In flight. Next stop Hawaii.

If you follow me on instagram, you probably figured out that we're en route to Hawaii. We're anxious to arrive but missing our family and friends back home.

Did I fail to mention that our trip was moved up a week earlier? It WAS! The Navy has a way of keeping families on their toes. I immediatly, started packing and purging (not in the bad way, but in the anti-hoarder sort of way). Some things made the cut. It got packed, sealed and sent to Hawaii, while other things were returned to their rightful owners. I was surprised on how much was collected in just eight months. Needless to say, I called in my troops and we packed every last toy, toothpick and television out of the apartment. It was CRAZY!

The last few weeks have been spent packing, attending farewell get togethers, playdates, in addition to, our daily routine. The children received a lot of love from everybody. They have a stack of handmade cards from their classmates and close friends to prove it. I guess if you have a ten year old and a six year kissing their apartment goodbye and saying that they are sad to leave, then you've done a good job. The connections have been made and the fact that they were able to have closure allow them to look forward to making new ones. I'm proud of them. Now, for me...it is difficult to give up living near (in some instances within walking distance) to family and the conveniences of our little place. However, I'm looking forward to making it happen all over again.

We're slowly making our way to the island and as soon as I get to reliable internet, proper updates will be made and I will get back to my regular routine.



Sunset, Ceramics & Sea Glass

© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com

© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com

© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com

I should be looking forward in the direction of Hawaii but I was looking through the photo archives and found these sunset shots from Italy. We stopped in Vietri sul Mare, which is known mainly for ceramic production. There are dozens of little shops and factories with the most beautiful pieces in vibrant colors.  I would have loved to take one in every shape and size but they were molto caro (expensive) and I'm molto stingy.  

We decided to stop on our way back home to Naples from a day of sightseeing in Paestum with my mom. It was a nice break during the trip. We ended up searching for washed up ceramic bits and sea glass. The evening was brisk, the water was cold and the mood was molto italiano (very Italian)!


Happy Saturday

I'm off to celebrate a couple of birthdays. Have a wonderful weekend, All!


While at "work" in London

© Liza B. Gonzalez, www.lizabeeandcompany.com
The women's reaction was much more interesting to me than the naked cowboy.

© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com
© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com
© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com
© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com
© Liza B. Gonzalez for www.lizabeeandcompany.com

A little over a year ago while still living in Europe, I enrolled in a photojournalism class in London, at the London School of Photography. My primary objective was to challenge myself, step out of my comfort level and enhance my photography by practicing editorial work. Well, I got that a bit more...not to mention a week on my own in London without the family. Yes, I was a girl about town.

During the introduction, the instructor, Alex Mita, familiarized us with some key aspects of photography in journalism. He proceeded to tell us that he would be sending us out on assignments everyday. He acted as the editor and we were photographers on his "staff." It was a great twist for a course and made the work seem important and relevant. The first day's assignment was a bit of shocker. However, I think he did it on purpose. Our assignment was to shoot sex....(read again if you have to). Seriously, he sent us out with a purpose of shooting anything out in Soho of London that was sexy. There was lots to shoot...shops, ladies, gentlemen, bars, bookstores, etc. It was an exciting and a welcoming change to the doldrums of stay at home mommyhood. It also made me realize that not all photography is enjoyable. The theme was not something that I would have picked. But as a photojournalist you don't get to pick, you are assigned, and you better do it and do it well or you won't get another job. He opened my eyes to the hardships and pressures that the men & women in journalism face everyday. I have a higher respect and admiration for them.

As the week progressed, he continued to teach us a bit of the history of photojournalism and introduced us to great journalists like Henri Cartier Bresson and famous war photojournalists like James Nachtwey and Robert Capa. Alex was a war journalist himself and enriched the class with his personal stories and anecdotes. He also taught us some camera tips like spanning, the importance of white balance and further sharpening our images. He also gave us the number one rule of photojournalism...NEVER alter an image...crop if you must but the image is NEVER altered. Which is something that most photographers struggle with in this age of post-processing and photoshop craze, don't you think? I enjoyed the week terribly and learned more than I ever would have imagined. I left you with a few examples of my "work" assignments of spanning, signs, the naked cowboy, wealth, and work. Alright, enough talk about work.

TGIF!!!  Enjoy your weekend!!


Special gatherings

The entire family and some of my dearest friends and family went on an easter egg roll and hunt here. It was such a beautiful setting but I have to be honest, there was way too much Lilly Pulitzer on display. There was a time where I thought she was the best thing next to sliced bread. It's cute in small doses but splattered all over the lawn...geeez!

THANK GOODNESS, I'm over it. 

Sweet little baby girl wasn't sure what to do during the hunt. Come to think of it, we didn't go to one last year because we were traveling. This was her first official egg hunt she will remember. Hope it was a good one.

Yesterday, I woke up with an Easter hangover. Is that even possible? Well, it was something because my head was still spinning from the weekend's fun. It was such a good day full of hunts, egg dying, feasting (yay, I can eat meat, again), toasting, sharing and eating. Most of yesterday, we rested from a weekend full of gatherings and celebrations. So, I caught up with laundry and more packing for the move...yawn.

However, my memory of this Easter Sunday will be a good great one. One that measures up to the great ones of my childhood full of sharing, gathering and feasting with a special group of people. 



Our excitement has been preparing for our next move. The packers came yesterday and I was busy going behind them making sure that all of our latest favorite things got crated and sealed. I'm still in the the midst of a fully furnished nest. Most of our things were borrowed while on our short stay in Florida. It has fun creating this little place from scratch. The only things we brought from Italy were the abstract liths. They are my absolute favorite things in my home and travel everywhere with us. They also provided a good jumping board for the color scheme...bright, coastal and ecclectic. 

I love it and will miss its conveniences, view of the intracoastal and most importantly, the re-connections we made while back at home with our childhood friends and family; our old watering holes; the coastal city that we hold dear in our hearts. 

It's been a great stay and now we must look forward to the excitement of a new home. 


A Secret Garden

Enjoyed a recent stroll through The Society of the Four Arts. It's full of secret niches and covered arbors offering shade while you read for a short spell or quench your thirst after a long walk. 


Sparkle and Shine

Today, I decided to contribute to this month's owp at Shutter Sisters. The word for April is sparkle. I entered this one to the flickr pool but was later inspired to post these other sparkly treasures from the archives. I've been experimenting with bokeh since Christmas (lights everywhere). Shooting sparkle is one my favorite things to do, whether it's sunflare, sparkling lights or the light in someone eyes...sparkle, sparkle, shine.

These were created very simply. I switched the camera into manual mode. I mean manual everything, even manual focus. I pointed the camera to my subject and turned the lens to just the amount of bokeh or blurr-i-ness that I thought was appropriate and appealed to my artistic eye. My 35mm was on the camera at that moment (the ones above) but you can use any lens if you follow those very simple instructions. It's not too complicated, really. Switch the camera to manual mode, the lens to manual as well and turn the lens until the shot is out of focus...voila! Sparkle!

Go on...challenge yourself and give it a try.