Friday, December 23, 2011

'Tis The Season: December 2-10

Friday, December 2nd: Kelley & I spent our lunch talking about the start of the December album. Here she is playing with my Elle's Studio Tis the Season kit that I bought to help supplement my album. Aren't the numbers too cute?
I met Jessica, Bryce, Jamie, and Salad for dinner at one of my favorite local crepe restaurants. We grabbed dinner before heading to the theater to see Breaking Dawn. We waited a few weeks after it was released because of our hectic schedules.
I laughed during some moments I'm sure that weren't meant to be laugh out loud funny. I was entertained by the movie and really enjoyed the wedding sequence. I've become quite familiar with them lately-I photographed quite a few this past year!

Saturday, December 3rd: Scrap date with Kristi! She & I haven't been able to get together to scrapbook in a really long time. I have a habit of working a lot and packing my weekends with a lot of fun! It was so great to see my recently engaged friends and play catch up. 
I found a "I Love MJ" button the other day.
We kept our December tradition going with the Pillsbury sugar cookies too. It wouldn't be Christmas without these guys.
Sunday, December 4th: I've started working at Christmas by the Cove with the holidays quickly approaching. Its great because it gets me in the spirit and I get to shop while I work. I picked up these cute Shiny Bright glass blown ornaments by Christopher Radko. They come in two sizes so naturally I bought both!
Leo & Tiffany have the cutest interactive advent calendar apps on their phones and its so cute to watch them open each day together. Then I get to play with it after!
I bought a vintage shiny bright from our collection at the store. They are so pretty piled together that it took a lot of will power to just buy one. 
Monday, December 5th: My parents brought a tree home and I helped light it. My lighting theory is that there can't be enough lights on a tree! My general rule that Leo taught me: 1 strand of lights per foot there is tree. This works really well!
I also love lighting trees with a hooded sweatshirt. I keep the lights in the hood so the lights don't get tangled.
Our family tree all lit up:
Tuesday, December 6th: I've kept a Trader Joe's chocolate advent calendar in my car to make my commute more festive. Each morning I open a new window and try to guess what the shape is supposed to be.
My company had a special barista making gingerbread lattes and a beautiful holiday spread. I didn't wait in line for a latte but I did grab a few croissants and chocolate filled pastries. It was so fun to walk in and see first thing in the morning! 
Wednesday, December 7th: I busied myself in the darkroom in preparation for the photography final. I remembered why cutting mat board is so difficult...math and razor blades. I was so involved with that project that I only remembered to take photos as I was leaving campus. This is the view of the library:
Thursday, December 8th: Thursday was my comp day since I was scheduled to work the following Saturday. I desperately wanted to sleep in but it just didn't happen. I relaxed and updated my resume for a new position within my department. One of my packages arrived with a few of my holiday projects. I loved the presentation!
Lisa organized a girls craft night at her place. We all made food and had too many left overs. Emily brought this deliciously sweet fruit tart:
I brought my scrap supply to work on my December album from last year. Lisa worked on a beautiful ribbon wreath while Emily worked on a felt wreath.
Friday, December 9th: Ansgar took me ice skating to the Yerba Buena Gardens ice rink in San Francisco. It was such a different experience going skating with a ice hockey player. We both had our own ice skates and had so much fun racing around on the ice. 
We decided we need to skate more frequently. It was so convenient that he knew one of the employees working that night! 
I had forgotten how much I love to photograph the city at night. It made me wish I had my DSLR with me to capture the beauty of Yerba Buena Gardens. I love the patterns on the sidewalk with the church in the background. 
This is one of my most favorite colorful views, taken from the Yerba Buena Gardens bridge:
On the way back, we met up with some friends at Lucky 13 in San Francisco. It was a really cute place with a foosball table, chalk boards, and a modern day photo booth. I was thrilled to check it out since I fell in love with Lucky 13 in Alameda. 
Saturday, December 10th:  We attended a jam fest/ holiday party in one of the coolest venues I've ever been to. I love to scout locations so when I find a new one that I love, I get very excited! One of Ansgar's friends found Salle Pianos and rented it out for our holiday evening of music. Brian took clips from his favorite holiday movies and edited them together for projection onto one of the white walls. 
The decor was beautiful; Antique pianos, lits candelabras, gold gilded mirrors and an exquisite chandelier. 
Instruments littered the floor along with music stands and other audio equipment. It was a perfect night to chat with great music playing the entire evening. I met a lot of talented people and talked about photography and the environment (my job title always sparks that conversation).
I was so giddy when I walked into Salle Pianos with my DSLR. It was a magical experience and I hope I find myself there again very soon! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

On the First Day of December

I learned how to make a starter for making bread! I took a bread workshop at La Victoria Bakery in the Mission District in San Francisco tonight. 
We used yeast, organic flour, and water to make the starter. Mike from Sour Flour was an inspiring person to learn from. He made me want to take up a profession in baking. We took advantage of this class through Groupon. 
We learned about the 5 factors that will affect the starter: time, temperature, hydration, ratio and food.
 The biggest thing I noticed is that we assume you need to really beat your dough when kneading-and that's not the case at all. Its more like massaging the dough, giving it a break to rise, and then repeating. It was a very relaxing process.
 Its a good thing I didn't eat too much before hand. We got to eat some of the bread we made and then compared it with bread that was made with the same starter but had risen for two days. The older dough was more flavorful since the yeast had a chance to grow.
 I'd highly recommend taking a class like this! Bring some water since it gets hot in the kitchen.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Impossible Project

I hope everyone had a laid back Thanksgiving holiday. I spent my day goofing off at the beach with my mom and then traveling around to celebrate with loved ones. Luckily for me, I didn't have a long commute. 
 This summer I decided to stop at a garage sale down the street and found a Polaroid SX-70 presto camera for $1. I was talking with my photo friend Eric about how I wish I could test the camera to see if it was still in working condition. He told me about The Impossible Project and that I could still get film for my camera! For those of you still dreaming of shooting with your Polaroid, check out the instant film they make.

For Halloween I dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I decided I wanted to be Belle from the beginning of the movie where she is wearing her blue peasant dress. I didn't have much luck locating this costume in a costume store.
I found this dress on sale in the juniors department at Macy's. I picked up dish towels at TJMAXX and some white gross grain ribbon. My mom helped me use her iron on adhesive to create an apron for the outfit. The book and basket were borrowed and I already had the shoes. The whole costume cost me less then $20. I was a very happy camper. I had a lot of fun "making" my own costume this year for Halloween!

I took over 3,200 photos on my trip in Kauai. I'm narrowing them down to my top 150-200 photos and post a few of my favorites here. I have some fun stories to share and a lot of catching up around here. I'm very excited about the holiday season kicking off. Happy Black Friday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Greetings from Kauai!

I've been on the island of Kauai for two nights. I had the pleasure of spending two weeks here in 2003. The weather is wonderful and the nature is stunning. Yesterday I went swimming at Haena Beach and stumbled upon a school of sea turtles. The best part was that it was completely unplanned and not many people were around! I will be relaxing in Hawaii for 9 days and I'm enjoying every moment of it.

Since I love making lists I thought I'd share my hopes for this adventure:

  • Catch a wave
  • Kayak down the Wailua River
  • Visit glass beach
  • Jump into Queens Bath
  • Swim with the fish (sea turtles too)
  • Take a helicopter ride 
  • Read on the beach
  • Shower outside
  • Nap
  • Hike on the Na Pali Coast
  • Get lost on purpose
  • Make a new friend
  • Journal daily
  • Eat something new
  • Eat where the locals eat
  • Get shave ice
  • Try night photography on the island (not much light pollution at night). 
  • Pass the camera so I get photos of me too!
I took 400+ photos in just a matter of 3 hours yesterday! I will be posting photos when I return so keep your eyes peeled. The fruit is amazing here!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Puerto Rico

Traveling to Puerto Rico in March was such an adventure! My friend Terra had a beautiful destination wedding. I ran through the airport like a crazy tourist in search of a postcard and stamp so I could continue on my tradition. Any time I have a layover I send my parents a postcard from the airport I'm stopped in. 

I arrived to the Fort San Cristobal just before they closed. The timing was perfect because the sun was setting and the lighting was gorgeous! 
I walked along the path towards the other fort, Fort San Felipe del Morro. I had a travel book with a mini map so I wasn't completely lost-until I tried meeting up with Terra's fiancee Kevin. This is a view looking back towards Fort San Cristobal.
Isn't this side street beautiful?
After getting directions, I connected with Kevin and his family. I felt like part of the family within moments of meeting them all. Terra joined us and took me back to their apartment. I was thrilled to see it since they were renting from a local. She is beautiful.
Terra sent me a photo from her bedroom a few days before I left on my trip. I admired the lighting and the contrast of the dark wood against the light linens.
I enjoyed how open the apartment was. I had fun playing with the echo from the rooms upstairs.
Nightlife in San Juan is beautiful!
The El Yunque Rainforest was lush and humid. The hike on La Mina Trail was picturesque and heavenly. I especially liked looking up at the canopy.
I feel that this photo sums up everything I dreamt my trip would look like:

Our guide took us to a lookout point and to another waterfall for photo opportunities. One of the Italian tourists convinced me to climb up a bunch of rocks to pose for a photo.
I joined my new friends John & Samera for lunch and a stroll along Luquillo Beach.
The 3 of us said goodbye to the rest of our group and another guide picked us up for the evening excursion. After signing a waiver, an attractive local helped me into a life jacket and then trained the large group how to properly row a double kayak in the ocean. I was told I would be paired with one of the young guides and I was oh so happy!

There were several groups kayaking into Laguna Grande the bioluminescent bay of Fajardo. I was paired with the leader of our group who entertained me with a Spanish lesson and some Puerto Rican slang thrown in. I got a little spooked when we were the first going through the channel that was completely covered with a mangrove canopy. When we arrived at the bay I was completely speechless.

That night, it was clear, quiet, and there was a full moon. Once all the kayaks arrived we were shown the special feature of the bay.

The bio-luminescent microscopic algae lit up the water as my hands dipped quickly into the water. I was surprised when one of the guides tapped the kayak and shrimp lit up. The dinoflagellates convert chemical energy into light and emit tiny blue flashes when the water is  disturbed.

Sadly, I don’t have any photos from my excursion because I did not have the proper water housing for underwater photography. Photos that people did capture at bio luminescent bay can be seen here.

On Friday, my friend Sally met me at Fort San Felipe del Morro. I showed Sally some tips on photography while we walked around the fort and enjoyed the sun.
The great thing about making friends along the way when traveling on your own: great company and photos of you on your trip!
Sally and I grabbed some local food at a restaurant nearby. Mashed plantains are the best!

The Cathedral de San Juan was a beautiful location to have the ceremony. 
They made great use of the brightly painted buildings. Terra was a beautiful bride. 
The reception was held at Hotel El Covento. The entrance into the reception was decorated very elegantly. Terra had the cutest table place cards: suckers that were shaped like X’s and O’s. 
I think it greatly benefited Terra that she is a wedding photographer. The decorations and details were magical. Walking into the reception was quite the experience.
It was one of the lightest, fluffiest cakes. I went back for seconds, not caring if anyone noticed. I doubt this is shocking to Terra.  
The night blew by so quickly with the wonderful food, music, and dancing. Terra’s day was perfect!

Only having a short time left, I opted to go to a nearby beach. I hadn’t planned on going to the beach so I was in shorts instead of a swimsuit. That didn’t stop me for looking for sea glass in water up to my waist! Check out flickr for more photos.

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