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inspired celebrations book premiere

I haven’t talked about this on my blog, but if you follow me on facebook or twitter, you may know that I was working on a book this past year.  I’m so excited to share the premiere of our book, Inspired Celebrations.  It ships on July 1st on Amazon, but we hosted a premiere party last week to give those in attendance first dibs.  (The invite was posted on facebook and twitter!)

It was such an honor to work with such inspirational ladies.  Ngoc is the biggest dreamer I know, and the biggest achiever.  She brings a whole new meaning to overachiever, and she inspires me for that.  Tram… wow, where do I begin.  The same month that the manuscript was submitted to the publishers, Tram got in a very serious accident and suffered from severe traumatic brain injury.  She was also 7 months pregnant at the time and ended up going into labor prematurely.  She was in a coma and hospitalized for over 6 months.  She spent a year and a half learning to walk, talk and eat again… and somehow managed to write this book!  We shot over several months, and the finale was an all day food shoot with Tram and Jay (her sous chef for the day).  The food you see photographed in this book were all cooked by Tram while she was still working on gaining full function of her hands.  And her personal goal was to be able to sign her name again for this premiere party.  Tram’s story touches me on every level imaginable.

And all the AMAZING ladies who contributed to this book:  Lucia (Utterly Engaged), Tracy (The Flower Tray), Henny (Utterly Engaged), Sonia (Sonia Sharma Events), Tram (Nutrition to Kitchen), Ngoc (Skybox), me, Carolyn (The Special Day), Linda (Grand Soirees), Wilmarose (Lovely Jubilee)… Lovely Jubilee is also the event designer for this fabulous party!  Thank you ladies for all the pretty things to shoot!  You all are an inspiration!

And you don’t want to miss this video about our journey to making this book.  Amazingness by Rainbowfish.


If you’re not teary eyed enough yet, you can watch this video about Tram’s first 6 months after the accident.

Julianna - June 19, 2012 - 6:59 am

I am a puddle of tears right now. I love to be surrounded by beautifully shot books this is so much more . This will be my house warming gift to myself!

laura tran - June 19, 2012 - 7:48 am

Caroline, thank you for making me cry this dreary tuesday morning in houston, tx! as a small business owner who originated from california, i love seeing this finally come true for you guys! I’m a big supporter of empowered asian woman business owners….it really gives me a boost that I some times need! So excited for you all & can’t wait to purchase a copy on amazon soon!


Ekim - June 20, 2012 - 7:54 am

A major congratulations to you, the team and Tram!

“Inspired Celebrations” story and giveaway! | - June 20, 2012 - 10:03 am

[...] and love. I didn’t take too many pictures, but you’ll find fantastic images on Caroline’s blog. A highlight of the party was when the video of the story of “Inspired Celebrations” [...]

Adrienne Gunde - June 21, 2012 - 10:36 pm

Caroline! This post and video is so inspiring and beautiful, it brought me to tears. I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it to the premiere party, but am so overjoyed and excited for you, Ngoc and Tram. Congratulations!!

Dana - June 22, 2012 - 10:07 am

CONGRATULATIONS to you ladies!!! I’m absolutely thrilled that Tram is doing better! What an amazing story!!! xoxoxo

kara - June 22, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing this awesome book with us. I will be buying this and will be buying more to share as host gifts to all my friends. I also watched Tram’s video! Amazing! Inspiring and left me in tears…I was touched. Thanks for sharing. I will play my part in supporting my Asian sisters :)

Applauding…Ngoc’s Inspired Celebrations, launch party « Melissa Kay Allen - September 17, 2012 - 12:46 pm

[...] course, the party was fabulous and festive.  Transforming the Pandora on Green event space into a charming parlor, a ladies’ library of [...]


new orleans french quarter | travel photography

A couple of weeks ago, we went to New Orleans (for the first time!) to shoot a wedding during Jazz Fest.  I just love the whole vibe of New Orleans, especially the French Quarter.  Everything there feels so nostalgic to me… maybe because it reminds me of being at Disneyland.  They have the best FOOD there and is always so lively with local musicians playing.

It was really warm and humid… okay, more like hot and humid…. while I was tempted to sit in the shade and not lug around a heavy camera, I forced myself to go on a photo walk during my last afternoon there because I knew I would regret not documenting my time there.  I think about my past vacations and the only thing that makes me relive my memories are my photos.  While taking these, I honestly thought to myself, “It’s not like I’m going to forget this…”  but now looking at these a couple weeks later, I’m so glad I took pictures.  Unlike most material items, the value of photographs (memories) will always appreciate.

Yup, we tried gator meat!  It’s actually very good!

The French Market was one of our favorite destinations for food and just to walk around.

And what I’m REALLY missing right now, Cafe Du Monde!

Random fact:  I always thought the orange cans of Cafe Du Monde coffee was imported from France… or Vietnam.  Every Vietnamese household has them.

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JennieKieu - June 12, 2012 - 10:26 am

Very lovely photos Caroline! As always… you are such an inspiration to me..

Christen Barnes - June 12, 2012 - 11:00 am

Pretty! Love all the soft colors.

Caroline - June 12, 2012 - 12:10 pm

Thank you, jennie and christen!

ekim - June 14, 2012 - 2:50 am

You’re right; they do appreciate! We take our students to the South every year. It’s been maybe 3-4 years since I’ve been, but got to relive it through your lovely photos right now! Agh…so miss du monde and the live music.

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