Currently 04.

currently, death to stock photo

I really miss blogging. I thought that after my last post, I’d ease back into blogging regularly, but that was right around when I started apartment hunting. Looking for an apartment and then moving took over my life for about 6 weeks, but I finally feel like I’m coming out on the other side. I’m all moved into my new place and about 80% unpacked. There are just a few bits and bobs that I have to figure out how to store, and then I get to focus on the fun part- decorating!

I do plan to work on putting more content on the blog (starting with all the ideas I mentioned a couple posts ago). I may also tweak the design a bit, which usually helps me get inspired. Since it’s been a couple months, let’s catch up, shall we?

Listening to James Blake’s recent album on repeat, particularly “I Need a Forest Fire.”

Watching Game of Thrones. It’s kind of exciting that we’re all in the same boat now (meaning that even though I’ve read all of the books, the show has now moved beyond the plot in the books that have been published). Anything could happen!

Reading Dragonfly in Amber, which is the second book in the Outlander series. The second season is currently on air and I wanted to read the second book before I watch the TV series. Although, I couldn’t quite wait, so I’ve seen the first few episodes. I’m still trying to stay ahead in the book though, so I’ll catch up on more recent episodes once I read further in the book.

Eating a lot of junk food, to be honest. Between moving and then being out of town, I haven’t cooked a proper meal in weeks. I’m going to fix that though and make a trip to the grocery store sometime this week.

Anticipating my trip to California in July. I’m so excited to see family, friends, and be a part of my best friend’s wedding.

Wearing a pair of printed pants from H&M. They were under $15, are very stretchy and comfortable, and I love the pattern, so it’s a win, win, win!

Planning my family vacation this summer. We’ve booked the tickets to Seattle- now we have to figure out where to stay and what we’d like to do/see.

Admiring this bright and airy West Village studio. I’ve been spending a lot of hours on Pinterest to gather inspiration for my new place and I’m very inspired by what she’s done with her space.

What’s new with you? Did you have a good weekend? 

(image via Death to Stock Photo)

Making Memories (and Keeping Them)

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

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.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

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.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

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.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

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.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

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)

Book Reviews: November 2015

November Book Reviews, fates and furies review, heidi review

fates-and-furies-review This was my favorite read of the month. My library hold finally came in last month, but I wasn’t able to finish it before it expired, so I ended up purchasing the book. In this novel, we get to see both sides of a story. Lotto and Mathilde are the golden couple. They are happily married and together they can face any obstacle. The question is though, can you ever truly know someone? The first half of the book is told from Lotto’s perspective, and then we read Mathilde’s perspective.

With a buzzy book, there’s always the risk that the book is not actually worth the hype, but I really enjoyed this one. Groff’s writing style is so interesting and expertly done. She often addresses the reader in brackets and I liked these asides because it made it seem a bit like an oral history. It also recalled instructions and insights that you might see in a play, which is a clever nod to one of the character’s profession.

It’s hard to choose which part I preferred. Lotto’s section sets the stage nicely, but by the end I was desperate to learn more about Mathilde because she’s so enigmatic in the first half. Her section surprised me- it was not what I was expecting.

Fates and Furies is an amazing character study. The author explores the life of an artist; the need to create and be recognized for your creation. We also read about the walls that people build and the outward personas that they present. I think that Mathilde was my favorite character because she was the most complicated. Through Mathilde, Groff shows us that sometimes we only see what we want to see. I’d definitely be curious to hear what you thought if you’ve read this one!

heidi-review This year, for my birthday, I treated myself to a few more Puffin in Bloom editions in order to complete my set. I’ve seen the Shirley Temple movie adaptation of Heidi, but this was my first time reading the book. Heidi is orphaned at a young age and is cared for by her aunt. When her aunt receives an opportunity to work in Frankfurt, she decides to leave Heidi with her grandfather. Due to circumstances in the past, Heidi’s grandfather has become something of a hermit and the villagers are worried that he won’t be a suitable guardian for Heidi. However, Heidi is just the right person to show her grandfather that life is worth living and people aren’t so bad after all.

This book was very sweet. The story is somewhat as I remember, although I think the movie adaptation that I’ve seen varies a bit. Heidi has such a positive attitude. She faces several difficult situations as a child, but in each case, she tries to make the best of it and be a positive influence on the lives around her. In one section of the book, Heidi is very homesick and she just wants to return home; I think we’ve all felt that at some point. There some religious overtones, which I don’t mind, I just prefer that they be more subtle (although this is a children’s novel, so I suppose the author wanted to make sure she got her point across). This was a feel-good read and it’s just what I was in mood for at the time.

Weird-Things-Customers-Say-in-Bookstores-Review I follow Jen Campbell’s youtube channel and the videos that she makes about books are just fantastic. I picked up my copy of this book earlier this year at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Jen has worked in a bookstore for several years and during that time has had many interesting interactions with customers. She started to document the weird things that people say on her blog, and that later evolved into this book. The book features quotes from Jen, and also other booksellers around the world (including one from my local bookstore in CA!). This is a super fast read and I thought it was hilarious. I can’t believe people actually said some of these things. This book was delightful and would make a great gift for any book lover.

Blue-Lily,-Lily-Blue-Review Towards the end of the month, I wanted to read something fast and engaging and then I remembered that I hadn’t yet read the third book in the Raven Cycle series (there’s one more book, which comes out next year). I was a bit disappointed after I finished the second book. I really liked the first book and felt that the second one was a bit of a deviation from that. Happily, my complaints about the second book are fixed in the third book. We’re back to following the characters as they continue their quest together. We also get more of Blue and her family, who I missed in book 2. I think the magical elements of this story have become even more interesting because we’ve seen the characters develop and learn more about themselves throughout the previous two novels. Also, I have to mention again that I enjoy the author’s writing. She’s really able to capture certain feelings; in particular, there was a description of grief that I just felt was spot on. I’m really glad the third book was more like the first one and I can’t wait to read the next installment.