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All Good Sauce

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of working with Sue Park, founder and creator of All Good Sauce. 

I'm very pleased with how this video turned out. It was my first solo project, and I'm honored to have been given the chance. Thank you Sue for trusting me! Sue is trying to raise money to expand her business. You can check out her Go Fund Me page here

 

Happy Birthday to My Husband

Today is Adam's birthday, so I'm dedicating this blog to him to wish him the happiest of birthdays! 

Happy birthday! I'm thankful for everything you've done for me. I hope this day will bring you happiness and joy as much as you have brought me. I love you dearly. #lifebuddies 

Nicole

I've been itching for a new project for a while, so when Nicole reached out to me to do this photo shoot I jumped at the opportunity right away. I haven't done fashion styled shoots in a while, because mostly I've been working with Pet Food Express and Pasadena Humane Society lately. I look forward to doing more of these with Nicole in the near future, so expect more of these types of work from me in the next couple of months. 

So we went to Highland Park, because honestly we were too lazy to drive out to LA. It was such a fun photo-shoot!

Thanks Nicole for the opportunity, and for being such an easy model to work with!

On The Street: Pasadena, 2016

Uncertainty, whether on the part of the observer or the observed, can be quite unsettling. At first glance, is he just another street ruffian to be sidestepped with a wide berth? Or maybe, on closer inspection, he’s just another of the disaffected, artistic youth clogging up the streets looking for a better way to live their lives. Rather than scurry, along and spend their money, they stop for a moment and absorb some small form of experience, mainlining information and stimulus in a way that bygone generations just can’t understand. In order to keep up with the demands for the future their parents promised them where they could all be astronauts and presidents, they had to dip themselves into the stream of life fully, and most did not come out unscarred. And when they did arise from their baptism by fire, they found a world laid to waste by those who came before, even as they lingered and vapidly displayed the trophies of their self serving capitalism. They were left with no choice but to take part, and hope they would be distracted enough to not see the end coming. 

words by: Adam Armstrong

Charleston, South Carolina

Last year I went to South Carolina, and I built a deck. 

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My construction skills are merely at amateur level, so luckily I wasn't assigned to complex and elaborate tasks. The last time I did construction job was volunteering for Habitat for Humanity a few years back. I must say, it is a lot of fun! Not only is it a work out, but creating something with your hands is very satisfying. 

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I was in South Carolina to celebrate Ashley's (Adam's sister) birthday. We were wrecking our brains to think of what to get Ashley for her birthday before we flew out, but we couldn't come up with anything. Ashley texted us a few days before we flew out and told us that we'd be helping her build a new deck for her house. So I said to Adam, 'well that's the best birthday gift we could ever get her.' 

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Built with love,

Adam + Monika 

Baby Chucky Norris

*Don't worry, that's not going to be the actual name of their baby. 

This is my friend Yvonne. She and her husband Josh are expecting their first child in just a couple of weeks! I can't wait to spoil the crap out of that baby. 

As you can see, Josh is loving this photoshoot. Secretly, I think he really likes having his photo taken. If that kid smiles half as much as these two do in real life, that will be one happy baby.

We were enjoying the symmetry here, but I was kind of hoping that James Earl Jones would show up and teach us how to play baseball.

We even tried to show him where to be, but alas, no Field of Dreams for us. 

I can't believe that the next time I see these two, there will be three of them! Oh, and eventually Josh warmed up to being photographed :)

behind the scenes 

However, Gear Boy was stoic as always.

Bright Coffee

Bright Coffee is a minimalistic specialty coffee shop nestled in the heart of Monterey, CA. It is a must visit if you're ever in the area. They share their space with Lilify, a small artisan shop next door. 

They are currently in the process of moving their roaster, therefore in the meantime they offer a variety of west coast based roasters. 

These guys are terrific! Check them out if you're ever in Monterey or just passing through. You won't be disappointed! Also, check out Lilify next door if you're not a coffee drinker. I always have to fight the urge to buy everything they carry.

 

- Monika 

Float

I work part-time at a coffee/sandwich shop in Pasadena called Float owned by Iris Lee. I've been working there for about three years now.

Shop interior

Three years ago before Iris took over, Float used to be a sandwich shop called Root Beer Joe's. I had only eaten there once, and I can't say I was impressed by them. So, when Iris took over and opened up Float, I was excited to check it out. My fiancé and I stopped by Float on their first week of opening. I was very pleased to see the changes in aesthetic and menu offerings. One of the first things that drew me into Float was the fact that they carried Handsome Coffee (now Bluebottle). I've been an avid coffee drinker for a few years at that point, and I was a big fan of Handsome's, so I was giddy with excitement when I found out. 

They still serve sandwiches, though the menu has been modified and updated, and they also do floats! Float offers forty plus options on glass bottled sodas that you can pair with the varieties of ice cream they carry. They carry local's favorite Fosselman's ice cream. 

A couple of weeks after my visit, I decided to see if they were hiring. I had nothing to do at the time, I'd been unemployed for almost a year, and it was right across the street from my apartment. I reached out to Iris on twitter (yeah), and she emailed me to come in for an interview, and the rest was history.