Decade in Review – Career, blogging, and personal

I’ll have favorite tips and products of 2019 up in the new year, but today I thought it’d be fun to do a ten year recap. Looking back, there were no overnight success stories for me – whether in career, blogging, relationships, or motherhood. While writing this post, I was reminded of how the only way to get where you’re trying to go is to take chances and persevere, on a path that’s sometimes long and winding.


Although I loved fashion ever since I were a kid (even sewed and sold my own creations to classmates in high school), all my young life I thought a traditional, stable job would be my path to success. Started the decade trying to climb the corporate ladder at Deloitte financial advisory services while blogging on the side as a passion project.

Most popular post: How to look older

Before (left): Ready to get carded for a PG-13 movie.
After (right): A few changes make a big difference in age.


Popular posts: Building confidence beyond stature, Chanel bag reviews


Took Nick to meet family in my hometown of Guangzhou, China, and I met his in Cebu, Philippines. (And after 8 years of dating, he still didn’t propose😆)

After 3 years of intense studying, earned my CFA charter hoping it would be pivotal in my finance career.

Popular posts: DIY low-back bra converter, DIY sleeve slimming tutorial, Prada saffiano tote review.


Was promoted to manager in my Business Valuation group at Deloitte, but increasingly found less and less passion in my work.

Continued blogging early mornings and late nights, which led to a pinch-me opportunity being on a Times Square display for LOFT!

Popular posts: Vintage Coach bag shopping, Purse base shapers

loft petites fit model


Bought and renovated our first home, a small condo in the heart of Boston (cannot believe we still live in with an active toddler). Nick finally proposed on our roof deck!

proposal 2

While I was ecstatic to be planning a wedding, career-wise I felt absolutely stuck. It got to a point where I dreaded getting out of bed each morning and going to work in a field my heart was no longer in. I was unhappy but too afraid to leave behind everything that I had worked for up until this point.

Popular posts (aside from engagement): Ways to style a sheath dress, Womens vs kids Hunter boot review.


Finally found the courage to make a change, and went to work at a footwear startup, M.Gemi.

Had the tea ceremony and wedding of our dreams at the Boston Public Library, with loved ones from around the world.

Popular posts: YSL wallet on chain review, Ways to style an oversized scarf, DIY flower crown tutorial.

boston public library wedding photographer


Inspired by the people I worked with, made a leap of faith to work for myself. Focused on the blog, consulting, and on ideas that didn’t come to fruition but I’m not giving up and am very hopeful for 2020. While my previous jobs were not right for me, I had no regrets as I valued everything I learned from those roles (which I try to apply as much as I can to running my own business) and the relationships I built.

Popular posts: Lots of that are still some of the most read ones on EP!

camel pants petite work outfit


Continued building Extra Petite and was over the moon at the chance to work with brands I’ve patronized for years including Nike, Theory, Ann Taylor, Sephora, and going to Shanghai with Lancome and Provence with L’Occitane.

One of our most memorable trips was London at Christmastime (just magical). We visited the year before too and fell in love!

Popular posts: Hair curling tutorial + tips for more volume, Burberry trench coat reviews


Ended a travel-heavy two years with our most favorite trip to date along the stunning Amalfi Coast.

Welcomed our Nori after going through IVF. Became connected with the most incredible community through this journey, from infertility into motherhood.

Most read non-Nori blog postsDesigner handbag reviews, Lentil soup recipe.

amalfi coast lemon grove farm tour

postpartum belly recovery

From my post on postpartum recovery


After dealing with postpartum depression, wrote one of my toughest blog posts on my struggles in motherhood, especially as it was something I had longed for.

Surprised my grandparents with the wedding they never had on their 60th marriage anniversary, and am ending the year spending precious time with them on the west coast.

grandparents surprise wedding 60th anniversary

Thank you so much for being on this journey with us. We wish you all the best in 2020, and sending you all lots of love and encouragement to continue forging your own path in the new decade!

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Leave a Comment


  1. Petite Aunty wrote:

    I apologize for the personal question but how did you keep your patience after your boyfriend did not propose even after 8 years? I lost my patience after 6 years! 🙂

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  2. Nekishe wrote:

    Funnily enough, I started following you after seeing that you’d made a skirt for another blogger (Elle) and I was curious about what else you made. I ended up staying because I love seeing bloggers who style for professional settings. I’m not petite but I’ve enjoyed seeing the outfits you share.

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  3. Sophia L wrote:

    Hi Jean! I’ve been following you since I was in high school in 2011 (and totally wanted to buy sheath dresses, chunky pearl necklaces, and pumps, although I didn’t have a job to go to haha). It’s been amazing following your life, career, and fashion evolution over the last decade. I remember I was with a group of friends and physically squealed in public when I saw you guys get engaged, and every year, look forward to Nick’s guests posts so I can point my boyfriend in the direction of where to shop. I even remember your Youtube videos! You’ve inspired me so much over the last decade, and I love that through blogging, you share not only fashion advice, but your honest take on personal life, career, and motherhood. You’re one of the few bloggers I still actively follow, so keep doing what you’re doing, and I wish you and your family another amazing decade to come!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  4. HaileyV wrote:

    I’ve been following you like 3 or 4 years now I think! I did not know that you studied and had career in finance. I also studied finance and prepared for CFA exam, but more I studied for, I realized that it is not a career for me. Now I found my passion and so far I am happy with my decision.
    I LOVE your writing and information that you share. Please keep up next many decades!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  5. I remember finding your blog when all of retail decided that people our size don’t exist anymore, and how difficult – no, IMPOSSIBLE – it was for several years to find absolutely anything professional that fit off the rack. What a doozie! Thank you for giving petite people a voice, and bringing awareness to the challenges we face as another sector of the population that is not the average size 8! I have greatly enjoyed watching this blog grow!

    I believe many of the best, most interesting and inspiring journeys are NOT linear! It’s interesting how we are conditioned to believe in the corporate climb, and how many people will still judge you today for taking a non-traditional path (in my experience these are often people that lack the courage to reach for their own dreams or have never stepped outside of their comfort zones or have never had to navigate a real challenge), but life is short and you need to do what is right for you, define success for yourself, and ignore the naysayers as hard as that can be sometimes. Failure is a key life experience and a nudge in a better direction. Find your path and follow it fearlessly! May 2020 be all of our best year yet.

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  6. Becki wrote:

    I’ve been following you over a decade now, Jean! I’m not petite but always loved your fashion reviews, advice and recommendations. Been there for a lot of these posts, before Instagram came prominent, just reading your posts straight from the blog. I remember reading about your engagement, wedding planning, and IVF stories. During this past decade I also got engaged, got married and now have two young kids of my own. Hope that you will continue your creative passion to continue to share with the world. Always supporting you and looking forward to your posts for the next decade to come!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  7. Eli wrote:

    Wow! what a decade!! You were really brave to change your life and I’m really happy for you for how good it turned 🙂
    Have a wonderful new decade!


    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  8. Rachel wrote:

    I have been following you for about 8 years. I changed jobs and got married and wanted to dress more appropriately for my age and circumstances. I have learnt so much from your blog, especially the importance of proper fit and tailoring. Your writing is so genuine and easy to relate to. I also admire your honesty about your journey to parenthood. Please keep up the work, it’s so appreciated.

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  9. Camille wrote:

    Have followed you since the beginning of the decade, and love seeing how you’ve personally professional evolved and grown. Cheers to the next decade!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
    • Kim wrote:

      Happy New Year Jean! This post was so touching and inspiring. Thank you so much for all the heart you’ve put into your blog… as a few other longtime followers, I rarely comment but have always appreciated your content and your sweet personnality! Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 🙂

      Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  10. Thank you for sharing this, Jean – I always wondered what your full time job was! If you don’t mind sharing more about the mechanics/process of transitioning from a “corporate” job to working for yourself full-time in a future post, I think that would be helpful for a lot of people as I (and others I’m sure) trust you to be thorough and thoughtful about it. I can’t believe I’ve been following you for almost a decade now – thank you for everything you do and for inspiring all of us petite ladies! Wishing all the best for you in 2020 and beyond.

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  11. Olyvia wrote:

    I ditto everyone’s comments above! Very long time reader when we were all just trying to figure out what to wear to look more grownup & put-together and eager for reviews for online clothes purchases (in hopes to save money and time while looking in-style). You’ve definitely inspired lots of bloggers over this decade too … i often see references to your style/purchases on other blogs, but your style always the best! Or at least your photo artistry always entices so much better than the rest, haha! Hope you continue to do great things on the blog!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  12. M wrote:

    Congrats jean! Been following you from the beginning! Was struggling with looking too young at work and being mistaken for a teen. Your posts were so helpful in the beginning. Thank you for sharing your passion with us and having the energy to continue this all these years! I don’t remember but was Instagram your first platform? I recall only reading blogs back then…

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  13. You had such an amazing decade! It was inspiring to read about your journey.

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  14. Lauren wrote:

    Reading some of those older posts, it really strikes me how timeless and classy I think your style is. Outfits from 2014 still look fresh and current! I especially enjoyed the “How to Style a Sheath Dress” post again. How useful – would love to see more of these types of posts! Happy 2020.

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  15. Annaliese wrote:

    Absolutely loved reading this! I think I’ve followed you at least half of the decade- your blog is incredible and has always been so inspiring to me. Cheers to 2020!

    xoxo A

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  16. Valeri A Pighini wrote:

    Wow. That was a wonderful summary of the past decade. I’ve enjoyed these posts so much. I’m always showing you off to my family… “look what Jean’s wearing today,” etc. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting your family (vicariously) and hearing about all you do. It’s been a wonderful journey for me and I wish you and yours only the very best. Sending you love. Val

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  17. Aki! wrote:

    What an incredibly recap. I have been following you for 10 years, which is unbelievable!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  18. :) wrote:

    I’m 24, but everything you post about seriously had me at awe me ever since I started following you not even a year ago! And now to find out that you were in the same M&A field as I am in right now makes me relate so much more to you. I absolutely love seeing representation of a strong female Asian woman in both corporate and media. Thanks for sharing that bit and for constantly inspiring even younger audiences like me. Happy New Year to you and your cutest family!!!

    Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  19. Jen in NM wrote:

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Jean! I didn’t realize your family is from Guangzhou. My daughter is from Qingyuan, about a hour northwest of there. So all this time we’ve been guided by so much advice from another young Guangdong lady – who knew?!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  20. Nancy huang wrote:

    I cant believe you were working for m gemi!!! I loved meeting you too!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  21. Gwen wrote:

    Wow, I can’t believe how long I’ve been following you. You’re one of the first bloggers I started following years ago. I’m neither extra 😁 nor petite, but I love following you and your sweet family. Cheers to the next decade!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  22. Brenda wrote:

    Love you girl! First petite blog that allowed me to embrace my unique frame and make the most of it with fashion! You inspire me ♥️

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  23. Kim wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I am in my middle 50’s and and petite and love following your stories. I especially loved reading about your parents wedding you gifted to them because there is so much love. I am a Korean adoptee and was told I was an abandoned child. 2019 I finally found my biological parents! It’s been over 50 years and in March I finally reunited with them! My biological parents are still together who are in their early 80’s. The reunion was absolutely heartbreaking-in a good way but so sad because my parents had been searching for me for over 50 years, I was never abandoned or put up for adoption! The love and bond of a parent and child is just so precious and I pray for you and your little family all the happiness and love in 2020 and beyond.

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  24. Jayme wrote:

    I can’t pinpoint when I found your blog, but it was sometime at the height of RSS readers 🤣 early in the last decade.. Have loved reading your blog from the start and am so happy for your successes and the “realness “ you share. Happiest of New Years to your family!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  25. Gigi wrote:

    I’ve been a follower for a decade. It’s great to see how far you have come and all you have achieved. Congrats!! Wishing you continued success, joy, and blessings in 2020!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  26. Amanda M. wrote:

    Love this recap and sounds like a lot of patience, growth, and ultimately success filled your last decade. I also didn’t know your family is from Guangzhou (so is mine)! I started following you a couple of years ago and loved seeing a petite Asian blogger from the Boston area. Thank you for sharing more personal stories beyond clothes and accessories (which I appreciate, too). Happy New Year to you, Nick, and Nori!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  27. Leslie wrote:

    Hi Jean! I don’t know how long I’ve been reading but you have the best ability to succinctly describe good fit. Everything you write makes so much sense and is relatable and yet I was unable to verbalize the same things while troubleshooting my fit issues. Thank you. I especially love the snippets of your life that you share — good and bad. This personal touch is what separates your advice from bigger brands like magazines and larger websites. I seriously appreciate everything you do and I’m so happy to see how your business and personal life have grown! It is inspiring. I hope you give yourself credit in those tough moments. I hate that people try to tear you down for any/no reason. Its terrible. After reading that I had to comment and let you know that I really look up to you and wish you and your family the best.

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  28. Nicci wrote:

    I started following you when Emily Gemma mentioned you were doing IVF, as we were going to be doing that as well, and have loved following ever since. I especially love that you post work wear pieces, as not many bloggers do (probably b/c they don’t work in an office). I’d love to see a review of your most used/loved luxury purchases you’ve made over the years (and maybe your worst purchases as well).

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  29. Jill wrote:

    Many, many thanks for sharing your journey with us all Jean – your belief and faith in yourself is beyond inspirational. It takes courage, guts, hard work and perseverance – your success is well-earned/deserved. You go gal!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  30. Beth wrote:

    Happy New Year Jean, Nick and Nori! Thank you writing your overview of the decade. It made me realise I’ve been (silently) following you for most of it, from around winter 2014 – yours is the only fashion blog I follow. I am not petite, but I use your classic style as inspiration for any number of professional and casual occasions – my outfit for my 30th birthday was shamelessly based on your little black dress using separates post from Jan 2016!
    Thank you for the hard work you put in to your content – it is much appreciated, and long may it continue!
    Much love from the UK, Beth xx

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  31. Emily S wrote:

    Jean! I’ve been following you almost my whole adult life, ever since I googled “How to look older” in 2010 at age 24. It’s been a joy to get to know you and your family and follow your journey (and even to meet you in Boston at More Than Words!). I’m in transition now myself, taking a leap into finding more fulfilling work, and I loved learning in this post about that part of your story. Thank you for sharing your meticulous research, talented eye, thoughtful mind, and warm heart with us all these years. I’m grateful for you.

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  32. Phyllis wrote:

    Happy new year, Jean! As I read this post, I thought, “Oh yeah, I remember that!” as I went year by year – and I realized I have been a long time follower! Congratulations on growing your blog 🙂


    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
    • Janki wrote:

      Reading g this recap is like looking through a scrapbook with a friend. I would love it if you would talk more about pursuing your passion. As a child of Asian immigrants I feel like I have a narrow road to travel. I already feel like a failure since I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Now as a mom I’m trying to find the balance of hard work and having my child be happy.

      Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  33. Ella wrote:

    Happy New Year!

    Would you consider doing a post on M.Gemi since you have experience working for the company? I’ve been really curious about the brand and it’s quality/comfort claims. I think women’s shoe brands are really lacking in quality leathers and appropriate cushioning, so I’d love to see more on this.

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
    • Lauren wrote:

      Hi. Im not sure if you have seen them, but Jean has done a few posts which have reviewed M Gemi shoes in the past. If you haven’t already, try searching “M. Gemi” on her blog. I know she has talked about the loafers a few times, and possibly more styles.

      Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  34. Faith wrote:

    It’s been an incredible ten years to follow along with you, Jean. I remember when you and Kelly (and others) first started your blogs while I was struggling myself with petite clothes. A long way petite fashion has come! I’ve very rarely commented and want to say hi! Wishing you and your family Happy New Year and all the best for your future endeavours.

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  35. Rosie wrote:

    A great post! Your grandparent’s wedding is still my favourite!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  36. carolyn lassonde wrote:

    What an absolutely wonderful post! I have only been following you for about two years. So interesting to see all that I’ve missed on your blog. I love your style and your approach to life! I look forward to your posts in the new year. I’d wish you strength and courage in the new year, but you clearly already possess both in abundance. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  37. Isabel wrote:

    Happy New Year Jean, Nick, and Nori! Over the years, I followed your posts and lived a parallel life sharing many similarities among each other. I am also Chinese and am married to a Mixed Caucasian/Filipino husband after dating 13 years in 2016. We also have a daughter who is 14 months old now. And I, myself continue to struggle with motherhood as a full time working mother. On the flip side, we have been absolutely blessed with all these wonderful things in life, but I cant agree more that success is far from an overnight success for all of us. I wish you and your family all the best in 2020. Life is never a given but we have to appreciate each milestones and moments. Cheers!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  38. Bridget wrote:

    Loved reading this. Wishing you all the best in 2020 and beyond!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  39. Mia wrote:

    You are such an inspiration to me and one of the very few blogs I actually read and follow. I loved reading about your transition over the decade, the aha moment that allowed you to pivot towards your dreams (I’m right there with you); and to see the fruits of that labor. Keep up the beautiful work and God bless you and your little family. Sending lots of love from Orlando

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    All the best Jean!
    Long time (silent) reader here
    Keep the awesome content coming – I really enjoy reading your blog

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  41. Margot wrote:

    I didn’t realize that I have followed you for so long! It has been a privilege to see the journey your life has taken. Wishing you, Nick, and little Nori a very Happy, healthy, and prosperous, new year!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  42. Brandi wrote:

    Hi Jean, thank you for sharing this. Ive been a reader since 2014 or so.. Happy New Year to you and your family! I was wondering if you would mind opening up and sharing more in a future post about what led you to decide to leave your traditional 9-5 job and how you found the courage to do it and make it work? I am feeling like I want to make changes and would love to hear advice from someone who has really ‘been there, done that, got the tshirt’. Thanks! 🙂

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  43. Rebecca wrote:

    Happy new year! I don’t follow any other fashion blogs, just yours! Love your style and hope for many more years to come!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  44. Janine wrote:

    Oh this is just amazing, loved reading about your journey this past decade! Really inspired now to try to do this for myself on a personal level!
    xx Janine

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  45. Jothi wrote:

    Awesome post Jean- really enjoyed hearing more about your path to building your own successful business. Would love to hear more. Best in 2020 and beyond!

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  46. Melissa wrote:

    Probably one of the best decade recaps! I cant believe I have been following you for most of the decade! I have always loved your style and have been a constant source of wardrobe inspiration. But aside from that, I love how you touch on everything from traveling, cooking and home DIY ideas. I love how down to earth you continue to be and despite not having a child of my own, I find myself reading and enjoying your posts about Nori. Yours is still the only blog that I consistently read and follow. Wishing you continued success through the next decade (and beyond!)

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  47. Ceci wrote:

    Love that ending. All the best Jean!

    Posted 12.31.19 Reply
  48. Kim wrote:

    What an inspiring decade you’ve had Jean! Thank you for blogging on various topics that have resonated with me and being so transparent with your readers. Cheers to a new year!

    Posted 12.31.19 Reply
    • Lucy Tea wrote:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I didn’t realize I’ve been following you for a decade now. At a height of 4’9”, I thought I was doomed to live in children’s clothes forever and you gave me ideas, hope and inspiration that yes, I too can have fashion in my life which I have loved as a child. Your posts have given me the courage to dress and live my life the way I had envisioned to live it in my head. Still a work in progress of course 🙂 I can’t thank you enough for the impact you have had on me. It’s not just your fashion but your honesty that resonate mosts with me. You’ve been through a lot of challenges but let us see your vulnerabilities as well. Your humility helps me to be more open about my struggles. I’ve never posted before, I am a quiet but loyal follower, but I just wanted you to know that I want to wish you the best in your journey and sincerely thank you for following and staying true to your passion. Here’s to another decade!

      Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  49. Mary wrote:

    I loved following along in the journey with you, and I don’t know why I rarely commented, even when I teared up over some posts. I’m probably still going to be quiet since I’m exactly the same way in real life, but I just really loved this post. This decade was personally rough. I’m hoping for a new start. I haven’t found the courage to just drop everything and begin again, but maybe I will soon. When you wrote out a decade’s review I realized it’s been so long since I started following your blog. I’m glad you are smiling a lot more in your photos. Best wishes in your new adventures, Jean, and thanks for replying to my comment the other day. Happy new year, and wishing you and your sweet family health, success, and happiness. Good luck!!!

    Posted 12.31.19 Reply
    • Shaden wrote:

      Came across your blog a year ago and am now a dedicated follower. LOVE your style. Also really appreciate your how-to posts / videos. Can you make a how-to video about how you tie your belts into that gorgeous knot? I’ve got lots of dresses /outfits / coats that are beautiful partly because of their stylized belts, but the first time I have to retie the knot myself it becomes a mess. 🙁

      Posted 1.2.20 Reply
  50. Carla Krae wrote:

    Wow, been a follower for most of this decade. Found you way back when from a feature on

    Posted 12.31.19 Reply

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