Year: 2015

Seasonal Coffee at Starbucks

Graham and sweet cream meet steamed milk and our signature espresso, then are finished off with a sprinkling of cinnamon graham crumbles for a less sweet perfect treat. – Starbucks For me, coffee is a must after a run, a walk or a hike. I make sure that all the calories I lose from my outdoor activities are immediately replaced. While it may seem funny to others, this is always the case for me. So today, after an especially strenuous 3-mile walk, I stopped by my Starbucks corner and ordered one of their newly released seasonal offerings, Toasted Graham Latte (TGL for short). Here is my usual dialogue with the familiar barista. Barista: Hi good morning, what can I get for you today? Me: TGL Grande, pumpkin cream cheese muffin and a feta cheese both on plates please. Barista: You want the muffin warmed up? Me: Yes please.. and can you make the TGL skinny? half syrup and easy on the whip please, and I’d like Pike Place as my base. Barista: We don’t put …

Colors on my Traveler’s Notebook

Colors, I just love colors. And I loved how this page turned out because I didn’t have any idea where this was going when I started it. ​First, on my Traveler’s Notebook, I adhered a bubble painted paper for my background. To do the bubble painted paper: 1. Add warm water in a basin or in any wide mouth container. Add shampoo to water and make bubbles, a lot of bubbles. Add more shampoo if bubbles do not form easily. 2. Add drops of ink spray in different colors. Do not stir the bubbles after adding ink. 3. Place paper on top and just leave it there for a while until it is fully saturated with colored bubbles. Lift the paper when you’re content with the result and let dry.​ Next, I added an image using one of the photo transfer techniques that I love to use. 4. Cut an image you like from a magazine. 5. Adhere clear packing tape on it. Make sure that edges of the tape overlap each other. 6. Soak or spray …

October

The leaves are changing and so are we. This time of year I reflect upon the changes I have undergone and are still experiencing. It is certainly appropriate in fall to meditate on the natural beauty around us. Even in the midst of so many changes, nature flaunts her radiance. And so do so many of our loved ones shine in our lives. I take this time to recall specifically the triumphs of the human spirit I’ve witnessed. And appreciate the shining, colorful moments that have enriched me along the way. This month, I will purposefully call to mind the victories life has allowed me. There have been some very good times, usually in connection with overcoming obstacles life put in my path. It is a wide path and along it the trees are lit up with life. And there are victories yet left to experience. I will keep my eyes open to be of witness to the power of the human spirit.

Getty Villa in Malibu

In 1945, J. Paul Getty purchased a sixty-four-acre site in Malibu and in 1954, he opened the original J. Paul Getty Museum in his home to show his collection, of which Greek and Roman antiquities are an important element. In 1968, Getty decided then to re-create a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri, on the property to display his growing collection of art. And in 1974, the new Getty Museum opens to the public, becoming one of Southern California’s cultural landmarks. In 1997, the Malibu site closed for renovation; the Getty Center in Los Angeles opens to the public. In 2006, the newly renovated Malibu site opened as the Getty Villa, dedicated to the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. To me, the Getty Villa is an all-star. The view alone from the porticos across the expanse of the San Fernando Valley is well worth the price of admission. The architecture alone is worth the visit. Top left: Outdoor Theater Top right: East Garden, the colorful fountain with shells and …

The Flower Fields

Carlsbad Flower Fields is one of the spring picnic spots if you live in SoCal. The flower field is around 50 acres and has a burst of colorful flowers to watch. If you love flowers (like I do) then you must go and see this even for once in your lifetime The Flower Fields was truly a fun experience. It’s not something that lasts all day, but it’s a great way to kill a few hours… Beautiful flowers, the tractor is cute, and there is a beautiful photo opportunity at the top of the hill with the ocean in the background. There was a sweet pea maze when we went which was also pretty cute and fun. You’ll have a great time actually if you don’t take with you many great expectations. Just a fun, relaxing pretty day. This is a good activity for the entire family and those who just enjoy being outside with natural beauty and outside of the tulip fields in Holland, this was one of the best open air flower fields I’ve …

Art Journal Delight

When I work on my art journal, I explore all kinds of media techniques like printmaking, sewing (with paper), collage, doodling, stamping, painting or drawing. And on this set of art pages, I simply used everyday things to incorporating photography to layering to making colorful backgrounds to using different techniques in photo transfer. I have gathered up my favorite ways to fill these art journal pages. If somehow I have some free time to fill up, I can maybe share a few favorite simple techniques on how to fill and face a blank page. But for now, just be content on appreciating them all.

U-Pick Strawberry

Conveniently located near the 5 fwy in Carlsbad, you can just buy strawberries, or spend an hour picking your own.  It’s a fun pit stop. These farmers have it all figured out, we pay twice as much for the strawberries and do the picking ourselves! But, once you get beyond the obvious I’m-a-sucker feeling, you realize what a fun activity this is. The best part about picking your own strawberries? 100% guarantee that they will be amazingly sweet and fresh. Taking a blind shot at a store, dearly hoping, that the packaged strawberries will offer even half the amount of sweetness pales by contrast. We bought a $20 bucket and already had 1/4 of the strawberries were gone when we got home! This year, we thought we were too early in going and that the strawberries were just too young but were delighted to find a good amount of big, plump strawberries. I do think that late April, early May is the best time to go. I suggest bringing your beach things if you are driving …