Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Anniversary

Hand in hand waking home from dinner one night Ian and I were talking about the ways we’ve grown together. Typically our after dinner conversations are more political than romantic however this evening we were reminiscing about a past experience: hiking Koko Head. What started as an innocent pursuit to sweat out the food and alcohol we had been excessively consuming while celebrating our anniversary we decided to hike Koko Head Stairs. I frequently forget I’m not an outdoor person and always commit before I could remember. So here we were half way up the Koko Head Stairs. I’m out of breath and pretty close to giving up. Ian notices (and I’m sure everyone and their dog does too), how tired I was getting. He asks me if I want to go back. Stubborn and in denial of course I say no. It was my idea therefore I was determined to see it through. Wanting Ian to have a much better experience I ask him to go on ahead without me. Besides there was only one way up and it was easy enough for me to spot him. As he picks up speed I start to leisurely climb taking my sweet precious time and occasionally stepping aside to stop and admire at the view. Soon enough I approach the part of the trail that looks like the sand had caved in trees deep. This trail is on an abandon railway and the railroad ties were being used as steps. Terrified of heights I step aside to think: should I or should I not climb it? I couldn’t decide so I watched the people who were more decisive try. Some were fearlessly bouncing over the bridge while others were on their hands and knees scared and shaking. After observing several people turn back I raised my white flag.

Back to our after dinner conversation with Ian talking about that moment: “I was worried you’d try to climb the bridge but I just knew you weren’t going to do it,” he said. “How did you know?!” I asked astonished at his guess. “I just did. You’re like an extension of me. I just know when you’re going to do something.” Right then and there in the middle the side walk I stopped us in our tracks and gave him a big kiss. I told him, “that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard you say.”

Being with someone for six years has its pros and cons. It is comforting to know someone so well you can predict what they want or need before they even ask and having someone do the same for you is even better. On the flip side, the game of life: work, home and sleep and everything in between can become mundane, at least for me. I've learned that staying in love requires work. And it’s not so much a bad thing. Anything you cherish in life requires some amount of love and work.

Over time as Ian and I continue to practice being in love our hard work is rewarded once a year with a celebration better known as an Anniversary. This past anniversary we decided to celebrate in New York City. A city with character that we both appreciate and love: delicious food, inspiring art and a pace of speed we didn’t mind.

After a red eye flight we touched down at JFK early on a Friday morning and took the subway into the city. I am always surprised at how quickly I can adapt to a different time zone with little sleep. After checking into our hotel we went on a search for breakfast in our neighborhood. We stumbled upon the Egg Shop as they were still setting up shop. Luckily it was next door to Cafe Integral where we waited and woke up slow over coffee and tea. I cannot sit down for a proper conversation without first taking photographs of everything. And did I mention how much I love Ian for being supportive of this terrible obsession I have of photography? He is a saint!

After breakfast we headed towards the World Trade Center. It was January and so cold. This was our first time seeing the shiny new tower and visiting the 911 memorial. Afterwards we ducked into the Westfield World Trade Center to admire the architecture.  I remember feeling very somber watching the ebbs and flow of people.

We continued walking around and discovered Eataly on the third floor. To keep warm we planted ourselves at the bar over a bottle of wine and our normal topic of choice: politics. And then we toyed with the idea of living in this city.

The rest of the day was a blur. Before I knew it the sky was dark and the city was lit. The temperature continued to drop and the wind picked up. Once again we found ourselves holding hands (freezing!) and walking home from dinner.

Sixth Year Anniversary
New York City | January 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


For the past six months I've been tweaking my lifestyle and schedule to build more efficiency into my day. I will have to say this does not make me a very fun person to be around. With time, my goals continue to be aggressive however my energy is limited. If I'm not discipline with my day, it's much easier to get distracted or burnt out. Here are ten things I'm currently doing that's keeping me on top of my game:
  1. Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  2. Having a consistent morning routine: gratitude journal, mediate, yoga sculpt and then my day begins. 
  3. Understanding what foods work well with my body and fueling it with that.
  4. Drinking a ton of water. 
  5. Thought downloads
  6. Doing one thing every day that gets me closer to my goal / dream. The secret of your success is found in what you do daily; I read that once on Pinterest. 
  7. Blocking hours at a time on my calendar for the top three things I want to accomplish and giving myself a break in between.
  8. No alcohol. Nope, not even wine. And I also gave up coffee. See #2 and #3.
  9. Making a handful of commitments, scheduling it into my calendar and making it nonnegotiable. At the end of the week I do a quick review to see what worked, what didn't and make adjustments for the upcoming week. 
  10. Taking a social media detox. This is my biggest distraction and time killer. If I need a mental break I simply read a book; something I always say I never have enough time for. My books are loaded on my phone so they're easily accessible. 

Photographs inspired by Vilhelm Hammershøi's painting,“Woman Seen from the Back” (1888)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Los Angeles

I love escaping to LA during the cold winter months in Seattle. This year we did just that over the New Year celebration. As 9 to 5’ers we were out of PTO and had to pick somewhere quick and easy. For us that usually means somewhere in California. The past couple of times we’ve been to LA we’ve stayed in Koreatown. It’s centrally located to everything, in a walkable neighborhood and has the best late night Korean food.

These photographs are shot on my Diana with Lomography Color Film. I wanted to show LA in a retro and colorful way; just how I've envision it. These images are of LACMA, the streets of Koreatown and in the back of the Uber cruising by beautiful homes.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Afternoon Tea at Brasserie Les Saveurs

It’s been quiet around here. I’ve completely lost momentum on sharing my photographs. Since my last post in August, I started a new job, took a three week trip around Asia and grieved the election. Considering there’s some catching up to do, it’s only appropriate to start off by sharing photographs of our time at Brassierie Les Saveurs during afternoon tea.

If you follow me on Instagram you would’ve seen I was in Singapore, Bali, Seoul, Tokyo and Kyoto. I am still in awe about our ability to get on a plane, granted for countless hours, and travel half way across the world. I am always so thankful each and every time I am given the ability to travel, see and experience a piece of our world. From a young age, I've had an adventurous spirit. I knew I found something true to who I was when I took my very first trip as a self sufficient adult at the age of 22. I was just getting my feet wet. There's so much more to go.

SingaporeStRegis-3 SingaporeStRegis-7

The first stop on our trip was Singapore. We took a red eye flight out of Seattle on a Thursday night after work. After 24 hours of traveling we stepped outside of the airport and instantly learned how unbearably hot and humid it was (for Seattleites in October). Starving we rushed to our hotel, checked in, freshen up and shared our first meal swallowing delicious mouth burning dumplings at Din Tai Fung. Of course that wasn’t enough food for my beau. I was quick to his rescue and found a hawker center less than a mile away that promised chicken rice. Unfortunately Google maps didn’t have a bus or train route available. We put on our brave (and drenched in sweat) faces and went for it. During our walk we were baffled by the lack of people we encountered given we were by Orchid Street, a very busy area filled with hotels and shopping centers. Later on, with full stomachs and in complete drench of our own (and maybe each other’s) sweat, we discover a train station nearby and learn about the underground world filled with people, levels of food court, clothing stores, and most importantly AC!

Those first few hours in Singapore are still clear in my mind however the following days are like a fainted dream. Maybe moments are more memorable when I am new to an environment because all my senses are heighten to adapt to the changes. My eyes are wide open with curiosity, my mind is a little scattered trying to quickly observe my surroundings and connect any commonality I can find. Honestly, I am not tired of this feeling yet. With the way we travel and our usual itinerary of switching it up every 5 to 7 days means we can’t ever get too comfortable with our surroundings. That’s one of the many lessons with traveling.

SingaporeStRegis-1 SingaporeStRegis-10

Afternoon tea is one of my favorite past time activities when traveling. It’s not about the adorable bite size food or the champagne, although that is all lovely. Working in the corporate world throughout all of my career, I find having an afternoon free to do whatever it is that I want -being with my beau halfway across the world enjoying ourselves- is the ultimate sense of freedom. It is my definition of luxury and it is such a treat to be able to do this.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pioneer Square

Here in Seattle I think we have some of the most perfect summers. The sun can rise at 5am and set at 10pm providing an abundance of light and making it a photographer’s dream. After a long day at the office, my beau and I love going out to eat and taking our time walking to dinner. Some of our favorite places are in our neighborhood but lately we’ve been spending more time in Pioneer Square. Here's a Friday afternoon in Pioneer Square with photographs of a few favorite places, mostly right down Occidental.

Pioneer Square-18Pioneer Square-17

The London Plane // OK, you know how obsessed I am of photographing this place! It's just so picturesque with it's wild flowers and clean interiors.

Pioneer Square-13Pioneer Square-11

The Estate Wine Room // Our latest great find! We first stumbled across this tasting room while prefunking for a Sounders game. They do tasting flights of red and white wines and champagne. They also sell decently priced wine by the bottle.

Pioneer Square-8Pioneer Square-7

Elm Coffee Roaster // I’ve blogged about this coffee shop before and I still stand by how much I love it. It is a little out of my way for a coffee run so whenever I am in the neighborhood I always treat myself.

Pioneer Square-6Pioneer Square-4

King Street Station // Someday I’m going to take the train or so I keep telling myself. It will be a hop on a train to Vancouver BC or Portland. As for right now it's just too convenient for me to jump in my car and drive.

Pioneer Square-16

Pioneer Square-15
Pioneer Square-10
Clementine // During my Urban Fashion Network blogging days I attended an event at Clementine. At that time they were located in West Seattle. They've now moved to Pioneer Square next to The London Plane.

I purchased a pair of Melissa jelly sandals that reminded me so much of the ones I used to wear as little girl.

Cafe Umbria // Although I've mentioned the one in Ballard a few blog post before, this was the first Cafe Umbria I knew of. 

Waterfall Garden Park // This park closes early in the afternoon around 4pm. I had to squeeze my arms and my camera through the fence for this photograph. It's a good place to read a book or enjoy a quick bit.

The view of the city from King Street Station.