Thursday, June 28, 2012

blogs i heart

(I have this as a Page too (on the left, scroll down) but I thought I would make it a post as well! )

Not all the blogs and bloggers I follow have buttons for me to snag so I thought I would put together a list here. These are blogs I personally love to read and follow. (They are in alphabetical order, but the photography ones are seperate)

I just started following Ana. She sent me a comment on my 52 date nights and said that her and her hubby are going to do them. She put all the ideas in a jar and they pick at random. Her goal is to document all of them! So exciting to see my ideas inspiring others and I can't wait to see more!

Kitchen Table Art
I met Gracie in August 2011 - she was a bridesmaid in a wedding I was photographing (random fact: I've know the groom since elementary school and the bride since 9th grade). Anyway, she does AWESOME custom art pieces. From re-purposed wood to ice coolers - she does it all and is amazingly talented! I have personally bought a piece from her and plan to buy more! You need to check her out!

I have been following Ashley for years... like MySpace following! She does a little of everything - DIY, organization, clothing… name it she writes about it. She recently was battling cancer and, as insain as it sounds, she handled it with such grace and humor. She is a rockstar.
I found Liz through a photographer I followed. She re-purposes a lot of old furniture and paints them fun colors. I mean I really don’t know what to say about her blog other than I simply love it and pass it around to a lot of people! Check her out – trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
Stephanie made national news when the private plane she was in with her husband crashed leaving her with burns all over her body. I have been following her blog for about a year now and I love to see the God’s miracles at work. Her blog will leave you inspired and impressed. She let's you into her life - the good and the bad. (I also found one of my favorite photogs from here - Blue Lily Photography)

Jenn’s blog went viral last year after she posted a rant about Elf on a Shelf. My best friend turned me on to her and I love her. She is blunt, honest, funny, and real. Sure, some of the things she says offend people but I like that she is open and frank. She makes me laugh – that’s all I care about!

A fellow South Carolinian - I love her blog. She totally makes me want to go to Goodwill or a Thrift shop and go nuts! I have always loved crazy patterns and her reinvention of older clothes is awesome. Purely rad. She did 366 (leap year) days of re-fashioning and you need to check it out. Plus I love seeing her SC references!!

Rock n’Roll Bride
I stumbled on her last year and fell in love. Kat uses her blog to post wedding related thing but with a twist. The photos she uses from photographers aren’t your typical cookie-cutter weddings or everyday shoots. From a Tim Burton themed wedding to a bride with a rainbow petticoat, Kat covers them all. Every post makes me more and more excited about wedding photography. PLEASE check her out! You’re totally missing out if you don’t.
I mean how awesome is that name?! (And I am not just saying that because April is family...). I follow her daily. Her fashion advice, weekly confessional, and Instagram Fridays are just a few reasons why I love reading what she has to say. Each day has a theme which keeps you coming back for more!

What It's Like Being Jesse's Girl
This is my best friends blog!! (side note: I took her profile photo it was the first family session ever for me too!!). Anyway - Lamphone (or Poon as most called her) is an amazing writer and sometimes posts sneak peaks into what book idea she has floating around. I lovey her and because she is in Iowa and I'm in SC it is a fun way to stay in touch!!


I found this awesome couple through Stephanie of The Nie Nie Dialogues. A few years ago they decided to get rid of basically everything and travel the world with their two kids. Their photographs are breathtaking and their blog posts are hilarious. I am slightly jealous by all their travels and simplistic lifestyle! I dream of going to one of their workshops and being photographed by them!

Glass Jar Photography
Hey Twilight fans - these photogs shot a music video for Nikki Reed (played Rosalie) and her husband Paul McDonald. They also photographed their wedding. Anyway- their work rocks. I would describe it as airy - yes, airy. It's light, refreshing, and lovely.
To other photogs this is a no brainer, but it’s not just about her photography (which is gorgeous). She is a self proclaimed goof, sometimes self-doubter, an motivated learner & teacher. She has made a name for herself in the industry in a VERY short amount of time.

I have had the pleasure of working with Katie and being photographed by her. She is awesome! It was her work that inspired me and pushed me to start my photography business. I was following her work (via MySpace again) back in 2008 & have followed her ever since. I love her work and her effortless way of photographing people. Not to mention her daughter is absolutely stunning!!

Love is a Big Deal
This is my new favorite wedding shot by Josh and Meg. I just love their work and Josh posts awesome stuff on his personal page as well. Not only does the name of their company ROCK but their work speaks volumes. It's fun, fresh, vintage, and quirky. Love it.

Three Nails Photography
Whoa-ness. I DREAM of going to one of their workshops. Their editing style and posing are to die for, and it's looks so effortless. I have been following them for a while now and am always impressed with their work.

What are some of your favs? What is your blog? Comment on a post or send them to me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

years in review

I, along with millions of others, have fallen in love with Pinterest. I registered a while ago because some fellow photogs said it was a great place for inspiration. Once I got my invite, I quickly logged in…. and froze. Erm – what am I suppose to do? I don’t get it?
That was then! Anyway- one of the first things I pinned was this super cute Christmas/New Years card. I didn’t want to send out a Christmas card with the two of us and the dogs (I mean I love my dogs, but we haven’t changed much so I didn’t think people would need my face on their fridge) and I wanted something different and something I could make.
It was a pretty big hit. I got a lot of compliments for it and I had a great time putting it together. About a month ago, my sister said she wanted to do something similar but one for each year her and her hubs have been married. I was like, “whoa! Great idea!” I mean it’s like scrapbooking but in shorthand!
Since Vince and I got married in 2008, I had to rack my brain but here is the semi-finished product! Who knows, I might get inspired again and make more!!
I was going to include 2012 in the works but I thought I would be best to keep that one in the works.

(Names have been blurred for some small amount of privacy... not like you couldn't track me down if you wanted)

Again, as much as I would love to take credit for the general idea I can't. It's just a really cool piggy-back ;)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

maddi and his bally

My Maddux Rae L-O-V-E-S playing bally. He is obsessed and trust me, I am not exaggerating. We can’t even say the word “ball” or “bally” around him without him going into a frenzy.

If you play with him once, he will remember the next time he sees you. If he comes to your house and he knows you have a ball, he will remember when it is stored.

We make up words to use when talking about his obsession – doughnuts was my favorite. Recently, Vincent has taken up golfing and he will take Maddi with him outside when he practices so Maddi can retrieve the balls. So it only makes sense that when golf is on TV that Maddi would watch, right? Yup – the Golf Channel is his favorite.
DISCLAIMER: I had him groomed a few days after this! haha

Watching the tellie

Here is a video I snapped of him to send my best friends. The first "action" by Maddi is when the golfer drives the ball. The second "action" is when the golfer is putting.  

(I know it’s not an award winning documentary by any means, but my Maddi is super cute and everyone should know that ;)


Here is the YouTube link if it won’t load or you want to see it bigger

Oh and for more giggles, here's Maddi chasing the balls from a kids baseball launcher toy. (Sorry it's so blurry. I wasn't not operating the camera ;)


This was after I put the launcher back in the laundry room.
Here is the link for the 2nd video.

Side note: I just spent like 30 minutes watching Cairn Terrier videos on YouTube. If you don’t know, I love Cairns (clearly- I’m obsessed and probably need therapy!)

This one makes me laugh. The itty-bitty Cairn messing with Great Danes (it’s so Rocky and Maddi)

This one is presh. The Cairn looks just like Maddi did. Love when he stretches!

This last one is too cute. Poor thing can't reach!


Donate to Col. Potter's Cairn Rescue Network

I'm done!

Leave some love! I love comments! ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

my first...

I know I said a LONG time ago that I was going to use this as a dual personal-business blog…. And I know I haven’t really been posting much photography stuff but today that changes!
The first wedding I ever photographed was on March 7, 2009.
Background time: When Vincent deployed in July of 2008, I moved back to SC. I was living with my grandma and working as a receptionist at a local salon. I started my business in August of 2008 and launched my website in January of 2009. While at the salon, one of the stylists caught wind that I did photography and referred me to one of her clients, Debbie. Debbie’s daughter was getting married in March and they were looking for a photographer.
I panicked. Not only had I never shot a wedding (2nd shot or primary) but I had barely gotten my portfolio together. I rushed to come up with pricing and tried to establish some kind of presentation before I met with Debbie. I was so nervous when I met her for the first time and when I didn’t hear back from her right away I felt discouraged. A few months after the initial meeting, Debbie called me and said they wanted me. I was sitting at my mom’s house and after I got off the phone squealed like a kid on Christmas.
Looking back, I was a mess. Don’t get me wrong – I think the bridals and wedding photos turned out great – but I was SO not prepared (not to mention I wasn’t shooting fully manual and my editing was minimal).  Either way you cut it, the family was happy with the end results and still tell me that they were impressed with my work (didn’t hurt that the bride was stunning).
I totally jumped into wedding photography feet first without testing the water. Most photogs 2nd shoot several weddings before branching out as the primary – but hey… I have always colored outside the lines. ;)
Because of Debbie and Elizabeth’s faith in me, I shot my first wedding and have gone on to shoot over 30 beautiful weddings and countless wonderful families.
Debbie referred me to a bride whose wedding she was catering in November of 2011 and I was excited, not only see her, but work with her again. We chatted a bit about family photos and two weeks ago, I drove out to Blythewood to photograph their family. All 23 of them.
I hadn’t seen Elizabeth or Rusty since their wedding and I had never met their little boy Brady. It was awesome to see them again as well as the rest of the gang!
Ok – I’m done with the prologue, here are the photos! (Since I posted a ton on FB, I am only going to post B&Ws here... just for fun :)

Debbie, Elizabeth, and the rest of the gang – I hope I haven’t freaked you out by this post! ;) Thank you so much for trusting, believing, and supporting me. Your family will always hold a very special place in my heart and I hope to work with y'all again soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

feelin' cute

I am admittedly a cheap-o. I have this inability to pay full price for anything and if it isn’t on sale or I don’t have a coupon, I usually can manage to convince myself I don’t need it. I also have EXTREME buyer’s remorse and have to “sleep on” big decision (like booking a vacation, buying a car or camera lens… etc.) I do tend to buy cheap and then later regret not investing in higher quality. I am not impulsive (though many may think getting hitched at 18 would be impulsive, but trust me I thought through it long and hard).
Anyway, when I buy something that I really like I take good care of it. I have shirts and slacks that are 5+ years old. I still have the white dress my nanny bought me when I was in 8th grade, and I have been able to squeeze into it a few times since.
Lately though, I have been trying to dress more age-appropriate (less jeans and t-shirts, more blouses and slacks). I have also been “investing” in better quality items, including jewelry, shoes, and clothing.
I felt super cute yesterday and today I feel pretty happy with my outfit so I thought I would share.
For the first time, in what seems like forever, I bought a jacket at full price! Ok… well that’s not 100% true – I bought it on base so it was tax free and marked down a little. Anyway- I loved it. I wore it all day yesterday. You may be wondering why I as wearing a jacket in June in South Carolina – a. I am cold natured and b. I’m always cold at work.

The jacket I bought at the PX at Fort Jackson  - $40
Cropped dress Capri pants from Old Navy - $20
White ¾ length sleeve shirt from Old Navy - given to me by my sister
Black Kinos from Key West, FL - $13
Nautical vintage necklace from my nanny

The second is my random attempt at color blocking.
Hot pink shrug/sweater  from Target – given to me by my sister (who said hand-me-downs aren’t awesome?!)
Grey jersey shirt  from Loft – again, sis gave it to me
Brooch from my nanny (Brooches WILL make a come back - mark my words!)
Mint green Ann Marino shoes from Burke’s outlet - $20
Black dress slacks from Wal-Mart (I KNOW!? Love them) - $16
Earrings from the PX on Ft. Jackson - $1.87 – KID you not!

Last I wanted to share this photo:
I look a mess and it’s a terrible angle but this is from our 4 year anniversary trip. Since I never dress up like this I made sure to at least get one photo! (Plus my main squeeze is super handsome and I like to show him off as much as I can ;)

JCrew bubble necklace – retail $150, I got the real deal-io for $20 on EBay
Lace dress from TJ Maxx - $20
Black wedge shoes (not pictured) from TJ Maxx - $20

I follow Vincent's cousins blog a lot and she always posts awesome outfit ideas! She actually insprired me to do this post. Check her out here!

Take care,

Monday, June 18, 2012

happy father's day mom!

(I meant to post this yesterday, but since I was so busy I forgot. That being said... )

If you actually follow my blog, you’ll know that I am very close to my family… but that wasn’t the case until I got married four years ago.
Now, if you forgot, I got married at 18. Four days out of high school and I was walking down the aisle. Crazy right!? I know. So realistically I was still in that everything-my-mom-does-makes-me-mad phase.
Let me preface this by saying – my mom rocks. She has always been awesome, I just never fully appreciated her. She got me out of trouble a few times in school (yes… yes, she did), gave me more freedom than any of my friends (I’m talking no bed time, didn’t stalk my grade or homework, a flexible curfew – that kinda stuff), and pretty much never said no.
Now let me explain – she wasn’t an absent parent. Sure she worked full time to support my sister and me but she was around. And it’s not that she didn’t care what Claire and I were doing, she just wasn’t an over bearing and controlling mother (thank the Lord). And Claire and I were good kids. We have never smoked a cigarette or done any kind of drugs, we didn’t skip school without my mom’s permission (yea 5th period study-hall-waste-of-time!? Thanks mom ;), and made pretty good grades (top 10% here - what what!).
We had, for lack of a better word, a sacred trust. And I sure wasn’t going to do anything stupid to mess that up… but that doesn’t mean we didn’t bump heads… Oh boy did we - but that’s another post… maybe a whole novel ;)
ANYWAY – my mom and I were never “best friends” – which most of the times I truly hated. I know now that she was first a parent and then a friend – and that is how it SHOULD be. My mom always wore the parent hat first but also knew when to take it off and be a friend. Sure it wasn’t always smooth or helpful but I appreciate her separating those two responsibilities.
I didn’t fully value all my mom did for me but that’s not to say I didn’t thank her. I just look back and realize that she dealt with and put up with a lot of crap.
With yesterday being Father’s day, I felt it was important to thank my mom for the last 12 Father’s days that she has spent without my dad. The years she has spent being a “duel” parent.

An open “Thank You” to my mom:
Thank you….
·         … for “supporting” my weird food habits and obsessions. I know that wasn’t easy – on your pocket book or mental well- being ;)
·         … for taking us on travels around the world. From Europe to South America, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Parthenon – thank you. I may have hated all those tours and museums at the time but now I treasure them
·         … for supporting my hobbies. I know those 2 years I took photography weren’t cheap and thanks for coming to all the games I cheered in (even though we both know I didn’t want to be there). Thank you for buying me the costumes I needed for drama productions and all that scrapbook supplies.
·         … for teaching me to hold my own, always use manners, and that I am stronger than I know.
·         … for buying me my first dSLR camera and first Apple computer (it’s been love ever since).
·         … for letting me be independent and finding my own way.
·         … for loving me through all the times I told you I “hated” or “couldn’t stand” you. We both know my temper was out of control 5 years ago and I am working everyday to be a better person. Thank you for being patient.
·         … for raising Claire and me close to Nanny and Papi. I could not have asked for better grandparents and I know now how important their influence has been on my life.
·         … for supporting Vincent and me during our first year of marriage. Without your help we would have had a house with no furniture and we would have had to live with that awful kitchen (thanks Doug!)
·         … for being a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type person… cause Lord knows I am not
·         … for teaching me that it’s ok to buy yourself presents and to pick out your presents for others to give you
·         … for being so calm after Vincent’s accident (and in any emergency really)
·         … for teaching me the importance of wearing cute shoes and investing in beautiful jewelry
·         … for being so strong after dad’s death. The fact that you stood with so much grace at the visitation and funeral at such a horrible time showed me how incredibly strong you are.
·         … for not crying a lot in front of us. I appreciate your need for privacy and I admire the fact that you put on a brave face for us.
·         … for letting Doug into your heart and ours.
·         … for anything, everything, and all that you do - for us and for others. Your drive, bravey, and selflessness never cease to amaze and puzzle me. You are too wonderful for words.
·         … for being you. Care-free, trusting, distracted, strong, impatient, beautifully made you.

Mom, I am proud to call you one of my best friends and I love you so much. Happy "Father’s" Day.

harry potter inspired wands and box

I saw this wand making tutorial on Pinterest a while back and thought it would be fun to make as a Father’s Day gift for Vincent’s step-dad Phil.
I know the box isn’t 100% Harry Potter “authentic” but I wanted it to look sophisticated incase Phil wanted to put it on his book shelf (which he did so it worked out beautifully).
So here is my take:
1.       Buy cheap chop sticks. I got these for $3 at World Market

2.       Using hot glue, dribble the glue on the base of the stick. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You will use a LOT of hot glue though - so make sure you buy enough sticks!!

3.       If you’d like more definition, you can add some beads. I found that it looks fine without beads as well.

4.       After it’s cooled a bit but not completely dry, use your hand to smooth it out. I found that if my hand with slightly wet it was easier to mold and didn’t stick to my fringers.
5.       Let it cool completely, then paint it with different shades of brown. I actually didn’t even have brown paint in my house so I mixed a bunch of different colors to make mine.

6.       Paint 2-3 coats.

7.       I wanted a place to “house” them and make it a prettier presentation so I bought a small wooden box at Hobby Lobby (it was $7 so I used my 40% coupon).
8.       It was natural wood, which for a Harry Potter themed box wouldn’t do, so I stained it a dark walnut. I used a sponge brush and only did one coat. Dry overnight.
9.       In the book, I remember the part where Mr. Ollivander is helping Harry pick out his wand so I wanted to incorporate the book. (I got the quote from the movie/IMDB). I printed the quote on tan card stock paper. In order to get the worn look. I crumpled it up a few times and then used a lighter to burn the edges (be careful burning! My first one kept relighting and wouldn’t go out. I did them over the sink in case they caught fire again. Kiddos- have an adult help you)

10.   Slather on the glue, add some stuffing, and voila! Magic wand box. :)

This is the box on Phil's bookshelf

Everyone that saw it thought it was pretty cool :) Hope y'all enjoy!