Archives for January 2017

Lunch with The New Girl | Oretta Toronto

Photo by: Darlene A.

the new girl darlene anderson, oretta toronto, king west, restaurants, food, decor

“Sbozzo” pizza – fior di latte, mascarpone, mortadella, pistachio, preserved orange
“Chitarrina” – tomato sauce, stracciatella, basil oil

One of the best pasta’s I’ve had in Toronto – al dente – reminds me of the pasta I had in the Amalfi Coast. 

Photo by: Darlene A.

With new encounters, you never know what’s going to happen. I decided recently to start a personal blog to share some of my “archived” photos that have not seen the light of day and to share my travels (currently in Tulum for a couple of days – follow @withmayreese on IG), some of my favourite food and things to do – basically, I can blog about anything I want! Whereas, my photography website is a little more curated to showcase my work. With this new journey, I’m fairly new and don’t really have an idea aside from blogging photos like I do for my photography work. It’s a different game if you ask me – from what I know so far. I found a fitting quote by Edward Weston:

If to live is to express the emotions of life, then to create art is to express the life of emotions.

Last December, I met up with The New Girl, Darlene, to pick her brain a little about blogging. I was so glad that she wanted to meet with me – it was a little easier because we have a mutual friend, Cynthia, who connected us. We met for lunch at Oretta, a newly opened restaurant in the King West area (now the newest brunch spot for bloggers hehe), late December the week of their opening. It’s a beautiful space! They have a private event space upstairs that fit about 60-80 guests – perfect for bridal showers, small weddings, and special occasions (this is my wedding photography instincts talking). It was so nice to hear Darlene’s story and perspective as the new girl who just moved to Toronto and started a blog just over a year ago. We enjoyed a great lunch, laughed a lot, chatted away – needless to say, we got along really well. There’s just something about other people that connects you to them instantly – such as personality, life stories, interests, and aspirations – and I’m glad we have a lot of similar interests and sense of humour that we became friends right away. 


How to back up your personal photos | Unlimited storage

Google Photos | Back up your photos to the cloud with unlimited storage

I posted about Google Photos on my photography Instagram about two years ago, but I thought I’d post it as a blog post to share. I highly recommend this app: Google Photos. Nowadays, mobile storage has a considerable size since everything is transitioning to mobile technology. Two years ago, I wanted to find a way to keep/backup all my photos and still be able to easily access them. I was searching for a storage solution that would hold thousands of my iPhone and personal photos. During the time I posted about it on Instagram, I was able to backup 14,579 photos and videos – that I’ve accumulated over time – in one night! I’ve probably shared this app to all my friends. This made switching phones so much easier – I don’t have to worry about having to back up all my photos to switch to a new – not gonna lie, I’ve dropped my phone several times and have gone through three phones in one year (thank goodness for Apple Care)…
Google Photos has a mobile app for both iOS and Android as well as a desktop app that allows you to backup your photos while still be able to access them quickly on your mobile device or computer anytime anywhere (as long as you’re connected to the internet). The best part is that it’s free! It also has some great features such as searching for photos via face, location, date, colour, and object. In order to get the unlimited storage option, under the backup & sync settings, select “high quality” (see photo below). If you choose “original” it will use up your Google Drive space. Another feature is that you can “free up space” on your phone easily – the photos uploaded to your Google Photos will be deleted from your mobile device to make room for more photos! I would advise that you backup while you’re on wifi so it doesn’t use up your cellular data. You can make sure by unchecking the “use cellular data to backup” in the settings (see photo below). Hope this helps!
*Note: For my client work, my backup system consist of hard drives, paid cloud storage and services. 


Venice Beach, California

Just hanging out
Hotel Erwin rooftop
tall trees!

Last summer, I visited Venice Beach for the first time with my assistant after photographing one of my couples’ engagement session in San Diego. We drove from San Diego to Venice Beach, which took about 3 hours with a little bit of traffic.
We stayed at Hotel Erwin. The hotel is close to the beach and has a beautiful view of the water, boardwalk, and beach. We walked around to explore the area and see what’s happening. There’s a small skate park where you can watch skaters, muscle beach gym, vendor stalls that sell souvenirs and t-shirts, basketball court, and the vast beach that stretch as far as my eyes can see.
For food, we drove out to Koreatown in Los Angeles to have KBBQ! We went to Kang Hodong Baekjong since we’ve tried it and liked it when we went to NYC. We had to wait about half an hour to get seats since there was a line by the time we got there – you know it’s good when it’s busy. So we wandered around the block while we wait for our turn to be seated and to also work up an appetite!
We really loved the atmosphere and lifestyle at Venice Beach – the warm weather also helped ;).

Simple Chia Seed Parfait

Simple Almond Chia Seed Parfait Recipe

This is probably the simplest thing to make. I prepare this a day before since it needs to be refrigerated for a couple of hours. I love having this for breakfast and as a snack. Whenever I have to photograph a wedding, this is what I pack as a snack – days can be long with little to no break. Not only is it filling, it is also healthy and yummy! I hope you enjoy this. You can play around with the toppings and see what combinations work best for you!
food photography, healthy food, pretty food, food styling, almond chia seed parfait

Plate, cup, bowl, spoon, glass, napkin from CB2

Simple Almond Chia Seed Parfait
Yields 4
A simple almond chia seed parfait perfect for breakfast or to snack on.
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
  1. 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  2. 4 Tbsp chia seed
  3. 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  1. In a mason jar, combine ingredients. Mix well until combined. I usually close the mason jar and shake until all the ingredients are combined.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I give it another shake within 30 minutes because some chia seeds tend to get stuck at the bottom. For best results, refrigerate overnight.
  3. Top 1/4 of the mixture with your favourite granola, fruits, and nuts. I like to add Love Crunch granola, fresh blueberries or strawberries.
  4. Enjoy!
  1. I use Silk Almond Vanilla milk, Love Crunch Granola, Pranna whole white chia seed


New Year, New Project!

Happy new year!

Fresh year to start (new things don’t have to start in the new year, it can start at any time) a new project – I would like to call it that for now. I have been debating this for so long, probably over a year, to start a personal blog. I have tried to incorporate a personal blog over at my wedding photography website, ARTIESE, and I felt that it wouldn’t fit the brand I was curating for my wedding photography work. I wanted to blog about personal experiences, things I like, my travels, and random thoughts in a candid way. And so, I created MAYREESE – my personal journal. Here’s to 2017!

Live for the moments that can’t be put into words

NH Collection Grand Convento di Amalfi | Amalfi Coast, Italy
Photo by Ariane L.

Latest from Instagram


Copyright © 2017 · Theme by 17th Avenue