How To

Windows 8 Start Menu

I finally have a chance to upgrade my computer. After debating whether to get a laptop or a desktop, I finally went with the desktop since it’s cheaper and it comes with a huge storage space, which is much needed for my photos. My old PC at home was running on Windows Vista, and probably one of the worst version of Windows to have but I had no choice at the time since my old computer quit on me before Windows 7 came out.

I heard so much good and bad things about Windows 8, and thought I give it a try. I have to say that I’m so lost, first thing I notice was that there is no Start Button. I was able to get back to a desktop setting like I used to but there’s still no Start Button.  As much as I would like to love Windows 8, I feel so lost and can’t find my way around. Why would anyone remove the Start Menu?


I spoke to one of my IT friends at work, and he said that you could get the Start Button back.  You can go to, and buy the Start8 download for $4.99. I’m sure you could find a free download, but I don’t mind paying and I’m glad to have my Start Button back.  This is what they call the best of both worlds.


If you are wondering, the Fruit Ninja is for Lee by the way. 🙂


Holiday, How To

Lee’s Gingerbread House

Lee made a Gingerbread House this weekend, and her construction materials are the things that she could find in the pantry and refrigerator.

5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 65mm, ISO 10000
5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 60mm, ISO 3200

So far it’s looking good, just a few final touches.

5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 93mm, ISO 8000

It’s too bad that we don’t have powder sugar for snow.

5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 90mm, ISO 10000

She is very proud of her creation, she calls herself a sweet genius! I think she has been watching too much Food Network.

5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 65mm, ISO 10000
5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 60mm, ISO 6400

I have to say it’s tasty and very sweet.

5DMkIII, Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens, 1/80 sec at f/4, 93mm, ISO 3200
Hobby, How To

Jewerly Making Class

It has been several weeks since I took a jewelry making class at Michael.  It all started when Lee wanted to make jewelry and I didn’t know the first thing about it at the time.  I bought a Beading 101 book and had a hard time knowing what pieces and the types of tool to buy.

After I took the class, I now know what pieces to buy and what I like to work with.

I signed up for a class at Michael and took it back in February and this is what I have learned to make.  The teacher was real nice.  It was on a Saturday afternoon, and there were only two students in the class.  We learned how to work with wire bending and the basic of assembling necklace and earrings.  This is the gemstone Amethyst, and it is the birthstone for February.

Since then I have been teaching my sister, Lee and my niece how to make necklace, bracelets and earrings. The girls are looking forward to selling theirs at the temple on Lao New Year next month, and any gross proceeds of sale I will match to donate to the temple. We spend our Saturdays at my dad’s house making jewelry. They are very proud of what they have made so far, and below is my niece choosing her beads to make her next piece.

I made some for myself also.  This one is a necklace and still have a few beads and rings to connect.

I have to say that making jewelry is very relaxing and that goes for the girls as well. This set I made for myself.  It comes with a pair of earrings but I didn’t get it done in time to take this photo.

This is a bracelet that I made for myself. We all have different taste and style when it comes to jewelry.  My sister likes silver and shiny stuff, and I like antiqued rustic copper look, and earth tone gemstone.

I took my old wooden bead necklace apart and gave it a new look by adding burnt orange round gemstones to break it up.  The old wooden bead necklace was long enough that I was able to make a pair of earrings, necklace, bracelet and even have a few beads left over.

If I have enough time I will make some to sell at the temple also.

I made this one for Lee for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m glad that I took the class, and able to share what I have learned with my sister and the girls.  The 2 hours class at Michael was $25 and well worth it.

Photos were taken with CanonT2i, EF50mm f/1.4 and EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens.