Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free Birthday Meals December 2010

My friend recently visited websites for various restaurants and eateries, and signed up on the birthday club for her birthday month. Since December is my birthday month, I signed up for the birthday club through websites of various restaurants and eateries that I was interested in so that I could get some free meals. December was definitely the fatest month for me with all these free meals, and several holiday/birthday parties.

In this month, I have visited Red Robin twice (in two different locations), Claim Jumper, Benihana and Acapulco where I had received a free meal and sometimes a free dessert, however, Acapulco was the only one where I forgot to take photos of my free food. You can see my photos of all the free food that I received by clicking here.

Would you like to sign up for the birthday club and receive free meals and treats from your favorite restaurants and eateries? Visit this website! You can also use google search and type in "Eat Free For Your Birthday" to help you along. If you're outside of the U.S., you can use google and type in "Eat Free For Your Birthday".

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Parties

With all the parties that I've attended (or will attend) this month for either someone's birthday or for holiday, I'm ready for December to be over. In fact, I wanted to skip the whole month of December during the Thanksgiving weekend because I had so many parties to attend just for the month of December and I was overwhelmed by the thought and amount of food.

A few weeks ago, my friend hosted a birthday party. It was originally for her birthday, but she decided to have a party to celebrate her birthday with mine because my birthday was five days after hers.

Click here for more photos. Yoko made most of the food and what a great cook!

On the same weekend of my friend's birthday party, I attended a holiday with the L.A. Shoot This! photography group which also happened to be on the same day as my birthday. So I attended the holiday party and we celebrated my birthday as well as Christmas with any other holidays being celebrated.

White cake with fresh strawberries; For more photos, click here

I attended a holiday party for my karate class last weekend. There were demonstrations for all to see, a pinata for the kids and food for everyone to eat.

For more photos, click here

This is the last of the holiday parties as I will be attending another one this Friday with my family. I am attending another holiday party on New Year's Eve with my family and another one on New Year's Day with my friends.

Before I forget, please visit my foodie blog as I've recently updated it with a few food events where I had lots of fun at.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and be safe out there! Don't forget to eat lots of turkeys and pumpkin pies for me too!

More importantly, be grateful for your friends, family and what you already have and don't take them for granted. Tell your loved ones how much you love them....EVERYDAY. Don't wait until Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthdays to say so.

My apologies for the lack of updates...I will update very, very soon!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cal Poly Pomona

A few weeks ago, I went to Cal Poly Pomona to take photos of the students that were on campus. Little did I know that there were no classes in session and the campus was empty with no students anywhere!

The classes started the Fall session last week and I was eager to visit the campus to take photos of any random student there. I had the intentions to do the 100 Strangers Project in relation to my 365 Day Project and ask a random student for a photo, however, I got distracted by the food booths that gave away free ice cream, hotdogs, sodas and chips. I wasn't a student at this college and they didn't ask for student ID, so I got free food. Many people said that I looked like 21 to 23 years old, so it was easy for me to pass as a young college student.

I did take photos of the students that were everywhere, having lunch and hanging out with their friends while eating free hotdogs, chips and sodas, but the best part was when I saw my friend Joy who was on her way to a meeting with her counselor about her classes and career path. She was a student here. She was also not a stranger to me as we knew each other from karate training.

Joy and I

Here are some random photos that I took while at Cal Poly:

These photos were taken in the main courtyard near the Student Life Center/Cafeteria

One Veggie Hotdog and One Regular Hotdog

I didn't take a photo of the ice cream because it was pretty warm out and the ice cream was melting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Orangewood Children's Home

Over the weekend, I volunteered with the SoCal Volunteers United meetup group at the Orangewood Children's Home in Orange, CA. This place is a facility that shelters children in Orange County who were victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Many times, the children do get released back to their parents after they finished the programs that they are required to take. Sometimes and unfortunately, the children never do get return to their parents for some unforseen reasons.

We, the volunteers, came with snacks and games, and we played with children between the ages 11 - 14 for two hours. This was my first time volunteering at this facility, so it was an interesting experience. Most of the children seemed to enjoy painting and crafty things.


I wasn't allowed to photograph the facility or the children for privacy purposes, but we were allowed to take a group photo of the volunteers, so at least, I have something from volunteering there.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Food Photography

I recently created a food photography blog because I'm one of the those people with ADD (attention deficit disorder)/short attention spans. Or I'm just a weird and crazy person.

I went to a cupcake showdown - a cupcake competition type event - a few days ago. Originally I went there just to take pictures and eat some cupcakes, forgetting that I could actually network and do business with the cupcake makers/designers/bakers that were there. Oh Sue Sweet was one of the bakeries/cupcake makers who "reminded" me about networking. She saw a few people (including me) taking pictures of her cupcakes on her table, told us to take some cupcakes because they were free and mentioned that she was a new business/entrepreneur person. That got me all curious and we briefly talked about this whole new business thing. We exchanged contact information and business cards because she needed pictures for her business and I know that she would have clients who would need a photographer for events (birthdays, weddings, etc). She doesn't have a website yet, but she does have a fan page on facebook! Please show some support!

cupcakes from Oh Sue Sweet with winning cupcake called Ube Macapuno Cupcakes (pictured with white frosting)

By the way, I only tried three mini cupcakes (all of which belonged to Oh Sue Sweet). The other cupcake makers/designers/bakers were required to sign a vote card from all the guests that attended, so that the guests could taste the cupcakes. Vote cards basically allowed the guests to vote for their favorite cupcakes. I never picked up a vote card so I didn't taste any cupcakes from the other bakers, but I was ok with that because I didn't want to get sick with sugar overload, even from trying eight more different cupcakes. Just being surrounded by the amount of cupcakes made me go into a sugar overload. I also got chili cheese fries that was flavored in beer with a hint of chocolate from Frysmith (food truck). It was ok, but perhaps, I should try their food again when I'm not in a sugar coma.

Now that I'm no longer suffering from sugar overload (from looking at cupcake photos for editing), I should go contact the other cupcake bakers/makers and email photos to them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

End Of The Summer

On Friday, I went to a pool party for my friend, Brandon, from Karate training. He is currently a student at California State Polytechnic  University Pomona and he starts fall classes tomorrow. There weren't that many people who showed up for the party, mainly because Brandon invited friends two days before the party, and it was also on a weekday. I had fun regardless of how many people were there because Brandon and I rarely ever hang out and do something fun outside of Karate training.

I went to a barbecue party this afternoon. It was a Speed Syndicate Racing Annual BBQ at Friendship Park in San Pedro, CA. I hung out with Q and Yoko, and made a few new friends. It's very rare that I get to hang out with Q and Yoko, perhaps once a year or every other year? Q is also a photographer and enjoys photographing auto racing, particularly import cars. You can visit his website here.

Yoko (on left) and Q (on right)

P.S. Don't forget to visit my 365 Day Project. Click here!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maria's Baby Shower

I went to a baby shower over the weekend for my friend from Karate class. She actually stopped going to class because she is carrying a child, but her eleven year old daughter, high school age niece and college age nephew are all still going to Karate class. The nephew did not go to the baby shower, but the niece and daughter were there. I had a nice time there, however, I wished I had a better lens for indoor and low lighting uses to take photos. Some of the pictures I took, were good, and many were blurry, but they could have been better with a lens that was better for low lighting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Band: State The Obvious

Last week, I went to a local junior college. I wasn't a student there, but I knew that fall classes had already started a week earlier, and visiting the campus would be a great opportunity for me to initiate a conversation with one or more students since there would be a plethora of them.

I approached Ernie and Matt who were playing their guitars and singing, and I asked for their photos because they were more approachable than the other students who were reading books/papers. While talking with them, I learned that Matt had been singing his whole life. He also had his own band called "State The Obvious" who had been together for five years. Earnie wasn't part of a band, but he enjoyed playing a guitar with Matt.

Matt invited me to his band's performance on Friday night at Chain Reaction and he explained that photography was allowed in the venue without permits or licensing. You can join the band's "fan" page  and sample some of their music on youtube (video taken not by me). Take note that the clothes they were wearing in the first video was the same in the photo(s) that I took. For some reason, seeing the video from that night made me happy.

For more photos, click and visit this link. I didn't have the right lens that could handle low lighting for the performance, so most of the photos have some amount of blurriness.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friends and Fun Things To Do

I went to the O.C. Foodie Fest yesterday with a friend and some of her friends. I debated about going because I had a birthday party to go afterwards and I wasn't sure how I would feel. I was glad that I went. Despite that this was the first year that Orange County had a foodie fest and there were long lines for each "truck stop", we had a fun time.

After the O.C. Foodie Fest, I went to a birthday party in Manhattan Beach for another friend. After I decided that I wanted to go the O.C. Foodie Fest, I wasn't sure how I would feel about making the drive to Manhattan Beach and then going home. It seemed like a lot of driving and a very long day, but it turned out that I was ok with the long day and lots of driving. I had fun at the party too.


On a side note, please visit my 365 Day Project blog and follow along.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Photo Blogs

I'm probably one of the very few people who have too many blogs. While most people usually only have one or two blogs - two at the most - I have about four or five and all are about different subjects. I've created so many blogs regarding different specific subjects because I think I have a short attention span or something?

I have recently discovered how much I love food photography. Because of this, I have become a foodie on a mission to try new/different food from different restaurants, cafes, and eating facilities and fairs/festivals throughout Southern California....eventually, nationwide and worldwide, but for now, I'm sticking with the local foods. I'm open to suggesetions and wouldn't mind having company when I'm eating/dining out. Please follow my foodie photography blog.

On another don't have to subscribe or follow this next blog, but I did a photoshoot with a two year old boy over the weekend. Please visit my other blog to see photos of this little boy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Red Cross

My friend on facebook announced awhile ago that Red Cross would be at the Fairplex Sheraton Hotel (which is right next to the fairgrounds for the Los Angeles County Fair) to accept blood donations from people on August 20 (today). She saw this news on the L.A. County Fair fan page on facebook.

Red Cross organized this event last year, but I didn't donate because I didn't know that this happened. However, I am glad that I didn't know about it and didn't donate. The donors who attended last year complained that there were lots of chaos and disorganization, and donors had to wait two hours before they could finally donate blood. It must have been the first time that Red Cross organized this event at this hotel if there were chaos and disorganization. This year was much better and donors were accepted into the event by appointment only. There will be another day for blood donations for those who weren't able to make it today.

All donors received one ticket admission to the L.A. County Fair, a coupon for free ice cream to Cold Stone Creamery and a pair of tickets to the Laugh Factory.

This was what my arm looked like after I donated blood. It looked like cast, but it was just wrapping to keep the cotton thing in place. I had to keep this on for four to five hours.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Volunteering At The O.C. Ronald McDonald House

Remember how I posted about volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and posted some photos last week? I took the photos for personal reasons and the other volunteers were ok with their photos being taken. These pictures got featured on their fan page on facebook! You can follow them on facebook or on twitter too.

Everyone should "give back to their community" and "pay it forward" sometimes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kiko and Moshi

My sister recently got a dog. It is a girl, and a rescued 1 1/2 year old dachsund. This dog is very energetic, but that is because she is 1 1/2 years old. She also needs a lot of work on being house broken. I'm not sure if this will happen in a one month's time when my sister moves into her townhouse that she recently got.

It took a few days for Kiko and Moshi to finally get along. They got into a few fights, though they didn't draw any blood.

And here is a photo of Kiko for good measures...just because.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

L.A. Pet Fair 2010

I went to the L.A. Pet Fair in Pomona, CA today. I didn't know that it existed before this year because I had never heard of it before. I heard about this event from the SoCal Volunteers United meetup group even though it wasn't meant as a scheduled event for the group to go together. It was simply a suggestion for the members if they felt inclined to go and they didn't have to meet any members to attend.

While it was a small event, it was interesting and I learned some stuff about the animals that were there.

To see more photos, visit:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ronald McDonald House of Orange County

I went to the Ronald McDonald House in the City of Orange yesterday afternoon with the O.C. Volunteers meetup group to volunteer and make meals/dinner for the CHOC (Children Hospital of Orange County) patients' families. The CHOC patients (who are children) are usually very sick or very injured, so when their families are at the hospital with them, they (the families) can go to the Ronald McDonald House to eat and have a place to stay overnight while the kids are getting treatment. The families can't travel too far when their kids are getting treatments in the hospital, so at least, they have a place to stay that's close by.

The place was really cute, looked like a house from the outside and like a hotel on the inside. It was fun working with the other volunteers while making and preparing meals for the CHOC patients' families.

For more photos:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Second Harvest Food Bank August 2010

I volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Irvine, CA yesterday evening with the SoCal Volunteers United meetup group. We, the volunteers, sorted the donated food by type (canned vegetables, canned fruits, snacks, etc) and checked the expiration dates to ensure that the food were safe to consume and distributed properly to the correct locations.

To see more photos, visit:

This afternoon, I will be doing more volunteer work with the OC Volunteers meetup group, so I will have more photos tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Second Karate Lesson

I taught a self-defense lesson this morning to a small group of women from the O.C. 20 to 30 Something's Women meetup group at Kramer Park in Placentia, CA. This was the second time that I taught self-defense to this group or to anyone outside the group. While I am trained in traditional martial arts, the lesson today was geared towards actual self-defense. While I also don't have any real teaching experience, the people who attended, said that it was very informative and we had fun.

While I still do attend training/practices at the YMCA, I'm very familiar with the people there and I am ok with leading the classes with people that I have already known for a long time. I realize that I need to get out of my comfort zone and teach new people who do not attend classes at the YMCA, whether they are friends or strangers.

Also, I think by teaching self-defense to people outside of my YMCA classes, it also helps me become a better photographer. How, you ask? Because I am forced to talk/direct people and get creative. Afterall, photography clients and models need feedback and can appreciate creative poses/ideas.

Friday, July 30, 2010


On Wednesday afternoon, I went to Red Robin. I didn't go with anyone and it's rare that I do because I don't like going to eatery places alone. Sometimes, I go to restaurants alone during lunch break at work, but this is because I have no choice. It took me awhile to eat alone during lunch break at work because I would rather order fast food and bring it back to the break room at work. I need to learn that it's ok to do a lot of things alone because I don't need to be with someone to do fun things. The Red Robin was at the mall in West Covina, CA

Here was what I ordered from Red Robin:

Bleu Ribbon Burger with Mint Chocolate Brownie Shake (the meal was delicious!)
Last night, I went to a photography meeting in Costa Mesa, CA. My photographer friends from the meeting and I went to dinner at Avila's El Ranchito. I always enjoy spending time with my photographer friends. Most of the time, we talk about photography during dinner when we should be having fun and talking about any random things, but I always learn new things about photography.
Here was what I ordered from Avila's El Ranchito:

Have you been visiting my 365 Day Project blog? Click here to visit and please follow that blog!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pay It Forward

Last month, I went to a photography business meeting. The meeting was on "Business Essentials" and the photography speaker was Marc Weisberg. Wihle most of the meeting was about how he ran his photography business appropriately and legally so that other photographers could get a general idea to start their own, he also mentioned that he did volunteer photography and he recently worked with The Boys & Girls Club in Santa Monica. I was inspired by this and joined a few volunteer groups on meetup.

"You get back more than you give." ~Marc Weisberg

So as you've noticed, I recently started doing volunteer work. I have done some fundraisers before (and I'd like to more in the future), but since this month, I have been more interested in finding ways to help others. So far, I most enjoy helping out people in need and I find pleasure in seeing the joy on people's faces. To me, it's a lot of fun doing any kind of volunteer or assistance for people.... be it through fundraisers, food banks, mentoring, or assisting an elderly/handicapped person. With the economy the way it is now, people need more help than ever. Eventually, I will do volunteer photography for an organization, but for now, I do enjoy other hands on volunteer work. People should do volunteer work sometimes because it is very rewarding.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

P.S. I Love You Foundation: Day At The Beach 2010

Today, I participated and volunteered in the "Day At The Beach: Adopt A Child For A Day" for the P.S. I Love You Foundation (PSILY for short) in Manhattan Beach, CA. This was their tenth annual "Day At The Beach" event, although this was my first time participating/volunteering. I heard about this event/foundation through the SoCal Volunteers United meetup group and it was a wonderful foundation to volunteer for.

My kid for the day was nine year old, Kassandra, and we had a fun day, playing in the sand, playing in the water, playing games, and attempted to fly a kite. We also saw a sea lion 60 or so yards offshore. It jumped out of the water to play with a fish. What a sight!

For more photos, click here to view.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SoCal Volunteers United

I met some people from the SoCal Volunteers United meetup group for dinner this evening. I haven't done any volunteer work with this group yet, however, the organizer thought that it would be nice for the members to meet and get to know each other outside of volunteer work.

We had dinner at
Phans55 in Fullerton, CA. The food was really good. Today was the first time that I met anyone, including the organizer, from the group, and they were great. Even though there were only four of us, we had a lot of great coversations going and there was never a dull moment.

I ordered the "Royal Fried Rice"

The group

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This afternoon, I went to lunch at Ding's Garden restaurant in San Gabriel, CA with the Asian Animal Lovers meetup group. We had met for dinner several times before, but this was the first time that I met the group for lunch. I think the group met for lunch before, but I didn't attend. The food in general was good, but the people in the group were always nice and we never run out of things to talk about.

This was one of the dishes that I enjoyed the most

You can see more photos by clicking here.