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These neighboring houses while walking around Potrero Hill in San Francisco.

 

Things have been a bit quieter around these parts because of a few big projects that I’ve been finishing up, but I’m looking forward to sharing a bunch of them really soon!

I spent last weekend in Philadelphia and one of the highlights of the trip was celebrating Holi, the festival of colors, at UPenn with some good friends that go to Wharton. I haven’t celebrated Holi since I was a kid and visiting family in India, and I forgot how much FUN this holiday is. Imagine a field filled with people wearing white, running around, throwing colored powder in every color imaginable on each other. It’s messy, colorful, and we laughed until our stomachs hurt. At the end, we had color ALL over ourselves—in our hair, on our faces, and on every inch of exposed skin. The powder is non toxic and the kind we used actually washed out very quickly and amazingly well, so there were no issues with the color staining anything.

The people going all out also had water guns and hoses, but I preferred playing with the dry color because it’s not quite warm enough yet to get wet. Some of the Wharton students who had kids brought them and the kids looked like they were having the time of their lives. I saw some kid laughing so hard while he was throwing color on his own head that I thought he was going to explode. It was adorable.

Holi makes for some awesome photography, too (we took these photos really quickly with my iPhone wrapped in a plastic bag). I especially love the color dust and puffs of smoke that you get from throwing the powder around.

I’ve noticed how much I enjoy photographing facades of buildings. There’s so much diversity in them—loads of fun colors and details, too. I recommend Ulysses’ for a beer, Miss Lily’s for brunch, Jeffery’s Grocery for happy hour, and Gia’s Garden Jewels for a slice of East Village local flavor.

All photos from Instagram

You all read this article about the ‘Busy Trap’ that came out a while ago, right? Well, this year I’ve been consciously trying to get rid of the word ‘busy’ from my vocabulary. When someone asks me how work or life is, I really try my hardest not to say ‘busy’ anymore. Let’s be honest, everyone is busy. And no one is so busy 24/7 that they don’t have time to catch up on Netflix, take a Buzzfeed quiz every so often or obsessively follow all the updates for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight (I can’t help it… I’ve become obsessed. It’s such a sad and intriguing story).

My endeavor to not use the word busy has been going ok, but the problem is, sometimes the words I end up using are just as banal and not descriptive at all. “It’s been going ‘good’, ‘awesome’, ‘great’, ‘ok’, ‘terribly’”… I need better ways of answering the question of how things are going. But then again, are people actually asking me because they want me to give them a descriptive answer or just because it’s the polite, obvious thing to ask anyone in a conversation and they just want a one word answer? Nonetheless, “busy”—be gone!


When I was in Santiago, I went to go see one of Pablo Neruda’s houses, La Chascona. The place was amazing. He loved art, the ocean, architecture, collecting odds and ends, and being inspired by his surroundings. He was friends with artists, writers, politicians and a lot of really interesting people. Entertaining his interesting friends was his M.O. and he even had 2 entirely separate bars in his house—is that brilliant or what? He believed that to do interesting work, one needed to be surrounded by interesting people and interesting things. His house is filled with his shell, glass and furniture collections, works of art from his famous artist friends, and tokens from each of the places he has visited throughout his life. Truly a labor of love.

The idea of surrounding yourself with interesting people and things really resonated with me throughout the trip. I thought about how the objects and people we surround ourselves with effect our everyday and creatives lives. While I’m all for the home goods, furniture and trinkets that we get from the stores that we tend to frequent, I dream of one day having a house that’s filled with objects from my travels, objects that have a story, and special objects given to me by my friends. I want my home to be a place that inspires conversation, thought, and interesting creative work. I know it’s a no brainer that most people tend to surround themselves with things they like and things that have meaning, but I want to start doing it with more intention. My favorite things from Chile are probably the rocks I picked up (for free) that came from each of the different hikes that we took. And the ceramic pig because he’s making the McKayla face— he’s irresistible.

 


 

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 has started off with a bang for you. My eyes already started hurting from being on the computer at around 2pm so I’ve got a ways to go…

 

Photo: Taken by me 

 

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt while working for myself in 2013, is that enthusiasm is pretty powerful. Enthusiasm makes it easier to get up in the morning, gets you through the day, and makes it easier to get through rough times.

Throughout this year when I look back at the people I met who I found myself most drawn to, all these people share the characteristic of being infectiously enthusiastic. The people who I found myself respecting, were not only talented, but really enthusiastic about their work, their inspirations, and sharing knowledge. Talking and hanging out with them would start making me feel like I could do anything—the sky is the limit! I became aware of my own levels of enthusiasm and how good it feels to share it with other like minded people. I’m not talking about trying to be sickeningly sweet Miss Suzy Sunshine all the time, but being someone who finds their work and life energizing and who wants to share that energy. Being surrounded by and giving off positive energy is pretty transformative.

 

 

 

I’m off to a South American adventure for the rest of 2013! The plan is to spend a couple of days in Bogota while on the way in and out, and then Chile to see the desert, mountains, beaches, and cities. Chile has some of the most diverse geography in the world because it’s so darn long, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us. In anticipation of this trip, I tried to brush up on my Spanish, but the Duolingo lessons only lasted about 2 weeks. Whoops. If communication is limited to colors, animals, family members, and all present tense conjugations of the verb ‘ser’, I should have no language problems at all.

I have a few posts scheduled for the rest of 2013, but if you want to follow along with my trip, you can follow me on Instagram. I promise I won’t overpost :)

 

Photo

 

It was a cold and snowy weekend here on the East Coast. The snow always makes New York so magical… for the first few hours. When I was on my way to a holiday party on Saturday night, the snow covered streets looked beautiful and the city looked like it was in a snow globe. When I left the party later on in the night, the snow was replaced by rain and the white blanket on the ground was replaced by black slush and 6 inch puddles. I suppose beauty really is fleeting.

 

 

I love these words. I believe it’s a modified version of Bill Gate’s quote, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”, but please tell me if this version has an actual author/sayer! Very few things I’ve read lately have rang truer to me than this saying and I need to put this on my wall. Note to self: think beyond the to-do list, think about the bigger picture, and be patient. Always remember to be patient.