The Secret to Happiness

Prior to my birthday all my Apple devices coincidentally got hacked and locked, but at least I got back into my phone without wiping it out. I probably jinxed it when I said I wanted to let 30 sink in before posting Birthday pictures 😂

On a somewhat serious note since this is just a blog post after all 😝– I took a leap of faith this year and stepped outside my comfort zone to embark on a journey of self discovery. A lesson I take from the solidarity is to create a life of gratitude and accepting where I am in life by making the most out of every day. This solemn week in Houston made for a bittersweet conclusion; sorrows and wounds are healed by the touch of compassion. I am grateful for every second of every day that I get to spend time with people I love and to live the life I love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my family and friends for never giving up on me! 30 doesn’t feel so bad after all.

Thank you for reading 💗, ter

Joy – Enjoy the little things

I was at Prince of Peace this past weekend and the homily spoke of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

Father Keller asked if we ever asked God for any of these. The entire crowd paused and reflected — questioning God. He interrupted to tell us that we all ALWAYS have each Fruit of the Holy Spirit in us, but we need to remind our selves to bring it out. He kindly asked us to participate in a simple exercise where we write down the Fruit that we are seeking most on a post-it note and to simply place it where we would routinely see it. These characteristics have always been in us but we go through things in life that make us feel ejected from them.
I was going through a sense of loneliness, scared of speaking of my depression and anxiety with my loved ones. I made a decision to explore the world this year and rediscover myself. Without pain, how could we know joy?
Thank you Father Keller for reminding me of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. I wrote the words “Joy” on several post-it notes that night and placed them all around the house. It reminded me to smile and love the life I live: Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change. 
Thanks for reading, I hope you rediscover a Fruit of the Holy Spirit that had always been hiding in you. I am forever grateful for the simple reminder that my joyous spirit never left me.

Never let a day pass you by.

My Mom had always been youthful and outgoing. She would love to dress up and take me around town with her when I was younger. I always admired her as a young girl (and I still do). I always wanted to grow up to be just as independent and graceful as she was. I would mimic her makeup and get my hair stuck in the curling brush trying to get my hair to be just like hers. She was beautiful; my Dad made sure to remind her each and every day.

In recent years, we noticed a sudden change in my Mom. She was weaker, her skin lost color, and she wasn’t the same. It took a lot of convincing to get her to admit to the hospital; only to find out that both of her kidneys had failed on her. That’s when her tough journey with the dialysis treatment began.

I wasn’t living at home at the time, but when I visited every month, it choked me up to see the endless amount of pills separated in that plastic container for her to take each day. I would take her to the dialysis clinic and wait with her until she was done. My Dad always told me to act normal so that Mom would feel safe. We never wanted her to feel sad. We never wanted her to be scared. Sadly, I was scared each time.


The end of 2010, my brother married his wife. My mom was too weak to walk down the isle with my Dad and it broke my heart knowing that it was one of my Mom’s biggest dreams to see one of her kids get married. The end of 2010 was also one of the roughest times in my life. I lived away from home and dealt with a lot of personal issues. I use to drag myself out of bed each morning and let my depression take over me. I remember my room being so cold, I felt so alone, and I would cry just to fall asleep.

January 5th, 2011. I was in Houston visiting my parents for the week. My cousin and I had gone to the market to pick up some things my parents asked for. My phone rang and my Dad had told me to rush home because of an emergency. Pins and needles went through my body and my mind went crazy thinking that something happened to my Mom. By the time I got home, Dad was rushing out the door, holding Mom’s hands, and she was hanging on to her hospital bag.
“We got the call! We got the call! They have a match!!”

I watched the doctors and nurses take my Mom away into the surgery room and I just stood there holding my tears as she looked at me, smiled, and said, “Stay strong for Mommy.”

As I was in the waiting room, I prayed. I prayed for my Mother’s health. I prayed that this will be the one. My Mom had been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for a few years. There have been close calls in the past, but complications always occurred.

We were all restless, but we were grateful and relieved as the doctor came out to tell the family that the surgery was a success. At that moment, I realized that I should never take life for granted and live life happily. I should never let anything negative bring me down and always strive to live a positive lifestyle. A lot of people don’t understand why I try to be so positive, well here is my tell all. This is my reasoning to why I live the life I live now. I learned to never waste a day being angry or sad. I learned to appreciate every breath that I take. I see the good in people and separate myself from all negativity. I can’t drown myself in sorrow and I can’t waste my time on people that make me sad. We need to make time for things and people that matter. Every day is a gift, and it could be all taken away. Because of my Mom, I finally learned to live life for me. I write my own stories and my future is in my hands.

I still can’t believe that it has now been 6 years since we received the call that would change my Mom’s life. I thank God everyday for her second chance. She still has many restrictions and daily obstacles, but this enabled her an extra push to make it through the day. She stays strong for her husband, children, and her grandchildren.

I am thankful for the stranger who donated. I am also thankful for all the people who donated and funded the research to make this all happen. You saved my Mom’s life; I owe you my everything.

Here I attached links on how you can learn more about donating:
Methodist Transplant
National Kidney Foundation

If there is one thing I have learned through this experience, is that life is precious. My family has always been blessed with everything we needed in life; through hard work and dedication of course, but also through the power of prayer. Mom is this key piece to holding our family together, and we are thankful each day that we still have each other.

Thanks for reading,


I Heard Somebody Define Heaven Once

It’s been a little over a year, but I was still so hesitant to visit you today. The sadness I felt looking down into the dirt where you laid to rest, doesn’t even compare to the pain I saw in your eyes during the last of your days. You filled an emptiness I didn’t even know I had until I laid by your tiny little grave wishing I could still hug you and thank you for curing my soul.

If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go — until I see your cute button nose again, you and Puppy need to watch over me and the family. Thank you MaggieBear for teaching me that love is unconditional 💔

A lesson Maggie taught me about life:
If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, show it. 

Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there for one day, it might not be the next. Never take that for granted. 

Say what you need to say, and say a little more. Say too much. Show too much. Love too much. Everything is temporary but love. Love outlives us all.

To the man who has everything

July 13, 2016

I stopped at Big Lots to grab breath mints for the restaurant and a store employee stopped me amidst my shopping trip to randomly ask, “Are cookies or cakes better for you?” Before I could conjure up the words to ask why, she added, “I’m a diabetic.” OK, now why on earth would I even suggest anything processed, sugary, or sweet after hearing that; despite myself being a customer in her store? “My boss said I could pick one out for my birthday today.” My heart sank… I told her it was also my father’s birthday and showed her silly snapchat photos I took with him and Ethan at midnight. I grabbed a $20 gift card to the restaurant from my backpack and invited her down the street after her shift for a few goodies prepared by the chefs. I learned that she takes the city bus and was oblivious to anything in the area other than her workplace (I’m guilty of that too!) So I wrote my phone number on the back of the gift card and asked her to call me after work if she decides the venture out. She was beyond thrilled and hid my card in her pocket, “My shift is over around 5!! I’ll find my way there!!” A little skeptical since learning in my retail career about making connections with customers (which a lot of times lead to conversations beyond the point of sale lol), I reserved a table for her anyways. I got a call close to 6pm and it was an excited lady, “I’m on my way!!”

I never heard anything after as I was catching up on paperwork, so I stepped out into the dining room only to see Ms. Angela happily settled in all by herself at the table I had set aside for her. She had already ordered the simplest menu item from my server – ready to celebrate her 49th birthday with the $20 gift card…all by herself, and all smiles. I walked over and couldn’t even reintroduce myself or welcome her in… she had jumped up out of her seat to hug me. My entire staff read her emotions and without question helped execute an unforgettable dinner together. I respectfully asked to join as a guest to her table, thankfully she agreed (hehe), sat down with a bottle of red wine to share, food enough to feed a family, but best part of the dinner was able to hear and be inspired by her story. That’s how my Dad taught me growing up, to never judge or have prejudice, yet listen and learn about one another. Everyone felt Ms. Angela’s radiant energy that evening, from my serving staff to guests stopping by the table to wish her a Happy Birthday after realizing the beautiful moment from across the dining room. She embraced every second, thanking the entire team for every meticulous detail every chance she could, and thanking God with tears building up as she spoke to her daughter from Chicago on the phone. I couldn’t have been more proud of my team, and their rebuttal was actually wanting to thank Ms. Angela for inspiring happiness for all the little things in life.. They even payed for an Uber ride home instead of letting her take the bus!

It was God’s gift to have my family celebrate my Dad’s birthday at the restaurant this very same night. It’s been hard to be present at family dinners or even special occasion and holidays ever since I started my career in the hospitality industry. You have to commit in serving guests, endure long unrecognized hours, all while creating memorable experiences despite the unappreciated efforts. After seeing my family eat and enjoy themselves before my very eyes, it took all of me to not cry for all the guilt I felt for not being around as often like I should.

I was so excited to introduce my Dad to Ms. Angela, but she hugged him before I knew it, “You should be proud of your daughter, I just met her today and it was God’s blessing that I was even acknowledged by a complete stranger and treated like a queen without a crown on my birthday. I’m all alone here. I wish my kids were closer. She made me remember that I didn’t need to be surrounded to feel loved, I felt loved by complete strangers today.” 

Today also helped reissure it was my best decision to move back to Houston two years ago. I entered my twenties lost in a new world trying to prove my independence, with countless failures but I picked myself up each time craving that euphoric feeling of self worth. I remember walking across the stage to grab my art degree, smiling as I envisioned my quirky family cheering for me from across the stadium. Good things never last forever, even if it looked perfect on the outside. My mom was unable to travel far and I was always imagining my family’s presence to keep me from depression and missing home so much. I realized every accomplishment, dream, and aspiration wouldn’t amount to anything if I couldn’t share my happiness with my family and true friends. I always had relentless love and support from them and am forever grateful. I only wish to pay it forward for the rest of my life to serve others. Happy Birthday Dad, to the man who has everything. Every random act of kindness is dedicated to you. I just want to make you proud. I wanted to blog this moment so I could look back, inspire, and thank God for sending me a complete stranger to remind me what life’s all about.

Thanks for reading ❤ -Ter

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.


The terrifying innate fear of figuring out self purpose soon incorporated itself into my life-long battle with anxiety – only to leave me feeling more helpless, hopeless and powerless. I distracted myself by focusing on the things I had to do and got so caught up trying to exceed expectations to improve myself – later realizing; who was I really trying to win over? 

It wasn’t until I started focusing on setting my own expectations that I realized: who were important, what were my priorities, and why it mattered. If you don’t love why you’re doing things or can’t explain why it’s important to you — then it’s not worth doing is it? It starts with finding reasons for what’s important and meaningful rather than investing time with what I felt I should be doing. What mattered was the choice I made for myself – to be a great daughter, sister, auntie, significant other, or mentor at work. It all started with why. We we’re all born to live not to merely exist.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. Have a great day <3, ter.

If I ever let my head down, it will only be to admire my shoes.

I remember running around the house pretending to be a princess from teddy-land, sprinkling my glitter on all my bears so they can be happy and protect me from my big bad brother. My Dad routinely told me that I’m beautiful and my smile made him smile. He protected me from harm and focused on loving life, but at one point it wasn’t enough to combat the negativity from others. I was too fat or too skinny. My hair, outfit, makeup, was judged and depicted to every last drop. I was never enough. Emotionally, I’ve let a relationship drain me by giving him power to steal my inner peace. I’ve felt alone and broken. I didn’t smile enough, constant anxiety, and spiraled downwards. I thought I hid my emotions well, but people saw it in my eyes. My smile didn’t give Dad good spirits, instead concern. I stressed in proving myself to others that I lost myself by letting their opinions dictate my life.

The moment you decide to be yourself, your inner beauty will resonate. Instead of focusing on imperfections; focus on the bigger picture – experiencing life! I started to pick off every negative aspect that covered up who I once knew because I missed the girl who saw possibilities everywhere, that appreciated happiness when she gave to others, who never set limits and never gave up. Thanks to life awakening experiences and encouragement from a handful of people, I adjusted my sails. I replaced negative thoughts with positive ones, let go to toxic people, and restored my focus on inspiring others. Life is good and better than ever – because I have the power to make it so.

To my lovely ladies: ignore anyone who tries to define you or give limitations in your life. Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities. You’re beautiful so practice to love yourself more, and dream big through positivity. I’m here to inspire you, one red heel at a time 💗 By the way, I want to mention that I whole heartedly enjoy responding to email messages from you all in Asia. It warms my heart to know that I can encourage and inspire someone across the world from me, and for that I thank you. You give my life a meaning 🙂

Love, Ter

The Good Life

The good life is when you are thankful for what you have rather than wishing and waiting for what you don’t have. Smile my loves, there’s more to life 🙂


Happy 2015

This past year has truly been a blessing for me; more than words can say. It was a rough beginning to 2014, but as the days went by I started to finally figure myself out…something I should have started ages ago. My life is starting to come together, because … “Once you let go of the wheel, you might find out where you truly belong.”

I’m at peace with life, and I still can’t believe it. I did it. I did it all by learning to love myself more.