Little Families

Oh, the joys of little families! I had the privilege of photographing some really sweet moments of these two families this past summer and wanted to share some of my favorite photos.

Ali, Pete, and Cormac are a really good-lookin’ family, which made my job easy peasy. We shot this session at the SF Conservatory of Flowers and were gifted with nice overcast skies, making good lighting for portraits. Also, I seriously can’t get over Cormac. All his adorable pudge and hilarious expressions!

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Cormac

And next, the Lums! Brian and Irene are expecting their first baby, and have been endearingly calling him Baby Lummy (in her tummy). We traversed all over Oakland for their shoot and had a jolly time together. Irene was a trooper–it was 80 degrees out and we did quite a bit of walking! I’ll be doing another session with them when the baby is born and I am so excited. Brian and Irene will be such great parents!

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Hope you enjoy!

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Hey There, Summer

Summer is here and it is great

I know we’re well into summer, but it’s not too late to revel in it, right? Noticed my Instagram‘s had some unintentional patterns going on (lots of leafy greens and bright whites), so thought I’d attempt a quick poster-ish thing. I’m headed off to Kauai this Thursday and am so excited to roll around in warm sand and become bffls with sea turtles. More summery posts to come!

PS. One of those photos up there is a finalist in this Need Supply contest. If you feel inclined to vote for some stairs + legs, I would not mind at all.

Roasted Strawberry Scones (& English Habits)

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Found myself subconsciously recreating an English cream tea for breakfast one morning, complete with clotted cream a friend procured for me. I miss the UK! Also, I wish I learned how to make proper tea. Anyway. Due to a surprising abundance of the sweetest smelling (and tasting) strawberries at the farmer’s market,  Sunday afternoon led to googling  “roasted strawberry scones.”  I settled on this recipe  because I strongly believe the British do scones best, especially when you want to enjoy some with a cup of Lady Grey (the enamel cup pictured here is actually from Cambridge!).

Mine turned out a little more moist than expected, maybe because I switched milk with buttermilk. I also definitely struggled with measurement conversions but hey, thanks again, Google! Either way, these are delicious and make any morning or afternoon much more enjoyable. I was almost transported to those leisurely afternoons in Grantchester, surrounded by apple trees and raucous conversation spurred on by the caffeine from tea and carbs from scones. Thanks for the recipe, The British Larder!

Flowers in Our Hairs


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My wondrous bosom friend Becky and I embarked on a most fun adventure on Monday: floral wreath making! Made a stop at the SF Flower Mart, where we ruminated on which blooms and boughs would be best to fashion into wreaths. We settled for a good variety of budded eucalyptus, pink pepper branches, Cafe Au Lait dahlias, the mysterious blue flowers which I’ve sadly forgotten the name of, and picked up some floral wire.

While I was still in the middle of making my first wreath,  I looked over at Becky to see that she’d already made and donned this marvelous creation! She’s a floral genius! I love that her wreaths retain the natural, slightly erratic shape of the blooms and sprigs, yet work so well on top of her lovely head. Here are some of her masterpieces:

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Very Frida Kahlo, no?

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This one makes me giggle, hehe. All in all, a great day spent putting nature in our hair!

Mia + Tim Continued

Thought their gorgeous wedding is now long past, I finally got around to shooting some of the other fun elements I designed for Mia and Tim’s special day. One of the special touches at their reception was having a s’more pit, where friends and family gathered around for gooey, sweet fun and afterward could take home a s’more kit as a wedding favor! S’more love, indeed.

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P.S. Had to go flower-hunting for this shoot, which happily led me to the Oakland Flower Market! Dangerous to be living so close to it, but I sense some future flora-related endeavor containing the word “wreath.”

Current Reads

Happy Monday! If you remember this Paris post, a nice looking magazine first made its appearance into my photographs, where I unabashedly displayed my penchant for arranging aesthetically pleasing things. I also mentioned exploring Artwords Bookshop in the previous London post, as well as the poor state of my wallet afterwards. These beautiful magazines are the wonderful culprit, but I have no regrets as I’ve been so inspired by the writing and photographs within the pages of the Travel Almanac, The Gourmand, and Hole and Corner. Here are documentations from the circumstance in which I read each journal and my favorite quote from each:

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This was taken as I was sadly packing to leave beloved Cambridge. I did a similar post like this about my airplane necessities from when I went to Japan (here) but this is the live version!

Ned Beauman, on his developing love for all things gastronomical – “Recently I went to a restaurant and had ‘ama-ebi, smoked lime yogurt, radish, and bee pollen.’ That’s the point when you look at the menu, and think that, yes, we are witnessing the decadent phase of our civilization. But then it’s unfair to single out food, because everything I do in my life is representative of that. It’s not like anything else I do is more ‘real.’ My whole lifestyle is decadent!”

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And this one taken a couple days afterwards, when I was so jet-lagged but so determined to fight it.

Ella Carstairs, on her straw museum- “There is so much to see here. The rice straw from the Far East. Wild oats, which are her favorite ‘because the colour is so soft–and it’s long.’ A doll’s house entirely made of straw. A Tutankamun. Everyone’s seen a corn dolly but have they seen a bodice made of crocheted straw thread? ‘Everybody thinks all you do with straw is make corn dollies. It’s the most peculiar thing!'”

And my favorite quote from Travel Almanac:

Carsten Höller – “I think [traveling] makes you a foreigner to yourself, it gives you a certain distance. It’s almost like taking you out of your comfortable way of sitting in yourself. This might give you the opportunity to see yourself differently–possibly.”

After reading these three, I just wonder and marvel at how many magazines out there that I’ve never heard of or seen! (And I’m a little thankful, cause then my wallet would be extra sad and skinny.) But I’d love to hear any recommendations!

City Squares | London pt 2

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How my heart already yearns for London! Though I’m officially back and settled in the SF Bay Area, my mind still occasionally wanders to the incredible adventures had and to be had in London. Went on several day trips to different neighborhoods including Islington, Covent Garden, the Strand, and Shoreditch, and each day felt so serendipitous in all the random discoveries and cool sights we chanced upon. When we got off the tube, I only had a list of possible destinations AKA must-eats and everything else just fell into place. (Important sidenote: When I plan my day, I’m very much inclined to do so by planning everything else around what I want to eat. Embarrassing? Maybe. Yes. Oh well!) Here are some of my favorites:

– One of Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants in Islington, where I got to see the glorious eggplant, yogurt, pomegranate seed recipe come to life and taste numerous other delectable things! Their flourless confections were perfect for dessert, too.
– Albion in Shoreditch, a cafe, bakery, and shop that has a delightful and bright interior, crazy good scones, and yummy, yummy kedgeree.
– Another gem in Shoreditch, one which I could have spent hours in, is called Artwords Bookshop. I have never seen such a well-curated and well-stocked bookshop before! Especially in those design and art books/magazines. My poor wallet!
– London has a slew of fantastic museums and galleries, mostly all for free, and the photo I included here is from Tate Modern Art Museum. But fun story from the National Portrait Gallery: on Friday nights, they have later hours and planned activities, which I only learned because we were escaping from some surprise rain. We stumbled upon many folks sketching in the hall with all the busts, and some sketches were truly impressive! It’s completely free to join in on the fun, so we grabbed some paper, sketchboards, and chalk for ourselves and had a good time drawing men busts showcasing a diverse range of facial hair.
– If you’re craving Indian food, and want it in a hip environment, pick Dishoom! So many flavors, all so tasty. We went to Dishoom in Covent Garden, but I passed by the other one in Shoreditch and it might have been the cooler-looking space. Conclusion? Shoreditch is just the best.

P.S. I’m quite sad that this will probably be the last of the CIty Squares series from my travels in Europe…time to go back!!

City Squares | Paris

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It’s a little crazy, how quickly and deeply I fell in love with Paris. For all the hype/literature/cinema/everything that is always said about Paris, I thought my high expectations would surely not be met, but I’m so glad they were and more! It helped that a certain gentleman, fresh baguette in hand, was waiting to meet me at a small park in Montmarte after two months of being apart. Exploring Paris with Garrett and our friend Michael, and other wonderful friends was surreal and it made the entire weekend that much more special. I’m already scheming as to how I can get back to this incredible city ASAP, and I have Marais at the top of my list for neighborhoods to explore. Some favorites (although actually everything was my favorite):

– Rue de Montorgueil. A lovely street lined with fromageries, boulangeries, patisseries, and so much more that I didn’t get to quite explore as we were pressed for time. This article was very helpful though!
– Picnic-ing at the Versailles gardens, complete with the stinkiest of cheese, a bottle of rosé, and huge baguettes. We might have also had an obnoxious dance party to some Phoenix to aid in digestion…
– Strolling along the Seine, which was even more beautiful than I imagined. There was also an interactive portion, with a giant chalkboard, fun games and maps painted on the cement, and pop-up restaurants/cafes that made the Seine a bustling, fun place to be on Saturday evening.
– Le Marais! I only got a tiny glimpse of this neighborhood, but the falafels, cool bar/bookshop, and other little shops I sorely wish we could’ve popped into, made me determined to go back next time when in Paris.
– Musee de Orsay. They had an awesome temporary Fauvist exhibit, but the Impressionist Gallery took my breath away 10+ times. Renoir! Manet! Monet! Degas! SO much beauty!!! Even though we got to enter the Louvre for free (after 6pm on Friday nights for 26 and under), the Orsay was my hands down favorite.

Paris, you’ve stolen my heart! ‘Til next we meet!

City Squares | York

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I’m so behind on these City Squares! But I’ll do my best to catch up (London/Cambridge part two, and Paris!) This day trip to York happened a good three weekends ago, and even though it was just for a day, it was a splendid little town to visit. So much history to the place! My favorites:

1. Walking along the city walls. This town is like one giant fort!
2. The National Railway Museum, which is apparently the biggest in the world and free. There was typography inspiration galore here.
3. The gorgeous York Minster, where a gothic architecture fanatic will feel like they are at their own version of Disneyland.
4. Hokey Pokey ice cream!! It’s an amazing flavor combining honey comb, toffee, and vanilla. I think this needs to make its way over to America, please!