Miss S | Boho Chic Boudoir & Headshots

1.28.2015

I love when a woman can be sexy while still being classy.  Confidence and attitude manage to convey sultry in a very subtle way.  We wanted Miss S's boudoir session to be relaxed and fun, but a little sassy, too, and boy did she bring it.

boho chic boudoir photos
boho chic boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos
modern boho boudoir photos

After our mini-boudoir session, we headed out to the streets of Brooklyn for some new head shots with an urban twist.  We found these awesome graffiti murals just down the street and decided to use them as a colorful, unique background that's a little more visually interesting than the standard NYC head shots.

modern head shots in brooklyn
modern women's portraits
modern urban women's portraitsmodern urban women's portraits
modern urban women's portraitsmodern urban women's portraits
modern urban women's portraits


Interested in doing a boudoir or portrait session, too?  Feel free to email me!  I promise it's tons of fun. :)

xo

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7 First Trimester Essentials

1.27.2015

first trimester pregnancy essentials


I had a bit of a rough first trimester.  Morning sickness was no joke, and it was not just in the morning either.  In fact, before finding out I was pregnant, I thought I had the stomach flu.  Or food poisoning.  For a little over a week, I was throwing up at a minimum five times a day.  Nothing would stay down.  My diet consisted of applesauce and milk and I lost six pounds in five days.  After that, the puking eased up a bit (two or three times roughly every other day or so) but the nausea was a constant for almost six weeks.

And then, as suddenly as it hit, it passed.  About half-way through week 11, I was doing a session with a friend and his family for their holiday card and he mentioned that they were going out for pizza for dinner.  After that, I couldn't get pizza off my mind.  I texted The Husband and said, "Let's have a pizza party tonight."  He was fully on board, of course, and I managed to eat an entire medium-sized gluten free pizza* that night all by myself.  It was glorious.

That first trimester fell right at the tail end of my wedding season, which was a good thing, but it also coincided with my trip to New York.  So I thought I'd share a few of my first trimester essentials that helped me manage the nausea whether I was working from home, shooting a wedding, or traveling across the country.

* * * * * * * * * *

1. Sea Bands - These things were awesome.  I was skeptical at first and thought maybe it was all in my head but while I was wearing these, the nausea was mild or gone.  I wore them on my flights and just in daily life (including while shooting weddings) and they were a lifesaver.

2. Preggie Pop Drops - When I felt a little nausea hit, I'd pop one of these bad boys and it would quickly subside.  I wish you could select the flavors because the sour lemon was really unappetizing to me (tasted like a cough drop) during that first trimester, but the raspberry was very tasty.  I ordered a three-pack and they lasted a couple of weeks.

3. BeBand - I lost a lot of weight really quickly so a lot of my pants didn't really fit properly.  At one point, my jeans and work pants were so big I could pull them on and off without unbuttoning them!  I'm not much of a belt gal and wearing one at that time sounded really uncomfortable so I bought one of these BeBands from Target to hold my pants up when they were a little too loose.  It worked great!  And, as my weight returned to normal and the belly started expanding in the second trimester, this little band helped hold up the pants when they were too small to button!

4. VitaFusion Chewable PreNatal Vitamins - I could not keep those horse pill prenatal vitamins down to save my life so these chewable, slightly fruit-flavored ones were a game changer.  I was barely eating and what I did eat had minimal nutritional value, so I felt good knowing I was at least getting some basic nutrients from the vitamins.

5. Comfy Tops - All I wanted to wear during the first trimester was pajamas but apparently that's an unacceptable wardrobe for the real world.  A loose-fitted comfy tee paired with leggings was the closest thing I could get to real-life PJs.  Layer it with a sweater and add some boots & a colorful scarf and you have a pretty cute outfit!

6. Coconut Water - There were times when even plain old water wouldn't stay down but, for whatever reason, coconut water was never a problem.  The Husband also loves it to rehydrate post-workouts (especially when training for marathons) so we bought it in bulk from Costco to keep dehydration at bay for both of us.

7. Leggings - Again, pajamas for the real world.  Unless I was shooting a wedding or needed to dress up a bit with some jeans, I wore leggings pretty much all day e'ry day.  In addition to the nausea, I was also extremely exhausted during that first trimester (which lasted until a week ago when I finally found an iron supplement that seems to work, thanks pregnancy anemia!) and took a nap almost every day.  Wearing something comfy that I could lay down and relax in when necessary was a priority.  And, like I said, layer them with boots and a cute sweater and you have a perfectly acceptable real-world outfit. :)

xo

*We order gluten-free pizza from Amici's.  They use Mariposa Baking Co.'s crust and take precautions to prevent cross-contamination by storing and preparing everything separately in the kitchen.  The only downside is it only comes in a medium, but I highly recommend it if you're looking for gluten-free pizza in San Francisco.

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Thank You

1.23.2015

Thank you all so much for your kind words of love & support for us and Molly.  Though I haven't been able to respond to every comment, mostly because it makes me pretty emotional, The Husband and I have read every single one and you've truly given us a lot of comfort.  I've been lucky not to have any crazy pregnancy hormone-related crying outburst like I've heard so many others struggle with, so I'm pretty sure this news would've hit me hard whether or not I was pregnant.  The Husband even gets a little choked up when we talk about it or while cuddling with her.  She really is special to both of us, but I think Molly has also touched the hearts of many more beyond our little family and that means the world to me.

She's still in great spirits and chippers as always, chasing after her favorite toys and munching on her favorite treats (blueberries, strawberries, parsley, radicchio, and bell peppers).  And don't worry, Gia has not been left out of the fun!  She's been enjoying the extra treats and playtime with Molly, too.  We're planning to do a little family photo sesh with them tomorrow afternoon and to make this DIY paw prints keepsake, too.  I'll be back with regular photography posts soon but, in the mean time, we're definitely cherishing our time with our little Molly-pie.

The piggies wanted to give you a little weekend entertainment and show off their trick for you.  At this point, Molly knows what to do so well, she does the move before I even get the word out!  If you listen closely, you can also hear her sweet purrs and squeaks as she chows down on her reward. :)


Happy Weekend
xo

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A Molly Update

1.21.2015



Last week, I took the piggies in for a routine vet visit.  It was time for their annual exam.  The vet checked their eyes & ears, teeth & paws, then did a body exam.  Gia got a clean bill of health.  “Perfect!  A little overweight, but overall, perfect,” the vet said.

Next up, Molly.  Again the vet checked her eyes & ears, teeth & paws, then the body exam.  “Hmm...” she said.  After a few minutes of lots more gentle-but-firm prodding, she inquired about their diet.  The quantities and types of food they were eating were all within the healthy range.  “Molly is definitely overweight, too, but guinea pigs are prone to weight gain so that doesn’t concern me as much.  What concerns me are her lymph nodes.”

Apparently all of Molly’s lymph nodes were severely enlarged.  The vet let me feel and it was like little gum balls were stuck under her fur.  She told me it could possibly just be an infection, so she was sending Molly home with some antibiotics just in case, but she wanted to do an aspiration because there was a much greater chance it was something more serious.  Lymphoma.  Molly showed no other signs of being sick - her eyes were clear and bright, her coat is shiny, and she still has lots of energy and a very hearty appetite (as the scale proved).  I knew in my gut it wasn’t just an infection, so I cuddled my little piggy and handed her over to the vet to take her back for the aspiration.  While waiting those long fifteen minutes in the reception area for her to return, I just kept repeating in my head, “It’s just an infection.  It’s just an infection.”

After what felt like hours, the vet finally returned with Molly in her carrier.  Gia had been waiting patiently, too, so I rewarded them both with a blueberry.  Overweight-ness be damned.  We went up to the counter to pay our bill and Molly immediately charmed the vet techs and staff.  They all ooh’ed and ah’ed over her cute little white tuft of hair, her chipper squeaks and sweet little piggy kisses (Molly will lick the hand of just about anyone who pets her).  I opened her carrier so they could get a better glimpse at my little piggy love and they just couldn’t stop petting her.  Molly reveled in the attention, while Gia, true to her shy self, just laid down in the back of the carrier waiting patiently till it was time to go home.



We came home and started Molly on the antibiotics as the vet instructed.  “It’s just an infection.  It’s just an infection.”  Molly, ever the model patient, gulped down her meds like a pro and went on to play with Gia and munch on some hay.  We instituted a ‘no more fruit’ diet for the two of them to hopefully get them back to normal weight.  Just veggies, pellets, and hay for these two fatties.  The next day, the vet called to check in on them.  “The lab results won’t be back in until Tuesday or Wednesday but I just wanted to see how Molly was doing.”  She said we could try feeling her lymph nodes in another day or two to see if the swelling went down.  If so, that would be a sure sign it was just an infection.

Tuesday rolled around and Molly & Gia seemed to have more energy than normal, so I let them come out for a little bit of play time while I took a lunch break from work.  I gently felt for Molly’s lymph nodes in her neck and they felt exactly the same, despite four days of antibiotics.  My stomach knotted up.  “Maybe it’s just a really severe infection,” I told myself.  “Maybe she’ll just need a few extra days of antibiotics to clear it up and that’s why the swelling hasn’t gone down yet.”  But still, I feared the worst.

About an hour or so after lunch, the phone rang.  It was the vet.  My heart started pounding and I almost didn’t answer because I was afraid of the news she’d deliver.  “The lab results are back.  Unfortunately ...”  I started to cry as soon as she said that word.  “Unfortunately, it’s lymphoma.  It’s at an intermediate stage, which is fairly advanced.  For guinea pigs, this is untreatable.”  She said in some other animals, dogs and cats for example, chemotherapy is sometimes an option.  But the chemo meds just don’t work the same in guinea pigs.  Their already-sensitive digestive systems shut down and often they die sooner from complications than they would if the lymphoma were just left alone.  “So what can we do for her?” I stammered out through tears.  “Keep her comfortable, give her all her favorite foods, and shower her with love.”



She said the disease progresses rapidly and Molly most likely only has about 2-5 weeks, but some guinea pigs have lived up to two months with it.  Either way, that’s not nearly enough time.  I’ve been crying off and on ever since hearing the news.  In fact, it’s a good thing this is a typed blog post rather than handwritten because it’d hardly be legible for all the tear stains.  Molly has been my little buddy, my little companion for almost four full years now.  She was my roommate when I lived alone for the first time in my life in Sacramento.  She kept me company and gave me something to look forward to at the end of each day.  She got me through a rough year at my old firm and let me start everyday with a smile, just by greeting me with her happy squeaks and purrs each morning.  When I moved to San Francisco and started working from home, she was my little sidekick through long days alone in the apartment, resting in my lap while I edited photos or playing under my desk as I answered emails and scheduled consultations.  To say I’m attached to her would be an understatement.  And I want more time.  Four years is not nearly enough.  She still so active and vibrant, loving and intelligent, and it’s unfair that she won’t get to be here to enjoy life the way she has the last few years.



And I think she’s a bit attached to us, too.  When she’s out playing with Gia, she’ll often come over and stand on her hind legs, reaching her front little paws up my leg begging to be held, much like a child lifts their arms to you when they want to be picked up.  She naps in my lap, using my arm as her own personal pillow.  Or she’ll crawl up my chest and snuggle into my neck, giving me little guinea pig kisses before she dozes off.  She loves cuddling with The Husband, too, but sometimes she’ll hop out of his lap, waddle across the couch, and climb into mine.  She’s our little baby and it breaks my heart to know she won’t be here much longer.  It breaks my heart to know she won’t get to meet her first human sibling, too.  She loves when we get down on the floor to play with her and I’m convinced she would make tummy time and learning to crawl loads more fun for any baby.  It breaks my heart to know Gia, who’s as attached to Molly as I am, if not more so, won’t have her best friend and piggy sister to play with much longer, either.  Gia was such a scared, shy little thing when we first brought her home and Molly has helped her come out of her shell and blossom into a quirky, playful (but still a bit shy) little guinea pig.  Gia bonded to Molly the first day they met, following her wherever she went.  They chase each other around the living room and play tug-of-war with their chew toys.  Even though Molly has a bad habit of stealing Gia’s food, Gia doesn’t seem to mind.  She happily shares with her pig sister, knowing mom or dad will always give her a little more.

Top: Molly & Gia, meeting for the first time





Molly still seems to be feeling well.  In fact, if not for the lab results you’d never guess she was sick.  She bolts out of her pigloo in the mornings, eager for her pellets-and-blueberries breakfast.  She purrs loudly when I call her name or pet her while she munches on fresh hay.  She’s still active with her toys and enjoys her play time outside of her cage.  But we know that won’t last long.  “When you see a decline in her quality of life, -loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss- call me and we can discuss your options for euthanasia at that point.”  Right now, I can’t bear the thought.  I’m still in denial, I think, convinced that Molly will somehow prove to be the one guinea pig that lives for years with this disease.  She’s proven to be quite a unique little critter up to this point, why shouldn’t she defy the odds in this, too?  But I also know deep down inside that’s unrealistic and the last thing I want is for her to suffer.  She’s brought so much joy and happiness to our lives and she deserves the same in return.  So in the mean time, we’ll continue to give her all her favorite foods (diet be damned) and shower her with the attention she so loves.  She’s our baby and we love her deeply, and we want her to know it right up until the end.  However soon that may be.

xo

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A Day in Point Reyes

1.20.2015

Being self-employed, The Husband and I don't always get to enjoy three-day weekends the way we did when we worked for someone else.  There's always more work to do, emails to answer, calls to return.  Knowing we'd both end up working Monday, we decided to make Saturday a fun adventure day.  Even though I'm too lazy to actually enjoy exercise, I do love to hike.  So I did a little research and found a new hiking trail for us to check out, just an hour and a half from San Francisco, in Point Reyes.  I had my film camera with me and took most of my photos of the day with that, but I did manage to snap a few on my iPhone to share while the film is being processed at the lab.

We made a day of it and started with a stop at Equator Coffee in Mill Valley.  Their coffee drinks are all made with double-shots of espresso, which is just a little too much caffeine for me, so I opted for a sugar buzz in the form of a hot chocolate and gluten-free chocolate chip bar while The Husband got energized for our hike with a double-shot macchiato.

equator coffee mill valley


Afterwards, we headed straight to Abbotts Lagoon for our hike.  The website claims this hike is only 2.3 miles out and back, but my FitBit said it was actually a little over 4 miles.  It didn't matter though.  Rolling hills, bright green meadows, and golden sand dunes made for the most beautiful and peaceful scenery.  Birds flitted in and out of the lagoon, a family of deer grazed at a safe distance from the trail, while a herd of cattle had no fear of humans and came right up to the trail's edge in search of the perfect munchable grass.  It felt more like a leisurely stroll than a 4-mile hike, and it didn't hurt that the weather was perfectly sunny and 70, too.

Abbotts Lagoon hiking trail in Point Reyes


When we reached what looked like the trail's end, we continued on through the sand dunes past the lagoon to the ocean on the other side.  The Husband waded out into the water a bit but it was a little too chilly for me.  I stayed on shore and took a few photos instead.

Abbotts Lagoon hiking trail in Point Reyes
Abbotts Lagoon hiking trail in Point Reyes


After the hike back, we made the short 15-minute drive back to Point Reyes Station for lunch at Station House Cafe and a brief stop at Cowgirl Creamery before heading back to the city.  Though Cowgirl Creamery makes my favorite cheese ever, Humboldt Fog, we opted for a triple cream camembert-like cheese to bring home instead.  Bonus, all their cheeses are made from pasteurized milk so they're totally safe for pregnant ladies!  All in all, it was a lovely day.  And it still felt like a nice, relaxing weekend even though we both spent Monday working.

xo

What did you do for the three-day weekend?  Anything special?


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