Happy Girls


Print_15_1024x1024Girls night out are so hard to come by these days. I work so much that when Friday night rolls around, I just want to stay in, read a book and sleep. Yes, my life is extremely enticing. So as predicted, when the girls in my life (from my husband’s side) suggested we head out to dinner this past Friday night, I was less than thrilled. All I wanted to do was, well…sleep. I know what you’re thinking, I’m a party pooper. Guilty.

My husband, however, told me I needed a break and convinced me to go. After a few eye rolls, I reluctantly agree to go just because I always feel bad when I don’t go. To my surprise–you know where this is going–I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

IMG_9285.JPGIMG_9286.JPGRight after work, I headed out to meet the girls at a local sushi restaurant called Cocoro. This little gem is located on Pacific Avenue, south of UOP. As with most girls, we run late. So I, along with my husband’s sister, waited patiently for the rest of the group to arrive. The time quickly flew by because we easily conversated about random tidbits. I’m a one-on-one kind of person, so I wasn’t bothered by the lack of company.

Half an hour had passed when the rest of the crew arrived. By that time, the place was buzzin’ and the sun was setting. It was the perfect Friday night atmosphere. The sushi was decent and the drinks were quite fruity.IMG_9284.JPGIMG_9289.JPGThe only plan of the night was to have dinner, but being the spontaneous girls that we are, we wanted to take full advantage of this girls night. How often do we take time off from work and just hang out with the girls? Hardly ever. The ideas we drew up were rather explicit. You know how men talk? Well, so do women. After a long, thorough discussion, we decided to stop by a local bar for drinks. Mind you, my girls and I do not regularly hang out at bars. So we were a bit hesitant about even entering the bar itself, but we braved ourselves and entered anyway.

If I’m being completely honest, our crew was quite an awkward one. Considering two out of the five of us are in their forties, meanwhile, the rest of us are in our twenties. Nonetheless, we had a ball. These two girls (above) made my night. We discovered that some of us could read really well and pretty much dance like Beyonce or even twerk like Miley. Though most of our skilled dancing was done in front of the mirrors in the ladies room. We were too shy to dance with the crowd. But if we weren’t, I wouldn’t doubt we’d out-dance everyone. ;P IMG_9287.JPG

IMG_9288.JPGBut all great things must come to an end. We left the bar two hours later and had a sleep over. The laughs continued until we all knocked out. I must say, with age comes the inability to “hang” for long hours.

Overall, girls night out was a success. We had a bunch of fun and got very little sleep, but it was worth the laughs and mindless conversations. The memories from this night still brings a smile to my face. As I always say, in the chaos that we are constantly surrounded by, it’s these little moments that bring such happiness to our trivial lives. And happy is all I ask to be. After all, aren’t happy girls the prettiest?

P.S. If you’ve not had a girl’s night out as of late, please call up your girls! Be silly, be spontaneous, but most of all, be happy. When I see a group of girls simply enjoying each other’s company, it really does make me happy.

Love, Paku

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6 Tips: Turning Selfies into Photography


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I’ve been taking selfies years before they even started calling it “selfies”. Taking pictures of yourself used to be called self-portraits. In many ways, it still is self-portraits, but the younger generation has pushed aside the “intelligent” term and turned it into a slang in which would people say “OMG, she takes too many selfies”. So we try our best to take less selfies, post less selfies, and seek photographers (who have no idea how to photograph) to take our picture.

You know what I say…how the heck would you know what your good angle is if you don’t take self-portraits of every angle? So go take those selfies, post like a model, try every angle and I promise you, by the 50th photo, you’d have taken some killer photographs of none other than yourself. Yes, you are officially your own personal photographer.

Now, we’re not perfect people, but neither are our pictures. Some photos will come out great and some…not so much. No worries. Just go download a Photoshop app (A few of the ones I use are: Photo Editor, InstaBeauty, and Afterlight) and play around with it. You don’t have to be a professional to turn a plain photo into a great photo.

Here are 6 tips for turning your selfies into photography:

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Tip 1: Take a bunch of selfies until you’re satisfied. Make funny faces, cute faces, smile, grin, kiss-kiss poses, serious faces, play with your hair (if you have any), sexy faces (trust me, we all have one), side profile, and front profiles. Lastly, put yourself on either left or right of center, especially if you have a spectacular background you want to capture.

Bonus Tip: Colored backgrounds make for an easier selfie photoshoot. I’ve found that it automatically gives oomph to any photo. 

Tip 2: Download Photoshop apps (sometimes you’ll need more than one as they all perform different tricks) and start editing by uploading one of your many selfies.

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Tip 3: Keep it simple. If you don’t want to do too much to a photo, but simply want to highlight the good stuff, then play with the basic features, such as brighten, contrast, highlight, and saturation. I added contrast to darken my features in this photo. If you don’t already know, contrast works wonders. But don’t over do it.

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Tip 4: Play with the filters. Don’t be afraid if it makes you look too pale or too dark. You can always brighten it up or add contrast afterwards. In the picture above, I simply added texture and a few spotted bright lights from the Afterlight app. I wanted to keep the background as dark as possible without making me look too dark. The end result wasn’t too crazy but not plain jane, either.

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Tip 5: Add false colors. Obviously, the space I was in had no purples or reds, but adding more color to the original one didn’t hurt. My eyes actually appeared a little sleepy in this photo, so the additional colors worked to my advantage. Not to mention, the focus is on my incredible biceps. ;P

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Tip 6: A black and white photo is never a bad photo. Actually, the truth is…all bad photos look incredible in black and white. The secret behind this photo is that my dark circles were very prominent and I did not look cute at all. So I simply used the blemish feature in Photo Editor to fade out my under eyes, then used the black and white filter. I finished it off by smoothing out the entire photo on InstaBeauty. The black and white filter, however, was the real magic in hiding the imperfections.

Remember, don’t be ashamed of selfies, for they were originally self-portraits. Self-portraits are portraits of an artist produced or created by the artist. You’re an artist and artists are skilled individuals. Who am I to deny you of the skill that you possess in capturing the essence of yourself? So, just do your thing! But first, you need to take a selfie.

Love, Paku