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Friday, August 31, 2012

Staying On Top Of It All

Yes I know it's not the first time I've posted this picture on the blog, but I can't help myself. I kinda love it hehe.

On August 1 I wrote this little post about living in the moment and enjoying my 3 and a half week vacation from work. In that post, I shared a list of goals I hoped to achieve during my vacation. I hoped that these goals would keep me off of the couch remind me to enjoy my time off and live in the moment.

Here's a little update on my goals:
-Go to the beach every single day
Ok I definitely didn't go every single day, but I was really really close. I may have missed 1 day while I was in LA.

-Workout 4-5 days a week
Wamp wamp, fail. It was more 3-4 days a week, but I spent A LOT of time walking, hiking, and exploring so I definitely spent time exercising even if I wasn't in a gym. (Which is just fine with me)

-Appreciate the moment
Always =) Really though, I spent lots and lots of time enjoying the quiet, the sound of the waves, or sitting in our backyard hammock and reading. Sweet eh?

-Read 6 books
I read 5 books, and I think that's pretty flipping great. The books I read are...
1. The Fault In Our Stars (obsessed with this book, just OBSESSED).
2. 50 Shades of Grey (I know, I know I was totally against the book for the first 40ish pages... and then I changed my mind hahaha)
3. Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (this book was ok, but getting through it was a bit of a struggle at times)
4. The Contortionist's Handbook (really good and interesting book)
5. 50 Shades Darker (mhm, it's all right, but it's no 50 Shades of Grey)
I'm starting The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society today and have heard so many great things about it. Can't wait =)

-Watch less TV (unless the Olympics or Shark Week are on... I love me some Shark Week)
 Wellll the TV is off right now, I've read 5 books in 3.5 weeks, and I spent lots and lots of time outdoors. I did, however spend some time catching up on my favorite Bravo housewives and art gallery girls. What can I say I appreciate quality television. =P

-Take the ferry to Catalina Island with Nadav for the day
Fail, buttt there's always this weekend. (Hint hint wink wink, Nadavvvvvv)

-Take a little vacay to Las Vegas
We went, we drank thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we conquered... and you can read some more about our Vegas trip here.

-Catch up on emails...
It took me a few weeks, but I think I did ok. Speaking of emails, there was a point over summer break where I came to some realizations about emails and my addiction to social media. More on that later, but for now I wanted to say thank you to all of you who leave me such sweet comments on here and read my blog each day. =)You truly brighten my days.
  
-Spend time learning more about photography and shooting in manual
I dabbled, kinda. =P Let's just say I have room for some serious improvement.

-Take a short trip to LA to visit friends AND go to Sprinkles Ice Cream!
Done and done, and it was kinda fabulous. You can read more about those shenanigans here and here.

-Go to Sea World at least twice a week to visit the dolphins
Also done and done. There was also the time I went to Sea World twice in the same day. #Weirdooo

-Spend less time shopping/on the couch and more time living
Yes yes and yes... except for that time Farra and I went to the San Ysidro Outlet Mall =P

 -Go to the Del Mar races at least 2 more times.
I went one time, but the Del Mar Races are not over yet. Maybe tonight? Check out the my post about the first I went to the races this summer here.

-COOK. I've kinda been slacking in that department.
EPIC FAIL. MUST GET BETTER

-CLEAN! (did you hear that Mom? I promise to clean =P)
Yes, I did some serious cleaning over the past few weeks and I feel so good about it. Our house feels better and is more organized. I'm loving it. (See Mom I told you I'd be better =P)

-Bike ride around Coronado Island at least 2 times.
Hm also failed, but I don't feel bad about it. =) I spent lots and lots of time enjoying the beach this summer.

-Watch Gabe perform in Fiddler On The Roof at the Moonlight Theater in Vista (Go Gabey!)
Made it happen, and the play was beautiful! I'm also an emotional sap and cried my eyes out during the entire show, I had no idea Fiddler was so so sad.

-Go sailing again (I haven't posted about our first sailing experience but lets just say I screamed "I HATE THIS I HATE THIS!!" multiple times, we got stuck on the sand 3 times, got laughed at by people hanging out on the shore, but after about 30minutes of misery we got the hang of sailing and I LOVED every second. Lesson Learned: Calm down, trust your man, and think before you scream hehe. Lesson Also Learned: Sailing is a great couple bonding activity hehe)
We didn't end up sailing again, but it's definitely not too late. =)


I think I did pretty well, right?
I'm just so thankful I had the time to slow down and enjoy myself. 

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Hope you have a great long weekend

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Happy List

I don't know if it's the new school year, the supposed end of "summer", or the beautiful days that just keep blessing us in San Diego, but I've been feeling really happy and grateful this week.

I think all this cheeriness calls for a Happy List
You agree? Good. =P

1. A new school year that is starting off on a really positive note... Ok so shit will go down the kids aren't starting until next week, but I really feel a sense of positivity from my coworkers and boss and it's making me feel all cheery inside. 
 2. The dolphins at Sea World.. yes yes I know I go see them 2-3 times a week which makes me a bit of a weirdo, but I can't stop myself. They really truly make me happy.
3. Phillipine Dried Mangos. Yup... and I'm obviously talking about the huge Costco bag, none of this small bag grocery store business.
 4. A boyfriend who supports everything I do, like this blog. He knows that blogging makes me happy and rolls his eyes is so good about waiting to touch his food until I take a picture, taking silly photos for me, and always supports my blogging because he knows how much I love it. Love.
5. An upcoming trip to Palm Springs that I'm taking with some very lovely ladies, you know who you are =P
6. Boot camp friends who inspire me to keep going during crazy workouts... and then invite me to fun parties and events. #BootCampBuddies #WorkThanParty
7.  Speaking of boot camp friends, being part of a truly kick ass boot camp class that really pushes me farther than I think I can push myself. It's an amazing feeling to surpass that notion you have in your head of what you can and can't do. (Read: yes I whine and pout when it gets really intense but I love it).
8. San Diego summer sunsets, they take my breath away
9. Knowing that I will be seeing Jason Mraz in concert next month!! Woop woop, I like him, woop woop wooooop. #HappyDance #StillHappyDancing
10. Apples and honey =) Yay for September


Hope you have a sweet day
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waves

Sometimes I think about how defining moments in life come in waves and how those moments affect my writing style and my blog. 
There are times when I feel silly, introspective, or a little private. Those emotions are always reflected in the way I write, even if I am not directly writing about the event that occurred and brought on these feelings. I feel so lucky to have this little journal that really is reflective of each part of my life. =)
I'm also really thankful for each of you and for the opportunity to share my ramblings life with you.
Thank you :) 

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And on another note..... I'm excited to share three wonderful ladies with you today. These bloggers are awesome, make sure you stop by their blogs and say hello.

 Postpositions on Prepositions is a completely random blog about my life as a 27-year old high school English teacher living in downtown Phoenix with my fellow teacher boyfriend and way-too-adorable golden retriever. Topics range from items as outrageously ludicrous such as counting down my top 10 favorite fictional and non-fictional crushes that have shaped my view on men (way too dorky, I know) to wryly analyzing articles posted on Business Insider on why the 20s suck. Personally, I enjoy blog posts with thoughtful reflections on true experiences accompanied by an original voice, so that's what Postpositions is for me.

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 Hi there, I'm Devon. Since I quit my "grownup job" you can typically find me down by the beach either with a surfboard or a pencil in my hand. I live in San Diego and am trying to make it as a freelance writer and professional free surfer. There are ups and downs that go with all of this, and, fortunately, my husband and family are there for me through it all. My blog covers this, our home makeover, vegetarian recipes and our current summer journey road tripping across the country. Stop by! I'd love to get to know you!

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 I'm Maggie and I blog over at Sweet Peas and Lucky Honey. I absolutely love drinking coffee and personally like to enjoy an iced honey latte while blogging : )  I have an appreciation for all things nature ~ thanks to my mother for instilling this in me.  If I could design and make crafts for a living, I would open a shop tomorrow and if sitting in a coffee house with a good book could be a profession, I would take it up immediately. My boyfriend is the best at taking me on adventures and you can follow my adventures here

Hope you have a great day


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Like You Too.

Am I the only one who changes the title of my post 2-3 times after I post it??

Moving on...
Just thought I'd share a few of my favorite things floating around the internet world right now.
(AKA Yesterday was my first day back at work, I am tired, and writing a more "meaty" post seemed exhausting last night =P)

Seriously Devon's backyard makeover makes me want to fix up our disaster of a backyard!

Pretzel floatie

The perfect California necklace

50 Things To Love About Life That Are Free

I basically need this dress, I'm sure you can figure out why. =P

Olivia blogged about the SoCal Blogger Meetup at Urban Skin Care. She took some great photos

The best book I have read in a really long time.

 And just in case you're interested...
I'm currently accepting sponsors for the month of September. =) 
You can learn more and purchase ad space here
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Hope you have a sweet day
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Monday, August 27, 2012

The SoCal Blogger Meetup

 Thank you so so much to everyone who attended the SoCal Blogger Meetup Saturday night at Urban Skin Care. It's events like that one, that truly remind me how lucky I am to be part of such a special blogging community. We really do support, inspire, and strengthen each other. 
(And really, how often are you surrounded by a group of such beautiful, intelligent, and creative women at one time?! Love it!)

Truth is, I was a very bad blogger Saturday night and was so busy getting a massage and getting my makeup done making new friends that I neglected to take pictures. Eep! If you do have any pictures from Saturday night puuhhlease send them way.

For now, I'll leave you with a mess of Instagram photos (photo credit: @UrbanSkinCareSD and @0liviaDee) from the event. 
Olivia and I at the end of the evening =)

Ridiculously yummy pizza from Napizza. Seriously it might just be the best pizza I have ever had!

Bon Affair wine spritzers were a really really sweet healthy treat. You gotta try this stuff

Amanda getting her nails did

 Beer brownies from 98 bottles

Ladies =)

Yupp that's me, getting my makeup done.

The amazing Urban Skin Care girls who are so genuinely sweet and took such good care of us. I seriously cannot recommend this spa enough. If you are in the San Diego area and looking for a great spa check this place out, and no... they did not ask me to say that, but it is TRUE! =)

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Hope you have a wonderful week. 
Today is my first day back at work in 3.5 weeks.... sigh. =P

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear(ly)


 Dear Vacation,
You've treated me so so well, andddd you are about to end. {Sigh} Here's to having a good weekend, slowing down, and living in the moment. It's almost time to get back to the grind.

Dear SoCal Bloggers,
I am really looking forward to meeting you on Saturday night. =) We have a few more spots available, RSVP here if you're interested in join us for an evening of fun, spa services, and wine.

Dear Self,
Yes vacation is over, but realxxxxx you live in flipping San Diego and you have plenty of fun and relaxing days ahead of you... whether or not they include work. {Trying to convince myself that going back to is not the end of the world =P}

Dear Coffee,
Have I ever told you you how sweet you sound when you drip into my coffee cup? Just sayin.

Dear Bravo,
You suck me in with your ridiculous "reality" shows. Thanks for bringing Work of Art into my life, like I really needed another reality show to watch each week. =P

Dear Nadav,
Today I make YOU dinner. I know, I know it is a rarity. I admit I didn't make dinner once over the 3 weeks I had off of work, but I know you are so happy I'm finally getting around to it. hehehe #PshewAtLeastHeLovesMe

Dear Hashtag,
Who knew I would feel the need to use so often in my day to day life? #Ridiculous #NotGettingOld

Dear Friends,
Hope you have a sweet sweet weekend

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Just in case you missed them, some fun things that have happened on the blog over the past couple of weeks
- I showed you my parents' kitchen renovation
- I recapped my visit to LA
- Bekuh wrote a GREAT guest post about how to take better outfit photos
- I wrote about how sweet it feels to go home
- Nadav and I spent a long beachy day together
 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Love LA

Last week I went up to LA to visit my Gila Joon.
It's been a long time since I've been up to LA because really, us San Diegans have a tough time leaving our city... especially for a trip to LA. =P (Kidding kidding, ok not really hehe)
Anyway, my time in LA was wonderful and really brought me back to my UCLA days. Those were some goooood days. Oh college, you treated me so well. =)

We ventured to the Santa Monica Pier.


 Made my dreams come true hit up Sprinkles Ice Cream

Ordered coffee ice cream, topped with brownies, in a red velvet cone. #Heaven #GimmeMeMore

Hung out in an hanging egg chair at The Standard hotel in Hollywood
 (Note to self, push up glasses before taking photos hehe)

And watched a really inappropriate ridiculous 80s cover band, Steel Panther. Lets just say I left the concert slightly traumatized.... =P

I had so much fun, and am really looking forward to my next trip up to the City Of Angels =)
Thanks Gila Joon

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Hope you have a great day

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Taking Outfit Photos


Friends, 
Today I have an awesome post to share with you, and it just happens to be by Bekuh of Secondhand Sundays.
Bekuh is great at all kinds of things and I really really love her blog. She posts ridiculous DIYs, makes yummy food, has great style and owns a sweet vintage shop.
(Cough she is also a contributor to Lucky Magazine!)

Enjoy and make sure you go by her blog. I know you will love it =)
Hello beautiful people! My name is Bekuh and I am sooooo excited to be visiting with you today. Tammy's blog is one of my favorites because of her quirky personality, contagious smiley faces :-P and uncontrollable passion for life. It's an honor for reals.

I blog over at Secondhand Sundays, a personal lifestyle blog, that chronicles my love of all things vintage, delicious, and handmade. You'll usually find me wearing some brightly colored get-up, with my husband and dog in toe (I like to keep my entourage close). I've been known to share recipes, DIYs, and outfit posts on the regular and Tammy flattered me so by asking if I'd share some photo tips with you for taking outfit posts.

I don't really consider my blog a fashion blog, but I do co-own a vintage store on Etsy called the Button Factory, and we do sell clothing; so I dabble in it here and there for kicks. In my nearly two years of blogging I've posted approximately 35 outfit posts. I say approximately because the first dozen or so were terrible attempts and should probably be deleted. As you can see I'm still pretty new to this whole fashionable blogger thing, but I have learned a lot in the 15+ months since I first started posting my daily wears on Secondhand Sundays.

So, without any further fanfare or back story needed here are 7 practical tips to help you improve your outfit posts on your own blog.
1. Avoid the afternoon sun.
This tip is two fold. First, the afternoon sun is super harsh and you should avoid taking photos from about 11am-4pm (in the summer) because of it, it washes all the colors out or makes them really hard to adjust when editing. Second, standing in the direct sun creates crazy shadows that are really unflattering. As you can see in the above images I learned this lesson the hard way.

HINTS: If you have to take photos in the afternoon try standing under something, with the sun behind you, not glaring in your face. The hour right before sunset (the magic hour) is the most flattering time of day to shoot photos.
2. Know your angles.
There are flattering angles, and there are unflattering angles. You should always take a lot more photos than you would ever need for a post so you can play around with how you position the camera. Try taking photos front on, from above, slightly below, sideways, and angled. If you have someone helping you with photos that's great! If not, play with varying heights on your tripod. We all have a "better" side and we just have to learn how to capture it correctly.

HINT: Schedule a day or a couple of days and take a pictures of various outfits, without the intention of them ever being posted. You can take snap a couple hundred pictures; practicing a lot of angles, and poses until you find the ones that work best for you. The bonus to this is you'll probably come out with 2 dozen or so images that you can use on the blog as filler when you don't have pictures planned.
3. Why so serious?
I love a good sultry pose like the rest of you, but man do fashion bloggers take themselves too seriously. Be natural, and loose. If you like to smile, do it every. single. time. If you make silly faces on the regular, have a signature smirk, or a funny pose, shoot it. We all have a goofy side, and a serious side; try capturing both, your readers will love it.

HINT: If you're making super goofy faces or, a silly pose DON'T take close-ups. We all love a girl who can cut loose but we don't need to see up your nostrils, or down your throat to appreciate it. These shots should be reserved for full, to mid body pictures.
4. Put your makeup on, it won't hurt you.
I'm not someone who wears a lot of makeup. I love the idea of makeup, but it's just not something I'm very good at. That being said I've learned that it's important to put a little foundation and blush on when I'm shooting an outfit post. I still don't put "a lot" on but it helps smooth the rough edges, and simplify editing. Cameras capture everything, including a little under eye redness, and the tiniest pimple. You don't want your blemishes to ruin an otherwise perfect outfit, so pull out all the stops. Magazine models, and actresses don't go into a photo shoot naked faced, so why would we?

HINT: Don't feel pressured to go over the top with your makeup if that's just not you, be true to yourself. All I'm saying is that in my experience my photos turn out better if I put in the extra effort. If you don't own makeup then go without it, maybe your target demographic is different from others.
5. A little editing goes a long way
Photos straight out of the camera will always be okay, but digital cameras were designed to make manipulating photos a lot easier and it is an important part of the photographic process to learn how to edit them. I tried a lot of fancy techniques, and actions when I first started taking outfit posts and I look back in horror now. The best outfit posts (in my opinion) are simple, bright, and well lit. There are so many great resources for learning how to edit photos online and a couple of websites like Pic Monkey that can aid the non-Photoshop user in the editing process.

HINT: There are a lot of bloggers out there who are much more qualified to speak on this subject than I am. I found this post by Delightfully Tacky, this post by Katie of Katie's Pencil Box and this series by A Beautiful Mess incredibly useful when seeking out ways to improve my own photography.
6. Mix & Match Locations.
I get into this habit where I take my outfit posts in the same location time and time again. They're tried and true and comfortably out of eyesight from the gawking public. This is a very nasty habit I'm trying to break. Some outfits deserve a special location, or at least a different one from your backyard. I've been trying to stretch myself to include new locations in these photos, and capture some of the more charming parts of my little town. People like to get a sense of who you are from your photos.

HINTS: The "magic hour" also happens to be a time of day when most people are inside, which should help make you less camera shy when shooting photos out in public. Also, the backs of buildings and the sides of buildings are a little more protected from the general public and you're less likely to have awkward interactions with strangers.
7. Shoot the details for greater visual interest.
I don't know what it is about shoes, and nail polish, but I love seeing close-ups of both on fashion blogs. We women love our details, and capturing them in an outfit post is a sure fire way to get people more interested in what you're wearing. My loving husband takes a lot of my outfit post pictures and it took me months to finally make him understand how important it was to take pictures of my handbag, rings, bracelets, and shoes. However, now he's starting to understand their importance and he gets a lot of satisfaction looking at the photos he's shot on my blog and how well the close-ups compliment the full body pictures of me.

HINT: These photos are best taken straight on, if you angle your camera too high or too low with accessories it distorts them and they won't frame as nicely on your blog.


I could probably talk for a couple of hours about framing your pictures, and the ins and outs of lighting, but I'm still learning about all of this myself. Like I said I'm not expert at outfit posts either. Outfits posts can be a lot of fun, and a great personal challenge to better your photography. I'd love to hear what techniques, and tricks some of you have learned through taking outfit posts for your blog. Leave a comment and fill me in on your secrets. big kiss, bekuh

PS- From now until October 1st all Lemons, Avocados, & the Bay readers will receive 15% off their total purchase from the Button Factory! Just enter the code "LEMONSAVOCADOSBAY" when checking out on Etsy.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

3am.

3am.
Saturday night, Las Vegas Strip.
 Trying to find the taxi line Exploring the Bellagio Hotel after a long night of bar/lounge hopping.

Me: Gabey you know what would be really fun?
Gabey: Whatttt?
Me: If we laid down on the floor and stared up at the glass flowers on the ceiling.
Gabey: Lets do it.
Me & Gabey: 1, 2, 3...
 
 And that my friends, is how Saturday night ended in Vegas.
 Ok not really.  We got up off the floor, found the taxi line, and I made my way back to my hotel room and Nadav.
It was the best kind of Vegas night.



I get silly at 3am on a Saturday night, and yes we may or may not have sung Part Of Your World & A Whole New World at the top of our lungs while walking around the strip
 (I'm sure we were a joy to be around =P)

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Hope you have a lovely day 
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