flowering pear trees…

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I found this hidden spot while scouting and hiking around a local  park awhile back but the area was too wet during the rainy season to explore. The weather right now is perfect as the ground is dry and the air is cold and crisp enough that everything around is quiet (even though there are plenty of joggers nearby), it feels almost as if I’m in my own secret garden. I was really drawn to this place because amongst all the piles of branches and fallen leaves are these two flowering pear trees that I really love. These type of trees not only bloom beautifully around Houston during this time of winter, but it also reminds me so much of my childhood when my sister and I would ride down our old apartment lane filled with these flowering pear trees. We’d pick them from the low hanging branches and fill our baskets up with them.

Temple at Midnight

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Houston / Life

New Years Eve is always fun, because my brother and sister and I like to spend the night going on our traditional midnight temple run, sometimes visiting more than one to celebrate Tet. This year, we went to an old one downtown where we ran into a couple of familiar faces, and enjoyed the traditional dragon dances. I love seeing all the beautiful, bright red and gold lanterns illuminating the night sky. Fresh lucky bamboo stalks and gladiolas are being passed out and the smell of tangerines and burning incense are overwhelming the senses.   The temple is always packed with people holding a bouquet of incense above their heads as we all make our way through the altars to make our prayers for a healthy, prosperous year to come. I love the sweet, floral smell of incense. It reminds me of my mom as she always lights one for our ancestors in the house during the evenings. Every year, the weather drops an extra few degrees in temperature when we go on our midnight temple runs, but I still enjoy spending these little moments with family, even more now with Olivia and little baby boy on the way. Olivia is still getting used to the dragons, but she really likes being outdoors. Can you spot her in the crowd?

Spring colors…

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home sweet home / Life

Happy New Year! The flowers are fresh, the fruits have been arranged, and the red envelopes have been hung onto the forsythia branches. Every year, I enjoy helping my mom out during the few days leading up to the eve of Tet getting the house decorated to welcome the new year. This year, we had such an overwhelming harvest of oranges, grapefruits and kumquats from the backyard, that the house has been filled with these beautiful hues of orange and yellows and the scent of citrus throughout. I really do love seeing all these vibrant and amazing spring colors around the house during this time of year.

Moon & Stars…

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A few weeks ago, I threw my sister a second baby shower to welcome their new baby boy. We kept things simple and invited our good friends to come and hang out with us at MKT Bar downtown to eat, catch up, and celebrate. For party favors, we had home made play dough (sprinkled with stardust, of course!) that was a pretty big hit with both the kids and adults.


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Life / weekends

As a photo blogger, photo files are so important to me, so when my hard drive crashed on me last November, I had a pretty bad meltdown over potential lost files and memories that I had deemed lost forever. Fortunately, my brother was able to recover the majority of the files on my hard drive and life is a little bit more sane again. :) So the next few posts will be catching up from November, which has been kind of a whirlwind month with so many photo shoots and personal events happening. Tet is just around the corner this week, so I’ll try to post and catch up on everything before then. As with every new year, I am always optimistic for so many good things to come and feel very blessed with so many good things that have already been.So here’s to the start of many more good things to come this year…

Having a niece has given me a good excuse to go to more family oriented events like this light show that the Zoo.

food and wine

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Cooking / Parties

Autumn is finally here! Or so it’s finally beginning to look like Autumn in Houston. I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with friends again this year. Last year, we decided to take a break and dine out, but somehow the idea of not cooking on Thanksgiving didn’t sit too well with me this year. It’s always a lot of work to put together a large party, but I really enjoys cooking and having everyone over to hang out. This year, I took a more chill approach and didn’t stress on the decor as much. I didn’t even snap that many photos of the party to my surprise, but the food was cooked on time, friends came and ate and conversed, the baked brie was a hit, Pacquiao won, and baby slept soundly through it all, so I guess it was a pretty successful event after all. On to the next…

Miami first…

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My sister and I took a little break from the dropping temperatures in Houston to celebrate another one of my old friend’s wedding in Miami last weekend. This was my first time in Florida and I have to say, the weather here during the winter season suited me just fine as there was no humidity and a constant breeze kept flowing through town. We stayed in a historic cottage in Little Havana where it was cool enough to sleep with the windows open and if you’ll believe it, I even woke up one morning to the sound of a Hispanic woman singing on this beautiful Spanish song. Our hosts treated us to local Cuban pastelitos for breakfast and when we arrived at our cottage in the evening, the cat greeted us at the doorway. Yeah, I guess I could get used to this little piece of paradise. One thing I will say, though, Miami drivers and pedestrians are the worst at giving any fucks about the road, but I suppose that’s part of the blasé mentality I have to get used to about Miami.

neighborhood peacocks roaming the streets in the morning…