Thursday, June 20, 2013

where the mountains meet the sea

Southern California may be praised for its gorgeous beaches and perfect weather, but let me tell you, the central coast is really something to see. We drove up PCH (the famous US Hwy 1) to Big Sur, and the rocky cliffs and lumbering mountains were unbelievably beautiful. I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- there are so. many. amazing. places. in the US. If you're planning any sort of road trip/ RV trip around the country, US Hwy 1 is absolutely necessary (and I have only seen a few hours stretch! I can't even imagine how amazing the views are in the PNW.)

Can you believe the colors? And I don't even own Photoshop, so these are just rudimentarily edited through my basic iPhoto setup.

It really feels like the edge of the world.

Monday, June 17, 2013

elephant seals are a real thing

Have you ever watched Planet Earth or a special on Discovery Channel/Animal Planet that featured a segment on elephant seals? I bet you thought the same thing I did: "What?!? Those things aren't real. This is some expensive CGI creation trying to grab viewers." Turns out these weird, alien-like seals actually do exist-- and in California, only a few hours north of me!

Dane & I headed north this past weekend to scope out some wedding sites in Big Sur, about 90 miles of the central coastal area of California. Just when we were entering the Big Sur area, we spotted a sign for an elephant seal lookout point. We decided to stop, but didn't have high hopes of actually seeing any seals.  We were very, very wrong!

The elephant seals were staying cool and preventing sunburn by throwing sand onto themselves with their little flippers. It was adorable to see little puffs of sand flying.

[looks like Dane chose to focus on the elephant seals for this photo... :) ]

Monday, June 3, 2013

totoro cupcakes!

My friend had a birthday party this weekend, and I surprised her with cupcakes that look like My Neighbor Totoro (since we share a mutual love for the movie). This is cheating a bit in the "recipe" department, since the cupcakes are just boxed Funfetti mix. The frosting is homemade, though, and still needs a bit of tweaking (these little guys melted just slightly on the way over, in the hot car). I'm determined to perfect the recipe.

The detailing was easy, since I had bought one of those "gel icing" tubes from the grocery store in black. Instead of cutting the top off, I pricked it with a pin to get a very fine line. If you're curious about the gray colored icing, I just used 2 drops each of red, blue, and yellow food coloring and mixed very well. It turned out to be the perfect shade!