this site has moved!

Hi friends! Just a heads up: I will no longer be posting here at Et Cetera. The site will remain accessible (though its URL will be reverting back to eventually), so you can come browse the archives at any time.

Leaving this space is bittersweet, but I’m so excited to be able to direct you to my new site now! In the future I will be sharing photographs and other random stuff at Head on over and check it out! A completely redesigned website awaits you there :)



brownies from a box (or, life lately)

 A lot can happen in a day. A lot can happen in a week. In a month. In a year. As of late, those sentences have been proven especially accurate in my life.

Despite my curiosity about the future, I think it’s a good thing that I can’t know too far in advance what’s going to happen in life before it happens. A friend recently said, “Sometimes forgetting the future is the only way to really live in the present,” and in a way, knowledge of any event in the future, good or bad, mostly just steals from the present through either anticipation or dread.

Four years ago, I had no idea that within the year my family would decide to move away the town and state I’d always called home. I had no idea how many changes that move would bring. Trying to adjust to an unfamiliar environment, visiting new churches, making a few new friends, celebrating birthdays and holidays differently, taking trips home every year (mostly spontaneous ones), etc.

This April, when we made the drive halfway across the United States once again, I could not have known that this would be the one that, for me, would not end with a return trip. (Which is the reason I decided not to pack my microplane and Maldon along with my clothes as usual… super bad decision.)

That’s a lengthy introduction to these three major life updates:

LIFE UPDATE 01 / I’m moving.

I’m finally moving back and could not be more excited. It really is a dream come true, as cheesy as that sounds.

LIFE UPDATE 02 / I have a job.

A full-time, real-life job. It dropped out of the sky about one week after I made the decision to stay. At almost three weeks in, the hardest part by far is just getting up at the same time (early) every. single. weekday. But I’m so thankful for this job. It’s fantastic.

LIFE UPDATE 03 / I’m buying my first car.

It’s a Volvo. It’s dreamy. I love it. I currently call it “The Volv.”

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So here I am, living in my home state again, working forty hours a week, and making brownies from a box because there are only 24 hours in a day.

I’ll get my blogging (and baking) groove back eventually. In the meantime, since moving is the theme of the month, I’m in the process of moving to a cool new website that I hope you’re going to love. Stay tuned.


the best job…

IMG_3837Last month I got to work at two weddings in the Bay Area with the best caterers. My main job once dinner rolled around was serving tables, but before that time, I was asked to photograph appetizers and as many other dishes as possible. I felt super honored to be asked to do that, and prayed for good lighting and good photos :) In the end, I was pleased and Gemma & Murray were pleased, plus I had a ton of fun.

P.S. Those Mango Panna Cottas pictured above? Sometimes I dream about them. Continue reading

beach trip | santa cruz + aptos

 Alternate title: Scenes from the best Wednesday ever.

The only plans we had were to visit Natural Bridges State Beach, cook our lunch on the beach, get coffee at Verve, and hit up some bookstores. We played the rest by ear and had the best day ever. We left around 9am on Wednesday and didn’t return until nearly 1am on Thursday. This is what it looks like when 5 good friends head for the beach… Continue reading

three from the weekend

threefromtheweekend2701 / Friday night we partied in our own unique way. Friends and their instruments, chips and salsa, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We spent the evening together singing songs to Jesus. At 11pm we switched to romantic music, led by Simon and Enzo (pictured).

02 / Five hours of sleep later, I took off for SF with three friends to take engagement photos. We went all over the city and had a grand time. I can’t wait to share the photos!!

03 / The city looked great, as it always does. We jetted from Lands End exactly 2 hours before we all needed to be at a going away party for a friend (not recommended), but everything turned out okay.

I only took two photos on Sunday, but they’re irrelevant. Happy Monday!


three from the weekend

threefromtheweekend26Ah, this weekend was so busy and fun. I went to a sweet wedding on Friday night, worked in the city on Saturday, went to sleep on Sunday morning and didn’t wake up until nearly lunchtime. That made for a weird day but it was still super good. (The ice cream helped.)

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01 / On Friday I rode to Berkeley with my grandpa, grandma, and uncle to have lunch at Cheese Board. We seriously drove there, paid the meter for 1 hour and 10 minutes of parking, and drove home. Fast + fun.

02 / Paige took a selfie of us at work.

03 / I feel that when a person works almost until midnight and doesn’t get home until 3am, they’re entitled to some Sunday afternoon ice cream.

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may / the month in instagrams

[This is the post in which I share photos and a candid review of the month. Click on the photos to read the captions.]

M A Y 2 0 1 5

May was another grand month! And only a fraction of the wonderful things made it onto Instagram… so it was even more grand than it appears.


*All photos are from my personal Instagram this month. If you’d like, you can follow my public Instagram @thethoughtfulplate.

friday favorites 05.22

frifaveI’m coming at you early today with a list of links I liked this week, because in about an hour I’ll be SF-bound for work. I actually get to work in the city today. At a wedding. As a server/food photographer with a fantastic caterer [insert all of the excited emojis]. I’ll take a picture and be back Monday :)

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Did you have to parallel park on your driver’s test?

On Sunday afternoon I tried a variation of the coffee nap and found it to be quite nice.

Does this make anyone else laugh?

The first paragraph– so relatable, so wise.

Why you should peel your banana like a monkey.

Let’s go to work.

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