Saturday, October 10, 2009

Part II: Relief Efforts for Typhoon "Ondoy" Flood Victims

About a week ago, I blogged about the aftermath of Typhoon "Ondoy" in the Phillipines. Hundreds of thousands of families have lost everything because of the flooding and I just felt like I needed to something. So I coordinated a donation drive with the help of my family. I asked my uncle if we could set up shop at his filipino grocery store, and he was more than willing to help! We left tubs at the store for people to drop stuff off and I have to thank everyone who has helped out!

I've also been very impressed with how our community has really come together to help. The Bay Area has a huge filipino community, and it's so refreshing to see all the efforts. There have been night club events where 100% of proceeds go to the Philippines flood victims, restaurants donating a percentage of proceeds, donations, and benefit concerts!

Let's continue to pray for those who have been affected and try our best to help as much as we can.

This picture just breaks my heart...
Photo courtesy of Xinhua/AFP Photo

Here was our set up! We were collecting a variety of things such as, toothbrushes/toothpaste, perishable food items, vitamins/medications, soap, etc.

Thank you again for everyone's help and support this week! We got a ton of helpful items to send over to the Philippines. Remember, one small gesture will help thousands!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maria the Make-Up Artist

Remember Maria the make-up artist? I mentioned her in a previous entry :). I've known her for about a little over 11 years now and is one of my best friends! She was nice enough to invite me to shoot her doing her make-up thing this past weekend. We kind of joke about how we are a package deal, when you get her, you get me too (and vice versa). We're both going through the beginning stages of transforming our passion into something more. It's really exciting!

I met up with her at the hotel that Saturday morning. She was doing make-up for the whole wedding party, including the bride! Talk about pressure, right? But no no, Maria was confident and did an awesome job! As she worked on the ladies, she'd give tips about how to apply eye shadow, what to use for dark circles, and explained what she was doing and using on their faces. I never knew what pigment was until that day, now I'm itching to go get some. She's such a professional, I love it!

After doing make-up for almost 5 hours, time was winding down and everyone was in a rush to get ready. But that didn't phase Maria, she was calm and finished up the last girl, the maid-of-honor, in fact, beautifully. It was such a pleasure meeting everyone and being there watching one of my bestie's in action. I had so much fun, thanks for having me ladies, you all looked beautiful!

Here's Maria.
I love all things make-up <3<3<3... id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5389349471546235506" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: pointer; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="" border="0">
If I could wear false eyelashes everyday, I totally would! These belong to the bride.

Here's Maria working on the blushing bride :)
I just love this shot. I actually didn't even know I got this one until I uploaded the pictures to my computer. It's my accidently on purpose shot!

I absolutely love how she added the blue liner here. It goes perfectly with the earings.

As Tyra Banks would say, this is so FIERCE!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pure Blendz Make-Up Party

Make-up party. Need I say more?

Okay, okay, I will! Pure Blendz is a cosmetics company that I recently learned about. The people that work there are amazing! They are all very friendly and I love the one-on-one attention they give you. A couple weeks back, I went to one of their makeover events and had my make-up done by Wendy. I bought a few of their Motives products, and absolutely love it! (I'm wearing their foundation right now) Well onward with my story, I brought my friend, Maria, who is also a make-up artist and long story (not really that long....) short, they invited her to be one of the make-up artists at a Pure Blendz Make-Up Party last week! So exciting :)

Maria recently got her esthetician license and is starting to take her love for make-up more seriously. It's actually perfect timing, because we both are starting to build our portfolios (hers is make-up, and mine is photography), so she invited me to tag along with her to shoot her in action. It was a lot of fun! Pure Blendz did an awesome job, I wish I had some special occasion coming up because I want to throw a make-up party! Hey, maybe I'll do one just cuz...hmm. I mean, seriously, what's better than getting all your girls together to have a private makeover session in your very own home?

If you want to know more about Pure Blendz, you can visit their website at

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Relief Efforts for Typhoon "Ondoy" Flood Victims

So I'm going to share something with you that not many people know. I'm a pro when it comes to tuning out bad news/uncomfortable situations. I'll deal with things in my own way but if at all possible, I'll just pretend that it doesn't exist.

When I started hearing the news about the typhoon in the Philippines, I just thought, "Wow...that sucks!" I asked my mom if our family there is effected, and she said that the province that majority of my family lives in is safe and high enough that they don't have to worry about floods. So I just tried to not think about it, because I knew my family was okay. One day last week, my mom was chatting with one of my cousins in the Philippines and asked them how they were doing. She lives in a different area from the rest of my family, and she told my mom that their entire downstairs is flooded. I figured, "Hey, she's on the computer so it can't be that bad, right?" So again, I just put it in the back of my mind.

Last night, my uncle who lives here emails me and a few of my other family members asking for donations. It turns out that one of my aunts in the Philippines is in need of help. Her entire house is flooded. My uncle never asks us for help, so that's when it really finally hit me. I could not stop thinking about it.

So the next morning, I bring up the idea to organize a donation station. A place where people can drop off items to help the victims effected by the flooding. There is supposed to be another major storm hitting the Philippines this weekend. I started reading articles and looking at some pictures and realized that I could not just sit here and do nothing while hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything.

If you live in the Bay Area and would like to participate in our donation, please contact for details.

To find out more about how you can donate to help the victims, please visit the Philippines National Red Cross website.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alcatraz Island

I've lived in the Bay Area all of my life and not once have I gone to Alcatraz Island, I've never even been on a ferry! That's actually not as unusual as some may think, I know a ton of people who have grown up here and never been. I always just thought, "It's not going anywhere and I live in the area, so it can wait."After 26 years, I finally got an opportunity to go (it's actually not that hard to go, you just need to buy a ticket!).

It was a cloudy, windy, cold day in San Francisco. Just how I like it. I love the crisp, cold air. And the fog! I love fog! Haha. At the time, I kind of wished it was clear skies so my pictures would look 'better'. But after going through and editing them, I think the gloomy weather totally fits the theme, wouldn't you agree?

Alcatraz is such an amazing place. So much history and so many interesting things to see. The bad thing about me is that my mind tends to wander in its own direction when people try to give me a history lesson. We sat down for about ten minutes to watch a brief documentary on Alcatraz Island, and I retained a little bit of it. We all know that Alcatraz is known for being a prison, but I had no clue that after the prison closed, an Indian tribe ( mind was somewhere else when they mentioned the name of the tribe) tried to claim it as their land. And another thing I found interesting is that when it was a prison, the workers and their families actually lived on the island, too. Well, I'll stop my poor attempt to dazzle you with my Alcatraz knowledge. are a few pictures the Cellhouse Audio Tour.

Ran into this little guy while waiting on the fairy...

Check out that wonderful fog....

There it is, The Rock

Monday, September 14, 2009

Using Textures ... Dun Dun Duuunn...

I've been wanting to play around with textures for some time now. They can have a really nice effect, if done right. And that was the part that was delaying this experiment. I didn't want it to look like i just copy and pasted a new background. I wanted to know how to blend it into the image, how to make it look 'natural.' I've seen some really good uses of textures, so I guess I got intimidated. Tonight, I finally just dove in to the world of textures.

I'm pretty satisfied with the way they turned out. I'll probably start to incorporate textures into other projects, but promise not to over do it. Playing around with textures is pretty fun. It totally changes the vibe of the photo. And it's also a good way to 'cover-up' a busy background.

If anyone has any good suggestions (free!) on where to get textures, lemme know! =D

This is what happens when you get too busy...

You remember you entered a photo contest two days after the polls are closed! I can't blame anyone by myself on this one. FAIL!

I entered a Summer Photo Contest on Tiffiney's Photoblog a few weeks back. The rules were simple, just submit a photo of a summer day. I chose a picture I blogged about earlier in August and voting started on Tiffiney's blog on Sept. 5th. I am totally FIRED because voting ended on Sept 12!

I have to thank Tiffiney of Tiffiney's Photography for posting my picture! It such a good feeling seeing your work posted somewhere other than my blog. I'll have to be better about this next time!

Here's the photo I entered of my two neices:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Scream for Maggie Moo's Red Velvet Ice Cream

My obsession began a couple weeks ago on one of those lazy Sunday afternoons. I was watching Food Network, specifically it was an episode of Unwrapped. I swear, that show always makes me crave whatever they are featuring. They're good! During this episode good ole' Marc Summers featured an ice cream shop called Maggie Moo's. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this because one just opened up near my house a little while ago, I've just never tried it. It's right next to a Jamba Juice so I always end up opting for that. Well, that's not the case anymore, my friend.

On that episode, they featured Maggie Moo's red velvet ice cream! Well, let me back up just a bit. If you're not familiar with this place, it's very similar to Cold Stone where they have various flavors of ice cream and you choose your mix-ins. Well, unlike Cold Stone, they have more unique flavors such as buttered popcorn, very yellow marshmallow, cinnamoo bun (hehe), and red velvet! I just couldn't get that out of my mind (I love ice cream!), so a week later, I drag my nieces with me to get some. Janelle got vanilla with oreos and Caitlin got chocolate with gummy bears. Of course, I absolutely had to get their red velvet fresh escape, which is red velvet ice cream with brownies, pecans, and fudge mixed in. YUMMO! I swear to you, this is the creamiest ice cream I've tasted! It's sooo good! If you get an opportunity to try it, I highly suggest you do!

If you live in the Bay Area, then you have two options, there is one in Hayward and one in Richmond. I've since been back twice and am still as amazed as the first time. Here's a picture of the dee-lish treat taken by my handy dandy Blackberry (please excuse the blurriness).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Joyce's Mommy-to-Be Shower

Remember I mentioned shooting for my first event as a photographer, but I couldn't give too much details about it? Well, it's time to spill! I was asked to shoot for one of my sisters' best friends surprise Mommy-to-Be shower. I admit, I was kind of nervous. I don't really know why because I've known most of them practically all my life. Maybe that was the reason..haha.

Joyce, the mommy-to-be, was surprised with an afternoon mani/pedi party at Twinkle Toe Nail Bar. The day was full of laughter, gossip, and colorful toes! She was glowing and such an adorable preggy. You may be wondering if she's having a girl or boy...well so are we! The parents-to-be are saving that surprise for D-Day! Ahh...I can't wait to find out!

These were such cute favors! And I got to keep one, which was a major plus. What was inside? Why, mini nail polish, of course!

Can't be a spa day without spa water! Cucumber and lemon water is truly more refreshing than plain water...

Don't try to eat this cake! The diaper cake was such a cute idea. And it was even better with the added cupcakes along the bottom. Those were edible and deee-lish! Thank you Sibby's Cupkakery, I'll be contacting you for some yummy treats soon!

Here she is, the Mommy-t0-Be!

Told you there was laughing. This was taken right after I caught Sharon talking to the baby giraffe on the cake. Heh...silly girl.

Gotta have the belly shot!

Thanks for having me, ladies!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Introducing my Muses

You've seen them time and time again, but I thought I'd give them a proper introduction, especially since they are the two people who are always willing to strike a pose. Anytime I want to test lighting or different settings on my camera, they are always ready and smiling. I seriously think we turned them into camera-hogs, I've caught them many of times with my digital camera taking pictures of themselves. And if I didn't catch them in the act, I'll find out later on when I upload pictures and there are mysterious pictures of their eye or forehead (they are totally into taking self portraits of themselves...just like their auntie!!! ha!).

Well, without further ado, I'd like to properly introduce my nieces, (dun da da dun!) Janelle and Caitlin!As a 'thank you' for putting up with me, I took them out for a Day-O-Fun! They're still young, so hanging out with me is still considered cool. And this Day-O-Fun would not be complete without an impromptu photo session. Of course, right? Here are some highlights from that day.

This is Janelle, the older of the two. She's a total girly-girl and I absolutely love that! On the day of this session, she had a fit about wearing an Elmo and Cookie Monster shirt out because she said it was a pajama shirt. If you know her, then you can imagine how stressed out she was! And she gave me specific instructions on how to braid her hair, including the matching green hair ties.

And this is Caitlin, aka Tates. She is probably the total opposite of Janelle. Tates is a dare-devil, tomboy, and messy. Don't get me wrong, they have their similarities, I mean, they are both goofballs, but that just runs in our blood. Her instructions for her hair that day was basically not to braid it (because it takes too long) and she just wanted one ponytail (so it's out of her face). If she ultimately had it her way, she would skip the ponytail altogether and just leave the house lookin' a mess! Haha...

We completed our day with an ice cream run to Maggie Moo's. And you better believe that Tates' nice, clean white shirt was covered in chocolate by the time we got home.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Im waiting, anticipating for you baby....

Heh...don't let the title of this blog fool you. I'm not waiting or anticipating the way Mike Jones' Next to You song explains it.

I'm pretty excited because I've been asked to shoot pictures at this upcoming event. I can't go into too much detail but in about a week, you'll know why. Without revealing too much, this is kind of the first event where I'm invited as a photographer and not as a guest! It's something small, but still, I'm stoked!

I'm not getting paid, nor did I expect to. I'm just excited to practice and take pictures of people other than my neices or inanimate objects. So wish me luck and I hope I don't disappoint.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fix It Friday: Sweet Boy

Happy Friday! I thought this week was never going to end. Oh the stresses of being a grown-up...blah! heh... One of the highlights of my week was finding this fab candy store! It's called Powell's Sweet Shoppe and the one I went to was in Burlingame, CA. OMG...when we walked in, I just couldn't help but smile. They had new and old brands of candy! And a few odd ones like gummy bacon, ick. I definatley need to hit up that store again, soon! And if I don't speak about food enough (heh...I love food), I am absolutely excited for dinner tonight (which I should be getting ready for right now...ohhh man, they're going to kill me if I'm late).

Well, onward to Fix It Fridays! Here's my take on the photo this week. I did similar edits as the Southern Belle. I just am really diggin' that look right now. I hope you all have a great weekend!