Huacachina, Peru is a pretty cool place to take photos, though it’s very touristy. I did not ride the sandbuggy nor sandboarding, my husband and I walked (or crawled) to to the top of the sand dune. We were stepping away from the tourist-heavy parts to admire these waves of sand.Continue reading High sand dune, low lagoon
Since I posted photos from Reykjavik for this week’s Lens-Artist photo challenge, I thought to continue the theme this week with public art. But also it happens to be the 10th PPAC! I decided every 5th and 10th PPAC for my blog would be public art outside of Los Angeles County just to break it up.
Anyways, if you leave the Harpa Concert Hall in Reyjavik, you would find this sculpture of what looks like a boat — it’s not a Viking boat! It is however a dream boat representing “a promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.” Viking boats are much larger — though this boat could have been a scale representation.
For this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge, It’s All About the Light, I immediately thought about Reykjavik and its two main landmarks: the Hallgrimskirkja church and the Harpa Concert Hall. I love the way those buildings capture light.
Hallgrimskirkja church – at eight in the morning…on a November day.
Harpa Concert Hall early in the morning.
Harpa Concert Hall later in the day when the sun was high. Looking at the above photo, there’s this cool transition where on the right side, it almost looks like a pencil drawing. Quite a cool effect. There’s no filter needed.
See you next time, Iceland.
Here is my postcard collection. This is only a fraction of it. I get postcards from friends when they go on their vacations and I return the favor. Plus, when I travel I sent postcards to myself. It’s my little souvenir.
I also do this thing called Postcrossing where I would send a postcard to someone in the world and I would get a postcard back. I did this in my early 20s when the thought of travelling somewhere was just a dream. At the time, I was working an entry level job so I was not making a lot of money — just enough to pay for rent, food, gas, student loans, some fun, other debts, and some savings. Receiving postcards kept my dream of travelling somewhere alive — a reason to go on vacation. I guess I did a lot Postcrossing in my early 20s because I felt like I was in a funk.Continue reading Postcard pastime
Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao are co-hosting a Photographing Public Art Challenge which explores public art and how to define public art. This challenge totally excited me because I have taken A LOT of photos of public art around my hometown and around the world. I remembered many years ago after college, my friends and I started blogging as a medium to keep in touch. I guess we thought we were too cool for Facebook.
Anyways one of the things we shared on our blogs was public modern art found in business parks. It sounds random for a lot of people, but for us it was our inside joke. A lot of the sculptures just did not make any sense. We started working our first jobs at the time, so naturally we wrote a lot about work and the “quarter-life” crisis.
For these challenges, I would like to start sharing public art found around my hometown, Los Angeles. First up is the Great Wall of Los Angeles. This mural can be found in the Tujunga Wash. I posted this mural originally in May 2017 when I was doing the 52 hike challenge that year. I loved they made this neighborhood wash a trail.
Though the definition of public art is fuzzy, I believe one of the qualities for art to be public is that it recognizes a piece of a city or town’s history whether it is good or bad. The Great Wall of Los Angeles is one of the longest murals in the world illustrating the history of Los Angeles starting from pre-historic Los Angeles and La Brea tarpit to the Olympic champions in 1984. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the mural from the National Park Services site. I intend to return to take better close-up shots of each section. Maybe that will be my summer project. I’m still designing my summer.
Some public art around the blogosphere:
– Our Other Blog: Two Sisters and Two Points of View: lovely roadside art in Tasmania.
– WoolyMuses: Portraits on a cement work site
– MV Obsessions: I love that mural on the side of the house.
– Nowathome: That pink giraffe looks so much fun!
“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
This week is appropriately named since it’s been so hot the last few days in Los Angeles. At some point during the week, we’ve been experiencing temperature high s 106 degrees and it’s not officially summer time! Whenever it gets this hot time I daydream about hanging out somewhere coastal…or anywhere near water really…
Lens-Artists Challenge #152 – Shades and Shadows
Some shades and shadows around the blogosphere:
- WordsVisual – a lovely collection of shade and shadows
- Murtagh’s Meadow – How my dog looks on hot days.
- Albatz’s Travel Adventure – A gorgeous sculpture producing the loveliest shadow.
- Photography in Pearls – These birds have the right idea.
- Tish Farrell – Shadows sculpted by sand…
- Tranature – Such a peaceful collection…
This is an interesting challenge. It reminds me of those cardboard children’s books where each page there is a small cutout of a color and it leads you another object to the next page and on to the next page. If this was a children’s book, it would a color feature and the first page would start off as a large object going down to a small object with that color.
I decided for this challenge to play with the color yellow because it’s warm, inviting, and fun. Plus, I wanted some excuse to share a photo of the gigantic Rubber Duck sculpture. I remembered when the duck arrived to San Pedro many years ago, I dragged my boyfriend (now husband) to go check it out after work. I think if it were to make a children’s board book around the color yellow, these photos could pull it off…
Here are some colors from large and small across the blogosphere!
- Photographias – Red
- Anvica’s Gallery – Orange
- Philosophy Through Photography – Blue
- Solaner – Violet
- Scilla Grace – White
…plus other fellow yellows!
Lens-Artist Challenge: Large to Small
CMMC – June Color – Yellow
“Eat Around the World” is a monthly photo/writing challenge combining the love for food and travel. Share a dish based on the featured monthly prompt. The prompt could be around a particular dish, an ingredient, or a tool.
Welcome to “Eat Around the World” — a new blog challenge…or is it a blog party? A blog potluck? A blog potluck is fun to say so I am going to stick with that.
This is the first post to kick off what I hope is going to become a long-running series where I invite the blogosphere to share their food around a certain theme each month. I wanted to combine my love of making food, eating food, dining out, and traveling. You don’t have to be a home cook to participate. In fact the inaugural theme is wedding cake and I don’t know many people who have actually made their own wedding cake.
I chose to make it monthly because that’s my bandwidth. But I am hoping I can challenge myself to attempt to make some of these foods throughout the month. Please bear with me since it is my first time doing anything like this.
To participate, please submit complete this brief form for review — this is to ensure that the people participating are well…real people. And it be populated on this sheet. Also, please pingback to this page. At the end of the month I will do a recap post.
The deadline to submit your responses is June 30th at 11:59 PM EST.
If you have any tips on hosting a blogshare (blog potluck), please let me know! I greatly appreciate the feedback!
On to the theme of wedding cakes (and other celebratory treats). I chose wedding cake because June is peak season for weddings. Ironically, I do not like a lot of wedding cakes, especially the ones covered in fondant. Also, my wedding was not in June, it was in October.
The wedding cake is the center piece of any wedding reception. Cutting the wedding cake is its own event on the wedding reception program while the main course and hors d’oeuvres are just something to keep the guests from not being too hungry. I’ve seen some stunning wedding cakes — they almost look like sculptures. But when I look closer and see the cake is covered in fondant, I am immediately turned off. I find fondant barely edible. You’ll probably find me tearing the fondant out as soon as I get a slice.
When it came to my wedding, I did not want to spend a lot of money on a cake that was unpalatable because it was covered in fondant. I get that fondant makes the cake looks prettier, cleaner, and more polished. I understand fondant is all about the photos, not about how it tastes. But sorry, I actually like to eat food in general.
We decided to do a small two-tiered cake and have a dessert bar of cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and dulce de leche cookies. The cake was made by a friend. She did a vanilla cake with strawberries and cream filling. The cover is vanilla buttercream. Another friend of ours made the cake topper. The cupcakes and cookies were from Porto’s bakery. The vase, cake stand, and pastry covers were from me. The event venue had wooden crates. Though it’s not pictured, the boxes for people to pack their desserts were from Michaels.
I was surprised how incredibly inflated the prices were between a wedding cake versus a regular party cake when looking around for bakeries. The cake could serve the same amount of people, but the wedding cake price would be at least double (or triple) the price of a regular cake. Since I did not have it in my heart to lie that I wanted a cake for a really large party, I thought to look for other creative measures by asking a friend to make a small wedding cake and do a dessert bar of our favorite treats.
Here it is, our wedding cake and dessert bar on a budget.
I recalled when planning for the wedding, I wanted to have a cookies-only bar. I spent my time researching recipes but did not have any time recipe testing. I spent a lot of time DIY-ing other details for the wedding such as the invitations, centerpieces, table cards, etc. I was DIY burnt out from the wedding. A few years later I did have an opportunity to do a cookies bar for a friend’s wedding. I was so enthused to contribute the moment she told me about her engagement.
Share us your wedding cake — whether you were the bride, groom, or guest! Or was there no wedding cake and you served donuts? Or share with us other celebratory treats from around the world — whether it’s celebrating a birthday, promotion, a new home, graduation, paid off your credit card debt, etc. because honestly there are many other milestones worth celebrating. You can pingback to this post or submit your post on this this form. The deadline to submit your responses will be June 30th at 11:59 PM EST.
My favorite place to go are gardens and parks. I like to go there to find calm from a busy week. Also, I like to learn about different plants and grab some inspiration for my own yard someday. Every year during the holiday season I remind my husband we have to go to the garden to enjoy the holiday lights. Forget going to the mall! I’m going to the garden. Plus don’t forget to reserve tickets as early as possible!
Anyways, here are a few gardens I’ve visited in the past. For this week I went through my WordPress media archives to find plenty of garden photos.
Getty Villa in Malibu
A Mediterranean style garden in Malibu.
The Arboretum in Arcadia – Moonlight Forest
I have not gone to the Arcadia Arboretum in the daytime. I only went there a couple years ago for the holiday season where they transformed the place into a garden of lights. These are just a few of the photos I took that day. The original post was from a previous Lens-Artist challenge.
Descanso Gardens — Enchanted Forest
Another garden I visited during the holiday season. I love how the different colored lights are shining on the branches; the blue looks little magical but the gray branch with the green in the background looks little creepy. Here’s the original post with a few more photos from Descanso Garden. I’d like to return for the cherry blossom festival in fall.
Huntington Library is one of my favorite places to go. I’ve had a couple of posts featuring a picture or two — but that’s nothing, it deserves a solo post. Many years ago, I entertained the idea of having our wedding at the Huntington, but we did not have $100,000 for the venue fee. If you are wondering, the fee does NOT include food and beverage, photography, music and entertainment, flowers, rentals, tents, supplemental security, and cost of event planner or producer. I understand they are an estate first, not an event center.
https://japanesegarden.org/Portland Japanese Garden
When we were in Portland, we rented a bike to explore the city. We went far enough and ended up at this Japanese Garden. It was not in our itinerary, but it we thought “let’s check it out.” It’s a small garden but there’s lots to see!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #147: Gardens (Host: Amy)
The unusual shapes and the way the walls and ceilings capture light makes the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik a fun building to take photos. One of my biggest regrets was not watching a show at the Harpa — I don’t care what show. It could have been a concert, a comedy act, play, or a ballet — I wanted to watch something at this concert hall. We went to Reykjavik in November of 2017. I told my husband I would like to return here in the spring or summer when is greener. Maybe we’ll even watch a show at the Harpa.
Harpa on a sunny day. Around 11 am.
The Harpa when it’s dark at eight in the morning. Yes, we made a second visit to the Harpa the following morning. See how it transforms in the dark. It looks like the building transformed from clear crystals and silver to smoke and rose gold.
November in Iceland is short. The mornings are dark and the sun stays up for a few hours before setting around 4 PM. That is why I wanted to avoid saying morning and night.
Do you prefer the Harpa in the light hours or the dark hours? Comment below!
Lens-Artist Challenge: Geometry
CMMC – Bright Rectangles
I don’t remember the last time I’ve used a filter on social media. Maybe when I first got my dog, Teddy? I thought, “why would I filter my dog? He’s great just the way he is.” That was about six years ago.. Since then I have not bothered with filters and presets and it’s been incredibly liberating.
Anyways, here are some photos with no filters. I enjoy playing with light when I use my camera whether it is an SLR or my phone. I like to let nature be the painter.
Last February, we went on a multi-city trip around Europe. Who knew this was going to be the last time we’d travel like this for a while. Nowadays, we don’t even travel outside of the county to visit my in-laws. I tell myself we will travel again.
Oh yeah…I was pregnant and did not even know it at the time.
The weather in LA today looks and feels like the weather when we visited Saumur last year. Just as cold, just as gray.