5 Rules for Eating a Banana like a Man- According to Tien

untitledJust a forewarning, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this, but on our awesome road trip to OBX (post coming soon) Tien mentioned there are very specific etiquette for men eating a banana.

All of us girls in the car were like-Stop, collaborate and listen…rules to eating a what? A banana, wait can you repeat? B-A-N-A-N-A?

Tien laughed, but was kind enough to educate us on this very serious and manly topic. Apparently these are unwritten rules that ALL men know about. A banana Bro-Code?!?

Here are the 5 rules to eat a banana like a man:

  1. Never eat the banana in one big bite. Small bites only.
  2. Eat it fast and never close your eyes while doing so. Awkward…
  3. No looking at another man while he is eating it.
  4. Don’t lick the banana. This caused me to scratch my head, who would lick a banana?
  5. Never comment on the quality of another man’s banana. I guess even if a man has a disgusting mushy banana, just let him eat it and enjoy???

The girls could not take what Tien was saying seriously, so we asked Chase and Jason and they confirmed that yes, there are strict rules.  Tien tries to eat it away from people and Chase says he breaks his in half. So complicated!

I asked where he heard these rules, he said it’s on 9GAG, but it is common knowledge among men.

Normally I would put the link for everyone, but I don’t want to search banana eating rules on Google, who knows what will pop-up.

Men, if you don’t know these rules, learn them fast or else you might end up in a throw down because you looked at another man while he is eating his banana.

After learning this…I don’t think I can look at a banana the same way again.

Introducing Karen’s Column…Advice for the Loved and Loveless

sdfdI think I met Karen right when I needed her to be my in life. She has been my support and ears for so many unforgettable, hilarious, and serious moments of my life this year. Including Cat Man, Michael Phelps, or please marry me for a Mercedes as your engagement gift to name a few that has literally brought our group to tears from the ridiculousness.

She has given so much advice to all of us girls and the one thing I love about her is she does not beat around the bush. If you are about to make a stupid move, she will tell you and if you don’t take her advice in her exact words: You’re fired!

She truly gives amazing and rational advice and I’ve told her many times that she should write it down, but she claims she’s not a writer, so I am taking it upon myself with her permission of course to be her not-so-ghost-ghost writer.

This column will help all women who are in a relationship or single with topics that she has discussed.  I think guys can learn a lot from her advice too. It’s a free look into a woman’s mind, hey if you don’t like what we say, click the X in the corner of the screen.

Not only is she a very strong, intelligent, sexy, and independent woman who knows what she wants, but she happens to work with family law as well. I think one of her strong suites is putting everything into perspective.

She has viewpoints from relationships that go really wrong from her work and personal life. Like Carrie from Sex and the City, as she gives the advice to friends, family, etc… she has most likely experienced the same exact issue.

To enjoy her column…I am tagging them under “Advice for the Loved and Loveless.”

Here is her first one about dating a project versus a potential…Click here to read.

I hope you all enjoy.


The Ghost Writer

Dating a Project vs a Potential

demo-pearl-2Have you ever met a great person (male or female) and say in your head, they’re great except for a few things?

I’m not talking about the little things like snoring or forgetfulness because I know I am far from perfect. I spill things, snore, and fall all day every day just to name a few flaws to make you all feel better.

I’m talking about the red flags. The person has commitment issues. He’s not generous, treats your friends poorly, uncompromising, or hides pieces of their life from you.

First off, we’ve all asked that question. On so many occasions when Karen asks who I like? My reply is “Do you think I can just mesh them into one?” She laughs and says, NO!

Secondly, we’ve all made excuses to ignore the red flags. The other day we were talking on the phone and that’s when she brought up that you never want to date a project. There is a big difference between a project and a potential.

A PROJECT is similar to buying mansion at an auction without any type of home inspection contingency. They might look spectacular on the outside, but when you move in you find out that there are plumbing issues, termites, mold, and the electrical wiring isn’t up to code.

Your dream home just turned into a money pit. And to top it off, as you continue fixing the house, you find more problems. Your first mistake was NOT getting a home inspection.

Dating a project is exactly like that. They may look great on the outside: Great job, well put together, drives a nice flashy car, and throws their money at you. Once you dig a little deeper and get on the inside of the person, you find out they have issues that you can’t repair.

These can include self-esteem problems, neediness or as Karen calls it being “thirsty,” or anger issues.

A POTENTIAL on the other hand is a house that may just need to have a quick paint job and some landscape work done and you’ve got a great place to call home. The house may not be a mansion, but it’s something that is a good investment with a little TLC.

A potential doesn’t need a lot of work, they just need a little bit of guidance because maybe they don’t know better. Karen brought this up for example, if someone in their 30’s is still dressing in Aeropostale and Old Navy versus upgrading to Banana Republic, Express, Macy’s, and once in a while adding in a few good pieces from Polo or Lacoste…you take them on a quick shopping trip. Some girls focus a lot on this piece and outside looks only goes so far.

Or if the person doesn’t enjoy the same lifestyle as you when it comes to health and fitness, you can compromise and make it a couple activities to go to the gym. Many people think compatibility issues are the end all be all.  It’s not, relationships are a give and take and you have to find things you both enjoy.

Potentials are fine to date, but it’s the projects you want to look out for and here are a few RED FLAGS that you should look for immediately because in the words of Karen, “Girl, he’s a project and you don’t want him.”

  • Anger issues. Stay far away. No matter how sweet you are one day you may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and “baby, I’m sorry” isn’t going to be enough.
  • Arrogance. You like a man with confidence, but when they are overly arrogant just to show how great he is super unattractive. An inflated ego can’t be deflated with a push pin.
  • Airtight wallet. Generosity is a huge turn on. If someone is generous to you, your family, and friends, it speaks volumes and it is one of the first things I look for because I am very generous with everyone who I love. I may not have a lot, but literally as my TWIN can confirm, I will give you the shirt off my back. A man who keeps all his money to himself isn’t going to change and treat you right. I’m not saying you want a man who gives every penny he earns, but just a generous nature. He won’t lose sleep over buying round of drinks for all your friends or when you use their credit card for a new dress…hey you want to make them look good standing next to them right?
  • Honesty and loyalty. That should be enough. Projects may not trust you and they will test you. Why would you want to be tested all the time?
  • Outlook on life. If the person is always negative and critical, it’s so difficult to be with someone like that. Eventually their negativity will rub off on you and life is too short not to see the brighter things in life. You are not their therapist.
  • Thinking he’s elite. Karen’s words, “Boy bye, who do you think you are?”
  • Inflexible and uncompromising. A relationship is a give and take. One person can’t win all battles. If that is the case, be with yourself, don’t add another person into your equation.
  • Talk is cheap. Don’t break promises. Karen definitely advocates making sure that when a man promises to do something, he doesn’t back out. A man who breaks promises will continue to do so. You set the standard that he can because there is not ramification when he does.
  • Lack of communication. If they can’t relay their feelings, your relationship is doomed. Communication is the key to a successful relationship. You should be able to talk about anything and if he can’t, it won’t get better the older you get, it’ll just get worst.
  • Priorities. Everyone’s priorities are different, but the basis should be the people around you. If one makes money their priority over you, it will never change and that’s the only thing that matters in their life. Or if it does change, it’ll be much later in life when it’s too late.
  • Southern Charm? Not all men are gentlemen these days. Some girls don’t care, but if you are like Karen and I who do want a gentleman, then find one. Don’t waste your time trying to make an a$$hole into your prince charming.

Next time you come across a project, hopefully you save some time and money by not investing in them. Invest in the one who is reliable, stable, and most importantly one that treats you and everyone around you well.

9 Heart-Melting Ideas that is VERY easy to do

The other day, I was over at Moon’s for a party and we started talking about cute ideas to do for birthdays, I mentioned doing a scavenger hunt, they were like wait, what? That’s such a good idea.

People always come to me for cute gift ideas for their friends, family, and significant others. Even though I tend to make everything a joke in life, when it comes to gifts for my friends, family, and love, I really put a lot of thought into it. I truly believe in any relationship, you have to put in effort, spice up the relationship, and also show how passionate you are.

I know who would have pegged me for a hopeless romantic? But, the secret is out…I am. I am that girl who loves Disney movies, fairy-tale endings, first kisses that make your foot pop, and the big gestures to win your heart. But with that, I also think it’s up to the guy to pursue the girl, I don’t put effort until I’m locked down.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the pictures anymore for things I have done in the past, but I do have a few that I dug up.

Feel free to use any of these ideas, each person is so different, that I always cater my ideas towards each person.

Here is a list of ideas that is really easy to do, but I know it will mean a lot:

  1. Animal Shaped Lunches-This is honestly the easiest thing to do. Since I love pandas, I made a little panda bear shaped lunch. This is my version of Shepherd’s Pie. Then I wrote a note on the inside of the box. Here are the instructions:
  • Bottom layer is mashed potatoes. (If you like cheese, sprinkle it between the layers)
  • Middle layer is a mixture of ground turkey, frozen corn, peas and carrots.
  • The head and the arms are made of mashed potatoes.
  • The body is a biscuit, but you can probably do mashed potatoes as well.
  • The eyes are sliced up olives.308877_829248292901_20125829_n
  1. Scavenger Hunts- This takes a little more thinking to put together clues. I use people as part of the clues. The person has to call our friends one by one and guess the correct clue. The last person will have the place that you will meet. The last time I did this, it was the restaurant that we had our first date, but you can pick any location.
  2. Coupons- This is the easiest thing to do. It just takes a little creativity. I did it for my best friends as well as people in the past. Here are two examples of things I’ve done. I would encourage you to think about what the person likes and gear it towards that, I know other people make it more “sexual” and I’m sure that’s fun and interesting too. Keeps things spiced up, but mine are more thoughtful.IMG_20140701_151637wsfdsf
  3. Starbucks Custom Order- I was super proud of this idea and I wish I had the picture somewhere, but it only works if the person you are dating loves coffee. I asked the local Starbucks for an empty Venti cup. I marked it as, “Custom.” Then below wrote: Asian, Crazy, Loving, and other things that I can’ remember. Inside of the cup was a hand-written note and other random stuff like candy, etc… to make it feel heavier. Then when the person arrived, I said, “Baby, I know you had such a long drive, I got your favorite drink…Surprise!”
  4. Re-in-acting the First Date- Pretty much after a while, you get into a routine of going to a movie and dinner. Also, a lot of the time either the guy plans the date or you choose a place together. In this case, it’s up to the girl to plan the date. When I did it, I sent an E-vite with a theme to it. I pretended we just met, so I think I wrote something like, “it was so nice to meet you at XX. The moment you walked in, I couldn’t stop smiling and I can’t wait to meet you again.” Then I also wrote some stuff about being nervous to meet him because he makes my heart flutter, etc…  It’s fun to role play a little.
  5. Pretend fights- I don’t believe fighting all the time is healthy, but not fighting at all is bad too. But pretend fights are the best, plus the best part of fighting is making up. This is more spur of the moment, but if you’re boo asks you to do something like make dinner, say no and make a big scene like I go to work and keep my butt in shape at the gym, and you expect dinner too? Once there is a tiny bit of tension, let it go and tell them…you both will pick something up when they get home. In the meantime, you already have a full meal in the oven. Make sure to capture their face when they walk through the door. For once, you are obedient haha.
  6. Love letters- It makes me sad that the art of hand-written notes have gone out of style. Well, I’m making it come back in style. I don’t think people realize how much happiness a simple letter in the mail can make someone. If you don’t want to do a letter, leave hand-written notes in random places, a book, their lunch, even in their phone. I’ve put calendar alerts with sweet messages or alarms in their phone saying good morning or good night. It’s never what the words really say, it’s the fact that you took a few seconds to think of someone else but yourself.IMG_20140507_155657
  7. Surprise Parties- I am all about throwing surprise parties. But when you do, make sure that you have all the details taken care of. Pick a really good location that both of you would go to anyways, plan the outfit for them, make reservations, and make sure to keep the guests updated.
  8. Experience a “First” together. Find something you have done, but the other person hasn’t. Experiencing a “first” activity together is extremely memorable.

Hopefully y’all find these ideas helpful. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day.



A Few More Steps to Becoming an Honorary Persian Part II

This is for all the Persian’s who read Part I and requested a Part II.

Maryam would like to mass produce these posts and send it to all non-Iranianian people. #PersianLove

Plus…after having to take urgent papers for Maryam to the Iranian Embassy, she was like you are more Iranian than most. If you ever have to visit the Iranian/Pakistani Embassy…be prepared to wear a scarf, all women have to cover their hair and they will automatically speak to you in Farsi. I had to be like wait, wait, wait…All I understand is Salam and Khanoom Linda (Hello and Miss Linda).


I think sometimes people forget I’m not really Persian. The other day we were at a party and there was a traditional dish called “kashke bedemjan.” I asked what it is and Taban said, come on you’ve had this, you’re Persian. I said, I do not remember this dish that sounds like cashews and you forget, I’m Vietnamese. May it be that I am a poor representation, but I am still Vietnamese.

If you missed Part I, click here.

Over the years my Sanam(s), Maryam, or Shari have all laughed and corrected me on one or maybe all of these aspects that are very stereotypical of Persian. Debbie was intrigued to see if my experience is similar to Shahs of Sunset being an outsider looking in.

So here are a few things for you to know to help you fit in and a few of my mistakes that I’ve made.

  • White BMW. Persian men especially drive a BMW and it must be white. If you are Persian and it’s black or grey…what were you thinking? And wait, it’s only a regular 3 series not an M3?
  • ***C relayed from other sources that they prefer black BMWs and not white. I have heard both, so we agreed that it is either black or white, but it is a BMW only in either case. custom-bmw-m3-e92-auto-wallpaper-115
  • High heat tolerance. I swear Persians have a genetic mutation where they become heat resistant, especially concerning food. They can drink tea at any temperature and it does not burn their tongue. I on the other hand cannot, I either have to let it cool or when I am super impatient (Always), I will put ice. I was having tea with Shari’s family…she and her dad gave me the oddest look and said you cannot do that. I said, but it’s hot, she tasted it and said no it’s not. Again, Asian heat tolerance is a 2 versus a 15 on the Persian scale.858914_10100154449868311_8224174690941244995_o
  • Persian Rugs. Persians make the best rugs, hands down. Don’t you dare buy any other rug…Ok I have to admit, I don’t have one because I cannot afford it, but Maryam actually had her engagement party at a huge Persian rug store. It was very cool.persian-rug-choose
  • Black on black. If you ask them what they are going to wear, the answer will always be something black. I was at the store with Sanam A the other day and she tried on a really pretty green shirt and she said no because she does not like the style or the collar. I looked at her and said, No Sanam, it’s because it’s not black. We bought the same shirt at Nordy’s and you loved it. Hence, look at this outfit that C has on.   C claims he does not even own a white shirt and in almost 100% of our pictures he has something black on, so do both Sanam(s). #Blackonblackhowpersiansroll
  • ***I was also informed that over the past few months, C has added some colored shirts into to mix and 2 white shirts. I know, I can’t believe I am that out of the loop on his shopping life.  I am dismally ashamed as his deemed fashion advisor and social planner. But both Sanam’s still prefer black.1922101_10100137470639821_1017002521_n
  • Swear to God. Honestly, this is a phrase that everyone says. Next time you are around a group of elderly Persians, listen. My friend’s parents say it ALL the time. I also hear Maryam use it at times too. When I am at the mall and I hear “swear to god,” I can turn around and sure enough, the person is Persian.
  • Persian food. Learn the basic food names. The first time I tried to order at a restaurant, I was trying to impress someone; unfortunately, I was trying to order baghali polo, but called it boogili boogili. Yep, I was an embarrassment. My suggestion…Read the menu and just point. The servers look at you like you are an alien.  This is one example of them making fun of me.sdf

*Persian Food- Kabobs, Kubideh, Tadigh, Yogurt Sauce,and ALWAYS Chae (Black tea)10484031_10102792439351008_3090449729979387193_n

  • 13Bedar. I learned the hard way because I kept calling it 13Bedar…nope, the official name is sizdeh bedar. This is a big event 13 days after the Persian New Year, where you spend the day outside and come in your house after midnight as a way to start fresh.  Sizdeh=13 in Farsi. Maryam was laughing so hard when I called her and said…Happy 13Bedar my friend. She was like…OMG…why hasn’t anyone corrected you?  471296_736471139061_900390205_o

I always joked that my kids are going to be confused because they would go to school and say Happy New Year three times (Jan 1, Vietnamese, and Persian). I loved it because I expect 3 gifts for each New Year!  I thought this was adorable, but Maryam and I we always wish each other Happy New Year, this year we even did it at the same time!Pers

  • Fire Jumping. Everyone knows that every year, there is a huge party where people jump over the fire. The first year I went, no one explained the purpose of jumping over the fire, so I thought it was a game to jump over as many as I could. I think I jumped over 10. Technically, when you jump over the fire, you are getting rid of all the bad memories and starting new.   The celebration is called Charshanbeh Soori. It’s probably one of the hardest words to say, I used to mumble it. When I asked the translation, originally I was told “Happy Wednesday.” To learn more…here is the link to Wikipedia!fser
  • Gold. They love gold. Everything has to be gold and preferably real gold.$(KGrHqR,!osE63YP0)2GBO64Pzep,Q~~60_35
  • Doogh. This is a carbonated yogurt drink. They love it. I’ve tried it and it has taken nearly 10 years to become ok drinking it. I will drink a glass here and there, but it is definitely an acquired taste.  20140615_130659
  • Dress Code. People asked why I had so many party dresses. Well, it’s because they always dress up and especially for parties. Even if it’s a house party, you have to be glam.  Even just a night out at a local bar becomes an dress up type of night.  And of course they are gorgeous…Look at Nammie in the black. She could easily be a model.PhotoGrid_1392683625544
  • Evil Eye. Everyone has an evil eye. It’s a sign of protection against “bad juju.”  I have one in my house and I wear a bracelet every day. I also give it to my best friends as gifts too. I gave one to Yasi Joon for her bday and Aline took mine off my wrist to protect her. Sanam A does not leave the house without it. One night she was at a hotel room and wouldn’t leave until she went back up to get it. Laugh all you want, but the day I got in my accident, I forgot my bracelet because I rushed out of the house. That’s all I’m going to say.fsdre

A few other things to know:

  • Iran Pride.  I felt bad for the place we were at, a few non-Iranians walked in, I’m sure they were like OMG where am I at? Look at how much they supported Iran in the World Cup!  And totally off topic, but they have the most adorable babies.  Look at this little man…isn’t he the cutest?

Hopefully you learned a little, laughed a little, and know enough to become an honorary Persian as well!

What a Budget Analyst Really Does? More than make pretty Excel sheets?

I guess it’s time to fess up what I really do. My best friend Sydney asked this the other day about my job. She’s like I was trying to explain to a friend what you do, but all I know is that you do some important work with numbers.

I sent her the article about 12 things to know about Budget/Finance peopleIMG_20140308_163817.

First off, surprise, I know it’s hard for some of you to believe, but I work. Just because I don’t brag about my degree, job, and let my job define me like so many others on the East Coast does not mean it’s any less difficult. Don’t let this free-spirit, care-free, extroverted, fun person who does a lot of different things and is easily distracted by sparkly things fool you…I might love clothes, shopping, and make-up, but I do have a brain in my head.

I really do have a job and a real “grown-up” job. I’ve been in a grown-up job going on 10 years now. I know a decade. I started in the corporate office of the bank when I was 19 and never stopped working.

My last job in marketing was exciting, fun, and sexy to be in the social media atmosphere. The reason why I joke that all I do is make Excel sheets pretty is that my job doesn’t match me.

Budgets aren’t sexy, innovative, nor is it exciting.

Here is a simple overview of what I do, but our tasks and challenges change daily. Again, you’re not going to be sitting at the edge of your seat saying, shut the hell up, that’s so cool. Actually you’re going to say, wow, her job sounds stressful, how does she not have more white hairs by now?

  • Manage the travel team. We have over 10,000 travels that go through our shop. We review every single one of them; this does not include issues when they try to voucher. We resolve them.
  • As part of travel, we have to provide guidance, disperse policy changes, and answer questions from anyone. And because they have deemed me the “travel expert,” many of the difficult ones come to me.
  • Any type of purchase from a small paperclip to a $3 million software purchase that goes through us. Thousands of them a year.
  • Manage budgets. This sounds fun, but it’s not. You have to run burn rates, determine if you’re short and if you are short, how you’ll beg for more money or what programs you’ll cut. Not only do you monitor current spending, but you need to project future spending.
  • Reporting. There are a lot of reports. Daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports. My life is turning in reports in all the time.
  • Program reviews. We review all of our programs very closely. My main responsibility is the healthcare unit.
  • ROI. We have to consider the return on investment on everything we do.
  • Reviews. Since we are in budget, there are 2nd and 3rd level reviews for everything. One wrong move and no internal controls means we will be pulled in an audit and being pulled in an audit is the worst news of the day.
  • Building programs. One other great thing I get to do in my job is to control and design our internal webpage, help build and maintain electronic systems for travel and other processes.
  • Making Excel sheets, presentations, and policies pretty. Not only do you make pivot tables, pretty sheets, create pretty presentations, but also write policies and a lot of polices.

This is just a quick overview, but see, isn’t it so much better that I just tell you all I make Excel sheets pretty?

How to Block Karate Kicks by a Kung Fu Panda (Look at my outfit-Black and White)

Many people believe that Asians know karate very well and we are ninjas.

The answer is obviously yes. I am an awesome ninja. You wonder why you have never seen my ninja skills? This is why!


As for karate kicks…well my parents made my studies my priority so I never got a proper lesson, but I was able to learn my karate kicks from Po via Kung Fu Panda. It was very intense, there were two parts: Kung Fu Panda I & II.

Po proved to me that it does not matter what shape, size, or experience you are, we can all learn to be a ninja, karate kicks and all.

One night, Savoy and I were hanging out and she did not believe how dangerous I could be. So I showed her my karate moves. Unfortunately, she did not take it seriously. In order, this is how it went down.  I tell her, she needs to be afraid of me…I can unleash my inner Po at anytime.   She’ll thank me later that I taught her how to block.

Ignore my position, all I am doing is kicking Savoy, but look at how she blocks it. Who knows, this could help you out someday when you are attacked!

  • Step 1- Try to grab the leg and spin the opponent to the ground


  • Step 2- Block them with your knee. Arm movements encouraged.


  • Step 3- Run away. When all else fails, run. If there is a weapon like ninja stars, run in zig zags so it’s harder to hit you.


  • Step 4- Apparently, the last step is not to take it seriously and laugh your way out of danger.  I would not recommend this step at all.  It’s all about DEFENSE!