January 28, 2013



It’s the candid shots that always win me over. Simple. Natural. Real. The subtle details that bring me right back to that exact time and place. Not the touristy stock photos that every traveler goes home with, but the unique personal experiences that only I could catch with my camera.

After teaching a semester in Thailand, my friend Rachel and I slept on very looong bus rides from Bangkok to Cambodia, then Cambodia to Vietnam. Some of my favorite photos from that trip were actually taken from the bus windows. The cities were crazy busy, like nothing I had ever seen before and the slower countryside was an unforgettable green. Thriving. Lush and tropical.

I loved every minute, especially the authentic phở!!! This traditional Vietnamese soup (pronounced ‘fuh’) is my absolute favorite. First, there’s this amazing broth: cardamom, star anise, ginger, coriander, and fennel mingle as they simmer for over 24 hours. Then it’s served with rice noodles and thinly-sliced rare steak that cooks instantly, once added to the steaming deliciousness.

Just before the rest of the world cuts out, garnish with fresh basil, lime, bean sprouts, and chili peppers. PERFECTION. It’s also a healthy cold remedy and the best hangover cure. Enjoy it with a tall glass of fresh coconut juice or Thai iced tea. Trust me. And thank God for the phở restaurants in San Diego…I’d probably die without it!

January 24, 2013

ernesto yerena


Pretty sure I’ve mentioned how much talent was walking through the hallways at the Art Institute, and it was here, about five years ago that I shared a few classes with Ernesto Yerena. I didn’t get the chance to know him very well, and I’m assuming that he doesn’t even remember me. But thanks to social media, I came across some of his recent work and was blown away. After a little research, I found his story, courtesy of White Walls Gallery in San Francisco:

“As a child, Ernesto lived and attended school in the United States; however most of his free time was spent hanging out with his family south of the border in Mexicali…Constantly crossing the border gave Ernesto a unique perspective, and in his eyes, the best of both worlds. He had access to the free education of the first world and the cultural richness and authenticity of the third world…Ernesto began college at the age of 17 and has since received his BA in Graphic Design and worked as artist assistant to Shepard Fairey of Obey Giant. In his own artwork, Ernesto focuses mainly on cultural subjects and issues within the Chicano community.”


His body of work stands strong, defined, beautiful. A modern take on history and culture with the perfect color palette – earthy yet fresh. Highly skilled stencil work. Meticulous detail contrasted with layered texture. Emotional portraits spray painted with pride. And of course I love the collage backgrounds :)


Check out more of Ernesto’s inspiring art at hechoconganas.com. You can also find nice videos of his creative process at White Walls Gallery.

January 23, 2013

collage : wanderlust


Travel. The world keeps moving and you must keep up. Take in all that surrounds you. Be able to honestly say that you have an open mind. Reinvent yourself often. Stay young mentally any way you can. Never stop learning; it’s not too late and there’s always room for improvement. As long as there are doors to open, dream BIG.

When I first realized that my current full-time position was coming to an end, I was a little skeptical about my financial situation. But after a few weeks of budgeting and planning ahead, I’ve decided to take advantage of this temporary freedom to do the things that just didn’t make it to the top of my priority list before.

This mainly addresses traveling of any kind. My bf and I already have a few mini vacay destinations in mind: Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Charleston… Some of my best friends are scattered across the country, my family’s on the east coast, and Europe is still very much a MUST in my book. I know these trips are possible, even with a slightly tighter bank account. I just have to dig for deals, do a little research and weigh out my options. My entire 6 months in Thailand was based on these ideas. I’ve learned that anything can happen, and I won’t let that little thing called money get in my way!

I’ll keep you posted on my wanderlust status, but I’m hoping to pin down some dates very soon! If you had all the time in the world, where would you go???

January 14, 2013

winter white


Chic and bright. Clean and bold. This fresh winter white sample has a little bit of a bite compared to those creamier hues. Break away from bleak. Direct. Defiant. Pure, simple and clear.

January 10, 2013

jessica davis photography

Baby photography

While working at a custom print shop a few years back, I was amazed at the work coming in from our regular customers. Our little office was like a magnet for talented designers and photographers. As we provided the service of bringing their art to paper, I was swimming in inspiration.


Among the long list of creatives, a few gems have carved a space in my memory. One of which is portrait and travel photographer Jessica Davis. We’ve never met in person, but I’m happy enough to have been introduced to her work.


Warm. Glowing. Sweet. I especially love her black and whites, newborn photo shoots, and travel albums. Her series of portraits in Thailand look very familiar to me ;) With a great sense of composition, Jessica truly has a way of capturing her subjects in the perfect light. Both sentimental and timeless, precious little babies and adorable siblings will always melt my heart. Be sure to visit her extensive portfolio and check out her beautiful letterpress business cards (created by Delphine).


*All photos in my collages above are the works of Jessica Davis Photography.

January 8, 2013

little italy mercato


I’ve fallen in love with the farmer’s markets in San Diego, especially Little Italy’s Saturday Mercato on India Street. The freshest fruits and veggies. Buttery sweet cakes and cookies. Perfect flowers and handmade jewelry. Live music and fine art. Inspiring all year round.


I always try to bring friends/family who are visiting from out of town – there’s something for everyone. But my weekend trips to the Mercato are never complete until I get my Green Fix Smoothie – a healthy blend of leafy greens with a splash of apple juice. It may not sound like a popular favorite, but if you can, try a sample at least. You won’t regret it!