Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wedding Weekend in Cleveland OH

Hello and thank you everyone for all your sweet comments while I've been away and feeling a bit under the weather. I've been feeling a lot better.  Theresa, I think you nailed it when you said that this road trip would be just what I needed! It feels good to be back from our little weekend road trip to Cleveland Ohio.  It was about a 6 and a half hour drive from where we live in Chicago, so instead of driving we decided (last minute) to hop on the Mega Bus! It was great,  I got to catch up on some reading, writing, relaxing, and napping! And the wedding was so beautiful, our friends Annie and Steve looked stunning together and looked blissfully happy the entire night. It was so fun to mix and mingle with some of Joe's closest high school friends. We even had time to take a brewery tour at Great Lakes Brewery (yum) and enjoy a great dinner at there pub. Here are a few of my favorite iphone shots from this weekend. Much love to Steve and Annie on starting this new adventure together :)

Friday, January 27, 2012




Please excuse me when I say that I've been in rest and recover mode for this week.  The soreness has been hanging out in my glands like an annoying pest that just won't go away.  Speaking of going away, Joe and I are packing up to head to Cleveland for a long weekend to celebrate in the wedding festivities of Steve and Annie! Joe's known Steve since he was in the 2nd grade!! We hang out with this fun couple (but not often enough) and so I'm looking forward to spending time celebrating them in Annie's hometown of Cleveland Ohio.  So hopefully I'll have some fun stories and photos to share with you next week... until then, have a nice weekend! Stay healthy :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY: The Beauty Department

Photos by The Beauty Department

Have you heard of this great online beauty blog known as The Beauty Department?  I spotted it over the weekend as I was browsing through Pintrest.  For someone who is looking to shake up the everyday hair  and to finally know how to pull off a smokey eye, I think I've found the answer.  With great layouts, clean photography, and a DIY attitude, I think this site will be frequented whenever I get in a style rut or just looking to pull off a fun new do... Check it out for yourself!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Quilting Inspiration by Denyse Schmidt

A few years ago I rediscovered my love for quilts and all the comforts that they bring. My curiosity and interest came in the form of the book Quilt by Denyse Shmidt. Her modern take on quilt patterns, color pairings, and simplicity really resonated with my love to create something functional, timeless, and authentic. Around the time I picked up this book I also happened to have a collection of tee shirts, in similar neutral colors of cream, white, grey, and tan that I had a feeling would all pair well together. So fueled with inspiration by this book and a season of Project Runway, I set off into my first quilting adventure. I posted about the finished project a few years ago and included some of the lessons I learned in the process. Patience, finding beauty in the flaws just to name a few. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and I can't wait until inspiration strikes again! Which makes me curious to know, have you ever taken on a long term project that was so worth the wait?

* First Photos & Patterns by: Denyse Shmidt
* What's In Your Toolbox Interview by Design Sponge

Friday, January 13, 2012

Instagram Week

Happy Friday to you all as we round up the first full work week of the new year! Did it treat you well? I sure hope so!  I find that the key to my best and productive work weeks have been by making time to move my body at the end of most days.  Even if I can't haul it to the gym, an impromptu dance party in my living room always get the blood and energy flowing just as well!  Plus I notice that exercise, in whatever form that may take, almost always guarentees a beautiful night sleep! Cheers to more productive weeks ahead and deep sleep too! Before I head out to start the weekend here are a few Instagram shots that made up my week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Food Bites: Butternut Squash with Ricotta Ravioli

Since joining the local CSA, Joe and I have been receiving a bounty of butternut squash.  So much so that they have taken over the top of our microwave for quite a while now. And besides roasting this veggie (I can only eat so much of this seasonal item) we figured we'd roll up our sleeves and dive into- what else- making butternut squash with homemade ricotta ravioli.  It was all quite simple, just time consuming. 

 To make your own batch of these tasty bites you'll need to roast about 2 butternut squashes (cut them in half lengthwise and discard seeds first) in the oven (450 degrees for about 50 mins). Scoop out the insides into a bowl and add a minced sprig of fresh rose merry, crushed pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. This will accompany the ricotta as the ravioli filling.  Here's the super easy way to make your own ricotta. Pretty easy, right?!  Next roll out your pasta sheets, we used fresh, uncooked sheets. Cut them to the size you want your Ravioloi to be.  We played around with a mix of sizes. I liked the bigger sized guys. Next spoon in your squash and ricotta into the middle of one piece.  Next brush the edges with a quick egg wash (this is going to help keep all the filling inside your pasta).  Top your half with another pasta piece and use a fork to seal all of the pastas edges (as demonstrated by Joe). Cook your pasta according to your desired tenderness. I like mine al dente, you know with a slight bite to it where as Joe prefers his on the verge of dissolving as soon as it enters his mouth..I tell him at least he's dentures will thank him in the future..hehehe!  Oh and then the best part of all comes the feasting, yum! We still have a few more squashes in the house, I'd love to hear any tasty suggestions on your favorite way to prepare squash!? Cheers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Inspired by: Dip Dyed Home Goods

I always love to find new and unique DIY techniques to help reinvent and give home pieces a fresh new look.  I realize this dip dyed technique has been floating around the online community for a while but it's only just now pulled me into seeing its possibilities for a certain coffee table that I think would be a perfect dip dye canidate! Do you have any home decor trends that are calling you to rethink any home goods?  

Monday, January 9, 2012

6 Ways to Keep Blogging...

1. If you take public transportation to work everyday, use that time to think, sketch, write, and or plan shots to photograph for your next post. Carry a purse size notebook, use your notes app on your iPhone, iPad, and use it wherever you go.  You never know when a brilliant idea will strike!

2. If its possible schedule an afternoon of photography to add to posts in the making.  For example if you know you want to post a book review and photograph what your wearing for your night out next week, why not schedule to photograph all to photo stories in one afternoon. That way when you finish the writing portion of your post, you can quickly pull out your photographs and edit them into your post.  I find this saves a lot of time and really motivates me to post more when I have good photographs for a few posts already ready to complete my photo story for a post. 

3. Make it an enjoyable habit to photograph daily outings, events, and everything in between. Start thinking of these snapshots of daily life as creative inspiration for future posts.

4. Schedule posts over the weekend. This has worked really well for me in the past. Set aside a Sat/Sun morning to write, photograph, and schedule posts for the coming week ahead. I know your weekend time is precious, so really commit yourself to editing posts you'll be proud to publish.

5. If you have a Google email account (and are away from your home computer for most of the day, like me)
start writing future posts in Goggle docs.  When you finish them, you can just cut and paste them into your blog when you return home from the office later in the evening. 

6. Blog during lunch.  I don't really do this much (because I love to socialize with my lunch ladies) but when I have something so exciting to share with you that it can't wait until night, I happily eat at my desk and blog away! 

Those are just some blog tips that continue to work for me while I commute to and from the city everyday to my job as a commercial photographer/stylist . Do you have any advise or tips that have worked for you as a blogger and 9 to 5 er? I'm not going to dismiss those who stay at home to raise there families either! I give you mama's lots of credit because your job's are probably just beginning when 5pm rolls around.  I'd sure love to know how you manage to keep it all in balance too!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Let's Connect via Instagram!

I can't think of a better way to end the first week of the new year than by following each other through Instagram, how about you? 

I know since the BYW fall course Holly introduced her students to use this friendly app as another way to share and connect with other fellow bloggers and I have to admit that since I joined over the holidays (on my iPad) I love taking photos and playing around with the fun photo filters that you can select from.  But the best part really is being able to share with other Instagramers  (this is where you come in!) So whadda ya say? Let's share and connect beyond the blogosphere walls and really get a sneak peak into each others daily happenings!!  Ready? Okay I'll go first, follow me and my photos @ evphotogal. Happy weekend to you and hope to meet ya via Instagram ladies and gents! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gifts from White Nest

  Top photo by me.  All other photography by White Nest.

Joe and I look forward to the Renegade Craft fair every year in Chicago.  It's just a great vibe with yummy eats and such a collection of crafty talent it makes my head spin (but in a good way)!  I love to talk with the artisians that set up shop every summer.  It's nice to get to know who you buy from, right! Joe noticed my loving gaze when we entered the booth of White Nest.  But being his sly self he just pretended not to notice.  So it was a nice surprise indeed when I recieved 2 lovely gifts from White Nest for the holidays!  Can you tell I love birds?!  Haha, well now they have a space on my wall and on the couch.  They are both minimal works of art and I am happy to have them in our interior mix!  They are currently having a great sale right now if you'd like a piece for your home too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bring IT!

What's in Front:

* Salsa dance lessons with Joe.
* Doing something that scares me!
* Getting lost in a handful of best sellers.
* Going on a date with myself.
* Disconnecting for a long weekend.
* Transition from paper products ( calendar, post its, address book ) to my iPad.
* Planning a total DIY wedding!
* Training & Completing the Chicago Marathon.
* Abs! (even if they only last for the year).
* Photographing more weddings.
* Hosting more dinner parties.
* Juicing!

What's Behind:

* Feeling sorry.
* Technology before bedtime.
* Nail biting...I'm over it, it's time!!
* Trying to please everyone.
* Self Doubt
* Excuses
* My Twenties ( and I'm happy for it :)