See you later, alligator.

I’m sad to say, but my time with My Rhapsodie has now come to an end … for now. I have decided to take my blog game to a higher level and now am a proud owner of my own domain and website. Find me on Twitter (@amienguyen) and stay tuned to see where and when I’ll pop up next.

Hint: Soon.

http://www.reigndrops.ca

Ten Days in Cali

I know what you’re going to say and it’s true – I’ve been really blowing it with my blog game. I can’t even remember when or what I last posted, although I guess I could easily just go onto my blog and do that. With that being said, here I am! Back from the walking, talking, playing sports dead and I wish I was here sooner. I’ve been on so many great weekend trips I need to share about. But that’s all in the past and maybe I’ll go back but first, we’re going to look towards the future. I am currently on a 10-day Cali trip that includes the OC, San Diego and Los Angeles! It’s kind of crazy how the trip gelled itself together. Bare with me, if you will …

I’ll begin with Vegas. Last weekend was my girlfriend’s wedding. A month before that was her bachelorette party in Vegas. Long story short, aside from me being lame, I had befriended a couple of guys on the trip and I know what you’re thinking, it’s not like that. Never did I get creeper vibes (and trust me, my creeper radar is on point) and so I felt it was okay to continue conversation. We soon realized we both played volleyball although I had kind of moved on from the sport a little while back. He said that I should come out to this volleyball tournament they play in San Diego every year and while I said, “Yeah maybe!” I was really thinking, “Yeah right, buds. No chance I’m coming out to Cali just to play in a volleyball tournament.”

Fast forward to when I actually decided I wanted to go to LA. I thought of my OC friend and figured, maybe I’ll check out the OC since I’ve never been there. When he had asked me what dates I was going to be in town, I told him and he said that the volleyball tournament he was talking about was going to be that weekend that if it wasn’t taking away from my vacation experience, that I should play. I thought about it for a second then agreed, “Yeah, what the hell! Might as well!”

Which leads to today. 

I am currently in San Diego at the San Diego Volleyball Club (gym) waiting for our next game. I had no idea what to expect when I got here because I literally only knew one person and I didn’t come out to see him. I was picked up by two of the people of my team and within half an hour of meeting everybody else, I felt extremely comfortable. These people are some of the nicest, most chill, fun and hospitable people I’ve ever met! The tournament was intense, the level of play is extremely competitive but it’s been great. The style is different than what I’m used to in Vancouver. In Vancouver, you’re extremely lucky if you have a good female setter, that way you have more male hitters. Here, every single team has a really good female setter. I’m not even being biased when I say our team has one of the best setters. Secondly, none of the girls ever hit. We play defense and cover our hitters. So strange to me but it makes sense. The players are really strong and you need to put up a good block to stay in the game.

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San Diego Volleyball Club

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Volleyball tournament

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New friends

After the tournament, we headed back to the hotel and hopped into the pool and got some booze into our system. I ended up teaching a couple people some swimming lessons and played catch with three of the cutest sisters ever! We then got ready and headed into Gaslamp (downtown) where we had dinner and drinks at a spot called “The Tipsy Crow”. It was a really fun spot – two levels with great food and games to play with including mega-sized Connect Four and Wii. Unfortunately, I pulled my typical Grandma status and left at midnight the second we got to the club. (Seriously, what’s wrong with me these days?!!!)

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The Tipsy Crow

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New friends <3
Myself, Kelly and Toni

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New adventures with new friends.

 

Moving on, after this we’ll probably have dinner and then head back into the OC where I’ll take a train out of Irvine and into Downtown LA. I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve never been on a train before! It’s too bad it didn’t work out to train from San Diego because I hear the train ride is along the water and I would’ve been riding along the coast with the sun going down. I’ve already decided I want to to go on a train tour next summer along the coast – how amazing would that be?! 

To add to the perfection of this trip, who other than my hometown city’s soccer team will be playing LA Galaxy that Saturday before I leave! It’s just perfect, absolutely perfect. A nice little getaway with lots of movement in between.

So far, I’ve been really taken aback (in a good way) at how perfect strangers can just really share an experience from scratch. I am so humbled by how open and inviting this group of people have been and I feel really blessed to have met them. We’ve already shared so many laughs and it’s as if I’ve known them for years. I love that that can happen from nothing. From a simple thought of visiting friends in LA has transformed into new friendships that will last a lifetime and unforgettable experiences to go along with it. I encourage all of you to be open to experiences like this where you can just go with the flow, keep an open heart and mind and just really let the course of things to happen naturally. Not everything you want to happen will happen exactly the way you want it to but remember that what happens happens for a reason. Bottom line, just let it be! And with that, I wish you all a great week. I dare you to try something new and out of your comfort zone this week – it could be something as simple as getting to know someone you initially didn’t want to know.

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Toni, Me, Brent, Keenan, Jasmine, Kelly

 Next up, LA! Ciao, bellas.

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Ten ways to the good days.

You ready for the best year of your life?

I am. The years leading up to now have been pretty amazing but as it so happens, my goal is to top the previous year. How do I plan to do that? Simple. Surround and fill myself with anything and everything positive, continue to cross off things on my bucket list, and step closer to my dreams while smiling, laughing and loving before, after and in-between it all.

I am so over letting negativity poison my heart and mind and I am going to do whatever it takes to keep it out of my life. If you care to join me, I have some ways that might help!

1. Unnecessary negativity.

Do you have that one person, whether or not they’re your friend or coworker, who just spills negativity all the time? There’s always something wrong with this, a problem with that, and their incessant whining and complaining can get to a point where it can turn your good mood into a bad one. Well EFF THAT! If you don’t feel like it’s your place to say anything, walk away with a smile. If they are someone you care about, for the love of God, SAY SOMETHING!

“People who truly care about you will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. We’re not trying to get in your good books, we’re trying to help you write a better story.”

Seriously though, the people you surround yourself is really important. If you want to be mellow, hang out with mellow people. If you want to find like-minded people who are chasing down their dreams and are working hard to get there, HOLLA. Negativity is extremely poisonous and toxic, in whatever form it comes in – people, environment, music, etc. Above all, negativity is unnecessary. Say goodbye today, forever.

2. In sight, in mind.

For example, if your goal is to get fit and lose that weight you’ve been complaining about all year, well guess what, only you can make yourself get there. Don’t expect to go to the gym for a week straight and then be disappointed and defeated that you haven’t lost 15 pounds. Fitness isn’t an overnight achievement, it’s about being persistent and consistent. Surround yourself with end results by making it visual, things you can physically see. Follow fitness accounts on Instagram so you are constantly reminded of what you want to achieve or go to the gym with someone who’s already got it down. I like seeing my friends post photos of their progress, it makes me want to work harder, not to beat them but to be motivated like they are. Also, I’m not going to go to the gym with someone who is planning to walk on a treadmill for half an hour and call it quits. What’s the opposite of “out of sight, out of mind?”

3. A messy mind.

How cluttered is your room? Can you even see your floor? Can you locate those files at your work desk right away? I always say, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” How hard is it to put away that jacket you’re about to take off as opposed to waiting until it all builds up, then wasting an entire day “cleaning”? I hated when my friends couldn’t come out because they had to “clean their room”. My friends always make fun of how much crap I have in my room but they also praise me on how organized it all is. Whatever floats your boat, just don’t let your cluttered mess clutter your mind.

4. Stay healthy – in moderation.

I am the queen of junk food. I have a basket of goodies within arms reach of my bed. It’s awful; I seriously need to get rid of it. Either way, I will never give up the food I love. Instead, I will compensate. I don’t remember the last time I drank pop, it honestly does not even appeal to me anymore and I have a new found love for kale and Asian sesame dressing (not together). Although I haven’t given up all the not-so-great food in my life, it just leaves me to be more open-minded and conscious of better and healthier food. Feeling an improvement in health and diet can really affect the rest of your lifestyle.

5. Be active.

I normally play on two teams year long. Whether it’s soccer or volleyball, basketball or dodgeball, I NEED my sports. It keeps me active and it helps sets a better weekly routine. Aside from the exercise, I always make new friends and feel some form of accomplishment after a game or practice. Maybe I improved on my touches or my team won all our games in volleyball, little things like that it feel like you’re progressing and your exercise has purpose. If you’re not a team sport kind of person, there are so many other forms of being active you can engage yourself in. There’s hiking, yoga, biking, running, etc. Do it alone, with a friend or a group of friends, set a routine, it’ll feel great once you’re done. Remember, the hardest part is always getting there.

6. Now is now.

My mother used to always yell at me for procrastinating – Okay I lied, she still does. “Later” would always be my response until she came to my room and dragged me by my ears. It only took many years for me to understand why she seemed so impatient. She was just trying to get that procrastination gland out of my body before it settled in for good. And it makes total sense now. Like I said with keeping clean, why put your jacket away later when you can do it now? The more you procrastinate, the bigger it all builds to a point where you’ll have to dig yourself out of your own mess. Someone texts you? Answer as soon as you can. A friend asks for a favour? Get on it! Just think if it were the other way around.

7. Do what you love and do it often.

I often ask people if they have hobbies or just things that they’ve always wanted to try or get into. I usually encourage them to keep it up or get into it. I play the piano and guitar and never really let myself have the time to just jam. But once I do, I forget how much I love and it actually soothes my soul and everything becomes peaceful and calm in my life again, even if it is just for that time. In a life where everything is so fast-paced and on-going, it’s really important to have personal time where you can let your mind relax. Whether it’s scrapbooking, a musical instrument, reading, building things, make time for it! You can always improve with music, you can create memories with scrapbooks, you can learn through a novel or even have a new piece of unique furniture! It’s a feel-good thing and who doesn’t want to feel good?

8. Wake up dancing.

Do me a favour and do not make your favourite song your alarm clock. Some might say that your favourite song will help wake you up. I’m on the flipside. If getting up in the morning isn’t your favourite thing to do, don’t wake up to your favourite song because eventually, it won’t be your favourite song anymore. Instead, once you’re up, play music that makes you happy. I have a whole bunch of happy songs from Proud Mary to Secret Smile by Rascal Flatts. Music can really set the tone for your morning and possibly the rest of your day. Create a playlist of songs that can’t help but make you smile or jump up and dance like you’re in a music video.

9. “You look sick.”

My friends always tell me I dress like a homeless person. It’s true. Growing up playing sports, sweat pants and hoodies were just natural and convenient. I’ve just grown to love them and be comfortable in them. The only thing is … they make me kind of lazy. It’s the same reason I don’t wear a wetsuit when I teach swimming lessons. When I have a wetsuit on, I’m warm and I just want to hug myself and stay warm.  I made a promise to myself that I’d put a little bit more effort into how I dress and look because it definitely affects how I feel and hence how I act. Even though I have no fashion sense, I feel like you can never go wrong with jeans and a tee. It’s actually kind of the same reason I wear a little bit more makeup when I’m feeling ill or sick. If I’m sick, I feel sick. Obviously. But if I’m sick and I know I look sick, that’s just going to make me feel even more sick. You still following me? So by not succumbing to how I feel, it actually helps me get over how I feel. I think I lost myself. But hopefully you get it.

10. Pay it forward.

Random acts of kindness will make the world a better place. Whether you give up your seat on the bus for someone in more need or you tell someone you think they look nice or that that hairstyle looks good on them, it will go for miles. In turn, your good attitude will encourage their good attitude which can be forever passed on. I saw this video a while ago but it is such an amazing video of paying it forward. Please take a few minutes to watch it! J

All in all, be the person that you want to be. Only you can make that happen. Be inspired to inspire. Now go have the best year of your life.

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