INSTABITS : April 2015

Another month gone, another Instabits entry.

Started the month off with a date with Ckloy at Bonitos (and Palaisdaan the next day)

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Cocina recently started offering ramen on their menu so my officemates and I had some one afternoon.  (grabbed from @dustinlab)

I got my first 5-star summon from a mystic scroll in Summoners War this month – a Wind Death Knight. Technically Death Knights are natural 4-stars but he came awakened. He’s not too bad I suppose (the Fire Death Knights are better). I’m still hoping for a natural 5-star summon though. (I also evolved my first 6-star monster this month, but forgot to post about it. Yay Ramagos!)

Camille had some free time this month so she would occasionally drop by the office to visit me.  She’s never tried Seoul Kitchen before so I took her there for dinner during one of her visits.

Aprille turned 30 last month, and she an amazing garden party to celebrate it.  I had a lot of fun (despite the fact that I took a nasty fall as soon as I got out of the car and Ezra, Camille and I had to spend the first 15 minutes of the party cleaning up my bloody knee in the bathroom).

We had fun taking pictures with the blue and white canopy at Aprille’s garden.  I even used it as a backdrop for my 14th self portrait this year.

Camille and I baked some peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars last month, and I brought some with me to share the office.  Dustin and Sir Marvs loved them so much that they requested we bake another batch as soon as they were gone.  They’ve been asking me to teach them how to bake for some time now, so I’m glad we were able to have this impromptu baking session :)

I posted this old photo of Ezra and me on Facebook for her birthday.  This is one of my parent’s favorite photos of us for some reason.

To celebrate her birthday, Ezra requested that we go to Festival Mall so we could go shopping and have lunch at the Superbowl of China.  We also bought her favorite Tous Les Jour’s Strawberry Inspiration cake (which I used as a prop in my 15th self portrait this year).

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Week 16/52 : A dream is a wish your heart makes

I’m beginning to fall behind on my 52-week project, eek!  Thankfully I managed to get some nice shots over the weekend. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to catch up soon.

This was taken at the Virgin Beach resort in Laiya, Batangas. I went there with a few colleagues and we had a great time playing under the sun. The resort was beautiful, and I’m glad that’s where we ended up (we left that morning with no plans and no reservations). I was actually at this same resort two years ago with my friends, but back then we only stayed for a few hours. This was my first time spending the night at the resort. They actually ran out of rooms that day, and we ended up staying in a bed parasol, but it’s not so bad. The common showers and restrooms were well maintained and the bed parasols were pretty comfortable.

This was taken by Dustin. He took lots of great photos of me that day, I actually had a hard time choosing which ones I wanted to include in my 52-week project. This one’s definitely one of my favorites. I love the night lights, they make the photo look like it came straight out of a fairy tale. Which is why I chose a quote from Cinderella for this week’s title :)

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Popin’ Cookin’ : Let’s make some sushi!

This is my last entry for our summer trip to California last May (finally).  It took me almost an entire year to blog about everything we did, partly because our schedule was packed with so many activities, but mostly because I don’t have that much free time these days.  Still, it’s an improvement from last year where we were already back in California and I was still posting entries about our trip from the year before.

Ezra and I bought this Poppin Cooking kit from Little Tokyo when we went grocery shopping there.  We love watching RRCherryPie’s videos on YouTube when he/she makes these kits because everything looks adorable. It always seems so easy when he/she does it, but when other people try it they say it’s a lot harder than it looks. So when we found this, we decided to pick up one and see for ourselves.

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The instructions are in Japanese but the illustrations make it pretty easy to follow along

I took pictures of the process, but they mysteriously disappeared from my phone.  I gave Kurt copies of the pictures of the final product so he can use it in his videos, so thankfully he was able to send me those.  As for the process, the best I can do is show you some screencaps from Kurt’s video:

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The kit comes with 6 foil packets, a black gummy thing (the “seaweed”), a dropper and a tiny spoon for mixing

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It also comes with this white plastic container where you’re supposed to make the “rice”, “tuna”, “tamago” and “salmon roe”

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Ezra was mesmerized by how the salmon roe is made (it’s my favorite part too :D)

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Burning sand and freezing water! (Zuma and Playa Del Rey beach)

This entry’s almost a year late, but I suppose it’s alright since I’ve been seeing loads of pictures of my friends at the beach lately.  Our summer break doesn’t start until June, and by then the rainy season will be here.  I’m hoping that my friends and I will be able to schedule a trip to beach before that happens, but if that doesn’t push through then at least I have these photos from last year XD

Kurt took us to two different beaches during our California trip last summer.  Our first one was Zuma Beach in Malibu.

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 We spent the night at W Hotel in Hollywood because Kurt won a free night stay there from his company’s Christmas party

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 Such a “California” photo – convertibles and selfies

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On the way to the beach we saw lots of houses up on the mountains

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I joked that these were all Tony Stark’s houses (because it looks a lot like the area where he lives  in the movies).  Kurt pointed out that he lives in Malibu so it’s not such a crazy thought

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We got there pretty early so there were still lots of parking spaces along the side of the roadIMG_0208

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We expected it to be warm at the beach, but it was actually quite cold.  Ezra didn’t want to take off her jacket and sarong.

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Kurt wanted some “idol DVD” footage, unfortunately he was stuck with us as models, so it didn’t have quite the same feel XD

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Still, he had a lot of fun shooting Ezra running around the beach

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I was excited to go swimming and get some underwater footage with the GoPro, but the water was too cold.  I tried going in up to where the water reached my knees but I lost circulation in my toes.  (It’s the same feeling I get in my hands when I hold a piece of ice for too long.)  There was no way we were going to be able to swim at that temperature so we ended up just playing on the shore.

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We took turns burying each other in the sand

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Week 15/52 : Bon anniversaire!

Ezra celebrated her 27th birthday last Saturday. We didn’t have a party or a fancy dinner because all she wanted was to spend her birthday at Festival Mall with the family. Her only other request was that we get her the Strawberry Inspiration cake from Tous Les Jours (just like last year).

The cake’s really cute (and extremely yummy), unfortunately this photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s supposed to look like a giant apple. Nevertheless, we had fun taking pictures of it before Ezra made her birthday wish. My parents even joined us for a few shots:

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I love this photo :)

Happy birthday Ezra!

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Week 14/52 : Soiree

This was taken yesterday at Aprille’s 30th birthday party. Her theme was “sideyard soiree” (hence the title of this self portrait). She had this beautiful garden party with the cutest decorations. A few weeks ago she told us that she was just going to have a simple dinner at her place for her birthday and it somehow ended up being this really fancy party. We teased her about it being more like a debut rather than a simple dinner. The party was held under this huge blue and white tent which was a perfect background for my self portrait this week.

Ezra helped me take this shot at the party. Two years ago, whenever I asked her to help me take my photo she comes up with some great angles and poses for me, but ever since she stopped the 52-week project she seems to have lost her touch. I actually posed her and took photos of her to show her how I wanted the shot to look, and she still had a hard time getting it. It’s funny because I’m supposed to be the model and yet I’m the one directing the photographer where to stand and how to angle the camera XD (Aside from forgetting how to take good photos, she also needs to practice posing in front of the camera again. When we shot my 12th self portrait a few weeks ago, about 80% of the shots were unusable because she looked so awkward XD.) But I do like how this shot turned out, so thanks Ez!

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Space stuff, viruses and vibrations at the California Science Center

On our last weekend in California we were trying to come up with something to do, so we browsed Yelp for suggestions.  The California Science Center popped up as one of the most recommended places to visit in LA.  I love science museums so I was thrilled that Kurt and Ezra were on board with the idea.  Geek mode ON!

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Before we even made it inside the building we spotted this huge torque exhibit:

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A 3014kg pick-up truck was attached to one end of a lever, and you have to try to lift it at 3 different positions.  It’s quite obvious that the further you are from the fulcrum, the easier it is to lift the truck. IMG_3889

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We spent quite a bit of time playing around here before making our way to the building. When we reached the entrance, we expected to have to buy tickets to get inside, but we were surprised to find that entrance is actually free! (Something we probably should have known if we did our research properly XD)

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The first thing we saw when we made it inside was the Air and Space exhibit, where they had sophisticated telescopes and space capsules on display

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This is a 1/5th scale display of the Hubble Space Telescope

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And this is the original Gemini 11 Space Capsule.  Supposedly 2 astronauts lived inside this tiny little thing for three days!  I probably would have died of a panic attack if you made me stay in there for longer than 5 minutes. IMG_3941

Another space capsule from Project Apollo

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Closer look at the door

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Kurt took loads of footage of Ezra as usual

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There were other interesting setups around the area, such as this optics display

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The California Science Center houses the Endeavour Space Shuttle.  You probably saw pictures of it online last year as it was flown around on top of a plane:

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(Image source)

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see it because you had to make a reservation, which we failed to do.  But there were plenty of other things to see in the museum, so we weren’t too broken up about it.

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There were also stations set up where employees gave demos to illustrate interesting concepts.  I think this was the demo for pressure.

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This spiral thing is an exhibit for how sound travels.  Two people stand at opposite ends of the pipe and can have a clear conversation with each other

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And this one shows how air makes different sound pitches based on the length of a glass tube

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We had fun playing around the earthquake exhibit, where we were asked to build a house that can withstand tremors.  We failed miserably.

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