A weekly share of things I’ve come across the internet.

Though I am out of the country with limited access to television, based on what I’ve been seeing so far, the U.S. Government shut down is the biggest news back home. At this point, it is the longest government shutdown we’ve experienced. Below, are two articles on how federal workers are making ends meet in the event they don’t get paid — which ultimately did happen. People are are receiving pay stubs saying “0.00” and need to sell their most prized possessions.

Now on Craigslist, Facebook: Household items from furloughed workers trying to make ends meet.

Coast Guard families told they can have garage sales to cope with government shutdown.

The Island People. I went to Uros Island the other day. Most people would know it as the island completely made out of reeds. It was an interesting experience from the moment you step foot on the ground. You’ll feel the buoyancy. From the brief tour, I felt somewhat icky. I am one of many people who visit the island and I feel I contribute towards its deterioration. Our presence means more upkeep of the reed island. I probably felt the ickiest when one of the people in our tour group asked the children to pose on the reed boat. It was voyeuristic and it was like being at a zoo. There many holes and questions I have from the tour.I had questions like how do they embrace technology — it’s clear they accepted it because I saw solar panels. Why did they decide to continue to stay in Uros versus move to the mainland.

Teens Are Protesting In-Class Presentations. When I was in primary and secondary school, I liked doing in-class presentations. I did not find it hard to do because I had to read off what I was presenting and it allowed me to be creative. I am paralleling the experiences of a high school student in 2018 and a young working professional  in 2018. I think both groups are experiencing more stressors than previous generations. Students are pushed towards more academic demands and to participate in more extracurricular activities on top of completing homework assignments. At this rate they’ll be in bed by 1 am. As a young working professional, I feel I’ve been stretched beyond my job description. Public speaking in conferences is not in my job description, but I end up doing it. I will confess preparing from proposal to performance does take out a lot of time from my day-to-day work. It does create anxiety because I want to perform well at my job. There was a time I was willing to put up with the all the conditions to demonstrate I can perform well — in fact it brought me to superstar status until one small mishap made me fall flat on my face. It seemed like everything I worked was more the anomaly, instead of taking the mishap for what it was. I thought at the time regardless of how I felt, I had to go back to the rat race. It progressively ate away my well-being.

What changed? I went back to school. I applied for graduate school because I was so fixated on doing well at work I thought having a Master’s degree would propel me professionally. My initial reason for earning a Master’s degree still remains the same — gain more professional opportunities. But I realized this decision was a decision I made for myself. I want to do well in graduate school because there is no way I spent my own money to fail. I continue to work full-time while I am in graduate school, but this time, I create the conditions not work with it.

Wow, this was a long meandering weekly share. Have a great week. This week will be my second and final week of vacation.


A weekly share of articles, podcasts, and other media I’ve come across.

I am not surprised at all. 

#SaveFlintChallenge This is absolutely sad. Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water and it has almost been five years. They’ve had a “Go Fund Me” run for at least 6 months with a modest goal and barely hit their target. On the other hand, DJT’s border wall hits 18 million USD in 4 days.

Why the podcast revolution is here to stay. Given their portability, podcasts also affect me while I’m shopping, commuting to work or feeding a baby in the middle of the night. I may not cry, but I might well up with delight, melancholy or outrage. Or I laugh out loud. Or I’m stopped in my tracks, astonished. 

I’m not one of those people who listens to podcast because all the cool kids are doing it. It took me ages to find the “right” podcast to get into it. Since then, podcast listening has been part of my daily ritual all of last year. I know my morning commute would not be the same if i did not listen to “The Daily.” I’ve also been listening to a lot more podcast since I started graduate school. It has enhanced my learning because I can squeeze in some school during the week crazy weeks I am work.

Weekend Coffee Share: One Less Thing

If we were having coffee, I’d make a French press and tell you I sold my car!


Yes, I sold my car. We had three cars and I got rid of my primary car. I’ve had my 2006 Hyundai Sonata since 2010. It was my first car I bought with my first professional job after working for more than a year. At the time, I lived in the suburbs of San Diego where public transit was near non-existant and there were no ridesharing services like Lyft. Before I had a car, my mode of getting to work and wherever was carpool, lots of walking, and taking the bus. Sixteen months later I took the bus from my apartment to the car dealership and bought a car with my own money. It was my first big purchase.

What made me decide to get rid of my car?

I live in what some people would call a “surban” — you have peace and quiet of the suburbs with the convenient walkability to a lot of amenities of an urban city center. Any place that’s less than 5 miles away, I decided I’ll walk and bike there. The more I walked and biked, the more I did not see the need to have three cars. Having three cars means filling up, changing oil, monitoring mileage, tracking maintenance dates, paying insurance three times over.

The turning point for me to let go of my car was when I backed up out of the driveway, the cover of my side mirror hit my mailbox and broke. I know I could have purchased a cover for about $25-30, but I thought to myself, “will buying a cover to fix my car re-ignite my joy?” The answer was no. In the style of Marie Kondo, I thanked my Sonata for its service. It drove me to work, drove me to my project sites, drove me from San Diego to San Francisco, and back. My car worked hard, if not harder than I have.

I replaced the cover for my side mirror and sold the car. I thought I would miss my car because for a while I had a hard time letting it go, but instead I feel a sense of relief. It’s one less thing to stress about. Our wallets are relieved we are not paying for gas, for oil change, for trips to the shop, insurance for one more car.

Letting go of my car is part of my de-cluttering efforts in the house. For years before moving into the house, we rented apartments for a short period of time. We had stuff in boxes never unpacked and stuff we accumulate. Every day, over the past few weeks, I’ve been putting in a few minutes each day to tidy up, throw away items, or donate items to give new life elsewhere to make our house more like a home. Each day, this practice has helped clear my mind.kari-shea-180802.jpg

Has anyone here done a decluttering purge?

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekly Coffee Share: Joy List

If we were having coffee, we’d discuss what are things in life that bring you joy.

Why is it important to recognize things in life that meaningful and bring you joy?

Because sometimes we get caught up in the noise and business of life. Sometimes we forget to think of some of the things in our life that center us.

I am guilty of it myself. I’ve had days where I feel I come off as extremely disengaged. A few days ago, a coworker (at one of our more distant communities) told me he could see in my eyes I have a million things in my mind and I am hearing him, but not listening to him. This is all too true. I apologized to him over and over again. I was four hours in heavy traffic away from my house and I have to haul myself four hours in that same heavy traffic to get back home.

I wrote a list of things in my life that make me happy. In honor of my 30th birthday, I listed 30 things that bring me joy but I wanted to divide it into two parts: 15 things would go to things that are free and the other 15 are things that cost money. With the meaningful things that cost money, sometimes I feel guilty for spending the money and I tell myself to compromise with something that is cheaper or free only to find myself not meeting the expectation.

Photo by Glenn Carstens Peters on Unsplash

Free things that bring me joy:

  1. Walking during my lunch break when I am at the office – Overall, it’s just healthier for you to break away from your desk for a little bit. Even if it’s 10 minutes to get fresh air. I think we should make it against office rules to not have lunch in your desk.
  2. Hiking – Ever since I started the 52 Hike Challenge, I have gained more than fitness benefits but also prioritizing what is important, what is meaningful.
  3. Writing – Writing on my agenda is relaxing. Of course I enjoy blogging too. It’s been a wonderful, supportive community.
  4. Making food and drinks – This is considered “free” because I am not dining out.
  5. Riding my bike – I can’t wait until the weather cools so I can ride my bike more often.Pacific Palisades
  6. Seasonal events with friends – We the Christmas party, Friendsgiving, and Friendscamping
  7. Bullet journal to journal my creativity
  8. Photography – I need to put a side note that photography can also be expensive if you make it to be.
  9. Volunteering
  10. Taking care of my plants
  11. Listening to audiobooks while doing chores
  12. Free musuem days – In LA we have free musuem days occasionally. It a great opportunity to discover musuems I have not been.
  13. Greeted by my husband and dogs when I  come home – Seeing them literally melts my day away.
  14. Reading books – I dwell in my waiting times by reading books and I love it.
  15. Meditate even if it’s 5 minutes.

Things that require money:

  1. Barre class – I’ve been doing Pure Barre for about a year and a half. I’ve tried other fitness boutiques, big box gyms but my heart goes to Pure Barre. This was after years of wresting with myself (and my wallet) to do an unlimited membership and I dived in. I go about 4-6 times a week and I would not have it any other way.
  2. Spin class – I love this spin class boutiqe and I’ve been going to them since they’ve opened up. I use to go all the time when I lived closer, but since we moved, I’m lucky if I go once a week!
  3. Massages – I just discovered the benefits of getting a massage. It has absolutely helped my carpal tunnel. I noticed recently I have been experiencing the consequences of long drives, staying more than 8 hours in the office,  poor posture, staying in a fixed position for a long period of time. I have been making a more conscious effort to avoid that such as stay away from my desk but sometimes the time slips away.
  4. Facials – Back when we paid very low rent and had more disposable income, I would go for facials. Because of time and money, I’ve been doing more in-home facials and they’re just as good too.
  5. Travel – Of course this would be on the list!
  6. New clothes – As of this year I wanted to make my wardrobe more like a capsule wardrobe. I have to say, getting ready for anything has never been more efficient! But it does not mean I don’t like buying new clothes. I just buy signficantly less.
  7. Ice cream/desserts – As you can see, I like posting reviews on ice cream. 
  8. Artisanal coffeeCacao Latte
  9. Shows – I love going shows whether it’s a stand-up comedy shows, Broadway show, or a musical concert.
  10. Buying unique foods from the grocery store 
  11. Starting a craft project 
  12. Remodeling the house -This is always a work in a progress. 
  13. Event planning – Whether it’s a small gathering with friends or a big work networking event, I enjoy planning them all.
  14. Nespresso capsules – I love my Nespresso and I can’t start my morning without it!
  15. Renting clothes – My capsule wardrobe mostly consists of nothing too fancy just business casual clothes for work and things outside of work. I love using Rent the Runway to rent clothes for special occasions such as weddings and other big events so I don’t have to go and buy an outfit for one occasion ever again.

This list is a nice reminder for days when I do get caught up, I can alway look at my “Joy List” to add a little bit of something to my day even if it is a walking break during lunch.

What things bring you joy and meaning? Feel free to list to your heart’s content!

Need inspiration — check out this article to help you get started: 100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy from WiseBread

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekly Coffee Share: Last one before I turn 30

If we were having coffee, it would be at home and I’d serve these life-changing donuts. On Friday, my coworker took me and few coworkers to this donut place called Donut man. I’m not a fan of glazed donuts, but these are different not too sweet.

Donut Man Strawberry donut

Last week, I saw Miss Sloane — I love Jessica Chastain. It was like watching a modern-day Greek tragedy of a hard-working woman doing what it takes to succeed as a D.C. lobbyist even if she makes unethical work decisions. Miss Sloans works 24/7, forgoes friendships to get ahead, and takes drugs to stay awake. I can see spectrums of Miss Sloane in a lot of people including myself. For me, I get over-involved, I am determined to do it well and do things right. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who push me but I always ask myself, “How far do I need to lean in?” Instead of asking me, maybe I should ask them “how far.” Until I fall over?

For grad school, they needed 3 letters of recommendation from my colleagues, so I could not start this semester. I may not have gotten into grad school (right now), but I found out I was going to be a co-author for a study I was working on for the past year. My partner submitted it and it’s on its way to be published in a journal. It’s a huge honor to get an authorship, but a little part of me felt a little sick.

For every achievement I’ve hit in my life, I get a “congrats” immediately followed by “what’s next?” and pushing me to go for bigger, greater. Again, I repeat, I am blessed by people who cheer me on, but what if I am fatigued? What if I want to run at a comfortable pace and enjoy process? Or what if I want to take a break and enjoy sitting still?

For the past year, I’ve been preaching to people that I’ve got other goals not related to my work. Why does it have to be? I urge people to be more well-rounded and pursue things in life that bring you joy.

This is my weekend before I turn 30. In the last few months I came to realize I am workaholic and I’ve recovering and fighting to avoid relapse. I decided to dedicate this new decade to pursue things in my life that bring me meaning. I also want to listen to my body. Almost a year ago, I inflamed both my wrists from typing a lot. It was not quite carpal tunnel but I did get a ergonomics check. About 2 weeks ago, I got carpal tunnel on my right wrist. I did not want to do another ergonomics check because let’s face it: I don’t want a modified keyboard and expect me to work at my former pace. Instead, why can’t I listen to my body telling me, “you can step away from the keyboard and computer screen.”

What’s up for this week?

This week is going to be busy work-wise and it’s going to be short. Monday, I am driving to San Diego, but I am hoping I can finish the day and go home at a reasonable time. Tuesday, is a full day and I am throwing my coworker a farewell happy hour because it is her last day. Wednesday, I hope I can start a little later because I am hosting a networking event later that day. Thursday looks promising and open. And finally, Friday, is my day off. It’s the start of my long weekend and we’re going to Sequoia!

Sequoia Kings Canyon

I hope this week, I can squeeze in time for a professional massage. I am embarrassed I just discovered the benefits! My husband gave me a massage yesterday because I told him I felt like my body was breaking down. He’s not a professional masseuse, but I felt the difference. I felt more alert and my mind is not so foggy.

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekly Coffee Share: A Mini-Vacation

If we were having coffee, I’d serve Iced Raspberry Lattes at home. This is my favorite post because it’s an opportunity just write about anything in one post.

My first guest post! I did my first guest post for The Cappuccino Traveler featuring one of my favorite coffee places in LA. Go check it out!

Cacao latte and churros

Turning over. This summer has been the busiest summer for me work-wise. Last week, our intern ended her practicum and in another week, my coworker is leaving her post. I do confess, I did have moments when I butt heads with my co-worker. I got along with her most days, but when it came to confrontation all I got defense, defense, and “I don’t have any experience in [fill in the blank].” In a lot of jobs I’ve had, if I encounter something I am not familiar with whether it’s a skill on Excel, a product, or troubleshoot something, I researched how to do it and tried it myself. I kid you not, I had a former coworker who has a Master’s degree who did not know how to do Microsoft Excel. My supervisor asked me to give my former coworker an Excel training. In retrospect, I should have e-mailed YouTube how-to videos to save myself the time. I’ve been trained since my university days to research and use your resources — Youtube, forums, and overall the Internet has opened up A LOT of doors for me try different things. Public universities for the win.

Mini-vacation. On Friday, I took a well-needed day-off. I urge people instead of calling it a “mental health break” to call it something else. I hated it when anybody said “do you need a few hours for a ‘mental health break’?” It’s a silly question; we all deserve time off at anytime to pursue an extra day of meaningful activities in life, not because you’re overworked.

Caballero Canyon Santa Monica Mountains
I used my day off to explore a trail not too far from the bustle of the San Fernando Valley (Hike #31 coming soon!)

For me, I am going to stick with calling it a “mini-vacation”. It’s simple. Mini because it’s a day here, a day there. I stay local and I use that day off to go to places I would normally go on a weekend such a brunch spot or a hiking trail, but on my mini-vacation day it’s far less crowded.

Took the plunge. I took the plunge, I bought tickets to “Hamilton” at the Pantages. This was after days of deciding too. I also consulted with people if I should buy the tickets. Note to self: Don’t consult. Everyone has different opinions on what is worth spending. The replies I got back was “I would never pay this much to go see a play”. Sidenote: These are people who justify paying thousands of dollars on a designer purse, a nice car, closet of designer clothes, etc. Maybe reaching out to them was not a great idea; clearly, designer clothes and shoes are meaningful for them, while tickets to a highly accoladed musical is meaningful for me.

What’s up for this week?

One of the committees I am part of got a nice sponsorship. I received the e-mail on Friday. I look forward to reaching out to them to see what this entails. I’ve been part of this committee since the inception of this chapter — to be one of the three chapters in whole world to be chosen for this sponsorship is huge honor. My efforts and contributions has paid off, and in return being part of this committee has helped me blossomed professionally. I was initially part of this committee because of my event planning skills, I never thought this skill would bring me so far.

At work, we are doing a 6-week healthy habits lifestyle challenge. Each day from Monday to Friday, we need to eat 2.5 cups of vegetables, 1.5 cups of fruit, 64 ounces of water, and do 30 minutes of exercise. I have no issues with exercising and drinking water, but the fruit and veggie consumption will be challenging. To help catalyze my consumption, I make myself green smoothies for breakfast. Last week, I had a green smoothie 4 out of the 5 days. I’m not sure if I am able to keep up drinking only green smoothies for breakfast each morning for the remaining 5 weeks. I enjoy switching my breakfast foods around. Maybe I’d like to make myself a Florentine omelette — it’s got spinach!

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekend Coffee Share: Here’s a Lemoncocco

At my house you will usually find a limited selection of beverages: water, coffee (available in hot and cold), teas (hot and cold), or some citrus beverage because we have an abundant amount of oranges and lemons in my yard. Once in a while, you’ll find beer or wine and very seldom you will find carbonated beverages or other specialty drinks.


If we were having coffee, I would also offer a Lemoncocco and DRY sparkling soda. I picked these up yesterday when I was wandering through Gelson’s searching for an indoor plant for our house. I never had Lemoncocco before today and this Italian beverage is not overly sweet. Don’t be surprise if this will end up being a regular in my house. My favorite soft drink is DRY sparkling but I don’t find it in a lot of markets. I guess that is good thing. It’s not sweet and I love the unusual flavors it comes in like lavender, rhubarb, and watermelon.

What else is up?

New face. Yes, this blog has a new layout as of yesterday. I like it a lot. I hope I stick to this one for a while.

Let it go. As of lately, I have been decluttering according to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (and here’s a summary)Ever since we moved into our house two years ago, we have not unpacked every box. But it did not stop by from buying things for our house too. Also, we had a housemate who occupied our spare room for almost two years. When she moved out, she left a lot of her stuff at our house which created more clutter. And we have stuff from the previous owners. I decided to put Marie Kondo’s tips into execution. When I see something, I ask myself, “does it bring meaning, does it bring joy?” If not, I’ll either I trash it or send it to donations.

It’s certainly a more aggressive way to declutter but I feel so much better. My husband likes to hold on to things even way after it serves its use on the otherhand. Today for examples, my husband wanted to get rid of our pub table and replace it with more shelves for our pantry. I am all for it, but I was not for relocating the pub table into the laundry room. Besides where would the two chairs go? I told him the pub table will not have any purpose in the laundry room. Sure there is room for the pub table, but wouldn’t a drying rack make more sense? Also wouldn’t the pub table be sad? The pub table spent its first several years as the main dining table to serve me and then my boyfriend-now-husband. It spent its years in the kitchen/dining room as the center of the home. It’s still being used to hold cookbooks and meal prep and eat breakfast, but now we have a regular dining table in the dining room. The pub table would be sad staying in the laundry room with no purpose other than to hold junk.

This pub table was purchased 10 years ago and I got it from IKEA for less than 90 dollars. That being said, I would not be sad if this were to go to the donation bin. Thank you for your years of service pub table and chairs for giving us a comfortable place to eat, otherwise we’d be eating around the coffee table sitting on the floor.

What’s up for this week?

For the blog, stay tuned for a few photos from my recent hikes. I even have one taken with a 360-camera. I’ll see if I can post that. Also, my first guest post spot!

For life, I have PTO this Friday. It’s been an unusually busy summer for me work-wise. According to my calendar, it should be fairly calm this week. I hope.

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekend Coffee Share: Instagram


No coffee today. I think today is a good day to have a pineapple cider :-).

After thinking this through, I finally got around to making an Instagram for my blog. I had my reasons to not having a separate Instagram account — I thought my personal account was enough. The truth is, I don’t really update my personal account and I felt my personal account should be for covering the candid things in my life and I want to continue to keep it less curated. My blog account should be more like an extension of the blog and promote my posts. I felt incorporating my blog content to my personal account would be awkward disruptive to my feed.

I have some friends who post on Instagram of pictures of their family, kids, dinner with friends, selfies with their make-up for the day, outings, and the next thing you know they post photos about their upcoming sale, inspiring quotes about living and breathing organic food, and reposts. The change in posting behavior can confuse your personal brand. If you need to sell your organic oils and reach your followers via Instagram, then make a brand new, separate account instead.

There you have it, if you want an extension of this blog, check out @inthewildla. If you want to get to know me and follow me in real-time, then check out @itsjuliebear.

Do you keep separate social media accounts for your blog? If so (or not), then why.


Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekend Coffee Share: Planning a spa afternoon

If we were having coffee, it would be at my house. We’d have coffee from a conservative selection of Nespresso pods. I have Vanizio, Intenso, and Melozio for now. Which would you like? The weather has been bearable for hot coffee.


Train ride to San Diego: don’t let the grey fool you! It was warm!

I’ve had a fair share of Lyft rides this week to get LA and San Diego. Here are topics I share with my Lyft Driver:

  • Unions: What’s good about them, what’s bad about them
  • The importance of having social connections when you’re older, especially if you have dementia
  • The status of your job interview (not mine, theirs)
  • The stigma of living in the San Fernando
  • Will San Fernando be super crowded a few years down the road?
  • Costs of housing back in the day versus today.
  • Gentrification in Los Angeles
  • I need a spa weekend

I feel this week was like running like a marathon. I’ve ran marathons before so I have this marathon mentality to keep on going to get to the finish line. Wednesday was a long day because I went to San Diego and came back home at 8 PM. About 2 hours later, my in-laws called and said they wanted to stay over at our house because they came from a long road trip, and 1 hour later they arrived plus I finally went to sleep.

My husband feels he did not feel quite refreshed since our Paso Robles lake house trip earlier this month. I blame the sun for wearing us out. I suggested to my husband, we need to spend an afternoon at a Korean spa. We’ve got Groupons and that’s what we’ll do this weekend! It’s over due and much needed! But…got a few things I need to do today which is my morning barre class and Toastmasters Officer Training right after. Then we’ll go to the Korean spa.

In other news, how cool is this first trailer of Ready Player One?

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekend Coffee Share: We’ve got madeleines

The madeleine bake-a-thon came to an end of Friday. Whew! If we were having coffee, we’d be at my house and I’d serve some cold brew and eat some madeleines and macaron’s from the wedding. It was a wonderful wedding — I’d say one of the best weddings I’ve been to. It was nice to see you don’t need to drop a whole lot of cash to have a great wedding (and a great marriage). It was nice to also run into old friends and former co-workers again.


Orange Blossom Flavor Madeleines

Where this week go? I spent a large part of the week preparing the madeleines. I am somewhat burnt out on making any more desserts after the wedding. I told myself after this wedding, I’ll do some sort of Whole 30 Challenge. Instead of doing it for 30 days, I’ll do it for 15 days. I’ve done the Whole 30 Challenge and got through the whole month of March successfully. It was life-changing for me. I was amazed I was able to avoid sugar and alcohol for the whole month. Also this mini-challenge could not have arrived at a better time because I ran out of sugar — so no more desserts for now.

Instead of doing 15 days, why can’t you do the entire 30? Again, I would say timing is a factor. It’s summer time where a lot of the season is heavy on events such as weddings, travelling, and social events. Or how about this? I’ll aim for Whole 15 for my first milestone and from there, I’ll see if I can take it all the way to Day 30.

San Jose for another day. This week went by fast. On Wednesday, I flew to San Jose and stay there 6 AM to 6:30 PM. I arrived to LAX AT 7:40 PM and did not arrive home until after 9 PM. I was so tired.

*inhales deeply* On Friday, my day ended with a bit of anxiety. Not a great way to end the work week, and neither a great way to welcome the weekend. At around 3:30 PM on Friday, I received a reminder e-mail from my grad program admissions the deadline to submit all my application materials was due this Sunday. I thought I fixed my issue in regards to the delivery of one of my academic transcripts. I received an e-mail from my grad program they received my transcript as soon as that  arrived. The weight of receiving that e-mail — even thinking about that e-mail — felt like a pit hanging in the bottom of my stomach. As soon as I received that e-mail on Friday, I immediately e-mailed back to the admissions program asking what else I was possibly missing. I anticipated I would not get a reply — maybe they received these responses around that same time from a lot of the applicants like me. *exhales tenuto*

Reads. Oh yeah, this week I finished two books, Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham and Modern Love by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg. I told myself this month I need to work on my “Current Reads” page.

This coming week:

Reviewing my agenda, so far it looks not so busy compared to this past week. Again, that could be deceiving. As of lately, I’ve been making a more conscious effort to avoid burning out and managing my work and life load. If I don’t get around to something, I should not punish myself. It’s been an interesting way of approaching…well…life. All my life, I’ve been running, running, running but it I asked myself “To what? To where?”

Also, I’ll let you know how this Whole 15 thing goes.

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekend Coffee Share: Have Some Cake

If we were having coffee, it would be at my house. I would make us some Vietnamese styled iced coffee and serve this Italian style cake I baked from Food52. For some strange reason, it reminds me of my Vietnamese mother-in-law’s honeycomb cake. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the cake.

I felt like baking a cake because I’ve been making a lot of madeleines in preparation for my friend’s wedding. I’ve tested different flavors from earl grey latte, lemon, vanilla, chocolate, banana, rosewater, and orange blossom. The final flavors that will be presented at the wedding are: rosewater, orange blossom, and vanilla dipped in chocolate.

But I’m not quite done yet though. I needed to figure out how to differentiate between rosewater and orange blossom. Also I need to figure out how to display them, purchase a few large airtight containers, and enough ingredients to make 300+ madeleines total.

My husband and I finally got a new mattress. After 8 years, I traded in my IKEA memory foam mattress for a Purple Mattress. Yes, I’ve had this mattress before I met my husband. So far, it’s promising and our mattress is not retaining heat.

Because we got a new mattress, it meant a trip to one of my favorite places, Home Goods! We picked up new bed sheets, servings plates, and I can never leave without a few more  items like this ceramic pig (plus a candle and new measuring cups)! I thought it was so cute! And it fits so well with the “Eat” and “Farm” signs I picked up from Target a couple of week back.


This Week:

A good chunk of it will be making madeleines — for a project like this, it would be awesome to have a kitchen aid. Today, I’ll start making the batter and get to baking them either Tuesday or Thursday night. FYI madeleines do freeze well.

On Wednesday, I’ll be in San Jose for the day at work. It’s going to be a long day.

Then Saturday will be the wedding day!

Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.

Weekend Coffee Share: It’s going to be a hot weekend

If we were having coffee, it would be at my house I’ll serve cold brew but you’ve got some options. Usually at home, the only beverages we stock up are coffee and tea. We have a Brita filter so we drink primarily water. Occasionally we have wine and beer and very rarely we have any carbonated beverages in the house. Because it’s so hot, we have La Croix sparkling water and San Pellegrino sparkling fruit beverage. You are indeed in luck.

Anyways it’s been so hot, the news placed an excessive heat warning and it will carry on tonight at 11 PM. Instead of dinner tonight, I would be happy to get some ice cream.

This week was nice. I was on vacation at Lake Nacimiento which is north of San Luis Osbipo. On the way from Lake Nacimiento, we thought of taking a little road trip along the Central Coast. We explored San Luis Osbipo and Solvang. We did not spend a whole lot of time in each town because the drive was so long. Also, we had plans to meet our friends in Calabasas later that day to see their new apartment.


Come to think of it, I don’t have any photos of our walk around downtown San Luis Obispo except for this photo of Koda. It looks like he’s got a big smile.

Solvang is a cute little town with Danish influences. Solvang means “Sunny Field” in Danish. I wish we stayed a little longer to explore. It’s likely we’ll come back when the weather cools.

These are photos I took from Solvang to Calabasas because I wasn’t driving. The State Route 246 is a fun drive. From the hills I can see the ocean and Santa Barbara.

I mentioned in an earlier post, our housemate is in the process of moving out. I have to say, she moved out fast. She came back her 3-week vacation in Europe, arrived home on the 4th of July, and moved her stuff out the following day. I guess she really wanted to live that West LA life. We are not looking for a housemate to occupy the spare room. My husband and I decided we’ll bootstrap and enjoy the house to ourselves.

Next week: 

Well I have all 5 days of work. It looks like this coming Friday and Saturday would be more bearable. Hopefully it means I can hike somewhere.

Also on Wednesday, I have a presentation. Wish me luck everyone!


Julie Weekend Coffee Share

Credit: The Smushed Peach

Interested in participating in the Weekend Coffee Share yourself? Come on over to Nerd in the Brain for more details! Check out the link party page or this wordpress tag for inspiration.