Friday, April 10, 2015

Film Fridays

When I was in college, I didn't subscribe to magazines like Glamour or Lucky and instead went for Time magazine. Nerdiness aside, the reason I choose Time was simply because of the photography. Their photos made me stop what I was doing, take in the photo, feel and imagine what it was like to be there behind the lens.

And so, I wanted to start a series on Fridays featuring photography from around the world (or maybe just the blogging world). The series will start off with a different topic each month. This month's topic is spring. And although the series is titled "Film Fridays," digital photography is most definitely welcome! You don't have to be a professional or have the latest gear, I just want to see your work and your vision :)

FujiFilm | walk/humbly
Do you have any photos you would like to share? I would love to see them! Just leave a comment down below or shoot me an email!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Summer Adventures

I know that spring just arrived, but I'm already excited for summer. Since grad school will be over, it'll be the perfect time to go on an overseas adventure! We just booked our tickets, and as someone who loves to organize things (this is sometimes a sneaky procrastination technique of mine), I'm enjoying researching things to do, places to see, and most importantly, where to eat.

Although I have been to most of these cities in the past when I lived in China for a year, I am most excited to be able to share this experience with my husband. I will meet family members I've never met before and see where my husband spent his early years in Hong Kong. Oh yeah, and we will order a ton of real ramen in Tokyo :)

Have you been to any of these cities? Are you planning any summer adventures? (Suggestions of what to do and see?)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Little Miss Four-Eyes

My 4th grade teacher wrote a letter home telling my parents that I was constantly squinting when trying to read the chalkboard. This led to my first pair of eyeglasses. I definitely needed them. I mean, my eyesight was really bad, like this bad:

Regardless, the idea of glasses made me cry. As a people pleaser who cared way too much what other people thought of me, I was a distraught little 9 year old. With the help of my loving parents, I managed to find a pair of glasses that were pink and purple, and I actually started feeling okay about everything.

Then came the teasing.

Children can be so cruel.

I remember having the honor of being hallway patrol, dressing in high-waisted shorts, frizzy hair, sneakers with socks extending up mid-calf, and adorned with my bright orange, seatbelt-like "official" sash - who wouldn't command respect looking like that?! I distinctly remember a boy making fun of me, calling me "four-eyes!!," other children laughing in response, and the sting in my eyes as tears started to form.

I partially blame my local Lenscrafters and the staff for whom, for lack of any reason whatsoever, did not decide to tell me that the frames I picked were TOO BIG FOR MY FACE. (Come on, even my grandma made fun of me -_-).

But throughout the years, I've grown in confidence and learned to accept all my physical flaws (I'm still looking at you, frizzy hair...).

Now I'm on the lookout for new glasses and I heard about Warby Parker's home try-on. No obligations to buy anything and 5 frames are yours to try out for a week - free! These glasses are so much cooler than what I had to choose from in elementary school. Now to decide which ones?

I also decided to test these glasses through "real world" situations. They seem to hold up pretty nicely :)

 Are there any fellow four-eyed friends out there who were teased?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thoughts on Empathy

Being a nurse, I often meet people when they are at their most vulnerable. Secrets that have never been shared, terrible traumas that were hidden, and even guilt and shame that weighed heavily upon regretful shoulders. Almost never will you find a person stop another person on the street and randomly tell them such personal things. But, this is what often happens in healthcare. Somehow and in some way, there is this bridge of trust that is so quickly and inexplicably built.

Last Friday, I went to a conference that focused on infant mental health and how experiences and stressors in life - at even such a young age - can have a profound impact on a child's learning and development. The topic was fascinating and I think my brain was overflowing with so much info. One of the things that stood out was a portion of the talk that looked at sympathy versus empathy. The guest speaker showed us a video that illustrated the difference between the two so perfectly (embedded below).

I think that whether you're a teacher, a mom, an engineer, or a corporate superstar, this is something that we should all know. I truly believe that life is all about relationships and that during the crummy, trying times, we should learn how to be present for each other. Learning to have empathy is just one way to start.

What do you think about empathy versus sympathy?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How I Manage Stress

Stress free?! That's never me!
In less than one week, I will take my certification exam to become a family nurse practitioner. In less than 2 months I will graduate (being really optimistic here - just kidding). Needless to say, my stress levels are running high.

There are so many blog posts about ways to manage stress and since there are plenty of those to go around, I'm not going to do that here. Instead, I'm going to tell you how I personally manage stress and if you need an eyewitness, my husband is readily available for your emails.

The ways in which I manage stress:

1. Procrastination. All of a sudden there are so many other things that I must get done. Dishes. Laundry. Reading up on as many blogs as possible. Okay, I must be stressed 24/7 then.

2. Exercising. Who am I kidding. Although running throughout nursing school helped me combat stress and anxiety, it often takes a lot of work to make myself exercise these days. Easy to preach to my patients, much more difficult to implement for myself (hypocrite, anyone?! :D).

3. Sleep. Because sometimes you just need to throw it all down and give your brain a rest.

4. Target. Yes, I am one of those women. Target's clothing, accessories, beauty, and snack aisles are always welcoming and not judging me. Also, I have a soft spot in my heart for the company. They gave me a scholarship for college and that's also where I met Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop in real life when I was about 5 years old. On meeting Shari Lewis + Lamb Chop: it. was. awesome.

5. Playing the role of "most emotionally unstable woman in the world." Except, this is not a play - it's real life, yo. Tiny, meaningless things may set me off and I realize more so the ways in which I need to work on anger, patience, and self-control. Sometimes, it's like watching a scene from a really bad indie film. Tears. Deep internal questions about my life. Unkempt hair. (Dumbfounding my husband.)

How do you handle stress?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Learning to Dress Like a Grown Woman

One of my goals for 2015 is refreshing my wardrobe. I don't know how this happened but I still have pieces from high school, jeans that have shrunk like crazy in the wash (suuuure, Monica - they "shrunk"), and dresses that I will never touch again. I don't know why I keep these pieces other than the hopes that I will fit these clothes again or some of the styles from the 90's will make a comeback (but let's be honest - do we really want that to happen?).

I'm in my 30s, graduating with my doctorate in a few months, and will start a new career as a professional. Now would be a good time for a wardrobe refresher. Now would be a good time to start dressing like a grown woman. This is going to probably be a yearlong process and then some that will take time and money, unless Nordstrom magically decides to help a sista out.

Since I've been a forever student and the only professional clothes I ever had to worry about were scrubs, I will be seeking help from others. I've gathered inspiration via Pinterest and some wonderful advice from Putting Me Together. I'll also seek the advice of my sister (she just doesn't know it yet).

Side note: I just want to take a second to brag about my sister. She's served as a stylist for print ads and catalogs, her sets on Polyvore have gotten over 4 million views, she's been flown to NYC fashion week a few times, not to mention working with freaking Michael Kors in the flesh on a promotion video (say, what?!). Oh yeah, and there was the time her fashion likes were featured in Glamour magazine. And this was all just a side hobby FOR FUN in addition to her full time career of kicking butt and taking names. Brag complete.

The other day I told my husband that I needed new clothes and makeup now that I'm starting a new career. Then I laughed it off and told him I was joking. He knows I'm really not ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Inspiration in Film

When it comes to photography, there are so many that inspire me. My dad who did it in the 80's and my husband who 'wooed' me with his film camera when we first started dating. While producing beautiful results, film photography has become significantly more expensive (sadness). If film, processing, and development were free then film photography is all I would do! But since we don't have an unending source of money, digital photography will have to do most of the time with the exception of clients and special projects.

A few film photographers who inspire:

Wendy Laurel | Oh, the colors!! Also makes me want to move to Hawaii.

Marina Koslow | Love the soft and dreamy look of her work.

Yan Palmer | Her vision and beautifully candid shots.