Monday, January 31, 2011

Project 52: Week 4 - Soothing Repetition

When I was young, about 8 years old, I was playing outside with a friend and we found this cut up tree trunk in this area close to where our apartment was.  I decided to stand on it like a logger and try to balance myself for fun!  Bad idea!  I fell, face flat, onto the grass with my right arm under me.  I heard three loud cracks and I went home crying.  For days I couldn't move my right arm and now that I look back, I probably half broken it.  Because even to this day, I can't extend my right arm full straight.  It's hardly noticeable, but if I compare my left vs. my right, the right one is a little bent.

So what does this have to do with soothing repetition?  At the time this accident happened, my family and I had just moved to the United States.  We were poor...I mean poor!  My dad was a student and my mom worked at Chinese restaurants.  We had no insurance.  My mom knew my arm wasn't fully broken, so each night, after I bathed or showered, she'd spend hours just massaging my arm.  She would make me extend it, and she'd massage it with her hands..up and down my arm...repeatedly.  Looking back now, my mom often told me she didn't know what she was thinking.  And knowing what she know now, she probably should have taken me to the hospital.  But all of us didn't know anything at the time!  Besides, I tell her my arm work perfectly now.  No harm done! 

These are my mom's hands.  In addition to massaging my arm, these hands are a comfort to me.  She helped me through everything when I was a kid.  She carried me on crowded buses in China as a baby, she washed my clothes all by hand when we didn't have a washer and dryer, she cooked all of our meals growing up.  In 2nd grade in the US, I didn't realize my classroom had a pencil sharpener, so I brought my pencils home every other day for her to shapen them with a knife.  Even now as a grown up adult, her hands soothes me.  Like the night before I got married, I stayed with my parents, she ran her hands through my hair when we were talking about how I was styling it the next day.  Something small like that is soothing, comforting, and unforgettable.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Five Months!!!

Today is our fifth month anniversary!  I lame to keep track of how many months it's been since the wedding day, but I'm immature like that! :P  To celebrate on a Friday night, Chris and I....wait for it....cleaned the house!  Haha!  But now we're having some wine and waiting for our Korean spicy soup to simmer until all the yumminess mixes together. is great isn't it?

For this special occasion, I've decided to treat myself a bit.  Guess what I ordered to???

It was I thought, "why the heck not!"  I've been painstakingly saving for this 50mm f1.4 lens.  That's right, ladies, it's been almost two months since I last stepped into an Anthro for this lens.  It's not even that expensive, but not cheap either.  I ordered this on today and it actually shipped this afternoon!  I LOVE Newegg!

Well, I couldn't go on this long without getting anything for myself of the apparel kind.  The other day I ordered this little number from Urban:
I got it in the light gray color because I can pair it with the other colorful cardigans I have just sitting in my closet.  It looks super comfy and I can't wait to wear it!

What's my next purchase?  Well, I'd really love this guy:
This camera is currently what I'm lusting over.  It's the Canon 5D Mark II, the most popular Canon camera used by semi pros and pros.  I am not a pro, which is why I don't have one right now.  But I'd love to invest in this baby some time in the next few months.  I shoot with a Canon 20D, which is 7 years old now.  So this would be a huge improvement.  It shoots at almost 21 megapixels and makes everything look so crisp and buttery.  Retailing at over $2500's a definitely an OUCH to my bank account.  That's why I must save for it!  Save my "fun money" for it.  I heard a rumor out there that the Canon 5D Mark III is coming out some time this year, which means the Mark II will go down in price.  The Mark III is rumored to be more popular for video rather than still use, so I'm still wanting to get the Mark II for my picture taking.

Before i go ingest some yummy spicy soup, I wanted to let you all know that Chris and I were asked to shoot for an event next Friday.  A few months ago, a horrible shooting took place in West Seattle where a grandmother shot her two grandkids, son-in-law (the kids' father), and then killed herself.  This benefit is put together by a friend of the family and proceeds will go towards the two remaining grandkid' (siblings of the two killed).
Local R&B and funk jazz/pop artists, DJs, and other pro photographers will be there for this cause.  So Chris and I are so honored to have been asked to attend.  We are extremely excited for this opportunity and I'll be writing a special post about this real soon.

I hope everyone have a wonderful weekend.  Tomorrow Chris and I are meeting up with some of his coworkers for a fun night out.  I'm also going dress fitting for my friend who's marrying in May!  Should be a great Saturday.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh Sammie and Ronnie...I Just Shake My Head At You!

The hubs and I just finished watching another jawbreaking (literally) episode of Jersey Shore.  We've been huge fans of the show since season 1 and have not ever missed an episode.  We laugh at these hilarious characters and can't believe people like these really exist.  They fight, back stab, cry, hate eachother, then go dance and get drunk...and make up.  Some might even "smoosh" in the love room.  I cringe when I think about whether the bedsheets have ever been washed.  EEEK!!!  *goosebumps*

My least favorite character on the show is Sammie and my second least favorite is Ronnie.  And today's episode compelled me to blogging about it.  It was THAT jawbreaking.  For those that saw it, you know what I'm talking about.  For those that didn't, Sammie punched her boyfriend, Ronnie, in the face for talking to a fellow roommate that she hates.

Violence in any shape or form is wrong.  What makes it seem "more ok" for a girl to hit a guy than a guy hitting a girl?  It shouldn't be more ok and it isn't, in my opinion.  I am so sick of Sammie and Ronnie.  Three seasons of them just going back and forth with drama is very tiring.  They're together because they are dependent on one another, not because they truly love each other.  Love does not hurt in a physical way, and for Sammie to have put a hand on Ronnie proves that there is absolutely no love left in their relationship.

At the end of the hour episode though, it turns back into the old game they always play.  Sammie puts her puppy dog face on and apologizes to Ronnie.  Ronnie tries hard to ignore her, crawls into bed while Sammie follows and spoons him.  She asks him to give her another chance, he says yes.  And they make up...yadda yadda yadda....happily ever after.  If one good thing came out of this episode, it was that at the end, Sammie and Jenni made up.  I'm interested in seeing where that's gonna go.  We shall see!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Last Friday immediately after work, Chris and I rushed into Seattle's International District's Wing Luke Museum for an ACAP annual winter party.  I originally blogged about ACAP and what it is in this post so I won't go into too much detail as to what the organization does.  But I will say though, that Chris and I had a blast photographing these students.  I felt a sense of pride for the kids that were there because it was a Friday night, and honestly, they could have been anywhere.  At the nearby mall, at a movie, drinking illegally...anything!  But they were there, networking with fellow business people in their community.  The road ahead for these kids is paved with opportunity and at the end of it...success.  And as I listened to side conversations about which colleges each of them applied to, what internships they've secured for this upcoming summer, I was filled with all sorts of warm and fuzzies.  I had one counselor say, "I love how you're smiling as you look through your camera and taking pictures!"  I guess I couldn't hide my giddiness!  Chris also walked around with his camera and blogged about the night in this awesome post.

I can not stress how important these non-profit organizations are to our community.  When I was in college, an organization called INROADS helped me get my first internship.  And it's partly because of them that my career is where it's at right now.  So folks, please continue to support your local non-profits.  If you can and have the time, serve on a board and start making a difference.  Eventually once I have enough working experience, I want to sit on a board of an organization like this.  But until then, let me share some pics we took:

Mr. Executive Director himself.  John is a natural with kids and he made a wonderful speech that night.

These are the counselors that volunteer their time to change lives.  Smooches to them!  They're my heroes!

The Chairman, Boh Dickey, was there hanging out.  He also made a great speech and urged the kids to give back to the community and help others once they've become successful.  Very great message!

I LOVED LOVED LOVED that some parents took the time out to come mingle as well.  

It was a fun time indeed!

A group of friends taking pictures that'll hopefully last them a long time.  I'm sure these kids didn't know each other before ACAP since a lot of them are from schools all over the Puget Sound.

Hmm...Chris shot this of me from across the room and yes, I was having a great time, as you can tell.  Let me just say how much I love love love this dress I got from Urban Outfitters.  It's a silk dress shirt that I just throw this over some tights and belt it.  It's so comfortable and flattering...I just love it.  I tried finding it online again in another color, but they ran out!  Boo!!!

There you have it!  My recap!  Before I leave though I wanted to get your opinion.  I wanted to try something new on this blog and thought maybe I can incorporate a weekly tidbits entry.  You all know that I love pictures, FOOD, and clothes, but there's a lot to me other than those mentioned three things.  These would be well thought out, oftentimes stories of a time in my life, which will give you a little perspective of who I am.  Not only just random facts.  So what do you think?  Interesting or just plain shallow???  Haha!!  

Thank you all and good night!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Whoopie!!! A Pie!!!

I've never had much of a sweet tooth.  Salt was always my guilty pleasure of choice.  I'd choose a bag of Tim Cascade's Jalapeno Chips any day over some chocolate chip cookies or a piece of apple pie.  But ever since I met Chris over three years ago, I've started to develop somewhat of a sweet tooth.  Sweet baby tooth, if you will.  This is definitely not a good thing...and my thighs and booty are not thanking me for it. 

So it was obvious when we walked into the Seattle Metropolitan Market that I ventured into the desserts section and saw they had freshly made Whoppie Pies!!!  I was immediately curious (and might have salivated...err...drooled on my camera).  The vanilla marshmellow center was ever so perfectly sandwiched between these two soft mounds of chocolate cake.

Just look at all this yummy-ness!  It is perfection, I say!  Perfection!

Can I just say how much I love the rented 50mm f1.4 lens?  It is definitely going to be my next purchase.  Look at that creamy vanilla icing...I mean...excuse me....creamy, blurry background!!

YUM...just delicious.  

"HYOHOU(W(#&#^%*(HJHOLHDFSOIIOAY$D#%*()*IU!!!!"  That's me saying, "THIS IS AWESOME...SO CHOCOLATY AND SOOO GOOD.  I WANT AN OTHER!!!!" with my mouth full.

What?  You think Chris was going to watch me eat one?  Oh helllllllll no!  He got one for himself and I think he liked it.  Can you tell from his face?

ALL GONE!!!  I tried hard to not plop my face down on this table to lick the crumbs left over.  But that would just be sad.  

After this weekend of, what I call, pleasure eating, I decided to be healthy and cooked some chicken stuffed peppers with quinoa.  It was good but way too healthy and now I am hungry...and after this post, I'm craving for chocolate.

Good night!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bonus: SLM + RJ Wedding Video

Hello readers!  I'm super excited to unveil the wedding slideshow of SaraLeigh + Ryan.  For those that follow me, Chris and I shot our very first wedding recently and we've just finished editing the photos for their slideshow.  For those that are interested, you can see it here:

SLM + RJ Wedding Slideshow

If you can, make sure to have the music on so that you get the whole feel.  Thank you in advance for viewing!  This is an exciting time for Chris and I, so any support is appreciated and we are so grateful for all of our viewership on this little blog of mine.  Hugs and kisses and air high fives to you all!!!


I think I might have cheated on my kitty!

This past weekend, we went out with our friends for some drinks around town after our Seattle Center photo shoot.  We met up with M at his beautiful swanking condo in the downtown area.  M used to own an art gallery, so it's no surprise that his home is filled with wonderful art work.  But, being the catlover that I am, I didn't notice the artwork at all.  Instead, I noticed his two cats!


Apparently, Izzy is the more tamed one.  And she sure was cute!  She just perched on the chair in the kitchen bar and took in all that was happening that night...staring at the two strangers that entered into her abode.

 Magellan is fun and playful!  Just pet him in the wrong place and he'll think you're ready to box him or something.  And he starts to throw hooks and jabs right at you.  Here he is playing with our friend, B!  This was right before B got TKO'd! :)

And of course, naturally I'm going to pick one up and go all Elmyra on them!  "I love you so much!!!  I want to kiss you and hug you and keep you for all my life!!!"  For a second there, a strange feeling came into me.  It felt like I was being my own little baby, Ty, at home.  I think Ty secretly knew (or Chris told him in some form or way) because I noticed an overwhelming amount of pouting that came from him that night when we got home, which also continued into the next morning!

Anyway, it's hard to see in the photos, but these ragdoll cats are groomed to perfection.  Their bodies are shaved and only their heads and the end of their tails are left in their natural hairy state.  It was the cutest thing, as they looked like tiny lions out in the wild.  I oooh'd and coo'd for about 30 minutes, then we all left for the bar.  I think I might have scared M a little bit and he might have wanted to check my purse as I exited his condo to make sure I didn't sneak one of those ragdolls out.  But we saw Izzy and Magellan in the window, perched...saying goodbye to us with their Anime-sized eyes.  It was the perfect furry beginning to a perfect blurry night filled with too many glasses of wine!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project 52: Week 3 - Shades of Gray

Most people when they think of Seattle, they think of rain and gray!  And they are usually right.  Especially during this time of year.  It's a rare day if the sun decides to peak through the clouds.  It's even more rare for it to not rain at all...but this past Saturday, we got lucky and we had a fairly dry day.  Still gray...but at least dry.

We decided to rent a couple of lenses from Glazers and go down to the Seattle center to take some pictures for week 3 of Project 52.  One place I do not go often is the Seattle Center because it's very touristy, but whenever I do go, I always have a great time.

One of the most famous Seattle landmarks, the Space Needle!  Here it is, in it's gray glory!  The gray blob sort of blocking it is the Experience Music Project.  A Frank Gehry designed music museum.  It's actually multi-colored and whenever friends from out of town come to Seattle, they always ask me what the multi-colored blob that's underneath the Space Needle is.  Well, now you know! :)

We had some extra time left in the day so we went up to the Queen Anne neighborhood where you can see the whole city scape.  You see the colorful blob at the bottom left?  That's the Experience Music Project!  The whole city kinda looks very gray doesn't it?  

Of course I'm going to include a picture of my beloved husband in his awesome gray Lululemon jacket I gifted him for his birthday years ago.  

In case people are interested, all pictures were taken with a 50mm f1.4 lens I rented that day from Glazers.  I loved this lens so much and will actually make this my next investment.  :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Work tomorrow...yech!  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For Our Kids...

I've always looked up to teachers, counselors, social workers...just anyone that works with kids.  I am the first one to say that I am not good with kids.  I've never been and I don't think I will ever be until I have my own.  That's not to say I'm horrible with them, I'm just not a natural.  I believe it takes a certain type of talent to work with kids, just like it takes talent to sketch a building in AutoCAD.  And one of those talented people is my husband's childhood friend, John.  John is the Executive Director of Seattle's Chapter ACAP program.  ACAP stands for Accounting Career Awareness Program.  This program introduces business and accounting to public and private high school kids.  Each year, students enroll in what is known as "Residency Week" where they stay in dorms at our local University and take seminars hosted by local business people, as well as network with other kids their age.  

John, a big kid himself, truly is a natural with them.  I can tell that he truly cares for his "kids".  Since he took over the ACAP program from his predecessor, the program's enrollment numbers has grown significantly.  He takes his job seriously and goes into the office dressed in business casual and a tie...even if he doesn't have to.  He says it puts him in the mood to be in charge!  Every year around this time, ACAP hosts an annual party to wrap up the previous year.  This year's party is tomorrow night and Chris and I are going to shoot some pictures at the event.  I'm super excited to hang out with some cool kids!  So stay tuned for a special ACAP Seattle Winter Party post!

John is in the second row, first person on the left in the white button up.  He blends in with these kids doesn't he? :)
I used to work for the big four accounting firm Ernst & Young and volunteered to teach one of the computer classes to introduce kids to Excel and Power Point.  

Two of my Ernst & Young colleagues teaching one of the other seminars.  And my cute sister-in-law is the girl  in the yellow sweatshirt sitting second row from the last.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Four Legged Babies...

What is it about our four legged babies/best friends/life partners that we love so much?  Is it their big, watery eyes as they watch us while we eat?  Or is it the way that they wag their tails after we step momentarily into the other room?  Maybe it's the way their ears perk up when we say, "Where's your snack snack, Chewy??"

I was lucky enough to have Chewy come into my life about six years ago.  I went to a garlic festival on a Saturday and saw a bunch of adorable dogs there.  That following Monday, I decided to adopt Chewy.  It was one of the most impulsive decisions I've ever made, but definitely one of the best.  Like all dog owners that adore their pups, I think Chewy is the best doggie in the world.  He seriously knows everything...when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm sick, and when I'm excited.  I can not imagine what I'd do without him in our lives.  For the past six years, he's also brought so much joy to my parents...which means the world to me. There's not a day that goes by without me thinking how are we ever going to live without him.

And this is the reason why my heart goes out to Lori.  Her doggie, Buddie, was recently diagnosed with cancer and have already gone through two surgeries.  If you keep up with Lori's blog, you know what a light spirited person she is.  Her OOTD pictures often will have Buddie in them, posing with her.  Although I've never met her in person, I know she's a kind hearted  person that loves her pup to pieces.  And to find that he's so sick, it breaks my heart.  I know she won't give up hope.  And that her and her husband will do everything they can to ease Buddie back into good health.  My thoughts are with her and her family so I ask that you visit her wonderful blog...bring her some good thoughts and cheers.

My Chewy pup...Mommy loves you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Optimus "Prime" vs. Mega"Zoom"tron

First, let me preface this blog entry by saying that I am by no means a professional photographer.  I have never taken a photography class and do not consider myself to know much when it comes to the technical aspects of the camera itself.  This entry is purely my opinion comparing a couple of lenses that I own and which I prefer to use over the other.  What I know about photography, I learned myself by trial and error and reading forums and blogs with my husband.  If you are a professional, please do not take what I'm writing seriously...because heck...what do I know right? :)

OK, so lately photography's been overwhelming my blog.  In fact, today Chris said, " haven't been to Anthro in awhile!"  And in fact, I didn't even go on the Anthro site today to check out the sale.  But girls, I do miss my dresses and skirts and ruffles!!!  Believe me, it's hard...but I feel like it's a great thing to give my wallet a break and focus on something else for awhile.

When I talk about cameras and lenses with friends, coworkers, acquaintances...I often tell them that I primarily shoot with prime lenses.  And most don't know what I'm referring to.  To  keep the explanation simple, a prime lens is a fixed focal lens.  Meaning that when you look into the view finder on your camera, you only see one distance...and you're unable to twist the lens itself to zoom in and out.  My friends that own a DSLR, I find, oftentimes don't know what I'm referring to either.  And I think this is because nowadays when you buy a DSLR at like a Costco, the camera comes in a kit form, and a kit lens accompanies that camera.  These lenses are zoom lenses.

When we bought our Canon 7D, it came with a 18-135mm zoom lens.  When I first got it, I wanted as much range as possible because I wanted to cover all my bases.  However, I recently realized that I rarely grab my kit lens that came with the camera.  Why?  I've decided to give you all an example below.

I went ahead and took two pictures of our little bonzai tree:
Picture A

Picture B
Picture A was taken with a 50mm prime lens with a f stop of 1.8.  When I say f stop, or when someone refers to something like f1.8, they are referring to the "aperture" setting (there's a whole other thing with f stops which I won't go into detail at all).  And aperture is the lens opening which controls the amount of light let into the camera.  Because my dining room has pretty dim lighting, I shot Picture A at an aperture of 1.8 (which allows in the most amount of light) with a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second.

I then switched to my kit lens, zoomed it to 50mm and shot it at also 1/30th of a second.  And you can clearly see that Picture B is much darker than Picture A.  This is because when the zoom is used on that lens, the aperture adjusts to f5, which decreases the amount of light let into the camera.  For this lens that I own, because it came with my camera kit, the quality is not the highest which resulted in that poor quality of Picture B.  There are higher end quality telephoto zoom lenses made by Canon and Nikon, for instance, that's able to fix at a specific aperture regardless of the zoom.

So...because Picture B was so dark and the widest aperture at 50mm is f5, I had to slow down the shutter speed to let in as much light as possible.  Below I shot the bonzai tree at a shutter speed of 1/8th of a second to get it light enough to be ok.
Picture C

Even in Picture C, the light and color of the bonzai is still not as good as Picture A.  I could slow down my shutter speed even more, but then I'd risk blurry pictures since my hands aren't completely still.  Also, if you notice the green vase in the background of Picture A vs. Picture C, the vase itself is way more blurry in Picture A than in Picture C.  The blurrier the background (what is known as bokeh), the more crisp your focused subject will be (depth of field).  Bokeh and depth of field, though, is another post all together.  :)

So, as you can see...I truly do favor my prime lenses more than my kit zoom lenses simply because I believe it allows me to shoot crispier pictures.  In the future, I'd love to invest in a couple of more prime lenses in different focal lengths, including a good telephoto lens, but for now, my 50mm f1.8 will do!  BTW, this 50mm I used is only $99!!!  A great little lens for beginners like me!  

Thanks for reading!  What do you think?  Helpful?  Boring? won't hurt my feelings!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some Behind The Scenes Shots

I had the day off work today and had the chance to look through all of the photos we took at Sara Leigh + Ryan's wedding.  I caught a couple of behind the scenes pics Chris took of me so I thought I'd share them with you:

Here I am waiting for the bride after the hair and make-up session.  This is when I realized the day was going to be a great day!

Look at me, all ninja-like!  I bet they didn't even see me brush right past them, running up to try to take a casual walking shot.

Hmm...what was I doing there?  I sure was making myself comfortable wasn't I?  But I believe I was trying to capture a pair of Hunter rain boots.

It felt so nice to not work today and I'm ready to dive right into another gripping episode of The Bachelor.  Is it me, or are this year's girls crazier than ever?  It sure makes for good entertainment.  I only started watching last week, so I'm not sure who all the girls are yet.  But my favorite so far is Emily...the mother who's husband was a Nascar driver and died in the plane crash.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sneakpeak: Sara Leigh + Ryan Wedding

Sara Leigh + Ryan's story involves an African safari, Montana State Parks, the Airforce, Alaska, and miles and miles of flying to see one another.  Their wedding day was ten years in the making, but to make a long story short, in the words of Flight of the Concords (the band playing in the background to calm Ryan's nerves as he was getting ready): "Looking at the room, I can tell that you are the most beautiful girl in  (In the whole room)."  

Sara Leigh was definitely beautiful and that beauty was reflected in her wedding.  Conventional it was not.  From her classy black dress to the Seattle Asian Art Museum ceremony.  But intimate it sure was.  Sara Leigh + Ryan's closest family and friends, most of them traveled miles to Seattle, shared a fun and joyful day, I'm certain, will be unforgettable in everyone's memories.  Sara Leigh's two brothers could not make it, but both sent a special messages to her and we hope the pictures we've taken will help them feel like they were there.

Although the Bride, Groom, and various family members continued to thank Chris and I throughout the night for being there to photograph the day, we could not thank Sara Leigh + Ryan more for the opportunity to allow us to share in one of the most important days of their lives.  I used to work with Sara Leigh, but I never had the opportunity to get to know her until last night.  And I'm so glad I did.  She has this innate ability to be calm at every crazy thing that's thrown at her.  On a day when the Bride is usually the stressed one, the roles were reversed here and she amazingly was there to calm her Groom down whenever he needed it.

Thank you again, guys!  Chris and I are so happy for you.  Have a wonderful time in Hawaii.  Mahalo!