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All About Light: Week 8

All About Light is a weekly photography project by two friends who met virtually while working on their respective Project 365s in 2013-2014. We quickly realized that we enjoyed each other’s photos and always looked forward to seeing what the other one shared. Since we both have a love for the genre of street photography, we found ourselves capturing intriguing signage in unexpected places and laughed about who might get the next best shot of a crazy sign. After finishing our Project 365, we decided to take on a weekly project to study the use of light and learn about ways to improve our photography by focusing on different light sources. Each month we will focus on a different source of light in our photos. We hope you enjoy what we capture as we learn all about light.

I thought last week was the last one for this monthly theme, but it turns out there are more weekends this month! So, I’m back with another image exposed by artificial light. The bells and glitter on this wreath in our home just seemed to fit for this week’s shot, especially since Christmas is in a few days! I hope your holidays are wrapped in beautiful moments with friends and loved ones. Have a lovely week!

Week 8

{jingle bells}

Beth of Beth Moses Photography and I became friends in 2013, while sharing our photos in a large group of Project 365ers online. As the year went on, we realized how much we had in common and even had a friendly competition of shooting odd signage and tagging the other one with “Your turn!”. Besides our shared interest in photographing everyday moments, we also share a passion for coffee and the south. I’m so glad I get to continue to share my thoughts on photography with Beth, and now, this project, too. Find out what Beth posted this week by clicking over to her shot: {click back soon to see a link to her post!}

 
 

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Perfect Timing: Week 7

Perfect Timing is a weekly photography project by two friends who met in college, became roommates and have been close ever since. We share a love for languages and travel, and although we’re from the same southern state, we now live on different continents, balancing a demanding work life with a private life. We both agree that everything happens for a reason, whether we see these moments as positive or negative at the time, propelling us ahead or slowing us down. We hope you will join us each week, as we share little moments of Perfect Timing with you.

The past two weeks have been pretty stressful and hectic with work, so it kind of goes without saying that the weekends are treasured around here. I still end up having to work on various items most weekends, but as I was just telling a friend of mine the other day, I finally feel like I’ve hit that sweet spot of balancing work with relaxation on the weekends. And let me tell you… it feels good. I actually feel recharged most Mondays after having some downtime on the weekend. If you’re like me, you need to hit the reset button by the end of the week. This past Saturday was my husband’s birthday. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for lunch and ran a couple of errands. We also popped into a local coffee shop on Main Street in Santa Monica after we picked up a few Christmas gifts. It was peaceful and relaxing to enjoy a cup of coffee and take in the scene of others also soaking in the sunny weekend afternoon.

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{weekend goodness}

Mary of Moe-Digger Photography and I became friends in college after we realized how much we had in common. We each grew up with three brothers, played sports and studied history, languages and cultures. I still remember our SLR cameras and our love for shooting with film. We have shared many wonderful experiences together over the years and have supported each other through some of the most significant moments in our adult lives. I am excited to take on this project with her. Be sure to stop by her blog to see how her week has panned out. Here’s a hint: Curveball.

 

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A Saturday favorite: Lula Cocina Mexicana in Santa Monica

Last weekend I needed to run some errands in Santa Monica, so we decided to grab some lunch at Lula Cocina Mexicana on Main Street. The wait staff is always great, and we like that we tend to see the same friendly faces every time we go. Like most Mexican restaurants, everyone starts out with warm tortilla chips and a bowl of fresh salsa. The salsa last Saturday was an especially tasty batch.

DSC_5126We’ve been to Lula a handful of times, and each time I order something different for my main dish. But we always make sure to order the Tlacoyos as an appetizer. I could probably take the plate for myself, add another Tlacoyo or two and call it a meal. But alas, we were sharing. ;) The avocado tomatillo sauce is out of this world.

DSC_5128My husband always orders carne asada, no matter which Mexican restaurant we go to. It’s his go-to dish, and he especially likes the carne asada at Lula. This was before he mixed all the beans and rice together. He’s very patient with my quick photo ops. :)

DSC_5133I typically order something different each time, just to try different things. This time I had the mushroom and eggplant quesadilla. It was fabulous! I highly recommend this dish to anyone who even remotely likes quesadillas. The guacamole is always very fresh and has nice pieces of avocado mixed in (if you like your guacamole that way). I’d also recommend the brunch menu (I’ve had a couple of yummy dishes for a mid-morning breakfast here) and the tilapia fish tacos. Vegetarians also seem to have a lot of options at Lula, which I can attest to, since the first time we ate here, we were with a family of vegetarians and they seemed to have a pretty decent selection.

DSC_5132Lula’s is also decorated with bright colors, beautiful Mexican artwork, painted skulls and papel picado (perforated paper) banners and flags that reflect Mexican folk art and designs. The sunlight that pours in through the front windows and skylights makes the atmosphere especially upbeat.

DSC_5130I keep wanting to sit out on their patio when we go, but usually we end up at a table near the front windows. Maybe next time! If you’re ever looking for a great meal in Santa Monica, make your way over to Lula Cocina Mexicana. You won’t be disappointed.

DSC_5136Have you eaten at Lula? If so, what’s your favorite dish? Anyone have any other favorite Mexican restaurants in this area worth trying?

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Reviews, Travel

 

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All About Light: Week 7

All About Light is a weekly photography project by two friends who met virtually while working on their respective Project 365s in 2013-2014. We quickly realized that we enjoyed each other’s photos and always looked forward to seeing what the other one shared. Since we both have a love for the genre of street photography, we found ourselves capturing intriguing signage in unexpected places and laughed about who might get the next best shot of a crazy sign. After finishing our Project 365, we decided to take on a weekly project to study the use of light and learn about ways to improve our photography by focusing on different light sources. Each month we will focus on a different source of light in our photos. We hope you enjoy what we capture as we learn all about light.

This little pen is more than a pen with a light at the tip. It’s a pen that makes me laugh every time I see it in the glass holder on my desk. The company that makes these pens sends me samples every few months with the name of my company completely butchered on the side. They typically call within a day or so of me receiving it and want to know how I liked the latest pen. Each time the pen is different and each time they have misspelled my company’s name. I told them the first time or two, but now it’s just humorous. So, whenever I receive a new one in the mail, I can’t wait to rip open the package and see their latest design and how poorly they spelled my company’s name. I have a small collection now, but this is the only one that has a light at the tip. Oh, and for the sake of reviewing the pen, the light is so bright that you can’t see what you’re writing with it. hah! I also don’t find myself in too many situations where I’d need a pen with a light. ;)

This month of shooting with artificial light has proven very challenging for both Beth and me. We prefer shooting in natural light, so hopefully next month’s photos will be more exciting. I’m definitely looking forward to our fourth week freebie next week. Stay tuned!

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{Writing in the dark}

Beth of Beth Moses Photography and I became friends in 2013, while sharing our photos in a large group of Project 365ers online. As the year went on, we realized how much we had in common and even had a friendly competition of shooting odd signage and tagging the other one with “Your turn!”. Besides our shared interest in photographing everyday moments, we also share a passion for coffee and the south. I’m so glad I get to continue to share my thoughts on photography with Beth, and now, this project, too. Be sure to head over to her blog and check out her final artificial light shot for this month: Happy Buddha

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A “To-Do” List Game Changer

A little over a month ago, I started using a digital organizational tool for work and personal tasks. It’s genius. I’d like to personally thank the creator of this tool. If you are someone who works well with “to-do” lists and you get satisfaction out of checking off tasks as you finish them, then you should definitely check out Todoist and see if it works for you. {Side note: This is not a sponsored post. I just really love this tool.}

Lists are my jam. I need them to stay on top of all the things swirling in my head that I need to accomplish. And since I’m very goal-oriented, Todoist really hits the mark for me when it comes to having something useful to stay organized with those goals, especially on the go. I am using the Todoist for Business subscription, which is one of their paid subscriptions, but you can easily start using the free version for yourself. And… wait for it… there is an app. Yeah, I know. There’s an app for everything. But honestly, this app is a game changer. You can look ahead at your list of tasks to see what you’ve set to accomplish for the next 7 days, edit and move tasks around and even assign them to other team members on a project. Here’s a look at my list that I’ve started for next Friday.

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really like that I can categorize items according to filters like “Work”, “Personal”, “Errands”, etc. It’s completely customizable, so you can create other filters or categories that fit your needs. You can also create a Team Inbox for your team if you are using something more than just the free personal version of Todoist. Creating team projects means you can pass files, give instructions or comments with the voice feature and check on your team’s progress without interrupting them to ask. I believe you can also send files to your team if you wish. You can set reminders, set reoccurring tasks to appear on your list every day, every Thursday or every other week. I tell you… game. changer.

One of my favorite things about Todoist is when I have checked off everything on my list from a specific day. Depending on the time of day you finish (I snapped this on my phone around 5:30 pm), it will show you something like this:

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Ahh. Thank you. I think I just might do that. Again, if you’re an organizer and a goal setter, this is instant gratification. And in the 5 or 6 weeks that I’ve been using Todoist, I have not had a single task carry over from one day to the next. I like to see that list cleared by the end of the day, or if I’m being totally honest, by the time I go to bed. I even use the list for household chores, things I don’t want to forget to do on the weekends and jotting down notes about calls to make, etc.

I have Todoist synced on my desktop computer, laptop, iPhone and iPad. I have no excuses to forget the items on my list. They are literally everywhere. This isn’t to say that I don’t still jot down things to remember in my agenda {yes, I still use an agenda and write things down and probably always will}, because this isn’t an agenda in the typical sense. I put meetings and phone calls, birthdays, travel schedules, client deadlines and other important dates in my agenda. I also add items to do, but they are usually more specific to different work-related projects and goals. Todoist is a complementary tool, at least for me. However, I could see Todoist being the sole tool someone uses to stay organized. It’s that user-friendly and easy to keep up with.

So, that’s my review of Todoist as a really awesome organizational tool. I haven’t used all the features yet, like the file pass or voice notes, but I will test these features out down the road when I need them. Hopefully this post is helpful if you’re looking for a new way to get or stay organized in the new year. You really don’t have to be very tech-savvy to use it, and it’s very customizable. I think my subscription gave me a 30-day trial period. So, give it a go. It might work for you. ;)

Have you used Todoist or something similar to organize your tasks and projects? Do you use it for both personal and work-related tasks? What’s your favorite feature?

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Entrepreneurship

 

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Perfect Timing: Week 6

Perfect Timing is a weekly photography project by two friends who met in college, became roommates and have been close ever since. We share a love for languages and travel, and although we’re from the same southern state, we now live on different continents, balancing a demanding work life with a private life. We both agree that everything happens for a reason, whether we see these moments as positive or negative at the time, propelling us ahead or slowing us down. We hope you will join us each week, as we share little moments of Perfect Timing with you.

This month has come with an onslaught of extra tasks, projects and work. It’s not that unusual. The end of the year, and particularly the last fiscal quarter, is the busiest time for me typically. Clients are scrambling to use as much of their budgets as possible before the new year, and everyone wants something yesterday. I’ve had some very long days and nights already this month, but I’m really looking forward to 2015. For some reason, I’m looking forward to it more than I have other new years. I’m not sure why, exactly. I think a lot of it has to do with how busy this year was and how many milestones I hit professionally. I almost feel like I should ask, “Now what?!”

So, I sat down to plan out the first quarter of 2015 and to make some goals in my new planner that I picked up about a month ago. It’s been burning a hole on the corner of my desk, just waiting to be opened and filled in. I also want to put my Midori Traveler’s Notebook more next year. I’ve used it a little in 2014, but I plan to put it to a lot more use in the coming year. It’s a great way to organize plans, ideas, trips, inspiration and things I’d like to continue to remember, like the quote in this photo. I received this tiny piece of paper with a purchase from a small business I like to support. It seemed like such a nice, simple phrase to remember. And it’s so true. The nice thing about the new year is that although we get a fresh start, we also get to continue with the work we’ve done in the previous year, hopefully carrying on those things that make us happy and who we are. Here’s to a fresh start!

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{goal planning}

Mary of Moe-Digger Photography and I became friends in college after we realized how much we had in common. We each grew up with three brothers, played sports and studied history, languages and cultures. I still remember our SLR cameras and our love for shooting with film. We have shared many wonderful experiences together over the years and have supported each other through some of the most significant moments in our adult lives. I am excited to take on this project with her. Be sure to stop by her blog to see what she’s been up to lately. Here’s a hint: Work. Work. Work.

 
 

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All About Light: Week 6

All About Light is a weekly photography project by two friends who met virtually while working on their respective Project 365s in 2013-2014. We quickly realized that we enjoyed each other’s photos and always looked forward to seeing what the other one shared. Since we both have a love for the genre of street photography, we found ourselves capturing intriguing signage in unexpected places and laughed about who might get the next best shot of a crazy sign. After finishing our Project 365, we decided to take on a weekly project to study the use of light and learn about ways to improve our photography by focusing on different light sources. Each month we will focus on a different source of light in our photos. We hope you enjoy what we capture as we learn all about light.

As we continue to study the use of artificial light this week, I tried to think of something a little less obvious. It was not easy! In this case, you could definitely argue that fire is a natural light source. But guess what? I lit it, so I’m calling it man-made for the purpose of this photo. Just go with it! ;) I love the soft glow a flame produces. It’s a comforting light, and it’s one that creates a sense of peace.

Week 6

{glow from a flame}

Beth of Beth Moses Photography and I became friends in 2013, while sharing our photos in a large group of Project 365ers online. As the year went on, we realized how much we had in common and even had a friendly competition of shooting odd signage and tagging the other one with “Your turn!”. Besides our shared interest in photographing everyday moments, we also share a passion for coffee and the south. I’m so glad I get to continue to share my thoughts on photography with Beth, and now, this project, too. Be sure to head over to her blog and check out her artificial light shot this week, one she snapped with the assistance of a little helper: Lurybug, the Traveling Elf!

 

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