26 going on WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?!

2015 is getting away from me…. Anyone past the age of 22 can attest to this: while every birthday prior to your 21st was welcomed in anxious anticipation, every birthday since then have arrived with a tiny bit of trepidation. At the tender age of 26, I am fully and completely over the count down to New Year’s Day, another birthday (also in January), and all such events that mark the passage of time. Like sand through my cupping fingers, days/weeks/years have begun slipping through uncontrollably and unapologetically…..

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from the night of my 26th birthday dinner – Mike cooked for a few close friends and I

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF THINGS, every year passed marks another year under our belt, one year more experienced, wiser, more virtuous. As I leave my early twentys, I find myself leaving behind the wild ride that is my emotional roller coaster (yeah right!) and leaving behind (seriously) the selfishly short-term planner mindset. Case in point? We are soon to be homeowners! Hide your wife and hide your kids everyone….can you believe it? This New Yorker who swore up and down 2nd ave that she’d be forever storing shoes in stoves and bathtubs is currently becoming acquainted with the many jargons of home ownership. Thank God for Mike because I’m only pretending to understand and signing where he tells me to.
In my 26th year of life, while entering escrow on the world’s most overpriced single-house property there ever was, I left behind my entire professional training and enter the world of photography (read all about it here). I find myself pursuing a field that I have no formal training in, no degrees to back up, and seriously questioning my own sanity for removing three little letters after my name whose acquisitions aged me a good 5 years. But for the first time in a long time, I am ecstatic and excited to learn. For the first time in forever (Frozen song lyrics anyone?), I want to learn for learning’s sake, I am self motivated. It feels like nothing that I’ve known, it feels light as air. Gone is the boulder on my shoulder to make it, gone is the competition with other people and running endlessly in a rate race. I am now competing with myself, striving with an energy and precision focus I didn’t know I had in me.
In this very second, there are about a trillion lists running through my head – to do’s, to buy’s, do-not-forgets yet there is also such clarity as 2015 comes to a screeching mid year. I feel completely determined and hopeful to tackle all that is ahead. To learn unabandoned and to ask all the stupid questions. Here’s to this crazy/transitional/fast-pace/challenging/exciting/blessed year. I hope, with tremendous sincereity, that you are rooting for me, for the Wangs. Near and far, I ask for you to send up a prayer, to send over a positive thought, to give us your blessing and good wishes.
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channeling this bird, taking flight, about to SOARRRR

So very hopeful and dreaming unafraid,
L

Friends….near and far, what am I, without you?

Lately I’ve been inspecting my life. What is it that gives meaning to my existence? Who and what truly makes me happy? God…his love, promise eternal, the ultimate forgiveness. what else? Once upon a time, a brand new pair of red soles, the last spot on the summer internship roster, complimentary amuse bouche from the chef brought me a high that would last a good few days, in my more infinitely wisdomous 26th year of life…

You. I am not me without you. Near and far, you have enriched my life.

A dear friend of mine in New York had been sending me encouraging quotes from random sources through text since I confessed my crazy and random decision to become a newborn photographer. This woman, my sounding board, my safe place, my forever friend, came into my life most unexpectedly and by no effort or wisdom on my part. She saw me through the very worst, always a place of refuge and wisdom. Christine, when fear makes me feel small and anxious, I tell myself that “if my dreams aren’t scaring me, I’m not dreaming big enough”. When I wrap post on my 100th little newborn, I’m sending you a piece of my daydream realized.
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A brand new friend, a new mama to the very first newborn I’ve ever shot, is actually family (by marriage). Our budding friendship forged under the most unusual of circumstances has been a huge encouragement to my heart. I have learned much, gained perspective. And although we’ve logged countless babysitting hours under our belt, it’s with her that I’ve tasted the teeny tiniest bit of what motherhood is like. But more importantly, I have witnessed true vulnerability. Jean, I’m humbled by your humility and overjoyed by our growing friendship. I’m caught off guard by how quickly you and your family, my family, has won my heart and how deeply I’ve come to care for baby J.

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my first ever newborn shoot!!!! Thanks Jean for trusting me with baby J.

Two women whom I’ve never met face-to-face…I’ve been blessed by their generosity of spirit and delightful personalities. In our ever more connected world, how many friendships are completely virtual in your life? I’ve been a rather timid member of several (more than I can count) newborn photographer forums on facebook. Timid, why? Because even the image taker of the cutest, squishiest, tiniest, most precious humans can be a little bit catty, a little bit biting, an altogether baffling phenomena. (people are people I know). I’ve been proceeding into this world of whimsy and charm walking a bit on eggshells…. But these two women…..they have graced me with help, encouragement, hospitality, amongst other invaluable contributions to this ex-accountant turned photographer. Hannah and Jaime, I can’t say thank you enough…our interactions, albeit limited, have been thoroughly encouraging and patience-filled.

A fellow NYU alumn came to visit from SF this weekend and we caught up the way that girls catch up (all comprehensive, sparing no detail). Angie, I can’t believe I’ve known you for almost a decade…. you are my oldest friend here on the west coast and over coffee today, I realized how much I’ve missed you. I hope to see you very soon here in sunny LA and catch up where we left off over many dinners and movie nights.

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if you can’t trust your friend to cut your hair impromptu in the 3rd floor bathroom at Stern, NYU, WHO can you trust?! #studentlifethuglife #F4L

Speaking of “oldies” but goodies, Robin…you are my first friend in this country. Before I learned to speak English, you had already had me over for playdates, shared your golden retriever, and gave me reason to ask my parents to buy me a sleeping bag (a concept very foreign to Chinese immigrants). You have remained the most loyal, patient, and kind friend. You stood witnessed on my wedding day and have fielded more phone calls than appropriate consulting on my new business venture. You have extended me a lifetime of patience and grace and I want another lifetime more. I love you so very much and can’t wait to host you in my new home (and pester you with more design questions :D)

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I am not me without you. In this transitioning year I feel swept off my feet in the most nauseating and scary way. Each time, I’ve been grounded by wonderful individuals who have somehow found it in them to help me, love me. I’m thankful, most of all, for Mike and dedicate this post to my very BEST friend and husband. Thank you for being faithful to our wedding vows, for being my compass for pointing me towards God, for bringing out the best in me, and for doing so.much.comedy.
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And thank YOU!

P.S. best friend, I’ve started planning your 30th birthday dinner this week. You are in for a treat because, of course, I must top last year’s menu and each year after. Who has time for spring cleaning when I need a good 2 months to plan out the biggest dinner party I host each year?!

~your forever chef/sommelier/barkeep/servant/lover/bestfriend/co-pilot/cheerleader

Product Review: Nerium

Guess what came in OUR Easter Basket this year?? A good friend of mine has recently become a brand partner with the buzzing company Nerium. In short, as I understand it, they are the only company in the world who holds the patents/right of use for this secret ingredient that is essentially youth in a bottle. They are launching two new products this month that’s suppose to blow away the entire beauty/skin care industry as we know it and have been featured on talk shows, prominent magazines, etc. *by the the way, this is NOT an affiliated post*.

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Needless to say, our friend sent us two of the products to try FOR FREE (a day and night cream). I have relatively okay skin so I passed it onto my husband who’s generously agreed to be my lab bunny for the next 30 days. I’ll post weekly updates with a full review at the end of 30 days – stay tuned!

Also, if you’re interested in trying the products out yourself (they have a money back guarantee) please reach out to my friend directly and she can hook you up! and/or give you more accurate and detailed info on the company/line of products.

Here’s the before pictures we took prior to using the product. Updates coming your way in two weeks!

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I am woman, hear me ro….scream like a little girl!

Today the last day with PwC and I am consumed with every emotion under the sun. A part of me is doing carwheels up and down Figueroa but another part of me is curled up in a ball rocking back and forth and wanting to breathe into a brown paper bag of sorts. How do I convey the significance of this decision? of this event? Oh PwC, thank you… and farewell!

You did me good, you did. You are my big girl job, one that paid the bill; not just rent but my endless NYU debt. You taught me to leave home and live out of a suitcase. You taught me to fly unafraid. You taught me to network like I’m not unnerved shaking the hands of movers and shakers in all the important companies. You taught me EXCEL! I am an excel wizard y’all. As I’m drafting this (just sent out my farewell email to the firm), my sametime and email inbox are blowing up and the incoming best wishes makes me so warm and fuzzy and incredible nostalgic.

I do hope I don’t cry today (not that I haven’t cried here before-albeit under different circumstances). So yeah… if I were completely honest, these past 3 years have been tough! Working here was one of the hardest and most trying experiences I’ve yet to experience for a prolonged period of time, but it was also worth its weight in importance. I grew up, really grew up. The firm developed and stretched me in ways I never would’ve sought after. All that traveling made me platinum for just about every hotel and every airline. Boy did we take advantage of that in all our personal travels. It also brought some amazing people into my life. Ellena, Dora, Kim, Mandy, Hayley, Darren. I’m grateful to know you guys. You friendships mean so much to me. I can go on….I can go on and on….

I always knew I’d leave the firm. My last day was something I fantasized about– something I did quite often during trying times like when I clocked in my 74th hour in a single week for the 4th week running. But when it came down to it, it was one of the hardest decision to go through with. As silly and outrageous as it sounds, I found a huge part of my identity attached to this company and my job title. And just as bewildering, I truly took tremendous pride in my crazy hours. Army strong!!! Needless to say, this decision, today, is a momentous one and one deserving some sobby crazy tears and some wild dancing in celebration. I will be doing both and you are welcome to join me.

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it POURED on the way to the car. BYEEEEEEEEEE

In the meantime, I’ll be spending some long awaited time becoming acquainted with my couch for napping and reading and with my brand new puppy at heart, Kimchi. I will also be diving, with an immense focus and drive, into starting my own business in newborn photography. Don’t laugh please…I’m feeling fragile. More to come on that but if you are an expecting parents, call me immediately.

Any second now, I’ll go through SameTime withdrawal…. so please keep in touch my PwC family. I will miss you all, find me on facebook, and book me to photograph this growing PwC family!!! jk-kind of.

Thank you for an incredible chapter of my life. I will miss you, farewell and good luck. 

Michael-ism Part III

Mike trips and almost falls inside the toilet, “BABE! If I didn’t have good coordination, I’d be inside the toilet! Thennnnnnnnn what would you have?! Not Maaaaaa-chal but maaaaaaaaaa-tong(Chinese word for toilet)!”

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“Why are you so cute?” “That’s my other talent”

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“Babe, on a scale of 1 to 1000 how cute am I?

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“I want to be a shark!” Puts hand on top of his head like a fin “I did it!!!!!”

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On being replaced by a baby if we ever have one and on concerns about being casted into oblivion, “No, I’m at least 3x cuter than a baby. I can do everything they do except better” *pouts his lips and make a whimper noise

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“Tell him to practice his mandarin when he asks her so he can be smooth like F4″

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“Bomb to the half show to the 2 times 3rd power”

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José Andrés – The Bazaar

Currently craving and craving Bazaar… I won’t bore you with the full review but here are some photos to wet your palate.

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Who wants to go on a double date???

Eureka! Indian Wells

New review up on Yelp!

Check it friends and loved ones and foodies near and far:

Review

eureka!

Oh dangggggg yo. It hit the spot.

Hear Him Roar!

Michael Wang, on the evening of the 18th of November, passed his PMP exam. I’m going to whip up a grand grand meal for this grand grand man of mine. I’m so proud of you, is there anything you can’t do? Just today, for a day, USC can be > NYU.

Hear him roar, ROARRRRRRRRRR!

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No more studying!! No more watching Mike play with his flashcards while I twiddle my thumb!!! I declare a new nocturnal routine of endlessly pigging out together on the couch while massaging each other while marathoning Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Close friends welcome.

You are my hero! See you soon, get ready to feast!

Gadget Rave: Essential Oil Diffuser by Deneve

We’ve been going to a Sparadise in Hollywood for a couple of times and last time in, we noticed a few glowy, misting orbs that emitted the most amazing essential oils. I inquired about them and was told that they were essential oil diffusers. Apparently, all you do is turn on after water and a few drops of essential oils are added (they used lemongrass) and a fine mist start diffusing from the little machines.

Needless to say, we picked one up right away after purchasing a small vile of lavender oil over our anniversary weekend in Solvang. The guy who worked in the lavender farm’s gift shop raved about the benefits of lavender (which are many) so for those who have trouble falling asleep especially, this combo is for you.

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Of the manyyyyyyy choices you have in essential oil diffusers, we picked the Deneve. It was the most aesthetically pleasing exterior to me and very highly reviewed on Amazon.com. We wanted a quieter model since the one in the Thai spa was pretty loud. The set-up is essentially non-existent. All you have to do is take it out of the box, plug in, add water and go. The mist came out so quickly after I turned it on that I gasped. It was great fun watching Mike’s reaction the first time he worked the machine. The amount of time it takes for the mist to come out (no time at all) really caught him by surprise too. We’ve been using it every night since we got it (it has an auto shut-off) and will be using it FOREVER. This could be in my head but I feel like I’m sleeping better (I had no trouble sleeping historically though).

For those looking for an essential oil diffuser, I can’t rave enough about this one. For those who have not considered it, you don’t know what you’re missing….

Does anyone have another that they love, wouldn’t mind trying a few others in other rooms. In the bedroom, we’ll stick with the Deneve.

Amazon, with each awesome purchase, we fall more deeply in love with you. For the endless awesome products you offer, we extend the most sincere gratitude.

-Sleeping Wangs.

Michael-ism Part II

M: “Ow! You hurt my interstacial rib!”
L: “Your what?”
M: “My interstacial rib! Part of the interstacial, part of the equilibrium of my skeletal function”

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L: “You have the most beautiful and gentle brown eyes I’ver ever seen.”
M: “Yea, I do”

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when I poked him too hard, “OW! My intermedial species” sigh….if only his in-laws who are both doctors knew that Mike, and not their own daughter is more gifted in the medical sciences

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“My goal in life is to look cute, I just have to be careful at work”

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another time that I was playing rough, “Ahhhhhh! my articularventricular vein!”

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I pointed to some scrapes on his arm, “What happened?!” “I got in a fight with a bobcat”

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I love you husband. You make me laugh sometimes.

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More Michael-isms here.