Making Memories (and Keeping Them)

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My mother passed along her love of photographs to me. When I was younger, I remember working on my own scrapbooks and helping her put together various family albums. Sometimes I wasn’t in the mood to help and sometimes I felt annoyed that she would “force” us to take family photos. I didn’t understand why she was so insistent on documenting those moments.

With age comes growth and wisdom. Now I completely understand why she always wanted to have photographs. Sometimes those pictures are all you have left.

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Last year, I decided I wanted to redecorate my room. One area I changed was the wall above my desk. I selected some of my favorite pictures from Instagram and had them printed at Walgreens. It was super easy, they were ready in about an hour, and the whole thing cost me less than $10. I then arranged these in a grid on my wall and I love the way it turned about. These photos remind me of some of my favorite recent memories every time I look at them.

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Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about making memories and documenting them. I’ve been devouring blogs like Caylee Gray and Life: Captured Inc. I also made it a goal this year to journal daily and so far I’ve been doing surprisingly well (perhaps I’ll write more about that in a separate post). I think these things go hand-in-hand: capturing moments both visually and in written form.

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I want to continue to write more and I want to become better at documenting moments. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a few trips coming up this year and I’m thinking about keeping a travelogue for one of them. Even when I do things here in NYC, I want to push myself to take my camera along and capture those moments.

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I’ve also thought about making a few photo books using Artifact Uprising. One would be for the road trip my family took last summer. I actually already made a photo book of this trip, but I did it in a rush and I did it for my mom, so the style is a bit different than what I would choose. I’ve also thought of making photo books for the trips I took to Spain several years ago. I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures and they’re just sitting on my computer. My main worry is that the pictures were pre-DSLR, so the quality might not be good enough for a photo book. I may give it a try though and see how it turns out.

Recently, I’ve felt like getting crafty/being creative again, which is a good thing. Hopefully I will actually put some of these projects in motion! Now I have a couple questions for you guys:

Do you do any sort of memory keeping (scrapbooks, Project Life, etc.)?
Have you ever made a photo album or photo book?

If you have any resources for me when it comes to memory keeping, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Hey! Hi! Hello!

Death_to_stock_photography_Wake_Up_5

Hello from the other side… the side where I didn’t blog for more than 3 months (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist)! That’s the longest hiatus I’ve taken since I started this blog and I considered whether it was time to close it down for good. For a while, I didn’t feel like blogging at all, so I didn’t. But then, I started to miss it quite a bit. I’ve thought about writing a new post for a few weeks now, but I didn’t know what to say. Then I thought, I don’t have to say anything in particular, but it would feel nice to write something, anything, here on the blog again. This is all to say that I don’t have a particular topic in mind for this post. It’s going to be more of a rambly, chatty one, and I thought I’d just jump right in to my life currently.

I just finished House of Cards Season 4, like a few minutes before I started typing up this post, and all I have to say is that I’m even more terrified of Frank and Claire. However, Claire’s cheekbones and outfits remain as flawless as ever. Have you guys seen the new season yet? The next Netflix season premiere that I’m excited for is Daredevil Season 2, which drops this Friday.

I’m getting that restless feeling that I often get when Spring comes around. I want to go somewhere, do something, clear my closet, and reorganize my room from top to bottom. Speaking of going somewhere, I’m hoping that I’ll be making a trip next month to Indiana for a close family friend’s wedding. My parents are planning to attend and so is my sister, so it will be awesome if I get the chance to see them next month.

One thing I’m not looking forward to at all is moving in the next few months. My lease is up at the end of May and I’m 99% sure that I’ll be saying goodbye to the apartment that I’ve lived in for the past 3 years. I’m trying not to ignore the unhappy task ahead of me, but it is a bit too early to actually start looking yet. I have a few more weeks before the stress of apartment hunting begins to consume my life.

Let’s get off that less happy note and talk about clothes for a bit, ok? I’ve been shopping less and less lately; in fact, I don’t think I’ve bought any new clothes in the last several months. Ever since I did my capsule wardrobe experiment a couple years ago, I’ve noticed that I tend to shop in waves. I’ll go months without shopping, then one day, I’ll shop till I drop and pick up a few new pieces for that particular season. I’m ready to add some more spring-appropriate pieces to my wardrobe. At the moment, a lot of my clothes feel very dark and heavy, so I’d like to add some color and lighter fabrics. I’ve been browsing my usual haunts, and I’m tempted by this Madewell sweater and this Loft drapey trench. I’ve been eyeing that sweater for weeks now and I might actually take the plunge since it’s on sale; meanwhile, I’m keeping an eye on the trench and may head into a store to try it on first.

I was still reading and (mostly) keeping up with my booktube channel during my hiatus. I’m currently knee-deep in The Count of Monte Cristo. I started it last month, but as the book is nearly 1,500 pages, I’ve accepted that it’s going to take me a while to read it. I’m also reading Between the World and Me, which is a book I’ve been meaning to read since it was published last year. I’ve written reviews for the novels I’ve finished since I wrote my last post on books, but I haven’t posted them on the blog yet. Is that something you guys would still like to see?

I have other unpublished posts as well- outfits that I shot while I was home in California in December and recaps of the road trip my family took last summer. If you guys are still interested, I’d be happy to post them. Let me know what you think!

During my break, I thought about what I want to do with this blog. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that I want to write more. When I published my first few posts, I treated this space like an online journal and I want to go back to that: keeping a log about my life that I could look back on, writing about things I was interested in, not worrying about a schedule, and interacting with people in the comments. I also want to get back to snapping pictures of things- I can’t even remember the last time I took my camera out of my apartment. I’m returning to the things that made me excited about blogging in the first place. It will be a challenge to get back into the swing of things because I can be a lazy bum, but I’d like to push myself.

If you made it through this lengthy post, thank you very much. And thank you to anyone who’s ever visited this blog and read what I’ve written. I hope you’re all doing well and if you’d like to fill me in on your lives lately, I’d love to hear about it in the comments down below!

(image via Death to Stock Photo)

The Unexpected

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I thought long and hard about whether or not I should write this post, but in the end, I knew I had to let this out. Three weeks ago, my youngest brother passed away in a drowning accident.

To be honest, it still doesn’t feel real. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as we planned services and events to commemorate his life. We also had family come to visit from all over; our house was overflowing with people. His memorial service was last weekend and the majority of our visitors have returned home, so things are finally starting to settle down.

Over the weeks, my family has received such an outpouring of love from friends and from our local community here in California, and I’m so grateful for that. People have sent me flowers, called, and sent messages. Even though I haven’t been able to respond to them all, I’ve read every single one and it does help.

People have sent their condolences and many have said, “I don’t know what to say.” I completely understand. I don’t know what to say either. I’m still home in California and I just want to spend as much time as I can with my family before I have to go back to New York.

Different emotions come and go. Planning his services kept me busy so I felt ok for a bit. Sometimes though, it feels like there’s a vice gripping my chest, squeezing until I can’t breathe anymore. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming sadness when I think about how young he was (15), and all of the life that he had yet to experience.

They say to take it one day at a time and that’s what I’m trying to do. Being here with my family helps the most- I don’t remember the last time we were able to spend this much time together. I’m also falling back on the little things that make me happy: escaping into a book, painting my nails, and continuing my Friends marathon.

Who know what’s going to happen on this space in the future, but thank you for letting me pour out a little bit of my heart here today. This is going to sound cliché, but maybe you can do me this one little favor- hold your loved ones tight every chance you get.

(image via)

Long Weekend

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Long weekends are the best weekends, don’t you think?

FRIDAY

My roommate and I met a couple of my friends for lunch at Barn Joo. I’d been there for drinks before and liked the ambience, so I was looking forward to sampling more of their food. I ordered the Bulgogi Burger which was quite tasty and came with seasoned fries and house made lemonade. The restaurant was rather empty while we were there and our waitress was great. All of the dishes we ordered were good, so I’d definitely eat there again.

After lunch, my sweet tooth insisted that we pop over to Dough, which is close by. My friends and I then walked back to our apartment, where we played Cards Against Originality on our phones (it’s just like Cards Against Humanity). I’d never played before, but it was good fun.

I’d planned to make a pie over the weekend and earlier in the day I’d made the crust and left it to chill in the fridge. Later in the evening, I decided to bake the pie (strawberry and raspberry) with the help of my friend. We were overtaken by the baking bug, so when my friend suggested we also make a three-layer cake, I said yes! This meant a couple more trips to the store for ingredients and we were baking well into the night. By then we were rather tired, so once the cakes came out of the oven, I decided I’d let them cool and assemble the cake the next day.

SATURDAY

The Fourth started off rather gloomy and drizzly. We had no set plans for the day, so I started watching Season 2 of The Fall, which is such a great show. I finally got my lazy butt out of bed and went to work on the cake. It took a little finangling with the layers, and at one point I was running out of frosting and had to improvise, but in the end I’m happy with the way the cake turned out.

It was nice having such a chill day. My roommate and I watched several episodes of Gilmore Girls. We’re now about midway through the final season. We’re on a bit of a time crunch because we’ve been rewatching the series together and my roommate is moving away in a few weeks. When the fireworks started around 9:30pm, we were able to see them from his window, so we oooohed and ahhhhed over them for a bit (well, I  was doing all of the oooohing and ahhhhing because I love fireworks). Also, by this point I was nearing sweetness overload because that day I had a donut for breakfast, ice-cream in the early evening, iced coffee, a slice of pie, and a huge slice of cake. Cue the sugar coma!

SUNDAY

Sundays for me are always for taking care of business and preparing for the week ahead. I worked on the next video for my youtube channel, tidied up my room a bit, and ran a couple errands. Then a few of us met up with our friend who was visiting from Boston at La Colombe. It was great to catch up and see her before she moves away from the East Coast for business school.

What did you get up to this past weekend?

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