Happy New Year! Happy 2019!

Continued from last year’s Style In Review, I’m going to answer the same 5 questions and share with you some of my favorite looks and memorable moments in 2018. I think it is a good practice to reset and take on the new year, so whether or not you own a blog, you should do the same! Print out photos from your phone and save them in a photo book with written commentary or simply answer the 5 questions with me below.

// 5 Questions to Reflect & Plan for the New Year

1. What were my highlights of 2018?  (Highlights can mean your accomplishments, special memories, significant changes in life, or any moments of joy that you want to remember.)

The year of 2018 has been the most trans-formative year ever in both of my personal and blogging life. I was able to work with so many amazing brands and collaborated on countless projects, especially in the second half of 2018. My boyfriend and I, we traveled places together. We cooked. We shot so many outfits together. We hiked all over Washington, Oregon, and spent many sleepless nights on the road together. We did a trip exploring Arizona and Utah together, and witnessed out friends got engaged. We also made a big step in our lives early December. I also made the hardest decision to leave my current job end of 2018. So 2019 will be a very interesting year to be!

2. What about 2018 am I most grateful for? (List out anything that comes in your mind and reflect on the past year)

I am grateful for this platform and be able to share my life with you guys. I love every DMs, suggestions, advice, and comments you have ever sent your way. 2018 was filled with so many outdoors activities and endless hours spent on the road. It was quite tiring but rewarding at the same time. I ate a lot of good food. See my best list of 2018 including lots of good restaurant recommendation here. I am grateful for my boyfriend and all of my friends and loved ones’ support. I am grateful for this opportunity to live the life that I want with freedom and hope. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that I have finally chosen the path to live out my dream.

3. What is my theme for 2019? (It can be a word or a phrase that you want to accomplish in a year.)

I’d like to continue the same theme from last year. here.

4. How do I want to evolve & grow in 2019? (Put on your dreamer hat, what difference you want to make in your life?)

For the blog, I’d want to continue living and making more conscious decisions towards food I eat and clothes I purchase. Buy less and buy quality. I also want to re-launch my Youtube channel, do more lifestyle like home decor and food content. Of course, I want to reach out to hotels and traveling agencies and start targeting audience in Asia, especially in Vietnam (my home country). I also want to take my IG closer to the 10k mark this year. Buy myself a sewing machine and start making stuff towards my future brand. Am I dreaming too big?

5. What areas do I want to focus on? (And ask yourself what are your goals in those areas? We cannot multitask and accomplish all things at once, but listing out specific goals, deadlines, and try to quantify your goals by breaking them out into actionable steps. And the put in the work and check off the list as you go!)

redoing my blog’s theme, SEO, Pinterest, IRL networking with more local creatives, start making and learning stuff (learn how to shoot manual, shoot products and learn more about lighting, Photoshop and coding, etc.), join the gym, try yoga, camp overnight, learn to cook and bake more things, learn and practice more makeup and hair techniques to change out my look, practice posing and smile more, purge old clothes and continue to invest in quality stuff that last.

January |

Looking back, my style really has not changed much. I am still wearing a lot of the pieces I wore early in the year. I can name all of the brands and how I got them if you’d ever ask me, so that is a good thing right? My hair was long and dark, and for some reasons, I always looked so sad in photos. I’m aware of it, and that is something I need to work on more in the new year. In January, I started picking up brand projects. I got sent a gold vermeil signet ring from Mejuri (it’s the start of an exciting brand collab, and I’m still working with them up until now!). I did a giveaway with Jord and gave Glossier products a try and wrote about them here.

I looked different in long hair. Kinda missed it!
wearing Jord’s watch. also my first attempt to style beret.
shot this photo for Mejuri, wearing their star signet ring
at a construction site that somehow matched my outfit, Seattle Center
wearing the structured ribbed turtleneck sweater from Everlane that really restricted my neck movement.
styling a gingham dress that I got in the summer.

February |

February was a another gloomy and gray month. It felt like forever! February was my birthday month, so that at least made it a little better. My boyfriend got me a Kozha Numbers bag for my birthday, and I could stop wearing it. I found out that Kozha Numbers was based here in Portland, so that was the start of me realizing that I really didn’t need to spend a fortune on a bag. I rarely bought myself a bag since bags were investment pieces that I had to save up for. This year, however, I was glad to see more affordable designer pieces and brands starting to make unique looking pieces at affordable prices.

took my Aritzia scarf out for a spin for the first time. loved this photo since I looked so tall.
discovered this parking garage in downtown Seattle. unsure the name but loved it up here!
playing with light and shadow at the Gate & Melinda Foundation building, Seattle
at another parking garage in downtown, what’s new?
putting my hair up in a high bun for once
how do I look in bun?
University of Washington campus
love this Mango dress

March |

It started raining a lot here in Seattle, and to my surprise, the city had transformed drastically in a matter of a few days. Flowers started blooming everywhere, all shades and all colors. I could easily find a photogenic tree filled with flowers or bushes of them at every corner I turned.

someone tells me what this tree and flowers are called?!
photo shot for Mejuri in the community room at our apartment complex
downtown Seattle
photo shot for Boma
found another parking garage, downtown Seattle
street in Capitol Hill
King County station
University of Washington wearing another beret


April was the month of even more flowers, could you tell? I highly suggest you guys going here in the spring. It’s gorgeous! Also, be on the look out for cherry blossoms at University of Washington. There is live countdown on their website as you will most likely see my post on Instagram about it. So stay tuned! Also don’t forget to keep an eye on the daffodils and tulip festival in Mt. Vernon.

the Quad where the cherry blossoms are. a must-visit place in spring
found this apartment with cool tiles in Queen Anne area
daffodils in Mt. Vernon
picked up these flowers on the ground. cool shot though!
more flowers
came back to UW for like 3 times this year
beautiful tulips
more tulips

May |

May flower theme continued from last month. I went to Arizona and Utah at the end of this month. I got to ride a horse for the first time, and it was such a dream-come-true moment for me! So enjoy extra ‘throwback’ photos below!

Seattle waterfront
loved this photo!
I wore white Tshirt a lot this year!
got myself a pair of clear glasses from Warby Parker. I’ve worn them only twice this year, hah!
cool cat eye sunglasses from Le Spec
Seattle Center
jumping shot that was favorited by a lot of you guys, wearing Outdoor Voices set and Allbirds
Seattle Center
Freeway Park, downtown Seattle
Volunteer Park COnservatory

Arizona & Utah trip, read more here

June |

Seattle truly has gems hidden everywhere, especially when it comes to cool outfit locations. I’m talking about Instagram worthy and photogenic locations. In fact, it really doesn’t matter where you shoot your outfit. My tip to you is just try to find a simple background that has similar colors or colors that compliment your outfit. Aim for flattering angles and good lighting (soft light, not direct light of course!), and you’re golden! My boyfriend and I drove down to explore the east side of Portland, and we discovered so many amazing nature spots added to our travel diary book this year.

cool bridge that has a shape of DNA in Elliot Bay area
cool shop near Pike Place
look at that incredible mountain view in the background. This resembled the famous Forrest Gump Point.
amazing view from the Rowena Crest viewpoint
strawberry picking
I-90 bridge in a summer sunny day
Painted Hills, Oregon
Lan Su Chinese Garden, downtown Portland
Painted Hills, Oregon
red wood at the Grotto, Portland
Elliot Bay, Seattle
more parking garage

July |

We went to the lavender festival in Sequim and were able to get some amazing content there. The lavender field photos were some of the most liked and favorited on my Instagram this year. We had to drive back to Sequim later in the day since noon lighting sucked. Luckily, we found this tiny privately owned field with the bushes planted so closely to each other. It was indeed so worth the long drive!

at another iconic bridge in Seattle that I forgot the name of
Lavender festival, Sequim
Talapus and Ollalie lake
Leavenworth in the summer, so much fun!
got so close to the waterfall, Franklin Falls
in front of a cool Greek church on Seattle.
rose garden
sunset at Discover Park wearing Reformation and Converse

August |

We started hiking a lot more often now that the weather got warmer. Days were longer, so we never stayed home on the weekends anymore.

at a random building I don’t even remember where
Kubota garden
Daejeon Park, Seattle
Frye Art museum
somewhere near the hopital area in First Hill. Seattle
at a park in downtown Portland
UW Husky station
this green-blue lake though!

September |

I wore animal print, hiked every weekend, and shot a fun campaign with Rothy’s.

wearing the only animal print thing I have in my closet
Lake Colchuck
shot this photo in front of Pike Place for Rothy’s
waering Rothy’s the sneakers
Realisation Par silk top with sunflower print, my favorite!
love trench coats for fall
MOPOP wearing Rothy’s the Point
Diablo lake

October |

Fall colors in Washington were at peak the first two weeks in October. My boyfriend and I took a hike up North exploring Mt. Baker area for the second time. It rained so hard that we couldn’t even see anything the first time, so it was a failed attempt. The drive was about 2 hours from Seattle, but the views were well worth it every time. I also went to New York for the second time with my best friends from Minnesota. Photos will be shared in the November segment. Also, don’t miss my New York travel diary here.

Mt. Baker fall hike
Chain Lake loop
wearing a gifted dress from a Korean designer
shot this outfit wearing Revere shoes

this cool bridge thing was in Seattle
ah, this incredible unreal view at the entrance in Mt. Baker!
somewhere in Ballard area
loved this outfit pairing!
Olympic Sculpture park
Crate Lake, central Oregon

November |

I went to stay with Headlands Coastal lodge and spa for 2 nights the first weekend of November and had an incredible time. Read more about it, here. I’m also sharing a few photos from New York from my trip end of October here. Enjoy!

Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn, New York
Outfit shot in Seattle for Wool&, a Portland based clothing company. My dress was gifted, called the Rowena swing dress. Shop it here.

photo from Lake Serene hike, late November.

hiked to the Paranoma Point at Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park, one day before the park closed for the season. It was one of the toughest hikes. Not much green and colors to see, but the snow covered Mt. Rainier view was stunning!

the Oculus, New York
photo shot in front of the Haystack rock in Cape Kiwanda, steps away from the Headlands lodge we stayed at. Amazing view!
living my best life at Headlands
best life continued! and yes, biking at the beach was possible! dragging the bike was not an easy task, however!
photo taken at the Pod 39 hotel’s rooftop in New York
on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, New York

December |

December was also a success since I got to get myself a real and (real expensive) Christmas tree. It smelled amazing in the car, but I couldn’t quite smell it at home. However, we had a lot of fun decorating it and making our place super festive. We drove to La Push to shoot something very special and personal to us. December 8th was marked in our memory. I also let my boss know that I would be quitting my job at the end of January. So that was weird but was by far the best decision I had ever made in life.

got our tree for $120, hah!, at the Buttonwood Farm
photo shot in downtown Bellevue
matching my outfit with the city skyline, Bellevue WA
photo shot in a parking garage in downtown Seatlle
in front of a wall near Seattle Center. loved this new editing!
Macy’s and its festive Christmas star light, Seattle

somewhere in First Hill, Seattle, next to the Polyclinic
the MoPOP on a rare sunny day with blue sky
Second beach, La Push
at the iconic bridge that I don’t know the name of
Queen Anne area
matched my outfit with the festive installation at the Bravern in Bellevue

Read my 2017 Style in Review here

Thanks for 2018! All photos by my amazing bf. Check out his work and book him for any of your special life events in 2019: Toan Chu Photography

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