" and just general uncertainty that I've been battling since graduating in 2014 three and a half years ago. I think it's taken me nearly 4 years to "recover" from the rigor of art school, LOL. (For those of you who also went to an art school... maybe you can relate). This whole "creating for a living" isn't easy, but I also wouldn't trade it in for the world. As we say goodbye to 2017, I am honestly so excited for all the possibility that 2018 has in store. For the first time in many years (maybe ever?), I genuinely feel like this year can be anything I want it to be.
Anyways (without further ado) - here are the handful of posts (some of which I wrote for myself and then never promoted on social media) that I wrote this year:Read More
Building a gingerbread house from scratch has been on my Christmas bucket list for a few years now. I knew it was always a big time / energy commitment, and I think that's largely why I put it off for so long. I also always felt like it was something that only benefitted me, and so therefore - I didn't prioritize getting it done amongst allllll of the other things on my holiday to do list. But this year, after finishing baking my Christmas cookies FOUR DAYS EARLY (!!) - I decided: challenge accepted! It took me longer than I expected (pretty much a full week affair) - but I think it was worth every second. All those hours spent putting it together.. and with the year winding down - I guess that left my brain to wander down an introspective path quite a bit, haha! Here are 5 sweet (slightly cheesy) truths that I learned from building my first gingerbread house from scratch:Read More