Make It With Love

Women and men run businesses differently. Men run businesses with their brains. Women run businesses with their hearts. Women make it happen by sharing the love.

We create love.

And I learned that lesson from my dear grandmother.

My mother told me she has learned  a lot more from her mother-in-law than her own mother. My grandmother passed away when I was a toddler, I don’t remember much about her.  My mother shared with me a few lessons she had learned from my dear grandmother.

Before the U.S. embargo on Vietnam was lifted in 1994, everybody in Vietnam was struggling. Inflation was very high, most people barely made enough money to cover living expenses. My mom told me her salary was not enough to pay for gas. My entire family depended on my grandmother’s tiny little pharmacy. Our house was on a small lane and very close to a big hospital. People would pass by many pharmacies on their way to our house. But my grandmother had never had a problem finding customers. Why would anyone go into a small lane to buy medicine instead of just dropping by any drug store on the main street? My grandmother had some business secrets. Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Buy An Engagement Ring

Dear my future husband,

If you love me, don’t give me a diamond ring.

I believe that it is necessary to have some kind of down payment for people to take the relationship more seriously.

Marriage is a business even people hate to admit it. Remember, you have to sign a contract.

If you propose and run away with your love at first sight new girlfriend, sorry you won’t get back your engagement ring. That is the price you will have to pay for wasting the valuable time that I won’t be able get back, ruining my reputation and breaking my heart.

 If you don’t break your promise, you won’t lose anything. It is a fair game. I am expensive and every girl should be too.

But I don’t think marriage’s down payment should be in the form of an engagement ring to show the world that you are engaged.

As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value …. If you want to hoard gold jewelry however, there is  typically a 100-400% retail markup so that’s probably not a wise investment.

If you are multi-millionaire with money to spend, it is just like buying candy, but most of us are not millionaires. Most of us are still trying to figure out how to become financially independent, and have a secure life.

At the end of the day marriage is about building a future not losing money together (on purpose).

 Did you know, the fancy diamond engagement ring isn’t traditional, it was clever advertising.

In 1919, De Beers experienced a drop in diamond sales that lasted for two decades. So in the 1930s it turned to the firm N.W. Ayer to devise a national advertising campaign—still relatively rare at the time—to promote its diamonds. A year convinced Hollywood actresses to wear diamond rings in public, and, according to Edward Jay Epstein in The Rise and Fall of the Diamond, encouraged fashion designers to discuss the new “trend” toward diamond rings. Between 1938 and 1941, diamond sales went up 55 percent. By 1945 an average bride, one source reported, wore “a brilliant diamond engagement ring and a wedding ring to match in design.” The capstone to it all came in 1947, when Frances Gerety—a female copywriter, who, as it happened, never married—wrote the line “A Diamond Is Forever.” The company blazoned it over the image of happy young newlyweds on their honeymoon. The sale of diamond engagement rings continued to rise in the 1950s, and the marriage between romance and commerce that would characterize the American wedding for the next half-century was cemented. By 1965, 80 percent of American women had diamond engagement rings. The ring had become a requisite element of betrothal—as well as a very visible demonstration of status. [Source]

I prefer to have a nice investment portfolio or a house down payment than a sparkling rock on my finger. It is a better investment for my marriage and future. If my family goes bankrupt tomorrow, it will easier to sell my portfolio or real estate than a my half price diamond engagement ring. I think it is a better idea for couples to have smart long-term investment together which will benefit them more.

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but long-term investments are a woman’s best friend.

You won’t have an engagement ring to show off on Instagram and Facebook, but you will have more money in the bank account to build the future with your soon-to-be husband.

Which one is more important?

Is it better to be special for a few minutes or live a better life?

It is better to show off an amazing future husband than an (expensive) tiny ring.

It is never easy being different. People will ask why you don’t have an engagement ring. But it is easier to explain than why you are in financial trouble.

Marriage is an investment, you are investing your life. It is always a good idea to start it the right way with a strong foundation instead of a sparkling rock on your finger.

Would you not marry someone if he didn’t spend a few months salary on a ring? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Do You Need A DSLR Camera For Blogging?

model in the city 2 fujifilm fx1 compact camera

When I started blogging, I asked myself, “Do I need a DSLR camera for blogging?”

All my fashion blogger friends swear by their DSLR, and they all told me to get one.

If there is an Elle magazine for fashion blogging, a DSLR will be in the must have list. It is a necessary like the 50 shades of pink POI nail polishes. Back then it made a lot of sense to invest in one.

One day I was trying to find room for a gifted unwanted dress, it made me think. If I don’t let my friends tell me how I should dress, why would I let them tell me what I should purchase?

Listening to the people who sold their souls to companies for invitations to exclusive parties or a free dress tell you what to buy is never a good idea. I am too poor to listen to my friends.

Read more

sex and the city stop shopping and start saving

Life Is Not Sex And The City: Stop Shopping and Start Saving

Like most girls, I would love to to have Carrie Bradshaw’s lifestyle in Sex And The City. Who doesn’t want a beautiful Upper East Side apartment with over 100 pairs of designer shoes in a big giant walk in closet?

Her life seems so wonderful: writing for a famous column, partying at the most exclusive parties, wearing designer clothes from head to toe and dating a millionaire.

It is beautiful, but unrealistic.

As a blogger, I know most writers don’t make a lot of money from writing, Or else every journalist and blogger would be a millionaire.

Life is not Sex and The City, and most of us cannot afford to visit Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman or Saks every other day. If Carrie Bradshaw lived in our world, she would be in serious debt and she might need to write a frugal blog instead of a relationship column.

There is actually a great book about a real-life-Carrie -turned-frugal-blogger (minus the millionaire boyfriend). Read more