{personal} still life with ranunculus

Purple Valentine's Day ranunculus on my nightstand. They are making me happy.


{personal} valentine's day

Presented above are a few pictures of mine and my husband's Valentine's Day. Yes, that's right, it consisted of flowers, LEGOs, and diner food! Let me explain.

1. When I got home from work last night, Sean (and our teddy bear, Beary) gifted me with these beautiful flowers. Ranunculus are one of my absolute favorite flowers and purple is my favorite color. I hope they last!

2. We are both currently obsessed with LEGOs. In fact, both of our childhoods consisted of LEGOs. I have many fond memories of playing with them for hours and hours with my brother and sister. Currently, Sean and I are obsessed with the series of LEGO modular buildings. Sean actually gave me this little romantic date LEGO vignette a few weeks ago because he was afraid I would come across it online in my current LEGO craze. It's seriously the best Valentine's gift ever!

3. And then I gave Sean his gift early as well when he was having a particularly bad day. He's a huge fan of diners, drive-ins, and B-movies. We've both drooled over the vintage metal intermission signs (and Frosty Friend magnet) every time we go to Hobby Lobby. So, on Valentine's Day I made him our favorite sliders and homemade honey mustard sauce complete with fast food baskets, stainless steel condiment cups, soda fountain glasses (filled with his favorite banana milkshake), stainless steel straws, glass Coca-Cola bottles, movie candy, and his pick of B-movie to watch.

4. There is no picture to represent it, but we also saw a matinee of The Theory of Everything. It wasn't the perfect lighthearted romantic movie, but it was good!


{personal} the photographer on her wedding day

I never officially mentioned it here on the blog, but I got married!

As many of my readers know (from posting about getting engaged back in 2010 and moving across the country and finally being together in 2011), our wedding this past summer was the result of eight years of being together (four years spent long distance, four years spent being engaged, five years spent on the east coast, three years spent on the west coast), all of which culminated in a sort of last minute let's-just-go-to-a-courthouse-and-get-it-over-with wedding. However, as soon as we set the date and notified our families, so many of them made the effort to be there for our special day! So we ditched the courthouse plans and opted for a very simple wedding in a park near our home in California.

Not being ones to have something over-the-top and ridiculously expensive, we entered into the "planning" phase by not really having any plans at all. Instead, everything fell together so simply and perfectly... We had a small gathering on a perfect morning under the trees in Wildwood Canyon Park. We had beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres made by a friend (I always knew I wanted something purple, my favorite color). We had pictures and video taken by another friend. We had lunch reservations at The Castaway made by a sister (with an amazing view of the valley). We had an extremely delicious cake from Porto's picked up by a brother. We had the something old (my great-grandmother's engagement ring), the something new (my wedding dress from Anthropologie, the first store I tried), the something borrowed (shoes from my sister), and the something blue (twenty-nine pale blue stitches stitched into the lining of my slip in commemoration of the date).

And most importantly, we had family! I know it's cliché to say that your wedding day is perfect, but it really was. For the entire weekend, we couldn't have felt more loved or more blessed to have so many of our family members take the time and effort to fly across the country to be there. I tear up every time I look back through the pictures and recall the day. And of course I'm so happy to finally be married to this amazing man!


{personal} object vignette

At the moment I have this little vignette of items on our dining table. The composition of objects is making me very happy!

White picture frames from Pottery Barn.
Girl photographs by Caryn Drexl.
Plant photograph by me.
Glass tealight holder from IKEA.
The glass tower box was a gift from my brother and sister from Urban Outfitters.
The geo terrarium was a gift from my father-in-law and stepmother-in-law from Urban Outfitters.
The time travel ring was a gift from my husband from Etsy.
The cat statue was a gift from my parents many years ago.
The gold necklace was a gift from my paternal grandmother.


{personal} merry christmas

Merry Christmas! Here are some quick shots of our decorations around the apartment. Though it wasn't our first Christmas together, it was our first Christmas as husband and wife (hence the wedding ornaments from my mom and dad). Sean has a collection of mouse ornaments that his uncle gave him every year (though the artist mouse is mine). They remind me of my mom who loves mice and has her own collection of mouse ornaments; it's like having a little bit of home here in California.


{personal} snow day

Last week it was rainy and cold enough to snow in the mountains north of Los Angeles. So on my day off, my sister-in-law, niece, nephew and I travelled an hour north to the mountains in Frazier Park. It was the first time I'd seen snow in almost four years (and my nephew's very first time!) and it was so wonderful to see the snow-dappled mountains and pine trees. Of course, I thought my toes were going to fall off after about twenty minutes... But at one point I stood and looked around and realized that all I could hear was the sound of the wind.


{looking back} richmond district flowers

Some flower pictures from when I first moved to San Francisco three years ago. Just another shining example of coming across pictures I took years ago that I didn't think much of at the time, but that I now really like...


{personal} griffith observatory

The day after we got married, Sean and I took my family to some of the more touristy places around Los Angeles. Even though we'd lived here for exactly a year, we had yet to go to Griffith Observatory and see the Hollywood sign. Seeing as we are both really into astronomy and space, it was about time that we went. Since then, we've been trying to go as much as possible to watch the sun set or take advantage of the free telescope viewings. The L.A. skies are notoriously light-polluted so there usually isn't much to see. But the views of the Hollywood Hills and the rare cloudy sunsets are worth it. These pictures were taken a couple months ago. Even though we are trying to go as much as possible, it seems we're only able to make it happen abut once every two months. In the new year I hope to change that!


{for sale} 2015 calendar sets

It's that time of year again! 2015 calendar sets are now available in my shop! Above is the newest set, but there are four other options for sale.

These 5x7 unbound calendar pages are perfect for sticking in a mirror or picture frame, tacking onto a bulletin board, or sliding into a book or day planner. The possibilities are endless! Best of all, at the end of each month you can trim off the calendar section, leaving you with 12 ready-to-frame 5x5 prints. Click here to purchase!


{personal} carl sagan day

"I went to the librarian and asked for a book about stars... And the answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close. The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of light... The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. It was a kind of religious experience. There was a magnificence to it, a grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me." - Carl Sagan

"The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what is true." - Carl Sagan

"Whatever the reason you're on Mars is, I'm glad you're there. And I wish I was with you." - Carl Sagan

Today would have been Carl Sagan's 80th birthday. He was an amazing astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, a major promoter of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), and author of one of my favorite books which was then turned into one of my favorite movies.

In 1990 when the Voyager 1 spacecraft completed its primary mission and was set to leave the Solar System, Carl Sagan was the one who requested that the camera on the spacecraft be turned around to photograph Earth across an expanse of space measuring over three and a half billion miles. This image is the result and is titled "Pale Blue Dot." It illustrates both our insignificance and significance.

This is why I love Carl Sagan; he seems to have been both scientist as well as artist. 

As much as I admire his beautiful words and thoughts and ideas, regrettably there is very little of his work that I am actually familiar with. When I read Contact a few years ago, it was such perfection that I've been putting off reading Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot which have been sitting on my to-read pile for far too long. I also have plans to finally watch the original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage which was written and presented by Mr. Sagan in 1980. I can then watch this year's followup Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. And then someday I would like to visit his grave in Ithaca, New York, so that I can be among those who place a blue marble on his tombstone in honor of Pale Blue Dot.


{personal} apple picking

A couple of weeks ago we went apple picking at Snow-Line Orchard in Oak Glen, California. I had never been apple-picking before, so I was super excited! We picked apples, made apple cider, walked around. It was so lovely to escape the triple-digit temperatures and the unbearable heat of the city and drive up into the mountains and enjoy a true autumn. The temperature never reached above seventy the whole day and there was a clean crispness to the air that reminded me so much of home on the east coast. Autumn is my absolute favorite season and I miss it so much being in L.A. I love everything about it: leather boots, cozy sweaters, soft jeans, pumpkin-flavored everything, changing leaves, clean air, winding roads, country houses. I miss it so badly, and it was so wonderful being able to experience it all again, even just for a day.