A Tea Party

The Tea RoomThe Tea Room

This room just says “Put the kettle on and grab some snacks. We are going to have a girls day in!”



A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing: Routine & The Outdoors

A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing: Routine & The Outdoors

I have been missing my daily posts as of late because of work and climbing a heck of a lot more. By the time I get home, I’m so tuckered out that I can’t even crawl to my computer. In an older post I talked about the gear I recently purchased and the items you will need to get started. Now that I have the gear and I’ve been climbing for a little over 4 months I have definitely had to learn how to manage my time in order to fit everything in. It has been both a painful and rewarding experience and I want to first talk about how making a schedule is one of the most important things to becoming a better climber.

When I know I need to get off the couch and into some climbing shoes I look at my calendar. It gets me motivated to drive myself to the gym and work some problems. Try to start calendaring when you will be climbing, taking breaks, and doing other cardio. I’ve used DESIGNLOVEFEST’s calendar design (it’s just so darn cute) and added my workout routine for the month. It really has kept me on task and helped show my progress with bouldering and top rope. You can download the PDF here: climbing calendar march 2013

climbing calendar march 2013

The second thing I have learned from this short time is that you can’t just climb at the gym. You need to go outside. Climb on real rock. You will be bloody and sore and bruised the first time you go out but it is well worth it. My callouses and fingertips have become so much tougher because of it. Also my footwork is better because of all of the small surfaces and unexpected moves you get from climbing on natural rock. I have gone from climbing 5.8 to now climbing 5.10C. That is a huggggge jump! My boyfriend and I have been focusing most of our attention in Joshua Tree National Park or just up in the hills of Riverside. If you are worried about going alone, check out your local Meetup groups.

In the next post I’ll be talking about the incredibly painful and all too familiar flapper! Stay tuned.

The World of Coraline

Coraline concept art Coraline concept art Coraline concept art

Coraline is a delight to read and a wonderful film to see. Every bit of it is beautifully done. From the circus mice, to the Other Mother, it’s everything I could hope for in a children’s story. The environments are so rich because of the juxtaposition between the dark and unsettling world and the whimsical kooky characters. I know the film and the book are a couple of years old now but I stumbled upon some Coraline concept art and fell in love all over again. I couldn’t help but share them.

Low Carb Broccoli & Beef

Low Carb Broccoli & Beef

SOOOO happy with how this recipe turned out. It was juicy and garlicky. Tangy and slightly sweet. Just perfect. If you need a quick recipe to throw together for dinner, this one is a great time saver without skipping on the flavor.


Beef Sirloin Tip (thin cuts)
1 Tbl crushed garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup mushrooms
Bag of microwavable broccoli
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
pepper to taste


Thinly slice the beef into 2 inch long strips. In a large sauce pan on medium heat, place 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and crushed garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Place meat in and cook for 3 minutes. Then add low sodium soy sauce, mushrooms and ground pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes, take off heat, and let rest. Pop the bag of broccoli into the microwave to steam (see bag directions for appropriate cooking time). Once broccoli is steamed, add it into the pan. Add the teriyaki sauce and toss all ingredients.

Digital vs Hand Cut

Eiko Ojala

Eiko Ojala

Eiko Ojala

Anna Härlin

Anna Härlin

Anna Härlin

I always find it interesting that in our world of computers and digital media artists like to imitate paper. With Photoshop and Illustrator, designers are able to add a paper texture or use a drop shadow to make these imitations look more realistic. To me, it will always lack the depth and impact you achieve from the real thing. With Eiko Ojala work, he melds both digital and paper together using real paper layered on top of one another and then adds shadows and details to enhance each layer. His work keeps me on my toes because I am never quite sure if the details are digitally enhanced or actually cut out.

I have a soft spot for paper crafts like Anna Harlin’s highly detailed structures that only uses paper to create the end product. A good portion of my college career as an art major involved me spending hours upon hours cutting out paper sculptures. I guess that could be why I hold such a high regard for Harlin’s work. It takes time, a steady hand, and dedication to create paper art.