Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Picture Summer Day 10: Making Memories

I grew up in a family of surfers. My Dad and brother tried to teach me when I was younger, but I was always more interested in swimming than surfing. However, I am actually am at the point where I would love to learn but I am held back by physical limitations. I do think I can get there at some point but in the meantime, I am perfectly content watching Brent and friends from the shore & of course documenting the fun!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Picture Summer Day 9: The Shape of Things

For life is but a dream whose shapes return, some frequently, some seldom, some by night and some by day.
-James Thomson

Picture Summer Day 8: Treasure Hunters

I love to search for heart rocks. Not only is it exciting to find a good one, but it also relaxes me and clears my mind. Sitting on the beach, watching the ocean, soaking in the sunshine, all while I methodically sort through rocks. You would be surprised as to how often they show up...give it a try!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Picture Summer Day 7: So Subtle

Summer has two personalities. The bright, vibrant, bustling side & the subtle side that is preparing to retreat into Autumn. The latter isn't as obvious but I like to switch into observation mode and seek it out.

Simple Pleasures Saturday #8

This weekend we are on a mini "fake-cation" - as we have dubbed it. Meaning, we took a little trip but just an hour and half north to Los Angeles. Here was our day: We drove up this morning and wandered the Santa Monica pier, Muscle Beach, 3rd street promenade and downtown, then drove 6 miles to Beverly Hills to check into our cute little treasure of a hotel. We explored the nearby neighborhoods, our jaws dropping in awe of the humongous houses, followed by dinner at a great Indian restaurant.

It was a great day and exactly the getaway I needed. And after living so close all my life I'm surprised I have never been to this part of L.A. The pier and Muscle Beach sure were a sight to see! I will post pictures from the trip when I'm back home but for now, (as I type on my phone from the hotel) here are the simple pleasures I enjoyed today:

-Eating a hot dog and churro for lunch
-Taking photos of everything, and having a boyfriend who patiently waits as I do so
-Being completely touristy
-Getting a major kick out of people watching
-Poking Brent every 10 minutes saying "isn't this so fun!....this is so fun!...aren't you having fun??" ha :)
-Making up pretend stories of the people living in the enormous Beverly Hills houses
-Seeing endless teeny tiny dogs
-Passing by "Chelsea Blvd"!!!
-Only driving 1.5 hours to be on a vacation
-Having complimentary cookies delivered to our hotel room
-Passing by "Chelsea Avenue"!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Picture Summer Day 6: Wide Open Spaces

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes
-Dixie Chicks

Friday, August 26, 2011

Liberate Your Art!!

I recently participated in an incredible project called the Liberate your Art Postcard Swap organized by Kat Sloma. In exchange for 5 postcards that I created, I would receive 5 in return from participants all over the world! There were no rules for the postcards, it could be a collage, drawing, photograph...anything! You can read more about the actual sending process here.
When all was said and done, there were 175 participants, from 13 countries and 37 U.S. states - how cool is that? I had a very hard time choosing which photos to send & unfortunately I did not take a picture of which I sent. But I am hoping I will find out who received mine! They came one by one, and it was so exciting to check the mail everyday. Let me show you what I got:
::Postcard #1 - Marji in Seattle, Washington::
What a beauty, and it looks like something I might take doesn't it? She is going to school to study encaustic art & photography, and her Flickr name is RainCityGirl. Does this sound like someone I would be friends with or what? We even follow a lot of the same blogs so I am surprised we have never crossed paths. P.S. Marji - I LOVE Seattle, almost went to UW, love the rain and art & photography are kinda my passion. Yep! ♥ Thanks for the beautiful postcard I love it! Please visit her blog Sun Breaks in the Forecast and say hello, I know I will!

::Postcard #2 - Rosa in Scotland::
Isn't this postcard wonderful? Rosa grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and has also lived in Toronto, Canada, Hong Kong, & vacations in Scottland/UK. Wow! I think it is so amazing to connect through art to someone half-way around the world! On her postcard was written:

"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." - Janis Joplin

What a powerful and inspiring quote, especially from one artist to another. And this is just how her website, Simple Mansion is...nothing but inspiration, encouragement, and positive thinking. Her one of a kind work of art is so unique and her creativity just shines through. Thank you for sharing your art with me Rosa!♥

::Postcard #3 - Ann in Kent, England::
Her blog, Poetic Mapping: Walking into Art combines her 4 passions of writing, art, walking and music. This beautiful postcard has a fascinating story behind it, you must read about it here! Not only is she an incredible artist but she is striving to save to the world. That is lofty & trite expression, yes, but visit her blog and see what I mean. This quote she posted says it all:

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single
moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

Ann you are an inspiration and I am so happy have been introduced to you and your blog! Thank you for the postcard.♥

::Postcard #4 - Clara in Pennsylvania::
The 4th is a treasure from the opposite side of the country. Like me, her blog started as a place to document her life (she has 2 boys) to share with family, then it turned into a place to share her passion for photography. This photo is of the Statue of Chief Justice John Marhsall she took during a World Wide photo walk. That sounds amazing - sign me up! She said although it was 99 degrees, it was a blast. She included this powerful quote on the postcard:

"To listen well is as powerful a means of communication
and influence as to talk well." - John Marshall

Visit her blog: I Miei Due Bambini. Thanks Clara!♥

::Postcard #5 - Colorado Springs, Colorado::
Unfortunately, the location is all I know! She has a website but it says she has retired. Written on the back is "The Mysterious Series" - pretty fitting yes? I believe her name is Angela but I am not positive. Whoever you are, thank you for the beautiful postcard! ♥

::Postcard #6 - Bonus from Kat in Oregon
Look at that blue - so beautiful!! You can check out all her photos at her blog: The Kat Eye View of the World. Thanks for all the hard work Kat! ♥
This was such a joyous project to be a part of. I love to see how different everyone's style of art is, how every postcard was from a different part of the world, the different styles of handwriting, and what message they chose to impart. It was such a wonderful way to connect with other people who I otherwise would have never met! There will be a 2012 edition that I will most definitely not miss!

Picture Summer Day 5: Tall Drink of Water

Summer may be winding down but the temperatures sure aren't! It was 95 in the backyard yesterday, which I know is cooler than other parts of the country and beyond but for me, well, it was hot :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Picture Summer Day 4: Summer Traditions

Last weekend we attended the Stone Brewing Co. 15th Anniversary Celebration. Brent & went for the first time last year & we were instantly hooked. You get a commemerative tasting glass & 10 beer tastings with the choice of over 100 beers from over 40 different breweries and it is held outside on the Cal State San Marcos campus. Sunshine, beer, free beer cheese & crackers...what could be better? My brother conveniently lives near the train station in Oceanside so we hop on the train there and back, easy-peasy! And of course we had an incredible feast to continue the festivities, and there was enough food to feed an army. I love Summer barbecues, get togethers, and this festival has become an annual tradition.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Picture Summer Day 3: Getting Centered

Summertime just beckons me outdoors. I feel a pull, a call to enjoy the sunshine, the beach, the endless possibilities of activities. I feel incredibly spoiled living where I do because there is barely any humidity and it doesn't get overwhelmingly hot, but therein lies the problem. How can we be expected to stay inside & be productive with the temptation of all that summer has to offer? By getting centered. Finding that balance between much needed enjoyment & being a responsible adult. For me, a walk to the beach and back will satisfy that craving for summer temptation. Summer will be gone before we know it, so soak it up & allow yourself to have a bit of fun - you deserve it! ♥

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Picture Summer Day 2: Splashy

The ocean, the pool, the sprinklers in your backyard...
There is nothing like cool refreshing water to beat the heat on a hot summer day.
Even the animals need a little cooling off!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Picture Summer Day 1 : Here Comes the Sun!

With one month left of Summer 2011, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate & chronicle the season than with 30 photos of the essentials with Tracey Clark's Picture Summer class.
My quintessential summer day? The beach.

Big Picture Scrapbooking

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fun in the Sun

I like that even though summer is not quite the same when you are a kid, you seem to value those summer escapes that much more. An early morning walk on the beach, the county fair, cooling down with frozen yogurt, bike rides around town, and nice weather. Here are the last few weeks of photo taken with my iPhone. With 5 weeks of summer left, I hope you soak up every ounce of your very parts!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Simple Pleasures Saturday #7

Can you believe it is already the second weekend of August? Our weekends are booked up this entire month which always makes the time fly by at lightening-quick speed. I hope you are having a great weekend so far!

After a restless night of about 4 hours of sleep, I got up at 6 AM, went to an all day 8:30-4:30 photography workshop in Huntington Beach, then met Brent at 4:45 and we drove up to the Orange County fair, and it is now 9:30 PM, just got home, and I feel like my feet, ankles, knees and back are all going to break off my body. Ahh did you like that nice run-on sentence? That's pretty much how my day felt. But in a wonderful kind of way!!!

My simple pleasures from today:
• Winning a raffle drawing for a flash diffuser at the workshop.. I never win stuff!
• Having a photography concept that always stumped me finally click (pun intended)
• Having a beginner photographer ask me for help
• Seeing a beautiful dragonfly float right in front of me
• Finding a desperately needed seat after too much walking
• Silliness in a photo booth picture
• Watching a pie eating contest
• Sensory overload at the fair
• Indulging in ridiculous fried food
• Pajamas + ice pack + couch

It was long day but really wonderful. Tell me...what little, simple joys filled your Saturday?


Friday, August 12, 2011

Just the Two of Us - Version 2

Please stop by at Mortal Muses to see my guest post!!

You & Me

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 on 10 - August 2011

10 on 10. 1 photo every hour for 10 consecutive hours on the 10th of the month. Hooray! Here is what my day looked like...

8:00 - 2 mile walk

9:00 - Cup o' tea w/ my new rubber ducky tea infuser

10:00 - Work was a blur

11:00 - Quick walk to the mailbox to mail a letter to Grandma

12:00 - Comfy in my flannel

1:00 - Boiling water for a pick me up afternoon cup of tea

2:00 - Ella back from the groomer

3:00 - Picking out some tea for a friend's birthday

4:00 - A much needed frozen yogurt after today's workday

5:00 - Home safe.

To catch a glimpse into some other 10 on 10 projects, click below
ten on ten button small
To see my past 10 on 10 projects, click HERE!

Baby Steps

I feel I am on the verge of a new and better me. I have tackled some major obstacles lately, my back feels better, I have the new job and I am working hard to learn and grow with my photography. But I still feel a little stuck. A little unsure of where it is all headed, and a little frazzled as to where to take it. However, I remind myself daily of how far I have come, even in the last year. I am no longer 100% focused on pain or convinced I will be confined to a life of chronic pain. I am doing things for myself, and I am staying positive along the way.

Like anything new, I am working to get rid of the kinks. What I want and don't want, like and don't like, need and don't need. Who I want to be. And a note to self:

One step at time. Little, measured, careful baby steps. You will get there, you have your whole life ahead. Don't rush. Stop worrying so much about the future and enjoy today.

In the words of Tracey Clark: "I don't know what it's going to be, but it's going to be awesome."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday, er... Tuesday

Remember when summer meant being lazy and lounging around with no obligations when you were a kid? Not the case anymore. So far summer has been the busiest part of the year for me. I didn't get a chance to post my Scavenger Hunt photos on Sunday, so here there are...Scavenger Hunt Tuesday eh? Here were my finds for the week:

::Walking Empty Streets::

::Repeating Patterns::


::Then and Now::

Hope you are having a great beginning of the week! ♥

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Week in the Life: Day 7 - The End

What a way to end the week. Brent's parents bought the family tickets to see Shrek the Musical at the Pantages theater in Los Angeles as a Christmas present. We marked it on the calendar back in December and here we are - half a year later! All of my pictures today were taken on my phone so I wouldn't kicked out of the theater with my big girl camera, and decided to keep things cohesive. We awoke to unexpected yet welcomed rain and by 9:00 we left the house and all drove up to L.A.
Took some photos along the way which I immediately regretted due to the fact that I get motion sick very easily...just looking down for a minute will make me nauseous. No bueno.
We had reservations for a cute little restaurant called Off Vine just a block off of Sunset Blvd.
It was a really cute house-turned-restaurant with a nice outside patio and good food.
Bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys,
Cinnamon bunletts (yes bunletts)
and a wide variety of brunch yumminess to fit everyone's taste buds. Twist my arm why don't ya!
Kind of funny, I have lived in California my entire life, never more than a few hours from L.A. but have never once been to Hollywood! We didn't spend really any time exploring, but someday I will - someday.
Shrek was a great show. It was so light and fun with incredibly impressive makeup, costumes, singing and acting. The Pantages was a beautiful theater, so ornate and sparkly on the inside.
We finally got back to town around 6:00 and made a quick stop at the store to pick up dinner.
A nice summery meal, grilled pesto chicken sandwiches and potato salad.
A few hours to relax, then bed.

♥ ♥ ♥
It is amazing how fast one week can go by. I took on this Week in the Life Project very last minute, knowing that I already had way too much on my plate but something told me to go for it. And even though the process was a bit time consuming, it almost slowed things down. It unintentionally turned into a week of reflection through focusing on every moment and feeling, learning some things about myself and feeling so lucky to have what I have. It will be interesting to do this project again and see what, if anything has changed. One thing I really thought about was priorities and what long-term goals I am striving toward in my life, many of which are already a reality:

♥To be happy
♥To enjoy my profession
♥To be in a loving relationship
♥To have passions and incorporate them in my life
♥Stay in touch with friends
♥Document it all
♥Finish my college degree
♥See my family often
♥Make a difference
♥Help others
♥Share my story
♥Find beauty and share it
♥Laugh and smile often
♥Live in the moment and not worry so much about the future

I am so glad I chose to participate, but I am happy to have one less thing to do each day!
To see what you missed, here was the rest of my week:
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