Do you care what other people think of you?

Do you sometimes wonder what the person right next to you might think of you? Or even the stranger you just walked past by?

We all do.

But to a certain extent.

For me, caring what others thought of me consumed me for most of my life.

I grew up with a very well known figure and that person happens to be my mother. I get compared a lot to her and you can imagine how frustrating it can be when people don’t recognize you for who you are and your accomplishments.

And it doesn’t help when your mom works in an industry that praises looking good 24/7.

So you could imagine how sad and insecure I felt when standing next to her at movie premieres or events…

That sort of comparison ruined my self esteem. It really hurt me when people would say things like: “Oh you’re not even as pretty as her” or “how come your mother is so pretty and you’re so fat?” I was a big kid growing up. Tall, chubby and socially awkward. I was taller than the rest of the guys in my class but who doesn’t look like sh*t when they’re going through puberty? But after that awkward puberty phase in my life…luckily miracles did happen to me! Haha!

In the past I cared so much to the point that it costed my health and sanity.

  • I cared about how I look and would buy unnecessary materialistic items keep up with my so-called  friends
  • I cared about what a stranger right next to me might think of me as I am lined up to buy pizza and junk food (true story)
  • I cared about what people might think of me if I gained weight
  • I cared about winning my dad’s approval for being the best and perfect daughter. I even went into real estate so we could both have something in common to talk about but afterwards I quit because it didn’t make me happy…

All of this caring was so unnecessary and vicious just because I wanted to feel validated. I wanted to be the kid that was cool, the chosen one, the it girl that everyone would talk about and make my mom feel proud of me but all it did was make me more miserable inside.

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Who else is stuck at home for Spring Break?

I am!

If you follow me on Instagram I just did microneedling. So I am definitely not leaving the house for a week until my skin properly heals 🙁 Youtube video about my recovery will be coming out soon!

I feel like Spring Break in America is all about booze, bikinis and a wild trip to Mexico…or maybe I just watch too many movies. While that sounds like a lot of fun… Spring Break can be just as equally fun at home.

And think of all the money you don’t have to spend.

I’m super happy that I have this week off, so that I can honestly just sleep in and wake up whenever I want. I’m having a great time so far just being lazy hehe! It feels so liberating because I am so used to waking up at a certain time and having a routine every. single. day.

You know what I just realized?

As we get older, we tend to forget to have fun.  Like actual fun meaning going outside to the park or playground, smiling, laughing or like doing the silly things you used to do with your friends back in middle school.

That type of fun. Nothing wild, but just pure fun when you didn’t have to keep an eye on the clock and have as much fun as you wanted. I miss that type of fun 🙁 and I realized I haven’t allowed myself to have fun for such a long time. I’ve been so focused on my goals and career that I completely forgot that it’s okay to have fun and relax.

So whenever I get a break I focus on taking care of myself and doing the things that I want to do. I don’t feel the pressure to follow a schedule. I just sleep in, relax and wake up whenever I want. Only if it’s for a week, it still makes me happy to take my mind off school to focus on doing the things that I love like this blog and my youtube channel. Subscribe here 😀

So if you’re stuck at home like me and don’t know what to do, don’t worry! There are plenty of things you can take care of this Spring break besides sleeping in and watching Netflix…

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Spring Break Essentials

It’s been four weeks since I landed back in LA. I had to deal with reverse culture shock, getting back to my daily routine and jet lag 🙁 This semester I am taking 16 units, working and on top of that focusing on fitness + bodybuilding. I didn’t share this for a while because I was afraid of what people might think of me. But I realized that at the end of the day this is what makes me happy and works best for me.

In this modernized society living alone can be considered as the path to complete freedom. However, it can also add stress, loneliness and homesickness. My parents live in another country. I have to take care of myself. If god forbid anything happened to me, I am the only one that can fix it. That’s why going to the gym has been my emotional outlet and my way to deal with stress.

Staying on track with my meals has given me a lot of confidence, discipline and POWER. Knowing that I can push through the discomfort makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.

This makes me have even more respect for all the amazing athletes who do this on a daily basis, like Kai Greene, Karina Elle, David Laid and also the bikini competitors. This is a sport and it is tough. I am also very grateful to be working along with 2 coaches Alyx and Sara that believe in me.

BUT, this blog post isn’t intended to convince you that bodybuilding is the end all and be all (although I think it’s awesome and people should go lift weights). I had to LEARN through my failures that in order to be successful I had to sacrifice a few things that I did not want to at all (e.g. carbs joking! :p )

So no matter what goals you have, we all pretty much share the same adversities when we decide to go after what we want.

Even if we don’t feel like doing it but we need to in order to succeed.

I learned many of these lessons the hard way but looking back I’m glad I did because I would not be the person that I am today without my failures.

Here are the top 10 things I learned to give up to be successful…

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Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful break. I had such an amazing time back in Vietnam. Now I’m back at LMU and I already have homework 🙁 This post isn’t exactly in line with the whole “new year, new me” kind of blog post. In fact this blog post has nothing to do with new year resolutions. I hate setting resolutions because at some point I fail and do not follow through.

However, I wanted to take this time to reflect on some of the painful lessons I’ve learned about moving abroad, working to attain my goals and living alone. I like sharing with you all my past. Whether it’s mistakes, accomplishments, failures, heartbreaks and etc… I like it when my readers can connect to what I’m saying.

Can you believe it?

3 years ago, I was just in Vietnam not knowing what I was going to do with my life. I had just dropped out of college and was back home living with my parents again.

I felt like the biggest loser on the planet. 

I remember those nights so clearly when I would just cry in bed because I was so upset with my ‘unconventional, messy’ college journey. I had a bad habit of comparing myself to others which led me to poor self-esteem and always the need to seek validation from others. Because I couldn’t validate my own feelings or self-worth. It was a dark time for me.

Now, fast forward today! I live in Los Angeles and go to an amazing school.

That’s why I am so grateful for my past failures, heartbreaks and mistakes. It was pain that gave me the drive, determination and also served as a stepping stone for me to go after my dreams.

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First semester at LMU is all done! It made me think of all the funny things that I’ve encountered being an International student on campus. I thought I should compile a list and see if any of you shared similar experiences like me 🙂

#1 You have to explain so many times why you chose the States for college that you actually have a speech prepared in the back of your head. I get asked this so many times. Even things like: “so you were born and raised in Vietnam? Your parents live abroad? You live alone?” It doesn’t bother me anymore but at first I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to say. When people ask me why I chose LMU or the States I always ask myself which story should I tell them first?  The part where I graduated high school and went to New York and hated the school? Or the part where I went to community college and transferred to LMU? Haha! It is complicated because my path to college was a mess but I just learned to tell people what they need to know depending on how well we know each other.

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Not being with the people you love during the holidays is difficult. After all isn’t family, love and happiness the true essence of the holidays? However, not everyone can afford to go back home to see their beloved ones which makes it harder to handle the holiday blues. And it doesn’t help that it’s getting colder outside. Research shows that cold weather impacts your mood negatively: it makes you tired, sleepy and can even make you depressed.

The holidays are about good will and cheer yet it can bring all sorts of emotions about the previous year or your past that can make you feel extremely lonely and vulnerable.

This post is dedicated to all the International Students who are living abroad, alone and far away from family. I am thinking of you as I write this and I empathize with you on so many levels about being far away from family.

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