LA, part 3. by Maci Britt

Our last morning down south was actually spent in Malibu. We woke up, packed up, braved some Monday morning traffic on our way to the coast, and were rewarded with the most delicious breakfast at Malibu Farm Cafe. Food and coffee, with friends, on a pier, over the ocean, on a Monday morning? Yes, please. 

Once my toes hit that sand, I could've stayed happily forever. But of course we eventually had to get back in the car and make the long drive home. Counting down the days until we can do this again! 😊

LA, part 2. by Maci Britt

Sunday in LA was so nice. We took it slower, played things by ear. We had a long brunch at The Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills before heading to church. I loved being able to visit Reality LA! 

There was this moment on Sunday, after lunch, where I needed some decent coffee. All I'd had all day was a small cup of hotel coffee and a small cup of Beverly Hills hotel coffee (which wasn't great). We happened to be driving on Larchmont Ave. and I spotted Go Get 'Em Tiger- a coffee shop I'd heard about from Bon Appetit. Alyssa and Tawnee didn't even park. They just stopped (safely) in the street and I hopped out. That delicious cold brew gave me life for the rest of the afternoon, haha. 🙌 

On Sunday evening we ate dinner on a rooftop in Beverly Hills. Recommend. 👌

After the sunset and after we finished our slow, leisurely dinner (a must on vacation, right?!) we went on an adventure to find "Urban Light" at LACMA. It's an art installation made up of 202 antique street lights, and I'm glad we got to see it at night! 

Part 3 to come...

LA, part 1. by Maci Britt

Last month I got invited to tag along on a trip to LA with two of my friends. They'd already booked a hotel room and pretty much mapped out the places they wanted to go- all I had to do was say yes, send some money for my portion of the hotel, and ask for one day off from work. I did all three, woke up much too early on a Saturday morning, and off we went. 

It had been years since I was last in Southern California, and I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would! What a great place. I could maybe live there, but I would probably miss SF too much. First loves, you know?

I imagined my next trip down would be for Disneyland later this year, but as it turns out, I'll be spending another few days in LA next month! So I'm getting these photos from the first trip off my phone before that happens :)

Here's 2 days in LA (plus a bonus morning in Malibu) through the lens of my iPhone... 

Since we made such good time on the drive down (arriving in Hollywood nearly 2 hours earlier than expected), we were able to check a couple of items off the list before lunch on Saturday- Alfred Coffee and Micheltorena Stairs. After the stairs, we popped into a couple of the super cute shops in the area.

Late in the afternoon, after a failed attempt at getting some sun by the hotel pool (too windy!!), we made our way to Venice and explored Abbot Kinney Blvd. Such a cute, cute area! I loved it so much and would've liked to have spent more time there. Next time! 

Well I think that's enough photos for one post! Stay tuned for part 2...

fun with a disposable camera by Maci Britt

Here's an idea for 2017: go to Target. Buy a disposable camera (for $11.99). Take pictures on it all year. When December rolls around, get it developed! 

I bought a camera in October 2015 and took photos with it through December 2016. The best part about stretching it out for so long is the added fun of not remembering which pictures you took, in addition to the suspense of not knowing how the pictures will turn out. That anticipation is lost with digital. 

Of course, this is not about making high-quality photos. They're grainy. The lighting is funky. But heck, it's a whole lot of fun to do something so opposite iPhones and Instagram (which I still love, btw). 

Here are some of my favorites from the last camera. The new one is all ready to capture 2017!! 

The Window Seat at Elmwood. Berkeley, CA. 

The Window Seat at Elmwood. Berkeley, CA. 

Elmwood Cafe. Berkeley, CA.

Elmwood Cafe. Berkeley, CA.

Durant Ave from the Fire Escape. Berkeley, CA.

Durant Ave from the Fire Escape. Berkeley, CA.

Downtown Farmer's Market. Berkeley, CA. 

Downtown Farmer's Market. Berkeley, CA. 

B + L at Dolores Park. San Francisco, CA. 

B + L at Dolores Park. San Francisco, CA. 

The Campanile. Berkeley, CA. 

The Campanile. Berkeley, CA. 

Bougainvillea on College Ave. Berkeley, CA. 

Bougainvillea on College Ave. Berkeley, CA. 

Sunday Lunch at Beachside Cafe. San Francisco, CA. 

Sunday Lunch at Beachside Cafe. San Francisco, CA. 

Go Giants! San Francisco, CA.

Go Giants! San Francisco, CA.

Saturday Afternoon Chill. Berkeley, CA.

Saturday Afternoon Chill. Berkeley, CA.

So, are you going to use a disposable camera this year? Or have you used one recently?? 

sunset magazine's bay area idea house by Maci Britt

Ugh. Guys, I am literally so behind on blogging!!!!! Honestly I've been spending a lot less time behind a computer screen lately (outside of work, of course), which is a good thing (it really is). I've been journaling more! I've been reading more! I've had more time to listen to podcasts and take notes! Like I said, a good thing.

I'll do my best to catch up in this space (and try to be better in 2017 :)), and first up is this house tour- Sunset Magazine's 2016 Idea House, which just so happens to have been built in my favorite town. On a hill. Overlooking my favorite region. Major heart eyes. 

Are you familiar with this idea house concept? Each year, Sunset Magazine builds an innovative house somewhere in the West. They partner with local builders and architects to create some stunning living spaces. 

This year's home is modern and sleek on the outside, but the inside feels very inviting and livable. Each floor features a deck of varying size, encouraging the indoor/outdoor living that Sunset always promotes and that the Bay Area is so well-suited for most of the year.

Needless to say, I was ready to move in from the moment I stepped through that front door. Since that's never going to happen, I'm happy just to have had the opportunity to visit and to photograph the house :) 

john + annette | engaged by Maci Britt

When I first started at my job, I met my next-office-door neighbor, John. I spent a month or so trying to figure him out... I kind of thought he hated me or something. Fast forward to present day I'm so glad he's my office neighbor. He's hilarious, knows a wealth of random trivia, and is a major movie buff.

The most common occurrence is for John to walk into my office and ask, "Have you ever seen [insert movie title]?" If I have, we converse about it. If I haven't (much more likely), he either turns and walks away in silence or tells me I "am wrong" (direct quote).

He also happens to enjoy cooking as much as I do, so we have great conversations about that topic and often send recipe links back and forth on IM. 

A couple of months ago on their annual vacation to Florida, John proposed to his lovely girlfriend, Annette, and I had the honor of being asked to take their engagement photos. We drove up to a winery in Lodi for a lovely afternoon of wine slushies and pictures. 

sunday in the city by Maci Britt

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Sunday was chill. 

Pastries and coffee at Thorough Bread. 

Church. 

Lunch at Beachside. 

A relaxing chat with friends in their living room.

A walk to Andytown (for an afternoon pick-me-up, you know?). 

A trip up to the top of the observation tower at de Young. 

And a very lively drive home thanks to the "Songs to Sing in the Car" playlist on Spotify.

Such fun.  

beau + liz... by Maci Britt

…are engaged!!! 

Beau proposed in Yosemite the very day these photos were taken, and everything was perfect. Also, fun fact: this day, February 13, was their one year anniversary of dating!

It's been my pleasure to know both of these folks for a very very very long time, and it's been my pleasure to have had the opportunity to spend an exceptional amount of time with them over the last 8 months or so (they make the best SF buddies)… (see here, here, and here).

On top of getting to take their engagement photos, do I even have to say how incredibly excited I am to have the privilege of being in their wedding in August?! 

+ Click here to see more of Beau + Liz's photos.

berkeley art museum and pacific film archive by Maci Britt

A few Saturdays ago I headed to Berkeley to hang out with my friend Micah and also, well, Berkeley. It had been awhile. 

We headed downtown to check out the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive before grabbing lunch at Sliver across the street. 

The museum is very cool. The building itself is so snazzy (I wish I would've taken more photos of the exterior), and there are some neat exhibits at the moment. Walls are alternately filled with paintings and objects, film projections and installations.

I think one of my favorite pieces was Cityscape with House and Gray Energy by Chris Johanson, though I didn't photograph it. It's a brightly colored, busy painting with so much going on that you're forced to look at it for quite a while. 

Have you been to the museum yet? Check it out! 

the poortingas by Maci Britt

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What fun it was to hang out with these lovely folks a few Saturday mornings ago in downtown Modesto! Judah is quite possibly the cutest little human on the planet, and Jeff and Cheyenne could be models if they wanted to be. Besides that, they're just the sweetest and it was a pleasure to photograph them :)

+ Click here to see more photos of Jeff + Chey + Judah. 

 

january, so far by Maci Britt

drinking

Too many cappuccinos to count. (But really, is that even a thing?)

listening

Before work, Sara Bareilles (kind of on a Kaleidoscope Heart kick again) and Morning Edition. 

After work, Sara Bareilles and All Things Considered. 

Also, lots of Daughter. 

reading

Genesis and Exodus. 

Garden City

Simple Matters.

loving

The Year of Biblical Literacy

Sara Bareilles' live cover of Chandelier. So impressive. 

Homemade freezer burritos. #notsaddesklunch

Boring Tweeter's tweets. (Have you seen this account?!)

missing

Weekly trips to the city. 

My typewriter. 

frequently used emojis

✌️ 🙌 👌


2016, folks! We're doing it.

adventures in time by Maci Britt

In June I bought a Dave Brubeck album in Santa Cruz. I didn't have a record player, but I bought it anyway. $5 for 2 records? How could I not?

Over Christmas weekend, I finally took the time to dust off a big Sony console that has been sitting in a corner since I moved in here. It had ten years of dust inside (no exaggeration), but after a good cleaning it worked splendidly. I enjoyed the jazz while editing photos, and I kind of love how these particular photos turned out.  

P.S. Happy 2016! Here's to more completely random posts in the coming year! 

another trip around the sun by Maci Britt

Folks, we've successfully made another trip around the sun. Some of us have had easier trips than others. Some of our trips have been absolutely nuts. For the past couple of years I've not been sorry to see the current year go. I know that January 1 is technically just another day. There's nothing inherently special about it. But it still feels like a fresh start, and I like those.  

Sometimes when I've sat down to reflect on this year my brain will stall. Kind of like when the Blendtec guy at Costco sticks the hammer in the blender and turns it on. You've seen that, right? No? Moving on...

Anyways. Below I did my very best to recap my 2015. Not that anyone else really cares, but the exercise was beneficial to me and I also personally love reading the recaps of others. So if that's you too, enjoy :)

JANUARY / I turned 21 and made a red wine chocolate cake and got to celebrate with my family and Meegan, who just so happened to be a house guest at the time! There was also a day trip with Ruth to Kansas City. If I remember correctly, I baked a lot and also made mucho ice cream. 

FEBRUARY / More of the same (read: baking, ice cream), minus the birthday. Meegan and I celebrated Singles Awareness Day (aka Valentine's Day) with a day trip to an unfamiliar city. If I remember correctly, February was very chilly. 

MARCH / In March I played a lot of tennis (a lot of tennis) and guitar. I baked a lot. Made ice cream. Meegan and  I explored a cool art museum while the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibit was showing. In general, I spent a lot of time at the coffee shop- either with my laptop, or with Meegan, or Ruth, or some combination of the three. There were also quite a few photo adventures and bike rides. Sunshine, too, which is always good :) 

APRIL / April. This is where things took a turn. (One word to describe this year would be "curveballs." I was thrown many.) Just after my aunt and cousins came to visit us, we learned that my dad got a 6-week project to do in San Francisco. So in April I arrived home and got busy enjoying everyone/everything here while I had the chance. (I also went on a roller coaster with a loop for the first time ever.)

MAY / I kind of split my time between the valley and the Bay Area, where the rest of my family was. Notably, Micah and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo together in the city (with taqueria, obviously). I also got to work at two beautiful weddings in SF with Gemma & Murray, the best caterers! 

JUNE / In June I shot my first ever engagement session! The highlight of the month by far though was definitely a day trip to Santa Cruz and Aptos with some great chums. Notably, this was my last summer month as a carefree, unemployed young person. Never again will I be all of those things at once.                                                       

JULY / I started a full-time job. Bought my first car. Officially "moved" home to California (even though in my mind i never really left). July was crazy. July was exciting. The end of July was mostly terrible due to crummy circumstances outside of my control. July was the epitome of the word that I would later use to summarize all of 2015: tension. Tension between wonderful and horrible. Joy and sorrow. Despair and hope.

AUGUST / In August work weeks were punctuated with Sunday trips to the city. August had a very predictable rhythm.

SEPTEMBER / More of the same. September was seriously monotone. I think the highlights were a sushi date with Grammy at our favorite place and my brother's birthday! 

OCTOBER / More of the same. I also saw a Ben Howard and Daughter concert in Berkeley with some of my best friends. October's highlight by far. 

NOVEMBER / In november I resumed Sundays in the city after an 8-week break. We spent our first Thanksgiving back in town with all of our family! Also, I went ice skating for the first time and didn't fall or break any bones. 

DECEMBER / For the first time in my life I really grasped/observed Advent and all that it represents. It was so valuable, and something I could fully identify with at this particular time in my life and all of the situations surrounding it. I could identify with the darkness. Identify with the waiting for Messiah. The longing for Christ to appear and make things new. In December, though it's been icky at times and hard, I regained lost hope. And hope is a wonderful thing to enter into a brand new year with.   


"Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing:

the Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue,

fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.

The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope."

Lamentations 3:21-24 (GNT)

the orange tree by Maci Britt

There is an orange tree right outside my window. I grew up with an orange tree in my front yard (a perfect climbing tree- it was great), so I like having this tree in sight. A couple of months ago it was relatively monochrome as the fruit started to appear and its green color blended right in with the leaves.

Now they are oranges in every sense of the word. The tree is heavy with them, and the first one was picked off the very top this morning. We ate it with breakfast. Hooray for citrus season! The juxtaposition of dull skies and bright fruit has always been my favorite.