At the end of of 2015, and every year that preceded it, my mind is always overflowing with bright ideas of what the upcoming year would bring. Per usual, working out, eating healthy, spending less were on the top of the list alongside more professional goals like updating my site, revamping my business, blogging more, connecting more, and wasting less. The list was long and I was hopeful. But as the clock ticked and it tocked down to the final days, minutes and seconds of the year, guess how much of these intended goals I achieved? Nada. Zip. Zilch
A bevy of bright ideas. A year’s time. All well intended. All failed. Come to think of it, isn’t this always the case every year? As much as I like to blame pregnancy for gorging on pastries, gaining 35 pounds, late mornings and all around laziness, I can’t. I didn’t have it in me. I let laziness preside. Yes, it would have required more effort. Yes, it would have required more caffeine. Yes, it would’ve have required just more. I feel quite guilty for giving the bare minimum to my family, to my friends, colleagues and to my clients. I’m sorry. You guys deserved more, especially from me.
As much as 2016 was somewhat of an amazing personal year for me, for obvious reasons, it was one of the worst years for many, the world and especially the great people of America. Lots of news of cancer, deaths, corruption and tragedies around the globe filled our feed. And just when we thought the worst was over, I mean what more could possibly happen with just a couple days left? It still managed to throw some heartbreaking blows. 2016 will go down as a scrappy year.
Which brings us to 2017, a fresh start. While keeping resolutions were never really my thing, I want this year to be different. I want to make an effort to improve myself. I want to be more empathetic. I want to give more of myself to those that need it. I want to show myself with my actions and not just through a text, insert prayer hands emoji. I want to be more vulnerable and more compassionate. I want to finish what I start. I want beliefs to be solidified, relationships to be salvage and goals to be met. There are aspects of my business and diet that need work but I don’t want it to get in the way of personal growth. I want 2017 to be the year I become a better person.
Here is to the best part of my 2016
PS. I fully intended to write this post before the end of 2016
On Friday July 15, 2016 at 4:16pm, we welcomed a sweet crying baby boy into this world. Loki Theodore Pitiyanuvath, although he wouldn’t be named until several days later, graced the world at 36 weeks and 1 days young, weighing in at 5lbs 14oz and 18 inches long. Though he was considered small at birth he was pretty sizable for his term.
My pregnancy was a relatively easy one. No morning sickness. No heartburn. No gestational diabetes and no cankles. Whew. However, at my 20 week ultrasound we discovered I had placenta previa, a condition where the placenta blocks the cervix. If it didn’t move up the uterine wall then a c-section would be my only option. It wasn’t a problem until I reached about 33 weeks, when I had my first bleeding scare. As the baby grew, the weight placed too much pressure on my placenta thus causing it to bleed. The doctors told me if I had another bleeding scare an emergency c-section would be necessary. Then came 36 weeks + 1 day and another bleeding scare… so the early delivery came as a bit of a surprise but not a complete shock.
Quite honestly, I was hoping he’d baked for a jut a few more days. Literally, just 3 more days was all I needed to get through my jam packed baby-centric weekend. I still had my maternity session to shoot that day, my last wedding to finish up the following day and a very lovely baby shower planned by my sweet friends for the day after. Not to mention, I was hospitalized after my first bleeding scare which coincidentally the same weekend as my Orange County baby shower. Of course, the doctors had to follow protocol and advised me not to fly… for the rest of the pregnancy! In the end, I missed both beautifully planned showers. All the celebratory events that come along with pregnancy, well I didn’t get to enjoy any of it (insert sad face :() . I realized now that even before Loki breathed in his first air of oxygen, he was letting me know who was boss.
Loki: 4 ; Mama : 0
Sure I get bouts of sadness when I see others post about their baby showers and their maternity sessions, wishing I had done a better job of chronicling my pregnancy. It’s such a special time to be pregnant as a first time mom, not that the second or third time is any less special. While the nuggets of memories would have been amazing to relish in for years to come, I’m also reminded how incredibly fortunate I am to have bore such a lovely healthy baby boy. I know some families don’t even get that chance.
Every time I look at him, I can’t help but think he is just so perfect. While the crying, constant feedings and diaper changes and golden showers are far from glamorous, every time I gaze down at my sweet baby boy’s face I find myself asking, how did we get so lucky?
*On a side note, I highly recommend documenting the birth. We would’ve had our friend and photographer Gladys Jem in the delivery room but because we were in an operating room no additional people were allowed. These images were shot the next day. If you plan on having a c section, I recommend having the photographer shoot right after the surgery in the recovery room… as there special moments not to be missed.
I had an underground catering business just before I became a full fledged makeup artist. Bing was one of my clients.
When I was 4, I thought I was going to enter a chopstick competition because I was always praised for my amazing chopsticks skillz.
In 5th grade, I thought lesbian was an ethnicity. Someone called me a lesbian to which I responded “nuh-uh! I’m Korean!”
I may have had a goat as a pet at one point in time… don’t ask me what happened to it.
I hate flavored coffee and creamer.
I have a broken pinky. It’ doesn’t bend. People may mistake it for proper etiquette.
I grew up in a single parent household with very limited resources. In other words, we would fall in the pretty low income bracket but somehow my mom managed to always provide for us and have food on the table without going into debt. I feel most immigrant families grew up this way so it doesn’t impress me when someone strikes it big and suddenly they play up their past and play the “poor as dirt” card.
I always order Coke with my combo meals.
Facebook may have been the culprit that brought my husband and I together.
I once grabbed Mark Wahlberg’s butt. He was standing amongst his entourage when I expertly maneuvered my hand through the busy crowd.I don’t think he was too happy about it …but I was.
Bonus*** Justin Timberlake touched my back once and he whispered in my ear “excuse me”. #swoon.
In a world where social media rules our beloved internet, we are inundated with images from the newbie novices, successful professionals, eager enthusiasts and, our favorite, bigger-than-life bloggers. Being truly original these days have become equivalent as… well … the cassette tape. I mean, in all honesty, it’s impossible for anybody to be “original” in a world where everything has been driven from some inspiration source or another (*ahem pinterest, instagram) It’s as easy as swiping your finger left to right or up and down. Those cookies you wanted to make, the floral arrangement you wanted to recreate, that outfit you put together or the composition of that photo you just Instagrammed, I’m sure it’s all tucked away in a Pinboard somewhere, secret or not. And since we’re being real here, how long did it really take to perfectly place those those rings on your desk or center that cup of coffee, or angle those peonies you just picked up from Trader Joes, or meticulously arrange your desk supplies and conveniently have the latest issue of Porter Magazine neatly composed for you instagramming pleasure? I don’t know about you but my desk is always a mess, I get tired of cleaning up dead flowers and the trail I leave never seems be as beautifully edited and yes, I blew $10 on a magazine, because it seemed to be the cool thing to do, and still have yet to flip through the pages.
I’m no different from all of you. The moment I see In-N-Out on my newsfeed, I already have one foot out the door with my #2 with both onions, extra lettuce and chopped chili with a coke already rolling off my tongue. Or, secretly hoping that my tagging of so and so will get me a regram or a mention, still crossing fingers. Or, bookmarking my next “investment” piece because Marissa Webb oh so effortlessly and chicly graced it. I mean really, she’s making Banana Republic cool again. And already by my next swipe, I have my next bag, hat, jewelry and shoes all picked out and in a shopping cart just an email away. Shopping my feed certainly has its perks…no need to trek through SF’s busiest tourist trap, park, pay an exorbitant amount on parking fees nor scour the racks only to come up empty handed and hours wasted.
Since we’re on that topic anyway, keeping up with society in an era where everyone is a marketing outlet and always pushing something… a brand, a product or this and that. And as a consumer, we get in fed into the glitz and bling, still hoping to get regrammed, and, just when we thought we have everything we ever wanted, with each swipe of our feed suddenly we are left wanting more and more…and more. Honestly, it really becomes overwhelming as a consumer to compete with or emulate the people we follow. I mean when you’re scrolling your feed, while at a job you despise so much, and see your #instafamous idol swimming with dolphins while completely decked out in a Dolce & Gabanna swimsuit complete with 10 pounds of jewelry and a decorative headpiece, you have to settle for the crystal clear waters as the wall paper on your laptop.
Slooooowly…. feel… the… inadequacy…. sink in.
I’m sure the thought “my life is really uncool” have come to mind on an occasion or two. But, really, who in real life does that? 10 pounds of jewelry to go to the beach? Can you imagine the horrible tan lines it leaves behind? Or the effort to take it off before you take a dip in the water? In all seriousness, how do keep up with people who are being gifted thousands of dollars of merchandise or an all expensed first class vacations that they otherwise wouldn’t pay for? You simply can’t. Well.. unless your the RKOBH. Oh to be young, funemployed and to have whoseits and whatsits galore! Those, HERMES, thingamabobs? I’ll take 20… in every color! But the real world awaits with bill, bills, bills and all the fun perks of adulthood that go far beyond driving and drinking at 21, not together of course.
So before you go and start feeling bad about yourself and comparing yourself to the likes of these designer clad social media moguls, if you are reading this post you must have a phone or a computer… your life can’t be that bad. Feel free to joint me in my my perfect dream world where cheeseburgers go straight to the boob, Saint Laurent shoes will be free, Chanel will have biannual pricing decreases and Isabel Marant would not just be gifted to bloggers. Until then…just don’t judge me when I’m unable to drop $90 on a Diptyque candle or score the latest Chloe footwear, please understand that this real life girl is still stuck in last season and still praying for the Susannas to go on sale.
because a post isn’t complete until there is fancy shoes involved
On my last trip to Seoul, I realized that I really needed to step up my skincare game. Skincare in Asia is no joke! In the States, woman are concerned less about taking care of their skin and more about products that go on top of their skin to conceal it. Beautiful porcelain skin is highly sought after in Asia and many women go to great lengths to achieve it whether it be with laser treatments, products, facials or any advanced new technology available on the market. But for a much cheaper, and less invasive, option many women opt for the over-the-counter solution which, typically, involves an 8-10 step routine of cleansers, oils, toners, creams, serums, patches and masks all promising, and marketing towards, the key words… whitening, brightening, collagen boosting, age defying, radiant, dewy, youthful glow. When you’re caught in the thick of it, it’s hard not to fall victim to the promise of perfection and Fountain of Youth results.
After Seoul, we hopped on over to Tokyo join my hubby on his work trip. Unfortunately, his flight was canceled so he arrived 3 days later than planned. I must say it was quite an adjustment going from Seoul to Tokyo. There was a lot of modern conveniences that we had gotten accustomed to in Seoul which wasn’t exactly available for us in Tokyo. Nonetheless, our agenda is always food and we were quite happy with the places we dined at. What’s unique about Japanese cuisine and restaurants is that a chef will specialize in one dish and spend 20, or sometimes 30+, years mastering it… whether it’s sushi, tonkatsu, ramen, udon or soba. What’s so humbling is, if you ask these masters if they feel like they’ve perfected their dish they’ll most commonly answer that it will never reach perfection.
Maisen Aoyama for some amazing tonkatsu!
Hanging in Harajuku
Busiest cross walk in the world. Photo taken at the busiest Starbucks in the world.
My favorite place in Tokyo was Ueno Park. It’s reminiscent of Dongdaemun
I am so envious of people who take great travel photos. I stress a lot when taking a photo because I’m unsure if i’m taking a food good photo and often times the subject is out of focus. Oh well, I heard soft focus is the trend now. Hope you enjoy the 2nd part of my Korea trip… we did a lot more eating! It’s been a week and I already miss Seoul so much!
Night shopping in Dongdaemun
Favorite new store
another favorite meal… raw crab marinated in soy sauce. heavenly.
this is my favorite photo that I took.
More street food!
in the popuar food alleys, its common that the restaurants cook the main dish outside. this was the fish alley we visited in Dongdaemun.
My favorite hodduk! The shell was crispy like a cracker and the inside had a thin layer of brown sugar. It was much lighter than the fried ones I’m used to. I couldn’t find it after this :(
trinkets in Insadong
views in Itaewon
an old school fruit vendor
a parade at the Noryangjin fish market
the daily selection
One of my favorite meals
our fish monger enjoy their lunch
This sums up Korea. Well… mostly :) Tune in for my Japan pics!
I’m not one for sightseeing or major tourist attractions. Instead, I much prefer gorging myself on the local fare and experiencing what foods truly makes that particular city or region unique. On this trip, I side stepped most of the tourist destinations, I’d be lying if I say I didn’t get some shopping in, and visited night markets, street markets, food alleys and ate up as much street food as my belly would allow… enjoy!
Always maintain a good skincare routine when traveling especially in extreme weather changes.
Chili pepper vendor… lots of of chili powered for your choosing
Love street food… this was a hot dog wrapped in fish cake and deep fried
Strawberries in Korea are insanely delicious and juicy
This food alley was truly an experience. All the stalls sell the same foods but what makes this place fun are the aggressive food hawkers, who literally grab you by the hand and make you sit down at their stall
Korea would be lost without scissors
Stacks of trays with banchan already assorted and ready to go out for delivery. Delivery in Korea is so unique, they use dishes they would use in the restaurant instead of to-go containers. Then someone from the restaurant swings by later and picks up the dishes.
Korea’s version of a farmers market
The dried fish monger’s inventory of the day
Gwangjang Market was my favorite place that I visited! Its endless aisles housed various vendors from fabric, shoes, vintage shops and tons and tons of food!
Bags are packed, out of office responder (2/5-2/19) is on and I’m all ready to set sail on a new adventure. I’m so excited to be traveling back to Seoul and Tokyo, two of my favorite cities in the world! Expect a lot of photos and posts as I take you along for the ride. Till then ahnyeonghaseyo & sayonara!
Remember when I shared my engagement session here? Well.. we actually shot another one with my dear friend, and photographer extraordinaire, Caroline. Here are the images from that one misty afternoon.
After countless hours of blood, sweat and tears, mostly Visnu’s, I introduce to you my greatest makeover yet… my blog! If you remember the last blog, it lacked a cohesiveness with my main page, but all that’s finally changed. It’s gone through the necessary cosmetic changes and has been cleaned up and enhanced for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Please excuse me for being such a bad blogger… I realized I never shared our engagement photos! We actually shot two. I’ll be sharing them both. For now, enjoy this session from our wedding photographer Scott Andrew
** The Krispy Kreme donuts hold a significance because when we first started chatting (we kinda met online… will get into depth another time) Visnu fedexed a assorted donuts to me… 2nd day air! Needless to say, they had lost all their freshness, but the sentiment stayed in my heart forever.
As you may or may not have heard, through various social media outlets, I’m married!
The day had it’s fair share of snafus, it rained, and at times poured, there was a missing elephant, I fell a sleep on a surfboard in my dress but it was so imperfectly perfect.
If you’re wondering if anything has changed since we said “I do”… I’m sorry to report to you that it’s a big fat boring no. The biggest change is that we have a better equipped kitchen and we can tell EVERYONE now that we live together.
Here is the first series of images… the portraits and getting ready shots.
The gift exchange
Happily Ever After
Visnu wasn’t the only one who kissed the bride that day
Our beautiful backdrop
Valentine & I frolicking in the ocean. One of my favorite shots EVER.
Message to young, budding artists (makeup or non)…
I know you’re starting off in your career and you’re very green. You want to take all the opportunities you can, paid or TFP, thinking that building a portfolio is better than not. I’m sure you’re perusing through all your favorite artists’ sites, fan pages and blogs admiring all their high fashion work on Kate, Gisele and the Kardashians (not an example I really wanted to use) and drooling over their gorgeous fashion spreads for VOGUE, BAZAAR and ALLURE. No, you’re not on first name basis with Anna Wintour and probably never will be. You follow their tweets to get a glimpse in to their lives then quickly realize you’re the outsider looking in. Suddenly, you’re right back in high school and nothing’s changed… The cool clique still keep amongst themselves and you’re eating lunch all by your lonesome. Reality sinks in and now you’re depressed that your career is where it’s at and not where theirs is at. The comparison begins. Then follows, self-doubt, drop in self-esteem and then questioning your talent, experience and business. You think to yourself, you’re never going to make it.
I’m guilty of all of the above.
All the emotions that you’ve felt, the self-doubt, questioning your talent, the pity… all that stuff comes with the territory. You’re not alone. Your career will get there someday, probably not in ways you’d expect, like mine, but someday it will. Billy B didn’t catapult himself into this amazing career right off the bat… For many, many many years, and I’m sure even now , he has had his ups and downs, money issues, emotional roller coasters and his issues with the industry… everyone, unless you’re Nars’s offspring, starts off on the same foot.
My advice to you as a budding, young makeup artist…
Don’t get sucked into the perve-y guy posing himself as a photographer on Model Mayhem. The chances of those TFP images of that short, out-of-shape Asian girl sprawled over a car in her itsy bitsy bikini will not further your career nor add value to your portfolio.
Stop following blogs of who you admire unless you like reading postings of their tears of recent work that took them on location to the pristine beaches of Turks & Caicos which just got published in VOGUE. If you find it inspirational, more power to you. If you’re like the rest of us… that momentary awe quickly turns into a reminder of where your career is not.
Stop following them on twitter unless you like to listening in on what famous people tweet back to each other and the occasional plug on a product, which they probably got for free. I admit I follow celebrities but very few makeup artists. I rarely check my twitter account these days.
Be careful of who you work with. Make sure you like and respect the work of everyone involved in the shoot. Don’t do TFP just for the hell of it. It will be a full day of work for you without any monetary compensation. The idea is to get AH-mazing photos that will add value to your portfolio. If you aren’t happy with the photographer’s current work, you will not be happy with your TFP images. Remember, you’re working for free so make sure your work and time counts!
Value your craft and time. Almost always, makeup and hair stylists are undervalued because, to some people, it’ s not a necessity. In most cases, they are always trying to under cut rates even if it’s for commercial use, which the client will profit from in some way or form. I once did work for a widely popular e-commerce site and they were VERY cheap and did not want to pay a fair rate and it was non-negotiable. I took the gig to add to my resume but knew I would not be working with them again unless they paid my full rate. Make smart decisions and stand firm.
Know your client. Provide work they want and not what you want to produce. Aunt Harriett wants natural but you recall the girl at the MAC counter with her “cool” look purple lips, yellow shadow and red cheeks… now is not the time.
Be easy to work with. Your next job is not going to come from a client who found you online but the photographer you worked with 3 months ago or the producer who remembered you from that commercial gig a few weeks, months or years ago… People remember and like people who are easy to work with. You’re not Kim Kardashian so save the prima donna act for a later time..
They are not better than you… unless you really suck as an artist. The big names in the industry are just paid their dues,persevered through a shit ton more, put themselves in the right places and worked constantly with directors, photographers and such who had the same hunger for success as they did. You are not beneath them, potential wise. They just had opportunities placed in front of them earlier on which were vital to their career. You can have that that moment. A lot of talented people don’t get “discovered” or get notoriety they deserve… some want it that way and others don’t.
Focus on your career and not someone else’s. Getting wrapped up in celebrity artists career is great just so long as it is inspiring you to be a better artist. BUT… if it puts you in a slump and is a constant reminder of how not-so wonderful your career is then it’s time stop the pity party and re-evaluate your own business
Last year, I listened in on a talk by Billy B, famously known for his work on Lady Gaga and Missy Elliott, he, even with his flourishing career, guest appearances and reality show, still went through all the trial and tribulations as everyone else. Naturally… he’s human! Even as a successful artist, he still gets rushed backstage from directors, photographers and stylists to hurry up. He’s just a fraction of a whole vision that gets brought to life.
If there is a will there is a way… make sure you find your way.
New York, London and Paris fashion week has come and gone and now fashion media outlets are inundating us with edgy trends, electrifying hues and eclectic textures. As we all know feather lashes, bright bold liners and sequin adorned eyes might look uber chic on the runways but the reality is that everyday woman with more than everyday schedules will not leave the house looking as daring. Let’s be real.
Updating your spring look should be no different from updating your spring wardrobe. The general rule of thumb in fashion, interior design and all style driven industries has been and always will be invest in good basics. Whether it’s a neutral couch paired with yellow chevron throw pillows or the basic white tee & black blazer paired with a fluorescent yellow scarf it’s certainly not any different than two coats of mascara paired with fuchsia statement lips.
This season, update your spring look with these simple tips:
*Start with the basics. Investing in great products you use every day is a start. I recommend getting the foundation that feels like your 2nd skin or the perfect non-smudging eye liner or even the volumizing mascara that also lengthens. 1, 2, 5, or even 20 years down the line, regardless of your age and trends , these items will still be in your makeup bag… assuming it doesn’t get discontinued
* Put your money where your mouth is. Bright red skinny jeans, cobalt blue stilettos and fuchsia sweaters are all the rage but what if you aren’t feeling so daring? If you aren’t comfortable donning these hip colors why not add that perfect pop of color to your lips? It’ll brighten up your look instantly and it’s even the easiest item of makeup to put on! This is also the cheaper route when trying keep update to date with the ever changing fashions. $20 lipstick vs $200 designer skinny jeans you’ll throw out next season? hmmm…
*Let your fingers do the talking. If lipstick is even too daring for you, painting your nails that bright sherbet orange or sea foam green may just be the right amount of color you need without drawing too much attention. Every time you look at your hands & feet, you can’t help feel refreshed.
Have fun and remember trendy looks come and go, horribly bad (like the 80s), but great basics will always stand the test of time.
It’s rare that I’m actually the one in front of the camera but when I am I love that wonderful images to show for it. These are some of my favorites from sort of a last minute photoshoot with the always inspiring Gladys Jem.
Jewelry courtesy of Vero Suh - I was so sad to part with her amazing collection of jewelry
We grabbed coffee in the morning just before I dropped him off at work. It was just another ordinary Friday, I thought.
He came home at 5:05 pm. As he walked in through the door, I was glued to my Macbook as the sound of rain pitter pattered outside on a cold winter day. I had no makeup on, hair was a frizzy mess and wearing my new barefoot dreams robe and the fuzzy pink heart pants that I both received for Christmas. He probably almost had a mild heart attack. He began in his sweet non persuasive voice, “Go get ready, Jane. Go get ready”. In my mind, I had already mapped out my look… straight hair & bright red lips. Simple, clean and mainly because it’ll take me the least time to get ready. It had been raining all day, it was cold and if I could’ve stayed in my robe even a minute longer I was going to. That robe makes me feel warm and fuzzy that’s all I can say.
I finished my hair and makeup and started my usual rant about not having a thing to wear. I finally settled on my BCBG bandage skirt and a Zara silk blouse. As soon as I got dressed, out the door we went. Just a regular night out with friends for a triple date night, I thought.
As we were driving, in the pouring rain and bumper to bumper traffic, a sudden sense of nauseousness came over me completely unaware of how the rest of the night would unfold. We were to meet his friend, Matt, who had been in town from Boston and was interviewing for jobs here in SF. We met Matt at Vesuvio, a little unassuming bar in North Beach. We parked about 5 blocks away, which to a socal native is equivalent to walking up Mt. Olympia. I was complaining from the moment we pulled into the parking garage, got out of the car, started walking and even up until we arrived at Vesuvio. It was raining. I was cold. I was in my Manolos slipping and sliding as we made the treacherous 4 block walk. We arrived drenched and overly dressed for a pe bar. I scanned the bar for Matt, who was sitting at the bar all by his lonesome enjoying an ice cold beer. I greeted Matt. Visnu greeted Matt, as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. We grabbed a table and chit chatted until it was time to leave for dinner. Visnu casually offered Matt to take his car to meet his colleagues over in the Presidio and head back to pick us up once he was done. As the clock inched closer to 7:00pm, the three of us got up to leave and headed towards the car. As we were walking, our path led us to Comstock Saloon,which holds a very dear place in my heart. Once San Francisco Brewing Company, this was where Visnu sat me down and asked me to go “steady”. Yes, he used the word “steady”. As Visnu pointed out the fact, Matt immediately offered to snap a shot of us in front of the place where it all began. I thought Matt was just going to whip out his iPhone but instead he had his Canon 5D Mark II readily available to capture what was about to happen next. The little model in me position myself on the left, my better side, and began striking a pose, I don’t know why I always do this but I do! Visnu, who for some reason started rummaging through his pockets as I was fixing my hair and perfecting my pose, arms on hip and a little side turn, kept asking me “how did I ask you” “what exactly did I say” ” I said I was going to take you off the market!”… a split second later, he really did. In his hand-held a beautiful, brilliant cut, 2 carat solitaire ring. I always knew, if and when, this was where Visnu would ask. He’s sentimental like that. Completely shocked and in sheer disbelief, I kept hitting him, in a good way totally not the abusive way, and failed to say yes immediately. It’s hard to answer if you didn’t hear the question! A sweet and simple proposal, I thought.
Then we were off to our triple date, which now included Matt, turned out he had been galavanting around town with Visnu earlier on in the day and actually had no plans of attending a dinner function w/ his colleagues. As we continued walking, I saw Jun, who happened to walk alongside us and strangely headed in the same direction. When I kept asking where he was going, he coyly dodged the question and just answered “I’m going to meet my friends” which made me wonder if he was joining us for dinner. It wouldn’t have been a total surprise since he is also good friends with Jenny, who we also would be meeting up with for our triple date.
We finally arrived to a packed Wayfare Tavern where we were to meet Jenny, Will, Kayla & Jimmy. We were greeted by Kyle, who I thought to be the host, and with a blank stare asked Visnu “name and reservation on the party?” Kyle said that restaurant was packed and that they needed to open up the 3rd floor, I didn’t even know they had a 3rd floor. He led us into a back door and up the escalator we went. We arrived on the 3rd floor which opens up to two rooms, the Bartlett room and the restroom, I just hoped he wouldn’t lead us to the latter. As he opened the door, I noticed several wine glasses lined up on a table next to the bar which made me think we were going to have just a couple more people than the 6 we originally had planned, plus Matt and Jun. As I walked in and turned to my left, I looked up into utter shock, overwhelmed and completely touched by all the faces looking back at me. I had been right. There were definitely more than the 8 of us but just how much more completely blew me away. Standing in front of me was a packed room of 60+ familiar faces, many whom I had been in contact with all week; Angie & Gladys, who earlier in the day I had a photo shoot with, lunch and talked about our plans for later that evening. Hazel & Marc, who I saw just the day before at Blu Bungalow where we caught up about my 3 week trip to Los Angeles. Monica from OC, who I had dinner with earlier that week in the OC. Ellen & Ryan from Newport Beach, who I reamed for never visiting me in San Francisco. Vero, who I had borrowed jewelry from just earlier in the week for my photo shoot with Gladys. Ammone, who I tried chatting with earlier that day but left me with a one word responses, so I left that conversation quick. Kayla & Jimmy, who I had been hanging out with all week and oddly wanted to go get manicures the day before and rest of our Bay Area friends. All these people gleaming with excitement, urging to congratulate us and just relieved to finally let the cat out of the bag. Saying I was dumbfounded and shocked would be a complete understatement. As I was still taking everything in, I looked over to Visnu and asked ”did you know they were all going to be here” as if it was a surprise for him too. Then a few moments later, my brother and very pregnant sister-in-law waltzes in after a 3 hour flight delay to make the moment that much more special.
As I looked around the room, I couldn’t help but feel blessed and fortunate being surrounded by our friends and family who were here to share in our momentous occasion. I was even more surprised to find out all these people were able to keep it a secret from me (ahem… angie, gladys, hazel, ammone, jenny (her kinda), kayla) some even having flown in from OC and driving up from South & East Bay in the dreary rain. What I thought was going to be a simple triple date turned out to be the most amazing night ever and all in the presence of our family and friends.
It didn’t register until way after everyone had left that this was a surprise engagement party for me. I NEVER thought I would have an engagement party, let alone a surprise one! Apparently everyone up and down the west coast knew was informed of this party to which I had no clue. I had been walking around town in the middle of a carefully orchestrated proposal to the surprise engagement party that followed immediately after.
So ladies and gents, my ordinary Friday night,on January 20th, 2012, turned out be extraordinary.
Headed out to triple date night! No clue!
He loved it so much, he put a ring on it!
Would my answer have been anything else?
The next morning, Visnu said “when I woke up yesterday morning, I knew that was the day I was going to ask you to marry me”. Swoon.
After an overindulgent Thanksgiving weekend followed up with a meat fest at Fogo De Chao, I was feeling extremely gross. For almost two weeks, I was constantly feeling bloated, irregular and very sluggish. I knew I had to do something extreme and quick if I wanted to rid my body of this nasty feeling. My two options were extreme excercising or drastically change my diet. Considering my sluggish state of mind which also results in not wanting to exercise, I decided to go on a detox. My friend , Angie, had recently gone through a detox and raved about it’s affects. So I picked up the 7 Day Total Nutritional Cleanse (pictured below) at my local Whole Foods and was ready take the plunge. A major reason why I chose this one in particular was because it was only 7 days long and allowed light meals for dinner, plus it’s very affordable compared to the other detox programs available online. Also, most detoxes requires about 2 weeks and no solid foods which were both not an option. The last time I attempted the Master Cleanse I only made it untill lunch time, I knew I would have to ease into something that was realistic for me to complete.
Truthfully, the first 4 days were very hard. I was still very tired, low energy and had nagging headaches, plus the first 4 days the thought of food was still VERY tempting. Starting the 5th day, I began to notice I had more energy began to feel lighter (I was acutally losing about a pound per day). Plus for me, I have to mentally prepare myself – get to the midway point then the countdown to the finishline begins.
The program is broken up into two different sections the Revitalx & Detoxitech. I suppose the first half of the program revitalizes your intestinal organs and the latter is the acutal detoxing process. Honestly, the shakes are gag-worthy and the pills are obscenely huge, I’m not much of a pill taker, but the results are worth the gag-worthy- shakes ( actually, the revitalx is ok but the detoxitech is really gross). I also recommend starting the program when you are home for about 3 days and don’t have plans. Working during the first 3 days is extremely hard on this detox. After discussing with Angie about her experience, we both experienced that we couldn’t really hold a conversation or communicate clear thoughts.