• A Walk in the Golden Gate Park Did I ever mention that not only do I adore taking public transportation when it’s convenient and available, but I also love photographing them? It’s funny ...
  • I Like My Orange Poppy If you like the idea of being immersed in a mass land of orange-ness, and aren’t too prone to spring allergies, then definitely visit the Antelope Valley Californ...
  • Pool and Photo Editing Apparently, my skill in the pool game has seriously declined since the 6th grade when I once ruled the kids at the YMCA summer program. However, my skill in improvising...
  • Trail So Close to Home, Literally After living in Hacienda Heights for a combination of 16 years, I never knew there was such thing as a long wild hiking trail just around the corner. At the crossroads ...
  • New Website = New Blog = New Beginning BurstingThrough.com is finally 90% complete in terms of basic layout and design. After 2 years of wanting to create a place where I can pour my efforts and share my tho...
  • Gettin' to the Getty Valentine’s Day was completely unplanned, but worked out well. Though it was a 45 minute stop and go from the freeway to the parking lot entrance, The Getty cente...
  • Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park Hike What a fantastic and fun hike. The wildlife, plants, birds of prey, and the view of Los Angeles made this one so much more enjoyable. We got some great photos from Gary...
  • Day 4 in Oahu: The Food, the Beach, the Beach, and the Food We start our 4th day with the Hawaii Hole in the Wall Food Tour and these were our guides Matthew Gray and Keira Nagai. From Oahu Trip Of course it started ra...
  • Day 2 in Oahu: Hiking, Shaved Ice, and the Beach We wake up around 5am next morning, while the moon is still peeking out From Oahu Trip Hiking up the Diamond Head early morning for our taste of the beautiful ...

San Jacinto Mountain Hike

by Yolanda

Taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up to San Jacinto Mountain was a great way to spend Memorial Weekend. Yes, that’s right, it has taken me a good month to finally edit a few pieces of video taken with Gary’s Leica D Lux 4 together into a formidable presentation. The hike was genuinely fun and breathtaking. It really felt like being in the “woods” at that elevation, with only rocks, trees, and water streams to befriend you. In the late afternoon, it actually became so windy that I had such a difficult time pushing my body back to base.

July 2011
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Challenge 12 of 12: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Ice Cream

by Yolanda

Seven months has passed, and my mission is now complete. I came across the idea of attempting to make chocolate dipped strawberry ice cream during my visit to one of my favorite ice cream parlors Fosselmans’ Ice Cream in Alhambra. I fell in love with their version of this flavor, so I decided to try to make my own version. I started by researching the web and found the only recipe online on Christine’s Cusine Blog. I copied most of the recipe and the ice cream came out with a very strong strawberry flavor. The resulting taste was less sweet than I’m used to but somehow, that also made it more authentic. The bittersweet chocolate definitely complimented the strawberry ice cream and gave it a little “umph” to the flavor. This was a great beginning for the summer!

July 2011
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Family Reunion on Carnival Cruise Ensenada

by Yolanda

Back in December 2010, my mother’s side of the family decided to have a gigantic family reunion on the Carnival Cruise ship to Ensenada. The destination may not have be glorious, but the company was definitely splendid. There was a total of 30+ of us, which included my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, grand-aunt, and so on. On top of that, we were there to celebrate grandma’s 80th birthday. Grandpa also decided to celebrate there anniversary with a brand new diamond ring! That is the kind of husband I need! So after months and months of video/photo editing, I finally finished putting together a dvd full of memories.

Here’s an old family slideshow that Uncle Ying had put together for our gathering:

May 2011
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Serve Me Some Kung Fu Tea Please

by Yolanda

Tea is one of my favorite things in the world. Yet I knew very little about it, how it’s made, where it comes from, how to serve it. I finally found a tea ceremony class  at Midastee Tea House in Brea, CA that taught me exactly those things. In fact, I learned about the differences between Green Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea, Black Tea, and Pu’er Tea. It’s all about the amount of fermentation that distinguishes them apart. The most tedious yet fun part is learning how to brew and serve Oolong tea in Kung Fu tea style. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a new set of white cups with fish printed inside, along with new serving utensils. Now that Gary and I have been practicing our tea ceremony skills, we’ve acquired a greater appreciation for higher quality tea leaves. I love my “High Mountain Oolong Tea”! If you are ever around the neighborhood, I’d love to serve you some too.

March 2011
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Helping Japan with Aid and Awareness after the Quake and Tsunami

by Yolanda

After the 8.9 earthquake hit Japan, followed by the devastating tsunami, I was looking for ways to help the victims. Upon looking through all the news footage, photos, and articles on the effects of this natural disaster, we can’t help but want to fly right in and personally help the victims in any way possible. Since this is not practical nor realistic, there are other ways to help organizations that are using the emergency relief funds to aid the victims. After searching the web, here are some ways to help spread awareness and support organizations that are aiding to provide relief.

  1. If you have a website, you can install a Hello Bar on the header that says “Japan has been hit by a 8.9 Earthquake. Use Hello Bar to Drive Donations: Here’s How“. Click on the “Here’s How” link to find more detail
  2. Paypal.com makes it easy to donate to the top 4 organizations that have relief funds ready to aid. 100% of the processed transaction will be covered by Paypal.
  3. TEXT REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. 100% of the donation goes to the American Red Cross.
  4. Help people find each other. If you have any information about someone in Japan, go to Google Person Finder.
  5. Global Giving has already raised $272k, and is looking to raise 850k total for aid to Japan. Donate to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

During this painful time of prevention and recovery, our emotions are high and rather than diving in and giving blindly, we should research and consider carefully how to provide the most help to these victims as well as future victims. Here’s an interesting article from The GiveWell Blog on holding off on giving to this relief fund. They also have suggestions on when and where to give.

If you find any other interesting ways on helping the victims in Japan, please let me know as well. It’s time to unite.


March 2011

Goodbye 2010, and Hello Awesome Year

by Yolanda

Absolutely no excuses. Yes, it’s been too long since I’ve last posted that I’ve almost forgot how to. It’s a bit late, but let’s start by presenting the happenings what’s been missed in the past few months.

The hiking continued somewhat, and at the Diemer Trail Loopt in Chino Hills State Park, it was dry and boring one. Again, we encountered another rattle snake, and yes that does excite me even though I’m no fan of them.

From Diemer Trail Loop at Chino Hills State Park

As if we hadn’t had enough of Halloween yet. The kung fu masters definitely came about within two hours of preparation before we decided to attend a last minute costume party. If you’re wondering where we got those fancy costumes, they are part of my mother’s wonderful collection of performance dance wear. Yes, Gary does fit my her clothing.

From Costume Party

Here was a creative hike to what they call Eagle Rock. The scenery is amazing out here and the hike itself is not too strenuous.

From Hike to Eagle Rock

During the holiday season, anyone with children needs a family photo in front of the tree for their greeting cards. Here’ a superman pose from Mr. Roman Hua himself. He’s quite a demanding model, always needing warm milk and smashed carrots to keep him happy. Super stars these days…

From Solomon, Marlene, & Roman – Holiday Photos

Last but not least, I ended the year with an once in a life time huge family reunion on a cruise to Mexico, celebrating grandma’s 80th birthday and grandparent’s 60th anniversary.

From Carnival Cruise Ensenada
February 2011
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Challenge 11 of 12: Coconut Taro Ice Cream

by Yolanda

I admit, for a few weeks there, I got a little ice creamed out. Though I didn’t feel one hundred percent back, mom cooked a sweet taro dessert soup, and of course expected some taro ice cream in return. For the sake of simplicity, I decided to make this with as few ingredients as possible.


2 Cans of Coconut Milk
2 Cups of Cooked Taro Chunks
1 Can of Condensed Milk


1) Blend all 3 ingredients in a blender
2) Cool mixture in the refrigerator
3) Process in the ice cream maker.

How much more simpler could this be? I’ve never had this dessert before and the taro texture is definitely still there. This is a nice simple Thai treat that you can enjoy any time of the year.

November 2010
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Feeling Blue Never Felt So Fun

by Yolanda

Besides getting lots of blue make up all over the car, pillow, and the bathroom, why wouldn’t one dress up as Neytiri and Jake Sully from Avatar? We only get one day a year to hide behind another face and be something completely outrageous. Why not go all out? Though I was disappointed that there wasn’t enough time to create my costume this year, I was definitely happy about the way the outfit came out. With a skin tight leotards, crazy ugly wigs, painted blue elf ears, what’s there to not like?



AFTER MAKEUP. Jake Sully’s legs are removed now because they kept falling off no matter how much we taped them. For his costume, we actually used Neytiri’s and cut it up to create our own version.


November 2010

Live Music Capital of the World – Austin, TX

by Yolanda

It’s been a while since I’ve appeared on this blog, but I’m back. Not too long ago, I visited the so-called “Live Music Capital of the World” – Austin, Texas. I happened to be there during the same time as Austin City Limits, a popular annual music festival that attracts many people around the world to visit this growing city. However, I actually flew in to attend the GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) as a tag along. When I first arrived in the airport and downtown area, the city felt a bit small town-ish, but as we drove further into the suburbs, I could see that Austin was no small town. Being that this was my first Texas visit ever, I definitely had to try out as much bbq, steak, and Tex-Mex as possible. The food was unbelievable and they aren’t kidding about the gigantic portions either. From Franklin Barbeque, Artz Rib House, Kirbey Lane, Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill, Saltgrass Steakhouse, and finally Salt Lick BBQ, we made sure to be terribly overstuffed after each meal. In a short four day period, we were able to cram in all the food, and visit as many cool locations in Austin, which included downtown Austin, Halcyon Bar Coffeehouse Lounge, Mount Bonnell, University of Texas and Longhorn stores, Alamo Draft House, Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park, the Capitol building. To top it off, we decided to drive 1.5 hours to San Antonio and it was well worth the drive. We were able to see The Alamo, River Walk,  and Mission San Jose, which are all wonderful places to take a peak at. Here are a few photo albums of us during this interesting trip to Texas.

Photos taken with Canon 30D:

From Austin & San Antonio, Texas

Photos taken with Leica D-Lux 4 of Austin, TX

From Austin, Texas

Photos taken with Leica D-Lux 4 of San Antonio, TX

From The Alamo
October 2010
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Challenge 10 of 12: Green Bean Ice Cream

by Yolanda

No, not “green tea” ice cream, or “red bean” Azuki ice cream, but you read correctly….green bean ice cream. Due to mom’s personal request, I was given an order to create this new ice cream flavor. She cooked a whole pot of sweetened green bean soup and passed it on to me, so how could I refuse. I ended up dumping tons of green beans in the mix which made the ice cream very chunky and less creamy like I would have hoped for. However, if you love green bean and need to a cool down during this hot summer LA heat, you will learn to love my green bean ice cream!

Since the green bean soup was already pre-made by mom, I will be skipping the ingredients and recipe.


  • 1 cup milk (I substituted for 1 cup of half and half)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups of strained cooked and cooled green bean


  1. Combine milk and cream and bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and  sugar in a medium bowl
  3. Ladle 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until smooth
  4. Pour mixture into cream and put over low heat until it thickens into a custard consistency
  5. Cool mixture and add green beans and mix, and refrigerate over night
  6. Pour into ice cream maker

September 2010