Just Ask!

Ask and you shall receive.

I asked and this is what I got. :)

A few folks have inquired how I am able to experience all these new, exciting opportunities. In all honesty, all I really do is ask. 

For instance, one of my goals is to open (or be a part-owner of) a couple of successful restaurants. So a while back, I contacted a restaurant owner, who I eventually found out was the master of an entire restaurant empire, and asked, "How do I get going with my goal?" Fast-forward back to today, and now he's my favorite mentor and a good friend. And he has given me the priceless opportunity of meeting other folks in the industry as well as be a part of his floor team for his new restaurant (open to public starting today). [Check out kevinEats for his experience at the restaurant.] 

Of course, once the asking has been answered with an opportunity, you don't just receive and idly sit there grinning like you did something to deserve it. You get up and kick ass. You gotta be a go-getter not with just words but also with actions. Hiiiya!


In other news: 

-Hosting a private event tonight with guest speakers: Craig Robinson (Pres of KNBC TV), Ronald Litzinger (Pres of Southern California Edison), Jeffrey Kightlinger (CEO of The Metropolitan Water of SoCal) and Connie Tang (Pres of JAFRA). Stoked to hear stories and advice directly from the CEOs and Presidents. We're overbooked at 270 people! 

-Heading to SF this weekend for work. Hope to fit in a visit to Apple headquarters! Also going to try stopping by my favorite tea shop.  

-My team is hosting a APEX Cares Volunteer Appreciation Mixer, February 17. If you're seeking quality volunteer opportunities or interested in meeting people that share the same passion for helping others, join us at Fu-Ga in Little Tokyo! RSVP here

-Putting together an Asian American Bloggers Conference, February 26th at CBS Studios (it's gonna be fun). Open to public! RSVP and more info here

p.s. I can't wait until I wrap up all my upcoming events. Need sleep. And yoga. Stat.


Children and Parents

"Dear Scarlet, Today you didn’t talk to me for 20 minutes after I cut your mickey mouse pancakes into bite sized pieces."

The Dear Scarlet blog, which has become my favorite blog of all time by the way, makes me so friggin' excited to have kids. To explore the world through their eyes and to introduce them to all the wonders of life will be freaking fantastic and mind-blowingly mesmerizing.

Which reminds me... My mom keeps a diary, in an unassuming notebook with a cover adorned with softened images of white and pink flowers, that I've seen around since middle school. Maybe she's had it for longer and I didn't really notice it until I was in middle school, but what I do clearly remember is that around that time, she told me that she was writing in it so she can share it with me one day. 

Since then, I've seen it laying around on my mom's nightstand and I still see it to this day whenever I visit home. But you know, I've never stopped to take a peek. I'm just waiting until the day she wants to share it with me. And I can't wait.


P.S. I also can't imagine just how much my parents love me. I am lucky. I should call them.


via National Geographic

Dear world,

I'm just gonna put it out there, in case someone else in the world is on the same wavelength and desired this as much as I do and would like to try it out with me or in case my future awesome boyfriend wants to surprise me with the most wonderful experience, my dream is to fly* one day.


*Hang gliding is close enough I suppose.

Need a Vacation

In the very real imaginary cave of Pause, they ate cookies*, danced like two awfully uncoordinated, highly excitable 5-year olds, ate more cookies** and fell asleep to the soft lullabies of Al Green.

*first batch from jamaica's cakes
**second batch from levain, of course



Teacher: "What is your favorite food?"
10-year old Yulree: "Bibimbap. I would be bibimbap if I was made of food."



There are people in your life who know parts of you that most people don't know, such as your family and your best friends. I'm sure everyone can relate.

Well, just recently, one of these folks came back into my life after having disappeared for 8 years.

Do eeeet

"Some people have ideas. A few carry them into the world and make them happen." - Mercer 

Let's make it happen.


YFT of the day

Today, YFT stands for Yulree Feels Tired. Can't afford to be sick! >< See you tomorrow, folks.


So simple, So good

visually and gastronomically
more here


Back to Basics

At some point or another in our lives, our daily actions, such as brushing our teeth and getting dressed for work, have become mundane to us. But more often than not, these daily actions, these seemingly unimportant acts, actually play quite important role in the quality of our lives. It's just a matter of altering our perspective.

Today, I decided to take 3 daily actions, actions that are never really given much thought, and made them the 3 most important things in my life for the day. .

They were:
1) Shower like it is my first time
2) Snack on an orange like it is my last
3) Sleep like it is the most important part of my day

My goodness. What a difference a change in perspective makes. Making these three "unimportant" actions into super duper important actions really resulted in some newfound appreciation for them.

When I showered today as though it was my first time, I gently shampooed and conditioned every strand of hair like it was my first time, I shaved my legs insanely thoroughly like it was my first time and soaped up like it was my first time, really enjoying how great the lather felt on my skin and how everything smelled.

When I snacked on an orange like it was my last time, I remembered all the fond memories associated to it. Like when my parents and I would pick boxes upon boxes of oranges from the trees in our gated community that once used to be an orange orchard, and we'd snack on it after every meal, never getting tired of it. I savored the act of unpeeling the orange, taking in the zesty aroma it released as I peeled. I examined the pulps with a revived amazement of how awesome it was that I could feel each individual pulp explode in my mouth. I chose to add this as one of my to-dos because I somehow lost my craving for fruits. I never craved it and thus, never ate it. But after this experience, I'm already looking forward to my next orange. :)

My final and most important to-do of the day -- sleep,. I've deemed this as my most important to-do because lately, I have been treating sleep as the least important thing in my life. I held this mentality that I can always sleep later, that there's plenty enough time to sleep some other time. It's been destroying my body, and not to mention my mental wellbeing. I'm hopping into bed after this post even though I'm not tired and even though I have a million of other things I can be doing. One thing I've noticed is that because my urgency to sleep has intensified, I naturally feel as though my time is limited and accordingly, I'm getting all my shizz done faster.


Fortune Knows What's Up



Nom Nom Nom

You are what you eat.

When I don't consume inspiration for a long while, the part of the brain that carries creativity, motivation and critical thinking becomes malnutritioned and shrivels up like how spinach does when exposed to a hot frying pan. It pretty much loses all its integrity.

I'm ravenous for some inspiration. Haha, I need to practice my vocabulary more as well. I initially typed, "I'm ravished." Quite different from ravenous. See what I mean? I'm malnutritioned. Been consuming too much junkfood. Like youtube videos of girls talking about makeup.

In other news:
I did yoga amongst the stars and planets!
In the middle of the planetarium at the Griffith Observatory, to be more specific. Surprisingly, no one stopped to stare (though there were a couple of glances). It was quite liberating.

YFT reaching for the stars and planets, wearing an elmo shirt


Celebration of Life

so blessed!
I want to thank you all, my wonderful dear friends and family, whether I haven't seen you in years or I just saw you yesterday, for giving me life. 

Everyday, you have given me life through your hellos, your words of wisdom, sharing laughter with me, through pushing me beyond my limits, being my inspirations and my mentors, through comforting hugs, new adventures, prayers and guidance, being my silent supporters, through insightful letters and emails, through insanely funny texts and messages, through growing and learning together and much much more.

Thank you so very much. For the life you have given me. I am blessed beyond limits. 

Essentially, a birthday is a celebration of life. And today, I truly celebrate my life with the utmost gratitude.



Bird's the Word

 "Alright all you so called dancers out there - Take notes"


Go Outside & Breathe

Today was an emotionally and mentally gruesome day due to a loss of a dear friend's father. I felt a bit trapped in myself, in my own thoughts, and it translated into a feeling of physical discomfort. My room felt abnormally stuffy, as though someone had just walked into the room and removed half the oxygen from it. I tried turning on extra lights to brighten the mood and also tried lighting some candles and brewing some tea. None of it really worked. So I resorted to my fool-proof remedy to all things too heady/heavy.

I went outside. Outdoors, to be more exact. 

And experienced this:
Taking in the world on top of Griffith Observatory

A breath of fresh air will do you wonders. 


5 things that make me happy

When the year first started, and it took a while to admit this to myself by the way, I, for some reason or another, was not pleased. While others were merrily making new year resolutions or excited for new beginnings and new chances, I had a cloud of doom over my head. Of course no one really noticed because I'm a ninja. But really, despite all the loved ones around me and all the great things that were happening in my life, I just couldn't help but feel the weight of the negative things that had happened and were continuing to happen to me and my family. 

This all changed a couple days ago due to a few words on some post-it notes I found. While I was sifting through a random box of journals and letters, I found a colorful stack of sticky post-it notes. Each post-it had a date written on the bottom right hand corner, the first date starting on August 13, 2009. More importantly, neatly written on every post-it was a list -- a list of 5 things that made me happy each day. 

As simple and repetitive most of my reasons for being happy were in the past, reading them and remembering them made me appreciative and happy in the now. Funny how something so ethereal as memories and something so easily dismissed as a few happy words...can be so powerful.

I started writing these post-its again. Brene Browne was definitely onto something when she said in her TED talk,

"word choice determines thought choice, which then determines emotions and actions." 

In case you were wondering what my lists looked like, I've typed them out below (I've been working on creating electronic copies of all my notes/journal entries/etc)

Making smoothies and edible goodies with the magic bullet
Nerdy, educational, story-telling podcasts
Getting thing's in the mail (Gen's postcards!)
Getting to know my coworkers better and vice versa
Comfortable, twirly skirts

My new apartment and how it's close to the farmer's market
Love my room smelling like banana cream pie
Unlimited amount of tea at work
Perfect weather for driving with windows down
Getting to know coworkers
extras: booking my flight home for thanksgiving, my brother

Brendan's talent and persistence
Foxy and how she looks when her pink tongue juts out
Feeling energetic after work
BBQ and watching Shawn of the Dead with close friends
extra: plants! lots of pretty green plants!

Coming home to Foxy and plants
Having Korean food
Contributing for something good
California weather
Resolving fights quickly

Great customer service
An understanding boss
An overly caring mom
An unconditionally loving dog
Entertaining roommates

Going on lovely strolls with Foxy
Getting paid
Planning get-aways with MM
Eating a lot then actually working out
Being really productive at work
extra: using up products

Free food
Making new friends
Snuggling with Foxy
Warm bed on a cold day
Listening to podcasts while working out

Experiencing new things (picketing against racist movies)
Just resting with MM
When working out feels like it's making a difference
Bed warmer
Ear plugs

Food blogs
Pretty designs
Funny blogs

Being creative
Releasing stress through art
Driving on the 1 fwy by the beach
Shopping by myself and taking my time

Getting acknowledged
Making good food
Eating healthy
Staying in bed and being lazy
Having excuses for eating chocolate

Making plans with people I love
Weekends! Weekends!!!
When Foxy wags her tail like mad

Finding raw talent on youtube
Saying no to sweets. And then eating it anyhow.
Smart Foxy. Sneaky Foxy
Forgiving friends. Forgiving roommates. Forgiving Foxy
Disney songs on the way to work
extra: unplanned deep conversation

Random acts of kindness
Foodie friends
Lavendar+vanilla combo
Bumping into old friends

Really really really awesome musicians
Being able to connect folks together
Chapstick and yummy smelling lotion on a dry day
Having a boss who cares
Being part of something

My family
Cold showers on a hot day
Vanilla scented everything
Getting mail from friends all over the world
extra: applesauce

Successfully networking with key folks
Bonding with coworkers
Trying new things 
Having parallel thoughts with MM
Sending out care packages


everyone I've known, everything I've touched, seen, experienced, loved, hated, feared, embraced...


Today's Thanks

Dear old friend of excellent musical (and other) talents,

Thanks for accompanying me during work today.

That's kinda essentially what music is for, isn't it? To accompany, to be a companion, for a moment or two or a million.


Listen here:

Question, Everyday

Where does your heart lie today?


Cooking Storm

Yay for finally having a full-functioning kitchen. :)

my warm blanket on a cold, rainy day
Felt nostalgic and was on the edge of a cold so I made me some Khao Man Gai today. It's the Thai version of Hainanese Chicken & Rice. Looks bland, but it's jam packed with flavor. I miss you, Thailand. 

P.S. The scent of menthol always reminds me of Thailand.