01 August 2012

11 July 2012

10 July 2012

Superhero Photo

As a gift to myself, I enrolled in a photography course,  Superhero Photo: The Basics.  I've always wanted to take a photography course and it doesn't hurt that I get to tick something off my Life List .  I've long admired the pictures of friends and, of course, professional photographers but my inner critic has consistently convinced me that I lack the "eye" of a photographer.

Anyhow, a big lesson I've learned from Superhero Photo (at least in the beginning) so far is: "Ready, Fire, Aim!" If you're trying to be perfect in your creative process, then you will never get anything done Creativity, by it's nature, is  imperfect.  If there were a crystallized model for it, it wouldn't be creativity, it would be exact science (which I happen to know a little about). So here I am.  Firing now, fixing it later...at least until I get a better hang of things. 

When I write it here, it sounds ridiculous, but I sometimes don't take pictures of my girls because their faces or clothes are dirty, or they're only in DIAPERS (the HORROR), or the angle is wrong.  It's like, do I want to memorialize this moment of motherly imperfection (since, of course, good mothers keep EVERYTHING perfect ALL OF THE TIME).  The numbers your mind will do on you, huh?  How could I have been hesitant to capture all this beauty?  

13 June 2012

Father's Day Gift Guide 2012

As June approaches, I'm faced with a perpetual problem...the fathers in my life have EVERYTHING they need.  Since I've already breezed through the basics, my favorite gifts to give add a little pizazz to my special guy's (guys') life. 

Haspel Seersucker Blazer--Head to toe seersucker with a bowtie can be hard to pull off but a blazer pairs with dark jeans and a punchy belt, dark khakis or brightly colored chinos.  Yes, there are imitators, but Haspel is the originator.  Always classic. Always summery.  Available at finer department stores.

Gingham Shirt in a punchy color.  I love this one from Land's End Orig. $50 Now on SALE for $35

courtesy of Serious Eats  [Photo: Kathy YL Chan]
Stroopwafels  These amazing, delicately spiced chewy caramel cookies perch perfectly above a steamy cuppa, coffee or chai.  He will thank you, and you will take a bite and thank yourself. $15/dozen The Good Batch 

Real Maple Syrup...because we all love pancakes and waffles and no one deserves to eat Maple "Flavored" Syrup $12.50 for 250 mL Nutting Farm 

Quirky Switch Modular Multi-Tool because even if he's not the handiest, he needs to open a bottle or cut an apple every now and again. $79 at Quirky

TerraForma Whisky Stones because, really? How Fatherly. $19 Amazon

Q's Nuts...hand these over with a sixer and a fresh pair of boxers and leave the man to watch TV. Cayenne Mango are my Absolute FAVE! $4 for 3oz. Q's Nuts 

SmartWool Socks...because ties are over and these are the best socks ever! Wicking in warm weather and warming in cool weather.  $20/pair; $50/ trio SmartWool

The Week he's too busy parenting to watch the news.  This will keep him in the loop. $60 for 50 issues The Week   

What will you be getting the dads in your life?

Wordless Wednesday

23 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Well, this first one is not exactly wordless but this is something new I'm trying...you add the words.

12 April 2012

5 Simple Things That Should Change Your Perceived Quality of Life

I've learned these things 'on the street' and from friends who really "know how to live"...try them, you might like them (I originally posted this to my, now inactive, LiveJournal)

1. Buy nice handsoap for your kitchen and your bathroom
You might be surprised but having "special" handsoap in your bathroom and kitchen is almost like being at a resort...no foolin'.  While Softsoap and Dial get the job done, there's nothing like going to wash your hands and experiencing the scent of lavender or lemongrass or green tea with floral notes.  It sounds simple and may cost a dollar or two more than your supermarket special but believe me, its worth it.  I now go to TJ MAXX, Marshall's and Trader Joe's for my handsoap.  Seriously, try this for a few months and then tell me if you want to go back to Boraxo.

2. Eat from real dishes with real silverware and not out of plastic storage containers.

I'm certainly guilty of this, but life is so much better when you sit down to lunch at work and eat your salad from a real plate with a real fork and not from a Ziploc disposable container with a plastic fork or spork.  Its easy.  Buy a place setting for work and keep it where you keep your personal belongings.  Never put them away dirty and your dishes will always be ready for you the next time you need to eat.

3.  Always have enough liquor and mixers for a cocktail.  Alternatively, always have enough ice cream and soda for a float.

Some days are just bad.  You want to go home, curl up, watch TV and let your brain go numb.  Days like these deserve cocktails and when you have mixers and booze on hand, a cocktail is just a couple of splashes away.   If you want to be fancy, make sure you always have straws.  Extra fancy?  A curly straw.  Then curl up with the cocktail.  See how much better that feels?  This can also be done with a float.

4.Take up a meditative hobby.

Everyone is so busy these days.  I'm sure we've all said, at one time or another, I'd love to take a break and do something relaxing in my free time.  Chances are that you're the biggest obstacle standing between you and relaxing leisure.  Take a meditative hobby.  Gardening, pottery, art, flower arranging etc.  Learning something new is great for your brain, it keeps you on your toes and it takes your mind off of workaday concerns.  Wins all around.

5.Walk to places near enough to walk to that you usually drive to.
This is going to upset some people.  I'm going to be accused of being preachy by others.  Its not my intention.  I'm not trying to save the world here (though that may be an indirect benefit).  You see and hear so much walking that you don't see or hear  in a car.  Walking increases your systemic circulation and delivery of oxygen to all of your organs and tissues.  Its clear that our brains like oxygen, if they go without for extended periods of time, they begin to die...why not feed them and experience the world surrounding you at the same time?

16 February 2012

Loving: Things to Worry About

via ListsofNote.com

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a letter to his 11 year old daughter Scottie.  I love that this sage advice is as true for an 11 year old as it is for a 30 year old.  I also love the thread of self reliance he weaves throughout the list.  Quite progressive for a father in his time, no?

Left to Right: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Scottie, Zelda in 1927 via telegraph.co.uk
Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about: 

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about: 

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,

Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters