30 Day Photo Challenge

One of my biggest loves in life is photography . I just adore capturing the true essence of life and what encapsulates people. Since I love photography so much, I often find myself perusing different websites of photographers and absorbing information from sites where I learn tips and tricks to boost my photo skills. While I was searching the internet for some photography related stuff a few nights ago, I stumbled upon an intriguing looking 30 photography challenge on a photographer’s website. I have always really wanted to do a 30 day photo challenge and decided that this would be a fun one to start with. I also thought it would be a great incentive to get out and shoot everyday (which I strive to do usually, but don’t always have the time for). While I am following most of the photo challenge the way it was written, I decided to go against the grain a little bit for a few of the days and spice them up with my own flair. Here is the challenge.

The ones starred below are either ones that I enhanced or replaced with my own idea

Day 1: *Comical self portrait
Day 2: What you wore today
Day 3: Clouds
Day 4: Something Green
Day 5: From a high angle
Day 6: From a low angle
Day 7:  *Your favorite fruit
Day 8: A bad habit
Day 9: Someone you love
Day 10: *A picture of one of your favorite childhood memories
Day 11: *Monochromatic color scheme (a picture that contains only one color but of different shades [like if everything in the photo was blue but different shades of blue. Cobalt, aquamarine, soft baby blue, navy etc.)
Day 12: Sunset
Day 13: A picture of yourself with 13 random facts
Day 14: Eyes
Day 15: Silhouette
Day 16: *Handwriting
Day 17: Technology
Day 18: * Guilty pleasure
Day 19: Something orange
Day 20: *A hobby
Day 21: Face-less self portrait
Day 22: Hands
Day 23: Sunflare
Day 24: Animal
Day 25: *Pet peeve
Day 26: Close-up
Day 27: *Your ideal morning
Day 28: Nature
Day 29: Black and white
Day 30:  *Oxymoronic self portrait

Unfortunately, I will not be able to show you guys all of the photos I take each day for the photo challenge due to the decision my parents and I made to keep my face off of the internet till I turn 18 (only 11 months away guys ;D). However, I am able to show you guys today’s photo which is Day 3: Clouds

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I really love both of these pictures because I think that the trees adds a lot of texture to the active skies showcased in these two photographs. Which of these two photos is your  favorite? Number 1 or 2?

I plan on posting a photo whenever I can for each day of the 30 day photo challenge. Have any of you guys done similar photo challenges to this?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Gluten-Free/Dairy Free on the Go and Newfound Desire to Cook More

Tonight I’m going to share with you all a quick delicious lunch that is gluten-free and healthy. Last weekend, I had a late afternoon Saturday workshop session for an art program I am currently doing, so I had to make a concoction at the speed of a honey badger. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but point is I did not have a lot of time. It shames me to say this, but I don’t really cook as much as I should being an allergic person, so therefore, I wind up eating a lot of food from boxes that you just pop in the microwave. Now, don’t get me wrong, these gf foods that are packaged are not NEARLY as bad as packaged foods that are from your mainstream supermarkets, but still, these foods are processed at some degree and are often very grain based. While gluten-free grains are very beneficial for you, I don’t believe I get enough balance of fruits, vegetables, and protein in my daily diet. So therefore, I made an extremely, supremely late New Year’s resolution to  cook more and eat more veggies/protein. With this new resolve in my mind, I decided that instead of popping something inside the microwave, I would make a meal with my own two hands :). Here is what I made in like 7 minutes!

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Looks yummy, huh?!? I made romaine lettuce hummus pineapple/mango salsa rolls :P.

Here are the specific products I used:
Trader Joe’s Original Garlic Hummus

Trader Joe’s Organic Romaine Lettuce (romaine is my favorite type of lettuce!)

Trader Joe’s Tropical Pineapple Mango Salsa 

Good for Life Foods Caraway Rolls (featured in this post https://believeinyou24.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/secret-awesome-gluten-freedairy-free-artisan-breads-where-to-find-them/) 

It was very simple to make and tasted ABSOLUTELY  DELECTABLE!!!! I would highly recommend that you guys try making this quick as a finger snap lunch using these ingredients, or even ones that are similar to what I mentioned! If you guys do try and make this (or something similar), please let me know how it taste!

I will say that I entered the blogosphere at the exact right time because there are A LOT of **uh-maz-iiing** gluten-free/dairy-free food bloggers out there that’s inspired me to become more of a cook. If any of you have delicious gluten-free/dairy-free(it also can be just a scrumptious recipe in general, I just have to be able to modify it) recipes to share, feel free to post them in the comment box below  :)!

What is your go-to healthy gluten-free lunch? Have any of you guys tried the products I listed above before?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

A Funny 2nd Grade Valentine’s Day Story

2nd grade I think was the year of the most tragically hilarious moments for me. Today, I am going to share with you one of these moments that occurred on Valentine’s Day in the 2nd grade.  Here’s the story.

So for Valentine’s Day in the 2nd grade, our teacher had us pull names out of a hat that we would make a “valentine’s day lunch” for using their most beloved foods (very similar to Secret Santa). However, the kid I got I honestly didn’t like very much. I am though one of those types of people who tries to be cordial to everybody so I worked hard on making a nice lunch for him. I put it  in a wooden box and even painted it. I don’t quite remember what it looked like,  but it was seriously the most beautiful box ever (well, at least for a 2nd grader). However, the kid I got  spilled his chocolate milk and it splattered everywhere and drenched his box, which sort of ruined it and the food got all soggy. I guess I did all of that work for nothing :(.

When it was time for me to get my lunch, it was obvious that the kid who picked my name out of the hat scrambled everything together the last minute. Unlike other kids (like me), who made their special lunch boxes with nice designs, I got a white paper bag. Yup, a plain ol’ white paper bag. I didn’t even get a card; it was a piece of lined paper written messily in red colored pencil (at least he got the color scheme right!). You can’t expect too much from a 2nd grader though, eh? :).

As the hours ticked by, Valentine’s Day got more tragically hilarious. Later in the day, we received Valentine’s day cards and there was one in particular that caught my attention. So this little boy that was much shorter than me (and I was pretty short) gave me a valentine with a lollipop that said the words “Kiss Me” on it. As an eight year old, I took things super literally and thought this meant that he actually wanted to kiss me. I was also the type of kid who told EVERYONE if something interesting happened to me. Therefore, I went around the room exclaiming, “[Insert Name Here] WANTS TO KISS ME! EWW!!!” His mother should have been more careful when buying valentine’s day candy :D.

So, yup, that is Valentine’s Day during the 2nd grade in a nutshell. I hope all of you are having a great Valentine’s Day whether it’s with your special someone or fabulously single (I for one am fabulously single ;D).

Do any of you have funny Valentine’s Day stories from when you were little. Tell me them below in the comment box!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

My Photography Hobby

My name is Alex and I’m a photoholic. Haha, not really, but I’m borderline getting there. I absolutely love taking pictures of literally everything. Seasoned photographers probably all now think that I’m just some person who has a glamorized view of their photo skills but in reality just takes pictures. Seriously though, I am someone who genuinely adores taking pictures of everything. I love capturing the candid essence of human beings, the whimsical aura of children, the tranquility of gorgeous landscapes, the cycle of nature that can be explored through insects and animals, and I also love to use digital editing programs to create alternative realities. Today I am going to be posting just a sample of my work. However, I will be posting more photos in the future and talk more about my passion for photography in future blog posts. I would write about it more now but I’m sleepy and need to get to bed. Also, I’m someone who is a perfectionist when it comes to their writing and I simply wouldn’t be doing (or is it giving?! This is what happens when I’m wicked exhausted and sleepy lol) my hobby justice if I were to just write out whatever comes to mind because I’m tired :P. So here are some of my favorite photographs that I’ve taken/edited.

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xoxo

Alexandra Spund

P.S. Please don’t use my photographs without my permission first :). Thanks

Ulta Beauty Mini – Haul (Natural)

Ulta Beauty is basically a playground for women who love makeup/hair styling/skin care products. However, if you mostly shop for natural beauty products, shopping at an Ulta can be somewhat cumbersome. Fortunately for me, Ulta is so large that there is something there for everyone, you just need to be careful at checking ingredients. Recently, I’ve been looking for a natural nail polish brand. Since learning about the harsh chemicals that can be in nail polishes, I’ve tried out about 3-4 different natural nail polish brands and all of them chipped and did not glide on easily. This was very discouraging and I was pretty much ready to give up the ship since I’m  pretty natural in my food and beauty products already. However, I continued to Google search for natural nail polishes and found Zoya. I perused their website and found out that they had an ABUNDANCE of stunning nail polish colors; they even had some that were duo-chromatic which I love. Also, Zoya was one of the first natural nail polish brands to come on the market and is also a 5-free (i.e. camphor, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate), not 3-free lacquer. After reading all of this great information about Zoya,  I knew I had to give it a try! I was going to order it online until I got a coupon book from Ulta where they listed that they had a new line of Zoya nail polishes that came out.  I got so excited (no online shipping charges wooo-hooo!!!!) it was ridiculous! Anddddd….to top it all off, I got a 20% off of my purchase discount in the mail. When I got to the store I picked out two nail polishes which were named Cassedy (metallic silver) and Julie (lavender).

Zoya Nail Polishes and EOS lip balm

I decided to try the  “Julie” first since Valentine’s Day was coming up and I thought lavender would be a good color for the season :). The nail polish glided on fairly easy and although it took a little bit longer to dry it, was fairly quick for a natural nail polish. However, what I got ecstatic about was the end result! The color was sooo pretty and did not look like a kinder-gardener painted my nails, unlike the previous nail polishes I have tried. Although the chipping occurs sooner than with a non-natural nail polish, it has stayed on very nicely and does not come off in big clumps. I highly recommend trying Zoya nail polish!

The Final Result

The Final Result

In addition to the nail polish, I also purchased an EOS lip balm. I have heard many people (even those who do not purchase natural beauty products) rave about this lip balm and I had to see what the hype was all about. This lip balm is very inexpensive (I think it was like 4 dollars or something?!) and is 95% organic. Ulta had a whole array of EOS lip balm flavors, so making a decision was difficult (when you come to know me, you’ll know that I am the absolute worst at making decisions/choosing favorites).  After probably taking like 10-15 minutes to decide, I went  with the “Smooth Sphere Honeysuckle Honeydew Lip Balm”.  I have to say that so far I really like it. The honey dew flavor is quite rich and it also does a good job of moistening my lips,  which is important, because I get really dry lips during the winter time. Anyone who is looking for a great natural lip balm for winter time should give this brand a shot!

Have any of you guys tried zoya nail polish before? If not, have you tried other natural nail polishes and what has your experiences been with them? Also, if you have tried the EOS lip balm, what is your favorite flavor?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund