The weekends seem to be shorter and shorter. It's already Monday and I feel like time is slipping through my fingers. Can you believe we're already half way through the year?
Two days ago I did something that's been on my bucket list for many many years. I honestly never dreamed I would ever have the confidence to actually do it. Even on game day I didn't feel confident but I had people in my life encouraging me and supporting me from beginning to end. I also had all of YOU cheering me on. Thanks for believing in me.
So happy Eunice & Andii were able to film and capture the day so I could bring all of you guys with me! I feel like this video completely captures the day and I know my parents and loved ones wanted to be there so I'm thrilled to share this video with all of you!
Right before soundcheck, getting all the tips and breakdown of the night. I kind of love how ridiculous I look in these shots, this is how I was feeling all day.
There's a huge delay with sound on baseball fields because of the size of the stadium so they gave me in ear monitors to help with sound and feedback. It was my first time singing on an open field so I was pretty nervous about how the feedback would affect me. I sang the Korean anthem first and it was a little harder not to be affected by the feedback because I was singing a cappella.
Oh man. This was right before I had to sing. I couldn't stop shaking, for two reasons. One because I was deathly nervous and two because I was freezing cold!
Being able to sing both anthems made me feel really proud, not only to be American but also to be Korean.
You may not believe this but when I'm here in America, there are still instances that people make me feel like I don't belong in this country because I don't look American. But what does it mean to be American? I was born in Texas, I am a citizen of the United States, I relate to this Country and I speak the English language. But most of my life I have been looked at as a foreigner because of the color of my skin. Wow you're really good at English. No, I mean where are you REALLY from? These are common phrases I've heard my entire life. This lead me to really grasp onto my Korean roots during my college years. So I also relate with South Korea, the Korean culture and I speak the language. But when I go to Korea, they still say I'm not Korean because I was born in America. There is so much division and judgement in this world and I hope there is a day we can all just look at each other as people, as a family. End of the day we're all just doing our best to survive in this world.
This month is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and I've been having a lot of conversations about what it means to be Asian American. APAHM celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. I love celebrating all the different Asian cultures and learning about new traditions every year. But there is still a lot of division amongst the Asian community due to history and pain. But I hope this community continues to grow and truly unites. Asians and Asian Americans need to work together to have a stronger presence in America. We have to all be on the same page to be seen as more than the silent minority or the model minority. I've been told to keep my head down, work hard, never complain and never rock the boat. Culturally it was what my family believed, if you complain and cause problems it only causes more problems for others. But it excites me to see people speaking out and really starting to give us a voice. I hope more people in the world realize that being American comes in all different colors, shapes and sizes.
I'm proud to be an American and I'm also proud to be Korean.
Photos by Park
Not a lot of people know this but I have a pretty big fear of singing in public. The thought of it makes me dizzy and nauseous. My heart races and I start shaking even when I'm just thinking about it.
When I was in college, some friends threw me up on stage for a karaoke contest. I completely froze, no sound came out of my mouth and I was humiliated. After that experience, I swore I would never try to sing in public again.
This didn't last long, I love singing too much.
The next year I ended up singing on stage for a pageant. I got on stage, started singing and I was so nervous I completely spaced out. I came back to people clapping. I guess due to muscle memory I made it through the song but to this day I don't remember singing a single word. I got off stage and the first thing I asked was - did I sing the whole song? Apparently I did.
I'm sure you're thinking this is weird because since then I've had concerts, shows and I sing at church. To clarify, I don't get as nervous singing at church, I think it's because it's not about me and we're all singing together. But I get really nervous for my concerts. I always think it'll get better with more experience but it still freaks me out and I'm panicking for weeks up until each show. The nerves never seem to go away. I love singing so much but I don't do it often because of fear, I wish I wasn't so scared. When people sing along to my songs or I see big smiling faces it calms my nerves but I think the initial fear and anxiety will always be there.
The last few years I've been asked to sing the National Anthem at Basketball and Baseball games but I've always said no because I'm afraid. Afraid I'll freeze up and choke. Afraid I'll get affected by feedback or the environment and be pitchy. Afraid I'll be too nervous and forget the lyrics. Basically, just afraid I'll suck.
But this year I'm trying to say yes more and do things that scare me.
I want to overcome my insecurities & fears. Even if it means trying and failing.
So I finally said yes. I'm singing the National Anthem for the first time at the Dodgers game tomorrow! I'm also singing the Korean Anthem as well. Two firsts in one night. My stomach is churning even as I'm writing this post and I already feel like I want to puke but I guess I have to start somewhere. I've considered backing out. But I shared it on social media instead, almost feels like it's keeping me accountable. It's too late to back out and no running away. I have to do it! I'm terrified but I really want to accomplish this, especially because I love to sing, I don't want to be afraid forever. Anyways, I'll let you know if I survive... wish me luck.
May love be greater than fear.
Did a late night shoot in New York after my Leonard & Church event a couple weeks ago. Here are some of the shots as well as the behind the scenes video!
I'm loving this slicked back hair and cobalt blue shadow. So dramatic! I rarely wear bold colors on my eyes in real life but I really like it for photoshoots. Would you guys rock this blue?
Top Manfredonia NY
Jacket Nicholas K
This Levi’s denim jumpsuit was one of my favorite pieces! I could live in all kinds of jumpsuits.
This matching two piece from Nicholas K was also a really cute outfit. I love how it's so light and simple, I just wish it didn't wrinkle so easily!
I really love the lips on this last clean beauty look! This is a fairly easy beauty trend to try, I've been mixing a lot of different lip colors for two toned lips & ombre lips! Do you guys like this trend?
Black top Clavin Klein
Spruce up your casual denim and tee look with two toned jeans and a colorful backpack!
I'm obsessed with these jeans. I've worn them so much the last few months. It's definitely one of my new favorite trends this year. It easy to style and makes a simple outfit interesting. Not to mention they're super comfortable because they're not that tight. I'm starting to really hate skinny jeans.
Honestly, I can't wear jeans unless I can sit in them comfortably. I really don't understand how people wear ultra tight skinny jeans. Once again I'm reminded of Beauty is pain - I hate that phrase. When I'm going on vacation I generally only pack sneakers and flats, comfort is my best friend.
Of course I can't leave the house without my Leonard & Church (fyi we might be discontinuing this style, The Park, very soon).
I love this off the shoulder ruffle top I got last year. It's perfect for avoiding those shoulder tan lines! And easy for mixing and matching!
This linen button down is my favorite, I wear it with everything! This is also the same linen button down I threw over the baby tee and jeans (pictured above).
This slip dress is really comfortable and also a great cover up over swimwear if you're headed to the beach. I styled it very casual but you can also throw on some heels and dress it up for the evening!
Look at Chewy photobombing me as usual...
Maxi dresses are the best, they're comfortable and easy to pack. I really like that this one's fitted at the waist and gives me some shape but it's still light weight and soft. Perfect for vacations, beach or just relaxing! Dresses are great for trips because they're no brainers and comfortable. You just put it on and you're done! No need to "match" a top and bottom, who wants to be thinking during a time you should be relaxing? Not me!
Always.. every shoot. I must stop to cuddle with Chew chew...
Karen came out to shoot some photos and hang as well, we joked that it almost looks like an engagement shoot... too funny.
This is my girl Eunice! She has been amazing in helping me keep up with most of the video content on my youtube channel the last couple months! Make sure to follow her and show her some love!
Here's a video of all the looks, enjoy!
Cheers! Enjoy the weekend!
Off the Shoulders Ruffle Top: Nicholas
Beach Bag: Soeur Du Maroc
White Linen Top: Equipment
Stripped Dress: Equipment
Printed Maxi Dress: Forever 21 (sold out, here's something similar)
Two Toned Jeans: AG Phoebe
White Graphic Shirt: Forever 21 (sold out, here's something similar)
White Sneakers: Adidas
Red Watch: Leonard & Church
Red BackPack: Vince Camuto
Floral Dress: Alice & Olivia
I know in real life, instagram and following doesn't matter. If I wasn't an actor and if we didn't have to represent our brand, I probably wouldn't even use instagram or social media. I'm generally more of a private person.
But these days, being an actor means you have to do it all. You have to "upkeep" your brand and market yourself. I feel this pressure even more because I'm a minority, we are constantly having to prove our worth and value. I've lost movie jobs after being pinned as their first acting choice because I didn't have enough of a social media following. My agent will tell me, well so and so has 10 million followers, this is her first movie but she has clout, *shrug*. You would think the most important factor would be your acting ability but most often it isn't. The things you think wouldn't matter often affect the decision making process - at least in my experience. But I get it, a lot of the people making the decisions are just trying to make smart investments. Simply put if an opportunity comes down to me and another actress who happens to be Caucasian, it will most likely go her way. Because she is more "marketable", most of America is "white", or so they say.
So I consider every single person who follows me on my socials or subscribes to my YouTube channel to be an important part of the journey. YOU are all part of the team and I wouldn't be where I'm at without you. Thank you.
Still can't believe 2 million people care about little ol' me...
August 2017 will mark my 10th year in tinsel town. Who knew I'd move here and end up sticking around this long? Los Angeles, the city of dreams and many broken souls. This business is quite the grind and despite the challenges, I'm in it for the long haul.
Some of you might say, what's the big deal? It's just instagram. And you're right, I'm surprised I'm even excited. I didn't really care up until this point. Honestly, the reality is, I have friends who have way bigger followings and I'm auditioning with girls who have 20 million + fans. I'm a small fish, essentially a nobody, who doesn't stand a chance. I even wrote a post a month ago about how irrelevant I am, which is still the case. But sometimes it's better not to compare yourself to others and just be thankful for what you have. Bottom line is, I moved to Los Angeles with a dream and no followers. I never would have imagined 10 years later, 2 million people would be following my career. For that, I'm forever thankful and satisfied.
I love you guys, thank you, especially the CHOsens who have stuck around.
Whenever I try to take a photo of Chewy she looks away but anytime someone is taking a photo of me, she needs to be right in front of me to get in the shot. It's hilarious. Especially when I'm at home self taping an audition or filming a video, she'll walk right into frame. Silly girl.
I believe I was like "please move Chewy, mommy is trying to shoot some jumping photos".
"Oh yea? Look at meeee, I can jump!" - Chewy
We shot a couple snaps but then I ended up just playing with Chewy.
Here's one attempt. Looks like I'm getting beat up by some unknown force.
This is me trying to fly and regretting all the pizza I ate.
Trying to sit cross legged in the air isn't an easy task.
Also, these were not photoshopped to make it look like I was jumping higher than I actually was. Key to jumping photos? Ask your photographer, nicely, to get as low as he or she can! All about the angle baby!
Photo Credit: Robby M
My friends call me a workaholic, but I like being busy. I feel restless when I'm not productive or stagnant. Sometimes I get so caught up, I forget how important it is to rest and recharge. I actually got pretty sick this last week and almost hit a point of burning out. We're definitely not meant to work 24/7... it's just not healthy.
I've been so busy I haven't even had time to share all the photos we shot over a month ago when my friends Daniel & Rob visited California. We spent a day in Hermosa Beach and I shot a quick video (sharing soon) and some photos.
Daniel aka the violin master snapped a few photos of me with Robby's camera, not bad! My friends are so talented. I'm always impressed and challenged to do better by my multi-talented friends. But I also feel like these days, if you're in the business of the arts. You have to be flexible and be willing to learn every part of the business to survive. So many of my friends who are talented film makers, editors, photographers are also talented musicians and actors.
Being an artist is hard, there's little to no structure, you're often waiting for opportunities and doing a lot of free work. But it's really amazing to look back at the last 10 years and see how much the internet has changed the game. New media and social media has helped people create their own opportunities. I was always a little slow to catch on but I'm doing my best now and learning as I go.
It's quite the grind but we do it because we love it, right?
So with all the pressure of having to do it all, how do we keep up? These days I feel like I barely have time to sleep trying to upkeep my youtube channel, this blog, auditions, filming, recording music, Leonard & Church and social media. Who knew social media would become such a big part of the job. I remember just a few years ago when I refused to start instagram because I thought Facebook and Twitter alone were hard enough to manage.
If you've been following this blog from the beginning you know I attempted a crazy task. I thought I would be able to blog every day. I don't regret trying but I'm glad I let go of that goal. I think maybe once a week is a bit more reasonable.
I also think as much as I want to do it all. Balance is crucial, I really need to remember to take breaks and recharge.
It's nice to be home, spend some time with my friends and reflect on life. If you just work nonstop, one day you'll be done and you won't even remember how you got there. That's often how I feel about my time on Teen Wolf. It was just so many hours, nonstop filming and it all happened so fast. Honestly, when it ended, I didn't even realize it had been a few years. It felt like I had just started filming the show. I wish that I had taken moments to really reflect on the experiences and enjoyed the experience while it was happening. I feel like that's also what happened to me in college, I was in such a rush to get out and so stressed with all the school work that by the time I left, there wasn't much I remembered from my college life. I was never in the moment.
That's probably my only regret.
But these days I'm actively trying to be very present and in the moment. Instead of just thinking of all the things I need to do or going through the motions of life. This blog has actually been very helpful, it's like a diary that helps me process my thoughts and appreciate the day to day.
I've been a part of my worship band at church for the last 9 years. It's kind of one of the few things that no matter how tired I am, I love to do. It refuels my soul and gets me right back on my feet when I'm feeling exhausted. Last night we were jamming, preparing for Sunday worship and even though it was just a few hours it helped me recharge.
So no matter how busy you are, find something that helps you refuel. We're a little more complicated than machines, we need more than just sleep and food to keep going. I know I need my community, friends, encouragement, love, time alone and my relationship with God. Figure out what it is you need to have balance.
Don't rush through life, regardless of how stressful and difficult your life may be. Enjoy the experiences both good and bad because it's just a chapter or a season of your life and it'll pass before you know it.
I know it sounds cheesy but stop and smell the flowers every once in a while and remember just how amazing and beautiful this life is. I've been noticing the flowers blooming when I'm walking Chewy and it's nice to take a moment just to say thanks for even a simple flower that smells nice.
I always love coming to Boston, this city has so much music, culture and art. I spent 3 days working on music with some amazing friends at Berklee College of Music & Ilban Music. I also got to reunite with friends in Boston like Koo, Rob, Daniel, Becca and Michael and make MORE music. Medicine to my soul.
I can't wait to share all the music we recorded.
Yesterday was interesting, kind of had a rough start to the night. The car dropped me off a little far from the venue, I ended up lost and stuck in the rain with some intense heels. Luckily I made it to the venue on time, I was relieved to have found it and to be out of the rain. But right when I walked in one of the guys was like "wow, I thought she'd be taller". He said it in a very disgusted tone. I literally had one of those moments where I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I actually hear this all the time. Normally I just brush it off, but I was wet, cold, flustered and nervous about my speech. It definitely did not sit well with me. I started having a mini panic attack. Luckily, I was early, so I had about 30 minutes before the guests showed up to get my head back in the right place.
I was greeted by many kind faces and smiles but it's interesting how the negative always sticks. It's like comments, yes, I read all the comments. I'm always told I should stop but I can't help it. I like to stay connected. There might be a hundred good comments but the bad one still stings the heart. Luckily online comments don't nearly bother me as much anymore. It's the ones in person that are the hardest to swallow.
You have to have thick skin in this industry but at the end of the day, we're all human. I might be smiling at you but I too have feelings, I cry, I feel sad and worthless. Nature of the business but one I'll never get used to.
I'm frustrated at myself that I'm not used to it. I'm frustrated that it still bothers me, I should be stronger and tougher but I'm not. The thing is, I hear it all the time. You look so different in real life, you're so much shorter than I thought. Yes, when we film I stand on an apple box all the time because I'm short. Yes, when we take photos, photographers get on the ground and shoot bottom up because I'm short. It's not a secret I'm short. Honestly, I used to hate being short but I don't mind it anymore. I think it's a height that fits me and works for me. What's wrong with being short? Nothing! But I hate how people comment about it as if I'm such a disappointment. It makes me feel like an ugly zoo animal.
Sometimes it's not even said to my face, I'll be a couple feet away... but I can clearly hear you when you say, she's not even that pretty, she's not that good at singing, she's on some stupid teen show, she's not that talented, I don't even like her but I want to take a picture with her for likes.
I can't even tell you how many times this has happened and how uncomfortable it feels when someone says something like this, then asks me for a picture. I awkwardly say yes and take the photo with them as my soul slowly dies. *sigh* I hate myself for not saying no. I hate myself for not standing up for myself. Sometimes I wish I had a come back or I wish I had the confidence to say something but I signed up for this. I guess I chose to be a zoo animal so I'm not allowed to complain. But honestly this is just a fraction of the things I hear, some of it's really not worth repeating but all of it has the same result. It still makes me want to stop and disappear. I just wish some people had manners and were a little more considerate. It doesn't surprise me when people in the public fall into drugs, addiction, alcohol, depression and suicide. If I didn't have my faith and I didn't have my community, I'd be right there with them.
Didn't mean to take such a dark turn on this post, I guess my venting got a little out of hand. But this is a safe place right?
Anyways, regardless of what happened, I was thankful for my friends, both old and new, and everyone who showed up to support me. Thank you.
It was such a different format from my usual University chats. Definitely terrifying but oddly enough, it worked out. The spot light was blinding and I felt so small on the big stage but being in such an uncomfortable element forced me to really commit and be present. I just kept my speech really honest, maybe too honest. Not as eloquent and graceful as I would have hoped but I'm an actor not a writer or a public speaker, I'm usually better at reciting someone else's writing. But all the laughter was comforting and I really appreciated everyone who told me they connected and related with the talk afterwards.
As much as it scares me, I love these talks because I get a chance to be raw and real - kind of like this blog. Connecting with you guys is really everything.
I'm still shocked I get to do this. Shocked someone wants to actually hear about my life and my story. Even though I feel inadequate I'm happy that sharing my failures and experiences can inspire and bring you hope.
The event ran long so we left around midnight, the roads were empty and glossed over from the rain. Of course we had to stop the car to run out and snap a few photos. Oh how I love these 5 minute photoshoots.
This is me. All 5'3.5 of me. Thanks to my amazing friend Robby for shooting me and making me feel fabulous. To all my fellow short friends out there. You're amazing. Don't let anyone make you feel small. Literally and figuratively.
Don't be scared to walk on a thin line. Just go and take that first step.
Sometimes you have to slow down and enjoy the journey. Life isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.
Don't let anyone stop you from being who you're meant to be.
I guess it was ambitious to think I'd be able to blog every day. I went strong for almost 2 months. I was devastated I missed a post. But I was so exhausted I just couldn't write anything. I opened my computer and fell asleep before typing anything out.
But missing one post was dangerous, I missed one and then another and then another. Subconsciously I had been so consistent because I didn't want to "break" the record but once I did, it was like it all spiraled down hill. It's almost like "working out", I'm always really good for a few weeks, then I miss one day and a week will pass with no trips to the gym. Then I'm basically starting all over.
Does this ever happen to you?
It happens to me quite often but I think that's okay, some might consider it failing but at least I tried. No one's perfect. Better to blog and go to the gym for three weeks and take a break than to never do it at all, right?
I'm currently in Boston, I've been recording music and working on some covers for you guys. I love music so much, it's nice to be back in the studio. But I really miss home. I miss Chewy, maybe it's this cold rainy weather but I feel extra home sick.
I've also been quite preoccupied because I'm speaking at Boston University tomorrow. I've rewritten my speech about 17 times. I don't know why but I'm so nervous. I frequently have 1-2 hour talks at Universities but they're generally a very casual format, moderated and a lot of q&a's. But tomorrow's event is formal, an open stage and just me for 20-30 minutes. *panic* I also have to wear a dress and heels. *gasp* Basically everything's out of my comfort zone.
Anyways, I'll let you know how it goes. I should probably be sleeping or rewriting my speech for the 18th time, it's already 1am. Goodnight.
Wish me luck and please pray it goes well. Thank you.
Literally feel like I laughed my face off last night. Sometimes you just need a random night to wander New York City with your friends to get your mind off work & stress.
We had a little too much fun on the subway. If you follow my instagram you saw all the stories and boomerangs. And of course, Alex flexing his photography skills again.
Maia, you're just the absolute cutest. I'm still laughing. Last night was just too silly.
I'm in New York a few times a year but this is one of the first times I've hung out in the city with friends from out of town. Usually my friends from New York will take me around. This time Alex and Maia basically took the lead! Incase you didn't know, they're from Michigan. We usually only hang out in Los Angeles but coincidentally we all happened to have work in New York this week.
This was basically the last moment we used our phones. We uploaded our boomerangs and put away the cameras and phones for the rest of the evening. Sometimes you just need to disconnect and be in the moment!
We're all busy so I'm really happy the timing worked out. We checked out a new restaurant, walked around the city, discovered a cool lounge and even watched a live 90's concert! Total throwback. I've been singing Britney all day.
Life is all about balance. These two train so hard and are incredibly disciplined with their lifestyle and diet. They're model athletes to the core. But they still have a great sense of humor, don't take themselves too seriously and know how to enjoy life. I'm jealous of their fit bodies, but I'm also glad they're down to have cheat meals with me. They're amazing so make sure to follow both Maia & Alex on their socials and subscribe to their ShibSibs channel to stay updated! Big year for them, Olympics are just around the corner!
Photography by Alex Shibutani
So I'm definitely not big on trends and I'm usually the last to find out about anything. Most often when it's no longer a trend. However, I've been working with Miss Eunice who is so up to date and internet savvy. She actually told me about this Starbucks Unicorn Frap 4 days ago when we were in LA!! She was like OMG we have to try it!!!!!! I was like *shrugs* looks very pink. She predicted the next trend! *gasp*
We finally had a minute after my shoot yesterday so I caved in and gave it a try. She was like a kid in a candy shop. I wish you guys could have seen how truly happy she was. I haven't met a girl who loves sugar and unicorns as much as Eunice. Too cute, I gave her a hard time but here's how it went. Have you participated in the Unicorn Frappuccino Armageddon?
Yay or nay?
Here's a sneak peek at a shoot I did with Felix Mack. We did a quick 3 look shoot and this was one of the looks. Glossy gold eyes & glossy lips. I look a little different but I love these! I love trying new looks and transforming for photo shoots. It's like becoming a new person.
Someone recently asked me - how do you model? I don't know if I can answer that because I'm not really a model. But when I get my photo taken, I always think about connecting with the photographer. The way dancers connect and are in tune with each others movements. I also try to think of a mood or a feeling and emulate it. Like a chameleon. If the clothes are fun and colorful I generally vibe off that feeling and the energy is high and exciting. If the make up and wardrobe is moody then I'll think mysterious or bad ass. We're all working together to either bring a character to life or to capture the true essence of an individual.
What a day it's been. It's 10pm in New York and I finally have a minute to sit. We had our Leonard & Church + Blacklist event all day and I ran off to a photo shoot right after. I took a break for lunch at 3pm but it's basically been non stop. I haven't had time for dinner and I still have more work to do so I'll probably post this and then grab a bite before I finish up the day.
Today was quite overwhelming but also exciting. Thank you to all the people who took time out of their busy day to come out and say hi and support my company! I can't believe I got to make a watch for a hit tv show and it was so cool to see everyone so excited about it! We had a great response from the people at Sony, NBC and all the fans. Who would have thought our tiny company would get this much attention?
Small but mighty.
This is the second event I've had to plan for Leonard & Church and I can honestly say, I've learned a lot. Any type of business is hard and filled with obstacles. We've been working on Leonard & Church for years and haven't made any money we can take out. Smaller businesses especially struggle because we're essentially competing against multi million dollar corporations with almost nothing in the bank. It sounds like an impossible task. But good things take time and hard work eventually pays off. So we keep on going.
But it's interesting to see the people who show up.
You see, when you're successful or relevant, everyone's around and then when things slow down it's like crickets. I know this because the last few years when I was on Teenwolf and there was a lot of buzz, everyone was calling to hang out and what not. But the second I left the show. The phone stopped ringing. So funny how quick it changes when people think you're irrelevant.
I know this sounds harsh but it's the truth.
This industry is rough. You're relevant today and nobody tomorrow. That's just how it is. Up and down. To stay sane, you have to be aware of it and accept that reality. Your value & worth can't be based on your popularity or the number of likes you get. It doesn't matter if 2 people like your photos or a 100. It matters if you like it. If the foundation of your identity is rooted in something so fleeting, like the approval of others, you're never going to be happy. You'll also never be satisfied and eventually crash and burn. Chasing something like that is running a race that has no finish. You can't really measure the level of success or fame, you might be the most famous person to someone and irrelevant to another. You might also be the richest person but also the poorest.
We started Leonard & Church because we had a vision and a dream to bring the best quality watches at the fairest price to our consumers. What I've learned along the way? People think expensive is better - it's not. People think what bloggers post is better - they're usually paid to post. People think the party with influencers is cool - but they're all usually paid to be there. Very little is authentic anymore. Everyone is so easily influenced by social media. I feel like a lot of people don't even know what they like, they just like what they think they should like or what they're told to like.
We're a baby company taking baby steps. It's just 3 of us, working nonstop. Doing the best we can do. But we are growing and I'll definitely remember the people who stuck by us and believed in us.
I'll remember the people who showed up when we didn't have any marketing budget or fancy gift bags.
I'll remember the influencers and actors who showed up and supported when we had no budget or rate for their time.
I'll remember the friends who insisted on buying a watch and supporting.
I'll remember John Cho, I look up to him greatly as an actor and a human. We're not super tight friends, we don't hang out on a regular basis. But when I mentioned what I was doing with the company and shared a watch with him, he happily shared and supported on social media before I could even ask. Definitely took me by surprise.
Anyways, I'm always surprised by the ones I think will support and then the ones I never expect to support that actually end up supporting. Has this ever happened to you? You hit rock bottom and the friend you reach out to doesn't give you a hand while a stranger does? This has happened to me many times in life and I think it's an interesting lesson.
I think struggles are good, you learn to ask for help and you see who your true friends are. Sometimes you need to weed out the bad ones, you don't want them around when you really start to bloom.
I'm about to head out of town for two weeks. When I get back home I'm going to lock myself in my room for 4 days. (If you read my post yesterday, this will make more sense)
But I'm still excited to see all of you and meet you guys so please come say hi! Sometimes I have nightmares that I'll go to a school for an event or a talk and no one will show up. This hasn't happened yet but it's still a fear.
I've also been reading that people have seen me at some of the places I filmed ARDEN EATS and didn't say hi because they were scared, please don't be scared to say hi! I feel more awkward when you just stare and don't say hello. Maybe just time it right so my mouth isn't full of food right when you say hi.
Looks like there will also be a lot of opportunities to meet in the next month so watch the video below to get the updates!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for all the encouragement. I don't know why but I've been receiving it a lot more than usual. It's been really helpful during this season of my life. I really appreciate all of you.
It's also nice to see that we're all so similar! All around the world, with different life experiences yet our hearts feel and hurt the same.
I wonder how different things would be if everyone in the world could see into each other's hearts. If we stopped looking at each other as different races or countries or religions but just as people. If we saw each other as the same, maybe we could live together in peace.
I feel so overwhelmed these days.
If you've been following my work for a while you know that I took a 4 year break from uploading videos on youtube and I recently made a come back of some sort. I've been uploading on Tuesdays, Fridays and now also Sundays. Initially it was really exciting to do something consistent and continuously share the things I love. But throughout this process I've learned I'm not good at planning. However, posting regularly definitely takes quite a bit of planning.
I realize that when I used to upload videos, it was never a set schedule. It was honestly - whenever I felt like it. Sometimes I didn't upload for months and sometimes I uploaded 3 days back to back.
I'm such a feeler. I'm an INFP "The Mediator" (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception) - basically known as “Children of the Myers Briggs World”. We're total idealists and dreamers, always trying to see the best in everyone and everything. Out of the 16 personality types, INFP's are referred to as the Healers. They're driven by a strong sense of right and wrong and a desire to exercise their creativity.
I think this is why I like blogging. It helps me say what I actually want to say. It's not quite as eloquent or organized as I would like it to be, but it's a way to tidy my scattered thoughts.
There are so many things I struggle with because of my INFP personality. I'll share some with you here. I'm sure only my fellow INFP readers will fully understand, there aren't many of us so I know it's frustrating but you're not alone!
People always mistake me for an extravert because I love to entertain and make sure everyone is happy and enjoying themselves. This happens often in a setting with a lot of people. Crowds make me incredibly uncomfortable so I'll usually be extra goofy to cover up how awkward I'm feeling inside.
This can be exhausting, I'll literally go home and crawl up in a ball in my bed or cry after being around a lot of people for an extended period of time.
It's weird because it's not that INFP's don't like people. Generally we care too much about other people and it's so intense that the company of others can become overwhelming. Confusing, I know.
My heart literally hurts because I care so much. I feel like life would be so much easier if I just didn't care. But I don't know how to switch that feeling off.
I'm terrified of meeting new people and shy but I'm more terrified of being rude and not talking, so I'll force myself to be conversational - this is usually painfully awkward.
INFP's are incredibly shy and incredibly sensitive. We also read into thing WAY too much.
We'll often misinterpret text messages and think people are mad at us because of punctuation or lack of emojis.
We'll always be the one who apologizes and we'll feel bad, even when it's not our fault.
INFP's get caught up in their work very easily. On days I'm writing or working on something creative, I'll start in the morning and before I know it, it'll be sundown. I basically can't stop until I finish and I'll forget to eat. Which is the WORST. Because I love eating. I once started editing a video and didn't stop for 13 hours. I really had to pee.
Sometimes I blurt things in conversations that barely have anything to do with what we're talking about but it's because it reminded me of one thing that lead to another thing that related to what we were talking about. Also because if I don't say it in that exact moment, I'll forget. This is borderline worse because of my INFP personality & my forgetfulness combined.
INFP's are heartbroken constantly when they have great ideas. We love sharing them and we get so excited about our dreams. But it usually never goes as planned. I know for me it usually leads to someone poking holes in every logical flaw and crushing my dreams. Like even starting this new blog, all my friends said I was crazy to think I'd be able to blog everyday!
Despite all this we still perceive the best in everyone and everything, this leads to lots of betrayal and being used all the time. But we never stop believing or having hope that people are good.
INFP's are also great listeners. I've definitely had a bunch of friends that I'm pretty sure only kept me around for free counseling sessions. Which I don't really mind because although I'm not a licensed therapist, I have my BA in Psychology and it's nice to feel like I'm making use of that degree someway or another.
INFP's are good at turning a superficial conversation with a stranger into a deep metaphor that reflects the greater meaning of life. This can also be awkward when the other person really didn't want to have a conversation. I know because it's happened to me at college campuses after my talks. Sometimes I feel like I should just shut up.
Laughing randomly in public because I remembered something funny. Super awkward when it happens during a meeting or a serious setting.
But then not laughing at something everyone else is laughing at. I'm also the one laughing during a movie in moments no one else is laughing and not laughing when everyone else is laughing... thanks friends for still watching movies with me.
Anytime you're in a public setting you have at least a few face palm moments and you wish there was an "undo button" or a "rewind button" because you said or did something stupid or awkward.
I know it's hard to open up and be vulnerable with people but learning these things about your personality can help you over compensate or even change the things you don't like. I've learned to be vulnerable with a few friends, it took me many years but none of my friends are INFP and they still totally see all this, get it and accept me for who I am. So there's hope! You just have to try.
Feeling like a complete weirdo, being overly sensitive, shy and free spirited might suck at times but be happy because we're only 4% of the population, that makes us pretty special.
Also this might be TMI but I've been working on this post all day and I think I've finally finished and now I've realized I really have to pee and eat. The struggle is real.
Fun fact, INFPs you may recognize: Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon, Johnny Depp, William Shakespeare, Princess Diana, Julia Roberts, Alicia Keys, Lisa Kudrow and Tom Hiddleston
I know Easter has become a very commercialized holiday, but for me today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the reason we are able to live. Thank you Jesus for this life and for setting us free. Though I fall short and I am sinful, I am able to live because Jesus died for my sins. If you're not a believer I hope you search for truth because even though you don't know him, he still died so that you could live. He doesn't ask anything of you except for you to know and love him. No matter where you are in your life, know that God loves and cherishes you.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3: 16-17
One of my most favorite things about church is worship. It's when I can be intimate and connect with God on a personal level. People have asked me why I sing Christian songs, but why do we sing at all? We sing love songs to share our feelings, fun songs to dance, etc and essentially Christian music is the same. They're love songs to God. I've realized many people don't know what it means to worship. Especially if you're not familiar with church, singing praise, or worshiping through music can seem overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be.
Worship is basically the act of showing love and respect for God whether it be through song or prayer. For me, it's just how I feel closer to God. Here are some songs that I want to share with you today as we remember Jesus. If you're not Christian, that's okay, I hope you can still enjoy the music. God Bless you.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received
And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross
Looks like everyone is headed to Coachella! I've been so busy with travels and work I didn't even realize it was that time of year again!
Here's what I learned during my 3 day Coachella trip last year.
There's a huge variety of music, so definitely check out the schedule ahead of time and figure out which shows are a must for you because a lot of the performances overlap. Also, get a good idea of which stage the shows are at. We made the mistake of planning a few shows back to back with stages miles apart! If you've never been to Coachella this might be hard to imagine but all stages are live simultaneously. This means they have to be far enough that the music doesn't leak from one stage to the other. So you'll be walking A LOT! I believe one of the days we calculated walking over 12 miles!
Going with a big group is great but keep in mind it's almost impossible to stay together. So if you don't plan on wandering off alone, make sure at least one friend in your group has the same taste of music. Kat and I had a lot of friends at Coachella but we got split up and couldn't reconnect because there was little to no reception.
I've heard of groups taking walkie talkies - not a bad idea!
Stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes and sunblock, lots of sunblocks! But make sure it's non-aerosol sunblock as aerosol products and cans are not allowed inside the venue. It's also very dusty so eye drops is great to have along with sunnies to protect your eyes. If you have long hair, I definitely recommend wearing it up or in braids. The one day I had my hair down was a disaster! I had so much wind, dirt and sunblock in it that I could barely brush through it by the end of the night.
I'd also recommend carrying a small - medium sized backpack, large ones aren't allowed. If you bring a bottle of water make sure it's an empty bottle, or you can purchase one inside. I'd also recommend carrying chapstick, sunblock, wipes, bandaids (for blisters because you'll probably have a few), and a small blanket or coverup as it can get a little chilly at night.
A portable phone charger is also great to have because your phone will drain really fast from the lack of reception and all the videos/photos you'll be taking! A dead phone will be a really big headache at the end of the night if you plan on calling an uber/lyft to get back to your hotel! This happened to a few of my friends. If you don't have a portable charger keep your phone on airplane mode to save battery life!
Remember they don't allow professional cameras so if you want, bring something small like a digital camera or a GoPro.
Last tip, bring a hat and don't wear too much make up, honestly you'll just sweat it all off the first hour and it'll clog up all your pores. I definitely had eye make up on but had much less on my skin and face. An oil free tinted spf moisturizer instead of foundation isn't a bad idea also.
I know Coachella is a huge fashion scene but I feel like that's mainly on social media. When we were there, everyone was doing their own thing and enjoying the music. So don't stress out too much about what you're going to wear and go have fun!
This was actually terrifying!! If you follow my instagram, you saw the story when we were taking these pictures, I was shaking! I don't have a fear of heights but this definitely got the nerves going.
Every once in a while I forget that Los Angeles is quite the beautiful city. I get caught up in all the traffic, pollution, population, angry people and forget that some people actually come here to vacation! I need more moments like this, to enjoy the city I live in.
I love this infantry jacket over a sweater or a basic t-shirt. It's the perfect layering piece!
Shooting with Robby is always fun. We stumbled onto this beautiful Japanese Garden. Love that sun peeping through in these shots!
I was totally tempted to climb this, but I didn't want to break it. Fun fact, when I was little, I loved climbing everything. I had a bunch of tree forts I built as well, I was a total tomboy.
Change up your basic outfit with a different layering piece. Gives a person a totally different vibe. What do you guys think? Infantry jacket or the Silk Bomber?
See all the different looks I mixed & matched with layers plus more in my newest video!
Ran around downtown Los Angeles with some friends from out of town a few weeks ago. We shot some photos and video, will be sharing the rest tomorrow! I LOVE these pants, I actually bought them over 5 years ago! I think they're so cool because of the double layer waist, almost looks like I'm wearing leather boxers under these black slacks.
I got this floral bomber in Hong Kong a couple years ago. No label and no brand, would you believe it was less than $25 dollars? I wasn't sure if I loved it, I didn't get to try it on. See, that's the catch of these street markets in Hong Kong. It's cheap, but you're not allowed to try anything on and it's mostly One Size Fits All. Which is the worst, because it definitely "doesn't fit all". Shopping can be discouraging enough as is when clothes just don't seem to fit right or work with your body type. I actually ended up giving away about half of the things I bought in Hong Kong to my friends, my loss, their gain! Most of the pieces were too small. If this happens to you, don't let it bother you! You're definitely not alone.
Do you guys miss my purple locks? I almost don't recognize myself anymore.
So for this second look, I just changed my outerwear. You'll see more of the look in my video tomorrow but I love how you can completely flip the vibe and feel of a look with a simple change of jacket.
Same basic crop tank and pants, I just layered it with a sweater vest and a leather jacket from All Saints.
I love layering with my leather jackets but sometimes the sleeves feel too stuffy, so vests are always a go to for me, almost looks like a scarf. And as usual, a leather back pack and sneakers.
I love my patent leather sneakers with this outfit because it gives this fairly monochromatic look a nice little pop! I've had this Alexander Wang backpack for years as well, love all the exposed zippers.
Will be posting a new video tomorrow including these looks and more! Stay tuned.
All photography by Robby M