Category Archives: photography

i’m going out

Girls! Cher getting dressed xxoo

Three girls in my bathroom getting ready. Have a great Friday.

chicago chicago

#old #vintage #highrise #skyline #chicago #igerschicago #chicagoarch #city #chitecturephoto stolen from Okunola

Who knew posting one measly update a day would be so tough? Between love, work, friends, a dog, eyebrow waxes, beer, showering and sleeping I just do not know where the time goes.

Here are some amazing photos of our city shot by The Mister aka Okunola. He has quite an eye.

[@okjey on instagram]

#dusk #sky #commute #silhouette #cta #chicago #igerschicago#rust #metal #structure #bridge #decay #chicagoarch #igerschicago#chicago #igerschicago #city #neighborhood #pilsen#morning #sky #clouds #sun #skyline #silhouette #city #chicago #igerschicago#city in #motion...#driveby #citylights #lights #red #blur #skyline #chicago #igerschicago

(day FOUR.)

hello, 2012

Me & @okjeyNo musclesCome on fishies!!!Megan and Kate miss @earthseed & @mariel_victoria & @thisiskatinthehatKate and EvanI will be wave running out there in a bitNative Son ExpressPaddle ball!

If you are my pal on Instagram you have probably already seen these photos but in case you are not, this is how we rang in 2012; same as the last few, with a quick jaunt to St. Thomas. This time we had friends in tow and it was made all the more memorable with their presence.

I’m hoping to get my life together enough to start posting regularly again. Lots going on in the new apartment… off to dye some curtains. Happy New Year!

the blessing & curse that is instagram

It takes little to make me obsessive about something. I see something I like, I’m all in, going for the gusto. This usually only lasts a few weeks as I get bored quickly and don’t know how to finish what I start but I digress. Instagram has not bored me yet.

While I’m late in espousing my love for this iPhone application, I make up for it by constant use. I love hearting other people’s images. I love seeing folks heart my images. I click hashtags for everything from #chicago to #urban to #art to #kids to #flowers to #whatiwore. I cannot stop. I follow about 75 people on Instagram and I only know a handful personally. The rest I don’t really interact with in any other way, shape, or form. I just like their photos. Some shoot super artistic and beautiful snapshots that are plain old fun to look at while I value others for the peek into a life completely different than my own.

The problem is this: good old regular camera has taken a serious backseat, which means I’m losing what little skills I had in the DSLR department. It’s like speaking Spanish. When I lived in California I was constantly mistaken as second generation Mexican. In Chicago, my Spanish is so damn broken that yo tengo miedo when I have to speak it to people I don’t know.

I’m sure I’ll be both DSLR’ing and Instagramming the hell out of our new place but if you miss me in the meantime, follow me on Instagram and let’s be friends: my username is, you guessed it, urbancasita.

diana camera prints

Remember all the presents I got for The Mister around Christmas time? His favorite gift by far was the DianaF+ “Dreamer” camera, a simple point and shoot whose many quirks — if that’s what we want to call light leaks and cheap plastic– have been embraced recently by folks looking for an imperfect, “dreamy,” and oftentimes blurry look. It’s like producing an Instagram or Hipstamatic photo with film, and many of the cheapie old-school cameras of yore are where those companies took their cues from in producing vintage-looking camera pics. We totally jumped onto the bandwagon.

I knew that waiting for the film to be developed would be a bit of a challenge after so many years of digital instant-gratification, but I didn’t expect it to take six weeks, seven phone calls and two (unanswered) emails to the district manager of Ritz Camera to get our CD (not even prints!) back. Needless to say, avoid them at all costs. On the bright side, now that they’re here, we get to relive some fun moments.


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the aftermath

chicago snowstorm of 2011

This was our block around 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.

The Mister and I headed out into the snow on the day after the blizzard to forage for food and drinks and to relieve our cabin fever. We brought cameras and trudged happily through the snow drifts, grateful for our adult snow day.

chicago snowstorm of 2011

We were able to walk right down the middle of Damen. The main streets in our area were completely clear within an hour of the last snowfall. Streets and sanitation did an excellent job if you don’t count the Lakeshore Drive snafu. Still, the only things moving on the roads, other than legs, were trucks since the side streets were completely blocked by drifts of up to six feet.

chicago snowstorm of 2011

chicago snowstorm of 2011

Ouch. Wouldn’t want to be the one digging this guy out. We managed to free one of our cars from the hard packed snow by Friday morning and have left the second vehicle parked for now.

chicago snowstorm of 2011

I took this shot looking east down Division Street at Damen. Never have I seen the street so deserted.

chicago snowstorm of 2011

I loved this storm. I loved the thundersnow, I loved the day off, I loved our walk, I even loved shoveling the front walk.

Midwest is best always, more so with twenty-two inches of snow.

gotta get away: st thomas recap

st thomas through photoshop actions

For the last few years the Mister and I have made a habit of jetting down to St. Thomas every January to get in a few days of sunshiney relaxation and to celebrate the New Year. While we love traveling to new places, St. Thomas is an easy, no-brainer destination for us; I used to live there and it’s where we got married. We stay in the same condo every year, know the island well, have our favorite grocery stores, restaurants and of course, beaches. Plus, I’m totally a pro at driving on the left. All we have to do is jump off of a plane and into a rental car (a new Toyota Rav-4 in this instance– super fun to maneuver up hills and on sand) and make a quick stop at the market before heading “home.” No maps, no guesswork, no worries.

st thomas through photoshop actions

The weather was a little cooler than I remember it ever being but we still made plenty of time for swimming and lounging in the sun. On two mornings we got up early and drove into Charlotte-Amalie, or “town” as it’s more commonly known, and shot some photos. The Mister got to test drive his Diana camera. We pick up the prints tomorrow and I’m giddy with anticipation. For now you’ll have to be content with my digitals.

st thomas through photoshop actions

st thomas through photoshop actions

st thomas through photoshop actions

st thomas through photoshop actions

We also made a super tourist stop at a gorgeous overlook above town.

st thomas through photoshop actions

st thomas through photoshop actions

st thomas through photoshop actions

We spent an afternoon at one of the three pools on the property. They’re almost always empty and, though I’m much more of a beach girl, great for relaxing with a cold beer.

st thomas through photoshop actions

st thomas through photoshop actions

When it came time to go home I was sad. I always miss living on island and we’ve both discussed moving back down for a few years. But then our plane lands and we start our drive into the city from O’Hare and the Chicago skyline comes into view and all of that melts away until instances like now, when I’m face to face with pictorial evidence of how beautiful and fun and warm and perfectly livable St. Thomas is. So let me stop looking at these pics and just hit post and walk my dog outside in twenty-degree weather and try to be OK with that.

See more of our pics here.
Interested in how I got these photos to look different from the ones you see in the link above? Read my latest post for ReadyMade, all about PhotoShop actions and including free downloads!