Travel theme: Luminous

ˈlo͞omənəs/
adjective
  1. full of or shedding light; bright or shining, especially in the dark.

Hmm… especially in the dark huh? This was a hard one for me because I have terrible camera shake and that does not bode well for photo-taking at nighttime. However, I tried to find some pictures that would reflect this week’s challenge!

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Sparklers at a wedding are magical! Especially if you didn’t set your ISO correctly and you get trails of blazing light!

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Nothing more luminous than a city at nighttime – especially the city that never sleeps, NYC!

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Finally, a fireworks display so luminous it’s dazzles the eye! The fireworks displays at Disney are awe-inspiring and enough to turn any adult into a kid again!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

This week, our challenge is to post about something ornate, something elaborate and over the top. The first thing I thought of was Japan! Now some people may think of Japan and envision serene bamboo groves, tranquil hot springs and minimalist decor, perhaps the spare elegance of a perfectly pruned bonsai or beautifully arranged ikebana. But let us not forget that Japan is also the country that brought us hyperactive anime, crazy girl groups like Morning Musume and AKB 48 (you need to see some of their costumes…), and IRON CHEF! Nothing’s quite as over the top a man in a gaudy cape biting audibly into a crunchy yellow pepper.

I’m talking about the Japanese version of course… not the American one with Alton Brown!

In any case. Japan has a strong sense of the ornate… here’s some proof!

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Sooo this is obviously a pretty old picture since it’s (gasp!) a flip phone! But look how extremely bedazzled it is! If I had this phone in my bag all the pretty decorations would be knocked off in a day!

DSCF7513Japan is also famous for using plastic replicas of the food they serve inside. These are super delicious looking representations of parfaits – literally over the top with creamy and fruity goodness!

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If you’re thinking of elaborate and ornate, then a maiko’s (apprentice geisha) getup definitely fits the bill! Starting from the makeup (a lot more than just slapping white face makeup on, need to highlight the eyes and define the brows), and then to the multiple layers of clothing, with just the top robe and the obi (huge belt and bow) as the ending! And can’t forget the hair either! Although this is just a wig, imagine the time and effort it would take to put your hair up like this…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Hmm… this week’s challenge made me think. It’s so hard to single out a single thing that I consider a treat – anything that’s enjoyable (and not work-related!) to me is a treat!

So you know what… I have three words for you:

Treat Yo Self!

Whether it’s mimosas, fine leather goods or a nap that does you good, go out and do it! While hopefully not breaking the bank or missing work or neglecting your children or whatnot. I advocate responsible treating!

So here are some things that I consider a treat:

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This thing of beauty is a green tea blueberry cake, and while the flavor combination may sound weird, it is super divine! Light fluffy green tea cake layered with cream and blueberry jam… give it to mama! This cake also reminds me of good times spent with friends – surprising my husband for his birthday, eating Korean BBQ buffet, and catching up on times – a definite treat!

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Sometimes you wake up and the sun streaming through the trees is so gorgeous that you just have to get out your camera and capture it! And then you remember its 40 degrees outside and you’re not wearing a coat… or shoes. But then you also remember that you’re on vacation and you have the next 3 days off! YEAH TREAT!

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And finally, the biggest treat of all is spending time with this elegant little girl right here! Just look at that lady-like eating face.

Travel theme: Frame

I love using framing to compose a shot; it adds another layer of depth to a photo that can really draw ones eye. Here are some framed shots!

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Here cherry blossoms form a natural frame for the Jefferson Memorial. It was a gorgeous day to see the cherry blossoms, sunny and warm!

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My alma mater, Cornell! Here Mcgraw Tower is framed by the trees leading up to Ho Plaza.

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Another view from Cornell, this time from the A.D White room in Uris Library. Just look at that view of Cayuga Lake… it would be hard for me to study here, I’d be so distracted by the lookout!

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Lastly, a shot from the top of Mount Tai. If you reached the top, that means you climbed up 5,000 feet! Or, if you’re like us, you took a bus to the halfway point and then climbed up those stairs. Or, if you’re really smart, you took the cable car to the top and enjoyed the views there… phew!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

In high school, I got the chance to take ceramics to fulfill a “tech” class (my other one next semester was jewelry-making!). I really enjoyed it, making molds, sculpting, and my favorite part, glazing the ceramics and see how the finished product would come out. Years and years later, I got a chance to do some “throwing” – sounds violent, but really just means the process of making something on a pottery wheel. Like in the movie ‘Ghost’… am I dating myself with this reference?!

Anyway, if you’ve ever thrown pottery it is a bit twitchy. i was never good at it and I need a lot of hands on guidance because if you’re not careful, too much pressure will give you a big gaping hole in your pot or make the walls too thin. It’s a delicate process that requires some patience…

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Travel theme: Below

These days when I peek down below, I get a view a bit like this:

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Usually, I’ll look down below and discover she’s pulled apart a magazine, or is busily ripping apart paper towels, or maybe is trying to squirt shampoo into her mouth… But it’s a pretty good view, nonetheless.

Some “low” shots!

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I like how taking this picture from below made the cross seem more imposing and spookier than it otherwise would seem. I love the look of moss creeping across stone…

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View from the top of Libe Slope at Cornell, looking down at West Campus and beyoooonnndddd… I remember trekking up this hill back in the day. My quads were awesome!

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Lastly, a shot of my friend Jess hanging out at a playground in London! Look out below! And check out her new blog too 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

I’ve lived in Syracuse for several years now, and it becomes apparent very quickly that the ‘Cuse is very proud of their basketball team – the Orange! So when I saw this week’s photo challenge, I thought it was quite fitting. However, if you follow college basketball you’ll also know that the NCAA just imposed a bunch of penalties on SU’s basketball team and coach Jim Boeheim… so it’s not a great time for the Orange right now.

Still, I have to start off with an Orange pic:

DSC09228Watching the Syracuse vs Cornell game. As a Cornell alumna I wanted to root for Cornell too!

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The most adorable little donut peaches at a u-pick fruit stand near Ithaca.

IMG_4243A brilliantly orange cosmos flower from our own garden!

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A brightly hued playground in NYC. Can anyone guess which one this is? Hint: It’s in Chinatown!

IMG_5282I love all the fiery hues of autumn, encapsulated in a single leaf.

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I’m a sucker for bright, shiny explody things – which is why I enjoyed the Indiana Jones Stunt Show at Disney World. I think I saw this when I was kid even – it hasn’t changed much!