Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

Archive for the tag “journal”

Photo-A-Day 2012: Week 6

I’m way too exhausted to write anything else besides posting my Friday photos… on Saturday. Oh well, It’s been a crazy week. Got the keys to my apartment. Started work (yay). Emptied out the storage unit in SLO and got all our stuff home (double yay). And tomorrow we officially move in.

Here are the pictures from this week. Then it’s bed time. Triple yay.

February 4 - Darling... I don't know how to tell you this, but... there's a Chinese family in our bathroom...

February 5

February 6 - Is Lucky's really considered the "smile zone?"

February 7

February 8

February 9 - got to work early on my second day so I sat outside, drank a latte, and read. The weather was beautiful in San Francisco!

February 10 - sunrise on the way to work

January 11 - moving from SLO to San Francisco

And on that note, good night, I’ve got a big day tomorrow.

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Photo-A-Day 2012: Week 4

Wow, this past week has been pretty crazy. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to post my Photo-A-Day yesterday. I have barely had any time to breathe, much less do anything besides work/job search. I was in and out of San Francisco all week, as well as attending meetings and completing/starting projects.

Despite the fact that I sometimes get stressed, I actually like weeks like this. They allow me to stay busy and feel like I’m getting things done. I like having a full to-do list, especially when I can find enough hours in the day to complete them all.

I don’t want to jinx anything from this past week, so I’m not going to tell you all the things I’ve been up to, but I promise I will fill you in as soon as some things start to come into fruition.

Now, without further ado, your weekly pictures/Tweets 🙂

January 24 - a night with the girls... and all our Apple products

January 22 - nachos for Sunday football - Go Niners! (sad they lost)

January 23 - droplets on my parents' vegetable garden - love this photo 🙂

January 24 - Thai food with Dalia in Fremont - it was delicious! (pumpkin curry, pad Thai, and chicken satay)

January 25 - in the waiting room - zippers and boots

January 26 - is it weird that I love office supplies?

January 27

January 28 - veggie plate (with apples)

Did anything exciting happen in your life this week? Any big changes? Did you do something out of the ordinary? Share your stories with me!

Photo Progress

If you haven’t already figured this out from my Photo-A-Day posts, I love photography. It is one of the things in life that I actually admit to being at least semi good at. It makes me happy.

Aptos, California - September 2010

It’s actually kind of funny that I like photography and taking photographs because when I was younger I hated them. I was that obnoxious kid who covered her face or crawled under the table when my mom tried to take a picture of me. Yes, that’s right, I did say crawled under the table. Who does that?

photo shoot with Christine - May 2010

Anyway though, in high school all of that changed. I ended up dating a black and white photography class my sophomore year and loved it. I loved that I had a hand in every single aspect of the photography process – the shooting, developing, enlarging, fixing, and framing – I got to do it all. I think one of the reasons it was so great for me was because I had the opportunity to use my aunt’s old Canon SLR that she got in the ’70s from my grandparents. She had passed away a few years before that, when I was 12. Since then, whenever Grandma gives me something of my aunt’s, it makes me feel connected to her.

Photo shoot with Stephanie - Spring 2010 (makeshift studio with sheet and lamp)

That year I also bought my first digital camera. It was a Canon camera with a one inch screen. This was right when digital cameras were becoming mainstream, so it cost just about everything I had in my bank account. It took forever to take pictures, but I took it around with me everywhere my friends and I went. I have hundreds of pictures from that year.

Granada, Spain - October 2009

Over the past 10 years I’ve come a long way from just using a point and shoot digital camera. I still have my aunt’s old Manual SLR, but I have it in its case and hardly ever take it out. In college I wanted to take photo classes so I could continue with black and white film photography, but my university’s photo classes were too impacted. I don’t even know where I could go now to develop film and print photos.

Florence, Italy - December 2009

I am currently on my second Digital SLR (Canon – same as all the other cameras I’ve ever owned in my life), and I love it. I have had the opportunity to mess around with my camera, doing photo shoots of some of my best friends. I have gone out and taken pictures of the plants in my backyard, messed around with a macro lens, and love figuring out composition and lighting. This past summer I even had the opportunity to take a photography class with my mom and step dad in New Mexico. It was in that class that I really became one with my camera.

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico - July 2011

Since then I haven’t had the opportunity to take too many photos, but recently I was asked by a friend to take some pictures of her for an article she was interviewed for (more on this later). When I talked to the photo editor, he was very enthusiastic about my photographs; he even offered to pay me! It is very exciting to know that my photos will be used in a magazine. I am really looking forward to doing more photo shoots in the near future (if I could ever find the time – the one photo I take every day is about as much time as I have for photography right now).

Kaitlin's magazine shoot - January 2012

Yesterday, as I was compiling photos for my portfolio, I was going through pictures that I had archived on my external hard drive and I found the ones from my months of studying abroad in Spain. It was amazing to compare the pictures that I took then, to the pictures that I took now. My style has really evolved. It’s obvious that, back then, I didn’t know how to use the settings on my camera to their full capabilities.

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico - July 2011

Although I have come along way since then and I am a lot more confident in my abilities as a photographer, I still only qualify myself as a hobbyist. I have so many talented photographer friends, whose work blows mine out of the water, that it is hard to compare myself to them. I wish I could be as good as them, but for now, I’m just figuring things out on my own.

Beekeeping Class - Fall 2010

I don’t mind self teaching – sometimes I even think that’s the best way to learn how to do something. I’m that nerd who reads the manuals of every piece of electronic equipment I purchase. In doing this, I’ve discovered things about my cameras that I never would have figured out. In a way, it’s thrilling.

Sevilla, Spain - November 2009 (indoor, low light)

So yes, I want to take my photography to the next level, but will it happen right away? Probably not. I do, however, feel like things are taking a turn for the better. Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised by something in my professional life/photographer future.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco - December 2010

Cross your fingers for me.

Photo-A-Day 2012: Week 3

Hello again! How has your third week of the year been? I’ve gotta say, this is a pretty exciting time in the Bay Area, what with the 49ers in the playoffs and everything. (I’m the first to admit that I’m a very fair weather fan of the 49ers, mainly because I don’t watch professional football. But it’s still exciting when a Bay Area team makes it to any sort of playoffs!)

Anyway, here are my photos/Tweets for the third week of the year.

January 14 - got my hair cut and my hair dresser showed me how to curl it - I was shocked the curls stayed in!

January 15 - this little guy was posing for me as I took pictures of him from my car. Don't worry, I stopped my car, put it in park, and was in a gated community with no traffic.

January 16 - the shelves in our craft room/my office. My step mom and I finally found super cute storage containers at Tuesday Morning.

January 17 - my mom just got back from a trip to Cambodia with my step dad and some family friends. These are the scarves she bought there (20 scarves for $10!)

January 18 - the matches that I keep in a mason jar by the candle on my bedside table (idea courtesy of Pinterest). I thought they looked cool!

January 19 - I was craving popcorn all day so when I was at Target I decided to buy myself the individual, 100 calorie bags. A friend commented on my Instagram picture informing me that it was, in fact, national popcorn day! It was so fitting that I would have the popcorn craving.

January 20 - finally a bit of rain!! Hopefully it stays for a while.

Gosh, sorry about all the Golden Globes (and Madonna) Tweets! That was obviously a big part of my personal week. If you want to see a different side of me, check out my other blog: Rachel Helen. There are a lot of Tweets about SOPA – just because that was this week’s topic of conversation online what with the blackouts and everything – and other PR news from this past week.

It’s raining here (finally!) so the girls and I are planning on having a movie marathon tomorrow. Then Sunday we will be cheering on the 49ers as they take on the NY Giants! What do you plan on doing this weekend? Anything exciting?

Photo-A-Day 2012: Week 2

Welcome to the second week of my Photo-a-Day project!

January 5 - flower from the flower stand on Union St, San Francisco

January 6 - old friends out for Steph's 23rd birthday

January 7 - sushi dinner for Steph's 23rd birthday

January 8 - driving home from SLO

January 9 - by my bedside

January 10 - early morning quiet

January 11 - views from the swing set

January 12 - meet Kevin

January 13 - 64 box

And just because it is so important, I have included the following tweet on both blogs:

Photo-a-Day: Week 1

As one of my goals for 2012, I have decided to take a picture a day. I love everything about photographs: colors (or lack thereof), composition, macro, wide angle, panoramic, infinite sky, editing, and everything else that comes along with taking a picture.

Initially I was going to take a picture with my digital SLR every day, but because I don’t carry around my camera everywhere I go, I have decided that my iPhone or small point and shoot camera suffice when the SLR is not an option.

I will experiment with different shooting tactics, flashes, long exposure, editing tools, etc. Some photos will be good, some photos not so much. The point is not to love every single photo I take. The point is to make time to do something I love, and to enjoy doing it – maybe even to learn something along the way.

Every Friday, on my other blog, RachelHelen (wow, I really need to come up with a more creative title than that), I post my favorite Tweets from that week. I figure, instead of posting the same thing on both blogs, I will do my Photo-a-Day post on this blog. It’s stupid for me to write a different post for every photo, so I will just post all 7 (or 6, or 8, depending on whether I’ve taken my Friday photo at the time of publication or not) for that week at one time. I will incorporate some fun Tweets that made me happy throughout the past week in there as well (the links on RachelHelen are mostly professional Tweets… I will try not to have any crossover).

Anyway, here we go. Photo-a-Day, Week 1:

January 1

January 1 - The girls celebrating New Year

January 2 - In-N-Out (Just made it - This photo was taken between 12am and 1am on Jan 2 hehe)

January 3 - Delicious, fresh salad from food in my parents

January 4 - night time books

Now that I’m starting…

I just finished The Happiness Project (literally 2 minutes ago) and am so excited to get started on my own project. I still have a lot of research to do about how I want to set mine up, what my resolutions are going to be, and much more. I need to decide if I’m going to do a major resolution a month, or if I am going to try to improve things at a steady pace throughout the year.

No matter which path I choose, I have a few things that can’t wait for upcoming months. Those things include:

  • Continue to refrain from biting my nails (I’m doing so well right now and I’m very proud of myself)
  • Eat healthier
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Take one photo a day (so far so good)
  • Start year 1 in the Q & A a day: 5 Year Journal I got as Christmas presents for myself and my three sisters

Even if I don’t do a resolution a month, I still want to start focusing on my finances more. That is where I am starting this year. I think it makes a lot of sense to start taking better control of my finances starting in January, but then again, I can rationalize starting any of the resolutions I have floating around y head in January.

Just to clarify – this blog is not just a “Happiness Project Blog.” It is not just focused on my path to happiness, but it will definitely include many posts about that journey. In addition, it will include my thoughts on life, different experiences I have, etc. One thing that I am going to try my very best to do, however, is not complain in this blog. I want to keep it upbeat and positive, thus fulfilling one of my resolutions to be more optimistic about the things in my life.

Sorry this post was kind of lame, I have so many thoughts running through my head about what to write about. I wish I had a filing/organizational system up there to help me rearrange and remember my thoughts. I can’t type fast enough to write down everything I think is important to say, but I will do my best.

On that note, how was your New Year’s? What are your resolutions/goals for 2012? How will you be accomplishing them?

Happy New Year!

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