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My Look Back At 2013

2013 was quite an adventure! Here’s my look back:

I had self-image issues and beat the odds of losing 30 pounds with my health condition.
7/18/2013 Vonsanity Workout for a Cure, Photo Credit: BJ del Rosario

I lost my beautiful dog, Candy, then got my first tattoo for her.
Candy, 4/4/2000 - 5/30/2013dog paw tattoo

I had the privilege of traveling the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas.
Santa Monica Pier

I attended a pro-sporting event weekly, and most of my teams made it to playoffs!

I dated for the first time since high school and allowed myself to hurt and get hurt.

I found a love for hiking and running in my gorgeous hometown.
Mission Peak, Fremont, California

I completed my first Tough Mudder in Lake Tahoe.
Tough Mudder, Lake Tahoe, Fall 2013, Before and After

I got a new dog and still have Suki.
The Liou Family

I’m in my second career at age 23, and from this I am humbled because I, the shopaholic, went from having pockets of money to hoping that I can afford groceries next week, but still love my job.
Storm Damage in Monroe, Louisiana. Tiffany Liou Reporting

What I’m most grateful for in 2013 is I spent most of my time hanging out with friends and family every single day, making lasting friendships that have carried me through each hardship and through this move to Louisiana. I rekindled old friendships all the way from pre-school, and made new friends who have become my best friends.

There are times in your life when you feel like you can’t hold yourself up, and then there are your people, who will always cheer you on and tell you that you can.

On to 2014!

Hey WordPress! Long time no post.

It has been a long time since my last blog post… I miss it and I always tell myself I should post, but never get around to it.

Well here is a quick update:

In October, I put in my two-weeks notice at my Marketing job at This means I put behind a top ranked Forbes company, put behind a good living, put behind everything I worked for at Santa Clara University’s business school.

Then, I took a three day road trip more than halfway across the country to West Monroe, Louisiana — home of the Duck Dynasty.

Now, I live here… I left behind my beautiful home in the Bay Area, moved away from my parents and puppies, and I am so far away from my friends. Everything I know and love is still back in California as I try to figure out this insane Southern weather.


To pursue my dreams as a news reporter.

In front of all that craziness, I accepted a job at the NBC/FOX affilate in Monroe. Now I’m here miserably adjusting to the new culture, but loving my job more than ever. I’m 23 and have found my second career and first love.

Bottom line?

You should wake up every day saying, “Wow. I really love my job.”


“Someone stole my iPhone.” Sound Familiar?

Last night, someone snatched my new iPhone 5 from my purse. Needless to say, I was fuming from my ears knowing that there was nothing I could do to get it back.

Here are a few things to take away from my experience.

  • Back up your phone to the iCloud if you aren’t consistent about plugging your phone into your computer (like myself). Otherwise… your photos and all precious items will not be saved. My 13-year old dog passed away a few weeks ago and all my pictures from her last days are on that phone. I’m so thankful that I put a few of the pictures on Facebook, but otherwise, pardon my french: Back your shit up.
  • The amazing thing about the iPhone and the iCloud is that all my Contacts and Calendars were automatically saved. Thank you, thank you, thank you Apple.
  • Without a contract for a 32 gb iPhone 5, it is $750 plus tax. I spent over $800 dollars at the AT&T store today because I did not purchase insurance. It’s $9.99 per month when you initially sign your contract – just do it… I never thought I would lose my phone since I am very careful with my personal items, but sometimes it is out of your control. The additional cost to your monthly phone bill on a 2-year contract makes more financial sense then losing your phone and forking up $800. A replacement with insurance would start at $199 depending on the model. Bottom line: Get insurance.
  • I tried using “Find My iPhone”, but it’s pointless if the crook knows what he is doing and turns the phone off right away. I even tried leaving a message saying, “Will pay you for my phone and not report you – I just want my pictures back.” Honestly, all I want are my photos of my last few moments with my dog, Candy. Too late for that now. “Find My iPhone”? Cool app, may work for some. For me? Rendered useless.

  • The iPhone, iCloud, iTunes and all the different ways you can back your data up are incredible technologies. Five stars to Apple. The back-up methods are there, but it is up to you to take precautions.

And finally, I’d like to end by saying… there are worse things in life than losing my phone. At the end of the day, I have to look at the bright side. I was not violently mugged, I still had my wallet, and I had a back-up work phone so that I could still keep in contact with people. #FirstWorldProblem

With that however, stealing is a crime. To all the thieves, you should be ashamed of yourselves. If it’s the money you want, earn it yourself. I work two jobs, 70 hours a week and made every penny to pay for my possessions, iPhone included.

Ready for a Challenge?

Saturday was one of the most exciting days that I’ve had in a while. Two friends and I participated in Challenge Nation – San Francisco Challenge. For those who are Amazing Race fans and have always wanted to do something similar, Challenge Nation is perfect for you! They call it The Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race for good reason. Teams are given 12 clues, where 11 must be completed. No taxis, cars, bikes, rideshares, skateboards, horses, etc. allowed. When you reach the clue, your entire team needs be in a photograph following clue-specific rules.

Registration was between 11:30 am and 12:45 pm so of course my team arrived promptly at 11:30.

Registration - Fresh in Pedro's Cantina

Before the Race

Around 12:55, all the team captains lined up in a circle outside of the start/finish line at Pedro’s Cantina… ironically my favorite sports bar – motivation for me to run back faster for a drink. Each team captain put one hand in the circle, received the clues in an envelope, and ripped the letter open simultaneously when the countdown reached ONE.


Team Captains Lined Up

Getting the Clues

Getting the Clues!

My teammates ran across the street beforehand to avoid the chaos of 1000 people, so I met them at AT&T Park under one of the ticket counters where we strategized for 30 minutes before starting the hunt. We noticed that some teams started scavenging right away before figuring out all the answers, but they key is to answer all the questions and map out your route. Time is important, and running in circles will not get you in the top 25! Efficiency matters. 😉

Going into this game, my friends and I just wanted to do a fun outdoor activity and we didn’t expect to place! In fact, we didn’t even know there was anything besides the top five winning some money.

…But of course in the right setting, we instantly became competitive. It’s simply the survival of the fittest. GAME ON.

All by foot, we placed 22nd out of over 200 teams, meaning we are now qualified for Challenge Championship in Las Vegas! We completed San Francisco Challenge in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 47 seconds.

At the Finish Line! 22nd Place

At the Finish Line! 22nd Place

What I love most about a race like this is that it not only challenges your fitness, but it also tests your ability to problem-solve, and work as a team. These are three things to feel great about after you have completed your mission.

Here are some of our team photos:

Clue Number 4!





This was our first time doing a challenge like this, but it was so thrilling and fun throughout the entire process. Puts thoughts in my head for the future… What’s next?

Amazing Race? Yes please! Great bucket list item.

Happy 92nd Birthday, Grandma!

Happy birthday to my beautiful grandma.

She lives to tell the story of Taiwan being under the Empire of Japan.

She remembers World War II like it was yesterday.

She raised me to appreciate everything around me.

She taught me the importance of self-love.

She still slips $20 dollar bills into my hand and tells me to buy something nice.

Her body can’t move very well, but her mind is sharper than anyone I know.

She can’t see well either, but she doesn’t need her eyes to realize how beautiful life can be.

She is 92 years full – full of amazing energy, full of everything I want myself to be. She is my role model and I love her so much. Happy birthday Grandma. 🙂


Rave, run, and make a difference.

Hi everyone!

On May 11th, my friends and I are joining The Rave Run to raise money for the American National Red Cross. Daily, Red Cross helps our community in need- from blood donations to disaster relief.

Working in the news room, I personally see the contributions of Red Cross every day. When residents have been displaced from their homes after a fire, the Red Cross comes to keep them warm and find them temporary shelter. Every 52 days, I donate blood to make sure that someone out there can get a blood transfusion when they are in need. These efforts would not be possible without organizations like American Red Cross.

It’s our turn to give back and this is the perfect opportunity. Any donation helps! I’d love for you to join us in making a difference.

If you want to donate, follow this link!

OR if you want to run with us in San Jose, register today! Our team name is Twerk. Here is our team fundraising page as well.

Rave Run

Newtown, Connecticut – our thoughts are with you.

Friday morning, tragedy struck. Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting.

28 dead. A 20-year-old killed his mother, then massacred Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 20 children and 6 adults, and eventually took his own life.

I’m sure I speak for many when I say my jaw dropped. Instant tears. Heart broken.

Now is a time where we see the world as a whole and how we are all connected. Now is a time for mourning and prayers to all who have lost a loved one. My heart breaks for the children whose innocence are now stripped from them. My tears fall for those whose spirits are broken.

Further down the line, we need to start realizing that the question can’t be ignored. How can we stop this senseless violence?

Where is the love?
“People killin’, people dyin’. Children hurt and you hear them cryin'”

No condolences can ever replace a loved ones life. 😦 I hope that there is more we can do to find justice.


<December 16, 2012>
The names of the victims were released yesterday. Eight boys, twelve girls, six women. All heroes. May each of you rest in peace.

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Russeau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6


What can we do right now to help the families and the community?

– honor the victims Monday by wearing blue and yellow
– write letters to the families, friends and classmates of victims
  Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Drive
Sandy Hook, CT, 06482

– raise money to help Sandy Hook Elementary School and families
Sandy Hook School Support Fund
Newtown Parent Connection
Newtown Memorial Fund
Emilie Parker Fund
Various efforts, and more

Love your children, hug them tight, and never take life for granted.

‘Tis the Season of Giving

Outside of the local supermarket, a man rings a bell next to a red tin. He stands by a sign that reads “Doing The Most Good”. While volunteering is a year-round activity, the holiday season brings out an extra desire to spread good cheer.

Every contribution can make a difference, from the volunteers who decorate donation bins to the person that drops a can at the bin in his office.

International organizations like The Salvation Army rely heavily on volunteers to support its programs. According to The Salvation Army USA, volunteers are “the army behind The Army” and are key to providing quality social services for the community.

From The Salvation Army’s Annual Report, over 29 million people were assisted last year, and 14 percent were helped through holiday assistance.  With data since 2003, volunteering during the holiday season remains a high percentage of The Salvation Army’s projects.

Another local organization, Santa Clara University, offers students and alumni opportunities to volunteer. The school partners with local nonprofits in an effort to “transform the world”. In an email from Santa Clara University’s Alumni Association, former students are reminded to honor the season of giving. “As you begin to celebrate the holiday season, consider volunteering in your community. Join one of our Alumni for Others (AFO) volunteering projects and give the gift of yourself this season.”

November through January is often known as the season of giving, evident by the actions and results of organizations and volunteers. Nonprofit organizations, individual and group volunteers, money donations, company programs, and food donations are some of the things that make the wintertime such a charitable time of the year.

Above all, volunteering is not limited. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations. Whether one’s passion lies in education, employment, animals, or another, there is likely a group for everyone’s interests. A great way to pay it forward is to volunteer by doing something you love.

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities provided by local organizations.
Here are a few upcoming events:

– 11/29: Feeding the Hungry (Centerville Presbyterian Church, Fremont)

– 12/5: Food Sort (Sunnyvale Community Services, Sunnyvale)

– 12/14 – 12/25: Peninsula Holiday Project at Nursing Homes (VA, Menlo Park)

– 12/16: Holiday of Wishes (Old Golfsmith Store, Fremont)

– 12/20: The Family Giving Tree (Former HP Facility, Cupertino)

– 12/29: Serve Lunch Saturday (Slide, San Francisco)

– 1/25: Serve a Hot, Nutritious Meal (Loaves & Fishes, San Jose)

Other local opportunities:

– Toys for Tots Drop-Off Bins (Various Locations)

– Tri-City Free Breakfast Program (Fremont)

– Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank (Fremont)

– Wish Grantor (Make-A-Wish Foundation Greater Bay Area)

– Meals on Wheels Driver (LIFE ElderCare, Inc., Various Locations)

‘Tis the Season of Giving.

<UPDATE> Published on the Front Cover of Flipside Times!
'Tis the Season of Giving (Flipside Times, November 2012)

<UPDATE> My company is having an Adopt-A-Family fundraiser, and they are matching our donations. Prepared these for our bake sale today! Cinnamon streusels and lemon bars. 🙂 Yummy.

Baked Goods

A Shot of Nostalgia

It’s a common trend for things that were once old-school to make a comeback. Retro-framed glasses, leggings, Backstreet Boys, and even Hello Kitty found its way back to the fashion platform.

Whether you grew up in the 1940’s or the 1990’s, nostalgia is coming, and it’s back with a flash.

It was the most exciting feeling bringing my new Polaroid Pic-300 camera to the cash register with a pack of film on the side. Like a good researcher, I posed questions and hypotheses for my experiment.

Will it work?                                   Doubt it.

Will I use it after a week?             Eh, most likely not.

Is it worth the money?                 No… there’s something called Instagram.

I can safely say that I proved all of my opinionated hypotheses wrong.  I adore this new-school instant camera, and you will too if you love the feeling of an instant snap and shake. The camera takes film that comes in a roll of ten, and the pictures are smaller than the original Polaroid shots.  I would classify them as business-card size. It costs around one dollar per photo for Polaroid film, but the great thing is that Fujifilm came out with a very similar camera that takes the same type of film. You can actually order Fujifilm Instax film for about seventy-five cents a shot and it works the same! I’ve been using my Polaroid for about one month now, gone through thirty photos, and just ordered five more packs for the future.

An additional feature that I wasn’t expecting from this camera is the four-scene setting that works with the automatic flash. I use my camera mostly indoors, and the indoor light setting really makes a difference in the picture quality. Needless to say, I am impressed- and so are my friends. This Polaroid camera has outdone itself for sixty-nine dollars.

If you’re looking for an HD quality, zoom-capable instant camera, this is not the product for you. But if you can find value in nostalgia and good old-fashioned feeling, then I can guarantee that you will give the Polaroid Pic-300 a five-star rating.

Yes! Published on real paper.

How a dog can change your life

One year ago on 11/11/11, a 3 pound mutt was whimpering under a McDonald’s bag in the pouring rain, strapped to a pole with a Bad Boys Bail Bonds lanyard.

– Starvation
– Fleas
– Tapeworms
– Asthma

She wouldn’t have survived that night.
I was never one to believe in fate, but I think that it all happened for a reason.

Abandoned Puppy

It’s incredible…
To find a bond where you know you both rely on each other the same.
To find a puppy that brings so much life to your senior dog.

To find a puppy that sings with your 15-year-old bird every morning.

To find a new member of your family that puts such a big smile on your mom’s face.

To know that you have a little shadow that will never leave your side, never hold grudges, and never doubt you for one second.


– 11 pounds
– Minor asthma
– Separation anxiety
– But most importantly, happy and loved

I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way.
Happy One Year, Suki boo 🙂