Friday, April 18, 2014

Cherry Blossoms

We went to see the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in DC last Sunday. Those pink trees were super beautiful and dreamy, as always. Thanks, Japan! :)

I realized pretty quickly, though, that getting perfect photos just wasn't going to happen; there were so many people. I didn't have time to adjust my camera settings the way I normally do because as soon as I'd frame a shot, someone would walk in front of the camera. So I just tried to get my settings mostly right, go with the flow, snap a few pics here and there, and not worry about it. Inevitably, there were lots of shots that were underexposed, overexposed, or absolutely perfect except for someone's head in the frame. Haha. I did decide to play around with framing on center in a few shots and mix up my compositions a bit, which was fun. Anyway, here are a few photos that turned out pretty well despite the challenges.

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
Thomas Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossoms in Washington, DC
cherry blossoms
cherry blossoms
Tidal Basin Inlet Bridge in Washington, DC
Cherry blossoms and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC
Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC
The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC
The Washington Monument and cherry trees in Washington, DC

When we'd made our way around the Tidal Basin, had our fill of pink trees (and cute dogs and toddlers too, of course), we went back up to the Mall and walked the length of it to the Capitol. The weather was so nice that I had to take my jacket off mid-way and debated whether I should've put on sunscreen. It was gorgeous!

On the way home, we stopped at our favorite diner and had caramel challah french toast and coffee, and then I went home and passed out. My body has been hating me all week for spending so long outdoors during allergy season when I was already sick, but it was worth it. I'd do it all over again tomorrow. :)

Happy Friday, everyone! xo, Mary

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What's In My Bag?

I've been carrying the same bag around for two and a half years, and I never clean it out (like, never ever). But the other day, I was looking at all the worn spots on my bag and trying to decide if I should get a new one, and I decided to empty it all out. And I was pretty surprised at the level of matching going on, which was completely unintentional when I bought or acquired all this stuff...I mean, even the Kleenex matches! It seemed like something that needed to be documented. So here's what's in my bag, minus about a billion receipts and coupons and some loose change (including foreign coins? random).

1. sunglasses. I think I got these for $10 at Old Navy. They don't block the sun that well, though, so I can't really recommend them. (In fairness, my light eyes are really sensitive to sunlight, so if you have brown eyes or just darker eyes, they'd probably be fine.)
2. tissues. I'm sick right now, and I have major allergies this time of year anyway, so yeah, tissue packs are a must. And anyway, what kind of old lady would I be without tissues in my purse?
3. a thingy to clean my glasses. This is for my actual glasses, not sunglasses, which I don't usually carry with me because I wear contacts, so I don't know why it was in there.
4. lotion. I think this has been in my bag since the last time I flew on a plane.
5. pencil case. This pretty pouch holds, ahem, lady things, and sometimes makeup, hair ties, whatever else ends up in there. It's Orla Kiely for Target if anyone's curious.
6. a tape measure keychain. I have actually used this little tape measure loads of times when we've been shopping at thrift stores or flea markets for furniture, or to measure frames, all sorts of stuff. Some company gave it to me when I was in design school.
7. car keys.
8. map of DC. I've been carrying this map around since 1999, I think. I probably don't actually need it anymore since I have an iphone, but it really is handy to look up streets quickly when you're trying to walk somewhere. Plus, I guess if my phone ever dies (or there's a zombie apocalypse), at least I won't get lost.
9. wallet. This wallet is pretty big, but I found that I need one this big to carry around the 8 million rewards cards I have to every store on the planet. It's Kate Spade.
10. spool of thread. No idea.
11. mini flashlight. I have also used this little guy a bunch of times...usually when there'd be a power outage in my apartment building and coming home from work, I'd have to find my way up 7 or 8 flights of stairs in pitch darkness. (I never lived in a building with luxuries like emergency lights or any of that jazz.) I think my dad gave me this flashlight as that's a very dad thing to do.
12. lip balm. I think this is Neutrogena naturals, pretty good stuff.
13. pencil.
14. notebook. This pretty notebook was part of my swap present from Caren. I always have a notebook with me to sketch and jot ideas...you never know when you're going to be stuck waiting on metro or in a doctor's office or wherever.
15. bumblebee. I think this little guy broke off of a pencil that a friend gave me from Germany...not sure why he was hanging out in my bag, but he's super cute.
16. Micron pen.
17. LensPen. For my camera, which is not pictured here because I used it to take this photo, obviously, but it's almost always with me too. And it takes up the most room!
18. Sharpie.
19. metro card.
20. scottie dog that holds my headphones.
21. washi tape and miscellaneous tags/cards. This stuff must have been in there from packing up things on the go at some point.
22. phone. The case is by Rifle Paper Co.
23. little Sanrio cat stickers...again probably from packing up something at the post office. Or maybe I had another crucial cat sticker mission?
24. stamps.

There's also, often, other things, like the book I'm reading at the moment, or jewelry that I get tired of wearing, or an extra lens for my camera, etc. I carry around a lot of stuff, and that's probably why I always have sore shoulders! When I was younger, I used to just leave the house with nothing but what would fit in my pockets, usually my driver's license and a few dollars, maybe some chapstick, and that was it. I didn't have a phone back then and didn't carry a camera with me often. Now, I never leave the house without my phone, even if we're just going for a walk. I don't see myself going back to those minimalist days any time soon, but I am trying to carry less stuff because I think hauling this heavy bag around for the past couple of years has not been great for my back.

Anyway, I have cleaned out a bunch of stuff since doing this post, so there's that. :)

If anyone else wants to share what's in her (or his) bag, leave me a comment. I think looking at other people's stuff is one of those things that never gets old.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Let's Take a Walk

Just a few pics from last week...we saw the first signs of spring in the form of white blossom-tipped branches on a few trees. It's the latest I can ever remember witnessing this seasonal shift and most branches are still bare, but I'll take what I can get. I'm hoping to get a peek at the cherry blossoms soon too. :)

Old Town Alexandria, VA shops

Hope everyone has a great weekend. xo, Mary

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Prints and Products + Free Shipping

I've added 10 new prints to my Society6 shop, and I'm excited to share a deal they have right now for free shipping and $5 off each item.* Just make sure to click this link. :)

A lot of the new prints are available on various products too, like mugs, phone cases, clocks, and tote bags.

And Society6 has just introduced area rugs too! They automatically converted some of my images into rugs, and while I think some work better than others, I couldn't help but get a kick out of walking on pastel clouds when you come home from work.

You might notice that I deleted some of the old prints too. I don't want my shops to ever feel stale, so I'm in the process of adding new things and deleting the old.  I'm also working on more abstract photography. Now that the weather is better, I want to get out and do some experimenting with my camera. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll stop taking photos of pretty buildings or nature; I'll never stop that as long as I'm able to hold a camera and take a walk. :)

I'd love for you to check out the new stuff and let me know what you think! xo, Mary

*The free shipping offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases, and Throw Pillows with insert.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Old Post Office Pavilion

Peter and I went to walk around the Old Post Office Pavilion last weekend; I wanted to see it again before they close it. For those who don't live in DC, there's no reason you would know this, but the building is getting ready to close to undergo construction. The GSA made a deal with Donald Trump last year to turn it into a luxury hotel. Needless to say, no one in DC is really thrilled about that. It could end up being really nice, but if Trump's other hotels are any indication, the designers will cram it full of crystal chandeliers, cheesy colored marble slabs, and regency furniture...none of which is fitting with the character of the building. Personally, I think everything he becomes involved with ends up looking pretty tacky. So anyway, here's one last look...


Don't you think it's cute? I really hope all of its charm is not lost in the process of renovation. All of the vendors and shops have closed up, and it's sort of like a ghost town at the moment. There are a few more photos on my instagram, if you'd like to see.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bits of March

A photo of the Key Bridge from the day we walked to Roosevelt Island...I used to walk across that bridge all the time but haven't often seen it from a distance...I thought it looked really pretty in the sunset; vintage postcards found while going through some boxes...what started as cleaning quickly turned into treasure hunting and projects, as per usual, also made me want to take a road trip like crazy; another pic from Roosevelt Island; and a little garland I put up on the window to try and brighten a really dreary day.

Shadows on the wall; classic books at an antique shop; wrapping up an order with lots of color; and loving all the Easter candy, especially these little Lindt lambs.

And here are 4 more pics from the jungle in the conservatory at the U.S. Botanic Garden...looking at these photos makes me want to go back. I can't wait till the outdoor gardens are open again.

Here's hoping April affords many more adventures and IG-ing opportunities! :)

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