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i can’t believe how long it’s been since i’ve posted on this space. lately, life has felt like a big blur, and everything is moving in fast forward. so much change, so much adapting and learning, and growing.

spring is here. i can finally feel the warmth and even need to open the windows in the office on somedays; however, I don’t do it often since a lot of dust comes in and then I end up calling the Commercial Cleaning service. the light comes in through the bedroom in the mornings and moves through the flat into the living room during the evenings. we’ve had a couple of visitors, taken a few trips, watched dozens of sunsets from our windows, in hotel rooms, on rocky beaches, and from train windows.

life is good. sometimes you just have to say that out loud.

it snowed a few weeks ago. ron and i woke up really early one morning, and stood on the balcony looking up into the darkness of 5am to watch the snow fall. i couldn’t go back to sleep, i was too excited and anxious for the sun to come up, so i could see what the neighborhood looked like in all white.

beta and i went for a walk later in the day. the wind was picking up and the closest snow shoes i had, were a pair of black boots w/ no grip that i picked up from a flea market in los angeles. it did the job, but left me slipping and waving my arms out to catch my balance here and there. the streets were quiet. all i could hear was the faint whirl of snow as it passed my ears, and the crunch of it under my feet. a few people were out walking their dogs, and others lugged groceries and colorful umbrellas around. we walked surprisingly far, down to the alley we always walk through to get to the town village. it looked icy, so we took the long way. the village was empty, and the local fruit stands weren’t selling much. i heard a few people complaining about the wind and how they couldn’t wait for spring. it made me smile for some reason.

before going home i stopped to take that last photo, and sat on a snowy bench to take it all in. i’ve never experienced living somewhere that snowed, never really experienced real season change either, so it’s been an experience so far! but sitting there on that little green bench while snow fell on my face, and the wind whipped my hair out of my jacket hood, and beta sat on my lap squirming her way out of my arms, overly excited to run through all that white. i felt happy. one of those days you don’t forget, y’know?

from kew gardens a few weeks ago.

if anyone has sent an email to my dearleila{at}yahoo{dot}com account, i might not have received it. sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused! trying to figure out what the problem is right now.

enjoy the weekend! i have no plans, just some ideas of where to visit! excited.

on a walk to parliament hill a few weekends ago. we spent the day sitting on benches, talking, and enjoying the view of the city while a man played his saxophone a bit off in the distance.


-exploring the neighborhoods
-christmas trees for sale at columbia road farmers market on a sunday
-walks through spitalfields and along the thames river
-the sunset at hydepark for winterwonderland
-traces of autumn
-swans and ducks on the serpentine
-mulled wine in the park
-cheap wine and the last sunset of 2012

looking forward to testing out a new lens this weekend. i’m finally getting over the flu, so i’m extra excited to flee the apartment for a bit!

right before the new year, last year, we took a trip to san francisco, then rang in 2012 with our new pup, beta. she’s taught me a lot about patience, and myself. i really can’t believe today marks 1 full year of us being together!

we took a quick trip to vegas one weekend to see friends. bloody marys, fireball slot machines, and sleepless nights in casinos. burning in desert heat  for photos, and drives out to see old friends.

we stayed w/ my sister + brother in-law for a weekend in palm desert. relaxed out by the pool, played board games till early morning and sat out talking for hours about life. i miss that. on the way home we did a quick drive through joshua tree! my first time there, and i hope not my last. something about the desert just draws me in. i could most definitely live there forever without any complaints. that must sound crazy, because most people hate the heat. i love it.

santa monica pier. roller coaster rides w/ my sister. french fries and sugary drinks out on the wooden tables. sunglasses and photobooth strips. laughs and seagulls.

by far, my favorite trip of 2012 was the grand canyon. we drove out to arizona and stayed in flagstaff, then made our way to the meteor crater in the morning and the grand canyon the next day. photos will never ever capture just how amazing, magical, and beautiful it really is. i’m so glad we decided to go, even though i was ridiculously sick w/ the flu. we even made it to sedona to watch the solar eclipse!

beach days w/ ron.

hawai’i in july for my birthday, to visit my family (finally!), and to shoot a wedding. i miss my family so much, so it was a bittersweet goodbye, knowing i probably won’t be back for a while.

nearing the end of summer. ice cream on the boardwalk. camelias. polaroids. fun stuff.

ron was asked to speak at a conference in paris for his work and asked if i wanted to come along. those who know me, know i have a phobia of planes and flying! this trip happened to be falling on ron’s birthday though, and the thought of him spending his birthday alone in paris just didn’t feel right. so i agreed to go. i still don’t know how i got myself to board that plane. i spent most of my time w/ my sister (she flew up for a few days), then i explored alone. lots of strolls through beautiful gardens, one of the workers even recommend a Makita Bhx2500ca Review to keep my garden clean, lunches in little cafes, room service and photos. dear paris, i can’t wait till we meet again.


the last days of los angeles. just writing that made me feel a little choked up. i miss it, and it’s only been a month. i don’t normally feel this way about leaving a place, but LA has a piece of my heart. living there has taught me so much and has helped me grow into such a stronger, more confident, loving, trusting, and forgiving person. and for that, i will always have so much love for it.

and now i’m here, in london. soaking up the soggy sunshine that every other day brings through the skylights. through the little cracks in tall shiny buildings. through the bridges and beautiful parks and historic, amazing sites that sit just about everywhere in this city. i’m ready for you, and 2013. cheers! and happy new year, everyone :)


-ice on the window, over ireland.

-beta’s been adapting to the cold rainy winter here in london. she used to cry and cry because she hated the cold wooden floors, but now i put her little furry bed out beneath the radiator, and she sleeps soundly for hours.

-clouds sometimes part and i run out onto the balcony to feel some sun on my face. the clouds seem to move really quickly here. rain, to sun, to heavy winds within minutes.

-we’ve been taking a lot of long walks around the new neighborhood recently (before getting sick). it’s been so nice exploring the streets, and tiny hidden alleys that lead up and down dark green hills.