Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend Details

Happy Monday! I am taking a break from Paris posts to share some photographs from a few weekends ago. 

The prefect way to start the weekend after sleeping in an early morning run (I try!!) is with a delicious breakfast and some strong coffee. I dislike the long wait for brunch but during the summer it's not too bad. Seattleites are willing to wait for outdoor seating and as for me, I let my stomach rule and cave into indoor seating.

On this gorgeous Saturday morning we headed to Citizen in Queen Anne which is always a hit. You can't go wrong with ordering just about anything on the menu; it's all delicious. 


HIS: sweet crepe with a glass of red wine
HERS: huevos rancheros with a strong cup of coffee

706 Taylor Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109


We're having a very blessed and beautiful summer. After brunch we walked to the waterfront and had drinks at The Edgewater. Yes, it can be a little touristy but the view is so worth it. 

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The Edgewater
2411 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA‎ 98121

Friday, June 19, 2015

Defining Luxury

youa in versailles

I was in my mid twenties when I walked into Louis Vuitton and purchased my first ever designer handbag with a matching wallet as a gift to my grown-up self after signing a stellar job offer. I thought this was the ultimate luxury in life; to be able to afford purchasing an expensive designer hand bag. I was happy to be able to provide myself this experience but most of all I was so proud of myself. However in the next few weeks, these feeling would soon evaporate. The first time I took my handbag out I was constantly watching it; paranoid that it would get dirty with the contribution of my clumsiness. Then I started to receive too much attention from it which made me uncomfortable. However it was the time I saw my own reflection off a building that made me realize it just wasn’t me. It just looked loud and flashy to me. When I got home that day I cleaned my bag, placed it in its dust bag and threw it in the back of my closet. I would never carry this bag again but that’s not to say my search stopped then. I quickly moved onto designer shoes.

Over the years I really started to think about what is luxury. I thought I knew what luxury was but after purchasing a few luxury items I wanted so badly it just didn’t give me the satisfaction I was thinking it would. I was baffled. defines luxury as: a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity. Designer handbags and shoes fits right in, am I right???

Thankfully I’ve been given plenty of opportunities to clearly define what luxury means to me in the last few years. I believe the process started when I began to strip away the materialistic things in my life. I downsize my living space, my closet, my belongs and really face my consumerism lifestyle. From doing this I learned that my belongings were weighing me down and turning me into a slave. In fact, during this time I had just started dating my beau and I was working so much I hardly ever got to see him. All my hard work was going towards buying new clothes, shoes and things that really didn’t mean much to me and with the little free time I had I was spending it maintaining my things. I was miserable. It was only after getting rid of a majority of my things that I was able to determine my necessities and then defining my luxuries.

To me luxury is time and freedom. Being able to traveling for weeks with my beau is a luxury. Having a job I love that is flexible and allows me to work on my photography and travel is a luxury. Being able to be spontaneous with my weekends is a luxury.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned: luxury can be anything we want it to be and to be true to ourselves we have to start observing our own lives and really ask ourselves the question in order to make it meaningful to us. Because if we don’t we may end up settling for society’s definition and miss out on what truly brings us happiness. For some people luxury is a designer handbag or a sports car or a big house in the suburbs and although those may not be things that I would consider a luxury for myself, I think it’s completely acceptable if that’s what’s truly a luxury to you.

This last year I sold my handbag and my designer shoes for a fraction of their cost and spent that money splurging on an extra nice hotel, restaurant and experiences on my trip to Paris, a city I’ve always dreamt of seeing as a little girl. I don’t miss the things I sold but I do miss Paris and hope to return someday soon!

I encourage you to really think about what luxury means to you and define it for yourself. It will make a world of a difference.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Paris by Day, Paris by Night

Eiffel Tower-2 Eiffel Tower-2

Paris, the city of light.

Like most American girls, I’ve always wanted to visit Paris. For me the yearning for Paris grew as I fell in love with photography. I heard the light was simply divine so I wanted to see it for myself.

On this day, as I sat at the Trocadero watching the sunset I was having one of those 'pinch me' moments. In my left hand I held my beau's hand and in my right I held my Pentax. We were surrounded by so many people but no tourist, street artist or pick pocketer could have put a dent in my mood. With my two loves in my little hands and this view I was in utter bliss!

Paris, you have my heart!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Palace of Versailles

Digging through my photos from Europe made me so happy especially after finding these scans of my little self-portrait project I did while at the Palace of Versailles. Oh man, that place is so so beautiful!!! (That extra so is no typo).

My beau and I had brunch in Paris prior to hopping on a train to Versailles. It was super easy to do and from the train station, it was an easy walk to Versailles. We arrived around noon and felt like we were already late given there were a ton of people everywhere. Getting inside required standing in two lines: a ticket line and an entry line. I’d have to say my beau and I make the best traveling partners; while he waited in line to buy tickets I waited in the entry line and once he got our tickets we were steps away from the entrance killing two birds with one stone and making the couple behind us very jealous of our strategic planning. High five babe!

The palace and garden of Versailles is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Being there felt like a dream. Inside the palace there were gold covered trimmings almost on everything, meticulous paintings on the ceilings and the chandeliers inside the Hall of Mirrors are astonishing! Like so many others, the Hall of Mirrors was my favorite room and is significant to history. In this room is where the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end World War I. Yes, I am a nerd and love to learn the history behind things when I travel. I think it brings more life and meaning into the place.

With my traveling companion, my Pentax I walked around the Palace of Versailles lost in my thoughts, absorbing the information I was learning as I roamed through each room and sneaking photos of my own reflection…

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Palace of Versailles // September 2014 
Kodak Porta 400. Developed and scanned at RPL.

Friday, June 5, 2015


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Volunteer Park Conservatory

This place is a hidden gem tucked in Capital Hill. I first heard of it through another blog, endlessly enraptured which now that I think of it; my ambiguous amount of time spent browsing through photography blogs can now be classified as research! The first time I was there my Pentax decided to crap out and freeze mid shutter. I spent most of my time on a bench trying to resuscitate it with no luck. I was so overwhelmed with sadness so let's just say that wasn't a great first experience. Thankfully my Pentax is alive and well today because of the kind people at Ballard Tech. Ever since then, I have been patiently waiting to go back with my camera. 

The conservatory has five rooms: palm house, fern house, bromeliad house, seasonal display house and the catus house. My favorite is the cactus house because it's so cool! I mean when do I ever get to see cactuses living in the Pacific Northwest?

During my visit I shot a whole roll of film however after looking through my scans only three were satisfactory. It's important to critique your own work and be critical otherwise how else will you grow, right?  I was there midday when the sun was high and harsh. The foggy glass panels in the fern room served as a nice light diffuser. I love the way one particular photo turned out because of that.

So here are my top three...
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1400 East Galer Street
Seattle, Washington 98112

Monday, June 1, 2015

Thought Download


Whenever I can't focus on a task at hand I do what's called a thought download. Basically a thought download is writing down everything you're currently thinking of that is occupying your brain and thus taking you away from much more important tasks such as analyzing data on spreadsheets (I know, my life is SO fun). I usually do this every few days. Let's just say I get distracted A LOT! So here we go...

- First, can you make out what's behind that bokeh? It's the skyline of Seattle from Kerry Park, my favorite place to hang out with a good book and people watch.
- Many times I've watched the Game of Thrones hiding underneath my beau's armpit with a blanket and one eye closed. It just occurred to me last night that I may not be mature enough to watch that show.
- Speaking of my beau, I have an obsession with 90's R&B and I love spitting (not literally but in a Urban Dictionary kind of way), lines at him as a way of flirting.
- Oh! That reminds me, last Valentine's Day instead of a card I sent him a singing telegram by yours truly and sung / rapped him the entire song of "Shorty Swing My Way". He was impressed to say the least. :)
- I am a creature of habit indeed. I went to Gourmondo's Cafe for lunch four days in a row and ordered the exact same thing. Now if I can just apply that sort of dedication to my workout routine.
- Remember that goal I had to learn calligraphy? Well, my wish was granted. Between my sister and friend's wedding invitations, I hand wrote 120 wedding invitation envelops. The only thing I call successful about that is coming out of it with no carpal tunnel.
- I've been reading a lot of books on the Art of X (insert anything you can think of) and I just thought of my own book to write, The Art of Doing Nothing. First tip, put this book down and go take a nap. Second tip, why are you still reading this book? Yup, I see a New York Time's Best Seller potential here.
- During Memorial Day weekend my beau and I had plans to leave town but last minute decided to cancel and do our first ever staycation. We turned off our phones and didn't tell anyone we didn't leave town. I highly recommend doing this but be ready to lose some friends if they ever find out you skipped out on their BBQ. Don't say I didn't warn you...

And that's enough confessions and random gibberish from me.

Goodnight internet.