(EZRA) 33/52 : “Eating greens is a special treat. It makes long ears and great big feet….but it sure is awful stuff to eat”
Ezra’s portrait last week
We went shopping last Sunday and I bought this cute hoodie with rabbit ears. I’ve always wanted one before but I could only see them being sold online. I’m happy I found this at the mall.
When I was a little kid my favorite movie/cartoon was Bambi. My mom said that I would watch it several times in a day. Thumper (the rabbit) was one of my favorite characters. He’s also the one who said this quote in my title.
I really don’t like eating vegetables either. That’s why I think what he said about it being awful is so true. But I do try to eat it sometimes because I know it’s really good for you, hehe.
Thanks a lot to my sister for taking my picture and editing it!
(I just realized we both used quotes from Disney films for our titles this week)
Last week’s self portrait
I wish I had my own supply of pixie dust so I can fly away and escape from reality every now and then.
I really like how the lighting turned out on this one. I closed the curtains in my room and used a desk lamp for this shot (I have blue walls and a blue curtain). The “pixie dust” are glitter brushes from Redheadstock on deviantart
Title is from one of my favorite Disney films when I was younger. Peter Pan FTW!
I don’t really have anything interesting to write about these days since I’m pretty busy with school stuff, so I thought I’d post some random pictures from my last meet-up with the girls earlier this month. We had a quick dinner at Dairymoor and updated each other on our everyday lives.
Brinks came dressed as a ninja. JK! She’s been having problems with wrist pains so the doctor advised her to wear this brace.
Moy looking fresh despite all the stress from work
Dr. Camille explaining some medical stuff to Ezra
Carbonara which Brinks and I shared
(For the “Theme of the week” group on Flickr – “Freedom“)
Another photomanipulation with a sky background. I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of these yet. They’re really simple to do, which is why I end up doing them when I can’t think of anything else. Plus I love clouds <3
This was shot in our garden as usual. My sister took the picture. I added the birds (in Photoshop) because they seem to symbolize freedom for most people.
Title is from the song “Melodies of Life” from the Final Fantasy 9 OST.
Bird and cloud brushes from redheadstock.deviantart.com
EDIT: Since greysqrl wanted to know more about this photo, I decided to post some screen caps of my editing process I normally don’t share my editing techniques but I figured I learned everything I know about Photoshop online, so there’s really nothing new here.
First I opened the original photo in Photoshop:
This was the original shot of me running in our garden. My sister took the shot. Very simple, nothing fancy.
Then I took a picture of the sky and placed it over the original photo:
Ezra’s portrait last week.
I’m in a slump so my portrait is pretty simple this week.
I tried a lot of other (different) shots, but none of them worked out for me. Then my sister suggested this idea, haha.
Thank a lot to my sister for lending me her skirt, taking my picture and editing it!
I suggested it because it made things easier for me too XD Minimal editing. Mainly cropping and adjusting the tones
Ckloy and I celebrated our 56th monthsary together a few weeks ago. I don’t really have much to write so I just thought I’d share some pictures:
Alvin and the Chipmunks!!! We watched a movie and found these little guys outside the cinema. They’re so cute!
Ckloy and Chloe, haha
Rose from Ckloy <3
After the movie, we shopped for a while before heading home. Here are some stuff I bought:
I’ve been eyeing this guitar bag from YRYS for a while now. Ezra bought a blue one last year and I thought about getting one too, but it was just too expensive for my taste. Luckily, there was a sale earlier this month and I was able to get this one for half the original price
Black and white striped cardigan from Forever 21. I was wearing this in my self portrait earlier this month
And some stuff from Etude House + Fashion 21 Liquid Liner. I was planning on getting the Proof 10 Liquid Liner from Etude House, but they were out of stock. Luckily I found this one from Fashion 21, which seems to be just as good, and for a fraction of the price
It never fails to amaze me how patient Ckloy is when it comes to shopping. He doesn’t mind going into the “girly” shops with me (except for Etude House – I think all the pink scares him) and he never complains about being bored or tired ^___^
Happy 4 years and 8 months Ckloy. I love you!
This little guy has been with us for about two weeks now:
Isn’t he adorable?
I wish I could say that there’s a happy story behind how we got him. It’s really not something I wish to remember, so let’s just say he came at a heavy price.
Anyway, the important thing is he’s with us now, and we love him. It’s been a while since we had a White Shepherd, and a male one at that! We currently have three regular German Shepherds, all of them female. We had a male shepherd but he was poisoned over Christmas break while we were away on vacation. My dad has been looking for a white shepherd for a while now, so we’re really happy he found this cute little guy.
We named our new baby “Squall”, from my all-time favorite game, Final Fantasy 8. I wanted to name him Noctis (from FF13) but my mom didn’t like it. She wanted to call him “Tidus” (from FF10) but we already had a white shepherd named Tidus in the past and I don’t really like the idea of recycling names. Eventually Ezra suggested “Squall”, and my mom agreed. It may surprise you, but I wasn’t all that thrilled with the name. Squall may be my favorite (male) character from the entire Final Fantasy series, but I’m not that fond of his name. But, I suppose it’s better than the other name my mom suggested – Wolfy. How original.
Squall relaxing in our garden. He has droopy eyes
He likes grass
I love this shot. He’s so AZN, hahaha
He seems to love the camera
He’s still pretty scrawny, but we’re hoping he’ll gain some weight soon. He’s already twice as heavy compared to when we first got him, so that’s a good sign.
It’s funny how our nanny has a hard time pronouncing Squall’s name. She usually calls him “Is-kwal”, “Skal” or “Kwal”. We heard her call him “Koala” once too, LOL.
I just wanted to share something cool I discovered today. I apologize if this isn’t new to you, I was just really excited that I discovered it on my own by accident.
I was in the lab today waiting for my XRD results, so I decided to watch some videos on YouTube to pass the time. The internet connection was really slow so it took forever for the video to load. I’m sure you’ve noticed that YouTube displays this little spinning circle thing while a video is buffering:
Well, apparently if you press pause and then hit an arrow key, the swirling circle thing turns into this:
It’s a hidden Snake game! Now you can play while waiting for your video to buffer.
This feature only works on the new YouTube video players. And it doesn’t work on embedded videos either, you have to be on the actual YouTube page for the game to work.
Pretty cool, right?
(Finally, the last set of pictures. About time too, it’s already August XD)
One of the things our family loves to do when we visit a foreign country is just walk around the city, exploring the place for ourselves. Sure, package tours are nice, but we still enjoy discovering things for ourselves. We end up lost most of the time, but we love the feeling of being able to find our way back at the end of the day.
Ezra with her map. She’s all ready for the day ahead.
Big meal so we’ll have lots of energy for the day
Lots of people also exploring the city. The ones wearing the red hats are part of a tour.
You can see the Wangfujing street stalls in the background
Checking our map. We’re lost already, LOL. We wanted to find our way to Tiananmen Square.
We kept walking anyway and came across this weird rock thing.
I’m too lazy to put captions on all the photos, so let’s just admire the pretty pictures XD These are just random shots of us walking around and a few interesting sights we saw.
This semester, aside from a few laboratory classes and a graduate seminar course, I also enrolled my first three units of my graduate thesis (MSE 300). I’ve been meaning to start doing my research the past few weeks, but I’ve been too occupied with other stuff. The other day, my adviser spoke to me and urged me to get started because it’s not something that I can rush at end of the semester. So yesterday, I went to UPD to do some lab work.
Some quick self-cam picts to document the special occasion, LOL:
Wearing a lab gown I “borrowed” from our lab. I really should get my own lab gown since I’m probably be going to be doing more lab work in the future.
Got my mask and gloves on – I’m all set!
(For those who are curious, I’m a Material Science Engineering student, but my adviser’s from the National Institute of Geological Sciences, so that’s where I’ll be doing most of my research)
My task for the day was to separate the raw clay material according to particle size.
I used the 2mm sieve to separate the smaller particles from the bigger ones. This part was easy, it only took about 30 minutes.
After that I put the larger particles in small bags and labeled them.
The next step, wet sieving, took a long time – about 3 hours. I didn’t get a picture because it was a messy process and I didn’t want to get my camera wet. Anyway, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon trying to separate the clay-sized particles from the larger ones using a fine mesh. I used up about 5L of distilled water in the process. My arms were pretty sore by the time I was done, but at least I managed to finish everything. Now all I have to do is wait a few days for the particles to settle, then I can extract the clay I need for my research.
It’s a small first step, but I’m glad I’m getting somewhere with my thesis.
In the meantime, I should probably get started on my manuscript.
I saw this video on youtube last week and decided to try it out:
First I painted my nails black, and used my pink nail art pen to draw the bows:
Then I added the details using my black nail art pen:
Then used my white nail art pen to add the dots. I did two diagonal rows of white dots instead of scattering them all over my nails:
Ta-dah~ A bit messy but still cute in its own way XD
When my sister graduated from college last year, my parents gave her some cash to spend as a reward. She used the money to buy a Ha-Yarn Cho doll and doll clothes on Dollmore.net. She named her doll Kairi.
(Old shot of Kairi taken last year)
For her birthday this year she said she wanted more clothes for Kairi. She ordered the stuff she liked from the website (using my dad’s credit card) and they arrived at our house a few weeks later.
Dollmore package which contained Kairi’s new clothes.
The cardigan which Kairi wore in my 31st portrait for this year’s 52 weeks.
Black tank top which she was also wearing in the picture. It’s actually designed for male dolls, so its a bit big on her. She was also wearing these in the picture:
New boots! She has another pair of leather boots, but they have high heels which make it hard for her to stand on her own.
Thigh-high white stockings
Black and white striped stockings
Green eyes. The eyeballs look kinda creepy XD
First SP for August. Time’s in hyperspeed again. There’s so much to do!
I bought this cardigan at Forever21 earlier this week. Ezra pointed out that it looks like the cardigan she bought for Kairi (her doll), so we decided to dress her up like me and include her in my SP this week.
Ezra bought Kairi’s cardigan, boots and shirt from the money we gave her on her birthday this year. She also got a few other stuff like jeans and a wig. (Blog entry about Kairi’s new clothes HERE)
Thanks Ezra for letting me borrow Kairi and taking the picture. We had a hard time getting the exposure right. Kairi’s so pale that she appears to be glowing in most of the pictures we took.
Title is from the song “Over the rain” by Flumpool (Bloody Monday OST)
Ezra’s “Kingdom Hearts” inspired portrait this week. We love this game ^___^
One of my favorite video games of all time is Kingdom Hearts. I recently saw the opening of their newest release “Birth By Sleep” (for PSP).
I know the Japanese version has been out for quite some time, but I’ve never really watched the opening or even the trailer because I wanted to wait for the English version. In the end I couldn’t resist and watched it because I’ve already been waiting for a long time and the English version still hasn’t been released. It was really good and it reminded me how much I loved Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 which inspired me to do this shot.
The opening of all the Kingdom Hearts series has a “falling scene”, so I tried to recreate that in my picture. Thanks a lot to my sister for taking the shot and editing it!
feather brushes are from http://shadowsmyst.deviantart.com/art/Feather-Brushes-10703877
Inspiration for this picture:
(screenshot taken from Kingdom Hearts 2 opening)
(screenshot taken from Kingdom Hearts : Birth by Sleep opening)
I missed doing photomanipulations, so I thought I’d give it a try. I had fun doing this. I made the paper boat and took pictures of it first. Then when taking pictures of myself, I used a fan for that wind effect. Picture of the stormy sky was taken over a year ago.
Thunder and water brushes are from redheadstock.deviantart.com.
(There’s something wrong with this picture which I don’t like, but I’m too lazy to fix it. I’m not going to tell you what it is though, hopefully you won’t notice, hehe)
Title is from the song “Cape of Storms” by HYDE (from the Kageno Tsuki OST)
I can’t believe I’ve never written a review for this series before. It was one of the very first J-dramas I watched and probably the one that turned me into such a big Yamapi fan. It was also the first drama that I was able to get my boyfriend to watch with me after constantly telling him about how much I loved it.
Iwase Ken is a happy-go-lucky guy who never realized his feelings for his childhood friend, Yoshida Rei, until it was too late. On her wedding day, he makes a desperate wish to be given the chance to live his life again and confess to her, and hope that she accepts his feelings. Lucky for him, the fairy who lives in that church hears his plea and gives him the chance to go back to the past and make the necessary changes, with three conditions:
- He can only go back to the times that appear during the wedding slideshow photos
- He must be on the picture, and
- He must return to the present once the photo is taken.
This is one of those series that my sister made me watch with the promise that I’ll love it, and of course she was right. I enjoyed the humor and the twists in the story a lot. The series is only 11 episodes long (minus the SP) but I still cried (and of course laughed) so much while watching it. I really loved the friendship between Ken, Rei, Tsuru, Mikio and Eri. They’re such good friends who have been through so much together. This drama showed that when you have your friends with you, everything else doesn’t matter.
Another thing I loved was the soundtrack. There’s really only two songs that plays constantly throughout the entire drama, and they’re both good. “Ashita Hareru Kana” is a song about love and its uncertainty for the future (The English translation of the title is “will it be fine tomorrow”). It’s quite emotional and has a lovely melody. I love the piano version as well. Of course, after hearing it, I had to learn how to play it. My very first youtube upload was of me playing the piano version of this song.
(The video was taken back in August 2008. I made a few mistakes, but I was hoping people wouldn’t notice XD I don’t have a link to the sheets because they were emailed to me, but if you want a copy you can always leave a comment here and I’ll email them to you. I also made a tutorial for the song because a few people asked : Ashita Hareru Kana piano tutorial)
The second song “Chiisa Koi no Uta” is also about love and holding on to the person beside you. The lyrics perfectly describes the relationship between Ken and Rei. The song is simple and there’s really not much melody, but I still love it. It’s very upbeat and plays in your head repeatedly after hearing it a few times. I always imagine Yamapi running when I hear this song XD
The background music for the series is really nice too. I really like the opening theme.
(The following parts contain lots of spoilers, so stop reading now if you plan to watch the series.)
A few thoughts on the people chosen for this drama:
Yamashita Tomohisa (AKA “Yamapi”) : Iwase Ken
I absolutely loved him in this series. This one’s my favorite out of all his other works. He may not be the best actor, but I think he did really well in this series. He played the goofy yet sweet guy well and he interacted with the rest of the cast in a natural way. The only thing I didn’t like was that there were many parts where he looked like he was about to burst out laughing, and sometimes his reactions are a bit too exaggerated. But other than that, I really liked how he played his character. His “Hallelujah Chance” pose cracked me up.
It might just be due to the fact that I’m such a huge Yamapi fan, but I laughed whenever he laughed, and I cried whenever he cried. One of my favorite parts was in episode 8 when the fairy told him that the best thing to do would be to simply start forgetting about Rei in the past, so he wouldn’t be feeling so much hurt in the present. That scene where he went off to the gaming center alone and left his friends during their New Year’s tradition of watching the first sunrise together was really heartbreaking. I cried uncontrollably when he slumped to the ground and broke down because he was unable to forget about the girl he loved no matter how much he tried.
Normally, I don’t like guys who are slow and indecisive when to comes to love, but I really liked Iwase Ken. Again, this could just be my Yamapi-obsession speaking, but I think he was just a late bloomer in the romance department. When he finally realized that he couldn’t live without Rei, he did what he could to change the present. I do think that he could have done a better job at it. I mean, he kept leaving cryptic messages and giving Rei such confusing signals, hoping that she’ll realize his feelings for her – just tell her directly why don’t you! But I guess that’s what made the story interesting (and sometimes frustrating). If he was able to express her feelings for her in the first episode then we wouldn’t have anything else to look forward to in the next episodes. He’s such a coward when it comes to love, but you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.
Nagasawa Masami : Yoshida Rei
I think Masami played Yoshida Rei pretty well. I liked how she portrayed her character – calm, responsible, cheerful and caring. The only thing I didn’t like about her was that I found her to be overly “cute” at times to the point where it seems as if she’s trying too hard.
I know many fans weren’t too happy with Masami getting the lead female role in this show (most of them are YaMaki fans) but I’m fine with it. First of all, I’m not really big on the YaMaki pairing, and secondly, I liked her in this drama. Some people say she’s not pretty enough to be the object of Yamapi’s affection (it’s a TV show people!) but I beg to differ. I think she looked gorgeous as a bride (although I hated her her hairstyle in the “past”).
I’ve been having a problem with oily lids lately. This plus the heat and humidity results to my makeup being a mess by the end of the day. I’ve been wearing liquid eyeliner and mascara on a daily basis for over a year now, and I’ve never had this problem until recently. I mean look at this:
I’m wearing my Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner and Cover Girl Lash Blash Luxe mascara in this photo. I’ve been using the liquid liner since around February and the mascara since the start of this month. Before I started using these products, I used In2It’s waterproof liquid liner and Avon’s Amazing Lengths mascara, and they stayed put the whole day without any problems at all.
I had some free time today so I did a bit of “research” on the current products I’m using. I think the main reason for the smudging is that both products aren’t waterproof, which I only discovered today. Pretty stupid of me right? I’ve been using them for a while now and it never occurred to me that they weren’t waterproof, tch~
I bought both the liquid liner and mascara last December during my trip to Los Angeles. I was just so excited to try the Cover Girl Lash Blast because I’ve heard a lot good stuff about it. When I saw the Lash Blast Luxe, which is newer, I got even more excited so I bought it without even bothering to check if it’s waterproof. As for the liquid liner, the word “colorstay” caught my attention and I automatically figured it was waterproof as well. According to online reviews, the Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner is supposed to be extremely smudge-proof. But I guess I shouldn’t believe everything I read.
Anyway, I figured I should switch back to my In2It liner and Avon mascara, until Ezra suggested that I try Etude House’s waterproof liner and mascara. She’s been using both products for a while now and she loves them. Like me, she also used the In2It waterproof liner and Avon mascara in the past, but she claims that she likes the Etude House products better. Of course I had to see for myself so I did a little test to compare them.
First the eyeliner:
So these are the products I tested:
From L-R : In2It Waterproof Liquid Liner, Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner and Etude house Proof 10 Liquid Liner. The In2It and Etude House liners both belong to my sister. I’ve already used up my In2It liquid liner earlier this year.
The picture above shows the three liquid liners I applied on the back of my hand. You can see that the Revlon liner tends to crack, which is another thing I don’t like about it. The Etude House liner is the darkest of the three – if there’s such a thing as a “darker black”.