What's Happening in the Gulf

5.31.2010

This isn't my typical photography post but I think it's important that everyone knows and understands what has been happening in the Gulf for over 40 days now.  It's heartbreaking.

How Do You Remove Cherry Stains?

5.29.2010

Guess I got a little too excited when I saw the fresh, ripe cherries on our cherry tree.  Not all the cherries are ready but they're oh-so-close.  I may have to take a break from studying next weekend to make this season's inaugural pie!

So - any advice on how to get the cherry juice out of one of my favorite yellow tank tops?  (See the before & after below.)

Friday Foto - La Gabbia

5.28.2010

GABBIA (f.)
Translation: Cage 
(Because I feel like I'm in a bar prep cage.)

Strawberries with Balsamic Glaze

5.27.2010

I have a few confessions to make.  First, I can't take full credit for this very-simple-yet-very-delicious little recipe.  Second, it came from Teresa Giudice's new cookbook Skinny Italian.  Yes, that's Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Yes, I love that show.  No, I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Her cookbook was one of my law school graduation gifts.  (I also got a new camera lens, which I used to shoot the photo below.)  Now, if you're like me you're probably thinking, "Vinegar and strawberries?  Really?"  Really.  As in, "really delicious."  The brown sugar makes the glaze so sweet it's fantastic.  I added a little bit of lemon juice just to mix it up a bit.  Teresa's recipe calls for drizzling the glaze over strawberries and orange slices but I've drizzled it over some blackberries, too. 

Also, I highly recommend her cookbook, especially if you're a fan of the show.  There are quite a few personal tidbits and insights that a RHNJ lover will definitely appreciate (and not a small number of jabs at the show's villain, Danielle).  My only criticism of the book is actually more of a compliment - I wish there were more recipes.  The ones she includes are pretty darn tasty and I want some more!  Maybe since Skinny Italian quickly became a NY Times Best Seller she'll put together a second cookbook with a little more gossip and a lot more recipes.

Strawberries with Balsamic Glaze

What You Need:

2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Sliced strawberries and oranges (or whatever other berries you want)
Little sprinkle of lemon juice (optional but it adds to the tangy-ness!)

What To Do:

1.  Place sugar, lemon juice (if you're using it), and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.

2.  As soon as the mixture starts to boil, turn off heat and set aside too cool.  
Seriously, I mean it.  As soon as it starts to boil! If you over cook it, it will caramelize (like it did for me because I was distracted with my Property outline).  Granted the caramelized version is still delicious, but it's really sticky and gooey and not so fun on your teeth.

3.  Once the sauce has cooled, drizzle over your sliced fruit and enjoy!


*I'm still learning how to work with the new lens - hence, the blurriness. 

Bar Disclaimer

5.26.2010

This week marks the beginning of my bar prep.  I've promised myself to try and maintain the balance in my life and do relaxing things to counteract the inherent stress of the situation.  That being said, I'm still a California bar testee and, considering this is the hardest bar exam in the country (of course California has to be different), prepping for the test is still Priority Numero Uno.  I'd like to live by the old "One and Done" rule and not have to take this bad boy again!

I will make every effort to update the blog regularly, but please forgive any lengthier-than-normal delays between posts. 

Jenny & Kirby

5.24.2010

This past weekend, The Boyfriend and I went to Michigan for my friend Jenny's wedding.  We were there for less than 48 hours and didn't see much outside of our hotel (we stayed at the same location as the wedding).  But we didn't need to venture out to have a lovely weekend.  The ceremony was beautiful, and the newlyweds looked blissfully happy despite the rainy weekend.  Besides, I've heard that rain on your wedding day is good luck, especially if the weather clears up before the actual ceremony (which it did for Jenny & Kirby).  

Congratulations to the happy honeymooners!




Some of the yummy treats at the reception:

Friday Foto - Binocolo

5.21.2010

BINOCOLO
Translation: Binoculars

This is the closest thing to binoculars I can find right now!

Hello, San Francisco | Alcatraz

5.19.2010

I visited Alcatraz for the first time this week.  The cold rain made the trip even creepier than it already was.  It also made for some nice photos.


The view from the visitors room:

The Hole - exceptionally violent prisoners were kept in total darkness for nearly 24 hours a day, up to 19 days at a time.

Some of the cells were "decorated" as if prisoners still lived there.  I'm pretty certain there were no female prisoners at Alcatraz and I'm also pretty certain the male prisoners didn't knit pink blankets.  But the juxtaposition of the soft, vibrant yarn against the hard, muted prison walls was striking all the same.

Dolphins Join the War on Terror

How did I not know about this sooner?  Where, oh where, has this story been all my life?  This is by far the most interesting (and entertaining) item I've seen on the news in months.  Dolphins and sea lions have been recruited to fight the good fight!  Here in California, the lovely sea mammals have been trained to find and handcuff (yes, handcuff!) terrorists lurking in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.  Sea lions can even locate fake mines/bombs and conveniently hook them to carabiners so the on-shore personnel can reel the them in for dismantling.  This is brilliant considering California handles about 60% of the nation's shipping traffic.  The Navy has given us yet another reason to love those cute little bottle-nosed beauties. 

Book Review: The Age of Wonder

5.17.2010


This may be the last book review I write until August because this may be the last book I read until August.  I finally graduated from law school (yippee!!), which means it’s time to get focused and start studying like my life depends on it because, well, it does.  Time to take the bar.  But before I crack open those Barbri books and start re-memorizing torts, I thought I’d tell you about this book I just finished.

First off, The Age of Wonder is not light reading.  The book is thick and there were more than a few words I had to look up in the dictionary.  But I was fascinated all the while.  The author, Richard Holmes, explores the history of numerous scientific discoveries ranging from the hot air balloon to William Herschel’s enormous telescope.  Holmes presents a different perspective by juxtaposing the scientific revelations of the 19th century with the corresponding poetry of that era.  He also highlights otherwise overlooked stories.  One of my favorite chapters details the life of William Herschel’s lesser-known-but-equally-important younger sister, Caroline.  She never married, discovered hundreds of comets and other astronomical phenomena but is rarely mentioned in history books.  Another chapter details the scientific experiments that inspired Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

Overall, the book interesting but requires a little bit of work.  Not every chapter is a page-turner and some of the sections can border on the verbose.  If you’re more interested in suspenseful fiction then this may not be the book for you.  However, if you love history and/or science like I do, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy The Age of Wonder.

Attempted Break-In

5.13.2010

These two little guys were trying to break in through my bedroom window screen.  When I got close to take a picture, they flew to the tree outside my window and sat there, staring.  Wonder what would've happened had they managed to get in the house?

Bowl of Energy

5.10.2010

Writing papers is exhausting.  I need a giant bowl of energy, i.e. a bowl of cappuccino like the one we had at La Boulange in San Francisco.  So good!  La Boulange only offers two sizes for the drinks and there is a shocking difference between the small coffee, which comes in a normal-sized coffee mug, and the large, which comes in a bowl.  Trust me, it's worth the upgrade!

Interesting trivia fact: cappuccino got its name because its color resembles that of a Capuchin monk's habit.  You can't really see that under all this frothy milk, though. 

Happy Mother's Day!!!

5.08.2010

Mother's Day is tomorrow so I wanted to wish a Happy Mother's Day to my mama.  I also would like to point out the Budweiser cooler in this photo.  Here's a little-known fact about me: my first word was 'beer'. 

Friday Foto - Albero

5.07.2010

I can't believe it's Friday already.  One more week till graduation!

ALBERO
Translation: Tree

Guest Post on The Mawker

5.05.2010

I wrote a guest post for my friend The Mawker. I'm not quite as funny as she is, but I do my best!  Check it out here.

Photo Toys

5.04.2010


I know I should be studying right now but I had to take a little break to play with some photos.  There are a couple of little toys I discovered/want to discover.  First off, I’ve been going back and forth about getting an iPhone.  The only downside is that I’d have to change the phone number I’ve had for almost 10 years because I’m not currently an AT&T customer.  (I love my 773 phone number but since I have no plans to return to Chicago I guess it’s time to let go.)  What is it that may sway my decision?  Well, I just discovered an app called Hipstamatic.  I know, I’m pretty behind the times but I don’t have an iPhone so that’s a valid excuse, I think.  This little app does cool things to your photos by recreating the look of old instant cameras.  Of course, nothing beats the real thing, but this sure is a convenient substitute if you don’t have a Polaroid (or the mega-expensive instant film to go with it).

So the iPhone and its cool app was Photo Toy Number 1.  Photo Toy Number 2 is a website called FotoFlexer.  It gives you some editing creativity along the lines of what Picnik has to offer.  It's not fantastic but it's free.  The two photos below were edited with FotoFlexer in just a couple of minutes.  Like I said before, nothing beats the look of film.  Digital cameras just can’t capture light properly, which is the main reason why it took me so long to actually buy a DSLR (that and the price).  But, like any toy, it’s still fun to play with.  And it can give a cool edge to non-edgy photos, especially when you don’t have the time/money/tools to capture that coolness via film.

 Madrid - post-processed with "Old Photo" effect

Florence - post-processed with "Bronze" effect and faded to let some original color show through.  I'm not crazy about the vignetting but I wanted to experiment with borders.

Trimming the Hedges

5.02.2010

I thought I was the only one that noticed the odd innuendo in this commercial but when my boyfriend asked me last night if I've seen "that bush commercial" I knew immediately what he was referring to.  Schick's new product - the TrimStyle for Women - is advertised in a funny and sly way.  With as crazy-conservative as a lot of media is these days (e.g. song lyrics being changed from "Oh my god" to "Oh my gosh"), I'm surprised this little gem made it on TV.  I wonder how long it'll stay on the air...

In case you haven't seen it, here's the commercial.  I love that the final image is a triangle.

Friday Foto (on Saturday) - Noia

5.01.2010

It's finals, so I think that's a valid excuse to be a day late!

NOIA
Translation: Boredom; Ennui



 

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