Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Exciting News!!

I'm still in the crazy ( I can't believe this is happening) and madly in love with my fiance mode!  Ahhh!!!
I'm so excited to be sharing this moment here with you now!  Let me tell you how it all happened.  Joe has been going to his parents house for the past few weeks to work on my Christmas gift.  He was making this beautiful white washed chest in which to present me with the ring that he designed for me.  I was stunned and surprised to say the least!  The opening of the chest was very dramatic as it happened on Christmas day at around 11pm. The light was shining down on the opened ring alongside a lovely landscape of lovely moss, air & succulent plants.  Joe recited a poem that he had written before he asked me if I would marry him.  By then of course I was crying, laughing, in shock, and just exploding with joyful emotion as I replied with a YES, yes, yes!! It's been a lot of excitement to take in as I also turned the big 30 the day after on the 26th!  I couldn't think of a better way to spend my special day by spreading the good news to my family and friends and now to all my blog friends!  AAhhhh... I going to bask in these good feelings for a bit longer.  So please excuse my absence in the meantime :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your family a warm and joyful Christmas!  


~Liz & Joe

   Design Download: Summit Avenue Design

DIY: "Lace" Ribbon

I look forward to wrapping my gifts tonight, especially getting to use some of this lace ribbon to complete some special gifts!  Although this does take some time to complete (I did mine while vegging in front of the tv) it's totally re useable and because  the color choice is not very holiday specific,  it would be great to use for a birthday, house warming, or hostess gift too!  I'm loving the results and I hope you get a chance to paint a spool or two yourself :)  Happy wrapping!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Home

When I take a moment to think about this holiday season I feel blessed with an abundance like no other this year.  Blessed to have my family (close by), a sound body and mind, love that continues to grow, confidence, peace of mind, and a steadfast passion to create- all on the brink of my 30th birthday (no less).  And a large part of this happiness comes from this little creative outlet of a blog and all the great people I've been so fortunate to meet along the way!  Your comments truly inspire me and help to motivate me to keep going and growing.  Thank you for all your encouraging thoughts and good cheer.
I can't wait to keep pouring my thoughts and ideas and share them with you here!  Here are a few snippets of what my home currently looks like this year.  Check out another amazing holiday home from my friend Theresa from inspirationCooperative.  Theresa said by sharing photos of your home, it's almost as if we (bloggers) are spending the holidays together!  I couldn't agree more with you Theresa!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Handmade Holiday: Vanilla Extract

A perfectly simple gift for those who love to express themselves in the form of baked goods.  Joe and I whipped up a small batch of these bottles for a few of our family members (sshhh.. don't tell).  They are already turning a yummy carmel color but they won't reach full potency until the end of next month, hey something that our family will HAVE to wait to use!  Feel free to get creative and create your own label or download one of mine here.  Anyway you make it, this is sure to be a gift that will continue to give all year long :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Home for the Holidays: Photo Session


Over the weekend Joe and I spent Saturday afternoon capturing my friend Jill and her family in their beautiful home.  Jill works as a photo stylist, so I was even more excited to see how she had decorated this year for the holidays.  We had so much fun photographing her and the family decorating the tree, drinking lots of coffee and just spending the afternoon together.  The hard part for me was picking out my favorites to share with you today.  Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday to you today!  Did this week fly by or what?  My guess is the weeks are going to continue to fly by until the holiday hits so I best put on my running shoes and make a mad dash to get my gift buying underway this weekend!  I have some fun DIY gifts and some handmade holiday decor to share with you next week, so please come on back soon!  Today I leave with a great wallpaper download to add to your desktop by designer/illustrator Lisa Rupp from That's Happy.  I have this one as my wallpaper on my work computer to help make my day a little brighter!  Have a lovely weekend :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crafty Girl: Gift Guide

 1) Cross Stitch iphone case     3) Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos     5) 2012 Skinny Calendar
 2) MyFonts gift certificate       4) Sewing Classes from The Needle Shop    6) Amy Butler Patterns

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review: Amy Butler Midwest Modern

Photographs by David Butler

Happy Monday to everyone today!!  Today I'm happy to share a book review of one of my most creative inspirational people..Amy Butler.  She is and continues to be a creative force in the fabric design, pattern, and craft world.  Constantly expanding her hard and soft lines to include everything from plates, rugs, wallpaper, bedding, patterns, and a line of stationary (just to name a few).  I received this book Midwest Modern from my brother a few years ago for Christmas and I still reference it to help me whenever I am stuck in a creative rut or just need a fresh new perspective on things.  It's more of a lifestyle book and I think that's why I keep this book within arms reach on the bookshelf at home.  My favorite section of the book is getting a tour of her interiors where she displays a lot of her fabrics and patterns as a kind of rotating gallery of products while getting a glimpse of her studio space on the lower level of her home.  How fun to be able to divide your home into a completely separate work and live space!  A girl can dream, right?!  I hope to make room for this dream someday down the road at our next place.  But for now I'm glad to have a book where I can seek new creative ideas in design, home interiors, prints, fabrics, and home/work life. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DIY Advent Calendar

Enjoy this little DIY I put together for you to countdown the 25 days of Christmas! I got this idea when I found out that these plastic sleeves were going to be thrown out at work.  I thought they would be the perfect size for a project like an advent calendar.  And since I don't have a mantel, I pinned these to the garland going up the stairs instead.  They just add a nice pop of holiday color to the staircase, I think. Have fun making one for yourself!  Let me know how yours turns out :)

Save the Date Engagement Session

Joe and I finished editing our last engagement session last night.  We followed the soon to be newlyweds Zain and Jim around the Old Town and Lincoln Park neighborhoods in Chicago to capture their fun and over the moon (for each other) spirit.  The couple wanted to use their engagement session as their save the dates, so we helped them to spell it out for there guests in a fun and creative way.  I can't wait to see how the bride to be puts all these together into a slide show for family and friends.  The toughest part will be for sure picking out the best ones :)  Congrats to Zain and Jim and thanks for letting Joe and I capture these love awesome moments!

Coach House Pictures

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo Booth Pics

Hello!  Just popping in real quick to share with you a few of my favorite photo booth snapshots the guests at our last wedding captured!  I worked with the bride Renee to create a fun backdrop using her pretty fall wedding colors of orange, chocolate brown and cream.  We created a few chalkboard frames for guests to write or draw messages for the newlyweds.  We had a blast going through all the many images. Our first photo booth was a hit!!  I can't wait for the next one we get to put together!
I'm off to finish editing an engagement session Joe and I shot in Chicago last weekend....more of that to come soon :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for...

Finally being able to make meringue!!  Yes it's true, this simple yet tricky mixing of egg whites and sugar has eluded me for the past few holidays.  Whenever I have tried to make it it always came out to runny and not at all like the beautiful glossy peaks you see in the recipes.  What's the secret you ask?  Room temperature eggs (I left mine out overnight) and a heat proof bowl.  I mixed my ingredients in a plastic bowl, making sure it was squeaky clean beforehand (any oil can contaminate the egg mixture). That's it, that's all!

My family are serious foodies (my parents cooked a "test" turkey a few weeks ago).  So I decided to make a test pie at home first, as to make sure it would not disappoint.  I found this recipe in the Nov issue of Martha Stewart.  Trust me when I say this pie is as delish as it looks!  I'm off to watch the rest of the Macy's Day Parade in my pj's!  Have a healthy happy Thanksgiving :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yogi Words

Do you ever hold a product you use daily so near and dear to your heart that you jump at the chance to share your joy with others?  My joy of choice comes in the form of tea, Yogi tea to be exact!  This organic tea (Green is my flavor) has such a great blend of lemongrass, grape seed extract, dandelion root, and Irish moss powder....yum right?  Oh, but it offers so much more comfort than you would expect in a warm beverage. Yogi tea brings me a thoughtful offering of uplifting words with each sip.  Words that make me think, smile, laugh and give thanks as I go on about my day.  It's the little things like Yogi tea that brings me joy and helps me to see the greater blessings in my life.  You can find this green tea and other Yogi varieties at your local Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.  It's my weekly staple that I take great pleasure in sharing!  Do you have any great daily staples that bring you joy? Do share, I'd love to know!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Loving: Fossil. Life. Style

I thought it's be nice to share something with you today to give you a little break from holiday talk.   It's a bit of eye candy before you fill your plate later this week!  Take a few minutes to head over to Fossil's fun lifestyle website full of  fun things to download, read, and indulge in.   Like meeting one of their art director's, learn how to sew a reuseable tote, get inspired by some cool iphone apps, or flip through a fossil designers sketchbook.  It's calorie free, inspirational full eye candy!  Enjoy :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Styling Tips

A while back I posted about how in the recent months I've been given the opportunity to style for some clients of ours at work.  As many of you know I work as a commercial photographer for a large printing company.  Our photography dept shoots for an arrange of commercial clients that sell clothing, food, medical supplies, and housewares just to name a few.  My managers decided to take me up on my offer to start styling part time after they saw my apartment on Apartment Therapy posted a few months ago. So today I thought I'd share with you 2 different type of styling tips for 2 different types of photography (room and product)  I've worked on these this week alongside one of our best photographers Mark.  He is so much fun to work with and a lighting genius to say the least!  I'd like to note that these are just my opinions/suggestions about prop styling and I hope that they give you something to think about for your next photo shoot.  I'd love to answer (as best as I can) any other questions you might have too on the subject of styling and photography.  Take care!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy like a Bee...

Hi dear friends!  Remember me? I wanted to show you what I've been up to this last week. Joe and I launched Coach House Pictures the website (yippee)! We are still working on adding more samples to the gallery pages, like of the wedding we shot for Renee and Chris last weekend!  We had a blast capturing their special day. Head on over and check out our new site!  I'd love to hear your rants & raves about it!  Oh and while you're there Facebook friend our fan page too :)  Your the best friends a photo gal could ever ask for!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Tricks & Treats!

Happy Halloween to you all today!  So glad you can join me today for this double topic post today!  I got loads of great feedback from bloggers loving the post I did about photographing on different "surfaces" last week.  So I thought I'd share with you another fun (and free) background to set your photographs on, paint chips! This works especially great for small objects to photograph, but you could also create a grid with these to shoot larger objects against!  Fun, right?!  Bonus: You'll have a rainbow of swatches to choose from at your local hardware store.  Just don't go crazy and stuff them all in your purse from sheer excitement, you might get some weird looks from store employees :)  I shot a small pairing of pumpkins against a few different paint chips, just to get your creative gears turning for your next mini-photo shoot ideas.

  I seem to have an endless supply of pumpkins these days, since our fall outing from last week to the pumpkin patch.  So I also included some easy ideas I'm using this season to display my gourds indoors and out.  Inside we keep them grouped together, on top of the microwave, no less :)  Until we find a better use for them... I smell a pie in my near future! And then I also used them to decorate my small outdoor landing area.  I also picked up a hay bale during our country outing last week, for (get this) 5 dollars!! Holla!  You can only find those steals in the country baby! :)  Okay, sorry I'm back.

In other news, I'm sorry to tell you that I am signing off my blog until next week as Joe and I have so much to prepare for this weeks wedding we are shooting together!  I'm talking planning some shots, buying more gear, getting our website in order, ordering business cards, the works!  Oh, and we are also setting up a photo booth for the wedding in between everything else.  Yep, it's a lot of work.  But who am I to complain?!  So until next week, take care!

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