Diving into the world of film photography

During my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to be a student assistant in my professor’s film class. I learned a lot about film photography, especially developing black and white film in the dark room. Being a student assistant in that class, gave me a new perspective in photography. When enrolled in the class, students were able to borrow a film camera for the entire quarter. This class really got me into film photography, but I never really went through with buying a film camera of my own. Two-years later, I finally bought my first film camera. When taking photos, I usually use my iPhone 7, and sometimes my Canon T5i (when traveling). Starting film is a bit nerve-wrecking because I won’t really know how my photos will turn out until it’s developed. But as a beginner, I’m not that afraid of making a mistake because every mistake I make is a lesson. I can’t wait start shooting, and learning more about film.

Canon AE-1

Monday Motivation – Bread

Over the weekend, I made the mistake of looking over some work related stuff. I started feeling a little stressed, and decided to watch a movie (Your Name) to get my mind off of it. This morning, my sister wanted to get some bread before we head off to work. We stopped at Paris Baguette, and I picked up some mini croissants, chocolate filled croissants, and a bread where it may or may not have any filling in it (no label).

Monday mornings is the hardest day of the week. You just had a relaxing weekend – sleeping in, or spending time with family and friends. But, by treating yourself to something at the beginning of the work week, you’ll feel a bit more positive and motivated. Whether it’s a cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop, or a favorite pastry, get something that will spark a bit of joy and happiness.

– Cindy

Japanese food & snacks from Tokyo Central Market

It’s Saturday, and I have the whole apartment (and dog) to myself since my sister and her boyfriend went to San Diego. I asked a good friend of mine from college to come over to watch movies. Last time, we tried to marathon The Hobbit – extended edition, and I did not make past the second movie (got sleepy). We did consider to marathon Lord of the Rings (extended edition) today, but that might go well into Sunday.  Instead, we’re just going to watch any movies that came out early 2017. For food and snacks, I went to Tokyo Central Market to grab some chips, onigiri, cold ramen noodles, salad, lemon tea, etc.

Yasai Salad chips are one of my favorite corn chips. It’s seasoned with vegetable powder, parsley, and Asian spices. The texture is very similar to cheese puffs chips. Yasai Salad Chips can be addicting, so I usually purchase 1 to 2 bags max.

Next, lemon ice tea. What I like about this lemon tea, is that it is not too sweet. It’s very nice and refreshing to drink during the summer.

Ochazuke is a dish made by pouring hot tea over rice. Sometimes late at night, I get hungry. I do not like to eat past 8:00 pm, but eating ochazuke is light enough as a snack for me. I bought the instant packet seasoning – salmon and pickled plum flavor. These individual seasoning packets contains the tea powder, nori, dried bits of salmon/pickled plum. All you need to do is pour the seasoning on top of your rice, and add hot water. But this these instant packs contains a lot of salt, so it’s better to only eat once in a while.

Many Japanese markets sells Onigiri or rice balls. I bought two – salmon and spicy tuna mayonnaise. There are many other different flavors that you can find in the market such as pickled plum, tuna mayonnaise, katsuo (dried bonito flakes), and mentaiko (seasoned cod roe).

Lastly, I bought spicy cold ramen noodles and beef shabu shabu salad. Since the weather has been very hot and humid, I wanted something cool to eat.

– Cindy

Favorite Coffee Shops in Southern California

I became a coffee lover. Growing up, I was the kind of girl who will only drink tea. When I do drink coffee, I used to add about 5 packs of sugar, and a lot of vanilla creamer. I couldn’t stand the bitter taste, and if I drink any coffee with less sugar or cream, I become extremely hyper – drove my friends crazy. During my undergrad, coffee was the only thing that kept me awake during class. Now, I can drink coffee black without getting hyper. My favorite types of coffee would have to be an Caffè Americano, Kyoto-style Cold Brew, Vanilla Latte, and Caffè Latte. Here are a couple of my favorite places to grab coffee in Los Angeles County, and Orange County.img_0467

First up, Hideout Cafe in Rowland Heights, CA. This is an Asian Cafe that sells drinks from coffee to boba milk teas. My favorite drink at Hideout is their Tiramisu Latte (hot) because it’s not that often when I find a Tiramisu Latte on a menu. I also like their rice dishes and waffle dessert. The atmosphere can be loud because a lot of high school students likes to hang out there and study. I went to Hideout on a Sunday once when it opened, and it was nice and peaceful. But after about 30 minutes, it started getting pack with students. I don’t really like going back there for that reason, and would only grab it to-go now.

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Garden of fresh vegetables & herbs

This past weekend I went home to visit my parents. Usually, I would stay indoors and be lazy while my mom spoils me with her amazing food. I have yet to reach her level of cooking skills, but a lot of my friends (and ex-boyfriends) has complimented my cooking skills (lets just say my ex gained a few extra pounds when we were dating haha).

It’s amazing how fresh vegetables and herbs can really transform your dishes, and I really appreciate it when my mom gives us bags loaded with veggies/herbs for my sister and I to bring back to our apartment. It saves us time on grocery shopping, and on grocery expenses. But sometimes, our mom gives us a little too much. She would usually give a bag of cucumbers, herbs, or zip lock bags of Thai Chili Peppers (which I still haven’t used them all up yet). When we tell her we don’t need any of it she says, “I still have more in the garden, so take it.” And often, she would make us feel guilty by saying, “do you want me to finish all these ingredients by herself?”

Currently, my parents’ garden consist of a mango tree, tomato tree, lime tree, and orange tree. Corn, Lemon grass (mom uses this for her amazing Thai curry/soup), cucumber, Thai basil, Thai chili peppers, mint, green onions and many more. One of my favorite vegetables from my parents’ backyard is green papaya. I love it when my mom asks me if I want to make Thai papaya salad. When I feel like making it, she would then go out to pick a papaya (I was too short to reach for one myself), and we would start preparing the dish.

It’s a very nice feeling to just go out into a garden and carefully pick your vegetable/ herb. I’m still a newbie at picking vegetables and herbs, so when my mom asks me to go out and pick stuff for her, I’m yelling across the garden into the house, “mommy how can you tell which one is good or not?!” and she would respond by telling me to look at shape, size, color etc.

Note: this is only a small portion of my parents’ garden. I was too scared to go to the other side because of the bees.

This week, my mom gave us eight cucumbers. She said to just eat them on the side with ours meals or something. Eight cucumber is a lot, and on top of other vegetables that I would like to eat, I’m worried that I won’t use them all in time before it spoils. I’ve been looking up some recipes online but I haven’t really found something that I’m interested in making. For now, I might buy humus, and eat it with the cucumbers. Hopefully, when I visit my parents again they won’t give us too much stuff to bring back.

– Stories by Cindy

Sharing some of my life moments

Lazy day – Curry + Ramen

At the beginning of 2017, one of my New Year Resolution was to eat healthier. It started off great, but recently I’m having difficulties staying consistent. There are weeks where I’ll cook healthy meals everyday, and then there are weeks where I’ll eat instant ramen 3-5 times a week.

This week one of my lazy cooking is Japanese curry. I woke up at 6 am to make this curry with ground pork and a lot of mushrooms. Sadly, there was no other vegetables in my refrigerator – it’s a sign that I need to do some grocery shopping. Making curry does not require a lot of time which is why I consider it my lazy day food. I would just throw anything that I find in the refrigerator (preferable vegetables since I’m trying to eat more vegetables), and use Japanese curry roux – Vermont or Golden Curry brand. With just 3 ingredients (including the roux) I was able to finish cooking this in about 30 minutes (without forgetting to cook the rice). My favorite recipes are from the website Just One Cookbook.

When I come home from work, of course I have to give my spoiled dog (Chibi) attention. He usually jumps around on the couch or bark at my sister and I until we sit down on the floor. After, he would crawl onto our lap and turn onto his back for a belly rub. When I get home I’m usually starving, so I made instant kimchi ramen because it’s the quickest option. To make it ‘healthier,’ I added fermented kimchi and some bean sprouts. After, I was just lounging around the house watching Youtube videos, and shows on DramaFever. I should really start being more productive, but there’s something about summer that makes you want to be lazy.

– Cindy

Work Outfit: Mock one-piece top

For this work outfit, I wore my blue strip collar one-piece top from Yesstyle. I bought it for days when I’m feeling lazy, or days where I have no idea what to wear to work. My co-workers actually thought it was a two-piece blouse. The fabric material is light-weight, and you wouldn’t have to worry much about layering. It is long-sleeve, which is perfect for the chilly office environment but still light enough to wear outdoors. The back of the shirt is slightly longer than the front, and there is a zipper. I like to wear this with the sleeves rolled-up for a more casual look, black pants, and heels/flats.

Top: size S | Length(Front): 61cm | Length(Back): 67cm | Shoulder Width: 37cm | Bust: 88cm | Sleeve Length: 56cm

Pants: H&M – black capri dress pants in Size 2

626 Night Market + Video Diary

On Saturday July 22, 2017, I went to 626 Night Market located at the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, CA. 626 Night Market is an event held every summer with hundreds of vendors – food, entertainment, arts, crafts, and merchandise. Admission is $5 (cash only), and all vendors only take cash. If you don’t have cash, there are ATM machines throughout the site.

626nightmarketonweb

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