About this blog…
You’ll find articles on a variety of things I think are worthy of sharing. Topics will generally relate to food as I love good food and am compelled to share my discoveries, trying to be a good citizen of the earth, travel adventures, the home, technology (since I am still a geek at heart) and of course, most things will have a mom spin or extra parent related details as once you’re a parent everything is impacted by your children. Our daughter, Sofie, is allergic to eggs and peanuts so you’ll notice recipes that are specifically nut and/or egg free along with resources on where to find good egg and peanut free products. We just moved to NYC at the beginning of January 2013 and I am beyond exciting to start sharing our discoveries as we get to know this wonderful city and the people that give it life. Before moving to NYC we spent 3 years in Palo Alto, CA so you will find many articles related to living there and sources for the best home and food products along with our backyard chicken adventures and our favorite vacation spots, Napa and Maui. Prior to CA we spent many years in Boston, which is where this blog was born (and our daughter)! A little digging and you’ll find articles on restaurants and my favorite CSA of all time.
About me… hmm…shall we start at the beginning?
I was born on a little peninsula off the southeast coast of China called Macau. At the time it was a Portuguese colony (and had been for 450 years) and was while very dense it still had a small town feel when I was young. My an American mother and a Chinese father, we actually moved back and forth a lot between Macau and the States, specifically, Connecticut. All of that exposure and travel provided me with such an appreciation for different cultures and a perspective on the world and life which I treasure deeply.
I made my last move back to the States when I was almost 16 to finish high school here as it would be easier to get into college and get financial aid. At least those were my arguments when I petition my father to let me move to the States by myself. Those reasons were all true, but secretly, I also longed for exposure to American high school experiences like prom. My father agreed and I flew across the world at 15 with 2 suitcases and lived with an aunt and her family in CT in order to attend my last 2 years of high school there and pave the way for college. It was a scary yet fantastic experience.
I had originally planned to major in journalism, as my first few college applications stated, but my very wise father suggested I opt for computer science instead. His belief was that I’d have an easier time developing a career and earning a living once I graduated, and that I could always go back to school for whatever I wanted once I had that foundation. I took his advice and went to Boston University and graduated with a computer science degree – wise move, since I don’t think I would have been very good at journalism in the end at that stage in my life.
After college I stayed in Boston and got my first professional job as a software developer at a healthcare informatics lab which was part of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. I worked on very interesting healthcare related projects for groups like the American Medical Association and a number of hospitals and healthcare systems in both the US and Canada. I really enjoyed my work, it felt good to create applications to help people and their caregivers. The informatics lab spun of a commercial start-up which I followed and expanded my role and capabilities. I was passionate, big picture focused yet had an eye for detail and a passion for delivering the best consumer experience. All of that led to my many role at the start-up, from running the end-user engineering team, to all implementations to leading sales and business operations. But as with many start-ups life was not easy and I found myself letting work consume me and while I adored the people I worked with day to day, the powers that be were also letting me down. One day realized life is just too short to live that way. So I left. Fortunately, I was able to join Microsoft, where I had the pleasure of working alongside brilliant, passionate people and with great customers and partners. I certainly learned a lot while I was there in my various roles starting off as a Technical Specialist (Systems Engineer) in their Financial Services group, moving to Sales and then finally to my role as Lead Marketing Manager for the East Region Developer and Platform Evangelism Team where I led marketing and business operations for a marketing, sales and technologist team of 60+.
Next was my biggest move yet – having our beautiful daughter Sofie. After having her, I was torn about returning to work and taking a few years off to focus on her. Up until then, I had been very career focused and enjoyed a lot of satisfaction out of it. How do you put something that has always been such a big part of your adult life on hold? How would you measure your accomplishments? I ended up going back to work for after my maternity leave to see if it felt right and it didn’t. Quitting your job and staying at home with your child is certainly not for everyone, but it was clear it was right for me. In all actuality, staying home with her was probably more for me than for her. I’m sure she would have thrived in any number of care situations but I wanted to be the one with her, the one nurturing her and introducing her to the world, in the beginning at least. I also saw it as a chance to focus on our family and be able to be more present in life. I am very lucky to be able to do this and never forget that.
Interestingly enough, while I enjoyed my career I was not as satisfied as I am now, and was always looking for what more I could, what bigger impact I could make. Now, it is completely up to me. I know my biggest impact is on my daughter and our family, yet there are also so many ways I can reach out to others as well and hope to positively impact them as well. Blogging is one of my venues to reach out. I hope to have the time to do it regularly and I hope to provide anyone reading my blog with some useful tidbits and entertaining stories. At the same time I’m working on a novel and a children’s book, which I hope to complete soon. I also hope to do more in the area of kid nutrition and food education so this next generation has healthy eating and a sustainable mindset right out of the gate. Even just simple things can be enriching, for instance I think every child should experience the delight of eating something right off a plant at least once! Mind you, I am not fanatic or judgmental in any way, just always trying to do a little better each day personally.
In 2009, we moved from Boston to Palo Alto, CA! If we were ever going to move away from Boston to try something new that was the time since I was still home with young Sofie. It turned out to be a wonderful place to raise young children. The weather makes many things simpler, it is so easy to be outdoors all the time and the abundance of local produce and innovators was astonishing. Those are the things I now miss since we have left, along with the good friends we made. But one day last year, my husband said, “Would you want to move to London, England?” and I said, “Sure!”. How could we pass up an opportunity like that?! I began researching the move, such things are much more complicated with a child and dog. During that time, an opportunity to move to NYC arose. What a dilemma – London or NY? After much debating, we decided NYC was the best choice for us. And we love it here. I am looking forward to really getting settled once we move into our apartment in the West Village in the next few weeks. My daughter already often exclaims what a great city NY is. The city is really wonderful plus we’re closer to a number of dear friends and family and Europe is just a plane ride away. We have also been so fortunate to have already met the most wonderful and interesting people. Anyone who says New Yorkers aren’t nice doesn’t see NY like we do.
Well, that’s the 101 on me. I hope you’ll enjoy my observations and experiences and I welcome your comments.
Updated Feb 14, 2013. Happy Valentine’s Day!