kindness matters

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spotted when i was in New Haven a few weeks ago

 

Today was quite a strange day. Eventful, but strange. I’m at home now, recounting today’s activities and there seems to be the overarching message of kindness. I just had to blog to share with you. Continue reading

Morning Special

Not too long ago, I saw someone’s post about a “morning special” in Manhattan’s Koreatown. Since I found myself awake at 5 AM this morning, I figured today would be a good day to take advantage (and make an adventure out) of this morning special. I took my time getting ready, had a leisurely and comfortable commute into the city and got to New Wonjo in Ktwon by 7:30 AM.

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A whole new world

Today, I had one of those “Ohmygosh that can do that? that looks like that? WOW MINDBLOWN” moments.

I was at work emailing one of my counterparts in the London headquarters, when she casually asked how everything was going here in New York. At one point of the exchange I mentioned, “all is well, it’s getting chillier and to be honest, I’d rather be in London.”

She said that she would rather be in New York especially because the holiday season was approaching, “Could we switch places?” she asked me, “It’s pouring over here and I might have to swim home.”

I went onto google to see what the weather in London was like and somehow found myself in google maps.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used google maps for subway/directions but I did NOT know that you could look up a place, and place yourself street level, so that you can see images of the storefronts and streets!! On top of that, you can spin around, look up, and float down the streets using directional arrows.

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Once I realized this, I started googling every address I could think of and started clicking around. Needless to say, I had too much fun zooming through the streets; it was as if I had traveled there myself, if only for a few minutes. I even started discovering places I had never even heard of, and got excited by the possibilities.

Now I just have to go to London and experience the real thing.

It’s amazing what you can do with technology, isn’t it? What I love most about it is that it can expand your mind within just a few minutes and a few clicks. It can take you away and out of whatever situation and thought process you were just in. It opens a world of possibilities.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you already knew about google streetview but I challenge you to look up a place you have always wanted to visit, or learn more about, and web-explore.

Don’t know where to start?

Start here.

Oh the little things in life. Those random moments of discovery. Gotta love them.

Here’s to the weekend.

-AndreaM

“Adventure may hurt you, but monotony will kill you.”- unknown

Editorial of the week: couture dreams

Ling Yue is a model I’m not too familiar with, but I quickly forget that upon scanning these photos from the October issue of L’Officiel China. Aptly titled couture dreams, the editorial entrances with dreamy haute couture looks from the Fall collections of Armani Prive, Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture and Chanel Haute Couture, just to name a few. Every photo is like a work of art: perfectly composed, dramatically lit and seductively moody- it has me dreaming of China, if not couture. I can’t decide which photo I like the best! My desire to visit China has only grown.

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LOI (letter of intent)

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street art i spotted

When I look at the date of my last blog post (August 4 for the record), I cringe a little… Not blogging for 3 months is basically committing “blogger suicide”:
You’re no longer relevant because you’re not as social or active. You’ve basically given everyone a reason not to care anymore. As a matter of fact, I haven’t posted in so long that I am no longer a part of the blogger network I once was a member of- I just didn’t cut it. My monthly visitors have dropped and my views have become inconsistent. I’ll even admit that when I logged back in to post this just now, I almost didn’t recognize the dashboard! Even WordPress had gone through a makeover during my absence. Eek.

But to tell you the truth, if I had blogged at any point in the past 3 months I believe it would’ve only been for the sake of posting and not because I wanted to or truly felt like it. It would’ve felt forced and not authentic to myself and let’s face it: you are smart enough to be able to tell if it’s disingenuous. Quite frankly, I think that’s the worst type of writing out there: disingenuous creation. To write because you feel obligated to and not because you feel compelled to? Why, that’s a waste of paper and/or post. 

I’ve been getting emails lately about whether or not I’d like to renew my wordpress account. For awhile I thought I’d just let this domain die and let my blog slowly fade away. But when I think about why I started my blog, with this name in particular, I just can’t seem to let go.

So consider this a blog post a letter of intent. (I’ve been drafting a lot of LOI’s at work lately (they’re legal documents), so why not a LOI in my own life?)

I intend to come back and blog weekly if not daily. There are just too many things I see and think about that I would like to share with you in hopes that it opens up your mind and brightens up your day a bit more. I’m also reminded of a conversation I had with Clarissa awhile back during her visit to New York. Although we hadn’t spoken face to face for quite some time (she had moved to the west coast after graduation about a year ago), when we reunited in person we had a random but meaningful and inspiring conversation which led me to realize that we, everyone in general, need to have more real, honest and meaningful conversations. Less about celebrity’s butts, and more about the things that truly fill us and make us think.

 Whether or not you’re a millennial like I am, we all need to think more and feel more. Be allergic to average and apathy, remember that?

So thank you for reading. Whoever you are, wherever you are. Tag along for exactly what I promise you on my side bar over there:

“the things I love, see, do and wear inBusinessandLife. I talk and write about what I like and think about, all within the context of my adventures as a 23 year old millennial living and dreaming in the one and only NYC.”

I might lose followers because I might talk about unpopular topics, who knows, but what you can always expect from me is complete and total honesty.
I’m putting the personal back into “personal blog.”

Another thank you to Clarissa for mentioning me in one of her blog posts. She is a friend I personally look up to (yes, in business and life) so for that I am grateful.

Talk to you soon.

-AndreaM

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Editorial of the week: Modern Day In the Mood for Love

Oh boy do I love a great fashion editorial. I came across this editorial on a blog, rolala loves (who seems to share my love for fashion editorials), and was instantly wooed, especially because it pays an elegant tribute to one of the most aesthetically beautiful movies I’ve seen: In the Mood for Love.

Whether or not you’re familiar with director Wong Kar Wai’s work, you’ll love this atmospheric editorial.  Models Li Xiaoling and Zhao Lei stylishly channel the roles played by Maggie Cheung and Tong Leung, making longing and elegant restraint look not only fashionable but also effortless. Here they are with the supporting cast of designers Tom Ford, Armani, Jason Wu, Rodarte and more.

There is also a gorgeous short fashion film  that accompanies this editorial.  If you’d like to get the full In the Mood for Love experience, I’d recommend you play this song from it’s soundtrack while you view these photos:

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Without further ado:

 

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Things I love: Yummly

Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen with ingredients but no idea what to cook? I know that even if I buy groceries knowing exactly what I’m going to make that week, I always end up with extra groceries that I don’t know how to use. Sometimes I’ll just make “clean out the fridge” pasta, but when even that doesn’t work, I turn to one of my favorite apps/sites, Yummly.

All you have to do is type in the ingredient you’re trying to work with in the search bar and Yummly will load up all the recipes on the internet that has that ingredient.

For example, when I had bokchoy and bacon in my fridge, I came across bacon-y bokchoy and boom:

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When I wanted to try something new with chicken, I came across miso chicken:

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These are just some of the many possibilities that you can come across in Yummly! If anything, you might have difficulty choosing from all of the recipes!

I bought ciabatta bread yesterday for a recipe I have in mind for tomorrow. Turns out I have way more than I need for that particular recipe so I’ll be using yummly to see what else I can use ciabatta for!

Stay tuned and find out what I make by following me on instagram!! I hope it’ll be drool worthy. You’ll also noticed that I’m also trying to work on my plating skills!

When in doubt, Yummly. You’ll wonder how you lived without it before!

-AndreaM

”This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun”-Julia Child

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On my Radar: Pamela Barsky’s pouches

I was on my way to a cafe in Lower East Side when I decided I’d take a roundabout route. I’m rarely in the neighborhood so I figured why not? You never know. It was definitely a grittier neighborhood than what I’m used to. The streets were uneven and cracked, dirty puddles were everywhere and the streets were empty, even for 10 AM in the morning. 

As I walked, my eyes surveyed the storefronts and signs when at one point this caught my eye.

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How cute are they!! Pouches with cheeky comments. Comments that were so sassy I could’ve written them myself :P

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Of course I had to go inside. When I did, I saw a whole wall of these pouches with various sayings. Continue reading

American Beauty Photoshoot with Ben Baker

Back in April, I had the incredible opportunity of being photographed by Ben Baker for his latest project, 1-100. He has photographed the likes of President Obama, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Bono, Diane von Furstenberg and even the Olsen twins!

Photo Credit: Ben Baker

Photo Credit: Ben Baker

Photo credit: Ben Baker

Although I’m camera shy (you’ll notice more nature photos than selfies on my instagram), I was eager to participate. This project was going to share the different perspectives of American women of all diverse backgrounds ages 1-100 and I wanted to contribute as an Asian American 22 year old.

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 I went to his studio in Chelsea as camera ready as I could but with no idea what to expect. Upon entering, I saw a large booth set up and met Ben and his producer Sid. Both were incredibly welcoming and friendly, which helped because portraits are quite intimate. I assure you: Obama, Diane Von Furstenberg and The Olsens just make it look easy. As you can see, it was just the subject (me) and a white background, eliminating distractions and putting the attention, all on me. As nerve-wracking as that was, I quite admired this approach: Instead of photographing subjects in a “candid” environment, the focus was solely on the person and her authentic responses. What’s more, this project is using the NYC census to be as accurate as possible, in terms of demographics. 

On the hotseat, I was also handed a list of questions I would have to answer. Things like: “_____ makes me the most happy,” “My favorite age has been____,” “People could learn ______ from me/my life.” Mind you, those are just 3 examples of the 15 questions i answered, so you can imagine how difficult and thought provoking the other questions were. How would you answer them?? Pretty difficult especially when asked on the spot, right?

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Thank goodness for the soft lighting as I’m pretty sure I was nervously sweating. My sister who was watching this all take place told me that I was pretty awkward and stiff. I really tried my best to relax (I guess my attempts to channel my inner goddess failed) but these questions were really difficult and disarming. Maybe that’s just me.

One of the questions that stands out in my mind to this day is “What’s the hardest part about being 22?”

I said something along the lines of, “There are so many choices, It’s easy to get lost in all the noise.”

Besides that, I don’t really remember how I answered the other questions. I’m hoping that when the photos and video come out, I don’t embarrass myself! haha Either way I’m ok with it. I was as honest as I could be and it’s how I felt and looked as a 22 year old at the time.

 After I finished up with the photoshoot and interview, I thought I would ask him some questions, since he’s usually the photographer! He kindly obliged.

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What is a piece of advice that you can give that applies to both business and life?
Make sure you wake up everyday doing something you are madly passionate about. With your heart genuinely in it, you’ll try harder at it, and you’ll be better at it. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not. When you do something you’re genuinely interested in, people can tell and it makes all the difference.
On being “life trained” and building soft skills.
With the work I do, photography is actually the easiest part. The challenge is handling people. I wish the younger generation could see themselves. Step back and see how they talk to people, how they approach people. It’s something that is learned as you go along, but you really have to go out there and make some mistakes and just hope that the mistakes you make aren’t too damaging.  Go and get a real job, where you are interacting with as many people as you can, and learn.
What’s something you wish you knew when you were 22?
It’s a long game. You’re in for a long run- it’s a marathon not a sprint- so think about long term decisions. It’s easy to see what’s in front of you and that’s the only way you can live your llife, you can’t always be thinking about the future and not see what’s happening now, but be sure to take a look at the bigger picture.
And of course, they were kind enough to send over a few stills for me to look at. I’m not sure which will be used for the final product but it’s still interesting to see myself this way. You can tell I’m a little tense and nervous (and these two were the least tense of the batch) but hey, I argue that many other 22 year olds would feel the same way.
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Photo Credit: Ben Baker 2014 (towards the beginning of the photoshoot)

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Photo Credit: Ben Baker 2014 (warming up a bit towards the end)

I’m looking forward to how the video and photos will turn out! I’m turning 23 in a couple of days so it will be interesting to see how things have changed. Looking at these photos I already feel like a different person. I can’t wait to see and read what everyone said. My prediction is that we will all have a lot in common despite age and experience.

I want to thank Ben and Sid for such an enlightening experience. I hope I was able to make a valuable contribution and I’m honored to be representing “22.”

The team is still looking for women of all ages to participate, especially those 80 years old and older. If you would like to be considered for this project, or would like to suggest someone, please email americanbeauty@benbakerphoto.com.  All participants will receive an 8×10 print of their portrait.

You can see more of Baker’s work on his website at www.benbakerphoto.com.

Cheers,

Andrea

We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way. It’s miserable and magical.”- Taylor Swift,  from her song “22″

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Afternoon Tea with Jee (from Oh How Civilized)

I love afternoon tea. Other 20-somethings might prefer the loud crowded settings of a dive bar or club where you can barely hear the person standing right in front of you… I much prefer the quiet murmur of an intimate setting. Oh how lovely- the natural light, the delicate china and the soothing teas. There’s no hangover, loss of hearing or “what did she/he say?” moments. Not to mention, the sweets, the scones, the savories are all bite sized and almost too beautiful to eat. 

Who better to accompany me on my most recent afternoon tea adventure than the blogger who introduced me to the world of afternoon tea: Jee, the blogger behind Oh How Civilized?

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I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon her blog but I do know that it’s where I found out about the Pierpont Morgan Library (now one of my favorite places in New York) and where I learned how to tell where I am in Central Park. In fact, it’s because I read her post on her top 5 afternoon tea spots in New York that I had a birthday tea party last year (Read my blog post about that here). Whenever I’m on her blog, a sense of calm washes over me and I get entranced by her beautiful photos. Plus, I always learn something new.  Continue reading