Sea View

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My apartment is done being painted and I am simply in love with the color. I honesty wouldn’t change it at all even if I could.

I had kind of a hard time taking photos, though. I wanted to show off the beauty of the color without taking photos of the entire apartment. I won’t be getting furniture yet (in addition to my bed and little table) and I don’t have any d├ęcor yet. So those kinds of photos will be on hold for a while.

But for now…


I hope you like…


My own personal…


…“Sea View”


Macro Friday: Week 27

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blogging from BoliviaIt's Friday!! Happy (late) Thanksgiving to all of my U.S. readers! Let's get right down to business... If you’re new here (or if you’d like a refresher), check out the Macro Friday page for the “rules” and the button.

Last week's winner was A Lens with a View. She chose this week's winner. Congrats to...


Head on over to see her lovely shot! Pasando, you'll get to choose this week's winner. Email me your choice sometime before next Friday!

A few days ago Mauricio arrived with something cupped in his hands and said “I found something for your macro photo.” This makes me smile. He learned quickly. :)

And what he had found made the perfect macro subject…


I just love the wings. And I did take some more shots but haven't even looked at them on my computer yet... so maybe I'll share those later this week.

Okay, your turn! Looking forward to your shots!!

Of Lunch & Love

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A few weeks ago I was trying to make stir fry* for lunch, but kept getting distracted by work (I work from home). So I told Mauricio to just watch the stove so that nothing burned.

*a version of stir fry, anyway. definitely not comparable to my mom's stir fry!

He went ahead and finished the stir fry and has gone on to make it a few times since.


It's kind of become his specialty. I don't know which part I like better: the deliciousness of the stir fry or the fact that he cooks for me. :)

As long as I'm bragging about him, can I just go ahead and mention that he recently had a very important presentation in his university? That his groups' presentation was the best of his class and they went on to present it for some big event at the U?

And that he looked completely handsome and professional for the event? (even if I took the photo before he straightened his tie and in less than ideal lighting conditions)

Cause he did. :)

The Apartment: Part 2

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank you all for your input on color choices for my new apartment! I appreciated all of the comments and read them several times.

I finally decided that I wanted to go with teal, a bit heavier on the blue than the green. After coming to that decision, I was able to find the perfect inspiration on Google Images:

{I feel really bad, but I can't provide a source for this photo. I was downloading tons of photos from Google Images without thinking I'd need the sources for anything. By the time I really looked at this one and fell in love with it, I had no idea where it came from.}

I love it. This is almost exactly the picture I had been painting in my mind. Minus the huge sectional couch that would never fit in the apartment! :) But I love the deep color of the wall and all the bright, clean white that balances it out.

So my paint color is picked: Vista Marinho - "Sea View" in Portuguese - and I plan/hope to get the painting done this week before moving day on Saturday!

Aside from the primary paint color, all I know is that I'll use chocolate brown as the primary accent color. Any other color choices remain up in the air for now.

So what do you think?! Any suggestions before I begin painting?

Macro Friday: Week 26

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blogging from BoliviaIt’s Friday! Woohoo! Let’s get right down to business. If you’re new here (or if you’d like a refresher), check out the Macro Friday page for the “rules” and the button.

Last week's winner was A Year in the Life. She chose this week's winner. Congrats to...


Head on over to check out her exquisite macro shot! Laura, you'll get to choose this week's winner. Email me your choice sometime before next Friday!

My shot…


In case you can’t tell, it’s a tiny drop of water on fabric. I noticed it and loved how it was perched there like that. Plus I liked the idea of that bright pink being blurred into the background :)

I've been really behind on blog reading and commenting lately - I'm so sorry! I feel bad! My impending move is taking lots of time and energy and blogging has been pushed to the side a bit. As soon as time is on my side again, I'll be around more often!! :)

Okay, now it's your turn!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

I shared three of my favorite sunrise photos last week but saved one for the Before & After blog hop. It took a bit more editing than usual so I thought it'd be fun to share that process.

Here's the before (using my Canon SX200):


I used Lightroom and CS5 to do some basic editing (contrast, lighting, etc.) and then to also remove the powerlines and transform it into...

sunrise cross

Check out Pixel Perfect for more before & after shots.

Christmas Cards

Did you know you could get 50 free holidays cards from Shutterfly just by blogging about it?
Head over to my review blog for more details!

I ♥ Faces: Silhouette

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've posted this photo before, but wanted to share it again today for the silhouette challenge over at I Heart Faces.


Macro Friday: Week 25

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blogging from BoliviaHappy Friday! Welcome back to Macro! If you’re new here (or if you’d like a refresher), check out the Macro Friday page for the “rules” and the button.

Last week's winner was Coneflower Ranch. She chose this week's winner. Congrats to...


Head on over to see her amazing shot! A Year in the Life, you'll get to choose this week's winner. Email me your choice sometime before next Friday!

My shot:

macro spider
{I've had a few people tell me they can't see the photo. Hmmm... I'm not sure WHY and I can see it okay. But I tried re-uploading it to Flickr. If you still can't see it, you can try looking at it directly on flickr.}

For the record, this is a poisonous spider. I found it underneath the wash sink and stealthily caught it. (aka I put an empty pringles container on the floor and then used a broom to startle it... it ran straight inside the dark container and I snapped the lid on!) It was dead by the time I took this shot, but I never took my eyes off it. Just in case.

Your turn! Looking forward to your photos!

Complete side note: If you like interior decorating or color, check out my other post this morning and share your thoughts! :)

In Which I Reveal One of My Weaknesses: Decision Making

As I excitedly announced a few days ago, I'm moving! While moving day isn't until November 27th, I'll get the key this Saturday and can start cleaning and painting before moving anything in.

I am SO excited to paint and adorn and decorate! But I'm kind of at a standstill on choosing the primary paint color. I have to decide by tomorrow morning and I keep going back and forth.

Would YOU like to help me choose?! :)

Something to keep in my mind are the floors: white tile. I love them. I mean, they're not the hardwood floors I dream of, but that's not entirely practical in Bolivia. But these tiles are really lovely and the pure whiteness keeps my options open.

My heart is already set on my primary accent color.

choc brown

I wouldn't want to paint entire walls in brown or use it in huge amounts, but I love it as an accent. According to my instincts, delicious chocolate brown would nicely accent the following colors:

sky blue

pale pink

pale green

tropical teal

So those are essentially my options for painting the walls.

Now my first choice would definitely be the pink. If I were painting a nursery, that is. I adore chocolate brown and light pink together, but it just doesn't seem appropriate for an entire apartment, you know? Definitely a nursery or child's room, maybe even a bathroom, but not an entire apartment.

So that narrows it down to the blue, green, and teal. While I do like brown and green together (hence my blog colors!), there's something holding me back. I'm not entirely sure what it is, though. Maybe it would feel a little too earthy? Or maybe a little too serene? Whatever it is, I'm convinced that the brown/green color scheme should be left for my blog only.

Which leaves us with blue or teal.

I can. not. decide.

color scheme for blog

I keep leaning way, way towards the teal. But then all of a sudden I'll become convinced that it's going to look like toothpaste on the wall.

So then I change my mind to the blue, but am worried that it'll be too boring.

What I really need is to find a nice throw pillow or vase or something with more or less these colors. That would serve as the inspiration and decision-maker. But I looked and looked and couldn't find anything suitable. The closest I came was a teal colored silicone cutting board and it just wasn't very inspiring.

So here, my dear readers, is where I'd LOVE your help! What do YOU think would look great with chocolate accents and white floors? Teal? Blue? Something entirely different?

The sky's the limit here. I just know I want BOLD - no white or cream walls for me! And probably something BRIGHT because it's a pretty small apartment.

So, what do you say?! :)

Good Morning

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good Morning Sun.


5:30 AM is very early.


But so worth it.


[These photos are edited, but you can click "Read More" (below) to see the non-edited* shots. The color was just as spectacular and beautiful even without the help of Lightroom!

*non-edited = the contrast/lighting/color/etc isn't edited... they're still cropped! :)

I Said I Had News...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

...I'm moving!!

No, not out of Bolivia. Of course not! What would Blogging from Bolivia be without Bolivia?! :) But I am moving to a new apartment and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Since arriving in Santa Cruz a year and a half ago, I've been renting a room in Mauricio's uncle's house. I'm grateful that I've had a nice, safe place to live, but I am so ready to move up in the world. I haven't had a kitchen this entire time (I do have access to kitchen, but it belongs to someone else and is usually in use) and have been sharing the bathroom with other renters, everyone else's guests, and even construction workers!

So with great anticipation and unbearable excitement, I prepare to move into my own apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, and even a private balcony.

What day did I learn I'd have to move out? November 1st.

Day I found the apartment and went to see it? November 3rd.

Signed the lease? November 4th.

Moving Day? November 27th.

Talk about rushed! But I'm not complaining. I'm gleefully thinking about interior decorating and furniture arrangement and having somewhere to hang Christmas lights next month!

This apartment is in a large house/building that consists of little shops and office, a large family home (where the owners live), and a variety of rooms or apartments for rent. My little apartment is on the second floor, and Mauricio found a room to rent on the first floor, so he'll be near by! :)

I'll get the key this coming Saturday so I can start cleaning, painting, and photographing! But in the meantime, I offer you two shots from the advertisement.

The view from the street (my balcony!):
1 - from street
Disclaimer: NOT my photo!

The view from the courtyard (that door is my entrance):
2 - from inside of house - courtyard
Disclaimer: NOT my photo!

If I'm a little absent from my blog this month, you now know why. But stay tuned for more photographs and some potential posts on interior decorating! :)

B&W Bride

b&w bride

Check out The Long Road to China for more black & white photos.

The Wedding

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I finally had time to take a look at the photos from the wedding! I'm so sorry that it's taken me this long to get a post up about it. (I'm quite busy with something exciting that I'll be sharing tomorrow!)

I'm afraid this may be a bit of a letdown. The wedding didn't go exactly as expected. Regardless, the bride was beautiful and the couple looked adorable that night.


As I had talked about, Mauricio and I were supposed to be the witnesses. This has been Mauricio's best friend literally since birth, so it was only natural. Unfortunately, the photocopies of our IDs didn't arrive in time and the notary made them choose new witnesses. (And as far as I know, the photocopies never did arrive and must have gotten lost in the "mail" - bummer!). That wasn't really a huge letdown though. This way I'd get to observe the wedding from a bit more of a distance!

But then the night of the wedding it started sprinkling about an hour before it was scheduled to begin. The sprinkles quickly became rain and within seconds it was pouring the kind of rain that forces me to remember how close we are to the Amazon and monsoons.

The huge outdoor field where the wedding was to be held flooded and everything was crammed inside a small house. The notary was postponed a few hours since no guests would show up in the rain.

Finally, around 10:00 at night, the ceremony began. It was very short and to the point, but still sweet. The notary read some legal stuff, the couple signed a few documents, and then the rings and kiss were exchanged! I don't have any photos of this because I was taking video.

But here's the bride afterwards. She looked just gorgeous! :)


After that, we enjoyed a festive reception with dinner, toasts, and dancing.

Mauricio and his mom:


All in all, it was a very small, but sweet wedding. Not too much different from a civil ceremony in the States. Now I'm just waiting for the next person to get married and have a huge, traditional Catholic wedding. That, I hear, is quite the experience! :)

Macro Friday: Week 24

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blogging from BoliviaCan you believe that Macro Friday has been around for 6 months now?! Half a year?! It seems like just yesterday that we started! Thanks to all of YOU for making it so much fun! :) As always, if you’re new here (or if you’d like a refresher), check out the Macro Friday page for the “rules” and the button.

Last week's winner was Every Day I Walk With You. She chose this week's winner. Congrats to...


Head on over to see some amazing shots! Coneflower Ranch, you'll get to choose this week's winner. Email me your choice sometime before next Friday!

Remember that macro shot I was hoping to get a few weeks ago? Well…


I finally got it! Yesterday I went to the immigration office and was thrilled to leave with my passport, new residency visa intact. It was a long 9-week wait!

Looking forward to YOUR shots!

My Baby

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I've received several questions or comments lately about my camera. And since I love my camera so much - as if it were my baby - I decided to dedicate a post to it.

Thanks to my thoughtful, generous parents, I am the proud owner of a Canon SX200. I've had it for about 8 months now.

It's a point & shoot, not a DSLR, so whenever people ask "which lens did you use for that shot?" it kind of makes my day.

But let me say, this camera is about as close to a DSLR as it can be without actually being one. I shoot in MANUAL about 98% of the time and have full control of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. - things that I certainly couldn't control on my cell phone camera or previous point & shoots. It even has the capability for manual focus. The only times I shift out of manual are when using a flash at night and just taking the easy route in AUTOMATIC, or when taking multiple photos of a subject that won't stay still and switching over to AV MODE.

In short: My camera is amazing.

Sure, I've improved in my photography since developing an interest in it. I've gotten better at composition and exposure and maybe even developed a bit of my own style (that's up for debate, though! ha!). But I'd be crazy not to recognize that my camera is really great.

So all of this is to say THANK YOU to the people with comments like "I can't believe you took that with a point & shoot" - those comments so make my day - but don't give me all the credit! My camera is definitely high end and not just a typical point & shoot where all you do is, well, point and shoot.

I love my SX200 and am still so grateful to my parents for giving it to me. If you're looking for a new camera, I highly recommend it! :)

On the Wrong Side

Monday, November 1, 2010

I love photography. You probably already knew that, but still, I just love it. I love composing a shot, rapidly thinking through the exposure, and the satisfaction of capturing it with the shutter button. I adore the feeling of being behind my camera. And I love the suspense as I put my memory card into my computer and wait for the images to pop up.

In case I didn't say it enough, I love it.

But there's one side of photography that I don't love. That makes me feel out of place and uncomfortable. When I'm on the wrong side of the camera and someone else is composing the shot with me in it.

So all of this is to say that I'm stepping out of character today and posting a photo with me in it.


But I just loved this photo too much not to post it. Plus, I figured I should provide proof that I was actually at a wedding this weekend since an actual post about it may take a few days. :)

Mauricio took this shot of myself, his mom, his cousin, and his sister. I have to say, as I've fallen head over heels in love with photography, Mauricio has done some improving himself. I guess that's what happens when he has to listen to me talk about it all the time! :)

So there is your proof of the wedding! Which was, by the way, a very fun night despite the torrential downpour that could have ruined it. More photos to come soon!