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 aquagoggles.com 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!

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Bedding for Allan

Light brown, 200+ thread count comforter cover + pillowcase, and a reversible (dark/medium brown) satiny bedspread + cushion cover, folded to show off both colors in this picture. The green Android Squishable adds a nice little color accent, don't you think?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Bedding for Helly

After a big shopping trip to Ikea today, here is one of our purchases: a new duvet cover + pillowcase for my comforter and pillow. The dark blue color is very bold!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kitty on Deck

A cat, presumably a neighbor's, decided to visit us and hang out on our front deck. He was a bit skittish, so I took this photo from inside our living room, through the window. Evidently he still heard me anyway, and turned to look!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Broken Downspout

The downspout at the end of our driveway is flattened, the brick cover shattered. Apparently our neighbor across the way ran over it in the night. Our next-door neighbor witnessed it and left a note. No, the culprits haven't come forward yet. Not holding my breath, either!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hot Chocolate Smiley

We got to Todd's karate class early the other day, and whiled away the time in the adjacent coffee shop, where we did homework and drank hot chocolate with a syrupy smiley face in it! :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tazo Teas

Another perk I miss from the Citrix days... a large variety of teas! And plenty of piping hot water to brew it in!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dinosaur Egg

Look what hatched out of this giant egg at the zoo! A little two-legged dinosaur! Oh, wait...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making Ice Cream

Todd and Grandpa take over the kitchen as they make ice cream from scratch with Grandpa's ice cream maker. Yum!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spackle, Spackle!

The boys spackle some spaces in the window frames where the ants have been crawling in and invading our home-- not just in the kitchen, but our bedrooms and bathrooms! Let's hope this will help quell future invasions!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hawaiian Dancers

Our park held a Luau on the lake at the pool/clubhouse today-- complete with delicious Hawaiian food, native music and dance! Great way to while away a Saturday afternoon and meet some of our neighbors!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weight Lifting in the Park

Todd exercises in a park that's equipped with a variety of weight-training machines (where you bear your own weight) instead of the usual playground fare.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Webcam Lunch

You get two pics today! Allan and I had lunch together... remotely! We ate in our respective offices and chatted via GoToMeeting with HDFaces (webcam). Saves time and money, not having to drive places to meet up, and was actually a ton of fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jack In The Box

Took me ages of staring at this poster-sized ad at JITB to figure out that the thing in the foreground was a lobster, not a roach. But I still can't figure out what exactly Jack is supposed to be doing and why!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bacara Pool

Gorgeous view of the courtyard and one of the pools at the Bacara Resort. The picture doesn't do justice to the opulence that was the rest of the entire resort!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Escaping Birds

These big blue fellas hopped through the little fence of their habitat and attempt to escape by casually strolling down the walkway for the humans. Fortunately, the whole area is enclosed, and none of us humans were fooled into opening the doors for them! ;-)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swimming Kids

Todd and a bunch of classmates enjoy climbing on a capsizing surfboard at a friend's birthday party. Nothing quite like the sight of shrieking, happy, rambunctious kids!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Plush Angry Birds

Spied these cute little critters at Ralphs the other day. Todd, who plays Angry Birds frequently on Daddy's device, really appreciated them!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mystery Bird 2

Anyone know what it is? This one alighted on a patio umbrella at the zoo. I think it's safe to say that it's not an egret, like the one I wondered about at Willow Springs! ;-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reading the Business Section

Todd carefully peruses the business page of the LA Times, tracing the graphs and murmuring things like "S&P 500" out loud. I'm sure he has no idea what it all means, but it made for a cute photo op!