(Originally posted on Love, Justine in 2019)
Singapore is once again the most expensive city in the world, but don't worry. If you want to live your Crazy Rich Asian dreams, but don't have the trust fund to support it, I've got tips on how you can live your best Crazy Rich Asian life in the best Crazy Middle Class Asian style...even if you're not Asian. You can budget travel and still enjoy the finer things in life!
We had our first incident with baby sending something down the toilet without us realizing it. That something was the silver metal toilet paper rod. He has dropped other items in the toilet and I've always fetched them out. How I missed the rod, I do not know. Anyhow, this fun incident brought to light one of the cultural differences in my marriage.
If you missed it on Telemundo, the entire series is available on Netflix and it is a MUST watch. If you don't know who Jenni Rivera was, she was simply put...a warrior. She was La Reina de la Banda, the Queen of Mexican Regional music, and she was from Long Beach. The series was based on her autobiography Unbreakable: My Story, My Way, and this is more than a story about a great singer. This is the story of a woman who put herself through school, built a successful career in real estate before becoming the Queen that she was, always put her family and her kids first, and was simply unstoppable even as life threw one nightmare after another at her. If you know her story, you know. If you don't know, it's unimaginable until you know. Through everything, she always rose, and stuck to her values. Calling her an inspiration feels inadequate, but that's the best way I can describe her.
Warning: watching this series may be triggering for some, because there is A LOT of abuse that Jenni endured. But a friend said something really smart to me about watching film or TV that can be triggering, and that is to remember to observe and not absorb. It is worth the watch for all though, also in terms of seeing how abuse affects us and those around us. Jenni is also a great example of someone who is not the "stereotype" of an abused woman. She's strong, comes from a loving family who would literally fight for one another. There's a lot to learn from Jenni and the way she lived her life--full of love, integrity, and a relentless will to rise.
Moreover, as much as this series is about Jenni's life, it also feels very much about her family's, too. I have so much respect for the Riveras and love the love they have for one another.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary of when Jenni was killed in a plane crash, but she lives on through her music and her family.
Have you watched the series? What did you think?
(Originally posted on Love, Justine)
Twinings is a must visit for any visitor (or anyone for that matter...in my humble opinion) in London Town, and especially for any tea lover. On my last trip to London, I discovered that at Twinings, you can take a masterclass and learn all about the history of tea while tasting fine and varied teas. You can book a private class for a minimum of two people, or a regular class for a minimum of six people, and you can also book a bespoke blending experience for a maximum of six people. So for Londoners, I recommend this as a fun company outing or outing with friends and family. Call ahead or email to reserve your spot! You can check out the details here.
One of my favorite places to visit in England is Bath. It's so full of history and charm, and as a Jane Austen junkie, I like to think I'm walking amongst her spirit there. It's a perfect day trip from London or other nearby cities like Oxford or Bristol, but it's also a great little weekend getaway. Bath is a small city, so there are a few tourist staples one must do in Bath (other than walk around and enjoy the quaint town): 1) visit the Roman baths (duh), 2) visit the Jane Austen Centre, and 3) have tea or a meal at Sally Lunn's for the famous Bath bun.
Over the last year or so, I started noticing people were dropping the hyphen from Asian American and other similar terms. To my own ignorance, this wasn't something new. Dropping the hyphen started more "formally" in 1993, though it seems not universally. I guess before recent years, I had only ever seen and was taught to use the hyphen. So, me being the person who will use a semicolon in a text message, first thought people were just being sloppy. However, as I noticed it more and more, I decided to look up why this might be, and eventually came to the conclusion that I'm also done using the hyphen and I feel so much freer.
When I first saw the trailer for Bridgerton on Netflix, I was not particularly intrigued. I watched it again after watching the series and determined it was a poor trailer, because I never got through the first few seconds of it. If it weren't for two of my good friends telling me to watch it this week, I probably would've continued waiting to watch this when I felt I had absolutely no other series or film peaking my interest. Well, against my better mama judgment, I binged the entire series through the middle of the night as baby and daddy slept, at the expense of losing my patience through a couple diaper changes today (Sidenote: someone please tell me that at some point baby will stop trying to escape in the middle of his diaper changes). Though the plot is highly predictable even with me having never read any of the books, I thoroughly enjoyed the series. It kind of feels like a bunch of Jane Austen books meshed into one, with the addition of a lot of steamy sex scenes. It's a fun watch, and if you enjoy these types of stories and settings, I felt like it has a certain witty charm about it, that I did not expect based on the first few seconds of the trailer.
Have you watched it? What are your thoughts?
I didn't see a trailer before I watched this movie, but heard a lot of buzz about it, and figured I love jazz so was excited to check it out. What I quickly learned as I watched it is that this movie is not about jazz, though jazz is one of the vehicles of the story. It's a thought-provoking animation about life that has a timely message as we leave behind an unprecedented year and enter a new one that remains challenging but has hope. This is a great movie to watch with the family, and the animation is cute, fun, and imaginative. Soul is indeed good for your soul.
Christmas is my absolute favorite season and holiday. A few years ago, in need of booking a replacement trip for a previously cancelled trip before the end of the year, I decided to take a solo trip to Europe. I did a very American trip, in which I squeezed in a number of countries into 2 weeks of travel, because I wanted to visit friends in different countries, but didn't have much vacation time. I planned the trip over Thanksgiving weekend to give me a couple extra days of non-PTO holiday as well, which lined up perfectly for the opening of the Christmas markets. Somehow, I started in London and ended in Vienna, and along the way stopped in Nuremberg, which turned out to be one of my favorite stops, because the Christmas Market was everything I dreamed it would be. So, I thought I'd reminisce a little on the magic of the Christmas Market, especially as Christmas is already different for all of us around the world due to the pandemic.
Cardi B recently got some backlash for depicting Hindu goddess, Durga, in a Reebok ad. Durga is the Hindu goddess of war, strength, and protection, so the ad intended to pay homage to her, but the Hindu community quickly shed light on why this was in fact disrespectful and not an homage to the goddess. In her apology, Cardi B acknowledges that she should've done more research and promises to do so in the future--she didn't mean to disrespect, but now she knows better. I think that's all we can ask of anyone when they make a very human mistake. I'm sure many of us can relate to this experience, though we don't all do so as publicly as Cardi B did. Just this summer I got scolded by my dad when we tried to use an umbrella as shade for baby and I at my grandma's funeral, because apparently that's not okay in Chinese culture. As someone who loves learning about and experiencing other cultures, I understand that sometimes there's a fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation or just simply understanding your cultural surroundings. Something I've been thinking a lot about lately though, is how we respond to others in such situations.