Posted in Awards, awareness, Books, Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Dance, Dreams, Events, exercise, fiction, flashback, Food/Recipes, Freedom of Expression, Makeup, Music, Nature, Photography, poetry, Quotes, Social Justice, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

Twenty-Four Seven | Daily Inkling #7

Daily Inkling

Just when I think I’m going to be doing haikus for the rest of the year due to my tight schedule…

Blogger “Normal Happenings” has tagged me in an interesting challenge that seems to coincide with a random daily horoscope I received a few days ago from a free Vedic astrology app called Yodha. (By the way, I like your new branding! It’s bold and glowing like a neon sign. 🙂 )

Happy new year! For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following my blog, and I will be swinging by to read yours as well. I see a lot of new faces out there, and I just want to say hi! This is my fun, personal blog where I typically write about all sorts of subjects in a variety of formats: poetry, story, photo-story, music. I’m about to start another blog for school related stuff, but that’ll be shared on another post!

Image from Shivashakti

You may wonder how did I encounter Vedic astrology? Well! One day, I was chatting with a young lady about the staggering synchronicity in both our lives, and she told me about how she regularly talks to her Vedic astrologist for all sorts of decisions. She said that she made some of the best business decisions of her life with his guidance and that it is a lot more accurate than western astrology. I was skeptical because there are a lot of quacks out there as you well know, but intrigued nevertheless.

So, I downloaded the free Yodha Daily Horoscope app where authentic Vedic astrologists from Nepal share with you their insights. I started learning more about it. Apparently there are Indian universities that offer advanced courses in Vedic astrology despite scientists protesting about it being a pseudoscience. Jyotisha is the traditional system of Hindu astrology. Its etymology is from the Sanskrit term, “jyoti” meaning “light heavenly body”. The term Vedic astrology came about later around the 70s.

Below are the sort of messages I get. This is one I received this morning:

“Due to your nature, you are a rather positive person. You are someone who can find a silver lining in most of the situations. Perhaps you are aware of this gift and know how to implement it. At times, you can put a smile on your face even when the circumstances don’t naturally warrant it and in doing so you can spread good vibrations to others. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not everyone has that gift and you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t. The planets are encouraging you to show how it’s done.”

Astrologer P. Bhattarai

Anyway, back to the horoscope that inspired this post! She mentioned how when time and money permits, I enjoy traveling to an exotic locale and experiencing new things. However, lately, I may be seeking a more spiritual experience which may not be a physical location: a journey to understand myself better, gain a deeper understanding of myself, be more conscious and aware. I thought Daily Inkling’s prompt might help me explore this arena!

Write 24 talking points between current you and you from seven years ago. Consider teaching yourself something you’ve picked up since then.

Twenty-four Seven

Seven years ago was the year 2013. A pivotal point in my life: the beginning of a lot of new things, drastic changes to my lifestyle. This is a rare occasion when all of my category boxes on my blog have been checked! I’ve chosen 24 random topics to discuss in no particular order: then vs. now!

1) Career

2013: Grocery store cashier – Served a lot of people from all walks of life! I love to meet new people and listening to their stories.

Image by Charles Thompson from Pixabay

2020: Technical writer for a cybersecurity firm & vacation business manager – nice balance between the two!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2) Books

I read a lot of books during both years, but I’ll just mention two for now:

2013: Shantaram, an epic, philosophical tale of an Australian convict opening up clinics in the slums of India

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”

― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
Image by billy cedeno from Pixabay 

2020: The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy – People worldwide share unique testimonials of what made them happy

Optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary. If we feel hopeless all the time, if we’re always in crisis, the natural response is to give up and stop trying altogether. But we can’t let snark win. Problems are there to be solved. Challenges, to be met. We can be aware of the bad while also being mindful of how we can make it better. … Empathy is essential, and learning what matters to people on the other side of the world helps us all. Understanding how different nations view happiness can impact how we interact with one another going forward.

Helen Russell
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay 

3) Friendships

2013: Friends were there to lift my spirits, give me warm cup of tea when going through a new challenge, have fun in the cosplay contests at school. Really enjoyed checking out the Ghostbusters!

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

2020: All of the above still applies, but my friendships seem to have more depth and honesty. Also, true friendship has a way of helping me see things in myself that I didn’t think was capable.

5) Nature

2013: I took my family and friends to check out the Arboretum gardens in Dallas, TX during special holidays like Mother’s Day

Image by: Dallas Arboretum

2020: I hope to visit Vanderpool, TX sometime and bask in the warm glow of the “lost maple trees” during autumn

4) Love

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

2013: Infatuated by a gentle young man I met one beautiful autumn day while feeding the birds at the pier down by the lake. A rather electrifying meeting, though the relationship never developed due to my fear of commitment.

Image by philpace from Pixabay

2020: Enjoying a long term relationship of 4 years. Its been a dream come true filled fun adventures, humor, and passion with the normal ups and downs of life.

6) School

2013: Attended community college on a digital forensics academic track. The most memorable project was where I developed a website for a hypothetical geologist living in Colorado. He was studying various types of gemstones he found during his excavations. I researched stories of legends surrounding their origin.

Image by Robert Ramsay from Pixabay

2020: Currently working on an online masters program for technology and innovation management track. The most memorable project so far involved a hypothetical four million dollars granted to me to develop a civil engineering software application from start to finish.

Image by dewikinanthi from Pixabay

7) Volunteer Cause

2013: I worked with a group of friends with Habitat for Humanity. Learned a lot about house building and painting!


2020: Currently helping a school teacher collect cans and plastics with the Rotary Club for a contest with Pepsi Co.

Novyy Urengoy, Russia – June 17, 2018: Bunch of different empty soda aluminium cans.

8) Music


9) Recreation

2013: Had a thing for barre workouts!

Image from Haute Living

2020: About to do Hot Yoga with my cowokers!

Image by Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay

10) Sustainability

2013: Back when Google+ was around, I heavily got involved with a sustainability discussion group for many hours. The discussions intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to be eco-friendly and be up to date with all of it.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2020: I’m itching to get plugged into community initiatives regarding sustainability issues. They’re looking for ideas, and I hope to contribute in someway!

Image by 95C from Pixabay

11) Blogging

2013: I fancied the idea of being a student blogger on campus. I applied, but was turned down for the position. It may have been because the writing sample I sent was about the sound of a lovely bell ringing off in the distance as I was walking around the campus lake to class. Maybe they want more samples about student life? 🙂

Below is the walkway of the lovely campus I used to walk by often.

2020: Didn’t matter! Here I am blogging my heart out on my own without anyone else’s approval! I don’t know why I thought of it sooner! 😉

Blogging my thoughts has been a freeing, exciting experience. Thank you to my readers for making the experience so worthwhile!

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

12) Fashion Interests

2013: Bold floral-print Sunday dresses

Image from Popsugar

2020: Bandage skirts, Currently love them! Sorry no picture of me in them, but I love to wear them with leggings

13) Television

2013: 30 Rock, CSI Miami, Supernatural, Glee

Image by CW

2020: Meteor Garden, Witcher, Miraculous Lady Bug

Image by Otakucart

14) Movies

2013: Frozen, Iron Man III, Man of Steel, The Croods, Monsters University

Image by PixarPost

2020: Star Wars (2019), want to see Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Sonic

15) News

There were a lot of news stories that deeply affected me and my path trajectory.

2013: Nelson Mandela’s death, Boston Marathon bombing, Edward Snowden

Nelson Mandela was a leader whom I was captivated by. Boston Marathon and Edward Snowden prompted my interests in security.

2020: Hospital Janitor Forges Lasting Friendship Between Two Boys in Isolation After Noticing a Love of LEGOS

The news story above impacts me because it deals with one of my favorite childhood pastimes. My first major Lego project was a pirate ship. Always fascinated by adventure even then! Will be going to a Lego Brick Fiesta event with some friends this year to indulge in this interest!

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

16) Sports

2013: Followed Maria Sharapova tennis matches quite a bit since I practiced developing my forearm swing at the tennis courts!

The Guardian

2020: I might go check out some Spurs basketball players play! Matt Bonner signed my basketball. He was so down-to-earth and friendly!

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Matt Bonner #15 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball against Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at the Staples Center on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 99-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

17) Technology

2013: I was really curious about consumer drones. Always felt tempted to buy one to take awesome aerial photos and videos from the sky!

Phantom Quadcoptor

2020: Right now, I’m super curious about the Click and Grow smart garden!

Image from Click and Grow

18) Favorite Hang-out spots

2013: White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX

I enjoyed walking sections around this park almost every day. Seeing the scenery change with the seasons is a great beauty. I once walked around the whole park which took four hours! There are some incredibly beautiful views, expansive hiking trails, fishing spots. There’s also a well known ghost story as well about the Lady of White Rock Lake! One of my favorite memories is sitting on a wooden bench on top of a hill and seeing the sunset as the breeze is blowing the tall grasses.

Image from Applespice

2020: Riverwalk & Pearsall Park in San Antonio, TX

I enjoy walking downtown and checking out the riverboats with curious spectators gliding by in this river. At night, it’s bustling with tourist activity. Families and couples are dining in the restaurants. Some of my favorite memories here was when my brother visited me and we got to listen to a beautiful mariachi band singing a lovely serenade and when my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas slow dancing in the island platform.

Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX
Image by: Thrillist

I love to go jogging here with my exercise buddy early mornings! The fields and the hills are incredible. Breathing in the fresh cold air is refreshing.

Pearsall Park, San Antonio, TX

19) Languages

2013: I was trying to continue my Spanish studies on Babbel

Image by Babbel

2020: Duolingo’s mascot, a little owl, has been guiding me in learning Spanish and Vietnamese basics. It’s been fun learning from their podcasts too!

Image by Duolingo

20) Theatre

2013: For an English literature assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a live Shakespearean comedic play, Taming of the Shrew.

2020: Curious about the Miss Saigon musical in town!

21) Environment

2013: Fascinated by Google’s chart that compiled deforestation rates by country

2020: Currently checking out Mongobay’s environmental snippet summary

Image by Mongobay – Lemurs!

22) Health

2013: Learned about’s crashing website as millions of Americans tried to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Stress is relative though!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

2020: Everyone around me is getting the flu! Got my flu shot. Learning about personalized AI medical care innovations

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

23) Games

2013: Played Juice Cubes a bit!

2020: Curious about Smash Hit and Megaman Zero!

24) Quote I lived by

2013: Eleanor Roosevelt impacted me from an early age.

Do the thing you think you cannot do. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

2020: Right now, these below! More to come later!

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction

Germany Kent

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

 That was fun! See you soon everyone! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Posted in Dance, flashback, Food/Recipes, Makeup, Quotes

Waiting for a Persimmon to Ripen

Good evening everyone! VJ’s prompt about ripening has me thinking about quite a few things today. With fall looming around the corner, I couldn’t help but think of persimmons with its bright orange color! It is a mighty fruit packed with some powerful benefits:

  • Aids in weight loss & its fiber promotes a healthy digestive system
  • Can help regulate sugar in blood for diabetics
  • Rich source of phytochemicals which helps in warding off inflammatory infections
  • Anti-hemorrhagic properties which helps control excessive bleeding
  • Helps with hypertension because of its low sodium levels
  • Source of vitamin C to strengthen immune system
  • Source of vitamin A, shibuol, betulinic acid to help fight cancer
  • Source of a complex vitamin B which helps improve eye health
  • Source of copper which helps iron absorption and produces red blood cells
  • Source of potassium which helps retain significant minerals
  • Natural energizer relieving stress and exhaustion
  • Has some anti-aging properties as seen in some soap and this beauty blogger review of Amalie Beauty Persimmon Anti-Aging Nightcreme

My thoughts begin to wander onto some quotes, however…

“Age is not all decay. It is the ripening, the swelling of the fresh life within that withers and bursts the husk.”

George McDonald

My father used to grow some persimmon trees in our backyard. They come in two varieties: astringent and non-astringent. When they’re not ripe, biting into one leaves a bitter taste that lingers in your mouth taking its time before it leaves your tongue. With a little more patience, you can taste a wonderfully sweet fruit which makes the wait worth it.

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

Eden Phillpotts, author

A rather interesting analogy to segway into some new events in my life. I recently got hired to be a technical writer at a cybersecurity firm! Very excited by this new development and chapter of my journey. Yet, it took me a while to get to this point. Many times I felt rather impatient with my own growth, but in hindsight, it took some time for my knowledge and information gained from my studies to mature before it was finally ready to be put into action.

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgement requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.”

Calvin Coolidge, Former U.S. president

It’s been a few days since I’ve drank from this firehose of this major life transition – a constant outpouring of new ideas to take in, process, and from that immense gulp, I’m responsible for creating a grand tool that can unlock a whole new world of possibilities for my coworkers and myself.

“Nothing is finer for the purposes of great productions, than a very gradual ripening of the intellectual powers.”

John Keats

I should really slow down though as the quote above reminds me of the fine potential that can be derived from a gradual ripening. 😉 That said, I feel like a giddy metal worker dancing amidst the flying sparks as I’m in creation mode!

Posted in Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Dance, Events, flashback, Food/Recipes, Makeup

Eclectic Days of My Life: Part 1

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been present for the past few weeks. February was just one of those busy months where I wondered exactly how I got involved with so much. “Eclectic Days of My Life” is a chronicle of my recent tales which I broke into two parts! I tend to have phases in my life where I unplug from a few technological devices, live life to the fullest, and then write about my tales afterwards. Here’s a “table of contents” for my recent adventures! 😀

Part 1
1. Lunar New Year (2/1-2/6)
2. “Made For More” Retreat (2/7)
3. Infinity Expo (2/9)
4. Hosting a Sushi Making Party (2/10)

Part 2
5. Cybersecurity Job Fair (2/13)
6. Valentine’s Day (2/14)
7. PopCon2019 (2/16)
8. Friend’s Anniversary Party (2/16)

  1. Lunar New Year
Bus going through Austin, TX

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen my family. I was really excited to see them again and spend quality time. On the bus ride, I decided to write in my journal for five hours straight. I wanted to see what the stream of consciousness would produce and where my mind and imagination would take me as I stared out at the fields of grass rows of skyscrapers. I explored my past, politics, my philosophical coursework, animal rights, personality types, international affairs, gift giving. 😊 Daydreaming at my best I suppose. I like that travelling in buses give me the chance to do that.

It was a warm family welcome. Mom had made a delicious bowl of Bun Bo Hue (vermicelli soup with fried tofu and beef) for dinner and I cracked opened a coconut and enjoyed the cool refreshing juice. After dinner we began making banh chung together as a family. I fold the banana leaves to create a box of sorts and put in in a wooden mold to create a square structure. I begin putting the colored rice, mung bean or peanuts, and marinated pork. I wrap it up in foil and pat it down to fill the mold. We got the steamer ready and waited for the water to boil.

As we waited, my brother introduced us to fun card game called The Mind that was developed by a German game maker, Wolfgang Warsch. Guessing what cards my siblings may have by reading body language prove quite difficult. We made it to level six out of twelve! We called it a night after three rounds. I wore this knitted puppet who brought some laughs in this intense game.

The next evening we went out to Asia Times Square in Grand Prairie, TX. Celebrations and entertainment occur here for six days. Parking was packed. It took my brother and I 30 minutes to find parking at night, so it’s best to come early! The size of the crowd was dense. In the morning, there’s usually dances and shows of firecrackers.

Like Christmas, there’s plenty of light displays outside the plaza. Food vendors have set up stands or parked their trucks outside. It’s a good time for their businesses! There’s was a long line where the average wait time is 30 minutes.The funnel cake and kabobs were delicious.

Indoors, there were lion/dragon dances parading in the lobbies to the beat of the drummers banging away on drums half their size. People tip the teenagers who wear the dragon costumes who do tricks. Singers captivate the audience.

We walked inside the plaza exploring. I checked out various things that were out on display: dresses, K-pop posters, toys, flowers, food. Various institutions set up tables as well to advertise themselves: police/fire department, various non-profit groups, politicians.

After a few hours, we drove over to another plaza called Ben Thanh a few minutes down the street. Stores are decorated with several flowers. The singers sing traditional music that appeals to many of the masses with their lyrics. Cashiers at the grocery store give you raffle tickets towards a drawing for a brand new car each day you shop there. You can also buy each ticket for one dollar. Mom collected 8 tickets for me to place inside a large plastic container on stage. A woman told the audience that roughly 42,000 tickets were sold.

Two emcees periodically pulled tickets out of the container to award gift certificates to restaurants throughout the night. While listening to the beautiful music, I chatted to a man next to me while waiting for the results. He talked about how he felt when Vietnam was taken over by the Communist regime. A few tears sprung from his eyes when his son expressed interest in visiting Vietnam to learn more about his heritage. He said that he would never go back, but out of his love for his son, he decided to buy plane tickets for both of them. I learned about his experiences of raising children in America, his academic accomplishments in engineering, his views on music and culture. When the emcee finally called out the winner of the car, my heart almost stopped when he called out Sa Lee. It was another woman’s number. Now I know how the people in Willa Wonka felt with the golden tickets! 🙂 The older gentlemen wished me good luck in my endeavors as we bid each other good night.

The next morning, my family got ready to attend mass service at the church. My mother and I ironed our ao dai dresses as we got ready. After we arrived, there was a full house in the church as we listened to the priest talk about loving others. The main hall was beautifully decorated with flowers, red envelopes, blossoming branches.

After the service, we headed to the auditorium where we ate our meals as we listened to the entertainment and kids played at the carnival games. I reconnected with former Sunday school teachers and friends who I haven’t seen in years.

Monday morning, one of my brothers took me to a Korean plaza that has developed in Carrollton after I finished weeding the garden. It was such a beautiful day outside. There was a wonderful bakery called “85 degrees Celsius”. Everything smelled wonderful. I got an egg tart and a cheesecake pastry though I was tempted to get some pretty slices of cake. I know that my eyes can get bigger than my stomach, so I refrained.

We walked over to the bookstore next door. I loved the book collection, stationery, cards, pins, toys, pens. I spent some time admiring the book covers which immediately caught my attention. We chatted about his accomplishments at the library that he works at. I felt proud of the fact that he turned the library into a cool hangout spot for the teenagers he mentors. The city awarded him for his service.

My brother and I parted ways as he left me to explore the Japanese dollar shop. He was going to meet up with a friend. I did take some time exploring my surroundings and the objects that were on sale. It looked pristine and organized. Later that evening, I got a haircut at my aunt’s salon and reconnected with her. I loved my new hair style!

Next morning, mom woke me up to begin making another treat: banh bao (steamed buns). I began kneading the flour for half an hour reflecting on the past few days. Mom was sauteing the seasoned meat and boiling the eggs. When we were done prepping everything, I took a rolling pin, dusted it with flour, and flattened a piece of dough so that we could put the meat and eggs in there. We sealed the bun up with a twist so that it could look like a flower bud and place it on some wax paper so that it won’t stick to the metal steamer. I always learn so much from my mom as I’m cooking and baking alongside from her. She has such a knack for it, I once suggested the idea of opening a restaurant, but she didn’t want to deal with the level of stress with that pursuit.

Later that afternoon, after we were done steaming the buns. We decided to make some food deliveries to friends. First stop was my sister. When she moved out to her own place, she has new guests try out her yoga wheel which has significantly helped her back problems from a car accident. I got to see her artwork and doodles and felt proud of her recent accomplishments.

Later that evening, my other brother gave me a tour of the new library they built in my hometown after the city closed down the old branches. The books gave me a sense of comfort as I entered unfamiliar settings. I began browsing the shelves and examined the new amenities like a 3-D printer.

When we arrived back home, the President’s 2nd State of the Union Address was on TV. My family was worn out from the days activities, and called it a night. I tuned in and decided to listened. I felt like he was exaggerating the issues and the statistics that he uses are taken out of context that could affect the audience’s understanding of the big picture.

When I see women shaking their heads in the audience about health issues, I thought about articles I read in Ms.Magazine which offered perspectives as to why they might be feeling dismayed. In my regards to immigration, I thought about when he talked about how it is cruel to be tolerant of illegal immigration. I thought about his comments about the economy, foreign policy, laws on incarceration, antisemitism, nuclear energy.

2. Made for More

Where do we come from and where are we going? These questions are DECISIVE for understanding what it means to be human and how to orient our lives and our actions toward authentic fulfillment. Join Christopher West and Mike Mangione as they creatively weave together dynamic presentations with live music, movie clips, popular YouTube videos, and sacred art for an evening of beauty and reflection on the meaning of life, love, and human destiny. You will come away with a faith-filled vision of hope that will instill in you the sheer wonder and joy of being alive…

The Cor Project

My boyfriend’s mother invited me to retreat called “Made for More: Visions of the Promised Land” held in Corpus Christi, TX. Christopher West presents the dense material of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” in a language that appeals to the average person. Matt Mangione is a musician and song writer who weaves theological truths into poetic narrative. It interested me because I wanted to develop a more positive vision for my future in spite of the news that I watch and read often.

It was a two hour car drive to Corpus Christi. My boyfriend uploads a podcast from Conlangery about “converbs“. I was fascinated by the talk about the construction of clauses. Afterward, I uploaded a podcast called “Cisco Systems & Urban Decay: Sandy Lerner from Castbox. Interviewer Guy Raz asked some intriguing questions, and we were both hooked by the fascinating story behind the origins of routing technology company and the makeup company. It’s inspiring for me to hear the story about a female programmer navigating the tech industry.

Statue of Mary peacefully looking over the courtyard

Before we knew it, we arrived at the church where it was already packed. We sat in the far back row where there was room for exactly two people. I listened to Christopher as he mentioned the concept of your worth in Toy Story as the toys are being tossed into the trash. He showed a video clip from Les Miserables. The point of redemption where Father Carl forgives Jean Valjean for stealing the chalices from the building. My boyfriend is covering my ears for all the spoilers the speaker mentioned. I haven’t watched it, but someday I will since it’s a classic. There was another scene he shared from the TV show Cheers, where a girl is asking her father for his blessing as she wants to get married. She wants her father to truly “see” her as she really is.

Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows by William Morris in St Michael and All Angels Church

He mentioned some things about the architecture of church buildings and how it’s arranged to focus on Jesus Christ. I thought of the mathematics in involved in making stained glass windows as I am captivated by the designs. He talked about the symbolism behind the feminine mystique of the flowers in the church which left me in a dazed state. I just thought of flowers as beautiful decorations to help bring peace to the members with its beauty, nothing more. He segwayed into a discussion about gender roles. The bride of the church. Specific characteristics of why only men are priests and women are nuns. I think about the differences between sex and gender, and choices

3. Infinity Expo

I found this event while scrolling through Eventbrite. Various topics in the description caught my attention.

Spend a day at The Infinity Expo where a venue will be transformed into a bustling town of fashion, rhythm, glamour, art, culture and a marketplace featuring some of the latest and exciting brands from vendors across the country. Presented at The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Tx, a lavish and beautiful haven will emerge taking inspiration from a bygone era and into the 21st century.

Fashion Gallery
Experience a unique fashion presentation where mannequins and display windows come to life.

The Skin Deep Beauty Forum
It’s been said that beauty is only skin deep. Is it? Venture into the depth of beauty with the Skin Deep Beauty Forum where fashion, beauty and wellness experts explore the definition of beauty, self-care, body image, wellness and how it applies to our everyday lives. With an overarching message centered on the importance in maintaining a healthy relationship with your own beauty, The Skin Deep Beauty Forum is designed to inspire, uplift and encourage you to discover and rediscover your own beauty.

The Fashion Opera

The entrance to the convention center is quite stunning with its bold architecture. I enjoy the glass structures in the lobby that are like interlocking mini pyramids.

I enjoyed slowly reading the messages made with an assortment of metal signs.

I believe I came too early because I saw the models were still applying makeup behind the stage, so I walked around the booths and chatted to the vendors. I mainly chatted to a woman who is an HR professional who was promoting her book, “Do You Want the Job or Not?” She shared some tips on pursuing a new career.

4. Sushi Party

Last year, a friend became my study buddy and helped me get through the challenges of one of our IT classes dealing with advanced database design. Forever grateful for her help, I decided to host a sushi party to teach her and her family how to make their own sushi. I was pretty excited as I sifted through a huge box filled with supplies in her kitchen.

I set up bamboo mats on the dining table and asked her family members to help me prepare the food to go inside the sushi. Many hands make the work light. The rice was warming on the stove, cucumbers and avocados were being finely chopped, cream cheese were cut into cylindrical blocks, crab meat was being pulled apart. It was so much fun seeing them have fun roll their own sushi rolls for the first time. The kids enjoyed it. The mothers put it on the Facebook storyline which went viral. Now, it looks like I’m booked for another sushi party gig next month for a youth group!

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Posted in Makeup

Beauty Products and Makeup Inventory


I’ve never paid this much attention to my makeup and various beauty products before, but I’m realizing the fact that not all makeup is created equal and would like to learn more about the origins and history of these products.

Inspired by other beauty bloggers, I am doing a thorough inventory. Taking My Makeup Inventory! | Beautyholics101 Many of these products were given to me as gifts, and I’ve used each of them at least once. I’ll mention brand name, size, color.

The moods of beauty are a peculiar thing, so I’ll mention my favorites for the year, and you guys can search whatever sounds interesting to you! Your comments and experiences will be appreciated. I’ll probably do some random reviews here and there and perhaps an light research report on some of the companies mentioned.

Okay, let’s begin!

Nail Products

  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (.45 fl oz) – Natural Tint
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (.45 fl oz) – 720 Sturdy Sapphire
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (.45 fl oz) – 720 Sturdy Sapphire
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear (.40 fl oz) – 909 Vivid Violet
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear (.40 fl oz) – 4830-18 Cherry Red
  • Jordana (.5 fl oz) – 941 Pink Lemonade
  • Jordana (.5 fl oz) – 969 Yellow Dazzle
  • Claire’s (10 ml) – 54767 Neon Coral Gel
  • UR Sugar (6 ml) – 508 Jade Green
  • Bari Cosmetics Love My Nails (.5 fl oz) – 1531 Crazy for You
  • Shades of the Season (.47 fl oz) – Violet Red
  • Orly French Tip (.6 fl oz) – White
  • Klean Color Gel Effect Polish (.5 fl oz) – G126 Pink Lady
  • L.A. Colors Color Craze Gel Extreme Shine (.44 fl oz) – CNP768 Envy
  • Euro Fashion  9486 Shooting Star – [Pruzcz Gdanski, Poland]
  • Kiss Gel Fantasy 24 Nails – 60669 Medium
  • Kiss Fashion Design 24 Nails

     L.A. Colors’ Envy, Euro Fashion’s Shooting Star, Klean Color’s Pink Lady, Claire’s Neon Coral Gel

Lip Products

  • Absolute New York Maxi Satin Lip Crayon – NF034 Berries -$4.95
  • Maybelline New York Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquer (5 ml)  – 72 Classic
  • Maybelline New York Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquer (5 ml) – 66 Too Cute
  • Revlon Ultra Brilliant Lacquer Balm (.095 oz) – 150 Enticing Desirable
  • Broadway Colors Matte Lip Lacquer (9 ml) – 14 Chalice
  • L.A. Colors High Shine Shea Butter Lip gloss – CLG939 Dyanmite
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lip gloss (.13 fl oz) – 245 Pango Peach
  • Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer – 535 Strawberry Topaz
  • Nickak New York True Matte (.12 oz) – NTM06 Brilliant Rose
  • Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick (.15 oz) – 962 Metallic Hot Lava
  • Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick (.15 oz) – 435 Plum Perfect
  • Chapstick Total Hydration (.12 oz) – Eucalyptus Mint
  • Burts Bees Lip Balm (4.25 g) – Coconut and Pear
  • Carmex (.15 oz) – Mint Lip Moisturizer SPF 30
  • Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon (.031 oz)- 0507 Glace
  • Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick (.05 oz) – Chai
  • Bite Agave Lip Balm (.018 oz)
  • Bite Agave Sugar Lip Scrub (0.018 oz)
  • Davis Cosmetics Lip Liners (0.06 oz) – 03, 05, 09, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 25Favorites: Abs. NY Maxi Satin Lip Berries, Revlon Lacquer Balm Enticing Desirable, Chapstick Total Hydration, Burts Bees, Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon

Eye Products

  • Ladies beauty – 9 colors Waterproof Makeup Eyeshadow Glitter Palette
  • Stary Shimmer and Matte – 28 color Eyeshadow Palette
  • Revlon Colorstay 16 hr Eye Shadow – 528 Passionate Amoureuse
  • L’oreal Paris Hip Studio Secrets Professional (.08 oz)- Bright Shadow/ Ombre Eclatante
  • 2nd Love Glitter Primer (.33 fl oz)
  • Maybelline Color Tatoo Eye Chrome – 590 (HWP 20W) Gun Metal
  • LA Colors Graphix Liquid Eye Liner (.12 oz) – CLE 734 Dark Brown
  • NYX Epic Ink Liner – Black
  • Mary Kay at Play Eye Crayon – Gold Mine
  • Maybelline New York Lash Stilleto – P600 Very Black
  • Kat Von D Ink Liner (.55 ml) – Trooper Black
  • Me Now Generation II Perfect Eye Liner Pencils (.045 oz) – Colors 1-10
  • Mary Kay Timewise Age Minimize 3D Eye Cream (.5 oz) – 089008
  • Cernes Fonces Traitment pour les Yeux (30 ml) – Dark Circle Eye Cream
  • Eye Anti-Puffiness Roller- Brand name wore off (don’t remember)
  • Duo Brush On Striplash Adhesive (.18 oz) – White/Clear
  • Kiss Natural Lash -71446 KNL07 Windswept
  • Maybelline New York – Brow Define (.004 oz) + Fill (.017 oz) Duo by Eyestudio – BlondeFavorites: Eye Anti-Puffiness Roller,  Kat Von D Ink Liner, NYX Epic Ink Liner, Maybelline Lash Stilleto, Mary Kay Eye Cream, Ladies Beauty Eye Palette, Revlon Passionate Amoreuse

Face Products

  • Mary Kay Timewise 4-in-1 Cleanser (4.5 fl )
  • Mary Kay Timewise Age Minimize 3D Day Cream SPF 30 (1.7 oz)
  • Mary Kay Timewise Age Minimize 3D Night Cream (1.7 oz)
  • Mary Kay CC Cream SPF 15 (1 fl oz)
  • Mary Kay Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask
  • Freeman Deep Clearing Manuka Honey Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask & Cleanser (6 fl oz)
  • Airspun Loose Face Powder (2.3 oz) – Naturally Neutral 070-11
  • Maybelline New York Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation On-The-Go – 55 Caramel 0.51 oz)
  • Maybelline New York Dream Wonder Powder (0.19 oz) – 40 Nude Chair
  • L’oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Blush (0.21 oz) – Warm – W3-4 Barely Blushing/ Rose Coquin
  • Farsali Rose Gold Elixir (1 fl oz) – 24K Gold Infused Beauty Oil
  • Wet n’ Wild Fantasy Makers Glitter Gel Scintillant (1.57 oz)
  • Covergirl Clean Liquid Foundation (1 fl oz) – 125 Buff Beige
  • Covergirl Clean Liquid Foundation (1 fl oz) – 160 Classic Tan
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (1 fl oz)
  • Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Anti Blemish Daily Moisturizer (.5 fl oz)
  • Revlon Photoready Insta-fix SPF 20 (0.24 fl oz)
  • NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer (0.11 oz) – CW05 Medium
  • e.l.f Liquid Highlighter – #83104
  • e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter – #200157 

    Favorites: e.l.f. Liquid Highlighter, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Farsali, Mary Kay Timewise, Dream Cushion

Hair Products

  • Regis Designline Olive Oil for Healthy Hair Shampoo (1000 ml)
  • Regis Designline Olive Oil for Healthy Hair Conditioner (1000 ml)
  • Garnier Fructis with Active Fruit Protein Color Shield Paraben-free Fortifying Conditioner with Acai Berry Antioxidant & UV Filters Color-treated hair (21 fl oz)
  • Herbal Essences bio:renew Naked Volume White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint Shampoo 0% Paraben, Gluten, Colorants, Silicone (400 ml)
  • Laikou Hair Salon Perfect First Essential Argan Oil Morocco (2.1 fl oz)
  • Farouk CHI Royal Treatment Style Illumination – Dressing gel shiner for light to medium control (.5 fl oz) – White Truffle and Pearl
  • Softee Pure Coconut Oil Hair and Scalp Conditioner
  • it’s a 10 (100ml) – miracle texture fiber
  • it’s a 10 (148 ml)  – miracle styling cream
  • it’s a 10 (148 ml) – miracle firm hold gel
  • it’s a 10 (262 ml) – miracle styling mousseFavorites: Regis Designline, Garnier Fructis, Herbal Essences, Laikou

Sprays, Lotions, Perfumes, Oils

  • Bath and Body Works 24 hour Moisture Ultra Shea Body Cream (8 fl oz) – Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • Bath and Body Works Shea and Vitamin E Body Lotion (3 fl oz) – Golden Pineapple Luau
  • Bath and Body Works Moisturizing Body Mist (8 fl oz) – Coconut Coast
  • Suave Essentials Body Lotion (32 fl oz) – Tropical Coconut
  • Ahava Active Deadsea Minerals – Leave-on Deadsea Mud – Dermud Intensive Hand Cream – Dry and Sensitve Skin Relief (100 ml)
  • High School Musical Hand Cream (2 fl oz)
  • Eucerin Original Moisturizing Creme (.17 oz)
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair non-greasy Lotion (2 fl oz)
  • Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist (250 ml) – Strawberries and Champagne
  • Designer Impostors (2.5 oz) – Capri Breeze (Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue equivalent)
  • Huile Essntielle de LavandiFavorites: B&B Japanese Cherry Blossom, Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist, Designer Impostors


  • Equate Beauty 60 Fresh Wet Cleaning Towelettes Paraben Free with Vitamin E- Makeup Remover
  • Spa Saavy 25 Cosmetic Sponges
  • Purple and Rose Gold brushes for face and eye application – Sorry, don’t know the names of these! I sort of feel like the guest dining at a wealthy person’s home with a bunch of utensils around the plate and I don’t know their uses. Purple ones are fairly cheap. Rose gold brushes are betterFavorites: All at this time except the purple brushes

Alright! 100 bullet points, roughly 130 products. Didn’t get a chance to add all pictures. Operation A.J. is still a go and one of my mission goals is accomplished! 🙂

Posted in Dreams, exercise, Makeup

Operation A.J. #2

Dream: There was a competition between who got the best internship. Everywhere I turn, each company was marketing their plan, and I was always in a state of indecision. At each company, someone was always there firstThese individuals got the last word, and for some reason I couldn’t speak.

I woke up feeling somewhat frustrated. I calm myself down realizing this dream is more logical than most. I have been applying for various jobs since graduation. Suddenly, I decide to whip out my practice cards from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that I received from a workshop last year. I think about what it means to have an “Abundance Mentality”. I wonder where exactly my feelings of a scarcity come from when there are so many jobs available. Being of the proactive sort, I decide to email my resume to a worker at the library who has experience in the hiring process for review and editing. I managed to squeeze in 3 sets of 12 crunches, 3 sets of 10 runners, 3 sets of 10 bicycle crunches, 3 sets of 10 squats. Starting small, but getting the hang of it! Got my roommate involved in a fitness center as well to help him get started.

My roommate and I decide to go eat at a buffet. An ultimate test filled with difficult choices. I manage to avoid the breaded fried chicken, fish, and shrimp. Had some string beans with mushrooms dipped in a light sauce, sushi, cucumber, grilled lemon pepper fish. For dessert, I had the watermelon instead of the ice cream. Filled up on the water with lemon slice. The waitress was so kind and gave us five fortune cookies. I suppose more luck wouldn’t hurt! 😀 I feel more assured and a sense of gratitude after reading some of these.


I went to the Five Below store, and bought a few things: a yoga mat that I can carry out to the parks, cosmetic sponges, Freeman Deep Clearing Manuka honey + tea tree oil clay mask and cleanser,  LA Colors nail polish (a very rich emerald green color called Envy). I picked up a book I had on hold at the Library: “The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia”. I am reading a variety of books which I’ll explore more about these books in a different post.

Last night, an acquaintance told me she was going to a Vipassana meditation retreat. I’m really excited for her.  I first heard about Vipassana 10 years ago from a friend who recommended it to me. It is an ancient Indian meditation technique that entails a process of self-purification through self-observation. There is a center in Kaufman, TX. Dhamma Sirī | Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center. Imagine disconnecting from all of your electronic devices. No cell phone, laptop, pom pilot, tablet, kindle for ten days. I can only imagine severe withdrawal symptoms at the beginning :), but I’m sure it’s beneficial especially with all the studies of problems caused by electronics such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Incorporating meditation may be a really good idea for me. The Center briefly describes what Vipassana is and is not.

What Vipassana is not:

  • It is not a rite or ritual based on blind faith.
  • It is neither an intellectual nor a philosophical entertainment.
  • It is not a rest cure, a holiday, or an opportunity for socializing.
  • It is not an escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

What Vipassana is:

  • It is a technique that will eradicate suffering.
  • It is a method of mental purification which allows one to face life’s tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way.
  • It is an art of living that one can use to make positive contributions to society.

love romantic bath candlelight
Photo by Breakingpic on

© 2018 theresaly520

Posted in Makeup

Journey into the World of Makeup

I’m a complete beginner in learning how to apply makeup. I have an odd relationship with makeup. I observed my mother apply makeup as a young girl. I remember the days that I organized her makeup drawers. Occasionally, I find myself  staring at the assortment of lipsticks, foundations, powders, moisturizers, shadows, and liners, and I think to myself, “Wow, there is so much involved in the process. Why do I want to get involved? ” I noticed how it made my mom feel beautiful. She was always quick to smile. When I was a child, I experimented with trying out a few things.  There were times that I looked in the mirror and saw a clown smiling back at me. 🙂 I applied a heavy color blush. Eye shadow made me look like I got punched in the face and got a black eye. My father never really encouraged me to learn about these things. I was fairly happy not to engage with it for many years.  I suddenly felt differently when a friend of mine told me to look at the process as creating a masterpiece on my face. It’s a work of art in which I can’t rush the process.
Okay I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself, but I’ve always enjoyed art class. I loved working with watercolors and acrylic paint. I noticed that I can’t help but express admiration and gush out many compliments whenever I saw someone who has flawlessly applied makeup. If I could treat my face as a type of canvas, I would enjoy this experience more.

Makeup videos are published all over You Tube and not sure what direction where to turn. I’m leaning towards a more natural look, but I’m exploring many different facets of makeup. This evening I watched a video by Ali on You Tube, and I found her video to be very useful. Seeing “correct” and “incorrect” ways of application is very helpful.
Makeup Mistakes to Avoid | Ali Andreea

I enjoyed Christian Dominique’s videos of seeing cultural differences of makeup application. My mother always believed less is more. Yet I guess different occasions calls for different applications? I think it’s fascinating to see standards vary from country to country.
American VS French Makeup Tutorial | Christian Dominique

I also enjoy Michelle Phan’s makeup tutorials. She has a very genuine personality, and listening to her life story of how she got to where she is today was fascinating. I liked how she mentioned that makeup has helped her develop self-confidence.
Soho Glam | Michelle Phan

© 2018 theresaly520