Category Archives: La-la-life

Hawaii videos by SKDR Films :)

I’ve finished writing all my Hawaii entries, but I wanted to share these videos that Kurt made of our trip.  He filmed us constantly during our visit there (which you can see from the pictures I’ve shared).  As soon as we were back in LA, he started editing the footage.  He actually posted these last year because he’s not a lazy bum (like me) who takes a year to do these things.

This first video is the first one he made out of the three.  This one is centered on Ezra. (It’s like an Ezra Idol DVD, lol.)  He made one which featured me too (which I love of course), but I think I like this one just a little bit more.  Probably because you can really see how much effort was put into it. I’m not saying that the one he made for me wasn’t nice, or that he didn’t spend as much time on it, but since Ezra is his girlfriend and Kurt spent most of his time filming her, it’s only natural that she would have a lot of great footage.  Also, I love the song they chose for this video.  Summer Paradise is a perfect way to describe our trip.  And they went with the version which featured Taka from ONE OK ROCK :D

In the video you can see all the things I mentioned in my previous blog entries – from checking in at Trump Hotel, to visiting beaches, Kualoa Ranch, sailing, the Charity Walk and the luau at Paradise Cove.  (You can see the wave that attacked us during our sunset cruise around 2:29)

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Hawaiian Luau at Paradise Cove

On our final day in Hawaii, Papa Steve took us to Paradise Cove for a wonderful luau experience.  We got to immerse ourselves in Hawaiian culture by doing arts and crafts, playing games and watching a Hawaiian performance while enjoying a nice dinner.


Parents looking very tropical in their floral printed outfits

My dad took these photos on the way to Paradise Cove:

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(I didn’t see most of these sights because I was sleeping in the backseat.  I woke up with a fever that morning T__T)

On our way to Paradise Cove, Papa Steve took us to see Aulani, the Disney Hawaiian Resort.




The resort is owned by Disney but aside from the gift shop, I didn’t really see any signs of Disney in there.  It’s not like they had Mickey Mouse waiting to greet us in the lobby.  (Although they might have Hidden Mickeys all over the place and I just didn’t notice.)

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Taking pictures on the lobby balcony


They had a lazy river.  I would have loved to try this :)


Koi pond

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Some fluffy stuff.  Not sure what they are.  Spears?  Some kind of weapon?  (They look a lot like feather dusters though.)

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We were sitting in the lobby and chillin’ when this guy showed up:

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He gave us a brief history of Hawaii


He was very passionate about it too

After his little history lesson, we walked around the hotel for a bit




After exploring the place and checking out the gift shop, we continued our drive to Paradise Cove


Posing in front as Daddy and Papa Steve buys our tickets for us



Despite our little detour to Aulani, we got there a bit early.  They weren’t letting people in yet, so we grabbed a bench and waited for the opening

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After a few minutes, the staff told us to form a line because they would be letting people in soon

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Getting our leis from the staff

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The sun was really harsh where the line was, but I found a good solution


Papa Steve though I was being sweet by coming up to stand so close to him, until he realized my true intent XD

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Quick shot before we went inside.  We were at the front of the line so we got to go in first, yay!

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Time to get the line moving


 We were welcomed by this lady’s singing

IMG_8048a (2)aWe were also given free drinks as we entered the place

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Hawaii : Sunset sailing

After our eventful 6-mile Charity Walk this morning, our day was far from over.  Papa Steve scheduled a relaxing sunset cruise for us later that day.  We had a few hours to rest and get ready for our afternoon on the catamaran.


Quick group photo in front of the hotel before we left

We walked to the beach where the catamaran would be picking us up



Lots of people enjoying the sun


Signing some waivers for our sunset sail

We were told that the catamaran hasn’t returned from its previous cruise yet, so we walked around the beach and took photos while waiting




Kurt with his precious glidecam again








We found a summer Santa walking around

After a few short minutes, we spotted the catamaran returning to shore:



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Before allowing us to get on the boat, our captain briefed us and gave us some simple do’s and don’t’s for the cruise.


He also told us that we would be out at sea till the sun goes down, and that it would be a dry cruise with unlimited drinks on board.


Footwear wasn’t allowed on board so we left our sandals and slippers on the shore

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We got to board the boat first so we got good seats in the front


We sat on the floor while the “adults” got to sit on the bench

Long line of people still waiting to come aboard


The “floor” of the boat is actually this net type thing.  Which meant that sometimes water would splash up on us when the waves got too strong.  It made for  a nice a breezy ride though.

Once everyone was seated, our captain told us to sit back, relax and enjoy the cruise



His co-captain told us that he would be providing us with drinks later.  And if we want more, we just had to go as him for a refill

The cruise started off really nicely.  The breeze was refreshing and the view was lovely.  Our only complaint was that Tita Rachel and Papa Steve got stuck sitting next to this vain, obnoxious couple who kept talking about how much money they have.  Tita Rachel and Papa Steve tried to come up with a plan to change their seats, but thankfully they didn’t have to suffer for very long. You’ll find out why in a minute.

Our cruise took us to this spot where the surfers were:



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INSTABITS : March 2014

Now that thesis defense period is over, I have a little bit of free time.  I’ve still got loads of reports to check but I think I can finally squeeze this entry in. It’s already late as it is.


Started the month off by being vain, as usual.  These days, I normally wear my hair curly, so I haven’t really noticed how long it’s getting.  I wore it straight this one time and was surprised :D

Ezra has this annoying habit of stealing my phone and sending mushy messages to herself.  Or sometimes when we get into one of our petty arguments and she wants to me apologize she just goes ahead and sends herself these messages. (Yes, she’s crazy.)  So I guess I should stop being surprised to find messages like this sent to her whenever I open Viber.  (One time she accidentally sent the messages to Karrie instead of herself!  Poor Karrie must have been so weirded out.)

I ordered fake bangs from eBay and they finally arrived.  I like having side swept bangs so I’ve been letting them grow out.  But there are times when I want blunt bangs for my SP and I figured this was a good solution.   I need to give it a little trim so it looks more natural though.

I made Sir Taps try my fake bangs on. I told him it made him look like Fukunaga from The Liar Game.  What do you think? XD

Merienda from 7-11 one afternoon. It was my first time trying their hot pot meal. I liked it.  I’ll probably get it again next time.

I was OBSESSED with this drama last month.  As soon as I finished the last episode I actually went back to watch the entire thing all over again.  I made a review about it, which you can read HERE .  (Warning : it contains lots of SPOILERS.)

I even managed to get my hands on some You Who Came From The Stars sheet music and started trying to learn them on the piano :) Weeee~

And I changed my phone’s lock screen to a picture of Kim Soo Hyun!   I think the last time I used an idol’s/actor’s photo as my phone background was back in 2010.

Our adorable little furballs :) *squeeeeee*  I miss them :(  Their new owners picked them up this month.

 Aww, happy little Moon Moon

I grabbed this photo from Amie’s Instagram account.  We had merienda with our beloved BS advisers at IRRI one afternoon.  Sir Marvs and Sir Taps are two people I highly respect and look up to :)  Not just for their vast knowledge in the field of Physics and Material Science, but also for their positive outlook in life.  I can only hope to be as optimistic as them one day.

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Hawaii Day 4 : Oahu Charity Walk 2013

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Our 4th day in Hawaii was spent walking around the beautiful island of Oahu.  Papa Steve signed us up for the Oahu Charity walk. It’s an annual fund raising event and it usually takes place around May.  The walk goes on for 6 miles and there are 18 checkpoints/stations that you have to pass through.  They give you snacks and cheer you on at each checkpoint.  It’s a really fun event and everyone is invited to join.

The charity walk starts at 7am so we were up bright and early that morning.


 Daddy and Ninang showing off their walking shoes

We were invited by Papa Steve so of course we were representing Trump Hotel



We’re so excited to finally get some exercise that we’re actually glowing XD (Though it might also just be because of the condensation on the camera lens)

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Papa Steve told us to bring bags because they would be giving out lots of free treats during the walk.  This way we’ll have some place to put them.

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 Showing off their walking shoes again, lol

Papa Steve picked us up at the hotel and gave us our forms, which also contained the guidelines for the event


 We browsed through the flyer quickly since Papa Steve already told us what to expect on the walk anyway


 The event took place on May 18, 2013.  So yeah, this entry’s almost an entire year late…. *hides*


 The forms also contained the list of checkpoints/stations, and the stamp sheet


 Papa Steve and Tita Rachel leading us to the first station



 There were lots of people heading that way too


 Kurt had his glidecam and was filming Ezra as usual

When we arrived at the registration booths, Papa Steve introduced us to some of the people he worked with.

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Go Trump! (Can you find us in the shot? XD)

We hung out here while waiting for the event to start

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 Lots of people signing up

Before we got started on our walk, we needed to get our energy up first


The event offered a free breakfast for the “walkers” (that’s what they called us)


Waiting in line for food

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 There were lots of people but the line moved fairly quickly


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 Got our juice, muffins and bananas :D

Finally it was time to start!


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 Quick shot of the excited walkers.  Daddy’s gout was acting up so he stayed behind.  He told us he would meet us later after we pass the 3rd checkpoint since the 4th checkpoint is just a short walk from our hotel.


 The event hosts were cheerful and upbeat


 Caught mama slathering on some sunscreen to protect herself from UV rays



Got our first stamp!  One checkpoint down, 17 to go :D


 There were lots of volunteers telling us where to go to make sure no one gets lost


 Going for my 2nd stamp


 I got a bottle of water and an energy bar from the 2nd checkpoint


 The third checkpoint gave us cookies from Double Tree.  Ninang was really excited about these because she heard that their cookies were delish!  (I gotta say I agree.)

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Hawaii : ATV rides in Jurassic Park!

I woke up this morning feeling excited because we were riding ATVs this afternoon.  I’ve never gone before and I was a little nervous because I was told that you need a decent amount of strength to control it.  I wasn’t in the best shape so I was worried that I wouldn’t even be able to go.  But still, I wanted to try it.

After breakfast, Papa Steve and Tita Rachel picked us up from the hotel.

IMG_2177Quick picture in the lobby while waiting for them

On the way to the ranch, I snapped some pictures of the road signs because I thought the names were cute:

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Before going to the ranch, we stopped by Mokoli’i first.  Some people know it as Chinaman’s Hat.  It’s a small island that resembles a Chinese hat (although I think it looks more like a Vietnamese hat).

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I found this paining online by Dean Howell, which shows how people must envision the Chinese man wearing the hat:

The water is pretty shallow so you can actually walk to the island during low tide, but we decided to just stay on shore and take a few photos while admiring the view.



The “noisy” ladies in Papa Steve’s car XD  (They have extremely loud voices, especially when they’re excited.  Luckily Ezra, Kurt and I were in a separate car)

We asked someone to help us take this complete group photo


In return Papa Steve took pictures for them:

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We saw this cute couple taking pictures by the shore too:

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Honeymooners? XD


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As usual Kurt was going around taking lots of videos of Ezra

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On our way back to the car we saw these birds




Whatchu lookin’ at?  (He reminds me of Woody Woodpecker)




 We also came across these nuts:

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I thought they were macadamias but I later found out that they were Kukui nuts

After a few more minutes of driving, we arrived at the Kualoa Ranch.  It’s a famous tourist destination because it has been used as a film location for many popular movies and TV shows such as Jurassic Park, Lost, Pearl Harbor and Godzilla.  They offer lots of activities such as tours, ATVs, and horseback riding.

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Hawaii : Let’s go to the beach!

Our first full day in Hawaii :D  After  a good night’s sleep (no more having to wake up at 6:30 in the morning), I was greeted by this amazing view of Waikiki beach from our balcony:



After an entire week of waking up in the cold, this was heaven~

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Ezra and Kurt admiring the view


Quick selfie before we had to go down for breakfast

Breakfast was served at the same restaurant where we had our dinner the previous night. While waiting for our seats to be ready, we walked around the pool for a bit



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Ezra copying the Wet Floor sign and pretending to slip


They had a jacuzzi there too. The water was scalding hot! I couldn’t even completely submerge my body because it was so hot.  But other people didn’t seem to have a problem with it.

Funny story – Ezra really did slip and fall here the next day. We went swimming after dinner and it was really cold and windy. She wanted to stay in the jacuzzi where it was warm but Kurt and I tried to drag her over into the pool. She kept resisting and ending up falling into the jacuzzi. Ouch~  She caught a cold after that too.  Poor Ez XD

After a short while, the hostess informed us that our seats were ready

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They had these cute little jam jars there


As well as these tiny ketchup and Tabasco bottles!


Itsy bitsy


My parents had the omelette

IMG_6205Ezra and I had their French Toast (I think this is French toast … I forgot.  But it was yummy)

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Kurt had the breakfast platter

Papa Steve arrived to join us for breakfast and tell us what he had planned for us that day

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He still had some work to take care of so we told him that we would go down to the beach and look around while he finished up

We returned to our rooms first to get ready:


Going up to the 36th floor


We stayed in room 3605

I took a few more selfies while waiting for the others.  Kurt saw me and jumped into the frame.

Waikiki beach is just a 5-minute walk from our hotel.  And every time you want to go down there, you can request a beach bag from the hotel, free of charge.  The bag contains beach towels, a bottle of sunblock, bottled water and some fruits.  You can even  put in a request for a personal attaché to carry your things for you to the beach!  Sushal~ We didn’t have that much stuff so we just asked for the bags.


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Trump Hotel from the outside

IMG_6226Waiting to cross the street


Spotted this colorful trolley going around


Since we’re so close to the beach, it’s pretty normal to see people walking around the street in their swimsuits


Lovely path to the beach


We saw some colorful birds on our way there, and this is what happened, lol




After a short walk, we made it to the beautiful Waikiki beach



We’re obviously not dressed for a day out in the water (since we weren’t planning on staying long, we just wanted to look around), so my parents decided to just stay by the shore while we kids took some pictures at the dock.






Looks like a honeymoon photo, doesn’t it?




Kurt had his glidecam with him as usual and he kept filming Ezra while we walked around.  (But he did get distracted by some tiny fish we saw in the water)


Whenever I asked him to take pictures of Ezra and me, I would hold it for him.  (That thing was HEAVY!  I don’t know how he can hold on to it for the whole day!)


Pretending to throw his beloved glidecam off the pier

Some fun wide angle shots:IMG_6296



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Week 9/52 : Can’t bring me down

In my last self portrait I mentioned that I had a dream about a mouse (hence the Minnie Mouse headband). According to the dream dictionary this indicates feelings of inadequacy and minor irritations. I’m trying to move past that, but certain things just keep triggering it. I feel like there are some people out there who are watching and waiting for me to fail. It might just all be in my head, but I seriously believe that there are people who take pleasure in bringing others down. It irritates me because I don’t see what they have to gain by stepping on others. And the worst part is that they probably don’t even think that they’re doing anything wrong. It annoys me the way they talk, as if they’ve never done anything wrong in their lives. They sit back and criticize everyone around them, but they seriously need to just back off and maybe take a look at themselves for a change.

Anyway, I’m trying my best to hold on and rise above these issues. Someone I respect a lot told me that I should learn to filter out certain things out and stop letting what people think of me affect me. And that I shouldn’t be scared to make mistakes, because that’s how people grow. There will always be someone who will try to suck all the happiness out from your life (call them real-life dementors if you want), and they may enjoy seeing you stumble and fall, but you’ve just got to show them that you’ve got the strength to get back up and fight on.

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Filed under 52-week project (2014), La-la-life, Photomanipulation

INSTABITS : February 2014

I’m a little late again, but here’s my photo dump for February.  (I blame You Who Came From The Stars – I’ve just been glued to my laptop these days watching that drama.)  I know that this is the shortest month of the year but whoa~  It still feels like we’ve only just finished celebrating the new year, but we’re already 2 months in!

I bought this electrical heating pad from a vendor at our office.  Its filled with water and you just plug it in an outlet to heat it up. I was worried that it might explode or something when I first bought it, but I’ve used it a couple of times already and so far it works pretty well.

I stole this picture of Ckloy having fun in the snow from one of his friends who tagged him on Facebook.  I’m glad he’s enjoying himself in Texas.  Only 3 more months till we see each other again. I miss him~

Amie gave me these earrings last month.  Aren’t the cute?  I love silver dangly earrings :D

Ezra got bored one day and decided to have some fun with my self portrait from earlier this month.  Who wants to come with me to candy mountain? XD

Jin gave birth around the end of January, so we have puppies again.  So adorbz~

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ALOHA!! Welcome to Hawaii!

It’s been my dream to visit Hawaii for the longest time, so I’m extremely happy that we were finally able to go last summer.  My parents have been there a few times for work, but we’ve never been able to go as a family.  We don’t have relatives in Hawaii and we know that hotel accommodations are quite expensive, so it just didn’t seem that practical, especially when there are plenty of nice beaches in Asia.  But, in 2009, Kurt’s dad started working for the Trump Hotel Waikiki.  He’s invited us to visit their hotel many times, and last May we finally took him up on his offer.  He even helped us plan our activities for the whole week and gave us an incredible Hawaiian experience – but I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’ll be sharing our activities in future posts, but this entry will focus on our first day when we traveled from LA to Hawaii.

After our 7-day Yellowstone Tour, we had one day to rest before we had to hop on a plane to go to the lovely island of Oahu.  (We only had a few short weeks of summer vacation and we wanted to make the most of it.)


Kurt was already in Hawaii with his dad, and Ninang had to work so there was no one to take us to the airport. Fortunately, the airport offered these door to door shuttles to pick up and drop off passengers.



We arrived at the airport about 2 hours before our flight.  We were sitting at our gate when we noticed a small commotion going on near us.  We checked to see what what was up and this is what we found:


Dogs!!  Adorable dogs with their owners.  They were all wearing red vests that said “Pet Me!”, so we did :D (The dogs, not the owners)




They were part of the PUP Program. It stands for “Pets Unstressing Passengers” (although Kurt said he would become even more stressed if these dogs came near him – he’s not much of a dog person).  Basically the owners take their dogs to the airport and they let the passengers play with them.  Airports can be a very stressful environment for passengers so this is LAX’s solution.  I think it’s awesome :D

(If you’re not a dog person like Kurt, don’t worry – the owners will ask you if you like dogs first before they come closer.)


The owners were all really nice and I talked with some of them to ask them about their pets.  All of them told me that their dogs loved meeting new people and they enjoy all the attention they get from the passengers.


Cute little kids coming over to pet CC the spaniel.

I met Finn, the Irish Wolfhound:



Look how big he is!



The owners carry around these cards with their pets’ names and information so you can learn more about them

You can tell that these dogs are loved and well-cared for by their owners.


My dad pointed out that one of the dogs even had a pedicure!  LOL

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