My parents are originally from Vietnam, but I was born and raised here in Dallas, TX and am a proud Vietnamese-American!
I’m Vietnamese, Chinese and French. I had no clue of my background because found out about the Chinese and French side of me the week daddy died in April 2008.
I’ve been 5′ 3″ all my adult life until May 2018 when a nurse who took my blood told me that I’m 5’ 4″. Needless to say, I was in shock so I asked her to check again thinking it was user error (as if her height rod on the scale was wrong too). I still don’t know whether or not I should believe that information.
The idea actually began with the, “I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” phrase I saw a friend post on social media. Before I get into that, I must be honest and say that I’ve always hated the Pinterest-famous quote, “Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.” I think the quote is great for young girls, but the word ‘sparkle’ is a little too girly for women like me who are a bit more bolder and headstrong in personality. Don’t get me wrong, I like girly things and being girly whenever I feel like it, but that phrase…oy.
Anyway, I understood the “I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” quote, but wanted something that represented the bolder, fearless, lion-type me and other women like me.
When I thought of the blog name, I wanted a call-to-action name that also represented heart, hustle and hard work. She Sweats Diamonds came from the fact that I didn’t want to sparkle (I see it as attention-seeking), but rather to work hard to be a diamond and in turn, reflect my light onto others.
The SSD name represents sweating diamonds when it comes to working hard on anything from taking care of your body to building and growing a blog or business. At the beginning stages, diamonds aren’t pretty. For diamonds to be made, carbon has to constantly endure pressure from heat to be the beautiful gems they are in the end.
That’s what the journey of becoming a diamond is all about: knowing that there are ups and downs to life, but not succumbing to the pressures that we face. Instead, we need to face our “downs” head on, work hard through our struggles and stay focused to overcome our obstacles.
And to me, that kind of mentality and work ethic warrants the “sweats diamonds” phrase. Additionally, I think it’s very symbolic to say that every diamond you sweat represents every obstacle or goal you’ve worked on to overcome or achieve, don’t you think?
Oh and what gem is sought after more than rubies (Proverbs 31)?
My top three pieces of advice for you is: 1) Just start! If you’re waiting for the perfect time, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life. And you’ll never be ready anyway so why not give it a go? No regrets! 2) Don’t sell your soul for a paycheck. It’s okay to say no to a brand. Stay true to yourself and your brand and you will succeed! 3) Most importantly, talk about your passions and blog to inspire and serve others. If you’re chasing money, I’d rethink your reason(s) if I were you.
I’ve also written several blog posts about this topic if you need more help. From what you need to know before starting your blog to how to balance blogging with a full-time job to social media dos and don’ts! You can comb through blogging resources I’ve found, leave a comment on any of my business tips posts or email me too!
All of the photos that are taken of me or by me on this blog and my social media platforms are from my iPhone 8 Plus. I’m currently working on purchasing a camera.
My favorite apps to edit my photos with are: Afterlight, Color Splash, PS Express (Photoshop), Snapseed and VSCO.
My absolute favorite influencers are:
If I could describe Ali in one word, it would be: TALENTED. He’s my favorite men’s fashion blogger! Ali has great style, an eye for composition and is SO incredible at video. Seriously, his brand campaigns are amazing. Check out Ali’s work. Oh and he and Lydia Elise Millen are very much #CoupleGoals too!
Sabrina is a beauty blogger who specializes in reviewing mid to high-end products. She’s extremely thorough in her reviews and I find that I reference her posts quite often. If you tend to look before you buy, chances are, the product you’re looking for is already on her blog.
My girl, Kim, is a news journalist by day and a blogger by night. If you’re looking for cute and feminine style inspiration (she does workwear too), she’s your girl! And I love that she’s a hustler! If she can be successful at blogging with a full-time job, you can do it too! I love this babe and consider her one of my closest blogger friends.
Although I don’t wear heels all the time, Erica’s wardrobe is totally what I’d want in my closet! If edgy and sleek with a feminine touch is your style, don’t waste time. Hit that follow button! You won’t regret it!
This girl. It’s been so fun to watch Megan’s personal and home style evolve over the years. If you’re looking for neutral, feminine and classic style inspiration, she’s your woman! Her home Instagram account is to die for if you’re into French Farmhouse. Megan is so genuine and sweet too! I love that she knows what’s important in life (i.e. supporting others, being present with loved ones, etc.) and proves that by always taking the time to respond to my DMs and comments.
I can’t say enough about Marianna. She’s a major boss babe! It’s been so fun to watch her grow her blog/brand! She and her friend, Lauren (she’s awesome too! Total mom goals, btw) launched an incredibly successful indie beauty brand, Summer Fridays. If you haven’t tried out their jet lag mask yet, you are missing out!
My ultimate girl crush! This woman works SO hard and it’s extremely evident! I love that she’s an “all-around” influencer. From the outside, she has classy, sophisticated style and on the inside, she’s funny, silly, appreciative and so genuine. She loves the heck out of life and that’s what I love most about her! If you’re looking for aspirational content, she’s THE one.
Mara is one of my favorite bloggers who’s so grounded. She’s such a wonderful mom to her son, Augustine (I feel like I’m his aunt!), wife and friend. If you’re looking for feminine style inspiration, healthy recipes and great family content, she’s your girl! I consider her one of my good blogging friends too!
This woman. Mary is HILARIOUS and the great thing is, she doesn’t have to try hard to be funny, haha! If you love dresses, you’ll love her #30DressesIn30Days series!
Hailing from North Carolina, Caitlin is as sweet as southern bloggers come! She’s very genuine and is grateful for her followers by connecting with her audience and does some of the best giveaways I’ve seen. If you’re looking for affordable, girly outfits, I’d look her up if I were you. Oh and her IGTV videos are amazing! It’s very evident that she’s a hard worker!
A fellow Dallas blogger, Ashley is a former teacher who has great laid back style. She’s one of the few who have responded to my emails and messages when I sought some blogging advice. If that doesn’t speak to who she is as a person, I don’t know what does.
Annabelle is goals if your style is extra, but in a total glamorous way. She’s a huge fan of accessorizing and does it impeccably!
Here are other blogs I love to read:
Health & Wellness
I used to be in great shape until I was in a car accident several years ago. It doesn’t look like it from my pictures, but I ended up gaining a lot weight that I’ve been struggling to release.
Currently, I’m working out at least three times a week. I do a HIIT circuit with weights on Mondays and Wednesdays, run on every other Tuesday and take a break with yoga on Thursdays. I’ll be incorporating BBG back into my fitness routine soon (thinking of doing Kelsey’s PWR program) and plan to take some fun classes here and there to keep things lively. My plan is to have Fridays and Sundays as my rest days.
In terms of food, I don’t have a set diet (ugh, I hate that d-word) in place. However, I try and meal prep four days a week. I’m also very aware of what I eat (good and bad). Sometimes, when I don’t feel like meal prepping, I tend to have a kale salad of some kind and treat myself to a cheat meal or two on weekends. When I’m super busy, I’ll drink my favorite chocolate meal replacement shake with a few scoops of added protein.
If you’re interested, I write updates about my health journey twice a year to help myself stay on track.
I do! To make sure my body gets everything it needs, I get a customized-to-my-needs subscription box of USANA supplements every month. I’ve been taking these vitamins religiously every morning and night for the last five years and will NEVER give up these vitamins. They’re SO good and I mean that because my sleep quality has improved and my energy levels stay up without the crash. I can also work out harder and even run (which I didn’t think was possible with my knee problems).
If you’re on the market for vitamins, here’s my advice on what you need to look for when choosing supplements. If you have any questions about USANA vitamins or want to buy some, contact me (subject line: USANA) and I’ll hook you up with a discount!
Style & Beauty
Most of the time, my style is edgy with feminine touches, but honestly, I base my outfits on who I feel like being in the moment. If I want to be extra girly, a floaty dress and wedges are my jam. If I want an edgy look, you bet there will be some black involved! My choice in style varies depending on my mood and who I want to channel all the time.
I prefer classic clothing over trends and almost always gravitate towards neutrals. My inspiration really comes from everything and everyone I surround myself with. One day, it can be my favorite bloggers or old photos of my mom’s outfits and the next, a piece of art I’ve came across. The possibilities of fashion is endless and that’s what I love about it. It’s ever-changing and that means that there will never be a box I have to stay in because my personal style will evolve as I age.
Oh man. That’s a loaded question, haha! I’ll answer in categories to keep things short!
ACNE Studios, Balmain, Bvlgari, Cartier, CHANEL, Chloe, Dior, Finders Keepers, Jonathan Simkhai, Karen Millen, Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik, Marchesa, Prada, Reiss, Threefloor, Valentino, YSL, Zac Posen and Zimmermann
Alo Yoga, APL, Carbon 38, CORE, Heroine Sport, Nike, No Ka’ Oi, Outdoor Voices, P.E. Nation and Varley
Anastasia Beverly Hills, Aerin, Armani Beauty, By Terry, CHANEL, Charlotte Tilbury, Dior, Drunk Elephant, Farmacy, Fresh, Herbivore Botanicals, Jo Malone, La Mer, Laneige, Lanolips, MAC, Marc Jacobs, NARS, Tatcha, Tom Ford, Urban Decay, USANA and YSL
Favorite Places to Shop
Anthropologie, Blue Mercury, Club Monaco, Neiman Marcus, Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom, The Outnet, Sephora, Shopbop, Target and Revolve.
My hair is naturally thick and wavy (thanks, dad!), but I’m such a slacker on getting it trimmed every eight weeks like I’m supposed to. My stylist gets on to me about it, haha!
At night, I like to keep things simple. I start with taking off the top layer with a makeup wipe, then I cleanse, use toner, eye cream and depending on my mood, a face oil or an overnight mask. For day, it’s just sunscreen then light makeup. I know it sounds crazy considering I have a ton of skincare products!