Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Singapore! Need a say More?

I finally was able to go through my Singapore pictures and even though we were only there for about a week.  We had so much fun.  I think the best way to describe Singapore is a metropolis Hawaii.  I wanted to share with you some of my favorite pics and little stories of Singapore. :)  I still can't believe I took that photo above all by myself with out auto-focus.  One of my photography goals is to practice taking better night photos.
Favorite meal.. Laksa which is like a ramin type thai seafood soup- not as soupy as ramin.  MMMMM so good.  We went out to the middle of no where for the best laksa in town.

I loved seeing all the gorgeous temples and those intricate roofs!
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This video was done in the theme park on the beach Sentosa which is about 15 minute train ride from the city center.  This water show was pretty amazing and I have never seen anything quite like it. :)
It seemed like Singapore passed over in a blink, but we loved it.

PS- If you might not notice I am still working on my blog makeover.. still working on getting my banner perfect. I am going to try a new one tomorrow.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Makeover Time

Did you have a nice relaxing weekend? I have been so incredibly busy trying to get back in the swing of things of regular life.  I decided that my blog is in desperate need of a makeover.. if only a blog could have botox :) So you will see some changes here and there and I am going to try out some different banners and buttons.  I am still working on finding the perfect font!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Weekend Is Upon Us.

Happy Weekend! What are you up to this weekend? I am going to catch up with some old friends and I am going to drag my husband out for a relaxing picnic.  We are still trying to recover from massive jet lag since we have been traveling for about a month. :)
Next week I am going to show you my pics from Singapore and Bali and some new features! Have a wonderful long weekend.  Don't worry I didn't deprive my little puppy of his t-r-e-a-t and he also got a little bit of a cuddle for his model time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dear Hong Kong

 Dear Hong Kong,
I really enjoyed my time with you.  I learned so much about myself along the way and completely stepped out of my comfort zone.  I consider the city I currently live in, Portland a small city and I even remember years ago when we got our first Cheese Cake Factory.. Krispy Creme Donuts.. and just this year we got our first H&M!  It was sort of a big deal.  I felt a little bit proud of myself to navigate a new place all by myself and in a foreign city.  I had a little help from my husband but my husband was busy with his work.
I saw my first Big Buddha and it was amazing! Growing up Catholic and having been to Europe.. I have seen a lot of churches and am pretty familiar with western religion.  It was a eye opening experience and learned a lot and enjoyed soaking in the culture.
It was interesting trying to discover the vintage in Hong Kong.  There are two areas of town that have vintage/antiques.  The first area is called the Soho district which has art galleries and antique stores but the antique stores were a little old fashioned and it was little questionable if the furniture was even antique.  I did find this really cute market called the "Western Market" which was a little bit more my speed with old keys, locks, books, kettles, and sadly no clothes!
Now let's talk about the fantastic shopping :) There are these little side streets that wrap around and go through some of the streets with discount clothes, accessories, shoes, jewelry, and bags.  Let me tell you.. AMAZING! I love a good haggle and they say whatever price they throw at you- you pay half.  A couple of things that I learned is that since a lot of things are made in China.. alot of the inventory is from the factories that are making the designer goods and electronics.  I was in heaven! Next thing I learned was that you don't buy it off the hanger.  You take what you want to the cash register and they go in the back room and give you a fresh one in plastic.  Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be doing a couple of photo shoots with some of the new things I bought for this blog and I can't wait to show you all the cute stuff I got!
Hong Kong you inspired me. The city is a city that grows up and it's one of the easiest cities to get around in. Also there are escalators around the city to help you walk the blocks. I loved the movement, the energy and the adventure. I loved the old markets mixed with the huge modern sky scrapers.  I completely was mesmerized by watching all the different walks of life.  I can't wait to finish up and show you all the paintings that I have been working on.
Next stop is Singapore :) ....   Funny story about the Hong Kong Airport.  Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997 when they handed it over to China.  So right after the handover they had a ton of British pounds and decided to spend the pounds as quickly as possible.  They built the airport! It was pretty amazing, it was a high end shopping mall with coffee shops and restaurants with in the airport.  I have been to a lot of airports but have never seen anything like it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lost in Translation: Hong Kong Edition

 What I think is always funny when we go to a new city- we see signs and things that pop out and giggle because typically it's something that maybe doesn't translate into Western culture.
Fook! :) I know that Ben Stiller did the whole Meet the Fockers series but now I am contemplating if it should really be Meet the Fookers.
 Hmmm.. Words can not describe looking at this photo makes me laugh even now.  If you don't know what a "golden shower" is- google it! You must be 18 or older to view some of the links.
When I was a kid I used to get really excited for McDonald's.  I think maybe it was a combination of the clown Ronald or maybe the Hamburgler and the awesome toy you get in your own little box (or I like call them a kids purse). I don't eat most American fast food now but when I was a kid McDonalds was almost as good as Disneyland. I am still ever fascinated at McDonald's in different languages and in a different country.  They also do Happy Hour at McDonalds and Starbucks in Hong Kong.   Also if you need to use the little girls room and your in a pinch- McDonald's always has free bathroom.
I never knew trolls made beads.
It's a sports drink not realy sweat, but I did have to look it up.
I am not sure how I feel about this one.. I am still adjusting to that fancy wines going to screw tops, but now this? What's next, beer in a caprisun bag?
video
I saved the best for last! Even though it's not in English- I never knew an exploding volcano and people running away in fear could make me laugh so hard.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Taste of Hong Kong

Since I was in Hong Kong for 2 weeks I felt like I really immersed myself to become a true Hong Konger through eating and drinking.  It was also a bit of a culture shock and it was pretty difficult to blend in. :)  Here are some pics of some of the more interesting foods with some of the most delicious little snacks.
Hong Kong is pretty famous for the Dim Sum.  Now I am generally not a picky eater but when it comes to Chinese (Cantonese) food I am really picky.  I think it something to do with the fact that my parents still to this day get Chinese food every Friday night and they order exactly the same order.  If memory serves it's a number 7 with fried shrimp and a half an order of egg foo young.  I have come to the point in my life where I can do PF Changs but it took a long time. :) Dim Sum means small plates- so basically you order a bunch of little plates and share sorta like tapas.
My favorite dish was this one in the picture above and don't let that bird nest fool you.  It was filled with this light and fluffy warm coconut cake.  I also asked for sugar for my tea and they told me you aren't supposed to put sugar in tea.
 My husband did try chicken feet- and he loved it.
Hello my name is Erika and I am addicted to coffee. AWWW see that cute heart in the middle? Out of all of the different countries we visited Hong Kong had the best coffee shops and the best coffee.  DELICIOUS.. creamy... dreamy.. perfect.
Lots of open air markets. See those hairy strawberries? I tried to get a closer picture but I am not sure why a lot of people didn't let me take pictures.  I would take a picture and people would come running out and say no pictures!.
It was really neat seeing all the fish markets everywhere.  This is as fresh as you can get.
See those eggs on the right? It is the famous 100 year old egg- click here for the wiki pictures- I don't want to gross you out with the green yolk.  So you know how people salt meat in order to preserve meats before they had fridges?  This is what the Chinese did to preserve the eggs and the lady wouldn't let me buy one.  I heard that some of Chinese delicacies they won't let westerners buy because we won't like it and maybe not appreciate it.  Well I got shooed to get away from her booth.  I did take the picture before she could tell me to go away. :)
 (japanese BBQ.. mmmmm)
We saw a lot of American chains.. Starbucks, McDonalds (of course), BK, and Subways.  Every restaurant was really specific on the type of food you were being served, which in most American restaurants there will always be a cheeseburger/french type thing on the menu. The food was pretty delicious except I didn't care for the SE Asian Cantonese Cuisine because it tasted it a little bland, but there is so much diversity in Hong Kong.  I completely honed my chopstick skills. Happy Eating :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Motivation Monday: What's in Your Way?

 Hello Hello! How was your weekend?! Did you survive the rapture?  I am back to this regular scheduled program.  I love love love to travel but I really missed 3 things.  The first thing that I missed was WIFI. Am I a horrible person to need WIFI all hours of the day? Does that make me a spoiled brat? If I had to choose between running water and WIFI.. I would probably pick WIFI.  I also missed having clean clothes.  They were clean when I wore them but carrying around dirty clothes drives me crazy! I think it might have something to do that I have pretty clumsy and I always spill everything on myself and am running into things and tripping.. falling down... which in turn dirty clothes faster :) Last thing I missed was of course my sweet little dogs who came back from prison (kennel).  They were very plump and happy to see me.  I can't wait to tell you everything about my adventures in a distant land! 
First of all this week I want to talk about something really important to kick off the week! What is the one thing that is getting in your way? It took me a really long time to figure out the answer and I had to dig deep.  The answer is simple which I think sometimes the simple answers are always the hardest to grasp.  The answer is yourself.   I think we all have that little voice of our inner critic.. always wanting to cast it's shadow and put little negative thoughts in your head.
I know that I totally over think/over analyze and sometimes talk myself out of doing an idea or project.  My inner critic takes over and then it over shadows the direction that I need to go.
Today I am taking responsibility and I am not going to let myself get in the way of all the amazing things that I want to accomplish and need to accomplish in my little life.  Don't let yourself get in the way this week  Turn off that inner critic, it's just getting in the way of your potential. :) Happy Monday friend!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I have taken a ride in my space ship.



Hello!  I am so sorry and it's totally not my fault that I haven't been blogging.  I think blogger was having some technical issues. I have been wanting to blog and wanting to read each of your blogs but sadly WIFI isn't the greatest and trying to upload pictures has been  impossible.  I can't wait to share with you all the magic and wonder that I have found out here. :) I will be back soon and with a surprise or two.



Love and Creativity From Another Planet- E ..

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hard at work!

I am hard at work and it's really interesting being away from home this long but I love being in a new place.  It was quite an adventure finding the art supply store or anything worth finding.  It seems like finding anything here in Hong Kong is a bit of a maze where the mouse needs to find the cheese.  Even though they say that China/Hong Kong is the land of no cheese.
The art supply store was in the area of town where you buy plumbing/lighting/flooring and it was on the 3rd floor of a random office building.  I was a little nervous going into the building because it sort of looked like an apartment building with a security guard, but I found it!
Here is a painting of some of the crowds here in Hong Kong.  It is very crowded here and it's not just the crowd but everyone is in a hurry.  In the United States usually you are given a little bit of a buffer for personal space when you wait in line or even just sitting on a bench.  Not here.  :)  How's your week going?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Motivation Monday- Motivation vs Inspiration

 Happy Monday! How was your weekend?  Mine was filled with lots of painting.. traveling.. and all sorts of adventures.  I will share more details this week. :)  I still can't believe I am half way across the world painting and living.  My little home in Oregon feels so far away and little.

What's funny about Motivation Monday is that it started out me wanting to kick off the week with my best foot forward and of course be motivated! It's gradually grown into something different.. thoughts about motivation and trying something new each week or maybe something to keep in mind for the week.
Does motivation equal inspiration or is it the other way around?  I have often thought that if one had the motivation or drive that inspiration would sort of automatically happen but don't you need that initial inspiration for the drive to happen? It's almost which came first the chicken or the egg. What do you think?
 Here are some of my photos I have been snapping around Hong Kong.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Race of a Date


Have you ever been to a race track? I know the Kentucky Derby is coming up and guess what? They have a horse race track here in Hong Kong.  They hold races once a week and it was really packed and exciting!
I am not sure who created these large monster plastic pitchers of beer that you can take to your seat but I think they need to have these at all sporting games in the US.  We also had delicious spicy chicken kabobs :)
Our bet! We lost and I think our horse came in close to last. We didn't bet the house this time.  Don't worry $40 Hong Kong dollars is only about $5 bucks US.
Have a super weekend! Creative thoughts your way. 


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Big Buddha

The other big tourist attraction in Hong Kong is going to visit the big Buddha and to get there you take a magical gondola up the mountain.  There has never been any accidents and it's about a 30 minute ride from the subway.   It is the largest bronze outdoor Buddha in the world, it makes me wonder were the largest one is. 
Awww don't we look cute riding the gondola? There were ice cream cones waiting for us at the top!
Then we worked off those ice cream calories by climbing to the top.
There were statues offering gifts to Buddha.  I always think religious places like this are a little intense because you can sense the importance.  There is also a ton of hiking trails that swirl up the hills and you can see the monks and people climbing the hills. 
I've started painting here in Hong Kong and I will post pictures soon. :)