Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Ah Thanksgiving. I thought I would never make it in one piece this year after several bouts of nasty colds and running related injuries. I flew home to Orange County this year and was able to finally spend some time with my family. Per tradition, the night before Thanksgiving was spent reveling at Stubrik's in Downtown Fullerton to support my oldest brother's cover band, Hot Panda. They get better and better every year! 

No one seems to care to push Thanksgiving early as a holiday like they do with Halloween and Christmas, so I find myself appreciating this particular occasion more as I get older. I love spending time with friends and family without feeling the pressure of having to worry about gifts and decorations what not. Let's just say Thanksgiving is giving Christmas a run for its money in my heart.

My dad made another amazing turkey and all the fixings as usual. I contributed some pie and cava. After feasting, I hit some sales with my siblings. Black Friday didn't seem as big of a deal this year, though I must admit that I am no longer young enough to be out past 2 AM. Ah, fleeting youth. All in all, a wonderful trip back home. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tomales Point

It seemed as if everyone hit the road this weekend to drive to the coast. This was my third time visiting Tomales Point. The mood along the coast line changes dramatically when the fog lifts. My brother and I completed the 10 mile hike at last and were rewarded with this gorgeous view. A little bit of nature does the soul good. I can't imagine a better way to send off the summer than a coastal hike. It's becoming something of a yearly tradition. Summer in its traditional sense might be over, but it's only just begun for the Bay Area. Cheers to indian summers!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Suffering is optional.

Jim Rohn famously said that we're the average of the five people we spend the most time with. With that said, I've been surrounding myself with people who I look up to socially and physically in regards to fitness.

So I've been doing my best to stay healthy these past few months and in doing so I've picked up running.

I've always been predisposed to hate running. I have flat feet and so for the longest time I've only run indoors on a treadmill. Lately though, I've taken to running outdoors. Partly because it doesn't require me to pay for a gym membership and partly because it can be done anywhere, but mostly because I wanted to challenge myself more physically.

My siblings have been a large influence in this; both of my brothers are avid runners these days. My family overall is extremely health conscious.

I've gotten to the point where I can run longer distances comfortably. And with that I've developed a newborn confidence in myself and in my body. It's incredible to witness how the human body can adjust slowly to endure more physical stress. My body always feels sluggish when I start to run but once I reach the halfway point of my run, something always changes. In What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami writes about the importance of having a mantra while you're running. One that he's particularly fond of is "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." That one resonated with me.

The Berkeley Half Marathon is in the beginning of November this year. I still haven't paid for my registration, but I'm building up the courage to soon!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Succulent.

I purchased this succulent on my way back from brunch at Guerilla Cafe last weekend. I've passed that particular florist for the past 8 years and had never stepped inside until then. I like the flowers that bloom from it--adding a bit of whimsy. In any case, I love having some green in my apartment. It sure does liven up the space.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Manhattan Beach.

I've always liked the idea of setting rituals and traditions. When you're working at a desk job, time tends to slip right out of your hands. It's becoming harder for me to remember the way I've felt during certain events in my life in the past, so I think establishing certain rituals really adds meaning to my life. Life goes on, indifferent to your troubles or moments of joy. Rituals act as a form of punctuation.

So naturally when I got the chance to go home for July 4th weekend I specifically asked to visit Manhattan Beach. It's become something of my own summer ritual with my brother. We had a sangria-filled lunch at Simmzy's and wandered along the pier afterwards. The perfect way to kick off the long weekend if you ask me.

Mansur Gavriel.

What is it with women and their handbags? I am obsessed with them. I feel frivolous for writing about this, but it's pretty much impossible to overstate the significance of the handbag as an accessory. It's more than just a repository for daily essentials--it makes a statement and in a sense becomes an extension of yourself. It creates a first impression and projects an image.

This thing of beauty above is the latest thing to have captured my eye. I am completely enamored. I received a tote bag from Mansur Gavriel as a birthday gift last year, and have been following the dynamic duo behind the label ever since. They blew up overnight and have covered in countless fashion publications. They are incredibly responsive on social media as well and have done gangbusters in turning instagram followers into rabid brand ambassadors--including myself. Look at me, I'm writing about them! 

In any case, it's really tough to snag a bag these days. They opened their website to orders and sold out almost immediately. I am particularly in love with with their mini bucket bags right now, but will have to be content with admiring on social media for now. 

Mini Bucket Bag (Black Flamma)

Thursday, July 10, 2014


We debated for a long time between visiting Giverny or Versailles. I went through an obsessive Monet phase when I was 10-13 so I pushed for Giverny in the end and I'm so glad I did! The day we went was on yet another strike day for the TGV, so the train situation was a bit tricky but we made it in the end. It's an easy 45 minute train ride outside Paris. Once you get out of the station, you take a shuttle to the gardens and to Monet's home!

I can hardly believe the photo I took above is actually real. Walking through the gardens was incredibly surreal after spending most of my life thinking of Monet in a more abstract sense. It pretty much looks like the painting itself in person. If you love flowers, then visiting Giverny is an absolute must. The gardens were absolutely exploding with flowers. Summer is the perfect time of year to come, but be ready for the crowds and the heat!

Angelina | 1er

There are some reliable chains that you can count on when traveling through Paris. Paul was my favorite place to grab a quick bite and of course the above, Angelina. We went to the one next to the Tuileries. Between the two of us we just had the breakfast which included four croissants and two pieces of bread with an assortment of jams to share between two people. Andrew tried their famous hot chocolate--which was delicious but a bit too heavy after the first few minutes. I had orange juice and coffee. All in all, a comparable experience to brunch at Ladurée and surprisingly filling too! The macarons were really good but I'm still ever faithful to Chantal Guillon macarons in Hayes Valley!

226 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
Concorde/Madeleine, 1er

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Les Cocottes | 7ème

Our first dinner in Paris was in the 7ème arrondisement at Les Cocottes. We wanted to eat nearby the Eiffel Tower so that we could walk over afterwards to see the lights turn on and sparkle.

This was a really modern establishment compared to all of the other places we had eaten in France at that point. It's run by Christian Constant, who is something like the head judge of the French version of Top Chef. There was swag from his cookbooks behind the bar of the restaurant which made me a little weary. But, all in all it was a wonderful experience--and a really American one at that.

We didn't have to ask for une carafe d'eau; it came automatically. That was the most common mistake I made while traveling--failing to specify what kind of water I wanted. We ended up paying for bottled water needlessly on several occasions. The waiters also come back to check on you and ask how you're doing which is basically unheard of in most French restaurants.

We shared the foie gras to start with. I had the beef bavette for my main dish (pictured above) and it was delicious! Very tender...although it wasn't hot enough in my opinion. For dessert we shared the creme brulee, pretty conventional but it was really well done.

This was a really easy dinner night--no waiting for a table or dealing with grumpy waiters muttering putains under their breath. We walked in around 6 PM (which is extremely early for dinner in France) and were seated immediately at the bar. I'd easily recommend it to another friend.

135 rue Saint Dominique
75007 Paris
Tour Eiffel/Champ de Mars, 7ème

Paris, at last.

We left Lyon and its oppressive heat and escaped to Paris via the TGV. I visited Paris for the first time back in March for a weekend when I was in London for work. But here's the thing--I didn't love it the first time.

Paris might not be for everyone, but for nearly half of my life I was a staunch Francophile. I took French language classes for 8 years, read Le Clézio, studied French culture, became deeply fixated by its immigration problems, their penchant for les gréves and complaining for the sake of complaining. I loved all things French yet had never gone until this past year.

Perhaps it was too much of my idealization of France clashing with the realities of arriving for the first time as an American. Heck, it was my first time out of the country back in March as an adult. Needless to say, I felt like an outsider. Despite all its charms, Paris greeted me with indifference in the end. This time around, I ended my two week vacation in Paris. There's always a comfort in returning to a place even if it spit you out the first time around. We were elated to just have been out of Lyon. We were beginning to go a little stir crazy, especially because of the heat wave.

This time around, Paris revealed herself to me for the first time ever. I fell in love with how beautiful it was. The light truly is different. But I had amazing experiences as well. The food this time around was far better than the first. The people were not quite as friendly as the Spanish, but welcoming still.

When we got off the train, it was pouring. We checked into our hotel looking like wet dogs, but were elated nonetheless. Promptly after cleaning ourselves up, the sun came out and we went outside for a stroll. We walked from our hotel near Sacré Coeur over to the Tuileries and just walked and walked. We stopped by the Eiffel Tower and snapped photos before heading over to Les Cocottes for an early dinner. After dinner we just kept...walking and talking. Walking and talking.


"...I fell in love with Paris. Paris--and this is the tricky thing--though it is always and indubitably itself, is also in its nature a difficult city to love for itself alone. What truly makes Paris beautiful is the intermingling of the monumental and the personal, the abstract and the footsore particular, it and you. A city of vast and impersonal set piece architecture, it is also a city of the small and intricate, improvised experience." ~ Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beaujolais & Perouges

If you're ever in Lyon, you must make it out to wine country. It's an easy thirty minute drive out of the city. We booked a small tour in advance so we could avoid the hassle of renting and driving a car in a foreign country. If Lyon has one thing over all of the other cities we visited, it is the wine. We did a wine tasting at Dominique Guillard's winery and it was amazing. Everything was delicious. I especially liked the gamay rosé and some of the lighter reds that were perfect for drinking on hotter summer days. Each bottle was only 5 EUROS. I wanted to walk away with an entire crate full, but you can only drink so much wine between two people. We ended up choosing to drink in moderation and purchased two bottles.

I learned that the Beaujolais wine isn't aged in oak here. They actually use vines that can go up to 100 years old. It was really interesting to see the flower covered fields that were left out to lay fallow until it was time to replant again. I also learned that the quality of the wine is largely determined by the soil--soil that is best suited when the terrain is very hilly--hence all of the dramatic views as seen below.

The views were incredible. We drove throughout the Beaujolais region and made pitstops in Perouges and Oingt--old towns that contained buildings all made from yellow stones from the quarries in the region. It was cherry season at the time as well. We passed by trees swollen with cherries ready for picking. I wanted to just stick my arm out the window and grab a fist full as we passed by on those rolling hills.

There were a lot of castles in the area as well; many which are still occupied and remain private residences. Doesn't that sound nice? There are of course newer buildings as well, but they must all be painted yellow to follow the regional yellow stone tradition. I thought the funniest bit on the tour was when we learned that in the past, vinters were forced to pay taxes to the churches in the form of wine grapes. Of course, they would only hand over the crap grapes which angered authorities. So they demanded wine next, which produced the same result: crap wine. Eventually, the churches were allowed to determine which time of year and exactly when they could go and choose the grapes themselves. Those tricky vinters, I like them. All in all, I had a blast that day sightseeing and sipping wine with Andrew.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Next stop, Lyon.

Arriving to Lyon was a bit disheartening at first. The side of town we were staying in vaguely recalled Los Angeles with its modern structures and congested roads. But I grew to love Lyon in a way. It was the part of our trip where I started to feel as if I were living in France rather than just passing through on stolen time. Shopping at the open air market for supplies for dinner, browsing aimlessly at Monoprix to escape the heat briefly, and watching dubbed American shows like Friends in the early evening hours. This is what I imagined an alternative life to be like if I were Lyonnais.

We flew into Lyon from Barcelona and took the train to our AIRBNB on Rue Vauban. This was the first time we had ever rented out an entire unit through AIRBNB. The apartment was really quaint and quiet compared to the place we stayed at in Barri Gotic in Barcelona.  A quiet student welcomed us into the apartment with a neat set of directions and a basket of pre-packaged croissants.I let out a sigh of relief when we arrived because it was exactly what we needed at that point. A place to recharge and take it a bit slow, especially since Andrew came down with something of a summer cold. 

With the sweltering heat, we moved a bit more slowly throughout our stay. Days were spent walking rather listlessly across the bridge to the main part of town. This is what I imagined summer to be like for residents--enjoying the sights around as much as possible while bearing with the heat. It would be 90 degrees even after sunset...easily 100 or over at noon.

I liked how carefree everyone seemed around the river. Students would be lounging on the grass amongst friends, half emptied bottles of wine with baguettes and saucisson aplenty. After our dinner at a bouchon (one of many to come), we walked along the Rhone and returned home. The sun doesn't set in the summer easily until past 10 PM. There was an eccentric older man doing his evening exercise. Every time he ran through, the crowd would hilariously (and I hope not mockingly, because that kind of breaks my heart) cheer along like fans at a soccer match. 

In Lyon, we started establishing some rituals. Walking through those quiet streets back to Rue Vauban. Stopping by the little market to buy some fruit or ice cold cans of Coca Cola. Browsing Les Halles de Lyon for groceries. Padding around the apartment barefoot. Watching random segments on the television (like this strangely engrossing French fry documentary) and hastily attempting to translate so Andrew could follow along. I think that's what ultimately made me appreciate Lyon more. Dublin too. It made me nostalgic for the time when we weren't in a long distance relationship. Not to say that Lyon was god awful and that you should never visit. But it just didn't resonate with me as a vacation spot as much as Barcelona and Paris--I guess, for the very reasons I listed above for appreciating it for what it was. In any case, more updates to come.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Parc Güell | Day 2 in Barcelona.

Our second day in Barcelona started out at the beach. After leaving our AIRBNB in the gothic quarter, we grabbed a quick bite at Taller de Tapas next door before walking to the beach. In order to get there, you have to cut through Barceloneta, which I imagine could be potentially dicey after dark, but it was bright out and calm in the neighborhood. I whined briefly and partially jokingly to Andrew for always dragging me through sketchy places, lol.

Next time I'm in Barcelona, I'll have to remember to bring a bathing suit because their beaches are absolutely gorgeous. Crystal blue waters and plenty of space to stretch out in the sand. We lounged for a bit in some beach chairs before realizing that you actually have to pay for them, oops. After cooling down with some sangria, we left the beach and started walking back towards the central part of town to catch the metro to La Sagrada Familia. I feel pretty silly now for not bothering to go in just because the line was too long, oh well.

From there, we trekked on over to Parc Güell, not fully realizing how far and how uphill the walk from the church would be but we made it--as evidenced by these photographs. The park was really breathtaking and a good place to relax after walking in the heat. I enjoyed listening to all of the musicians throughout the park--it felt like a scene out of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I love watching films set in the cities you're about to visit--it makes you feel romantic about your trip.

In any case, we had to wait for an hour before we could enter the "monumental" part of the park. They now charge to enter. I think in the past it used to be free. But all in all, just gorgeous mosaic work everywhere along with the unforgettable views. This was probably my favorite day in Barcelona. After strolling through the park, we left to make our reservation at TICKETS. You can read my previous post to hear about how amazing Tickets was. So delicious.

After the incredible meal we went to the Magic Fountain and waited until sunset...Unfortunately the fountain never turned on (Thursdays through Sundays, only). I hope I'll always remember how it felt to sit along the wall with other visitors waiting eagerly for the fountain and having a good time nonetheless.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Barcelona is for food lovers.

"People who love to eat are always the best people." - Julia Child

When we planned our trip, we added Lyon because of its reputation for being France's gastronomical capitol. However, it really did not hold up to the incomparable Barcelona. Everything in Barcelona was delicious, almost pornographically so. We spent a lot of time researching where we wanted to eat (as one does) before taking off for our trip. I knew I wanted churros con chocolate, because uhm. Because. In any case, I spent most of the visit stuffing my face at every opportunity and then walking it off. I'm grateful for a boyfriend who really relishes eating because as Julia Child said, people who love to eat are the best people!

If you are visiting Barcelona soon, you must visit the following three places:

  • TICKETS - This was by far the fanciest meal I've had to date. You have to make your reservation months in advance. Expect really inventive tapas, excellent service, and a most memorable meal. I was really glad my boyfriend went through the trouble to snag a reservation way back in March. My favorite tapas was the grilled octopus with kimchee. Best. Octopus. Ever.
  • PINOTXO BAR - My brother and a coworker had recommended Pinotxo to me as I was researching joints to eat at. We actually didn't find it our first time wandering through the Boqueria but I am so glad we did. We should have eaten here daily because it was just the freshest, most delicious food. The old man that presumably owns the place is adorable. You just tell him if you want meat or fish and he takes it from there. 
  • CAL PEP - This also came as a recommendation from a coworker. Come here if you love seafood. We waited in line for seats at the bar. Go with the recommended courses from the chef and they'll just take it from there. I really loved the fish here. I have no idea what kind of fish it was, but oh my god, I'm drooling at the thought of it.

Northern Ireland

During my first weekend in Ireland, I had the chance to visit Northern Ireland with Andrew. We didn't want to rent a car, so we went on one of those Paddywagon Tours that a friend had suggested. The tour takes you through Belfast and up to cross the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge and Giant's Causeway.

It was a really beautiful day and so clear out along the Northern Coastline. I was really impressed with it all, having been taken primarily with California's coastline. If you look below, you could almost imagine this being out somewhere along Highway 1 don't you think? In any case, I actually liked the rope bridge visit more so than Giant's Causeway. The Causeway is really fascinating but aesthetically speaking, I didn't think it held up to what you see below.

As for the tour itself, we had a ton of fun. We had really awful seats on the bus (poor Andrew's legs barely fit in the aisle), but overall it was a great value. We had lunch before heading to the causeway in a tiny mom and pop restaurant (I had seafood stew) and then we returned to Dublin around 5 PM to catch our early reservation at Pearl Brasserie. This was one of my favorite days on the trip. I didn't feel stressed out. I didn't think about the e-mails coming through for work. I just had a blast visiting new places with Andrew. All in all an unforgettable start to my trip abroad.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The feeling of being truly carefree.

Ireland was a home away from home. I cannot begin to describe the comfort of having a place rendered familiar by virtue of the fact that someone you love lives there. It was so enjoyable for me to see the place where my boyfriend has been spending his year abroad from the moment I hopped into my cab to the second I arrived in his neighborhood and rang the doorbell at that bright blue Georgian door.

Of course, I got ripped off by my cab driver. But you live and you learn I suppose.

I spent my first day exploring Trinity College solo. It resembled Berkeley's campus in many ways, but I guess we can't boast of having the oldest book in the world in our library. Seeing the Book of Kells was incredible. The thought of being in the presence of a book from 800 AD still sends chills down my spine. Following the exhibition, I continued along into Trinity's long library too. Oh to be able to actually have access to such a magnificent library for research! It was so romantic in there thinking of the students and scholars using such a beautiful library.

I lucked out with the weather during my stay. Not a single drop of rain. I miss it so much already. It was just one leg of my trip but I would do anything to be walking around in Ballsbridge right now hand in hand, enjoying the extra long days; the feeling of lightness knowing that I had no obligations the following day. Vacation is such a precious thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Commuter Style.

I've had backpacks on my mind for a while now. Commuting on BART daily with a purse and tote bag among other things depending on the weather just has proven to be very unpractical for me. I'm content with the Hershel backpack that I've been using, but it doesn't feel entirely right for taking to work. I love these three backpacks pictured above. I'm seeing the Everlane one everywhere now that the company has expanded in San Francisco. The center one from Moop is gorgeous, but not the same value as the Everlane. I don't plan on making any purchases anytime soon, but it doesn't hurt to play make believe once in a while, huh. 

Everlane $65  |  Moop $197   |  Fjallraven $175

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

As seen in Downtown Berkeley.

It's so refreshing to see things like this go up in Berkeley instead of graffiti. Brings a smile to my face every time I walk past it. It would be great to get some murals up downtown too. Hope everyone's having a good week...at least a better one than I've been having! I'm under the weather.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On being more brave.

This week didn't start out so well. I woke up on Sunday morning with a throbbing sensation in my mouth and some swelling. After I realized it was on a tooth that the dentist had worked on last year I knew I was in trouble. After several panicky moments to myself, I finally gave the dentist an emergency call and got a round of antibiotics and a rush appointment for Monday morning.

Guys, dental problems scare the crap out of me. In the past I've delayed and delayed appointments out of fear, but I at least know better now. I scheduled myself for a same day root canal and am hopefully on the road to recovery now. And should you ever find yourself in the same situation guys, let me just say that swelling means it's serious! Go see a dentist, ASAP. Worse things could happen.

So my bank account is hurting a little, but at least I have my health. When things like this happen, I always seek reassurance in friends, family, and my boyfriend. Being in a long distance relationship has forced me to be a little more brave and learn how to calm myself down. I can hardly believe it's been nearly 7 months now, but I think I've come a long way from where I was before he moved away. I look back on photos I've taken the last year and it feels as if that time is so far in the past now. How quickly things change! I like to think I'm more independent now, and not so reliant upon others for my happiness. And that's how it should be right?

The takeaway here? That nagging task you've been delaying for weeks on end? That bill you haven't gotten around to paying? That *ahem* ache in your tooth that you've tried to ignore for a week? Get  shit done. Don't procrastinate. Be more brave. You'll be so much more sane in the long run and it will instantly give you a boost of sheer, unadulterated happiness.

Your DSLR's New Best Friend

So when I bought my camera back in December, I was largely concerned that I'd never learn how to use all of its settings to its full capacity.

The user manual that came with the camera was helpful, but dense. It took me a while to wad through a lot of the technobabble, so naturally when Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs appeared on the Spring 2014 list at work, I was thrilled.

You can go ahead and take everything I say with a grain of salt given what you've just read, but I can personally attest to the fact that this book is a godsend for beginning photographers. The author's got a really got knack at identifying key elements that a lot of people want in their photos. The instructions and infographics are really crystal clear to follow and truly a pleasure to read. I can't recommend this enough. It's made each venture out with my Canon really fun and engaging.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Santa Cruz Itinerary.

Brunch at Cafe Brazil | 1410 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Order the Avocado a Cavalo and share their famous Acai Bowl for dessert.

Hike at Wilder Ranch State Park | 1401 Coast Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
If it's not crowded, park on the main road outside the entrance to the park and save yourself $10. It's just a short walk to the start of the trail. Mostly level trails make for an easy hike and gorgeous ocean views.

Shopping in Downtown Santa Cruz | Pacific Avenue
Hat tip to Sunset Magazine for recommending Penny Ice Creamery. Grab a cone and walk around Pacific Avenue. There are stores like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, but take the time to look at some of the smaller shops. If you're hungry, grab a slice of pizza at Pizza My Heart. So. Good.

Drinks at Soif Wine Bar and Merchants | 105 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
We stopped by Soif around 5 PM to enjoy some wine before our dinner reservation at 7:30 PM. They have a nice communal table and airy space for you to enjoy your wine in. Next door you can even do $5 wine wastings during their happy hour.

Dinner at Lilian's Italian Kitchen | 1116 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
We weren't terribly hungry by the time dinner rolled around. But if you want great italian food, Lilian's is your sure bet. Make a reservation ahead of time otherwise you might be looking at a two hour wait. Reservations can only be made day of starting at 11 AM so call in early. We shared the Caprese to start and shared the Sunday Gravy with meatballs as our main entree. These were all delicious. The meal was finished with tiramisu for dessert and two coffees. I think the bill came out to be something like $60 for the two of us, so it was a great value too. 

I definitely want to come back another time for a day trip. There are lots of state parks near downtown Santa Cruz that I want to check out. I'm always down for coastal hiking on a gorgeous day.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Santa Cruz.

My brother came up to visit this weekend for his Spring Break, so we decided to spend Friday in Santa Cruz. Fortunately, the forecast was inaccurate once again and we were greeted with a sunshine filled day.

Seriously, who knew Santa Cruz could be this gorgeous? Just a few minutes outside of town lies Wilder Ranch State Park. While the name and the entrance can be slightly misleading, it is a several mile stretch of completely beautiful and primarily level coastal hiking along the ocean. We saw seals, one otter, and several pelicans during our hike. But most of it was spent in awe of how a beautiful hike was just a 5 minute drive away from Brasil Cafe, where we had brunch moments earlier.

This made for a really great opportunity for me to test out my new lens as well! Since purchasing my Canon Rebel T3I in December, I've been using the lens that the camera came with. After some light research, I decided to get the Canon F/ 1.8 lens that retails for about $100 on Amazon. I know a few other bloggers who use this lens and get phenomenal results. And much to my delight, the author of READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS recommended the same lens to me without knowing I had just purchased it! The lower F stop gets gorgeous images like the one above. It made all of the photographs I took during this trip seem totally ethereal from all the sun-drenched backgrounds.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New favorite.

I have never loved Ralph Fiennes more than as Monsieur Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Who knew he'd play the role of a bisexual giggolo so delightfully. I left the movie with a feeling of nostalgia and melacholy. I want to see the movie again so badly. But in the meantime...here's an article about the creation of M. Gustave's beloved L'air de Panache for your edification via Vogue.com.