Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Reality is in the Details

Obviously, when one wears make up, fake eyelashes and has access to 
Photoshop things don't always seem as they appear! 

Okay, so I showed you last time what the photoshopped pictures looked like. I am not going to lie, I stared at mine for quite a while. It is incredible to look at because I see me, but I don't see 'all of me'. I don't mind the changes because I think the results are lovely, not accurate of an everyday me but that's fine. I don't think I would want all my photos to be photoshopped either. It can be kind of tempting though.

I wore the eyelashes for as long as I could, they eventually started to fall off during my afternoon coffee. I enjoy the way they feel as well as the effect they have on making my eyes stand out. I enjoyed being 'fancy'. I think I posed more in those few hours (not including the actual photo shoot) than I have in a long time. But the external mask of beauty doesn't last forever, we sweat, we rub our eyes, we smudge our lipstick and soon the time of intensive make up is over.

Four days later we got the portraits back and wow were they way better than I imagined they would be. I took a long, long look at mine. I looked long and hard at my eyes, my skin and even my nose! They looked great. They looked polished and perfected and as I said before, I don't mind.

But today as I was looking in my mirror after spending the morning out in the village with the wind, dirt and sun, I realized that I like the way I look everyday. That Lou, Renee and I all look better in our everyday fancy and with our genuine smiles. There is a time and place for the fancy but I like us in the everyday better.

With this post I thought it might be interesting to show a side by side comparison of one of the photos. I think mine hs the most drastic differences being that my face is quite animated, you may say I have an overactive face. . . I have smile and laugh lines enough to share!

Alright, tell me what you think.

See if you can spot all the differences.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Some Blockbuster Hits!

Just in case you aren't up to date on all the latest movies, here are a few trailers!



Khmer Portraits

This Monday is my friend's big 30th bday (sorry Lou, I hope that wasn't a secret!). Since we are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow we planned a little celebration last Sunday! It was a fun day as she knew nothing of the plans for the day!

We started off with some yummy brunch, then Khmer portraits followed by more coffee and then ending the day with dinner! 

The best surprise were the group portraits we did. It's more fun to have a crazy make-over with friends then by yourself. Lou, Renee and I entered into the adventure together! They gave us fake eyelashes, fake hair and fake jewels to wear! I loved it. As a person who doesn't wear much make up or have any real reasons to get fancy, it was a blast. I mean who really does wear a tiara? 

Four short days later we got our pictures back and BOY are they amazing! Photoshop does wonders for a person! 

Please enjoy these photos from the day!

And make sure to wish Lou a happy birthday when you see her! 

Lou, me and Renee

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

RAW Impact Chrisy Retreat

     I have learned something about Troy and Nic Roberts, the founders and directors of RAW Impact. They LOVE a good mystery destination. The tradition for our Christmas retreat is to simply tell us the dates that we will be gone. After that you can't trust anything they say! Troy will toss out false leads as to where we are going for weeks leading up to the trip. He'll say, "Bring hiking boots, take containers for fresh water, bring your snorkel and flippers." There is no way to know exactly where we will end up! Ideas about where our destination is fly all around the office. I always suspect it will be beach related simply because the Aussies miss the beach and are pulled to it like a puppy is pulled to a squeak toy. Even once we have all boarded the bus in Phnom Penh we don't know where we are going as Troy gives crazy directions taking us in all sorts of directions.

    I must admit it is exciting and fun to not know exactly where we will end up! It's like a Christmas present! I know it will be fun simply because we are all together, hanging out. 

    This year we went to Ko Rong island right outside of Sihanoukville. We had a blast! It was nice to get out of the city and enjoy nature. I didn't need to wear shoes the entire time we were on the beach! I also just let the sea take care of my hair for me, with both good and bad results. Ha! 

  • White sand and BLUE/GREEN ocean
  • Swimming with glowing plankton at night!!!
  • Team sandcastle challange
  • White Elephant Christmas game
  • Hanging out in nature!

I have no idea where we will go next year but I'm excited that I'm still planning on being here in Cambodia! If you would like to help me stay here and still be able to pay off my student loans donate here or message me and I can give you the info to donate so I get 100% of the donation.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

October Adventures.

Since I haven't been blogging much lately I thought I'd try a different approach to it. I've been taking a lot of photos of life. I think I've done a good job at documenting life that way. So I'm going to just share more of the stories around some photos!

I'll start with this one:

My oldest friend in the world, Ashley and her husband, Freddy, came to visit me! They were the first people to ever visit me in a country other than America. It may not sound like much but this is the fifth country I've lived in other than America. It meant A TON!! 

Traveling with Ashley and Freddy is not for the faint of heart! They make sure and optimize their time! I got to show them around Phnom Penh and where I work as well as exploring parts of Cambodia that I have never been to!

We took two different overnight busses, rented motos, fed elephants, explored ancient temple ruins and caught up on life. That's one thing I love about Ashley and Fred, we can pick up where we left off as if no time has passed.

It was great to be around them because they are in their tenth year of marriage and it was beautiful to watch them together. I could not be more proud of the couple they are and the friendship they have. It was inspiring to say the least. 10 years may not be more than a drop in the bucket of forever but it is a long time in my book!

If I had to choose my two favorite places/activities from their visit it would be the elephant sanctuary in Mondulkiri (I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE WE HUGGED, FED AND BATHED ELEPHANTS!!!) and renting the scooters in Siem Reap!

The elephants because it was another world compared to stinky ol' Phnom Penh (PP). We went to the mountains! I almost didn't leave once I got there. There were trees, grass, mountains, valleys, vistas, COLD WEATHER and friendly puppies . . . oh, and elephants! I was cold the entire time I was there! I wore pants, t-shirt, my khrama scarf, rain coat and it wasn't really enough to stay warm. Freddy and Ashley were comfortable the whole time. . . I may have acclimated better than I thought to Cambodian temperatures. . . The whole first 12 hours I plotted on how soon I could return and how often I could return. Seriously the best. Sigh. Let's move on, it's making me too sad to think about Mondulkiri when I can see PP right outside my window.

The scooters we rented in Siem Reap (SR) made everything exciting! I love riding my scooter (contrary to my feelings a year ago!) and we had the freedom to explore so much more than with a tuk tuk driver. We stayed till dusk in Angkor Wat and were some of the last people to leave Ta Prohm. The next morning we drove out into the country side to explore a river that also had carvings like the temples. It is back in the mountains and won my admiration because we had to hike to get to it. It felt so much like being back home in Yosemite that I could have sat and cried with happiness and joy. We zipped all around on those bikes and made it back to SR in time for me dash off to catch my bus back to PP with only a few minutes to spare!

I may have been exhausted at the end of their trip but it was incredible on all fronts! They were gracious and patient travelers to Cambodia. They were respectful of the culture, willing to endure language confusion, and game for anything that came their way.

I wish I could have offered them more than I did. They always do so much for me when I am in Texas- picking me up last minute from the airport, letting me crash in their spare room, taking me to the airport at horrible hours, and supporting me in every adventure I've ever had. Thank you Ashley and Fred! Arkoon!