Posts Tagged ‘ucla’

March Madness

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

I’m always a fan of my Bruins, and since they’re in the Sweet Sixteen, Panda and I are watching the game. It’s nice to hear familiar cheers and fight songs over the air. I’m not sure when the next time I’ll be back in LA will be, but it’s been many months and any reminder of my alma mater is comforting.

I even put together a random bracket for the Billion Dollar Bracket challenge. As you can see, I’m not doing so well…

billion dollar bracket challenge progress and ranking

Now excuse me while I cheer on my Bruins for Elite Eight status. Go Bruins!

The holiday break

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With just about a day left before Panda and I headed back to LAX to return to our life out east, I started to feel anxious. It had been a wonderful two weeks, exactly the sort of healing, growing, relaxing, and enjoying I needed. I was kind of worried about getting back into things at work and all the other obligations being back entails. Luckily, the transition hasn’t been that bad at all and I’m happy to be (what is now) home.

Here are some highlights from my time in balmy SoCal. Other moments included hanging out with my mom, chatting with my cousin (and helping her get a new laptop at Best Buy), enjoying quiet moments alone at the mall, meeting up with some AKPsi pledge bros, grabbing lunch with an old UCLA AFROTC friend, catching up over tea with a friend I met at a Gogobot event, a session with my microdermabrasion guy (it’s been over a year!), relaxing at my fab reflexology spot, and reminiscing over old pictures (many that will slowly make their way into blog posts).

view of other united flights lined up at terminal at iad airport

And off we go on our winter vacation.

girl sitting in first class seat on plane with blanket wrapped around legs

We got upgraded to first class on the way in! I smartly brought a blanket.

aerial of northern virginia area near dulles airport

As we took off, I tried to spot our new condo with little luck.

overhead view of gray clouds and white clouds with shadows of setting sun

The creepy gray clouds tried to climb over the fluffy white ones…

breakfast meal served in first class on united flight, with eggs, potatoes au gratin, meat patty, tomato, cinnamon roll, fresh fruit, and orange juice

Breakfast is served! I enjoyed the potatoes au gratin best.

tiny ice crystals formed on exterior of plane window

Gettin’ frosty up here but I’m toasty in my blankie. 🙂

aerial view of land with bright light in distance

What’s that brilliantly bright light in the distance? I think it was probably a large lake catching the sun.

girl laying on ground looking over and smiling at cat looking into distance

First order of business at home is to hang out with Missy.

apple that burst around the middle and split apart

Umm, how does this even happen to an apple?!

girl holding giant stick of tornado fries in front of kiosk in mall

I discover a new favorite snack at the mall: Tornado Fries! Take a whole potato, swirl cut it, spread out along large stick, fry, and sprinkle on various powders for flavor. Fun!

manya jewelers storefront at valencia town center mall with engagement ring made there in foreground

Had my ring cleaned at my jewelers for the first time since getting it and it was nice to catch up with the owner.

cat laying against leg underneath body pillow facing up

Hehe, Missy doesn’t mind that the pillow is crushing her. She loves snuggling with me anyway.

girl sipping japanese matcha green tea latte with 3d latte art of bear at outdoor table of cafe

For my birthday, I basically hopped from restaurant to cafe to bakery to restaurant. Happy taste buds and belly!

table filled with giant dishes of northern chinese food and girl looking skeptical about two people eating it all

Oops, we over-ordered for food. Two people got what five probably should have.

cat walking on person's butt while she lies across bed on belly

Missy walks all over me and I love it.

cat taking nap with arms extended over keyboard of laptop while sitting on person's lap

When she’s like this, how can I work? Too cute.

zoomed in view of times square new years ball lit up in blue on tv for new years eve celebration in nyc

I had a quiet NYE just watching the show on TV.

electric guitarist playing music in middle of road at intersection in culver city

Ringing in the new year with this guy jamming on his electric guitar! #culvercitycharacters

booths at westwood farmers market on broxton street thursday near ucla

Lol, I never got to check out the Westwood Farmer’s Market once it was moved to Thursday, and now here I am.

kimchi fried rice dish at gushi's restaurant in westwood near ucla

My absolute fav to get at Gushi.

cat sitting pretty atop luxurious white furry blanket

Little miss princess.

thin crust pizza with half sausage with red onions and half mozzarella with basil

Trying out a new pizza joint in DTLA with my Gogobot buds.

blurry selfie with terrible aim of part of new friend at pizza place

(re)Met a Gogoboter and we do some selfies.

blurry shot of group of friends at dim sum restaurant table

Got together with old friends who I met the year I met Panda! Yes, the picture is intentionally blurry.

box of lady di's cupcakes and two brownies on side

I couldn’t leave LA without bringing some treats.

wolfgang puck express pizza box

At the airport, I got dinner since I hadn’t eaten all day.

wolfgang puck express pepperoni pizza in box

I thought we got a pepperoni and mushroom, but we accidentally left off the mushroom part of the order. Oh well!

365great Day 293: skateboarding

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 293: skateboardingOne of my favorite hobbies is skateboarding. I hardly get to go out cruising anymore, but back in my final year at UCLA, I sure did live it up. I’m partial to longboards because you can glide along much easier. In particular, I love the Loaded brand for their super flexible bamboo boards. It is so liberating to go down a street, sidewalk, or boardwalk with a gentle breeze caressing my face and the sun smiling down upon me. It’s also a very rewarding feeling when people gape at me and my awesome board, marveling that a girl just skated by them. I guess not many women decide to learn how to skate, so I feel somewhat accomplished that I can. Plus, it’s improved my balance immensely! 😛 There’s a great freedom in skateboarding that I just don’t feel with anything else and I love it.

November Favorites 2013

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

collage of november 2013 favorites including fall colors, touchscreen laptop, yoga, going home, bruins football, fun hair styles, revisiting new york, long sleeve v-necks, and pumpkin flavored

Well gosh, I better get my Nov favorites up before it’s time for the December ones!

1. fall colors – This was the month of gorgeous colors. Fall beauty was everywhere to be found and I loved it. It’s one of the things about having real seasons that I was looking forward to. I don’t know if it was the richness of the leaves, but I swear even the sky was more pigmented.

2. touchscreen laptop – I’ve been using my new ASUS laptop and now I’m used to having a touchscreen laptop. It’s a lot easier than trying to navigate the touchpad. It’s very convenient just to tap on what I’m looking at. Too bad not all my devices are like that – I’ve found I try to tap all other laptops now too, lol. It’s hard to remember when I’m using other laptops that they don’t have touchscreens. Hopefully everything will just have that in the future so I don’t have to keep track.

3. yoga – I’ve been going to yoga again and picking up my practice, which is wonderful. I like that I can choose from a range of levels depending on what I’m feeling. I’ve tried everything from Hatha Yoga for all levels to Power Yoga with some meditation thrown in too. I look forward to continuing with my practice and getting strong enough to do a handstand one day!

4. going home – It was so nice to return home for Thanksgiving and be reunited with my parents, cousin, and cats. It was the first time I’d been back since starting work out east and it was a welcome break. We also got a chance to get together my family and Panda’s!

5. Bruins football – UCLA’s program has finally been doing better and it was so thrilling to watch our team beat USC in our football showdown this year. Our crosstown rivalry is going strong and with the liberty bell securely in our possession, we can proudly say that we run LA. 😉

6. fun hair styles – For a long time, I’d just let my hair fall however it wanted. It’s the easiest to do and requires absolute minimal effort. I started to play around with some hair styles more recently, particularly a side braid, French braids, or a bun. I want to try a braid that wraps around my head, but I’m not quite sure how to end it so I’ll have to test it out.

7. revisiting New York (and the city) – After over a decade, I finally got a chance to return to one of my childhood homes. It was so nice to be able to share that with Panda so he can see some of what used to be my life. It also became an opportunity to explore parts of NYC that I’m not that familiar with. It’s the first time I’d been back to any of my old stomping grounds other than a brief visit to Penn State many years ago. I’ve never returned to my homes in Kansas and Missouri, but I sure do plan on it!

8. long sleeve v-necks – I find these to be so perfect to wear. They’re comfortable, warm, and flattering. I can wear them under another shirt or alone and throw on a jacket for extra warmth. I even use it during yoga if it’s an extra chilly night. It’s easy to dress them up or down and if I don’t want my neck so exposed, I just throw on a scarf. Simple, the way I like it.

9. pumpkin flavored – I almost never get pumpkin flavored stuff, but somehow I ended up trying a few this month and they were quite good! This was a pumpkin souffle I got at a happy hour. Very yummy. I also had pumpkin spice caramels and a pumpkin creme brulee snack. Maybe I should try more pumpkin things since I really enjoyed those foods.

What about you? What did you find yourself gravitating towards in November?

365great Day 269: bonfires

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great challenge day 269: bonfiresBack at UCLA, I attended the most bonfires of my life – during Beat ‘SC Week as we pumped up school spirit for the UCLA vs. USC football game, at retreats with my fraternity (AKPsi), and on random outings with friends when we met up at Dockweiler Beach. There’s something special about gathering around a giant flame, letting it heat one side of your body until you felt like it was going to singe. For the smaller bonfires, you can toast marshmallows and make s’mores. For the larger ones, you can marvel at the height of the flame and join in on a crowd mentality as hundreds of people pack in. Bonfires are such a fun activity to participate in, no matter the scale; it could be as intimate as personal time alone or as lively as participating in a group. Either way, it’s a great way to enjoy a night.

365great Day 264: Sprinkles Cupcakes

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 264: sprinkles cupcakesI don’t recall how exactly I found out about Sprinkles, but I do remember all the hype around it. I mean, who’s crazy enough to open a cupcake shop and sell that exclusively?? But hey, it turned out to be a hit and I happily lined up outside that teeny shop on Little Santa Monica Blvd. For me, it absolutely lived up to its reputation. The cupcakes were a generous size, fresh and moist, not too sweet, and just enough taste. I could hardly get enough! I’d go with friends whenever we got a chance to roam away from the UCLA campus. I still love those cupcakes, though I don’t go as much anymore and their size has shrunk. They did open up a cool cupcake dispensing ATM and an ice cream shop next door! Each day, there’s a special code to get a deal – it used to be a free cupcake, but now I think it’s BOGO. All kinds of goodness there. It’s a great place to try if you haven’t yet!

365great Day 261: UCLA

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 261: uclaIt’s a  happy day to be a Bruin! In honor of the fabulous win in football against the Trojans tonight, I had to write about my alma mater. Not only are we a world-class educational and research institution, we have an amazing history and super successful sports programs. We are located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with unbeatable weather, a gorgeous campus, and a diverse cultural composition. There’s something for everyone here, including very accomplished professors if you’re looking at academics or hundreds of student organizations if you’re looking at extra curriculars. If you like going outdoors, there are beaches and mountains nearby. If you like going to exhibits, there are tons of museums and galleries. If you like eating a wide variety of cuisines, there are choices ranging from Asian fusion to African. Students here have it good, with one of the best college experiences you could hope for. I love UCLA because of everything it has to offer. It’s a great place to get your higher education!

SEO Surprise

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

I’m totally geeking out after finding out that one of my pictures is showing up on the Google Image search for “UCLA” at a pretty good position! You may not find it above the fold like I do, but more than likely you’ll find it’s the very first image that isn’t one of Royce Hall, campus, or the various UCLA logos. It’s totally random since it’s the picture of Panda proposing to me at UCLA… where you don’t really see much of the campus at all. Then it links out to my blog posts that are tagged “UCLA” so you don’t even see this picture without a ton of scrolling. However it managed to make its way up the image searches is a mystery to me, but I love it!

google images search results for ucla

Here’s how it went down: my manager and I were sitting talking when the conversation led to the architecture at UCLA. He decided to search for images of UCLA and as he was scrolling through them, I was shocked to find something so familiar – that picture of our proposal! I could hardly believe my eyes and I had to go check another coworker’s computer to ensure it wasn’t just showing up because Google tracks your searches. Amazing how I didn’t do a thing and it managed to creep up to that spot. Who knows what other photos are out there in those searches!

It’s the little wins in life that bring joy to your everyday. 🙂

365great Day 247: Dinners for 12 Strangers

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 247: dinners for 12 strangersThis is a fun UCLA tradition that I have participated in both as a student and alumna. You basically get alumni to volunteer to host a bunch of students for dinner. Usually this is at an alum’s home, but sometimes it could be at other venues that they have reserved, like one time when I had a meal at one of the restaurants at the Anderson School of Management. On average, it will be two alumni to about ten students, but of course the number will vary depending on how many Bruins sign up. As a student, it was an opportunity to meet some fellow students, enjoy a free meal, and learn from alum. It was nice to see what some of them had been doing since graduating and getting any advice from them regarding school and/or work. On the flip side, as a host, I enjoyed working with co-hosts to put together the meal, learning about what’s been going on at UCLA since graduating, and sharing my apartment for a night of chatting. For hosting, we were given these cute little cutting boards as a thank you. 🙂 It’s a great way to connect with more Bruins over the years!

The “Sk8er Girl” inside

laelene Posted in stories,Tags: , , , , ,

smiling girl in hoodie sitting on skateboard going down hillI’m not your average “skater girl,” whatever you think that may be.  At the least I can guarantee that when people picture a skater, they’d never come up with me.  I don’t resemble Avril Lavigne, I don’t wear skater shoes, and I skate just fine in flip flops and a dress.  To me, skating is a really fun way of getting around and improving your balance.  I don’t do it to try fancy tricks and I can’t say that I know much about the subculture.  All I know is that there’s a certain pleasure in having a board under your feet. It looks and feels really cool too.

My favorite is when I’m breezing along, picking up some speed from a slight decline in my path, but nothing too crazy. I can go down steep hills if I foot-brake along the way, but that does a number on my thighs. When you’re cruising, it’s the best feeling in the world. There’s a gentle breeze as you roll on by enjoying the scenery along the way. I once did spent a Saturday afternoon going from Malibu to Venice and back (about 6 miles each way I think). It was amazing – beautiful weather, easy boarding, and great company. I even got to practice balancing on one foot and streamlining closer to the ground.

showing off bloody hip injury from skateboard fallWhile I did manage to get pretty good (well, better than people probably expected), I never handled hills too well. I’m not brave enough to do what it takes to carve down a hill effectively. The one time I tried going down a hill with a friend, he held my hand to steady me, but we both ended up flying from our boards and “Supermanning” down the road on our hips. That scar finally faded after a good four or five years. I may never do the more crazy stuff with my board, but I can certainly hold my own when it comes to the basics. I have a Loaded Board that I absolutely love, partly because you can bounce up and down on it and it will not break. That sort of flexibility offers better maneuverability, though it does present a challenge every time you kick off and might veer more than usual. Still, it’s totally worth it and I wish I had more of a chance to use it these days.

I made sure to take advantage of the opportunity to ride around when I was doing Orientation at UCLA. In fact, I was awarded the Avril Lavigne award:

top half of certificate for the avril lavigne skater girl award

That’s me, just the skater girl cruising around campus with my fabulous board.

standing with brand new loaded boards bamboo skateboard

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...