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Mani Mondays: #1

Vacaville Lux

Nails & Spa

3085 Alamo Dr, Vacaville, CA 95687

This location is pretty easy to find and even has a sign for walk-ins. It is accented with purple and seems really chic compared to the minimalistic places I am used to frequenting. They have two different set ups for pedicures and two for manicures. For the pedicures they have either a couch like section with tubs for the feetagainst the left wall which seem more modern and then the massage chairs with a soaking tub in the front left which I tend to see in most salons. For the manicures they have a high top bar like table which fits multiple people in the back right hand corner and then singular work stations near the front right. 

Once I walked in I was seated within minutes which I wasn't surprised since only one other person was inside and she was already getting her nails done. However, there were only two people working but it was a Tuesday at about 10am so I can see why. Both peoples were polite but not really friendly. They both spoke okay/some english. 

I wanted a gel mani & pedi and I already had a full set on and a gel pedi. I was set up in a massage chair for the pedi first. I kinda wished I had been put on the couch to try it out but I think they only use that area when they are busy. It took a good amount of time to get the gel off since they wrapped it in foil rather than sanding it off but that is how I prefer it so I didn't mind. I was set up with a huge basket of colors to pick from and couldn't have been happier with the selection. I think it’s the largest selection I have seen or been given to choose from.

From here came the part I normally have problems with, the length of my nails. I did have to ask multiple times for them to be cut back and rounded in the corners where they are slightly ingrown. I didn't get them rounded as much as I would have liked but it was the shortest Ive had them cut back in a long time, since most places wont do it as short as I would like.

Once everything was getting filed I was asked what kind of pedicure I wanted. I was given a sheet with the offers they have. The prices slightly varied depending on what you wanted. I decided on a general pedicure with a few extras like a hot stone massage. This was valued at $35. 

The final product was nice. I got a black color gel with no extra designs and was happy with the result. The massage was really nice and relaxing however I did get poked a couple times during the filing.

Meanwhile, the other woman I was telling you about that was getting her nails done asked to stop her pedicure (since she had already finished her mani) before it was finished due to the fact she had to go pick up her daughter and it took longer than she had expected. The woman working did prorate her which I thought was a nice gesture. Also, another woman had come in & ended up leaving because she was asked to wait 30 mins and then the woman she wanted to work with wasn't working till the following day. 

Back to my nails. 

Like I said I had a full set on minus one nail which had popped off during the weekend when pulling up a zipper. While I was doing my pedi they tried to start getting my set off. This was PAINFUL. I’ve had some bad experiences getting my nails off before since I do switch them quickly but this was pretty bad (do keep in mind, like I had mentioned previously, my nails are very very thin at this point). On one of the nails she started ripping the nail itself rather than just the acrylic off. With all the problems she was having I would have expected her to soak them but that was far from what happened. She tried cuticle cutters, fake nails (which you normally use to start acrylics), her fingers, and a cuticle pusher. I was close to saying something but I refrained. After all that she only ended up getting one or two off and decided to wait till the pedicure was over and said they would just sand them down. 

Once I moved to the nail table I was then poked and prodded a ton to get my set off. Needless to say most of them came off and a couple ended up being sanded down. At this point I was ready to go. I wanted my nails done because I was no longer enjoying myself.

I had chosen a gold color gel which on the sample looked gold with black tones & wanted some black crystals on my ring ringers. I had asked about the crystals and was told they didn't have any black. She did continue to look to make sure and still came back with the same response. I asked to look at the crystals to see what colors were available to see if I could find one to match. At this point I was kinda bummed because I had picked the black on my toes so everything would match assuming they had the crystals I wanted. It wasn't the best to assume but because they had a whole shelf of nail crystals and samples I just figured they would. Anyway, once I started looking thru the jar of them I found black ones so I shook thru them till I found enough to make a line down each nail since they didn't seem that willing. The person I was working with started laughing a little at me trying to find them which was fine I was being picky and it made me laugh a little also. They did prime my nails with a clear gel before they applied the color and I needed three coats of color to get a crisp look. 

At this point another woman came in to get a mani/pedi and was seated in a massage chair for her feet first. It took a little bit to get her settled in because she couldn't understand the girl working very well. However, she was older but she did mention at one point how she had been coming to that location for years so I am surprised they didn't already know one another. 

My nails were finally finished but I didn't get a hand massage which I know with acrylics sometimes places don't but to my recollection I haven't not been given one with gel. It is possible they were trying to get me out also since I was coming up on being their for THREE HOURS! 

As for the prices, as I was being charged I was told, it was $45 for toes (I assume $10 more compared to the price on the sheet because of the gel) and then told $35 for nails. However, I don't know if he just switched the prices by accident while he was saying it. I do tip so I always ask about adding it to the card because sometimes you can not write it in addition. Unless I am paying with cash. (Side note: if you don't often go to nail salons I do recommend you ask if they take card before you sit because sometimes they do not.)

Once I was outside I did notice the gold color gel was very gold and I don't know if it was because of the lighting or that they may have primed the sample with black but it was different than I had expected. However, it was pretty and I still liked it.

It has now been a week and a day. My manicure is destroyed! The crystals started falling off the day I got them done and I am surprised a couple still remain. My nails have torn in multiple places and I have had to remove part of my nail to keep from tearing too short. I will say though, in most cases when my nail rips the gel will remove over most the nail leaving me with barely any color. This time the color has stayed on evenly in the ripped areas and only chipped in a couple spots. However, my pedicure is looking great. It has grown out ever so slightly but I am happy with it and see no chipping.


Overall….

~ This was the longest it has taken me to get my nails done, give or take ten mins, 3 hours long. 

~ $80 for gel man & pedi, this is average-high for me (Yes, I do splurge on getting my nails done often but it’s my special treat.)

~ Location: Pretty, relaxing, modern/chic

~ Staff: Polite, some/okay english

~ Walk-Ins: Yes

~ Only one person was going to have to wait on the Tuesday I went. They take their time with each client so the turn over is longer but it didn't have a heavy flow of people, very much the opposite. 

~ Takes credit cards


I would go here again….

if I have time to spare and want to get a pedicure & relax.


Thanks for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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Weekly Hodgepodge: January 18th - 24th

Hello Everyone!

This week has been pretty simple which has been really nice especially since a few family members in my household have been sick and I am trying so hard to stay sick free. I am even taking Airborne and let me tell you Airborne is not my jam. I did have to take my car in to get serviced so I got a rental car. The first car I got to rent myself now that I'm 25! Feeling like a big girl. Haha.

Monday was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday which would normally mean a day off for most but for me it was just a time to check awesome quotes on Instagram. Then on Wednesday I had to take a trip to the DMV which doesn't annoy me as it does most & unfortunately I was their because of my own stupidity anyway. I lost my registration. Sad face.

Found on Instagram from @khloekardashian

Found on Instagram from @khloekardashian

Something fun that we did during the week though were puzzles. My sister had got a box of four puzzles & I am a girl who likes to weirdly challenge myself and I hate seeing puzzles unfinished. Obviously, I then had to finish them quickly. The first one we opened was done in about 4 hours, mind you they are Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles at 500 pieces each. The second one was opened the next day and seemed harder than the first so it wasn't finished till the following morning. The other two I have hidden in the corner so I don't feel the need to complete them this week.

Hope you all are enjoying the first month of the year as it is already almost behind us. I can not believe how fast time flies.

Thanks for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!


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Mani Mondays: Background & Info About The Review Series

I should start off by giving you a little info about my nails and my nail care habits so you will know for the rest of this series…

I've been going back and forth on acrylic nails, gel, and just your regular mani/pedis for about 10-15 years if not longer. I occasionally do my own nails when I am trying to save money or I find an Essie color I am in love with. 

A bad habit I have is changing my acrylics quickly. I don't really like nor get fills. I have a few times but I can count how many times on my both hands. This has made my nails very thin over the years, especially lately. Before this first salon review (coming next in the series) I had just gotten a full set who made my nails extra thin, partially because the salon before who did my gel had already thinned them more than I would have liked just because they used a sander (the one for the acrylic nails) instead of a file and buffer. 

I also like my toe nails cut short and when I say, “short” I mean I want to pull my foot away because you are hitting skin when you file. This normally means I have to cut them before I go in so they will just file them but I forget since my visits tend to be impromptu. I know this is unusual for most people but I just like them that way. Plus it means I can spend less money on getting them done because I get them done less frequently than my nails. What is also great about this is it helps with my slight ingrown toe nails because they automatically cut the edges where that starts. 

Last but not least, I am a walk in kind of girl. I rarely make appointments. Which would be when I am going with someone, when I used to go to school dances or special occasions, and this one location I love in San Jose, CA which I know tends to get really busy. Plus, I just don't know when I am going to actually go and where since I change locations frequently so appointments are not that practical for me.

Now for the reviews…

I will be giving you a back story of each visit. This well help you know the processes they take and the details of the visit. 

An overview at the end. This will cover the main points I have talked about thru my review that would be helpful if you are looking at going to this location. As well as a shorter look if you aren't a details kind of person or may be in a rush that day to read everything. It’s also great to go back and look at if you end up visiting the area. 

I will also be adding an “I will go here again…” This is pretty much a sentence at the very end which would explain what I would go here for. This is like my star rating and gives you the basic what I think that location is good for or specializes in.

There will also be a section featuring the progress of my nails which I will try and do as often as I can either in the main review or a followup review depending when I post. This is just an updated overview of what my nails are looking like and how they lasted about a week from getting them done.

I hope that these reviews are fun for you to read and help to find new places to go if you are in search of a salon location. I would love your feedback to know other things you would like to know or any questions you may have that I can help answer. 

Thanks for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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Weekly Hodgepodge: November 23rd-29th

This week is a time to remember why we are so thankful for all that we have considering it's Thanksgiving. Not that you shouldn't feel blessed everyday but it is a great time to stop and really think about it, especially if you don't on a consistent basis. It is time for our family to come together more & enjoy the little moments.

To top it off, being a shopaholic like myself, black Friday and cyber Monday are finally here and some deals start early! However, this week was filled with not only lots of food & family but time out adventuring in the city & Big Sur. It was nice to spend time outside rather than being home all week or behind a computer deal surfing.

Thanks for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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Weekly Hodgepodge: November 16th-22nd

Have to start the week with something yummy so this week we went to Chili's. I love the chicken enchilada soup here. It's not to heavy and especially good as it is starting to get colder outside. I also decided to spoil myself with a virgin strawberry maragrita because sometimes something cold and icy is so good in the tummy. Plus, I love the crunch.

Our days have been filled with play dates. The littles love to chase one another about. Our mornings consist of an indoor ball pit, which I believe is from Walmart if anyone is interested for the holidays. A muffin & coffee run which is mainly for me because I need like three cups a day. I can't forget about the big legos, the caterpillar pillow cuddles, and some Hallmark movies.

The week has to end with a stunning view of some sort and this week had two. One by the beach at Pacifica and one in the hills at Mt Tam. 

Thanks for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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Family Time

I tend to go a lot of places and I like to be out by the beach, this particular day I was craving the beach, so we planned on making our way over. Unfortunately, we ended up running a little late and because we currently live a good drive inland we wouldn't make it in time for golden hour. So instead we made our way to this lovely mountain top. It's a semi hidden gem in the suburbs. 

I love going here for the light. The rays shine through the trees ever so perfectly and the hill is just high enough that you can enjoy the view without looking into someones back yard. Also, the hike up isn't bad at all. 

It was a nice time to enjoy our little family time and take some photos of the little. I ventured a little further to the neighboring hilltop this time & got a good view of the city and also of my man wondering around shooting, as you can see in a couple photos here. 

Sometimes it's the unexpected things that lead to the best memories. I recommend everyone takes a stroll around the corner or down the street, you never know what amazing places you may find. Also, it is important to have time with family and loved ones because that time is precious and it's time you won't regret spending. Hope you enjoy these photos and thanks for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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In A Field Of Thoughts

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

"Hidden amongst a sea of people, I go about my life

I keep my thoughts and feeling behind a pale painted face-

Smiles real and fake meet the eyes of my acquaintances throughout my day.

I venture with my closest companion in hopes of seeing even more amazing sights and a brighter tomorrow--

I see so much kindness and so much hatred in the streets. 

I see how love can radiate from the most unwarranted of places & it keeps my hopes high.

People can do so much in the years they live-

I hope that I too can create something beautiful.

Even in the most unexpected ways."

-Catherine Alyce

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of Catherine Alyce by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

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Shadow Play

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

This is Rachel Nolan (@rachelchristine210). She had done a shoot with me before and has been around for my countless picture frenzies in college from nights downtown, to house parties, and dinner dates. We always have a great time catching up on life but it's great that we are opposites too. She is very outgoing and can make a conversation with anyone in her path. Overall, I love how she is always up for anything I have in mind especially when it came to this shoot.

I've been living in a third floor apartment for the past year and almost everyday I see a new pattern of shadows on the walls. I have said countless times that I need to take pictures using these shadows. Finally, as my time in this apartment comes to a close, we planned something out and here is the result. Hope you enjoy the photos from our little set.

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

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Pilgramers Meet @ Corona Heights Peak

View From Corona Heights Peak by Catherine Alyce

View From Corona Heights Peak by Catherine Alyce

This was my first time enjoying the view from Corona Heights Peak and it was lovely. It reminded me of some other great places in the city but you feel closer to downtown which was something new and gave this place its own bit of character. 

This meet-up was one of a kind, even though I have been to a few others, I was really excited that is was co-hosted by @pilgramers and @snapwire. Pilgramers were one of the first "photography based" Instagram accounts I ever started following. If you have never heard of them before you should really check them out. They are a group of four creatives in hopes of bringing people together in person from online, no matter your passion, no matter where you live. It may have started with a community thru Instagram but now they are doing much more. San Fransisco may have been one of the last stops on there Creative Connect Tour but I am sure they have more amazing things coming in the future. 

This meet was a lot of fun and I thought it had a great turnout but it was super windy and gusty. Minus the crazy wind blown hair, I did enjoy the view and getting to meet up with some new friends as well as some old. It is always nice to see where people come from and get to experience a new perspective on something you are also passionate about. I personally always find some type of inspiration just from watching people, let alone getting to hear their story.

Here are some photos from the meet. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

Emilee (@squareneck) by Catherine Alyce

Emilee (@squareneck) by Catherine Alyce

Meet-up by Catherine Alyce

Meet-up by Catherine Alyce

Emilee (@squareneck) by Catherine Alyce

Emilee (@squareneck) by Catherine Alyce

View From Corona Heights by Catherine Alyce

View From Corona Heights by Catherine Alyce

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I'll Be Cooking Eggs

Colored Eggs by Catherine Alyce

Colored Eggs by Catherine Alyce

Mornings bring out the groggy and lazy parts of me. It is the time of day that reminds me of how much of a coffee addict I am. I used to be such a night owl and even though I tend to not stay up till 3-5 AM anymore, I am still not a morning person.

I wake up early for a quick 30 minute Instagram stroll around 4 AM because of other people's schedules and then I fall back asleep until it is time to get up and make breakfast. This consists of cereal on most days with a splash of eggs or something else on those days I feel a little more peppy. However, it tends to be a pretty light meal (the only light meal I eat a day) and may consist of only coffee some mornings. 

Breakfast, however, is one of the best meals I cook. Which is why breakfast on the weekends (when everyone is home) tend to be bigger; if I'm not out venturing and if I am cooking. I must say I am not much of a cook, even though I do try. I am lucky because my mother is a great cook. She does a lot of "white/american" traditional foods. If I have a question I can always call and ask but that doesn't always mean it will turn out the way it was meant to. 

Going back to breakfast.. it is one of the easiest meals NOT to mess up!

I started making breakfast when I was in elementary school, I think. By making, I do mean actually preparing (myself), otherwise I would have been younger because I always tried to help; but I think eating the cookie dough and spilling milk all over the counter isn't much help in the end!

My specialty became: Cereal! Peanut butter on toast! & Eggs! I picked up making eggs pretty quickly and with learning the basics, then special tricks from my grandparents, soon after I was cracking eggs one handed. Which I don't think I can do anymore.

Ironically, eggs are one of the only foods I rarely eat. I don't crave nor want them much but I am sure good at whipping them up. Maybe I'll share some recipes in upcoming blogs or maybe I'll have to write a cook book for the oven burning inclined! 

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

 

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Shipwrecked

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

This is a shoot I did with my friend, Rachel Nolan. She was really up for anything and interestingly enough I had a whole plan for everything including outfit (which worked out perfectly) and location and last minute we actually ended up going somewhere else which completely worked in our favor.

This is one of my favorite beaches because it has some unique aspects and this time I was shocked to what we came across. A ship which had appeared to be wrecked along the little shore which was left available. This is not a spot one would expect to find a boat of any sorts due to low tide, shore, and heavy rocks. Then after having a jaw dropping reaction we noticed all the wood floating around the boat and down the shore. It was just perfect. It made my whole idea come to life. 

Another aspect which ended up working more perfectly than I could have imagined was having a hide tide. Normally, in the times I have been here I have been able to walk close to the cliffs without getting wet if I wanted. This time that was not the case. We got soaked just trying to get near this amazing shipwreck. Needless to say, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to get right next to it and take photos. 

In the midst of our short, up close, and personal shoot with the ship were were asked multiple times if we were okay and how we were getting back around. Thanks to all those people we hastened our adventure and that was probably best because we ended up getting even higher tide. Let me just say I was lucky to not have fallen and ruined my camera since we were being pushed along the cliff side by many waves, strong ones at that. Even though it isn't the safest thing I've done it was totally worth it!

We continued our shoot on dryer land and found ourselves in much need of dry clothes and a couple of showers once we headed back into town. I am so glad things happened the way they did and we got to witness such a interesting sight. It is a story I will tell for years to come. 

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

Rachel Nolan by Catherine Alyce

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Child's Play

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Innocence is something we commonly relate to children. We see a child doing something that we know we would never be found doing, at least in public, and think of the innocence of the child. Like when a baby does something wrong and someone says, "Well, she's just a baby." We create this grey area for children which in my opinion is not always good. However, I do think a child has the right to be a child and experience things as one without the cautious attitude of an adult or young adult. Although, I do think an adult should carry the responsibilities that many would agree are common in our society today. I also believe that it should not be considered irresponsible for an adult to play and have fun. 

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

With this shoot I wanted to remove an expectation. An expectation that a young adult shouldn't play, swing, or climb. I wanted the viewer to experience a child like feel. To let down this stigma that it is only child's play. My hope is that it will make anyone and everyone want to go to the park or the playground in the backyard and just have fun. It's not only parents who get to play and run around like kids chasing their little ones. You could have just gotten engaged and run around at the beach playing frisbee. You could be in high school and want to roll down the grassy knoll around the corner. Saying a person should be responsible does not mean you should let go of your innocence. Yes, as an adult, I hope you know when doing these things are appropriate and I don't think playing tag during a funeral or business meeting are acceptable but I hope it makes you think twice when you are taking a stroll around the block and feel like skipping. Let your guard down and actually do it. Who knows you may not only smile and enjoy yourself, you may gain a new friend, or may inspire someone else to have fun. 

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

"We've let the blade of our innocence dull over time, and it's only in innocence that you find any kind of magic, any kind of courage."

-Sean Penn

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Crystal Benoit by Catherine Alyce

I think it is with innocence we find a love of life. Even though it may seem childlike I think these things bring happiness to a person. As an adult we know that we could fall if we climb a tree or walk along the top of the fence. We know that talking to a stranger could end in a kidnapping. Yes, these things can happen and I am not saying people should be ignorant or irresponsible. I am just recognizing that the fun in life comes from trying new things, not caring what people think, enjoying being outside and running in the park. These are the things a child does instinctively and maybe, as adults, we should too. 

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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A Boy With His Own Dreams

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

There is more to a boy than what his mother sees. There is more to a boy then hat his father dreams. Inside every boy lies a heart that beats. And sometimes it screams, refusing to take defeat. And sometimes his father’s dreams aren’t big enough, and sometimes his mother’s vision isn’t long enough. And sometimes the boy has to dream his own dreams and break through the clouds with his own sunbeams.”

— Ben Behunin, Remembering Isaac: The Wise and Joyful Potter of Niederbipp (Remembering Isaac, #1)

Dorian Becerra striking a pose by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra striking a pose by Catherine Alyce

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Flowers, Fields, Frolicking

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Flowers are a girls best friend, next to diamonds. They put a smile on almost every woman face and they are a delight to smell and enjoy. As this may be true, some flowers tend to be overlooked. A good example of this are mustard flowers. They are known to be weeds yet can be just as beautiful as the roses in your garden. 

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

I've seen some beautiful photos in locations which consist of tons of mustard flowers or mountains of "undesirable" weeds. I find that the people who tend to notice this common scenery as something special are those who love photography. Especially, those on Instagram. Needless to say, it was time to head to one of these locations myself.

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

The lovely Jessica Lepez and I met up to take some portraits in Livermore, CA. Unfortunately, the nearer I came to the destination the further the clouds seemed to be. We were left with one of the sunniest days of the year so far and shadows everywhere. Even though this was not my ideal I was excited to shoot and ready to have fun in this place encompassed with flowers. Yellow bursting from the ground as far as the eye could see with the perfect little pathway for us to venture inward. 

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

I may add that when you are traveling in high fields or any field it is suggested that you keep an eye out for animals which may be lurking around. Thankfully we only ran into a large amount of lizards slithering back and forth trying to hide from the sun and us I am sure. However, when we neared the end of our session an older gentleman did suggest we be careful because the area is highly known for snakes. Yikes! Lets just say after hearing that I was very glad to be done moments after. 

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Another thing to really keep in mind when going outdoors, for any reason, is to wear the right clothing and or sunscreen. I was very much surprised when we both headed home. I ended up with a crazy tan line as a souvenir. At the time though I was as red as a lobster. As for Jessica, she seemed to be less affected by the sun. I am sure our difference in skin tone gave her an advantage. Even with her wearing various thin strapped shirts and other items from Forever 21, H&M, some temporary arm tattoos from Charlotte Russe, and a felt hat from Nordstrom.

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Jessica Lepez by Catherine Alyce

I had an enjoyable time with Jessica frolicking through the vast amount of mustard flowers and weeds especially in an unexpected area. I recommend taking a day to do the same. Let your creativity burst or just enjoy being outdoors. I also recommend a stop for some tea to take with you, it could get hot!

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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"If your thighs touch you're one step closer to being a mermaid so who's the real winner here"

- Unknown (found via @ohmydearhandmade)

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Coffee & Adventure Time

#thatPNWmug from @seajayshop by Catherine Alyce

#thatPNWmug from @seajayshop by Catherine Alyce

Every morning starts off as a battle between the alarm clock and my bed. My bed has the advantage though. Especially when all I want to do is to cuddle up and press the snooze button. The hardest days are the mornings when I am trying to get up for sunrise. Those days come way too early. The good thing is I have a human alarm clock to push me out of bed when my phone isn't sufficent enough but one thing that puts that pep in my step is my coffee. It really gets me going and helps start my mornings off right. The only thing that makes it better is a big mug to put it in that makes me smile, like this cute mug created by Alicia Waag (@alicia_katherine_) which you can purchase from her Etsy shop (@seajayshop).

Photo of me and #thatPNWmug from @seajayshop by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

Photo of me and #thatPNWmug from @seajayshop by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens)

The other great part about early adventures is having a whole day to explore so when you get to the point that you just want to nap or to sit and relax you tend to have your whole afternoon left. At least for me, I look down expecting it to be 1pm and it's only 11am. At this point that morning coffee was the best idea ever, trust me! It is a necessity really because when I am out taking pictures I have no time to waste. That nap is meant for later, when it is dark. However, I do admit sometimes taking some time and relaxing while out and about is an adventure all on its own and it is a pleasure I am guilty of. Plus, one.. or two... maybe, three stops at the closest Starbucks never hurt anyone! Right?

#thatPNWmug from @seajayshop by Catherine Alyce

#thatPNWmug from @seajayshop by Catherine Alyce

I know that you must be thinking, "All that coffee can not be good for you!" I am sure you are correct, especially with the amount I drink. It is my addiction (one of a few). I admit it. Instead of trying to stop though I am grabbing it by the horns and adding a little spice to it instead by placing it in one of the cutest mugs I have ever seen, and the saying fits me all too well. I can't lie, all my Starbucks mugs are a little jelly of #thatPNWmug. Don't you want to add one to your cupboard now too? I would, just saying. 

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

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Laying Poolside

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Laying Poolside

Photo of Denise Durand   by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Spring is here but it feels like summer. This means it is time for the first shoot of the season and for me the start of something new, portraits. It also means it's time to work for those bikini bodies and start pulling out those things we call bathing suites and what our grandparents call strings. 

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand   by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

During this time of the year, or really any hot day, I always think of the beach. I am not the kind of person that does well in heat and tend to prefer my weather cold, snowing, and rainy. However, I love the water and have been called a fish ever since I can remember by my mother. Even though I grew up with a pool, I have also lived in many places where the pool isn't just a sliding door away and I tend to forget how available they are. 

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand   by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

My personal goal this spring and summer is to utilize the pool and jacuzzi. I would like to do more barbecues and pool side activities, even if it's just taking an hour and laying out. Let's be honest ladies and gents who doesn't like just taking an hour and relaxing by the pool. Just taking some time to pamper ourselves either reading a book, taking a nap, or just looking thru a magazine. Doesn't it seem nice?! Then why do we always think we need a day trip to the beach to do it? Don't get me wrong the sounds of the ocean, sand between my toes, and beautiful sunsets make me feel at home but the pool is in walking distance.

Photo of Denise Durand   by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

We would all like to tone up our bodies or loose a couple inches before strutting our stuff. Especially after most of our new years resolutions included something about going to the gym more or in my case at all. Even though I would like to say this week is the week I will actually start, lets be real, the only way to affect my weight and body is my diet. That being said it is time to bring out the infused water and put away the sodas and sugar. My favorite infused waters are cucumber and pineapple. They both give off an amazing flavor that just makes me want to drink more which is perfect to stay hydrated in this California weather which is already in the upper 70s; especially when laying out in the sun.  

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Now, the only things we are missing for our time by the pool are our cute outfits and accessories. Model, Denise Durand, is wearing a black multi strapped one piece which is a great alternative to a bikini and still cute and glamorous. Secondly, a white patterned inlay crop top with her black bikini to add a layered look as well as giving it a summery touch. Both looks are paired with a simple round stud from Urban Outfitters creating a classic look that she can easily go for a dip in without worrying about shedding too  many layers. Don't forget your towels before leaving because they always come in handy as well as some sunscreen. If you are the person that likes to float in style you may also want to bring a pool float, my personal favorites being the ones that look like donuts.

Photo of Denise Durand   by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand   by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Most of all I hope you all have a great day outside soaking in the sun and spending time amongst good company. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Au Revoir!

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

Photo of Denise Durand by Catherine Alyce

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