Thursday, February 27

Last November I purchased a Casetagram coupon from Gilt. It was $20 and you got $39.95 worth of Casetagram credit. Basically a smartphone case. The code expired February 18th and I forgot about it until the last day. I quickly got some pictures together and uploaded it to make this.. 
There's only one picture (the first one) from my Instagram account. I wanted pictures from my DSLR for better quality. I had planned (silly how that never works out..) to use a picture from my San Francisco trip but I forgot to pack my DSLR during the trip. So I put a couple of my favorite things -- I did think of pictures of my pets but I'd need multiple cases lol -- the beach, Disneyland and the roses boyfriend is always surprising me with.

I've had the case for two days and I like the idea of it. My own pictures, my memories, it's uniqueness. But that's about it. I hate everything else about it. I received the case within seven days. For something custom made I expect it to take longer. I own a different case from them and it took weeks to receive it. 

It's a frosted case so I knew to expect some texture but the texture is printed with the pictures as well and they look like crappy phone pictures. (they aren't!) I also expected the pictures to be printed on the case. They're actually really thin decals of my pictures slapped on their case (hence it getting to me super quick, I could do that shit at CVS). I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it. It's not even worth the $20!

So if you're considering this, don't. There's dozens of services that let you upload your own images to make into cases. They'll be around the same price but a better printing job.


There's Uncommon , A friend made one for her iPhone 4s with them a while back and the picture looks really clear and crisp.

Weekend Activites

Well... This post is  a bit late.. it's almost time for new weekend activities. Sigh... I've been having issues adjusting to this MacBook. Photoshop (I noticed from my previous wallpaper posts) is exporting my pictures in really low resolution. I know by resizing an image to smaller dimensions you loose resolution but this was bad and I never experienced that with my PC. I've spent two days trying to figure out the issue with various settings but I'm still not happy with the results.. In order to get this post up I edited in my old laptop.. AH familiar grounds! 
I'm still looking for a solution without making the pictures smaller.. That seems to be the only way to post them on Blogger and I'd have to go back and resize ALL my pictures from my previous posts and margins and all that jazz... 

Now, back to the weekend.. 

Saturday was just a relaxing day in Laguna Beach. Window shopped a bit and walked to the beach to sunset watch. It was surreal! I mentioned in my previous post that the pictures I captured were saturated in reds.. well here they are.. unedited.. 

Right after this picture was taken I was rushing (like a toddler) to the ladies room and the waves were strong and as I'm walking away from the beach I feel the sand under me sink and water to my knees! Shit. 

Peet's Coffee and Tea to warm up after my impromptu bath... Had a Matcha Green Tea Latte with soy milk..
Currently reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

Red Lobster for dinner. 
The waitress said this red velvet jar was her favorite and that the frosting was amazing and she'd have that by the jar full if she could... (If I didn't know she worked for tips I'd guess commission).. It was good but too much frosting for my taste.. I much rather have permanent teeth.


 San Bernardino National Forest

Up in the mountains there's this quaint city. I was taking pictures of this old mechanic shop when I ran into this fellow.. He was sort of lost and was walking down this steep hill and where he was heeded I know there weren't any houses.. So (hoping he wouldn't bite) I called to him and he came and was very friendly. Trying to call the number on his tag was useless since I had no service up there! Boyfriend had this rubber strap in the back of the truck so I used that as a makeshift leash.. Looking at his tag again I saw there was an address! I'd seen the street not too far back so put his big butt in the truck and took him home.. His human was preparing some wood with heavy machinery and let his kennel open so he could roam around the property.. and well.. he roamed further than he should've .. ^_^

My fellow stopped in front of this shop and said he was going to get directions. I asked why? We've been there before and we were headed home.. Boring* boring* boring*... He came out with these things.. No, there's no snow and it's 80 degrees but they're cute ... and so is he..

Wallpapers: Aliso Beach

Monday, February 24

This past Saturday I made my way to Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach. I'll talk more about that trip tomorrow on my Weekend Recap. I, of course, took my DSLR and got some intense shots. I actually had to tone down the reds. The unedited images were as if someone got carried away with the saturation in Photoshop. It was a beautiful sunset. I'll share some of the unedited images tomorrow. ;)

I know many of you guys are snowed in, so, here's a Southern California Winter in wallpaper form. Only twenty-three more days 'til Spring! Hang in there guys and gals.

Each ZIP file includes an MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone version.



Wednesday, February 19

For Valentine's Day my boyfriend surprised me by taking me to purchase a 15-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display! I made some wallpapers for my new toy from my recent beach trip.  I zipped them up with copies for the iPhone and iPad.

There's also an extra wallpaper from my Nature Trail post that's not pictured.

Weekend Activities

Tuesday, February 11

Reach for the sky!

Do you guys remember a few posts ago I talked about that disgusting feeling you get after binge watching season after season on Netflix? Well, I did just that this weekend. Technically I started Thursday but still ... a life well spent!
Years ago, probably when it first aired, a male friend commented on how good New Girl with Zooey Deschanel was. I tried to watch it mid season and hated it. Now, I know you shouldn't really do that and it's not fair to the show but it worked with so many others (Criminal Minds, Law and Order, Dexter... I just noticed the pattern.. ) so I quickly changed the channel and blamed it on the show.
Two years later and here I am. Finished with two seasons in four days.
 He was right.

Besides rotting my mind with wonderfully scripted television I took pictures of this handsome fellow! Doesn't it make you want to hire him?!

For dinner I had  Vegetarian (tofu) Pho. A little lime juice and Sriracha and in the words of Rachel Ray - Yum-o!

Yogurtland.. because I need dessert in my life.

Last Sunday Father told me to be ready at 8:45AM next (this) Sunday and that he and Mother we're going to pick us up and take us to breakfast. I was like why so early?! Only because it meant getting up two hours earlier to shower and look semi presentable. As I was blow-drying my hair I was thinking this better be good!

And it was. Delicious, actually. It was this Mexican place I looked over one too many times since it's marquee says "Margarita Bar." Yes, for a minute I thought my parents were the coolest parents on the planet.. It was a bar alright but a breakfast one. Everything was so fresh and they make your eggs any way you want right in-front of you. Both, Mexican and American, breakfasts' were catered to. I had some fruit, scrambled eggs and red potatoes..
Eating too early, typically before 10AM, nauseates me. I've gone to various doctors and the last one just told me that it's quite normal and my stomach is just a little more sensitive.
 Hence I didn't get crazy with my choices.

Later that afternoon, sans parents, we made our way to Newport Beach. It was a beautiful 70 degrees. Laid out a blanket and read a little, people watched, took some pictures. 

On our way out the beach I turned to my trusty Yelp! and found this coffee house. It was packed and not a single seat (inside or outside) free. Ordered a Honey Vanilla Latte with Almond Milk and right as I finished paying a couple was leaving a table. Sat down, watched some dude get rejected and enjoyed my warm drink. Next time I shall ask for a tiny bit more honey.. It's really strong and you can barely taste it.

Some Thai food for dinner.. 

I'm going to sneak in Monday with my weekend.. We went to watch The Lego Movie, the dude that said it was so dumb couldn't stop laughing throughout the whole thing. Very catchy song (it's still stuck in my head!) Lego action going on (not that kind, it's still a children's movie) and it makes me want to buy every Lego in the world and make my own Lego city.

Hope everyone's weekend was just as fun.

iPhonePix: San Francisco PT 2

Saturday, February 8

Day three started with an early breakfast. We found our way to Luna Park thanks to the suggestion from a wonderful lady from the Implus (Instagram) group I'm in. It turned out to be the best meal of the whole trip. I definitely should have asked for more suggestions from the beginning. Should've, Could've, Would've. 

This day was a Monday. I hadn't realized  how crowded everything was the previous two days until now. (Something to do with the 49ers playing that Sunday.) It was a pleasant experience looking for parking and we didn't have to hike for miles for an ice cream cone.. true story.

After filling our tummies with deliciousness we headed towards a planned destination but quickly took a detour when boyfriend pointed at the Thrift Store across the street. I squealed a little and ran towards it! I'm a little obsessed with local thrift stores and thrift finds.. Not Goodwill type of thing but the nice places. Goodwill is ridiculously overpriced and smells like death and cigarettes.
But this place is without a doubt one of the top three thrift shops I've ever been in. I went on a lucky day too, every third Monday of the month their clothes are 50% off! I spent one hour in here but spent the entire time in the gold mine in the back: the book section. Most, if not all, of their books where in pristine/new like condition... Why do people get rid of their books? Doesn't everybody want Beasts' library?

Anyway, I remembered I was running out of time on the parking meter and was on my way with the nine or so books in my basket and a couple of CD's I found.

These murals were on the outside of the thrift shop.

Land's End Trail was next on the list. Boy, when we got there was I glad I decided to screw the tight jeans I was planning on wearing that AM and wore workout clothes instead. Being lazy and not wanting to fuss with your clothes or makeup work out in your advantage.. from time to time.

See those stairs? There's like a two hundred of them and it's all great until you can't feel your legs on your way up. On my way down a lady was going the opposite way and repeating to herself  Oh my God, Oh my God, I'm almost there".. That was me looking into the future(me.) To get to that beautiful scenery we had to make our way down a mountain with very slippery rocks. But then we saw this and it was magic!

That's the Golden Gate Bridge on the far right. We sat around here for an hour just enjoying this beautiful view. and regaining the feeling of our legs.

After burning (accurate estimate from the numbness of my legs) about a million calories I made a quick stop at Miette Patisserie for some macarons. This was the first place I had written down on my list of things to do. It didn't disappoint. I got two of every flavor but my favorite was rose-geranium. It reminded me of a fancy soap at an Anthropologie and apparently that tastes good.

Dinner at Franciscan. I ordered pasta in some-name-I-can't-pronounce wine sauce. That's code for pounds of garlic per serving. I only ate about half before it tasted spicy due to all the garlic. It reminded me of that episode on Friends where Phoebe tells Monica her restaurants food is "pretentious comma garlicky", pretty much.
We went to different coffee houses or ice cream shops that I found by Yelp-ing wherever I was and found some great spots but at this point two dinners where a huge miss. Like I mentioned earlier, I should have asked for more suggestions from either Instagram, Twitter or just locals around.

If you've read the post before this one I mention that one of the things I wanted to do this year is buy less books from online retailers and support independent bookstores instead. I searched Yelp for indie bookstores (I Yelp everything, yes.) and Green Apple Books had the best/most reviews. We headed there after dinner and was disappointing, at first. The books outside were the only used ones (in this store) but a book I bought at the thrift store for $2 was $9 in worst condition here. Once inside I quickly changed my opinion. The staff is great and knowledgeable and have a ton of recommendations if you ask. There's two floors and all throughout the store certain index cards stick out with a written synopsis and review from the staff of their favorite, newest, reads. The children section is filled a variety of older and newer copies of classics. This is where I found three books I had on a wishlist on Amazon. The Mary Poppins collection by P.L Travers  $5 each here and one is an older copy. score!
As I was checking out I saw a sign that said their second store with albums and more books was two stores down. I couldn't help myself and found my way there. That's where they were hogging all the good used books! I spent an hour on one side of the store and would need at least five just to browse through their extensive collection.
From their second store I bought two books. Weirdly enough both were the same price $9 each but one was new ($14 on Amazon) and one "pre-loved." Either way I came home a winner.

All books, thrift shop and Green Apple Books, bought in San Francisco.


I wished day four was a day of sleeping in. I was so tired by then. Sleep would have to wait because we had early tickets for an Alcatraz tour and it was our last day and we were going to try to pack as much as we could into it. We started the day by having breakfast in our Hotel's restaurant and proceeded to checkout.

The ferry drops you off and you can leave the island whenever you want. They have ferries coming and going every thirty minutes.You get to freely walk around and you get an audio tour when inside the cellhouse. 
   The audio tour was the voices and experiences from actual inmates and correctional officers. I found it completely fascinating!
From the gift shop I got this tin cup which is a replica of the ones the inmates used back when the prison was in operation.

Up next, Lombard Street! The second most crooked street in the world. The first?... Wallstreet...  Ba-dum-dum-Chissshhh  *cricket*

After Lombard Street I wanted to go see the 'real' Full House house..  To my dismay it has been painted to make unrecognizable. The owners forget the power of Google and creepers like myself. 

These four days spent in this beautiful city were nothing short of amazing. On the way home we took a detour to Big Sur. We got there sort of later than expected and almost lost all light but sometime later this year we plan to make to make our way back and see more of these beautiful waters. We drove next to them for over a hundred miles. Definitely a great view..

California, you are a beauty!