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Lilibet Lifestyle

Lilibet's adventure in the US

DIY Home decor: Mark Pen and Spoon Painting

Inspired by Mr. Kate’s painting, last night, I used 30 min to do a fast spoon art. We have moved in Fairfax, Virginia for almost half a year. We haven’t meticulously decorated our home yet. The wall is blank and dull. I think maybe I can do some DIY painting at home to bring in life and design. I browsed Youtube and found Mr. Kate’s spoon art. The tutorial was very easy to learn, and I firmly believe I could do it by myself too. I went to Michael’s store and bought two canvas which size are 24“*16” and a paints pigment set. The price total is only 20 dollars.

Tools:

  • Middle-size spoon
  • a blank canvas (we used 24″ x 18″)
  • acrylic paint in various colors in a set (not my choice)
  • wet wipes(to keep spoon clean between colors)
  • hair dryer – to speed up drying time

The color choice of this set is limited. If I follow Mr. Kate’s tutorial, I calculated the pigment they would cost me $200. The size I bought is much smaller, and color choice is little. I followed her tutorial, but the final look comes out less satisfactory. I think there are three reasons:

First and foremost, lacking in experience. I haven’t done any painting since 15 years old. It has almost been ten years.

Second, limit knowledge on color matching. If we compare KATE’s painting with me, her work has more contrast and the whole art looks harmonious.

Third, the quality of pigments or the knowledge of pigment, I should buy something better quality and have a deeper thought on ideal color palette next time.

Although mine is not as good as Mr. Kate’s picture, however, it is personal. It is not a piece of art that everyone can buy in the store. Amy Adam in the movie “Big Eye” once said, art is a personal thing. Nobody can replace the feeling of the author.

All in all, it is a nice try. Hope third time works the charm!

 

Best TV Show of 2016

1 Stranger things
I was both scared and fascinated by the story itself at the same time. The background music and shooting techniques make me feel frightened. The story itself is warm-hearted and intriguing. Very complex feelings are watching this but relieved until it ends. Become Mille Bobbie Brown’s fan after this. My husband finished eight episodes on Saturday night from 8 pm to 4 am in the morning. I also finished on Sunday. Once you started, you can never stop watching. I heard the 2nd season is coming, can’t wait to see it!!!

2 The Crown
It is a historical TV show recording Elizabeth Era from English Royal family. The perspective of telling the story is fresh and touching. I kept crying seeing the moments Queen Elizabeth went through in her life, such as her husband’s nonsupport, her father’s death, and her difficulties in the war era. She is a great and unique woman in our time. She always shows care and love to people, just like Mother Teresa. Also waiting for Season 2.

3 Westworld
The imagination and creativity of this show are beyond words. We follow this show every week and were surprised at each episode’s ending. It is an inversion drama. We could never predict the ending, and sometimes it is hard to understand what the director is trying to tell us. There are a bunch of questions in my head, and I decide to let them go. Waiting for Season 2!!!

Next show I am going to conquer is Game of Throne~ I heard there are 7 seasons….

2017 New Year Resolution

I will gradually leave blog platform and start my Youtube Channel. Thank you guys for supporting me all along. Last three months, I have received more than 3000 views on my blog.   I hope in 2017 I can learn more image editing skills and video shooting & editing techniques. Through video making, I hope I can be a more creative person. I have been looking for some electronic products for my Youtube channel for months. I think I will start with something easy, a triple pod and a lens. I will use the natural light for the shooting. I know for the most important thing for the channel is the content. I want to shoot some small little things in my life, such as traveling, cooking, fashion & beauty and some daily personal thoughts. I will try to make it as interesting and creative as possible. I know it costs a lot of time, but it is worthwhile since I love doing it.  I believe my blog has changed my life to some extent; I hope Youtube as well.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave comments and subscribe my blog or DM me through my twitter.

Love you guys, bye!

 

Our First Experience with Swiss Fondue

Today I want to introduce a very interesting food culture: Swiss fondue. We had a chance to eat fondue because Michael’s professor from UC Davis sent us a $200 gift card for a famous fondue restaurant. My mom came to visit us last month, so we decided it is a time to have a try. I am very excited. When I was in New York, my friends kept telling me how good it is, but I never tried. When they mentioned cheese fondue, they got stars in their eyes.

It was very cold on that day. And it was a perfect time for the family to sit together to have a warm, nice melting fondue. The decoration in the store was dim with red, warm light everywhere. The store smells good. It is different from other traditional restaurants in the US. People usually came here with a big group. I could see people of all ages, from grandparents to grandchildren. There were cute little pots on each table with Cheese inside. At first, I thought will we dip all the meat and vegetables in the cheese fondue tonight? If then how can we eat?  As a Chinese, we seldom ate Cheese. I remember when I was with Bianca in California, she took a slice of cheese and put in the mouth directly. Kind of one of the eastern and western cultural difference I came across in the US,

Swiss Fondue is a three-course meal:

1 Cheese fondue dipping

2 Main course—traditional hot pot

3 Chocolate dessert fondue

The first course is very interesting. The waitress heated the pot and the cheese melted in the pot. She added some cauliflower, carrots, peppers and mushrooms in it. Then we swirled and dipped the bread in the cream cheese pot. It is a completely new experience for us. Never eat like this before! Very excited.

Second course: main course. We ordered seafood, beef and teriyaki chicken. All the food is fresh and marinated already.  I love the lobster and scallops the most. There are many dipping sauces available, sweet and sour, spicy, etc.  We can choose 6 of them and put them in our cute square plates.

Third Course: Chocolate fountain fondue. The pot heated to 150F, and the chocolate melted to liquid form. We dipped strawberry and all sort of fruit in the fondue. It was delicious but too high calorie for us. I don’t think I would want to eat it again. We felt like won’t come here in the future. We left the waitress 50 Dollars tips, the rest of the gift card.

Overall, Swiss fondue, very funny experience but no second time! Love Chinese food better. Respect other culture’s food. 🙂

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The year 2016 in a glance

The most heartbreaking moments in 2016

2016 is a tough year for the world. Trump becomes the president-elect of Divided States of America. Brexit: The United Kingdom left the European Union.  Many legend people left us: George Michael/Prince/David Bowie–pop stars, Carrie Fisher-Star War Princess Leia, Rene Angelil-husband of Celine Dion, Actor Alan Rickman- Harry Potter’s Professor Snape, Iris Apfel’s husband, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Bill Cunningham-legendary NY Times City photographer and more. For big companies, Yahoo, Twitter, Samsung, Wells Fargo also have a terrible year. One billion user accounts of Yahoo are hacked.  Samsung Galaxy 7 went up in smoke and fire. Wells Fargo Bank opened 2 million bank accounts or credit cards without customers’ knowledge or permission.  CEO Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, once my role model, net worth this year plunged from 4.5 billion to zero because of cheating the public. ISIS terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium/ Nice, France/ Orlando LGBT clubs, US/ Berlin night market, Germany/ Istanbul airport bombs, Turkey/ shocked the globe. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt announced their split after 12 years and six children together; Zika virus became a global emergency at the beginning of 2016: thousands of babies were born with undeveloped brains. Fatal shootings of police officers skyrocketed in 2016 with 64 deaths. 2016 climate trends continue to break hot records. It has been the hottest year ever recorded.  Numbers of Syria refugees up 675% from 2015, 13,210 in total. Is 2016 the worst year for America, humanity, and our planet?

Highlight moment in 2016

For Michael and me, 2016 has been a good year. Getting married to Michael is the best and most important decision I have ever made. Another thing is I finally graduated from NYU and no need to go back to school anymore. I have spent my last 21 years at school and couldn’t be more bored with it. I love real-life challenge instead of finishing projects and assignments in the ivory tower. Now I am working with great and amazing people – couldn’t be happier. I also become a minimalist and try to control my impulsive consumption behavior. My wardrobe becomes empty and spacious. I have my four wisdom teeth extracted. Thumbs up! I start to read more thought-provoking books. These are positive changes in my life.

2017 New Year Resolution: Quit Social Media

Another thing I keep thinking about recently is why girls in our era worry about liked so much? I grew up with a strong desire of being likable and perfect. I spent most of my time back at home on QQ Zone, Weibo, RenRen, Facebook, Twitter and Wechat trying to build up a likable image. I care very much about how people think of me. I posted too many useless pictures, and words on social media. I believe I will quit social media in 2017 and spend my time on the more important things. I will become 25 years old next year. Many people have already achieved something at this age. Maybe I will start from something small next year and work on it. I am not only want to be a likable person but a thoughtful and powerful female.

What about your 2016 ?

How to cut hair for yourself and significant others at home?



Several weeks ago, I happened to watch several Youtube videos: how people cut hair for themselves at home. That is a pretty cool idea. I had never thought about this when I was in China. The labor is usually cheap in my country, and stylists can always cut lovely and most trendy hairs. However, after I came to the US, whatever related to labor, the price is insane. Last time, when I was in FedEx trying to ship out some products, I asked the staff to help me do the packaging. They charged me 35 bucks simply for the labor, let alone $200 shipping fee. I was upset about it for days. Thirty-five dollars just for bubbles, papers, and simple wrapping?  The lesson I have learned is for everything related to labor in this country I should do it myself, including the haircut.

My first guinea pig, to my surprise, is my beloved husband. Several weeks ago, I tried to help him pull out some gray hair, and during the process, we built up mutual trust. He granted me the right to do his whole haircut in the future. I was very excited. I immediately purchased some professional tools on Amazon:

  • A hair Gape ($14)
  • A water spray ($1)
  • A pair of professional hair thinning scissors ($1)
  • A Wahl Color Pro Hair Clipper Kit ($17)

All the things add up to total just 24 dollars. Think about it, each time we drive 20 minutes and spend $15 on a haircut each month. In 5 years, we could save $2500 on a haircut. One thing I don’t like for the low-budget barber shop is that everything is highly standardized. For men haircut, they just use the clippers, trim each hair in 5 minutes then it’s done. They do it without feelings. I was surprised by their speed and disappointed by the result. For the high-end salon, the price is too high. We don’t feel it worths the money.Why not do it myself? If we cut carefully, even for the first time, it would never be a disastrous hairstyle. I couldn’t wait to start it.

First Step: Clean up Michael’s neckline

Michael has a long neck, and I first helped him clean up the edges, get rid of neck hair and bring up the neckline higher.  I use Wahl hair blade to shave the neck hair. The final look in the back will be a square and cleaned edge hair line.

Second Step: Trim the hair around ear

Then I will do the hair around the ears: use the edge of the trimmers to come in and working up and back towards the ear.

Third Step: Cut the top

I found Michael’s hair is thick and sturdy. The funny thing is one scissor I brought from China broke into two parts due to his thick hair.  I tried to use a thin scissor to thin the top of hair first. Then I slowly lift the cutters after each drag through his hair.

Anyway, segment the hair into sections, cut it with your heart and it won’t be hard. Practice makes perfect! Ooops, I did it .. …!

How different people react to my marriage?

  • Truly happy for me type – my family and best friends
  • Distant type – usually male
  • Curious type – oh you are married! Who is that guy?
  • Don’t care type – totally indifferent
  • Challenge type–Does my husband have a Green card? Do I have a green card?

I got married as soon as I graduated from NYU. I know this is very fast. I couldn’t believe it either. But we are deeply in love with each other, so we said let’s get married. We only have a court clerk to officiate. Nothing really fancy. After we post our civil wedding ceremony pictures on social media, we received different reactions from friends.

Type One: My family and Mike’s family

They are 100% support our marriage. They flew 20 hours from China and came to witness our ceremony. Throughout my two-year relationship with Mike, they are the most supportive parents in the world. No matter what happened, they always play the role as a reconciler. Both sides parents are excellent.

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Type Tow: Distant

They are used to be some guys texting or messaging me from time to time. Now zero. They disappeared. More peaceful and quality time now! Thank you. Bye-bye

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Type Three: Curious type

Who is that guy? Why did you get married so fast?

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Type Four: Indifferent

I don’t care about what happened to you.

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Type five: We get married because either each one of us has green card

  • Does he have a green card?
  • Oh, I remember you have a green card, right? Me: …. …. ……

Unfortunately, neither do we have. Is green card our ultimate goal? NO.

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Our Fall Engagement Photoshoot At National Arboretum

It has been three weeks since my last update. We have been very busy with our work recently. Michael and I had our 1st engagement photo shoot at D.C National Arboretum last Sunday. We supposed to do it much earlier but since fall is the best season for the romantic scene. So we postpone it. National Arboretum was adorable and breathtaking on that day. Fall color was popping out everywhere–so much warm color, love, and coziness! Nature is an artist, and it gave us the best backdrop for all those unforgettable memories.

We took this engagement photo shoot just simply want to record how blessed we are to such charming nature, and are so grateful for all the things we have. I chose a very casual outfit, a plaid shirt with jeans. I helped Michael select a new refined sweater. I thought his top reflects his genteel characteristics very well. I pressured myself to enhance my makeup skill to show the best of me on the photo day.

This is our second corporation with the photographer Aubrey–from Ginger Snap Photography (http://www.pinupbyginger.com). She is a kind and nice woman. We love all the pictures she takes for us. I think we will continue come back to her in the future. Thank you for your great job, Aubrey!!!

Don’t waste time. Let us see some pictures together!

Fall is awesome!

 

Ten Facts about Chinese Education

It is not an article of introducing Chinese school system or its history. It is just slices of memory about my education back in China.

1 We learn mainly by repetition


We are required to memorize English textbooks, ancient poetry, and good articles. We are not allowed to ask questions until class ends. We sit in the classroom from 7 am to 10 pm and learn lots of material by heart. The teacher cares about our grades instead of caring about whether we understand the material. Our parents and educators told us the meaning of a book would become apparent if you read it many (hundreds of) times. The best and fastest way to learn is through verbatim. We don’t read many extracurricular reading materials. Instead, we spend most of our time on studying textbooks. I can still clearly remember what we learn when I was in primary school.

2 Body Warm-ups in the morning

We practice warm-ups every morning from 7:45 am to 8 am. When the music starts playing, thousands of students will pour out to the playground and do the morning exercises together. We raise our arms to the sides and up, hopping in place and twisting our bodies. On each Monday morning, we will do the lineup to see the national flag raised and one student representative will make a speech responding to the news happened that week or month. I was once the hostess of flag raising ceremony. Between 9:45 am and 10 am, we will do eye exercises —we press particular points on our faces accompanied by relaxing music and an instructor’s recorded voice in the broadcast

3 We read out loud together for an hour every morning.

Monday and Wednesday morning from 7 am to 8 am we read Chinese textbooks. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning we read English books. We started to learn English when we were seven years old. It is a compulsory course throughout our education in China.

4 Long study hour in both classroom and home


Our school schedule is from 7 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. Class starts at 8 am and ends at 4 pm.From middle school, everyone is required to participate in self-study session at classroom from 7 pm to 9:30 pm, which a lot of students hatc.

5 Parental expectations on children’s academic performance


People in China like to compare everything. Chinese parents tend to push their kids a lot and have high expectation on their grades. Good exam results are associated with success, and entire families can pin all their hopes on the single child. If you are admitted to Tsinghua and Beida, the top two universities in China, your social status seems to be changed forever(especially for poor kids).

6 We wear ugly uniforms and the same hairstyle


For centuries in China, the high grade has been regarded as the only effective way for entering a prestigious university. Thereby, parents and schools are all unwilling to have us distracted by outfit and cosmetics, etc. So the most direct and efficient way to this end is uniform students into baggy & ugly school outfits.
Another strange thing is that only two hairstyles are allowed for the boys: ‘crew cuts’ or ‘flat tops.’ My husband is the victim of it. His hair was a little bit longer than flat tops. His teacher asked him not to get back to class until he had his hair cut. So far this rule still leaves a shadow in his life. There are barbers stationed at our school gates to ‘fix’ the haircuts of the students. The school said in this way, students can focus on their studies. As I grow up, I feel like they are treating us like prisoners.

7 Wear red-scarf every day in elementary school

We have to wear red-scarf every day when we were the first year in elementary school. If we forget to wear it, we cannot be allowed to enter the school. I remember I always forgot to wear it. So I bought lots of new red scarves at the grocery store outside of the school. Besides, every month every student should join in a general cleaning. I bet western schools never have this kind of cleaning.

8 Military Education and Training when the term starts

Military Training is mandatory when the middle school, high school, and college term start. During the 14-day training week, we are required to go to a certain place and practice Formation training including a stand at attention, stand at ease, footwork, salute, and review. We were trained physically, technically and psychologically. It is considered an opportunity for us to discipline our will, strengthen our bodies, as well as learn some basic military information. Thirty of us live in a single room while doing military training. We are allowed to take baths every three days.  The happiest time memory for me is I could take a shower. I am so glad that I am never going to have this kind of training again.

9 High rate of nearsightedness

I went to the best high school at my city. There are 50 students in my class and only me, and another guy is not myopic. 90% of students(450 million people) are nearsightedness in my country.

10 After school classes


Parents send students to after school classes: Maths Olympics, English, Chinese chess, art and martial arts. Piano levels are divided into 1 to 10. These courses are very popular, and some students even have to take several of them over the weekend. Why parents do this? The answer simply is to increase their children’s competitiveness. I remember I went to New Oriental (a provider of private educational services in China) taking English tutoring classes for many years, including German, GMAT, Tofel, etc.

In conclusion, strict disciplinarian schools do produce very smart and hard working adults. However, our individuality, being a unique individual, is robbed. As I grow up, I realize that rotate learning is not sustainable. People in the US never memorize. Instead, they challenge the material and make their judgment. We miss the education of social skills, critical thinking and being creative. Our opportunity of being a unique, the chance to blossom into the unique individuals, is robbed.
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Sources

1 China education differs from the US

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-34605430

2 School life in China

http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat13/sub82/item1094.html

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