Thursday, July 29, 2010

~ Great Seafood at Asian Delight ~

It wasn't that long ago that I was gorging myself with dim sum from Asian Delight in Silver Springs.  Tonight, we went there for my dad's birthday dinner.  Happy Birthday Dad!  I only had my phone to take pictures but it's worth posting here.  The food was so awesome!  Check out this huge dungeness crab!

It was steamed with garlic over a bed of clear noodles.  The meat was so sweet and the garlic was an awesome compliment to the crab.  The noodles soaked up all the yummy juices from the crab and it was so good!!!!

We also got steamed oysters with black bean and garlic sauce, top with sliced green scallions.  This is a classic dish and executed very well.

You only get steamed oysters when it's fresh and the manager highly recommended this.  We were very pleased.

We also got Baby Clam w/ Ground Pork in Chef's Special Sauce, walnut shrimp and more!  Walnut shrimp is one of my favorites!!!  We also got a whole chicken that was steamed to perfection with seasoning.  Let me warn you though, it comes with its head.  It's just how Chinese people eat their chicken.  My dad thought this is funny.  Try to look past the weird chicken head with the cigarettes and see the plate of yummy chicken in the back.

We were so full!  There was a good amount of steamed food and veggies so at least it was healthy food.  Let me know what you try there so I can try it next time!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

~ Sunshine after a Freak Storm ~

On Sunday, after weeks of sunshine and heat, the skies got dark and the wind picked up and.... BOOM!  The power went out after the first gust of wind and remained so for about 12 hours!  The rain and wind stopped long before that though.  And the sun came out soon after too.  Sunshine and water droplets means picture time!  These flowers were standing up tall and strong before the storm.  Poor things!

These were doing a little better.

There are plenty of pictures.  Just want to show off a little bit.  I love yellow :)

I like this one, but it has been slightly edited to add contrast.

I like how the water drops lined up on this leaf!

A closer shot with added contrast....

My parents got these caladium (Pink Elephant Ear) plants for the wedding and they look so good with the water drops on them!

My favorite!

I love these two but I think the composition is not that great.  Love the color and perspective though.  The first one has more black and adds more contrast and interest I think. 

I want to take closer shots!  Want a macro lens but I think I want to upgrade to a Nikon before purchasing any more lens for the Pentax.  I have too many hobbies!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

~ New Swarovsk Crystal Star Colors ~

I am so super excited!!! My beloved Swarovski crystal stars now come in eight new colors!!  I just ordered some and they arrived today! The new colors are light siam, light rose, sapphire, aquamarine, black diamond, jonquil and light colorado topaz.  There's also crystal red magma that should arrive in a couple of days.

I will be using these babies to make some earrings and necklaces for my Etsy shop tomorrow.  I would make them today, but I left my spool of chain at a friend's house =.=

I can't wait to make something for myself using these light topaz and jonquil stars!  Yay for more yellow!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

~ Craftcult Introduces Pocket Shop Widget for Your Etsy Shop! ~

I was stalking my Etsy jewelry and supplies shops through Craftcult when I noticed a banner about Pocket Shop.  After I clicked on it and followed the 6 simple steps, I had a pocket shop!  Note the cute themes you can choose from!

After another minute, my pocket shop is live on my blog!  All I did was copy and pasted the script into a HTML/Javascript widget in my blog.  For my supplies shop, I replaced the Etsy Mini with the pocket shop. Here's a screen shot in case you don't see it to the right.

One of the options is to only show a section of your shop. Here's one created for my jewelry shop's most popular section, Crystal Stars.  Clicking on the "Buy" button will bring you to the Etsy listing.

Overall, I think this is a great little widget. It's easy to make and easy to install. It looks nice and it's flashy and interactive. There's one reason why I haven't replaced my jewelry shop's Etsy Mini with this pocket shop though. With the mini, you get to see 10 items all at the same time. With the pocket shop, you have to wait for it to scroll through. For a blog, it's not probably not likely for people to watch the pocket shop scroll through the products. So, Etsy Mini may be better since it quickly shows people some of your products. Which one do you like better?

Friday, July 16, 2010

~ Earthquake in Maryland?!?! ~

Last night, I didn't sleep well.  Well, more like this morning.  I was having a bad dream I thought.  My whole house was shaking, but only for a few moments.  I kinda woke up, confused and went back to bed.  Then, my dog was whining and whimpering.  He usually doesn't do that.  So, I got up to see what was wrong with him, but he seems fine.  It was a little after 5am.

I just found out that it was an earthquake!  According to CBS, it was a 3.6 magnitude earthquake centered in Rockville MD.  But, looking at the map from USGS, the center was right in Germantown!  Lalate News stated that the epicenter was "The quake was literally center just a short distance off the 270 highway at the Germantown exit of Middlebrook Road. The quake mapping shows its epicenter just yards from the Germantown Shopping Center."  I live just a few blocks from there!!

It was a small earthquake and only lasted a few seconds, but this is the first earthquake I have ever experienced!  What's going on here?  First, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in Toronto/Ottawa last month and now another earthquake here.  Is the East Coast turning into the West Coast?  No wonder the ants were going crazy yesterday!  I have never seen so many ants in front of my house, just crazily running around.  Wonder if there'll be aftershocks today?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

~ New Butterfly Earrings, New Props, New Adobe Lightroom ~

I am always on the look out for new props for my pictures for my Etsy jewelry shop, Happy Cloud Moments. One day I saw these decorative balls and thought they may be a good neutral color and they can add some depth into the pictures.

I like how I can put these new little earrings like these butterflies on the ball.  And then I put a bigger ball in the background for depth.

I tried putting the earrings between two balls.  I like having a fuzzy foreground. 

I started using Adobe Lightroom.  It has a setting called "Clarity" that really helps!  I love it.  It's hard to take clear pictures of my little earrings without a macro lens.  So, that clarity function really sharpens everything.

So, out of all the new colors for the butterfly studs, I like these the most.  These are Provence Lavender, which is the newest color from Swarovski.  Which one is your favorite?

By the way I tried taking pictures of earrings with hooks.  I like it!  I like the depth and the simplicity.  But, I feel that the background is too gray or something.  Maybe it needs another color?  Is everything too bland?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

~ Delicious Lunch at Ippudo ~

Last month, I went up to NYC to run some errands.  Guess where I had lunch?

We had to wait for a few minutes so I played around with my camera by the bar.  Someone ordered these to go with the beer.  Wow.  They look scary!

Yummy edamame!  What a tease.  I was so hungry and I had to sit there and watch people eat!

I also got a chance to take pictures of the decor.  This is the huge globe above the bar.

This is part of the wall of bowls behind the bar.  Reminds me of a house I saw with all these cool plates on the wall as decoration.  Just looking at those bowls make me hungry!

Since we were so hungry, we got two appetizers.  One is this avocado with tofu.  The clear noodles on the bottom are so cool!  It's like soft and crunchy!  The sauces that came with it were also awesome.

This is spinach and back mushrooms.  It was served cold.  Also very good, but the tofu was better.  These are the healthy appetizers.  We wanted the pork bun, but those are too fatty for a pre-wedding meal. :)

I got the special last time so I decided to keep the tradition going with the Hakata Tantan Men Special Ramen.  It is "Schezwan style spicy tonkotsu ramen noodle soup with sesame peanut sauce, topped with pork belly chashu, kikurage, niku (minced pork) miso, red picked ginger and mitsuba".  It is just as good as it sounds. 

And yes, I had some pork belly which is not the leanest meat.  But I had healthy appetizers!  And it was only a few pieces of pork belly!

This is what my friend got.  She got the extra egg.  Check out that yolk!  It's what we call "sweet heart" yolk.  Perfectly done.

I think I should hang this on my wall!  I ate it all by myself!  Good thing we walked around the city afterwards :)

Just a fun shot I took on the street.  I like playing photographer, but it's hard for me to set up a shot.  I lack patience!  And steady hands.....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

~ Should I Get an Amika Flat Iron? ~

I was at the mall yesterday and got pulled into one of those kiosks with the hair straighteners. My hair is already straight so the lady curled my hair instead. It didn't take long to do the whole head and it was really nicely curled! I forgot to take pictures of it yesterday, but today it's still curly!

Usually, when I curl my hair, it flattens in like 6 hours. It's been way over 24 hours and it's still very curly! It's so fun and bouncy. I think I like curly hair :)

Here's a quick look at the back.

Now I want one! But I tried to curl my hair at the kiosk and it's a little harder than it looks. The lady kept saying I just need to practice. But, I am afraid I'll buy it and never use it. I am just so lazy! Besides, it's $150! I am sure I can find it cheaper online, but the lady said if I buy it from the kiosk, I can go there to get my hair done anytime.

So, I searched around on Amazon. They have it! And for so much cheaper! There are a few colors of the 1 inch and 1.5 inch models for about $50 shipped!!  That's not bad right?  I am tempted!!  But, I have 2 flat irons already.  So, I am going to try to curl my hair sometime this week with the ones I have and see how it goes.

Since I had Photo Booth up, I tried out a few of the new effects.  I like these continuous shots!  Fun!

This is the glow effect.  Dreamy isn't it?

There are a few fun ones that do background detection!  It's pretty cool to see the fish swimming behind me.  Photo booth does video too I think.  Haven't tried it though.

Anyway, do you have an Amika hair straightener?  Let me know how you like it!
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