Post Birthday

Not much changes in the transition from 24 to 25, except for the fact that now you can rent a car instead of borrowing your parents mini-van to go on road trips.  Other than that, you pretty much just put another year under your belt and engulf the unsavory feeling of age.  If you're lucky, like me, you had an incredible family and boyfriend help assuage the revulsion by throwing you a birthday party with numerous gifts and activities that wholly and utterly embodied your youth.  Theses gifts and activities included, but were not limited to: a Nintendo 64 Super Smash Brothers tournament, a Justin Beiber photo-booth, an original Polaroid camera, card games, and your mom's favorite recipes.  Who wouldn't love turning 25 if this is what it always entailed?

While every day continuously proves to be a greater blessing than the day it followed, here are 25 of my favorite moments/memories of the last 25 years:

1. Touching the ocean!
2. My 3 hour segway tour of Boston reigns as the funnest thing I've ever done.
3. Seeing Britney Spears live.  Everyone who knows me....knows.
4. New York City circa 2007 with my National Business Group.
5. Getting one of my poems submitted in a book in middle school.
6. Starting my blog!
7. Meeting a wonderful charming boy on a 5 way date and falling madly in love.
8. Meeting Jackie Chan.....'s wax figure.  Still as close as I might ever get, so I'll take it!
9. The year I was Activities Coordinator at the X-Factor family reunion.
10. Hlub Church Camp 2006 in Missouri - what an amazing experience!
11. Rapping in my first musical in 7th grade.
12. Meeting and interviewing a wounded General of the Vietnam War.
13. Meeting my best friend Amin at the U of M and thinking he was a complete loser!
14. Snowboarding for the first time with Samwell.
15. Eating at the same restaurant as my all-time favorite blogger Sincerely Jules in LA!
16. My first time ever at MN State Fair.
17. My FIRST Packers game!  And it was against the Vikings!
18. My summers spent playing soccer with Kaozong growing up.  So many friendships and memories we made.
19. Buying my entire family Journey tickets and seeing my mom dance for the first time.
20.  The summer all my girl & guy friends were single circa 2010.  Best summer of my life.
21. NYE at International Market Square!
22. Climbing my first mountain in New Jersey.
23. My first fashion show!
24. Making the front page paper in 4th grade because I decided to buy & donate school supplies to children in Afghanistan.
25.  And lastly, the birth of the most special boy in my life:  my baby brother.  

The moments go on and on and I probably missed some very crucial ones, but I hope this at least shed some light on my life for you.


Wish List

Birthday Wish List
Birthday Wish List created by Amy Xiong

My quarter of a century mark is just around the corner!  As age continues with it's ruthless defilement, I can't help but notice the overt change to my yearly 'wish list'.  Last year it included new Nikes and Jay-Z CDs.  Next year it will likely be retirement home recommendations and a walker with loop breaks (see here).  Every year I create one of these corny lists for my birthday.  Partly so I can sit and cogitate my current 'wants' to compare them to the year previous, and partly so that someone else can corral the information and act on it (anyone? no one?).  While I'll be the first and last to say I have everything I could ever hope and dream for, these are the few splendors that wouldn't hurt the richness of life at this moment.

1) Super Smash Bros - The only game missing in my Nintendo 64 collection!  Whoever buys this for me will reap the reward of being beaten thrice over by me as I am a world renowned champion in this game.  And trust me, it is a reward to bask in my greatness.  It can not be vanquished.

2) Poloroid camera - Not that my recent T3i birthday gift isn't fulfilling enough.  This would honestly just serve as a great utility for entertainment purposes.

3) Coat - It's Minnesota.  You only make it through the winters if you're covered in something long and furry.  Someone please forward this to my wardrobe ASAP.  Cue Lord Stark: winter is coming!

4) Decorative Pillow Cases - I scold myself for not picking up a beautiful set of Cynthia Rowley pillow cases a few months back at Home Goods.  My current all-white bed set needs a bit of flare in the form of pillow cases.  I'd love these even more if they were pink though.

5) My all time favorite book in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.  I could read it a million times over and love it the same with every read.  With that said, I need a new copy *cries*.  The only book Harper Lee ever wrote.  What a legacy she left.  


Book Of Rules

I have this unofficial “Book Of Rules” that I try to abide by.  The fact that it is a) unofficial and b) remembered by memory and not by composed transcription (therefore, making it not really an actual book), can sometimes take urgency out of these rules being enforced.  Nonetheless, I continue to add unofficial rules to my unofficial book with every important circumstance that occurs in my life.  This weekend happened to contribute to 3 new rules.  To preface the rules and to how they came about - I’ll go briefly about the details of my weekend. 

I got the opportunity to spend the weekend with my boyfriend.  We attended a wedding of one of his close friends on Friday and then on Saturday we spent the entire day at his basketball tournament.  Afterward, we had some one-on-one time together so we caught dinner & a movie.  These happenstances led me to my first new rule: Appreciate Good Men.  

As women we’re so often looking for affirmation and gratitude from our boyfriends to comfort our insecurities, that we sometimes shy away from the fact that men appreciate being valued too.  Don’t be dismayed by your own vacillations so much.  Men need to be loved too.  They need bold, loving women who aren't afraid to pick up the bill ever so often, take them on dates, and maybe even write blog posts about them to remind them how much they matter.  So if you're reading dear boyfriend, you are appreciated.  
On Sunday I had the good fortune of working with some friends of mine at a casting call.  Afterward we all had lunch together, which consisted of great conversation and the ambiance of wonderful company.  One good friend invited their cousin to join us, which led me to my second rule 2) Take the time to meet your friends' family members.   Show them that you care for them by caring for the people they care about.  All of my closest friends have met nearly everyone in both my immediate and extended family and vice versa.  It is the ultimate compliment and commitment of friendship when those closest to you, learn to love those closest to you.  

And lastly 3) Have dinner with a family member once a week.  And every week make it someone new.  I remember when my dad started doing this with all of his nieces and nephews and how ingenious I found it to be.  I find that so many of us are more self-centered than we realize or admit to (including myself).  What on earth could possibly be more important than time spent with your own kin?  A meal a week.  I challenge you.  

Additional rules that are pending after this weekend are….do not attempt to make apple pie via a You Tube video, always carry mint-flavored gum, and never leave the house without your house keys.
But those have yet to be approved.
Hope everyone had a great weekend and discovered their own blessings.



Ode To Ice Cube

Shout out out to Ice Cube on this one.  Today was indeed a good day.  Stopped by Urban Outfitters annual fall sale, that featured an extra 50% off all their sale items.  Picked up these camo pants and this Ice Cube sweater for $15 each!  The boy and I had a full day planned so I wanted to show how I transitioned these pants from day to night.  In the morning we had some errands to run so I paired them with the sweater and some wedged boots for a more urban appeal.  I'm kind of a poser when it comes to being a BA, so this look helped solidify my pseudo Compton upbringing.  

In the later evening, we went out for dinner + a movie so I switched out the sweater for a blouse (also an extra 50% off at the Loft's fall sale!) & leather jacket.  I'm a firm believer that you can and should throw leather over everything.   The wedges were swapped for some steel-tipped boots.  I call them my Wolverines and yes - people should be afraid of me when I have them on.  Not because they present potential harm, but because the heel height is substantial enough that a fall is almost inevitable with every wear.     

Outfit 1: Sweater, Pants, Boots  - Urban Outfitters.
Outfit 2: Leather jacket: old | Boots: H&M | Blouse: Loft


Disturbing The Peace

What was supposed to be a lazy day dedicated to homework and blogging, ended up being me abruptly woken up at 9 AM to the sound of my sister, niece, and aunt banging on the front door.  Rest assure their wake-up call had merit, as they were hoping to raid my closet for their photo-shoot.  The photo-shoot was dedicated to documenting the progress of their weight-loss after 120 days.  I, of course, did what any normal human being would do in that situation - and told them to go home and slammed the door in their faces.  After realizing they weren't leaving and heavily contemplating the thought of calling the police to report domestic disturbance, I succumbed to their persistence and let them in.  Ah, but hindsight is 20/20 and little did I know I'd be forced to be the stylist, MUA, hairstylist, and photographer for this shoot -___-

Nonetheless, it was a good day.  Maybe even a great one.  I am blessed to be a part of this experience with my close family members as they commit themselves to living a healthier lifestyle.  I cannot put into words how proud and in awe I am of the progress they have made because of their relentless tenacity to make a change.  I truly enjoyed playing dress up with the 'big girls'.  I never thought this day would come, being as the role was always reversed growing up.  I couldn't be happier for them!  Afterall, what is more inspiring than accounting for our success with direct physical results?

Ava thought it was awesome that they had unintentionally worn the "same sweater"
Came downstairs to my roommate and niece having a planking contest LOL.  I guess the fit craze is hitting everyone. 
My beautiful Aunt Kelly!  And Ava in her natural element - photobombing.  
My beautiful sister Pang!  Aka Pangcakes :)


Foolproof For Fall

Stocking up the essentials for fall: plaid, camo, boyfriend jeans, & boots.  The PR ladies of Silver Jeans were so sweet to send me these boyfriend-fit jeans along with a few other items.  These were Godsent, as they fit my petite frame perfectly!  They are seriously so comfortable, I have since substituted them as PJs.  The boots I picked up from H&M (for only $5)!  They're the perfect neutral color for the upcoming season.

This is my first post shooting with my new Canon EOS Rebel T3i and I am loving it so far!  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend :)

- A


Shirt, Shoes, Sunnies: H&M | Jeans: C/O Silver Jeans | Jacket: Vintage | Hat: 10Deep | Bag: Phillip Lim for Target


Peter Pilotto for Target

I shamefully admit I was only mildly intrigued when Target announced a couple weeks ago, the name of their next designer collaboration to be the Londo duo Peter Pilotto.  I blame my initial tepid care on the fact I was (and still am) swooning over my Philip Lim bag & am still high from the knowing Jessica Alba and I share a mutual article of clothing!  As soon as the announcement was made a personal blogger favorite, Leandra Medine aka the Man Repeller,  wrote an article on her admiration for the up and coming designers and no - I didn't just hop on the bandwagon, I dived onto it.  After seeing their Spring collection unveil at London Fashion week, I had to pick my jaw off the floor.  Every thing about their signature print placement screams "have my babies!" Yes, this collection and I belong together.  You can bet I am counting down the days to February 9th.  I already have it programmed in my phone, my work calendar, my personal calendar and tatooed across my chest.  Here's a preview of the Spring Collection: