52 Weeks: Week 34 & 35

11.30.2011

Week 34: Fall

Week 35: Horses in the cul-de-sac - (This was so bizarre.  The Boyfriend and I woke up Friday morning to see an empty horse-drawn carriage coming down the street.  Um... wtf?)

Cat Naps

11.29.2011

The Boyfriend's sister has two beautiful, friendly little kitties and I got to spend some time with them over Thanksgiving weekend.  The girl, Mama Boots, is a bit camera shy (she ran away as soon as I tried to get a picture!) but her brother, Toni the Tiger, was happy to model for me.  Or maybe he was just too lazy to run away...

Doesn't Toni have the most beautiful blue eyes?



I was able to get one quick shot before Mama Boots realized what was going on.  I just loved that the two of them were in almost the exact same position but in two different rooms.  They were like mirror images of each other.



Family

11.28.2011

For the month of November, Rock the Shot is hosting a photo challenge where the theme is "Family."  I recently did a family shoot so I decided to submit one of my fave shots from the session.  I love that Daddy & Daughter didn't even notice I was taking a photo.  They were too caught up in each other to be distracted by a silly camera.  But I just couldn't resist the beautiful sun flare and loving smiles!



Rock the Shot

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

Hola lovelies!!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend (or just a great November weekend for all you non-USA readers!).  I definitely needed a four-day break but I feel like I've been cooking almost non-stop since Tuesday.  Not a bad thing.  I ended up making caramel apple cider cookies and this pumpkin cheesecake recipe for Thanksgiving dinner.  Oh man.  Oh man oh man oh man.  So good!  I found the original recipe for the cookies here but for ease of reference (and since I love y'all), I'll retype the recipe below.


Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

What You Need:
1 cup unsalted butter, almost melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 box Alpine Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (not sugar free) - you could probably use any kind of instant cider mix but this is the one I found at the store
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 bag chewy caramel candies
Couple tbsps of cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top

What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Unwrap approximately 20-30 caramels and line a cookie tray with parchment paper.  Try not to eat all the caramels.  I know it's tempting.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packets of apple cider mix until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add the flour until just combined (don't overwork it).
3. Scoop out about a tablespoon of dough and flatten into your hand.  Add a caramel to the middle and fold the dough around to seal in the candy.  Roll into a ball.  (It should be slightly smaller than a golf or ping-pong ball.)
4. Place the cookies on your cookie sheet with roughly 2 inches between them.  Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top of each cookie then place in the oven.
5. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  Once they're ready, gently slide the parchment with the cookies onto the counter.  Let cook until they're not soft any more but still slightly warm.  Twist gently to remove and cool the rest of the way upside down on a cooling rack (or right there on the parchment).



This last part is important because caramel will inevitably leak out of the bottom.  Once you turn them upside down, though, you'll notice the caramel pull back into the cookie.  Once they've cooled, they won't leak anymore.

One quick tip - if you warm the cookie up in the microwave for about 10 seconds before eating, it'll be just enough to melt the caramel inside without making the cookie too hot.  Enjoy!!!

Thankful

11.24.2011

Happy Thanksgiving Lovelies!!!  I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful day with your family and friends.  I have a confession to make.  I'm actually writing this on Wednesday while my pumpkin cheesecake is baking in the oven.  Shh... don't tell anyone!

I just wanted to pop in and share a few of the things I'm thankful for this year:

The Boyfriend.
Family & Friends (real life and bloggy life).
Molly (and her cute little guinea pig booty!).
Food, and the good fortune of having access to nearly unlimited quantities and varieties.
Pumpkin Spice lattes - they made so many Mondays much less stressful.
Greta, my dependable little VW Cabrio that drives me to see my Love almost every weekend.
Guts (or blind faith maybe?).
Steady Income.
Cami, I'd be lost without that little lady camera.
Google Video Chat, the best way to keep in touch with friends overseas.
A warm, dry place to live.
Blueberries & kale (that one was from Molly).
Health, somehow I made it through another year with no major illnesses or injuries!
Travel, the ability to go wherever we want and explore both new places and familiar spaces.
My friend N.F.'s new little bun in the oven!  She's the first of my close friends to have a baby and it almost feels like it's my sister having one.  I can't wait to buy pretty pink things for that little lady.
Laughter, and the fact that The Boyfriend and I basically have the exact same sense of humor.
Love.

What about you?  What's on your Thankful list this year?

Etiquette for A Lady

11.22.2011

Have y'all heard about Etiquette for a Lady?  My friend A introduced me to this tumblr site a few weeks ago and I've since turned to it quite a few times for some words of wisdom.  Here are a few of my favorites:





All the Rules are such great advice, it's hard to choose a favorite!  Thank god for Pinterest.  Guess I'll just have to stick 'em all on my Motivation board.  I have to say though, I'm a bit partial to the quotes by Albus Dumbledore and Audrey Hepburn.  What about you?

Happy Weekend!

11.18.2011

Happy Friday lovelies!!  I hope you all have a fabulous and relaxing weekend.


PS - To those of you who found me through Story of My Life, welcome!!  I hope you'll stick around a while. :)

Awkward & Awesome Thursday

11.17.2011

AWKWARD
- Um, the fact that I apparently forgot how to spell "awkward."  It took about four tries before it finally looked right.

- At my pro bono clinic this week, I had about 3 out of my 5 clients come in and start our consultation with, "Are you a real lawyer?  Did you pass the bar?" and some of them added in "Really?  Because you look too young to be a real lawyer."  Um, yes, obviously I'm a "real" lawyer.  I wouldn't be giving legal advice at a pro bono clinic called Lawyers in the Library if I were not actually a lawyer.  Believe it or not, that's illegal.  And while in real life I'd love to think I look younger than I actually am, it's not so cool in my professional life.

AWESOME
- Kids in Target crack me up.  I was in the toy section shopping for a bday present for my nephew when I heard a kid pleading with his mom for a certain toy the next aisle over.  This kid could not have been more than about 5 or 6 years old.  After a few minutes of pleading, the kid gave up on the whiny "pleeeeeeease mom, pleeeeeeease" technique and said, in a very straightforward and serious tone, "I don't think you understand how much I need this."  To which the mom replied in the same straightforward and serious tone, "I don't think you understand what I mean by 'No'."

- A little while later, I'm in the frozen food section at Target debating whether I should get some Ben & Jerry's when I hear another kid throwing a little fit over some ice cream.  Finally, I hear the dad say, "If you want ice cream you'd better quit throwin' them tem tans."  Yes, that's right.  Tem tans.  Which I can only assume means "temper tantrums."  Way to totes discipline and teach your kid the art of abbrevs at the same time, Dad!

- This is totes obvi but ... Thanksgiving is only one week from today!!!  I can't wait to be on the couch in a prone position with a belly full of turkey and pie whilst watching my Cowboys (hopefully) win big on Thursday!

Gobble Gobble Gobble

11.16.2011

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Hands down.  It's all about food, football, friends, and family.  Um, that's what I call, "Best.Holiday.Ever."  I've got Thanksgiving on the brain so naturally I've been trolling Pinterest looking for inspiration (pinspiration?) for next week.  We're not hosting but I still like to get in the spirit of holidays!


I'm thinking of making either apple pie cookies or caramel apple cider cookies this year.  Or maybe both.

PS - How cute are these little guys?
All images via Pinterest

What about you?  Are you excited for Thanksgiving too?

Weekend Snippets {vol. 17}

11.15.2011

Happy Tuesday lovelies!!  Did you all have a great weekend?  Even though ours was 3 days, I felt like I needed another day off to recover!  On Friday, I had a photo shoot with a friend of mine for her cookbook.  I'm so proud of her for writing the cookbook and so impressed with the yummy recipes she comes up with.  I only hope I can capture the yumminess with each of my shots!


pumpkin maple scones


prosciutto-wrapped figs with goat cheese

Saturday was a bit more peaceful minus the crazy traffic getting to San Francisco.  The Boyfriend and I had date night at our fave sushi place then snuggled up on the couch to watch a few dvds.  Sunday morning was more photo shooting, which I loved!  I could really get used to this whole "I'm a photographer" thing. :)



Fab Friday's Fancies | Golden Anniversary

11.11.2011

Happy Veteran's Day!!  For all of our veterans and their families, thank you for all you do.  Your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed and I am grateful beyond words.  

This week just so happens to be the 50th week of {av}'s Friday's Fancies.  In honor of the big 5-0, this week's theme is Golden Anniversary.  At first, finding something that fit the theme was a bit of a challenge.  All the gold dresses I came across just felt a little cheap to me.  Then I thought, "What about gold shoes?"  I hopped on over to Anthropologie's Bhld and found these little beauties.  I wanted to make an outfit that would allow you to wear these little flashes of gold and sparkle even on a plain old boring week day.  I think the key is to keep the rest of the outfit simple.


1. Cable-stitch sweater
2. Slim jeans
3. Metallic thread scarf
4. Gemology flats - the stars of the show!
5. Pearl ring

Happy Weekend!!!
xo

Are You Happy?

11.09.2011

I saw this on a friend's Facebook wall last night and it got me thinking.  For the most part, I am happy but I feel a change comin' on...


Molly Button

11.08.2011

I changed up the buttons over in the right-side column.  There's a new button called "Molly."  If you curious about our little guinea pig baby, you can click right over there (-->) to see all posts labeled "Molly."  This is probably the most screen time a guinea pig has ever had.

Weekend Snippets {vol. 16}

11.07.2011

Happy Monday lovelies!!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine ended up being busier than I expected but it was oh so much fun!

Saturday we had our SF Blogger meet-up in the afternoon.  Erin, Ana, Vivian, and I met up at Patxi's in San Francisco for a little pizza and some chit-chat.  Ana planned the event and brought us all delicious sugar cookies (I ate mine before I had the chance to take a photo!).  All these ladies are so wonderful.  I heart them for reals.  Before we even left the restaurant, we were already discussing what to do/where to go for our next meet-up!  It was kinda like an awesome first date but with three amazing people instead of just one.


On Sunday, we headed to St. Helena for some wine tasting with law school friends.  It was a little chilly but after a few "tastings" we warmed right up!  The outing also gave me the perfect opportunity to test out my new lens - the 50mm f1.4.  I'm already in love with this little sweetie.


I loved the little carving in this tree.

 Pomegranates, pumpkins, and grapes, oh my!


And a few more around the vineyard:


How was your weekend? :)

52 Weeks: Week 33

11.05.2011

I just realized it's been a whole month and I haven't done a 52 Weeks post!  Here's Week 33.  The "consecutive weeks" aspect of this project went out the window a long time ago!

Week 33: Me and Cami (yes, I call my camera "Cami."  creative, I know.)

Boots and Jongleur'ing

11.04.2011

It's Friday Friday Friday!!!!  It's finally starting to feel like fall here and we're having a jeans day at work today.  You know what that means ... BOOTS!!!  Yep.  After weeks and weeks of 80-degree days, we're finally having boot weather.  And I love it!



I'm in jongleurville today with Janette the Jongleur and her absolutely fabulous Photo Femme series.  Stop by and check it out!




No Friday's Fancies post today but if you want your fashion fix, click here to check out {av}'s lovely ensemble.

This Is Big ... Really Big

11.03.2011

Happy Thursday lovelies!  Remember last week when I mentioned a project I've been working on?  Well the big news is ... I've decided to turn this little photography thing of mine into a business!  Yep - my not-so-little project is Stephanie Court Photography.  You guys, I'm so freaked out and excited!  Photography is something I've been doing since high school but, for some reason, I just never thought I could make a business out of it.  Oh, I dreamed about it, but never thought it could be a reality.  When I was in middle school, I had a subscription to Sports Illustrated because I loved all the action shots and dreamed of being a photographer for the Dallas Cowboys.  I finally took a photography class my freshman year of high school but I didn't even own my own camera - I borrowed one from the school.  The summer before my senior year, I remember watching footage of JFK Jr.'s death and telling my bff that I really wanted to be a photojournalist but thought it was too late because I'd already applied to colleges with a focus on theatre programs.  As much as I've always wanted it, a career in photography seemed like it was just out of reach.  But now ... I finally grabbed it!

I'll be focusing on wedding and portrait photography in San Francisco and Sacramento, but will happily travel anywhere.  We all know I have serious wanderlust sometimes!  If you have a minute, I'd love for you to stop by and check out the website.  The lovely and amazingly talented Danielle Moss is currently working on a blog design and when it's all fancy-pants and ready-to-go, I'll post recaps of my photo shoots, a few photography articles, and other info relevant to the business.

The website is www.stephaniecourt.com - shouldn't be too hard to remember!  And if you "like" what you see, here's a link to the Facebook Page. :)


Metamorphosis Update and Other Goodness

11.02.2011

This is kind of a rando-post but there's so much I want to tell you!

First, I finally made it to level 3 of my Metamorphosis dvds.  I didn't work out for about a week and a half after finishing level 2.  According to Tracy Anderson, if you miss more than three days, you're supposed to start over.  Eff that dude.  I just started in right at level 3.  It was hard, and my body is super sore, but I was still able to keep up and finish the exercises.  The workouts definitely get harder as the levels progress and I'm still not doing that stupid eating plan.  But ... I've lost 3 pounds!!  I know it doesn't sound like much but considering I only wanted to lose about 5-7 lbs and I'm only on level 3 out of 9, I'd say that's pretty good progress.

Some day, I'll look like this in my dreams in real life.


Molly had a little photo shoot last night.  In keeping with my theme of treating her like a real child, I like to take photos of her around the beginning of every month to see how much she's grown.  When we got her last February 5th, we were told she was 2 months old - which is the minimum age for separating guineas from their mamas and letting them live on their own.  Since she was so tiny, we figured she must have just turned 2 months so we decided her birthday is December 5.  These are her "11 months' old" shots:


While I was snapping away, she was tossing that little ball in the air then catching it in her mouth!

And one last super duper important thing.  There's someone you should meet if you haven't already.  Mrs. Alana of Mrs. Alana's Miscellany.  She's an adorably sweet, self-proclaimed nerd whose fabulous blog button will be featured over there in the right-hand column for the whole month of November.  Stop by and say hello!

mrsalanasmiscellany

SF Blogger Meet-Up Reminder

11.01.2011

Just wanted to remind y'all about the SF blogger meet-up this Saturday, November 5.  If you're in the Bay Area (or want to come to the Bay Area!) and would like to meet-up, click on the button below to RSVP.  Can't wait to meet all you lovely bloggy friends in person!

evitebutton
 

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