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January 31, 2013

life lately {iphone edition}

 life lately has been full of freezing temps, too much food & some new york lovin!!!
cheers to the last day of january! february, i've been waiting for you :)

January 29, 2013

leota new york

on sunday we woke up early & headed to williamsburg in brooklyn for the leota fashion shoot. this was the main reason for my visit to NYC & it did not disappoint! i wasn't sure what to expect coming into the whole process but i ended up taking away a lot!

60 looks. 1 model. 1 photographer. & a whole team from leota. 
the entire day went very smoothly with only a couple bumps in the road. & 11 hours later...we all emerged from the little studio apartment finished & SO happy with the results! congrats to sarah & her team!!! you gals make some truly beautiful clothes for women. & i had such a fun time watching the photography team ned & aya create breath taking images!!

^^^the wonderful team that made it all possible^^^

i loved meeting everyone & sitting down and having some good conversations. it was so surreal to be at a photo shoot in new york city! 

January 26, 2013

vinegar hill house, brooklyn

day two in new york was amazing! technically this was the first full day that my uncle & i have been here, but we went out friday night, so i like i'll consider that day one.

today was a full day. i will post more pictures soon with the various things that we did today, which included exploring brooklyn in the early hours of the morning, walking across the brooklyn bridge {both ways}, & hanging out in lower manhattan. but, one of the highlights of today was lunch at vinegar hill house. this little hole in the wall was so cute inside & out. i loved the quiet neighborhood it was located in & the food was awesome. we stopped here after our long morning//afternoon of exploring & grabbed some french dip sandwiches & sourdough pear pancakes. i know, sounds great, huh?

my favorite part about the trip so far has been seeing how people live in this wild metropolis. it truly fascinates me. typically when you hit up really popular tourist joints you won't get a realistic sense of how locals live. & how people live & thrive in such a busy, crowded space like new york is what i'm most intrigued by. ah, i love it!! i am having so much fun & looking forward to going to the fashion shoot tomorrow morning for sarah's dress line.

stay tuned....

January 25, 2013

friday's letters 02

i used to think winter & i got along, but after this year...i'm not so sure! i know i've blogged enough about
 the joys of winter {sarcasm}, but here are a few more for ya! 

>> dear hands, i'm sorry i let you turn to icicles every morning. i am now starting to really understand & appreciate winter clothes. like real winter clothes. lately my hands have been frozen, especially when driving in the early hours of the morning, & my little target mittens just aren't cutting it! leather gloves make sense to me now. i would kill for a pair right about now. >> dear excessive layering, as pretty as the snow may be...i'm officially over bundling up to go anywhere! this pretty woman in the picture above is so stylish & gorge walking down a city street with snow at her feet, but come on...there is no way. >> dear me, let's try to be more optimistic, shall we! so, on a more positive note, winter is a great time for soups. i have enjoyed making various soups & stews lately. i do tend to miss this aspect of winter when the hot summer months are around. so, i think i will try a few more new soup recipes before the winter chill is gone & spring arrives! >> & since we are chatting about food, dear waistline, my apologies for not paying enough attention to you. making desserts seems to be inevitable when you are snowed in...or perhaps simply too cold to even think about going outside. i sometimes feel like a bear. all i want to do is eat a bunch of heavy desserts & hibernate for a while. i know some of you girls know what i'm talking about! &&& with all the many layers of clothing i wear every day, no one will notice the extra lbs, right??? because we all know i haven't hit the gym for a few weeks...okay, months. yikes!

cheers, winter.
but i am happy to report i am headed to NYC today!!!! big apple, here i come.
i can't wait to see you tonight.

January 23, 2013

do diets ever work?

^^^evening baking sessions can be a dangerous thing^^^

ugh how many times do we all start a "diet" & then half way through the first day find ourselves eating chicken nuggets? a little while back mark & i counted calories for over a month & we both lost a good amount of weight! yay us! but ever since we've stopped i've just gone back to my bad habits. a cookie here & a piece of pizza there. i love food so it's really hard for me to give up some of my favorites....but....when i was eating healthier & consuming less calories i felt so much better!

how do you guys find the motivation to pass up a yummy burger & stick to a salad???? i need some help...with a side of will power, please.

January 22, 2013

a look inside my camera bag

i love hearing what other photographers {& people in general} have inside of their camera bags! whenever i get the chance to speak with a photographer i always ask them what camera body they use, as well as some of their favorites lenses. getting to peek at what equipment they use on a daily basis & what they recommend, as well as what they don't, is really a special opportunity. it can be a great learning experience & is truly valuable information in my eyes! so, for anyone that may be interested, here is a little peek inside my camera bag! :)

1. nikon d600 >> a full frame DSLR camera body. i love this camera so far! it is the newest addition to my collection & one of my favorites ;) this is my first big boy camera & i am thoroughly enjoying all of the perks of having such a sophisticated machine.

2. nikkor 50mm 1.8G >> this is my favorite lens. it is a prime lens which means that it doesn't zoom. you must use your feet to get closer or move further away from your subject. i love it because it creates really sharp images & has a really low aperture! if you are looking to step up your photography but not spend a ton on a lens {because we all know how much those amazing lenses can cost!!} then this is a great option! i bought this lens right after i got my d5100 & i have been in love with it ever since!

3. nikkor 18-55mm >> this lens came with my nikon d5100 camera as the kit lens. while this lens is in my camera bag, i don't typically use it.  i may pop this lens on if i need a really wide shot {18mm is very wide} or am in need of a zoom lens while i'm out exploring a new city. but when i get the dough, i plan on investing in a true wide angle lens {like a 24mm}. but until then i will keep this little guy around just in case!

4. nikkor 24-85mm >> this is the kit lens that came with my new nikon d600. i use my 50mm most of the time, but it is kind of nice to have the option of a zoom if for whatever reason i need it. for example, when i take pictures of food from a birds eye view i typically use this lens in order to get everything in the frame when i'm in such a confined space. {i dream of a 24-70mm, though :)}

5. nikon d5100 >> this little guy has been so good to me for the past 10 months. i learned everything on this DX camera & i love it so much! i would recommend this camera to any beginner. it has various settings for those who do not know manual mode. i found this comforting because there were times when i was first learning manual that i didn't want to think about my settings & so i could set it to a preset option & know i would still get a good picture. i am keeping this little guy around as a back up in case anything ever breaks or goes wrong with my other camera body.

so those are the items in my camera bag! 
of course i have a wish list of things i would LOVE to eventually purchase, but for what i'm doing right now, this little group is working just fine!

i would also like to mention that i typically use lightroom for all of my editing. i love photoshop, but lightroom is SO much faster when you have a bunch of photos to edit. i have both & work with both, but if you are debating between the two & you simply want to edit photos...definitely go with lightroom.
i love talking photography, so if you have any questions...leave a comment!

January 20, 2013

crepes & a clean home

i don't know about you guys, but i've come to realize that a clean home truly is a happy home.

you can ask my parents & they will tell you that my bedroom growing up {& when i come home to visit} was a mess, to say the least. i lived with clothes all over my bed, the floor & stuff just everywhere. but now that i've got my own place and mark & i are the only ones here, somehow those little messes in every room don't just magically disappear! bummer, right? and when you are living in a tiny little condo, a mess in one room just makes the whole apartment feel cluttered & dirty!!!

during the busy work week it is especially easy to let all those messes go & before you know it...each room looks like a bomb went off. that's why i love doing a quick run through in the house on sundays. clean the kitchen & pick up the living room//dining area. {i don't usually bother with the bedrooms because, again, i can live with some clothes in there lol} i like having the house somewhat in order when monday rolls around so i can actually breathe inside my home...who needs that extra stress during the week, right!

anywhoooo...this morning mark suggested that we make crepes for breakfast! the perk of having a husband who lived in paris for two years, great crepes! so i whipped up some cream, cut a few strawberries & we made a feast out of it. :) 

^^^strawberries, whipped cream & homemade raspberry jam is my favorite!^^^

January 19, 2013

fur on fur

before christmas i was blabbing to anyone who would listen about how much i wanted a fur vest {faux or real}. & i am happy to report that my big mouth did some good!! i got two BEAUTIFUL fur vests for christmas & thought i'd share them with you!

 ^^^my sister got me this one from tjmaxxx^^^
i love this vest because it is warm & has the cutest leather tie to sort of sinch at the waist. 
it's nice to have a little shape.
 ^^^& this one was from my mother-in-law^^^
i LOVE this vest because it is much lighter & more formal. i can wear this out to a nice dinner or around town & feel done up. i also like that i won't necessarily have to stop wearing it once winter is over because it is so light weight.
{p.s. ann did you notice the gold ankle boots??? :) }

i love them both so much!
 && had a blast doing this fun little shoot with my friend maryclaire. fashion & diet coke fridays!!

January 18, 2013

friday's letters 01

this is my first installment of "friday's letters!" this is where i will write little notes about various things in my life or perhaps just thoughts going through my mind at the moment. be prepared for some venting & random sharing! enjoy...

>> dear spring//summer, you can't come soon enough. i am longing for some warmth! sun, fresh fruit & flowy dresses. yes please!  >> dear lips, will you ever not be chapped??? it was fun for a while but chapped lips are such a pain. can't wear lipstick, they look bad & not to mention, they hurt!  >> dear anyone, if you are looking for a lifestyle or wedding photographer, check me out.  >> dear may, i can't wait for you to roll around. going to san fran for a long weekend with my family to celebrate my bro's graduation from law school? ah, so fun! & a new city to photograph :):)  >> dear dishes, why can't you wash yourself? you are such a pain to do each & every day. uhhhh but switching to paper ones would just be such a waste. i am green deep down!  >> dear january, you are quite the depressing month. with snow everywhere, freezing temps & no big trips back home in sight, i feel a bit blue.  >> dear NYC, i can't wait to see you in a week!!!!

TGIF & hope you all have a great weekend!
p.s. thanks for helping me reach 100 followers!

January 16, 2013

recipes {the perfect potato soup}

so despite my long hours during the week, i have been trying to continue cooking homemade meals as often as possible. last week i made a wonderful potato soup that i will be sharing with you today!

i found this recipe via the pioneer woman, a very trustworthy source!! i've never made this sort of creamy potato soup before, but i loved it & mark went back for seconds...and thirds. that's got to say something, right! if you love baked potatoes you will die for this soup! it tasted just like a baked potato to me, but so much better - considering i don't really care for actual baked i crazy? maybe. but this soup is just delightful.

what you'll need >>
3 slices of thin bacon {i used turkey bacon}
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 whole carrots, cleaned {or peeled]& diced
2 stalks of celery, cleaned & diced
3 small russet potatoes, peeled & diced
4 cups low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
11/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup of cheese of your choice for topping at the end

directions >>
1. cut the pieces of bacon into small pieces & place into a large soup pot over medium/high heat. cook until the bits of bacon are crisp. remove bacon & scoop out most of the bacon fat. leave some for flavor. {if using turkey bacon, there isn't much fat left so leave it all}
2. add diced onions, carrots & celery to the pot where the bacon was cooked. cook for 2 minutes. then add the diced potatoes, salt, pepper & cajun seasoning. cook for 5 more minutes.
3. pour in the broth & bring to a gentle boil. allow to cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly tender.
4. mix the milk & flour together. pour mixture into the soup & stir. allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
5. remove 2/3 of the soup & put into a blender/food processor until creamy. {i used my immersion blender. i simply laddled about 2 cups of the soup into my 2 cup measuring cup & blended until smooth. dumped it back into the soup pot & did it again with 2 more cups of soup.}
>> at this point you will have a creamy soup with some chunks of potato & other veggies. if you don't like a chunky soup then just blend all of it! or if you want more chunks, blend less of it.
6. check the seasoning & add more salt/pepper if desired. finally, add the heavy cream & parsley, reserve some for garnish.
7. serve into individual bowls & top with cheese, a pinch of parsley & a sprinkle of those yummy bacon bits!

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