Today, I am the featured blogger on The SITS Girls, a community of 40,000 actively engaged bloggers known for helping women grow their online reach. Not only has SITS been instrumental in the rapid growth of my blog readership, but I have felt so genuinely supported by the friends I have made through this amazingly loyal community. Seriously, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking of strangers who have reached out to me and been there for me. Thank you SITS! I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY SO MUCH! If you are a blogger, I encourage you to visit The SITS Girls website and become part of our network.
Now a little bit about me.
Just the Facts
*American born, Filipino heritage
*37 years old
*Married for 3 years
*San Francisco dweller
*Traveled to 30+ countries, 6 continents
*Undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley: double-majored in Biology and English and minored in Forestry
*MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
*Work for a Fortune 50 company in the financial services industry
Now highlighting the Dear Vixen blog.
In business school, I had an advice column in the school newspaper titled Dear Vixen. After I graduated, people said they missed my writing, and that’s how my blog was born. I blog about living in one of the best places on earth, the San Francisco Bay Area, and traveling all around the globosphere. As an academic, literary fiend, and lover of the written word, I also feature book reviews and blog about current events and thought-provoking social, political, and religious issues that are important to me and my readers. One thing that makes my blog unique is that I take an opinionated stand, while asking readers to weigh in as I am very open-minded and respectful of differing viewpoints. My hope is that the topics I blog about spur conversation and debate, and that the advice I dole out helps people live a more enlightened and inspired life. Every once in a while, I select guest bloggers cultivated from my vast network who are subject matter experts in their field. These posts are always very well received. Thematically, my blog also has a financial bent to it as I’ve set a personal goal to retire when I’m 50 and am always harping on what we can all do to save more money.
I encourage you to wander around this online home I’ve created on the interweb. Scroll down to read my recent posts. And subscribe by clicking on the pink button on the right.
I look forward to connecting and collaborating with you, and living an inspired life.
I didn’t realize that yesterday, when I wrote my post about sexual harassment, was International Denim Day, a day to honor victims of rape and sexual assault. Read more about it by clicking on the Wikipedia link above or reading this post by Savvy Working Girl.
I think it’s so important to talk about these cringe-worthy topics and make the message clear that we’re not going to stand for this bullshit nor are we going to blame the victims.
How to sum up Spain? It’s a huge and diverse country that’s famous for so many things. It’s renowned for its sizzling summer climate and golden sanded beaches. There’s the sprawling vineyards that bask under cloudless blue skies. The stunning peaks and snow-capped summits of the Pyrenees. Paella and tapas. Jugs of sangria. Flamenco dancers and early afternoon siestas. Whatever springs to mind when you think of Spain, there’s no denying it’s a magical place with a spectacular culture and more than a few things to see, do and experience.
For beach-centric breaks with the classic combo of sun, sea and sand, Spain’s golden Costas are the place to be. Here you’ve got bubbly Costa Blanca with its neon-lit resort of Benidorm, packed with cheesy nightclubs, karaoke joints and eclectic entertainment. Costa Blanca is also home to the town of Alicante with its airport and lovely old town, which is well worth a visit. Or there’s the laid-back sophistication of Marbella, the family-friendly vibe of the Costa Dorada or chirpy, cheerful Costa Brava.
If a city break is on the agenda, try the glorious coastal appeal of chic, cosmopolitan Valencia, or head to trendy Barcelona and explore its fabulous architecture and impressive art galleries. You could also head inland to the sprawling capital of Madrid and soak up some traditional Spanish flair in its vibrant city centre.
Whatever type of Spanish getaway you’re after, you’ll find a fantastic array of choice through some of today’s holiday tour operators. For instance, Thomas Cook’s Spain holidays serve up a wonderful choice of breaks ranging from beach escapes and rural retreats to chic city locations and family-friendly holidays. Spain is a fabulous place that’s certainly got holidays down to a T – so which Spanish getaway gets your vote?
I don’t have a son nor do I have a daughter so this post is purely theoretical, but based on my own real-life experiences. I firmly believe that parenting a son in this day and age is less anxiety-filled than parenting a daughter.
A month ago, while having drinks with Dean and his friends, the topic of parenting came up—as it usually does because his friends wax on about their kids and of course, we love hearing updates. These friends both agreed that having a daughter was so special, even more special than having a son. They considered their daughters the ultimate gift. Reality set in for me as they continued to gush and I blurted out, “Why is it so special to have a daughter? So you can watch her get raped?”
Silence. Dean’s friends looked at me in shock. Dean literally put his hand around my mouth and told me to shove it. I persisted, “Of course you wouldn’t understand because you’re men.”
Cmon people. Let’s actually talk about this and not act dumb. All you have to do is pickup a newspaper and scan the headlines.
Gang Rape in India
Teen Commits Suicide After Rape
5 Year Old Raped
These are real life events that affect women. WOMEN! I’m not saying that the opposite sex isn’t also subject to assault (i.e., Jerry Sandusky), but the majority of assault cases are men against women. And many of these go unreported!
When I got lost while traveling alone in Bali, I was suddenly encircled by a band of motorcyclists jeering at me. My only saving grace was a local woman who whistled for me and pointed me in the direction of my hotel.
In Istanbul, there was a man who pinched my butt on the train. In Africa, I ultimately came out unharmed, but got embroiled in such a horrible situation that I won’t even speak of it. I literally shut down when I think of the memory.
You can say, those are risks I take for traveling abroad. But no, harassment can happen in your own backyard. I was either in high school or home from college. A friend of my dad’s stopped by. I let him in the house because he was a good family friend. I asked where his wife was and he said she was sitting in the car. He then started to tell me how pretty I was and maybe he could take me out to lunch sometime. I mean, SICK! He handed me his business card, then next came his face crashing into mine as he swiped a kiss and told me to call him sometime. This was a good family friend, in his fifties, Japanese, with his wife sitting in the car outside, a man who had full-grown daughters of his own! I make mention of his ethnicity because the Japanese are known for being a respectful culture and here was this man/father taking advantage of a teenager!
Am I making myself clear? Men wouldn’t understand because they’ve never been subjected to the amount of sexual disrespect women get all the time. Am I biased? No, because Dean and I want a healthy child no matter what sex. Am I sexist? If being fearful for the female sex is sexist, then I guess I’m sexist. Am I correct? Yes. Given what has happened lately with the number of incidents of women being raped, given my own personal experiences, I am freaked out for young women out there. I fear for them and I’m concerned for the mothers who have to parent them. What are we going to do? What can we do? Lock our daughters in their rooms?
What a scary world out there. Be on guard, women.
I am going on exactly one week of being sick. It’s made me pretty depressed, but what can I do. I’ve kinda been a zombie lately, not socializing, not responding to emails, just focusing on trying to get better. Hope to see the light at the end of this tunnel sometime soon.
You know what they say about curing the blues? Retail therapy! Haha. Seriously.
Wilkes Bashford, a San Francisco high-end boutique, has been on my To Do list for a while now. Firstly, I don’t really believe in shopping, let alone high-end shopping. However, this place is seriously an institution, with an opening in 1966 and a grand reopening last year after a complete renovation. I pass the store often because it’s on our same street and a block away from my new acupuncturist. Plus, Armistead Maupin references the boutique in Tales of the City which is a quick, indulgent read for anyone who lives in San Francisco.
Dean and I got to check it out recently. It’s cute. It has a townhouse theme with each floor a different living space: garden, living room, penthouse. The first floor is mixed, then 3 floors for women, and 3 floors for men with the top floor penthouse sporting a fireplace and full bar. I would never dare buy something so extravagant, but for shits and giggles, I checked the price tag on a cute dress. It was $1,800.
I’m on a spending diet and I encourage you to join me in this effort to buy less shit. After clearing out a condo filled with crap and trying to make the best use of our storage in a 1-bedroom apartment, I am convinced that Americans needlessly and wastefully buy a shitload of stuff that they don’t need. I mean, it’s embarrassing all the stuff I’d accumulated and never used. The irony is that I am super minimalist. I’ve become very zen about material things and realized I honestly want to take half the stuff I own and drop it off at the Salvation Army. It’s all crap.
We probably have the smallest kitchen known to mankind. We have the bare necessities: plates, cups, wine glasses, forks, knives, spoons. We don’t have a food processor or a blender or a cake display or a fondue set. We don’t pretend to be Martha Stewart nor should you! Get that crap out of your kitchen.
A quick glance at our transactions on Mint.com show the following:
SF Soup Company
Amazon (I bought vitamins)
Kara’s Cupcakes (my sweet tooth)
It’s all food and basic necessities like cell phone, gas, and loan payments.
Here are some things I’ve implemented to assist me in my minimalist diet. I’ve removed all design and fashion blogs from my feed. All that shit just makes you want to buy more shit! Get rid of it. Aside from Vanity Fair (because it’s so gossipy good), I don’t subscribe to any other magazine. All those advertisements can set you down the $$$ consumer path. Out of sight, out of mind.
For us, it’s about eating good San Francisco food and saving for early retirement. I am on a mission to retire when I’m 50. Who’s with me?!
Call the police, I was robbed. While most of you were enjoying all the beauty of a gorgeous weekend, I was holed up indoors, pacing back and forth between the bedroom and the living room. I’m approaching the one week mark on a cold that won’t leave me alone. All I could do was sleep, eat, watch TV, and nap. I couldn’t read because my eyes are still infected. Even if I could read, I wouldn’t consider Haruki Murakami leisure reading so I’ve had to set aside his book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for a little bit longer. It’s a beautiful, well-written book, but dense. It’s not for pleasure readers who consider The Hunger Games and Harry Potter fine writing.
I only left home a handful of times.
Friday night dinner at L’Ottavo a block away, our favorite little neighborhood Italian restaurant.
Saturday morning brunch at Sears Fine Foods on Powell, celebrating 75 years in business!
Saturday night dinner next door at Le Colonial, I forget how consistently good their food is.
Sunday afternoon stroll around the neighborhood. The owner of a corner coffee shop has this precious blue French bull puppy. I want to steal him.
You know how they say there aren’t bad dogs, just bad dog owners. I believe that to be 100% true.
Analogously, there aren’t homegrown evil terrorists, just fucking bad parents! Why is it that when we learn who’s involved in the Boston Marathon bombings or the massacre at Newtown, it’s no surprise that the parents of the brothers no longer reside in America and that the isolated gun-loving Adam Lanza came from a broken home.
What father or mother would leave their teenage son (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) in America while they decide to leave and return to Russia? Who does that?! Via telephone interviews, the father is denying his sons can be involved. He calls them angels. They hate guns. Well, hello, your precious kids not only had bombs strapped to their backs but also gunned down people. How is the father qualified to give a character assessment of his children when he isn’t even present in their lives! FAIL! Their father, their mother, their family members have all failed in their duties and responsibilities. I now turn to the sister who lives in New York. She too is surprised and heartbroken, yet hasn’t seen her brothers in years! What sister who lives nearby has not seen her own flesh and blood in years? FAIL-FAIL-FAIL! It makes me sick. I swear, these people have blood on their hands.
My parents were all in my business. They knew what activities I was involved in. They knew who my friends were. They knew my friends’ parents. They didn’t leave anything to chance. I mean, that’s what it takes to raise good kids: good, community-oriented, law-abiding citizens. Parents who care. That’s all it takes.
Do your job, parents! If you leave your kids to fend for themselves in a foreign country, don’t be surprised when you turn on the news and your kids’ faces are flashing on the screen as suspects. Care enough to really know your children. KNOW YOUR CHILDREN. It’s not hard. It’s not rocket science. It’s called parenthood. Have some accountability.
One of the major things that needs to be considered on a cycling holiday is comfort. If you find yourself straddling a saddle with an ache in your derriere within a half an hour, how are you going to cope for the duration of a holiday based around the activity?
To help maintain maximum comfort, you need to make sure you pack the right gear. While cycling holidays with Neilson often provide the essential bicycle and helmet, it’s up to you to take the kit that will ensure comfort and support.
Some key items that you should consider packing include:
• Long or short sleeve cycling tops that will allow movement of your arms while also giving you the room to breathe. Make sure it covers your lower back to avoid sunburn or wind-chill.
• A couple of pairs of padded shorts are essential. If you don’t want to just wear shorts, pack some cycling tights too that will protect your legs from chill and they also mean you don’t need to show the world your knobbly knees if you don’t want to!
• Pack a lightweight cycling jacket just in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.
• You’ll need some good bike shoes if you’re planning on cycling long distances. Make sure they provide plenty of support and flexibility.
Make sure you take some suncream to protect from the harmful sun’s rays and sunglasses to keep any glare out of your eyes. The tour operator often provides maps and route guides for your convenience.
Neilson provide some top quality cycling holidays all over Europe. From the craggy mountains of Austria to the picturesque vistas of Slovenia, where you travel is completely up to you. Make sure you pack the right kit and you can guarantee an unforgettable vacation on the saddle.
I’m officially sick. No go on work today. Called the Kaiser advice nurse and she wanted me to come in to see the doctor. I’ve got either a bacterial or viral infection that’s affecting my eyes. There’s a steady flow of eye mucous that caused me to run to the bathroom and flush out my eyes every hour last night. When I did finally get some sleep, the mucous crusted my eyes shut. Yeah, it felt as creepy as that reads. So I’m a sick, sleep-deprived, over-worked person whose face is raw from doing hot/cold compresses.
With little else to do today besides rest, I went and got my hair hacked. Not Miley Cyrus hacked, but short enough. I’ve gotten tired of dealing with long hair. It’s kind of a pain. I feel so free now! I’ll post a pic when I start to feel bacteria-free. I’m sure at some point I’ll regret it. I always do, but hair grows. It’s not the end of the world.
I also started seeing a new acupuncturist. My previous acupuncturists couldn’t seem to solve my problem of irregular periods. Is it really that hard to regulate? I complained to my doctor and he handed me a business card of someone he recommends highly. Turns out, this acupuncturist is only 3 blocks away from where we live so I’m very hopeful. Especially since this one is doctor-approved. She gave me an herbal tincture that I’m thoroughly enjoying; it’s very soothing.