Tag Archives: blogging

{saturdays in the garden – volume three}

15 Apr

things are moving along nicely at the community garden…

it’s so rewarding to interact with other people who are just as passionate as i am about gardening. having us all come together and work as a team to prep the beds and tend to the crops is just such a marvelous reality. it’s something i really wish that every single person on the planet could and would experience.

last week, we had some eagle scouts come and help work in the garden. it was quite fun seeing their excitement as they helped move tarps and logs and plant seeds. we uncovered some potatoes from last season and the boys were very eager to collect them all and “donate them” – which was so endearing.

i am forever grateful to be a part of this community garden and it pleases my soul so tremendously to engage in it all. my cucumbers, along with other plants, are sprouting and the peas are growing quite nicely… i can’t wait to share those fotos next week!

in the meantime, here are some fotos of recent days at the garden… i hope you enjoy.


things are growing!! radishes and lettuce…

kale and peppers…

tools!

laying mulch around the blueberry bushes…

looks so good!

transplanting raspberries…

i can’t wait to get my paws on some of those!!

fig trees! oh my, i’m excited about these, too!!!

happy bees!

side note : would you believe i got stung AGAIN!? this time – right on my nose! – i was shocked. the garden leader thinks it may have been my sunscreen, so i switched to an unscented version. let’s hope that helps! if you follow me on instagram, you saw the story. annoyingly hilarious. 

prepping the rows for community gardening…

this is area 51… both times i’ve been stung it happened right here. soooo – i may be avoiding that space for a little while – haha.

  

these aren’t what stung me; these are bumble bees, as you may know…

and besides, i still have a ton of respect for bees. i just hope never to be stung by one again, quite frankly.

couple of panos…

🙂

{saturdays in the garden – volume two}

8 Apr

some updates on my community garden…


my uncle helped me make repurpose some materials and make these trellises for my peas and cucumbers. last year, thanks to a good friend, i learned a lot about vertical gardening… particularly, how it helps in maximizing space. since my plot is only 4 x 8, i was adamant about making sure to get the most food i could growing in there.

in particular, peas and cucumbers. they were the most fun to grow last year, and i had quite the bounty. not to mention the taste – so fresh and delicious!

i do love my garden!

another shot of my plot and trellises…

🙂 Continue reading

{memories in manhattan – volume 4}

3 Apr

a good friend of mine just reminded me of an annual event that takes place in union square park, lower manhattan. it apparently just happened last weekend in new york, and i was reminded of the time that i was fortunate to be in the mix, camera in hand.

i’m talking about the ‘annual pillow fight’ 🙂

i’ll never forget the hilarity of this day. it was a sunny afternoon, but there was a spring chill in the air. 14th street was lined with people dressed in pajamas and costumes and carrying their favourite pillows under their arms. police staff stood closely by, and the occasional ambulance could be found parked around the corner, should anyone get hit a little too hard or fall off someone’s shoulders.

i meandered my way into the crowd, holding my camera close to my chest. i spotted several fotographers hiding out in the ‘pit’ and remember being nervous for them – like, what if someone or someone’s pillow knocked their camera to the ground? even though i came unprepared anyway {no pillow and all}, i was certain i would never be caught in the moshpit, let alone with my camera. i’m a self-admitted wuss like that. i prefer to have a nice long lense and stand nice and far back.

anyway, i people-watched for a good 20 minutes or so, snapping fotos like this :

i laughed at several costumes and appreciated how much thought some of the attendees took into preparing for this event. i wondered to myself if i knew anyone in the crowd.

hundreds of people people gathered in the shop windows nearby to get an aerial view… Continue reading

{memories in manhattan – volume 3}

27 Mar

after my experience with the cute stranger on the subway, i quickly started to realize that my fondness of portraiture was beginning to grow rapidly. when i was in college, i never really wanted to fotograph people… my ambition was to work for a place like j.crew and fotograph flat lays on white seamless. i think i would still enjoy something like that, but my point is, i was totally intimidated at the thought of putting people in front of my camera. 

the ironic thing is, part of the reason i was able to save up some money to even move to new york, was due to fotographing some portraits for clients during the summer months while i was living in delaware with a friend. i took the train up to manhattan twice and was able to squeeze in a few sessions on long weekends and put that money toward my moving fund. i think it was during that summer that i really started to fall in love with portraiture. 

the following fotos were taking during one of my first portrait/headshot sessions upon moving to new york. the only person i really knew in the city at the time just happened to be a film-maker, and he knew lots of aspiring actors and actresses that were in need of good headshots. 

i met this lovely young lady in central park for our session. she is of french descent, and i just love her unique features. she was a natural in front of the camera, and it was during this session that i started to really fine-tune my creative portrait eye. 

Continue reading

{saturdays in the garden – volume one}

25 Mar

do you love gardening as much as i do?!

i recently discovered that gardening is one of my most favourite things ever!

last summer, i participated in a community garden when i still lived in denver. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to blog about it due to crazy scheduling conflicts and lack of good computer/internet access. thankfully, that has all changed as of late.

this year, i am fortunate to again have found a community garden to participate in… and it’s right up the street from my house! my plot this year is only half the size of the one i had last year, but i am still super thankful and i can still grow a ton of food in this 4 x 8 plot. last year, i didn’t exactly know what i was doing, and i kind of over-planted. a lot of my neighbours jokingly called my plot the “cucumber farm” because i literally had to give away about half my harvest due to having such an abundance! {which was obviously a good thing, overall!}

this year, i am planting similar items, just not as much of it. i am eager to share the pictures and the experience as i go along, so i will be posting about it on saturdays.

and without further ado, here are some fotos from the journey thus far. i hope you enjoy… and please do leave comments if you wish, as i love to discuss gardening just about as much as i enjoy discussing and sharing fotography.


here’s what i’m planting this year…

last year, i made lots of pickles and tomato sauce with my harvest. this year, i’m planting romanesco, which i’ve never grown but as you may know, i’m in love with!

our community has an herb garden, and the mint is already coming up, and {of course} taking over!

there is also a blueberry patch, which i’m so excited about!

lots of little critters make this garden their home, as well…

we also keep bees, which makes me sooooo happy!

getting the garden ready for the season…

laying fresh compost, clay, and manure…

pulling weeds and admiring the kale…

that’s my plot! Continue reading

{memories in manhattan : volume 2}

20 Mar

there really is no place on earth like new york city. 

granted, i haven’t exactly been all over the world, but the most fascinating thing about new york is the fact that literally every culture in the world is represented in a 7-mile radius. it is something to behold, indeed. 

you can almost see my apartment from here

i remember noticing this right away when i first landed in the city. hearing all the different languages in the background as i shopped for groceries or seeing all the various colours of faces as i walked the streets or rode the subway. i love the condensed mini-world that new york offers with its existence. it was so inspiring to me to have such diversity at my fingertips. it became quickly apparent that i could walk 20-blocks in any direction and be magically whisked away to a different continent, in a sense. 

one of the other interesting aspects of living in the city is seeing celebrities walking around like “regular people.” one of my first memories was around thanksgiving, when i wandered into a little market on my block to shop for some artisan snacks to share with my roommate for the holiday. it was the cutest little store… not bigger than maybe 1000 square feet. packed from top to bottom, wall to wall, with delightful goodies and imported treats of all kinds. i remember standing in the small isle way of the freezer section, gazing at some pasta, when to my right i noticed a person approach. so i looked up as to get out of the way and quickly saw that julia stiles was walking in front of me. we exchanged demure smiles as we passed each other, and all i could think to quietly utter was, “happy thanksgiving.” she nodded and we parted ways. i guess in my mind, i figured she had chosen that little store to shop in rather than a big supermarket, so it was evident she wanted to go slightly unnoticed. even though i’ve always really admired her acting, i didn’t want to fan out and try to strike up a conversation or ask for an autograph or foto. i just wanted her to feel like a regular person for a moment. i quickly realized that a lot of celebrities choose to live or stay in NYC as to “blend in” and feel a little more sense of normalcy in their lives as opposed to living in say a place like los angelos. i have never been to LA, but i just get the feeling it’s a lot more “celebrity obsessed” than manhattan island. as it is, there are so many people walking around new york and so much is happening at any given moment, and that makes it easier for anyone, not just a celebrity, to “blend in.” 

dramatic shadows everywhere

i also found this to be true of myself. i’m an introvert at heart, and i don’t really like to draw attention to myself or have unnecessary interactions. one of the things i loved so much about living in new york was feeling “always alone but never alone.” shortly after moving to new york, i had someone tell me that, and it really struck a chord with me. the hustle and bustle of that crazy city just never ever stops and yet as an introvert, i found a way to detach from it and live in my own little bubble. no one was really paying attention to what i was doing. i guess sometimes they were, as i will regale in other volumes, but for the most part, everyone is just doing their own thing and no one is really taking notice of anyone else. this gave me a sense of control in the chaos… peace within the whirlwind. once i became more and more familiar with my neighbourhood and the metro system, it became joyful for me to throw on my headphones and enchantingly saunter through the streets, discovering my way to and through various explorations. i enjoyed people watching very much. perhaps people were also people watching me, but if they were, typically i didn’t notice – just like everyone else, for the most part.  

i remember taking the L train somewhere one day, and i was sitting across from this adorable young girl wearing headphones and drinking a kombucha. she was dressed so uniquely herself… mismatching tights and a poofy skirt with a denim jacket adorned in various pins, and her hair was cut super short and spiked with traces of leftover hair-dye in it. there was something about her that was so cute and charming and i almost immediately had the desire to want to take her picture… not just like, on the train, but actually take her out and have a portrait session with her. i remember sitting there and observing her blissfully unaware nature and thinking to myself that i wanted to give her my business card and offer to fotograph her. i pondered for a few stops, eventually talking myself out of it as i watched her get up and exit at 14th street. i immediately regretted not having the confidence to approach her, but i also remember thinking that maybe she wanted to go unnoticed, too.

bustling city at night

the most serenditipous thing happened like a month later. i saw that same girl on the same train. i was shocked! at the time, i didn’t think it was possible to see the same person twice while one was living in new york city. there were far less people on the train this time, as it was fairly late in the evening. alas, once again, i got too nervous to speak to her or give her my business card – how silly was that?! as many days continued to pass when i took the L train, i was hoping i would bump into her again. but in 3 following years, not once did i see her face again. to this day, i kind of regret not at least trying to talk to her, as i would’ve captured some amazing portraits if she had let me. however, all in all, i did learn a lot through that experience and it taught me not to let an opportunity or moment pass me by. as time marched on, i became more comfortable approaching people that i thought my camera would like to get to know better. 

{st. paddy’s day dinner!}

17 Mar

i tried my hand at making my own corned beef and cabbage dinner for saint patrick’s day this year. i chose to just kept it simple with some pickling spices and brown sugar for my brine. i purchased the {grass-fed} brisket at the farmers market; it was close to 6 pounds.

perfect for plenty of leftovers.

there are so many methods and recipes out there, and after tons of research, i decided to do a simple 3-day brine {it was all the time i had anyway} and boil the meat on the stovetop, which is apparently how a traditional new england dinner is prepared.

i brought my brine to a simmer for about a half hour, then let it cool and refrigerated it for a couple of hours, until it was nice and chilled.

when ready, i poured the mixture into a brining bag with the brisket and immediately stuck it in the fridge to begin soaking up the flavour. i wish i would’ve prepared for more time, but as it was, i brined this for just under 72-hours.

to cook, i emptied the brine, rinsed off the meat, and stuck in a huge stock pot of water {enough to cover plus 1 inch} to simmer for about 30 minutes. then i drained, refilled the pot with water and brought to a simmer again, cooking for about 3 hours until tender. i added in my potatoes and carrots about an hour before finishing, and then tossed in some cabbage near the end.

stpaddysday-8

it came out pretty yummy, overall. i served it with some irish soda bread… that i did NOT make, since i’m a lousy baker. my family seemed to really enjoy this method. i liked it because it was simple and i only had to use the one stock pot. it got me thinking about the history of the dish and how “back in the day” most families probably only owned one stock pot, anyway. so it makes sense that they would cook everything as simple as possible.

i will say, i think a longer brining process would’ve added more flavour, but i as i said, i only had a little under 3 days. the meat was still nice and tender and moist, but in my opinion, it could’ve had more of the “corned beef” flavour. i also chose not to add in the preservatives that make it create that pink colour.

overall i was very pleased with this st. patrick’s day meal. it was fun to make, and next year i’ll experiment with more time.

i hope you all had a nice day.

slainte!

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