Sunday, March 29, 2009

life lesson #2: be prepared

ask any of my good friends, who have gone on a trip with me, it is always an adventure. it's never a dull moment. this includes local driving trips. 

last night, coming back from bingo (yes, i love playing me some bingo), i felt like passing out, and/or puking in my cousin's pretty-darn-new car. and no, dear blog readers, not from a night of drinking ( i did not realize that we were in the casino for 5 1/2 hours. since i'm diabetic, i should be eating or snacking every 3-4 hours to prevent my blood sugar from dropping. my husband, j., had packed me a bento (box lunch) for bingo earlier that day, but i had forgotten to bring it with me, and thought i would get something at the casino. but if you've ever been at a casino (no clocks, no windows), or ever played bingo, you lose track of time. and obviously, a sense of hunger. 

i did not feel hunger until we hit the slots, and it wasn't until my third penny slot, and last ten dollars, my stomach started growling. i listened to the cue, and my cousin agreed that we head home. i thought we would at least make it home to eat, but about fifteen minutes on the road, i started to feel awful. the worst feeling i'd felt in a long time (at least, without being intoxicated). we were on the road in Boony Ville (because that's where most of these casinos are), late at night. 

i regretted not eating at the casino. i regretted not packing at least my glucose tablets or even gum in my purse. most of all, i could hear j.'s "i told you so" comment ringing in my ear. 

we got off the closest off-ramp, after five to ten minutes of trying to ignore the sick feeling. afraid of puking in my cousin's car, i strongly suggested we get off the freeway and find a drive through. i thought of the diabetes class, and how low blood sugar could cause a seizure or a coma. i'm sure my sugars were not that low, but my paranoia and hypochondria kicked into gear, and i found myself pleading and praying to God to not have any of the above happen to me. well, getting off the freeway into Boony Ville was not helping the situation. it was all darkness, and a long stretch of houses for miles. no 7-11. no McDonald's. no nothing. nothing but a whole bunch of houses and parks. a lot of parks. then we started driving up this winding road. now, i started to panic. i'm never moving to the 'burbs, thoughts screaming in my head. 

we proceed back down the mountain, for fear of getting lost, and get back on the freeway, with my eyes rolled to the back of my head. the fun that i just had playing bingo and winning on the slots were fading away fast. like the light at the end of a tunnel, we saw something from a distance. a red, white, and yellow neon sign, "In-N-Out." and heard angels singing....

quickly got off the ramp, and searched for the place called "In-N-Out." worried that the late night rush would delay my order and prolong my suffering, i was tempted to pay double for my order to come out next, or even beg them to throw a potato at me. when i got out of the car to walk towards the bright lights, my toe had a blister from my slipper sandal. so i'm limping towards the bright down...

to make this long story shorter, we had our burgers and fries (in silence, because both of us were scarfing down our food), and headed back on the freeway. four exits away was home. we had not realized home was that close. but seriously, i don't think i could have survived the four exits. the funny thing is, after eating the meal, my stomach was still growling, i still felt nauseated, and i was still light-headed. so once i got home, after my husband's "i told you so's," i went to bed. 

what have  i learned?
  • always pack a snack, candy, and definitely, glucose tablets for emergencies.
  • carry my GPS with me at all times.
  • listen to my husband.
  • oh, and keep my stories short.
i'm happy now and it's all good. we're planning another trip to play bingo soon. this time, i'll be prepared. 

special shout-out to In-N-Out! thank you so much for being there!! 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

resolution update

ok...ok...i have not been doing well in keeping up with my resolutions. not even worth listing the excuses, because they're just excuses. but i'm someone who perseveres, and sometimes i'm more of a 4th quarter kind of player, i bring it hard at the end. 

haven't met at any of my meet ups because, well, i've been too busy to meet up (isn't that how it usually goes?) 

exercise has definitely been replaced with napping in front of the t.v. and then sleeping more. 

my doctor agrees to put me on insulin, so we'll see how that works out. yay. more needles. 

i predict that the tide is turning for me, in a more positive direction. so my future's bright. hope you're sticking to you goals this year so far! tell me all about it!  

our lil' neighbor

kylee is about 7 months old, and she already has everyone wrapped around her little finger. our neighbors, eric and denise, who can be seen featured under our Maternity section in our website, invited us to spend a day at the park with their family. we enjoyed playing on the swings on that bright, sunny, almost-spring-day. ahhhh...this is the life!

i made her a mini slideshow, check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

arcadia arboretum of los angeles engagement portrait: ronald + kathy

ronald was the strong, silent type. kathy had a special power...she was the one who made him laugh. apparently, the only one who could make him crack a smile at work. another special power kathy had was persistence. she pursued ronald for about a year and a half, after he succumbed to her charm, and they officially became a couple.

one warm afternoon, taking a break from their walk through Arcadia's beautiful Arboretum, kathy checked her text messages. it said, "Babes. Will you?" she mumbled to him, "Will you, what? You didn't finish your sentence." she looked up, and saw ronald, on one knee, ring box in hand. in true ronald style, he had wooed her without a spoken word.

we had a laughter-filled day with kathy and ron. we planned their shoot at the site ronald proposed. they were such good sports. when they said they cleared their schedule for us, they were in big trouble. i like to shoot--- a lot! the more i shoot, the more inspired i get. the more game the subject, the more i get in the "zone." so as for the slideshow, i had a lot of faves to choose from. we love couples that are totally game, and just go with the flow during our sessions.

with our Designer Engagement Session, we include lunch, and later, shoot a different type of session. all our couples fill out a survey with questions about them, individually and as a couple, to get to know them before we shoot their session. we brainstorm ideas with the couple, and design a shoot that expresses who they are. no stuffy studio pictures here! so we went bowling with them, since they were avid bowlers while they were dating. intimidated by their pro gear, and fancy bags and bowling shoes, j. and i thought it best to split the teams, boys vs. girls. j.'s bowling nickname is "black thunder." (you'll just have to watch him bowl to see why). oh, and also, make sure you stand behind a shield when j. bowls. the ball seems to slip from his hands.

here are some faves from the shoot. see more here on their slideshow!

for more information about our Designer Engagement Session, contact us!

thank you, ron and kathy, for the laughs and the strikes. looking forward to seeing you again (hopefully for karaoke...johnny's practicing "endless love" in the shower now!).

From Drop Box
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
From Drop Box

arboretum of los angeles
301 N Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007-2697
(626) 821-3222

Sunday, March 15, 2009

might as well, JUMP

this weekend needed to happen.

this past week, with the doom and gloom of the news, unemployment, and the economy, this weekend at Aurora Elementary needed to happen. headed by teachers, most of which are losing their jobs next school year, Kid Fit was planned to promote health education to the community through vendors, and fun activities. thanks to good friend, Maricela Cedano, a resident teacher, for inviting us to this inspiring and positive event. it truly chased the dark clouds that have been looming over this week.

looking at these pictures, fun and exercise can be achieved no matter who you are! look at the guys having a ball jumping rope! to check out more pix of this great event, click here 

it's schools and resident teachers, like these, that make differences...everyday. support your local school. write to the district, the governor, the president. voice your concerns about education, and the loss of teachers, like these. for more info, check out or, for more information. you can make a difference.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

support schools, support children, support your future

Find more videos like this on Pink Friday

all of us are who we are because of a teacher. when you support teachers, you support children and their education. this affects all of us. it affects our future. 

check out more info: and 

Monday, March 9, 2009

life lesson #1: you are in control of more things than you realize or acknowledge

hello, blog readers,

i have no shoot to share, no pictures to post, no promo to..well, promote. 

i was getting the feeling to write in my new journal of the year (which was bought in jan. and never written in, yet) and wanting to write because the last couple weeks have been so stressful. the idea of buying the journal and start journaling again (i have been journaling since 3rd grade when i received my first diary, all with a heart key and lock!). my goal was to....(drum roll) WRITE THE STORY OF MY LIFE...starting from right now. the idea was to leave something behind for my son(s); yes, i believe i will have all sons. i wanted them to know the journey that i am experiencing, just trying to "have" them. i guess the reason why i haven't written in it yet is that because i write so much about what's going on in my lil' head here on my blog. my blog is almost like my journal. almost. (i tried to videotape myself...but that was a little nerve wracking, talking to myself)

today, i'm feeling hopeful. with a dash of melancholy. 

today i wanted to blog, but i didn't have anything photography related to say. but i wanted to get out what i wanted to say....which is that...

there is hope. 

oh...and faith. 

my father and uncle are both recovering from their medical scares of the last 6 weeks. thank you, God! it's so good to see them both smiling and laughing, and walking without a cane or walker in a long time. recovering well...knock on wood.

my health is hopefully turning over a new leaf. since sat., i have been better about remembering to take my diabetes meds and check my blood sugars. the doctor told me that she will start me on insulin shots in two weeks. i am nervous. not about the needles, although that was my initial reaction, but more about what this means to my health. this is definitely going to slow me down and change my lifestyle. the only thing i can do is stay positive, and do what's best for me. doc says that she still discourages us from conceiving right now, until my blood sugar is stable, and i'm healthier. i am looking forward to june, when i see her, and report that i have managed and controlled this disease, and that i am at least 10% lighter. the doctor said to cut out parts of my busy schedule. at first i was like, no way!! i LOVE my business! i LOVE my clients and i love what i do for them. no way am i going to sacrifice something that makes me genuinely happy. but i  know what she means. i need to make time to take care of myself so that i can do the things that make me happy.

thank you to those that have chimed in and given me encouragement. j. says that he wants me to be healthy first, before even thinking about having babies. babies or not, he says that he wants me to be healthy and live long, and grow old with him. i have to remember that i am in control of more things than i realize or acknowledge. i guess this is part of the journey.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

senior portrait: priscilla

this beautiful girl is graduating high school this year. priscilla is a senior in high school, and hopes to go to college and maybe enter the entertainment industry. she has one of the brightest smiles and the most positive outlook on life. she is bound to be successful in anything she pursues. 

senior portraits have come a long way from your studio portraits. these portraits were done on location, with multiple wardrobe changes. check on our website for more details about the packages we offer. this package is the Day in the Life Package, (valued at $250)
  • which includes up to 1.5 hours session, 
  • $75 print credit, 
  • all image files on proof CD, 
  • and wardrobe  changes. 
not only do you get the flexibility of wardrobe changes and extra time for a variety of poses, but the senior has a chance to express their individuality and personality. we take our time, and are open to multiple locations. an added plus, parents can feel at ease knowing that these photos will be taken in good taste. if you want to add friends to do a group session, we have an Heirloom Package that allows for more people, more time, and more print credit. 

check out priscilla's slideshow to get an idea of a session like this. we had a lot of fun shooting this! if you're interested in finding out more about senior portraits, contact us!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

america's best dance crew

i was never part of a crew. but i loved dancing, back in the day. in high school, i loved performing for talent shows and choreographing for friends for lip sync contests and school dances. i continued that in college, choreographing routines for shows, entering contests, and one time, for a club that i wasn't even a member for. i also dabbled in hula, and ballroom dancing. so i can totally appreciate dance shows, and love that Randy Jackson, the judge from American Idol, produced this show, America's Best Dance Crew on MTV.

no, this isn't America's Best Dance Crew winners. this is Beat Freaks, the runners up. Quest Crew won, and they were an awesome dance crew. i really liked Beat Freaks because they represented for the females, but more than that, they did what the boys did, and sometimes better. they're not my faves because they are girls, contrary to popular belief, that if they win, it's because they're girls. i don't think ABDC's fans vote based on gender. i felt their performances were consistent throughout the series, both creative and athletic, every single time. to be fair, i do think that Quest Crew 'brought it' the last episode, the Hip Hop Challenge, and their last routine 'killed it,' as they say. if based on the last ep, i have to say Quest won. if based on their collective performances, i have to say Beat Freaks took it.

in the end, i'm glad both crews made it to the end. it was an exciting season, for sure! if you missed it, you should definitely check it out when you get a chance. if you love dancing, even if you don't like hip hop, you will definitely get inspired, excited and entertained.

congrats to Quest Crew!!

day at the doctor's

so i went to my regular check up/follow up with my doctor about my diabetes. i was very nervous but also looking forward to talking with my doctor, and "facing the music," as they say. a week ago, i took some blood tests, and it was not good news. well, my busy lifestyle, and bad habits finally caught up with me. it has taken its toll on my liver and kidneys. my doctor says that i need to give up, or cut down something in my lifestyle. it's difficult, because both j. and i still have our "day" jobs, and our business, which is a full-time job in itself. we don't want to give up our business because we absolutely LOVE what we do, and what we do for our clients. we love being a part of people's joyous moments. we love meeting new people, and we've been so blessed with meeting such nice, friendly, and cool people. we are not ready to give that up.

what i'm thinking is that i need to make small "cuts" in my lifestyle, and more effort to really take time out for myself, whether it be taking a walk, spending an afternoon cooking a special dinner for myself and my husband, turning up the music in the house and cleaning/dancing, reading magazines on the couch, etc. i think it's those little things that will make an impact on my health. it has been a struggle to accomplish this.

i found myself getting teary-eyed up before the appointment, everything finally hitting me, that this is my health. this is me. i need to do something about it. j. was there, and the doctor walked in, while i was having this emotional moment, and as j. put it, the doctor looked at him, like he was Chris Brown (the singer that is allegedly accused of beating his girlfriend and singer, Rhianna). i quickly explained...i don't know if it was also because in the last couple months, there has been serious medical drama with my relatives, but i was scared of the doctor was going to say. j. thought i was crying because the nurse asked me to take my shoes off so the doctor can inspect my feet, and i was nervous because i haven't had a pedicure for more than a month (ok...that was part of the reason i was crying. i'm self conscious about my feet, ok?)

she, of course, told me that i have to cut down on my schedule, take time out to take my meds, and check my blood sugar regularly, as well as exercise and eat healthy. sigh...she did not want to prescribe me insulin because she felt that i needed to get back on track and on schedule with my meds. in three months, she wants to see improvement, so we can talk about fertility again. so that's the goal. we want to see improvement, as well, for ourselves, our future, baby or no baby.

i'm so glad j. was there. he takes good care of me and i could not ask for more. i need to take care of myself, so i can take care of us. i want to get back to the person who i want to be a new, and improved me.

how do you take time out for yourself? please leave a comment! would love to hear from ya!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

goddaughter jaylyn: 6 months

here's an update on my goddaughter, jaylyn. this is her 6 months old shoot, although she is almost 7 months now. i think she looks adorable in her laker outfit and bunny get up. i don't know which one i like the best. she's chloe's cousin (see earlier posts). we took their portrait sessions together, in the backyard of their grandmother's house. i think it worked out great. j. and i were going to set up this big backdrop, but we thought it might rain, and it would be a big hassle to breakdown if we had to do it in a jiff. besides, i love the japanese fountain in the background, and green grass spoke to the upcoming season, as the theme was Spring Portraits.

i always favor natural settings, anyway. the setting also tells a story. whether it be baby portraits, senior portraits or bridal portraits, the choice of setting and background, add to telling the story of what type of lifestyle the subject leads, personality of the subject, or even, like in this case, document the setting of home life. this is what is called Lifestyle Portraits. 

i remember a portrait my uncle bert took of my dad, in his backyard. it was an action shot of my dad doing a flying kick (martial arts). now, that backyard is no longer, as they have remodeled for a more mature garden, and no longer is the wide open backyard, where we once rode swings and danced the night away. i'm so grateful for that picture. it brings me back to a time of my youth. i'm sure you can think of a picture that reminds of being in that moment, that place, and that you can almost touch, see, smell, and hear the elements, like you're there. 

studio pictures, with generic backdrops, have their place in an owner's collection. but if you want to tell a story, natural settings are the way to go!

jaylyn, as was her cousin, chloe, were great subjects. she loves to smile, and smile for me and her mommy, she did. i love the in-between expressions, the wide open mouth, the questionable stare...are all so endearing! 

check out my faves below, and her slideshow!