Friday, July 29

Muir Woods




Photography from my walk through the gorgeous Muir Woods. 


Also check out the Muir Woods Photography Video here:

Thursday, July 28

Ocean Beach




Photography from my wonderful trip to the Pacific Ocean.


Also check out the Ocean Beach Photography Video here:

Wednesday, July 27

Back From Vacation


Carin and I had an amazing week, and I was so overdue for a vacation that it felt nice to relax for a week. All work and no play makes Claudia a sad rabbit.

She flew in last Wednesday and we spent the first night chilling and eating. Mind you all of my diet rules went out the window again, but not to worry, I'm back on track and detoxing like mad. The second day we hit the city, and as always, I'm surprised by how much San Francisco has to offer. I just past my eight year moving-to-California anniversary and I was very nostalgic about hanging out in the city again.

The Golden Gate Bridge was our first stop, and we spent a good hour or so walking it, followed by a lovely meal at The Cliff House. After lunch, we explored Ocean Beach, something that I had never done to that extent before. We saw the caves, cliffs, forests, and ruins all covered in a thick, beautiful, eerie fog. When the cold was too overbearing, we drove to the Cheesecake Factory and watched the sun set over the city.

Then Friday was the day we took Carin to see Berkeley for the first time. Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues were a must, followed by a stop at a popular Ben & Jerry's. Mint Chocolate Chunk is one of my favorites. (See what I mean about the food? Haha, we we're so bad.) Lastly, I was super excited to stop in at the 100% Pure boutique and look at all of the organic beauty products. I ended up walking away with a carrot scrub that will replace my crappy chemical-filled cleanser.

The next day we chilled around my home gardens. I showed Carin the amenities, even though we didn't have time to swim in the pool because we ended up going to the neighborhood beach and marina instead. It's really close and we just spent the afternoon walking and chatting. That evening upon our return, we tried our hand at making some White Russians. I totally made them too strong, so I tried to fix it by added more secondary ingredients until we each had a ridiculously large glass full. Let's just say that was fun. I also experimented with some Sour Apple Pucker and vodka, adding that to apple juice. It was a decent attempt at an Appletini. Shortly after drinks, we got all dolled up and headed over (we didn't drive) to the MatrixFillmore, where we spent the night dancing, people watching, and sipping Carin's favorite drink, Chambord Lemonade.

Sunday we went back to SF for more adventures. Japantown was first on the list because Carin had never been to a place quite like it. We enjoyed spending the day entertained by all the cool shops and restaurants; stopping in at our favorite ramen place for lunch, and purchasing some vanilla mochi ice cream for dessert. Sadly, Carin didn't like the mochi and only ate the ice cream. She said it's texture was too gooey and reminded her of squid! Silly girl. I think she just saw one too many squid tentacle snacks on the store shelves. Lastly, we headed over to Golden Gate Park to walk around a bit, see the carousel and Hippie Hill; shorty retiring after walking down to Haight and Asbury.

Our last full day was spent entirely in the Muir Woods, and oh was it beautiful. I was a little upset by how many people there were though. It was a zoo, but got better after the crowds disappeared in different directions throughout the woods. I just always thought that my first experience would be a quiet, tranquil visit; so that was a little disappointing. However, I did overhear that it was better to go in December because you have the whole place to yourself. Despite all that, the forest was magnificent and I will never forget my first time seeing the beautiful redwoods. We would have stayed longer but the sun was setting and the park was closing, so we bid adieu to the woods and went on our way.

There you have it, that was pretty much the entire week. I miss Carin already, but I guess that's to be expected.  Does anyone else have exciting vacation plans? I can't believe the summer's almost over. Where did it go? August is right around the corner.

Best,
~Claudia

Monday, July 18

Whoa! A New Red Hot Chili Peppers Album

Last Friday a new RHCP single was released called "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie." Listen to it here.

The only excuse I have for not being on top of this was because of my Harry Potter obsession leading up to that day. As some of you might know, they're my favorite band. Reason being was that their music has always been there for me through some of my most memorable life experiences. I never quite understood why my parents loved certain old bands, until I discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Music can really impact one's life, and that was finally clear to me.

Another thing too is that John Frusciante is now replaced by his guitarist friend Josh Klinghoffer, so I wonder how that will pan out. The album, I’m With You, comes out August 30, 2011. Hurray! I can't wait.

I know it's a pretty mixed crowd when it comes to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 
but is anyone else out there a fan?
~Claudia
---
Also, I'm sure most of you have seen this by now, but here's a piece that I did in honor of
Stadium Arcadium's release titled Anthony.

Friday, July 15

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Wow! I just got back from seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 and it was fantastic. What a ride. I wasn't disappointed in the least; it was a great ending to a great story.

I am a bit sad that it's over. There's almost a sense of emptiness now because there will be no more new Harry Potter movies. For the past 10 years it was my little tradition to go to see them. I could always look forward to the next one, but now it's the end of an era and I'll have to move on. I can't begin to imagine how it must feel for the main cast. Harry Potter has shaped Dan, Rupert and Emma's lives, so I'm sure they're having a hard time with it too.

Oh well, enough of that. I'm going to spend the rest of my day reading articles and looking up promo stuff that I miss out on for this film. (July issue of Vogue here I come!)


Also, here are some fun Harry Potter quizzes if you would like to partake.

Which Harry Potter character are you? Take the quiz and find out!
I'm 50% Hermione, 40% Harry, 10% Ron, and 0% Draco

And the Ultimate Harry Potter Quiz. Find out how well you do.
I received 37/51. Decent for not reading the last two books.

Happy movie watching!
~Claudia

Thursday, July 14

I'm Finished with My Harry Potter Marathon

So I have decided that after completing Order of the Phoenix yesterday that I'm going to stop with the books for now, because I don't want to rush them. Figuring that they will be much more enjoyable if I just meander and take my time with the last two.

Therefore, I spent the day finishing all of the films and watching all of the special features as well, so that I'm thoroughly prepared for tomorrow's release of the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. I'll be going bright and early, and I'm super excited, but I can't believe it's almost over already. 10 years seemed to have flown by, and it seems like only yesterday that I remember being excited for the first movie. Ah... all those amazing memories!

Also, has anyone heard about Pottermore? It's J.K. Rowling's new fan website. I'm not so sure I'm going to join, but it will be fun to checkout once it opens.

Cheers and happy movie watching tomorrow!
~Claudia

Wednesday, July 13

Done With Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Remembering back on this film, it was my least favorite at the time because it felt like the "middle" of something. It wasn't a standalone experience like the other four stories could be considered. If a new viewer watched this with no Harry Potter background, they would probably be like "what the hell just happened."

But reading the book and rewatching the film has given me a new appreciation for it. It's dark, and really emo. After the end of Goblet of Fire, the stories just keep getting more sinister and therefore more adult. I liked that; because J.K. Rowling assumes that her audience can take it. We see the kids grow up. Even though they're not yet adults, the events force them to mature fast and it's fun to see how they deal with all of their problems, including typical teenage issues. Harry is so angry and bratty in this novel. It's great, because he's written like a real kid with real emotions and real problems; not a Gary Stu (but at times you just want to slap him for being so immature).

Speaking of slapping, we also have Dolores Umbridge. Now there's a character that gets under your skin. She's just so incredibly vile, passive aggressively taking advantage of her power as she giggles. I couldn't stand reading the chapter about Harry's hand. It was very upsetting to me, because I have a sensitivity about permanent scaring. To defile a child's hand like that is very disturbing. I've heard about how some actors and actresses get treated on the streets according to characters they play. In the extras Tom Felton (Draco) tells about how he sometimes gets the stinkeye from fans, so I wonder if people have given poor Imelda Staunton (Umbridge) any problems in real life. Apparently her colleagues say she's a big sweetheart.

Now I'm off to finish up the special features and move on to the next book, The Half-Blood Prince.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Tuesday, July 12

Finished Reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Only second to The Chamber of Secrets, Goblet of Fire is my favorite Harry Potter film. So I was very excited to read the book for the first time.

It surprised me though. Unlike the first three movies, which followed the novels pretty closely, this story was very different from the film. Probably because of how long it is, being about twice the size of the first three books. All of the secondary stuff that didn't relate to Harry's main story was left out. So many events were changed and combined that I started feeling confused after awhile, because I was forgetting what came from the film and what came from the book.

Goodness! So now I can finally relate to what fans were saying long ago about there being huge changes to the film that they weren't happy with. Not because the film was bad, but just because it was missing so much. Personally, I still like the film best. Just because it was my first experience, and the fact that the visuals are so nice.

One thing that did bug me was how Voldemort was portrayed in the book. He seemed almost whiny; unlike Ralph Fiennes' take of him in the movie, which was so beautifully evil. Humanly evil, was how he described it when being interviewed in the extras. The Voldemort info dump at the end of the book was not necessary either. I much preferred the mysterious film version and didn't feel the explanation was needed. It just went on forever. Who would do that? Tell their nemesis every little detail of their actions. And then... And then... And then... No, just stop.

I can't wait for the last film to come out. I have no idea what's going to happen (please don't tell me) and I can't wait to see it. So throughout the week I'll continue my Harry Potter marathon and finish reading books 5-6, watch the films, and special features. Again, I'm not touching 7 because I want it to be a surprise. I have already ruined a few things just by accident and I was upset. Sadness.

Anyone a Harry Potter fan?
~Claudia

Monday, July 11

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Followup: Joe Cross Interview

Over the weekend I was contacted by John McIntyre of healthy-juicing.com about an interview he did with Joe Cross, from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Of course I was interested in sharing it with you. Read about how to motivation oneself, how to resist peer pressure, and the importance of getting the word out about juicing. It can really change people's lives.

John Talks to Joe about Juicing 

Also, Check Out Their Website

I actually had a smoothie dinner last night, and it felt good to incorporate
the blended juices back into my life. So I'm going to keep at it.

Here's to happy, healthy living.
~Claudia

Friday, July 8

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Eliina, a dear friend of mine, recommended a documentary to me called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, because she knows how much I love these kinds of films. It's been getting a lot of online buzz recently and I can see why. In a nut shell, it's about a man named Joe, who starts eating right and loses weight. No surprise there. He drinks only juice for 60 days, travels around the US meeting people along the way, and shares his experience with others. It's a little gimmicky, (Joe relieves he's a business man and that's definitely reflected in the film) but entertaining none the less.

I have not used my blender in a few months and would love to start making blended juice again. Eliina must have known that I needed a good kick in the ass, because this film couldn't have come at a better time. So I'm going to load up on fruits & veggies at the farmer's market this weekend and get back into it right away. I'm not quite ready for a juice fast, but incorporating more homemade juice is a must.


Here's the trailer and YouTube channel: 
(The film can be found on Netflix)

The Website:

Also, I can't wait to try some of these:

Happy movie watching!
~Claudia

Wednesday, July 6

Tag! Again

5 Things That Make You Happy:

1. The wonderful people in my life
2. Sugar!
3. Kittehs
4. Pirates
5. Traveling

5 Things That Piss You Off:

1. Litter
2. My broken soap dispensers
3. Audio plosives
4. The hole in my new sock
5. Making a bad mistake that ruins a piece of artwork that I've worked so hard on

5 Songs That You Like Currently:


1. Tori Amos - Give
2. Tori Amos - Welcome to England
3. Tori Amos - Flavor
4. Tori Amos - Maybe California
5. Tori Amos - Curtain Call

5 Celebrity Crushes: (Really? No. How about "Inspired by")

1. Emma Watson
2. Keira Knightley
3. Natalie Portman
4. Johnny Depp
5. Anthony Kiedis

5 Fandoms:

1. Zelda
2. Final Fantasy
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
4. Harry Potter
5. Cosplay

5 Things That You Want:

1. To not die
2. My student loan paid off
3. To finish all of my unfinished artwork that needs to get done
4. To go on a cruise
5. For my hair to grow longer, thicker, and faster

So how about that upsetting soap dispenser? It will all be okay.
~Claudia

Tuesday, July 5

DIY Beauty: Avocado Treatment

Here's a super easy trick that I learned from my massage therapist on how to use an avocado as a beauty product. Back in the winter, he noticed that my skin was a bit dry and suggested that I put avocado on it. What really? Really! He explained that this wonderful fruit, filled with vitamin C & E, is good both for the internal and external needs of the skin, recommending that I eat half of it and topically apply the other half to any dry areas for extra moisturizing.

All you have to do is take a ripe, organic avocado (they're in season right now), cut it in half, eat one half with a spoon (Yum!), and mash up the other half in a bowl. Take the bowl into the bathroom and use the remainder anywhere on your body. Just undress and spread it over your skin, allowing it to sit for 20 minutes while you relax. I prefer to sit in the tub because after the time is up I can just turn on the shower and quickly rinse off with cool water, pat dry, and that's it, you're done. The oil from the avocado is a fantastic remedy for dry thirsty skin, and leaves you with a beautiful glow that last a few days. Who knew it was that easy! No spa trip required, and no reason to spend money on expensive chemical-filled products.

Cheers and here's to happy, healthy living.
~Claudia

Friday, July 1

Look of the Month :: Summer 2011 :: July

This month I wanted to do something different with the digital face charts, something for men. If you've ever wondered how your favorite male celebrates look so amazing all the time, it's probably with the help of a little makeup. It's not a secret that men wear makeup for all sorts of things, including but not limited to: Filming, photo shoots, runways, and live performances. So here's a look for you guys. If you've got a special occasion coming up this summer, like a party or a wedding, don't be shy and try it out. Just remember less is more and apply it very lightly. You'll know it's right when you look a little more put together, but not like you wearing anything. It's tricky, but practice makes perfect.

This look is even great for woman. It's wonderful for a day at the beach, the poolside, or a picnic. When you don't want to look overdone, but still "naturally" pretty and fresh for a summer outing. For a little more color, try adding a nice matte orange lipstick and black waterproof mascara.

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone has a blast, and see you when we all get back from vacation.

The current look is:
J U L Y  2 0 1 1


Color trends for this month:
Orange, salmon, lemon yellow, white, and copper

Current motivation for the look:
The 4th of July, spending time by the pool, and ice cream


Previous Looks this Year:







Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Jojoba Oil Benefits - 10 Amazing Ways To Use It | CLAUDIASUTTON.blogspot: Health and Lifestyle