Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday #50: New Horizons

Macarons, French Macarons, Lumiere and Lens, Cozy

Bonjour!  This week, I've been a tad addicted to French macarons.  After having them for several days in the row from bakeries, I settled for the frozen ones from Trader Joe's.  DANGEROUS DECISION.  I'm currently doing a lot of writing so I've been eating my weight in these French cookies with Gossip Girl playing in the background.  There are far less pleasant ways to work, I think!  It's currently Sunday morning in Los Angeles and I'm writing this now while nursing a cup of coffee.


When Roberta made dinner last week, she prepared a salad of greens, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, olives, and dill that was dressed with olive oil and vinegar.  It was simple, but amazing, and the dill was a surprise touch.  I've been recreating this salad at home a lot.  It's light, but filling and a healthy counterbalance to all the sweets I've been consuming.  Anyways, I want to eat more salads and vegetables this week before I go to Alaska for vacation.  No one ever eats healthily on vacation so I have to pregame my vitamins NOW.


I turn another year older this coming Friday, but I probably won't be celebrating much on the day because I'll be busy packing to leave for Alaska in the morning!  Roberta asked how I wanted to celebrate and I suggested a low key dinner, especially as we didn't get a chance to celebrate hers earlier in the month.  We went to Bottega Louie (surprise, surprise) and enjoyed a meal of tagliatelle bolognese, brussel sprouts with pistachios, fried calamari, and yes, macarons.  Good food and company for the soul!  Afterwards, we walked to Upstairs, a rooftop bar in Downtown Los Angeles.  We breathed in the night air and looked out on the skyline before catching an Uber home. 

The Upstairs Bar, Los Angeles, Rooftop Bar


My friend Eric goes to an improv group on Wednesdays and invited me along this past week.  Acting is something that I've always thought would be fun, but I'm far too self conscious to try it!  I mean, my presentations/talks only go well with a lot of practice.  I went to the improv group with the intent to watch, but they required everyone to participate.  It turned out to be a lot of fun!  At first, I was self-conscious and held back, but decided to just go with it.  It was a great way to break out of my comfort zone, to think on my feet, and learn a different type of cooperation in a team.  I'm definitely going back in a few weeks!


•  Hanh reflects on being comfortable in her own skin.
•  Feeling pretty - unpretty, by Bash.
•  Nancy shares 23 thoughts on her birthday - send her belated well wishes!
•  Doctor Jane graduated!

P.S.  I've updated the links page on my blog.  I've noticed our growing community of support so I want to share the love.  If we regularly interact and I've missed you, please don't hesitate to drop me a note!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Bullet Journal That Works For Me

Lumière & Lens, Bullet Journal, Weekly List, Food Diary
Setting up my bullet journal each week.

I started using a Bullet Journal towards the end of last year with the aim of improving my organization, productivity, and motivation.  If you dig around on the Internet, there's a prescribed way of setting up a bullet journal.  No shade on the guidelines, but I didn't find a lot of the recommended modules particularly useful.  After trial and error, I've found a Bullet Journal format that works best for me! 

I carry a lot in my backpack to work so I wanted an easily transportable notebook.  I've been loving the grid notebooks from Muji.  They're only 30 pages so I can easily slip one into my bag and I don't mind replacing it every few months.  I use about 2 to 3 full pages per week so these Muji notebooks are completely sufficient.  As for pens, I'm fond of Stabilo pens; they come in a lot of colors and are very pigmented.  A small T-square is also useful for drawing straight lines and grids.  Now, on to what I put in my journal!

A Weekly To-Do List.  Every Sunday morning, I sit down and draw out the grid for my weekly tasks.  I have a lot going on and like to have things visually laid out.  My appointments are written out in bright ink.  While I don't jot down work hour, I make to-do lists for tasks that might slip my mind such as ordering an important chemical, reactions, or things that need to be reviewed.  Having a week visually planned out prevents appointments from sneaking up on me.  

A Food & Exercise Diary.  I weigh myself every morning, track my digestive patterns, and write down everything I eat.  I note the type of exercise I did and where it was performed (days at the gym tend to be harder than working out at home).  I color highlight the exercise I've done with the goal of doing it 4X a week.  The block of color is a quick visual gauge of how close I am to achieving that goal!  Sometimes, seeing just two blocks motivates me to exercise because of how much I enjoy filling out the chart.

FYI, I don't count calories, macros, or obsess over food -- I really enjoying collecting data!  This diary has been immensely helpful in seeing when I'm eating too much garbage or processed food.  I also plan to plot my weight, do some statistics, and correlate how it fluctuates with my exercise habits. 

Lumière & Lens, Bullet Journal, Habit Tracker

A Habit Tracker.  If you're anything like me, you might spend just a wee bit too much dining out.  Really, all my money after bills and savings just goes to food.  Like having the color block on my exercise, a habit tracker is a great visual tool to quickly see how I'm doing.  For example, by nearly three weeks into May, I've done well on exercise, but poorly on not spending on food.  I was consistent about lab, but less so with practicing music.  I was consistently NOT working on my fine art (bad!), but spent time seeing friends!

These were the three journal habits that work best for me!  I also like to keep lists with square bullets to color in when completed that include blog post and photography ideas.  Some recommendations that didn't pan out include the future log, the table of contents, the index, or in general, the elaborate drawings/scribbles I'd see in other bullet journals.  I tried them, but wasn't inspired to keep up with them consistently!  However, a thin notebook is really easy to carry around for note taking at a moment's notice. 

How about you?  Do you use a bullet journal? Is there another organizational method you would recommend?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday #49: Return From Philadelphia

Hello, friends!  It feels good to be doing a Sunday post again after two weeks off.  I've spent most of my weekdays (and most of my Saturday) catching up on work.  I got back into Los Angeles late Monday night and it's been a long week.  As I bang this out before bed, I'm pretty knackered and ready to turn in! 


A good friend of mine from undergrad had his wedding in Pennsylvania on the weekend of the 4th!  We couldn't make it out for more than a few days, but we got to stay with my Mama.  The wedding was a lovely affair that mixed two families' religious traditions.  It was surreal to see my friend from many years ago at such a place in his life.  They grow up so fast, right?  I am happy they found their soulmates in one another. 

Aside from the wedding, I spent as much time with my mother as I could; she only gets me once a year, usually.  As she specifically requested that I keep her off social media, I can't share any pictures of her or the wedding (respect privacy!).  Instead, I will show you the ones taken in the suburbs of plants and me with my boyfriend.  My Mama's a pretty decent photographer, isn't she?  She took the photo of us!  Apparently, we're poor models and stiff as boards.  

My parents don't speak English so we've relied on phone calls to keep in touch.  I am pretty awful at phone calls so while I was in Philadelphia, I set up WeChat.  We can now leave each other audio messages like texts.  Pretty neat!  I miss my family a lot so it's a good way to hear their voices from so far away.  I also have my #1 fan (Mama) to whom I can send my selfies.  It's a good life.  


I "finished" my work for the week on Saturday night in preparation for meeting my boss on Sunday.  The meeting was fairly productive and I met up with my friend Nicole afterwards.  We went to the Westfield Santa Anita Mall out in Arcadia which some of you have also frequented!  You know of whom I speak.  *WINK WINK*  We got lunch at Din Tai Fung and then did some shopping without our boyfriends (who hate shopping) in tow.  Your girl had a little #TreatYoSelf day at NYX, Nature Republic, Muji, Lush, and the candy shop.  WHOOOPS.

In the evening, I had a photoshoot with my friend Roberta.  We've been planning this for weeks and I had a blast shooting on her roof.  Afterwards, she made me a dinner of pasta with oxtail meat sauce, all completely from scratch, followed by macarons for dessert.  I felt 100% spoiled by her caring and kindness.  

Seeing girlfriends was a nice day to end my week.  I also had lunch with my friend Liz this past Wednesday at one of our favorite sushi places after many weeks apart!  Amidst the deadlines, stress, and work, good friends/company make a gigantic difference in lifting a person up.

Your turn!  Tell me about your weeks, your company, and what you're looking forward to in the next seven days! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hello, It's Me

Lumière Lens, red berries, california plants

I was wondering if after all these years, you'd like to meet, to go ov --

Alright, serenade over because, trust, none of you will want to hear my singing caterwauling! 

Hello, lovelies, it's been a hot minute since I've been on Lumière & Lens.  I've been MIA for a few weeks now and because the Internet is fickle, I've been unfollowed, disengaged, etc.  It's fair, I suppose, for while I've been silently reading your blogs I've not been super active with engaging lately, either.  For the few of you who have stuck around this little space, thanks! I appreciate it.  

So, what's been happening?  In the past few weeks, my head space has been occupied with work, personal things, and feeling under the weather, none of which put me in a great place to want to blog.  They don't call it the blues, for nothing, you know?  I will not use this blog to whinge so if you're really curious, shoot me a message somewhere and I'll be happy to talk.  The important thing is that I want this to be an authentic space.  I don't want to produce content when my head/heart isn't in it, so I took a little break.  Sometimes, we all need that.

Anyways, L&L will be back to regularly scheduled programming (and return of engagement on your posts!) this week.  I'll be catching up on all I've missed.  If you happen to come around here, leave links to your posts or whatever you think is interesting in the comments.  Hope you stick around!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trader Joe's Blueberry & Acai Facial Scrub

Trader Joe's Blueberry Acai Facial Scrub

I love Trader Joe's.  It's like a smaller Whole Foods and the employees are always super friendly so I'm in there fairly often.  My boyfriend once said, "Get everything you need so we're not here three times a week."  But there's so much to buy!  Apple blossoms!  Green tea mochi!  Turkish honey!  Matcha cookies!  Kale!  And . . . this Blueberry & Acai Facial Scrub.  

I was like, "Girl, you do not need another skincare product.  Don't waste your money."  The little devil on my shoulder was like, "Girl, it's only $5.99, tho."  I walked away, but it ended up in my basket at the till because who can pass up a face scrub like this?  Worth.  Every.  Penny. 

The blueberry and acai scrub comes house in a 2 oz frosted glass jar with a silver lid.  There's something about weighted glass containers that feel incredibly luxurious in the hand.  You can see the full list of ingredients on their website, and I'm pleased that the second ingredient is blueberry fruit and not filler.  The product smells like fresh berries.  Absolutely delightful. 

Trader Joe's Blueberry Acai Facial Scrub, Review, Lumière & Lens, Affordable Beauty

The exfoliation comes from the alpha hydroxy acids in the scrub: citric acid, malic acid, and lactic acid, which are all high on the ingredient list.  Alpha hydroxy acids are carboxylic acids with hydroxyl groups (the OH) adjacent to the COOHs.  In beauty products, alpha hydroxy acids are used for chemical exfoliation.  Using a sunscreen is recommended because you're basically removing the top layer of skin, but you should be using one anyways!  And before anyone wants to give me a lecture on "chemical nasties" and going "chemical free," I'm going to stop you right there to let you know that's a big fat marketing gimmick of a lie. 

Does it work?  I've been using it for about a week so far.  I've noticed that my skin is softer and smoother to the touch.  The smoothness is palpable immediately after use.  My makeup applies more evenly and has greater longevity than usual despite spending long days in lab.  I've had no adverse reactions; I'm hoping they don't discontinue this product, because I like it way more than my granulated facial scrub!  I'd highly recommend picking this up the next time you're at Trader Joe's!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday #48: Generous Helpings

Hello, everyone, how were your weeks?  Mine has been a mix of ups and downs.  I'm mid-synthesis in lab, waiting for reagents to arrive, and we're having to do troubleshooting for our biology work.  As for the better moments?  I got to take some coffee/lunch breaks with good people this week, shared a post on self-care habits, and closed out Friday with a concert in the park and dinner with labmates.  I've been a busy beaver!


I was invited along with my friend and her boyfriend to have lunch at Ginger Corner Market in Pasadena this week.  Ginger is one of those small sandwich shops with salads, coffee, and pastries.  It has quite a rustic, at-home feel to it (a very Instagram-friendly aesthetic, too, I might add).  I ordered what might quite have been the most delicious BLT I've ever eaten: generous helpings of candied bacon, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, all topped with a fried egg on sourdough bread.  I was so full from lunch that I didn't get one of their delicious looking pastries (they had a banana-Nutella turnover).  I'll be back, Ginger.  Just you wait and see!



I may have watched quite a bit of Netflix this week.  I started Ann With An E after a recommendation from Gina.  It's an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables and is one of the most feminist shows I've ever seen.  Definitely recommend it!  My boyfriend and I finished the second season of Master of None.  It's not as funny as the first, but watchable.  The story lines are very  . . . millennial appropriate.  I now have Riverdale on in the background and I'm loving it!  I read the Archie comics as a kid and I think they nailed the casting.  What I don't like is how all these "teenagers" are played by adults like all dramas.  I recall my shock at how all the teenagers looked younger, more awkward, and smaller in real life back when I started high school.  Did anyone else have that experience?



I sent off the finished photos for Grant from Lost Art Creative this week.  We did the shoot in Old Town, Pasadena.  I had a great time working and post-processing!  Every person I work with wants a different style of shoot, composition, and lighting.  As I've said before, every photo session is an opportunity to learn something and the model themselves can unknowingly be teaching a lesson.

Photographs of Grant.

Avi at Golden Photography is one of the first photographers I've ever followed on Instagram.  He is also a photographer based in Los Angeles and after communicating for several months, we got around to shooting in the city on Saturday.  I'm excited for the photos to come back because they're the best ones anyone has ever taken of me!  On top of that, it was so interesting to observe someone with a completely different aesthetic and view of photography.  It was a really fun Saturday afternoon!  I came away from both experiences with opened eyes on how much more I have to learn and to keep practicing.



•  Single and not looking by Jane.  Life doesn't need a relationship to be full.  She writes it so beautifully.
•  Feminista Jones opens a dialogue on how women are expected to appreciate compliments without agreeing.
•  Gillian started a series called the Freelance Diaries.  Read her first post on a peek into her week!
•  Just for fun: penmanship that is beautiful enough to make you weep.

It's Sunday afternoon now.  The California heat has set in,  I'm drowsy, and I have a lot of errands to run.  Tell me about your week in the comments and how your Sunday was?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Everyday Self-Care That Doesn't Take Up (Too Much) Time

Self-care, Lumière & Lens

Did you know that May is Mental Health Month?  My contribution this year will be on that ever popular buzzword(s): self-care.  The notion of self-care is something I became acquainted with in the first year of my PhD studies.  Academic productivity is important, but staying healthy is pertinent to that goal.  No matter where we are in life, however, I think we can agree that everyone could benefit from taking care of themselves.

Self-care is important for managing mental/physical health, but I don't always have the resources to take vacations or engage in retail therapy (the answer to every woe is not #treatyoself).  I've been working on practicing self-care in my everyday life, to make it habit.  In my opinion, self-care shouldn't be saved for special occasions or when I've had an extremely bad day.  Here are the self-care practices in which I engage.  Obviously, I'm not a mental health professional so this shouldn't be taken as treatment for anything.  I hope this is useful for somebody!



We all hang out with people and we have a choice in our company.  I've been making an effort to have healthier relationships.  As I've touched on in my decluttering post, I don't spend time or energy with people out of obligation.  I'm going to write one of my favorite quotes, "Respect yourself enough to walk away from something that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy."  If a person stresses me out or spending time with them doesn't feel good, I walk away.  On the flip side, I'm lucky to know friends and family who inspire me to be a better person.



A lot of us (definitely me) have a tendency to be incredibly self-critical and beat ourselves up when things go wrong.  The next time you fall into this trap, ask yourself, "Would I say this to a friend?"  If the answer is no, then don't say it to yourself!  For me, practicing kindness is accepting mistakes and figuring out how to learn from them.  It's not beating myself up if I skip the gym, eat pie, or take a day to myself.  As for being kind to others?  I've always believed that a lot of meanness stems from insecurity -- just because I feel poorly doesn't give me an excuse to treat others as such.  Besides, I've never felt bad for being kind, but I have for meanness.  Create the environment you in which you want to thrive (see above).



There are things we do regularly: shower, bathe, put on our skincare, etc.  May as well turn them into luxurious experiences!  I keep a candle in my bathroom that I light before my daily shower (I like nature scents).  As I live in California, I also keep the windows open and play music on my phone.  Do I dance while I shower?  OF COURSE I DO.  I use well scented shampoo and shower gels to make my bath feel as much like a spa as possible.  As a makeup lover, one of the best parts of my morning is applying my War Paint.  Who cares if I'm just going into lab to slap goggles on my face?



You can probably see that a common theme emerging here.  Finding time to appreciate what's around me every day helps immensely for coping with stress.  I appreciate a laugh and stroll for coffee with friends each week.  I appreciate being able to afford the candle and toiletries of my preference.  I appreciate the little acts of kindness people show me.  Looking on the bright side is far easier said than done, but make it a daily practice to find the positive in bad situations.  It gets easier to find light in the darkness that way.  Promise. 

What are some self-care practices in which you partake?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday #47: Cherries, Red Lips, and Music

Lumière & Lens, flatlay, cherries, fresh fruit

Guess what, lovelies?  Cherries are finally in season!  When I was a child, my mother and I would be the only ones to eat them which was fine by us.  By the way, it's Mother's Day!  I called both mamas this morning -- in a perfect world, all my family would be just a short drive away.  I'm in Philadelphia for a friend's wedding next month so I'll get to see my mother, if just for a weekend.

Moving on: this week has been filled with bacterial protein expression, frustrating science, and live music.  I have a coal mining documentary on while I draft this post, cup of tea at my left hand, and polished nails drying.  Color?  Red, red, red.  Theme of the week!



Roberta got some free tickets to see PJ Harvey at The Greek Theater in Griffith Park on Friday.  Neither of us had listened to her before, but we were game to go to LA to round out the week.  Since we don't get to dress up for work (labs ruin nice clothes), we went all out with red lipstick.  We arrived at Griffith Park hours before the show so we laid in grass before grabbing dinner at Puran's Restaurant (highly recommend).  Roberta got the chicken soup and I had the bolognese so our bellies were quite happy!

Lumière & Lens, PJ Harvey
Roberta wears MAC Chili.  I wear MAC Russian Red.  PJ Harvey wears pure power.

We were in for a real treat with PJ Harvey.  For one, the band sounded better live than on the record.  They had so much palpable passion and energy.  I was blown away by PJ Harvey herself; she is a magnetic, talented, and explosive powerhouse of a woman and musician.  I was astounded at the big voice that came out of her and her ability to seamlessly switch between vocals and saxophone.  After the show, we urban hiked out of Griffith Park and grabbed a ride home.  It was an AWESOME Friday.



There is a yearly band competition at my university.  For the third year in a row, my boyfriend and friends entered.  They didn't place in the finals on Saturday (but they should have!), but everyone had a good time anyways.  I was in Photography Heaven because I had so many subjects to photograph that day.  I got on my butt near the stage to get some of the pictures.  I didn't really care how stupid I looked because the angles were good!  By the end of the afternoon, my wrist was sore from holding my camera with the zoom lens.   Aahhhh, labors of love.  If you're interested, here they are from last year

Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, Live Music
Alpine Ibex takes the stage.
Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, Live Music
The banjo and bass players.
Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, CandidA candid peek at Liz during a conversation.
Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, Couple Photography
Nick and Alexandra have a moment as they watch performances.
Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, Live Music, Banjo Player
Main squeeze on the banjo.
Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, Live Music, Rock
I don't know this person, but he was very intense.

I was editing for about two hours in the evening to share the pictures on Facebook with friends and family.  By the way, I'm back on that social media platform after declaring my exit.  I'm keeping the account very small (pretty much closer friends and family) and liberally turning off notifications to curate the space to my own preferences. 



Late this afternoon, I'm meeting up with someone to do a second series of headshots.  I'm going to try to fit in an ab workout to round out my 4X/week exercise routine.  There's also a lot around the house I want to get done.  Thankfully, it's still early enough in the day that I'm not panicking!  Hope you all had a great week!



•  Miho's stunning photography of the South African safari.
•  The art of constructive criticism from Digital Photography School.
•  I posted a photoshoot of one of my favorite models.  Leave some love? 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Brick Alleys

Lumière & Lens, Male Fashion Photography, Fashion Photography

If you know me in any capacity, then you're aware that I'll inevitably ask to take your photo.  Sometimes, I phrase it like, "Are you photogenic?"  Other times, I demand, "Let's do a photoshoot!"  The majority of my photoshoots are scheduled with women; I needed to change things up a bit.  This photoshoot with D came about because I blurted out, "Are you photogenic? What's your number?  We should shoot."  We set up a time on an afternoon and D drove us into Old Town, Pasadena.

As a photographer, I treat every single shoot as a learning experience: how to work with someone new, how to adjust to the location, how to accommodate the model.  In D's case, we drifted towards more of a men's editorial perspective.  I typically photograph men while they're playing on instruments (i.e., my roommates and boyfriend).  I've not had the chance to work one-on-one as frequently with males versus females.  One-on-one sessions force me to work on directing and interaction that isn't a requisite for candid musical shots.

Lumière & Lens, Male Fashion Photography, Fashion Photography
Lumière & Lens, Male Fashion Photography, Fashion Photography
Lumière & Lens, Male Fashion Photography, Fashion Photography, Red Brick
Lumière & Lens, Male Fashion Photography, Fashion Photography
Lumière & Lens, Male Fashion Photography, Fashion Photography

D wasn't self-conscious or afraid to try different things in front of the camera.  As a result, we ended up with a lot of different scenes and poses.  As you can tell, I love the look of red brick and wood with greenery so that ended up in a lot of the pictures.  I typically photograph females with greenery and it was interesting to work background in a "masculine" way.  In any case, there were a lot of workable shots so post-processing was a dream. 

In case you're wondering, D is the model from this past Sunday's post!  We've been coming up with ideas for other photoshoots and I'm excited for new directions.  As always, positive or negative feedback is equally welcome.  I'll be sharing more shoots with other models in the future.  Let me know what you think? 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday #46: Extra

Lumière & Lens, Self Portrait
Lumière & Lens, Self Portrait
Cardigan: H&M, Band T-shirt: Death Cab for Cutie, Shorts: Lululemon courtesy of @vinyasaraptor

Hello, lovelies!  See what I did up there?   Throw back to my fashion blogging days!  On weekends, I either go makeup free or clean myself up, so here are self portraits from this week when I cleaned up.  Slightly.  It rained all weekend so the light was just perfectly diffused when I took these!



This week was pretty busy in lab.  I'm trying to finish out the last set of experiments for a manuscript.  I spent most of the week running assays and doing protein expression.  I didn't need to express that particular protein for my project, but I enjoy the process and wanted to do more hands-on work.  Protein expression requires sterile technique; one of my favorite things is actually the spraying of my gloves with ethanol.  It makes me feel like I'm about to go into surgery, for some reason!  Anyways, I was properly tired by the end of the week and went home to enjoy sparkling water with lime, as pictured here. 

Lumière & Lens, San Pellegrino Water



On Saturday, my friend Roberta and I went out to Old Town and walked out of MAC with one lipstick apiece (I nabbed Russian Red).  Spending time with her makes me want to take care of myself more.  She is one of the chicest women I know -- I feel like a troll standing next to her!  In the 4.5 years I've been in graduate school, I've "let myself go," so to speak.  Now I'm not saying that a woman is required to dress a certain way or wear makeup to be considered respectable, but I put a lot less thought into personal presentation than I did as a first year.  Hearing people say things like, "I remember you used to look so nice every day when you first started" gets old pretty fast.  Now I just need to figure out a way to work red lipstick into my lab look without being too extra.  #FirstWorldProblems



I had a photoshoot with a friend from another lab today. One of the questions people ask me a lot is, "When are you going to start charging?" I have rules: if I ask you to model, its not fair for me to charge you since it's time for prints. However, I'll give a rate for strangers who ask (as happened this week) which they can take or leave. At the end of the day, it's a lot of work to travel, shoot, and then post-process the amount of photos that I do.  Labors of love are still LABORS.

Lumière & Lens, Lumière & Lens Photography, Fashion Photography
A candid between takes on the photoshoot.

We were going to head into the Arts District in DTLA, but it was raining so much that I didn't want to commute for 30 minutes as the light of the day slipped away.  Of course, when we decided to stay local, the sun started to shine!  I'm sharing this great candid I snapped; I'm thinking of sharing a more complete photoset soon though they don't seem as popular here!



Our friends decided to make some homemade pasta so I'm currently enjoying a bowl of it while I process photographs and get ready for the coming week.  Of course, being me, I ran into the kitchen and started snapping.  I'm thankful to have people around who do not smack the camera out of my hand with the constant shutter clicking.  

Lumière & Lens, Homemade Pasta
Lumière & Lens, Homemade Pasta



•  I loved Cherie's perspective on the girlboss phenomenon.
•  Arden tackles the standards of an online presence.  

Your turn, lovelies.  What activities did you take part in this past week?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sauteed Kale and Mushrooms with Citrus

I think eating kale is inevitable when you live in California.  I'll be honest.  I was pretty disappointed after trying my first kale salad.  I like raw kale about as much I do uncooked broccoli, which is to say, not at all.  However, kale is really cheap where I live and in terms of cost/nutrient density, it's pretty hard to beat.  Anyways, I posted this picture on my Instagram the other day and people seemed to dig it, so here's the recipe.  I make this multiple times a week and usually eat an entire plate!


2 tbsps Extra virgin olive oil 
1 clove of minced garlic
10 oz sliced mushrooms
5 oz fresh cut kale
1/3 of a lemon, juiced
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1.  Heat up the minced garlic with the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  When the garlic starts to sizzle and grow fragrant, toss in your kale and stir so that the leaves are coated in olive oil.  As the kale cooks, it will start to wilt and change to a bright green color.  Do this for about 5 minutes. 

2.  When the kale is cooked, sprinkle it with sea salt to taste, and top liberally with freshly ground black pepper.  Remove the kale from the pan and set it aside on a plate.

3.  Add more olive oil to the pan and throw in the slice mushrooms.  Sautè the mushrooms until they are cooked. 

4.  Add the kale back in with the mushrooms and stir.  Flavor with the lemon juice. 

5.  EAT IT.

This is an easy way to eat more vegetables and get your loved ones to as well!  My best friend hates vegetables and she gobbled this up as did my picky-eater of a boyfriend.  No joke, I had to trick my best friend into eating vegetables during our undergraduate years and she ate this willingly.  

Try it and let me know how it goes for you!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday #45: A Feast of the World

Indonesian Dance, Lumière & Lens

Hiya!  I'm finally sitting down to write this because it's been a pretty packed week.  On top of graduate school related obligations, I've had two photoshoots and friends in town.  It's been a fun and action packed weekend, but I am pooped out!  


My friend Cat came into town; we met through our undergraduate research work and she was in town for the weekend.  She's one of the most interesting, honest, and intelligent women I know.  When we hung out it was as if we hadn't missed a day -- I think the best sorts of friendships are ones that are unperturbed by the passage of time.  Since I'm a photographer, you know I sat her down for one of my front yard portrait sessions!  We got some delicious ramen (take a shot every time this is mentioned on Lumière & Lens) and walked around while chattering at a mile/min.  YES!  Anyways, it was an awesome time and I was so glad to see her for the first time in years.


Our university had a world food and culture event this past week.  The event featured tables of food from countries around the world as well as performances at the end of the evening.  My friend (who is partially in charge of directing the event) asked me to photograph it so I came armed with my roommate's 28-200 mm lens and an empty stomach!  In our current political climate, I've learned to more deeply appreciate the celebration of multi-cultural events.  Some favorites: an Indonesian dance (see above) and a diabolo juggling performance!

Lumière & Lens, Chinese food
Chinese food as eaten in Hong Kong.
Lumière & Lens, Chilean food
Chilean delights!
Lumière & Lens, Diabolo performance
A diabolo juggling performance.



My boyfriend had good friends in town so we went to the La Brea Tar Pits and hung out in LA near LACMA.  It's a pretty cool museum filled with the skeletons of animals that have been retrieved from the tar pits.  There are tar pits on the grounds that you can look at as well as a site that is being actively excavated.  The museum houses the skulls of hundreds of direwolves, too!  I didn't even know they were real; I thought direwolves were just of Game of Thrones fiction.

Near the entrance of the Tar Pits Museum.

If you're in the LA area, I think both the Tar Pits and LACMA are worth a visit.  Bring your student ID -- you get a discount!


•  Patient Explorers - a photojournal by Kyle.  
•  A reflective piece by Louise on managing stress and living her best life
•  Tales by Light: a documentary series on Netflix on the physical journeys and experiences of photographers to capture their images.  An incredibly beautiful and inspiring series.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Things I Loved: April 2017

Things I Loved: a new monthly series of beauty, skincare, and other favorites on Lumière & Lens.

I love reading monthly favorites on beauty blogs so I thought I'd start a segment here!  Two things I enjoy each day is doing my makeup (aka, War Paint) in the morning and applying my skincare at night.  Much like having a lit candle and music on while I shower, indulging in a beauty routine is how I practice self-care/pampering without taking significantly extra time out of my day.  I've managed to find high quality products on the high street that look and feel luxurious as part of my daily routine.  WIN!

An essence, facial oil, and serum from Lumene.

I've added SEVEN products from Lumene this month to my skincare arsenal and every penny is well spent.  For the first time, I'm consistently using an essence and serum, which makes a significant difference in hydration and brightness.  I love the Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence, Sisu [Urban Antidotes] Urban Intense Hydrating Serum, and Valo [Light] Arctic Berry Cocktail Brightening Hydra-Oil.  After I shower, I mist my face before patting a few drops of the essence on my skin.  I then smooth the serum on, followed by the oil, and my moisturizer.  By the way, the oil is pink here because I've shaken it to emulsify the ingredients!  My skin seems to be getting smoother and brighter, with diminished redness.

My favorite facial sunscreen and contour kit.

After I used up my Clarins sunscreen, I was in search of a cheaper alternative that would be effective, lightweight, and moisturizing.  The Coppertone Clearly Sheer Faces Sunscreen Lotion ticks all those boxes.  It's light enough to be worn under makeup and doesn't make my skin greasier, like some sunscreens.  As for makeup, I've been loving the Rimmel London Kate Sculpting and Highlighting Kit in Coral Glow 002.  Despite owning contour/bronzing products from Clinique, Urban Decay, and Hourglass, I've found myself consistently reaching for this kit from the drugstore.  The shades look natural on me and there is a lot of pigmentation.  Best of all, I got this on sale, so it cost me about $4.  Doesn't get better than that!  

Your turn: what did you love this month?  Alternatively, what products would you recommend we skip over?