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?


Reading, Watching, Listening

Finding new music and reading through the stack of new books I got for Christmas have been super helpful in keeping my energy and productivity up. Isn’t it amazing what a new playlist can do? Especially for all my peeps who are also constantly at the computer.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge bookworm (are you on Goodreads too?), and I always have a couple books that I’ll read concurrently.

Ellingsen Photography Bedside Table Books

The bottom three in that stack are what’s coming up next, and as for what I’ve enjoyed lately…

  • The Scottish Prisoner ~ This was my Christmas book, it was really hard not to get it when it first came out but it was worth the wait! I tore right through it. Gabaldon can do no wrong. It’s unbelievable the amount of research she puts into each novel.
  • Cleopatra ~ I only just started it, but I love that it’s written by someone who actually did research and cites sources – the historian in me is very happy so far. :)
  • A Storm of Swords ~ It’s funny, I tore through the first two books in the series, but I’ve kind of stalled on this one for some reason. I’m sure I’ll circle back around to it eventually, it really is a brilliant series. Looking forward to season two of the show!

My mom and I had a girly movie date to see the Iron Lady last weekend, and I’m so glad we did. Now I get why Meryl won the Golden Globe, because her portrayal of a woman suffering from the beginning stages of dementia is amazing. Let alone the whole Maggie Thatcher thing.

Also, who else is stoked for Downton Abbey’s new season? If you haven’t seen it yet, get on that. Older episodes are on Netflix and the new season is amaaaazing, although a bit sad for me because of the portrayal of WWI. My degree is in history, specifically European, and studying WWI was always the most heartbreaking for me. Yes, more people died in WWII, but the way in which soldiers suffered and countries came to grips with modern warfare was simply awful. But enough with Captain Bringdown! Maggie Smith plays a granny who says whatever she wants – that should be enough of a motivator to watch this show. :)


Awesome graphic found here.

I basically owe all my new favorite music to Kate Miss over at For Me, For You. Her taste is impeccable! Lately I can’t stop listening to Florence & The Machine, Feist’s new album, Gotye, Jonsi, and The Civil Wars. Also, these specific songs:

What about you guys? Share your current favorites, I’m always on the lookout! And have a lovely weekend, friends.


October Already?

I’m still wondering where September went…as busy as the summer was, it’s like the days of September whizzed by me like in a speeded-up film sequence! I’ve got lots of catching up to do this weekend, and tomorrow Sarah and I are attending the shelter’s annual Wag N’ Walk event. So excited! I’m not entering Dante in the costume competition, but you can bet your sweet smile he’ll be wearing his Super D cape anyway. :)

Amidst the craziness, I did manage to go out this Wednesday when Nancy and I headed up to Beverly Hills for the Design*Sponge book signing event, held at the Anthropologie there (aka Mecca). How shi-shi are we? Yeah…not really. But it was a joy to meet Grace in person and have our books signed (they had a special edition for Anthro with extra content!). I’ve been reading the blog for ages and I’m so glad I got the book! I honestly wasn’t going to at first, but after reading lots of good reviews online and then seeing it in person, how could I not? It’s seriously amazing, 400+ pages of eye candy and tutorials. I really love the way she’s put it all together, and the book design itself is nothing short of gorgeous. If you’re even remotely interested in home design and inspiration, it’s a must-have.

{Traffic on the way (shocker), book signing spot is ready to go, coffee date photo by Nancy}

Big thanks to Nancy for being my date and getting me out of the house, and also to my parents for keeping Dante overnight!

Speaking of blogs, as I was catching up on blog reading this week I found myself saving a ton of posts (mostly fall themed, surprise), so here’s a dump of some of my favorites:

  • Ez’s Pumpkin Soup recipe sounds super delicious
  • And for dessert, maybe a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate using this recipe from A Beautiful Mess?
  • Fantastic Lightroom portrait retouching step-by-step from Clickin Moms – love seeing how other photogs work!
  • Amanda’s latest outfit post had me drooling – the colors, the fit, her gorgeous hair! (Did I verge on creepy there? Sorry.)
  • Kaylah over at The Dainty Squid always keeps me inspired, and I somehow got linked back to her Triangles Nail Tutorial that I’m going to have to try! I’ve always been a solid color kind of girl (albeit I’ll try any color), but this is a nail design I can get behind.

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!


10 Things

Good jeebus, the heat has really kicked in this past week!  I knew we were in for it when June Gloom held on for longer than usual, because that’s karma, right? :) Luckily it’s supposed to be a bit cooler on Saturday, just in time for a lovely little backyard wedding that I’ll be shooting that afternoon.
Anyways, blah blah blah as to why the number one spot of Things Making Me Happy this time goes to:

1. Central air conditioning. Thank Thor that was a must for Nikki when she was home shopping. :) And I can’t wait to go jump in the community pool once we move!

Ellingsen Photography 10 Things Board-1

2. The Help. I must be the last person on the planet to pick it up, but I’m so glad I did. I finished it in three days and I’m re-reading it now because I tend to read really quickly, and I wanted to go back and better absorb Stockett’s wonderful prose. And maybe I’m not ready to part with the characters just yet.

3. Dante’s squeaky ball addiction.

Ellingsen Photography 10 Things Dante Squeaky Ball Face Instagram

It’s ridiculously cute, you guys. I went and got him some more wee squeaky tennis balls this week (he goes through maybe a dozen a year due to breakage, smelliness, falling behind couches, etc.) and he was ECSTATIC. He played so hard he started panting! He can entertain himself for hours. It’s why I put up with the constant squeaking noise. How can I say no to that face?

4. Skindinavia’s No More Shine Makeup Finish spray. I’ve been using it for over a year, and with the heat + humidity this week I’ve been especially reminded of how much I love it! My makeup would be even more of a mess by the end of the day if I didn’t use it every morning.

5. Rifle’s new notebooks. I’m obsessed with Rifle, wish I could afford their custom paper products, but in the meantime I’ll settle for these perfect little notebooks (and the card sets Katie got me for Christmas). :) I can’t be the only one who’s a sucker for paper goods like these, right?

Ellingsen Photography 10 Things Board-2

6. Bug Repellent Perfume Serum. Must’ve been invented by a woman who was tired (like me) of smelling like stinky bug repellent all summer! Thanks to the crazy amounts of rainfall we got last winter, it seems like we have more bugs than ever. You can’t avoid the citronella scent with this, but it’s light and mixed with other good scents, and a million times better than Off spray. So far it’s performing well

7. Sitting out on the patio at my parents’ house. It never gets old. And having decent bug repellent helps me enjoy it a LOT more.

8. A new treat jar for Dante. I couldn’t help myself. Just look how cute it is! I wanted something that would keep his treats fresh, look good on the counter and keep me from having ten different bags from the store. Check, check and check! I did think about going vintage but they tend not to have a freshness seal.

9. Bones on Netflix. I’ve slowly but surely managed to make my way through all five seasons in order. Love that show! I’d only seen episodes here and there so it was great to get the whole story. And there’s nothing like starting to reach for the remote when it hits the commercial break bit and realizing you don’t have to fast forward! :)

10. Star Wars on Blu Ray. Comes out September 15th. You know I’ll be pre-ordering! Mostly because it’s about darn time I upgraded, I still have my VHS set. Makes me feel oooooold.

So what’s floating your boat lately? Dish!