Drama Review: Father is Strange

Warning: major spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

Father is Strange is a drama about a family whose lives’ were disrupted by an actor who claims he’s the son of the family’s father. It was heartwarming yet funny with the perfect kind of humor. It was my first family drama and the first drama I actually kept track of (because I usually wait for dramas to finish to binge watch). And it was a choice I will never regret.

It made me cry, laugh, overflow with feelings, it made me feel everything. It showed all kinds of love – family love, romantic love, sibling love, friendships.

Young married couples, young recently-started-dating couples, old married couples, familes and friends, this drama has showed its viewers the kind of love we should all be looking for and yearning for. It warmed my heart, made me smile and cry along with the characters, fell in love with the whole drama family.

The drama overflowed with these young couples who I’m sure each of us can relate to (at least relate to one of them). So let me talk about these couples and what I thought of them.

1. Byun/Lee Hye Young & Cha Jung Hwan – the badass couple

This headstrong couple amazed me simply because they both know what they wanted. They were hard-headed most times but other times, they were willing to back down all in the name of love. I loved their history that goes way, way back. It only shows that your truest love will always come back to you. I also see myself in the character of Hye Young. Like her, I don’t see myself as a married woman. But although she is far more determined than me in terms of that, she still married her love and stayed with him until the end. I also hope for that kind of love, in the future of course.

2. Byun/Lee Mi Young & Ahn Joong Hee – the all-around couple

This was the couple I was rooting for from start to finish, and honestly no regrets there at all. They’re the drama couple I’m always looking for in a drama. They’re cute, mature, and their storyline of celebrity-normal person couple was just the perfect clichè I love-but-don’t-want-to-admit. Their ending was perfect. And how they decided to get married towards the end, after everything they went through, showed their matured side, how they’re meant for each other, and how, in one way or another, what happened to them and theirfamilies  was supposed to happen for them to find each other.

3. Byun/Lee Joon Young & Kim Yoo Joo – the precious couple

This couple showed the reality every couple is faced with. Their relationship was mature, real, and precious all the way through the drama. They showed what it’s like to be married and not be ready for the commitment of family life. The reason I dubbed them as the drama’s precious couple was due to them losing their child. At first, my feelings were neutral about this couple. But that single lost they portrayed in the drama gave them a space in my heart. I felt their lost, my heart ached for them, and my heart jumped for happiness when they found themselves again after that heartbreaking lost.

4. Byun/Lee Ra Young & Park Chul Soo – the cute couple

Oh my gosh, this couple. I loved this couple in so many ways. Everytime they appeared on screen, you’ll be expecting a laugh or smile here and there, as if it’s an instinct. This couple gave the drama its fresh vibe, with them being the young couple and all. Also, the storyline of Chul Soo coming from a rich family whose father disapproves of his girlfriend, Ra Young, was another kdrama clichè I still love. It was a clichè a bit over the top, with a chairman father and all that social status difference, but it was indeed hilarious and gave the drama the humor it sometimes needed.

The whole plot of the drama was very well-written, and for that I commend its team of writers. It was deep, and for every question I have I though was a plot hole, boom, the drama gives me an answer. I also loved how there wasn’t only one storyline. There were branches of stories and for that, you can’t ever be bored watching it. It also gives the viewers a chance to pick a favorite storyline and something to look forward to.

The ending of the drama was everything I needed for the ending of a drama. It made me happy, satisfied, and gave each character/storyline their well-deserved ending. It didn’t leave me hanging and gave me all the answers I needed. Everyone was happy, everyone ended up with their true loves.

I couldn’t ask for more. Except, of course, for more episodes. I could literally watch the continuation of this drama with just them going about their normal lives after their big problem was resolved. I would love to see Lee Yoon Seok proven innocent of a crime he didn’t do, Joon Young and Yoo Joo try to get pregnant again and succeed, Jung Hwan and Hye Young start a family of their own, Joong Hee and Mi Young start their married life, Ra Young and Chul Soo build their own careers and get married at the blessings of their families, and the birth of Uncle Young Shik’s and Aunt Bo Mi’s twins, and the list goes on.

This drama was heartwarming – it will make you smile, laugh, cry along with the characters. You get attached and invested into their lives and their dreams and aspirations. In the end, you root for them, you love them. It’s a much recommended drama for everyone looking for something to watch and fall in love with.

Note: all screenshots from the drama’s final episode belongs to me.


Drama Review: Lookout

Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

Lookout tells the story of a group of people –  Jo Soo Ji (Lee Si Young), Jang Do Han (Kim Young Kwang), Kim Eun Joong (Kim Tae Hoon), Seo Bo Mi (Kim Seul Gi), and Gong Kyung Soo (Key) – who put it to their own hands to give justice to those who are in need of it.

Action, check. Drama, check. Crazy, push-you-to-the-edge-of-your-seat plot, check. This drama is crazy good it left me covering my mouth with my hands in disbelief of how good it was.

The action-filled drama’s plotline was so good and twisted, it gave me headaches. But of course, in a good way. Hands down one of the best action dramas I have watched and encountered. It got me thinking, sympathizing, and going crazy over a set of fictional people.

Of course I’d like to commend the whole cast of this drama. I think a great part of the success of a drama is based on how the actors and actresses give life to their characters. And I have to say, they did a great job. From our main characters to the villains to the scene stealers, everyone did a splendid acting job.

I sympathized and my heart ached for the main characters and their back stories. So that’s a point for the actors and the drama’s team of writers, back-to-back.

Although I think everyone did an amazing job at portaying their characters, I think two actors stood out the most. And they are *drumroll* Lee Si Young who played main character Jo Soo Ji and young actor Park Solomon who played evil Yoon Si Wan.

Having knowledge of Lee Si Young’s boxing background and the fact that she did her stunts without any stuntwomen make it more exciting to see her action-filled scenes on screen. It makes it seem more real and makes you realize what a badass of an actress and a woman she really is.

Park Solomon, on the other hand, did such a great job at playing an evil teen disguising as the perfect son that I wanted to punch him. His portayal was off the scale and he made it believable. And he made that look so easy. Everytime his evil smile appears, I just wanted to punch my phone and hope he receives it.

The drama absolutely did not fail at the thrilling part since I was on the edge of my seat at every episode. It did not bore me and somehow, the lack of romance in this one really helped it go into all the dramatic twists and turns it has in store for its viewers.

The ending was a roller coaster ride and I was literally rolling on my bed out of frustration, shock, disbelief, and all other emotions related to it during the last three episodes of the drama. My hand was on my mouth the whole time and all I cound think of were the words no, oh my god, and please. There were also countless times wherein I combined all those words and came up with “oh my god please no.”

The drama and the ending took twists and turns I never thought I’d see and at the same time, sort of expected but couldn’t get myself to believe.

In short, this drama is highly recommended and is a must-watch for those of you who seek a little thrill in your lives.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Second To Last Love

Warning: spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

Ah, love. It’s good to be in love. That’s how Second To Last Love will leave an impression on you after you’ve finished this drama.

It tells the story of two 46 year olds named Go Sang Sik (Ji Jin Hee), a public official, and Kang Min Joo (Kim Hee Ae), a drama producer. They become involved with each other and feelings grow.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure about starting this one because this kind of drama isn’t my thing. I watched it solely for the purpose of seeing another Kim Seul Gi drama and because why not give it a try, right? So I did. And it’s a choice I don’t regret one bit.

I loved how the story didn’t only involve the main characters’ love story development but a lot of different couples were involved and all kinds of love was explored and it was honestly very heartwarming to see that unfold.

From Go Sang Sik and Kang Min Joo’s mature romance to Park Joon Woo (Kwak Si Yang) and Go Mi Rye’s (Kim Seul Gi) blossoming romance. It also showed family and marital love through married couple Go Sang Hee and Park Cheon Soo and a love between the not-so-young Dok Go Bong and Na Choon Woo who are both learning to love again.

It was fun to see and watch their own mini dramas unfold and because of that, the drama didn’t run out of stories to tell.

I also have to mention how beautiful the cast looks. I mean, look at them! They’re visuals are off the top and each one of them has a charm they give their characters that helps them in their portayal and the fact that each character was so relatable it’s uncanny.

I would definitely recommend this drama to you guys. If you decide to watch this for one actor or one couple, I swear you’d stay for everyone else in the drama. That’s how it was for me, at least.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Chicago Typewriter

Warning: spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

Chicago Typewriter tells the story of the present and past lives of three people: Han Se Joo/Seo Hwi Young (Yoo Ah In), Jeon Seol/Ryoo Soo Hyun (Im Soo Jung), and Yoo Jin Oh/Shin Yool (Go Kyung Pyo).

First off, I can’t go on with this review without having to applaud the team behind this drama, especially the writing team. This was one of the well-written dramas I’ve ever watched. It may seem exaggerated, but believe me, it’s true. It’s amazing how the whole concept was thought of to bring this drama together.

The transition between the characters’ past and present lives and how they were connected to each other was amazingly done I had to keep my hand on my chest for most of the time to control my emotions.

The drama basically revolved our three main people, so I’ll talk about them and how their characters made me feel.

First, let me talk about the three of them as one. Better known together as the Kyungsung Trio, these three gave me all the right feels, right to my heart. Whether it be their ill-fated past lives together or their humorous present lives together, they scream squad goals and keep you wishing for more of their can’t-be-missed friendship.

Ah, Yoo Ah In. As expected, he didn’t let me down with his performance in this 2017 drama. He seemed effortless portraying an arrogant but genius writer, a character that seemed familiar and whom I have missed from his film Like for Likes. His character seemed so real it hurts. He’s such an amazing actor, it hurts.

With Im Soo Jung’s character, I didn’t and don’t know what to do. Do I love her or despise her? Tough call these days. One minute, I love her and all the things she experiences because the girl is basically fangirl goals and everything a fangirl dreams of happened to her. Then I hate having to deal with her for some moments on the drama.

For the record, I loved her for most of it, but there were just moments when she appeared to be too much for me to handle.

I, of course, saved the best of the three for last. Can I just talk about how he looked so precious for most of the drama and how he looked like a puppy who needs to be cared for? This is the perfect time for that kdrama phrase came for blah, stayed for blah. You could say that his a main reason to finish this drama. I came for Yoo Ah In but defintely stayed for Go Kyung Pyo, his character to be more precise.

Chicago Typewriter was honestly one of the best dramas I’ve seen. It keeps you on your toes wanting for more, makes you laugh for a good amount of time. Will I recommend this drama? Yes. of course! It’s honestly one of the best written dramas I’ve watched and I couldn’t afford someone like you to miss it.

Note: credits to all owner of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Healer

Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

After such a long time being on my to-watch list and after my friend’s recommendation on more than one occasion, I finally got up, watched, and finished Healer.

Healer tells the story of three people, Healer/Park Bong Soo/Seo Jung Hoo (Ji Chang Wook), Chae Young Shin/Oh Ji An (Park Min Young), and Kim Moon Ho (Yoo Jo Tae) as they try to uncover the truth behind an incident that happened in 1992.

I loved dramas like this one, yes. I loved the action and all the twists this drama gave me, yes. Was I satisfied? Honestly, yes and no. It took me more than two weeks to finish this one. Usually, it takes me three days, two days if I’m really into the drama. But somehow, with this, I just wasn’t feeling it. Don’t get me wrong, I somehow loved it. This drama had its strong points here and there, but it just was not consistent.

Basically, here’s what I loved and not so loved about Healer.

The cast ugh. I felt like every character and actor playing his/her role was perfect. From the lead characters to the villains and bad guys on the other side, every single one has their own charm that made the character solely theirs. I’d also like to commend the young versions of the five friends because damn. I loved them all and I wish the drama could’ve dealt with them more than they did. While I’m talking about the actor choices here, I can’t just leave out the main man, Healer himself, Ji Chang Wook.

How can he do that? Seriously, how? This is the first Ji Chang Wook drama I’ve watched and he surprised me. I honestly didn’t know he was this great of an actor. He showed so many faces and personalities in one drama alone and I was stunned by his acting skills. He goes from being the cool and independent night courier to the timid and scaredy-cat newbie reporter in a matter of seconds and I just can’t help but applaud him.

Though I think the casting choices were near perfect, somehow, the Young Shin-Jung Hoo couple didn’t have much of an appeal to me. Of course this couple had their moments here and there but it just wasn’t enough for me to totally ship them. Both did amazing jobs at their characters but somehow their chemistry was just off.

Another thing I really loved about this drama was the storyline of these five friends who used to broadcast pirate radio in the ’80s. I wished and still wish that there would be a drama that revolves around these five friends and their lives as journalists. And how the past was connected to the three main characters’ lives was just brilliant. I loved that aspect of the drama so much it hurts. Though I loved this part of the drama’s plot, there was one thing I thought was a downfall.

I felt like the drama was too dragging, especially in the earlier episodes. I don’t think there was too much going on and this caused me to delay finishing this one. For an action drama, which I love, it lacked that keep-you-at-the-edge-of-your-seat factor. This only came around towards the last episodes. It didn’t really keep me on my toes and wanting for more, causing me to delay watching the next one episode. It was honestly too dragging and just had a couple moments of that it factor.

I didn’t love this drama as much as I expected myself to, especially with my friend’s strong recommendation on many occasions. It had its strong points too, of course, but it just kind of left me feeling like meh.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Oh My Ghostess

Warning: spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

Oh My Ghostess tells the story of a timid and shy assistant cook (Park Bo Young), her overly-confident boss (Jo Jong Suk), a virgin ghost with a grudge (Kim Seul Gi), and a policeman that just might not be what he seems (Lim Ju Hwan). It has the perfect amount of romance, comedy, and mystery to just keep you on your toes.

It made me laugh and cry. It made my head spin trying to grasp every mystery there is in this drama. It made my heart flutter from all those sweet and tear-jerking moments.

I don’t know where to start with this couple. I literally don’t. I absolutely love everything about them. The push and pull, the fights, the childish but oh so cute moments, all the clichès ghad. There was no second lead (and in my opinion the drama did not need in any way), a little bit of female lead which didn’t even last, and it was perfect. The way their characters and relationship developed was heartwarming. And have I mentioned? They make my heart flutter in every possible way.

Let me just get it out there. Lim Ju Hwan aka the cop I can’t decide whether to love or to hate and the ending didn’t help either did an amazing job portraying his character, Officer Choi Sung Jae. One minute I want to wrap him in my arms and protect him from all his pain then the next minute I just want to push him off of a cliff. I just don’t know what to expect from him and how to settle my feelings about him. And the ending didn’t help either (if you’ve seen it, you’d understand). Do I love him? Do I hate him? Do I still believe and hold on to the little humanity left in him? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Another gem of an actor from this drama was Kim Seul Gi. She did an amazing job at portraying a ghost whose grudge stops her from ascending to heaven. My heart laughs, cries, and just sympathizes with Shin Soon Ae and her poor, tragic fate. I laughed and cried with her, which I believe is not an easy task for an actor. She honestly deserves better and Kim Seul Gi made sure I felt that. She’s probably my favorite character (together with Officer Choi of course). They both deserved better than what they got. And both actors, in my humble opinion, deserve more leading roles in the near future.

Whether they’re inside the kitchen or out drinking, there was never a dull moment when these guys appear before you. They’re pretty much in charge of the comedy side of the drama. Were they able to do a good job? Of course they did. Each guy was funny and charming in his own right. If Sun Restaurant does exist around me and it has these funny guys as its employees, they better expect me to eat every meal at their place.

I couldn’t ask for a better and much suited ensemble that what the drama has blessed me with. Everyone has given the drama something I don’t think any other actor could give. They were all perfect for the role they took on and I applaud the team behind this drama for a job well done on casting. From the main actors to all the supporting actors, I think they all did a splendid job. No reason and no room at all for hate.

If you want a feel good drama that has the perfect amount of funny, tear-jerking, heart fluttering, and keep-you-on-the-edge of your seat moments, then Oh My Ghostess is perfect for you. I started my summer with this drama and I’m off to a good start.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Goblin

Major spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk!

If you’re looking for a drama that centers around fantasy, magic, and a decent amount of funny, then Goblin will quench your thirst.

I was honestly looking forward to this drama with all the reviews, amazing ratings, and love this drama has received. I can’t say I didn’t like it but I also can’t say that I was so hooked with this one. I don’t know if it was because I had so much going on with school and all or if it was because there wasn’t so much excitement with some scenes since I’ve seen too much spoilers online.

Nonetheless, I love how this drama couple made so much things theirs. They made me look at things in a different perspective – maple leaves, candles, rain, buckwheat flowers, to name a few I remember at this moment. I will honestly never look at those things the same way again. Yes, I loved this couple and all but not as much as I loved the second lead couple.

These two had such an amazing bromance and chemistry you can’t help but ache for their demise and history. Their friendship is something I looked forward to each episode, sometimes even more than the main couple. Their interactions and seeing them cope up in this day and age were more than enough to make my day.

I loved this couple. Their tragic destiny is what I lived for during my time watching this drama. And I love heartaches, for a reason I cannot put my finger on. Their history, their tragic ending in two of their lives, and their fresh start in their new lives, was everything I asked and wished for. Honestly, watching and learning about their new and reincarnated lives, made me want their own drama, with the same background and tragic history. I mean, right? Who’s with me?

I don’t why but as I was watching, I felt like the start or buildup of this drama was too dragging and not much was happening. I’m a plot-seeker when it comes to dramas I choose to watch. I crave for complicated plots and storylines. I want a lot of action and look for things that would keep on my toes. Yes, there were moments this drama had me on the edge of my seat but I felt like it wasn’t enough.

I loved this drama, not as much as I expected myself to love it but I do. There were moments that made this drama shined and I was obviously satisfied. And I absolutely loved the fantasy and the world this drama has created in my mind.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Age of Youth

Spoiler alert! Read at your own risk.

Age of Youth is a drama that celebrates love and friendship between five girls – Yoon Jin Myung (Han Ye Ri), Kang Yi Na (Ryu Hwa Young), Jung Ye Eun (Han Seung Yeon), Song Ji Won (Park Eun Bin), and Yoo Eun Jae (Park Hye Soo). The drama focuses on the girls as they build their friendship and find their way through life, of course while enjoying and celebrating the years of their youth.

The friendship these five girls share is simply heartwarming. Their genuine love and concern for one another just makes my heart flutter. This drama excellently showed how there is no perfect friendship. No matter how close you are with the other, there will always be bumps along the way. And how these girls overcame those bumps and even grew closer made me cry for them. I especially loved the moments when they all get together to help one of the girls, joining forces and overcoming whatever it is that was thrown at them.

I loved how everyone has a story – a reason for them to act the way they do. In one way or another, you can definitely relate to one of them and see yourself in her. Each character were so well-written and so different from each other in terms of so many aspects it didn’t give me even an ounce of boredom.

This drama takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. You laugh and smile with the characters, you cry for them, and give you butterflies in your stomach all thanks to their amazing friendship.

I loved everything about this drama, except for the ending. Well, I didn’t actually not liked it. I just felt like it wasn’t enough. After learning about their lives, the ending just didn’t give justice to everything they went through as individuals and as friends. It left me with so many questions and have kept me wondering until now. This drama went to the list of dramas in need of a second season. But of course, we all know that in the KDrama world, such thing is impossible.

To put my mind and heart at ease, here’s what I settled with while on the bus earlier today, this drama simply wanted to tell its viewers that just because a drama ended, doesn’t mean its characters’ lives end. They continue on living their youthful years even after the drama and without the viewers watching them every minute of their lives. This is what I want to believe.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

A drama about life, romance, dreams, and working hard to achieve them, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo makes you itch to live your youthful years for a more worthwhile  life.

The amazing chemistry between Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) and Joon Jung Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk) makes you fall in love with love. They make it seem like falling in love and being loved by the one you love is the best thing in the world. Normally, I would hate all the cheesy couple moments, but with them, I just don’t. I loved their scenes and I can’t remember a time when I felt like there were too much cheesy moments. They made me laugh, cry, and just made me fall in love with the idea of falling in love.

The unlikely friendship between these five people was too fun to watch. Yes, they were different in many aspects but they were brought together by some special force and I have to say that’s one great way to start a friendship. Consecutively watching two dramas about college life (Cheese in the Trap and now this) made me miss my college friends and wish to go back to school immediately (we’re on a school break right now lol).

One of the best things I loved about this drama was how I felt the emotions the show and the characters were trying to convey. Their emotions and feelings were so real I can’t help but feel it with them. I especially loved the characters’ crying and heartbreaking moments because it looked and felt so real and they made it look like they were not acting at all. The funny thing though, was how I found myself crying over moments when I least expect myself to shed tears. I would cry at the main couple’s confession of their love for each other or over Nan Hee crying because her best friends finally came back to school and she wouldn’t have to eat alone anymore.

From the characters and actors to the funny and romantic moments, I loved and enjoyed this drama. But one thing I could say I didn’t like about this was the lack of plot and bring-me-to-the-edge-of-my-seat storyline. As a sports drama, and actually a first for me in that genre, I expected more heated atmosphere and drama between athletes and competitors. And this drama didn’t exactly give me that. I was hoping for more thrilling and exciting moments since this is supposed to be a drama about sports, but unfortunately, I didn’t get that from this drama.

Other than the lack of sports drama atmosphere despite being a sports drama, I loved everything else this drama has to offer. If you want to watch a feel-good drama without the heavy storyline most dramas have and an ending that will leave a smile on your face instead of tears, then Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is definitely for you.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

Drama Review: Cheese in the Trap

Major spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

If you’re looking for a feel-good romance drama with a plot that won’t bore you out and at the same time makes you hungry for more, then Cheese in the Trap is definitely for you. From the cast, the storyline, the feels, everything is perfect and makes you crave for more.

Ah, where do I even begin with this couple? I love this drama couple. I can’t help but love every moment between them. I mean, they’re just too shipable. Normally, I’m not too fond of dramas with too much sweetness and relationship moments, but this one? Sigh. I just can’t help loving them. Park Hae Jin’s smile really makes it difficult for me.

This drama, for me at least, has one of the best love triangles I’ve seen so far. You won’t just be able to choose between the two leads Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) and Baek In Ho (Seo Kang Joon). Normally I’m all for the second lead and feel bad for him towards the end of a drama but this one didn’t even give me the chance to decide whose side I was on. Am I Team Jung or Team In Ho? I simply don’t know.

I love the fact that they didn’t put all focus on the romance going on between the two characters Yoo Jung and Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun). The plot was not too light to bore the viewers but also not too heavy to take away the spotlight from the romance. Because there weren’t too many moments between the couple and didn’t make it too stuffy for the viewers, it makes it more exciting when they do have a moment in an episode. This makes viewers crave for more Jung-Seol action. This made me fall deeply in love with a drama couple, something that hasn’t happened in quite a while.

I loved the whole cast of this drama. Everyone was convincing of their roles and gave an all-out performance worthy of praise. I also loved how each character has his/her own story to tell. This drama just showed how every single one of us carries our own burden and that we shouldn’t look down on other people just because we think we have it harder than they do. If you look closely, you’ll realize how you can relate to at least one of them and learn a lot from that character, I know I did (hint: it’s Seol).

I also liked how this drama gave the characters an ending and didn’t just leave them hanging. Bo Ra and Eun Taek are still together, both working their way in their chosen careers and In Ho happily living out his dream with her now more sane sister, In Ha. The drama did a great job at that. But one thing I hated about it was how all the other characters were given a clean ending except for the two leads. I mean, what was that all about? I don’t really hate hate it but they left the viewers a too open-ended ending it makes me crazy. When I finished watching this drama I literally couldn’t believe that was it. I know, this is based off an on-going manhwa but a little happy ending wouldn’t hurt, right?

Sigh. That was all I had to say when I finished this drama. It made me laugh, made me cry, and gave too much feels a girl my age can handle. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions and I couldn’t ask for more. Except, of course, for a happy ending for the two leads.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog