10 Things

10 Things

Shoes, mountains, books, fresh fruit, Indiana Jones. Seems like a rational list for what’s making me happy right now, right?

1. Escaping to the mountains. It felt sooo good to go up to the mountains (Idyllwild, to be exact), even if it was just for a night. The meteor shower was amazing, we saw about 22 meteors in just an hour! And Dante loved it too.

Ellingsen Photography Idyllwild Vista

2. The perfect summer sandal. I found these on sale at Steinmart, and I love that they put just enough of a spin on the basic summer/gladiator sandal. I’ve been wearing them constantly. (Please pardon my need for a pedicure.)

Ellingsen Photography Gomax Sandals

3. Newsroom. If you get HBO, I really hope you’re watching it! It fills the void that the end of West Wing left. And who doesn’t love Jeff Daniels?

4. My Daguerrotype Boyfriend. This Tumblr thrills my history nerd heart. It’s practically a vintage version of Tiger Beat, except you don’t feel guilty about reading it because it’s historical. I mean, who knew Winston Churchill looked like this when he began his career? Even in England, all you ever see are the iconic WWII-era photos.

My Daguerrotype Boyfriend Winston Churchill

5. Cooking with Trader Joe’s. For my fellow TJs addicts. So far I’ve tried the Tamale Bake (except I substituted beef for soy chorizo), which was super good and made a ton, and I’ve got several others bookmarked to try. I think I’m going to need their cookbook!

6. Reading, reading, reading.The Night Circus was wonderful, I really loved the interrupted timeline – having to keep track of what happened when made for a more interesting read! I tore through A Feast for Crows and I’m excited that the next in the series, A Dance with Dragons, just arrived yesterday. I’m also reading The Book Thief (finally) and loving it! (Anyone else constantly read several books at once?) And I’m almost done with The Lighthouse, which my parents suggested and loaned to me. It’s not my favorite detective story, but a good enough “whodoneit” to make me want to finish. For business, Worth Every Penny is a great investment. On top of the stack is a Rifle notbook Lindsey sent me as a thank you that I’ve been using as a daily gratitude journal.

Ellingsen Photography Book Stack August 2012

7. Makeup by Tiffany D. I think I stumbled on her video tutorials via Pinterest or something a while back, and I’m officially a fan. She’s a total pro while still being completely approachable and sweet. I’ve used mineral powder foundation for years, but lately my skin hasn’t been so happy with my usual routine. So I’ve been doing her process for lighter foundation for a couple weeks now and love it! I pretty much use all the products in this video, including the brush, which is super helpful. The woman hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

8. The Farmer’s Market in summer. There’s nothing like it. A few weeks ago they did a special “Dog Days of Summer” night and it was so fun! My mom and I picked up an orange mini cake to share from this local company called Orange Clementine, and it was SO GOOD. We were kicking ourselves we didn’t get one for each of us, it was so delicious. I’m thinking of requesting a full size one for my birthday. Mmmm…

Ellingsen Photography Fullerton Farmers Market iPhone

9. This quote. I guess that explains why my favorite color is green, right? Illustration by Lisa Congdon.

Lisa Congdon Day 232

10. Indy returns to the big screen. I found out about this event via Facebook, and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. I loves me some Star Wars, but Indiana Jones (the trilogy, not so much the fourth one) is where it’s at and where it all started for me. My friends can testify to how obsessed I can be. And now I get to watch all the movies, in a row, in the theater! Can’t wait!

So enliven my Thursday for me – what’s floating your boat lately?


10 Things

What is it about summer that makes my brain get all jittery? There’s so many things I want to do, and so many events going on, and then I just want to throw Dante in the car and go to the dog beach. Forget spring cleaning, it’s summer that gets me motivated! Here’s some things floatin’ my boat lately.

1. Sara Bareilles’ Uncharted video. Don’t ask me how I hadn’t heard of her before, but somehow my radar missed her. I’m pretty sure Nikki hates me for how many times I’ve played this song. The video is especially cute with all these other artists lip syncing to the song! I’m also loving Gonna Get Over You.

2. Actually cooking. For the longest time I would get so caught up in getting measurements perfect (left over from first learning to bake, I think), but guess what? I don’t have to be exact! That fact finally sunk in. I’m kind of falling in love with the imperfection and experimentation of cooking. It’s about time! As my mom keep saying, “Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?” Recipes that have been loved and repeated (all from favorite bloggers, coincidentally) include cauliflower soup, estofado, roast chicken with dijon sauce and pasta with tomato cream sauce. They’re all very simple, straightforward, and pretty much done in under an hour.

3. Mexican Coke. It’s the simple things.

Ellingsen Photography Mexican Coke Bottle

4. Texts From Dog. This guy is hysterical! Just go read and enjoy. So many things are what I imagine Dante saying to me.  :)

5. The calm of Joshua Tree. Like I said when I posted this month’s desktop background, there’s nothing quite like that feeling when you first step out of the car and into the desert air. So awesome.

Ellingsen Photography Mindy in Joshua Tree
Ellingsen Photography Joshua Tree Lookout Point

6. Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech. I was pausing and writing down lines. Brilliant inspiration for aspiring human beings everywhere.

7. Quality family time. I see my parents regularly, since they live just 15 minutes away, but it was great this past month to do special weekend and day trips. At the beginning of the month, my mom and I headed down to San Diego to stay with my cousin and attend the Humane Society fundraiser walk, then celebrated Cinco de Mayo at my uncle’s house that night. And for Mother’s Day, I mentioned kidnapping my mom for the day. We had such a fantastic time! Love the shot my dad captured of us below.

Ellingsen Photography Family Weekend Trips
Ellingsen Photography Mom and Me Santa Barbara

8. Craig Ferguson in Scotland. I can’t keep up with his show regularly, but I definitely tuned in for his week of shows filmed in Scotland! Funny + sexy = I love that man. They’re all on YouTube, you can start with the first episode here.

9. VSCO Cam. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but for 99 cents you can’t get a better, more straightforward photo app! Love these recent shots – the newly reopened gardens at the Getty (I only shot film there, so I’ll have those up once I get them developed) and Dante’s paws and my junky running shoes with some jacaranda flowers. (Yes, Dante has one black nail.)

Ellingsen Photography VSCO Cam Getty Gardens
Ellingsen Photography VSCO Cam Paws & Feet

10. A klepto Iggy. One more dog funny – this video of a klepto Italian Greyhound! Makes me even more grateful that Dante won’t jump where he can’t see!

Hope you guys are having a great week so far! What tops your list right now?


10 Things

This is the 10th edition of 10 Things since I started this little corner of the internet! Woot! That’s 100 things I’m grateful for/are making me happy. I feel pretty good knowing I’ve stopped to take stock at least that many times in the last year(ish).

1. Adorable Laura George greeting cards. I’ve been admiring her work for ages on Etsy, and with several birthdays coming up, plus various days celebrating parents, I went ahead and ordered a set all at once. Don’t you just love the colorful envelopes?

Ellingsen Photography 10 Things Laura George Notecards

2. Lake walks. I know I’ve said it too many times before, but they’re just so damn good for me – for my senses, soul and thighs. I’ve hoodwinked a few friends and family members to join me and that just makes it even better.

Ellingsen Photography Fullerton Lake Dog Walk (7)

3. The new Nerdist and Geek and Sundry YouTube channels. Their wonderfully geeky original content is what finally convinced me to join the 21st century and actually subscribe to a channel. Felicia Day is my hero, I’m so happy she has a regular video blog (The Flog) now! Both channels launched this week – nerdgasm!

4. A new Star Wars moleskine. Speaking of nerdy…but I got it on sale! It’s truly the perfect size to take everywhere.

Ellingsen Photography 10 Things Star Wars Moleskine

5. A new haircut. There’s nothing like the feeling of freshly coiffed hair, amiright? (I used an app called Photo Collage to combine the before and after.) I am devastated that my genius stylist is moving in August after she gets married. So happy for her, but I’m still selfishly sad!

Ellingsen Photography Haircut Before & After

6.  The resurgence of the annual Family Easter gathering. We’re not particularly church-y, but we do love a reason to get all the cousins together (when I say “all”, I really mean my three cousins and my uncle and aunt). And we’re especially overdue because the last year we really did anything was back in 2009. Crazy how time flies! Tangent: I couldn’t remember the last time we went all out for Easter; luckily I’ve been blogging and taking photos regularly for so long I was able to look back and see! It’s one of the main reasons I’ll never stop – the historian in me loves to document.

Anyway, even though my dad is still in Norway, my mom and I decided to go ahead and gather everyone anyway. So I whipped up a lovely email invite from Paperless Post (gorgeous designs, half of which are free!) and mom and I menu planned. Can’t wait!

7. Actually completing a project. Like cutting up old desktop calendars to string up underneath my bedroom window. Pretty cute, right?

Ellingsen Photography 10 Things Photo Banner

8. Cooking, for realsies. I’m pretty honest about not being, shall we say, anyone’s choice if they’re facing an Iron Chef-style challenge. But this year I’ve finally found myself actually wanting to cook meals at home on a regular basis, and not just whipping up chicken salad melts and calling it a day (even though they’re delicious). And it’s not that I suck at cooking, I’m just terrible at improvising or looking at ingredients and coming up with something. I do much better with a recipe to follow and all the ingredients at hand. But I suppose some of that comes with experience, right? Sure. {Please share your easiest go-to recipes with me!}

So, for example, this week I made Pioneer Woman’s pasta with tomato cream sauce and Kate Miss’ recipe for cauliflower and leek soup (with a few modifications – half beef broth, half chicken broth in place of stock, and I used green onions instead of leeks). This was my second time making the soup and I have to say that recipe is get-outta-town good. And with no milk products (except butter)! Plus you get to use an immersion blender – awesome! I was so hungry by the time it was ready I didn’t even stop for a photo.

9. Photo-a-day challenges. This time, it’s via Instagram! And it’s only a month-long challenge, so you don’t feel the same pressure as with something like Project 365. Plus they make it interesting by having a different theme for each day! I’ll share my images all together at the end of the month. If you want to join in, I found the themes listed here.

10. Discovering new inspiration. This week I completely fell in love with the work of Canadian photographer Benoit Paillé, especially his portraits of attendees of the Rainbow Gathering. The honesty and beauty of his work took my breath away. Big thanks to my peeps at Faded + Blurred for blogging about him!

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!


10 Things

The weather here is starting to feel like spring, and I’m trying to ignore the fact that we’re two months into the year and focus on a renewed sense of self. What is it about joining a new online dating site that makes you reevaluate your whole life while trying to fill in those “about me” boxes? At any rate, here’s what’s been making me happy / thankful lately…

1. Walks around the lake. My neighbors told me about a shortcut that we can take to avoid the busy street that Dante isn’t such a fan of, and now we’ve been walking there and back almost every day. There’s always lots of people fishing and walking their dogs, and Dante loves lunging at watching all the birds.

Ellingsen Photography Lake Walk via Instagram

2. Celebrating Star Wars. My friend Jeff and I spent a day earlier this month exploring the Star Wars exhibit at the Discovery Science Center and watching The Phantom Menace in 3D. It was really a pretty perfect geek-out day. The exhibit is not cheap but so worth it – they had ship models, costumes, Yoda, AT-ATs, and a bunch of fun hands-on things for kids to do. And speaking of the Wars, I think this R2 shirt will be my next geeky purchase!

Ellingsen Photography Instagram Star Wars Day

3. The Oscars. We’ll be having some friends over to watch again this year, and I’m hoping I’ll finally beat Nikki at guessing the most winners! (But don’t bet on me.) We’ll be using these ballots from How About Orange (and probably playing her Oscar bingo game too). I love watching them so much more now that we have a DVR. ;)

4. Snuggling with Dante. It just doesn’t get old. Somehow it never fails to be comforting, especially now when the nights are still chilly. In the summer, I don’t want his blazing hot little body anywhere near me!

Ellingsen Photography Dante in Bed

5. My old, beat up, trusty Converse. I’m wearing them right now, in fact. You just can’t go wrong.

Ellingsen Photography Converse

6. These brilliant words. I first saw this Twain quote on Pinterest, but decided to play with it over one of my photos and put it up on the fridge as a reminder. I think maybe we all have several points in our life where we find out why, don’t you think? That there isn’t only one?

(You can click the photo for a 4×6 downloadable version if you want it!)

7. Cozying up at my desk with a drink and some photo processing. Sometimes it’s kind of like running – it can be tough to put on your shoes and get out the door, but once you’re going you feel awesome about it.

Ellingsen Photography Messy Desk

8. Creatively funny things. Like this Tumblr I just discovered called T-Rex Trying… by Hugh Murphy. It’s hard not to giggle at every one!

9. Shooting more film. I’m halfway through a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 and can’t wait to see the results!

10. Easy plant DIYs. I’m such a plant killer, but I’d really like more greenery indoors and I think even I can handle something like a terrarium! This article at Refinery 29 makes it look so easy.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

10 Things

Well that was a nice break! Hope you guys all had a lovely holiday too, whatever you celebrate. Right now I’m having trouble believing that it’s been almost two months since I sat down and took stock of what’s making me happy lately.