I just had a quarter of a bavarian creme Top Pot donut for the first time since two years ago. It's funny how the sole act of eating something you love (usually sweets for me) makes you happy. Well it feels like bliss until three bites turn into ten and nausea starts to replace the happiness. But I still like my sweets and the occasional Red Velvet Cupcake Royale Jin surprises me with on random days never gets old.
Speaking of food (you might see a pattern here though I swear I'm not affiliated with any groups that begin with "Food-obsessed" and end in "Anonymous" no matter what my friends may tell you), we finally had a chance to go to some of our favorite restaurants on our first free weekend in a while. It felt nice to be back to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the food, each other's company and good service since it's always a combination of all these things that really makes a restaurant "go-back-to" worthy. We joke how our ideal of a night out has slowly transformed from going out dancing to a nice evening out at happy hour, though dancing once in a while like at Sway in San Diego is always a blast, just in moderation like the donut.
We didn't do anything too crazy over the long, holiday weekend which was nice. We followed lunch at Tamarind Tree with a stop at one of our favorite stores, Kasala, in So-Do (where we had one of our first impromptu, on-the-spot photoshoots) and magically left with a large 8x10 rug. If you know us the way we probably only do, impulse purchases don't exist in our vocabulary. Put in short, it takes two hours to decide on a cutting board at Crate and Barrel on a good day. But as much as we like to be smart with our purchases, we also like to be random once in a while. So as we wandered over to the rug section, there it was. The funky rug we'd been eyeing for the last year at Kasala. Maybe not particularly because we were in love with it but because it just stood out because it was different, artsy, had character. And right then we made history with these two lines, "Should we get it?", "Let's do it!" So after betting each other over who got our regular salesperson's name right we left with the rug stuffed into the back of my Honda with Kimmy's crate plopped on top (before stopping by another furniture store of course and picking up some Korean food.) The impulse buy turned out to be a good one when we got home because we loved how the current rug in the living room looked in the office. The warm colors added a lot of character and texture to the space as did our newly purchased rug to the living room.
Adding to our shopping ventures, Jin came across some treasures while shopping. Things he'd been searching for for a long time. I think because we are very picky with our purchases we can stand to shop together as it might drive other people nuts. Plus I really value his opinion on things since we have the same taste. But I know how hard it is to find something that I really love and how rewarding it is when I find it so I was really happy for him. It's the simple things in life, right?
The empty weekend also allowed us to do some much-needed tidying to our home which was really nice. Clean home, clean mind. I'd been itching to bake since I haven't had a chance to in a while so I was making up for lost time by baking two things at once and that was me being good as I had enough juice in me to bake a cake for a 250-person wedding. Maybe it was the sugar rush. I attempted my first cinnamon roll and peach strudel. I had just as much fun rolling the dough as I did photographing my results using on-camera flash bouncing off of the pure white ceiling and using a cutting board as a white base for my dish.
For our Sunday dinner, we had a chance to meet my mom which is always nice and full of laughter. I always appreciate how easygoing and funny she is, her sense of humor. Minus the frequent "go to church" outbursts and there you have perfection (just teasing as I love her for all that she is though she is a little overworrysome at times by mother's nature.) As she was pleading us to stay out of the hot sun to prevent freckles and telling us to brush our teeth every night, Jin was joking that we never floss and she was almost in tears (luckily from laughter.) It's cute how much she likes Jin as if he was her own son and that's all that matters to me as I know of many Korean mothers that have a very strict, militarian ideal of who they want their daughters to marry. So I feel very blessed.
We planned for movie night but decided to watch a documentary on NetFlix about design. It was really intriguing and a guy from Apple was talking about how they conceptualize and invent their products. It is stripped to only the necessary parts, removing as much bulk possible. I believe this is why Apple is the leading industry standard to products that are released today. One quote that stands out is that you design it the way it should be so the consumer's reactions is, "why would it be any other way?" This is so true. There are so many products out there that could have been made so much better (or nicer way of saying "crap".) This also reminded me of the design principle, simplicity is key which I've always lived by. And this applies to many things in life, including photography. You take things out of your composition one at a time until you are left with only the elements that are necessary to convey your story or your point. That way you declutter. The brain is not attracted to clutter. Like clean house, clean mind. Clean design, clean message, happy viewer.
We were also practicing a lot of photography over the weekend and Jin had me set up the lightstand from square one, something he usually does. I learned he is a very serious teacher that doesn't like to mess around. But I had fun having it the other way around and using Jin as my practice model as I was shooting him from different angles, from up above, down below with the off-camera light with uhm-brella (as Zack Arias likes to say it) placed at different distances from the subject. I was also practicing the inverse square law for the first time and it was really satisfying to physically create what I had been reading about since that's the real test of knowledge. The room was actually a lot brighter than it looks in the picture below but the placement of the lighting made the sconces look almost like candles in a pitch dark dark room. Thanks Jin for being my model and teacher as there will be many more times to come :)
All in all we were able to make some purchases we were really happy with, eat some of our favorite foods, spend time with family, create a clean home. Clean equals happy. And to me that is the ideal, productive weekend.