A Photo from the Past- Our Family Story

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People ask me a lot where my family is from. My family is ethnically Chinese, but we’re actually refugees from Southeast Asia… basically, boat people because of the war there. I was born in California in 1975 at Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.

When I would tell people that I was born at Camp Pendleton, some would ask me, “Are you a son of a Marine?”

I would tell them, “No, I am the son of a refugee.”

Here’s a photo of my family years ago, when times were tougher… and my parents kept working though those times. It was very hard for my parents who came to a new country with no money and practically no English skills. We were still the lucky ones, because at least we were still alive, unlike a lot of my family members who were not able to make it out of war.

Fortunately, we are very thankful for the help of some really great people like Jerry & Vance Carruth, the American Red Cross, the Church of Christ and countless others who had such a POSITIVE impact on our lives. And we’ve built a successful business with AMAZING CUSTOMERS that WE LOVE everyday. Thank you everybody for all the LoVe. We feel it everyday too!

Liking LA Traffic -When You Know It’s True Love!!

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DJ was in a REAL rush. Time was ticking and he had to leave at 5 pm to make it to an appointment in Cerritos at 5:30 pm. He and his fiance, Jennifer, just re-set their diamond into a INTA Gems & Diamonds engagement ring setting. We can usually set and size a ring the same day. It normally takes about 1-2 hours…

We told him to take the carpool lane down the 110 & 105 freeway because it’ll be quicker. But DJ said he LOVES TRAFFIC because it gives him more time to spend with Jennifer… then he gave her a tight hug & squeeze…. awwwww…. so sweet.

And we all wanted to thank Jennifer’s brother, Richard, who recommend us to them. We LOVE those REFERRALS!! Keep em coming all!

Love, Happiness, Laughter & Joy…

And you HAVE to Watch this video in Paris! About a very special RED traffic light that should be for DJ & Jenn. For DJ & Jenn, these are the LOVE Lanes… keke… ;-)

Pam & Eric’s Engagement Ring – Taiwanese Classmates – It’s Karaoke Time!

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I studied abroad in Taiwan to improve my Chinese Mandarin in 1996-1997. I attended the National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan. It was SO Much Fun. Eating crazy street food your mother would cry if she saw you eat, riding ROLLER COASTER public buses, and getting in scooter accidents, well that wasn’t so much fun…. I still have the SCARS to show you.

My friends and I probably spent more time singing karaoke than going to class… ha ha ha.. KARAOKE (KTV) is really POPULAR in Taiwan. All your friends cram in a litle room and sing endless tracks of Chinese and American pop music with endless chatter and beer. Talk about American Idol!

Okay, I admit it! I know a lot lyrics to the SPICE GIRLS… ke ke ke… YO! Tell me what you want, what you really, REALLY WANT…. ha ha ha.. come on, you know all know you know you all can sing a few lines with me!

Pam attended NCCU during the same time! And although we never met on campus (HuGE campus on a Gigantic Hill) we have several mutual friends. So, here’s a BIGGG “Ni HAO!” (hello to all those in Taiwan) and my CIEE exchange program compadres (Darick, Ryan, Diana, Erik, Atsushi, Ellen, Alison, Carolyn, Daisy,.. and our HARVARD MAMA Dr. Elise Devido!.

Here’s a few video & photos of Pam and Eric’s diamond and enagement ring! A platinum setting which we are custom making with a round ct 1.06 ct, EXCELLENT Cut grade with GIA report, no flour, laser inscription. The BEST. And Pam knew it was the right diamond when it had stock number “1975” which is the same year that Pam & I were born. Hmmm…. so meant to be.

Gong Xi (Congrats) Eric & Pam! And to relive old Karaoke memories.. watch the Spice Guys lip sync to the Spice Girls! This is dedicated to Ryan & Darick. SING ALONG if you know the words… hee hee.

Here’s the funniest Taiwanese boys singing in their college dorm room – the Backstreet Boys – I want it that way! ha ha ha… love it.

Meagan Tandy’s Shout Out to Everybody!

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We love Meagan Tandy, Miss California USA 2007 at Carrie Prejean’s Sweet Sundae Send-Off Party. Meagan, and her parents, Fred & Shelia, are like family to us!

Did you all know that we taught Meagan how to speak Chinese! She’s actually really good! Ask her to speak Chinese the next time you see her! She and my Dad, Jerry, are pretty close. She calls my Dad “Baba” which mean “Daddy” in Chinese… ha ha ha.

Meagan just filmed an episode of CSI that is going to air in April.

WE LOVE Meagan!!! Meagan did a little shout out to everybody!

Meagan’s Behind the Scene INTA Gems & Diamonds Photoshoot in 2007

Carrie Prejean’s Sweet Sundae Send-Off for Miss USA Pageant

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Jerry, Connie & I went to the Sweet Sundae Send-Off Party for Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA 2009. Carrie will be leaving for Las Vegas to prepare for the live MISS USA 2009 pageant telecast on Sunday, April 19th at NBC.

The party was hosted by Pam Wilson & Debbie Dodge.

Not only did we have AWESOME desserts… and Sundaes…. get it… it was on a Sunday…, we and got to meet all of Carrie’s family. Carrie’s parents, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Carrie’s mom, Fran, is BEAUTIFUL! She took a picture with my mom, Connie, and I’m still trying to figure out who should be crowned Mrs. USA?!!

We also got to spend some time with Keith Lewis, Shanna Moakler & Lilly Colon from K2Productions. And it was great to see Raquel Beezley, Miss California USA 2009 and Meagan Tandy, Miss California USA 2007!

And it was Carrie Prejean Day! Carrie got the keys to the City of La Mesa! The mayor said that Carrie could open any door she wanted this past Sunday. I think Carrie should have got in a COP CAR, and she should have pulled someone over and give them a ticket with all the SIRENS blarring! ha ha ha… wouldn’t that be SO funny to have Miss California USA pull you over and give YOU a ticket! I know a lot of people that wouldn’t mind being pulled over by Carrie!

Watch this video about the $1,000 Sundae with Gold leaf! Wow! Bring your ice cream to INTA Gems, and I can sprinkle some diamonds on it ha ha ha… but don’t eat it. Just look.

Behind the Scenes Photoshoot with Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA 2009

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Here’s the behind the scenes photoshoot with Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA 2009. One of my best friends, Kal Yee, did the photoshoot for us.

Doesn’t Carrie look beautiful? She’s wearing one of my designs, The Splendor Tanzanite and Diamond necklace and earrings.

Carrie was really great to work with. She drove all the way from San Diego for the photoshoot in Downtown LA at Kal’s studio. Kal was assisted by Robert. And we also had Eric Shin from Kogi too. The shoot lasted about 6 hours and we all finished with a wrap up dinner in San Gabriel. Carrie is sooooo nice!!! But, she’s also REALLY FOCUSED on becoming the next Miss USA! Of course, we’re going to bling her out with INTA Gems & Diamonds along the way!

And make sure to watch Carrie Prejean represent California and compete for the title of Miss USA 2009 which will air live from Las Vegas on NBC on April 19, 2009!

Click on the “HQ” on the YouTube player to watch the video in higher definition.

For more information about Kal Yee Photography,


Photo Credit: Eric Shin

The Baby Boom at INTA Gems & Diamonds


If you haven’t heard yet, Corinna just had a baby boy, Aiden, on Jan 11th.

And my cousin, Brandon, had a baby boy 2 weeks ago, Franklin!

I’m proud to say Corinna chose the name I suggested, Aiden. Corinna & Tommy had a celebration dinner where we first got to see Aiden in person. He’s got a very expressive face! He smile, grins, winces, cries and stares… he should be a model or actor!

The funniest moment was when my father, Jerry, picked Aiden up. Aiden was wincing at first and then my Dad started talking. Aiden looked up and looked like he recognized my father! I really think he heard my father’s voice so much when Corinna was pregnant, that he knew who my father was! We all that was pretty funny. Smart baby!

Four Leaf Clover or Emerald Ring?

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I was watching this video on YouTube. And they say you need a little splash of green to be Irish! It’s almost midnight on St. Patrick’s Day… and just one last question? Would you want a four leaf clover or an Emerald and Diamond Ring to celebrate like the Irish?

I guess I can see the benefits to both.

With the four leaf clover, you’d be really lucky. With the three stone emerald ring… well… who need luck when you have a beauty like this?

If you have problems finding that 4-leaf clover, you know where to find the emeralds!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Especially to Stephanie’s Mom!


Happy St. Paddy’s Day Everybody!

I have a client, Stephanie, who came all the way from the OC. She brought in her Mom who’s from Ireland. She had her green Happy St. Patrick’s Day shirt on today, so cute! Steph’s Mom and I talked about Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Dance, and well… my FAVORITE beer, GUINNESS!

When I lived in New York, I had a British friend of mine, who use to bring me out to the British pub and we’d drink Guinness Draft until the weeee hours of the morning! Did you all know they have a special way of pour it… 4 steps, I know…

Since coming back to LA, people aren’t into drinking such thick dark brews… but if you’re out and about today… and since the luck of the Irish should be with you… enjoy a Guinness!

And Stephanie, next time, bring you’re Mom to the store again! We’ll leave you here with the diamonds rings at INTA Gems, and I’ll go have a few at Casey’s Irish Pub down the street with your Mom! After a few beers, I know I can finally get her to teach me how to clog!!

Here’s a video of Michael Flatley’s Lord of Dance. After a few Guinnesses… can you see me dancing like this?! ha ha ha… those Irish! But, I’m not wearing those black leather pants! No, no, no! ha ha ha!

Look at Michael Flatley gyrate his hips! ha ha ha.. I can’t stop laughing… now that takes TALENT! You gotta be Irish to be able to could do that! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Everybody!!!