The first 10 days of 2016.

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The first 10 days of 2016.

The first ten days of January 2016 was spent in bed with a cold that really kicked my butt. Those days of December working long hours, and evenings spent out and about, translated to my body saying "enough". It's the second Sunday of the new year, and I'm finally feeling human again. Five things to share during these ten days of this cold:

1. I re-discovered my love for reading physical books after reading off of my iPad for some time now. Nothing beats the smell and feel of the pages. Currently reading Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, by Kate Clifford Larson.

2. I bought as a birthday present to myself the Sony Alpha a5100 camera, meant to be used as a little camera to take with me on days when work requires me to be out on the road all day. Though I didn't have a chance to really play with it yet, I did make time to start learning Final Cut Pro, because, why not.

3. The first thing I made when I started feeling better: Walnut Whiskey Pie.

4. Not wearing makeup or a bra for ten days equals the best ten days EVER.

5. Really taking time to just rest and take care of myself was sorely needed (obviously). Lesson to self: I must take time to just slow down from time to time. 

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Self-Portrait at 40

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Self-Portrait at 40

This is me at 40 years old, without makeup or hair products. I'm lucky to be living in a time where turning 40 no longer means the end of your fruitful years, but when a person tells me that I do not look my age, I wonder, what is forty supposed to look like?

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A new project, a new year

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A new project, a new year

Entering into this new year, I already knew that this is going to be a year of a great number of important changes - changes that emphasize the importance of documenting them as they happen. I did a better job of documenting life when I was younger - perhaps because it was easier back then, or had more insight to gain, or perhaps Livejournal was so much more prevalent that made it too easy to put up a facade and/or feed the ego.

Some may say that Facebook is similar, but I do see some distinct differences. Whereas with Facebook I treat as a manner to share the very tip of an iceberg of life, Livejournal was a way to really dig deeper within.

Anyway, I'm digressing.

I'm calling this project of documenting these expected changes throughout 2016 as "The Sunday Project" - only because it's usually on Sunday when I do all my editing of photos that I've taken that week, while at the same time jotting down notes and thoughts related to those images. I consider this to be a project that's in the middle between Facebook and Livejournal, a project that shares a bit more than just the tip of the iceberg, but no where near as visceral and lengthy as the Livejournal posts of old.

p.s. - I read over the old Livejournal posts that I wrote in my 20s, and I just had to laugh at a few of those "woe is me" type of posts. If only I knew back then that the "woes" weren't really woeful at all, that life really wasn't as hard or as bad as it seemed, and that it gets better....better than I'd imagine.

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Anomie Pop Up at The Mason Jar, SF

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Anomie Pop Up at The Mason Jar, SF

Today I photographed Chelsea, owner of anomie, at her pop up in The Mason Jar, San Francisco. She's a down to earth person who really owns the very definition of "badass shop girl". Today was the last day of her pop up, but you can always shop her collection of clothing, accessories, home goods, and beauty items online at shopanomie.com. And if you don't already, follow her on Instagram at @chelseawears or on the web at chelseawears.com.

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A Long Weekend

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A Long Weekend

It's President's Day weekend, with Valentine's Day thrown in there for good measure. The Aussie and I normally don't recognize Valentine's Day, but for this year we figured, "Why not," considering that it's on a Saturday this year.

The original plan was to dine out the night before Valentine's Day at Capo's in San Francisco, stay in on Valentine's Day with us enjoying my Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie out on our patio lit with tea light lanterns, run some errands on Sunday, then spend the day in the city on Monday (President's Day).

Things rarely go accordingly to plan, as I'm sure you already know. Dinner at Capo's was PERFECT. We started with garlic bread with mozzarella, wild mushrooms, truffle oil, romano, and arugula. We then split a wood fired conchiglie pasta baked with dungeness crab and a Chicago pizza called "The Dillinger". It was a ton of food.

The next day (Valentine's Day), the Aussie relaxed at home while I made the Beef Bourguignonne stew. (This stew/pot pie is a definite weekend project, let me tell you.) We also had a ton of leftovers from the night before, so instead of us feasting on Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie for dinner, we instead finished our Capo's leftovers on our tea light-lit patio while the Beef Bourguignonne stew was stored away in the fridge.

I woke up with a slight cold today. Boo. I had a late start to the day, but eventually I was able to transform the stew into a pie. As you'll see in the photos above, I thoroughly suck at crimping the edges of a dough for a pie.

But hey, at least the Beef Bourguignonne Pot Pie was delicious.

And now, I'm going back to bed with another dose of Theraflu.

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The Post Where I Talk About Birthdays

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The Post Where I Talk About Birthdays

At exactly 11:05 a.m. on New Year's Eve in 1975, I gave my beautiful mother something to scream about - by birthing me. I still get excited by my own birthday, despite me being a [pint sized] adult. It's pretty hard not to - considering that the rest of the world is celebrating with me. Here are some things I've learnt over the years:

1) The older I get, the simpler your wish list becomes. "To be alive and well" is at the top of my list, and I'm very grateful that is the case.

2) Better to give than to receive. So very true - nothing delights me more than giving loved ones a present. On my birthday two or three years ago, I made red wine velvet cupcakes for friends, which I loved doing.

3) There's no point in worrying about your age. Because really, what is there to gain from that?

4) Do not get shitfaced on your birthday. Because on the morning after, you'll be wishing that you had the metabolism of an 18 year old.

5) No matter what the celebration may be, as long as it's with loved ones, that's all it matters. The past few years, my birthday has been celebrated in a very low-key manner. But there's one thing that's been consistent: the presence of those dearest to me.

Today has been wonderful so far, with so many birthday greetings and messages. (Thank you!!!) I don't know what's in store for the rest of the day, but as of right now, I'm enjoying the quiet moment at home with the Aussie (who is able to spend the afternoon home from work).

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San Diego, California

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San Diego, California

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A beach in San Diego in December may seem warm, but it's not. It's chilly and windy.

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We're now back in town, and it feels good to be home amongst family and friends...just in time for my birthday, which is tomorrow!

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My short arm length is not ideal for selfies, so I leave that to the Aussie.

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