The Lai Times

In the Month of May + Favorites

Happy Memorial Day! Are you having a BBQ and laying out in the sun like we are??

This past month was just crazy…birthday celebrations, Mother’s Day, my certification exam, my little sister’s award ceremony, and now I’m packing to visit Sacramento, CA. I have never been outside the house more than I have been this month. With my older sister’s birthday at the beginning of May, we were out almost her entire birthday week, eating, shopping, and getting all the free birthday gifts. So I thought I would share some of the best free birthday gifts you can get! Almost all of these gifts, you need to have an account with the group or some membership (which is free!), so make sure to sign up for your birth date. We live in California, so I don’t know if these perks work everywhere, but hopefully, they do so you can get some free birthday gifts on your special day!

  • Starbucks! If you have a registered Starbucks account to a gift card, you can get a free drink on your birthday! You don’t need to be a Gold level member to get a free drink, you just need to register a gift card under your name and birthday, and they will automatically load a free drink on your account for your birthday! And you can order anything!
  • Sephora! This again needs you to be a member, but don’t worry about not being a VIB, with just a basic “Insider” status you can get a free gift without a purchase! They usually have two different gifts for you to chose from, either a makeup item or a skincare item. Such a good gift especially if you love beauty products and trying new things!
  • TBaar! If you love boba drinks this one is great! We found out about this one through our ‘Fivestar’ app. On your birthday, you can get a free milk tea boba!! If you have the ‘Fivestar’ app, on your birthday, it will let you know where you can get free perks near you! Make sure you add your favorite places before your birthday so you don’t miss any discounts or gifts on your birthday.

Some other great ones are Victoria Secret PINK and DSW, where if you have a membership account you get mailed birthday coupons to spend instore or online! There are so many great places to go to on your special day, but depending on where you like to shop or eat they may have some birthday perk, so don’t forget to look and see if they have something. My birthday is next month, so I’ll let you guys know if I get any good birthday freebies to share with you!

Once that week was over, I had to buckle back down and finish studying before my certification exam on the 18th. As most of you know from other blog posts, I recently graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science and Therapeutic Rehabilitation. And these past few months since graduation, I have been studying for my certification exam with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to become a Certified Exercise Physiologist. Thankfully these past few months of doing nothing but studying really…I passed my exam!!! When I looked up the passing rate for this exam it was around 40%…which means it is a really hard certification exam, and even now when I think about it, I still can’t believe I passed, but I’m just so thankful and grateful that I did. It takes about 6-8 weeks for my certification papers to be mailed to me, so until then I’m on a “provisional” pass, but once it’s official I can start looking for a job! So until then, I will continue to study to keep up to date and help around the house. And hopefully get my driver’s license….yes…I still can’t drive legally….yes I know it’s kind of sad…but, over the past 5 years I never came home long to have enough practice and when I would get a permit it would expire before I could come back home and practice again. But now that I’m done studying for my exam and have settled down more at home, it’s about time I face my fears and practice again. I was just too blessed to have my school walking distance from my apartment and living in a city where public transportation was actually really decent and efficient! Plus, part of school tuition was a transportation pass, so if I’m paying for it minds well use it right? Google Maps was one of my best friends during college for the bus and light-rail times.

Also, I was lucky enough to squeeze in seeing my friend one last time before he went back to South Korea. During college, I took a class to fulfill some “General Education” units and I ended the semester with even more international friends. This class was about education in South Korea and the similarities and differences between their system and our American system. From elementary school all the way to university, we learned about classroom rules, after-school activities, and cram schools. Each student was paired up with a South Korean international student (who volunteered for the class) that was matched through our majors. I was lucky enough to have been grouped with two students to learn and share with during class. Both Korean boys had a very different school upbringing so it was interesting to see how they grew to be who they are now. One of them came back to America years later after landing an internship and I was happy that I was able to meet with him a few times while he was here. He goes back to South Korea next month, so this meeting was going to be our last in a long time. I have always wanted to visit South Korea, especially since one of my best friends lives there, but with time and money, I haven’t been able to make the trip out there.

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And then with Mother’s Day and my older brother going to Germany for work, our house was so busy!! If you read my post about my favorite carrot cake, then you would already know that Mother’s Day was held at my house along with all the spring birthdays. This was one of the first big holidays where everyone was actually home! With my older sister and I both in Northern California for school and her for work, we were always missing for big family meals. So for my grandma, it was nice to see all the grandchildren back home together.

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My favorite thing to eat at our Greek restaurant!

Along with celebrating my certification passing, my younger sister also got a Premios De Oro award for math in school, so we all went to our favorite Greek restaurant to celebrate all our accomplishments. And my older brother was finally home from Germany, and the business deal went relatively well, so we were also celebrating that as well!

And now I’m about to pack for Sacramento! My grandfather’s birthday is in early June, so my mom, older sister, and I are making our way back up there to celebrate and spend some time with both my grandparents! I’m super excited since this will be the first time going back to Sacramento since graduating in December. Sadly one of my old roommates has already gone back home for the summer, so I won’t be able to see her, but my other best friend will still be there, so I can spend some time with her! After being with her 24/7 as a roommate and best friend and talking face to face every day during meals, being away from here has been kind of weird…face timing or calling just isn’t the same as speaking face to face while eating. So I’m really looking forward to catching up and eating lots of good food up North! Also, it’s really last minute but my best friend from South Korea might make a trip out to America in June, so if she gets a flight in time, I’ll stay a week longer in Sacramento to spend time with her and our other best friend! Praying that she does get a plane ticket because I haven’t seen her for almost 4 or 5 years…so hoping we can come out so we can eat and catching up together!!

Some things that I really loved during this month were…

  • Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule: I ran out of this during the last week of April and was contemplating if I wanted to repurchase it again or try another nighttime ampoule. I waited about a week before I repurchasing this, and during that time tried other serums and ampoules, but none of them made my skin feel a good as this does the next morning. I started to notice my skin texture getting rough and feeling really dehydrated. So after about a week or trying new products I went on Amazon and bought it again! Never letting this out of my skincare routine!
  • Sour Gummy Worms: For some reason, my little sister and I have been going crazy over sour gummy worms! I don’t’ know what it is about it but they are just SO GOOD! Whenever we go to Target, we always buy a backup bag if our stash was running low.
  • Coach Lyla Crossbody (I have the oxblood version): I got this as a birthday gift a few years ago and used it to death the first few years, but the convenience of my Rebecca Minkoff backpack led me to use that more and leaving this in its dust bag. But the past two months I bought this back out and have been loving using it again! I love that it has 2 zippers and a pocket in the middle of my phone! This crossbody has soooo much room in it, it’s kind of ridiculous how much I can fit inside.
  • POM Wonderful Juice: this 100% pomegranate juice is so delicious! If you think pomegranate juice is a little too tart for you to drink, try adding a little orange juice to your juice and a little hint of citrus sweetness. It will be your version of a Pomegranate Sunset any time of day!

There has been a lot of planning and appointments already made next month, so I know it’s gonna be a busy one! Do you have any plans for the upcomming Summer holiday??

Every day, Lai day! Looking forward to some really good Chinese food in Sacramento!

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