Wednesday, April 29, 2015

East Ocean City

Hello everyone!

I'm sure we all have one of these friends; someone who is so picky about food that when they recommend a restaurant, you go try it, no questions asked.  Ours is Grace, so when she told us to go try East Ocean City, we did!  and we were definitely not disappointed.

It's a Chinese-Seafood restaurant in Chinatown very close to the Boylston stop, so it was a very easy stop after our date at the Boston Commons.

We ordered some clams with black bean sauce and lobster with ginger and scallions as the main dish, and oh. my. word.  These were incredible.  If you haven't been here, you have to go try it!   

I mean, just look at them...

We also ordered some green beans, because that's our staple.  I think we order it every time we go to a Chinese restaurant  haha

The atmosphere is nothing fancy, and we were sitting right next to the fish tank where the chefs were literally fishing for their next victim, but I guess that's why everything was so fresh! I would rather not see my food in its alive-and-kicking status, honestly, but the food was so incredible that we are totally, definitely, going back for some more of that lobster the first chance we get!

If you are a seafood fan, we would definitely recommend trying this restaurant!  Please let me know what you try as well if you go so that we can try it next time  =)

Thanks Grace for recommending this awesome restaurant, and thank you all for stopping by!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Date!

Hello everyone!

Spring is finally here in Boston!!!  It's still a bit chilly, but I'm glad (well, I hope) to be putting away the down jackets until the next winter!

David and I decided to go on a little walk/date a week ago when the weather first turned springy, so I thought we'd snap a few photos of the date outfit. 

I have to say, taking photos of your outfit is not as easy as fashion bloggers make it seem...  You see, I got this hat because I have a bit of an obsession with hats at the moment, and it's so cute!! but who knew wearing a hat during a windy day could be so.. problematic... 

I had to hold onto it at all times because otherwise, this would happen...

I applaud the fashion bloggers who can make every photo look like they had the perfect weather that day... and all I can say is, I'm glad I'm not a fashion blogger!  haha it seems much more stressful than being a lifestyle blogger.  mmhmm

Once we got done with the outfit snaps, we spent the next half an hour or so blowing in the wind, waiting for the T... The story of the Green line users in Boston, am I right?

Our destination was the Boston Commons/Public Gardens because we thought the whole place would be in full bloom, but we were so. wrong.
as you can see in the background, nothing was blooming...  haha

At least I had this goofy fiance of mine to entertain me  haha   
I don't know, I think he looks pretty good in my hat  =p

Despite the lack of blooming flowers, we still had a good time walking around, chatting, and people/puppy watching. It's so nice having this big park in the middle of the city where so many people can congregate for a little bit of nature and calm among the hustle and bustle of the city life.

my handsome date  =>

you know, the seriousness only lasts for a few seconds at a time  haha

These were so cute!  I'm not sure if the mother goose and her clan are always dressed up, or if this was a special thing for spring, but it was pretty darn adorable  haha

oh the poor, late bloomers...  I heard everything is 2 weeks late this year because we had such an intense winter..  I can't wait to see Boston in full bloom soon!!

During our walk, we met this little friend (who is actually quite big..).  I think he was a Great Pyrenees, and I want one.

look how fluffy!!  the only thing is that I have so many black clothes--part of being a musician--that I'm not sure a white dog would be a good idea...  Even petting him for a few seconds left a noticeable trace on my jacket  haha

Even though it did get quite chilly towards the end of our walk, it was still really nice to get out and walk around semi-comfortably without our big down jackets!  I can't wait for warmer weather and David's move to Boston (!!!  there's a light at the end of this long-distance relationship tunnel!! ) for more walks and maybe bike rides in the months to come  =)

Now that the school is winding down and the weather is getting warmer, hopefully I'll have more time (and more adventures!) to blog!  My poor blog has been neglected quite a bit this year as I transitioned to my hectic life in Boston as a doctorate degree candidate, so I'm excited to -hopefully- get to record more during the summer  =)

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful week!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Masterclass with Boston String Academy

Hello everyone!

Last week, I had a chance to visit the Boston String Academy and work with a few of the students there in a masterclass setting!

It's an incredible program that gives inner-city students the opportunity to come in every school day before school begins for quality orchestra rehearsals and private lessons.  It's run by two passionate violinists, Marielisa and Mariesther, who went through the prestigious Venezuelan 'El Sistema' program, and I was so impressed with not only the level at which the students played, but also with how well-behaved all of the students were the whole time I was giving the class!  It was extra impressive because the class was at 8 am!

As I've mentioned in the last post, teaching is one of the most rewarding experiences for me, and it was so fun to get to teach in this public environment.  Giving a masterclass is very different than teaching in a normal lesson environment because you only have a short amount of time with each of the students, and also because you are teaching not only the student who is playing, but also everyone who is watching the masterclass.  

When you teach, you usually have so many things that you want to address, but I think it's important to pick out just a few things to discuss per lesson so that the student is not overwhelmed with information.  In a masterclass setting, you have even less time than in lessons, so it was a fun challenge for me to think about what I could say in the time that I had with each of the students that could make the most amount of difference in their playing.

It was so much fun working with these students, and I am so thankful to Dani from Boston Philarmonic's outreach program 'Crescendo' for inviting me out there!  (She is also the amazing photographer who took all of these photos!)

Thanks again to the Boston String Academy and Crescendo for having me, and I hope be able to collaborate and and teach more masterclasses in the future!

Have a wonderful week, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Our First Little Recital!

Hello everyone!

Last weekend, I had such a proud mama moment!  My Boston students had their first recital, and my goodness! cue all the emotions.
I never imagined that I would love teaching so much, but during the past six years or so, teaching has grown into one of my biggest passions.  I love everything about it; getting to know the students and the parents, figuring out different ways to approach different subjects for each student, working out how to solve road blocks in their learning process, and seeing them grow both artistically and personally.  It's truly one of the most rewarding experiences.

I feel so lucky to have so many wonderful students (and their parents!) here in Boston, and together with MaeLynn's studio, we had an exciting recital day full of fun music and wonderful companionship!

We were also lucky to have such a sensitive pianist, Daniel, who was there to play with our students! It's not easy following the students' interpretations sometimes (which can be rather surprising at times), but he did amazingly!  =)

All of our students played so beautifully! We had a variety of range in levels, and they all did their best, and we were so proud!!

We were also joined by a wonderful singer, who is one of my students' sister, and it was so fun to have variety during the recital!

We ended the recital with a little Bach Double action!

With all of the students and teachers!
haha this photo really captures the experience -- sweet, funny, a little distracted..  and never a boring moment!

Everyone brought refreshments to share afterwards, and we had a wonderful time chatting and getting to know all of the friends and family!

I feel so blessed to have such talented and wonderful students. Every single one of them has such good hearts that even when they don't practice sometimes (ahem..), I look forward to every lesson with them  =)

I'm so excited that for the first time in my  life, I am planning on being in one place for more than a few years!  I'm excited to hopefully work with all of these students long term and to see all of them grow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Photo Cred: my wonderful fiancee -David  =)