Btw folks, I absolutely love this one dance from this past season’s So You Think You Can Dance and was so excited to recently find a decent quality video on youtube that I could watch over and over and over…

I know there are lots of SYTYCD fans out there but did any of you watch EVERY episode since the start of the show, including Season 1?  Well, I did (clearly I think I should win points for this).  I think I was 1 of 4 people who watched the first season and was for sure one of the oldest at the time as was evident by the fact that I was the oldest person (besides my sister) who attended a Season 2 SYTYCD performance without a parental escort.  I could barely hear the music sitting behind the 13 y/o girls screaming “Travis” throughout the show (I didn’t have the heart to tell them that they probably weren’t his type, if you know what I mean).  It felt like a glorified dance recital.  In fact, at the time I had just started my first year at business school and was too embarassed to tell anybody that I was at a SYTYCD concert.  I remember while my sister and I were waiting for the show to begin my friend G called asking where I was and I lied saying that we were out getting dinner.  I lied!  Clearly, I am no longer ashamed.  Yay for Season 6 coming up!

And, here’s a tribute to Season 1 of SYTYCD – a hip-hop routine by Shane Sparks back when I liked his routines.


it’s official! kinda.

I’ve officially completed my first week of the gratitude challenge!  Ok, so it technically took me 10 days to get through 7 days of gratitude assignments.  And actually I skipped one of the assignments – day 7 – because it required filming a video response and I am way too distracted by work these days to get that organized (and I hate hearing my voice).  Nonetheless, I’m planning to do it eventually and will post if I am able to come up with something worth sharing.

Thanks, folks, for all your support with my first blog! And a very big thank you to Lea, Tiny Prints’ PR manager, for putting this challenge together!  Happy birthday, Lea!  Let’s lunch soon.  xo, L

Tiny Prints Gratitude Challenge

I appreciate you. Yes, you!

Gratitude Challenge – Day 6

Today, my Project Gratitude calendar says to “take a few minutes to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.  Tell them how much you appreciate them.”  So, this morning I thought about calling some of my friends on the other coast but as I was at work and so were they, I refrained (and plus, I work in a cubicle environment and I’ve got a tough professional exterior to maintain.  Ok, not so much).  But, auspiciously, a couple friends who I haven’t heard from in awhile dropped me an IM to say hello, providing a nice Yay! moment after a long, busy work week.  So, after catching up a bit I took the opportunity to tell my friend S from Texas that I appreciate her.  The conversation went like this:

me: btw, can I just say something. 
i appreciate you. 🙂
S from Texas: Hahhaa
me: hahah
S from Texas: for what?
me: for being you and for being such a great friend 🙂
S from Texas: Thanks!  I love it!  You know I love you too!

me: aw thanks!

My friend C from Nigeria then dropped in on me via Skype and it has definitely been way too long since we’ve had a good chat. He is a good friend from business school and I certainly miss the days of drinking tea and watching Austen and Bronte films (not gay, just spent a good number of his formative years in England).  We both complain a lot, too, so that has provided the basis for a great friendship.  I didn’t get a chance to tell him that I appreciate him today (mostly because in true C fashion, instead of saying a proper good-bye he left me hanging after I asked him a question and eventually signed off… and I guarantee that in two weeks, he’s going to complain that I’ve been ignoring him).  So I say it now: C, I appreciate you.  Now answer my question – when are you visiting SF?

And a big I APPRECIATE YOU to the social committee at Tiny Prints who organized a really fun and tasty (mmm, mmm good BBQ) carnival-themed company picnic today.  

TP Picnic Invite

TP Picnic

oh, hello sf.

Gratitude Challenge, Day 3

I just passed my one year mark living in the SF bay area after several years of living in the East Coast, and I can finally say that I’m beginning to drink the SF kool-aid.  Well, a few sips.  What has helped was my recent move out of the ‘burbs into an apartment in the city that has a pretty view of Union Square and the financial district.

view from my window

A nice albeit grainy view at night:


A is for …

Gratitude Challenge, Day 2

Wow, this morning was a struggle and apparently my face said it all as I got the “Oh Lily, you look SO tired…” comment and look of concern around the office.  I even went to bed before 1am last night which, for those who know me, is a big accomplishment as I usually hit the sack closer to 2:30-3am each night.  Why stay up so late?  Good question.  I blame it on my parents for never giving me a bedtime… or a curfew, for that matter.  But, I digress.

I’m generally pretty good about keeping my weekends work-free but then the moment I wake up on Monday mornings,  an avalanche of to-do’s, open issues, “did I or didn’t I do this on Friday…crap I didn’t…” hit me head on and I am instantly dreading the day ahead.  The 45-min morning commute is then filled with mental notes that go in one ear and out the other, though lately I’ve been coming up with acronyms to help remember my to-do’s and I’d repeat it over and over until I can quickly jot it down on a post-it at my desk.  And then I hit the ground running… full-speed ahead… that is, until my stomach starts to growl and I become the moodiest <fill-in-the-blank> ever.

For some reason, today was particularly stressful and by 2pm, I was thinking to myself that this day could not end any sooner.  Right at that moment, my eye caught the Gratitude Challenge calendar which, for Week 1 – Day 2, says Be Grateful For What You Have and then instructed me to open up Gift #1.  The gift ended up being this fab yellow Gratitude journal in which I was then instructed to “use the alphabet as a fun and quick format for taking an inventory of things you are grateful for.  Write it down.”  Yes, ma’am!

gratitude journal

I start it off with:

Afro-Brazilian Dance because I have been dancing it for 8 years now in NYC, Boston, and SF and there is no freer form of expression and stress relief for me.

Berries because I’ve managed to develop in my old age an allergy to fruit with cores (e.g., apples, pears, nectarines, cherries) and so berries have become my savior.

But then I jumped to P…

Pluots, particularly the organic ones from the SF farmer’s market because despite having a core, my mouth does not get all itchy when I eat it.  YAY!


I’m not done with the exercise just yet but already my tension headache has seemingly worn off and the day is seeming a bit brighter to me.  Sigh (a good sigh).  I can breathe again.

Project Gratitude


And thus begins my first official blog.  In true Lily form, it required someone to “assign” this blog-writing thing to me in order to get this thing created.  I had thought about starting one for years now but when it comes down to it, my life has changed very little over the last 8 years so what would I write about?  Granted, I’ve lived in 3 cities (NYC, Boston, and now SF), have switched jobs 4 times and gained a masters degree since, but my days really consist of the same things.  I still live on my own in a city (the city will forever be reserved for NYC), still single, continue to be a product of bad TV, go to work, spend my days thinking about my next meal and the weekend, make grand plans about going to a dance class, continue to be delusional about my less-than-desirable social life… you get the gist.

But then “The Gratitude Challenge” came about at work as a project sponsored by our PR department and as part of this challenge we are to blog about something we are grateful for each day (well, at least 3 days a week).  This challenge made me realize that maybe I don’t need life-changing events to justify a blog because it’s really the little things that help make each day a good day, and it’s about time that I give my life credit for presenting the things that I’m grateful for.

So here’s to a successful first blog and to living a life of gratitude!

The Gratitude Challenge