my love affair

I must confess. I’ve been having an affair. With my iPhone.

Phew. There, I said it. My poor little DSLR must hate me. But it’s just too bulky for me to take everywhere! My iPhone is sleek and adaptable. It has allowed me to just capture moments and memories without having to fiddle with the ISO, shutter speed, or aperture.

Now, DSLR diehards, please don’t hate me too much — it has allowed me to take more pictures than I would otherwise, and that’s the key to improving your photography: just take more photographs! Here are some of my favorites.

Eataly, NYC. November 2011

Holiday Buddha. December 2011

Hungry for cake. December 2011

Georgia Dome. December 2011

Snowy Charlottesville, VA. February 2012

Day 204 – 7.23.2011

Our box recently had it’s 2 Year Anniversary and on Saturday, we were all invited to one of the owner’s houses for a pool party! The humidity in Virginia right now is unforgiving so the water was just as hot as the air but once it cooled down it felt pretty comfortable.

Can I just say that I love the people at my box? Interacting with them outside of just workouts makes me appreciate each and every one of them. They’ve all got different stories to tell and are pretty amazing people. We’ve all become a small little family, as we’ve seen each other suffer through a workout time and time again and keep pushing each other on. It makes my heart smile :)


Days 197, 198

This past weekend was exactly what I needed it to be. I started off by working a double on Friday (as a result, no photo) which established a surprisingly enjoyable rhythm of craziness. Chris and his parents were visiting for the weekend so I managed to get the two days off.

Saturdays mean Farmer’s Market in the summer and since I wasn’t working that day, I took my time venturing through the booths, tasting the fresh fruit, chatting with the vendors. (Btw, 7am is the BEST time to go to the market – it’s cooler, there’s less people, and no one’s sold out of anything!)

It was also Restaurant Week in Charlottesville and we got a reservation at my favorite place in town, Brookville! Their menu did not disappoint (although the portion sizes could have been a bit more filling, but that’s an issue with all of Restaurant Week). Who can say no to good wine and good food? (Answer: not me)

I spent Sunday finishing The Omnivore’s Dilemma (which I would recommend to anyone interested in taking care of their health – which I hope is everybody). After completing the book, my first reaction was to go into the kitchen and start cooking. I was also hungry (when am I not hungry?). On the menu for Sunday night: beet chips, cauliflower rice (recipe here), Indian-inspired tomato and mushroom sautée, and grilled flank (courtesy of Mama Garay). Meal = success! It was a great meal to share with Chris before he left for another two weeks!

Day 195 – 7.14.2011

As I’ve mentioned, my parents visited me this past weekend. Whenever they come down, my mom insists on bringing me two things 1) flowers and 2) an obscene amount of fresh fruit. This time she brought me a beautiful bouquet of roses that I’m (hopefully) taking good care of, fresh figs and a whole (yes, WHOLE) watermelon. I made her take back half of it – I’m still working on the other half (hey, I’m only one person). I’m glad I get my craziness from her :)

Days 190, 191

Spent Saturday morning being very Charlottesville-y: walked to yoga (in my Vibrams), headed to the Farmer’s Market (bought lots of local stuff), and walked home (still in my Vibrams). Yadda yadda yadda. Yes, I’m a nouveau-hippie.

(This just made me laugh – “NO WHINING”)Well-known fact: when the train comes through Charlottesville – everything must come to a halt. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

My parents drove into Charlottesville today to visit and finally see the apartment. We brunched, walked, talked. We discussed a lot of what I’ve been reading in terms of food, sustainability and health. The conversation turned into composting. Seeing that I throw a lot of scraps away because I’m cooking mostly every meal, it seemed like a waste. The bins above are a bit too small so I’m going to head back to Lowe’s and purchase bigger ones. Any tips? Advice? Hopefully I’ll be able to use the compost for the garden I want to start! Mmm, I can’t wait to have (at least) fresh herbs growing!

Added a bit of color to my kitchen! I’m hoping to give it more personality.

Ended the day with some delicious wine (courtesy of my parents) and some fresh figs! Btw, what a weird fruit! Tasty but it’ll take a couple more tries to really enjoy it.



Days 131-132, Guatemala City and back in the States!

We decided to spend the last night in Guatemala at my paternal grandmother’s house – she may be 84 but she’ll hold a grudge for as long as you live. Her house is also the house where my parents and I lived while in Guatemala. It was way smaller than I remember, but it just goes to show how 18 years can alter your perception. The dinner was lovely and I’m so glad I got to spend one more night with my family because I really don’t know when I’ll get to see most of them again. Afterwards and the following morning, I browsed through all the photographs that she had stashed away. I found some really good ones but here are  the two that I loved the most.

My dad as a baby – bald and fat, just like I was. Also, I’m pretty sure there’s a picture somewhere of me making that exact face.

My grandmother’s family. She’s the little in her dad’s arms. My great-grandmother had a very intense look. Also, the little boy in front (my great-uncle) had the same death-stare I’ve perfected. I guess it runs in the family.

The day of our flight from Guatemala to the States was long and unexciting. But once we landed on American soil (at the Atlanta Airport before catching our connecting flight to DC) we found the most Americans foods we could – we first got BBQ and hamburgers (not pictured) followed by Starbucks. Mmmm, man was I glad to be home.

All in all, the trip was a success! Sure, there were things we could have done differently but it was all a learning experience. I’m absolutely glad to be home where I’m not afraid of the drinking water (or fruit). But the whole trip made me realize that I need to spend my life doing more things like that – exploring new cultures, trying new things, and becoming a citizen of the world. Hopefully, my next trip abroad won’t take 18 years to happen. I’ve had my heart set on Thailand for some time now, maybe it’s time to start planning…

Days 117-119, Guatemala City

[Sorry for taking so long to update, I’ve been crazy busy – but no more excuses! I’m going to start posting my pictures from Guatemala by location/event instead of by day-to-day.]

We arrived in at the Guatemalan Airport at noon, where we were greeted by my godfather, followed by my paternal grandmother and uncle, and one of my maternal aunts. My godfather then drove us to his house so we could rest and prepare for a dinner later that night.

My god-family’s neighborhood was a gated-community with armed guards at the entrace. One thing that took me by surprise was the prevalence of armed security guards. It goes to show that the violence and crime levels are severely elevated than what I’m used to, because I saw some sort of weapon around every corner. Regardless, it made me feel safe and I really loved their neighborhood (not gonna lie, the yellow houses were the inspiration for our now-yellow bedroom).

The entire family (sans Chris, who took the picture).

Reunited with my sister – it was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. I feel like if I had gone to Guatemala sooner, I wouldn’t have been mature or ready to reconnect with my sister on an adult-level. Although we hadn’t seen each other in almost two decades, by the end of the night it was as if no time had passed. Chris says we even laugh the same way.

We spent our second day in Guatemala with my godmother, who drove us all over the city to see the main sites, including the Parque Central. Here’s the church on the east side. I was incredibly nervous taking my camera out in public here just because I know that Guatemala City is the most notorious for robbery but it was fine – I only took my camera for a couple of minutes at a time.On the third day, we spent the morning packing and playing with the puppies that my godparents were fostering. Look how small the puppy is! Afterwards, we headed out to Antigua, Guatemala’s original capital.