SoCal Weekend Getaway

Last weekend I had a weekend getaway down in SoCal, specifically Orange County. My close girlfriend C had extended the invite since she was visiting our mutual friend L in Garden Grove. I was a bit hesitant on going since I was really busy with work and it was semi bad timing to go anywhere. But then again I was pretty stressed out and tired that I kinda just said “fuck it” and booked my flight the same night C asked me. I was pretty excited to see friends from home again, but work was just constantly on my mind. Before my trip my work computer had some minor issues, which was probably a sign that I needed to get away from my computer. I really tried my hardest to relax and to not think about my projects since this was my first time actually getting out of the Bay Area. I really needed to enjoy this time with my friends.

Since my friends are total foodies like myself, all we did was just chill and eat. First stop was Brodard for lunch. I was pretty excited to try their infamous spring rolls and I must say it lived up to the hype. It was the most bomb spring rolls I’ve ever had. I still crave for it ever since I’ve returned from my trip. I also ordered Hieu Tieu Thai, which is like a seafood noodle soup. It’s one of my favorites that I haven’t had in so long. So bomb too! After our yummy yet very fulfilling lunch, L took C and I to RVCA’s warehouse sale. I’m not too familiar with the brand, but I suppose it’s a SoCal thing. Got myself some new bathing suits, cropped tank tops and a beanie. Definitely got my money’s worth. I’m generally not much of a shopper, but it was about time that I treated myself to some new additions to my closet. Afterwards, we went to Newport Beach. It was really nice and even more perfect to go on a Friday afternoon where everyone is still at work or school. We explored the area a bit and I took some photos with my DSLR. We took a $1 ferry ride to Balboa Island, which didn’t have much. The homes there were beautiful though. Our next stop was to get some poki at this place that L’s coworker had suggested. We got the salmon poki and it was sooo good. Such a good snack after walking around. Later that night we went to Anaheim Packaging District to try PopBar. It was so good! I ordered the green tea Kit Kat. If I wasn’t such an old lady and can handle dairy more I would’ve gotten another one since my friends got a “Ferrero Rocher” PopBar. APD kind of reminded me of San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose, but A LOT bigger and better haha. It was a cute place.

The next day we had a girls day and ventured off to downtown LA for brunch at Perch. It was nice getting dressed up and being girly again. We all wore black dresses, which was unintentional. Too bad the weather in LA that day sucked. It was oddly cloudy and rainy. After brunch we made a quick trip to Bottega Louie for some macarons. I wish I got more of the Earl Gray macarons. Highly suggest that! Next stop was Griffith Observatory. The rain was starting to really come down as we had hopes of it passing by. Nope! We walked out in the rain in our dresses towards the observatory. Took a few photos outside. Such a bummer it was crap weather, but that’s okay. It was nice to finally check it out. Then it was back to Garden Grove to relax before dinner. Went to Wild Crab which is a crawfish joint. Pretty much had a mini Boston reunion since another mutual friend J who now lives in San Diego drove up to join us for dinner. Our last night was a good time of eating good food, playing Taboo and overall being surrounded by good people. I really needed that. I was reminded of my lifestyle back in Boston with my friends. I missed having group dinners and just being goofy with my friends. I was a bit bummed out to return to SJ. I was returning back to a place where I lack a social life and was in constant work mode. As soon as I got back, my stress level kicked back into overdrive. It’s a really overwhelming feeling for me. I wish it was easier to do more trips with friends again. Ever since I’ve been back a bit of homesickness has kinda kicked in. All it has to take is a couple days with close friends for me to feel this way. In a few weeks one of my close guy friends will be visiting. I can already imagine how much of a great time we’ll have yet I can already feel how sad I’ll be.

Anyways, I enjoyed the fun while it lasted. I’m glad I got to explore a bit of SoCal with close friends. 🙂




SucculentsMoon & Stars


There’s been a lot happening work wise. It’s causing a lot of stress for me and I’m finding it harder to concentrate on work especially with the most recent incident. I’m very sensitive and emotional right now. I took some time the past 2 days to just disconnect myself and to do nothing. I just wanted to stay away from my computer. After my meeting on Friday afternoon I realized that I’m not all there during our design review and not doing my work right. I need to clear my mind and not let that situation affect me too much, but it’s hard not to.

I was chatting with a close girlfriend on Friday night, who I look up to as a big sister. I told her about the situation and I just needed to vent. I didn’t want questions to be asked to add onto my emotions and thoughts. I wasn’t looking for words of encouragement or sympathy. I just wanted to say whatever I needed to say and call it a day. I felt relatively better again and decided to sleep it off during the remainder of Friday night. Plus, I needed to catch up on sleep since I’ve been working non stop.

No matter how hard I’m trying to redirect my focus on something else, the discussion I had with my boss keeps crossing my mind. It weighs heavily on me. I highly appreciate his respect for me not only as a designer, but as an individual. He got to witness how truly passionate I am about being a designer. He told me that I’m very humble and loyal to my team and that is why he loves me being an asset to the team. It was refreshing to hear that throughout the past 5 years of my career, that was the type of acknowledgement I’ve always sought out for. I will forever be grateful to him for letting me achieve what I wanted to here in Cali. It makes me pretty teary eyed and choked up just thinking about it all. Only a few people can understand this side of me when I get so emotional about design. I take my career extremely serious.

Yesterday I had received my 50mm prime lens in the mail. I’ve been eyeing it for awhile, but held off since I wasn’t as active with my camera lately. I finally purchased it since I realized that I definitely can’t go on vacation or travel anywhere any time soon, so this was a gift to myself for working really hard. So yesterday I was playing around with it and still getting adjusted to it. I went on a little photo adventure last night, which was pretty relaxing. I realized that I need to do this more often. It distracted my mind from everything and the calmness of the night helped as well.

Anyways, I’m currently at my usual Sunday spot to do work. I woke up in a good mood, ready to crank out some work. So far it’s been a fail. The web app that I use to access the wireframes I need to look at for my work isn’t loading properly. It’s frustrating to keep refreshing that shit and nothing appears. Then there’s a fricken high school jazz band playing literally right in front of me. WHAT THE FUCK?! I just want to do my work. Maybe these are all signs that I need to turn the computer off and go relax and enjoy myself. So I suppose I’ll have to turn this fucking computer off and read. For now, I’m beyond annoyed by this fucking jazz band.

San Jose Museum of Art

Living here in San Jose for over a year now there’s still quite a few places that I have yet checked out. San Jose Museum of Art was one of the few places that I’ve had my eye on to visit. It’s close by to where I live yet I just never made the trip there. My friend from back at home that lives in the East Bay asked if I wanted to go to the museum on Saturday. I decided to take him up on his offer since he has a pass to check out a few museums around the Bay Area for free. I didn’t feel like heading into the city since I already commute quite often into SF. I opted to stay local and to check out SJ Museum of Art.

After we arrived I didn’t realize how small it was. I didn’t think it was going to be huge compared to the Museum of Fine Arts back in Boston, but maybe at least a little bit bigger. A few of things in their collection were okay. I was really intrigued by their “Momentum” exhibit that they had up. There was also a few of Chihuly’s glass sculptures hanging in the lobby which was nice. I’m still bummed out that I missed his exhibit when he came to Boston a few years ago. I’d love to check out his work in Seattle some day though. One of the installations from the “Momentum” exhibit was done by Leo Villareal, who designed the light installation for the Bay Bridge called the Bay Lights. It was really beautiful and clean.

As for my overall thought of this museum, I’ve definitely gone to better ones. I would only come back if there was a really good exhibit happening. Other than that I can do without coming here again. I wish their collection was curated better, which might improve the setting of the museum. I’m just glad I finally got to check it out and cross that off my list of things to do!

Treasure Island Music Festival 2014

This year was my first time attending the Treasure Island Music Festival, which is a 2 day music festival on Treasure Island in San Francisco. I’ve only gone to Treasure Island mainly for the monthly flea markets, which I enjoy going to. But when I heard about the music festival and the lineup I knew I had to go. There were a few people in the lineup that I recognized and liked, but there was a lot more that I’ve never heard of. Well there was some bands I heard of their songs, but never knew their name. I was very open to checking out this festival so I can broaden my musical interests. Luckily the “concert friends” that I hang out once in awhile were planning on going so it was nice that I wasn’t going to have to go by myself. After I found out they’re going, I figured the bands that I didn’t know and that they loved couldn’t be bad. I’ve heard the music that my concert friends love and I enjoy it as well. It was just a good way to expose myself to more music since I’m not as active with keeping up with trendy music and whatnot. One of the concert friends has gone to this event for the past 5 years and he shared his stories of his experience with this event, which made me really excited for it. So there’s 3 stages set up, well mainly 2. The Bridge Stage was the main stage, the Tunnel Stage was the secondary stage, and the sudo third stage was in “the Cove” called Silent Disco. Silent Disco is where you can listen to DJs playing with headphones. They had these huge headphones that you can wear and just chill or dance around in that area. I didn’t bother with it, but perhaps next year I’ll check it out.

Here’s the lineup for both days:

During day 1, I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we first got there. Surprisingly no crazy traffic when we arrived onto the island, which was a relief. It was oddly super hot in SF that day, so wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a jacket didn’t cut it. Usually it’s super windy and cold on the island, but not that day. We pretty much got to see a lot of people perform minus maybe 3 bands. I was really excited to see Janelle MonĂĄe, Zedd and Outkast perform. I got to see Janelle MonĂĄe perform my favorite song called “Prime Time”. I was singing along so loud to it and was dancing around. Concert friends laughed at me but I didn’t care lol. I was kidding when I told them that was my jam! Haha. I felt bad for when she first came on because she had some technical difficulties. So I didn’t hear the first two songs she sang. Zedd had really cool visuals. Highlight of the night was Outkast. They were awesome!! They played a lot of their classic old songs. Even though at this point I was extremely exhausted from standing up and walking around, I got so hyped up when they performed. I would love to see them perform again!

The next day when I woke up to get ready for day 2 of this festival, I was dreading it. I was extremely exhausted and just wanted to sleep. My whole body especially my feet was aching. I felt like such a grandma. Luckily the music lineup for day 2 was much more chill and laid back. I don’t think I could handle another day of dancing around all day long haha. I noticed some people brought their DSLRs the day before so I brought mines. I got crap for it at the entrance, but I didn’t give a fuck and kept walking into the festival because I thought it was bullshit that I couldn’t have mines since there was probably 200 other people with theirs. Hence the pictures I have posted in this entry. We first went up the art car which was a ship that’s usually at Burning Man to chill and listen to music. It was such a perfect spot to enjoy the view that afternoon and listen to music. It was really cool to see the massive crowd of people migrate from one stage to another after a band was done performing. I really wanted to stay up there all day but there was a line of people waiting to come up and I couldn’t be greedy.

I hung out with concert friends during a few bands playing then I wandered off to wait in line for the ferris wheel, take photos and to get some food. I didn’t really care for a couple of bands that were playing after the Growlers. I waited in line for an hour for that ferris wheel by myself. I didn’t want to drag concert friends away from the performances and I thought maybe I should man up and get over my fear of heights and go alone. That kinda failed because the couple in front of me that I was chatting with was really nice and invited me to join them on the ride. I felt like such a third wheel lol. In return I took a photo for them and handed the woman my business card to contact me for the photo. Fair trade off. The view of the festival and the skyline was so beautiful. They need to place a permanent ferris wheel on that island lol.

After I got off I lingered around some more to take photos. At one point I sat on the grass eating my food, going through my camera of the photos I took and made a new friend doing all of this haha. This girl sitting next to me started talking to me and we got into this really great conversation. Turns out she lives in SJ and is also an East Coast transplant like myself. Well Toronto if that kinda counts haha. She was really nice and also we’re both techie people so we got into discussing about tech stuff and whatnot. Concert friends texted me to meet up with them for the major performances before the night ended. I handed her my business card and told her to hit me up to chill some time. It was refreshing to talk to someone from the East Coast and for her to understand yet poke fun at Californians like how I do haha.

As exhausting as this event was, it was an amazing time. I’m glad I went. It was nice to just dance around and not give a fuck. It was a great stress reliever and I felt happy again just enjoying myself. It felt great to be able to temporarily put aside my sadness. I really needed this. Would I go again next year? Maybe depending on the lineup. Would I go both days again? Maybe lol. It was just so tiring. I’m such a grandma now ever since I moved to Cali. I really can’t hang like I used to and I’ve grown accustomed to extremely low key weekends. But if you’ve never gone before, it’s definitely an event to check out. It was such a great experience with such awesome music and beautiful art all over. I’d love to go with my friends from Boston next year though!

Here were my favorites from the festival:

  • Painted Palms
  • Tobacco
  • Ratking
  • MØ
  • Jungle – absolutely love them!
  • Ryan Hemsworth
  • Janelle MonĂĄe
  • Ryan Hemsworth
  • Classixx – absolutely love them!
  • Zedd
  • Outkast
  • Ásgeir
  • Banks
  • The Growlers
  • Chet Faker
  • Alt-J – love him too
  • Washed Out – awesome!
  • Massive Attack – love them too!

Hope that list of my favorite bands is helpful if you’re looking for new music to listen and is openminded about music like myself. Enjoy the photos! 🙂

Another Great Day in the Bay

After our cruising along Highway 1 adventure with my friends that were in town visiting, we did even more touristy stuff in SF the next day haha. Once again I was glad to have done all of this with friends that’s never gone to these places before. These places were on my list for quite some time, but like I mentioned it’s more enjoyable with company especially if they have a DSLR, too. I’ve heard great things about a lot of these places and one I’ve been to quite often which is Treasure Island. Here’s a list of the places we stopped for our photo adventure:

– Japantown

– Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies aka Full House

– Drove down the Divisadero which is one really steep street in SF haha

– Drove down Lombard. Unfortunately weren’t able to get out of the car to take pics of it and was only to take pics from driving down the curvy street.

– Treasure Island: it happened to be Fleet Week in SF so it was the perfect spot to catch the Blue Angels air show!

– Twin Peaks

– Marin Headlands for a better view of the Golden Gate Bridge and to see the sunset

Back in January 25, 2014 I wrote an entry that had some pictures of San Francisco when I had some close friends from home visiting. We did a photo adventure, but it definitely can’t match up to the one I went on with other friends visiting last weekend. It almost makes me want to go back to retake some of these photos but also I think in some way my photography skills has improved. I was rusty earlier in the year since I wasn’t as active with my camera.

Here’s the link to that old entry if you want to view the photos of where I went during that time: click here


Hope you enjoyed the photos! That should be all of the touristy things for now! Wish I had my friends here so we can go on photo adventures often. For now I’m stuck on these adventures alone until any of my friends decides to visit Cali. I still have yet gone to a few museums and certain tourist attractions, but that shall be saved for anyone else that decides to visit me. 🙂

Highway 1

Ever since I moved to California, I’ve been told many great things for what’s along Highway 1 especially Big Sur. Never wanted to really do the drive alone since it’s definitely a drive I’d prefer to have some company with. Luckily I had friends from Boston visiting last weekend which commenced for a photo adventure. Definitely didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to experience the amazing views. Each stop was gradually breath taking. I suggest anyone to take a day to drive along Highway 1 to really experience the scenic views. Don’t forget to bring some beer, too! We had a beer before we ventured off to enjoy our last stop during this drive. Here’s a list of where we stopped:

– Pescadero State Beach

– Pebble Beach to see the Lone Cypress Tree

– Point Lobos

– Bixby Bridge

– Pfeiffer Falls

My favorite spots were Point Lobos and Pfeiffer Falls. I wouldn’t mind going back to Point Lobos one of these weekends to hike. There was something so calming about this place for me. Luckily we were able to make it to Pfeiffer Falls right in time before the sun set. It was beautiful. I was surprised to see a bridal party just leaving Pfeiffer Falls after their ceremony ended as we were walking onto the trail. Pretty cool idea.


Thanks again to my friend JP for driving! Of course when we arrived back to San Jose we had to have all you can eat Korean BBQ as well as lots of beer and soju at YakiniQ. Yay! Perfect way to end a great day. Got lots of great pics but still really need to get a better lens!! Had time to make change my wallpaper with all the photos I’ve taken!

Working from home :)

It was a really great time and I was glad to share this experience with friends that’s never gone before. 🙂

Wedding Shoot

Last Friday I got to be a part of something so beautiful and sweet. A friend of mines from middle school who now resides in Socal contacted me that she was going to go to San Francisco City Hall to get her marriage certificate. She was in need of a photographer so I took up that task. I didn’t charge her anything since I’m not a professional nor am I a freelance photographer. I’ve mainly done product shoots and some photography for my own design work. But I primarily do it as a hobby than as a business. I was excited yet nervous about taking on this task. I wanted it to be perfect since this was a very important day to her and her fiancĂ©.

I picked them up and off to city hall we went. Luckily the weather was pretty nice in SF that day because the day before it had rained. As soon as we arrived inside of city hall I was amazed at how beautiful the interior of it was. Now I really understood why she came up to Norcal to get this done here. I’ve only taken one shot of the exterior before and never been inside. It’s definitely a place you have to visit. There were lots of other couples waiting to get married, checking in and getting their photos taken. I didn’t realize the people working there were all volunteers. I thought that was a really great thing to do on their end.

While we were waiting during the whole check in process, I took some photos for them. L (the bride to be) was pretty much directing me, which was fine by me. I had no idea what to tell her to do so I told her to just do whatever she wants. After taking a few photos L and I got to chat for a bit and it was great catching up with her. It was really refreshing to see a friend from home. I think the last time I had seen her was on her birthday back in Boston 2 years ago. To see her again on her wedding day was so crazy, but I am extremely happy for her. It was my first time meeting her fiancĂ© and they were so cute and sweet together. Finally it was their turn for the ceremony. During this whole process, I tried so hard not to cry as I’m taking the photos. It was one of the sweetest moments I got to witness in my life. You just see how their relationship is so sweet and genuine. I told her she was the luckiest girl in the world to have such a good man in her life.

We took some more photos before we left. Luckily a lot of people were leaving city hall so there weren’t as many people in the photos I took. I got done editing her photos last night and e-mailed them to her. I felt extremely relieved that she loved the photos. I was scared I didn’t take enough or they weren’t up to par. Glad they exceeded her expectations for the most part. I got kinda teary eyed when I was editing the photos of them exchanging their vows and what not. It was so sweet.

Anyways, I came to a realization I need a better lens since I just have the standard 18-135mm lens for my Canon 60D. Going to start browsing for a better lens whenever I have the chance. Suggestions are welcomed!

Hope you enjoy a few of the photos I posted! 🙂