Monday, December 28, 2009

Sun finally came out today......everything sparkled

For one whole week, it snowed, rained, haled, freezing rained, but sun finally came out today... everything sparkled ...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fluffy snow

This year I did not clear out my garden, but rather I kept the outside plants as is. When it snowed yesterday, this fluffy snow quietly fell on my dried out plants.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rainbow Bean Soup Mix

A neighbour stopped by and brought a thoughtful homemade Christmas present today, "soup in a jar". The jar was filled with beautiful colored beans and in a separate bag all the spices that need to make a hardy bean soup. I can't wait to make the soup especially on a cold snowy day like today.... it is almost like opening the present before Christmas..or is it....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Elis White Chocolate Peppermint cheesecake

Rejoice in Savings site has 50% off coupon when you order by Dec. 18th. Wouldn't this be perfect on your Christmas table or as a hostess gift?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

x-mas trees

We always buy fresh tree at our local boy-scout x-mas tree stand, and this year we decided to get the white pine for our tree. It has a nice piny fragrance, but does not want to stand straight and we already had to fix it twice. I only used about half the ornaments as I do every year, but I think it turned out beautifully. Bottom photo of a beautiful x-mas tree was taken at Heritage Hall at USC with one of "a song girl" posing for her parents.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

George Lopez and USC Trojan Marching Band

Last weekend was the last home game for the USC football team for the 2009 season. My hubby and I went out to LA to see our son perform with the Trojan Marching Band. At the half-time show George Lopez was the guest conductor and got the huge ovation from the crowd. Even though the football team lost, we had a great time watching, and listening to the marching band....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It has been a while......

While I enjoy blogging, I have been busy with other projects, soon I will be launching new web-site for my photo business. Group show at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology will be ending next week. My solo show is in the works for March to May. I am off to Southern California for a weekend and when I get back, I hope to get back to blogging, and share my passions with you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Photo Greeting Cards

This year I have decided to share my favorite photographs with families and clients as greeting cards. I thought this would be a great way to spread my love of photography and to share some of the great places I have visited. I have included five different images from China, Southern California, Midwest, to Boston, I though having little variety would me more fun then just one image in a bundle. I also included five matching envelops and put it in a clear plastic case with a card of all of the images and their locations.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area

My hubby and I took a side trip to Jasper-Pulaski to see the Sandhill cranes. We arrived just as the sun was setting down, and all the Sandhill cranes were coming back from day trips to settle down for the night. We expected to see few, but was amazed and excited to see groups after groups of cranes coming in from all directions. One thing we noticed was that these birds are noisy bunch, and love to call to one another, with more then five thousand cranes you can imagine how noisy it was. This Wildlife area is about two hours a way from Chicago in state of Indiana and are easy to get to. Wildlife has a huge parking lot with short trail to the platform where you can observe the cranes from high above.

Monday, November 9, 2009

USC marching band at Disneyland

USC Marching Band was at Disneyland today to film for the Christmas special with Ryan Seacrest.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The first "Vera Bradley" outlet store

I was out at the Chicago Premium outlet mall today in Aurora, IL to go to the Talbot outlet store that opened today. (see yesterday's post) While I was enjoying the nice selections of sweaters and pants, I saw these people carrying huge Vera Bradley shopping bags. I thought could it be? and checked the directory and sure enough Vera Bradley has just opened up their first outlet store few days ago. They have stacks and stacks of your favorite colors and styles that has been recently retired at 25% to 40% off. Since they retire the colors and styles every year place was packed with people looking for their favorite colors that you can not get at regular stores. I can see this place will be packed come holiday gift season. I am planning to go back to get large Duffel bag for traveling.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Talbot outlet store to Open

Talbots Outlet Opening November 6 at Chicago Premium Outlets, Suite 989 - Southside. Save 20% on your entire purchase November 6 - 16. Plus, Classic Awards members get Double Points.

*Offer valid at our Talbots Outlet store at Chicago Premium Outlets, 1650 Premium Outlets Boulevard in Aurora, November 6, 2009 through November 16, 2009.

*Print out the above coupon to receive your discount, can not be combined with any other offer

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Classic Mexican Flan

I love "Flan", whenever I go to any Mexican restaurant I look to see if they have it on the menu.
Depends on the restaurant, Flan could be hard and chewy to silky and creamy, tasteless to too sweet, and often I am disappointed. One restaurant that I was so happy with Flan was in Cancun, at of all places Seafood restaurant on the waters. It was so great that I asked for a recipe but never got one, instead I got a complementary Kahlua and cream. I was not going to complain though since I was able to go back one more time before I left Cancun.
I tried Flan yesterday at "Rocca's Mexican Grill" again I was disappointed and this motivated me to make my own.
Well, I burnt the caramel and had a little bitter taste and I might have had cooked tad bit too long, maybe by 10 min. but custard was firm but not rubbery and flavor was just perfect. Next time I will make sure that caramel will not start smoking---I just took my eyes off for a minute and it started to burn... Oh well. For the first time Flan making I think it turned out pretty good.. anyone care to taste it?

ps Rocca's mexican grill, beside from the Flan everything I tasted had a wonderful flavor, and I am planning to go back for Dinner

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oak Leaves

Most of the leaves are off the trees now, but I was able to capture yellow oak leaves before they all fell........

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Seashells from Cancun

As my friend Penny at "Doodles and Dreams" says when she adores an item, I "heart" seashells.
I found these little, white seashells on the beach just outside my hotel in Cancun. One early morning I gathered as many as I could. Upon returning to cold Chicago, I found beautiful jars with lids at The Container Store, I separated seashells into 3 different sizes and put into the jars.
I also put some of the sands that made it back with us to remind how warm and soft it felt under my feet everyday as I took a walk on the beach......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Matthiessen State Park, Utica Illinois

Matthiessen State Park is about 90 miles southwest of Chicago. I have not been to Matthiessen for close to 10 years and was really looking forward to photographing the fall colors. Since it was a nice warmer day for a fall, I was expecting a crowd of hikers and day visitors. Fortunately for me, because of the rain we have had in last several days, some of the trails were not accessible, and that kept people from venturing in further into the Dells. After scaling down steps after steps of stairs I made it to the bridge I had to walk across so that I can walk down more stairs to the dells. I hiked very narrow, slippery trails and at times had to walk on a very narrow logs across a creek, and some areas I had to guess which rocks in the creek were safe to walk across. To tell you the truth at times I thought for sure I would fall into the creek, and I had this image of me dripping wet, driving back to Chicago with all of my gears ruined.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Selecting a pumpkin with his Dad !!!

I saw this little boy selecting a pumpkin with his Dad. He was so excited and wanted to take home the biggest one. I sure do miss those days . . . . . . .

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Last day of Farmers Market

Today was the last day of this years farmers market. I will truly miss the croissants by the nuns, beautiful grapes, apples, peaches, by the fruit farmers, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, lettuce, onions, herbs by the local farmers, pop corn, little donuts, home made cheese, farm fresh eggs, organic raised beef, honey by the bee keepers, beautiful flowers, orchids, soaps, olive oils, gift basket, hand made x-mas ornaments, bags, purses, baskets from Ghana, bird cages, jewelry, dog biscuits, hand made pizza, huge cup cakes, cookies of all kinds and many, many more. I will truly, truly miss this Sat. morning market. I can't wait until May for this market to re-open next year.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fish out of water

I was just minding my own business enjoying bobbing in the warm ocean, suddenly school of fishes started to jump out of the water. Only thing I can think of was "SHARK" !!!!!!!!

Click on the images to enlarge. It's worth the trouble.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cathedral of San Gervacio

In the town of Valladolid, Mexico we came upon a parade of Catholic worshipers with flags, banners and beautiful streamers going around the town square and going into Cathedral of San Gervacio for a Mass. Cathedral of San Gervacio was constructed in 1706 to replace an earlier one from 1545.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Beautiful Beach

Going for a little R & R this coming week.

Brasserie Jo

Brasserie Jo restaurant is a authentic French brasserie near Merchandise Mart in Chicago. We were 30 minutes earlier then our original reservation but were seated with a smile with no questions, place was full but they honored our reservations. The food was really well prepared and atmosphere with dark wood and white linens made it seem special. Wait staff was knowledgeable and friendly. We ordered Charcuterie, Pate and Cheese Assiette for Hors D'oeuvres, the wooden plank was filled with cold cuts, cheese and 2 different kind of pate... this was meal in itself. We broke the bread and ate with our goodies... yum.....
Main course, we had steamed mussels for $19.95 filled with garlic and lemon flavor that was great, Sauteed skate wing with mashed potate for $21.95 tender fish, Quiche Lorraine $13.95. I have never seen such huge Quiche, great flavor, and Red wine Chicken Coq au Vin for $22.95, Chicken was so tender that it just fell apart, and gravey was just devine.
Dessert was of course Chocolate mouse, which arrived in a huge serving bowl that we just could not stop giggling. The server scooped out two huge spoonful on a plate, dusted with chocolate powder and white chocolate sause to the side... It was so light and delightful.

They do have extensive wine and beer collections and if you like to drink with dinner selections are plenty.

Great place before theater or would like a casual french dinner this is a place to go......

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2016 Olympic bid will be announced tomorrow

Olympics has been close to my heart since I was small. Tokyo Olympic in 1964, I remember rushing home from school to watch of all things wrestling? I grew up in a family where we did not watch TV, but Olympics were special that we were allowed watch. Mexico Olympics in 1968, we had just immigrated from Japan, last years Olympics in Beijing holds a special place, for one thing I was able to visit Beijing and was able to see the venues and I knew several of the athletes that won the medals. So, Chicago in 2016 yes, I hope the vote will be in the Chicago's favor.... Good Luck Chicago...... my dream? to hold the torch and run .........

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Blossoms of the Night"

This summer I photographed fireworks at neighborhood summer festivals. I am showing these
fun photographs in upcoming fotoMuses show "Dusk to Dawn"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lyman Woods forest preserve, Downers Grove Illinois

I went for a walk in Lyman Woods. Leaves are turning color, fall flowers are blooming, and I almost got run over by couple of deers. It is a beautiful, quite, peaceful forest in a middle of a city with many wildlife. I love going their and it just happens to be behind my house.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Toad Lilly

In the fall as the weather cools and leaves starts to come down, Toad Lilly will quitely open up in my garden. It looks like clusters of small orchids and it never fails to bring smiles to my face.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I belong to a group of women photographers and our fall show this year is at downtown Chicago,
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Stop by if you are in Chicago, opening reception is Fri. Oct. 2nd from 5:30pm to 8pm

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

University of Redlands Mascot grandpups

Aren't they the cutest pups? Boy pup is solid white and is rarity in the bulldog world. Girl pup has some markings on her face. They are only couple of weeks old and eyes are not even open it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We have many oak trees in our yard, and this fall it has produced bumper crop of acorns. I hear it coming down on our roof with a "bang" 24/7. These acorns will provide food for squirrels and deer through out the fall and into the winter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I have been admiring my neighbors apple tree laden with beautiful red apples. Today I saw a sign next to the apple tree that read "free apples". So, with my hubby in tow, we picked enough apples to make an apple pie. Thank you neighbor.....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The art of Healing & Evidence on hands on stone

"The Art of Healing" and "Evidence on hands on stone" are two exhibits I saw recently.
"The Art of Healing" is a collection of paintings by two ladies, Mary Sandoval and Sindee Viano. Sindee was my boys art teacher at school that they had attended. She has now moved on to teaching at her studio and became an art therapist. Her brightly colored art works used different medium to express herself.
"Evidence on hands on stone" is by Jeff Curto, head of photography department at College of Du Page. He has traveled to Italy for many years, and has taken photographs in this beautiful country. This collection he has concentrated on stone works. One photograph showed how stones were smoothed down by people of streets walking on it day in and day out, to huge granite columns that were carved by hands, to huge carved statues.

"The art of Healing"
The Doederlein Gallery
Saint Luke church
1500 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, Il 60657

"Evidence on hands on stone"
The Union League Club of Chicago
month of september
They are both inspiring in their own way, and something that should not be missed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cream Puffs at Beard Papa's

I love Cream Puffs especially ones at Beard Papa's. The Fat balls of choux are baked all day long and when you order yours, an employee fills it with sweetened cream (several flavors, but I love vanilla) and dusts it with powdered sugar . The outside is crunchy and never mushy, and the cream, especially if it is just made is just sooooo gooood, not too sweet, and really creamy.

Beard Papa's
333 W Alameda St.
Little Tokyo

I hope they will decide to put a store in Chicago area. I would go everyday...