Apple Juice + Smooth Jazz


I got a terrible fever over the past weekend and what I wanted more than anything was apple juice. I even got a lecture from the cashier at the corner gas station because I should actually be drinking “orange juice” and that “apple juice” contained all sugar. I didn’t care. I still wanted my damn apple juice.

It's only because when I was a kid, my parents would always give me apple juice when I would have a fever to make me feel better. That’s the one thing I remembered, and it felt like a little treat after feeling like a hot and miserable toaster strudel. Since then, I would only crave apple juice when I was sick.

Well now that I'm over my sickness, I decided to finally get out of this funk I’ve been in from writing. Instead of tuning into my usual Spotify playlists, I realized I made a playlist in college called smooth jazz. My mom didn’t let me listen to much hip-hop when I was a kid, and it was always smooth jazz at home and in the car.

The sounds of Peter White, Bob James, and Four Play brought calmness over me – one I haven't felt in such a long time. It's been some time since I listened to the gang that brought me back to those hot summer days in San Bernadino, where our black stereo box sat in the kitchen of our small tiny apartment on the second floor. While my mom would be reading, I would be coloring, and we'd sit at the table listening to music.

It made me realize that even during the "bad times” or what I thought were "bad" (when I was a toaster strudel), were the little things that I would find joy in later in life.

Things like apple juice and smooth jazz.

7 Reminders to Carry into the New Year


This year I wanted to make myself a list of reminders to bring into the New Year. I can safely say that I know myself well enough that down the line, I'll need some reassurance. These are my reminders that life's a work in progress; we're all a work in progress.

  1. Life’s not as serious as we make it out to be. There is no need for all the pressure you place on yourself and stop blaming yourself for both the things you can and cannot control.

  2. Enjoy and Explore. Even if it’s not your scene or outside of your comfort zone, embrace that moment. Because those spontaneous moments make the greatest stories and could lead to lifelong friendships.

  3. It’s okay to not be positive all the time. Just don’t let the negativity consume you.

  4. Put that gift to work and then give it back to the world. You have a purpose, and it's time to embrace that.

  5. Take that leap of faith - that one leap you know will change your life. Because that is the one thing you have complete control of. Then trust that everything else will fall into place.Remember that trust too, is a leap of faith.

  6. The energy you give will be the energy you receive. Stay humble and be grateful.

  7. One bad day is not equivalent to a bad life. You don’t have to hard reset on occasions like birthdays or the new year. You have the power and choice to start over anytime.

Here's the Grind: Verve Coffee Roasters



I recently took a trip with my cousin to a country that's dear to my heart: Japan. After days of sight-seeing and eating every in sight (and I mean EVERYTHING), I was pretty excited to have some downtime. As you might have heard, I am on a mission to visit 100 cafes worldwide and glad to add Verve Coffee Roasters on the list.

The adorable café is located right in the NEWoMan JR Shinjuku Station New South Exit. I’ll admit that it did take me about 20 minutes to find the place, but once I found it, I was ready to just relax and unwind.

Verve Coffee Roasters originally opened in Santa Cruz, California and their Shinjuku location continues to carry the West Coast vibe. The tiny café lets you people watch while listening to some soothing hip hop tracks with your dose of caffiene.

Order: Tokyo Special A chocolate and citrus blend that can only be ordered in Jaan.

Hours: 8:00- 22:00 daily