June Adventures

Happy July!

Last month flew by crazy fast for me, but also slow at the same time. Yeah, that makes no sense. But life moves at a different speed when you’re unemployed and out of school.

I was looking through my Instagram account earlier to remind myself what I had done this month. Although some interesting things happened, I was thinking “There must have been more events than that.” I checked my Flickr and it turns out I hadn’t updated it since May. Whoa. That’s odd for me.

So, I decided I need a way to track my adventures besides just Instagram. I need a writing portion. Since I haven’t kept a journal in a few years  and this is my Modern Notebook (get it?) I’ll recap my month here!

last college paperour succulent

I submitted my last college paper, which I stapled in the library that has a sense of humor, apparently. Paul and I got our first plant for his apartment. Every time I look at it, I think of the love fern in How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Well, the boyfriend hasn’t broken up with me yet.

we're alumni now Cal Poly ladies

Graduation day! Every time I think of the phrase “graduation day” I think of Reba McEntire saying “Here’s Cheyenne and Van on Cheyenne and Van’s graduation day.” The Reba show was the best. Any way, I graduated! I couldn’t have done it without these beautiful people.

Grandma's favorite place Snoopy and friends

These ladies are the best. Summer is my favorite. I got to go to Laguna and Knott’s Berry Farm in the same week. #Blessed

DTLA bookstore cutesy tea time

 

My adventures took me to Downtown LA one day, where I wandered around The Last Bookstore. Later I took a bus to Santa Monica and got desperately lost for an hour. But it worked out. A few days later I was relaxing in a tea house in San Dimas.

best friend adventure beautiful ocean

The best friend and I took a one day trip to Santa Barbara on the Amtrack on Monday. That was quite an adventure! Neither of us had been on the Amtrack before. It was a good option, especially considering that we don’t drive much or own cars. We got to see Isla Vista, where she will be living in fall, and even splashed around in the water at the beach. It’s crazy how close of a walk the beach was!

Wow, wow, wow! June was pretty perfect, I must say.

All the photos in this post were taken from my Instagram. Follow me, if you would like! I just started doing a photo challenge for July on Instagram by Postcards from Rachel. You can find out more about that here.

Did you guys have any adventures in June? What are you most looking forward to in July? 

Head in the clouds

blue skies

Note: I wrote this a few weeks ago and accidentally pushed publish before adding in the pictures. Here’s the completed piece, as it should be.

It rained today.

My mom excitedly pointed out the rain as I was looking at my computer on the dinning room table. We could see through the dinning room window that there was rain pouring down, but there weren’t any clouds blocking the sun. “There must be a rainbow,” she said. Sure enough, there was practically a double rainbow.

I went right out in the rain with my flip flops, running shorts, tank top and hoodie on. (This California weather changes fast. It was hot a few days ago and I was inside most of today, so I was in lounge clothes.) After about 10 minutes, it stopped raining. I had some photos of the rainbow, a truly beautiful feat of nature, so I retreated inside to warm my feet.

from porch

I got lost in the Internet again. When I looked up from the 10+ tabs I had open and saw the sunset, I decided it was time for another photo session. Queue more cloud photography, a downpour and then hail started falling from the sky. That happens a few times a year where I live and I love it every time.

in motion

flying

dark clouds

Each time I was outside staring at the sky, I thought about how my head has been in the clouds lately. I like to live in reality, but sometimes I get too caught up in thinking about the future, what it could hold, and what it should hold. The things that have been weighing heavily on my mind feel so personal at the moment, that I would rather not go into detail. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to say I’ve been deeply considering marriage and my career both as separate and intertwined things.

As I’m writing this, I just remembered a quote from one of my favorite books and movies, Little Women. “We’ll all grow up someday,” Amy March told her sister Meg. “We might as well know what we want.”

In my experience, this is true. We should know what we want. We should be dreamers and have our heads in the clouds sometimes. Of course, eventually we’ll have to come back to earth and see how our dreams can match up with reality.

I also try to keep in mind that wherever there’s rain, there’s likely to be a rainbow. Take the bad with the good and vice versa. Gray skies and blue skies can exist in the same day, even in the same stretch of sky. So appreciate what you have.

The sky always makes me feel very contemplative. I just have to remember to look up.

 

Exploring Downtown Los Angeles

Yesterday was my last day at my internship in Downtown Los Angeles. I’ve become so used to my commute, coworkers and work there. It’s going to be sad not to be there three times a week any more. It was a great experience and I learned so much.

It was a great adventure.

Besides being an incredible learning experience where I got to work with awesome people, it was also really cool to be in the big city of Los Angeles a few times a week. I love

I thought I would share just a few photos I’ve taken over the past three months in LA, along with some restaurant recommendations.

store front view

Santee Village

sandwich shop
^^ Delicious and cheap Mexican food

Bega

Ace Sewing Machine & Thread Supply Company

Best Sewing Maching

illy and fishy

^^The pastry fishies at Delicious Together are amazing. They come with every purchase. Illy coffee there is so good too! Try the honey vanilla latte or Vietnamese coffee.

There are so many great places to eat in this area. If you happen to be in the area, definitely try out one of the independently owned places to get an experience you won’t find anywhere else. I recommend Delicious Together, TBLA, Grand Central Market and Casa la Doña. There is also a great pizza stand near the Urban Outfitters on Broadway that I can’t think of the name of and that good Mexican place pictured above. Try them! If you can, then you must!

LA folks, do you have any favorite places in downtown you would recommend?

Pink sightings

powerful

nice ride

It’s almost spring. Yay, hooray! Spring might be my favorite season. It’s not too hot and not too cold. Pastels are in. Bunnies are everywhere before and after Easter. Besides that, the color pink seems to show up more often. I love pink so maybe it’s just one of those things where you notice what you’re looking for.

I snapped these pictures last Wednesday when I was on my college’s campus to get my second internship approved. It was approved, thankfully, and I got to hang out with a few of my favorite people that day.

ready to bloom

pink path

fake snow fall
Yeah, I know this last one isn’t pink, but it’s still worth sharing. This fake snow was falling from a tree on my street. I’m not even kidding. Someone had hung snow ornaments on a tree by the curb and it was so windy that a few had fallen off. It caught my eye when I was on my way back from school.

I’m so tired and I just can’t stay up much longer, so this is a super short post. Good night, cuties! I hope you all are having an amazing week.

Practicing photography

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One thing I’m trying to work on lately in this in-between time of unemployment is photography. I have the free time, I’ve always loved it and it’s a great skill to have. I’m trying to put my Cannon to good use. Hey, maybe one day I can even take on clients.

I took my first photo class two years ago and now I’m at a total of three. I had a different professor each time, each with different styles and backgrounds. The classes were called Film Photography, Photojournalism, and Digital Photography. Well, actually the last one was officially called Photoshop, but the professor taught it with a wider focus in mind and changed the title.

Grandma Donna

As a little kid, one of my favorite things was carrying around a disposable camera and taking photos. Is that what phone pictures have become? Hmm, that probably only makes sense in my head. But what I’m getting at is even then I enjoyed taking photos. I just didn’t have a technique down.

At stoplight

Lifestyle photography is what I’m going for. I love the photography on lifestyle blogs like A Beautiful Mess and Sincerely Kinsey. I also always enjoy the photos on Lifesize Paperdoll and if found, make. The blogs have different styles, which are each easily recognizable. The photos have a sort of uniform look.

My friend Mina and I were just talking about this recently. She was actually taking pictures of me for class, so I turned the camera on her too. That gave me some good practice and made me realize I really would like to take more photos of people. A lot of my photos have been of my dogs and nature. I might start soliciting my friends for a photo session so I can get in the practice.

close up in the corner

I found some good photography articles around the web today that my fellow photogs could find useful.

14 Portrait Photography Tips / Digital Camera World, 5 Tips for Lifestyle Photography / A Beautiful Mess

The photos above were all taken by me. I took them all over a few months, but am just now sharing them here. I’m slightly embarrased to let my practice stuff out, but I’m starting to see improvement. It’s just for fun now any way.

dot per inch

Image

My friend Christian Soriano started a project called dot per inch, which I think is pretty amazing. CJ, as myself and most of his friends call him, is one of my coworkers at Gas Creative Group and one of the best photographers I know. In the past couple years he has been doing event and portrait photography, as well as videography. Through this project, he shows that every person we encounter in life is a unique individual made of of many experiences, similar to how a picture is made up of many small dots.

Here in his own words on the websites about page, CJ describes dot per inch.

I initially wanted to do a Stranger Portraits Project, but then I came across Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York which inspired me to try and make a stronger connection with those I photograph. So here I am now, working on a far more intimate photography project than what I had originally planned, Dot Per Inch (DPI). With each person I meet and photograph, I hope to share a little aspect about them, a “dot” if you will.

There is so much we can learn about the people around us, and I hope I can offer a peek into the lives of these people through DPI.

Please take a minute to check out his website. He’s off to a great start so far, but there are many more portraits and intimate chats to come. By the way, that’s me on the far right, in the middle row. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Solo photo adventure

I probably shouldn’t be writing this. I probably should be writing a lot of other things, such as my assignments that are due later today. But I just wanted to very quickly share some pictures that I took on Sunday afternoon. For Photoshop class, the assignment was to take 45 pictures over the weekend. I ended up taking about 200, many of which were repeats as I tried to get the right shot. It’s getting easier with practice though. In class yesterday my professor was explaining what ISO to use depending on the lighting situation. I was trying not to use too high of an ISO, but in some cases I bumped it up too much and ended up with noise. Oops! Now I won’t make that mistake again.

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At first I was just taking photos in my own yard. That was okay, but it was pretty same old, same old. By the way, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on here that I have cats. The photo above is of my cat Simba. We’ve had him since I was in fourth or fifth grade. I can’t even remember which any more. I named him. Also, The Lion King is my favorite movie ever. Now you know.

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Once I moved past my own house and bothered to walk to a nearby park things really got interesting. It was quite an adventure and I was loving it. It almost felt like meditation. Although from these two photos it looks like the park was empty, that wasn’t the case. There were a lot of kids looking exploring the water, searching for fishes. There actually were some tiny fish. People were playing basketball on the court and kids were climbing the jungle gym, but I mostly kept to myself. I’ll have to come back to that spot for outfit posts. That could be so much fun!

Happy October

Sun through the trees

Happy October! It’s finally starting to feel like fall. I’ve actually been able to wear long sleeves two days in a row. In Southern California! That’s just super exciting to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. It’s just cool when the weather changes too. Get it? It’s cool weather. I crack myself up sometimes.

I love the beginning of every season. Well, scratch that. I love when it’s about a week or two into any season. By then I’ve had a chance to get used to my allergies acting up because of the temperature change. I’ve made a list of goals for the season and mentally prepared for things that are coming up. I’ve made a list of fall goals and will keep reminding myself of them every day by making little steps so that I accomplish them. I prepare not just for the changes in my own future but how the world is constantly changing too. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all the changes.

Standing out

These are pictures I took two weeks ago on campus before school started. At that time I started seeing more people than normal, including more people who looked like professors or staff members and more people who looked like they might be students. The campus still was fairly quiet though. It didn’t get really busy until a few days later. Then Welcome Week started, students moved back on campus, and conferences began for faculty and staff. That week before school started though there was this feeling in the air. Perhaps only I felt it. Perhaps it was a feeling inside me. It’s like I could feel that things were about to change.It has now. The atmosphere is more exciting now, more full of life. This might sound silly, but I think places have feelings too, in a way.

I would like to a do a series of pictures from my college campus. It’s just going to be so funny to leave it. I need some way to say goodbye and to take the memories with me, in a tangible way. It would be nice to have some photos of my favorite spots framed somewhere in my house. Of course, I do only live about fifteen minutes away and can visit any time, but it will be different if I’m not required to go for school or work and I have other things going on, such as a full-time job or internship. As it is one of my goals, I would like to improve my photography skills and I may even retake these photos to make them better.  I know these photos are too flat and grainy, but I’m not sure how to take something better quite yet. Thankfully, I have a digital photography class this quarter.

The road to nowhere

Our bench

Pretty soon it will be holiday season. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it seems to sneak up on me. Do you feel that way too? This year I’ve been preparing my heart to be happy about all the celebrating. I want to take plenty of pictures, but also be in the moment and enjoy every minute.