26 February 2017

Sunday #37: Finding Calm

The last Sunday of February.

Somehow, the last Sunday in February is upon us.  I can't believe two months of 2017 are almost over!  It's been a whirlwind of a busy week.  After getting home from lab today, my partner/boyfriend and I did housework together before heading out for a ramen dinner.  I think it's a common misconception that moving in means you automatically spend more time with your significant other.  We haven't had much time together lately because of our busy schedules so it's nice to find some calm and time in each other's company.  We're finishing our weekend with a relaxing, quiet night at home. 


I started off the week by student hosting a visiting professor, followed by a dinner in honor of an annual special seminar at my university.  On Wednesday, I went to an outreach event with my friend Betty in support of engaging girls in the STEM fields.  It was my first outreach event and an incredibly rewarding experience.  The event put young girls in touch with women in STEM and aimed to deliver the message that women in science were multifaceted (and that they could be whatever they wanted!).  I wish there had been more of such events when I was younger!  I finished out the week with lab meeting and another event on Thursday.  By the time Friday afternoon rolled around, I was too darn wiped after a full day in lab to do anything, but go right home.  Suffice to say I only made it twice to the gym this week.  Oops. 


I think it's time I upgrade my DSLR.  As a student, a full frame camera is out of the question, but I'm thinking of getting a better crop-sensor DSLR from Canon.  My Canon 1000D is about 8 years old and the technology is horribly out of date.  I'm thinking of using a little bit of my tax refund towards a better camera body so I can create more professional quality work.  I'm sharing a few candids from the weekend; the noise in the photo taken in low light is pretty obvious!  What camera do you use or would you recommend? 

Trevor in natural light.
Adam. ISO 1600. 


In this coming week, I do my first time-for-prints shoot with a singer who contacted me on Instagram.  I'm nervous about working with a complete stranger, but it's experience I need!  My photo buddy is coming with me since my partner's out of town on a conference that week.  In about two weeks, I'm shooting headshots at my university, so it's going to be quite a few weeks of pushing outside my comfort zone.  Wish me luck!


•  Kristabel shared her experience as a black blogger in the UK.  A VERY important post that stresses the need for diversity and better representation because they 100% impact our expectations.
•  Hanh left her job to pursue her dream of being a full-time videographer.  An inspiring post on not giving up on yourself and chasing what your heart wants.

Tell me about your week!  x

19 February 2017

Sunday #36: Spring

February blooms in Los Angeles.

Southern California has gotten a lot of rain this winter season so things have been blooming and green lately.  ICYMI, we've had a severe drought for the past few years.  Southern California really can't handle the precipitation because we had a huge storm and calamity ensued.  I never complain about rain, though.  I hope we get more of it!


I've never been one for Valentine's Day because I think it's mostly a commercial holiday.  My boyfriend and I decided to keep it low key and make dinner together.  We had ribeye steak, potatoes, and sauteed kale with mushrooms.  I've eaten kale pretty much every day this week because its such a tasty way to eat vegetables!  I did get roses which I was very surprised about because we don't really celebrate the day.

Garlic bread, baked potato, sauteed kale with mushrooms, and ribeye steak!


This weekend was a lot of last minute plans.  I was supposed to go to a lounge on Saturday, but we all had to bail for different reasons.  In grad schools, our advisors are always pushing us so the work is never ending.  Living in a house of graduate students means we're oscillating from stressor to stressor.  However, on Saturday, my boyfriend and I got out of the house to grab dinner with our roommates at an ale house.  We had company at our house afterwards and I managed to grab a fantastic candid shot of our friend Nick. 

The ale house.

A candid photograph of Nick.

I've taken an easy Sunday.  Tomorrow is President's Day, an institute holiday at my university, but most of us will probably still go into lab.  Let's be real, who feels like celebrating in our current climate?  I'm off to make dinner (we're having sauteed vegetables and deep dish pizza from Giordano's in Chicago) and get some work done before the night's over.  

Hope you're all having a good Sunday!  What did you get up to on Valentine's Day and/or this week?

15 February 2017

Cheap Thrills: Beauty Under $10

Essie Nail Polish, Affordable beauty, Beauty Products Under $10

Life is expensive, but your beauty favorites don't have to be.  Since I'm cheap thrifty, I've gotten pretty good at finding inexpensive products that also perform well.  There are some products I'll go a bit more high end on, but a lot of my favorite are less than $10.  Here are some of my most used affordable products!

Smith's Rosebud Salve ($6).  Rosebud Salve and I are going on 10 years as my go to treatment for chapped lips, dry spots, and sporadic eczema.  It helps to moisturize, soften, and protect the skin.  It's very lightly scented.  I also like a thin coat underneath matte lipsticks or pencils.  

Revlon Colorstay Creme Eye Shadow in Caramel ($8).  A warm gold creme shadow that imparts a sheen across the eyelids.  This has been my go to for days when I want to do something quick and simple on the eyes.  The staying power is okay; I'd say the Maybelline Color Tattoos last longer, but this shadow is creamier.

Life-flo Pure Rosehip Seed Oil ($8).  Oils are a skincare staple for me.  When I'm not using my DIY facial oil mix, I'm using straight rosehip seed oil on my skin.  I put a few drops on my fingers and spread this over toned skin.  Top with moisturizer and sunscreen.  Voila, glowing skin all day. 

Essie Nail Polish ($9).  Once upon a time, I used to buy nail polish from Chanel.  Then I was like, "LOL, girl, that's too expensive.  Check yoself."  Nowadays, all my nail polish comes from the drugstore.  My favorite brand is Essie; they have a lot of colors and a decent formula.  My current favorites are Sugar Daddy (pale, nude pink), Angora Cardi (mauve), and Pret-A-Porter (that periwinkle blue)!  

What are your cheap thrills?  Anything you'd recommend for a tenner?