My cross-posted entries will be public, but the rest will be friends only. Comment if you add me so I know who you are!

I work in a career advising office and I’m an intern at a prominent non-profit organization. So how is it, exactly, that I’ve managed to live this life without owning a pair of black pants?

I realized this problem when I was getting dressed for work last week. There was a cold snap at the end of the week, which meant I had to trade in my pencil skirt for a pair of pants. While I do have “dress pants” (khakis and a pair of dark brown pinstripes), I don’t have plain, regular black pants. Like, seriously? I’m trained to give conduct a workshop that has a component which talks about appropriate clothing for work and I didn’t have a pair of black pants?

Thank God the business clothing section at H&M is all I can say. I hit it up yesterday and I now have a nice pair of black pants and a fitted black blazer to boot. All I need are a pair of work-appropriate heels (I’m the queen of flats when it comes to work, but I think heels give more of a professional look) and I will actually look the part of my professional roles!

(The fact that I’ve managed to create an entire entry about my lack of black pants shows you just how exciting my life has been lately. Not that I’m not enjoying life at the moment, per se; it’s just that there hasn’t been many eventful things worth sharing on this blog.)

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, everyone! Enjoy a moon cake and light a lantern to celebrate this wonderful day.

This is one of my favorite Chinese holidays because I have some fantastic childhood memories associated with this festival. I remember standing on the back porch and my mom would light candle-lit lanterns. My brother and I got to snap brand-new glow sticks and wave them around in the air as we ran around the porch. Then, once we were exhausted from running around waving our lit glow sticks, we would go inside the house and eat moon cakes. My mom and brother would eat normal moon cakes, but my mom would always get me the kind without egg yolk because I dislike plain egg yolks. Those were happy, happy days. :)

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

First there was an earthquake. Then there was Hurricane Irene. Now there is massive flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. And now, in light of the 10th anniversary of September 11 this Sunday, there is a terror threat.

I guess there’s nothing like starting the academic year off with lots of dramatic events…

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

My new apartment has a 2-in-1 washer/dryer. It dries clothes straight after washing, which is great but not great because that means my clothes are extremely wrinkly after the whole cycle. I’ve never felt the need to iron my casual clothes until I started using this machine!

However, while ironing my monstrous pile of laundry this afternoon, I discovered that ironing is not a talent I possess:

It hurts :( I’ll have to learn how to iron without burning myself though, because wrinkly clothes have never been chic!

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

I grew up in a house where every member of my family would gather around the dinner table every night for a hot meal and eat together. My mother would suffer no excuses when it came to eating dinner as a family; it was a constant in her household. The only exceptions I can recall is that if one of us were not at home during dinnertime (frowned upon) or if one of us were sick (excusable).

I think a lot of her insistence on eating dinner together as a family is because it was a part of the day where everyone would gather ’round and eat, talk, and bond. It was her time to catch up with her children and for my brother and I to argue about something stupid. As my mom always cooked dinner, eating dinner together also had something to do with politeness and manners. She cooked the meal; it would have been the height of rudeness if one of us had taken a plate of home-cooked food and eaten it on our lonesome in our bedroom or something.

Now that I’m on my own and have a packed schedule, I find that I’m often eating dinner on my own, and usually on the go. I’ll grab a burrito at Chipotle and eat it once I get home from my internship. I’ll eat a bagel sandwich from Einstein’s Bagels during my afternoon shift at work. I’ll eat a bowl of Special K in the morning before I take off for the day. I’ll cook dinner for myself and eat it in front of the TV, saving leftovers for the next day. My schedule often allows me to get dinners with friends, but we almost always go out to eat.

I love the food and conversation I have with my friends when we go out to eat, but I miss the dinners at my house. I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up in a house where family dinners didn’t exist. It’s not even the home-cooked factor (although I miss that dearly!), it’s the fact that I can’t understand how families don’t, or can’t, or won’t, come together for dinner. It makes me sad, because I have some great memories of dinners at my house when I was growing up!

Question of the Week: Does your family have family dinners where you all eat together? Or is dinner an individual occasion?

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

When the earliest I can get home on any given day of the working week is 5p.m. (on a Friday!), it is very telling just how all-consuming my class/work/internship schedule is. Needless to say, I’m beat from this week. It’s almost 6p.m. on a Friday evening and I’m sitting on my couch in my PJ’s watching reruns of NCIS like an old lady. Not gonna lie, it’s kind of nice that I have absolutely nothing planned for tonight but to relax and unwind. Oh, and maybe tackle some of my readings…

I know I’ve talked about how busy I am on this blog before and it might seem like I’m complaining but I’m not, honestly. My schedule is something I chose and I’m happy with all the things that I’m doing. I just think it’s kind of scary how fast I went from being a freshman with a handful of classes and a schedule that was wide open in terms of free time to a totally jam-packed schedule where I’m juggling sixteen things at once. How did I grow up so fast? Where did the time go? Am I really expected to be an Adult in the Real World come graduation next year?!

(Oh, and in news I meant to post earlier but I completely forgot to and now it’s kind of late and outdated: I survived both the DC earthquake and Hurricane Irene last week without incident, minus the 24 hours or so I lost power due to Irene. My area was incredibly lucky as others were not as fortunate with either, or both, of the natural disasters.)

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

On the last day of every month, I take Just a Minute to reflect on what I’m currently up to.

Starting… my classes for the fall semester. So far I’m really excited about them all, which is great because my schedule is overpacked this semester and it would be horrible if I didn’t like my classes!

Loving… my internship. It’s early days, but I have a really good feeling about this. I was already doing hands-on work my first day, which is a very positive sign.

Working… a lot. I love my job (I have a part-time job in addition to my internship and classes) and I look forward to work every day, but having such a thorough schedule impacts my social life a teeny bit. I’m not complaining, though :)

Spending… time with my friends, roommates, and boyfriend. It’s hard to juggle seeing everyone on top of all my other commitments, but I vowed to not let my social life slide in favor of class and work. So far I seem to be balancing everything pretty well, but it is only the first week of the semester.

Buying… daily deals from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. I only buy them for things I would go to anyway (like discounted museum tickets) or for a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. It reminds me of those coupon books my mom had when I was a kid and we’d use the deals in the book to try out new restaurants!

Budgeting… more stringently from now on, thanks to the help of BudgetPulse. (Funny how “budgeting” comes right after my bullet about “buying”!) My goal is to use BudgetPulse as a tool for me to not only manage my money better but also to figure out where it all goes.

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

An earthquake didn’t stop me from celebrating my 21st birthday with friends at the Cheesecake Factory so you can sure as hell bet Hurricane Irene won’t stop me from going out and celebrating my 21st at the bars tonight!

21st Birthday Outfit


I’m going to look awesome and it’s going to be fantastic. I’m so excited for this year. It’s not just the being 21 factor, but I have a really good feeling about it being an awesome, awesome year!

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

21

Aug. 23rd, 2011 11:37 am

I’m finally 21!!!!!!!!

And that is pretty much all I have to say about that.

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

Tonight, I made my first home-cooked meal in my apartment. Since I’ve been missing my mom’s home-cooked Chinese food, I decided to go with one of my favorite dishes of hers: chicken and broccoli stir fry. It’s incredibly simple to make, but it tastes really, really good.

I’m happy to report that my dinner was a success (the stir fry was served with a side of steamed white rice). However, it still didn’t taste as good as my mom’s. I guess nothing will ever beat my mom’s cooking – not even my own!

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

Even though my 21st birthday is only a few days away, I’ve never been so upset that I’m not yet 21. All my friends are out at the bars and clubs and I’m stuck home alone on a Saturday night because I can’t get into the places they’re at. Thank GOD this is my last weekend as a 20-year-old because this seriously blows.

Oh 21st birthday, please hurry up and arrive before I have no social life to speak of…! (I kid. Well, kind of. I miss being able to go out and have wild nights, dammit! I never had this age problem in China!)

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

Remember how I talked about how I was waiting to hear back about a fall internship? Well, I was offered my dream internship!! I will be a media relations intern at a prominent international organization. I’m really excited as this position will allow me to dive head-first into my field of study and gain valuable experience. I also strongly believe in this organization’s mission statement, which was one of the reasons why I wanted so badly to intern at this organization.

I will have a full day of orientation in exactly two weeks. After that, I’ll begin interning part-time throughout the whole semester. I’m so excited! :D

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

This morning was the third time I’ve been caught in a torrential downpour without an umbrella or any form of rain protection whatsoever in the last two weeks. This leads me to believe I either need to live in a place that is not prone to torrential downpours (unlikely to happen) or invest in an umbrella (much more likely to happen).

Seriously though, who else has this kind of luck? At least the first time I was running in the streets with the boy (which made me feel like I was in The Notebook). But the last two times I’ve been caught in the rain on my walk home. I guess I should consider it lucky that I was only going home and not leaving home because then it didn’t really matter if I got soaked to the bone, but still. It’s kind of depressing to have the heavens open on you as you’re trudging home.

Thing is, I don’t like umbrellas. Actually, I hate them. When it gets really rainy, more often than not it’s incredibly windy, and then an umbrella is pretty much useless because the raindrops are flinging at you in all directions and it’s just a hot mess. A rain jacket is much more practical, but far more expensive.

…basically, I just need to be more prepared for rain. Gotta go shopping for a rain jacket, rain boots, and possibly even an umbrella. It rained so rarely in Beijing that I’m really not used to how prone DC is to rainy weather!

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve spent the last week interviewing for internships. I had one in-person interview and two phone interviews, and I find out about the status of all of them early next week. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I impatient? Yes. But there’s nothing I can do but wait.

In my unguarded moments, I find myself fantasizing about what it would be like if I am the successful candidate for the one I want the most ouf of the three internships I interviewed for. Because seriously, it would be such a sweet internship; it’d be everything I’d want out of an internship experience. But then I quickly quash those fantasies because honestly, that will just make it all the more harder if I find out I wasn’t the successful candidate.

Hopefully I’ll have landed at least one of the internships. (Ideally, I’d have my pick of the three, but of course life is never ideal.) And if I’m not successful for any, I guess it’s back to the drawing board…

(This has pretty much been my life last week – interview after interview after interview. Hence the lack of entries. I’m sure life will get more exciting in the coming weeks :P)

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve moved.

Last week was “Moving Week,” hence my disappearance from the Internet for the first week of August. I packed up all my worldly possessions and moved from Chicago to D.C. I do miss Chicago already, but it’s a strange way of missing a city. I’ve really only lived in Chicago for two years (my last two years of high school), since then I’ve been only going home for relatively short visits. Still, two years is a long enough time to call a place home, and I’ll miss that Chicago skyline.

But! D.C. is one of my favorite cities in the US, and I’m now living in an apartment with two of my best friends. This is a vast improvement over living in the dorms, which is what I did my freshman and sophomore years of college. I’m super excited to have my own kitchen with a working oven. The first things I want to make are cheesecake-stuffed strawberries and chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. YUM :D

As my school year doesn’t start until the last week of August, I’ve got all month to settle into my new digs, see friends, and hopefully land an internship for the semester. Oh, and hang out with my (new) boyfriend…!!

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

On the last day of every month, I take Just a Minute to reflect on what I’m currently up to.

Packing… up all of my worldly possessions for my upcoming move to DC. My God, I hate packing. You’d think with the amount of un/packing I have to do with all my traveling I’d at least like packing a little, but nope.

Reading… an essay about the rise and fall of Quanzhou, China. It’s very dense, and if I hadn’t promised a friend I’d read it I’d be reading Sarah Dessen or something.

Catching… up on my TV shows. I’ve finished The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and The Tudors. I’ve still got Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, and Glee to catch up on. Not to mention I’ve started watching a new Chinese TV show, so I’ve got a lot of TV watching to do.

Baking… cakes and cupcakes to make up for my year with no oven in China! So far I’ve made lemon basil olive oil cake and coconut-grapefruit cupcakes with matcha frosting.

Browsing… lots of food blogs in an effort to start stockpiling recipes. I’ll be cooking for myself all year and I need new recipe ideas!

Anticipating… my return to DC! I can’t wait to move into my apartment, live with my roommates, and see all of my friends again.

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

Yesterday1 was one of those days when all the stars aligned and everything fell into place effortlessly.

I had bubble milk tea with taro, one of my favorite drinks. I had a delicious home-cooked Chinese lunch. I saw Chinglish, an absolutely fantastic play. I went to KTV and, for an evening, could pretend that I was back in my beloved China. And I finally heard something I’ve been waiting to hear for far, far too long.

Oh, and I made these coconut-grapefruit cupcakes with matcha (green tea) frosting:

  1. Yes, the title of this entry is ripped off the Taylor Swift song, but “Yesterday Was a Fairytale” doesn’t quite have the same ring. Ah, well. []

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

I was approved for a credit card at the bank today. This is clearly a sign I am Moving Up and Becoming a Real Adult as I’ve only ever had a debit card before. While I don’t have my actual card yet (it takes 2-3 weeks for my card to be sent to me) I do have a credit account now, with a line of credit from my bank and everything. Isn’t that scary?

As a rising college senior, it might seem like I’m a little late to the credit card game. In a way, I am; to my knowledge I have a non-existent credit rating. I’ve never had a credit card, how could I have a credit score? But the truth is, I’ve always been a little terrified of credit cards. Tons of people, especially in my age demographic, have more credit card debt than they know how to deal with. Of course I know the basics of avoiding credit card debt (which all basically boil down to don’t spend money you don’t have) but the fact that the terms “credit card” and “credit card debt” are almost always used in the same sentence in every news report about credit kind of scares me.

I don’t plan on making any flashy purchases with my new credit card, nor do I plan on spending money I don’t have with it, line of credit or no. What I do plan on using it for is to build my credit. Which leads me to an all-important question: anyone have any credit-building tips?

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

Tagline: Ska2oosh!

Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu

Summary: Po, the new Dragon Warrior, joins forces with his kung fu master friends to defeat an old enemy with a deadly weapon that could spell the end of kung fu

5 Words/Phrases: Great animation; witty script; good development between characters; interesting developments with Po’s backstory; all-around enjoyable movie

Most Impressed By: Jack Black is a great voice actor, he is superb as the voice of Po

Least Impressed By: …nothing!

Comments: It’s a solid movie but I’m skeptical of the ending – it leaves the movie wide-open for Kung Fu Panda 3, which isn’t something I’m positive is a good idea…

Overall Rating: 9/10

Cross-posted from breakthesky.net. Please leave any comments there.

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