Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Please Be Kind Diana

A few months ago, I wrote this post about wanting a Diana F+. My hubster was sweet enough to get it for me. I've been experimenting with it, and I haven't been all that successful. If I'm lucky, I'll like half of the photos on a roll. Those statistics are too low even for me, especially when a roll cost about $5 and another $8 to develop. My biggest problem is that I have an unsteady hand. When I do multiple exposures, it's not that noticeable. 

Now, it's time to do some problem solving. I've spent some time looking for useful tips. They were hard to come by. Boo! I did find this nifty modification. I'm going to make it this weekend and finish up my latest roll. Maybe, I'll be brave enough to experiment with the flash. Hopefully, it'll get better. I did want a challenge. Perhaps, I'll just ask for lots of 120mm film for my Christmas gift, so I won't feel as guilty about the costs. Hi Santa, I've been very good, just so you know. 

Throwback Tuesday: Beautiful Soul - Jesse McCartney

Got the Gimmes: Bee Necklace

When I was a wee one, I could never find my name on novelty pencils, cups, or license plates. You would totally think that I would give up. That wasn't going to happen. I'm rather persistent ever since I was a munchkin. My hubster has categorized it as stubborn. Personally, I like persistent; it sounds more honorable. (insert smirk)

After many years of searching and coming up empty handed, I decided that I loved the letter "B." The letter "B" would be good enough for me until the monogram trend hit its peak a few years ago. Then, I got a little more sophisticated and decided to use the bee as my trademark. Clever, no? I snatch up bee stationary whenever I go into a gorgeous stationary store. 

You may be wondering, "Where is this story going?" I know it's a lot of back story, but I promise that it'll make sense. Lately, I've been thinking about getting a bee necklace. I've always loved girls who have a signature necklace or ring that they wear all the time. I found a few bee necklaces on Etsy that I love, but now I can't decide which one to get! Oh Etsy, you're such a temptress. Feel free to leave your vote, which could totally sway my future purchase. 


Monday, August 30, 2010

Critters by the Sea


Sunday, August 29, 2010


I am craving a lazy weekend like a hormonal woman craves chocolate. You know what I'm talking about. As you've heard in previous posts, we've been keeping up with a pretty crazy schedule. When we're not entertaining our friends, we're accepting invitations from our friends or setting up phone dates with them. I love our friends. I just need a moment to catch my breath. What am I craving? Let me lay it out. Here's a list because I'm a list person.
  • Flying our kite. 
  • Going on a scooter ride. 
  • Dipping my toes into some sand. 
  • Snuggling in the man chair with my book
  • Watching some kind of marathon through Netflix.
  • Cooking for just myself and the hubster because there are less dishes.  
  • Being able to wake up late then fall back asleep because the hubster isn't awake yet. 
Basically, I want an exact replica of this weekend that was many weekends ago.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bruno, My Hubster Has a Request

Me: (watching Bruno Mars sing Just the Way You Are live on YouTube)
Hubster: He better sing that song or I'll throw tomatoes at him.
Me: Why? Because it's your wife's favorite song?
Hubster: Well, yeah. 
Me: (smiles)

Sweet Dreams

My feet are sore. My back is tired from bending over. My heart is happy. What can I say? I'm just a sucker for the kiddos. No matter how much I love them, I'm very much looking forward to our next vacation. I saw my hubster browsing the Caravan website. We used them for our Costa Rica vacay. He was looking at the details for the Guatemala tour, which looks like a lot of fun. Seeing the ruins in Central America is still on our list. Our next vacay is his pick. He usually picks warmer vacays. As the weather gets a little cooler around here, a warm destination sounds perfect!  I'm just excited that he's doing some research. It's definitely a good sign! Hopefully, I won't have to keep asking, "So, where are we going on our next vacation?"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Day

Today was my first day in first grade for the third time. I always think, "I should be used to the first day of school by now." I haven't reached that particular goal yet. I'm just as anxious and excited as the kids. The night before, I'm running list after list in my mind, making sure that I prepared everything for them. More than anything, I just want them to have a good first day. After all that anxiety and anticipation, I ended up having a lovely day with my co-teacher and our kiddos. Here are some highlights from my day.
  • At 10 am, a little one raises his hand, "Is it time to go home?" 
  • At  10:30 am, a little one says, "I'm soooo hungry! Is it lunch time yet?" 
  • When I share a photo of my kitty, the kiddos say, "Awwww," in perfect unison. 
  • My now-sixth-graders, now-third-graders, and now-first-graders stopped by for a visit and said hi to me with huge smiles. 
Making this dream happen has been an interesting journey. Sometimes, in the middle of the chaos of all the logistics, I wonder if I really can do it. Then, those little people walk through the door. They share the most creative ideas and say the funniest things. Then, everything is right in my heart, and I can't imagine being anywhere else.

Happy House Anniversary!

Dear Little Home,

Happy 2nd Anniversary! We are so happy that we picked you. Even though it's quite a commute to get to work, you're worth it. My hubster says that we're lucky because it's like going to our vacation house every night. He's right. We get to get away from all of the craziness of downtown. You're cozy yet spacious. Whenever we come home from a vacation, I am overwhelmed by the view of the golden rolling hills from our bedroom window. I love that we don't have a huge yard to landscape and maintain. You're perfect for us! 


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Throwback Tuesday: Wonderwall - Oasis



I forget how ambitious I can be. When I say ambitious, I mean that I can easily get myself into situations where I end up over my head wondering, "What was I thinking?" These past couple of days have been exactly that. At work, I convinced my teaching-partner-in-crime to completely re-do her butcher-paper-jungle-vines-tree set up. What happened? I ended up twisting and crumpling a few feet green paper until my hands grew bitter. I also got to cut up leaves out of the leftover paper. Thank god, she hung the paper vines on the wire. We still have the trunk to make before Open House. How is that going to happen? Hmmm...too bad we can't put in small miracle requests like work orders. 

If work wasn't stressful enough, I overbooked us this weekend with our friends. Woops! It didn't seem like too bad of a plan when I was looking at the calendar. We spent all of Saturday in San Luis Obispo with Lisa on a mini photography excursion. Then, we spent most of Sunday evening with our friends and their adorable munchkin Kelby. Yesterday, we hightailed it to our very prego friend's house after work and had dinner with her two adorable tater-tots. Much fun was definitely had. All of the fun felt like eating too much candy the day after Halloween. A sugar high quickly followed by a sugar crash and tummy ache. Replace sugar with friends and tummy ache with sleepiness. Wouldn't have changed a thing! Big thanks to the understanding hubster!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just Be

Whenever somebody compliments me, I get rather bashful. I don't know what it is about being complimented that totally turns me into Flower from Bambi. I blush. I shrug my shoulders. I start to stumble over my words saying things like, "Oh, you're really too nice." Silly. I know. 

I never think the things that I do are a big deal. Usually, I just try to trust my heart or I do things that I like to do. It's always particularly humbling when the compliment comes from my friends. I think my friends are such wonderfully fascinating people. 

Last week, I got this message on my Facebook from my friend Mark, "You and another friend have inspired me to create a photography album. I'll make it sometime today. =)" He also gave me a shout out in his album description. I definitely appreciate the shout out. What's the best part? I get to see his really awesome photos. I'm happy that he decided to share them with everyone. Yay! The next step? Making him get a Flickr account.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Like Night


My hubster and I are hardcore garlic fans. He has an apron that says, "There's no such thing as too much garlic." A few years ago, we picked an Italian restaurant in San Fran because they had Sicilian candy on the menu. Lately, we've learned about the deliciousness of green garlic. Thanks to Top Chef, I just learned about black garlic. Black garlic is fermented garlic that hints of balsamic and black bean flavors. Very interesting. I'm totally intrigued. Now, I just have to figure out how to get my hands on some and find a good recipe. The hunt begins.

One Question

I just fell in love with the Fifty People One Question project. It's beautiful. Such a simple question can reveal so much about a person. It reveals so much about a place and a culture. Most important, it's a snapshot of our fragile humanity. We are all so complex yet so simple at the same time. All of the answers were based on some kind of love. Love for a specific location. Love of another person. Love of ourselves. Love of tranquility. 

My favorite question: Where would you want to wake up? 

The traveler in me instinctively says Paris. Then, I look deeper into my heart, and all I want is to wake up next to my hubster.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My heart has been so heavy lately. Literally, I feel like there's an anvil in my chest. The previous posts have been my little attempts to act like everything is okay. Honestly, everything isn't okay. By no means are things terrible. I'm just going through some really intense growing pains. When you've been the typical stubborn only child for so long and everyone loves you just how you are, it's hard to change your habits. Despite all of my whining, I'm totally looking forward to becoming better--a better wife, a better friend, and a better smile-and-nodder. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Throwback Tuesday: Ordinary People - John Legend

Grazie Enoteca!

While we were in Vegas, we thought we would have a fancy shmancy dinner date. Very not us. But we were in Vegas, so why not? That day, we went restaurant shopping as my hubster calls it. We would browse the menus to see if there was anything delicious and to check out the pricing. Always the gentleman, my hubster let me pick. I chose Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian. We loved Mozza in LA, so I thought it was a nice safe choice. My main reason? I loved the meatballs at Mozza, and Enoteca also had meatballs on the menu.

The dinner was delicious! The Vinegar Maker's salad was seasoned perfectly. The meatballs were savory and full of yummy herby goodness. We ended our meal with some gelato, of course! The three flavors that we enjoyed included a fancy coffee flavor, dark chocolate, and a decadent Mario Batali version of cookie dough. My pluot scorpini was refreshing but not worth $9. Our service was delightful. I definitely recommend it. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

LV Bokeh

Apologies that I've been gone for so long. We spent the last days of summer in Vegas. As usual, it was as hot as a frying pan. Luckily, it wasn't as hot as the last time that we were there in August. Last time, the temperatures lingered around 110. We had a lovely relaxing time. Roaming around the casinos, watching Lion King, and hitting the freeplay slots. We also learned that Vegas is the perfect place to practice bokeh.

My hubster is the best with the heart lens cover.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Real Piece of Work

Yesterday, I spent the day vegging out. It's been a long couple of days. I definitely feel more relaxed if not a bit more brain dead after way too much tv. I landed on Bravo and watched the Work of Art marathon. I was a huge fan of Project Runway when it was on Bravo. Work of Art reeks of a cheap rip off of Project Runway. They have their own cold work rooms, Tim-Gunn-look-alike, and cheesy catch phrases. I can't stand it when China Chow (Yes, she's Asian.) says, "The art world is fickle. Your art work only works when it works. Your art work didn't work for us." 

The egos on the show were out of control. I've never seen so much obnoxious trash talking. I only stuck it out because I was intrigued about how they interpreted each of the challenges. The Children's Art Museum challenge was my favorite for obvious reasons. I really wish that Bravo would start showing some shows that don't use the Project Runway or Real Housewives templates.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Last weekend, my hubster and I took a drive over to a local farm that I've been wanting to visit. Things have been rather hectic, so I'm happy that we finally had the chance to go over. While we were there, my hubster asked his classic question about the sweetness of the fruits. Whenever, he asks that particular question I always think, "If the farmer is smart, he'll say yes. Of course." Surprisingly, the farmer was honest. He said the pluots are sweet as long as they're soft. He handpicked several for us. 

We've been keeping them in our fridge, saving them to be our road trip treat. We ate them yesterday, and they were delicious! I ate two in a row because I couldn't help myself. I loved that the inside of each of the pluots were different in color. One was ruby red like the one pictured above. The other was a lovely golden yellow. It felt like I was holding the sunset in my hands. 

"After Me, The Flood."


 After doing some channel flipping, I stumbled across Valentino: The Last Emperor. It reminded me a lot of The September Issue. Pretty clothes. Petty bickering. Gorgeous locations. A central controlling figure. The Colosseum. Between the two behind-the-scenes documentaries, I prefer The September Issue. There's a part near the end that Anna Wintour really seems human as she's explaining the professional pursuits of her siblings. What do I like about Valentino? I do love the fact that Valentino has five pugs. Adorable! I also admire his gorgeous dresses. I still can't believe that they're all handmade--every seam and every piece of sequin.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Happiness Part Deux

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Throwback Tuesday: There She Goes (Cover) - Sixpence None the Richer

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just Look

from Forget About Me

Among the things the sea throws up,
let us hunt for the most petrified,
violet claws of crabs, 
little skulls of dead fish,
smooth syllables of wood,
small countries of mother-of-pearl;
let us look for what the sea undid
insistently, carelessly,
what it broke up and abandoned,
and left behind for us...

...Let us look for secret things
somewhere in the world,
on the blue shores of silence
or where the storm has passed,
rampaging like a train.
There the faint signs are left,
coins of time and water,
debris, celestial ash
and the irreplaceable rapture
of sharing in th e labor
of solitude and the sand. 

by Pablo Neruda

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thanks, Dad!

I love my dad. He always surprises me. Sometimes, he can appear stoic. Other times, he won't stop talking and laughing at every ridiculous joke. And lately, he's been saying the most perfect things. When I was telling him about next week, this was our conversation. 

Me: Yea. So, we'll see if I can pull it off next week. I'm not sure, but I'll give it a go. 
Dad: Just be bright and positive. Just be you. 

Simple. Short. Perfect. Thanks, dad!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why Do I Love: Cow Poly

Now, I need to give my college years some credit. I skipped over high school because all I could dream about during high school was going to college. My hubster made one of the best decisions ever, and he decided to go to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Being two years younger than him, I followed him there. Romantic? Yes, I know. It was one of the best decisions.  It would take me sometime to realize it. Better late than never? And the answer is yes.

At Cal Poly, I found my voice. Cheesy. I know, but it's true. My favorite prof Mark Roberts encouraged me to use my voice in my writing rather than being consumed by what I think he wants to hear. Best advice ever. I learned that I didn't need convoluted writing. I needed clarity. I needed to connect with my reader. I'm forever grateful for that. He's not just a professor but a dear friend. He went to our wedding. I email him at least once a year with our annual updates. In the latest reply, he wrote, "I'm so grateful that you keep in touch." That kind of connection doesn't happen at every university. Another gift that I'm very thankful for.

Other than that fundamental lesson, I learned how to truly appreciate beauty. When my hubster first told me that he was going to Cal Poly, I thought, "Where is San Luis Obispo?" I looked on the map. It's in the middle of nowhere! When I got there, it's the most beautiful middle-of-nowhere imaginable. I had never been to the central coast. The beaches are heavenly. The surrounding hills show the beautiful wear of the seasons. I've been to many beautiful places, but San Luis Obispo and the entire central coast has my heart. It's the unpretentious serenity that sweeps me off my feet.

Friday, August 6, 2010

That Moment

The big moment is coming. I thought I was ready. Now, I'm not sure. My hubster tells me that I just have to be myself. Easy enough, right? Well, it's more than just being myself that I have to be. I have to show the real me. 

The me who rests deep in my heart. 
The me who stands confidently in front of the kiddos.  

The me who only peeks out and says hello to those I love and deeply admire.
The me who believes so firmly in compassion and respect for the human condition.  

The me who knows that I was made to do this even though I've been running from it.  
The me who makes such deep connections with kiddos that I don't even understand how it happens, so how can I possibly explain it?

Not easy enough. I keep thinking that I have to do it for everyone who has so much invested in me and my dream. Trust me, there are more people than I ever thought there would be. It's actually pretty amazing and humbling. I don't have to do it for them. I need to do it for myself. I need to do it because I deserve this opportunity. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where's the Love


Follow my blog with bloglovin

I'm experimenting with Bloglovin. We'll see how it goes. Just another way to start better organizing my life. Apparently, I have to add the cheesy link that encourages you to follow me (hopefully the cute icon makes up for it), so I can claim my blog. Bear with me during this transition. Merci beaucoup!

That Guy


While we're watching an episode of Lie to Me, this is our conversation. 

Hubster: (looks at the actor playing the Korean ambassador) Hey
Me: Hmm?
Hubster: You know that black actor whose daughter made that [inappropriate] video.
Me: Who?
Hubster: Umm..not Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman. 
Me: Eddie Murphy?
Hubster: No! He's not a comedian. That's why I compared him to Denzel. You know it's on Perez Hilton. 
Me: (looks confused)
Hubster: You haven't been reading?
Me: Nope.
Hubster: Gosh.

(long pause for lots of thinking)

Me: Lawrence Fishburne! 
Hubster: Yes! He looks like the Korean ambassador guy. 
Me: Gosh, babe. Who else would know what you're talking about?
Hubster: I don't need them to.*

*He's lucky that I like guessing games.

Oh Bruno!


A few weeks ago, I shared that we're going to the Maroon 5 concert. The opening acts are One Republic and Bruno Mars. Can I just tell you that I've fallen head over heels musically for Bruno Mars? I've been listening to his music like crazy on YouTube. I haven't heard one song that I don't like. His lyrical style has the sweetness of Jack Johnson, and he has the swagger of JT. What's not to love? I am beyond excited to see him. Dare I say? I'm looking forward to his performance the most. In case, you're looking for some Bruno songs. I've done the homework for you. (Hubster, I'm talking to you as you sit in your cubicle.) Here are some of my favorites (in a particular order): Just the Way You Are, The Other Side, Count on Me, Runaway and Talking to the Moon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


My life is full of contradictions. I'm a perfectionist, but I'm terrible at keeping the house clean. I don't like my food to look like animals, but I'm down for a good steak anytime. I love hot air balloons, but I'm terrified of heights. As with most things, the love of hot air balloons began when I was a wee one (and not terrified of heights). 

We used to live right next to a little city that was the site for daily hot air balloon launches. My favorite time of day to drive by was right before sunset. I loved feeling the rush of driving on the freeway with the window open and watching the balloons gracefully float higher and higher. When we moved further north, that special ritual was one of the things I missed the most. For me, hot air balloons are the west coast equivalent of fireflies. Magical. Whimsical. Enchanting. 

It was pretty awesome we got to meet up with our friend Mark who we haven't seen since high school! He also took the cute photo of us two.

 Thanks to my hubster for collaborating on these photos. We forgot our tripod in the car. He took my shots for me because he has the steadier hand. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

On Success