Flying with Toddler

It is that time when you are ready to take your toddler to see the world or to visit families and friends.  Before booking that flight, read on these tips to help you prepare and make the trip as fun and enjoyable for you and your toddler.  Here are some tips that I came up with after flying with my toddler.

    1.  Booking the flight:
      • Book either an early or mid afternoon flight, around their nap time is best.
      • Nonstop flight if at all possible.
      • If your toddler is active and likes to move around, I’d choose an aisle seat.  This will allow your toddler to walk around if need to.
    2. Getting prepared for the flight:
      • For young toddler that are still on bottle, bring a bottle of milk so he/she can suck on during take off and landing.  If your toddler is still breastfeeding (yay for breastfeeding babies), you know what to do mom.
      • Be prepared for security line.  Bring an umbrella stroller or a stroller car seat so that your toddler can rest in it.
      • For older toddler, bring lollipops or something to chew and swallow during take off and landing.
      • Bring a few favorite books, coloring books and some crayola and a few favorite small toys, and ONE favorite comfort thing (blanket… etc).  Be careful with comfort thing because you will have to make sure you don’t lose it or you will be miserable for the rest of the trip.  I let my kids use multiple blankets so there’s no one comfort.  We can take any blankets with us and it’s no issue to replace them.
      • I don’t use tablet but there are people using them to entertain their kids (music/movies/games) and it’s fine.  The reason I don’t use tablets is because I want to teach my kids to travel light and enjoy things around them such as art galleries at the airport hallways or making conversations with other travelers.
      • Separate your things in plastic ziplock bags so you can see them easily.
    3.  Day of travel:
      • Get to the airport early.
      • Car seat and strollers are free luggages.  Be sure to bag them so there will be no damage.
      • Be prepare for security line: Let them know if you have to bring milk/water/juice bottle in.
      • Don’t forget to bring all those items you prepared in #2
      • Bring some snacks for yourself and your toddler (let it be chip, crackers, or fruits), the airport allows you to bring those.
      • Let your toddler run around.  If it’s too crowded at your gate, find another corner that has space for your toddler to run around or you can take him/her up and down the hallway enjoying the art galleries  or looking out the windows to see planes landing and taking off.
      • Time to pull out those activities book, reading.  One thing at a time so you don’t have a cleaning chore when it is time to take off.
      • Take your time, and use flight attendant and your fellow travelers as your allies.  You can ask for assistance to put luggage onto the overhead bin.
      • As much as we all like to board and settle early, I would take my toddler in as late as possible.  If you are traveling with your spouse, divide and conquer, let your spouse board first with all gears, then you can board with your toddler later.  This will allow toddler some wiggly time out in open space.
      • Bring a surprise toy in case for calm down period.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask a stranger to act as an aeroplane police if needed.  Sometimes a stranger’s voice is louder than parent’s voice.




I hope you enjoy your first flight with your toddler, it will be fun.  Key is to keep them entertained and their brain intrigued.


Bluebonnets of Texas

The updates of bluebonnets locations are at the end of this post.

So what’s the big thing in Texas during late March and the month of April?  Bluebonnets!!!

Bluebonnets (AKA Lupinus subcarnosus) are wild flowers which only grow in Texas.  As historian Jack Maguire put it “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat.”  He also affirmed “The bluebonnet to Texas is what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”  Although it’s been told that it is illegal to pick the bluebonnets in Texas, it isn’t.  On March 7th, 1901 the Twenty-seventh Texas Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the state flower.  In 1930s, the Texas Highway department began a landscaping and beautification program and due to this program’s efforts that the bluebonnets now grow along most major highways throughout the state extended all the way to Mexico.

Another flower that blooms at the same time with bluebonnets and compliment them so well is Indian Paintbrush (AKA Castilleja indivisa).  You can find these two flowers either grow blending amongst each other or in separate fields.  The vibrant orange color of Idian Paintbrush and the blue/white of bluebonnets make the drive in Texas beautiful during March and April.

While visiting the field of Bluebonnets, please keep in mind not to destroy these beautiful delicacies, many stories go around the bluebonnets and a lot of them are unpleasant.  A few things to keep in mind:

1- Do not pick or step on the bluebonnets: Some said it is illegal to pick the bluebonnets (however it isn’t) but it is also a nice courtesy to allow others enjoy the bit of nature in the beautiful spring of Texas who come after you.  It’s not first come first serve, it is let us all enjoy what nature provides us.

2- Do not trespass people’s private property: Jumping over someone’s fence is trespassing and IT IS ILLEGAL.  Please respect people’s wishes.  It is their private property, it is their bluebonnets they grow.  Having bluebonnets in their private property doesn’t warrant you access into their backyard/frontyard.

3- Be Safe: I have seen people just stop along the state highways or interstates so they can take out all of their kids for photos.  Please be sure to park in a place where cars are away from the high speed highways.  The little ones are quick and sometimes it only takes a few second for them to lose their mind and run off.  Please please be careful.


Here are locations of the bluebonnet sightings 2016 as of April 13:

  • Highway 281 & CO Rd 103
  • We highly recommend ‪#‎FM1431‬ west of ‪#‎MarbleFalls‬ to ‪#‎Kingsland‬ and on to ‪#‎Highway29‬.
  • Kyle, TX on fm 1626 by Plum Creek division
  • Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival
  • We highly recommend ‪#‎FM965‬ north of ‪#‎EnchantedRock‬ State Park in the ‪#‎TexasHillCountry‬.
  • Eleanor Tinsley Park on Allen parkway, Houston, TX
  • Hwy I-20 and Wheatland Rd (DFW)
  • Terry Hershey park in Houston (it might not be available this week)
  • #‎Killeen‬ Peeps! Y’all still got bluebonnets on Stan Schlueter Loop
  • Texas Hill Country: HW 16 between Goldthwaite and Fredericksburg, HW 71 between Llano and Brady, CR501 between Pontotoc and Lometa, and CR574 west from Goldthwaite.
  • Texas Hill Country: If you’re in the ‪#‎TexasHillCountry‬ and looking for a ‪#‎bluebonnet‬ field instead of roadside bluebonnets, ‪#‎TurkeyBend‬ Recreation Area off ‪#‎Fm1431‬ is a sweet, little field.
  • Mansfield Tx in the Lone Star Exit
  • For those in the ‪#‎Brenham‬ area trying to avoid the crowds, give this area a try. It’s outside the Bellville area, SW of the Brenham area, FM 2754 at 159 (159 runs between Bellville & Industry)
  • In Ennis, TX off of the Bluebonnet Trail off of Union Hill Road
  • Tigerpoint Road and FM389
  • behind Philips Veterinary Hospital
    5375 US-290, Brenham, TX 77833
  • Along Legacy Dr near Dallas Parkway
  • Pace Bend Park
  • Round Rock
  • Hope y’all enjoy, I will try to update the list one more time in the coming week.


Thoughts behind this blurred image…

20160315-IMG_4243 2016 Spring Break WM

Ever since I learned photography, I have always been taught to get the images as sharped as I can.  The best images presented by the best photographers are always very sharped.  So over the time, improving this skill has always been my top priority.  Today I would like to present to you an image that’s captured by a technique that normally general publics do not approve because it might appear as an error or a technical issue.  It is not just the foreground or the background being blurred, the entire photo is blurred.

This image was captured with intentionally blurred (AKA OOF = out of focus), it’s a technique that I have watched and learned through the photos captured by Shannon Kathleen Photography.  I have been following her for awhile and all of her intentional blurred photos have a fun inspirational story behind it.  The more I read about these blurred photographs, the more I was intrigued by this technique.  This photo was taken a few weeks back when I was standing from a far observing the kiddos running around and played at the pond.  In my mind, I wanted this image to be in my brain forever and ever.  I immediately thought of Shannon and her intentionally blurred technique.  Although in real life, everything is sharp and nice, but I wanted this photo to be blurred representing what I saw as a memory, a beautiful memory  of my precious little ones with some mysterious sensation.  It was what my mind experienced at the time the frame was taken.  I felt so excited to be able to put this image into a photograph, a memory that only I can understand and belongs to just only me.

Today, I’m excited to find out that this photo was featured at Reflections – Capturing Life in ART – photography/forum.

Thank you so much for the feature.


You Are Not Alone

Photo credit: Pamela Lewis Photography



It’s April.  This is the month marking my beginning in a blog circle participation called 6 on the 6th.  On the 6th of each month, I’ll feature 6 photos from that month and will be linking you to some other amazing photographers around the world to bring you varieties, at the end of this blog, you will find the link to the next blog from one of the photographers.  If you keep hopping onto the blog at the end of each, you will end up here with me again.  Happy blog hopping

Since this is all new to me, I guess I’ll just start by introducing myself.  My name is Thuvan, I am a wife, a mama of three who lives in Houston, TX.  Two years ago, I took the plunge and “accepted” an offer to be the CEO of this household (in another word to be a stay at home mom).  It was an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  The decision was easy but the process was tough because I struggled in my daily tasks.  Mainly it was because I decided that it was a good time to pick up my passion for photography.  Talking about passion, once I started shooting I couldn’t stop and once I started editing I couldn’t stop either.  House chores started to pile up, laundry loads were getting higher and higher and I hardly ever got enough sleep.  It was as if time was never in my favor.  For many days, I was stressed and struggled to balance my life.  I still do but it’s a little less since I have learned to manage my time better.  I felt alone and battling it by myself.  I remember someone realized how eager I was to accepting a social event because I couldn’t wait to get out “you couldn’t wait to get out of the house huh?”  It was as if I was waiting for someone to come and help me.

20160212-IMG_1192 Van & Laundry
Dirty laundry, I’m not afraid of you!!!

It was then that I decided to do something about it.  It was then that I decided to network with others that have the same passion.  Other photographers across the state, across the country and across the globe.   It was during this time that I have learned to partner, to trust and be friend with so many other creatives out there.  We lifted each other in our daily struggles, we inspired one another and motivated each other to keep going. It was more than just competition.  There’s a community out there with enough people to care for you for whatever your passion is let it be photography, arts, crafts.  You are not alone in your own world.  Don’t get me wrong, the chores are still there, the dirty laundry still gets piled up but at least in my busy mind, I’m a lot happier.  My family is happier and more balanced.  So go out there and search for those who have the same interests and passions as you, get connected.  Do not be afraid because you will gain more than you know it.

I love photography.  I love capturing natural reactions in families, children, babies and couples.  I want to create images that people will still be at awe years down the road because they show raw emotions.

These are some photos of my family during Spring break of this year.  We didn’t go on a vacation like everyone else, we used this opportunity to do a little bit of charity work and spending time with cousins biking, fishing and oh just enjoy the beautiful spring of nature.


Hop onto Asea Tremp Photography  and check out her blog. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to look around and let me  know if there’s a topic you would like for me to discuss.  How about some tips in photography? Activities to do with kids? anything you would like, I will do my best researching and bring you the information.





April’s fool fun with the kids

Last night I asked the kids what would they like for breakfast.  They said waffle and egg.  So waffle and egg it is.

This morning they woke up, I told them to go ahead and put on their shoes while I’m getting ready (including dad).  A couple of minutes later, I heard screaming and yelling “what!!!” “Huh!!!” “Who DID THIS?!!!”. Low and behold, “someone” stuffed their shoes with toilet paper, dad and the sons couldn’t fit into their own normal every day shoes.  I wonder who did such a darn thing.

After that commotion, I told them breakfast is ready.  They all stormed the kitchen excitedly.  Egggggggsssss!!!! “YES!!!” the little brother said.  “Is that egg?” my oldest asked.  “It looked a little different!” the other one exclaimed.  “No, it’s not egg!!!”… I wonder what that is (hint: white is y….t and yellow is m…o). Happy April’s Fool Day everyone.  It’s never quiet in this household of 5.  Thank you for visiting.

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Happy Birthday to my mother.

Today is my mother’s birthday, it’ll be her last year to be 70s.  She lost her mother at 7 years old, then her father to the Communist at 17 when he was captured and imprisoned during 1954 when the North and South Vietnam was split into two.  She immigrated into the South along with her siblings and ended up bouncing around until she met my father.  As a special force soldier during war time, my father was often away from home so she took care of all of us.  By the time I came along (the youngest), my older siblings were old enough to take care of me; therefore my mother spent most of her time working in trading.  She taught me how to work hard, no matter what always dress like a million bucks, be strong, be patient and be honest in all situation.  Up until this day, I have these values instilled in me in all the paths that I have taken through life.  She took care of us since the day we were born and still does because taking care of us is all she knows and does best.  I love her to the moon and back.

We celebrated her birthday on Easter Sunday since my brother and his family were in town.  Although my mother doesn’t have any desire for entertainments, she’s always eager be part of the fun in all occasion.  The grandkids suggested that we do a fun photoshoot instead of traditional posed ones.  I’m always ready for the challenge of course.  Here’s what we ended up doing, enjoy!!!


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Signs of Spring, Sign of new life

Each year I look forward to Spring season to see the blooms and greenery.  This year for some reason, my roses do not come out, my flowers do not bloom at all.  Finally I see some late sign of the season with this Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii).  It is a species of Euphorbia native to Madagascar.  I love the brightly colored bracts and how strong they look although the flowers are small and inconspicuous.  This will be added onto my favorite list.

20160325-IMG_4455  Nature WM


Childbirth is an experience that changes a woman’s life.  From this day on, this mama’s life will change, she will give up a lot of personal things for him, the new life that’s been inside her for 9 months, in exchange for many precious moments about to unfold.  She will experience many firsts with this baby, the firsts that will melt her heart and will be embedded in her mind for the rest of her life.  What an experience and a blessing that is for women to naturally give it all unconditionally to their children right off the bat.  Even babies naturally look for their mamas.  It is a wonderful feeling to become a mother right at the moment of birth and to be given a title that no one can take away.  I’m glad to have been able to capture the beginning moments for this family, for this mama specifically.  The baby cried for the first time, mom got to hold the baby, dad cut the umbilical cord and how the baby’s little fingers held onto dad’s finger while mom was holding him.  The circle of life is right here.  These moments touched my heart that I cried just looking at them.  What a wonderful wonderful experience to have been the witness of life and on top of that I got to capture these moments for these parents to treasure for the rest of their life.  For 8 hours of labor, this little booger made it all worthwhile for his mama.  Welcome to the world buddy, may you be blossomed into a handsome young man.

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DIY upcycle ladder

Hi y’all!

This is my first time to truly blog something I did.  I’m very inspired by Ana White and many other ladies who design their deco, wood projects around the house so here it is my first piece.  I got this old ladder from a garage sale for almost a year ago, it was $5 so I thought it was a steal.  It has been sitting in the garage (at my brother’s house) ever since I bought it.  I finally have time and an idea of what to do with it.  With the help of my “carpenter”, I was able to create three pieces serve as functional deco in my house.

(1) The first one is a stool to place a plant by the stairs.  This is the top part of the ladder that was cut out.  I sanded off then gave it a fresh paint coat and distress it with sand paper to give it a vintage look.  The pre sanding was a bit work because the ladder had a lot of paint coats on it… I think because the previous owner used it to paint so it is quite messy.  All in all, this first part is done.  I’m quite please with it.

The other two pieces are coming soon, I can’t wait to share them with you… To be continued.

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