Tuesday, December 31, 2013


another year gone. another year of pictures.

i think this journey that i've gone on with #fmsphotoaday is a spectacular visual record of the tiny, beautiful, funny, tragic, huge, and exciting moments of my life. and i'm still kind of in awe that i've stuck with it. it hasn't always been easy and the pictures aren't always amazing, but my phone is always with me, and while life has gotten hectic and my to do list is ever growing, i continue to take pictures and continue to document my day and my life. not all of it is (digitally) captured of course, but enough of it is to get a lasting picture of the ins and outs of my daily existence. and i think that's pretty rad.

please join me in january, i promise it'll be worth it!


red... mug abandoned in joshua tree // where you stood: at work, new shoes // silver: knitting for #fmsgiftexchange


tiny... burn on my finger // in the cupboard: contacts galore // shadow: date night at casa vicente


6 o'clock: making sugar cookies // i shop here: sprouts farmers market // this is the weather today: blue skies


r is for... reading // green: lead climbing class at rocks & ropes // joy is... receiving a package from australia 


composition: black & white kitten // drink: drowning dinosaurs // lights: i spy an elf!


makes me merry: being finished with christmas shopping // tree: broccoli! // big... pile of paper cranes 


'tis the season to... have a chocolate fountain // i'm listening to: my 68th book of 2013 // on the door: a moustache that cornelius desperately wants


sparkly: letters for #abrightproject // tradition: christmas morning cinnamon buns // wrapped: we let the usps wrap our presents


best bit of your day: a good kitten snuggle // where you slept: my delicious bed // what you're doing now: walking through downtown tucson, hanging out with my family, and working on #abrightproject


something awesome: queen mine tour // reflect, best bit of 2013: my adventures with rcg & my kittenz


you: i am a fashion god // celebrate... with champagne and friends

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 -- week 51 -- girl scout cookie season is around the corner!

the week before the holidays is always busy -- there's last minute shopping to do and holiday festivities to attend, and yet somehow, this week was pretty tame for us. i wasn't feeling well, so that might have contributed to it, but for the most part we like to stay in and snuggle on the couch rather than go out during the week. the one time we ventured out of our house however, was for the parade of lights in downtown tucson. it's an annual tradition, but one we managed to miss last year. and it was pretty cool; there were a ton of organizations from tucson that presented their holiday floats to be judged. our favorites were the dachshund rescue, the many youth organizations with their tiny elves, and, of course, the star wars themed float hosted by the 501st legion of storm troopers. but the most important news we learned during our outing was about girl scout cookies, the most anticipated time of year in my house: they will be available for purchase on january 18th. rejoice!

(check out the cookie locator to find out where girl scout cookies are sold in your area!)

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 -- week 50 -- it's officially the holiday season at the shark!

those of you who know me, know i'm a bit of a grinch: i don't allow christmas music to be played until after my birthday and even then i'd prefer to not listen to them at all. (except carol of the bells, that's my favorite, and can be listened to all year long as far as i'm concerned.) i don't do christmas decorations and i'm pretty judgmental of those who do decorate. but this year i gave in. we had a chocolate advent calendar, we bought a tiny, adorable tree (our apartment is too small for anything large and gaudy) and we hosted a christmas bar crawl. and while i'm still a bit of a grinch, it's been fun getting into the holiday spirit. especially if that means watching christmas classics like home alone and die hard!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 -- week 49 -- if only my camera could show you how beautiful baja arizona is.

did you know that arizona is one of the nation's leading growers of cotton? me neither. i had no idea until i moved here and drove all throughout pinal county and pima county and saw the expansive cotton fields! last year, all season long, as i watched the cotton go from tiny plants to flowers to bolls of cotton to the brown sticks that are left after harvesting, i told myself i should pull over and photograph the rows upon rows of cotton, but i was always late (story of my life) and never found the time. but this year, i made a point to pay attention to the cotton as it progressed, and brought my fancy camera on a number of occasions to document the beautiful plants that i drive by day after day. i just wish that the photos accurately captured what i saw.

at least once a week, as i drive to or from work, i am stunned by the absolute beauty of southern arizona. it's not a typical beauty; it's not green grass, tall trees, blue lakes, snow capped mountains, or sunny beaches beautiful, it's something so much more because you have to look so hard to find it. if you were to drive through southern arizona just once, you may not see it, but if you live here and see it every day, you'll know the gorgeousness of the brown rocky hills, the stunning sunrises and sunsets, the elusive saguaro flowers, the cloudless skies, the flat desert, the occasional desert animal, or the pitch black nights that show every star in the sky. unfortunately, the camera rarely does the scenery justice. but trust me, the beauty is here. come visit and see!

ps. happy birthday rcg!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 -- week 48 -- thankful & november day in the life

this post has been really difficult to write -- clearly, as i've put it off for almost five weeks -- but it shouldn't be, because i have so much to be thankful for. maybe i take it all for granted, maybe that's why this post has been so hard to write. it's so easy to say you're lucky or blessed and to be quietly thankful for the things around you that make your life, your life, but to put it down in writing can sometimes sound boastful or arrogant. like if you put it all in words the universe will take it away from you for being so full of yourself. but i am lucky, as many of us are, luckier than we may deserve or than we realize, but lucky nonetheless. (whenever you forget this fact, look at this poster and remember that you, too, are lucky.) and therefore, i am thankful. i'm thankful for all of the large things that seem small, clean sheets, a stocked fridge, a warm shower, and the genuinely huge things too, namely, all of the wonderful people in my life. i love you too. and in case i don't say this enough, thank you.

something else i'm thankful for: celebrating my golden birthday in a fun place with fun people. 29 on the 29th: let the descent (rise?) into my thirties begin. there's a lot i want to get done before then, so here's hoping that this upcoming year rolls slowly along, no speeding and no accidents.

i'm also exceedingly thankful for the opportunity to go on adventures and explore with my boo, rcg.

what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

joshua tree national park


joshua tree national park is a relatively small park halfway between phoenix and los angeles, part mojave desert and part colorado desert. the colorado desert has a similar feel to the sonora desert, near our home, but the mojave desert is a whole different world. it's a climbers paradise, filled with more large boulders than you could climb in a lifetime, and a scene out of dr. seuss's imagination, with the famous joshua tree dotting the landscape everywhere you look.


as we drove up to the park, we saw the joshua trees all over the place, but we hadn't done our research, we thought they were just yucca plants so we enjoyed the view, but didn't take any pictures. (it turns out the joshua tree is a kind of yucca plant, so we were kind of right.) it wasn't until we arrived at the visitor's center that we realized our mistake. and by the time we'd set up our tent for the night, it was too late to go out and take pictures. instead, we soaked in the beautiful sunset.

joshua tree national park has free camping, but be sure to get there early, it fills up pretty fast. there are a  couple of different campsites throughout the park, but if you're interested in climbing or enjoying the joshua trees then you want to be sure to get a campsite in the northern part of the park (every campsite but cottonwood is in the northern part of the park). if you don't get a campsite, there's overflow camping, but it's in an open field with no wind cover and no bathrooms, and it looks pretty miserable for anyone without a camper or trailer to camp in.

it was so dark at night i thought i'd try to use my camera to capture some star trails, and i was kind of successful, but there's still a lot i don't know about my camera, and this was the best i could do. (maybe becoming more familiar with my camera is something i should do in 2014? put it on the list!)




the main reason we went to joshua tree was to climb, and we weren't the only ones; almost everyone we saw had a bouldering pad or climbing gear. as we drove along, rcg was a broken record (in a super cute way), "i could climb that. oh, and that. and that. or maybe that?" so we got up with the sun and headed to the hidden valley campground where a lot of the boulders were located. we spent most of the morning working on problems and climbing rocks. and it was a blast!

(the climbing guide we used is here, but there are tons of other sites that you could use to find good routes; look around and find what works best for you.)


can you see us? we're imitating the joshua tree.

instead of exiting the park where we came in, we decided to drive all the way through to reach the highway on the other side. and just when you thought the landscape would never change, joshua tree forests on both sides of the road, with large boulders in between, we stumbled upon "jumbo rocks", a veritable rock playground. we spent some time playing on the rocks and then headed on our way.

for more information about joshua tree, 
the climbing, camping, history, etc.,