Finding My Voice

Hi everyone,

I feel like I owe all of you an explanation as to why I haven’t posted in the past couple of months. First, I wanted to attribute it to my being busy in Cambodia working for a NGO, but it became evident that it was more than that. I started to realize that this blog no longer was bringing out my creative side, and I always felt like I was forcing myself to think of the next thing to post, rather than what I felt passionate about posting.

What started out as me writing about my volunteer experiences on Blogger eventually turned to writing recipes and reviews, which was fun for a time, but when I went back to working in the field for my graduate experience, that was where I felt the most inspired. I wanted to write about my experience in the field, about public health. I feel the most passion when I think about public health issues, such as why the US industrial food animal industry needs work, how we can address world hunger if we shifted our grain production to humans rather than to animal feed, why we should move towards renewable energy and a more plant-based diet for the sake of the environment and our own health, to name a few.

I’m still in the process of working out the kinks to what I want to write, and I’m chastising myself because I’m giving myself more excuses and delays to writing my next blog post. I have a list of ideas of what I could be writing, but I don’t have the motivation to do so because I am lacking the inspiration, and that honestly sucks. I used to enjoy writing and engaging with my readers and I want to be fully invested when I come back to this.

This February, I started a full-time job working for an advocacy organization for girls’ and women’s health, rights, and wellbeing, and am feeling some inspiration being around so many like-minded individuals. I hope that my colleagues can spark the fire that used to be there and get me back into writing. It’s possible that I will shift my focus toΒ my public health blogΒ as I try to find my voice again and keep this blog for my recipes and DIYs because cooking is something I still very much enjoy doing! I have also taken up bullet journaling as you can see from my instagram and have found some passion in that as well.

Thank you for all of your support and your patience during this time.


7 Habits to Adopt in 2018

Can you believe 2018 is already here?! These past few months have whizzed by so quickly and I don’t think I’ve registered that we’re starting a new year already :O My time in SE Asia has really changed my perspective and outlook on life, and I want 2018 to push me forward and help me succeed personally and professionally. I’m sharing 7 habits I’d like to begin for the new year and hope that I can finally stick to them this time around hehe. Enjoy!

  1. Make my bed every morning.
    I read somewhere that people who don’t make their beds are more driven in the workplace and have better things to do than to waste time making their beds, and as much as I’d like to agree with that, I think doing one small organizational thing in the morning can set the tone for the day.
  2. Read before bedtime.
    I am a chronic social media addict, and I used to track the number of hours I’d use my social media apps…it was pretty scary. For the new year, I want to set aside my phone at night and just get back into reading a good book to end my day.

    It’s taking me way longer than I want to finish this book, but it’s really good! A must-read for those who are interested in Public Health
  3. Practice meditation at least 1x a day.
    I have heard the benefits of meditation for managing stress and anxiety, and promoting relaxation and a healthier lifestyle. There are plenty of apps to help you get into meditation, such as Headspace! If you’re short on time, there are meditations that are as short as 1-5 minutes.
  4. Purchase responsibly.
    Because we live in a developed country, it’s easy to take for granted our ability to buy things on a whim. We often buy fast fashionΒ when something catches our eye and we don’t consider whether we’ll still love it when years pass. I’ve really cut back on shopping at the quick and cheap retail stores because

    • I don’t want to own a million articles of clothing and not wear them later on
    • cheap clothes wear out and don’t last AKA their quality usually sucks
    • many of the clothes are not produced responsibly
  5. Cook at least 3x a week.
    When I was in Cambodia, I never had a fully functional kitchen to work with for over three months! I didn’t realize how much I missed cooking and being able to be creative in the kitchen and make things up as I go and surprise myself by the flavor profile of my dishes. It brings me joy to make something that others can eat πŸ™‚ Also, I have cookbooks gifted by my friends that have been dying to be used: Vegan, Jack’s Wife Freda,Β  But I Could Never Go Vegan!
  6. Embrace creativity.
    When I was younger, I used to take art classes in and out of school, and thought it was kind of a chore…but as I grew up, I realized that I did enjoy when I would make some semi-decent pieces and received positive feedback for them! Now, I’m not limited to just a paint canvas or sketch book, but I like to bullet journal and blog as another way to share my creativity with the world and with you! πŸ™‚
  7. Work on my handwriting.
    In my immediate family, I supposedly have the “best” handwriting, but that’s only when I’m trying. When I am in a rush to take notes in class or jotting down information from a phone call, it can quickly go downhill to start looking like scribbles on a piece of paper. Bullet journaling has given me the opportunity to be more conscious of how I write, and to make improvements when I see that changes can be made πŸ™‚ I just need to keep up with it regularly and see the transformation over the year!

Thanks for reading! I hope that by sharing my 2018 goals that I will stick to it and maybe inspire some of you to set some goals for yourself πŸ™‚ What changes would you like to make for the new year? Comment below!





4 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

As 2017 is coming to a close, we look back on the accomplishments we have made, and also think about the things we could have done differently. My experience working in Cambodia has reaffirmed my passion to work in the field of public health. Knowing that I can contribute meaningfully to a community is rewarding in and of itself and I feel like I’m a changed woman! My mother visited me when I was working in Cambodia and reminded me that in the past, I used to say that I wanted to make six figures so I could live comfortably, but seeing how people can be so happy with so little has really changed my life goals.

So how can one give back this holiday season if they can’t commit to working abroad for free for three months? I have some suggestions!

  1. Volunteer at a local organization. This can be anywhere from a homeless shelter, hospital, soup kitchen, food pantry, animal shelter, charity etc. Time is priceless…especially when you live in a big, bustling city like NYC. If you are willing to give up your time, even if it’s as little as one hour, you are making a difference to the people that you’re serving and helping.

    cool soup kitchen volunteer collection
    I’ve volunteered at soup kitchens and food pantries before, and it’s so fun! It’s great to meet the people you are serving and to let them know you are rooting for them!
  2. Donate to a charity. We are constantly bombarded by television ads to donate to this organization, or that organization, but how many of us go the extra step to actually call the number or visit the website to donate? There are plenty of organizations that could use your help! If you are unsure where to donate and if an organization is legitimate, you can visit Charity Navigator to look up each organization’s work and its rating before you make your decision.
    • (this is my shameless plug because of my transformative experience working in Cambodia this fall heh) I’ve had the pleasure to work for the Cambodian Community Dream Organization these past three months and see the great work they do in three main areas: Clean Water, Education, and Health and Wellbeing. By working in the field and seeing where the donations are going, I can personally vouch for the integrity of this organization whose goal is to transform the lives of the people living in rural Siem Reap.

      Here is the CCDO’s water well construction crew hard at work to build a water well within a day! These water wells are shared between 2-3 families (approximately 10 people), increasing water access and reducing the amount of time it takes to fetch water from another source. With each water well donation, the CCDO also provides a ceramic water filter so the families may drink safe, potable water πŸ™‚
  3. Purchase a stranger’s groceries. I haven’t gotten around to doing this yet, but I can imagine how happy this stranger would be if they are struggling with the bills and making ends meet, and a kind individual such as yourself helps to lessen their burden just a bit and brighten their day or week.
  4. Buy a meal for and talk to a homeless person. For all of us who are not rich, we legitimately can be one paycheck away from being homeless. People are faced with unfortunate circumstances that can lead to them losing their homes and being pushed onto the street. Not all homeless people are drug addicts or alcoholics. Many are down on their luck and are seeking just a little bit of kindness from passersby. No one wants to feel invisible or that they are subhuman. If you can afford it, try to buy someone on the street a meal or two, and have a small chat with them. A little kindness can go a long way.

    My friend snuck a photo of me a few years back giving food to someone in the city

I am happy to share a few below that I’ve heard great things about or have personally been involved in the past πŸ™‚

  • New York Cares – tons of opportunities to volunteer in a variety of areas in the five boroughs
  • Project Sunshine – a nonprofit that is in four countries that provides free recreational programming to pediatric patients to brighten their days πŸ™‚ If you are in the US, Canada, Israel or Kenya, you can apply to volunteer with PS!
  • Housing Works – its mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and HIV/AIDS through advocacy, provision of services, and entrepreneurial businesses. I volunteered at their thrift store back in undergrad and their retail staff is great!
  • UBELONG – I volunteered with them twice before, and had amazing times during both of my experiences. You can volunteer at an international location in a variety of different projects, spanning from as short as one week to as many as multiple months!

Happy Giving! I hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season πŸ™‚



Adventures in Asia: Water Festival in Cambodia

Happy November, everyone! While Western cultures celebrated Halloween last week, people all over Cambodia traveled to Phnom Penh for Bom Om Touk, also known as the Water Festival. This is a national holiday celebrated across Cambodia to commemorate the end of the rainy season (which fun fact: causes the Tonle Sap river to flow in the opposite direction!)

I absolutely loved the floating lights! My friend told me that each of these boats’ lights resembled the Ministries in Cambodia

This was my very first time living in SE Asia, and luckily I was placed to work in Cambodia, so I knew I had to be present to witness this ginormous gathering in Phnom Penh*, which easily has a few million attendees over the course of three days! Cambodians from different provinces all travel into Phnom Penh to witness the boat races.

I decided to attend the Water Festival festivities on Saturday in Phnom Penh, and I’m glad I did because that’s one of the best days to go (the first and third days, according to what my friend told me). As you can see from the photos below, so many crowded both sides of the waterfront of the river to watch the boat races. These boats can have up to 100 rowers which is INSANE–just imagine how long these boats must be to be able to support that many men!

If you’re going to visit Cambodia in the fall, attending the Water Festival should be one of the top things to do if you want to experience an event the locals so proudly celebrate! Bear in mind that the festival dates change every year, so check before you book your tickets!!


Can Cities Become Zero Waste?

I want to hear your thoughts on if you think our cities can become zero waste? Does your city or country have zero waste initiatives? Let’s open a dialogue and talk about it! Check out my post on my thoughts about this opportunity πŸ™‚

Zero Waste: The Compost Bins Have Arrived!

HAPPY TUESDAY, Y’ALL! I’m gonna write a quick post just to share my joy about this morning. We finally received our compost bins and we’re so excited to move forward with the #zerowaste movement at home πŸ™‚


So what is “zero waste“? Zero waste is a lifestyle where you will produce little to no waste, so none of your trash ends up in landfills or incinerators. People who embrace the zero waste lifestyle usually commit to a plastic-free life, since most plastics never just disappear from earth; they only break down into tiny little microparticles that can be ingested by our sea animals and pollute our lands.

Here are some of my favorite zero waste blogs:

There are some companies that have embraced recycling and repurposing plastic items into other items, such as:

  • Rothy’s: recycling plastic to create durable, stylish, and most importantly sustainable flats. I once saw them in person on a woman at a food fair in Brooklyn, and it looked stunning in person, as well! (Hey Rothy’s, I’d love to test your shoes out and write a review on my blog ^_^)
  • Playback Clothing: uses plastic waste with clothing scraps to make sustainable clothing items
  • Preserve:Β collects recycled goods and makes toothbrushes and kitchenware

And what about “composting”?Β Composting is “nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost”.

cSome quick stats about waste in America:

  • the average American produces approximately 4.5 pounds of trash PER DAY. I did the math: that’s 1,642.5 pounds PER YEAR! (Source: EPA)
  • Americans only recycle about 34% of their waste (source: Planet Aid)
  • More fun, but alarming trash facts can be found here!

I would love to hear about your zero waste lifestyles wherever you are in the world πŸ™‚

Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe and comment below so I know to post more on this topic.

Migraines: Seeking Advice or Tips!

Hello everyone! In the US, more than 39 million individuals are afflicted with migraines that partially or completely impede their daily responsibilities. I, unfortunately, am a victim to migraines and have yet to find a solution or ways to alleviate the pain.


I’m hoping that you can share the steps you take to prevent or treat your migraines. My symptoms typically include seeing auras, dizziness, throbbing headaches, eye pressure, nausea and vomiting, and an insatiable desire to knock myself out with something until the pain passes.

Looking for any and all kinds of tips I can try!! I’ve seen a neurologist before and have been given medications such as Sumatriptan and Topiramate, but if there are other medications that worked for prevention or immediate relief, I’d really like your recommendations.Thank you in advance πŸ™‚