I just found out Virgin America's website no longer exist! I took the news really hard. Virgin America has always been my go to UX and Design inspiration. I love everything about it. The vibe, the marketing, the design, the UX/UI, the interactions. This will take me a while to get over.
Happy birthday Ethan! Today you turned 2! I can't really think back 2 years ago and remember how our lives were without you. Different, more free for sure but you have given us so much joy. Dad made this for you so we can watch this together when you are off to college and realize how fast time flies. Mom and Dad will always be your biggest cheerleaders, supporting you. We only have a couple of wish for you.
Always remember how blessed and lucky you are and to help those that are less fortunate. You were borne in the United States, although it is not looking too good right now BUT you will be given every opportunity to succeed. You have a family that loves you. Use your talents, gifts and skills to help others, love others no matter the race, religion and sexual orientation.
Second wish I have for you is not get too high or too low. You will have joys and successes in life but you will also struggle in life, make mistakes and bad things will happen. Don't let mistakes define you but instead learn from it. Appreciate the little things in life, you are going to have many distractions everyday. Don't let it distract you from what's important. Appreciate the laughter with your friends, the smell of a elephant ear, the taste of a french fries. The simple joys in life.
Lastly, just be yourself. Be proud of who you are. Don't seek acceptance from social media. Spend time building relationships that matters to you. When you have family and friends that loves you no matter what. You are golden.
This week I got some unexpected work related news that flustered me quite a bit. Any time when you get blind sided by something it always take you some time to digest it. When I encounter not so great news I tend to shut down everyone around me and get into these "loner" mode where I just want to be by myself and do nothing. My wife always challenged me to let people in and share with those that I am the closest with. I get it, if one of my best friend is dealing with something and they wouldn't let me be there for them would be pretty frustrating.
Part of the reason why I like to be alone is you can just walk around and clear your heads. That's how I recharge as an introvert. Yesterday I was doing a lot of phone calls and found myself just walking around Pioneer Square and the waterfront. I felt peaceful and blessed. It sounds super corny but life isn't waiting around for you. It's happening right now.
Walking around aimlessly taking pictures is one of my favorite thing to do. Here are some pics. All taken with Iphone 7. More of a subtle vintage feel.
We welcome our baby girl last week. It's still surreal that we now have two little ones. We are beyond thankful for you and Ethan. Can't wait to see you grow! Mom and Dad will be there every step of the way and provide love and guidance as much as possible. Welcome to our world Lexi.
Veronica is a talented UX designer. She was looking to rebrand her resume, portfolio and business cards. I wanted to give her updated image to work with. I always enjoy doing portraits, it's simple, clean and elegant.
I've read that Steve Jobs and Obama wears the exact same thing everyday. They have way too much stuff going on so I totally get it. I am not comparing myself to those two obviously but I've been wearing the same shoes every day for the past month. Now let me tell you, its been amazing. I am one of those that will take half an hour picking out a tshirt in the morning. It's been so nice not thinking about which shoes to wear, I need to start doing it with my shirts and jackets too. As I have gotten older, I am wearing less and less variety just because my styles changes over time. Now I rather buy something expensive that I can wear everyday then a ton of cheap stuff that I won't touch in six months. There are a lot of advantages wearing the same thing everyday:
- Less time wasted - It seriously takes me an hour thinking about what to wear and in the end I am STILL just wearing a t-shirt with a pair of jeans. I need to just have 5 shirts in white, grey and blue.
- Becomes your "look" - Becoming minimalist is a big reason for this. I rather wear my nice expensive jacket everyday then wearing a bunch cheaper ones that I won't like in a month. It becomes your look and you will look more put together for those that understands fashion.
- Less stressful - You never have to think about "is it too formal" "will my shoes match" You won't regret your outfits because all the clothes you have left are the ones you know you will like.
Anyone else want to try it?
I can't believe Christmas is over already. This year went by like a blur. That's probably because we have a toddler running around giving us all we can handle. Christmas always reminds me of how blessed we are. I read a study recently saying being parents your highs will be super high and your lows will be super low. There are times I thought this is getting too much but a smile from Ethan will make it all better. My hope is to not forget how blessed we are but take it one day at a time.
Speaking of blessings, our family is adding a new member in the spring. A baby girl <3 We are beyond excited and this baby girl will be spoiled for sure.
To everyone that we don't get to see often or talked to enough. I hope you had a good year and let's catch up!
Lastly I want to give a shout out to my amazing wife. She gives so much to this family. She is truly amazing.
I had the privilege of photographing David & Shiho's surprise proposal. With the Pacific Northwest at its best in August, the setting and lighting were spectacular. How have I never been to Myrtle Edwards Park?! It's such a beautiful park. I got there early to try and scout out a spot that would be good for pictures. There were so many people out that day that it made it that much harder to hide and get the shots that I wanted. However, the pictures turned out amazing. David and Shiho's friend, Renee, not only helped coordinate the event but also went early to set things up on the beach and then it was game time.
I am so happy I was there to celebrate and capture this special memory and I am so excited for David and Shiho's new adventures together.
Internet is finally up and running! It was about 10 days ago that we moved to Insignia. It's been a year long process and shout out to my wife for dealing with everything. I don't have a clue on how the loan process works. All the different numbers and paperwork...yikes. She is amazing!
We are so happy to finally provide a room for Ethan. I got pretty emotional thinking back to our arrangement the past 10 months. Def wasn't the best for Ethan but we did our best. Of course, his own room means we have to sleep train him. It was a very scary thought because he is 10 months old now. He understands and can express his feelings a lot better. He is going to know mommy and daddy are leaving him all by himself in his crib on purpose. However, for everyone's benefit, it was time. As usual he was amazing and took about three days. The third day, he literally fake cried for about 1 min and he sat down all by himself and slept through the night. We are so proud of him knowing this will be better for his development and ours! We are reminded once again on how blessed we are. OH....DID I MENTIONED WE GOT INTO DAYCARE?!! Praise God.
Here are some pics in Insignia, our new home.
I can't believe my group of friends are in full blown kids mode. Such a blessings that we are all going through the next stage together. Putting time in your friendships are always a priority for me. They becomes your family and there's nothing better. Here are some pics of Ari turning ONE. They just grow up so fast, take the time to appreciate each moment.....even when they are being a brat. Super excited that Jon and Kirsten recently moved back to Seattle. Kirsten and I had been friends for so long. We've been through a lot together. She is a friend that I trust completely and are always there for me and vice versa. I am super thankful for our friendship. Jon is definitely my favorite brah too. Excited to see Ethan and Ari growing up together!
I went to LA last weekend as a friend of mine was surprising his gf (now fiancee) and proposing on Laguna beach. Yes, the Laguna beach with LC, Steven and Kristin! That was my favorite show in high school... or was it college? I was pretty excited about driving around looking for where Steven used to work haha. So now that we've gotten that out of the way... :)
My friend Kert asked me to take pictures for them during the proposal and we had to hide around a spot where it was going to happen. I swear, I didn't expect the weather to be so nice that day and I was in my skinny jeans and not prepared for the sun. Ultimately, my forehead was sunburned because I didn't even think about using sunscreen. The whole thing was so much fun because of the suspense of all these unknowns. When are they coming down the beach? Are they going to see us? Am I going to screw it up? Am I going to miss the moment? In the end, everything turned out perfect and she said yes! This proposal was extra special because of knowing how difficult their tough long distance relationships has been and how they've made it. All that made this moment that much more special.
Honestly, I didn't think I was going to like LA as much as I did but the food scene won me over again. It's so much better than Seattle; especially with Asian food. I am sure I will be back soon. Enjoy the pics!
Maui 2016. This is one of those trips that I will never forget. It was our first time traveling with Ethan, Ethan's first plane ride, and first time traveling with his buddies. Traveling with a baby can be pretty insane. The sheer amount of stuff that you have to bring is crazy. There wasn't a time I wasn't sweating in the airport because I was holding so much stuff. Before when it was just two of us, I would just chill with a backpack and that's it. Now there's a stroller, car seat, an extra backpack just for Ethan's stuff, and another backpack in case the first backpack didn't have enough stuff. CRRRAAZZY! You'd think that going to Hawaii would be relaxing and chill but there's nothing relaxing about going to Hawaii with a 6-month old and two other families each with a baby. At times, it was pretty intense with different nap schedules, crying and feedings.....It would take us an hour just to pack and leave the condo but toward the end, we actually got a pretty good rhythm going. Unfortunately, we figured it out too late and it was already time to go home. It definitely wasn't easy but I am so glad and blessed I was able to share this memories with some of my closest friends. They made the the whole experience so much fun and I won't take that for granted. Being able to grow old and go through life stages together is priceless . As long as we are all together, it really didn't matter what we were doing. A huge shout out to my amazing wife. She packed, organized, booked the condo, rental car....all the logistics stuff that I am terrible at. She really is Wonder Woman or Jessica Jones or Olivia Pope or Cookie. You get my point, she gets stuff done. Thanks to the gang for an amazing trip, next time we are going to...........Chelan. Haha.
My friends asked me to take Christmas pictures for them which is super exciting for me because that's how I can keep getting better. I am also free of charge.......still they trusted me enough with their Christmas card photo which is a big deal. I am still learning composition, post processing and editing to develop my own style and colors. I feel like it's on the right track. Check it out and if you want my service.....a sushi dinner will do!
This is probably the hardest party that I ever tried going to because I wasn't invited lol. I was told that this is "the" party of the year. I was only suppose to help take a few pictures and then I had to leave but ended up staying because no one kicked me out...at least verbally. In all seriousness, during holiday season I am always reminded how blessed it is to have a close group of friends that are like family. Even thought I wasn't invited! I was still able to see how special of a friendship these girls have together.
I was talking to my co-worker today and she was wondering if I was having a hard time fitting in at work because she always sees me eating lunch alone. I told her I like eating lunch alone and she was like: "Lol...why?" I said: "haha..yea I am weird." Later I thought I should have just told her the truth which is I am an introvert. If I don't embrace it, no one will. In our culture where being social and outgoing are considered "normal" and "cool", I a lot of times are timid to be an introvert. There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts. Below are just a few things about this introvert (me).
Get energize on being alone.
Most people feel bored or gets depressed when they have no plans. Spending the weekend at home, no social activities for the week. I actually look forward to those moments. When I know I have no plans, I am already writing a list of TV shows to binge watch or looking up which cafe to go work on my design projects. Being alone doesn't mean I am lonely. I need my "alone time" to re-charge my batteries. Hanging out alone also helps me to keep things in perspective. It allows me to continue to learn and understand more about myself.
Love to watch.
It sounds kind of funny but it's true. I love observing, at a park, at a coffee shop, at the mall... I like to just observe things around me. There is something very soothing about it. People watching is one of my favorite activities. I can seriously sit somewhere all day to people watch. I do have a few rules about where usually would be a good people watching spot. I love the beach, coffee shops, popular touristy spots. However, the people have to be interesting and somewhat attractive with some fashion sense. (e.g. Jardin du Luxembour in Paris, Bondi Beach in Aus...I died just thinking about it)
We do have friends.
A lot of people think introverts don't care about meeting people or having a lot of friends. That's not entirely true. I do hate social events that I have to talk and meet people. For example, networking is a nightmare for me. I can do it but it takes a lot out of me. I am more about quality over quantity. I don't have a ton of friends but it's because I rather have fewer but deeper relationships with people. Even with some of my best friends, I rarely interact with them too much in person. I've always preferred the online world. I think it's because online communication allows me to think and reflect on my responses.
Text. Chats. Emails.
Bring on the text and emails. I really do love them! I agree that you can't beat a face to face conversation with your best friend. For me though, I get really uncomfortable during awkward silences, having to small talk is probably not my strength. Always trying to come up with something to talk about makes me on edge. There's nothing wrong with silences. There's only a few people I feel entirely comfortable being in silence with. That's something I treasure a lot. In terms of online communication, I think just being able to respond in my own time is huge. A common misconception about me is that I don't like to talk. It's not that I don't like to talk, it's just that I think small talk is a waste of time. If we are going to talk I rather it be something deeper. If not, silence is golden. Trust me, I do notice things and I do want to chat and make sure you are doing well and etc. I just rather do it in a less intense way. To me it is much more personal and special being able to text or email on my own time.
Hope this help explains what it's like being an introvert. If you have time, do yourself a favor and watch Susan Cain's Ted talk on The power of introverts: https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts
Yesterday was my first day at MSFT. I am just taking it all in and learning as much as I can. Not a bad looking studio though huh?
It was about two years ago that I got laid off. It was a tough pill to swallow because I worked my butt off. I had to regroup, after a lot of soul searching I jumped head first into the world of design. It was a completely unknown idea at the time but I've always enjoyed sketching, drawing and art so why not try doing something that I love for a living. I learned everything on my own, from watching countless hours of videos on tutsplus, doing projects on own, building my portfolio up to actually getting a paid freelance gig. My passion for design was the source of my drive. When I find myself up at night voluntarily watching videos and practicing, I knew then it was the right decision. God then had a hand on me finding out about General Assembly's UX program. It was a life changing experience in a lot of ways and after a lot of hard work I am happy to say this marks the first step of my new UX Design career.
I couldn't have done it without the support of my wife. Thank you for believing in me. To my friends that supported me through this process, thank you!
I love Capital Hill but I feel like there are still so many spots that I haven't been to yet. I put Capital Hill up against any other food/coffee spots in the world.
Last week I went to Oddfellows Cafe + Bar with a friend to celebrate being done with my design program. I was like a kid in a candy store, excited about everything. The tables, the floor, the brick wall, the benches, the ceiling, you catch my drift. I loved the interior design and the atmosphere. I just wished that I knew about this place earlier!
Another spot I went to with the wife was Sitka & Spruce. It really reminded me of Melbourne when I was there last year. I was so excited taking all kinds of coffee and food pics that my food and coffee got all cold but it was worth it.
Excited to say I am back in school for a full time immersive UX design course. This is what I will be doing everyday for the next three months.
It's been tiring and overwhelming at times because of all the new knowledge. I am, however, very excited and passionate about this whole course and I can't wait to learn everything.
This is my kind of picture. I love coffee shops pictures. Who doesn't?