Five Highlights

There is no way around it, so I am going to name the elephant in the room right off the bat—

I definitely overestimated how ambitious I would be over the summer in consistently posting while vacationing in Europe. One oversight on my part was how often we would be traveling from place to place with only a few days at each location and trying to maximize the time we spent outside and away from technology. Another oversight was the amount of time it took for me to load the pictures onto my computer from my camera, select the ones I liked, reflect on what was done each day, and then write about it. Hopefully, I will be able to play “catch-up” at an efficient speed and be back on track in no time! ūüôā

Moving on to this week’s fiveeeee highlights!

1. “Hunt, Don’t Fish”


Photo: Lifehack

I initially heard quote¬†from a professional development session last week, and it just stuck with me. I believe¬†this motto applies not only for the classroom, but also in our personal lives. I think there is a certain mindset that we all sometimes adopt where we think that because so many aspects of our lives are out of our locus of control (and also unknown!), we do not really take the time or assertiveness to go after the things we really want.… READ FULL POST

How to Plan Your Workout Routine

I think it would¬†be hard to find another gal who likes structure and routine more so than me. I love consistency. I love knowing what to expect in my future, both in twenty minutes and a year from now. Of course, this does not mean that I do not leave room for the unknown. In fact, because I am so use to routines in my daily life, I am often delighted by an unexpected surprise and would seek out a spontaneous adventure every now and then. Part of the reason why I rely so heavily on my routines (and am also a stickler at making ’em!) is because I know myself very well–if I do not make a plan and follow¬†it, I¬†would be too lazy to have the discipline needed to set something up along the way.


Photo: Title Boxing Club

Fitness¬†falls directly into this category.¬†Working out is not something that comes naturally for me. It is something that I know I should be doing in order to stay fit, both mentally and physically. Therefore, I knew I had to come up with a few different ways to motivate myself so that I stay on track and go to my classes at least five times a week, if not more!… READ FULL POST

9 Things I Learned About Clean Eating (Guest Post by Mara)


If there is one person I would trust to provide me guidance and advice on living a healthy and clean lifestyle, it would be Ms. Mara. Mara and I first met during my freshmen (her junior) year at Cornell. Immediately, I knew I wanted to be her friend. She just radiates positivity and happiness. In fact, I do not think I have ever met a single soul who had anything¬†negative to say about her (which is a very rare trait nowadays!) We bonded over many common interests¬†and have stayed the best of friends ever since. Although she currently lives on the other side of the country in Arizona, we keep in contact pretty much daily and swap¬†countless¬†stories about what we are doing to keep up¬†the healthy and active lifestyle¬†ūüôā I am SO grateful that she decided to take the time to share her tips and tricks as to¬†what she is doing to maintain a sustainable clean diet despite having¬†a hectic schedule.


Welcome to the LisaTChen blogging community, Mara!


Googling ‚Äúclean eating program‚ÄĚ generates pages upon pages of results, and intuitively we know what to do (no processed foods, less sugar, moderation, etc.READ FULL POST

Love Song to Noraebang (Guest Post by K. O. Kay)


I am¬†very¬†excited today to share with y’all another fabulous guest post, written by a friend of mine. Since he would like¬†to keep his privacy and blog for us anonymously, I am going to honor that and call him by his preferred pseudo name,¬†Mr. K. O. Kay¬†(clever, no?). I originally contacted Mr. K. O. Kay to write for my blog because we both share a rather passionate obsession with the art of karaoke. He is someone who will, without a doubt, always use any get-together as an excuse to¬†rally¬†up a community of people to bond over some good music and a great time. It is rather an¬†amazing talent. Before I give away any more about our mysterious guest or his post, ¬†I¬†will let Mr. K. O. Kay take the mic from here…

Please join me in inviting him onto your screen with open arms!

The word¬†karaoke¬†is enough to inspire fear in the typical American. The word itself is foreign and abrasive sounding. And its translation to English does not do much in the form of emotional support. Japanese for ‚Äúempty orchestra‚ÄĚ, this literal meaning reinforces the anxiety-inducing solace a microphone presents, strangely juxtaposed with the blaring, pre-recorded instrumentals that their vocals must compete with.


8 Things I Learned About Life After College


Ah, it is the season! (No, I am NOT referring to the holidays, silly!) My Facebook newsfeed is bursting with college/medical school/law school (you name it, one of my FB “friends” is probably doing it!) graduation pictures and updates. It makes me feel both old and nostalgic. In fact, Facebook kindly reminded me just last week¬†that my very own college graduation was three years ago. “Would you like to share this post again with your friends?”¬†No, thank you!

I would, however, relish the opportunity¬†to pass down some conclusions I have gathered from post college life experiences. I dare not call it “advice.”¬†I feel like unless I have solved ..say, world hunger or cured cancer, I do not have the capacity to offer words of wisdom. I do, however, feel it is necessary to share what I have learned from the oh-so-thrilling years I have spent in the “real world.”


Photo: Andrus & Morgan

1. Work hard. Be nice. — I actually took this motto from the charter network, KIPP¬†(which stands for Knowledge Is Power Program). Some of the¬†most influential teachers I have met through Teach For America are affiliated with KIPP.¬†… READ FULL POST

Unplugging from Facebook (Guest Post by John)

unplug2Photo: UC After Cruz

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Since Wednesdays are typically reserved for our lovely guest bloggers (and Grace is still on her well-deserved vacation this week!), I thought I would bring forth another thoughtful writer and great influence in my life: John.


John and I have been dating for almost three years now, and he is, without hesitation, my best friend. Life is just that much better with him by my side and I am so grateful to be embraced by his love and support.

The reason why I really want¬†him to guest blog today is because this is, ultimately, a lifestyle blog and we all live¬†out our lives¬†in different ways. I want to both celebrate and embrace this¬†concept here¬†because… let us be real: we all judge way too much before we seek to understand¬†(I KNOW that I am definitely guilty of this!) One aspect of John’s¬†lifestyle that is a little bit out of the norm for¬†someone in their mid-to-late twenties is his lack of presence in social media. I enjoyed reading his story and hope you will, too!

I am excited to introduce John to my readers and I hope to have him continue to occasionally guest blog in the future!… READ FULL POST

Productive Sundays


For as long as I can remember, I have always dreaded Sundays. I saw it as a sign that the new week was about to begin and I was inevitably back at square one: waiting, rather impatiently, for another Friday to roll around. For the past three years, my Sundays were always rather unproductive. I would roll out of bed close to noon, cook myself a meal, and then attempt to be productive by opening up my computer to get some lesson planning or grading down (but really be feeling guilty for watching yet another episode of Friends or Gilmore Girls).

Something had to change. And when it did, I slowly started to feel differently about this mysterious day. I  changed a few of my habits and adopted new ones that were much more emotionally and physically healthy. I wanted to share a few of them with you all today to see if it would help to jumpstart your enthusiasm for the second precious day of rest!

Lisa’s Life Hack for Productive Sundays!

1. The early bird catches the worm— The first thing I decided to change about how I spent my Sundays was to change the hour at¬†which¬†I usually went to bed on Saturdays.… READ FULL POST