Training for My First Half Marathon

[Cute ad campaign from lululemon]

On a whim I signed up for a half marathon. "You did what?!" said the boy. "Do you even know what that entails?"Oh, husband. Such confidence!

Seriously though, I don't think I really know what it entails, ha! I'm not a runner, but for whatever reason, I was swayed by cute tigers (the money for this marathon goes toward a new tiger sanctuary) and this voice inside me telling me that I should focus on something that helps my mental and physical health. And then, before I knew it, I was signed up to run 13 some odd miles in the Safari Park Half Marathon.

[Wanna join me? You can sign up here!]

Like any good planner/blogger/future librarian, I've looked up some training schedules and it looks like I better start training in the next couple weeks and log in a whole lot of miles a week. Eep! But I'm excited by this challenge, and I think it will be good for my heart and head.

Send me your tips marathon runners! How should I train?



Lunar New Year Baby Blocks

Sister 2: So wait, when are you going to start trying?
Me: After my graduation, and after the boy gets his PhD.
Sister 2: Ok, so when is that?
Me: Well, if I don't royally screw up, I graduate in June. And if the boy advances, he could potentially be done by March next year.
Sister 2: So, next year? You'll start trying next year?
Me: No, after he's done with his PhD, which isn't until...
Me: Shut up, it totally is not. *scratches head* Hm, he starts clinic in 2013...which is, hm...
Sister 2: NEXT YEAR!
Me: Whoa.
Sister 2: Don't worry, I'm sending you my books. Which ones do you have?

I suppose one could really tell that I'm having baby fever because I'm starting to research cute baby items on Etsy. This is how the wedding planning started, which then snowballed into its very own lace-covered beast!

Lunar New Year is creeping up on us and I saw these adorable animal zodiac baby blocks by bysimple and I had to share. What a beautiful keepsake for a newborn! They come in all the animals of the zodiac and also in two different illustration styles.
You can check out more at Stacy's Etsy shop.

[All items and photos from Stacy Wong of bysimple]

I envision a cute set of these in our future nursery, to be determined at a much later date!



11 Things About Mo

Thank you to my blogger friend elephant is love for tagging me! This is quite the post, I needed to answer 11 questions about myself.

Here are the questions Chewy came up with and my answers!

1. Is there a significance behind your name? Yes--my name means “dream” in Chinese. I’m told my Dad had a dream I would be a girl, and lo and behold! Here I am. :) 

2. Your favorite color / color combination? Purple is consistently one of my favorite colors, but I love all colors of the rainbow. I’m not a huge fan of black, but if I do wear it, I like pairing it with a really bright scarf, necklace, or cardigan. 

Here are some of my favorite combinations at the moment:

 [Purple and aqua]
 [Peach and goldenrod]

 [Royal blue and seafoam green]

3. Favorite past time / thing you do to de-stress?
I love to write, take photos, make art and crafts, and explore new places (or old ones, like the beach or the zoo!) This blog is the perfect place for me to publish all my adventures and reflections. Not only is it a record of everything I see, but it's also my way of sharing my life with you.

4. What is your motto in life, or your strongest belief /value?
Hmmm...good question! I make an effort to keep an open mind, and also try not impose my values on others because what works for me certainly doesn't work for the rest of the world. I don't like upsetting people, and am sensitive to the harmony and peace in my relationships. Life is hard, we need all the help we can get from one another! I try to see things from other people's perspectives because we've all come from different walks of life. While I like to keep the peace, I have been known to make snide remarks or give a death stare for the following: 1. racism 2. homophobia 3. sexism 4. judgmental statements against myself and/or family/community 5. entitled people 6. arrogance 7. the movie National Treasure

Finally, chocolate and hugging are needed on a daily basis.

5. What is your next upcoming (exciting) project? 
Another mini book! This one is a more personal project and I'm going to write a lot for it, as opposed to my other mini books which are all photos. It's going to have a forest theme and I am really excited to use these fun materials I picked up:

6. Describe your fashion style. Post a picture, if you have one! 
I have an ultra feminine, colorful, eclectic style. Texture, bright colors, and fun accessories are all welcome in my closet. I own way too many dresses, and am a fan of ruffles, bows, and cardigans. Below are some of the items from my wardrobe.

7. Coffee or tea, or choice of morning beverage? Vietnamese coffee or milk tea please!

8. All time favorite book and/ or movie? Oh man, just one? If I HAD to choose one movie, it would be My Neighbor Totoro, which always puts a smile on my face and gives me the warm fuzzies. I don't know if I have an absolute favorite book (I feel like as a future librarian I should have one that I absolutely adore) but there are just too many in too many genres. What kind of book? Art book? Children's book? Fiction? Nonfiction? But let's see, just one...I always think fondly of the book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius because I read it when I was studying abroad and missing Berkeley. It made me a fan of Dave Eggers.

9. What music do you listen to? I typically listen to folk, indie rock, or indie pop with a female lead singer--Bird and the Bee is one of my favorite bands, and I also have Ingrid Michaelson, She and Him, Lily Allen, Fiona Apple, Rilo Kiley, Kate Nash, and Lenka on my playlist.

10. Do you prefer living in a house or an apartment? I've been living in an apartment for the past 10 years, but I really miss living in a house. I'm not a huge fan of being stacked on top of one another, and having a house would mean I could have a yard or a front porch or a garage...sigh...the possibilities.

11. What is your dream vacation? Anywhere with good food, a beautiful view, and my husband by my side.

Thanks Chewy! I had fun answering these. 



San Francisco Date Day

[I wrote this post over my break and I notice that my tone in this is rather chipper--which probably means I was having a good vacation!  Instead of revising it since I'm posting this days later after coming back home, I thought I'd keep it as is--enjoy!]

Did everyone have a good holiday? I'm still on vacation back home in Northern California, gearing up my wits and health for a great 2012. After having a bit of a panicky two weeks (I was convinced I was doing horribly in one of my classes--turns out I was fine, phew) we made the long drive from San Diego to the Bay Area and have been here since. It's been a little crazy. We've been here a week and have stayed with four different relatives and have filled our bellies at so many delicious restaurants. Such is life when we visit!

Yesterday, something unexpected happened--we had nothing planned. So the boy and I decided to take the day to frolic through San Francisco. We met in college at UC Berkeley, so San Francisco was always a special treat for us away from studying. Even after visiting so many times and living close in college, San Francisco continues to be a treat.

We started the day off at the Ferry Building, and got some Blue Bottle coffee and Acme Bread. And then we walked out to the pier and I snapped this picture:

[Blue bottle mocha and a content Mo]

We continued the day over at Koi Palace in Daly City. 

 [XO har gow, aka, spicy shrimp dumpling deliciousness]

[*drool* These are like Chinese donuts, lots of sugar and fresh out of the oven]

After stuffing ourselves silly, we headed over to the Conservatory of Flowers.  The exhibits were gorgeous, and my favorite was the special exhibit, Playland (see the pics further below.) The exhibit celebrates seaside culture in a bygone era, complete with a miniature railway exhibit, fun mirrors, a photobooth, a bumper car, and other amusement park charm. I LOVED all of the bright colors and foliage that decorated this space. I highly recommend it, and it's on display until April 15th!

I left my heart in San Francisco. I'm pretty sure it's not at my desk in San Diego, which I have to return to shortly, sigh. Hope everyone is having an easy week back at work!


hello 2012, I've been waiting for you

While 2011 proved to be devastating, there were some happy memories and good news for us. Here are some of the happy moments of 2011: 

+ Our marriage is still going strong, and we continue to learn more about each other every day. We've talked a lot lately, especially with my heartache, and I think we're closer than ever now. We celebrated our first year of marriage with a trip to New Mexico.

+ My sisters gave birth to beautiful baby boys, Parker and Jonah.

+ We moved into a nicer apartment and I finally have my own office space.

+ The boy and I were both awarded fellowships for our studies. During this economic nightmare, we consider ourselves lucky to have the help.

+ After a scary six weeks of my Dad being sick in the hospital (at the worst time, we were told pancreatic cancer was a possibility--it's since been ruled out--yay!), he is finally at home and regaining strength. I was able to see him over the holiday break, which was such a relief.

The big theme for me for 2012 is to look forward. Make peace with the past. Look forward to things to come. I have a lot to look forward to--in the near future I have my graduation to look forward to, and in the farther future, I see growing our home to include a house and kids.

I really liked this 2012 manifesto poster from creating clever, and so I made my own. If you made one too, I'd love to see it!

2011, go to sleep. 2012, I'm all yours.

Do we share any of the same resolutions? What are your thoughts about the past year?

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