Being Parisian 

Yes, I often pretend I am Parisian. Something about the Paris life style is comfortable and relaxing. After reading such a deep book about man and woman last week, I needed a break. How to be Parisian wherever you are; love, style, and bad habits is full of dreamy photos and small articles on tips of simply being.  

 Photos I can stare at forever and brainstorm how I too can make these Parisian moment happen. 

“The Parisienne never gives too much away. When it comes to revealing herself, she follows one golden rule: less is definitely more.”

 I love how the book is full of random information and still feel like a conversation between friends, or more like a wise aunt who was the beauty in the group in her prime. Here she is sharing her secrets with me, how she effortlessly left a party, put together a dinner for friends and the way she kept her independence in the mist of motherhood. It was comforting to read about how Parisian women face aging, the advise to hold off on cosmetic surgery and to invest in a good eye cream. (Unlike what California aka LA culture says.) Importantly to face the fear of getting old by taking care of what nature gave you. “In Paris, the rules are clear: you anticipate, you prepare for the future, but you can never totally correct.”

I laughed at the end of the book where it said not to talk too much about oneself or dreams.. Oops how American of me. 

It’s expensive to travel to Paris but it doesn’t mean that we can’t embrace pieces of the Parisian culture where ever we are. 


2012 France


Blog: What I Always Wanted

When I was in Paris I couldn’t help but fall in love with their little cars. In fact, I was surprise when I read the make of their cars, I thought, “What! Why doesn’t Nissan sale these in America?”

I began to notice little cars everywhere I went!

Back in 2007 my parents went with me to pick out a car. As always they talked me in to buying a car I didn’t really like. It was a black Nissan Maxima, the kind car a man drives. Though it was nice, I began to hate driving. I mean hate it. When I would introduce my car to someone they would say, “This is yours?”

I began to have car problems. I kept hearing two voices, “Pay it off, be debt free!” and “Pay off a car you really love.” So Saturday morning I got ready and went to the car dealership. I went in saw what I wanted, test drove it and in two hours I bought my dream car.

The point of my story isn’t to brag, its to tell you – Go after what you REALLY want. Don’t just do something because EVERYONE is telling you to do it. At the end of the day I was the one who had to drive that big man car for seven years and pay 8% interest. Finally, its out of my sight and everyday I smile when I start up my Mini Coop.

Now I love driving, I enjoy my mornings going to work, and everyone I introduce my car to they say, “This car is totally you.” Yes, I’m going to have to work harder to pay it off but now its worth it to me.

Film: London and Paris

The first day of walking around with my large DSLR  in London I decided that I would capture the city in film instead. Who am I to compete with every great photo on line of these amazing cities. Call me lazy or call me smart. Either way, I hope film live pass my life time.

I took 3 rolls – 2 came out. Fortunately, all my Paris shots came out. I’ve been let down by film before, so with every film shot taken I did a digital copy.

Film is indeed a dying art. I love it for the magical flaws it seems to capture.

Two Days in Paris

An early flight and a million subways later Sam and I were in Paris. The jet lag and consent going finally got me down. I couldn’t help but want only sleep. I kept telling myself, “You’re in the most beautiful place in world, you can sleep later!”

First stop was Notre Damie

I was fascinated by how many people were in Paris. The place was packed with tourist and local city kids. I had never been in a non-English speaking country (other than Mexico) so I felt overwhelmed. I use to want to live in Paris but being here made me change my mind on that one. It made me feel so far away from home.

I continued to ignore the fact I was getting sick and pushed myself to go see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. The Louvre is probably the best art museum in the world. I felt bad for the other great paintings for walking so fast past them. My body was about to give out, I only had a hour or so before I threw up on someone. The sight of the Louver made me forget how I was feeling. It was so great and beautiful. I felt like I had traveled to another time in history.

The sight of the crowd in front of the Mona Lisa was more fascinating to me than the painting. Although I was taken by the color of the painting. So modern and beautiful. No reprint could capture the color of the Mona Lida.

When we came out of the museum it began to rain. It made me think of that line in, “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen about seeing Paris in the rain.

We went back to the hotel, I slept while Sam walked around the city.

In the morning I felt so much better. We woke up early to go see the Eiffel Tower. I wasn’t going to leave this place without seeing its main monument. When we came out, the crazy busy streets of Paris were empty.

We had Paris to our self. Each photo I took of the buildings looked fake to me. This place was real and I was in front of it.

And then there it was…

Call me selfish but it was nice to hang out by the tower with no other people around.

It was time for breakfast. The local shops were finally opening up. We found this cute little restaurant that overlooked the city and tower. It was a dream come true. The moment was so nice I couldn’t stop smiling.

We had a nice walk back to our hotel. It was time to head back to London. My two days in Paris was just a trailer to how amazing it really is.

My Week in London

A transformation happens when you open yourself to traveling. It can feel like time traveling in to a whole different world, and when you think about it, that is exactly what it is.

My friend who is living in London invited me for a week to see the city. He also planned a trip to Paris for us to enjoy. I find it amazing how a week somewhere different can impact transformation.

Day 1:

A nine hour flight couldn’t keep me down. The first day I landed I wanted to see the city. Sam picked me up from the airport and took me to Chelsea where we would be staying. He works at a five star hotel in the fancy part of town and was able to get us a room for a few days. He tells me The Beatles once stayed there.

I was excited to see what London was all about for my self. It was actually better than I imagined. The streets were full of people, the sun was peaking through the clouds and there was so much to see. We walked around the city streets and made our way to dinner. Sam wanted to give me a real English dinner – potato and meat – before we made our way to see, “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Day 2:

I had a list of things to do that I received from a good friend who use to live in London. Since her and I are similar in taste and style, I knew she would recommend me some fun things to do in the city. Sam and I made our way to Notting Hill for breakfast and to check out the out door markets. I was in heaven when I saw the amount of small tea houses. We found this cute little place called, Charlie’s that was hidden. It made me realized how lucky I was to enjoy a cup of tea in England, something I always dreamt of.

The Portabello Markets was an adventure of its own. I loved looking at how everyone was dressed. I kept melting at the site of an English child. When shopping, I tried not to let anyone hear me talk so they wouldn’t hear my American accent and charge me more for ideas. I had Sam ask for me so I could get some good deals. Sam bought me this amazing vintage camera but to this day we don’t know how to open it.

After shopping we stopped at Hammingbird Cafe for a cupcake. The smell of the cupcakes are so amazing I tried to take a photo to capture it, but it didn’t seem to work. 🙂

Since it was Sam’s Birthday I told him we should eat our cupcake at the Buckingham Palace. We walked through the Hyde Park and made our way to the Queen’s house. After he showed me the Westminster Cathedral where Prince William got married.

The best time to see London is at night. The city lights up with all its glory.

The best part of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends. At Sam’s Birthday dinner I was taken by everyone’s story and their friendliness. Everyone seemed to be away from their families and yet here at dinner a new one was created. I loved hearing their journey and learning what brought them to this amazing city. When I was talking to one of the girls she asked me what I do for a living, I said something that stuck with me the rest of the night, “I didn’t mean to become a contract editor, sometimes life’s accidents are part of God’s greatest plans.”

Day 3 & 4: Paris Trip 

Day 4: I love the fact I can travel anywhere in the world and visit my Hillsong family. Hillsong Church in London made me feel at home. It reminded me of all the amazing things God did in my life while I lived in Sydney. This trip was beginning to speak to into my life.

To never lose hope, never give up on your dream, you never know where they will take you.

After church a bunch of us walked to Chinatown for dinner. The cool thing is that everyone ordered food and shared it. The jokes filled the room and my laugh could be heard for miles.

Day 5:

Finally, a day to sleep in. We went back to where Sam lives, a few mile away from the city and rested. We grab a fast coffee and went to Camden Town – where the hipsters shop.

I couldn’t help but check out what everyone was wearing.

Suddenly I was more intrigued by the people than the buildings. They were far more interesting.

We made our way down to the fancy part of the city Jermyn Street and had high tea! It was great drinking our lovely drinks and talking about life, love and God. We encouraged one another and shared what God was doing in both of our lives. Sam and I went to Bible College together in 2006 and both studied TV and Media. We laughed and talked about how the next time we see each other both of us would probably be married with children.

As we made our way to meet up with another college friend, we stop by an alley full of great bookshops. When I saw my college friend Sarah, I was over joyed. I felt like we were in Sydney. I never got a chance to really hear her story because we were so busy with college life so it was great to sit down and finally get to know each other.

Day 6:

My last full day in London. We took it easy and visited the beautiful London Observatory. The large green lawn was so beautiful, taking a photo didn’t do it justice.You could see the full city from the top view. It was relaxing to watch the city stand still.

When we were waiting for the subway we were told that our train would be delay since someone was on the train tracks. I guess its a common thing for people to kill themselves by jumping in front of a train.

I couldn’t help but wonder who it was and why did they want to end it. This is such a great place to live, but I guess even in the greatest city in the world, we can feel lonely. We took a taxi instead.

At Soho there were record stores on every corner, cafe’s, and vintage stores. This city was made for me!

Day 7: Airport – Home.

I used every hour and minute to listen to see what this adventure was saying to me. Sam is working at a five star hotel, living in London, Sarah is working hard at her job and volunteering at church, the people I sat and talked with are in the middle of pursuing their dreams. It made me realized that no one has it all figured out. In this season of mine where I am taking a step of faith, traveling and spending time with people. I realized how blessed I am to do this.

While in the hotel we watched, “Dan in Real Life” and the ending line of the movie sum it up for me, “Don’t plan life, plan to be surprise.”

Money can’t buy creative passion

I am probably the only video editor who doesn’t own a DSLR, a Mac computer, or a video camera.  How do I get work done?  Well, I make use of the resources around me.  I bought a film camera at a Goodwill and use my church’s video camera sometimes.  Everywhere I’ve worked, I have always had a Mac with all my editing programs.

I know I need to get my own equipment so I can finally experiment and reach my creative potential.

This year I plan on saving up for some good equipment,  that and save to move to Paris.  So though I may not have the best equipment I do have creative passion.  And you can not buy creative passion.

I love what the Bible teaches about how God looks at the heart and not the outer appearance.  It reminds me that where I go in life it will be because of the passion that is in my heart not because I can create the best video in the world.

And that helps me create the next video with DV footage or take photos for fun with my grainy film camera.