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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chinese New Years

Hello, one. Hello, all. Stevie here. Shelby and I went to the Chinese New Years festival held every year downtown. For those of you who aren't sure what Chinese New Years is all about, it's the mark of the new year for the Chinese culture. Chinese New Years falls on a different day every year, based on the lunar calendar. It always falls on the second moon after the winter solstice. Here's a great link if you're interested in learning more about the holiday.

This is the third year Shelby and I have gone together, and we have photo traditions. What is a photo tradition? Well, some people always take photos in front of the Christmas tree for Christmas. I take a photo of Shelby with a Chinese paper fan every Chinese New Year. Seriously. I have three pictures of her holding a Chinese fan like she's Mulan or something.

Shelby looking like Mulan
We decided to have a mini shoot whilst downtown, and I have to say, it was pretty fantastic. Shelby wore these cute high waisted shorts from a thrift shop (no, she didn't have to pop any tags.) I just wore my brother's bleached Nixon tank top and a pleated skirt from American Apparel, since that's the only place that sells clothes that actually fit my body type.

Shelby in her cute shorts
Me in my flow-y skirt

The last two years we've been to the fair, we've seen people with rice picking hats, but never knew where they got them. We wanted some so very bad. We couldn't find them. Anywhere. How lame. 
BUT THIS WAS THE YEAR, READERS. THIS WAS THE YEAR WE GOT OUR RICE PICKING HATS. They're pretty cute, I'm not gonna lie, and they do a great job at keeping the sun from blinding your eyes, which is a problem we have here in southern California, even in the winter time. 

We didn't get good photos of the fun dragons and people dressed up because of the crowds (damn, people.) However, we got a lot of awesome shots. Some are posted on our Flickr, my Instagram, and our Peculiar Curls Instagram. So be sure to check all of those out and have a wonderful week. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nikon D3200 Review

Oh my lantas.
It's been so long since I've posted; Stevie convinced me to write a review on my Nikon camera, so here we are. This past Christmas, I begged my parents to buy me a Nikon camera. I wanted a DSLR with interchangeable lens and all the fancy shmancy adjustments. I did my research and stumbled upon the Nikon D3200.
God's gift to photographers, I'm telling you, is this model of Nikon DSLRs.
Adjustable apertures? Done.
Fantastic focusing (even on manual)? Psh, yeah.
Clarity with every photo? Boo-ya.

If you like light-weight, get-up-and-shoot cameras with a nice grip, crystal clear quality, and tons of features you can adjust (no flash, capturing children and pets, nighttime friendly settings, etc), then the Nikon D3200 is a model you should consider purchasing!

Of course, the content of your photos are all your doing, but the Nikon D3200 has a way of guiding you in the right direction. With 24.2 megapixels, this camera does not disappoint. The clarity of the photos will definitely impress you, as well as the bonus 1080p video recording feature. At local Best Buy retailers, the Nikon D3200 ranges from about $500-$800, depending on whether or not you'll be purchasing the starter kit!

My parents bought me the starter kit, which includes the camera itself, standard 18-55mm lenses, as well as an additional 55-200mm Nikkor lenses.

For more details regarding pricing, technical features, and general overviews of the Nikon D3200, click HERE or HERE.

I've included some sample photos below to give you a brief preview of just how great this camera is.

My Maine Coon, Plymouth, awakening.

Stevie embracing the sunny weather we've had.

A patch of dried plants in a hidden canyon we visited.

My little black Ming being adventurous.

Hopefully, this review has helped you in your decision to purchase the right DSLR for you! Until next time.

Shelby Alice

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gated Communities

Hello, one. Hello, all. Stevie here. Sorry Shelby and I haven't been posting much lately. With school starting and all of that jazz, things have been pretty hectic for the both of us. High school is a full time job that neither of us want.

We have squeezed in time together to take a large amounts of photos, though. Shelby invited me over, and we were in search of a new place to take photos. Somewhere with calm streets and beautiful scenery. That's hard to find when you're in a busy and bustling suburb, so we decided to go to a "friend's" house who lives in a gated community, and it was the best idea we've had yet.

Shelby and Stevie in the street

Pretty nice, right? The best part was the weather. It wasn't disgustingly hot, but it wasn't freezing cold. Well, freezing cold to San Diego standards. The weather was just fantastic that day, and the lighting was perfect.

 Stevie aka me

Shelby aka not me

I don't know if Shelby mentioned what she got for Christmas, so I will. She got the lovely Nikon D3200, which we used for these lovely photos, which I'm sure she'll write a review about soon. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2nd Photo Shoot

What other way to kick off 2013 than another shoot? We thought it was a pretty good idea, too. This week, we explored our local canyons in search of some new locations. Stevie forgot her memory card, so we used Shelby's Nikon and 55-200mm lens for this shoot. While scouting for little hideaways to take some photos, we got in about three miles of walking, which is definitely a good way to start the new year.

Stevie, looking rather regal, here.

Shelby's dress is from Forever 21, for you fashion junkies out there.

More photos from this week's shoot can be found HERE.


Shelby & Stevie

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 28th Photo Shoot

Well, hello there! We've been gone (yes, again) but we've gotten together for a fun little shoot in the middle of Balboa Park. Winter in California isn't usually too chilly, although this particular Friday, we ditched our skirts and shorts for some traditional outerwear. Sweaters, boots, oh my!
As the New Year approaches, we'll be trying to post more often, and have more photos to share with you all. This time, we used the new Nikon D3200 and those kick-ass 200mm lens. 

Shelby was laughing at something stupid, in the photo above, probably her own joke.

Stevie, here, was psyched just to be out of her house for a few hours, 
as she shows off her signature face.

Photos from the rest of the little shoot can be viewed HERE.

C'est tout.

Shelby & Stevie

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Head and the Heart, She & Him, Snowmine, and More.

I like music.
You like music.
Have you ever met a soul in this world who didn't feel personally drawn to it?
Music is universal.
Music has saved cultures entirely. Music preserves aspects of communities for generations to come.
Music is saving us from forgetting the perks of simply being, every day.
I am here to share some of my favorite songs (of all time) with you.
I've color coded them for your accessibility.


I recommend you stop what you're doing, redirect yourself to the YouTubes, and start searching these titles.

The Absolute Favorites

Bloom by the Paper Kites
Martina Martinez by Girls
Brand New Shoes by She & Him
Winter Song by the Head & the Heart
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da by the Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

The Recent Favorites

Let Me In by Snowmine
Strings by Young the Giant
Heart Attack by One Direction (I admit it)
Kinder Bluemen by Real Estate 
Boys with Girlfriends by Meiko

The 80s Favorites

So in Love by OMD
Just Like Heaven by the Cure
Heart of Glass by Blondie (okay, I know it came out in 1979 but let me have this)
Ask by the Smiths
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley (just yes)
She's Always in My Hair by Prince
Karma Chameleon by the Culture Club

I hope you enjoyed my brief little list of some of my very favorite songs.

Shelby Alice

Thursday, December 13, 2012

XXYYXX and Rain

Most natives in San Diego really have no idea how to drive in the rain. That is a fact. They have the tendency to drive too slow or too fast or cut in front of everyone or get so unbelievably antsy. It's quite annoying for the few natives who DO know how to drive in the San Diego rain. 

Today's "storm" was no difference (Yes, today could be considered a storm; the flooding on the curb almost went up to the sidewalk). Actually, this storm was different. It was about 10 times worse than all of the other storms I have ever experienced in my 15 years of life here. Roads were closed. Tons of accidents. I was talking to a friend, and it took him 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive 20 miles. Crazy, right? It's insane. 

My mom was driving me to school, well, she ATTEMPTED to drive me to school. After driving for an hour and only covering about 10 miles of our 25 mile trip, we just gave up and went home. 

So now I am working on one of my projects for school and listening to XXYYXX. I don't listen to electronic music that often, probably because I'm not always in the mood to listen to it. However, my boyfriend (who is a giant fan of electronic music) is starting to rub off on me. Plus, it's great working music. You can just turn it up super loud, bob your head to the music, and work on whatever you're working on. Unless you're reading. Then it's super hard. I find it insanely difficult to read with any noise in the background, but I feel like that's probably just me, be it that most people I know can read with music and screaming people in the background.
What I really like about XXYYXX is that they have weird, cute vocals in the background. They are repetitive, yes, but not the kind of repetitive that makes you want to rip out your hair and shove it into your ears. The beats are fresh, and it's not that super overwhelming type of electronic music that they play at raves (or at least I think they don't. I don't go to raves. I'm sheltered). 

So if you're having a super rainy day and you're stuck at home like am, be productive with some cool electronic music playing in the background. It'll brighten up your life. 

Have a fantastic day,