Life with PAG: Memorial Day Weekend

I just returned from my bi-annual trip home, where the bf and I had a relaxing few days filled with non-stop eating. Traveling home always brings back a flood of memories. We had very humble beginnings when we first immigrated to the US. My entire extended family lived in a dingy one-bedroom apt, and my parents worked multiple jobs to stay afloat while my dad was in grad school. We grew our own produce and raised our own poultry…imagine all the stares from neighbors and inquiries from the kids at school!

Whenever I spend time with my family in their (current) beautiful home, it’s hard not to remember those times and to be thankful for everything that we have now. And of course that includes living in a country where those things are possible.

Some snapshots from Memorial Day weekend:

Eating BBQ ribs with my baby brother

Korean BBQ (beef shortribs) hot on the grill – so good

Grill master Dad (left) and Mom posing for her cooking blog photo (right)
Helping Mom with her homemade buns (roast pork, and sausage/chive/cheese)

Looking back, though, I wouldn’t trade my childhood for the world. I’ve met many people who don’t understand the meaning of hard work and ambition, or the value of money. I just hope that I can pass down such values to my own children : )

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Dear Jean, could you please give a link to your mom's cooking blog, thank you

    Posted 4.10.12 Reply
  2. Yes please give us your mom's cooking blog!

    Posted 2.27.12 Reply
  3. Mimi wrote:

    What's the link to your mom's blog?

    Posted 9.18.11 Reply
  4. Michelle wrote:

    Jean –

    I've been busy but your blog is my daily read for the past couple months now. I really adore all the items you review on. Did I mention that I also like pearls and notice you like pearls also. This is such a warm and special post that I have to leave a somewhat long comment.

    I agreed that coming from a humble beginning as an immigrant is quite challenging. Yet, it makes you so much stronger and value things much more deeply. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself. I did reference people to you in my blog: I hope you don't mind.



    Posted 9.2.11 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    @DSK Steph!have you thought of teaching jewelry making classes.

    Posted 3.19.11 Reply
  6. 16sweetpea wrote:

    Oh the food looks so good – is your mum's blog in English? I'd love to check it out if you don't mind sharing.

    And these photos are really sweet! This was inspiring to read, it reminded me not to take my parents for granted – they moved from HK with not much, barely understanding English, and worked so hard to provide my brother and I a stable life and comfortable lifestyle…I love them very much.

    Posted 3.19.11 Reply
  7. Ammera wrote:

    Just recently found your blog PAG. I love your blog for your style and the inspiration you give me, but the sentiment you express in this entry makes me love it even more. Thank you!

    Posted 3.12.11 Reply
  8. DSK Steph! wrote:

    I'm jealous of your mom's cooking skills!

    Posted 11.18.10 Reply
  9. joobil3e wrote:

    can you link us to your mom's cooking blog?!?!?! Those buns look awesome!!

    BTW my friend Janice (the one who won the summer outfit contest) referred me to your blog and I love it! Thanks for posting =]

    Posted 8.11.10 Reply
  10. kostas wrote:

    May I have?
    Very nice family.

    Posted 6.9.10 Reply
  11. MsHark wrote:

    Oh wow the food looks delicious!!! Thank you for sharing part of your family story, I love success stories like that. Walking around these small villages we were at yesterday, I see how hard the people work here, and for so little. The U.S. is a really special place!

    BTW my Chinese teachers (in the U.S.) grow their own produce and its AMAZING! I would love to do that! I've never seen anything like it.


    Posted 6.6.10 Reply
  12. Thank you ladies for even more lovely comments! I really loved reading these.

    M_M – I did see that it went on sale … but still, atrocious pricing for a kids jacket : O

    Caroline – lol! My name is Jean … I intended to keep it private back when a lot of creeps would visit my site. Hopefully that has subsided! Thank you for such a nice comment – I quite enjoy reading your beauty reviews! Thank YOU for reading here as well : ) Sophia mentioned using olive oil as a remover…I'm guessing that would probably work on that liner.

    Cynthia – I think it's just a universal onomatopoeia word? I use it to indicate voracious munching : )

    Posted 6.5.10 Reply
  13. Angie wrote:

    yeah, ultra boo. i went to h&m; today again but i didn't feel like shopping (probably because i was there with my dad and brother who are both impatient boys xD) but i didn't really feel up to trying to waddle around in size 6's. they just ran out of 2's and 4's pretty much throughout the store so i was super disappointed and returned my beach sundress instead of exchanging it. size 6 loose dresses look like maternity clothes on me 🙁

    i contemplated getting the cool sleeves floral top seen in my first picture but it was all size 6's again 🙁

    Posted 6.5.10 Reply
  14. CynthiaC wrote:

    Question: What are nom noms? Is it a US Asian thing? Because I've never heard this in Canada.

    Posted 6.5.10 Reply
  15. I love this casual post. Not that I don't love your others, but this one is a special love because I can relate.

    Posted 6.5.10 Reply
  16. Hello PAG!♥

    [Ahh…I wish I knew your name, so I could address you more appropriately, but I guess PAG will do, since everyone calls you that ^_^]

    HELLO~!! hehe sorry for my aside up there LOL. YAY I finally have a chance to look at your blog again! I've actually silently following your blog for a couple of months or longer (can't remember) now, but I've just never had the opportunity to comment. hehe I read some posts and made note of your tips and told myself to come back to comment, but the past month has sort of just RUSHED at me, and I'm like AHH! I usually like to take my time and leave kinda long comments, so I'd rather wait until I actually have time to do it rather than just leave a short 2 liner, you know what I mean? ;P Ooh, Thank you for following my little blog!!<3

    You have such a beautiful family! ^_^ That photo of you and your little baby brother chomping down on ribs is just priceless (and you look so pretty & demure while eating, too)! I LOVE RIBS–bbq baby back ribs, korean short ribs, I eat them all! nomnomnom nommms!! haha omg…now you know I am a fatty. -_-;; OH MY GOSH!! Your mommy's homemade buns…can I please come with you to your next family gathering? hahahhaha JUST KIDDING…I kid, I kid–or am I? They just look so SCRUMPDIDDLYUMPCIOUS!! I cannot help myself…*drool* I like the classic roast pork, but WOW! the sausage/chive/cheese buns look AMAZING, and I've never tried them before! *major tummy growl* I haven't eaten breakfast…haha

    I definitely get what you mean by humble beginnings and hard work. These days, TOO many little spoiled kids get things handed to them on silver & gold platters. I definitely don't want my future children to be like that…NO WAY! I, too, wish to instill in them the values of hard work, perseverance, ambition, and humility ^_^

    ♥ caroline

    p.s. To answer your question about the Dolly Wink liner, you just need any oil-based eye makeup remover for easy removal 🙂 You can simply use cleanser and water too, but that requires more stress & tugging on your eyes, and that's a no-no bc of wrinkles!

    Posted 6.5.10 Reply
  17. I'm so incredibly lazy, and my parents have worked so hard all of their lives. This needs to change lol. I love all the beautiful pictures!

    Posted 6.4.10 Reply
  18. maybegirl wrote:

    I feel the same about my family and how I was brought up. Too many people take these things for granted. It feels good that now I can give back to my parents a little.

    I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! 🙂

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  19. Aw, what a lovely post. It looks like you had a beautiful and relaxing time with your family 🙂 Your baby brother is adorable 😀

    It's great how you think so highly of your family. Mine came from humble beginnings as well, and it's heartwarming to know how people can achieve so much if they set goals. Your family seems like a bunch of food loving people. The Korean ribs look so delicious! The homemade buns look so professional!

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  20. I really enjoyed reading each one of these comments. Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts! I thought I over-shared a little, but I'm so glad that several of you gals can relate.

    PetiteXXS – I completely agree … I would not be able to do what my parents have done. I'm lazy! But you'll be able to make $$$ as a doc, and have them retire in no time : )

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  21. Angie wrote:

    thanks 😀 the self timers were pretty hard but i like how they turned out. yeah, i had to do 10 second timer or else i would always be halfway in motion xD a lot the pics turned out blurry which is sad 🙁

    my new camera is super on the macro but it's as good as a point and shoot will ever get 😀 it was only $200 new so i really can't complain

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  22. M_M wrote:

    Just want to let you know that the Burberry REEF knotted trench coat in kid size is on sale now.
    It is only $1000.;=2284855.4271476.4271499&parentPage;=family

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  23. Linda wrote:

    awwww! lovely family. the food is making me drool. lol.

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  24. Tisha wrote:

    My tummy's grumbling coz of the food pics!

    Nice post.:)

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  25. Sophia wrote:

    What a great post! I also totally relate to your story. Hope our children's generation will appreciate our story as much as we do our parents'.

    Posted 6.3.10 Reply
  26. So true. Nothing beats the humble beginnings of an immigrant's life. Very happy to see your family's American dream come true. Food looks great!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  27. Jen wrote:

    Isn't it funny how so many of us can relate to that same story? I feel like a lot of Asian Americans had really hard-working immigrant families so it gave us a basis for a reason to work hard and not take for granted the blessings that they gave us.

    Looks like you had a wonderful weekend! Thanks for showing us the look into some of your personal life. 🙂

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  28. Sara wrote:

    Korean short ribs are a BBQ requirement with our friends here in San Diego! I don't eat meat but they sure smell delicious 🙂

    I think the best thing you can give a child is an appreciation of hard work, money, and family. Looks like your parents did it all right 🙂

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  29. Looks like you had a great trip home. Plus…food looks so delish!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  30. sophia wrote:

    Wow those buns look so delish!

    Thanks for sharing about your family.. I can empathize a bit b/c my mom was an immigrant to the states as well as it was a tough road for her (growing up in Korea as well as the living in the states).

    Reading this post is a great reminder to be thankful for our lives here in the US, and all the opportunities we have!

    The pic of you and your baby brother is the cutest! Looks like you guys had a great weekend!!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  31. Irene wrote:

    Looks like you had a great Memorial Day weekend! Your Mom seems so cool – she has her own cooking blog! Her food looks absolutely AMAZING!!!

    It's great to hear your family has made it so far and are living proof that hard work pays off!

    Looking at how happy you are and how happy your family is makes me so wistful…You're so lucky!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  32. Awww, thanks for sharing PAG.

    My parents also came from humble beginnings and worked very hard to where they are now. And it's because of them, that I am so hard working and ambitious (though, not as hard working as them). And it's because of my childhood that I can understand that money cannot buy happiness, but can buy us certain forms of freedom.

    And I love homemade food. If only I could make half the stuff my parents can…. 🙂

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    I love life with PAG posts! Keep 'em coming 😉 Beautiful pictures as well!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  34. Nina wrote:

    mm all that food looks soo yummy! this is my first visit to your blog and i hope to see more posts from you!

    come check me out at

    love, nina =))

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  35. MizzJ wrote:

    It's nice to see how appreciative you are of your family. I think a lot of people take things for granted and think that money is just something that comes easily. My parents made me work for everything I've gotten and I hope I'll teach the same to mine.

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  36. Angie wrote:

    i appreciate how hard my parents have worked to give me everything i have. i feel spoiled rotten as well, but i know they don't expect me to go work as a farmer or go through the stuff they did.

    your parents' food looks amazing!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  37. Serena wrote:

    WHOA! I clicked on post a comment and your post became longer and had more pictures! Weird…

    I have a yearly family thing for Memorial Weekend as well with my extended family. All the families head to one family's house in Fresno to just get away from the city. I usually avoid computer and my phone during this weekend. It's kind of a technology free weekend for me; I can't say the same from my brother and all the other kids his age. They play video games nonstop.

    I feel like some people take things for granted nowdays. Not many realize how lucky they are to have what they have. I wouldn't change my childhood either. Mine wasn't as tough as your but it still had it's ups and downs. Sometimes I wonder how I would've turned out if life was a little more tough on me. I'm very thankful for everything I have and have been thru.

    I'm ranting and I feel like this is going to be too long of a comment so I'll stop here. =P {*hehe} Sorry.

    Your mom's homemade buns look SOO good. {*DROOL} Homemade goods are the best!!

    <3s Serena.

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  38. Aw, you are such a sweet daughter^____^

    The food looks good! And your baby brother is too cute~~~~<3


    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  39. PetiteXXS wrote:

    I definitely know what you mean about being an immigrant family with humble beginnings. I'm also a first-generation Asian (not born in the US), and my parents are honestly the hardest working people I know. I don't think I have what it takes to do all that they did to get us to where we are right now. My childhood was definitely tough as well, but like you, I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it taught me so much and made me the person I am. I see a lot of later generation kids (and even young adults) take so much for granted and it's really sad because they've never had to face any real hardship thanks to their parents, but don't even realize it or have any sense of appreciation at all. I just need to hurry up and make enough $$ so my parents can retire and stop working so hard!

    Oh and the benefits of having fobby Asian parents… they're (usually) great cooks! Those buns look seriously yummy! My parents are awesome cooks as well and I can only hope to learn how to make half the things they can!

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  40. Jimin wrote:

    awwww I love this… your family looks so precious 🙂 I know where you're coming from about working hard from the ground up. My parents came to America and worked odd jobs here and there to get to where they are now. I definitely feel spoiled a lot of the time because of the lifestyle that my mother shows me now, but I always have to remember that everything we have now is because of all the hardships they endured many years ago. Thanks for this great post! I hope to pass these values on to my children as well hahaha.


    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  41. Winnie* wrote:

    This is the cutest post ever. I adore the first picture! and you made buns at home? thats my absolute fav!

    Its wonderful to have learned those values and perspectives from your family. You truly have a beautiful family. My parents work real hard for their lives too and they totally deserve what they have. thankful that you get to see your family at least twice a year, I dont even get to see mine once a year 🙁

    Posted 6.2.10 Reply
  42. ManEater wrote:

    I feel you girl on the whole idea of people taking things for granted. I LOVE my childhood and everyone I have met along the way, good or bad. I hope to teach my children the same damn things as well…and if they don't learn…well, they'd better! hahaha Cause they are gonna have to work for their crap! lol

    Posted 6.1.10 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?