Archive | July, 2011

a child’s smile lights up my life | a story of hope

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a child’s smile lights up my life | a story of hope

Posted on 29 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

Since I’ve been back in Toronto life hasn’t been quite the same as when I left and quite honestly I haven’t been having the best of days.  I have been practically house bound since I arrived for I have to figure out some things in my life, big and small, and I don’t have a car.  This has caused me to be  demotivated to exercise or move but a close friend of mine told me I need to go running for it will make me feel better.  In my mind I knew it would be good for me, for it would make me realize that I can breath the fresh air, soak in some sun, and give me that runner’s high.  I still wasn’t motivated but with enough time and mental preparation, 7 hours later, I finally removed my pajama gear I’ve been mopping around in for the past 2 days and threw on some baggy pants, tank, and running shoes.

As I began running I started to feel the soreness of my body especially my quadriceps.  I thought I couldn’t do my regular 5KM route for I haven’t been this sore before.  I don’t know what I did but I was in pain.  Every step I could feel my muscle fibers yelling at me to stop but I started to drown out the noise with my iPod, feeling the air fill my lungs, the kiss of the sun on my skin, and the ground beneath my feet.

I began to start feeling alive again but was still in pain.  I doubted I could do the full route, so in my mind I said I’ll do a lot less than normal.

A Child's Smile | Julius Pajama Party

As I approached a house with two kids playing in their front lawn, they stopped what they were doing to wave and smile as I passed.  I could not resist smiling back for kids are the most purest of creatures.  They made me feel like I was running a marathon where people cheered from the sideline.  It was probably 7 minutes in to my run and they made me appreciate that moment from thereon.  Life is too short to be miserable.

I managed to do my regular 5KM running route and in record time of 25 minutes.  I fought through the pain and guess what?

I survived.

Life can be painful at times but we just have to push through the pain for it will make us stronger and as cliche as it sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When you are going through a painful experience, the light does not shine bright but as time moves forward, you will start to see the light again.

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lost ring | a story of hope

Posted on 28 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

As I was packing my luggage to go back to Toronto I emptied one of my purses and to my surprise I saw a ring that looked like the engineering ring I had lost during a BBQ in the Bronx on July 4th weekend. I was doubtful and thought it was a dime but i did a double take and reached for it.

It was my ring!

I immediately slid it on my right hand pinky finger and held my hand up high to admire it.

I smiled so much it filled my heart with joy.

This ring is a symbol goes beyond the fact that it is an engineering ring.

It symbolizes hope.

The reason why it symbolizes hope is because it seems I always lose misplace this ring but every time I seem to find it against all odds.

I lost it on a car seat.
I lost it at night in a parking lot.
I lost it in the midst of my purse.
I lost it in my hair.
and the list goes on.

This goes to show that sometimes when you think you lost something or someone and it comes back against all odds, it was meant to be.

The ‘lost ring’ is a metaphor for life.

The funny thing is the day I lost my ring I imagined it will eventually show up as it usually does, hence my reaction to losing it.  I was concerned for 5 minutes, then I moved on.  I learned not to attach myself to ‘things’, for things can be replaced and sometimes losing something or someone is out of your control.

Why fight it?

Accept it and move on.  Life is too short to control the uncontrollable.

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Instagram for Beginners | iPhone Photography App

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Instagram for Beginners | iPhone Photography App

Posted on 19 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

Instagram for Beginners

I have converted from my now retired BlackBerry Curve to an iPhone 4 white and one of my favorite iPhone photography apps is Instagram, so I’m going to break down Instagram for Beginners.

RIP Black Berry Curve
RIP Black Berry Curve – Photo Taken with Instagram

Instagram for Beginners | What is Instagram?

If you don’t know what Instagram is, you probably don’t have an iPhone, for it is currently only available for iPhone users. Instagram is a FREE photography app for iPhone where you can share your photos with friends and family through different social media streams.  You can visit Instagram’s FAQ for more information or download Instagram – Burbn, Inc.

Instagram Feed Preview
Print Screen of Instagram Feed

Liked Features of Instagram

  •  FREE iPhone App – one of my favorite Free Apps
  • 15 custom filters – transforms the photo’s mood and tone, as shown in the example below – click image for a bigger view.
    Instagram Filters Example
    Example: Instagram Filters
  • Tilt-Shift Feature– You can either use the tilt-shift feature as a circle or linear
    Instagram Tilt Shift Feature Example
    Example: Instagram Tilt Shift Feature
  • Share photos through multiple social media streams (Twitter, FaceBook, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, Posterous)
  • Share via email
  • Easily find friends to follow from your contact list, FaceBook, or Twitter
  • Saves photo in Camera Roll
    Instagram Final Photo Saved on Camera Roll
    Example: Instagram Final Photo Saved on Camera Roll

Disliked Features of Instagram

  • Cropping of photo is square and limits what you can get in the frame
  • Preset borders with filters – I wish you can choose the filter and then choose the border but the filter and borders are all in one.


I recommend downloading Instagram for it is one of faves.

Download Instagram

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25 Things you should NOT do on a First Date

Posted on 18 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

The guy you’ve been eyeing on for months has finally done the unthinkable and asks you out on a date, so hours before you get nerves, but you shouldn’t forgot some common things you should NOT do on a first date.  Lately I’ve been around single friends who are dating I find their dating stories merely amusing and shocking at times for some things that are common sense when dating are not so common.  I have reached out to my followers through Twitter and Facebook about things men or women should not do on a date and found some common perspectives about things you should not do on a date.

25 Things you should NOT do on a First date

Please note that this list is not in any order and stories are based on true experiences of my followers.

  1. Do NOT use your phone to text, BBM, or call someone else.  This is the most common advice everyone has suggested.  No one wants to be ignored and you are on a date to get to know someone, how can one do that if you are fidgeting with your phone.
  2. Do NOT overly talk about yourself.  Ask questions and have a two-way conversation for no one want’s a self-centered person.
  3. Do NOT ask too many personal questions.  This is not a job interview so don’t ask about your date’s fears and expectations.  Keep a light-hearted conversation where you can shake off the nerves and get comfortable with each other.
  4. Do NOT go to an overly posh place, that just comes off as you trying to show off. So find a place with a fine medium.
  5. Do NOT get drunk (Max. 2 drinks).  You might need to pay attention to any small valuable details he or she might quiz you on later. For example, she likes Daisies and tulips but not roses.  Also, no one wants to be your babysitter on a date.
  6. Do NOT flirt with another person. Do not check out another girls boobs or ass, this is just disrespectful.
  7. Do NOT be late.  I am not the best advocate of being on time but you shouldn’t be too late for no one likes waiting.
  8. Do NOT order your date’s food. Unless they tell you  to order for them, you don’t know them enough to order for them, plus they may have some allergies you may not know about.
  9. Do NOT expect your date to pay for you.  If they offer to do so then great but be prepared to dish out some cash.
  10. Do NOT lie.  Be yourself and if the person doesn’t like you for who you are then they are not the person for you.
  11. Do NOT talk about the Ex.  You do not want your date to picture you having sex with someone else or dump your baggage on that person, so please leave this conversation when you are more comfortable with each other.
  12. Do NOT take the skeletons out the closet.  This means it is okay to leave out conversations about your past health issues, drug addictions, alcoholism, or black out moments.  It is okay to talk about this later on but for now, leave it out the conversation.
  13. Do NOT insinuate sex.  I am a pretty open person but for the most part if you want something serious you shouldn’t talk about this until a couple of dates in.  It is kind of creepy and you don’t want to signal that this is all you want unless that is all you want.
  14. Do NOT forget your table manners.  Do not pick at your teeth for food, burp, chew with your mouth open, or pick at your dates food without getting permission.
  15. Do NOT go to the movies.  It is hard to get to know someone at the movies for you can not really talk at the movies, so find somewhere you can communicate.
  16. Do NOT talk about marriage.  I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker and the guy immediately proposed to the girl on the first date which is rather appalling, who does that?  You can talk about marriage and that you want to get married in the the future but do not propose on the first date.
  17. Do NOT be a flake.  If you planned to meeting this person, please keep your commitments.  It is hard enough asking someone out on a date wether it is online or inperson, so please do not stand up your date.
  18. Do NOT be a gold digger.  So refrain from asking for a Gucci watch on a date or a trip to Spain.  This person could be your future wife or husband, not your bank account.
  19. Do NOT talk about money.  Wether you are in financial debt or financial set, this is a private matter.  This will cause the person to judge you in a certain way and you want judgements to be left out of the date, especially when it comes to money.
  20. Do NOT criticize your date.  This is negative energy which no one wants to be around, so stay positive and compliment your date, no matter how much you hate the tie he is wearing.  After all, no one likes to be critiqued.
  21. Do NOT talk about religion.   This can lead to heated discussion, so it is fine to talk about what basic religion beliefs but going in too deep about it can ruin the date.  Everyone has their own perspective about it and it can be a touchy subject, so keep it simple.
  22. Do NOT talk about politics.  Similar to religion.
  23. Do NOT talk about your kids.  It is fine to mention you have kids but do not talk in too much detail about them for there is an obvious past involved with your kids.  See #10.
  24. Do NOT be rude to your server.  This is a real turn off for actions speak louder than words.  You had a great date but the signals you give out when you treat your server poorly shows that you are a jerk.
  25. Do NOT be disgusting. So don’t pick your nose or wedgie, talk about bowel movements, blow your nose at the dinner table, or do any Jack Ass movie remakes.  This is just gross and uncomfortable.
First dates are uncomfortable and awkward, so don’t take it too seriously if it doesn’t work out.  I hope you enjoyed the 25 things you should NOT do on a first date.  Have any more advice?  Leave a comment.

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How to Create a WordPress Twitter Widget

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How to Create a WordPress Twitter Widget

Posted on 17 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

I realize that I update my Twitter feed quite more often than my blog, so I decided to place a WordPress Twitter Widget on the side bar so that my readers who aren’t following me on Twitter get my latest update.  This is how my current Twitter feed looks like and it is quite easy to create without installing any plugins on WordPress.  This guide can be used with a regular website for the scripts can be used outside of WordPress.

Twitter Feed on WordPress Blog

How to Create a WordPress Twitter Widget

Visit Twitter’s website resources under widget profile to create your customized WordPress Twitter Widget.  (Please note that this will not work for privatized Twitter accounts.)

  1. Enter Twitter user name.  Create WordPress Twitter Widget - Enter User Name
  2. Customize your WordPress Twitter Widget preferences.  These are the settings I chose for my site but you can customize it for your own personal preferences.Create WordPress Twitter Widget - Enter Preferences
  3. Customize the appearance of the WordPress Twitter Widget.  Since I know the color scheme of my site I customized the widget’s colors accordingly, so you can control the color of the background, text, and links of your widget. You can test the different color settings and preview it before creating the widget.
    Create WordPress Twitter Widget_Appearance
  4. Click Finish & Grab Code, then copy code for your WordPress Twitter Widget.Create WordPress Twitter Widget_Get Code
    You can customize the dimensions of the widget but I just used the default setting of auto width. (OPTIONAL STEP)Create WordPress Twitter Widget_Dimensions
  5. Go to the WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets and drag the Text Widget to the widget sidebar you would like your WordPress Twitter Widget to appear.  If your theme does not have widgetized areas, you can paste the code in the Editor.  Paste the code into description area and Save.
    WordPress Widgets Sidebar - Twitter WordPress Widget Creation

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NYC breakup or just separated?

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NYC breakup or just separated?

Posted on 11 July 2011 by Liza Mae V.

I am going through a breakup anxiety!

View from Battery Park in the Summer

I am breaking up with my long lost lover of New York City, or maybe just a separation?  I have no idea for I have to figure out a couple things in my life before that can happen.  As I come to terms with the reality that I have to come home to Toronto, it feels like my world is crumbling at its core.  This has been the longest I’ve ever been in New York City for my trips usually last for a weekend and the longest was one time during spring break in university where I stayed for a week.  Now that I’ve been here for a month, I have fell in love with the city harder than I ever have.

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About Liza Mae

I am a twenty-somethings female photographer in search of love, the meaning of life, and adventure. I am passionate about anything photography from the snap to the click.


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