It was a wonderful trip catching up with an old friend - and I have to admit that though home feels slightly emptier without a best friend, it’s the memories with that friend that makes home what it is.Read More
It’s 90 degrees outside as I type this. And I’ve already watched Hocus Pocus twice, the Corpse Bride once, visited three pumpkin patches, put “Thriller” on replay, and stocked up on Chai tea. There’s a felt “Happy Halloween” sign hanging on my living room wall. Yes, I’m that person, and I’m not ashamed.
It’s felt like an endless summer. Not just in terms of heat (that too), but I’ve spent most of the summer adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of living in my own apartment, learning to take care of myself while my parents, 3,800 miles away, enjoy the Hawaiian scenery they now call home, and getting my footing in a new job (at almost 8 months into the role, it truly flew by - pun intended). So I’m welcoming Fall as a marker that I’ve adjusted to all of these changes, and can finally worry about super fun things like traveling, pumpkins, and the leaves changing colors. And if Houston doesn’t cool off fast enough, I’m booking a plane ticket to some place with snow.
My friend Abdul and I were on a mission to find a free-to-attend local pumpkin patch, and after some thorough Facebook Events investigation, we found one at First Christian Church off of 22101 Morton Ranch Rd, Katy, Texas 77449 (find the Facebook event here).
Unbelievably, we were the only two people there the entire time, which was perfect luck for or spontaneous photo shoot. (Did I mention how excited I am to have replaced my camera that was stolen in May with a Sony a6300/18-105mm lens?! No? I’M EXCITED.)
More reasons I’m looking forward to Fall:
Exploring San Francisco with Mariana in October for one weekend (beating my previous record of 24 hours in San Fran for an internship presentation)
Being a part of Noha’s bridal shower festivities in Los Angeles in November and watching her get MARRIED in December (I’m not crying, you are)
Yotham and I are visiting my parents for Thanksgiving in Oahu - and getting our first-ever professional couples photo shoot, thanks to the incredibly talented Emily Choy - destination: Makua Caves (!!!)
Yotham graduating from University of Houston in December (!!!)
Blogging / Vlogging more now that I have a camera to create content with
Keeping those Chai lattes coming
What are you looking forward to this Fall?
That’s the Creme de la Em.
So, so much has changed - and for the better - in such a short period of time. I saw some new cities (Minneapolis, St. Paul, Los Angeles, San Diego), became one degree cooler (go Coogs!), and I am just about ready to begin my journey as a full-time professional. So today, I want to talk about the things that have happened, and what will come next.Read More
"The secret to living longer is smiling more. Even if you don’t have a lot of resources, like time, or money, you still can control your attitude, and that determines your success. Life is the biggest gift. You have only one."Read More
We live our lives at a lightning pace, but sometimes, the best adventures are the ones we take reeeeeaally slooowww....
It's no secret that I'm a fan of coffee shops, and I'm lucky to live in a city that (literally) fuels my out-of-control caffeine addiction. Recently, my friend Maria and I went to catch up and get a bite to eat.
Maria is about as far from a Slowpoke as you can get. She radiates positive energy, which is probably why she's going to make it big as a broadcast journalist sometime in the very near future. However, she does love coffee, and it was close to where we both worked, so Slowpokes it was.
Slowpokes is an almost-one-year-old coffee shop, bar, and bakery in the Shepherd Forest area of North Houston. Since November of last year, they've been serving pastries, savory meals, and a repertoire of coffee drinks. The first time I went, I almost missed it. The exterior is understated, the plaza weathered and full of character.
My first visit was with my friend Anne (blogger, photographer, Google Sales Intern, and aspiring entrepreneur), and we ordered coffee and pastries and giggled about the sloth's manbun (do you see it?! Trust me, you won't be able to un-see it now). By the way, his name is Patches, according to the owner.
Quick note - if you're visiting after July, Patches is no longer wearing a manbun, but is instead dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and straw fedora. Clearly, this sloth is a trendsetter. I'm taking notes.
The outside is just as whimsical and inviting as the inside, compensating easily for the fact that July in Texas means it feels about 300F. Despite the impending rain, dogs were panting happily, people were laughing, and man, was the food delicious.
The food truck El Toro, serving Spanish tapas, was visiting. I ordered the Huevos Estrellados (bottom), and Maria ordered the Tumbet Mallorquin. I won't describe how good it was. You just need to try it for yourself.
Somewhere in the distance, I can hear the foodies asking for a close-up. Gotta keep the fans happy!
I mean, it's one thing to have a picturesque background, but another thing entirely when your subject is as radiant as Maria.
My friend Annie texted when she saw my update: "One of the best lattes I've had. Have you tried their toasted marshmallow syrup?" Wait..... they have toasted marshmallow syrup?! I'll have to add that to the list as soon as possible. She also praised their selection of music and the friendly staff. Looks like I'm not alone in my love for this place.
Finally, the sun was setting, the small dogs had left, and it was time for us to be on our way. But don't worry, we'll be back as soon as we can.
That's the Creme de la Em.
Follow Slowpokes on Facebook. Follow El Toro on Facebook.
Catch the stunning Maria Aguilera by following her on Facebook.
If you didn't catch it, Annie Nguyen has her own blog with skincare product reviews and is also a coffee addict.
And don't forget to follow Anne Yu for her adventures and amazing travel photography.
In July 2016, I found myself 3,000 miles away from home on a boat in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Alaska – also known as the last frontier - in a small port town called Seward. I was just 400 miles south of the Arctic Circle, staring past two otters holding hands, up towards the towering Mount Marathon, and wondering how I ended up there.Read More
"I was born in Webster, Texas. After a month, my dad got the opportunity to move to Chicago for work. My childhood in Chicago was really nice. I had really good friends and we went to a small church, and that church was like our family. I lived there until the end of my third grade, and for my fourth grade, I came back to Texas.
As a Freshman in college, I became a lot more outgoing and willing to talk to different types of people. I reached out to everyone. I had a network at church that was stronger than it was before, not just people my age and going through the same things as me, but people who were older than me with all kinds of backgrounds. I was learning through their experiences. And in the process, I felt like I grew from them.
Ever since then, it’s always been my goal to make people I typically don’t talk to feel like they are loved or like they are special, or let them know that someone sees them. I always try to look for the people who are not looked after, or not recognized. And I fail a lot. It requires going out of your comfort zone. That’s what Jesus does with us. He reaches out to the people who aren’t noticed, who feel like they are alone, and shows them that He is their Father.
I joined the Christian organization OneWay. I think the Gospel shows God’s love — how selfless it is. I feel like I’d heard it so many times, to the point where I was numb to it. When I heard it in a new setting through new people, it really showed me God’s love. That really shaped me and motivated me to live my life through Him. I knew I wanted to live my life fully for God because of this new understanding. It’s the love of God that motivates me to be more loving, to be selfless, to be like He is while I’m on this earth.
Once I was passing out flyers for OneWay and I saw an Indian girl frantically running around. I approached her and I was like, “Hey, you should join OneWay!” She was like, “Thanks! But I’m late to class and don’t know where my class is.” So I took her to class. She’s an international student, she’s from Mumbai. I gave her my number and told her if she ever needs anything to let me know. She joined my Bible study, and she’s Hindu, but she’s been attending my Bible study. I know she has times where she feels anxious, but she knows when she has those times she can always text me. Being able to talk through it with her and be there for her I just find to be such a privilege.
Through OneWay, I became a small group leader — every week I lead a Bible study for a group of 4–7 girls. I’d never imagined I’d be able to do stuff like that in college. I always thought you had to have some sort of background or some sort of qualification.
Initially, when I was a small group leader, I didn’t like the concept of it. The way they shared the gospel was different from what I’d heard before. I thought the way you get a message across is through preaching. I remember telling a OneWay staff member I felt like this is not how it should be. There should be one person saying the truth and that’s it. Isn’t that more convicting? More powerful?
I used to pick my own passages secretly and go over them with my small group. But I talked to staff about it and they were like no, she can’t be doing that. It was abrupt. I was like, “Okay, I have to start doing this now.” But then I started doing the passages they selected and I realized these passages were a lot better than the ones I was doing, and that was humbling. That humility opened me up to take a step back, hear other people, and realize God has something to say through them too.
I had to realize that Emily Abraham is not the only one with the truth. I had to realize it’s not all in my hands. Sometimes it’s okay to let go and just hear what people have to say. And often, people say something that’s more powerful than could have been in your mind to begin with.
I really value when you have a heart to heart connection with someone. From that place, you can be there for them. If I could title my own biography, I would it to be called Emily: Friend to All. And it would say that I always tried to be there for anyone and everyone. People are the pillars in your life. More than being a student and making good grades, what I’ll remember are the lessons I learned from others."
That's the Creme de la Em.
When I look at a cup of coffee, I see much more than a drink. It’s a conversation. It’s an opportunity to connect. A chance to be productive. A second shot at waking up. (Shot. Get it? Shot? I'll leave.) Get ready for some awesome stories - the Creme de la Em.Read More
"It’s beautiful, which a place might as well be if the sun is shining on it 24 hours a day."Read More
"There's something about the way a skyline nestles into the landscape around it that gives a city an immediate, inherent sense of character unique to that city and that city alone."Read More
"Life has taught me to appreciate every little thing. Even this little coffee in my hand. Even you, and this conversation. I don't like some things about what I'm doing now, but I feel like that will move me forward. So those little things, for me, that's the American Dream. I think I'm already living it."Read More