San Francisco

San Francisco

Cory has been talking about taking me to San Francisco for most of our relationship and we finally had a chance to get away a few weekends ago. I have been to San Francisco and he’s been but we haven’t been together. Since I knew we were going to San Francisco, and I knew buying the lens I wanted (24-105mm f/4L) was out of the question given how often I take pictures with my DSLR, Cory opted to rent the lens I wanted as a birthday gift. I haven’t rented a lens before and it seemed like LensRentals.com had the best reviews online. I think the price was pretty fair, and you can rent for however long you’d like, and the lens was in perfect condition. I would definitely use them again if I’m in the market for a rental. We visited Apple’s HQs in Cupertino and walked and drove around San Francisco. My favorite stops on this trip were Chinatown and Lands End. Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip. Final verdict: Going somewhere new and exploring one of my hobbies (photography) again certainly helped to get my creative juices flowing. In my opinion, this was […]

Project 366 – Week One

Project 366 – Week One

In my last post I was talking about spending 2016 rediscovering myself, and one of the things I want to do in 2016 is explore my photography hobby. I bought a Canon 7D this last year to replace the Rebel XT I had since 2007 hoping that would rekindle my love. I was super excited when I bought it and once I got it I was overwhelmed when I realized how different it was from my camera. I played with it a little but ultimately it has been collecting dust. I’m inherently lazy, you guys! So, I’ve decided I’m going to attempt Project 365/366 again; I’ve created an album on Flickr for it. I’ve tried Project 365/366 a few times and failed miserably. I do have the best intentions but I get discouraged when some days aren’t very interesting. In the past I would look at other people who’ve completed their projects and be jealous of where they lived (NYC, San Francisco, Europe) and all the sights they could photograph and keep things interesting. Then I look at where I live and what I see on a daily basis. I’m trying to remind myself that we get so used to […]

Rediscovering myself

Rediscovering myself

Original image by Greg Rakozy The end of 2015 has come to a close which naturally has one reflecting and setting goals for the new year. Many of these said goals will fall by the wayside a few weeks in. 2015 had its up and downs for me. The pros: I moved in with Cory. I’ve never lived with anyone other than family, and so it’s definitely added a new dynamic to our relationship. I also started a new job that I love. The cons: Mom had a health scare and Dad’s health is still up in the air. The pros aside, I feel I’ve stayed rather stagnate. For the most part, I can tell you what most weeks are going to consist of, because I’ve definitely fallen into a routine. It’s no one’s fault other than my own. Cory and I were talking a couple nights ago and he asked me: What is my thing? Meaning: what are my hobbies? It was a bit of a wakeup call because I simply said, “I don’t know what my thing is” and started crying.   I love watching “beauty gurus” on Youtube, is that a thing? I do love makeup and that’s probably the closest thing to a hobby that I […]

Best of 2015: Beauty Picks

2015 was the year I went Rouge… VIB Rouge… If you don’t know what that is, it’s probably for the best, but it means I spent a shit ton of money at Sephora in a calendar year. In 2015, I finally got a full-time job, at a job I love, and I rode that adrenaline for a while. “I’m working full-time now — I deserve this!” It happens to the best of us… I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging for a while and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to jump back into it. All of these products have been used throughout the year and definitely deserve the best of 2015 and are the favorites in my collection thus far. Hair 01. Sephora Favorites – Ultimate Hair Essentials Want to try a variety of different brands without spending an arm and a leg on full-sized versions you may or may not like? This is the set for you. Of these, the only item I didn’t want to try was the Wen conditioner due to all the lawsuits of customers’ hair falling out (!!) I had a few favorites in this set: Drybar – Hot Toddy Heat […]

Chicago

Chicago

A couple weekends ago we visited Chicago for my birthday. I’ve only visited Chicago once before (aside from passing through the airport), and remembered enjoying it aside from the fact we visited on SPRING BREAK, which is really still Winter for Chicago. We didn’t do a whole lot of research for this trip, which is unusual for both of us, and so the bulk of our first day there was walking around aimlessly. That weekend I didn’t want to research every little thing we did before going; especially food. The restaurants we picked were not picked out for their excellent Yelp reviews. It was interesting going into a restaurant and not knowing what to expect or what the food might look like. One interesting meal we had was in the back of a jewelry store. It was a very small, very out of place, Mediterranean restaurant that was pretty good. The other restaurants we visited were pretty meh but that’s OK. We did randomly stumble upon Shake Shack! We had already eaten lunch an hour or so ahead of that so we got dessert; Cory got a peanut butter shake and I got the Shack Attack. It was just OK. […]

Sephora Haul : Beauty Tools + etc

Disclaimer: I want to first start out by saying that this post isn’t me being braggadocios about what I bought at Sephora. I love watching Sephora hauls on Youtube to see what others like, and wanted to do one of my own sans video. This isn’t an example of what a “normal haul” for me looks like; I saved up quite a few Sephora giftcards (**see how in the last paragraph**) and used birthday money to purchase these things. First in this haul are items I’m almost out of and in need of replacing. This Smashbox primer is an old favorite, and the very first one I bought when I started getting into makeup. The last foundation I used didn’t seem to mesh well with this Smashbox primer, and so I took a little break from it. I’m currently using a foundation that seems to do well with this primer. I am almost out of my NARS concealer so I thought now would be a good time to replace that as well. I don’t think it’s my holy grail concealer, I have yet to find that one, but this one is less tacky than other concealers I’ve tried. I also […]

Memories in 8-megapixels

Sometimes I like to open up iPhoto (or as Apple calls it now Photos) and wander back through my past. This isn’t because I’m longing for anything in particular from my past, simply wanting to take a trip down memory lane or see when an event happened, and then I end up going down a rabbit hole. My interest in digital photography started sometime during my junior or senior year of high school. I was starting to pick up a couple of small web design jobs thanks to a very influential computer teacher I had who always pushed me even when I didn’t want to be pushed. I remember one day, I took our school’s digital camera out with me to take some photos for a client and I knew I wanted one of my own eventually. This was back in 2001 or 2002 so this fancy Sony digital camera used floppy discs as storage. Can you imagine?! I’ve had a couple of small cameras since high school and in 2007 I purchased my first DSLR camera: a Canon Rebel XT. I played with it a little after I got it but I found myself frustrated by how many features […]

American Sign Museum

American Sign Museum

Last weekend Cory and I went to Cincinnati for a low-key mini vacation. We haven’t been anywhere since Europe and we were needing to get away and do little-to-nothing. One of the few plans we had while in Cincinnati was to use a Groupon he bought for the American Sign Museum. I’m so glad he found it because I wouldn’t have went otherwise . . . and it was amazing! It was a tiny museum; like three rooms, but it was nicely done and very photo-worthy. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these photos: Or in color? Hmmm… While we were there I was inspired to take some photos that I could later edit with the Party Party App from the amazing people over at A Beautiful Mess and I think they turned out well for what they are. I really hate to admit it but my iPhone is replacing my DSLR but I’ll never part with it. It’s so easy to do fun things (quickly) with the iPhone and it’s super portable. I took some photos with my DSLR while at the sign museum, but from what I could see on my tiny screen I liked the photos […]

Fall is my favorite

After a very hot summer that I thought was never going to end, fall is finally here! Fall is definitely my favorite seasons because of the changing leaves and the cool nights and morning. I haven’t been getting out like I used to take pictures of the fall foliage especially with my DSLR. I hope to change that as Cory and I are headed to Cincinnati this weekend so I hope to bring back some non-iPhone photos with me. These photos were all taken with an iPhone 6, using the apps Camera+ and VSCOcam for editing. The first image/featured image was edited using A Beautiful Mess’ Mini Action Pack; it’s so worth $10.

European Adventures

European Adventures

We recently returned from a trip to Europe; London and Amsterdam specifically. This wasn’t my first overseas trip; I visited Japan a few years back. This trip, however, was definitely stressful in terms of traveling. Long story short (in case we’re not friends on Facebook): we had several layovers and our first flight ended up being cancelled after spending almost three hours (!!!!) on the tarmac. The travel gods were on our side that day and thankfully we caught a direct flight to London from Chicago. London We had one full day in London without travel and it feels like we didn’t walk very far but we covered a lot of ground in that one day. We visited the London Eye, Big Ben/Palace of Westminster (MY FAVORITE!), Westminster Abbey, St. James Park, and Buckingham Palace. I was a little apprehensive about spending a lot of money on things but the London Eye is worth getting on. We paid extra for the fast pass and got on almost instantaneously and it wasn’t crowded in the capsules which made taking photos easy. I expected it to be touristy but it showed off breathtaking views of the city. I would do it again! […]