Life lately // 01

The place is the same but the people are not. I mean, over the course of a year, there's been added extra buildings, new stores, but everything else is pretty much the same, except for the people. The people I used to see every day, well, they're not here anymore. Most of them aren't coming back to Beijing until the second half of break, which, as fate would have it, is when I'll be back in the States.

Missing them, I went through my archive to find memories from our senior year of high school, back to when I still blogged on Tumblr. My blog has grown considerably in quality since then, but I still managed to find a few treasures amidst the clutter. I wrote about special occasions (like Showtime and Prom) and also about the most trivial parts of my day (like study sessions, art projects, and staying home), which don't mean anything to you, but for me, it's the closest thing I'll get to time travel. And that's pretty rad.

Migrating from Tumblr to Blogger, I like to think that I've been posting with more purpose. I'm more conscious of when I'm writing filler posts and challenge myself to think deeper, which often results in narratives and unfortunately with tinges of BS (if there's one thing IB has taught me, IB therefore I BS). I'm a big believer of blogging with purpose, but sometimes it starts feeling too calculated.

So what? Maybe today was completely average; maybe nothing happened. I don't have to make it a whole existential crisis. Maybe I felt happy; maybe I felt indifferent. I don't have to explain myself. Emotions aren't logical after all. Things sometimes just... are.

I want to try something new: a life lately through my iPhone series. It's nothing revelational. Many of my favorite blogs do this already, like Milk Bubble Tea and Delicate Lullaby. You probably already do this too. But I haven't. It's definitely a step away from what you usually see here on Brunch at Audrey's.

Once in awhile I'll do a little check in with nine pictures from my iPhone and a tidbit about what I've been up to, the simplicities of life that intrigue me that don't need much explanation. Just some good ol' Sunday morning coffee talk.

01 // The first proper hangout I've had since coming back to Beijing! Steph, Lenny, Shawn, Kevin, and I had a jam session, reviving the Shawnligood fan club days. The highlights were singing Dr. Seuss books to random melodies (rhymes make for good lyrics) and our sad attempt at writing a song. In the picture it looks like Shawn is playing two guitars but he's actually just helping me tune. I'm amused.

02 // Went to a fancy Japanese restaurant with the family! Japanese food is so expensive back at Bryn Mawr, so I gotta eat more of this while I'm here (and while I have my parents around to pay for it lol). One item on the menu was particularly interesting: avocado sashimi. Just your average sliced avocado.

03 // While looking for bubble milk tea, my family and I stumbled upon a cafe called Fresh Legend. Big Hero 6 was playing on the TV. Tadashi is pretty cute and I cried when one of his Baymax trials finally succeeded and the first thing he said was that he couldn't wait to show Hiro. My verdict on the bubble milk tea is that the tapioca is really good (perfect texture and sweetness), but the milk tea falls short.

04 // People make taking iPhone photos look really easy, but this cliche photo of flowers is the only iPhone photo of the many I took that I'm the slightest bit content with so I had to include it. I was going to hold off publishing this post until I got nine acceptable photos, but you know what? You can't wait for every post to be perfect before you publish it. Sometimes you just got to give what you have so that you can move on. You can always go back and revise it, but you have to have something out there first. As the Sundays pass, hopefully you'll see my iPhone photography improve. One day I'll look back on this and laugh, like I'm laughing/cringing at this old thing. This is my inspiration and motivation:

My iPhone Photo Challenge
— Elsie and Emma (@abeautifulmess) January 16, 2015

05 // Finally getting my artwork framed! It's a huge 180cmX110cm oil pastel self-portrait I drew in 2011 for art class. Four years later, I don't know why my mom is so insistent on getting it framed.

06 // Another cliche. I was so embarrassed of taking this Starbucks picture. How much more basic can I get? But I've really been loving the matcha latte and have been ordering it every time, so here it is. When school starts again, I won't have the budget to go to Starbucks often, so maybe I'll try this recipe.

07 // Went on a McDonald's run with my mom at 10PM. It's so exciting going after dark! Next time I want to go at midnight. This reminds me that there was this one time Sheena and I wanted to walk through the McDonald's drive-thru and place an order. Phil of Wong Fu Productions has this thing where he tries the McDonald's at every country he goes to. Am I... making a McDonald's bucket list??

08 // Stocked up on snacks from Jenny Lou's with my little brother (remember the last time I went snack shopping?). Pictured is one of my favorite snacks (they're like Pringles, but I like these better), but that's not why I took a picture of it. On the packaging is Jun Ji Hyun from You Who Came from the Stars!

09 // Watched Atlantis: The Lost Empire with the brothers! Last week we watched A Bug's Life. Next on our list is The Emperor's New Groove, Treasure Planet, and Lilo & Stitch. See the trend? We're going for underrated Disney movies. I forgot how much I loved family movie nights. It's good to be home.

What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts? I need some inspiration.