They're Here!

 Tom's ballet flats!!

* I am in no way affiliated with Toms.  I'm just way super excited about these flats.


Weekend Snippets

Monday Monday ....

Kinda reminds me of that song:

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Actually, now that I'm working from home, Monday just kinda blends into every other day...

Did you all have a lovely weekend?  Mine flew by!  I met with new clients, ran errands, worked on the cookbook with my friend Ali (she makes the food, I take the pictures then eat the food - not a bad gig), and had a nice Saturday night sushi date with The Boyfriend.  I also ate way too many sweets for any one person.  Oh well.  C'est la vie, right?

And now, the droid photos!  I can't wait till Instagram is available on droids.  Supposedly it's happening this spring!

1. My fancy-pants breakfast - a homemade latte and Italian cookies (they're high in fiber!)

2. You know how it goes.  You start off digging for just "a few more" chunks of the cookie bits and before you know it you're half a pint in and there's no turning back.

3. The weather was so nice and warm this weekend, I was running errands in a t-shirt!  I basically just wore the scarf because it's January and it felt wrong not to.

4. Made a stop at the pet store to pick up a few things for Molly.  I always check out the little critters waiting for homes when I'm there.  This little dwarf hamster was just chillin' in the corner, licking his full little tummy.  I was thisclose to taking him home with me.

5. Sushi night with The Boyfriend.  The lighting was a little too dim to take photos of the food but, oh man, was it delish!!  If you're in SF, I highly recommend a meal at Rocketfish.  I have no idea why it got such mixed reviews on Yelp.  We love it!!

6. Hung out with this handsome man while working on the cookbook.  He was messing around chasing his tail and as soon as I said, "Oscar, let me take your picture!" he stopped and gave me his best How you doin' look.


Friday's Fancies and A Lil' Bit of Bragging

Happy Friday love muffins.  Yes, I just called you all "love muffins"  What?  Weird?  No way.

The weather seems to be a bit confused lately.  It's been in the mid-60s/low-70s almost all month.  How crazy is that?  It's January, not April!!  So this week's Friday's Fancies outfit is more of a winter-spring transitional thingy.  I've really been feeling the masculine/preppy look lately.  Of course, I had to throw in some cool jewelry.  I mean, I can't be totally masculine - that necklace is just so pretty ... and it's vintage ... and it's from etsy ... sigh.

1. Cashmere cable knit sweater
2. Wrangler check shirt
3. Vintage necklace
4. Madewell jeans
5. Gentle Souls oxfords
6. Square stone ring

And now for the bragging part:

1. If you want a little more fashion, I'm guest-posting my Blogger Hit List on Do I Even Like This? today.  Stop by and check it out!

2. In honor of the upcoming Oscars, the lovely Janette is hosting the Blogscars.  Janette was sweet enough to nominate Big Mario Life for best photography!  If you'd like to vote, just click below.

3. And one last thing ... I finally finished editing the photos from last weekend's engagement shoot.  You can check 'em out here.

Happy Weekend!!!


Just Awkward I Think

Is it weird that I kinda wanna try out a Trendy Top?

Hey, at least it's not this:



Tuesday Randomness x 48

I'm having a bit of writer's block lately (blogger's block?) so when I saw this little deedle on Angie's blog last week, I thought it be fun to answer myself.  Feel free to copy/answer on your own blogs, too!  I love learning random facts about people!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:04 a.m.  I've been waking up between 7:30 and 8 almost everyday.  This is a big deal for me.

2. How do you like your steak?  Medium rare.  I like it pink but I don't do bloody.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?  My Week with Marilyn

4. What is your favorite TV show?  I have a lot of favorites.  Dexter, The Office, the entire Real Housewives series, Project Runway.  My latest faves are New Girl and Once Upon A Time.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?  I'd love to live in a small town in either the French or Italian countryside.

6. What did you have for breakfast?  Chocolate milk.  I just wasn't very hungry today.

7. What is your favorite food?  Do I really have to choose one??  Sushi, chicken tikka masala, mushroom risotto, pomegranates... Plus my childhood fave, pizza!!

8. Foods you dislike?  Jell-o. The texture creeps me out.  I tend to dislike foods due to their texture more so than their flavor.

9. Favorite place to eat?  My kitchen.  I think I'm getting to be a pretty good cook!

10. Favorite dressing?  Balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  I keep it simple.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?  VW Cabrio.  Her name is Greta and she likes to be topless.

12. What are your favorite clothes?  Warm weather = sundresses and flip-flops/ballet flats.  Cold weather = jeans, comfy sweater, and boots.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?  Paris.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?  Full!!!  Sometimes, it runneth over. :)

15. Where would you want to retire?  Sonoma or Hawaii.

16. Favorite time of day?  Two hours before sunset.

17. Where were you born?  Texas, y'all.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?  I'm always ready for some football.

19. What is your favorite fragrance?  None.  I'm not really into perfumes and fragrances.

20. What is your favorite face cream?  I read this as "ice cream" the first time around.  Ha!  I use a lot of Aveeno products and really like the Positively Radiant moisturizer.

21. Favorite baby/kids products?  Ask me again in a few years. ;)

22. People watcher?  Totes.

23. Are you a morning or night person?  Night.  No matter what time I wake up, it always takes me a while to get going in the morning.

24. Do you have any pets?  Just little miss Molly.  Also known as Molly Pie, Molly-wolly, Piggie-poo, and Piggle (as in "piggle-wiggle" because she wiggles her booty when she walks).

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?  Not yet.  Unless you know something I don't...

26. What did you want to be when you were little?  Oh so many things.  A nun, a veterinarian, an Oscar-winner, an Olympic gymnast (though I never took gymnastics).  (Yes, that first one was a nun.  I was convinced it was the only way I could get into heaven.)

27. What is your favorite memory?  A rainy day in Venice with The Boyfriend.

28. Are you a cat or dog person?  Both.  I'm just an animal person.

29. Are you married?  Nope.

30. Always wear your seat belt?  Absolutely.

31. Been in a car accident?  Just once, as a passenger when I was 17, and I still have back issues from it on occasion.  I've never had an accident as a driver.  Actually, I've never had a ticket either (*knocks on wood*).

32. Any pet peeves?  Rude drivers.  See above.  Also, running late.  I hate when I'm running late and I try as hard as possible not to let it happen.

33. Favorite pizza toppings?  Pepperoni and mushroom.  I also love making homemade pizza with goat cheese, artichokes, black olives, and mushrooms.

34. Favorite flower?  Tulips and lilies.

35. Favorite ice cream?  Mint chocolate chip!!

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?  Wendy's, for the spicy chicken sandwich.  Love that thing.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?  None.

38. From whom did you get your last email? Gilt Groupe.  So impersonal.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?  Anthropologie.  Obvi.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? After the engagement shoot last Saturday, we decided to go out for a drink.  We were in a totally unfamiliar part of town and had no idea where to go so we just stopped at the first Irish pub we came across.  It turned out to be a pretty awesome place with an Irish bakery right next door.

41. Like your job?  I do now!

42. Broccoli?  With olive oil, salt, & pepper.

43. What was your favorite vacation?  It's a toss up between Italy, Hawaii, and Mexico.  Honestly, I'm kinda leaning towards Mexico.  It was just so peaceful and relaxing!

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?  The Boyfriend.

45. What are you listening to right now?  Literally, What Not to Wear is on in the background.  But as far as music goes, I've been listening to Foster the People, The Decemberists, and The Civil Wars radio on Pandora.

46. What is your favorite color?  Purple

47. How many tattoos do you have?  Just one.  A little star on my right foot.  It hurt like hell but I love it.

48. Coffee drinker?  Definitely.  But I'd take a latte over a cup of coffee any day.


Weekend Snippets {vol. 22}

Good morning lovelies!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  The weather here was a bit bipolar over the last two days but we took full advantage.  My rainy day engagement shoot turned into a sunny-but-windy day shoot.  I'm still working on the edits but so far, I'm in love with this gorgeous happy couple!

On Sunday, I escaped the rain by doing a bit of thrifting with my friend Jenny.  I found a cute little retro dress but not much else.  After that, we sat on the couch for a 4 HOUR football game.  Molly also made a new buddy.  We had a couple of friends come over to watch the game with us and they brought their 4-month old golden doodle, Buster.  Even though he's still a pup, he's a pretty big guy.  I brought Molly out of her cage to introduce the two, fully expecting her to freak out, but that little piggy impressed me yet again.  She was totally down for making a puppy friend!!  She was very curious, sniffing Buster and sticking her nose out to get to know him better.  But Buster .... he was a little scared of her!  Every time she stuck her nose out, he'd shrink away and hide his little face.  When I left to go put her back in her cage, Buster followed me into the room.  He tentatively sniffed around and decided he liked Molly much better behind bars.

Some of you may have seen this on Twitter but Molly also discovered the hood of my sweatshirt this weekend.  She likes to sit up on my shoulder when I carry her around (she thinks she's a parrot) but this weekend, she realized the hood of my sweatshirt was super cozy.  She hung out in there for a while before she was ready to get down and play.  Guinea pig in da hood!

So tell me, how was your weekend?  (Hopefully you didn't have rodents crawling in your clothes, too.)  :)


Fab Friday's Fancies | Manicure Inspired

Happy Friday lovelies!  I've been spending quite a bit of time on pinterest lately and I just couldn't help but be inspired for this week's Friday's Fancies by some of the images.  The forecast calls for rain all weekend long so it's no surprise I've got gray on the brain.  BUT ... this outfit isn't inspired by gray gloomy days.  Oh no no no.  It's inspired by beautiful blue raindrops and bright electric lightning like that shown in this fabulous manicure:

So of course that manicure Inspired this week's Friday's Fancies!

1. Matchstick jeans - a total classic
2. Original Hunters
3. Burberry single-breasted garbadine trench coat - I rarely find single-breasted trench coats but I absolutely love them.  And what better color to contrast a gray rainy day than bright sky blue?  I'm thinking maybe no belt for this particular outfit, though.
4. Zoey pullover - How adorable is this top?
5. Timeless tank - I'm all for "fashion forward" but I need a tank under my sheer tops.  I'm not that brave.

(Secret time - I actually kinda love gray rainy days.  Is that weird??)

Happy Weekend!!!



Awkward & Awesome Thursday

- Some guy just walked past my apartment singing "Who let the dogs out" at the top of his lungs.  Now that song is stuck in my head.  Oh, the cons of city life.

- Last night, after a very sweet and loving moment of telling me how much he looks forward to coming home and seeing me at night, The Boyfriend followed it up with, "You're like Hurley!"  As in, the 300-lb guy from Lost with the triangular 'fro.  It was too funny to even think about being offended.

- I made mushroom risotto for dinner last night.  And I'm having the leftovers for lunch today.  Nom-tastic!

- Met with a friend/client yesterday to do some planning for her engagement shoot this weekend.  Even though it's supposed to rain, we're both super stoked.  Now I can't stop pinning inspiration photos.

- Molly impressed me with her litter-training skills this week.  She finally figured out her way around the new apartment and learned what room we keep her cage in.  Now when she needs to go potty while out running around, she goes to the door of that room and starts squeaking for me to let her in!  She's a full-on genius.


Guinea Pig Humor

"Oh, hay Mom, how's it goin'?  Get it?  Hay ... "

In my mind, this is the kind of joke Molly would tell if she could talk.  She just has that "bad pun" look about her, ya know?


Weekend Snippets {birthday edition}

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Thanks so much for all the birthday love this weekend.  You all are the bestest readers a gal could ever ask for! :)

I caught a nasty cold over the weekend so I'm spending most of today on the couch with some tea and a blanket.  The Boyfriend planned such an amazing getaway for us, though, that I wanted to stop by and share some photos with you.  I've been talking about going to Mendocino County for a while now because I've never been anywhere north of Sonoma.  So, for my birthday weekend, The Boyfriend planned a surprise visit to Mendocino.  We picked up some macarons from Chantal Guillon on our way out of the city then headed to The Stanford Inn by the Sea, which was just about a mile south of the village of Mendocino.  The inn is a big proponent of environmental sustainability.  The restaurant at the inn served only vegan cuisine - most of the ingredients were grown there on the property - and kept donkeys, horses, and llamas on the grounds to maintain the yards and provide fertilizer.  Birthday balloons and chocolates were waiting for us when we got to our room and every afternoon room service brought us fresh chocolate chip cookies.  They were the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had.  And they were vegan!  We had a great time exploring the coast and relaxing by the fireplace.  Overall, it was the perfect birthday weekend.

The view from our room.



52 Weeks: Week 38

Week 38: Me & My Hair

I'm participating in a self-portrait project this year.  If you'd like to see more, I'll be posting the photos on the SCP blog here.

I'm also entering this photo in Rock the Shot's January Photo Challenge: Self-Portraits.  You can check it out at www.rocktheshotforum.com.  Stop on by and check it out!

Rock the Shot


On Turning 30

As of today, my 20s are officially over.  I'll admit, I've had a tough time coming to terms with this.  I'm not even sure I'm totally there yet.  For all the ups and downs, my 20s were a pretty sweet decade.  I became a college graduate in my 20s - a big deal in my family.  I learned I could fully support myself financially and did not need to rely on anyone else.  I started a theatre company in my 20s.  I traveled across the country and visited Mexico and Europe for the first time in my life during my 20s.  I met the love of my life.  I photographed Italy and Spain with him by my side.  I saw so many of my beautiful friends get married and start families of their own.  I graduated from law school and passed the hardest bar exam in the country while I was in my 20s.  I bought my first car, my first computer, my first brand new TV, and my first professional-level camera all in my 20s.  I finally started to accept my body and realized that I need to exercise, not because it makes me skinnier, but because it makes me healthier and happier.  I discovered I'm pretty good in the kitchen and I get a great amount of joy out of cooking and baking for others.  I learned how to be a good friend, a good partner, and (hopefully) a good daughter and sister.  I learned that it was okay to give in to my creative side and to be just a little bit different.  I left behind a stable and safe job to pursue my passion and couldn't be happier about it.  When I was in my 20s, I learned I actually liked myself.

The thought of closing this chapter in my life had me totally freaked out and scared.  (Hell, I even cried while typing this.)  From time to time I'd wonder, "What if it's all downhill from here?  What if this is as good as it gets for me?"  But, somehow, I just don't think that's true.  I can't accept that this is my peak.  I won't accept it.  I'm choosing to view my 20s as a foundational layer.  One of the introductory chapters in the story of my life.  The plot can't help but thicken after a decade like that.  A multitude of milestones lay ahead of me and I've decided that life can only get better in my 30s.  I've got a lot more yet to accomplish and I'm ready to work for it.

The Boyfriend planned a surprise getaway for us this weekend to celebrate.  I'm off to some unknown place to do some unknown things and I couldn't be more excited about it.  I can't think of a more appropriate way to start this next adventure.  Bring it on, 30s.  I'm ready for you.

* I just realized this is my 430th post.  How fitting.


Awkward & Awesome

- Since Molly likes to chew the area rug under our couch (and occasionally revenge poop under there), The Boyfriend built a small frame to go around the interior of the couch and keep Molly out.  Now every time I let her out of her cage for play time, she just runs around the perimeter of the couch over and over again looking for a way in.  You'd think after two weeks of this she'd have learned that she's not getting in.  I mean, she's usually a smart piggie.  She even learned a trick.  But no.  She's convinced herself she'll get in one day.  Gotta admire her determination.

- We had some beers from Trader Joe's that neither of us really liked so we set them outside the front door yesterday with a note that said, "Unopened beers.  Please take."  I thought they'd probably be gone by the end of the day but those suckers were outta here by 11am!!  Someone really needed some booze to get through Hump Day.

- I painted my nails yesterday.  I attempted a gradated glitter look but it didn't quite turn out the way I expected.  Either way, you can't really go wrong with pink sparkles, right?

*crappy phone photo*

- Even though I'm still only on Level 1 of Metamorphosis, I've already lost three pounds since the holidays.  I think a lot of it has to do with my diet recently.  I've still been eating lots of sweets (I don't just have a sweet tooth, I have a mouth full of sweet teeth) but I've also been cooking fresh dinners every night and eating the leftovers for lunch the day after.  No more Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, Amy's bean & cheese burritos (so good!).  Just healthy, natural, unprocessed meals.  Pretty sure this is the reason for the weight loss and not the less-than-10-days of working out.  But I did cheat once yesterday.  I had a Coke.  And I don't regret it one bit.

*nice dslr photo*

As you can see, things have been pretty low-key around here.

PS - if you wanna see some photos from the wedding I recently shot, click here!!


Wanderlust: Paris

For as long as I can remember, I've dreamed about going to Paris.  I studied French in high school, then again for a semester in college, and for a few years more at Alliance Française after college.  And yet ... I've never been to France.  So today, I'm taking a little trip through pictures. 

After people-watching from sidewalk cafes and viewing the Eiffel Tower from every possible angle, we'd head over to Ladurée for some yummy macarons.

Even the street signs in Paris are cool.

Wanna come along? :)

*All images borrowed via Pinterest


Tuesday Randomness

I got a hot date with the DMV this morning so I'm posting this early before I head off.  I'm super jealous of all you Instagram peeps so I've been trying to recreate my fave effects.  The selective blur/tilt-shift is by far my fave.  I think we need more variety in our dishes though.  My pesto pasta and roasted beet salad look oddly similar.

I started the Metamorphosis workouts again.  With the holidays and the move, I ended up skipping about three weeks of workouts.  I've skipped a few days here and there but three weeks is a long time, even to me.  So I went back and started over from the beginning.  Let me tell ya, it's just as hard now as it was the first time around.  But after the workout, I had a nice cold glass of chocolate milk and all was right in the world.

We saw My Week With Marilyn over the weekend.  It was so fascinating.  Michelle Williams did such an amazing job at showing Marilyn's struggle with her own identity and sense of self.  There were times when I forgot I wasn't actually watching Marilyn Monroe.  And she made me want to wear red lipstick everyday.

Unpacking is going a lot more slowly than I expected.  The TV is just too distracting.  I tend to get bored when unpacking so I usually turn it on so I can have some background noise.  But then I get so into whatever show is on, I end up taking 10- and 15-minute breaks to watch it!  I even watched a Ghost Whisperer marathon yesterday.  I just can't resist!

See?  Randomness.  Can't say I didn't warn ya.


52 Weeks: Week 37

I started a new project this week for my friend Nikki, whose sweet Baby Girl will be here some time in May.  Hopefully I'll finish in time for her arrival!!

Week 37: A New Project


Fab Friday's Fancies | Best Foot Forward

I need to share something with you.  Last night, The Boyfriend was singing Bad Romance opera-style.  While standing on top of his desk.  When I asked why he was doing that he said, "I'm a free bitch babe."

And with that, I give you this week's Friday's Fancies.  The theme is "Best Foot Forward" (walk. walk fashion, baby ...).  But rather than designing an outfit around a single pair of shoes, I thought I'd show you a few I'm currently crushing on at the moment.  And guess what.  They're all from Anthropologie.  Quelle surprise!

1. Shadow Plena peep toes - The frills, the sparkle, the gorgeous neutral gray tone.  Be still my aching heart.
2. On-Your-Toes ballet flats - Yes, yes, I know.  The Tom's flats are just a few short months away, but aren't these just darling?
3. Unconventional Oxfords - You know I love me an oxford.  How can I resist that muted fuschia heel?
4. Tassel-tied Heel - I love the slightly-modern slightly-retro feel of these shoes.  And they're perfect for spring or fall.
5. Of course Anthro has the perfect styling for an orange, tassel-tied heel.


Happy Weekend!!!


Tom Ta-Tom Tom's

Hey, you guys.  Guess what I discovered yesterday (thanks to my friend Janet).  Tom's is debuting a line of ballet flats this spring!!  That's just a few short months away!  I never could get on board with the original Tom's.  I love that they support a good cause but the style of the shoe just wasn't my thang.  I love Tom's wedges (and have featured them a few times in Friday's Fancies posts) but I don't actually wear wedges often enough to justify buying a pair.  But these ballet flats?  I can see myself owning multiple pairs of these ballet flats.  I practically live in ballet flats and boots so, yeah.  These are going to be a staple.  You better believe I already signed up to be notified once they're available


First Day

Today is my first day of self-employment.  I guess technically I'm unemployed but that sounds so harsh and negative.  Plus, I am actively working on growing Stephanie Court Photography.  I shot a sweet wedding in Point Reyes yesterday and am spending most of this week editing those photos (and unpacking...).  I consider that self-employment.  It's a little scary knowing there's no paycheck coming until I book another photo gig but, at the same time, there's something liberating about knowing I'm in full control of my career and future.  I would love to reach a point where the photography business is my full-time job and I can do legal work pro bono.  That career path is much more in line with the reasons why I originally went to law school.  And while this is my dream path, I'm also open to the notion that there may be a legal job out there I really want - whether it be with a non-profit organization or a government agency.  I know it'll take some time to get where I want to be but I'm willing to work hard and be patient.  I can't really ask much more of myself, right?  The Boyfriend left a homemade latte for me on the kitchen table before he left for work.  Molly is happy and popcorning like crazy in her new home.  And I'm in my pj's editing beautiful photos (and blogging!).  So far, this self-employment thing is off to a great start.



2012 Goals

Happy New Year dear readers!!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend welcoming the new year.  We spent most of Saturday moving all my stuff to SF (yay!) but managed to head out for a little bit of celebrating at the end of the night.

I don't typically make resolutions for the new year but I do like to set goals instead.  Resolutions just seem doomed to fail.  Everyone starts out strong January 1st and by the time February rolls around a lot of us have already forgotten all about that resolution business.  With goals, you have the whole year to accomplish something.  So if things start out rough you still have the rest of the year to pick yourself up and carry on.  The two are essentially the same thing but in my mind "goals" are just more positive than "resolutions."  One little set back does not equal failure if you view the goal as a work in progress.  So here are my goals for 2012:

1. Read 30 books - Since I'm turning 30 this year, it seemed like an appropriate number.
2. Book 10 weddings for Stephanie Court Photography
3. Learn how to make perfect French macarons
4. Have more regular series on this little bloggity-blog

Number 4 is where I need your help.  While this is technically "my" blog, I consider it yours, too.  Without readers, it's really more of a journal, right?  But with all of you reading and participating (whether silently or through comments), it creates more of a community.  So, is there anything you'd like to see more of on Big Mario Life?  Some ideas I was tossing around are more Wanderlust posts or perhaps introducing the occasional outfit posts.  (I am by no means a fashion blogger - nor am I creative enough to come up with an interesting outfit most days of the week - so this would not be a daily kind of thing but maybe weekly instead.)  Let me know in the comments below if there's anything you'd like to see more of in 2012!
We were going for "serious sexy."  Not sure we accomplished that particular goal.

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