Self Portrait

Photo Friday VIII

Today’s Photo Friday is a bit more personal: it’s a self-portrait I took in January of 2013. This was meant to be the first image in a 52 weeks project that died out after a few months. It’s a shame, because with this as my first photo of the challenge, who knows what I would have created by the end of the year! I’ve thought¬†about attempting one of these challenges again; perhaps now is a good time.

Have any of you ever attempted a photography challenge? Did you complete it? How did it go and how did you stay sane?

No wallpaper downloads today — I must admit I’d feel a bit strange thinking you all had my face as your iPhone background. ūüėČ

Check it out on Flickr!

February Currently Header

Currently, vol. 2

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I seriously can’t believe February is almost over. This month wasn’t¬†as eventful for me as January, unfortunately. Eric and I both caught terrible colds in the first week of February, which put us out of commission for over a week. There was one day I felt so awful I couldn’t even lift my head off the pillow! Then I spent the rest of the month focusing much more intensely on my job search, while working a few small editing gigs that each lasted only a few days. But it all paid off in the end, because I just started a new job yesterday! I’m again working as an apprentice editor, and I’m looking forward to meeting and working with all new people. I also spent a decent amount of time on this blog, both writing and trying to finish a few formatting issues that carried over from my switch from Blogger in January. I’m hoping to have it all fixed up by the end of March, but it’s a pretty tedious job, as many of my images didn’t transfer over correctly, and I’m having to re-import and replace all of them. So, not the most exciting month overall, but at least I feel like I was productive, and next month promises to¬†be much¬†busier!

Here’s what I’m currently…

Reading:¬†I finally finished up my re-read of the Harry Potter series, too! I really enjoyed reading Deathly Hallows again, and think it might be my favorite in the series after Prisoner of Azkaban. Once I finished with these, I moved on to Pride & Prejudice. I had started Pride & Prejudice at some point last year, after reading Longbourn, but then stopped after a bit. So now I’ve picked that back up again. I’ve never actually read Pride & Prejudice before (I’ve only seen the Keira Knightly movie), and I’m really enjoying it! Much more than I enjoyed Longbourn, which I actually dislike even more as¬†I read through Pride & Prejudice. And now I’ve just started on Patton Oswalt’s new book: Silver Screen Fiend.

Watching: [Movies] We’re still going through the James Bond films, and this month we watched eight — The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, and Licence to Kill. We also somehow found time to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Edward Scissorhands, Speed Racer, and Ghostbusters II. [TV] New episodes of Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons. We’ve also re-watched a few old favorites on Netflix, like Portlandia and Bojack Horseman.

Eating: We’ve been better about cooking at home over the past month, which has been a huge relief to our bank accounts. We literally halved our expenses from January (granted, we also paid for a trip to Colorado that included lift tickets and ski rentals, and scuba diving lessons). I discovered Pepperplate¬†and have used it to make weekly meal plans and shopping lists. So far, I really like it! Despite eating in for most of the month, we did take time to try a few new restaurants. We discovered El Matador, a tasty Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach, Brats Brothers, which might be my new favorite German-themed restaurant in the LA area, and Tropicalia, a trendy place serving up delicious Brazilian food in Los Feliz. We also stopped by The Morrison in Atwater Village, an old favorite, for my very special birthday dinner!

Hoping:¬†Everything goes well with my new job! And that I can keep up with blogging. I may have to pare down my posting schedule, but we’ll see…

Purchasing: Not much of anything, this month. I’m trying to cut back on spending after an expensive January. I did buy a new pair of jeans, as my old ones were getting stretched out, and some new makeup to replace some that had run out.

Listening to: Spring! I recently discovered this app and have used it while running, since my old playlist was getting overplayed. I’ve already discovered some great stuff, and can’t wait to keep using it!

Planning: More posts on the blog. I’ve spent most of February getting ahead on blog posts, so that when I do get steady work I hopefully won’t lose the awesome post consistency I’ve had since the start of the year.


This amazing ball pit for adults that recently opened in London!
A guide to Twitter parties that finally convinced me to give it a try.
Someday I might be able to afford to put this Napa Valley guide to good use.
A few excellent landscape photography tips I’m definitely going to try!
This photograph is stunning.
I love the cute and original designs in this paper craft shop.
Ursula offers up four fun & cheap date night ideas!
If you’re afraid of the gym, it’s time to¬†conquer¬†your fear! — Katie has some great tips.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jess’ semi-sarcastic lifestyle blogging guide.

And here are a few of my own posts you may have missed (to stay up-to-date, sign up for weekly email updates):

Beautiful memories from Scotland
Nine things to do when you’re home sick
How NOT to pack for a Breckenridge ski trip
Learning to Scuba Dive
30 before 30 project wrap-up
A French toast brunch for two
My newest personal challenge: 40 New Adventures
20 things I learned during my twenties
Ten things I love to do at Disneyland


Still going strong on my goal to post at least once per day. Check out my most popular images this month!

February Instagram Round-Up

Brand Park Library

A Tourist in My Hometown

Today I’m guest posting over at Jess’ blog, Stamp in My Passport, for her Tourist in Your Hometown series! I’m super excited to share some of my favorite places in Glendale with you. Head over there and check it out!

10 Things to do in Disneyland

10 Things I Love To Do In Disneyland

I first heard about Disneyland when I turned five. I begged my parents to take me, but my sister had just been born, and they (logically) wanted to wait until she was old enough to go. So, they told me I had to wait until I was seven. I’m sure they hoped I would forget over the course of two years, lose interest, or get distracted by something else, but they were quite wrong. By my seventh birthday, they had no choice but to fulfill their promise and plan a summer vacation to Southern California.

I still remember the absolute joy of that long-awaited moment when I walked through the front gates into Disneyland for the first time. Twenty-three years later, it hasn’t gone away.

I’m now an annual passholder, so I visit the park several times per year, and I always have a blast. While there are hundreds of things I love to do at Disneyland, today I’ve put together a list of ten of my favorite things to do at the park:

1. Ride the Matterhorn.

It’s my all-time favorite ride, because of the perfect combination of theme and thrill. You careen around and through the mountain, which was¬†constructed¬†to look just like the real Matterhorn in the Alps. Out of all the Disney parks, this ride only exists in Disneyland, and it’s unique in that there are no breaks or powering mechanisms in use throughout the ride (except at the end). It begins by pulling you up to the top of the hill, then releases you to coast down the tracks. What’s awesome about this is, the heavier the people in your bobsled, the faster you go — we always try to put the heaviest person in front. It’s most fun to ride this at night, during the fireworks if possible; you can see the bursts of light as you come out of the tunnel and it’s pretty amazing!

Matterhorn Mountain

2. Pilot the Monorail.

Many people don’t know that the monorail has a special compartment in the front, with the driver, that seats up to four people. You can’t actually drive the monorail, but you get the absolute best view of the park from the giant windshield. All you have to do is ask at the monorail station if you can ride up front! (It might be a long wait on busy days, and they won’t let you do it if it’s very hot outside).

3. Ride Splash Mountain in the rain.

It doesn’t rain much in Southern California, but when it does, I love to spend the day in Disneyland. Who would do this? Well, exactly, no one, except me, which is why it’s wonderful! You have the park to yourself! And, you’re already soaked, so why not jump on everyone’s favorite log ride? Last time we did this, we were able to ride through Splash Mountain three times in a row because no one was waiting to get on when we came in to dock. In my opinion, this is much more worthwhile than waiting 90 minutes in 90 degree heat to ride through it once. ūüėČ

Splash Mountain

4. Sing along with “it’s a small world”

It makes the ride much more fun, and is actually challenging to do for the entire duration. Just don’t sing louder than the ride — you don’t want to annoy the poor strangers that ended up on your boat.

5. Wear a silly hat.

There are few places where you can get away with wearing an ear hat, a bear hat, or a pink-and-purple fascinator top hat. But you can wear them here! I enjoy looking quite ridiculous when I go to the park. It helps hide the fact that I’m usually also acting quite ridiculous.

6. Eat a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar.

Because yum.

Mickey Ice Cream Bar

7. Visit the Disney Gallery.

It’s filled with frequently changing displays of awesome, unique Disney-themed artwork. Most people don’t seem to know or care about it, so it’s usually not crowded, but it’s a lot of fun to walk through and check out some great art. It always makes me feel a little creatively inspired, too!

8. Scream in terror any time a ghost pops up from behind a tombstone in the Haunted Mansion.

There’s about four of them in the graveyard at the end of the ride and they pop up suddenly. Be sure to jump and scream bloody murder, especially if you know when it’s coming. We once got stopped for a few minutes on the ride right in front of one of these and I think Eric may have wanted to punch me.

9. Bring a friend who’s never been.

Maybe it’s because I still remember how excited and thrilled I was when I first entered Disneyland Park, but I love bringing someone else for the first time. It’s fun being able to share with them why I love the park so much. And I love getting to see them having fun in a place that makes me so happy, too!

10. Feel like a kid again.

There’s seriously something magical about this place that makes me so happy. Every time I walk through the front gates, I still feel the same unbelievable joy that I did on my first visit at the age of seven.

Disneyland Rope Bridge Fun
PS: Disneyland Half Marathon & Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar


Photo Friday VII

Golden hour is the best time of the day to take photos. That special thirty-minute window of natural light has the power to transform an average photo into a stunning one. I love it, and yet I rarely find myself in a situation in which to use it to its full advantage for photography. Perhaps this will be a new goal as I continue this Photo Friday series. For now, please enjoy this one, taken during a particularly beautiful golden hour in Mountain Home, Arkansas back in December of 2011. Another one of my personal favorites.

Download this photo as a wallpaper: iPhone // iPad // Desktop // Widescreen Desktop
Or check it out on Flickr!

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    Hello! I'm Erika, a quiet girl living in the noisy city of Los Angeles with my husband Eric and my cat Cookies. I enjoy exploring new places, going on adventures, eating delicious food, and taking lots of pictures! >> Read more

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