October 2008


Photo from our Atlanta trip earlier this moth

Hy and I just finish packing for our trip to Chicago. We will be flying out later tonight. I’ve yarned for the quick get away since our last trip to Atlanta, which was just couple weeks ago. Makes me think that I need a longer break (ie., 2-3 months will be good). Constant pressure and stress from work doesn’t do any good to a young (really not young any more) lady.

I felt utterly not prepared for the Chicago trip though. I am the trip planner in our house hold. I usually do my trip planning to the meals (cuz both Hy and I are foodies). But for this trip, I haven’t gotten any chance to do such planning. I guess I will catch up on the trip planning on the long flight. This is my second time to Chicago, but Hy’s first. So, hopefully we will do some sight seeing, have some great food (Chicago Pizza!) and enjoying a night of blues.

My next trip planning exercise will be a Hawaii trip in December. We will be going to Kauai island and Big island. This will be a full week trip and we will be meeting up w/ friends there. Another exiting event to look forward besides the Election and Thanksgiving in Nov..

Have a nice weekend girls. I know Hy and I will.

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I am currently working on Christina and Ryan’s wedding photos. I really enjoy working through them.

Christina and Ryan tied the knot at San Ramon Golf Club.

Here are couple of my favorites.

This one is the fierce America’s Next Top Model bridal look : -)

Congratulations Christina & Ryan!

This weekend has been a weekend of renewal for me. Last week was brutal. I will have a lot to deal w/ the upcoming week from last week’s set back. Hy was still recovering from his illness. I was really spending this weekend resting, having enough hours of sleep and indulging in my little world of reading (blogs, books & music lyrics). I’ve mentioned that I was crazy about an Asian singer, Jay Chou. He’s new album, Capricorn, is really awesome!

I am reading 2 books concurrently right now. One is a new shipment from Amazon: “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” by Amy Tan. I just finished reading Amy Tan’s Saving Fish from Drowning couple weeks ago on the flight back from Atlanta. Saving Fish From Drowning opens my eyes to people’s complicated life under the unstable regime. The novel has the following story line: “On an ill-fated art expedition into Burma, 11 Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour – and disappear. Through twists of fate they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of a leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages of the Myanmar military regime.” I didn’t expect such political topic from Amy Tan. For those of you girls who read the book and love it, here’s a video of Amy Tan talks about her book Saving Fish From Drowning. I love after reading the book, then hear about the author’s own interpretation of the book. I did learn different perspectives after watching her video. Back to the book “The Bone Setter’s daughter”, I decided to read this book cuz I heard on a drive to work that the book was made into an opera. I missed the Fall 2008 show time, hopefully I will get to see it when it came back.

The 2nd book I am reading is “Elizabeth I CEO” by Alan Axelrod. Subtitled “Strategic Lessons from the Leader who built an Empire.” I bought the book couple years ago when the movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age came out last year. I watched the DVD earlier this year, w/ the history/story line still clear in my mind, and the difficulty of being a leader in a weak economy; I thought it’s a good time to read the book. Queen Elizabeth inherited England in its weak and trouble era, but finished her reign of 45 years, England was the richest and most powerful nation in Europe and well on its way to becoming the greatest empire the world would ever known.

I just started the book this weekend, but found the author’s outline of 10 key leadership lessons interesting and not far from some of my experience at work:

1. A leader’s first lesson: Survival
2. Creating a leadership image
3. Combining the common touch with the air of leadership
4. Creating common cause without tyranny
5. Building a loyal staff – and a loyal opposition
6. Growing the enterprise and crushing the competition
7. Turning crisis into triumph
8. Holding on to the power
9. Doing business without excuses
10. Winning – and what it means

From the same Amazon shipment, I got Billy Blank’s TAEBO DVD. I am now into day 2 of “Get Celebrity Fit Cardio” workout. Somehow, after watching Britney’s Womanizer Music Video I have this illusion of if Britney can get back in shape, maybe I can get rid of 10 or 20 lbs. I have lots of fat to trim.

This is a teaser photo for our very own low-key Minling in her beautiful gown. Congratulations Minling & Tak, we are working hard on your wedding photos!

Venue: Fort Mason Officer’s Club, San Francisco, CA
Coordinator: Lisa of Bellissima Vita Weddings
Florist: Passiflora Designs
Makeup Artist: Lisette Weavil
Hair Artist: Jill Quinn from Sublime Salon
Gown: Amy Kuschel
Invitation: Tara of Ephemera Custom Letterpress
Band: Keith Johnson All Stars
Lighting: Elle and Co
Cake: Bravos Bakery
Caterer: Union Street Catering
Photobooth: Party Booths

I know I’ve been raving a lot about many talented vendors. But I gotta tell you, there are some very unprofessional ones we worked before. I’ve worked w/ wedding coordinators who was really clueless and basically relying on me to do all the coordinating and planning work for him (yes, a guy). And there are some coordinators that you never heard from. I didn’t even know the bride hired a coordinator until after the fact. They don’t contact your vendors for you. They don’t check up with your vendors to make sure everything is in line. You spent the money, but they didn’t add any value for the money you spent. Especially in this weak economy, girls, do watch out on who you hire and make sure you get what you paid for.

In Sarah & Hamish’s wedding, I had a bliss working with Lisa Blake from Bellissima Vita Weddings. She contacted us before Sarah and Hamish’s wedding. She made sure she knows Frank/Hy’s arrival time so she can keep an eye on us on the day of. She reached out to us for our cell phones so she can contact us in case there are disconnects. She also understand that vendors can sometimes get quite busy during summer months, so she was polite with us and gave us time to get back to her. I wish we will get to work w/ Lisa more!

Thought this is a fun photo

Love the head table setting from Passiflora Designs

First dance:

I am always really touched when looking at the first dance captured by Hy & Frank

Band from Keith Johnson All Stars

Presidio Officer’s Club at night

Congratulations Sarah & Hamish! Thank you for allow us to share your precious moments w/ us!

Little update here: 8 days away from our Chicago trip. Hy and I are super excited for a quick weekend get away, also meeting up w/ our bride next year. BTW, I am so behind w/ blogging. I have 3 teasers upcoming; 2 pending weddings to blog; and 2 trip photos.

With so many gloomy news/rumors about layoffs in the Silicon Valley, I feel like I need a positive photo to give myself some happy thoughts.

So, I went digging around on Hy’s computer, and guess what I found. Some of the photos from this summer’s camping trip to Emerald Bay w/ my hubby, my beloved friend and my God son.

We arrived the camp site late Friday night, it was the Beijing Olympic opening night. We all missed the fabulous opening ceremony.

But it was Lucas’ first time camping, so Hy got to put on the fire show for him. Lucas was having so much fun w/ the camp fire.

Lucas love to toast marshmallows, but he doesn’t eat them.

Hy woke up early to take photos for the sunrise next to the bay.

A true happy camper ~

Our next trip will be to Chicago in 2 weeks. I can’t wait. I am so looking forward for the beautiful autumn color.

With economy growing weak, I am trying to love myself more (instead of working myself to dead for my day time job). This weekend, I cooked Hy many home-made meals (even with desserts)! Hy’s still recovering from his flu & fever, but he’s a happy camper w/ the food I cooked. With Thanksgiving upcoming, I am also trying out couple new dishes in preparation of the Thanksgiving dinner. This week, the organic farm delivery shipped us 2 acorn squashes. Hy and I had never cooked acorn squash, so we had to search for recipes. We end up with the “Classic Baked Acorn Squash“. It was simple, yet quite delicious!

I was reading an interview on “American Lifestyle” magazine, a gift from my realtor. There’s an interview w/ Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart regarding his inspiration and show casing some of his photographs. “There’s nothing cooler than capturing a moment forever”, Cowart said in the interview.

Last week, I was really worried about my coworker as he’s house is very close to the San Fernando fire. He’s neighbor’s house couple streets away was actually burned down due to the fire. As a house owner, I can feel his fear and worries. No matter how much fire insurance can cover, it can not replace all the memories and personal valuables the family has grown attached to in years.

A week before, Hy & Frank was at a wedding in Napa. Here’s some photos Hy capture of the fire on that day. Hy can see the fire from the wedding site. It’s scary to think about how many homes could been destroyed from the fire.

Venue: Presidio Main Post Chapel, San Francisco, CA
Coordinator: Lisa of Bellissima Vita Weddings
Florist: Passiflora Designs
Makeup Artist: Lisette Weavil
Hair Artist: Jill Quinn from Sublime Salon
Gown: Amy Kuschel
Invitation: Tara of Ephemera Custom Letterpress

Sarah & Hamish said “I Do” at Presidio Main Post Chapel of San Francisco. It’s a beautiful chapel for their wedding ceremony.

I love the lighting of this photo

Favorite moment!

I love love Amy Kuschel’s wedding gown.

Presidio Main Post Chapel of San Francisco.

I love the bride’s bouquet, designed by Passiflora Designs.

Happy Newly Wed!

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