MAKING THE MOST OF A MONTH

I have exactly a month off between when I left AOL and when I start my new job. I didn’t plan to take a month but it ended up happening this way and now I’m super thankful for it. I think it’s important to take time to decompress and recalibrate before anything ends or begins, and so I want to make the MOST of my month because I know the rest of my year is going to get CRAY.  Also in light of everything that’s happened in the past 5 months of this year, I’m just looking forward to being able to take a breath.

Here are my plans on how I plan to spend the next 30 days:

Spend time with my friends + family

Friday was my last day and immediately I caught a super early flight on Sat morning to go to Newfoundland. I’ve been going to St. John’s almost every year for the past 5 years as I have family there and it never disappoints.

Interesting side note: I use to live in Newfoundland when I was a wee tot! My parents were sponsored to Canada by my aunt and uncle who live there and so we lived with them for about a year or so before we eventually moved to Hamilton, which is where my other aunt and uncle live. In this respect – I consider myself part Newfie, which to some makes total sense when they learn this! (whatever that means)

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Anyways, some people go up north to the cottage to unwind. I take a flight and head to the East Coast because the air smells amazing there, the views are breathtaking, and I literally spend all my time there just eating and napping.  I’m currently on a plane heading BACK to Toronto as I write this, and I just finished having an awesome late lunch with the family – see picture below. My aunt and uncle own a Chinese restaurant and they made this lunch specifically for me because they know I love lobster – or as Newfies refer to them as the “bottom feeders of the Ocean” #NOMNOMNOM

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I’ll be back in the city until the end of the week before I plan to spend several days in Hamilton to chill with family and friends there.  I’m also planning to bring Frankly with me and I can’t wait to show her around the city I grew up in! We plan to go see Dundurn Castle, take a walk up Locke Street and have her spend some quality time with her grandparents 🙂  Also – because my life is ruled by food, I also plan to explore some of these restaurants I read about in a Huffpo article awhile back that featured the best eats of the Hammer!

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/08/08/best-hamilton-restaurants_n_5658349.html

At the end of this month, I’m also flying out to Kelowna with Dan as his younger sister is getting married. I’m major laser excited by this because Kelowna = (GOOD) WINE! This wedding will also kick off the first wedding of the year for us, which so far including ours will hit (as far as I’m aware) FIVE by the end of the year! I’m excited to spend time with Dan’s family, EAT (of course!), drink delicious wine and just generally soak up the magic that the West coast inevitably offers.

READ

Our rooftop patio opened up for the season on our condo and it’s quite heavenly up there. So I plan to spend time in the afternoon up there with Frankly reading up a storm because leisure reading is a luxury that I typically didn’t have time for.  And if I bring some champs up there and a board of fromage, well then SO BE IT.

Things I plan to read include:

The Royal We – because hello, glorified Kate Middleton fanfiction? #YESPLEASE

Inside How Google Works (for no apparent reason)

COOK

I love to cook. And during this time off, I plan to put more emphasis on my diet and nutrition. I don’t want to sacrifice the things I love to eat but I do think it’s important for me to take a step back and review my diet and try to make a better effort to be healthier. I don’t know what my new diet will look like exactly but I went on a 30 day cleanse a few years ago and I recall that it transformed my skin and digestion so I think when you see results like that, it’s tough to argue not to do it again… it just takes willpower, discipline and more thought in planning. Things I plan to cut out completely or just consciously heavily reduce my intake of include:

  • refined sugars, including pastries and desserts (not including Uncle Tetsu haha)
  • Chips – this bums me out the most. I can give up ice cream, cake, cookies etc but CHIPS? I think this will be the hardest part
  • Gluten – specifically pasta.  This won’t be too hard because Dan and I actually replaced all our pasta with brown rice pasta years ago. Plus hello – Asian.  Rice. Enough said.

BIKING AND EXPLORING THE CITY

I’m scared of riding my bike around the city but I need to get over this fear because there’s tons of areas around the city I want to get to and I would preferably not want to rely on TTC to get there. This includes visiting Trinity Bellwoods park, BangBang Ice Cream on Ossington, The Junction, Kensington Market, etc.  First order of business for this endeavor in my opinion is investing in a pair of denim cut off shorts so I can RIDE IN STYLE. It’s ride or die out there and I aint risking death on my bicycle unless I’m wearing some sweet sweet denim cut offs!

PLANNING MY WEDDING

This one is less fun. I don’t want to spend too much time writing about this but essentially I have a ton of tiny details I need to confirm, iron out or start working on and I have a month to get this almost all done! AHHHHHH

USURPING THE #1 TITLE FROM DAN

When I was working I had to leave Frankly for 8-10hours/day usually and I want to take advantage of my time off to spend as much quality time with her. This nugget is my best friend and I want to take the time to consciously and purposefully slow down so I can relish in the time I have with her.  I also hope this quality time I plan to spend with her will pull some of her attention away from Dan and dethrone his “favourite” status in the household 🙂

YOGA & MEDITATION

This goes hand in hand with improving my diet. I also want to spend time working on my yoga and meditation practice.   I’m committing this month off to actively slowing down and I think one of the most powerful tools to do this is yoga and meditation.  I’ve been practicing both on and off for the past few years but disappointingly I admit nothing consistently or in a deeply committed fashion. I hope to transform this and lay down the foundation for some good habits by ingraining my daily life with yoga and meditation so that I am equipped to be able to handle the rest of this crazy year with some sort of anchor to help calm me.

BEING BY MYSELF AND FEELING COMFORTABLE WITH IT

This is something that I’m trying to actively work on and is really important to me as I approach 30 for some reason. I want to pursue things that make me uncomfortable and there’s nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than doing activities by myself. For some reason it makes me feel super vulnerable and unsettled, so I want to try to tackle this feeling.  This includes some activities I’ve already listed above such as biking and exploring the city but also includes going to the movies and eating in a restaurant by myself!

I also booked an early flight to San Fran next month to spend a weekend by myself enjoying and exploring the city before I have to start training for a week in Mountain View.  There’s nothing that gives me more anxiety than travelling on my own and since I’ll be in a city by myself, I think this is the ultimate in becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable! Highlights for this trip include staying at the Airbnb I rented (first time trying Airbnb!) and meeting up with cousins I have there. I also plan to eat, shop, eat, shop and explore the city – IN THAT ORDER.

While on the plane back from Nfld I read this quote in the Fast Company magazine I picked up and it really struck me.  “What inspires creativity is exposing yourself to what might make you feel uncomfortable or different.” – John Maeda, former President of Rhode Island School of Design

So that’s it – so far those are my plans for the month. I’ll keep updating this blog with how well it goes!

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Last day at work *tear*

Friday was my last day at work – where I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past 2.5 years being part of something amazing and meeting some of the best human beings ever.  In honour of the day, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite memories – the good, the bad and the ugly. These are not ranked and in no particular order:

 

1. April 29th, 2015 – this was very recent, about 2 weeks ago.  On this day ALL of this happened at work. Lets just say I was REVERBERATING all day long.

  • Uber puppies came to our office where I was a total dog hound and snuggled up with this fluffy nugget (don’t tell Frankly she’ll get jealous!)

uber puppies

  • We got a surprise from the office that we were having lunch provided… from Swiss Chalet no less! This might not mean anything to you but please continue further down my list of top hits to understand the significance of the dirty bird
  • Got a free mani at work! We were piloting a program where mobile manicurists came into our office for a discounted price and today we got to sample the service for free! SWEEEET
  • Spring Ladies Night – by far one of the best events we host in our office! We do this as a fundraiser to raise funds for our charity efforts to support Free The Children. Last year I helped plan this evening because I was going to Kenya and every year the event keeps getting better and better. This year the services available for the evening included: an energy reader, tea reader, manis, wax, henna, tons and tons of greek food, vino and MORE!

 

2. Featured on the “What Is Love” editorial on Huffington Post for Valentine’s Day in 2013

Submitted this photo of Dan and I and described what love meant to me.

what is love

 

3. Bringing Frankly to the office when she was about 5 months old for the afternoon. She slept in our pod for the whole time while people kept coming by my desk to watch her sleep.  I went to the bathroom and came back a few minutes later to about 20 people crowded around our pod just watching her. I overheard someone say, “Productivity may have plummeted today… but morale is sky high through the roof!”

Franklys first office trip

4. Alia’s birthday

Haha this is a strange one but it’s one of my favourite days of the year. Someone in my office gets SHOWERED with gifts on her birthday and I love going to her pod, smelling all the flowers she gets, drinking mimosas and eating all the treats that are delivered to her. Cake, cookies, chocolate!

Alias birthday

5. Valentine’s day 2013

Maryse brought a ziploc bag of leftover pizza from dinner for lunch that day. Then her husband who worked near by surprised her by taking her out for lunch for Valentine’s day. Cue Katy swooping in and receiving one of the best Valentine’s day gifts ever. SCORE!

Bag of Pizza

6. Dirty Bird debacle

I will remember this day VERY VERY vividly. I took a Friday off to chill out. I was monitoring emails via my phone though when *GASP* – they announce a surprise, they were bringing in Swiss Chalet lunches for everyone! UGHHH whyyyy I thought whyyyyyyyyyy does the one day I take off work have to also be the same day they bring in my most favourite meal EVER – the glorious glorious dirty bird??!!

Obviously I replied to someone on my team to ask this question and express my outrage!

Fast forward an hour later when I come home to see my phone blowing up. I accidentally REPLIED ALL to the WHOLE office.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

No joke, I am still haunted by the feeling of being mortified. It runs SOOOO deep that I still get clammy just thinking about it.

Long story short, lets just say that because of this incident anytime someone repeats the treacherous reply all to the whole office mistake… we say they just GOT DIRTY BIRD!

7. Going to Susan’s house

To celebrate a great year Susan graciously invited us to her home. Her gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS home.  Note to anyone who ever invites me to their home – don’t. I’ll touch all your things and fawn over them and be wildly inappropriate. Anyways, here’s a snap of my dream bathtub. Excuse the troublemakers in them.

susans bathtub

8. Picture Day

One of our fundraisers for the Kenya trip was someone’s friend who was a professional photographer and donated his services to us. Take a look at this sweet professional family photo we got. A family that BAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER.

Picture Day 1

Picture Day 2

9. Kenya

Getting to go to on a life changing and transformative trip to Kenya, witnessing  all the amazing work that Free The Children does.

Kenya

10. Frankly Fridays

Sometimes when I would take an afternoon or day off on a Friday, I would bring Frankly in to say hi. This has been dubbed #franklyfridays.  Nothing bad can ever happen on Frankly Fridays!

Frankly Friday

11. Garage Sale Day

This is another Kenya fundraiser. It’s a day where the Huffpo Lifestyle team donates all the merchandise they get and sell it at super discounted rates. This happens TWICE a year and last Fall I couldn’t attend so I made a coworker FaceTime me in so I could bid on the silent auction items. We’re having another one at the end of the month… and I’m DEFINITELY going to be FaceTiming in again. This is where I got my sweet sweet Sephora advent calendar worth $120… which I bid on and got for $60.

12. Visiting Baltimore every year

When all the riots were happening in Baltimore recently my heart physically ached, for the city that I’ve grown to love and for the wonderful people I work with there. I’ll miss staying by the harbour, going to JCrew and Anthropology at the base of the hotel, taking a water taxi to and from the office and the sweet sweet smell of burning sugar that would waft through the air outside!

Baltimore

Baltimore 2

13. Halloween

Winning the PEER voted Best Costume award (hello that’s HUGE!) the first Halloween I was there debuting a costume I spent 3 weeks working on… SHARKNADO! This included lights that flashed and produced thunder noises.

sharknado

Halloween

The following year I entered the contest as a team… and only won “honourable mention.” I don’t care because we look SO adorable.

14. Finding weird things at the printer:

Including this gem. I never found out who felt so strongly about this quote that they went through the effort of typing it out on a word doc and then going to print it out… but if you step forward, I would like to shake your hand.

printer
15
. If I actually sat down longer instead of scrolling through my facebook to help me compile my list, I could probably write down a hundred more gems. But that’s super obnoxious, so instead I’ll just conclude a post of #franklyfridays where these fine ladies were found loitering around on the floor just chilling out.

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2015 K.Hung Quarterly Review

It’s already the middle of May and I’ve just thought to myself “holy SHIZZLE balls – where has the time gone? Where did the first quarter of this year go to? How come I can’t really remember or recall much of it? Is this real life?  Where are my chips??” (Because ya know in times of stress my soother is a bag of chips!)

I’ve been taking a meditation course recently and one of the things that the class has helped me to do is to be aware and work on the intention to purposefully slow down.  So with that in mind, I am taking some time to sit, breathe, and slowly reflect on the highs and lows of the past few months:

My aunt got sick and we went on a huge extravagant trip at the beginning of the year.

At the beginning of this year I took a huge family trip to Turks & Caicos. This trip was amazing, crazy, chaotic and very bittersweet.  It was the first time my parents, aunts, uncles and all the cousins went on a family vacation together.  Lets just say you put 10 Asian adults, 2 White guys (is White classified as an ethnicity that warrants a capital? Someone let me know!)  and 2 toddlers together… and you got yourself a recipe for calamities and hijinks let me tell ya!

The reason we went is bittersweet – my aunt was given some grim health news, so we wanted to capitalize on the time that we had to go on a big huge trip.  While the experience was crazy, fun and chaotic, I’m super thankful we were able to go on this trip because the memories we have are PRICELESS (cue Mastercard commercial).

No but seriously, this trip made me have the feels (which I’m often uncomfortable of having) because it truly makes you put time, family, loved ones and health in perspective.

 

My best friend died almost a month and a half ago.  

This is a tough thing to have to recollect but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it.  One of my closest friends (and Dan’s as well) had been sick for awhile and unfortunately since the beginning of this year things seemed to have escalated. We were supporting her as she was in and out of the hospital for months and she’s always rallied through so we were really optimistic.  But at the end of March, things got bad REAL fast in the span of days.

Lets just say death and subsequently grief changes you. When you help pick out the outfit that your best friend is going to be cremated in – you are NOT THE SAME ever again.

While I’m still grieving and partly living in denial about this – I choose to live my life in a way that I think she would be not just happy about but super proud of as well.  This Thursday is her birthday, and I refuse to spend the day crying and being sad. I mean I’ll likely cry a little but I refuse to spend the WHOLE day crying.

I’m going to spend her birthday doing what I know she would want us to be doing – her closest friends all being together, eating an OBSCENE amount of meat (i.e. reservations at Copacabana) and doing round after round of shots.  I am confident she would feel that there is no better way to honour her memory!

 

Wedding Planning

Eff this. Wedding planning is the lamest thing I’ve ever experienced. Other things that are lame for me include: moving and looking for a job.  Neither of these things are enjoyable and you can put wedding planning right under that evolving list.

While I’m pumped to spend a day eating amazing food, drinking, dancing, being surrounded by balloons and giving thanks and gratitude to our friends and family that have supported Dan and I in our relationship – the actual act of planning for this event and all the details and decision making that go along with it is LAME.

The irony is that we hired a wedding planner and she’s actually the cause of almost all my stress about the wedding planning process. BALLS! Word of advice for future brides: do your diligence and check credentials. If your wedding planner has really poor yelp reviews alongside really amazing yelp reviews, then it should be a red flag and you should ask yourself why the reviews are so polarizing.

 

Starting a new job… and leaving behind a great one.

So this week is my last week at AOL Canada. Before you even say or think it, YES we still exist. We own Huffington Post and as of this morning Verizon acquired us, so respect and recognize!

I’ve spent the past 2.5 years here and I can honestly say it’s been the best work experience I’ve had (so far).  It truly has felt like family since the moment I walked in the doors here and it’s going to be super emotional at the end of this week to say goodbye to family.

But sometimes you have to push yourself to be uncomfortable in order to learn and grow and that’s why I’m excited and scared… but mostly excited for the new adventure I’ll be embarking on.

I will say this about leaving a job and starting a new one – because this realization comes from the anticipation of turning 30 this year: Nobody knows what they want to do with their life. Seriously – nobody does.

There’s some weird myth that seems to get circulated out there that we’re supposed to know, and I honestly feel like it’s a bogus lie that benefits nobody.  It’s like that other silly myth that says “you can have it all”.  These are myths out there to make you feel bad about yourself because you think you’re not living up to something.

I’m turning 30 and I still have no idea what I want to do with my life but I’m excited for the prospect of trying something new and different and seeing if it will be great.  And if it doesn’t – I’ll still be OK. Because no matter what happens – a bag of chips will still always make me feel better 🙂

Oh hey there!

The last time I updated this blog seems to be February 5th – about pho no less. YIKES! I didn’t realize how much time has gone by…or how fast life can accelerate at a rate you were not prepared for.

A lot of things have happened since the beginning of February and I naturally let this bloggy blog take a backseat.  I’m feeling super nostalgic this week though, and I think it’s an appropriate and fitting time to reflect and start writing again.  So expect this bad boy to become updated more regularly!

To kick off my slow emergence back into the blogosphere – I decided to start off light and easy and post about something near and dear to my heart: Frankly ❤


Here are some snaps of us in the past few months:

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