Friday, March 16, 2012

Shamrock Shake

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, McDonald's is putting out their annual Shamrock Shakes. I decided to treat myself to one today. The bright green color looks eerily like radioactive material, and it's mint-flavored (something I'm not a fan of), but it actually tastes pretty good!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giant Duck

A giant, inflatable "rubber ducky" adorns the lawn in front of the dormitory building across the street from my office. Apparently he's the mascot for a library drive to promote literacy. Todd would love this ducky!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Project 365 is Complete!

Whew! One whole year later, my endeavor to post a picture every day for a year is finally over! From Oct 25, 2010 through Oct 24, 2011, my 365 pictures span everything from family to food to outings to funny things observed along the way.

I first attempted Project 365 back in 2007 (which birthed this blog) and only lasted two months before giving up. Oops.

This time, with the convenience of smartphones with built-in cameras and the ability to post directly from my phone (or at least email myself the photo to edit on the computer), it was easier to stay on track.

Still, there were days when I'd rack my brain for ideas. Fortunately, those were usually made up for by days where I had an abundance of photographic ideas, and took several to save for a "rainy day".

By the time I reached around 200 photos, I was feeling a bit burnt out. Motivation and creativity hit an all-time low. Still, I'd come this far-- nearly 2/3 of the way through, and pushed on. I had help-- Allan and Todd supplied lots of good ideas. Sometimes I even tasked Allan to take pics for me, knowing he was going someplace interesting. By the time I hit 266 photos, I was feeling renewed energy-- I had less than 100 to go! I have to say, though, that the last 100 photos felt like they dragged longer than the first couple hundred! The closer I got to my goal, the slower time seemed to go. Isn't that weird?

After a year of constantly being on the lookout for photo opportunities, I still find myself in that mode of "hey, that would make a great picture! Grab the phone!" wherever I go. Rather than let it die out, though, I think I'll continue to take pictures of things that catch my fancy, and continue to use this blog as a photoblog, even though I won't be posting every single day. The blog is already established here, so I may as well keep it up to date, right?

So here we are... a year in the life of Helly, as documented by photos. See you around!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Girls' Night In

Sassy, Sally and I have a girls' "spa" night, getting girly with makeup while the boys enjoy a night of Star Wars in the other room. Who says arachnids can't appreciate making themselves beautiful!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moth Cocoon Rattle

Miwok Indian artifact we crafted for Todd's school project. It's supposed to be a ceremonial rattle made of moth cocoons and feathers. Amazing what a bit of tin foil, feathers from Michael's, and pebbles and a stick from the front yard can create! :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grizzly Bear

This huge head greets visitors at the Cachuma Lake Nature Center. Just the head alone is enormous-- can you imagine encountering the *entire* beast, body and all!? Yikes!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Contest so far

I'm still working on mine (see idea sketch here), but other co-workers have already finished and are displaying their pumpkins on a central table. Here's the (elaborate!) competition so far:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UCLA at Night

Allan visited my alma mater, UCLA, for a Career Fair and took these pics. I had a hard time picking my favorite-- they're all such great shots! Eventually I settled on this one: iconic, world-famous Royce Hall at night.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Label Maker

Old school, yes. But much faster than a computer when you only need one or two labels at a time :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


You get 2 pics again today! Here I am in my cowgirl getup for our church's annual BBQ-- Western style! When it got too hot for jeans, I changed into a long skirt, which I actually think wound up looking more authentic, anyway!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lane Timer

Fundraiser for Todd's school, the SB Youth Races, was held at SBCC today. Allan served as a lane timer, while I did results recording. This is the lane timing machine, called the "octopus" because it has 8 timer clickers (one of which is pictured) attached-- one for each lane on the track.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Spider

Our manager gave the office mini pumpkins to decorate, using only available office/kitchen supplies. Here's a sketch of my idea (pumpkin spider): draw in a cute face (with fangs!), make legs with stretched-out paper clips, and a hat out of paper. This little contest sounds fun! :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Water Heater

Now that I no longer have easy access to hot water, I have to make my own. Fill the heater up with filtered water, then, when it's done boiling, pour it into the green thermos/pitcher. Comes in handy when I need hot water for a cup of tea on a chilly day... or when I'm feeling under the weather!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Clean Burners

Went on a cleaning spree after doing the dishes tonight, and wound up scrubbing our stove-- it's looking good as new now! Here are the scrubbed burners, drying on the counter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prescription Goggles

Got this pair from for $24. Sounds expensive for a pair of swim goggles, but they are prescription (note the -6.0 diopter sticker for the right eye), and do amazing wonders for enabling me to see clearly while swimming. Well worth the money!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Broken Mug

One of the last of our Homebrewer's Fest mugs. This annual festival is always held around my birthday in Temecula. It also commemorates one of mine and Allan's first meetings (not this one, the 2002 one, which is also gone). Accidentally broke this while doing dishes yesterday. So I thought I'd snap a photo for posterity!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Mirror and Sconces

Got this mirror, shelf and wall sconce set at Bed Bath & Beyond this weekend, and hung them up above our electric piano. Just the right size, the color matches the piano perfectly, and you can see our chandelier and one of our new pictures in the reflection.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

La Crepe Shoppe

Had lunch with Todd at La Crepe Shoppe (next to his karate studio) today after his lesson. These things were HUGE! He had the ham & cheese, and I had the Nutella & strawberry. Here it is, in all its glory:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dual Wireless Headset

This pair of wireless headsets, both of which are connected to the same base station, comes in very handy for watching TV at night-- we don't have to worry about waking up the boy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Pretty rainbow appears after a brief spell of rain this afternoon. Not sure how well the pic comes out, but if you click on the pic to enlarge, it's definitely visible!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bathroom Song

This little gem is attached to our restroom mirror on campus. It features the Happy Birthday song, and encourages people to wash their hands for as long as it takes to sing the song, to ensure full cleanliness. Kinda cheesy, but I like it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Penguin Couple

These cute penguins form almost a heart shape as they huddle together on the rock, blissfully oblivious to the other lively penguins surrounding them. Ain't love grand!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Big Ben and La Tour Eiffel

These cute little wire sculptures adorn each of our small CD bookshelves that flank either side of the fireplace. They're the perfect little touch to the perfect little shelves. Sculptures found at Cost Plus World Market.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lounging by the Pool

Todd relaxes on a poolside chaise under the warm bright sun, with sunglasses and a stuffed friend in tow. Now THAT's relaxing in style! :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Airplane Formation

While at the zoo for Science Day today, we got to witness planes flying in neat formation overhead. Here's one of the better shots, set against a beautifully blue and cloudless sky. Just another gorgeous, sunny day in paradise! ;-)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cliff the Condor

Our local Trader Joe's hides a stuffed condor named Cliff somewhere in the store everyday. Every time a kid finds Cliff, he gets a small treat-- a piece of candy for Todd tonight! Here's Cliff sitting on the windowsill near the checkout lanes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Magnetic Dartboard

Birthday gift from Grandma. The magnets stick very strongly, and Todd enjoys tossing them at the dartboard from my bed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Canadian Geese

A flock of Canadian geese graces our lake. Here they are in a neat row formation. I think they're studying the seagulls, figuring out how best to oust them from the water. Honk, honk!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Door Nameplate

Still feels kinda strange to not only have my own office, but actually have my name on the door like that. But this is what greets me every morning when I come into work!