Some Fun Photos

I am no photographer, but I do love to take pictures.  I think sometimes I do have a good eye for a good shot. Most of the time it’s luck and a lot of patience.  Maybe that is the ingredients to a good photographer.  However, I do not intend on quitting my job and taking pictures for a living.  I do not have the patience to direct a photo shoot, let alone direct people.  But it’s fun to be proud of a good shot once you upload it to your computer.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  Some are recent, some are a little bit older but I came across it while I was searching for it.  I hope you enjoy!

My aunts kitty Fiona.

My foster kitty Pandora.  She got adopted into a loving home.

Duluth, MN in September.

Hay bales in rural Minnesota.

Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park.

Two of my furbabies, Hansel and Gretel.

Skyscrapers in downtown Minneapolis.

Maui Hawaii.

San Fransisco, near the Wharf.

June Photo Challenge

Do you know what is really green?  Partaking in a Photo Challenge.  It is a great way to entertain yourself without using gas.  This is my 2nd challenge and it is a lot of fun.  I wanted to share with you some pictures I have taken so far.

June 2nd: Empty

June 4th: Close Up

June 5th: Sign

If you are interested in participating in this challenge please go here.  I will continue to post as the challenge progresses.

My 30th Birthday Miami Beach

I wanted to do something big for my birthday since I was headed for the big 3-0.  I dreaded this day.  I can’t say why.  Honestly, now that I am 30 I don’t feel any different.  Anyways, so I went on vacation with a friend.  We both wanted a beach vacation so we went to South Miami Beach.  I was there before, but wasn’t impressed.  I realized that when I was there years ago we stayed in a less than ideal location.  This time, we booked a studio condo in south Miami Beach, not a hotel.  I prefer condos so we can eat in the rental as opposed to eating out for all meals.  I dislike eating out often so we bought foods we could eat in the condo.

I feel in love with Miami this time.  Miami has beautiful Art Deco architecture that I admire.  Seeing the buildings at night highlighted in neon is something that I have never seen before.

A couple of things we decided to do on vacation that is a little more green:

  1. We did not rent a car.  We stayed in a location we can walk everywhere.
  2. We didn’t watch TV.  You are on vacation, you don’t need a TV.
  3. We rented bikes to go to further locations.
  4. We took a bus to the airport.  It was cheaper and mass transit is greener.
  5. We recycled.
  6. We packed light.  Actually the first time I have traveled with only carry-ons.

Even when on vacation I am constantly reminded of my impact on the earth.  I try to live with the smallest footprint possible.  I have made a couple of decisions while on vacation.

  1. I want to start eating healthier.  My husband and I have subscribed a 2nd year to a CSA.  We get our organic veggies from a local farm.  Our veggies will travel a lesser distance to reach to us and it’s organic!
  2.  I also want to start composting again.  We used to have a machine that would compost here at home, but we weren’t impressed with the noises or smells that came from it.  We can drop off our veggie scraps at the yard waste collection sites spread out all over the city.
  3. I want to do more biking to get places as opposed to using a vehicle.  With gas going up, I want to save money and pollution by using my bike.

A week in the life….

I was in San Diego for a week of March.  My husband and I go there every year about this time to escape the awful winter.  For the past 9 years we have done all of the main attractions San Diego has to offer.  The San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp District, the USS Midway, La Jolla, Fashion Valley, Coronado Island, Point Loma, Crystal Pier, Mission Beach and all of the fabulous restaurants along the way.  So this year we went with no plans except eating at all of our favorite restaurants and if something came up that we wanted to do, we did it.

Early in our stay we went to this cool restaurant called Cucina Urbana.  I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere.  It was designed with all re-purposed materials.  It was really inspiring seeing all you can do with waste.

Look at this cool wall that was made out of plywood.  I plan on making one of these with our leftover paint when I get a chance.

The main purpose of my blog is to re-purpose things and to make things that are green.  It is so nice to see restaurants take the initiative to reduce waste.  While I was away on vacation I wasn’t able to post anything but I did get lots of ideas.  I will be posting these ideas shortly.

Eating was the main focus of our vacation, and of course visiting my in-laws which I always look forward to.  I didn’t get too many pictures taken because I have taken pictures of everything already.

We stay on Mission Bay, a walk from Pacific Beach.  Several of the neighbors who have dogs go on a group dog walk.  Sadly, the latter half of our stay was too cold and rainy otherwise I would have taken some fun pics from that.  The last night we were there it ended up being somewhat warm, so I did get a couple of good shots.

I thought this was a cute picture (above) with Ben’s mom holding up Abby, a Maltese. Below B. and Auggie.

I got a lot of shopping in.  I came to realize that I actually enjoy shopping for clothes for my husband more than me.  We went to Banana Republic, with no intention of buying, just to see what kind of clothes we can dress up my husband in.  We had a fun time with that.  My husband definitely enjoys letting me dress him up.  I actually got the okay to get him something pink.  Shocked!

On our last full day we went to a little dessert place called Krasney’s.

I think it would be so cool to own a store that serves desserts like this.  I would probably be hugely overweight though.  A dessert like that above is something we do once a year.  It is truly too pretty to eat.  Below is what I ate.

I was trying to stick to a low sugar diet just before vacation and during the first part.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to it knowing that Krasney’s was coming up.  This was so worth it though.  I am back to struggling with my sugar addiction.  It is definitely a tough one to break.

Most of our vacation we spent relaxing, reading, shopping and eating.  That is what vacation should be about, right?

My Unique Wedding Experience

One of my good friends, Nadine married herself.  Yes I said it.  You may wonder how that’s possible.  She sent me a link about a year ago to a website on how you can go about throwing yourself a wedding.  She asked me if I would be a guest.  I didn’t hesitate.  Yes!

For a while it seemed forgotten.  Then a couple of months ago I got an excited voice messaging saying the wedding was on and she asked me to be her photographer.  My first time being a wedding photographer.

The ceremony was similar to a typical wedding but excluded the groom.  The purpose of the wedding wasn’t to commit to another person. It was to commit to oneself.  During the vows, Nadine repeated, “I promise to love myself like I love those whom I most treasure.  I promise to kick my own ass when I need it and not expect others to do it for me.  I promise to accept that I am totally responsible for my own happiness,” and so on.

In reality, we all want these things for ourselves too.  Most of us decide not to go as far as marrying ourselves and treating ourselves good usually comes last.  I respect Nadine for going through with the wedding even if there were some who didn’t support it.   This wedding inspired me to treat myself with a little more kindness and to take responsibility for my happiness, like the vows said.

After the vows were said Nadine presented herself a ring that had significance to her.  She uses this ring to remind her of the vows she promised herself.  Several guests offered readings and funny stories to the bride.  And, instead of the symbolic kiss to a husband, Nadine and the audience blew kisses to the whole world.

Nadine had over 40 close family and friends attend the wedding. Everyone there supported her, chanted with her and kissed the world with her in her yoga-New Orleans themed wedding. I was proud to be a part of her special day. <3

A reception included a couple of king cakes in traditional New Orleans fashion (the honeymoon choice of the bride).  Guests chatted over cake, hot tea or coffee while they wandered through the ECCE art gallery in downtown Fargo.

To the brides surprise, the local paper caught wind of this unique wedding and wanted to feature it in the Fargo Forum.  A couple of days later it made the front page.  There has been a lot of media attention on this type of ceremony.  Some people may find it silly but to me, it’s an inspiring way to show to the world that you love yourself.

A Winter Wonderland

I have been very busy making homemade paper today.  While I wait for it to dry, I want to share some pictures I took this morning.  We had 2 full days of fog, and today it was a winter wonderland.  I am usually late to get these types of pictures, but today I managed to get a few good shots.  I really love the contrast of the dark bark to the snow white branches.

It is not often that I get out to take pictures.  Actually my camera usually hibernates through the winter because it’s too cold to be outside.  But Fargo has had an unusually mild winter this year.  We broke many records by being warmer than any time in history.

This time of year seems to be the slowest.  We usually have 5-6 months of cold winter.  I always look forward to my late winter vacation to get away from Fargo for a week.  One full week on the bay of San Diego.  Can’t get any better than that!  Mostly I am excited to see my mother-in-law.  I only get to see her once, maybe twice per year.

The only other parts I love about winter, besides this beautiful photography, is hot chocolate, skiing and getting stuffed at Christmas.  But, I cannot wait until spring.  That is my favorite season.  There is a sense of renewal during spring.  Time to clean up, and start gardening.