Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Last-Minute Ideas


These orange sorbet desserts are super easy and only 2 ingredients: oranges and ice cream. Martha Stewart recommends orange or mango, but vanilla or chocolate would be delicious too!

See instructions HERE.


Or how about these spider deviled eggs?


Recipe HERE via Sunset.


Happy Birthday to my Dad
& my brother!


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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blog Couture

What Bloggers Wear

I was so excited to finally have some time to get out with the new tripod and my new Blog Couture shirt from the uber cool Gabby from Gyspy Diaries!








How do you sport your Blog Couture?


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A Cup of Jo

I woke up this morning and saw the Photography Getaways daily views was 1,568 yesterday! Holy smokes...  thank you Joanna at A Cup of Jo!!



See Joanna's Friday Link List HERE!


xoxo,
nicolette

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Holiday Tealight Project & Ornaments

Happy Friday!

I am so smitten with these DIY holiday tealight candles...



For instructions on How To, see HERE.
This can be applied to all holidays, just use a different color.

Also, my holiday ornaments are now available on Etsy...



This year these photos are available too... in case you'd rather hang holiday art in a frame...
or perhaps a holiday card set!







Have a Happy & Safe Halloween Weekend!


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spooky Travels

Travel Thursday


Here are some pics with a darker edge for this week of Halloween...



 


1.  Cemetary in Philadelphia.
2.  Old building near the Simplon Pass in Switzerland.
3.  Church and clock tower in Tirano, Italy. (On the Swiss-Italian border.)


Happy Spooky Traveling!


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Macaron Tea Party

Good Eats Wednesday



If you didn't read about my planned Macaron Tea Party... that's ok, because here it is!
It turned out excellent! Mom and I highly enjoyed our macaron sampling session. However, they did not show up until towards the end of my vacation, so we had to eat most of them in one sitting. Oh ouch, how rich!


This is my Pink dedication to Breast Cancer Awareness Month!




I thought the Green Tea & Black Sesame would be our favorites... being that we both adore these flavors, but we highly loved: Lemon, Lavendar, & Rose. All very fragrant. The lemon is fresh and tart, the lavendar made with real lavendar as you can see, and the rose is made with rose water, which has an aroma with every bite.

Of course the chocolate and caramel were amazing too!



Did you notice just how Green our Green tea is, well it's because this stuff is the real deal. The only green tea I can practically drink now... thanks a lot Mom for spoiling me with the best. It comes in a package with Japanese writing... the reason it tastes so good... toasted rice! Luckily, she did surprise me with my own bag. (If you'd like to try it, you can order HERE, she is extremely health conscious, so this stuff is very healthy!)



Aren't these the coolest pictures?! I swear a photographer can never relax!
I was on the couch, after just waking up and saw the stream of steam from mom's makeshift teapot / strainer, so I ran to get my camera, as I had to capture it with the morning light and steam illuminated by the cool October morning.



Another thing this Floridian couldn't resist was a jog to feel the cold morning air in my lungs, something I never get to experience since living here. So, I went for a run and saw a hot air balloon!


The Lavendar macaron toast!
See the little lavendar seeds,
you just feel relaxed as soon you take a bite.




Bon appetit!!!


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Nanowrimo 2011

Calling All Writers!




For those of you who don't know what Nanowrimo is... it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is your chance to set a goal and write a novel, but here's the catch... all within ONE month! 175 pgs (50,000 words)... that's right, just one month. It doesn't cost a thing, although they do take donations... it's just a chance to set a goal, especially if you've always wanted to write a book.

Last year, I participated, and though I didn't quite complete the 50,000, I did get halfway. So I'm thinking, that if I catch the Nanowrimo fever, I may complete this task of finishing my first fiction novel!

What is my book about, you ask? I've never really shared before, BUT it's about an American girl who has opened her own patisserie/ bakery in the idyllic town of Zermatt, Switzerland. That's all I can say for now!

FYI... two fabulous bloggers that actually completed their first novel, because of this announcement last year on Simply Colette are Teri @ Girl Meets Paris and Kori @ Blonde Episodes. Isn't that fantastic?!

So ladies... and gents (if you're out there), if you've ever had the idea you'd like to write your own book, NOW is the time! My advice, type like hell... don't stop, don't edit. Just create, and see where you end up!

Sign up HERE!
P.s. If you finish... I wanna hear about, and feature you!
P.s.s. There is a Write-a-thon held for participants on Nov. 21st,
overlooking the city lights of San Francisco!

Keyboards up!
Beginning this Monday, Nov 1st!

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It's Monday

PB Love

I am in adoration with this cheery seasonal duvet cover at Pottery Barn. I admit I spend way too much time flipping and re-flipping through their catalogs...




What is your favorite magazine or catalog
that you can waste away the day reading?
Or blog for that matter?


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Who am I?





Daughter
Girlfriend
Granddaughter
Sister
Step-sister
Mama to my pets


Writer
Photographer
Blogger
Traveler
Cook
Baker
Card Maker
Ex-Fashionista
Artist
Entrepreneur


Nurturer
Animal Lover
Giver
Traditionalist
Simplistic
Naturalist
Independent
Aspirer


Californian.
Floridian.
Oregon Duck Alum.
Magazine Grad.
Copyeditor.
Fantasy B&B owner.
Holiday Lover.



 
So...
Who are YOU?

(This post is in participation with the Who Am I series by Erika at Tiptoe Butterfly.)


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Saturday, October 23, 2010

This & That

from California

Mom and I stumbled upon the historic downtown distict of Auburn by accident, another charming gold rush town. We ended up spending a nice afternoon there. I love when the best things in life are unplanned sometimes. We found an old fashioned candy store, where we shared lemon drops and flavored honey sticks, one of my favorite childhood treats...

This cute mountain bear cookie cutter was the only souvenier I purchased on my trip, I later realized. I generally try to purchase something for the kitchen now on each trip. It's special to have a souvenier that I can actually see in the kitchen and use on a regular basis, rather than a T-shirt or key chain that will get lost in some junk drawer.


We popped into the Auburn Alehouse to try the Oktoberfest beer made 'in house'.
I rarely drink beer now due to a wheat allergy,
so it was a nice treat. I used to enjoy specialized brews every now and then.
(My all-time favorite is the Apricot Ale by Pyramid,
which I can't get anymore since it is made in Seattle.)



We had just eaten lunch, but since we stopped in... we decided to try the Shangai Beef Wraps.



Tea Thyme Treasues was one of my favorite shops in Auburn!


This "Afternoon Tea Parties" book is on my holiday list!
Hint, hint! 
Isn't the tea cozy adorable too?


We stayed one night at my grandma's house...
her TV remote was such a riot!
Look how huge it is!!



&
I finally wore my new navy tights!


xoxo,
nicolette

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Friday, October 22, 2010

A Photographer's Journal

Series 1



I am so pleased that I purchased my new lens (Nikon 70-200mm) prior to my vacation. It's a great semi all-purpose lens, and really contributed to the quality of some of my photos this trip to Las Vegas and Truckee. Completely a great bargain for the quality.



But I HATE power lines. For the past few years they have been making an appearance in many of my city, landscape and scenery pics. I was trained to be a photojournalist rather than a artistic photographer, and was taught that it is a major violation to alter photos because it makes them false, ie. "to remove a power line is lying about the setting or place" therefore I've had the hardest time making alterations to photos. Well, I'm not a photojournalist now, so I'm slowly stepping out on the limb. I realize now, that to keep up with competition, it's almost always a necessity to brighten, crop, etc., to make an image more appealing. While it's best just to aim for natural skill, circumstances don't always allow one to get that flawlessly stunning image a perfectionist so craves. (For instance on the photo below- I LOVE the contrast of reflection, but the ducks need to be lighter. I made no modifications to this image, but in order to be truly compelling, their may need to be some minor adjustments.)

Thus, I take many shots of the same thing, standing in a different angle, positioning the lighting ever so lightly different, zoom, pan out, you get the picture... that's way I always max out my memory card and admit to the rookie move of not having a spare one hand, or forgetting to charge the battery that night.





It's funny at the end of the day, because the photos you have the greatest expectations for, sometimes just never quite turn out the way your hoped for, and that can be ok if you get photos in turn that turn out fantastic that you never saw coming or planned for-- kind of like life's little rule of thumb.



It's an odd thing looking at the world through the eyes of a photographer, you learn to see the world in a little tiny framed box, and love playing with that frame. The people I'm traveling with sometimes who aren't as into photography as I am, sometimes don't understand that when you see something compelling, you must stop and capture it at once. That opportunity to get the same image sometimes never exists... ie, the time of day, weather, circumstances. I always like to shoot as much as I can the first couple of days, as I call it, "the awe and wonder" of the tourist or seeing things for the first time. Things are never quite the same on the third or fourth day upon location, by that time the "awe and wonder" or newness has already run it's course.




What are some of the things you've learned along the way?

Have a great weekend!


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