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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

Tag Archives: health

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is having a good start to the new year! I was quite busy the past 2 weeks teaching SAT classes over winter break, so I haven’t had the chance to write new blog posts. Thank goodness that’s over now (today was the last day I am going to get up at 7am in a very long time).

My Christmas and new year were great! For the first time in over 4 years, I was finally able to spend the holidays with Yufei as well as my family, so that was wonderful. Here I will are some of the photos of the various holidays events.

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This was at Twitter’s annual holiday party back in mid-December. It was San Francisco-themed and the space was set up with structures and booths representing different neighborhoods and places in SF. For example, the entrance was set up like the Golden Gate Bridge, and the ramps up to the stage looked like Lombard Street. The food stations were also neighborhood-themed, like this Chinatown one, which served up dumpling, ribs, and noodle salad. I thought the whole set up was really cute and creative!

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A professional photo taken at the party.

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They also had a photobooth!! So much fun!

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Pretty holidays lights in Pacific Heights, aka the neighborhood of mansions of epic proportions that I dream of living in some day.

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SF City Hall all lit up.

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Not really holiday related, but Yufei and I went to Oakland for a night on Dec. 30, and we had this amazing view of SF from our hotel window. Doesn’t it look dreamy?

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In Jack London Square in Oakland.

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Christmas tree in Jack London Square.

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New Year’s Eve. We went down to the bay to watch the fireworks and ring in the new year.

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Looking back, 2012 has been quite a year for me. In no particular order, these are some of the biggest things that happened in the past 12 months:

– I graduated magna cum laude from Columbia.
– I moved across the country to SF and began living with Yufei.
– I aced my DAT, went through the dental school application process, and got accepted to some amazing schools!
– I traveled to many new places, including the US Virgin Islands and Las Vegas.

And just for fun, I looked up my new year’s post from last year to see how I did on my resolutions for 2012. Well, here’s the verdict:

1. To lose weight and stay healthy.
Well, I think I did ok. I kind of slacked off during the middle of the year but picked it up again in the winter. Definitely still need to work on it.

2. To take control of my finances.
I think I did pretty well on this one. I opened a savings account after I got a job in SF, and I even spent a whole month without shopping online (!!!).

3. To make an effort to dress up nicely everyday.
Ugh, total fail on this after moving to SF. Like I explained in this post, there have been some obstacles to dressing nicely since the move. But yesterday one of my students said that I looked “very New York”, which was encouraging!

4. To make the most out of my last semester in college.
Achieved! My last semester in college was awesome. Wish I could go back sometimes.

5. To keep a positive outlook, no matter where life takes me.
I think I have gotten a lot better at this actually. I read this advice last year and simple as it sounds, it actually works for me.

Looking forward to 2013, there are of course things that I want to accomplish. They’re not really resolutions per se, but just things that I hope to do. Here are a few of them:

– Work out more! I finally found something that works for me so I’m going to try to keep it up.
– Travel more! Especially since I will be starting dental school in the fall and won’t really have time to travel. So before school begins there will be one epic trip and many small trips to new and exciting places.
– Learn to play the ukelele. I’ve always wanted to learn an instrument and I love the sound of the ukelele. Yufei got me one for Christmas (along with a shiny new website) so I’m going to learn to play it.
– Learn to drive and get my driver’s license. Because it’s about time and I’m tired of the nagging from Yufei and my parents.
– Save up $10k for dental school. 65% there so far.
– Start dental school, do well, and make new friends!

2013 is going to be an awesome year, I can feel it! What are some of your biggest events/accomplishments in 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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So I’ve decided that it’s time to start getting healthier again! I know that this sounds like an odd time to do this, right before the holidays, but hopefully it will have a preventative effect and stop me from getting fat over Christmas and New Years hahah. I also have gotten sick twice in the last couple of months so I think it’s time I strengthen my immune system too.

I already watch what I eat (at least most of the time) and I think I eat a pretty healthy and balanced diet, so not too much will change in terms of that. I did start drinking green tea everyday; not sure if it actually does me any good but it makes me feel healthy, ha! Also will start cutting back on starches a bit more and eat more fruits and veggies.

I do, however, plan to start exercising more. I’m kind of a yo-yo exerciser; I will do it diligently for a couple of weeks and then give up and then start again and stop again. The only time I’ve consistently exercised for longer than a month was when I was taking PE classes in college. But I’ve started a new fitness program that I can do right in my bedroom (this is super helpful if you’re lazy like me!). I got some weights and a mat and new workout clothes. So I’m trying really hard to keep it going this time. So far I’ve been getting my butt kicked by this new program but I feel great!

Speaking of getting healthy, I got contacted by Sue from Slimkicker. Slimkicker is a website that turns fitness into a level-up game. You can track your food and exercise and get points for doing healthy things like eating veggies or working out. You can set a reward for yourself for reaching the next level too, to get you to stay motivated. You can also join challenges, like “no snacking after dinner” and “replace soda”. Slimkicker is also coming out with a new fitness tracker next year that I will be testing and reviewing, so that’s going to be exciting!

I find that it’s really helpful just to write down what you eat everyday. And just the sheer fact that you have to write it down makes you less inclined to snack mindlessly. It’s like, “ugh, I really want a bag of chips, but I have to put it on my food log and it will push my carb intake over the limit!” So far it looks like my daily calorie intake is fine, but I eat too much carbs and sometimes sugar. Sigh.. I love my carbs though! Anyway, its great to have a site like Slimkicker to make getting healthy easier and more fun, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s trying to lose weight or just trying to live a healthier lifestyle!

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Happy New Year’s Eve!! I guess I just can’t stay away from this blog after all, haha. 2011 sure went by fast, didn’t it? How did it go for everybody? It was a pretty big year year for me: I traveled to many new places, celebrated 3 years together with Yufei, turned old enough to feel old at Forever 21, and perhaps most importantly, finally worked out a rough post-gradation plan! But 2012 is going to be even more monumental, with graduation and all that stuff. I have lots of hopes and dreams as well as worries and concerns for 2012, but most of all I’m really EXCITED to be moving on to the next stage in my life. So, new year’s resolutions? Why yes of course, I’ve got quite a few:

1. To lose weight and stay healthy. Ha, probably the most cliched of all resolutions, but it has to be made. I was super busy and stressed out last semester, and as a result didn’t work out very much and didn’t eat very well, and so as a result I gained a few pounds. My favorite pair of jeans are feeling a little too tight! This is definitely a sign that I need to lose a few. So, in the new year, I will eat healthier and exercise more. I’m taking Pilates next semester, so hopefully that’ll help!

2. To take control of my finances. Well, what little finances I have anyways. The first step is to find a new part-time job, since my current job is ending next month. And a sub-point to this resolutions:

2.a. To spend less money shopping. This is going to be really hard for me, because I love shopping and clothes and shoes and makeup and… sigh. But it’s getting to the point where it’s becoming a problem. So I’m going to give myself only $30 a month on shopping, and if I want to buy something more expensive one month, I’m going to have to give up the next month. Hopefully this is going to make me think twice about impulse buys (so guilty of this). And I’m going to purge my closet again when I get back to NYC, as well as take some of my existing clothes and shoes to the tailor/cobbler, to get more life out of them. I think it’s going to be a fun challenge to get more creative with the clothes I already have!

3. To make an effort to dress up nicely everyday. I’m already moving towards that direction, so this won’t be too hard. But I still have my off-days; I felt so yucky when I wore my sweatpants out during finals last semester that it just threw off my whole day. I feel so much more confident and productive when I look nice, even when I’m not going anywhere.

4. To make the most out of my last semester in college. Finally for one semester, all my classes genuinely interest me, and my schedule’s not too tight that I can still have fun! I’m going to enjoy my last few months at Columbia (and NYC) as much as possible.

5. To keep a positive outlook, no matter where life takes me. There’s going to be a lot of big changes in 2012, and I know that I’m going to be stressed out and worried and upset over some of them, but I want to keep in mind that no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay, life is wonderful, and I’m so lucky to be alive and surrounded by amazing family and friends.

So there you go! My resolutions for 2012! What are yours? I’ve love to hearing them!

I leave you with this lovely song from two of the most adorable and perfect human beings ever, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Here’s to a happy, healthy, wonderful new year!



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First week of classes of the new semester is over now. I’m taking 5 classes for the first time in like… ever. They’re not easy classes, but still, fewer than 6 classes for once in my college life. I really need the time to do other things, because school is starting to burn me out. I considered graduating a semester early, which is entirely feasible for me since I only have 31.5 credits left to complete, not including this semester. But I ultimately decided against it, because even though I feel like I’m having a pretty rough time right now, I want to get as much of college as possible.

I’m trying to change some things this time. I’m getting up at 7:00-7:30am every weekday, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I go to the gym right away. On my way there yesterday I caught the most beautiful sunrise. I had never seen the sun so low in the sky before, shining directly onto College Walk, the shadows stretched on forever until they disappeared into the semi-darkness of the pavement. I think just the possibility of catching such a wondrous sight is enough motivation for getting me up so early. I will try to capture this on my camera next time.

I’m also trying to re-focus on my studies this semester. I don’t even know where last semester went, and I admit I hardly put in any effort in school at all. Most of grades somehow were okay, but it doesn’t change the fact that I just didn’t give a crap. But school is one of the few things I have control over right now, and I need to feel more in control of my life.

Alright, enough with this stuff. Here are some photos from my not very exciting but still too short winter break.

A stuffed minion from Despicable Me given to me by Yufei:

Strange ice formations from the fountain in our fish pond (I thought it was cold back home; New York is so much worse):

My dad’s homegrown organic cherry tomatoes that he was so proud of:

Pretty snowfall the day before I left:

Finally, I leave you with some tablet doodles I did over the break!

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Happy New Year everyone! 2010 certainly went by fast, even though it was quite an exciting and eventful year. I always like to do a year-end summary type of thing and also write down some resolutions and other hopes for the new year, so I thought I’d combine the two and create a new type of list. So, here I present some of the things, both good and bad, I did and didn’t do in 2010, and some of the things I hope to achieve in the new year.

Things I did in 2010 that I want to keep doing in 2011:

– Travel! 2010 was a great year in terms of going to new places. I went to Washington, D.C. for spring break, visited Toronto and the Niagara Falls at the start of summer, spent 2 months living in Vienna, Austria, traveled to Germany and Switzerland, and went to Disneyland over fall break. I hope the new year will bring many more new adventures!

– See a ton of movies. I saw A LOT of movies this past year. In fact, I only missed 2 of the top 10 biggest box office movies of the year (Twilight: Eclipse and Clash of the Titans, both of which I have no interest in seeing). Hope to see more great movies in 2011!

– Craft! I did a fair amount of crafting in 2010, and I hope to keep it up in 2011! I already have a ton of ideas so it should be hard :)

– Set small goals/try new things. These two things often came hand in hand in 2010. I tried being vegetarian for 2 months, signed up for a graphic novel workshop, and even made my first ever graphic short story. Trying new things can never hurt, and setting small goals make things more attainable and enjoyable while still helping you achieve bigger things. Good things to keep up in the new year.

– Finding my own style. I’ve grown a lot in terms of my style in the past year; I got rid of a ton of clothes, and bought some more that I really like. I hope to keep going through that process and build a wardrobe I’m truly excited about. Will be selling more stuff online soon and taking some clothes to the tailors to get them altered!

Things I started/tried in 2010 that I will do better at:

– Eating well. I’ve been eating fairly well for the past year, especially since I ditched the meal plan and tried vegetarianism, but I can do better. Specifically, I will not stuff my face every time I eat out and try to bring back half my meal each time, because seriously, most of the time the portion size is enough for 2 meals, and it doesn’t feel good to be stuffed anyway. Another thing is trying to snack smarter, meaning less chocolate and chips and stocking up my fridge with fruit. And also: always eat breakfast!

– Being better tempered in my relationship. I tried really hard to not get upset at the small things and not stay upset for too long, and I think I’m getting better at it. The people around me don’t deserve it and I don’t deserve it myself; it’s really not healthy all around. I’m going to keep working on it in the new year and every time I get upset, I will take a deep breath and ask myself if it’s really worth it.

Things I did in 2010 that I hope not to repeat in 2011:

– Get a B in a class. I know, I know… a B isn’t all that terrible of a grade (though it is my worst yet). But seriously, I didn’t think a B can really drop you GPA that much. I was wrong. Time to re-focus on academics and do better next semester!

– Procrastinate. Especially this past semester, procrastination got me bad. It’s probably part of why I got a B in a class. It could have been avoided. So, I’m going to make 2011 a more productive year by procrastinating less. This means not thinking of Thursday night as the start of the weekend (I do this even though I have Friday class(es)) and reminding myself how good it feels to have more work accomplished early vs. panicking on Sunday night. Also, start using Google calendar again and time block my daily tasks.

– Fret about my future. I had many crises about my future in the past year, with the last one only a few days ago, but I’ve decided to stop doing this in 2011. I know this will be really hard for me to do, especially as I inch ever closer to graduation, but honestly, fretting doesn’t help. I need to focus on the smaller things in front of me (see above for setting small goals), such as making sure I understand the material and do well in a class, without trying to project it on how it will affect my future. I need to remind myself that I’m a capable, intelligent individual, and with a Columbia education, I WILL succeed in life even if I don’t know in what way yet. I just need to focus on doing the best I can at the present moment and really think about my pursuits, not blindly pursuing something I’m not even sure about. I need to feel okay with the fact that I might not know what I want to do right after graduation, and that it’s okay to try a few different options before I find something I’m really passionate about. Things WILL work out in the end.

Things I didn’t do in 2010 that I want to start/re-start doing in 2011:

– Do more art. Only near the end of the year did I start to do some art and realize how much I miss it. So I hope to do a lot more art in the new year, and one of my resolutions for 2011 is to draw everyday. I think I’ll start going to Friday Night Sketch hosted by the Artist Society at Columbia too. It’s something I both enjoy and am relatively good at, so there is no reason for me not to spend more time on it. Time to dust off my drawing pencils and Sakura pens, go out to buy a new sketchbook, and put my new tablet to good use!

– Exercise more. Spring semester of 2010 was okay, the summer came around and I was super busy with my internship, then there was just no motivation left for fall. So pathetic. So, in the new year, I will exercise everyday. Even if it’s for 20 minutes. I’m trying to see if getting it to be a daily habit will work better than trying to get myself to go to the gym twice a week, which is what I tried before. And it’s great that my room is actually big enough to do a lot of work-outs in, including jump rope! Also, I will try to take the stairs more; it makes me sad when I’m out of breath after climbing only a few flights of stairs. No more excuses this year!

That’s all for now, I will probably think of more later on and will update as that happens. So welcome, 2011! I hope you bring plenty of adventure, discovery, happiness, and love.

What are your goals/hopes for the new year? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian for quite a while now, though this may come as a shock to a lot of my close friends since I’ve never really told anyone about it. But the more I think about it, the less of a far-fetched idea it seems. I’ve never been crazy about meat, I don’t avoid it purposely but I’ve never been much of a carnivore. I already have a low meat diet right now, especially with red meat, and I don’t think I’d miss it too much if I did away with it altogether (this may be proven wrong). A lot of meat products kind of gross me out too, like the chicken and pig feet my dad keeps making at home recently. Besides, I just really love eating fruits and vegetables.

The thought of maybe becoming vegetarian has been on my mind a lot recently due to many things: the aforementioned gross meat stuff at home, the intrigue of reading about vegetarian bacon, my friend Angela taking to me about the paleolithic diet, the documentary Home I watched recently… So I thought, why not? Why not try it? It’s come to the point where I stop just thinking and researching and do something. So here’s the idea: I will try to be vegetarian (lacto-ovo) as much as I can for the 2 months that I will be in Vienna. Sort of a trial period, if you will, to see if I can do it, if I will like it, and how my body will react to it.

This raises a whole lot of questions for myself, so I will try to answer them here, to let you know and to keep it all organized in my own head. So why exactly am I doing it? Mostly for the sake of my own curiosity and experimentation. I just want to experience it for myself. But would I be missing out on Austrian cuisine if I don’t eat meat? What about the Weiner Schnitzel? As you may know, I am a total foodie and I am not ready to miss trying anything at least once. So I think when it comes to traditional foods when I’m in Vienna, I will try at least a little bit, just for the experience (which is why I wrote “try to be vegetarian as much as I can”), no other exceptions. What about after Vienna? That depends on how those 2 months go, but I don’t think I can ever be truly vegetarian for several reasons. First, when I think about my favorite foods, a lot of them have meat in it. I enjoy eating meat, it’s delicious. Second, I don’t believe that meat is inherently bad for our bodies; like most things, it’s fine in the right amounts and my current diet is quite healthy. Third, I don’t think that my family would support vegetarianism, and in most Chinese eyes it would be simply seen as being a picky eater. Lastly, again, it’s about the amount and the method; there are sustainable and ethical farming practices. I might try to cut down my meat intake even more and make a more conscious decision when choosing what to eat though. But who knows, maybe 2 months of vegetarianism will change me.

I will keep you updated and document this personal scientific experiment as I go along.

Thoughts? Advice? Words of encouragement or warning? Think this is crazy? Let me know!

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I’m finally free from the evil grasp of finals! :) Which means I can start thinking about what I want to do for winter break! My plans are as follows:

– Sleep. Although I have to admit, I’ve tried really hard to sleep better this school year, and I’ve somewhat succeeded. I went to bed by midnight every night, and I tried to get up earlier in the morning, but that part of the plan kind of fell through halfway through the semester. But anyways, it will be nice to be able to sleep until whenever I want without having to worry about missing class or not having enough time to study.
– Eat! Yummy home-cooked food awaits me!
– Try to lose the weight I’ve gained over the semester. I know… this doesn’t exactly go well with the previous item, and everybody thinks that it’s impossible to lose weight over the holidays, but it’s been done before! Last year I ate well AND lost weight over winter break. And summer break. I guess I just don’t eat well at school and always end up gaining 5-10 lbs every semester. Sigh.
– Nervously wait for all my grades to come out.
– Finally submit my AP scores to Columbia. I haven’t got a clue as to how to do this, but I think I may need some documents from when I took the exams wayyyy long ago. Time to dig through the pile of high school crap!
– Apply to summer opportunities. I need to do something cool and worthwhile!
– Learn to skate!
– Watch all the seasons of House in a desperate attempt to solidify my decision to go pre-med.
– Read The Lost Symbol.
– Spend time with friends and family.
– Contact labs at Columbia that I want to work at.
– Draw/paint/do art.
– DIY!
– Blog more! Any ideas of what kind of things you would like to read more of? Tell me in the comments :)

By this time tomorrow I will be on an airplane to Vancouver, arriving early morning on Christmas Eve. I cannot wait.

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