Wednesday, January 30, 2013

a neighborhood walk with my new friend

I have a new friend. A Canon Powershot SX10 IS, to be exact. I am so, so excited to work on my photography skills with this excellent camera (but I know that I can't be lazy now and put up sub-par photos, blaming them on my point & shoot camera's limitations).

A lot of the plants in my neighborhood look like they belong in Jurassic Park.

Of course, I had to play with the settings and focus of my new friend.

And I had to get some shots of my favorite tree on the block--this spiny fellow:

Shall I end with a quintessential Southern California picture? I think I shall.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

peak hours

Yep, I'm still posting about that road trip I took in August/September.

You drive right into Grand Teton National Park when exiting Yellowstone. I wish I had a week to hike and camp there. The mountains were un-be-lievable. At one point I actually exclaimed, "I can't believe these peaks!!!"

I felt like I had stepped directly into Middle Earth's Misty Mountains (super nerdy reference).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inspired by: Elle Fanning

I first saw these photographs by Pierre Debusschere over at Honestly, WTF and followed their link to and interview over at Bullet Magazine. Elle Fanning is one of my favorite current actors--I am always amazed by how normal she is. It seems popular for young celebrities these days to act moody, angsty, and "over it" as an attempt to seem cool. Based on interviews I've seen and read, Elle retains a genuine enthusiasm for her job which is hard to come by in Hollywood.

Friday, January 11, 2013

we're all made of stars

Paying for parking almost everywhere I go is one of the...joys...I've had to get used to in this city. There are a lot of free museums, galleries, events, etc. taking place BUT parking is often a hefty fee. Street parking is "always" available, provided that you can find any and risk getting a ticket for some sign you overlooked. However, if you do a little research (aka googling) you can find activities that are free WITH free parking--hooray!

The Griffith Observatory is free WITH free parking. And amazing. And has breathtaking views of the city, ocean, mountains, and Hollywood sign. The views are most famously seen in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause" starring James Dean. We parked on the road about 1/4-1/2 mile down from the observatory and walked up the hill, taking in the incredible views and commenting on how "Californian" it is to have snowy peaks on our left, the downtown skyline in front of us, and the glinting ocean to our right. Oh, and we weren't wearing coats of any kind. In January. Even the first ten minutes of our trip were exciting, and we hadn't even gotten up to the building!

The observatory was like a candy shop and I was a sugar addicted child. I have always been endlessly interested in space exploration and the universe, and even Dane was pretty impressed (I think) by the gorgeous building and vibrant displays. I think his favorite display was the giant Foucault's Pendulum in the entry way--a demonstration of the rotation of the earth on its axis.

The ball at the end of the pendulum knocks over a peg every seven minutes or so. The simple explanation of this setup is that the pendulum stays in a fixed swing and the earth rotates around it. We witnessed an exciting moment when the ball nudged a peg almost over, but then grew impatient waiting for it to knock it completely down and moved on.

I loved that the observatory was separated into two wings. The Hall of the Sky (lunar movement, stellar life)...

...and The Hall of the Eye. This wing explored the history of telescopes and observation of the cosmos.

 The lower level focuses on our solar system and our perspective of the galaxy.

Visitors are welcome to explore the roof of the building and its telescopes (not so much during daylight, unfortunately) and great views (excellent during daylight, fortunately).

I can't wait to come back--the plan is to visit in the morning to hike in Griffith Park, pack a picnic lunch, then visit the observatory again and stay for a live show at the planetarium!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

renewed focus

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in quite some time, and I apologize! In December, besides rushing around trying to get it together for the holidays, I was working quite a lot while training for a half marathon. However, I finally have secured a full time job that I'm happy with and my race is on Sunday, so I feel like I have time to return to lionheart.

During my blogging hiatus, I took some time to think through how I wanted to blog in 2013. This online world can come with a lot of pressure sometimes--there are so many blogs out there that crank out one or more posts every single day, are always creating new recipes and crafts and outfits, and it can get exhausting trying to keep up. So I asked myself: what do I want to blog about? The question seems simple (and I asked myself this when I first started) but I arrived at a new answer this time. This is a not for profit blog (I don't have sponsors or ads), so I can write about anything without outside pressure. Yes, I want to share recipes and crafts with you, but only if they are something I will truly eat or use. After moving to LA, I don't exactly have the disposable income to be making daily trips to Michael's anymore! The posts I have loved writing and revisiting the most are focused on places I discover (near and far) and the adventures I find along the way. So in this new year, I plan to write more about where I'm going and I'm up to, with the occasional recipe/craft when they so arise. I'm aiming to post 2-3 times per week.

The design of the blog will be tweaked slightly to reflect my new focus. Don't worry, I don't know enough about graphic design and HTML to change it too much!

These are photos of the Love & Peace Spiral at Runyon Canyon, taken during a hike with some dear friends on New Year's Eve. I don't know who built it or maintains it, but it is a lovely and inspiring place.

It's great to see you again!