blurriness of youth

blurriness of youth

The blurriness in the vision,
Comes with young age.
Unclear curved lines &
Colors unfilled,
The image is incomplete.

Until darker lines of tread create
Lines formed on our faces,
Does the image presents to us.

But what is lost is the blank canvas,
The uniqueness and beauty of being new.
But what is lost, is another gained treasure.

A painting you created all by yourself.
A lived life of your doing, of your choices.
Of how you are, were, & will be as a person.

grown up and stepped up

grown up and stepped up

spoon feed me nothing no more,
I’m not caught on some net,
unsure of how to de-tangle my feet
from standing upwards and straight.
this isn’t the highway in the middle
of who-knows-where land
or dive bars flooded with strangers
with smiling faces & mysterious intentions.
grown-up and stepped up onto the ladder
that gives me a hand as I climb
over the wall to see the waterfalls.
here I’ll rest and search a bit
for food and shelter and warmth.
as I follow along the road not traveled.
because i can’t eat without my voice.
because i can’t stay without my heart.
because i can trust in what I don’t know.

the things we own & meaning | sustainability

the things we own & meaning | sustainability

It’s now February, beautiful February. It never lasts as long as the other months, but it does hold quite a bit of quality doesn’t? I always think pink. Or red–a nice warm vision (although the weather may show otherwise). With recent events, we can use a lot of warmth nowadays; inside and out. Whenever I see children in the city, young, cute and energetic, I remember that we have to teach them. Teach them to be kind, to share, to respect one another. To love.

And so I wanted to show some love today.

For this, specifically, are things I gathered that were either secondhand from family or friends or from my adventures in thrift shopping. I took a moment to really think about why these items were important to me. I encourage you to look at the things you own/use/have and really think about its meaning to you. Do consider what you buy, why you buy and for how long you will have it. Consider in investing on pieces that matter more and last longer.

I used to really love just browsing a store and if I saw something I really thought I liked, I’d buy it. Nowadays, it’s not the case. I do still like browsing and I sometimes have the urge to buy, but it’s not at all like it used to be. A lot of the things I see in stores don’t have meaning to me anymore. I take an extra moment to think about: 1. Is this something I have already? (Nice jeans, but how many do we need of these?) 2. How long will this feeling of happiness last? (A lot of times, my answer is.. until I have it and then it just becomes a part of my other wardrobe pieces). 3. How important is this to me, really?

Here are some of my dear things:

my first 35mm camera (secondhand):
I had a 35mm camera prior to the one I have now. It was my dad’s and it did take really beautiful photographs. I remember I had to look everywhere for their specific batteries and it was a journey. But it was worth it. Below is a photograph from this camera:

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cigar box purse made of embroidery beads (thrifted):
It was so beautiful. It was my first time going to this thrift store and it had so many unique and funky things (a huge telescope, colorful sofas, etc) I saw the purse sitting on a shelf and it was so eye-catching. It’s also very well made. This item reminds me that there are beautiful, practical upcycled items–makes me feel inspired & creative!

t-shirts (secondhand):
I think this is something everyone can relate with. I wear all kinds of t-shirts I’ve gotten over the years from loved ones. I especially like the oldie ones. They hold special meaning to the person I got it from, but also for me. It’s not just a shirt I can get at a mall. There are stories, memories and reasons behind them.

Although I care about these items, I know that they are only a catalyst of what holds the most value: time, ideas, emotions, people & experiences. One day, these items may find themselves in a new home with new owners who can feel the joy and inspiration I’ve had. Or at least I hope so. Even if it just produces practicality and ease in someone’s life will be enough of their existence–but it should be sustainable.

rejoice.

rejoice.

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how easy it is to be happy,
if we think to. decide to.
john cusack said it right,
“why can’t you be in a good mood?
how hard is it to decide to be in a good mood
and be in a good mood once in a while?”
– Lloyd Dobler (in the film Say Anything)

this simple quote moved me.
i think of it sometimes out of the blue.
when i’m thinking of something else
doing something else and then i see john
talking with his sister and i hear this,
“how hard is it to decide?”

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how many beautiful views we have seen?
of how many suns we have felt on our skin?
to touch all the textures of food, fabric, & flowers.
smelling rain, cafes, clean clothes and mom’s home cooking.
singing to feel all our insides because we know the words are true.
and swinging on the swings like the first time as a kid.
to be carefree because it’s okay to stop worrying some time.
smile and smile and smile and smile and smile
laugh so hard tears come out and your heart can’t take it
and you’re out of breathe because it is so funny.
or the feeling of calm in the morning on a weekend
& drink the warm tea & hot chocolate & indulge just because.
to speak with friends and family and know you’re not alone
or to be alone knowing  who you are & where you’ve been.

rejoice, because it’s a good time to do so.
it always is.

Happy Chinese New Year friends!

like vanilla and strawberry ice-cream

like vanilla and strawberry ice-cream

an epiphany appears suddenly,
so naturally it melts itself onto my skin,
inside my veins, pumping through my organs.
naturally, like laughing without thought
or closing my eyes when I am tired.
excitement and happiness swirls together
like vanilla and strawberry ice-cream on a cone.
they coalesce into one delicious treat
as the sun shines on them as if nothing has changed.
but everything has and the world feels more complete.

 

 

the edge

the edge

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You know when you watch a film with a lot of meaning to it and they capture this shot in which no one is seen, but you can feel a very heavy presence of something.. sentiment or emotion or something left behind? I get this feeling a lot when I see the edges of the sun as it sets. When the colors mesh together so beautifully in the sky and taking a photograph of is so pointless because it can never be captured. Although, I still do try often, it’s a truth I’m learning to accept. I have given up a few times now more recently and just enjoyed the view for what is without the camera lens.

There are some memories you don’t need to have physical proof of. I know my parents used to take photographs at only very important events and nowadays, it’s such a common thing to do. The food we eat, the people we see every day and the place we live are captured in a million photographs. I often find myself looking at photographs I’ve taken in the past year, at trips I went on and feel grateful to have documented as I have. But it’s the stories attached to those things that stick out, right? The stories of the moments you want to treasure and know it cannot be replicated.

I know it sounds super random, but I love seeing the day to day of how things were when the photograph was taken. Like with my parent’s photographs, they have taken shots of their old apartment and the old car they used to have or the garden they grew or even the logo of a soda bottle in that time… it’s fascinating to me.

The idea I would like to be is to capture the moments in between; right before the edge is gone but enough to enjoy it, too.

some home cookin’ VI

some home cookin’ VI

Been cooking a lot more lately. Can you tell this is because of the colder season? (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food dish) I usually cook udon noodles in a soup, but it’s really good in a stir-fry, too. Also, I was afraid of cooking eggplant.. there’s something about it. The eggplant parm came out good though. Maybe I’ll try some other eggplant dish someday.

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black bean, corn, tri-color penne pasta with turkey meatballs, shredded cheese and tomato sauce
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stir-fried udon noodles with broccoli, fish balls, bok choy, fried tofu pieces, in a sauce with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce, sesame oil
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Spicy tri-color penne pasta with marinated sauteed shrimp with green onions and parmesan cheese (looks rather plain but it was super delicious)
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eggplant parm, my first time cooking this dish. it’s tasty! There were more eggplant hiding under the sauce.
i am nice

i am nice

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inspired by Crumpled Paper Cranes’ Five Hundred Cats project
*this sweet cat got adopted, so it was bittersweet, I’m sure s/he’s loved wherever s/he is.

a friend & protector,
her/his motto:
do not trespass without ask.
cute also comes with claws.
my favorite of all the others.
their sweetness filled the room,
quickly, s/he found a new home.

I.
When I move,
You see my true self.
I follow you with love,
Love to chase mice for you.
My friends say I am nice.

II.
New friends, I’m happy to meet.
Smells of enticing food, I must eat.
I will rub them to show they are mine.
Hey, what’s that over by the window?

III.
Other cats, they pay no mind.
Boring they are. Sleep through time.
Adventures, here I come!

very cool

very cool

A few days ago, I received a wonderful comment. I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award from Dwight L. Roth of Roth Poetry. I am so honored and delighted. Thank you for thinking of me, Dwight. Dwight’s a great poet. I especially like the every day life stories he tells. Check out his blog here: https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/

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I began blogging so long ago. I’m not sure how, exactly, or why I decided to even have a blog to begin with. Then, I was introduced to WordPress from my boss & friend at the time and thinking, “What would I write about?” I was planning on studying abroad and hoped it could be a travel log of my adventures. It worked for a day or two (or maybe a week), but then I ended up going on adventures without recording them. Through the years, this blog has transformed and each time, it gave me things I needed: a space to share my thoughts, to connect with really passionate people, to practice my writing and to simply feel inspired.

I learned that sometimes you can’t define things as neatly as you like. And that’s okay. I feel really comfortable with this blog as it is now. However, it wasn’t always like that. I thought I needed more direction or a set of goals or to reach a specific standard. For any (new) bloggers, I would say, just do how you feel & don’t worry about making mistakes. There are no correct or incorrect ways in how you blog. It’s yours. If you feel like only writing book reviews, then so be it. If you feel like changing the layout or the content, why not? If you want to be funny or serious or thoughtful, that’s all up to you.

I am excited to nominate 15 other bloggers for this award, as well. Since it is a new year, I wanted to celebrate by listing bloggers I recently followed within these last couple of years. My post 2016 mentions my wanting a more sustainable lifestyle, cooking and creating more. You may see this sentiment reflected from the bloggers you’ll see below. They will make you learn new things, think more deeply, feel inspired, appreciate life, smile amusingly and crave food you didn’t know you wanted (so maybe eat before you check out those food blogs). In no special order:

  1. https://aimtoreduce.wordpress.com/
  2. https://frenchtouchincebu.wordpress.com/
  3. https://zerowastemillennial.wordpress.com/
  4. https://coolpeppermint.wordpress.com/
  5. https://swiftdeathnow.wordpress.com/
  6. https://youthfoodblog.com/
  7. https://tinycaravan.wordpress.com/
  8. https://currylives.wordpress.com/
  9. https://abagfulloffabrics.wordpress.com/
  10. https://crumpledpapercranes.com/
  11. https://noodlesnote.com/
  12. https://southernbelly.wordpress.com/
  13. https://mostlynotnew.wordpress.com/
  14. https://madisonbeachblogs.com/
  15. https://cuisinedeli.com/

For those of you who accept this nomination…

Rules:

1.  Create a blog thanking the blogger who nominated you and listing their site.

2. Nominate 15 bloggers you follow and notify them.

3   Share an experience that got you started blogging.

4. Share a word of advice for fellow bloggers.

take a walk with me

take a walk with me

The following photographs were taken at my local pond/hiking area last summer. I took more focus on how exceptionally beautiful it was that day and decided to document a few things about it and post some reflections. I also took some video footage of the peaceful waves and ducks taking their time in the water as they swam by (maybe I will make a video of it some time this year). I hope 2017 is starting off well for all of you.

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There are colors that deserve some love. I know I take green for granted because I see it more often than others, but they deserve a shout out too. Nature is so beautiful in how … natural it is!

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This little (big) friend just wanted some time in the sun. This image reminds me of strength. Climbing and swimming to get to the light he yearns for and ultimately succeeds. EXTRA credit, did you see the two OTHER turtles or maybe there’s even three? When I took this photograph, I actually intended to feature the bigger one. My love saw it later and said that I also caught a glimpse of some little turtles, too. It was a nice surprise.

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You see those green patches of grass in the back there? That used to be all water, too. After watching some climate change documentaries, I have a sinking feeling it’s because of that. I did some research and the EPA website states that “Lakes get smaller through a combination of increased evaporation caused by warmer temperatures, permafrost thaw which allows lakes to drain more readily, and greater accumulation of decomposing plant material on lake bottoms caused by greater plant growth.” source: Climate Impacts in Alaska, EPA

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I absolute love this view. The wind was light and it was just a nice place to take a moment and breathe in.

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Decided to take a look up at the drooping leaves.

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Poor tree! We were hiking and saw this guy on the way through.

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Some friends hanging out.

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When I saw this, I thought about all the different stages of life this rock must of went through. The imprints of history, time and weather effects it experienced seen by its exterior. How strong it is.

2016

2016

Every year I write a little something about the current year, before it turns into another. I usually have an idea of what I’ll say and feel compelled to write it. This year, however, is one in which I don’t feel the need to. And yet, I am, because I think my future self would really like to get a glimpse of what 2016 meant for me when it was 2016. It was surely an important year for me. So here it goes.

I ended the year 2015 full of emotion. Full of hope and curiosity of what 2016 would bring. Who I would be and where I would go. I guess, for my 2015 self, I would be really proud. I checked off a lot of what I wanted to do this year. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would be able to, but I definitely had the ambition and it succeeded.

2016 was full of learning for me, but I say this every year I’m sure. It’s truth. I feel calmer, patient and realistic. I am so happy with the posts I created this year. Perhaps this contributed to why I didn’t feel the need to reflect because they presented a true sense of who I have been. I reflected all along the way. I took the time I needed. I created art and grew my cooking skills how I wanted to. I think in the past, I would put all these standards on myself and quantify it somehow by how something looked to me rather than how it mattered in the end.

The world changed a lot in 2016 and I changed with it. I gained so much knowledge in living how I want to live (sustainably), myself, the world and the causes that I believe in. The presidential election was a wake-up call to a lot of us. Brought light to a lot of things that needed to be seen and discussed. I feel awake.

2017–I am curious about you, too. I am eager to see you. 2016 was a lot of growing and I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a similar year, but possibly with even more of me taking actions and welcoming new experiences. We’ll see. Que sera, sera.

Happy New Year friends, may 2017 bring us all a lot of love, happiness, good health and gratitude.

green tip #11 | sustainability | donate or DIY crafts with your used holiday & thank you cards

green tip #11 | sustainability | donate or DIY crafts with your used holiday & thank you cards

For those who are wondering what to do with used cards you receive from loved ones or new ones you don’t plan on using, here’s a suggestion: donate them. I only just learned of this today and I’m happy I came across this. An organization called St. Jude’s Ranch for Children have a used (& new) card recycling program. They accept cards all year round for all occasions. Here is a link to find out more information about this organization: https://www.stjudesranch.org/about-us/

Here is their mission:

“Transforming the lives of abused and at-risk children, young adults and families by empowering them to create new chances, new choices and new hope in a caring community.”

For those who would like to get some DIY crafts going and perhaps use for next year’s holidays, I’ve linked a few resources I found online. I saw some really cool and interesting things!

Martha Stewart Holiday Card Ornaments
Good Housekeeping 8 Ways to Get Crafty with Old Cards
Care2 18 Surprising Ways to Reuse Greeting Cards
Artists Helping Children Recycle and Reuse Christmas Cards with Crafts for Kids

green tip #10 | sustainability | 5 ways to reuse this packaging box

green tip #10 | sustainability | 5 ways to reuse this packaging box

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Thinking about how to be more eco-friendly really stretches my creativity. I start to see every day items and give it new meaning. I think about their purpose and the materials it is made of. For instance, this box used to carry bottles of water. In the past, I would see packaging and immediately just recycle. Without a thought of what it could be used for in another way.

Then, I would go to a mega-chain store and purchase organizational furniture or products that could easily be made from the packaging we get all the time: empty boxes, yogurt containers, fruit jam glass jars and even plastic take-out containers. Those yogurt containers could be washed out clean and used as pens/pencils/paint brush holders or planting pots for flowers. They usually have a cute & colorful design anyway. The glass jars could be used to carry extra change or office supplies. Turn your cereal boxes into magazine holders or paper organizers.

After reading this post, I am more cautious with what plastic items to re-use (some plastics cannot be re-used and should be recycled after one use).

Since they are packaging material, they are usually made very well. They are durable and sturdy. Yes, they aren’t the most visually appealing when it comes to decorating your home, but this is where the creativity and fun comes in. Get some inspiration from what you would have purchased and go from there. Paint it or design with magazine pictures or photographs or other items of memories.

Regarding the box pictured above, I have a few ideas to re-use it.

1. Fold in the two flaps on the sides, turn it horizontal and it can now be used as a shoe organizer. I have a metal shoe organizer that cost me money and it may even rust later. But this one is free, does the same job and no rusting since it’s paper. (This is actually what I used this box for.)

2. Take more of these boxes and stack them on top of each other. Stick them to each other by glue or tape and cut away the flaps. Now it can be a book shelf, a DVD/CD/video games shelf.

3. Use this box for transporting items that can’t be separated. The slots make it snug for less moving and the divide keeps the items together, but organized.

4. Turn this box into a memory or toy box. Decorate it with amusing fun images from previous travel trips or toys for your children. Maybe store your old yearbooks or scrapbooks.

5. If you have a cat, see if it can be a fun little toy for him or her. Maru the cat loves playing in boxes. Here’s a cute video of him.

Practice this exercise next time you put something in recycling or the trash. Could this be useful somewhere else?