Rachel Agana »


There’s nothing like spending my morning walking for hours surrounded by nature. I’ve been exploring different local trails with my dad and Neo and this time we ventured off the to the Orinda side of Briones Regional Park. A bit of sunshine, exercise and a happy dog always leaves us feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish whatever we set out to the rest of the day. I brought my Lensbaby Spark to play with for the first time. The shots turned out oh so dreamy and ethereal.:)

Do you have any favorite trails you like to hike? I’d love to know!


Today is my last day of being 24 and since I have not updated here this past year I wanted to do a recap to show you what a ride it’s been.

When I was 24,

I started working full time at Elemental LED

and hosted many a DIY competition.

I spent eight weekends and a few week days learning at BAVC.

I ate,

I hiked,

and walked this guy.

I tried out improv,

straight bangs,

and got my first pair of reading glasses.

I light painted

and crashed many photo booths.

I did my nails

which showed up on Refinery 29!

I made amazing, wonderful, creative and passionate new friends.

And caught up and reconnected with oldie but goodie friends.

I met many people I have admired and respected for so long.

From Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Nirvan Mullick, Tiffany Shlain, Kina Grannis, Gretchen Rubin, Austin Kleon & Jill Bliss.

I visited the headquarters of two titans of social media,

went to LA a few times,

and a couple faires.

I celebrated many a birthday,

two graduations,

and a 25th anniversary.

I surfed for the first time.

And swam with my favorite animal – honu.

I played at Caine’s Arcade,

road shot gun in the Pizza Planet Truck,

and watched the entire Live Action Toy Story from a copy from the creators before it hit YouTube.

I modeled for my favorite photography website in the world – Photojojo! (Thanks Margo!)

 And wore many many hats working for SanFranLand (donate to our Kickstarter!!!)

Of course, this is just my highlight reel.

When I was 24,

two inspirational-to-no-end bright young women in my life past away at 25.

Janet Liang

and Jessica Lum.

I dedicate this year to you both.

I promise to use my time wisely,

holding my dear ones close,

and helping those I can.

To being a quarter of a century,

and taking risks toward who I’m meant to be on this planet.

Stephanie @ Life Tastes Like Food - May 23, 2013 - 9:07 pm

This post is so amazing Rachel! Looks like 24 was a good year. My 25th birthday is coming up in a month and I’m getting nervous! haha

Also, I never met her but followed Janet’s story through my friend Bonnie, and Janet was a really inspirational person. Cheers to Janet, Jessica, and to you!

Karen - June 2, 2013 - 2:58 am

You definitely lived a fulfilling year. :)

Sakana | Montecito, CA

Like I said before, my family & I are a bit of seafood snobs – especially – when it comes to sushi. After checking out Butterfly Beach, we searched for local Japanese restaurants on our Garmin and ended up at Sakana. This was during my pre-iPhone days so I had no idea it had such high accolades on Yelp.


Sakana is not your traditional Japanese restaurant. Catering to the American sensibility, every other item on the menu was infused with white truffles or cream cheese.


Although the dishes were beautifully presented, a lesson to Sakana and all those in Southern California – looks cannot substitute for substance. Maybe we just came at a time when the fish was not as fresh but that is no excuse for a big-ticket establishment. Don’t let my smile fool you -the salmon sashimi on my salad was thinly cut! All their high score reviews is just another example of how money can’t buy you taste. We were all missing our East Bay faves – Nama & Miyuki who give generously at a fraction of the cost.

Butterfly Beach + The Biltmore | Montecito, CA

On our last day in Santa Barbara, before we made the drive up north, we stopped by to check the view of Butterfly Beach adjacent to The Biltmore. Known for serving as a backdrop to many a Hollywood film and a home-away-from-home for celebs off-camera, this Four Seasons hotel combines high class luxury with Mediterreanean charm.

We didn’t get a chance to explore the inside but perhaps one day. To my delight, this was one of the rare times my brother was game for portrait taking.

He’s such a character!


I’m not much of a beach person but I imagine this would be a nice location to catch the sunset – water for days.

Christie - December 6, 2011 - 8:49 am

You’re not a beach person?!?! :O shock

Mission Santa Barbara

Today marks the 225th anniversary of when Franciscan Friar Fermin de Lasuen founded the “Queen of the Missions” on the Feast Day of St. Barbara. As a native Californian with a Catholic school upbringing, visiting this beautiful Mission was not just a photo op but also a chance to connect with my roots.

I remember back in 4th grade we visited a local mission and had to choose a partner to make a presentation on one of the 21 historic missions. Maggie & I made a miniture model out of foam board and lots of acrylic paint. Wish I had a photo to show you.:)


Back in 2003, I was fortunate enough to visit Assisi, Italy during a trip to Europe through my high school. Seeing where St. Francis lived and served was so humbling and the vibrant and detailed frescos that canvased the interiors were awe inspiring. It amazing to me that one person from centuries ago can still have such influence on the present day.