a hopeless romantic's guide to the universe

story of my life

Posted on March 29, 2014

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i’m pretty proud of myself. 7 different countries, 3 different continents w/o taking a single pto day the past 9 months. i just need an internet connection and somewhere to sit. lots of situations like the one in this picture.

We got on vimeo staff picks!

Posted on March 28, 2014

Recently took a road trip out west starting in San Francisco and making stops in LA, Death Valley, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Moab, Bonneville Salt Flats, Reno, and back to San Fran. 3000+ miles in total. Needless to say the scenery was amazing so we felt obligated to try and capture it but in a slightly different twist. This is a series of video portraits my boyfriend shot at various stops along our route. A kind of fashion meets Baraka if you will. Hope you enjoy it.

Somewhere only we know

Posted on March 25, 2014

The Cliff’s of Moher…the most visited attraction in Ireland. Rightfully so – an amazingly beautiful sight to see. We all know, popular natural attractions like these come hand-in-hand with hordes of tourists. Boo factor #1. The tour of the cliffs takes you on top of the cliffs which defeats the whole purpose because if you’re on top of the cliffs, how on earth can you see the cliffs? Boo factor #2. But, some research revealed that there were hour long hikes that would get you to secluded/tourist free areas. That’s what we were prepared to do.


Not sure how we managed or why the universe was on our side on this particular day but we found what seemed like the most perfect spot to enjoy the cliffs a short 5 minute walk two kilometers down from the main tourist entrance – only had to hop two small fences. The grass was dry, the wind was still. I don’t use the word perfect a lot, but this was pretty close. : )

















Fifty Fifty

Posted on March 21, 2014

Last week I took a short road trip to Vancouver with my good friend, Julie Chase. For being so close to Seattle in proximity, I really don’t take advantage of going to Vancouver very often (it’s been over two years). Great food, beautiful urban/city landscapes, friendly faces, and great shopping! Here’s a recap of our weekend and few things I would reccommend checking out if you ever find yourself in the city of glass, Vancouver.


First off, it was a rainy weekend so we didn’t do much outdoorsy stuff but it still felt very scenic. Regardless of the rain and wind, Julie and I still did quite a bit of walking. Everywhere we turned, there were beautiful views of mountains in our faces.



A Scenic Backdrop

View From our Condo in Yaletown (aka the Yuppie neighborhood)


On the first day of our 3 day trip, I had an idea! Not too long ago Julie and I watched 50/50 together (a film that takes place in Seattle, but filmed in Vancouver), and I distinctly remember the scene where Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen were standing outside in a long line at a cafe. I remembered it because that’s when Joseph broke the news to Seth that he had cancer. So the idea was to look for that cafe since it’s probably really good to warrant a line that long (or it could have been a bust, and it was just some tourist trap). It was 50/50. Good news, the cafe was only about a mile away from our place so we were on our way in no time. Just took a Google Search with keywords “50/50 Cafe Joseph Gordon-Levitt” to find out the cafe was called Finch’s Tea & Coffee House. More good news! The place was phe-nom-in-al. Fresh baguettes, the most amazing tea list, cute decor and ambiance, and it wasn’t crowded on a Saturday during brunch.



Finch’s Tea & Coffee in 50/50

I truly enjoyed watching 50/50, since it was during a sadder period in my life I felt like I could relate to it a lot, not just because JGL is such a hottie. Here’s my favorite dialouge/scene. The night before his big surgery and was having a nervous breakdown and called his therapist.

JGL: What were you doing when I called? Were you on facebook?
Katherine: You know… umm… stalking my ex-boyfriend actually isn’t the only thing I do in my free time.
JGL: I wish you were my girlfriend.
Katherine: Girlfriends can be nice. You just had a bad one.
JGL: I bet you’d be a good one.


From Finch’s we walked over to Gastown and discovered a lovely boutique called Block. Such an interesting location for this high end boutique. Just a few blocks away Julie told me was the meth capital of the world. So walking into Block we were pleasantly surprised. I’m a sucker for exposed wood beams, terrariums, which is exactly what block was decorated with. On top of that their selection of clothes was beautiful from local indie designers and New York City as well. We met the owner and chatted with her for a bit. She looked like she jumped out of a fashion magazine – beautiful and so very well dressed.



My favorite boutique during the trip

Soon after that we walked through downtown to get to the West End and had Ramen at Santouka. I was dubious since it was in a touristy spot of town but I was again pleasantly surprised. FRESH RAMEN, hot out of the steamer. You can smell the broth from outside. Of course there’s a line, and it’s worth the wait! I gotta say, Seattle, does not have it’s pick of good Ramen places so Julie and I were VERY excited. Definitely coming back to this one next time.

REAL Ramen!

The delicious bowl of miso ramen I devoured in minutes! Only $9.00!

The rest of the trip felt like a whirlwind, the next day we didn’t do as much walking, we drove from neighborhood to neighborhood. Punjambi Market, Kitsilano, Yaletown, Gastown were some of the notable ones.


The next morning we had breakfast at  and were on our way home!

LIGHTBOX… err… lightcircle?

Posted on March 20, 2014

Kate Spade’s Saturday.com website/brand is the envy of all fashion ecomm websites in my opinion – even better than katespade.com. Lightboxes drive conversions but it’s a trade off because it agitates customers, so don’t use a lightbox unless it’s awesome! Saturday’s lightbox is a circle, so clever. Me loves.

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Other nice touches about this website…

product photos look fun floating on the polka dot background… not just a plain white background

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interactive, you can customize your own bag.

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Gone with the Wind

Posted on September 29, 2013

Is it really already the end of September? Yes! Julie and I have been patiently waiting for the end of September for a little while now. Our romantic girl’s weekend out in the Gorge of Eastern Washington to see Maroon 5 to celebrate this girls birthday. There’s been lots of anticipation leading up to this trip for a few reasons. We tried going to a Maroon 5 concert in Seattle once and that did not work out because of a last minute business trip on my end. A few weeks after that concert Julie found out Maroon 5 was playing at the freaking GORGE! Best venue ever, right next to one of the cutest little resorts Washington State has to offer – the magnificent Cave B Inn. Great plan right? Concert tickets bought, room booked!


Yesterday morning we woke up to one of the worse rain showers EVER…but still positive! We grab breakfast, stop by the drugstore and purchase rain panchos… determined to make this rainy concert thing work. Then we hit the road! Things did not go as expected… here’s what happened:

  1. half of the drive there was horrendously rainy – lots of hydroplaning – good thing julie is not a true asian woman driver
  2. we got a speeding ticket two miles away from our destination
  3. the cop got mad at me for leaving the car to take a picture of the whole situation while he was drawing up her ticket — oops
  4. we had amazing seats but the concert got cancelled after a two hour wait due to heavy wind storms – so we have yet get to see Adam Levine sing his heart out – but he did come out on stage himself and apologize to everyone and said he’d make it up to us. How about a private acoustic set in room 20?!
  5. we had a great time anyway b/c we’re julie and mai and we have amazing attitudes and a positive outlook on the world… at every sign of adversity all we could do was laugh and say “really????” … we normally have such great luck with this type of stuff so we were just shocked.
misschase windy

There was a break from bad weather for a few hours once we arrived at our room – still windy as hell but no more rain. To be honest, I’m with my best friend drinking wine and laughing in such a beautiful place who can really complain about anything?  c’est la vie!


The drive back was beautiful, that is until we got to Seattle. Now I’m just sitting here staring out the window watching the raindrops hit the glass with a warm cup of tea. very cozy to say the least. : )



Friends & Frappés <3

Posted on September 28, 2013

Alex talks about his friends from back home a good amount, so before I met them I felt like I knew them. Needless to say, I loved them from the very beginning. Such sweet and good humored people. Pera and Miljana invited us over for a home cooked meal. Not only was it delicious it was Chinese! The choice to cook Chinese food had nothing to do with my being asian. It’s Pera’s specialty. : )


His other specialty is the Frappé. In Serbia, frappé (usually called hladan nes, “cold instant coffee”) is made with milk or ice-cream, and whipped cream is often added on top. I also heard a lot about his amazing Frappés before so I was super excited to try them and he did not disappoint! Maybe I’ll try making them myself!


That was easily one of my favorite days spent in Serbia.



a sunday morning kind of song…

Posted on August 11, 2013

When everything is lonely I can be my own best friend
I get a coffee and the paper; have my own conversations
With the sidewalk and the pigeons and my window reflection
The mask I polish in the evening, by the morning looks like shit.

And I’m not sure what the trouble was that started all of this.
The reasons all have run away but the feeling never did
It’s not something I would recommend, but it is one way to live
Cause what is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never is
What’s so simple in the moonlight, now is so complicated