Blueroselady's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘autumn

Revising my notes on how to take beautiful photographs

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I love photos because photography literally means painting with light.
When we are taking photographs, we should think it as an act of our respects to beautiful scenery created by God.
Though photography is very subjective (I do like particular photographs but not others), photography enable us to connect to people across nation, geographical, and cultural boundaries.
I strive to have the curious eyes of children, the mind of philosopher.

Here are some tips:
Photography for the very beginners.
Mini shoot.
Photo shoot session as a date (cheaper than fine dining / watching movies).
Discovery projects
Study work by others (the same goes for every field of professional pursuit, though I am not a professional, but I strive to create work of high standard). As of early 2013, I have over 6,000 photos for reference. Perhaps, I have to declutter them, to focus more on quality than quantity. Some good online places that I have used include : Flickr, Pbase, Corbis, websites of bridal studios or professional photographers, travel / photography books.

How to photograph people?
How to photograph your little ones?
I am committed to photography my little ones once every month.

How to pose for photos?
Be photogenic!
Not to forget make-up, even for gentlemen.
“The best shots reflect a relaxed simplicity."

Celebrate and take photos. I especially love to celebrate the four seasons.
Do you want to travel and take photos?
Here are interesting locations:
1. China: Beijing (warning the sky is so often polluted that I had to degrain and make the sky blue in a photo taken at the National Palace that I cherish), Yunnan, Sichuan (especially near Chengdu), Hong Kong,Taiwan.
Korea: very romantic for autumn and winter shots.
2. Malaysia : Malacca, Penang
3. Indonesia: Bali (many couples are getting married at the island of God), you can get forever summer photos here.
4. United Kingdom because I lived there. I always love the England gardens! I even love their fine porcelain mugs printed with garden flowers. Think of Alice in the Wonderland, Harry Potter, all magical things! I love England in spring and autumn.
5. France: forever ROMANTIC Paris! Imagine perfume, Lavender, Mediterranean sea of French Riviera, and beautiful delicious food.
6. Oceania : Australia (because I think I am going there more often) and New Zealand (after I finish enjoying and experiencing The Lord of the Ring as promised by my lover).

Some reflections about travel photography:
1. Always bring TRIPOD when you travel, especially on your own. Tripod can help you take photographs with slow shutter and produce magical photos that our normal eyes cannot see.
2. "When we are taking photographs, we should think that they are our love letter to our beloved ones." My love letters sent from Canada.
3. I wrote "Shangrila (Zhongdian) in Yunnan reminds me on Switzerland."
Personally, I do not like Zhongdian.
Switzerland is a better travel destination.
Friendlier people / safer environment.
Lower altitude / more oxygen.
Better experience and memory.

Although I am not considering a career in photography, I believe that my photographic skills are improving with time.
I may also earn some pocket money from my passion in beauty and photography.
If I can, so can you!

Life is beautiful: early AM breakfast of banana pancake with strawberries and maple syrup

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I woke up so early in the 3rd weekend of October 2012.
On Saturday, I woke up at 6.30 am and could not return to sleep.
On Sunday, I woke up at 4.30 am and could not return to sleep.
It is reminiscent of jet lag that I used to have, but now instead of ending up stress and worrying for not having enough sleep, I just follow the rhythm of my body. Perhaps, I will have a nap, though I did not have a nap on Saturday.

I ended up reading and cooking.
On Sunday, I made a breakfast of banana pancake with fresh California strawberries and maple syrup.

Serves 2 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes

Mix the following:
pancake flour
1 egg
1 cup of milk: I used banana milk to obtain the banana flavored
minimal butter

Eat with the following:
8 fresh strawberries from Santa Maria, California
Canadian maple syrup : real maple syrup not maple-flavored syrup

Serve with a cup of chocolate milk.
Dine accompanied with classical music radio.

Oh… life is so beautiful!
To me, this experience is worth much more than breakfast in a 5-star hotel.
I hate spending on things of high ratio of cost-to-value.
I love how I manage to enjoy the simple pleasure of life with low ratio of cost-to-value (i.e. high ratio of value-to-cost).

I made the pancake mixture with love (think of the farmers who bend every bend with love and hard work), cut the strawberries with the best hygiene I can afford to serve my child, and simply decorate my food for visual pleasure, besides enjoying the gastronomical pleasure.

I am so grateful for our open concept kitchen, where I can see our altar while mixing the pancake, and saying my morning prayer. My mind went to the couple who celebrated their 50th anniversary last night in the church. Their vows are almost the same as ours, except
1. different names of husband and wife
2. “to be my wife” vs “continue to be my wife”
Though we occasionally hear about such golden couples in the media, that was the first time I witnessed a real couple celebrating their 50th anniversary in the church.

I love the space in our home. I am grateful for all these, though I know that I must not attach myself to things. Enjoy them while they last, and be grateful! Better things will come if they have to go.

Strawberries are best enjoyed with companions.
Strawberries alone are sour.
With maple syrup (or chocolate milk dip, inspired from the sticks of chocolate coated strawberries), the sweetness will bring out the freshness of the strawberries.
I guess somethings in life are like strawberries, we need companions to enjoy and appreciate our lives.
I cannot help to smile remembering the joy of summer strawberries in England, fresh sweet strawberries that can thrive on their own.

Maple syrup reminds me on the beautiful red maple leaves in the autumn.
I spent a beautiful winter, spring, and summer in Canada,
hope that I can live in Canada over an autumn in the future, or an equivalent place with such a romantic autumn.
I will cherish every sunny autumn day,
and hide at home gazing out the window over rainy days, listening to the water pouring.

Written by blueroselady

October 21, 2012 at 2:46 am

When I celebrate

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It seems that we are celebrating more and more events in life, from the traditional Christmas to the latest Father’s Day, and marketers will entice customers to buy more things to pamper our loved ones.
The list below is not exhaustive:
New Year
Lunar New Year
Valentine’s Day
Mother’s Day
Women’s Day
Father’s Day
Children’s Day
Teacher’s Day

It is time for me to prioritize.

I used to celebrate monthly by dressing up as beautiful as a movie star, taking photos, and sometimes going out to have fun. Once in a while, I got my nails painted, my hair done by professionals.
Now, I want to concentrate on my venture and focus less on this monthly celebration.

However, I still want to celebrate for:
1. my birthday : I am a firm believer of self-love. Only when I love myself, I can love other people. My birthday is also a reminder how my mother loves me and all the things she has done for me. I want so much to celebrate a birthday of mine by pampering her to the best food and spa I can find.
2. Christmas : I had spent many meaningful Christmas. I learned the value of being responsible in Christmas 2004, when people were enjoying themselves, I was working. Christmas also has a role to play for my first date with my beloved man (with firework), the proposal, the once-in-a-lifetime celebration in Vatican City.
3. our anniversary : growing together to be more mature, wise, and loving than ever. We will remember that on this day n years ago that we both stood across from one another, in front of God, friends, and family and outwardly admitted our love for one another.

Apart from these, it is OK for me to celebrate or not for other events.
Sometimes, resting at home to re-charge is a better options!

In the past, I managed to celebrate the four seasons (finding the winter being the most challenging).
Whenever I have the opportunities, I would love to celebrate the four seasons with my children: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Celebration motivates me to dress beautifully.
I have worn gowns of the following colors:
black : always classic
white : Yes, it is my wedding gown!
cyan / turquoise (2012)
blue sapphire (2003) : which happened to be the same color as the table cloth of the hotel ballroom!
green apple (2002)
red maroon (2011) : beautiful autumn memory of dream and determination, think of red autumn leaves.
magenta (2012)
purple (the knee length) : I love the way it sexily reveals my shoulder

Some colors of gown that I want to wear:
shiny silver grey
red scarlet : when I am the main host
green emerald
Though, I also like colors like soft pink, peach, milk chocolate, but I think gowns of these colors do not make me stand out. I do not mind wearing gowns of these colors for an occasion like being a bridesmaid.
Well, there are other colors that I used to like in the past e.g. green sage, but now I do not find them attractive anymore. I change.
I also do not mind colorful gowns, though they may make me the center of attention.

What kind of make-up that I like?
Snow White : she has a baby face cheek without appearing fat. Snow White is in the right balance of between too fat and too bony. Thank you foundation and blush on.
large innocent doe eyes / like the eyes of Disney princesses / Kumicky eyes. Thank you eyelashes, color lens, eyeliner, concealer, eyeshadow.
sexy red lips that makes man wants to kiss. Thank you lipstick and concealer.

A comment on my preference for eye make-up:
I like that kind of attractive, innocent, yet to some people it appears vulnerable.
Perhaps it has to do with my gentle nature.
However, one can be gentle outward, and strong inward.
To be successful, a lot of inner strength is required.
Only those with inner strength will be taken seriously by customers / business partners.

I am flexible to explore with different kind of hairstyle.
Thank you wig!

How to celebrate?
write a prayer / poem / heartfelt letter
dance with your loved one
eat cake
view photos and videos that bring back treasured memory
have fine-dining / special home-cooked meal
travel / nth-honeymoon
make love
appreciate the nature / go picnic / visit botanical garden / zoo / natural reserve / national parks
throw a party : this appeals less to me because I am not a party animal. To save costs, you can throw a pot luck.
volunteer for a cause

Written by blueroselady

October 14, 2012 at 8:01 am

My simple frugal lifestyle in autumn 2012

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In three and half more months, we will be saying good bye to 2012.

Life has been pretty simple for me lately.
I am enjoying my simple life now.
I am grateful for having God, loving family, caring friends, supportive mentors.

I am grateful for my job, where I can earn and learn; I am always learning and preparing myself for the future.

Towards the vision of achieving my financial independence and realizing my grand dream (I want to help many poor children in my chosen ways), I become more conscious about my spending, saving, and financial intelligence than ever. This of course has implications on my lifestyle: the many decisions I make daily.

I strive to kick start and end my everyday with prayers of gratitude and guidance.

I strive to eat more healthy home cooked food using higher quality ingredients (e.g. olive oil).
I try to minimize dining out (for meals above $10 / per person) to once or at most twice per week.

I will go for free food after talks.
Like the IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad who waits until the afternoon to buy his fruits and vegetables when the prices drop, we buy discounted bread after 9.30 pm for the next morning breakfast. For more inspiration, see the frugal millionaires.

I am increasing my financial intelligence by reading books borrowed from libraries / read at bookstores / e-books, and consulting my mentor K.

I am having good rests, especially in the weekend.

I appreciate the greenery near where I live: walking, breathing, thinking, nurturing relationship with my lover.
I prefer to watch (inspiring / romantic comedy) movies at home, I no longer need to spend on cinema tickets. If I have to watch in the cinema (e.g. for 3D movies), I will buy the cheaper weekday ticket than the weekend ticket.

I listen to music from radio / youtube (I no longer buy songs / CD).

I use public transport, gently fight for my seat with smiles, use my fist and mouth to protect my baby. I have no car now, but I am happy to have a car to support my future business.

I use delay rule when I want to shop for things above $50. Do I really need it? Can I be creative to use things that I already have?
I ask for samples and discounts, wait patiently for sales.

If possible, I minimize spending my free time in shopping malls to minimize temptation to shop for unnecessary things.
I shop with a shopping checklist.
I maximize the potential of my credit cards (to earn points) and always pay full outstanding amount to avoid the blood sucking 24% interest.

I am not going overseas in this autumn and coming winter (a huge saving on air tickets), yet I can do virtual travel at home, thanks to documentaries and travel books.

Since this summer, I have not shopped for any cloth, except for underwear.

Thankfully, my mother bought me some new clothes, my sister handed me few of her clothes (I do not mind second hand clothes).
However, I foresee that I have to shop for my baby, and it will be a happy bargain hunt.

I still donate a little amount for charity, I hope I can donate more as my income increases in the near future.
My life is simple and blessed.

Written by blueroselady

September 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

Book: The magic and mystery of Scotland

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Photographs by Dennis Hardley

Author Lucinda Hawksley

When I was young, I had no money to buy books other than my school text books. Honestly, I was envious of my friends whose parents can buy them many story books. I also love books with beautiful scenery. I collected travel brochures and flipped them many times before sleeping. Daydreaming to night-dreaming.

With a much healthier economy in my life, my dream of a library has become a realization. My lover and I are starting to build our own library. God, I am so thankful.

From the Cancer Research UK, I was so happy to buy this book at GBP 5 (original price was GBP 20) with so many beautiful images of Scotland. This beautiful book joins my other books, some are so kind and generous in sharing knowledge that I feel that the authors are like caring teachers and friends.

Since this post is about Scotland, I would list below the beautiful things I love about Scotland.

@~@ Towards Cuillin Hills from Loch Slapin, Skye Inner Hebrides : the vivid-green of algae-covered boulders, a biscuit-cloured sand, tantalisingly clear blue of the sky.

@~@ Highland Loch in Winter. I love the icy stalactites hang from lochside shrubs.

@~@ Loch Lomond, Ardlui Argyllshire

@~@ Highland Cow. I found that the long fury hair covering the eyes of these highland cows so lovely in total contrast with the alarming and defensive 2 horns.
I think of an interesting idea for hairstyle: a little bit of hair covering our face can sweeten our look.

@~@ Ruins of Girnigeo and Sinclair Casltes, Caithness.
Love the landscape of unsurpassed grandeur.

@~@ View from Calton Hill, Edinburgh.
In the morning of a late autumn.
I saw the pair of lover from , they are waving to me.
A scene of love that had endured rain and shine.
A scene imprinted in my memory.
A scene that I will remember for the rest of my life.
To remind me on LOVE.

@~@ Listening to the Bagpipes.
“By eliminating the Celtic culture, the English hoped to subjugate (征服) the Celtic soul.
As a result, wearing tartan and playing the bagpipes were forbidden throughout Scotland for many decades.”
I heart the Celtic for I have a similar experience to them.
We were forbidden to celebrate and to learn about our culture.

Q. What are the differences between the Celtic culture and Gaelic culture?
I checked
In brief and a math sentence, Gaels are subset of Celts. Imagine a Venn diagram.
I remember once I met a girl who is very proud of her Gaelic root in a formal hall.
So grateful for the opportunity to learn about others and become friends, even if our encounter is as short as few hours.

@~@ Scottish smoked salmon.
“the art of smoking became a very popular one in the 19th century and REVOLUTIONISED the Scotch salmon industry”.
I often added smoked salmon to my bread and rice, while living in UK.
I was grateful. Salmon is rich in protein, good for our brain and body.

@~@ Sandstone Sea Arch. Near Torness East Lothian.
Beautiful sandstone is possible after painful shaping by “the power of the sea and the motion of the wind”.
Think that a beautiful work (e.g. sculpture, make-up) is only possible after painful shaping.

God, I am also so grateful that you grant my beloved an opportunity to stay briefly in Edinburgh. Though it was winter, we enjoyed Edinburgh so much, also thanks to the nice dwelling where we lived in. We cooked and ate together, so happy!

Written by blueroselady

February 4, 2012 at 2:46 am

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I heard news about family members with hypertension. God, please protects my loved ones. What are the purposes of our lifes? Sometimes I wonder why people work so hard or try whatever means, to get more $, more power, higher positions, better grades. Honestly, whenever I am stuck with problems (well, I encounter problems daily in my research study) and tired, I will return to my ‘guide-to-life’, compiled from experience in less than a-quarter century. Magically, those few words can help me restore motivations in less than a second!

I know what to get as a gift for my almost-a-centenary-lady grandmother. Dried Osakazuki leaves, pressed into a fragile bookmark. I think this is the most suitable gift for her, light as a feather for postage, exotic as nowhere we can find such in our hometown, personal as collected & pressed by her grand-daughter, and natural as reflecting my grandmother’s love for plants, in particular orchids.

Written by blueroselady

October 29, 2008 at 10:12 pm

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