The gap between me then, now and someday

I didn’t realize how different of a person I’ve become until I had coffee with a former People coworker who is now a media executive at a different company. I opted out of corporate nearly 4 years ago when I moved to Singapore and started a family. Meanwhile, my former peer, who I’ll call Lillian, is a working mom and continued her career. When I put a date on the calendar, I was aware Lillian was more of a work friend, but we had an easy professional relationship so I didn’t go into the meeting with much of an agenda. At the breakfast, she was as gracious and open as I remembered but the stark contrast in her ability to carry a conversation in business terms with confidence compared to my knowledge of singing the ABCs like Alpha Pig on Super Why had me feeling embarrassed. I simply showed up as SAHM me, and I felt like she really showed up and was prepared for LIFE. Continue reading

Hello 2017: A new year begins

Fei Fei holding her Gymboree Fall 2016 certificate 

I didn’t make new year resolutions. This is the first time in months (years?) I’ve sat down to reflect. I finally have a moment to myself because we started Fei Fei in full day preschool, five days a week. Continue reading

Lovely Baby Bumps Unite

The Bumps

The Bumps

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and it’s been a physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. Just a few months ago, I was scared about the fetus’s health, my abilities as a parent and the inevitable life altering changes that a child brings into a couple’s life. Continue reading

The first of many firsts from Singapore

Robert Indiana's "Love" sign in Singapore

The LOVE sign outside our temporary housing at Lanson Place seemed like a cosmic sign.

Yesterday marked one week of living in Singapore and each day I’ve learned something about the city or my relationship or myself. It’s been overwhelming with one task after another and I realized after the fourth or fifth day that I was just doing and not feeling. Continue reading

Sunday lessons on self worth, privilege and honesty

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union on Oprah’s Next Chapter

I spent my Sunday night watching Oprah’s Next Chapter with Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard and Gabrielle Union and the documentary Dark Girls on OWN. Both programs explored the experience of being an outsider whether it was as a black actress in Hollywood or a “dark girl” dealing with skin-tone based prejudice from her own community. In both scenarios, I realized minority women were pitted against each other to fight for scraps of watered-down white privilege. Continue reading

Mister Rogers remixed ‘Sing Together’ lyrics offer gentle wisdom

One of Mister Rogers’ nuggets of wisdom went viral after the Boston Marathon bombings, and since then I’ve noticed a resurgence of his work. I grew up on PBS programming and joke that Sesame Street taught me English since Vietnamese was my first language. I watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood when there wasn’t anything else on TV, but now as an adult I can fully appreciate the soft-spoken man’s gentle wisdom. Continue reading

Subject line: Goodbye PEOPLE! YOLO (my parting words)

After nearly seven years at PEOPLE digital, I am saying goodbye for sunny Singapore! That’s right. I’m not just leaving PEOPLE, I’m leaving the Western hemisphere. I’ll be writing about my adventures at withlovemai.com so please read along and keep in touch. I’ve had a remarkable run. Thank you. Continue reading

My daily stand-up for ‘Project Mai’

It’s my final days at PEOPLE and I have a handful of daily stand-up meetings left. For 15 minutes, the digital team reviews the daily tasks that were completed yesterday and what has to be completed today in order to build and maintain PEOPLE’s portfolio of products. As a recent meeting came to a close, the project manager asked, “Does everyone know what they are doing? Any one need help? Have blockers?” Upon hearing these questions, it dawned on me that our dev process applies to more than digital products. Continue reading

How I met My Social Canvas founder Lisa Mayer

My Social Canvas tote bag inspired by Whole Planet Foundation

I’m wearing a winning My Social Canvas design inspired by Whole Planet Foundation.

Over the weekend, I took a detour with my husband Eric to The Hideaway, a neighborhood bar that I’ve walked past many times but haven’t tried. I peered through the windows and the charming handwritten menu on the chalkboard wall literally said “Welcome!” so I stepped inside. Continue reading