if this could be our last summer, then why should we care?

i’m jumping the gun, but those are actually part of the lyrics to the song i used in my first ever photoshop video. seeing as though summer officially begins tomorrow and that they say we will soon face the apocalypse – i thought it was actually an interesting choice of lyrics. no? yes. 🙂

anyway, i got off track…

so – for the past few days, i have been playing + learning a lot with photoshop cs6 and it’s been…interesting. interesting in the good way of course. most of the time i really don’t have a damn clue as to what i’m doing or trying to do, but that’s where the fun lies. it’s fun to just take a random mediocre picture and then learn how to manipulate the hell out of it until it becomes well, fun.

here are some of the random things i have “created” in photoshop recently, in case you were interested of course:

giraffes from the philadelphia zoo – which also made an appearance in this post.

tanner being both philosophical and literal. for literal interpretation, refer to video in this post.

just a random picture from my last visit to nyc.

umm. remember how i mentioned that i’m a fan of dinosaurs {see: here}? i also happen to be a fan {thanks to my friend, dema} of this song called “foux du fafa” by flight of the conchords. so, what’s more natural then bringing a dinosaur and a french song together, right?

this nugget goes by the name of “skipper,” and he happens to be my mother’s most treasured living creature. he’s a cocker spaniel with a bad attitude. despite having broken through some of my skin in the past, he’s a tubby little guy with a good heart.

and, so there it is. nothing mind-blowing; just pure, unadulterated fun via photoshop. the best part is that in the process of having fun, i’m actually learning something. so, here’s to learning more about photoshop – and other things that are actually fun. after all, isn’t that part of what this revamping is all about? 🙂

ok, and to finish 0ff – here is that tiny, ridiculously amateur video i mentioned earlier that was “put together” in photoshop.

here’s to all of us feeling the summer wind in our face! 🙂

<3 always,

ana patricia

what kind of “self-taught” things are you learning these days?

all salmon die after spawning.

or so i just read on the internet.

anyway, for a lack of anything better to post – i figured i would share with you a new recipe i tried out today, which involved none other than salmon.

here is the recipe, which can also be found here in it’s original glory:

Ingredients – 

  • 1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 pounds)

For the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons good soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic


Light charcoal briquettes in a grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking.

While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisktogether the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula andgrill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don’t worry; it will keep cooking as it sits.

Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

here are the ingredients that i used to make the marinade/sauce:

 in life, sometimes we need to take some shortcuts, even if they make no sense. {i.e. using minced garlic versus fresh garlic}. kindly refrain from judging me. 🙂

the above picture is not meant to be informative. i just wanted to include it because mini whisks are absolutely adorable.

the final product!

overall, it was yums. BUT, as some of the previous reviewers of this recipe mentioned – it was slightly on the salty side. for next time, i think i’ll add something sweet, like honey, or use low sodium soy sauce to subdue the saltiness. and trust me, there will be a next time. 🙂

that’s my mini kitchen adventure for today. looking forward to many more – and to hearing all of the new recipes that you have been trying {or even how this one came out for you!}. 🙂

<3 always,

ana patricia

what kind of new recipes have you tried out lately?

3×3 box of goodies.

you read right – two posts, one night. talk about trying to make up for lost time. 🙂

so, in one of my previous posts {here}, i listed a bunch of random things that i wanted to do. one of them being: “have and tend to my own little garden with a little table where we can sit and have breakfast.” guess who finally crossed that one of her list? that’s right, this girl. {this girl obviously being me, in case that wasn’t completely clear. :)}

ok, i confess. i already have a patio table in my backyard and a bistro table on my front porch. the previous owners of 215 also planted an array of unfortunate flower beds in our backyard that i am not a big fan of. so, what the hell did i do, you ask? oh, i’ll tell you! i happen to have planted a little 3×3 vegetable garden. oh yeah! in no time, i’ll be slicing up my very own home-grown tomatoes and cucumbers and eating them on that patio + bistro table. yums galore.

now i suppose all of this premature bragging of a bountiful harvest is where i am jinxing it all – or perhaps, it was already doomed to begin with? it was just this morning, in fact, that my own mother called me a “catastrophe” because somehow the pot of flowers she bought me took an unhealthy turn; some people would even go as far as saying that they died. in my defense, i thought mother nature and all of this recent rain was taking care of them for me. needless to say, i’m hoping for some sort of miracle with those. but, my veggies {3 types of tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell peppers and an array of herbs – sweet basil, parsley, oregano + mint} will be my ultimate comeback. {fingers crossed.}

luckily for me, al was prepared with his iphone and took the following pictures of the whole vegetable garden adventure:

we were planning on building our own little flower bed box BUT happened to find this one at christmas tree shops for $9.98, and opted for the easier quicker option.

against al’s wishes, we planted our vegetable garden on the side of our house. it’s a trial vegetable garden and to be perfectly honest, it really wouldn’t have a chance in our backyard with our little hooligan of a dog. 🙂 hopefully i picked a good spot because i’m not looking forward to an i-told-you-so.

we cleaned out the random grass growing to the left of the raised vegetable garden, which totally created a fun muddy mess. we need to do the same around the recently planted wisteria and other viney plant. a little bit of mulch will hopefully give it all a cleaner look. i’m sure our overachiever of a neighbor will love looking at this mess in the meantime. since she mows her lawn almost every day, she will certainly be seeing lots of it. 🙂

what it looks like now! ok, it’s not that impressive. but it has potential to be awesome! and you know how i know? because it was planted with love. 🙂

looking forward to updating you on the progress of my little vegetable garden!

<3 always,

ana patricia

have you crossed off anything on your to-do list this weekend?

the results are in.

it took a good few weeks to finally get the results from the national geographic’s genographic project, previously mentioned here, but they are finally in.

this is the first of 9 pages of results, displaying the migration routes of my ancestors out of africa:

i would be lying if i didn’t say that i was slightly confused {maybe even disappointed?} that the migration route did not end up in portugal, or at least some part of western europe. although some of my family has recently dispersed, primarily to the united states and a handful to brazil, the majority of them were originally from portugal. i participated in this project knowing very well that it was not going to provide me with my specific genealogical history, but rather an overall picture of my ancestors’ migration out of africa. albeit very interesting to learn about, i found my results to be slightly vague + generic as it is still a work in progress. and, although national geographic does reiterate that it is an “ongoing research effort” and that this is just the beginning {“Although the arrow of your haplogroup currently ends across Western Eurasia, this isn’t the end of the journey for haplogroup T. This is where the genetic clues get murky and your DNA trail goes cold. Your initial results shown here are based upon the best information available today but this is just the beginning.”}, it would have been more of a confirmation to have seen that final dot somewhere in western europe or ideally, portugal. 🙂 with all of that being said, i do not want to take away from the experience of this whole thing: i got to swab my mouth like a boss; i learned about the very beginning traces of my maternal ancestry and it gave me a window to those women who once-upon-a-time shared some of the same DNA as me. and that, my friends, is pretty damn awesome.

once again, if you want to learn more about this project, you can visit https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html.

<3 always,

ana patricia

what interesting things have you learned about your ancestry?