Featuring | Deconstruct the Girl

I have another lovely blogger for you guys to meet today!  Her name is Samara and she's the girl behind Deconstruct the Girl.  Samara blogs about everything from health & fitness to careers, fashion & beauty.  She's new to the blogging community so be sure to stop by and show her some love!

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Hi! My name is Samara, and I am a twenty-something living in New York City.  I grew up in sunny South Florida, went to college in Atlanta, and then ended up in New York by way of law school (for someone who doesn't particularly like cold weather I just kept moving further north hehe).  I love anything involving music, film, fashion, art, and travel (hopefully there will be more travel for me in the near future!).  I believe that any bad day can be cured with a good solo dance party coupled with an awesome playlist.  In my spare time, I enjoy being crafty, playing soccer, practicing yoga, and going to music concerts.  On the weekend you can probably find me at a local coffee shop, dabbling on my computer or devouring my latest read as I enable my coffee addiction.

I started this blog as a way to push myself to try new things and develop new interests and hobbies.  I'm grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life, including all my friends and family.  I look at this blog as a way to increase that wonderful circle of people and embrace new experiences.



Awkward & Awesome

- So remember when I mentioned falling at a wedding over the weekend?  I thought I'd share the full story, just in case you need a laugh.  The chair was one of those wooden folding chairs that can sometimes be unsteady.  The party was rockin' so I stood up on the chair to get some dance photos.  After a couple of photos, I shifted to make an adjustment on the camera and ... BAM!!  The tiniest shift in weight made the chair fold up on itself and take me down with it!  I didn't want my camera to get damaged so I was holding it above my head as I fell, which was pretty dumb considering I had the strap around my neck.  So, basically, I choked myself as I fell off the chair.  The best part is that, as I was falling, I couldn't decide whether I wanted a) no one to see it because it was so embarrassing or b) someone to catch it all on video because it was so hilarious.

- The Boyfriend and his dad made the jumbotron at the Giants game Tuesday night!!  This would normally be on the Awesome list but you didn't see The Boyfriend's dance moves...

- I picked up a few Yankee Candles for the apartment this week.  Now the place smells like Spiced Pumpkin and Autumn Wreath.  It may not feel like fall yet but at least it can smell like fall!!

- I finally decided to jump the droid ship and ordered the new iPhone 5.  What can I say?  Sprint made me an offer I couldn't refuse.   I'm pretty excited because this also means I can now get the VSCOCam app I've been lusting over.  (Let's be honest, one of the main reasons I wanted that phone is for the camera and camera apps.)  Now I just have to find a good case for my new little gadget.  Paris in the fall and quirky mustaches?  Purple sparkles and graphic chevrons?  How can I choose between them?

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The Heirarchy of Books

Steven Colbert has a new book.  He introduced it while I was watching The Colbert Report last night.  When I saw it, I thought to myself, "I totally want to buy that.  In hardback."

In hardback.  It mattered that I bought it in hardback.  And then I realized, I've assigned a heirarchy to my book collection based on the book's cover.*

I believe books say a lot about their owners.  I believe you can gain a little insight into someone's personality by browsing their bookshelves.  Not only do the titles tell you a little bit about them, but sometimes the form in which they own the book says something, too.  Was it a family heirloom?  Was it a cheap thrift store find?  Was it an unscathed, perfectly clean hardback?  The character of the book can say almost as much as the content.

In my mind, owning a book in hardback is how I show my ultimate love for that book.  I own the last three Harry Potter books in hardback but the first four are in paperback... and it kills me that they're in paperback!  I'd like to have all seven in hardback someday soon.  I'll always keep the paperbacks for sentimental reasons but I won't feel the collection is truly complete until all seven are in hardback.

In my weird little world, the full heirarchy looks like this:

Hardback - Numero uno.  I am proud to own this book.

Hardback or softback - I have no preference as long as it's reasonably priced.

Paperback only - like a cheap-o $4 mystery novel at the airport.

Check it out from the library or borrow from a friend - I want to read it but not enough to spend $ on it or take up space in the apartment with it.

Antique books have a special charm all their own so they can be anywhere in the heirarchy.

The funny thing is, I haven't figured out where e-books fit in all this.  How important is it to have e-books?  And what does it say about me that I don't really have any?

To be honest, I'm kinda skeptical of the whole thing.  I want to hold a book.  I want to flip the page, and maybe dog-ear it to remember something for later.  I want to take it out at a park, then set it down in my lap in between chapters as I soak in the sun.  It's not really the same with an e-book.  I can't get a paper cut from an e-book.  So, are they below library books?  Or above?  Or do I not care whether it's paperback or e-book?  

Do you have a heirarchy in your book collection?  Where would e-books be for you?

*I fully realize this is the nerdiest post I've ever written.  Sometimes you gotta let your inner nerd shine.


Fall To-Do's

Ah, Fall.  A time for cozy sweaters, warm scarves, and ... 70 degree weather??  brrrrrppppp (<-- record screeching to a stop).  Yes, 70 degrees.  September and October are usually San Francisco's warmest months and we've got 70+ and sunny in the forecast for at least the next week.  It's a little hard to wrap my head around the fact that it's time for scarves and sweaters when, really, it just became t-shirt and flip-flops weather.  Because of the unseasonable weather, my fall to-do list has some summer-y things in it, too.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

1. Finish up our tour of SF's Top Five ice cream shops.  So far, we've made it to two of the five.  I'm so disappointed in us.

2. Go apple picking.  The closest apple orchard to us is quite a drive but it's worth at least one day trip.

3. Learn to make a homemade pumpkin spice latte.  You would not believe how much moolah I happily hand over to Starbucks this time of year.  It's like I'm making up for the other 9 months.

4. Crunch some leaves under my new boots.  Since it's still warm here, this will most likely happen when I go to D.C. later this fall. (yippee!)

5. Have a picnic or two in Golden Gate park.  Preferably with some colorful foliage.

6. Swap my evening glass of chocolate milk for an evening mug of hot cocoa.

7. Bake these caramel apple cider cookies.  I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last made them.

8. And maybe paint my nails like that again, too.  I'm diggin' the look!

9. Finally make the switch to an iPhone!  I've been waiting ... for a phone like you ... to come into my life.

10. Enjoy some Sunday afternoons on the couch with The Boyfriend and some football.  I can't think of a better way to spend my favorite season.

What's on your fall to-do list?


On My Mind This Monday

I'm waiting for pomegranates to be in season.  I went to the store hoping to find one or two but, alas, I'll have to wait a little longer.

Iced pumpkin spiced lattes kind of defeat the purpose, don't you think? 

I can't believe I fell off a chair at last night's wedding.

It sure was a pretty wedding, though.

I wonder what unpacked box my Harry Potter books are in?  I'm in the mood to pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.

Every blog post needs a photo, right?  Well, probably not, but here's one anyway.  Two actually!  From yesterday's wedding (yes, the one where I fell...).

PS - I'm thinking about making this a weekly link party.  Wanna share your Monday morning thoughts with me?


Friday's Fancies | Football Frenzy

The Boyfriend and his dad are going hunting this weekend so it'll just be me and Molly holding down the fort.  Actually, it'll just be Molly.  I have a CSA sort & delivery to do, errands to run, and a fabulous wedding to photograph!  Not to mention all the household chores that I've conveniently shoved to the bottom of the To-Do pile.  Those will have to get done at some point this weekend.  Wonder if I can teach Molly how to clean the bathroom...

This week's Friday's Fancies theme is Football Frenzy.  As much as I love football, I'm not really into wearing the team gear.  So I put together an outfit inspired by my favorite team -Dallas Cowboys- but without literally being a Cowboys outfit.  I could definitely cozy up in that sweater with a big mug of cider and watch a game or two.  What about you?

"football fashion"
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Happy Weekend!!!

PS - Want to know a little bit more about my style and the Top 5 things I think we should all have in our closets?  Check out my interview with Janet over on Style Lush today!


Awkward & Awesome

- That moment when you realize you forgot to do something important - like, oh I don't know, pay an overdue parking ticket.  It's really awkward when that moment hits you at 3am and you can't fall back asleep either...

- City traffic.  In less than 10 minutes, I was almost hit by a bus that ran a red light and two other crazy drivers who apparently forgot how to use turn signals.  And I almost hit a biker and a blind pedestrian.  All within 10 minutes of each other!!  The blind pedestrian gets a pass for obvious reasons but there's no excuse for that biker.  He darted out into the intersection like he was just begging to be hit.  I swear, sometimes running errands feels more like running the gauntlet.

- Photo booths at weddings.  The Boyfriend and I are very camera shy, in case you couldn't tell.

- Grabbing a latte in the middle of a weekday morning.  One of the joys of self-employment.

- Exciting new business plans.  I've recently come up with a new focus for Stephanie Court Photography that complements wedding photography quite well.  I'm super pumped to start working on it next month as wedding season winds down.  I don't mean to be cryptic but I need to finalize more of the details before I'm ready to start promoting it full out.  I will say this, though - I might be looking for a studio space sooner than I planned!


Hello, San Francisco | The San Francisco Zoo

I sometimes take for granted how lucky we are to live in such a vibrant town.  People travel from all over the world to come visit the parks and landmarks that make up our backyard.  So The Boyfriend and I are making more of effort to explore this fine city of ours.  And we started with the SF Zoo, of course.

For our 4-year anniversary, The Boyfriend planned a lovely day at the zoo.  (He knows me so well.)  We went on a Monday morning, so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.  And the weather was nice & mild that day so most of the animals were out and active - and very entertaining!

Upon entering the gates, the first thing I noticed was the unusually high number of peacocks roaming the zoo's grounds.  I'm used to seeing squirrels all over the place but peacocks?  There were a few males, resting and grooming their feathers, but there were also a lot of females and the occasional baby.  I'd never seen a baby peacock before - they look just like ducklings!

We got to the zoo just a few minutes before the bears' feeding time so we headed over to check them out.  The polar bear was feeling more lazy than hungry, I guess.

The grizzlies, on the other hand, were going nuts diving in the water searching for the food their trainers hid.  I'm glad there was a glass barrier to separate us - you don't want to come between a lady grizzly and her lunch!

Just as The Boyfriend was reading about the bald eagle's wing span, this guy decided to stretch out and show off for us.  Sadly, he only had one wing to show.  It's good to know he's living out a safe & cozy retirement at the zoo.

 That koala was so freakin' cute he didn't even look real!

The penguins at the SF Zoo are from South America, not Antarctica, so they're perfectly happy hanging out in the open air on their little island.

Colorful-but-scary face!

We wandered into Africa for a bit.

The big cats are always a fave for me.  Someday, I will pet a lion.  I don't know how or when, but someday...
Something about the prairie dogs reminded me of Molly...

...maybe it's the chub rolls on their little arms & legs.

One thing's for sure, these animals are definitely well-fed.

Have you ever been to the SF Zoo?



Sweet Lemon Magazine | DIY Projects

Good morning lovelies!  I have some exciting news for you today.  The latest issue of Sweet Lemon Magazine is out and there's a lovely little article featuring photography by yours truly!

Sweet Lemon is a fashion-forward online magazine written by and for the Jane of all trades.  It's a lifestyle magazine featuring articles on design, fashion, careers, and tons more.  Michaela of Michaela Noelle Designs came up with two lovely, super easy DIY projects for some interior decor.  The first project is a Mason Jar Swirl Vase and second project is a do-it-yourself abstract art painting featuring two different techniques to make a masterpiece all your own.  And I'm not kidding when I say these are easy DIY projects - she made the mason jar vase and two paintings in about an hour!  The finished products were so adorable, I now want to do my own abstract art for our apartment!  If you're looking for a few ideas to spruce up your home, look no further than Sweet Lemon's DIY projects on page 85.

Here's a little behind the scenes snippet of our afternoon photo sesh.  Michaela is such a sweetheart, too.  We were laughing, chatting, snacking on fruit, and playing with her sweet dog Hope the whole time we were shooting!



Friday's Fancies | Lusting for Fall

I'm a little late in getting this post up today but better late than never, right? :)

The Boyfriend and I celebrated our four-year anniversary yesterday.  I had a lot of work to do (my, how the tables have turned...) so we're planning on continuing the celebration on Monday.  I'll be sure to take lots of photos for you, of course.  Because that's just what I do.

This week's theme for Friday's Fancies is 'fall lust list.'  Each of these items are things I'm lusting for individually but I kinda like how they all work together, too.  Especially that leather jacket - I've been craving a leather jacket for years but still haven't found The One.  You know, The One that fits perfectly with everything in your wardrobe; The One that makes you feel good about forking over the cash without looking back.  This one comes pretty close, not gonna lie, though I'm not convinced it's The One yet.  What do you think?

1. Polka-Dot sweater - I'm in love with this sweater but I have to say, it was a tough decision between the polka dots and this adorable French hen sweater.  Good thing neither one is in my budget right now...
2. Arrow ring - Anthro calls it the Sherwood ring but I call it the Katniss ring.
3. Leather jacket - I love the masculine jacket paired with the feminine polka-dot sweater.
4. Skinny jeans
5. Tory Burch boots - yeah, you saw them yesterday but that doesn't mean I want them any less.
6. Chambray top

Happy Weekend!!!


'Tis the Season

Ah, fall...  The season of cozy sweaters, flowy scarves, and cooler temps.  Pumpkin spice lattes, brightly colored leaves, and boots.  BOOTS, people.  Also known as:  The reason for the season.

Boots are my favorite part of fall fashion.  Wonderful, luscious, lovely, chic, tall boots.  They're my favorite type of shoe.  Hands down.  And come fall, I just can't get enough.

Last year, I found the perfect pair of boots.  They were comfy, cute, and the most buttery shade of caramel I've ever seen.  And they were on sale!  I loved those boots.  Loved them too much, perhaps.  I finally let them out of hibernation a week or two ago and one of them has a huge, weird stain on it!  It looks like someone poured oil or something right on top of the shoe.  (Does anyone know how to get unidentified stains out of leather, btw?)  I'm afraid my beloved babies are ruined.

So ... I'm in the market for a new pair.  I'm really drawn to knee-high styles more than anything else but every once in a while, a bootie catches my eye.  Here are a few of my faves lately:

What about you?  Tall boots, short boots, or no boot?


A Memory | 11 Years Ago

I had class late that morning so I didn't set my alarm.  As I'm slowly waking up, I hear a faint tapping at my bedroom door.  Grace opens it just a crack.

"Hey, Steph.  Are you up yet?"

"Not really."

She said classes were canceled for the day.  Hers ended early and everyone was sent home.


"Yeah, there was some big plane crash in New York."

What?  What was she talking about?  We lived in Chicago.  Why would she be sent home because of a plane crash in New York?

She pointed to a photo I had up on my wall.  It was a postcard showing the silhouette of a man playing a saxophone with the New York City skyline in the background.  I bought it from a little touristy shop in Times Square the first time I went to New York.  The first time I fell in love with that beautiful, vibrant city.

"A plane crashed into those towers.  They're not there anymore."

She went into the living room and turned on the TV.  It took a while before I realized the weight of what she said.  After a few minutes of listening to the news chatter spilling over from the next room, I finally got up.

"Come here, Steph.  You need to come see this."

We sat there on our futon in our mismatched apartment.  The kind of apartment befitting three college sophomores.  Our cat, George, stared outside the window.  We stared at the TV.  Confused, mesmerized, scared, uncertain.  Who did we know in New York?  What about D.C.?  Her family was on the East Coast - could any of them have been in New York that day?

After a few hours of endless news, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to get outside.  I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  We lived near a very busy intersection - the kind with constant traffic, not just rush hour traffic.  But not that day.  On that day only a few empty buses passed by every now and then.  No cars at the stop light.  No people on the sidewalks.

I wandered a bit more.  Some cheap-o hair salon was open.  Super-Cuts.  Or maybe it was Rio's.  The Blockbuster down the street was open, too.  I got a hair cut.  Why not?  The day was already strange enough.  Four inches less hair and some new bangs later, I stopped at the Blockbuster and rented Clerks.  Nikki was home by the time I got back so we watched it together, then slowly made our way through our own DVD collection, checking the news in between movies but too overwhelmed to really watch closely.  It was almost an average Tuesday.  Almost.  Now it's a Tuesday I will never forget.


Weekend Snippets

Happy Monday lovelies!  I woke up this morning feeling like I ran a marathon this weekend.  On Saturday, I shot a wedding at the Ritz with Ana as my assistant.  We had a full 12-hour day but it was one of those days that makes me really love what I do.  The bride and groom were so sweet and gracious, their friends and family were funny and kind, and the reception was a ton of fun mainly because I felt like I was being paid to be at an awesome concert!  Tainted Love performed and they were, like, tooootally bitchin'.

For those of you who don't know, Tainted Love is an 80s cover band and they're awesome.  I've actually gone to a few of their concerts so when I found out they were playing at this wedding, I got maybe a little too excited!  If you like 80s music -and you're in California- you should definitely check out one of their concerts.  And don't be surprised if everyone in the audience is dressed in 80s gear.  It's the thing to do around here.

Me & The Boyfriend at our first Tainted Love concert together.  And a better view of my and my roommate's awesome 80s outfits.  Yes, that's Rainbow Brite on my t-shirt.

Sunday involved wedding recovery (every muscle in my body was sore after 12 hours of constantly moving around) and an evening engagement session.  We were a little nervous that the fog might roll in but luckily it held out.  We had a beautiful, sunny, clear evening and got some great shots for the soon-to-be bride and groom.  Keep an eye on the Stephanie Court Photography blog for more photos from both the wedding and the engagement sesh!

So tell me, how was your weekend?


Featuring | Twirl

You guys, there's someone that you need to know.  It's Laura.  She's a sweet, stylish mom/wife/blogger/photographer/queen-of-loveliness and if you haven't met her yet, you should stop over and say hello.  I'm pretty sure you're going to love her.

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Hey there! I'm Laura, and I blog over at Twirl. I blog about living in the deep south, revamping my photography business in a new city, and sharing an old house with my husband and my ever curious Veda Jane. I'm currently launching a shop to benefit a dear lady who befriended me 6 years ago in Africa. If you're in the market for a scarf to complete your fall style, or just want to walk with me while I make this new place my home, come on over and join me!

Happy Weekend!!!


Awkward & Awesome

- So I went to the gym yesterday.  I walked in, helped myself to an elliptical machine, and starting trudging along.  After about a minute, I felt like my pants were weirdly uncomfortable.  They were slipping down a bit in the back but kind of bunched in front.  I fidgeted a bit and then realized ... they were on backwards.  I wore my pants backwards to the gym and didn't even notice until I started actually working out!  Guess my booty really is that flat.

- Between editing photos and updating the website, I've been spending so much time on the computer lately that I honestly believe I'm developing carpel tunnel.  My wrist is sore and tingly by the end of the day!  I think I need to start wearing one of those wrist brace things. :(

- My college roommate (all four years!) and bestie just had her first little baby back in May.  I was already pretty convinced she's the cutest kid on the planet but she recently posted a video on Facebook that just proves it for a fact.  And now she's giving Mariah Carey a run for her money with those 3-month old vocal chords!

- I finally finished the redesign for my NEW WEBSITE!!!!  I'm quite proud of it so I hope you'll stop by and take a look.  Be sure to click over the blog while you're there - it got a facelift, too!

Feel free to like the SCP Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all my business happenings :)


Are You Ready for Some Football?

My 'boys are playing tonight, y'all.  That's right.  I dropped the y'all bomb.  No matter how long I've been away, I just can't repress the Texan in me.  Especially not when it comes to football.

And today is the first day of the 93rd season of the NFL.  The Cowboys are playing the Giants in New York and I know it'll be a good game.  Maybe a barbeque-worthy game.  Mmm... barbeque... and football...

I just hope Romo doesn't blow it tonight.

Via The NYTimes


Weekend Snippets | Labor Day

Well, happy Tuesday folks.  Tuesday.  That means four days until the next weekend.  Can I get a whoop whoop up in here?

We decided on a bit of a whim Friday afternoon to spend the weekend up in wine country.  We headed up to Sonoma on Saturday and had dinner with my mother-in-love & co. and Sunday we went wine tasting.  Our first stop was at B.R. Cohn.  There was some kind of antique car show going on and I couldn't help but capture a few of the cars' details.  They just don't make 'em like they used to.

After B.R. Cohn, we headed over to Valley of the Moon.  We bought a bottle of wine made from grapevines that were planted on the property in the 1940s.

We thought it'd make a nice belated birthday gift for my father-in-love so we headed over and spent the evening with him.  But not before taking the most awkward photo ever.  This just proves I need to stay behind the camera!  The Boyfriend also wanted to get an "arty" photo of me - hence, the photo on the right.   He did a pretty good job but I am, again... awkward.

Once we got to my father-in-loves, we just hung out, ate some steak, and watched a Western (3:10 to Yuma - so freakin' good).  Considering we had zero plans as of lunch time Friday, it turned out to be the perfect Labor Day weekend.

So, how was your holiday weekend?

(PS - I'm spending quite a bit of time these days updating my website/doing a little rebranding so stay tuned for some news very soon!)
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