February 1, 2011

Inside Steph's Closet with Timmy and Wally!

Minh landed in Vietnam after 18 hours of travel, stopping for a connection in Seoul, South Korea from Seattle yesterday. We both would never have thought that he would be in South Korea before me! I totally went through a Korean Drama phase during college with my friends (mostly guys who watched k-drama believe it or not :) lol. I loved my college buddies. I miss them a lot.

Minh still has another flight to catch from Saigon to Hue. It's actually one of the busiest travel days in Vietnam (and I'm sure other Asian countries) right now because of Tet (Asian New Year).

I talked to him yesterday a few times while he was in Saigon, Vietnam. You gotta love UMA (free wifi calling) feature on the Blackberry. :D But sad face, he probably made it to the country side at his Grandma's house in the middle of nowhere Vietnam jungle (he said it!). His younger brother (my age) said that it was like being on Survivor lol. They had to buy filtered water to brush their teeth because they have not so clean well water in the village. I can't imagine what it would be like to be from the countryside of Vietnam. I can only hear the stories : )

Minh tells me that the village got electricity, paved roads and plumbing only a few years back. He says he can't sleep at night when he's there because he says it's pitch black and you can hear and feel that you are sleeping in the jungle. Eprops to Minh's family :D They came from little, but made an amazing life in the US.

He's there to visit his aging & ill relatives with his entire family so it's not a vacation (Poor guy has been to Vietnam to visit 3 times now and has been stuck at his Grandma's house in the middle of nowhere). Minh's the oldest Grandchild of the oldest Son of his patneral Grand Parents. Traditionally, he is a very important and respected member of the family to his Grandma (since his paternal Grandpa has passed on).
I'm also the oldest Grandchild of the oldest Son on my paternal Grand Parents, but I'm not as important because I was born a girl! lol Asians are bias. End of story. lol

Being Asian..Birth Order is everything! You just get more "respect" and "power" within a family. I'm a "Chi Hai" in my family (oldest sister). My sister still refers to me as "Chi Hai" when talking to my parents, but she never ever calls me "Chi Hai" haha, it's funny. We just go by Steph & Julia when talking to each other in English and never Vietnamese. EVER.

Vietnam is in the shape of the letter "S" that's an easy way to remember it when you're searching for it on a World map : )

I barely speak Vietnamese with Minh, it's awkward. He also has a polite "village farm boy-ish" Vietnamese Hue accent (Central), while I have more of a "clever, not so polite" city accent (well.. I don't consider the way I speak an accent, I just think it's the normal way to talk!). I think I speak easy to understand Vietnamese. I have a hard time understanding Viet people with Bac accents (I don't really know any Viet Bac people that I speak Viet with). I do know that Bac (Northern) people are super smart. I can understand Hue (even super Hue accents) because all of my Mom's side speak it. lol Ok..I'm getting too wrapped up in this Vietnamese accent gig. It's 2:52am, I apologize lol (feel free to skip!)

People with Hue accents (like my Mother) just sound really soft and gentle. I had a Hue accent until I was 4 or 5. My paternal Grandparents babysat me a lot so I picked up their city (I think it's Nam (Southern)?) Vietnamese. (Thank goodness!..because who would want to speak and sound inferior especially as a girl!). Both my parents are Hue, but my Dad's side all speak Nam. So..I'm Hue, but I don't speak with a Hue accent. Gosh the trickery. Minh didn't believe that I was Hue until after he met my Mom.

Completely random, but it's kind of rare for me to meet someone who's family is from the Hue area...both of our Mother's went to the same Elementary Schools but at different times! Isn't that crazy? My Mom is older than Minh's Mom by a few years. His parents are much younger than my parents combined so I had no idea what to call them.. I always call them "Bac" out of habit. But they refer to themselves sometimes as "Bac" and other times "Co" for his Mom. I get so confused! B/c Minh's the boy..I would think to be more respectful and call them "Bac." His Mom calls my Mom "Chi" (older sister). lol Can I call his Mom "Co" and his Dad "Bac"? Or do I have to call them "Co" and "Chu"? Viet readers please help me! lol

Anyhoo, I know Minh's not at a place in his career where he wants to be taking any time off work, but family is most important. I adore my significant other because he is focused and driven. Our shared ambition and "business sense" make us a good team. We value each others constructive criticism and make changes to better what we do to help others. All-in-all, I miss the guy!

I've been spending my time catching up on my work and creating new pieces while watching Netflix movies! I've watched quite a few since Saturday. I took a break from watching any movies today. I spent most of the day packaging & shipping orders. I also have been rearranging furniture and cleaning my closet. : )

I'd love to hear your movie recommendations if you have any for me.
My favorite movies to watch are Romantic Comedies and Romantic Dramas.
I'm such a girl, I know. Isn't it great? ^_^
Beauty & The Briefcase
(Hilary Duff ABC Family Movie), 2010
Romantic Comedy
I've always loved ABC Family Movies : ) I also love romantic comedies.

When Harry Met Sally (Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal), 1989
Romantic Comedy/Drama
Finally had the time to watch the classic, it was so good!

Here on Earth
(Chris Klein, Lee Lee Sobieski, Josh Harnett), 2000
Romantic Drama
So good it made me cry.

One Fine Day
(George Clooney, Michelle Pfieffer), 1996
Romantic Comedy

Love & Debate, 2006
Stupid teen drama movie, I stopped watching it half way.

(Jason Big), 2000
Romantic Teen Comedy
I've always wanted to watch this! I think I was a 8th or 9th grader when this movie came out : )
I think Jason Big is a cutie in a goofy, nerdy kind of way. I've always loved nerdy guys at heart. :D

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
(Sandra Bullock), 2002
Drama, Tearjerker
I kind of zoned out from watching this movie lol. I don't think I'm at that point in my life where I appreciate American dramas. I do plan on re-watching this in the future.

Now for the more fun stuff! Photography & my Closet

I recently invested in the Canon 60D (Canon was 10% off at Newegg.com that day!) and a Canon 430 Flash, as well as a Canon Macro Lite Ring..and a Canon 100mm Macro Lens! I was completely influenced by one of my hometown friends. He bought the Canon 60D the same day I did. He always talks me into buying photography equipment! We both plan on investing in the future "Canon 5D Mark III" whenever that comes out, my friend says it's either next week or in a few months). lol I have no idea where he gets his sources. I believe the current Canon 5D is in the $3k range, so my friend and I are going to probably cry if the new one comes out next week b/c we just spent some money on the Canon 60D lol.

A big reason I decided to agree with my friend and buy this camera was because of this video on the camera. The video takes place in the country side of Vietnam! It's such a beautiful video and it really sold me on this camera. I had Minh watch it with me too and he was impressed! Minh's usually skeptical about everything! It's the lawyer in him. I don't really ask for his opinion before I make any purchases. Nor do I ask him to watch an episode of Diggnation with me. lol

Isn't this video just amazing? The guy is easy on the eyes too! (Minh agreed with me, and so did my friend Hung).

Photography isn't a big passion of mine, but I do love to take photos : )

According to my friend Hung, he does not like the stock lens that came with this camera, but I love it for daily life pictures (mostly makeup, puppies)! I try to use a macro lens to capture DSK photos, but usually I get too frustrated trying to figure out how to shoot with a macro lens.
I wish I lived closer to my friends, but being away from them for so long has really made me value the good ones I have back home : )

This is my small walk in closet. I have the master bedroom of a 2br, 2br apartment/condo (1,000 square feet) whatever you wanna call it : )
Our apartment is really uniquely shaped so all rooms have curved walls and even my closet is weirdly angled lol. I kind of like it though!

I haven't found a "fancier" alternative to the Sterilite storage bins, but that's ok. I don't mind them (unless they collect dust and are hard to clean).

I have this strange little corner in the closet with racks. I put all of my camera bags, and camera boxes up top. I try to keep the boxes to my cameras in case I ever want to transport the camera or sell it. I actually am planning on selling 3 of my cameras sometime next week. I still have to decide what accessories I want to include with the cameras when I sell them.

Just so you have an idea of what cameras I want to sell:
1. Sony a300 (Alpha 300) DSLR Camera w/ matching Sony Camera Bag
2. Canon T1i DSLR Camera
3. Sony Cybershot T900 Points and Shoot Camera in Bronze

I don't have prices for the cameras, but I will once I figure out how many accessories I have for each item. Stay tuned if you're interested! : )

Photography corner!

I keep some of my jewelry boxes, watches, accessories on the shelf right below my camera.
I keep all of my Chanel, and LV boxes just because I like them the best : ) LV boxes are bomb.
Timmy did chew up one of my Chanel earring boxes a few months back. He handicaps my collection!
Moving down a bit, I keep my bags in their dust bags.
My bag collection is actually really small so I would like to grow it in the near future.
I had a few other nice bags, but I gave them away to my family.

These made the cut : )
LV Galliera GM in Damier Azur (my Aunt bought me this from Paris)
LV Keepall 55 in Damier Azur (Portland, OR LV Store! No Sales Tax!)
LV Mini Lin Speedy 30 Ebene (my first LV bag!)
LV Mini Lin Speedy 30 Dune (Beautiful color, I knew it would be mine one day)
LV Epi Speedy 30 Black (I bought this famous bag from the famous Fuzkittie!)
Balenciaga Giant City Covered Arena Black (Birthday gift last year from bf Minh. He picked it out himself well..sales associate talked him into it lol I was totally surprised because I never would have picked it for myself. ^_^)
Burberry Heart Tote (plan on selling)
Coach Tote (I love it! It's perfect for carrying my Macbook to and from the office).

I had a thing for Tory Burch, 2 pairs Minh bought for me on his trip to visit his parents in Vancouver, WA (15 minutes from Portland, OR <-- no sales tax state). lol He picked up the Silver & Black Reva's w/ the Silver Medallions (I love it when he picks things out for me -- I completely love surprises from him). Did you know Tory Burch's Mother's name is Reva? She named them after her Mom : )
My two prize pairs are the Christian Louboutin's pumps.
I bought my first pair last year (leopard peep toe), and I picked up the New Simple's only a few months back. It's funny b/c the size 38 is actually more a snug fit than the 37.5 I have. The size really does depend on the style of the shoe. Minh thinks I'm silly for drooling over Louboutins, but now he points them out to me all the time when we watch movies or see someone walking in the street. haha. He calls them "Louis 'B'uitton" b/c he can't say Louboutin.
I just shake my head in embarrassment. lol

I never thought in a million years that I would own a pair of Louboutin. And here I am at 23 years old living on my own with not one but two CL shoes boxes in my little closet :D I look at them and smile all the time because I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I look at them. But I think the best sense of accomplishment in life is when you're no longer dependent financially on your parents. They can't tell you what to do with your life!

You never really know where life is going to take you..and somehow I ended up in Seattle, WA and I don't mind it : )

I also have 3 pairs of shoes by Sam Edelman. I do love his boot/heels styles!
Did you know Sam Edelman is the Sam in Sam & Libby shoes?
Libby is his wife : ) They've been in the shoe business for a while!

Now Wally is going to give you a short tour of our small closet...or just look at the camera for photo opportunities lol

I love how Wally is stretching lol. My boys follow me everywhere!
If they're asleep on the couch next to me and I get up to go get a glass of water..boom they're in the kitchen with me. haha : ) They sure know how to make me feel loved!
They will be 10 months old this February 8th!
Wally's ears flop down when his fur starts growing out lol. I think he looks better with his ears perked up, it fits his mischievous personality better.
Wally is a few minutes younger than Timmy, but Wally is a tad bit taller than Timmy. : )

Timmy is my lil chubby puppy. He's growing quite plump, but he's always had a strong appetite since he was a baby puppy.

I used to keep my unboxed shoes on the floor in my closet..and Timmy is demonstration for you how he used to steal my shoes and chew them up! I've lost 7 good pairs of shoes since I've had the puppies. lol They're just so fast at stealing shoes, whether it's from my closet or the shoe rack near our entry way.
"Mom..where are all the shoes?!"
The clothes on the side are some clothes I'm piling up to donate. We have a clothing donation drop box downstairs in the loading dock of our building. It's really nice to have it there!

Timmy won't give up looking for a new pair of shoes lol

My stocky lil puppy.

Wally's eye are so cute! When he's done something bad, he has this guilty looking on his face. Minh and I think it's hilarious. If you question him after he did something bad..he looks at you so cute! He tries to walk away from you slowly in a sneaky manner lol. We can never get mad at him because he's just so darn cute!

Timmy says tour over, let's go out to the living room already!
I can see the Chihuahua in Timmy a lot more now as he gets older.
He's only 1/4 but he takes on the full personality of a clingy & needy Chihuahua.

Wally eyes!

Marc Jacob Daisy solid perfume necklace from a few years back : ) I still love it!

Thank you for touring our closet!


  1. Woow!! I loove your closet!! =)
    Your puppies are so cute <3
    I also bought a Canon recently! But it's the EOS 500D ;P Love it <3


  2. such adorable puppies!!!

    I am also on the market for a good quality camera, however I am unsure of which brand to navigate towards. There seems to be so many :S Is your camera the one that they used to shoot a couple of episodes of House with? I remember someone stating that a couple episodes of house were shot with one camera using the video feature?


  3. @ellovely I haven't heard about the House episodes, but now you got me curious! :D

    I don't really know much about cameras, what I do know I learn from my photography enthusiast friends :)

    @LilacCactus yay for new Canon's! :D

  4. I love your puppies so much! They remind me so much of my 2 teacup poodles:) they always know when they did something wrong but they look so sad and cute that I just give them a hug lol...also I love your closet with the little Chanel & Louis vuitton boxes...Chanel has so many cute new earrrings right now ..I'm personally good with my minis for now

  5. oh goodness gracious girl. You got me so lost with the co, chu, bac... hahaha! I have friends from VN and they say you call someone "co" if they're your half mom or step mom to not accept them as your mom, in a polite way but if you call them di, then can eventually become your mom o.O BUT for you know "aunties" you used co for someone that is young and "di" (not whore... the other one! lol) for someone older and "bac" for someone old as in grandparents age.... at the time that you met them. lol. but if you call his mom co and you call his dad bac... you're pretty much telling the dad that he's an old old man. HAHAHA! j/p, maybe? It might depend on their preference of what they want to be called.

  6. My mom said, if you call someone "co", you have to call her significant other "chu". I don't know why but that's how I was taught growing up. I used to call my aunt "co" and her husband, which is my uncle, "bac". Lmao. And I always get yelled at for it. Anyway, hope that helps you a little. I'm looking forward to your camera sales. I've been dying to get the 60d but it is sooo expensive. >.<

  7. I'm really loving your bag and shoe collection!! you really do know how to make me jealous and determined haha :D

    I'm not a good photographer, but I really like taking pictures too..yet I end up erasing most of them because I suck haha Maybe if I invest in a DSLR the pictures will be better?? haha I decided to buy the Canon T2i, but the 60D seems so much better!!!!

  8. Is it strange that I'm excited to know another Hue? It's really rare here in Sydney, Australia! Everyone seems to be a Nam or Bac lol.

    As for the whole "Chu" and "Co" thing, I usually go by Chu and Co because yeah, Bac makes him sound old and he doesn't like it hehehe.

    Awwwwwww, Wally is cute!

  9. Aww poor Minh! I was always bored when I visited my family in Korea (since they mostly lived in the countryside). I much prefer city living. Hehe.

    I love ABC family movies, too! Another really good one is "If Only." It's a romantic drama. Really sad but wonderful movie!

    So cool how you are so independent. I'm about to graduate (next quarter will be my last at UW!) and I'm freaking out about what I will do. AHhh! Well, hope you have been enjoying the Seattle sun! .. even though its still cold! haha.

  10. Aww, that sucks that you and Mnh isn't spending Tet together! My whole family just came back from 3wks in Vietnam. My grandma (mom's mom) passed away before NYE, so we did a funeral for her In Georgia and took the coffin back to Vietnam and did another funeral there. I miss going to Vietnam. =( I hoep Minh enjoys himeself as much as he can w/ families. Eventhough it's not as fun as being in the city of like Saigon.

    I got what you were trying to say, w/ the Chu, Bac, Co, etc... here's a link I found that explains it better: http://www.cityofseattle.net/helpinglink/StudentWeb/webproject/html/lifestyle.htm (=

  11. reading the bac and co/chu made me confuse lol and never thought about the part of "respecting" by calling Bac.
    but still...if i were you, i would continue to call them co/chu, since they're younger than your parents combined.
    But if you feel awkward everytime you mention this co/chu, i guess you should try to ask them, what they prefer the best :D
    That's what i do if i really don't know what to call them with(because I don't want to hurt their feelings if ever I call them in the wrong way- depends on their views)

    The thing that I have the most difficulty to say is when you want to point the two parents in one word like "you two" in a polite way. ---> Hai Bac? Hai co chu????

    or when I want talk about the man to the woman, should i say "Bac Trai" to her??

    Anyway, it's so hard for me =.=''

  12. @Tia My condolences to your family. Minh's uncle passed away recently at a young age and they flew him back to Vietnam to be buried as well. My Grandma (on my Mom side) always tells us all that that is what she wants for herself. Was it a hard process to go through? Or are there funeral services that arrange the transportation to Vietnam? Sorry, it's a weird question, but whenever I come across someone who has done the same, I just want to know if it was the same experience. I believe it costed Minh's relatives $10k to move the body from US to Vietnam.

    Thank you for the link Tia! Much appreciated :D

    @Noriki lol, his dad refers to himself as "bac" and his mom refers to herself as "co", but sometimes "bac." It's kind of funny. lol I get confused! Once I called his cousins husband "bac" because he looked old to me! I was so embarrassed! I felt bad, but it was just awkward. I dislike meeting new Viet "strangers"

  13. @XOVINTAGELOVE Thank you! :D I will call them Co & Chu from now on. lol I always ask my bf and he goes "Oh, they don't care" (but I care!) That's the thing, guys are so unhelpful sometimes. lol I try to be more formal (since my family is more formal), but his family is very informal so it's a hard adjustment. I just don't feel super comfortable talking with them as laid back as they are.

  14. @serii congrats on your last year at UW! :D I'm proud of you :) The weather has been pretty amazing here in Seattle. The midwest is facing a crazy Winter storm. We're so lucky!

    What are your plans after UW?

    Thank you for the movie recommendation! I'm going to look it up on Netflix now :)

  15. Hey Steph! You have a killer condo/apt and walk-in closet :D I was so moved by your entry today... how Minh's family made a life for themselves here and became successful. I think this is where you two have your business sense... it's all the hard work you see from your parents and so on. Everything you own, you own outright because of all your creativity and business savvyness :) I do admire that in people.. SO much. The worst kind of people are the lazy, bummy ones that just feel like life is against them or something, but your positive attitude is always so pleasant :)

    You know what's funny? I went to cut my hair this past weekend and my hairdresser is from Hue! I really love Bun Bo Hue? it's the spicy beef brothy noodles.. lol She says it's from there :p I thought it was a small world when you wrote Minh's fam is from Hue :) haha

  16. @Rainy Days and Lattes I love bun bo hue! We have a bun bo place near one of the Viet areas in Seattle, but I haven't been yet. I don't think I've had bun bo hue in one full year! The last time I was home was last February. I really need to go home and ask my Mom & Aunt to feed me! :D

  17. I love this, your closet is amazing!! Your dogs are adorable too! Also way jealous of your Louboutins but you give me hope that one day I will own some... :):)

    By the way I have family that lives near Seattle! It's so beautiful there! :)


  18. Thanx Steph! For my grandma's funeral, it cost us about $11K to do the whole process over here and for them to fill out all the paperwork to get the coffin on the plane and fly it back to Vietnam. There's a Korean-owned funeral home that did it for us. They were nice to let us use their place to do the open-casket ceremony also. My Grandma was Caodaism so we had to do a lot of praying and kneeling for 2 days.

    About 3-5days later, the coffin was sent off to Vietnam and my Uncle followed her on the same plane, while my other family members went a few days early. The coffin arrived to Vietnam close to midnight. I think they chose that time so it wouldn't be so much cars and ppls outside. I know my Grandma's happy because she's buried next to her husband now (=

    But it's a long and exhausting process, if you live far from the airport. After she got to VN, it was an 8hr drive back to my Uncle's house in the village.

  19. i totally am on the same boat about staring at my designer shoes. it's probably shallow and superficial to some people, but it really does go way beyond just materialistic stuff. i also feel very proud of myself when i see my shoes and bags. i've worked hard and it's just a tangible way of seeing it.

    p.s. i'm from seattle too!


  20. Thanks DSK, happy lunar new year to you as well!

    P.S. if your closet had a theme song (like every time you walk in it starts blasting) it would be Drake's "Fancy." Look at all those designer labels. ballin' outrageous!

  21. Wally looks sooo much like my Puddles! He gives me those same eyes and slouches his head when he's in trouble!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. try this one instead..


    The other one doesn't work.

  24. Steph! I'm going gaga over your new camera! Looks like you're going to have a lot of fun using it. lol. I've been into a camera phase these days. I also love closet tours. Timmy and Wally are so adorable. I'm going gaga over the pics as well. <3

  25. mom side of family:
    - aunt is di
    - uncle is cau
    - eldest uncle/aunt is bac
    dad side of family:
    - aunt is co
    - uncle is chu
    - eldest uncle/aunt is bac
    if his mom is calling ur mom chi (as a polite way to address another adult) u have to feel out what they want to be called. (some don't want to feel "old") but technically speaking if she is younger than your mom u do not address her as bac. (it's suppose to be rude i think?)

    i'm only half viet but that was what i was taught by my ba ngoai. hope it helps.

    -meghan www.foreverclumsy.com

  26. Loved this peek inside your closet! Your bag and shoe collection? *drools* The puppies wholeheartedly approve, as do I!

  27. I once called this couple as 'chi' for the wife, and 'chu' for the husband. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! The wife was only a few years older than me, and so i called her 'chi'. Her husband was about 8, or 9 years older than her, which makes him the same age as my uncles, so i called him 'chu'. LMAO!!!!!! They didn't mind i called them that. Haha!!

    My parents were both from the North, but migrated into the South at an early age. However, they still speak with the Bac accent. I was raised in Saigon, and so i speak both Bac & Nam accents. I have a hard time understanding Hue accent. Well, it really depends on how strong the accent is. I remember visiting my friend one time when her grandmother (her dad's mom) was there. She spoke with a very strong Hue accent, and honestly, i could not understand most of the things she said.

    I love all of the romantic comedies that Meg Ryan starred in. My favorite is You've Got Mail.

  28. your pups are adorable!




Thank you for your comments!